When quirky comes with the job

Today I woke up, did a few dishes, ate breakfast and headed off to work.

There was nothing particularly interesting to write about in the cities I cover and any local government happenings were out of the picture because it was Martin Luther King Day.

But, as a daily newspaper reporter, I strive to fill up space on a daily basis with something. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose in terms of the story’s quality.

Feast or famine as they say.

I wound up writing two stories that won’t soon be given a Pulitzer. The first was an update on an annual chili cook off that raises funds for a group that helps injured or fallen police officers.

The other was a short police story, a bit longer than a brief, about a guy who called the police because someone left two Barbie Doll heads on his porch.

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Another life gone too soon

Stephanie Thome was a warm soul who treated people kindly.

At least that is the way I recall her and the times we crossed paths in school and occasionally out of school.

We weren’t close by any means. I never met her family and she never met mine. But Stephanie was one of those people I’ll always remember, regardless of how deeply we knew one another.

She was the type of person you don’t forget, and who I recall as kind.

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Trying to be gung ho, not Joe Schmoe

Who out there loves the type of sweets that come in a little package for 50 cents and contain loads of sugar, trans-fats and assortments of unpronounceable chemicals?

You know which ones I’m talking about — ho ho’s, Twinkies, Star Crunches, Oatmeal Cream Pies — the good stuff that shoots straight to your blood vessels and brain, clogging your arteries with gooey goodness.

I loved all that stuff. There’s something to be said for stopping in at a gas station, buying two oatmeal cream pies for $1, sandwiching them together, eating them in a matter of minutes and washing it all down with a chocolate milk, also purchased at the gas station.

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Digest news responsibly — warning contains opinions

Many of the problems our country faces seem to stem from polarization and a refusal to be responsible consumers of news.

Maybe all news pieces should contain clear warning labels like the one in this headline. Something along the lines of a parental advisory to warn the unwitting public if something is true news, news sprinkled with opinion or straight-up opinion.

Nah, that would be a violation of what the First Amendment is all about, so it should be avoided. Even if the lines between opinion and news are blurred lets just hope common sense prevails.

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Death of the jukebox hero

 Hate is a word to avoid.

It is the opposite of love and that’s all that needs to be said.

Before I get to caught up in thoughts on hatred’s ugly manifestations, let me say that I hate digital jukeboxes in bars. They don’t even deserve to be called jukeboxes, a term originally attached to sex, because there is absolutely nothing sexy about them.

Can you picture The Fonz stepping up to that flat computer on the wall and leaning on it? I didn’t think so. There’s nothing to lean on – and forget watching him hit it to get a song to play – if you hit that screen on the wall it will just go blank.

Not everything needs to transform into a word with the letter ‘i’ in front of it. As I stepped up to a jukebox in a local establishment recently, it was as if I was standing in front of a three-foot by three-foot smart phone.

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