Ben & Breakfast Morning Show on The River
Buzz Aldrin is an American hero. He was the second man to walk on the moon. This isn't his blog. This blog actually belongs to Ben Schwartz, host of the Ben & Breakfast Morning Show on 93.1 The River in Lexington, NE. Sorry for any confusion. May as well stay, since you are already here and all.
Cutting wrestling doesn't make any sense

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't give much mind to Olympic news for another three years or so, but these are not normal circumstances.

The IOC made a baffling decision yesterday to eliminate wrestling as an Olympic event starting in 2020. Wrestling, as I'm sure you are aware, has been featured in every modern Olympics going back to 1896. Wrestling was an event at the ancient Olympics, back when everybody was naked.

This is very different than when the IOC got rid of baseball and softball. This is like if they got rid of javelin or shot-put.

Good news, though. Classic events like power walking will remain.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has produced a couple of high profile Olympic wrestling champions in recent Games. Rulon Gardner defeated the almost invincible Aleksandr Karelin in 2000. Karelin had never lost in 13 years of international competition and hadn't surrendered a point in 6 years prior to losing the gold medal to Gardner.

Then, at last summer's Games, Husker Jordan Burroughs gave us one of the best moments from the entire competition. Burroughs defeated Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran for gold. Afterwards the two men smiled and posed for pictures with their arms around each other's shoulder. Tell me, is that not the absolutely quintessential Olympic moment? Two men from countries whose governments are very hostile towards each other, putting all that aside for the sake of sportsmanship and respecting your competitor.

Note to the IOC: You won't get many moments like that from the pellet gun competition, I assure you.


Got my hair cut this weekend. February when the wind is howling at 50 miles per hour might seem like a strange time to get a buzz cut, but I have to be careful.

I am a ginger who is balding (thinning, really. It's hardly noticeable, so I tell myself). If I let my hair get too long I quickly find myself in Art Garfunkle territory. And nobody wants that.

Daddy-Daughter Date Night a hit in Lexington

The Lexington YMCA hosted Daddy-Daughter Date Night and it was a big hit according to Shane Roberts. He told us all about it this morning on the show, if you missed it, here it is:

Shane said pictures and videos are posted to the Y's facebook page.

Nothing ramps up the old blood pressure like a trip to Walmart

I try to avoid Walmart when I can, but sometimes on a Sunday afternoon you need a haircut, cake mix, bullets, a movie or two, diapers, and you want it all in about 20 minutes. So you go to Walmart.

A few observations: the local Walmart did some rearranging and now all the "self-checkout" lanes have been fenced off and are now in an enclosed pen. I am opposed to self-checkout lanes on principle, but I couldn't help but glance in there and see that not all the lanes were open.

I'll say that again... not all the self-checkout lanes were open. Evidently some of them were on break. So we can see that in the not-so-distant future, when Walmart has eliminated the need for human employees, they STILL will not have all the lanes open.

Second, nothing sends me from zero to 60 faster than people disrespecting the "10 items or less" limit on the express checkout lane. "10 items or less" is NOT a SUGGESTION, it is a COMMANDMENT from ON HIGH.

You, yes you there, in front of me in the line, YES I am counting the number of items in your cart. Let me ask you a question: is 13 equal to or less than 10? No? That's so funny because you have 13 items yet you are standing in the 10 items or less lane. Oh you must think because you have five cans of soup that only counts as one item.

You're wrong.

Now, Jesus reminds us to clear the log from our own eye before we point out the speck in our brother's eye. But in this case, I have righteousness on my side. I only have four items, and I think we can agree that four comfortably falls within the 10 items or less guidelines.

So here I am, observing the rules. And there you are, NOT observing the rules. Walmart only SEEMS like a lawless, post-apocalyptic wasteland. In fact, it is part of America and in America there are rules. And none of those rules are more important than observing 10 items or less in the express lane. None.

Once upon a time at the Buffalo Bill Farm and Ranch Expo

It was my pleasure to attend the Buffalo Bill Farm and Ranch Expo this week.

