UP BEAR CREEK
Confessions of an Energy Pig
by Art Goodtimes
Dec 23, 2010 | 1650 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLOUD ACRE … Okay, I’ve been working on my power bill to try and reduce my carbon footprint, but you got to understand – my country bungalow is a fixer-upper gone bad, or at least under-capitalized (four ex-wives, three kids and a stepkid or three take their toll, love ‘em though I do) … And it’s close to an all-electric house. I just don’t trust gas (natural or unnatural). So the heat’s electric with a woodburner backup (when I’m home to tend the stove). Since I have to keep three buildings from freezing, my coal-generated energy usage is high … Last October I was burning up 38 kilowatt hours a day. This October I got it down to 24 kWh per day, which is great. Except that a month earlier this year (in September) I was only using 7 kWh per day … Which means outfitting a house and kitchen, as well as heating a studio and well-house all electric (oink oink), leaves me hogging an awful lot of carbon, regardless of how Green I like to think I am.


DON CORAM … Had a very nice breakfast with our new 58th House District representative from Montrose. He surprised this paleohippie by being a bit of the social outlaw (with an older-fashioned Rancher Republican live-and-let-live attitude) mixed with the smart fiscal conservative outlook of a businessman (which we all need to learn with the current economic climate change) … Plus, he told good stories (and funny jokes) … His ownership of the popular Coffee Trader in Montrose (where I often meet with agency line officers for private discussions) was a bit out-of-character for a mine owner and operator, who’s done reclamation work as well as uranium mining all over the Western Slope. In fact, he’s operated mines in San Miguel County (out near Slick Rock) and even has in-laws in our area … Just an hour or so chatting and you can tell he was on his feet running even before the new Legislature had started up – championing a bill to create a six-county economic entity, along the lines of a regional public lands tourism loop, proposed by Richard Harding, going from Montrose to Gunnison and Crested Butte back to Paonia and Delta. Economic development for the district – exactly what has to be government’s first priority … Coram had lots of good ideas. Expressed a willingness to work with all sides. And asked for a chance to speak to the wider Telluride community, perhaps through one of its Intergovernmental meetings … Politics never fails to surprise me.

LOCOVORES … Not to be xenophobic but, come on, why should I buy local made-in-China instead of on-line made-in-China (or big box Bangladesh)? … If you want me to shop here at home, storekeepers, you have to get me some made-here originals not just expensive knockoffs … And that raises the question, how far away is here? Ridgway? Montrose? Denver? San Francisco? Atlanta? Montreal?

EGO BOOST … Found a single used copy of my first book of lyric valuables, Embracing the Earth (Homeward Press, Berkeley, 1984) selling on Amazon for $45. Its original price? A mere $5 … Who would imagine such poetry inflation in an economic downturn? … Money managers, beware the poetry bubble!!!

RICO HOTEL … A lean, clean and stream-lined Watch crew (except for our Associate Editor in Portland) had its annual holiday dinner at the Rico Hotel, replete with self-congratulatory toasts and remembrance of past elders, like Norwood’s inimitable muckraker Grace Herndon, who always came to these annual journalist fetes with her rancher husband Steve … Legendary local Chef Eamonn O'Hara makes some of the best dinners in the region at the hotel’s Argentine Grill, and this time was (once again) no exception … Some staffers spent the night (it always snows on the Watch party). The historic smelter boarding house building has been renovated and nicely redecorated as a stylish inn, without losing its rustic mining camp touches … Worth a trip to our Dolores County bedroom community, for a little reverse tourism.

POOR CATHOLICS … Did you hear the one about the controversial bishop down in Phoenix? Sad story really. A righteous high cleric in the Southwest’s rightwing showcase state trying to pull rank on a Catholic hospital founded by religious orders and operated solely by them for years … Insisting the head nun on the hospital’s ethics committee be excommunicated for approving an operation that saved a woman's life in extraordinary circumstances, whilst losing the child’s … Is this the Roman Church or the Taliban? … Isn't the world-wide pederasty scandal enough for His Holiness without modern American spiritual leaders acting positively medieval?

WEEKLY QUOTA … “In my field, drug policy, The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse commissioned by President Nixon in Its 1973 report Drug Use In America: Problem in Perspective attributed failure since 1914 to ‘incorrect assumptions’ flowing from a public ‘conditioned’ to fail to truly comprehend one fact: ‘Alcohol is a drug.’ Other linguistic distortions were also cited … Therefore, they said, we fail to comprehend the fundamental similarity of all drugs, minimizing the dangers of alcohol and grossly exaggerating the relative dangers of other drugs. Further, overall policy would never be ‘coherent’ until this was corrected. It is noteworthy that after a hundred years or so this has never occurred and that governments – in their political statements – continue to avoid language that might clarify our thinking, but prefers to perpetuate a mythology with obfuscating (and inaccurate) language.” – Jerry E148 in The Economist’s debate blog www.economist.com/debate/days/view/627/showCommentModule:1 entitled “The language we speak shapes how we think.”

THE TALKING GOURD

Norwood Hill


Much gratitude
to Mid West Rockfall for
putting up wire mesh aprons &
dislodging the roadcut's rim-edge rocks

Inexplicably, the state highway engineers
skipped the spot with the most rock
fallen plus a few pendulous
chunks of cliff

that’ll keep us
alert & looking up
& down the thousand feet
to the wild & scenic San Miguel

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