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Saturday, April 29, 2017

  • Friday, April 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    Since my wife and I are semi-retired, we are taking more frequent vacations. When we travel, our favorite activities are parasailing, hang gliding, and whitewater rafting. But watching other people risk their lives has become a little stressful. We knew it was time for a change.
    We spent this past week in New Orleans with our friends John and Jane Murphy. We decided to forgo the extreme spectator sports and opt for some more intellectual and culinary activities. By the way, we did not go during Mardi Gras. As Yogi Berra once aptly noted in another context, “No one goes there that time of year: it's way too crowded.” We did go to a Mardi Gras museum. Mary Ellen and I don't usually like the same kinds of exhibits, but this museum was filled with the kind of stuff both men and women can both enjoy. Ironic, because in the thousands of photos displayed, you can't even tell the difference between the men and the women. 
    If you have any plans to visit the Crescent City, I submit the following warnings regarding the French Quarter, the hub of all tourist activity. 
    Cover charges: During one dinner, a three-piece combo played jazz. The restaurant tacked on a six-dollar cover charge per person for the music. “Wait a second,” I said to the server, “we came here to eat and talk. We didn’t even know about the music.”
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  • Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:00 AM
    For many of us who have gardened for years, the name “Roundup” is synonymous with its active ingredient, glyphosate. This chemical is a non-selective herbicide, which means it kills almost anything green it lands on. Glyphosate can be used nearly everywhere that total kill of the vegetation is needed, such as in driveways, around trees, and where new lawns and gardens will be started.
    The name Roundup, though, has become almost a generic descriptor for “total weed killer,” just like people use the word “Coke” to mean any soft drink, or “Tylenol” for headache relief. And that can lead to many problems.
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  • Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    The mission of the League of Women Voters is to encourage informed and active participation in government. The League adopts and studies in depth governmental issues at local, state and national levels. Public meetings are often held to provide information as the League conducts these studies, some of which may take several years.
    In addition, the LWV offers a monthly public “Lunch with the League” series, usually held on the first Monday of the month in the Whitlock Hall of St. John’s Episcopal Church from noon to 1 p.m. Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch, so no reservations are required.
    The topics at the lunches cover a variety of issues of general concern for Montgomery County. Oscar Anderson has been the chair of the 2016-2017 Lunch with League series and organized a very interesting year.
    June, 2016 “The Ins and Outs of Recycling in Montgomery County” was presented by Deanna Durrett who identified the many opportunities for households to recycle in Montgomery County and the potential for improving the local recycling system.
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  •  These travelers have just one more state to go
    Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Oh, yeah, I’m loving how my two guests got together, way back when. It was at the Zach’s B-K where she worked. In fact, one of the first carhops we had. A friend of his had said that she was so doggone cute that he ought to ask her to the New Market Fish Fry, but was too timid. My male guest said, “Well, if you’re not going to, I am.” That he did. A few short years later, they wed, and wait until you hear the reason. Simply, love it!!
    At New Market, our man was one of 18 in his graduating class. His senior year he wasn’t only president, but the same for Student Council. He was super active in other exciting New Market happenings, too, including earning 10 letters in sports. He grew-up with two brothers and two sisters, all NMHS graduates. It will be his 60th class reunion this year with 15 of his class living.
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  • Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:00 AM
    As part of my ongoing plastic surgery saga, allow me to give you a rundown of my day thus far. It has been nearly a month since I had the third set of procedures that were intended to correct the original botched surgery. Last night, I went to bed with some pretty serious pain in my thigh. When I awoke at 5:30 a.m., it was still quite intense, so, I did that thing you are not supposed to do, and began Googling my symptoms. 
    After an hour or so, I determined I was suffering from a rare condition called Dysethesia. It never occurs due to liposuction, so I knew without a doubt that mine was a unique case. As I contemplated how I would convince my doctor of the diagnosis (he rarely validates my internet research), I looked down and noticed that the sheets were covered in blood. 
