All over the map

When was the last time you unfolded the trusty Rand McNally map and used it to determine how to get from Point A to Point B while in your vehicle? I am guessing it has been a while. Most of us now rely on the GPS maps installed on our phones or in our vehicles. They are quicker, easier and we don’t have to figure out how to fold the darn things back together. 

Meanwhile, aside from driving, maps can still be handy. Like when you are at an event or conference and need something that shows everywhere you need to be. Or when you are shopping in an area with multiple locations and want to plan your route. And especially when you are on a ski slope and need to make sure you don’t end up on a black diamond when you were expecting a green.

 Not too many years ago, my friend Greg suggested we print “one of those spiral-bound book of maps.” In the midst of his 7-minute explanation of what it could be, I finally interrupted him and said, “You mean an atlas?” His response was like one of those Gilda Radner “never mind” looks. 

Meanwhile, Steve Peglow, an incredible local artist we work with, found a niche with his unique form of community and development maps. And I have also learned firsthand how residents at Lake Panorama appreciate their wall maps to get a better grasp of the local geography. 

Just a few years ago, we were contacted by a chamber of commerce to create a printed community shopping map. We published it, and within weeks they were all gone. The chamber wanted more — and quickly. This printed map was so popular that we decided to do some in other areas, too, and this became a growing segment of our business. We hope to soon publish maps here in Guthrie County, too. 

Maybe my friend Greg was onto something, or maybe he was just on something. Either way, I am going to hang on to the trusty Rand McNally in my glove box — just in case. 

Enjoy mapping out your week, and, as always, thanks for reading. 

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115

What the colors we wear say about us

What color are the clothes you are wearing right now? Take a good look. Your answer might say more about you than you think. As a person with a degree of color blindness, I found this information entertaining. I hope you do, too.

According to yourtango.com, the color you wear the most has great power over your mood, your attitude and how you are perceived by others. Yikes.

If your wardrobe consists of a lot of the color black, you may be seen as “powerful.” But beware, the article says, as too much black can be overpowering. When I am trying to pick out socks, my wife reminds me that black matches everything. Black seemed to work for Johnny Cash, so I am sticking with it.

White clothing can help you “look clean and innocent” and imply that you’re an “organized and detail-oriented person” — unless you are eating spaghetti and meatballs, of course. 

People either love or hate purple, according to the article. If you want “to appear regal” or “show uniqueness and artistic creativity,” then purple is a great choice for you. It may not be working for the Minnesota Vikings, but you get the idea. 

Orange is “a playful color.” If you wear too much orange, though, you may not be taken seriously. Orange you glad I warned you? Sorry. I couldn’t resist. 

Blue is a common clothing color and represents “honesty and trustworthiness.” The article says this is why hospital employees, bank logos and law enforcement uniforms are typically blue. This all makes sense to me, except for the Blue Man Group. Those guys are creepy. 

If you want to appear all-natural, green is said to be the way to go. The article states that the shades of green make a big difference, though. Deep green can “signify envy and greed,” and Army green can “make you appear rigid.” I like green. All green. Big green, preferably. 

Pink is a color of passion but shows “that you’re vulnerable, and, of course, girly.” I assume my “salmon-colored” shirts may fall in this category. Yes, they are salmon. 

Keep in mind that these are the opinions of the brand manager for Neverland Store (less my comments) but check out the full article here and have some fun with this one today. And, remember, when in doubt, choose plaid. Rodney made it work. 

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115

Expanding our reach

Some of you are viewing this digital newsletter on your phones. Some are on your computer. And some of you are using a tablet. Most all of you, currently, are receiving the newsletter via email. In weeks ahead, we will be using social media more to promote this, too. If you are one of the 1,083 folks who follow us on Facebook, you will find the content from this newsletter accessible there, too. And we are currently exploring an option to text a link out to those who prefer to be contacted in that way rather than email. We have some regulatory hoops to jump through first, but more details are to come soon. 

I received a couple comments on a concern in having to open an email client and a web browser at the same time and to have to jump back and forth to view the full stories. Most folks who are used to juggling between multiple apps at the same time have no problem with this, but I realize some of you would prefer to not have to jump back and forth. Here’s a simple solution. At the top of this email and each one we send, there is a link that says, “View as Web Page.” Click that and your web browser will open and you can stay in that to read all the content. 

Best of Guthrie County

We kicked off our Best of Guthrie County poll on Feb. 2, and nearly 200 votes have already rolled in for best ice cream, coach, bank, church and many others. Be sure to make your votes count. We make it easy. Just follow this link. 

Timely obituaries

One of the many benefits to this email newsletter is that obituaries are much timelier. In a weekly printed newspaper, the funeral service is often over by the time the paper is delivered. We also realize the benefit of the printed obituary for scrapbook memories, so we publish each paid obituary in one of our monthly print publications as well. 

Need a Valentine’s Day gift?

If you just figured out that Valentine’s Day is Wednesday and you don’t have anything for your sweetie yet, we have a solution for you. Join us at our annual Chocolate Walk at West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines for an evening of chocolate delight. For a ticket price of $25 ($35 at the door), attendees will receive 10 drink tickets that can be redeemed for sample cocktails at eight different participating venues. Attendees will also be provided chocolate dessert samples.  A shuttle bus will even be providing transportation to each location, although most are only a short walk away. Buy your tickets now here. 

