Storm Lake Pilot Tribune blogs http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/ Recent blogs from the Storm Lake Pilot Tribune newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa en-us An early taste of spring: priceless (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68364 If you could bottle the feeling that a few days of rare springlike weather provides in mid-February in northwest Iowa, you would be one filthy nouveau riche son of a gun. A couple of days without a coat, maybe even in shorts, when we should by all rights be shivering with a high below freezing, is a beautiful thing. A poem written in sunshine, a preview of coming attractions, a get out of jail free card that reminds us that we are still mostly alive. I’m aware that by the time you... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:23:54 -0600 Who I’d vote for (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68363 I thought about this one quite a bit. In a time where we are knocking celebrities for political speak, there is one person I would endorse for public office if he ever ran (probably elsewhere than here, because of his citizenship status), and that would be Bono from the rock band U2. Crazy enough to get your attention to read the rest of this column, right? After the latest rounds of actors, and musicians speaking out about our current state of affairs (and come on, would you expect... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:23:11 -0600 “Best Version of Yourself” - Part 3 of 3 (Through Shane's Eyes by Shane Schreck) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/shane/entry/68362 I hope everyone out there is utilizing what we’ve talked about in previous weeks. If you’re using my road map correctly, you should have started feeling some empowerment and change in yourself. I took a little longer to release Part 3 for that very reason. I needed you all to let Part 1, and Part 2 linger in your minds for a while. So, with that, let’s wrap this up with Part 3. When it comes to IQ, the measure of intelligence is capped out around age 16 on average. This... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:13:18 -0600 Bright young people? Get rid of ‘em (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68321 Thank goodness for our Iowa political representatives out there fighting the good fight, ridding us of the scourge of DACA! Those kids are up to all manner of terrifyingly subversive activities. Like playing in the school marching band. Or going to soccer practice. Getting inducted into the National Honor Society. Trying to get part-time jobs, or a driver’s license. Hoping to get into college and continue their education. Wanting careers, and families in the country they love and grew... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:34:57 -0600 Soccer and hip hop (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68320 Funny thing about Americans – we really hold our passions close to our heart, to feel the thump, thump, thump of a collective beat. Football, process meats, beer, weekends, all this stuff are like sacraments you don’t screw around with. Maybe you can sneak in something like Taco Tuesday, or monster trucks, but as they say, when it’s lit, it’s lit, and people want more, and more. Globalization of culture brings things to the forefront in this same manner.... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:34:11 -0600 Is the regular season… meaningless? (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/68312 District and Regional play are bearing down on high school basketball like the mega-blizzard that’s hitting the east coast right now. Girls began regionals on Thursday night, boys begin district play next week, and it’s going to be a fun time for everyone involved. For the teams who went 20-0… and the teams that went… 1-16? Wait, what? The way our playoff system is set up for the state of Iowa, everyone gets a fair shot when it comes basketball... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:07:32 -0600 A matter of death and life (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68311 Obituaries are a bluesy reality in our business. Wrapping up a person’s existance - sometimes a century, sometimes only hours - in a half a dozen paragraphs. Grieving families do their best, but it’s just not possible to capture the essence of a life in a couple of hundred hastily assembled words. Or so I thought. Who was his first love? What did she think about when she looked at the stars? What were their dreams? We know they died, but how and why did they live? The... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:02:02 -0600 Let’s cool down a tad (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68310 Sick, sick, and sick.....I can’t find one redeeming quality about a cold. All this, and Led Zeppelin’s “Sick Again” plays on repeat in my head. Day Three, and I’m still stuffed up – trying to get better before next week, because my dance card is full, with work and music lessons. So, I’m taking a stab at cranking out a column, and I thought about it, and good golly, there’s a lot of stuff to write about, isn’t there? So I pick... hmmm,... