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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, you can find an archive list at the bottom of this page.

Friday, January 30

The Imitation Game & Tiger

I don’t know what I was expecting from The Imitation Game, but whatever it was didn’t happen. I knew from the previews almost entirely what it was about—World War II and the creation of a thinking machine in an attempt to break the Germans’ cryptic Enigma machine. And I’d heard all the Oscar buzz it was getting for both film as well as Oscar-worthy performances of Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. I was still wondering what I’d seen when we left the theatre. I wasn’t very impressed by either the story or the acting. I especially didn’t care for the stock images of WWII warfare, the black and white German planes dropping stock image bombs on stock image bombed-out London, the predictable 40’s hairstyles and oh so red lips and frumpy hats and dresses, the awkward and out-of-time dancing of the code-breakers.
I wouldn’t have believed it was possible to make Keira Knightley unattractive, but they did. Oh, Pride and Prejudice Keira, where art thou? And Benedict Cumberbatch did an admirable Alan Turing, with reddened eyes and stuttered responses to his superiors’ questions, but I’m still not fond of him as an actor. In fact, I hated him in Osage County. I also found confusing the constant shifting from early Turing to Enigma Turing to 1951 Turing. Granted, it was necessary to indicate his sexual orientation and how little back then we understood what was considered aberrant sexual behavior. So, what would I rate this movie? About three stars out of five.

And how would I rate Tiger’s ignominious return to the Waste Management Open here in Arizona? A negative two stars out of five (Yeah, that’s right, two steps below zero). How can any golfer as magical as he is (was) look so awfully awful? He can’t drive the ball straight, or hit any greens in regulation, or make any chips or pitches any better than I can. He shot an 82 on Saturday and wound up in last place in a field of 132. And he set new records for ugly, a 44 on the back nine (worst 9-hole score ever) and a +11 for the round (worst 18-hole score ever). Tiger, Tiger, how could you look so bad? Will you look this bad next week at Torrey Pines? All the Tiger-haters must be ecstatic hoping for a repeat performance next week. Oh, please, Tiger, make them eat their ecstasy.

Monday, January 26

Mixed Martial Arts & Academy Awards

It seems like I grow more confused with every passing day. Is it my age or is it that life keeps getting more and more complicated and it has nothing to do with my advanced years? I keep seeing tv blurbs about upcoming UFC fights and now realize just how popular these fights are. Popular with whom? It just has to be with the young crowd. I can’t imagine anyone even close to my age who would be a fan of this Mixed Martial Arts stuff. We’re now in an NFL move to protect football players from serious head injuries, going through concussion protocols for every player who comes staggering off the field after a train wreck collision with a behemoth defensive end or linebacker. And yet these UFC fighters smack and kick and jab each other with deadly desire. How can they not die after such beatings? These matches seem to be more like gladiators in the Roman Coliseum with blood and guts flying everywhere. It must be for viewers who like the blood sport of dog fights and cock fights. And I’m not a fan of either of those, just as I’m not a fan of these fighters.

The SAG awards were announced last night and we’ve already had the Golden Globes and a few other less well-known film award shows. Are we ready for the big one, the Academy Awards next month? I still have a few movies I’d like to see before I make my predictions, but what the heck, I may as well stick my neck out now. Sadly, this will be an all-white-as-mashed-potatoes awards night with not a single film about or with color to be found. Two movies came out so long ago that they might get overlooked—Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. I thought when I saw it that Boyhood was a lock for best picture, but now, though I still think it should win, it’s no lock. Instead, I see Birdman edging it out. Best Director? Richard Linklater for Boyhood with Iñàrritu a close second for Birdman. I haven’t yet seen Still Alice, but I wasn’t very impressed with any others for best actress except for Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, so I guess I’ll go with Julianne Moore. Best actor? This category is wide open and could go to any of the five nominees. Michael Keaton in Birdman is my choice although I was fascinated with both Eddie Redmayne doing his Stephen Hawking thing and Bradley Cooper doing his pumped up Chris Kyle thing. Best supporting actress: Laura Dern in Wild, but my second choice would be Patricia Arquette in Boyhood. Best supporting actor: Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher, but J. K. Simmons in Whiplash is getting all the attention. My mind can’t see Simmons as anything but Brenda Leigh’s boss Will Pope in The Closer. I don’t have a clue about any of the other categories so I’ll quit right here, while I’m still ahead. But if Neil Patrick Harris is as good with the Oscars as he’s been with the Tonys, this should be an entertaining evening.

