"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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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Above, the Durango train at High Line. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In 1981, I was browsing the various vacation-oriented vendor booths at the H. Werner Buck Enterprises Sports, Vacation and Travel Show when I came upon the booth of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad of Colorado. Looking over their displays and gathering literature, I became interested in riding the train. I was planning a vacation trip to the Four Corners region, so this fit in perfectly.

Above, the Durango Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The first time I rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was in 1982. The round-trip price was around $50 (give or take). That was during the days when Florida citrus grower Charles Bradshaw Jr. owned the railroad. It was formerly a line of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. I have taken more rides on the train over the years since.

Today, the D&SNG is owned by American Heritage Railways.

Above, the museum at the Durango Station roundhouse. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I last rode the train in September 2020 on their Cascade Canyon excursion trip. Part of tracks were washed out and there was no train trips to Silverton during the time it took to repair the tracks. I will be taking a trip to Silverton next month with my former roommate on the train. It is an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from my home in New Mexico.

The current round-trip Standard Class fare from Durango to Silverton, Colorado is $105. Although $105 is a lot of money, the ride is still worth the expense (it's about 90 miles round-trip). There is a concession car on the train for food and drinks (the last car on the train). 

Above, a view of the Animas River below High Line. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There are two free museums, one each in Durango and Silverton, on the D&SNG. I have been to the one at the Durango station (it is at the roundhouse). It is well worth a visit.

The steam locomotives have been converted from coal-burning to oil-burning. Although oil is more environmentally friendlier, I missed the smell of burning coal.

Above, the Durango train traverses in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The official website to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad can be reached by going here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Cassidy Hutchinson Texts Leak - Make Her Look Like Fraud

Above, Cassidy Hutchinson at the White House.

Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony before the January 6 congressional kangaroo court is falling apart.

Before she testified before the committee, she was singing a different tune and even sought legal help through CPAC.

The Western Journal reported:

It has been revealed that Cassidy Hutchinson, the Democrat’s surprise star witness at its January 6 show trials, was singing a different tune months ago in text messages where she called the left-wing kangaroo court a bunch of “BS.”

Hutchinson, a former aide to President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in 2020, was brought in for what the Democrats and their compliant media operatives called “bombshell” testimony, though most of what she said was quickly debunked as fake news. After it was all said and done, it was more fizzle than bombs, but the left played it as big, big news.

Indeed, after her testimony, the cameras caught a telling moment when embattled Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was seen throwing her arms around Hutchinson and offering great thanks for her quickly discredited claims.

During her testimony, Hutchinson made several key claims, none of which ring true.

In one case, she claimed that Donald Trump actually assaulted members of the Secret Service and tried to take control of the presidential SUV on Jan. 6 with the intention of driving to the Capitol Building to join the rioting there.

Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, former Trump Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, told this story to her in the days after the riot.

But since then, Ornato says that he was nowhere near Trump and the SUV and that he never heard such a story before — and he certainly never told any such tale to Hutchinson.

To read more, go here

SFX Director Teruyoshi Nakano Reportedly Dies At 86

Above, Teruyoshi Nakano in 2004.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A few hours ago, the Monster Attack Team Facebook Page posted the following:

Rest in peace SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano who passed Jun 27 2022. His explosive work on films: King Kong vs. Godzilla, War of the Gargantuas, Godzilla vs. Smog Monster, Japan Sinks, Prophecies of Nostradamus, Godzilla vs  Mechagodzilla, Return of Godzilla & much more will live on forever 

After seeing it, I did some digging in the Japanese media. However, my searches drew blanks. This is not to say that the news is untrue (hopefully it is, for obvious reasons), it is just that the Japanese news media doesn't seem to be reporting it as yet.

Nakano took over special effects duties following the passing of Eiji Tsuburaya and became known as "Mr. Explosion" for his use of special effects pyrotechnics.

I met Mr. Nakano back in 2004 at G-FEST. 

Conservative Momma Reenacts Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony

It is funny how some people can be immediately parodied to perfection within hours. When one's testimony is so full of crap, it is easy to do.

This is the case of Conservative Momma's reenactment of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony before the sham January 6 committee. 

Above, Cassidy Hutchinson.

