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78


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Confessions of a cyber-sniper


Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
Posted in

Monday, January 1, 2001

The fact that I had been obsessed by the object for the last 10 days had absolutely nothing to do with my decision to "take it" in the last possible second. This was my standard operating procedure. Early on I had been the victim so many times, but now it was my turn to be the hunter.

I have been the hunter for over a year now, waiting until the last possible minute to strike. I was by now used to feeling my heart pound, having sweaty palms, and breathing as if each breath were my last. The second hand ticks away on my watch, getting louder and louder. Straining my eyes, wanting release, I count the seconds until itís only three away from target. Then I strike. Zzzaaaaaap!

Itís over. Finally. Although I know this, my heart still feels as if itís coming out my throat. No matter how many times I "snipe", I can never get used to that rush of victory, knowing I have conquered all my other opponents for the prize. I have just "sniped" another item on ebay.

I had never shopped on an Internet auction site until two years ago this Christmas. I was wary of the on-line horrors that could happen to someone like me who is used to walking into a store, inspecting the merchandise, then deciding whether or not to buy it. After all, thatís the way itís been done for the last several thousand years ever since certain folks (dealers) came up with a commodity that others (like me) wanted. In the 1870ís Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward bucked this traditional system by offering things for sale via mail-order. This soon turned out to be a wonderful way to do business, as someone in the far-off reaches of the prairie could own the same tableware or linens that an astute uptown shopper in Manhattan owned. Further, people who ordered goods this way were guaranteed satisfaction or their money back. Would I get the same kind of honest deal on an Internet auction site?

Having heard of ebay from a friend, I decided to "take the plunge" and see what in the heck all the fuss was about. Ebay, the largest of all the on-line auction sites, is a website established 3 years ago that has on-going, continuous auctions, where you can buy anything from a hand-knit Irish sweater to a used weed wacker. The people selling items are from all over the world, and range in quality fromfly-by-night types to those who offer a satisfaction-or-money-back guarantee.

On a December day in 1998 I surfed to their website, filled in .....
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Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
Posted in

Monday, January 1, 2001

The Fillmore County Board of Commissioners did not meet this week.

A talk with the Senator

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
Posted in

Monday, January 1, 2001

What do you expect the highlights of the coming session to be?

Scheevel: This will be an intense session, youíve got new committee chairs and youíve got the budget surplus, which is going to drive the dis ..... 
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Election 2000:

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
Posted in

One for the history booksBy Al MathisonMonday, November 13, 2000

Fillmore County voters turned out in large numbers last Tuesday, November 7. The auditorís department reported that as of 7 a.m. on Election Day there were1 ..... 
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The Plight that Failed

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday, December 25, 2000

I did not make any New Yearís Resolutions for this year. My wife told me the one that I made last year was enough to last her for a lifetime. It wasnít so much that she told me not to, it was the way that she made her ..... 
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The Gift of Life

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger a ..... 
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The Post-Holiday Blues

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday, January 1, 2001

I like the holiday season. In fact, I love the holidays. You get to see all your relatives. There is always more food than you can eat. Christmas music is played everywhere: in town streets, at home, on the radio, and i ..... 
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Simply to be trusted by a shy wild creature enhances one's self-respect. -Alexander Skutch

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday, Decmber 25, 2000

Alexander Skutch is one of the great naturalists of our time. Almost seventy years ago, he went to Central America to study plants, but the tropical birds there quickly captured most of his attention. For ten years, he ..... 
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Bird Brains

Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday,December 11, 2000

While some may beg to disagree, I believe most birds are smart, real smart. Far more intelligent, in fact, than science ever gives them credit for. Unlike many ornithologists (bird scientists) who evaluate avian though ..... 
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