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4/6/2005 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

I use Tidy Cats kitty litter. Er . . . maybe I should rephrase that. I purchase Tidy Cats kitty litter for my cats to use.
The cats seem to think it’s OK. At least I haven’t heard any howls of protest at having to use the product, although my oldest ex-tomcat prefers the great outdoors. He uses the box only when it’s bitterly cold outside or raining.
On the other hand, the female cat comes into the house to use the box after she’s been outside.
Paul Harvey was talking on the radio the other day about products we use today which are directly related to the space program. He listed a bunch of things, including Teflon and WD-40 and then said that his list went on for more than 300 pages.
I can’t help but think that clumping cat litter, like Tidy Cat, was probably a product of the space program. It’s definitely one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century.
The solid waste becomes coated with the product, cutting down on the smell.
The liquid waste turns into a nearly solid clump which can easily be removed. The litter box isn’t wet on the bottom any more. After scooping the clumps of waste out of the litter box, it looks like fresh new litter.
I just add more Tidy Cat to the box when it gets low.
What a great product! It only proves that this is, indeed, a great country.
Speaking of great country, those of us blessed to live in rural North Dakota can be thankful we live where we do.
Taxes here are reasonable, no matter what some might say. Rent in rural North Dakota is also reasonable. Food in the grocery stores costs about the same as in the big cities. We just have fewer choices. Restaurant and bar prices are much, much lower than in the big cities. We don’t have to deal with traffic. Parking isn’t a problem in Brinsmade, for instance.
There’s very little crime. What little crime rural areas have is primarily related to drug use. Meth is a problem, but this is a problem everywhere that will continue growing as long as people insist on pursuing the war on drugs. The criminalization of drugs is what drives the increase in drug use, filling our prisons to overflowing. But that’s another subject for another day.
We have no tsunamis, although Minnewaukan could experience this phenomenon if an earthquake occurred on Graham’s Island. Fortunately, there has never been a recorded instance of an earthquake in this part of North Dakota. We don’t have hurricanes, either, although some wind gusts are strong enough to knock over underweight meth users.
Our only real problems relate to the weather. Our winters are long and cold. But they’re bearable, especially if one stays inside on the worst days. We have far more wind than we need, but it only makes those rare windless days more pleasurable.
All in all, this is a pretty good place to live.
This came in an e-mail:
To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall for an American Association of Retired Persons benefit. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound of Music." However, the lyrics of the song were deliberately changed for the entertainment of her silver-haired audience. Here are the lyrics she recited:
Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.
When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’, And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad.
Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores

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