Opinions

Wed
15
Nov

Column: But what will we use for "Doot-de-doots"?

A couple of years ago, there was a very interesting commercial on TV that made use of some amazing computer-generated art. The commercial was for toilet paper (or do you prefer “bathroom tissue”?), except the ad didn’t do anything to extol the virtues of the product. Instead, it was about the fact that the tissue was not wrapped around a cardboard tube.

The Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper ad showed a cardboard toilet paper tube springing free from the holder in a bathroom, rolling down the stairs and out the door into the street, where it joined millions of other tubes and became part of a giant Empire State Building facsimile made up of 8½ billion tubes. Spectacular!

Wed
08
Nov

Column: Friends' passing reminds us of mortality

Nothing shakes your sense of mortality like the death of a good friend. In the last couple of weeks, I have lost two good friends, both of them high school classmates.

Wayne Kussow was my best friend in high school, and stood with me in our wedding. We had never met before our freshman year, but we immediately struck up a friendship that was to last 64 years. We were both farm kids with a lot of responsibilities at home, but we also both possessed a desire to break away from the farm, go to college and find careers in education. Wayne became a highly respected professor at the University of Wisconsin, and I had a very satisfying career as a high school English teacher.

Wed
01
Nov

Column: On adjusting to sudden baldness

I was told when I began my chemotherapy regimen that I would “probably” lose my hair. Two weeks to the day after my first treatment, I lost all my hair in about one hour! It’s been a month or so now, and I’m still surprised every time I see myself in a mirror or store window.

For my age, 78, I still had a a lot of hair – no indication of any receding hairline or bald spot. Silver colored, wavy. Lots of hair. Then, all of a sudden, Kojak or Daddy Warbucks! And because my pate has not been exposed to the sun, it’s shiny white.

I went to the Wayland Academy Alumni Reunion weekend festivities, and many of my former students didn’t recognize me. It’s such a remarkable difference in my appearance.

Wed
25
Oct

Cereal the meal of choice in Battle Creek

At a recent Alumni Weekend at Wayland Academy where I taught for 24 years, I talked to a former student whose hometown was Battle Creek, Michigan. When you think of Battle Creek, what comes to mind? Kellogg’s cereals, right?

Yeah, well, me, too. But Battle Creek conjures up a much bigger picture than just breakfast cereal. For me, it causes me to recollect a camping trip which our family took when our kids were little – ages approximately 7 to 2, I suppose.

Wed
18
Oct

Column: Readers read, whether or not they want to

Reading is both a blessing and a curse – once you learn to read, you can’t not read. Yeah, I know, that’s a double negative, but it’s a deliberate one!

Cereal boxes, roadside billboards, graffiti, wherever the printed words are, we read them. They might not totally register, but somehow the message becomes embedded.

For instance, 15 years or so ago, there was a great Chinese restaurant in Beaver Dam called China Palace. They had great place mats revealing the Chinese zodiac, and every time we went there, I’d read the place mat again.

It wasn’t because I was particularly interested in the Chinese zodiac, but because the words were there. And besides, why wouldn’t I want to reinforce the idea that my sign, the rabbit, represents? “Luckiest of all signs, you are also talented and articulate. Affectionate, yet shy, you seek peace throughout your life.”

Wed
18
Oct

Letter: Motion is ‘opposite of open and transparent democracy’

To the editor:

The story in the Sept. 28 Press-Gazette headlined “State eases housing rules” adds another chapter of shame on the current Wisconsin Legislature.

Obviously an ordinance enacted by the village of Ashwaubenon to address a local issue “gored the bull” of some unknown deep-pocketed interests. The result is what we have come to expect from the party that currently controls the Legislature — a last-minute, middle-of-the-night provision slipped into the must-pass budget bill through what is called a 999 motion.

Citizens can’t even hold the sponsoring legislators accountable because they don’t have to have the intestinal fortitude to attach their names to the provision. That, plus its inclusion in a budget bill inserted too late for public hearings or constituent reaction, is the opposite of open and transparent democracy.

Wed
11
Oct

Column: Bad news for pickle lovers

I recently read an article about how pickles might be a cancer-causing food. Pickled cucumbers, pickled beets, pickled cabbage. I like those things.

The article said “Chinese studies have shown that populations which suffer a certain esophageal cancer also depend on fermented veggies for long periods each year. Scientists have linked the cancer to a fungi used in the fermentation process, and a 2009 review of such studies found that the regular consumption of pickled veggies doubles the risk for this form of cancer.”

When I go in for my chemo infusions, the nurses put on what look like bio-hazard suits when they’re dealing with the chemicals they’re running into my arm. Do I have to put on such a suit when I open a jar of my favorite pickles?

Wed
04
Oct

Click for Babies thanks supporters

To the editor:

My husband and I would like to thank all who helped our store, Gillett Handiworks, with our participation in the cause of Click for Babies. Because of your time and generosity, we were not only able to donate money to the Wisconsin representative of Click for Babies, but were also able to send 200 purple hats for newborns in Wisconsin hospitals.

Click for Babies is present throughout North America. The ultimate goal is to help prevent shaken baby syndrome. The purple hats remind the new caregivers of what they learn in educational materials about crying patterns in babies and how to cope with them. It is called Click for Babies because of the clicking sounds the knitting needles and crochet hooks can make as they are being used in projects.

Thank you again for helping us make a difference in the lives of those babies and their families.

Wendy and Pete Vorpahl,

Gillett Handiworks LLC,

Gillett

Wed
04
Oct

Taking it one chip at a time

I have scars on my left thumb and index finger that I got from “whittling” when I was a little kid. My Grandpa Thompson had given me a very sharp jackknife and told me to be really careful with it. (I still have the knife in a drawer in the bedroom.)

I loved to whittle and to make whistles from green branches of box elder trees. Most of my whittling existed of creating “spears” or “arrows.” There was nothing very creative about my efforts. But then Grandpa suggested I should try carving from a bar of soap. He said there was nothing wasteful about it because we could use the shavings for washing our hands. Thus began an interest in carving that lay dormant until after I retired many years later.

There is an artistic side to my character. I like to draw. I loved cartooning, and I had always thought I’d like to paint after I retired, so I took a one-day class in watercolor painting. I loved it. I bought paints and brushes and all kinds of supplies.

Thu
28
Sep

Column: Sometimes a great idea ... isn't

Sometimes I think I have a great idea and I sit down to write, and the more I write, the more I think, “Boy , this sounds familiar.” So I go back into the computer where the last 800 or so columns are stored, and do a search, and sure enough, I’ve written this before, and almost exactly the same.

That happened one day last week when I started to write about building fences when I was a kid on the farm. I found out that I’d written about that topic several years ago. So I abandoned that idea and went sorting through the minutia that’s stashed away in my gray matter in search of another one, and sure enough, I came across a different approach – still about fencing, but another kind.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions