Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Gift Guide for cluless men

Scott Stillings - November 22nd, 2007
Not all guys are outdoorsy guys.
Perhaps you simply don’t ski, snowboard, ice skate... or go ice caving, for that matter.
A perfect winter day for you?  Inside, book, fire, hot toddy.
But your significant other thinks that winter is Mother Nature’s gift to outdoor extremists.
What to do?
Shop, my friend.
As the Express outdoor guy, I can tell you that the most common question in local winter shops is “What can I possibly buy my best outdoorsy gal this Holiday?”
This season there are oodles of swell choices.
If your skier, jogger or skater loves their tunes and uses an MP3 or ipod, the “must have” is the new Bula Hat with built-in speakers. Available in sports emporiums, the Canadian company’s stylish knit Batallion model with a slight brim is not only functional but darned cool looking. There are other models of the earphone hat, too, in a variety of designs including those with patterns, ear tassels, and other decorations. Sold commonly in snowboard/skateboard places for around $30.
Do they virtually live outside? There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like heavyweight Patagonia Capilene underwear. Called a “Performance Baselayer” by the eco-sensitive California clothing giant, Capilene gear comes in 4 weights designed to cover every possible outdoor temperature. Thoroughly chilled by Michigan winters? Try the Capilene 4 (that’s the heavy stuff) Zip-Neck. About $85 in better outdoor shops.
For winter hiking, jogging or just plain wearing, Vasque hiking boots and shoes are really making some great products for active foot types. A throw-back name from the leather hiking boot of the 60’s, these new high-tech trail running shoes are at home on the sidewalk and the footpath. The Velocity has spunky colors, lots of widths, and is a real solid shoe that weighs in at a relatively feather-like 794 grams. Hard to believe a true hiking shoe can be supportive and this light, but these are both, and they rock. A mere 90 bucks at groovier shoe and boot stores.
Cold hands, warm heart? The best mittens ever come from Reusch. Synthetic Rip-Stop backed with a super soft leather palm, they even have a Anti-Bacterial liner. Full of real Goose Down, these are super warm, featuring an internal fit like a glove and a gauntlet style extra long cuff. Only one color to make shopping easy. $59 where skis are sold.
And to warm them up inside? Try the Danish liquor treat Aalborg Aka Vit. Sold in better party stores for around $15 a jug, you serve this Northern European treat frozen in a block of ice. That’s right - don’t try it on ice, try it in ice. Grab your Aka Vit, put it in an empty milk container, fill with water and freeze it. Outside is fun, but your freezer is best. Pour slowly into a chilled cordial glass and fasten your taste buds for a wild ride.
So, there you have it. Head to toe shopping tips for your favorite outdoor companion (not counting your dog).  Remember to shop now - and then you can get back to your fireside reading knowing that your holiday gifting is all set.






 
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