28 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
This is Panel 33 which is the first of the more difficult patterns. However, this was one of the easier knots that I have drawn. I think the reason for that is the practice that I got, and the mistakes that I made, drawing all the previous knots. It was not only easier but I think I did a much better reproduction of what was shown on the pattern page. I'm proud of this one.
Speaking of difficult. I started a drawing of the Penrose style which has stars, boats, and pentagons. The stars and boats are actually the shapes created when trying to tile regular pentagons - they can not be tiled, there are always gaps. I can easily see how to do the main part of the drawing but the border has been a problem for me.
I also just began another pixel art. Not much drawn yet, just got the grid setup in GIMP and have the pattern saved as a PDF file on the Toshiba. This one is going to look good, I'm sure of that before even starting on it.
I did some cooking this morning. Started to think about doing the monthly Will Rogers weekly article downloads and formatting. I'll get to that tomorrow. Not planning on doing much today - it's a holiday!
The Park started to fill up on Thursday afternoon and was full by Friday. But the surprising thing for me is that two of the RVs have left already, both of them were gone by yesterday afternoon. I guess they just wanted to be on the road during this Memorial Day weekend - DUH
The mine worker neighbor went back to Tucson again rather than have the family here and the neighbor on my driver side has yet to make an appearance. No neighbors during the long holiday weekend, now how good is that?
27 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
I was back on the range again this morning. This time with the Southern New Mexico Shooters. A year ago there were maybe 10 participants today we had half that but it took a long time because we were shooting a three stage Classifier with 24 rounds for each stage.
I did not get an official Classification because I'm not a member of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). I do have all my scores and will do some adding and check to see what my Classification would have been. Today I am going to say that I would probably be classed as a Novice in Super Senior Revolver.
I stopped at the Drifter Restaurant again because La Mexicana open at 8:00 and I never know if he is going to open on time. I wanted to get to the range in time to give Patches a short walk and to check the road conditions to the part of the range we would be using. If I could not drive to it I would have had to make different parking arrangements from where I was last year.The road was better than last year so no problems.
I have a question that has not been answered by any of the Lame Stream Media that I read online. Why was The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in Montana? The paper he works for is UK based with a declining circulation of about 160,000. What interest would a UK reader have in the election of a US congressman from Montana? Most of them could not find Montana on a map. Perhaps he was there to interfere in the election. I think Gianforte should have been charged with vigilantism rather than misdemeanor assault.
26 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA335 May 26, 1929
A simple one color vase with flowers from the same cross stitch web site where I am getting my patterns. This one was even easier than the Dragon. What made it easier? It was a little smaller but more importantly there was that huge vase that I only had to draw the outline and then could use the 'bucket color dump' feature in GIMP to fill in ALL the pixels within that outline with color. I have one more single color within this size (72-144x72-144) for which I found patterns. I'll draw it and then see if there are any one color in size (144-216X144-216) if not I'll start on two colors.
The most important thing that I had on the agenda for today was taken care of early on this morning. I used my newly purchased 90° sewer elbow to dump holding tanks. This was after going to a neighbor and asking to borrow a pipe wrench to get the sewer cap off. He did not have a wrench but did have channellock pliers that would open wide enough to get the cap off. Took on fresh water also although the idiot light was still claiming that I had a half tank.
Fred Reed has written another 'right on' blog posting - Notes of a Reformed News Weasel: Understanding the Vacuity. The next time President Trump wants to bitch slap the media all he need do is read this posting out loud at a press briefing. It might be good if he called a special one just for that purpose. I have selected only a couple bits from it, a highly recommended read
Now look at how much they write about each other for each other. Look at the endless coverage of what Maddow said about what Hannity thought about O’Reilly’s harassment of soft-porn star Megyn and how much she might make at CNN. Ask how much time they spend comparing ratings. They are fascinated by themselves… They don’t know America, and they don’t much like it.
"Only two presidents in history did not see a recession, and they were inaugurated after single-term presidents. In every single instance at the end of a two-term presidency, there’s been a recession. This means there is a 100% chance of recession for the new president." - We Are Putting Off The Inevitable
by John Mauldin
Just from a historical point of view the odds are against President Trump not being 'responsible' for a recession/depression within the next year. The only way I can see for him to avoid that is to encourage impeachment or resign.
