Category Archives: News

GunDel?

Photo credit: Fernhern A/S

I see in the news that they are building what will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel.  Linking Germany and Denmark under the waters of the Baltic, construction actually began in 2020 and is expected to be complete by 2029

I’m sure lots of folks are excited about this but not me.  I don’t even like driving through the I94 tunnel downtown and last month when folks got stuck in The Chunnel for several hours, I almost had a panic attack just reading the news story about it. 

Any phobias you’ll admit to?

A Woman And A Racoon Walk Into A Bar. . .

Yesterday the Fargo Forum reported that bar patrons in Maddock, ND, who were in the Maddock Bar the night of September 6 needed to be aware that they may have been exposed to rabies. It seems a rather intoxicated woman came into the bar holding a racoon she had rescued days earlier from the side of the road. She was asked to leave the bar, but not before she walked all around the bar showing people her racoon. The racoon was reportedly injured when she found it, and she had nursed it back to health and was keeping it as a pet. It is illegal to keep racoons or skunks as pets here due to the threat of rabies. They are still looking for the woman and her racoon. The bar employees say they are going to dress up as racoons for Halloween,

When I was about 6 years old, I tried lifting a friend’s rather fat beagle into my father’s fishing boat that was stored along side the garage. The beagle was not amused, and bit me on my face. It was just a nip, but my mother was panicked about it. The beagle’s owners refused to lock the dog up the required number of days to see if it was rabid, so I had to have a series of rabies shots. I got the shots under my shoulder blades. It was painful. I wouldn’t want to go through that again. The beagle wasn’t rabid, by the way, and he and I remained friends.

Know any good bar jokes? What animals would you like to see in bars? What are your experiences with rabies or rabies shots?

I Missed It

Boris Johnson resigned?  When the heck did that happen?

I know I’m not thrilled reading the news these days but I do check in every few days.  Yesterday I saw a couple of things on Facebook that drove me to CNN.  Lots of news about the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination but nothing about Boris.  So I thought I’d check out BBC.com.  Absolutely nothing.  Thinking it was a fool’s errand, I just typed “Boris Johnson” into Google and finally found the news.  Seems as if four days later, it isn’t a headline any longer.  Like you shouldn’t blink or you’ll miss big chunks of what’s happening in the world.

The year after I graduated from high school, I spent 8 weeks living with a family in Mexico (their 2 daughters had spent the summer with us the year before).  Back then – yes, when dinosaurs roamed the planet – no BBC.com, no CNN.com, no streaming.  Just the daily newspaper, which in that corner of Mexico really did not carry any international news at all.  I felt a little cut off from the rest of the world while I was there – I’m assuming it’s how those bio-dome folks must have felt.

I came home from Mexico on a bus through Nogales to Albuquerque – stayed in a hotel one night and then flew home the next day.  That morning in Albuquerque I took a long walk and before returning to the hotel, I stopped at the corner drugstore and bought copies of several news magazines (Time, US News & World Report, Newsweek, even the Atlantic Monthly).

Apparently while I was in Mexico, there was a problem between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.  Despite having the top news magazines of the day in my hands, I couldn’t really figure out what had happened.  If you don’t read the first news stories, it’s hard to “catch up”.  To this day, I’m not really 100% sure exactly how it all played out although I know that Cyprus is divided by a Green Line with the Greeks in the south and the Turkish in the north. 

I’m a little worried that this is how it will be for me and Boris Johnson.  I’ve found a few op eds and I THINK I’ve got it down, but am still a little surprised at how fast the story came and then went!

Anything gone missing in your world this week?

Automotive Aeronautics

Saw a news story yesterday about a Tesla flying into a building.  Watch until the end, because the last camera’s viewpoint is fascinating.

Of course, I assumed it was a Tesla that was driving itself.  Imagine sitting back in your Tesla, kind of paying attention and suddenly you are crashing into a building.  Turns out that it was a guy driving; he said he lost control.  Witnesses suggested he had sped up to make a light before the car took wing.  So the story isn’t as fun as a Tesla auto-piloting it’s way into a building – not sure what that says about me.

I’m thinking the driver was incredibly lucky – his entry point into the building was the glass window and door entry way; if he had sailed into some other part of the building at that speed, I wouldn’t be writing this story because the poor guy would likely be pushing up daisies. 

When was the last time you flew anywhere?  Any flights coming up?

Expert Advice

Husband was highly gratified yesterday to get an email from a local soil scientist who works for the FPAC-NRCS office in town. That is the soil conservation branch of the US Department of Agriculture, and they work with local ranchers and farmers to promote soil and water conservation. The sender of the email had heard through the local grapevine that Husband was a passionate proponent of urban agriculture, and she needed his advice putting together some soil health teaching/demonstrations to help local urban gardeners improve their garden soil and increase their production. She explained she was new to the area and was more familiar with the soil issues of area ranchers than she was with those of urban gardeners and the peculiarities of our local urban soil. Husband replied he would be happy to help.

