Let’s avoid the circular firing squad.

The conservative community doesn’t like Mike Rounds as the Republican candidate for Senate.  They say Rounds is too liberal, that he favors big government.  I certainly can agree that Mike Rounds is not a true conservative. However, neither is John Thune or Kristi Noem. They have all done things that have set me walking in circles talking to myself.
Having said that, John, Kristi and Mike will vote 80% of the time to the right of the chart. A democrat (regardless of the place holder) will vote to the left of center nearly 100% of the time.
I surely wish we conservatives had someone on deck that could run a viable campaign against Mike Rounds but that isn’t the case. So… what to do? I’m stuck, again, supporting the liberal lite over the progressive left candidate. Voting third party or simply staying home is not an option. That just gives my vote to the left.
I  would like to stress one thing that I think is important. The one thing I will not do is join into this circular firing squad that is forming inside the Republican party. That simply gives more ammunition to the Progressive left. We need a deeper conservative bench. This is imperative. Today, we don’t have one. I have little to no enthusiasm with our current federal representatives or candidates. Our true conservatives (Stace Nelson, Betty Olsen, Brock Greenfield, Dan Kaiser et al.) are all good people, but they aren’t yet ready for prime time. That day will come and on that day I will blister my hands pounding in highway signs for them. BUT today….. I’m left with a bucket that has a hole in it.  Instead of this being a ringing endorsement for Mike Rounds, I’m giving an affirmative shrug.

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Customoer Service?

I just spent the past twenty minutes on the phone with a very friendly but not very useful customer service company in India. The frustration was not their fault and it was not a communication problem. It was simply a case of “you can’t get there from here.”

HE: XYZ Corporation, How can I be of assistance today?
Me: Good morning, I would like to put the widget in the hole.
He: Yes, certainly sir, can I put you on hold to verify your widget?
Me: Yes, that will be fine.

Pause for indiscernible  music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. I have found your widget.
ME: Great! I would like to put it in the hole.
HE: I have to check that the security code for the widget is valid. Can I put you on hold one more time?
ME: Okay.

More indiscernible music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. May I have your account number please?
ME: The account number is B86reoePqrd89
HE: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: That’s correct.
HE: I’ll look that up for you.
ME: Thank You.
HE: I’m sorry, I have no record of that account.
ME: That’s odd. I’m looking at it right here on my screen. It is on your web site.
HE: Can you tell me the number again?
ME: Sure, B86reoePqrd89
HE: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: Correct.
HE: Yes, certainly sir, can I put you on hold to verify your account?
ME: Sure (with a sigh).

More indiscernible  music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. Can I have the e-mail address you used when you signed up for this service.
ME: I think is was ******@yahoo.com
HE: Okay, Thank for that. Can I put you on hold one more time while I check this out?
ME: GO ahead. (at this point I am trying very hard not to be the ugly American)

This time, along with the indiscernible music, was a recording telling me my representative will be back on the line shortly and the my phone call is important.

HE: Sir, I have found your account. How can I help you today?
ME: I would like you to put the widget in the hole.
HE: Yes sir, we can certainly help with that. Which hole did you select when you signed up for this account?
ME: I don’t remember, can you tell me from the account.
HE: I’m sorry sir, I can’t access that information. Can I connect you with a supervisor?
ME: Yes please.
HE: Please hold while I get a supervisor on for you, all right?
ME: Yes

Here comes the music again.

NEW HE: Good morning my name is Phillip. How can I be of service today?
ME: Good morning Phillip, I would like to put the widget in the hole.
PHILLIP: I Understand, sir. May I have your account number please.
ME: The account number is B86reoePqrd89
PHILLIP: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: That’s correct.
PHILLIP: I’ll look that up for you.
ME: Thank You.

More music.

