Commentary

Wed
23
May

Robots are the future, beginning in our homes

The Betterhalf is a very good housekeeper, but a year ago she told me she was going to purchase an “IRobotic Roomba.” At first I thought I misunderstood her and she had decided to take dance lessons. However, deeper into the conversation I realized she wasn’t talking about Rumba dancing, she had in mind a robotic vacuum cleaner.
Over the year I became accustomed to the robot moving throughout the family room while I was in the easy chair reading the newspaper. I even found some amusement as it randomly bounced from wall to wall; went under the coffee table; and even worked its way out after momentarily getting trapped in corners or among furniture legs. Several times I found myself distracted; put down my reading of the newspaper; and caught myself being entertained by the antics of the robot.

Wed
23
May

Lady Hornets very much at home on track’s biggest stage

The Lady Hornets wrote a chapter in Nebraska sports lore this weekend, posting a mark few other teams in any sport ever have.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Giltner girls won the Class D state track and field championship, and this one wasn’t even close. When Reagan Janzen crossed the line as the anchor leg in the 4x400 relay, the Lady Hornets added another gold medal to finish with 89.5 points, 49 more than runner-up Elm Creek.
The Hornets finished with 13 total medals, led by seniors Reagan Janzen, Alexa Preissler and Jordan Hansen. This dynamic trio put a lot of points on the board at the state meet throughout their high school careers, and they left no doubt Saturday that they fully expected to do as well as they did.

Wed
16
May

Discovery of an electric typewriter brings memories

Recently cleaning out a closet I came across an old portable Smith Corona electric typewriter. That old typewriter got me thinking about my past when I experienced not only our near dozen manual typewriters at the newspaper, but the earlier years in high school when the new innovation of an electric typewriter came on the scene and our class shared the chance to type on a keyboard that required just a light touch.
Well, as I assume L. C. Smith, Remington and a host of other manuals have been lost in history. Still, memories exist and I hope I don’t bore you with sharing a few of those memories.
On the old manuals, newspaper people had time to allow their thoughts to flow from the brain to the fingertips. Not like today, when a light touch of the computer keyboard expressed a passing thought that disappeared with the quick push of a “delete” instead of the old past of allowing time for cooling our thoughts by punching a bunch of “XXX’s on the manual keyboard.

Wed
16
May

Timing, vision for Blueprint Nebraska could not be better

The tone of a Friday teleconference announcing the formation of Blueprint Nebraska hints that this may well be one of the most significant endeavors our great state has taken on in years.
A story in this week’s edition explains that the statewide coalition will begin working soon to develop a plan for economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity in Nebraska for the next 150 years and beyond. With low commodity prices rippling across our state’s economy, and low unemployment making it difficult to hire employees when and where needed, the timing of this project could not be better.

Wed
09
May

New addition to family... a pug or a weight trainer

A few weeks ago we reported we added a second dog to our household . . . a southern dog from Tennessee named “Oscar.” Little did we know, even as a dog lover, such a critter could change our lifestyle . . . and that of our 10-year household dog companion “Missy.”
You see Pug Oscar came in a little over weight. To be exact he weighed 36 pounds when he should have tipped the scales at 22-26 pounds, according to the dog guides. But, we not only inherited the dog, we inherited an animal that made our whole household weight conscious.
“Ol’ Fatty,” as I call him has over the last month dropped about 6 pounds and is really impressive. Well, I guess we say “impressive” since his owners didn’t skinny-down at the same pace. Just how has a dog got us in a position to think about weight at our age?

Wed
09
May

Local voters have distinctive choices in primary election

A primary election with far more contested races than normal in Aurora and Hamilton County has finally arrived, giving voters choices and a real say in their local leadership.
Election day is Tuesday in Hamilton County and throughout Nebraska, though many area voters may have already done their civic duty with early voting and mail-in ballots now a popular option. Regardless of how or when you vote, the most important thing is that you cast your ballot, participating in an election process that lies at the core of our democratic form of government.
There are some interesting races in the 2018 primary. The recent candidate forum offered distinctive contrasts in the views and leadership style for Aurora mayor as well as county board districts 1 and 5. Hopefully you have tuned in to those races and are ready to let your voice heard.

Wed
02
May

Spring your spring fix-up, cleaning chores on the pros

Found it a little difficult to kick back a week ago and enjoy a couple warm sunny days with pleasant springtime thoughts coming to mind. A couple of newspaper headlines and related stories dampened my attitude.
The theme of the feature stories pointed out spring doesn’t just brighten up the weather. Spring also signals the time is here for all those home fix-it jobs that during the winter months I had rationalized I was going to do “next spring.”
As I thumbed through the spring cleanup-fixup suggestions I found the writers’ list of chores covered way more than I planned during the winter months and entailed a lengthy process, as well as many chores I had overlooked.

Wed
02
May

Graduation season an exciting time to look ahead, celebrate

Turning tassels. Tipping hats. Flipping the page and moving forward.
Transition is in the air these days, with lots of pomp and celebratory circumstance permeating our community.
It’s graduation season, which is always an exciting time for graduates, their families and all those near and dear in a circle of influence who helped the honorees reach this significant milestone.
Hampton High School’s graduating class kicks the season off Saturday, with the first group of seniors honored to receive their diplomas in the new gymnasium, followed by Giltner a day later. High Plains grads will take center stage May 12 and Aurora High will honor its Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day.
The top scholars at all four area schools are honored in our annual “Making the Grade” edition this week, earning recognition for stellar academic achievement. That’s a very big deal, worthy of an added spotlight we are happy to provide.

Wed
25
Apr

Penner represents a vote for positive change in Washington

Kirk Penner is a straight shooter, a person of integrity well known in Hamilton County as a successful businessman and a conservative leader who knows how to get things done. America needs people like Kirk Penner in Washington and he is the right choice in the Republican primary for Nebraska’s Third Congressional District.
There are simply not enough of those strong voices today in Washington, which is a growing concern. Whether the issue involves spending, trade, taxes, immigration, or you name it these days in D.C., there is far too much party-line politics at play. Incumbent Adrian Smith has had a decade to make his mark, and while he has been a consistent supporter of GOP policy, he has not shown the ability to move the needle on debate that directly involves his constituency.

Tue
24
Apr

Old Man Winter has overstayed his welcome

Recently the Betterhalf and I battled ice, slush, snow and windy road conditions when we made a trip to Texas. Normally we would not have faced the challenge, but the Betterhalf had a babysitting commitment involving grandkids. As all grandfathers are well aware when it comes to spending time with the grandkids, grandma sez “Go” and doesn’t matter what obstacles stand in the way.
Although Old Man Winter may have slowed our travel, the trip was completed with just a few minor interruptions.
 As I look back it wasn’t hard to realize Old Man Winter has been around way too long. Some say it is climate change that is extending his stay with a couple of late snowfalls and cold temps in April. I think it might be something more.

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