"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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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Adam Schiff's Chain of Evidence

Today's Cowboys For Trump Ride In Grants, New Mexico

Above, the Cowboys For Trump riders on Santa Fe Ave. in Grants, New Mexico. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Text and Photos by Armand Vaquer

This afternoon, I headed 47 miles east on Interstate 40 to Grants, New Mexico to attend the Cowboys For Trump ride.

It was a nice pleasant day for the riders on horseback and some vehicles to show their support for President Trump's re-election campaign. There was one "vintage" Jeep in the ride, it was a 1977 model. I am guessing it was a CJ5 or CJ6. I talked to the owner briefly.

According to the official word on the ride, it was supposed to begin at 2:00, but the riders headed out of the assembly area about 20 minutes earlier.

I followed along and got ahead of the group to get good vantage points for photographs.

There were about 30 to 40 riders on horseback and about another 15 in vehicles, including ATVs.

I am glad I attended. I had a fun time. Before leaving Grants, I stopped at the El Cafecito Mexican restaurant for an early dinner. It was good!

Here's the ride on Santa Fe Avenue:

Here's some photographs of the event:

At the Assembly Area:

The Ride:

Graceland Additions

Above, Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I last visited Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee three years ago this month, there was construction taking place for the entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley's Memphis. A few months later, it opened to great fanfare.

That and the Guest House at Graceland are now fully operating.

While I was there, I stayed at the Graceland RV Park that is across Elvis Presley Blvd. from Graceland.

Above, The Beast at the Graceland RV Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Detroit News has an interesting article on what is available for tourists.

They begin with:
Memphis, Tennessee – Soon after my evening arrival at the Guest House at Graceland, I lined up with other hotel guests at the peanut butter and jelly station, just off the lobby, which opens for one hour nightly at 10 p.m. 
Some were dressed casually in shorts, others in comfy white hotel bathrobes over pajamas. And all seemed eager to pay homage to Elvis Presley by making their own free, bedtime version of his favorite sandwich, topped with sliced bananas. 
“It’s awesome,” declared Ervin Campbell, 60, of Columbus, Ohio, as he slathered peanut butter on bread. “I’m a huge Elvis fan and visiting Graceland is a bucket list item for me. I’m not sure why we waited as long as we did.” 
You don’t have to be a diehard fan of the King of Rock ‘N Roll to enjoy a getaway to Memphis and Graceland, Elvis’ mansion estate that has added multiple new attractions in recent years to broaden its appeal. 
From the Guest House at Graceland, a 450-room resort with Priscilla Presley-designed VIP suites and perks like the peanut butter sandwich bar, to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a new $45 million entertainment and exhibit complex showcasing his phenomenal career, costumes, lifestyle and legacy, there’s much to discover about one of music history’s biggest icons.
To read more, go here.

Not Gonna Do It, Wouldn't Be Prudent

Above, the 1952 Willys Jeep M38A1. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A few days ago, my "honorary sister" asked me if the Jeep would get me to Grants, New Mexico (47 miles from Jamestown) for the Cowboys For Trump ride today.

It probably would, if only historic Route 66 was a continuous road from Jamestown. Sections of the old road are gone in long stretches and the only viable way of getting to Grants is on Interstate 40.

That presents another problem.

These 60-year-old-plus military Jeeps weren't designed for freeway driving. The general consensus on the Willys Jeep M38A1 (which is what I have) is:
With only 68-70 HP and 5:18 gears, top speed is 50 mph and they really like 40-45. These vehicles were designed to be cross-country tactical vehicles for the military, not "cars" per se.

The top speed limit on I-40 is 75 mph. The Jeep would be too slow for it. If I had a car carrier trailer, I'd bring it to Grants on that (towed by The Beast). I did drive it 2 miles (from the Jamestown on-ramp to the Iyanbito off-ramp) to go to Gallup after I first bought it to go to the motor vehicles department to get it registered. From Iyanbito, I took Route 66 into Gallup (thankfully, it goes all the way from Iyanbito to Gallup). I don't think it went over 40 mph while on I-40 during the 2-mile drive on it.

