“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.

Arkansas’ high point

May 5, 2009 In 2006, Mount Magazine opened a new lodge, and at the time we were sent so many press releases that I wondered what the big deal was. This weekend I found out.

Greens loss, Dems gain

May 4, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Richard Carroll is no Arlen Specter.The state’s only Green Party lawmaker who announced he was switching over to become a Democrat didn’t cause the same political shockwaves that Specter did. A day after the United States senator announced he was switching from Republican to Democrat, Carroll said he was also switching parties.

Memphis in mud

May 4, 2009 The person who thought it would be a great idea to mass produce rubber water boots must have been a female who got tired of getting muddy feet during the Beale Street musical festivals in May. In fact, I think those who peddle the rain ponchos around and at the festival could make a few bucks during the three-day festival by selling them. Goodness knows I’m glad I had my leopard print ones Sunday afternoon while standing in the rain and sloshing around in the mud.

Caught in legal snare

May 1, 2009 There is criminal law and there is civil law, there’s the long-running TV show “Law and Order,” and then there is the “law of unintended consequences.”Let’s hope that Indiana legislators will move soon to correct a bad case of the presumably unintended kind — one that unfairly and unnecessarily hinders student journalists, and which violates the spirit, if not also the letter, of First Amendment law.

Fiscal prudence is cool

May 1, 2009 The recession is now official, my teenager no longer shops at Abercrombie & Fitch.Yes, it’s true, teens who were once ashamed to be seen in anything but top-label, strategically distressed clothing are now ponying up to the register for $2 flip-flops and two-for-one tees at Target and Old Navy.

Elephant catch phrase

April 30, 2009 How many readers picked up on the meaning of the headline on this column last week?“Seeing the elephant” is a term that is almost 200 years old here in America. At one time, most people — even those considered very uneducated — knew what it meant.A voracious reader, especially about the Old West, hunting and trapping, the fur trade and early exploration, I’ve known the meaning of “seeing the elephant” since age 10 or possibly earlier.