Commentary

Wed
08
Oct

Some things change with retirement, some don’t

Lifestyles are supposed to change when those retirement years come around.  I was led to believe retirement would be, “Doing what you want when you want to.” With that vision in mind, I’ve found after 13 years of retirement I have been deceived.
“What are you doing in your spare time?” That was generally the first question directed at me during my early years of retirement. Next came, “I’m looking for volunteers and since you’re retired, could you help me?”
However the biggest lesson came from the betterhalf addressing me how my retirement years would unfold. She was quick to point out that I may be retired, but she wasn’t. There would be certain days she played bridge and my lunch could be found in the fridge. She also explained Monday was wash day and if I needed a certain garment for end of the week wearing, I better have that garment in the clothes hamper by early Monday morn.

Wed
01
Oct

A worthy view

The view, and the vision, are amazing.
For more than 20 years now Bill and Jan Whitney have been working hard to preserve, explore and share the diversity of nature through their efforts with the Prairie Plains Resource Institute. Those efforts have helped create the wildly successful Summer Orientation About Rivers (SOAR) program, as well as the Charles Whitney Education Center, both of which are feathers in the cap of Hamilton County.
Not far from Aurora, people of all ages, backgrounds and interests can gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Platte River and the Midwest’s soils, plant and animal life. There is something very special, and grounding, about spending time on the Griffith Prairie, for example, which helps any and all who experience such scenic beauty realize the importance of preserving our natural resources.

Wed
01
Oct

Life’s stages all good, if you can remember them

It’s disappointing at my age to realize you’re still going through a stage in your life. Even when you feel you’ve reached adulthood there are still stages of life ahead of you – if you’re lucky.
Looking back I believe I could best describe those stages as the baby stage, toddler, teenager, college, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and then the stage, “I don’t remember,” or “I didn’t hear you say that.”
I can’t say much about the baby stage, because, first of all, I don’t remember my baby stage. I assume my mother and dad couldn’t wait until the diaper stage was over and they looked forward to no more changing diapers and as for me, no more wetting my pants.

Wed
24
Sep

Seasonal danger

“Safety counts -- protecting what matters.”
That’s the theme of this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, and we couldn’t agree more. As much financial value as there is standing in the fields these days, waiting to be harvested, nothing is more precious than the health and well being of the men and women who will soon be logging long hours to help feed the world.
It’s a good time for all of us to remember that it won’t be business as usual for a few weeks on the highways, byways and country roads in and around our community. Large ag equipment, combines and lots and lots of semis filled to the brim with No. 2 yellow corn will soon be rolling, raising the risk factor for everyday travel substantially.

Tue
09
Sep

Pioneering our way on the digital frontier

Now I know how the pioneers must have felt, plodding their way across unchartered terrain.
The American west is a vastly different landscape than the digital realm of today’s modern explorer, but there are some similarities. There is no map pointing the way to where you want to go. And the harsh reality is when you get there the challenges have only just begun.
The News-Register launched a new website last week, which is why I now feel a bit like a technologically challenged Davy Crockett of the digital era. My mission for the last 18 months or so has been to research the various vendors, platforms, bells and high-tech whistles available online, then figure out the best approach to reach our audience.

Tue
09
Sep

Every home has a ‘junk drawer,’ or two, or three

I believe every home has a “junk” drawer. The drawer may be in the hubby’s workshop, the little woman’s sewing room, or in the laundry room.  
I would be willing to wager most “junk” drawers are found in the kitchen ... and that is where my betterhalf has chosen to place one collection of stuff she really can’t decide where to place. Did you notice I said, “one” collection of stuff?
My betterhalf never liked to be outdone and I initially assumed that must be the reason she has another “junk” drawer located in the laundry room. Before I continue, I thought a little deeper on this subject. I came to the conclusion the reasons we have two junk drawers is because we both are savers and the betterhalf likes to keep a tidy house which in her plan means, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Tue
02
Sep

News-Register goes all in with new-look e-Edition, website

Technology has changed our world in wonderful ways on several fronts, including the means in which we get our information. Indeed the pace of change has picked up exponentially, creating a challenge for those of us in the news business who gather and share information on the local scene.
The News-Register took a step forward in that regard last week, debuting a new website that has all sorts of news bells and whistles. Former publisher Butch Furse planted a steak in the digital realm with the paper’s first website way back in 1995 (light years ago on the World Wide Web timeframe) and we’ve updated it several times since then.
The latest change is substantial, both in the way it looks and the different methods readers and viewers are now able to find out what’s happening in Hamilton County, America.

Tue
02
Sep

No matter how bad your day is, someone has it worse

It’s easy, if we’re not careful, to get down on ourselves when we face some difficult challenges in our lives. However, have you noticed no matter what difficulty we face, someone seems to have faced something that was even more difficult?
A prime example of that was found in the pages of the Fergus Falls (MN) Daily Journal a few weeks ago when a story reported the death of Bryan “Lefty” Anderson, age 57.
“There was never a cloud in Bryan’s life. It was always a rainbow,” a friend said. For Bryan, he had every right to have those rainbows clouded over because he faced challenge after challenge throughout his 57 years and still maintained a positive attitude of “Life is good.” I can’t help wondering how many of us could continue with that attitude when confronted with his lifetime of challenges.

Tue
26
Aug

Unsustainable

Hamilton County’s valuation increased by a staggering $603 million this year, continuing a troubling trend that doesn’t add up for long-term financial stability.
Though in some ways the increase in valuation reflects $26 million worth of new, positive growth, the lion’s share ($577 million) of the 2014 increase can be attributed to state-mandated adjustments in ag land values. With land selling for $12,000-$13,000 per acre, as we’ve seen over the last couple of years, the county assessor had no choice but to up the taxable value of farmland throughout the county.
Times have been good for agriculture in recent years, no doubt about it.
Danger lurks, however, when those values rise too far, too fast, without a corresponding link to the land’s ability to generate additional income. With input costs on the rise and corn currently selling for $3.50 a bushel, adding 27 percent to farmers’ property tax bills will be a painful blow.

Tue
26
Aug

‘Smart’ technology too much in the bathroom

Sometimes I get the feeling this old world is determined to pass me by. Now I’m not talking about personal values and moral issues. I’m talking about those physical things that surround me in my effort to stay in tune with what’s going on today, but will change tomorrow.
It’s no secret that technology is my culprit and my nemesis. Over the years I’ve fallen behind to a bevy of changes and then seem to catch up only to find I am behind again. Slow reflexes could be the cause. However, the betterhalf has attributed my dilemma to my own stubbornness and resistance to something new.

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