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I am sitting at this writing on a sofa set catawampus in a living room cluttered with stacks of cardboard boxes, pieces of furniture, luggage and computer parts, recuperating from the exertion of two hours spent unloading a truck about half the size of a railroad box car. more
Some movies are so much fun to not just passively watch, but to analyze their portrayals of our culture’s oddities. The main character Buddy in the movie Elf takes every single thing so literally, like a small child. An advertising sign in a coffee shop’s window claiming, “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” compels him to go into the store, beaming, authentically congratulating each store employee for this massive feat: “You did it!!” Buddy’s behavior is in stark contrast to everyone else, who simply walk on by without giving it a second thought. They are already accustomed to being told not-quite-truths, completely desensitized, merely walking through life without paying notice to so many types of lies. However, Buddy vigilantly and remarkably remains hyper alert, always aware of all that is going on around him. more
“Catch and release” has become an important phrase in the fishing world. more
This past weekend my father celebrated 60 years of being alive. Friends and family gathered to join the celebration, which was fun. I was told about the party a few weeks in advance, and I have been thinking about life this whole time. more
To my little brother, sister, and all of the 2023 graduates who have pretty much become my adoptive siblings over the years: more
Memorial Day is quickly approaching, and what a great day to remember our nation’s fallen heroes. If it wasn’t for these brave men and women who fought for our country, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have today. Although some end up in the military without a thought of patriotism, in need of the stability it can offer, and others via drafts, some are in it solely for the love of our country. more
Graduation has begun in Webster County. Those graduates will hear thousands of pieces of advice ranging from "Hard work pays off," "Good Luck," and many others. Well, for this article, consider me the thousandth and one piece of advice you will hear. more
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. Thank you is simply not enough. As a society, we often take for granted all of the women who mother us. more
I’ve heard enough about the “good ol’ days” of a half a century or more ago. I’ve stewed about it for awhile, but what finally brought the cream to the top was a newspaper article I read last week about air conditioning in public schools. more
Family protection occurs in some interesting ways in the bird world. more
Letter to the Editor, more
May is Graduation Month; very soon, hundreds of students will move on to the next stage of their life with a lot of focus on high school and college students. Some of these students have a detailed map of where they want to be next and what life will be like, which is fantastic for those individuals. It is a great idea to have a plan. more
It is commendable that we remember our own mothers with cards and other tokens of love this Mother's Day, but it is even more fitting that we thank God and pray for mothers everywhere. more
In Missouri, any snake found near the water or swimming in it is presumed to be a venomous cottonmouth. The snake that usually gets killed by snake-fearing humans in this scenario is frequently not a cottonmouth. Cottonmouths do, indeed, reside in Missouri and they live along streams and remote portions of some of the lakes in this part of the state; but they don’t have the range or commonality that often is attributed to them. Now that it’s warming up, cottonmouths will be coming out of their winter dormancy. So will all the humans who like to frequent streams and lakes. So, it’s a good time to review the facts – and a few fallacies – that surround cottonmouths. Let’s start with the facts: more
What happened to thinking before you speak, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, or the golden rule to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? I’m talking about the younger generation, mine, and the older generations. We are guilty of this, myself included. more
I am enamored by all things having to do with the mind- the very inner-workings of the brain. Because of my fascination, I’m drawn to books written by psychiatrists, or about any psychology-related dealings. In this last one I read, the psychiatrist author referenced three different movies I was compelled to watch, because I wanted to learn more about what influences this bright woman. Early 80’s film Resurrection, Woody Allen’s Zelig, and pianist David Helfgott’s Shine: That list caught my attention, so I soon found myself looking them up, then figuring out how to borrow them. more
My dad wouldn’t let me take a typing class in high school. He said that was for girls with their piano fingers. They would be better at it, and I would never need it, anyway. He was right on at least one count. The girls were better. So was everyone else. To this day — more than 53 years since I made my first dollar from behind a typewriter — I’m still a hunt-and-peck typist. Four fingers, though, not just two Maybe that’s why I never developed carpal tunnel. My first semester of college at Southwest Missouri State I rented a standard typewriter so I could peck out my freshman composition papers. Rather than the accepted 30 words per minute minimum, I managed 30 minutes per page on “Eaton’s Corrasable Bond” typing paper. That was the best I could get, but I still managed to erase holes in it. It wouldn’t have been much fun to watch me type — if you had the time — especially for an expert typist. It wasn’t much fun for me, either. I was happy no one was watching. more
For at least two weeks, as I have been driving back and forth, I have passed through Strafford and noticed a line of train cars with some great artwork. Yes, I’m talking about graffiti, also known as street art. more
For many waterfowl hunters and nature viewers, the wood duck is Missouri’s – and, to a larger extent, North America’s – forgotten conservation success story. Much media attention has been given to the comeback of this region’s deer and turkey populations from near extinction to their present levels of abundance. In non-hunting circles, the population resurgences of eye-catching creatures like bald eagles and bluebirds have garnered many headlines. Granted, this attention has been well-deserved because these events are examples of great conservation successes. The wood duck’s comeback is a lesser-known conservation success story. This bird’s return to prosperity is well-documented, but over the decades, it has gradually slipped into the realm of obscurity. Wood ducks are North America’s most attractive duck species – hands down. The green- headed male mallard may be the most familiar wild duck to most people, but you would get little argument from biologists and nature viewers if you said the male wood duck is the prettiest duck. As with most bird species, males are more colorful than females. The head of a male wood duck in spring courtship colors is iridescent green, blue and purple. Two white lines run parallel to each other from the base of the bill to the back of the head. The male’s strikingly colored head is complemented by a white chin and throat, red eyes, red at the base of the bill, a deep, rust- colored chest, bronze sides and a black back and tail. Some of these colorful body feathers are more
From Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Magicians, Arcane, and The Legends of Vox Machina, fantasy has been a part of pop culture for most of our lives. Fantasy lends itself not only to shows and movies but even games. Dungeons and Dragons are but just one of those games. Maybe you’ve thought about getting into D&D but weren’t sure if you feel up to all the dice rolls, sheets, or acting out. Perhaps you might reconsider after checking out this list I have compiled. At the very least, I hope this list will give more appreciation to the idea. This list is in no particular order, but here are five D&D Youtube channels you can check out. more
Artificial intelligence is such a hot topic right now. So, is AI really going to take over and enslave us all, Matrix-style? Or, (gasp! And, spoiler alert.) more
When a bard and barbarian decide to bust out of jail to reclaim their lost treasure, they will find their path filled with new and old allies, betrayal, magic, dragons, and comedy. more
Moveable electric fencing has become an important grazing management tool for cattle producers over the past half-century, or so. more
Before this latest freeze, I thought I felt a touch of spring in the air. The frogs around my pond did, too, and crawled out of the mud to take a look. Woodcocks stopped by to see what was going on. Tulips and jonquils poked their green noses through winter’s mat of dead leaves and grass to check it out, as well. As if those signs weren’t enough, the politicians also started coming out of hibernation. I saw at least a half-dozen of them wandering around town, shaking off the dust of a couple of off-years and getting loosened up for a run. more
People and readers who interact with me may notice that when I end something, I will say, “try to have a good rest of your shift” or “Have a great rest of your shift.” This statement has led to a range of reactions, the most common being “You too,” with a look of confusion or a simple thank you. So I thought about this week’s article and decided to explain the origin of this catchphrase I use finally. more
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