A couple more useless fact from The American Language
that I can add to my memory bank. Important things I forget but it is stuff like this that seems to stick.
This confusion goes back to colonial times. So with rabbit. Properly speaking, there are no native rabbits in the United States; they are all hares. But the early colonists, for some unknown reason, dropped the word hare out of their vocabulary, and it is rarely heard in American speech to this day. When it appears it is almost always applied to the so-called Belgian hare, which, curiously enough, is not a hare at all, but a true rabbit...
A number of such Indian words are preserved in the nomenclature of Tammany Hall and in that of the Improved Order of Red Men, an organization with more than 500,000 members. The Red Men, borrowing from the Indians, thus name the months, in order: Cold Moon, Snow, Worm, Plant, Flower, Hot, Buck, Sturgeon, Corn, Travelers', Beaver and Hunting. They call their officers incohonee, sachem, wampum-keeper, etc.
Note: I had never heard of this organization before. It is a fraternity that traces its origins back to 1765 and is descended from the Sons of Liberty. At the time that Mencken wrote the membership was about ½ million but has declined to around 15,000 today. There is a women's branch called Degree of Pocohontas, also a Degree of Hiawatha for boys eight years and older and a Degree of Anona is open to girls. I do like their names for the months and their system for calendar year numbering, known as the "Great Sun of Discovery" (GSD) that begins with GSD 1, the year that Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas, namely CE 1492.
25 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Since getting my Chromebook one of the small irritations has been the inability to type special characters on the keyboard. It took me years to learn how to use the Alt+ on Windows but that does not work on the Chromebook keyboard.
I have been using the HTML numeric character reference by typing this format nnnn; with the nnnn=to numbers that give me a ° symbol or a é. Yesterday I finally found a way to do it somewhat like using the Alt+.
It is not quite as simple but after I do it for a while it should become much easier. The best thing about this 'new' to me way is I no longer need to memorize all the numeric codes. I have them memorized for degree and the 'e' but would have had to look up the number for ñ. There is still some memorization required for the special symbols such as degree and cent but I'm liking the Chromebook more and more as I learn how to use it.
I have started reading The American Language by H. L. Mencken. I think this is a first edition published in 1919 that I have downloaded from Gutenberg for my Paperwhite, maybe 800 pages and over 15,000 locations as a MOBI file. Not your usual Mencken book. I'll be reading it for some time to come and providing selected passages that appeal to me.
The American is not, in truth, lacking in a capacity for discipline; he has it highly developed; he submits to leadership readily, and even to tyranny. But, by a curious twist, it is not the leadership that is old and decorous that fetches him, but the leadership that is new and extravagant. He will resist dictation out of the past, but he will follow a new messiah with almost Russian willingness, and into the wildest vagaries of economics, religion, morals and speech. A new fallacy in politics spreads faster in the United States than anywhere else on earth, and so does a new fashion in hats, or a new revelation of God, or a new means of killing time, or a new metaphor or piece of slang.
24 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Another solo rider of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route stayed in the Park last night. He was breaking camp as Patches and I were returning from our morning walk so we stopped to say hello and I chatted for a few minutes. I have done more socializing in a week than I usually do in a month. He flew into Phoenix, AZ and the got a shuttle to Douglas, AZ where he began to ride. He rode the Geronimo Trail east to connect with the GDMBR at Hachita, NM then followed it to the Park.
This is Panel 32 which is the last of the simple patterns. The remaining 16 panels on the stained glass web page where I am finding these patterns look to be more difficult. Some of them might be very difficult.
I am making slow progress on the latest pixel art drawing. Started another stained glass panel yesterday that looks like it will take me some time to do. I have also selected a rhombi tiling from quadiblock.com that I'm going to try and reproduce. It will also be a two part drawing with a line overlay like the last one I did. This one is not a true Penrose however since it does not follow the 'rules'. It is a good looking pattern and I hope to do it justice.
23 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Not much happening with me. I had a brief chat with the Park owner yesterday as Patches and I were finishing our afternoon walk. She is gearing up for the weekend which will probably have the Park full of Holiday celebrators.
I might even see my neighbor on the driver side of me. I have not seen them since being here. The fellow on the passenger side is here during the week but goes back to Tucson for the weekends. However, this one the 'family' will probably come here.
