Which one are you ? Straight ticket all the way, no matter what or I always look at the individual who is running . Admittedly it is much easier to vote a straight ticket once you decide which political party is more palatable or less distasteful . My mother was a straight ticket Democrat for her entire voting life , I guess ; except once . I dont remember if it was 1968 or 1972 but her firstborn son ( yours truly ) convinced her to to vote for Nixon . Seems like she reminded me of that grievous faux pas more than once . My wife actually tried to explain to out 8 year old grandson that Nana and Papa try to look at the person rather than just the party . He was actually interested since he had an opportunity to vote for president in his class at school- sorry cant divulge his choice . One interesting note – in North Carolina , if one is voting a straight ticket , one must still vote separately for president . Seems that this change was made in the late 60′s when state legislators feared that a weak presidential candidate would hurt in statewide races ( insert name of Democrat party here ) . So if you havent voted yet, n=by all means do so and read the entire ballot and make an effort to choose on an individual basis .
The above title came from a phrase that I was ” reliably ” quoted as using often as a young child . It says a couple of things , I guess . First, that I had a small problem with words ( here’s another – Esso spelled Pepsi -Cola ) and that I was a happy child which reportedly I was . As we age , it seems to become harder to be happy and even harder , nigh impossible to stay happy for any length of time . I am gradually and too slowly coming to grips with the idea that happiness is not the end all that some ( even preachers ) would have us believe but rather we should seek joy and/or contentment whichever speaks more to you . In church , we just finished a four week series on Habakkuk , who learned that happiness aint where its at , so to speak . Read through those three chapters sometime and specially focus on the last three verses in Chapter 3 . When we arrived at them today, I noticed numerous notes in my Bible that I had from a well done sermon from about 6 years ago from my then pastor, Dr Glynn Dickens . He and my current pastor , Mike Gothard approached the topic from different angles but with similar and well put conclusions . As Mike said , scripture abounds with lessons on contentment and joy but not so much happiness – see Hebrews 11 and Philippians 4:13 . So , I seek , not always successfully , to focus not the circumstances that change but on the realities that do not – Hebrews 13:8 .
There was a brief protest march here in Elizabeth City a day or so ago . As I understand it , the protest was about action being proposed by our city council concerning a local nonprofit agency . I dont particularly want to get involved in the issue per se but rather in a facet of the march . As our Daily Advance newspaper reported , many of the marchers were children and supposedly the idea for the march came from these children. All well and good – perhaps . The newspaper photograph accompanying the article showed several people carrying signs. One of these signs bore the name of a local council member , stating that this person hates kids . Of course the person had to issue a denial . Now , I dont really know this individual except by reputation . However, I strongly doubt that they hate kids . Sad to say , this is sorta like unringing a bell, the comment was made and published and I wonder how many will believe it ?
I wasnt gonna do this but I am just so fed up with this kind of stuff . Jon Stewart, the great comedic voice of this generation and so I am told the main source of news for this generation made a speech at Northeastern University on October 17. He was making comments about Sarah Palin and expressing his disdain for her and/or her policies . This man who is so erudite and well spoken resorted to the well worn favorite profanity of so many – “F*** you ” to express his feelings about Ms Palin . He joins such a growing list of Hollywood types ranging from the aged, Betty White and Brigitte Bardot to the young, Lindsay Lohan and the in the middle Ashley Judd . All have expressed their opinions of Ms Palin very colorfully if crudely. Guess Stewart was jealous or just wanted equal time , Oh yes. his audience cheered loudly . As Paul Harvey might say Ahhh ! I dont care if you like Palin, her policies or her party and this could go for the Democrats ( except I havent heard too many celebs talk about Democrats this way ) .as well I guess. Out with the crudity, please, could you ?
My thanks to Charles Schulz and the famous Snoopy for the above title idea . As those who follow college football and Carolina in particular , there was yet another excruciating loss in Charlottesville yesterday . I have read that maybe this one was the worst, being in overtime after the Heels led for 58 of 60 minutes . Perhaps it was but that’s sorta like saying one migraine or one root canal is worse than another . Being a bit of a pessimist when Tar Heel football is concerned ( I know , stoopid ) I cannot say I was surprised but disappointed nonetheless . I can only imagine how the players, especially the seniors must have felt . Linebacker Mark Paschal is one of the team’s defensive leaders . Irony of ironies , his father Doug played in the 1981 game, the last win at Virginia . Cheer up, Heels fans, still only one win away from being bowl eligible- dont worry- it will come , I think, no it will wont it ? – against Boston College or Georgia Tech, right ?
