The Observer, Nov. 6 

The Observer doesn't like to move much on Saturdays. Setting up on a couple of couch cushions with ready-made, pre-packaged, carbohydrate-rich food products — easily within reach — is more our sport. But this past Saturday, with absolutely clear skies, a light breeze and newly-rusted fall foliage calling our name, we couldn't help but get up and get out of the house for a little while. 

We decided to visit our friends from the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society for a little star-gazing from their observatory situated between Conway and Little Rock. The sunset highlighted the fall colors on the meandering drive there, but once our own big ol' star settled down over the horizon, the cloudless sky was illuminated with stars shining, satellites circling and meteors streaking. 

We've never had the opportunity to look through a professional telescope before. We had no idea what to expect when we squinted, easing our eye over the eyepiece, but, suffice it to say, the view was awe-inspiring, our view of the moon particularly. This was no long-distance glimpse, but a close up shot revealing all the crags, cliffs, craters, peaks, valleys and shadows we've seen only in textbooks and magazine covers.  This was the real deal — a true, unfiltered and magnificent image. 

Over the course of the night we were lucky enough to see sunlight reflected briefly off the solar panels of satellites, globular clusters of stars and distant galaxies — hey, maybe someone was looking up at us too!

As our nerdy (in a good way) friends packed up their telescopes, binoculars, and laser pointers, we got into our car, feeling really good about what our Saturday had turned into, and really insignificant all at the same time.


The Observer is a Halloween addict, a sickness that includes the amount of stuff we have on hand for decorating Chez Observer every October. One of the ways we've managed to gather up so many ghoulish goodies without going broke is by hitting the stores the day after Halloween for the sales. Yes, smarty-pants: We start planning for Halloween 364 days early.

This year, like every other, The Observer was up bright and early All Hallows morning, parked outside Target so we could score the half-price decorations as soon as the doors opened at 8 a.m. What surprised us, however, was the number of people who seemed to be intent on doing the same; maybe 10 to 12 brave souls in their jackets, some of them hovering at the front door so they could be the first one to slip through the crack the moment the deadbolt was thrown.

At the stroke of eight, the doors opened. One elderly gentleman burst through, grabbed a shopping cart, and galloped off at a literal hard run to the back corner of the store, several other folks in hot pursuit. We feared for his ticker, and his knees. The Observer, who wouldn't run if a white-hot chunk of space debris was bearing down on him, took our time. Our thinking was: better to mosey and miss out than to have a video of us fistfighting a fellow shopper over a bat-shaped serving platter on Youtube for all eternity.

Though we expected the shelves to be bare by the time we got back to the half-off Halloween stuff, lo and behold, all the decorations were untouched. The same couldn't be said for the candy, however. Some of the folks who had broke and run when the doors opened were doing the double-armed scoop into their shopping carts, loading up on Almond Joys and Snickers and Butterfingers and Laffy Taffy. The old fella who had done his impersonation of Jesse Owens had at least one cart full — enough candy to put a small country into a diabetic coma.

“The big bags are scanning at $2.45!” he proclaimed. That was tempting, given we'd nearly broke our checking account for the same bag of candy two days before Halloween. But in the end, The Observer collected our skull cookie jar and dancing skeletons doormat and headed for the checkout.

Note to self: If Junior gets some candy next Halloween that tastes like it's been in somebody's freezer for a year, we'll know why.


Central High students showed their support for their team and their political colors at last week's football game against Catholic High: Their loud resonant “Ohhhh …” anticipating the kick-off was followed by “… bama!”



From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in The Observer

  • Dumb and smart, at the same time

    The Observer spent the week at a bar and thought a lot about a joke and its writer.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • -30-

    A newspaper died up in Atkins a few weeks back, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the sound of change jingling in a pocket, just too little of it to keep the printing presses rolling.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Does she know?

    Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: 1983 - Jacques and Suzanne

    • The cognac is better served in a glass separate from the souffle. It is vulgar…

    • on July 25, 2017
  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • I'm only 31, still quite a young lesbian by some standards. Born in 1986, I…

    • on July 24, 2017
  • Re: Up and running

    • INTERESTING - However the idea isn't new.........a Major Technology Park was planned for the old…

    • on July 24, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation