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Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024
Good morning to you!

Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes you’re the bug.

These words were part of the lyrics of “The Bug,” a song written by Mark Knopfler and recorded by Dire Straits on the band’s final studio album, “On Every Street.” It was also covered, and became more popular, by Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1992.

We may not think a lot about our windshields, but maybe we should. What else do we spend hours staring at each day? OK, maybe computer screens and cell phones, but you get the idea.

I thought about windshields the other day when I installed an enclosure on my UTV that I use to plow snow in my driveway. It will certainly keep me warmer on the frigid days, but the visibility through the plastic windshield leaves much to be desired. It’s like looking through wax paper. If you see me heading at you in my UTV, you might want to go the other way. Think “bug.”

The earliest of automobiles — or horseless carriages, as they were called — didn’t have windshields. The first one, according to thenewswheel.com, appeared in 1904 as two sheets of window-pane glass. As you can imagine, they were prone to shattering, and the shards would sometimes impale the driver or the passengers. If you had to meet your demise, being the bug might have been the better option.

The broken windshield scenario puts things in perspective when we complain today about streaking windshield wipers, a slow defrost, the lack of windshield wiper fluid or, heaven forbid, a rock chip. Of course, windshield designs improved. By 1970, we began to see the strength levels we have today.

Speaking of windshield wipers, the person who invented those was clearly a problem solver — and maybe a fortune teller. Her name was Mary Anderson, and she was also a real estate developer, rancher and wine grower. Interestingly, she was granted a patent for her automatic car window cleaning device (the windshield wiper) in 1903, one year BEFORE the first windshield appeared. Hmmm. By 1913, the automobile manufacturing business had grown tremendously, and windshield wipers were becoming quite popular. Cadillac became the first car manufacturer to adopt them as standard equipment in 1922, and others followed.

Automobile drivers most everywhere rejoiced about the advancements with windshields. The bugs? Not so much.

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

Mild weather continues into the weekend. We have a tiny rain chance on Friday.

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 results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!

Best new local restaurant

1. Cajun Belle

2. Bix & Co.

3. Either/Or


Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

Take a look at this home found on Realtor.com

2124 S.W. 35th St., Ankeny
2 beds · 2 baths

This townhome community is an amazing find, nestled in the southwest corner of Ankeny. Beautiful, quiet with extra special homeowners who give it a great community feel and so close to every amenity you could ever want. This home is better than new, beautiful wood laminate flooring throughout the living room and bedrooms which gives it that warm cozy feel.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
On January 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in America. The amendment read, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
On February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina, four Black college students spark a nationwide civil rights movement by refusing to leave a “whites-only” lunch counter at a popular retail store after they are denied service. The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State students—Ezell Blair Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond—become known as the “Greensboro Four.”
To the New York City Police Department and Medical Examiner's Office, he was John Simon Ritchie, a 22-year-old Englishman under indictment for murder but now dead of a heroin overdose in a Greenwich Village apartment. To the rest of the world, he was Sid Vicious, former bassist for the notorious Sex Pistols and the living embodiment of everything punk rock stood for and against. His death, which likely came as a surprise to very few, came on February 2, 1979.

Love Stories — not all butterflies and romance
By Jim Duncan

What is your favorite true-life love story? Always an interesting question when getting to know someone, it can solicit many different answers. Achilles and Patroclus’ love story has been both cherished and debated for 3,300 years. It was also far more honorable than the love “that launched a thousand ships,” between Helen and Paris.

The love of Peter Abelard and Heloise Argenteuil has become the prototype of tragic and forbidden love, inspiring literature as well as honor killings for 800 years.

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett’s story is eternalized in their poetry and in their famous kiss under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. That kiss inspired one of the greatest love story movies — George Roy Hill’s “A Little Romance” in which young teens run away from Paris to reenact that kiss.

We sought special love stories in Des Moines and found a few that involved extreme testing and dedication.


"Wetherspoons, the Game" is a Facebook app that has created a huge drinking game in the UK. People in pubs post a photo and a proposal about why they deserve a free round of drinks for their table and readers respond by buying rounds on line, usually for complete strangers. One pub told Wall Street Journal that the game has generated a $1,269,000 of sales for them.

Conagra is cutting prices for some items, such as in its margarine and yogurt businesses where costs are now lower for edible oils and dairy products. But tomato-based product prices keep going up to offset continuing inflation. (Jennifer Williams-Alvarez, WSJ)

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar (665 Grand Ave., Des Moines) is running a late lunch/early dinner special from 3-5:30 p.m. weekdays. That means $10.95 entrees and $1.99 kids meals with favorite dishes like Tupelo shrimp and grits, fried chicken and waffles, cast iron pork (shoulder pork shoulder cooked in duck fat), and more.

Thursdays bring $2.99 quarter pound cheeseburgers to Kwik Stars. Today is half priced boneless wings day at Jethro's Southside (4307 Park Ave., Des Moines).

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Iowa connections on 49ers run deep: Former Hawkeye tight end George Kittle is a star in San Francisco

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tight end George Kittle found his fame in San Francisco, but got his start in Iowa City. He definitely looked a little different as a Hawkeye, no flowing golden locks that he's now known for, but his soul hasn't changed a bit....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Gov.’s education bill advances in one chamber, not voted on in other

DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Reynolds’ plan to increase starting salaries for teachers in the state, along with changing the dynamics of area education agencies in the state, saw it’s first official action Wednesday...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Iconic rapper Lil Wayne to perform in Des Moines this April

Known for chart toppers like "Lollipop" and "A Milli", the Louisiana-born rapper is bringing his iconic sound to Des Moines this April.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 12 cents, averaging $2.87 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices rose 12 cents from last week’s price and are down 46 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.14, up 4 cents from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 2 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.57. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.30 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 37 cents lower than the national average of $3.94.

Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.
Heating Fuels

Propane prices averaged $1.58 per gallon statewide.

Home heating oil prices averaged $2.97 per gallon statewide.

Natural gas prices fell 53 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.12/MMbtu.

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Big Boi, Garrett Morris, Harry Styles, Jason Isbell, Lauren Conrad, Michael C. Hall, Ronda Rousey, Heather Morris

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

How do you know pigeons are wealthy? THEY MAKE A LOT OF DEPOSITS ON EXPENSIVE CARS! - Gail Tomlinson. Or, Because they feather their nests! - Carolyn Rogers. Or, Because they have a nest egg! - Rex Post

Today's riddle

How do you know pigeons are wealthy?

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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