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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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It was about the fourth day of the first real cold stretch of the winter – still the first week of January. It was the time of year when, each day, I counted the seconds at sundown to try to verify if the days really were indeed getting longer.

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I doubt many travelers would have agreed with my assessment of the beautiful scenery I’d been taking in for several hours, but I genuinely enjoyed my drive across the understated majesty of Nevada’s high desert country.

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I was sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop open, completely focused on the information in front of me. We had scheduled a couple of loads of fat cattle to be shipped later that week and, with the razor-thin margins, I was ever so interested in what the market was telling me that morning.

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From my perspective, I find social media to be, for the most part, a huge waste of time. It can be useful, to be sure, for a variety of reasons – but 10 minutes of productivity somehow usually evaporates into 45 wasted minutes viewing an array of ridiculous political rants, videos and borderline crude GIFs and memes.

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness … it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …”

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Most summers, I am blessed, or cursed, with the opportunity to judge some county fair youth livestock shows. I don’t suppose I am any smarter than the average know-it-all parent who leans on the fence and distracts his 10-year-old during the junior showmanship class, but word got out several years ago I can talk a good line of B.S. and take abuse.

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