The perils of being a parent at a restaurant

So my family was at a restaurant the other night. We were situated in a booth, strategically arranged as usual so that (a) my two left-handed kids had free reign to swing their eatin’ arms and (b) there was no brother-sister under-the-table leg kicking capability. (Team Gibbons getting situated at dinner often looks like a well-choreographed dance. We’re fun that way.)

Get yourself a pair of cheap sunglasses…

The last time I owned a pair of expensive sunglasses, I’m pretty sure there were two Germanies.

I was in high school, and I saved up around $100 to buy a pair of really nice sunglasses. They were Bollé brand, and anyone who just Googled that brand for his column can tell you that “Bollé is a world leader in the manufacture and sale of technical glasses, goggles and helmets for everyday life and specialised sports.”

Alarming news

Typical phrase you might hear in my house: “Can someone go upstairs and tell Yoda to be quiet?”

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have the actual Yoda just chilling around the house being part of our everyday life, saying things like, “Dinner ready, it is” and “Walk dogs, I will.” But this particular Yoda only speaks in high-pitched beeps. Mainly because he is an alarm clock.

The execution of Jerry McWee

Originally published in the Aiken Standard, April 22, 2004.

On Friday, I sat in a small room with seven other people and watched a man die.

The execution of Jerry McWee was carried out with quiet efficiency, and I served as one of three media witnesses who would later relate the details of the execution to other members of the press.