Monthly Archives: June 2010

Nothing never happens

Two things have happened recently to make me really ponder the ways in which people communicate — or sometimes don’t.

When people say, “We’re just not communicating,” I want to say, “Yes we are, but we’re just not agreeing.” In other words, “Nothing never happens.”

At the risk of violating the double-negative rule (nothing, never), I’m merely saying there always is communication, but not always what we desire.

The two things that happened involved our oldest son and his family, who recently visited here from Denmark. With the addition of their daughter, our granddaughter, there are now 12 of us.

After taking a family photo, we went to a Japanese restaurant in the Duke City, a place where all of us sit around the grill while the cook masterfully entertains us. First he uses a long blade to fling pieces of chicken into our individual plates. All of these came from NBA three-point range. Continue reading

Let’s go buy some land mines

All right, Tom Mullins, which version of your loose-lips-sink-ships inanity would you like for the public to bruit about?

Republican Tom Mullins, who will face U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in the November general election, was on local radio station KNMX in May. Although he made the following quoted remarks about a month ago, before winning the recent primaries, the full impact of the statements appeared in the press only last week.

On immigration, Mullins said, “We could put land mines along the border. I know it sounds crazy. We could put up signs in 23 different languages if necessary. And we could put up some barbed wire and say, ‘If you want to cross the border, you cross legally.’”

Mullins suggested land mines as something “we could do.” Land mines, generally hidden, have the capability of maiming and killing people. Stepping on such a weapon virtually guarantees the victim loses a leg, as many a disabled veteran has learned from experience. Continue reading

A myriad of meanings

Several times I’ve alluded to the phenomenon of meeting a word that suddenly everybody’s using. I then do research on the word or phrase and often discover that it’s been around since my seventh birthday, or the Punic Wars — which-ever came first.

A friend and former colleague, Jessie Farrington, mentioned the same thing a while back in regard to “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving. She asked, in an e-mail, “When did people start using this expression? Now, I’ve always known that for some people the day after Thanksgiving is a big Christmas shopping day. I think this was particularly the case when the Christmas shopping season, including Christmas decorations in the stores, didn’t start until after Thanksgiving. But, to call the Friday after Thanksgiving ‘Black Friday,’ when did it start?”

Let’s find out, but first, more observations on the word-has-always-existed phenomenon: Continue reading

$2,300: A great investment

You’ve heard it said that a college degree is worth what a high school diploma used to be. There was a time, certainly in my lifetime, when educators urged us not to drop out of high school. “You hold the key to the future,” and other such bromides put the fear of poverty into us.

At the time, when the U.S. began its switch from a mercantile society to an information-processing country, the need for higher degrees increased. I’m not going to give a paean on the benefits of school but merely stress how important certain qualifications are. To some.

Let me explain:

Last month, in the Journal was a lament from a teacher who had been in the classroom for 20 years, acquired Level II status and now earns $44,000. Continue reading

An unexpected delivery

It’s not the isolated bag that somehow gets dislodged from a moving pickup or a Wal-Mart bag that shoots out the window when Missy cranks the handle.

No, instead, what a residential area in Camp Luna inherited Tuesday morning, compliments of some anonymous donor over the Memorial Day weekend was more than a dozen bags of trash, garbage, organic stuff, important records, school reports, sensitive material from hospitals and welfare agencies, a partially used prescription, a copy of a speeding ticket and several dozen empty DVD cases.

My wife, who likes to take early-morning walks, came across piles of huge bags on the pavement near our house. Most likely, the benefactor simply lowered the tailgate, shoving everything out.

Going through people’s garbage is not our idea of good times, but in order to learn whom we should thank for this windfall, we sifted through enough discarded material to get a profile — and fill a pickup. Continue reading