Yes, the Jeep would be great to drive in the Cowboys For Trump ride, but it is just not feasible right now. I'm taking the Mustang.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Cowboys For Trump Ride Tomorrow In Grants, New Mexico

It looks like it will be a nice day tomorrow afternoon in Grants, New Mexico when the Cowboys For Trump group ride from Taco Bell (the one nearest to Walmart) to the rodeo grounds.

I plan on attending and will post photos of the event here. Grants is only about 47 miles from Jamestown.

Cowboys For Trump will be assembling at 1:00 PM tomorrow. Supporters with horses (or vehicles) are invited to join in the ride. The ride begins at 2:00 PM.
Ride with Cowboys for Trump, November 16, 2019 in Grants, New Mexico before the Save our Western Way of Life Dinner & Dance 
•Promote our Culture
•Preserve our Heritage
•Protect our Rights 
Call 505-240-0285 for tickets & more information 
Follow us on Twitter at @RideWithC4T

The weather in Grants tomorrow from the National Weather Service:

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 25. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Gallup Coffee Shop Ceiling

Today (for the most part) was spent in Gallup taking care of business after dropping off a friend at his physical therapist.

While in Gallup, I got a new watch battery, a claw hammer, grocery shopped and other things. I took a break at the Gallup Coffee Company, which is a Starbucks type of coffee shop.

I have been there before, but today I took notice of the shop's ceiling. It was something I've seen in ghost towns, Columbia (California), Calico Ghost Town and in other historic old towns that have been restored.

I made mention of the ceiling and the server said it is an original ceiling of the store.

Here's a photo of the ceiling:

Above, inside the Gallup Coffee Company. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Different Shift Patterns

Above, the new shift pattern sticker is now on the glove box door (oddly
 placed to the left of the steering wheel). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is interesting that the Willys Jeeps have a different transmission shift pattern than do standard cars and trucks.

Since I drive a 5-speed manual shift Mustang, I do occasionally get a little confused. Where first gear is on the Mustang, it is reverse on the Jeep. Even though they're both in a "H" configuration, they're way different.

Here's the standard pattern for cars and trucks with 5-speed manual transmissions:

Here's the shift pattern on the Jeep:

The "data plate" on the dashboard has the shift pattern, but it is a bit worn and is way over in front of the passenger seat. It is not convenient to see.

Above, the Jeep's dash "data plate" behind the grab handle. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Kaiser Willys has shift pattern stick-on decals for sale. I bought one and put it on the door of the glove box, where I can easily see it. That is a lot more convenient and serves as reminder of the different shift patterns of the Jeep and the Mustang. 

House Minority Leader McCarthy: Schiff Lied About Whistleblower

When I first heard it, I couldn't believe my ears. Well, since it was Rep. Adam Schiff, I guess I could believe it as Ol' Pencilneck's a compulsive liar.

The Washington Times reported:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy explicitly accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of lying about his knowledge of the whistleblower. 
The California Republican slammed the Democrats’ point man for the impeachment process for not publicly acknowledging his staff met with the whistleblower during Wednesday’s first public impeachment hearing. 
“I don’t think it’s the first time he’s lied either,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters on Thursday, citing Mr. Schiff’s claims around Russian collusion.
Last week, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Schiff, published the unredacted name of the whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella.

To read more, go here.

Rain and Snow Showers On The Horizon

Above, a downed fence along Six Mile Canyon Road yesterday. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like we'll have to enjoy these sunny and clear days while we can as precipitation is coming into the area Tuesday night.

According to the National Weather Service, rain and possible snow showers will be around from Tuesday night through Thursday.

We'll be enjoying seasonal weather in Jamestown until then.

Tuesday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.
A 50 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 51.
Wednesday Night
A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Some Fence-Mendin' Needed

Above, a cut section of barbed wire fencing next to a locked gate next to Six Mile Canyon Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This afternoon, I spent my time wandering around the area in the Jeep.

First, I drove up Maverick Road in the new Mesa Ridge Ranch subdivision to see if there were any more construction going on. There was none.

