January 16, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

I made a trip down the hill to Alamogordo today.

I go there occasionally to pick up a few things and to generally
remind myself why I live in Cloudcroft. I bought some Kibbles
and Chunks (the dogs love them), a latch for a cabinet (the
wrong one...I'll have to take it back) and a DVD from the
bargain bin ("Diner"... the only title I recognized that starred
people I'd heard of that I hadn't seen before).

I bought the DVD movie under tacit protest. Our daughter bought
us a DVD/VCR combination player for Christmas a year ago and
we've watched one DVD since then. I like VCRs because you can
tape shows off the TV and watch them later. Until recently you
had to buy prerecorded DVDs and even today the DVD recorders
are pricey.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nut, I think we're
being manipulated by the big electronics companies. You know
how that works. Put "big" in front of something and it makes
it mean and uncaring.

It started in the 70s. The American male was judged by the
size of his stereo. Girls were known to walk into a guy's
apartment, see the whimpy G.E. on a table in the corner, turn
around and walk out. Your stereo had to cover at least one
wall from floor to ceiling or you had to accept celibacy as a
way of life.

The system's focal point back then...the heartbeat of the
bossest stereo...was the turntable. It had to have a strobe
that made it possible to fine tune the speed to precise
parameters allowing for humidity and the curvature of the earth.
The feet had to be individually adjustable so the turntable
(NEVER call it a record player) would sit firmly on its base to
prevent any possible ambient rumble. The tone arm had to be
balanced, both horizontally and vertically, so it exerted only
micro-grams of pressure on your precious Beatles LPs. If a
friend had the audacity to pick up the tone arm midway through
a cut, he was no longer a friend. If a friend was dumb enough to
pick up an LP by anything other than its edges held carefully
between open palms...he was no longer among the living.

The problem was, turntable sales began to drop. Music
aficionados were so dedicated to the maintenance and
preservation of their audio delivery systems that they didn't
buy much new stuff. The electronics industry had an answer.
Change the medium from turntables to tape. Convince the platter
purists that tape players were the way of the future. Better
yet, convince the platter purists' girlfriends.

Enter the 8 track.

8 tracks didn't last long. Songs had a nasty habit of fading
out when the track would change and then fade back up again.
Really dumb. The most with-it audiophiles stuck with their
turntables...but the electronics industry wasn't through trying
to rip people's turntables out of their cold dead hands.

The CD did it.

Quicker than you could say Digital, the music lover's world was
turned upside down by those little shiny disks with no visible
lines between songs that played inside the machine and not on
top of it. No more showing off by changing recordings by deftly
picking up the tone arm, briskly cleaning the LP with a fine
cloth and placing the LP back in its cardboard jacket with the
practiced motion of a heart surgeon.

With the new CDs, even a dweeb could do it.

I held out as long as I could. Alas, my beloved turntable was
sold in a garage sale some years ago. My LP collection is
packed away in boxes (I refuse to get rid of them despite the
fact that I have nothing to play them on).

I have a pretty significant collection of CDs now. I have to
admit they sound better longer than LPs. Try as you might to
preserve your vinyl, the old albums got scratched. I've had
some of my CDs over ten years and they still sound as clean as
they did the day I bought them. I have a major investment in
CDs. I'm waiting for the next shoe to drop from the electronics
guys to make them all go away.

The shoe dropped last week.

A friend of mine brought me a little cigarette pack sized box
and we plugged it into my stereo. The music sounded great. All
the highs and lows. Enough space in this little gizmo to hold
several CDs and you can change out selections at will.

It's progress...but I miss seeing that tone arm bobbing slightly
and slowly up and down as it tracked Rubber Soul at 100 watts
per channel.

I don't think John Lennon would approve.

Don Vanlandingham

A mild winter thus far. Some snow falling this afternoon (Wed).
Highs have been near 50. Lows in the upper-teens.

Thursday: About 4 inches of new snow last night. Clear to partly
cloudy skies this morning with the temperture around 35.
Here's a couple of photos of deer spotted recently on the
highway to Apache Point Observatory:



Here's what the view of the Tularosa Basin looked like from
Apache Point on that day:


The Apache Point Observatory web site is here:


Judy Henry has retired as Postmaster at the Cloudcroft Post


A question and answer forum involving the current village
council members and the new candidate for village council will
appear in this section next week.
Canyon Tree House I and II are conveniently located for your
summer and winter activities. They are comfortable, beautifully
decorated, fully-equipped homes. Canyon Tree I has 2 bedrooms, 2
baths and sleeps up to 8. Canyon Tree II has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
and sleeps up to 4. Both have phone, TV, VCR, BBQ grills and
nice decks. Everything you need including linens, toiletries,
firewood, dishes, spices and small appliances are supplied.
Reasonable prices with reduced rates for monthly and weekly
rentals. Call 505-687-4114 or 707-786-9654 or see the link to
our web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:




Q - I remember my Mom made us snow ice cream. It was good but
now I hear snow may contain particles that are unhealthy for
people to ingest.

