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September 2022
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Thu, September 01 2022 - 4:10 pm

September 27, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico 

For the last year I have been trying to keep track of my expenses in an attempt to live within my income (not counting special deals like $500 from the State or birthday gifts.)

I am not succeeding. Not at all, not even close!

It has been a humbling experience. Of course I have lived on next to nothing! I did it back in 1971 when I was in my early twenties. Should not I be able to live on a comparable amount now?

Of course, the first question has to be, what is a comparable amount? This must be changing from day to day right now, but I will try to get a reasonable answer.

I shall return.

September 26, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Gorgeous days. What more could anyone want?

September 25, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

People are still speculating about AI - artificial intelligence. It is already necessary. Our world has gotten so big and so complicated that to sustain the learning of our culture it is absolutely indispensable. Think of it. The kind of study that centuries ago was performed by few is now pursued by millions.

When I was young I thought maybe a position that would allow me to pursue some kind of scientific synthesis could possibly be within my powers. How interesting that would be, I thought. Even then, though, the possibility of putting two and two together and coming up with some kind cross-discipline insight or new combination seemed a little unlikely. Already huge amounts of data were being generated even then.

That is one reason computers were invented.

I already feel as if a lot of us seem to be spending the majority of their time robotically, serving the electronic masters without question. How will that not change the species?

The AI world is already here.

September 24, 2022
Silver City, NM

This morning I took a walk very early. It was still dark, but I intended to watch the sunrise from one of the benches on Boston Hill.

When I got there, though, it was still dark and I was too afraid of possible critters on the hunt early to venture onto the path. I was not even sure I could see the path, let alone navigate it without falling. Summer no more.

Do not be too disdainful about my fear of critters. Bobcats, javelina, and other smaller mammals have been seen on Boston Hill Open, and bears have been seen within half an hour of my downtown abode in broad daylight!

I did look straight up into the sky on my walk, though, and saw Orion directly above! That is a sight I used to see only on the horizon. Unfortunately that was the only constellation I could identify. The big rising thin crescent moon I saw, though - always a treat.

As for the sunrise? Turns out I did not miss much. It was clear, peaceful, and decidedly undramatic. From one point of view, ideal.

September 23, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

A couple of days ago I saw big chunks of what looked like bee hive on a couple of the columns of the walls along the San Vicente River (the Big Ditch.) The hexagonal walls looked paper thin, so I thought maybe it was some specie related to the honey bee, but they did have a waxy texture. I put my nose near one small piece and it smelled like honey. Yum!

Actually, most of the honeycomb is still there. Anyone who lives nearby can still see it, if you are curious. I am still wondering how it got there. No clue.

September 21, 2022
Silver City, NM

The other day after I left the gym at WNMU I saw a new mural. The wall it was painted on used to have two hands gripping bars that are not there. I do not know if the old was a vestigial painting or whether the former structure of the wall inspired the idea.

At any rate it has been covered over with a new painting of a snake, a roadrunner and a cactus. It almost looked like chalk, so I touched it. Powder came off, making the tip of my finger orange. I cannot believe it is only chalk; maybe it is poster paint. Sometimes it has that surface.

Hmmm. I heard it drizzled all last night. Tomorrow morning I will see how it is bearing up.

At any rate, it is good to know that new art is appearing all the time around here.

September 20, 2022
Silver City, NM

I recently heard that the New Mexico State Library has made a deal with Tne New York Times to get the newspaper free for the State’s citizens. Would not that be awesome?

I am at our local library right now. Maybe they can confirm this.

Yes, The New York Times can now be accessed through the Silver City Library and other libraries in New Mexico. Even the games. Look up your local library services and go to resources and then digital access.

You can do it on your own or get help from your librarian. The person I spoke with here was very helpful. Free New York Times! Awesome.

September 19, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

People tend to think I am younger than I am. Great, right?

Well, maybe not. It makes for some awkward situations. Maybe I should see if there are any hair treatments that would make my hair congruent with my wrinkles.



September 18, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I was just reading an article about student debt in a publication of Berea College that refers the reader to not only the book of the author but lists three or four other books about the problem. This is a huge problem to the 43 million people who are suffering from it - more than the number of people who are suffering from long COVID, the author notes. His book is entitled Student Loan Debt as a Wicked Problem. Looking up his book online, I see it is one of many published. Student debt amounts to close to two trillion dollars these days, and passions are running high about it (as about so many other of our current woes.)

