"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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Sunday, March 31, 2019

RV Uses of Bungee Cords

Above, bungee cords I purchased at Harbor Freight. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Bungee cords are very useful in RVs. I use them to keep my RV door open (I have a screen door) for fresh air to come in.

There are other uses for them and Do It Yourself RV has an article on eight ways of using them in RVs.

They begin with:
Bungee cords are very useful around the RV.  They can secure items from moving while you’re driving and easily create more storage space.  Plus, the cords are available in a wide variety of lengths and they’re generally inexpensive. 
These are eight of the many ways you can use the elastic cords around your home-on-wheels.

To see what they are, go here

Two Good NM Democrats

It is a rare thing these days to see any Democrat lawmaker buck the party on issues. There are a couple (likely more) who deserve a note of recognition and Cibola County Commissioner Robert Scott Windhorst has posted about them.

He wrote:
There was an article that criticized NM State Senator's Clemente Sanchez and George K. Munoz for some of the most liberal bills in this past Legislative Session not passing. The Albuquerque Journal was most unkind in their judgements of these two men. Though I am a republican, and they are both democrats, they earned my respect for standing. Against HB 51 for abortion and six bad gun bills. They also understood that there were bad bills that would hurt businesses throughout New Mexico and voted against them. Politics should be doing what is best for everyone. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I thank both of these Senators for their courage to do what is right in the midst of great pushback and liberal political pressure. The Albuquerque Journal is an example of what holds New Mexico back and keeps up at #49! They owe these State Senators an apology!
Above, Senators Sanchez and Munoz. Facebook photo posted by Robert Scott Windhorst.

Senator Munoz is the state senator for my area and I did email him opposing the "Red Flag gun confiscation" bill. I haven't heard back from him but I am pleased that he voted against it and it was defeated. My thanks goes out to both men.

Here We Go Again!

Above, storm clouds from ten days ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like we're going to get some precipitation today and tonight.

The mild weather (if you want to call 60° and windy mild) is over for a little bit and rain and possible snow showers are moving in. It was nice enough yesterday for me to take a stroll around the Gallup Flea Market.

At least the precipitation will wet down the pollen to an extent.

According to the National Weather Service:

Rain and snow showers likely after noon. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Isolated snow showers before midnight. Mostly clear, with a low around 23. North wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

California's anti-gunners received a major defeat when a federal judge ruled that California's gun magazine limit is unconstitutional.

The NRA-ILA reported:
In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment. 
The case is Duncan v. Becerra
The NRA-supported case had already been up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the question of whether the law’s enforcement should be suspended during proceedings on its constitutionality. Last July, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Benitez’s suspension of enforcement and sent the case back to him for further proceedings on the merits of the law itself.  
Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared.  

To read more, go here

Total Exoneration Dance

Friday, March 29, 2019

Today's Conference Call With Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Robert Scott Windhorst, Cibola County Commissioner, District 4 and Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Grants took part in the conference call with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today.

He posted a report on Facebook on how the conference call went.

He wrote:
Our conference call with the Governor and State AG was very cordial. The President of the Association of Counties asked questions and the Governor and State AG answered them. Hector Balderas did admit that; "Each County Sheriff has the discretion to enforce any law, or not." 
The Governor talked about her plan for public safety, but did not mention border safety or security. I could tell she had a bad taste in her mouth because of the "Rogue Sheriffs" throughout the State and for the "misunderstanding" of the gun laws because of NRA propaganda. She also spoke about the misunderstanding of her position on coal and oil. It was obvious that her position was changed after the election when she saw how much oil, gas, and coal bring into the State every year. 
There was no mention of forcing Counties to rescind their Second Amendment status. Cibola County wouldn't do it anyways. 
The President of the Association of Counties told the Governor four times that Commissioners throughout the State wanted the Governor to meet with the 29 Sheriffs and work together to come up with common sensed laws to protect citizens. Chairman Torrez, Sheriff Mace, and myself were present at the phone conference. Channel 7 did an interview with me and the Sheriff that will be aired tonight. We must continue to be vigilant in protecting our Constitutional rights.
Thanks to Commissioner Windhorst for his report on today's conference call. He is right, we must continue to be vigilant in protecting our Constitutional rights.

New Jamestown Subdivision

Above, the new subdivision's sign. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today, I decided to do some exploring. There is a new subdivision next to ours (Whispering Cedars) that is going up to the east.

