Subscribe to Columns and Blogs RSS feed

Columns and Blogs

Breath of life

Ever feel deflated? Not like Tom Brady’s football, but simply worn out? Recently while I was on a hill operating a backhoe and turning with a full load the front right tire deflated.

Stopping smoking starts with a plan

Q. I have been smoking for almost 30 years, and I’d like to quit. Every time I try, I get upset, cry and am so irritable that no one wants to be around me. Now, my daughter says that she doesn’t want to leave my grandson with me anymore because I smoke in the house and his clothes smell like smoke when she picks him up. I want to quit, but now I feel like I’m being held hostage. What can I do short term to solve this problem?

Ben Carson and the Politics of Fantasy

If only Ben Carson had been in that classroom at Umpqua Community College, the outcome might have been different. The gunman reportedly asked several people their religion, only to be shot regardless of the answer. Carson said he would have been braver than they were.

Cuba: carrots and sticks

There are two ways in politics to change behavior: power and influence. Power is the stick — using your greater strength to make someone do what you want them to do. Influence is the carrot — encouraging them to want to do it themselves. Sometimes you use both.

Herbie: No love just bugs

As many readers are doubtless aware, the automaker, Volkswagen, has come under fire for allegedly including a software switch that allowed heavily polluting vehicles to circumvent emissions inspections. Not only was this an outright fraud, it also meant that buyers were getting neither the promised fuel economy, environmental protection nor performance they were promised. I wished this surprised me. It doesn’t.

Your Best Life - Exercise during pregnancy

Many women and physicians were once concerned that regular physical activity during pregnancy might cause miscarriage, premature delivery, poor fetal growth or musculoskeletal injury. However, in recent years, the stigma against exercise has not only disappeared, but working out has become a recommendation for many women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Participation in regular weight-bearing exercise has been shown to improve fitness in the mother, restrict weight gain without compromising the growth of the child and decrease recovery time after the birth. It is also suggested that exercise helps prevent gestational diabetes.

Are you ready?

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” Matthew 25:31-33

Grief hits everyone differently

Q. A close family member recently died, and I’m devastated. She was so young, and I keep thinking about it. However, I have yet to cry. People have been critical that I’m able to function, and that only seems to make me feel worse. Please give me some advice on coping with grief.

Your Best Life - Nothing changes if you don’t change something

Consider a couple of scenarios. First, you’re a high school athlete moving from fall football to basketball. A couple of days into practice, you’re debilitated. You just can’t believe how sore you are after coming straight from football. Or, you’re an adult with a job that requires you to be active for most of the day, every day, yet those extra pounds don’t seem to be going anywhere. What gives?

Emergency room staffer suspects PTSD

Q. I am a 35-year-old man, not a doctor but working in emergency rooms for 20 years. From the things I have seen and dealt with in the emergency room, I think I have PTSD. I am still working but every day gets harder, and I don’t want to go to work. I have heard that disability benefits are available for PTSD, and I am wondering if it might be possible for me to receive them.

‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ will keep you on the edge of your seat

In addition to going Clear, Tom Cruise has also gone clean — as in clean out of his mind. His oft-repeated death-defying stunts in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” are clearly the actions of a crazy person. Has he no sense of self-preservation? Apparently not, because the world’s most famous Scientologist (and rare achiever of the religion’s goal of getting “Clear”) is willing to do just about anything to entertain the pants off of you. And he succeeds at every turn, whether it’s clinging to the fuselage of an ascending airplane in Minsk or racing motorcycles at 100 mph along a narrow, snaking road in Morocco. He even holds his breath for more than three minutes under water — in a whirlpool! Which is only right since we have to hold ours for two whole hours, as “Rogue Nation” delivers thrill after thrill to the point where your nerves can’t take it anymore.

Sequel intriguing, but no ‘Mockingbird’

Some published novels should never see the light of day. Ernest Hemingway’s reputation has suffered from the posthumous release of such wretched drafts as “True at First Light.” Papa Hemingway didn’t release them in his lifetime, and we can tell there was a good reason.