Monday, August 01, 2005

ALa’s got a brand new bag...

Heigh-diddley-ho, all. My name is Russ, I’m from Winterset, and I’ve apparently fooled the Blonde Sage herself into thinking that I’m witty. ALa asked me if I could contribute an occasional rant to her site, and after thinking it over for….hmmmmm…about TWO SECONDS…..I have agreed. I think I can squeeze out a rant every week or two, and we’ll see if my muse can up her output with a little practice.

The only barrier to my acceptance of this position is the confirmation hearings. I decided that the best thing to do would be to open an “ask Russ” topic so y’all could get to know me better, but I’ve got my limits – I don’t feel it’s appropriate to ask me about how I would rule on future “caption” contests, so please don’t bring up that subject…..and I probably should tell you that my prior writings from high school & college are covered by “Executive-I-can’t-believe-I-used-to-be-that-stupid Privilege”, and as such cannot be released.

To get things started, I’ll give you some facts to begin with. I’m 37, happily married for the last 5 years, and currently have no children. We live in the thriving metropolis of Winterset, Iowa (birthplace of John Wayne & the “Delicious” Apple, and the setting for “The Bridges of Madison County”), where I grew up on a small farm. My wife works for the Iowa Department of Agriculture as a HACCP coordinator for small meat processors (she helps these small businesses develop & administer their safety programs) and commutes approximately 35 miles to downtown Des Moines every day, while I make the grueling nine-block drive to a small engineering/surveying firm. My wife and I both graduated from Iowa State University, where I was a third-generation graduate. My interests include history, motorcycles, hunting & fishing, and Iowa State athletics. I’m still tight with about a dozen of my friends from my old dorm floor at ISU (one of my freshman-year roommates is now married to my wife’s sister), and we get together to tailgate for football games as much as we can, as well as making the basketball team’s conference tournament into an excuse to get together, drink & tell stories.

If you want to read a few articles that I wrote recently, you can go to Cyclone and search the “top stories” subheading for “Russ from Winterset”. This is a fan website for ISU athletics, and being friends with the owner, he allowed me to indulge a whim & write a few “gonzo” pieces from the perspective of the average fan.

My politics are a gumbo of Conservatism & Libertarianism, with a dash of Populism to spice it up a little. I don’t agree with everything President Bush has done, but I do think that confrontation of Islamic terrorism was LONG overdue.

Now it’s up to you. Ask away, and ye shall be answered. I’m honored that The Sage asked me to contribute, and I hope to live up to her expectations with my future output.

Who’s up first?

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