Every citizen has the constitutional right to petition government for redress of grievances, but not every citizen exercises that right the same way. I thought about that recently after supporters of a teacher-pay bill left the Capitol disappointed and angry when the House delayed the measure. Some days later, the bill passed and is in the Senate now.
As we talked with a granddaughter in Ireland last weekend, I thought of my old friend Pat McKeever and a light-hearted joke he used to tell. The granddaughter is a sophomore in college, currently studying in Ireland. She left in mid-January and will be back sometime in May. She uses some kind of computer program to talk with her parents each week. Last Saturday they were visiting here when they had the long-distance chat. Nancy and I sat in, staring at the screen of a smartphone and wishing we were a whole lot closer.
Now and then I try to be a social-media type of guru and offer my opinions on topics about which I know very little. Today: The Supreme Court of the United States and its current vacancy.
I have a granddaughter who turns 8 on Monday and a mother-in-law who turned 98 back in December. The granddaughter, Sage, is pumped about her birthday. She has had, or will have had by Monday, three or four separate parties to mark the occasion. She celebrated with a couple of her sisters and other relatives last weekend in Brookings. She has an event or two planned this weekend, and Monday we'll be driving out to Chamberlain for the actual day. (Yes, we were in Brookings, too. Grandma Nancy doesn't like to miss much. Truth to tell, I don't either when it comes to grandkids.)
Moving to Division One in athletics changed many things at South Dakota State, but the quality of the northwest wind that hammers the campus in winter is the same as ever. I learned that again during a family gathering back at the old school last weekend. No matter how many buildings are constructed, no matter how high or broad they stand, the winter wind finds a way to blast across campus. I doubt a wall of Donald Trump/Mexican border proportions would block that wind, unchanged since my Division Two undergraduate days half a century ago.
Two decades ago, I walked out of my audiologist's office on a fine spring afternoon, and an entire, forgotten world of sound assaulted my brain. Fifty years old at the time, I'd finally gotten around to having my hearing checked. People around me, and, sure, that included Nancy, seemed to think I wasn't paying attention to what they were saying. I thought they mumbled or talked as they walked away from me or any of a number of other excuses for me not hearing what they said. I certainly didn't think I had any issues with hearing. Not me.
The word "like'' is a fascinating piece of language.
You should have been around the South Dakota Capitol 40 years ago when disco ruled the Legislature. No, you're right. I'm making that part up. Disco never ruled the Legislature. Donna Summer never even made a cameo in the rotunda. But I'm old. I've seen a lot. And sometimes I like to drift back over decades and remember some of the good, the bad and the ugly from 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago. And what I'll call the "Leisure Suit Era" in the South Dakota Legislature stands out in the ugly category.
Forgive me for turning back the clock 57 years, but this is the anniversary of the day Buddy Holly died. For cats and chicks from the 1950s, it remains a...
To say I am perplexed by presidential politics this year (and last year, too, in this long campaign season) would be to understate my bafflement. I don't vote in primaries, so in one sense, it doesn't matter what the candidates are saying and doing right now. Time enough to get excited when the candidates for the general election (still nine-plus months in the distance) have been selected.