"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, June 30, 2019

Light Rain But Warm

Above, monsoon clouds over the area this evening. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Monsoon clouds rolled into the area this afternoon and have been lingering. They've been providing some light rain, which we can use.

We're expected to have scattered thunderstorms this evening. So far, I haven't heard any thunder or seen any lightning. This is a nice finish for the last day of June.

This will be the pattern through tomorrow.

Since I had laundry and other things to do, I stayed indoors today and enjoyed the swamp cooler since it was still warm.

According to the National Weather Service:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. South wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday Night
Isolated showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Adohr Milkmaid and Cow Statue

During the early 20th century, Adohr Farms (Adohr is Rhoda spelled backwards) had a big dairy farm not far from where I used to live in Tarzana, California. It was located at Ventura Blvd. and Lindley Ave.

They also had a creamery located in West Los Angeles. For about 40 years, the creamery on La Cienega Blvd. and 18th Street had a statue of the "Adohr Milkmaid and Cow" that as commissioned in the 1920s. It is the largest statue of its type. When the place was sold and demolished around 1969, the statue was saved and moved to Morningstar Foods' Tulare plant, now owned by Saputo Dairy Foods.

It has since been restored and stands at 620 N. J St., Tulare, CA.

The statue first caught my attention several years ago when I saw a vintage photo of it at the Tarzana Wells Fargo Bank. I am pleased to see that the statue had been saved.

For more on its current location, go here.

Arden Farms In Los Angeles

Above, Arden Farms at 1900 W. Slauson Av., Los Angeles circa 1930s.

Kids of the baby boomer generation (post-World War II) growing up in Los Angeles were most likely very familiar with Arden Farms.

Back in those days, when Los Angeles Unified School District was the Los Angeles City School District, milk distributed to school children were usually from Arden Farms. Arden was the giant milk products company in Southern California.

Above, Arden's "Arden Boy" of the 1950s.

Arden Farms branched out into the supermarket business, generally the high-end Gelson's and Mayfair Markets. I used to occasionally shop at the Tarzana Gelson's not knowing at the time they were part of Arden Farms.

Back when I was a kid, we used to take the bus (or streetcar) down Vermont Ave. to Sears at Vermont and Slauson Avenues. Nearby, was the giant Arden Farms plant at 1900 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles. The main building used to catch my attention by its giant milk bottle on top.

Above, Bela Lugosi at the Arden Farms booth at the 1953 premiere of House of Wax.

Wells Fun Run and Whitewater Rafting

Later next month, Mitch Geriminsky and I will be heading back to the "scene of the crime" at Wells, Nevada.

The "crime" was my little medical emergency that led to my having two stents put into an coronary artery in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Hopefully, this year I will be able to enjoy the Wells Fun Run. As I was flown out of Wells by a helicopter air ambulance, I completely missed the Wells Fun Run as it started a couple of hours after I was stricken.

Above, the "Purple Gang of the California Republic" rafting down the Kern River in 1985.

Thankfully, the heart attack happened at the right time, where there were people around, so that quick action was taken. I was told later that my pulse rate went down to 24.

This year, provided all goes well, following the Wells Fun Run, we'll be heading into Wyoming for some R & R and do some whitewater rafting on the Snake River. Mitch has never rafted before, so he's in for a treat! This will be the first time for me since the late 1980s.

I am looking forward to it.

Route 66 Decommissioned 34 Years Ago

Above, Roy's Motel on Route 66 in Amboy, California. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those history and travel buffs, this weeks marks an anniversary, 34 to be exact.

It was 34 years ago this week that Route 66, formerly known as the "Mother Road" was decommissioned. The rise of interstates, turnpikes and four-lane highways led more people to bypass the historic road. After the decommissioning, Route 66 was no longer maintained as a highway by the federal government.

According to Wikipedia, the date of the decommissioning was June 26, 1985.

