Bridge: Oct. 1, 2022

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 03:00

“Simple Saturday” columns focus on basic technique and logical thinking.

“Bad spellers of the world, untie!” — graffiti.

There may be enough ardent finessers around to form a union, but finesses are fickle. Try to avoid them.

In today’s deal, South won the first spade with the ace, capturing East’s king. He led a diamond to dummy and returned a heart, finessing with his ten. West took the queen and exited with a diamond, and South won in dummy and let the jack of hearts ride. West won again and got out with his last heart.

13TH HEART

South took his ace, led a club to dummy’s ace and returned a club to his queen. West won and led another club, and East took the ten and jack and then the 13th heart. Down two.

South over-relied on finesses. After he wins the first spade, he can cash three diamonds, then let the jack of hearts ride. When West wins, any return — a spade to South’s Q-10, a heart to South’s A-10 or a club away from West’s king — gives South a ninth trick.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S J 9 6 2 H K Q 4 D 8 4 3 C K 6 3. Your partner opens one club, you respond one spade and he next bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner has “reversed” the usual order of showing two long suits — higher-ranking first — and so promises substantial extra strength. In some styles, his sequence is forcing to game. Bid three clubs. Partner won’t pass. If he has AK,AJ62,2,AQ9752, you may reach a club slam.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S 7 4 3

H J 9 6

D K Q 7 5

C A 8 4

WEST

S J 9 6 2

H K Q 4

D 8 4 3

C K 6 3

EAST

S K 8 5

H 7 5 3 2

D 10 6

C J 10 9 7

SOUTH

S A Q 10

H A 10 8

D A J 9 2

C Q 5 2

South West North East
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — S 2

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

Word Game: Oct. 1, 2022

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 03:00

TODAY’S WORD — SNIFTER (SNIFTER: SNIF-ter: A short-stemmed liquor goblet.)

Average mark 39 words

Time limit 45 minutes

Can you find 49 or more words in SNIFTER? The list will be published Monday.

YESTERDAY’S WORD — ARDUOUSLY aloud also arduous road rosy royal dorsal dory dour dourly dray dual duly usual usury oral ours sadly slay slur soar soda solar sold sora soul sour sourly soya surd surly lady lard laud load lord loud lousy luau yard your yours

To purchase the Word Game book, visit WordGameBooks.com. Order it now for just $5 while supplies last!

RULES OF THE GAME:

1. Words must be of four or more letters.

2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of “s,” such as “bats” or “dies,” are not allowed.

3. Additional words made by adding a “d” or an “s” may not be used. For example, if “bake” is used, “baked” or “bakes” are not allowed, but “bake” and “baking” are admissible.

4. Proper nouns, slang words, or vulgar or sexually explicit words are not allowed.

Contact Word Game creator Kathleen Saxe at kzsaxe@gmail.com.

Categories: Local News

Magic not worried about lost practice time because of Hurricane Ian

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:46

There were two palpable emotions inside the AdventHealth Training Center after the Orlando Magic’s practice on Friday: excitement and empathy.

The enthusiasm to return to the facility was evident after the Magic canceled Wednesday and Thursday’s practices because of Hurricane Ian.

It was also clear how the hurricane’s impact on the Orlando and Central Florida communities was at the forefront of players’ and coaches’ minds.

“We’re fortunate enough to be here, yes, and we got practice underway but our thoughts and prayers are going out to the people who’ve been impacted and affected by Hurricane Ian,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “I really want to make sure they understand that our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with them. The community needs to understand we’re with them and continuing to think about them.”

The thoughts have been backed up with action.

The DeVos Family Foundation announced Friday afternoon it’s donating $1 million to assist with Hurricane Ian relief efforts in Central Florida and across the state.

The DeVos Family Foundation (DVFF) and the Magic are working with local partners and officials to make sure help is available to those most impacted in Central Florida and throughout the region.

DVFF is donating $500,000 to the Hurricane Recovery Fund set up by the Heart of Florida United Way and the Central Florida Foundation plus $250,000 to the statewide Florida Disaster Fund, and $250,000 will be reserved for future rebuilding efforts.

