The LA Times finally got me back with an offer of six months for $5. Since I was paying $10 a month that’s a pretty good savings, but if I held out a little longer I could have gotten 12 weeks for 99 cents. I suppose I should have waited them out until they agreed to pay me 10 cents a week for reading the paper, but I caved too soon. I think it was all the stars and exclamation points in the ad that got me.

One thing I’ve learned is that the LA Times has a far better marketing department than The New York Times. The LA Times kept sending me offers that were lower and lower. The New York Times bounces back and forth between 50 percent off and 75 percent off. Now, if you don’t go for 75 percent off on June 1, why do they think you’ll go for 50 percent off on June 8.

Can you imagine looking at something on sale at a retail store and having the salesperson try that? “So you don’t want this shirt at 75 percent off. Well, what if I said you could have it for 50 percent off?” Who knows, maybe it would work, what with the failing educational system in this country and all.


Whenever I read about the economic impact of a proposed government project and all the jobs it is going to bring to the area, I think about the Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids.

The Carolina Journal reported this week that Roanoke Rapids finally sold the theater for $3 million and that the city owed about $15 million on it. Some might think that selling it for $3 million was not a great business deal, but the Roanoke Rapids officials were happy as clams to finally get rid of the financial albatross.

According to the Carolina Journal, when Roanoke Rapids got involved, the projections were that building the theater would result in $129 million in private investment and create 2,595 jobs and an overall result in 12,250 jobs for the region. In reality, the theater resulted in no private investment and created no jobs. So the estimate was only off by $129 million in investment and 12,250 jobs.

The city borrowed $21 million for the project and the state threw in $6 million. This was back when Democrat Gov. Mike Easley, who was later convicted of a felony, Democrat House Speaker Jim Black, who went to prison for accepting bribes, and Democrat President Pro Tem of the Senate Marc Basnight were running the state.

The mainstream media like to complain about the job the Republicans are doing in state government, but It will be tough for the Republicans to come up with a boondoggle as bad as this one, or a crew as dishonest the Democrats who were in charge back in 2005.


I’ve read that race relations in the US are getting worse not better, but I don’t see that in my daily life. And on a recent trip to Topsail Beach, I saw evidence of the opposite. Most of the North Carolina beaches I’ve gone to my entire life were once all white. I can’t speak of other beaches because I’ve only been to one this year, but on Topsail Beach you could find people in every shade people come in, including the very painful looking bright red. Maybe having diversity at the beach is a small inconsequential thing, but I don’t think so. No government ordered that beaches have a certain percentage of diversity. No government bused people to the beaches to reach the correct racial and ethnic blend. The courts didn’t order beach property owners to seek out a certain percentage of minorities and entice them to spend a week at the beach.

It’s one of those things that happened because people like to go to the beach and so they do.

It made me think that maybe if the government got out of the diversity business, things would work out better for everyone. But I think less government is better government in most situations and a lot of people don’t.


It’s funny how the mind works, or doesn’t. Saturday night we lost power at about 10 p.m. By the time I went to bed the house was getting a little stuffy with the air-conditioning off and the windows closed because of the rain. So I thought I would be good to get some air moving, got my flashlight and went over to turn the fan on. It didn’t help.


I had been catching glimpses of some long legged creature loping around the neighborhood at night, but not good enough to identify it. At first, because of the long legs, I thought it might be a fawn. But then, last weekend, I looked out to see if the squirrels were destroying my bird feeder again and there it was, only a few feet away, and it definitely wasn’t a fawn. It was a gray fox. The fox evidently felt as protected by the glass between us as I did because he stared back at me. He was a beautiful fox that looked like he had just been groomed.

As I was trying to figure out how to get my phone out of my pocket to take a photo, my faithful companion came over to see what I was staring at, and although the fox was evidently satisfied with the protection of a pane of glass from a big, slow, dumb looking human, he decided that it wasn’t sufficient for a barking dog and took off.

I had to go look up foxes because I didn’t know they came with such long legs. We’d had a red fox living in the back yard for a while and this guy or gal was at least twice as tall. However, I found a photo on the internet that looked like it could have been him, and he was definitely good looking enough to be a model, so maybe it was.