T-shirts can tell a lot about people


Either I've gotten cheaper in my old age, or I've stopped going to notable places. If you need proof of that statement, it's as plain as the shirt on my back. T-shirt that is.

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Dining inside vehicle sometimes unavoidable


It wouldn’t take the cast from one of those CSI shows long to check out my car and figure out that the last couple of weeks have been a little more hectic than others.

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Slow time of year for almost everyone


I just looked back at some late July columns of past years. Three out of the last four years, I started off by complaining about the weather. Every year this must be the week where, when all else fails, you can whine a little about the weather. So, that's off the table. No weather talk today. I don't want to look back next year and realize I couldn't come up with an original thought.

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Weddings more involved than used to be


Sometimes I think it’s a miracle that I’m married. Oh, wait a minute, that didn’t sound right, did it? Although I’m sure many of you out there are saying, “No kidding, how could anyone put up with you?”

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Trying to figure out latest phrase: 'I know, right?'


I hate it when a little research gets in the way of an original idea. Or at least I thought it was original until that blasted Google got in my way. And if you're a regular reader here, you know I don't like to burden myself with too much research or fact-checking. It can get in the way of a good idea.

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Holiday hodge-podge of unrelated thoughts


OK, give me a break. It’s a holiday weekend, isn’t it? Sure the Fourth was yesterday, but midweek holidays throw everything up in the air. So, I’m thinking there’s no way I can hold onto one thought throughout an entire column, so today is a hodge-podge of unrelated thoughts.

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Nothing wrong with being a high-mileage guy


I tend to hold on to things for a long time. I’ve been mocked by people at work after letting it slip out that I have an operating VCR at home that occasionally still gets used.

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No way ever become one of ‘them’ lol


I caught myself being “that guy” again the other day. I don’t think I was holding things up too much, but if you were the cars behind me in the drive-thru and disagree, well, sorry about that.

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Never had a front porch on Top 100 list


Among everything else, the Internet seems to be home to an endless supply of lists. One doesn’t have to spend much time surfing the Web to find just about anything rated in a list. Top 5, Top 10, Top 100 — the list of lists goes on and on.

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Mr. Nice Guy could be in line for share of jackpot


A couple thoughts this week while I try to come to grips with the fact that, as of today, there’s no longer a minor in my household. Somewhere in Florida today there sits a really nice guy.

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Hockey playoffs nice diversion during lull


Forgive me if I have to take a break midway through today’s column. I may have to mow the lawn. I just did it a few hours ago, but I think it needs it again.

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Thoughts, observances along road to North Platte


Memorial Day weekend is upon us and that traditionally signals the start of summer. Lately, though, it also seems to signal an annual spike in gas prices much like we’re seeing now. I noticed a news article the other day that said people are expected to travel less this holiday weekend.

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$360 million sparks all sorts of dreams


Well, it wasn’t me again. I’m not a winner. I don’t even know if there was a winner, but I’m sorry to report I’m not a millionaire. Not even close.

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Abandoned backpack uncomfortable feeling


Here’s one of those sad “that’s the way the world is now” stories. I was sitting in an arena last weekend that was slowing filling up with around 17,000 people.

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Feeling nostalgic over school building’s demise


It’s the 3rd of May, so here are three topics to touch on: I just found out that the building in which I attended grade school is going to be torn down. It’s a classic 97-year-old brick building on one of the main streets in North Platte.

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Volunteers, take bow, it’s your week


I’ve always liked the old adage that if you really need to have something done, ask someone who’s busy. The idea being they are the ones who know how to get things done and aren’t afraid to jump in and get to work.

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Occasionally, Sunday actually day of rest


I just checked. It looks like I started last week’s column with a veiled complaint about the weather. So, that’s out for this week. Can’t do it two weeks in a row. Nope, you won’t find any griping here about the sleet/hail/rain/lightning and thunder/snow/wind/gloomy fog and heavy mist all seen within the last week.

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Nothing wrong with just being average


It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to take the easy way out this week. Surely if I looked just a little bit into past columns, I’d find one where all I did was complain about winter weather.

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Guess last use of rotary phone no milestone


Looks like I’m going to have to roll through whatever pops into my head this time around. The rest of my mind is too occupied with trying to get used to this new computer screen I’m staring at.

