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What really happened to Old Man Graham?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Oh, it must have been one heck of a mighty day when Lassen Peak violently erupted May 22, 1915 and hurled volcanic ash as far as 200 miles to the east — the last eruption in the Cascade Range except for Mt. St. Helens, which exploded in Washington state in 1980.

I’ve been to the top of Lassen Peak, and looked down into the two craters the eruptions created. Scanning the horizon from the summit, Mt. Shasta looms large in the distance, and looking back toward Lassen County one can see the Caribou Wilderness and Lake Almanor off to the east.

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Don’t forget Mom this Sunday

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — The instruction to honor your mother stretches perhaps as far back when God gave Moses two stone tablets on Mt. Sinai engraved with the 10 Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, as reported in both Exodus and Deuteronomy in the Bible — although it’s hard to imagine that admonition wasn’t already common in ancient times.

The origins of Mother’s Day in the United States are murky. It is not a federal or state holiday.

Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe proposed a Mother’s Day celebration to encourage pacifism and disarmament among women in Boston, but that celebration faded after about a decade.

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It may be only April, but fire season has arrived

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — As the state of California continues to confront one of the worst droughts in history this spring, fire season has already arrived in Northeastern California.

Just last week in Lassen County, firefighters responded to a couple of small suspected lightning-caused wildfires — one off Cheney Creek Road and another near Devil’s Corral — and a wildfire recently burned about 100 acres in Plumas County.

Like it or not, fire season is here.

Residents, ranchers and firefighters alike must endure what Mother Nature throws at us — lightning causes fires, and there’s nothing we can do can do change that.

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Beware of choices that lead to sitting on the sidelines

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — A few years ago there was a commercial (not sure what it was for) that featured a young woman using social media and the Internet to interact with people and experience life. She was critical of her parents who only had a few friends on Facebook.

While she was discussing the sad state her out-of-touch parents were in, the camera cut to a scene showing them mountain biking with friends. In other words they were participating and interacting in person.

Too many live on the sidelines rather than participating. They skip events, bypass opportunities and create bucket lists because they are too busy, too broke, too shy, too scared or too complacent.

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We live on a very, very small planet

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — Ah, I was happily noodlin’ away on some countryesque guitar licks in the A minor pentatonic scale, completely absorbed in practicing my full-step bends and doublestops in various positions up and down the neck, when Cindie looked out the sliding glass door in the afternoon Sunday, April 19 and noticed Diamond Mountain blanketed in a gray haze of wildfire smoke.

“Must be a fire somewhere,” she said, but I couldn’t find any information on a fire in our area or even anyone who knew of a fire here in Lassen County. Still, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Then, Monday morning as I’m gulping down my second mug of Joe, son of a cosmonaut, the TV weather guy mentions we’re seeing smoke from fires burning in Siberia carried all the way across the Pacific Ocean by the jet stream.

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Friday, July 31, 2015