"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.)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Japan's Overrated Tourist Attractions

Above, the Tokyo Skytree. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Travel to a foreign country is sometimes a hit & miss proposition. Some travel "experts" recommend some attractions, while others recommend steering clear of them.

This is one thing that is best left up to the individual.

An article in TheTravel covers some of those Japanese places they say are overrated but actually underwhelming.

They list ten such places along with what they consider alternatives. But it is finally up to the traveler to heed or ignore their advice.

It begins with:
Tokyo is fast becoming one of the world’s top tourist destinations. With a rich culture, interesting history, and amazing food, it is no wonder that many people come to the country to spend their vacation. However, as in any famous destination, there are tourist traps that we should avoid. These are the overrated attractions that are in most to-visit lists when in Japan but are actually underwhelming. 
Save your yen and spend your time more wisely by skipping these over-hyped places and going to the alternatives instead. You will not only enjoy the views but will most definitely be more relaxed when you skip the tourist traps and make better use of your time and money.
To read more, go here.

Average California Gas Price: $4.02 Per Gallon

Above, a San Fernando Valley Shell station a few years ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Every time I read a story like the one that follows makes me more glad and grateful that I moved out of Commiefornia (California).

The gasoline prices I paid over the past weekend to and from the clamp-out was around $2.89/gallon in Arizona. The price here at the Flying J is $2.57/gallon.

Naturally, California's politicians love high prices (how else are they going to pay for all the freebies for illegal aliens?).

While the rest of the country is seeing a downward trend in gasoline prices, California is going in the opposite direction.

According to the Sacramento Bee:
Gas prices skyrocketed in Sacramento and throughout California last week, despite a nationwide trend in the opposite direction. 
Prices at the pump in Sacramento are up more than 25 cents in the past seven days and nearly 35 cents over the past month, according to fuel trend analysis website GasBuddy. 
Gas is currently averaging $3.85 a gallon, according to GasBuddy’s survey of 720 stations in the capital city. 
Stockton ($3.51 a gallon), Modesto ($3.44) and Oakland ($3.75) are all up more than 24 cents week-over-week, according to GasBuddy. The statewide average fuel price is $4.02 per gallon as of 8 a.m. Monday.
This is what happens when one votes Democrat and turn a state into a one-party state.

To read more, go here.

Tips To Maximize A Hawaii Trip

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

When we went to Hawaii three years ago, we planned it through an Automobile Club travel agent. That worked out well as we went to two islands (three, if one wants to count the airport in Maui for the return trip to California). And, the price was a good one.

TravelPulse has a pictorial article with ten tips on maximizing a trip to Hawaii, some of which we did.

They begin with:
Planning a trip to Hawaii can be overwhelming. It's far, it can be expensive, and there's a lot to consider, like which island(s) to visit and where to stay. While you figure out the specific details, here are ten big-picture tips to help you get the most from your trip to Hawaii. 

To see what the ten tips are, go here

Man Jumps From Grand Canyon Skywalk, Search For Body On

Above, a view of the Grand Canyon from Hermit's Rest. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Authorities are now searching for the body of a man who jumped off the Grand Canyon Skywalk yesterday.

The New York Post reported:
Authorities on Sunday launched a “body recovery effort” for a man who climbed over a safety barrier at the Grand Canyon Skywalk and plunged more than 500 feet to the canyon floor. 
The 28-year-old visitor jumped from the horseshoe-shaped glass walkway — which extends 70 feet out over the canyon — around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. 
The walkway, a popular destination for tourists since it opened in 2007, is on the Hualapai reservation just outside Grand Canyon National Park. 
The man’s identity has not been released and authorities have not said why they believe he climbed the railing. The walkway is 500 to 800 feet above the canyon floor, overlooking the Colorado River.

To read more, go here

Cool Springs, Arizona Clamp-Out

Above, the Cool Springs Station plaque is unveiled and dedicated. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The fall clamp-out of the Lost Dutchman Chapter No. 5917 +4 of E Clampus Vitus is now history.

