"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

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Get the ebook edition here! (Click image.)

Sunday, May 31, 2020

ANTIFA On Twitter

Gee, I wonder if Twitter feels that posts like these are promoting violence?




Wonder why we need magazines that hold more than ten rounds?

Another Curfew Night In L.A.

Above, Weller Court in Little Tokyo, New Year's Day 2013. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This evening, I received another text message from the City of Los Angeles:


LA City: Citywide curfew tonight from 8 pm-5:30 am. Info: www.lacity.org - Ciudad de LA: Toque de queda esta noche en toda la ciudad de 8 pm-5:30 am. Info: lacity.org
Reply with YES to confirm receipt or https://evb.gg/05lH6Bgs .


Wanna Buy A Cattle Ranch?

Above, the ranch house and outbuildings. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today, I took a "Sunday drive" up to McGaffey Lake in the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico. While there, I decided to do some exploring in places I hadn't been to before.

I drove north of McGaffey Recreational Area on McGaffey road. Along the way, I passed cattle out grazing in grassy meadows.

Above, approaching the ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

About a mile or so out of the recreational area, I left the Cibola National Forest. A little ways ahead, I spotted a ranch house with outbuildings and grazing cattle in the distance.

At the ranch's gate, there was a "for sale" sign. There was no indication on the asking price, but it did have a phone number.

Above, another view of the ranch. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It wasn't exactly Southfork Ranch of Dallas, but it seemed to be a nice enough place with lots of potential. It was in a beautiful area with pine-covered hills and grassy fields.

Above, the "for sale" sign with the house and outbuildings in the background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

So I snapped a few photos of the ranch and headed back to McGaffey.

After getting home, I checked Zillow and one other real estate website but found no listings for this ranch. Maybe it is up for sale by the owner.

Above, the "for sale" sign and more of the ranch field. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If you're interested, you have the phone number.

Sunday Drive To McGaffey

Above, the Jeep at McGaffey Lake today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Before any thunderstorms hit the area today, I decided to take a little "Sunday drive" up through Six Mile Canyon to McGaffey, which is the recreation area of the Cibola National Forest in the Mt. Taylor Ranger District of New Mexico.

The drive was a pleasant one. The little rain we got yesterday helped to keep the road dust to a minimum.

Above, Christmas waiting for her treats. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Before heading into Six Mile Canyon, I stopped to feed Christmas some carrots. She seemed to enjoy her treats. From there, I headed to Six Mile Canyon.

Above, people enjoying some lake fishing. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This time, I went over to the McGaffey Lake and there were many people along the shoreline fishing. This was the most amount of people I've seen at the lake since I moved here.

Above, just outside of the recreational area, I spotted some cattle grazing in a field. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

From the lake, I decided to explore the area north of the recreation area. After a couple of miles, I found myself out of the national forest. There were ranches in this area with grazing cattle. One ranch had a "for sale" sign (more about this in another blog post).

After looking around and snapping a few pictures, I headed back to the recreation area. I went down to the Quaking Aspen Campground and found it (and McGaffey Campground) with a locked and closed gate.

Above, the Quaking Aspen Campground sign. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I then turned around and headed up the road to Forest Road 162 to head back to Six Mile Canyon and home.

The ride back was not as good. The Jeep developed some problems and kept killing out, like it was out of gasoline. I checked and it had plenty. After four stall-outs, I eventually made it back home. (During one stall-out, the skies opened up with thunder and heavy rain.) I'll look into the problem this week.

Other than that, it was a nice ride.

Anvil Firing

Above, the latest issue of Enchantment.

The current issue of Enchantment (from the New Mexico rural electric cooperatives), shown above, sported a cover (and story inside) of a man's collection of anvils. It reminded me of the "good ol' days" of anvil firings.

Back before the Grand Council of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus put a ban on anvil firing, we had anvil firings at clampouts.

In case anyone is wondering, "What's an anvil firing?", here's a YouTube video of anvil firings:




The practice of anvil firings originally started (in the U.K., according to Wikipedia) to test anvils for strength. If an anvil is fired and comes out undamaged, then it was considered safe to use.

