You can get a free issue of the latest issue of the Dakota Beacon at several locations around Bismarck-Mandan. Check local Tesoro convenience stores, Barnes and Noble, or various dispenser boxes like the one in front of the Post Office / federal building on 3rd and Rosser.
This is a great magazine. Local authors provide intelligent insight and there are guest authors as well. If you pick up a free trial issue and like what you read, I strongly urge you to send publisher Steve Cates a check for $20 and support the magazine with your subscription. I'm even considering a gift subscription or two for people who I know would really like this magazine.
You can download recent issues here. You must have Adobe Reader or Acrobat to view them, but just about every computer already has that installed. If not, you can download it for free by clicking here.
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No, I didn't drive out to the coast for this. It's a first - I used someone else's image (aslo.org) for a variety of reasons. But the picture's not the point.
I don't know how many of you look at your 401(k) statements from work, or picked your own funds, or have personal retirement accounts of your own. Maybe you invest in mutual funds outside of retirement plans. I have some 401(k) and independent IRA plans that I manage through work and on my own, and they're all doing quite well, thank you very much.
I invest in aggressive funds. I'm a young guy. I also made a ton of money on my previous mutual funds through KFYR and cashed them out to buy my house, a motorcycle, and my fancy graphics and video equipment for my home studio. So it's time to get back to making money fast. Thankfully I pulled my money out right before the big Internet pucker of the late '90s. Now I'm invested in aggressive funds again.
Where do you suppose those funds go? They all invest in "Big Oil" to some extent. If you're young, and you follow the investment advice you're given, they invest heavily in such stocks. Why? Because they stand to make you a lot of money. So when the government starts talking about breaking up the "monopolies" or taxing "unfair profits" you will see it in your bottom line.
That goes for anyone who comes out of college with a skull full of nice little liberal "anti-corporation" ideas. The fact of the matter is that, in this modern economy, everything is linked together. The prosperity of everyone is linked. If you want to be an "anti" and badmouth the corporations that keep this country going and fuel your mutual funds and 401k, you'd better just pull that money back out and live up to what your mouth is spouting.
Then again, if you have a nice union job, you can be like GM workers who basically get a paycheck for life. Then you won't have to worry about retirement. That little perk means the rest of us pay an extra $1500 for every GM vehicle purchased in order to fund that nonsense. But I digress.
Maybe the fact that I'm used to paying $5-8 a gallon for race fuel for the motorcycle has desensitized me toward gas prices. It's either that or the fact that I think the cell phone companies are gouging us far worse than the Wannenbergs are. Either way, just remember that oil companies are publicly traded stocks, owned by people like you, me, and Al Gore. So be careful before you slap a bullseye on your own back.
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It's that time of year! We've got a robin's nest perched tightly atop one of the motion sensor lights on my house. I noticed it hadn't been kicking on when we reach the same part of the sidewalk approaching the house, so I looked up at the sensor and...aha! Nest!
I'd seen the pair of robins hunting around my yard for nest material in the past week or two. I keep a reel of lightweight string in the garage so I was able to cut a whole bunch of little six- to eight-inch lengths of string for their nest building efforts. They paid off; I can see those bits of string in the nest!
I got the sensor re-aimed without disturbing the nest, so the only downside is that she's going to be waking up whenever one of us walks by that corner of the house and trigger the lights. I just hope the nest doesn't catch fire!
As a bird owner, I find it fascinating to observe how much work they put into nest building. My birdy chews up uniform strips of paper from any source we give him (or leave unattended), stuffs them into his feathers, and attempts to haul them back to his cage to build his nest. They really are busy little workers.
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This is the Hi-Way Motel, located east of Bismarck, featured in the movie. If you follow Main Avenue past the intersection with the Bismarck Expressway, you'll find it down the road a ways, near the intersection with 66th Street. I was told that the scene was actually shot here, although the picture in the movie doesn't look quite right. Some of the roof lines and tree lines look different, although the movie was released ten years ago. It could have been renovated since then. Here's how the motel looks now:
The last I heard, this place was purchased by my friend Mary, who I used to work with at KFYR-TV, and has been turned into studio apartments. I keep forgetting to ask her about that. I wonder if they have any visitors stopping in and asking about the movie?
While we're on the subject of that movie, you may remember the sad story about a Japanese woman who came through this area after seeing the movie. She didn't speak any English. The police (somehow) spoke to her at the Oasis truck stop, helped her get on a bus eastward, and she apparently got off in Fargo and headed towards Brainerd. Law enforcement found her dead of exposure by the road in western Minnesota somewhere. She'd apparently been looking for the briefcase with $920,000 in it that the bad guys buried in a snowbank next to the road! Apparently she was unaware that 1) it's only a movie, 2) snow thaws up here, and 3) that scene was shot up in Pembina County. There wasn't enough snow down here that year.
"Fargo" has been airing on the Bravo network lately, if you're interested.
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I did this last year and it was fun. I plan to enter a few this year too, although I'm having a hard time picking out which four!
Here's a link to the contest details. You can download a PDF of the entry form and fill it out. There are two cards to fill out for each picture and the form has enough for three pictures. You'll have to print out a second page if you plan to enter four pictures.
On a related note, I took down my photo gallery for a while. I'm going to try to organize it better before I put it back up, and the way I do it right now is kinda inconvenient for adding photos, so I haven't done so in a while. But it'll return...hopefully with lots of new pictures, now that it's nice out!
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