Columns

Fri
07
Apr
atodd's picture

Truisms of the game

Truisms of the game
Do not show up to the Community Center in Ouray this Friday to help the City of Ouray place bubble caps on Douglas-fir trees around Ouray. Although a story ran within these pages last week inviting volunteers to assemble at the Community Center Friday, April 7 at noon, we now hear from the organizer that it's a little early in the season, and the excursion into Ouray's surrounding woods to help blunt the spread of beetle kill will have to wait just a bit.
So for now, according to Bevin Campbell, the date is "TBD," and she'll keep us posted when we can help round up the troops again.
I'm betting that if you're wanting to help, and you want to be notified by Bevin, you can just email her at bevincampbell@gmail.com, and she'll put you on her volunteer notification list.

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Fri
07
Apr
atodd's picture

The little lost calf and the case of the aliens

The morning opened with a beautiful sunrise. It was just the beginning of the calving season on the ranch but there was an older cow in Pleasant Valley in active labor. The prerogative of the cowboys is to let "her do the work at her own pace.”
She was doing it.
The two front feet were visible from yards away. The cow circled the same area repeated times. She finally lay down and in just two long heaving motions out he came. The calf was pure black with an adorable pink nose and two little flappy ears. She was a good mom. She cleaned him up "lickety split" (pun intended).
In just minutes, he is on his wobbly four hooves and making his way to his very first breakfast.  Suddenly, the cow steps away from her nursing calf and calls to him in a low murmur. She feels threatened. She's not sure that her baby is safe where they are.

Wed
08
Mar
atodd's picture

Expecting a miracle

We're going to be grandparents, and it hasn't really hit me. It may not sink in until it's time to drive to Utah and see Ross and Kelly and our new granddaughter, Olivia, at the end of this month.
Grandchildren are truly a blessing from above.
They are also not as mathematically likely to occur, especially to me and Beecher.
It's not that our two boys couldn't get a date. Rather, with only two children, our chances are greatly reduced compared to what our chances would have been half a century ago.
The more children, the greater the chance at grandchildren. Especially if the fertility rate doesn't decline.
But since the 1960s, it has steadily declined.
And for a couple of average white parents, our chances are even less than others.
According to the Pew Research Center, since the World War II baby boom, the trend to smaller families has been on the rise.

Wed
08
Mar
atodd's picture

Random encounters of the fourth kind

On the road in Chiricahua National Monument, a dazzling landscape of improbably balanced boulders, granite figurines and Déjà vu.
Listen up: Itineraries and reservations are fine for business trips and family reunions, but if you want to let Miss Sara N. Dipity out of her box, wandering is best done with plans cast in “Jello.” Thus, we land once again in Chiricahua—as far off the beaten path as one can get without disappearing—way, way down in the southeast corner of Arizona, at the juncture of Old and New Mexico.
It’s an all-day “white knuckle” drive to get to Chiricahua from Camp Madera, a renowned “birding” canyon midway between Tucson and Nogales. Roads are frighteningly narrow and shoulder-less. RV “Goldie’s” wide body struggles to stay between centerline and pavement’s edge. Still, it’s a heart-melting back-road drive, meandering sky-island mountains and seas of golden grassland savannas, the likes of which would bring Kerouac and Kuralt to tears.

Thu
23
Feb
atodd's picture

I'm mad, too

Seems to be a lot of angry folks around here lately, so I'm going to start selling bumper stickers.
In the late 1970s, early 1980s, there was a charismatic figure in the Fort Worth, Texas area named Eddie Chiles. Eddie, who was on a first-name basis with all of Texas, was a self-made man, having started an oil supply company with two trucks and a few employees.
He grew the company to over 5,000 employees, bought the Texas Rangers baseball club and was an economic force in the state.
But what he was best identified with were the bumper stickers. The sticker read, "I'm mad, too, Eddie!"
It all started with his disdain for big government. Eddie was known to colorfully express his views about big government spending, especially the "Liberals in Congress," so much so that he was encouraged to express his views on the radio, where he could have a lasting effect.

Thu
23
Feb
atodd's picture

Commentary

Thu
16
Feb
atodd's picture

Time to fix winter water woes in Ouray

The Ouray Ice Park had to close for the season last week. A statement from the folks who run the Ice Park said the recent warm-up of temperatures in Ouray, coupled with the extended warm weather outlook, pointed toward their inability to keep what ice they had in good, safe condition.
Last year the Ice Park stayed open a month and a half longer than this year, closing on March 20. As we reported in early March 2016, sections of the park did not receive the amount of water the ice farmers would have liked, so there was less ice than desired. This year, there was even less water available to make ice.
Weather, lack of ice and a lack of an "ice box" effect played a role this year. It's certainly not all attributable to the weather. Last year in February, for instance, there were eight days in Ouray in the 40s, 13 days in the 50s and one day in the 60s. Pretty much like this year.

Thu
16
Feb
atodd's picture

The wolf in your midst…and your bedroom?

Dogs are wolves in disguise. They’re smarter than other wolves. We know that because long ago they learned not to bite the hand that feeds them.
Long ago humans found some early version of the canine species to be useful and decided to domesticate the creature. So we reinvented wolves as guard dogs, herding dogs, hunting dogs and “service dogs” of all sorts.
It’s a shaggy dog story.
We love living in this corner of Colorado and one of the things we love about it is that most people here love dogs and rarely leave home without them. People here think nothing of taking dogs to the park in Ridgway when the Farmer’s Market is in full swing or leaving Fido the family Rottweiler in a wide-open Jeep parked outside a bar or restaurant.
Whether bred to race or kill rats, dogs help us cope with the rat race called life.

Thu
19
Jan
atodd's picture

Feds want their money back

While you were toiling away these last few years struggling to pay off the high rates and deductibles associated with your health insurance purchase through the Colorado Exchange, state employees of the Exchange were using federal funds to throw baby showers, hand out excessive tips and generally misuse funds.
That's just the tip of the $9 million healthcare needle the Office of Inspector General has charged the state of Colorado with, in a December 2016 report, of not correctly expending Establishment Grant Funds to be used to create a health insurance marketplace in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
The feds want their money back.
The state is balking.

Thu
19
Jan
atodd's picture

The world in 2017 (warning: read at your own risk...)

A few thoughts at the end of a tumultuous and disappointing year.  There's no need to explain what was tumultuous about it and I wouldn't know where to start even if I tried. As for why it was disappointing, I'll get to that later.
The advent of any new year is a time of reflection and hope. It's the opposite of what typically happens at the end of an old year when we tend to reflect on whether or not we accomplished goals, how we handled difficult situations, and the like. Having some regrets is normal, a sign that we are being honest with ourselves.
Still, this time around it feels different, like it's not typical or normal by any standard. Not for America with the new defiant face it's showing to the world. Not for a world in which order and disorder have changed places.

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