• Playing the Ultimate Showdown keeps the FLYP sessions exciting to the kids as well as the staff.

    As of Thursday, July 23, the original 64 fictional characters had been narrowed down to the Final Four: Phineas and Ferb vs. Curious George; Aslan vs. SpongeBob Squarepants. The kids will decide the winner at the last FLYP session on Thursday, July 30. We’ll let you know the Ultimate Champion in the Aug. 14 issue.

  • This is the time of the year when rain is a frequent visitor, especially in the afternoon. It is then that a person is tempted to go outside and dance in the rain. One famous singer was so caught up with a rainy afternoon that he did his famous, "Singing in the rain." At my age, the only dancing I do is the bathroom shuffle, which has become more frequent than usual lately.

  • Our series about Marion County museums trots right along with the Florida Carriage Museum, a colorful candidate whose 400 acres straddle both Marion and Lake counties. As their brochure promises, it is waiting “… for those who value history, love pageantry and enjoy the unique.”

  • It all started with an Ice Cream Social at Joy Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 25, when approximately 100 people attended to enjoy the ice cream and give to a worthy cause of providing shoes for the homeless children of Marion County. This event also included entertainment by the Cherrywood Songbirds, who contributed not only their talent but also money.

  • Recent rains along with the high temperatures of summer have brought all kinds of activity, but not what we really want. Besides mosquitoes, there are all kinds of flying and crawling things — ants, beetles, flies, bees and spiders. Now is the time to clear out the spider webs in your brain and enjoy some puns.


  • What is a Build America Bond? Investors have a new mechanism for investing in municipal bonds, courtesy of the American recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program, the bill authorized a subsidy for local and state governments that issue what are known as Build America Bonds (BABs) to finance capital expenditures.

  • In celebrating my recent birthday, I found myself caught up in a case of nostalgia. I never imagined I would really get this old. Not that I am old, mind you, but I have reached the point in life I never thought I would when I was younger. Had I known I would get this old, I would have saved some of the energy I wasted during my teenage years.

    How was I to know that as you got older your supply of energy began diminishing?

  • The sad state of the automotive industry continues to make news. While cars are not being sold, their manufacturers are. Chrysler now belongs to Fiat, GM was on the sales block to escape bankruptcy, and local dealerships have changed. Automotive stories abound ,making it time to take a drive down Pun Alley.

    General Comments

    In an effort to save money on all the GM signs, vehicle labels, and even company stationary, General Motors may just be renamed Government Motors.

  • Funny how certain events just stay in your mind; your wedding day, the birth of your children, where you were when the lights went out on the East Coast in 1965, and the day man first walked on the moon.

  • The Friendship Amateur Radio Club held its monthly meeting on July 13 with Charles Lucas, W1DOH, the club’s president, presiding. The presentation at this month’s meeting was a video which involved the element of “probagation.”

  • In 1513, Ponce de León, seeking the mythical “Fountain of Youth,” discovered and named Florida, claiming it for Spain. On this day in 1821 Spain ceded Florida to the United States, according to terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty. Just think, if Florida still belonged to Spain, most everyone here would be speaking Spanish.

    The Beginning

  • What’s better than a Chihuahua? Why two Chihuahuas, of course. Check out the pictures of the adorable black and white smoothie George and his redheaded long-haired gal pal Ditto.

  • I was working on my to-do-list for the upcoming week when I happened to notice the date. I looked up from my work and exclaimed to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, "Do you know that this is the month of July already?"

    She looked at me and said, "What month did you think it was?"

    I did not want to tell her that I had not been thinking at all, lately. That certainly would have started a completely new line of conversation... or rather monologue. I simply went back to my to-do-list to bring it up-to-date.

  • A fixed annuity is a contract between you and an annuity issuer, usually an insurance company. In its simplest form, you pay money to an annuity issuer, the issuer invests the funds and pays you the principal and its earnings back to you or your named beneficiary. What’s fixed about a fixed annuity? The issuer guarantees (subject to its claim-paying ability) a minimum rate of interest on your investment and a fixed benefit amount if you elect to annuitize.

  • “Holy rusted metal, Batman!” We have to choose a winner!

    The Ultimate Showdown game battles are well underway to the delighted shouts and screams of our young participants during the Thursday and Saturday Florida Library Youth Program (FLYP) sessions.

    The game is a bracket-style tournament created by Erin Arnold to select youngsters’ favorite Ultimate Champion out of 64 fictional characters. Of course, the winner must be chock full of Heart, exhibit oodles of Smarts and Originality, be a Game-Changer and, oh yes, receiver of the coveted Coolness Bonus.

  • Last week, our nation celebrated its birthday, a day associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, picnics, and other events commemorating how our country was born. Thinking about July 4 takes us down the alley for some related humor.


    A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Bombay and Calcutta where he purchased two diamond necklaces. On his return flight to the United States, he had to go through customs where he was asked to list everything he had purchased on his trip. So he made the declaration of Indian pendants.

  • Even with the intermittent rain showers, his followers came to a party, on Sunday, June 28, to thank Pastor Sean L. Forde for his three years of service at Joy Lutheran Church.

    More than 150 people attended the celebration — church members, friends, Upward soccer players and local ministers. Because of the number of people, the event was at Countryside Presbyterian Church in their more spacious fellowship hall.

  • Like everyone else, my wife and I have difficulty keeping the home budget balanced. It would not be so bad, except every month new bills come in resembling the bills I paid last month. Will this nonsense ever stop?

    For example, last month I distinctly remember paying the electric bill. And, if my memory serves me correctly, the month before that I also paid the electric bill, and the month before that. Now, before me is another electric bill resembling last month’s bill. I am weary of this redundancy.

  • A new law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist promotes the installation of Florida-friendly landscaping. The law states that homeowners associations (HOAs) may not prohibit a homeowner from applying Florida-friendly landscaping to their property or create any requirement or limitation in conflict with state law.

  • With the summer temperatures reaching record levels, what better treat could you ask for than a cold dish of ice cream! On Thursday, July 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., The Friends of Freedom Public Library will offer patrons exactly that: a dish of cold, creamy ice cream. Choose your flavor and enjoy it with or without selected toppings. There’s no charge! Just stop in on your way into or out of the library and spend a few minutes with Friends.

    New face on staff