Features: Columns

Apr. 21, 2015 @ 05:11 PM

‘Billy Bowater’ gives look at politics behind the scenes

What is it really like to be the top aide to a powerful North Carolina senator, one who is much loved and much hated for his strong uncompromising views on heated issues, a senator who is running for reelection against a popular governor with a full war chest of campaign funds? Interesting, challenging?

Apr. 21, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

The first cut is the hardest

It’s common wisdom that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. The reason is that you must struggle to get the blade through. When that takes place, accidents can happen. As a savant-level klutz, I can speak to cuts. It looks like I’ve had particularly incompetent scarification tattoos from the elbows down.

Apr. 17, 2015 @ 05:31 PM

Get low

Back in the middle of March, when the weather began to feel a bit more like spring than winter, I decided one afternoon to close my books for a couple hours and do some yard work. Four tanks of gas in my lawn mower and five hours later I called it a day due to waning daylight and energy.

Apr. 14, 2015 @ 02:54 PM

Happy free b-day to me

     I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out on this.


Apr. 08, 2015 @ 10:17 AM

Swift chronicles journey of ‘57 Chevy

“Auto Biography: A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream,” by former Virginian-Pilot writer Earl Swift follows a ’57 Chevy station wagon through 13 different owners.

Apr. 08, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

Be ready for pond weeds

Spring weather means warmer temperatures, green grass, happy people and weeds growing in ponds. Calls are already coming in about controlling pond weeds, so folks who have ponds might want to take a look and see if weeds are already present and make some plans on how to deal with them.

Apr. 07, 2015 @ 02:59 PM

Adventures with lentils

Alton Brown is my hero. He’s the only TV food guy who not only shows me “how,” but teaches me “why.” He explores the science of cooking, but in a way that doesn’t put me to sleep or make me feel dumb. I can’t emphasize enough how very much I respect his knowledge—If Alton says it, it must be so. So when he suggested I get to know lentils, that’s just what I did.

Apr. 03, 2015 @ 10:16 AM

Getting ready for Easter

It is easy to get hung up on the differences between our many churches and congregations and forget those things that all Christians share. One of those practices we all hold in common is baptism. We may have different ideas about when to do it (as an infant or as an adult), how to do it (dip, sprinkle or dunk), or where to do it (outside in a river or inside the sanctuary). But when it comes down to it, all churches baptize. This season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, is a good time to think about baptism and what it means.

Mar. 31, 2015 @ 04:20 PM

Jam session

Although some people who know me (Hello Petey and The Kid) may call it an affliction, I just happen to appreciate jam and jelly.

Mar. 27, 2015 @ 03:51 PM

The secret to growing a church

Now that I have your attention, let me confess: it is no secret. In fact, it’s been lying in plain sight for two thousand years! History shows that whenever men and women, boys and girls actually put it to use, churches were filled and the kingdom of God grew by leaps and bounds!