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:01:21 -0600 What Jack LaLanne knew (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68266 You know, Jack LaLanne was right – you can do a fitness workout anywhere. LaLanne, who was the self described “sickly kid” who turned himself into one of the first health and fitness gurus, thus building a great brand, and business for himself along the way, was one of the earliest proprietors of getting up in the morning, and working out from the comforts of your home, first thing. Plus, he started on television in an era where women thought nothing of smoking during... Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:37:37 -0600 The dreamer and the wizard (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68251 It was late in December, the sky turned to snow. All ‘round the day going was going down slow...” I came across the dusty college French textbook during an archeological dig in the attic the other day. Where the little window let a few rays of late autumn sun dance among the dust devils, I sat down, opened the book and thought about Bill and the old songs for the first time in too long. He was the intellectual wizard of the back row of French class that year. Our... Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:43:10 -0600 Auditorium proves worth every buck (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68242 There are times you have to wonder if a big community project is worth the big cost. Rest assured. The Storm Lake High School auditorium should leave no such question lingering about in local minds. It’s not just that it’s being used, often and well. What impresses most is how the students “own” the joint. That’s what makes it worth all that green. In a span of three days recently, I watched a Swing Show filled with musical talent, wandered through an... Mon, 06 Feb 2017 14:58:36 -0600 Hey, it's Super Bowl time! (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/68225 Sunday is the big game. The one night a year where football fans and those who really like silly TV commercials all gather around different TVs with their adult beverages, sodas, pizzas, wings, chips, dips, and any other edible product one can enjoy during a football, sorry veggie plate fans. This year’s Super Bowl, the 51st, will be on Fox on 5:30 in the best standard of time, Central. We’ll be serenaded by none other than the immortal Joe Buck. Love him or hate him, I’m... Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:45:07 -0600 King’s Pointe: It looks like opportunity (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68209 It’s a cool problem to have. The Storm Lake City Council has to choose between three capable management companies to take over King’s Pointe. And, the Storm Lake City Council GETS to choose between three capable management companies to take over King’s Pointe. The beauty of this situation is that on short notice, three experienced and savvy property management companies are so eager to compete for the opportunity to manage KP that they flew in their top dogs and... Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:49:36 -0600 Building a border wall (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68208 There’s an old Chinese curse that states “may you live in interesting times,” and brother, after this week, you can’t get stuff that’s any more interesting than what’s been taking place with The Donald, er, sorry, President Trump, and this executive order business. He’s banned people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen (mostly Muslim -oriented countries... wait a minute, he forgot a few... hey, you better thrown in... Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:48:52 -0600 Spectacle covered as a sport (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/68189 I’ve been noticing a trend with sports media, at least the big ones like your ESPN, NBC Sports and so on, that they’ve started to get back into the world of professional wrestling. ESPN has been really getting into it as of late with a weekly segment on one of their talking head shows, I really can’t keep track of them anymore, and even hosting a sub-site on the ESPN.com page. Recently I saw NBC Sports put out a “Royal Rumble” primer for Sunday’s WWE event... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:21:51 -0600 Girl Scout cookies: Resistance is futile (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68188 If we really wanted to make some bank, we’d hire the Girl Scouts of America to sell newspapers. We’d eclipse the Wall Street Journal’s circulation within an hour or two. You don’t need a fancy Madison Avenue marketing firm to be wildly successful in business, you need Girl Scouts - the most aggressive, unstoppable, irresistible sales force that the world has ever seen. The annual cookie sales make something north of $800 million - with a capital M - in a few... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:57:21 -0600 MTM: You made it, after all (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68187 Mary Tyler Moore’s timing as an actress was always impeccable. Moore, who passed away this week at age 80, seemed to say, to today’s phoenix-like women’s movement that has sprung up since President Trump’s election, “Well, girls, you can take it from here.” Moore was a television and movie icon whose roles in two seminal, classic t.v. shows - “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” - showed two different evolving... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:51:20 -0600 New park: let’s get a little skin in the game (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68186 You don’t tend to appreciate things much when they are handed to you. A teenager who has to work to buy his or her first car tends to take care of it better than one that’s handed out a sweet ride by a doting daddy. City officials foreshadowed during a parks and trails committee meeting this week that the new park slated for East 5th Street may require some fundraising, donations and volunteerism to be all it can be. They sounded almost apologetic that the city... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:50:16 -0600 We needed a kick in the tail (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68152 It’s possible that President Trump may succeed in “Making America Great Again,” by entirely different means than he envisioned. Amid a turbulent first few days in office, even in a country that seems hopelessly divided, there is plenty of reason for hope. The remarkable turnout for the Women’s March in Washington, and other similar events in Des Moines and around the country on the day following inauguration, should get our juices flowing. Not so much... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:16:51 -0600 “Best Version of Yourself” - Part 2 of 3 (Through Shane's Eyes by Shane Schreck) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/shane/entry/68130 In part 1 of my series, I talked about the fuel that's necessary to get the most production out of our bodies, which directly affects our mental clarity and overall wellness. I would like to kick off part 2 with the building blocks needed to truly make changes in the world each and everyday. Please read this with an open mind, wipe your slate clean with how you've been, and welcome how you could be. We all know that some of us, genetically, have what most people would... Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:53:33 -0600 Selling your souls in the name of “student-athletes” (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/68106 There has been quite a hot button issue among sports journalists in the state of Iowa these past few weeks. An issue that most normal folks might not see as a huge issue but it is. The Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa High School Sports Network have sold their souls to the almighty dollar. I’m not going to write a whole lot in this blog, instead I’m going to show a few screen shots from Twitter and let you, dear readers, draw your own conclusions on what this means... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:32:55 -0600 “Best Version of Yourself” - Part 1 of 3 (Through Shane's Eyes by Shane Schreck) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/shane/entry/68105 I'm going to expose you all to a three part series; “Best Version of Yourself”. I pondered the thought of just doing one blog on the subject, and quickly came to terms with the fact that I'd be doing myself, and everyone else an injustice. I've been very fortunate to be in the same company as some of the brightest people our great country has to offer. I tend to harness my own inner strength and drive with a combination of lessons learned and inspiration I've... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:49:08 -0600 Ice, ice baby (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68101 There aren’t a ton of perks to living in the northern tundra wasteland in the dead of winter, unless you happen to be a polar bear. All former kids, though, can recall one benefit - the glorious, gleaming gift from the gods of precipitation known as “the school snow day.” Insert sound of trumpets from on high here, and perhaps a chorus of opera divas trilling “hall-elujah!” These events were borderline national holidays, or at least northern plains cause... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:25:01 -0600 Respect given, respect earned (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68100 I always like to see what my fearless editor, as well as the other columnists for our fine publication, write for column topics every week. That’s obvious, because I don’t want to duplicate anything in my writing – you know, harrumph, here, here, and all that jib-jive. So, when Dana got on the Trump/Streep feud, that stole some of my thunder, but that’s okay, because I’m going a step further. The evening of that latest verbal debacle, during the Golden... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:24:06 -0600 High school basketball plus shot clock equals ? (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/68061 I love basketball. I love seeing a group of five players working as a team to defeat another team working together. I love seeing the ball get passed to the open guy, playing the right way instead of jacking up a shot with a hand in your face. I love teams that box out when they rebound and try to start a fast break. I love it when that free throw swishes through the net. What I don’t like are missed free throws, poor risks on defense, oh, and the fact that high school has no shot... