Dumpster diving off Court Street: "Friday night I walked to my truck and followed three guys with armloads of stuff they left tossed into the dumpsters. They said it was old stock (from a local chain retail establishment) they had to get rid of. They left, and curiosity killed the cat so I looked around. Not particularly interesting stuff. Mostly crap you would see at the checkout counter. But I was still a little bit disgruntled. Kids' fake jewelry could have been stuffed into the stocking for the kid who didn't get anything. The one truly ignorant thing that got me was the 20 or so packages of American flags. Silly me, I never realized the American flag had a season when it would sell and not sell. It's pretty sad that with today's instant technology that a manager would rather pay employees to haul usable, new items to the dumpster than donate the items to an organization."
Ghosts of New Year's Past: "Apparently Athens NEWS Editor Terry Smith needs to check his calendar. Although his "Wearing Thin" column of Dec. 27 is titled "Some Assorted Wishes for 2013," repeatedly throughout the issue, on the front cover and on the continuation of his wishes, it says they're for 2012! Ah, it's an easy slip, I suppose."
Editor's note: "You should see the first dozen or so personal checks I write this year… 2012, 2012, 2012…" – TS
Bobcats' bowl performance: "I've never been prouder of my alma mater, Ohio University, than after their bowl pounding of Louisiana University at Monroe Friday night on national TV. Great work by the Oklahoma twosome – Tettleton and Blankenship – and the defense, led by injury comeback MVP Tremayne Scott, performed both skillfully and ferociously. I can't wait to see how the 'Cats do in 2013!"
Bobcats' bowl performance: "It was sweet watching college football all evening Friday, with repeated highlights of the Bobcats' thrashing of Louisiana Monroe earlier in the day, with accompanying praise from the ESPN taking heads. I love that they still use the term "Ohio U," long after the university's message framers tried to get the world to start using "Ohio."
Gun control: "If the First Amendment can have exceptions for libel, treasonous speech, obscenity and stock fraud, then the Second Amendment can surely tolerate an exception for high-casualty military-style weaponry and ammo."
Fracking water: "Water facts from the ODNR – Ohio receives 30 trillion gallons of precipitation in a typical year, or about 82 billion gallons per day on average. In 2010, Ohio used about 8.6 billion gallons per day on average from surface and ground water sources. That means we only use about 1 percent of the available water. Does it make sense to use an additional 0.006 percent to extract clean-burning natural gas to improve the economy, decrease unemployment, reduce dependance on foriegn energy, and reduce home heating bills for people who are really struggling right now? I would say definitely YES."
The fiscal cliff: "If the radical Republicans in Congress are truly concerned about our nation's monstrous debt levels, they wouldn't be so damned resistant to raising more money on the revenue side. Their refusal to consider any increase in taxes for the top wage-earners puts the lie to their supposed deep concern about the debt. Balderdash."