It appears television viewers will believe anything. The show was hyped as Michael Phelps swimming against a great white shark and viewers were disappointed that it turned out to be Phelps swimming against a computer generated shark, not a real shark.

From the numerous comments, it appears that people actually thought Phelps was going to be in one lane and a shark in the other. Maybe they thought the shark would be standing on the blocks next to Phelps and both dive in the water at the same moment, who knows? Did they think someone had trained a great white shark to swim up and down a swimming pool staying in its lane, making a flip turn and coming back?

But it appears many viewers were disappointed that Phelps and the shark were not swimming side by side. Did anyone worry about the safety of Phelps being in the water with a shark that is known to have no moral compunctions about attacking and eating human beings?


Weather like we have had the last week always makes me wonder about the wisdom of my ancestors who moved to North Carolina, not only before air conditioning but before fans and screens, and back when any hot meals were cooked on wood stoves.

The house I grew up in wasn’t air conditioned, but we did have fans and screens. If I could only have one I’d take the screens over fans any day.

But it’s hard to imagine thinking that the Southern US would be a nice place to live back in those days before people had either.


I know that people are skiing in July because of global warming, but not being a global warming fanatic, I have problems when global warming results in colder temperatures and more snow.


Sunday night, like a lot of people in Guilford County, my mother was without electricity. I was over there for a couple of hours and it reminded me once again of just how vulnerable we are to disruptions in the electrical system. A modern house without electricity is a lot like a cave.

The office building the Rhino Times is in on West Market Street was built in the mid-1880s, before electricity was prevalent, and every room has a source of natural light. Modern buildings aren’t built like that at all. There is a lot of talk in Washington about upgrading our infrastructure, and it also needs to be protected.


One of the reasons Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he vetoed the state budget was that the personal income tax rate was lowered from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent in 2019.

In Illinois, the Democratic state legislature raised the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which was considered an outrageous increase. But even with that increase the income tax would still be lower than what North Carolina is lowering the rate to in 2019. It’s simply an indication of how out of control the taxes in North Carolina had become under the century of Democratic rule.


Here’s a fun fact: Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and current President Donald Trump were all born in 1946. All are technically baby boomers, as is former President Barack Obama, who was born in 1961. Former President Lyndon Johnson, who took office after John Kennedy was assassinated, seemed to me at the time like this really tired old man who was replacing the vibrant, youthful Kennedy. Johnson was 57 when he took office, which doesn’t seem that old. Obama who doesn’t look old to me, is 55.