Thursday, December 14, 2006


Part of my morning ritual, at least most days, is flipping through the newspaper. We subscribe to it daily. Sometimes I only have time to skim the paper, sometimes I can dig a little deeper and read several articles, and sometimes I can only manage to squeeze in a few of my favorite comics. We all have our priorities.... I find that reading the paper is better, usually, than watching the news on TV. I find the graphic images and sometimes shocking content of the television news can be a bit more than I'm comfortable with my kids seeing and/or hearing. The paper, however, is a different story. And I must confess to preferring to actually read and handle the newspaper physically vs. reading the news on the computer. There's just something comfortable and familiar in that tactile-ness that I'll always prefer.

Some mornings the news isn't anything that sticks with me. Today, for some reason, several articles are still banging about in my brain and I'm sure I'll be churning on them throughout most of the day. For example:

Front Page: another article about the Kim Family tragedy. I can't shake thinking about this family. They sort of represent Every Family, in a way, and we can all see ourselves in them. At least I can. And since what happened to them happened in my state there has been a LOT of coverage. Today's article discusses the fact that the gate to the road the Kim family drove down in an attempt to get out of the snow was actually left unlocked by BLM employees, not vandals as previously thought. What would have happened - how would things have been different - had that gate been locked and they couldn't have gone down that random spur road? Could someone be held accountable for contributing to James Kim's death as a result? Likely not, since it's a government agency vs. a private individual, but still - could this lead to some civil suit for negligent homicide or manslaughter? If YOU were Kati Kim, would you seek legal recourse? My heart goes out to Kati Kim this holiday and I hope she can find some peace and joy in her girls this holiday, despite James no longer being there.

Front Page: More wind storms predicted - worse than it was 11 years ago when innumerable big trees were knocked down leaving thousands and thousands without power and 4 people died. Expect sea swells of 40+ feet and 100+mph wind gusts. Great - I live under the canopy of about 7-8 gigantic trees, and hundreds more surround me in the neighbors yards and beyond. It's raining big fat buckets today, saturating the ground once again right before this storm rolls in. I'm going to be worrying all night long that one or more of the trees won't be able to sustain the wind gusts and will come down on the house.

Hmmm... yet another big sale at Macy's. Yawn. Good thing my shopping is done. Does anyone ever pay full price there? Ever? Because eventually it's all on sale. They must spend the equivalent of a small nations' GNP on advertising - geez!

World: HIV studies reveal that circumcision can help protect men from the virus that causes AIDS. A very controversial subject here in the US with parents of newborn babies. To circumcise or not? Big debate with strong feelings on both sides of the issue. This article states that two studies show that in countries where the more traditional, tribal practice of circumcision still happen the AIDS death rates are noticeably lower than in countries that are more "western" and no longer circumcise as routinely. It says that in Kenya and Uganda they found that circumcised men are about 50% less likely to contract HIV than in those who are not. Now the question is what to do with this information. Medical personnel want to educate these men and at least offer circumcision to them. They wonder if it's possible to offer the procedure widely enough to slow an epidemic that kills millions of people each year, mostly poor Africans with little access to safe, modern medical facilities. What effect will this information have here in the USA with regards to this hot-topic? Will the pediatric professionals ultimately repeal their stance that circumcision is no longer a medical recommendation? If your sons are not circumcised, does this information make you question your decision?

Metro: Portland kids campaign to get Jay Leno to eat his vegetables, and he does! Live! With the kids participating via telecast. A recent feature of Jay Leno in Parade magazine mentioned the fact that Leno hadn't eaten a vegetable since 1969. This class of 2nd graders were just finishing up a unit on nutrition and decided to write letters to Mr. Leno urging him to eat his vegetables "for his health" and offered suggestions to make them more palatable. So, he did, with their help and encouragement. Good for you, kids! I'll be thinking of ways to get Lauren to eat a vegetable today, something she can detect at 50 paces and uniformly rejects.

Living: For $20 million you can give the ultimate Christmas gift: a vacation in space! Yep, for that cool price you get to spend 8 days aboard the International Space Station where you'll orbit Earth 16 times a day. Ummm, will there be room service and spa treatments available? Because that's my idea of a vacation, and if I'm dropping that much cash there has to be at least a mini bar. I'm just sayin'. I think my dad is tough to shop for, but he'll have to be happy with the iPod Shuffle and iTunes my sisters and I are getting for him. Maybe for his birthday - ??

Yes, these are the subjects that I'll be thinking about today and talking about with Mr. Chick later tonight as we sit in our living room, sipping wine, and enjoying the glow of our Christmas tree this kids are I are decorating this afternoon. What's on your mind today?

Happy Holidays! Thanks for sharing a bit of what is happening on your side of the planet.
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