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Thinking about mowing snow, vacationing with Ted and pancakes

Thinking about mowing snow, vacationing with Ted and pancakes

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Random thoughts that have been running through my head while staring out my living room window, wondering if Tuesday’s forecasted high of 43 degrees means it will be time to throw on shorts and a T-shirt and get out to mow my snow.

— As a runner with a phobia of treadmills, winter excursions have revealed to me that Grand Island residents have many different approaches to clearing snow.

Some seem to take a perverse joy in hauling out the snowblower, cleaning their entire driveway and all their sidewalks, then merrily heading down the sidewalk down the block much to the joy — and slight suspicion — of their neighbors.

Some never clear their property, often because they are unable to because of their age or a disability.

Some clear a minimum path through the sidewalk, which is fine unless you meet up with another pedestrian who for some odd reason is also out and about on a Nebraska winter day. You also eye each other suspiciously.

But the most special and most unique approach is those who clear every last single snowflake from their driveways and leave their sidewalks untouched. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much these houses — which I can count on staying the same year after year — really give me a nice warm feeling inside as I trudge through those snow-covered sidewalks.

— Anyone enjoy a nice overnight trip to Cancun last week?

I’m not sure that Ted Cruz did.

The United States senator from Texas received plenty of publicity for escaping with his family from his state, which was hit hard by a historic winter storm that led to major power outages.

A lot of politics is about optics, and this was simply bad optics.

Cruz coming back the next day saying that the plan all along was to just accompany his children to Cancun sounded like an excuse — especially when paired with the photo of his rather large “overnight” bag.

While a United States senator isn’t in position to be on the frontline of helping Texas’ residents recover from this horrible event, if you can’t help your constituents in their time of desperate need in that position, then maybe we need to consider our political setup in this country.

And while wanting to get away for a family vacation is something everyone should be allowed, think of the timing.

I strongly suspect no one in the energy sector in Texas or first responders would be allowed to depart to Cancun for a vacation at this time, even if it was planned.

If you are a politician that many people seem to love to hate, you probably should have thought twice about this choice.

But if you did think twice, you probably wouldn’t be a politician that people seem to love to hate.

— Everything is political in the United States these days. Even ... pancakes and syrup?

The decision by PepsiCo to rebrand Aunt Jemima to Pearl Milling Company was seen by some as a move that was long overdue due to the racist stereotype associated with the brand and by some as a continued overreaction to everything.

As a fan of ‘90s grunge, I see it as a missed opportunity to rebrand as Pearl Jam Milling Company, but that’s off topic.

San Francisco announced last month that it would be renaming schools which were previously honoring such historical figures as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Paul Revere.

According to “The Atlantic,” a panel determined that 44 schools were named after people who are “guilty of being, variously, colonizers; slave owners; exploiters of workers; oppressors of women, children, or queer and transgender people; people connected to human rights or environmental abuses; and espousers of racist beliefs.”

There’s a fine line in this renaming of things. It’s one thing for a private company to make the choice. It’s another when it’s a public organization.

I’m wondering myself if it is time to rename “Manwiches” and “Sloppy Joes.” Seems kind of sexist to me to think that only males can enjoy poorly constructed sandwiches comprising of meat and tomato sauce.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at dale.miller@theindependent.com

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