"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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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Jamestown Home For Sale

Above, the house for sale on Birch Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday, I took a little drive up to the southernmost area of our subdivision, Whispering Cedars, and noticed a house for sale on Birch Road (loop area).

It is a log cabin style home. It is 1,923 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms on four acres.

The Zillow listing for it has an asking price of $214,900.

To see the listing, go here

Best Places To Visit In Colorado

Above, aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

If the state of Colorado in on your radar for a vacation this summer (or even winter), The Travel has posted an article of what they consider to be the ten best places to visit in Colorado.

Durango made the list, but Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado didn't. I would include them in any "must-visit" list. If one takes the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad trip, the train will take visitors to Silverton for a few hours stopover before returning to Durango. Ridgway was used for location shoots for the 1969 classic John Wayne western, True Grit.

They begin their article with:

From outdoor adventures to spectacular landscapes, Colorado has lots to offer that will inspire the soul. It’s home to fascinating historical sites, bustling cities, national monuments, and arid deserts. Skiers, mountain bikers, hikers, history buffs, and nature lovers flock to the state year after year for unforgettable vacations.

So how do travelers select the best places to visit in Colorado when the list of contenders is overwhelming? Well, these 10 amazing places will do the trick.

To read more, go here

Best Places To Stay Around Crater Lake National Park

Above, The Beast on Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

During my 2017 Great American Eclipse trip, I headed from Idaho to Oregon to visit Crater Lake National Park. I hadn't been there since the early 1970s, so this was a good opportunity to go.

While there, I stayed at the Diamond Lake RV Park, which was a few miles from the north entrance into Crater Lake National Park. It was nice to visit the park again, even though a haze of smoke settled into the crater from wildfires nearby.

The Travel posted their list of ten best places to stay around Crater Lake National Park. Even though Diamond Lake RV Park didn't make the list, I would recommend it.

The Travel begins with:

Crater Lake National Park attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year from all around the world. The deepest lake in the US is located within the crater of Mount Mazama, a massive volcano that erupted 7,700 years ago, leaving behind a bowl filled with some of the cleanest water on the planet. Visitors have always been charmed by going to the lake's shore, examining its various natural features, and staring from spectacular viewpoints. The lake's characteristic blue tint is a testimonial to that astonishing depth and mesmerizing purity. Of course, all of those attractions and the park's secluded location mean that many visitors remain overnight. Here are the top 10 places to stay around the lake.

To read more, go here

Priscilla Presley's Reaction To New "Elvis" Biopic

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

For those who are curious about the new Elvis Presley biopic and wonder what Priscilla Presley thinks about it, she posted on Twitter her (and Jerry Schilling's) reaction to the movie after screening it.

Here's her Tweet:

Sounds like it received their stamps of approval.

Common RV Travel Mistakes

Above, at the Beaver, Utah KOA Kampground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As we are nearing the summer vacation season (just under two months away), many people will be hitting the road in an RV. Some will be seasoned veterans and some will be newbies.

Mistakes will be made, especially by the newbies.

AOL has posted an article on seven common travel RV mistakes.

They begin it with:

Whether you’re renting or buying your rig, preparing to hit the road is a super-exciting time — but also one rife with opportunity for error. While you’re all caught up in fantasizing about your next destination (don’t worry, we all do it!), you can easily forget about some surprisingly basic stuff. Like, um, not driving away while still hooked up to the sewer connection.

The thing is, no matter how well you prepare, RVing mistakes are going to happen. But just in case you’d like to minimize the level of “Oh, no” in your vacation, we put together a few of our own errors from experience, so you can hopefully avoid running into them.

Here are seven super-easy-to-make travel mistakes that the majority of RV owners have made … usually more than once.

To read more, go here

Friday, April 29, 2022

Comics Great Neal Adams Dies At 80

Above, Neal Adams and yours truly at the 2012 Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles.

Very sad news!

It is the kind of news that forces one to shout, "Aw, f*ck!"

Comic book artist great Neal Adams has passed away at age 80. He was the man who created the definitive Bronze Age Batman for DC Comics.

