How the Media Keeps Us Divided


ss004Back in the 1980s a phrase popped up to describe how many news outlets approach their reporting:

If it bleeds, it leads

A lot of news outlets have a tendency to focus on gruesome and macabre stories. I think this is still true today, except that with our country being so deeply divided, what’s bleeding is the nation itself, and I believe far too much news reporting serves to maintain and worsen the division. Continue reading

Interpreting “Landslide” and Why it Matters


ss003One of my friends on Facebook posted a link to an article about Kellyanne Conway’s life and rise to her current place of prominence in the nation’s political landscape. I didn’t know much about Conway, so I decided to read the article. I was interested in learning more about her. Unfortunately, I found myself pausing when I read the first four words of the second paragraph referring to the presidential election, where the article’s author wrote:

“In a landslide election…” Continue reading

Reflections on Politics


ss002It is a curious time in the political and cultural landscape of the nation. I hear more and more people calling for unity and for people to come together for our collective sake, and yet the country seems more deeply divided than ever. Is this how things are going to be from here on out? The political pendulum has always swung back and forth between more conservative and more liberal approaches to government, but everything just feels more, I don’t know, vicious these days. Continue reading

I Was a Master Debater


rr8Actually, my first foray into the world of speech and debate was on the speech side of the equation. There were literally dozens of different event categories in which one could compete. Kevin Tomb and I were in the Extemporaneous Speaking category. At a tournament, you walk up to a table with a bunch of slips of paper on it, randomly choose one, turn it over to see what current event topic is listed on it, take 30 minutes to prepare, and then deliver a 7-minute speech on that topic. Continue reading

I Am The 8% (well, me and this woman)


ss001For better or worse, I decided years ago I would never have a cell phone, smart or otherwise. The latest research reveals only 8% of American adults fall in this category. I can only imagine most of my no-cell-phone compatriots are really old people, like the elderly woman in the picture who is fully enjoying the event she’s attending while nearly everyone else around her is only experiencing it through their phones, even though they’re right there at the event! Continue reading

Sherman’s 3-Alarm Eggs


rr6I managed to start the New Year off with a rather embarrassing event. It was Monday morning, just the second day of 2017. Willow had spent the night at my apartment and I decided to fry up a couple eggs for her breakfast. We both like our eggs “over easy.” She gobbled them up and life was good – until a smoke detector went off. Continue reading

The Inefficient Acronym


rr5“Where in the love of mud have you been?” is what my father would say to us if we got home particularly late, or if my mother had been waylaid while running an errand and it took much longer than expected. My father has always been a man of few words – even more so in recent years because of a neurodegenerative disorder he has (ataxia with tremors) that makes speech a real struggle for him. But his thriftiness in communication was present long before that. Continue reading

Big Toughie: One Bad-Ass Rooster


rr4I spent the first ten years of my life, 1968-1978, on a goat farm in Ohio. The town we lived in, Champion, was so small in those days it didn’t even have its own zip-code. My father was an electronics technician at the Youngstown airport, but in addition to working his full-time job, we also had this farm with 36 acres of land, half-a-dozen goats and a flock of chickens. Continue reading