This column is not about cats. I promise you. I will never write a column about cats. I am a dog person. However, I am fascinated with the old saying: “curiosity killed the cat.” I can recall my grandma saying those words to me long ago. Judging by our cat population, either cats aren't curious, or grandma was just wrong. As a grown up, I have found that my general curiosity about things is my greatest source of fuel. It motivates me to learn and understand things. Conquering my own confusion or ignorance is soothing. And it is also a path that ...

I didn't know AOL was still in business. If I got an email from someone  with an AOL account, I intuitively would delete it because I would assume it is a virus, a scam, or some version of bad news. This is just smart email caution on my part. But it turns out Mike and Karen Pence are AOL customers. Even after then-Gov. Pence had his AOL account hacked last June, the Pence's just deleted their accounts and opened two new ones. That's serious brand loyalty to a brand that is now the equivalent of the flip phone. "You've Got Mail" is a ...

Last Thursday was surreal. After several last ditch efforts to convince the Indiana Senate that it should debate and vote on the issue of bias, or hate crimes, I was forced to accept that it isn't going to happen. Not this year. Maybe not ever. Nationally, the number of hate crimes is skyrocketing. Even Vice President Pence made a surprise visit to a historic Jewish cemetery in Missouri to condemn the recent vandalism that had occurred there. Meanwhile, his home state of Indiana is one of only five states left in America that is silent on the issue. But if Pence ...

Every parent feels a little pressure when it comes to raising their kids. Many of us start with a preconceived notion of how our children will turn out so that each deviation from that plan can often seem like a failure. Usually that perspective could not be more wrong, but I know how it works. Fathers of children who misbehave are mortified when a child challenges his authority, especially in front of other dads. Establishing early who the boss is in these relationships is vital mainly for the sanity of the boss in the early years, but also for the child. ...

I live in a household that supported John Gregg for governor last fall. That is except for our soon to be famous dog, Birdie. As far as I know, Birdie and Governor Holcomb never met. But the Holcomb campaign went after the canine demographic with their “Hounds for Holcomb” outreach. I laughed at it at the time. The most comforting news for those supporting John Gregg last year was that no matter the outcome of the election, Indiana was going to have a better governor. And we found out in a big way what that means this week. In one press conference, ...

For the first time here, I am agreeing with Donald Trump. Let that sink in for a moment. A few days ago, our president used a couple of words to describe retail giant Nordstrom that seemed a little awkward. He claimed the chain had treated his daughter Ivanka “unfairly” and that it was “terrible.” And the store had not just behaved in a standard unfairly manner, but “so unfairly,” which is several layers worse of course. Now this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am no expert on department stores. Given my lack of sophistication on matters ...

There are several versions of the famous question from the fairy tale, “Snow White.” “Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Whether the line begins with “magic mirror” or “mirror, mirror” or even “magic mirror in my hand,” the most interesting word in the question is the word “fairest.” The Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm classic was originally published in 1812 as part of a collection of folk stories. The word “fair” was contextual in 19th century Germany as a word that means “beautiful,” not pale skinned or of a light complexion. It's a bit confusing given the ...

Through the magic of social media, I got connected to an old friend from my high school days this week. She is a middle school English teacher in Jasper, Indiana and has been living there for nearly thirty years. Jasper is a small town not far from Vincennes, another small town where my friend and I lived during our illustrious high school careers. People from Jasper love their famously German town. My friend wrote in our exchange that she “couldn't see life anyplace else.” That's quite an endorsement of a small town these days, yet familiar sounding to me from others ...

“The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” This was the most important thing President Trump said on Friday. And it might be the most ambitious as well. That is if he means it literally. The day after the inauguration, women’s marches, rallies and protests went on all over the world. But the ones that went on here are obviously the ones that matter most. These people are President Trump’s new constituents. Few of them voted for him, but that is irrelevant now. Public service is a funny thing. Like it or not, there are those ...

I spent a good part of my youth in a small town in southwest Virginia. And in my neighborhood, many families had dogs, and virtually none of us had fences. So all of the kids grew up with each other's pets. In many ways, the dogs belonged to all of us. It was a sad day when “Bengal” got hit by a car. He technically wasn't my dog, but my yard was part of his chase path whenever someone was driving through. As a grown up, I know that these tragedies happen to dogs who can't stop chasing cars. For a ...