"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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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Day Early...But I'm NOT Complaining!

Above, the gate to Six Mile Canyon was open today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Social distancing just got a little easier and a lot more fun as I found the gate to Cibola National Forest/Six Mile Canyon open and unlocked today. According to the sign, it was to be closed through today, with the opening tomorrow. But I'm not complaining!

Thank you, National Forest Service!

Above, about a mile or so inside the canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was a good thing that I put gasoline into the Jeep this morning as I took the opportunity to drive into Six Mile Canyon. By the way, with my Good Sam Club discount, gasoline only cost me $1.849/gallon today at the Flying J!

Above, this sure beats staring at the same walls at home. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looked like I was the only person in the national forest. Some roads had tracks on them and others didn't. I didn't see anyone else. I guess the word hasn't reached anyone yet.

Above, the windmill midway inside the canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I also didn't see any wildlife or cattle in the canyon during my drive.

In any case, I am happy that Six Mile Canyon is now open to vehicles. So now we won't have to quarantine ourselves at home. We can go off-roading instead.

Above, at the big valley meadow. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The canyon will be nicer when the wildflowers bloom and the grasses start getting green.

Above, the Jeep while I was walking around getting a good stretch of the legs. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I am definitely planning on returning tomorrow. I may take Six Mile Canyon Road all the way to McGaffey.

Above, looking back at the road in the big valley meadow I just drove on. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today's Find At The Flying J

Above, today's find at the Flying J. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Some good news.

For the first time in over two weeks, packages of toilet paper (a.k.a. asswipe) were on the shelf at the Flying J today.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that on the package there is nothing stating that it is or isn't septic tank safe. Well, I bought a package anyway (just in case) and contacted the company's website asking if it is septic safe. It does seem to break apart in water, so maybe it is.

I still have four double-rolls of the septic safe kind, which should last through April.

NRA-ILA: "COZVID-19 Threatens Health of...Second Amendment"

Since the Department of Homeland Security placed gun stores in the "essential" category, there shouldn't be any states forcing them to remain closed. Yet some still are, such as New Mexico.

The NRA-ILA posted an article yesterday that the "COZVID-19 [coronavirus] Threatens Health of...Second Amendment".

They begin it with:
Our nation continues to struggle with the widespread impact of the COVID-19 virus. By now, everyone should be aware of the new “social distancing” paradigm, where we are all encouraged to avoid large groups of people, and maintain at least six feet of distance between each other when we do interact. Regular washing of our hands—which we should have been doing already—is now the norm, and anyone caught coughing or sneezing outside of the confines of their own elbow is at risk of being labeled a pariah. 
Welcome to the new “normal,” at least for a while. 
As we’ve mentioned before, though, Americans are a resilient bunch.  We’ll get through this as we’ve made it through other calamities, even if this one seems a bit different. 
That said, even with most legislatures having shut down operations, or severely limiting what they are doing in order to focus on responding to this viral threat, there are still those who would seek to exploit the situation and work to undermine the Second Amendment. 
These uncertain times have led to many realizing that there could be occasions when they and their loved ones might need protection, and the government simply cannot respond in time.  While it has always been true that police are often delayed when responding to an emergency situation, today’s reaction times may be even more dramatically reduced, as local government services are extended by the circumstances of today. 
In order to ensure the security of their loved ones, law-abiding citizens are turning more and more to the Second Amendment. Gun stores have had their shelves stripped of stock, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been overwhelmed over the past few weeks. 
We said recently that the Second Amendment is a constant in times of crisis, and that remains the case.
To read more, go here

Monday, March 30, 2020

Six Mile Canyon Reopening In Good Weather

Above, in Six Mile Canyon last summer. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There are several of us "chafing at the bit" in Jamestown for Six Mile Canyon in neighboring Cibola National Forest to reopen the day after tomorrow. Since we have to social distance ourselves for the next couple of weeks (maybe even longer), we can at least put that into practice when off-roading in the forest and have a good time while doing so.