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:44:26 -0600 Socialism, here? (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68060 Socialism in America? What the heck, Bobby Joe? What’s our society coming to? Yeah, bring up the word “socialism”, say we’ve got in America, and some folks start to freak out a bit. Some can’t believe it, but it’s oh-so-common, right under our noses, yessiree. The reason for this column topic stems from another column I had written that prompted some comment from our family friend, Tim Humes. I had been throwing out some opinions that were... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:24:06 -0600 Streep v. Trump: Celebrity Death Match (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68059 It’s going to be a strange four years. The biggest story in the news this week appears to be the post-Golden Globes catfight that involves the most powerful person in the world. Oh, and Donald Trump too, I suppose. One of those glitzy deals where Hollywood types strut the red carpet and hand each other awards is a rather odd venue to lash out at the next president, isn’t it? And it’s even odder that this next president, who one would think would be busy... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:23:38 -0600 It's not easy being GOP (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68058 You would think these would be the days of wine and roses for the Republican Party. After all, they are to be in complete control of both the state and federal governments now, and they should feel giddy as a schoolgirl being tossed the keys to Dad’s Impala for the first time, right? The more I think about it, though, the more I imagine that the weight of the task ahead of them, in Des Moines and Washington, must weight heavy. With great power, they say, comes great... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:22:07 -0600 Work older, work smarter (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/68057 Looking at the hulking phenom called the NFL this season, it looks like the New England Patriots, led by 64 year old head coach Bill Belichick, are headed once again back to the playoffs, as we get into the heat of the run towards the Super Bowl . Sure as shinola, the Pats are even in the mix of chatter for a Super Bowl run. Belichick is six years older than I am, so I’ve been looking at what secret sauce he’s been taking to still stroke the fire, and keep putting out... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:21:11 -0600 “A Beautiful Mind” (Through Shane's Eyes by Shane Schreck) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/shane/entry/68017 We're all blessed with this amazing gift that has been, and continues to be, forged throughout our lives. I'm talking about our beautiful minds, and how we're not using them the way we should. We're all different, each and every one of us. At birth we all start fresh, memories, and how we react to anything and everything. What we seem to fail at, is acceptance for each other, and the fundamental respect we should have for our views. We all have obstacles in life that... Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:57:23 -0600 What’s your Millenium Falcon? (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/68007 Don’t know about you, people, but I’m thankful for anonymity. It’s been a crappy dumpster-fire year to be a celebrity. The old saying is that deaths of famous people come in threes. This past year, they hit us in bunches, like a handful of rice hurled in your face by a jealous ex-boyfriend outside a wedding chapel. We lost The Greatest, golf’s King of Kings, a Prince, a sci fi Princess, a First Lady, and the El Comandante, with varying degrees of shock. We... Thu, 05 Jan 2017 11:46:25 -0600 Marital Bliss (The humor in life by Jeannie Claire) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/jeannieclaire/entry/68006 After having tied the knot at the end of 2016, I can now say beyond all shadow of a doubt, that it was everything I’d hoped and prayed that it would be since childhood. I also dreamed of being a super hero and overtaking Gotham City when I was a child, but I was being unrealistic with that particular fantasy. I think it’s important to write this column not to gloat (though I’ll be glad to), but to speak up for all of the couples that have also done things the right way.... Thu, 05 Jan 2017 11:44:27 -0600 "My son's life can be an inspiration to many and they may just not know it yet!" Final Part (Above the Din by Chris Eral) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2057/entry/67990 So, we have reached the 6th grade year, and this was the year my daughter was bi-sexual. Everything was going good, and her friends were very accepting. Paige had good grades and good relationships with kids in her school, and the faculty. Her 6th grade teacher was great and Paige really enjoyed her class. Paige was the "Top Dog" this year she claimed. I find that to be funny, because I remember my 6th grade year and it wasn't very nice. I was in a school that was Pre-K-12th grade... Tue, 03 Jan 2017 13:29:28 -0600 Minimum wage not the whole enchilada (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67986 There will be no escaping the