"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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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Quick Jaunt To Continental Divide

A little while ago, I headed east on Interstate 40 to the Indian Village and Indian Market at Continental Divide, New Mexico to pick up a few things at both stores.

After getting my shopping done, the clerk was processing my purchase and she asked, "No kachinas today?" She remembered me buying around 12 of them two Christmases ago. I just laughed and said, "Ah, you remembered me!"

After leaving the stores, I went down Route 66 a little bit to take some photos of "The Mother Road" and the vicinity looking towards Jamestown.

Here's a couple of the photos:

Above, this section of Route 66 dead ends about a half mile down from this point (west). Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Above, Route 66 with Interstate 40 running parallel to it. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday's Judiciary Committee Hearing In A Nutshell

From talk show host Mark Levin:
House Judiciary Committee Democrats ... I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of assholes. There’s no other way to put it more accurately.

Last Attempt At Comet Watching

Above, last night's moon and some stars. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Last night's sky was the first clear sky in days, so I thought I would try to see Comet NEOWISE one last time.

Unfortunately, although the sky was clear, the comet has gone too far from the sun for any kind of brilliance. I couldn't spot it, even with binoculars. Having a half-moon out last night didn't help with visibility either as it probably made the sky too bright for seeing the comet.

At least I got to see it last week.

Trying Out Amtrak

Above, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Berth Marks (1929).

Today will be a first for me.

I will be taking an Amtrak train to California to attend my aunt's memorial service. She passed away on April 4 and, due to COVID-19, her memorial had been delayed until now.

The only trains I've been on in the U.S. were either subway trains or amusement trains (such as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad). It will be interesting to see how Amtrak compares to trains I've been on in Japan (definitely not as fast as their Shinkansens).

I am not going to bother getting a berth on the sleeper car. If I did, would have visions of Stan and Ollie in Berth Marks (1929).

Sierra will be well taken care of as I have a cat/house sitter during the trip.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

New Mexico Mayors Fire Back At Governor

Threats and intimidation rarely work in the long run. All they do is foster ill will between parties. Opponents become adve. Enemies become 

Such is the case of Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham and the mayors of several New Mexico cities. By threatening mayors and others, Lujan Grisham is showing that she hasn't learned the "fine art of subtlety". She's taking the route of a despot.

As Jock Ewing (Jim Davis) told his son J.R. on Dallas:
"Junior, it's time you learned the art of subtlety. .. . . Because the lack of it turns competitors into enemies and enemies into fanatics."

KRQE reported:
ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayors from around New Mexico are striking back. This after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote an op-ed threatening to remove them from office if they don’t enforce the public health order. 
“We’re trying to express to the governor and her advisors that Roswell is not Rio Rancho it’s not Raton. Each of these communities have their own separate problems and our own solutions. Work with us, don’t work against us,” said Dennis Kintigh, Mayor of Roswell. 
The letter sent directly to the governor last Wednesday was written by Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull but was endorsed by another 17 other mayors from all parts of the state. Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb says they sent the letter because they all feel something needs to be done. 
“Each community has individual needs and so that’s what we were trying to do, trying to get these individual needs of our respective constituents addressed,” said Cobb. 
“Difficult job she has that our community has to stop, cause people are dying with this disease but to completely close the economy, destroy hundreds if not thousands of small businesses. We should think of different ways to do that,” said Cobb.
To read the full article, go here

Rush: MLB’s Black Lives Matter Support Turns Off Millions of Fans

Rush Limbaugh weighed in on Major League Baseball's embrace of Black Lives Matter yesterday and he was spot-on right about it.

Here some snippets of his comments:
RUSH: No, no. In fact, what I’ve heard, I’ve heard more people are just tuning out baseball. All it took was to see BLM, Black Lives Matter, on the pitcher’s mound at some of these games, and I know some big-time baseball fans that said to heck with this. And they just turned it off. And, you know, I don’t blame ’em. I don’t think these professional sports leagues have the slightest idea what has happened to them and what is in store for them. 
There was a report today that Major League Baseball’s executive council was gonna have a super-secret meeting, and they were going to discuss canceling the whole season. That report, according to latest news, is not true. The latest news, in fact, let me share with you the actual headline: “Report: Major League Baseball Has Not Had Talks of Pausing Season Amid Marlins COVID-19 Outbreak.” 
You know, if they’re not, they’re gonna have to soon because we got three games in, and have you seen the story about A&E? The A&E TV network had this show called Live PD, and it was about cops. They’ve lost half their audience since all this anti-cops stuff started. Arts & Entertainment, co-owned by Walt Disney and Hearst, dropped Live PD in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. It was one of their biggest-viewed, most-viewed shows. And it featured body cam footage and footage from the dashboard of the police cars. And people watched it. 
But now, because of the anti-cop sentiment, they’ve lost half of the audience. Now, what does the NFL think is gonna happen and what does Major League Baseball think is gonna happen once they start protesting the anthem and kneeling, which Major League Baseball has done, and they put Black Lives Matter all over the pitcher’s mounds? And it’s a Marxist organization. Everybody knows this. And they’re ignoring it. It’s not hard to find out that it’s not about civil rights. It’s not about fairness. It’s not about doing this. 
It’s a pro-Marxist, anti-American, full-fledged anti-American organization. And the fact that the people in professional sports don’t even seem to care enough to get it right, that they’re just gonna go ahead and follow whatever the erroneous conventional wisdom is, they’re in the process of dwindling their audiences down to — I don’t know what. 
A lot of people are baseball fans where I’m not, but I’ll tell you, I have heard from people who are livid over the Black Lives Matter imposed on the pitcher’s mound, people that are big baseball fans said that was it, tuning out, not watching.
To read the full transcript, go here

