Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I made and ate cucumber sandwiches

     Inspired by the episode Twilight's Kingdom, where Discord promises to bring Fluttershy cucumber sandwiches and famous YouTube creator ACRacebest’s “yuck” reaction to those sandwiches; I made myself for the first time in my life cucumber sandwiches.  While being better tasting than I expected, they will not become one of my favorite foods.

Recipe from bottom to top

     Garlic bread sticks
     Land O'Lakes butter
     Philadelphia Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread
     Sliced cucumbers

Friday, May 13, 2016

Duluth, Minnesota at 5:18 AM

Home Front: St. Louis County, Minnesota - written by James Patrick Buchanan

        “Often, the greatest of evil is done by people or ponies that believe that what they are doing is the greatest of good.”
-  Mayor Mare

Third Interview

Name: Mayor “Honest” Mare
Birth date: September Fifth, 965 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Ethnic / Nationality / Political Party:  Earth Pony and naturalized United States citizen, Democratic Farmer Labor party
Status:  Alive, holding elected office as the Mayor of Duluth, Minnesota
Education: Bachelor of Political Science, Department of Political Science of Manehattan
Abilities: Level 6 Earth Pony / Known Earth pony abilities, along with those that were discovered or perhaps rediscovered during the war
Favorite sporting activity:  Weight lifting in the Police Department’s gym
Name one thing you love from Earth that is not related to your job:  My friend, who would like to remain anonymous, is making me a suit of Kevlar and steel plate body armor, reinforced with magical, Lake Superior Agates.

        “I hope that during your daytime travels Princess Celestia’s sunlight warms your body, illuminating the path before your hooves, while guiding you to friendship and happiness; while sleeping at night Princess Luna guides you to sweet dreams,”

        I can’t believe that I once that wrote that drivel to conclude my private letters.  Well, allow me to backup a bit and explain what I said.

        As Ponyville’s Mayor, I had routine contact with my once benign, cordial, and friendly Princess Celestia.  We often worked together, wrote each other letters, and sometimes talked about the ups and downs of being career politicians.

        Several times, I got to glimpse her playful side, when she let out her inner filly.  Once, during a rare day off from her official duties, she and I sneaked off to an expensive and exclusive Canterlot spa to relax and unwind.  That was one of the best days in all my life, seeing my Princess as just an ordinary pony with common desires and needs.

        Princess Celestia, not that kaleidoscopic-maned serpent that pretends to be my Princess, attended my first mayoral swearing-in ceremony.  She talked to me as an ally and as a friend.  At the end of our conservation she hugged me with her foreleg.  I felt her warmth, not just in body heat, but in her love.

She whispered in my ear:  “Star Swirl the Bearded told me this and now I’m passing his wisdom onto you.  ‘In every situation, look for opportunity.  Tell the truth, believe in yourself, believe in your friends, believe in friendship, and every problem will work out at the end of the day.’”

        Whatever that Solar Tyrant is now, she isn’t my kindhearted Princess Celestia.  With dismay and denial within my mind, I saw her change from warm and good - to cold and cruel even before we ponies made contact with the human world.  That oppressive creature has even hypnotized the Equestrian criminal courts into putting innocent ponies in jail, when she herself should be in jail for breaking Equestrian laws.  I’m no attorney, but I can name ten Equestrian felony laws that the Tyrant has broken.

        What would I do to the brutal fiend who wears the face of my warm-hearted princess?  After a fair and impartial trial, I would send that Solar Tyrant to Tartarus where all the rest of Equus's most evil of criminals and monsters are kept.
- Mayor Mare


What motivated me to choose to reside in Duluth, Minnesota and then become this city’s first pony mayor?  In August of 2018, human and Earth pony scientists of the University of Minnesota’s Duluth campus had announced that they had created a new type of hay with apple genes.  A few weeks later, some of that special hay was transported to Ponyville.  When I ate some of that genetically-modified hay, I knew that it could make Ponyville farms Equus's Champagne region for growing hay.

On June 29, (2019) I and my natural-born stallion assistants were in Duluth, finishing up a trade agreement with the University to import that special hay.  I had obtained exclusive rights on all of Equus for Ponyville to grow that special hay and thus I was very happy!

Then, during the next day (June 30), the Solar Tyrant declared her war against all of humanity.  It took one minute for me and my pony assistants to decide what we needed to do.  We denounced that immoral and malevolent Queen for breaking Equestrian laws that the founding six ponies of Equestria had a hoof in creating.  And then we pledged our loyalty to each other to defend humanity.

The day after that (July 1), was the day of an infamous attack on the Minnesota State Capitol complex.  The Solar Tyrant’s human thugs known as the PER turned the Governor, most Minnesota state legislators, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and many senior state administrators into her mindless drones.  Ponyville’s bees are more individual than those… things that look like ponies.

Thank Luna that five hundred Minnesota State Guard soldiers were training at the nearby Cedar Street Armory.  These brave guards contained and then killed the PER humans and all the newfoals before they could take over downtown St. Paul.