Route 66 wound its way through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Above, a Route 66 sign in Church Rock, New Mexico. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

However, Route 66 is still popular with travelers who like to drive the historic route (where it still exists). Marker signs touting "Historic Route 66" have sprung up in different places along the route.

On occasion, when Interstate 40 in New Mexico is congested due to construction or an accident, I take Route 66 from Gallup to the Iyanbito bridge.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Japan Today's "A Beginner's Guide To Climbing Mount Fuji"

Above, a view of Mount Fuji from a Osaka-bound shinkansen. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is summertime in Japan and, with that, it is also Mount Fuji climbing season which officially starts on July 1.

For those who are fit enough to tackle a climb to Japan's symbol, Japan Today posted a "beginner's guide to climbing Mount Fuji".

They begin with:
TOKYO - If you were looking for an image to represent Japan, chances are the perfect, snow-capped cone of Mt Fuji would be high on your list. It’s not just there to admire from a distance, however. Conquering Fuji is at the top of many people’s bucket lists and there’s no time like the present to decide to take up the challenge! 
The official climbing season for 2019 starts from July 1 (Yoshida trail), and July 10, (Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya trails) and ends on September 10.  
To help you along the way, here’s our beginner’s guide to tackling this most iconic of mountains.
Above, lights of climbers seen on the slopes of Mount Fuji at night. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

10 Things To See On Route 66 In Arizona

Above, Meteor Crater was formed when an asteroid hit Earth 50,000 years ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Two weeks ago, I took a little weekend trip into Arizona long Interstate 40 (which parallels historic Route 66 for the most part) to see some of the attractions that are covered in an article by DrivingRoute66.com.

I have visited seven of the ten things on Route 66 over the years. Each one of the things listed are worth a visit.

They begin with:
Route 66 in Arizona features some of the longest stretches of Mother Road still driveable. The "Grand Canyon State" offers plenty to see and do to Route 66 travelers, including many natural attractions such as the Painted Desert, Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest. One natural attraction that can't be left off the list is of course the Grand Canyon itself, something that purists will be quick to point out is not actually ON Route 66. This is true, of course, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that Route 66 passes close enough to the Grand Canyon to make it easily accessible, being just an hour from Williams and Kingman. For decades a trip to the Grand Canyon has been an integral part of the experience for many westbound travelers. 
This list merely offers a flavor of what Arizona can offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here
Listed in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Arizona…

For those traveling by RV, there are RV parks and campgrounds sprinkled along the route.

To see what they are, go here

Friday, June 28, 2019

Trump Campaign Eyeing New Mexico

It looks like the Trump Campaign sees a possible opening in New Mexico along with two other states that he lost in 2016.

While New Mexico is a "blue" state with its Democrat voters, counties outside of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces are "red" areas with some "blue dog Democrats" or Reagan Democrats.

According to an article in Politico:
President Donald Trump is targeting a trio of states that he lost in 2016 — a move aimed at widening his path to reelection that comes as he’s struggling in the Rust Belt states that propelled him to the White House. 
Trump officials are zeroing in on New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire, where they insist there’s an opening despite heavy losses Republicans suffered there in the midterms. They’ve deployed around a half-dozen staffers to New Hampshire and several to Nevada, an unusually early investment in places that favor Democrats. And the campaign is doing polling to tease out Trump’s level of support in New Mexico, a focal point for campaign manager Brad Parscale, and they have discussed dispatching aides to the blue state.

The radical liberal Democrats have angered people in New Mexico during the battles over gun control a few months ago along with illegal immigration. If Trump can concentrate on Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and other areas where radical leftists are concentrated, major inroads in the state can be made.

To read more, go here.

Storm Clouds Gathering

Above, Greg on his tractor (center). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

With monsoon clouds gathered and thunder rumbling in the distance, I stepped outside to see Greg Lucier on his tractor bringing a load of flat stones to his home a mile up the hill. The stones were given to him by Bo from across the street.

The clouds around Jamestown are getting pretty dark. The electricity in the air kept making my radio (on AM setting) crackle constantly. So, I shut it off and switched on my FM radio.

