Mrs Dykowski... gears up for August

Preparing the paper for August, which we’re anticipating will be quite hectic, has me in the office a little more than usual this week. 

We’ve been having lunch here. The girls have been napping here, and I’ve been doing what I can to make it homey for them. 

It makes me think about the history of work and family. A long time ago it was most common to live where you worked and involve your children in your trade. 

Generally the line between work and family was pretty blurry. 

The Citizen feels that way to me on weeks like this. 

The staff feels like a part of our family. 

We sometimes get a little curt when work is tense, but we try to get over it quickly. 

Other times we get a little silly. We call it the Tuesdays, but it can strike almost any day of the week. 

Our interoffice instant message boards are filled with silly memos, inside jokes and deep discussions of movies and music.


One Reporter's Ramblings: In defense of dog

There are two things that the internet loves: controversy and cute pets. (To be fair, I could add a few more things to that list, but they aren’t on-topic, and this is a family newspaper.)

Since social media is a hotbed of arguments about what the proper name for sodas are and videos of dogs complaining about having to take a bath, it was only natural that an editorial about dogs as parasites would attract some attention.

On July 11, The San Diego Union-Tribune posted an editorial by Chris Reed: ‘Let’s be honest, America: Dogs are parasites, not man’s best friend.’
The column cites a few recent stories about expensive dog luxuries such as brand-name clothing, spa treatments and even plastic surgery. It also references the books, “One Nation under Dog” by Michael Schaffer and “The Truth About Dogs” by Stephen  Budiansky, which respectively describe more wasteful pet purchases and the evolution of dogs as a parasite exploiting the parental instinct in humans.


Mrs. Dykowski... drives a minivan

Y’all it’s happened, and I never thought it would. 

I’m in love ... with my minivan. 

I thought you would have to drag me kicking and screaming into a white whale like Destiny, my pre-owned Chrysler Pacifica. 

She’s named for a cartoon whale in “Finding Dory,” one of Darci’s favorite movies. Also, because I feel like destiny has brought us together. 

I’m kidding — well, kind of. 

I’m sure you’ve heard about the freak accident that ended the life of my preivous mom-car, Betty. 

She got booped right into the front of the Citizen building.

So, she had to be replaced. 

I did a spit-take when my father-in-law suggested a minivan. 

After all, I’m not even 30. I still occasionally like to put on my sunglasses and listen to NSYNC like I’m in 10th grade. 

Uh oh, I think that dates me.  

Out of respect for my elders, though, I looked at it online. 

It looked ugly — but not that ugly. 


One Reporter's Ramblings: Misremembering 101

Who can forget classic film lines such as “Luke, I am you father;” “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” or “Play it again, Sam”

Better question: Who can remember that all three of the quotes above are wrong.

Darth Vader replies to Luke saying, “No, I am your father.” (Sorry if I spoiled the ending of a 30-year-old movie.)

The wicked stepmother in “Snow White” asked “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” 

Meanwhile, Ingrid Bergman (not Humphrey Bogart as many remember) said “Play it, Sam” in “Casablanca.”

This type of collective false memory is known as the Mandela Effect, a term which was coined by Fiona Broome who started a website devoted to the term after she noticed that many people seemed to have memories of


The Publisher's Desk: Daddy-daughter doctor visit

My daughter teaches me over and over that 2-year-old’s are good at getting the best of you. 

Darci had a six-month check-up last week since she’s now 21/2 years old. 

Because I’m not brave enough to teach her how to drive, I took her. 

She was fairly excited about an outing with just the two of us. 

She was less excited about seeing a doctor. 

She finally confessed her fears: I’m not going to get a shot, she declared while flipping through a magazine in the waiting room. 

I honestly didn’t know if she was due for any vaccinations, so I had to confess so. 

You might have to get a shot.

Is it going to hurt? I followed up. 

But that’s OK, I continued. 
No, it’s really not OK. 

Shots are good for us, I countered. 
Well, probably they’re not, she shot back, with a conviction in her voice that betrayed that her probably came more from politeness than doubt. 


