BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Navajo Nation.”

Sheʼs got legs

Monday, July 12th, 2021 Alive 18,339 days

The front page of the Navajo Times

If your beauty pageant has replaced the swimsuit competition with an animal slaughtering competition, you may live on the Big Rez.

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It wanted some frybread

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 Alive 18,166 days

A package tracking status report

One of my wifeʼs inbound packages has made a stop at the Big Rez. Iʼve never seen that before.

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Can I be excused?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 Alive 18,081 days

A clipping from the Navajo Times showing children learning outside

This is what it looks like when kids on the Big Rez have to do school-from-home.

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Not scary at all

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 Alive 18,069 days

A clipping from the Navajo Times

If arming dinosaurs with massive hypodermic needles makes getting a flu shot less scary for kids, then I guess I donʼt understand kids.

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Ewe bet

Friday, August 7th, 2020 Alive 18,000 days

An ad in the Navajo Times offering sheep for lease

When Darcie was reading the Navajo newspaper, she mentioned there was a sale on new, low-mileage Rams.

This isnʼt what I expected.

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Baaaaack off

Friday, July 3rd, 2020 Alive 17,965 days

An announcement in the Navajo Times advising people to stay two sheep away from each other

Today I learned that a sheep is three feet long.

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One ringy dingy

Saturday, February 1st, 2020 Alive 17,812 days

The payphone in Shoshone, California

If you listen to the chattering masses on the internet, you can be made to believe that the internet is everywhere, data is virtually free, and if youʼre not connected to everyone everywhere all day every day, you must be at room temperature.

As is often the case, reality and the internet are very different from one another.

The reality is that there are millions of people in America with no internet service. Not because of choice, or poverty, or lack of education; but because they are simply beyond the reach of the infrastructure.

People I know in the Silicon Valley bubble cannot fathom that there are places in America without broadband, let alone cell phone service. Yet right now, there are hundreds of thousands in Las Vegas who have no internet service. Even in New York City, there are over a million people who do not have internet access, and have no cellular service in their homes.

Itʼs especially hard for people from Europe to understand. They live in small countries where people are packed close together, so itʼs easy to provide cell phone service. They donʼt grasp how vast places like the United States, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere are and that cell service is not universal around the entire globe.

I ran into a British couple in Monument Valley once who were complaining that their cell phone didnʼt work. They kept saying, “But we bought it in San Francisco!” as if repeating the phrase often enough would cause a cell tower and power lines to sprout from the cracked earth. They couldnʼt be made to understand that they shouldnʼt expect a phone to work in the desert a thousand miles from the Bay Area.

The photograph above is a great example of how many places in America lack basic communications infrastructure (let alone running water and electricity). Itʼs a special pay phone in the town of Shoshone, California. The same California that gave us so much of the high-tech world in which we live also cannot connect all of its towns and cities.

There is no cell service in Shoshone. There is only dialup internet service in Shoshone. There are only a couple of radio signals that reach Shoshone. So the way many people communicate with the outside world is via this payphone.

Itʼs an ordinary payphone that also has special numbers people can dial to connect to essential, and some seemingly sponsored, services for free.

  • *10: Chase Bank
  • *12: Prayer line
  • *13: Payday loans
  • *14: Job search help
  • *15: Credit cards
  • *16: Weather
  • *17: Wells Fargo Bank
  • *19: Social Security

Local calls are currently 50¢, and anywhere else on the planet is $1.00 for two minutes. Which seems pretty reasonable to me, since I remember when calling my high school friends could cost an inflation-adjusted $3.50 for two minutes, and they were only a few miles away.

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Saturday, August 18th, 2018 Alive 17,280 days

An expensive menu

I guess the Navajo Nation is going to buy back Arizona one $350 beer at a time.

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