Random thoughts as seasons change

Some random thoughts brought on by the change of seasons: fall to winter; football and volleyball to basketball and wrestling; ?Deadliest Catch? to ?Ice Road Truckers.?

I?ve noticed that if the weatherman is going to be right about the weekly forecast, it will be for rain on the day I really need it to be dry. If a nice day is predicted when I need one, the forecast is usually wrong.

The two commercial airline pilots who overshot their destination airport by 150 miles or so ended up losing their licenses. Honestly, I?m thinking they should have kept their jobs. Wouldn?t these two guys be the most careful pilots in the sky after this incident?

Opponents of insurance overhaul bills may have some good points. But predicting that premium costs will rise as a result is not much of a claim. The price tag for policies rises on a regular basis as it is. If our projections are correct, our family policy will go up more than 75 percent in 2010. How, then, is an increase in cost for a government plan a negative?

What?s with all the dog complaints listed in the police log lately? Are there more dogs than ever? It seems that way. It also seems like there is a connection, however illogical, between the economy and the number of pets people think they need.

I recently heard of an effort by a congressman to introduce a bill that would give pet owners a tax break for possessing animals. I already missed out on the Cash for Clunkers program. I would hate to not be able to participate in this plan. I guess I should get a dog. Then, I wouldn?t be the only person in my neighborhood without one.

If you have bought a ticket for some sort of Wichita event lately, you may have noticed that the price advertised is only the beginning of the expense. I recently purchase some $27 tickets for a tennis fundraiser at Hartman Arena. By the time parking and other fees were added, the price bloomed to $32 per ticket. I would just as soon have all the charges included in the base price.

The same is true for airlines that charge extra for checked luggage. The cost of a ticket fluctuates daily, sometimes hourly. Why not just make the price include the transporting of the baggage?

Magazines are also getting in on the act. I recently received an offer for ?the lowest prices you will ever see.? I thought seriously about taking advantage of this offer until I read the fine print. There was an additional $4.97 charge for delivery fee. I always thought that was part of the deal.

Can one person be a troop? According to recent news reports, yes. According to the dictionary, no. A troop is a group, not just one person.

This may be a classic case of ?you get what you pay for.? Hillsboro council members thought they could save money by buying a cheaper grade of gravel for resurfacing city streets, especially D Street. A dusty month later, councilors were forced to pay some more money to treat the streets as a result of using the less expensive grade of gravel. The treatment was apparently clear, or else the new striping was done prematurely.

The dust has settled, and we can all breathe more easily once again?unless you happen to be allergic to harvest dust and are anywhere near Corn Mountain near the elevator.

My wife thought she was being nice when she bought a couple of jumbo-sized, iced honey buns for me to snack on. Then, I read the nutrition label. Each contained a whopping 810 calories. In addition, each was responsible for 97 percent of my allotment of fat for the day. My frugal Mennonite upbringing would not allow me to just throw the pastries away. So, I needed to figure out what else to eat that day to spend my other 3 percent fat allowance.

The busiest place in town last Saturday was the composting site. Pickups were three abreast as residents unloaded a huge harvest of leaves and grass clippings. The site was recently moved from the west side of the road to the east side. From the looks of things, the city may have underestimated the needed capacity. But we citizens certainly do appreciate the city?s providing us with a place to deposit our leaves and brush. I couldn?t help but think how quickly one well-placed match could reduce that mountain of fallen foliage.

The New York Yankees: the best team money can buy. Does that moniker also apply to certain high school football squads? Should there be a separate division in Kansas sports for private schools? This year, especially, the powerhouses seem to come from nonpublic high schools in the larger metropolitan areas.

I had the pleasure of bowling in the annual nine-pin, no-tap, Trailettes Turkey Tournament in Hillsboro last weekend. For those new to this type of competition, anyone picking up nine pins on the first ball of a frame is credited with a strike. There is no need to throw a second ball. If more than one pin remains, the bowler must attempt the spare as usual. In addition, lots of fun door prizes were awarded along the way. My team, aptly named Bob and the Giblets, bested the other 13 squads to win the title.

Our effort reminded me of how I earned a drawer full of medals in track back in high school. My job on the relay team was to get the baton safely from the starting line and into the hands of the second runner. The other guys were so fast that transporting the stick from point A to point B was all that was required of me.

My teammates in the bowling victory, Barb Hein, Susan Janzen, Karen Benda and my very own Kathy Woelk, are yearly in the mix for the women?s league title. In other words, they?re good. So, all I had to do this weekend was show up and knock down a few pins; they would do the rest.

As it turns out, I had a pretty good tournament myself, scoring back-to-back 200 games. I would have to attribute my strong series to not having thrown a ball since last spring, a sort of re-beginner?s luck.

Bowling, apparently, is a lot like riding a bicycle, only there are no pedals, handlebars, seat or wheels. OK. It?s actually nothing like riding a bicycle other than both pastimes can be lots of fun.

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