The holidays should be different this year

The world is a very different place today than it was at the beginning of the year. Yes, we will have a new president in this country next year. But I am really taking about COVID-19, the virus that has changed all of our lives.... more


Some ways to get the recent election off of your mind

Another election has come and gone. For that, I am thankful. Sure, there will be grousing and threats and finger-pointing, but that happens to varying degrees in almost every election cycle. But this one, which seemed to be particularly nasty and angry to me, is finally (mostly) over.... more


Newsrooms are the place to be on election night

There is nothing quite like election night at a daily newspaper. Newsrooms at daily newspapers buzz with activity on a normal day. There is a lot of bantering back and forth. There is plenty of questioning and second guessing: Do you need that third paragraph? Is that source biased? Where are we going for a beer after work?... more


Who needs a rake on a windy day?

As my front yard fills with leaves this time of year, it always makes me think back to “fall” when I was growing up in Arizona. It was that time of year when the temperature would finally drop below 100 degrees. At times, it could get almost what you would consider cool at night. And it was the one time a year we could use a rake.... more


Life is a series of moments – make sure to collect them

Strange how things seem to come around in life. Thirty years ago, I was finishing up college and getting ready to start my journalism career. I had a baby at home and was ready to kick off my life.... more


Young people do give me hope

Talking with teenagers always makes me feel two things. First, it makes me feel old. And I mean really old. Old like a piece of my body might fall off at any time. Old like when I breathe out a puff of dust flies into the air.... more


Take it from a former elected official - vote!

It was September 1977. “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac topped the music charts, and “Star Wars” was all the rage in movie theaters. I was a 14-year-old high school freshman running for freshman class president. Why? Honestly, I wasn’t sure then and I am not sure now. My brother, a senior, was running for student body president and was popular. I was new to the school but was also pretty well liked by people – shocking, I know.... more


Trying hard to fool myself

I am holding on for dear life. This is something I have a hard time letting go of, and it seems to be getting worse every year. The calendar might be moving to fall and winter, but I am stuck in summer mode.... more


I am not exactly a fashion trend setter

I will be honest here. OK, I always try to be honest, but this one is bare bones honest – I wear shorts and a T-shirt at work pretty much every day. It’s true. As I sit here writing this column, I am in my trusty camo shorts, which probably have stains from that burrito I ate back in June on them somewhere. I also have on a random Harley-Davidson T-shirt today. If it is not a Harley shirt, it is a random rock band shirt.... more


Mount Morris meets Mount Rushmore

I was standing at a scenic stop on Iron Mountain Road in the Black Hills of South Dakota when a few motorcycle riders approached me and the friend I was traveling with. “Where in Illinois are you from?” he asked, saying he saw the license plates on our bikes.... more


Not every life event deserves a party

“It’s a man.” It is a story my mom loved to tell. She already had two boys, and I was going to be her last, and she was hoping for a girl. So she jokingly told the doctor not to tell her it was a boy.... more


Not crying was simply not an option

I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. Not only that, I wasn’t going to even tear up. Now, I am not one of those “men” who never cry. I actually think never showing emotion is trying to stifle your humanity. We all need a good cry every now and then – and not just at those gut wrenching abandoned animal commercials.... more


It is not a conspiracy - it's math

Well, I am 57 and have still never used algebra. In fact, I don’t use much aside from basic math – addition, subtraction, multiplication – in my daily life. And then not every day or even every week. OK, I do count calories, but that seems to be nothing but addition these days.... more


'Live PD' shows the best, and the worst

I love the TV show “Cops.” It is an adrenaline rush of a show, and one that highlights some of the best police officers and some of the dumbest criminals on the planet.... more