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Old 11-23-2014, 09:04 AM   #701
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Gene, great news, now you can get on with your life!

Dan
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:30 PM   #702
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Don't worry about us. Susan and I have decided to approach this with the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy. It beats the heck out of pretending you have some control over all of it.

Ken
You do have control—lower the price and then lower it again. At some point, most of us capitulate. We are at the pre-housing boom level, somewhere between 2000 and maybe 2004.

And tastes change. Log houses don't seem to be so popular anymore. Because the wood is brown, the house was darker than people want now—they want big windows and light colors. If you move to a rural area, don't buy anything more expensive than a doublewide and make sure you have irrigation water and a big shop (metal version of a barn). We had the shop, but no extra water and not enough windows.

Yes, Dan, we're getting on with our lives and that will be remodeling until the travel season starts around May. Today I fixed some things on my 140 year old dining room table. I bought it years ago in Buffalo for about $100 and was told it was "Chinese Eastlake". Now I know there was no such style, just "Eastlake". I restored it in 2001 for the second time, but it is a bit warped in places and needed some maintenance. I also replaced the puck lights in the kitchen—the original had halogen bulbs that would not stay in, so I finally bought LED lights and it took about an hour or so to install them. The box didn't say how bright they are and it looks like they are only about 40 watt equivalent, kind of weak for task lights, but Barb is happy. If they were brighter, the box would have said so. Snowed lightly last night and this morning, so the trash box will have to wait a bit longer for final work. We've got an antique oak dining room table to sell and I did a repair on that so we can take it to a consignment store—I used it in my office years ago and we used it for a dining room table during the transition. Now it has to go along with some other furniture. Then we pick up Barb's new desk. Soon I'll get more wood for remodeling and can get back to the bedroom project.

Gene
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #703
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This thread is ending its useful life. I'll probably start another one in January as we dream about and plan new trips.

After many phone calls about getting the delivery on a day we are actually home, the snow plow arrived yesterday and I started putting it together. It weighs 265 lbs. put together and has wheels to roll it around or I'd never get it mounted on the FJ Cruiser. Many of the parts are very heavy and I'll will probably be using levers of 2x4 to lift them into place. The front hitch I also ordered from Amazon was the wrong one so I sent it back. They ordered the wrong one again to replace it so I cancelled the order. I ordered it from a place in town, but it is costing me much more. Sometimes Amazon can't get anything right. Shipments of big heavy things don't seem to come when they should and I waste a lot of time troubleshooting. Amazon can be very responsive, but not so much on these kind of shipments. Since we've had only 2" of snow and that weeks and weeks ago, no need right now, but I'd like to get the parts ready for when it does snow. The front hitch should come in a week or two.

Getting ready for a quick trip to Denver and I'd better go to the garage and assemble more of the plow.

Gene
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:52 PM   #704
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Gene

have got to say, I'm just a little bit envious. What guy growing up in the Northeast didn't want his very own snowplow? Fortunately I got out of Dodge (well N.H., actually) at 19 and haven't looked back. But I would definitely trade you some Colorado snow for the ice storms we get here in DFW.

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Old 12-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #705
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So Gene, 'ya want some snow......
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:22 PM   #706
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Bob, glad you are still warm enough to type. Glad to see you back.

Dana, still putting it together. It is heavy! If I were in Buffalo, I'd have to start plowing under the snow. Gotta get back to bolting it together—every bolt seems to be a different size making me go through all my wrenches to find the right size. I'm going to try to keep my plow a secret from my neighbors and only plow at 3 am.

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Old 12-18-2014, 02:03 PM   #707
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A friend died this week, Theo Colborn, 87. She was the only world famous person I've known as a friend and sometime collaborator and advisor. I met her about a dozen years ago. She had returned to Paonia, Colo., where she had been a pharmacist long before. She went on to get a PhD after her marriage failed, worked in Washington, DC., and was co-author of a book on endocrine disrupters. She founded a nonprofit in Paonia that collects data on things that are bad for our planet, organizes the research and makes it available to others. She had worked on poisons in fracking and drilling fluids and the effects of BPa on humans. She won many awards including an environmental one she seemed most proud of—it is given by a Swedish city since the Nobel Prizes don't have an environmental one. Frail as she was in later years, she told us the award was so heavy and she had to stand on stage so long, she was afraid she would drop it. She had a table full of awards at her modest home. I told her if she ever won a Noble Prize, I would go with her and hold the prize for her.

