I’m activated: Bank on it

Each January the small bank in my hometown –– The Loanly Bank and Mistrust –– attracts new customers to their banking services by offering premium gifts to anyone signing for a loan or opening a new account. To anyone opening a savings account, the bank will bestow a $25 gift card to Sleepy Joe’s coffee…

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It’s a shame it is January

I’ve come to the conclusion that, if December is the season of Hope, then January must be the season of Shame. I base this conclusion primarily because advertisers tell us it is so. No sooner do the last holiday fruitcakes make the annual transition from Christmas delicacy to New Year’s doorstop, advertisers start reminding us…

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Signs of change at AHW

Randy Allen and Ron Hatke retire By John O. Marlowe john@writetality.com Ever since man stepped away from hunting and gathering food, to colonize into settlements and farms, the success of the grower has depended on how well he or she interprets the signs. For instance, a halo around the sun or moon is believed to…

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Scrapping another column together

I once heard a fascinating story of an electrician. Every night after work, he gathered all of the scrap pieces of wire from the job site, and throw them in his truck. Then at night, he’d sit watch-ing his favorite television shows, and strip all of the plastic insulation from the wire, leaving be-hind only…

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A very shaggy New Year

My friend, Karen, and I were talking the other day, and like nearly all discussions between members of the opposite sex, the conversation ultimately turned to shag carpeting. Karen is remarkable. Not only does she juggle the demands of a husband and a home full of preteen children, she manages the household finance, and can…

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Having a ball in 2022

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, I find myself thinking once again of Disney’s Cinderella. I know what you are thinking. No, I’m not the party dude who ends up under the grand piano, drinking champagne from a lady’s glass slipper. Shock! That’s really not me. Ryan Seacrest doesn’t have to emcee the…

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From John . . .

’Twas the night before Christmas, and I was a grouse The question occurring: Am I man or a mouse? You see I’d forgotten, my deadline was due To my office I sprinted, taking stair-steps by two Away to my keyboard I ran with a flash To find that my hard drive had eaten my cache…

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Of Christmas, Dads, daughters, and daring more

A concerned little eight-year-old girl, Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York City’s third-most significant daily newspaper, The Sun, and a hasty response followed on Sept. 21, 1897, in an unsigned editorial. In a surprising uncharacteristically cheerful response, The Sun’s resident cynic Francis Pharcellus Church, the brother of the paper’s publisher,…

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All Glory to the Turtle God

I was out in my neighbor’s front yard helping Ronnie, Stevie’s father, put up Christmas lights on his roof. My job was to detangle the strands of lights as they came out of the plastic storage box, before hoisting them up to Ronnie for installation. I’m surprised I got the job, because I’m certain that…

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Our culture of no context

I’ve concentrated my professional life around businesses that make creativity their centerpiece. In my case, I stay close to The Arts. I’ve worked in the cultures of literature, design and fashion. Sadly, I neglected including music. There just doesn’t seem to be the demand for Bavarian Volksmusic there once was. It’s a shame, too. I’m…

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