NEW YORK -- It befalls the columnist this time of year to look back and recap; to assign blame and shame, while offering the obligatory mea culpa; and, of course, to resolve.
My voice bothers me. Hearing my intonation on an answering machine or a message makes me wince. But there's not really a thing I can do to change this, is there? Sure, I often enjoy cigars, and think perhaps this will give my pipes a deeper, raspier tone, but I don't honestly trust it'll Barry White my inflection.
About this time last year, I started a new tradition: looking back at the year in crime -- but from a funny point of view.
At last, somebody has made an epic, triumphant movie about a hero with which I am personally familiar: a recovering stutterer.
On a recent November morning after the General Election, I set out from my home in Columbia to go to my 64th high school reunion. All graduation classes from Midway High School have been meeting together annually for several years. This year the reunion was being held in a church at Shepard.
I often bash government. I say it can't do anything better than people in a free market.
Apparently, there is not much of a correlation between a person's age and level of maturity.
As 2010 turns to dust, a smattering of things I found in my mailbox:
Today's lesson in revisionist American history is brought to you by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
2010 was a grand year in my eyes. Another one down, and with it, the knowledge and wisdom 365 days brings. Over the past year, in my sphere, there were certain news, entertainment and sports items I simply couldn't elude --
WASHINGTON -- The vice president calls, more than an hour after the appointed time but with an impeccable excuse: He was presiding over the Senate's vote to ratify the New START treaty.
Kaptin, Siren, Kare Bear, Venom and Professor. They sound like superhero names. And they are certainly heroes in my book.
As we continue to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year this weekend, it is important to be sensible about our merry-making. In addition to the well-known dangers, there is a new one -- alcoholic energy drinks, otherwise known as "alcopops." These drinks have recently gained national attention after a rash of student hospitalizations in other states.
Jack is 6 1/2, and Frances Anne just turned 4. I will not burden you with tiresome anecdotes about how funny, quick and special they are. Just take my word for it: They are.
Dec. 24, 2010
Hey, y'all! I am Jim McGowan. I am the most recent addition to the award-winning staff of the Chronicle-Independent. I can only hope to live up to their high standards. It will not be easy. I will be the Localife editor and cover the education beat.
A federal nutrition program that places new restrictions on snacks and beverages sold in schools also provides an opportunity for some fresh thinking about school fundraisers.
I remember once I was giving a presentation about important conservation properties in the Piedmont. I showed photos of the incredible rock formations on a particular property and happened to mention their age in an effort to describe their grandeur. Afterwards, I was confronted by an indignant man who told me that the age of rocks cannot be known. He accused me of making those figures up out of thin air. Surprised by his vociferous tone, I told him I was sorry to have upset him. While not a confrontational person, I am a teacher, and I began to politely ...
WASHINGTON -- "Checked the tax code," wrote a friend who's engaged to a woman from a low-tax country. "Unfortunately, marrying [my fiancee] does not entitle me to a tax inversion like the big U.S. companies are getting. Thanks for nothing, IRS."
Their histories, accurate and complete, are lost to time and buried with them and those who knew them. I wish I knew more for their stories would read like a page-turning novel.
OK, OK, yes I'm talking Star Trek again, but hang on, this is really more about newspapers than Star Trek. All right, maybe 50-50.
In 1964, the World's Fair was in New York City. I was 6 years old and went with my parents and older sister to the fair. New York City seemed like a different world to a little boy from Dexter, Mo., but it was all good. We rode on subway trains, we had cheeseburgers in a diner where the staff had funny accents and rode the Staten Island Ferry and saw the Statue of Liberty. I saw a billboard that had the Marlboro man blowing smoke out of his mouth. We were living it up.
In the quest to answer the many questions I receive about trees, see below for part three in the continuing series.
If you have a serious case of wanderlust -- an insatiable desire to see new places and experience unique customs -- then you'll probably envy Alisa Johnson of Seattle, Wash.
Is it hypocritical for a really, really rich person to object to rising inequality?
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