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  1. 1 day ago on Non Sequitur

    Our stockings always include puzzles and at least one book. It’s amazing how exciting “All About . . .” books can be when they come from Santa.

  2. 1 day ago on Non Sequitur

    It is usually interpreted to mean “take that temptation out of my sight” or ’"quit tempting me."

  3. 1 day ago on Pluggers

    Just because you’re a plugger doesn’t meant you can’t do stuff that’s interesting:

    “I volunteered again at the grade school library and helped them sort books for their fund-raising book sale. School libraries are a good place to donate kid books. They often need to replace books due to accidents, losses, and damage and whatever they can’t use on the shelves, they can sell.

    “I continued my pottery classes. We made bird feeders and wind chimes, tiny vases, tree ornaments, and cereal bowls. My successful bowls went to the local “Empty Bowls” fund-raiser. Other successes may find their way into Christmas wrappers [warning]. My goal for next session is pet dishes. One of my friends makes dog water bowls and paints a picture of the dog in the bottom. I won’t go that far, but I do hope to have a good set of water bowls and cat plates by the end of the session.

    “I joined a “serious” book club and the first topic was about recycling and trash — “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash.” We had a speaker from the county recycling center who explained what can be recycled and what can’t. Next we reviewed several books about the Sand Creek Massacre and visited the exhibit at the History Colorado Center. Our winter topic is Happiness. We will be reviewing the World Happiness Report 2023 [US is #15] and exploring what happiness really means.

    “During winter break, our family went to the Denver museum to see the exhibit on “The Unseen Ocean.” Wow! Who knew that many deep sea creatures are bioflorescent. There are special molecules in their skin which, instead of simply reflecting light the way most pigments do, they absorb light, then re-emit it.In October, we took our grandkids to the nearby Butterfly Pavilion to see their special exhibit on Arachnids Around the World. We also enjoyed the butterflies and their small ocean exhibit. The kids were sure the octopus ‘hiding’ in the coral was waving to them but I figured it was just yawning. . ."

  4. 2 days ago on Brevity

    The night before Hobbit Day — Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday. 22 September is Hobbit Day according to the American Tolkien Society, which first proclaimed Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week in 1978, which is the calendar week containing that day.

  5. 3 days ago on Matt Davies

    “All in the Family” was about a working-class man and his family. Not “Father Knows Best” but more about real people living ordinary lives. Archie wasn’t always right; neither was Meathead. The show was revolutionary depicting controversial issues previously considered taboo in family TV. Issues like racism, antisemitism, infidelity, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. The series was one of television’s most influential comedic programs, showing how real issues can be presented in a sitcom and interspersing comedy with more dramatic, thoughtful moments.

  6. 3 days ago on Brevity

    For those who know that shingles itself is not contagious, there is still some concern. While you cannot get shingles from someone else, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have direct contact with fluid from their shingles rash and if you either haven’t been vaccinated for or haven’t had chickenpox already.

  7. 3 days ago on Matt Davies

    When in doubt, go to the official source: The U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative guidelines were implemented beginning in January 2016. US Club Soccer clarified the following implementation guidelines as it relates to concussion initiatives and heading for youth players. The US Soccer Federation is recommending, and US Club Soccer is requiring immediately, new rules as it relates to heading, as follows:

    Players in 11-U programs and younger shall not engage in heading, either in practices or in games.

    Limited heading in practice for players in 12-U and 13-U programs. More specifically, these players shall be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes of heading training per week, with no more than 15-20 headers per player, per week. There are no heading restrictions in games.Clubs should be aware of circumstances in which individual consideration is needed.

    — A 10 year old playing at 12-U or older should not head the ball at all.

    — An 11 or 12 year old playing at 14-U or older should abide by the heading restrictions in practice.

    — Referees should enforce these restrictions by age group according to the specified rules. Referees will not be assessing the age of individual players on the field; they will enforce the rules for the age group.

    — Leagues and organizations are free to set their own standards, as long as the minimum requirements outlined above are met.

  8. 4 days ago on Matt Davies

    Grew up in a very small town — 1500 population. It was great until junior high. As grade schoolers, we could wander all over town, riding bikes, playing ball, climbing trees, etc. Boys and girls played together as friends. Not too many ‘organized’ activities — cub/boy scouts for boys, 4-H for both boys and girls [although some of the clubs were gender exclusive]. No one worried where we were because everyone knew who we were and could chew us out or call our parents as needed. We picked our own teams, made our own rules, and settled our own squabbles. Grownups appeared only when blood or bones were involved. I can’t remember a single instance involving severe bullying. Teasing and daring, yes — especially after the age of 10, when bodies were starting to change. But no stolen lunch money, no gang rivalries.

    But then, in junior high, things suddenly got organized and gender-dependent. Suddenly the boys, whom you played ball, rode bikes and climbed trees with, quit including you as a friend. You were now a girl and dangerous to talk to [that would balloon into “Jack and Sally in a tree . . .”].

    School activities became gender specific — sports for boys, cheerleading and pep club for girls. School dances, Chorus was divided into boys - tenor, baritone, bass, and girls-alto and soprano [it didn’t matter what your voice range, you sat with your sex]. Only band/orchestra didn’t seem to care [until college when women weren’t allowed in the marching band because they didn’t want to have to chaperone them on trips].

    Parents started insisted on knowing where you were going, who would be there, and what you were doing. Boys you played with for years were no longer suitable playmates. All that and one’s body and mind were also changing, gearing one to focus more on potential mates then on friends. I often wonder if the social emphasis on gender-specific activities may actually exacerbate the puberty process.

  9. 4 days ago on Pluggers

    It’s often hard to distinguish between PJs and day clothes. I have purchased “house dresses” that look exactly like “nightgowns” — same pattern, same material, same design. Also PJs that look like yoga or jogging outfits.

    My personal problem with other people’s appearance isn’t what they look like [although I do worry if the clothes are so “holey” or ill-fitting that the person may fall out of them], but rather what they smell like. I have a lot of difficulty with odor — both bad and ‘good’ [perfume allergies]. But I realize that is my problem not theirs and I just have to stay upwind.

  10. 4 days ago on Non Sequitur

    Our spouses must be related. We are both retired from our paying jobs, but I still have my household jobs. My spouse also never has figured out how to close a bread wrapper or jar; never sees a spill on the counter or floor; can’t seem to open the kitchen lidded trashcan or hit the open one in the living room. He does do all his own laundry — has done so for 45+ years since he blamed me for ink getting on his shirts from pens he left in his pocket [he seems to catch the pens all right but he has had to replace his car keys twice that I know of.]

    Good luck in ’24 with the retirement transition.