Wake Up, America

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.” ― George Orwell, 1984

 

We trust way too much of what we see, hear, and read. We do it because it’s convenient, and we do it because it’s comfortable.

As a child, I was frequently admonished by my parents, teachers and other adults to “think for myself.” If I was repeating something that I had heard another kid pass off as gospel, I ...

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Country Living

Walking down the sloped driveway, newspaper in hand, I strain to see the house, which is shrouded in fog. As I pass the truck parked in the drive, the mist has frosted the glass and offers the illusion of being covered in ice. The quiet is broken by a single crow, announcing his presence as he pierces the fog near the chimney and flies to my left, on the way to the rest of his day. The cat greets me ...

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Lasting Impressions

The first time I heard Warren Bradley on the radio, I was impressed.

After working for years in the radio business, I was not easily impressed by most on-air personalities. But, Warren stood out. It was obvious that he was far more talented than most in our market and really, I sensed that he would be better suited working in show business.

Little did I know that he had been trying to get into show business his entire adult life.

I did character ...

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We Interupt This Program…

Suddenly, the TV show we were watching just stopped. We could get the cable channels, but the wifi stopped working.

This meant no Netflix, YouTube or Amazon Prime.

This moment made it clear to me how much the Internet is quickly becoming the main information conduit through which we receive our information and entertainment.

We had to wait a day before a tech could come to the house. As he tested the equipment, checked the box outside and made phone calls, I thought ...

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Caught In The Middle

My middle name is a gray area. Literally.

My middle name is Gray.

I’ve written before about last names, or surnames as they are called in the United States and other parts of the world, but until recently, I hadn’t thought too much about why we have or need a middle name.

In regard to history, last names are a relatively recent thing. Only used for the past few hundred years for most of us who trace our roots back to Europe, the ...

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The Fix Is In

I grew up in a family who fixed things. We fixed things because we didn’t have the money to pay someone else to fix them. As a result, I was taught a little about a lot when it came to everyday items.

Things used to be made simply. Consequently, in most cases you could fix most items yourself. A fan, for example, was rudimentary. A housing, blade, electric motor, and a plug was pretty much all there was to one. The ...

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Call Me John

I was about five years old when I discovered that my name wasn’t actually Johnny. I didn’t say anything about it until I was eight. Then, my OCD kicked in.

In the third grade, I decided to insist that I be called John. John was my name, and I should be called that.

This didn’t go over too well with my parents, especially my dad, who informed me that he could call me whatever he wanted.

He had a point, but my name ...

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Surviving TV

I have become enamored with survival shows on TV.

Honestly, this isn’t a recent thing, it started about 10 years ago with a program called Survivorman, starring a man named Les Stroud. The premise is to take Les and drop him off in the most inhospitable place possible, with no food or water, few supplies, and a give him a week to not die.

It’s quite like going to the mall with your wife.

Mr. Stroud was the first of his kind to ...

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Just Call Him Cowboy

“That one was given to a man when he retired from the Illinois Railroad in 1891,” said the man. He looked as if someone had opened a time continuum and he’d just left 1891. He wore jeans, suspenders, and a real cowboy hat.

Thin, with longest white beard I’d seen in awhile, I thought how easy it would be for him to take the stage with ZZ Top and no one would be the wiser.

“How much?” I asked.

“I’d have to have ...

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The Summer of ’76

There was almost no breeze. Record temperatures were being shattered in England, and the Southern US was also pretty darn hot.

But three teenage kids in Arkansas decided that it would be a great idea to live in my backyard for most of the summer of 1976.

My cousin Randy was up from Alvin, Texas. I honestly can’t remember why he stayed with us for so many weeks, but I do remember that my mom quickly reached the end of her rope ...

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