my life fits surprisingly well into boxes

I’m trying to pack for my very impending move. Maybe it’s the tryptophan, but I have found it very hard to motivate myself. Plus, it seems I possess a crapload of clothing, accessories, and shoes. But, I have gotten most of it packed. The trick now will be to fit as much as possible into my SUV. Of course, I carefully honed the art of car packing when I had a Mustang. By the time I sold the ‘Stang, I was capable of fitting an ungodly amount of crap in it.

Well…Montana here I come!


the rumor mill

Apparently I had forgotten the full power of a small town rumor mill. Since leaving the small town where I grew up to move on to college, I had managed to distance myself from it. Of course in the last four or five years I’ve caught bits and pieces of my so-called life as figured by the rumor mill. However, I had forgotten the absolute hilarity that the small town rumor mill manages to create.

It all came rushing back as I sat at lunch with an old high school friend that I tracked down. I had not seen her since graduation and hadn’t spoken with her in over three years. So what have I been up to according to the rumor circuit? Well, it’s rather remarkable that I managed to finish college with a 4.0 GPA considering my drug addiction and tendencies towards extreme binge drinking.

What?!? Where do they come up with this? I didn’t stop laughing for quite some time after my friend told me the ‘news.’ I promise I will try to clean up my act.



Sometimes I think about how much different my life would be if I wasn’t a ‘farm girl.’ Or if I didn’t live in the arctic. I have so many experiences that a so-called ‘city kid’ will never have. Of course, they have their share that I will never understand. Perhaps my impending move is causing my recent nostalgic tendencies (as well as the upcoming holidays).

Some things I would have missed if I had grown up somewhere else:

  • Jumping off haystacks into tall drifts of snow
  • Sledding down the big hill in front of Grandma’s and Grandad’s with all of my cousins, each trying to will his/her sled to go the farthest. Hopefully not accidently missing the road and careening into the brush covered dry creek bed
  • docking (hehe)
  • swimming in irrigation ditches during the summer
  • building forts (I believe if you have never built a solid fort in your life, then you haven’t really lived)
  • getting up at 4 in the morning to go check on cattle (this proved to be the most frightening in my young life as I was deathly afraid of horses)
  • actually being ‘snowed in’…for days at a time
  • lambing
  • spending hours and hours shooting baskets into the hoop attached to the old shed
  • lazing through the heat in which nothing can be accomplished — all ambition is futile
  • getting out of school for extreme heat and cold
  • a farmer’s tan
Bill Stone series Economics Opinion Politics Rant

Apparently today is lambast Mr. Stone day

I’ll admit that perhaps I’m picking on Mr. Stone. And, really, it’s in quite a cowardly way. If I had any chutzpah at all, I would actually write a reply to The Rapid City Journal. Regardless, it does ease my mind to vent my irritation. The US steel industry is a touchy subject for me, as one will find with most economists or, in my case, econ junkies. Prepare yourself:

Sheer stupidity

Recently the World Trade Organization judged the U.S. guilty of unfair trade practices regarding our protection of American steel-making companies. Which begs the question: Since when did we delegate to Japan, Germany, and the European Union the authority to determine U.S. productive capability of material necessary for our national defense?

As I recall, our steel manufacturers produced the necessary steel that created millions of small arms, tens of thousands of Jeeps, tanks, and artillery pieces, thousands of fighter planes and bombers, and hundreds of ships, all of which defeated Japan, Germany, and Italy, the same nations that now want to limit our steel-producing capacity.

Some of the countries now trying to decimate our steel-making capacity were instrumental in killing 500,000 American servicemen. America should never forget history to placate nations who tried to destroy America.

I can tolerate equitable free trade, but jeopardizing our national defense in the name of free trade is sheer stupidity. Reducing our defensive capability to benefit Japan, Germany, and Italy would be beyond stupidity – it would be treasonous.


