Halloween is the best festive holiday

Halloween is the best festive holiday

The Academy Awards, Emmys and Grammys honor achievements in movies, television and music, and about every other week a country music awards show of so...

October 31st, 2015 |  


My love affair with bacon must end

My love affair with bacon must end

When I meet someone new and tell them I work for a newspaper, it’s not uncommon to hear something like, “I don’t like news. It’...

October 30th, 2015 |  


Mashing buttons, not potatoes

Mashing buttons, not potatoes

I’ve had to get used to a number of things since moving to North Carolina. It’s just a little different than what I was used to in Ohio.Of...

October 28th, 2015 |  


Halloween memories of having fun

Halloween memories of having fun

Halloween is just around the corner, and while I risk being labeled some sort of heretic pagan by some of my more conservative friends every time I sa...

October 25th, 2015 |  


Taking Facebook talk with a grain of salt

When the Founding Fathers established our system in the late 1700s and basic principles such as the right to free speech, I doubt any of them envision...

October 24th, 2015 |  


Objecting to a conscientious objector

Objecting to a conscientious objector

Last Tuesday evening I was laying in a hospital bed at the Veterans Affairs medical clinic in Salisbury. With little else to do I tuned into the Democ...

October 21st, 2015 |  


Debates are a waste of good air time

Debates are a waste of good air time

I am certainly a political junkie, but not to the point of being addicted to one of the major controlled substances of our election system nowadays: t...

October 17th, 2015 |  


Tucking in your shirt makes you happier and richer

Tucking in your shirt makes you happier and richer

Somewhere around the turn of the millennium, I decided it was hip not to tuck in my shirt. Been walking around ever since with shirt tail flapping, cu...

October 16th, 2015 |  


Playboy’s risque, err risky move

Playboy’s risque, err risky move

On Tuesday evening as I write this, a rumor that has been swirling for a couple of years finally was proved true.Playboy magazine will no longer featu...

October 15th, 2015 |  


Why can’t voters decide issues?

Why can’t voters decide issues?

Recently I wrote an article regarding a local woman who is lobbying against a dog tethering law in Surry County.Her cause seemed just enough, and her ...

October 14th, 2015 updated: October 14th, 2015. |  


Why don’t more city residents vote?

Why don’t more city residents vote?

Those who venture to downtown Mount Airy this weekend for the Autumn Leaves Festival no doubt will encounter mobs of people.Festival visitors will be ...

October 10th, 2015 |  


Being friends with God

Being friends with God

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Prov. 18:24 (KJV)Most fol...

October 9th, 2015 |  


Time to hurry up and get done, MLB

Time to hurry up and get done, MLB

There was a time when baseball was easily my favorite sport.I watched many games on a tiny 13” black-and-white TV in my bedroom because no one e...

October 8th, 2015 |  


Forgetting who the real boss is

Forgetting who the real boss is

As a public official I always found closed session, or “executive” session as we called it, a little bit annoying. I had to get up, go in ...

October 7th, 2015 updated: October 7th, 2015. |  


Planning for retirement when you are single

Planning for retirement when you are single

How does retirement planning differ for single people? At a glance, there would seem to be no difference in the retirement saving effort of an individ...

October 4th, 2015 |  


News flash: football possible in rain

News flash: football possible in rain

Over in Patrick County, Virginia, people still fondly recall the “Mud Bowl.”It was a high school football game played in the 1970s when th...

October 3rd, 2015 |  


Internet thieves steal your time

Internet thieves steal your time

Some days it is hard not to feel like the whole world is gunning for you. Like the old saying: It’s not paranoia if everyone really is out to ge...

October 1st, 2015 |  


Straight from the pen of rebels

Straight from the pen of rebels

Having received a quality public school education, I learned a little bit about the American Civil War in school. I learned a little bit more in an Am...

September 30th, 2015 |  


Astronomy teaches simple life lessons

Tonight, and maybe into the wee hours of Monday, we have a chance to witness a relatively rare occurrence — a blood moon and a super moon happen...

September 27th, 2015 updated: September 27th, 2015. |  


Life insurance with long term care riders

Life insurance with long term care riders

The price of long term care insurance is really going up. If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you h...

September 27th, 2015 |  


U.S. should care for its own, not Syrians

U.S. should care for its own, not Syrians

Despite all the calamities the U.S. has been through, we Americans have never seen fit to turn tail and run, to abandon our homeland as Syrians have b...

September 26th, 2015 updated: September 26th, 2015. |  


Andy and me, two degrees of separation

Andy and me, two degrees of separation

Every city has its own form of social capital. In New York, it’s net worth. To be socially prominent, one needs to be on the Forbes billionaire&...

September 25th, 2015 |  


Passing time at 3 in the morning

Passing time at 3 in the morning

People who know me well generally can say three things about me.One, I like to cut up. If I can’t have a laugh and make others laugh, then it be...

September 24th, 2015 |  


We control the future

According to a U.S. News report the 2016 presidential candidates and their “super” political action committees had raised more than $350 m...

September 23rd, 2015 |  


Keeping all this volatility in perspective

Keeping all this volatility in perspective

Fall might be anything but calm on Wall Street. Volatility is back, in a big way: the CBOE VIX has risen more than 105 percent since the end of July. ...