Travel and How Consumers Feel About It

Above, a view of hotels at Waikiki, Hawaii. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Even though we seem to be in a "second wave" of the coronavirus, people who have been shut in at home for five months or so are itching to get out and travel.

Interestingly, the pandemic has changed people's attitudes on travel.

Travel Market Report has an article on what consumers are feeling about how they plan to travel.

They begin with:
In the five months since the COVID pandemic started, the industry has seen a wave of research taking the pulse of leisure travelers and their desire to venture out again. 
Some reports show a large percentage of travelers being extremely fearful, while a substantial minority aren’t even interested in venturing out locally. Still other surveys show a large swath of Americans eager to travel, viewing the Coronavirus as more of an impediment to traveling, but not a wall that prevents them from taking their next vacation. 
One of the most consistent polling firms following the shifting mindset of the American traveler has been The Harris Poll, conducted by the globally famous company which has built its credibility on years of surveying Americans on a variety of issues. 
According to the Harris Poll’s latest group of respondents, surveyed July 2-4, one out of four Americans would stay in a hotel immediately after the government says the virus has been flattened, while one out of five Americans would take a flight. Sixteen percent would take a cruise fairly immediately. 
Another poll, commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), shows that 57% of Americans expect to take an overnight vacation via car, in the next three months, versus only 17% on a plane. Nearly one out of five (18%) Americans say they are planning an overnight vacation of some kind in a camper or RV in the next three months, while only 7% said they were planning to take a cruise in that timeframe.
To read more, go here

Why RV Sales Are Taking Off Again

Above, The Beast at Sleepy Bear RV Park in Swan Valley, Idaho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

RV sales are booming right now.

Thanks to coronavirus, RV dealers are seeing more buyers coming into their lots.

CNBC has an interesting video about this current boom which, they say, strains RV manufacturers. It describes different types of RVs and their features.

They wrote:
In the years that followed the financial crisis, sales of RVs began booming. Once considered a pretty dowdy way to travel, RVs have benefited from slick industry ad campaigns, low gas prices, and a renewed interest among Americans of all ages. Data indicate first-time buyers are pouring into RV dealerships, looking for their own happy home on the road. But long-time RVers say new buyers need to do their research and understand what the RV life is really about.

To see the video, go here

Surging Tourism Straining Jackson, Wyoming

Above, yours truly under one of the elk antler arches in Jackson. Photo by Mitch Geriminsky.

Jackson, Wyoming can be a destination itself. There are many cool things to see, nice restaurants and plenty of shops. It is a gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Since the parks have reopened following the pandemic lockdowns, Jackson is feeling the strain of surging tourism.

I visited Jackson last summer and had a great time there, despite the heavy traffic in town.

According to National Geographic:
A few months ago, residents of the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, worried the summer tourism season might be a dud. 
Now 40,000 visitors a day stream through Jackson, a town in the valley and a gateway to neighboring Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. While that visitor count isn’t too different from previous years, July saw a string of days where the number of visitors was up over 2019 levels, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide—a far cry from earlier this year. Closed from March 24 to May 18, the parks are now seeing hundreds of thousands of tourists a month. 
Jackson is not alone. Mountain towns, beach communities, and vacation destinations throughout the country are facing an influx of visitors—many traveling from virus hotspots—in the middle of a rapidly worsening pandemic. Anecdotal accounts in Jackson suggest many tourists are surprised to hear COVID-19 exists in the area at all, having mistaken picturesque mountain vistas and wildflower-blanketed meadows for safety.
To read more, go here.

