"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.

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition
Get the ebook edition here! (Click image.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Frigid Halloween Night

This has to be the coldest Halloween I've ever experienced. I decided to stay inside even though there was a "Trunk 'N Treat" party put on by the residents of Jamestown at the fire station. From what I read from the community Facebook page, it was a successful event.

But, it was enjoyable as I watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and House of Dracula from the latest edition of Universal's Dracula Legacy Collection.

Here's tonight's temperatures:

Rodeos USA

Above, a New Mexico Junior High Rodeo Association contestant. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

During the spring and summer months this year, I went out to attend several rodeos in Gallup's Red Rock Arena at Red Rock Park.

During our daily breakfast gathering at Denny's this morning, the subject of rodeos came up. I said I had such a good time at each of them that I am looking forward to going to them next year. They're very entertaining.

It was mentioned that the town of Prewitt, New Mexico has a good rodeo. I've seen their rodeo grounds from Interstate 40. Prewitt is about 28 miles from Jamestown.

There is a website, Rodeos USA, that has a calendar and email newsletter of upcoming rodeos. They haven't put up the 2019 schedule as yet.

They can be reached at https://rodeosusa.com/

Hawaii Visitor Spending On The Rise

Above, a view of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The recent hurricanes and eruptions of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii doesn't seem to have hurt visitor spending in the Hawaiian Islands as spending grew 6.4% in September over a year ago.

According to eTurboNews:
Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.28 billion in September 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). 
Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+2.5% to $460.2 million), U.S. East (+7.9% to $297.3 million) and All Other International Markets (+20.5% to $297.9 million) in September, while spending by visitors from Canada ($43 million) was virtually unchanged from last year. Spending by visitors from Japan declined (-4.1% to $179.9 million) year-over-year.

To read more, go here

What To See In Japan

Above, the Wako department store in Ginza with its winter lighting. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Over the years, I have blogged about things to see and do in Japan, some are repeats, but they are worth visiting and doing. As in many things in life, different visitors have different opinions on things to see. 

The latest is from The MiceTimes of Asia. They have posted an article with some tips for tourists on what things to see in Japan.

They begin with (in part):
Japan is a country with many faces, changeable as the seasons of the year. Here, pieced together thousands of years of tradition, modern technology and fantastic mix of different Asian cultures in one way or another influenced our perception of life. Says Yoshiko Oshima. 
If you want to go to Japan, plan your trip for spring travel brochures don’t cheat, it really is a fabulously beautiful season, especially during cherry blossom, or Sakura, as we call it. One of the downright obligatory entertainment for the locals at this time of the year – a romantic or a family picnic under the trees strewn with white flowers, when not in a hurry and enjoy the charm of the moment.

To read more (and see photos), go here

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wet and Cold Tonight

Above, storm clouds over Jamestown. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After several days of comfortable weather, we're headed into some turbulence.

Right now, a thunderstorm has moved into the area with sporadic showers. More is slated to be coming tonight. It's also going to be cold tonight with a chance of snow showers.

Above, the storm clouds. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since it's thundering out, maybe I'll watch Son of Frankenstein tonight.

According to the U.S. Weather Service:

This AfternoonA 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 53. West wind around 15 mph.
TonightRain before midnight, then a chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Low around 30. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
WednesdaySunny, with a high near 44. North wind 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday NightMostly clear, with a low around 23. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the evening.
ThursdaySunny, with a high near 51. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday NightMostly clear, with a low around 28.

I Voted!

Above, yours truly back home after voting.

Since I will be busy on Election Day next Tuesday, I took advantage of New Mexico's early voting.

After our usual morning gathering of Jamestown neighbors at the Denny's in the Flying J, I headed into Gallup to vote at the McKinley County Courthouse.

Inside the courthouse rotunda, voting booths were set up. Thanks to modern technology (and me bringing my voter card with a barcode), the poll workers were able to get me a ballot within seconds.

