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Thursday, May 05, 2016

  • As the manager of the Gold Refinery in Indianapolis, Dyanne Franchville knows gold when she sees it. She also knows that no precious metal has been as valuable to her business as 55-year-old Oscar Gutierrez, her loyal employee who for the last eight years has stationed himself in front of her store, equipped with sign boards, headsets and a giant foam pointing hand.
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  • Every night at dinner my wife and I ask each other, “What are you doing tomorrow?” I’m not sure why we do that. We never listen to the answer. In the morning we repeat the question. Then later that night when we both arrive home, we ask again: “So…what did you do today?” We get the same response as before, but it’s always fun to hear it for the first time.
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  • It’s a Saturday morning in April. Spring is in the air. But so is snow. And it’s on the ground. And I’m wondering about my dandelions. Will this untimely last blast of winter compromise these loyal harbingers of warm weather that have never failed to rear their ugly little heads?

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  • My wife was away for a week recently and I knew I would have some problems in the kitchen. I had no clue how to operate the microwave or turn on our new dishwasher. One night, I kept answering my cell phone until I realized it was the fridge making a ringing noise because the door was left open.

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  • Betty Weesner had the same job for almost 60 years and never got a promotion. She would have complained to the boss, but she was the boss—both the editor and the publisher of The Republican, the oldest newspaper in Hendricks County. One hundred seventy years old to be exact. Betty always liked to be exact.

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  • I was watching an episode of House of Cards one afternoon and suddenly the TV’s sound went off. I pushed every button on the remote. Nothing worked. It was time to get out the manual. Every troubleshooting guide begins with the assumption that some people are totally clueless.

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  • Anna Weisenberger was  not an old friend of mine.  She was my oldest friend. She passed away last week at the age of 109.

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  • My wife and I were planning a trip to Florida to visit Mary Ellen’s old high school friend, but Joy’s husband was unexpectedly called out of town on business. Steven and I usually play golf together, so I was a little disappointed. But a change in scenery and time to read on the beach still sounded enjoyable.

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  • There’s not much humor related to the topic of cruciferous vegetables.  You can search the Internet for almost any kind of joke, but if you google Brussels sprouts or kale or turnips for any clever witticisms, you’re going to come up empty and disappointed—sort of the way you feel after eating any of that stuff.

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  • Twenty-five years ago this week, I found a beagle puppy on my front doorstep while on my way to work. He was soon to become a TV celebrity, accompanying me on my reporting duties for 12 years. Here is my memory of the morning I found him, partly excerpted from my book, Mornings with Barney.

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  • My wife says I’m not a spiritual person but I believe I could be someday. I mean, you have to have faith. The most spiritual thing I do is shop at Whole Foods, a supermarket that caters to people who opt for a diet that is organic, pure and chemical-free. However, I prefer food with preservatives. It’s cheaper than a face lift.

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  • I like to read newspaper articles containing the words "exercise" or "workout" in the headline, hoping that new research will prove the whole thing is a big waste of time or is actually bad for you. They keep changing their minds about the pros and cons of coffee—so you never know.
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  • “What about this one?” asked Mary Ellen, as she flashed a thin paperback volume in front of my face. “Can we chuck it?” At the time, we were trying to decide which books in our basement we’d donate to the library and which ones to simply discard.  Some decisions are easy.

    You can’t throw away an old copy of Moby Dick or a novel by John Grisham, but Computers for Dummies (2002) doesn’t have much prospect for a future readership, and keeping it would only perpetuate someone’s quotient of nerdiness.

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  • I was looking for a magazine to take on the plane to pass the time on our two-hour flight to Houston. The conventional wisdom is that print magazines are dying, but the truth is that special-interest publications are as popular as ever. At the airport, I had dozens of choices, many of which had to do with surviving some impending doom, building no-nonsense abs or making holiday cookies.

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  • Mike and Glenda Carmichael of Alexandria, Indiana, have been married a long time, but they still have a ball. In fact, they’ve had this ball for nearly 40 years. A paintball, that is.
    You’ve probably seen or heard about it, but as a TV reporter, I will soon have the honor of covering this story again. And covering is exactly the right word.
    It all started in 1977, when Mike and his three-year-old son, Michael Jr., painted a baseball that was sitting on a shelf in their garage. Mike thought it would be a fun pastime for his family to continually repaint the ball to see just how big it could get
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