Rapid City

First of all, Mr. Stone seems to have a somewhat glorified view of the steel industry in the United States. Perhaps the US was at the cutting edge of steel manufacturing at the time of WWII, but then again — THAT WAS IN THE 1940s. I’m guessing the industry uses much the same technology today, a situation which has put it in the dire straits in which it finds itself. What does outdated technology and resistance to change mixed in with competition from highly technologically and structurally advanced foreign companies create? A crumbling mess. But a mess that refuses to change, yet can lobby the government for special interests like no other. In fact, for all of our claims of free trade, the US is not actually among the most globablized countries of the world.

The big picture of the US’s protection of the steel industry spans the entire country. The thirty-three percent raise in steel tariffs caused a direct raise in prices of steel products of approximately 33%. So, to save a few thousand jobs, every Jones family that wants to buy a house, will pay more. Car manufacturers are facing huge red profit margins as they have had to take the price increase (couldn’t plausibly pass it along to the consumer). Think of the Caterpillars, home builders, and other manufacturers of intermediate products utilizing steel that must either pass the increase in production costs on to us the consumers or cut jobs, etc. THAT AFFECTS EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES. Call me heartless, but I’m not going to pay more for products to save a few thousand overpaid jobs in a decrepit industry that refuses to change. But that’s just me.

Bill Stone series Economics Opinion Politics Rant

Bill Stone, international man of ignorance

This is not the first time the Stone man, with his infinite ignorance, has made it into an entry of my humble weblog. I think the letter alone speaks for itself.

Eskimo health care

Following the World War II baby boom, Americans made a seismic cultural shift, substituting possessions for children, resulting in an aging population of health care users. Health-care costs now total 15 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and are increasing 8 percent annually.

Congress is attempting to reverse these cost increases. While adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare, Congress intends to shift health-care liability back to individuals through private insurers.

No one wants to admit the obvious, but our use of birth control and abortion has deprived us of younger workers to finance Medicare costs. Globalization is further exacerbating this problem, since American workers must compete with foreigners who receive no health-care benefits.

Americans will continue to face higher health-care costs. We are living too long and having too few children.

In order to compensate, older Americans must be encouraged to die younger – a formidable task for a Congress representing an increasingly socialistic electorate.

The Eskimos reportedly put their elders on an ice cake and set them adrift. Congress is faced with the task of hiding an iceberg in Medicare reform.


Rapid City

My tally of subjects on which Mr. Stone seems to be lacking knowledge: globalization, free trade, cause and effect, economics in general. Any others?


#2 pencils only please

The line: “It’s the US against the world in a winner takes all match.”

The possible answers in multiple choice fashion:
(a) the latest spin on US foreign policy as spewing from the Bush Administration think tank
(b) the new US policy on environmental resources use.
(c) the ad line for the President’s Cup



or things that are bothering me right now:

  1. The assumption that the middle tier of states (I refrained from using the term ‘midwest.’ That term has apparently been hijacked and means ‘sort of midwest, but really just next to the eastern seaboard.’) contains a bunch of uncultured, conservative farmers. Ugh. I can’t even tell you how much I hate stereotypes. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if we have running water. Just because we tend to live in a more rural area doesn’t mean that we have been living in an underground fallout shelter for the last fifty years hugging our Eisenhower dolls while finally perfecting the art of butter churning.
  2. The aging sector of our population worrying about the future of the world given the state of the youth population in the world. I guess I’m really tired of my generation being undervalued. Yes, I understand that not everyone feels like that, but it’s comments that are made that push my buttons. I plan on being an accomplished contributor to our nation. Additionally, I know many, many people that plan on doing the same. Each person reading this could say the same thing. Either way, we’re going to network together a great time for the world. That is given that the baby boomers don’t ruin it first.
  3. Notorious members of movements not representing the true intentions of the movements (most likely using it for personal gain), but yet manage to taint societies views of the movement’s ideals.

I must be mcgyver-like

My $1000 coaster is now a computer.



As it turns out, my day isn’t shot. I was randomly picked for the final 32, but I’m pretty sure I was the first one silently stricken by the state’s attorney. And I know why…


Well, tomorrow is pretty much shot

Who knew I’d end up with the short end of the civic duty random stick?