Every so often, I go through a collection I call my “ideas file.” Sometimes, I can’t make heads nor tails out of a note. Often I can’t remember what idea prompted me to make a particular note for a column. The actual note is in italics in this column. Hmmm.
So, here’s a mish-mash of notes.
• With regard to planets: A Goldilocks zone: “Too hot” or “too cold.” In other words, uninhabitable.
• Once I was walking with my late father-in-law, Jay Bollinger, near his home and we passed a house where two fierce-looking Dobermans eyed us and came running toward us growling. Scared the daylights out of me until all of a sudden, the dogs turned, yelped and ran back to their home. I gave Jay a quizzical look, and he said, “They know me. When they got close enough to really see us, they said, ‘Uh-oh. Old Man with Rock.”
• Someone once said of a local politician’s odds of election: “He stands about as much chance as a steak in front of a pro football lineman.”
• Computers have brought us the term “byte.” First, the storage capacity of computers was termed in bytes. Initially it was in megabytes. Capacities began to go up astronomically, so the next step was gigabyte. Now there’s “zettabyte.” Don’t ask me how much that is; the description I read just said a one followed by 21 zeroes: 1,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000.
• Perry misses getting on Virginia presidential primary ballot: He wasn’t allowed on because he failed to get enough valid signatures on his petition. To get on the ballot, Perry would have needed a federal judge to rule in his favor. Reckon all the judges have read his book where he criticizes them for being too activist. Ooops.
• There is a play titled, “Come back to the five and dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.” First of all, if you’re a country music fan (as I am), then you think Jimmy Dean is the old country music star turned sausage billionaire. Actually, it’s the late actor James Dean, who died young when his car ran off a cliff (some say it was suicide). In some of the promo work for the play, they try to use 5-cent and 10-cent for five and dime only to discover that there is no traditional cent mark on the keypad — a “c” with a vertical line through it. And, you can’t do 5c and 10c.
• Newspaper publisher friend, Randy Mankin of Masked Rider Publications (Eldorado and Big Lake) has some pretty clever sayings, slogans, et al.
About news reporting, Randy offers two: (1) The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind; (2) There are more rabbit trails to this story than lessons. Some others: (3) We were so poor, the bologna we ate was so thin, it only had one side. (4) A man looking at a frog-strangling rain said, “The last drought we had started just like this.”
Everyone has a postal service story nowadays what with all the cutbacks in service. Mine is that I recall growing up in Teague where the local post office had a slot labeled: “In City,” and that mail got delivered the very next day. Guaranteed.
• Home remedies. Everyone has several. One I remember well came when, as a tad of a boy, I sprained an ankle. My mother and grandmother prescribed this “cast” they said would heal the ankle in a hurry. It was made of red clay, of which we had plenty, and vinegar. They dug up a batch of the clay, then mixed it with the vinegar so it had a wet, doughy consistency and they put the “cast” on the sprained ankle and told me not to move for two days. Sure enough, the ankle was healed in 48 hours. I don’t believe for a minute it was the clay, although I think the vinegar may have had some healing qualities. I do believe lying around with the ankle immobile was the most instrumental in the healing.
So, now you have my idea file.
WILLIS WEBB is a retired community newspaper editor-publisher. He can be reached by email at <email@example.com>