Christmas' respite with feelings of joy, good spirit and warmth of home, hearth and family have passed, and now we face the reality of much uncertainty focused on our families' health care.
By the time you read this column, Christmas will have passed and we will be looking forward to celebrating the New Year.
The year 2013 was a roller coaster of contrasts with some surprises. Here's a best and worst list:
As the new year approaches, many of us in the dimly lit brotherhood of computer clumsoids (and our number is legion) feel the sharp prod of IT experts who blow themselves blue encouraging we Luddites to change passwords once a year like smoke alarm batteries or high school girlfriends or underwear on "Duck Dynasty."
Paul Ryan is now polling first in Iowa for the next presidential election. If Ryan is encouraged by this news, he is not much of a student of recent political history. Polling first in Iowa more than two years prior to the state's overhyped, first-in-the-nation caucuses is a bit like being told by the guy at the convenience store that the lottery ticket he just sold you is the winner. Take it with a huge grain of salt.
I find comfort and inspiration in music -- all kinds of music. So when I see how obsessed the media have become with the 2016 U.S. presidential election -- barely a year after the last one -- I'm reminded of the Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle." The chorus goes, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future."
In this season of fighting over the true meaning of the season, I offer my short (and admittedly incomplete) list of things which could make the world a better place all year round:
This just in from the North Pole: Santa says that his home is ice free!
One of the hardest things in life is being ignored, bypassed, or dismissed. We all appreciate being appreciated, and when we contribute we ought to be acknowledged as having been part of making something meaningful happen.
As we look back on 2013, it will likely be remembered as the year the rubber began hitting the road with regards to Obamacare. The failure of the website was epic, but it is minutia compared to the flaws in the law.
In 2013, Santa Clarita continued to rise above the challenges of the Great Recession, helping to build a strong community.
Most Americans have read or heard about the recent tragedy involving two young men in the fatal car crash in the Valencia industrial park here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
This time of year is especially noted for being filled with family gatherings, holiday shopping, gift giving and school vacations. A sense of joy and goodwill permeates our little valley as it does in many communities throughout the world.
At a recent seminar I listened as the presenter explained the social phenomenon now understood as "expanding adolescence." It's quite simple. While in the 1950's the life stage known as adolescence was defined as the 12-18 age period, it is now recognized that adolescence often expands up to 30 years of age. And if you just take a careful look around, you'll see this is no hair-brained idea.
One of our most necessary freedoms as Americans is the freedom of speech, as protected in the Bill of Rights. Yet, today, while much is being shouted and written supporting this prized privilege, the fact is the freedom to speak is being taken away.
The city of Santa Clarita is home to numerous nonprofit organizations that benefit residents from all walks of life.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, is a terminal brain disease that affects children aged 5 to 10 years.
My Uncle Earl was recently invited to give the commencement speech at the Robert Oppenheimer School for Really Smart Kids, a charter school approved by the Newhall School District but located in Lancaster.
Dr. Seuss is among the most beloved in the pantheon of American writers. Ostensibly written for children, most of his stories also carry deeply meaningful lessons for those adults reading along with their kids.
Just when you think Fox News and the right-wing scandal machine can sink no further, they wallow in a new level of filth that just boggles the mind.
A friend of mine surprised me with an unexpected opinion the other day. Like me, he had recently traveled to India and came away stunned by the immensity poverty prevailing there.