Gardena, CA
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Articles by Pat Grimes

The human condition compels people to interact, and that's where all things good and not-so-good start. Without our common inclination toward affiliation, we would not be happy, nor would we manage to populate the planet. Then again, were we not prone to forming alliances, we'd probably not amass armies and go to war.

The hats thrown into the ring for the presidency continue to multiply. Our nation and our political scene being what they are, contenders on the right must work very hard to court social conservatives who dominate the selection process in early caucuses and primaries.

The scene was repeated hundreds of times this season: multitudes of vehicles inched their way over congested thoroughfares and into crowded parking lots, where drivers dodged chaotic streams of humanity shuffling in their Sunday best toward a large building. It seemed like everyone and his brother was there for Graduation Day.

I paced nervously outside the Convocation Center, waiting for my ex-wife and her family to arrive. Thankfully, the outdated suit not worn in God knows how long still fit me.

You'll be happy to know your grocery store produce label is made of edible paper and its adhesive is “food grade."  Thus, you may chomp into that apple or pear enjoying a little extra fiber from that sticker.

We can thank the Food and Drug Administration for these digestible decals. This agency is also responsible for determining how much non-food is officially acceptable in our foodstuffs.

As repeatedly declared by politicians with nothing more substantial to say, America is an exceptional country. We like to do things our own way, even if our choices don't mesh well with the rest of the world.

Take, for example, the metric system. According to the CIA Factbook, the United States is one of just three countries in the world that have not adopted metric for their official weights and measures. 

It is said there are two subjects best avoided in polite company: politics and religion. At the risk of raising someone’s ire, allow me to add to that list by mentioning guns.

I do not come from a gun ownership tradition. Friends and relatives are hunters and I tried my shaky hand at the Boy Scouts shooting range years ago, but that's my entire exposure to guns.

Reacting to yet another long, persistent drought, California is aiming to reduce its water consumption by 25 percent. Standing on dry grass in some of the Sierra Nevadas left uncovered by a disappointing winter snowfall, Gov. Jerry Brown announced new water use restrictions with the admonition, “It's a different world. We have to act differently.”

Only 20 months before the 2016 elections, Sen. Ted Cruz has announced his candidacy for the Office of President.  The Republican Senator was the first in any party to officially declare his intention to seek the highest office in the land. 

 

Our modern world provides a myriad of opportunities to render a gratuity. Most people practice the tipping tradition with hairstylists, barbers, bartenders, and cab drivers. Travelers may offer a bonus to the hotel concierge or housekeeping staff. Some of us leave a gift at holiday time for the mail carrier and newspaper delivery person. 

It had been quite a while since my sons joined me for a getaway. The era of family vacations is long behind us, and their burgeoning commitments to jobs, university, and girlfriends severely curtail opportunities for the three of us to hit the road collectively. There have been a couple of trips with one son or the other, but traveling with both of them has become a rarity.