.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • A Valentine's Day without chocolate is like torture

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    This is the one day of the year when you can stop by any store selling valentines and see people—I don’t mean to sound sexist but mostly men—lined up at the cards section. It’s an annual ritual known as “don’t come home without one.”

    My advice is to get there early, before all that’s left are aunt and uncle cards or ones decorated with a smiling turtle reading, “For a sweet 3-year-old.”

  • Taxpayers: Shelling out too much and receiving too little

    I’m tired of getting ripped off.

    You and I are paying too much in taxes, we’re paying too much for gasoline, which is over-priced to begin with. To add insult to injury we can get it down the road in South Carolina for a whole lot less. (Why can’t we purchase gasoline for even less in North Carolina?)

    When it comes to our schools, I don’t think we get our money’s worth. I was reading studies on charter schools and how they are constantly under scrutiny (or they don’t get their charter for the following year).

  • Winter fun aquarium style

    Sometimes it’s hard to find fun things to do in the winter, especially if you have kids.

    There are only so many trips to the library they can take and only so many video games you can buy before you go broke.

    Luckily, for those interested in taking a day trip either by car or on a ferry, the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher has found a cure for the weekend “Mom, I’m bored!” blues.

  • Find out how you measure up to issues with candidates

    As newsies, the Beacon newsroom is always abuzz with conversations about local and national events.

    With the May primary only a few months away and races heating up with nearby debates in South Carolina, the topic of late has been the presidential election.

    The newsroom is a good mix of conservatives and liberals, and discussions are always fun and interesting. I count my blessings to be involved with a group of people who, although their views may differ, really care about what’s going on in the world.

  • If I knew what to write, I would have written it, right?

    Apparently, there are 91,300,000 professional, expert writers among us. At least that’s what Google says.

    I’ve been stuck in a rut lately when it comes to column writing. I’ll go ahead and blame it on the Seasonal Affective Disorder I wrote about last week.

    Taking my own advice, I bought a new lamp. I’m sure it wasn’t the kind experts say to use for light therapy, but it was on sale, very modern looking, and in a way, helped me through retail therapy.

    Close enough.

  • Listen to candidates before you make up your mind

    I went into last week’s GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., confident I wanted John McCain to be our next president.

    But when all the candidates left the convention center and all but a few of the press had hopped on their planes headed to their next debate, I wasn’t as sure as I was when I arrived earlier that day.

    Don’t get me wrong; I was very impressed with McCain.

    While I am not trying to endorse McCain, I agree with a good portion of his message—his priorities for this country and our security.

  • Anyone could manage with a lifestyle manager

    It’s one thing to have a career and quite another to stay at home, tending to the home fires and bookoodles of endless tasks shrieking for attention there.

    A few days ago, I was about to move out until I read some advice about cutting what you have to do down into “chunks,” to make the chores at hand less overwhelming and more manageable.

    I think that’s a great idea.

  • Future linebacker's mom prepares for a great year

    This year will be a new beginning for me. No, it’s not because of my New Year’s resolutions. It’s because 2008 will be my first full year as a mother.

    My son, Levi, was born on Oct. 24. He was a big boy, weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 21 inches long.

    At birth he was a healthy, good-sized baby. The pediatrician and surgical team who delivered him were taking bets on his weight. “Whoa! That’s a 10-pounder right there,” someone exclaimed.

    “Yeah. I’d say 10-plus,” said another.

  • Political apathy makes election season even worse

    Amidst all the hoopla of the political coverage we’ve seen of late, it seems more like a rerun of last season’s show.

    The dates and locations may change, the faces change, but it still sounds the same.

    On one side, it seems we have three people who will say or promise anything to get our support. They tell us they know our burdens and feel our pain.

  • 'Soft-sational' songs can sometimes do you wrong

    I never thought it would come to this, but I think listening to too much soft rock music in my lifetime has begun to hurt my writing career.

    First, I innocently mentioned a song by Dan Fogelberg in my Dec. 20 column. A couple of days after I wrote it, but before the paper came out, I learned Fogelberg, singer-songwriter of “Same Old Lang Syne” and “Leader of the Band” from the 1970s and early 1980s, had died of prostate cancer. My timing has never been worse.

    Sorry, Dan. Rest in peace.