“It’s truly incredible,” Mosley said. “We talk about the perspective of things and the sport we’re in, but it’s more important how much we give back, take care of people and the lives that have been impacted by the hurricane.”

Even with Hurricane Ian on their minds, Friday was also about getting back to work in their first practice since opening training camp with two sessions Tuesday.

The rust from not being on the practice courts was noticeable, according to multiple players.

“It was kind of tough,” big man Wendell Carter Jr. said. “You could kind of tell when we started hooping that people were getting winded a little bit, but we picked it up. We got to push through that stuff.”

The message from Mosley to the team was clear: don’t put pressure on yourself trying to make up for the lost time.

“There are other teams practicing, getting drills and that’s going to be understood,” Mosley said. “One thing about this team and just like this community, we’re going to be resilient, take what’s handed to us and make the most out of it. That’s what these guys showed.”

The Magic are scheduled to practice on Saturday and Sunday in Orlando ahead of Monday’s preseason opener against the Grizzlies in Memphis.

Adding an extra practice over the weekend has been contemplated but isn’t viewed as necessary.

“We want to make sure the guys are recovering mentally as well as physically,” Mosley said. “After we get the one in [Saturday], we’ll play a little bit of that by ear because we’ll be traveling Sunday.

“We want to make sure the families are safe; everybody gets their homes taken care of. That’s the first priority. There’s a lot of film work that’ll be done, there’s a lot of one-on-one sessions and small-group sessions that we’ll do, and then we’ll play that second practice by ear.”

The sense of urgency to get up to speed is present, but so is the understanding that losing practice days wasn’t in their control and it’s about making the most of what they have.

“It’s definitely some pressure on everyone — not just the players, coaches too — some urgency to get back out here to make it through one day, but that’s not realistic,” guard Cole Anthony said. “We got to take our time. It’s still preseason. When you try to catch up on lost time, people get hurt. We just want to keep everyone healthy.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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Categories: Local News

Ask Amy: We’re disgusted with how our brother is using the summer cabin

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:30

Dear Amy: Our five family members share ownership of a remote rural summer home.

By agreement, each member can stay there up to two weeks a year.

Eighteen months ago, our brother became unemployed and unhoused, and he has been staying in this house year-round, reluctantly leaving (late) when the other partners go for their annual vacation time.

Our brother has three dogs that are not house-trained, and he has hoarding tendencies. When we go down “to open the cabin for the season” we end up throwing away rugs and pillows, deodorizing furniture and cleaning up the messes of our brother and his dogs.

He has not offered to do maintenance projects in lieu of rent, and the house and grounds have fallen into disrepair.

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He does not reply to our emails or phone calls. When we try to deal with him in person, he becomes very defensive and brings up childhood slights rather than discuss the current situation.

Our stepmother gave up her share of the partnership in order not to have to deal with him. No one wants to have a family meeting to sort this out. It is so stressful that we can’t have a conversation.

We are almost at the point of wanting to sell the cabin so we don’t have to take on our brother’s messes and behavior. But it would be a shame to lose a place that we and our children have enjoyed for over 60 years.

Disgusted Siblings

Dear Disgusted: If this property is jointly owned by your five family members with no specific leadership structure, then you are going to need consensus — as well as the assistance of a lawyer to sort through your options.

You should start by researching your legal, practical and personal options, and call a meeting (virtual or in-person) with the other owners (not including your brother) to discuss this openly and try to form a consensus about what to do about this property, and how to try to handle your brother — who seems to have spiraled into a bad place and is now controlling all of you.

Unfortunately, because your brother is a part-owner of the property, it might prove impossible to evict him. If he doesn’t agree to sell the property, you and your siblings would have to go to court to try to force a sale.

Dear Amy: A friend of mine, “Lynn,” passed away two months ago after battling cancer for over two years. She and her husband, “Andy,” moved to our city five years ago, and Lynn and I became fast friends after meeting through mutual friends.

I’m struggling to figure out how I can continue to be a supportive friend to Andy. He’s an active 70-year-old, and he obviously has a lifetime of much closer friends, both here and in other cities.

It feels awkward to try to create a closer friendship with him, but I don’t want to abandon him. I think of Lynn and him every day.

Our husbands know each other, as we’ve been guests in each others’ homes, and of course my husband spoke with Andy at the memorial service, but the primary friendship was between Lynn and me, so my husband will not be reaching out to Andy.

I don’t want to burden Andy with “just checking in/thinking of you” text messages, and I just don’t know what is appropriate in this situation and what would be welcomed or appreciated by him.

Grieving Friend

Dear Grieving: You haven’t known Andy very long, and you might not know him very well, but you should check in with him.

Invite him out for coffee with just the two of you, or ask if he’d like to come to your home for drinks or dinner. If you are hosting a gathering with other friends, ask if he would like to join you.

He can accept or decline your overtures, and if he accepts he might develop a friendship with you and your husband  or others in your circle.

Yes, this is awkward. Push through that feeling and reach out.

Dear Amy: “Open Minded Daughter” had discovered the man whose sperm was used for her conception. She said her folks had never told her and she was worried about confronting them.

I think she should talk to her mother first. It’s possible that her mother never disclosed this to her husband.

Been There

Dear Been There: I am aware that some women have conceived children through donation without disclosing to their partners. Good advice.

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You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

Categories: Local News

Previewing Ravens vs. Bills: 11 things to watch, including Buffalo’s secondary, Mark Andrews and Josh Allen

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:27

The NFL’s best quarterback matchup of the month — and maybe the season — is coming to Baltimore.

The Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Buffalo BIlls’ Josh Allen, the early favorites for league Most Valuable Player honors, will meet for the third time as starters Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The 2018 first-round picks split their first two meetings, with the Ravens (2-1) winning in Buffalo in 2019 before losing on the road in an AFC divisional-round playoff game the following season.

The Bills (2-1) are considered Super Bowl favorites despite losing Sunday to a Miami Dolphins team that also won in Baltimore in Week 2. The Ravens are looking to remain atop the AFC North and end a four-game home losing streak. Here’s what to watch in the teams’ Week 4 matchup.

Offense

1. On offense, the Ravens want to line up their way — with more size than speed. On defense, the Bills want to line up their way, too — with more speed than size. That means Sunday’s game, at least in terms of personnel, could become a staring contest between Greg Roman and Leslie Frazier.

In Roman’s offense, the Ravens are comfortable being unconventional. In a league where “11″ personnel groupings (one running back, one tight end and three wider receivers) dominate, the Ravens have lined up with at least three wide receivers on just 15 of Jackson’s 99 drop-backs this season, according to Sports Info Solutions. Tight ends and fullback Patrick Ricard get the snaps that complementary wide receivers otherwise would.

In Frazier’s defense, meanwhile, the Bills are comfortable lining up with five defensive backs almost exclusively. Opposing quarterbacks have dropped back against Buffalo’s “nickel” looks 97 times this season. Only the Tennessee Titans’ Ryan Tannehill has faced a Bills pass defense in a “base” look (four defensive backs), and he saw it on just two plays.

So far, Buffalo’s run defense hasn’t suffered: The Bills are No. 5 in the NFL in efficiency there, according to Football Outsiders, despite injuries to defensive linemen Ed Oliver (questionable for Sunday) and Jordan Phillips (ruled out). Roman on Thursday praised Bills slot cornerback Taron Johnson’s ability to execute the Bills’ run fits.

“I’ll tell you what, it’s pretty remarkable what No. 7 [Johnson] can do,” Roman said. “Seen him taking on offensive linemen in the ‘B’ gap and kind of holding his ground, he’s doing a really nice job. I don’t see a problem there at all for them; he’s doing really well. You don’t often see that to that extent. So you can tell they really like him and trust him, and his play has been outstanding.”

If the Ravens struggle to run the ball against Buffalo’s smaller personnel, their passing game could be challenged. Jackson has fared better against base defense (124.2 passer rating, 74.1% accuracy) than nickel defense (111.5 passer rating, 60% accuracy) this season.

