Josh Boschee is a Fine Public Servant. Period.

It’s time for the North Dakota news media to come up with a different secondary identifier for the man who is a representative in the North Dakota House and a fine public servant. Period.

Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation is No Longer “News”

Martin C. Fredricks IV is the 4,444th openly heterosexual blogger to write about politics, government, climate change and the environment in the United States.

I provide this information because a story in the local paper this morning made clear how important my gender identity/sexual orientation is to helping my readers understand anything and everything I do.

The story was about North Dakota Rep. Josh Boschee’s intentions to run for minority leader of the N.D. House of Representatives.

In identifying the representative, the reporter wrote, “Boschee has served in the Legislature since 2013 and is the state’s first openly gay lawmaker.”

As I’ve done so many times, I mumbled to myself, “What’s the difference?”

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Shocking Distractions: A World Without Daydreams

Being able to disengage mentally is crucial to mental health. Can you?

Sixty-seven percent of men and 25 percent of women are shockingly distracted. Or at least they’d rather be.

According to a series of studies by University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, two out of three men elected to shock themselves rather than be alone with their thoughts for six to 15 minutes. SHOCK. THEMSELVES.

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Rub Some Dirt – or Ice – In It

It’s World Cup time again. People around the world are going nuts, painting their faces, taking holidays to watch their national teams play in Brasil. Through it all, I’ve been thinking again about why soccer isn’t more popular here. Two words: the flop.

The USA and Soccer – It’s Not That Complicated

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Game Four of the NHL Western Conference Finals featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. 2010. Chicago is up three games to none. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith takes a puck in the mouth and loses seven teeth. He’s out of the game for only seven minutes – one for each tooth – then heads back into the fray.

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In on the NoDak Acts

A bunch of bands have written songs that include North Dakota in some way. Flyover country? You decide.

Figures my favorite tune that mentions North Dakota has another state’s name in the title – “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

North Dakota man was a gunnin’ for the quota / Down in the badlands she was savin’ the best for last / It only hurts when I laugh / Gone too fast…” 

But, hey, what the heck. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, especially if you’re not the headliner.

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Unsociably Social

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Social is making us unsociable.

I’m not talking about the fact that so many of us now spend hours and hours on social media, looking at and reacting to status updates from friends, getting our news 140 (or now 280 if you’re among the elite) characters at a time or watching video with slack jaws.

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Fortunes Are In Our Hands

Man knows more than he understands.

One thing I knew for sure after the satisfying meal at a local Chinese buffet – that was NOT a fortune. The missive was all too true, but it did not tell me what was going to happen to me tomorrow, next year or in a decade. It did not provide any hints as to what I might do to make the best happen. There was, in short, no foretelling of anything.

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Just Winking At You

Look at it. The front page of your daily newspaper, down at the bottom. Winking at you!

Every morning when I open my copy of the local newspaper, The Forum, I can’t help but think of Jackie O’Shea’s line from “Waking Ned Devine.” Because at the bottom right of page one, Monday-Saturday, there it is just winking at me – a print ad. It’s no winning lotto number, to be sure, but in the end Jackie and I are referring to the same thing: fortune.

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The Curse of Christmas Present

Unwanted, useless gifts. They come out of nowhere, from relatives I wouldn’t dream of asking for receipts. Toss them and forget it, I tell myself. But I can’t, I won’t. If something can be purchased, surely it can be returned….

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, after we’ve opened all the gifts and thrown out the wrapping paper, as my relatives gently slumber, I confront the curse of Christmas present.

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The Big Attraction

How to keep the Joneses and all their cash from driving on by on the new Interstate system? Enterprising business owners and chamber of commerce leaders pondered and pondered. Finally, an idea took shape. The Big Attraction was born.

Not long ago, National Public Radio did a piece about a free spirit who has created a mobile desktop publishing office and taken his show on the road. In the tradition of John Steinbeck and his faithful companion, Charley, this gentleman is traveling across the country, meeting folks and printing their stories.

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The Man Chair

A Few Tips for the Hapless Male

photo of guy in chair while women shop

There I sit, helplessly, in The Man Chair.

Don’t confuse this with the infamous lounger where men devour chips and beer in front of the game. Far from a throne overlooking any urban kingdom, this chair is reserved for the stalwart few who venture forth to malls on weekends.

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