Above, an anvil firing at a clampout in the 1980s. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Officially Reopens

Above, The Beast at Manzanita Lake Campground in 2017. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Lassen Volcanic National Park officially reopened Friday.

According to KRCR News:
OLD STATION, Calif. — The Lassen Volcanic National Park officially reopened Friday after being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 27. 
The park says the Butte Lake area, the 30-mile Park Highway, Warner Valley area, and most of the trails are open.

Juniper Lake Road does remain closed at the park boundary due to snow.

And the Manzanita Lake and Southwest Walk-In campgrounds will open next week on Monday, June 1. 
Visitors should plan ahead of time when they visit. There is no gas, food, or supplies in the park at this time. There is also no drinking water in the Butte Lake and Warner Valley areas until June 5 and 6.

To read more, go here

Limited Lodging Returning To Yellowstone Monday

Above, Lake Yellowstone Hotel lobby. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Limited lodging is starting to open up in Yellowstone National Park, according to National Parks Traveler.

They reported:
Limited lodging is scheduled to return to Yellowstone National Park on Monday, with the possibility of more rooms becoming available later this summer. 
For now, cabins with private baths will be available at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on Monday, with more cabins expected to come on line at the Old Faithful Lodge and Old Faithful Snow Lodge on June 8, at Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Lake Lodge on June 17, and at Canyon Lodge on June 19. 
For now, the Old Faithful Inn, Grant Village, or Roosevelt Lodge "may reopen in 2020 if conditions allow," a release from Xanterra Travel Collection said. 
Concessions in national parks have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, with problems revolving around when lodges, restaurants, and other commercial businesses in the parks could open this year as well as how concessionaire employees would be housed without risking an outbreak of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

To read more, go here

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Los Angeles Curfew

Above, Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by Armand Vaquer

This brings back memories of 27 years ago when the L.A. riots took place in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.

I received a text message from the City of Los Angeles a little while ago (I still have my L.A. phone number):
LA City: Citywide curfew tonight from 8pm-5:30am. Info: www.lacity.orgCiudad de LA: Toque de queda esta noche en toda la ciudad de 8pm-5:30am. Info: lacity.orgReply with YES to confirm receipt or https://evb.gg/05oOwYit .

I am sure glad I'm out of there. 

Thunderstorm

Right now, we are experiencing a thunderstorm in Jamestown, New Mexico.

We really do need the precipitation and we're getting some in the form of big drops. Hopefully, the storm will intensify to give us a good soaking. Then it won't be so dusty out here.

I went outside and snapped these two pictures when things started happening. This could be considered to be the start of monsoon season (albeit a little early).



Here's the forecast for today and tomorrow by the National Weather Service:

This Afternoon
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tonight
Isolated showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday Night
Isolated showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Lunatic Lujan Grisham On The Riots

A great example on how out of touch Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham is (on the Minneapolis riots):



The best response is this one (I couldn't have said it better):



She can't tell the difference between protests and riots. Jeez.

To read more, go here.

Retire In A RV

Above, The Beast at Camp Okihi. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One major thing that makes me prefer staying in my own RV than in a hotel room is that the DNA in one's own RV is their own. Whereas, you don't know what's been left behind in hotel rooms (especially ones who have poor cleaning staffs) by prior guests unless you check out the room with your "handy" CSI forensic testing kit that includes a blacklight.

But, that aside, there are reasons why retirees should retire into the RV lifestyle and MSN Money gives nine of those reasons.

They begin with:
Retirement is in sight. You’re ready to begin new journeys, hit the open road — and travel the blue highways in a recreational vehicle. 
And why not? You’ve earned it (literally), and with a comfortable cushion of retirement income, you can satisfy your yearning to roam the country, visit children and grandchildren — and, of course, hit the big sightseeing destinations. 
You won’t lack for fellow travelers. Approximately 10 million U.S. households own RVs, according to the RV Industry Association, and roughly 1 million Americans live in one full time. 
Even amid the uncertainty and gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic, current and future RVers are ponying up for wheels. Earlier in May, shares of Camping World Holdings (CWH) surged 35% after reporting first-quarter earnings that blew past analysts’ estimates. Sales of RVs are rocking, likely fueled by pent-up demand to go vacationing, along with interest from “covid campers,” people no longer willing to stay in a hotel or motel and seeking a self-contained way to travel.
To read more, go here

Hawaii Visitor Arrivals Dropped 99.5% In April

Above, the Kona International Airport on the Big Island. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a major toll on Hawaii travel.