PHILLIP: I have your account on my screen. How can I help you?
ME: I want to put the widget in the hole.
PHILLIP: Yes sir, I can certainly help you with that. Which hole did you purchase with this account?
ME: I’m not sure. Can you tell me from my account which hole I purchased?
PHILLIP: I am looking at your account now and sir and it appears you did not purchase a hole.
ME: Excuse me?
PHILLIP: There is no record of you purchasing a hole, sir.
ME: Why would I buy a widget if I didn’t buy a hole to put it in?
PHILLIP: I’m sorry sir, I do not understand your question.
ME: I bought a widget to put in the hole. I would not buy a widget if I could not use it. Are you telling me that your company sold me a widget without a hole?
PHILLIP: Would you like to purchase a hole today, sir?
ME: I think I already did purchase a hole.
PHILLIP: I have no record of that. I will send you an e-mail with your account information. Is ******@yahoo.com correct?
ME: Yes it is.
PHILLIP: I will send that right away.
ME: Thank you
PHILLIP: Thank you, and thank you for calling XYZ today. If we can be of any further assistance please call again.

click

Published in: on November 8, 2012 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Great South Dakota Un-Holiday

There was a time in my life when the third Saturday in October was just another day. Of course that was before I moved here to South Dakota. Now, I realize that there are holidays and there are holidays. Each holds a special meaning and importance. We stop and take a moment each December 25th to remember the reason for the season. We kick off a new year about a week later. Many in our community (myself included) bow our heads and thank the Lord on Easter Sunday. July Forth brings out the flags, the parades and the fireworks. There are others. I won’t list them all.

 

This day – the third Saturday in October is not an official holiday (though some may think otherwise). It is a day that countless people have been planning on and working toward for months. From airport to interstate people arrive to help us celebrate our un-holiday. Some have said that the population of the rural counties actually doubles this day. Many people have friends that they invite in to share our experience. Others arrive strictly drawn to the event. The influx of celebrants is so great that we would be hard pressed to find a vacancy sign today.

 

The opening day of the Pheasant Hunting Season is special to many people but it influences every South Dakota resident in some fashion. For some it is the start of a business cycle that will run through January. For others it is their Black Friday, when the annual business budget actually goes from red to black.

 

In South Dakota the biggest revenue generator is Agri-business, the second is Tourism. To us in the Northeast quarter of the state, tourism means hunting. There are many people in my area that cater to hunters. Whether it be for fun or for profit, they have been getting ready for this day for a while. The tax revenue this event brings in is a significant portion of the South Dakota state budget. From government to business to the family farm that allows hunters to walk in, the vast majority are involved in some way. There is reason that Cabela’s chose Mitchell, South Dakota for an anchor store. It wasn’t our burgeoning population. It was this day and this season.

 

My situation is not unlike many who live outside of town. I have a small hobby farm that is surrounded by three large shelter belts. I always expect a knock at my door on this day. Men and sometimes women dressed in denim and orange looking to walk my property seeking the opportunity to shoot our state bird. This year it was no different. The official opening of the season was high noon and the first knock came eighteen minutes later.

 

I look forward to this time of year. Not because I am a hunter (I’m not), but because of the people I meet. I have made some great friends over the years because of this un-holiday.

 

So let me say what is written in orange and on signs throughout the state…

 

Welcome Hunters!

Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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I’m confused… Happy, but confused.

Ever since I moved out here to rural South Dakota I have used propane as a heating fuel.  For the first few years it was not only my primary source but my only source for home heat.
As the price of the stuff (which tends to follow oil) continued to increase, I looked for and found an alternate source of heat in the form of a wood burning stove.
I have seen the price of propane go from 83 cents a gallon in 2003 to 2.25 a gallon in 2008.
I have reduced my consumption by over half with the a bit of sweat equity and the wood burner, and I’m fine with that.  It keeps me young to swing a 9 pound mall and split a 12” log.

Here’s why I’m confused (and believe me, I m not complaining). I called my local supplier to check the price of propane for the “winter fill program” and found out the price was on dollar and ten cents a gallon!  Last year it was 1.79.  The year before it was 1.89.
I told them to fill the tank, something I have not had the wherewithal to do in several years.

My question is why.  Why has the price of propane broken away from its link to crude oil?  The driver of the delivery truck told me there is a glut because of the mild winter.  The dry summer also has an affect here.  In the fall, farmers will use propane to dry down grain for long term storage.  Well it has been so dry that there will be little drying needed for the small harvests this year.

Anybody know it that is happening in the home heating oil business or in the natural gas industry?  Anybody have a better understanding of the energy industry than I do?

Published in: on September 15, 2012 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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South Dakota Gets A Bite at the Presidential Apple.

