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Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024
Good morning to you!

Welcome to an extra edition of the mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

“Shane, I loved your column on laying on your back, winter or summer, and gazing at our beautiful world. I did the same (Staring at the sky, Jan. 3, 2024). I even did it into my 40s and 50s. Now, as I close in on 80, I still do it, only from my chair on the deck, bench on the dock, or my favorite chair in front of the fire, looking out my large windows to the lake and forest. I would still do it outside, but getting up is the hard part.” - Gary

Well, it sure beats being under the ground. - Shane

“Shane, it's amazing to me how much watching TV has changed my life (Too much TV? Jan. 15, 2024). From seeing all of the new rock bands on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ all of the sporting events, four days straight coverage of JFK's assassination, seeing the Challenger blow up, and, of course, 9/11, nobody can tell me watching TV has been a waste of time.” - Jim

You are right, Jim. Except for “The Benny Hill Show.” - Shane

“I grew up in the 1950s when Westerns and sports were the ‘must watch’ TV programs (Too much TV? Jan. 15, 2024). Dad was in charge of the TV, so we watched what he wanted to watch. The Chicago White Sox (when I had my first "loves" – Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio, the dynamic second base/shortstop duo) was the go-to baseball team, and the Chicago Bears was the go-to football team. ‘Bonanza,’ ‘Cisco Kid,’ ‘Davy Crockett’ (my younger brother still has his coonskin cap) and ‘Have Gun-Will Travel’ topped the Westerns. When Dad wasn't around, my sister and I would watch ‘American Bandstand.’ My husband watched comedies. I wonder what my grandkids/great grandkids will remember about their cell phone years?” - Diane

My dad wouldn’t let me watch Westerns. He said they made the living room dusty. - Shane

“The question to ask about whether caucus-goers could be bought is this: What if the candidates had offered voters checks for the aforementioned $561 instead of spending the millions upon millions in advertising (Votes can’t be bought. Or can they? Jan. 16, 2024). Five Benjamins might be an attractive price!” - Brad

Sadly, it would probably work. Although the free beer gimmick by Vivek Ramaswamy didn't seem to pan out. - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Drizzle and fog remain possible today, and fog could stick around tonight. Otherwise look for highs in the mid-30s. Watch for morning refreezing this weekend.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Des Moines Performing Arts. “Mamma Mia!” Jan. 23-28.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden – North Gallery. Regional artist Mary Muller will exhibit her show “Garden Walk” at the Botanical Garden through March 18.

Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure. One of the region's first coffee shops to enhance their presence by offering local artists a "found space" gallery for their work. Check out the artwork over a great cup of coffee and something delicious to nosh on. 

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
4120 11th St.,
Des Moines, IA 50313
Looking for a gem? This is it! Located in Des Moines' Oak Park neighborhood, this fully updated historical home boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of living space for you and your family to enjoy. As you enter the front door, you'll be greeted by a spacious and inviting living room, complete with built ins and a cozy fireplace. The dining room has plenty of space, perfect for hosting dinner parties.
See More Homes For Sale
‘The Boy and the Heron’
By David Rowley

Hayao Miyazaki’s return with “The Boy and the Heron” after a decade-long hiatus is akin to a resounding symphony, marking a significant resurgence of his dormant voice. This eagerly awaited tale weaves personal experiences and artistic essence into a mesmerizing fable.

“The Boy and the Heron” is set in 1944, during the time of the Pacific War, when Mahito Maki loses his mother in an air raid in Tokyo. As his family moves to the countryside, Mahito struggles to adjust to his new life with his father, his new stepmother (his mother’s younger sister), and several (hilarious) elderly ladies. One of the main themes of this film is dealing with loss. Mahito not only has to deal with the loss of his mother, but also the loss of his home in Tokyo due to the Pacific War.


02115 became the most expensive zip code in America with housing costing more than $4,000 per square foot. That zip code is centered around Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and includes much of Boston’s Back Bay. Its rise to the top has been aided by deteriorating quality of life conditions in New York City and San Francisco. (WSJ)

Grimaldi's Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria, truly iconic in its natural habitat under the Brooklyn Bridge, has opened a branch store in Ankeny (1450 S.W. Vintage Pkwy.). The mother store was a large part of George Formaro's inspiration for Centro's pizza.

Today is goulash day at the Dam Pub (2710 Beaver Ave., Des Moines).

Chris Hoffmann, owner/chef of Clyde’s Fine Diner, made the list of 20 semifinalists for "Best Chef Midwest" by James Beard Awards. Yoshitomo of Omaha made the list of 20 for JBAs “outstanding restaurant" nationally.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 2 cents, averaging $2.75 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices rose 2 cents from last week’s price and are down 51 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.10, up 1 cent from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa held steady this week with a statewide average of $3.59. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.24 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 33 cents lower than the national average of $3.92.

Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.
Propane prices averaged $1.57 per gallon statewide.

Home heating oil prices averaged $3.01 per gallon statewide.

Natural gas prices fell 18 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.65/MMbtu.


FROM KCCI: Des Moines man announces candidacy for at-large city council seat

DES MOINES, Iowa — One candidate has joined the race for Des Moines' vacant at-large city council seat. Mike Simonson launched his campaign this week with an event at Chuck's Restaurant.  The city says no candidates have filed the official campaign paperwork yet. The council voted earlier this week to hold a special election to fill the seat that was left vacant when Connie Boesen was elected mayor. The county auditor will set the date for the special election. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Des Moines man charged after allegedly being found with 30,000 fentanyl pills

DECATUR COUNTY, Iowa — A Des Moines man has been charged after he was allegedly found with approximately 30,000 fentanyl pills in his car on Sunday. On Sunday Sharmarke Omar Mohamed, 35, was traveling back to Des Moines from Arizona when he was pulled over by the Iowa State Patrol in Decatur County. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: As college enrollment decreases nationally, Iowa community colleges see growth

The Iowa Department of Education's Fall 2023 community college report says enrollment grew at nine of the state 15 community colleges......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Neil Hyde!

These celebrities were born on this date: Alicia Keys,Christine Lakin, Olivia Edward, Calum Hood, Mia Kirshner, Matt Odmark, Joe Sirois, Ana Ortiz

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What kind of croc hangs out in back passages around town? ALLEY GATORS! - Mike Chiston, Brent Hoover, Peri Van Tassel, Carolyn Rogers, Lori Bluml, Gail Tomlinson, William Snyder, Rex Post

Today's riddle

What do farmers use to create crop circles?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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