How I write my “items” columns generally is that I write items as I get information, then compile columns based on what’s pressing, what fits or what goes together well. This means that sometimes items get pushed off from one column to the next, or the next, or sometimes semi-permanently (or until they’re out of date, now and then). To end 2014, Wednesday’s column compiles three items written anywhere from last week to a couple of months ago. The first is the most recent, one last word about my Washington, D.C., trip. Above, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, with the Washington Monument in the background.