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Columns

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: May we ring in another great year together

    New Year’s Eve, 1999.

    It was an uncertain time in my life, and not just because of the looming new millennium.

    I had left Chicago and was transitioning out of a two-year freelance stint that hadn’t lived up to my expectations. Now I was tying up those lose ends and holding a temp job in the law firm of a large electric utility.

    As I sat around the TV with my brothers on that long-ago New Year’s Eve, my edginess wasn’t just over whether planes might fall out of the sky.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas

    Folks here at the office work hard to get information to you.
    They also know they’re more than welcome to share a lighter moment when we push past a deadline and put another issue to bed.
    We call it “decompression time.”
    It’s when we take a healthy breath and step back from our deadline-driven lives.
    It is in those moments that we remember we’re fellow sojourners along life’s highway.
    Banter ranges across many subjects and disciplines.

  • Impressions

    Observations from a slightly frozen fellow who says or does what guys most often do … the wrong thing.
    While vigorously ringing my Salvation Army “ding-a-ling” bell outside Kingston Food City the past couple of weeks, I picked up on a trend.
    I spied a steady stream of guys toting out red roses.
    Most carried out a single bud.
    Others juggled at least a dozen.
    “Hmmm … must be in the doghouse.”

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    The big frou-fraw the last few days has been over the “WikiLeaks” of State Department cables.
    This incident proves once again what so few seem to recognize: First, there are no secrets, government or otherwise, (if two people know it, sooner or later one is going to let it out) and second, everyone is placing too much reliance on computers and the Internet to do their business.

  • OFF THE CUFF: Say what?!? High school source of quotes passion

    I’m a sucker for a good quote.

    I often call them “quotable quotes.” And I’m not picky. I bounce from the profound to the ironic to the offbeat to the humorous to the colorful ... and then back again.

    My passion for words probably plays a big part in it. Combine that with a journalistic mind, and you have someone who is constantly milling through life looking for someone to utter memorable phrases and/or sentences.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas

    Folks here at the newspaper get called some interesting names other than the ones our parents gave us.
    We accept this as an occupational hazard.
    But a couple of times a year, we don’t mind it so much.
    That’s because we turn into bonafide ding-a-lings.
    Yep, you got it. For those who might enjoy critically pointing out that we don’t have a clue, I say here’s your chance.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Regular reader, you will recall that in the column entitled “Social Security not to blame for deficit or debt”, published 19 November, we wrote at length on the fact that the Social Security programme does not contribute to the deficit nor to the debt, and explained how the so-called “Unified Budget” caused many to be confused about this fact.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Your gift buying can be present to community

    We’re slipping, sliding and rolling headlong into the holiday season.
    Let’s make sure as many of our friends as possible grab onto a piece of the Yuletide spirit!
    Mother Nature is cooperating.
    Our recent dustings of snow certainly got me in the mood.
    Shoot, one morning I stood quietly in the parking lot well before sunrise and savored the tiny flakes falling from the heavens.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, there comes a time when repeating oneself is no longer repetition but instead tradition.
    Thus it is with our annual holiday column about our beloved Tennessee Apple Stack Cake, also known in this area as “Fruit Cake.”
    As we have said many times before, what is being offered in some grocery stores as apple stack cake is not our Tennessee Apple Stack Cake.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Who has rocks in their head? Probably me

    When my youngest brother, Rick, was in the first grade, and I was in the sixth, his teacher tapped on my classroom door and called me into the hall.

    Rick hovered behind her.

    She opened her palm, revealing an impressive pebble. I say impressive, because she said it came from Rick’s nose.

    “He says he didn’t put it in there,” the teacher said.

    I stared at her a minute, wondering if she had rocks in her head, then pulled Rick aside.