Pass this along

If you enjoy our noon-time news, we ask that you forward this to your friends and family and show them how to receive a free copy delivered to their email in-box each Tuesday and Friday at noon for FREE! Sign up here.

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115

Pump up the tires

With the BRR Bicycle Ride last Saturday, many people are thinking about cycling again — and not just the hardcore riders. A bit of warm weather gets most all of us thinking it is springtime, at least until a February blizzard brings us back to reality. 

Even so, it does feel like it is bicycle-riding weather, at least that is what my wife, Jolene, tells me. She has been an avid cyclist in years past and wants to get those tires rolling again — and she wants me to join her. 

We have the bicycles. We own the gear. We know the paths. But we have differing views of what bicycling is. 

I spent most of my childhood on the seat of my bicycles. I rode them to the swimming pool, to the little league games and to my friends’ homes. My bikes were nothing special, but they were my sources of transportation — and freedom — and riding was so easy. Jump on and start pedaling. I still have that mindset.

Jolene, on the other hand, sees bicycling as a form of exercise with many steps to the process. First, she has to dress in the full uniform with spandex shorts, bicycling shirts, gloves and pedal-locking shoes. Then there are the water bottles (yes, plural) that must be filled with just the right amount of ice and water and placed securely in the metal bottle holders (yes, plural). And then she must air up the tires (every time she rides) to the exact pressure. She then adjusts the seat, cleans the biking sunglasses, straps on one of the assortment of helmets (yes, plural), and she is almost ready to go.

And me? I am sitting on my bike patiently waiting for the right time to ask if she is ready. And, of course, there is no right time to ever ask if she is ready. She will tell me when she is ready. After nearly 30 years of marriage, I am still learning.

It may be a few more months, but on the trails we will go. We hope to see you there. If you need water, just ask Jolene. She will have a spare bottle. 

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115

Why is a small no longer small?

Small, medium or large? Those options sound simple enough, but my how have they changed in the last few decades. 

I stopped into a convenience store the other day to buy a small fountain drink. I searched for the small cups. And searched. And searched. The “small” was 24 ounces — the equivalent of two 12-ounce cans of soda. The medium was 32 ounces, and the large was 42 ounces! Each of those options was far more soda than I wanted.

So, I walked over to the cooler and looked for a simple can of soda. And looked. And looked. The store I was at only sold 20-ounce plastic bottles of soda. I was working up a thirst just trying to find a small soda option.

Then along comes Starbucks and throws another wrench in the serving cup dilemma. I don’t go to Starbucks very often, but when I do, I have to remember that a small coffee is a Short, a medium is a Tall, and a large is a Grande. My, lord, this is confusing, and I am not even into the sizes of Venti or Trenta, or whatever they are called. 

What changed? Why is a small no longer small, and why is a large a behemoth? Has our consumer behavior really dictated this? 

A 2012 story in Mother Jones explained the trend at the time, noting that when McDonald’s struck a partnership with Coca-Cola in 1955, the only beverage size available was a 7-ounce cup. By 1994, McDonald’s was offering fountain drinks size six times larger. The article goes on to state that franchise convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Kum & Go all offered drinks upwards of 85 ounces — about three times the capacity of a normal human stomach!

After further research, I learned that, yes, our consumer behavior is dictating this. But, don’t fret, there is a one-word solution for all of this oversizing: share. 

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115

The Best of Guthrie County

Many of you are quite familiar with our company’s Best of Des Moines poll that readers of CITYVIEW magazine have participated in for more than a quarter of a century. If you are not, check out the results in this month’s CITYVIEW (which will be available next week on racks in Guthrie County — while they last) or online at www.dmcityview.com. CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines certificates are proudly displayed in stores, restaurants, bars and offices, and the recognition provides an incredibly positive impact to the people, places, businesses and events that are deemed the winners. 

This year’s Best of Des Moines poll consisted of 271 questions with a whopping 22,969 votes — the most ever in the history of the poll. I have learned a lot in administering this poll and the related event that we have now hosted for 16 years.

A few years ago, we implemented a similar effort with our 14 Iowa Living magazines called Residents’ Choice polls. Those polls are gaining traction now, too, and I expect them to continue to be game-changers for all involved.

The bottom line is that people want to know who local residents feel are the “best” in a variety of categories. It is a fun competition. Even so, whenever we do these types of reader polls, I have to stress that these are not our opinions but are the results of the votes of our readers. That is an important distinction. 

Well, if a readers’ poll works in Des Moines and it works in the suburbs and the nearby communities, why wouldn’t it work in Guthrie County? It will, and that’s why I am excited to launch the Best of Guthrie County poll. This is our inaugural effort, and the poll will certainly change in future years. Meanwhile, we came up with 82 categories for you to vote in. Best pizza. Best pastor. Best park. You get the idea. Simply fill in the blanks in one category or all 82. The poll will be promoted in our publications, emails, social media and mailers to encourage widespread participation. I hope you take the time to vote and to also share the link with your family, neighbors, co-workers and anyone in Guthrie County and encourage them to do the same.

We make it incredibly easy. You can choose to vote in just one category, or you can vote in all 82. But just like the political elections, once you submit your choices, you can’t go back. In case you are wondering, we catch the cheaters who try to vote more than once and throw those votes out, so don’t even try. Click here for the poll rules and the link to vote. 

I thank you in advance for voting and for helping us to recognize the people, places, businesses and events that make Guthrie County so great. 

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter
shane@dmcityview.com
641-755-2115