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The Rooster Crows – December 19, 2014

Rutland and vicinity welcomed the break from arctic conditions that came in the form of a warm-up on the weekend of December 12-14.  Temperatures here were in the 40’s, nudging the 50 mark.  Saturday, the 13th, with sunshine, warmth and no wind, was the nicest day to bless this area since the end of October.  No matter how pleasant the weather was here, though, it was even more so to the west and south.  The Old Curmudgeon and spouse, Richard & Janet Bradbury, reported that the thermometer hit 70 on Thursday and Friday, December 11 & 12, on the front porch of the ranch house at their winter haven on the Warren Ranch southeast of Rapid City SD.  After a month of hard winter, a break is nice, but winter hasn’t even started, yet, and won’t until Sunday, December 21.  Winter conditions rode back in on the heels of a 40 mph north wind on Monday, December 15, reminding all that it’s still a long pull until Spring’s flowers rise up to greet April’s showers next Spring.  On the bright side, though, the earliest sunset for the year took place at 4:39 p.m. on December 11, and the days have already started getting imperceptibly longer on the afternoon end, even though they are still shortening up in the morning.  That does not seem logical, but it’s what the almanac reports.  Anyway, who will be so bold as to try to impose logic and order on the whims and fancies of Mother Nature?

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove to Sioux Falls SD last weekend, to watch granddaughters, Lauren and Brooke Kulzer, the daughters of Stephen & Ann Kulzer, play basketball for the Tri-Valley High team, and grandson, Will, take to the boards for the Tri-Valley Middle School.  Norbert reports that the girls’ team played 4 games, winning 2 and losing 2, while Will’s team took first place in gusto and enthusiasm but finished second in the scoring column.  The Kulzers returned to Rutland on Saturday, December 13, and report that it was a very pleasant drive. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 12, 2014

Rising temperatures have lifted spirits right along with the mercury this week, as the forecast is for the thermometer to push right past normal and into the 40’s, possibly even the 50’s, for this weekend, before dropping back down to the normal range, again.  Well, if you don’t like the weather right now, just wait a minute.  It’ll change.

The Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Windy Mound Chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation held a chili feed and 50 gun raffle on the evening of Saturday, December 6, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The Rutland General Store provided the chili for the event.  The event was held as a fund-raiser for the 2 groups.  A report of raffle winners has not been obtained as of this writing.

The Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, accompanied by his granddaughter, Miss Hannah Brummond of Havana, was at the Round Table on the afternoon of Saturday, December 6, after an absence of nearly a year.  After offering to buy lunch, Jack was treated to a rousing rendition of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” by the Assembled Wise Men, and also to the news that lunch was on the house, courtesy of The Rutland General Store, news that made The Sage almost as happy as learning that the Dow stock market average had reached 18,000, nearly 12,000 points higher than when Jack’s favorite President took office back in 2009.  The Sage reports that he is not as mobile as he used to be, and he has been so busy watching the stock market continue its climb into the stratosphere that he has hardly had time to stop for coffee and conversation.  With the Republicans now firmly in charge of the U. S. Congress, Jack is reconsidering his chances for 2016, and may make himself available as the Mug-Wump write-in candidate to put a taste of “Sage” on the White House menu as of January 20, 2017.  Meanwhile, though, Jack stated that he is once again selling raffle tickets for the VFW Youth Athletics program and has some guaranteed winners remaining for sale.  “Have ticket book, will travel,” reads the card of this man. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 5, 2014

With more than 2 weeks to go until Winter’s official arrival, the season has been making its impending entrance known with a prelude anthem consisting of four letter words: cold; snow; and, wind.  Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, dawned crisp and cold, with the thermometer reading 15 below zero in Rutland.  The mercury has bounced from below zero to the upper 20’s since then, and the Winter of 2014-2015 appears to be starting up right where the Winter of 2013-2014 left off when it finally let up last Spring.

