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October 1 2015
(This was written by son Rick in 1981 for Normal Community High School Inkspot. Rick applied to write for the paper, and the advisor (who was also his teacher) said he could write a humor column.)
If February 27 is your birthday you are creative, a perfectionist, and prone to nit-pick until everyone goes crazy. You often laugh at things no one else thinks funny, and even though you try to hide it, others know you are insecure. Leos and Capricorns are among those most likely accept your faults. June is the best time of year for you, since most people go away on vacation that month.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Today is a good day to meet someone new and start a close relationship. Seek this person where you work or on some street corner.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20) Dig deep into a neighbor’s life. Someone at the bank could help obtain credit information. Ask lots of questions. Children can be helpful.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) Keep distant from loved ones as they’re in the mood for conflict. Teachers could be plotting. Keep out of shadows. Cover face when entering darkened rooms. A Sagittarius at Avanti’s and the Leo milkman will figure in your future.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Something you threw away long ago will come back to haunt you. Stay away from the hospital and a dentist with a goatee.
CANCER (June 21-July 20) Keep your nose off other people’s grindstones—Mrs. T’s especially. Mary N., a fortune will slip through your fingers, but you won’t find out about it for many years.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 22) It would be a good idea to steer clear of Ash Park, Kingsley St. and Watterson Towers. It would be wise to postpone picnics, potlucks, and out-of-town shopping trips until Venus gets out of the way of your moon.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept-23) A family member outlines plans and teaches you a lesson you’ll never forget. Also, your gas bill is past due.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 23) If you are the Libra who was out with a certain Gemini on Wednesday night and went to a certain dark restaurant and was observed by a certain Cancer who happens to know the Leo you are married to, you can expect a problem in the very near future.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) You will be embarrassed by something that will happen when you least expect it. There will be an accident and although you will not be seriously injured, you will spend a few days in the county jail with a junkie.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)) Whatever happened yesterday will happen again today, only it won’t come as such a surprise.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Feb 18) Doesn’t your friend look strange today? There’s something about him or her that just doesn’t seem right. New hair style? New glasses? Face lift?
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) Nothing can harm you as you enter a lunar protection phase. Good Time to see how fast the station wagon will go.
October 1 2015
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October 1 2015A Pope Addresses Congress: Good Idea?
YOU MAY have noticed that Pope Francis was in the country last week. Among his many stops and massive crowds, he gave a speech to a joint session of Congress. Not everyone was convinced that was a good idea.
I was speaking to Robert, a devout Roman Catholic friend who puzzled out loud if it was a good idea for Francis to address this particular audience. “It makes me wonder,” he said, “is he a religious leader or a politician?”
Robert’s uncertainty was not unusual. Although Pope Francis seems to be loved and admired worldwide, many people (including many media folks) have questioned the propriety of a religious leader’s unprecedented opportunity (in a country whose constitution adheres unequivocally to the separation of church and state) to address both houses of the nation’s legislature.
If the opportunity is offered to the leader of the Roman Catholic faith, so goes the thinking, then why not a religious leader of non-Catholic Christians? Or a significant Jewish or Islamic leader?
Why not a turn for Jimmy Swaggart? Via his immensely popular Sonrise television network, he speaks for millions of evangelical Christians all over the world. And he can cry real tears while speechifying.
After all, there were many other opportunities for the pontiff to make speeches outside the halls of Congress, which he did.
On the other hand, this pope is immensely popular and has a pulpit far greater in size and reach than that of any of the world’s other religious leaders. He is also deemed (for the most part) as wise and fearless in his plain-spoken admonishments.
ONE GROUP took a foursquare opposition to the whole idea of popes (or any other religious leader) addressing Congress. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) fired its biggest weapon by running a full-page advertisement in USA Today a week ago. The FFRF probably spoke for many.
They better have; based on my most recent research into “the nation’s newspaper” advertising rates, that effort cost the organization between $200,000 and a quarter million bucks.
Atop the page ran a headline, “Religion & Government—A Dangerous Mix.” The first few paragraphs staked out the organization’s position on popes and politics by saying, “It’s an affront to our nation’s secular values that Roman Catholic congressional leaders are granting the leader of their religion—the pope—an unprecedented opportunity to address a joint session of Congress.
“Regardless of what Pope Francis’ message is, Congress shouldn’t be ‘blessing’ him or handing him a government-endorsed pulpit. The framers of our godless Constitution wisely envisioned what John F. Kennedy described as ‘an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish.’”
As a reluctant agnostic, I am well acquainted with FFRF. Their official Web site describes the group as “The largest U.S. association of freethinkers, atheists and agnostics working diligently as a state/church watchdog since 1978.”
“Pope Francis,” according to the cautionary page, “has yet to repeal even one harmful Catholic doctrine or practice.”
In support of this claim, the page’s authors point to ten Vatican commitments. There is only space here to discuss two of them, both of which I too have always found disturbing. The first is an ongoing worldwide ban on contraception (including contraceptive coverage under Obamacare), while the second is a commitment to U.S. taxpayers funding Catholic schools through the use of school “vouchers.”