September 20th, 2015 |  


‘One angry man’ has his day in court

‘One angry man’ has his day in court

Until this week, my knowledge of what it’s like to serve on a jury was limited to two things:One was watching the classic movie “Twelve An...

September 19th, 2015 |  


Seven days does not a Fashion Week make

Seven days does not a Fashion Week make

All of the STEM emphasis in public schools may be starting to pay off. The new owners of New York Fashion Week finally have the math skills to figure ...

September 18th, 2015 |  


Forgiveness: The prisoner it really frees is you

Forgiveness: The prisoner it really frees is you

I truly believe that this world would be a much better place to live if people could just forgive one another. Most people don’t realize the lif...

September 18th, 2015 |  


Fairgrounds bring back memories

Fairgrounds bring back memories

I covered a volleyball match at Mount Airy High School Tuesday evening.As I exited the school, the sky had darkened, except for lots of flashing light...

September 17th, 2015 |  


Government playing real estate agent

Government playing real estate agent

I’m a firm believer in the thought that government should remain as small as possible. At the federal level I want government to supply a battle...

September 16th, 2015 updated: September 16th, 2015. |  


Greenways have been great gift to citizens

Greenways have been great gift to citizens

Longtime readers probably know that I am not a fan of government, which based on my observations tends to be overbearing and oppressive to citizens in...

September 12th, 2015 |  


It’s September and that ribbon is gold

It’s September and that ribbon is gold

The person who first decided to designate a specific color of ribbon to a specific disease or cause made one serious error. There are way more disease...

September 11th, 2015 |  


Cementing the Clinton legacy

The Clintons are individuals who seem to be obsessed with their legacy, and Hillary’s latest scandal is destined to help them in their bid to be...

September 8th, 2015 |  


Four words you shouldn’t believe

Four words you shouldn’t believe

“This time is different.” Beware those four little words. They are perhaps the most dangerous words an investor can believe in. If you bel...

September 6th, 2015 |  


The natural order of things

The natural order of things

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit – you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high ...

September 6th, 2015 |  


White collars, but no orange jumpsuits

White collars, but no orange jumpsuits

A television series called “Orange is the New Black” deals with life inside a women’s prison. The show’s title, of course, ref...

September 5th, 2015 |  


A perfect day and a revelation

A perfect day and a revelation

If we are granted one perfect day in our lives, then last Saturday was mine. One would not think that being rousted from bed at 4:15 a.m. would be the...

September 3rd, 2015 |  


We writers need to lead by example

My coworker Tom Joyce likes to say, “When you work with words, words are your work.”Being a career journalist means becoming knowledgeable...

September 3rd, 2015 updated: September 3rd, 2015. |  


De-funding corruption and evil

De-funding corruption and evil

Recently, I covered an event in which U.S. Rep. Mark Walker spoke to a pretty large crowd at Page’s Books and Coffee Shop. While I’m sure ...

September 2nd, 2015 updated: September 2nd, 2015. |  


Surrounding government in secrecy?

We wondered, at least for a few hours, if Dobson officials might be reverting to the tricks of an earlier regime there.Readers may recall in 2008 when...

August 30th, 2015 |  


Race conveniently dodged in Va. deaths

Race conveniently dodged in Va. deaths

Let me get this straight: A man who happens to be white guns down nine African-Americans in a church in South Carolina in June and it is immediately l...

August 29th, 2015 |  


Is participation worth a trophy?

Is participation worth a trophy?

In the past few weeks I’ve heard a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of participation trophies or the practice of giving trophies to eve...

August 28th, 2015 updated: August 28th, 2015. |  


What’s missing — mimosas

What’s missing — mimosas

I really enjoy my life here in Surry County. I have a job that I don’t hate, a family I love and some good friends in the area. That stated, my ...

August 26th, 2015 |  


The lamp that got away

The lamp that got away

Last year at the the age of 56, I finally got around to having a will drawn up. Since I am clearly nearer to the end than the beginning, it was certai...

August 21st, 2015 |  


Showing a love of country

Showing a love of country

The Aug. 6 Republican presidential debate certainly altered a few of my views and also confirmed many of my opinions about the candidates who took the...

August 19th, 2015 |  


The labelization of America

Now that some of the dust has settled from the Aug. 6 GOP presidential debate, I’d like to share something that stood out for me.Among the many ...

August 16th, 2015 |  


First the flag, now Dixie – what’s next?

First the flag, now Dixie – what’s next?

As a longtime Washington Redskins fan, I have a deep hatred for their bitter rivals the Dallas Cowboys which goes far beyond just wanting “the &...

August 15th, 2015 |  


Be selfish, shop local

Be selfish, shop local

While most of the world is focused on back to school purchases right now, horsey folk are more concerned with tack buying for the fast approaching fal...

August 14th, 2015 updated: August 14th, 2015. |  


Government is best when kept close

Government is best when kept close

I am a true believer in the thought process that the best government takes place at the level closest to the people. I’ve seen many governmental...

August 12th, 2015 |  


Cecil the lion’s death — to roar or not

Cecil the lion’s death — to roar or not

If nothing else, the recent killing of Cecil the lion illustrates the deep divide between people in the United States regarding animal-related issues....

August 8th, 2015 |