Trying to keep pace with change

Perhaps the legendary musician and philosopher Bob Dylan said it best: ?The times, they are a changin?.

The seasons are also supposed to be changing. But winter has stubbornly hung on for far too long. Some area high school seniors will be graduating within the week, and we are still seeing frozen precipitation. Are we beginning to witness the effects of climate change? I hope this wild weather of the past couple of years is not going to become the new normal.

A positive change to the community is the arrival of the best ice cream on the planet, Blue Bell, to Vogt?s Hometown Market. While I am not in the habit of dishing out free product plugs, you owe it to yourself to give this frozen treat a try.

I know it is more expensive than your typical ice cream, but trust me on this one, it is well worth the extra cost. Once in a while a savvy shopper can even score a bargain on the brand.

I prefer to mix Blue Bell with a little bit of milk and perhaps a few pecans or candy bar bits. And, this final step is crucial, throw any notions of a calorie count out the window.

Speaking of frozen desserts, have you noticed the sudden appearance of Freddy?s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers TV commercials? Until recently, the rapidly expanding Wichita-based chain relied solely on word of mouth. I wonder what prompted the strategy switch.

The world of sports is experiencing some big changes these days. An NBA player has come out of the proverbial closet and declared to the world that he is gay.

This made the national headlines, despite the fact that it is old news in other professional sporting circles. Tennis, diving and women?s basketball long ago broke new ground in this realm. Can NASCAR and hockey be far behind?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of homosexual rights, it is impossible to ignore the shift in attitude. This can all get very confusing, however. For example, what changes should be made in locker room rules?

If males and females are separated based on the fact that there is typically a physical attraction between the two sexes, what do you do with a person who is physically attracted to members of his or her own sex? Will there need to be a different, neutral place for athletes to change and shower?

I am not aware of any policy that addresses this issue. Will that soon change?

Another shakeup in the sports world is the arrival of the Kansas City Royals as a genuine contender for a playoff spot. I know, I know. It?s only May. But, I have been a fan since the George Brett days, and this year, for the first time, the perennial cellar dwellers seem to have all the tools: hitting, pitching, speed.

I would love to see a small-market team like the Royals put the East Coast and West Coast teams in their places.

On the national political scene, I have been intrigued to watch the change in conservatives? attitudes toward immigration issues. Though we may not be witnessing a 180-degree turn, Republicans have certainly taken notice of the voting power of Hispanics and have begun openly courting them. Conceivably, some sort of effective and comprehensive overhaul of the system could be in the works.

Finally, while we have tried to let the rest of the world know that we will not be intimidated by terrorism, domestic or foreign, and have attempted to return to business as usual after the Boston bombings, these types of events always bring changes.

I took part in the Prairie Fire half-marathon Sunday in Wichita. Security, normally not much of an issue at running events, was noticeably tighter as the lines at the bag check were moving slowly. This was the first significant race weekend in the area since somebody attacked the institution of marathoning, and it represented a change in ownership of the spring half-marathon in Wichita.

Last Sunday?s race featured a number of Hillsboro and former Hillsboro residents. I finished 113th overall out of 1,332 runners who completed the 13.1-mile race. That put me 12th of 63 in the men?s 50-54 age division.

Donna Spoonemore of rural Hillsboro won her 50-54 age division, besting 44 other women her age. The two of us, plus Darrel Knoll, Adam and Ashley Kleiber and Kelly Linnens all finished under two hours.

Other local competitors included Erica and Robert Haude, Julia Carlton, Julie Linnens, Billy Hickman and Lenna Knoll.

I also ran into Hillsboro High grads Scott Harder and Kirsten Cederberg. If I missed any others, I apologize. If there was a change of location, my Hillsboro search probably didn?t find you.



















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