Elvis Presley's Graceland Adding New Features

Above, Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I visited Graceland four years ago, Elvis Presley's Memphis complex was still under construction. It opened a few months after I visited.

Now, it is getting some additions to the exhibits.

Fox Business reported:
Elvis Presley’s Memphis Complex' is slated to get an upgrade next month to give fans a safe experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
As of Aug. 8, the 200,000-square-foot tourist attraction centered on the life and career of the late king of rock 'n' roll will be revamped with ten immersive experiences via virtual and augmented reality technology, according to Graceland. 
Graceland claims the latest "state-of-the-art" activities will help fans to "get closer to Elvis than ever before." The new experiences will be ncluded in the Graceland ticket price. 
The news comes just after Graceland reopened in May after it shut down tours and exhibits due to the outbreak.

The experiences include “Elvis Yourself,” a virtual dress-Up experience where visitors can virtually wear one of Elvis’ iconic costumes, and have their photo taken and the "Elvis’ Interactive Golf Cart Ride" in which fans can get a virtual tour of the Graceland grounds in a golf cart simulator with 360-degree video technology, according to Graceland.

To read more, go here.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Meteor City Trading Post T-Shirt Arrives

Funny how things work out sometimes.

A few hours ago, I posted about the Meteor City Trading Post in Arizona and included their t-shirt information.
Lo and behold, I just got back from getting my mail at the post office in the Flying J and among the items that arrived was my t-shirt from the trading post.

Here's the front and read of the t-shirt:

After The Rains

Above, the mini jade plant. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The rains during the last couple of days (we're expected to get more thunderstorms today) from the monsoon storms have done wonders here.

Before the rains, the ground was very dry and most (including me) held off on mowing yards because of the dust kicked up by the mowers. Now, the ground is pretty moist, almost swampy.

Above, the mesas this morning. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The fields round are beginning to get greener. Soon, they will be very green.

The mini jade plant is doing well outside. I'll bring it indoors when the nighttime temperatures go below 50°. But that won't be anytime soon.


One of our James(town) Gang posted:
For our local vicinity in my records since the winter snow moisture we are now at a total of 2 and 1/8 inches measured at my house, which will help a lot with our drought. 

Help Fund The Restoration of Meteor City Trading Post

Above, Meteor City Trading Post two weeks ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Work is currently underway at the Meteor City Trading Post near Winslow, Arizona. It is taking a lot of work and the new owners are hoping to get the trading post reopened as soon as they can. But they could use some financial help.

The Flagstaff Business News posted an article on the trading post back in May.

Here's a snippet:
One of a number of symbols of bygone days along historic Route 66 in Northern Arizona, today only rickety structures, rubble and graffiti mark the spot where Meteor City used to reign supreme as a must-see stop for fans of the legendary Mother Road. 
The Meteor City Trading Post, named in honor of the nearby Meteor or Barringer Crater, is the first of three Route 66-inspired roadside attractions located only a few miles apart along a 30-mile stretch west on Interstate 40 from Winslow to Flagstaff: The ramshackle Meteor City; the ghost town of Two Guns and the ruins of the Twin Arrows, also a trading post that now marks the turnoff for the new Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort. 
The days are numbered for these three iconic sites unless they are rescued soon. But, there is good news for one of the locations. Even as dust blows through the carcasses of its buildings and trailers, two new owners have promised to resurrect Meteor City.
Joann Brown, 54, and her husband, Mike Brown, 60, took over ownership of the property in March and are relocating to begin work on a major clean up at the three-acre site. 
“We’re trying to get there as fast as we can,” Joann explained, as they drove west in an RV in late April from their home in Jeffersonville, Indiana. “We can take all the help we can get. I’ve talked to all the Route 66 people. The response from everyone has brought us to tears. I just didn’t want it [Meteor City] to go away. I love history. I love the beauty this country has.” 
She said the price they paid was “okay, given there is so much that has been vandalized.”
Meteor City was first opened in 1938 and was operated as the Sharber Service Station, under the Texaco brand, by Arizona resident Joe Sharber.
Above, the ruins of the Twin Arrows Trading Post last December. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Browns have opened a Facebook page and are selling t-shirts to help finance the restoration of the trading post:

I purchased a t-shirt about a week or so ago.

If you are interested in seeing this historic Route 66 come back alive, get a t-shirt and follow the Meteor City - Route 66 Facebook page.


I just got back from the post office and my t-shirt arrived. To see it, go here.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Republican Billboards

Here's a couple of interesting billboards put up by the Republican Parties of New Mexico and Texas.