    I ran to the full-length mirror and carefully examined each of my 10 incisions. The first nine were completely intact with no sign of infection. I half-heartedly glanced at my right side, assuming it would also be nearly healed, but what I saw reflected in the mirror left me terrified. 
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  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    If you’re a sports fan, you probably saw the clips over the weekend from Indiana Pacers star Paul George and Oklahoma City standout Russell Westbrook. If you are not a sports fan, bear with me if you please.
    Both were asked questions (very fair questions, mind you) during post-game press conferences. The Paper’s newsgathering partner is WTHR, Channel 13. Their columnist, Bob Kravitz, asked George the question that’s been on Pacers’ fans’ minds for a while, is he staying in Indianapolis or leaving? Granted, George and the Pacers had just been swept out of the playoffs. But if Kravitz doesn’t ask that question, someone else will. If no one does, readers will wonder why the hell not. It’s fair, and yet, George responded with, “I ain’t even at that point, Bob. Next question.”
    In Oklahoma City, Westbrook was in a press conference when a teammate got asked a question about the team’s failure to play well without their star. Westbrook wouldn’t allow his teammate to answer, going on a bit of a rant. It was a fair question. Didn’t matter. Westbrook ignored the reporter and called for the next question.
    Bing. Bang. Boom. End of story.
    These guys refused to answer in front of microphones and cameras. At some point, whether it’s on www.theplayerstribune.com or a social media account, they’ll probably reverse course. There, they can say it the way they want, when they want. They won’t have the prying questions from those pesky media types. Oh, those darn pesky media types!
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  • Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. The new state budget is balanced, has $1
    The new state budget is balanced, has $1.9 billion in reserves, and provides significant funding increases for education, public safety and fighting drug abuse.
    For the past decade, Indiana has been a national leader in responsible budgeting. In recent years, lawmakers have cut taxes for both workers and employers, reduced state debt and built up our reserves. An important part of our economic climate is creating policies that benefit tax payers and job creators.
    This budget reflects these principles that have made Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation while continuing our strong track record of pro-growth economic policies.
    Highlights of the state budget (House Enrolled Act 1001) include: 
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  • Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Dad is getting awfully forgetful - could he have Alzheimer’s?” That’s becoming a more common question. We are more likely to encounter someone with Alzheimer’s dementia as the proportion of elderly in our society increases. Some forgetfulness is normal for most of us as we age. Many of us carry the fear of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia as we get older.
    The word dementia stems from the Latin de- “apart or away” and mentis “mind.” It is characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive and behavioral function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what is expected in normal aging. Alzheimer’s dementia or AD is the most common cause of dementia. 
    Approximately 5.2 million people in the U.S. suffer from clinically significant AD. There are many more who have mild disease (mild cognitive impairment) that remain functional. Most cases of AD are sporadic, while about seven percent of cases are genetic in origin.
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  • Friday, April 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    Remember Arshid Chowdhury? I wrote about him years ago when he invented something called a sleep pod, a high-tech structure that can still be seen in several airports around the country. Crawl into the enclosure, and you can catch 40 winks in the middle of the day for about 20 bucks, or about 50 cents a wink. (Before we all got so politically correct, I’d have made a funny joke about my reputation of innocently—and inexpensively—flirting with the ladies.)
    Chowdhury has enjoyed great financial success since I first wrote about him, despite problems in the beginning: many customers could not successfully nod off while nesting. Some travelers just stared into space with their eyes wide open, something most people can already do at their place of employment and actually get paid for it.
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  • On the hunt for the marvelous morel
    Friday, April 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is springtime in Indiana and that can mean only one thing: mushroom hunting season. We have seen many social media posts of people finding plenty of morels in our wooded areas of Montgomery County. Morels are fun to go out and find but are also yummy to eat. 
