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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weather Modification Letter to Editor

When I wrote this letter to the editor about weather modification I had no idea what it would start. The number of responses and comments on social media were, and are mind-boggling. I haven't really kept track because there is too much to keep track of but the amount of shares on Facebook were unexpected. 

I have also learned not to read the comments or get involved in any discussion on social media. No one has ever changed someone's mind or persuaded someone because of an argument on Facebook. But one good thing social media does do, it gets the word out.

The links below are what started the hoopla. Check out the number of shares in each below.

I swear to you that I am not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. I believe we landed on the moon, I don't believe in aliens and there was only one shooter on the grassy knoll. I knew when I wrote this and submitted it that people would question my intellect and would think that I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. But if they would read the facts and talk to people who actually experience weather mods they would have the same opinion as I. Or at least question the project.

Evidently Mike McFeely, a reporter for the Fargo Forum was one of them that thought I was a little off the wall. But his mind was changed when other articles around the state were written about the same subject. Follow the links below:

Below is an article published on the KX News website. There are a lot of good quotes in this article from Ward County farmer Roger Neshem.  

Here are a couple recordings I have taken from the North Dakota State Water Commission radar. If you look close you can see the squiggly colored lines indicating the airplanes that are seeding the storms and then you can see the storms split and weaken.

I don't know what will happen but all I want to happen is change. We need to let nature decide when, where and how much precipitation will fall in a given area. We have done enough to this planet without changing weather patterns.

Below are a couple more articles from Ward County.

But they were unsuccessful.

Supporters of weather modification say that without their altering of the precipitation in Western North Dakota that the drought would be worse. The problem is there is no way we could possibly know that because they have been altering the weather for almost 40 years. Nobody knows what normally is anymore.

Thanks for reading, Clint

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Decorum around a wheelchair user

Things you shouldn't say…

(In no particular order)
Here, let me help you.
I had to use a wheelchair when I broke my leg, so I know exactly what you are going through.
You're an inspiration.
I was only parked there for a minute.
Everything happens for a reason.
You're good looking for someone in a wheelchair.
It's good to see you out.
Have you got any more movement?
With your effort and attitude, I know you will walk again.
Anything with a kindergarten teacher voice or a pat on the head.

Things you shouldn't assume…

Shaking hands?
If you are meeting a disabled person for the first time you should offer to shake their hand. They might not be able to shake back but the gesture is appreciated. I know when someone offers me their hand they are usually a little taken back with my non-grip in return but it breaks the ice and lets the able-bodied person know what they are dealing with.

With someone:
If you see someone with a person in a wheelchair don't assume that that person is their caregiver or nurse. This happens to me all the time when I am out and about. And never say, "It is nice of you to take them out." I am usually the one dragging the other person out. Also, it is very annoying when people ask questions about me to the person I'm with. Hello McFly, I am right here. I have a mouth and I know how to use it.

On the level:
If you are going to have a conversation with someone in a wheelchair, get to their level. Kneel down or find somewhere to sit down so you can communicate eye to eye. This doesn't really bother me too much but after a long conversation and my frickin neck is straining, I usually ask the person if they want to sit down.

Stuff your sorries in a sack mister:
This is really annoying to me. When someone is sorry for saying something like, "let's go for a walk, oh sorry I said walk." There are a lot of figures of speech that have the act of running or walking in them. Take it from me, I do not care and I assume most others do not.

Touching my stuff and things:
I don't know why it is but people like to touch my stuff. Not in a fun way either. I mean my wheelchair, bags and stuff. It would be like me going through your car without asking. Also, never try to push or move someone's wheelchair while they are in it. Even if you think it is funny and you think you're funny.

Go ahead and ask:
If you are unsure of something about a disabled person, ask the person. Most disabled people will be glad to explain what they are doing in order to live their life as normal as possible. I get asked all the time about how I eat and where did I get my long straw. Next time, buy me a drink and I will tell you all about it.

Kids and stuff:
If you know children, they stare, it’s in their nature. I find that most kids act better around me than adults. When kids stare it doesn't bother me. When adult stare I just shake my head and stare back at the douche canoes until they are really uncomfortable. Kids are just curious. Adults are just jack wagons. They should know better.

So the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, take this stuff as advice. It will not only make them feel more comfortable it will make you feel more comfortable.