Sunday, January 25

ES3 & News of the Day

If anyone out there teaches English or knows anyone who does, please consider looking at my book on English sentence structure, or passing it on to that English-teaching friend. It’s a system that visually shows how our sentences are constructed, how we can all become better, clearer writers, how we can analyze what good writing is all about and then learn to imitate it. And, for the most part, it avoids that old grammarian trap—the obfuscating terminology of traditional grammar. I’d hate to see this system die along with me. Please, anyone, check it out. Use it. Teach it. And you can get a copy for only $2.99 at Lulu.com. Just click on this link and it will take you to Lulu. ES3

I saw in the paper today that Sarah Palin is considering a run at the Republican nomination for president. Whoa! Hillary must be doing a dance at that news.
And if that doesn’t make her happy, she must be ecstatic hearing that Donald Trump may also toss his hat in the ring. What an odd couple that could be: a Palin/Trump or a Trump/Palin ticket. After Palin’s strange (“bizarro, incoherent, rambling,” according to most Tweets about it) rant in Iowa on Saturday, the Democratic National Committee sent her a thank you note.

The same-sex marriage ban in Alabama has been overturned by the courts, and it will soon be overturned in the rest of those states which still ban such unions. Remarkable how far we’ve come in the past decade in the attitudes of most people toward homosexuality. Remarkable how far we still have to go.

So You Think You Can Dance will be returning soon. But without Mary Murphy.
And with a new judging format that separates the dancers into two categories: street dance and classical dance. We’ll really miss Mary Murphy’s humor and her “Hot Tamale Train.” The new judges, Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo, can’t possibly take her place. And part of the fun of the show has always been seeing how some of the street dancers were able to become great dancers in the other styles and how some classically trained dancers picked up on the street moves. I’m not sure I’m going to like this new SYTYCD.

Only one comment to make about deflate-gate: a tempest in a teapot.
What a silly thing to make an issue the week before the Super Bowl. Another silly Super Bowl detail: that the average cost of a ticket to SB XLIX is $3950. Man, that’s a lot of money just so you can say you were there. Let’s see, it seats 63,400. Multiply by 4,000 = $253,600,000. Yep, that’s right, just over a quarter of a billion bucks taken in for one silly football game.

Pope Francis on his way back to Rome from the Philippines said, “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits.” He wasn’t suggesting that Catholics should be using contraceptives; he meant that all Catholics should show some responsibility about having over-large families. And the fight goes on. According to Catholic teachings, the “rhythm method” or abstinence are the only two acceptable ways to control birth. And the rhythm method has been shown to be almost totally unreliable, and abstinence is simply silly. Come on, boys and girls, we’re living in the 21st Century, and we’re up to almost seven billion people. That’s enough. In fact, that’s about four billion too many.


Friday, January 23

American Sniper

You would think that warfare, like everything else, would evolve. Not evolve for the better, but change in discernible ways. The art of killing people should by now be refined to a point where we may not even need to kill anyone to obtain the goals of warfare—the taking of territory, the seizure of wealth, the gaining of political or religious power over those with whom we fight. In the American Civil War we killed with pistols and rifles and bayonets and shells filled with nails and pellets and pieces of chain. Bloody and very very personal. In WWI we added planes and tanks and mustard gas, still bloody, still personal. Our killing efficiency went up again in WWII with the addition of bigger planes and bigger bombs and even the big one we used to close out the war with Japan. But it was still very much a ground war with everyone pretty much knowing who the enemy was, with combatants close enough to “see the whites of their eyes,” as Colonel Prescott so famously said to his men at the Battle of Bunker Hill, with most of the personnel carrying rifles that shot one round at a time. But the battle lines were fairly consistent, with us on one side and them on the other. Then came Korea with few changes, and Viet Nam with jungle and napalm and tunnels and increased use of helicopters, but now with battle lines that were no longer so clear. And then we get to the various wars in the Middle East—with drones and miraculous surveillance, with rifles that can spit out what seems like hundreds of rounds in seconds. And the lines don’t even exist anymore. I just saw American Sniper and now better understand what our troops have to contend with in this most modern brand of warfare. How can one tell who the enemy is and who the enemy isn’t? What a powerful film. And Clint Eastwood deserved to be nominated for the best director award but was overlooked.
And Bradley Cooper in his role as the legendary Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle deserves to win for best actor. All the awful stories of veterans who suffer from PTSD now make sense to me. I was very impressed by this movie about our unwise involvement in the Iraq War. If you want to read an opposite view, you should see what Matt Taibbi thought of it in his Rolling Stone review (January 21, 2015). Whoa! Did he ever hate it. Here's a link to his review: Matt Taibbi.