A - When you get the chance to make the snow ice cream I'll
come over and eat it for you...just to keep you safe. You're
February 4 -- High Noon Book Discussion Club, Cloudcroft
Library. Noon. The book being discussed is Too Many Cooks
by Rex Stout. Bring your lunch and enjoy the discussion.

February 20-22 -- Cloudcroft Mardi Gras.

May 8 -- Old Timer's Reunion

May 29, 30 -- Mayfest

June 18, 19, 20 -- Western Roundup

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art
Workshops. The Cloudcroft Art Society will not be meeting in
December or January. The next meeting will be the first Sunday
at 2pm in February.

Cox Canyon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is organizing an
auxiliary unit. If you would like to help support this group
of dedicated men and women, call 682-3084, 682-4664, 682-3719
or 682-3234.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Your newsletter is the highlight of my day. I live in a little
town in West Texas called Kermit and try to come to Cloudcroft
at least twice a year or more. My parents are the ones who told
me about the place. I'm really glad I listened to them this

We rent a cabin at the Cabins of Cloudcroft and enjoy the peace
and quiet that only your village can offer. Please keep up the
good work and I'll see you in a few months.

Jeanetta Bickle 

Dear Newsletter:

As usual, I love your humor!

And at last I can put a face to your name. I was cleaning out
my filing cabinet yesterday and ran across an old (July 1999)
issue of "Mountain Monthly" with an article written by Pat
Duncan about my husband and me, bicycling in the area.

Wondered if there might be something about you in the same issue
and there was a photo, with article that you were "recovering".

Maybe next time we visit, we can meet you in person.

Thanks again for brightening my day!

Charlotte Johnson

Dear Newsletter:

Hi, it's nice to read your news page. I grew up in Cloudcroft
and graduated in 1975. I never thought they would have an
on-line paper. Good luck.

Kevin Grizzle

Dear Newsletter:

I was in a funk and you pulled me out with your TV story.

I'll be in CC this weekend to see the basketball game as one
of my grandsons is on the team. Let's go Bears!

Ida Woods
Albuquerque, NM
Proud Grandma of Drew Swope

Dear Newsletter:

Sky King, Fury and Roy Rogers really made me smile...exactly
how I spent my Saturday morning, too.

Do you remember, or did you ever know of Winky Dink from the
earlier/mid 50's? Part of his magic was being able to put a
rather heavy sheet of plastic over the TV screen (huge...again
your description was perfect) and draw along with Winky Dink,
using crayons or markers...of course, the entire set was to be
purchased from the Winky Dink people...after my sisters and I
tore ours, we'd simply use saran wrap and crayolas.

I love your writing and points of view.... I, too, look forward
to each Thursday's email.

PS: Say hi to Brad Rasch and his wife when you see them...we
made a Minnesota connection when I was in CC in Sept.

Ellen Joseph
Minneapolis, MN

Dear Newsletter:

1. I pray that God blessed your holidays.

2. Your dad invented the TV remote. So I thought you might like
to know that my grandfather invented (built) the first radio
remote hooked up to a rocking chair so "old folks" could give
their rocker a little more push, and change the station or
volume, or on/off. However, as he was working for Magnavox at
the time, they got the patent. God bless....


Dear Newsletter:

My father and yours were very similar with the remote control
issues of days gone by.

We were not allowed to touch our TV until we were in Jr. High,
and then magically we became the remote control! It was such a

I was so jealous of my big brother being able to do the honors
three whole years before I could! The simple things in life
sure do change!

Of course on Sunday nights we never had to change the channel
as Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, The Wonderful World of
Disney, and Bonanza were all on the same network. What a line
up! Now we have 350 channels with nothing worth watching. Do
you think this is why we need a remote now, to sift through
all the junk?

Love the newsletter.

D'Niese Mills
Mayhill, NM 

Dear Newsletter:

You said:

"Nowadays it's about as cheap to buy a new one and a new one
has a warranty."

I have one of those handy-dandy portable electric drills that
runs on a rechargeable battery. I recall I paid $29.95 for it
several years ago. Today I bought a replacement battery - for
$30.95. Ohhhhme!

Not unlike these new printers for the computer that are so
inexpensive today - until you need to replace the inkjet
cartridge and it costs nearly what you paid for the printer
originally with two supplied cartridges.

Thinking snow I hope!?

Jack Schuller

Dear Newsletter:

First, both my husband and I have enjoyed reading the Newsletter
since shortly after it was inaugurated. We appreciate all parts
of it -- the weather, village news, events, your column, and
the letters to the editor.

