There is something completely whacky about tobacco companies running ads that try to keep people from smoking, as in the Phillip Morris ads currently running on television. The mixed message does not compute.

I don’t disagree with their message, and running the ads is part of their settlement with the government. Wouldn’t we look quite stupid if we ran ads asking people not to read our newspaper?

— I believe both the K-State and Oklahoma football teams learned extremely valuable lessons on Saturday night. For the Wildcats, the lesson was that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. For the Sooners, the message was anything is possible if you don’t put your mind to it.

The athletes are well-trained and have similar skills. The only difference, it appeared to me, was that the mental part was very different.

When I opened my Eagle Sunday morning I couldn’t believe there was zero coverage of the Big XII championship game because it ended too late. That doesn’t track with other events ending late that do receive coverage.<p — The Hillsboro vs. Marion rivalry hasn't been lately what it used to be-at least on the boys' side-with Hillsboro holding the edge for more than a decade. In fact there was a time when girls' basketball competition between the two towns did not exist.

While sitting at the ball game in Marion the other night, I was thinking back to the season 40 years ago when Hillsboro won the first game with Marion by about 20 points in Hillsboro. Hillsboro then won by two points in Marion on a buzzer-beating shot near half-court by Dennis Klassen. Marion won the third meeting of the year by four points in district play in Marion.

Those from that team will remember that Dennis was a fun-loving guy and a great teammate. Tragically, he died in 1978 as a result of severe burns suffered in a plane crash at Hillsboro Municipal Airport while general manager of Hillsboro Industries.

If you have a gadget freak on your Christmas list, this is the year for more electronic gifts than ever before.

The computer world and all of the new formats, including DVD, have broken the electronic world wide open.

You can buy portable storage for more than 10,000 tunes on an iPod to take with you anywhere you go. Or one gigabyte of storage on a USB memory stick key chain that allows you to take files from office to home and back again.

You can now record direct to DVD from any TV program-which is inexpensive media and permanent. You can plug your digital camera into a converter that allows you to show photos taken seconds earlier right on the tube.

And this is just the beginning. HDTV is coming, as is flat-screen plasma television.

All it takes is money.

— Sometimes your newspaper owes you an explanation. As in, why did we feature the new family restaurant in Hillsboro last week when it was no longer open the day the story ran?

At the time we went to press, we had no idea the wheels were coming off the fledgling operation. We didn’t know that many of the employees had allegedly not been paid and that some hadn’t been paid for several weeks. Furthermore, we were not aware that several businesses had not been paid for goods and services rendered.

One of the good things about a small town is that people are willing to help a new business get started and are eager for the new jobs it creates.

On the other side of the coin, we might be too trusting and don’t do our homework as well as we should. Businesses should know better, but these young employees are innocent victims.

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