2. One year after struggling mightily against the blitz, Jackson is back to punishing aggressive defenses. He’s 23-for-31 for 349 yards and six touchdowns (150.4 passer rating) against five or more pass rushers, according to SIS, and has taken just one sack against the blitz.

That shouldn’t affect Buffalo’s game plan much. The Bills have blitzed just four times in three games — twice against the Titans’ Tannehill and twice against the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, both of whom were sacked once and missed on their one attempt.

With a wealth of pass-rush weapons and an organized defense, the Bills have been largely content to send four rushers after the quarterback, drop seven defenders into coverage and take their chances. Even as far back as its 2020 playoff win over the Ravens, Buffalo essentially ditched man-to-man coverage, never calling a “Cover 0″ (all-out blitz with no deep safeties), “Cover 1″ (one deep safety) or “Cover 2 man” (two deep safeties) look, according to SIS.

3. Mark Andrews has faced the Bills three times in his career. Somehow, Hayden Hurst has been the more productive Ravens tight end against Buffalo in that span.

In his NFL debut, in 2018, Andrews had three catches for 31 yards. In 2019, he had one catch for 14 yards. In a divisional-round playoff loss a year later, he had four catches on 11 targets for 28 yards. Hurst, who faced the Bengals just once in his two years as a Raven, had three catches on three targets for 73 yards — equaling Andrews’ combined yardage — and a touchdown in their 2019 meeting.

Even with a season-ending neck injury sidelining starting safety Micah Hyde, the Bills won’t be easy for Andrews to solve. Safety Jordan Poyer, an All-Pro like Hyde, could play despite a foot injury that limited him in practice this week, and Matt Milano is one of the NFL’s best off-ball linebackers in coverage. According to Football Outsiders’ efficiency metrics, no team is better at defending tight ends this season than the Bills.

4. With Patrick Mekari (ankle) doubtful and Ronnie Stanley (ankle) questionable for Sunday’s game, Daniel Faalele’s first career start could deliver a test that most left tackles would struggle with.

The fourth-round pick, who lined up exclusively at right tackle at Minnesota, could face three defensive ends ranked among the seven highest-graded pass rushers at the position: Boogie Basham (No. 1), Gregory Rousseau (No. 6) and Von Miller (No. 7). The Ravens helped Faalele at times Sunday with play-action calls, double teams and chip blocks, but whatever they’ll devote to pass protection, they’ll lose as a receiving option.

“There are different ways to go with it,” Roman said. “You can kind of say, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s in the game; we’re just going to get inside a little tent, and we’re not going to do much and just hope for the best,’ " Roman said. “Or you can see how he’s doing … and assess, ‘OK, we’re going to need to do this, that and the other.’ And there is kind of a middle ground there, too, where you might call certain things to help him out, but still try to be aggressive with your plan.”

Defense

5. Weighed down by an unremarkable running back group and an inconsistent offensive line, the Bills have one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks. Despite averaging a respectable 4.3 yards per carry on designed runs, Buffalo is 30th in the NFL in “success rate” on designed running plays. (A play is considered successful when it gains at least 40% of the yards to go on first down, 60% of the yards to go on second down and 100% of the yards to go on third or fourth down.)

The Bills’ best runs so far have been improvised. Allen has scrambled 11 times this season for 93 yards and a touchdown, according to SIS. All but one of his scrambles has produced a first down.

Like Jackson, Allen’s athleticism poses matchup nightmares. He has the speed to run by linebackers and the strength to shake off defensive backs. Almost two-thirds of his scrambling yards this season have come after contact.

6. The Ravens will need not only a more effective pass rush Sunday but also a more disciplined one. New England quarterback Mac Jones, not typically a scrambling threat, had five carries for 31 yards and his first career rushing touchdown in the Patriots’ Week 3 loss. Disorganized defensive fronts gave Jones the kind of running lanes that Allen can turn into launching pads.

