Serving the High Plains

Articles written by Karl Terry Cmi Columnist


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  • Real Santa whiskers not as itchy

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Dec 11, 2012

    Several random observations recently have tickled my funny bone (starting with the struggle whether to spell funny bone, funnybone, funny-bone or funniebone). Here they are in random order. A television station I used to watch always announced the lotto numbers by saying "And now here's tonight's lotto numbers in random order." If they weren't random wouldn't that be a pretty rigged lotto? On the phone the other day I got tapped into a phone system that supplied news or maybe it was trivia for me while on hold. That wasn't all that unusual but... Full story

  • Digging up cemetery history

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Nov 13, 2012

    You do one story on an old cemetery and before you know it you're labeled as the guy who writes about old cemeteries. That's what I was thinking recently when the phone rang and the lady on the other end of the line identified herself as a Fort Sumner resident and she wanted me to get to the bottom of that cemetery out just north of Cannon Air Force Base. Alright I'm punning with you a little bit when I say get to the bottom of the cemetery because, trust me that's not were any of us want to be. The lady said she regularly read my column and no...

  • Fall asserting itself on High Plains

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Oct 30, 2012

    Fall was asserting itself on the High Plains as I drove to Lubbock early in the morning. Dead calm when I left with an obvious frontline painted across the sky to the northeast, it didn't stay that way for long. Soon, in the pre-dawn light, I could see tumbleweeds the size of small cows racing across the road in front of me. Occasionally, a smaller specimen flung itself out of the ditch at my vehicle but none made contact with the paint. The tumbleweeds were coming at a monotonous rate when suddenly a dark shape bounded across the highway into... Full story

  • Cop show flaws hard to ignore

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Oct 23, 2012

    My wife is hooked on the alphabet police dramas. What are alphabet police dramas, you ask? CSI (Crime Scene Investigators) and Law and Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) are two examples. She also watches Blue Bloods and Hawaii 5-0 but they haven't quite bought into the initials thing even though 5-0 is a code name for police. If I were to make my own alphabet police drama it would be titled RDC (Really Dumb Cops). The hook for some of these police dramas is really good. A unit that responds to victims of weird sex crimes is certainly...

  • Military families not deterred

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Oct 16, 2012

    We got our first blast of winter last weekend and I had to attend two different events that were outdoors. After talking to one young lady with her hoodie up and teeth chattering I shortly spotted a young man in shorts and a long sleeve T-shirt. We all have differing tolerance to cold and heat and it doesn't become obvious until that first cold snap of the year. Putting on Cannon Appreciation Day in Portales with the Portales Military Affairs Committee during that first cold snap of the season proved a little nerve wracking for those of us plan... Full story

  • Bible holds answers in challenging time

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Sep 25, 2012

    No doubt Satan probably got a kick out of the headlines in the newspaper in Portales last week. "Prayer ruling upheld" relating to a ban on coach led prayer in City League sports. Hopefully the devil read a little further into the story and saw that maybe he hadn't exactly won this one after all. A large crowd turned out in support of prayer at the last council meeting even though they knew it was an uphill fight based on other similar cases. From all reports the crowd modeled Christianity well for the community and no one has blown up any mosq... Full story

  • Column business teaches lessons

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Sep 18, 2012

    Some days I make this columnist business look easy. Other days I wonder what I was thinking when I decided writing my thoughts down for a public consumption on a weekly basis would be a good thing to do. I think I started doing a column back about 1988 or 1989. I've had a few short breaks since then but for most of the last quarter of a century I've managed to scrounge up a weekly topic. Some of those years I was writing two or three columns or editorials a week. The ideas flow like a fast river at times and other times the pipeline slows to a...

  • Swallows won't be gone for very long

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Aug 28, 2012

    Just when I was beginning to think it was safe to go out on the front porch again — they're back. Several years ago I wrote about the barn swallows nesting on my front porch and how I put up with the mess for the sake of the birds. After the birds migrated off that fall I removed the mud nest above the door and the following spring when they tried to rebuild it there I took it down until they gave up and moved to the other end of the porch. Several nests of swallows fledged from that much more desirable location over the years. Then last...

  • 'Texas' timeless tale for everyone

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Aug 14, 2012

    It had been awhile since we'd all been to "Texas" and a recent trip to Palo Duro Canyon didn't disappoint. We had great weather, if anything it was a little too hot in the amphitheatre with its cozy, close-together seating and the trip was relaxing. My wife and I went to see the West Texas musical not long after we were married 30 years ago. The basic story of the struggle to settle the dusty, thorn-covered terrain of the Texas Panhandle was unchanged but the technical capabilities of the show and the talent of the cast has greatly increased....

  • Mr. Wood was a true role model

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Jul 17, 2012

    Portales lost one of the most kind and gentle men it has ever known this past week and heaven has inherited a wonderful grade school principal with the passing of Morris Wood. He was my grade school principal and I guess I didn't know a lot about the man until I read his obituary. I knew he had been an athlete and a good basketball player in his day. I didn't know that he'd been part of a Floyd basketball team that had won a big state championship in 1935. I didn't know he was in the New Mexico Athletic Hall of Fame or that he had played in... Full story

  • Firefighters continue facing risks

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Jul 3, 2012

    It's truly amazing to me with all the wildland fires across the West this spring and summer that there has been very little loss of human life. We've had some truly huge fires this year with the Whitewater Baldy fire becoming the largest fire in state history by scorching nearly 300,000 acres. The Little Bear Fire near Ruidoso wasn't nearly as large but it has gone into the record books in New Mexico for being the most destructive to human habitation with 242 structures burned. Hundreds of firefighters have been involved in fighting these...