But, it was one brave guard that turned a PER victory into a defeat.  Emily Davison, a Burnsville, Minnesota firefighter and Guard Staff Sergeant drove a tanker truck filled with gasoline into a nearby parking ramp, drove into the improvised PER field headquarters, and then detonated fifty kilograms of explosives in the passenger seat.  The resulting blast, fire, and collapsed structure destroyed the PER’s entire potion stockpile and killed most of their human leaders.  Sergeant Davison was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for her service that day.

By the way, I saw on television Marcus Renee, along with the relatives of five other soldiers accepting posthumously the Medal of Honor for their dead family members, despite Jacob and the other fives service members still in theory being “alive” as drones of the Tyrant.  I can’t imagine what it was like for Marcus to accept that metal from the American President.

Because of the Tyrant’s unspeakable war of aggression against all of humanity, I and my assistants decided to remain in Duluth.  For three days, I didn’t know what I would be doing in Duluth.  Until the Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota now Governor appointed Duluth’s Mayor Pamela Ashdown to be a Minnesota state legislator.  The war needs to be won, and Minnesota needed a functional state government to do that.

In my hotel room, while I was eating a beet pulp, flaxseed, and molasses omelet, I heard on the television that there would be a special election to find a new mayor for Duluth.  I stood up on my hind legs, waved my forehooves above my head, and proclaimed that if my new hometown needed a new mayor, then I’d take up that challenge, become an American citizen, and then become Duluth’s greatest mayor.  If Sergeant Davison can fight against the Tyrant’s PER terrorists, then I will as well.  My assistants applauded my impromptu speech, telling me that they would support me.

Yes, I admit that was my most energetic, Rainbow Dash moment.  But that moment was one of my best moments of my life.

My Duluth home is an apartment in the old St. Louis County Jail.  I walk to the Mayor’s Office using an underground tunnel under West Second Street.  I got permission from the Duluth City Council to enclose all the government buildings in the Duluth Civic Center with walls of reinforced concrete, six feet thick.  Those concrete walls might be ugly compared to the polished stone of the original walls, but so far, not one terrorist has dared to attack those buildings.

One good thing about being Mayor of Duluth is that northern Minnesota is under the radar for the PER and HLF terrorists.  I suppose that my fellow citizens and I are fortunate that a PER ponification attack on a girl’s high school hockey game at Duluth’s Amsoil Arena does not provide the same bang for the buck as a potion attack on a Minnesota Vikings home game at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Also, the HLF would rather truck bomb a PHL branch office located in a once abandoned Twin Cities supermarket.  However, the HLF didn’t read the newspapers or watch television, as the PHL Twin Cities offices that had rented office space within that building had relocated to a more secure location three weeks before their attack.

Security cameras captured the moment when the HLF truck bomb prematurely detonated as three HLF criminals attempted to set the countdown timer on their bomb.  I find ironic humor in the fact that the office workers that were renting the former PHL offices were advertising themselves as a beer and wine importer.  But, that was a false front business for the PER!

Within the ruined offices, the FBI discovered plans to import potion vials inside cans of beer and boxes of wine.  As an American pony citizen, I love it when the HLF and PER manage to kill each other off without harming anyone or anypony else.  Also, the FBI found a money laundering scheme to turn Equestrian gemstones and gold into the local currency for that one insurgent cell.

St. Louis County’s only known terrorist activity happened when the infamous “Lead and Fire” HLF duo were captured by an anonymous telephone tip from a concerned citizen about strange activity within a rented Duluth home.  In the recorded call, a concerned citizen saw these two twenty-something year old men drinking and smoking what looked like weed, while watching horrific HLF recruitment videos on a large plasma TV with their house curtains open.

Lead killed with an AK-47 Kalashnikov and Fire killed with a homemade flamethrower.  Lead and Fire managed to murder twenty-eight innocent humans in isolated, rural homesteads and then looting them of anything valuable in Iowa and then Wisconsin before being caught by a Duluth SWAT team.

Here’s a tip for the bad guys.  When you are being arrested by the police, even if you are drunk and stoned, don’t call each other by your street aliases.

When Duluth Police Detectives asked Lead and Fire why they never murdered any ponies; they replied that all the ponies that they saw were escorted by two or three humans armed with rifles and shotguns.  They were afraid of attacking one community center, because it had a working replica Civil War Gatling gun on the second floor, overlooking the main entrance.

Lead told the detectives, “It was more fun to kill up unarmed people and take their stuff; then starting a fight with several armed ponies and humans, who had an unknown number of nearby friends.”

Fire told the detectives, “We were about to ambush an Earth pony stallion and his two human escorts in a rural village; when those there five Iowa National Guard Humvees pulled up to them.  Some black women Captain got out of her vehicle and then told those three that the streets were not safe.  She offered them a lift home, which the stallion and his two human guards accepted.  If we had attacked a few seconds sooner, we would have fought at least a couple dozen armored soldiers armed with assault rifles, plus a heavy machinegun in a Humvee turret.  Coming that close to being a target for two dozen soldiers kind of soured my opinion about shooting at the ponies.”

As a government official, I have access to an unlimited supply of gasoline for my chauffeur driven Limousine.  However, riding in my city Limousine makes me feel guilty after I see dozens of people lined up at many city bus stops to board too few city buses.

