Friday, May 1, 2015

THE THREE-DAY RULE



By: George Lee Cunningham


The worst of the violence seems to be over in Baltimore. That doesn’t mean the issue is dead or the problems are solved. It doesn’t even mean that the protests and demonstrations over the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray won’t continue. But the rioting and looting seem to be done. At least for now.

It’s just that the three-day rule has kicked in. No matter how angry, how pumped up on adrenaline, or how much the media covers the story – after three days everybody needs some sleep. A riot is like a party in that respect. You go to a wild party, then you wake up afterward, a little groggy and a little hung over, and the wild party is a bad memory.

It doesn’t mean that an injustice wasn’t perpetrated or that the outrage is without warrant. It doesn’t mean that the police finally brought things under control or that the burners and looters involved were not opportunistic thugs. It just means that people got tired and went home.

Now is the time to uncover the truth about what happened to Freddie Gray, to answer the questions raised, learn from the mistakes made, and take […]


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Earth Tones



By: George Lee Cunningham



The colors of the desert are often subtle, but sometimes they are not. As the sun sinks below the hills in the west, the hills on the east behind St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Bullhead City begin to glow in glorious pink. But you have to be quick – it doesn’t last long.

The colors of the desert are often subtle, but sometimes they are not. As the sun sinks below the hills in the west, the hills on the east behind St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Bullhead City begin to glow in glorious pink. But you have to be quick – it doesn’t last long.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why Does a Week Have to Have 7 Days?



By: George Lee Cunningham


I often hear people complaining about the rat race. Monday through Friday it’s work, work, work. Saturday and Sunday it’s relax, play, shop, and do personal chores. Friday night is spent getting a head start on the weekend. Sunday night is spent dreading Monday morning. It’s a routine we’ve all gotten so used to that we no longer even think about it.

Einstein told us that time is relative. What he didn’t mention, however, was that much of it is also arbitrary. Sure, some things are fixed in time. A year is 365 days because it takes the earth 365 and a quarter spins to work its way around the sun. That quarter spin means that every four years we have to include a 366-day leap year to catch up. Months make sense because that’s about how long it takes the moon to go around the earth. Days are a measure of one spin around the axis – one sunrise, one sunset, one high noon, and one midnight.

But hours, seconds, and weeks – we just made that stuff up. Daylight savings is proof of it. That spring forward and fall back deal was just an idea […]


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Monday, March 30, 2015

MUD AND FEATHERS



By: Carmela Cunningham



Different species share a quiet feeding moment in a mangrove cove along the Florida shoreline, oblivious to the busy roar of vehicles on a nearby highway. It was a fleeting scene. The traffic may not have disturbed the birds, but the approach of a human and an excited little Yorkie did. Shortly after the picture was taken, the birds took flight.
Friday, March 20, 2015

Vast and Beautiful



By: George Lee Cunningham



Life in the city may be vibrant and exciting, but there is something about the vast emptiness of the desert that calls to you. The crunch of gravel beneath your feet, the coarse texture of rocky hills, there’s something basic about the desert that reminds you of how small you are in the scheme of things. The desert was there long before you came along as it will be there long after you’re gone. (See “When I Die” in right-hand column)
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Port Town on Display



By: Reader Publishing Group



George and Carmela Cunningham’s new book, Port Town, was the featured display at the Long Beach Port’s reception for JOC’s Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference. The speaker is port Chief Executive Jon Slangerup. The Port deserves a lot of credit for commissioning the 500-page-plus work, which is a candid history – warts and all – of the mistakes, successes, politics, and legal battles that ensued over the port’s 104-year history. Port Town is due to be released in June.

George and Carmela Cunningham’s new book, Port Town, was the featured display at the Long Beach Port’s reception for JOC’s Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference. The speaker is port Chief Executive Jon Slangerup. The Port deserves a lot of credit for commissioning the 500-page-plus work, which is a candid history – warts and all – of the mistakes, successes, politics, and legal battles that ensued over the port’s 104-year history. Port Town is due to be released in June.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Incident in Checkout Lane Three



By: George Lee Cunningham


 

In our family there are incidents. In family code, an incident means the kind of minor confrontation or embarrassment that occurs from time to time in everybody’s life. Such an occurrence is referred to euphemistically as “an incident.”

An incident would include things like the time my wife harangued a mechanic who had charged us for a new radiator that cost several hundred dollars, when the real problem was a $12 thermostat. “Are you a thief or an idiot,” she yelled at the poor man. “I am not a thief,” he cried. “Ah, she said, then you’re an idiot.” In my wife’s view, it had to be one or the other. There was no middle ground.

Or the time my mother-in-law got into a beef with a traffic cop, who wrote her a ticket and insisted that she sign it. She refused, even though all she was signing was a promise to appear in court or pay the fine. He explained she had to sign it or he would have to take her to jail, something he really did not want to do to an 80-year-old woman. Fine, she finally snapped. She grabbed the ticket from him […]


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Angel in the Rain



By: Reader Publishing Group



An electric Angel announces the birthday of Jesus Christ on a wet and stormy night. You don’t have to be a Christian or even believe in God to be charmed by the story of a child born in a manger more than 2,000 years ago – a child who changed the world. Myth or reality, it’s a powerful story, especially late at night on a lonely street corner in the rain.

 

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Look Who Got Left Behind



By: George Lee Cunningham


When the Port of Long Beach moved out of their old headquarters earlier this year into new temporary digs near the airport, an important part of their history got left behind.

Charles H. Windham, the father of the Port of Long Beach and former Long Beach Mayor, died in 1932. Four years later, the Long Beach Harbor Commissioners voted to prepare a plaque that would be installed on the breakwater near the Queens Gate entrance to the harbor. That never worked out, probably because nobody would ever see it there and even if they did, they would be unable to read it as they steamed past in a big ship.

The plaque was instead installed in front of the old Harbor Department Building on 1333 El Embarcadero.

When the Harbor Department moved to its building at 925 Harbor Plaza in 1960, the monument was relocated to the new site, and there Charles H. Windham’s monument has been ever since, in the shade of a lovely tree, hidden behind a circular hedge, like a crazy uncle restricted to his lonely room. Few even knew it was there.

Now the port has moved on, but not poor old Chuck Windham. The […]


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Love Doughnuts, But that’s Not the Point



By: George Lee Cunningham


 

 

Let me start with a confession. I love doughnuts. I love them glazed, I love them with chocolate icing, and I love them with sprinkles, and jelly, and custard. I love cake doughnuts and doughnuts with powdered sugar. I also love related doughnut-like products, such as the apple fritter, the éclair, and even the so-called “doughnut hole.”

Doughnuts call to me. Even the word “doughnut” starts me salivating like Pavlov’s dog. It’s as though when I drive past doughnut shops the doughnuts are saying, “Come in, have a doughnut and a cup of cocoa. You only live once, what could it hurt?”

But I drive right past. I know that I could not go in and eat a doughnut, because if I did, I would want another one, and another, and another. Even if my stomach ached, I would want to have one more doughnut. So I am proud to say I have not had a doughnut in months, and I may never eat another doughnut in my life, because believe it or not, doughnuts are dangerous. They are worse than smoking cigarettes. Many smoker friends will go through a pack a day. Can you imagine eating 20 […]


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