Here's hoping you made it through the holidays safe and sound and only a few pounds heavier.
The New Year, fast approaching, obviously calls for a column on the subject. But what's the big deal? At least Christmas brought feasting, drinking and partying; food and warmth and merriment in the middle of winter for pagans and celebration of a savior for Christians.
For those of you not yet hit by the recession and still running the race of keeping up with the Jones' - well, good for you. Personally, I find myself busy these days trying to keep up with the fat man in the red suit - that's right, Santa.
Miles away in a different time zone, where snow buries the yards and Old Man Winter takes up residence for a wintry season, the true spirit of Christmas blossomed in the bosoms of total strangers to the benefit of those close to me - my sister, nephew and brother-in-law.
Have you started the Christmas shopping yet? Or are you one of the ultra efficient types that has everything purchased, wrapped, tagged and ready to go?
It's been less than one month since Oakdale Youth Soccer League wrapped up its 2009 Season. My two-year-old is still running around with pink pom-poms asking, "Today soccer practice?" as her five-year-old brother sits in his room admiring his first trophy.
As some of you may have noticed in my previous column, I slipped in a piece of personal information without too much fanfare. That is, that I am engaged. I'm not one to really share too much of my personal life in my columns because at work I'm about business.
Black Friday has come and gone but it is still a little too early to tell if it can be classified as a success.
The saying around here has been pretty much the same from everyone. What?! How did it become December?
It goes without saying that we should always count our blessings but it's a sad fact that many of us are remiss in our appreciation for those most important in our lives or the advantages we benefit from on a daily basis until a certain time of year duly reminds us.
Now is as good a time as any - actually, probably the best since it's tradition - to take stock of your situation and offer thanks.
November 11; the day flags will fly, government offices and even schools will be closed in observation of Veterans Day. While the observances are being conducted here in the United States, many of those veterans are continuing their journey on our behalf on foreign soil, as well as here on the homefront. Even more ironic is that for the veteran who has returned home and to civilian life, this day may be like every other for them.
I recently took my first trip to Las Vegas. Astonishing, I know. Pretty much everyone has been to Vegas. It's hard to believe that it's taken me this long. I have traveled quite a bit, starting when I was fairly young, but somehow never made it to Vegas.
I'm still at the front desk.
Among the myriad of things that pass across my desk on any given day, one of them led me to the idea for this column. Actually a few things did but as I was tossing ideas around in my head regarding what to write about, a slip of the fingers sealed the deal.
That loud clacking sound everyone heard Wednesday morning, Nov. 5 after the elections was the sound of area deadbolts latching in homes after the passage of Proposition 47 – the initiative that reduced penalties for drug possession and other "nonviolent" crimes.
October is over. And on a brief shopping excursion on Saturday, Nov. 1, I noticed with more than a little horror that the Halloween costumes that were placed on 75 percent clearance were right next to the brightly decorated Christmas trees, tinsel and holiday wreaths.
I've been covering Oakdale government and crime regularly now for nearly three years and in that time I can honestly say I've seen a serious concerted effort by elected officials and city staff to save the city money, making cuts where available, and directing resources for maximum efficiency.
Dreams do come true. Four simple words, with such big meaning.
15-7=8 Or is it 15-5=10 and then 10-2=8?
Technology is tremendous.
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