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editor's blog

Zak of All Trades: All my 2014 resolutions are inspired by sports

January 3, 2014

This year, I promised myself that I wasn't going to make New Year's resolutions. I promise that I promised that.

Resolutions take resolve, and resolve to carry through a resolution too big or too lofty for me — which many of my own resolutions have proven to be — hasn't proven to be one of my strengths.

But, here's the thing. Sitting on my dad's recliner as the Steelers' season came to an end much later than we all expected with a missed field goal and a crazy overtime in a game across the country, I couldn't help but reflect. And reflection often leads to resolutions.

On Review: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

January 3, 2014

Editor's Note: This monthly installment of movie reviews by Spirit and Jefferson County Neighbors' reporters Matt Triponey and Dan Long rates Anchorman: 2: The Legend Continues.

Plot Recap: After getting fired, anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) reunites his old team — Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) — and helps found GNN, the first-ever all-news network.

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The Watering Hole: If you're looking for someone to blame, take it out on the Steelers, not Succop

January 2, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

Junior Hemingway was this close to being relevant and a sports hero in the city of Pittsburgh.

Hemingway, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, hauled in a crucial 31-yard pass from Chase Daniel to put the Chiefs in San Diego territory with 2:31 left in the game.

After multiple runs by Knile Davis brought the clock to 8 seconds, and the ball at the San Diego 23-yard-line, Ryan Succop had his chance to join Hemingway, too.

Unlike his teammate, Succop was unable to deliver on the kick.

McGuire's Musings: Hot stuff, hard work and helping out

December 27, 2013

Hot stuff, hard work and helping out

I was outside in the cold the other day when I was looking around and noticed I was standing in the middle of a street in downtown Punxsy with a firefighter's boot in my hand, asking for motorists to stop their vehicles and put money into it.

Rewind to how this all began, and how I became involved with area firefighters.

For those of you who aren't aware, I was given an invitation about seven years ago to help the Punxsutawney Fire Department by being their photographer.

The Watering Hole: Players hiding concussions is a touchy subject

December 26, 2013

It was a simple route that 99 percent of receivers/tight ends would make.

On a 10-yard out pattern during the crucial stages of the Detroit Lions' overtime loss to the New York Giants, former Pitt standout Dorin Dickerson had the ball hit right off his hands, resulting in a costly drop.

If you ask him about it, chances are he'll say he would catch that ball 99 times out of 100.

But, he might also say he had no recollection of the drop.

After the loss, Dickerson admitted to reporters that he hid concussion symptoms from the team doctors so that he could keep playing in the game.

Zak of All Trades: A return to an attitude of gratitude

December 13, 2013

Last year, some readers may recall, I did a condensed version of 30 Days of Thankfulness by listing 30 things that I was thankful for, all in one neat, packaged, organized column. I had all intentions of doing the same this year.

Here's the problem, though: Thanksgiving is better than two weeks in my past, and I'm still struggling to get into the "thankful" mood.

Please, don't get me wrong, there's plenty to be thankful for (including a rapidly approaching visit from family that'll bring four of my favorite people into the area for Christmas).

Zak of All Trades: This club's not too exclusive, and that's the best part

December 6, 2013

At 7:26 on Tuesday morning, I became a member of a club I've imagined joining since I was 14 — The Buck Down Club.

Well, 7:26 a.m. is the time that it became official, when I knew for sure that I had knocked down my first buck as a hunter — at age 31 — and managed to stop shaking long enough to text my dad: "Buck down!"

When I walked up to my prize, he wasn't the monstrous 8-point or the wide 10-point that we'd been seeing signs of and hearing stories of around the farm, but he was the perfect buck for me — for a lot of reasons.

On Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

December 6, 2013

Editor's Note: This monthly installment of movie reviews by Spirit and Jefferson County Neighbors' reporters Matt Triponey and Dan Long rates the the second film based on the popular "Hunger Games" books by Suzanne Collins.

Plot Recap: Having survived the trials of the arena in the first film,
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) now find themselves the unintentional figureheads of a budding resistance against their oppressive government.

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Zak of All Trades: Two sides to every story that we tell

November 29, 2013

There are always two sides to every story... Or at least I've been told that's the case. And for the most part, I think it's true.

Stories have always been a big part of my life. I've been surrounded by family — and surrounded myself with friends — who are good story tellers. I love hearing a good story, and I love trying to tell good "stories" through my writing.

I loved reading when I was growing up. I still love reading. And the "best part" about reading for me keeps changing.

Random Thoughts: All rise for the judge

November 29, 2013

Another one of those letters in the mailbox. That's three in the same household getting put on notice in the last five months. A quick glance at the return address tells the story.

So what if it says it's from the Jefferson County Jury Commissioners.
If you can get your jitters under control with the "why me" syndrome, you should see it as a great opportunity to be a responsible citizen.

Some 175 county residents are called for each session, and from that pool only 12 actual jurors are selected, along with two alternates. So, what are the odds that you have to serve?

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The 2014 Punxsutawney Sr. League All-Stars defeated the Bradford All-Stars in a 3-2 comeback...
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