Going into a battle of wits unarmed

A few things from around the globe. Well, my globe, anyway.

• Last Monday the Anderson County Fair kicked off its 130th year.

I’ve been with The Courier News 24 years and last Monday night was the first time I recall this paper did not have a representative covering the Fairest of the Fair pageant.

Amanda Oaks, who organized the event, e-mailed us a list of winners the next morning and numerous pictures with no IDs. That was Tuesday morning. And honestly, getting a turn around like that was awesome.

But …

Tuesday afternoon Ms. Oaks sent more pictures, these identified. By then, unfortunately, we were already at the printers.

Long story short — we ran an incorrect cutline under the picture of the Fairest of Fair “winners” in the July 17 newspaper and that, I’m afraid, rests solely on me.

Like they say, “The buck stops here.”

• Medical science is suggesting that you learn new things later on in your life to keep your brain sharp. You know, learn how to play the guitar, the piano, anything that will stimulate the brain and keep those electrodes working.

Seems there is an 107-year-old nun in France who took up playing guitar when she was in her 90s and she’s still sharp as a tack.

Yes, “sharp as a tack” is a medical term. Trust me, I’m an editor. I know these things.

Anyway, seeing how as I am not the sharpest bulb in the tool shed I thought I would try to improve those little dendrites (another medical term) in my brain so that when I’m 64 I can remember being 63. Last Saturday I took a bridge lesson. My dendrites were impressed. I will write more about this in the coming weeks seeing as how I was trashed — I mean absolutely trashed by Davyda Hammond and Felecia Sharp — at bridge.

“You’ve played before?” I asked Hammond, hoping she would say something like, “Yes, I’m a professional bridge player who just wanted to thump a numpty like you.”

“No … But I watched a video,” she said.

I watched a video, too, and I’m telling you that coyote will never catch that danged road runner.

“You’re doing … Okay?” Sharp said. I think. It was kinda hard to tell what she was saying because she was laughing so hard.

In my defense, Davyda Hammond works at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). She advises the Department of Defense on its clean up at the federal plants in Oak Ridge, plus a lot more. Seriously, she was talking about all the things she does and all the things ORAU does and my brain started slapping me.

“What have you got us into?” my brain asked.

And Felecia Sharp is a teacher. Yeah, a teacher!

Talk about going into a battle of wits unarmed.

Had a lot of fun though. I’ll be back this Saturday — 9:30 a.m. at the Oak Ridge Bridge Center. It cost $8 a lesson and it was the most fun I’ve had on a Saturday morning since the last time I watched that coyote try to catch that road runner.

• Went to Chattanooga for the Tennessee Press Association (TPA) Convention last Thursday. Had a grand time. The Lookouts, Volkswagon, seeing old friends and co-workers.

Not sure what someone is supposed to do at a press convention, but there were a number of folks wanting to know where I got my t-shirt, “In collusion with the First Amendment.” I thought it looked pretty good with a jacket, but I’ve never been known for my fashion sense.

And for a press convention — in these times — it seemed appropriate. There, I just tooted my own horn. I’m sorry I missed last year’s TPA President handing over the gavel — so to speak — to the new president.

I would have liked to have been there. The outgoing president is a pretty cool guy — he knows some of the same people I happen to admire, the Harbisons from Rocky Hill.

• One last opinion on the Anderson County Commission and it’s hunt for a budget.

Keep up the good work.

Seriously, I stopped on the way to Chattanooga at a convenience store (I have this thing about convenience stores) and saw the Monroe County newspaper (where I used to work) and the main headline was something like “County may increase property and wheel tax.”

That’s Monroe County ... Monroe, Monroe, Monroe! Not Anderson County!

Makes you appreciate what we have, right?