“When you’re playing your zones, you can gain some defenders,” defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald said Thursday. “When you’re going to play ‘man,’ you have to start tweaking your pass-rush plan and how you’re going to play those certain situations. Then, if [Allen] rears his head in certain critical situations, just keeping the ball in designed runs, then it’s a different animal, just because it’s a numbers issue, plus his skill as a runner and just being so big and being able to get on the edge.”

7. The Ravens’ third-down defense has been hit-or-miss this season. In Week 1, the New York Jets didn’t convert until midway through the fourth quarter. In Week 3, the New England Patriots were 2-for-9, with one would-be first-down catch ruined by rookie safety Kyle Hamilton’s forced fumble. In between was the Ravens’ Week 2 collapse against the Miami Dolphins, who converted seven of their 11 third downs and scored three touchdowns on third-and-6 or longer.

The Bills are one of the NFL’s most efficient teams on third down (NFL-best 61% conversion rate) and fourth down (66.7% conversion rate, tied for fourth overall), partly because seemingly no distance is too far to cover. Buffalo has converted nine of its 17 third-down plays with at least 7 yards to go (52.9%) — not far behind its rate on third down when needing 3 or fewer yards (61.8%). According to Sharp Football Analysis, 65.5% of Allen’s pass attempts on third down have resulted in a first down or touchdown, the highest rate in the league.

Extra points

8. Sunday’s game is close to a homecoming for Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, a five-star recruit at Good Counsel in Olney who later played three injury-marred years at Maryland. Diggs slipped to the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft, and Harbaugh acknowledged before the teams’ playoff meeting in January 2021 that “unfortunately, that’s one that got away.” Entering Week 4, Diggs led the NFL with 344 receiving yards.

A Week 3 injury ruined a more natural homecoming for Bills rookie cornerback Christian Benford, who was born in Baltimore and played at Randallstown. Benford, a sixth-round pick from Villanova, started the first three games for the Bills’ injury-depleted secondary, earning more playing time than first-round pick Kaiir Elam over the first two weeks. But Benford broke his hand Sunday against the Dolphins and will miss a couple of weeks after undergoing surgery.

9. Jackson is 84 rushing yards shy of 4,000 over his career, a mark only five quarterbacks in NFL history have reached. Michael Vick is the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 4,000 rushing yards, doing so in 87 career games. Jackson has played in only 61.

Andrews needs 100 receiving yards to tie wide receiver Mark Clayton’s record for the most 100-yard receiving games (nine) in Ravens history.

10. The Ravens will wear their all-purple “Color Rush” uniforms Sunday. Until their 31-30 loss last season to the eventual NFC champion Green Bay Packers, the Ravens had won their first four games while wearing Color Rush uniforms by an average margin of 29.3 points.

11. Two seasons after dealing with near-freezing temperatures and whipping winds in their playoff meeting, the Ravens and Bills could get more unpleasant weather Sunday. Rain in Baltimore is expected to fall through the morning and afternoon as the remnants of Hurricane Ian move north from Florida.

Week 4

BILLS@RAVENS

Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Bills by 3

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Categories: Local News

A’s loss is a historic win for Mariners

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:08

SEATTLE — More than an hour after Cal Raleigh ended the longest playoff drought in baseball, he was back on the field with his teammates, circling the perimeter of the field to acknowledge the tens of thousands of fans who still stuck around.

The celebration was more akin to winning something big in October, rather than a victory on the last day of September. But after 21 years, the Seattle Mariners could be excused for going a little over the top upon their return to the playoffs.

“It’s better than maybe what you could dream it to be,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.

Raleigh hit a game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Mariners clinched a wild-card berth in the American League with a 2-1 victory over the A’s on Friday night.

Raleigh, pinch-hitting for Luis Torrens, hit a 3-2 pitch from Domingo Acevedo (3-4) just inside the right-field foul pole for a solo homer that sent the Mariners to the postseason for the first time since 2001.

“I remember the moment when I knew it was fair and looking at the team and everybody’s jumping. It was just crazy,” Raleigh said.

Seattle’s celebration on the field lasted more than 10 minutes as fans and players lifted themselves from the burden of two decades without seeing playoffs from their baseball team.

