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Watch out for the alligators

As a kid, my nose was almost always in a book and chances are that book was probably (A) Nancy Drew, (B) Harry Potter, or (C) a collection of urban legends.Growing up, I loved urban legends: alligator-infested sewers, vanishing hitchhikers, stolen kidneys … you name it, I’d probably heard it.Why do such stories persist generation after generation? With modern technology, you’d think that obviously untrue stories would fade away after a quick Google sear...

22 hours ago | | | Email

The ABCs of a Monday smile

As I have been free to point out in previous columns, I tend to be a Gloomy Gus, and as I have also said previously, I’m OK with that. But sometimes a little reminder to smile is a very good thing, and I had one of those this week that ended up making me not just smile, but laugh out loud.In my Monday blahs, which were more blah than usual, I was reminded by someone I run into quite frequently in the course of a work day that there is plenty to be thankful for.She ...

1 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Take a trip in our time machine

A few weeks ago, Tom Hughes of Hillsboro dropped off a bundle of old newspapers for me with a note reading, “If not interested, take to the library.”The library will have to do without.I love looking through old newspapers, and I know many of you do, too. Among the collection Tom dropped off are old newspapers from Hillsboro, Columbus, Cincinnati and Huntington, W. Va., many from the 1940s.A headline from The Columbus Sunday Dispatch of Nov. 7, 194...

3 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

The saving grace of a saving bell

While it is difficult to remember every class a person had while in high school there are, of course, some that stick out. One for me was an English lesson when we were discussing Shakespeare and our teacher told us how many common traditions and sayings have roots back to the 1500s.For example, the phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water,” dates back to when a family would have their yearly (yes, that’s right, yearly) bath. Logically, the clean...

7 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

The false promise of fame and fortune

When Robin Williams died last week, apparently by his own hand, it shocked everyone.Williams was an undisputed comic genius, known primarily for his uncanny ability to “free style” through comedy riffs that saw him morph seamlessly from one character to another and rattle off a stream-of-conscious monologue that was difficult for an audience to follow, let alone nearly impossible to imagine creating.In retrospect, it is all too easy to understand now that suc...

10 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

I finally figured it out

As a young boy trying to growing up, my parents often told me I was hard-headed. Looking back, I can see that their assessment was fairly accurate. But as a youngster, I never considered myself hard-headed or stubborn. I just figured I was right pretty much all the time. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that hasn’t changed much.

12 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

From flying toys to speeding go-karts

Not long ago, my family and I went to Gatlinburg. We’ve been going down there for nearly as long as I can remember. But during this last trip, something caught my attention that had nothing to do with the Smoky Mountains, souvenir shops, or putt-putt golf.I spent a lot of this trip hanging out with my dad. Of course, that’s not very unusual. My dad and I are – and always have been – very close. And while I’ve always known that I am “my fatherR...

14 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Shark Week is back, I guess

I wrote a column about sharks not too long ago, and I referenced not only “Jaws” quite a bit, but Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which began Sunday night.Despite my ability to become completely freaked out at the thought of sharks, I am getting angry at the educational channel for what seems to be year two of fake documentaries.But, it didn’t stop me from watching “Shark of Darkness: Submarine Returns” Sunday night, and for two hours,...

15 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Internet needs course in Courage 101

An acquaintance from northern Ohio read my column online last week about the revamps to our website and print edition, and zeroed in on my criticism of people who leave anonymous comments on stories, comments that attack people or institutions.He emailed me and wrote, “I think there are good reasons for anonymous comments once in a while. Sometimes people have real reasons to be afraid of retaliation.”

17 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Sometimes it takes a while

When I arrived at work one day recently there was a letter laying on my desk. Seeing that it was from Melvin K. Kruse Sr., I assumed the letter was about something his kids or grandkids had accomplished, because I’ve received several such letters from Mel over the years. But that wasn’t the case this time. This letter was directed to my wife, Elaine, and I.It had nice things to say about us both (she’s the deserving one) and after reading all seven pages I paused ...

19 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Wood finish, hand sanitizer, and cookies

“A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”“Wake up and smell the coffee.”“Something smells fishy.”We might not realize it, but we spend a lot of time thinking about our sense of smell. We sniff things out when there’s a mystery to be solved. After an arduous ordeal, we hope to come out smelling like roses. And when there’s a traitor in our midst, we smell a rat.Scents have a strange way of c...

21 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

Preparing to deliver the news in 4014

It’s often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the same goes for art, literature and cinema. The same can also be said for website and newspaper designs.Late last year, when The Times-Gazette switched from a website style and provider it had used for many years to another provider and style, the change was greeted with substantial criticism from readers. Much of that was based on the fact that change can be difficult.

24 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

How young is too young?

I was driving home from work the other day, listening to WLW on the radio as usual, when a talk show host posed the question: How young is too young to let your kid mow?The conversation centered around how some guy was letting his kid mow at a certain age – I do not recall the age, but it was somewhat young – and how that was just too young to cut a kid loose with a mower.I was struck by the question because it made me think about how old, or young, I was whe...

26 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

When we discover the raisins

There are a lot of pictures on Facebook that I didn’t really understand until I graduated from college. They are usually shared by people around my age, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.These pictures usually say things like, “I’ve decided that I no longer want to be an adult … If anyone needs me, I will be in my blanket fort, coloring.”They say human nature wants what it can’t have, and that perfectly describes growing up. Whe...

28 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

This has been the best one yet

My birthday on Saturday has been the best one yet.Of course, over the years, my standards have changed a bit, too.Once upon a time, my thoughts were on the gifts that would be brought to my party, a party that I always shared with my sister and my cousins.You see, one of my little sisters was born on my second birthday, and my two cousins, also sisters, were born two years apart on the same day, which happened to be two days before me and my sister’s bir...

29 days 22 hours ago | | | Email

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Watch out for the alligators

As a kid, my nose was almost always in a book and...

22 hours ago | | | Email

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