Another Norwood legend passes
DARRELL ELDER … The narrow ditches on both of the state highway were jammed. But Rev. Clint Parry had but few words for his friend, Darrell, who didn’t think much of churches, “or ministers”, Parry laughed … It was no mistake that tow trucks led the funeral cortege. Darrell had pulled more than few of us out of ditches for the three decades I’ve lived in the county … I knew Darrell was still a bit less boisterous from that cancer scare a few years back. But I’d seen him driving around. He’d stop by occasionally … Like the time he parked his pickup smack dab in the middle of a lane on the Cone Road right in front of my house and visited with me for some 45 minutes or more. Talking about local issues and roads and county policies and histories and all manner of curious stuff. He liked chatting and trading stories. A colorful character, dressed in a pair of greasy overalls, looking every bit the working class hero he was. He had his biases, and he didn’t shirk from sharing them. But he also had some good ideas – things he’d wrestle over for a while in his own mind and then surprise you with … ‘Course, when I first came to Norwood, I looked every bit the hippie I turned out to be, and that was not very high on the social totem pole in Darrell’s mind. He could look kind of gnarly, even after you got to know him. So, at first I kept my distance from his place just north of Stinking Springs and south of the county transfer station. But, eventually, a beater car tanked on me, and I tried to take it to D’s wrecking yard for salvage. But he wanted nothing to do with me, or my car. So I had to tow it to Montrose … But that was years ago, when I’d just come into the country. Before I got into office and teamed up with Commissioner Vern Ebert to get rid of building codes in the sparsely-settled West End of San Miguel County, about 15 years ago. After that, D and I had something to talk about – government interference in our lives … I have to say, I really grew to like our visits, even if I never liked some of his biases. But then, I know he didn’t really like some of my biases either. So I think we felt kind of even … Gonna miss you, D … Requiescat in pace
HISTORY CHECK … In recent times, some individuals have tried to finesse the historic spelling of Illium Valley to make it conform to the ancient Greek plains of Ilium in modern-day Turkey. But that’s not historically correct. I was reminded of this error leafing through William Henry Jackson’s Colorado (Pruett Publ., Boulder, 1975 [24975 ANAC]) compiled by William & Elizabeth Jones, while having Sunday brunch and playing ping-pong at the beautiful Two Candles Restaurant & Lounge in Norwood (their library is extensive) … On page 51, hand-lettered in a Jackson photo dating from the 1880’s [24880’s ANAC] is this caption: “Sunshine Peak from Illium Valley.”
MESH NETWORKS … Great article in March’s ScientificAmerican about the increasing centralization in the current World Wide Web through dead-end Internet Service Providers, national governments, closed loop cloud services like Facebook and Google, and how web privacy activists have devised an ingenious low-tech way to bypass government or corporate control, where each individual computer becomes a relay in the system, or a “device as infrastructure” network, as Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation calls it … It also has large implications for emergency management communications in case the Internet goes down. And it isn’t very expensive.
ENERGY PIG … Energy use continues to drop at Cloud Acre, along with my carbon footprint. My latest bill shows a total kilowatt hour (kWh) usage for the past 12 months of 10,580 kWh, with a monthly average of 881 kWh. That’s down from August of 25009 when my yearly total was 16,118 kWh and my monthly average was 1,343 kWh, and down from my last bill of 25011 which reflected a yearly total of 11,452 kWh and a monthly average of 954 kWh … That’s a year’s saving of 5,538 kWh – not an insignificant figure.
SUDDEN ASPEN DEATH … There have been lots of speculation on why the aspen have been suffering precipitous mortality recently, and certainly drought and global warming have to be exacerbating factors. But a paper published in the International Journal of Forest Research by Katie Haggerty of Lyons suggests a surprising connection. She links the major changes in the radio frequency (RF) environment, particularly its anthropogenic increase in RF intensity and complexity, with SAD. “This study suggests that the RF background may have strong adverse effects on growth rate and fall anthocyanin production in aspen, and may be an underlying factor in aspen decline.”
THE TALKING GOURD
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