Drunken Beanie Babies

Drunken Beanie Babies


Once upon a time, in a world not-so-very-far-away, there was a short-lived craze to “invest” in Beanie Babies. Several local people actually put their retirement account money into plush toys as an investment.

People were paying premium prices for “rare” toys, or the one that was currently in popular demand. While the manufacturer was selling them at the normal retail price of less-than-ten-bucks, people were going insane and paying out premium prices as an “investment” in the “rare” toys. The maker of the toys did not get any part of these high prices that were being paid by speculators.

These were an item currently being made. Now, Picasso paintings can command a premium price as an investment because the world contains a finite number of them, but an item still being produced can always be produced in increased quantities.

Which brings me to the “drunken” part of my tale…

The city of Minot sells a liquor license for $3,125 per year. That is what everybody should be able to pay to purchase a liquor license from the city of Minot. There should not be any limit on the number of liquor licenses issued in the city Рjust let the market determine how many places can turn a profit by selling liquor. If I want to buy a liquor license and hold dollar-per-cup keggers in my garage, that license should be available for me to purchase. If a club wants to sell beer at their club meetings, they should be able to buy the license to do so.

Current license holders are screaming objections to issuing more licenses. They claim if the city opens the doors to competition, it will cheat them out of all the money they spent on their investment.

Ummmmmm – no. Just like the people that paid a premium price for real estate after the flood, they paid the “going rate.”

Much like those gamblers that speculated a purchase of Beanie Baby “collectibles” would increase in value, they have discovered that not all investments will retain the same value we pay for them originally.

Adding a huge “application fee” for new license holders is wrong. Minot already has a reputation of being the “good ol’ boys club” and working hard at keeping out new people. Don’t add more fuel to that fire.

The No-Campfire Girls

The No Campfire Girls

book review by Nikki D Paulsen


As we sit back and search for a break from all the holiday whirlwind, a fun book shows up at the top of my reading stack. The No-Campfire Girls by Mark R. Hunter (ISBN 97814497559264)

While people around me are singing “White Christmas” and telling me this snow is a good thing because “We neeeeeeeeed a white Christmas!”…I am heartily sick of snow. Having yet another blizzard in the forecast does not please me.

Escaping into a sultry summer day was exactly what I needed to get my mind off the nasty weather. And this book is just plain fun, set in a “Lookout Girls” summer camp. (Disclaimer – part of the proceeds from this book go to “Friends of Camp Latonka” to assist Camp Latonka, of Wappapello, Missouri with maintenance and operating costs. While I never went to that camp, as the book points out, once you’re a Girl Scout, you’re always a Girl Scout!)

The Lookout Girl’s camp is Camp Inipi, located in southern Indiana. Camp Inipi is in the middle of the county that is part of a county-wide burn ban area, so campfires are forbidden. As campfires are a big part of camp life, the no-open-fires rule causes some muttering and aggravation among the campers.

I like the girls we get to know in this book — Beth, who is a bit of a know-it-all; shy Cassidy, who did not realize how important her heritage was to her until she found herself fighting to defend it; and Rotten Ronnie, who shot off fireworks during the worst drought in thirty years.

The big fire, however, was not caused by the fireworks. It was caused by lightning, which packs a far greater punch than a package of Black Cat firecrackers. The circumstances that placed the teenagers on the front line of the fire crew were both believable and realistic. As the author is a real fireman, the fire fighting scenes in the book actually taught me a few interesting things I did not know!

The No-Campfire Girls is available on the author’s website www.markrhunter.com, on Amazon.com, or can be ordered through your local book retailer.