Friday, December 14, 2018

Afflicting the wrong people?

I've been a working journalist off and on since the autumn of 1966 and always strove to be objective and free of bias.

I took pride in the notion that our job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

But I heard that credo picked apart on the radio this afternoon and came to the disturbing realization that it implies a bias to always champion the underdog. It suggests that the underdog is always right and the successful/comfortable are always wrong. The more you think about it, the more glaringly liberal and intentionally subversive it becomes.

What if the little guy is a fledgling Hitler or Stalin or Mao? Are they automatically entitled to better treatment in the press than the Pope or a Franklin Roosevelt or a Harry Truman? Does success always equate to corruption? I think not.

The more I chew on it, the clearer it becomes to me that a lot of us have mistakenly believed our job is to disrupt the social order just for the sake of doing it.

How depressing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Still at it


I just did a mental inventory of my contemporaries from the old Indianapolis News and came to the conclusion that I am the only one still writing for a newspaper on a regular basis.

It certainly wasn't by design. When I took early retirement from The Indianapolis Star in October of 2000, I figured I was done with newspapers.

But then I married a newspaperwoman 19 years my junior who dragged me out of retirement to write and shoot photos for the Crawfordsville Journal Review, the Jonesboro (Ark.) Sun and more recently the Lebanon Reporter.

I can't complain because I've been able to play newspaper and see my byline in print on a regular basis, but pretty much on my own terms.

Who knew that the callow youth shown here around 1967 would still be an active journalist 51 years later?

Here's my Thorntown Community Christmas Party package on the front page of today's Reporter.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Finally being occupied after 16 months


Sixteen months after we closed on our former home in Arkansas, it appears the buyers are finally moving in.

Former neighbors reported the new owners did some remodeling, including extending the master bedroom and bath about 10 feet into the back yard.

I was beginning to think they never planned to live in it, but just wanted to flip it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

My day


I wrote three stories yesterday - two that made it onto the front page of today's paper and the other destined for tomorrow or beyond - so I decided to devote today to loose ends around the house.

One of the loose ends involved driving into Lebanon to buy an air filter at Menards for the Honeywell air purifier I got from the Vine Program a few months ago.

I stopped at the bank and the post office and about 3 miles east of town I was startled to see the sun roof on my Lexus opening. I struggled with the controls and found that I could get it closed, but only temporarily.
It kept re-opening at random intervals - not a good thing when it could snow or rain at any moment. I called Tom Wood Lexus in Carmel and they said they would be waiting for me.

I got there at 1:10 p.m. and was greeted and seated in the comfortable waiting room. I told service writer Brett Sullivan about my problem and also asked if it would be possible to replace the 2 burned out high beam headlight bulbs.

Two hours later, I was on my way home. They fed me coffee and a free turkey and cheese sandwich from their snack bar, and charged me $104.01 for bulbs and labor, but nothing for reprogramming the computer.

Considering that I didn't have an appointment, I am absolutely gob smacked at how well I was treated. I think I'll be back.

But I never did get to Menards.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Medicare Advantage coverage

I've been living without any enhancement to my basic Medicare insurance for the past eight years or so.

We've managed without too much financial stress until this year when I got hit with incidental surgery center expenses from the previous year's cataract lens replacement and an insanely expensive trip to the ER and an overnight hospital stay when we mistook faintness from dehydration for a heart attack.

Also, I've become keenly aware that I'm losing strength due to lack of exercise and, yes I admit it, aging. I want to join the local YMCA to exercise and regain strength and fitness, but the cost is more than I want to take on. They do, however, give free memberships to folks whose insurance includes the Silver Sneakers fitness coverage.

So, mindful that the enrollment period for Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage insurance is looming - Dec. 7 - I've been under self-inflicted pressure to sign up for whatever reasonably inexpensive program will get me Silver Sneakers coverage.

I called the county senior services office yesterday to see if they could help me choose a plan, but they're booked solid through the deadline date.

"How hard can this be?" I asked myself. Surely there's help online.

Yes, there is, and it led me to sign up for Humana Gold HMO Medicare Advantage coverage with will actually save me money because it will cover my medications that I've been paying $29 a month to cover with Cigna. And I get dental and optical insurance included. All at no cost. How they make money doing this is puzzling, but it gets me to the gym for free, so what the hell?

I must have been really worried about this because I have an immense feeling of relief at having dealt with it.

Look for me at the Y after Jan. 1.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Musta shrunk


Unpacking boxes from our move back to Indiana the other day, I found my old Delphi High School letter jacket.

And I got a rude surprise when I put it on. Once I threaded my arms through the tattered taffeta sleeve lining, I was shocked to see just how much it has shrunk in the 55 years since it was my go-to winter jacket.

So much for fantasies about wearing it to my 60th anniversary reunion in five years.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hey! My brother-in-law is an author!


My brother-in-law Kerstan Bayless just published his first book. It's available on Amazon.com in paperback, but not Kindle. I ordered a copy yesterday.