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

According to The Weather Channel app this morning, we're supposed to have a 40% chance of precipitation this afternoon. It is now sprinkling as I am writing this.

I then took a walk to the Barking Spider Acre. It looks like it won't need another cutting for another week or two.


RV Camping Beats Out Tent Camping: 5 Reasons

Above, camping on the Keene Ranch near Tehachapi, California in 2017. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Pretty much everyone who is a camping enthusiast started out by camping in a tent. Then, as they got older and the desire for more comfort set in, they "graduated" into RVs. 

Of course, not everyone who starts out in tents abandons them, but those people a different breed.

Country 17 has an article on five reasons why RV camping beats out tent camping.

They begin with:
Why sleep on the hard ground and swat the bugs away as you attempt to eat your hot dog around the campfire? Ditch the stress and strain of sleeping in the great outdoors with an RV. Seriously, they come in all shapes and sizes from light-weight and bunkhouse campers to Class A and C motorhomes, 40′ toy haulers, and four-season fifth wheels for the entire family (and your toys, too!). 
The debate continues: RVs vs. tents. Does anyone ever win? 
Here’s our top 5 reasons why we choose to RV, every time. (And where to get one, if you’re looking.)

To read more, go here

Thursday, June 27, 2019

De Blasio Makes Major Gaffe Quoting Che Guevara In Miami!

Above, an image of Che Guevara at Havana's Plaza de la Revolución with the offending quote. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's about 20 Democrats running for their party's presidential nomination, but that may soon change if different candidates make horrific gaffes.

The New York Post reported:
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday he did not buy Mayor Bill de Blasio’s claim that he didn’t realize he was quoting a Marxist Cuban revolutionary. 
Rubio was incredulous that the presidential hopeful appropriated one of Che Guevara’s most famous lines as he urged largely immigrant workers at Miami International Airport to unionize in protest of poor conditions and wages. 
“De Blasio studied Latin American politics in college, was a very active supporter of the Sandinistas in #Nicaragua & even honeymooned in #Cuba in violation of U.S. law,” Rubio tweeted about the mayor’s history with the socialist nation. 
Rubio then added sarcastically: “But he had NO IDEA he was quoting Che Guevara today. It was all just an incredible coincidence.” 
De Blasio, fresh off a combative performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, was attempting to give a dramatic speech when he uttered the Spanish phrase. 
“The eyes of the world are on this airport, the eyes of the world are on Miami-Dade,” de Blasio told the workers, before ending with, “Hasta la victoria, siempre.”

The mayor claimed he was clueless about the origin of the phrase after making the boneheaded comment.

Florida is the major home for Cubans who have fled the communist island.

Mayor de Blasio had to know about the offending quote, since it accompanies an image of Guevara at the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana. As Senator Rubio said, de Blasio honeymooned in Cuba. I don't buy his claim either.

To read more, go here.

Heat and Summer Green

Above, summer green down in the valley below Jamestown. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today marks the second day that I had to turn on the swamp cooler.

It was getting pretty warm indoors yesterday and today and I decided that it was time to make use of the swamp cooler. So I "fired it up" yesterday and everything worked just fine.

Right now, it is 88° outside. My thermometer jibes with The Weather Channel app I have on my phone, which also shows 88°.

Above, my thermometer shows 88°. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Normally, I would be outside on the deck enjoying the weather, but we have been getting swarms of gnats (one friend was overrun by them at a McGaffey Lake campground a few days ago). So, Sierra and I have been inside enjoying the swamp cooler today.

However, since we're now in monsoon season, we may be getting some thunderstorms over the next few days, including this evening. Last evening, as I was on the way home from the rodeo, I saw some lightning flashes in the distance.

The National Weather Service forecast:

This Afternoon
Isolated thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Southwest wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Little or no precipitation expected.
Mostly clear, with a low around 53. Southwest wind 15 to 20 mph becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
Friday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. South wind 5 to 15 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the morning.
Saturday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81.
Sunday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 81.
Monday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Forbes: Best RV Park Apps

Above, The Beast at Meteor Crater RV Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those planning a summer camping vacation, there are a number of sources available for information on campgrounds and RV parks.

