Volume 12, Issue 53 ~ • December 30, 2004 - January 5, 2005
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Burton on the Bay
by Bill Burton

Looking Back over the Year that Was …

The Future Can Keep Its Secrets;
I Like Surprises

New Year’s Eve is best not for fathoming the future but for reflecting on the past.

—January 1

Who’d Want to Eat Brains, Anyway?
I’ll take my prime rib medium rare.

—January 8

Cold Is a Matter of Degrees
Baby, is it really cold outside? It depends not only the outdoor temperature at the time you ask but also on whom you ask.

—January 15

A Rose with Thorns
Pete Rose seems to think he is entitled to a fourth strike.

—January 22

Snow’s Second Morning
Life in the out-of-doors, even in vegetation against a house, can be harsh.

—January 29

One Blessing of Age:
All My Daughters Are Married

I’ve been married more than once, and the total tab for all my weddings probably wasn’t much more than the price of today’s wedding cake.

—February 5

The Boob Tube Re-Earns Its Title
I’m no prude, but enough is enough.

—February 12

Percolating Out There Somewhere, a Good Idea
There’s something about the gradually changing color of liquid bubbling in the clear glass dome that makes one glad to face a new day.

—February 19

The Enemy Is Us
When we’re placing blame for the state of Chesapeake Bay, let’s not point fingers unless we can turn the index finger back toward ourselves.

—February 26

Hail to Shad, the Fish that Fed American Independence
If America’s fight for independence came in the past 30 years and our patriots had to depend on shad for subsistence, we’d have been losers.

—March 4

So Long, Subaru;
I Luvbass and So Does My Saturn

When a Marylander deals in any form of private transportation, the Bureau of Bureacratic Bumbling comes in play.

—March 11

Not Just for Kids:
Books Make Good Friends

Beware of the man of one book.

—March 18

The Sap is Rising
At sugaring time in Vermont, I journeyed north to re-live the past.

—March 25

Two Points of View: Innocence and Experience Visit the Beach
As the beach was being groomed and graded, I could hear the roar of the surf hungry to start gobbling minuscule white crystals.

—April 1

Warm or Cold, Spring Is Welcome
Pity those who don’t find time to welcome spring.

—April 8

Big Baits Catch Big Fish
Fishermen continually experiment, and maybe something entirely different will work out this season.

—April 15

Out-Faxed: I’m Pulling the Plug
About 900 pages arrive via my Sharp UX-510 in a year’s time.

—April 22

Airport Insecurity
Ah for the choo-choos, with their big comfortable seats and boarding not so far from the ticket counter: no seat belts and confinement, no turbulence — and until lately just cursory searches.

—April 29

We Old Timers Were Made Well to Last Long
Hey, they knew how to make cars in ’49.

—May 6

Lighthouses are Fishermen’s Friends
I like to think I have learned much about the ways of hoodwinking a creature with fins to take a bait and the wheres to find that fish.

—May 13

Multiculturalism: The Latest Buzz
To hear the buzz, one would have thought that George W. Bush announced Saddam Hussein would be his running mate next fall.

—May 20

We’ve Made the Patapsco an Ugly Duckling of a River
But Joe Stewart and I love it.

—May 27

Grumpy and Bill’s Bargain Adventures
Some things are still free in America, with others “for a small fee in America.”

—June 3

It’s Not Only about Oil, But Also about How We’re Wasting It
We are as much of an enemy of ourselves as are Iraqi terrorists today or that nation itself before the invasion.

—June 10

Seasoned with PCBs: Toxic Chemicals Put Bay Catches on the Warning List
The public has a right to know, before they make their choices.

—June 17

Marooned with No Landmarks
I fear Annapolis Towne Center at Parole will become just a mall-promenade complex of the type you’ll find in any city across the nation. Nothing that says “this is Annapolis,” or to me, “you’re almost home.”

—June 24

Farewell Bill Schmick
Credibility, integrity and caring were bywords of the publisher of the Baltimore Sunpaper.

—July 1

Bug Off!
I’ve been among the fortunate few who don’t have a big problem with mosquitoes. But I’m not anxious to take a chance with West Nile Virus.

—July 8

Big Demand for a Little Fish
Of late, we’ve been overfishing menhaden. Really not we; rather, the commercial fleet out of Reedville, Virginia.

—July 15

A Weak Link in the Bay’s Food Chain
I wouldn’t be surprised if at some time or other, menhaden has ended up in the stomachs of just about any finfish from white perch up.

—July 22

Conventional Wisdom: Why Bother?
We can only hope there will be more excitement when the GOP faithful gather, something like George W. dumping Dick Cheney in favor of Sen. John McCain to give his campaign a much needed boost.

—July 29

Car Culture Goes to the Dogs — Junkyard, Dogs
Will auto junkyards and their dogs take over the nation

—August 5

The New Math of Bay Restoration Doesn’t Add Up
I am bewildered by the difference between what I see and what those who should know tell me.

—August 12

Of Squirrels, Mice and Me
The last time I saw a squirrel working on a nest in midsummer was back in the 1970s, when winter was severe enough that big portions of the Bay were frozen over solid.

—August 19

This Old Man Caught up with Boyhood Dreams
Vivid reflection flavors what is left of life.

—August 26

I Can Bear-ly Contain Myself
Bears are bigger than deer, nutria or mute swans. Are we willing to let them get out of hand at the risk of then trying to play catch-up?

—September 2

Before School, Life Is Sweet
Once school starts, life will be different: There’ll be schedules to meet, more formal discipline, less self-rule and rising early. Forever after, it will get increasingly complex.

—September 9

Catching the Basse
We call it a fishing party, for there’s nothing you need do but catch.

—September 16

When Species Collide
Airstrikes by waterfowl can be as frightening as it gets, but surface strikes with a landlocked wildlife species are no picnic.

—September 23

The Saga of Compass Pointe Golf Course
Since you and I are expected to be caddies lugging around golf bags filled with, not clubs but greenbacks, let’s hope management, politicians, bureaucrats and golfers are big tippers.

—September 30

Wearing My Other Hat
With six kids, 11 grandkids and 1 great-grandchild, I’ve plenty to do as curator of the Burton Family Museum.

—October 7

In Memory of Cash Money
Many readers won’t believe this, but once upon a time, money was saved before it was spent.

—October 14
Meet Me in St. Louie, Reader …

Baseball might be called a gentlemen’s game of strategy — if those who hit and catch would only spit and scratch themselves in private places a bit less.

—October 28

Autumnal Fields Suit Me Fine
This is a time of change on the east lawn. I never know what I’ll see next.

—November 4

Tilting at Windmills
We want alternative energy — as long as it isn’t in our back yard.

—November 11

What Everyone Wants to Know About Chesapeake Bay — And Isn’t Afraid to Ask
If toes are stepped on, so be it. If heads roll, let there be more Ichabod Cranes.

—November 18

Changing Seasons in the Life of a Hunter
Deer season in Maryland starts once again on the traditional Saturday after Thanksgiving.

—November 24

The Sun Vs. The Gov
It isn’t easy to suffer in silence, so when the opportunity arises for paybacks, don’t let the bus go by.

—December 2

Shopping for the Women in My Life
Fathers, grandfathers and Santa are the heroes of Christmas, giving the toys that produce the shouts of glee.

—December 9

Recall Your Christmas Past to Sweeten Your Christmas Present
With all the freebies in Santa’s sack stamped with Made in the North Pole, for one big day we’d not be reminded that everything these days is made in China.

—December 16

In Bay Restoration, What Comes First?
The whole egg we know as Chesapeake Bay could end up like Humpty Dumpty.

—December 23

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.