About 150 Clampers converged on BLM land next to Historic Route 66 in Cool Springs, Arizona for a weekend of fun, frivolity, history and drinking. The weather cooperated for the most part (at least until desert winds struck on Saturday).

Above, the clampsite in Cool Springs, Arizona. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The usual hi-jinks took place in camp, but more serious stuff took place up the road in two locations.

Above, the new plaque at Gold Road Mine. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One was a re-dedication of a plaque. It was actually to replace a plaque that got stolen at the Gold Road Mine. It was an interesting drive from the clampsite to the plaque. We had to navigate a narrow, winding road with many switchbacks. But we made it without incident.

Above, the historic Cool Springs Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The other dedication was for a new plaque at the Cool Springs Station about a mile from the clampsite. The station was a main stop along this stretch of road for many years until it burnt down and, later, it was blown up for a movie in 1991 in Universal Soldier.

It has since been rebuilt and now run by Clamper "Crazy Ray" Stelljes  and his wife as a store and museum.

One of the highlights was when the assembled Clampers lined up along Route 66 for a photo op. Another "highlight" was when, per tradition, a PBC (Poor Blind Candidate) read the plaque. He was doing fine until he got to the end when he mispronounced Vitus in E Clampus Vitus as "Veetus". This caused a major uproar by those assembled and now the PBC is stuck with the nickname of "Veetus". Poor devil!

Above, Clampers line up along Route 66 at the Cool Springs Station. Photo by Ray Stelljes.

Harold and his cook crew did a great job (as usual) with all the meals.

Our next clamp-out will be held next April in Quartzsite, Arizona.

Here's more photos of the clamp-out:

Above, the chapter's store. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the gathering for the Gold Road Mine plaque re-dedication. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a wild burro with a tour group alongside Route 66. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, stuff to buy inside the Cool Springs Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, inside Cool Springs Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a view of Thimble Butte from the clampsite. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the gathering at the Cool Springs Station plaque dedication. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, this looks to be an old cabin behind the Cool Springs Station. At least it has satellite TV. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the roadside line-up from my end. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, some of the dignitaries at the clampsite. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, yours truly with our oldest Clamper, Bill Green (age 90). The photographer
 thought my camera was a rangefinder, not a SLR. Photo by Tom Garland.

Above, the PBC soon to become "Veetus". Photo by Armand Vaquer.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Back Home From The Clamp-Out

Above, a tour group stopped to greet one of the wild burros that
inhabit the area on the shoulder of Route 66. Photo by Armand Vaquer,

After an enjoyable clamp-out with the Lost Dutchman Chapter No. 5917 + 4 of E Clampus Vitus (an unfortunate Poor Blind Candidate (PBC) mispronounced Vitus as "Veetus", but more on that in another post), I made it back home around 8:00 this evening.

This marked the first time I have driven from Arizona into New Mexico at night, which I found interesting.

The clamp-out has held in Cool Springs, Arizona on old Route 66. Cool Springs is about 8 miles from Oatman, Arizona.

Above, The Beast (with the ECV flag) at the clampsite. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Beast worked fine and I, as usual, got plenty of sleep. The weather was good except for today, which was very windy. It was a white-knuckler of a drive home through Arizona until about Holbrook, where it finally died down.

Anyway, I made it home in one piece and after a hot shower, I am about ready to go to bed. Sierra did a good job in watching the house.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Saving Money On A RV Road Trip

Above, The Beast at the Fillmore (Utah) KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Now that summer is over and so is the prime vacation season for many, others can take advantage of fewer crowds, cooler weather and saving money on a RV trip.

The Effingham Daily News (Illinois) has an article on five ways to saving money on RV road trips.