    Morel hunting is a time-honored tradition in the Midwest. They are known by many names, including dryland fish, miracle, sponge mushroom, and hickory chicken. These mushrooms generally pop up when the soil starts to warm and before trees have fully leafed out, usually between the end of March and the first of May. They are found in and around forested areas, sometimes at the forest’s edge. Look for dead or dying hardwood trees, such as oaks and ashes (if you can find them). It is said that they can be found more frequently just after a soaking rain. Early in the morel hunting season, look for them on south facing slopes, where the soil temperature will be warmer. Later in the season, look on north facing slopes, where soil temperatures are still cool enough to support the fruiting bodies. Be careful while hunting for mushrooms and going off of marked trails – it’s not unheard of to come across a copperhead snake (one of Montgomery County’s venomous snakes) while searching for morels.
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  • A world-traveler, Karen thinks he likes C'ville the best
    Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    My guest this week was the first of three sons to be born in a hospital (Evansville) near their country home. A sister arrived later. His father was a general manager over eight counties for a feed company. In high school (Booneville), a teacher influenced him to get involved in reading current events, an activity important to his life yet today. Even considers himself a “social studies nut!” Certainly, we have that in common!
    Also during high school, he was heavily involved in music, playing an alto sax during concert band and drums in dance band. After high school, he headed to ISU. His educational time frame produced an oddity. Staying in the exact place, he attended Indiana State Teachers’ College, Indiana State College and Indiana State University, due to name changes. 
    Then, going to college was reasonably inexpensive at $5/credit hour plus he had a part time job in a Sub way, but not the places called that today: “It was more of a greasy spoon!” Completing his education, it was to Crawfordsville to teach. Glad he chose Montgomery County.
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  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.
    The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the United States.
    To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.
    In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in this country to earn legal status.
    The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.
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  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    I had just a few minutes to run a quick errand before checking into the hospital for surgery. I pulled into a downtown Chattanooga parking garage, and the attendant, an older woman, struck up a conversation. When she found out I needed to park for less than 30 minutes, the following dialogue ensued:
    She: "Oh, honey, you don't want to park in here! You can park on the street and it only costs 50 cents for thirty minutes."
    Me: "I don't mind. I'm not good at parallel parking."
    She: "You just hold on a minute."
    Proceeding to leave the booth, she walked out to the street. 
    Upon her return: "There are several spots right up the block. You'll find a big one, and your car will slide in easy as pie!"
    Me: "Really, it's ok. If you could please just lift the gate, I'll go on through."
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  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    Each year, thousands of volunteers in Indiana donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during the 43rd anniversary of National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, 2017. 
    Research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 25.3 percent of adult Americans (62.8 million) volunteered 7.9 billion hours of service worth $184 billion in 2014. In 2015 in Indiana, more than 1.47 million volunteers contributed 132.14 million hours of service, valued at $3.1 billion. 26.9 percent of Indiana residents volunteered ranking Indiana 25th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
    One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the Indiana 4-H Program. In 2017 nearly 15,000 youth and adults are volunteering in some capacity with 4-H. In Montgomery County, 111 volunteers, both youth and adult, will serve as club leaders, project leaders, committee members, and in advisory capacities for the 4-H Youth Development Program.
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  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    I try to be cheerful and professional when answering the phone. After all, customer service is one of the cornerstones of our company and we want to treat our patrons wonderfully well, whether in person or on the phone.
    But sometimes the phone seems to ring at just exactly the worst possible moment. You’ve been there, right? You are in the middle of something and don’t have a spare hand . . . and at that precise moment, rrriiiinnnnggg.
    I tried to sound cheerful and professional.
    “Mr. Timmons, I am right pleased to inform you that you’ve been selected as the winner of our grand prize promotion and you and your wife have won an all-expenses paid trip via luxury cruise ship to London, England.”
    Now first off, this was about the 1,500th time that week that I got lucky. An e-mail told me a duke had died and left me millions, or some poor unfortunate chap had a terrible accident and would give me wealth beyond my dreams if I would help, or my granddaughter had been in a bit of trouble down in Tijuana and just needed a few hundred dollars.
    I don’t have a granddaughter.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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