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Columns

  • True happiness is not found in materialism

    In today’s fast-paced world there is an over- emphasis on material possessions. A desire to keep up with Joneses is a national obsession for many men, women, boys and girls.

    Some people are convinced their neighbors and friends are blessed with an abundance of material possessions and they desire to possess the same level of materialism. They fail to realize some people are in debt and have no idea how they will maintain a pseudo delusion of wealth acquired by high interest credit cards.

  • FBI motto: Fidelity, bravery and integrity, begin early

    As I trudged up the dirt driveway after school toward our little house, I spotted a strange car parked near the front door. What happened inside during the next hour set the stage for a dramatic change early in my 11-year-old life.

    It was 1949 in Arcadia, Calif., and Mom and Dad did not have much money to raise us three growing boys. Dad had trouble with arthritis in his right shoulder. That was a real hardship for a house painter.

  • Suggestions for our TV listings

    Here at the Beacon, we’re constantly evaluating what we’re doing and how well we’re doing it.

    In the past year, we’ve made a number of content and design changes to better serve our customers. As we continue to grow and develop, we’re always looking for feedback from our readers.

    This week, I ask you to take a look at the two pages of television listings that appear on 5C and 6C. The pages feature a sampling of televisions channels offered by local cable companies, as well as broadcast channels.

  • Wacky-pedia strikes again

    This time, it’s official. I’m no longer relying on the too-often-unreliable Wikipedia to obtain “facts.”

    I’ve always heard it, but this time I believe it: People with too much time on their hands and too little common sense write many of these entries.

    A funny dialect difference sparked my latest foray into pedia-madness.

  • Roscoe the rooster, a chopping block and two young boys

    As Mom slid two bowls of cornflakes across our breakfast table toward my brother and me, she announced, “Tonight your father is returning home from work, and I want you to go out to the chicken pen and get me one of those roosters for dinner.”

    Jim was just 9, and I was 10 years old. It would seem like a pretty tough assignment for kids that age, but we had watched Dad kill, pick feathers and gut a chicken for dinner many times, and so we thought we were ready to be “big boys” for Mom.

  • Throw them away or keep them, middle names can have a purpose

    Word definitely does not travel fast in my family, but when it does travel, it does not always arrive in one piece.

    My dad called me last week to tell me my cousin’s wife had a baby. He didn’t know any details, just that it was a girl and her name was Natalie. My mom didn’t know any more details either, as she was only left a voice mail message telling her the news.

  • No worries could be worrisome

    A wise (?) old sage, I think it was Crocodile Dundee, once said it’s useless to worry, because most of the things we worry about never happen.

    With odds like that, worry then must be a good thing.

    My own usual day of worry began at precisely 5:55 a.m., after clock radio news that the next president has a trillion-dollar deficit not-to-worry about jarred me out of a light sleep.

    Subsequent worries, er, I mean “choices,” followed.

    Coffee or tea?

  • Medical clinic provides worthwhile services

    Someone who hasn’t been feeling well for months visits doctor after doctor, finding none who will accept him because he has no money or insurance coverage.

    He finally finds a free clinic about 30 miles away from his home, where a family nurse practitioner examines him, realizes what’s wrong and prescribes the medicine he needs to get better.

  • Quality customer service is key to attracting, retaining business

    After more than a year of not seeing friends and loved ones in Canada, I was excited recently when a week away from work gave me to chance to fly north to reconnect.

    Waking at 4 a.m., I set out on my adventure to fly several thousand miles and end up in a time zone two hours behind where I started. The flights were uneventful. The layover times were just enough.

    After landing on time at my Canadian destination, I breezed through Customs and patiently waited for my luggage to be unloaded, spin down the rotating conveyor belt and send me on my way.

  • The face of substance abuse may be more familiar than you thought

    Ever wondered what a drug addict looks like? Think you could spot an alcoholic just by looking at them?

    It might not be what you expect.

    It’s not like the movies, and it’s not a problem only facing inner cities or big metropolitan areas. It doesn’t exist solely in dingy, dark alleyways.

    The drug problem, as it has been vaguely dubbed, affects people from all walks of life—it’s not about black or white, rich or poor. It’s about people.