They begin with:
Heading out on a road trip in a recreational vehicle allows travelers an opportunity to explore the nation while enjoying some comforts, too. 
“It’s not so much about just getting to where you’re going and stopping when you’re there, but you really get to enjoy the journey,” says Julie Hall, a spokesperson for AAA. “It’s also a cost-effective way to travel, or it can be at least.” 
But RV travel still comes with some expenses. Here’s how to keep them in check.

To read more, go here

Clamp-out Weekend

Above, The Beast is almost ready to go. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For a few days, I'll be free of social media (uh, maybe), provided there's no cell service in the community of Cool Springs Station, Arizona where the Lost Dutchman Chaper #5917 +2, E Clampus Vitus holds its fall clamp-out.

I have spent most of today getting The Beast ready and loaded up. The refrigerator has been switched on and I am waiting for the propane to do its thing and make it cold enough inside to fill it with foodstuffs.

It is a bit over a five hour drive to get to Cool Springs. It is near Oatman (8.5 miles) on Historic Route 66 west of Kingman. This will be the last event for the year. I should be arriving in the early afternoon tomorrow.

Biden Brags About Getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

Trump was right!

Oh, Drat!

Above, the mini bike with the scabbard. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday was pretty relaxing and sunny out once the fog in the area dissipated. The ground fog on the fields between the house and Interstate 40 reminded me of the forest in the 1941 The Wolf Man.

The house propane heater needed two new filters, so I went into Gallup's Home Depot and got them and they were installed when I got back home.

I decided to take a ride on the mini bike. That didn't go too well as the chain came off abruptly while I was on East Blue Cedar Loop. I tried to get it back on over there (there's a wrench kit in the storage compartment) but unable to do so. Luckily, a neighbor on his small electric utility truck came along and brought the mini bike and me back home.

I did manage to get the chain back on the sprocket, but it came off again. I am surprised at how heavy the bike is while trying lift it and turn the wheel to get the chain on. This is one of those things that mini bike and motorcyclists dread.

Another attempt was made to get the chain back on, but I have to loosen the tension some more to get it on. I was drenched with perspiration at this point and it was almost dinner time, so I stopped and went to take a shower before starting dinner.

I'll deal with it next week after the clamp-out this weekend in Arizona. For today, I'll probably just drive the Jeep after I get The Beast out of the GOCO Beast Barn and do some packing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Willys Jeep Mystery Solved

Above, the passenger side of the Willys Jeep M38A1. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

On the passenger side between the fender and door below the windshield of my 1952 Willys Jeep M38A1 is what looks like a place for a gasoline cap opening or something.

Victor, the seller, didn't really know what it was for. Obviously, neither did I.

I found out this morning what it's for through a Jeep enthusiast Facebook page.

Here's what was said about it:
That is the spot where the slave cable connection was (basically military jumper cables). Not a CJ5 if it has that, it is an M38A1.

Apparently, this is only found on M38A1 Willys Jeeps. It makes sense as the battery compartment (the opening is between the windshield and hood) is above it.

You learn something new everyday! 

Changing Weather

Above, snow-covered mesas on New Year's Day. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is amazing at how fast the weather pattern in the New Mexico's northwest changed. It was almost like a flick of a switch.

A couple of weeks ago, we were still seeing 80° temperatures with occasional 90° temperatures. Now, we are down into the 70s during the say with 40° temperatures, and occasion dips down into the 30s. Last year, the first snow came on October 15.

According to the National Weather Service, the south Southwest is getting some major hazardous weather:
A variety of hazards are expected in the West... Heavy rain, strong storms and flooding is expected to persist in Arizona and spread into southern New Mexico and west Texas, while a combination of red flag warnings and heat advisories are likely in portions of California.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post posted some interesting photos on Facebook of the rainfall they're getting in Arizona. The mountains near Flagstaff received snow in the upper elevations, according to photos they posted.

It rained for most of the day yesterday, which is what was needed here. Today's going to be dry and mostly sunny. We should see 71° today.