Saturday, January 17

House of Flowers

Such odd nights I've been having in my seniority, wicky wacky dreams and too many hours when I lay there staring at the inside of my eyelids, trying to get to sleep and seldom getting there. F. Scott Fitzgerald, when he was down and just about out in 1936, wrote a series of essays called The Crack-up, in one of which he said, "In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day." I know what he meant. A few night ago, around Fitzgerald's 3:00, I found the song "I Never Has Seen Snow" buzzing around in my head. What could have prompted me to think of that song? But there it was, and I heard the music and knew most of the lyrics, singing it over and over in my head, even hearing that odd little upward hitch at the end of the first two lines. I first heard the song in about 1957 or '58, when I heard Diahann Carroll singing it on my car radio. Such an unusual song, with odd music and odd lyrics.
I bought a recording of the Broadway show from which it came, House of Flowers, with story from an odd source, Truman Capote (who contributed some of the lyrics along with Harold Arlen). And I listened to that score often enough to drill the songs into my head, one of my odd characteristics when it comes to music, to listen to Broadway musicals and memorize the songs. But why, in the darkness of middle night, would that song suddenly be there after all these years? And all the information about Diahann Carroll, her role in the long ago hit tv series Julia, her decade-long marriage to Vic Damone. She, along with Pearl Bailey, starred in that Capote show, singing about how beautiful her love was, that "near to me boy," even more beautiful than snow. I might have gotten onto the snow angle from all the snow falling in those places we once called home, and I guess it can be considered beautiful, but after too many years shoveling the stuff, I no longer think of it as beautiful. And now, you have to hear this song, this version not by Diahann Carroll; but by another beautiful woman, Vanessa Williams. The song, Vanessa Williams, the cello accompaniment, are so very beautiful, even more so than snow. And I hope it sticks in your head at three o'clock in the morning. You'll have me to thank for that.

Thursday, January 15

Taken 3 & Oscar Nominees

Take John Wilks’ Keanu Reeves and The Equalizer’s Denzel Washington, put ‘em together, shake ‘em up. And what do you get? Taken 3’s Liam Neeson. Actually, that makes it sound like Neeson’s Bryan Mills is better at what he does than Reeves and Washington together. Nah, he’s not as good as either. I think Liam Neeson may be getting too old for this sort of role, the deadly spy who’s come out of the cold to live among normal people. In this latest Taken (and I hope it will be the last), his ex-wife has been killed and he’s been set up as the likely killer. Naturally, he runs and cops chase. Naturally, he loses them and gets together with his old covert ops crew, who help him find the killer and prove his innocence. The plot was fairly predictable as was the action—lots of really fast car chases, lots of hand-to-hand violence, lots of shooting up of stuff in a convenience store and fancy stuff in the bad guy’s fancy apartment. And because Liam Neeson probably is no longer up to such action, these scenes were shot in fast-motion with a herky-jerky camera to disguise his now old-age ineptitude. I love Neeson in these tough guy roles, but I loved even more Keanu Reeves’ John Wilks and Denzel Washington’s Equalizer.
I was somewhat surprised by Forest Whitaker’s entry into this C-to-B film. He’s too good for this role as Inspector Franck Dotzler, even though he did his best to make the man memorable, with his penchant for rubber bands, string, and the knightly chess piece he keeps fondling. Oh, yeah, you may be wondering exactly who was taken in this one. No one really, although the wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) was taken just before she was killed, and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) was sort of taken several times before dad Bryan could extricate her. Whenever the action wasn’t in fast mode, I enjoyed the scenes and the acting. But there were too many holes in the plot for me to swallow, like when about fifty cars on the freeway were annihilated during one of Bryan’s escapes, with probably about fifty people dead because of it, and no one seemed to care much about all those casualties. And even though the final scene hinted at a situation that could lead to a Taken 4 , I doubt they’ll do it. At least I hope not.