The barcode on my voter card has all of my address and precinct information. Nice and convenient!

Red Wave!

A 1960s Halloween Tradition

Above, a publicity still of Abbott and Costello with the monsters.

Since tomorrow is Halloween, I thought I would recount a tradition that took place every year on Halloween in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

Back before the local news gobbled up air time, the CBS affiliate in L.A., KNXT Channel 2 (now KCBS), had late afternoon movies starting at 4:00 called The Early Show.

Above, the Monster with Bud and Lou in another publicity still.

Each Halloween, The Early Show broadcast the 1948 comedy-horror classic, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. This movie marked the final appearance of Universal's classic monsters: Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange), Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.). It also featured a "cameo" of the Invisible Man (Vincent Price). Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was the perfect way to have Halloween dinner before going out trick or treating for kids.

This annual Halloween tradition went on for many years in the 1960s until the expanded local news broadcasts eliminated The Early Show. It was fun while it lasted.

Above, a display of Bud and Lou with the Monster
 at a Monsterpalooza show. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Interestingly, while the movie was first released on June 15, 1948, a sneak preview of the movie was held in (nearby to me) Inglewood, California at the Academy Theater on May 18, 1948.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was the final movie Bela Lugosi appeared in for a major movie studio.

Above, the Academy Theater in Inglewood in the 1940s. 

My mother told me that she and a friend saw it at a theater during its release.

Route 66 Sign

Above, the Route 66 sign I bought at the Bluewater Outpost. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

On the way home from Albuquerque yesterday, I had to stop to get something to eat so I can take my morning medications.

The place I stopped at was Bowlin's Bluewater Outpost (or Bluewater Travel Center) in Bluewater, New Mexico off of Interstate 40. Bluewater is about 36 miles from home.

Although I've passed it several times, this was the first time I've stopped in. Inside, is a Dairy Queen and a big gift shop which, I found, had reasonable prices on their gift selections.

I browsed around and saw many items to buy if I had plenty of table or shelf space, which I don't. I did need to fill a wall space next to my copy (a reproduction) of the historic Roswell Record front page of 1947 of the capture of the crashed flying saucer.

I found a wooden Route 66 sign for $18 that would work perfectly. So I bought it.

For Bowlin's Bluewater Outpost's website, go here

National Parks Well Represented In Volcanic Threats List

Above, Lassen Peak (No. 11 overall, very high threat). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The U.S. Geological Survey has compiled a list of volcanic threats and many of them are in the national park system.

According to the National Park Traveler:
Have you visited Hawai'i National Park and gotten close to the Kīlauea Volcano, enjoyed Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park, climbed to the top of Lassen Peak in its namesake park, or hiked down to Crater Lake? If so, you've placed yourself in the midst of some of the country's most dangerous volcanoes in terms of the threats they pose, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 
The latest U.S. Geological Survey National Volcanic Threat Assessment, an update to the 2005 assessment, places volcanoes into five threat categories: very low, low, moderate, high, and very high.

The list includes:

Surprisingly, Crater Lake National Park is on the list as a "very high threat" at number 17.

To read more, go here

Monday, October 29, 2018

Short Albuquerque Trek

Above, a jackalope on display at the Bluewater Outpost. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

My little trip to Albuquerque was enjoyable. As usual (when I'm in town), I stayed at the Route 66 RV Resort.

Upon arrival, I went to my usual haircutter to get a long-needed haircut. I was lucky that she was working on Sunday. Otherwise, I would have gone today instead.

The weather was nice as the temperatures were in the 70s.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the Albuquerque Fox television station at the RV park. So I was relegated to listening to the game on radio. There is a high hill that separates the RV park from Albuquerque. Apparently, it blocks the signal on some stations.

Above, The Beast at the Route 66 RV Resort. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

While in town, I also checked with the local Ford dealer about repairs to the dash air conditioning system that has a persistent vacuum leak. They said that they would need to have The Beast there for a week to simulate the problem and isolate it to repair it. I will wait until the spring months to get it done.

