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Friday, October 18, 2019
  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019 4:00 AM
    As Halloween nears, it seems a perfect time to talk about weird and obscure things, doesn’t it? Well, there just so happens to be a new book out called Secret Indianapolis: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. The author is lifelong Hoosier Ashley Petry and, according to her, is a tribute to the Circle City.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019 4:00 AM
    John Hammer stopped by to talk about it. My wife brought it up over dinner the other night. It was the topic at the coffee shop. 
    Impeachment.
    Turn on the national news and two-thirds or more is related to impeachment. Fox, CNN, MSNBC . . . doesn’t matter. The topic is the same, only the slant changes.
    I won’t speak for you or anyone else, but impeachment, or rather the talk of it, is grinding me down to the nubbins. I’m so sick of it that I tune it out as soon as it starts – probably just as some of you are doing with this column . . . if you even got this far.
    Well kind sirs and ladies, I beg your indulgence. I propose an end to all this, and believe it or not, it involves one thing the Democrats in the House are saying that I agree with. It’s time for a change.
    In the Constitution.
    Article 2, Section 4 reads: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
    3 comment(s)
  • Bubba ain’t just whistling in dark about mess in D.C
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019 5:56 PM
    Ever have one of those mornings? First, I overslept. Then, when I finally got ready to walk out the door I spilled coffee on my shirt. So I ran back upstairs and while I was changing, the cat decided to give my shoes a gift in the form of a hairball.
    Why did I even get out of bed?
    By the time I got to work, the only thing darker than the raincloud overhead was my mood. I decided to sit at my desk, not bother anyone and just bury my head in some work.
    Of course the phone had other ideas.
    0 comment(s)
  • County administrator and MUFFY . . . Hmmmm
    Wednesday, September 25, 2019 4:00 AM

    Notes scribbled on the back of Roger Branigan for Governor campaign poster . . .

    So we have a county administrator now. Truth to tell, I think Mark Casteel will be an excellent administrator. He turned around a mess at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department about nine years ago and was a rarity among sheriffs by winning respect from both sides of the aisle.

    So long as Casteel is in the job, the view from here is that Montgomery County will be better off.

