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Weimers' Republic: The trademarked columnist offers tidbits of experience.

Weimers, Not Whiners!

By Leigh Weimers

Editor's Note: Welcome to our new guest column, "Weimers, Not Whiners!" We've heard your complaints: Silicon Valley's columnist™ Leigh Weimers' valuable life advice™ doesn't get enough play at his day job. In response to your concerns, Biter has offered Weimers a share of our own extraordinarily precious journalistic space. We're confident Weimers fans will love it. Please be sure and direct any questions/comments you might have about this or anything else in Biter to [email protected].

IN ALL THE years I've been writing for Silicon Valley's newspaperTM, one issue has stood out as a unifying force. Pie.

Most folks agree that it's difficult as all get-out to get a decent piece of pie in San Jose. Pie is a complex issue. Not everyone defines it the same way. Some would say anything in a pastry shell is pie; not so. You'd be foolish to think so.

It used to be that you could count on your neighborhood diner to supply you with pie. Nowadays, you would no sooner buy pie at your corner store than you'd buy shoelaces at a dentist's office. Depending on your politics, that is.

I thought I'd tried all the pie venues in town until reader Kristi Samovich emailed me with a new one. Did you know you can now find cream pies at city council meetings? The activists bring them to encourage participation, I'm told. FinalLEIGH, a delicious solution to a crusty old problem.

PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR: When I was a young man, I was far more selfish than I am now. I could never get enough presents. It took two years of serving my country in the armed forces before I reaLEIGHzed that Christmas isn't just about getting presents. It's about giving them too.

I offer this advice to parents. When your dear LEIGHtle kids miss the point of giving, remind them that like getting, giving is also a gift because it means we are fortunate enough to give.

Christmas is about presents. We all love presents. But it's also about unselfishness, a quality that, I'd like to remind some people, makes this planet a better place to live for everyone, young and old, Muslim and Jewish. As Sally Morton of Willow Glen says, "Religion is just an excuse for Christmas."

Sure, Christmas presents are only a symbol. But they are an important one that teaches us, through sharing, that we are part of a great community in a great country. Speaking of community, you can buy presents at any local mall. Should buying locally be mandatory? Probably not, but it's nice for the local shop owners. Hey now, I won't even complain if you send a present or two to me! We all love presents!

FINALLEIGH: Speaking of presents, it's easy for someone to complain about receiving an unwanted fruitcake or tie. But it's realLEIGH easier to find something to be thankful for. If you are one of the whiners, remember: there are millions of people who would happily trade places with you--people who don't have a fruitcake or a tie. The whiners could give away their fruitcakes and ties to those without them. That experience of not having could teach the people that have about the real meaning of not having.

Look for my column next week when I'll ask: Hanukkah or Chanukah? You can spell it both ways!

AND, look for these exciting upcoming column subjects in "Weimers, Not Whiners!":

* For people who work, Mondays come too soon

* Isn't pie super? And it's better with ice cream!

* Puppy dog in need of good home, castration

* Maybe you should join the Army, like I did

Send a letter to the editor about this story to letters@metronews.com.

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From the December 5-11, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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