The figures are now out on how many visitor arrivals to Hawaii there were in April. They are not good.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
Only 4,564 visitors traveled to Hawaii last month, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. 
That’s a 99.5% drop compared to a year ago when 856,250 visitors came by air and cruise ship. HTA did not provide a spending estimate for this April’s visitors, but it would have been minuscule compared to the $1.3 billion that visitors to Hawaii spent in April 2019. 
The decline was due to COVID-19 fears and tourism lockdowns.

To read more, go here

Save Bucks With Boondockers Welcome



If you are a RVer and would also like to save money while traveling, Travel + Leisure has an article on a money-saving site that may just be right up your alley.

It is Boondockers Welcome and they provide information on free camping on private property around the country. This is the first time I've heard of it.

According to the article:
If you’re planning to hit the open road in an RV this summer, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you gas up and go, including what to pack, where to go, and which campgrounds or RV parks to book. Finding a safe place to sleep for every night of your journey can seem daunting and expensive, but thankfully, Boondockers Welcome is here to simplify your trip (and save your budget) with free overnight RV parking on private property around the U.S.

To read more, go here

Friday, May 29, 2020

Diamonds Are A Governor's Best Friend, Until She Gets Caught



The flap over Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham's jewelry buying refuses to go away. I'm sure that she would like it to, but her own non-candor is feeding more suspicions.

She refuses to fully answer questions in an interview setting that was requested by KRQE.

They reported:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In April, non-essential businesses were closed. But, one opened just for the governor to buy jewelry. 
KRQE News 13 first reported the story Tuesday and on Thursday, was the first time Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham responded on camera. “Well, let’s start with the first part, there’s a story that’s wildly inaccurate about my personal practices,” Lujan Grisham said. But, the governor did not point out at Thursday’s press conference what was inaccurate about our story. 
The governor has refused to do an interview with us and she has never reached out to us to say anything was inaccurate since the story aired Tuesday. After not letting us ask more questions today, her office later told us Thursday afternoon they took issue with us saying a store was opened in early April and that jewelry was delivered to the governor. 
Even though, in an email from the governor’s office, it said the governor called an employee at LIlly Barrack and purchased jewelry over the phone. The employee went to the store got the jewelry, and left it outside their home where the governor’s friend picked it up for the governor.
While everyone else had to just buy what was essential for living, Her Majesty apparently felt she's too important to sit and wait to buy jewelry after the lockdown and stay-at-home orders end.

In her case, it's Do As I Order, Not As I Do! 

Diamonds are a governor's best friend. Until she gets caught.

To read more, go here.

...and It Decides To Rain!

Above, the partially assembled chaise lounge just before I was driven indoors. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The chaise lounge I ordered from Wayfair arrived today.

UPS was the delivery company and, like they did with the gas tank for the Jeep, delivered it next door. It seems that their driver isn't too bright as the neighbor's address is plainly visible at his gate.

I had to go over and get it. But before I did, I took off in the Jeep and found the truck up the hill. Needless to say, I have the driver a good chewing out.

Since I had nothing else to do today, I decided to put the lounge together.

When I ordered it, Wayfair had listed the product as requiring "partial assembly". But, when I got it out of the box, the whole thing had to be assembled. Why can't people order stuff that doesn't require assembly with easy to read instructions? Why can't Wayfair give accurate information on products? The instructions are terrible, just diagrams and very little directions to read.

I got most of it assembled when a thunderstorm decided to arrive in the area. I put most everything away and headed into the house as it began to rain big drops. Before the storm arrived, I was harrassed by gnats. Looks like we're in gnat season for about 2 weeks. Good thing I keep a can of insect repellent in a cigar box on the patio table.

The last major part of the assembly is the crossbar at the foot of the lounge. It will require two people to stretch the fabric to allow for attaching the crossbar.

When all is said and done, I intend to give this item a poor review. I was expecting better.

