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A Baltimore Story: Cinco De Mayo, Chris Cornell's Father, & A College Band Making Moves

A Baltimore Story: Cinco De Mayo, Chris Cornell's Father, & A College Band Making Moves

When it comes to the late Chris Cornell, the voice of Soundgarden and Audioslave, there are two things I know about him that most people might not. I know he had a brother named Peter and I know that Chris and Peter’s father passed away on May 5, 2000. Now the only reason I know these two particular facts is because the passing of the Cornells’ father led to Peter, who is also a musician, having to cancel a show he had scheduled for that night at the 8×10 club in Baltimore. Peter Cornell’

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

I Hate My Garden Hose

I Hate My Garden Hose

When is technology going to invent an easy-to-use garden hose? I’ve tried them all: flat, round, expandable, indestructible, flexible, steel-coil, rubber, polyurethane and even pantyhose. They’re all difficult to use, heavy, stiff, cumbersome, kinky and a big pain in the grass. A hose full of water is heavy and stubborn. It fights me like an angry anaconda, wrapping its coils around my ankles and tripping me. I have to tug, lug and slug it around the yard to water my spring-planted grass se

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Spreading The Word About Lyme Disease

Spreading The Word About Lyme Disease

May is officially designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month because, according to the Lyme Disease Research Foundation, it is the “most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States.”  Several years ago, when I was serving as a member of the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, as well as chairing the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, the Southern Tier was identified as a hotbed for Lyme disease, according to data released by the state Department of Hea

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

My Story With Tourette Syndrome

My Story With Tourette Syndrome

Today, I’d like to share something close to my heart.  Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is May 15 to June 15, with the annual Tourette Syndrome Awareness Day on June 12, 2022.  Tourette Syndrome was named for a French neurologist, Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the first to describe children and adults with specific tic movements in 1884, publishing his study about this syndrome in 1885. I’ve had Tourette’s since age 10-11, starting within a year after my family moved from farms in ups

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

Whatever Happened To School Dances?

Whatever Happened To School Dances?

Do kids dance anymore?   When I was a kid, schools and churches held teenage dances almost every weekend, featuring live bands, chaperones and underage kids puking from drinking Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.   If you are a Boomer, you remember Boone’s Farm wines, or maybe not, because Boone’s Farm wines contained formaldehyde, for real. If you drank it, you’re lucky if you can remember your name.   Fortunately, I only drank enough to forget my las
The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

It’s May 4th. In some corners of the world, this is a big day known as Star Wars Day. You know, may the fourth be with you. It makes sense that we have a Star Wars Day given its cultural impact. I mean, have you noticed some of the other “days” we have? At least Star Wars Day is something worth celebrating. Now, because it’s Star Wars Day and because again, some corners of the world are super pumped about it, Star Wars related-content is out there, making the rounds, including a trailer for
I Am A Woman

I Am A Woman

The tomboy that I was growing up, especially in my teens, working and learning beside my Dad, prepared me for later becoming a farmer’s wife.  After all, the love of farming is in the blood of both my parents!  Yet we women fill so many different roles.  Not all of us are wives and mothers.  Some of us remain single.  Some of us are meant to pursue life-time careers.  Some of us work to support our family, when we would prefer to be at home raising our children. Often, our likes and dislikes, an
Dirt And Dandelions!

Dirt And Dandelions!

April showers --- and the slow increase of temperatures --- have brought May flowers and growing weeds as well as discovering which plants have made it through another winter.  There are the burgundy sprouts of peonies --- old-faithful plants that laugh at winter weather.  Day lilies are inches high, the ferns are tightly curled fronds, the trout lilies’ yellow bells are sunshine in the garden, and trilliums are going to bloom very soon.  Hands in the dirt bring good vibes to the psyche! M
The Older I Get, The Longer It Takes

The Older I Get, The Longer It Takes

Aging slows me down. Everything takes longer, especially my body’s plumbing. It’s leaky, no longer up to code, and a hassle to prime the pump, especially in the middle of the night, when it wakes me up to play “red light green light” at the toilet. Many guys my age have the same problem and will try most anything to be able to pee at will. Some of them talk to it, trying to coax it into action. (Not me. Not my style. Besides, it wouldn’t listen to a word I say.) I imagine that one of those
Going Fishing!

Going Fishing!

Early April is typically the start of fishing season.  And as a kid, I loved to go fishing with my Dad… not so much for how to catch “the big one” as simply spending time with my Dad.  When I was about age 7 or 8, he had me, my sister and brother practice casting our lines with a lead weight (instead of a hook) into a 5-gallon bucket.  Can’t say I hit the mark very often!  I also remember fishing in the Erie Canal just west of Palmyra, New York.  One time we even watched a boat being raised in t
Remembering Your Song of the Soul

Remembering Your Song of the Soul

44 years ago today, a precious little girl named Jennifer Arleen was welcomed into our arms. I praise God that we were blessed to have her in our lives for 25 years… just as she blessed others around her.  She was Miss Spencer 1993, Spencer-Van Etten Valedictorian 1996, graduating from Houghton College in 2000 with degrees in elementary education and psychology, earning her master’s as a school psychologist from Alfred University in 2003. She was good, gifted actually, in this field.  Even in hi

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

I Love My New Truck, But It's Too Smart For Me

I Love My New Truck, But It's Too Smart For Me

Technology is great, but I long for the days when I was smarter than my truck. I bought a new 4WD Toyota Tacoma pickup truck two years ago, and I’m still trying to learn the purpose of the scores of switches, buttons, knobs, levers, dials, gauges, meters, lights, vents and portals. The truck’s dashboard is called an “instrument cluster” (sounds like a candy bar, to me), and bristles with more electronics than the Space Shuttle. It overwhelms with flashing lights, buzzers, bells, multi-infor