Above, at Maverick Road and Cow Trail in Mesa Ridge Ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Then, I headed to Six Mile Canyon Road to where the road turns south towards the canyon in Cibola National Forest. The canyon will be closed for the winter on December 15, one month from tomorrow.

Above, downed barbed wire fencing next to Six Mile Canyon Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I stopped and looked at the downed barbed wire fencing along Six Mile Canyon Road that is not far from Interstate 40. It looks like whoever owns it has some fence-mending to do. The posts looked pretty weather-beaten.

Above, the Jeep at the cut fence section next to a locked gate. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There is one small section of fencing that appeared to have been cut by someone. It is right next to a locked gate. Having a locked gate is useless if the fencing it is connected to is cut.

Above, the mesas from Six Mile Canyon Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I figured I'd do some driving today as I have things to do in Gallup tomorrow.

Above, Jamestown from Six Mile Canyon Road, looking east. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


Source: Claire Chase Press Release
Chase: “Adam Schiff lining the pockets of vulnerable Democrats who represent districts won decisively by President Trump in 2016, such as Torres Small, in order to secure support for impeachment is the real quid pro quo here.”  
(Roswell, NM) - Claire Chase, conservative Republican candidate for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, today blasted Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small for accepting thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff prior to announcing her full support for his impeachment inquiry. In a statement released today, Chase deemed their actions “the real quid pro quo” and urged Torres Small to immediately return all campaign contributions to Adam Schiff. 
“Adam Schiff lining the pockets of vulnerable Democrats who represent districts won decisively by President Trump in 2016, such as Torres Small, in order to secure support for impeachment is the real quid pro quo here,” said Claire Chase. “This proves once and for all that this process has been a partisan-fueled sham from the beginning, and because of it, Adam Schiff has lost all credibility and Torres Small has completely lost the trust of her constituents. If Torres Small has any shred of decency left, she should immediately return the thousands of dollars she took from Adam Schiff and get back to doing her job – not wasting the remaining months she has left in Washington participating in this absurd witch hunt against our President.”

What Happened To California Republicans?

Townhall.com has an interesting article, "What happened to California Republicans?"

There's a number of things that led to the demise of the California GOP and the state is becoming more of a sh*thole daily. A wacky primary/general election system is one example. The flood of illegal aliens. The exodus of conservative voters. Incompetent state GOP leadership. Law & order is almost gone. These and other factors led to a one-party dictatorship of left-wing liberal Democrats.

Here's a snippet from the article:
As taxes climbed, schools eroded and funds for infrastructure were diverted elsewhere, millions of middle-class Californians fled. The total numbers of this continuing exodus are still in dispute. Many left in despair over climbing gas, sales and income taxes that seemed to worsen rather improve state infrastructure and services.

This tripartite demographic revolution proved disastrous for the Republican Party. The GOP lost much of its base to other states. Many conservative voters left for small-government, low-tax alternatives. Republican efforts to reduce taxes, limit some abortions and fund additional roads and dams had little appeal to the new gentry classes on the coast. 
Will there ever again be a viable California Republican Party? 
After three decades of radical progressivism, California residents are tiring of one-party straitjacket rule. The hard-liberal order normalized massive power blackouts, the nation's highest array of taxes, the forest mismanagement that fuels deadly fires, an epidemic of homelessness in major cities, eroding schools, ossified infrastructure and soaring energy costs.
That's why I left. California has become Commiefornia.

To read more, go here (if you dare). 

Cheap Flights To Seoul From Tokyo

Above, ANA offers air service between Tokyo and Seoul, but is
more expensive than low cost carriers. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

During my trips to Japan over the years, I've often toyed with the idea of taking a little side trip to Seoul, South Korea but have never done so.

I had no idea about how cheap it is to fly from Tokyo to Seoul until I saw an article posted by Tokyo Cheapo. I may just take the plunge and go.

They begin with:
Whether you are staying in Tokyo for a while and want to take a side trip, or you plan to continue your travels onward to/from South Korea—Tokyo and Seoul are separated by about 2.5 hours on a plane, and flights are often dirt cheap. Here’s how to find the best air deals between the two cities. 
A number of (mainly Korean) low-cost carriers (LCCs) operate between Tokyo and Seoul, and prices are super reasonable in both directions. Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city, also has a large international airport, and LCC flights to Seoul leave daily—however, not quite as frequently as between Tokyo and Seoul.
To read more, go here.