Don Glut posted the following on Facebook:

I just heard the sad news that artist Neal Adams -- who  back in the 1960s changed the look of comics -- has died at 80.  Neal illustrated one of my earliest professional stories, "Goddess from the Sea," in VAMPIRELLA #1. What a thrill it was for novice me to open that magazine and find that Neal had done the art for one of  my stories - and made it so much better than it actually was. And I'm so glad that last year -- finally --  in his Crusty Bunkers comic book shop right here in Burbank, CA, he autographed my original copy of that issue.

He also posted:

FYI, I just received this email message from Jim Steranko: Yeah, I was the first that Chris Adams called with the bad news. No prolonged suffering; he died in his sleep about 2-3 in the morning. Don't believe I can accept it—just cannot imagine the Comix World without Neal. At last weekend's show, a couple fanboys mentioned stories about he and I being adversaries—completely fabricated for PR hacking. Even though we were both hard-headed, opinionated SOBs, we NEVER had a negative word between us. Never!!! And I attributed that mostly to Neal!"

I was privileged to meet Neal Adams at the 2012 Comikaze Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  

I heard he was in ill health in recent months, but this was totally unexpected, at least to me. This is a big loss for comic book fans.

My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. 

Biden's "Ministry of Truth"

Fox News reported:

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security is creating a "Disinformation Governance Board" to combat misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms.

Mayorkas appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the fiscal 2023 budget for the Department of Homeland Security. 

The news of the "Disinformation Governance Board" comes two days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk secured a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, stoking panic among the left that the platform would become a free-speech free-for-all.

This news is not sitting too well with a lot of people.

Today from ex-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter:

Every dictatorship has a propaganda arm—a “Ministry of Truth.” The Biden Administration has now formally joined the ranks of such dictatorships with their creation of the so-called “Disinformation Governance Board.”

She is correct.


Adolf Hitler had a Ministry of Truth.

Joseph Goebbels had a Ministry of Truth.

Joseph Stalin had a Ministry of Truth.

Joseph Biden has a Ministry of Truth.

Ronald Reagan's March 31, 1976 Televised Address

Above, Ronald and Nancy Reagan during the 1976 Republican National Convention. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Back in the 1976 presidential primary campaign, former Governor Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination for president.

During the campaign, the Reagan campaign floundered as it had not won a single primary until the North Carolina primary in March.

Following that win, Citizens for Reagan purchased a half hour of airtime for Reagan to address the American people on March 31, 1976. The North Carolina primary win and the address of March 31 gave the Reagan campaign a much-needed shot-in-the-arm and he went on to win most of the state primaries thereafter.

At the 1976 Republican National Convention at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, I was a California Reagan delegate. During the balloting,  Ford won with 1187 votes to 1070 votes for Reagan. He later lost to Jimmy Carter during the general election. 

Above, Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri in 2016. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This morning, I came upon Reagan's March 31 televised address on YouTube. This was the first time I watched it since 1976, even though I did make an audio recording during the broadcast.

The address by Reagan in many respects applies today with what we're going through with Biden and the Democrats, especially with current problems with Russia, energy and the economy.

Here is the video of that address:

Donald Trump Jr. Creates Second Amendment Task Force

With the Biden Administration and Democrat politicians trying to infringe on our Second Amendment rights at all levels, it has now become necessary to create a task force to fight them.

This is what Donald Trump Jr. has done.

According to LifeZette

Adding to the massive agenda set by the Biden administration, the White House and Democrats have promoted banning certain weapons for being purchased, citing the rise in crime as the reason. The attack on the Second Amendment isn’t solely the working of the Biden administration as the Democratic party has waged a war against guns dating back decades. While the Democrats might want to strip the rights away from Americans, the son of former President Donald Trump is seeking to protect that sacred right. 

Announcing his very own Second Amendment Task Force, Trump Jr. stated, “The Second Amendment is the whole ballgame; it’s the freedom that protects all of our other freedoms. Unfortunately the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress are hellbent on eroding our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, whether it’s nominating radical gun-grabbers to senior positions in the executive branch or pushing anti-gun legislation. The Second Amendment Task Force is entirely devoted to ensuring the Left is never successful in disarming American citizens.”

To read more, go here

RV Refrigerator Fires

Above, the refrigerator and galley of my Minnie Winnie. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The only really tedious thing about RVs to me is having to level them so that the propane RV refrigerator inside will properly work. 

Another aspect about RV refrigerators is that they can and do catch fire.

Do It Yourself RV discusses this in a new article.

