"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

"New Mexico Enchilada Trail"

A friend sent a link to me on the "New Mexico Enchilada Trail" by Only In Your State.

Well, since I love enchiladas anyway, the link was of great interest to me. Besides sharing this here, I am also posting it so I don't forget about it (old age, you know).

It is a circle in New Mexico of recommended restaurants starting and ending in Albuquerque. Fortunately, one of the restaurants in the circle is in nearby Gallup, Genaro's Cafe. I'm definitely going there.

Here's the map of the "New Mexico Enchilada Trail":

To read the article on the "New Mexico Enchilada Trail" at Only In Your State, go here.

Leftists Pressuring Companies To Cut Ties With NRA

The left wing is now pressuring businesses who have business relationships with the National Rifle Association to sever ties with the NRA.

The leftist "news" group, ThinkProgress, is spearheading this campaign.

Obviously, a few deranged leftists are making it seem like there's widespread anger over these businesses who do business with the NRA in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. This smells like a George Soros operation to me.

According to the New York Daily News:
A prominent private banking company and a top car rental chain are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association amid a social media movement to "#BoycottNRA."

The First National Bank of Omaha in Nebraska will not renew its contract for the gun group's NRA Visa card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement.

"Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," Langin said.

In addition, the car rental company Enterprise said its three brands would end a discount program for NRA members. Twitter accounts for Enterprise as well as Alamo and National tweeted late Thursday: "All three of our brands have ended the discount for NRA members. This change will be effective March 26."

Both companies released their statements repeatedly on Twitter following calls for them to separate from the gun group. Some Twitter users said they would take their business elsewhere.

The news website ThinkProgress had listed them as companies that support the NRA, noting that First National Bank offered two NRA cards, each with a $40 bonus, and touted it as "enough to reimburse your one-year NRA membership!" Enterprise offered NRA members "an unspecified discount," according to ThinkProgress.

Other rental companies on the ThinkProgress list include Hertz, Avis and Budget.

Weak-kneed executives of these companies are capitulating to this insideous campaign by announcing they are severing ties with the NRA. This tactic has been employed before by leftist groups.

Those companies who are severing ties with the NRA should be boycotted. The NRA has over 5 million members. If they boycott these wimpy companies, they will feel the pain.

To read more, go here.

Entrance Fee Hike Proposed For Crater Lake National Park

Above, Crater Lake last summer. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To address maintenance issues, repairs and adding additional park programs, Crater Lake National Park is proposing a hike in entrance fees.

According to KATU:
CRATER LAKE, Ore. — Crater Lake National Park officials are proposing increases for entrance fees.

Currently, the single-vehicle entrance fee for a 7-day pass is $15. It would change to $25. 
The park's annual pass would increase from $30 to $50. The motorcycle entrance rate of $10 per person and $10 per individual would change to $12 per individual and $20 per motorcycle. Current fees have been in place since 2015. 
More than 750,000 people visited the park in 2016, and contributed $65.3 million to the local economy.

To read more, go here

10 Best National Parks To Visit In 2018

Above, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Even though it is still February and I am sitting inside a warm house with snow outside, vacation season will be upon everyone before we know it.

RV Life has posted an article on the ten best national parks to visit in 2018.

They begin with:
You could visit a new national park every month and it would still take years to see them all.  There are 59 vast areas currently preserved as National Parks across the US, not to mention the hundreds of other recreation sites, state parks, and national monuments. 
Take some time in 2018 to mark these ten destinations off your bucket list.

To see what they are, go here

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CPAC: Dana Loesch Goes Scorched Earth On Liberal Media

This is one video you should watch and pass along:

Student Refuses CNN's Scripted Question

CNN, the Counterfeit News Network, tried to script a student's question at at townhall meeting on the Florida school shooting.

Real Clear Politics reported:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night's town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a "scripted question," quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.  
"CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted," Haab told WPLG-TV. 
CNN aired a town hall on the Florida school shooting with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that included NRA's Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel that was moderated by Jake Tapper. Students and parents asked questions about gun control and school safety.

To read more, go here.

Lisa Marie Presley's Ex Fires Back

Above, the back of Graceland mansion. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The nasty divorce between Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Lockwood is getting nastier by the day.

Lockwood is disputing Presley's claims that she's $16.8 million in debt.

According to RadarOnline:
Presley's ex is suing her for spousal support & attorney’s fees in nasty divorce. 
Lisa Marie Presley’s ex said there is “very good reason” not to trust Elvis’ famous daughter when she said she is flat broke, according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com. 
Michael Lockwood’s attorney, Jeff Sturman, said Presley keeps changing her story about just how much she is in the hole, claiming on a February 2017 filing that she is $7.8 million in debt, but then doubling that amount when she filed documents eight months later that listed her assets and debts. 
The exes, who were married for 10 years, have been locked in a legal battle not only concerning their divorce, but also their post-nuptial agreement. Lockwood is also seeking spousal support, but in February 2017, the court ordered a separate trial regarding the validity of the post-nuptial agreement. A judge ruled that until the validity of the post-nuptial agreement was determined, Lockwood would not receive any spousal support.
I have to wonder about guys who seek spousal support, especially ones who signed pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements with their wealthy wives. That rubs me the wrong way.