It was a great opportunity to meet advertisers and listeners, as well as to see old friends from the North Platte area.

Ann Dimmet of the Twin Platte Natural Resource had a booth set up just across the aisle from ours. She was kind enough to, as the first day was winding down, answer some questions about the controversial N-CORPE project. It's a plan to pipe groundwater to the Republican and Platte River basins.

I put together a report based on what she said. If you're interested here it is:

This week's piece of history

John Woodward has been knocking "This week's piece of history" out of the park. This week, he tells us some stuff we probably didn't know about Monopoly.

Listen here: 

No more Saturday mail delivery? NOOOOOO wait no it doesn't really matter to me

We learned this week that starting in August, the Post Office will no longer be delivering mail on Saturdays, with a few exceptions: packages will still be delivered, and P.O. boxes will still get service.

Can't say this is any skin off my nose. Very rarely do I mail anything. This plan is expected to save the Post Office about $2 billion annually.

I like this plan better than some of the other ideas that have come along to save the Post Office money. Just a few years ago there was a rumor that the mail distribution in North Platte was going to get shuttered. North Platte mail, even stuff just going across town, was to be sent to Cheyenne to be sorted, then sent back to North Platte to be delivered.

At that point I was working for the North Platte Bulletin, a weekly newspaper. We delivered our subscriptions via mail, and if they closed the distribution center it almost certainly would have added a day to our delivery time. So, yeah, I was biased. But I'm glad they didn't close the distribution center.

Be the rootin-est, tootin-est so and so this side of the Rio Grande

I've never fired a gun from horseback, and in retrospect, I feel as though I probably should have. Fortunately, there is a clinic coming up in Ord that will teach you how to shoot while mounted.

Organizer Angie Kokes joined us on Ben & Breakfast this morning. If you missed here, listen to the interview here: 

Important meeting this weekend in Lexington with Sen. Wightman

Susan Bennett of the Lexington Chamber was in this morning to tell us about "Eggs and Issues" Saturday at 8:30a at the Lexington Grand Generation Center.

Sen. Jon Wightman will be on hand. He wants to hear the opinions of Ag Producers and Manufacturers concerning Gov. Dave Heineman's proposal to eliminate the state income tax.

Here's the chat with Susan:

Lexington VITA

Julie Owens and the Lexington Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will file your 2013 taxes for free. Julie has been involved with VITA for 23 years and her fellow volunteers are all trained and experienced.

She joined us on Ben & Breakfast this morning, if you missed the interview here it is:

Facebooking from the grave

here's a question for you: What do you want to happen to your facebook profile after you die (hopefully a long time from now, obviously)? Do you have a plan already? Some states are considering allowing control of one's facebook account to the executor of your estate. Would you like something like that, or do you just want to give your password to someone and say, "Hey, if something happens just go and delete my account."?

I'll tell you what I'm going to do: If I'm ever on the way out and can see it coming, I'm going to use Hootsuite to schedule facebook posts and tweets to be published well after my death. I'll make comments that are just vague enough to confuse people, like, "Hmm cloudy today," and "How about that economy?"

Send someone flowers and fund cancer research? Sign me up...

Daffodil Days is underway right now in Dawson County. Here are the specifics:
Organizer Louise Dannehl joined us on Ben & Breakfast this morning. A big thank you to her, not only for coming on the show but also for her efforts with Daffodil Days. Here the interview here:

Gubernatorial what-if?

The big story in the great state of Nebraska over the weekend was of course the resignation of Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy.

That story is on the other end of this link if you haven't read it:

But here's a little something to think about: Gov. Heineman was one of the first governors to support Mitt Romney for president. There was some speculation that Romney would have put Heineman in his cabinet had he won the election.

So, Heineman may have gone to Washington, making Sheehy the governor. This cell phone business probably still would have forced Sheehy to resign, making whoever he picked as his lt. governor as the governor. Meaning, Nebraska's governor would not have been elected either lt. governor or governor. That's Gerald Ford territory, my friends.

