Jan 16

I always write about how nothing good comes from the panhandle of Nebraska. Apparently, my beliefs may not be 100% accurate.  On January 15, 2011, for the first time in history, Miss Nebraska was crowned Miss America.  Miss America is from Nebraska, and that is something kind of good.

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Teresa Scanlan,Miss Nebraska,Miss America,2011

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Teresa Scanlan was crowned Miss America in humble Las Vegas, Nevada at an understated ceremony viewed by a few people around the world on ABC.  Teresa Scanlan is 17-years-old (one of the youngest Miss Americas ever… and the youngest Miss Nebraska ever), plays Chopsticks on the piano like nobody’s business, fills out a bikini nicely (even if there isn’t much bikini there), looks extremely elegant in evening ware, and isn’t afraid to answer a politically-charged question with a politically-incorrect answer (and she still won?!?).  Teresa is intelligent, and her goals are not acting or a singing career or modeling.  Her goal is to find a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court… and I know that the Presidency of the U.S. is not something she sees as out of her reach.  Normally, I would scoff at a beauty-pageant winner stating that she may have her eyes on our nation’s highest office, but I have been following Teresa’s story for awhile now.  You know how some people seem to be able to actually accomplish the goals they set for themselves?  Well, Teresa is one of those people.  And the kicker is… Teresa is from the panhandle of Nebraska!  In fact, she probably lives less than a couple of miles from the humble abode I call home.  So, I guess not everything in the panhandle of Nebraska sucks.

Now, if you’ve ever read my blog before, you know that my blog posts that are completely without a complaint are few and far between.  In fact, this is my 75th post in about 1 1/2 years of blogging, and I think there have been like 3 posts without a complaint!  This post, I’m afraid, is not going to be the 4th.

In past posts, I have complained about the idiocy of Scottsbluff and Gering residents regarding the differentiation of the two communities.  Scottsbluff is proud to be Scottsbluff, and Gering is proud to be Gering.  The two small communities refuse to consolidate and become one rural powerhouse.  Instead, they remain separate in both government and attitude, and they remain two rural economic weaklings.  Gering residents especially are territorial and throw major whining fits whenever consolidation of the two communities is mentioned.  Gering, of course, is the smaller of the two communities (they don’t even have their own grocery store), and seems to be suffering from a touch of Napoleon complex.  My personal opinion is that the two communities should put aside their perceived differences, join economic forces, and become one.  With the combined talent and resources of the two communities, we could grow into the next Ft. Collins.  Or… we can stay separate, and things around this dump will never change.  Each community is already reliant on the other, and neither community will ever thrive without it’s neighbor.  Stop being neighbors and start being family!

Well, this division between these two communities was well presented after Teresa’s accomplishment tonight.  When I logged onto my Facebook account tonight, after the victory, the division was quite prevalent.  You see, Theresa lives in Gering, NE, but Teresa graduated from high school in Scottsbluff, NE.  Oh my!  Which community does she really claim?  She chose Scottsbluff as the place to complete her high school education, so she prefers Scottsbluff, right?  Oh, but she went to school in Gering, and she and her family live in Gering, so she is a Gering girl, right?  A common example of a Facebook thread is as follows:

Scottsbluff jerk’s status:  Congratulations to Scottsbluff’s own Teresa Scanlan!

Gering moron’s comment:  You realize she’s actually from Gering, right?

Scottsbluff: Well… she graduated from Scottsbluff High!

Gering:  Yeah… but she went to Gering schools too…

Scottsbluff: But she chose to graduate from Scottsbluff!

Gering: … but her family still lives in Gering.

blah… blah… blah…

Seriously… the most prestigious beauty-related award that a young woman in the United States can win… and she is from NEBRASKA, and not just Nebraska, but the PANHANDLE OF NEBRASKA… and you idiots have to argue about exactly which town she is from?!? What would Miss America think?!?

Well, I would guess that Miss America would say:

“I am proud of being from both Scottsbluff and Gering.  These two communities have every right to claim me as their own, because I love both and will continue to support both as I complete my duties as Miss America.  Scottsbluff: I will continue to shop your stores and eat at your restaurants and praise your school system!  Gering: I will… uh… I know there’s something… oh yeah… I will continue to sleep in your jurisdiction… when I’m not out doing Miss America stuff… promise!”

She is, after all, thinking of being President, so she has to learn to diplomatically lie…

Seriously…  Husker-football can’t win their way out of a wet paper bag and the Husker-girl’s volleyball choke in the tournament.  The most impressive thing to come out of Nebraska in the past few years is Teresa Scanlan… and us locals are arguing about where she is really from?!?  And people wonder why I bitch…

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Jan 13

Once again, the Tainted Butterfly, has come through with a holiday themed header for my blog.  Thanks!