Forbes.com has an article on the best apps for your summer camping adventures.

They begin with:
Traveling in an RV is different than pulling a regular camper. You have to plan your stops and travel route more carefully. Maybe this is your first RV trip and you want to avoid rookie mistakes. To avoid unwanted surprises, you might consider downloading some of the best RV park apps. 
Whether you are a glamper or still a tent camper at heart, camping is an enjoyable way to sightsee.

To read more, go here

Kid-Friendly Grand Canyon National Park

Above, the Grand Canyon is big enough to impress all ages. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We're in summer vacation season and families are out and about on the road. If a visit to Grand Canyon National Park is a planned (or even unplanned) stop and, if you have kids with you, there's plenty of things at the park for them to do.

USA Today posted an article on kid-friendly Grand Canyon National Park.

They begin it with:
If you’re traveling with children, visiting Grand Canyon National Park can present unique challenges, what with navigating crowded paths and roads at peak times and keeping little ones far enough away from the ever-present edge of the abyss. 
But you can make it an unforgettable family adventure with a little planning. 
The entrance fee to Grand Canyon National Park is $35 per vehicle and is good for seven days. The park offers a handful of free-admission days each year. The next one is Sunday, Aug. 25. 
Pro tip: Purchase your admission pass online in advance to help cut your wait time in line at the entrance station. Go to yourpassnow.com. Spend even less time in line by using the park-and-ride shuttle service in Tusayan, just outside the park entrance.  
Here are a few suggestions for kid-friendly activities at the South Rim of Grand Canyon.

To read more, go here

Made Someone's Day

Above, Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The other day, my "honorary sister" and I had a little discussion on rabbits. We had a prior one which included Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona. She keeps pet rabbits at home.

When we finished the discussion, I got the idea to have a mileage sign from Jack Rabbit Trading Post sent to her as a surprise. Jack Rabbit Trading Post has a website where people can order gifts.

It was a simple thing to order after getting the mileage. (All one has to do is Google their home address to Jack Rabbit Trading Post and it will provide the exact mileage.) So I did that and placed the order and kept mum.

I received the following email today:
Started laughing the second I saw the return address of Jack Rabbit Trading Post.  That is awesome and very thoughtful, thanks!   
Things like that are really fun and make the day far more amusing.  I was lucky to be home at the moment because the internet and office computers didn't work at the office for what I needed.  It would have taken me forever to get to the post office otherwise to pick up anything I had to sign for.  Perfect timing!

She also included this photo of her sign:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Anguish" Staged

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting a lot of heat over some old photos of her supposed crying in anguish at a chain-link fence over migrant children in a detention center in Texas.

New photos have turned up with different angles showing that what was on the other side were not children, but cars in a parking lot or a road.

According to Fox News:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called out on social media over photographs near a migrant detention center that critics said appeared to be staged during her 2018 campaign, a charge that her office denied. 
The "previously unpublished" pictures came to light when a photographer, Ivan Pierre Aguirre, posted them on his Twitter account. He said that they were taken last year in Tornillo, Texas.

The New York Democrat tweeted out the post, writing that she'll "never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them. More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable. We need to save these kids.” 
The tweet was, however, called out by some on social media who claimed that the pictures near a chain-linked fence appeared to be "staged." There's one image of Ocasio-Cortez apparently bent over in anguish and there's another with her hands covering her face. 
"Did the cars cause all that pain and anguish?” a social media user wrote in a tweet, sharing pictures from the protest showing that the Democrat, on the far left, looking at an empty road with a few cars.

To read more, go here

Top Things To Do In Osaka

Above, Osaka's foodie paradise, Dotonbori. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This coming weekend, the focus of attention will be on Osaka, Japan when the city hosts 20 world leaders for the G20 summit.