Above, Whispering Cedars subdivision is in the far background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is called Mesa Ridge Ranch. There's no homes there yet, but I understand that three lots have been sold. It's current state is probably what our subdivision looked like before homes went in.

Above, the sign near the freeway off-ramp indicating land is for sale. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Most of the side roads have been put in and there are some street signs. Each lot is marked with a lot number and (I'm guessing) how many acres each one contains. It is smaller than ours (we have about 100 residential lots).

Above, the sign indicating that this is Lot 15. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I decided that I would explore it after I got the Mustang back. The Beast would have been fine with the interior roads, but I wasn't about to take any chances.

Above, the mesas across the valley from Mesa Ridge Ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The main road into Mesa Ridge Ranch is called Maverick Road. There are signs indicating that it is horse country.

Above, street name and horse signs. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Supposedly, there is an old abandoned western movie set beyond the locked back gate of the subdivision. I checked online, but haven't found any references to it.

Want to buy some land to build a home on? To access their website, go here.

Gov. Grisham To Threaten NM "Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties"?

Above, Sheriff Tony Mace of Cibola County, New Mexico.

It is rumored that the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, may plan to threaten counties who have passed "Second Amendment Sactuary County" resolutions with withholding of capital outlays. She is planning to have a conference call with county commissioners today.

From Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace:
Our commissioners are solid on this issue but the public needs to know the tactics that are being used to suppress our voice! And continue to attack our constitutional rights!!
URGENT! The Governor has scheduled a conference call with all County Commission Chairs/V. Chairs at 2:00 pm on Friday. All counties who passed 2A Sanctuary Resolutions will be asked to Rescind or have capital outlay vetoed? Start calling your commissioners!

It is interesting to note that when President Trump planned to withhold funds from states and municipalities over sanctuary status on illegal immigration, the liberals wailed like gut pigs, calling it governmental oppression and abuse.

New Mexico residents: contact your county commissioners and tell them you back them and your sheriffs and not the strong-arm tacticts of the governor!



KOAT reported that the conference call was a "make-nice" session. According to the report, the governor did not ask the counties to rescind their 2A resolutions. Although the session was a positive first, but ginger, step, none of the commissioners were allowed to ask questions.

2919 New Mexico Rodeos

Above, from the 2018 Lion's Club Rodeo in Gallup. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday, I received the monthly newspaper, Enchantment, from the New Mexico Electric Cooperatives. It contains articles of events, people and other things of interest (including classified ads).

In this issue, was an article on New Mexico rodeos along with a schedule of them. I scanned the schedule and posted it below. Some, like the Gallup Lion's Club Rodeo, aren't listed.

Last year, I attended several rodeos and am looking forward to attending them again this year.

Cool Down Weather

Above, yesterday's view. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like we're done (at least for now) with the nice warm weather we've been having for the past few days.

The temperatures have been around the upper 60s and into the lower 70s. But now, winds are kicking up and the temperature has dropped down into the upper 50s. And, we may get rain or snow showers on Sunday.

The latest from the National Weather Service:

Sunny, with a high near 58. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 24. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 25 mph becoming north 5 to 10 mph after midnight.
Sunny, with a high near 57. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. West wind 10 to 15 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 49. Southeast wind around 15 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Repairs To USS Arizona Memorial Dock To Be Completed "By Fall"

Above, the USS Arizona Memorial. Photo by Aramnd Vaquer.

Visitors to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii will have to settle for a boat cruise-by of the USS Arizona Memorial this summer as repairs to the memorial's dock won't be competed until fall.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
The National Park Service said today it has awarded a $2.1 million contract for repairs to a faulty USS Arizona Memorial dock that should be completed “by fall” in time for the next Dec. 7, 1941, remembrance. 
However, that means there will be no walk-on visitation through the busy summer season. 
The park service provided the caveat that repairs are projected to be completed by fall provided no additional complications arise during construction. 
Several deadlines to reopen the memorial have come and gone since walk-on visitation was halted last May to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.

To read more, go here

Tokyo To Osaka, Fastest and Cheapest Ways of Getting There

Above, a view of the Former Headquarters of 4th Division of Imperial Japanese Army from Osaka Castle. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If one happens to be in Japan on vacation and is also a foodie, Osaka is the place to visit.