That was just the start.

Nearly an hour later, and with the stands still mostly full, Servais and his team were back on the field after a wild clubhouse celebration. He grabbed the microphone and reminded the crowd, colorfully, that when he arrived along with president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto seven years ago, the mission was to end the “drought.”

“We did it. These players behind me are special. They care. They care about winning the right way. They care about representing the city of Seattle,” Servais told the crowd.

It indeed had been a long wait — the last time the Mariners advanced to the postseason, the team was led by rookie Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez and managed by Lou Piniella.

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As has been the case for most of this season with the Mariners, their 86th win and the one that sent them back to the playoffs happened in the most stressful way possible. Seattle was unable to solve Oakland starter Ken Waldichuk and an assembly line of relievers for eight innings, held only to Ty France’s RBI double that scored Dylan Moore two batters into the game.

Acevedo struck out Mitch Haniger and Carlos Santana to open the ninth, but Raleigh came through with his 26th home run of the season, the most ever by a Seattle catcher.

“It’s not really a pressure moment,” Raleigh said. “We’re having fun. We’re playing baseball. That’s the way I look at it. And I think that’s the mentality you got to have.”

Aside from clinching a spot in the postseason, Seattle stayed 1½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot and one half-game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays as the three continue to jockey for seeding.

But the place in the standings didn’t matter on this night. It was all about punching the final AL ticket and ending two decades without the guarantee of playoff baseball.

Seattle’s berth ended the longest active playoff drought in any of the four major professional sports, a dubious honor that now falls to the Sacramento Kings, who have not made the NBA playoffs since the 2005-06 season. The Mariners are still the only current team never to have played in the World Series.

The last time the Mariners reached the postseason they tied a major league record by winning 116 games in the regular season, but lost to the New York Yankees 3-1 in the AL Championship Series.

Seattle’s Logan Gilbert threw a career-high eight innings, allowing three hits. His only mistake was a home run by Shea Langeliers in the second inning.

Gilbert retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced and set down the A’s in order in each of his final four innings. Seth Brown walked leading off the seventh but was retired on a double play.

Gilbert struck out four and walked off the mound after the eighth to a standing ovation and the plea from fans for a run.

Matt Brash (4-4) struck out a pair in the ninth and set the stage for Raleigh.

“It was crazy. I mean, I haven’t been in Seattle but a few years but I feel like I’m one of the fans that have waited for 21 years,” Gilbert said. “It was just a culmination of a lot of waiting.”

Categories: Local News

Another Challenge for Hardest-Hit Parts of Florida: Finding Clean Drinking Water

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:07
The worst trouble was in Lee County, where a badly damaged water system was affecting a population of nearly 760,000 people.
Categories: Local News

Harriette Cole: I divorced him, and his reaction hurt my feelings

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently had dinner with my ex-husband. Our divorce was finalized nearly two years ago, and we had not spoken since.

I was hoping that we could reconnect and perhaps explore the possibility of a friendship. I’m not sure what I was expecting when we met for dinner, but I wasn’t expecting the outcome that I got.

Halfway through the night, I asked him how he has been dealing with our divorce. His response was that he was completely OK with the fact that we got a divorce, and he knew it was for the best. He seemed as if he did not care at all that it happened.

I’m not sure why this hurt my feelings so badly, as I am the one who filed for divorce in the first place, but I’ve been in a funk about it for days. Am I wrong to feel this way?

Unexpected Answer

DEAR UNEXPECTED ANSWER: You need to determine why you wanted him to be upset. What does that mean to you?

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Why are you feeling the desire to befriend him now? You divorced him. What do you want from him?

You seem conflicted over what’s next for the two of you. This is not about him; it’s about you, your feelings and your hopes for the future.

Sit down, determine what you want and figure out if your desires are realistic.

You severed ties with him. Perhaps that’s simply the end. If so, you have to accept that and move on.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother died from a chronic disease when she was about my age. So far, I do not have this disease, but I get increasingly worried that it will strike me any day now.

