Yes, but do they have goats?

Money’s got my goat

Money magazine has published its list of top 100 cities in which to live in the United States. It isn’t surprising that Beaumont, Texas, where I live, is not on that list.

I say that not because Beaumont is a bad place to live. I voluntarily chose to live here — three times now — so obviously it has certain attributes that I find attractive — goats for instance.

Down the well-traveled Phelan Boulevard amid businesses and homes is a rather good-sized piece of shady pasture holding an undetermined (at least by me) number of goats. It seems so out of place and that is why I think it is pretty cool. For one thing, goats aren’t really big in this area. What farming goes on in the surrounding vicinity is largely restricted to cattle and rice. Plus, the area in which the little goat farm is located is a relatively busy area of commerce. So the goats wouldn’t seem like they belong there but they do belong as far as I am concerned.

I just like goats because they look comical. Goats appear most times like they stumbled into the marijuana patch and had to eat their way out.

No Texas cities were in the top 10 on Money’s list and only a few were in the top 100. The criteria for the rankings ranged from median household income (Money average $68,160 — Beaumont average $38,480 — eight feet deep average — a couple of bucks) to the number of restaurants within 15 miles (Money average 3,431, Beaumont average 702). If my math is right, which it certainly might not be, the national average for restaurants would mean a restaurant for a little more than 33 people each in Beaumont. Only a little waiting for a table and probably horrific tips.

One thing I found either encouraging or else the comparisons this list made were just totally out of whack was that Beaumont fared better than average on air pollution by quite a bit. Beaumont and surrounding cities are home to a large collection of petrochemical plants. And the pollution has certainly visibly decreased, at least, quite a lot since the first time I lived here 27 years ago. I also know it is better than when I last lived here seven years ago when the words “Ozone Action Day” were a regular part of the vocabulary. So I don’t know if the state (who regulates air emissions for the U.S. EPA) and the chemical industry have made some headway since this became a pollution non-attainment area or whether the weather has just been such that ozone hasn’t been a factor. I guess that’s something I will look into.

Meanwhile, we got goats.

(Disclosure: The goat photo comes courtesy of the U.S. Agriculture Research Center Image Gallery . The goat in the photo is not part of the herd I write about. I don’t want to have to fire myself for plagiarism.)

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