I believe that the biggest threat for the war effort in northern Minnesota comes not from terrorist attacks, but from the pilfering of vital war supplies by black market thieves.  These delinquents are doing as much damage to the war economy as the PER and HLF combined.  Every drop of fuel, every loaf of bread, and every bullet that is diverted to the black market is not going to fight the war and that’s bad news for every freedom loving human and pony.

When I was Ponyville’s Mayor, there were thieving ponies stealing war supplies during the war with King Sombra’s Crystal Empire.  Now, with all the cargo going through the roads, railroads, and the Port of Duluth stopping Black Market thieves had become an even harder problem to contain.

During World War Two, about one-third of all allied cargo shipping through the Port of Naples was stolen.  While there is not much of a market for iron ore, we still have a problem of people stealing everything from gain to machineguns.  A group of misfit dock workers swiped a light tank and put it up for sale.  I’m happy that tank didn’t fall into the hands of the PER or the HLF.

Many Duluth golf and outdoor enthusiasts blame me for turning all of Duluth’s golf links, parks, and forested areas into farmland.  But, I am complying with a U.S. Department of Agriculture order to turn all available urban lands into croplands.  More urban farms mean more food is available to eat and a shorter distance to get that urban food to markets.  And, that means more space on our American transport network for military cargo and troop movements.

The Duluth Police Department has purchased military equipment to discourage terrorist attacks.  It is fortunate for my citizens that a young Japanese woman named Sayuri Tanuma is selling to the city military-grade weapons and vehicles.  In the past three years, this mysterious woman has sold to the city military rifles, body armor, and camouflage NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) suits, with gas masks.

Miss Tanuma has also sold to the city two quick-firing, French 75 mm field guns, plus hundreds of rounds of anti-personnel ammunition, and one Churchill Crocodile, all of these in factory-fresh condition.  I have no idea where she gets old military equipment that looks like it was just rolled off an assembly line.  Yet, she has time and time again delivered quality weapons at a reasonable cost to city taxpayers, and that’s something that I care about.

There have been some small silver linings within these whopping storm clouds of war.  Becoming one of the first pony-American citizens and then to be elected by the majority of human Duluth citizens the first pony Mayor of an American city is very good.  That, and appetizing vegetarian cheeseburgers, with the meat completely made from plants.

To the west of Minnesota in Seattle, Washington voters elected Braintree a unicorn stallion Mayor.  And, to the east of Minnesota in Newark, New Jersey voters elected Bluebell a Pegasus mare Mayor.  Do people need to live in a port city to elect a pony mayor?

Do I know of any hidden Earth pony magical talents?  When Earth ponies become steam locomotive engineers, their engines can run for days, even a week or more sometimes, on one load of water and fuel.  I suppose that is the reason why there are so few water towers and coaling towers constructed by the Equestrian railroads.

Come to think of it, under human care steam locomotives need to stop for labor-intensive maintenance, grease and oil, every 100 to 150 miles.  But, under pony care, the same steam locomotives can run for days without maintenance.  In fact, the major American and Canadian railroads are now building new versions of the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotives for their pony crews to operate.

Also, trains and other vehicles under the control of Earth ponies have remarkably fast starting and stopping power far beyond what they should have, without injuring any passengers or damaging any cargo.  We Earth ponies didn’t realize the ability to maintain and operate our machines was a magical talent.  I suppose back in Equestria, we Earth ponies didn’t have humans to compare ourselves to, while very few ponies with wings or horns were hired by the railroads.  I hope that the city universities can both give an explanation of and expand upon our Earth pony powers.

What is the most dangerous tactic I can envisage, devised by the Solar Tyrant?  Almost every week, as an ordinary citizen and then the Mayor of Ponyville, I’ve dealt with many invasions of creatures from the Everfree Forest.  The Solar Tyrant mind-controls newfoals and natural-born ponies; thus she could mind-control the creatures of the Everfree Forest.

Imagine the Alliance battling Earth pony Royal Guards riding into battle on hydra, timberwolves, manticore, Ursa Minor, and Ursa Major.  Human and pony biologists have both written that a species needs about three thousands adult pairs to keep a species alive and healthy.  That means that there must be at least six thousand of each species of these dangerous creatures living in the Everfree Forest.

How will I know that the Solar Tyrant has been tried, convicted, and then sentenced to Tartarus?  That will happen when I can spend more of my city’s tax money on schools rather than on extra police, police intelligence gathering, and reinforcing all vital buildings from PER and HLF terrorist attacks.  That will happen when I see high school and college age youths, human and pony, returning to school.  That will happen when the city’s arts and humanities programs are no longer chronically underfunded.  That will happen when city and county high schools and college campuses can stop being emergency civilian apartments, National Guard barracks, and home armament workshops, to return to being centers of academic learning.

I will know that we won this war when, following the examples of American war heroes that were then elected president, my fellow Democrats and I can persuade Marcus Renee to run to be president as a Democrat.

Yet, my loyal assistants and I have decided to never return to my former Equestria.  We want to help in rebuilding the human world, setting things right here.