One reporter's ramblings: Make-up and making up drama

What a manly title for a column, huh?

I’ve never been one for reality TV, with a few very specific exceptions.

These include cooking shows, nature documentaries and River Monsters, which plays like a cold-case detective show and high-stakes fishing show rolled into one.

These programs are all missing one thing that is common in most other reality shows I’ve tried: melodrama.

Very few shows on Food Network have someone look at the camera and swear revenge on another person on the show. They just, you know, cook food.

That’s why I was initially hesitant to watch “Face Off,” a show about make-up effects artists competing for bragging rights, cash prizes and better careers.

I’m a few seasons into the long-running show and am enjoying it as much as my wife thought I would, but I’m glad the editors have left the drama behind. 


Mrs. Dykowski... wants to freeze time

It rang out and echoed joyfully around the living room — Audrey’s first belly laugh. 

Is there anything sweeter than a baby laugh? 

I expect that I will look back on this year as one of the happiest motherhood years of my life. 

Darci says something hilarious every single day.

I decided last weekend to dust off my rusty college Spanish and try to speak just Spanish during dinner one evening. 

Darci wanted seconds, so I told her to try to ask in Spanish, told her how and she did it, mimicking my terrible accent.

Bless her heart. 

Speaking of terrible Spanish accents, we’ve finally figured out how to cut down on Darci’s daily naptime drama — “The Story of Ferdinand.” 

She likes to “read” herself to sleep every day. After reading it every day, she has most of the book memorized. You should hear her say Bandarilleros and Picadores ­— peek-uh-doh-dohs. 


Mrs. Dykowski... takes on the Farm Bill

After intending to for a couple of years now, I’m finally getting around to reading Elmer Kelton’s “The Time It Never Rained.” 

I’m not far into it, since motherhood is not exactly conducive to long uninterrupted reading sessions. 

But the premise of the novel — a rancher who is opposed to government assistance tries to weather one of the worst droughts in Texas history — got me thinking about the farm bill. 

I’m a farmer’s daughter and my brother is the associate director of field operations at Farm Bureau. While I’m still not sure exactly what his job title means, I know that passion for agriculture is in our blood. 

So I’ve been looking for an opportunity to really dig into information about the farm bill.

Will a bill be passed? What will be in it? What is the hold up? 

I generally avoid keeping up with anything political, it’s one of the perks of being a high-school sports writer as opposed to general news. 


The Publisher's Desk: Thanks to Cindy and the Dublin PO

Cindy Combs can be a passionate fighter when she needs to be. 

Most days I come in the office, and she’s calmly working a project, filing papers, answering phone calls and keeping things generally organized — she’s the thick layer of the glue that holds our office together. 

Sometimes, though, I see another side of Cindy — the fighter. 

Take, for example, our recent problem of paper delivery in two different cities. 

We rely on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver our paper everywhere. 

Our local post office workers are very reliable, always working with us — sometimes through some difficult deadline problems — to get the paper delivered on Thursdays. 

We probably don’t tell them enough how much we appreciate them. 

Some of their sister offices in other cities are not always as accommodating. 

In particular, we have two customers in two different cities out in West Texas who, for some reason, just don’t get their paper. 


One Reporter's Reviews: Adventure in your own (big) backyard

With the arrival of summer, I was thinking back to the many trips and family visits we had growing up.

My cousin, Alan (the closest thing I had to a brother), would come over and we would set up in the pop-up camper, offering a kind of mini-apartment with complete independence from the house — which was about 20 feet away.

The camper was a purchase from when our family would hit the great outdoors several times per year.

Mom and I both remember the breakfasts fondly as bacon and eggs seem to taste better on a gas-powered camp grill. (The scent of mosquito repellent while you eat isn’t quite as appetizing, though.)

I would also take along books and, to my dad’s dismay, a small TV, which would require constant manipulation of the rabbit ears to keep the signal strong.


Subscribe to RSS - Commentary