Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dateline Normal, MN.: Energy Task Force Accelerates Meetings---Sweet rolls crisis ensues---FICTION

Well it has been a real crisis--with the budget crisis and all....and the rise of energy prices coming....and the tax increase coming...folks have been proactively purchasing things that are essential----

yes....it seems counterintuitive that I would be worrying about purchasing LED lights for my home at a very pricey cost,....just to save a few pennies...and especially since all of us have been facing furlough hours...yes even me...

Still...it is reassuring that the energy task force has been meeting...

and the major item of contention is whether there can be the proper sweet rolls, must be fresh of course...and they have to be up to the standards of folks of the highest caliber....and at the very early times of the morning...

It is important..must not be dismissed....even if the cost of the new sewage plant is about 8 million dollars...still..every little bit of money that can be saved with extras...like LED lights...is important...and the proper volume of the finest sweet rolls properly available at the proper meetings might just be the difference...

Stay tuned....be assured...I will be talking with my consultant, Herman, the countryboy lawyer...and ...being a lawyer...and being a little chunkie in middle age...he knows about sweet rolls...and yes grant applications...and I think he will be helpful.....stay hopeful....Herman's thoughts are on the way.....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dateline Normal, MN: "All the books are Harlequin Romance in Normal, Mn. Library"---FICTION

Recently in a quick review of the general ledger of our fair city, I noticed that even in the depths of a budget crisis, a library still finds time to order the latest in Harlequin romance novels to keep its readers up to date.

That just made me wonder. I wonder what the policy is up in Normal, Mn.? I wonder if Herman even knows what they are much less has read one. I'll just give him a call.

"Herman---what is the policy of the library up in Normal, Mn regarding Harlequin romance novels. Are they allowed, even in budget crisis times?

Herman let out a huge bellylaugh.

"Shucks Wolfman,(that's what he always called me) Harlequin romance novels are ALL THAT is STOCKED in the Normal, Mn. Public Library. Everything is market driven up here in God's country---folks just love the covers...even if the total text is a litle off the wall. Besides...most folks don't finish them anyway...they just start...begin daydreaming...and finish the plot to their own fashion....it's called imagination."

WOW. Now I know why there is a workforce development problem in Normal, Mn. Still. I do understand the importance of imagination.....A few I can understand as a lapse of judgement. But ALL the books as light romance just seems too much.

So---I just picked up one of the novels to critically review it...you know the one with the dashing pirate on the cover with the girl in his arms...and after...well...just a few pages.....I...understood.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: The Poor and Homeless pay for healthcare of the rich

Well it has been a bit of a stretch---a long stretch of watching the ranting on FOX and CNN. Wolf Blitzer has given a bad reputation to the word "wolf." It seems that the idea of people who are employed or who are rich to pay for the health care of the homeless and unemployed is totally repulsive to conservative talk show pundits. It matters not that this is the case now in some cases....in most of the cases the poor, homeless, foreclosed and unemployed do not get care till it is too late. They are simply neglected and destroyed by their situation.

I just wondered. How things worked in Normal, Mn.. I decided to give Herman, my old lawyer friend from Normal,Mn. a call. He should know. True. He did not wear armani suits and charge the $300 per hour. But still. He was a lawyer in his countryboy down home presentation jacket with the denim jeans. That was the style up in Normal, Mn..

"Herman, how does Normal, Mn. handle health care? I need some input."

Herman hesitated not a minute:

"Wolfman, (that's what he always called me) just look around the bar here---and you can see the answer to your question. Do you see a man with a full set of teeth? Do you see anyone that is not smoking? Do you see anyone who is not a full 30 pounds chunkier than the charts recommend? And look at the eyes----notice the glassy look of just a little drunken affect?

Then Herman went on:

"Up here in God's Country, every man pays...every man is self reliant----independent. The poor pay for their own health care, as does everybody else....Course mostly there is NO health care. It's just an empty hole of nothin-----that's just the way it is....kids dying young, folks dying of heart disease left and right, and folks killin themselves with alcohol on the highways and in their homes. And we are proud of it. That's just the natural way up here....In God's country...It's the way things was meant to be."

I was going to make a point..ask a question...ask for some further details...but just then the band was starting up...."happy hour" was ending....I knew he would not be able to hear me....anyway....he probably could not have heard me in a quiet room anyway....I just let it go.....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "The Committee of the Hole"----FICTION

Well it sure has been a hectic time lately...with the states cutting their aids to local governments and those governments poised to increase property taxes significantly and also poised to "rework" their debt portfolios and...yes...incur some more debt...just a temporary matter be assured.

Some governments are gathering for listening sessions, called the "committee of the whole" so the governments can listen and bond with local elected representatives and assure them that "we are all in this together" as long as they vote for more debt that is.....

It all seemed pretty routine and a scheduled event to me. So....I picked up the phone and speed dialed my old friend from Normal, Mn., Herman. He was a lawyer. He should know the origins of this tradition.

"Herman, what's with the "Committee of the Whole." How did this develop?

Herman let out a huge bellylaugh----

"Shucks, Wolfman,(that's what he always called me), in olden days they used to call it the "Committee of the "HOLE"----as in One HOLER or Two HOLER or outhouses----that is how despicable debt was to the earlier generation that lived through the depression---the earlier one than now, during the 1930's. Somewhere along the line, the public relations folks decided to change the spelling to "Whole." I still like the older spelling cause it fits so well."

Then he went on:

"Years ago, the slogan used to be "Buy the best you can....but pay CASH." Nowdays the slogan is buy everything you want...and get the services of a debt consultant. The ultimate is to hire the "consultant" who helped with the original debt issue to help you get out or "rework" it. That is the ultimate joke." Things sure have changed.

Just the picture of the one holer and the two holer helped me understand.

Thanks Herman.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Heroes never bust their budgets--they just AMEND them."----FICTION

Well it has been pretty amazing---all across the nation cities and governments are getting to the end of their fiscal years and are "amending" their budgets, right in the middle of the heat of the summer when everyone is on vacation far away.....It just made me wonder. What ever happened to budgets anyway?

When I wonder, and it has been a lot lately, I just pick up a cell phone and call my old friend Herman, the countryboylawyer in Normal, Mn.. ...that fishing town way up in northern Minnesota---he should know about budgets and such.

"Herman---what the heck happened to "budgets" anyhow.

Herman let out a loud bellylaugh.

'Shucks, Wolfman( that's what he always called me) you remember the famous football commercial with Payton Manning last season?----the one where he faced the old guy athletes squarely and told them to quit exercising and pumping iron 3 days a week to be a young football hero---and to just buy larger clothes and forget it. I think his words were "Get Real"--?"

"It's the same thing in budgeting---America has considered restraint just pure old fashioned---and has decided that whenever there is an "oops" in the budget, the best thing is to simply amend the budgets when everyone is not looking---and summer vacation on the hottest day of the year is perfect timing. It's just normal now."

As a guy who is getting hooked on "comfort fit" pants, I have to admit---restraint sure was difficult. However, it did bother me that without restraint, at the current rate, government would soon spend all of the citizens wages and then some.