Wrapping up Winter

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A couple of gulls. On a Rail.

A couple of gulls. On a Rail.

This weekend we dropped my father off at the airport, following a wonderful two-week visit. It’s always nice having him around, and we did quite a bit around the house: we made a raised garden bed, cleaned out a lot of junk left over from the prior tenants under our back deck, and a whole bunch of odds and ends.

We also did a lot of fun stuff, including a failed trip to the Parkville lanes for duckpin bowling, a successful one to the Brunswick Zone, and a couple of movie marathons when we were stuck inside due to wintery weather (the Nolan Batman trilogy, a few Star Trek movies, etc). Perhaps the highlight of this entertainment extravaganza was introducing dad to Hot Fuzz, though we also let him in on Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian.

Unfortunately, the nicest day of his visit was the day we was departing. We spent the morning at the Rawlings Conservatory and then met his brother Daniel in Ellicott City for coffee.

Dad and I in Ellicott City.

Dad and I in Ellicott City.

Alas, he was on his way back to New Mexico sooner than we all would have hoped, but Meredith thought she’d try to brighten my afternoon a bit by exploring a place we’d never been to before: the Middle Branch Park.

I was hoping for a better sightline to the city itself, but the view down there was dominated by I-95. There was a nice little section of the Gwynns Falls Trail there, however, and we spent an hour walking along, laughing at the gulls and feeling bad for the ducks walking around in the piles of garbage. It was a nice day, and a reminder of what we can look forward to in a few weeks when Spring finally shows itself.

New Mexican Pronghorn

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Male and two female pronghorn in northeastern New Mexico.

Male and two female pronghorn in northeastern New Mexico.

When Meredith and I traveled to Colorado for our minimoon last year, we were forced to take a detour off I-25 north of Wagon Mound. It wasn’t that bad, the road was fine and traffic was light, and we were still making plenty of time.

Next thing I know, there’s a herd of pronghorn outside!

I’m fairly accustomed to seeing pronghorn, since they’re active between Silver City and Deming, but this time I had the long lens I’d rented for our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Thankfully, Meredith was more than happy to let me pull over and stop for 10 minutes.

We saw a lot of great wildlife during that trip, but this was the scene that kicked it all off for us.

I’m Outta Here (Again)

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I came to Silver City last October with a plan and some goals. The goals were pretty simple:

  1. Bring the Daily Press firmly into the digital age with a user-friendly website and a better social media strategy.
  2. Raise the quality of the news we report.

It seems like we’ve made progress on those two fronts. The site gives readers access to the latest stories in a way that makes sense, and they can share them on Facebook and other platforms easily. It seems like a low bar to clear in 2015, but you’d be surprised. We didn’t want to stop here, either — there’s a bigger vision for the paper’s online presence on the horizon.

Similarly, though it’s perhaps harder to measure, the quality of the stories we’re publishing now is much improved. The hyperlocal focus keeps us working on news that you can’t find elsewhere, and I know the pieces we produce are stronger than ever. We’ve also been telling more of those stories, and gone are the days when the Daily Press wasn’t worth picking up.

The plan, however, is another story. I’d hoped this job would work for me personally and professionally, and that’s just not the case. Mostly, this is my fault — Nick threw me a lifeline when he offered me the editor’s gig, and I didn’t really consider some of the particulars when I accepted. The biggest problem is that running an afternoon daily requires quite a bit of work in the wee hours of the night, something I wasn’t prepared for and am still unwilling to accept.

And while I’ve loved being back in New Mexico since I’ve returned, I haven’t  been able to really enjoy it: the last hike I went on was for work; while that  sounds awesome, it was also my first hike in about a month.

This all leads me to the rest of the plan: I’m getting married in October. Asking your friend and partner to uproot her life and move back to New Mexico is hard enough when you love your job and everything is awesome. I simply can’t ask her to do it now.

So, I’ve told Nick I’m leaving, and now I’m telling you. May 15 is my last day as editor of the Daily Press, and my last day in Silver City. This is the second time I’ve said goodbye to this newspaper, and, like the first, I want to thank everyone who has helped make this experience memorable.

I won't be here when the Daily Press moves back into its old building on Market St.

I won’t be here when the Daily Press moves back into its old building on Market St.

More specifically, I want to thank Nick Seibel for a) saving the Daily Press and b) entrusting me with it. I’m sorry I let ya down, buddy.

Everyone at the Daily Press and the Independent deserves a huge note of thanks — and not just from me, but from this community. I am surprised and amazed that this small staff is publishing a daily newspaper in 2015 in town like Silver City, and now they’re doing a weekly too. I have never been part of a harder-working team than during the past 7 months: everyone has more than one job, nobody has the weekend off, and they just keep going, day in, day out.

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my dad, whom I’m going to miss terribly.

And I really shouldn’t have done this to Meredith — I know it hasn’t been easy on you, and I’m eager to get back to Baltimore so I can make it up to ya sweetie.