Great American Outdoors Act Passes House

Above, Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A step was taken by the House of Representatives the other day to address the (estimated) $20 billion in backlogged maintenance projects at our national parks. They passed the Great American Outdoors Act.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune:
Washington • A bipartisan bill that would spend nearly $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands is on its way to the president’s desk after winning final legislative approval. 
Supporters say the measure, known as the Great American Outdoors Act, would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century. 
The House approved the bill 310-107 Wednesday, weeks after it won overwhelming approval in the Senate. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it. 
The bill would spend about $900 million a year — double current spending — on the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund, and another $1.9 billion per year on improvements at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and rangelands.
Not everyone was happy with the bill's passage.
The bill’s opponents, mostly Republicans, complained that it would not eliminate an estimated $20 billion maintenance backlog on 640 million acres of federally owned lands. The bill authorizes $9.5 billion for maintenance over five years.
To read more, go here

RV Life Drawbacks

Above, The Beast at the USA RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Considering buying a RV?

Before doing so, it might be worthwhile to rent one first and see if it is something you'd want to purchase.

Aside from that, there are other things to consider. MSN.com has listed 14 what they call "drawbacks" to the RV lifestyle.

They begin with:
Is RV life right for you? 
I’ve been a full-time RVer for over three years now, and it’s definitely the life for me. The idea of going back to living in a stationary house makes me restless. And I know a lot of people are exploring RV travel for the first time this summer, imagining a vacation filled with drive-through destinations or a family National Park road trip. 
But if you go into RV life thinking it’s going to be Instagram perfection, you’re likely to wind up frustrated and disappointed. I am a firm believer that if you know the downsides, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying RV life and coming back to it again. The truth is, you’re going to hate some parts even if you love RV life overall. There are definitely things I still hate.

So let me share some things I’ve learned over the past few years — here are 14 reasons you might hate RV life.
To see what the 14 reasons are, go here

Saturday, July 25, 2020

New Mexico Swampland

Above, the deck and yard this evening. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Monsoonal moisture will also result in a flood threat over the Southwest.
U.S. Weather Service, July 25, 2020

The above just about sizes up the weather we've been having today. This has been the strongest monsoon storm of the season. I am not complaining, we need the water. The yard is looking saturated (almost swampy).

The region is under a Flash Flood Watch until midnight. Fortunately for me, I live on a hill so I don't have to worry about flash floods.

It appears that all this will end (at least temporarily) Wednesday. While we are having rain, heavy at times, there's been no lightning for entertainment.

The forecast for the coming days from the National Weather Service:

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before midnight. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 77. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Sunday Night
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 79. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Monday Night
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 80.
Tuesday Night
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 57.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.

UPDATE (7/26/20):

A friend in Jamestown, who has a rain gauge, said we received an inch of rain yesterday.

Before The Deluge

Above, a view of the deluge from the garage. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At about 1:00, I headed down to the Flying J to pick up my mail. As I left the house, I noticed big black clouds to south and southwest. I thought that we would be in for some heavy rain this afternoon.

Sure enough, I as I was leaving the Flying J, the rains hit and they were big heavy drops. When I reached home, the rain was falling in sheets. I got the car into the garage and made it into the house somewhat drenched. I'm not complaining, we needed it. I actually enjoy monsoon season.

Earlier, our usual coffee group gathered in my garage for coffee, donuts and cookies (brought by Victor). Missing were Bo (in Albuquerque) and Roger (camping in Arizona).

I took a few photos of the gathering.

Above, all set up before everyone arrived. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Victor (left) and Russell. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, from left Russell, Mike (foreground) and Larry (partially hidden). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Arden (left) and Greg. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Group Protest Calls For Lujan Grisham's Removal

Above, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Since Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham is so fond of protests (she praised BLM protests in the midst of the pandemic), she's going to get one just outside of her office. This one, organizers say, will last 30 days.

The protest group is calling for the removal of Lujan Grisham from office and for its grievances to be addressed.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported:
A group calling for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s removal from office says it will protest outside the Roundhouse for days or even weeks until its grievances are heard. 
Organizers of I Will not comply NM say they will gather Sunday at the Capitol and lock the doors to the building from the outside as a symbolic gesture. They are calling their demonstration “Shut Down the Capital.” 
“This isn’t about Republicans. It isn’t about Democrats. It isn’t about COVID. It isn’t about masks. It’s about the Constitution,” said Stephen Garrett, a small-business owner in Moriarty who founded the group in 2019. 
Garrett said the governor violated the First and Second amendments by closing churches and gun stores during the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak. 
“I have contacted the Department of Justice and White House numerous times asking for intervention,” he said, but they have not responded. 
“I don’t understand how you can subvert the Constitution of the United States,” he added. “It’s the founding document, the founding laws of our country.”
Unfortunately, there is no recall provision for the removal of the governor or other state elected officials in the New Mexico constitution.