From the Gateway Pundit:

On Tuesday, Liz Cheney and the sham Jan. 6 committee brought in Mark Meadows former junior staffer Cassidy Hutchinson as a “surprise witness.”

Democrats and their media lackeys billed this as an explosive development in their quest to get President Donald Trump.

Democrats, the FBI, the mainstream media, Big Tech, and Liz Cheney all believe Donald Trump and his supporters must be punished and ruined for trying to save this country from their failed policies and tyrannical ambitions.

Young Cassidy sat for testimony and proceeded to told at least nine major lies while under oath before the committee.

Go to the Gateway Pundit to see Conservative Momma's reenactment of Hutchinson's testimony by going here

Home During The 4th

Above, in Six Mile Canyon yesterday. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As things yesterday turned out, I ended up staying home. 

We got some rain yesterday afternoon. I don't know if it rained or not during the evening or during the night (I wouldn't be surprised if it did), but I didn't feel like venturing out. So I ended up enjoying the quiet neighborhood and went to bed at around 9:15. 

I must've fallen asleep right away because I didn't hear a thing, so I am assuming nobody around my area shot off fireworks. 

Last year was different. I was at Martin Link's and the view from his hilltop backyard were great for viewing fireworks all over Gallup. It was so clear last year that we were able to see fireworks from Window Rock, Arizona. Last night was decidedly cloudy. It was also warmer last year. It was jacket weather last night.

Still, I enjoyed my Independence Day as I drove the Jeep into Six Mile Canyon.  

Monday, July 4, 2022

4th of July Jeep Jaunt In Six Mile Canyon

Above, along Six Mile Canyon Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

While I haven't decided yet what I am going to do tonight, I did decide to take a Jeep drive into Six Mile Canyon of the Cibola National Forest.

It was nice and green in Six Mile Canyon from yesterday's downpours and, along with that, the roads were muddy. When I got home, I had to hose off the mud as it was caked on the tires as well as on the wheel wells. It almost seemed like I took home about half of the canyon with me. The soil is sticky red clay.

I saw a couple of campers as I was driving along Six Mile Canyon Road. 

Naturally, I took some pictures:

Happy 4th of July! 

4th of July Weather

Above, we were treated to a rainbow yesterday. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday afternoon through the night, we had some good rain downpours. Plus, we had he best displays of lightning so far this monsoon season. 

It will be interesting how the weather will shape up this evening.

According to the National Weather Service:

Independence Day
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. South wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

I mentioned earlier that I have a choice of going to the Wild West Rodeo in Grants or to Martin Link's in Gallup this evening. Considering how the weather might be, I have a third choice: just stay at home. I do have some firecrackers I can shoot off. But there's a lot of nearby animals, so the firecrackers may give them heart attacks. 

I'll just have to wait and see.

By the way, as we're in monsoon season, thunderstorms aren't unusual during Independence Day week. Remember, a thunderstorm allegedly brought down a flying saucer near Roswell in July 1947.

Some Interesting Stuff

A little bit ago, I spotted this on Twitter.

I thought it was interesting enough to share.

Kyoto Wants Tourists To Return, Just Not So Many

Above, crowds flock to shops below Kiyomizu-dera before the pandemic. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Before the pandemic, Kyoto's residents and businesses had mixed feelings about the hordes of tourists visiting the city.

They loved the spending money that the tourists brought, but didn't much like the huge crowds.

Those feelings are resurfacing again now that foreign tourists are being allowed back into Japan, even though limited to organized group tours.

According to BusinessLIVE:

Kyoto — Poring over the ledger at her more than 230-year-old liquor shop in Kyoto, Yasuko Fujii has mixed feelings about the return of foreign tourists who would crowd the streets of Japan's ancient capital before the pandemic — and buy lots of whisky and wine.

Her ambivalence reflects a broader uncertainty in Japan about welcoming tourist hordes amid fears they could trigger a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, even though a weak yen would be a big draw for tourists and a boon for local businesses.

“From a business standpoint, we want foreign tourists to come,” the 79-year-old Fujii said. “But from an emotional standpoint, we want customers from Japan.”