There are tens of thousands of newfoals living in boxy, reinforced concrete Bauhaus inspired apartments and there are the rows of massive airship hangars where airship crews are trained to murder by potion.  There are the huge mines that have leveled mountains and filled up valleys - polluted the nearby lakes and streams with toxic mining waste, thus making these unfit for anypony to use.  And then there are the even more massive factories that create air pollution that turn the skies gray and the snowfalls blue have made Ponyville and most of Equestria into something dark and ugly.

While we are talking about the Equestrian environment, did you see the podcast that Tree Hugger made to describe how the Equestrian war economy is ruining my former nation?  Tree Hugger is the chief editor of an environmentalist underground newspaper that both inspires resistance to the Solar Tyrant and makes fools of the Royal Guard in their many unsuccessful attempts to capture her and her secret staff.

Do I have any plans to get married and start my own family?  If I ever have any foals of my own, I’ll have them in America.  My future foals will be natural-born, Pony-Americans citizen.  I don’t want my foals to see what Ponyville has become under the Tyrant’s brutal rule.

Besides, there are UN accountants already at work totaling the trillions of dollars my former homeland will pay in war reparations to the people of many nations on Earth and on Equus.  I don’t want my foals to be working all their lives to pay in the rebuilding of all that the Solar Tyrant has destroyed.

I’ve read on PHL Internet blogs that Ponyville’s current mayor is some newfoal named Lavender Dreams.  However, the real political power is held by some memorized Royal Pegasus Guard named Scepter, a classic yes-mare who reports to the Tyrant’s equally memorized Canterlot military administrators.

I’m reading a book of beautiful poems written by PHL humans and ponies about fighting the war with the Solar Tyrant’s armies.  I love a poem written by a pony that ends with, “I wish to be remembered that I died protecting my good friends, friendship, harmony, and freedom.  And when my soul reaches the green pastures of the Elysian Fields, I’ll tell the gatekeeper, ‘One more PHL pony reporting, Scribe.  I've served my time in Tartarus!’”

        These interviews were published in the December 2023 issue of Minnesota History Magazine.  While most literary critics praised these well-researched and thought-provoking articles, a handful of outspoken Minnesota Republicans, Green Party activists, and independent citizens have criticized Paxton Randolph because his interviews have featured mostly DFL aligned humans and our allies from Equus.  Mr. Randolph replies that he was not biased in how he interviewed for this magazine article; but argues that DFL aligned humans, ponies, and other intelligent beings are the most willing to talk to him.


        Author's notes:  On June eighth 2014, a few minutes after the closing ceremony for MLP-MSP at the Ramada Bloomington Airport Hotel, I saw a young woman who was still wearing her pony convention badge and convention shirt.  She was walking with her friends in the convention hotel hallway.  An older gentleman tourist, who was checking into the same hotel with his wife and family, asked her what she was wearing.  When the young women told him it was for the Twin Cities My Little Pony convention, he then asked her what My Little Pony was.

        While keeping that random MLP-MSP encounter in mind, I need to write my pony-based fan fiction to be accessible and entertaining for those who have not heard about the My Little Pony franchise, to those who have an encyclopedic knowledge of all four generations, and everyone in-between those two extremes of My Little Pony knowledge.

    While writing this manuscript, I ask myself these three important questions:  First, how can I expand upon the ideas already in the established story.  Second, I ask myself how the show’s writers would have written this manuscript.  Third, to paraphrase President Obama how can I show that United States citizens, and our allies from Equus can still dream big, build big, and win the future?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Home Front: St. Louis County, Minnesota - written by James Patrick Buchanan

“I was born in London in England in 1934. I went through, as a child, the horrors of World War II, through a time when food was rationed and we learned to be very careful, and we never had more to eat than what we needed to eat.  There was no waste.  Everything was used.”
-  Jane Goodall

        “Never before have humans and our allies from Equus fought against an enemy that murders both body and soul.  Never before has anyone on the side of the Alliance seen such total genocide of entire intelligent species that created unique architecture, literature, and music.  We will stop the Tyrant’s advance and then counterattack until all traces of her dishonorable designs are erased from both of our worlds.”
- Colonel Marcus Renee

    “Have you seen the motivational poster featuring Cheerilee with the caption, ‘This pony is our FRIEND!  The PHL fights for our FREEDOMS.’?  Last September, Cheerilee presented my entire mining shift an award for mining the most iron ore in one day.  I don’t envy that pony, as holding together the Alliance must be the world’s toughest job, much harder than anything I deal with.”
- Aednat Rocco

Second interview

Name: Aednat “Skyscraper” Rocco
Birth date: February 22, 979 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Ethnic / Nationality / Political Party:  Unicorn and naturalized United States citizen, Democratic Farmer Labor party
Status:  Alive and working as a Mining Engineering at Northern Minnesota Mining
Education: Mining Engineering, Bachelor of Science Degree, Manehattan University School for Mining
Abilities: Level 8 Unicorn (Finding metallic ore, shield of protection, and drilling blasting holes into hard rock well above average.  Can unicorns use this rock drilling spell as a weapon?)
Favorite sporting activity:  Curling (she started playing this sport as a foal with her parents in Whinnyapolis)
Name one thing you love from Earth that is not Charles:  Touring Minnesota museums, such as the Minnesota Discovery Center

What do I miss the most from the prewar world?  To be able to purchase food and drinks - especially apple cider, as well as clothing and metals to make my jewelry without worrying about running out of my government-issued electronic ration credits.  To be able to buy whipped cream in an aerosol can, because right now the Alliance military needs the metal that these cans are made out of.  To not stand upon my weary legs in long checkout lines, because most of the sales clerks are now wearing a military uniform or laboring in the wartime industries.