I did treat myself to a prime rib dinner at the Thunder Road Steakhouse & Cantina at the Route 66 Casino last night. This was the first time I've had a prime rib dinner since the July heart attack. It is hardly a meal prescribed by my cardiologist, but things done in moderation are okay. I will have to strictly stick to my diet for the rest of this week.

Above, at the Thunder Road Steakhouse & Cantina. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

On the way home, I had to stop to get something to eat so I could take my morning meds. I stopped at the Bluewater Outpost in Bluewater Village and got some Pop Tarts. While there, I browsed around the gift shop and found that they had a lot of interesting curios at very reasonable prices. I picked up a nice "Get Your Kicks On Route 66" sign for under $20.

I made it to Jamestown right on time to join the usual Jamestown gang at Denny's in the Flying J.

The new phone's camera worked great as all of these photos were taken with it.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Albuquerque Tonight

Above, The Beast at the Route 66 RV Resort last March. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Well, things didn't work out too great for the Dodgers last night as they blew a 4 to 0 lead and lost the game (number 4) 9 to 6. The Red Sox only need one more win to be World Series champions. The Sox are one tough team.

I did learn one thing last night: Don't run the dishwasher while the television is on. When I started the dishwasher, its interference caused the television to pixelate and lose sound. It cleared up when I shut the dishwasher off.

After the game, I resumed the dish washing.

I will be in Albuquerque tonight, so I will watch the Game 5 there. I have some things to take care of while in town.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

New Phone

After nearly three years since I bought it (December 2015), my old Samsung Galaxy Core Prime phone was nearing its demise. It has started to act erratically, besides re-booting itself and taking forever to boot back up about twice a day. I need a reliable phone, especially since my heart attack back in July.

I headed to the T-Mobile store at the mall in Gallup and decided on a Samsung Galaxy S9. To me, one phone is pretty much like the other.

Everything of importance (along with non-important stuff) was tranferred to the new phone from the old one.

All I had to do was to add a few apps that I use (such as Whatsapp) to the new phone. I just need to get used to the new phone.

So far, I am pleased with it.

Chaos At Interstate 40

Above, the eastbound off ramp. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The temporary traffic control system is more haywire than ever at the on-ramps to Interstate 40 in New Mexico.

Above, heading westbound back to our exit on I-40. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Several of us were stuck waiting for the traffic signal to turn green for us. It did, several times but slowpoke truckers and construction project trucks took their time crossing the single lane bridge right through our green light. Sometimes, the sequence of the signal bypassed our side completely!

Above, almost at our exit. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After waiting for over 20 minutes, I managed to get out of line and get to the on-ramp to go east on I-40 to go to the next off-ramp in Coolidge, five miles away, and turn around and get off at our exit to get to the Flying J.

As I was heading on the on-ramp to go east, I notice that one semi truck was stopped northbound on the bridge and 3-4 semi trucks were stopped facing south. The whole bridge was blocked.

At the time I made it to the our off-ramp, our group members were just finally crossing the bridge. This was about 30 minutes after we all arrived at the bridge to begin with.

Insert Charlton Heston's "It's a madhouse!" screams here!

New Democrat Campaign "Ad"

Happy Birthday, Lara Parker!

Above, Lara Parker at a Dark Shadows Festival
 in the late-1990s. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


I just read a Facebook post by the Dark Shadows News Page. It said that actress Lara Parker is celebrating her 80th birthday today. Yes, our Angelique is 80 today.

Then I stopped to think, "Well Dark Shadows originally aired 50 years ago."

Well, I guess growing old(er) is better than the alternative!

Happy Birthday, Lara Parker!

Ex-Flying J President Going To Jail

.Above, the Flying J in Jamestown, New Mexico. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Regular readers of this blog know that where I live in New Mexico, the main "hangout" for the locals here is the Flying J just down the hill from our community.

I was reading the latest edition of the RV Travel online newsletter when I saw the following story. This is the first I have heard of it.

