"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Trump Triumphs At CPAC


Former President Donald Trump gave a rousing speech today at CPAC in Orlando, Florida.

He paid tribute to Rush Limbaugh, who passed away two weeks ago. His widow, Kathryn, was present to receive Trump's tribute.


He also strongly hinted that he will be running again in 2024 (Holy Grover Cleveland, Batman!). He also said that he will be out campaigning for America First Republicans and against RINO Republicans (he listed the RINOs he'll be going after).


Of course, he attacked His Fraudulency Joe Biden for his disastrously bad 40 days in office. 

Trump also won a straw poll of CPAC attendees by over 50%.

Trump At CPAC

Above, former President Donald Trump arrives on state at CPAC today.


"I may even decide to beat them for the third time!" - President Donald Trump at CPAC.

Cousin Eddie's 1972 Condor II Motorhome

 


While on Facebook this morning, I saw an ad for a beat-up motorhome that looked familiar.

It is the 1972 Condor II Motorhome of Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). The price: $11.99 through 3000Toys.com.

I never knew that these were even offered.

When I Googled the motorhome, I found there's even Christmas tree ornaments of it.

RV Warranties vs. RV Insurance

Above, The Beast at Crazyhorse Campground at Lake Havasu. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I bought my motorhome back in February 2015, I declined the dealer's extended warranty. Since they are located in San Diego, it would be pointless for me to have to go way down there to get something fixed under their coverage.

Instead, I bought the seven-year extended warranty through Good Sam. I am not limited to getting repairs, should they crop up, from a San Diego dealer. If a covered problem should arise while on a trip somewhere, I can get the repairs done at a RV repairer near where the problem occurs.

RV Life has posted an article on the difference between RV warranties and RV insurance. This should be read by every RV owner, particularly by new RV owners.

It begins with:

Warranties and insurance are a bit like your keys and wallet, you don’t want to leave home without them. Buy nearly any electronic or mechanical device and you’ll have the option to buy an additional or extended warranty for that item. Similarly, spend any amount of time watching TV or streaming video and you will be likewise inundated with commercials for insurance. Both are necessary and protect you in different ways. New RVers want to know, what is the difference between an RV warranty and RV insurance, and do I need them both?

To find the answer, go here

Possible Snow Mid Week

Above, the Silverton train at Highline last September. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like we have a slight (20%) chance of snow showers today and tonight. If it is anything like last week's 20% chance, then it be likely that we'll get nothing.

But, the chances of snow showers goes up to 40% Wednesday night and Thursday.

There is, however a Special Weather Statement in effect:

Special Weather Statement

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
333 AM MST Sun Feb 28 2021

NMZ204-206>208-211-212-218>226-233>241-282300-
Northwest Highlands-West Central Mountains-West Central Highlands-
Southwest Mountains-Jemez Mountains-
Glorieta Mesa Including Glorieta Pass-Santa Fe Metro Area-
Middle Rio Grande Valley/Albuquerque Metro Area-
Lower Rio Grande Valley-
Sandia/Manzano Mountains Including Edgewood-Estancia Valley-
Central Highlands-South Central Highlands-Upper Tularosa Valley-
South Central Mountains-Guadalupe County-Quay County-Curry County-
Roosevelt County-De Baca County-Chaves County Plains-
Eastern Lincoln County-Southwest Chaves County-
San Agustin Plains and Adjacent Lowlands-
333 AM MST Sun Feb 28 2021

...WINTER WEATHER TO IMPACT PARTS OF NEW MEXICO WITH MUCH COLDER
TEMPERATURES, STRONG WINDS, AND SNOW LATE TODAY THROUGH MONDAY...

A storm system moving across the area today through Monday will
bring colder temperatures, windy conditions, and some light snow
to the higher terrain and parts of central and southeast NM. A
cold front spilling into the Rio Grande Valley later today will
generate a period of strong canyon winds with gusts of 40 to 50
mph from Albuquerque south to Carrizozo this evening. Meanwhile,
light snow will develop over the high terrain late this afternoon
then spread south toward the Albuquerque metro area late tonight
before focusing over southeast NM Monday morning. One to three
inches of snow is possible along the central mountain chain and
over parts of southeast NM. Temperatures in the teens and 20s
tonight will allow even light snow accumulations to generate icy
travel conditions for the Monday morning commute. Folks planning
travel and outdoor activities should monitor their favorite source
of weather information for updates on this evolving storm system.

