Librarian Kitty Pittman is a talented individual, who has a great knowledge of literacy and the best works on the book market today.
As author of Okie Reads, she has reviewed numerous writings for some time on our “know it: Books” page.
She’s the type of individual who wants readers to be aware of what’s out there to spend time with, for learning, for enjoyment. She also very honest with her work. So much so that she felt she need to post this on the “know it” site:
“Feeling like a reading fraud this year. If Lance (Armstrong) can come clean I guess we all should.
“Not reading that much, and what I do read, I just can’t make myself blog about it. My other problem, I like other people’s reviews much better than my own. For instance, I read James Blaylock’s Homunculus. It’s a tough book to jump into, many claim it as the beginning of steampunk. By page 80, I’m really getting into the story, so I search out reviews to see if I’m on the right track.
“Great review already out there, IMHO. Stainless Steel Droppings. Plus, GoodReads reviews. This is what I find with everything I read. Faster readers, better reviews, and I just want to read other people’s reviews and get back to reading.
“Handily, my friend and colleague and fellow blogger can take over the reins of Okie Reads. After all, he’s an Okie and he reads, perfect qualifications.
“So without further adieu, I’m taking a back seat, may jump in occasionally but for the most part it’s Young Bill Young’s OkieReads.”
So now, the Okie Reads is in Bill’s capable hands … generally. As Kitty says, she may jump in occasionally. And if she has an interest in doing so, she’s very welcome.
Thanks to Kitty for all her contributions, and thanks to Bill for what he has done and what he’ll do in the future. I have to confess. I think we’re still in good hands.
Take at look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/BOOKS-OKLAHOMA and see what’s hot for readers these days.
I’ve always loved a good ghost story.
When I was a boy growing up, we would go on Scout camp outs, or have friends over and sleep out in the back yard under the summer stars. When I was older, we sometimes would have a camp out on vacation. And when I became a parent, we would do Scout camp outs (you’re never too old to be a Scout), or fishing trips.
But ghost stories always “livened” things up. Occasionally, what was supposed to be downright scary became downright funny.
On one Scout camp out (earlier version), a few of my fellow minicampers, armed with pocket knives for protection, sat around a fire at night and tried to outdo each other with the scariest story.
There were tales of headless spooks roaming the woods, bloody warriors looking for body parts lost in combat, drowning victims, hanged criminals and many others, whose mutilated forms were so aptly described by the storyteller that they best not be here.
Usually, the narrator would toss in a groan or moan for good measure. Sometimes, two or more would work together to add an element of surprise, such as tossing a stick or rock off in the distance when no one was looking to make a startling sound.
All in good scare; sometimes with funny results, especially if someone actually did react in terror.
I don’t scare easily these days. But I do still like a good story. That’s why reading what paranormal Tonya Hacker comes up with in her adventures catches my attention. As author of Paranormal Eyes, she details events and examines what has been reported to have occurred in and around Oklahoma, as well as elsewhere.
If you know of such an item, location, or sighting, she would love to know about it. Just give her a heads-up.
Read her Paranormal Eyes at KNOWIT/NEWSOK.COM/UNUSUAL-WEIRD-OKLAHOMA. And while you’re there, check out odd-but-true stories elsewhere in the country and around the world by clicking on the buttons directly below the title of the page.
There was a day when you couldn’t get me to say the word “retire.” I had too much going to even give it a thought. From the time I shut off the alarm and got out of bed until the time I turned out the lights at night, my life was set on “go.”
Through the years, there have been a few changes. Actually, there have been many. Some days, it feels like my get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went, as they say. Other days, I”m still going strong. Or at least, I really want it to be that way.
I recently took a class on retirement, just to see how I stood and what I might out to do to prepare for that day when I would be able to leave the fulltime job and shift at least some of my efforts from things I HAVE TO do to things I WANT TO do. Well, at least that’s’ the intention.