Millions of tourists from China, South Korea and Southeast Asia used to throng the Nishiki market where Fujii's shop is located before curbs set in two years ago. Locals often felt overwhelmed and many stopped coming, she said.

To read more, go here

Happy Independence Day!


Above, the opening ceremony at this year's Lions Club Rodeo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Happy Independence Day!

After an afternoon and night of downpours (we need it), today we celebrate America's birthday. It might rain some more this afternoon and evening. 

I haven't decided decided yet what I am going to do. I could go to the Wild West Rodeo in Grants or to Martin Link's in Gallup this evening. We'll see.

Have a save and sane 4th of July!

Copenhagen Mall Shooting

Above, outside of the mall following the shooting. Screen capture by Armand Vaquer.

Proving once again that mass shootings aren't just a phenomena of the United States, a shooter yesterday opened fire and killed three and wounded several others. Oslo, Norway recently had a mass shooting on June 25 by an Islamic terrorist.

According to Fox News:

Authorities say the shooting incident in Denmark, where a gunman opened fire at a busy shopping mall in Copenhagen, leaving three people dead and at least three others injured was not terror-related.

The gunman likely acted alone and fired indiscriminately at random shoppers, Danish Police said Monday, the day after the shooting.

Copenhagen chief police inspector Søren Thomassen said the deceased victims included one Russian and two Danish citizens. The victims included a man in his 40s and two "young people," he said.

Thomassen said the suspect, identified only as a 22-year-old Danish man, was arrested at the scene and that the incident was not an act of terrorism. 

Since Asya is in Copenhagen, I checked with her to see if she was okay since one of the deceased was a Russian. She replied that she is in the countryside and thanked me for checking.

To read the full article, go here.

Classic Rock Music Monday

The stuff that now passes as "music", particularly rock 'n roll, leaves me cold. So, to start off the week, here's a video of a classic rock artist.

Today, we have Creedence Clearwater Revival and their 1969 hit, "Born On The Bayou". 

According to Wikipedia:

Creedence Clearwater Revival, also referred to as Creedence and CCR, was an American rock band formed in El Cerrito, California. The band initially consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty; his brother, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty; bassist Stu Cook; and drummer Doug Clifford

Back in the 1990s, while I was in-between insurance jobs, I was working as an armed patrol officer and had to respond to burglar alarms. One call I received was at John Fogerty's residence in a gated community off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. I and another officer found an unlocked entry door, so we had to enter to check the residence. We found no problems. But I was impressed with this office/music room.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

"Camping" A New Code Word For Abortion

The lunacy of the far Left knows no bounds.

The Democrats in New York are introducing legislation to try to circumvent the recent Supreme Court ruling on constitutional carry of guns. 

Now, our favorite mode of vacationing, camping, is being used as a code word for abortion! Do you think that's crazy? Well, it is. But it isn't the first time an innocent word was perverted to mean something else. The word "gay" is a perfect example. 

Now the word "camping" the victim.

According to RV Travel:

RVers and all camping enthusiasts may think their favorite pastime is far removed from the country’s heated debate over abortion access, but that isn’t necessarily so.

Online social media posts offering to take people “camping” have suddenly become coded language for those supposedly offering aid to pregnant women seeking abortions who may live in states that ban the procedure. The posts include offers of transportation or out-of-state housing.

You might wonder how in the world a seemingly innocuous word like camping now finds itself being bandied about the internet by those in the forefront of the contentious abortion debate. It seems using a “code word” like camping instead of the word abortion is an effort to avoid algorithmic censorship on social media, and even potential detection by law enforcement agencies.

It all sounds so silly until you consider the potential fallout from abortion rights advocates using “camping” as a code word to avoid detection.

To read more, go here

High Gas Prices Hitting RV Industry Harder Than It Wants To Admit

Above, a Class A RV on display at the California RV Show. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The RV industry is being hit harder by high gasoline prices than it cares to admit. 

At least that's the position of a new article in RV Travel. The article says that stock prices and other indicators may be predicting tough times ahead.

The article begins with:

Despite the positive spin that many RV industry manufacturers are putting on how high gas prices are theoretically not affecting RVers, stock price numbers don’t lie. Three major players in the market, Thor Industries, Winnebago, and Camping World, have seen their stock prices drop over the last several months.