I don't know what his job is but he works at the Tyrone mine. This is an open-pit copper mining complex that processes copper using a solution extraction and electrowinning (SX/EW) process that produces copper cathode. The mine tailings are also being reclaimed which may be something that he is involved with. Those reclaimed areas on the south side close to NM90 are about 2 miles from the Park but the total mine area is huge.
I may finish drawing the latest stained glass panel today. If so I'll get it posted tomorrow. This is probably the last of the easy to draw panels that are shown on the web page that I am currently using for patterns.
My efforts to find another Penrose pattern inspiration on Pinterest led me to John Savard's web site which is just chock full of Penrose tiling information as well as much much more. I will be spending some time there and maybe pick up some of the mathematics that is used to create the tilings.
22 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
This is the phase two Prenrose drawing that I tried to replicate from what I saw at Pinterest. I think I did a good job in the replication and it looks good. I'll now be back there looking for something else to draw, there is a lot to chose from.
There is mathematics that explains how all this is formed but it is way beyond me. I looked at some of it and could not begin to understand what it was about. What I did see in doing this drawing was that I used 27 for the side length of the rhombi for the white and coral drawing. That made the long diagonal of the thick rhombus 43.687 which is what the side length of the rhombi in the line overlay are. Plus the short diagonal of the thin rhombi in the line overlay turns out to be 27. Fascinating stuff!
Back into Silver City again this morning for groceries at Albertson's and some other running around. First stop was at the Drifter Restaurant since my favorite La Mexicana is closed on Monday. There I had Huevos con Chorizo which was decent, the beans were good and the country potatoes were tasty but could have withstood some more browning.
After getting groceries for next week I went in search of the VA Clinic here in Silver City. In 0ct-Nov 2010 I stayed at Rose Valley RV Park and did morning walks, sans Patches, and went past the clinic. Today I went past the building that I remember being the VA but it is not that anymore.
Looked up the location on Google Maps and when I pulled into the parking lot I found myself with no place to park Desperado and no exit other than the one I entered. Desperado requires 40 acres to turn around so I had to back out after failing to get turned around.
After all that I could not get any help from them about my co-payment balance. The only time I know for sure how much I owe is when I get a statement so I have guessed at it and either underpay and then owe some interest or I overpay and they send my a Treasury Check for the amount of the overpayment. Medically the VA does a fairly good job, administratively they are simply another government bureaucracy.
I had much better luck getting the 90° sewer elbow. The guy I spoke to last week was even holding it for me as I ask of him. The stop to fill Desperado with gas was uneventful. Then the bank was able to sell me two rolls of quarters without any undue difficulty. A reasonably successful trip to town.
21 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
I did a few minutes of socializing this morning. There were a couple of cyclist that tented overnight here at the Park and I went over and had a chat. I never pass up a chance to talk to touring bicyclist - just seeing them brings back all those great memories of my touring days.
These two guys started in El Paso and are doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. From just my cursory look I think they have a good chance of doing it. They are traveling light which is usually not the case with riders that have not done this kind of riding before and they look to be in fit riding trim.
Today I should finish drawing the Penrose with line overlay, as shown in Pinterest. I'll try and have it included in tomorrow's posting. The line overlay uses Penrose thick and thin rhombi but I don't think they 'follow the rules' for tiling the plane as prescribed by Penrose.
Wells explains the structure/format of this book at some length in the preface. It is a combination novel/essay which can be somewhat off-putting. It is the third in his series of 'social' books starting with Anticipations 1901, Mankind in the Making 1903 and A Modern Utopia in 1905. This book probably got the worst reviews at goodreads.com of the three. I tend to agree with that assessment, he adds very little to what he has written before and the novel/essay style does not 'work'. I might add that I would not want to live in his Utopia.
Though the Penguin Classics blurb on the back suggests this is a novel, I'd say it's more of a philosophical discussion/extended essay, occasionally making use of the two ostensible characters to illustrate a point or provide a breather.
Not to say that this is a bad thing; as lengthy theses on Utopias go, this is very readable, and shows some remarkable foresight in places. With the exception of the gender roles perhaps, it's dated well, and still reflects current thinking about a semi-liberal Utopia today. - Customer review at goodreads.com
You May Be Suffering from Presidential Derangement Syndrome by Joey Clark is an article among the many that tries to explain why President Trump is under attack. I have quoted his closing and completed his Ecclesiastes quote.
