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Zak of All Trades: Punxsutawney — Isn't she lovely?

January 31, 2014

I recently completed a binge watch of every episode of the hit comedy series The Office on Netflix.

(For those unfamiliar with the phrase, binge watching is the new trend of watching all the episodes at once instead of waiting a week between episodes and months between seasons.)

I had watched the show back when I lived in Pittsburgh but had sort-of gotten out of the trend when I moved home, and I'd certainly missed some episodes here and there.

On Review: 'Lone Survivor'

January 31, 2014

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

Plot Recap: Based on true events, a Navy SEAL team is stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan after an operation goes awry.

When you're writing a story, you ask the expected questions: What is it about? Who are my characters? Where do things go from here? Etc.

The Watering Hole: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

January 30, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

This Sunday, I'll be rooting harder than I have in a long, long time.

No, I don't really have a preference as to who wins the Super Bowl, as I respect Peyton Manning and absolutely love Richard Sherman, but I'll be pulling for the one that many of you have been cursing out the past few weeks — Mother Nature.

Come Sunday, I want snow — and tons of it.

Give me a blizzard.

Give me Winter Storm Jacqueline, for all I care.

Zak of All Trades: TMZ isn't where I look for my role models

January 24, 2014

If you took a survey of all the people who knew me well and asked them what they thought my column would be this week and you gave each of them 417 guesses, my bet would be that not one of those guesses would have been Justin Bieber.

Even still, here it is, early Friday morning, and I've got Bieber Fever — in a way — as I can't stop thinking about the kid.

The Watering Hole: There's a right way and a wrong way to earn a shutout

January 23, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

The Punxsy Chucks' football team found itself in a down swing late in the season, as it was shut out in back-to-back games against the Clarion Bobcats and the Moniteau Warriors.

Head Coach Alan Nichol didn't make excuses.

He didn't say that the other teams were playing unfairly.

The fact of the matter is that the Chucks faced some very superior teams, and did what they could to hang on.

However, both teams earned their respective shutouts in classy fashion.

What happened in Ford City on Monday night was anything but classy.

Zak of All Trades: Learning to thrive in a self-centered world

January 17, 2014

In last week's column, I wrote about the phenomenon unfolding in my life where self-awareness has been leading to the realization that I'm self-centered — or even selfish.

And that realization really is phenomenal — for me at least — because it's taken me 30-plus years on God's green Earth to come to it and to fully embrace it.

I went on to say that we're not all that different from the animals — we wake up in the morning and start thinking about what we need to do to survive, and we go about our business throughout the day working to survive.

McGuire's Musings: Weathering the storm in this high-pressure job

January 17, 2014

Mark Twain said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

I'm not sure why that is. I thought some scientists have tried
by putting some kind of pellets into the clouds which could determine the outcome of the Thursday-morning forecast in the Panic area.

Here I am, living in the "Weather Capital of the World," with the
the premiere weather forecaster, Punxsy Phil, and I've not attempted to do anything.

Since I've been on a I-should-have-made-this-my-career kick lately, here's another almost career of mine: weatherman.

The Watering Hole: Shootouts are entertaining, but shouldn't decide the game

January 16, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

It's something that I never thought I'd find myself saying or typing.
But the fact is, I agree with John Tortorella.

Following the Vancouver Canucks shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, Tortorella voiced his displeasure with the shootout in the NHL to decide games.

Zak of All Trades: I'm really self-centered — and you might be too

January 10, 2014

I've been doing a lot of thinking and self-evaluating lately, with the new year and all. And looking back on the year, one of the things that has stood out the most is that I'm selfish.

And quite honestly, I don't exactly think that being selfish — or maybe self-centered is the better descriptor — is necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, as the title of the column suggests, I think you might be self-centered too. (Please, don't take it personally; I think we all are, really! And if we can keep it in check, I don't even think it's necessarily a bad thing.)

A column full of TRUM

January 9, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

By now, you probably know how much I look up to and respect one Matthew Berry from ESPN.

Yes, he's a fantasy sports columnist, but Berry could write about daffodil flower bombs, and I'd still read it.

Early fans of Berry will recall when he used to write his TRUM articles.

Berry still pulls them out about once a year, and they are some of my favorite pieces of his.

TRUM stands for "Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless Information and Musings."

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