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Thursday, Feb. 8, 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.

“Longtime reader, first-time writer. Great read and congratulations! I am trying to see the good in this, and it appears that the Convention and Visitors Bureau is trying to mimic what you have going on (Des Best? Jan. 31, 2024). Kudos to you and your team for setting the bar that others want to reach. This happens in a lot of industries but most noticeably in athletics, whether it was a play, formation, shift or a wrestling move. Whether it was Horatio Nelson or Bobby Nelson, someone invented the half nelson that has been used by so many over the years. I am sure it was the ‘best’ move when it was invented.” - Jimmy

What about Willie Nelson? - Shane

“Shane, your points on selling are good (Soft selling, Feb. 5, 2024). Excluding part-time retail sales as a student, I have only had one encounter with professional sales late in life. My conclusion was that I was a pretty good pitch man but not a closer. In either case, building relationships was a key to success!” - Chuck

You should have met my friend, Gary. - Shane

“Hey, Shane, it’s funny that you published this column today, as a very patriotic American, Toby Keith, passed last night of stomach cancer at age 62 (Patriotism, Feb. 6, 2024).” - Lori

We all should have been cowboys. - Shane

“It does seem right now to be patriotic, one must do the things you say in your column (Patriotism, Feb. 6, 2024). If one doesn’t, you are subject to abuse and accusations as strong as being a traitor. Patriotism is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. For example, the furor that was raised over athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem illustrates the problem. Unfortunately, the talking heads set the tone by accusing those who knelt of being insulting and not being respectful to veterans and the flag. This moved the discussion away from the intent, which was to point out that our national ideals were not extended to or enjoyed by a significant number of our citizens. I consider myself a patriot, and I think the following quote attributed to Adlai Stevenson is an excellent description of a true patriot: ‘Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.’ ” - Dennis

Dennis, you make excellent points in a non-confrontational way. Thank you. As for me, I will continue to remove my hat when the flag is present, thank American soldiers for their service, respect our president and commander of our Armed Forces, and proudly sing our national anthem — every chance I get. - Shane

“Awesome column (Patriotism, Feb. 6, 2024)!” - Doug

It was easy, because America is awesome. - 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

Rain chances on a breezy day today. 50-ish for a high on Friday. 40s after that.

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 Prairie Trail Restaurant

1. District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

2. 30hop

3. Magee’s Irish Pub & Eatery

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

4621 Merced St., Des Moines, IA 50310

This beautifully remodeled home is completely move-in ready for you. The kitchen is stunning and HUGE — all-new cabinetry with soft close doors and drawers. You will love all the storage space. Quartz countertops. Stainless steel appliances are all less than one year old. Kitchen flows into the dining area, which is open to a huge living room.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale

Bad luck as… comedy?
By Joe Weeg

Bad luck is bad luck. True enough. But there are certainly different types of bad luck. There’s the really bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it’s a matter of life or death. Like getting trapped by a falling boulder and having to cut off your arm to survive. Ouch, that’s what happened to motivational speaker Aron Ralston. Or the bad luck of being caught out in a winter storm with no visibility and freezing winds and having to hold onto an ice-covered rope to get from the barn to the house, aka “Little House on the Prairie.” Who wants that? And it is certainly bad luck to stumble upon a bull shark that travels 700 miles up the Mississippi River only to snack on you during Shark Week. That’s such bad luck that it weirdly seems like just desserts — for the shark.


Dairy producers are lobbying to erase the word “milk” from the labels of plant-based rivals like almond and soy "milk." Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPep) enlisted comedian Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Rec) for a commercial spoof. Queen Latifah stars in another pro-dairy video supporting victims of “milk shaming.” Dairy industry’s position is: If it doesn’t come from a lactating animal, it isn’t milk. “An almond doesn’t lactate,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. (WSJ)

Cheese Shop (833 42nd St., Des Moines) has Valentine’s baskets that celebrate two German cheeses: Red Casanova, a hard mountain cheese with “the texture of butter;” and Alp Blossom with “the affinage with dried alpine flowers and herbs, which are pressed onto the cheese wheels by hand.”

Waterfront celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday.

Kids eat free on Thursdays at Scornovacca’s (1930 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines), where under $10 lunches are available daily for most pasta dishes and 8-inch pizza.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 4 cents, averaging $2.83 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices fell 4 cents from last week’s price and are down 47 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.15, up 1 cent from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 3 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.54. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.22 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 40 cents lower than the national average of $3.94.

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

Propane prices averaged $1.59 per gallon statewide.

Home heating oil prices averaged $2.94 per gallon statewide.

Natural gas prices fell 15 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $1.97/MMbtu


FROM KCCI: Before they were NFL stars: Former coaches share memories of Brock Purdy, George Kittle

DES MOINES, Iowa — One is from Arizona and threw passes for the Iowa State Cyclones. The other grew up in the Midwest and caught passes for the Iowa Hawkeyes. But one thing Brock Purdy and George Kittle have in common, according to their former coaches, is that they're loveable. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Son seriously injures 85-year-old father during fight over food, Keokuk Police say

KEOKUK, Iowa — A Keokuk man has been charged after seriously injuring his father in a dispute over food, which may have led to his father’s death....READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: No injuries reported following large brush fire between McHenry, Riverview Parks

DES MOINES, Iowa — Crews battled a large brush fire Wednesday night in between McHenry Park and Riverview Park. The fire spread across five acres of land. Responders say the wind was a big factor in helping the fire grow. Thankfully, the flames didn't reach the park structure, instead staying in a grassy area.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Vern Adams, Amy Mueggenberg and Ruth Wallace

These celebrities were born on this date: Surfer Bethany Hamilton, basketball player Klay Thompson, wrestler Paul Wight, actor Kathryn Newton, soccer player Alessia Russo, R&B singer Anderson Paak, metal singer Vince Neil, actor Seth Green, football player Julio Jones

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What happened when the pirate with one leg had to walk the plank? HE WENT OUT ON A LIMB! Or, The knothole got plugged! - William Snyder

Today's riddle

What is the difference between a thief and a church bell?

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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