But again, this is what some of “the people” want. This is the process they have chosen either actively or passively. No matter the issue, if there is a wrong to be righted, an ill to be cured, an injustice to be reconciled, a mouth to be fed, a foot to be shoed, a hangnail to be clipped, a butt to be wiped (gently with moist baby wipes, please), or a salty tear to be patted dry; you can bet on the American public time and time again to say, "Let us have another election! Let us have a new president!"
So, good luck keeping your wits about you in the midst of the this latest crucible, America. Do not let news that isn’t all that new or palace intrigue that isn’t all that intriguing get you down or distract you from the beautiful and awe-inspiring things the modern world has to offer. History probably isn’t watching the lunacies of American politics as Senator Chuck Schumer suggests, but if Father History could speak, I bet he would say of American politics:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them. - Ecclesiastes 1:9-14
20 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
This is the phase one Prenrose drawing that I am trying to replicate from what I see at Pinterest. I think it looks good just as it is but what is shown on Pinterest has an overlay of lines somewhat like what I did with the first P3 Penrose drawing that I did. I'll be working on that for a few days to see if I can do it.
I have also started another pixel art drawing. It is another with only one color which I am going to be doing as long as I can find the patterns. Maybe start the next stained glass panel drawing also then I can move from one to the next when any of them become tedious.
I knew it was colder this morning than yesterday but didn't realize how much colder. Yesterday the low was 40.3° and this morning it was 33.6°. The biggest difference was a wind yesterday and very calm this morning. The 10 Day forecast for high temperatures are now in the lower 80s with the lows in the 40s or low 50s. Now if the wind will quit blowing hard and the forecast becomes reality that is going to be just about perfect!
19 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA334 May 19, 1929
It was cloudy and cool all morning yesterday but not below freezing when we went for our walk. The wind picked up around noon and kept getting stronger until sundown when it also calmed down. Had gusts of around 30mph at Tyrone, maybe more up here on the ridge the way Desperado was rocking.
I had a Chromebook crisis this morning that took about an hour to fix. I was adding a web page to my Bookmark Bar and accidentally put it into another Bookmark folder that is also on the Bar. When I finally found it there I first tried to drag and drop and that did not seem to work so I went to the Bookmark Manager to delete it and start over. When I did the delete it wiped out the entire folder with ALL the other Bookmarks that were in it.
Did Google Searches to find out how I could restore the folder and found all kinds of conflicting information. This is VERY common when trying to find help with Chrome and Chromebook. Finally found something that worked and got all the Bookmarks restored. Another Chromebook learning experience!
That is enough excitement for today. I think I'll post this to my web site and go draw some more on the Penrose pattern. I'm getting close to finishing phase one of that project. Phase one being a completed drawing with phase two being to overlay a second pattern on top of what has been drawn.
This is Panel 31 which was also a simple pattern. I guess I could have made it made complicated by using more colors but decided to keep it simple. The next panel will look simple but is going to take more thought on how to draw it than the past 6 or 7 have. A bit more of a challenge. There are then 16 more on the web page where I am getting my pattern ideas that are going to be much more difficult.
18 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
A Chinese Dragon from the same cross stitch web site where I am getting my patterns. This drawing is 89x111 pixels in size but I made the background transparent where I did no drawing. I am guessing there are about 7,500 pixels that make up the dragon. This was probably the easiest one that I have drawn. I should have been doing these one color pixel drawing when I first started. It is teaching me a lot about how to use GIMP. I will still have problems getting the colors 'right' when I start doing more multiple colors but I will have learned how to place the pixels by then which should be good.
The firing of the FBI Director and resulting media frenzy had been very good for my Hecla Mining stock. It was up over 18% from where it was two weeks ago and then got hammered down almost 5% this morning. I was hoping that the Lame Stream Media would continue their assault on the Presidency at that prior rate for another month or two. Maybe give me a nice gain that the promised tax reform will let me keep. HA
"I also think we are seeing with the recent leaks the first phase of Mutually Assured Destruction of our government. The leaks will destroy Trump if they continue. But if that happens, no Democrat and no anti-Trump Republican will ever be able to govern in the future. Payback is guaranteed. The next President to sit in the White House will be leaked to the point of ineffectiveness. And that’s how the Republic dies." - Dilbert AKA Scott Adams
17 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
The forecast low this morning was 35°. Based on how cold it was starting to get when I went to bed last night I believed that the weather guessers were probably right or optimistic. So it was back to wearing my wool shirt-jacket, wool cap and gloves for this morning's walk. Very glad that I did with the low down to 28°.
