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  • I’m so sorry the place is such a mess…
    2/15/2020 Last weekend, some friends called at the last minute to ask if they could drop by. Panic set it in. We had a lot of areas to straighten. We both learned this skill from our mothers (as I’m sure you did). Mom was always telling me to straighten my room. Straightening was simply rearranging the clutter, with no suggestion that anything was to be discarded. When you're a kid, you learn that hiding stuff is the fastest way to clean up.
    Of course, no matter how successful we were going to be at making order out of the chaos, the first thing my wife was going to say when our friends arrived was the obligatory, “I am so sorry—the place is such a mess.”
  • Rooting for prey or for predator
    2/7/2020 Are you a rooter? Do you root for your favorite teams? Have you searched for your roots? Have you rooted out any evil? We are all rooters in one way or another. Both Mary Ellen and I usually root for the underdog. That’s why she chose to marry me, despite all her other more acceptable suitors. Mary Ellen also roots for other under-animals. Let me explain…
    On Sunday nights we have a tradition in the Wolfsie family. Our son Brett comes over and after dinner we all watch one of the many nature shows on WFYI or the BBC. We are especially captivated by those programs narrated by Sir Richard Attenborough. His voice is mesmerizing. The video clips of predatory animals, birds, fish and insects are enthralling.
  • Complexity in password security and paranoia
    1/31/2020 A few of my wife’s New Year’s resolutions are just about killing me. I’ve hidden all the sharp knives, blunt instruments and dry-cleaning bags, however, so I think I am going to be okay.
    Her first resolution was to take a class at our local library about technology safety, like how to create hard-to-hack passwords. As soon as she got home, just for practice, she changed the code number on the garage door touchpad, and then she went shopping. I wrote this column on my cell phone, sitting in the car in front of our house. I hoped she wrote the new code down. I was freezing.
  • Prevention magazine almost prevented us from leaving
    1/23/2020 My wife is planning our 40th anniversary vacation to Iceland. She anticipates all potential problems. That’s why she made me re-read an article from Prevention magazine, which several years ago scared me so much I wanted to cancel our 25th anniversary trip to Germany.
    TRAVELER’S DIARRHEA: In this section we learn that seven out of ten travelers experience this, which is why requests for aisle seats outnumber those for window seats on most overseas flights. An infectious disease specialist says, “Many people have been de-railed by this problem.” I am sure even more have been de-planed and de-boated.
  • All of the New Year’s resolutions others need to make
    1/17/2020 The twenties have begun. I know I’m supposed to make New Year’s resolutions to better myself, but I never do. I’m just not very good at self-improvement. There are plenty of other people out there who could resolve to make Dick Wolfsie’s life simpler and less stressful. For example:
    I ask that everyone who will ever be in front of me in line at Dunkin’ Donuts resolves not to spend three minutes deciding on whether they want the 13th donut to be Chocolate Creme or Blueberry Glazed.
  • The Jacks I've known in my life
    1/9/2020 My entire life, people have been saying, “Dick, you don’t know Jack.” Actually, I do. In fact, I know dozens of Jacks. So does my wife. And she has a crush on about six of them.
    Apparently, screenwriters and producers find the name Jack to be very rugged sounding, but as I was growing up, most of the Jacks I knew of possessed questionable masculinity. One Jack in particular couldn’t even navigate climbing a hill, and ended up with a head injury, all in an effort to hydrate himself and his girlfriend, Jill.
  • Tuesdays with Auri
    1/3/2020 It began with a simple phone call to my friend Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a day using social media, like Facebooking, tweeting, and updating your blog. This means cutting yourself off from the outside world. But that’s the price you pay for being social.
    Auri and I decided we would meet in a few days for coffee. I got out my trusty mini legal pad and wrote down the time and date. Then I put a sticky note on my bathroom mirror. At my age, I know I will see it there several times the night before, reminding me of that early morning obligation. This system seldom fails, although one day I accidentally grabbed a list from the previous day and started repeating everything on it. I’m glad I have an honest barber.
  • 12/20/2019 This week I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday columns that I wrote several years ago.
    No one is better at returning presents than my wife; some would say it’s a gift. The only year I rivaled her was 2009. Mary Ellen checked out two novels from the library that I wanted to read. She thought it was a waste of money to actually buy the books. She wrapped them and gave them to me for Christmas. I returned both of them. 
    I don’t have a gift-giving knack. I am not a very good listener, which explains why three years ago I got my wife an Irish Setter for Christmas when what she wanted was an Irish sweater. For a few months prior to our 25th anniversary, she began humming the tune “I Love Paris in the Springtime.” So I got her the sheet music. I thought she would get a kick out of knowing the words. She wasn’t pleased.
    This year, my wife’s unhappiness with my gift selection takes the cake. Yes, she’ll take the cake and then return it to the bakery the next morning. For the first time in our marriage, Mary Ellen has chosen to return something before she’s even opened it—a decision she made by simply observing the package under the tree. It was a Keurig Coffee Maker, the one with the compact individual containers that brew one cup at a time. We have been using a standard Black and Decker coffeemaker, but I don’t like to drink liquids from an appliance made by the same people who manufacture my weed whacker. That’s not the way I want to get my buzz in the morning.
  • 12/13/2019 I have been writing this weekly column, in one paper or another, for 20 years. Every year I have to come up with a new angle about Christmas. I looked over the past two decades and picked my two favorites. Like any column, the basic premise is always true with a little exaggeration thrown in to make it more entertaining. But this one is 100% true, which is why I want to share it again.
    This story began several years ago when the UPS truck pulled up to the curb at our house and we wondered what Brown was going to do for us. We saw the driver struggle with a huge carton the size of a big-screen TV. He maneuvered it to the front porch and left it leaning against the door. I went outside to look at it.
    “Who’s it for?” Mary Ellen asked.
    I checked the label and it was addressed to me, but those stickers can be misleading. Some of our credit cards are in my name, some are in Mary Ellen’s; so when a delivery is made, we are not sure who ordered it and who the gift is ultimately for. If the wrong person opens it, well, there goes the surprise meant for Christmas morning.
  • 12/6/2019 I’d like to celebrate some of the special people I interviewed while doing my weekend segments on WISH-TV in 2019.
    Gregg Bell is 90 and still practices dentistry and is director of that department at Logansport State Hospital. But wait, there’s more! In 1953 Bell won the Olympic gold medal in long jumping, in Melbourne, Australia. When I interviewed him, I asked to him to show me the 26-feet, 5.2-inch distance that won him first place. Greg eyeballed the floor and walked it off within a quarter of an inch.
    Gary Varvel is one of the few remaining nationally syndicated political cartoonists in the country. He is now retired from the Indianapolis Star but offers his work from his website. Gary invited me to his home to see how, with the help of a high-tech software program, he creates his award-winning drawings. I seldom agreed with Gary politically, but there is no arguing with his creativity. He also did a caricature of me. I love caricatures. I don’t seem to get any older in them.
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Monday, February 17, 2020

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