Lake Norman & Mooresville

Fast-pitch girls tourney coming in November

North Mecklenburg Park, 16131 Old Statesville Road, will host the N.C. National Softball Association Final Fall Freeze Tournament on Nov. 1-2.

The event is a fun tournament for girls in fast-pitch leagues, Class A and Class B. Players in age divisions 10, 12, 14 and 16 can register to play. For more information, contact

The National Softball Association was established in 1982 by Hugh Cantrell in Lexington, Ky.

It is an organization that offers a division of play at every level of competition for youth through adult ages.

The NSA works with parks districts and sports complexes around the country to provide structure to state and national tournaments.

For more information, visit

The Amazing Maize

The 2008 Amazing Daytime Maize Maze at Rural Hill Farm will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Sept. 11 through Nov. 2.

Tickets are sold at the gate. Prices are $10 for adults 18 and over and $7 for students ages 5-17. All children under 4 are free.

On Sept. 19, a Flashlight Maze will be held with the Thistledown Tinkers playing live music from 7 to 9 p.m.

Flashlight Mazes will also be open on Oct. 10 and 31. Admission for the Flashlight Mazes is $15 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 17.

All proceeds go toward the preservation of Rural Hill.

The Thistledown Tinkers are a Celtic music duo featuring Trip Rogers and Tom Eure.

The duo plays Celtic music that inspires listeners to sing along and stomp their feet. Rogers and Eure, from North Carolina, weave traditional Scottish and Irish music with original creations.

For more information about Rural Hill Farm, visit

To learn more about the Thistledown Tinkers, go to www.thistledowntinkers .com.

A system that works

I keep what my friends call a palette of scan tags on my key chain. I have 21 of them, to be exact.

I keep everything from the local groceries to the bookstore, the office supply stores to the massage therapy joint.

I have three library card scan tags, two pet store tags and the ever-popular video store tag.

If they save me money, I'll carry them around. I even have two gym membership scan tags, only one of which I use occasionally.

I've linked the grocery tags to my son's school. My husband laughs at me because I'm a coupon-toting, scan tag-carrying, trying-to-save-money-but-spend-more-than-I-make kind of gal.

My husband reluctantly keeps one scan tag on his keys; it's for the Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics Center. He has entertained the thought of taking it off.

Though he does not use it often, perhaps it makes him feel healthier, toting that one scan tag with his keys. Just the thought of working out might burn a few more calories.

But he has changed his perspective on that scan tag. Last week, my husband was traveling to Las Vegas.

Travel and flights went smoothly, and he made it to his meeting with no complications. On the second day of his sales conference, he received a phone call from the HFFA.

Apparently he had left his keys at the airport. Security saw the HFFA scan tag. They called HFFA, which looked up my husband's membership information and called him in Las Vegas on his mobile phone.

HFFA explained what had happened and gave my husband the phone number to airport security to make arrangements to pick up his orphaned keys.

Upon his return, he successfully retrieved them, thanks to someone at the airport and the people at HFFA going the extra mile.

When my husband called me to tell me the story, he said “Wow – a system that actually works.”

He is grateful for that scan tag and is now inspired to actually use it to get into the gym this week.