Arghandab Valley near Khandahar, Afghanistan. Credit: Wikipedia.org 

The Massacre at Kandahar

In the never-ending cycle of tragedy we see daily in the news, I find it difficult to react appropriately to one event before the next one leaves me numb. Ever since the news of the massacre at Kandahar, allegedly committed by Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, I have wanted to write something meaningful about this atrocity.…

An assembly of clay sculptures of migrants standing in front of 17th century church in Oaxaca

2501 Migrants

We like to say that the United States is a land of immigrants. Yet few of us, including myself, have ever lived the life of an immigrant and, it is unlikely that we ever will. Most of us will never experience what it is like to be a migrant. Nor will we know what it…

A stand of pine trees in snow.

Pet Peeves – The Winter of My Discontent

Everyone has a few pet peeves – things that get your goat, tick you off, and drive you to distraction. Perhaps it’s this winter with no snow, the bleak landscape, or the endless political season that is bothering me. Whatever the cause, numerous vexations of 21st century life are on my mind. Here are a…

Only in Wisconsin . . . .

From today’s Janesville Gazette: By ASSOCIATED PRESS   Tuesday, February 7, 2012 – 6:37 a.m. LITTLE SUAMICO—Seven men and a boy were rescued by airboat after they became stranded by a huge crack in the ice of Green Bay that kept them from reaching shore. While the eight were brought back to land, two other ice…

Photo of odometer at 200,000 miles

Toyota Highlander Turns over 200,000 Miles

Life in the 21st century has numerous milestones. Among these are graduations from high school and college, buying our first car, having our first child or first grandchild, turning 40 or turning 65. Among the least heralded of milestones, yet one of the most unusual, is watching the odometer in your car turn over 200,000…

Millet plant in my flower bed

Mystery Millet Grows in Janesville

After returning from vacation back in August, I discovered a small plant growing in the small flower bed next to my driveway. Nestled among the dead rose bushes, the stalk-like plant had leaves that looked like corn. Thinking it was another weed, I ignored it for a couple weeks during which time it grew some…

Patches of snow and green grass in a backyard scene.

Wisconsin Spring

Here in southern Wisconsin we are anxiously awaiting our annual seven days of spring. We have cool summers, beautiful falls, and frigid, interminable winters. Spring, a season on the calendar, in actuality barely exists. Except for about seven glorious days, we move  from winter straight into summer. During the months of April and May, flowers…

Cartoon - full-body scan

Full-body Scan

I travel frequently to Oaxaca, Mexico. On my last return trip I was singled out at the Mexico City Airport for extra scrutiny by the security personnel. I’m told that passengers are chosen at random for the extra attention, but I don’t believe it because I’m often chosen. Maybe I look shifty, or perhaps my…