Thunderstorms may be in store for the area beginning tomorrow.

I will be heading to Cool Springs, Arizona this weekend for the fall clampout of the Lost Dutchman Chapter No. 5917 + 2, E Clampus Vitus. We should have pleasant weather for it.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 71. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 44. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast in the evening.
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Thursday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ukraine Is Biden's Problem, Not Trump's

For the past week or so, maybe even longer, the media has been beating its chest over Ukraine.

Some in the media and several Democrats have been saying that the Ukraine matter will be the path to the impeachment of President Trump.

Then, there's the matter over Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, his son and Ukraine.

There's so much flying out in the air right now that it is probably confusing a lot of people.

To put it all out in a "nutshell", talk show host Rush Limbaugh lays it all out (highlights mine):
RUSH: Anyway, here’s the Ukraine scandal, in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen. Then-Vice President Biden threatened and blackmailed the country of Ukraine to stop investigating his son, Hunter Biden. Current President Trump suggested that Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s likely corrupt business arrangement. Ukraine originally wanted to prosecute before Biden’s threats. Ukraine wanted to look into this. They don’t like being used the way they have. 
By the way, the Democrat National Committee used Ukraine to investigate the Trump campaign. That’s Paul Manafort like you cannot believe. And Andy McCarthy has the best ever written words on the subject. It’s a chapter in his book, Ball of Collusion. I read an excerpt of the chapter at National Review over the weekend, triangulating Manafort, Obama, Clinton, and Ukraine. 
The Democrat National Committee colluded with Ukraine to come up with phony allegations against Manafort as a way of getting Trump. Ukraine’s in the middle of so much of this stuff because the Democrats have put them there! Then-Vice President Biden threatened and blackmailed Ukraine to stop investigating his son, Hunter. 
Current President Trump suggests the Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s likely corrupt business arrangement that Ukraine originally wanted to prosecute before Biden threatened them if they did. Joe Biden has admitted that he meddled to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired, but he denied knowing about his son’s business dealings. 
But his own son, Hunter Biden, says his father did know about his business dealings. This is a much bigger problem when all of the confusion is stripped away, this a much bigger problem for Biden than it will ever be for Trump. 
RUSH: Here is Biden. This is January 23rd, 2018, a year and a half ago. He’s at the Council on Foreign Relations, and he is bragging about how he influenced the prosecution in a case against his son in Ukraine. It goes by pretty quickly. It’s just 11 seconds, but here it is.  
[video follows]

As for President Trump and his conversation with the Ukraine president, Rush had this to say:
RUSH: Now, in Ukraine, let me jump back to this for a second ’cause I’m trying to put all this in perspective here without focusing on the, “Oh, my God. Trump’s in trouble, oh, my God. What are we gonna do?” ’cause I don’t think that’s the case here. I don’t feel any different about this than I did on Friday. He can talk to whoever he wants to. What this does is actually establish the intelligence community is spying on the guy. He’s been right all along. 
He can talk to whoever he wants. Besides that, Biden did all of this stuff that Trump is accusing him of. Biden did it. We’ve got it on tape! We got Biden admitting all of this stuff. That’s why I think that Biden is actually gonna be the ultimate victim here.
To read more, go here.

Ready For Cooler Weather: Propane Delivered

Above, propane being delivered. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We're having a pretty decent rain today. It is more than the last one and it has been relatively steady. We can sure use it!

When I reached home from our morning gathering at Denny's at the Flying J, I noticed that my regular deliver of propane was in progress. Rain or shine, it seems, propane gets delivered.

Well, I am ready for cooler weather since I mainly use a propane-fed forced air heater. I have two ceramic space heaters in case I need a little more heat, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.

Speaking of our gathering at the Flying J, one of our group spottted a UFO over Cibola National Forest on September 5 around midnight. Later, we were joined by Nandoh Munoz and I mentioned the UFO and he said four other people saw it, including one who was camping in Six Mile Canyon.

