Sometimes, you just need a different shirt

I’m so confused. Seems like we had just gotten back to work this week and suddenly it was Wednesday, column-writing night. Could that be right? Well, yeah, because we had the holiday to start the week, so it’s a little off kilter.

But then, it couldn’t really have been Wednesday night, there was a pro football game on TV. They don’t play on Wednesdays. They play on Sunday and Monday. And the occasional Thursday. And even Saturday toward the end of the season. But Wednesday? For the season debut? As I said, I’m so confused.

Not that I would even begin to consider giving back the holiday in order to avoid such confusion. In fact, I liked the short week so much I think I’ll give a couple more to myself by taking a few days off, one each week, over the next few weeks. So if I continue to look confused as I head down the street, please try to point me in the right direction.


I'm taking the above-mentioned days off the next few weeks for a couple of events I want to attend. But I’m also trying to get myself on the minority side of a recent statistic I read. It seems around 57 percent of Americans will end the year with unused vacation time — time that their employers are willing to give them to take off that they don’t.

That’s just not right.

At least, I’m opposed to the idea. Americans cite too much work to do, or no one to cover for them while they’re gone as reasons to just keep working. I’m thinking people will survive while I’m gone. In fact, I need to get with the program. My employer allows us to carry over up to 40 hours to the next year if unused, which is nice. And I might end up having to carry some time over. I just haven’t taken enough breaks this year apparently. But rest assured, I’ll get it down to no more than that 40-hour level before the year is out.

I guess I just don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. If they’re willing to allot the time to me, who am I to say no? Sadly, there won’t be any exotic trips involved in time off the rest of this year, but even if it’s a day here and there, the break will be nice. Who knows, I may even have to act like I’m a college student and take time off between Christmas and New Year’s.

My apologies for mentioning Christmas in September, but I’ve got planning to do. Maybe I better take a day off and figure it out.


Regular readers of this spot know I generally try to avoid anything too controversial. After all, this is Friday afternoon, time to start shutting the brain down for the weekend. As a result, that rules out most any political debates here. But I don’t think this next thought is truly political in nature. Rather simply an observation.

I’m just asking a little favor. If anyone happens to draw the name of Gov. Dave Heineman in one of those Christmas gift exchange deals (hey, you never know, it could happen), I have a gift idea for you.

Could someone please give the governor a polo shirt? Any polo shirt that’s not red with a white “N” on the front. Have you ever noticed that if it’s not a formal occasion and he can forego a suit and tie, our governor always seems to have the same red polo shirt with the white “N” on the front? I’m guessing if you ever snuck away from the tour group going through the governor’s mansion, you’d find somewhere a separate closet full of red polo shirts with the white “N” on the front. Not that it’s a bad shirt in and of itself, and it looks fine at Nebraska Cornhusker athletics events. And it looks good elsewhere too, but does it have to be all … the … time?

Somebody get the man a blue shirt. Or even go really nuts with orange or yellow. You may just be able to get him to go nuts with variety. Just a thought.

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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