Also, most of the package portion sizes of packaged foods have decreased to 1950’s sizes.  I’m not happy that I spend more money and get less food for each dollar.  Fortunately for me, my Charles cooks up the best ever vegetable casserole made from our garden vegetables.

Also, I’m unhappy that I missed out on attending the “La Tomatina” tomato festival in the Valencian town of Buñol, in the East of Spain.  It will take years before anyone on Earth can afford to waste many tons of good food like that in a food fight.

Unlike my human partner, being a pony has a few advantages.  I can buy and then eat all the hay I want, hip-hip hurray for me.  While I’m happy that delicious Minnesota grown hay isn’t yet on the list of rationed items; I get tired of eating it with every meal.

Like all other essential commodities, civilian clothing is rationed.  And buy clothing I must, as Northern Minnesota Mining requires that I wear work clothing, with reflective stripes, to labor in the mines - especially in the dark of Minnesota winters.  That is why I wear a full ensemble of a hardhat with a clear face shield, safety goggles, denim overalls, mane and tail bouffant caps, and work boots.

Even after wearing all of that, I still manage to spend about ten minutes at the end of every workday in a shower.  I’m washing all the machine lubrication grease, sticky mud, iron ore tinted road grime, and body sweat from my mane, tail, and coat.  I must have lost ten pounds of body fat and gained twenty pounds of muscle.

I’ve heard that Boston is protected by a line of towed and self-propelled artillery that is wheel to wheel in a line that is one mile long.  That’s similar to how the Russian Army fought the German Army during World War Two.  And, if the metals I’ve found have made even one of those cannons, then all of my hard work was worth the effort.

Charles loves my magic at finding mineral wealth.  I can also cast a “come to life spell” on his van’s engine, making it run without gasoline.  With gasoline being rationed at three gallons per week per adult driver, having my unicorn magic as an alternative to gasoline has saved us from using the overcrowded buses or the mismatched passenger trains cobbled together from tourist railroads, railroad museums, private collectors, and railroad management inspection trains.

Charles has a sister named Julie Moynihan.  She assists in running the Kennecott copper smelter near Magna, Utah.  I think no mine would be complete without a Moynihan working on the staff.

In the summer of 2018, Julie bought a European electric car for fifty thousand dollars.  Now, with Federal law rationing gasoline for all civilians, wealthy individuals have offered her five and once six times what she paid for her car.  Each time, she has refused those offers.

Queen Genocide says that humans are one millimeter above the pond scum that they evolved from.  Well, with the assistance of freedom loving ponies and other intelligent species of Equus, the Alliance will defeat her and all the evil she has created on both of our worlds.  After the war has been won, it may take the Alliance decades or centuries to rebuild both of our worlds.  But, we will rebuild it for my future human children and/or pony foals.  My children will never have first-hand or first-hoof experience fighting this, the most terrible of all wars.

Did this war bring about anything positive to my life?  That is an interesting question to ask me.  Without this war, I would have never found a first-class friend in Charles Moynihan.  I never would have discovered that I can work a twelve hour shift for six days each week.

I never would have been featured in a new version of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" documentaries.  “Why We Fight” Director Ken Burns wanted to interview the biggest pony miner in America, and that pony happens to be me.

I never would have discovered the Minnesota treat created by Mr. and Mrs. Cake - special apple flavored hay, cheese, and vegetable pasties.  Don't knock Earth pony chefs for not being front-line soldiers, as their meals keep me working to topple Queen Genocide.

You may not know this, but the Cakes’ foals, Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake, are some of the first ponies born in America and therefore are some of the first native born, Pony-Americans.

What am I most concerned about in the fight to win this war?  That the Alliance forgets that long ago, three ordinary ponies, using the power of their inherent harmony of friendship, saved their species in an ice-covered cave.  If the Alliance casts aside friendship and harmony to win this war, then Queen Genocide will win this war.

How will my life change for the better, once the war has been won?  When there are no more messages in every media I see and hear asking consumers to obey the rationing of goods, avoid the black market, and be more self-reliant, such as growing your own food and repairing what you have, instead of buying new things.

The war will be over when I’m not tempted to buy black market apples, bananas, or oranges for one dollar each.  The war will be over when I can return to making my beautiful jewelry, and then selling these once more at Milky Way conventions.  And finally, I’ll be able to ask my parents what secret project they were working on for the Alliance military.