For the week, the National Weather Service forecast:

Today
A 20 percent chance of snow showers after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 39. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph.
Tonight
A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. East wind 5 to 10 mph.
Monday
Sunny, with a high near 46. East wind around 5 mph.
Monday Night
Clear, with a low around 16. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 54. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 23.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 55.
Wednesday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.
Thursday
A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 50.
Thursday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Friday
Sunny, with a high near 57.
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 28.
Saturday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 60.

RV Dealer Shipments Soar In January

Above, the Cortez, Colorado KOA Kampground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The boom in demand for recreational vehicles (RV) does not appear to be abating.

January RV dealer shipments soared in January.

From RV Travel:

There seems to be no end to the sizzling demand for recreational vehicles. While the pandemic has hurt most of the travel industry, it has only increased demand for RVs.

The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) January 2021 survey of manufacturers determined that total RV shipments ended the month with 45,930 units, an increase of 39.2% compared to the 33,003 units shipped during January 2020, making this the best January shipment total on comparable record.

To read more, go here

Cooper® Tires News

Above, the Jeep with its Cooper Discoverer tires. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I bought the 1952 Willys Jeep M38A1, it had Cooper Discoverer light truck tires on it.

Nearly two years later, they're still in good shape and with no problems.

However, such is not the case with some Cooper light truck tires.

From RV Travel:

An estimated 430,000 light truck tires made by Cooper® Tires have been recalled because they can develop sidewall bulges that could lead to tire failure.

Certain Discoverer, Evolution, Courser, Deegan, Adventurer, Hercules, Back Country, Multi-Mile, Wild Country and Big O tires in several sizes are included in the recall.

The tires recalled were made between Feb. 1, 2018 and Dec. 1, 2019.

That's not all concerning Cooper Tires.

Above, the Goodyear blimp, Spirit of America. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Also from RV Travel:

On Feb. 22, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. agreed to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, a deal that seeks to combine the country’s two biggest tire manufacturers based in the U.S.

Goodyear said it will pay about $2.8 billion in cash and stock for its smaller rival. That will include $41.75 a share in cash for Cooper’s shares, which rose about 30% to $56.89 in afternoon trading. Goodyear’s shares increased 20% to $16.72.

To read more, go here.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Bison Begin Migrating Out of Yellowstone National Park

Above, a couple of bison relaxing on a hill in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In a previous post, it was reported that Yellowstone National Park bison delayed migrating out of the park during hunting season.

Now, it has been reported, the bison are starting to migrate out of the park's boundaries.

According to LancasterOnline:

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Bison presence outside of Yellowstone National Park remained low during the last weeks of Montana’s bison hunting season, but the herd’s annual migration and hunter activity recently picked up.

Morgan Jacobsen, a spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that on Thursday that wildlife managers have seen some bison make their way out of the park over the last week. Two bison — a bull and a cow — were recently taken by tribal hunters, he said.

In the last week, park officials have observed a herd of approximately 250 animals gather around the Roosevelt Arch on the boundary of the park near Gardiner, Jacobsen said. A handful of animals were seen outside of the park.

Few bison were observed west of the park over the last seven days.

Buffalo Field Campaign, a conservation group that advocates for ending the annual bison cull, regularly tracks bison movements. The group reported on Thursday that at least three bison had been taken by hunters since the weekend, and another five were killed at Beattie Gulch on Wednesday.

“Most of the buffalo in the basin, however, have been dodging bullets and staying alive,” group members wrote.

Approximately 350 to 370 bison were between Mammoth Hot Springs and the north boundary of Yellowstone, and around 70 bison were seen outside of the park on Tuesday, Tim Reid, the bison program coordinator at Yellowstone, said at the time.

 To read more, go here.

Who Are The Warmongers?

 


Route 66 Casino Hotel and RV Resort Now Open

Above, The Beast at the Route 66 RV Resort. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


Things appear to be inching back in New Mexico, at least in some areas.

My favorite place to stay while in Albuquerque has reopened.

KRQE News 13 reported:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Route 66 Casino Hotel is now open on a limited basis, according to its General Manager Adrian Fox. The full-service casino, hotel, restaurant and entertainment operation reopened its doors on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Under the initial reopening, the casino will offer slot machines, sports betting and a snack bar with snack items and a limited service beverage menu. The Route 66 Hotel and RV Resort are now open at a maximum occupancy of 25%.

Table games, all of the restaurants and Legends Theater will still be closed until further notice. Guests temperatures will be checked at the door, face masks will be required and there will be no smoking inside the building. An outdoor smoking area is available.

