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Columns

  • Work of Art: Ah, me oh mayo

    It’s interesting how quickly and easily an item on Facebook can make its way into the pages of a newspaper such as the Optic.

    Feeling ornery last week, I posted a note on the Internet disclaiming any love for mayonnaise.

    Yes, I enjoy some of the jokes about that creamy, tasteless stuff that some people call food. I like the one about how the largest shipment of Hellman’s mayonnaise was loaded on to Titanic, back in 1912. It was headed for Mexico, where its residents love that squishy stuff.

  • Just a Thought - Make four agreements with yourself

    By Rick Kraft

    The most important conversations you will ever have are those that take place in the privacy or your own mind. God gave you the freedom to think whatever you want. You can go to your quiet place in your home, relax, close your eyes, and then “think away.” No one knows what goes on in the six inches between your ears.

    This can be called many things...dreaming, self-talk, adjusting an attitude, reminiscing, depression, and so on. There are no limits to where you can go or what you might think in the privacy of your mind.

  • Editorial Roundup - Jan. 10, 2016

    Compiled by The Associated Press

    The Times Herald-Record of Middletown on the need for more support to fight drug addiction (Jan. 3):
    In an election year sure to be dominated by a presidential campaign focusing on taxes and terrorism and by state legislative campaigns tainted with corruption, another pressing concern should not be ignored.

  • Observations, predictions for a new year

    Let’s pull out my nonexistent crystal ball and take a look at what’s in store for the state of New Mexico in the year that’s unfolding.All predictions are based on scientific data, keen observation, brilliant insights and my own roll of the dice — which guarantee accuracy in my predictions, except when they don’t.

    • It’s going to be a brutal winter. Winter Storm Goliath by itself makes it a memorable one (though it technically fell into 2015) but I’m certain more is to follow.

  • A work of Art: Spelling helps with dating

    During a discussion of students’ school performance, I brought up what I thought were salient points about what was expected back in the’50s as compared with today. What’s different? I mentioned that many public schools have dropped cursive writing.

    What’s the big deal? The big deal is that cursive writing must have been invented to speed things up. Rather than composing each letter — and by necessity having to lift the pencil between each letter, as we do in printing — we link letters together by using cursive.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Never underestimate the intelligence of ranch animals

    As the years fly by for me, I continue to be very surprised at how little I know about so many things I always thought I might be somewhat of an expert in.

  • Just a Thought: What legacy will you leave when you are gone?

    This much I know is true: you have today. That’s it. That is about all I can assure you of.

    God willing, you may have tomorrow and then a tomorrow after that and so on. But there are many out there whose today will be all they have left. We will hear about some of them on the news tonight and read about some later this week in the newspaper.

  • Beth Speaks for Herself: Our New Year’s Resolution Brunch

    Count down to January 1. While most folks take the morning off, I and my like-minded women friends trod through snow and ice carrying fruit salad and coffeecake for our annual New Year’s Resolutions Brunch.

    For a decade we’ve been getting together, although ‘get-together’ is too informal a term. After a glass of prosecco spiked with pomegranate juice, we fill our plates and sit around the coffee table in Peggy’s living room with a blazing fire crackling next to us.

  • Here’s a personal take on a year of newsy columns

    When thinking back on 2015, it’s hard not to get personal. It was a significant year for me as well as for the rest of the world.

    I’ve been writing this column since May 2013. I call it Dispatch New Mexico, though your local newspaper editor might call it something else: “filler” is one word that comes to mind; “brilliant insight” far less often. I started writing it at the same time I launched a statewide news service named the Community News Exchange, or CNEx, which serves mainly small-town newspapers around the state.

  • Work of Art;: having cake, eating it too

    And why exactly can’t a person have his cake and eat it too? That expression bothered me for years, and I think I have the hang of it now.

    As I alluded to in a column earlier this month, it’s difficult for people to agree on the meanings of terms we toss around, sometimes cavalierly.

    For example, my friend and co-writer Lupita Gonzales says “having an ax to grind” refers to a person seeking a favor. That person carries a dull ax in hopes of getting it sharpened, free of charge.