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Zak of All Trades: How I got to be so overweight...

August 16, 2013

Unless I'm cracking jokes, my weight is not a topic of discussion I like to bring up a whole lot. I'm what most folks would call a "big guy," and I've always been OK with that. But lately, I've noticed that I've even let OK slip away.

Eating, for me, feels kind of like a sick addiction. A nicotine addict has to have a dip or a cigarette — it's more than a want — but food's a bit different, because we really do need food. I could live a long, healthy life without nicotine, but without food, I'd starve.

McGuire's Musings: The end of summer

August 16, 2013

Someone told me the other day that "summer is over," which I personally find offensive.

How could someone say such words to me when we haven't even had summertime weather as of yet?

So, I've decided to ignore this announcement, which was based solely on the chilly weather we've had as of late.

When I was child, the words I grew to hate were "back to school sales are going on."

Zak of All Trades: Some things just go together, don't you think?

August 9, 2013

Some things were just meant to go together, weren't they?

We learn this fact from the time we're a very young age — and a lot of that experience comes through the portal of our taste buds.

When we are eating our lunches, we crave things that go together. We start dipping things into other things — testing the water to see whether or not this goes well with that. I honestly think it's an instinctual reaction; but if not, it's at least one we learn from others very quickly.

They took them from us too soon

August 2, 2013

The old saying — based on the song — says that "only the good die young." And while I suppose that's partially true, at least, because I believe we all have at least a little bit of good in us, I've always struggled with that statement.

I think a lot of folks who die young probably aren't what we'd call "good" folks. But on many more occasions than we'd like to face, one of the good ones is taken from us way too early in life — in their lives and in ours.

When cancer took my grandpa from us, he was well along in his years — not many would have called him young — but I remember

So what's the deal with orange juice with pulp?

August 2, 2013

So what's the deal with orange juice with pulp? Does anybody prefer it that way? I don't see where chewing my orange juice makes it any more delectable.

I feel that OJ that needs to be run through a Brita filter is something that shouldn't be sold to the public. With OJ with pulp, I feel if I really wanted to, I could reconstruct part of orange from the pieces left behind. Maybe I could use tomato paste to glue it together since they are fellow fruits.

Zak of All Trades: It's time a winning tradition returns to Pittsburgh

July 19, 2013

For those of us who are sports fans, it's been a rough couple of days.

I'm writing this column on Friday morning, and it's been about five days now since I've watched or listened to a meaningful game for one of our Pittsburgh teams.

With a sports schedule specifically designed to keep the fan constantly entertained, this is a rarity in Pittsburgh.

All year, we have something going on, and only in football season do we encounter such a regular layoff. We've grown accustomed to that.

McGuire's Musings: There's no jumping on the bandwagon when you're a hard-core fan

July 19, 2013

Welcome to jumping on the bandwagon!!! The Bucco bandwagon that is.

If you're not a baseball fan, I'm talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates, who haven't had a winning season since 1992.

Back when I was a kid growing up, in Parma, Ohio, in 1962, I enjoyed listening to Cleveland Indians games on the radio at night (back then, there were like 50 games a year on television).

I also enjoyed keeping score, which you don't see much of anymore, at Pirates games or any games.

The most distressing thing about my years of following the Indians was that they never won anything.

We're all searching for the perfect metaphor

July 12, 2013

Recently, we've been receiving résumés and conducting interviews to fill our vacant sports writer position, and I'm going to tip off anyone who interviews with me in the future here, but one of the questions that I just love to ask is this: "We're in the business of telling stories, so what's your story?"

And you know what I love about this question? It's so open-ended and vague, that it forces a bit of on-the-spot creativity — or it did until I just gave it away.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bit off

June 28, 2013

I was talking to my grandma the other day at our weekly lunch appointment, and through our conversation — and not because she came out and said it — I realized that I might be a little bit off.

I don't think I'm full-on crazy or anything (but then again, who does, right?), but it started to dawn on me that maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bit off.

What made me realize it was that I was describing something that I thought was a common experience among all of humanity, and she didn't seem to share the same sentiment with me.

Random Thoughts: So you think you know your state?

June 28, 2013

Everyone knows that Pennsylvania has a rich and colorful history, but what trivial facts do you really know about the state?

Do you know, for instance, that Pennsylvania is called a commonwealth rather than a state?

And everyone should have learned in history class that our nickname is the Keystone State, but what does the word "Pennsylvania" mean?

Everyone knows that the first part was named for William Penn, the founder of the state.

Well, not quite. The government of King Charles II in 1681 owed Penn's father, Admiral William Penn, a great deal of money.

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