This, naturally, will give people ideas on visiting Osaka (and nearby Kyoto).

CNN Travel has posted an article on top things to do in Osaka.

They begin with:
CNN) — It's taken some time but Osaka, gateway to Japan's Kansai region, has moved well out of Tokyo's long shadow. 
Today, Japan's third largest city is one of Asia's top urban travel destinations and rightfully so -- it's a vibrant city filled with unique culinary, cultural and eye-opening experiences you won't find anywhere else in Japan. 
Osaka will appear under the global spotlight this weekend, with the city hosting the G20 summit from June 28-29. According to officials, the event is expected to draw more than 30,000 people to the city. 
In honor of the diplomatic action, we've put together a quick list of some of the top things to do in Osaka if you're a first-time visitor. (Bear in mind, many of Osaka's attractions will close or adjust their hours during the summit.)
Above, Osaka Castle. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Pictured in this blog post are two of the top things to do. To see more, go here

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cowboys and Cowgirls

Above, the girls barrel racing. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tonight was rodeo night for me. I decided to go to tonight's Bloomer Trailers Best of the Best Rodeo at the rodeo arena at Red Rock Park near Gallup.

On the way, I notice a plume of smoke coming from eastbound Interstate 40 (I later found out which direction it was at) as I was heading west. I got off at the Iyanbito exit and took historic Route 66. As I passed the scene, I appeared to be a semi truck on its side and aflame. I later heard that nobody was seriously hurt. I heard later that it involved 2 semis.

Above, tonight's green chile chicken Alfredo at Fire Rock Navajo Casino. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I continued on to Fire Rock Navajo Casino, which is not far from Red Rock Park, for dinner. I had my usual green chile chicken Alfredo. This time, even though I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, I could not finish the meal. I only ate half. So I asked for a "doggie box" to take the rest home.

After leaving Fire Rock Navajo Casino, I headed over to Red Rock Park for the rodeo.

Above, some of the spectators. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

They had good attendance (well, it was free) and the contestants consisted of boy and girls of high school and junior high school age from many different states.

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my zoom lens and I had to settle on photos with my 50 mm lens.

I had a good time watching the contestants participate in barrel racing and then calf roping.

Above, while to boys calf roping event was on, other contestants waited for their events. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As it was getting dark out, I decided to leave. I was also concerned about the traffic situation.

On the way out, I took a look at a display Bloomer Trailer. One half (the rear) is for livestock transporting, while the front half is the living space for the owners (equipped like a typical RV trailer). I guess some don't mind sleeping under the same roof as their horses or cows.

Above, the boys calf roping event. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After leaving Red Rock Park, I saw that I-40 eastbound was congested as was Route 66. Traffic was backed up all the way to Gallup. So I made a u-turn and headed for the "scenic" route starting at NM Route 566 to the Mariano Lake area and, eventually, Thoreau. It was the "long way around the barn", but it was better than sitting for hours in traffic. I eventually got home at 9:00.

Still, it was an enjoyable evening.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Named "Porker of the Month"

This distinction shouldn't make New Mexico's leftist governor very happy, but it probably will since she seems to pride herself in backing leftist wacko policies.

Yahoo! Finance reported:
Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) June 2019 Porker of the Month for collaborating with green energy firms to enact a “Mini-Green New Deal.” 
On March 22, 2019, Gov. Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act into state law. Observers dubbed the measure a “Mini-Green New Deal.” The new law mandates that New Mexico’s electricity grid be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045. While the law received rave reviews from environmentalists, it surely will not be embraced so warmly by New Mexico’s citizens. An April 2019 study from the University of Chicago found that mandating “a certain percentage of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources,” increases electricity prices by 17 percent and, “consumers in the 29 states studied had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity.” Worse yet, these policies, “are inefficient in reducing carbon emissions.” 
In another wrinkle, emails obtained through an open records request revealed that Gov. Lujan Grisham’s energy secretary, Sarah Cottrell Propst, coordinated legislative specifics with several environmental groups and green energy firms, including a firm she used to head prior to taking her position with the state. The group that requested the emails, Power the Future, says that scheming to write legislation with the same firms that would benefit from it represents, “a conflict of interest,” and is, “insider politics at its worst.”

