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There are many things in this life that aren’t even up for debate since they’re so obvious. For instance, if I set my alarm for anytime earlier than 9 a.m., I’ll hit the snooze three times and hours later will find the clock on the floor missing the battery. We know this.

Awhile back, the head of housekeeping at our castle here in Powell requested my help in a project aimed at sorting through our personal library. This was a reasonable request, since I’m the person responsible for adding 99 percent of the additions to that library.

COLUMN: Creating energy with nothing

Riding with my friend John in his Nissan Leaf, an electric vehicle, the car made no sound at all. With the windows open you can hear the changing of gears on nearby bicycles, and you can hear the breeze in the branches over the boulevards. We were in his town of Fort Collins, Colorado. John works as a sustainability coordinator for a group of hospitals. He was giving me a tour of solar installations all over town, including new construction with the solar panels built right into the roofs; or rather, the roofs were solar panels.

My daughter, Julie Cheatham, and her husband Warren lost their little cabin near Greybull when it was engulfed in flames just before noon on Wednesday, Dec. 28. But, by the grace of God, they and their five children are all safe and well.

At the end of the day, 2016 was a pretty good year. That being said, it went out like a lion and 2017 came in like a lamb. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, with tragic death preceding renewed birth. It is what it is. I just try to take it one year at a time.

What’s in store for our nation in 2017?

Well, I don’t know. When God was handing out gifts, he skipped me when it came time to distribute the gift of prophecy, so I’m a bit uncomfortable predicting the future. I will, however, make one major prognostication about what will happen this year: I am absolutely certain that most of the stuff today’s prophets are handing down won’t happen.

MY LOUSY WORLD: That miracle time of year

It’s that time of year when everyone considering buying me a Christmas gift asks, “What to give a guy who has everything?” It’s true; there are no more TV channels I don’t already get, I have the two perfect dogs and just bought a new (well, a ’97, but clean) truck.

AMEND CORNER: Preparing for the big day

You probably know this already, but just in case you haven’t been paying attention, Christmas is coming.

A beautiful spring Tuesday in 2004 took a sudden turn when flames engulfed Bridger Hall.

The great thing about this time of year is the holiday spirit prompting our generous citizenry to give until it hurts. When I was on the board of the Humane Society, we always appealed to the public for financial aid for our needy animals during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. That’s America.

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