I got the idea for most of these from the internets and I added some of my own. Plus of course I used some Clintanese.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

High School Parties and The Lessons Learned

A lot of lessons can be learned at a high school party. Some good and some bad. Lessons that can last a lifetime and in some cases should last a lifetime. Probably the number one lesson learned was to start running as soon as the cherries and berries start spinning. Lesson learned.

It seemed that about one out of every four parties was busted. They were either busted by parents or the authorities. Most of the time it was better to be busted by the authorities. I respected the cops but I wasn't afraid of them. I would rather be in jail than dead. At least you knew the cops couldn't touch you. Lessons learned.

Some of you will remember the names like Benson's, the Springs, Cherry Hill, Europe, the Basement, the Dairy Farm, the Beach, South Farm, etc. I am sure there are some party spots I forgot to add. It didn't seem to matter where the party was, if it was an outside party these things were going to happen. There was going to be a bonfire, someone was going to get stuck, a girl was going to end up crying and a couple guys were going to get into a fight. Lessons learned.

I was usually the youngest at most of these parties, in the beginning anyway. Being the youngest, my job was always getting firewood. Bob told me. I remember this one time at the Springs I showed up with a couple buddies in the Chevy Cavalier a.k.a., The Duck. I soon realized that my dad's 79 Chevrolet Silverado was there. Evidently my sister was home from college and took old green to the party. Anyway it was my job to get firewood so I got the keys from her and borrowed someone's tow rope to pull out dead trees for the party. I didn't feel like picking up sticks. Go big or go home. That was a heck of a bonfire. I believe that tow rope ended up getting snapped. I jerked a little hard. Whoops. Lesson learned.

If we were lucky someone's parents would be gone and there would be a house party. Well, it would be lucky for the partygoers. Not so much for the party host. The cleanup and explaining sucks. Lessons learned.

I remember making a special trip to Casselton just pick up a case of this stuff just because somebody knew a guy, who knew a guy who had some. Good grief. Lesson learned.

I remember picking up cigarette butts in my friend's driveway Sunday morning after a two-day rager at his house. I believe his parents went to Hawaii or somewhere and were too trusting. Friday night's party was pretty low-key. But the word got spread about the party the next night. You see his older sister came home late Saturday night unexpectedly and she was not too impressed with our idea of a little party. Evidently she heard things through friends at college. I remember looking outside at all the cars and thinking this isn't going to end well. That was a fun weekend. I remember his sister even made us breakfast after we cleaned up everything, including hundreds of cigarette butts on the driveway. There are some top-secret good stories from that weekend. Lessons learned.

If none of these party places turned out we could always go to Lisbon to drag main and pick up some chicks. Or at least that was the plan. There was nothing better than going to another town, hitting on girls and upsetting their boyfriends. When we went to their town or when they came to our town things were going to happen. Back then, Lisbon and Enderlin guys were like water and oil. We didn't mix well. Lessons learned.

It seemed like there was always trouble when you went to the Lisbon theater to watch the weekend movie. I wonder whatever happened to those couches that were in the front down by the screen. Ewww… Some lessons I wish I never learned.

Going to Lisbon also meant that you were eventually going to get into trouble with the Mexi cop. It seems like every time we went to Lisbon someone was getting pulled over or getting scolded by the cops. Not that they didn't have their reasons but geesh, give the guy a break. Lesson learned.

This one time in Lisbon one of my buddies decided to take his car on the racetrack for a couple of hot laps. It sounded like a great idea at the time. That was fun for about five minutes until we heard sirens. Some of us made it out in time. Some of us didn't. Good times. Lesson learned.

Another good idea when going to Lisbon is trying to see how high you can make it up the hill. You know the one, the hill on the East side of the 32 coming into Lisbon from the North. There are usually tire tracks going up to the top. I think I rode with someone once. That was enough for me. Lesson learned.

Anyway, I don't know if high schoolers still party like that anymore but I hope they do. We never really got into too much trouble. We never hurt anyone or hurt anything. Well except for our vehicles and our pride. But I know a couple thing, we made a lot of great memories and a lot lessons learned…

Thanks for reading, Clint

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pets and things

I have had three pets that have been meaningful in my life. There were a couple other dogs in between but they didn't last long for one reason or another…

The first dog we ever had was named Morky. He was a cross between everything, a mutt. His mother was a dachshund terrier and his father was a poodle spaniel. Or maybe that was the other way around. Anyway, he was unique. He was kind of a lap dog.