To read more, go here

Friday, July 24, 2020

Roswell City Council Votes Not To Enforce Governor's Public Health Orders

Above, the famous Roswell welcome sign. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Gov. "Malevolent Michelle" Lujan Grisham received a poke in the eye yesterday by the Roswell City Council when it voted not to enforce her public health orders.

KRQE reported:
ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico city council has voted not to enforce the governor’s public health mandates, including the mask requirement. “There is no reason for us to stop the way we live. If you fear this COVID-19, stay home. Plenty of people in this town have offered to deliver your goods to your house,” said Roswell City Councilor Jeanine Best. “There is no reason for bullying.” 
Roswell Police may still educate people on the rules, but following Thursday night’s vote, they will leave any citations to State Police. During a tense meeting in which the mayor pleaded with councilors to refrain from personal attacks, the proposal was approved in a split six-to-four vote.

We will likely see the governor send out her personal "Gestapo" (i.e., the NM State Police) to enforce her public health orders.

To read more, go here.

Done With The Dodgers and Major League Baseball

Above, my last visit to Dodger Stadium. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Mookie Betts kneeled during the national anthem before the Dodgers’ season-opening 8-1 win against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, joining a growing number of players around baseball this week choosing to protest racial injustice and police brutality with the act. 
“It just shows unity,” Betts said during a televised interview in regard to his teammates joining him. “I think everybody is on board with what’s going on in the world. We have to make some change. It starts here. We have to do our part. It’s amazing to know that everybody here is on board with something that we have to find a way to make change. This is the first step.” 
In addition to Betts, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler and several of his players also kneeled during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which followed a pregame ceremony promoting social justice.  
“I have talked to our guys about kneeling and for me it was more of individual choice,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thursday afternoon, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt for a pregame video conference with reporters. “Collectively, we really haven’t settled on anything. But for me I just wanted to encourage each and every man to make their own decision.”   
Before the game, members of the team wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts on the field. Others wore sleeve patches promoting the cause on their game jerseys. On the back of the mound at Dodger Stadium, the letters “BLM” were written beneath an MLB logo.
My individual choice:
BLM (a Marxist organization) was stenciled on the hallowed field, Dodger players were wearing BLM shirts and kneeling during the national anthem. I am forever done with the Los Angeles Dodgers and major league baseball.

Mark Ronchetti On Law Enforcement and New Mexico Polticians

Bloomberg’s Gun Control Group Pours $15 Million Into Races in 8 States

Billionaire leftist Michael Bloomberg is pouring $15 million into senate, House and state legislative races during this election cycle through his anti-Second Amendment group, Everytown for Gun Safety.

The New York Times reported (highlights mine):
Michael R. Bloomberg’s gun control organization will focus its political advertising spending this fall on eight states where it aims to help Democrats flip three Senate seats, wrest control of state legislatures and lift former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to victory in Florida. 
The group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is making an initial $15 million investment in digital advertising in the states, an opening outlay of the $60 million it has pledged to spend during the 2020 campaign. 
It includes $5 million earmarked for Florida, the lone state where Everytown plans on advertising in the presidential contest; $3.5 million in Texas, where the group is targeting six House races; and $1 million to $1.5 million in Arizona, Iowa and North Carolina — three states where it will advertise in Senate races — as well as in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

To read more, go here.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Marxist Black Lives Matter

For those who do not know or are in denial, much of the "Black Lives Matter" movement is a Marxist organization whose goal is to destroy our country.

Some have denied this, but if one should go ahead and Google BLM and Marxism, they will find that they are open about it. Mind you, not all are Marxists, but many of the leaders are.

From the New York Post:
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in a newly surfaced video from 2015 that she and her fellow organizers are “trained Marxists” – making clear their movement’s ideological foundation, according to a report. 
Cullors, 36, was the protégé of Eric Mann, former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization, and spent years absorbing the Marxist-Leninist ideology that shaped her worldview, Breitbart News reported. 
“The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers,” she said, referring to BLM co-founder Alicia Garza.
A friend on Facebook reacted to the support corporations and major league sports to BLM:
And when you see major-league sports, and large corporations voicing their support for BLM it’s extremely disappointing, and disgusting. There can be only two possible reasons for this, either they are extremely ignorant to what BLM is all about, or they are on the side of the Marxists trying to overthrow our country. Either way they completely disgust me.

He is completely right. Include leftist politicians in that as well.

Zion National Park Officials Warn of Flash Floods

Above, The Narrows at Zion National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was late in coming, but monsoon season is finally here in the U.S. Southwest. That is welcome news for those of us who are in areas that have seen some drought conditions, but in other places, monsoon storms can turn deadly.