We got a few showers here yesterday but the closest weather station did not report any. A little warmer than the expected 61° but a cloudy, windy stormy day. It is clear and sunny today. May get up to 70 today and in the 70s for a few days and then low 80s for the rest of the 10 Day forecast. I like it!
Not doing much. I made some more progress on both the Penrose and the pixel art drawing. The later one should be finished in another day or two. I screwed up and had to redraw about a day's worth or effort or I would have finished by now.
The owner of La Mexicana recognized me yesterday as soon as he saw me. That is not to uncommon since he also saw Patches and most people remember her and associate me with her. But, what he remembered was that I liked their vegetable tamales and told me that he had some again. Last year he did not have any. I bought a dozed and had one for breakfast this morning - YUM.
A Successful Derailment Of Trump’s Efforts Is Well Under Way: "The Battle With Ensconced Marxists Is Being Lost" by Jeremiah Johnson is a recommended read. I quote his final two paragraphs.
The administration is not accomplishing anything effectively, but a war can “rescue” it from its difficulties and divert the public’s attention. There are several theaters that can easily metastasize into a full-blown conflict and then draw in other nations for an all-out war. To catalyze such actions would be a simple feat for any administration with the resources of the United States backing it. The question remains to be answered whether the administration will take such a step to save itself.
History proves out a high probability that an administration will do such: Carter with Desert One (the failed Iranian hostage rescue attempt), Reagan with Grenada, Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain with the Falkland Islands, Bush Sr. with Iraq (I), Clinton with the bombing of Serbia and the war in Bosnia, and Bush Jr. with Iraq (II). Will this administration take similar measures in any of the “powder keg” theaters of Ukraine, North Korea, or Syria? The question remains to be answered, and the probability is high that the answer will be “yes.”
Or perhaps Making America great… again?
by Ghassan Kadi asks the more important question. I quote his closing.
Ironically, Obama and Trump have both won their campaigns using slogans that are based on desperation; from “Yes We Can” to “Make America Great Again”, the slogans were effectively used to lure in voters who cognize that America is in deep trouble and needs a saviour. Obama has failed and left America with twice the official debt that he inherited on his inauguration day, and Trump will not be able to do much, because like a rusty old car, America is too far gone, and I feel sorry for the good people of America, and there are many of them, including some very good and dear personal friends.
I guess the only good News, if you are a President Trump supporter, is that all the talk is about impeaching him. There are still a few that are calling for his assassination but impeachment is good News. He must really begin to fear for his life when that fails because the Establishment has marked him to GO - one way or the other.
16 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
This is panel #30 which I said was going to be simple also. I finished this in just an hour or two. Have been to Pinterest a couple of time looking for my next Penrose inspiration. There is a lot to choose from and I can not make up my mind but will select something and get started on it soon. I have started another pixel art drawing that seems to be moving along very rapidly compared to the others that I have drawn.
I got started drawing a Penrose P3 pattern yesterday. That is a Penrose tiling that uses the thick and thin rhombi. That was the first Penrose tiling that I drew long, long ago. I am using much of the coding that I wrote for that first drawing.
However, I have increased the size of both rhombi by 1.5 times to more closely match the picture that I am using from Pinterest as my inspiration. There is an added twist to what is shown on Pinterest that I am not sure I can replicate or not. I will concentrate on getting the basic tiling drawn and then see what I can do.
Also making good progress on the pixel art drawing, I'll finish it before this Penrose unless I stop work on it because the Penrose is going to take some time.
Went into Silver City this morning for my first shopping trip from this location. Stopped at Wal*Wart first to get the 90° sewer connector but they had none. Then it was time to do some hunting and gathering at Albertson's, the modern day equivalent of what our primitive ancestors did on a daily basis. I have shopped here before but it is always an adventure after being away for a year.
Then had breakfast at my favorite place - La Mexicana Restaurant. Got their Huevos con Chorizo with some good home fries plus an excellent salsa. Most restaurant salsas are very bland this one had a little 'hot' to it and I forgave them for not having any Cholula.
One more try at getting the sewer elbow. This time it was at a RV Trailer sales, service and parts place which did not have one either. They said they were getting an order in on Friday so I asked them to hold one for me to be picked up next Monday.
