by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in View

Each year, we like to offer you, the readers, ideas on how you can win your annual Secret Santa competition. F5 takes great pride in standing astride the forefront of Secret Santa technology and is fully committed to making sure that you and you alone are left standing when the Clausian masks are removed. Many, strangely, frustratingly, still do not see Secret Santa as a competition. This is fine. It is they that shall fall first.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Food

When I got home last month, I had planned to reward myself in some small way with something for the house. Something that would've been impractical on the road but would be great to have at home. I decided on a modest purchase — a Baratza Encore grinder. It's a great grinder, well worth the sticker price, and it made as much of a difference in my daily caffeination as I'd imagined. My Hario mini grinder sits forlorn in the doppbag, hoping one day to be called upon again.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Culture

I have been, since adolescence, a "car guy." Over the years I have owned something like 50 cars, trucks and motorcycles, the vast majority of which where manufactured in the 1960s and '70s. Most were purchased for less than $1,000; the cheapest was the fully operational 1960 Ford Falcon that I bought for $25.

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by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Film

Ridley Scott has, in his long career, directed some of the most memorable films ever made. The guy has Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator on his resume. If there's something he's always been good at, it's visual storytelling.

When a Scott film trips up, it's usually something outside of the pure visual aesthetic that causes it. The most recent example of this would be the Alien prequel Prometheus which, again, while visually impressive, has a script that's dumber than a box of rocks.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in View

It is a great day when you go out, drive past a convenience store or gas station and see that the price of gasoline is nearly a buck lower than it was just a few months ago. Since I retired and the Iron Horse Concert Hall in El Dorado closed, I don't use nearly as much gasoline as I used to. In fact, a tank of gas will last me two weeks or more now.

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by Dan Kampling | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Film

It has been 30 years since Bill Murray garnered his first Golden Globe nomination for his role of Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, and his most recent one for his role in St. Vincent was not handed to him by chance. Murray is a unique actor whose career has spanned over four decades, and his silver-tongued wit and charm have not only brought him acclaim but also made him a fixture of popular culture.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Food

A couple of times each year, a wine distributor in Wichita hosts a wonderful wine tasting in the Petroleum Club. The dates are usually in the spring and fall and introduce new wines as well as showcasing some recognizable favorites. When attending the tasting last November, I rolled my eyes and shook my head with the name of this wine: Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk.

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The skinny on your week

by Diviner Mme Zanzibird | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Amuse
  • Aries: (March 21 — April 19)
    Week rating: F2
    Due to poor gift planning on your part, your whole family is getting Chex Mix for Christmas. This week: Stock up on Worcestershire sauce.
  • Taurus: (April 20 — May 20)
    Week rating: F5
    An Aries will give you some of the tastiest Chex Mix in the world. This week: Let your love of overly decorated sweater vests shine.
  • Gemini: (May 21 — June 21)
    Week rating: F3
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    Special Navidad Gift Guide Edition!

    by Gustavo Arellano | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Amuse

    Gentle cabrones: Behold my annual Mexican Christmas guide, where I recommend the best Mexi-themed libros for you to give to your loved ones this Navidad instead of yet another tamale to unwrap. Buy them at your local bookstore or order online, but do buy!

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    by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in View

    Author's note: I write mostly made-up, ridiculous stuff — satire, etcetera. Truth, sometimes, is better than satire, as I found in trying to write a piece satirizing this actual event. So instead, I am going to present you with the news as it actually happened, mostly. I have added a couple of embellishments, which are (probably) not true, and they appear in italics. Everything else you read is real.

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    Roxy's Downtown debuts not one, but two holiday-themed shows.

    by Mike Marlett | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Arts

    Roxy's Downtown has entered the holiday season with not just one, but two holiday musicals.

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    by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in View

    I am at a point in my life where I am dependent on government programs like Social Security, Medicare and KPERS for income and health care. I am not trying to freeload. I paid into for over 30 to 50 years. Now I am on the receiving end. The Brownback administration and the national Republican establishment does not like these programs. They recommend major changes, none of which seem to brighten my future.

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    Japanese Game Show and Helen Kelter Skelter support on a prime Saturday night show.

    by Torin Andersen | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Music

    Between the synth, bass and electric guitar, Japanese Game Show drummer Eric Price wrangled the band in, maintained their signature tight grooves and exemplified their splashes of fun intended to get fans dancing. Opening, JGS didn't get the whole of the audience moving Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lucky's Everyday, but it certainly perked the ears of those still arriving.

    On a cold misty night, Lucky's brought a warm interior that was punctuated with cinnamon whiskey shots and a bit of interior fog to match the nights horizon.

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    by Dan Kampling | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Film

    I've never before been scared in a movie theater. Sure, I've been startled by loud bursts of noise, but I've never succumbed to the state where I must close my eyes at the horror of what's occurring on the screen. Well, you're never too old for first experiences, which is just what occurred at my screening of Whiplash, which manages to startle the senses with grim reality.

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    by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Film

    Concerned and interested viewers gathered in the auditorium of the Murdock Theater last Friday to experience a screening of the documentary film Pay 2 Play.

    Directed and produced by John Wellington Ennis, Pay 2 Play is an examination and exploration of current controversial and often unethical campaign financing tactics.

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    by Vickie Kline | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Food

    Things change so fast any more; it's difficult to keep up. For instance: do you have an iPhone 6, an Xbox One or a 78" flat screen HD TV? I am trying to sound smart and with-it (is that a term still in use?) by mentioning these new technology gadgets and products, when the truth is I don't know the first thing about any of them.

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    by Jeremy Webster | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Music

    After 41 years and 17 studio albums under their belt, the most common criticism lobbed at AC/DC is that once you've heard one AC/DC song, you've heard them all.

    AC/DC has rarely been a group to add complication to its formula, essentially sticking to a raucous riff-based approach constructed in three chord simplicity and wailing blues scale solos. But to criticize the band for repetitiveness is to ignore the band's inspirations and aspirations.

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    The skinny on your week

    by Diviner Mme Zanzibird | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Amuse
  • Aries: (March 21 — April 19)
    Week rating: F1
    You'll fly by the seat of your pants through the rest of December. This week: Stock up on candy canes and antacids.
  • Taurus: (April 20 — May 20)
    Week rating: F2
    A mild disagreement with your mail carrier will result in actual coal being delivered to your home. This week: Enjoy the reduced energy bill.
  • Gemini: (May 21 — June 21)
    Week rating: F4
  • Read more ...
    by Gustavo Arellano | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in Amuse

    Dear Mexican: I'm a third-year university student, a liberal studies and Spanish major. My family, extended and immediate, always likes the chisme. During a family carne asada, we were all talking when one of my tías asked me what I was doing with my life — she and the rest of my aunts seemed like they genuinely wanted to know. But when I told them that I only needed one more year to graduate, it seemed as if I said something wrong. They stared at me, said nothing, and completely ignored what I said.

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    by Don Winsor | Tuesday, December 9 | Posted in Amuse

    Because you know, wether it's as a brain damaged taxi driver or a time-traveling mad scientist, you need more Christopher Lloyd in your life. Particularly during the holidays.

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