According to the Route 66 Casino Hotel Updates page, the RV resort is also now open.

To read more, go here.

Historic Route 66 In California Receives National Scenic Byway Status

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

Route 66 may have been decommissioned back in the 1980s, but there's still life left to the "Mother Road" yet.

A section of Route 66 has been designated a national scenic byway by the Bureau of Land Management.

According to the Sierra Sun Times:

February 25, 2021 - Moreno Valley, Calif. —  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Barstow and Needles Field Offices are thrilled to share that the Historic Route 66 between Needles and Barstow is officially one of America’s Byways. The Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program announced the designation of the California Historic Route 66 Needles to Barstow Scenic Byway last week.

“Historic Route 66 from Needles to Barstow is a unique section of the 2,400-mile route,” said Needles Field Manager Mike Ahrens. “You’ll see beautiful desert vistas and more than 120 impressive wooden bridges, travel through small historic towns, connect to several recreational opportunities on public lands and areas of historic interest.” 

The California Historic Route 66 Needles to Barstow Scenic Byway connects visitors to the Mojave Trails National Monument with 1.6 million acres to explore. Research shows that a scenic byway designation results in increased tourism and economic benefits for local communities.

 To read more, go here.

Travel Awaits: 10 Most Visited National Parks In 2020

Above, as one might expect, Yellowstone National Park made the list. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Thanks to you-know-what, visitation numbers for the U.S. national parks were down last year from 2019. That said, they still had a lot of people showing up.

Travel Awaits has posed a list of the ten most visited national parks in 2020. There's really no surprises on which parks are on the list as they consistently are on these lists.

They begin with:

According to numbers just released by the National Park Service (NPS), 237 million visitors went to America’s national parks in 2020. It’s actually 28 percent lower than 2019 because parks were closed part of last year. That said, let’s face it: 237 million people is still a lot of visitors.

“This past year has reminded us how important national parks and public lands are to overall well being,” National Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement. “Throughout the country, national parks provided close-to-home opportunities for people to spend much needed time outdoors for their physical and psychological health.”

Let’s take a closer look at the most-visited national parks last year. In the format David Letterman used for his Top 10 lists, we’ll count down to the most visited national park.

To see the list, go here


Friday, February 26, 2021

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

 


Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit challenging California’s ban on magazines containing more than ten rounds.
This case challenges California Penal Code § 32310, which was amended in 2016, to outright ban magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. The NRA filed suit against California in 2017, and won a favorable decision at the district court in 2019. California appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and in August of 2020, a three-judge panel ruled that the statute was unconstitutional.
Shortly thereafter, California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed a petition for an en banc hearing, a hearing before 11 judges as opposed to the three-judge panel, in order to overturn the decision.
By granting en banc review, the previous decision ruling that California’s magazine ban statute violated the Second Amendment is vacated. This result is not surprising. This is the fifth time that the Ninth Circuit has granted en banc review in a Second Amendment case, all of which were either brought by the NRA or supported by the NRA with an amicus curiae brief.
The en banc oral argument will take place during the week of March 22. Attorneys from Kirkland and Ellis will be making that argument. The NRA is prepared to continue to fight to defend the Second Amendment in California and throughout the country.
The case is called Duncan v. Becerra.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org for future updates on this and all of ILA’s efforts to defend your constitutional rights.

Ammo Shortage: The Five Hardest To Find Common Calibers


Unless you've totally tuned out of life, you're aware that there is currently an ammunition shortage.

Some say it is seven million new gun owners are driving it. Others say people are hoarding ammo. But the fact is, ammunition is in short supply and what is out there is more expensive to buy.

The National Interest has posted an article on the five hardest to find common calibers.

They begin it with:

As firearm sales continue to set new records, and show little to no sign of slowing down anytime soon, ammunition is likely going to remain expensive and likely difficult to find. Even not so popular calibers, such as .250 Savage, have been increasingly hard to acquire, while the more common calibers are now all but impossible to locate anywhere.

Brick and mortar and online retailers alike continue to sell out as fast as supplies arrive, so the best that consumers can do is to look often, sign up for back-orders and hope to get lucky.

The article lists the five hardest, but I will only present the first two:

9x19mm

A betting man could have cleaned up if he had guessed a year ago that 9mm would be this difficult to find, but a year into the pandemic whenever this common caliber is available it sells out quickly. Prices have gone up and 9mm is running between 80 cents to $1.20 a round. One factor driving up prices is that 9mm is so widely used by law enforcement, so that just adds to the demand across the country.