We had him when we were still living in town and brought him to the country when we moved. Morky and I were pretty inseparable. Wherever I went, he went. When my parents couldn't find me they would yell for the dog and the dog would give my whereabouts away. I remember him being quite feisty also. He protected me on many occasions from scary neighborhood dogs and older douche canoe kids.

Morky only lasted a short while out at the farm. He got along with the other dog and cats. But the one thing he did not get along with was the school bus. That school bus got a lot of our pets and was the demise of Morky one afternoon after we got dropped off.

There were quite a few years between Morky and our next permanent dog. There were two or three other dogs in between that didn't turn out. They somehow miraculously disappeared…

I got a chocolate lab when I was a senior in high school from a cousin whose labs had a litter. I believe the whole litter was either given to family or friends around Enderlin. When I first saw my lab I knew right away I was going to call him Lloyd Christmas. If you don't know, that is the main character in Dumb & Dumber. Have you ever named a pet after someone and later realized that animal has morphed in to that character? I am not saying he was dumb, I'm just saying he was not Lassie.

Lloyd was a big clumsy yet agile brute of a dog. He was around 100 pounds and for some reason he still thought he could sit on your lap like was a puppy. His paws were like a Clydesdale's and he was as graceful as an ox. He would also eat anything. One time he ate an entire frozen ring of deer sausage. Another time he swallowed a plastic plate filled with shrimp mousse that had cellophane wrapped around it. Neither of those things seemed to bother him either. He had an iron stomach.

The first time we took Lloyd to West Silent Lake, he spotted some loons as soon as we got to the cabin. He took off down the steps and jumped off the end of the dock only to realize he could not touch. You see he was used to the sloughs around our farmstead where he could touch and breathe. I didn't think a dog could drown but he tried to. Good thing my brother-in-law was there to save him. It was quite the scene watching a 100 pound lab doggie paddle on top of his rescuers head. They finally made it to shore and after a couple hours he figured out how to swim. Then he started swimming after the loons. Never did catch one though. I believe that was the last time we took him to the lake.

He was also tough. I remember getting ready for school and I heard my dad take off with the pickup out to the field. Pretty soon I heard the pickup back in the yard and dad said that Lloyd had gotten run over. Lloyd not only got ran over by the pickup but also by the anhydrous tank trailer that was getting pulled behind. They are not light. The only injuries he suffered were a collapsed lung and a broken tail. Within a week he was back to his old self. Well except for half of his tail. It had to get docked.

I think I had him for about six years. Every once in a while he would take off to the neighbors a couple miles to the West. They had a lab that always seemed to be in heat. It didn't matter the time of year. And evidently Lloyd was twitterpated with her scent. One of the times he left the yard and he did not come back. Do not know what happened to him. Could've been coyotes or maybe just got ran over. Anyway, there will never be another Lloyd. He was one-of-a-kind.

That brings us to my current dog, Otis the Beagle. I got him in 2008. A cousin of mine had a friend who was moving and could not bring Otis with. So my cousin knew that I had always wanted a Beagle and delivered him to me from Bismarck.

Beagles are very loyal and notoriously stubborn. They can have quite the attitude. Otis is no exception. He is sometimes an asshole. But he is cute so he gets away with it. He pretty much had the run of the house for the first few years. He would sleep wherever he wanted. It was usually with me. This got cut short a couple years ago when his back got hurt from jumping off too many high objects.

When I am outside, I am usually with Otis. I came up with an apparatus where he can be attached to my chair without getting wound up by a leash. We go everywhere together whether it's chasing vermin around the yard, checking the shelter belts for deer sign or scouting deer down the driveways. He has quite the nose. When he gets on a scent, his head stays down until he finds the source. It is a struggle to get him away from sniffing. I swear one of these times he is going to pull my chair over.

We have lost him a couple times or I should say he has gotten away from us a couple times but there is always an easy way to find a Beagle. Just wait for him to start baying. It usually doesn't take long before he has treed something or cornered something and that is when the noise starts. There aren't too many sounds like a baying Beagle.

When Otis is gone I don't know if I will ever get another dog. But I've said that before. There's just something about having a dog around that makes life better.

On second thought, I would get another lab…

Thanks for reading, Clint.