According to the article, Presley gets about $100,000 a month from the trust that holds Elvis Presley Enterprises, who operates the Graceland attraction in Memphis.

To read more, go here.

More White Stuff

The snow from the storm of two nights ago didn't completely melt away. There was still quite a bit of it on the ground. The dusting was around four inches that night.

However, another storm came through last night and it added to what was already on the ground and the depth is around three inches. It looks like that I will probably not go down to the Flying J today (unless the snow melts sufficiently).

It is funny, I was told by several of the locals that they've had a dry winter with not much precipitation. I then move here and it seems like it has been one snowstorm after another hitting the area. It appears that Mother Nature is making up for the dry period.

I took a few pictures of the yard from the front porch a few minutes ago:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Elvis' Army Stint Commemorated With Free Day For Veterans and Active Duty

Above, the Meditation Garden at Graceland. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Graceland will be commemorating the 60th anniversary of Elvis Presley's induction into the U.S. Army next month by offering free admission to Graceland to veterans and active military.

According to Trib Live:
Elvis Presley began his service in the United States military on March 24, 1958, when he was inducted into the U.S. Army. To salute our troops and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Elvis' military service, Graceland has announced that complimentary tickets to the new Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex will be made available on March 24 to all military veterans and those serving on active duty. 
This anniversary day will also mark the opening of an expanded “Private Presley” Army exhibit at Elvis Presley's Memphis. Additionally, the AAA four-diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel will offer its “Salute to Heroes” discounted rate of 30 percent off standard room rates to both active and retired military.

To read more, go here

Peter Greenberg's "Hidden Gems of Memphis"

Above, artifacts on display at Sun Studio. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of the nation's top travel writers, Peter Greenberg, has posted an article on the "Hidden Gems of Memphis, Tennessee".

Here he lists the places in Memphis that people should see.

He begins with:
Named after the ancient city of Memphis in Egypt—Memphis, Tennessee is located in the southwestern part of the state, on the Mississippi River. 
Memphis, or The Bluff City, is filled with hot restaurants, trendy neighborhoods, and a pedigree in musical and civil rights history. But you might be surprised to find out that it’s also a perfect place to experience the great outdoors.

To read more, go here

Lot's To Do, But...

Above, the morning after Monday night's storm. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The weather here in Jamestown, New Mexico is cold.

The snow from Monday night's snowstorm is still on the ground and the temperatures are in the teens. I took a look at The Weather Channel's forecast for today and they say that it won't go above freezing until around noon. Then, they are forecasting snow showers beginning at 8:00 tonight.

I am in a little bit of a quandary. I have things to do, like going down to the Flying J to get my mail and going through some boxes in the garage, but it is too cold out. I will probably end up braving it and go to the Flying J anyway as I am expecting a check from my former apartment management for the refund of my security deposit (plus interest dating back to April 1998).

At least I got my two big wool coats out of the cleaners Monday. They and a suit, jacket and sportcoat got something white spilled on them during the move. The folks at Elite Cleaners in Gallup did a fine job cleaning them at a reasonable price: $37.00.

At least being cooped up inside the house makes me want to do more unpacking. 

Japan Sees 9% Increase In Tourists In January

Above, Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

January saw an increase in foreign visitors over the same time last year.

The Japan Times reported:
The estimated number of foreign visitors for January rose 9 percent from a year earlier to 2,501,500, a record for the month, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. 
But the growth rate was the slowest since last March partly because the Lunar New Year, a major holiday season celebrated in China and elsewhere, which began later this year. The holiday period started in late January a year ago.

To read more, go here

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

App To Help Relieve Crowding Issues At Tokyo Disney

Above, a crowd enjoying a show at Tokyo DisneySea. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When we visited Tokyo DisneySea (part of the Tokyo Disney Resort complex) in 2015, it seemed that at least half the population of Tokyo were also attending. Wait times for rides exceeded 30 minutes on average. We enjoyed the park anyway.

To help alleviate this problem, the resort operator is resorting to an app.

According to Nikkei Asian Review:
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land will roll out a smartphone app in fiscal 2018 to relieve crowding issues that have frustrated guests at the popular theme park. 
The app will offer a single platform on which customers can buy tickets, book hotel and restaurant reservations, and view park maps with estimated wait times for attractions. It will also be compatible with the smartphone-based e-ticket system introduced Tuesday. 
Another feature, in-park online shopping, should do much to help with the congestion problem. Visitors looking to buy souvenirs and the like tend to crowd stores after the park closes for the day. The app will let guests shop during their time at the park, such as while waiting in line, then pick up their purchases when they leave or have them delivered. 
The app will initially be in Japanese, with Oriental Land to add other language options for international visitors later. It plans to collect and analyze data on users' activities within the park for use in developing new services.

