The Rise of HRWW and Gophers

By John Mattingly Temperatures in the Valley have been warm this season, and modeling shows spring arriving two to three weeks early this year. The notion that the weather and climate have a timetable may be a prime example of hubris, but there clearly are signals in global weather that are changing, and whether they […]

Read More

John Mattingly: To Tell The Truth

The TV game show, To Tell The Truth, has three contestants who have a special skill or unusual occupation, and a panel asks questions to guess who is telling the truth. We now have a similar show going on in national politics, only we already know who is not telling the truth.

Read More

John Mattingly: Rock and Roll

By John Mattingly “My-my, hey-hey, rock and roll is here to stay…” Because a lot of the great rock music is now regarded as classic or oldies, Neil Young may be right; that rock will always be with us, though it may elevate to a truly classic status, in which the great rock and roll […]

Read More

John Mattingly: The Tale of Dingdoggy

By John Mattingly An old yellow dog named Dingdoggy came from fortunate breeding and circumstance. His daddy, Dongdaddy, had been a well-cut dog with excellent cunning who ate well, accumulated an enormous number of bones, lived large with attractive bitches, and worried little about necessities. In short, Dongdaddy mastered his masters, for the most part. […]

Read More

John Mattingly: The Sap in Sapiens

By John Mattingly In the fall of the year, when the season’s efforts – good and bad – must be accepted, and preparations for the next year are less demanding, it is nice to sit on a tractor all day and watch Earth turn from daybreak to dusk. The light has a slant and richness […]

Read More

John Mattingly: Affordable Housing

The absence of affordable housing in a tourist town means a large segment of the seasonal work force must relocate, or make compromises and sacrifices. Long commutes from less expensive areas increase pollution while reducing the net income of workers due to transportation costs and lost time.

Read More

Cut My Hair

By John Mattingly Not long ago, I was dining out with a friendly group of Republicans who went on and on about the glories of the Reagan years. It’s difficult to stay quiet on this topic if you actually lived in the Reagan years and paid attention. But, before I could give the discussion a […]

Read More

John Mattingly: The War on Fire

By John Mattingly Wildfires are not inspired by ISIS, but the war on fire and the war on terror share a few futilities. Fighting fire is somewhat like squaring off against the sun. Sun, water and earth combine to form carbohydrates and sometimes nitrogenized carbohydrates (proteins), all of which burn through either combustion or metabolism […]

Read More

John Mattingly: Inner Old Man Update

Just as science fiction is having a hard time competing with science fact, Inner Old Man is having a hard time competing – or perhaps the word is coping – with the voices of complaint, despair and outrage. Terrorism is horrible, but so are car accidents and train wrecks and the fact that more teenagers […]

Read More

John Mattingly: Home Land Security

When leaders and legislators use the word “homeland,” war is usually on the way. Putting the words “home” and “land” together commutes a national notion to one’s home and has been a reliable motivator for raising or deploying a fighting force. Young people in particular, the most able to fight, and who have been living […]

Read More

Extinction

By John Mattingly or the last 30 years, I’ve written for various ag trade publications on topics ranging from salt to bears, estate planning to bindweed control. After reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, I started a five part series on extinction: the history of human understanding, the process, what we know of prior mass […]

Read More

Places: The Mirage/Cotton Creek Cemeteries

In the northern San Luis Valley, southeast of Villa Grove, are two remote and obscure cemeteries: the Cotton Creek and the Mirage. At one time, the area was home to a small settlement of Hispanics who worked at the nearby Orient Mine and also raised sheep. The Cotton Creek Cemetery is where many of them […]

Read More

Dogs – John Mattingly

By John Mattingly I don’t dislike dogs. But this doesn’t mean I would run a mile to divert a dog from jumping off a cliff, nor would I go out of my way to be mean. I appreciate that dogs have become a treasured mammal among many humans – sometimes to the exclusion of all […]

Read More

Keeping Up With the Bundys

By John Mattingly If you’re like me and many sensible folks in Nevada and Oregon, you’re wondering why the federal response to the Bundy antics has been so patiently executed. Before pondering that puzzle, I’d like first to state my perception of the underlying problem, for which the Bundys have become icons: The cattle business […]

Read More

Football and Religion

By John Mattingly With the playoffs going full force and the Super Bowl on the horizon, my mind wandered back to many years ago when my wife and I got married. We made a deal: I would go to Roman Catholic mass with her on Sunday morning if she would watch football with me on […]

Read More