Okay, the nominee slots for the Oscars have been filled, mostly by predictable people and films, but with a few surprising absences. The most obvious film slights go to Wild, Gone Girl, Into the Woods, and Interstellar. The directorial slights go to Clint Eastwood for American Sniper and Ava DuVernay for Selma. No Ben Affleck for Gone Girl, no David Oyelowa for Selma, no Patricia Arquette for Boyhood, no Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler. And the original songs are about as unknown and forgettable as they have been for the past decade. Where's the "Moon River" of my past?

Tuesday, January 13

Selma

Some movies need to be seen, not because they’re necessarily great movies, but because they raise our awareness of injustice, in this case the injustice up to 1965 of the practice in the South of denying African-Americans the right to vote by giving them ridiculously difficult—no, impossible—registration requirements. Just as 12 Years a Slave or the tv series Roots needed to be seen, so too Selma. Should it be included in this year’s nominees for best picture? Yes. Should it win as best picture? No. The film was too static. There were too many scenes in which Director Ava DuVernay seemed to be milking emotion with Martin Luther King’s words and a heavy reliance on background music, nothing much going on for long periods of time. As a history lesson for all of us, this film is necessary, but especially for those too young to remember what it was like for Blacks in this country prior to the Civil Rights Movement—miscegenation, separate public drinking fountains, rear seats on buses, separate swimming pools, separate restaurants, separate hotel accommodations—an American apartheid as unfair and humiliating as that in South Africa, a forced feeling of inferiority on this nation’s Blacks. Will David Oyelowa be nominated as best actor for his role as Martin Luther King? Certainly. He showed us a side of MLK that humanizes the man, showing us the politician instead of just the inspirational leader and speaker we know from his speeches. “We negotiate,” he says, “we demonstrate, we resist.” Will he win? A big maybe. Others who need to be mentioned for their acting in this film: Tim Roth for his depiction of the bigot George Wallace and Tom Wilkinson for his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson. We get to see both men up close and personal. I find it curious that the critics thought more highly of this film than the average viewer did. Usually, it's the other way around.

Sunday, January 11

Sunday Football & News Items

It’s halftime at the Packers/Cowboys game (with the hated Cowboys leading 14-10), so this is a good time to comment on some current news items.

First, it’s been confirmed that Tiger will indeed come to Phoenix for the golf tournament on Super Bowl weekend. Good. The record-setting attendance numbers will go even higher with his entry. He may not win it. He may not even make the cut. But I and a lot of other people will be attentive because we just have to see how he’s doing. Even the Tiger haters will be watching, hoping they can spot some nefarious rules infraction, then calling it in to the tournament authorities. Yeah, Tiger’s back.

A word or two about body art, or tattoos, or tats. I know how popular these things are right now, but I still can’t understand why anyone would want to cover almost every available area of his/her body with ink of every hue. This seems to be indicative of our egocentric society. “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s most noticeable in the NBA, and more with Blacks than Whites. My only question for the Black tatters: Why don’t you have them done with white ink? Wouldn’t they show up better? I guess it would be a matter of the degree of blackness on the skin being inked.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve said I’d never watch any more American Idols. Never, ever, ever. Well, their 14th season is now underway and—yes—I’m watching. I thought the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey duo would be fiasco enough for me. And if not them, then surely Steven Tyler was a one-man fiasco. Now we again have judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban, and except for Keith and JLo’s head-bobbing during performances, this crew is probably the best ever set of Idol judges. And finally the Idol producers decided not to showcase any idiots in their audition shows. Than you, Idol. The quality of most of those auditioning also seems better than in past seasons. Will we see another Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, or Katherine McPhee this year? I hope so.