They begin it with:

Today’s modern RVs are equipped with all the niceties and technology you’d find at home. Of course, this includes refrigerators. While very large RVs have gravitated towards residential refrigerators, most smaller RVs still rely on the gas/electric absorption refrigerator that has been used in RVs for decades. This is due to the cost, efficiency, and power requirements of smaller RVs. Knowing which RV refrigerator you have is vital. 

While a residential refrigerator might not operate at its highest efficiency when off-level, a gas/electric absorption RV refrigerator may not operate at all. At worst, it can be a dangerous fire hazard.

To read more, go here

Woman Falls Headfirst Into Pit Toilet

The following story reminded me of a co-worker who dropped a company-owned pager into a portable outhouse. He managed to retrieve it, but it had to get refurbished for obvious reasons before it could be put back into use.

At least he didn't fall into the toilet like a woman recently did.

From RV Travel:

What would you do if you dropped your cell phone into a pit toilet? Fetch it? That’s what one woman attempted recently. The results, you will likely agree, were not pretty.

The Brinnon Fire Department and Quilcene Fire Rescue on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula responded to the top of Mount Walker on April 19, where a woman in her 40s had reportedly fallen into a Forest Service vault toilet.

The woman, they learned, was alone and had dropped her cell phone into the toilet. In trying to fetch it, she removed the toilet seat to improve access. Then she used dog leashes to help support herself, but they failed and she fell headfirst into the slop. 

To read more, go here

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Some Airlines May Offer Refunds For People Scared of Maskless Passengers

Above, during the "heyday" of social distancing air travel. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

People who are afraid of flying with passengers without masks, some airlines may offer them a refund.

Travel + Leisure reported:

One week ago, a federal judge in Florida voided the federal transportation mask mandate and most airports and major airlines in the United States dropped masking requirements. But not everyone may be comfortable taking to the skies without knowing their fellow passengers are masking up.

With passengers in mind, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told the Today Show last week that people who are uncomfortable flying — like parents with young children who are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine — may be offered a credit or a refund.

"For customers like that, that are immunocompromised or that have other concerns or issues… we are working with those customers if they really don't want to fly," he said, adding, "if they just really don't ever want to fly again, [we're] actually willing to give them a refund."

Along with United, other airlines that may offer refunds include American, Southwest, Alaska, Delta and others. Some are on a case-by-case basis.

To read more, go here

John Wayne Cancer Foundation "Grit Series" Marathon In Ridgway August 27

In September 2020, I visited Ridgway, Colorado for the first time. Ridgway was the principal site of where True Grit (1969) starring John Wayne was filmed.

Above, Mitch Geriminsky and I at the True Grit Café in Ridgway in September 2020. 

This coming August, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation will be holding a marathon event in Ridgway.

I am seriously considering attending the event. Since I am a bit too old to participate as a runner, I will go as a spectator showing my support (along with making a donation).

The Ridgway area is a beautiful area of Colorado. Much of the town of Ridgway's buildings are still recognizable from when they were used in True Grit. It is about 200 miles from home. 

For more information, go here.

The Best Yellowstone National Park Tours

Above, the tour bus we took to see Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Seven years ago, my daughter Amber and I took two guided tours of Yellowstone National Park with Buffalo Bus Touring Company. One was the upper loop of the park and the other was the lower loop. We enjoyed the tours since we didn't have to do the driving and we were able to concentrate on the scenery and the guide was informative. The tours were reasonably priced at under $80 per person.

U.S. News & World Report has posted and article on the 16 best Yellowstone National Park tours. Some are land tours and some are float (raft) tours.

They begin with:

Home to more than 2.2 million acres, hundreds of geysers and waterfalls, as well as Yellowstone Lake – the largest high-altitude lake in North America – Yellowstone National Park is a bucket list vacation destination for many travelers. For help planning an unforgettable visit to America's oldest national park, consider a guided tour. In addition to in-the-know locals, these tours also provide hassle-free transportation from nearby cities like Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With the help of traveler and expert input, U.S. News determined that the following tours offer the best ways to take in all that the park has to offer. All of these top-rated excursions feature skillful guides who are eager to share their knowledge of the park's unique geologic features and wildlife.

