Lifestyles Columnists

Apr. 23, 2015 @ 01:15 PM

Carl Mays: Exercise your ability to concentrate

"The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming An Individual In An Age Of Distraction," by Matthew B. Crawford, published March 2015, is a very interesting read. It's his second book, following "Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into The Value Of Work." I can relate to both – and so can you.


Apr. 17, 2015 @ 02:11 PM

Jake Old: I can't wait to watch 'Game of Thrones' unfold

HBO's popular fantasy television show "Game of Thrones," based on a series of books by George R.R. Martin, is back. And for the first time in a few years, I'm anxious about what is going to happen.


Apr. 17, 2015 @ 11:36 AM

Adriana Zoder: There's more to spring than pollen

So it's April again, and that means only one thing: pollen. Oh, and Earth Day. For our annual trash collecting expedition around the neighborhood, we were getting ready mentally. Alas, one of our neighbors got ahead of us with her children. During spring break, they spent a few hours collecting trash from the ditches of our subdivision and trash they did collect.


Apr. 17, 2015 @ 11:23 AM

Public Pulpit: We realize we serve a risen Savior

Ah, April. Spring is here. What a wonderful feeling of freshness in the air! Everywhere you look there is something new, vibrant, alive, colorful, and it makes my heart sing.


Apr. 16, 2015 @ 05:50 PM

Carl Mays: The bountiful harvest is coming

I've written previously about Dr. J. Winston Pearce, fellow speaker at some of the senior adult conferences I hosted in Gatlinburg. At the time, he was retired as a professor at Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., and was serving as a writer-in-residence at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. Today I've been thinking again about what this biblical scholar, researcher and outstanding instructor told me in one of our conversations. Dr. Pearce said there is evidence that the energy of every sound, voice and spoken word is retained in the atmosphere. He said it may be possible in the future for some instrument to search out and tune into voices and words of the past. How exciting this could be – and how scary.


Apr. 11, 2015 @ 12:55 PM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet makes progress

Ah, my friends, I have to admit I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I mentioned last week that my fiancée and her kids moving in; they are to be officially moved in on or before the 15th of this month. That's easy – I'm really looking forward to that part of this. They're awesome.


Apr. 10, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

Carl Mays: Increase your creativity with good habits

I stand by what I wrote in my "A Strategy For Winning" book and have said many times at my speaking engagements: Everyone can increase his or her creativity. No doubt about it. Some people think creativity means bringing something into existence that never existed before. Well, God did that, but for humans, true creativity involves taking an idea, an object, a method, a group of people – something that's been around for a while – and standing back, looking at it with a different perspective and giving it a different twist.


Apr. 10, 2015 @ 11:21 AM

Public Pulpit: Tourist areas present unique opportunities to witness

I write this from a hotel by Disney World, which is similar to Dollywood with an extra billion or so dollars thrown in. I went into a Norwegian stave church such as the old wooden churches I saw in Norway.


Apr. 04, 2015 @ 01:24 PM

Adriana Zoder: The UT Violin Festival is a worthy endeavor

Last year, I wrote about our experience at our first UT Violin Festival. Before I give you the scoop on this year's festival, let's talk money. A professional violin lesson, which lasts 30 minutes, costs $35 to $50. The festival offers 12 hours of seminars and workshops, over two days, as well as two concerts with world-class instrumentalists. It's all for the bargain price of $40.


Apr. 03, 2015 @ 02:28 PM

Kenneth Burns: Musical nostalgia is a seductive lure

On my Facebook feed, the excitement began building days in advance.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet sets the table for six

Those of you who read my Valentine’s Day column about a month ago know I am engaged. Space constraints kept me from mentioning a very important part of the situation: my fiancée has four children who will be moving in as well and, I suppose, will expect to be fed.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Jake Old: I'm surprised I like 'Better Call Saul'

Recently I've been enjoying the new AMC television show "Better Call Saul." It's a spinoff of AMC's successful show "Breaking Bad," which centered on a high school teacher turned drug dealer.