We are usually asked for our expert opinions by the Court regarding rather sad and troubling situations. This was a delightful change. Also delightful was figuring out how on earth she got our email. It involved a tangled pathway from former clients, the Food Pantry, a pastor of a Lutheran church we don’t attend, and the pastor’s mother in law who is one our our fellow parishioners. Living in a small town can be quite interesting.

What could you provide expert advice on? What are the informal pathways that news and information travel in your family and community?

Half a Giraffe

You’re giving a announcement to the press about a small asteroid that has managed to get through our atmosphere without completely burning up.  The small space rock is named 2022 EB5 and hit above Iceland last Friday causing a boom and a flash of light as it whizzed across the sky.

You haven’t found any evidence of the asteroid actually making it all the way to the ground, but you want to make folks feel secure about how little damage it would have caused.  So you describe the size of the asteroid as small, 10 feet/3 meters across, “half the size of a giraffe”.

What?  I think a lot of people have probably seen a giraffe in a zoo and have a fairly good idea of how big a giraffe is but it’s certainly not the first thing I would think of when trying to tell someone the size of something.  Especially when 10 feet or 3 meters isn’t that hard to imagine.  But a giraffe…. actually HALF a giraffe?

Isn’t half a giraffe the same as a baby elephant?  Or six dolphins?  Are we picking on animals?  Should we say the asteroid is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle?  And even if we stay with giraffes are we talking half a male giraffe, a female giraffe, a dwarf giraffe?  Are we talking head to halfway through the torso or halfway through the torso to the feet?

Possibilities are endless.

What do you think is a measure of size that the world is missing out on?

The Hat

Melania is selling her white hat. 

Apparently this is big news and you can find it spun in several different directions.  Personally the most interesting thing about this news item is that I don’t remember ever seeing a photo of her wearing it.  I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me; for the past 5-6 years, I’ve really worked hard to stay away from the news.  Too much coverage and drilling down was just making me anxious and miserable, so I quit.  I look at CNN usually just once a day and the StarTribune every few.  I do Facebook but not too much (I’ve actually only posted once) and no other social media platforms.  It’s actually made me feel better.

So back to the hat.  In all the photos I could find, she wore it so far down that you couldn’t see her face most of the time and I’m not sure how she could see either.  But it is a very striking hat.  I wouldn’t want to give up a hat like that although I’m not sure where I would wear it these days.  It would be a little out of place at Target and Trader Joe’s.

Tell me about something of yours that you’d like to auction off.

Good News

This has been an awful week for bad news. In times like these, I think it is helpful to focus on whatever good things are happening in our immediate settings.

Our son let me know last night that his West Highland Terrier had successfully excreted the leather shoe laces and leather slipper he had ingested last week. There was concern it could have provoked an intestinal crisis. We seem to be in the clear. I have received excretion updates all week. I am relieved the terrier is ok.

Our daughter informed us that her work evaluations are stellar, and her place of employment is investing a lot of money to train her in three very expensive therapy modalities in the next several months. She is supremely happy.

What are the positive things that have happened in your life this week? How do you cope with bad news?

Last Minute Tasks

Ok, all you ND cattle ranching Baboons. You have until December 31 to renew your cattle brands. 91% have been renewed already. About 1,900 brands will lapse at the end of December. If you don’t renew on time, another rancher could take over your brand! Send your renewal into the Stockmen’s Office in Bismarck as soon as you can!

The Christmas season is busy enough, and then there are these extra things that need to be done. We paid our property taxes early to save $128. We renewed our professional licenses. We made sure our church pledge was all paid.

I am amazed by the number of cattle brands in my State. I would love to know their history, and who designed them. I have never attended a branding. They are real social events. It would be fun to incorporate a brand into signing my professional reports in addition to my signature. Wouldn’t that confuse the insurance companies! I would need to consult an artist to design one for me.

What design elements would you use in your brand? What do you need to accomplish before the end of the year? Are you happy with your signature?

My Favorite Insects

Having a lot of flowers and vegetable plants to care for has been a relief in some ways lately, since it has kept me outside the house and off my phone looking at news feeds and becoming more and more despondent. Between drought, excessive heat, the pandemic and all the associated idiocy, Afghanistan, and US politics, it has been a heart-heavy summer.

The other morning I was turning the sprinkler on the dahlias when I saw a perfect dragonfly perched on the fence. I like dragonflies. We only see them here when it is sufficiently humid. It is sometimes humid here in the early morning. I love the way they tear around. I also like hummingbird moths and their imitation of hummingbirds. They are a rare sight here, too. I saw a Tiger Swallow tail last weekend, and that always cheers me up. On the rare nights it has been cool enough to have the windows open and the AC off, I even have enjoyed hearing the crickets, unless they are frogs, but I think they are crickets.

What are your favorite insects? How to you cope with bad news? How can you tell a frog call from a cricket chirp?