North Platte

Exhibit 1.7.22

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Because, as with most visits to my parents’, I lost my will to do anything other than scream, “You don’t understand me!” at the world within the first 20 minutes.


*  Abandoning all projects to work on a Gatsby sequel about the Carraway family hardware business titled The Great Value.

*  Ebert: I give Winter’s Bone a big thumbs up. Sisqó: Dumps like a truck truck truck/Thighs like what what what. #SisqóandEbert

*  Someone from my Nebraska hometown scored an NFL touchdown. He now replaces the town’s previous hero, That Guy Who Killed All the Buffalo.

*  If realism is the mirror of society then surrealism is the frenzied egg of giraffe heaven.

*  My Adobe Reader is just taking some time to work on itself.

*  The English Department just traded Milton to the Religion Department for an espresso machine and some Christmas cookies to be made later.

*   ¿Qué otra cosa es en el trabajo escolar de los Peaches? #SpanishPeaches

*  The only good thing about All Dogs Go to Heaven is imagining a studio executive saying, “A cartoon about dogs dying? Here’s all the money!”

*  Thought, I wonder if somewhere there’s a comedy night called “Schlitz and Giggles”. Then thought, Best not to look into it, Adam.

*  Gary thought the expression was ‘gild my loins’ and now the date is weird.


Comment / Posted in No good, North Platte, Twitter

Exhibit 1.4.14

Checking In

Let’s see what’s going on in my old hometown these days…

O for god’s sake. This is terrible!

East Fifth does not need new pavement.

2 Comments / Posted in Bad Ideas, North Platte, Pavement

Exhibit 25.15

Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Post…

…so I check the Bulletin and hope they’ll conveniently feature two embarrassing stories atop each other so I can take a screenshot and go about my day.

I hope this all makes us stop and take a moment to consider the precariousness of our frontier towns as they grapple with these coordinated attacks. Who will save this bustling city from nature’s uprising?

My guess: Denny Mogis.

And before noon I’ve posted something on this blog and made a joke about a former area car dealer. I think I’ve earned myself a cup of coffee.

3 Comments / Posted in Nature, North Platte, Wind

Exhibit 21.7


I’m sure at some point this will change, but so far in my two weeks in Houston I haven’t read the Chronicle once. Occasionally I’ll hear someone make a reference to a local news story and I’ll just sort of stare blankly as if I cannot imagine how they came by this information. Honestly, someone could tell me that the Normans razed Pearland and my only response would be to ask where Pearland is and if that’s where I need to go to get a key to my office.

None of this is interesting. What is interesting is that while I thus far refuse to read about or even acknowledge Houston as a city that exists outside of the range of my computer’s speakers, I cannot stop myself from reading the North Platte Bulletin, the second paper from a city of 20,000 that I haven’t lived in since 1998. I’m going to want to know things like this:

A dude with a secret Wheaties-based bait caught the biggest fish of his life? Someone should tell the Normans.

2 Comments / Posted in Dudes, Normans, North Platte

Exhibit 16.21

So I mentioned before that Hotmail changed their design again which, I suppose, would have been fine if this new design hadn’t put me through tests to prove that I really, really wanted to email my friends, coworkers, and talk radio hosts my thoughts on the latest iteration of the bank bailout and Kate Winslet’s Oscar dress.

Of course I want to email those people. I find the hesitancy to move toward nationalization understandable but short-sighted and her dress to have been…um, green, I think.

So it’s time to change. From now on you can reach me at the email address to the right (or, if it’s easier, ‘adamwpeterson [at] gmail [dot] com’). I’ve had it for years, but I only used it for document backup. I think I once had vague privacy concerns about gmail, but, as with so many things, I no longer care. At this point I’m actually hoping advertisers look into my information. Maybe that will finally prompt them to release the 1992 Hector Elizondo vehicle There Goes the Neighborhood on Blu-ray. Certainly the letters I was sending weren’t doing the trick.

It occurs to me that some of you don’t even have my “real” email address as I’ve been too embarrassed to give it out for the last few years. You should be glad. It would only make you feel sorry for me. I won’t repeat it here, but let’s just say it was named when:

A) I was 15
B) My friends and I were into a certain pirate video game
C) Someone had already claimed the correct spelling of the word I wanted
D) Misspelling things for video game purposes was cool

If you’re thinking my old email address was “,” you’re wrong. Sadly, you’re not that wrong.

It was actually an account I started right when we moved from Nebraska to Kansas so I could keep up with friends (before that we all used a local message board/network thing called Freenet). Here’s my oldest email, from August 1998, from my friend Chris:

come to my party on the 22 of this month alright. i’ll ceck and see if I can come down this weekend and check out the house

Sadly, Chris still can’t spell ‘check’ right in consecutive uses. It’s actually a very common problem. Our best doctors are working on it.

From a month later, here’s my friend Ryan saying bad things about Chris:

I think I”m a pimp, and you think I’m a pimp and so does everyone else. he he he. Anywho, yeah chris drives the taurus around. He actually looks kind of dumb driving it. It just looks stupid.

Ryan now teaches history. He married his high school sweetheart. When his wife is out of town he wants to come over and play old Sega games with me and drink vodka in orange soda. The last time we played tennis both of us were a lot better than we’d ever been before and couldn’t figure out why. The last time we talked Ryan and I explained our 401k options to each other.

Here’s how Nicholas Sparks would end this post:

I held onto that old email address as if I could hold onto the past from before my friends scattered across the country, before the distance between us became more permanent. It is a distance that appears easily conquered–there are no parents to ask for permission, flights leave every hour–yet it is a distance we can never fully close again. We might visit but only visit. We might again find ourselves driving family sedans toward each other, cars no longer handed down from parents but could, in time, be handed down to our own children. We might forget each other’s addresses once the old ones are gone. I do hope Missy comes out of her coma so that I might tell her how much I love her and ask her forgiveness for the death of her father.

