I would not be so brazen as to suggest that we ought to discount cultures which haven’t got booze. I am certain that there are lovely things to appreciate about Brunei and Bahrain, where barbaric prohibitions are in effect, while you’re sober as a judge, but who would argue that embracing foreign cultures isn’t more fun while you’re half in the bag? Many people, I’m sure, but I don’t espouse such puritanical sensibilities.
Picture the perfect yard. Your vision doesn’t necessarily include gazing balls, pink flamingos, whirligigs, or ceramic gnomes, but it nearly certainly involves at least one tree. Trees make the landscape. Not only do they beautify and add depth to any property, but the shade they cast can measurably lessen how much you’ll have to spend on air conditioning. Trees also provide oxygen, which is necessary in order to breathe. I wholly advocate that you plant trees in your yard, if only to make up for the untold acres of the things that have been sawn down to print this magazine. Here are some of your best options as a North Dakotan!
“Give me Swedes, snuff and whiskey, and I’ll build a railroad through hell.”
-James J. Hill
I’ve been welcomed to very few mansions in my lifetime. I went to one in Tuxedo, NY a few years ago to help to film a banker asking for donations to some foundation. He rightly asked not to have his palace in the background, lest his plea for donations should lose a great deal of its urgency. I once visited another in Minneapolis to ask its resident to invest in rental housing in Milwaukee. He declined, but only after showing me his secret wine cellar, walk-in liquor closet, and custom cherub garden fountain that he had made in his image, complete with an unmentionable spout. But the absolute cake taker, the most impressive mansion I’ll ever be allowed to sully with my proletarian presence, is the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.