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Carl Sampson

A Grin at the End: Cloud breaks – Seizing the opportunities

I have never paid much attention to the weather. After all, what’s the point? There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Plus, the weather forecast is always more of a best guess than a guarantee. Even the meteorologists seem confounded. We’re supposed to be in the middle of an El Niño. In general, that means we should be […]

Carl Sampson

A Grin at the End: Lessons in fortune – Realizing how lucky we are

As we come down the home stretch of 2023, it’s time to take an inventory. Some of the major events of the year: Went snorkeling with the family in Hawaii. Check. Didn’t drown. Check. Took about 20 minutes to recuperate from not drowning. Check. Took about 30 seconds to figure out that I might have a problem more serious than […]

Carl Sampson

A Grin at the End: Money – It’s not always the root of all evil

By Carl Sampson The other day I was eavesdropping on a conversation about capitalism. The gist of it was that capitalism is bad and some people have too much money, while others don’t have enough. Furthermore, according to this discussion, rich people are not nice enough or generous enough. As Deion Sanders, my new favorite college football coach, would say, that’s a […]

Carl Sampson

A Grin at the End: Troubadours – Singing the stories of our lives

I was heading to the store for another batch of stool softener — if you’re over 70 you’ll understand — when I heard the news: Jimmy Buffett had died.  I’m not prone to emotions, but this did make me sad. Not “boo-hoo” sad; more like “that’s too bad” sad. His music had followed me through a big chunk of my […]

Carl Sampson

A Grin at the End: A heart full of thanks – A life-saving surprise

I recently turned 70 and got the best birthday present ever – a new lease on life. What I had self-diagnosed as industrial-strength heartburn turned out to be something else entirely. Only the persistence of my doctor led to the correct diagnosis. While I noticed the heartburn came and went, depending on whether I was walking uphill, she saw the […]

A Grin at the End: AI – Learn the true meaning

By Carl Sampson It’s the end of the world, again. I’m not talking about the banking system, which sets itself on fire every few years. Nor am I talking about inflation, which features Congress spraying down the economy with trillions of dollars and amping up inflation at the same time the Federal Reserve is jacking up interest rates to slow […]

A Grin at the End: The good, the bad… and the handy!

About 20 years ago I was ensconced in my La-Z-Boy trying to figure out some stuff. The immediate topic at hand was how to make television better. No, I wasn’t thinking about what shows folks would watch; I was thinking about when they could watch them. “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go on the internet and pick […]

A Grin at the End: Power of choice – A ballot of ideas

We’re going to hire a new CEO for the state of Oregon next month, and the sparks are flying, as independent and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson has the Democratic candidate, former Speaker of the House Tina Kotek in attack mode. Apparently, Kotek’s getting nervous. Meanwhile, the Republican candidate, former House minority leader Christine Drazan, seems to be running a […]

A Grin at the End: Heroes – Reminders of the past

I live in a neighborhood populated by heroes. I’m not talking about Spandex-wearing, pumped-up guys and gals appearing soon at a multiplex near you. I am talking about everyday heroes. The kind of people who pulled their weight in life and as a part of society. They raised families, worked at jobs. They offered a hand to those who needed […]

A Grin at the End: Finally ready – Nadine’s gift

“I’m ready to die,” she said, turning her head toward the apartment window. I looked at my mother-in-law, Nadine Stack, not knowing what to say. This was three years ago, and at age 97 she was in good health and still able to get around. She was even a member of the beanbag baseball team at Mount Angel Towers, the […]