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My Two Cents
by Stephen Scalf
This is one of those lines that is commonly heard in every junior high school across the nation (or at least, used to be). Of course, the insult ends with "... because it's killing me!"
I don't spend a lot of time worrying about my appearance. I get myself ready in the morning and most days don't see what I look like again until I'm brushing my teeth at night - unless I happen to walk by a car window - or what is more likely, when someone points at my face and then wipes their chin or corner of their mouth.
So now you know... you all are my mirror. If you don't tell me something's wrong, I'll probably end up walking around the whole day like that (and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT).
Seriously, though, I have a couple of reasons for sharing all this: First, because I really don't think I am all that concerned about my appearance. I mean, I do what I can, but really, the way we look is controlled by genetics and the decisions of a couple of silly, infatuated young people (our parents) long before we were on the scene. It's not like we were around to smack some sense into them... "Stop kissing that boy, Mom? Can't you see I'm going to inherit those big ears?" There are limits to what we can do about the way we look, so why spend a lot of time worrying about it, right? So I really wouldn't consider myself a vain person. However... And here comes the other reason I started this column the way I did... My face is killing me! Maybe you haven't noticed, or maybe you've just been too kind to say anything, but recently, my complexion has become every teenager's worst nightmare. And the thing about it is, it's really my own fault.
Not long ago, I noticed a couple of reddish spots on my face where the skin would kind of peel off a little, but the red spots wouldn't go away. Turns out, these spots are most likely pre-cancerous. They're mainly on the left side of my face because when you drive a car, guess which side ends up with the sun shining on it all the time.
I went to the clinic and was prescribed a skin cream that forces all the bad cells to come to the surface. Except instead of just applying it to those couple of bad spots, you're supposed to hit all the spots where you've experienced frequent sunburns.
For me, that was apparently my nose, because now I've got these angry, red blotches on my nose. The skin itches/stings almost constantly. When I wash my face (so I can put on more of this cream) it's like pouring alcohol onto an open sore. We have this bath oil that says "aches and pains relief" right there on the label. It has a "comforting blend" of eucalyptus, menthol camphor, spearmint, and wintergreen.
"Hey, I'll use some of this!" I told myself. "It says right here that it will relieve my pain." I put some on a warm, wet washcloth, worked up a little lather, and started washing my face.
Now, I have to admit - I have never actually submerged my face in molten lava so I can't truthfully say that I know exactly how it feels, but I think I now have the general concept.
I must have rinsed my face with cold water for about five minutes to get the burning to stop. In defense of product, once it DID finally stop, the pain really was gone for several hours. That might have been because my nerve endings had all been fried, but still...
Apparently, I'm about halfway through the treatment. The red blotches will eventually all run together and form one large, angry sore. Then it is time to stop putting the cream on so the skin can heal - which means it will start oozing bloody seepage and scab over, and in about a month finally start looking like skin again.
But here's the real point why I share this: This whole problem - all this stinging, itching, painful mess could have been avoided if I had just taken a second and put on sunscreen.
Yeah, I know: Sunscreen is for sissies. "I don't really burn. I might get a little red, but it goes away after a couple of days." That's what I would say, too - time after time of letting my face get sunburned.
As rough as this treatment is, it's still way better than letting the bad spots go and having them turn into cancer and then getting them cut out.
So, my friends - my mirrors - for the next couple of weeks, please... come in close! Get right in there and stare at my blotchy, painful complexion. You can even say, "Ewww! Gross!" and I won't mind a bit. Especially if you go out right afterwards and put on some sunscreen.
And that's my two cents,
Sharing a Smile
by Tom Metcalfe
Dixie – One of
When you hear the word “Dixie” what comes to mind? Are you thinking of a geographic region of the United States? Maybe you are thinking of a country girl band (Dixie Chicks). Could it be you are thinking of a place to purchase groceries (Winn-Dixie)? There is even a Dixie State University. (It’s located in, of all places, St. George, Utah. No kidding!)
But did you know all this “Dixie” stuff started with money?
Recently I called an investment company and while I was waiting for the person to answer his extension, instead of music, this company played some useful information about the origin of the word, “Dixie.”