Okay, so I’ve never read any Nicholas Sparks. I assume I’m in the ballpark.

3 Comments / Posted in Email, Hawk Patrol Good, North Platte

Exhibit 14.6

All right, has everyone internalized how I feel about this football season or do we need more time? No? We’re good? Excellent. This will save us a lot of catching up next time we see each other.

You: Hello, funny running into you here at this ill-defined place we’re at.
Me: Let me tell you my thoughts about the football season.
You: No need, I read your blog.
Me: This will save us a lot of catching up.
You: Yes.
Me: Let me tell you my thoughts about politics.
You: No need, I read liberal blogs, too. I assume you’ll pretty much say what they tell you to.
Me: [betrayed!]
You: This just isn’t working. I think we should find separate places to do whatever we’re doing right now.

Anyway, let’s see if anything bizarre/horrible happened in North Platte, Nebraska, recently:

A judge who gave a child molester probation because he was short lost re-election.

The trial of a man who beat up his girlfriend because she made him mac and cheese has been delayed.

An elementary school principal falsely reported her car stolen for some reason.

Nope. Same as ever.

Comment / Posted in North Platte, Sports, Time

Exhibit 11.8

Nebraska-related errors I was able to spot in the first 50 pages of Ann Patchett’s The Magician’s Assistant:

1. Alliance is not on the interstate

Okay, so that’s it. I know it’s a small thing, but how hard is it to open up Google Maps or visit the absolutely awesome Alliance Chamber of Commerce website?

(By the way, compare that to the North Platte Chamber of Commerce website. That town. Jesus. It’s over twice as big as Alliance yet its website looks like it was designed by Adam Peterson circa 1997. Apparently the designer was too busy solving the mystery of the missing pot to finish that MS FrontPage night class he signed up for. At least it’s not a Geocities page, I guess.

Even poor Dr. Boettcher, whose dental service ad bizarrely aims for “sexy,” gets screwed over because his link doesn’t work. My two experiences with Dr. Boettcher:

1. He was once my AYSO soccer coach
2. I once, years later, played shuffleboard at his house

Thus ends this completely arbitrary parenthetical.)

Anyway, The Magician’s Assistant was our book club pick this month and no one seemed too into it, myself included. It’s hard when someone is writing about your state when it’s clear that they’ve never actually been to it. I didn’t actually get far enough to see what happens when the protagonist actually goes to Nebraska, but I was assured by others that it wasn’t pretty. Apparently the message is that everyone in Alliance rides their horses down the interstate to the barn dance and then they all eat apple pie while the women birth their babies and the men watch stoically in tight Wranglers before mending fence until dawn. Or something.

I’m very glad that I was able to put off reading this book long enough to not actually have to finish it. My book club pick is next, and barring unforeseen library shortages, I’ve settled on Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.

You should read along.

1 Comment / Posted in Books, Nebraska, North Platte

Exhibit 10.27

So Heather has started to review things on Yelp–you can see her reviews here–which I think is really fascinating and strange and scary. Apparently this started when some previously unknown archnemesis posted a negative review of a treasured family dining spot which she felt the need to defend.

(This, incidentally, is how I feel when reading this review of the Sands Motor Inn in North Platte. Two stars? Oh, you’re on my list Kristopher R. If you weren’t some lone warrior pointlessly trying to establish a Yelp outpost in North Platte circa 2006, I’d show you up by giving that nonexistent restaurant at least four stars just to balance out the universe.)

Anyway, it’s a short fall from defending restaurants to laboring over just how many stars to give to the mediocre Thai place where we eat. It’s fun to have conversations like this:

Heather: What if they read it?
Adam: Yelp in Lincoln seems to be you and one other person.
Heather: I hate that person so much.
Heather: Three stars.
Heather: Two stars.
Heather: No, three stars.

The correct answer is two stars.

2 Comments / Posted in North Platte, Reviews, Two

Exhibit 8.23

So to keep up with the town where I lived for eight years during elementary school and middle school, I read the North Platte Bulletin, a paper started out of bitterness toward the town’s “real” paper, the Telegraph. I don’t know the entire story, but if I had to guess, it probably involved a dare made at the Applebees or some long simmering dissatisfaction over the paper’s Nebraskaland Days coverage.

Thankfully, due to a combination of methamphetamines and railroad-induced insomnia, there’s enough news to go around. Most of it is the worst kind of news, horrible stories about desperate people, but a good part of it is filled with harmless gossip and hand wringing that must go on in every rural countyseat during this latest apocalypse.

This story falls somewhere in between.

Broken Hearted Arsonist Gets Probation

The headline shows a nice appreciation for the absurd and grotesque, but the real peach of the article is in this line:

Blaine Gillett, Zimmerman’s attorney, said his client now lives in Grand Island and testing revealed that something like this would not happen again.

Science can really test for anything these days.* (**)

*Yes, this blog has now devolved into basically being Leno-monologue quality humor. Still, I at least take comfort in the fact that I can always get a job writing those “From the ____ department” filler pieces in the New Yorker once everyone I love leaves me.

**Other possible joke responses:
1) The test did reveal Zimmerman’s next crime. Hardees has already been notified.
2) Gillett went on to express deep dissatisfaction the Philip K. Dick-esque dystopia that crushes our will and renders his legal services useless.
3) It won’t happen again because the test was for cancer.

Comment / Posted in Broken Hearted, North Platte, Selling Newspapers