Yellowstone's Montana Gates Opening Monday

Above, West Yellowstone, Montana. Visitors from West Yellowstone will be able
 to enter the park from the entrance just outside of town. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

More good news for visitors to Yellowstone National Park.

The park's Montana entrances will be opening on Monday, according to a report by the Associated Press.

They reported:
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s three entrances to Yellowstone National Park will reopen to visitors Monday, as the state moves to its second phase of restarting the economy after shutdowns because of the coronavirus. 
Parts of Glacier National Park could open in mid-June, Gov. Steve Bullock added Thursday, but a specific day has not been set. 
The West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Cooke City entrances to Yellowstone will open two weeks after Wyoming’s entrances near Cody and Jackson. The park, famous for its geysers and bison, remains open for day use only. No overnight accommodations are available, and large tour buses aren’t allowed yet, park Superintendent Cam Sholly said. 
Park employees won’t be policing visitors’ compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines such as social distancing and wearing masks, Sholly said Thursday. 
“We have to have the respect of the public to adhere to health guidelines,” he said.
The opening of Yellowstone remains a gradual one. Limited overnight facilities, such as cabins and campgrounds, will begin reopening later in June, Sholly said.
To read more, go here.

Tokyo Tower Is Open

Above, a view of Tokyo Tower from Tokyo City View. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tokyo's iconic Tokyo Tower had been closed for nearly two months due to COVID-19, but now it has reopened.

Stars and Stripes reported:
TOKYO — A popular, landmark tourist spot reopened in Tokyo with the recent easing of a state of emergency imposed by the Japanese government nearly two months ago to curb the coronavirus pandemic. 
Tokyo Tower, an iconic red and white communications and observation structure in central Tokyo, opened its doors Thursday for the first time since April 8, according to the tower’s website. 
However, the popular tourist destination will operate with shorter hours than usual, with the main deck open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m daily. 
The number of visitors riding the elevator at one time will be limited as an anti-coronavirus measure, the tower’s website stated.

To read more, go here

Thursday, May 28, 2020

New Fire Restrictions For New Mexico National Forests

Above, the "no campfires" notice at the entrance to Six Mile Canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As I have mentioned previously, it is hot and dry in the northwest section of New Mexico.

The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service, has issued new fire restrictions for New Mexico national forests, including Cibola National Forest.

The Albuquerque Journal reported:
Stay-at-home orders have been in place since mid-March. 
New Mexico is home to world-class trails and hiking areas. 
As the weather is getting warmer and the eventual easing of said stay-at-home orders, the United States Department of Agriculture announced new fire restrictions last week for Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests last week. 
The move is to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire based on current and forecasted conditions, including very low fuel moisture levels and severe fire weather conditions. 
According to a release, the restrictions will also help protect the health and safety of firefighters and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The restrictions will be implemented forest-wide on the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests and on the Mount Taylor, Magdalena, Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands.
I go off-roading in my Jeep in the Six Mile Canyon area of the Cibola National Forest, which is in the Mount Taylor ranger district. The forest abuts our community of Jamestown, New Mexico.

To read more, go here.

Trump Issues Executive Order Against Social Media Abuses



It was a long time in coming. It has support by both parties.

President Trump issued an executive order on social media, especially the giants like Facebook and Twitter, who practice censorship, shadow banning, "fact checking" and other acts on a selective basis.

According to Fox News:
Flanked by Attorney General Bill Barr, President Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office on Thursday that calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) to remove statutory liability protections and cut federal funding for tech companies that engage in censorship and political conduct.

The president's order came just two days after Twitter took the unprecedented step of slapping a "misleading" warning label on two of Trump's tweets concerning the fraud risks of nationwide mail-in balloting. The move immediately backfired: Experts disputed that Trump's tweet was actually misleading, given that mail-in balloting has been linked to ongoing fraud, and Twitter failed to apply the fact-check standard to others. 
At Thursday's signing ceremony, Trump called the fact-check "egregious," and held up a photo of Twitter executive Yoel Roth, who heads up the site's fact-checking operation. Fox News reported on Wednesday that Roth has mocked Trump supporters, called Trump's team "ACTUAL NAZIS," slammed "scary trannies," and called GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a "bag of farts." 
"My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield," the president said.