Of course, Osaka was featured in Godzilla Raids Again (1955) and in Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), which is reason enough for kaiju fans to want to visit the city.

There are several ways to getting to Osaka and Tokyo Cheapo has an article on the fastest and creative ways to get there from Tokyo.

They begin with:
Osaka: cheaper, dirtier and a whole lot friendlier than Tokyo. A vibey city of 2.7 million, it’s bigger than neighboring Kyoto and also more down to earth. Osaka, a port city, was once the business hub of Japan, with merchants from all over selling their wares and serving up good grub. The food culture prevails—Osaka is known as the kitchen of the country. Whether you’re heading from Tokyo to Osaka to chow down, check out Universal Studios Japan, or you’re on a secret mission, here are the fastest and cheapest ways of getting there.

To read more, go here

National Park Week 2019

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

It's another year and coming up is another "National Park Week".

It starts on April 20 with an entrance "fee-free day" and goes through April 28.

According to the Sierra Sun Times:
March 28, 2019 - WASHINGTON - National Park Week, running from April 20 through 28, has something for everyone! Join the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for nine days of fun, including National Junior Ranger Day and National BARK Ranger Day. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org for more information and a list of special events. 
“National parks are sources of inspiration, recreation, and education for everyone,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “During National Park Week, a wide variety of creative programs and events across the country will showcase these amazing places and encourage everyone to visit a park.” 
Park visitors can go on ranger-led hikes through hoodoos, prairies, caves, redwoods, wetlands, and sand dunes. There will be free guided tours of lighthouses, pueblos, battlefields, historic ships, forts, presidential homes, lower Manhattan, the French Quarter, and even a Nike missile site. Narrated bike, boat, train, and wagon rides are available. And it’s a great time to try out a new hobby such as bird watching, star gazing, painting, yoga, basket weaving, or hula dancing. 
National Park Week begins with an entrance fee-free day on Saturday, April 20. One of five fee-free days scheduled in 2019, April 20 is also National Junior Ranger Day. Almost every park will have booklets for kids loaded with activities that can be completed to earn a Junior Ranger badge.

To read more, go here

6 Best Rest Areas In The U.S.

Above, Meteor Crater in Arizona, definitely not a "short walk" from one of the mentioned rest areas. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Most everyone has stopped at a roadside rest area at one time or another. Some rest areas are better than others.

Do It Yourself RV has an article of the "6 Best Rest Areas In The U.S. One of them is a rest area in Arizona on Interstate 40 that I've been to. But they wrote something about it that is so ludicrous and I just had to respond.

I wrote the following comment:
The rest area on I-40 in Arizona is not exactly a "short walk" to Meteor Crater as your article states. It is several miles east of the turnoff to Meteor Crater and Meteor Crater is several miles south of I-40. Granted, it is a nice rest area, but I wouldn't advise walking to Meteor Crater from it, especially during the hot summer months.

Other than that, it is an interesting article.

They began it with:
Rest areas are the Star Trek equivalent of coming out of warp speed. They give you a chance to slow down and pull over to experience a small part of your current location. 
Rest areas and rest stops run the gamut from travel plazas for truck drivers to stores and restaurants that cater directly to RVers. These stops usually have amenities such as dump stations, water, and travel information. In addition, they can have souvenir shops and other tourist attractions. 
The rest stops that are more commonly seen on the side of an interstate or major highway are government stops regulated by the state’s Department of Transportation. 
These stops are usually located in rural areas far from city services and are normally a basic parking lot where drivers can pull over to rest, use cell phones, and go to a bathroom. 
Some of these rest areas are better than others and allow for a several hour snooze or even overnight stops. These stops also have excellent bathrooms, picnic tables, maps of the area, and snack or water dispensers. 
With nearly 2,900 rest stops in the U.S., there are bound to be a few that are worth putting on the brakes for. These 6 rest stops have a little extra something for RVers.

To read more, go here

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New Mexico Sheriffs Should Tell The Brady Center To Go To Hell

The anti-Second Amendment group, The Brady Center, has requeted emails from New Mexico sheriffs on their opposition to new gun control laws in this year's legislative session.

