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My Two Cents
by Stephen Scalf
The Chicken Heart That Ate Carlisle
One of my favorite comedians of all time, Bill Cosby, used to do this routine about how kids will hear about something scary and then live in fear that its going to happen to them.
He told about a radio program "Lights Out," and an episode "The Chicken Heart that Ate New York."
He was so sure the chicken heart was going to get him, that he smeared Jell-O all over the floor as a trap, to try to stop it.
His dad came home, slipped in the Jell-O and broke his arm.
As most of you are aware, back on Tuesday, Feb. 11, a 30-foot sinkhole opened up under the National Corvette Museum’s Skydome in Bowling Green, swallowing eight classic Corvettes on loan to the museum.
The first of the eight, the 2009 “Blue Devil” ZR1 was the first Corvette rescued from the sinkhole this past Monday morning.
However, this past week, Carlisle started forming a sinkhole of its own on South Locust Street. The Carlisle Courier noticed a hole in the pavement not far from their office’s entrance. The hole was only about two inches long and one inch wide (at its widest point). Inserting a ruler down into the hole showed the hole under the pavement was 10 inches deep, and the surrounding pavement appeared to be sagging in towards the hole.
The city office was notified and within minutes, city crews were on site to investigate the extent of Carlisle’s “sinkhole.” At first, there was concern about breaking open the existing pavement because the crews feared the opening might extend a fair distance out into the roadway. However after enlarging the hole with a crowbar, it was discovered that the “sinkhole” was extremely small in size, and a two-gallon bucket of gravel was more than enough to fill the trouble spot.
Thanks to the quick work of the city crew, the Corvettes of Carlisle (as well as all other makes and models of cars) have been spared the same fate as the ones down in Bowling Green.
But really, my story isn't so much about Carlisle's "sinkhole" as it was about my reaction when I saw the hole in the pavement and realized there was nothing under it. I immediately thought of Bowling Green and the Corvette museum.
"Hey! It happened there, so that means it could happen here!" I thought.
Thank goodness I wasn't the only one. Everyone else who saw it (before it was filled) made some kind of Corvette-related joke.
Truth is, the chances of one sinkhole opening up are pretty rare. The chances of two sinkholes opening up in the same state in the same month...
This is why I'm sure there's a part of us that stays a little kid. We hear about something bad happening, so we're sure that chicken heart is coming to get us next!
And that's my two cents,
Sharing a Smile
by Tom Metcalfe
Do you remember when Barney Fife sang off key when the Mayberry Chorus attempted to sing “Welcome Sweet Springtime?”
They finally compromised with Barney by having him sing into a special microphone and he sounded like a bass instead of the tenor that he was. You may recall that Andy convinced Barney basically to just move his mouth while another choir member, Glen Cripe, played by an actor named Delos Jewkes, sang.
Maybe we don’t need Don Knotts to sing for us, but I am ready to welcome “sweet springtime!”
After this exceptionally cold and snowy winter, I am looking forward to the Vernal Equinox (the first day of spring) which is still fifteen days away, on March 20.
I know that we can still have cold and snowy weather, even into April, but with the advent of spring, there is hope of warmer weather, green leaves, and birds chirping.
Let’s look at what the Old Farmers’ Almanac says:
“Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.”
Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero. Which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (However the tilt of Earth, relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees.)” This is sometimes referred to as “the angle of inclination.”
Question: Why doesn’t the vernal equinox (equal night) on March 20 have the same number of hours for day and night?
Answer: Our former astronomer, George Greenstein, had this to say: "There are two reasons.
First, light rays from the Sun are bent by the Earth's atmosphere. (This is why the Sun appears squashed when it sets.) They are bent in such a way that we are actually able to see the Sun before it rises and after it sets.
The second reason is that daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a star-like point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’”
Alright, enough of the science lesson. Let’s go to music class. Let’s sing with Barney:
Welcome sweet springtime
We greet thee with song,
Murmers of gladness
fall on the ear.
Voices long hushed now their full note prolong, echoing far and near.
Just singing that song gives me spring fever.
Speaking of which, did you hear about the boys with spring fever who skipped their morning high school classes and told their teacher that they were late because they had a flat tire on the way to school.
Much to their relief, the teacher smiled and told them that they had missed a test, but she would allow them to make it up now. She said, “Take out a sheet of paper and sit apart from one another.” With a smile she then said, “Question one, which tire was flat?”
Last week’s question: How did Buck Owens come up with the song lyrics to “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail?” He was riding in a car with a friend when they passed an Exxon Station with the mascot tiger on the sign.
This week’s question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
And On That Note...
by Ross Haney
Stirring Up Controversy
I know what you’re thinking: “Ross is really going to stir the pot with this one. This column is really going to tick someone off. He’s a little miscreant that loves to make people boiling hot!” Well, if you’re thinking that, unfortunately, you’re wrong. I don’t have anyone to tick off this week, but I really would like to address why I occasionally enjoy stirring up controversy.
When I first started the “And On That Note…” my grandmother, the late Lorena Wells, had to proofread everything I wrote before it was sent in to the paper. Her reasoning: “I don’t want you writing anything controversial!” After a while, I got to point where she would never get to read them.
“Was this week’s controversial?”
“Yes! You’re gonna get yourself in trouble!”
I don’t know if some of my recent columns would have made it through the “Granny Proofreading System,” but honestly, I have good reason for stirring it up. Well…sometimes it do.
When growing up in small town America, we tend to be sheltered from diverse opinions in most cases. We’re only told half of the story; we’re told how we should do something, but never why that way is correct. Since I could speak, “Why?” has been my favorite question.
“Why should I do it that way?” “What’s wrong with this way?” If you’re like me, you’ve promptly received the answers, “’Cause I said so,” and “’Cause that’s the way ya do it,” to those questions many times. But that’s never been enough for me. I want to know the why. I don’t like to be conformed to the opinions of those who have come before me.
Sometimes when I bluntly tell people that their opinion is morally incorrect, I’m trying to open their minds to other ways of thinking. We often are raised to believe something, or just quickly form an opinion on the matter, and don’t even contemplate our reasoning, or consider how things look on the other side.
We need to open our minds to new ways of thinking, and put our prior beliefs aside. If more people possessed an open mind, we’d all get along a whole lot better. You listen to me, I’ll listen to you, and if all else fails, we’ll just agree to disagree.
I have to think a lot before I write my columns. I have to feel like it’ll be beneficial to someone when they read it, rather it gives them their daily laugh, or it really gets them thinking. There will never be a column that every one of my readers enjoys. I aim to please, but sometimes you’ve got to step on some toes to really get your “opinion” out there.
And my column is just that: an opinion. And to be honest, I’m really not sure why people enjoy my “words of wisdom” every week. Who knows; maybe they’re just being nice.
And on that note, I’ll leave you!
The Carlisle Courier
115 S. Locust St
(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
P.O. Box 206
Carlisle, KY 40311
Tel: 859-289-8899 Fax: 859-289-8890