As many of you know (and some may not), my job has changed tremendously over the past few months. Our small media company now owns newspapers in Charlotte and Houston, and that means my time is now evenly divided in four distinct places: Home, airports, North Carolina and Texas. For almost 12 years, I have written a weekly column to very select groups of readers, and for the past three years, those readers have been located in Houston. Now, with the addition of a new group of newspapers, we have more than 150,000 readers each week. Readers in Charlotte likely don’t know what to make of me yet; those in Houston have got me pegged quite well. I believe newspapers that don’t publish opinions are like cars that don’t have windows. Columns like this are designed to give you a view into the … [Read more...] about Don’t hitch your wagons to reckless drivers
There’s a statistic from Gallup that says about 50 percent of all Americans want to lose weight. Some college-level math would say that’s one out of every two of us who wants to drop a few pounds – count me in. So let’s say we take the professional approach to dropping these pounds, and we hire a nutritionist who will shape our diet and even explain all the science of processed food versus raw, natural, blah, blah. You make a call to a local nutritionist, ask for an appointment and when you walk in the door, you see a 320-pound guy who has a bag of fries in one hand and an insulin pump in the other. He looks frazzled, his face is red because he can’t chew the French fries fast enough, and he asks you to have a seat because he has the perfect diet plan, you know, if he doesn’t have a heart … [Read more...] about Don’t take swim lessons from someone who can’t swim
During college, most of which I’ve long forgotten, my favorite class was taught by a professor who loved to argue with any student daring to differ with his tenets of Political Psychology. The course fascinated me, in large part because I disagreed with about 97 percent of the hubris spilling from the professor, but also because so much of the underlying themes still ring true today. At its core, the class was exactly what it said: The psychology of politics. Why do we vote the way we do? What matters to us when we select a candidate? Does a politician’s hair really impact the way we vote? Apparently, in 1992, women liked Bill Clinton’s hair. Apparently, in 2015, fed up Americans have taken a liking to Donald Trump’s hair. And his confidence, which crossed over to narcissism long ago. And … [Read more...] about Don’t confuse your government with politics
In an odd sort of way, readers of this weekly column have followed along as my wife and I have spent the past two years pretending we know how to be parents. And we are not alone. Go visit Donovan Park on a Saturday morning – visit any park in the area – and you’ll see shoulder-to-shoulder, groggy-eyed parents with IVs hooked to disposable coffee cups wondering how any of these termite children survive to the age of two. That’s because half the children are gnawing on wood chips; the other half gargling rocks. Our son, Master Hank, miraculously has lived through his parents’ ineptitude, and as a dear friend told me last week, “Wow, Hank isn’t a baby any more. He’s an actual boy.” That got me thinking, which seems to happen less and less these days. At what point, exactly, did our son … [Read more...] about When did this child become a real boy?
My rust-colored bicycle didn’t come equipped with an odometer. When I hung up the phone, which had a cord that could reach clear across the kitchen, Scott knew it would take me about 10 minutes to get to his house. Of course, neither Scott nor I knew we lived almost a mile apart, probably because we were nine years old, and details like that didn’t matter when 3-pound catfish needed to be fed. Before I hopped on the bike, I stuffed a paper bag full of anything mom wouldn’t notice missing. I grabbed three cheap hotdogs, because each dog turned into five pieces of bait, six if the fish were starving. Here’s another secret: Drizzle a little water on a piece of white bread, tear it into four equal parts, and roll each quarter into a tight ball. Magically, you have four pieces of plaster that … [Read more...] about Summer fun has turned into felonies