As you know, your readers hang on every news tidbit from
Cloudcroft. Like so many that write the Newsletter, we too are
looking forward to that time (about 5 years hence) when we join
the local community. We have lived in New Mexico for more than
25 years, primarily in northern NM -- east of Albuquerque --
and we have been lured to the country east of Cloudcroft. We
love this state.

Last week, a reader wrote to request that monthly village
council meeting news be included in the newsletter and you
replied that it could be difficult to cover. This reader might
want to consider subscribing to the Mountain Monthly newspaper,
which always covers the village council news in detail.

I also wanted to comment on the ongoing discussion of the work
ethic and knowledge levels of the younger generation, a topic
of an earlier Newsletter column. I think the jury's out on
that. To my knowledge, there is no definitive body of research
that systematically compares the values, knowledge, and
productivity of different generations; what we have to say
about that is mostly based on our own perceptions and beliefs.

Like many societal goings-on we form opinions about, it is the
actions of the more extreme cases that capture our attention
and stay in our memories. Humans have a natural tendency to
simplify - it is a complex world we live in - but
we need to remain conscious of this and resist our temptation
to over-generalize.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Lyn Canham
Sandia Park, NM

[For details on subscribing to the Mountain Monthly, visit:]


Dear Newsletter:

First of all, I want to thank you so much for taking the time
every week to write your newsletter.

I own a house in Cloudcroft, but live and work in San Francisco.
Every week I look forward to your newsletter - it makes me feel
just a little bit more connected with the beautiful Sacramento

I, like the writer in your Jan 9 newsletter, am interested in
the monthly Village Council news. The best source of
information I have found is the Mountain Monthly. In each
issue it has one page devote exclusively to reporting on the
monthly Village Council meetings. A mail order subscription is
only $12/year, and the paper arrives sometime during the middle
of each month (it is mailed bulk rate).

Keep up the good work!

Marietta Crane
San Francisco, CA

Dear Newsletter:

We recently purchased some vacant land and have built a vacation
home at Ponderosa Pines and we were just doing a little research
on the Cloudcroft area when we came upon this newsletter! What
a nice surprise! We reside in the Dallas area and visit our
cabin often. 
We haven't had a lot of time to get out and about, however as 
time goes by we are starting to get the feel of the land! It's
everything we have heard from everyone that we have spoken with.
The folks are great and we hope to someday be there permanently!
Being a new home builder we thought your reader's might be
interested in knowing a little about what the State of New
Mexico's Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department had
to say about our new home. So we have included the press release
about our project! 
Hope there is some interest.
Spencer and Velma Smartt
Garland, TX.


New Mexico’s Stringent Model Energy Code Gives "PowrPanel" Home
30/40 R-Rating

Santa Fe, NM. – When applying for a building permit in the
state of New Mexico you can expect to meet some of the most
stringent building codes in the United States. 

In July of 1995, the New Mexico Construction Industries
Commission adopted the Council of American Building Officials
(CABO) 1992 Model Energy Code (MEC) for Residential
Construction. The Energy Code was jointly developed by the
Construction Industries Division, the Energy, Minerals and
Natural Resources Department, and Mechanical and Electrical
Engineering, Inc. and requires demonstration of compliance
before a building permit will be issued by the State of New

The state’s model home requirements are based of a subject
house located in Rowe, NM. And requires that a home built in
that area have an R-rating of 38.5 for attic/roof insulation
and R-19 for exterior walls. A somewhat complicated Application
Worksheet is used to determine if a new home to be built is in
compliance with the code and if not the home plans must be
brought into compliance before the building permit is issued.

In his recent application for a building permit for a cabin in
Cloudcroft, NM. Spencer K. Smartt, President of Labranza Homes,
Inc. asked for assistance in determining if his new "PowrPanel"
home to be built, would comply with the energy code. The
project located in the Ponderosa Pines subdivision will be
constructed with Aluminum clad Structural Insulated Panels
(SIP). Upon application for his permit, Mr. Smartt called on
Mr. Dan Hagen from the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources
Department to assist in determining if the home would comply
with the strict Model Energy Code.

Mr. Hagen determined that the home would in fact comply with
the code and allowed that the 8" Structural Insulated Panel
used for the roof of the cabin had a R-rating of 40.78 and 30.78
for the 6" SIP exterior wall panels. The Rowe, NM. model Code
house total roof/ceiling, walls and floor R rating factors are
273.08. In order to be in compliance with the code your home’s
total R-ratings factor must be lower than the Code House. Mr.
Smartt’s cabin had a rating of 166.21. 

This super insulated home will be one of the first new
"HI-TECH" energy efficient homes built in the area and
Mr. Smartt and Labranza Homes, Inc. plans to debut this new
home in late November to the public. For more information
on the "PowrPanel" Structural Insulated Panel building
system contact Mr. Smartt at 972-675-1606 or visit their
website at www.labranzahomes.com.

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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