Barb and I used to go out to dinner with Theo and sometimes a movie. She loved movies and those were about the only pleasures she allowed herself. She never wanted to talk much about herself, but could go on about chemicals. I'd stop her and ask her about herself. She give a brief answer and go back to poisons. It could be a little hard to take over pasta, but she was charming anyway. I learned the biggest difference between world class people and the rest of us is focus and a willingness to work 18 or more hours per day.

Theo was quirky. She did not suffer fools well. She was unafraid of telling the truth. She was great at coaxing information out of people about dangerous chemicals. You could not ignore her—she was dynamic in a calm and rational way.

With our house purchase, remodeling, my back problems, selling the other house, we didn't keep in touch. Maybe an infrequent e-mail, but several months ago she called me and told me she was dying. Well, Theo was frail and had been dying for years, but her indomitable spirit kept her more productive than most people half her age. Her spirit was so lively, it was hard to believe she had health problems. But this time she didn't talk about bad chemicals, but she talked about herself and I talked about myself and we talked about her daughter's fight with the County. I knew this was real.

I miss her. I don't miss her because she was famous (more famous in other countries than her own), but because she was Theo.

Gene
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:18 PM   #708
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Nicely said, Gene. Glad you now have the leisure to write often and well.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:55 PM   #709
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A second death in the North Fork Valley part of Colorado's Delta Co. yesterday. Joe Cocker died of lung cancer in Crawford. I only met him once and very briefly, but we had mutual friends and I had served on a committee with his wife, Pam, some years ago. My experience has been that these have been good people uninfluenced by the celebrity thing. They established the Cocker Kids' Fdn. and helped many children in that economically depressed area. The oldtimers do not care for newcomers and the Cockers experienced that and kept a lower profile in recent years.

They came to Crawford to relax and since nothing much happens there, that was relatively easy. They would go out to dinner at a few restaurants from time to time and we would sometimes see them there. We'd hear news from friends, but for some reason weren't invited to parties.

Pam had a restaurant in Crawford for a while. An old bank building was restored and it was a beautiful job. But the oldtimers didn't like the food (and sometimes neither did the newcomers) or didn't want to pay slightly higher prices for better quality food. Everyone who worked in the restaurant or at the Cockers' ranch were treated well and paid better than anyone else in like jobs anywhere around the North Fork.

Joe and Theo were the most famous people in the North Fork and died a week apart. I doubt they ever met each other. Both were more famous outside of the US. Certainly each's fame was in different places. Both will be missed.

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Old 12-23-2014, 02:43 PM   #710
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Thanks for sharing that perspective

Quote:
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A second death in the North Fork Valley part of Colorado's Delta Co. yesterday. Joe Cocker died of lung cancer in Crawford. I only met him once and very briefly, but we had mutual friends and I had served on a committee with his wife, Pam, some years ago. My experience has been that these have been good people uninfluenced by the celebrity thing. They established the Cocker Kids' Fdn. and helped many children in that economically depressed area. The oldtimers do not care for newcomers and the Cockers experienced that and kept a lower profile in recent years.

They came to Crawford to relax and since nothing much happens there, that was relatively easy. They would go out to dinner at a few restaurants from time to time and we would sometimes see them there. We'd hear news from friends, but for some reason weren't invited to parties.

Pam had a restaurant in Crawford for a while. An old bank building was restored and it was a beautiful job. But the oldtimers didn't like the food (and sometimes neither did the newcomers) or didn't want to pay slightly higher prices for better quality food. Everyone who worked in the restaurant or at the Cockers' ranch were treated well and paid better than anyone else in like jobs anywhere around the North Fork.

Joe and Theo were the most famous people in the North Fork and died a week apart. I doubt they ever met each other. Both were more famous outside of the US. Certainly each's fame was in different places. Both will be missed.

Gene

Gene

I almost PM'd you this morning to see if you were going to share anything about Joe living in Crawford. Thanks for sharing this insight that not many people got to have.

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Old 12-24-2014, 03:56 PM   #711
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Thanks Dana and 'mover.

There's a nasty cold going around. Barb got it first, then me. It lasts 2 weeks or so. It attacks lungs and sinuses with an incredible amount of mucus. A high fever for one day and some people get bronchitis and one we know (our patient zero) got pneumonia. It seems like we each have been coughing most of the time. Sore diaphragm and chest muscles. We are starting to feel better, but Barb apparently got a bacterial infection as well, causing bronchitis. Maybe my asthma meds saved me from that. We hope to live to 2015 and probably will. This is the most sick we both have been since we met. Even the one time we got the flu it only lasted about 4 days—one day was really bad, but that was it. Otherwise, if we get a cold it usually lasts a day or two and is mild. Not this time!

