Woreout or workout

November 4, 2009 My oldest was talking me into a gym membership, and since I didn’t want to disturb the clothes I have hanging from my treadmill, I agreed.But what to wear was a problem. The only pair of workout pants I owned had been given a good shrinking in the dryer and my walking shoes would probably be rejected by a homeless person.“OK. I’ll go,” I said, “but tomorrow I have to buy something to work out in.” Looking like a refugee in my too-short pants and wrinkled T-shirt, I headed out.

Affairs of biology and morality

November 3, 2009 Oh great, more sex scandals. Insert eye roll here.We know how this monkey business works.Powerful, silver-haired man has a relationship with younger, less powerful woman. They break up, she spills the beans to the media, and we all shake our heads wondering why a guy who seems so smart would risk everything for a meaningless fling.The media’s abuzz about the affairs of David Letterman and ESPN’s Steve Phillips.

A piece of the Berlin Wall

November 3, 2009 Next Monday will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember sitting in school, discussing it in class, watching in amazement as pieces came tumbling down and people ran across the border. In the days that followed, we read news stories about families being put back together and the Communist leadership buckling.

Comfort found in child’s words

November 2, 2009 It’s usually normal to want one more day, one more conversation, one more chance to spend time with a loved one who’s passed away. Brooke and Keith Desserich of Ohio have hoped for all that and more since 6-year-old daughter Elena died of brain cancer.In some ways, they’re getting that with “Notes Left Behind” from the 6-year-old who loved to draw pictures and write notes. The story of Elena and the book, which her parents had only intended to put together so their youngest daughter could know about her big sister, aired Wednesday on NBC Today.

First Amendment guarantees

October 30, 2009 Every American is protected by the guarantees of the First Amendment, but protections for religious liberty and free expression apply only when government actions are involved — and therein is the rub for some of our fellow citizens.• A former Home Depot employee raised freedom of religion as a defense last week after he was fired for wearing a “One nation under God” button on his company apron. The worker says he was just showing his love of God and country, and showing support for his brother, who is about to begin a second National Guard tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Halloween past, present

October 29, 2009 As a grownup we can approach Halloween from two directions. We can either get dressed up and hit the party circuit or we can get dressed up and answer our door. Some try to figure out how to do both but I prefer focusing on the kids. It gives me a chance every year to remember what a great time I had as a kid in my old neighborhood in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Power of Rock ’N’ Roll Hwy. 67

October 29, 2009 The creation of Rock ’n’ Roll Highway 67 hopefully will boost tourism and spending in Northeast Arkansas, and it’s gotten off to a good start.The music and ribbon-cutting at the dedication of the highway drew a great crowd at Depot Days at Newport on Sept. 26 and great crowds also attended the two-day Rock ’n’ Roll Highway 67 Music Festival in Pocahontas at the northern end of the recently named road.

Fall decorating turns to veggies

October 28, 2009 Fall is a busy time for decorating, second only to Christmas, and the period when vegetables are valued more for their beauty than their flavor.Back when America was largely rural, bringing in the harvest was cause for celebration. Corn stalks were bundled into “fodder shocks” — stalks, ears, tassels and all — and stacked upright around light poles and near entries, and fed to livestock. Then came Halloween pumpkins, and Thanksgiving with its fresh fruit and colorful gourds gracing dining room tables.