525,600 minutes

“525,600 minutes. 525,000 moments so dear… How do you measure a year?” If you caught opening of the movie “Rent” this weekend you’ve now got one of the movie’s most famous tunes stuck in your head for the rest of the day. It’s a song I’ve known for years now, ingrained by some music teacher…

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Newsroom cams and technology

Okay, enough is enough. Technological advances have gone too far. I just logged on to the Des Moines Register Web site, and plopped in the bottom right hand corner is a live newsroom cam. Needless to say, the web cam only updates every 60 seconds, and even then, it shows very little movement. I can…

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1,000 places

The other day at the library, I found myself paging through the book “1,000 places to see before you die.” It’s a fun book, with descriptions of sacred ruins, grand hotels, wildlife preserves, hilltop villages, castles, festivals, restaurants, cathedrals, hidden islands, opera houses, museums and more – worldwide. I’d argue that the authors don’t give…

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With a little luck

As a child, I had what my parents would call a “summer of obsession.” Too young to yet discover the obsessions of boys and money, my nine-year-old treasure was one of luck – more specifically a treasured “garden” of four leaf clovers. There was something about this spot in my parent’s backyard that produced those…

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Memory box

I’m beginning this column as I stare at a piece of stolen property roudly hanging near the com- outer in my office. It’s a photograph of my dad – his senior picture – stolen from his memory box a couple years ago. Dad’s memory box was in the back of a closet, buried beneath years…

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The world through different eyes

This week, I saw the world through a different set of eyes. For those of you who recognized my face, that was me on Saturday wearing a Minnie Mouse costume in the Mainsail Parade. For a brief period lasting just 45 minutes, I was famous – well, at least among most kids under 10 years…

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Thinking of starfish

It never fails, just when I’ve begun to forget that cute little story about the starfish, someone decides I need to be reminded. You know the one. A boy is walking along on a beach, picking up starfish one at a time and throwing them back into the ocean when someone comes by and says, “Boy, why are you bothering to do that, there are way too many of them. You can’t really make a difference.”

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Over-explained lives

A friend recently gave me a book titled “Men are like waffles, Women are like Spaghetti.” Confused and intrigued by the odd title, I opened the book and began to read. I learned that men are waffles because they categorize everything into boxes and can only live in one box at a time. Women, however,…

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Fourth of July an other fiascos

I remember it vividly. The fireworks were booming above my head. They were beautiful and magical. From the smile on my face, you would never think I was lost. I had gone to the bathroom before the fireworks began and decided that Id try to find my way back to my family’s “spot” on my…

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Fourth Friends

I found it ironic that I began and ended my Fourth of July celebration making new friends. In past years, the Fourth was a day for me to hang out with established friends and family. But this year, I found myself wandering amidst new acquaintances – including Berkley Bedell, John Furman, Virginia Smith and 26…

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There’s no place like…

Home. I was talking with a friend the other day about the concept of “home.” In theory, it’s simple – home is where you live. But what do you do when “where you live” doesn’t feel like home? My conversation was with someone who was still searching – who had never really felt at home…

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‘Going Places’

Call the governor. Gather the congress. Inform the universities, business owners and housing developers. It’s a light bulb idea: I’ve figured out how to keep young people in Iowa. It’s simple really, we’ve just got to redefine Iowa as a “place to go.” Confused? Think about your conversations with or about young people these days.…

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