Without a definitive leader in the Republican Presidential race this year, the South Dakota Republican Caucus will actually have an influence on the choice of nominee for President.  In years past by the time the South Dakota caucuses met, the nominee had already been established.

Not this year.  The South Dakota Republican Party actually has an opportunity to help choose their Republican Presidential candidate.

On March 1st at 8 PM we South Dakota Republicans will caucus in support of our individual choices.  We will be able to stand up and be counted in favor of the person we want as President of our United States.

Those chosen by vote will be eligible to vie for a seat on the floor of the National Convention in Tampa, Florida next August.

What’s so exciting about that?  There is a growing chance that this will be a brokered convention.

A Brokered Convention?

There is a real possibility this year that there will be no candidate with the required 1144 votes to capture the nomination in the first vote.  If there is no front runner with a the required (50% +1) votes on the first vote, the choice is put in the hands of the delegates on the floor.  This could very well be one of those special events in your life you replay for your grandchildren.

South Dakota Republicans, the trail to Tampa starts in your County Seat March 1st.  To be nominated as a delegate to the Republican National Convention plan to be at your county caucus.  With very few exceptions, this is where the journey starts.

This is an exciting time for South Dakota. We finally get a turn at bat. We get a choice, rather than having our choice made for us. If you want to be at what could be a history making Republican National Convention and if you want a voice as to who should be your next President, see you at the caucus.

Snow on Basketball weekend? If the folklore is right….

Since I moved here I have heard bits and pieces of folklore.  Folklore comes from experience and the wisdom of the ages, with a little whimsy thrown in to keep things interesting.

Two tidbits come to mind this morning.

1.  There is always a blizzard around or on the weekend of the Boys High School Basketball Playoffs.

and

2.  You can expect snow about 60 days after a fog.

Here’s the deal… The Boys Playoffs start on March 15 in Aberdeen (fifty plus days)

and…

We have had two mornings of heavy fog.

Hmmmm. This could get exciting.

New York Post… Look to your own house before throwing stones at us.

Concerning the NY post article:

The Great Wide Open – How rural America has become a vanishing way of life.
Read it here:  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/great_wide_open_WqL54fjvoNYjfFI74GlmmL?fb_ref=m_site&fb_source=home_oneline

Hey New York, clean up your own cesspool before you look at our Prairie!  Last time I looked you have more murders in a week than we do out here in year, and out here carrying a gun is legal.

As to the population loss, I truly believe you have seen the last of it in Rural America.  The 2010 census shows the change in population over ten years.  In 2000 we didn’t have high speed internet, a cell phone in every pocket and I-pads.

The census looks at a population shift but not the dynamic.  The true paradigm shift has been outbound from the troubled, crime ridden, overtaxed and under serviced cities to smaller cities like Sioux Falls, Fargo or Cedar Rapids.  Now the shift is happening again.  From those towns to even smaller towns.  

People not from here are starting to find out that they can send their kids to public school with class sizes of about twelve.  They are finding out, through the new media, that South Dakota has no income tax.  In fact, per capita, the taxes here in South Dakota are lower than any other state in the nation.  

Businesses owners in tune with the information age find that they can conduct business in this state which encourages entrepreneurship rather than the one they are in which is trying to tax and regulate them into oblivion.

The next census will tell a different tale.  It will be a tale of two cities (or rather one city crumbling under the weight of it’s own bureaucracy and a small town with few government constraints).  Those cities could be New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Huston or even Los Angeles.  The other Doland, Eureka, Harried, in South Dakota or perhaps Brandon, Iowa or Bloomfield Nebraska.  One shrinking and one growing.

People who work from home are starting to realize that “home” can be anywhere.  They are choosing to leave the high cost and congested areas and moving where the kids can go out and play without the fear of being molested.

Watch the 2020 census…. South Dakota may just have TWO Congressmen.

By the way New York, just how many congressional seats did you loose this year?

Oh…. and one more thing…..  It’s pronounced “Harry-id”, not “Harried”.

Rick Skorupski

A proud transplant in South Dakota.

So… You want to live in South Dakota?

What I want to share are some photos and a story.

Here are three pictures taken yesterday afternoon.  For those of you who do not know, we live in a rural part of South Dakota.  Sometimes the winters can be a challenge, sometimes a blessing. 

