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Collected editorials

Millennia zipping by

Where has this millennium gone?

I don’t know if any one else has noticed, but this millennium has been zipping by rather fast. Here it is, 2007 already. We made such a big deal out of beginning the year 2000 and it’s already seven years in the past. Personally, I blame the election of 2000. What happened is that we jumped reality tracks and wandered off somewhere into the twilight zone. Time goes by faster because nothing that is happening is real; we’re trapped in an ersatz millennium.

And what is your title?

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Most Noble and Honourable the Encompassing of Midhoop St Giggleswich .

Our Lady of The Large Black Dog is also known as the
Most Noble and Honourable the Assiduous of Wimblish upon Frognaze.

You can find out what your Peculiar Aristocratic Title is at http://www.masquerademaskarts.com/memes/yourtitle.php

Robot deer

It is impossible to keep up with the technology news of the twenty first century; it keeps mutating and metastisizing at an appalling and ever increasing rate. At least it is impossible for me – maybe the script kiddies can manage. I make a pass at keeping up by reading slashdot, which proclaims that it is news for nerds, stuff that matters. I’m not sure that it really matters, but that’s the place that I learned about robot deer.

It seems that there is a class of people called poachers who shoot deer illegally, either because they don’t have a license, or because they shoot from a vehicle, or because they are hunting out of season, or for whatever other illegal mopery and dopery they come up with. (Apparently it is legal to hunt deer with an SUV – I know people who get more deer with their SUV than with their gun.) There is another class of people called game wardens who like to catch poachers in the act; the state gets a tidy fine from each poacher caught in the act.

Alas for the game wardens, they are seldom present when poachers do their vile deeds – until now. Enter the robot deer. For about $1300 you can get a robot deer. It looks like a full grown Bambi with a nice rack. The wardens put the robot deer in a ditch by the road and conceal themselves nearby. By me by a poacher comes by in a pickup truck. The poacher sees Bambi apparently grazing peacefully in the ditch. Bambi lifts its head and gazes at the truck. (Deer aren’t all that bright.) The truck comes to a halt and a rifle pops out of the window. Ka Pow.

Ka Pow indeed. Bambi stands there unscathed with a stupid look on its face (robot deer aren’t any brighter than the standard issue kind). The wardens jump out of the brush and bag the poachers. There’s big money in bagging poachers. Fines (in Wisconsin) run into the thousands of dollars.

It all goes to show that you can make big bucks out of big bucks.

Duane Johnson Day

There are honors and then there are honors. For example, my web site has been awarded the Best Home Page award and the Bottom 95% of all web sites award. True, I awarded them to myself, but still, I have been honored by awards. This sort of scam is not entirely satisfactory – it’s rather like getting a PhD from a diploma mill. It’s better if the honoring comes from some one else, preferably someone official. One wants some credibility in these things, after all.

In the musical, My fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle dreams of the King of England honoring her by declaring a particular day Eliza Doolittle Day. That’s the ticket – having some high mucky muck declare some day your very own day. But who is so lucky? Not Eliza Doolittle – she never got her day, and certainly not me. Nobody has seen fit to declare a Richard Harter day. Who then? Why, Duane Johnson, that’s who. And who is Duane Johnson you ask? Here is your answer in the official words of the Governor of South Dakota himself.

Executive Proclamation
State of South Dakota
Officer of the Governor

Whereas, South Dakota was founded with hard work, perseverance, dedication to duty and concern for others; and

Whereas, Duane Johnson was elected Register of Deeds for Hyde County, South Dakota and started his first term of office on January 5, 1971, serving for 35 years in this position; and

Whereas Duane is efficient and dedicated to his work, going the extra mile to meet the needs of customers and is a model employee to Hyde Country; and

Whereas the “Courthouse Gang” will miss Duane’s caring personality, his conversations and his handyman tools that were available for all to use; and

Whereas, on December 31 2006, Duane will be retiring to spend more time with his beloved wife, Katherine, and other family members; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper that Duane’s colleagues, family and friends will have an opportunity to thank him for his public service and wish him good health and happiness in his retirement at an event in his honor on December 15, 2006;

Now, therefore, I, M. Michael Rounds, Governor of the State of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim December 15, 2006 as DUANE JOHNSON DAY in South Dakota.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of South Dakota, in Pierre, the Capital City, this Sixth Day of December in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Six.

M. Michael Rounds, Governor
Chris Nelson, Secretary of State

Not alone in virtual Hyde County

There are two Hyde Counties, the physical Hyde County, and the virtual Hyde County. The physical Hyde County is a patch of prairie in central South Dakota, home to .0005 percent of the US population. The virtual Hyde County is a scattering of web sites that have an international presence in the world wide web.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, back in the waning years of a prior millennium, a web search on Highmore turned up a few pages of soil reports and various pages from my web site. Things have changed. A recent google search turned up about 66,400 hits. Most of these are organization sites, genealogies, and data compilations. Highmore is even mentioned in the wikipedia.

There are some oddities. For example, Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s Marijuana uses site has an essay by “prairie dog” about how to best view the local scenery. I cannot endorse his suggestions, but I will commend to my readers his description of the local scenery.

I may be the only Highmore resident practicing personal journalism on the web. However Hyde county does have a blogger of note, yclept Jerry Hinkle, who publishes The Holabird Advocate. A former Highmore resident, Rita Mosquita, nee Rita Sporrer, publishes Rita’s Ramblings. If I’ve overlooked anybody please let me know.

And of course, if you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Hyde county the very person to contact is our very own Lady of the Large Black Dog whose website is at http://www.realtordrinehart.com/.

Site traffic in 2006

Earthlink reset their records files in the middle of the year, so this years statistics are only approximate. Modulo uncertainties, the numbers are:

Visitors:   1,143,545
Page Views: 2,341,475
Hits:       3,300,645
Bytes sent: 19.57 Gigabytes
The number of visitors is up about 20% from last year but the number of hits is only up 5%. I’m not sure what this means other than that people should be more careful about what they view on the internet.

This page was last updated January 1, 2007.

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Collected editorials