We just hope the National Forest Service remembers to unlock and open the gate!

The weather, at least, is cooperating this week and will be warmer in the next few days.

According to the National Weather Service:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind 10 to 20 mph.
Clear, with a low around 26. West wind 15 to 20 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph after midnight.
Sunny, with a high near 64. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Partly sunny, with a high near 64. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

Despite DHS, New Mexico Gun Shops Not "Essential"

Above, the Albuquerque Cabela's firearms department. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Despite the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) statement that gun stores should be considered "essential" and be allowed to remain open, that hasn't made Governor "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham to allow them to reopen. This situation is causing some confusion in New Mexico.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican:
Confusion reigns at New Mexico gun stores, where owners say Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency public health order to limit the spread of the new coronavirus has left many wondering whether they’re allowed to stay open or in what capacity. 
Although the public health order instituted last week unambiguously states all businesses not identified as essential were supposed to have closed by 8 a.m. Tuesday — and gun stores were not on the list — some have defied the edict. 
Gun stores in New Mexico are interpreting the governor’s order liberally. 
Some closed a day late or have resorted to online sales, restricting the number of people in the building or selling merchandise from the parking lot, according to Zach Fort, president of the New Mexico Shooting Association, an independent state affiliate of the National Rifle Association.
There have been reports that the New Mexico State Police, allegedly under the governor's orders, have gone to gun shops and ordered them to be closed.

To read more, go here.

Monument Valley: Things To Know

Above, the "Three Sisters" formation. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation tribal park, and like all of the Navajo Nation tribal parks, it is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the closure won't last forever and people will be able to visit it and the other tribal parks. I last visited Monument Valley four years ago.

Above, Navajo vendor tables. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's a few things people need to know before visiting and Travel Awaits has them in a posting.

They begin with:
Travel is not advised at this time. Our COVID-19-specific content addresses the pandemic and supports our readers. 
My first view of Monument Valley took my breath away. Since I’d seen the views so many times in commercials and movies, it felt curiously familiar and somewhat surreal. At the same time, the view in person was, well, monumental. The buttes are simply enormous. And stunning. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the red rocks against a bright blue sky. It was hard to stop taking pictures. Or to catch my breath.
Above, camping is available for RVs at Goulding's Lodge Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Three More Days!

Above, in three days, this gate to Six Mile Canyon will be open. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It's a good thing it got to 55 degrees today, I was getting a little "cabin fever" staying inside the house from a combination of the stay-at-home order and the chilly/windy days. The snowfall we had on the night before last is completely melted away and the ground has dried. It will be getting back up into the 60s during the coming week.

So, I took the opportunity to do some Jeep driving in the community, Mesa Ridge Ranch and the gate and perimeter road to Cibola National Forest.

Above, on the road next to Cibola National Forest perimeter fence. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Three days from today, Six Mile Canyon will be open for off-road vehicles. In some respects, the time seemed to have flown by since it was closed in December. My fingers are crossed that the forest service opens the gate in three days and use the coronavirus as an excuse to keep it shut and locked.

Following my drives, I went down to the Flying J to order dinner at Denny's. I got a new item on their menu: classic battered fish filets. Not bad! I was getting tired of salmon.

Above, a windshield view of the perimeter road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

While having dinner, I watched U-571 (2000), a World War II submarine movie. I've had the movie for a while on DVD, but watched it once and I fell asleep and missed much of it. This time, I watched it all the way through. I enjoyed it, but Das Boot it's not.

Tonight would have been our monthly dinner at Martin Link's in Gallup, but due to you-know-what, it was cancelled.

Graceland's Jungle Room Secrets

Above, the Jungle Room at Graceland. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Graceland in Memphis may be closed, but at least people can still see it through video.

The first video focuses on the Jungle Room. During Elvis Presley's life, it was known simply as the den. It was after his death that it became known as the Jungle Room.