His name is Nicholas D. Hartlep, and he is with Berea College in Kentucky. Another paragraph in this publication mentions a Money Magazine article that rates the U.S. best schools for the cost. Academics are not the most important consideration in this list, but for many of us it cannot be. This list is basically a rating of which colleges give you the best value for your dollar. It is certainly worth perusing.

September 17, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Whew, the tamale people were not at Farmers Market again this weekend (at least not while I was there.) How will I ever survive?

I wish I were kidding, but maybe I am not. For me, corn and beans just might be necessary for survival!

Weather is just gorgeous here these days. If you are not happy where you are, come here!

The movie the film club played Thursday night was definitely not my favorite ever. It was played in honor of Jean Luc Goddard because he died last week. I think Breathless gives him more honor. The cinematography was interesting, but I have to admit I fell asleep at least twice.

Maybe that fact says more about me than the film, though. Time will tell.

September 16, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

There are exciting times coming up in Silver City. The Red Dot art festival and the print festival are both events to look forward to in October, but there are more happenings than those this Fall. Things are already hopping here in Silver City with a silent auction coming up soon at the Makers Market.

I missed a chance to tour an artist studio Saturday near the botanical gardens when I thought the opening time was the closing time and thought I just could not scuttle around quickly enough to do everything I wanted. I missed it entirely.

Do not be like me! Avoid confusion and plan your outings for the next couple of months. That is okay - I am plenty happy just puttering, reading, and dozing a good deal of my day away. You have a good time.

September 15, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico 

I am kind of excited today because I am going to my first movie as part of my subscription to the Silco Theater Film Club. I do not even know at the moment what the movie will be, but I assume the theater will not be crowded and what with the new air filtration system it should be pretty safe.

It takes me back to when I was a senior in high school and attended 3:00 showings of foreign films every Friday. They made a big impression on me. They were not at all like the U.S. films back in 1965.

Quite a few of what I hope to be seeing here in the next few months are foreign films also. Exciting!

September 12, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico 

When I first got here to Silver City I saw a young man working on painting the original artwork of a downtown building. For some reason, after he was done with that project I did not see him for months. Today I ran into him down by the ditch so I asked him if he had any projects pending.

Plenty, as it turns out. Sounds we could have several murals to look forward to... eventually. He is not currently part of the youth mural program, although he may have been in the past. I have not thought to ask him.

I still run into new art all the time - new to me, that is. It is definitely a percolating town, though. Come visit!

September 10, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I finally got around to checking out the bookstore on the WNMU campus. Whenever I passed by and glanced in the window, all I saw were T-shirts and other sportswear. I felt as if I might be tempted to hold up a hangar with a T-shirt and ask, Is this a... book? (I know, what a brat.)

At first I thought this actually might happen. Sure there were packages of readings for classes, but what else? I have to credit my college’s bookstore for having a bird guide available when I wanted to identify a charming little bird hanging out in an evergreen outside my third floor dorm window, and for introducing me to Theodore Dreiser via Sister Carrie.

Finally I found the collection of books for sale in a far corner of the store, and I have to admit there was some interesting stuff there, including some cultural stuff about this interesting state and contemporary novels. I do not remember seeing much older literature, but maybe it was there. At any rate, there is something available to students and faculty to buy outside of books for class work.

I do not know why I think this is important, but I do.

And of course, there is always the library, right there handy on campus, which has quite an interesting collection of reading for young folks.

Or members of the community, who can also get take-out privileges. So wonderful!

September 7, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

With some of my birthday money I decided to join the Silco Theater film club. The price for each movie is the same as the regular ticket price, but it is a Main Street Fundraiser also (I believe) so yippee! I am going to become a moviegoer again.

Unfortunately I have already seen the next film and may not want to use one of my precious punches for All That Jazz. I enjoyed it and found it clever when I saw it before, but hey - nine dollars is nine dollars. I can wait another week. There is a lot of interesting stuff coming up from Mexico, Korea and of course, the U.S.

The theatre has installed an air filtration system that is supposed to cut back on even very tiny organisms like viruses, so unless there are more people subscribing than I guess, I will not even have to wear a mask.

