­­ Bumper sticker of the week: I bet you never thought evil could look this good.

­­ Quote of the week: ''As a flame blown out by wind

Goes to rest and cannot be defined,

So the enlightened man freed from selfishness

Goes to rest and cannot be defined.

Goes beyond images--

Gone beyond the power of words.'' Buddha, Karen Armstrong

­­ Learned sayings from the Naked Dancing Lama:

-- It takes a village to raise a stink.--

In the spring, things begin to grow. I can only hope.--

Money is at the heart of all politicians.--

Humans are capable of enormous blunders. Take a look in the mirror.--

Trying to keep people from using drugs is not for the faint of heart.--

I could have danced all night, providing you with but a glimpse of the miracles endowed on the naked dancing lama.

­­ I was driving by the prison the other day when I noticed this sign -- Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers. The signs are directly adjacent to the prison. If one was inclined to pick up a hitchhiker in this area, you would have to be:

1.The dumbest person alive.

2.A relative of said hitchhiker.

3.A needy female looking for someone to save.

­­ Illinois Power recently pulled its new tree butchering proposal off the table. Seems people began noticing it was leaning a bit heavily in favor of their bottom line, which has nothing to do with concern for the consumer, but everything to do with making as much money as humanly possible. I have absolutely no faith in the Illinois Commerce Commission. This group has historically done nothing but pucker up to big business. Five cities filed a lawsuit against this new trimming policy, forcing Illinois Power to withdraw it from consideration. They were hoping no one would read it. Legal challenges are the only way these large corporations respond. It will be the only way to keep Illinois Power from gobbling up the other half of all our trees. The Illinois Commerce Commission won't do a thing but hold hearings, hoping that placates us. The City of Galesburg has done nothing and was not among the cities filing suit. We remain puckered.

­­ Election results analyzed:--

Mayor: I predicted Bob would win, and win he did. Landslide. However, I wouldn't let that go to my head. I'm still waiting for him to kick it in gear. I understand maybe the City Manager is leaving, that may help. Bob somehow has the belief the Manager is in charge. Wrong!--

Cable system: Lost, as I predicted. This idea is way too technologically advanced for Galesburg. People just want a cable system with 300 channels. Forget all that other fancy stuff. If AT&T and Insight were against it, you should have been for it. We missed an opportunity on this one. As much as anything, this vote was an indictment against the City Administration and Council. We don't trust them.--

Nursing Home: Passed, which I suspected. We voted no, we don't want government competing with private industry, then yes, we do want government competing with private industry. Go figure.

­­ My 53rd birthday was on the 4th. Almost an April Fool's baby, which I'm sure many of the readers of this column can appreciate. This birthday was a little special for me, I almost didn't make it. Between open-heart surgery and a massive staph infection, I got a glimpse of the beyond. Believe me, it's not all it's made out to be. Even with all our flaws, with George Bush Jr. as President, and Henderson Street being transferred from on mess to another, and the failure of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, I'll still take life over death any old day. Several weeks after I was home from the hospital, I was sitting at the kitchen table one morning when I was overwhelmed by a troubling thought. If I had died, I wouldn't be here, but everything else would be going on without me. The world would have hardly missed a beat. I would rapidly be becoming a memory. The hardest part of this thought was not the possibility of being dead -- I had recently stared death in the eyes and said sorry, not yet. No, the hardest part was wondering just what kind of memory I would be.

­­ Someone recently sent me an e-mail thanking me for being a voice for the messes. I would like to think they meant masses, but still, I could hardly argue one way or the other.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online April 10, 2001

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