According to an article in the U.K.'s Express:
ELVIS PRESLEY'S Graceland home has been shut down, but the staff are bringing new videos from inside, with the first revealing a Jungle Room secret. 
Just like many National Historic Landmarks across the US, Graceland has been closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, in the meantime, the staff at Elvis Presley’s home are bringing some videos from within to entertain fans. The first reveals a little known fact about the famous Jungle Room.
To see the video and read more, go here

Out-of-Season Snow Hits Tokyo

Above, the Godzilla slide at the Kurihama Flower World in Yokosuka. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This story reminds me of my trip to Japan six years ago when heavy snowfall covered the country by two storms. It was during the month of February and I arrived at the same time as the first storm.

According to Kyoto News Plus, an out-of-season storm hit Tokyo and that, plus the stay at home requests by the government, left Tokyo streets almost barren.

They wrote:
TOKYO - Crowds disappeared from bustling business and tourist districts as out-of-season snow fell in Tokyo and surrounding areas on Sunday, the second day under stay-at-home requests in the capital region due to the coronavirus outbreak. 
It was the first time in 32 years that central Tokyo witnessed the accumulation of snow measuring 1 centimeter or more in late March, according to the Japan Weather Association. 
As cold air gripped the Kanto-Koshin region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area and the prefectures of Yamanashi and Nagano, the temperature dropped below 1 C in Tokyo in the morning, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. 
Tokyo's Akihabara district, a subculture hub known for attracting anime fans from across the country and overseas, observed a quiet Sunday with accumulated snow.
To read more, go here

DHS Says Firearms Retailers, Manufacturers Essential Businesses

Thanks to the fine folks at Ammoland.com, a Department of Homeland Security notice has been posted declaring that firearms retailers and manufacturers are "essential businesses".

They posted:
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Under the Trump Administration's guidance, the Department of Homeland Security has declared firearms manufacturers and retailers “essential businesses,” possibly driving a spike through the heart of various state and local “emergency powers” declarations that had classified gun stores to be “non-essential” during the current Coronavirus panic, and had ordered them closed. 
The reference to gun shops is found in a document released Saturday titled “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” in the section dealing with “Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders.” 
The document released by DHS simply says that “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” are considered essential.
As the article also states:
Editor Note: Readers, please share this article with your state, local and federal representatives, police departments and sheriffs as well local firearms retailers to make them aware of the new guidance so we can get our local business back to work and fellow Americans the products they need to remain safe.
Yes, this should especially be sent to the governor of New Mexico.

To read more, go here.

RV Travel: RV Coronavirus News

Above, camping on private ranch land may be one of the few remaining options left. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

RV Travel has posted the latest coronavirus news that directly affects RVers. 

They have a long list of items and here are just a few of them:
Disneyland and Disney World will be closed until further notice. Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will remain closed as well. Earlier this month, Disney had announced its theme parks and hotels would remain closed only through the end of March. Universal Orlando and Legoland also extended their closures. 
The Fort Wilderness RV Resort at Disney World is also closed. 
REV Group has suspended normal production activities at all four RV production facilities in Indiana and California. Its RV brands: American Coach, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Fleetwood, Renegade RV and Lance. The company’s service centers will continue to perform essential support to meet dealers’ and end-customers’ technical, warranty and parts requests. 
Elkhart County, Indiana, home to the RV industry, now has 11 cases of COVID-19. The first case in the state was March 6. The statewide total as of Saturday, March 28, was 1,232. 
All developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, on Bureau of Management Lands (BLM) in California are now closed to all forms of public access.
To read more, go here

Governor Orders NM Air Travelers To Self-Quarantine

Above, the Albuquerque International Sunport terminal. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

According to a KOAT article, the majority of confirmed cases of coronavirus are from people who recently traveled.

Now, the Governor is ordering air travelers to self-quarantine themselves.

KOAT posted:
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order Friday requiring any traveler coming into New Mexico on an airplane to self-isolate for at least 14 days to help stop the spread off of COVID-19. 
The majority of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New Mexico are from domestic and international travel into the state.

