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Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023
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.

“Shane, I sure enjoy your columns. The dress code one reminded me of when our son was in high school (he's nearly 49) and wore a cap everywhere, even in the house (Dress codes, Oct. 9, 2023). Within the last year or so, I recommended two authors for an online interview, one in his 70s, the other in his 60s. Both wore caps during his interview, and I didn't even flinch. I suppose I should apologize to our son.” - Joy

Yes, Joy, you should apologize. Or put on a hat. - Shane

“Hi, Shane. I’m a math and data guy, so I think I can provide a little context (Four-day work week, Oct. 17, 2023). 8 billion minus 1.12 billion is 6.88 billion (the funding level in 2012). 8b/6.88b = 1.1628. 1.1628-1=.1628 or an increase of 16.3% since 2012. 16.3/11=1.5% increase per year. I looked up average annual inflation over the past 11 years and the answers ranged from 2.4 to 2.65 %. Thus the funding is nearly 1% short annually in keeping up with inflation. Now, you also need to factor in enrollment. If enrollment is declining, then the funding does not need to keep up with inflation. We really need that data point to determine if funding is indeed keeping up with inflation.” - Brendan

That clears it all up. Thank you. - Shane

“Shane, as a seasoned consumer, I think self-check-out has a place but should not be the sole means of paying for my merchandise (Self-checkout kiosks, Oct. 23, 2023). Fareway stores we shop have a few self-checkouts with an ever watchful employee nearby, and there are still several traditional employee staffed checkout lanes. Walmart stores are all self-checkout and essentially no staffed lanes are terrible. Especially when only the smaller cash stands are available to self-check. Their merchandise flow is impeded by the lack of counter space if the customer has more than a few items. My experiences at Target and Home Depot fall somewhere in between. Sometimes there are staffed lanes open as a choice; sometimes there is a helpful clerk watching over self-check. Sometimes the watchful employee is not very helpful. It can be a crap shoot.
       A pro for self-check is our purchases get sacked our way. Many of today’s checkout clerks have no sense of keeping hard items on the bottom of the bag, softer items on top. No sense of distributing weight among bags so the customer is able to carry them into the house when they get home. Part of the sacking problem is no flat bottom in these flimsy plastic bags, but essentially many retailers just don’t seem to teach the skill.
        It may vary by type of retailer, but I think my preferred model would have optional self-checkout in place of the old express lane (limited number of items), with staffed lanes for all purchases, especially larger orders. It would be interesting to see opinion research on both sides, the consumer and the retailers.” - Chuck

I seem to be having a weight distribution problem myself. Although it has nothing to do with bagging groceries. - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
Join the more than 15,000 who have already cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!
Vote Now

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Our warming trend continues into the weekend! We have slight rain chances ahead on Sunday night and Monday.

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

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
3425 Valley View Drive,
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Great one owner, well-cared for two-story in established neighborhood. French doors open to office/flex room as you enter the home. Through the extra wide entry with vaulted ceilings leads to the gourmet kitchen, eating area with large island, and cozy family room with fireplace.
See More Homes For Sale

Polk County Heritage Gallery. “Selected Works by Saturday Sketch Club.” Through Nov. 10. Started in 1948, the club provides an opportunity for local artists to gather and paint. The group meets to decide on a place to paint and heads out. After about two hours, they meet for refreshments, conversation and a discussion of their work. Most still adhere to the watercolor medium because of its portability and simplicity, but a few use pastels and occasionally small oil paintings. The looseness of the organization means that some artists join regularly, some sporadically. A variety of residents have been members over the years — artists, teachers, lawyers, physicians, bankers, a cartoonist and a police detective. Women today comprise a majority of the group, which has been active for 76 years.

