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Zak of All Trades: Looking for wise in all the wrong places

February 28, 2014

When I was a teenager, someone gave me this compliment: "You are wise beyond your years..."

I wasn't quite sure how to take it, but I knew that it was a compliment, and so I thanked the person who said it. And even though I don't think he was just trying to blow smoke up my leg, I didn't exactly agree with him.

In fact, I'm still not sure that I agree with his assessment of the scenario. But there's one thing that I am sure of — it was one of the greatest compliments he could give me.

Wisdom is definitely a character trait that I look up to in other

On Review: 'The LEGO Movie'

February 28, 2014

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

Plot Recap: An ordinary LEGO mini-figure gets swept up in an evil businessman's plot to destroy all of the LEGO worlds.

If you build it, they will come.” Well, wrong movie, but the quote still applies, as film enthusiasts have been going in droves to see the funny, witty and one-of-a-kind LEGO Movie.

The Watering Hole: A new respect for a classic sport respect for a classic sport

February 27, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

One of the most memorable moments of my youth came at the Civic Arena on June 28, 1998.

I was only 11 years old, but watching the Undertaker throw Mankind off the top of the cage during their epic "Hell in a Cell" match is something that I won't ever forget.

You see, that's what wrestling has always been to me.
Wrestling was about "The Diamond Cutter," "The Rock Bottom" and "Austin 3:16."

As I grew up, I grew away from the entertainment that is the WWE quite a bit, but I attended the Royal Rumble on Jan. 26 of this year at Consol Energy Center.

Zak of All Trades: All good (and bad) things come to an end

February 21, 2014

What follows is a long — and yet far from exhaustive — list of things, both good and bad, that come to an end.

• Good books come to an end. Once we realize we're reading a good book, we do one of two things: We speed up and read it all in one day or we slow down and drag it out over a few weeks. But either way, every good book we start that's too good to put down comes to an end.

• Bad movies come to an end. Usually, they have a bad beginning and a bad middle, but it's always a happy ending, simply because they're over and you can get on with your life.

Random Thoughts: Is comfort food a comfort?

February 21, 2014

Ever walked into a store thinking, "I'm not buying anything, just looking?"

That could work, of course, if the store wasn't one of your favorites. Not only are you familiar with the merchandise, but you could wander over to a section that should have no interest for you because you are not buying today.

No, wait, it's the bargain section. There's always an interest in that part of the store, and right off the bat, you know the no-buying edict might not hold.

The Watering Hole: Hello, Francisco. Meet regression

February 20, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

Spring training is here, and I can't explain the excitement that I have knowing that baseball is right around the corner.

The Pirates broke to Bradenton, Fla., last week, as they plan to embark on another long, 162-game journey.

Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle named Francisco Liriano the Pirates' opening day starter, and with A.J. Burnett out of the way and Gerrit Cole having only 19 career regular season starts, it really comes as no surprise.

Zak of All Trades: These Olympic games are more my style

February 14, 2014

If you'd asked me about a week-and-a-half ago, I probably would have told you that I wasn't all that interested in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

But then, after a weekend lacking any football or hockey — one having recently ended and one having taken a break for said Olympics — I found myself tuning into the Olympic games and enthralled by the competitions all over again.

McGuire's Musings: Upgrading to a smartphone just upgraded my IQ

February 14, 2014

I was shopping in a store that will go nameless the other day when someone asked me what the time was.

So, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my smartphone and apprised them of the time.

It wasn't that long ago when I would've looked at my Steelers wristwatch to apprise someone of the time.

Now, there's no more worrying about losing my wristwatch, just my smartphone.

Does anyone go through lost smartphone hysteria?

We all have at one time, when you reach to where you keep it and realize it is gone.

The Watering Hole: A Valentine's Day list of love and hate

February 13, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

Oh, February.

It's that time of year where we officially get sick and tired of the snow, and when we just wait to see the blades of grass poke through.

But mid-February brings a lot of mixed emotions, depending on your relationship status.

Yes, I'm a sports writer talking about Valentine's Day.

It's the "holiday" that people in a relationship love, but single people despise.

zak of all trades: Facebreak: The end of a 'social' era

February 7, 2014

About four or five months back, I announced on my Facebook page that I had decided it was time to delete my account. It was a personal decision — not an overall judgment against Facebook — and in all honesty, I was shocked at the backlash that came from all angles.

One or two people told me they thought it was a cool idea and that they'd been thinking the same thing. But the overwhelming majority basically told me that I was crazy, went on the defensive for the social media mogul and explained why Facebook was worth keeping.

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