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Sounds like Easter bunny gifts rival Santa's


I overheard a conversation between people at work the other day.  First of all, let me explain. It's not like I set out to be the office snoop. It's just that in the quasi-cubicle world in which I spend much of my time, overhearing conversations is pretty much an everyday occurrence.

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Creighton in Final Four: It could happen


Hey, there. Back again, huh? Just because it’s Friday you think you can pick up the paper, turn to the editorial page and expect to see something in this space.

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Smoke alerts not quite the speed, reach as text


Sometimes I wish people wouldn't put thoughts into my mind. Of course, my mind is probably a place where good thoughts go to die, anyway, but some just keep being heard. I'll try to explain.

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Storming courts part of NCAA upset excitement


I have basketball on my mind, so it must be March. One state tournament is done; the other wraps up Saturday. March Madness — aka the NCAA tournament — will be here soon. Brackets will be filled, articles will be written about missed work time for brackets to be filled, and I'll pretty much bet you that one of the first two days of the tournament I'll be skipping a little work to look in at what's going on.

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More information sources also source of more panic


Well, here it is — March 1. If there are any words to follow this sentence, enjoy them. If not, then you'll know the rest of the column was sequestered. And, to think, up until a few weeks ago I didn't even know how to spell sequester.

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Storm Q keeping 'them' very busy indeed


So, can I come out? Did we survive? By the time you pick this up to read it, Winter Storm Q — that's right, they name it Q, just plain Q, not Quincy or Quinton or Queenie, just Q — should have struck here and moved on. As this is written, all that's happened is a slight covering of the ground. But everyone says the worst is yet to come and over a foot of snow should be blanketing everything. Who knows, it may be so bad you can't even get Friday's paper until Monday. You'll have the ability to look back at what happened; I'm still trying to look into the future.

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If the Vatican calls, tell them I’m golfing


I’d start off this week by announcing my retirement, but I don’t know how to speak Latin. So I guess I have to come up with a few things to talk about. First and foremost, I really have to sharpen up on my astronomy. I was almost certain I had heard earlier this month that we — as in earthlings — were going to have a close encounter with an asteroid on Thursday of this week. Ends up it was today. You’ve probably already missed it.

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Catching the ads ... not the big game


I open this week’s rambling with a pledge: If even half of my power goes out midway through writing this column, I promise to stick it out and finish, no matter how dim the lights go.

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Enjoy the Super Bowl — there, I’ve said it


So, are you all ready for the Super Bowl? I can say that here, can’t I? Super Bowl? This is the editorial page, which is kind of like the news portion of the paper. It’s not advertising. So I bet I can say Super Bowl. I don’t have to say “Big Game.” Nope, for me it’s Super Bowl all the way.

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Give plaintiffs an inch, they’ll take a mile


Imagine for a moment you’re in the legal profession and you’re about to ascend to a position you’ve always aspired to, a truly lofty goal. You’ve been appointed a judge. Doesn’t really matter at what level, all you know for sure is you are the judge. The ruler of the courtroom. The enforcer of laws and master of the wisdom of Solomon when it comes to making decisions.

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Music of ‘70s was better than this, right?


I grew up in the 1970s. Well, if you want to consider that I was in junior high when the decade started and was working my second post-college job when it ended, then I “grew up” then. At the time, I didn’t think the music I was listening to was all that bad. That’s why last Saturday was a little surprising.

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Beware of TVs that cost more than a house


It seems like it’s getting a little harder all the time for me to experience real “sticker shock.” You know the feeling — you see the price of something and go into wide-eyed, mouth-agape shock that it could actually cost that much.

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This holiday decor won’t put itself away


Let’s ponder how the Christmas season ends, while I pat myself on the back for making it through the first full day of work after the 1st this week with writing 2013 every time it was appropriate — no 2012s to correct.

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Silver screen nice complement to red, green


A while back in this space I was advocating a day off for everyone. I was proposing there be one day per year when all businesses — except the life-and-death essentials — close for a day and give everyone a day off.

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Sandy Hook atrocities not who we really are


Just a few random thoughts while going to check the Mayan calendar. Did it say anything about the end of the world being preceded by a blinding snowstorm? It didn’t? So, I guess this week was just another Nebraska snowstorm like we’re supposed to come to expect, and not the end of the world, huh?

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‘Tis the season for a crowded email inbox


Looks like I picked the wrong week to go a long stretch without checking email at home. In fact, it has been a week. When I opened it tonight, 112 new messages dropped in.

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Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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