To read more, go here.

Bloomer Trailers Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo

Above, from this year's Gallup Lions Club Rodeo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It's rodeo season in Gallup, New Mexico and this week Red Rock Park Rodeo Arena is hosting this year's annual Bloomer Trailers Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo.

According to the Gallup rodeo website:
Welcome to the official site for  Bloomer Trailers Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo 2019.

​Join us in Gallup, New Mexico on June 26th-29th, 2019 as America’s top junior and senior high school rodeo athletes compete for big cash payouts and prizes. 
The Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo offers eight timed events, including barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling. In addition, there will be a special parent-contestant team roping and ribbon roping competition. 
June 26th Perf @ 6;00 P.M 
June 27th Perf @ 9:00 A.M. & 6:00 P.M. 
June 28th Perf @ 9:00 A.M. & 6:00 P.M. 
June 29th Perf @ 9:00 A.M,  
June 29th Short go 6:00 P.M.

I've been to several rodeos in Gallup since I moved to New Mexico last year. I haven't been disappointed by any of them. All have been entertaining.

For more information, go here

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trump Backing National Park Infrastructure Plan

Above, a couple waits for the next eruption of Old Faithful Geyser. Phto by Armand Vaquer.

For years, congresses have been "kicking the can" when it came to funding repairs to the infrastructure of our national parks.

When President Trump came into office, the backlog was estimated to be $11 billion. Now it is estimated at $12 billion. President Trump is backing a plan to address this backlog.

Now if only congress acts.

KPAX reported:
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – President Trump is now backing a plan to pay for $12 billion of badly needed infrastructure improvements at national parks. 
Imagine you’re driving through Yellowstone National Park in, say five years. You very likely won’t see crumbling roads — but, there’s an even higher priority for park managers. 
“We’ve got some housing that’s just abysmal. It’s an embarrassment. We’ve got employees — especially some of our seasonal employees — who live in trailers. Trailers with mold, trailers that need to be replaced,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly explained. 
“Visitors rarely ever see the park employee housing, so how does that help them? Well, managers tell us that a happy staff, living in safe and comfortable housing, really does make a difference for park visitors. 
“A huge part of our success in recruiting good talent is having good housing options,” Sholly pointed out. 
“The third priority then will be assessing all of those 1,500 structures within Yellowstone National Park,” added Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin.

To read more, go here

RV Life's Top Ten RV YouTubers

For the past few years, I have been watching a few YouTube channels that are RV/travel oriented such as Pippi Peterson, Nomadic Fanatic and Campervan Kevin.

I don't watch as often as I used to (at least since I moved to New Mexico) but I still take a look if the topics or places are interesting to me.

RV Life has posted their "top ten" list of RV YouTubers for 2019.

They begin with:
Many seasoned RVers share their adventures, RV lifestyle tips, and maintenance videos on their Youtube channels. We searched the ever-growing list of vlogging RVers and narrowed down the top ten traveling Youtubers that you’ll want to subscribe to.

To see what they consider the "best", go here

Russia Warns of Repeat of Cuban Missile Crisis

Above, wreckage from a shot-down U-2 spy plane from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In what could develop into a second "Cuban Missile Crisis", Russia has issued a warning against deploying more weapon systems near its borders with Europe.

According to The Sun (U.K.):
RUSSIA has warned the US its build-up of weapons in Europe risks a repeat of the Cuban missile crisis - as a Moscow warship docked near Havana yesterday. 
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that US plans to deploy missile systems near the Russian border risks a nuclear standoff on a par with the height of the Cold War. 
The warning came as one of the Russian navy's most advanced warships entered Havana's harbour on Monday. 
It docked at the port used until this month by US cruise lines - with tourists seen taking photos of the imposing vessel. 
The Admiral Gorshkov - which entered service last year - is armed with cruise missiles, air defence systems and other weapons. 
The frigate is based at the Arctic port of Severomorsk and is part of Russia's Northern Fleet.

