The Army wants to take my family’s ranch

Do me a favor, please, and go read this story in Western Horseman about the Army’s plans to take 400,000 acres of land from ranchers in Southeast Colorado.  The story is the best I’ve seen so far of the issue.

This is an issue very important to my entire family.  My uncle would lose half of his range — a range that has been in the family since 1913.  Here’s a picture of my great-grandparents homestead.  That’s where my grandmother was raised. She just turned 90 this week.

Here’s my bookmarks on Pinon Canyon.

We’re now Pittsfordians

After signing my name exactly 80 times this morning and handing over a hefty (for us) check, I was given the keys to our new house today.

It’s cool, of course. It was built in 1959, has 3,100 square feet, which includes a basement with a fireplace and wet bar (this will be my room, meaning all of my music stuff, as well as (eventually) a poker table) will go here). The lot is .61 acres with more than a dozen mature trees and not much else in landscaping, so it’s kind of a blank canvas. First order of business is planting some rose bushes so I can learn how to grow them in New York.

We’re very happy in Western New York. We have barely missed California. There’s lots to do and see here.

Compare and contrast: When we moved to Bakersfield, it was a month before the first neighbor introduced himself, and no other neighbor ever did. Within six hours after closing escrow, the three closest neighbors had all walked over to say, “hello.”

I’ll have a video of the house available later. If you have any interest in seeing it, send an e-mail to howard owens (oneword) (at) gmail (dot) com.

First spring in New York

All my life in California, I met people who moved from other parts of the country and they would say, “I miss the four seasons.”

To me, what I heard them saying is, “I miss fall. I miss the change of colors. I miss the leaves.”

I never thought about spring.

In California, spring is just another time of the year. Not much happens. Sure, some flowers that only bloom in April and May add some color, and baseball starts, and you might get a little more sun without it being too hot, but in Southern California, spring isn’t too much from winter.

This weekend, spring came to Western New York.

It’s very different. Within 48 hours we saw a dramatic shift from winter and death to spring and life. There are more birds, more bugs, more hum and buzz. In the harbor behind our apartment, the fish or jumping and the ducks are bobbing.

It’s a real transformation.

My first winter in New York wasn’t bad. The cold and the snow hardly bothered me.
I think I’ll like it here. I better. I expect to be here for a while.

Speaking of staying, we’re just entering into escrow on a house. It’s another mid-century modern, built in 1959. It’s on more than half an acre and offers good gardening opportunities. It has two fire places, including one in the basement, which also has a wet bar.

Turning the page on the Bakersfield chapter

This is my last post from Shattuck Avenue, and possibly my last post from Bakersfield (the land of a million white pick up trucks and endless oil derricks).

Over the past two months, I’ve been often cagey about my exact location. It just felt a little uncomfortable revealing that information when Billie was home alone in Bakersfield. Because of that, I wasn’t posting pictures of my travels on Buzznet. Last night, I made amends. There’s lots of pictures now.

Some 60 of the pictures are from the cross country drive Billie and I took in January. Here we are at the Grand Canyon. Here we are standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. From new Winslow, where the meteorite fell several centuries ago, is a picture old newshounds should love. We also stopped in Clovis, New Mexico and I took a picture of Norman Petty’s studio, where Buddy Holly recorded his biggest hits.

During the two months, I also took a few weather-related pictures in and around Canandaigua, New York, so as this ice fisherman outside my apartment. Then there is my car covered in ice and snow.

I think I’ll like New York. My first winter there wasn’t bad. I actually enjoyed it (but ask me how I feel about it in four or five years). Canandaigua certainly is a lot prettier than Bakersfield.

Bakersfield was a nice little transition to a new job and a new adventure. I think I leave behind some things better than I found them. I like where I’m going both personally and professionally. Thank you to all my friends who have been supportive and helpful over the past year or so.

To my Bakersfield buddies — if we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, I’m sure I’ll be back. I still have family here.

Welcome to Along Came Jones

When Along Came Jones becomes a world famous blog, just remember who christened it.

Oh, and get what JJ says about the overused word, “bako,”

For me the word Bako conjures up images of being stuck in a tar pit and dying in the sun while birds tear at my flesh, I dunno that’s just me, so bakojones was out of the question. Don’t get me wrong I like the word Bako I have it as part of an email address and one of my dear friends from back in the day was the first person I ever heard use the word Bako in reference to Bakersfield like calling San Francisco “Frisco� or some such.

Yeah, but not call it “Frisco” the the face of anybody from Frisco, or you’re likely to lose your face. Friscoians hate the word for some reason. Maybe it’s time to retire “bako” in a similar fashion. Whadda say, Jones?

Is there a place today for alternative media start ups in print?

A group of locals have gathered together to create a new alternative newspaper called Random Times. Good title, at least.

But is it necessary?

If your goal is to get published, or to publish view points you don’t see represented in the mainstream media, then the time and expense of a new print publication hardly seem worth it. Ironically, the local MSM, primarily via The Bakersfield Californian, offers numerous outlets for writers. Sure, none of these publishing vehicles pay, but some of them can lead to a byline in print and before a larger audience than a small, start-up tabloid is going to reach.

TBC offers Your Words on, Bakotopia, the Voices and Mas. While I can’t officially speak to the editorial policies of these publications, or make any promises, I’m pretty damn confident that alternative view points, if well presented and aren’t profane, can find an airing in these outlets.

And if your goal is to present alternative view points, would you rather preach to the choir of coffee shop and indie record store patrons or reach a more mainstream audience where you might actually be ale to have some influence. Only MSM can give you reach into suburban households.

If your goal is to make money, forget it. The last people to get rich off alt-dead-tree publications were 1960s college kids. They’ve made their millions and retired. Print is dying. Online is where it’s at. In fact, if you want to hit the local MSM where it hurts, disrupt them online. Print means nothing.

I’m the last person in the world who wants to encourage further use of TBC products, but I’m just trying to apply some common sense here. I just don’t see the benefit of starting a new alternative print product. If I’m wrong, great for the guys doing it. I know it’s a lot of work to put out a newspaper, so while I disagree with the approach, I say good luck to the Random Times crew.

BTW: What I can see of it from Nick’s post (check the YouTube video at the bottom), it looks well done. I need to find me a copy. I am curious about it.

[dels]print, newspaper, alternative press, media[/dels]

Celebrating my mother’s 80th Birthday

My brothers and their families are all in town this week. Yesterday, Thanksgiving, was our mother’s 80th birthday. As my oldest brother, Don, observed: “Nobody would have believed you if you had said twenty years ago we would all be in Bakersfield for today.”

But I guess life works out the way it’s supposed to be.

In honor of my mother, and for the enjoyment of my family, I gathered some family snapshots and created the slideshow below. Three or four friends might find it interesting. Other readers will probably careless. I like the way it turned out though, and it’s my blog, and I enjoy this media stuff. This was created in iMovie.

The video above is only Part I. I left Part II off because I’m going to remake it. I’ll probably post that, too, once its done.

[dels]family, video, birthday, thanksgiving[/dels]