• Beauty and awareness made vacation a success

    I can’t decide which was my favorite part of my recent vacation to Europe. It’s either Lorenzo, whom I looked at a lot but rarely talked with as he worked at the front desk of my hotel in Rome, or spaghetti alla carbonara. You wouldn’t think spaghetti cooked with eggs and bacon would be good, but it’s delicious.

  • Troop return was an honor to witness

    Being assigned to work on a national holiday isn’t such a bad thing. This company allows for extra financial compensation, and generally, the story handed out is interesting.

    So when I learned Monday would be the return of the troops from Bardstown-based C Battery, 2nd 138th Army National Guard Unit, I wasn’t a bit upset to work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I told my wife, Donna, about the assignment, and since she was off work, asked her to come along with me to the ceremony.

  • Life's trials put certain things in perspective

    Why do bad things happen to good people?

    I always have felt the events we face in life always seem to be a reality gut check.

    While I’m as far as you can get from any sort of philosopher, I’ve always believed that you truly don’t know how good life can be until you face some of the trappings that people deal with at one time or another.

    Like seeing people you care for face serious health issues.

  • If you hate taxes, blame your politicians

    I’m one of the few columnists who defends the Internal Revenue Service. I do so for two reasons. One, it is often scapegoated by politicians. More about this later. Two, there are a number of crackpots who get people in trouble with their crackpot advice.

    One class of crackpots tries to argue that the amendment establishing the income tax was not properly ratified. Nonsense. As citizens, we don’t get to decide legal issues on our own. Congress said it was ratified properly. It was ratified. End of story. Pay your taxes.

  • Change in editorial policy leaves room for thought

    We are trying something new in 2008. Bear with us as we work out some bugs, but we think in the long run it will be a good change and one that will bring positive feedback to the newspaper.

    Some might not even notice it, but we know there are some that will fight it. That’s why we thought it best to bring it to the attention of you, the public.

    The change I’m referring to is a small one to our letters to the editor policy.

  • Juicing my way to a new me in the New Year

    As this piece is being written, I am sipping a cup of green tea and into the third and final day of my first three-day juice fast. It is part of a lifestyle change for ’08. In a larger frame, it is one of a trio of New Year’s resolutions that I am happy to report are all still on track.

    Juicing is part of a move to a 70-30 fresh and raw plan — fresh fruits and veggies; raw as in the majority is eaten uncooked. If cooked, steamed is preferred to boiled. Grilled is fine, as is stir-fried. Traditional frying is taboo.

  • Hard choice in picking candidates is now

    If it’s any consolation, this is the hard part. When it comes time for the general election campaign, voters will be faced with a clear choice on the major issues. The primaries, meanwhile, are forcing us to figure out not just who the candidates are but who we are as well.

  • History proves you can't judge a book by its cover

    As France is adjusting to its newly elected president, Nicolas Sarkozy, his name has been in the headlines regarding his personal affairs nearly as frequently as his political affairs.

    The up-and-coming president showed off his flawless family at his inauguration, including his former wife’s two daughters from a previous marriage, his two sons from a previous marriage and the couple’s 10-year-old son. The four older children, tall with long, blond hair, were between 20-23 and seemingly perfect at the time of his initiation as president last May.

  • Glad to be back in the U.S. where the water is free

    I’ve been back in the United States for less than 24 hours and I’m suffering from some wicked jetlag. I spent the last two weeks in the Central European time zone, and my body still thinks it’s there.

    When I’m this tired, I tend to focus on the negative, so I’m writing about some of the things that annoyed me during my time abroad. When I have readjusted to Eastern Standard Time, I’ll write a column on the things I loved about France and Italy, because there were many.

  • Changing lives and how you can help

    One of my legislative jobs is to serve on the House Health and Welfare Committee. We deal with a wide range of issues, and it’s the toughest committee there. The main reason for this is that every public health advocacy group in Kentucky makes its way to Frankfort to testify for us. They are there to talk with us about the need, and there are many needs in this commonwealth.