There’s been more trumpeting by industry over the remarkable record 2021 sales figures than in a herd of elephants, true. But hang on, the projections are that sales this year will fall a steep 8.4%. That sobering figure is from the RV Industry Association’s market report, published in May.

Stock market talking head issues warning

Last week, a talking head from Jefferies Financial Group, Bret Jordan, told Yahoo Finance Live that things weren’t particularly rosy for the RV industry. “It’s a compounding effect of inflation, whether it’s gas, or milk, or heating, or rent. All of this is sort of draining the consumer’s liquidity,” Jordan pointed out. “And, obviously, when you’re at the pump and you’re putting $100 into your tank when it used to be $25 or $30, it really strikes home.”

To read the full article, go here

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Bull Riding and Sushi

Last year, when I learned of the  annual Wild Thing Championship Bullriding rodeo at Red Rock Park near Gallup, it was too late to get a ticket as the event was already sold out. This year it would be different.

This evening, I headed into Gallup to buy an advance ticket at T & R Feed and Rope Center. Thankfully, they had them available (they went on sale yesterday). I bought one for Friday (I heard Fridays are less crowded). I saved $5 by buying it early.

According to their Facebook page: 

#1 open Bullriding in the southwest! Held at Red Rock Park in Gallup, New Mexico every July, with some of the best bucking bulls in the business, huge fireworks and an estimated $28,000 payout each year.

After that, I headed down to Zen Steak & Sushi for dinner. It had been a few months since I was last there and I had a craving for sushi.

As storm clouds were moving in, I bee-lined it back home before the storm hits. It rained a little going to and from Gallup, but the main part of the storm was still to the southwest. 

Now I can relax for the rest of the evening.

Looney Democrats Trying To Circumvent SCOTUS Gun Decision


The Looney Left Report

New York's Looney Left Democrats are trying to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Count's recent ruling on constitutional carry.

Well, actor James Woods (he's been busy on Twitter this morning!) put it all in a nutshell:

Monsoon Rains Over Independence Day Weekend

Above, Barking Spider Acre yesterday. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We had some thunderstorms come through yesterday afternoon and into the night. My deck is still wet from last night's rain. 

It was a good thing that I mowed Barking Spider Acre yesterday morning. The additional rain we got afterwards will allow for more greenery in the field. 

The monsoon rains are forecast to continue over the Independence Day weekend in Jamestown, New Mexico. 

According to the National Weather Service:


Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 79. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Sunday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. South wind 5 to 15 mph.
Independence Day
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Vacation Trip Planning Coming Together

Above, the Durango train preparing to depart Durango Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

With gasoline prices high into the mesosphere (that's the layer just above the stratosphere), I had to cancel my original plans of heading up into eastern Wyoming and the Black Hills of South Dakota for a summer vacation trip. Instead, the vacation will be in Durango, Colorado and Navajo Lake in New Mexico. At least I can afford the one tankful of gasoline (maybe a half more) that it will take for the round trip. Navajo Lake is along the way back from Durango.

Jessica, my former roommate in Tarzana, is flying down at the end of the month, so we're both going on this trip.

I made the last campground reservation yesterday and lucked out. There were only two sites available, so I got my reservation in just in time.

All that remains to be done is to buy our tickets for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for our round-trips to Silverton. Anything else we'll do we will just "wing it".

We may do some river rafting on the Animas River and hit a hot springs spa. We'll see.

James Woods Dings Gavin Newsom On Gun Safety


And what's with that background?

3rd Person Gored By A Yellowstone Bison This Year

Above, a herd of Yellowstone bison grazing in a riverside meadow. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Wildlife and people don't mix too well in national parks on occasion.

The third Yellowstone National Park if 2022 took place this week when a 71-year-old woman was gored by one of the park's bisons. This was the second bison goring this week.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

Another Yellowstone National Park visitor was gored by a bison on Wednesday. It was the park’s second bison goring in the last three days, according to a Thursday news release.

A 71-year-old woman from West Chester, Pennsylvania, was gored by a bull bison near Yellowstone Lake’s Storm Point on Wednesday, park staff wrote in the release.

The woman and her daughter inadvertently approached the bison while they were returning to their vehicle at the trailhead, which caused the animal to charge them.

