Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Last Day

Some time ago, I had a routine interview scheduled at a nursing home for my Savvy Seniors column. The day before the interview, a major storm hit the area, leaving over a thousand without power in Butler County, damaging trees, homes and businesses and claiming one life. Storm coverage forced me to reschedule the interview for an hour later. I had seriously considered rescheduling for another day, considering the nursing home was without power, but decided to press on, and I'm glad I did.
The man's advice to young people was poignant: "They better enjoy life while they can. It seems like it goes so fast. The older you get, the quicker [the years] go." He died later that day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Week at the Newspaper - Part 2

Another paper is out, and I have a whole week to get the next edition's batch of stories ready! On top of that, the weather here is gorgeous and our trees are in full bloom, so I'm a particularly happy person. Here's the rest of my week at the newspaper.
Saturday, April 22
Saturday was a beautiful day. I read the whole gospel of Mark in the morning (it only took about one hour).

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Week at the Newspaper - Part 1

What is life like as a small-town newspaper editor? In this post and the next, I'd like to invite you to join me for a week!  While, for most people, the week starts on Sunday, for me the week really start on Wednesday, the day my papers are printed, and I start work on the next edition of the paper.
At the Clarksville Star office: this is where the receptionist, Mary, now works...my desk is one table back.
(This was a convenient place to pose when I showed my family the office shortly after I started working here.)
I'm always learning something new! 
  • Holes/eyes in Swiss cheese are formed by carbon dioxide gas created by the bacteria that flavors the cheese. Micro particles of plant origin serve as nuclei for the bubbles of carbon dioxide. In Switzerland, the cheese suffered from blindness as sealed milking machines largely precluded the presence of microscopic hay particles in milk until scientists figured this out. 
  • Chickens used to wear glasses (see here for an explanation).
  • Cows at a local dairy wear pedometers much like runners wear FitBits or Garmins to count their steps.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Marshall County Courthouse and Clocktower

Some time ago, I posted about the Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, Iowa.  We visited during the winter, and the clock tower was closed for the season.  So, during the summer of 2015, we called the county Board of Supervisors, and Lisa Gassman kindly agreed to give us a tour.
Courthouses that allow visitors to climb the stairs up to the clock tower are few and far between, so we were especially grateful for this opportunity.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mai Pho & Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets Part 2

After completing the first day of the Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets tournament, we spent the night at the DoubleTree. In the morning, we did some running on the sidewalks in town. We returned to the hotel and took the stairs up to our room on the 9th floor. But...we didn't stop there. The hotel has 16 floors, so we headed up to the top! Before long, I was thinking of A Stairway Chase on Studio C! I started out running, but by the last floor I was slowly walking. The view from the 16th floor was beautiful.
For lunch, we stopped at Mai Pho in Cedar Rapids, which is a favorite with my family because of their bubble teas and other sweet beverages. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets 2017 - Part 1

With my new job keeping me hopping, I seriously considered not attending the Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets March 4th-5th.  However, it's one of my favorite chess tournaments.  The accommodations are always top-notch, and I have an attendance record to keep.  This year was my 7th in a row participating. The FIDE-rated tournament was held at the Physician's Clinic of Iowa, directed by Jim Hodina, and hosted by Robert Keating.
My parents and youngest sister had a 10K to run in Garrison, so they dropped me off at the clinic early.  I helped set up boards, and then played some blitz games against Richard Rector to warm up, as my chess skills have gotten a little rusty.  My sister took a half-point bye in round 1 in the Reserve section, and joined me after she finished running the 10K.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Such is Life

I suppose it only fair to mention (as otherwise I may confuse you, my dear readers, in future posts): a little over two weeks ago, I started working as news editor for two local newspapers, the Clarksville Star and Butler County Tribune-Journal.  It's a dream come true.  Everything I've always loved doing--interviewing people, visiting neat places, and exploring small-town Iowa--I now do every working day.
Not only am I doing something I love, it seems I'm working for a great company.  My co-workers have all been pleasant and very helpful as I've worked on learning my new duties.  I remember at an interview for another company I applied with, I was asked what kind of people I liked to work with.  "Nice people?!" I replied.  They told me my coworkers would be grumpy.  In retrospect, I am so glad I did not get that job.