Paul Anderson flew from Fargo to Chicago on Wednesday, November 26 to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his daughter and son-in-law, Katy & Josh Elfering, at their new home in the Windy City.  Also joining Katy, Josh & Paul for the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago was Paul’s younger daughter, Betsy Anderson, who flew in from her home at Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Paul reports that the snow and wind on Wednesday delayed some flights into and out of the Twin Cities, including the 12:55 p.m. Delta Airlines flight which he was scheduled to take to Minneapolis, there to change planes for the flight to Chicago.  The 12:55 flight was delayed for 2 hours, which would have put Paul into Minneapolis too late to catch the flight to Chicago, but, as luck would have it, the 11:00 a.m. Delta flight from Fargo to Minneapolis had also been delayed by 2 hours, and Paul was able to switch his reservations to that flight, getting him out of Fargo on a 2 hour delayed flight only 5 minutes later than his original reservations.  Had he stuck with the original flight, he would have gotten into Minneapolis too late to make it to Chicago for Thanksgiving Dinner.  There’s more than 1 way to skin a cat, or an airline, it seems.  Paul also reports that he, Katy, Josh & Betsy visited a local Chicago brewery that was releasing a new beer on Friday.  There were about 1,000 people standing in line, waiting for their opportunity to pick up the 4 bottles per person limit on the new release, and Paul struck up a conversation with the young man next to him in line.  The young man lived in Chicago, but, when Paul said that he was from Rutland, North Dakota, he was informed that his neighbor in line was Casey Silseth, grandson of a Rutland native, the late Eugene Silseth, and great-grandson of the late Ted & Annie Silseth of this community.  Mr. Silseth said that he had visited Rutland in the company of his grandfather a number of years ago, and that they had stayed with his Grandpa’s cousin, Orvis Silseth, and his wife, Angeline, at their farm home south of Silver Lake at that time.  It’s a small world, isn’t it?  The former Silseth farmstead south of Silver Lake, known to earlier generations as the Penfield place or the Spande farm, is now owned and occupied by Trevor & Sarah Roth.  The house at 116 Dakota Street in Rutland which was once owned by Casey Silseth’s great-grandparents, and where his grandfather grew up, is now owned and occupied by Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke.

Gary & Mary Ann Thornberg were in Fargo on Saturday & Sunday, November 22 & 23, watching one of their granddaughters, Taylor Lehar, compete in the Miss North Dakota USA Pageant held at NDSU.  Taylor, age 19, is the daughter of Julie (Thornberg) Rostvet of Park River ND and Tom Lehar of Milton ND.  She is currently pursuing a degree in communications at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  Mary Ann reports that, although Taylor did not come away from the competition wearing the tiara of Miss North Dakota USA, she is a real champion as far as Grandma and Grandpa are concerned.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations and best wishes to Miss Taylor Lehar, a young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – November 28, 2014

Winter’s arctic grip relaxed for a couple of days last weekend when the temperature soared all the way up to 47 above on Saturday afternoon, and a nearly normal 37 degrees on Sunday, before once more plunging into freezing territory behind 25 to 40 mph winds on Sunday evening and Monday morning.  More cold weather is being predicted for Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend, but time will tell.  Meanwhile, button up your overcoat ‘cause, Baby, it’s cold outside.

