We get the media we want

June 16, 2011 “The media” is our favorite whipping boy. It’s shallow, petty and often stupid. It misses points, focuses on the wrong things, and completely ignores the bigger issues. It’s prone to obsess on trivial rivalries and scandals instead of thoughtful substantive discussions about things which affect us most.Essentially, the media is a mirror of us.

How to keep emotional vampires from leeching your ambition

June 15, 2011 She was my boss’ secretary, back in those days when there was such a thing as personal secretaries. She was mean as a snake. She snapped at anyone who dared ask her for assistance with anything. And if you made a mistake, heaven help you.We called her “Mean Jean.”The smart people ignored her. Unfortunately, back then I wasn’t one of the smart people.

Hungry enough to eat …

June 15, 2011  It was summertime, and life was busy on the farms. Still, my friends and I tried to find time to go swimming in the river whenever possible. That’s why I scheduled to meet Buster just before milking time at the dairy where he worked. I hauled hay all day, and as late afternoon rolled around, I was soaked with sweat and looked forward to the cold swim.When I arrived to pick up Buster, I could see him approaching with a bucket in one hand and some fencing tools in the other. He looked beat and was walking slowly. But when he saw me, he quickened his pace.

Not a fan of fads

June 14, 2011 I’m probably among the last to know about the latest trends and fads, particular in health and medicine, but some in my family are ready to try the latest fads if it will keep them out of a doctor’s office. I understand a doctor’s office may not be the most fun place to be, particularly if you have one that makes you wait all day. (Fortunately, my GP doesn’t do that — I usually get in fairly quickly. But not all are like that. I’m just sayin’.) So many of us look for home remedies and preventative solutions to keep the doctor bills down.

Summer just ain’t the same

June 14, 2011 It was the first time in my childhood when I had an excuse for being late for dinner, but nobody — not even the cops — would believe me.In the summer of 1972 or thereabouts, when I was 10, Tommy Guillen and I built a dam in the creek on the other side of the Horning Road tunnel that carries cars below railroad tracks.We’d been building up the dam for days to create our own three-foot pool in which we chased after crayfish and minnows — our own cool spot to while away the hot summer afternoons.

Green lights

June 14, 2011 There’s an old saying that says, go in the direction of the green lights. It means stop pushing against what you want that’s not working and just head in the direction of what’s more easily unfolding. Let go of insisting, try a contrary action and get on with things.That’s not how most of us work.

Women in the Civil War

June 13, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, as hundreds of Arkansas men make their way into the ranks of the Confederate Army, the ladies of Little Rock make preparations for the impending military campaigns in which the men would soon find themselves. Akin to the wonders women performed during World War II in manning the homefront, 1861 women of Arkansas likewise rose to the challenge in ways never before seen in America.

Ledge update

June 13, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — For the second time this year a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging how the state of Arkansas treats people with developmental disabilities.A legal challenge of policies at the Conway Human Development Center, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, was dismissed last week. A related suit filed by the U.S. Justice Department was dismissed in January. The lawsuits challenged treatment methods at Arkansas Human Development Centers.

Little boy’s fishy excitement

June 13, 2011 A little boy came into the office with his mom last week, excited over the tiniest thing: “baby fish.”As a member of our staff helped his mom, the little boy found himself drawn to our fish tank, not an uncommon occurrence for children visiting the Guard. “Look Mom, look at the baby fish,” he kept telling her, his voice sounding so bubbly.His utter excitement over the fish and his energy made me smile as I listened from my desk and hearing the way he spoke made me think what a friendlier world it would be if more adults sounded that joyful when speaking.

Daydream believer

June 13, 2011 This is a dream come true. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have made a scientific discovery that should thrill those who are overweight but spend much time picturing their next meal.The better you are at conjuring up images of yourself munching food, the less likely you are to actually overeat.Who knew?