It was during that class that I realized I’m certainly not at that point yet. In fact, I’m not certain when I will be there. But at least now I have an idea as to what it will take to get me there. I also know there are many things to consider before I can make it happen.
I have to look at such things as …
* Finance — Where will it come from and how much will we have? Will my retirement account and our investments sustain us?
* Health — Will we able to get around well enough to remain independent?
* Insurance — What can we afford and what will it cover? Health, home and vehicle insurance are only part of that picture.
* Home — Can we maintain our home? There are always areas that need attention, from cleaning to repairs.
* Transportation — What are our options? Will we still be able to drive ourselves, or will we need assistance?
* Activity — A key point for most any retiree. It’s not just keeping the body active. You need to keep the mind sharp as long as possible.
These were just some of the key concerns. There are many more. Each individual’s situation is different.
Take a look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RETIREMENT-OKLAHOMA to see areas a person looking ahead should be aware of before taking that plunge. Don’t forget also to look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA for more ideas on what you can do to prepare.
These and other topics in our “know it” library might be just what you need.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.
By Chuck Mai, AAA
The book was called 100 Most Dangerous Things in Everyday Life and What You Can Do About Them (Laura Lee, Broadway Books, 2004). It sat forlornly on the sale rack at my local bookstore, totally ignored.
Because I’m a guy, danger is right up my alley. I couldn’t resist. Plus, I’ve always been a sucker for “best of” and “worst of” lists.
Among the one hundred things listed in the book were some surprises: gardening (all that bending over), garbage (especially for garbage men), cotton swabs (seems they’re not for cleaning your ears after all), and money (you don’t really want to know where those bills have been).
As you might expect, automobiles made the list – big time. The high heels section carries a warning about driving a car with elevated footwear and being unable to transfer your feet from gas pedal to brake pedal quick enough.
The chapter on rubbernecking, also known as gawking, includes a warning regarding all distractions in the car: “It is estimated that driver inattention is responsible for a quarter of all car crashes.” Actually, I’m afraid it is more like half. But slowing down to take a gander at a crash scene also causes other problems. The road’s capacity is severely restricted, traffic flow suffers, tempers rage and subsequent aggressive driving sometimes results in additional crashes.
Another of the one hundred is safety devices, which the author claims can be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that cars equipped with the latest crash avoidance gadgets, like lane departure warning systems that use cameras to track the vehicle’s position within the lane, and adaptive headlights that help a driver see around a curve in darkness, saw a decline in some kinds of accidents but an increase in others, perhaps because they relied too heavily on the technology to save them.
So, the safer the car, the more chances we tend to take. Wow. I’m sure there’s a law of unintended results at work here somewhere.
Bambi made the list. “At least 200 Americans are killed each year when their vehicles collide with deer. Some experts put the number at closer to 300, because often motorists swerve to avoid deer and are instead killed by collisions with trees or posts. In all, about 1.9 million people have car-vs.-deer accidents each year, and 40,000 people are injured in them.”
Think you’re safe in the bathtub? Wrong, says the book. Tubs and showers produce 150,000 serious injuries every year in this country. It’s enough to make you want to just curl up in bed and wait things out. However, that would be a mistake. Falling out of bed, being trapped between a bed and a wall, getting injured in a folding bed, and fires in bed are all big dangers.
So, where are we safest? Good question – I don’t know. I even got a paper cut reading the book.
Memorial Day always has been one of my favorite holidays.
It’s the first holiday of summer, even though the change of seasons doesn’t occur for nearly a month. That means it’s time to enjoy those warm-weather activities.
Of course, in Oklahoma, warm weather sometimes arrives early, which can sure play havoc with those of us who have allergies.
Memorial Day is a confirmation in many communities that school is — or nearly is — out. Like most people, when I was a student, I looked forward to those weeks when I got a break from the books and assignments.
I also enjoyed my summer job, earning a little money while spending time with people I knew well. I was lucky in having that opportunity.
