Monday, June 1, 2020

local news links

I will keep these updated as possible:

Otero County Lockdown
Otero County offices remain on lockdown due to threats following Commissioner Griffin comment,Ruidoso News, 6-1-20

Cuoy Griffin
He's king of the cowboys and self-promotion, Santa Fe New Mexican, 5-21
Cowboys for Trump founder, Couy Griffin: 'The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat', Ruidoso News, 5-20

The Mountain

So I'm sure nobody cares what I have to say about the coronavirus. We all have our own opinions about it, and I'm a little out there in most of my opinions anyway; I ramble just so I don't get out of the practice.

But I'm thinking of making this into a different kind of blog - one where you get resources for various arguments about things on the mountain. For example, I'm interested in the thistle invasion. I'm home a lot, newly retired, and I could actually go out and do something about it. But I don't even find an online resource that will help me read about it and find out what it is, where it's from, etc.

So I'm thinking of building this up to be a place where that kind of thing can be found. It will be a slow, gradual process. I may need something better than a stark orange plain headline banner. But if I do, you'll be the first to know!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

coronavirus part IV

I promised to keep my mouth shut about this whole mess but I can't resist. It's pretty much public record. I feel badly for all the people who lost their stores, lost their jobs, lost their income, everything.

It's here now, and supposedly got here through a preschool, but it was only a matter of time before it slipped in at Allsups or some other place. People are deadly afraid and I don't blame them. It's a horrible disease.

On the other hand others are so pissed off at the governor, they're ready to go do some damage in Santa Fe or haul off on social media like she's some kind of demon fixing to take our rights away and lock us up. No, I think she's trying to keep the number of deaths down. Yes, that's causing a lot of hurt to a lot of people and their jobs. There is no way out of this without hurting someone.

I personally do not believe that she is an evil one-world rights-snatching dictator, and I also believe that Trump is an inept fool or we wouldn't be in this pickle. But in any case I'm one of the twenty or thirty percent who don't have to leave home and who are not all that inconvenienced by a lockdown. I have two jobs and they're both online, and I don't rely on them anyway as I'm retired and we pretty much wrapped it up before we got here. We consider ourselves vulnerable and with four kids to raise. So we're grateful that any set of circumstances would allow us to stay home way out in the country, and avoid the whole mess.

So I'll tell you, it's changed our lifestyle quite a bit. Lots less Allsups, lots less theater, and places we just won't go anymore. You can open them up like they're doing in Texas but about 30% of us, I figure, just won't go. We are the 30% who value our lives enough to do whatever's necessary to ride out the storm.

I don't mean the other people don't value their lives. They just want to go about living them as usual and not worry about some stupid virus. But I'll tell you, there's no "usual" if 30% of us are staying home. And it's not Trump's fault, except that he was enough of an idiot to let it in and let it ravage our population, before he figured out what "testing" or "contact tracing" was. He still doesn't know, really, and doesn't mind talking out his hat when he knows he's stumped. But I'm not swallowing bleach, and I'm not going for hydroxychloroquine, or whatever that stuff was. He said it was a game changer, but his game hasn't been changing.

You can get mad all you want, but we're in a new depression. I think things that will help us get through this depression are good, and the rest of it, let it go. If you were a bus driver, forget it. They had to throw six or seven trillion at this and as usual, the rich gobbled it all up, so it's all in the Bahamas now, and it isn't coming back. The rest of us will have to scrape up crumbs or whatever. And your tourist store on Burro Street? I think they set that back a few years, if you're even able to open. The governor didn't do you in, the 30% of us who aren't budging will do you in. We wouldn't care if the Governor opened Burro Street tomorrow. We still wouldn't go. And those poor folks who were working in the meat plants - well, they weren't coming up to Burro Street anyway. Neither were those oil boys. Those guys are all boom and bust anyway, and now it's bust, and they'll be around trying to bust something. It won't be pretty.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

coronavirus part III

It's a whole new era, and there's nothing for it but for us to face that fact and move on.

I don't know any more about what's coming than any of you do, but I can tell you a few things. First, the crisis is going to last more than a month; life as we know it will be altered more or less permanently. Even if they managed to say, we're free of it all, after a month, say May 1st, would everyone rush right out and go shopping? Well, some would, no doubt, but a lot of us will have new habits that make that unnecessary.

Such retail spots as malls, J.C.Penny, Macy's, Kohl's, etc., I think, will be gone. Restaurants will be damaged in the sense that, even with lots of government bailouts, they may not be profitable when they reopen, or for years afterward. The fabric of society as we know it will be drastically changed.

In our town Burro Street was living with the hopes of expanding and in fact, it did seem to be getting more business. There were more people walking up and down the sidewalks, stepping into the shops, and buying things. Now I don't know if running one of those little shops was actually profitable; I couldn't see how you'd make enough selling beads, for example, to feed your family. But now, I think, finished. People don't want to walk slowly up and down the boardwalk. And they won't for the rest of the month, and even for a few months. Even if they get a lot of tests, and use them, and know everyone who has it, and quarantine them, I don't think people will come right out onto the boardwalk and go shopping. If there is even the slightest risk, they'll get it online, or just simply not get it. Or make it. People are learning to make stuff.

This especially goes for food. We were a spoiled society, my family being a prime example, and we were going out a lot. This wasn't because we couldn't cook, as my wife could, and did, and actually preferred cooking to going out. But we were lazy, and gave in to our kids' preferences, and of course they prefer grease and sugar. But now, we tell them, yes we go to town but we risk our lives, not yours so much as ours. And we've made it a once a week thing (we get groceries once a week too), and that's it, that's how often we go in. We save our cars and our gas. We are living more like life should be lived, when you are twenty miles from a small town, and we are just much more scarce than we used to be. But as far as the food goes, people are hurting. We don't go to Allsup's anymore; it's too cramped. We go to Fam Dol maybe once a week. We just aren't buying the junk as much.

I'm not saying the downtown will die. Rents will probably go down. Places will be vacant and stay vacant. It will be like a depression, maybe, with lots of people out of work, unless they're willing to do medical. Someone who makes masks will have a good market, and that reminds me, I need to talk to my sister (she makes them). People, I think, want to work, and need to pay the bills. They won't be happy with 30% unemployment.

I say this from a comfortable berth. I have retired, more or less, and am doing two part-time jobs, both of which are online and unaffected by the crisis. We get our social security and will be ok whether the world around us goes to hell or not. We of course fear marauding bands of unemployed vagrants, or rampant inflation, or city people moving out and taking over the countryside. More than that, we fear the virus itself, as we are older and vulnerable. It seems to us that a lot of people from our generation are going to be swept up in it, and it won't be good. We hide out here, out at the end of the road, and I'm grateful sometimes that I'm not famous, and never have been. The world is willing to forget about me. That isn't true of a lot of my musician friends.

As the sun goes down on another day in the mountains, I'm grateful to be here. We moved out to the end of the road while we still could, before this whole thing happened. We turned out to be in the right place when it did happen. We and our kids appear to be going to survive it, though the kids may not pass their level, being too powerful around here, and in some cases wanting to know what they can get away with not doing. The school wants them online, working on their skills. We support the school, but we're caught between. If they don't work, what happens? We keep feeding them, I suppose.

Life has changed forever. They may not learn another thing, except how to survive in it.