Opinions

Thu
12
Sep

Sounding off on the golf course

I admit it: I talk to my golf ball. But I’m not the only one; lots of the guys I play with talk to their golf balls. Some of them even to talk to other players’ golf balls.

I’m a reasonably quiet golfer, but I sometimes yell at a drive or whisper to a chip shot. When Marilyn plays with me, she’ll say something like, “Who are you talking to? The ball can’t hear you.” (She says the same thing when I yell at the referees in the Packers games on TV.)

But I don’t think that’s right. Talking to your golf ball is one of the most important nuances of the game. You have to talk to the ball, because if you never do it, it will never listen to you. But if you always talk to it, it will occasionally listen.

Sometimes when you yell, “Come back!” at a ball which is slicing out of bounds, it’ll hit a tree and come back! Sometimes when you whisper “Get legs, get there,” to a putt, it’ll roll up and leak into the cup.

Thu
12
Sep

Yellow school bus is sure sign of fall

Last week’s flashes of yellow and red on the path around the Falls were early indicators of the approach of the autumn season. The yellow flashes were of school buses with their first of 180 daily journeys transporting students. These flashes are very predictable and usually coincide with the first day after the long Labor Day weekend.

Those flashes of red come on the sides of the road, rather than the road itself, and are much less predictable. We are talking about the sumac, which turns from green to red much like traffic lights, signaling summer to stop. The first of those brilliant red roadside flashes were seen last week, according to one report and confirmed by this observer over the weekend.

Wed
04
Sep

Clapping erasers: punishment or reward?

Throughout most of my life, I had some association with chalk, chalkboards (blackboards or greenboards) and chalkboard erasers. All the way through grade school, high school, college and 37 years of teaching, they were part of my life. Now, traditional chalkboards are sort of a dying breed in the age of interactive whiteboards and dry-erase whiteboards in the classroom, but they still exist, and as long as they do, felt chalkboard erasers will still accumulate a ton of chalk dust.

Remember chalkboard erasers? A chalkboard eraser is a supplement and tool used with chalkboards. A common chalkboard eraser is about 2 inches by 4 inches and is composed of felt strips that are held together with sticky paper or glue. It is used to wipe the old chalk markings off the chalkboards.

Wed
04
Sep

Hopes, dreams pinned to new school year

Many who spend their days on the path around the Falls and were around 50 years ago would agree there was an undeniable energy around the civil rights movement and the inspiration that came from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

He was a powerful orator and had the passion to go with his words. His life was cut short less than five years later, but the legacy lives on in so many aspects of modern society.

The march on Washington at which the speech was delivered marked the 100-year anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which commonly is assumed to have been the official action to end slavery. In fact the document was intended to free the slaves who resided in the states that were still in rebellion to the Union. Thus the action had minimal effect. It wasn’t until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865 that slavery was outlawed throughout the nation.

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?

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