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Home arrow Opinion arrow Columns

Getting personal with rocks. . . and grass

When I’m careening down a slope of talus I like to know whether it’s granite or chert that’s excising the skin from my back in the manner of a cheese grater wielded by a sociopath.

“This stupid rock” seems to me a pathetically impersonal epithet.

We gained a new (old) name but didn’t lose any of what we love most

Baker City has gained quite a lot besides a new name in the past 20 years.

A McDonald’s, for instance.

Although the city’s new name is in fact its old name, resurrected after 79 years of oblivion.

Another viewpoint on Steve Brocato

A letter written by Gary Dielman and printed by the Baker City Herald was recently forwarded to me. Mr. Dielman raised a number of questions about Steve Brocato’s past job experience and his qualifications to hold the job of city manager.

I have direct knowledge of Steve’s capabilities, character and history and would like to provide some clarification.

A crazed player ends his career, but did he shoulder too much blame?

LeGarrette Blount will never gain another yard for the Oregon Ducks football team.

Nor, come to that, will he lose another yard.

That latter achievement, though it’s one running backs such as Blount strive to avoid, is perhaps his more fitting epitaph, given the statistics he amassed during his final game.

He carried the ball eight times and lost five more yards from scrimmage than he gained.

Numbers aside, I believe it is appropriate that Blount has taken his last handoff as a Duck.

Blount’s frenzy immediately following Oregon’s 19-8 loss to Boise State on Sept. 3 warranted Coach Chip Kelly’s decision to suspend Blount for the rest of the season.

Obsessed with the garbage truck

My 2-year-old can hear the refrigerator door opening from across the house, but it’s the distinctive squeal of a garbage truck’s brakes that makes her drop everything and race to the door.

Every morning when she wakes up, she asks “Garbage truck coming today?” in a hopeful little voice.

Six days of the week she’s disappointed. But when she goes to bed Thursday night, I get to say, “The garbage truck will be here tomorrow.”

Her eyes light up as she exclaims, “It’s Friday!”

(Repetition is everything in a toddler’s world.)

Looking backward to find the route toward a cooler future

Quite a lot of people insist that the cure for certain afflictions which plague our planet, chief among them its increasingly fevered brow, is technology.

I happen to agree.

Yet implicit in this attitude, it seems to me, is the belief that this technology will inevitably be of the “new” variety.

The unforeseen effects of pot; and a clunker that fails to qualify

If any reasonable doubt remained about the absurdity of the claim that smoking marijuana is a victimless crime, one toppled tree has crushed it.

The same tree that crushed the life out of Steven A. Uptegrove.

Hitler, Stalin are long dead: Why must we keep rattling their evil bones?

Hitler died 64 years ago, but his name — or at least his moustache — gets in the news so often you’d think the old monster was still kicking around.

Although he’d be 120, and so possibly incapable of the sort of evil that defined his life.

Probably you’ve noticed that Hitler has become a favorite, albeit a posthumous, tool of propagandists who endeavor to make their political foes look especially nasty, but who disdain devoting a lot of time to assembling a logical case to bolster their allegations.

These lazy molders of public opinion seem to have decided that it’s a silly exercise to exhaust themselves with hours of tedious research when there’s a perfectly good four-letter word available.

That word being “Nazi.”

PETA takes on Portland, and horse poop takes center stage

I can go along with PETA for some distance but I keep getting distracted, and well short of applying for membership, by the group’s loony pronouncements.

Which, in defense of my ability to concentrate, is pretty easy to do when it comes to PETA.

Traipsing across Washington, a heat wave on our heels

I was pursued recently, and quite doggedly, by a heat wave. This experience intrigued me, as my interest in meteorological matters is boundless, but it was also a plain old nuisance.

The latter was due mainly to all the changing of shirts.

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