To read more, go here

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Chicago, Other Cities Now Coronavirus "Hotspots"

Above, the Chicago skyline from Rosemont, Illinois last summer. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The last time I checked, my home county, McKinley County in New Mexico, reported 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

At least we're not in the Chicago metropolitan area as it has become a "hotspot" for the coronavirus.

According to the Chicago Tribune:
As the United States led the world with confirmed coronavirus cases, cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans grew as hotspots Saturday, while the virus continued to pummel New York City and made its way into rural America. 
Elsewhere, Russia said its borders would be fully closed as of Monday, while in parts of Africa, pandemic prevention measures took a violent turn, with Kenyan police firing tear gas and officers elsewhere seen on video hitting people with batons. 
Worldwide infections surpassed 640,000 with nearly 30,000 deaths as new cases also stacked up quickly in Europe, according to a tally by John Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world in reported cases with more than 112,000, but five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France. Italy alone now has 10,023 deaths, the most of any country.
Asya, my Russian artist friend, is currently stuck in Denmark as there are no flights to her hometown of St. Petersburg.

As of 2 days ago, the Navajo Nation reported 69 cases.

Although it is a boring assignment, but just stay home. The more everyone stays at home, the quicker this pandemic will end.

To read more, go here. 

"The Lujan Virus", Thank-you, Joe Biden!

New Mexico Politics with John Block blog pointed out something interesting and funny.

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden made another gaffe. It accidentally takes a big poke at Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan at the same time.

Block wrote:
On Friday, former vice president and current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden held a live conversation with various workers on the frontlines combating COVID-19. During the conversation, Biden made another gaffe, this time claiming President Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists on calling the novel Chinese virus the “Luhan Virus.”  
Biden was trying to say “Wuhan,” which is the province where the deadly Coronavirus spawned. According to recent research, the virus originated from a shrimp vendor in a market in the Wuhan region.
Included in Block's post is a video of Biden saying "Lujan virus".

To see it and read more, go here

A Dusting Overnight

Above, one of P.K.'s kittens under the patio table this morning. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since I went to bed a bit earlier, I awoke a bit earlier.

Before going to bed, I noticed that it was snowing outside (I immediately shot the video below). This morning, it appears that we received (maybe) a quarter inch to a half inch of snow. Wasn't much. Since it is supposed to get into the 40s today, it will likely be melted away by noon.

According to the National Weather Service:

A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. West wind around 15 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. West wind 15 to 20 mph.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. West wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light and variable.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. South wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.

Friday, March 27, 2020

NRA and Other Groups Sue California

Breaking: NRA & Other Groups Sue California

Coalition Files Federal Lawsuit Against 

Los Angeles Sheriff Villanueva, California Gov. Gavin Newsom Over Constitutional Violations 