Noteworthy author events: Beaverdale Books, Franklin Avenue Library – Margaret Renkl. “The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year.” Nov. 2, 7 p.m.; Iowa Authors Book Expo, authors’ book signings. Iowa State Fairgrounds Elwell Family Center. Saturday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Beaverdale Books, at IN Tandem Gallery – Liz Cooney. “Through the Lens of Whiteness: Challenging Racialized Imagery in Pop Culture.” Monday, Nov. 6, 4 p.m.; Beaverdale Books – Linda Robbins Coleman. “Boyhood’s End.” Wednesday, Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Historic Fort Des Moines – Seventh Annual Massing of the Colors. Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Franklin Events Center. Begins at 8 a.m. with free pancake breakfast by Chris Cakes of Iowa. Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. This is a moving and educational patriotic ceremony to rededicate our faith in the United States. The ceremony will include color guards, featured speaker Captain Edward W. Gantt, U.S. Navy (Retired), musical salutes by the Urbandale Community Band, Mackenzie Highalders Pipes & Drums of Iowa, and The Kansas City Boys Choir and the Kansas City Girls Choir. 

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz


FROM KCCI: 'It was just messed up': 46 horses seized in livestock neglect investigation in Dallas County

MADRID, Iowa — Forty-six horses the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said are in need of veterinary care were removed from a rural property in Madrid on 165th Street Wednesday amid an ongoing livestock neglect investigation. The sheriff's office said those animals were taken by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to be addressed... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa State’s Cook added to viral ‘Purchase Moore Hamann Bacon’ NIL deal

CLIVE, Iowa –Another Iowa State Cyclone football player is getting in on the “Purchase Moore Hamann Bacon” NIL (name, image, likeness) deal...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Court documents: Man sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter

Joshua John Taylor was originally charged with first-degree murder in May after he shot and killed 23-year-old Dakota Toepfer. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports Notes
From ESPN.com:
MLB: Rangers take down D-backs in 5 games to capture 1st World Series title. Rangers 5 Diamondbacks 0
Full Moon Arising
Jim Peters sent these photos of the recent full moon as seen over his backyard.
Send your photos to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

McDonald's and Chipotle responded to Governor Gavin Newsome's hiking the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour in California. They announced price hikes to pay for it.

New York Post did a story Wednesday on years old McDonald's burgers. One appeared unchanged after five years. It was rock hard but had no mold.

Thursday brings $13 pork chop dinners and $15 prime steak dinners to Front Row (9956 Swanson Blvd, Clive).                                                                           

- Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Fall colors

This is the last fall color report of the season.

The fall color season is winding down in northeast Iowa. What color remains is mostly from oaks with some splashes of color from scattered maples and aspens. Most trees have dropped their leaves.

Fall color is winding down in north central and northwest Iowa. Oaks are showing color, but many tree species are past peak.

Oaks are in full fall color in central Iowa, showing lots of red, orange, crimson, and still some green. Some serviceberry are just coming into full color. Strong winds and cold temperatures stripped away most leaves; peak viewing has past.

Fall colors are still good in southeast Iowa. Leaves will fall more and more through the week. Browns, yellows, reds, and some purple are still showing across the landscape.

Most vibrant colors are gone for the season in south central Iowa. Most species have lost their leaves with the high winds. Some maples and hackberry are still holding on, showing bright yellow. Oaks and hickories are showing deep purple, red, and brown.

Most of the fall color was lost last week in west central Iowa. Some areas of the Central Loess Hills have oaks. Other than bur oak, there will be color in those areas. Most trees that still have their leaves will lose them by the end of the week.

Oaks continue to turn color in southwest Iowa. Past peak on other species.

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Tami Wilson and Shayne McGaughy!

These celebrities were born on this date: David Schwimmer, k.d. lang, Kurt Elling, Lynn Nottage, Marisol Nichols, Reshma Shetty, Bobby Dall, Carter Beauford, Chris Walla, Kendall Schmidt, Lauren Velez

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What do you get when an ape enters a minefield? A BA-BOOM! - Dan Juffer. Or, GORILLA WARFARE! - Shane Goodman. A bang-otang! - Gail Tomlinson. Other answers from Rex Post and William Snyder

Today's riddle

Why are baboons always drinking in the park?

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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