AP News reported:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A nonprofit that pushes for gun-control laws nationwide sent letters Wednesday to numerous New Mexico sheriffs, asking them to provide records related to their coordinated stance against gun-control laws that they do not plan to enforce. 
The Brady Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, said it requested emails from the sheriffs under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act, with demands for emailed communication among sheriffs and gun-lobby representatives. 
Attorney Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center said his group is seeking the emails to learn “what possible basis” the sheriffs have for declaring they won’t enforce the laws. Brady also wants to obtain any communication the law enforcement officials had with the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups.

Well, since The Brady Center is not a part of New Mexico, they have no business demanding records from New Mexico sheriffs. I'd tell them to go to hell. The law they cite appears to only apply to the NM Secretary of State, not every agency or public official.

To read more, go here

Albuquerque Today

Above, while waiting for Supercuts to open, I took this shot of a
hot-air balloon passing by the morning sun. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This morning, I took a little (if you want to call a 240 mile round trip "little") jaunt to Albuquerque.

One of the things I went there to do is to get at haircut with my usual haircutter Michelle. As always, she did a great job and fixed up the mess that the barber in Gallup did a couple of months ago.

Above, a view of the balloons from the front of Cracker Barrel. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Normally, I would take The Beast and spend the night at the Route 66 Casino RV Resort. But, this time, I decided to take the Mustang instead. It performed well. It ran great and handled equally great with its new tires and alignment. But, the seat is not as comfortable as the driver's seat in The Beast. I am a bit tired from the trek and have a few aches and pains. I felt my age today once I got home.

But after a few hours relaxing, I feel okay again.

As I came over a hill into the outskirts of Albuquerque, my attention was immediately drawn to four hot-air balloons in the morning haze over the city.

Above, I was seated near the fireplace at Cracker Barrel. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After getting into Albuquerque, I treated myself to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Coors Blvd. After getting out of the car, I took a photo of the balloons in the distance. I was given a good table near the fireplace.

After breakfast, I went over to Supercuts. I got there about five minutes before they opened and spent the time waiting for them to open by watching the balloons.

Above, this balloon was heading in my direction as I waited for Supercuts to open. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After getting the haircut, I headed over to the nearby Walmart and did some shopping. When I finished that, I headed to I-40 and drove on home, with one pit stop at the Sky City Casino Travel Center.

In future forays to Albuquerque, I'll take The Beast and just stay overnight like had been doing. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Biggest Tyrannosaurus Rex Discovered

Above, a tyrannosaur skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh. Photo by ScottRobertAnselmo.

Here's one for you dinosaur fans!

The biggest tyrannosaurus rex had been discovered in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1991. More details on the creature has been revealed in an article from National Geographic.

They wrote:
A fossil site in Canada has yielded the heaviest Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found—an animal that weighed an estimated 19,500 pounds in life, far heftier than most elephants alive today. 
The dinosaur, unveiled last week in The Anatomical Record, consists of a skeleton that's about 65 percent complete, including the skull and hips along with some of its ribs, leg bones, and tail bones. Nicknamed “Scotty,” the tyrannosaur was a senior by this species' standards, making it to at least the age of 28. 
Some 68 million years ago, the Canadian landscape Scotty knew was a subtropical coastal paradise—but life was no vacation. The dinosaur's remains include a broken and healed rib, a massive growth of bone in between two teeth—a sign of infection—and broken tailbones possibly maimed by another tyrannosaur's bite.
To read more, go here

Spring Temperatures Have Arrived

Above, the ol' homestead today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Spring has finally sprung in New Mexico.

Today, the temperature is forecast to reach 70° here in Jamestown. It is currently 66° outside.

Some of my neighbors are taking walks while others are working outside. For me, I just sat out one the deck under the umbrella listening to the radio and having some ice tea.

The warm weather is expected to last for the next two days with a 20% chance of rain coming on Saturday.

The trees on the property are beginning to bud. It won't be long before the crabapple tree in front will be a brilliant red.

This is a nice change from all those cold temperatures and snow we received during the winter.

Fastest and Cheapest Way To Get To Kyoto From Tokyo

Above, JR Kyoto Station, where Gamera and Irys had their final battle in Gamera 3. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of the most interesting cities in Japan is its ancient capital, Kyoto.

For those who have never been to Kyoto, it should be included in all Japan travel itineraries. There are many ways to get to Kyoto (my preference is by shinkansen) and Tokyo Cheapo has an article on them.

