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Thursday, March 14, 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.

“Many companies (especially those dealing with hazmat) require all employees to back in because it affords a quicker evacuation (Whittemore-style parking, Feb. 14, 2024). Most importantly, it's much safer to pull out of a parking spot than backing out of a parking spot. Why? When one backs out, virtually the entire vehicle is in the path of crossing traffic before the driver can see around the cars parked on either side of the backing vehicle. When pulling forward out of a spot, only a few feet are exposed, and the driver can quickly see crossing traffic. Is backing in more dangerous? Not really, because before I back in, I have the chance to clearly see the area I'm backing into and also monitor traffic in all quadrants. Yes, occasionally I have someone 'on my six' not paying attention and I'll need to go find another spot. That's actually fairly rare. I've been backing into spots for decades and would have it no other way. But, to your point, that doesn't work in parking lots with slanted slots.” - Steve

Just wait until we start parking on top of each other. - Shane

“Hi, Shane. The best April Fool’s joke I played was when I was part of the working world (Pranks, March 5, 2024). We had a shared copy machine that was used by several of my coworkers. I put a few paper clips on the copier and ran 50 copies. I then placed all those pages in the paper tray. Whenever someone copied something, those paper clip images appeared. I had left the area for several minutes and when I returned, five of my coworkers had nearly torn the copier apart trying to find out where those paper clips were. It was a classic!” - Debbi

I love it! I would do this one, but I will be the one who will have to pay for the copier repairs. - Shane

“I lived with five guys in a house at Iowa State (Pranks, March 5, 2024). One of them was from Iowa City and a huge Hawkeye fan. The Hawks had a bad night on the court, and he spent several hours imbibing at a local establishment to watch the game with friends. We knew how he would be when he got home. His bedroom was just inside the front door. We pulled pins on the hinges and edged the door into a precarious position. When he walked in the front door, we started giving him a hard time, he got mad, turned to his room, simultaneously kicked and pounded both hands on the door, and he rode it face first all the way to the floor. The purple cloud emanating from his lips while he lay on the door left us in stitches for, well, to this day — four decades later.” - Brad

Sounds like your friend may have been in stitches, too! - 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 linger into the late night hours. Cooler and breezy weather follows through the weekend and into Monday.

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 Local Nachos

1. University Library Cafe

2. Jethro’s BBQ

3. Skip’s

Read all the results now!

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

$150,000                                                             300 Walnut St. Unit 1107, Des Moines

Great opportunity to own a little piece of the action. Single 738 square foot condo with underground parking and great downtown views from your 11th floor balcony. The Plaza offers it all: outdoor pool, tennis/basketball courts, gym, sauna and updated community room. HOA fee includes; secure entrance, cable/internet, heat/AC, water, trash, and communal laundry on the same floor. 1 year min lease.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
From the March issue of CITYVIEW

‘Drive-Away Dolls’ is a rollicking ride filled with unexpected twists and turns

By David Rowley

Ethan Coen, known famously as one half of the Coen Brothers, ventures into solo territory with “Drive-Away Dolls,” a raucous and unpredictable road-trip comedy that brims with eccentricity and audacious humor. Despite Ethan’s previous collaborations with his brother Joel yielding some of cinema’s most memorable characters and scenes, “Drive-Away Dolls” proves that his solo efforts are not to be underestimated. While some may argue that the Coen Brothers’ combined creative energies produce a unique spark, Ethan demonstrates here that he’s more than capable of crafting a compelling narrative on his own.

“Drive-Away Dolls” showcases his distinct storytelling prowess, offering a rollicking ride filled with unexpected twists and turns. The film’s plot unfolds with a frenetic energy, propelled by its eccentric characters and offbeat humor.


Pigs that are gene-disabled for cancer are coming soon. To date the FDA has approved only two genetically modified animals, a fast growing salmon and an allergy proof swine. Both those animals cater only to specialized markets, such as organ transplants. Genus is seeking FDA approval for a cancer gene-disabled pig that would be the first genetically modified animal to be consumed on a wide scale. (WSJ)

Coffee Mate is partnering with Dr. Pepper to create a "coconut lime creamer" specifically made for a "dirty soda." This limited-time creamer is meant to be added to soda (ideally Dr. Pepper) instead of coffee. (Southern Living)

Good Eatin's (2811 SE 14th St., Des Moines) is now open and serving delicious Southern food. catfish, wings, smoked turkey legs, greens, sweet potatoes, four kinds of cake, etc. Lunch and dinner served every day but Monday... Mariscos El Capitan (2809 Sixth Ave., Des Moines), where you can get whole coconuts or pineapples stuffed with seafood ceviche, is offering 12-ounce lime Margaritas on the rocks today for $1.99.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Keep Iowa Beautiful photo contest winners

ABOVE: Iowa Wildlife, first place, “Sleepy Barred Owl,” by Eric Burson of Des Moines

Keep Iowa Beautiful has announced the winners of the 14th Annual Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest, aimed at raising awareness of Iowa's natural and environmental beauty.  To see all the winning photos, visit Keep Iowa Beautiful.

Send your photos of beautiful sights in Iowa to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com.

Weekly fuel report

• The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 3 cents, averaging $3.17 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are down 6 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.40, up 1 cent from last week’s price.

• Retail diesel prices in Iowa rose 1 cent this week with a statewide average of $3.78. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $3.92 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 26 cents lower than the national average of $4.04.

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

• Propane prices averaged $1.59 per gallon statewide.

• Home heating oil prices averaged $3.18 per gallon statewide.

• Natural gas prices fell 25 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $1.68/MMbtu


FROM KCCI: Legislation expanding medical coverage for firefighters with cancer dies in Iowa Senate

The bill is likely dead for the rest of session since the state Senate will not take any action on it before Friday's funnel deadline.....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Former Iowa teacher receives lengthy prison sentence in sexual abuse case

CARROLL COUNTY, Iowa — A former Iowa teacher has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing students. Tuesday, former IKM-Manning school teacher Cassidy Kraus received the maximum sentence of up to 33 years in prison...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Waukee South Middle School making Ramadan accommodations

The school is offering alternative lunchtime locations and gym options for fasting students.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Michael Caine, Quincy Jones, Billy Crystal, Simone Biles, Stephen Curry, Ansel Elgort, Daniel Gillies, Aamir Khan, Sammi Giancola, Preacher Lawson

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What did the bleu cheese receive when it won the cheesy Olympics? A MOLD MEDAL! - Clare Baker, Kris Laurson, Rex Post.  A BLEU RIBBON! - Mike Chiston, Carolyn Rogers, William Snyder, Judy Anderson, Rex Post. Or A GOUDA MEDAL! - Gail Tomlinson.

Today's riddle

What did the physicist get when he put coffee into a black hole?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella, Johnston Living magazine or Johnston Living Weekly, contact:

Andrea Hodapp
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 322
Mobile: 515-883-0523

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