A tribute to my Dad

June 23, 2009 I grew up in a very traditional 60’s household. My dad was a hard working machinist in a local factory. Until my sister and I were older, Mom either stayed at home or worked part-time in retail. She did all the housework and cooking. Dad liked to come home after work, have a few beers and watch TV. Mom was the disciplinarian in the family. There was none of this “you just wait until your father comes home” stuff. If a kid needed a smacking, she was perfectly capable of fulfilling that duty.

Found items

June 23, 2009 We’ve all found something. You know, books, receipts, notes, cards, sketches and pencil drawings, poems and limericks, etc. I didn’t mean the meaning of life or anything. I’m talking about those little non-descript items found on a shelf at the grocery store, stuck in a gym locker, on the school bus or a park bench, left behind at the doctor’s office or inside a library book, a coat pocket or even abandoned houses about to be torn down.

Coal plant faces battles

June 22, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Opponents of a $1.6 billion coal-fired power plant in southwest Arkansas have multiple fronts on which they’re battling the facility, and limited time to keep waging that fight.With appeals pending before the state Court of Appeals and state regulators, environmental groups are attempting to show that Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s proposed John W. Turk plant — and the pollution they say it’ll bring — hasn’t been given a close enough look before winning approval.

No place like home

June 22, 2009 A vacation can take you somewhere you’ve never been. It can put you in touch with people you’ve never met and stand as the perfect catalyst to try something you would have never been so daring to try at home.A vacation can inspire or get your mind off your troubles. Sometimes, it can leave you wondering why you went on one in the first place.However, while a vacation is usually a way to “get away from it all,” most of the time it ends up being a way to “get back to,” at least for me. 

TLC needs a reality check

June 19, 2009 There is always an aura of unreality that surrounds “reality shows,” but nowhere is that more apparent than on TLC’s expanding cable network, which features shows such as “Jon and Kate Plus 8” and “18 Kids and Counting.”The world is careening toward a climate disaster; an international food crisis looms on the horizon; and scarcity of fresh water, oil, and other resources are dampening future economic growth prospects, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 18 children are doing just fine, thank you.

Relationship priorities

June 19, 2009 This is for you “baby daddies” out there — for you and for those who know and love a man who has become a “baby daddy.” It’s Father’s Day, after all, and being a “baby daddy” seems to be a growing form of fatherhood. For those who don’t know the term, it describes a man who fathers a child when neither he nor the mother intends to marry or even stay together.I understand the cultural changes behind becoming a baby daddy. Some of them are positive changes.

Of buzzards, lightning

June 18, 2009 A storm came up Friday afternoon while I was laying blocks on a house foundation east of Batesville. Raindrops began falling but they were pretty far apart so I was not going to stop work — after all, that was the coolest it had been all day.But lightning soon drove me to take refuge in my car. Lightning can zoom 10 miles or more across the sky and kill someone.

At home and abroad

June 18, 2009 I went to the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md., last year to train in Army Public Affairs as a print and photojournalist. Basically, I was learning how to write articles and take photographs in order to tell the story of soldiers as they defend our country against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I was there three months, which meant that I missed about a third of Gloria’s very first pregnancy. I am thankful that I was home in time for the birth of Zachary Neal Vaughn on Sept. 5.