Opinions

Wed
28
Aug

McNugget triggers vivid memory

I saw a YouTube piece on the “Today” show a while back that made me think about an incident in my kidhood; well, actually in my sister’s kidhood, I guess. I was only a spectator, not a participant in the event.

First of all, let me tell you about the YouTube, and then I’ll come back to my story. The film clip was about a rooster named McNugget in Issaquah, Wash. I did some research and found out that McNugget had escaped from the nearby Issaquah Grange Supply years ago as a chick and had adopted the parking lot of a Staples store as its new home. Employees of an espresso stand in the lot adopted the rooster, gave him his name and a crate for shelter.

About three years ago, a young woman who was a regular customer of the espresso stand provided a home upgrade to a doghouse and stopped by occasionally to feed McNugget. But she and a friend became very concerned when the temperatures dropped to overnight lows of 10 degrees.

Wed
28
Aug

Preseason drives school-year success

Thursday will be a memorable evening as fans along the path around the Falls will see several names for the very last time on the back of an official Green Bay Packers jersey. A number of aspiring NFL players will have their last shot at making the team before the next roster cut. Decisions were made after Friday’s game. A number of players were sent packing, and a few new faces were brought in to shore up some of the weak spots before things get serious with the regular season.

Tue
20
Aug

From pebble to boulder, nothing is set in stone

I’ve written a couple of times in the past about our treks with friends on the National Scenic Ice Age Trail. We’ve been doing short sections (7 to 9 miles) five or six times a summer over the last several years. Some of the trail is pretty rugged, some of it follows paved pathways through cities, some is on country roads, and some of it—like our last two hikes—is on portions of the Sugar River and Badger State bike trails.

The bike trails are on abandoned railroad beds, so they’re easy walking, with almost no grade and on crushed limestone, and therein lies the subject of today’s epistle. It’s easy to pick up a foreign object in your shoe on the crushed limestone paths, but what do you call that little morsel that somehow sneaks into your shoe and works its way down under your heel, making every step a misery? Is it a pebble, a stone or a rock? I’ve heard my compatriots on the trail use all three terms.

Tue
20
Aug

Rule No. 1: There will always be more rules

As with the start of any new season on the path around the Falls, a review of the rules, especially any changes, is a good idea. This advice applies most often when it comes to sports.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) sanctions all high school sports activities in Wisconsin. Its pattern is to have a rules meeting with coaches and officials well in advance of each season. Coaches then pass the word along to athletes and parents, and periodically discuss the rules during practice.

Similar processes are used for professional sports. Sometimes the rule changes are for spectators. Spectators entering Lambeau Field for Packers games this year will face a number of additional restrictions as to what they can bring into the stadium. One of the most noticeable will be the use of clear plastic bags for carry-in items.

Tue
13
Aug

Fate leads siblings to revisit senior show

Coincidence is a funny thing. Some people believe that nothing happens by accident in God’s universe or our lives; thus, there is no such thing as a coincidence.

Some people refer instead to synchronicity, the experience of two or more causally unrelated events occurring together in a meaningful manner.

Well, whatever you choose to believe, stuff happens, right?

When my sister, Joyce, was in Wisconsin in May, she met an old high school friend for dinner, and one of the topics of their conversation was their collaboration on the set design and construction for their high school senior class play back in 1958. The play was “Around the World in 80 Days,” a stage adaptation of the famous Jules Verne novel of the 1870s.

Joyce talked to me about the play as we drove to Marshfield and back to visit our lone remaining aunt.

Tue
13
Aug

Pulaski official should resign due to citation

To the editor:

I would like to address the Pulaski School Board members. With the recent citation being given to School Board member Christine Vandenhouten after hosting an underage drinking party at her home on May 12, why have you not censured or asked Ms. Vandenhouten to resign?

Also, where is the outrage of the parents who have students in the Pulaski community school system? Is this a person you would like representing your children and also taxpayers in the school district?

Vandenhouten is not a good representative of the school system and its mission statement and has missed several School Board meetings since this occurred. What example is this setting for our children?

Tue
13
Aug

Looking at sunny side after rainy night

On a dark and stormy night last week in a number of different locations along the path around the Falls, Mother Nature decided to push the start of the fall wood-cutting season. The rain and wind Wednesday night combined to topple all or major portions of three mature trees in this observer’s farm yard, closing one driveway but missing the buildings and power lines. That same gust of wind tore off a number of shingles, but these are replaceable.

Other property owners suffered similar fates. The east side of Kelly Lake was particularly hard hit. In other places, there may not have been damage to buildings, but the almost straight-line rain found its way into homes where it was never expected. This caused a few people to jump out of bed to deal with the deluge coming through windows.

Thu
08
Aug

Back-to-school checklist now includes medical checkup

An all too frequently heard question on the path around the Falls the past couple weeks has been “Where has the summer gone?” The almost automatic response from this observer has been, “It’s not gone, it’s still July, and we have a long way to go.”

Reality hit last week when the calendar page turned to August. The dose of cooler weather reinforced the message that the approach of fall was not that far off. The real reminders started coming over the weekend. Apparently, the first weekend in August is the season opener for the back-to-school merchant fliers. The flashy pictures in the ads and the well-designed displays in stores can get students in the mood for that first day of school.

Unfortunately, that first day of school is not about wearing the latest and greatest in school outfits or having the newest designer backpack. There are higher priorities, but still getting a couple of nice things for school can be fun.

Thu
08
Aug

Weed pulling unearths grisly origin of childhood rhyme

“Silver Bells and Cockle Shells”

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row.

I thought of that verse a while ago because I found a good crop of weeds near a little tree I’d transplanted in the yard. Several of them were plants that my dad used to call “cockles,” and he hated them almost as much as he hated wild mustard. When it appeared that my sister, Joyce, and I didn’t have enough to do to occupy our time, he’d say, “Go out there and pull some mustard and cockles, and don’t drop the seeds!” and he’d send us out in the field of alfalfa with a big bag to haul them in so he could burn them.

Wed
31
Jul

Batting around baseball facts, figures

The great Hall of Famer Ted Williams wrote a book in 1968 called “Science of Batting.” Actually, it was “written” by a guy named John Underwood, but supposedly it was Ted Williams telling the story. In it he says, “Hitting a baseball … is the single most difficult thing to do in sport.”

Ted Williams had a lifetime batting average of .291, even though he had one season in which he hit .400, the last person ever to do that. He was a superstar in his era and would have been a multi-millionaire if he were playing today.

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