They start it with:
Tokyo and Kyoto, along with neighboring Osaka, are usually at the top of the itinerary when you visit Japan. Tokyo is commonly regarded as a hub of modernity, whereas Kyoto is seen as a city of tradition. The distance between the two is roughly 450km, so how do you get from Tokyo to Kyoto? 
There are plenty of ways, and what to choose depends on whether you consider time or cost to be more important. Probably your best bet is getting the amazing-value Japan Rail Pass, especially if you have more than just Tokyo and Kyoto on your itinerary. If it’s just one Tokyo to Kyoto trip, consider getting a discounted round-trip bullet train package. But read on for the full low-down.
Of coure, taking the shinkansen will have visitors arrive at the JR Kyoto Station, where Gamera had the final battle with Irys in Gamera 3 (1999). So right off, kaiju fans will visit a monster movie location.

To read more, go here

Getting To Mount Fuji and Back From Tokyo

Above, a bullet train view of Mount Fuji. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Back in 2004, G-TOUR (of which I was part of) made a trip to Mount Fuji. While in the area, we were bused to one of the Fifth Stations and, later, enjoyed a fireworks festival at Lake Kawaguchi, one of the surrounding lakes.

On the way to the Fifth Station, we made a stop at the mountain's timberline to view the summit.

Above, a view of Mount Fuji's summit from the timberline. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those who are planning a trip to Japan and would like to take a day trip or an overnighter visit to Japan's symbol, Tokyo Cheapo has posted an article on how to get to Mount Fuji and back.

They begin it with:
So you want to see Mount Fuji, that 3,776-meter-high icon of Japan? It’s a volcano, but let’s not think too much about that. Depending on what it is you plan to do there (climbing to the summit or exploring the surrounding lakes, soaking in a hot spring or shopping), your choice of transport is going to differ. Here’s an overview of how you can get from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, in or out of season, looking at the various train and bus options.

To read more, go here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Busy Day

Above, the new glasses. 

Today was spent mostly on the road, or so it seemed, between Jamestown and Gallup. Not once, but twice.

First, I had to be at the hospital for an aortic ultrasound, which required me not to eat or drink anything for six hours before. I was in and out of there within an hour.

Second, after being home for about a couple of hours, my optometrist's office called and said that my new glasses were there. Initially, I told them that I would be there next day. Then, after hanging up, I realized that I was going to go to Albuquerque tomorrow. So I called and told them that I would be there in a half hour.

So, I went back into Gallup and picked up my new glasses. After getting them, I stopped at the Ellis Tanner Trading Company store and did some browsing.

I took care of another bit of business. I called a Ford dealer and made arrangements for them to find what's causing the air conditioning vacuum leak in The Beast. They need it for about a week to diagnose the problem. I will leave it with them during the week I'll be on the cruise to Cuba and pick it up when I get back.

Since my haircutter won't be in tomorrow, I will go to Albuquerque on Wednesday.

Yellowstone: When Bison Attack

Above, bison sunning in a Yellowstone meadow. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Summer vacation season is only a few months away and many people will likely go visit Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone is my favorite national park. There's plenty to see, but there's one thing that people should be mindful of for a safe visit: bison (buffalo) are dangerous.

An article in The Smart Set is one that visitors should read before crossing into the park's entrances.

It begins with:
Before Yellowstone, I never thought about the murderous qualities of buffalo. After Yellowstone, it was all I could think about. 
In the fall of 2007, my then-girlfriend Katelyn and I were on an epic cross-country road trip. Passing through Wyoming, we made a detour to visit America’s oldest national park for a few days. As we drove up to the main gate, we were stopped at a booth by a park ranger in a wide-brimmed hat. “Is this your first visit to Yellowstone?” she asked. 
“It sure is!” I answered. She nodded and handed over a small packet of papers that Katelyn flipped through as we drove into the park. It contained all of the expected materials: a detailed map, a large spread on various wildlife, a leaflet on camping regulations. 
Then Katelyn pulled out a bright yellow flier that made us glance at each other, horrified. It was an illustration of a hapless park visitor, arms and legs outstretched, mouth in a round “O,” being launched into the air by a hulking buffalo. The beast’s sharp horns were inches from the man’s rump. “WARNING! MANY VISITORS HAVE BEEN GORED BY BUFFALO,” the page screamed in bold, capital type, “These animals may appear tame but are wild, unpredictable, and dangerous. DO NOT APPROACH BUFFALO.”
Above, two bison on a hill near a gasoline station in Yellowstone. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is best to observe bison from a safe distance. All my photos of them were with zoom lenses.

