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Northwest Salmon



Changes should become habitual

by John Suhr

We are almost a month into the new year and those who make New Year’s resolutions are either thinking they are doing pretty well or have already given up on those ideas.

I was one never to make resolutions because it seemed I never was able to stick with them.

That is, until 2008 when I decided there was something I needed to do.

Like a journalist I looked to professionals on how to keep New Year’s resolutions or making changes in one’s life.

What I found from those professionals was to do the change consecutively for 21 days. After that point it gets to be repetitive and we just do it. Others stated that if you do break your routine, start over and keep working at it. Just don’t give up.

Those two things didn’t sit well with me.

First I thought I would never be able to remember to do any one thing for 21 days straight. But the more I thought of it, the more I realized I already do. I brush my teeth, take a shower... you get the point. Many of us do something every day without even thinking about it.

But what I was planning on doing was getting in shape through exercise, something I had not done since high school or my first couple years of college. I was not looking forward to it, but knew I needed to do something. So, I thought if this was going to stick I had better do it for 28 days in a row, just to be on the safe side.

Did I think about quitting at times? I really can’t remember. For those wondering, I did not continue every day with exercise nor do I exercise every day now. But I am still at it.

I have taken some longer periods of time off and it gets easier and easier to come up with excuses not to exercise.

So if you have made some resolutions and they may have slipped to the back burner, move them to the front and continue to work at them.

In the long term, if it is something that you really want to make a change on, it will come. It does not happen overnight. It is something you need to be always working at.

At times it gets easier but just like life, there are bumps in the road. Sometimes even some nasty potholes.

So as January is winding down, just remember to keep it up and don’t quit your goals.


Reporter is now packing heat

by Amanda Fanger

For a while I’ve been thinking about getting a pistol for self-defense purposes. I’ve never owned a gun before although I have fired my dad’s and brothers’ rifles. While I’ve felt an imminent want for a weapon in any situation, I decided I’d rather have one and never need it than to not have one and someday be possibly wishing I did.

When I was home this past weekend, I paid a visit to a gun dealer who I’ve known for years and whom my family has done business with since the beginning of time. When I walked into the gun shop that Saturday, I joked with Cody about what I was looking for.

“Well,” I told him. “I really want a .44 or a .45 but everyone tells me that’s a bit much for a concealed carry.”

He chuckled and agreed. “That might be a tad much.”

While Cody showed me several pretty guns, I ended up falling in love with a .380 caliber Sig Sauer P238 automatic, two-toned silver and black with glow-in-the-dark sights. When I picked it up for the first time, something about the grip just felt right in the palm of my hand.

I announced that this was the gun for me and we proceeded to the checkout.

Cody met me near the cash register with two boxes of ammunition. He set them on the counter and explained the differences between the two types of bullets.

“This one,” he said while holding up a ball point bullet, “is for getting accustomed to your gun. And this,” he said while showing me the hollow point bullet from the other box, “is what you’ll keep loaded in your weapon when you carry.”

Later, I was giddy with excitement as my dad, youngest brother and I went to a safe place on my family’s farm to try out my new gun. I had fashioned a makeshift target out of a used pizza box by drawing a bull’s-eye on the back.

The anticipation of that first shot was something else; it was in the waiting for that first loud bang, the explosive force from within the barrel as the gun powder burned up and powered the bullet forward. It was in feeling the weight of the trigger under my finger and waiting for the kickback in my hand and in waiting for the satisfying recoil from the gun.

Finally, I squeezed off that first round.

I can only describe the feeling it left me with as thus: awesome.

It took a few rounds to get the sights figured out, but pretty soon I was hitting the target. I’m not bragging or anything, but I am proud of the few bull’s-eyes I hit that afternoon.

The initial 50 rounds of “practice” ammo I’d bought was used up way too fast. I’m looking forward to getting some more soon and getting more “accustomed” to my gun.

And I didn’t know I could feel my self-safety level elevate quite like that.



Writer hails the coffee chief

by Emre K. Erku

Coffee is the gleaming key to great success. When we’re feeling down in the dirt or high in the clouds; when we’re enjoying the sun’s wake, drinking it in with fresh Columbian grounds more potent than the misty mornings of Day County.

Coffee is the fuel to our stamina. When our bodies warn our heads of dire fatigue; when all we want are subtle moments of peace within frenzies of madness. Oh, coffee, how far you’ve reared us.

Some of the most prominent figures of American and international history were caffeine freaks – just as yours truly.

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee,” said Benjamin Franklin, holding his grounds to high standard.

“The favorite drink of the civilized world,” said Thomas Jefferson, speaking with sound observation.

It was recorded that even Voltaire, 18th century French writer and philosopher, would guzzle between 40-50 cups of jo daily.

This is why, next to crude oil, coffee is the second most traded commodity on planet Earth. It is America’s number one food import.

So, it is fair to state that coffee, no matter creed or color, race or sex, is a drink everyone shares in common.

But there’s something I truly hadn’t taken into consideration up until this point. A suprising large percentage of the world’s coffee cultivation is yielded by the underpaid hard labor of the third world’s small-scale farmers. South and Central America, for example, relies heavily on their coffee production.

Source after source claims that western consumer goods companies have been accused of driving down coffee prices while exploiting the world’s coffee producers. At one point, I read that some producers make less than $300 a year while some of the western firms practice their backstrokes in pools overflowing with billions.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but do look at some of the scenarios cited online – terms like sweatshop wages, malnutrition and poverty pepper the articles. It hurts to say this, but as I sit here drinking my jo, I could in fact be drinking someone else’s misery.

There’s also a slight chance I’m wrong. With co-operatives and organizations such as Fairtrade – an entity that works to fairly compensate farmers – on the rise, maybe I’m drinking in the dimples of healthy smiles. I can’t be too sure...

Anyway, folks, this is just a friendly notice reminding you of the incredible history coffee has, and that modern times are still a strong reflection of it.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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