ABC4 News has posted an article on being beware of monsoon-related flash floods in Zion National Park in Utah.

They wrote:
ZION NATIONAL PARK (ABC4 News) — Zion National Park officials are urging caution with the potential of flash flooding in areas such as slot canyons, streams, and dry washes this week. 
Monsoon season typically runs from mid-July to mid-September, when flash flooding is most likely to occur. While there are currently no flash flood warnings in effect at the park, rangers say even a potential for flash floods is cause for serious concern because conditions can take a turn for the worse in an instant. 
At a place like Zion with many slot canyons that converge into river systems, park officials say it doesn’t take much rain in an isolated area to begin flowing downstream. An isolated cell can move over any of the canyons and quickly cause a flash flood, officials said.
To read more, go here

The Points Guy: Beginner's Guide To Visiting Yellowstone

Above, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lower Yellowstone Falls. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park for the first time?

The Points Guy has posted a "beginner's guide" to visiting Yellowstone that is worth a read.

He begins it with:
I recently returned from an incredible trip to Yellowstone, our nation’s first national park. It was very strange to be there in the days of COVID-19, but it was also one of my best visits yet, as it wasn’t as crowded as it’s been in the past. It was also my first time actually staying inside the park, which was quite a treat.

Of course, you could easily spend weeks exploring the sprawling 2.2 million acre park and still not see it all. But even a day trip here or long weekend getaway is well worth your time. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip to Yellowstone National Park.

To read more, go here

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

COVID-19 Found In Yosemite National Park

Above, a sunrise view of Yosemite Valley. Photo y Armand Vaquer.

Gee, I hope the bears and deer are okay.

The following story concerns Yosemite National Park in California. It seems that COVID-19 has showed up in the park, but not in a way one would expect.

From The Hill:
After initially closing at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of national parks in the U.S. have gradually reopened to visitors, providing a welcome reprieve for those stuck at home under restrictions and lockdowns.  
Until recently, Yosemite National Park was reporting that none of its visitors, employees or residents were known to have contracted the coronavirus. Then they tested the park’s sewage.  
Last week, lab analysis of feces at two wastewater treatment plants revealed the presence of the coronavirus, leading experts to believe almost 200 Yosemite visitors — particularly over the Fourth of July holiday — may have been infected, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.  
“It’s one thing to live in denial: We live in the mountains, no one’s sick,” Eric Sergienko, the health officer for Mariposa County, the home of Yosemite, told the Chronicle. “But we can now confirm it’s here.”
To read more, go here

58 Reviews At Campground Reviews

My latest campground review for Ashurst Lake at Campground Reviews brings me two reviews away from 60 reviews.

The map that is on my profile page (below) is starting to fill up.

To access Campground Reviews, go here.

Review of Ashurst Lake Dispersed Campground Posted

Above, The Beast at Ashurst Lake Dispersed Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

My latest campground review has been posted at (where else?) Campground Reviews.

It is on the dispersed campground at Ashurst Lake.

Here's a snippet:
We were going to stay at the group campground, but the governor's order prevented that. However, a group of us (about 25-30) were still able to camp at the dispersed campground. There were no amenities and we had to dry camp. If you have a self-contained RV, this works out fine. Be sure to have plenty of water before setting up. There were no water spigots at the campground. You may also have some cattle wander through your camp. 

To read it, go here.

Elvis Presley's "Sun Sessions" Guitar Up For Auction

Above, the recording studio where the "Sun Sessions" made rock 'n roll history. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Got a few million bucks to spend?

Well, if you do, you may want to bid on Elvis Presley's guitar he used during his recording sessions at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to the The Commercial Appeal:
One of the most significant instruments in the history of rock and roll — or in the history of recorded music, for that matter — could be yours, if you're a millionaire. 
The instrument is the so-called "Sun Sessions" guitar, the 1942 Martin D-18 acoustic guitar that Elvis Presley owned between 1954 and 1956. 
The starting bid is $1.2 million, and auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll estimates the guitar will sell for $2 million-$3 million. In the mid-1950s, a new guitar of this type would have cost about $140. 
"Elvis used this actual guitar extensively while recording at the iconic Sun Studios in Memphis, TN and while performing on stage during this period," according to the description of the guitar at GottaHaveRockandRoll.com.

To read more, go here

NM Restaurants "Don't Feel Listened To"

Above, Don Diego's Restaurant & Lounge in Gallup. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To be a restaurateur in any state, particularly New Mexico, is not a winning proposition.

Restaurants have been singled out by governors with lockdown orders or limited services.

