Category Archives: durango

Blogging and San Diego

I haven’t been blogging much here, but I’ve been doing a ton of blogging over at BeerNBikes.com Durango, CO (and the surrounding Four Corners area) is an awesome place for both craft beer fans and cyclists.

I still read up on things happening in San Diego every once in a while, especially all the wonderful beer being made.

I saw this post on Draft Mag’s blog about the SDCityBeat Festival Of Beer coming up in May, and their summary of San Diego pretty much sums things up for me:

Occasionally, we consider moving to San Diego. It’s warm. All the time. It’s beautiful. All the time. The people are attractive. All the time. Honestly, what’s not to like? Then you visit, however, and realize it’s essentially a city devoid of culture, unless you consider being a stop on the way to Tijuana an important cultural experience. We don’t.

They do have good things to say about the CityBeat Festival of Beers though.

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Celebrating Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey died 20 years ago tomorrow. I’d never even heard his name until at least 10 years after he died. But since the first page I read in The Monkey Wrench Gang I’ve been captivated by his writing. I’ve read nearly all of his books since. I agree with him on a lot of things, and disagree on a lot of other things, but I always find his writing thought provoking and entertaining.

Monday at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango there’ll be some people gathering and reading to celebrate old Cactus Ed. I’m excited to go and meet some like minded people, hear Ken Wright and Kate Niles (among others) read and just have a good time.

There’s more info at The San Juan Almanac and Maria’s Bookshop.

Feeling More Durango

I did two very Durango things this past weekend.

Saturday I bought a mountain bike. Mountain biking seems to be huge here, and I can understand why, there’s a lot of open space and beautiful country around here. I’ve been road biking for a few years now and I felt I should start mountain biking out here. I picked up a used Yeti F.R.O. hardtail. I’ve been itching to get out and ride it, but it was snowing Saturday. Expect some pics and more about this bike on BeerNbikes.com.

Yesterday the weather was nice, probably perfect for mountain biking on some of the trails that dry earlier in the year than others, but instead Kinsee and I went up to Durango Mountain Resort for some winter sports action. It was my first time on a snowboard (I want to ski, I’ve never been skiing either, but Kinz insisted I try snowboarding first). She said I did good for my first day, I’m not sure if she’s being nice or what, but it seemed like I spent almost as much time on my butt as I did on my feet. I stayed on the bunny slope, but stood up quite a bit. The snow was hard packed so when I fell it hurt. After one good run of standing up the entire way I fell hard on my ass and decided it was time to hit the bar. Kinsee went up to the real slopes and got in some good runs while I read the paper and spent some time in the sun.

I’m sore today but look forward to giving skiing a try next year.

Small Town Living: The Durango Herald

Being completely new to the Durango area after moving here, and living outside the city, I’ve been trying extra hard to make some friends, meet people, and get involved in the community. Of course a lot of this invovled the internet, even before I moved I was reading local blogs, following people on twitter, and even meeting people through other social networking experiments. I’m actually pretty impressed with how much I’ve been able to learn about the area and that I’ve been here two weeks and already made some friends thanks to the internet.

But I’ve been told that people here aren’t as up to date with technology as I’d expect coming from urban California. I was told to expect people and businesses here to be a year or two behind what I’m used to. At first I thought that was just people making fun of the local country folk. But things are a little different here as I learned yesterday.

I’ve been reading The Durango Herald (the local daily paper) online since before we moved. After moving here I decided I should support them a bit, and I really enjoy reading the paper version of the paper over a cup of coffee when I can, so I went to their website and subscribed to get the Sunday paper delivered. That was on a Monday and later that week, on Wednesday and Thursday the Herald was on our doorstep. I thought they must have got things confused but Friday and Saturday there was no paper so I figured they’d got it fixed. Then Sunday came along and I didn’t get a paper. I called the circulation desk (within their business hours) and left a message but got no call back.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt I decided I’d wait until the next Sunday to see if I got a paper before calling again. Well Wednesday came around and there was a paper on the porch again. Thursday too. So I called again and left another voicemail. Then I saw The Durango Herald on twitter. I sent a message and within minutes was talking to someone on the phone. He was really helpful and took my info down and said he’d have someone call me from the circulation department. So there’s some proof that some people do get it when it comes to technology. I don’t think anyone would have called me back if he hadn’t have gotten involved, I’d probably still be having problems and be trying to cancel my subscription Sunday after not getting the newspaper again. Well, a few hours later I got a phone call.

The woman on the other end told me that A 26 week Sunday only subscription is the same price as a 13 week Monday through Friday subscription. And when a subscription is placed via their website it doesn’t tell them which was selected and they in the circulation department have to guess which the customer wanted. Well in my case they guessed wrong. I was dumbfounded. I wasn’t quite sure if I believed her, I work in IT and hear the lies and excuses people come up with when it comes to technology, and it seems like such an absurd system, but she said she’d correct it for me.

Their website does have different product ID’s for the two different subscriptions, so I can’t imagine those product ID’s don’t come through to the person filling the subscription, but who knows. This is the paper/web company I’ve had to e-mail twice regarding their broken RSS feeds (which they fixed very quickly, but the second time was especially embarassing in my opinion as they were linking to entirely the wrong website, a result of copy code between two publications I’m sure).

