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We Named Our Dog After the Iron Chancellor by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Naming Pets

/ Stories

… indirectly, of course. In 1872, the Northern Pacific Railroad located its terminus at the “Crossing of the Missouri” in the Dakota Territory which later became the state of North Dakota. The Railroad, as it and other railroads were wont to do, named the town “Edwinton” after its Chief Civil Engineer, Edwin Ferry Johnson. Retrospect…
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Peevish Pets by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Pet Peeves

/ Stories

My pet peeves center on grammar and word-usage. I feel uncomfortable about them, yet I revel in them.  Many years ago I was chastened when criticized for laughing at someone’s mispronunciation of a particular word.  I’ve long since forgotten the word, but  it was pointed out that those who mispronounce words often do so because…
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Peculiar to the English Language by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Spelling

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Misspelled words always jump off the page for me. How lucky I am. Spelling problems are primarily peculiar to English language, based on its strength of incorporating foreign words. My Russian instructors said that spelling bees would make no sense for Russian speakers, but that indicating where the accent goes on a particular word is…
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Badges and Buttons in the Drawers and on the Shelves of an Addled Mind by
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(9 Stories)

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Buttons and badges are a way of preserving memories. They may not be the most important memories, for who knows why we kept them. But memories they contain, and through these buttons, and otherwise useless objects, we revisit them. It helps us remember and reconstruct our past, although in a discontinuous and incomplete manner. For…
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More than Horseshoes by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Shoes

/ Stories

You would think that with the name Mr. Ed, I wouldn’t have much to say about shoes. What is there to say about U-shaped pieces of iron nailed to my feet? There’s not a lot of variety in horseshoes, insofar as I can tell. But having grown up in the shadow of Cal Poly –…
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Not So Beautiful, But Oh So Tasty by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

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Calling it a garden gives it (or me) far more credit than is due. Rather, we have a few spots bordering a swimming pool where my lazy inner farmer takes over.  When we moved into the house in 1992, the eastern edge of the back yard had overgrown rose bushes that hadn’t been pruned for…
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What Do We Take From Meeting the Famous? by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

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For as long as I remember, I have always been blasé about fame. Or other people’s fame. Not possessing it myself, who knows how I’d feel, although we read often enough that the truly famous pay grievously for their fame in the loss of privacy. Others, I know, can think of nothing more exhilarating than…
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Who Took the First Breath? Does Nine Minutes Matter? by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Birth Order

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I am the second born of a set of identical twins. Does our birth order – he (Twin A) older, I (Twin B) younger – make a difference? Did it ever? If I recall, it made a difference with Cain and Abel. And my father always said that the ancient Romans considered the second born…
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Close analysis of a close call by
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(9 Stories)

Prompted By Close Calls

/ Stories

  Close calls can be close only because of a chance occurrence, thought, or action. Like the so-called “Butterfly Effect” they often yield their own legacy, and in my father’s case, raise questions in my mind as to luck, responsibility, and personal values. When I was a young teen, my father related, as best I…
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