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The weeks keep rolling along, faster than ever, it seems, and I still haven't changed the typewriter ribbon on that old upright Underwood that I've written on and about for years and years. So rather than change the ribbon this week (don't forget, I admit being the biggest procrastinator in Eagle Observer country) it's back to that little Smith-Corona portable.

Let me back up a bit and explain what that first paragraph is about. It was a week or so ago when a good friend teased me a bit (bigger than a typical bit) about abandoning the old Underwood that has been in the family forever. For years it has been held together with string and more string and a few little bends of some what-cha-ma-call-its for quite some time. And you guessed it: A few weeks ago it abruptly quit. It didn't slow down like my typing; it shut down. Groaned a bit. And stuck out a scrambled bunch of keys at me, just daring me to....

I did just that, whatever that happens to be. I went into the garage and hauled in a little carrying case that I purchased at Care and Share for a few dollars quite a few years ago. It hadn't been opened for, golly, who knows how long. But its contents? A still workable little portable which had a ribbon in place. There was no way the ribbon was any good. Probably brittle and dry enough to be called an Arizona cactus. But "lo and behold" (remember that old saying?), I was wrong again. Locked up in its case, the little feller was just waiting to stick out its return cartridge lever at my nose. The letters were legible, though smaller. They are of elite type rather than that big 12-point pica of the Underwood. It didn't need a yard of string, so I gave the little critter a new ribbon.

I didn't stick out my tongue at the old timer; I just pushed that 50-pound monster aside and slid in front of the pica posey that smiled as I began punching keys. The smaller type really is harder to read, especially numbers, and that explains an error in the last 'cuff which said Benton County's population was over 50,000 when I was a little feller (OK, I'll admit I haven't grown very much except in belt challenging areas). It turns out the 5 and 3 numbers look so similar they are really indistinguishable to a fast-moving typist ... the number should have read 30,000. The 1940 population census was 36,158. Compare that to the estimate of 266,500 announced in March of this year. It's hard to believe and accept that little Benton County now has a quarter of a million persons.

'Nuff of that. How about a topic that was mentioned in the last 'cuff -- daylight saving time? Some of the prognosticators are promoting a movement eliminating that twice-a-year fumbling with the clocks by going to regular time all the time or totally to daylight saving time. Do you think the 300 million Americans can agree on which is best? How about Congress? It can't seem to agree on anything. How about tabling that idea until the next century?

Robocalls are always a big topic, especially when you're in the shower when that phone begins its constant ringing for at least what seems like half an hour. You trip over a rug as you finally race to silence that monster which lists the caller as Ozarks Community Ho.... with a 479-787-4??? number. It happened today as I was typing this. Twice today. The first call with an excited voice advising "they" could save me money on our credit card balance. I didn't answer the second call which came a few minutes after I had hung up the original. Or how about the one which warns me I need to reinstate my auto maintenance insurance. I asked politely, "Which car is it?" The phone clicked and the dial tone returned. The craziest one was from the city of Rogers. The voice began its spiel, which I cut off with a slam-bang of the phone. I even received a call from myself with my number. I wish I had counted the number of rings.

Isn't it hard to believe, with all the knowledge that has evolved in this cyber-age, which can correct orbits on spacecrafts landing on Mars or Venus or those responding to commands as they exit our solar system but apparently are not able to trace robocalls or their usage of "fake" numbers? Perhaps if roboers were rolled for a hundred dollars apiece per call (with half going to the complaining customer) the whole process would collapse. I jest, of course, but it seems that out there somewhere there is an answer to the problem. The Arkansas Legislature approved a law that may help in some way in correcting the calls that interrupt naps or all those other important times of our lives.

How about that recently completed 88-day legislative session in Arkansas which saw quite a few new laws to affect our lives -- ranging from bikers, to no sanctuaries, to an increase in the homestead tax allowance, to reducing the number of state agencies from 42 to 15. Also, an increase in teachers' salaries was addressed, and a new highway -- road/street financing plan being sent to the voters for consideration was Ok'd. Lots of activities which involved local legislators including Senate pro-tem Jim Hendren, Rep. Gayla Hendren McKenzie, as well as Gravette native Governor Asa Hutchinson.

It was easy to follow the news in our Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which covered the entire session every day. Thanks for the news info flow which always explained the proceedings better than the tube blurbs. It's just nice to be able to hold a newspaper and ... it costs less than a cup of the fancy coffee or a soda pop a day. 'Nuff Cuff till next time.

Dodie Evans is the former owner and long-time editor of the Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 05/08/2019

Print Headline: Dealing with daylight saving time, robocalls and more

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