Note: Because of weather and other factors, the park's roads are not accessible all year, and its entrances in Wyoming and Montana have differing seasonal opening and closing dates, so plan your visit accordingly. Additionally, tour companies' prices typically do not include the park's approximately $20 entry fee for each visitor 16 and older.

To read more, go here

6 Governors Take "Climate Change" Junket and Stick Taxpayers With The Bill

Six governors took a "little" junket to Glasgow, Scotland for a United Nations climate change conference last November. One of the six was New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

According to The Center Square:

(The Center Square) – Gov. Jay Inslee brought his wife to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, sticking Washington taxpayers with the bill, which included more than $12,510.08 for business class airfare for the couple, something no other governor did at taxpayer expense.

Inslee led a delegation of subnational governments to the conference. The total travel tab for Washington taxpayers cost $25,955.32, more than any other U.S. state examined by The Center Square. The higher cost was due in part to the governor's decision to fly with his wife in business class while other governors who attended at taxpayer expense flew in less expensive seats.

Inslee was one of six state governors who attended the conference. All six are part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group created in response to former President Donald Trump's climate policies. The other state leaders were New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. 

In total, state documents obtained by The Center Square through open records requests show taxpayers in these six states spent more than $90,000 – not including most security costs – to send governors and other state employees to the conference in Glasgow in November 2021, during a time of pandemic restrictions, Zoom meetings and rising inflation.

The records detail what state leaders in Washington, New Mexico, Hawaii, Louisiana, Illinois, and Oregon did during the conference and how much it cost state taxpayers. Oregon was the only state that included the costs of providing security. The records from all other states examined didn't include security costs. Those costs likely added at least thousands of dollars for taxpayers in each state.

Some governors wined and dined pretty "high on the hog" more so than others. What is interesting is that most of the expenses incurred by Lujan Grisham were either unavailable, hidden or her office is not responding to queries. Could her re-election campaign have something to do with that?

The Center Square also reported:

The bill for New Mexico taxpayers was $0, according to spending records from the governor's office. New Mexico officials didn't respond to questions about how the trip was funded, but the Associated Press reported the Climate Registry and the Energy Foundation paid for trip expenses. The Center Square has requested, but not yet received, spending records from the New Mexico State Police, which provided security to the governor during the trip.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's schedule for the trip included sightseeing, such as a visit to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House and Arthur's Seat and a bus tour of the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness.

In addition to food, travel and lodging, all six states paid hundreds of dollars for COVID-19 testing required for travel and for the conference.

According to the article, The Climate Registry is "a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group "that empowers North American organizations to do more in the fight against climate change by providing services and tools that help them reduce their emissions." If they paid most of Lujan Grisham's expenses, this would have to be reported as a campaign contribution or an in-kind contribution with the New Mexico Secretary of State's office. Was it? Frankly, I wouldn't put much trust in what the governor's office provided on her junket spending.

One prominent climate activist was not impressed with this gathering of liberal Democrat politicians.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 19, called the climate summit a failure.

“It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place,” she said during a speech about two miles away from the conference center. “The COP has turned into a PR event, where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.”

A good look at Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's expenses, including official and campaign records, is called for to see what she actually spent for this junket and if she complied with all reporting laws along with expenses incurred by the New Mexico State Police. 

To read more, go here.

Tokyo Cheapo: Tokyo To Mount Fuji Guide

Above, a shinkansen view of Mount Fuji. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of these days, the Japanese government will reopen its borders to foreign tourists. But that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon. (I would be happy to be proven wrong in this instance.)

So, as people are busy twitting their their thumbs waiting for that reopening, they should instead start planning their next (or first) vacation in Japan. If a visit to the symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is in their plans, Tokyo Cheapo has an article on how to get there from Tokyo.

They begin with:

So you want to see Mt Fuji, that 3,776-meter-high icon of Japan? It’s actually a volcano, but let’s not think too much about that… Whether you plan to climb to the summit or just Fuji-spot around the lakes below, there are a few different transport options. Here’s an overview of how you can get from Tokyo to Mt Fuji, in or out of the climbing season, plus other useful stuff to know.
Above, a nighttime view of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To read more, go here

Windy and Dry

Above, the crabapple tree yesterday. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

So far this week, the temperature in New Mexico has been comfortable with the exception of the winds we've been having. At least we haven't had the winds we had a week ago.