Today, the National Rifle Association (NRA) joined individuals, retailers, and other gun rights groups in filing a federal lawsuit challenging state and local policies and enforcement practices that violate Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The gun rights groups includes the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).  A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.
“Municipalities who target lawful gun stores for closure aren’t promoting safety—by weaponizing their politics to disarm you and your loved ones, these shameless partisans are recklessly promoting a gun-control agenda that suffocates your self-defense rights when you need them most," said NRA-ILA Executive Director, Jason Ouimet. "NRA members recognize these unlawful power-grabs for what they are, and the National Rifle Association is proud to stand and fight alongside fellow Second Amendment groups who recognize it, as well.”
“California’s attack on fundamental rights in times of emergency must be stopped in its tracks,” observed SAF founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb. “This case is part of our mission to win firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time. And more, the lawsuits we are filing across the country are making a large number of other states, counties, and cities think twice before closing down essential gun stores.”
“Twenty-eight years ago, the LAPD had to withdraw their officers to protect their safety. We hope that the stay-home orders will mean that our public servants will not become infected in this pandemic, but the Constitution guarantees that everyone has a right to acquire arms and defend themselves should law enforcement not be able to respond before it’s too late,” remarked CGF Chairman, Gene Hoffman. “No petty autocrat can be allowed to suspend the Bill of Rights.”
“Especially due to the restrictive nature of California’s Byzantine gun laws that require the use of licensed dealers to buy and transfer both firearms and ammunition, the defendants’ orders and actions challenged individually and collectively violate the Constitution and individuals’ fundamental rights to keep and bear arms and due process of law,” explained attorney and FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “These irrational and outrageous fiat restrictions cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny and must be enjoined from enforcement.”
“California’s State and local governments cannot simply suspend the Constitution,” FPC President Brandon Combs said. “This case is one of many actions FPC is taking around the United States to fight for liberty and freedom. The entire FPC team has been and will remain all-hands-on-deck, working around the clock on important efforts to safeguard the People's individual liberties and property, especially the rights to keep and bear arms, free speech, privacy, and due process. FPC is fully committed to uniting the advocacy space and partnering with organizations and law firms around the country to fight government abuses and defend the People's right to defend their lives and homes. We especially wish to recognize and thank our incredible members and supporters who make all of our legal action, research, and grassroots activism programs possible.”
Individual arms applicants/purchasers and retailers affected by ‘stay-home’ or shutdown orders can report potential civil rights violations to  the NRA-ILA COVID-19 Contact Form.  
Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing, and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
California Gun Rights Foundation (www.cagunrights.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.

Snow Has Arrived

Above, the white stuff starting to accumulate on the patio chairs. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Just as the National Weather Service forecast, it has started to snow shower in Jamestown, New Mexico.

It isn't cold enough for it to last very long (it is about 35 degrees outside), so if there's any kind of accumulation, it will be gone.

The forecast for today:

A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of rain showers. Some thunder is also possible. Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 25 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Snitches In New Mexico

It was bound to happen after the governor's "stay at home" order was issued.

There are some people who just feel the need to tattle on businesses who are defying that order to the state government.

I do agree that all (individual and businesses) should comply. If they did, then the "lock down" would be of shorter duration. But, I am not sure tattling (snitching) is the way to go on those who aren't.

According to the Albuquerque Journal:
Has Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order for the closure of nonessential businesses and banning congregations of more than five people fallen on deaf ears? Or are some people just confused? 
New Mexico State Police have responded to more than 300 complaints of noncompliance since the governor’s order took effect Tuesday. Albuquerque police reported another 100 or so more. 
People also have taken to social media, including to the governor’s Facebook page, and emails to the Journal to complain about smoke shops, hobby supply stores and estate sale companies that are continuing to hold sales where people may be congregating.
When I went into Gallup a couple of days ago, it was not quite a "ghost town", but traffic was much less than normal. Plus, I saw a lot of shops closed.

To read more, go here

Thursday, March 26, 2020

NM Governor Wastes Law Enforcement Resources To Close Gun Stores

Above, Ron Peterson Firearms in Albuquerque. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

According to the NRA-ILA, Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham is having the New Mexico State Police stop at gun stores they find open for business to close them as "non-essential" businesses.

They wrote:
In response to the Covid 19 outbreak, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the closure of all businesses she doesn’t consider “Essential.”  The Governor did not designate firearm stores as “essential,” but many remained open because the Governor’s order did not explicitly order them closed.  Your NRA-ILA has now learned that Governor Grisham is making her anti-gun proclivities clear by tasking the State Patrol with driving by gun stores and telling dealers that they are, and will remain, closed to the public.  New Mexico residents are encouraged to contact their local firearms dealers to inquire about the potential to make online purchases while the Governor’s order remains in effect.

This is obviously a waste of state resources (along with taxpayer money).

Some states deem gun stores "non-essential", while others are allowing them to remain open.

