A Column Fit For A King

When I was in college, I would buy a copy of USA Today every day. I would usually sit and have either my lunch or my dinner and run through the day’s events. Sometimes I would go to a meal with a friend and we’d swap sections and comment on what we were reading. Yes, I’m that nerd. While I was never a Larry King fan, I always looked forward to his column each week. He could throw a thousand ideas out in one column, tossing them out in short bites. I usually read it and would absorb one take while arguing aloud with another take. As most of you know, I usually take a lot of thoughts from throughout the previous week and funnel them down to one for my piece each week. This week, though, there were so many I’m not sure how to narrow them all down. Then I thought, maybe I should try it Larry King-style. If it works it I might repeat it from time to time. Here goes…

Kudos to the school board for voting to keep their original plan in place last night. The plan was put together with the help of health professionals coupled with their experiences from last year. If you want everyone to be forced into masks at school, there’s an option for that. It also means you want things to go poorly…To that end, congrats to the county commission on hiring a governmental consulting firm. I got notes from people criticizing the move, but honestly, it’s kind of a bold thing to admit you need help. I hope this leads to a turnaround for our county government. We all need it and we should be wishing for all of their success…Rumors were swirling last week that Jeff Chapman was back in the mix for County Manager (you’ll recall an executive session meeting last week). The big hang up seems to have been a disagreement over what Chapman’s payday would be if they let him go. With a number of 4-3 votes regarding his potential position with the county, I can hardly blame him for protecting himself. One election could make the difference in whether or not he has a job.

I was remarking to my wife last night that I’ve thoroughly beaten myself up over the last year and a half. She said, “I know. I wrote the checks for the hospital bills.” I didn’t exactly man the bike crashes (yes, plural). I meant that getting into shape does take a physical toll. I’ve been riding the bike hard and frequently. Sometimes you just get a little run down…To that end, though, I’m SO near a major goal. Once I realized I was going to be able to stick with this for the long haul, I started looking at the calendar and decided I’d like to see if I can get below 200 by my next birthday. The birthday is just under six weeks away, and I’m nearly there already… For the record, I haven’t been on that side of 200 since the mid-90s.

With the Ahmaud Arbery trial coming up I’m hearing tales of friction among our local law enforcement agencies regarding protection. My attempts to get evidence of that have been met by open records request rejections, but I’m still trying to get that evidence. Whether I ever lay hands on the evidence or not, we have a potentially explosive situation coming to our community and it’s not the time for the people in charge of our safety to drop trou and grab a ruler…Since we’ve now established that it’s cool to bring toys to a school board presentation, wait till you see how I use my Star Wars action figures to illustrate the need for the school system to address teen pregnancy…Clay and Buck are jelling nicely, but it still makes me sad when I tune in because it reminds me that there will never be another Rush.

Most you know that when I ride my bike, I listen to audiobooks. Music doesn’t work for me in that context, but following a narrative is the perfect distraction from my legs and lungs screaming at me to slow down or stop. This week I started A Republic If You Can Keep It by Neil Gorsuch. Yes, that Neil Gorsuch. He won me over by almost immediately lavishing praise upon Antonin Scalia, but also with his way of explaining the reason he is an originalist and a textualist. I could see him becoming Chief Justice some day…We recently lost JW Rintzler, the author of another book I just finished called All Up. Rintzler was best known for writing making of books about films, and he had a long relationship with Lucasfilm. All Up was his first novel. Shame. It’s a dazzling retelling of the history of the worldwide space race with just a few science fiction elements thrown in to keep it fun. I have no doubt there were many more terrific tales locked away in that brain of his, but we lost him to pancreatic cancer at the end of July. Rintzler was 58…Audio drama has always worked better for me than audiobooks, and I’ve also recently given a listen to heAaudible adaptation of Locke and Key, based on the comic by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son, but I guess he didn’t want people to point out he was Joe King, when in fact, he’s often serious). I was a fan of the comics, and think the adaptation is spot on. Plus, if you’re one of the numerous adults who can’t bring themselves to open a comic because “it’s for kids,” maybe this is the right way for you to experience this story. Although you really should try a comic some time. There are plenty that contain very adult levels of storytelling…Speaking of comics, I’ve spent some of my spare time trying to read every Marvel comic from its start in 1939. You think cancel culture has weeded out all of the outdated racial depictions of the past? Wait till they discover these!

When I write, I usually listen to film scores. John Williams is the undisputed king, but Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, and James Horner are favorites, too. Though James Horner could teach Republic Services a thing or two about recycling…Speaking of which, I’m getting close to the end, so let me say something nice about the county commission again. They made the right call on the garbage situation.There’s no sense in charging everyone for a service only a few are going to use. They should probably keep that model in mind when making the next SPLOST list…And on that note, I’m out for another week. Let me know if this worked for you!

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