To read more, go here

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wasn't What I Planned For Tomorrow

Above, the Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Hospital. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This is going to be rough without my morning coffee tomorrow. I have to be at the Rehoboth Christian Health Care at 8:30 for a 9:00 aortic ultrasound.  
Aortic, Iliac Vena Cava or Renal Artery Stenosis Vascular Ultrasound. Do not eat or drink for six hours before your exam. Take any medications with a sip of water.

Lost Dutchman Chapter, ECV Plaque Dedication August 10 In Gallup, New Mexico

Above, the El Rancho Hotel & Motel in Gallup on Historic Route 66. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I guess this make it official. 

The Lost Dutchman Chapter No. 5917 + 4, E Clampus Vitus announced the plaque dedication coming August 10, in Gallup (NOT Gallop!), New Mexico:

Mid year New Mexico Plaquing coming in Aug 10th 2019 
Gallop New Mexico 
This is not a doin's but a plaque dedication. 
Dedicating El  Rancho Hotel ----------------------------click below for web linkEL Rancho Hotel 
The El Rancho Hotel is the embodiment of America’s Old West. According to author Russell A. Olsen, “As you enter the historic El Rancho through the stately front entry, you immediately realize this was and still is a special place….During its heyday, the El Rancho Hotel was one of the premier hotels in the entire Southwest and became the place for the Hollywood set to stay when filming in the area. The El Rancho Hotel was one of the premier hotels in the entire Southwest and became the place for the Hollywood set to stay when filming in the area

Book your own rooms
While You're In Gallup...

Above, last year's Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Rodeo
 at the Red Rock Park Rodeo Arena. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It should be noted (so I will), that the annual Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial will be held that week (mainly at Red Rock Park but also in downtown Gallup) which includes a rodeo, dances, exhibitions, art, parades and food! So there will be plenty to see and do in Gallup while you're in town for the plaque dedication! Fun for the whole family!

Be there!

This Evening

Above, this evening's sunset. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tonight, our monthly dinner gathering at Martin Link's in Gallup was held.

It was seafood night and we all had plenty of good food. It is just as well, since I have to go into the Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care hospital tomorrow morning for an ultrasound of my aorta. This is just a check-up that will probably take place every six months. Right now, I am stuffed.

I was told that after tonight's dinner, I can't eat or drink anything until the ultrasound is done, which should be at around 9:30. The hardest part is not having my morning coffee. I guess I could stand without it for a few hours.

Above, P.K. (in front of the garage) heading for the food dish on the front porch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of our group owns a cattle ranch and she said she hasn't seen any new calves. She thinks there's been some cattle rustling in the area.

Another topic of discussion was AMTRAK train service from Los Angeles to Gallup. It takes about 13 hours to travel from L.A. to Gallup by train, but it was said that the view and ride is a pleasant one..

After getting home, I took a walk around and saw a beautiful sunset. While I was enjoying the sunset, the stray kitty I feed, P.K., came up the road and headed towards me and proceeded to the food dish on the front porch.

Tips For The Easily Distracted RVer

Above, The Beast at the West Entrance/Yellowstone KOA in Montana. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Many of us are easily distracted or may have forgotten something when hitting the road in the ol' RV. I include myself in this.

But there are ways of minimizing or eliminating those goofs. Thankfully, Do It Yourself RV has some quick tips for those who are easily distracted.

They begin with:
Having an RV means that eventually you will do something not so bright as you prepare to hit the road.  It is not unusual for the average Joe or Jane to back out of a site without first retracting the awning or putting down the antenna. 
The sheer number of things that have to be done prior to departure makes it inevitable that something will get forgotten at some point.  Those of us who are easily distracted find it even more challenging not to make a public spectacle of ourselves as we depart.
Sometimes, the forgotten pre-departure tasks are minor, like leaving the lock open on the little door that conceals the city water hookup. Driving down the interstate you notice it flapping in the wind.  It’s an annoyance, but it’s really no big deal. 
Sometimes those things are less minor, like when you forget to properly tighten a waste hose connection and then dump your black tank.  Fortunately, this is one thing most people don’t forget to do more than once.

