Health agency online in October

A new Defense Health Agency (DHA) comes to life this month, armed with new authorities to control health costs by cutting waste and duplication across the separate medical departments of Army, Navy and Air Force. DHA is tasked to streamline delivery of care, recapture thousands of patients for the direct care system from purchased care […]

October perfect for victories

We are now into October, which means many exciting small victories are around the corner: • Every sweet thing to eat or drink has the potential to be laced with some sweet pumpkin. I’ve already got my pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin pie coffee and pumpkin salsa ready. • You can now buy bulk candy that’s […]

Here’s what I’d do for an ice cream bar

Ice cream bar commercials make me wonder what I’d do for one. After solemn deliberation, here are a few things: • Watch first-graders play volleyball. • Play “Words with Friends” against Alec Baldwin during takeoff. • Sit on a front pew without smirking about the length of women’s skirts determining their fates. • Fill out […]

McGee: Anyone lose a llama?

I encountered a llama in an open field the other day. Actually it was the local industrial park. I knew it didn’t belong there. I stopped my bicycle. This made the llama prance a bit. I’m glad that’s all it did. Llamas and their kin are known to spit at people. “Well what are you […]

In search of ponies: Dogs may provide help for recovering addicts

Their ability to calm the anxious, sooth the traumatized and break through barriers is well established — leading dogs to be welcomed into classrooms, hospitals, nursing homes and a slew of therapeutic environments. Something about interacting with them miraculously brings out smiles on the faces of people who have plenty of reasons to do anything […]

In search of ponies: Iran difficult for dogs, owners

Maybe Snoopy saw it coming. Sign after sign popping up with the deep voice that lamented “No dogs allowed.” But it was the 70’s, and even though endearing, Snoopy was still a dog. Yet in a world where pets have gone from being rejected to tolerated to welcomed and even catered to, it’s more than […]

McGee: That fortune teller was onto something

I came across a news story about a guy who got caught burglarizing a fortune teller’s home. He wanted his money back, $200,000, which he paid to have a “love spell” cast on a woman. It didn’t work. Have you ever visited a fortune teller? I have. Once. It was long ago and far away […]

In search of ponies: Drought takes toll on animals, too

Sepia toned skies, roaring winds, heat and the one ingredient that could change it all — rain — grievously absent. Such is summer in New Mexico, one of those places where a rain shower doesn't do much more than make dirt circles on windows right before it evaporates. But even though hot, dry and yes, […]

Be it person or pool, leaks seem dangerous

The Lady of the House and I have one of those store-bought, above ground pools in the backyard. We set it up a few weeks ago. The Lady of the House reasoned if we set it up while the days were mild the probability was low that we'd get into one of those terse "discussions" […]

Guthals will be missed

Charles Guthals passed away a few weeks ago. I'm going to miss him. Lots of High Plains folks knew him far better than I did. To me, he was the guy who knew everything about plants and trees and stuff around here. Back in March The Lady of the House and I were in his […]

In search of ponies: Funnels funny, but effective

The T-shirt had nothing to do with fashion; it was hiding something, or better yet, protecting it. Underneath the black cotton there was a shoulder wrapped in bandages which were holding gauze and ointment to a wound that really needed a break from dirt, bacteria and, perhaps most of all, the attention of the wounded […]

Scaring Mom has potential to backfire

Mother's Day is tomorrow. I'll catch up with mom and see how she's doing. I'll tell her she's "The Greatest Mom Ever" and how much I love her. I wish I knew more about my mom. What I mean is I know a lot about my mother, but the time before her high school years […]

In search of ponies: Celebrate your pet this week, or month

Did you know it's national pet week (or month depending on the source)? They made sure I did, which I suppose is a good thing since it's not something I would normally even be aware of. The "they" I am referring to are the web crawling, public relations spammers that get a hold of an […]

Banter thrown at bicyclists amusing, varied

Riding a bicycle gives you a different perspective of the road as you pedal along. There's interesting flotsam and jetsam, critters, flowers and such. Riding a bicycle also makes one vulnerable to people who like to yell. I got to thinking about this the other day when a driver yelled his own bicycle road rules […]

In search of ponies: Glowing sheep not so baaaa-d

It's long been understood that nature has balance and us humans have come to understand — usually about the time we realize we've destroyed an ecosystem — that here are reasons why things are the way they are. That's not to say improvements can't be made, but for each forced (or man-made) change, it makes […]

In search of ponies: Kicking bucket not always bad

When the youngsters became the proud owners of a new colt, they set out on a mission to bond with him. Teaching him tricks became part of the fun, as they coaxed him to interact and do things in exchange for affection and treats. Mastering the challenge of standing on his hind legs was a […]

McGee: No more shuckin’ and/or jivin’ for me

Going through my record collection the other day I ran across a 1982 album by Willie Nelson and the late, great Waylon Jennings titled "WWII." The first track on the LP is titled "Mr. Shuck and Jive." "Well, I can't say that anymore," I thought to myself. It turns out I'm not allowed to say […]

In search of ponies: Cicadas biblical in numbers, tasty with almost everything

It isn't every day the yard is covered in snacks. Crunchy on the outside, they have a nutty flavor, similar to peanuts or almonds, according to those who partake. Suspended inside vibrant colored gelatin, they are sure to cause a buzz of conversation at a party. They also make for good pizza toppers, add a […]

Perfect pot pie punctuates end of vacation

Vacation was over. There was one more thing to do. We were in search of the best chicken pot pie ever. And it was sold in the deli of a supermarket somewhere in L.A. (Lower Alabama). The Lady of the House and I had discovered it on our last trip when we stopped at a […]

Being anti-social-network has mixed results

I told a friend why I decided on a new personal effort called Facebook-Free Friday. "It feels like the site is 90 percent bumper stickers, horizontal praying (praying at people and not to God) and people still trying to revisit the election," I said. I got a nod and, "Yeah, pretty much." Then on Thursday, […]