2013-04-04 / Columns

From the Heartland

By Allan Burke

Spring will be very evident this week with a high around 60 degrees expected. The daytime low will be 46 degrees, and the nighttime low will be a balmy 29 degrees. Most of the heartland’s snow is gone, and the area is on the dry side. We could receive snow rain or snow over the weekend and on Tuesday, which would be welcome. Calves are romping in the pastures, and the cows with calves appear to be quite contented.

Lots of readers

A new survey shows that about 80 percent of the adult population reads a newspaper every day. The numbers include those who read the printed copy as well as those who subscribe to an online edition.

Despite rumors and propaganda to the contrary, newspapers continue to be the main source for news.

We are receiving positive feedback about this newspaper’s new website and the online edition. Many online subscribers like the fact they can now read the paper on a smartphone or tablet as well as on a desktop or laptop computer.

To our knowledge, we are the first small town weekly in the Dakotas to offer these formats for a newspaper.

People also tell us they like the fact they can search for information on our website.

Whether or not you subscribe to our online edition, please call the office if you encounter any problems with the website or have any questions. Suggestions are always appreciated, too. Cell phones and toilets

A new study by the United Nations has concluded that more people on Planet Earth have access to cellular telephones than to toilets.

A Time Magazine story says six billion of the world’s seven billion people have access to cell phone service. In contrast, only 4.5 billion people have access to modern toilets. It is sobering to know that 1.1 billion have no bathroom facilities at all. For those folks, an outdoor privy or even a Boy-Scout-type latrine would be a step up.

Unlisted shopper

Margaret made a Thai meal for us Saturday night. The ingredients called for two cans of raw, unsweetened coconut milk. It was not available locally, so Leah asked me to pick it up Thursday when I was in Bismarck for a medical appointment.

“Here is a list of everything we need,” Leah said as she handed me a sticky note with her scratchings on it.

In addition to the coconut milk, I was to stop at a sporting goods store and pick up a special kind of athletic socks for Fred. Her note include the brand, the type and the size.

I was a few steps inside the grocery store when I started searching for the list in my coat pocket. It was like one of those pat-downs at the airport. The list was in none of the 37 pockets in my coat and not in my shirt pocket. It was lost.

My losing the list was reminiscent of my bride’s shopping experiences. When she gets to a store, she typically can find neither her list nor the coupons she accumulated for the trip.

Thankfully, I had remembered to take along my cell phone, so I called Leah from the grocery store. Of course, it was complicated at the store. There were cans of coconut milk plus pasteurized milk that people who must be incredibly brave with iron stomachs consume. She coached me while a stocker in the store directed me to an obscure location far from the natural foods section where I commenced my search. The canned milk was in a small area devoted to Oriental foods. Even then I had to choose (and make another phone call) between “thick” and “light.”

I’m beginning to understand why some people I know write their lists on the back of their hands.

Online story

Regardless of whether you subscribe to our online edition, please visit our store which is included on our website. www.ecrecord.com. We offer a number of books and cookbooks as well as some CDs and DVDs. You can even buy a Emmons County Record coffee cup in our electronic store.

For those with credit cards, you can pay for your online or printed newspaper on the website, and you can place and pay for a classified ad. In addition, your card is welcome at the Emmons County Record Store.

We’ve already sold some books, and customers like submitting classified ads via the website.

It’s all new-fangled stuff to us, but the increasingly digital world demands that we try to keep up. Yup. We’re paddling our canoe as fast as we can.

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