He added: "My executive order further instructs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit social media companies from engaging in any deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce. This commerce resides in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. ... Additionally, I'm directing the attorney general to work cooperatively with the states ... to enforce their own laws against such deceptive business practices. The states have broad and powerful authority to regulate in this arena." 
Under the CDA, platforms are ordinarily not liable for users' defamatory or otherwise problematic posts under the CDA, while publishers that actively shape content do face liability. Trump's order would empower the federal government to interpret and apply that legislation.
To read more, go here

Grand Canyon National Park Moving Towards Full Opening

Above, Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Source: National Parks Traveler Press Release


There's some good news coming from the Southwest: Grand Canyon National Park is moving towards full opening.

According to National Parks Traveler:
During the course of the next week Grand Canyon National Park will reopen its South Rim round-the-clock while the North Rim will open to day use. 
On Friday, the South Rim's south entrance will be open every day from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m for day use with limited commercial services. The entrance will close at 2 p.m. and visitors already inside the park can remain for day use access until sunset. The following areas will be open: 
  • Tuweep will be open for day use access. 
  • Day hiking on inner canyon trails and existing backcountry permits for hikers camping overnight will be honored. No new overnight camping permits for the inner canyon will be issued. 
Beginning June 5, the following areas will be open for visitors every day: 
  • South Rim's south entrance will be open 24/7, and Mather Campground will open for existing reservations only. 
  • The North Rim will be open for day use. The campground is closed for construction until July 1. 
Beginning June 14, the park will initiate a phased reopening of Colorado River commercial, noncommercial and administrative trips until further notice. 
Private, noncommercial river trips with current permits will be authorized to launch, and no new permits will be issued until at least the end of June. Noncommercial river trips including administrative trips should contact the Grand Canyon River Permit Office via email at: grca_riv@nps.gov for details. 
Commercial river trips will resume with implemented mitigation measures including modified passenger capacities. Customers should contact the commercial river companies for any potential impact to their trip. 
Lodging accommodations on the South and North Rims will begin a phased reopening in June, and visitors should check the reservation sites for their availability.
To read more, go here

Foreign Tourists: No, Japan Will Not Pay For Half Your Travel Costs

Above, the Godzilla mural at Toho Studios in Setagaya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


It had been reported in the media (including in this, your faithful, blog) that Japan was planning to entice tourists by offering to pay for half of their expense. 

I did question how Japan was going to do it and wondered about the details.

It turns out that there is no such plan in the works.

According to Forbes:
Last week, media reports quoted Hiroshi Tabata, the head of Japan’s tourism agency, as saying that they aimed to launch the Go To Travel campaign after COVID-19 was brought under control, in July at the earliest. 
According a budget document released by Japan’s economy ministry, the proposed plan would dole out travel vouchers toward lodging and dining, up to a maximum of 20,000 yen per person, per stay. That’s the equivalent of $185 US per person. 
“Currently, this means initiatives such as this will be aimed at people living in Japan only, and not overseas visitors. Support will be offered to cover a proportion of domestic travel expenses,” a spokesperson for the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) in London told the UK’s Independent newspaper. 
The original statement was quickly corrected to clarify that the proposed campaign would only cover a portion of travel costs for domestic travelers, but it was too late to stop the story from going viral. 
Numerous outlets around the world — from the UK’s Mirror to India’s News18 and many U.S. lifestyle sites and blogs — had already hastily picked up the story without the correction, which led to confusion.
This is one blogger who didn't "hastily" pick up the story. The story was out for at least a couple of days before I said anything. The original story wasn't corrected "quickly" enough to stop the story from going viral.

Oh, well, tough luck, folks! Enjoy the Godzilla mural photo anyway since we can't go there yet (even if it is 100% on our dime).

To read more, go here.

Ex-Air Base Now Home For Grounded Planes

Above, Roswell now welcomes grounded planes. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since COVID-19 virtually put air travel almost to a grinding halt, something had to be done with all the currently unneeded planes.

A former air base in New Mexico is at least one place where the planes are being stored. All those planes in one spot just may attract the attention of aliens and push them into making a return visit.

