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Columns

  • What's Going On: Romney supporters: America too great for one man to destroy

    “RIP America!! I’m just sad that my kids will never enjoy the great country I grew up in! Four more years of this freakin idiot in office is going to kill this country. For all of you people that voted for this jack***, I will feel no sympathy when this country goes to hell in a handbasket and you are begging for something to change. I take this personally - those of you that voted for this guy screwed my kids and grand kids out of a bright future.”

  • Miner Queries: Post-election: Where do we go from here?

    Regardless of the outcome of this election, Americans need to unite if we expect to solve our collective problems.  I have been thinking about that a lot as we approached Election Day, in large part as a consequence of get-out-the-vote canvassing.

  • The Time Capsule: Beware the lutefisk, a worm-like mistake

    Einer Almgood dropped by the other day to see if I needed lutefisk.  He orders early because he wants to get his, as he puts it, “from the top of the stack.”  

  • What's Going On: Why robocalls will never stop

    Every time the phone rings, I scream.

    I feel like a Pavlovian dog. I’ve been conditioned the last couple weeks to involuntarily react to outside stimulus in the form of political robocalls.

    My home, my mind and, seemingly, my soul have been invaded by this scourge which we falsely believe will disappear Wednesday.

    But, like the “Creeping Charlie” I recently drowned with herbicide in my yard, this weed will only go dormant until the next election cycle when it will most assuredly resurface.

  • Chili recipe once drew football fame

    Those who didn’t make it to this year’s chili cook-off missed some fine tasting. My only regret is in not knowing how Mother Podolak’s would have fared. Hy-Vee, which once made Mrs. Podolak their “Chili Queen,” paying good money for her recipe, entered this contest with a dish that did not resemble hers.  It would have been revealing to see how the judges rated her old-time chili when compared to the modern chicken variety.

  • What's Going On: Why I’m opposing the hotel/motel tax

    A couple weeks ago, I filled the back of my pickup truck with leaves and headed to the city brush site to unload them.

    It was about 4:15 p.m. and I remembered the site closes at 4 p.m. I also remembered a conversation the Council had several months ago about keeping the site open extra hours, especially during high use times.

    This was an unseasonably warm weekday and with rain and cooler temperatures forecasted for the next few days, I hoped this would be one of those days the site was left open longer.

    It wasn’t.

  • Will we vote for corporate capitalism or the common good?

    As a business communicator, I admire a good marketing plan.  For example, when Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign developed their ad targeting women, I was impressed.  “I believe there’s an athlete in everyone,” one woman says in the signature ad.  It helped move me off the couch to start jogging; I still buy Nike shoes.  And it’s helped Nike weather troubles with athlete endorsements and factory conditions in Asia.  

  • Remember the sacrifice of veterans

    Being killed in a war far from home is a sad event regardless of the details. Sixty-eight years ago tomorrow, Oct. 24, 1944, death came to a Montgomery County boy in a manner that is heart-wrenching even today. We should not forget the tragedy of the Arisan Maru.

    Einer Johnson was born on a farm near Stanton in 1915. An outstanding athlete, he was leading scorer on a better-than-average basketball team. He was even better in baseball. His grades were good, and he was popular enough to be elected vice-president of his class.  

  • The potato: Nature’s perfect food?

    This week we take a look at Antione Parmentier, a clever gentleman now dead for 99 years.  First, though, a bit of background.

    Years ago, while a student at the FBI National Academy, I was given an indoctrination on potatoes. Quantico may seem an odd place for a farm boy to take lessons about spuds, but that’s the way it was.  

  • Pizza Hut proves Americans take our politics too seriously

    I’m so disappointed with Pizza Hut.

    It has nothing to do with a burnt pie or dry chicken wings or a surly waitress. My disappointment stems entirely from abandoning arguably one of the most clever and innovative marketing ideas I’ve heard this century.

    Earlier this week, Pizza Hut made big news by announcing a simple contest: They were going to give someone a free pizza every week for 30 years (or a $15,000 check) if they would simply ask at Tuesday’s presidential debate the question, “pepperoni or sausage?”