I keep hearing about how newspapers are having trouble in the digital age, this seems like a perfect example of that.

Well, I just got done drinking my coffee and reading the paper I found on my porch this morning, so we’ll see if I get one delivered on Sunday like I should.

Update: I emailed Sam Rose the Online Services Manager for The Durango Herald about the problem with their website and he said they’re upgrading their online system and in the future this problem should be resolved. So apparently I was too quick to judge the woman in the circulation department. Their website really does make those on the recieving end guess as to what subscription option the customer has selected.

Durango Independent Film Festival: Sex, Death and God Shorts Program

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Kinsee and I went down to the Abbey Theater last night to check out the first night of the 2009 Durango Independent Film Festival. Last night was the free preview night of the festival and we opted for the shorts program Sex, Death and God, nine comedy shorts on those themes.

I had never been to The Abbey before, and it was much smaller than I had expected. The recliners and tables up on the balcony were a nice touch. I can’t wait to see some live theater or a concert there.

The first short, Winston: An Informal Guide to Etiquette, wasn’t my cup of tea. It looked good, the acting wasn’t bad, but the story just wasn’t my thing. I was a little worried that I was in for eight more unfunny short films. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Below are a few of my favorites from the night — I won’t say much because I don’t want to give anything away.

Marooned? by Ryan Nagata was my favorite of the night. It had me laughing throughout. Ex-nerds with a sense of humor will laugh with it, everyone else will laugh at it.

Death In Charge by Devi Snively was a close runner up for my favorite. Death (The Grim Reaper) inadvertently becomes a gothic babysitter for a night.

I liked Denim and Jewsus also. Not amazing films, but not bad either. Both pretty funny.

The Party was funny at times, but I found it kind of uneventful, not bad just not a lot happening with it. It looked good, the quality of the filming and acting was good, I just didn’t like the story. It was also the only short I knew anything about going into thanks to seeing Leslie McManus, one of the actresses in the film twitter about it.

If you missed it last night the Sex, Death and God Shorts Program is playing again Saturday March 7 at the Abbey Theater at 9am. There’s also plenty of other promising films playing through Sunday. Check the schedule here.

The Economic Downturn

I listen to a lot of NPR, it seems like every other story is about the “economic downturn” going on these days. California isn’t in good shape. I’m not holding my breath awaiting my state tax rebate check. But I’ve been told that the Four Corners Region, and Southwest Colorado specifically are weathering the storm much better than the rest of the country.

While reading the Durango Telegraph, the alt-weekly here in Durango yesterday I saw the headline “Colorado foreclosures tumble in ’08” and read about how the percentage of home foreclosures last year were down in the region which is an indicator that the economy isn’t suffering as bad as other parts of the country. You can read the full story here (about halfway down the page).

A few hours later I picked up the Durango Herald, the local daily and saw a very different headline: “Foreclosures in county hit record highs” talking about how home foreclosures last year were at an all time high. Here’s a link to the full story.

Two stories published just a day apart reporting on the same area with very different headlines. The Herald article appears to be talking in absolute numbers while the Telegraph article is talking in percentages. I haven’t figured out if one of the papers is misinterpreting the data or if the Telegraph thinks the glass is half full while the Herald thinks the same glass is half empty.

I wrote a letter to the editors of each paper, hopefully they can clarify things.

Anyone out there have any insight? If so leave a comment.

UPDATE: I heard back from the columnists of each story and it looks like in my confusion between the headlines I wasn’t reading the articles properly. The Telegraph story is talking about the state doing better than the rest of the country while the Herald article is talking about the county setting a record for forclosures. Two different ways to look at the same data.

Welcome to Colorado!

If you haven’t heard, Kinsee and I moved to Bayfield, Colorado! Kinsee grew up here and I’ve been anxious to get out of California for a while now. I don’t know when I fell in love with the Four Corners Region (probably around the time I discovered Edward Abbey) but Durango (the “big” city nearby) seems like the perfect place for me. Four breweries in Durango, one with a location in Bayfield, lots of cyclists and plenty of other outdoor enthusiasts, Durango seems like a good place.

I’m just getting settled in, but Kinsee’s already been blogging about what’s going on in Durango at her new blog, Durango Dirt.

The weather has been beautiful ever since we got here, I’ve heard that we’ll get more days of sun per year than San Diego (330 vs 300).

We went to Ska Brewing for the release of their new IPA Modus Hoperandi, not quite a West Coast IPA but not bad at all. Kinsee wrote about it here. One of my new favorite blogs, Beer at 6512 (the elevation in Durango) also was there. Turns out Durango has quite the blogger community because Hank at Songs From the Wood was there also.

I just got back from my first Colorado bike ride. I rode from our house in Bayfield to Ignacio and back. It was about 19 miles, mostly flat, but my sea-level-lungs need some adjustment to the altitude up here (we live at 6900 feet). When I left it was about 22F, I averaged 17.5mph and it had warmed up to almost 40F by the time I got back. And I did that on my fixed gear because my road bike is still in the shop getting assembled and tuned.

We’ve been here less than a week but so far so good. Once I get a little more settled in expect a lot more blog posts from me.