|Hammer goes deep; Timmons not so much|
I might've mentioned once or thrice that Saturdays are my favorite days in the office. Things are quiet. I flip on what amounts to my eclectic taste in music and I usually get a lot done.|
The musical variety goes from Bobby Darin to Uriah Heep. It usually gets loud - the definition of "loud" varies quite a bit from my twentysomething daughters to me. So there I was, singing right along . . . Jenny Diver, oh, Sukey Tawdry. Hello Miss Lot of Lender, and ol' Lucy Brown . . . I was in particularly good voice and even better spirits. Maybe Mr. Darin never intended Mack the Knife to be a duet, but we were doing pretty good, if I do say so myself.
Monday, February 23, 2015
|The Challenge went insane last week|
She called it "Insanity."
No, it wasn't about the courthouse parking lot, ramps or elevators. It also wasn't in reference to that geeky management definition of doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
This, this particular usage was a form of torture that our trainer laughingly calls exercise. She has an evil laugh. What "Insanity" really turns out to be is 60 minutes of non-stop anguish and torment that Dante could've easily used had he opted for 10 levels instead of nine. Then again, when Mr. Alighieri wrote about his trip through hell, he had a Roman poet guiding him. Thursday night at Athena Sport & Fitness, we had an evil demon disguised as a sweet, young trainer named Jenny.
Let me explain.
A few months ago, some idiot (that would be me) came up with the bright idea of creating a fund-raiser for MUFFY based off the TV show The Biggest Loser. So we created The Challenge and Athena, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health and a few other community-minded businesses teamed up. A few months ago it seemed like a good idea. Let me repeat. I'm an idiot.
Monday, February 16, 2015
|Maybe Legislators aren't getting this one wrong?|
Back in the mid-1800s, Wilbur F. Storey said, "It is the newspaper's duty to print the news and raise hell." Wilbur, predictably, was a newspaper man. He started a paper in northern Indiana (see why I like this guy) and was pretty involved in giving his opinion on politics. He ended up buying the Detroit Free Press and the Chicago Times. Only big mistake he made was opposing Abraham Lincoln and backing Stephen Douglas.|
OK, so us newspaper types don't always get things right.
Back to Ol' Wilbur though. He was quick to take issue with lawmakers. It's a proud tradition newspapers have long carried. Even right here in Montgomery County, Indiana, US of A, we tend to offer an opinion or three, much to the chagrin of some of the local elected types - and the reported enjoyment of the eight or nine of you who routinely read these ramblings.
Monday, February 9, 2015
|Lawmakers are wrong, dead wrong|
Over in Indianapolis, the House of Representatives and the Senate are busy working on a lot of bills - several of which are aimed at keeping you in the dark.
Before they send the Indiana State Police after me, let me publicly proclaim that I have a vested interest in this issue. Some of those bills are proposing to take public notice advertising out of newspapers all over Indiana and put them on government websites. Yes, that has a financial impact on my business. So before any lawmakers huff and puff and blow my position down, let me be upfront and transparent about that.
Because it's in transparency that there seems to be a problem. The simple fact of the matter is, as the lawmakers will tell you, these public notice advertisements cost you, dear taxpayer, money - perhaps as much as $3 million to $4 million each year. I wouldn't begin to argue the validity of the argument. For the vast, vast majority of us, $3 million is a lot of money. I suppose if you were the richest person around it might not be, but that doesn't apply to 99.99 percent of us.
Monday, February 2, 2015
|Trip down memory lane is proof of what newspapers are about|
Newspaper naysayers, listen up.|
I know you all like to wax poetic about the demise of newspapers - while conveniently ignoring the fact that two dailies have existed right here in l'il ol' Crawfordsville for more than a decade. I get it. Everyone wants to be an expert.
Last weekend a box revealed to me exactly why you're wrong.
Allow me to explain.
For the eight or nine of you who follow my weekly meanderings, you know that my dad passed away a few years ago. You also probably know me well enough to not be surprised that it's taken me a while to get his house ready to go on the market. I have good intentions. I drive over with determination and a plan. Three or four hours later I find myself sitting in a chair fascinated by whatever object is in my hand. Could be a box of letters my mom kept, a
Monday, January 26, 2015
|Tourism is really about a swim meet...|
For those keeping score at home, the tourism business in Montgomery County has turned into a real political football over the last few years.|
There's been much pointing of fingers, whispered (and not so whispered) accusations of people not doing their jobs and a fair amount of questioning where, why and how money gets spent. The long-proposed and much-debated 4-H Fairgrounds has been part of the debate.
Taxpayers have been putting money into the Montgomery County Visitors & Convention Bureau and then some folks decided to put more money into a new group, DDMC - Destination Development Montgomery County.
In short, we don't have enough space to adequately document some of the mudslinging and name calling that's gone on for a while.
Nor is that the point.
The point is a swim meet. Yes, a swim meet.
Monday, January 19, 2015
|What in world was he thinking?|
I'm the first one to admit that I'm not the smartest guy in the room - unless maybe it's a really, really small room. However, the ego in me makes me want to think that I'm not a complete idiot - a stance that my wife and a few politicians typically take issue with.|
So you'll understand that to me at least, I thought I came up with a couple of pretty good ideas - raising money for MUFFY through a weight-loss challenge and giving away dog-gone near free subscriptions based on how much snow we get.
What have I done?
Monday, January 12, 2015
|Cloak and dagger stuff right here in Crawfordsville|
Journalism can be a dangerous field, no doubt. Far too many good men and women have paid dearly to shed light on dangerous situations - especially foreign correspondents. It's not a subject to make light of.|
However, I'm the first to admit that here in the breadbasket of the nation, things usually aren't that tough. In four decades in this business I've had exactly three death threats and at least two of those didn't seem too serious. On the other hand, I broke my back once when I was bowling, so you can never be too sure where danger lurks.
As you might then guess, cloak and dagger stuff isn't exactly my strong suit. Which is why my day got really weird recently when the phone rang.
Monday, January 5, 2015
|Hammer's a poet? (If you can call this stuff poetry!)|
'Twas the week after Christmas and the stores were all quiet.|
The contrast was striking from the week before riot.
The stockings are packed away for a year,
In hopes that the shoppers will always stay near.
The politicians were counting our money to spend,
On sugar plums and silliness on a parking lot mend.
The voters had settled in for a year
And prayed they wouldn't get kicked in the rear.
Monday, December 29, 2014
|Politics enjoying Christmas break|
It's the eve of Christmas Eve and other than the holiday bustle at the stores, things are starting to quiet down on the news and political fronts. Maybe the R's and the D's and the TP's and all the rest are just gearing up for a rowdy 2015, but I'd like to think that age-old concept of goodwill-to-all might have something to do with it.|
For the next few days, there're no arguments on platforms, zoning, who's running or who's not. For the next few days politics won't matter much.
There probably aren't many individuals out there at more opposite ends of the political spectrum than Ed Stephens and yours truly. He's a life-long Democrat who believes Hillary is going to be the next great president of the United States. I'm a Republican who's scared to death we're going to find out if he's right.
But you know what? Ed and I (and a few others) sit down every so often and kick around ideas. We share some coffee - Ed even buys when it's his turn.
Monday, December 22, 2014