Fewer Americans are attending traditional church services. Fewer are attending Catholic schools, too.
According to Gallup, the number of Americans who belong to a church, synagogue or mosque continued to decline last year, dropping below 50 percent for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend.
And thanks to the COVID pandemic, ABC ...Read more
You can’t escape politics anywhere now - not even in America’s once great pastime, baseball.
A “pastime,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably.”
Boy, did the Pittsburgh Pirates accomplish that for me most of my early life.
Pirates radio broadcasts on KDKA...Read more
Springtime has arrived in Washington, D.C.
The National Cherry Blossom festival is underway. Some 3,700 cherry trees, given to America by the Japanese in 1912, will soon be in full bloom.
I lived in the D.C. area nearly eight years and always looked forward to this time of year.
Family and friends would visit to see the magnificent ...Read more
When I grew up in the 1970s, my father taught my sisters and me to “always save for a rainy day.”
He was a child of the Depression, after all, one of the longest “rainy day” periods Americans have ever experienced.
In 2021, however, America’s new national mantra appears to be “borrow and spend like the Sun will always shine!”...Read more
It was on St. Patrick's Day 1988 when an unexpected visitor arrived at Pat Troy's Irish pub in Alexandria, Va - President Ronald Reagan.
Though the pub is now closed, it had been a favorite watering hole for Washington insiders for more than 30 years. Some of Reagan's advance men had been regulars. They secretly arranged the president's visit...Read more
Is the world finally coming to grips with the wrongs I endured as a child growing up in the 1970s?
I came of age before 24-hour cable news channels sensationalized childhood abductions and made every parent in America terrified that their kid was likely to become the next victim.
We ‘70s kids were in constant physical danger - real ...Read more
Get this: A study by McGill University has found that more money does not necessarily make people in low-income countries happier.
I like more money as much as the next guy, but that does not surprise me.
People in developing countries like Bangladesh may not have high incomes and own lots of nice material things, but they do have an ...Read more
Coffee. I need coffee. And sleep. And food.
I picked up my Lab puppy, Thurber, four days ago. I have spent every waking moment since happily tending to the little guy’s considerable needs.
Before I got him, I was cocksure I’d mastered the proper training techniques to bend my little guy’s will to mine.
“No dog of mine is going ...Read more
It’s February. It’s cold. To fend off the winter blahs, I dream of one day retiring to a warm beach, where I’ll stand in the surf, sipping beverages from glasses with little umbrellas in them.
I spend hours using the Social Security Benefits Calculator to determine how much Social Security will pay me, after I’ve paid in many ...Read more
I love winter. I love snow. I love making a roaring fire in my fireplace on a chilly day. But I hate one thing about this time of year: taxes.
February is rough for the self-employed. It's rough because my 1099 forms - official records of how much my clients paid me last year - arrive in the mail.
As the 1099s roll in, I hope and pray I ...Read more
Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and D.C.'s delegate in the U.S. House, is on to something big!
A longtime champion of, and leader on, civil rights and free speech issues, she has a clear mastery of common sense.
You see, the west side of the U.S. Capitol grounds has long been the place for sledding when the occasional snowstorm hits ...Read more
The country is divided, in massive debt, and our future isn’t looking so good - but thankfully, I have more immediate worries to consume my energies.
Girl Scout cookies are back.
I’m on a diet, you see - the same diet I’m on every year at this time as I struggle to lose the weight I put on during the holiday season.
This year ...Read more
America could use a hearty laugh right now, but laughter doesn’t come easily because too many Americans have lost their sense of humor.
Humor, says Merriam-Webster, is “the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny.”
We are at our best when we’re amused. Few things can better reduce stress or shed light on truth ...Read more
Without grace, our public discourse will continue to suffer.
“Grace,” according to Dictionary.com, has more than one meaning, but all of them are powerful.
Grace is “a pleasing or attractive quality,” as well as "favor or goodwill.”
In a religious sense, grace is “a virtue or excellence of divine origin” - a gift from God ...Read more
My new puppy entered the world on Christmas and he’s already bringing incredible joy into my family - just as many dogs, cats and other bundles of joy are doing for millions during these unusual times.
I drove to Punxsutawney over the weekend to choose a Labrador puppy. Sunny, the Lab mom, and Tank, the proud Lab dad, produced nine healthy ...Read more
The older I get, the more I am turning into my father.
You see, the world makes less sense to me every day. My fellow man puzzles me more every day.
I cite exhibit A: crappy stone walls. I know a woman who recently paid $10,000 to have a stone retaining wall built along her driveway.
Now I used to be a stonemason - I rebuilt close to ...Read more
We got blanketed with 10 inches of snow last week and I loved it - because I love how snow slows us down and brings us to our senses.
When it snows in Pittsburgh, people pour out into the streets. We shovel our sidewalks and driveways, invigorated by the crisp air and some vigorous activity.
We sip hot coffee and catch up with neighbors, ...Read more