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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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Winter had been dragging on for what seemed like forever. The notion of warm, sunny days and green grass seemed about as distant and likely as a Cleveland Browns Super Bowl victory parade or a referendum for common sense on a San Francisco ballot.

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I wish I had just a dime or two for every gallon of fuel I’ve used on wasted or superfluous trips to town. If I did, my healthy retirement fund might actually exist somewhere besides that spot in my consciousness which houses all my wildest dreams.

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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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