Baseball, jobs, table poker

May 12, 2009 Anyone who has been following this column knows I’m a baseball nut. I plead guilty to the charge. I tried out for my first baseball team at the age of 9. In our city, back then, not everyone who wanted to play got to, even at that early age. There were no rules mandating that every kid had to play an inning, or get an at bat, during games. Space was limited.

Commission faces hurdles

May 11, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Lottery Commission has the unenviable task of setting up from scratch a multi-million business for the state. They’re doing it with little instruction and plenty of eyes watching.The nine members of the panel charged with setting up and supervising the games of chance approved by voters last fall face plenty of obstacles as they try to meet the goal of selling the first lottery tickets to the public by the end of the year.If the commission’s first meeting is any indication, they’re working without a net.

Cast iron memories

May 11, 2009 I don’t remember much about Gladys. But I know I won’t forget her. Her hair was short and grey. She was petite and wore eyeglasses and her car was a pale lime green model from the 70s.From the age of about 2 to 6, Gladys was my next door neighbor when my family lived in El Dorado. Her home was quaint and had the right amount of whimsical furniture, plush white carpet and knickknacks needed to qualify it as one of those cute little old lady houses.

Fears and facts

May 8, 2009 Now that the City Council has approved Batesville’s Historic District ordinance, I thought I’d try to relieve some of the fears spread around while the program was before the City Council. Here are seven of the most frequently heard fears and the facts that should allay them.IFear: Some have heard that the ordinance will bring costs property owners can’t afford.Facts: 1) No one has produced a single example of that having happened in the twenty Arkansas cities that already have Historic District Commissions (HDCs).

Rows of 1918 graves

May 7, 2009 After being called the “forgotten pandemic,” the 1918 influenza pandemic is suddenly back in the news.That, of course, is because of the current swine flu. Both came from the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus. Some differences between the 1918 version and the current swine flu is that the swine flu is much milder as long as it doesn’t mutate into something worse.So far, so good.No one knows yet where this swine flu thing is going.

“Unenlightened Mom”

May 6, 2009 My mother would have brained us had we acted like the runts at the coffee shop.My mother entered the world 72 years ago, the oldest of six. My mother and her three sisters not only shared one bedroom, they shared one bed — she learned lots about sharing and humility.In the late 1950s, when she graduated from high school, there was no money for college or business school. My mother got a job in a bank. She became engaged to my father and awaited his return from the military.

Swine flu information

May 6, 2009 Q. What is swine flu?A. A respiratory disease caused by a type-A influenza virus that has mutated into H1N1, and is currently terrorizing the globe. Don’t you read the papers?Q. What are these papers you speak of? Poor President Obama. Everything happens on his watch. Does he have the worst job in the world right now?A. Perhaps a close second to Mexico’s Minister of Tourism. That you wouldn’t wish on the CEO of AIG.Q. Just because of the swine flu?

Monster remotes, curses

May 5, 2009 Some time ago I wrote about the Monster Remote my kids bought for the family room TV and game systems. The purpose for buying the over-sized controller was so that it wouldn’t get lost like the small remote that came with the TV. The Monster served it’s purpose well, and never disappeared into one of the Black Holes I came to believe infest our house.