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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.

The Law Says: Is it really still snowing?

February 7, 2014

The concept surrounding safety has been hitting the headlines recently due to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Most folks think of the games as a fun time that just happens to pop up every fourth winter on the TV screen. Who needs to be safe, since most of us don't get to go to the actual sports venues anyway? As long as one stays indoors, who cares about the snow?

The Watering Hole: Athlete isn't a synonym for role model

February 6, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

Jonathan Martin has some explaining to do.

After months and months of going on about the abuse, rather, bullying he received in the Miami Dolphins' locker room, particularly from Richie Incognito, text messages were released that showed some inconsistencies in Martin's story.

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.

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