McCULLOUGH: Triumphs, tragedies and in between

I’ve got a smattering of things on my mind this week, so let’s get started.

You like me, you really, really like me

OK, maybe you don’t really really like me, but according to our software, you liked me more this past week.

After writing about embracing the Internet age, I asked our readers to pump up my page views. Specifically, I wanted more hits than the Daily Post’s non-staff columnists. Well, take a little something out of petty cash, loyal readers, because you came through.

If I’m reading this thing right, I beat every columnist in the Post’s stable this past week, with the exception of Ronda Rich, whose numbers are skewed because the paper ran a contest to give away one of her books. If only I had a book to give away, I could’ve been No. 1. (If anyone would like to read a half of a novel that’s been a half a novel for about 10 years, let me know. Maybe you can tell me how you think it ends.)

Presidential meditation

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for emotional speeches, and the president is a master at giving them, so the State of the Union at least accomplished the goal of making me feel good for a little while.

But after mulling it over for a few days, three things stand out pretty glaringly:

1) Everyone is complaining that he didn’t focus enough on jobs creation. And Republicans, of course, called what he did propose everything from a disguised stimulus bill to socialism. But isn’t positioning the country for the future by focusing on education and competitiveness a good start toward jobs creation? Wouldn’t a smarter work force backed by a better infrastructure and better technology be a good thing?

2) The presidential disrespect I’ve written about previously continues. Several members of Congress chose to live-tweet the State of the Union. (For those not on Twitter, that means they sent short messages from their phone while the president was speaking.)

Members of Congress could not resist the urge to tweet snarky comments for one hour, not even in deference to the leader of the free world? He should’ve called them out, like when the teacher would catch you passing notes in the back of the room.

Can’t you just see Obama stopping and glaring at some congressman until the congressman realized everyone was staring at him, and then saying, “No, go ahead and finish. It’s just the whole world waiting.”

That might’ve added some manners to go with the new civility.

3) Finally, I think the president and his advisers sat around beforehand and actually planned to make John Boehner cry. Or maybe it was just inevitable.

Day to remember

Finally, NASA placed a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday to mark its Day of Remembrance, a day that honors the astronauts who’ve died in pursuit of the final frontier. It’s set on Jan. 27 because that’s the day in 1967 when the astronauts of Apollo 1 were killed in a training accident.

Added tragedies have befallen the space agency in the days around the 27th. It was 25 years ago today that the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch. Eight years ago Tuesday, the same thing happened to the Columbia on re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Take a moment today to remember all of these brave explorers.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.