Having an RV means that eventually you will do something not so bright as you prepare to hit the road.  It is not unusual for the average Joe or Jane to back out of a site without first retracting the awning or putting down the antenna. 
The sheer number of things that have to be done prior to departure makes it inevitable that something will get forgotten at some point.  Those of us who are easily distracted find it even more challenging not to make a public spectacle of ourselves as we depart.

Sometimes, the forgotten pre-departure tasks are minor, like leaving the lock open on the little door that conceals the city water hookup. Driving down the interstate you notice it flapping in the wind.  It’s an annoyance, but it’s really no big deal.

Sometimes those things are less minor, like when you forget to properly tighten a waste hose connection and then dump your black tank.  Fortunately, this is one thing most people don’t forget to do more than once. 
So what if you want to RV, but you are the type of person who finds yourself attracted to all things bright and shiny?  There is no magical spell to be cast upon you to keep you focused on your pre-departure tasks, but there are strategies that can help ensure you attend to all necessary chores.

To read more, go here

"Dark Command" (1940)

Above, from left, Roy Rogers, Claire Trevor, Walter Pidgeon and John Wayne. Republic Pictures photo.

Last night, I watched for the first time in probably 40 years Dark Command (1940), starring Claire Trevor, Marion Morrison, Walter Pidgeon, Gabby Hayes, Marjorie Main and Leonard Slye. The DVD arrived in the mail yesterday.

Marion Morrison was John Wayne, of course and Leonard Slye was Roy Rogers. This was the only movie Wayne and Rogers appeared together.

According to Wikipedia:
Mary McCloud (Claire Trevor) marries a seemingly peaceful Kansas schoolteacher William Cantrell (Walter Pidgeon), before finding out that he harbors a dark secret. He is actually an outlaw leader who attacks both sides in the Civil War for his own profit. After capturing a wagon loaded with Confederate uniforms, he decides to pass himself off as a Confederate officer. Her naive, idealistic brother Fletcher (Roy Rogers) joins what he believes is a Rebel guerrilla force. Meanwhile, Cantrell's stern, but loving mother (Marjorie Main) refuses to accept any of her son's ill-gotten loot. 
A former suitor of Mary's, Union supporter Bob Seton (John Wayne), is captured by Cantrell and scheduled for execution. After being rescued by a disillusioned Fletcher McCloud, Seton and Mary Cantrell race to the town of Lawrence (site of an actual infamous Quantrill-led massacre) to warn the residents of an impending attack by Cantrell's gang.

It was an entertaining movie loosely based on actual people and events. Pidgeon played a good, slimy villain and it was a treat to see the future Ma Kettle (Marjorie Main). Roy Rogers was pretty young in this movie and he was quite good in this picture. There was none of the "King of the Cowboys" persona evident here. Naturally, Gabby Hayes was good as usual for some comic relief.

Foreign Visitors To Japan Set New Record In 2018

Above, Tokyo Skytree from Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

More visitors are going to Japan each year, and each year a new record in the numbers of foreign visitors increase from the year before.

Travel Agent Central has posted an article on the new record set by Japan and what lies ahead in tourism.

They begin it with:
More than 30 million overseas travelers visited Japan in 2018, an all-time record, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) reports. That represents an 8.7 percent increase over 2017 — the previous record year. Tourism from the United States rose 11 percent, accounting for about 5 percent of all visitors.  
Naohito Ise, the JNTO’s New York-based executive director, said in a written statement that, “American tourism to Japan is expected to continue to rise in 2019 as the country builds up to host major international sporting events,” adding that, “more and more Americans [are] seeking beyond the classic tourism destinations of Tokyo and Kyoto to discover lesser-known parts of the country.” 

To read more, go here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

With Haruo Nakajima Six Years Ago This Week

Above, Haruo Nakajima autographing a fan's movie poster. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Incredible as it may seem, but it was six years ago this week that I was in Charlotte, North Carolina serving as Haruo Nakajima's "wrangler" for the Mad Monster Party convention at the Blake Hotel.

Above, the Haruo Nakjima discussion panel. Photo by Jeff Blanken.

I also was the moderator for a panel featuring Nakajima. I have a lot more respect for others who have served in this capacity at conventions. It was hard to get more questions & answers in as he loved to talk to his fans. Once he received a question, he ran with it! Luckily, we went a little overtime and managed to get more questions in.