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

Easter is just past though one of my favorite lilting, happy songs says: “Every morning is Easter morning from now on….”.  It was a most unusual Easter morning which I will, perhaps speak of in a later essay.  It included the death of a long-time friend and member of our congregation and I am still processing that. To celebrate Earth Day, I’m thinking of planting peas in a pot.  It is a bit too early for our clay soil to be warm and welcoming; seeds planted in the ground would likely rot in
The Five Best Movies About Taxes

The Five Best Movies About Taxes

Ah, yes, another Tax Day is upon us. I hope that you’ve either A) finished and completed your taxes or B) have found a way to lie low for a while if you’ve decided not to do your taxes this year. It’s only a matter of time before the cops come calling, kid. Ultimately there is nothing entertaining, fun, or enjoyable about taxes. Tax returns are kind of cool. However, they are slightly less cool if you remember that tax returns are essentially the government returning some of the money you’v
Doctors Discover A New Way To Help You Fall Asleep: Watch A Baseball Game

Doctors Discover A New Way To Help You Fall Asleep: Watch A Baseball Game

When it comes to sports, we want more of everything – speed, scoring, tackles, slam dunks and car crashes. Major league baseball has few if any of these. The game is slow, boring and loses fans every day. Baseball is like us Baby Boomers, the older we get the slower we get. If the game gets any slower, it will go backwards. Games will end in negative scores. Today’s average nine-inning Major League Baseball game takes three hours and 10 minutes, and only 18 minutes of that is actual pl

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Besides... I Love You!

Besides... I Love You!

Easter is always a special time of year.  It reminds us that warmer weather is arriving after the long winter’s cold, and spring is beginning to show its colors!  It’s a time of renewal as new plant life exemplifies rebirth by poking through the covering of a late snow, leaf buds begin to swell and emerge from their long winter’s sleep, and early flowers showcase their gorgeous colorful blooms.  It’s a special time for children as they have fun decorating eggs, enjoy the search for hidden

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

I'm Two Sheets To The Wind

I'm Two Sheets To The Wind

Don’t you hate it when you have something simple to do and you think “No sweat. It’ll take but a few minutes,” but it doesn’t because, like everything else, it’s become more complicated? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question. So, if you really don’t “hate it,” you might as well stop reading). My latest “thought it would be easy” task is buying new bedsheets. I discovered that sheets have greatly evolved from the standard white, sorta-scratchy, non-fitted twin bed sheets of my younger

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Mud And Magnificence

Mud And Magnificence

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill; you know how it is with an April day when the sun is out and the wind is still, you’re one month on in the middle of May.  But if you so much as dare to speak, a cloud comes over the sunlit arch, a wind comes off a frozen peak, and you’re two months back in the middle of March..”* Spring is here with its yoyo weather; in and out sunshine, torrential downpours and the occasional snow flurry.   And with it comes mud season where feet can pop out of bo
Let's Bring Back The Chief And Stop Littering

Let's Bring Back The Chief And Stop Littering

by Jeff Minick On a recent trip from Virginia to Indiana, the friend who was driving me commented on the trash alongside the expressways. With the exception of Route 30’s lightly traveled parts, he was right. Plastic bags, fast-food wrappers, beer bottles, and other debris uglified the roadways.            The motel where we stayed that weekend wasn’t much better. Cigarette butts littered the grounds and the parking lot, likely because the motel offered neither outdoor trash cans nor c
My Advocate

My Advocate

We’ve all heard the old adage that there are two sides to every story, and a classic trial brings that point out vividly.  I’ve served on three juries in the past – one clearly guilty, one given a lesser settlement than pursued, and one clearly not guilty.  It’s an honor to be selected to sit with peers to carefully review and ponder the facts of the case as presented by the respective attorneys, and to be responsible for the right verdict.  Certainly, some have abused the trial-by-jury system a

Linda Roorda

Linda Roorda

You've Got Mail!

You've Got Mail!

by Rachel Dworkin   Notice anything funny about this envelope?  Letter for William Beers, 1862 Let me give you a clue: there’s no street address (and no zip code, but that’s another story). How then, you might ask, was the letter supposed to be delivered? It wasn’t. When the first Elmira post office opened in January 1801, there was no home delivery. People from all over Chemung County had to visit the small office located at the foot of Fox street in order to pick

CCHS

CCHS

What is Beauty?

What is Beauty?

Beauty – we all admire the aesthetic and beautiful in both people and nature, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say.  Often, as our young girls strive to look beautiful, they imitate the actresses and models they admire on the “silver screen” or magazine covers.  But youthfulness fails to realize the images are a façade, made more beautiful and glamorous by makeup and the air brush.  It’s not a true beauty.  And a pretty face may not always have a heart of love.  For “…man looks a
A Fear That Comedy Will Turn Slapstick

A Fear That Comedy Will Turn Slapstick

It’s the slap felt ‘round the world and discussed ‘round the clock. Will Smith’s roundhouse smack of Chris Rock during the Oscars reveals one of the hazards of being a humorist. What Will did was wrong and inexcusable. Yes, Chris cracked a bad joke, but it didn’t deserve him being sucker smacked on live TV. I worry that this incident will encourage others to go slap-happy on comedians and humorists if they don’t like the words they say or write. I don’t want to have to wear a mouthguar
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