Opinion, Discussion and Analysis

Mr. Truck 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

A couple years hiatus for GMC, Canyon and Chevy Colorado are back strong with the most popular truck size in California. We think of Texas as the largest truck market, but midsize trucks rule in California along with the No. 1 car state.

I’ve owned many compact (mini) trucks back when they were more like a motorized wheelbarrow, which I liked. Now they have grown to mid-size. These new Colorado and Canyons are bigger, though not much over rivals Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Ford Ranger use to own this market but dropped out in 2012. Tacoma is the reigning champion in mid-size, but neither of the Japanese trucks have changed much in a decade. Which leaves the door open for the all new Colorado and Canyon. I spent a couple days in California driving and towing with them. GM has done their homework making the cabs quite. Only when driving in high winds did I notice any road noise. Still a body on frame like their big brothers Silverado and Sierra, these truck do feel solid with their boxed frame and triple sealed doors. I was surprised by all the room in the front seats. My legs weren’t touching the door and center console like they do in most crossovers. Even the back seat on the crew cab has room for two adults, seatbelts for three and the back of the seat was tilted back at the right angle to be comfortable. The two cab models are crew cab and extended with reverse opening doors. Beds come in two sizes, 5-foot-2-inches and 6-foot-2-inches which is a very usable size. You can haul 4-by-8 sheets of plywood with the tailgate down and slots built into the fender wells to get 4 feet wide. Ecotec 2.5L 4-cylinder is still available with a six-speed Eaton manual or six-speed automatic. The 3.6L V-6 only comes with a six-speed automatic.

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Rocky Mountain Mystery Photo 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Do you know what this is?

Mark Kendell of Golden, Colo., is wondering if any of our readers know anything about this mystery object.

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Plains Edition Mystery Photo 10-25-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Do you know what this is?

Phil Sherman of Mullen, Neb., is wondering if any of our readers know anything about this mystery object.

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Guess the Year 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Walt Disney World construction begins.

Riots on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

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John Mattingly: Socratic Rancher 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

One of my encounters with bears was west of Creede, Colo., in and near the Spring Creek corrals that are about half way between Creede and Lake City, on the approach to Spring Creek Pass.

We were driving three bands of sheep up to the Spring Creek corrals from a Forest Service grazing permit on Bristol Head. The bands were moving slowly up the large, U-shaped draw between the Big Spring Creek crossing and the corrals. Driving on the highway I looked down and saw the bands moving up the draw in the early morning mists of September. Trucks were to be at the corrals at noon. We would ship the lambs, now fat from a peaceful summer in the high country, and truck the ewes back to the ranch to clean up aftermath under the circles.

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

I usually wait until the end of the week to write my columns because I’m expecting a good story to come my way accidentally.

Well, this week I got more of an “accidental” story than I wanted when my brother-in-law, ol’ Charl Lay, ended up in the hospital after a “4-wheeler cattle drive” went south (actually end for end) and bro ended up laying on a rocky slope with a broken left leg.

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

The clean-cut boys and girls in their blue and gold FFA jackets make me so proud to be a former member. That was certainly the case when I saw on the front page of my weekly copy of the Voice News of Hickman, Neb. FFA members from the Freeman Chapter harvesting over 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers and zucchini that they gave to needy area residents and food pantries. Although I’m quite sure the zucchini was probably later returned under the cover of darkness. They also grew something called swiss chard and kale, which in my gardening days were known as weeds!

Most FFA chapters have such activities where they strive to make their community a better place to live. And I salute them. In our town our big community effort was the annual roadside cleanup. This was back in the day when motorists thought nothing of opening the car window to empty their trash. So it was a big job and we were aided by Lions Club members who drove the trucks we filled with trash.

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Baxter Black: On The Edge Of Common Sense 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Her name’s on the note

at the Valley Bank, boys,

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Gentle readers, how many times have you thought “If I knew then what I know now?”

I had that thought cross my mind on numerous occasions as I relived some experiences that weren’t so comfortable for me at the time. For example: If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have tied that new rope to that cross tie buried up in the sand and then tied off solid to the saddle horn and tried to stretch my rope while riding a green broke hoss. When the rope came tight and jerked the cross tie loose, the bronc broke into and I went out the back door. When I hit the ground on my back, the tie whistled by my right ear just inches away. I learned a valuable lesson but if I had it to do all over again, nope!!

