Category: Columns

Personal Finance: The Keys to Outfitting Your First Apartment on a Budget

by Nathaniel Sillin Moving into a place of your own for the first time is a huge step. I remember my first post-college apartment move. It was nothing special, but it was mine. It came with a few new challenges and responsibilities and all sorts of opportunities. For the first time, I was able to decide how to decorate an entire living area and turn a blank slate into a home. Here’s some advice for finding what you’ll need on a budget and a few inexpensive ideas to make otherwise unimaginative rooms come to life. Look for hand-me-down and used furniture. Furniture – tables, chairs, bookshelves etc. – often takes up the most space and can be the biggest drain on your budget. You could start by mapping out your home using online floor plan software and determining what might fit where. When it comes to finding furniture, friends, family members and friends of family members may have something they want to get rid of and simply haven’t had the time or energy to do so. Also consider marketplace websites’ free sections and the nonprofit Freecycle Network™, which hosts message boards where you can find local people giving away their unwanted belongings. To find used furniture that’s for sale, head to consignment stores, garage and buy-sell-trade social media groups. There are even startups creating online marketplaces specifically for furniture,...

Read More

Movie Review: Snatched

by Bob Garver   “Snatched” has a script credited to Katie Dippold, but she clearly didn’t write much of her charcaters’ dialogue. This is one of those comedies where the actors are told to ad lib ad nauseam. There are a few cases where this strategy works, when the actors have good chemistry and the director doesn’t settle for just any old take. There are many more cases where this strategy doesn’t work because the actors don’t know what to do and it throws off the pacing of the movie. This movie falls into sort of an in-between category, one where all the ad libbing is problematic, but it can’t help but be an improvement over what we would have gotten otherwise. Emily (Amy Schumer) is a self-absorbed hothead who loses her dead-end job and uninterested boyfriend within minutes of each other. To make matters worse, she bought non-refundable tickets for a vacation in Ecuador and now she has no one to go with. She goes to see her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) and agoraphobic brother (Ike Barinholtz) for a few days to get her life sorted out and maybe find someone to take the spare ticket. She settles on Linda, whose current idea of “fun” is making abominable cat sculptures in pottery class (that she’s proud of one of these crimes against nature is one of the few...

Read More

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Review

by Bob Garver In amongst the jokes and the cheesy 80’s soundtrack, a theme of redemption ran throughout 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The team was comprised of various lowlifes who finally got a chance to do something decent and found out that they actually liked it because they’re all big softies at heart. Now comes the sequel that figures that since the five main characters found their redemption in the first movie, it’s someone else’s turn to be redeemed. The five Guardians of the Galaxy are back: smart-aleck human Quill (Chris Pratt), no-nonsense enforcer Gamora (Zoe Saldana), graceless...

Read More

Reflections from Red Oak Ranch – May 10th

by Jan Fielden The Colonel left a kneeling pad at the last job he completed on the ranch.  Some time later he remembered it.  So, we went down to the Yearling Pasture to see if we could find it.  In the time between leaving the kneeling pad there and going to look for it, we had a 2-inch rain.  Pretty sure it had gotten washed away but decided to check anyway.  He was not sure where he was exactly when he finished on the fence he was working on.  So, we walked the whole fence line. The Yearling Herd decided to come along with us though.  The Colonel yelled at them to go on mainly because he was afraid they would find it first and then it wouldn’t be worth using again!.  So, they left him and started to follow me.  I told them come on, I don’t have any cubes for you and lo, and behold, it was as if they understood me!  They turned around and walked away; I couldn’t believe it. I walked on a little further and there on a fallen tree trunk was the kneeling pad.  It was still in good repair and I turned around walking towards The Colonel. We went to the truck with the cows falling all over themselves to surround the truck.  It was difficult to turn the truck around...

Read More

Hope for Today: A Commencement Address for Every Graduate

by Clint Decker This month millions of students will be graduating from high school and college. The majority of these graduates will be teenagers and twenty-somethings. They will have achieved a worthy and important milestone for themselves. If I had a chance to speak at their graduations here are some life lessons I would love to pass along. Rejoice and celebrate your achievement. So far you have invested 12 years, maybe 16 or even more to this point. Do not let it slide by without enjoying the moment.  Celebrate! Recall the people that helped you make it. No man or woman is an island to him or herself. Thank your parents. Take time to understand the emotions they are experiencing, as their little boy or girl will soon be leaving home. Thank your teachers and professors for their hard work.  Thank the friends who were always there. Release the heartache connected with the journey. Your celebration may be bittersweet.  Perhaps there is conflict within your family.  Maybe you have not fit in well with other students or carry a broken heart. Whatever it is, you can choose to hold onto the pain or release it.  Vow to let go of the past when you receive your diploma and embrace a new future. Resolve to never give up. There were challenges in reaching this day and there will be challenges...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest