Lifestyles Columnists

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.


Feb. 26, 2015 @ 04:23 PM

Carl Mays: Engage the ‘thinking’ region of your brain

A book I have enjoyed reading and referring to over the years is “The Hidden Persuaders” by Vance Packard. In the book, first published in 1957, Packard wrote of psychological techniques used by merchandisers and advertisers to lead consumers to purchase products and services. He also revealed various techniques used by savvy politicians and organizations to get votes. With his explanations, Packard also questioned the morality of such tools. As a motivational speaker and writer, I, of course, realize the validity of the right motivational tools or techniques used correctly in positive ways.


Feb. 22, 2015 @ 12:23 AM

Kenneth Burns: I never got used to Wisconsin winters

As I watched the snow fall over East Tennessee last week, I thought to myself: I didn't leave Wisconsin for this.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 06:22 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rossetti survived the winter, and so will we

This weather reminds me of my three years in Sweden. Dark days, snow showers, icy roads, freezing cold, all of which force us to stay inside and turn on many lights and candles, to create that much needed coziness.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 09:45 AM

Stay warm with Smoky Mountain Gourmet's pork loin

I cannot express how much I look forward to writing about how to best use the fresh vegetables we've just picked from our gardens, and what our best options for the grill might be. Spring is officially just over a month away, but as I write this, with another winter storm forecast to hit the day before this column runs, a month seems like a century.


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:58 PM

Carl Mays: Musings on Murphy's Law

How many times have you quoted or heard someone quote Murphy's Law? I'm talking about the law that says, "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." Have you ever wondered exactly who Murphy was? Did he or she actually come up with such a law? When? Why? What were the circumstances?


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:42 PM

Upland Chronicles: James Chandler was a trailblazing black educator

Fifty years ago, the nation was mesmerized by the Selma to Montgomery marches taking place in Alabama, part of the voting rights movement that led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act. The previous year, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting segregation in public facilities. The entire country, particularly the South, was going through a period of cultural transformation.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Jake Old: I wish I'd had musical guidance

Earlier this week, I wrote a story about an improvisational music workshop that will take place in Gatlinburg next month, free of charge.


Feb. 13, 2015 @ 06:28 PM

Chinese New Year with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

Happy Year of the Goat! Or is it the Year of the Ram? Possibly sheep…


Feb. 12, 2015 @ 01:44 PM

Carl Mays: Remember this when dealing with a dissatisfied human being

I was standing near an exchange/return line at a big-box store and overheard a conversation between a customer and an employee. It was a good example of how to handle a hard-to-satisfy customer.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:27 AM

Jeff Farrell: The drama of national signing day is irresistible

In the middle of a hectic week, I spent a good portion of my day Wednesday keeping up with the college decisions of some high school kids I've never met.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet gets engaged

For a good month or so, there hasn't been any real doubt about the topic of this week's column. It's my last one before Valentine's Day, and though it's not official as I'm writing this, by the time you read this, I will be engaged.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

Adriana Zoder: Spread some love on Valentine's Day

February rolls around, finally, and it's time to celebrate: the groundhog, the Valentine thingy and my birthday. The groundhog is easy because, regardless of his prediction, he is adorable. And when those handlers handle him, he just sits there looking all furry and fat, and you just want to reach into your TV screen or whatever device screen you happen to be watching on, and pet him.


Feb. 05, 2015 @ 01:53 PM

Carl Mays: Take it from Malcolm Butler: Work, prepare and believe

Like many football fans, I wasn't familiar with Malcolm Butler prior to the recent Super Bowl. Actually, I still wasn't familiar with him until he made that pass interception at the Patriots' goal line with approximately 20 seconds in the game to keep the Seahawks from scoring, securing New England's 28-24 victory over Seattle. Not even until announcers mentioned it did I remember Butler was the victimized defender only moments earlier when the Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse made an incredible juggling catch, which gained 33 yards and got Seattle to the five-yard line.


Jan. 30, 2015 @ 06:12 PM

Kenneth Burns: I like my Fitbit, but do I need it?

A few days ago, my dentist had her hands in my mouth.


Jan. 29, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Carl Mays: Amid unrest, never tire of giving

Not long ago I was talking to a class of young people with writing aspirations. During the Q&A session regarding columns and articles, a student asked which of my recent subjects solicited the most responses, i.e., emails, comments, etc. Well, of course, I have always appreciated responses and acknowledgements – even the ones that may not agree with my point of view on something. I do thank God, however, that most of the reactions I have received have been positive ones from people who are encouraged or uplifted by my words.


Jan. 24, 2015 @ 04:34 PM

Adriana Zoder: Kids learn – and have fun – at the Muse Knoxville

It's Monday morning, and about 30 young children, from toddlers to younger elementary students, are exploring science at the Muse Knoxville, formerly the East Tennessee Discovery Center. Inside the space shuttle, an intense game of pretend spaceflight keeps about seven of them engrossed in dialogue worthy of sci-fi movies.


Jan. 23, 2015 @ 05:44 PM

Jake Old: My television experiences did not go as planned

I was recently talking with a friend about some good times we had several years ago, and a topic came up that I had completely forgotten about: my work at the college television station.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

Jeff Farrell: Police officers need the right gear for the hazards they face

Every time I go along with local law enforcement officers during one of their roundups or other operations, as I did on Tuesday, I'm reminded of their side of the ongoing debate over the "militarization" of police.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 11:34 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet weighs in on 'Super Food' Sunday

I'm sad. College football is done for the year, and the NFL only has three games left in the season. I suppose I'll have to figure out something to do with my weekend afternoons.