The woman’s injuries were non-life-threatening, and an ambulance transported her to West Park Hospital in Cody, Wyoming. The incident is under investigation, and the staff aren’t reporting any additional information.

 To read more, go here.

Albuquerque Sunport Travel Up 23% Over Last Year

Above, the Albuquerque Sunport lobby. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It seems like only yesterday that we entered 2022. But, time flies, especially so when one gets older.

Independence Day weekend looks like it will top last year's numbers, despite high gas prices and the topsy-turvy so-called airline pilot "shortage" (which I don't believe is real, but that's me).

The Albuquerque Sunport expects to see more air travelers.

According to KOAT:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque International Sunport will be seeing about 75,000 passengers between now and Tuesday.

This is a 23% increase from last year.

The development manager at the Albuquerque International Sunport, Lisa Leyva said, “Sunday is going to be our busiest day. So plan accordingly. We're going to see approximately 15,000 people in and out of this airport on Sunday.”

Several airlines are still working through staffing shortages prompting flight changes.

“Your airline is your best resource to know if your flight is delayed, where they're going to be relocating you or when you're going to be booked on your next flight,” Leyva said.

To read more, go here

Friday, July 1, 2022

Mowing Before T-Storm Arrives

This morning, I took the opportunity to mow Barking Spider Acre (BSA) before any rains hit (we have a 60% chance this afternoon).

Grass has been popping up at BSA, but I was mainly interested in mowing down the brush that has reached 12" in spots. 

In the photos below, BSA mowing was done, except for the foreground area where the dirt was too soft and the mower would get stuck (it has happened before) in it. I had a couple of close calls today. 

The acre is greener than what the photos depict.

After I was done mowing, I had a beer and peanuts on the deck. While there, I head thunder in the distance. It is expected to rain later today. I figured I'd best get the mowing done. 

From the National Weather Service:

This Afternoon
Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

High Gas Prices: Part of the Liberal World Order

Biden says we'll have to pay high gas prices for "as long as it takes."

Then his advisor Brian Deese said on CNN, "This is about the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm."

This is causing a firestorm, to put it mildly.

Newsweek, not exactly a bastion of conservative thought, posted:

President Joe Biden's adviser Brian Deese is facing a backlash online after answering a question on the fairness of high gas prices by highlighting the importance of the "liberal world order," and a video clip of the moment has since gone viral.

Deese was speaking to CNN's Victor Blackwell on Thursday and reflected on comments Joe Biden made during his speech at the NATO summit in Madrid on the same day.

Biden was asked by a reporter: "How long is it fair to expect American drivers and drivers around the world to pay that premium for this war?"

The president replied: "As long as it takes," insisting that Russia could not be allowed to win the conflict against Ukraine and then potentially menace other nations.

Deese and Biden have been ridiculed on Twitter over the clip.

"The Biden administration cares more about the liberal world order than American families," Former White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp tweeted.

"The 'Liberal World Order' we need to wake up and realize what we really are up against. Biden is nothing more than a puppet for the radical left," Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter tweeted.

"Is Brian Dese a Republican plant? Because this is the easiest midterm ad content I've ever seen," Republican communicator Matt Whitlock tweeted.

To read the full article, go here.

Biden's Gas Premium: Pay "As Long As It Takes"

If this is for real, the people in the Biden Administration are absolutely nuts!

Well, assuming it is real, it is more proof that they want us to jettison our gasoline vehicles and buy some crappy electric cars, all intentional.

We need to throw all of them out of office come November.

Well, since CNN broadcast it, we'll have to take the loons at their word. Right?

Dollar Trading At ¥136.20 In Tokyo

We're now in the second half of 2022. Hard to believe how fast this year is flying by.

Now that Japan is open to foreign tourism, provided the tourists are with a guided tour group, it is time to take a peek at how lucky they are to take advantage of the dollar and yen exchange rate in Tokyo.

According to Jiji Press:

Tokyo, June 30 (Jiji Press)--The dollar pared early gains to move around 136.20 yen in Tokyo trading Thursday.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at 136.22-22 yen, up from 136.02-03 yen at the same time Wednesday.

To read more, go here

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