Off the Record

• Regarding our MSAT Electronics feature story: It really is mind-blowing how much technology has changed over the last four decades. I grew up in a home that had a TV antenna affixed to a pole taller than the two-story house. If we lost reception, one of us went outside to turn the rusty pole. Now, I can watch ESPN on a mobile phone. A mobile phone that fits in my pocket.

• Five of the brave U.S. service members that lost their lives in Afghanistan last week were born in 2001. Let that sink in.

• Mom: Pumpkin spice is back at Starbucks.

Me: August is too early for pumpkin spice.

Me, exactly one day later at Dunkin’ Donuts, pointing to the donut shelves: I’ll take two of the pumpkin ones.

• Krispy Kreme is offering two free doughnuts every day until Sept. 5 for anyone that shows vaccination proof. If there was somebody out there who was on the fence about getting vaccinated but changed their mind based on two Krispy Kreme doughnuts, God help us all. A dozen might do the trick though.

• The Atlantic Coast Conference is considering moving its headquarters from Greensboro, its home of 68 years. There’s a comprehensive report about this in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which broke the news last week. There are a number of factors ($$$) at play here that have very little to do with geographic footprint. Charlotte would make a lot of sense as the new home, but leaving the state - reportedly an option - seems like an unnecessary step to me. Charlotte and Greensboro each have all of the ACC championship-caliber facilities/sites you could hope for, in a region marked by steady economic growth. Keep the ACC at home, and enjoy the Krispy Kremes.

• I was excited for college football to start last week until I tuned in Saturday to find Nebraska leading Illinois 6-2 in the second quarter. Then, I realized college football really starts THIS week, with a full slate of action scheduled.

• NC town name of the week: China Grove. This small Rowan County town got its name from chinaberry trees, which I have just learned are considered an invasive species. So don’t eat chinaberry fruits or leaves if you’re visiting Rowan County. And by the way, that county name is pronounced “Roe-ANN” by the locals in only a way that a Western North Carolinian can say it.

• Phoenix and Salt Lake City are located in the same Mountain Time Zone, but the time in Phoenix is currently one hour behind Salt Lake City. However, when the time changes in the fall (when we drop back an hour), the two cities will operate on the same clock again. Phoenix is not located west of Salt Lake City; rather almost directly south of it by 650 miles or so, and the seasonal time difference is due instead to Arizona not observing Daylight Saving Time (when most of us spring forward). Arizona is a popular place for tourists, transplants and retirees, and I’m sure a lot of you already knew about their time oddity. But no one told me.

• This is where I wanted to insert the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s “Time,” but the song, while beautiful, is a bit on the dark side. Sometimes it’s better to laugh.

• “Great. My horse has worms, and the pharmacy is out of everything except COVID vaccines.”

- Conan O’Brien