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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
Real-world Monopoly values
Posted Thursday, July 12, at 11:03 AM
Apparently the folks at Movoto.com, a real-estate site, have a little too much time on their hands. And boy am I thankful! That's because they used at least some of their time to figure out how much the properties in Monopoly -- based in Atlantic City -- would cost now, in real life. As a big-time fan, I have one response: How cool is that?...

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Pass the sunscreen (and the common sense)
Posted Friday, June 22, at 4:43 PM

I may not be a parent, but this story still bothers me. Apparently a law in Washington state bans teachers from applying sunscreen to students. It doesn't ban students from self-applying, but they must have a doctor's note. The law is well-intentioned, of course, due to allergies to various sunscreen additives...

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School bans rosary gang bling
Posted Friday, June 8, at 12:39 PM

A 15-year-old boy in the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids has been told he cannot wear black and silver rosary beads to school because they could be a sign of gang membership. (See the story here.) That may sound crazy to northwest Iowa folks like us, but it actually makes a lot of sense...

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Update: Lottery winner charged with welfare fraud
Posted Tuesday, April 17, at 3:04 PM

It is being reported that Amanda Clayton, whom I wrote a column about last month, is being arraigned for welfare fraud. Clayton, you may remember, won a $1 million lottery prize, but continued using Michigan's food stamp program. She's facing up to four years in prison, though I doubt she'll serve time...

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Products for real men?
Posted Tuesday, March 27, at 12:52 PM

All sorts of companies market their products to "real men," but they seem to have differing opinions over who fits that description. Dr. Pepper TEN has the action movie actor seen here. Not everyone loved this campaign, but it's not nearly as distasteful as the figure a Turkish shampoo company is using...

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Dollars for detentions?
Posted Tuesday, February 21, at 12:56 PM

Can you imagine if you were fined every time you received a detention in high school? Even more so, imagine that having an untied shoe or missing button could contribute to such fines. For students of Noble Street College Prep in Chicago, it's not a figment of their imagination. Click here for the story...

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Ten Twilight takeaways
Posted Friday, November 18, at 10:48 PM

Last year, a couple friends talked me into giving "Twilight" a try. This year, I talked myself into giving it another try for some odd reason. Here's 10 things I took away from the latest episode in the saga. (In no real order): 10. Whoever had 7 seconds in the "How soon will we see Jacob (Taylor Lautner) with his shirt off?" pool won...

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Fellow Iowan gets T'd on
Posted Tuesday, November 15, at 9:15 PM

My blog has been quiet for far too long. I'm not assuming you care, but if you do, I apologize. To break the silence, I thought I'd share something fun. With the Iowa Caucuses only seven weeks away, I could easily put something political here. But, maybe, I'll save that for my column. Or maybe, I'll forgo politics overall...

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Who's the scapegoat?
Posted Friday, September 30, at 3:01 PM

Steve Bartman. Does that name ring any bells? It does if you're a Chicago Cubs fan. He's the guy blamed for continuing the "curse" on the Cubs during sixth game of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Florida Marlins. But Bartman wasn't wearing a Cubs uniform or a Marlins uniform. He was wearing a Cubs hat, headphones and a green turtleneck under a Renegades sweatshirt, which represented the little league team he coached...

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Bonus movie review: 30 Minutes or Less
Posted Friday, August 26, at 4:08 PM

Last night, I met with a friend who is moving to North Carolina Monday. She was stressed about the move and I was hoping to cheer her up, so we headed to a movie theater for a comedy. Thankfully, there were two options: "30 Minutes or Less" and "Our Idiot Brother." I ultimately want to see both, but had a hunch that the latter choice may be sappier, or maybe even sad at times (I don't know yet if my hunch is right), so we headed to "30 Minutes or Less."...

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Date location no-nos?
Posted Tuesday, August 9, at 12:30 PM

I'll admit up front I'm no dating expert. Every now and again, I read up on "dating" advice, partly because I could probably use some and partly because such "advice" can be quite comical at times. After talking to some female coworkers, I think this is an example...