In New Mexico, it has been a teeter-totter existence for restaurants as they have been allowed and then disallowed to serve dine-in patrons at 50% capacity.

Unfortunately, when a state has a governor, such as Michelle Lujan Grisham, who won't listen, unnecessary chaos erupts that forces restaurants to seek relief through the courts. Grisham has the attitude of, "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!" 

The latest comes from the Santa Fe New Mexican:
Though another legal showdown with the Governor’s Office looms later this month, the New Mexico Restaurant Association is pleading its case to the public in the interim. 
A day after a flurry of action placed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s indoor-dining ban before the state Supreme Court, restaurant association CEO Carol Wight again made her arguments on behalf of the industry, asserting indoor dining in June and early July wasn’t a significant source of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. 
“It was never dine-in restaurants that was the problem,” Wight said Tuesday. “I really hope to drive home it’s not making a difference [to shut down dine-in]. The [statewide overall] spike is still going up. We don’t think what the industry is doing has anything to do with the spread of coronavirus.” 
The fight over indoor dining reached the state Supreme Court on Monday when a District Court judge in Carlsbad issued a restraining order that temporarily stopped the governor from enforcing a renewed ban on dine-in options. Hours later, though, lawyers for Lujan Grisham requested a stay from the Supreme Court, which ordered the parties to file legal arguments in the next several days. 
For now, the ban remains in place. 
The state has about 3,300 restaurants, with about 200 permanently closing since the pandemic started, Wight said. 
A spokesman for the Governor’s Office wrote an “open line of communication” exists with the association and discussions have taken place “since the outset of the implementation of pandemic-related restrictions.” 
“As far as there being an open line to the governor, we are not feeling that,” Wight responded. “Yes, I can email the secretary of environment and secretary of tourism, but we don’t feel listened to.”
Remember, brick walls don't have ears.

To read more, go here

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Change of Plans

Above, the Durango train at Highline. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Next week, friend Mitch Geriminsky and I were going to southwest Colorado to Durango, Ridgway (where John Wayne's True Grit was filmed) and Cortez for a camping vacation in his new travel trailer.

Those plans are on hold as Mitch has AGAIN come down with COVID-19. He came down with it 2-3 months ago. But he caught it again during a recent trip to Wisconsin. So far, he just has a fever. Maybe the antibodies from the first time are keeping the virus more at bay.

So, we had to cancel our campground reservations and tickets for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It looks like September will be our next option.

Actually, this works out good as far as the Durango train is concerned. Out tickets are for the shorter Cascade Canyon ride. But starting in September, the train will again go to Silverton. At least that's according to their ticket office.

Instead, I will be going to Commiefornia to attend my aunt's memorial service. 

D.K. and Child

It has been about a month and a half since I last saw P.K. I fear the worst since it has been such a long time.

But, her daughter, who I now call D.K. (for Deck Kitty), and her kitten have been feeding on the porch and living under the deck.

Yesterday, they were both on one of the patio chairs and I couldn't resist taking a couple of photos of them.

New Cassette Player

Above, the new stereo set at its temporary location in the living room. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For various reasons over the years, all of my cassette tape players have become broken. Some from internal damage or from years of non-use.

I finally bit the bullet and bought a stereo set that includes a cassette player, turntable, CD player and other features. It is not the greatest unit, but at least it serves the purpose given its relatively low price.

I have 200-300 cassette tapes that I have purchased since 1968.

During the late 1960s, cassette, 4-track and 8-track tape players came on the market. 4-tracks seemed to have disappeared relatively fast in favor of 8-track players. I was not impressed with 8-track players as they were much larger than cassettes and they often would interrupt song by changing tracks.

Cassettes, on the other hand, were smaller, and because of their two-sided format, emulated LPs with the order of the tape's play list. They were convenient and the only real flaw with them was the noticeable hiss when played. The Dolby noise-reduction system ("Dolby B") was developed to counter the hissing.

As things turned out, cassettes eventually put 8-tracks out of business.

Right now, I have the stereo set on a small table. Unfortunately, the speaker wires are only about two feel long (RCA type) and this prevents me from putting the unit into the entertainment center (except for the speaker wire problem, the unit would fit nicely). So I have ordered a couple of 12' speaker wire extensions so I can put the unit into the entertainment center. Since I have another stereo set in the den (one without a cassette player), this one will remain in the living room.

I listened to some of my tapes yesterday and they brought back a lot of memories. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lassen Volcanic National Park Has A Bear Problem

Above, a bear at Yellowstone Bear World in Idaho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Let's face it, forests in this country are the domain of several species of bears. It is man who is the intruder.

Right now, Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California has a bear problem. Much of it is the fault of park visitors for not taking adequate precautions.

