Three Cities

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks. Wow. Awesome trip. I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw –

“Tubers”

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks.

Wow.

I met my daughter, Saela, in Madrid on June 25, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of my wedding to my lovely bride, Cassi. It was tough to be apart on that day, but the next couple of weeks made up for it.

Saela and I flew to Paris and met Cassi, Martin V and Mira on June 27. We were there for five days, checking out the “usual” awesome stuff, like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur and Champs-Élysées, except for one day to and from Valenciennes in northern France for a World Cup football match at the Stade du Hainaut between The Netherlands and Italy. (The Dutch won and went on to meet the USA in the final.)

The EuroStar took us through The Chunnel to London on July 2. In addition to all the “usual” sights, like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London, we also traveled to Leavesden in Hertfordshire one evening to take in the Warner Bros. Studios Harry Potter Experience. They shot all of the movies there, and the Harry Potter Experience is now a permanent part of the campus.

Awesome trip.

I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw:

Colorado Rocky Mountain Luck

Good fortune comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes travels in a little Mazda pickup. Where it’s headed after a few months is anyone’s guess.

The Border Brothers & One of the Best Stories Ever

“What the fuck, man!”

The other redhead leaned in to look closely at what I held gingerly between my thumb and forefinger.

“I been lookin’ for one of those my whole life!” he exclaimed.

I chuckled.

“No, I’m serious!” he said, actually getting upset now. “My whole fuckin’ life.”

He paused, took another good look, then started counting with his forefinger. “One…two…three…four. Ah, man!” He took a step back.

“An’ you’re seriously tellin’ me you’ve never even looked for one before?”

“Never,” I assured him. His face was boiling.

“Beginner’s luck?” I said sheepishly, shrugging my shoulders. “I am part Irish.”

He harrumphed, stepped forward again, took another look.

“Fuckin’ A!” he exclaimed. Then, “Well…” –slapped me on the back – “my whole goddamned life … I guess…. Guess I’ll just hafta keep lookin’.” He backed up, bent down and started looking through the patch of clover again.

Continue reading “Colorado Rocky Mountain Luck”

The New Leaders on Climate Change

The next generation has been waiting, watching, listening… and getting frustrated about the lack of action on climate change by governments around the world. Now they’re taking the lead.

More Kudos to the Kids

Tomorrow is a big day for the planet.

The kids are stepping out and speaking out once again. They’re demanding action on global warming and climate change. They’re sick and tired of waiting around for my generation and the one before it to do all the things that should’ve long since been done.

Before today, they’ve filed a lawsuit against the government of the United State of America. They’ve walked out of school to protest inaction by governments around the world. And tomorrow, March 15, they’re walking out again, but in a more organized fashion.

This time it’s being billed by some as a “coming out party” for the international Youth Climate Strike, a movement that started with a 15-year-old girl who’s had enough.

I’ve written about the lawsuit before, giving the kids behind it a shout-out. Today, once again, I say…

Kudos to the Kids!

The youth of the United States and the world have been gathering steam for several years now, beginning even before 21 of them filed suit against the U.S. government for not acting on what it knew about global warming and its effects.

That was in 2015.

Continue reading “The New Leaders on Climate Change”

Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel

The president wants to set up his own climate-change panel to refute the conclusions of the “Fourth National Climate Assessment.” It’s a dangerous idea.

In Adolescent Fashion, President Calls for More Fossil-Fuel-Friendly Council

Don’t like what the climate change scientists are saying? Find different scientists.

That’s the thinking of President Donald J. Trump on global warming.

No shock. That seems to be his modus operandi on, well, everything –

    • Change the label.
    • Call it “fake.”
    • Develop “alternative facts.”
    • Create different rules.

Unfortunately, in all cases but particularly in this one, that’s seriously dangerous thinking.

Continue reading “Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel”

The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.

Donations do not – or at least should not – give donors the power to be kingmakers. Or, in this case, president-unmakers.

No, Ms. McGarry. You Don’t Get Control.

Kris Engelstad McGarry is at it again, holding a gun to the heads of North Dakota higher education leaders and, ipso facto, to the heads of North Dakota citizens.

This time the Engelstad family is threatening to quit giving money to the University of North Dakota until President Mark Kennedy is gone. McGarry refused to utter the word “fired,” but she didn’t need to.

McGarry:  No Engelstad Money while Kennedy is at UND

Nice.

Gun To Our Heads. Again.

It’s far from the first time for the late UND alumnus Ralph Engelstad and his heirs.

Continue reading “The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.”

Am I Your (personality) Type?

I understand you better, you understand me better, we understand each other better. From where I’m sitting, the world could use a little more of those kinds of outcomes right about now.

What’s Your Initialism?

I’m “rare.”

Coulda told you that without taking the free online personality-type test.