I checked the National UFO Reporting Center and there were no reports on the UFO. 

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Well, not exactly pouring, but we are getting rain this morning.

I looked out the window and the cloud cover is pretty thick and then I noticed the brick deck all wet. So I went out and saw that it is raining here. That's something we need.

It's about 54°.

Above, the view looking toward's Bo's house. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the front yard. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Gun Owners Must Reject Appeasement

The 2020 election campaign of the Democrat candidates has broken wide open the mask that their ultimate goal is to confiscate guns of law-abiding citizens.

Now that they're "out-of-the-closet" on gun confiscation, it is important that gun owners must reject appeasement on gun registration.

The NRA-ILA has an article on what Beto's confiscation plan means.

They begin with:
Gun confiscation is the goal. Gun confiscation has always been the goal. Thanks to a recent outburst by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Robert (Beto) Francis O’Rourke, potentially millions more Americans are now aware of this fact.              
On September 12, a visibly deranged Beto told the viewers of an ABC News Democratic primary debate, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” As has become custom among the more frivolous candidates, the Beto campaign was selling a t-shirt with the intemperate statement later that evening. According to the Associated Press, on September 19 Beto stated that he is open to broadening his plan to include all semi-automatic firearms. 
Beto’s comments have drawn criticism from some Democrats. However, it is instructive that the Democratic criticism appeared to be more about the former congressman’s strategy than the substance of his plan; they prefer confiscation that is well-cooked instead of raw. 
Sad that Beto’s candor might foil his more subtle approach to identical gun control efforts, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told CNN, “I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns,” adding, “We need to focus on what we can get done.” CNN quoted a “Democratic aide” as saying that Beto’s debate statement “only feeds into the NRA's narrative that Democrats are going to take away your guns.” 
In other words: Stop it Beto. You’re spoiling the ending. 
Beto’s bombastic delivery of their confiscation agenda even shamed the legacy media, who have long been complicit in obfuscating gun control advocates’ political aims. In response, the media was forced shine unwanted light upon the gun controllers’ confiscatory plans. As the editors of the National Review noticed, “For years, advocates of the right to keep and bear arms have suspected that confiscation was the endgame but have been rebuffed as paranoiacs in the press. Such a rebuffing is no longer possible.”
The National Review editors appreciated what NRA members already know: confiscation has long been apparent to those paying sufficient attention. The only surprise for Democrats was Beto’s failure to follow their long-standing script. 
The article concludes with (and there's plenty more in-between):
Gun control advocates have made themselves clear. Their efforts are not about “background checks,” or keeping guns away from “dangerous” individuals, or any other so-called “commonsense gun safety” measures. 
They are not operating in good faith. 
The gun control movement is about civilian disarmament through firearms confiscation. 
Beto simply let their cat out of the bag.
To read more, go here

100 Years of Designing For U.S. National Parks

Above, the current national park and monument brochure design. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since 1968, I have visited many of our national parks and have noticed over the years the changes made to the brochure designs of the parks.

It appears that others have noticed, too. A new book, Parks, takes a look at the graphics used for national park ephemera over the past 100 years.

CityLab has an article on this book and it begins with:
From the beginning, the history of America’s national parks has been indelibly linked to images. In the 1870s, Thomas Moran painted dramatic views of Yellowstone, prompting Congress to make it the country’s first national park; some 50 years later, Ansel Adams’s photos of Kings Canyon, California, led to the protection of that remote region of the Sierra Nevada. Since then, park maps and brochures have become essential in more quotidian ways—helping visitors navigate the premises, providing valuable safety information, and serving as beloved souvenirs. 
The new book Parks ($55; preorders start shipping on September 23) collects a century’s worth of paper National Park Service ephemera, illustrating the outsized role these items have played in people’s experiences of the park system. Viewed together, they also serve as a quirky tour through the past century of American graphic design.