It reads:
Former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood is set to begin serving a 12 1/2 year sentence for cheating trucking customers out of millions of dollars at the diesel pump.   
His lawyers asked earlier this week for the court to postpone his sentence to begin after Christmas, so he could spend the holiday with his family. They cited their client’s “devout” Christian faith and sense of “family values” as grounds for letting him open presents at home with his family. 
The court said, nope, you’ll be spending your Christmas in a jail cell.

To read more, go here

What A Game!

Above, watching Game 3. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It appears that I straightened out my television just in the nick of time to watch one hell of a baseball game.

When I set up my television set months ago, I thought everything was all in order. Since I am in a very rural area, I thought all the on-air stations I could get were three. Then a couple of days ago, I was talking with one of my neighbors and he suggested getting a signal booster.

There are two kinds, one for powered antennas and one for non-powered antennas. I forgot what mine was and I went to check it a couple of days ago. It is a powered one. But what I discovered was that it wasn't plugged in! So I plugged it in (I was out of outlets and needed an extension cord, luckily I had one) and got more stations, including Fox New Mexico!

So, last night, I joyfully watched the World Series.

The Dodgers finally won Game 3 of the 2018 World Series in 18 innings!

I went to bed during the 13th inning but listened for another inning. But it was a gigantic nail-biter!

What a game!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Today's Walk

Above, the living room as I was heading out the door. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This afternoon, I took one of my exercise strolls around the property. As usual, I had a camera with me.

The fall colors of the crab apple tree in front of the house is more pronounced as are the two oak trees (at least, that's what I'm told they are) in front of the yard fence.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

Above, the front of the house framed by the crab apple tree at right. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

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

Above, the house from the front of the "Barking Spider" acre. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the two oak trees in front. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the GOCO Beast Barn. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the GOCO Beast Barn from the road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

News From Graceland

Celebrate '68 Special Anniversary with Box Set
The 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's groundbreaking 1968 special will be commemorated with the release of a deluxe box set on November 30. "Elvis Presley – '68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)" is the definitive chronicle of one of the greatest rock 'n' roll performances ever televised. For the first time ever, all previously-released audio and newly-restored video from the taping of the special will be available in one package – including unused performances and studio outtakes that spotlight the real Elvis. Fans who pre-order"’68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)" from Shop Graceland will receive an exclusive gift with purchase: a ’68 Comeback Special 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Coin (while supplies last).
Pre-Order Now
Graceland Lights Up for Christmas on November 15
The king's castle will light up for the holiday season with the annual Lighting Ceremony on November 15! Country stars Scotty McCreery and Marty Stuart will flip the switch on Graceland's lights, followed by a special performance by McCreery. Immediately following the ceremony, we'll celebrate the world premiere of the new Hallmark Original Movie, "Christmas at Graceland." Director Eric Close and star Wes Brown will be on hand for the premiere. The movie will air exclusively on the Hallmark Channel on November 17. The Lighting is free and open to the public. The "Christmas at Graceland" premiere is a by-invitation, ticketed event, however complimentary tickets will be made available that night at the door, based on availability.
Get the Details
Holiday Concert Weekend Features Music, Archives Presentation, More
Join us for an expanded Holiday Concert Weekend on December 14-15! The weekend features three concerts that celebrate Elvis, his favorite holiday tunes, his gospel music and his biggest rock 'n' roll hits. Guitarist James Burton of Elvis' TCB Band will perform at the weekend's rock 'n' roll concert. In addition to the concerts, guests can attend Christmas tips, tricks and crafts seminars, explore two newly expanded exhibits at Elvis Presley's Memphis and learn more about "Christmas at Graceland" with a special Graceland Archives presentation. Tickets and hotel packages are available now!
Learn More

Roswell: 20 Alien Encounters

Above, businesses in Roswell "jumped on the alien bandwagon" with alien figures. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Back in July 1947, it was reported that an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) (or flying saucer) had crashed in the grazing lands near Roswell, New Mexico.

