Driven to distraction

October 13, 2009 “It wasn’t my fault. I glanced at my text message for only a second when the car in front of me hit me.”“How could the car in front of you hit you?”“The idiot stopped to let a dog cross the street — and dented my front bumper with his rear bumper. Yet the cops wrote me up for texting while driving!”“You speak of a spate of new distracted-driver laws that are emerging across America. The problem has become so pervasive, the federal government conducted a National Distracted Drivers Summit a few weeks ago.”“A summit for distracted driving?”

Market for all that stuff

October 13, 2009 I think I continue to be surprised at the number of old TV shows that find their way into DVD boxed sets. I mean, some of them weren’t that good the first time around, and I find it hard to believe there really is a market out there now for “Alf” and “Dinosaurs.” Gary and I have a few boxed sets, from “Little House on the Prairie,” which he loathes, and my favorite, “Chuck,” to his favorites, “Two and a Half Men” and “Spin City.” And judging by the number of DVDs we have, I realize we watch way too much television.

Ring of fire

October 12, 2009 As a disclaimer, I should mention that many of the things we did “back in the day” were done before the creation of the word “stupidity” (look it up) and prior to the establishment of law & order in the territory of Arkansas.

Fall changes

October 12, 2009 Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. The leaves start changing and there’s a nip in the air. It’s time to break out the sweaters and nothing sounds tastier than a hot bowl of soup or chili. It’s also the time for football and community fall festivals, which even as an adult are always fun and eventful. Yes, I love this time of year.

Status report

October 9, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Last year the Arkansas Economic Development Commission signed incentive contracts with 95 companies that will create almost 7,000 jobs.Total investment for the 95 projects will be more than $1.7 billion, a healthy increase over the previous year when new investments amounted to $1.58 billion. The new jobs created by the projects will pay hourly wages of $14.74, on average. That is down from the previous year, when the new jobs created averaged $15.74 an hour.

School spirit, not Holy Spirit

October 9, 2009 The varsity cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School are getting their 15 minutes in the news media spotlight this week.  Unfortunately, much of the sound-bite coverage may serve only to fuel the ignorance and strife over the role of religion in public schools.In case you missed it, on Sept. 28 school officials in Catoosa County, Ga., reluctantly barred the cheerleaders from holding banners with Bible verses for the football team to burst through when they take the field — a ritual that has been performed religiously for at least six years.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 8, 2009 There are still good neighborsDear editor:I read the article “Real and Unreal Neighbors” by Lisa Earle McLeod in Monday’s Sept. 14, 2009 paper.My husband and I are having yard problems also, but instead of a note put in our mailbox, our wonderful neighbors took it upon themselves to keep our yard looking nice, weed eating and mowing.My husband has been in and out of the hospital since June. He is 97 years old. He did all this work before he became disabled. He is now being in rehab.I thank the Lord that there is still people who care and help others.

Horse remains may have been Norse pony

October 8, 2009 The skeleton of a small horse found in an archaeological dig in a Wisconsin mound several years ago might have gone a long way toward proving whether Vikings lived in or at least reached that area before Columbus came along in 1492 to “discover” America.

Happy problems

October 7, 2009 “Oh no, too many people showed up, and we ran out of parking spaces.” “Groan, we already had three events this weekend, and now we have a fourth. I don’t see how we’re going to be able to fit it all in.” Such is the stuff of modern stress. Events don’t work out like you planned, or you have too many places to be. It’s all fodder for our angst.Yet it strikes me that many of the things we worry about are actually what I call “happy problems.”

Decisons, decisons

October 7, 2009 It’s a never-ending story.Every time I think it’s time to tackle a new project I have to deal with the obvious: Decisions, decisions.That’s the hardest thing for me to make when it comes to choosing a paint color.I’m currently in the process of picking one for the bathroom. Right now I’m living in a chocolate milk box with the exception of the office.I like chocolate, but I’m thinking the bathroom could use something a little milder.