Among the many things that most folks have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season – U.S. economy growing at 3.9%, unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2001; U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan – is the fact that the average price of gasoline in the State of North Dakota is now under $3.00 for the first time since 2010.  In Rutland, the posted price on Rutland Oil Company’s self-service pump was $2.78 on the morning of Monday, November 24.  According to an NPR news report  last week, the director of the North Dakota branch of the American Automobile Association (AAA), expects that the price may decline even more, if crude oil prices remain at present levels or decline further.  The price of a barrel of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil field has fallen from almost $120 to about $75 in the past few months, according to Ron Ness of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.  The break even point for Bakken crude is about $56 per barrel, according to Lynn Helms, Director of the department of State government charged with both promoting and regulating oil and gas production in North Dakota, so producers in the Bakken are still making a comfortable profit, even if the price has dropped by more than 35% from its highs.  The price decline has been prompted, at least in part, by the actions of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations that have dumped millions of barrels of crude oil onto the world market at reduced prices, in an attempt to remain relevant and recover market share that has been lost to American production.  American reliance on oil from foreign sources has declined from approximately 60% in 2008 to less than 20% in 2014, and America is the largest consumer of petroleum products in the world.  An article in the November 23 edition of the New York Times, though, points out that the oil boom in North Dakota that is pushing the U. S. toward energy self sufficiency has a down side as well as an up side, and that all that glistens is not always pure gold, particularly when it’s black gold.  The article can be found on line at: and it is interactive, with maps, charts and pictures, too.  The article is pretty well documented, but, as oil industry spokesmen have pointed out, just because it is well researched, well documented, objective, independent and factual doesn’t make it credible, at least as far as they are concerned.  It is the first in depth look at both sides of the oil boom, though, and it’s just too bad that no daily newspaper in North Dakota had either the journalistic courage or the commitment to objective reporting to do it first. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – November 21, 2014

Cold, wind, snow and ice- other than those attributes, the weather has been pretty nice around here.  Despite arctic conditions, corn harvest continues.  Pherson Custom Combining still had Gleaners in action in the Oakes area last weekend, and, as of Monday, November 17, Wyum Brothers, Steve, Mike & Mark, reported they had less than 1,000 acres to go and, with 3 combines in operation could have the 2014 harvest behind them by the 24th.  Reports of corn yields in this area have been uniformly good to excellent, with a few outstandings.  On the Mike & Nell Walstead farm in Rutland Township, the yield monitors showed that the areas that usually perform the poorest, the hilltops, had the best corn yields this year, and the areas that usually perform the best, draws and low spots, had the worst.  According to The Assembled Wise Men, the late, wet Spring, cool Summer and the early onset of winter-like conditions were the factors that produced these unusual results.  The price of corn is this year’s down side, and the former king of crops on the northern plains, hard red spring wheat, a crop that produced good yields, was harvested early and is selling for a good price this Fall, may make a bid to reclaim part of its former glory when planters roll out in the Spring of 2015.

Paul Anderson was in Fargo on the evening of Friday, November 14, for a wine tasting at Bear Creek Vineyard & Winery.  The wine served at the event had been made from grape varieties recently developed at NDSU.  The new varieties are the result of several years of work to develop vines with the characteristics to withstand the seasonal extremes in North Dakota’s climate, and still produce grapes capable of making good wine.  Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, a professor in the Plant Sciences Department at NDSU, and Tom Ploucher, a Minnesota grape variety developer, have been working for several years, in cooperation with the North Dakota Grape & Wine Association, to develop new, winter hardy, grape varieties and build up the grape and wine industry in this State.  Paul reports that some of the new varieties made good wine, and some are just winter hardy.  Paul has a small vineyard at his home in Rutland that produced good quantities of grapes this year, he reports, and an interest in a larger vineyard, consisting of 300 vines that he and local farmer Kurt Breker planted on 1 acre south of Cayuga, that should produce its first crop of grapes in 2015.

Richard Bradbury reports that Paul Kiefer of Cayuga and Rutland native Chris Nundahl, now a resident of Egan MN, stopped by his home here for a visit on Saturday, November 15.  The 2 men were just returning from a deer hunting expedition in the North Dakota Badlands which had also included Richard’s son, Curtis Bradbury of Bismarck in their party.  Curtis had bagged a 4 point mule deer buck during the opening weekend of the deer season, and Paul had bagged his good-sized 5X5 mule deer buck on the afternoon of Friday, November 14.  Curtis, Chris and Paul have been friends since school days, and have been hunting together for the past 20 years, or more.  Chris wasn’t successful in the North Dakota deer license lottery this year, but accompanied his 2 friends for the experience and the camaraderie.  Paul and Chris also returned the Jeep that Curtis had borrowed from his Dad about a month ago, while his vehicle was in the shop. Read More »

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