According to the National Weather Service, we're under a Red Flag wind warning with low humidity that poses a fire danger.

They wrote:

Fire weather conditions continue on Thursday with critical concerns from eastern Arizona through much of New Mexico into the western Texas Panhandle and even elevated threats are possible in parts of the Northeast.

If we get through this period of winds and fire danger and into the monsoon season (which runs from June through September), I'll be happy.

The forecast for the weekend from the National Weather Service:

Sunny, with a high near 73. Breezy, with a southwest wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon.
Mostly clear, with a low around 40. Breezy, with a southwest wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.
Areas of blowing dust after noon. Sunny, with a high near 69. West wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
Friday Night
Clear, with a low around 35. Northwest wind 15 to 20 mph becoming northwest 5 to 10 mph after midnight.
Sunny, with a high near 71. East wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 40.
Sunny, with a high near 72. Breezy.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 42.

What Is The Best RV Length?

Above, Manzanita Lake Campground at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer

If one is about to purchase an RV, there are many considerations to think out.

One important one is, What length of RV? 

There are RVs of various sizes and types. One consideration is: What are you going to use it for?  If the new potential owner plans to stay at national park campgrounds, they have to keep in mind that campsite sizes in national parks are limited. A 40' behemoth would likely not be able to have a national park campsite large enough to accommodate it.

I have a 23' Class C motorhome. It is big enough my needs and I have had no problems in finding campsites big enough for it.

RV Life has posted an article on the best RV length.

They begin it with:

What Is The Best RV Length?

The RV industry is full of options for potential buyers. This can make buying an RV more difficult for the undecided.

Once you decide on buying an RV, there will be some important questions about the RV you will be searching for.

The type of RV will likely be first; do you want a Class A, Class C, travel trailer, or a fifth wheel? The price will be another determining factor, as will floor plans and preferred manufacturers.

With all these questions to answer, it is important to have decided on one other very important factor: what length RV should I buy?

To read more, go here

Top Things To Do In New Mexico

Above, a ceremonial kiva at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

New Mexico is not one of the largest states in the U.S., but it isn't one of the smallest either. 

It is surprising to some that there are plenty of things to see and do in the Land of Enchantment. U.S. News & World Report has posted a list of 18 top things to do in New Mexico. Of the 18, I have done six of them. 

They begin their article list with:

From distinguished art galleries and intriguing UFO museums to significant archaeological sites, New Mexico is the gift that keeps on giving. Visit in October to watch hundreds of brightly colored hot air balloons take over the Albuquerque skyline or head to Taos in winter for prime skiing conditions. New Mexico's authentic energy and strong cultural roots also attract travelers in search of a spiritual experience. Whether you're ready to plan your trip or you simply want to daydream about the state's stunning rock formations, keep reading for a list of the top things to do in New Mexico. (Note: Some of the following activities and locations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)

To read more, go here

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Panel: Japan Should Ease COVID Border Controls For Foreigners

Above, the National Diet Building in Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Japanese government panel met today and they say Japan should ease COVID-19 border controls for foreigners.

They call for a gradual reopening of Japan's borders for foreign tourists.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun:

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan should aim to normalize its coronavirus travel controls for foreigners as soon as possible, some members of a government panel said Wednesday, calling for a gradual reopening of its borders for tourists to boost the economy.

The government should relax its daily limit on foreign visitors and ease additional immigration procedures needed to enter Japan once such restrictions are confirmed less effective in curbing infection cases, private-sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy said.

Amid criticism of the country's strict border controls, Japan raised the daily cap on overseas entrants on April 10 from 7,000 to 10,000. Visitors are limited to business people, technical interns and students. The ban on tourists remains.

To read more, go here

Hawaii: What To Know and Pack

Above, the lounge area near the Sheraton Waikiki's infinity pool. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Hawaii is wide open again to tourists.

If one is about to take a first-time trip to Hawaii or are an experienced Hawaii traveler, but forgot how to pack, USA Today has a handy article on what to pack for a trip to the Aloha State. 

It has been six years since I was last in Hawaii and I don't really remember what I packed. But I did pack with some of the recommended items in the article.

They begin it with:

If you’re finally thinking of taking a long-awaited trip to Hawaii now that the state’s travel restrictions and mask mandates have been lifted, it’s a great time to do so, as airline ticket prices are still relatively low. Whether you’re looking to escape it all or want a city experience with a tropical vibe, Hawaii offers something for every kind of tourist.