Got a couple of sprinkles on the windshield on the way back to the Park. Stayed dry while hooking back up to electricity but there was a quick rain squall hit soon after I got inside and started this posting. The forecast is for it to be COLD with a high of 61° with a 60% chance of rain. It is sunny with scattered clouds that are occasionally dumping their bit of rain and the passing on. Maybe get to do an afternoon walk, maybe not or maybe get wet.
15 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
This is a Tree Of Life cross stitch pattern drawn as pixel art in only one color, there is the same pattern done in two colors which I may draw also. It will give me an opportunity to learn how to change colors in GIMP. I have a lot more in only one color that I want to draw before that however.
The concept of a tree of life is a widespread mytheme or archetype in the world's mythologies, related to the concept of sacred tree more generally,and hence in religious and philosophical tradition. Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. They had their origin in religious symbolism.- Wikipedia (Which goes on to list 19 religions or cultures that had a Tree Of Life)
As the name of this Park implies it is on a ridge which accounts for the great breeze yesterday afternoon. However being on a ridge can also mean some bad winds that will rival what I had while in Quail Ridge at the foot of the Whetstone Mountains. The spaces here are very long and wide enough for a RV and tow vehicle or 'toad' to be parked side by side. I'm in a back-in space but here they are set up as pull-in spaces.
They did some good work, probably pricey, to terrace the spaces. The one that I am in is as level as most parks that I frequent and I'm maybe 3' lower than my neighbor on the driver side and 3' higher that the one on the passenger side. It does not appear that either of those neighbors are living here at this time so I have not been bothered by nor meet either of them.
Patches and I walked the perimeter of the Park property yesterday afternoon which was about ½ mile then went out-n-back along NM90 to get in our 2 miles. This morning we skipped doing anything in the Park and went directly out to NM90. This looks like our only options, all the side roads lead to homes with No Trespassing signs everywhere. That is so much a Texas 'thing'. There must be a Texas cultural influence here that I did not notice before or became more aware of after being in eastern New Mexico where it is very noticeable.
For entertainment last night I set all me electronic devices to the correct Mountain Daylight Standard Time. The only one that did the automatic setting was my Garmin GPS watch. Neither computer changed although they were both set up to change the time based on my location. Then there was my wristwatch, the MIFI, old Timex GPS watch plus my blood pressure monitor. I need to do this more often so I can remember how to do it!
14 May 2017 Ridge Park RV (Tyrone, NM)
Left at about 6:15 this morning with the hope of avoiding winds. That worked for the most part with only about a 20 miles section of stressful Interstate driving that was caused by nature. All the rest of the buffeting came from big trucks passing me and I would get caught up in the backwash. I can also tell when one of them is just about to pass because I get pushed by their pressure wave.
The plan was to stop at G Ma D's Café in Wilcox for breakfast which is at the corner of Haskell & Marley. When I made the turn onto Marley I saw their closed sign so kept on driving to Country Pride. This is a restaurant in the TA Truck Stop at I-10 exit 340 which would have been an easy on and off for me but that is not the way I travel.
Total of only 163 miles today using this route: AZ82, AZ90, Interstate 10 (34miles), Haskell Av, Maley, Arizona Av, Rex Allen Dr, Haskell AV, Interstate 10 (69 miles), US 70 & NM90.
Arrived at my new camp a little after 11:00 AZ time or 12:00 Mountain Daylight Standard Time. The office is not manned and I looked around for some help which finally appeared. They called the landlord and found out what space she wanted me in; I then filled out paperwork, added a check and placed it in an 'iron ranger'.
I am at about 6,000' with the closest Weather Underground station reporting the temperature to be 74°. With the windows open a slight breeze is wafting through Desperado and I'm a happy camper.
The availability of walking routes does not look all that promising but we will scout around and make do.
13 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I finished the pixel art drawing last night but it is not ready for posting. I need to save it with a transparent background, move it from Toshiba/Ubuntu to Chromebook/Chrome and upload it to my web site host. None of that is too time consuming but with my move tomorrow I'm putting it off until I'm settled in at my next camp.
We had another hot day yesterday with the high at 96.5°. The weather gurus think that it will be COOLER today with the high at 88 but at 8:00 it was already 77. I am not expecting it to be below 90. The 10 Day forecast at my next camp promises to be cooler also with the high temperatures in the upper 70s. I can only hope that their guesses are correct.