Baltimore, Dodge, Taco Bell winners in my book

Ok so we've all had a night to sleep on it... thoughts on commercials? God Made a Farmer is still fantastic, I just watched it again. As you might expect it really hit home around here. It's not just our pleasure to serve agriculture, it's our mandate. Our mission statement. So for ag producers being recognized in such a high-profile manner and in such a classy manner was great to see.

The Budweiser ad with the horse wasn't bad but I don't think it "got me" like it was supposed to.
The Taco Bell ad with the old people rippin' it up was great. I enjoyed the one with Deion Sanders as well. But I'd say Taco Bell and dodge had the best commercials of the night- Ben

I'm a conspiracy theorist by nature...

And that's why I think last night's "power outage" during the Super Bowl was actually a plot by THE MAN to make San Francisco come back and win the game.

As it turns out, THEY (as in THEM, as in THE MAN) should have cut the lights a little sooner. Like, maybe before Jacoby Jones' 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Maybe right in the middle of it.

San Francisco, despite having a quarterback that didn't officially become the starter until the 11th week of the season, was a 4.5 point favorite going into that game.

I'd love to see a report on the full gambling ramifications of that power outage. BUT even if there is EVIDENCE that goes against my IDEAS I will IGNORE them because THAT is what CONSPIRACY THEORISTS do.

Regrets, I've had a few

When I was a kid I spoke Spanish pretty well. I let it go to seed in my teen years because I didn't like Spanish class and now I can hardly speak a word.

I similarly bailed on my piano lessons at the first opportunity. Took lessons for years, my parents finally said I didn't have to take them anymore and *POOF* I quit.

Looking back, I wish I hadn't done it. I was well on my way to having a couple of cool life skills and let it drop because I didn't like it. So tell me, do you have any regrets?

Gothenburg students giving the business to business

Had a marvelous chat with Bailey Koch of Gothenburg High School this morning. Bailey teaches Special Education, Spanish, and Business classes at GHS.

She told us about her Entrepreneurship course and their Swede Store. It is a student run store that acts as positive reinforcement for students. Kids can earn and spend Swede Bucks on a variety of items, and the store itself is staffed and stocked by Bailey's class.

Learn all about it on the other side of this link:

The finale of my favorite story from last year

You might remember a while back we ran a story about the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department's annual soup supper. Just a few hours before it was set to begin, a fire call came in and Chipper Hall emptied as the firefighters went out to the scene (where they remained through the night and the next morning).

But what of the soup supper?

You know how the story goes after that: The few people still at the hall sent out a single Facebook message asking for some help, and volunteers began pouring into the hall. The night was a tremendous success and $4,000 was raised.

I loved this story for several reasons but mostly because I think it perfectly captures the spirit of volunteerism.

As we all know, volunteer firefighter units had a vicious time last year. The dry hot conditions made it seem like the whole state was burning constantly, and volunteer units answered the call time and time again.

And on a night when the volunteers themselves couldn't be two places they were needed at the same time, their community stepped in and picked them up. The money they were raising wasn't for themselves, it was for a game system for the children at University on Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, to go along with more than a dozen wagons.

Last weekend, all that effort was made good, as Cozad Fire and Rescue traveled to Omaha to deliver the wagons and check. You can read the whole story and see pictures at, but I would like to take just a moment to further recognize everyone involved.

There is ugliness out there. And ugly things happen to children and young people in our state and in our nation, we see it all the time. But this story and the good people who made it happen reminds me that there is more good than bad, more light than darkness. So thank you to Cozad Fire and Rescue and the community as a whole.


It was a big evening in the Schwartz household.

I told you last week that I found a little gadget that plays original Nintendo games. Well shortly thereafter I placed an order for some of my favorite games. Lo & behold, some of them showed up yesterday: all three Super Mario Brothers games and the original Tecmo Bowl.

I was never a *huge* Mario fan but I played the first two games an awful lot. I ordered them so I could get Amanda to play too. As it turns out, both she and here friend Lori are significantly better at the first Mario game than I am. Lori especially, she remembers where all the hidden 1ups are.

Neither of them are too interested in playing the other two Mario games. "I don't know how to play them," Amanda says.