From Fox News:
As governors across the country lock down their states and permit only businesses that are deemed essential for people’s health and well-being to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, many are asking what constitutes an “essential business.” 
Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations are obvious answers, but there is one industry that has divided local officials – and citizens – over whether it is really an essential business: gun stores. 
With firearms and ammunition retailers from New York to California reporting record sales over the last few weeks, state governors are deciding whether to allow dealers to keep their doors open or not. 
As of Thursday, seven states in total – Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington -- have issued orders for gun dealers to close up shop for the foreseeable future, while 17 others have explicitly allowed them to stay open, albeit in some cases with customer and operating restrictions.
 To read more, go here.

Gusty Day

Above, near the Cibola National Forest perimeter fence. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today was spent indoors.

It is too windy to be out Jeep driving. With the 35+ mph gusts, it would be hard on the vinyl top of the Jeep, especially the door windows, which are only held closed by strips of Velcro.

So, that being the case, I just watched The Godfather Part 2 (1974), one of the great movies of the 1970s.

I did some maintenance on the Jeep, including checking the oil and water. So it is all ready for the next jaunt once the wind dies down. The Mustang continued to start just fine today when I went down to the Flying J to check the mail.

We might be getting some snow showers tonight and tomorrow.

According to the National Weather Service:

This Afternoon
Isolated sprinkles. Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Windy, with a southwest wind around 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.
A slight chance of rain and snow showers between midnight and 3am, then scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Windy, with a southwest wind 20 to 30 mph decreasing to 10 to 20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Scattered snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Breezy, with a southwest wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Friday Night
A 30 percent chance of snow showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post Closed...For Now

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

If one is traveling on Interstate 40 in Arizona, Jack Rabbit Trading Post in St. Joseph is a place to visit.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, they issued the following announcement last night:
We will be closing for now....hopefully not for long.
There are not many travelers right now. Just not enough for us to stay open.
If you are through here & would like to stop by, just give us a call or mssg us.
You can still order at jackrabbittradingpost.com
They are good people, be sure to stop by (when they are open again) or order online.

Coronavirus: Do Not Resuscitate

Last night, a friend sent me this text message:
I was just told by a nurse that many hospitals across the country have issued Do Not Resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients. People need to check their local hospitals to see which ones have issued this order.
Nothing like tossing the Hippocratic Oath out the window!

It just so happens, another friend send me an article from the Washington Post on Do Not Resuscitate orders. 

It begins with:
Hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic are engaged in a heated private debate over a calculation few have encountered in their lifetimes — how to weigh the “save at all costs” approach to resuscitating a dying patient against the real danger of exposing doctors and nurses to the contagion of coronavirus. 
The conversations are driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment — such as masks, gowns and gloves — may be too great to justify the conventional response when a patient “codes,” and their heart or breathing stops. 
Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has been discussing a do-not-resuscitate policy for infected patients, regardless of the wishes of the patient or their family members — a wrenching decision to prioritize the lives of the many over the one. 
Richard Wunderink, one of Northwestern’s intensive-care medical directors, said hospital administrators would have to ask Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for help in clarifying state law and whether it permits the policy shift.
“It’s a major concern for everyone,” he said. “This is something about which we have had lots of communication with families, and I think they are very aware of the grave circumstances.”
Like one of my friends said, check your local hospitals to see which of them issued this order.

To read more, go here.

Communities Staging "Bear Hunts"

Above, stuffed bears, like these at Yellowstone Bear World, are employed in the "bear hunts". Photo by Armand Vaquer.

With people isolating themselves during this time of coronavirus, inventive ways to keep themselves and their kids occupied are being employed.

One such activity is staging "bear hunts".

According to Fox News:
Neighborhoods across the globe are coming together amid the outbreak with an almost un-bear-ably cute show of community. 
“Bear hunts” are being set up by neighbors and businesses everywhere in a bid to keep kids – and parents – busy during self-isolation, while also adhering to social distancing. 
The activity, which is based on the award-winning children’s book “Going on a Bear Hunt,” involves placing a stuffed bear in the windows of residences or businesses. As kids are out with parents, either driving or walking (while maintaining six feet of distance from others), they “hunt” for the bears.
To read more, go here

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Just Ducky In Gallup

Above, ducklings for sale at Tractor Supply Company. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Everything I needed to get done in Gallup today got done.

