The days are getting longer and that means spring is just around the corner. At least this is my mindset until we get another blizzard. To get into the spirit of spring, it's time to clear out a few items from the crate beneath my desk. 


Have you noticed your dog is behaving much better lately? Is Fido keeping a close eye on you? This may be the result of you watching the Winter Olympics being held in South Korea. You see, in that country dogs are not only man's best friend, but also in some cases man's next meal. “Eating dog meat is common and legal in Korea, as well as many parts of Asia, and is mainly eaten by older people. Dotted around the country are thousands of restaurants serving 'gaegogi' dishes that, according to folklore, have strengthening and medicinal properties.” 


The South Korean government realized that people from other countries might not consider dishes like dog meat stew, marinated dog ribs and boiled dog meat slices particularly appetizing. They asked the nation's restaurants to stop serving these during the Olympic games, but got almost no cooperation. 


I get the whole culture thing and realize that what's common in one part of the world may seem strange in another part of the world. Still, I think I'll stick with my traditional lunch of a PB&J and pass up the Lab-on-rye. 

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Something more acceptable to American palates is a traditional American dish – pizza. Who doesn't like pizza? Especially, what's better than cold pizza for breakfast? It turns out, not much. 


As reported in Newsweek: “An average slice of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk contain nearly the same amount of calories. However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning.”

Still skeptical? “A large, hand-tossed crust slice of cheese pizza would set you back 290 calories, 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.” By comparison: “Two servings of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with a single serving of nonfat milk, would be 350 calories,  5.37 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.” No word on when pizza will be officially designated as a health food. (


One American organization wants people to cut calories (pizza included) and shape up – the U.S. Army. Currently, only 23 percent of recruits are physically fit enough to join. The worst section of the country for this is the South. “Eleven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia — had among the highest rates of recruits who become injured during basic training.”  Each recruit lost to attrition costs the Army $31,000. 


A study concluded: “We are not making the changes we need to weave physical activity back into our culture.” It suggested as a solution: “Bringing physical education back to schools or improving infrastructure, such as sidewalks, to encourage walking.” Apparently, sitting on a couch and playing military-themed video games does not prepare a person to actually do the real thing. Go figure. (


You know, so much bad news has come out of Flint that it's nice to hear about something good once in a while. On average, Flint's fire trucks are 15 years old. They had some unspent block grant money, so the city council voted to award that money to the fire department to buy a new fire truck and begin updating the fleet. 


Do you wonder if the expenditure is needed? Well, the new truck “will replace the city's current oldest model - a renovated 1991 Little Debbie Bread truck.” How would you like to have your house on fire and see a Little Debbie truck coming to your rescue? I say any positive news is good news for the residents of Flint. 



Spring is always a time for new fashion, so the ladies in the audience might be interested in the newest trend – power socks. “A new fashion accessory these days (make) a statement about girl power: power socks. Power socks of 2018 multi-colored and feature bold statements, such as: “I’m a girl. What’s your superpower?”


Maureen Feighan of the Detroit News observes: “It’s hard to shake up the system. If anything, silly socks are a starting point, a quiet form of rebellion. But don’t underestimate their power. Every little bit helps.”


“Retailers seem to be latching on to that idea. Self-esteem messages have now permeated girls’ clothing. Visit any girls’ clothing department these days and you’ll find bold messages: Future Leader, Girls Run the World, and Love is All Around.” (


Since Monday is Presidents Day, here are some quotes from various men who have held that office.


Harry S. Truman: “It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” 


Ronald Reagan: “How can we love our country, and not also love our countrymen.”


Theodore Roosevelt: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”


John F. Kennedy: “To often...we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” 


Herbert Hoover: “It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.”


George H. W. Bush: “We don't want an America that is closed to the world. What we want is a world open to America.” 


Finally, perhaps words from Albert Einstein might be good advice for all future presidents: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and


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