So if you are a fan of our national parks or of graphic design, this book is for you.

To read more, go here.

Live Japan: How To Eat Sushi Like A Local

Above, a plate of sushi in an Asakusa restaurant. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is not too surprising to see over the years how well many Godzilla fans have mastered the art of eating Japanese food, especially sushi.

I have been among many at sushi restaurants in Japan and in the U.S. following an event such as Godzilla movie screenings.

But, for those who haven't fully mastered it and are planning to travel to Japan, Live Japan has an article on "How to eat sushi like a local".

They begin it with:
In Japan, sushi is a thoroughly casual food, but even here high-class sushi restaurants are on the rise. While conveyor belt restaurants are still the laid-back places where you won’t have to worry about much, sushi bars and “over the counter” restaurants do have unofficial rules to follow! Here's what to look out for so as not to inadvertently commit a faux pas.

To read more, go here

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mantis and Kittens

Above, my mantis visitor. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It has been a pleasant weekend. While sitting out on the deck, I noticed a little critter on the deck. It was a mantis.

Above, P.K. and two of her three kittens. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Also, P.K. and her kittens have been partaking in the food on the porch. It is fun to watch the kittens play while mom also watches. Good weather for it.

All that is supposed to change tomorrow.

Many times, the National Weather Service has forecast thundershowers in the Jamestown, New Mexico area but they don't pan out.

Maybe this time it will be different?

Partly cloudy, with a low around 45. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 73. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Monday Night
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 73. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon.

Why You Shouldn't Use A Blue Tarp To Cover A Stored RV

Above, the GOCO Beast Barn protects my motorhome from the elements. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When one's RV is in storage for the winter (or at anytime), I've heard years ago that using a blue tarp to cover it is not a good idea. So I never did.

Instead, when I moved to New Mexico, I had a metal garage built for it that I call the GOCO Beast Barn (GOCO means "Garage of Comparative Ovations", which a member of E Clampus Vitus would get the joke). This was made extra necessary since I am at about 7,000 feet in elevation.

Do It Yourself RV has an article on why using a blue tarp to directly cover a RV during storage is not a good idea, it also has an accompanying video.

They begin with:
If you’re new to storing an RV, you might wonder what types of coverings you should use to keep your RV protected while in storage. 
While you can buy dedicated RV-specific storage covers, some RVers simply use those large blue tarps you can find at most big box home goods stores. But are those blue tarps really a good idea to use with your RV?t 
Mike Sr. from RV’s R Us in North Oxford, Massachusetts provided some tips on storing your RV with a blue tarp to John DiPietro, an RV industry spokesperson.
To read more, go here.

Buying Kitchen Tools In Tokyo's Kappabashi

Above, the giant chef in Tokyo's Kappabashi "Kitchen Town". Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Back in 2014, I was planning a trip to Japan. One of the places I wanted to visit was the Kappabashi district (known as "Kitchen Town") of Asakusa in Tokyo.

Jessica, my roommate, was attending a culinary school at the time and wanted a Japanese chef's knife. I checked around and settled on the Kama-Asa knife shop. On that trip and in 2015, I made some purchases there and was never disappointed in what I bought.

ANI News has an article on Kappabashi and Kama-Asa.

It begins with:
Foreign tourists thronged the Kappabashi street in Tokyo to buy Japanese-image tableware, and kitchen tools such as plates and chopsticks. The street is lined up with specialty shops containing products such as tableware and kitchen tools and much more.
Above, the Kama-Asa knife shop. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those who like to cook with quality kitchenware should make a stop in Kappabashi. Once one sees the giant chef at a Kappapashi street corner, they'll know they're in the right place.

To read more, go here

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Above, the locked gate to the national forest from Mesa Ridge Ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Fall weather is clearly evident in this relaxing Saturday.

The temperature remained in the low 70s with some wind. Typical for this time of year. However, I did check the temperature forecast for tonight on The Weather Channel app and with the National Weather Service. They came up with differing conclusions.