No matter where your Hawaii travel plans take you, there’s no reason to pack a huge suitcase when you really only need a small carry-on. Take it from me, a frequent traveler to Hawaii as well as a former resident of the Big Island: Less is definitely more.  

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of things to know about traveling to Hawaii, as well as a Hawaii packing list that includes all the necessities so that you can vacation in style without bringing too much stuff. 

To read more, go here.

Japan Government Advisor to Propose Letting in Tourists

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

An unnamed Japanese government advisor is proposing that the country be reopened to foreign tourism. The advisor is expected to submit the proposal in a meeting today.

Whether or not the government will agree to this remains to be seen. It has been reported that tourism may reopen in autumn.

Bloomberg reported:

A Japanese government advisor plans to call for reopening the country to tourists, the Yomiuri newspaper said, amid a recent decline in new Covid infections and calls to ease strict border controls put in place in early 2020.

An unnamed, private-sector member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which advises Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is expected to submit the proposal in a meeting Wednesday, the Yomiuri reported without saying how it obtained the information. It was not immediately clear whether the member had the support of the council’s other members.  

To read more, go here

Wyoming Seeing Plenty of Grizzlies and Cubs

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

As the weather is getting warmer, grizzlies, black bears and their cubs are being seen by Teton County, Wyoming residents.

RV Travel has posted an article on keeping yourself and the bears safe and avoiding encounters. 

They begin with:

Grizzly bears with cubs have begun emerging from their dens in Teton County, Wyoming. As bears become active this spring, Bear Wise Wyoming reminds residents and visitors to secure attractants of any kind and be bear aware.

Seeing a bear in its natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. However, living and recreating in bear country requires awareness and actions on our part to keep both bears and humans safe. As the grizzly bear population expands within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, bears continue to disperse across their historical range but also into more populated areas. All of Teton County is now in occupied grizzly bear habitat.

Properly storing all attractants to ensure a bear does not obtain a food reward is crucial to keeping bears wild. Once a bear becomes conditioned to human foods, risks to the bear and humans increase and management options become limited. Whether you have lived in Teton County for decades or are visiting the area for a day, please do your part to help protect bears. 

Above, a mother black bear and cub in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The article goes on to provide tips on what to do.

To read more, go here

New "Arvie" Booking Service Isn't Pleasing Everybody

Above, the Double J Campground in Chatham, Illinois. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As the old saying goes, "you can't please everybody."

That's the way it is with a new online RV campground booking service. One major campground company is not pleased with it and wants no part of it.

RV Travel reported:

RVers tired of endlessly searching the internet for available campsites now have access to a new service that creator and founder Mark Petersen thinks could change the way people plan their trips.

But at least one major campground operator (Kampgrounds of America Inc.) isn’t happy with the new service, and has sent the new company a “cease and desist” letter protesting the methods used by Petersen’s new “Arvie™” booking service. KOA is demanding that all KOA inventory be immediately removed from the Arvie.com website.

Petersen said Arvie is a subscription service and acts as an online travel agency for RVers, designed to help campers find, compare, and instantly book the best campsites for all of their trips using a sleek and centralized interface.

To read more, go here

Japan Expected To Reopen This Autumn

Above, Shibuya 109 department store from Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Travel and Tour World is reporting that Japan "might" reopen in autumn. That's "might" reopen.

As usual, it all depends on the rate of infections of COVID-19 in and out of the country.

They wrote:

Japan might reopen its borders this autumn with the country to host the Tourism Expo Japan 2022 in September. However, Japan’s reopening is hanging in a balance.

Japan is getting ready for inbound tourism, which has partially reopened for students and business travelers. Japan has also lifted its entry ban on non-resident foreign nationals from 106 countries including Britain, India and the US.

Regarding reopning, Japan government is evaluating the rate of infection domestic and overseas.

Based on this, it appears that a summer vacation trip for foreign tourists is not in the cards. But things can and do change. Keep your fingers crossed.

To read more, go here

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Reservations Needed To Visit Diamond Head

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

Out-of-state tourists in Hawaii will have to make reservations to visit iconic Diamond Head on Oahu.