To read more, go here

Japan Not A Top Destination For Westerners

Above, the Godzilla mural at Toho Studios. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A recent survey found that Japan is a popular tourist destination for people of other Asian nations, but as far as Westerners are concerned, not so popular.

According to Japan Today:
TOKYO - Japan’s alluring contrast of tradition and contemporary has made it a fantastic getaway destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in country known worldwide for anime, video games and cuisine. 
And thanks to the 2020 Olympic Games looming on the horizon, the country attracted a record number of tourists in 2017, totaling a whopping 28.69 million people. Chinese (7.35 million) and South Korean (7.14 million) travelers claimed the top spots, but according to the survey, only a paltry 3 million tourists hailed from Western countries.

There are reasons, more like misperceptions, for this:
They’ve found that several factors could have contributed to the apparent lack of visitors from Western countries, including long travel distances and the general perception that Japan is an expensive country to visit. 
Nevertheless, those reasons pale in comparison to what is probably the biggest obstacle preventing Westerners from enjoying Japan to its fullest: the language.

To read more (the article has a nighttime photo of the Godzilla head in Shinjuku), go here

One of My Furry Neighbors

Last night I was watching the snow falling and I noticed some strange tracks in the snow in the area behind the garage.

They were single-file tracks and I've never seen them before.

Were they from a yeti? A space alien?

I did some checking and found out what made them. They were from one of the furry residents in this area. A rabbit.

Just a little while ago, I took this shot of a bunny outside of my bedroom window:

More Pix

Above, the front of the property. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Well, I changed my mind.

I decided to wheel out the trash container to the street and while doing so, I took some more photos. I figured I may as well get used to walking in snow. This is fairly new to me since it doesn't snow in Los Angeles. So, outside I went. (Besides, the snow melted a bit to make the trash container task easier.)

Here they are:

Above, the snow-covered mountains across the valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, my other acre. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a view of the road with the neighbor's to the east. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the view from the road looking west. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a view looking west. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the Mustang and The Beast. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the front of the house. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Graceland Seeking $20 Million Bond Issue

Above, the front of Graceland mansion. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Elvis Presley Enterprises is seeking a $20 million bond approval for funds for expansion of museum space and other improvements.

According to the Commercial Appeal:
Operators of the Elvis Presley home and related attractions will seek approval of a $20 million bond issue for more museum space and other improvements. 
Elvis Presley Enterprises is applying for an issue of taxable revenue bonds by the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County. 
The application, scheduled to be considered Wednesday, says the financing would pay for “additional museum, food and beverage and retail opportunities.” Not mentioned is a controversial performance venue that led to a lawsuit by Graceland last year. 
A statement from Graceland said, “Various opportunities are being considered for expansion of Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex, all to enhance the visitor experience and create more employment and improvement in Whitehaven. This is not related to the pending performance/event venue.” 
Graceland’s operators put expansion plans on hold last fall and filed suit in Shelby County Chancery Court challenging a non-compete agreement between the city and Memphis Grizzlies. That lawsuit was dismissed Thursday by Chancellor Jim Kyle.

To read more, go here

My Mistake, 4 Inches!

Above, a view from the front yard with a semi on Interstate 40. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I stepped outside for a bit to take a few pictures of the snow. When I did, I found that the snow on the deck was four inches deep when my foot sunk into it. I had guessed we got three inches of snow last night.

Unfortunately, the snow is too deep for me to wheel out the trash container to the road (today is trash day in Jamestown). But I only have one bag full of trash in it, so it'll wait another week with no problem.

Some of the photos I took:

Above, the side and back yards. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the front yard and gate. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, The Beast and the Mustang. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, another shot of the front yard from the deck. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the front yard looking east. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, snow-covered mountains across the valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Looks Like I'm Staying In Today

Last night's snowstorm dumped about (my guess) three inches of the white stuff.

While watching television, I was able to see it fall as I had the lights on in the area between the house and behind the garage.

This morning, it appears that it was a heavier storm than the one of the night of February 11. At present, the temperatures are in the teens and won't go any higher than the thirties during the day. So it will stay on the ground for much of the day.

From what I could see, traffic on Interstate 40 is moving as I saw several big rigs heading west towards Gallup.

Some photos:

Above, the side yard looking east. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, behind the garage. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, looking east towards the neighbor's yard. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Yellowstone Super-Volcano Said To Be "Under Strain"

Above, one of many hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A swarm of earthquakes hit Yellowstone National Park and they have some people, particularly the British press, jittery.