Above, Cibola National Forest from the locked gate at Mesa Ridge Ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Weather Channel said that it will be 37° at 6:00 tomorrow morning. Whereas, the National Weather Service said that the low will be 41°.

I decided to err on the side of caution and brought into the house the mini jade plant. The low temperatures of last winter almost did it in. But it revived after I brought it indoors.

Above, the Jeep at Mesa Ridge Ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For today's recreation, I drove the Jeep into the new Mesa Ridge Ranch subdivision next to ours. The gate at the top of the main road was (of course) closed and locked. On the other side of it is the Cibola National Forest. As far as anyone here knows, there's no access into this section of the Cibola National Forest.

Above, Godzilla vs. The Legendary Wolfman poster. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After getting back home, I did put up a few posters inside the garage. One was a Reagan poster, a poster for Godzilla vs. Biollante and a poster for the fan film, Godzilla vs. The Legendary Wolfman.

Above, the Reagan "Spirit of '76" poster. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After that, I did some tinkering with the idle of the Jeep. It had been conking out today whenever I made a stop or changing gears. I improved it a little, but I need an angle screwdriver to adjust one of the other jet screws to finish the job (a set is now on order). Thank goodness the Jeep came with an owners' manual!

Above, a Godzilla vs. Biollante poster (not an official Toho poster). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Later, I then headed into Gallup for some sushi for dinner. Not a bad way to finish the day.

SunStar Pampanga: Japan's Limitless Beauty

Above, Sensoji temple in Asakusa. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is interesting to see visitors from other countries' takes on Japan travel. Do they see things the way others do or do they get different impressions and perspectives?

From the Philippines, is an article on a visit to Japan in SunStar Pampanga.

They begin it with:
JAPAN, oh such beauty. Such impression was made on me in my very first visit here two weeks ago. It thrilled me by the day and it amazed me by night. Its splendor seemed limitless. 
From the time, I stepped out of an excellent Cebu Pacific flight onto Narita International Airport (NRT) from Clark, beauteous things started to unravel. Never mind the warm weather which went humid at some point in our four-day trip to the land of the rising sun. 
I and my media colleagues, although some of them frequent visitors already (Bong Lacson, Ashley Manabat), had the grandest of time as our journey combined the warmth of the city, the breeze of the countryside, the technological wonders and even the traditional sites (and sights) – albeit part of the never-ending modernity, rich culture and heritage of Japan. 
Our gracious hosts Japan National Tourism Office and the Leading Versatile Solution Inc. travel agency in Tokyo, in cooperation with Selrahco Management and Consultancy made sure we would see (and savor) the best of all these.

To read more, go here

Weather's About To Change...Maybe

Above, yesterday during my cruise around the subdivision. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is going to be a nice sunny weekend here in Jamestown, New Mexico.

The temperatures are going to be in the 70s, which is good autumn temperatures. But, come next week, it appears all this is going to change. Well, we can use the rain.

According to the National Weather Service:

Sunny, with a high near 72. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.
Clear, with a low around 41. West wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.
Sunny, with a high near 73. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 46. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Monday Night
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Off Mustang Road

Above, on a road off Mustang Road in our subdivision. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This afternoon, I decided to take a little Jeep ride around the Whispering Cedars subdivision.

First, I cruised around the neighborhood streets. While doing so, I spotted a hill with some roads off Mustang Road located at the southern end of the subdivision. So, I headed over there.

Above, the Jeep with the hill in the background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Sure enough, there were some roads just below the hill. They were rough in spots (like the ones we drove yesterday in and around Six Mile Canyon in the Cibola National Forest). This was the first time I had been in this area.  After driving around there for a while, I headed out.

I then drove down to the Flying J to pick up some munchies for later this evening. It was a relaxing little cruise. I can see why people enjoy off-roading so much.

Search This Blog