Whether it was actually a UFO or, as the government claims, a crashed balloon, it doesn't really matter. The town of Roswell has embraced the famous story.

TravelPulse has posted a pictorial of "20 Alien Encounters In Roswell, N.M."

I visited Roswell in July during their annual UFO Festival and it truly is a fun place to visit.

TravelPulse begins their pictorial with:
Welcome to Roswell! 
Famous for it's alleged 1947 UFO crash, the entire town of Roswell, New Mexico has really taken to the famed event. Here are 20 of the best alien encounters you can experience in the city.

To see the photos, go here.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fake Bomb For Fake News!

Well, well, well! I knew there was something fishy about all this bomb stuff with the Democrats and their media running dogs.

Chicks On The Right reported:

"Yup. They weren’t bombs. They were ridiculous cries for attention."
The pipe bomb and white powder that forced an evacuation at CNN headquarters in New York City Wednesday morning were harmless, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press. 
The purported explosive device was similar in construction to those sent Wednesday to former President Barack Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D., Fla.), and Representative Maxine Waters of California. A package containing white powder was delivered later in the day. 
The NYPD said the explosive devices were live during a Wednesday afternoon press conference but subsequent reporting suggests they were not functional.

To read more, go here

Bernard Kerik Walks Off CNN When They Politicized Mail Bombs

Nothing will ever stop CNN (Counterfeit News Network) from bashing President Trump or play politics with news events.

The latest happened last night.

Breitbart reported:
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Breitbart News Tonight Wednesday evening that he had walked off a CNN set earlier in the day because the network had politicized its coverage of mail bombs sent to top Democratic Party figures. 
Kerik, who led the New York Police Department (NYPD) during the 9/11 terror attacks, told hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak that he had pulled out his microphone and earpiece and walked off the set minutes before a scheduled live panel discussion regarding the mail bombs. 
Kerik recalled, “I was scheduled to be on CNN. We were supposed to talk about the investigation and seizure of these devices, and right in the beginning of the set, they suspended us and they went to John Brennan, who was somewhere speaking … and then he went on a 10-minute rant about the president.” 
He added, “As somebody that led through the worst terror attack in our country’s history, and knows how important unity is, especially on a day like today, in the aftermath of this, I just found it appalling that CNN would use this time to let this guy go on this political rant about the president, and I walked off. I took off the earpiece and the mic and I left. I can’t stand it. It just turns my stomach what these people are doing, and it’s wrong.”

To read more, go here

Is The Japan Rail Pass Worth It?

Above, a shinkansen arrives at Atami Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

People planning a trip to Japan often wonder if they should get a Japan Rail Pass.

It depends if one is just going to hang out in Tokyo and, maybe, visit some close-by places such as Kamakura or Yokohama or go further to places as Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka or Sendai.

Three years ago, we traveled from Tokyo to Atami and, from there, to Kyoto and Osaka. I bought the seven-day Japan Rail Pass for the trip and saved money. We also used it for commuter trains to go back and forth between Kyoto and Osaka.

Above, a JR Yamanote Line train in Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since the Rail Pass was still valid after returning to Tokyo, we used it for some commutes within the city. It can be used for the JR Yamanote trains, for example.

Kyo Tours Japan has an article that explains how the Japan Rail Pass will save visitors money and won't.

They begin with:
Questions about the Japan Rail Pass come up all the time when communicating with guests during the planning phase of their Japan vacation. The Rail Pass is a fairly well publicized element of Japan travel, but it can be a bit daunting when trying to figure out travel plans and rail prices in Japan. 
So is the Rail Pass worth it? That depends on a number of factors: the route that you’ll be taking through the country, where you’ll be flying in and out of, and how long you’ll be here. However, it’s almost always a worthwhile investment. Here are some tips, info, and sample itineraries that lay out the exact nature of the savings that can be had if you opt for the Rail Pass.

To read more, go here

Search This Blog