Notes from the Newsroom by John I. Carney en-us In a pickle The only time I've been a member of Amazon Prime, Amazon's preferred-customer program offering free shipping, streaming video, streaming music and other benefits, was a few years ago when I reviewed the ill-fated Amazon Fire smartphone. Even though I only had the phone for a week or two, before sending it back to the carrier that had provided the review model, the fact that I'd logged into the phone using my Amazon account triggered a free Prime subscription as if I'd purchased the phone. I... Wed, 12 Jul 2017 18:36:11 -0500 Not a jinx I could not find it in my files Thursday night, but I have, somewhere, a letter certifying that I am not a jinx on the Nashville Predators. In the Predators' early years as an expansion franchise, I went to see them two or three times, and they lost each and every time. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column for the newspaper in which I talked about how much I enjoyed going to the games (even back then, they had an irresistible, party-like atmosphere), but saying that if the team wanted to pay... Fri, 26 May 2017 08:43:46 -0500 Five Came Back If you are interested at all in film history and/or World War II, you have to see "Five Came Back," a new three-part documentary that was released Friday on Netflix. It's a worthwhile subject presented skillfully and entertainingly. The documentary tells the story of five great directors of classic Hollywood — John Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston, William Wyler and George Stevens — and how they set aside their careers to enlist in the military during the war. They... Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:31:43 -0500 God and Guinness If you are searching for something to read this St. Patrick's Day week, I want to strongly recommend a book I discovered several years ago: "The Search For God and Guinness," by Stephen Mansfield. This is a fascinating history of the Guinness family in Ireland, and how the family's faith affected the way the company did business. If the idea of mentioning God in the same breath with a dark, foamy stout raises your eyebrow, it shouldn't. In the late 1700s, when Arthur... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:33:28 -0500 T-G website Look for some big changes in the T-G website coming soon. These changes should be particularly exciting for those of you who read our site on a mobile device, but I think those of you on laptops and desktops will be pleased as well. Sat, 21 Jan 2017 23:46:22 -0600 New Year's in actual time I am shocked to report that both WSMV (Channel 4) and WKRN (Channel 2) are going to ring in the New Year on schedule Saturday night. Both ABC and NBC have long-running New Year's Eve programming which includes the ball drop in Times Square. ABC has "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," now hosted by Ryan Seacrest, while NBC has "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly." But the ball drop in New York City happens at midnight Eastern time, which is 11 p.m. our time. For years, the Nashville ABC... Fri, 30 Dec 2016 12:36:27 -0600 Support your local newspaper It's frustrating when someone who obviously doesn't read the newspaper on a daily basis submits something for publication and then tries to get us to tell them exactly when it will run -- so that they can buy only that particular issue of the paper. And they never seem to understand why this is a problem or why we might be offended by it! This is National Newspaper Week, and I want to thank all of you who do read and support your local newspaper. We strive to put out a product worthy of your... Thu, 06 Oct 2016 08:03:46 -0500 Trusty, trustee Someone left an anonymous editor comment -- which are often frustrating, because there's no way for us to respond -- about today's police blotter, saying that we had misspelled the word "trustee." No, David Melson's story was correct. "Trusty" and "trustee" are two different nouns, each with its own dictionary entry, and David correctly used "trusty" in his story. A "trusty" is a jail inmate who is allowed to work outside the jail. A "trustee" is someone entrusted with the governance or... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:18:25 -0500 Meeting dates I have never understood why some governing bodies feel the need to specify exact meeting dates, times and locations in their rules or bylaws. To me, that's just an invitation for problems. There will always be some sort of situation -- weather, illness, conflict with some other activity -- that will get in the way, sooner or later, and then you're in a position of being forced to break your own bylaws. I do, completely, understand the need for bylaws to call for regular meetings. There's a... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:31:05 -0500 Interstate numbers We got a news release today from the state announcing that State Route 840, the southern bypass of Nashville which took so long to complete, has been accepted by the federal government as part of the Interstate system. Starting this week, the state will begin replacing the black-and-white, rectangular S.R.840 logos with shield-shaped, red-and-blue I-840 logos. I was talking about this with a co-worker. He noted that 840 doesn't actually go from one state to another. I explained to him that it... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:41:37 -0500 'The Best Man' All of the talk of the possibility of brokered party conventions made me think of the movie "The Best Man" (1964), starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson. Even though it's fiction, it's a fascinating look back at the day when political conventions actually decided the party's nominee. In the past few decades, of course, the nominee has already been decided long before the convention arrives. The plot of the movie is that Fonda's character, William Russell, an idealistic, high-minded... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:32:28 -0500 Wayne Kindness I was saddened yesterday to hear about the death of Wayne Kindness, who served for a while as our newsroom clerk here at the Times-Gazette. Wayne's job was here in the newsroom, processing submitted photos and news content, and so he had a low profile in the community. But he was a delight to work with. He had a positive attitude, a calm, steady presence, and was always willing to help. Wayne was a huge racing fan and covered racing professionally during his career. The obit says he... Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:21:24 -0500 Jeeves would not be pleased In this Sunday's paper, I will have a story about a former Shelbyville resident who has published an acclaimed new novel. We were talking this week about her childhood days in Shelbyville when her mother, a local physician, would drop her off at the old Argie Cooper Public Library, and she would get down on her stomach to look at the bottom shelf in "fiction," which is where all the P.G. Wodehouse novels were. She recalled the library back then having an unusually large number of Wodehouse... Wed, 23 Mar 2016 12:55:53 -0500 Challenger and OSU My co-worker Jason has a story in today's paper about the anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I will never forget traveling to Chattanooga back during the 90s to cover a couple of things at the Tennessee Aquarium -- one was a new exhibit, the other was an IMAX film about Mount Everest. I was sitting in the IMAX theater with Katie Fulgham, who was the aquarium's PR spokesperson at the time, waiting for the movie to start and we were talking about some of the themes related to exploring... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 07:59:58 -0600 Teachers have first names, too This is the time of year when we're all typing up Santa letters (or, in my case, cutting and pasting letters out of e-mail). Many letters come to us from individual kids and families, but there are also many local school teachers who have their kids write letters and who send them in as a batch. We really appreciate the hard work these teachers do, especially since they often type up the letters and submit them in a form that lets us cut and paste. (The sheer volume of letters we receive... Fri, 11 Dec 2015 13:09:53 -0600 Favorite Christmas songs? What's your favorite a) sacred Christmas song or carol, and what's your favorite b) secular Christmas song or carol? Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:42:41 -0600 11/22/63 Recently, one of the presidential candidates was asked what I thought was a pretty silly question by a reporter -- would he go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby? The question was irrelevant and doesn't really tell you anything helpful about the candidate. The candidate's valuable time, and the reader's, would have been much better spent with a different question. But that doesn't mean that all of us -- including me -- aren't fascinated by such "what if?" questions. My sister, not me, is... Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:36:46 -0600 Sermon titles Some years back, our church news column (which runs on Fridays and Sundays) was used mostly for publicizing special events and activities. I sometimes tell people that the church news column is a way for a church to communicate with the community at large; a church usually has several other ways of communicating with its own membership. That's why we don't publish things like committee meetings that are of interest only to the church membership. At some point, however, some church asked to put... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 09:43:17 -0500 íNo masticar chicle! Jim Davis' "Small Talk" feature for this Sunday has to do with asking students what rules they would change, eliminate or add at their school, and several of the students interviewed mentioned wishing they could chew gum. This immediately made me remember Jan Hall, my English and drama teacher at Cascade. She said to us that she didn't care if we chewed gum in class -- as long as it wasn't grape Bubble Yum, a popular variety at the time, because grape Bubble Yum had a very powerful aroma and... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:05:32 -0500 It's magic! If you enjoy magic tricks at all, you really ought to be watching the show "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," Monday nights on the CW (WNAB-TV, broadcast channel 58). The show started out in the UK, then the CW, after re-running the British episodes, moved production here and picked up a new season. Here's how it works: professional magicians appear and try to perform tricks so baffling that magicians Penn & Teller, sitting in the audience, can't figure out how they're done. If the visiting magician... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:40:09 -0500