What’s Been Going On

So I know you’re thinking the site is probably dead. It isn’t, but it has been in a coma for a long time. There’s no particular excuse, it’s just that as life changes your priorities shift, and Around Carson has kind of been bubbling lower and lower on the list for no real reason. The site has always been driven by me seeing something or reading something, and having this desire to talk about it and share it. Lately though that desire has given over to ennui, and when I see something or read something my response is a hearty, “Eh.” In a word, folks, I’m in a slump.

Probably the best way to break a slump, though, is just to push through it. I always said that I would never kill Around Carson, it would always keep going. I also said, though, that I would never force myself to write anything that I wasn’t into, because that kind of writing never turns out well. The result is a kind of heat death that has affected a lot of my online endeavors; not dead but drifting. Part of it comes from me getting a second job last year, so I don’t have the down time that I used to. It’s fun and exciting because I’m in a spot now where I never have nothing to do, but it’s also bad because now I don’t have time for the things I used to do when I had nothing to do. I think it’s time to start pushing, though. I always liked doing Around Carson, and I was proud of the work I do here, and from recent comments it sounds like a lot of you like it to. So maybe it’s time to stop being selfish and live up to the commitments I made when I started the site.

A lot has been going on during my slump too. The Nevada Appeal put itself behind a paywall, and at the same time kind of insinuated that bloggers (and people who read the paper online) were freeloaders, so I made a vow not to write about or link to any of their articles ever again. I barely even read the paper anymore, even though I get it at work every day and I could easily thumb through it if I wanted. I just lost the taste for it. I may be missing out on some news that way, but I learned a long time ago not to worry about missing news. The big stuff always finds itself to your ears somehow, and the rest of it turns out to be not that important in the long run. So there hasn’t been a single day in the last three months that I’ve missed the Nevada Appeal. (P.S.: Irony? The Record Courier article? That first announced the paywall? Is now behind a paywall.)

The Carson City IHoP reopened. I didn’t write a lot about the shooting, because I don’t like to write about things that make me uncomfortable, but the reopening was an excellent act of defiance, a way of saying that we weren’t going to let tragedy stand in the way of us enjoying some pancakes. It was a vocal rebuttal to those people (myself included) who said they shouldn’t reopen, at least not there, because the ground had been tarnished. It turned out to be more a symbol of resilience, though, kind of like rebuilding the World Trade Center, and in the end even I came around. I haven’t been back to eat there, but I no longer think it was a dumb idea for them to reopen.

Locals BBQ closed. This was sad, because I was always a fan of Locals, and it was a place to get some good Q. Even sadder because it seems like the closing may have been related to the IHoP shooting, during which Locals was hit with bullets while the owner and his son were inside. I never did find out the exact reasons for the closing; either the owner didn’t want to make them public, or a missed them as part of my Nevada Appeal boycott, but if they closed because of some lingering PTSD after the shooting, that’s just another sad footnote to an already sad story.

Other brand new restaurants opened, too. The Red Hut Cafe opened where Woody’s used to be, down south right next to El Charro Avitia. That’s a Lake Tahoe chain, with a few locations around South Lake. This is their first location down in the valleys. And also the Busy Bee Eatery moved out of their Winnie Lane location and opened up in the Carson Mall, right out front where the Deli Francesco used to be. It haven’t tried either of the new places yet, but it’s good to see people taking a bet on Carson City and opening new establishments in town.

Not everyone is willing to bet on Carson City. I already wrote about how Noble Studios, who I had admired for years for being a locally-focused web design business, ditched Carson City because it wasn’t “big enough” for them. I think they got seduced by the draw of the outside world; maybe they weren’t as locally-focused as I thought they were. On the other hand, though, DeBug Computer just recently closed their Reno store so they could concentrate more on servicing their Carson City clients. Turns out Carson City people and businesses are more loyal customers than those in Reno. Go figure. So saying that you have to get out of Carson City to be successful is kind of short-sighted.

After a couple of years of talking about it, the Nevada State Prison was finally closed and all the inmates shipped off to other facilities. The prison is a piece of Nevada history. Originally it was one of the first hotels in the state, built on the site of a hot springs. Abe Curry, the founder of the town, built it himself in the late 1850s. When the first territorial government needed space to meet in, he rented out rooms at the hotel. And eventually the government decided they liked the place, buying it outright and turning it into the state’s first prison. Now it’s closed, and its future has been unclear. There has been talk of opening it as a museum, kind of like Alcatraz. I think this is a great idea; there’s a lot of stuff there the public has never seen. Beyond the prison buildings there is the hot springs itself, a cave with prehistoric footprints, and the stone quarry where Abe Curry got all the stone needed to build the Capitol, the U.S. Mint, and the V&T Roundhouse. This site is perfect for a museum; I hope it’s able to happen. With Carson City still having the state’s only execution chamber, though, the prison system might be reluctant to give it up entirely.

In construction news, the freeway bridge at Clearview finally opened. Between that bridge and the one at Saliman, that officially marks the end of Phase 3.01 of the freeway project. It also, as far as I know, means that they’re out of money for the freeway and they won’t be building any more for a while. So who knows how long it will be before their shiny new bridges actually have traffic travelling under them. Also the Olive Garden opened, the new Discount Tire down the road opened, and the new gateway signs are taking excellent shape at the North, South, and East edges of town.

I’m sure there’s been so so much more that I’ve missed. I need to not let this happen again; I can’t get so far behind! I’ve missed doing Around Carson. I think it’s time to get back to work.


  1. Hi Scott,

    I hear you on what you’re going through. I got burned out on washoevalley.org after 5 years and also wondered if anyone even cared so it languished the last year or so. But I don’t have a young family and two jobs and I just got the bug again to write and share some stuff. So I’m getting back in the saddle. I’ve had some positive feedback so that helps. No longer any hope of creating “critical mass” and having a self-sustaining community website, just gonna do it for my own amusement.
    Thanks again for the historical photo website and aroundcarson.com that have given me inspiration over the years! Hang in there and continued good luck in your endeavors!

  2. Scott,

    I know how you feel about doing something for years that may burn you out and make you unmovtivated to do. Our Christmas display takes tons of hours and money to pull it all together each year…so we decided to take a break every 4 years (to avoid burnout and to enjoy doing other things during the holiday season). However, during the breaks, you find many who miss the display and really do appreciate all of the work and time involved. This is what motivates me to go the extra mile every year. Much like what you do…it’s our gift to the community. Thank you!

  3. Glad you’re back! My mother-in-law lives in Carson City and I keep tabs on the local goings-on through your site. So what’s up with the old Ormsby House? Haven’t seen an update in a while. Good luck to you!

  4. So glad to see you back! I completely understand where you’re coming from.

    I was just thinking about dusting off my forum and starting new. Hmm.

  5. Glad to see you’re back! I am a native Nevadan and my husband and I are temporarily living in Connecticut and since we only get to visit twice a year your site gives us a taste of home until we get to come back!

  6. WOW…what a pleasant surprise!! So very glad you are back 🙂 Completely understand how you can burnout. You put so much effort into your posts and I, for one, do appreciate it! Can’t wait to see what the carving at Rupert’s Auto Body is going to be (I used to date him in high school..small world or shall I say small city!) Take Care and Thank You!

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