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Where is the common sense in government these days?

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:00 am

I can't believe it! A neighbor from the street behind mine came by today looking for a cat and she told me that the rumor was — in her area, at least — that I was in a rest home. I'll admit to not being outside in the yard very much this winter but that was because of the cold. I'm not as active, so I feel it more. And I stay home more simply because there is a lot to do and it takes me longer. But rest home? No way!

And as long as I am on the attack, so to speak, I can't believe the city wants us homeowners to pay for lateral pipe repair. (Possibly this accounts for the offer of water pipe repair insurance I got the other day?) When something breaks, does the homeowner hire the contractor to dig up the street, etc., etc.? If there are multiple breaks, does the city hire one contractor to fix them all and then indulge in long division to figure out who pays for what?

All the governments, from the top down, are bewailing the lack of funds for just about everything. Just think what could be saved if the president stayed home to give speeches instead of running up millions in costs for use of Air Force One. And how much could be saved if our elected representatives of all parties and all levels of government were not provided with cars, gas cards, per diem, credit cards and a lot of other perks? A salary for work done is enough. No accomplishments over a reasonable period of time? Then no pay, just like the rest of us. Where is common sense when it's needed?


A recent crossword puzzle had the word "croon" in it. Seems that this word comes from the Dutch "kronen," originally meaning to mourn and then moving on to mean to sing softly. Were Bing and Andy really mourning? I don't think so!

Speaking of words, I saw "creeped" the other day. The past tense of "creep" is "crept."

English is a tricky language, I tell you. It might be well to keep a grammar book handy; Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" is good for writing lessons. A plain old grammar book from the past — before the '60s, at least — is a good friend.

Also, be careful about trying to play with the -eth ending, as in the play title, "The Iceman Cometh." It is the old form of "-es"; now, we would say, "The Iceman Comes." The third person singular (he, she, it) is the only place where a verb's present tense adds an "s." I, you, we, they all come to the party; he, she, or it comes, too, carrying a present, as it were.


Part of my enjoyment of the House of Coffees is meeting people, old friends and new. I have had some great conversations, particularly with some of the high school students who come in and do some studying together.

One of the best was an exchange with a junior named Hannah; I forget where we started (Hannah wasn't there to study) but we wound up talking about animals and horses in particular. She is involved with programs that provide horseback rides for special-needs children. I was explaining to her my concern over horses and other animals that are left to fend for themselves on foreclosed farms. I hope I meet up with her again.

Renewing old acquaintances is sometimes coincidental. My husband and I went to LOEL Center for lunch for the first time the other day, and found places at random. One place away was Zola, who was a student in one of my Delta College night classes here in Lodi, more years ago than either of us wanted to admit!

It is encouraging to know there are still people of all ages out there who have their feet on the ground, level heads and big hearts. I know a lot of them who give to others in many ways, and they are truly blessed. We who know them are blessed, too, because of them. Many who give the most possess the least when it comes to material things. Maybe we all need to share more. I read about some of these Hollywood homes with eight bedrooms, 11 baths and a sizeable room for every function one can think of. How much space does one family need? (Unless, of course, they have a tribe of children. Not likely.)


Thanks to First Son and his wife, I have a new, big, light computer screen and some repairs and updates on the old computer. Makes it all much easier. And my compter guru, Greg Walther (Press F1) was able to wrest my email away from Google and get everything back into Outlook, where I am much happier!

It is getting on for 5 p.m., and the cats are hinting that it is time for supper. That takes a little doing; each of the four has his/her own requirements: amounts and kinds of food, and meds. Some time I must allow them to come into their own in part of a column: Toby (14), Molly (13), Oliver (about 4), and Geordie (about 4). Colorwise, they are black; black and white; gray and white; and, which is why he has a Scots name, orange striped.

And one to end with: "Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est." Latin for, "Where there is kindness and love, there is God."

Gwin Paden is, as is obvious, a former English teacher. She has worked in advertising, public relations, and news reporting, also. She is a WAC vet and a member of the American Legion.

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