I DON’T LIKE the thought of my tax dollars used to fund (even piecemeal) religiously-affiliated schools and in my opinion, the practice is clearly an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. (Keep in mind that charter schools and magnet schools, so high-profile in the nation’s current education squabbling, are actually public schools.)
The contraception controversy is probably even more important worldwide. FFRF points out, “Even the pope’s laudable focus on global warming is hypocritical. The root cause of global warming is out-of-control population growth, which is exacerbated by fallible papal teachings.
“Since Pope Paul VI irresponsibly issued ‘Humanae Vitae’ in 1968 reaffirming the church’s ban on contraception, the world population has more than doubled from 3.5 billion to 7.3 billion.”
This vital concern is shared by scientists around the world and has been, for years. The late Jacques Cousteau, famous French oceanographer and environmentalist, often said we’ll never get a handle on the environmental issues we face until we get a handle on population control.
Cousteau made this position plain in his speech to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in the summer of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.
I have no doubt Cousteau and FFRF have it right; without population control measures, the world has little chance of alleviating the devastating effects of global warming and climate change. The pope’s empathy for the poor is also well known, but without repealing the doctrine that bans contraception worldwide, he won’t alleviate the poverty that is also traceable to overpopulation.
I like Pope Francis, who seems sincere; he’s welcome to address any legislative body that invites him as far as I’m concerned. But what leadership has he provided on this crucial front?
Prepare your soil before laying sod
If you are thinking about putting sod down, be sure to prepare the soil first. If new sod is laid down on compacted subsoil it could take years for the grass roots to penetrate the soil and develop good, deep roots. In order to have a healthy lawn, you need to have healthy soil. Healthy soil is alive with earthworms and beetles as well as microorganisms that improves the soil structure. A well balanced soil is rich in beneficial microbes that helps reduces plant stress and disease. Using pesticides can dramatically upset this balance.
Before you lay your sod or seed, work in organic matter as deep as possible. Good organic matter includes compost, aged manure and grass clippings. High quality compost tea is also a good option to encourage beneficial organisms. Some lawn companies do offer this service. You can apply a thin layer of screened compost over your existing lawn [1//2 inch or less]. Compost has more bacteria ad fungi than most commercial fertilizers.
We are seeing a lot of attractive pumpkins in the stores now. When you pick one up, use both hands. Do not pick it by the stem. If the stem breaks off, the pumpkin will spoil quicker, In your decoration, try to keep the pumpkin out of full sun.
It is too early to carve the pumpkin, but you can paint a face or any decoration on it now, using a permanent marker.
If you purchase your pumpkin early while the choice is good, store it in a cool shady place.
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Published Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15
The Rest is Still Unrwritten
by John Colclasure of Lexington
October 1 2015
Attention to Detail
Recently, Mrs. C and I, along with a goodly number of other travelers joined together for what was billed as “Say Yes to Michigan.” This was a 6-day, 5-night tour with stops in Indiana, Michigan and back home in Wisconsin. Despite its billing as previously mentioned, it could easily have been listed as “Attention to Detail. This later quote came about as a daily 10-part question and answer contest to test the travelers “attention to detail.” Yours truly finished last and on one particular day went 0 for 10. That’s right 100% wrong. How did I know that Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland was open 361 days a year? I simply guessed that they would close only on CHRISTmas day.
Or how about meaning of the city of Frankenmuth, Michigan? The city’s name is a combination of two words. “Franken” represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, home of the Franks, where the original settlers were from. The German word “Mut” means courage; thus, the name Frankenmuth means “courage of the Franconians.” Once again, “attention to details.” Frankenmuth, also known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” is breathtaking with a number of well-crafted shops, buildings, and a covered bridge referred to as Zehnder’s Holz Brucke (German for wooden bridge) and looks as though it could have been plucked up from the black forest or a river valley in Switzerland and planted astride the Cass River in the middle of town.
Then there is St. Lorenz Lutheran Church in Frankenmuth with its current membership exceeding 4900 members. Should have gotten this one as the idea of a “mission colony” in 1844 called for dedicated men and women to immigrate to the wilderness forests of Michigan. There, under the guidance of a devoted mission pastor, they would demonstrate to Native Americans (Saginaw Valley Chippewa Indians) and others “wie gut und schoen es ist bei Jesu sein” (“how wonderful it is to live with Jesus”). It should be noted that my grandmother was a full-blooded Chippewa Indian and her parents were originally from these parts. Since my heritage is also both German Lutheran and Dutch, I was most interested in the remainder of the tour. Frankenmuth, Michigan is a must see for everyone.
There is just too much to share in such a short column, so perhaps a part two is in the offing. Hopefully next time we can spend some time at the Ford Rouge Factory, the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the world famous Zehnder’s Restaurant, Edsel & Eleanor Fords House, The Shrine of Christ’s Passion and of course Mackinac Island.
Till next time…john
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