Free Falling

If ever there was a time of more questions than answers, this is it. At least for my generation. So, here are some deep and some not-so-deep questions on my mind these days.

Wouldn’t it be great if the new Vogt’s IGA store planned for out west, or the new addition to Dale’s Supermarket, would include a movie theater? Think about the convenience of driving into town for groceries and catching a flick at the same location. As much time as my wife spends in the food stores, I could slip off to the silver screen and be back before she was ready to check out.

How come all the snow this winter is falling to the south of us? That seems kind of weird, doesn’t it? And, did we really receive more snow when we were kids, or did it just seem that way because we were shorter? It might be interesting to note that, although January appeared to be extremely dry, we average less than an inch of precipitation during the first month of each year. I have to wonder, if the computer weather system attached to the Hillsboro Middle School building can’t measure snow depth or moisture content, how do we ever record frozen precipitation totals? No wonder January and February are statistically our driest months.

Who was the genius responsible for Kansas State’s basketball uniforms that were featured in the men’s game against the University of Kansas a week or two ago? Holy cow, those were ugly. Even diehard K-State fans I talked to were shaking their heads.

Does simply dying an untimely death make a person a hero, or does it have to happen on national TV before he or she can be labeled as such? How much difference is there between a hero and a victim? Sometimes, the gap seems difficult to distinguish. The loss of a human life is traumatic for those closest to the event. It seems to me at that point it doesn’t matter how famous, infamous or common a person is, someone will grieve his or her loss. Oh, and that goes for people other than Americans, too.

If history tells us that our economy improves during times of war, why does the stock market go down with every new prediction of conflict? Could this whole U.S/Iraq stalemate possibly put the oil industry in a more advantageous position than it currently finds itself?

Has anyone else noticed how we seem to have become immune to deadlines? At school, students are well aware that an announced due date often will be extended. So, they take a wait-and-see approach. As adults, we are not much better. We have grace periods for everything from gas bills to overdue library books. Two institutions, however, seem to be immune from this trend. Major colleges have extremely strict scholarship application deadlines. Miss them and students miss out on financial opportunities with no second chances. The other organization is the Internal Revenue Service.

Why is it that computer stores want us to pay them at the time of purchase for electronic items, but it takes six to eight weeks to receive promised rebate checks?

And another thing, if the state of Kansas wants to make big bucks on Internet sales, rather than add sales tax, the Sunflower State should latch onto a share of shipping and handling charges. That’s where the real money is. I recently received a software package that couldn’t have weighed more than a couple of ounces, yet the company charged me nearly $5 in S&H. I know it doesn’t cost that much to ship a single CD. Isn’t this the strongest argument to shop at home whenever possible?

What would cause a seemingly innocent Thermos of black-eyed pea soup to explode? It happened to a Hillsboro High School student at a recent basketball game. He had difficulty opening the lid of the container. But, when he set it down on the table, the cap blew off in what by all ear-witness accounts was a loud eruption that reached the gymnasium ceiling. The soup went into the Thermos hot, so its cooling off during the day would cause the air pressure to decrease, right? So, the only logical explanation would be some sort of natural gas buildup. Needless to say, the young man did not eat the soup that remained in the container.

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