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As recent as 20 years ago, any bear sighting in Missouri made state-wide headlines. more
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: this was not a good week for new releases. The battle for the top spot at the domestic box office was a fierce one, with “Kung Fu Panda 4” in its second weekend narrowly edging out “Dune: Part Two” in its third. But after those two holdovers, the box office fell off a cliff, with newcomer “Arthur the King” taking a weak third place with barely a quarter of either’s take. Granted, the relatively small-scale production is not one that has ambitions of conquering the box office. It’s okay with being a nice little crowd-pleaser, which would be fine if it were actually more pleasing. more
What I learned while upside down more
Just a few days ago I poured myself a glass of orange juice, something I seldom do because we seldom have any in the refrigerator unless grandkids are coming to visit. more
If you think you see a lot of red-winged blackbirds in the spring and summer, national bird surveys indicate you’re right. more
She has a special set of skills more
Since Po (Jack Black), the main character of the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, is known for his more
Sunday morning awhile back — February 18, to be exact — our whole clan was on hand for a Hallelujah moment. more
Berean Baptist Church in Bolivar will soon be hosting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This financial organization and management program has been tried and proven literally millions of times over, and it can help you as well. If you struggle to make ends meet, if you have debt problems, if you don’t have an “every transaction” system of tracking expenses and budgeting, if you want to learn how to better save for retirement or children’s schooling, or if you just need to learn how to better manage finances, then this course is for you. more
Now that spring-like weather seems to have arrived (or at least it’s here for this week), it’s time to get out and hunt for mushrooms. more
I got my pineapple conure Lola about four years ago. She is tiny, small for a conure, but is bursting with character. Her name comes from the Barry Manilow song “Copacabana,” where he sings, “Lola, she was a showgirl.” It is fitting. When I first saw her, she was rolling around, begging for attention and showing off. I fell in love and I had to have her. She’s funny and smart and since bringing her home, has learned a few phrases. “Pretty girl,” and “I love you” are her favorites - we tell each other the latter probably 50 times a day. I also get bombarded with “Hey Baby” when it’s time to take her out in the morning. She also picked up another word that I cannot write in the paper (where she learned it, I cannot say, but thankfully she uses it very seldomly). more
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first installment of director Denis Villeneuve’s take on the Frank Herbert sci-fi classic “Dune” back in 2021. The sounds and visuals were great, and I understood why it won so many technical Oscars that year, but I couldn’t get invested in the characters or story, so I didn’t recommend the film. I feel the same way about “Dune: Part Two,” but somehow the dynamic has shifted without anything really changing. The characters and story arcs are still baffling to keep straight (and as with the “Demon Slayer” movie last week, this doesn’t make for a great entry point into the series), but the sounds and visuals are so awesome that I give it a recommendation. I guess I could chalk it up to going into the film with a little more familiarity with the property, having seen the first movie, but I’d like to think that Villeneuve has just upped his game in some subtle fashion. more
Hunter stalks home’s hallways more
Change is inevitable, isn’t it? Nothing stays the same, This holds true for our Polk County Recycling Center, too. In the next few months, there will be several changes and I will do my best to keep you updated on those as time goes (quickly) by. But for this moment, the big change is that Ben Lee is leaving the recycling center effective March 2. more
March 6, 1971, I married an 18-year-old girl from South Dakota. I barely knew her, but in the span of three months, I’d learned all I needed to know. more
Being the victim of theft is never fun. Anyone who has seen their dashboard contents spewed all over their front seats can attest to that sinking feeling of violation. For those affected by a break-in, their sense of safety and security was taken, along with the items from their home. Emotions are high; anger, vulnerability, sadness, and frustration all swirl inside at the blatant disrespect of a stranger. more
What to do when the explosive has a pulse more
It is the fourth subzero day of January as I put pen to paper, every day of which I have devoted to mining for inspiration for my February columns. more
Enjoying spring peepers is a listening experience, not a visual one. more
Mom and daughter hit some turbulence more
It was a good idea for “Bob Marley: One Love” to open on Valentine’s Day. Not just because there hadn’t been a decent box office performer in weeks (and even “Mean Girls and “The Beekeeper” were only mild hits) and the market was ripe for a takeover. Not just because the holiday weekend needed a blockbuster and “Madame Web” wasn’t up to the task. But because the movie had “Love” in its title, it could dominate the couples’ scene on Wednesday and ride that insurmountable lead to winning the weekend. The result was a domestic take of over $50 million, enough to already make it the 2nd-biggest movie of the year, behind only “Mean Girls,” which it will probably overtake before the week is out. The film can be associated with a brilliant commercial decision, but not so much its creative ones. more
I’ve never depended on farming for my bread and butter, but I can thank FFA —Future Farmers of America, in my day — for launching my career as a journalist. more
Writer remembers Barbies in bloom more
It’s time for a little-publicized, but very obvious sign that winter is drawing to a close in the Ozarks. more
Often I miss the good old days of my farm boy youth. more
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