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home : columns April 28, 2016

Of a certain age
There they were, set out in the parking lot to tempt me on that warm spring day. Green leaves, brightly colored blooms, sturdy little starts of lettuce and squash, all waving at me in the April sunlight, begging me to take them home and plant them.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Democracy is very rude
Please, please, take a minute and think about what resolutions defining a particular standard of civil discourse - like the one passed at Sisters City Hall earlier this month - are really all about.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The Bunkhouse Chronicle: A Raid For Horseflesh
Two weeks ago my mother called and dropped a bomb on our house. She asked if I was sitting down. I wasn't, but I did, quickly, because that's what sons do when their mothers start a conversation that way. And if you are a mother reading this, please don't do that.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Easter Rising of 1916: 'A Terrible Beauty Is Born'
MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

- William Butler Yeats

Monday, April 24, 1916. The British Empire is locked in a death struggle with Germany in Belgium and Northern France.

In Dublin, Ireland, a collection of idealists, Celtic cultural mystics, and labor socialists about 1,250 strong seize several key municipal buildings downtown and declare the Irish Republic.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Do animals have souls?
For eons, men and women have pondered the question: Do animals have souls?
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Yuri Schmidt 1937-2013
There are two reasons I want to tell you about one of the most remarkable people I have ever met - Yuri Schmidt. One reason is his story needs to be told and remembered, and the other is I made a promise to him in 2006 and am keeping that promise.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Happy as can bee
A swarm of bees can mean many things to many people. To the uninitiated they can be sheer terror. "What!" Screams Auntie Em, "We have a swarm of bees in the backyard! Call the police!" I actually heard that statement from a terror-stricken person in Portland years back.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Bull by Bull
• This past winter I noticed being half-spooked about getting older.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Does your cat keep you up all night?
You toss and turn and finally get to sleep, when suddenly a pain in your big toe wakes you up. Your 10-pound tabby attacks your foot and then jumps on your chest, purring all the while.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
In praise of Sisters
Sometimes even refugees get lucky. We thought we'd move to Montana.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Getting real with the O'Neals
My most cherished time of day is the evening. After the children are in bed my wife and I get to just hang out and do whatever we want, uninterrupted by children. Often this involves catching up on our television shows.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Sisters Country birds
The northern pintail is a relatively common dabbler duck feeding on grains, seeds, crustaceans and aquatic insects. It gets its name from the long tail feathers ending in a distinctive narrow sharp tip.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Sisters salutes...
• Hats off the to the community volunteers who make the Pursue Your Passion entrepreneurship class at Sisters High School possible: Bill Willitts; Ann Richardson; Julie Benson; Gary Wehrle; John Griffith; Melvin Herberger; and Ted Johnson.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Cognitive dissonance: A borderland variation
The idea that we can hold two disparate ideas in our heads at the same time and agree with them both - the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance - has rarely been so starkly illustrated for me as it was after a week on the U.S. southern border, with Sisters-based Warfighter Outfitters.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Pancho Villa legacy continues in Sisters
Fascinating story by Jim Cornelius in the March 9 edition of The Nugget about Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico 100 years ago.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Hollywood Squares
I'm a movie buff, all-in, but while I love the experience of a good film - in a theater, particularly one as comfortable and inviting as our own Sisters Movie House - I confess that I have become increasingly tired of the people making them. The yearly, over-anticipated, under-compelling pomp of the Oscars, where Hollywood celebrates itself and chides the rest of us, is enough to make an old cowboy belly sick.

Here's the rub:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The Obama legacy
I watched President Obama's last State of the Union speech with some regret, as it was his last. I also got angry looking at Paul Ryan's condescending expression throughout the entire speech - or perhaps it was more disdain on his face.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Stars over Sisters
The constellation Camelopardalis can be found in the northern sky this month all night, lying just above Cassiopeia. The Greek name means giraffe, which it got because of its long neck. It was named by the Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1642.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Bruno's Country Club
Jack Kerouac, who was himself no stranger to subterranean bars, smoky jazz drinkeries and blues joints, offered us this bit of wisdom: "Try never to get drunk outside of your own home."
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
A memory of Jesse Owens
The highest price ever paid for a piece of Olympic memorabilia occurred in December 2013, a medal belonging to Jesse Owens that sold at an online auction for $1.47 million. News of the sale brought to mind a story I was told by my dad - and it comes to mind again as the movie "Race" premiers.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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