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-27-14

October 27, 2014 — 

There’s a new song or slogan ... or is it a movie ... I’m not sure, but the words are: “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Those expressions can describe a day in my existence that started out in the usual fashion and from there hit a modest peak and then went downhill.

How I Spent Last Friday ...

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Ryan M. Taylor: Cowboy Logic 10-25-14

October 27, 2014 — 

Being a cowboy, I always remember Dad as a cowboy hat and cowboy boots kind of a guy. But being a North Dakotan, I remember him wearing a corduroy winter cap with ear flaps as often as his cowboy hat, and whether for comfort or practicality, he also wore lace up leather work boots as often as his pull on cowboy boots.

I remember the laces because one of my jobs as a little fella was to unlace his boots, loosen them up and pull them off after a long day. I find myself asking my kids to do the same thing. For some reason, little kids like to do it and us Dads get a kick out of watching them tug at those shoes until they pop off.

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Amanda Radke: A Cowgirl’s Perspective 10-25-14

October 27, 2014 — 

When it comes to seeking information about our food, who are consumers turning to?

One would think inquisitive minds would seek out food scientists, nutritionists, farmers, ranchers, chefs or butchers to gain more knowledge about how food gets from the pasture or field to our dinner plates.

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Candy Moulton: On the Trail 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

A man killed in the Johnson County War, another whose image is a symbol used by the University of Wyoming, and more who made a name for themselves in the rodeo arena and out on the ranching range are among the first class of honorees for the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF).

Organized this year, the WCHF will induct 33 men and women during a ceremony at 1 p.m., on Nov. 2, at the Fort Reno Building on the Wyoming State Fair grounds in Douglas. That ceremony is for the statewide induction. The WCHF created 10 geographic regions within the state, and regional nominees have also been selected, who will be inducted in local programs.

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Candy Moulton: Reading the West 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

I recently had the opportunity to follow the Columbia River from its source deep in the Canadian Rockies downstream into Oregon taking a trail David Thompson charted while working for the North West Company in the early 19th century.

Thompson started his fur trade career as a 14-year-old apprentice clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company, but he left HBC employ to take a job with the rival North West Company in part because he wanted to explore new territory, not be stuck in a trading post.

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Steve Suther: Black Ink 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

I got my start with other people’s cull cows, just a bid or two above the hamburger market — which was not so dear back then.

Decades of using at least breed-average bulls in the pasture and artificial insemination (AI) on the top half moved their progeny up from 10 percent premium Choice to eight times that. I would not want to start over with any other cows now, but it’s still easy to find a bottom 20 percent in these.

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-No Ranch 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Well now, let’s see, gentle readers, it’s off in the morning to have cataract surgery on my right eye. I am excited, yes I am. I have high hopes of being able to see clearly once more.

Ya really get tired of straining to see at certain times. Every one that I have discussed this with that have had the surgery sing high praises, including my sister and brother. You geezers and geezeretts that have had this done I bet feel the same way. The Rockies with their newly snow covered peaks looked especially good this morning and I betcha’ they will look even better in a few days.

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Geezers and Crones is a poem written several years ago. I kinda adapted it a smidge so you can warble it to the Hearse Song. Geezers and Crones parody ditty is based on a cowpoke hearse verse I discovered in an old songbook as follows:

Did you ever think as the hearse rolls by

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Baxter Black: On The Edge of Common Sense 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Roadside Chuck: Delicious cuts of beef collected from scenic highways around the country. Flattened to the peak of tenderness.

■ County Line Cuts: (A division of Borders Beef Co.) Steaks and stew meat with an exotic history. Green card available upon request.

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

Have you heard about the greatest moneymaking franchise since Nerds-To-Go? It’s called Rent-A-Chicken and it was started by Leslie Suitor six years ago in Michigan. Let me tell you, this Ms. Suitor is one very smart chick.

According to a news blurb in the ever-enjoyable Fence Post magazine, Leslie sells franchises who in turn rent out two laying hens, a portable coop and enough feed to last six months. And all for only $400! It sounds like a great way to teach your children about agriculture and the food they eat. Although the economics may not pencil out.