Above, a bear-resistant container at Lassen's Manzanita Lake Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

National Parks Traveler reported:
The amount of Lassen Volcanic National Park backcountry closed to overnight use due to a bear or bears obtaining food from backpackers has been greatly expanded to encompass most of the eastern half of the park. 
Earlier this month the park closed an area of one mile in all directions from the following lakes frequently accessed from Summit Lake Trailhead: Echo, Upper Twin, Lower Twin, Swan, and Rainbow Lake.  
"There have been multiple reports from visitors of a bear (or bears) coming into campsites and searching backpacks for food in these areas," park staff reported at the time. "This is a learned behavior from visitors leaving scented items in their backpacks and not storing them in proper bear-resistant containers." 
Now, because of additional reports of troublesome bears, the park has closed the area east of Lassen National Park Highway (CA State Highway 89) and east of Hat Creek and Kings Creek to overnight backpacking use. This closure does not impact day use including hiking and stock use or camping within developed campgrounds. 
“We have received additional reports of human-bear interactions from outside the original closure area,” said Lassen Volcanic Superintendent Jim Richardson. “It is necessary to expand the area of the closure in an effort to prevent more negative interactions,” Richardson added. 
Lassen Volcanic is home to a population of approximately 30 black bears; there are no brown or grizzly bears in the park. Information about black bears in the park is provided in large part by wildlife sighting reports submitted by visitors. 
I camped at Lassen's Manzanita Lake Campground three years ago and each campsite had a bear-resistant container for visitors' use. Even though I camped in a motorhome and didn't really need it, I made use of it anyway so that a foraging bear wouldn't scratch up the motorhome.

Above, The Beast at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Devastated Area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

Shady Dealings In New Mexico Restaurants

by Corrine Rios in Facebook (via Michelle Schupp)

No photo description available.

(Let me preface this with some information. This is about a restaurant in New Mexico. Our governor shut down restaurants in door seating in late March or early April. Many did curb side and pick up. They could NOT use their patios. Many restaurants had to close at this time. Around mid June, our governor opened up restaurants to only 50% capacity for indoor seating. Around July 13, our governor CLOSED indoor seating at restaurants again. She allowed them to do outdoor patio service. We live in the desert. Temps that week were in the high 90s! Who wants to eat outside. Many restaurants don't even have patios for outdoor seating.
This is where our restaurants are right now...struggling to remain open under threat of being closed again from our governor. )
We went to Bosque North in Bernalillo today for Marcus Birthday Lunch.
They have a patio. We had to walk through the inside to get to the patio. We have NEVER had to do this before, we have been there many times.
We didn't bring masks because who would've thought the protocols would change?
The company gave us 9 masks for us to use to walk about 30 feet inside the building to the patio were we could immediately take them off, which we did. They said these are the new rules of the governor.
What an expense for this company. And before you start getting judgmental, you know where I stand on the masks. We were expecting to get out of our cars and go straight to the patio as we had a reservation. Masks not necessary in 90 degree temps.
We ate. Food was good.
Then we get the bill.
The waitress told us that the wait staff is NO longer allowed to get tips. What use to be the line for the tip is now a "donation" section.
The waitress proceeds to tell us that the company is NO longer allowing them to get tips and instead will start a "college fund for people of color." As she is telling us, this young gal is on verge of crying.
We didn't question anymore.
BUT we were in shock!
We came here to support this local business and their wait staff. I am so angry at this point, my husband and I decide to talk with the manager before we leave.
In short, the manager tells us, that the owners decided, that the less the wait staff makes the less the company will have to pay for unemployment benefits IF the governor shuts them down again. The wait staff does get minimum wage. The manager, who was waiting tables, says that doesn't equal their usual reduced hourly rate plus tips. So they are losing.
Many restaurants are doing this.
And they may not even tell you! Check the "tip" line on your receipt. If it says "donation" the wait staff isn't getting any of it! 😥
This is only one consequence of our governor's tyrannical unconstitutional closing down of indoor seating in our state.
These poor businesses and their employees.
I want to supoort restaurants but with their actions against the very people who work for them, leads me NOT WANTING TO SPEND MY MONEY AT THEIR ESTABLISHMENTS!
But what do we expect them to do?
Without doing this, they may not open again!
And here we are.....
A nation divided.
You may not see it as you maybe still blinded by a virus that has 99.9% recovery rate and deaths DECREASING.
"A house divided against itself, cannot stand."
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South." Abraham Lincoln June 16, 1858, at what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination as that state's US senator.
We will accept this tyrannical behavior or we will VOTE it out in November.
I am losing hope in the people of New Mexico.

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