Columns

May 22, 2016

I have become leery about turning on my computer lately, and it’s not just because Walking Dead fans keep posting photos of gruesome zombies on their news feeds.

It’s the ads. Specifically, it’s the targeted ads.

In the strange world of the internet, any search...

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May 21, 2016

It should not surprise anyone that Americans are struggling so mightily with the concept of unisex bathrooms. We have never even accepted the concept of a man purse.

Maybe we should start there.

Men have been carrying purses for generations, just not so anyone would notice —...

May 21, 2016

Three weeks ago, I wrote a column about NASCAR’s willingness to make changes on a whim.

That can be a positive thing in a lot of instances, but Charlotte Motor Speedway will roar to life tonight with the embodiment of the sport’s inability to know how much change is too much....

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May 15, 2016

Ted is our name for the Carolina box turtle that has long lived near the water spigot in our backyard. He was safe there — as long as he stayed put.

I haven’t seen Ted lately, and that’s worrisome since spring is when the turtles are most active. It’s a dangerous...

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May 15, 2016

Today’s race at Dover marks the final stop of the Sprint Cup schedule before the series heads home to the Charlotte area for its annual ‘10 Days of Thunder.’

Most of the attention will be devoted to the Cup Series’ All-Star Race on May 22 and the Coca-Cola 600 on...

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May 14, 2016

Five people coexisting under one roof can be stressful. Throw in some online banjo lessons and four of those people will become tighter wound than a you-know-what string.

The five-string banjo is among the world's most maligned musical instruments, surpassed on the irritation meter only...

Mark Rutledge

May 08, 2016

Although my two little dogs Ollie and Einstein love each other, there are times when it seems as though they are rulers of two warring kingdoms.

My function has become to be a sort of mediator between the boys. This task is made more complicated by their quirks of personality....

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May 08, 2016

There are few things in NASCAR as polarizing as restrictor plate racing.

Opinions on the sport’s two annual trips to Daytona and to Talladega reach opposite ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between. Fans love the unpredictability and penchant for producing chaos. Drivers and...

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May 07, 2016

When I moved with my young family to eastern North Carolina 15 years ago, Johnson City’s Dixie Barbecue Co. was one of the hardest things to leave. Now I'm back and Dixie is gone. Life can be cruel.

Not many people know this, but when we decided to come home, Dixie was the reason....

May 01, 2016

“Daddy and I are distressed that you will not write … You say you have nothing to do – use 10 minutes to drop us a line.”

I was hearing a voice ringing down from the years, so long ago as to be nearly forgotten. But the timbre of the voice, crystal and unmistaken,...

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