I had a morning appointment with my cardiologist (all's well) and a computer repair shop. After that, I picked up an order at Tractor Supply Co. I decided that since I was in the area, I would stop in at Safeway to pick up some groceries.

They had signs all over that limited purchases of certain items (cases of water, gallon bottles of milk, toilet paper, etc.) to one item. Everything was in stock that I needed. I took a look at the toilet paper aisle and, as it was the last time, completely empty. The hoarders did a number on that.

After finishing up, I headed home.

When I was heading out this morning, the Mustang wouldn't start. It had strong cranking and the battery was fine (it is about a year old). But it wouldn't start. So I had to drive The Beast into Gallup.

But when I got home, I tried the Mustang again and it started fine. Weird. I took it down to the Flying J so I could get my mail. It started fine there, too. That's a big relief. I was worried that I might have to replace the module in the distributor. It happened once before in Indio, California, 20 years ago. Once they go out, they go out without any warning.

It was a relief that the car started fine.

Gallup Today

Above, Tractor Supply in Gallup. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today will be the first time I will be in Gallup since the coronavirus "stay at home" order was issued.

I have a doctor appointment and then I have other things to attend to while I am in town. It will be interesting to see if people will actually be staying at home making Gallup a "ghost town" or if they're out and about as usual.

One stop will be at Tractor Supply to pick up cat food (they have big bags of Iams that nobody else seems to carry) and a computer repair shop. I have plenty of everything else, so a stop at a supermarket won't be necessary.

After that, it's home again.

Here's a little diddy by Roy Rogers:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Road Exploring

Above, the gully near the end of the national forest perimeter road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since the New Mexico governor's "stay at home" order, there's not too much to do except either sit around at home or jump into the Jeep for drives. I chose the latter.

One of the places I went to was on the road next to Cibola National Forest's perimeter fence that ends in a turnaround next to a gully. I stopped and walked around. I looked into the gully and spotted skeletal remains of some animal at the bottom. I am guessing they are from a deer or an elk, judging by the size of the bones.

Above, skeletal animal remains at the bottom of the gully. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I drove near the shooting area and spotted a side road off the pipeline road that goes through the shooting area. Since I never drove the road, I decided to explore it.

The road wound through some hills that are thick with juniper trees. I came to a fork in the road. One part looked well-traveled and the other less so. I elected to take the less traveled road to see where it led to. As it turned out, it led to the electric utility road behind my property. I was thinking about seeing where it went to, so it is interesting that I found out by exploring it going the opposite way.

Above, the electric utility service road behind Barking Spider Acre. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The the section of the road behind Barking Spider Acre makes a deep down slope dip at an arroyo. Before driving it, I put the Jeep into four-wheel-drive and crossed it without any problem and it climbed the up slope that starts behind my house. Again, the Jeep managed it without any difficulty.

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

For dinner, as I was not in the mood for cooking, I decided to order take-out (salmon dinner) from Denny's at the Flying J. Since their dining room is closed due to the governor's orders, ordering take-out helps them a little in staying afloat. We have to put up with this until around April 10.

Tomorrow, I have business in Gallup, including a doctor visit and other things.

JR Central To Launch Online Shinkansen Reservation Service

Above, the torii gate at Miyajima. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those who are planning a trip to Japan and whose itineraries include taking a shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima, and points in-between, they no longer have to be in Japan to make train reservations.

Japan Today reported:
TOKYO - Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) will launch an official online reservation service allowing oversea travelers to purchase, before coming to Japan and from all over the world, tickets for the Tokaido Sanyo shinkansen (bullet train) which runs through Japan’s golden route connecting Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata and other destinations. 
The shinkansen offers high speed and convenience. Trains run frequently and on time, seating is readily available, and travel is comfortable, safe and enjoyable. It is an efficient and reliable choice for long distances as well as short day trips.