30-30 Winchester

It may not be hunting season, but it will take all of a hunter’s skills to track down this popular caliber. If you do an online search for the 30-30 Winchester cartridge, get ready to “Temporarily Unavailable” or “On Back Order.” Perhaps that is for the best as prices now range from $1.10 to $2.45 per round. This is pandemic pricing to say the least.

I use both 9mm and 30-30. Fortunately for me, I bought plenty before the ammo shortage began or got as bad as it is now.

To read more, go here.

American Rifleman March Issue Has Arrived

Above, the March 2021 issue of American Rifleman.

The other day, I was thinking that the latest issue of American Rifleman should be arriving at any time.

Well, sure enough, the March issue arrived in today's mail.

As usual, the magazine was chock-full of interesting articles. During my initial perusal, one that caught my immediate attention was "America's Ammo Shortage: When Will It End?"

The writer checked with several ammunition manufacturers and each thinks the shortage would be ending soon, despite several have expanded their plants and added new facilities. The main cause was/is people's reactions to the coronavirus, election, riots and other reasons of last year. Like the toilet paper hoarding of last year, many are reacting by hoarding ammunition.

Another article that caught my eye was Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's write-up on the NRA's reincorporating in the state of Texas since the New York attorney general (the NRA is currently incorporated in New York), Letitia James began "investigating" the NRA. Her actions in weaponizing legal and regulatory power are nothing less than an attack on the organization for political purposes. It is so bad that even the American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Director David Cole called it "overreach" and "no precedent for such extreme action." So, the NRA is reincorporating to the much friendlier state of Texas.

So, if you are a NRA member, keep an eye out in your mailbox.

Roswell Looking For Professional Company To Organize Future UFO Festivals

Above, vendors on Roswell's Main Street. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This story was posted back in September, but I have only just read it this morning.

The city of Roswell, New Mexico is looking to have a professional management company run future Roswell UFO Festivals.

KRQE reported:

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The UFO Festival had to be held virtually this year because of the pandemic but next year the City of Roswell wants it to be bigger and better than ever; that means taking a different approach.

“So, I’m all for it,” said Karen Perry, a downtown shop owner.

The city says it’s time for the UFO Festival to take a giant step forward. They realize to do that, the city needs to hire some help. Downtown store owners say that could breathe new life into the festival that has grown very stale.

“You cannot stay the same without growing stagnant and that’s part of where the festivals gotten [sic],” said Perry.

Perry is excited to hear about how the festival will incorporate more of Roswell, than just Main Street. New events could bring new visitors to Roswell and be a big increase in revenue for the town.

I attended the 2018 Roswell UFO Festival. While I had a good time, my biggest gripe on the festival was that it was too spread out over town. Events were not centrally located and we had to do a lot of walking to get from one to another. If the city had a convention center or a big hotel with big ballrooms and meeting rooms that are centrally located, it would be easier for attendees, especially seniors, to attend different events. Transportation, if one didn't have a car to get around, is practically non-existent, except for taxis. 

To read more, go here.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland Resumes Free Morning Walk-Ups

Above, the Presley family gravesite at Graceland's Meditation Garden. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For those who are early risers or have not enough time to take a Graceland tour (or are too cheap to do so), but want to visit Elvis Presley's gravesite at Graceland's Meditation Garden, they can do so for free.

WATN - Local 24 reported:

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — NEWS RELEASE FROM ELVIS PRESLEY’S GRACELAND:

Elvis Presley’s Graceland Resumes Free Morning Walk-Ups

Live Music and Special Events Resume in March

For the first time since March 2020, Elvis Presley’s Graceland, which continues to be open for in-person tours, is resuming the free-admission walk-up visits to the Meditation Garden on March 1, where the grave sites of Elvis and his family are located. Visitor walk-up times are daily from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

To read more, go here

RV Mods For Dogs

Above, Lola and Sierra in The Beast. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Having a cat while RV traveling has never been an issue for me. My cat Sierra usually camps herself on the cabover bed or on my bed while we're rolling down the road.

But I have had friends with small dogs come along with me and, again, it has never been an issue.

Those with larger dogs, in particular, may want to make some modifications to their RV for their comfort and for their owner's peace of mind.

Do It Yourself RV has an article on things to do, including some modifications for traveling with their pets.

They begin with:

Our dogs love camping as much as we do. Having your furry friends along for RV adventures makes for a better trip for everyone. Whether it’s just for the weekend or if you’re a full-timer with dogs, these 10 RV mods for dogs will make life easier for you and Fido.

 To read more, go here.

