Hat tip to my buddy Kyle for this one, a rather inventive billboard going up on State Street next to the Dairy Queen. These workers were having quite a time getting the net full of eyeballs just right. Yes, that's right...a net full of giant inflatable eyeballs.
My little boys, who were with me in the truck, thought it was pretty cool to see eyeballs bigger than they are. Even a four year old gets the gimmick behind this ad, with the net "catching" the eyes. Eyecatching, indeed!
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Get your wallets ready: preachy Bismarck Tribune article demands mandatory recycling to "get some class"
North Dakota has seen a surge in nanny-state activism in recent history. I suppose it comes with the influx of new people, many of them from areas of the country already ravaged by the very "progressive" policies which are driving people away.
Home-grown or not, the idea of mandatory recycling in Bismarck-Mandan is not too far from reality. In an effort to force you and me to comply with their efforts to "save the earth", a pair of local teachers have decided that you should no longer have a choice in the matter.
They've found a mouthpiece in this Bismarck Tribune article, complete with "you've got no class if you don't do what we want" headline. This article is tagged by the Bismarck Hi-Herald, the student newspaper of BHS, but was one of the top 3 headlined stories on the Bismarck Tribune website last night when I visited the site. One thing I learned early on is that once you put it online, you own it. Apparently the Tribune likes headlining high-school level advocacy reporting.
As if there aren't enough financial constraints placed on families these days, they would like to see fines imposed on those who don't adhere to their ideology. BHS teacher Vallerie Smallbeck is quoted as saying, "They (the community) need to recycle ... If not willingly, then maybe they would be more cooperative if there was a cost for not complying," Of course, the Tribune offers no alternative viewpoint or cost analysis of such a program in a small community.
Just in case you think this is simply another instance of liberal enviro-naivete', you should know that Mayor Warford mentioned this very idea during the last State of the Cities address. I was there, of course, and my ears perked up when I heard him make a very brief mention of the cities looking into the idea. Don't expect this sort of policy to get much publicity until it's too late for you to do anything about it.
Naturally I'm all about good stewardship. I recycle various household items which I know are bad for the environment. I don't, however, think it's the job of some city official or nanny-state do-gooder to assess a financial penalty to my family if we don't choose to rinse out and sort all our garbage. We can all decide what level of responsible recycling we choose for ourselves, thank you.
In issues like this, people tend to fall into two groups. The majority includes hose who want to go about living our lives responsibly as we see fit, minding our own business and expecting others to mind theirs. Then you have the minority, the vocal activists, who see injustice everywhere they turn and are frustrated that they can't get the rest of us on board their campaign to reshape the community as they see fit. Sadly, those are the more vocal group.
You can help even the playing field by sending a quick note to your city government, urging them not to put a mandatory recycling program in place. At the very least they should put this sort of thing to a popular vote and let the cities' residents decide if they wish to fund, enact, and submit tens of thousands of people to flaky ideas such as a mandatory recycling program. Click here to contact the City of Bismarck via a contact form, click here for the email addresses of Mandan city commissioners, and keep a watchful eye on your city government.
As this Tribune article demonstrates, there are plenty of activists out there trying to direct your life for you. Don't let them get away with it.
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My wife was gracious enough to let me just take off in the truck after Saturday morning's circus adventure with the little guys. It was nap time for the rest of them, and 4x4 time for me and my cameras. 185 miles and several hours later, I found myself with a bunch of pretty cool images, an ice-encrusted truck, and a mission to investigate purchasing a set of snowshoes.
This is the first photo I wanted to post in this series, from beside a highway between Mercer and Wilton. As an information and communications junkie, I'm drawn to these old telephone poles that have long been out of service. Even better is one like this, with loose wires still attached...and modern wind turbines to boot! They may be an expensive and unreliable source of energy, but sometimes they can be photogenic.
As the title of this post indicates, I found a lot of interesting stuff poking out of the snow during my travels. You can expect those to slowly trickle in here on the ol' Blog.
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My pal Luke Graner got a great opportunity last weekend: performing at the Belle Mehus civic auditorium as part of the Belle Project, an effort to bring local musicians to the auditorium. Naturally I took the opportunity to stop in with a couple of cameras.
If you aren't familiar with Luke's music, you don't know what you're missing. Using a Boomerang digital looping device, he redefines the term "one man band". He'll lay down multiple tracks of percussion, vocals, guitar, or even didgeridoo until he's constructed an elaborate song. Sometimes he'll peel back the layers at the end, and sometimes the song ends cold with all the Lukes in unison. I learned a lot about music simply watching this process.
One new treat was eldest son Jaxon chipping in for a couple of tracks. He seems quite comfortable on stage, even a stage such as this. As a dad myself I can only imagine how proud Luke must be that his boy can come up and partake in his passion on stage!
I don't make many endorsements on this site. One that I will make is Luke's music, which you simply must experience for yourself. In the meantime, you can visit him at lukegraner.com and find links to his MySpace page. Keep an eye out for his next performance, because you won't want to miss it!
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Who says that winter has to be devoid of color? Not I. I don't even recall where I spotted this barn at sunset, but I sure am glad I did. In fact, the only reason I say that this was a sunset photo is that I vaguely remember pointing my camera eastward when I took it. Boy, I should have had fewer concussions in my active youth!
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