Commentary

Wed
09
Dec

Stop the madness

The news of the day thus far this holiday season has been anything but merry, with reports of violence, mass murder and suicide killings gripping our world in what has become a far too familiar scene.
Just this week alone, violence broke out in San Bernardino, Colorado Springs and even in Lincoln, where a troubled Central City man shot a police officer before he was shot and killed. Whether the death toll is one in Lincoln, 14 in California or 130 in Paris, it’s too many, too often, in a trend that is growing worldwide.

Wed
09
Dec

Differences between men and women

 I told the betterhalf I was struggling for an Around the Square topic and  I was searching for some subject matter. Of course, she said she had already provided plenty of the subject matter over the many years, but she did relent and rattled off a few possible topics.
I then answered the majority of people like to read about normal or common happenings, and I felt some of the topics she had mentioned were not normal. She countered by answering, “But those situations are normal for you!”
The betterhalf’s retort got me thinking about the normalization of married life and attitude differences between men and women. I dug into my files and found a list of womanly slogans that someone felt best described a woman’s attitude.
Don’t jump to conclusions and claim I am making chauvinistic remarks because I also found some viewpoints on male attitudes as well. Being polite I will begin first with these few comments attributed to females:

Wed
02
Dec

Leaving a legacy

Fifty years ago this month a culture of giving was born in Hamilton County, planting the seeds for a philosophy of sharing that has impacted countless lives in a positive way.
When the Hamilton Community Foundation was established in 1965, few could have imagined how much the numbers would grow, both in total assets and the volume of annual grants and scholarships. It’s a wonderful local story that reflects one of Aurora and Hamilton County’s defining characteristics -- citizens here believe in sharing their wealth and have a vested interest in their community.
In this golden anniversary year, HCF is celebrating five decades of philanthropic giving. During that span, assets grew from $6,500 to nearly $14 million. More than 2,400 scholarships have been paid out worth an estimated $2.6 million, and another $9 million has been awarded in grants for a wide variety of local projects.

Wed
02
Dec

Broken Christmas cookies

 Thanksgiving is over and now for the big one. Christmas is on the agenda at our household and much to my chagrin the Christmas lights were turned on before Thanksgiving was even over.
Of course, as in most households a male protest generally doesn’t carry much weight. The betterhalf had taken advantage of a few warm days earlier and began stringing her 4,000-plus lights on the crabapple trees.
Crabapple trees with Christmas lights? Yep, that was better than trying to decorate a three-story pin oak in the front yard.
Decorating of an outdoor Christmas tree has been a tradition of the betterhalf. Thank goodness she prefers to do it herself, citing that she doesn’t like my Scrooge comments when I assisted. That’s fine with me.

Wed
25
Nov

Shop at home

The biggest shopping season of the year by far begins this week and topping the list for many local retailers will be a wish that local patrons pay them a visit on Small Business Saturday.
Somewhere along the line, the Christmas holiday rush became a strategic shopping phenomenon, seemingly pushing the starting date back sooner and sooner every year while also expanding consumers’ buying options. What hasn’t changed is that late November and December are crunch time for the retail industry, no matter how big the bottom line.
Black Friday has long been the big kickoff for holiday sales, though I have noticed messages from several large retailers proudly touting the fact that they’ll be staying home on Thanksgiving day, urging others to do the same. I second that motion, frankly, and hope that’s a growing trend.

Wed
25
Nov

Nebraska fan displays ‘true love’ for fiance

 In the eyes of many sports fans one young man who is an avid Husker fan displayed his love for his fiancé. The story goes something like this:
He had attended 103 consecutive Husker games and the Michigan State game was next on his schedule. That’s when his fiancé approached him with the request asking him to accompany her to a wedding on the same date Michigan State faced Nebraska. We’re sure there was some thought before he confirmed he would go to the wedding instead of the game.
To me his acceptance was a great example of true love and would be a forerunner to many years of a compatible marriage for the two. Late in the day I retold this story and conveyed my “true love” thoughts to my listener, who incidentally was a gentlemen with several decades of married life.
He listened intently to me and agreed with the true love theory, but then added,
“That young man was also pretty smart!”
***

Wed
18
Nov

Game on

What a week it’s been for area sports fans.
A fall season full of emotion and pride reached a crescendo with postseason competition that brought schools, communities and alumni from past generations together as one. Hearts have been working overtime to keep pace with the added adrenaline rush.
The Aurora football team has indeed had a season to remember under first-year coach Kyle Peterson, and they’re not done yet. The Huskies have shown tremendous heart in putting together a string of 12 straight wins, never more than during Friday’s come-from-behind victory over McCook. Down 14 points on the road to a formidable foe, the Huskies simply “found a way” to grind out a semi-final victory, setting up Monday’s state championship game against Elkhorn South for all the marbles. Husky Nation knows this team, this season, is truly something special.
High Plains and Giltner also made postseason football runs, with the Storm making it three rounds deep in Class D1.

Wed
18
Nov

Job titles not nearly as important as the job itself

Over the years we have seen job titles change. The biggest changes came when more women entered the workforce. We found many jobs that once were dominated by a particular gender ceased to exist. Just to name a few, terms such as salesman, postmaster, carryout boys all have gone by the wayside and now jobs are filled by either sex.
Salesman or sales woman now go under the newer descriptive heading of “sales associate.” Postmaster has expanded to also include Postmistresses. Grocery carryout boys have become carryout servers. Mechanics are now technicians, and our list can go on and on.
Along with gender changes in jobs,  title verbiage also has advanced into more sophisticated titles. A janitor title that originally advanced to the title of custodian now has gone a step further by being known in help wanted advertisements as a facility technician. Rental agents are now being tagged in many agencies as “Apartment Leasing Consultants.”

Wed
11
Nov

Veterans Day stirs powerful sense of unity, as it should

Thank you, veterans.
That simple, heartfelt message rings throughout America this week as we honor the men and women who are now serving our nation, as well as all those who have ever worn the uniform on our behalf. We, as a nation, simply can’t thank you enough for the sacrifices you and your families have made.
Respect and admiration for our troops, past and present, has grown noticeably stronger in recent years. Whether you are at a sporting event, community parade or smaller family gathering, when veterans are recognized there is a sincere sense of oneness permeating the scene. It’s a powerful emotion, as it should be, reminding us all that we are proud to be Americans.

Wed
11
Nov

How to tell when you are getting older

 The other morning having coffee with a group it was apparent age was important after one mentioned he had a birthday coming up. It appeared to me after the honoree stated his age, the conversation around the table centered on who was the oldest.
Prior to become president, Ronald Reagan once made the comment, “Middle age is when you are faced with two temptations and you take the one that gets you home before 10 p.m.”
There are other ways you can know when you’re getting old. I’ve been told you are getting old if . .
• Your train of thought derails regularly.
• It takes two attempts to get off the couch.
• Rather than simply walk over and change the channel you spend 10 minutes looking for the remote control instead.
• You tell someone the same joke he told you the day before.
• You start reading the newspaper obituaries.
• You hear a telephone ringing on TV and you get up to answer yours.

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