One last thing, pony engineers, unicorn magic, and the digging of Diamond Dogs has made possible our ability to mine with efficacy deep pockets of iron ore and other minerals that were a few years ago too deep to mine at a profit.  For example, the former Soudan Underground Mine State Park is now reopened as an active iron ore mine because of what us pony and Diamond Dogs miners can do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Home Front: St. Louis County, Minnesota - written by James Patrick Buchanan

        “I enjoy interviewing Minnesota civilian workers and elected officials, who in their own way, are as important to fighting the Solar Tyrant’s invasion as any front-line soldier, sailor, or marine.  I enjoy interviewing youthful humans and ponies that are wearing muddy and oil stained work clothes because they have stepped away from their important jobs a few minutes before our interview starts.  I enjoy these interviews much more than asking old-timers, sipping tea and eating tapioca pudding in retirement communities, to recall past events that have happened years or decades earlier.  I present to you three of my most entertaining, thought-provoking interviews describing how human and pony citizens of St. Louis County, Minnesota are contributing to winning the Conversion War.”
- Preface written during July of 2023 by Field Researcher Paxton Peyton Randolph of the Minnesota Historical Society.

        “When the writer, while writing, is moved to strong emotions, be it to laughter or to tears, is the special moment when he or she is writing at their best.”
-  James Patrick Buchanan

        “If you proclaim that you want something, but you never put out the effort to get that future outcome; did you in fact want that future outcome in the first place?”
-  Charles Moynihan

First interview

Name: Charles “Hat-trick” Moynihan
Birth date: March third, 1991
Ethnic / Nationality / Political Party:  Fifth generation Irish-American, Democratic Farmer Labor party
Status: Alive and working as a Mining Engineering at Northern Minnesota Mining
Education: Mining Engineering, Bachelor of Science Degree, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Favorite sporting activity:  Exercise walking
Name one thing you love from Equus that is not Aednat:  Ponyville architecture

How did an American man born and raised in Chisholm, Minnesota and Aednat a Whinnyapolis, Equestrian unicorn mare become working partners and good friends?  We met because of our shared interest in Lauren Faust’s “Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls.”

Well, internet trolls consider my fascination with a colorful cartoon series to be incompatible with being a professional mining engineer.  These trolls also think that if I appreciate this cartoon series that I must be a stereotypical fanboy - someone with no real job, eat until they are grotesquely obese, and lives in their parent’s basement.  Yet, Aednat and I know that the life lessons you learn from that show are useful to learn or relearn at any age.

As an enthusiastic Galaxy-guy fan, I spent my one and only out of state vacation each year at Milky Way Con, the happiest three days of my entire year.  Imagine you are attending a convention with more than twelve thousand Galaxy-guy and Galaxy-girl fans, of all ages and ethnic groups.  Several hundred fans are wearing elaborate costumes, for a Friday to Sunday convention every August.  Even thinking about my convention puts my mind in my happy place.

        (Mr. Randolph’s note:  I omitted eight pages of Charles describing his favorite panels, where he ate his meals, and his hotel room to save space, as well as the sanity of those not interested in the Milky Way fandom.  I’ve never before seen anyone describe their fandom with such wide-eyed enthusiasm and vigor.  Also, before today I’ve never seen anyone’s living room that had more than eight hundred dollars worth of Milky Way merchandise.)

My favorite convention started about one month after humanity declared war on the Tyrant.  I was disappointed, but not surprised that total attendance for the August 2019 convention was six thousand, down from twelve thousand in 2018.

Friday morning, opening ceremonies were great, the same as always, with a few preview video clips of the upcoming season.  I saw many human and pony fans wearing great costumes inspired by the series.

For the world outside of the convention, what I wrote on my blog was that I was happy that President Jack Davis had already gained approval from the US Senate to declare war against Equestria.  I approved that the American military draft for both young men and women had started up; while hundreds of thousands of young citizens were volunteering to enlist.  And those that were already in the National Guard and Reserve were already on full-time duty, thus couldn't attend the convention.  If I wasn’t already working within a vital wartime industry, mining iron ore to make steel, I would have enlisted myself in the military.

Of course there were some optimistic American citizens and politicians who questioned the need for civilian rationing.  They argued on every available media that the Tyrant’s military successes were due to NATO forces being taken by surprise and therefore not mobilized for war.  Once NATO’s armed forces are fully mobilized, they would defeat the Tyrant’s armies in Europe.  Then, NATO and humanity as whole would push into the pony world.  When everybody’s favorite bête noire Tyrant is dead, America would have our soldiers back home by Christmas.  In the months and years to come, I became disappointed that such a happy prediction didn’t work out nearly as well as those optimists first believed would happen.

However, most humans and ponies in attendance I talked to realized that this event would be the last big Milky Way convention until we had won the war.  Everyone in the convention wanted to have one last fun party, before the draft, rationing of consumer goods, and restrictions on recreational civilian travel would start that September.

Some grey-haired, Galaxy-guy fan wearing an outdated business suit suggested to his group of friends that the European War should be renamed World War Celestia or World War C.  I liked that moniker, because the letter C is the third letter in the alphabet, making World War C an indirect reference to World War 3.