A final comment about the singing of the National Anthem before the Packers/Cowboys game. Noelle Scaggs of the musical group Fitz & The Tantrums did the singing. Well, it would be hard to call what she did singing. I’ve heard our Anthem sung and played in many different ways ranging from bad to good to really good (Remember what Whitney Houston did before Super Bowl XXV?). Ms. Scaggs version has to be one of the worst Anthems of all, ranking in rankness right up there with Roseanne Barr’s crotch-grabbing version and Steven Tyler’s screaming mis-wording version.

And, YAY! The Packers won in chilly Lambeau Field.

Thursday, January 8

Into the Woods

Finally, finally, I got to see Into the Woods, the movie version, that is. Let me explain. When I was teaching theatre and theatrical techniques to my eleventh grade classes, I used the PBS presentation of the Sondheim stage play (exactly as it was staged on Broadway), and I watched it with them, five classes a year for the last six or seven years I taught. That comes out to a bunch of times I’ve seen this oh so successful Broadway musical, like between thirty and thirty-five times. Did I ever get bored through all those viewings? No, never. I loved the theatricality of it, presenting this complicated mixture of the best-known tales from the Brothers Grimm, opening with the stage divided into the three main locations—Cinderella at the fireplace wishing she could go to the ball, Jack and his mother lamenting their poverty, and the baker and his wife wishing for a child. The scene is set by a narrator, a stage manager just like the one Thornton Wilder introduced us to in Our Town, with the opening number, “I Wish,” going from one locale to the next, each of the opening characters singing about their own particular wishes. And then we’re introduced to the witch, Bernadette Peters in all her witchy glory, as she explains to the Baker and his wife why they can never have a child and how they might reverse the curse she had placed on them—to gather for her four items by the next blue moon: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. As you can see from these items, the strands of the various tales will converge here with Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, all of them going into the woods to find their destinies, and the woods can be a spooky place. I enjoyed the film version, but not as much as the stage version. Sorry, director Rob Marshall. You did as well as you could. But most movie versions of well-known Broadway musicals just can’t do it as well on a huge scale as the stage version did on a small scale. Paradoxical, isn’t it? Some of the humor was lost with the use of a real cow instead of the wooden one, and real horses instead of the surprising ones in the stage version pulling a carriage loaded down with the evil stepmother and her two really nasty daughters. Anna Kendrick was delightfully good as Cinderella, and Chris Pine was surprisingly good as Cinderella’s pursuer prince. I may be nitpicking again, but not even Meryl Streep can do a better witch than that of Bernadette Peters, not even one as good as. And I thought the little blond, fat-cheeked Red Riding Hood in the Broadway version (Danielle Ferland) was much funnier and better than Lilla Crawford’s movie version. And though Emily Blunt performed and sang well as the baker’s wife, I kept seeing and hearing Joanna Gleason. Same with James Corden’s baker. He seemed too big and handsome compared to Chip Zien’s smaller and funnier version in the stage play. And then, of course, there was Johnny Depp as the big bad wolf, lasciviously singing “Hello, Little Girl” to the naughty little Red.
Nahh, he just didn’t do it or sing it as well as Robert Westenberg, with his on-stage wolfie penis hanging out for all the world and the audience to see. He was just penis-less Johnny doing his Johnny Depp thing. Back to Meryl’s witch. Although her singing is adequate, it can’t get even close to Bernadette’s voice. Even her makeup as the witch wasn’t adequate. She looked pretty much like Meryl with harridan blue-gray hair.
And her transformation into the younger, beautiful witch wasn’t quite as believable as when Bernadette did the witch-switch. Again, just nitpicking. I love the score, especially the lyrics. Thank you, James Lapine, for the fairy-tale update. Thank you, Stephen Sondhiem for the really clever lyrics, especially in the comical “Agony” of the two princely brothers, the baker and wife with “It Takes Two,” the amorous “Any Moment/ Moments in the Woods” with the straying baker’s wife and Prince Charming, and for the warning that “Giants can be good” and “Careful the things you say, children will listen.” If you’ve never seen a stage version of Into the Woods, you won’t be distracted as I was, comparing the two versions. Just listen carefully to the lyrics and pay attention to how clever and intricate they are. And remember, children will listen.