RV Holding Tank Heaters

Above, The Beast at Goulding's Lodge Campground where the nighttime
temperatures got down into the 20s in November 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since I live in a climate that gets cold during winter, I have to take measures to protect my RV holding tanks from freezing.

Generally, I empty the fresh water tank as well as the holding tanks. But I have used the motorhome a couple of times during winter and although I have kept using the tanks to the bare minimum (using a campgrounds restroom instead of the motorhome's and using bottled water for coffee, for example) there are some fluids in the tanks.

So, I've added anti-freeze to the tanks as well as using the holding tank heaters (that came with the RV).

Above, having the RV garage equipped with 30 amp power keeps the
 holding tank heaters from draining the battery. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If it wasn't for adding 30 amp power to the RV garage, the holding tank heaters could not be used as they draw a lot of power from the battery. I have had no problems with winter freezing as a result.

But the question many might ask, do we really need holding tank heaters? 

RV Life discusses this question in a new article. To me, it is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

They begin with:

RV tank heaters are a useful RV gadget that can really improve your winter camping experience. Some rigs come with these handy heaters already installed, but many RV owners choose to install RV tank heaters themselves. 

That said, there are a number of RVers out there who don’t have tank heaters at all and have gotten along just fine without them. This leaves some RV owners wondering if RV tank heaters are really necessary.

The answer? They are extremely helpful for some types of RVers in certain cases, but are not necessary per se, as there are other ways to get the job done. 

Want to know more about RV tank heaters? We’re going to talk about what they are, who should think about installing them, and other useful winter camping tips.

To read more, go here

Thursday, February 25, 2021

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement


As of last November, I have been retired for five years.

I would have stayed in the work force a bit longer, but I decided that given my parents' medical history after my dad's retirement, I decided to retire at 62 while my health was still good.

It was a good thing I did, since I had my little coronary episode almost three years later.

Upon retirement, one had to budget more carefully since income will be lower. Some expense will be lower upon retirement, while others will go up.

Kiplinger has an article on ten things you'll spend more on retirement.

They begin with:

You may not realize it, but you’re already practicing retirement, even if your real retirement is years away.

Many of us have been working remotely over the last year, tucked away at home because of the pandemic. Except for the part where you’re actually working, life has changed much as it does for retirees.

So take a step back and ask yourself: How’s the spending coming on this retirement test drive? 

Because before you can determine how much you need to save for a fulfilling retirement (and you should), you first need to know how much you will spend in retirement.

Financial planners have traditionally estimated that retirees need 80% or more of preretirement income to maintain their standard of living, though individual situations vary greatly. Another data point: According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual survey on consumer spending, the average retired household spends 25% less than the average working household each year.

That said, retired households do spend more than working households on many items, including big-ticket expenses such as health care and travel. Here’s a look at 10 budget categories where retirees are likely to spend more.

To see what they are, go here.

Joseph City, Arizona History and Jack Rabbit Trading Post

Above, Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Along Interstate 40 in Arizona is Joseph City, the home of my favorite Arizona trading post, the Jack Rabbit Trading Post.

Joseph City, Arizona has an interesting history which included Mormon pioneers, Route 66, trading posts and landmarks.

Legends of America has an article on Joseph City's history and it does include Jack Rabbit Trading Post.

It begins with:

Joseph City, Arizona, located just about 11 miles west of Holbrook on Route 66 is an unincorporated community in Navajo County.

This area along the Little Colorado River was first settled by Mormon pioneers led by Captain William C. Allen in 1876. Joseph City was first called Allen’s Camp, for their leader. One of the settlers first tasks was to build a U-shaped fort of cottonwood logs. They were also focused on getting water for their crops and built a dam and irrigation canals the same year. However, taming the capricious river would be difficult, as over the next several decades the settlers watched in despair as the dams washed out and their crops amounted to nearly nothing. Not just one or two times, mind you, but 10 times before a dam was successfully built in 1894 that was strong enough to withstand the floods. This led Andrew Jensen, a Morman church historian, to call the settlement “the leading community in pain, determination and unflinching courage in dealing with the elements around them.”

Although I've been to Jack Rabbit Trading Post several times, I was unaware (until now) of Joseph City's history and places to explore. The article is a good read. 

To read more, go here

Culture and Natural Beauty In The Navajo Nation

Above, inside a Monument Valley Navajo hogan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Navajo Nation is currently closed to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, it will eventually reopen and it is a fascinating place to visit.

KSL.com has an article on what visitors can see and do in the vast Navajo Nation (that covers three states).

