Confessions of an office (and school) supply addict

I spent a half hour today sharpening pencils. I enjoy the act of standing at an old-fashioned sharpener and turning the crank, hearing the blade grind the wood and graphite to a fine point and watching the shavings build into a pile at my feet. It helps me clear my head when I’m stressed, on a column deadline, or stumped by the Sunday crossword.I picked up the yellow No. 2 pencils while I was out running errands. I limited myself to just one box because the truth is that if I didn’t, I would … [Read more...]

FDA bans chemicals in antibacterial soap

When I saw the news report yesterday that the FDA has banned the use of some chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps, I wanted to cheer. For some time now, I've been an avid label reader, and have avoided  - as much as humanly possible - chemicals that are suspected of disrupting hormones or are just plain toxic, both in my food and in my household products.The FDA report echoed some of what I learned about in "Slow Death By Rubber Duck," a great and accessible book by Canadians Rick … [Read more...]

Dream big with “The Wishgranter” animated short film (video)

If you're like most people, at some point or another you've made a wish or tossed a coin into a fountain and dreamed of something you desperately wanted - and got back nothing. No answer, no wish granted. You get silence, but other people just keep having blessing upon blessing heaped on them, as if their wishes were somehow more important than yours.And you walk away feeling defeated. Ignored.What if that's not really what's happening? What if, behind the scenes, the universe - or … [Read more...]

Cops, Dallas, and Life With A Badge

I woke up this morning to a world gone mad, and I'm not sure how to proceed with my day.So I write. Without thinking too much, without editing my emotions, and without worry that I might say something that will offend you.You'll get over it, and if you don't then you can find another blogger to read. I really don't care.Because twelve police officers were shot in Dallas last night, and five are dead. And the entire police community in America is changed forever.Again.I’m the d … [Read more...]

Banners, business, and God Bless America

I was a little surprised yesterday when I noticed that a story about a local cafe owner and her kerfuffle over a banner that reads "God Bless America" was trending on Facebook.Jennifer Aquino is at odds with the Town of Penfield over a banner she hung on her Five Mile Cafe back in June. And if you believe everything you read on social media, the town was unpatriotic in its insistence that she remove the banner just as we readied to celebrate Independence Day. In fact, a Fox News story … [Read more...]

Musing on pregnancy, abortion, and becoming a human

I was listening to the radio yesterday, something I don't usually do, addicted as I am to podcasts like "RadioLab" and "Welcome to Nightvale." But a local talk show was on, and I left it on, because when I do listen to talk radio I make sure to listen to both conservative and liberal perspectives. I like to hear many sides of an issue as I ponder where I stand on it and how my decisions affect other people.Anyway, this local host was talking to her guest about abortion and she made a comment … [Read more...]

5 ways to keep your dog happy this Fourth of July

While humans are celebrating Independence Day with picnics and fireworks, many of our dogs are freaking out over the crowds and loud noises, sending many dogs under the bed - or over the fence and down the road, until they're lost. Or worse.With the Fourth of July just around the corner, here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe and stress-free.1) Don't feed Rover picnic food. While he might really enjoy a burger or a hot dog (or other things he can steal from your plate), changes … [Read more...]

A rare full moon on the summer solstice

I felt it yesterday like a heavy, wet, angry blanket descending on my entire being: a full moon is imminent. I knew it without looking at the calendar or even seeing the moon the night before to know where in the moon phases it was.Over the last few years, I've noticed my body being more and more in tune with the moon. Maybe it's happening more, or maybe I'm just noticing it more. A lot of people says it's all in my head, that I'm cuckoo, that I see the calendar and then look for things to … [Read more...]

Animals, humans, and Yellowstone National Park

In the wake of the story about a three-year-old who breached the barrier at the Cincinnati Zoo last weekend, resulting in the euthanization of a 17-year-old west lowland gorilla named Harambe, a video surfaced this week of a woman at Yellowstone National Park being butted by an elk after she tried to take a photo and got too close for comfort.It's one of several recent stories highlighting the problem of adult humans - grown ups who should know better - interfering with the wildlife. … [Read more...]

A gorilla, a boy, and life in the balance

By now you've probably heard the story about Harambe, the 17 year old west lowland gorilla who was shot by zoo keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo after a small child fell into the gorilla enclosure. I caught bits and pieces of the story over the holiday weekend, but it wasn't until this morning that I was able to devote some attention to the matter.I finally saw the video.Originally, I didn't want to touch this story with a 10 foot pole, mostly because I didn't think that I could add … [Read more...]


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