3/15/2006 – Editorials



By Richard Peterson

The National Weather Service has estimated there is only a 20 percent chance that Devils Lake will reach the record level of 1449.1 feet set in June of 2004. The lake is currently at 1447.93 feet.

Don’t be too comforted by this forecast. One heavy rainfall or one big snowstorm could make that forecast a joke overnight.

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Stump Lake rose 12 feet last year. If it rises a similar amount this year, Devils Lake and Stump Lake will be equal. We will have lost our pressure relief valve.

Once the two lakes stabilize at the same level, both will rise in unison and we’ll experience significant flooding all around the lake.

That is, of course, if the wet cycle continues. Nobody knows if it will.

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The Bismarck Tribune reported the Connecticut State Legislature is contemplating an official state cookie. The oatmeal chocolate drop cookie with a dash of nutmeg appears to have the inside track. If it is selected it will take its place next to the state animal (the sperm whale), the state mineral (the garnet) and the state tartan (a blue, gray, green, red and yellow plaid).

Also up for consideration this year are bills to designate a state fruit (the apple), a state polka (the ballroom polka), a state aviation pioneer (Igor Sikorsky) and a state statesman (Samuel Huntington).

Designating a state cookie would not be unprecedented. New Mexico has biscochitos and chocolate chip is the state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts also has a state muffin (the corn muffin) and a state dessert (Boston cream pie).

North Dakota is no slouch in this category. We have a state flower, the wild prairie rose; a state bird, the western meadowlark; a state tree, the American elm; a state song, The North Dakota Hymn; a state art gallery at UND; a state fossil, Teredo petrified wood; a state fish, the northern pike; a state march, The Flickertail March; a state beverage, milk; a state grass, Western Wheatgrass; a state dance, the square dance; a state language, English; and a state railroad museum at Mandan. Although we don’t have a state horse, we do have an honorary equine, the Nokota horse.

What’s next? A state pizza? How about lutefisk and sauerkraut topping with Limburger cheese?

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Since St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, here’s an old joke that we’ve printed before, but it still makes me laugh:

Two men were sitting next to each other at a bar.

After a while, one guy looks at the other and says, "I can’t help but think, from listening to you, that you’re from Ireland."

The other guy responds proudly, "Yes, that I am."

The first guy says, "So am I. And where about from Ireland might you be?"

The other guy answers, "I’m from Dublin, I am."

The first guy responds, "Sure and begorra, and so am I. And what street did you live on in Dublin?"

The other guy says, "A lovely little area it was, I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town."

The first guy says, "Faith and it’s a small world, so did I. So did I."

"And to what school would you have been going?"

The other guy answers, "Well now, I went to St. Mary’s of course."

The first guy gets really excited and says, "And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?"

The other guy answers, "Well, now, let’s see, I graduated in 1964."

The first guy exclaims, "The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us!

I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same bar tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1964 my own self."

About this time, Vicky walks into the bar, sits down, and orders a beer. Brian, the bartender, walks over to Vicky, shakes his head and mutters, "It’s going to be a long night tonight."

Vicky asks, "Why do you say that, Brian?"

"The Murphy twins are drunk again."

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Doctor Bloomfield, who was known for extraordinary treatment of arthritis, had a waiting room full of people when a little old lady, almost bent over in half, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane.

When her turn came, she went into the doctor’s office, and, amazingly, emerged within five minutes walking completely erect with her head held high.

A woman in the waiting room who had seen all this rushed up to the little old lady and said, "It’s a miracle! You walked in nearly bent in HALF and now you’re walking upright! What did the doctor do?"

"He gave me a longer cane."


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