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12/12/12 ... the mystery of it all ... not!
Written by Bob Hyle   
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:33 PM

On the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of this 21st century we say goodbye to that lovely string of numbers for another 89 years.

It’s hard to get excited about 12/12/12 when we just had 11/11/11 a mere 13 months ago and 10/10/10 another 13 months prior to that.

If my grandchild lives to be as old as her late great-grandmother, she will be around for the next century and enjoy 01/01/01, but unless my kids pull a Ted Williams on me and throw my tired old bones into a cryogenic chamber, this date is the last bit of numerical symmetry I’ll ever know.

Twelve is a perfect number at this time of year because of the 12 days of Christmas, which I guess start with Christmas day and end with the visit from the Magi 12 days later, but for me the 12 days of Christmas start tomorrow with the rush to complete my Christmas shopping and other important activities.

My lovely wife will hate reading this because she has already announced she has completed “our” shopping for the kids and grandchild, but of course that was just her shopping.

I plan on spending a full day scoping the malls this Friday with that Visa card burning a hole in my wallet ready for action at a moment’s notice.

I do some shopping online, but Christmas shopping for me means more personal interaction, elbowing old ladies out of the way on the discount rack, glaring at store clerks who spend too much time being cheerful with the customer in line in front of me.

Which brings me to an important question: When people line up at the cash register, an old-school term itself, are we in line or on line?

I grew up saying that I was in line, but I hear many people say they are on line and no, I don’t mean “online” with their computer.

I will take reader submissions on this subject as to which term is preferable, although I can’t promise that anyone else’s view will sway me.

Actually, I haven’t elbowed any old ladies in a while, or at least since I realized I’m older than some of the old ladies I was elbowing.

I display great patience and say the prayer made famous by Frank Costanza, “Serenity now.”

These next few weeks usually are about the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I find the whole period relaxing.

Work for me slows down, there are holiday events to get me moving, and of course all the goodies that come with Christmas.

More flour, sugar
While at the grocery store on Saturday, I picked up more flour and sugar so we are sure to have enough for all the cookies my wife usually bakes.

“I may not make any cookies this year,” she said.

Fortunately, I know my wife well enough that such a pronouncement was really just a hollow threat, similar to the ones she made to our children that she would take all the gifts back when they began fighting over real or imagined hurts.

When we sit in front of our perfectly chopped Christmas tree in 13 days opening our gifts, a tin of her world famous butter cookies will be on the coffee table, just as it should be. Now that’s something to look forward to.

Bob Hyle covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Harrison Press. He lives in Bright.