This week is an anniversary week for my wife and I . Not wedding but that which precedes the wedding . On October 14 , 1970 we met for the first time and might I add I was definitely smitten. On October 16 we had our first date which thankfully led to other dates and to the sharing of our lives together . But some detail . It was one of those do you know anybody that might be interested kind of things . Appalachian home coming was near and I had no date and no prospects thereof . But looking back at what had to be the Lord at work , a blind meeting was arranged between a young lady from Elizabeth City ( which i had no clue about ) and a socially awkward guy from Eden . The place was Cone dorm on the ASU campus and it was a Wednesday . In those days one didnt just waltz up to a girls dorm room- there were guys and girls dorms of course . One had to march bravely up to a desk and tell an intimidating woman who they were there to visit . By the magic of the intercom the young lady was called, informed of her potential visitor at which time she had the option of saying yes or no . To my dying day , I will be glad she said yes . My wife actually remembers what she was wearing that day, all I remember was wow ! I still wonder at times why she said yes , maybe just to hear the Four Seasons sing ( yes they were popular then ) when she in all likelihood could have made a different and perhaps better choice . But wonder of wonders , she even agreed to attend the football game on Saturday after the concert . I couldn’t have foreseen what was to come of course but I have had a faithful , loving partner to experience it . So, thank you Boone NC and Appalachian , for putting us together . One postscript, years later we drove through the ASU campus with our children and pointed and told them, see that building , that was your mom’s dorm, where we met for the first time . Their collective awe struck response – So ?
I sorta borrowed the title from all time favorite newsman, Paul Harvey , a person who can genuinely be called a living legend . Anyway , here in our little town of Elizabeth City, I have been observing a kinds, sorta phenomenon of late . That would be a veritable explosion of church expansions . I can think of at least five church building projects that are either ongoing or ( in one case ) just completed . At least three of these when completed will dramatically alter the size, shape etc of the existing facilities . I believe I am correct in observing that none of the aforementioned churches are from traditional denominations . What this means, I do not know. Should I be excited about this- I think yes but I dont know why for certain; knowing that as clothes dont necessarily make the man neither do buildings necessarily make the church . Let us hope that this building boom that started with brick and mortar extends to God at work in the lives of people .
Well Heels fans , we should be very happy about now . An exhilirating win last Saturday over Notre Dame ” vaulting ” the team to as high as 18th in the polls . I am a Heels football fan of long standing remembering a 50- 0 win over that team from Durham in the late 1950′s ( man that sounds ancient ) but also being plagued with another memory . This one only goes back to 1981 . Carolina had a stellar running back named Kelvin Bryant or KB . He was one of the best to play tailback for the Heels, scoring 6 touchdowns in a game that season , He was on pace to set all sorts of individual records . At the time , I lived in Georgia but was fortunate enough to get a ticket to the Carolina – Georgia Tech game in Atlanta . If memory serves me correctly, I remember Bryant breaking loose for a potential td run down the far sideline when a Tech player dived at him, I think clipping his knee. It was an innocuous looking play until he didnt get up. Long story short, he had a serious knee injury and a magical season ended . Thankfully for him he recovered and had a short but productive pro career . Now the pessimist fan returns to bemoan the injury to Brandon Tate , another player having a once in a lifetime season ( Tate in 08 ) Our condolences and best wishes for a complete recovery to a hard working young man who I hope has much football success in his future . But this week brings a trip to Thomas Jefferson U where the guys in light blue havent won in a gazillon years . Time for history to change ?
With apologies to Chris Berman of ESPN, I ” borrow ” the above phrase to talk about a topic unrelated to sports- the humble art of backing a vehicle . Remembering the dusty past when I endured a painful experience with driver training, this skill has necessarily been the strongest part of my driving repertoire . My wife on the other hand has always been proficient at same, even to the point of employing the dreaded technique of parallel parking – something doubtless invented by someone who enjoys tormenting others . Anyway, in my current occupation, there is an interesting dichotomy on backing . Since my job requires driving , myself and my coworkers are enjoined ( correctly so, I must say ) to practice safe driving techniques and to be particularly wary of backing up . Dont do it if you can avoid it . However , when parking we are obliged to back into our parking places . So this of course requires backing at the least a few times every day . Although I by no means would rate my backing skills as highly qualified , I would consider them to be above average , sufficiently so that I find myself more often than not backing into parking places at malls, church etc . Sidebar, I dont like to park near other vehicles when I can avoid it . Today , we arrived at church late and there being limited parking , I ended up backing into a space and sorta out loud congratulating myself . In a way that only she can my wife responded to my self congratulatory statement with a ” just shows that old dogs can learn new tricks ” . Lacking a witty comeback, all I had was ” woof ” .
At long last the time has come for an ode to coffee , a paen to that morning or afternoon or evening cup or multiple cups of good ole Joe . Those who know are aware that it is the crucial element for getting one’s day off to a ( great ) start of any kind . Without it, how unfortunate we would be indeed . Those of you who are not blessed with the taste bud to enjoy coffee have my undying sympathy . Thankfully, my adult children and my beloved wife all share in enjoying this delightful beverage . We do not all drink the same flavorings or quantities but that is not the main factor, we all comsume the brew. We indeed owe a debt to those who lived in 9th century Ethiopia where the lowly bean was first cultivated . And hats off to Juan Valdez and his burro for their modern day efforts . Whether you enjoy it by dunking a doughnut which is how I started before I learned better or with pie or cake or whatever , I raise my mug and salute ( health benefits or lack of same yet to be determined for certain so until the next study or two or three , drink on ) Hear ! Hear !
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