Old and foreign films are fine with me. Contemporary U.S. films have the balance of background music and dialogue pitched so close to the same level that I have trouble understanding (hard of hearing as I am.) Hopefully the foreign films will have the dialogue scrolling across the bottom. We shall see.

September 6, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I finally saw a live vinegaroon this morning on an outside stairway on campus. Poor thing! I hope it is not marooned there. But also it is so scary-looking that even though I am aware it is supposed to be harmless I am not about to rescue it. For all I know it needed it not.

I have got a new post-mouse kitchen regime in my apartment now. I wash dishes after every meal, then when they are dry I put them away. Gee, what do you know - this simple discipline has more than doubled my kitchen counter space for food preparation. Duh.

My household trash is going to be going outside virtually every day now, and the kitchen waste container is going to be located in the middle of the room when I am not working there. None but the brave deserve the fare!

September 5, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Labor Day is being very quiet so far, which is a good thing. I needed an item or two for the kitchen, though, so I am grateful that the co-op is open. Noble people, to be open and working on Labor Day!

Same goes for the Visitors Center, which is where I am now, grateful to have a place to get online without being outside, although the weather would be fine for it. No rain expected - perfect for all the family picnics I imagine are being celebrated today.

I looked online for accounts of recent shootings in Silver City and did not find anything for the month of August, although I definitely heard a series of bangs that I thought could be gunfire, as well as, on another day, a single shot that definitely sounded as if it was from a gun.

So far, so good this weekend. Happy watermelon to you!

September 4, 2022
Silver City, NM

Being cut off from most news sources has its disadvantages. I just heard that last week there were three separate incidents involving gunfire! Right here in Silver City! No one was hurt in one of the three incidents (involving an automatic !!!) In another of the episodes, a young man got shot in the leg. The other incident caused a death. I do not know the order of these incidents. This is all hearsay.

I do feel, however, that since I am always talking up Silver City I should be up front about some of the negative happenings around town. Paradise this is not.

Let me see: bears to the North and West of me, gunslingers to the South. Nothing East of here as far as I know yet, but that does not mean a thing. Besides, I like to roam in every direction. Of course I will keep doing so.

If I actually learn something about what happened here last week, I will let you know.

September 3, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico 

A friend of mine and I went to the Gem and Mineral Show today. We spent hours there and feasted our eyes. (Purchase of lunch and baked goods was also available. Looks like I did not have to go to Farmers Market after all!)

There is a plethora of interesting stuff at the show, including proportionately more jewelry than  I expected. I did make a couple of small purchases of items I had never seen before - gifts. I hope the recipients have never seen them either.

The show is free and educational. There were happenings appealing to children as well as to adults. The sponsoring organization also made it possible to sign up for rock hunting field trips.

This is serious fun, folks!

September 2, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

This weekend is a big gem and minerals show. I love this kind of event! I always see something new. I am hoping some acquaintances of mine who have an amazing big store in Madison, Indiana will be here, but I hardly expect it. I think they said they go to an event held in Tucson.

It will be held indoors, I am quite sure, so the weather should not affect it. Looks as if the rainy season is over anyway.

That heavy, dusty ragged late-summer feel has not hit us here yet. In fact, Coming home from an early trip to the laundromat this week I saw a big blooming datura. The plant has suffered from being bug-eaten this year, but the rains have made up for it. It is about the size of a VW bug. The biggest datura plant I have ever seen.

September 1, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico 

I cannot believe Fall is effectively here. How did that happen?

Highway 180 has (according to an acquaintance) been bandaided and the kids are back in school.

Last weekend I saw some reblooming irises. Evidently Silver City, among its other virtues, is a place where reblooming irises have a chance to bloom again in the fall, according to the intentions of the breeders. (I tried growing some in Santa Fe, where they tried valiantly to bloom a couple of times but could not survive the October frosts.

The humidity is 98% here, which could be horrendous, but the temperature is cool enough to handle it. Oh. The humidity is actually down to 76%. All the dry stuff around must just suck it out of the air in no time. Well, okay. The four o’clocks here are the size of shrubs.

I have not heard any phainopepla whistling lately. Maybe they are already gone South.

There is quite a plethora of special events happening around here for Labor Day Weekend: a Gem and Mineral Show, special art events at local galleries, and more.

Maybe I can actually get to some of them, amidst the new regime of anti-mouse housekeeping.

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