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Guest Columns Archive

Blog: Way out In New Jersey!

I normally don’t travel far from my lovely Suffolk home, unless it is to visit our other lovely cities of Hampton Roads, but recently I took a trip to New Jersey….actually I was passing through! Most people don’t usually vacation in New Jersey unless they are there to gamble or visit ‘Princeton University’, which I might add is a ‘mecca’ for liberalism! I actually saw “tofu stir-fry” on the menu…you have to be kidding?!? How do you stir-fry tofu???? I really don’t want to know so do NOT email me, please!

Anyway, I was “passing through” New Jersey only to discov

Blog: Writing as a Hobby - Explore Your Own Mind

One of my hobbies is writing. Although I have written a couple short stories and published scores of poems, and a number of non-fiction articles, it is still a hobby. I’ve been paid to write pieces now and again, but never enough for me to “quit my day job,” as they say. Writing is one of several ways of communicating with people, and to me it is the most enjoyable. I think all readers are writers as well. It may be as simple as corresponding with friends through “snail mail” (e-mail is not part of this!), or writing a blog, or as complex as writing a novel, or a technical manu

Blog: Josh Turner Likes Bob Marley

I just spoke with country crooner Josh Turner, here next week, about what's on his iPod. Here's what he had to say.

Me: What five songs on your iPod would be the most telling about who you are as a person? Assuming that you have an iPod, that is.

Josh: Yeah I have an iPod but it's been a long time since I've listened to it. Let's see...five songs. That's a good question.

(Note: Actually, I thought it was a rather blase question, but I assume what he meant was that it was a difficult question.)

Josh: Probably Keith Whitley's "I’m No Stranger to the Rain." Um, let's see...Any H

Blog: Calling all retired trophies...

Do you have an old bowlling trophy gathering dust in a closet? A box of them perhaps?

I'm looking for ANY kind of castaway old trophy, sports-related or otherwise. Please drop them off at The Virginian-Pilot building, 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk (a four-story brick building, near Scope). Just leave them at the security desk and ask the security guard to give me a call. Also, leave your mailing address so I can send you a members-only Pilot Warrior key chain.

I promise, I'll reincarnate them (minus any identifying name plaques) in a noble manner. The motivation behind my madness will

Blog: One More Reason to Hate the Car Tax

Got a minute? Want to torment yourself about taxes? Here's an idea: Dig out last year's car tax bill. (Let's not fall for that phony "personal property tax" moniker, either. We're not stupid. We know what they're taxing.) Open this year's bill.

Compare and contrast.

If you're one of the chosen, you may find that the value of your car has risen along with the value of your house. Yes, I know, cars are supposed to be depreciating assets. But we live in strange times.

In Virginia Beach around 6,500 lucky drivers - including this one - saw the assessed value of their vehicles shoot up.

Blog: How far away is Boca Raton, Fla.?

According to Mapquest.com, 924 miles, apparently enough for RailAmerica, which operates 42 railroads - including, locally, Chesapeake & Albemarle - to lose touch with how its rail crossings impact folks in Chesapeake, Va.
When I wrote about the poor state of the Gallbush Road crossing in southernmost Chesapeake, Va., two months ago, I published contact information for RailAmerica. According to what was copied to me, readers send earnest e-mails and letters inquiring about plans to fix other C&A crossings, most notably crossings at Fentress and Back roads.
The readers told me they were either

Blog: Go Ahead and Shoot, Just Don't Lie About It Later

How's this for a chilling turn of events:

Seems it's perfectly legal for a pregnant woman - in Virginia, anyway - to shoot herself in the abdomen and kill her unborn baby.

Even if this occurs on the day the infant is due.

Of course, if a mother-to-be lies about the incident she could find herself in trouble. Not big trouble, mind you. A teeny bit of trouble. Lying might result in a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report.

Odd.

I would have thought that blasting away at your unborn child - on what should have been the baby's birthday - would be the more serious matter

Blog: Pulling Teeth

Nationalized health care anyone?

Blog: Happy to be eating...

Today I temped at the headquarters of this accessories chain. It was my job to assist the HR benefits manager with filing all of her papers from the previous quarter. Not very theatrical. I’m cool with that. No dealing with unruly people on the phones, just help her organize. Plus I had worked here before, a few months ago, so I knew what it would be like. It actually wasn’t a job I ever wanted to come back to, but at this point, I was happy to eat a little humble pie.

It was a beautiful day in the city, the windows were open in the office.

I tried to call my baby tonight. Did I m

Blog: Cheesy commercials

Right now I’m sitting at the reception desk of an international Jewish newspaper, working the phones. The paper has an English and a Yiddish edition…

It’s a cool job, I worked here before. They liked me enough to ask for me back.

On my lunch hour I ran over make a commercial audition, this one for Holiday Inn. I got there and signed in, just as I did that I noticed the people who had been “called back” for the Olive Garden ads. I didn’t get a call-back… I guess that’s what I get for calling their commercials cheesy.

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