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With too much time on my hands because traffic has slowed at our oil field gate guarding location, my mind has time to wander.

I try and catch the local news daily, both here in Dallas and in the Terlingua area.  I think you need to know what is going on in the local community.  Some dichotomous aspects of the two communities hit me yesterday and I was still thinking about it this morning when I woke up.

Dallas is 65 miles south of our work location.  Alpine is 65 miles north of our Terlingua property.

The 2010 population of Dallas was 1,197,000.  The 2010 population of Alpine was 5687.

Dallas is the biggest thing going in Dallas County.  Alpine is the biggest town in Brewster County.

The Dallas Metroplex news was running 2 stories last night.  The Metroplex (2010 Pop. 6,371,000) is the urban unfunction sprawl that spans almost 100 miles east to west and includes the city of Ft Worth and 12 counties.  It is the largest landlocked metropolitan complex in the world.

Story #1 reported the Metroplex commute to be the worst in the Nation with over 45 hours average annual commute time at an added cost to the commuter of over $1000.00   I can relate.  Up until 2001 or so I commuted daily right down the maw of the Metroplex 130 miles from doorstep and back.  Now, looking back, that was incomprehensible insanity on my part.

Story #2 was out of Ft.Worth and detailed the addition of 10 red light cameras to the numbers already in service.  City officials were quick to point out on camera that the red light cameras had improved traffic safety and were not a revenue source- even though they generate  $12 million dollars in annual revenue for the city.  Somehow I am just not buying the official word from City Hall.

On the other hand,  the average commute time in Alpine is 11.9 minutes and they have 2 redlights.  I can recall 1 red light and one flashing light.  I am trying to remember where the second red light might be — or maybe they counted the flasher.

Alpine does not have a local TV news station.  The closest metro areas with local news coverage is Midland/Odessa 140 miles to the north or El Paso 194 miles to the west.   Most of my West Texas and Alpine news is gleaned from the digital pages of the Alpine Daily Planet which is heavy on local sports and the police blotter.

This story  was an item of note this week.  I hope Editor Mike Perry does not mind me repeating it here:

Three candidates are seeking the title of Miss Rodeo Sul Ross 2011, with the new queen to be crowned Saturday, Oct. 1.

Miss Rodeo Sul Ross hopefuls

Coronation will take place during the Saturday edition of the 66th annual Sul Ross NIRA Rodeo, beginning at 7 pm in the SALE Arena, Turner Range Animal Science Center. Reigning Queen is Ashley Buffington, Carlsbad, N.M., a senior Animal Science major.

Candidates are Molly Jo Collins, Balmorhea; Amanda Tenery, Kerrville; and Nikki Woodward, Alpine.

Collins, Miss Art Walk, is the daughter of Laura and Larry Collins and a Sul Ross freshman. She is majoring in Animal Science, is a member of the rodeo team and competes in goat tying and breakaway roping.

Tenery, Miss Big Bend Saddlery, is the daughter of Tammy Tenery and a Sul Ross sophomore majoring in Animal Science. After graduation she plans on traveling to Ireland, then returning to study veterinary medicine. She enjoys barrel racing and training horses.

Woodward, Miss Woodward Aviation, is the daughter of Lowell and Carol Woodward. She is an Alpine High School graduate and a Sul Ross freshman, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Communication. After graduation, she plans a career in mass communications, preferably television.

Competition begins Friday, Sept. 30, with a horsemanship event in the Muench Arena. The horsemanship competition is open to the public at no charge.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, candidates will be tested on their rodeo, equine and current event knowledge, beginning at 8 am. Following the test each contestant will interview with the panel of judges.

You know, this story just sets right with me. If you are gonna be a Rodeo Queen you should know how to set a horse and know the difference between bull riding and barrel racing. I have never seen women compete in a goat tying but I bet it would be more interesting than whatever the lead story is on the Dallas Locals tonight.

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