Don't know how to play them? There's two buttons how hard can it be?

Of course, the big catch for me is Tecmo Bowl. As much as I have played and enjoyed the Madden games over the years, and NCAA College Football, they just can't stack up to Tecmo Bowl. I can't get anyone in the house to play the game with me but I have beaten the computer a couple of times. It's not easy playing as Denver. Slow Slow Slow.

I always dreamed of being a penguinologist

There are how many channels out there, and they all need 24 hours of programming a day. So that means lots of shows and lots of "experts." Now if you are going to put someone on TV you have to figure out a job title for them. I saw a list of some of the best. Here they are:

Cat Behavior consultant. Penguinologist. Teen Exorcist (now is this an exorcist who specializes in driving out demons from teenagers OR is it an exorcist who happens to be a teenager? Unclear, as Jayson Jorgenson would say. Bride Kidnapping Expert (Do they offer a degree in that, or did this guy become an expert through practical experience?). Pork Rind Expert. Chocolate Beer Specialist.Pornography historian (so... is there an online application for this or do I need to apply in person, or fax a resume or what).Bread Scientist. Shredded Cheese authority (that one sounds like some sort of government agency) and finally Cheese Rolling Historian.

There's fog, and then there's this

This morning was foggier than I can ever remember it being. Compounding the fog was the fact that the roads were terribly slick as well.

What made the whole thing even worse was that it caught me off guard because other than the fog it was not that bad outside, temperature wise. It was about 28 degrees when I got to work and we've had far colder, far windier mornings lately, that's for sure.

Easy there, buddy

Boy did Blake Shelton step in it last week. He made himself the target of a lot of criticism when he took shots at fans of more "traditional" country music. He said, "Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa's music." He also used some salty language I won't retype here.
I find Blake Shelton to be a fine entertainer. I really enjoyed his set at NebraskaLand Days a few years ago. That being said, hewent and jumped in the deep end of the pool with no floaties. He doesn't have any right to talk that way about traditional music, not when he releases a new single that talks about "keeping it chill" in the opening line.
If Blake would like to know what country music sounds like he could always ask his wife.

Need help marketing yourself, especially relating to tourism? The Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau can help

Muriel Clark with Lincoln County CVB joined us on Ben & Breakfast this morning. If you missed it, she spoke about a class on marketing yourself via social media she will be teaching and the upcoming Agri-Eco Tourism workshop.

Here's the interview:

Piece of History launching tomorrow

Got any idea what this is? Neither did I until yesterday. John Woodward of the Dawson County Historical Museum brought this by for a new segment we will begin airing tomorrow morning on Ben & Breakfast.

It's called "This Week's Piece of History." There are thousands of items on display at the Dawson County Historical Museum, and many of those items were once part of someone's everyday life. Those pieces have stories to tell, and John will tell us all about it.
Holy Buckets! Kid Rock!

It's old news by now but the announcement came yesterday just as I was signing off on Ben & Breakfast: Kid Rock will replace Lady Antebellum as the headliner at NebraskaLand Days' country concert in North Platte.

The initial reaction I saw and heard was very positive, and that is really something for North Platte. Don't get me wrong, North Platte is my hometown and I love it, but there is a lot of negativity and cynicism in that community.

When NLD booked Toby Keith, there were a ton of people complaining about it, if that tells you anything. Toby. Keith. And people complained about Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton the year before. So, the fact that there was minimal boo-hooing about Kid Rock's upcoming appearance makes me think NLD and executive director David Fudge hit, if not a home run, then at least a double that drove in a couple.

What makes it even more impressive is the spot they were in. They booked Lady A to much fanfare last year then had to watch that fall apart when Hillary Scott announced that she was pregnant. And this is not to fault Hillary or her band mates, you've got to have your priorities right. But I tip my cap to Fudge and the NLD board. Great save. And it should be a great show.

I know Kid Rock is booked as a country act, but I SINCERELY hope he plays some of his rock stuff too. His country stuff is better than I thought it would be, but I'll tell you what, back when I was 14 or 15 I had never heard music so cool as the stuff from "Devil Without a Cause."