Off the sickbed, back to the cubicle

I’m about recovered from a bad cold this past week that laid me up. I worked a half-day Tuesday, to finish a nearly completed column drafted the Friday before, and managed another half-day Wednesday, in which I began my annual desk-clearing column by beginning to (duh) clear my desk, but Thursday and Friday I was out of it and stayed home. Thus, no column Friday or Sunday.

As I write this Sunday evening, I’m not quite back to normal, but feeling much better, thanks, and planning to be back at my desk Monday for, I hope, a full day. What a way to start a new year, huh?

While what I had would not have qualified as the flu, the great Roger Miller song “Lou’s Got the Flu” came to mind, and it’s shared above because it’s a hoot.

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A book talk in Chino

About 20 people showed up for my talk Saturday morning at the Chino Museum, 5493 B St., hosted by the Chino Valley Historical Society. I yakked about my career, read selections from my books “Pomona A to Z” and “Getting Started,” took questions, and sold and signed books. It was my first event in Chino and, one hopes, not my last. The museum is stuffed with objects to look at and merits a return visit.

The sign out on the sidewalk was a flattering touch.

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Column: So it goes: a Vonnegut tour of Dresden

In Sunday’s column, I wrap up my series about my trip to Germany by writing about Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and my visit to the Dresden slaughterhouse where he was held as a POW.

Above, Donilo Hommel, center, shows us the renovated slaughterhouse at left where Vonnegut appears to have been held, across from the power building at right; below, I stand outside the entrance to Schlachthof 5/Slaughterhouse Five, marked by a sign put up by fans.

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Column: German visit provides food for thought, tastebuds

For Wednesday’s column, I write a little about the customs but mostly about the food and beverages from Germany and from my overnight jaunt to the Czech Republic. Above, three types of sausages, with sauerkraut and potatoes, in Dresden; below, a knuckle, sauerkraut and bread dumplings, also in Dresden; at bottom, the staff at a Prague shop prepare trdelniks.

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Column: An inexperienced traveler finds his way around Berlin, Prague

I don’t know how you stood the suspense, but Wednesday’s column, following up on last Wednesday’s, gives you the outline of my vacation to Europe, as well as explaining why this was a big deal for yours truly. Whether you’ve traveled more or less than I have, I hope you like it.

Above, a view of Lutherhaus, the former monastery in Wittenberg, Germany, where religious reformer Martin Luther and his wife lived.

In the next week or two, I hope to write a column on the foods and culture; It’s partly written but was set it aside in midstream for an overall column on the trip and its meaning first. Unless there’s a sense I’m running the topic into the ground, I may write one on Dresden, after I finish reading “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

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Column: How was his Ford F-150 rental? Bro-tastic

I’m hoping to write a fuller column on my vacation, but jumping ahead of that in line was the story of what happened to me when I got home. Namely, I’d somehow lost my house and car keys. I managed to rent a vehicle, and the only one available was kind of comical — but perfect for a humor columnist. I write about the experience in Wednesday’s column. Above, shot by Rick Sforza, I’m dwarfed by my temporary ride.

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