They begin with:

As part of the larger Navajo Nation, the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation is in the Southeast part of Utah. It is remote and isolated retaining much of its traditional ways of life. Its landscape and topography contain some of the world's most beautiful, colorful rugged sandstone cliffs and towering rock formations.

The Navajo presence in the area goes back hundreds of years. Their history is intertwined with early Spanish and Mexican influences, providing rich stories and fascinating sites for exploration. The Navajo people and their ancestors the Anasazi ('ancient ones') resided in the region and visitors find it an ideal location to retrace history and step back in time. The public can view the Anasazi through the striking images of the Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel, found along the San Juan River as it flows downstream.

Enjoy running, hiking, or biking on select Monument Valley Tribal Park trails or participate in a Navajo-sponsored seasonal marathon within the Rainbow Bridge area. Take part in the Balloon Festival held each December at Monument Valley Tribal Park. Guided tours for photographers can easily be arranged to help you discover the full potential of this spectacular landscape.

 To read more, go here.

20% Chance of Snow Today

Above, at the Six Mile Canyon gate during yesterday's drive. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like we may be in for some snow showers today.

This one slipped past my radar. I checked yesterday and didn't see any indication for snow until the weekend.

Bur, according to the National Weather Service, we have a 20% chance of snow showers today.

Today
A slight chance of snow showers between 11am and 2pm, then a slight chance of rain showers after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 46. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northwest in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tonight
Mostly clear, with a low around 16. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Friday
Sunny, with a high near 50. West wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
Friday Night
Clear, with a low around 22. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 49. West wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 21.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 43.
Sunday Night

A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. 

California Gun Bills Make Bill Filing Deadline


view the web version of this email
NRA-ILA: Institute for Legislative Action

California Update: Bill Filing Deadline Passes

February 19th was the bill filing deadline for the California State Legislature. A few more bills to place restrictions on your already diminished rights, as well as one to protect your rights, have been filed.

Anti-Gun

Assembly Bill 1223 taxes firearms at $25 each, and ammunition at a certain percentage yet to be determined, in order to fund social services programs for “gun violence.” Such taxes are to be collected from California retailers on new firearms sold and on their retail sales of ammunition. It is unjust to saddle law-abiding gun owners with such special taxes to fund social service programs. Such a measure makes it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to exercise a constitutional right and discourages them from practicing to be safe and proficient with their firearms for purposes such as self-defense, competition, and hunting. 

Assembly Bill 1509 shows just how disingenuous Californian legislators are about stopping “gun violence.” It reduces the penalties and sentencing enhancements for criminal misuse of firearms. The legislators who support not holding criminals accountable for their actions are the same ones who continue to harass law-abiding gun owners.

Assembly Bill 311 prohibits the display or sale of any "precursor firearm parts" at gun shows in the state. So called “precursor” parts are not regulated as firearms under federal law; however, they are regulated and limited to being transferred by licensed vendors in California. Such restrictions continue to cut off access to law-abiding individuals who are looking to acquire firearm parts in accordance with existing law.

Senate Bill 264 bans sales of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property in order to ban gun shows at these venues. SB 264 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 16th.

Senate Bill 252, the bill to ban bear hunting, was previously withdrawn by its author. Decisions regulating wildlife management should be made by experts based on sound science, not by anti-hunting extremists.

Pro-Gun

Senate Bill 448 enacts the Emergency Powers Limitation Act, to rein in the use of emergency powers. The legislation provides protections for express constitutional rights, including “[t]he freedom to acquire and bear lawful firearms and ammunition,”​ when the state government utilizes emergency power. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many anti-gun officials, including at both the state and local levels of government, took the opportunity to unilaterally suspend Second Amendment rights by shutting down gun stores and ranges. Unfortunately, this coincided with many Americans’ first attempt to exercise their Second Amendment rights and resulted in them being unable to access arms, ammunition, or proper training. This bill protects the constitutional right to keep and bear arms from such politically motivated attacks and ensures that citizens can exercise that right when they need it most.​

While the filing deadline has passed, lawmakers can still insert anti-gun language into “spot bills.” Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.

RVs Are Your Spring Break Friend

Above, springtime is ideal for desert camping. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is kind of funny that we're in winter and much of the country is buried under snow. But, it is time to think about spring break.

The Bismarck Tribune is thinking about it and has an article on eight reasons why RVs are your best friend for spring break.