Above, our ship, Majesty of the Seas, docked at Havana Port. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A photo (with the article) of the docking area appears to be the same one we docked at back in April.

To read more, go here

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" Box Office

Despite the efforts of some critics, Godzilla: King of the Monsters seems to be doing well at the box office.

According to Box Office Mojo (as of June 23):
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $102,501,438    28.0%
+ Foreign: $263,500,000    72.0%
= Worldwide: $366,001,438   
Domestic Summary
Opening Weekend: $47,776,293
(#1 rank, 4,108 theaters, $11,630 average)

While at a dinner last Sunday night, one of the attendees said he was going to go see it that evening after the dinner. 

While Godzilla: King of the Monsters may not be ringing up the cash register numbers as 2014's Godzilla, it also has more competition than the prior film.

To read more, go here.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Trump Signs Executive Order On Healthcare Price Transparency

In a White House ceremony today, President Trump signed an executive order giving people access to pricing on medical care. (This will likely be ignored by the media.)

According to the Washington Examiner:
President Trump has signed an executive order meant to help patients shop for medical care, revving up for a reelection campaign in which he plans to cast himself as a champion of healthcare despite presiding over an increase in uninsurance and trying and failing to undo Obamacare [We can thank late Sen. John McCain for that. - A]. 
The executive order signed Monday will lead to doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other medical providers making their prices publicly available so that patients can see how much they can expect to pay before they receive care. 
"This is a very big thing that is happening right now and it’s pretty much going to blow everything away,” Trump said.

To read more, go here

Good Day For A Ride

Above, a view of I-40 from Christmas's corral. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Earlier this afternoon, I took a little ride around on the mini bike which included a stop at Christmas's corral to give her some carrots.

It has been a nice clear day out in the upper 70s.

Above, Christmas enjoying one of her carrot treats. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At the time I was down at Christmas's corral, I noticed that Interstate 40 is moving pretty well through the construction zone. It will be nice when the project is finally completed. 

Warming Up Again

Above, during yesterday's ride in Barking Spider Acre, the new
 neighbor was intently watching me. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday was on the cool side (in the 70s) with an overnight low at around 37°. But, we're heading for a warming trend this coming week (thank goodness) with temperatures back up to the 80s.

From the National Weather Service:

Sunny, with a high near 77. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Clear, with a low around 43. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light in the evening.
Sunny, with a high near 82. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 48. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 5 to 15 mph.

Study Reveals The Best U.S. Road Trips

Above, Monument Valley is in the top ten road trips. The Left Mitten is shown above. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since we're now in the summer vacation season, many people are planning to take a road trip or two in various sections of the country.

Which are the best U.S. road trips?

Thankfully, a recent study has found the answer and Travel + Leisure has posted the results.

They begin with:
Summer is road trip season, but which is the best road trip to go on? 
While your ideal road trip can heavily depend on your personal goals, interests, and even the types of food you love, there is some interesting data out there if you are truly stuck on where to go if you’re aching to hit the open road. 
Analysis website Geotab gathered some of this data to discover the very best road trips in the U.S., rounding up 50 incredible trips where there’s a little bit of something for everyone. 
“The all-American road trip has been a great way to explore the country since the early 1900s, with certain routes becoming iconic vacations for seeing landmarks, visiting cities, and simply enjoying the open road,” says Geotab.

To see what the best road trips are, go here

Osaka Castle Searched For Suspicious Objects Ahead of G20 Summit

Above, Osaka Castle. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Following in the footsteps of Godzilla and Anguirus, the G20 leaders will be in Osaka later this week for the semi-annual summit.