HSJ February

I know… I know… January isn’t even half-way over and I have a Valentine’s Day thing going on.  If Walmart can do it, so can I.  And I know… I know… hearts and flowers and crap seem kind of sappy, but I like the way my turd seems to have the hots for the floating heart.  Ahhh, young love, is there anything that makes you want to gouge your eyes out more?

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Jan 13

I received a letter-of-resignation from one of our staff recently.  One of my coworkers is leaving the employment of the company I work for, packing up his family, and moving to Texas.  A better paying job with more opportunity awaits him in a climate that is more to his liking.  No one begrudges him the opportunity he is not letting pass him by.  In fact, the only mumblings around the office that have been created by his announcement are mumblings of slight jealousy.  He has done it… he has found a way out of Nebraska!

My coworkers and I seldom complain about the work we do on a daily basis (unless we have a particularly stressful day of telephone calls or the subcontractors we use for a majority of our service work are giving us grief).  We all seem to like our jobs.  We do, however, like to complain about living here.  We have come to the conclusion that, of our little staff of nine (soon to be eight), the majority of us are not completely in love with living here.  I figure that about 5% of the population here in the panhandle of Nebraska… a percentage that consists mostly those in the higher echelon of wages and stature, … actually “love” living here.  The other 95% of the residents of our area fall into one of two categories (please remember, there was no scientific research involved in the estimation of these percentages… just raw, gut instinct from a guy who likes to bitch) :

1: People who hate living here.  By hate, I mean anything from somewhat dislike to extreme, pull-your-hair-out hate.

2: People who are indifferent.

The second category are a bigger thorn-in-the-side of my attitude than the people who actually love living here (all 5% of them).  The indifferent people make excuses and self-justifications and talk down to those of us in category 1.  The lovers talk down to us as well, but at least it’s because they love it here and they don’t like us harshing their love mellow.  The indifferents talk down to us because our rants about the crappiness of Nebraska makes them think about their own pathetic existences here… and they don’t like that.

The indifferents don’t really like living here, but they come up with reasoning that can be difficult to follow.

“Why don’t you try to find the positive instead of always looking at the negative?”  Because “finding the positive” sounds like work, and why should one have to “work” to find joy in a community? If a community doesn’t offer joy, find a community that does.

“Instead of complaining, why can’t you try to appreciate what the panhandle has to offer?”  This is like having a turd on your dinner plate.  Now someone is telling you not to complain about the turd, and that you should realize that the turd actually has a small amount of nutritional value because of the undigested corn.  Pick the corn out of the turd and enjoy it instead of complaining about the turd.  Brings new meaning to living in the “cornhusker” state, doesn’t it?

“It’s negative people like you who make it difficult to live here!”  The villager who complains about the wolves coming in and eating the village’s sheep isn’t the cause of the lack of food and wool.  The villager who complains is bringing light to an issue that will not be solved if the other villager’s don’t realize there is a problem.  If no one complains about it, won’t get fixed.  Without the pessimist, the optimist has no bright side to look at… or, better yet, no dark side to look away from.

“If you don’t like it here, just leave!” Oh, if only life were so simple.  For some of us, there are children in school, mortgages to pay, job commitments, lack of funds for a move, and many other excuses that really do make it difficult to completely uproot lives in search of greener pastures.  Plus, I really feel like many of us who hate it here would love to not hate it here, but we don’t know how to institute the change necessary to make it better here.  For example, Scottsbluff and Gering are currently two separate communities with two separate governments, school systems, law enforcement agencies, etc.  Combining the two communities seems like it would benefit both communities by saving tax-payer money and by attracting new employers and jobs with a single community of about 25,000 instead two separate communities of less than 20,000.  Problem is, the morons in Gering want nothing to do with the jerks across the river in Scottsbluff.  In fact, the residents of Gering feel so strongly about “keeping their own identity” that they voted out the mayor who was in favor of starting to consolidate the two communities in favor of the hot-head who is all about keeping the communities separate.  So Gering took one step forward by electing Susan Weideman and then took twenty steps backward by electing Ed Mayo.  Opening the eyes of the people who don’t really want to see the communities grow and thrive as one, but who instead view the two communities as rivals, is a difficult, if not impossible, task to overcome.  So, if we don’t like it, we’re supposed to leave; and many of us do leave and the population continues to stagnate… and no one can quite figure out how to fix this!?!  We are just doing what you tell us to do!

I’m not usually one who gets too deeply involved in the whole positive/negative energy thing.  However, there really does seem to be a negative energy in this place.  Don’t believe me?  Try spending a couple of hours at the Scottsbluff Walmart on the first weekend of the month when all of the government-assisted shoppers are loading up and you will know the meaning of the words “negative energy”.  Given the fact that such a large percentage of the population here is either negative or indifferent, the negative energy thrives.  At times, you can actually feel it washing over you.  I can feel it, can you?

Happy Stinking New Year…

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