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  1. HERB BENHAM: Home travels to him for son's 30th

    By The Bakersfield Californian
    Thursday, Apr 17 2014 10:52 AM

    For his birthday dinner, Herbie wanted something from Bakersfield that reminded him of home. We brought pit beef, garlic chicken, broccoli parmesan, potato salad, jalapeno cornbread muffins, Texas sheet cake and chocolate chip cookies from Jake's.

    We drove to Oakland. Herbie couldn't come home so we took home with us. Home is like that, it will fit in the back of a car and adorn a picnic table 300 miles away.

    Herbie, our oldest son, turned 30. We weren't the first to ask this question. Can you believe it? The question is as much about yourself as it is them. It's hard to believe a son or daughter has turned 30 and equally daunting to believe that we've gotten old enough to have one that age.

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    Gordon looks to reconnect Arts Council with community

    As the newly appointed executive director of the Arts Council of Kern, David Gordon has a distinct advantage. He's a Bakersfield native, a respected visual artist and has been directly involved in several of the council's recent projects....

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Not the same old song and dance at Stars

    Give yourself an extra-special treat and see Stars production of "Company." It's stylish, sophisticated, funny and the talented cast of 14 jells so well it's a company all its own. I saw last Sunday's performance and everything worked...

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    HEATHER IJAMES: A butterfly habitat helps in child rearing

    I bought one of those live butterfly gardens from Insect Lore Bugseum, which starts out as a cup of caterpillars and is supposed to turn into five butterflies. Although I'd heard I might have to touch them, or touch near them when they...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    REAL ESTATE: How many homes do you think are for sale in Bakersfield for $2 million or more? A simple search of the Trulia real estate website found five in that range, starting at $2.3 million and soaring to a $2.9 million mansion...

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    HERB BENHAM: The rules on man kisses and side hugs

    A note from Will Winn on the column about getting a surprise man-kiss from a friend: "After finishing graduate school in Virginia Beach, VA, Karen and I ministered to a rural congregation in Harrisonburg, VA, that was primarily Mennonite....

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    CLEANUP: Hats off to all the local people who fanned out around town Saturday for Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup. I spotted hundreds of folks about town participating, and city crews were busy on the bike path...

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    HERB BENHAM: Free speech -- I'm thinking of a price tag

    I was finishing lunch at Sequoia Sandwich -- having polished off a small coleslaw, the chili and Gary's new ham sandwich, which features thinly sliced extra lean ham, a basil, garlic and parmesan pesto, balsamic mayo, mild swiss, crispy...

  9. Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Passwords keep my accounts safe -- from me

    When I was a kid, "Password" was a TV game show that came on in the afternoons. Competing teams of partners, usually a minor celebrity and a normal person, were allowed only to give each other one-word clues to help them guess the secret...

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    HERB BENHAM: Sue sets me straight - my posture's in a slump

    Last week, my wife told me I had bad posture. "You're handsome and fit," she said. "Then I see you sitting at the table. It's not pretty." Pretty is my word. Pretty is the word I use to pretty up something that is not pretty, as well as...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: In good 'Company' with Sondheim

    As written, "Company" sounds rather complicated, because the performers frequently appear on various parts of the stage -- a living room, a cocktail bar, the balcony of a penthouse -- and in groups of two or three. There's also plenty of...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    PETS: The way some people treat their pets, like disposable diapers, is beyond disheartening, but every once in a while, we hear something that gives us hope. Over at the city's Animal Care Center, veterinarian Robert Duquette sent me this...

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    HERB BENHAM: An explanation about that 'homely' guy

    I read an obit recently in which the deceased was survived by her "homely brother." I thought it might be a misprint and speculated that what the writer meant to say was "only" brother. Penny Blanton Shafer emailed and solved the mystery:...

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