On Friday afternoon about three PM, I happened to see DC-Galloping-Great walking in the Otterbein Lobby.  He’s a well-known Milky Way reaction Youtuber and convention personality.  He was finishing up an interview with Sutra Cross, a pony nurse who was wearing medical saddle bags and a convention staff shirt that indicated that she was on the convention’s medical team.

As Sutra Cross shook DC’s hand with both her forehooves and then trotted away, I noticed that DC wore around his neck the cutest, Milky Way pewter pendant I’ve ever seen.

I have no idea how DC kept an honest smile on his face and a joyful tone when he spoke to that pony.  I saw hundreds of other human fans who were worried about their parents, siblings, and children who serve in the American Armed Forces that were fighting the Solar Tyrant’s armies in Europe.  Some of the ponies were equally downcast; worrying about their loved ones still lived in Equestria.  I think the USO hired DC as an entertainer, but don’t know where he is now.

Sorry, I lost my train of thought for a moment.  I asked DC where he bought his cute pendant, and he told me that he bought it from “Aednat Custom Jewelry, booth forty-eight in the dealers’ room.  I wouldn’t delay, as these pendants are very popular with the fans.  I’d take you to that booth, but in five minutes I have an appointment to take two hungry griffins to a nearby restaurant to have Maryland style pit beef sandwiches.”

After a fast walk to the dealers’ room, I saw a unicorn mare, the biggest and burliest mare I’ve seen with my own eyes, sitting behind booth’s forty-eight sales counter.  This mare had a beautiful chestnut coat, with a long blonde mane and ankle length tail.  She wore a brown cargo vest, along with a baseball cap with her company logo, a crossed pickaxe and shovel, and her company web address printed on it.

Some of my fellow Milky Way fans were… apprehensive about ponies and other species from Equus at the convention.  But, Milky Way’s main messages are to believe in your own worth, trust in friendship, and to promote tolerance.  “Practice the magic of friendship and harmony” was the convention’s theme and thus the convention became our very own Hearth's Warming Eve cave.

Moreover, my fellow fans and I had seen the news reports that many ponies were siding with the humans.  Some of us had firsthand witnessed ponies denouncing their evil Queen.  On top of that, the Royal Guard had murdered a few of their fellow ponies because they were defending their human friends from potion attack.

Moreover, I had a strong desire to buy that pendant and the fact that a pony had crafted that pendant made it ever cooler in my mind.

I walked up to her booth, looked her in the eye while saying, “I’d love to buy that pendant.” I was pointing to the one I wanted hanging on her jewelry racks.

Using my debit card, I bought that pendant.  I loved seeing her use her horn’s telekinesis to operate an electronic cash register.  These pendants must have been popular, as there were just five left of that type for sale.  In fact, that was the same pendant I wore to this interview.  As she used her telekinesis to give me my pendant and sales slip inside a clear plastic bag, I noticed that she wore a downcast and miserable face.  She looked sad, sadder than most of the Milky Way fans or convention center staff.

I dislike seeing anyone unhappy, especially not such an athletic, young mare as this one.  I asked her, “What’s wrong?  I’ve seen a least twenty people wearing your creations today.  You even sold one to DC.”

“I… don’t have a home in Equestria to return to.  There is no way I’ll return to live under the bloody hoof of the Queen’s genocide.  I’ll never craft medals that honor the Royal Guard in celebration of killing my human and pony friends.

“I’m a fan of Octavia Melody, and bought several of her records.  I always wanted to thank her in person for her wonderful music at one of her musical performances.  But, I never found the time to go to one.  Guess that is something I’ll never be able to do now.”

She pointed with her left forehoof to her tablet computer, saying “If murdering innocent people is what Queen Genocide proclaims in the Royal Canterlot voice as something a good and loyal pony should do, then I’d rather support the humans.  At least my parents have immigrated to America and have asked for political asylum here.”

I looked at her brawny flank, and then said, “I noticed that your cutie mark is a crossed pickaxe and shovel.  May I ask you what your special talent is?”

“My talent is finding metal ores.  When I got my cutie mark, I was disappointed that my talent was finding metals.  Then, my father told me to be happy that I have a talent everypony depends upon.  He added that not everypony’s special talent is as glamorous as finding gemstones like Rarity.”

“I noticed that you are rather big and burly for a unicorn or any type of pony for that matter.  No offense, but you resemble a princess without her wings, than most ponies that I have seen.”

“I got my size and strength from Chantal, my Earth pony Mom who works as a hard rock miner.  In fact, I’m just two centimeters shorter at the shoulder than Big Macintosh.  Thanks Mom, you’ve made buying mare clothing in my size an expensive adventure in the big and tall section of my favorite mares’ clothing shop.”

“My name is Charles Moynihan and I’m a certified mining engineer.  I work for Northern Minnesota Mining, a company that mines iron ore and other metals in Minnesota.  What’s your name?”

“Aednat Rocco.”

“What type of education and experience do you have in the mining industry?”

“Before immigrating to America, my Dad Tremain was a geology professor at the Manehattan University School for Mining.  From the time I could walk, he and mom were taking me rockhounding all over Equestria.  By the time I got to college, I knew as much about geology as some of the graduate students.  After graduation, I’ve been working alone or with a team of pony and diamond dog prospectors as a geologist for years.  Making jewelry happens to be my hobby.”

