Shelton-Mason County Journal - Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Opinion / These Times

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 By Kirk Ericson    Opinion    January 26, 2023 

Holy smokes! Look what we can do!

Some of you former school kids might remember when the most reliable place to find the information required to write a book report was the World Book Encyclopedia. Those volumes, whose spines in the...

 

Johny Baltimore, the Hawks and Nirvana

I watched Saturday’s Seahawks’ playoff game with a friend, Johny Baltimore. “Baltimore” isn’t his birth surname, but it’s what people call him, mostly because he rarely appears without a...

 

Democracy in the House, east and west

This is a tale of two Houses: One in Washington, D.C., the other in Olympia. Let’s start with the frat House. On the evening of Jan. 6, I sat with Mary Young, my 95-year-old mother-in-law, watching...

 

Women and men and all of us

Sixty-three years of age — my age — is a careless time to make proclamations about human behavior: One has enough wisdom to recognize patterns and enough foolishness to believe one can make...

 

Random thoughts for a rainy winter day

Chickens could make a compelling argument that the War on Chickens is real. Last week’s ice storm made it clear that for civilization to function, traction is essential. The carrot-and-stick style o...

 

The ins and outs of navel-gazing

“The man without a navel still lives in me.” — Thomas Browne, English author From the Cambridge Dictionary: Navel-gazing — the activity of spending too much time considering your own...

 

Jobs that require a working nose

Have you ever thought about which senses are necessary to do your job? Sound? Sight? Smell? Touch? Taste? Those are the Big Five, the big receptors. They are our connections to the material world....

 

A question in a long marriage

I recently learned a newspaperman, who I knew while he worked for The Associated Press in Olympia, died several years ago. He was 38, had a wife and two kids, ages 3 and 6, so Jonathan Kaminsky’s...

 

Random thoughts for a December day

Here’s how we get people to stop using guns to kill people: We work on making people not want to kill people. An example of lazy object naming: The orange. People should use their baby photos in...

 

Holding the door, against better judgment

I opened the entrance door to a restaurant for a woman the other day, which sparked a frayed memory of a time that’s no more. From the early 1970s, when the women’s liberation movement took root,...

 

Jokes for the coming holidays

Seems we’ll have at least one more season of holiday gatherings where talk of politics and social behavior will be discouraged, so here are some jokes from three publications — Good Housekeeping,...

 

On the California coast: What's that thing?

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — It is good to know there are more of us than there are of them, but enough with this election. Other matters are worth considering in this muddled-up world, including godwits,...

 

Random thoughts for a day in November

Isn’t it odd to tell people who feel achy after getting a COVID vaccination that it shows that the vaccine is working? If that’s true, wouldn’t the contrary be true — if you don’t feel achy...

 

Yes. You can walk from Olympia to Shelton*

Here's how you do it: Get up at 5:45 a.m., preferably on a Sunday because traffic is lighter, and start 1 mile south of the state Capitol with your friend, who in my case is John. The two of you...

 

Five years, 261 columns, 1,300 messages

Let’s take a moment for me. This column started on the Journal’s Opinion Page on Oct. 19, 2017 — the column you’re reading is episode No. 261. I’ve gone five years and one week without...

 

Maybe now's the time to pay attention

Perhaps you’re like me. Stories about well-intentioned people striving to create permanent places for people without adequate shelter have become background noise. These stories of good intentions a...

 

Random thoughts for an October day

I often feel guilty when I stroll past someone who’s in a wheelchair, maybe because it seems like bragging. Here’s a new, less judgmental phrase for suicide: Self-checkout. The gut gets too much...

 

What's on our mind? Serial killers, apparently.

I was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting many years ago when a fellow shared a story about baseball and beer. The guy said that before watching a ballgame, he would buy a case of beer (24 containers)...

 

Good news on the election integrity front

Steve Duenkel must be a happy man today. Duenkel has been running hard for the job of Mason County auditor since filing his candidacy last winter. He's been doing his homework and traveling the...

 

Where and when inspiration strikes

The Greek scientist and mathematician Archimedes discovered that the volume of displaced water is equal to the volume of the object that’s submerged in the water. He realized that upon easing into...

 

Random thoughts for a September day

Someone should introduce a brand of cigarettes called Moderate. That way, people could call themselves Moderate smokers. People without shelter are called homeless, so people with shelter should be...

 

Labor Day 2022: A working retrospective

My paternal grandfather, Eric Ericson, came to this country from Sweden with his parents in the early 1900s, maybe to escape a herring famine or something. We’re not sure why they came, but we do...

 

Some moments in this thing called life

I was walking alone on a sidewalk in downtown Olympia one evening a couple of weeks ago when a man who looked to be in his 20s approached me. He asked whether I had any “white.” “Huh?” I...

 

Harmony in the grocery store aisle

Hey, parents of young ones: Would you like your journey through a grocery store with your children to be more harmonious? Would you like a dependable way to short-circuit the circuit in your...

 

Survey questions I'd like us to ask us

I was busy catching up on infection news the other day at infectioncontroltoday.com when I came across this tidbit: “More than half of all Americans are symptomatic of highly contagious, unsightly...

 

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