Choose words wisely

Bad things happen.

There's nothing anyone can do; they just happen. This past week, we saw our fair share of incidents. Nationally, a man whose life has been in a continual spotlight died in a plane crash. Locally, a young woman was found dead after being missing since July 4.

Tragedies strike at all times, mostly when least expected. There are numerous levels of tragedies, yet they all come back to one thing — loss. Losing something or someone can be devastating. But eventually, the void becomes a part of you, while you try fervently to concentrate on other things.

Grass cutting fun

In today's society, there are two groups of people — ones who get paid to cut grass and ones who cut grass only because it's their duty to the country. Actually there's a third, smaller group of people, composed mostly of apartment dwellers, kids and travel agents. But they, too, have either had to cut the grass or will in the future.

What are fireworks salespeople up to now anyway?

Nomads have wandered through cities during the last two weeks, sold their goods and departed for lands of milk and honey.

They don't leave a trail, but their wares do – usually ashes, perhaps a foul-smelling odor but always a glowing experience.

Fireworks salespeople have rigorous lives. I recently caught up with one such seller, Smokin' Joe Romancandle. What follows is his normal day:

6 a.m. Wakes up, sings the "Star-Spangled Banner," eats a Pop-Tart and brushes his teeth.

Shark cartilage possesses a mean bite

Last month I was in Wal-Mart, and I aimlessly wandered into the vitamin aisle. There were hundreds of nutritional supplement items, but one caught my attention – shark cartilage.

Unfortunately, the label contained little information pertaining to what the product actually does, such as make one lose weight or grow a dorsal fin.

As a kid, I used to see "Jaws" on my wall at bedtime. Now I see health companies trying to withhold routine information on Jaws' cousins.

Can you keep a secret?

Can you keep a secret?

Last week, I met with a special agent from the Department of Defense. I had my shrubbery costume ready (luckily, there were no dogs around), but it wasn't necessary. The agent led me into a room in the Crawfordsville Armory, looked both ways and closed the door. The questioning was ready to begin.

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Random News

The humanity (or inhumanity) of data

A few glaring items came to mind as I finished reading Roszak's "The Cult of Information:"

The Developers featured in newspaper article

The Crawfordsville Journal Review recently featured my book, The Developers in its weekend ETC edition. The article is no longer available on the newspaper's website, so here's the full version.

'The Developers' compacts romance, humor with computer technology

By Mel Robertson | mel@jrpress.com | 05/27/05

A humorous, fictional novel of five "quasi-qeek" Web developers who attempt to link a small Michigan community together through the virtual world conveys a romantic-filled comedy mixed with computer technology.

Wii update

Nintendo has owned up to the problem with the wrist strap problem. The games firm has announced that it will replace broken straps for its Wii console.

Rejoice! Not that I have a Wii, but I just cannot stand to see broken televisions, windows, dogs, etc.

Sickness propels more Internet research

There are a lot of things the World Wide Web can do for you, but healing you is not one of them.

Stalking, IM style

People who use instant messenger services occasionally receive chat requests from people they don't have on their buddy list. Usually these messages are from random people or lost friends and mean no harm. Every once in awhile, though, a message will pop up from your IM stalker.

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