• Offering a variety of educational opportunities is one of the goals for those coordinating the classes in the Master the Possibilities classrooms.

    In the latest catalog, April – June, 60 percent of the programs are offered for the first time, said Dan Dowd, the man in charge of finding interesting new classes as the director of education for the On Top of the World communities.

    Dowd is up to the challenge.

  • As far as I am concerned, traveling is a necessary evil. I suppose if I am going to choose some evil, traveling is as good an evil as anything is. Although I would much rather stay home and get my work done, I need to do some traveling.

    My favorite mode of traveling is the airplane. I just get to my seat, buckle up and let somebody else do the driving ... or the flying as the case may be. I do not have to worry about the route or making some wrong turn. Everything is done for me.

  • The world has seen the pictures. 

    Juden Verboten signs in shop windows and in parks, public humiliation of Jewish citizens in the streets of European cities and towns, descecration of synagogues and Jewish institutions.

    The world has seen the pictures.

    “The Final Solution.”  Jews rounded up and forced into cattle cars for a trip into oblivion, the labor and extermination camps, the emaciated prisoners of the camps, more skeleton than human. 

    The world has seen the pictures. 

  • True crime maven Ann Rule digs into her files for this 2008 collection of under-publicized murders involving vulnerable women and sociopaths. Kate Jewell, an attractive thirty- something flight attendant, was not looking for Mr. Right but thought she stumbled on him serendipity. A vibrantly healthy woman, she was feeling unaccountably sluggish when she checked herself into Bayview Medical Group and met John Brandon, a naturopathic doctor.

  • From the first hint of a developing identity-theft crisis to full-blooming chaos, T. C. Boyle’s novel Talk Talk will have you on the edge of your seat or biting your nails. It’s not quite a thriller but more of a fast-moving detective story within an emotional melodrama.

  • One of a series

    If you think Ocala and Marion County has become all about shopping malls, sprawling development and inconsiderate drivers, take a break to learn what life was like in Marion County from the 1700s on into the 1950s by visiting the Marion County Museum of History at the McPherson Government Complex.

    Early history, as well as more recent Florida history, is well-documented with a variety of displays.

  • It’s often been said that death and taxes are both certain. However, death isn’t annual. That national day of reckoning comes again next Wednesday when your income tax is due. Even if you still have to do your tax return, stop and take a trip down Pun Alley. It may be the only chance you get to have a laugh before April 15.


    “Who can tell me what caused the American Revolution to break out?” the teacher asked her history class.

    “Taxation,” replied a student.

  • Investment planning can be important for several reasons. However, any discussion of investment planning is incomplete without a thorough understanding of the applicable income tax ramifications. Tax planning can help you reduce the cost of your investments. Once you’ve created an investment plan to work toward your various financial goals, you should take advantage of the tax rules to ensure that you maximize after-tax return. In other words, your goal is to select tax-favorable investments that are consistent with your overall investment plans.

  • Last week I was going along just fine. Things were being accomplished and I was rather enjoying myself. Dutifully, I was checking off item after item on my “to-do-list.” I love it when a plan comes together. Just at the height of my exuberance, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage stopped me dead in my tracks with a question.

    She is quite famous, or is it infamous, for pulling these kinds of things on Yours Truly. She has a question for just about every event. Most of her questions are beyond answering, at least for me.

  • A private award ceremony was held at the library on Tuesday, April 7, surprising Jonathan Nardino of Majestic Oaks with a Certificate of Excellence, a button-pin, and a Best Buy gift certificate.

    Queen Heather of Freedom Public Library graciously dubbed the young man Sir Jonathan Nardino. “For his dramatic representation of literature and television personality, Curious George,” saith the Queen, “we, the Staff and Administration . . . do hereby award this Certificate of Excellence . . . naming Sir Jonathan our Performer in Residence.”

  • Feeling the impact of the economy and want to do something to feel better? Imagine what it is like for an elderly shut-in person who lives alone? Often, the simple act of receiving a healthy, nutritious meal can have a huge, positive impact both emotionally and physically for these individuals. For many clients, this is the only daily contact that they will receive. Meals on Wheels Meal delivery takes so little time — as little as one to 1-1/2 hours a day and the end result is that everyone feels better!

  • Shalom Park Yoga begins on Saturday, May 2 at 9 a.m. We will meet on the first Saturday of each month up to and including November. Join us for this sacred practice in the beauty of the Peace Park, located 2½ miles north of S.R. 200 on S.W. 80th Avenue. Bring your curiosity to explore and find balance in body, mind and spirit.

  • As may be expected, Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Although I prefer to call it Resurrection Sunday, I am not easily offended by words. Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.”

    It is amazing to me how some people get all bent out of shape when it comes to words. I think it is impossible to keep up with the political correctness that some people insist upon. I have never known a single day or an hour in which I have wanted to be politically correct about anything.

  • If you feel blah today or everything you hear seems blah, blah, blah, today is your day.  According to the Internet site, “Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays,” today is the Blah! Blah! Blah! Holiday.

    “Blah” is often used as an expression where the words themselves are not important.  Since Pun Alley thrives on the meaning of words, reading it should never be blah, blah, blah to you.  If it is, take a break and enjoy your holiday.

  • The whimsical poet Richard Armour once wrote: that money talks I’ll not deny, I heard it once it said “Goodbye.”

    Plunging markets over the past several months have been unpleasant for all investors, and may have derailed your retirement portfolio. Yet, this is not a time to give up, nor is it a time for inaction. The rules of a carefree retirement may have changed and will take some careful planning going forward.

  • I am not what you would call an artsy person, although I have dabbled a little bit in the many worlds of art. I say dabbled, but more correctly, it should be dribbled, as the floor in my office could testify, if somebody could coax it to speak.

    But, not boasting at all, I must say there a few things I have learned to do passably, at least. Not that I am the best in any of them but it is something I do to the best of my ability.

  • There are all kinds of questions in this world of ours. Most are rather annoying. It would not surprise me in the least if there were a gang of hooligans somewhere hired to make up silly questions. If I could find this gang, I would disperse them immediately, without question.

    Of course, there is the fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in cahoots with these question-maker-uppers. Every once in awhile she comes up with questions for Yours Truly.

  • When I was in the classroom, I used to love to play a game with my students as part of the Passover study unit. I discovered that the holiday centered on an unusual amount of numbers and that each of these numbers played an important part in the history of the festival. Without assigning any particular symbolism to the numbers (that is an entirely different topic) I would like to point out, as I did with my students, all the different numbers and how we can look at the holiday through the “eyes” of numbers.

  • The Big Sun Chorus of Ocala sang love songs, presented long-stemmed roses, boxes of chocolates and personalized cards as they performed around the community on Valentine’s Day. Three quartets were busy on the special holiday.

    The groups performed at area nursing homes, independent living facilities, and at restaurants. Of course we went to several homes.

    Elizabeth Van, a resident at Marion Manor Independent Living Facility, received a surprise “Singing Valentine.” It was a gift from her two daughters, Ceci and Joy.

  • This article is geared toward dogs but many of the tips also apply to cats. When you decide to add a pet to your family, you can’t just ignore that pet when it isn’t convenient. You have made a commitment for life, not just to feed and house the pet, but to keep him happy and contented. Your dog will love you unconditionally (cats love you, too, but with conditions!). To deserve this love, you need to think of your pet as a friend and do things for and with him. Here are a few suggestions.