I know that my worries may be unrealistic, but I worry. I am in a serious relationship, and we are thinking of getting married. I worry that if I marry and suddenly fall ill, it will be devastating for my husband.

I think it might be for the best if I break off the engagement. How can I plan for a future when there is a good chance I won’t live to see it?

Fearing Death

DEAR FEARING DEATH: Stop going through endless “what-ifs,” and go to the doctor.

Get a complete physical and be sure to tell your doctor about your family history and any preexisting conditions you may have. Be transparent so that your doctor can provide you with an accurate, thorough evaluation of your health.

Whatever you learn, bring it to your fiance to discuss. When armed with the truth, you can sit together and strategize about your future, whether you have an illness or not.

Many people who have chronic or even terminal illnesses decide to marry. Stop worrying about potential problems. Find out what your health status is, and then make decisions together once you have all the facts.

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Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Categories: Local News

Battered by Floods and Trapped in Debt, Pakistani Farmers Struggle to Survive

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
The recent flooding has plunged small farmers in sharecropping arrangements further into debt with their landlords — a cycle that has worsened as extreme weather events become increasingly common.
Categories: Local News

The Great Guinea Pig Giveaway Has Begun

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
From geckos to chinchillas, small pets were a pandemic balm. Now shelters across the country say they are being surrendered.
Categories: Local News

Brazil Faces Big Vote in Presidential Election: Bolsonaro vs. Lula.

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
Brazilians voting for president on Sunday will choose between two political titans in a contest seen as a major test for one of the world’s largest democracies.
Categories: Local News

British Ruling Pins Blame on Social Media for Teenager’s Suicide

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
The internet, according to the ruling, “affected her mental health in a negative way and contributed to her death in a more than minimal way.”
Categories: Local News

In China, Living Not ‘With Covid,’ but With ‘Zero Covid’

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
The country’s strict coronavirus restrictions dictate the patterns of daily life, like waiting in line for frequent Covid tests and stocking up on extra groceries in case of lockdown.
Categories: Local News

Fentanyl Test Strips Highlight Rift in Nation’s Struggle to Combat Drug Deaths

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
Proponents say the ability to check drugs for the presence of lethal fentanyl may save lives. But critics say the strips enable drug use.
Categories: Local News

Spending on Children Surged During the Pandemic. It Didn’t Last.

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
As programs expire, federal spending is returning to prior levels: $1 for every $6 spent on older adults.
Categories: Local News

In Michigan, Tudor Dixon Tests Whether Trump Is Help or Hindrance

N.Y. Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 02:00
Tudor Dixon, the party’s nominee for governor, has ground to make up in her race against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She is hoping the former president can rally their party’s base.
Categories: Local News

Michigan women fight to preserve abortion, 1 chat at a time

Seattle Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 01:59

Women are gathering across Michigan to strategize how to preserve abortion rights in their state.
Categories: Local News

Miss Manners: She berates me for daring to feel bad about daily misfortunes

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 01:30

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My younger sister and I have always been close.

During our young-adult years, I took care of her, helping her clean up after the many reckless decisions she made. This  included a large amount of time with her children staying at my home. They call me their “extra mom” now that they are adults.

I love my sister, and she eventually turned her life around, becoming reliable, if still very emotional.

Three years ago, one of her children died from an accidental drug overdose. This was devastating for everyone in my family — but for me, it was like one of my own children had died.

Here was the worst moment of my sister’s life, and I couldn’t help her because I was also consumed by grief. I didn’t have any room left for hers.

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She became angry at me for “stealing her grief away by making her child’s death something that belonged to me and not her.”

We have since resolved a great deal of the problem, but since her child’s death, she says she is “enlightened.” She says that there is nothing worse than burying your child, and I agree. However, she also incessantly tells me — along with other relatives and friends, and even the mailman — how we should be feeling.

If you say, “I had such a terrible day,” she will respond, “Is it worse than burying your child? No. So don’t let it bother you.”

If you say, “I love the beach and can’t wait to go back,” she says, “(Child) loved the beach; make sure you think of them while you are there.”