We are staying home instead of going to the in-laws. We didn't want to take any chance at all of getting people who are that old, sick. Plus, our stamina for a 300 mile drive is pretty low. Tomorrow we will go out for Thai food and a movie. A few times 20 years ago Barb had to work on Xmas, but other than that, we always go to her parents' house, so for her this is really weird. Not so weird for me since Xmas seems to be a woman's holiday now.

If you see someone coughing or looking kind of sick, run away. Flu is worse this year than most years and we hope to avoid that.

Road Trips for 2015 will start in about a week. No date included so I don't have to start a new one each year. No more real estate either. I had hoped including that our house was on the market might interest someone on the Forum and doing it with a road trip thread would exploit a loophole in the Forum rules. It didn't sell the house to a Forum member, but I did get away with the loophole. Loopholes were, of course, my trade, so I have some satisfaction about that.

I hope everyone had a good Solstice and is celebrating whatever holiday they want. The sun is coming back and once again the dragon that each year tries to swallow it failed to take it. Or maybe it is the Flying Spaghetti Monster who tries to swallow the sun. I'm not sure.

Gene
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:15 AM   #712
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My Gene, it sounds as tho you've really led quite an interesting life! I can't imagine having met Joe Cocker! And your friend Theo sounds as tho she would have been immensely interesting to be around.

I thank you for sharing these insights and look forward to reading more of your very interesting posts.

Deb
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #713
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I'm sorry if this double-posts, but something happened to the response I was just typing.

I believe you stated that Crawford, CO is a difficult place for newcomers to be accepted. Well, that is the case where we live as well. I was born and grew up just 13 miles from where we live, my husband was born and raised here. We married 31 years ago and have lived here ever since. It took roughly 20 years for me to be accepted. I avoided going into our town if at all possible; whenever I did I found people frowning at me; watching me out of the corner of their eyes, etc. One lady at church one day discussed this with me, said they had moved there and started attending church about ten years prior and they still were treated as "outsiders". They lived there another ten years or so and then moved away. I imagine, since neither of them were from here originally, they just were not accepted. This is difficult for me to understand and to accept.

Our Village is roughly 3,000-4,000 people, including the surrounding farms.

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Old 12-25-2014, 11:10 AM   #714
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Deb,

I have found that in rural America if your grandparents did not have the foresight to be born there, you are never quite accepted. I knew other "outsiders" in Crawford who went to church sometimes just because they thought they would be better accepted, even though they did it for business reasons—they wanted to make sure locals would buy from them. I doubt it worked well, but at least one of them has a thriving business in the next town.

We found that our friends were almost entirely people who were also outsiders. It is a very different culture in many cases. The oldtimers like our money and are willing to sell us real estate or anything else they may sell. Many newcomers join local organizations to meet people and help out. The oldtimers are glad to give us the lousy jobs, but would rather we didn't make any suggestions for improvement. But newcomers with better organizational skills honed in business, education, law, medical, whatever, quickly take over. This probably breeds more resentment for outsiders taking over. My wife was very involved in organizing an annual art event—mostly outsiders ran it, but when they burned out after a decade, no oldtimers would take it over. It no longer exists.

I think some of it is jealousy. Good jobs and good wages are rare in rural areas. Farming and ranching does not pay well. Local politicians tend to act in ways that keep wages down. People often have 2 or more jobs. Newcomers are often retired and have more money. Bring in someone from the entertainment industry and you have a wealth difference and a major cultural difference.

But the cultural differences are major. Rural America has become very conservative and if you aren't in agreement, you are not ok. I don't know what it would be like to not be white or to be gay, but I suspect it would be even harder to be part of the community. For many years rural America has been losing population as the mot energetic and accomplished children move to cities for opportunities. This leaves the people who hate change and look at the outside world as alien.

We've moved 85 miles to the biggest county and city in western Colorado. Not a big change in culture and it has always been economically depressed compared to the Front Range, but there are many more people like us and we are finding far more friends here. We can live close to a city with things we want and need and still be in a quiet semi-rural place.

So, I wish you had (and have) a better experience where you are, but only in cities it is likely to that you'll find acceptance.

Gene
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