He was a joy to hang out with. I am looking forward to seeing his daughter Sonoe this summer at G-FEST.

Alinsky's 8 Levels of Control

Years ago, radical Saul Alinsky published his book, "Rules for Radicals" in which he outlined that leftists should control to create a socialist state.

In a nutshell, here's what they are:

Sound familiar? The useful idiots of the Democrat Party and the media engineering these here now!

Finally Found One!

Above, the wooden carved Indian. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There was a corner in my living room that cried out for something to fill the space.

For the past several months, I had been looking for a carved wooden Indian (commonly known as a "cigar store Indian") that would be perfect for the spot. Up to now, they were either too expensive or, if more reasonably priced, the shipping cost was prohibitive.

However, I found one locally at a Navajo-operated store and it was at a reasonable price.

Above, the perfect location for it. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

CDs In Decline, Vinyl Records On The Rise

Above, an original Thunderball soundtrack album from 1965. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There is one trend in the music industry that I am pleased to see.

And that is the growth of vinyl records. The old analog records have been making a comeback for several years while CDs have been declining and music streaming has been growing.

Above, James Bond soundtrack 45 rpm singles. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Even in Japan, the growth of vinyl has prompted Tower Records in Tokyo's Shinjuku section to dedicate a floor to vinyl records.

News On Japan reported:
Tower Records opened Tower Vinyl on the 10th floor of its Shinjuku store on March 21. The space, once reserved for pop-up events, now houses 70,000 records, according to the company, with more than half being secondhand.
In the U.S., vinyl pressing companies are starting up (along with older pressing companies) and are struggling to meet the rising demand.

According to Arizona Public Media:
Last year, digital music hit a milestone. For the first time ever, it accounted for more than half of global music sales. Music streaming revenues rose more than 40 percent, while sales of physical recordings continued to sink. 
Yet a company in Northern Virginia has just started pressing vinyl records. 
Tucked away in an industrial park in Alexandria, Furnace Record Pressing is the country’s newest record manufacturing facility — and a seemingly batty business idea, if you haven’t paid attention to deeper trends in the music industry lately. 
Despite the overall downturn in physical recordings like CDs, vinyl sales have been on the rise for a decade now, as younger people have begun to discover the richer sound and collectable nature of old-fashioned records. But as the vinyl frenzy caught on, soaring demand quickly created a problem, says Furnace’s owner, Eric Astor. The world’s remaining pressing facilities couldn’t keep up with the crush of new business.
 To read more, go here.

Mueller Report Results

Friday, March 22, 2019

New Zealander UFO Hunting In Roswell

Above, Main Street in Roswell during the 2018 UFO Festival. Note the street light at right. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It seems that Roswell, New Mexico and the Roswell Incident of 1947 is also an international tourist draw.

One such foreign visitor (no, not an alien from outer space) is a travel writer for New Zealand's Newstalk ZB. Writer Mike Yardley recounts his visit to Roswell.

He begins with:
How many visitors would make a beeline to Loch Ness if it wasn’t for Nessie? Probably about as few who would visit dusty little Roswell in the New Mexico desert, if it wasn’t for the alleged UFO crash over 70 years ago. On my recent road-trip in the USA’s Southwest, I went out of my way to stitch the town to my travelling schedule, lured by one of the world’s greatest modern-day mysteries. The alleged crash-landing of a UFO with aliens aboard. Incidentally, Roswell’s only other claim to fame is that it was home to the bombing unit that dropped the nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – hardly a crowd-puller. On the 350km drive from Albuquerque to Roswell, there’s little to arouse much interest en-route, aside from stopping over at Fort Sumner. 
It’s home to Billy the Kid’s gravesite, a legendary teenage outlaw of the Old West, who was fatally shot here in 1881. His tombstone has been heavily secured within a steel cage to stop attempted thefts. It adjoins the historic military site of the Bosque Redondo reservation, where thousands of Navajo and Mescalero Apache were forcibly relocated from their homelands and interred. The Navajo refer to their relocation to the Bosque Redondo as the Long Walk, with hundreds of Navajos dying along the way. After reflecting on history’s deep stain, it was full steam ahead for my alien pilgrimage.

To read more, go here

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