minimum wage debate when the Iowa Legislature assembles in a few days, but the question is - will lawmakers raise it themselves, or just prevent anyone from raising it at all? I doubt if it will take very long for them to propose some action to squash cities and counties that are beginning to try to establish their own minimum pay rates. Can’t blame them, either. A hodgepodge of different local wage laws would be a confusing mess for workers and... Tue, 03 Jan 2017 10:55:09 -0600 Taking a look at the NFL Playoffs teams (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/67956 Playoffs? We’re just trying to win a game in week 17 and you want to talk about playoffs? That’s right, folks, the NFL Playoffs are quickly approaching. We have one week of the regular season left with not much doubt of who is in and who is out. The entire AFC field has been set with not a lot of wiggle room in terms of seeding. The Patriots and Raiders are looking to be the first and second seeded teams, but the Chiefs have a shot at gaining that two seed this... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 12:25:59 -0600 Paying people to vote? (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67953 I‘ve been reading lately of proposals to increase the U.S. voter turnout, which is, admittedly, pathetic. Suggestions run the gamut from making voting mandatory to paying people to vote. In one interesting experiment, a media company in Philadelphia funded a $10,000 prize to a random person chosen from those who voted in a city election in 2015 - in effect turning an election into a lottery. It’s true, cash works. Studies have proven it time and time again. Kids who are... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 11:29:31 -0600 Assumptions and resolutions (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/67952 I thought I was done with my columns for the year, but apparently, I guess I’m not. You get ideas, usually at weird times of the night, then they need to get out of your head, and onto the electronic device. I told myself, nope, no year end resolution columns, nope, don’t do it, man, don’t. They’re well-meaning (and as my Lebanese aunt used to tell us kids about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, well, sorry, Saint Peter, we tried), and usually... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 11:28:56 -0600 Spend on students, not donors (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67940 Storm Lake school officials asked for opinions on a planned new wall honoring donors, and at the risk of offending absolutely everyone as usual, I’ll give one. Skip it. I realize there are some people who only will give to a project because they want the recognition, preferably carved in granite and gold with diamond sparkled for all time. I get it, it’s nice to be recognized for the good deeds you have done. Others go the other direction. Every fund drive I’ve been... Tue, 27 Dec 2016 11:36:37 -0600 The Man Bun (The humor in life by Jeannie Claire) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/jeannieclaire/entry/67939 I’ve noticed that during the holiday and party season, that men’s hairstyles are a lot longer. This includes high fades, low fades, bald fades, with or without hard part disconnection, or simply cut with sheers for a more natural short-hair look. The pompadour was a popular men’s hairstyle in 2016. The latest trend that I’ve been seeing are modern versions of the pomp that are longer, looser, and blown dry to give some big hair styles with movement. The... Tue, 27 Dec 2016 11:35:44 -0600 Bringing the ‘outside’ in (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67919 It’s always a bit of an uncomfortable experience as the various local agencies come to the city and county to ask for funding each year. Standing with your hat in your hand is a squirm-worthy moment. And it can’t be much easier to have to decide what to fund and what not to. The requests are always for absolutely good, worthy causes, and while it’s not my place to speak for elected officials, I’d like to bet they would by happy to respond fully to all if there... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:26:49 -0600 Does it matter if they skip bowl games? (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/67912 College bowl season has arrived and I, for one, couldn’t be happier to see the cream of the crop in the… Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. I mean the chance to see a couple of 6-6 teams in the AutoNation Cure Bowl really gets me hyped up to see mediocre teams rewarded with a chance to play in a bowl game that only their school fan base cares about. I mean, this is what bowl games have been reduced to now that we have the college... Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:35:00 -0600 Top five sports movies (View from the nose bleeds by Craig Shultz) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2060/entry/67898 It’s cold outside. There isn’t any other way around it. Snow is beginning to fall and coat the ground, causing some drivers to panic making them forget how to properly drive. What better time would it be to sit on the couch, grab a throw pillow, blanket and stay warm with some sports movies. There are so many fantastic sports films out there, and quite a few stinkers from unneeded remakes, looking at you Adam Sandler. So here are my top five sports movies to stay warm with this... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 14:26:15 -0600 Dancing with the cabinet (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67872 Oh gosh, it’s wonderful how a little taste of power can turn things all around. Take Rick Perry, who would lead the Trump-era Department of Energy, for example. Let me quote for you here - Rick Perry speaking at a Washington Press Club event, mid-2015, describing then-candidate Donald Trump: “A man too arrogant, too self-absorbed to seek God’s forgiveness is precisely the type of leader John Adams prayed would never occupy the White House,” Perry said. If... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 13:02:57 -0600 Remembering Lennon (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/67871 Another year is almost in the books, and we always complete the circle by looking back on who we have lost, especially in the music world. Prince, Bowie, Glenn Fry, Greg Lake, Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones.... so many titans, that left us with a lasting impression of their body of work. One date slipped by me this month, and that’s the anniversary of John Lennon’s death (many thanks to Blue Band leader/Iowa Public Radio personality Bob Dorr for the Facebook reminder). For... Thu, 15 Dec 2016 13:02:12 -0600 The Sportspersons of the... ear? (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67853 One writer recently painted 2016 as “a train wreck contained inside the world’s biggest dumpster fire.” Indeed, it has been a vile year of venom, tragedy and struggle. Thank goodness, sports has provided us brief escapes from harsh reality. And what a year it has been. From Payton Manning leading an unlikely team to a Super Bowl championship in his swan song, to the unthinkable World Series victory by the Chicago Cubs, to the Cleveland Cavs’ recording the biggest... Tue, 13 Dec 2016 12:40:15 -0600 Bye bye Branstad, hello change (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67814 What a difference a day makes. One night we went to bed comfortable with the concept that Terry Branstad has been governor of Iowa for what seems like several hundred years, and that presumably he’d be in charge for a couple hundred more, even if it required some form of cryogenic freezing. We wake up the next with our guy packing his bags for Beijing, Kim Reynolds being handed the keys to the kingdom, and our area’s congressman who has just been re-elected to his eighth term... Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:47:14 -0600 A time to laugh (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/67813 What to do, what to do... you know, so many topics to write about for the column these days, most of them look to be so darn serious, though. Being the holiday season, some folks are trying to keep meaning amidst the on-going crush of parties, gift buying, and upping your game to keep up with the bustle of the season. So much so, that it becomes darn mind-numbing, you know? So, with that in mind, I think we need to have a little perspective on the subject of humor, maybe look at some... Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:42:16 -0600 ICCC isn’t asking for much (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67792 We hope voters will take the time today to cast a ballot in favor of the Iowa Central Community College bond issue. It’s never a comfortable experience to tax yourself, but the fact is that the state simply doesn’t do an adequate job of supporting its community college system, and raising tuition any higher would begin to put schools like ICCC at a disadvantage compared to those in surrounding states. Iowa Central doesn’t ask for a lot from its communities, and it is... Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:10:28 -0600 Hunger in the land of plenty (Through the Looking Glass by Dana Larsen) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/1421/entry/67759 Something’s off here, really off. Yesterday, at the old Bomgaars building, people waited in line for up to two hours in the cold wind and the first light snow of the season, for volunteers to hand out food trucked in from Des Moines. Nearly 50 were in line at my count, before the doors even opened. There were elderly people leaning on walkers. Families with small children. A mother with a baby in a plastic carrier, shielded with a fleece blanket. These aren’t people... Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:30:45 -0600 Castro in retrospec (Outside Looking In by By Mick Polich) http://www.stormlakepilottribune.com/blogs/2054/entry/67758 The army fatigues, the scraggy beard, the cigar... mention just those features to any baby boomer, and they will probably tell you that’s Fidel Castro. The Cuban revolutionary/dictator passed away on November 25th, and it’s safe to say that Castro was one of the more polarizing figures of the last century. After seizing power in 1959, New Year’s Eve 1958, to be exact, Castro turned Cuba into a political one -party socialist state, industry and businesses becoming... Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:29:54 -0600