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My Battery Is Low and It’s Getting Dark

By Tim Hayes
“My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”
Such came the final message from Opportunity, the amazing little engine that could, after roaming around the surface of Mars for the past 15 years, sending images back to NASA all that time from the Red Planet.
A ferocious dust storm finally did Opportunity in, clogging [...]

Bumbershoot Big Shot

By Tim Hayes
After finally finding a garage with open spaces in Downtown Pittsburgh the other day, I dodged raindrops for the four-block walk to my next client appointment.  Fold-up umbrella in my hand, the sporadic drizzle didn’t warrant opening the thing up and carrying it all that distance.
But it got me thinking about how my [...]

Watchdog Down

By Tim Hayes
It could have been a school board director, a township commissioner, or a borough council president yammering on.  Some weeks it was all three.  Regardless of the elected body, though, there I sat, notebook and printed agenda in hand, pen rapidly scratching notes as the debate wore on.
Living the life of a general [...]

Monday Monday

By Tim Hayes
While lazily flipping through the channels late one evening, I stumbled onto one of those half-hour pitches for music CDs, this batch featuring songs from the ‘60s.  Staring with mildly scandalized expressions at the hairstyles and fashions shown on grainy old Ed Sullivan clips, I saw tune after tune scroll up the screen.
A [...]

Stretch

By Tim Hayes
So after a three-month hiatus, I resumed private boxing lessons last week – this time with a new trainer, since my old one had moved away – and quickly discovered how different this guy’s approach would be.
“Okay, on your belly,” he commanded.  “Now, push up on your hands, keep your arms straight and [...]

The Richest Man In Town

By Tim Hayes
It started bubbling up, right on cue, as I knew it would.

As soon as Mary throws open the front door and waves in half the town, with scatterbrained Uncle Billy carrying a large laundry basket full of bills and coins, dumping it onto the dining room table – I can feel it coming [...]

Blame It On the Amygdala

By Tim Hayes
Personal and professional obligations led me to drive past my high school this weekend – a welcome detour, since one week ago I attended my 40th Class Reunion from that very institution, and had an absolute blast.
In one more piece of evidence that my brain has a mind of its own, I completely, [...]

Bobby Knew

By Tim Hayes
The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m.  Rarely a pleasant or welcome sign.  But this day, I let it slide.  This day, I had work to do.  A mission to fulfill.
I lumbered out of bed, crawled into the shower, let the hot water and foamy sudsy soap spur the brain cells into a [...]

Do Your Duty

By Tim Hayes
Finally, silence.
All of the hum-and-rattle, after all of the doomsday warnings of looming cataclysm, after all of the noise and misdirection carried into our living rooms and car radios by an unending onslaught of ridiculously logic-free commercials – it’s all over.  Finally.
It’s just you and your conscience, alone in front of a ballot.  [...]

The Other

By Tim Hayes
The Other.  Who is it?
The easiest target in the world, that’s who.  It doesn’t require much thought, analysis, planning, or empathy.  Just point and click.  Easy.
Poof!  An enemy has been created, custom-ordered to your own conflicting simultaneous senses of both externally expressed superiority and internally suppressed insecurity.
Instant fear.  Immediate anxiety.  Do-it-yourself animosity, anger, [...]