The word "Dixie" refers to privately issued currency originally from the Citizens State Bank (located in the French Quarter of New Orleans) and then other banks in Louisiana. These banks issued ten-dollar notes, labeled "Dix", French for "ten", on the reverse side.
The notes were known as "Dixies" by English-speaking southerners, and the area around New Orleans and the French-speaking parts of Louisiana came to be known as "Dixieland".
Eventually, usage of the term broadened to refer to most of the Southern States. Now the French word for 12 is “douze” pronounced “dooz”. Can you imagine if they had printed 12 dollar units, instead of tens, then they might have been known as “doozies.” Therefore instead of Dixieland it would have been known as Doozieland. We could have the Doozie Chicks, Winn Doozie, and maybe a Doozie State University in Utah. “I wish I was in the land of Doozie?”
"I Wish I Was in Dixie" is a popular song about the South. It was allegedly written by composer Daniel Emmett, a Northerner from Mount Vernon, Ohio, and published in 1859. Emmett's claims of the origin of the song were many and varied.
According to one such version, Emmett was taught the song by the Snowden family of African American musicians, then freemen of color, with the lyrics coming from a letter written longingly of life in the south by Evelyn Snowden to her father. Emmett's blackface minstrel-show troupe debuted the song that same year in New York City when they needed a song to lengthen their presentation and it became an immediate hit.
As with other minstrel show numbers, the song was performed in blackface and in exaggerated Black English vernacular. The song proved extremely popular and became widely known simply as "Dixie". The song has also been published as "Dixie's Land".
The song became the unofficial anthem of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. The tune's minstrel-show origins have created a strong association of "Dixie" with the Old South, despite the fact that it was written in the North.
As a result, some today perceive the song as offensive and racist while others see it as an honorable part of Southern heritage. Abraham Lincoln, upon hearing of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, asked the military band to play “Dixie”.
“Dixie” has always been one of my favorite tunes. Sing along: “I wish I was in the land of cotton. Old times there are not forgotten. Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie Land.” (Some of the information in this article came from Wikipedia.)
Last week’s question - What famous teacher said, “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them.”? – Socrates
This week’s question – Years ago there was a water tower on New Circle Road in Lexington, in the shape of a drinking receptacle. What was it?
And On That Note...
by Ross Haney
Have you ever taken a minute to realize that some things are just really expensive? We need some stuff for our everyday lives, and yet it costs us almost a fortune. In this column, I’d like to tell you a little about some really expensive stuff I use.
Almost all of us use an automobile as our main mode of transportation, and nowadays, it’s getting almost impossible to afford driving everywhere we go. My heart starts to hurt a little every time I see that number going up on the gas pump.
It’s really awful when you need to buy a new camera lens. And if you take pictures as often as I do, you’ll definitely end up needing a new one at some point. It’s almost impossible to find a good-quality Canon zoom lens for fewer than 100 dollars. That, my friends, is quite the wallet-drainer.
The Cell Phone Bill
Honestly, I don’t pay my own cell phone bill. But I do have to listen to my dad constantly talk about the awfully expensive piece of paper he gets at the end of the month. I like to use a lot of data in my phone – fitting into our extremely social society – but eventually it gets a little costly, and I have to witness Dad’s extremely long you-all-are-going-to-start-paying-the-phone-bill speech. Food The cost of living is steadily rising, and with that, food at the grocery store and at restaurants is becoming quite ludicrously high. It shouldn’t cost that much to eat because, well, you sort of have to do it to continue living. It’s like they’re trying to punish us for staying alive.
There are many other awesome things that we want, and we when we get everything we want, it tends to be a little pricey. All the latest technology can really make our lives easier, but we can’t often afford the latest life-saving products.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column, complaining that I never could find a key chain with my name on it. If you read my column last week, you may have seen that because of that article, I was sent a handmade keychain, complete with my name.
With that in mind, I hope all of my readers enjoyed this week’s column.
And on that note, I’ll leave you!
The Carlisle Courier
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(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
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Carlisle, KY 40311
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