According to Stars and Stripes:
ROSWELL, N.M. — The downturn in the commercial air travel industry has turned into a boon for a former military base in New Mexico. 
The Roswell International Air Center has emerged as a major storage facility for planes that have been grounded by airlines due to age and lack of demand. The air center was storing about 160 aircraft before March. As of last week, another 309 planes had arrived from carriers including American Airlines, United Airlines and Frontier Airlines. 
There are more grounded planes in Roswell now than at any point during the modern history of the former base, surpassing even the number of aircraft stored there in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

To read more, go here

Sir Paul McCartney's Visit To Graceland



Here's some rock 'n roll trivia.

In 2013, Sir Paul McCartney paid his first visit to Elvis Presley's Graceland estate.

The Express (U.K.) posted an article on the Beatles legend's visit.

They begin it with:
Elvis Presley and The Beatles are the most successful music acts of all time. And while the Fab Four sold more records that The King, they’ve admitted over the years how much they were influenced by Elvis growing up as kids in the fifties. Sir Paul McCartney only made his first visit to Graceland in 2013, where he honoured The King in the most touching way.

To read more, go here

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Clouds Coming In

Above, darker clouds are starting to move into the area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This afternoon, I took a drive over to Mesa Ridge Ranch to see what progress has been made with the two homes in the subdivision.

The first home, which is one of the first lots after entering the subdivision is now occupied.

The second home, which is next to the locked gate to Cibola National Forest, didn't look like too much progress had been made. One section of the "tri-wide" still isn't connected to the other two sections.

One thing I did notice was that dark clouds were beginning to move into the area. I took a couple of photos of them while at the locked gate at Mesa Ridge Ranch. One is posted above.

In fact, a little while ago, I went outside to turn the water on for the swamp cooler and received a few large drops of rain. So rain is on its way for this weekend.

Thunderstorms This Weekend (Uh, Maybe)

Above, after returning from Six Mile Canyon and hosing down. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A little while ago, I got back from checking my mailbox at the Flying J and a drive in Six Mile Canyon.

There were some other drivers in the canyon and work crews constructing some drainage diversions.

It is 81° right now and the forecast high today is 84°.

This will be the weather for the next few days. But on Saturday, we will have several days of possible thunderstorms in the area. We can use the water as it is dry here. Next month, monsoon season begins.

The forecast by the National Weather Service:

This Afternoon
Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. North wind around 15 mph.
Tonight
Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest 5 to 10 mph after midnight.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 86. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Friday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.
Saturday
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84.
Saturday Night
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53.
Sunday
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 83.
Sunday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.
Monday
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.
Monday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.
Tuesday
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 79.

Japan Preparing To Welcome Tourists

Above, the Kinkaku-ji "Golden Pavilion" in Kyoto. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Now that Japan has lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency, preparations are underway to welcome back tourists.

According to TTG Asia:
Japan’s regions are preparing to welcome tourists again following the lifting of the state of emergency for Tokyo and four neighbouring prefectures, imposed last month to curb the spreading coronavirus. 
The move brings the nationwide “soft lockdown” to an end, and sees the resumption of economic activity. 
Officials continue to appeal for social distancing, but travel restrictions, at least within or across prefectures, are expected to be relaxed. The government is also set to fully reopen the economy by August, and plans to use the interim to promote new lifestyles without compromising on safety. 
Tour agents and local tourism bureaus are developing campaigns, as well as new experiences and activities, to ensure they are top-of-mind when visitors decide their next destination. Many are also adapting to secure income in the short-term until Japan reopens its borders to international visitors.

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Stop At Jack Rabbit Trading Post

One stop after we left Winslow, Arizona was at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post off of Interstate 40 on Route 66 in St. Joseph, Arizona.

Russell (Azbill) had never been there before and he seemed to enjoy it. He left with plenty of souvenirs.

