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Simply Beautiful

In this month’s Final Word, Ken Karlberg honors a mother’s love—sharing admiration for his own mother and the many ways in which she is “simply beautiful.”

Honoring My Buddy

Ken Karlberg honor’s the memory of a cherished friend in this month’s Final Word.

Our Invisible Empire

Ken Karlberg analyzes the history and future of America as a powerful nation in this month’s Final Word, “Our Invisible Empire.”

She Said, ‘She Shed’

Loretta W. Clease lets the men in on a little secret about female power: The She Shed. Women have closets, and allow men to have their man caves.

Wanted, Dead or Alive

Ken Karlberg has an unwanted visitor digging up his yard: a mole. He has tried many tactics, but hte molehills keep coming. What will he do next?

But for the Grace of PeaceHealth

Ken Karlberg shares a personal account of a family member dealing with an addiction. PeaceHealth is saving lives during this opioid epidemic.

For Goodness Sake

Ken Karlberg gives us a challenge this holiday season in his Final Word: to love thy neighbor and to practice kindness, to open our eyes beyond our bubble.

The Supreme Court’s Scarlet K, and an Apology

This month’s Final Word is by Ken Karlberg. As someone within the legal system, Ken takes a look at the controversy of the Judge Kavanaugh hearings.

Toys ‘R’ Us

Ken Karlberg recalls past pranks at work and with his daughters, and encourages us to be playful and find our inner child.

The Ultimate Mood Killer: Bicycle Seats

Loretta shares her insights on how bicycle seats can be a very successful form of birth control while being the designated cyclist during girls’ night out.

See something, say something

Ken Karlberg makes suicide prevention personal by asking each of us to take the time to lsiten and talk, and to ask for help when you need it.

Final Word | Even If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It!

Humor alert — Loretta reminded me to provide a satire disclaimer. No toes were intentionally stepped on in the writing of this Final Word

Humor Without a Safety Net

By its nature, Bellingham Alive is designed to be a perpetual work in progress. As our community changes, Bellingham Alive will always change with it. Few may have believed that Bellingham Alive would succeed when we published our first issue 10 years ago in the Great Recession. I did, however. I had faith in my wife, Lisa, and her vision and determination. Our goal was simple—to simply make a difference in our community, to celebrate our community, and to help drive business through the doors of our community. Certainly, we hope that our magazine has become a source of pride for our local counties. That is our goal. That is our commitment to you.

Don’t come home without a mammoth, dear!

Ken (and Loretta) offer their post- Winter Olympic Games thoughts to increase viewership Every two years, we celebrate the world’s athletes, their incredible stories of sacrifice, and the spirit of Olympic competition. Once upon a time — back before cell phones and the internet—the whole world tuned in. Now, not…

Garbage Shaming

Loretta gets serious about recycling to avoid the public stockade. I  don’t shame easily. As a native New Yorker, my adherence to social norms was often optional, kind of like taking abstinence advice from my mom when I was a teenager. I would listen politely, and then do what I wanted. Mom, I should have listened. You were right, abstinence does make the heart grow fonder. Then, however, the effectiveness of trying to…

The Power of One

Ken shares his thoughts on the spirit of Valentine’s Day For most males in serious relationships, Valentine’s Day is one of three…

A Parent’s Pain

Ken’s Hopes for Parents in Pain During the Holidays For the holidays, I decided to unwrap a personal wound to support…

The Sad State of Guy Love

Ken Explores the Emotional Health of Male Relationships Affection toward other males does not come naturally to most men. We are conditioned from birth to show strength, typically physical strength, but most certainly to project strength of any type as a means to the ultimate end — that is, to establish a pecking order amongst ourselves. Who’s the best athlete, the smartest, the most successful, and most emotionally self-sufficient? This manhood formula is tried and true. Find a strength…

Roundabout is Fair Play

Ken takes a Sunday drive back to his future Once upon a time—back when the wheel had just been invented but not yet patented—I used to worry only about the rare road rage incident with a local farmer and his John Deere tractor when I drove in our local counties. Life was simpler then. We had fewer people, fewer cars on the road, and more cows, as it still should be if I…

Romancing the Whine

A Guy’s Viticulture Guide to Relationships I am either fearless or foolish because I habitually connect dots for the sake of humor, like the parallels between romance and wine, that should never be connected in public. This issue’s feature article on wine inspired me yet again — my pencil is out and ready. Despite the threat of grave bodily injury, I just can’t help myself. I am compelled to provide the following…

Could I Do That?

“Paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country” — I dislike that expression. We hear the phrase every Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and sometimes on the Fourth of July, as if…

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool

Ken, er, Garfield, Jr., goes off-leash to offer some catty remarks No disrespect to horses, rabbits, piglets, and other critters, but dogs, not you all, are my competition for household dominance. Dogs…

The Case for Porta Potties

Ken puts a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions in the Mt. Baker Theatre’s suggestion box When I attended the grand opening of the Mt. Baker Theatre in 1927, she was a thing of absolute beauty and the pride of the community—and she still is, perhaps even more so now. Ah, the childhood memories. But for all the acts and movies over the years, I never once had to use the restroom….

When the Bells Stop Ringing

F or weeks, I had mentally prepared myself to dig my stepfather’s grave. The first shovelful of sod was the hardest. I placed the first piece carefully to the side and stared at the clump of dirt and grass. The solemnity of the moment was inescapable—I was about to prepare his…

Repeal and Replace

Ken offers suggestions for Trumpcare Is it just me or does anyone else question whether the federal government is serious about health care, public…

Loretta’s Guide To Post-Divorce Dating

Loretta shares her stud-finding secrets Dating—near as I can tell, the after-market experience is punishment before the crime, kind of like law school. Don’t get me wrong. I love men. Well, most men, anyway. At their worst, men make interesting toys and at their best, men make excellent pets even if they haven’t been properly trained. But the depth of the dating pool north of…

A Reminder To Look For The Forest In The Trees

Ken rejoices in the sweet side of life’s randomness For the past few months, two beloved family members, my aunt and stepfather, have been in and out of the hospital. Both are terminally ill. In the next weeks or months, my stepsisters will be parentless without the…

The Leap

As a young teenager, I leapt a mighty leap from the cliff of life. It was a leap of faith for the bottom was nowhere in sight. I turned and looked back to see my mom,…

Answer The Question, Please!

Ken taps his foot to the latest dance, the Trump-Clinton side-step. As a trial attorney, I have forced many unwilling adversaries to answer obvious, but difficult questions under oath. Admit it. You are jealous—don’t we all wish that we had the power to pop people’s balloons when their balloons deserve popping? I…

Canada, Do The Right Thing!

Ken implores Canada to give Victoria, BC back To my Canadian brothers and sisters to the north—I love you but enough is enough. Your Canadian-U.S. balance ledger is badly in the red. The time has come for you beaver and moose lovers to pay up. It is past time, actually, over 170 years late, eh. Yes, you deserve credit for giving us Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, Alex Trebek (or more correctly, “what is Alex Trebek?”), Dudley Do-Right…

The Brazilian

Loretta responds to Ken’s “The Full Monty” What was Ken smoking? Did you read his Final Word on the fragility of male egos? Issue that man a WUI, officer! Clearly he was…

Cleavage Etiquette

Hi there. As a single mother of two pre-school kids, I feel compelled to offer some good natured, but badly needed male guidance in my first ever Final Word. But first I want to thank the magazine, and Ken, for…

Husbandcare.gov

Ken’s Valentine’s Day gift for the woman who has everything I am a social scientist at heart. As with most males, I am genetically engineered to offer solutions to life’s challenges, even gender-related relationship problems — and even if the answer may come at my expense. I can’t help myself. I am stupid smart. My social laboratory of late has been the “women…

Senior Citizens United

Ken pays respect to his elders I have your backs, seniors—and your backsides, open medical gowns and all. So what if you unintentionally embarrass your kids by posting private comments about their childhood to…

Forgiving The Unforgiven

As a young boy, age 5 or 6, I used to play in the woods where Sunset Place is today. The soil was mostly clay and the clay would stick to my PF Flyers — the further that I walked, the longer that I played, the heavier the build-up of clay. Eventually, the burden became more work than joy and I would…

Hope- The Emotional God Particle

I am in mourning. My comic idol is Robin Williams. The tragic loss of Robin should be a dark reminder — the will to live comes from within, even for the most talented amongst us. He had everything and yet he had…

P=mc2: Ken takes Albert Einstein behind the woodshed

Scientists need to take a chill pill, starting with Albert Einstein. His idea of a good time on a Friday night was to measure the speed of most everything in the physical world — sound, light, and my personal favorite, light in a vacuum. Really, Albert? I bet you didn’t…

Surviving Menopause- Ken puts his life at risk

The signs were subtle at first — a wide-open window during a cold snap in January and the perpetual running of Sleepless in Seattle on the Hallmark channel. In hindsight, it is now clear. But at the time, I was simply oblivious. Then came the fireplace blazing 24/7 and extra comforters on the bed, all while the windows were…