They begin it with:

You’re yearning to get away for spring break this year, but you’re not ready to hop on a plane. You need a change of scenery, as long as the scenery isn’t full of other people. And you’d like to travel in a COVID-responsible manner. Sound familiar?

If that’s you, consider booking an RV vacation this spring break.

It won’t take you further than driving distance, yet it can lead you to a part of the country you maybe haven't explored before. You’ll inhale fresh air, and you’ll feast on campfire popcorn and barbecue.

Sure, spring break 2021 won’t entail partying with 1,000 of your closest friends, but it doesn’t have to be gone completely. Here are eight reasons why an RV is your new spring break BFF:

To see what the eight reasons are, go here

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

RPNM Chairman: GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM’S NEW TURQUOISE LEVEL FOR PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER

 


REPUBLICAN PARTY OF NEW MEXICO CHAIRMAN STATEMENT ON GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM’S NEW TURQUOISE LEVEL FOR PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER
 
GOVERNOR TODAY ADDS ANOTHER COLOR, BUT SILLY SHADE IS NOT WHAT’S NEEDED TO HELP STRUGGLING NEW MEXICANS AND STUDENTS
 
Albuquerque, February 24—The following is a statement from Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce regarding to the new Turquoise level announced today by the Lujan Grisham Administration:
 
“Students are suffering, businesses are dying and despair is growing, and the Governor keeps playing with her paintbox. The color codes keep changing, but the Governor can’t see the real picture. Adding colors isn’t the answer, and even when her past Public Health Order goals were met, she moved the goalposts. Gov. Lujan Grisham should be focused on getting students back into classes and onto athletic fields. She needs to reopen all businesses and get life back to normal in New Mexico.”

Airliner Has Encounter With "Cylindrical" Object In New Mexico

Above, a display at the International UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

New Mexico is known for UFOs and crashed flying saucers (Roswell). The state can add another, for an American Airlines flight crew encountered a cylindrical object February 21 in the northeast section of the state. 

The encounter occurred west of the village of Des Moines, New Mexico.


From The Independent (U.K.):

Flight crew flying across New Mexico reported seeing a “long cylindrical object” whizzing above them mid-flight.

The object was spotted by crew onboard American Airlines flight 2292, which was en route from Cincinnati in Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona.

The “object” was flying fast over the top of the Airbus A320 craft, which was cruising at 36,000ft just west of the village of Des Moines in New Mexico.

In an audio recording from the flight deck, obtained by radio intercepter Steve Douglass and shared with The Drive, crew can be heard saying that “we just had something go right over the top of us”.

“It almost looked like a cruise missile, moving really fast over the top of us.”

It’s uncertain what this object was.

To read more, go here

Roamin' Around

Above, at the locked gate to Six Mile Canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since it is about 48° outside with some breeze, I took out the Jeep for some driving.

I went down to the Flying J to pick up my mail and some water for the coffee maker. I then drove around the community for a while to give the Jeep, its battery and me a little workout.

I then took it down Six Mile Canyon Road to the canyon's gate and corral.

Above, another view with the corral in the background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We have a little over a month to go before Six Mile Canyon in Cibola National Forest is reopened for vehicles. 

The battery seems to be okay since I charged it up and the temperatures have been a trifle warmer. 

Major Project Underway At Grand Canyon's Desert View

Above, the Desert View Watchtower. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Although now closed due to coronavirus concerns, Grand Canyon National Park's Desert View is now undergoing a major project for visitors when it does reopen.

According to the AZ Big Media:

The Arizona Lottery is teaming up with Grand Canyon Conservancy, Grand Canyon National Park’s official nonprofit partner, in their effort to reimagine the site at Desert View. Desert View represents the physical and cultural gateway from Grand Canyon National Park to tribal lands that surround it. In fact, in 2019 alone, one million park visitors visited Desert View to learn more about the 11 American Indian tribes that call the Grand Canyon home.

Perched on the rim of the canyon, the historic 70’ tall Desert View Watchtower is modeled after the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Four Corners region. Visitors can meet cultural demonstrators to learn about local indigenous cultures, spot the Colorado River turning west, and glimpse the Painted Desert extending towards tribal lands.

The Arizona Lottery’s $100,000 Gives Back Sponsorship (matched by the National Park Foundation’s centennial appropriations for $200,000 in impact) will fund opportunities for this Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site to teach visitors about past and present indigenous life and culture in and around Grand Canyon. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact directly with tribal members, listen to their stories, and observe a variety of cultural demonstrations.

On part of the project is an improvement of the arrival experience by creating an Orientation Area, Shade Structure, Picnic Areas, and revision of the parking lots.

