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The Rock Doc — Have a cup of joe to help your eyes?

My day starts with coffee. I’m too cheap to buy it by the cup from baristas, so I just brew my own Folgers by the pot. I have a cup or two as I settle into work each morning, and another cup — sometimes two — in the early afternoon. That may not be wise for a chronic insomniac like myself, but it’s a lifelong habit that at this point would be quite tough to break.

Human Matters — One credo crucial to a well-lived life: Pay attention

Sooner or later in long-term therapy, most adult patients will drift — or dive — toward their family history. They begin to take a more comprehensive, more honest and accurate inventory of realities they faced as children. The strengths and weaknesses, health and unhealth, justice and injustice of the families in which they were reared. Because all families have some combination of all of those things.

Son-in-law’s abusive father makes family gathering painful

Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, “Tom.” He’s a wonderful husband to our daughter. He’s always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them, but can’t stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their children the way they treat him — especially the father. Tom is practically begging for his approval and attention on a daily basis.

Nothing New — Man ground to death under picnic train in 1914

The first picnickers appeared on the streets of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Cosmopolis shortly after seven, an odd sight on a Thursday morning in 1914. Clutching picnic baskets, groups headed toward the railroad station in anticipation of the second annual Merchant’s Picnic at Moclips. It was to be a day filled with sports and games, clam digging and dancing, and a free barbecue with the attendees requested only to bring knife, fork, spoon and cup with them.

Dear Abby — Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation

D ear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what’s going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I’ll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to go, I’m worried that I won’t know what to do or how to do it when I graduate. I have talked to counselors and my dad, but they all say the same thing. Do you have any advice?

Tyke becomes a terror when mom takes back her cellphone

Dear Abby: When my friend “Fran” and I get together with our kids, they often play games on her cellphone until the battery dies. If she tries to take the phone from her 6-year-old to make a call or recharge the phone, he starts yelling at her, pushes her, pulls her skirt and hits her. Her reaction is to hug him and start praying for the devil to get out of his body in Jesus’ name as he continues to hit her. While I respect Fran’s religion, I’m appalled at his violent behavior, concerned that he will grow up thinking it’s OK to hit people, and I think this should be handled differently. What do you think? Should I say something? And if so, what can I say so as not to hurt her feelings?

Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault

Dear Abby: My granddaughter “Cindy,” age 2, was being watched by her mommy’s ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, “Bubby hurt me.” Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman spoke to her and said there wasn’t enough evidence. Now my granddaughter is scared of men.

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Dr. Grant Jackson — Prevention is insurance

M y younger brother recently told me about an experience he had at the dentist. He is a recent college graduate and has his own business teaching piano lessons. As you can guess, being self employed he doesn’t have the best health coverage. He was at the dentist getting a check up and asked whether he ought to get dental coverage. The dentist reached over to a cupboard, pulled out a pack of dental floss and said, “Here’s your dental insurance.”

Friend has hard time finding a few kind words for bad book

Dear Abby: My friend’s husband has been writing a novel for several years. He just self-published it, and it’s available on Amazon. He gave me a copy, asked me to read it and enter a great review on the Amazon page. The problem is the book is filled with misused and misspelled words, and there is missing punctuation. He even switched the names of two characters. (His wife, who is a “perfectionist,” was his editor.)

Husband’s ‘harmless escapade’ has broken his wife’s heart

Dear Abby: I just found out that my husband of 30 years is having an affair. When I confronted him, he said: “I have a girlfriend. I can’t imagine the rest of my life without girlfriends, so get over it!” Then he told me he has never been faithful, but that he loves me and would be devastated if I left. He considers his fooling around to be “safe and harmless escapades.”

Mother tells son’s wife to get lost during visit

Dear Abby: I recently took my children to spend a week with my mother-in-law, “Bea.” Three days after we arrived, my husband flew in to join us. The next day, Bea handed me a hotel room key and told me to take as many of the children as I wanted, but I could not take my husband because she never gets to spend time with him!