Seeing Tokyo From An Observation Deck

Above, a view from Tokyo City View atop Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Believe it or not, Tokyo has a population of over 38 million people.

To fully appreciate the city's population and all of the buildings necessary to house and employ them, one should go to any one of Tokyo's several observation decks.

I've been to three observation decks in Tokyo over the years:

  • Tokyo Tower
  • Mori Tower (Roppongi Hills)
  • Tokyo Skytree

Above, a view from Tokyo Tower. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Japan Today has posted an article on seeing panoramic view of Tokyo. Some observation decks charge a fee and some have free access.

They begin with:
TOKYO - Tokyo is a gigantic concrete jungle built on layers of tradition and culture. It's difficult to grasp the enormity of Japan's capital in just a few days. 
One way to gain some perspective on the complex city is to get above it — way above it. 
Skip the sidewalks and subways and take an elevator to any one of the observation decks that dot the cityscape for a stunning vista. No two perches offer the same view, but they are all spectacular.
Above, a view from the Tokyo Skytree. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cowboys for Trump In Grants, New Mexico Saturday

Cibola County Commissioner Robert Scott Windhorst posted the following on Facebook:

Come join the Cowboys for Trump this Saturday at 1pm behind Taco Bell! Bring your horse or vehicle and ride along through Grants to the Rodeo Grounds! The CFT have ridden in the 4th of July Parade in Washington DC and their leader Couy Griffin has been in the Oval Office with President Trump. This group, along with the NM Sheriff's Association, has brought nationwide attention to protecting our Second Amendment rights. Eleven months ago, over 790 Cibola County residents met with the Cibola County Commission as they passed a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County resolution stopping the over reach of the democrat led NM State Legislation from infringing on our gun rights. Let's come out and support their effort to protect our Constitutional rights!

Sounds like a fun event and Grants is only 40-something miles from Jamestown. I plan to attend. 

Tonight's Moonrise

There's one thing about living out in a rural area, it's pitch-dark at night except for a few lights from homes. That allows better dark sky gazing as more stars are visible and brighter moon viewing. In other words, no light pollution.

I had to take some trash out to the trash container outside and saw a beautiful moonrise. I stopped and snapped the photo below with my phone. If I went back inside to get a camera, the moon would've been a little higher and not as beautiful (in my opinion).

SYFY Wire: "A Monster Gift Guide" For Godzilla Christmas Shoppers

Above, Godzilla is doing his Christmas shopping. How about you?

Even before Halloween arrived, some stores were already getting all decked out in Christmas decorations.

Now is the time (if you haven't already) to start your Christmas shopping, especially for the Godzilla/kaiju fans in your life.

What is there to get?

Fortunately, SYFY Wire has posted "A Monster Gift Guide" for you shoppers.

They begin it with:
This year marks Godzilla's 65th anniversary, and there's no better way to celebrate a milestone like that than buying yourself (or loved ones) some gifts. 
Fortunately, Toho Studios has spent all of 2019 ramping up its star's brand both in Japan and the United States, with convention appearances and a wide array of specialized merchandise, and the Legendary movie Godzilla: King of the Monsters also provided a bounty of fun consumer goods. Add similar plans from other monster movie studios and the endless creativity of fans, not to mention the King Kong musical, and you've got perhaps the best selection of kaiju gifts we've ever seen on this side of the Pacific (even if you might have to do some long-distance shipping).

To read more, go here

National Parks Advisory Committee Shut Down

Above, Lassen Peak at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee made some recommendations on national park campgrounds, it caused quite a stir.

Well, the committee is no more.