Seriously, though, my personality type, as gauged by the NERIS Analytics Limited’s 16Personalities screening, is rare indeed. A measly 3-4 percent of the world’s population is like me.

INTP-A.

The Logician.

A-HA!

Wait… what?

Continue reading “Am I Your (personality) Type?”

Rebutted on Net Metering. Well, Sort of…

Josh Kramer, executive vice president and manager of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, throws in his two cents on the net metering bill being considered by the North Dakota Legislature. What do YOU think?

Well then. What IS the answer?

Mr. Kramer, executive vice president and manager of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, throws in his two cents on the net metering bill being considered by the North Dakota Legislature. This is in response to my op-ed in The Forum. I added a little more information than the newspaper’s 500-word limit allows on IV Words.

So, what do YOU think?

Personal logo of Martin C. Fredricks IV

Standard graphic used by The Forum for printing letters to the editor online

Mandating buybacks isn’t the answer
by Josh Kramer

A recent column by Martin C. Fredricks IV published by The Forum expressed support for net metering legislation. I’m relatively sure that the writer was not in the committee room for the bill’s hearing. However, I was, so let me be clear. It was a bad bill, and the amendments made it even worse.

The writer lauded the bill and its prime sponsor, Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-Fargo, suggesting that it would make expensive renewable energy generation equipment more economical for utility customers and provide a more equitable reimbursement for customer-generated electricity. Allow me to explain the crucial pieces of this legislation that were not mentioned in his column.

First, this bill would have mandated that electric companies buy back excess power produced by residential or commercial consumers who have some way of generating electricity for themselves. Utilities would have to purchase up to two megawatts, or potentially more with Public Service Commission approval, of excess consumer-generated electricity at a price set by the PSC. How much is a megawatt? Enough electricity to power roughly 750 homes.

Further, this buyback mandate would have been aggressive in scope. The bill not only included electricity produced on an individual’s home or property, but all of such production anywhere within an electric company’s service area. This proposal went far beyond rooftop solar panels.

Please don’t get the impression that electric cooperatives are not doing their part to work with consumer-members or to reduce carbon emissions. Electric cooperatives are self-governed local utilities. The cooperative business model works best when those who receive the service make decisions about it, and North Dakota’s electric cooperatives are very aligned and adaptive to their members’ preferences. Many electric cooperatives in our state have already adopted policies to allow for the buyback of excess power produced by member-owners through solar and wind, at a rate more closely reflective of wholesale rates.

Nearly 30 percent of all the electric power consumed by electric cooperative members is produced by wind, solar and hydroelectric generated electricity. Also, generation cooperatives are investing in and working diligently to deploy new technologies that significantly reduce and capture carbon emissions. Electric co-ops also offer programs which emphasize energy efficiency and conservation. These programs benefit all members, helping to reduce individual electric bills while encouraging members to take ownership of their energy footprint.

Supporters used this bill as a platform to talk about the environment. We, too, want to continue to engage in these conversations. Our member-owned electric cooperatives are leaders and innovators when it comes to renewable energy, conservation and innovation.

However, pursuing new ways to put excess power on the grid – whether it is needed or not – and forcing all utility consumers to pay for it is not the answer. Instead, we must work together to make advances to address a changing climate.

Graphic by Forum Communications Company

Life in a Northern Town – Nicked by a Snowbank

AND THE SNOWBANK GETS THE ARREST ASSIST!

Only in North Dakota/Minnesota….

This story by KFGO radio was picked up by several local media outlets last week (Feb. 19, 2019) –

Chase, Crash and Arrest From Moorhead Into Fargo

Fargo, N.D. (KFGO) – A Fargo man was arrested after backing a stolen vehicle into a Moorhead police squad and fleeing Moorhead and Fargo authorities early Tuesday morning.

The Moorhead Police Department says around 1:30 a.m., an officer spotted a stolen vehicle. When the officer pulled behind the vehicle in a driveway, the driver backed into the squad and fled.

A pursuit followed. The vehicle led officers through Moorhead and eventually onto westbound I-94 and into Fargo. Moorhead terminated their pursuit and the vehicle was able to get away as it exited onto South University Drive.

Around 2:30 a.m., a Moorhead officer on her way home to Fargo, spotted the stolen vehicle again. Fargo police responded to the area and the vehicle continued to flee anytime it spotted an officer. The vehicle, however, eventually got stuck in a snow bank in the 5100 Block of 44 Street South.

The vehicle’s two occupants were taken into custody.

The passenger was later released.

The driver, 36-year-old Dennis Merritt, was taken to the Cass County Jail. He is being held on charges for Moorhead Police including fleeing, possession of stolen property, criminal damage to property, leaving the scene of an accident, and no driver’s license.

The squad car has moderate damage to the front bumper area.