According to the Daily Star (U.K.):
A raft of earthquakes measuring above magnitude-2.0 have been recorded at Yellowstone, in the US state of Wyoming, during the past 24 hours. 
The largest earthquake measured 2.9 on the Richter Scale and struck at a depth of 9km at around 6am on Sunday. 
Though fairly small, the flurry of seismic activity at the 3,500-square mile volcanic hotspot highlights the unstable nature of the landscape. 
All of the earthquakes struck near Hebgen Lake in western Yellowstone, home to gushing geysers, dramatic canyons and a dangerous underground volcano.

Granted, a super-volcano is below Yellowstone National Park, but earthquakes are common to the park and don't mean a big eruption is imminent.

To read more, go here

A Bit of Rain and Snow

Above, the side yard from the front porch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Another storm has rolled in this morning and it is currently raining with some snowflakes mixed in. The snow isn't lasting (not cold enough).

All last night, with winds were howling at about 25 mph, which set off a wind advisory by the National Weather Service. The winds stopped when the rain/snow started.

Godzilla Store In Tokyo

Above, Godzilla peers over the Toho Cinemas in Shinjuku. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If any Godzilla fan has been sitting on the fence contemplating a trip to Japan, maybe this will spur them into action.

Last October, the first ever official Godzilla store opened in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is only a couple of blocks away from the giant Godzilla figure that peers at onlookers below near the Hotel Gracery.

The store carries a number of Godzilla goods, many of which are limited edition items.

It is located at the Marui Annex, 3 Chome-1 Shinjuku-, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan.
Monday 11AM–9PM
Tuesday 11AM–9PM
Wednesday 11AM–9PM
Thursday 11AM–9PM
Friday 11AM–9PM
Saturday 11AM–9PM
Sunday 11AM–8:30PM

For more information (you'll need to have the website translated if you don't read Japanese), go here.

Godzilla's Resurgence To Continue

Above, the Godzilla statue at Toho Studios in Setagaya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Now that the successes of the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Godzilla and Toho's Shin Godzilla has re-established the King of the Monsters as the top moneymaker in Japan, Godzilla's resurgence will continue.

According to the Worcester Telegram:
Godzilla — Japan’s iconic kaiju monster — has risen once again. 
The creature made its animated film debut in November, and an official store opened in Tokyo in late October, just to name two of the latest developments. The latest charge forward can be attributed to Toho Co.’s Godzilla strategy council, which meets once a month to discuss Godzilla’s next moves. 
The council meetings, held at the film company’s head office in Hibiya, Tokyo, are presided over by the CGO (chief Godzilla officer). After assuming the title in May, Keiji Ota described the council as “a company-wide unit.” 
“What can we do to make Godzilla loved by people all over the world?” the 52-year-old executive said. “This council is meant to gather all sorts of information on Godzilla and map out mid- to long-term strategies.”

Currently, an anime version of Godzilla has met with favorable reviews.

To read more, go here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Must-See Waterfalls In The West

Above, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Do you like to look at waterfalls? I sure do. At times they are mesmerizing to behold.

The western United States has plenty of waterfalls and AZ Family has a list of the "must-see" waterfalls in the west. I've been to some of them.

They begin with:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Fresh air, tumbling waters and rising mist make waterfalls a multi-sensory marvel. There are thousands of these natural phenomena across the country, but experts say some are more special than others. In the spring issue of Via magazine, AAA shares eight must-see waterfalls in the West.
To see their list of "must-see" waterfalls, go here

Camping In The Months Ahead

Above, The Beast at Goulding's Lodge Campground in Monument Valley in 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Right now in Jamestown, New Mexico, it is cold and windy. But that won't last for too long as spring will begin next month and then the summer months. That means camping season!

I've already decided on some excursions in the months ahead.

One of them is a return visit to Monument Valley. Monument Valley is about 201 miles from here, a three and a half hour drive (give-or-take). That, to me, is a reasonable distance. I was in Monument Valley in November 2016. While it was enjoyable, it was a bit cold. This time, I would like to go there during the summer months when everything is open (such as Goulding's Lodge shuttles). The heat would be no problem as The Beast has air conditioning and the swimming pool will be open.

Above, one of the sights of Monument Valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Also, there is the Roswell UFO Festival that will be held in Roswell, New Mexico on July 6-8. It looks like it would be a lot of fun to attend.

Roswell is 321 miles from here, a five-hour drive according to Google.

Besides those, there is also the spring clampout of the Lost Dutchman Chaper of E Clampus Vitus. It will be held in Arizona. The Lost Dutchman Chapter is the official ECV chapter of New Mexico.

There are also local places to camp at. There are state park nearby as well as RV resorts at some of the Navajo Indian casinos.

This should be a good year for getting out.

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