Friday's Weekend Column
Did We Really Spend That Much?

by James Glaser
January 3, 2003

Wow! Who would have thought that we would spend that much? You see that stock market going up, well that is because of Charmaine and me.

Every year we tell ourselves that next year we are going to be more sensible, but we aren't. Of course this year I did buy a couple of things for myself and said they were from Santa. You know though spending too much on your loved ones really isn't that bad. They deserve it a lot more than a lot of other things I could blow my money on.

You know after Christmas how every one is looking for those receipts? Well I have a fool proof way of keeping track of every one and they will always be at your finger tips when you need them. I simply give them to Charmaine and when I need them I look kind of perplexed and say, "I looked and looked and can't find the receipt for that shirt I gave to Garrett." She walks over to some drawer and hands that exact receipt to me as she looks kind of smug. So Just give every receipt to your true love and it is filed away for you forever.

My daughter Whitney came for Christmas. Whit is going to the Cordon Bleu Chefs School and it was such a treat to have her show us every thing she has learned. You know what, she cleans up after herself and the kitchen was always spic and span clean. I am proud to tell you that I only put on five pounds over the holidays, what control I had this year.

We still have snow, but most of the state is brown. The news program said that over fifty people have gone through the ice on lakes this last week and as I look out the window I can see a truck driving across our lake towing a ice fishing house.

The loggers up here are still looking for some real cold weather so that they can build ice roads out in the bog and get their equipment out to where the "winter wood" is. In the last thirty five years I have watched Northern Minnesota change from a lot of pine to aspen. Companies like UPM and Boise are looking for "fiber" and they seem to be able to tell the National, State, and County foresters how they will manage our forests and that is sad indeed. We all want paper and forest products, but it would be nice to leave something or some part of the forest like we found it for our grandchildren. Looking at a forest in National Geographic is not the same as walking in that forest.

It is kind of nice to see that the loggers, the men that actually cut down the trees are thinking about the future of the forest and I think it is the logger, that is now joining with environmental groups, that is looking for better ways to preserve the forest for all of us. Many loggers have seen that if practices don't change they won't be able to sell their companies when they want to retire nor will they be able to pass it on to their children if they want to log too. Large corporations in the forest product industry are looking out for the share holder while the rest of us are looking out for the everyone, including those same corporations. Forests are only sustainable if you manage them to be that way.

Some of the National Guard members around here are starting to think about their deployment. Looks like Kosovo but if there is a War in Iraq they think they will head there. One Master Sergeant said he wouldn't know for sure until the plane lands.

The Northome Library wants to build a new facility as they have out grown theirs. The Library was created and is run all with volunteers. It is a real asset to have a good library near by when the days get so short and the nights so long. A good book is hours and hours of fine entertainment. As a fund raiser, only a library out in the sticks could have a gun raffle. Buy a chance on one of three fine rifles for only five bucks. The raffle sold out in no time at all. Like to see you try that down in the cities.

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