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They’re baaack! The mosquito ferns have reappeared in the ponds on the east side of Delta Highway. They have been inconspicuous for three years, a normal population fluctuation. We recognize them by the dark, reddish-brown surface mat on the ponds. Duckweed stays green all winter but the mosquito ferns get color in the fall. That they are still reddish brown and not shocking purple tells us that by the beginning of December we still haven’t had a hard freeze.

Congress can go off the fiscal cliff if it wants to. I’m going bowling.

Sometimes I kick the proverbial hornet’s nest intentionally — “bullshit in the Bible,” for instance — and sometimes I kick the hornet’s nest accidentally. I honestly didn’t expect the outraged response I got after I wrote that poly wasn’t a sexual identity in the “sexual orientation” sense of the term. Some people identify as poly, of course, just as some people identify as, say, dominant or submissive.

It is finished. For the next three years, we can rest until new candidates saturate our media, hit us up for cash, and bring us new hopes and talking points. Unlike us, however, these future candidates are not resting now. They are serving in our government. And they are looking for money.

I’m a straight man at that age where the general public still considers me young. Although I’ve attended many weddings, I have no interest in marrying or even being in a relationship. I never have. I’m not asexual. I’ve had and enjoyed sex. I just don’t feel the need to be with anyone. As long as I’ve got music and friends, I’m satisfied. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one. My parents want grandkids. My friends want to set me up. My television set only ever shows people in or pursuing relationships. My government wants me to father and raise future dead soldiers.

No. That is not why you lost. You lost because retrograde movement only works for planets. We think it’s wonderful that 1952 was such a great year for you, but your Mamma’s not in the kitchen in shiny pumps and an ironed apron waiting to serve you meatloaf and cookies.

“Good black don’t crack,” my grandma always said. By which she meant we age well, not always “looking our age,” as well as having a certain apparent resilience in the face of continuous stressors.

Romney has made no long-range plans for life after the election. For now he’s just going to screw up one day at a time.

I am a 22-year-old straight female. I used to babysit for a wealthy family, but their children have outgrown babysitters. The dad of this family is very into martial arts/fighting and has invited me over several times for “self-defense training.” I have accepted his invitations a few times, and it has always started off as a normal workout in their home gym — treadmill, weights, swimming laps — but he is always pretty anxious to get to the self-defense part.

Finally, the elections are over. I enjoyed as much as I could stand of them back in September.

Reading you over the years has absolutely changed my mind on gay marriage. I wanted to let you know that. I also live in Maryland, and, as you know, we voted last week to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. I was excited that I got to vote for marriage equality in my home state, Dan — even I agree that it’s fucked up that people get to vote on the civil rights of LGBT people at all. Thanks for all your writing over the years — it’s really made a difference in my love and sex life.

You’ve heard of the cart before the horse? This is the property sale before the plan. It’s also swift action to forestall any prolonged controversy over the Courthouse Garden.

It seems that Eugene city government, both appointed and some elected, wants to seal a deal on the Courthouse Garden site (triangle site) before the general public knows what we’re losing. The agenda item selling the nearly two-acre site for $1.23 million plus many perks was so rushed that EW knew about it before at least one councilor.

I read with great interest this past week about the city agreeing to sell the “triangle site” east of the new U.S. Courthouse. A great deal of the comments centered on the relocation or suspension of the “garden.”

It helps to have a sense of humor when making a transition to life in the country. My daughter Anna, her husband, Will, and their seven-year-old son Ian, moved last year from Austin, Texas, to a small farm west of Eugene. When the chores are done they bring chairs from the house and place them in front of a screened window in the chicken coop. From there they can see the birds scratch for food, take dust baths and act out their pecking order. They call it watching chicken TV. 

DEAR READERS: I’m writing this week’s column in a drug-induced coma. Well, not quite a coma, but close. I was fighting a cold for two weeks, and the cold won: It morphed into an insanely painful sinus infection—you know it’s bad when your doctor urges you to err on the side of too much Vicodin, not too little. So a warning to everyone whose letter appears in this week’s column: My reliably sucky advice is probably going to be suckier than usual.


The American wigeons are back in the Delta Ponds. I believe these are the first of our winter migrants to arrive. I look forward to the increasing diversity of waterfowl. On our side of the Delta Highway we have had only mallards and Canada geese for a long time.

Turtles can be seen in the Delta Ponds on the west side of Delta Highway but it appears the cormorants have usurped them from their favorite logs. With increasing cold weather and less sun showing, the turtles will burrow into the mud at the bottom of the ponds to brumate.

They broke the mold when Betty was born — she’s one of a kind! Deciding to support Betty Taylor’s re-election to the Eugene City Council Ward 2 is fairly simple: Not only is she a home-town hero, respected across Oregon and in Washington, D.C., she’s really the only qualified candidate in the race, by far.

Rep. Peter DeFazio has been quoting Art Robinson’s own words on billboards. Robinson claims that these words make him look crazy. There is a sure way for Robinson to avoid looking crazy: He can announce that he is voting for DeFazio.

So I was innocently browsing the personal ads on Craigslist and saw one from a dude who was looking to try “saline balls” for the first time. Having no idea what this was, I googled it. Even worse, I google-imaged it. I pride myself on being unshockable, but I was completely and utterly mortified at what I saw. With that said, my copious internet searching failed to yield the answers to the basic/most important questions regarding saline balls: (1) What is the procedure/process for salining one’s balls? (2) What about it turns on the saliner/salinee?

In his last run against Peter DeFazio, Art Robinson said Social Security was bad and he would try to end it. This time around he complains that Social Security isn’t paying out enough in benefits. Isn’t this like the guy who told his waitress that his meal was awful, and then complained that the portions were too small?

Occupy Eugene (OE) celebrated its first anniversary Oct. 15 and began its second year of activism. This milestone offers an opportunity to look back to where Occupy has been, and forward to where the movement is going, as well as invite all of you to join in that journey.

What the hell do I say to my straight 14-year-old son about porn? Should I say anything? My sister tells me that all the research shows my son has been looking at porn for three years already. Am I too late?

Distressed Anxious Dad


History has conspired to place you at the presidential helm during a turning point moment of unprecedented global significance. The climate crisis preceded your presidency and will still be with us when it ends.