The preface of this co-authored book has all the 'sound' of Mencken. I enjoyed it but the 488 credos, or statements of belief, were not as satisfying without his added commentary. In the preface he makes many of the same statements that Le Bon did in The Crowd a couple of quotes follow the customer review. A worthwhile read if you like Mencken's other writing.
American Credo: A Contribution to the Interpretation of the National Mind is a clever, cynical assault published in 1920 by Mencken and his co-author, a drama critic named George Jean Nathan with whom he would co-found The American Mercury in 1924. It caustically summarizes the state of the union and how many Americans perceived themselves in this post-WW I period. The first 3/5 of the book is a preface which provides the opportunity to call out hypocrisies and demagogues, ridicule country bumpkins and ethnic immigrants, and have a particularly focused go at Woodrow Wilson and Presbyterians...
Once we get past the preface, the rest of the book consists of a list of 488 items which Mencken claims make up the American belief system. The list jumps around, providing continual surprises, and includes a wide range of assertions, all beginning with “That…” and summarized in no more than a few sentences. - An edited Customer review at goodreads.com
Here, more than anywhere else on earth, the status of an individual is determined by the general consent of the general body of his fellows; here, as we have seen, there are no artificial barriers to protect him against their disapproval, or even against their envy. And here, more than anywhere else, the general consent of that general body of men is coloured by the ideas and prejudices of the inferior majority; here, there is the nearest approach to genuine democracy, the most direct and accurate response to mob emotions.
The whole thinking of the country thus runs down the channel of mob emotion; there is no actual conflict of ideas, but only a succession of crazes. It is inconvenient to stand aloof from these crazes, and it is dangerous to oppose them. In no other country in the world is there so ferocious a short way with dissenters; in none other is it socially so costly to heed the inner voice and to be one's own man.
is a good blog posting by James Howard Kunstler. I quote only his closing paragraph.
The upshot of all this will be a political circus for the rest of the year and the abandonment of any real business in government, at a moment in history when some very weighty black swans circle above the clouds waiting to crash land. Enjoy the histrionics if you dare, and pay no attention to collapsing economy as it all plays out.
12 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA333 May 12, 1929
I really liked this book and as the customer reviewer said "full of mind blowing quotes" that I have been sharing. A required reading text for the up and coming politician. Should also be required reading by the crowd so as not to be taken in by the up and coming politician.
I have certainly shared a lot of quotes from the book as the Customer review suggested. What the reviewer calls a 'brilliant' theory of history at the conclusion of the book is also rather dark and pessimistic. He saw the current (1895) civilization going the way of the Roman Empire. That required centuries but everything happens faster now. Western civilization and the United States Empire probably has a few years remaining but his pessimism was well founded.
By Crowd Le Bon does not just mean an immediate gathering, but any type of group conscious, such as a nation, a religion, etc...
He begins by noting the animalistic release from reason and individuality that takes when one is part of a crowd. From this he derives basic principles of crowd thought; inferior intelligence, contagion, need for submission to a strong leader, inability to reason, etc… But then he goes on and looks at a number of different types of crowds, those of a single race, multiple races, those directed and not. He discusses Juries, Parliament, Criminal crowds.
At the end of the book he gives a three page theory of the history of a people that is positively brilliant. It matches the fall of the Roman Empire, and it uncannily describes the return to barbarism that we see in western society today. This book is stock full of mind blowing quotes that you immediately want to share with everyone you know. - Customer review at Amazon
I finished the household chores by getting all of Patches nose prints of Desperado's cab windows. Wiped down the dust covered dash and brushed as much of it away from the instrument cluster and radio as I could. That is always a big dust catcher but it has been especially bad here with the wind blowing almost nonstop.
Went to the Park office and made a reservation for next year. Also made sure that I could settle my electric bill tomorrow because I will be leaving Sunday morning - early. I think I am about ready to get on the road again.
11 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Started doing pre-move household chores this morning right after breakfast. I had pulled in close to the sewer dump when I came back from shopping but did not get close enough. Unhooked from electric and moved over then when I connected the RV sewer hose to the connector that goes into the dump that broke. I was able to hold it while dumping but that is simply a disaster waiting to happen - new sewer elbow connector is on the shopping list.