RVtravel.com reported:
When the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, the brainchild of former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, recently brought forward a series of recommendations on “modernizing” National Park campgrounds, it caused quite a stir. Perhaps the expression “In with a bang, out with a whimper” could be raised now. The committee, as of November 1, is no more. 
Park Service officials didn’t make a lot of fanfare about it. In fact, the demise of the committee was not made public until last Tuesday, and only after National Parks Traveler, an “editorially independent, nonprofit media organization dedicated to covering national parks and protected areas,” as it describes itself, ran an editorial critical of the committee’s efforts at “modernization.” 
After the editorial hit the internet, the Park Service quietly informed the organization, “‘The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee was terminated on Friday, November 1. The ORAC was created by Secretary Zinke in 2017, and like any Federal Advisory Act group, was simply an advisory body to the Department of the Interior and the Secretary of the Interior,’ read a prepared statement from David Vela, the de factor director of the Park Service.”
The "fit hit the shan" when some recommendations were revealed such as food carts, enhanced Wi-Fi and private industry being involved in park management. None of these will be acted on.

To read more, go here.

Peter Mamakos, The Duke and Superman

Above, Peter Mamakos (left) with John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter in The Searchers (1956).

While watching The Searchers last night, a character actor in the movie caught my eye as he was quite familiar.

Character actor Peter Mamakos (1918 - 2008) returned to the Adventures of Superman set in September 1956 to film the fifth season's first episode, "Peril In Paris". The episode first aired on March 8, 1957.

Mamakos previously appeared in "Defeat of Superman" (1953) and "King for a Day" (1955).

It is interesting that during the same year he filmed "Peril In Paris" as Gregor, he also appeared in the John Wayne western classic, The Searchers as Jerem Futterman. He was quite busy in 1956. Among his other appearances that year, he was in The Ten Commandments.

Above, Peter Mamakos with Lilyan Chauvin and George Reeves in "Peril In Paris".

So, in 1956, Mamakos appeared as a villain against Superman (George Reeves) and Ethan Edwards (John Wayne). It shows that the Adventures of Superman managed to get good supporting players during its television run.

Mamakos passed away in Paso Robles, California in 2008.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Explore Setagaya On The Setagaya Line

Above, yours truly with some friends at the Godzilla statue at Toho Studios in 2014. 

One of the "must do" things Godzilla fans include in their itineraries while visiting Tokyo is to go to Toho Studios in Setagaya.

While the studio does not offer tours, visitors can see the studio lot from the outside along with the man-sized Godzilla statue and the Godzilla and Seven Samurai murals.

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

The most direct way of getting to Toho Studios is to take the Odakyu Line from Shibuya Station to Seijogakuen-mae Station. From there, one must either walk to Toho Studios (I've done it, both ways) or take a taxi.

There's a more roundabout way to get to Toho Studios, but even then, one must transfer to the Odakyu Line. That is the Setagaya Line. The nearest stations of the Odakyu Line to the Setagaya Line are the Kyodo and the Umegaoka Stations from the Setagaya Line's Yamashita Station. It will take a good walk or taxi ride to get to either station.

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

What sparked this blog post was an article in The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun) on the Setagaya Line. For those adventurous, the article talks of exploring the Setagaya section of Tokyo via this line.

They begin it with:
Buying a one-day ticket for the Setagaya Line the other day reminded me of the excitement of visiting an amusement park in my childhood. Although Sangenjaya Station, the streetcar line’s terminal, is only two stops from Shibuya Station on the Den-en-toshi Line, the area along the line has a warm, nostalgic atmosphere that makes you forget you’re only three kilometers from the hustle and bustle of central Shibuya. Furthermore, with the one-day ticket in hand, you feel like an explorer. 
Whenever I travel by train in Japan and abroad, I feel the urge to choose my destinations in advance out of fear of getting lost. But the Setagaya Line allows for a carefree journey that can be done on the fly, since it covers a distance of only 5 kilometers and passes through 10 stations in about 18 minutes. What’s more, the one-day ticket is ¥340 for adults — about half the price of most one-day tickets sold by railway operators in Tokyo.
Above, the Setagaya Line (circle) and Toho Studios (arrow).

So, if one wants to visit Toho Studios but have plenty of time to explore the Setagaya section of Tokyo for the fun of it, this is an idea to consider.

To read more about the Setagaya Line, go here.

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