Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

A late post last week and a furlough means just four new links this week. As such, I won’t bother with some long rant or observation about my job.

Check back next week, when I could very well return to my normal, pontificating ways.

Sara Jones takes over Buffs soccer

Know Your Foe: McAlester hosts four-school scrimmage

Slawson, Cowgirls dominate Warriorettes

Buffs sweep home scrimmage games

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

OK, that’s it, enough’s enough. I can’t take it in anymore, and if I don’t speak out, I think I might explode. Something’s been bothering me for a long time, and it’s high time I voiced my opinion on a critical and controversial issue.

People have waaaay too much freedom when it comes to first names.

One of the hardest things I had to deal with when I moved here a year ago was learning an entirely new set of first names, many of which I didn’t even know existed. Ledgen, Colton, Aiden, Braiden, Hayden, Daylon, Caden, Kabyn, Bacon (OK, I made that one up), etc., etc.

I have no idea where these kinds of names come from, but back home I had friends of Irish descent, and their relatives still in Ireland had similar sounding names. Because of that, I sometimes (mostly to myself) call these kinds of names “Gaelic Cowboy” names.

Now, please understand, I’m not saying any of these names are bad names. I’d wager the first person named “David” took a lot of grief from his friends whose less-modern parents named them “Julius” or “Thaddeus” or whatever parents named their kids 2,000 years ago.

The names aren’t the problem — the variations in spelling are. The name “Kolton” alone has four different spellings that I’ve seen: with a “C” or a “K” as the first letter, and an “O” or an “E” for the second vowel.

To someone not naturally familiar with these kinds of names — and to a journalist with a university-born neurosis about spelling names wrong — that’s really, really confusing.

I’d guess the thinking behind the spelling differences is, “Well, we know four families who picked the same first name, let’s change the spelling to make our kid unique.” I get that argument, but in the group I went to Israel with when I was 17, there were seven kids named Dave and five named Matt.

If anything we felt closer to each other because we had the same first name, not like we were undercutting each others’ individuality,

Let me repeat: no names are inherently bad or good. But at this point I’d almost support a government-funded names database to keep everything straight. It’d be a simple process: you tell the officials what you want to name your child, the organization assigns the proper spelling and then issues you a birth certificate/social security card accordingly.

You can call your kid whatever you want after that, but for all legal — and thus journalistic — purposes, the spelling on the certificate is the one that counts. If you want to use a foreign-language name, all requests must be made before the start of the third trimester.

Politicians don’t seem interested in solving our nation’s big problems, so instead let’s deal with a ridiculously small one. Make my life a little easier, Representative So-and-so, and you’ll have my vote for life.

Continue reading Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

If I could compare my upcoming week to a character in Greek mythology, it would without a doubt be Oedipus. If you don’t get why, watch this clip.

While this past week I juggled two articles a day for our upcoming football magazine, I was able to justify scaling back a bit on daily coverage because there wasn’t a whole lot going on. The second week in August in southeastern Oklahoma is kinda like the day after the MLB All-Star game.

But the fall high school sports season gets underway this week, and that includes McAlester’s volleyball opener Thursday and probably its softball opener Tuesday. I still have four interviews left for the football magazine, and I’ll need to write two articles a day all this week to finish by Saturday. I’ll also probably need to type-set at least one college preview written by somebody else, plus at some point write cuts for all 22 articles I’ll write.

And somewhere in there I need to also come up with at least one more story for Sunday, plus not completely neglect the Wednesday through Friday papers.

I wouldn’t yet say I’m running on fumes. Instead, I’d say my empty gas light just came on, and I’m on the highway. I probably have enough in the tank to get a rest stop, but that paranoia that I might not make it is starting to make noise in the back of my brain.

Hopefully next week’s post won’t be unintelligible gibberish. Here’s what I wrote this week.

The innovator at the alley

Fields leading Tuesday Night Jackpot

Locals turn out for pool tournament

Fall baseball preview: Crowder

Fall baseball preview: Kiowa

Fall baseball preview: Pittsburg

Fall baseball preview: Stuart

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Funny story: So I’m at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant on Saturday to cover an archery tournament. My plan had always been to cover the shoot-off, but I’d asked one of the coordinators to find me someone local to this area who’s big into archery and would let me write a feature on him or her.

When I met up with the coordinator, he told me he’d found a real naturalist, a “Davy Crockett type,” in his words, making me very excited. After the shoot-off ended, he introduced me to the guy, telling me about all of his archery accomplishments.

Each time a new accomplishment came up, I laughed and said, “I know.” Because I already knew all about this guy — in fact, I’d written about him a year ago.

Because of the profile I’d planned to write, my former subject wouldn’t really work, because the questions I’d have asked would’ve been identical to the ones I asked the first time. The coordinator offered to find me someone else, but I politely declined.

Instead, I just expanded the archery shoot-off into a double-length story. Here’s it, and everything else from this past week.

Two Buffs make All-State Football Game

Bull Shooters and Lady Bull Shooters star at BCA Nationals

Archery tournament at McAAP this weekend

Summer Pride wraps in McAlester

Lady Buffs edge Lady Hornets

Miners hold 5K fundraiser

Leisa Payne sweeps women’s archery tournament