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

What in the world is the world coming to — a place where boys ain’t boys, girls ain’t girls, men ain’t men and women ain’t women? Apparently so in Lincoln, Neb., (Of all places. I’d have suspected California or New York.) where the schools are encouraging teachers to call students by “gender-neutral” terms. One of the suggested terms is Purple Penguins.

Good grief! Purple Penguins! How about Beefy Bovines? Nope, that suggests obesity. Or, Porky Porcupines? Nope, obesity again, plus the oak trees might be offended. Perhaps Furry Felines? Nope, those hairless Mexican cats might bring a lawsuit. How about Brown Blackbirds? Rejected! Much too racial for school children. (Whoops! I’m not sure the term “children” is neutral-enuf to be acceptable.)

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Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 10-18-14

October 20, 2014 — 

There is nothing like the month of October for a scary story. I usually don’t buy into all the tales about ghosts and hauntings, but I am intrigued by one spooky place — Ghost Bridge.

Apparently, I grew up only about 7 miles from one of Colorado’s biggest haunts and I didn’t even know it until recently. Unlike me, nearly every high school student from the Denver Metro area has heard about Ghost Bridge. Many come out at night to have parties there and look for a thrill.

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Peggy Sanders: Rangeviews 10-20-14

October 20, 2014 — 

For readers “of a certain age” we have fond memories of Burma Shave signs but the story behind them may surprise you. The marketing idea was created by Alan Odell when his father, Clinton, knew that the company they owned was in deep financial trouble in 1925.

Clinton had hired a chemist to develop a brushless shaving cream; previously shavers had used shaving brushes to apply shaving soap. If the brushes were not dried before shutting them into travel cases, they had the tendency to mold and develop a bad odor.

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Lee Mielke: Monthly Milk Prices 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

The Agriculture Department announced the September Federal order benchmark Class III milk price Wednesday at a record high $24.60 per hundredweight (cwt.), up $2.35 from August, $6.46 above September 2013, $2.21 above the comparable California 4b price, and equates to about $2.12 per gallon.

That propels the 2014 Class III average to $22.72, up from $17.76 at this time a year ago, $16.54 in 2012, and $18.28 in 2011. That’s the good news. Class III futures portend declines ahead. The October Class III contract settled Friday at $24.27; November, $21.74; and December, $20.10.

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John Mattingly: Socratic Rancher 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

A lot of people think bears are cute, and a lot like dogs. Bears are actually close to dogs, as a species. Not as close as humans are to monkeys, but similar enough to cause some people to confuse bears and dogs in their minds.

Kingdom: Bears: Animalia

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Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Folks, it’s odds and ends time again — when I foist off on my readers some of the “stuff” that’s been accumulating on my desk and in my e-mail box. So, here goes:

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Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

“The good old days weren’t all that great,” recalled the crusty old cowboy. “I remember working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for room and board and 10 dollars a month. And it sure was tough supporting 11 kids and a wife on that kind of income.”

“Why did you have so many kids?” I asked in amazement.

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Baxter Black: On The Edge Of Common Sense 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Boys, I offer a toast

To that creature tied to the post

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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-No Ranch 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

Well, now just let me tell you gentle readers what’s going on today here at the O-No Ranch. Actually, not a whole lot but maybe enough to keep you interested.

The morning started off at the T Bar Inn where I had coffee with the hombres that share that time with me. Then it was off to the cement pond to go swimming. I hardly swam at all this summer as there were not enough lap lanes available because high school swim teams and other swim teams had most of them occupied. But I’m getting with it now and trying to get back in my swim shape. I came home, ate a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy and orange juice.

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Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-13-14

October 13, 2014 — 

There’s a million justifications for the need to visit a Doctor. Any slight illness, pseudo ailment or imagined distress is reason enough.

Now that we have universal “health care,” we can indulge more often. For some folks, Doctoring is a hobby, a passion and better than Facebook.

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Ryan M. Taylor: Cowboy Logic 10-11-14

October 13, 2014 — 

I’ve written a lot of columns about a lot of different things, but this is probably the first column I’ve written about bras. Yes, bras or brassieres or, as Ellie May Clampett called them in The Beverly Hillbillies television show, “a store bought, lace trimmed double-barreled slingshot.”

Every year, in Fargo, N.D., the bra becomes the symbol of an event to raise money for people in the area fighting breast cancer. This is the ninth year of the annual event held at the Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo.

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