AP News (Associated Press) reports:

HONOLULU (AP) — Out-of-state visitors will soon need reservations to visit one of Hawaii’s most recognizable natural sites.

State land officials announced Monday the new policy for Diamond Head State Monument will take effect on May 12.

The iconic ancient volcanic crater stands at the end of Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

Diamond Head is the third state park to have such a rule. Non-residents must also make reservations for Haena State Park on Kauai and Waianapanapa State Park on Maui. Reservations are required at certain times to visit Haleakala National Park on Maui.

To read more, go here

Cuba Tourism: Current Status

Above, outside of a Havana flea market/bazaar. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When His Fraudulency Joe Biden "won" the 2020 election, it was speculated that one of the things he'd do is to allow tourism to Cuba again.

So far, that hasn't happened. The current status remains as follows.

Above, yours truly at the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, Cuba. Photo by Mitch Geriminky.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Havana:

Travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains prohibited by statute. However, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued general licenses for 12 categories of travel. Individuals who meet the regulatory conditions of the general license they seek to travel under do not need to apply for an additional license from OFAC to travel to Cuba. The 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions. 

To read more, go here

Snake River Cabins and RV Village

Above, the main office building when it was a KOA. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This morning, I received an email from Snake River Cabins & RV Village.

It was the first time I've heard of this place. But looking at their website photos, it did look awfully familiar.

It was the Snake River KOA. Mitch Geriminsky and I stayed there in 2019 while we were in the Jackson Hole/Grand Teton National Park area.

Above, the campsite in 2019. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Doing a little more digging, I found this June 2021 article in the Jackson Hole News and Guide (a snippet):

More than 20 RV parks used to be scattered around Jackson but in recent years the number has dwindled to a handful.

Blame the changing nature of the American vacation, and also the soaring value of land in the Hole, says Bud Chatham.

But Chatham is bucking the trend, opening a new RV park this week. It’s 30 miles from Jackson but it’s going to fill a need for people who can’t find a place to park their vacation rig any closer.

Chatham and his wife, Kelly, own the Snake River Cabins and RV Village south of town, a place commonly called Snake River KOA, though it’s ended its KOA association this year. They also own Dave Hansen Whitewater, one of the area’s oldest river ride companies. They’re opening Alpine Valley RV Resort on Highway 89 north of Alpine, next to the new Broulim’s supermarket.

So, they ended its association with KOA Kampgrounds last year. Same owners, though.  

Above, yours truly rafting the Snake River in 2019. Dave Hansen River Trips photo.

It was a nice place, but there were more cabins there than RV campsites, we noticed at the time of our stay. During our stay, I took a whitewater raft trip down the Snake River with Dave Hansen River Trips. According the the park's website and the above article, Dave Hansen River Trips is "under the Chatham family of businesses." I had a good time on the raft trip and would recommend them.

Their website can be accessed here.

Twitter: Cheers and Fears of 'Free Speech' Plan

It is interesting that the man who bought Twitter, Elon Musk, is an advocate for free speech. But the liberals are loudly wailing over this acquisition. Some celebrities are either leaving or threatening to leave the platform. 

It is obvious that the Left fears free speech as their bullplop can be challenged in a free forum.

I heard that Twitter has locked down the code so that employee holdovers can't sabotage Musk in the takeover and the filters are off. 

What's in store for Twitter under its new ownership? I would guess there may be more advertising so that Musk can recoup his $44 billion. Other than that, I would recommend a "wait and see" stance.

From Reuters:

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) for $44 billion cash on Monday in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world's richest person.

It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company, which emerged as one of the world's most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.

Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, has criticized Twitter's moderation. He wants Twitter's algorithm for prioritizing tweets to be public and objects to giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.

Political activists expect that a Musk regime will mean less moderation and reinstatement of banned individuals including former President Donald Trump.  Conservatives cheered the prospect of fewer controls while some human rights activists voiced fears of a rise in hate speech. 

To read more, go here.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Twitter Set To Accept Musk's $43 Billion Bid

Above, liberal snowflakes are poised to have massive coronary arrests.

It appears that free speech will be coming to Twitter, if reports are accurate.

The New York Post reported:

Twitter is reportedly on the verge of accepting Elon Musk’s $43 billion bid to take the social network private, according to a report.