Sunday, January 4

Arizona Cardinals

What’s a five-syllable word to describe the Cardinals in their loss to Carolina yesterday? Well, “megahorrific” comes to mind, “futiliciouslike.” But those are just words I made up. How about “ignominious?” Or maybe another neologism—“ugnominous,” with the “ug” a shortening of “ugly.” What we had was another embarrassing display on national television for an Arizona team, like ASU’s loss to UCLA 62-27, or AU’s loss to Oregon in the Pac 12 championship game, 51-13. And then this Cardinals’ loss to the Panthers, 27-16. That score doesn’t indicate just how bad the Cardinals got beaten into submission. Just look at the stats for this game—78 yards of total offense (a new record low for futility in an NFL playoff game), a punter who averaged just under 35 yards on nine (NINE!) punts, a time-of-possession of only 23 minutes, one sack of Cam Newton for a tiny one yard. And the entire nation got to see it; even the skies wept at the sight of this embarrassing effort. And it wasn’t as though Carolina played a really good game. They didn’t. And next week against either the Packers or the Seahawks, they will look like pussycats instead of Panthers. The saddest aspect of this game for Cardinals fans? We’ll probably have seen the last of Larry Fitzgerald in a Cardinals red uniform. For eleven years he’s been the epitome of class. Can you imagine how great his receiving numbers would have been if he’d been playing for a team with a real quarterback, like Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Granted, he had Kurt Warner for two years, but he also had a parade of also-rans or never-beens in that position. Good luck, Larry, wherever you go. We’ll miss you big-time.

Thursday, January 1

New Year's Day & Too Much Football

A gloomy New Year’s Day, cloudy and unusually cold, not a record low, but close. So, what does one do on a cold, gloomy New Year’s Day? One watches football, a bunch of football, especially the two games involving the 4-team playoff for a national championship. I’m more interested in the Oregon/Florida State game than the other. I don’t care if Ohio State somehow manages to beat Alabama. I don’t much care for either team. But Oregon is our Pac 12 team and I want them to beat up on Florida State. Not just beat ‘em, but beat up on ‘em. I’m talking about the score, not any physical injury. I think I’ll be glad to see the end of football, both college and NFL. I get too involved in the action, agonizing over every dropped pass or blown coverage, physically engaging in tackles with my legs and body squirming around as I help make a tackle or keep my legs churning if I’m helping a running back. I’m too old for that kind of empathetic action. At least in the other sports I watch—basketball, baseball, and, of course, golf—I don’t have to do much except watch the action. I don’t have to join in any drives to the basket or swing a bat with whoever’s at the plate or help Tiger make a putt, although he could sure use some help lately. Yeah, in those three sports I’m just a spectator, but in football I still have to be physically engaged. And I’m too old for that.

Last night we had a nice, quiet dinner—leftover chicken fettuccini and two large chunks of prime rib we brought home from Outback. And a bunch of wine afterwards while we watched a few old Criminal Minds before the New Year’s Eve festivities came on in New York. We made it to the East Coast ball drop at 10:00, gave each other a little kiss and toddled off to bed. So much for any midnight activity. No champagne, no funny hats, no confetti. We’re old and ten o’clock is about all we can stand.

A friend of mine from high school days, Ben Thompson, just published a book about the history of our hometown, Mobridge, South Dakota, and his involvement with the restoration of the Mobridge State Bank, one of only a handful of metal-clad banks in the country. Anyone from Mobridge or anyone from South Dakota would find this an entertaining and informative look at not only the history of our town and state but also the history of the opening of the West, with Lewis and Clark’s expedition through the territory and on to the West Coast. And it’s loaded with wonderful photographs, some from historical archives and many from the author. The book is not yet available from Amazon, but it can be ordered directly from the author by calling 763-544-5287. The cost is $18 + $3 shipping. I highly recommend this book.

Okay, just watched the end of the Wisconsin/Auburn game, Wisconsin winning in overtime, 34-31 when the Auburn kicker missed a field goal by bouncing it off the right upright. Great game. And now it’s time for the one I’m really interested in, the Oregon/Florida State Rose Bowl game. Let’s go, you Ducks.

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