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Welcome to my world

by peter kostes

Y2K willing, the wall switch worked and you didn’t need a flashlight to read today’s newspaper.

If you did need a flashlight, let’s hope you stocked up on extra batteries, bottled water and blankets till the Y2K bug gets caught in the great cyber insect zapper lurking out there somewhere.

While the rest of the world seemed to be caught up in preparing for the new millennium – whether that be poring over the latest list of the 20th Century’s greatest/worst achievements or dusting off the door to the backyard fallout shelter, my gusto for the millennial odometer to finally turn over is grounded closer to home. My new home here in the Carson Valley.

After splitting time between the Valley and my former life in Truckee for more than a month, my family and I will become full-time residents this week – if the weather gods allow safe passage on the interstate and Y2K doesn’t throw a wicked curve.

Happy Millennium at last.

For weeks I struggled with multiple addresses, homes, phone numbers, post office boxes, professional affiliations and utility bills. Life became just too confusing. I was experiencing the identity crisis of the millennium you might say.

At one time, I possessed six phone numbers (two offices, two cellulars and two residential). Strangely, there were so many ways to contact me, my phones seemed to become eerily silent and my mail lighter than usual. I may have stumbled upon something. Next time you consider dropping out, dropping in just may be the way to do it.

Instead of erasing one’s identity, overwhelm the system with information when it’s time to lie low. With today’s technology, one can hide in a virtual world of cell phones, pagers, E-mail addresses, web pages and chat rooms that could keep people guessing for the next millennium.

http://www.findmeifyoucan.com

Fortunately, the new millennium means simplification. I’ve cut my portfolio of phone numbers, mailing addresses, newspaper offices, residences, utility companies and headaches (wishful thinking) to more manageable levels.

I’ve only scratched the surface, however, of getting to know a new community and the people and particulars that make it unique. So far, from my colleagues at the office to the many people who have made it point to stop by or call and introduce themselves, I’ve received a warm and hospitable welcome to the Silver State.

During my short tenure here at The Record-Courier, I’ve discovered people care passionately about the community and the quality of life in the Valley. The newspaper has an important role in accurately reflecting that passion and helping the community cope with the challenges we face in the new millennium. Although I’m making an effort to get out and about to familiarize myself with the Valley, I extend an open invitation for anyone to give me a call, stop by or arrange to meet for coffee to discuss what’s on your mind. I’m starting to put a lot of names and faces together and getting up to speed on the issues facing the community, but I’m not quite there yet and I welcome the help.

Interestingly, even though I’m definitely a newcomer, a column earlier this week by a Valley-based writer for the Reno paper raised the hackles on the back of my community-spirited neck. In a year-end commentary about a number of Minden-Gardnerville issues and decisions, most involving government officials, the columnist recognized her honorees with “Hayseed News” awards.

Fair comment and criticizing government officials are one thing, but isn’t it rather condescending that the Reno paper believes it possesses the ability to choose between the good and bad “hayseeds” among us.? What next – the “Hicksville edition” of the metropolitan paper? Thanks, but no thanks.

However, I would suggest to my fellow hayseeds, both good and bad, if the Valley needs a model of what not to become, Reno and its pundits certainly are in a position to offer expert advice.

n Peter Kostes is a newly-transplanted hayseed and publisher of The Record-Courier.