Twitter may announce it has accepted Musk’s offer later on Monday once its board has met to recommend the transaction to Twitter shareholders, sources told Reuters. The talks are fluid and the deal could still fall apart, the sources added.

The Monday report by Reuters sent shares of Twitter soaring by more than 5% in premarket trading on Monday. 

This'll send liberal snowflakes into cardiac arrest if the deal is completed.

To read more, go here


He dood it! It's Musk's! 

What To Cook After A Busy RV Driving Day

Above, barbecuing a steak at a campground in Bishop, California. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

While traveling in my motorhome, I usually try to reach the day's destination by round 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. This is so that don't have to set-up in the dark and have plenty of time to enjoy the campground or RV park and cook a meal.

For meals after a long day of driving, I would either cook a frozen meal in the microwave or barbecue either chicken or a steak.

RV Travel has some tips on what to cook after a long drive.

They begin it with:

What should you cook in your RV after a long travel day? There are so many options that are quick and easy. It’s always best to plan ahead so you have all the ingredients you need. Prep everything you can so when you stop, you can don’t have to chop, slice, or even open a can. It should be ready to throw in a pot or skillet.

Also, don’t plan any complicated meals on a travel day. A meal you can pop in theWhat microwave is great, so consider leftovers or a charcuterie feast of cheeses, fruits, and meats. Just prep ahead and pull it out of the refrigerator, add some sliced bread, and pour a glass of wine, and you have a great meal.

Let’s take a look at a few great ways to cook and some easy camping recipes that you might enjoy. 

To read more, go here

Airline Pilot Shortage Could Take Years To Resolve

It seems weird to me that there is currently an airline pilot shortage.

Sure, the pandemic caused layoffs, but since it has been easing off, those pilots should be available to be recalled back to work by the airlines.

For some reason, that's just not happening. It's not just happening here, but worldwide as well.

According to TravelPulse:

In what is expected to be a heavy summer travel season after two years of the pandemic, airlines are facing yet another crisis just as a sense of normalcy was starting to pervade the industry.

The worldwide airline pilot shortage is so severe that it could take years to overcome, forcing carriers to resort to alternative – sometimes drastic – measures to combat the deficit.

“The pilot shortage for the industry is real and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years,” Scott Kirby, chief executive officer of United Airlines Holdings Inc. said earlier this week on a conference call according to Bloomberg News.

To read more, go here

Classic Rock Music Monday

The stuff that now passes as "music", particularly rock 'n roll, leaves me cold. So, to start off the week, here's a video of a classic rock artist. 

Today, is a video of the Beach Boys, a band originating out of what I consider to be my hometown, Hawthorne, California. It is of their song, "Don't Worry Baby". The Wilson brothers attended the same high school as I did, Hawthorne High.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

James Bama, Realistic Artist, Dies At 95

Above, James Bama with some of the Aurora monster model kit box art he did in the 1960s.

James Bama may not have been a familiar name to Monster Kids, but his artwork was well known to them. Bama passed away at 95 today.

Back in the 1960s, Bama painted the box cover art for Aurora's monster model kits, including King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy. He was best known for his realistic art style, particularly for his realistic paintings and etchings of Western subjects.

According to Wikipedia:

At the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, when he was the first Honored Artist at the Buffalo Bill Art Show in 2003, Bama commented, "Everything I’ve done — the rodeo, the trappers, the mountain men — has been done around here. The fact that I’m from Cody makes this very significant to me. They’re really honoring Cody and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center."


Above, James Bama's painting of Bela Lugosi for the Aurora plastic model kit box. Photo by Armand Vaquer

Warmer Week

Above, the crabapple tree is now blooming, which makes
the bees and hummingbirds happy. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It looks like the weather here in Jamestown, New Mexico is moderating this week. We'll still have winds, but nothing like what we had last week. Friday's windstorm is still being talked about here.

It will be warming up as well, up into the 70s. Unfortunately, no precipitation is forecast for this week. We sure can use it.

According to the National Weather Service, this is what is forecast for this week:


Mostly clear, with a low around 28. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
Sunny, with a high near 63. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 36. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming south 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. South wind 10 to 15 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 74.
Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 37.
Sunny, with a high near 73. Breezy.
Thursday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 40. Breezy.
Sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy.
Friday Night
Clear, with a low around 34. Breezy.
Sunny, with a high near 69.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 38.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

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