Some photos of the trading post:




Standin' On A Corner In Winslow, Arizona Today

Above, tourists at the Standin' On A Corner park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Well, I'm a-runnin' down the road, tryin' to loosen my load 
 
I've got seven women on my mind  
Four that want to own me, two that want to stone me 
One said she's a friend of mine 
Take it easy, take it easy 
Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy 
Lighten up while you still canDon't even try to understand 
Just find a place to make your stand 
Take it easy 
Now I'm a-standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona 
With such a fine sight to see  
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford Slowin' down to have a look at me 
Come on, baby, don't say maybe 
I've got to know if your sweet love is gonna save me 
We may lose and we may win 
But we will never be here again 
Open up, I'm climbin' in to take it easy 
Well, I'm a-runnin' down… 
- Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey
Above, the official Route 66 Roadside Attraction sign. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today, Russell Azbill, a friend from Jamestown, New Mexico, and I headed to Winslow, Arizona to get haircuts since all of New Mexico's barber shops are closed by order of the state's governor.

We headed out this morning in The Beast. We had 10:30 appointments at Shades n Fades in Winslow.

Above, yours truly with the guitar guy statue. 

On the way, we stopped for coffee and munchies at the Hopi Travel Center near Holbrook, Arizona. From there, we headed off to Winslow.

Above, there is a campaign to restore the mural at the park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At Shades n Fades, a fellow former alumnus, Maria Wooton (Class of 1986), cut Russell's hair.

When we finished at Shades n Fades, we headed a few blocks in downtown Winslow to see the "Standin' On A Corner" park, a tribute to the town's place in music history in the Eagles' song, "Take It Easy". We stopped to take some photos at the park. There were about a half dozen other people checking out the park while we were there.

Above, a flatbed Ford truck was there, but no girl. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At the corner, a red Ford flatbed truck was parked. Unfortunately, there was no girl inside taking a look.

A foundation has been formed to restore the mural at the park. So far, they have raised over half of the needed funds for the restoration.

Above, the staute of Eagles member Glenn Frey was unveiled in 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After taking photos at the park, we headed out of Winslow to go back to Jamestown. Along the way we stopped at Jack Rabbit Trading Post in St. Joseph, Arizona. Russell had never been there before. He had a good time there and he left the store with several purchases.

All in all, it was a fun little trip.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Japan Lifts State of Emergency

Above, a view of Tokyo from the Tokyo Skytree. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Japan has ended their coronavirus state of emergency in the last remaining prefectures.

This was after 16,000 tested positive for the coronavirus and 800 deaths. They achieved this without any lockdowns. The United States could learn a lot from Japan.

The Japanese people practiced stay-at-home without threats and penalties, unlike places like New Mexico where the state government threatened people through tactics by the State Police that many called "Gestapo" and issued fines.

According to News On Japan:
The Japanese government has lifted the state of emergency in the last five of the country's 47 prefectures. 
The prime minister said it showed the strength of what he called "the Japan model," a reference to the public's adherence to stay-at-home policies without the threat of penalties. 
Abe Shinzo said on Monday, "Today the government will lift the state of emergency across the nation. We've set some of the most strict criteria in the world to lift the declaration, and we concluded that prefectures across the country have met that standard." 
The final five are Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures, as well as the northernmost island of Hokkaido. 
The state of emergency once covered the entire country. But it was scaled back in recent weeks, as the number of new infections declined. 
Abe said economic activity will restart in phases. He said he aims to create what he calls a 'new normal' in the country.
 To read more, go here.

Arizona-Bound Tomorrow

Above, The Beast after getting back from the Flying J. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tomorrow, one of my Jamestown friends and I will be trekking to Winslow, Arizona to get haircuts.

Since Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham won't allow barber shops to open in New Mexico, that is our best option. My hair hasn't been this long since my college days. My last haircut was on January 31 when I was en route to home from the Second Amendment Rally in Santa Fe.

I got The Beast all gassed up (since it hasn't gotten much use since January, this'll be a good workout for it) today. Today gas price (with my Good Sam discount) was $1.849/gallon. That made a big difference to my 55 gallon RV tank.

Maybe while we're in Winslow, we might just do some "standing on a corner" for the fun of it and just to say we did it. Perhaps a girl in a flatbed Ford may swing by to take a look.

I was going to do some Jeep driving today, but I decided to relax and do a little yard work instead. For tonight's movie fare, I'll probably watch The Sands of Iwo Jima, starring John Wayne. Wayne garnered his first Academy Award nomination for that movie.

President Trump At Arlington National Cemetery

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend the Memorial Day wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Above, the President and Vice President at Arlington National Cemetery. Screenshot by Armand Vaquer.

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