My brother is having marriage problems, and she told him, “You’re being selfish and only thinking about what makes you happy. Get over it. It’s not important.”

How to manage this? I don’t want to restart the argument or break our careful peace treaty, but OMG — how do you tell someone, “I get that your child is gone, and I don’t want to minimize it, but right now I want to be mad that there’s a hole in my roof and I have to spend $2,000 to fix it.”

Or, “Just because your child is dead doesn’t mean you get to decide how everyone else feels!” But, like, nice. Not aggressive.

GENTLE READER: Grief competition is an unseemly and fruitless enterprise. Miss Manners supposes that its so-called winners take comfort in their singular despair — but what a miserable and lonely prize that is.

Unfortunately, your sister, having considered herself the victim of it during your feud, now seems determined never to be bested again.

Miss Manners suggests that you disguise your reprimand as an apology. But it must be done with finesse and extreme humility: “Do you remember how awful it was to feel like I was stealing your grief? How terribly I acted by thinking that I was the only one consumed with pain?

“Well, I know that there is little comparison to what you have endured, but when other people are upset, you’re invalidating their feelings when you tell them that yours are worse. I would think that you of all people should understand how terrible that feels and not want to inflict it upon anyone else.”

With luck, this will help your sister understand, through experience, the result of her behavior — and not cause her to add this conversation to her list of troubles.

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Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Categories: Local News

Sue Mingus, promoter of her husband’s musical legacy, dies at 92

Seattle Times - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 01:25

Sue Mingus, the wife of jazz bassist Charles Mingus, whose impassioned promotion of his work after his death in 1979 helped secure his legacy as one of the 20th century’s greatest musical minds, has died. She was 92.
Categories: Local News

Dear Abby: Does this mean I’m not invited to the wedding?

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 10/01/2022 - 01:00

DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I have been together for three years. He has a large family, and one of his cousins is being married next year.

We recently received a “save the date” card addressed only to him, although we have lived together for more than two years. Does this mean that I will not be invited to the wedding?

My fiance and I aren’t sure what to think, or if we should ask the couple. He’s not close to this cousin, and one of the bridesmaids has a deep dislike for both my fiance and me. Could you give your expert opinion?

NOT INVITED IN THE EAST

DEAR NOT INVITED: Because your fiance received the invitation without a specific reference to you or “and guest,” you can assume that you have not been included. This may have been an oversight by whomever is hosting the event.

In light of the fact that you and your fiance have been a couple for three years, he should contact his relative and ask if this was an oversight. Base your acceptance or refusal to attend on that information.

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DEAR ABBY: I was in a relationship that abruptly ended because he cheated. We didn’t have kids, so I moved in with my parents until I was able to get back on my feet.

Because I couldn’t afford a place on my own, I asked several friends about rooming together, including a close co-worker friend who was there for me throughout my separation.

At the time, she said no. Then she got another job, made better money and, seven months later, messaged me asking if I was still looking for a roommate. I said yes. She has a 9-year-old daughter, which I was cool with because it would just be us girls.

We went apartment hunting, finally chose a place and signed a one-year lease.

My friend mentioned to me that she had started “talking” to her ex — the father of her daughter — but I didn’t know it was a full-blown relationship when I moved in.

He has been here since day one and spends the night. They have little family dinners and get-togethers at the apartment.

I told her a month later that I noticed he stayed over a lot — and that if this was going to continue, I was going to move out because this is not what I signed up for. She apologized and said she would talk to him. But we are eight months in now, and he’s still here every day.

There are days I just leave the apartment and go to my mom’s house or to my boyfriend’s house because this man is there, while I am stuck paying half the rent.

Should I stick it out for the remainder of the lease, talk to her again and have him pay a portion of my rent, or just move out?

OVER IT BIG TIME

DEAR OVER IT: The time to have insisted the boyfriend pay a portion of the rent was seven months ago, when it became plain he was part of a package deal. Not only should he pay up, he should do it in arrears.

If you can’t move out without a penalty, then you will have to wait until your lease runs out. Sorry.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Categories: Local News

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