Our house is about 3/4 miles from our mailbox.  The road to the mail box is completely clear which is great.  We can get to the mailbox.  Too bad our mailman can’t.

 The first is from the corner where our mailbox is looking west toward the main highway. 

 The second is the same spot looking east toward our nearest neighbor.

The third is me standing on a wind packed snow drift that is less than 24 hours old.  I am pointing DOWN to our mailbox.

Now the story.  No way in or out to the north.  The road to the south had a 4′ high X 300′ drift across it about half a mile to the south of our house so no way out that way either.   We were completely snowbound.

Last night around 7 we get a knock on the door.  It was our neighbor to the south, Waldo!  He had been out since 3 clearing snow.  He asked the man who rents the working part of his farm to take his tractor mounted snow blower and cut a path through the long drift between us.  Now we can get out to the south.  Why did he do that?  So we could get in and cut firewood from his shelter belt.  The one he had just spent three hours clearing. 

 The rest of the story?   Waldo is 86 years old.

I want to live in South Dakota?

You bet!

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Curiouser and Curiouser”, said Alice

So, I’m watching the 10 o’clock news on my local CBS affiliate last night and they come out with this story on how a local Hotel is in the process of being torn down.

http://www.keloland.com/news/NewsDetail6371.cfm?Id=105084

“So?”, you ask, “Old buildings are torn down all the time.”  No big deal – right?  Or is it?

From the story I find out that this nice looking fairly new structure was hit with “a six page letter” containing “health and property violations”.  So the city forced the business to close.

Over time it seems that the owner could not “comply” with the city and the property was subsequently condemned.  Now it is being demolished and the property will be left vacant.

Now, I was not born yesterday and I was not born in South Dakota.  Having been raised in New Jersey and not South Dakota it is not my nature to think the best of people (something the Midwest culture teaches here).  The culture I grew up in was corrupt.  So I look for the corruption when I see stories like this.  I immediately look for the story behind the story, The skullduggery if you will.

I did a little homework this morning and to my surprise (yeah right) it seems that this property is in the same neighborhood as the proposed location of the New Event Center.  Remember the New Event Center?  The one voted down by the residents of the city (twice)?

Now I am not accusing – I am curious.  I find it odd that the city of Sioux Falls chose to single out this individual and this property for so much attention when there are other parts of town and other blatant violations being ignored.

Could it be as they say in the Real Estate business … Location – Location – Location?

Another Bright Idea

It seems that Sioux Falls hasn’t learned the lesson yet.  There is a new member of the City Council that has a brainstorm of an idea.  “Let’s raise the tax on hotel rooms by two dollars a night to bring in more tourists.”  Sound ridiculous?  Of course.  The twisted liberal logic is as follows.  We raise the tax and use the money to promote tourism.  That means we can hire another bureaucrat (spelled patronage job) to oversee this newly found cash.

Why do they want all this extra tourism?  To justify building the brand new Event Center that the people have said they do not want (twice).

I consider the above to be absolute proof that the democrats have taken over Sioux Falls.  How do I know?  First, they refuse to listen to the people who elected them.   Second,  they have no concept of the basic business economics.  Hey Sioux Falls City Council, here’s a reality that is often missed in the halls of government.  If you charge more money for something, fewer people will buy it.  Even if you spend that money to tell people how good something is now that it costs more.  It just doesn‘t work.  If it did, we would all be driving Duisenbergs and Packards.

Here’s the basics:  First – People in Sioux Fall at large do not want the city to spend millions of their tax dollars to build this new albatross of an event center.  (See my previous post on the subject).

https://p3bfco.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/loose-touch-with-the-people-and-loose-your-town/

Second – People who visit Sioux Fall visit for business, family and for the charm.  Fewer people will visit if you raise the cost of staying in town.

Don’t believe me?  Outside of Philadelphia, just a few miles over the line, there is a major business and convention center in King of Prussia Pennsylvania.  Why is it there?  Why was it built?  Because the Philadelphia City Council has made it cost too much to stay and work in Philadelphia.

Mr. Mayor, though I think you are part of the problem, perhaps you can listen to the citizens of your fine city for once and drop this foolishness once and for all.  Break the cycle of ever increasing taxes, fees and costs and let Sioux Falls be what it is – the best (big) small town in America.