Before last year, I'd never heard the term "polar vortex." Before yesterday, I'd never heard the term "omega block." Oh boy! A new term for incredibly brutal, cold weather! OK, fine. Let the meteorologists quibble over what this phenomenon should or should not be called. All I know is that it's warmer in much of Alaska than it is here right now, and my sense of justice is deeply offended.
It was a little bittersweet to see the celebration of the Philae spacecraft touching down on a distant comet this week and relaying data back to Earth.
Coming back from Knoxville one day, just before we took our beloved Exit 407, my son noticed the sign for the Great Smokies Flea Market. He asked what they sell there. We said: "fleas."
What do you want to change? How do you want to make things different? What do you want to accomplish as an individual and as a team member? Whatever your answers might be, remember these words from retired Adm. William McRaven: "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."
As Veterans Day approaches, I am reminded of the often-circulated story of how the military’s taps melody came into being. It is a beautiful story of how, one dark night during the American Civil War, a Union Army captain rescued a soldier whom he eventually discovered to be dead – and to be his son, a member of the Confederate army. Supposedly in his musician son’s pocket the captain found the original written melody and then gained permission to allow a solo bugler to play it at his son’s funeral.
I never thought I'd say this. I'm sick of books.
Last week officially marked one year since I started at The Mountain Press. And since people still ask me this everywhere I go: Yes, I do enjoy the area and my job.
For the past few months, I have attended meetings of the Anna Porter Public Library Book Group. My life has been enriched through this experience. If your life could benefit from literary enrichment, please read on.
The jack-o'-lanterns glow, witches sway in the wind, ghosts, goblins and other assorted spooks and creatures scamper around to celebrate and enjoy Halloween, the scariest night of the year.
The main thing that I'll remember about Tuesday's raid on an alleged breeding operation for fighting dogs was how well the dogs behaved.
Driving down I-40 last week, I met a tractor-trailer transporting a dozen new cars. The pink SRX Crossover Cadillac sparkling in the bright sun caught my eye. There was no doubt in my mind that some Mary Kay Cosmetics superstar would soon be beaming just as brilliantly as she drove away in one of the most easily recognized sales incentives in the world. The scene brought back memories from 1986, when Mary Kay Ash, Jean and I shared a banquet table – and stories.
We visit the Track in Pigeon Forge about once a year. When our children were babies, we did not think the day would come for us to join the crowd hovering around Light #3, waiting for their rides. But what do you know? We were wrong. That day came faster than we thought. As soon as our kids could sit in the little train and take a ride, we made our first Track visit.
We lost a vital journalistic outlet Wednesday, when the Knoxville News Sentinel announced it was laying off the staff of Metro Pulse, the 23-year-old alternative weekly newspaper.
Most college football fans know that Georgia's Heisman Trophy-caliber running back Todd Gurley has been suspended indefinitely as an investigation about his signing autographs for pay continues. As his team faced an important SEC East Division game with Missouri in Columbia this past Saturday, many people declared the Georgia Bulldogs were in a heap of trouble. Sports fans know by now that Georgia won handily, 34-0.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month. I’ve written before about the number of special months we have, covering just about every known subject. October itself has several designations, including such health-related observances as Breast Cancer Awareness, Dental Hygiene, Domestic Violence Awareness, Eye Injury Prevention and Health Literacy. All of these, and others, hold special places in many hearts and minds. Different observances imprint different people in various ways for various reasons.
On my first visit to Gatlinburg, I was impressed with the fall decorations. My friends and I took turns sitting on hay bales in front of hotels, surrounded by pumpkins and corn stalks. I am pretty sure it was the end of August, but Gatlinburg was already decorated for fall. We loved it. If you ever wonder whether tourists notice street decor and curb appeal, wonder no more. They do. It's those of us locals who see this year in and year out and may have become numb to it.
If I could point to any one thing that is causing more and more people to think they should understand everything that anyone else says or does, I guess it would be the 24-hour news cycle available on television, radio, Internet and other accessible transmittal venues. Most all of us are aware of how things are inspected, discussed and, yes, cussed, immediately after they occur. A recent serious example is the Ferguson, Mo., episode.
I took down the Milwaukee Brewers schedule.
On page 219 of "A Strategy For Winning" I write, "I may not hit a home run every time I speak, but I'll tell you this: I will never strike out. It may be a triple; it may be a double. Every now and then it may be a single, but I guarantee I am not going to completely strike out as a speaker. My self-esteem, my attitude, my creativity, my visualization and my desire and discipline to prepare properly are not going to allow me to strike out."
Being a tourist teaches us so much about how we should behave when we come home to our tourist destination, especially if we are employed in the hospitality business.
I used to be what some might call a music snob. But, really, it's just that I know what I like, and I know what I don't like, and I tend keep things snug in their respective circles without second thought.
It’s a good thing the people who send spam don’t profile us, and that what gets flooded into our email accounts doesn’t represent how we actually spend out money or our time.
Most readers are probably aware that Truett Cathy, founder and chairman emeritus of the highly successful Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, died this past Monday at age 93. What began in 1946 as one tiny restaurant named Dwarf Grill (later renamed Dwarf House) in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, Ga., has grown to more than 1,800 restaurants in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Chick-fil-A has established an unparalleled record of 47 consecutive years of annual sales increases. The family-owned business reached $5 billion in sales in 2013.
The other week, we finally made it to the Bush's Beans museum, also known as Duke's Museum. Well, at least that's what Duke, the company's famous golden retriever, would like us to call it. And yes, he is still busy trying to sell the secret family recipe.
The year Jean and I married and I graduated from Murray State University, we moved to an apartment on Poplar Avenue in Memphis near Crump Stadium and fairly close to Humes High School, where I had accepted a faculty position. We were also close to a recently built coral pink facility named St. Jude Children's Hospital, later renamed St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.