A puzzle: What to write about this week | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 2/11/22

If you are a columnist producing this weekly local news(?) column focused on Port Ludlow and/or Eastern Jefferson County, what do you do if you can’t figure out what to write about? 

It …

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A puzzle: What to write about this week | Life in Ludlow

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If you are a columnist producing this weekly local news(?) column focused on Port Ludlow and/or Eastern Jefferson County, what do you do if you can’t figure out what to write about? 

It has been really quiet. So, I turned to my friends John and Lucrezia Paxson. 

After all, they had distinguished careers in journalism and should be great sources of inspiration. I mean, go ahead, ask John about his “Emmy” awards. 

After many years reporting for ABC Lucrezia is now a professor at Washington State teaching communications. I ask you, why wouldn’t they be the perfect people to ask for advice on a subject or theme for this column? 

I’ll tell you why, their answer to my plea was “write about Groundhog’s Day.” I’m sorry but even my BS factor is struggling. 

As an Economics major in college, I could spend some ink writing about inflation. 

I know about inflation because I can absolutely confirm that the shirt I have on now cost more than my first car. 

I can also use that car as a lesson in business since I bought it for $25 and sold it for $50. I mean, how do you think I can afford this shirt? 

Continuing the “car” thread there are the cars BJ and I have bought over the years. When BJ was a senior in college at DePauw she had enough money to buy a 1965 beige Ford Falcon with a “three on the tree” transmission, affectionately known as “Guts Ball.”

Less than two years later she and I were a thing and I convinced her to trade it in on a butternut yellow 1967 Chevy Malibu. Hey, we needed a car to pull a trailer. 

Shortly after she/we traded in the Falcon, BJ’s brother returned from Viet Nam and promptly went and bought it. 

The car sales folks involved in these transactions were the beneficiaries of, you guessed it, capitalism and we were naïve young people. 

As regular readers know, I can write interminably about cars, but I will try to avoid the subject for the rest of the column. 

How about those Olympics? Fake snow, excessive cold, bad food, quarantines, COVID tests, TV announcers in Stamford, Connecticut whilst the games are in Beijing and elsewhere in China. The pundits are claiming that the Olympics held in China in 2008 signaled a “coming out” of Chinese society while these Winter Olympics are exposing a much more controlled culture. I certainly am not suggesting I am an expert on China or the Olympics, but it does appear strange at best. 

If I can circle back to the subject of business, I can tell you that this household, and probably yours, gets a bunch of stuff made by Chinese companies. Heck, I even ordered some U.S.-made N95 COVID masks from Amazon but I received the equally effective Chinese made KN95 masks. 

I said I would avoid the car subject but alas, I cannot. Tesla’s biggest factory as measured by the number of employees is in Shanghai, China while their biggest market is California. Porsche’s biggest market for their cars made in Germany has moved from California to China. 

It is clear that other nations do not completely share our values nor we theirs but it is also clear we are dependent on each other for goods and services. In the long run people’s abilities and needs across national lines will meld nations together in spite of characters like Vladimir Putin. 

In addition, the majority of the competitors in the Olympics are positive, engaging people rarely interested in the shenanigans of their governments. 

So, I remain optimistic about many things in the world from the healing of my sore hip to the effects of capitalism even though Punxsutawney Phil foresaw six more weeks of winter. What did the groundhog’s trainer tell him before the Olympics? Gopher gold!   

Love a curmudgeon, Happy Valentine’s Day and have a great week! 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. He wanted to write this column just about the Olympics, but Bob Sled did not return his text. Then he thought he’d write about the Australian team, but Boomer Rang did not get back to him. Reach Ned at ned@ptleader.com.)

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