Kyodo News reported:
Osaka - Osaka police searched for suspicious objects around the inner moat of Osaka Castle on Monday, as part of security preparations for the Group of 20 summit to be held in the city later this week. 
Around 30 local police officers swept the park area, which is scheduled to host events related to the summit, for explosives or other suspicious objects, diving into moat waters and checking the stone wall and bridge from boats.

To read more, go here

Martin Link Plans Book On Fort Wingate

Above, Martin Link (left) and dinner guests enjoying beverages in Link's patio. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Gallup historian and writer Martin Link held his monthly dinner gathering yesterday and he mentioned that he has a new column in a local magazine/newspaper and he plans an upcoming book on the history of Fort Wingate.

Link is the author of New Mexico Kicks On Route 66.

I introduced the group to the wonders of Alien Amber Ale.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

California's Gas Tax To Be Highest In Nation

It would cost me around $242 to fill the RV gas tank if I remained in Commiefornia.

Yes, that's what I would be paying if I filled the gas tank of The Beast in California. That is based on a photo I saw of a gas station's price sign of $4.39.

California is set to hike their gasoline tax on July 1. This is only because stupid people went to the polls to vote down an initiative that would have cut the tax and the hike in vehicle registration fees the Democrats passed in 2017.

According to ABC 7 News:
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When the new gas tax kicks in July 1, California will have the highest gas tax in the country. 
The new gas tax will add an additional 5.6 cents per gallon of gas.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:
The 5.6-cent increase represents the second iteration of Senate Bill 1, commonly called the gas tax, that was passed by the Legislature in Sacramento in the spring of 2017 and signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. 
Under the terms of SB1, the tax increase comes in stages. 
Drivers first experienced a 12-cent per gallon rise at the pump in November 2017. An additional 5.6 cents per gallon will be tacked on at the beginning of next month, which will boost the state’s total excise tax to 41.7 cents a gallon. 
Add in other state taxes and fees plus the federal government’s own 18.4 cents a gallon excise tax and Golden State motorists will pay 79.18 cents a gallon in taxes and fees whenever they fuel up. 
That will move California into the top spot in the country, edging past the 77.1 cents a gallon drivers in Pennsylvania pay in combined taxes and fees, according to state-by-state data compiled by the American Petroleum Institute.
California is increasingly becoming more and more inhospitable to residents, especially retirees. I am glad to have moved out of California a year and a half ago. The gas price at the local Flying J (New Mexico) is $2.59/gallon, but with my Good Sam Club discount, that is lowered to $2.54/gallon. Far better than Commiefornia's price!

This is the price one pays when a state is a one-party state (Democrats).

To read more, go here.

Visit Cortez, Colorado

Above, one of several Anasazi cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Cortez, Colorado is the gateway town to Mesa Verde National Park. It is a handy place to get provisions before heading the the park if one is lucky enough to get a campsite there. But there are RV parks and campgrounds in Cortez.

The last time I was in Cortez was three years ago. It was an early November morning and I was driving into town from Durango when it a little blizzard started. As I had to refuel in town anyway, I got off the highway and hung out at a gas station/travel center (with plenty of hot coffee) until the blizzard pretty much ended.

Above, at a Cortez travel center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Do It Yourself RV has an article on five reasons why people need to visit Cortez.

They begin with:
Recently, my family accidentally stumbled across the adorable town of Cortez, Colorado. We had planned on taking another route entirely and changed our plans at the last minute. Boy, are we glad we did. We fell in love with this spot and plan to return sometime in the near future. 
Wondering what on earth could be so great about a spot that so few people know about? Below are the top 5 reasons we adored this hidden gem and why we hope you will go check it out for yourselves.

To read more, go here


Last evening, I was a mile up the hill in Jamestown at Greg Lucier's for his brother Larry's birthday party.

While there, a big downpour hit and the rain came down in buckets. But the odd thing is, about an hour or so later, there was hardly any evidence of any rain on the ground. The ground is very porous with clay and water tends to soak in rapidly.

The photo below was taken just before the downpour hit.

We're definitely in monsoon season!

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