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Is Matt Damon right about teacher tenure?
Posted Wednesday, August 3, at 11:07 AM

You may have read this headline and thought, "Why in the world is an actor talking about teacher tenure?" Well, the answer is quite simple, really: His mother asked him to. More specifically, she asked him to speak at the "Save Our Schools March." I'll include a link to that speech and a portion of it below, but first I want to address an interview at the event that is making headlines...

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Presidential candidate doppelgangers: Any ideas?
Posted Tuesday, July 19, at 3:05 PM

As I met presidential candidate, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan) last night, I couldn't help but think he looked like a certain celebrity. The only role I could remember the celebrity for was one of the executives, Frank Bascombe, in the 2007 version of Fun with Dick and Jane. With the help of Internet movie database, I found out the actor is Richard Jenkins, who actually has 95 titles on his resume...

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Does anyone care about politics right now?
Posted Tuesday, July 12, at 12:44 PM

The Iowa Straw Poll is less than a month away. The first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses are less than six months away. Presidential candidates have been surfacing in our state for a while now, and some are even venturing to our area. With all of these factors considered, I think it makes sense to write political columns and blogs. However, I start to wonder when they don't garner many responses, especially when I think it concerns a controversial issue that could anger a whole group of people...

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Kings and queens of northwest Iowa
Posted Tuesday, June 21, at 5:13 PM

This morning I had the opportunity to judge the O'Brien County Fair King and Queen Contest. With no real expectations going into the event, I had little risk of disappointment. When I met the contestants and the people in charge, I knew disappointment would not enter the equation. Only five upcoming seniors from northwest Iowa competed, but they were definitely five of the best...

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Lighting a fire under summer
Posted Tuesday, May 31, at 9:36 PM

Well look at that. I write one blog about spring and then summer decides to show up and make me look like a fool. Go figure, right? Actually, I'm blaming my cousin Bryan for this. His way of celebrating Memorial Day included the 11th largest fire I've ever seen. (Keep in mind, I grew up helping burn swaths of switch grass and we've also been known to have brush pile burnings on our acreage. What I'm saying is this fire was impressive, as you can see from the photo.)...

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Spring's here. Now what?
Posted Tuesday, May 17, at 2:13 PM

After plenty of teasers, it looks like spring may actually be here. Hopefully, we've seen our last snow until at least October. I'll take May rain over April snow any day, unless it floods out the disc golf course at West Leach Park. Disc golf is probably my favorite outdoor activity. I've donned swim trunks and played when the course was flooded. I've also bundled up and trudged through snow to play...

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What happened to Phantom?
Posted Thursday, April 28, at 7:19 PM

Over the past few months, Phantom the dog has come up in conversations. For those who may be unfamiliar with Phantom, she was a German shepherd who lived on her own south of Spencer for about a year. She was rescued from that situation, adopted and became a type of icon for adopted pets...

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More legislators need to pledge to 'Never Gonna Give You Up'
Posted Saturday, April 9, at 11:52 AM

"We're no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I. A full commitment's what I'm thinking of. You wouldn't get this from any other guy. I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling. Gotta make you understand ..." Chance are you know the next line is, "Never gonna give you up."...

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Windy City weekend
Posted Tuesday, April 5, at 10:07 AM

From 2 a.m. Saturday morning until 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, I was enjoying some time in Chicago. Yes, it was only 38 hours and, yes, about 14 of those hours were spent sleeping and driving around the city. Nonetheless, it was glorious and refreshing...

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View all blog posts (36)

As the junior staff writer here at The Daily Reporter, I enjoy interacting with my readers. This blog will allow me to do that. Whether voicing my opinion and looking for response or asking readers to weigh in on a specific topic I am writing about, I look forward to getting to know my readers and what they think.
Hot topics
Real-world Monopoly values
(0 ~ 11:03 AM, Jul 12)

Pass the sunscreen (and the common sense)
(1 ~ 7:51 PM, Jun 25)

School bans rosary gang bling
(3 ~ 8:20 AM, Jun 11)

Update: Lottery winner charged with welfare fraud
(1 ~ 6:08 PM, Apr 17)

Products for real men?
(1 ~ 8:54 AM, Apr 17)