Columns

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.

Thu
19
Jan
atodd's picture

Timeless holiday memories filled with family, fun and trips to the ER

On the ranch this Christmas, there was snow on the ground and sunshine above; there were lights on the porch and a tree in the house; there were gifts under the tree and stockings near the fireplace. I was just thinking back to Christmases past. I remember my mother’s  stories of our family and the “dreaded Christmas curse."  
It’s true for a long time we seemed to be cursed when it came to the holidays. When I was a child growing up in Southern California, we had a fake tree in the living room but no fire…no fireplace…it was California. Along with typical Christmas traditions like baking cookies, watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and going to church on Christmas Eve came our holiday trips to the local emergency room.
I don’t remember it being strange that the Emergency Room nurses knew me by name. I knew them, too.

Thu
19
Jan
atodd's picture

Reflections on a grave new world

Greetings, this is your Captain speaking. We are about to experience some h u g e turbulence. Remain calm, fasten your seatbelts and trust me. I know more about flying planes than all the pilots in the world put together.
Dear readers, “we are about to embark on a voyage where no man has gone before.” Donald Trump is one Inauguration Ceremony away from becoming President of the United States of America (take a minute to let that really sink in). If that doesn’t palpitate your heart, consider the coming imbalance of power—as the Executive, Legislative and (soon) Judicial branches of Govie will rest solely in the unrestrained hands of a new breed of Angry Republicans, now licking “chops” and Hell-bent on revenge.

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