  • Reading strengthens imaginations

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Jun 26, 2012

    In my young imagination I used to hunt tigers in the sandhills of eastern New Mexico. I'm pretty sure I never got out of my mother's sight but I still came back from my adventures telling all that had happened as my dog Knucklehead and I pursued the beast. I can only think of one reason for my young fascination with tigers, a storybook my mother read to me where a young boy surrenders his umbrella, shoes and new clothes to tigers to keep them from eating him. The tigers eventually become so obsessed with how they look that they run round and...

  • Hunting, fishing key to dad's trips

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Jun 19, 2012

    Many people whose father has passed on can tell wonderful stories of all the places their dad took the family on vacation. I would say our family only took one traditional vacation while I was growing up. That's not to say my father never took us anywhere. It's just that wherever that Terry-style vacation took us, it had to meet some pretty strict requirements for dad. Number one, it couldn't interfere with any irrigating, harvest or major job prospect. Since much of that time he was either farming or custom harvesting that was more than...

  • iPads have many applications

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Jun 12, 2012

    I'm happy to report my wife and I are now a two iPad family. Her iPad just doesn't happen to work. You can use an iPad for nearly anything, well actually, we learned (the hard way) they're not much of a drink coaster. We went through serious withdrawal symptoms before we replaced our drowned iPad. I knew when they first came out I would like it, I just didn't realize how attached I would become. My wife uses the iPad to listen to talk radio wherever she's at in the house or on the patio. Even in a motel room. She's also a big fan of using it... Full story

  • Photography much easier today

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|May 19, 2012

    Most people don't know this, but I actually have a photographic memory. The only problem is I ran out of film somewhere back around 1993. My immediate family didn't take a lot of snapshots when my brother and sister and I were little. Mom's albums and picture boxes are filled with a few snapshots of us from Polaroid shots that visiting family took and left with us. A lot of the family photos from the 1960s are black and white school photos or baseball and basketball team photos taken by Bill Wahlman. Somewhere about the time I turned 10 or 12 s...

  • Let's be thankful for mothers

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|May 15, 2012

    Things my mom actually did in her adventurous life ... Sewed shirts from a pattern. Invented the dookie bar. Changed irrigation tubes from a Chevy station wagon. Shot a bull snake out of our treehouse with a .22 rifle. Learned to cut her children's hair herself. Drove a school bus full of noisy children. Operated a country store and café. Operated a concession stand at the local stock car races. Fried chicken every day for dinner (noon meal). Always had enough on the table no matter how many sat down. Figured her husband's fortunes by the ton... Full story

  • Ancestor's legacy fascinating

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|May 4, 2012

    The roots of my Maxwell ancestors won't leave me alone and that's a pretty cool thing. I don't actually believe in ghosts but on a trip to the heart of Texas to help my uncle celebrate his 80th birthday I found myself on a lonely sandbar searching for the ghosts of my heritage. I was amazed at how quickly they appeared. After the festivities had wound down in the weekend rental at Granite Shoals on Lake LBJ, my wife and mother and I began to make our way home. Mom said she wanted to go back past Lake Buchanan where the Maxwell arm of her family...

  • Miller moth migration in full swing

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Apr 28, 2012

    I stirred slowly from sleep when I felt her soft velvet touch on my shoulder. With the sheet thrown back to my knees because of the hot night, my mind followed her willowy touch as she traced a delicate line down my back toward my buttocks. As she reached my waist I was suddenly wide-awake. Aaauugggghhh, what the heck — a Miller moth. The Miller migration is on and it's a good one this year. When I was growing up we called them cannel (sp) bugs. I don't have a clue why, I can't find another reference to them by that name. Regardless, we see...

  • Pink slime won't turn me off beef

    Karl terry CMI columnist|Apr 21, 2012

    You won't catch me out in the pasture grazing for nutrients when there's a bovine that can do it for me. That's right, when that little old lady in the Wendy's commercial uttered "Where's the beef," several decades ago, I answered, "Right here on my plate." You would think that after nearly 30 years of marriage my wife would understand that I'm an avowed meat-eater. She messes up on occasion though, and puts a lasagna or spaghetti sauce on the table without meat in it. When I notice this I tease her and ask if she left the meat out on the...

  • Texting skills could use work

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Apr 17, 2012

    I try hard to remain on the cutting edge of communication technology or at least keep the edge somewhere within my sight. However, my skills at texting are really bad. Once when I asked a coworker about texting and how to do it faster, he replied that he thought it helped a lot if you had really long fingernails. My fingernails are a regular length for men but I still manage to get a few texts off. Mostly I reply to text messages though because it's easier to call someone on the cell phone that I didn't think I would ever have a use for. I've... Full story

  • Easter Bunny still creepy to me

    Karl Terry CMI columnist|Apr 6, 2012

    I've got to say I've always been a little creeped out by the Easter Bunny. Santa Claus might be a little scary to little kids but at least his looks make a little bit of sense. A six-foot rabbit makes no sense at all and freaks out more youngsters than not. I remember one Saturday shortly before Easter several years back when a coworker's little boy arrived at the office with an Easter basket full of eggs and tear-stained cheeks. He obviously wasn't having a good day. "What happened, a big kid push Trevor down in the rush for Easter Eggs or...