Roy Exum: Notes From My Pocket

Sunday, January 26, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As we get ready for next Sunday’s Super Bowl, where the early weather forecast in East Rutherford, N.J., calls for temperatures in the 20s and the chance of snow by kickoff at 6:30 p.m., I find I have a some catching up to do with the notes that are scattered about. Here is what interests me right now:

IN A REVEALING story from Politico Magazine comes the news that “the states of our union are not all strong.” By using 14 sources including the Census Bureau, FBI crime statistics and data from the Centers for Disease Control, it was determined the top five states in America are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont, Utah and Massachusetts. The worst five, from the bottom, are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama (Georgia is No. 43).

THE BALTIMORE SUN has reported that traffic cameras over-charged residents $2.8 million in 2012 and, of 700,000 tickets issued, 10 percent were in error and 26 percent were questionable. Some of the cameras issued incorrect tickets nearly half the time and one device misfired 58 percent of the time. At $40 per ticket, the sham was quietly scrapped last spring but embarrassed officials didn’t tell anybody. Now city councilman Carl Stokes is livid. “We should have told the public immediately. We should have declared complete amnesty, that all of the tickets were null and void. If anybody paid, they should be paid back immediately.”

DEFENSIVE TACKLE Breiden Fehoko of Honolulu is only a junior in high school but the 6-foot-3, 275-pound, 16-year-old put on quite a show for some visiting college recruiters not long ago. In a test designed to measure strength and stamina, the athlete bench-pressed 225 pounds an incredible 37 times. According to NFL.com, only three prospects at the 2013 combine were able to do that. (Yes, Alabama is among the colleges recruiting him.)

THE NEW MADRID fault zone, a 150-mile area that stretches in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee “is not dead yet” and could spawn another earthquake, according to a new study by U.S. Geological seismologist Susan Hough. Powerful earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 included the Chattanooga area, created Reelfoot Lake and caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. The reason there were not mass casualties is because the area was sparsely populated at the time.

IT WILL BE most interesting to see if Tennessee’s Republican politicians boycott President Barack Obama again when he visits Nashville this Thursday. When the President of the United States came to Chattanooga last summer, the area’s elected Republican officials apparently thought it would be funny - and make a statement - if not one was here to greet him. It was not funny but made quite a statement to many who were embarrassed, affronted, and who will vote in the 2014 elections.

RUTGERS FOOTBALL player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a 2010 football game but has since become an inspiration to thousands, just earned his degree from the New Jersey university. He has written a book, started a foundation for those with spinal cord injuries and is ready to begin a career in broadcasting.

VETERAN WRESTLING writer B.B. Branton, who has probably seen more of the great matches than anyone I know, said Saturday that Friday’s bout between Baylor and McCallie was a classic for the ages, as he and John Hunt both brilliantly reported on Chattanoogan.com. It came down to the final match with the Red Raiders’ Ryan Parker triggering a 31-30 win. “There were times the floor vibrated and the building shook,” according to Hunt. Oh, but to have been there!

A GEORGIA TECH football fan died in Atlanta recently and his obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Robley Henson Tatum spent many wonderful years working for the Georgia Tech Research Institute. It noted he had fought in “The Battle of the Bulge” and said there was just one thing he lacked when he died at age 91. “He didn’t get his final wish for Tech, which to see (football coach) Paul Johnson get fired, but hey, there’s still time.”

DURING THE 27 years Nelson Mandela was in solitary confinement at Robben Island Prison, he was denied newspapers or letters from friends but, in his cell, there was what appeared to be a Hindu bible, a ragged book covered with what appeared to be Hindu deities. But what was really inside was the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare” and it is said to have helped the great South African statesman keep his sanity. Called the “Robben Island Bible,” the smuggled book has drawn attention from all over the world.

NFL COMMISSIONER Roger Goodell was asked about Richard Sherman’s brash outburst on national TV after the Seahawks beat the 49ers last Sunday and Goodell was gracious: “It's an emotional game, and you see a young man who comes off the field and he's pumped up, and there's so much excitement in the stadium, but no, I'm not cheering for that. (Richard) is a great young man, he's extremely well spoken, does great things off the field, obviously a great player on the field. I want him to present himself in the best possible way, and make sure that he's reflecting on himself and his family in a positive way. He took away a little bit from the team. That was what he said (earlier this week). I thought that was a very interesting comment and I think it's fair."

MY SUNDAY FUNNY: A group of women were at a seminar on how to live in a loving relationship with your husband. The women were asked, "How many of you love your husband?" All the women raised their hands. Then they were asked, "When was the last time you told your husband you loved him?"

Some women answered today, a few yesterday, and some couldn't remember. The women were then told to take out their cell phones and text their husband: "I love you, sweetheart."

The women were then told to exchange phones with another person, and to read aloud the text message they received, in response. Here are some of the replies:

1.   Who the (heck) is this?                                                                                                               

2.   Eh, mother of my children, are you sick or what?

3.   Yeah, and I love you too. What's up with you??

4.   What now?  Did you crash the car again?

5.   I don't understand what you mean?

6.   What the (expletive) did you do now?

7.   ?!?

8.   Don't beat about the bush, just tell me how much you need?

9.   Am I dreaming?

10. If you don't tell me who this message is actually for, someone will die.

11. I thought we agreed you wouldn't drink during the day.

12. Your mother is coming to stay with us, isn't she??

royexum@aol.com

Time For A Bilateral Session

Congressman Jim Cooper recently called on state lawmakers to “reconsider the Insure Tennessee plan to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.” He said that the U.S. Supreme Court has now cleared all obstacles for the state to proceed. Medicaid expansion is a prime example of where state and federal solutions compete.   The Supreme Court’s recent decision redefining ... (click for more)

David Carroll: Glen Campbell And The Power Of Music

I've just watched an amazing film, and I hope you will too, if you haven't already.  It's called "I'll Be Me" and it documents Glen Campbell's descent into the twilight: Alzheimer's Disease.  Glen's life was movie-worthy long before this.  One of 12 children, growing up in Delight, Arkansas (he's always pronounced it "Dee-Light").  Mastered the guitar, bass, ... (click for more)

Work Set To Restart On Chickamauga Lock This Year

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $3 million that Congress provided for fiscal year 2015 to restart construction on Chickamauga Lock this year, Senator Lamar Alexander and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann announced. “We need to replace Chickamauga Lock before it fails, and I talked with Secretary Darcy today to thank her for making this project a priority by deciding to restart ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger For Public Apology; Does Not Get One

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday morning read a letter in which he asked County Mayor Jim Coppinger for a public apology. However, he did not get one. Instead, County Mayor Coppinger called remarks last Wednesday by Commissioner Boyd that the county mayor had $4.4 million in discretionary funds "ridiculous." He said that money includes such items as the Humane Educational ... (click for more)

Jeff Parker Uses Running As Great Source Of Quiet Time

A lot of people run for the social aspect while others run because they’re competitive and just want to see how fast they can cover the distance, especially in a race. Jeff Parker doesn’t fit into either category. He’s been running for more than 30 years and he’s quick to say that he enjoys it more now than ever, but his sole purpose is for time alone when he can meditate ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Playing For Division Championship Saturday

The Chattanooga Football Club final home game will be played this Saturday.    With a 4-2 win over the Knoxville Force, Chattanooga controls its own destiny for a 1st place division finish when it faces off against that Nashville FC this Saturday, July 4 at Finley Stadium.  A win secures the division championship for the CFC with a home-field advantage for the ... (click for more)