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Instant Karma

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Thirty-two thousand feet above Middle America, I saw my wife smile. What made that amazing was that I was in seat 2D on AirTran flight 409…

Learning how to die

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Paul Singer is dying. If you have read this newspaper for any length of time, say the last decade or so, then you know him.…

Winning in a losing game

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Within a span of months, Americans went from being awash in cash to being misers searching out stray pennies. The villains were cast with the…

The perfect day

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net I am a hopeless optimist.  Every single day I hold out hope for the perfect day; but for reasons I can’t quite explain, the reality…

The cell phone cell

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net Let’s see a show of hands. Who here has a cell phone? Yeah, that’s right, raise your hand if you have a cell phone. Hmmm…everyone? No,…

The grass is greener on the beach

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net In Iowa there are approximately two people and 15 cows and pigs per square mile and the threat of being shot while behind the wheel…

The next thing I knew…

  By MITCH TRAPHAGENmitch@observernews.netI got the much-feared “call in the middle of the night.” Except it wasn’t night — it was in the afternoon. My Mom needed heart surgery. It…

Man spends 30 minutes of his life to return shopping cart!

  By MITCH TRAPHAGEN mitch@observernews.net I saw him just after I turned into the Walmart parking lot from Highway 301. He was an old man, moving very slowly. As I…

Just like old times

By Mitch Traphagenmitch@observernews.net The Ruskin I returned to in 2010 is much like the Ruskin I found in 1994. There was no boom back then. Homes were cheap and jobs…

Shifting gears

By MITCH TRAPHAGENmitch@observernews.net Frank Kruse died last week. No, you don’t know him. For that matter, I didn’t really know him, either, and it has been nearly 30 years since…