“Aednat, how would you like to work alongside me?  I can make sure that we put your special talent to good work at defeating that…”  I was about to say bad language, when a group of eight elementary school children walked by that booth.  “I mean defeating our common enemy.  With the increased iron production at my mines, I sure could use the extra hooves looking for iron ore.”

“Iron ore mining, I’ve done that before.”  Her face brightened up and I’m sure that her cutie mark glowed for two or three seconds.  “Sure, give me your cell phone number and we can set a time to get together to purchase my plane ticket to Minnesota.  I also need an address to send my stock of jewelry to.  From what I’ve heard, Minnesota sounds very much like my home city of Whinnyapolis.”

2019 was the last Milky Way Con I attended.  It was also the last Milky Way Con held at the Baltimore Convention Center.  In April 6th, 2020 the Alliance forces moved in and in forty days had rebuilt the center into an impressive fortress, supply depot, and regional headquarters.

I’ve heard that many of Ponyville’s best Earth pony construction workers helped rebuild that center into a fortress in record time.  I think that they also built a few surprises for the Solar Tyrant’s armies on the entire East Coast.  I’ve talked to people that tell me that the entire East Coast has become the world’s strongest defensive line, much harder to break through than the German Atlantic Wall ever was.  And, it is my iron ore that makes the steel that makes all that construction possible.

The student Milky Way fan club of the University of Baltimore kept Milky Way Con going for another two years.  But, the 2021 and 2022 events only drew a couple of hundred people and ponies from Baltimore and nearby towns. In 2023, with the barrier coming closer and the city of Baltimore becoming a military personnel only fortress, my convention has closed for the duration of the war.

The wartime seasons of Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls, as well as other famous cartoon characters such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are encouraging their audience to support the war effort and are often depicted fighting the Tyrant’s drones, the Royal Guard, and sometimes the Tyrant herself.  I know some human and ponies that can talk for hours about their collection of Justice League vs. Queen Celestia comics.

The most positive thing to come from this war has been getting to know and love my Aednat.  This past summer, the two of us enjoyed a weeklong vacation in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  Every day, Aednat wore this flowery summer dress and matching hoof slippers.  Wow, just, wow!  To my mind, she looked like the Goddess of Springtime.  The scent of Aednat’s mane and silky smoothness of her coat, made me wish that the nights could last forever.

The second most positive thing is that I’m working to protect my America and Western civilization, which shares much in common with the civilization that our pony friends created, before their good Princess became an evil Tyrant.  This may sound strange to you, but Aednat and I very much hope that Equestrian provinces will use the vote to become American states.  It is much better for ponies to elect representatives that are accountable for their actions or inactions, than to put their trust into Princesses who are accountable to no pony but themselves.

The third most positive thing is the Victory Gardens appearing in almost every yard, porch, and south facing window.  Our company constructed six greenhouses, for employee community gardens, where everyone spends hours each week all year long taking care of their edible garden crops.  I have no idea how our Earth pony miners can grow so much food using so little space and topsoil.

What do I fear the most?  That I didn’t work hard enough mining iron ore, to make the steel, to make the weapons the Alliance needs to defeat the Solar Tyrant and her dark armies.  You betcha that fear alone keeps me mining until my twelve-hour shift is done, despite how cold, tired, and hungry I get.

While professional soldiers mark daily success by how many newfoals they cut down, how many chariots they shoot down, or how many PER and HLF safe houses they capture while living to see the sunset; I measure success by how much iron ore I and Aednat have mined that day.

When will I know that World War C is over?  When my Aednat and I are sitting side by side, while watching Milky Way Con’s opening ceremonies, is when I’ll know that World War C is over, and that we the good people and the good ponies have won.

Maybe, someone will develop a safe potion that transforms the body while keeping the mind and soul intact.  That way, Aednat and I can get married and then have children and/or foals, build a happy family.  Wouldn't it be something special when my future colt asks me why he is a unicorn, while his sister is a human?  Maybe, my colt will be the first Pony-American Eagle Scout?

Moreover, I’ll know that the war is over when three hundred Norwegians, two hundred Swedes, and eighty Finnish workers and their families can return to their homelands.  From the way those people in exile work, I think that they consider mining iron ore their way of expressing their personal grudge against the Solar Tyrant.

I earned my nickname “Hat-trick” by scoring three goals in three separate games as a member of my high school’s ice hockey team.  I’m proud that during my sophomore year that I helped my team win the Minnesota state championship over much larger schools.

I know that my high school friend Ernesto Fox was playing for the Minnesota Wild and is now a specialist in the 2nd Ranger Battalion.  Despite being on a winning team, I never consider playing professional hockey.  By the way, I was surprised that Aednat had also played an ice sport when she was in public school.

One last thing, Aednat and I have discussed building a skyliner, using an old school bus as the passenger cabin and cockpit.  That should be plenty of space for our Milky Way fan friends, Aednat, and I to travel to distant conventions.  Aednat told me that her father is willing to create all the magical gemstones our skyliner needs.


    Note:  Milky Way Con is my tribute to what Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls could have been and someday could be.