    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:04 AM
    Being an old sports writer – heavy emphasis on old and past tense – I have a thing about numbers and stats. I think they often – although not always – tell the real story.
    Sticking with sports, for example, it seems that Colts nation is losing its mind over kicker Adam Vinatieri’s recent struggles. Yes, he’s missed two-thirds of his field goal attempts this year and three out of five extra points. But more importantly is the stat that, despite being perhaps the greatest field goal kicker of all time, he ranked a very average 17th last year in the NFL – only better than 15 kickers who attempted 10 or more field goals.
    Numbers tell you things that words sometimes miss.
    Another example is a story on the news the other morning that said 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans do not have friends in the opposite party.
    Think about that for a second – more than half of those folks don’t rub elbows with others who don’t share their political mindset.
    Is it any wonder we’re at each other’s throats so much?
    0 comment(s)
  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:23 AM
    Some of you might know who Red Smith was.
    He was one of the very few sportswriters to earn a Pulitzer Prize, and another noted sportswriter David Halberstam said Red Smith was one of the greatest sportswriters ever. 
    Smith started out in Milwaukee after graduating from Notre Dame and went through Philadelphia on his way to the big boys in New York.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:50 AM
    September the eleventh.
    Chances are that most of you reading this remember exactly where you were 18 years ago when you heard the news.
    You remember getting to a TV and watching with disbelief as a jetliner flew into a skyscraper. Didn’t matter what channel it was. The eerie scene was repeated over and over.
    A fireman was standing in the street. The camera panned to the left and up – apparently the cameraman heard something. 
    It happened so fast.
    The plane was a blur as it flew in from the right and smashed into the World Trade Center North Tower.
    A passenger airliner.
    Slammed into the building and disappeared inside.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, September 4, 2019 10:45 AM
    Is there a worst month than September? Don’t give me that crap about fall, turning leaves, festivals, the smell of burning leaves on a Saturday afternoon. September is just the sneaky lookout in a three-man heist that takes us from shirt sleeves and shorts to frozen pipes and Oh my God, keep those frozen toes on your side of the bed!
    What good has ever come out of September? Billy the Kid – a notorious murderer – was born in September. Mother Teresa passed away in September. On the very first day of this month 80 years ago, Adolph Hitler started what would become World War II. Heck, Los Angeles was founded on today’s date in 1781. Word has it that Bernie Sanders was actually there and told every resident they should get free house calls from the medicine man.
    On a good side, the next Democratic debate will have 10 participants – a much lower number than the 1,894 candidates who initially claimed to be running for president. Conversely, all 10 will be in a three-hour debate next week. Anyone know what’s on TCM that night?
    September is also the month for Homecomings. For football fans, it’s a great time. Even those who could care less about what happens on the field can see parades, floats, dances, pep rallies . . . a chance to participate for some, to reminisce for others.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:05 AM
    Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
    It’s taped above my computer monitor. Has been for a while. Roughly translated it’s Latin for I’ll find a way or make one.
    It could be the motto for folks who run small businesses. One who does gave it to me a long time ago. 
    I wish it was the motto for NFL quarterbacks.
    To be clear, I don’t have any inside scoop on Andrew Luck. A couple of lifetimes ago I was a sportswriter. Had fate zigged instead of zagged, I might be in that world today. But I’m not, so don’t read this for any scoops, a la, Adam Schefter.
    Like a lot of you, I’ve been following my teams in the NFL for a long time. I was a Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears fan when I was a kid. I rooted like crazy for Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, John Mackey, Mike Curtis and others. I hated Broadway Joe for ruining the Colts’ stellar ’68 season.
    Why were these my teams? Well, I liked the Bears because my dad and granddad took me to St. Joe College in Rensselaer to watch Papa Bear George Hallas and his Chicago squad practice.
    But the Colts? I liked them for one simple reason, Johnny U.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2019 4:00 AM
    I’m a simple guy. Always have been, and at this point in my life pretty sure I always will be.
    The green grass of a well-kept baseball diamond, covered bridges, daughters and grandsons, my best friend and the many good deeds that good newspapers do . . . those are some of my warm and fuzzies.
    Conversely, rudeness, things that are unfair, mean-spirited jerks (you know who you are) and the lunacy that is becoming our country give me cause for despair.
    Why the sharing? Because every once in a while, you just have to get a few things off your chest. And for the eight or nine of you who read these meanderings from time to time, I beg your indulgence.
    2 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Friz Freling for President (of Merrie Melodies) button . . . 
    Regardless of whether you are for Joe Biden or a’gin him, how is his comment on Parkland survivors being viewed as just another one of his gaffes?
    Don’t know about you, but when Mr. and Mrs. Timmons raised their boy in a house off an Indiana gravel road, they were pretty adamant about stories that don’t have a shred of truth to them being called, let’s see, what was the word? Oh yeah! Lies.
    It wasn’t a gaffe. No chance at remembering wrong. If I told a story with the level of details that Biden included, my posterior was in, shall we say, a world of hurt.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:00 AM
    I’ve written this before in the aftermath of other shootings.
    The madness has to stop.
    I was wrong.
    Clearly, it does not. It has not. The violence, the killings, the slaughters keep happening and happening and happening. The latest (at least I pray that no new ones happen in the few hours between when this is written and it goes to press) came, as you know, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Thirty-one more people have senselessly lost their lives.
    Thirty-one.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019 4:00 AM
    I miss Harlow Hickenlooper. The man who so many of us older kids remember from Saturday morning (black-and-white) TV was well known for so many things – getting a pie in the kisser, hamming it up with his good buddy Curley Myers and of course introducing the Three Stooges. On days like today, I really miss his perfect rendition of the birthday song.
    Happy birthday to The Paper
    Happy birthday to The Paper
    Happy birthday dear Paper!
    Happy birthday to yooooooouuuuuuuu!
    That’s because today is indeed the birthday for the little paper that could. On July 31 in 2004 we were born when documents were filed and the state took the first of many payments! Yes Sir and Ma’am, we are officially 15 and on the path to Sweet 16. If the first 15 years are any indication, can you imagine what we’ll be like when we get our license?
    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For those who don’t know the story, let me pull out the slideshow and reminisce. Feel free to grab some extra strong coffee as I beg your indulgence for a few minutes. 
    This all started the way most things do, a spark of a thought floating around in gray matter. That evolved into more of a concrete idea that got drafted onto a piece of paper. A few years later, it turned into printed words on paper, The Paper . . . in 2004, to be exact. A year or so later we added Judy Todd’s wonderful Weekly of West-Central Indiana. Then we bought the daily newspaper in Noblesville, The Times – a paper that’s been around since 1904. Then the owners of the Sheridan News – a publication that got its start in 1896 – entrusted our company to keep the News going. And we added a web-based publication called the Hamilton County Sports Daily.
    2 comment(s)
  • Sports still the best job in business
    Wednesday, July 24, 2019 4:00 AM
    Like a lot of you, my career started a long time ago. It’s strange how I used to be the youngest pup in the room and now I’m the oldest. It’s even stranger, and more than a little humbling, to remember how I used to think I knew everything and now I realize how little I truly do.
    No worries to the regular eight or nine of you who follow these ramblings. This is not a maudlin march through memory meadows. If anything, I’m playing the part of Uncle Sam today. You remember the image . . . Uncle Sam on a poster, looking very serious, his right hand in front with the index finger pointing straight to your heart – I want YOU!
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019 4:00 AM
    I heard him coming a mile away. John Hammer is not a small man, and from the sounds of the stomp-stomp-stomp I was hearing, he was in a hurry, on a mission . . . or both.
    If you don’t know the man they call Hammer, he’s as big as a battleship and has enough common sense to fill one. His neck is red, his hands calloused and he doesn’t suffer fools well. It’s one reason why the elected folks get under his skin so quickly.
    “Timmons, did you hear the different mayors and even our speaker of the House telling illegal aliens how to avoid arrest?” he boomed, shattering the peace and quiet of an early Saturday morning in a (mostly) empty office.
    “Now hold on, John,” I started. “They weren’t exactly trying to-”
    “Bull puckey!” he shouted. “That’s exactly what they were doing and these people are elected representatives of our government. I don’t give a damn if they are municipal, state, federal or dog catchers!”
    3 comment(s)
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