To read more, go here

Tokyo Olympics Postponed One Year

Above, the Wako department store in Ginza (left). Photo by Armand Vaquer

All things considered, this is the right thing to do.

Japan and the International Olympics Committee has agreed to postpone the Tokyo Summer Olympics one year due to the coronavirus.

According to Japan Today:
TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone this summer's Tokyo Olympics for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese leader said. 
After speaking with Bach on the phone, Abe told reporters that they will aim to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year. 
It is the first time ever that the quadrennial sporting event has been postponed. 
The IOC will hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the postponement of the Tokyo Games, Abe said.
To read more, go here

Monday, March 23, 2020

New Mexico Stay At Home Order

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued a "stay at home" order to combat the coronavirus.

According to the New Mexico state website:
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced additional restrictions to disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus in New Mexico and instructed New Mexicans to remain in their homes or places of residence except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. 
The order — to be issued by Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel and effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24 — closes all non-essential businesses, requiring 100 percent of the state’s non-essential workforce to work from home. As in other states that have enacted similar measures, there are exceptions pertaining to essential services for the preservation of health, safety and well-being. 
“The only way for us to stop the spread of this virus is for New Mexicans to stop interacting with each other,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “New Mexicans must be crystal-clear on this point: Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk. Only by distancing from one another, by remaining home except for essential or emergency travel, can we limit the spread of this virus to the point that it does not overwhelm New Mexico."
Does this mean people can't go outside for a walk or a bike ride?
“Does this order mean you cannot walk your dog? No. Does it mean you can’t go for a jog? No. But you should not do those things in a group — and you should be home as soon as possible,” the governor said. “This social isolation strategy will only work if we all undertake it to the greatest extent we can. That boils down to one thing: Stay home.”''
Good! At least I can still go out Jeeping!

Above, during today's ride. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

 Businesses deemed essential that may remain open are:

  • Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, pharmacies, medical wholesale and distribution, home health care workers or aides for the elderly, emergency dental facilities, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, research facilities, congregate care facilities, intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, supportive living homes, home health care providers, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers;
  • Homeless shelters, food banks, and other services providing care to indigent or needy populations;
  • Childcare facilities necessary to provide services to those workers employed by essential businesses and essential non-profit entities;
  • Grocery stores, all food and beverage stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers’ markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, feed, and other animal supply stores, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products;
  • Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing, or packaging operations;
  • All facilities used by law enforcement personnel, first responders, firefighters, emergency management personnel, dispatch operators, and court personnel. 
  • Infrastructure operations including, but not limited to, public works construction; commercial and residential facility construction and maintenance; airport operations; public transportation; airlines; taxis; private transportation providers; water, sewer, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal; gas; electrical; oil drilling; oil refining; natural resources extraction or mining operations; nuclear material research and enrichment; those attendant to the repair and construction of roads and highways; solid waste collection and removal; processing and disposal; data and internet providers; data centers; and telecommunications systems;
  • Manufacturing operations involved in food processing, manufacturing agents, chemicals, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, household paper products, telecommunications, microelectronics/semi-conductor, primary metals manufacturers, machinery manufacturers, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturers, and transportation equipment manufacturers;
  • Services necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses including security services, custodial services, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades;
  • Media services including television, radio, and newspaper operations;
  • Gas stations, automobile repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile repair products;
  • Hardware stores;
  • Laundromats and dry cleaner services;
  • Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply;
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries;
  • Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services, and investment management firms;
  • Real estate services including brokers, title companies, and related services.
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  • Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government or a contractor to the United States government;
  • Restaurants, but only for delivery or carry out and local breweries or distilleries but only for carry out;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities; and 
  • Logistics and businesses that store, ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences or retailers.
The order is in effect until April 10.
To read more, go here.

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