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Monday, August 29, 2016

  • Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:12 PM

    Just once in 38 years I’d have liked to hear Mary Ellen say something like: “Dick has this terrific habit of changing his underwear every day.” Generally the word habit is associated with a repeated bad action.  I mean, there are good vibes and bad vibes; good ideas and bad ideas; good luck and bad luck. But it’s almost redundant to include the word “bad” with habit.

    Mary Ellen recently commented that after all our years together, it still drove her a little batty that I whistle all the time. She claims I do it when I am working in my home office or cleaning out the garage, and even when I am on my way out the door to go to the TV station.

    “No one whistles on the way to work,” she said. I told her I could probably name seven who did, but one of the dwarves’ names keeps slipping my mind. 

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  • Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:09 PM

    Garrison Keillor performed his final Prairie Home Companion episode last week, capping things off with a goodbye visit to Lake Wobegon, his mythical hometown where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

    I did not hear that live performance on the radio; I watched it the next day, on YouTube—a decision I regretted because for four decades he was a disembodied voice. That might sound odd, but actually seeing his body took away some of the magic for me. If you love radio, you know what I mean.

    Keillor was a glorious confluence of Mark Twain, Jerry Seinfeld and Will Rogers.  And while I did not know him personally, there were a few intersecting points in our lives.

    The first begins with Fred Newman, his intrepid sound-effects man. Fred makes each performance sparkle with accompanying mouth noises that brilliantly mimic explosions, trains, tornadoes and virtually anything that Keillor throws at him as he spins a story. Fred never knows what’s coming.

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  • Thursday, July 07, 2016 11:48 PM

    Sleeping has always been an issue for me. Not napping: I’m a wiz at napping. The problem is falling asleep in a bed…and staying that way for six to eight hours. I’m just not good at it. Never have been.

    I have tried many things over the years. I took Ambien once. It worked well, but there was an odd side effect. Not only did I think I got a good night’s sleep, but when I woke up in the morning, I discovered I had mown the entire front lawn in the dark. I also tried allergy medicine because a friend told me that if I took a couple it would make me sleep deeply. It also made me a little goofy. I don’t think growling at yourself in the mirror is normal.

    The one place I sleep great is on a bus. But why? There is nothing on a bus that lends itself to sleeping. The seats are hard, the space is cramped and it’s usually hot.  

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  • Monday, June 20, 2016 12:00 AM

    The men who live in my cul de sac aerate their lawns. I’m telling you this because there’s a good chance that because of this unnecessary demonstration of male virility, I may put my house up for sale and I’d feel guilty if someone reading this ended up in the same neighborhood.

    Recently my wife and I arrived home from a Sunday brunch and saw Jeff wrestling with what appeared to be a 200-horsepower lawnmower.  The really strange part was that Jeff was not aerating his own lawn, but Stan’s lawn, which looked like an act of great selflessness unless you take into account that he had simply lost control of the behemoth and was desperately trying to steer the machine back to his own front yard.   Then Mark, watching Jeff from his living room window, came outside to request that he be given a chance to aerate.  Stan also wanted in.  This scam made Tom Sawyer look like an amateur.


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  • Tuesday, June 07, 2016 1:14 AM
    As I mentioned in my last column, I don’t think Baby Boomers will ever feel comfortable with technology. It’s not that we can’t master it, but more that we don’t trust it. When Microsoft Word asks if I, “want to save the changes?” before I close a document, I often want to do exactly that, but how can I be sure that the people at Microsoft Word can be taken at their word and my changes will be saved? I want a BIG, SOLID commitment, not a puny micro-soft one.
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  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 11:45 PM
    The prevailing attitude among the younger generations is that Baby Boomers are not capable of learning and accepting new technology.  Youth today have grown up using computers. Learning that type of skill-set is far easier when you begin at an early age. People of my vintage have not been given the credit they deserve for the successful adaption we made to new technology back in the ’50s and ’60s, such as:
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  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:00 AM

    This is my 800th column. I started writing for newspapers in the year 2000, one article every week for 16 years. I have never missed a deadline.

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  • Sunday, May 08, 2016 11:20 PM
    Nothing is certain in politics, but it sure looks like the November battle will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The opposing campaigns are already debating the debates, outlining the rules that will govern the first TV match-up in October.  I looked up the rules and I wish Mary Ellen and I had been given some similar guidelines 35 years ago when we tied the knot.
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  • Wednesday, April 27, 2016 10:45 PM
    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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  • Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:21 AM
    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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  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 1:03 AM

    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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  • Wednesday, April 06, 2016 12:55 AM

    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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  • Monday, March 28, 2016 11:52 PM

    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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  • Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:01 AM

    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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  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 1:23 AM

    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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