Graceland in the rain

August 16, 2010 Today marks 33 years since Elvis Presley passed away and if you’re reading this today or Tuesday I’m at Elvis Week 2010 in Memphis celebrating the life and legacy of someone I never knew but wouldn’t know how to live without.In honor of Elvis, I thought I would share a story I wrote following a spur-of-moment trip to Memphis and Graceland in 2006 when I was still in college.The weather made me want to curl up in Lisa Marie’s chair in the Jungle Room or the sofas in the TV room while outside all I could hear was the wind and rain hitting the side of Elvis’ home.

High rates lead to lawsuit

August 13, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The state attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against payday lending companies that operate on the Internet because the interest rates charged to Arkansas residents amounts to 782 percent annually.The companies do business as Arrowhead Investments, Inc., and Galaxy Marketing, Inc. The attorney general also sued an individual named Christopher Hodes, alleging that he controls the companies and markets payday loans to Arkansans through their web sites.

Let ’em eat soup

August 13, 2010 The members of the media who savaged my stepmother Nancy Reagan for buying new china for the White House — dinnerware that will last for decades — have for the most part either ignored the cost and the significance of Michelle Obama’s regal visit to Spain or downplayed it.

Discount applied inconsistently

August 12, 2010 This senior, for one, would like to see area restaurants get their act together in regard to senior discounts for meals. Or, it’s fine if eateries have no senior discounts — but, please, apply it consistently.Let’s have it one way or another, please.I like to eat where I can read a newspaper at lunch without carrying in my own copy of the paper. Of course, I also like good food at a decent price.However, I would prefer that managers of all restaurants make sure all of their employees understand whether seniors are eligible for a discount.

Tough times

August 12, 2010 Dear editor:We are facing the most ruthless and power hungry government in American history. The Obama administration is changing the face of America through an unelected and completely uncontrolled group of leftist radicals known as “CZARS.” Aided by the current Democrat Congress, they have the most effective and dedicated propaganda machine the world has ever known — the “mainstream” media.

‘Force’ lesson

August 11, 2010 Young people gained a valuable lesson in democracy with the recent tax vote. Let us hope they recognize it.Will Durant, probably America’s greatest historian of all time, points out that the biggest weakness in democracy is that only the wealthy have time for politics. And they tend to protect their own interests.

Proposition 8 is ongoing topic

August 11, 2010 Just when you thought we were settling in for another typical, slow August news month, along comes Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to overturn California’s Proposition 8. The one that banned same-sex marriages. Did you get that? He overturned the ban. Loosed the bonds. Broke the chains. Raised a rainbow flag. And reopened a can of worms the size of the Louisiana Purchase.

Rising prices

August 11, 2010 Am I the only old dope who enjoys hanging out in the toy department with his kids? The uncontainable excitement is akin to a sort of hyper-stimulation, which seems the natural result of being both surrounded by tons of toys and filled with an unlimited imagination.

Linking up with the boys

August 10, 2010 Lesson One: Always drop in the shade.When my young, athletic son called me on Friday morning to ask if I wanted to be the “fourth” early Saturday morning I gave him pretty much the same answer I always do. “Why don’t you call Uncle Beeper.  If he can’t make it, I’ll do it.”

Summer flying by

August 10, 2010 This summer seems to be flying by, with the fair and water carnival already behind us. The watermelon festival is this weekend, and the next thing you know we’ll be seeing school buses each morning. But what I am most eager to get over and done with is probably today’s special election. The city has had one other special election in recent years, a tax for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades, and it passed by a 90+ percent vote. So really, there wasn’t much controversy there.