From the category archives:


Crystal Ball, Sept. 3, 2014

September 2, 2014 Crystal Ball

Back to school School started across the county last week. It’s time to scratch my head and wonder where summer went. June drifted by pleasantly, but as soon as the Fourth of July and the county fair were over, summer began a reckless headlong downhill charge toward autumn. Now it’s almost Labor Day weekend and […]

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There’s a trick to eating those sunflower seeds

September 2, 2014 Agriculture News

Take it from me, there’s a way to eat sunflower seeds while driving long distances. And there’s also a way NOT to eat sunflower seeds when driving anywhere. I’m sure there are tons of folks who live in Central Iowa who drive almost anywhere with a bag of sunflower seeds at their side. I’m one […]

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Interesting folks, ice challenge and the Old Threshers Reunion

September 2, 2014 On The Road Again

I meet a lot of interesting folks in my line of work. Take for instance, York Plagge, the new high school social studies teacher at Grinnell. Plagge is a tall guy with a red beard and black framed glasses. When I stepped into his classroom a couple weeks ago to snap his photo for the […]

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Crystal Ball, Aug. 27, 2014

August 27, 2014 Crystal Ball

The tail-end of summer This has been a great summer for gardening, at least from a watering perspective. After buying my handy-dandy 135-foot, 75-pound garden hose in the spring, I’ve hardly had to use it. Mother Nature turned on the taps so often through June and July that supplemental watering was mostly unnecessary. Things have […]

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Sour Grapes, Aug. 27, 2014

August 27, 2014 Sour Grapes

I remember several decades ago that Westdale Mall was going to destroy Main Street. Now the mall is being demolished. Main Street is still here. Score one for Main Street. *    *    * I had so much fun in Keystone a few weeks ago that I ended up in jail. To explain further, […]

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Pay backs for the work done on U.S. Highway 63

August 26, 2014 Agriculture News

I’ve got some random thoughts for this week. Yeah, I know, most of what I think is random. Still, there’s a time and place for this and that time is now. Pay backs are fun, sometimes This one is for everyone living along U.S. Highway 63 during the construction project. In fact, anyone who has […]

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Sour Grapes, Aug. 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 Sour Grapes

There’s not much to report on my recent bicycle trip. Preparation for the trip meant having to change the back tire. I read. I studied. I bought tools. I even used tools. It went like a snap, if by “snap” you mean a long, confusing, frustrating process. Once it was done, I felt I had […]

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Crystal Ball, Aug. 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 Crystal Ball

On the road again Traveling with dogs is always an adventure. Traveling with dogs when one of those dogs is 11 weeks old is an adventure in over-packing. I had registered for an obedience training seminar in St. Louis months before I knew I was getting a puppy this summer. I planned to take Phoenix, […]

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RATSKIN’S RUMBINGS – Aug. 21, 2014: A slap in the face

August 19, 2014 Amana Colonies news

By BRIAN RATHJEN That thought came to mind a couple of times in the past week with a couple of events last week, when people said things that definitely felt like a slap in the face. One was back at my alma mater, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, with the ongoing debate over whether to […]

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VETERAN’S CORNER – Aug. 21, 2014: Two Eastern Iowa Honor Flights planned this fall

August 19, 2014 Amana Colonies news

By JENNIFER OLSON Here in the presence of Washington and Lincoln, one the eighteenth century father and the other the nineteenth century preserver of our nation, we honor those twentieth century Americans who took up the struggle during the second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted to us: […]

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