Much of time in the summers was spent playing baseball. The older I got, the more fun it became. Again, it was spending time with people I knew well, traveling to ballparks and working together.
I always enjoyed watching the Indianapolis 500, from the prerace pageantry to the dueling on the track to the final lap. When I got to take a lap around the Brickyard while on vacation one year, I thought about all those drivers I had seen competing on that very same track.
That also made watching the race on TV more enjoyable because I was able to recall certain areas of the race course.
Taking a trip, even a short venture to the lake, to relax and check out the scenery or play in the water also has been something I have tried to do.
And I always remember those who no longer are with us, including those who gave their lives in service to our country so that we might have those opportunities such as I mentioned above. “Thank you” never could adequately cover that debt.
We should all remember them … always.
See more about those in our armed forces in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MILITARY-OKLAHOMA, as well as in The Oklahoman.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents has just completed a short video of what parents can expect by attending a Parents Helping Parents meeting.
I encourage you to review this video as it makes some powerful statements concerning how parents are affected by addiction. Please pass it on to others who may also benefit.
The video is posted on Utube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ccV5TPQqw
I believe this video does a wonderful job of letting extended family members and friends of parents who have an addicted child better understand what the family is truly up against.
With a new understanding of the impact addiction has on the parents, everyone will be better prepared to be a real help to the family.
Parents heap a ton of needless blame and shame on themselves. They need to hear the truth: they are not to blame.
I look forward to your responses.
“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), Matt Patterson (email@example.com), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (email@example.com).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents recently received a grant. The funds from the grant were used to create video testimonies from parents and professional cousnelors who attend the Edmond Chapter parent support meetings.
Following are comments you may find very helpful:
“As a person in recovery, it was vital for me to have one or two people who I knew were there for me. You know, healthy people who were ready for me when I went into recovery. That’s the first place I went when I needed help to find recovery. If I would not have had that support then, I would have just gave up and stayed out there using.” — CJ (daughter)
“After attending our first meeting, we then realized how long we had been steeped in denial and that denial allowed the addiction to progress and that was a dangerous place.” — Paula (Mom)
“My greatest satisfaction when speaking at the Edmond chapter meetings is when I see the light bulb go off; you can see it in the parents’ eyes.” — Patty Gail Patten PLC, LMFT, LADC
“At my first meeting, I felt a lot of despair, no hope. Today, I don’t feel that way and I give the meetings I attended the majority of the credit.” — Doug (Dad)
“I can see how some parents might think this is a very private matter if their child or loved one has a drug problem but they need to understand that by going to the Edmond chapter meetings everyone there is in the same position and you will never find a better support group.” — Julie (Mom)
“The meetings became such a reassuring and comfortable place for my husband and I.” — Leslie (Mom)
For more information about the Edmond Chapter of Parents helping Parents, please go to www.parentshelpingparents.info and click on “Chapters.”
I once took a call from my child who was threatening suicide. I can tell you nothing in my life, including my tour of duty in Vietnam, scared me more.
The good news is, I was seeing a counselor at the time and she told me that I should prepare for the possibility of such a call. We discussed it at length and I feel that perhaps the way I handled the call may have given my child the hope and support he needed to not follow through with the threat.
There is a suicide every 16 minutes in the U. S. Substance abuse is the biggest risk factor for suicide in America.
Edmond is hosting a “Suicide Prevention Summit” on Monday, April 23, at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh Center, Constitution Hall. The event will be 6 to 8 p.m.
This program is specifically designed to equip every person, including children over the age of 12, with the proper tools to recognize the signs of someone who may be planning suicide and what they can do about it.
There will be several professional counselors explaining the tools available to you.
Here are some of the breakout sessions:
* QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
* Parents Helping Parents
* Heartline’s HELP Youth Suicide Prevention Training
* Signs & Symptoms of Adolescent Depression
* Youth Suicide Prevention Tool Kit
* Worried About Your Friend.
If you would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org