If you left your porch light on Thursday night â€” and you don't live in the sticks, where I grew up â€” you more than likely heard the phrase more times than you cared to count: "Trick or treat."
My favorite thing about Halloween, of course, is checking out all of the fun and creative costumes donned by those from young to old. It's an escape and a chance to be someone or something you've always wanted to be.
Always dreamt of being a doctor? There's a costume for that.
Editor's Note: This is the first in a regular column of movie reviews by Spirit and Jefferson County Neighbors' reporters Dan Long and Matt Triponey.
After lackluster performances for several blockbuster movies this summer, the sci-fi thriller "Gravity" kicked off the fall movie season in an impressive fashion.
Pinky & The Brawn
Roller derby as a sport is gaining popularity in the United States. As it grows, there are a few things to clear up â€” first of all, roller derby is not fake.
At one point, it may have been fake for TV or whomever, but in the modern incarnation of roller derby, it is real.
The hits are real, and there are no scripts. Teams practice two to three times per week and generally play about 10 bouts a season.
Some teams can put in seven hours a week of practice and scrimmage other teams or have intra-squad scrimmaging a few times a month.
There has been much talk surrounding the topic of bullying in the news lately, and unfortunately, it has not come from a positive front of anti-bullying programs succeeding or of someone taking a stand for someone being bullied.
Sadly, the news has surrounded the arrest of two Florida teens who allegedly used the technological advances at their disposal to open up any number of gateways to experience the world to do what so many choose to do with it â€” bully a peer over the Internet.
I don't know about you, but I'm heaving a sigh of relief, because those of us who live in Punxsy are now free to "travel about the country," as that one airline commercial says.
As of Friday afternoon, all of our bridges were reopened to traffic.
The Sawmill Run Bridge, which many people didn't realize even existed until it was closed, reopened to traffic three days early.
In the beginning of September, the Route 119 Elk Run Bridge reopened to traffic.
Thursday morning, I pulled out the razor and did what I knew was coming â€” though I was hoping to put it off for a longer portion of this month â€” I shaved off my playoff beard.
To be fair, I had "cheated" and shaved off my mustache and the underbelly of my beard earlier and oftener than I'd let on I would â€” but I decided even playoff beards aren't worth looking creepy over.
Besides, Abe Lincoln didn't have a mustache or an underbeard, and everyone knows that dude still rocked the beard.
I edit pieces of writing for a living. Freedom of speech is something that's important to me â€” something that's very misunderstood, but something that's important to me nonetheless.
Lately, I've been doing a bit of writing outside of work â€” something I hadn't been driven to do much since I started as the sports writer here at The Spirit â€” and I've developed a few chapters for what I think might be my next book.
Wow, what a week, as I've returned home to Punxsy from the sun, surf and sand in Kitty Hawk, N.C., better known as The Outer Banks.
The whole family went â€” me, Linda, Mike, Joe and his girlfriend, Jennifer â€” along with our two dogs, Bailey, our Scotsin, and Chloe, our miniature poodle that we rescued from the Gateway Humane Shelter.
It turned out the trip down went very well, and the weather was really great while we were there, just what you want â€” hot and sticky, perfect for the beach.
It all started with a little bit of soreness in my joints on Tuesday afternoon.
In all honesty, I was hoping that it was just a change in the atmospheric pressures or something, indicating rain that night, that was causing my pain.
Alas, it was what I expected, and Wednesday morning, I woke up with a case of the sniffles.
Being sick is something that I typically don't look forward to â€” obvious, right? â€” but something that I've gotten used to.
Mother Nature and I have always had what you might refer to as a "love-hate" relationship.
In simpler terms, she seems to love to dole out weather that I hate.
On average, there are about 17 days â€” out of approximately 365 â€” in any given year during which I consider the weather to be a treat. And, that's an estimate on the high end.
Most folks have an "ideal temperature range," in which they're what they would consider comfortable.
I would venture to guess that the majority of folks fall within 10-15 degrees of comfortability â€” my range is about 2 degrees.