According to news reports Sears is considering bankruptcy to solve its debt issues. I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Over the years I have bought a number of items from Sears, mostly tools, but I would no longer even consider purchasing anything from them.

A couple of years ago I needed a part for an electric drill I had bought from Sears. The Greensboro store didn’t have it, but I was told I could find it online. I did and ordered it. Fortunately I didn’t pay for it.

When I called to find out if my part had come in I was told it had and was in Norfolk, Virginia. I explained that it was a bit of a drive for a $10 part and asked why they couldn’t ship it to Greensboro. I was told that, according to company policy, they would only ship the part to Norfolk. After several increasingly frustrating conversations, I gave up. I went to Lowe’s and bought a new, better drill for less than it would have cost me to drive to Norfolk.

In a world dominated by Amazon and next day delivery, a company that can’t find anyway to ship a small part at the very least to a store near the customer doesn’t deserve to stay in business.

I am only one customer, but no doubt not the only one who found dealing with a company in 2016 that had 1916 policies was too much.


In an interview with Second Amendment proponent Mark Robinson, 13th District Congressman Ted Budd brought up a fact that seems to have been largely ignored in the debate over gun control.

Budd noted that the mechanics of semi-automatic weapons had not changed since 1911, which is the year the US Army adopted the .45 semi-automatic pistol as its official sidearm. The Army continued to use the virtually unchanged semi-automatic .45 as its official sidearm through World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.

The first semi-automatic rifles were produced in 1885 and in World War II, American troops were issued semi-automatic rifles.

So what some gun control activists are demanding is that a weapon that has been in use for over a century is suddenly the cause of mass shootings. If the problem was the weapon itself then you would expect mass shootings to have begun in the early to mid-1900s when semi-automatic weapons became popular, but that was not the case.

Budd said that when there is a tragedy it is easy to blame it on a device, but he added, “What we have in this country is a people problem, not a device problem.”


We receive a lot of press releases and I admit I don’t read them all, but North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell stopped by the office this week to bring my attention to one his office sent out on August 30.

Folwell sent a public records request to the North Carolina University system requesting its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He said all the treasurer’s office received were bills with no detail, and, being responsible for paying those bills, he thought it would be a good idea to know what the actual charges were for.

What Folwell received back from the UNC was a cover page and about 200 redacted pages. It looked like the kind of public records release the US Department of Justice has been making lately.

In response to that redacted public record from the UNC health service, Folwell sent out a redacted press release. In 30 years in the news business, it’s the first redacted press release I’ve ever seen and as with most redacted documents, it’s nearly impossible to understand, which is my excuse for not writing about it a month ago.

It’s good to see that being North Carolina state treasurer has not robbed Folwell of his sense of humor, and I have no doubt that he will figure out a way to get the information he’s requesting in unredacted form.


Like most people in the area, we didn’t have many problems with the storm of the century – one small, easily repairable hole in the roof from a fallen limb.

But it appears we may have lost some dependents. Since Florence, I haven’t seen the flying squirrels that I had been feeding every night. They had become so tame that they only ran halfway up the tree when they saw me coming with their dinner.

I hope that they just had some flood damage and decided to move. I didn’t think we had enough wind to blow them away, but then when you weigh two ounces and get around by gliding through the air it doesn’t take much wind to ruin your day.