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Opinion

  • Walking is good for a person’s health. Friday, I walked on a treadmill, and I felt great afterward. My cardiologist said I should feel even better after my bypass surgery.

    Sigh. (I think I’m only teasing).

    I could be a hypochondriac just like my maternal grandfather with just a little more effort, I could be good at it. It wouldn’t take much.

  • TIME ran a story about my hometown! Woohoo! Achille, a small farm town tucked away off the beaten path in Southeastern Oklahoma, made national news!

    The news wasn’t the type I hoped it would be. It was about a small school trying to accommodate a 12-year-old transgender student in the seventh grade.

  •  

    I was glued to the television Thursday – scheduling the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh was the only thing the Republican senators did right because that’s the one day I have to myself. Moreover, of course, it’s all about me.

    Neither party is blameless in getting us to this point because both parties want to win the midterm elections and more than a few on the Senate Judiciary Committee aspire to run for president in 2020 – including Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

  • Generally, when I have writer's block as I professed to last week, it's because there is something else on my mind of which I do not want to write.

    This week, I caved and am writing about the nomination process of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh — not about the judge — but the process.

  • One thing about being in the military is that when there is nothing else to write about, there is always the Navy.

  • What’s this world coming to?

    BLU3, a Pompano Beach Company has developed a line of ultra-portable tankless diving systems using surface-supplied air. The system supports a diver at its maximum depth of 10 feet for about an hour and it is compact enough to carry in a backpack.

    The first in the line is NEMO, which is in the Kickstarter phase. NOMAD and NEPTUNE are scheduled for launch in the summer and winter of 2019. Those two, which are still in development will allow divers to go deeper depths. NEPTUNE will enable multiple divers on a single system.

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: I wrote this before Sen. John McCain died. It took a while to get it the way I wanted and rather than take a chance on fouling it up, I left it in present tense.

    I want to write about Sen. John McCain and how brave he is, but I can’t.

    I don’t know the Arizona senator.

  • It was unimaginable that Facebook founder and CEO Mark E. Zuckerburg would send me an email. Oh, it’s no surprise that he knows my email address. He probably knows the email address of everyone on earth. Still, the idea that he would ever send me an email instead of sending me an instant message on Facebook was unfathomable, yet there his name was in my inbox in bold, capitalized letters “MARK E. ZUCKERBERG.”

  • I wrote you all last week about the people in my boot camp company who teased me because I talked funny.

    After some needed rest, my mental attitude is improved, so this week’s column is about the people who have helped me succeed.

    Most of my benefactors were teachers. There was: Mrs. Hoak, first grade; Mrs. Aldrich, second grade; Mrs. Johnson, third grade; Mrs. Richardson in the fourth grade until we moved. I finished the fourth grade with Mrs. Wells.

  • Recently I received an email with actual pictures of newspaper bloopers.

    For a long time I believed that comedy writers wrote all the bloopers. So, I found a number of real bloopers and puns from newspapers, road signs, radio and TV, along with some others I could not resist.

    Newspaper

    headline gems

    From Sacramento: State population to double by 2040; babies to blame

    A 1999 title: Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25

    Homicide victims rarely talk to police.

  • It is early Sunday morning; Mother’s Day.

    I do not need a special day to remember momma. I miss her being around. I wish she were here right now to do my laundry, fold my clothes and put them away.

    I think of my momma every morning when I straighten my bed and especially on laundry day when it is time to change the bed clothes. 

    I wish the smell of sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy came from the kitchen every morning, but it does not.

  • NOTE: I normally would not write this for an introduction, but as I wrote on the front page, I am trying to put together four newspapers until the end of this month.

    ­—

    Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville Saturday on the muddiest track in the history of the race. I watched on TV as the 3-year-old bested the field of 20 horses. When it was over, the winner did not have a speck of mud on him. 

  • Back in the dark ages, as the younger members of my family call it, we used to type stories on manual typewriters.
    We typed on 8 1/2- inch paper, usually with carbon paper in between, so you would have a copy of what you wrote when you handed it in.
    At the bottom of each page you typed -more- so the typesetter on the Linotype machine knew there was another page.

  • There’s an old quote with many variations that is one of my favorites. Here’s one of many choices: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
    In our schools, both public and private, we are great in STEM, science, technology, engineering and math. It seems that we have gotten away from some of the core learning that many of us experienced when we were in school.
    I’ve always felt that English and related subjects should be emphasized. Social media have destroyed grammar and spelling. Is anyone still teaching these?

  • There are two weekends that I despise every year. Many others talk about changing them, but one is here again. Can you guess what they are?
    Here’s a hint: Turn your clocks ahead this weekend.
    I have railed against the time change for years. I want it one way, I don’t care which, just be consistent.
    The state Legislature has taken up the cause, and this year considered different proposals. However, I was not in favor of any of them.

  • It’s a little tough to write anything that hasn’t been said after Valentine’s Day’s terrible shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, in which 14 students and three faculty members were killed. But I’m going to give it a try.

    Fifty-five years ago, the Supreme Court, under liberal Earl Warren, ruled against prayer in the public schools. Since then public school educators are almost paranoid about teaching any type of morality in the schools, lest some misguided parent go after them if they do.

  • The Marion County School Board has decided to put the renewal of a local tax on the primary ballot in August.
    So if you’re a snowbird who will leave to go up north this summer, and you’re registered to vote here, make sure you get information about absentee ballots before you leave.
    The issue will be decided before you come back.

  • The debate over removing everything from our culture that can be linked to the Confederacy has reached a new ridiculousness.

    In a move designed to avoid controversy, supposedly approved by the subject, announcer Robert Lee was switched off the University of Virginia football game this weekend because of his name, similar to the military leader of the Confederacy. The university is in Charlottesville, site of recent clashes between demonstrators. Instead, he’ll do the ESPN game in Pittsburgh.

  • Some years ago, I was between newspaper jobs (it’s a long story) and I was working as a convenience store clerk in a beach community.

    It was a busy store (location, location, location) so there were always at least two of us on duty at all times. We were open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., so two shifts of eight hours each took care of it.

  • Let me tell you about my non-adventure with last Monday’s eclipse, and about what I feel is the anniversary of an even bigger sun event.

    Monday is production day around here for the West Marion Messenger, the other paper we put out in this part of the county. That meant I was up at some ridiculous hour getting it done.

    I finished about noon, which is early for me, and stretched out on the couch, put on The Weather Channel to watch the event.

    I fell asleep.