I grew up on a hog farm in Illinois, went to college and got married. In my late 20s I moved to St. Petersburg to take a job with the Times and never left. Now I write editorials, often on education, the environment and science. I also edit the letters to the editor as well as many of the op-ed columns. Shorter is almost always better, by the way. I bike, I cook, I dig out weeds in our Florida-friendly garden as my wife directs, and we take our collie Rufus for long walks. I count dolphins by the seawall when I run to work in the morning.