To read more, go here.

Grand Canyon East Entrance and Navajo Tribal Parks

Above, Monument Valley and other tribal parks can't reopen until the Navajo
 Nation attains orange level status for COVID-19. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, "To reopen or not to reopen, that is the question." 

That, and when. This is what the Navajo Nation is pondering. Should they reopen the tribal parks and when?

According to the Navajo-Hopi Observer:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Feb. 10, Grand Canyon National Park officials met with Navajo Nation leaders to discuss the reopening of the park’s eastern park entrance, which borders the Navajo Nation.

Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Edward Keable said the National Park Services (NPS) plans to reopen the east entrance May 21.

“Keeping safety in mind, we are not committed to this date and want to be good neighbors by incorporating the Navajo Nation’s interests in our plans,” Keable said.

During the meeting, members of the Nation’s Resources and Development Committee (RDC) presented their concerns for the safety of both Navajo Nation residents and Grand Canyon tourists in the event of a reopening.

“The purpose of our current health order is to expand the vaccine distribution and contribute to the Navajo Nation’s economic recovery plan. But, it is a balancing act and a race against time,” said Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Navajo President, Milton Bluehouse, Jr.

Bluehouse indicated the Navajo Nation leads the country in vaccine distributions with more than 2,000 Navajos vaccinated on the weekend of Feb. 6.

Navajo Nation Department of Health Executive Director Dr. Jill Jim said the Nation is focused on staying ahead of a possible third COVID-19 positive case surge with new variants of the virus reported in surrounding states.

Above, the Desert View Watchtower on the east end of Grand Canyon National Park remains closed. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


On the question of reopening tribal parks (such as Monument Valley):

With the Navajo Nation under a level-red declaration red, the highest COVID-19 concentration-code level, Begaye said many in-person services, such as tours, have been canceled. Consequently, 15 to 20 of the 75 department staff have lost their jobs or have been furloughed.

Dr. Jim explained the HCOC’s data-driven approach to creating gating criteria for determining the Navajo Nation’s Covid-19 code levels involves an evaluation of the number of positive Covid-19 cases and other factors related to the spread of the virus.

Although Covid-19 numbers have gone down, Navajo tribal parks are not able to open until the Navajo Nation is in the orange phase.

The Navajo Nation made great strides in vaccinating tribal members. When the Nation can be put in the orange code level is anyone's guess.

To read the full article, go here.

Leftist Congressional Tyrants Want To Muzzle Conservative Media



The radical leftists in congress are trying to muzzle conservative media. This is something you'd find in communist states.

From Real Clear Politics:

On Feb. 24, House Democrats will hold a hearing on “traditional media’s role in promoting disinformation and extremism.” This hearing is a dangerous threat to American democracy and goes entirely against what the Founders intended when they made a free press Americans’ guaranteed First Amendment right in the Constitution.

It’s also just the latest threat against free speech from the left, which has now mainstreamed a despotic desire to use government to cancel conservative speech. Just last week, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof called for Fox News to be on trial for supporting former President Donald Trump. This is the same Kristof who recently began calling for a War on Terror-style campaign against Trump supporters and “the ecosystem that produces them” -- completely missing the key difference between the right to free speech and the lack of rights to commit political violence.

Kristof’s dangerous rhetoric joins that of other influential mainstream media figures who are targeting media they deem too friendly towards Trump. Washington Post columnist Max Boot wants cable companies to cut off Fox, and MSNBC commentator Anand Giridharadas suggests that the outlet shouldn’t even exist. 

Freedom of expression is essential to a flourishing democracy, which is why I oppose unconstitutional limits on free speech. It’s why I supported the rights of liberal groups like the Brennan Center to oppose my nomination to the Federal Elections Commission 20 years ago even though they said things I felt were often unfair and sometimes untrue. Kristof has the right to publish his views if they are peaceful, just as Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh have said things that Democrats don’t like. Calls to shut down a major news source like Fox, or even its smaller allies in the conservative media world, whether through corporate deplatforming or government force, cross the line from opposing ideas to undermining our civil society.

The Feb. 24 hearing will take place seven days after Rush Limbaugh died. Limbaugh was a giant in conservative media, but the industry he helped build couldn’t have existed if the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” had been in place. Indeed, it was the Reagan-era repeal of the doctrine that gave Limbaugh, and eventually thousands of talk show hosts of all political stripes, the ability to be absolutely, 100% American in their partisanship without threat of government tyranny.

 This article is one everyone should read. To do so, go here.

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