Wednesday, November 26, 2014
     

Columns

Saturday, August 20, 2011

With the automobile chugging through the countryside and the streets of downtown America, and air travel beginning to take flight, we were fast becoming a more mobile society in 1911.

These vast changes influenced every segment of society including fashion. The hobble skirt, which was cut so narrow at the ankles that it hindered walking, was the brainchild of French clothing designer Paul Poiret. Because they were so narrow at the hem, it "hobbled" the wearer, thus the name.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes I've heard in all this drama about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes," he told Becky Quick. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3 percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."

Sounds about right.

The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Dave and I were married almost two years ago, the priest asked if we were planning any special touches for the wedding.

I told him I only had two simple requests. At the end of the church ceremony as we were leaving the church we wanted to walk under an honor guard of kayak paddles held by members of our kayak club. And at the reception, we wanted all three generations of our family to dance to "We Are Family." I'll never forget the exhilaration I felt during that dance as I looked around at the happy faces on the dance floor.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's late afternoon, and the sun glints off the tall aluminum ladder that Jim Cimms has propped against the southwest side of our old farmhouse. Jim's at the top of the ladder, smoothing a layer of pristine white paint on the newly scraped and sanded wooden clapboards near the roof.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In times like these, one never knows when disaster will strike. The riots in the United Kingdom and Europe came as a complete surprise.

Over the last 30 years, Europe has created a welfare class that has free or subsidized housing and food. Welfare recipients live well, buy cigarettes and alcohol and even go to football matches while on the dole.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone. Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own …" is the first line or two of a traditional ballad written by Rodgers and Hart in 1935. But a recent paper presented by astronomers proposes that maybe our moon was not alone in the night sky. Astronomers Erik Asphaug and Martin Juzi presented the idea that perhaps the moon was joined by a smaller moon in orbiting the Earth over four and a half billion years ago, but that the two moons eventually collided.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com

I've quit monitoring my 401-K online, only because I'm afraid to see what I have, or what I no longer have, in my account. In all my 60-plus years, I never remember an economic crisis as tense as the one we are currently experiencing.

Two-a-day practices in pads have been eliminated at camp by all NFL teams and only 14 practices in pads can be held during the regular season. Teams are restricted to one practice in pads per week for the first 11 weeks, then just one practice in pads in three of the final five weeks of the regular season.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Years ago we heard a lot about "the seven year itch."

Psychologists claim it's a time of dissatisfaction many marriages don't survive.

I used to joke with friends that we can't be sure our marriage will last until we're married for 25 years.

Mark Twain must also have thought there is something special about 25-year-marriages. In 1894, he wrote in his journal: "No man or woman knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This week I noticed that the attitude of the American people has changed from slightly optimistic to one of pessimism. When I spoke to some people about the economy, I found that they are actually angry! Unemployment is too high; the deficit is growing faster than a speeding bullet; and our debt appears to be insurmountable. The stock market started downward last week and continued its negative spiral on Monday. The President announced he would make a speech designed to quell the market's fears about Standard and Poor's downgrading of the U.S. debt. His speech was a dismal failure.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Years ago I took part in a writers' circle.

It was a nice group of creative people, some of the best folks I've ever met. I enjoyed getting to know each one.

But I didn't fit in.

For some reason, writers' circles tend to attract fiction writers.

I've never had much interest in fiction, other than Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind."

Someone asked why I didn't go into fiction writing. The answer is easy.