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

Carl Mays: Curiosity can lead to satisfaction, knowledge, discovery, success

"Curiosity killed the cat." Most of us have probably heard this saying from childhood. However, tacked onto that statement is the adage, "Satisfaction (or knowledge or discovery or success) brought it back (to life)." The killing of the cat aspect has usually been used to warn us away from getting involved in unwise or unnecessary investigations or experimentations. Or, as another old saying admonishes us, "Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong." But the satisfaction, gained knowledge, discovery or success aspect can be rewarding – if we don't experience disappointment or negative results.


Mar. 21, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Adriana Zoder: Romanian embassy visit is trip back in time

In the battle between big cities and small towns, there are no right answers. Every family is different. Some parents have jobs that require them to live in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York or Pigeon Forge. As for me, I recently realized that given the choice between a small town and a big city, I would choose a small town.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

Beyond standard sports fare with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

For the last 35 years, ever since I had my first apartment, I take the first four days of March Madness off work and institute an ‘open house’ policy in my home. From noon to midnight, for four days, all my friends are welcome to come by. We enjoy some food, partake in a few beverages, and park ourselves on the couch. No interruptions or distractions are tolerated. For pure sports drama, there’s nothing like the NCAA tournament.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

Jeff Farrell: Terry Pratchett reminded us to see the good in people

Seeing the news last week of author Terry Pratchett's death was, for me, like finding that a friend had died.


Mar. 19, 2015 @ 06:23 PM

Carl Mays: 80 percent of divorce cases can be salvaged

The Ides of March, March 15, is notoriously known as the date Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. – an occurrence popularized by Shakespeare. However, I have now been informed that March may also be an extremely deadly month for marriages. Read on.


Mar. 16, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet keeps it simple

In cooking, as with many aspects of life, simple is often best. I have a rule of thumb that I go by at least 90 percent of the time: The more expensive an ingredient is, the less I do with it.


Mar. 14, 2015 @ 04:19 PM

Kenneth Burns: After all these years, I forgive Steve Martin

I forgive Steve Martin. I was surprised to realize this the other day. I didn't know I'd been holding a grudge.


Mar. 12, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

Carl Mays: Are you – gasp – 'nomophobic'?

I knew it existed long before I ever heard of “nomophobia.” And then I was finally introduced to the psychological term. Now I am seeing more and more articles about it. There’s no wonder these reports are multiplying. Like you, I’ve seen evidence all around that it is a growing condition exponentially permeating our society.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 04:36 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rose Glen festival is a must for book lovers

Rose Glen Literary Festival happens once a year in Sevier County, at the end of February. If you love books and the writing process, you should attend Rose Glen. What's in it for you? Free workshops about the writing and publishing process, book sales in the foyer, meeting authors, writers, and book and magazine publishers. The luncheon, which is ticketed, features a special literary guest and a complimentary pottery soup bowl.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 12:45 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet turns up the heat

Last week I wrote that I'd had enough of winter, and I meant it.


Mar. 06, 2015 @ 11:58 AM

Jake Old: I'm not ready to shave my beard

This weekend I'll be back in my hometown of Murfreesboro for the first time since Christmas. I've normally gone back home every four to six weeks since moving to Sevierville in 2013, so this is the longest I've gone between trips.


Mar. 05, 2015 @ 01:42 PM

Carl Mays: Let your gratitude flow

Fast Company recently ran an article titled "Seven Habits of Optimistic People" by Stephanie Vozza, in which she gleaned information from Jacob Wachob, cofounder and CEO of the healthy living site MindBodyGreen.com; and David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism. According to Vozza's findings, optimists express gratitude, donate time and energy, show interest in others, surround themselves with upbeat people, don't listen to naysayers, forgive others, and smile.


Feb. 27, 2015 @ 01:14 PM

Jeff Farrell: Yahoo, is that really the top news story?

Maybe I'm just not the target audience for some digital news outlets.