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Monday, July 8, 2024
Good morning to you!

Plain or peanut? It’s a simple question that deserves a simple answer. Either plain… or peanut.

When working fundraiser concession stands as a youth, I would ask the plain or peanut question to customers who would order a Snickers bar. The answer was always the same — a pause, a wrinkled brow, and then a very slow and questioning, “…peanut?” This was my slightly warped sense of humor derived from my fascination with words, human behavior and marketing. But, on another level, it depicted the obsession we have to define ourselves based on choices of two.

Ford or Chevy? My family members drove Chevrolets, or at least GM vehicles of some sort. This was not a debate in my childhood home — until I drove a Ford Mustang into the driveway. The car had plenty of problems, and I was given constant reminders of this. My parents and siblings scratched their heads on my vehicle purchases of Jeeps and Dodges and Buicks for the next few decades. They offered some “I-knew-you-would-see-the-light” comments when I finally bought a Chevy, and they cringed again with my last three Ford truck purchases.

I am writing this column on a Macintosh. I lost track of how many of these computers I have owned in my lifetime. It started for me in college when we were putting our student newspaper together on early Macintosh versions. I wanted to buy one for myself, but even the basic model cost more than my aforementioned Ford Mustang. My friends in the business school were partial to their PCs, which were mostly all IBMs back then. These are the same folks who, years later, praised their Blackberrys while calling my iPhone “a toy.”

Have you ever been with someone at a restaurant who ordered a Coke only to be told by the server that the place only serves Pepsi products? And then watch that person, in obvious frustration, order a water? Maybe you are that person. I have never been able to tell much difference between Coke and Pepsi, especially when they come out of watered-down fountains. I am not picky on my pop, but, when options exist, I do tend to make unique soda choices. Me and my RC.

Yes, we have lots of choices in this world, despite being led to believe that, in most cases, we only have two. Why? Because marketing works.

Built to last. Think different. What’s good enough for other folks, ain’t good enough for me. And, yes, packed with peanuts, Snickers really satisfies.

Have a memorable Monday, 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.


Clear Mortgage meteorology

The week will be a much needed dry and warm one for most. The weekend looks muggier.

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

From the July issue of CITYVIEW

Customer service through technology

By Colson Thayer

When business owners want to increase profits, one of the first places they often look to is decreasing costs. One of the biggest expenses for any business is payroll. As technology advances, companies are looking for opportunities to reduce that cost. And, sometimes, it means replacing a human with technology.


CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best East Bar

1. Toads Tavern

2. Cheap Seats Sports Bar

3. 1833 Saloon

Read all the results now!


Often see RVs and semis parked in the Walmart parking lot. Must be a safe haven for geese, too. Photo by John Frank

Explore Des Moines

CITYVIEW's seasonal guide for activities and things to do in Central Iowa

EXPLORE: Cruising Central Iowa

By Cyote Williams

Want to see the area’s best classic or newest cars? From Mustangs and Corvettes to the Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Bel Air your grandparents used to drive, you’ll find most anything at this summer’s car shows.


The exponential added value of snail mucus. Archeologists in Greece recently discovered that the legendary "Tyrian royal purple" dye of the Roman Empire was created with the mucus of snails and salt water. The dye was worth three times its weight in gold at the turn of the first millennium. No report yet whether snails taste better after extracting their mucus. (Popular Science)

International enrollment in American universities is finally back to pre-pandemic levels but not for Iowa’s public universities. University of Iowa reported 2,430 undergraduate international students a decade ago but had only 350 in the most recent fall of 2023. That shrunk its undergraduate percent of international students from 11 percent to 1.6 percent. Iowa State's undergraduate international count dropped from 2,216 in 2014 to 875 in fall 2023. UNI is reporting an undergraduate international enrollment slip from 487 in 2014 to 103 in 2023. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Deals today. Angry Goldfish has lasagna and chicken Parmesan dinners with garlic bread and a side for $15 on Mondays... Kathy’s East 14th Street Pub (3418 E. 14th St., Des Moines) offers "bad dog burgers" on Mondays. Those have three 1/3 lb. beef patties, six pieces of bacon, choices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion, all for $10.95... Johnny's Hall of Fame (302 Court Ave., Des Moines) has $12 burger baskets on Mondays and Fridays... Monday’s $8 special at The Continental (407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines) includes a smash burger with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, burger sauce and frites… Centro (1003 Locust St., Des Moines) offers half-price coal oven pizza and Peronis on Monday... Kwik Star stores offer $1.69 burritos today.

 — Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

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

$1,800,000                                                        3110 Stanton Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321

This is a unique opportunity to own a sprawling 3.6 acre equestrian property in a prime location within Des Moines! Located in the Southwestern Hills neighborhood, this property is perfect for horse lovers searching for the chance to enjoy their passion within the city limits.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-04-16
SALE PRICE: $280,500
ACRES: 0.229
From the July issue of Johnston Living magazine

Yards with personality
Residents share how their landscaping choices reflect their style.

By Ashley Rullestad

A plethora of pots. A hillside of hostas. Wildflowers willy nilly. Manicured hedges and straight edges. From wild and unruly to precise and planned, the landscaping around a home often reflects the owner’s own unique style. While some prefer lush, thick foliage, others enjoy succulents among a garden of rocks. From a tropical vibe to the charm of a country cottage. From mad about mulch to mad for magnolias. Whatever their preferences, homeowners with a green thumb and plenty of imagination enjoy creating landscaping masterpieces with pizzazz.

A landscape memorial
When the Scott family moved into their house in 2017, there was no landscaping aside from one tree in the front yard.

“I knew I wanted to bring my late mother's landscape design to life,” Elyse Scott says. “She loved plants and gardening and had the most beautiful gardens at our family home, full of flowers that took turns blooming at different times of the year. I fondly remember her drawing and designing her final project for her landscape design class, and I wanted to honor her memory by trying to incorporate as much as I could in our landscaping at our home.”



FROM KCCI: Dozens become U.S. citizens at Field of Dreams in Dyersville. Nearly three dozen people from 15 different countries celebrated their new U.S. citizenship at the Field of Dreams over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, a naturalization ceremony was held at the Dyersville ballpark, during which the participants took the oath of citizenship to celebrate the end of a long journey.   ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Madison County first responders called to multiple serious crashes Saturday night. It was a busy Saturday night for officials in Madison county who
responded to three serious crashes within hours of each other.

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Here's how many fireworks complaints were made in Des Moines this week. Since June 20, the department's new fireworks response team has given out 52 citations.  ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Emma Navarro stuns Coco Gauff at Wimbledon, reaches quarterfinals   ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Kings Land DeMar DeRozan in Three-Team Sign-and-Trade Blockbuster, per Report  ... READ MORE
CBS Sports: Cubs reliever Colton Brewer breaks non-pitching hand from punching wall after bad outing vs. Angels    ...READ MORE
1951: Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday.  ... READ MORE
1959: First Americans killed in South Vietnam. ... READ MORE
2000: Venus Williams wins Wimbledon for the first time.   ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date:  Maya Hawke, Jaden Smith, Penelope Disick, Riele Downs, Jeffrey Tambor, Anjelica Huston, Kevin Bacon, Robert Knepper, Michael Weatherly, Lance Gross, Sebastian Maniscalco

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

How do the Malfoys of Harry Potter fame get into bed? THEY SLYTHERIN! - Gail Tomlinson. More answers from Rex Post

Today's riddle

What do you get if you eat beans with onions?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or CITYVIEW, contact:

Aaron Burns
Advertising Sales Manager
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 330
Mobile: 712-310-3860

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