Find something that you love to do,

            and you’ll never work a day in your life.

                        —— Harvey Mackay

More than 80 years ago I picked up a pencil and began writing. How fortunate to discover something I love to do, something I can do until I walk into the sunset, shuffle off this mortal coil.

Evidence of my early initiation into the world of words appears in the accompanyingWEEKLY PHOTO illustration of a hand-drawn newspaper created in 1937 when I was eight years old.

Working with words seemed as natural to me during those days of milking cows, feeding livestock and guiding a plow behind a team of horses as it has as a newspaper journalist and as a teacher during the intervening years.

Anyone who attempts to gather information and to write anything knows that the task demands discipline and dedication. Nevertheless, when something is worth doing well, the task becomes a welcomed challenge, even rewarding and inspiring.

So, like many of my peers, I chose to work with words in the newsroom, in the classroom and in my den. Recently, I have been writing fiction, which for me is a bit like attempting to scale Spencer Butte in a snowstorm. I stumble, slip, slide and become lost. Yet, I keep writing, placing one letter, one word after another.

In truth, I have worked hard most every day of my life in terms of drawing a paycheck. In another sense, I have never worked a day during my lifetime in the world of words.



I am among those sports buffs who believe the University of Oregon made the right decision in hiring 47-year-old Mario Cristobal as its head football coach.Cristobal_Mario_71

Register-Guard’s sports columnist Austin Meek was more reserved in his assessment for good reason, but I tend to get “pumped” about a lot of things.

Three factors that greatly influenced my opinion:

  1. More than 70 members of the football team signed a petition supporting the promotion of co-offensive coordinator Cristobal to the head coach position. Frankly, I was thrilled by this news. Think of it: How many of us have had a say in selecting a person we work for, who will be our boss? Talk about how the workplace will be motivated on the field when the Ducks show up to scrimmage and to play.
  2. Cristobal is one of the top football recruiters in the nation. As he said during Friday’s press conference following his hiring, you must recruit players in every position every year if you wish to be successful.
  3. He’s paid his dues and is primed to lead a team that respects performance in the classroom as well as on the field.

You could add a number of other “good news” factors to the equation for success. Continue reading ‘I’M PUMPED’ ABOUT UO HIRING POPULAR COACH


social sec envelope

While members of the “swamp” were busy revising the federal tax code, I discovered that I no longer am a member of the middle-class.

I’m a Social Security outcast who apparently may find Congress picking my puny pockets to help pay for a trillion-dollar federal IOU to finance a tax break for the wealthy.

Middle-class folks also are promised a tiny slice of the pie, which led me to add up my Social Security checks and to discover that I no longer qualify as a participant in the tax game.

I did have cause to celebrate, however, when I recently learned that Social Security payments were to increase 2 percent next year. That figured out to a whopping $34 a month increase for me. Wow, I can save the money and buy a pair of new shoes with that kind of cash.

Then I received a report that confirmed the monthly increase in income along with news that the Medicare Part B premium will increase by $30.

If my math is correct, I can count on a $4 monthly increase in my Social Security check starting next month.

There go the new shoes. Continue reading TAX BREAK ONLY A DREAM FOR MANY OUTSIDE ‘SWAMP’