With the dump successfully accomplished and a full tank of fresh water it was time to start cleaning inside Desperado. Did the usual bathroom cleaning the washed bathroom and kitchen floors. Coffee break. Vacuum the living room and call it a day. I'll do the cab area, dash and windows tomorrow.
Nothing else on my to do list for today. More pixel art drawing, which is coming along, and more time on the couch with my Paperwhite and Patches.
Le Bon understood well the workings of 'parliamentary assemblies' or Congress - nothing has changed in over 100 years.
In spite of all the difficulties attending their working, parliamentary assemblies are the best form of government mankind has discovered as yet, and more especially the best means it has found to escape the yoke of personal tyrannies. They constitute assuredly the ideal government at any rate for philosophers, thinkers, writers, artists, and learned men—in a word, for all those who form the cream of a civilisation. Moreover, in reality they only present two serious dangers, one being inevitable financial waste, and the other the progressive restriction of the liberty of the individual. The first of these dangers is the necessary consequence of the exigencies and want of foresight of electoral crowds. Should a member of an assembly propose a measure giving apparent satisfaction to democratic ideas, should he bring in a Bill, for instance, to assure old-age pensions to all workers, and to increase the wages of any class of State employes, the other Deputies, victims of suggestion in their dread of their electors, will not venture to seem to disregard the interests of the latter by rejecting the proposed measure, although well aware they are imposing a fresh strain on the Budget and necessitating the creation of new taxes. It is impossible for them to hesitate to give their votes. The consequences of the increase of expenditure are remote and will not entail disagreeable consequences for them personally, while the consequences of a negative vote might clearly come to light when they next present themselves for re-election. In addition to this first cause of an exaggerated expenditure there is another not less imperative—the necessity of voting all grants for local purposes. A Deputy is unable to oppose grants of this kind because they represent once more the exigencies of the electors, and because each individual Deputy can only obtain what he requires for his own constituency on the condition of acceding to similar demands on the part of his colleagues.
The second of the dangers referred to above—the inevitable restrictions on liberty consummated by parliamentary assemblies—is apparently less obvious, but is, nevertheless, very real. It is the result of the innumerable laws—having always a restrictive action—which parliaments consider themselves obliged to vote and to whose consequences, owing to their shortsightedness, they are in a great measure blind…
The functions of governments necessarily increase in proportion as the indifference and helplessness of the citizens grow. They it is who must necessarily exhibit the initiative, enterprising, and guiding spirit in which private persons are lacking. It falls on them to undertake everything, direct everything, and take everything under their protection. The State becomes an all-powerful god.
10 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
We got rain again during the early part of the day yesterday, off and on, but not much reported for the official measurement. In excess of a Trace but not what most people would call a rain. It did meet, and exceed, the experts prediction for the high temperature for the day - it was cold. I saw a slight dusting of snow on the highest peaks of the Huachuca Mountains this morning.
Typical southeastern Arizona spring weather, 101.6° for the high temperature and then 5 days later it is 60.5°. The winds continued unabated however.
When we went out for our afternoon walk we got caught in the rain when about a mile from Desperado. Got soaked to the skin both of us. It would have been even worse if I had not found a bit of shelter under a mesquite bush for about 10 minutes. We did get wetter after getting out from under the bush but by then it did not matter much.
The pixel art drawing is shaping up very nice. I think I am going to like this one very much even if no one else does. It is a bit larger than those that I have drawn in the past but with a lot of blank space throughout the drawing. It will have about 10,000 colored pixels (that is a guess) but only one color. Maybe finish it before I leave here or maybe not.
Today was my last shopping trip to Fry's for this stay in the Sierra Vista area. Could not decide where I wanted to have breakfast this morning and finally chose the Chorizo Omelet with great home fries at Café Olé.
After getting groceries I went to my UPS Store and picked up the Amazon order for Patches. I lucked out and had all three of the items ordered in the same package. At one time that was the way all Amazon orders were shipped but of recent years Amazon has become an intermediate order taker and each item ordered is shipper separately by some other company.
Then to Verizon to get the CitiBank Rebate Card activated. I will use it one time as a prepaid Debit Card and then cut it up. That will not keep Citi from sending mail to the address that Verizon has sold them as part of their rebate policy. I sure wish there was some other provider that had the coverage that Verizon does - I would change in a heartbeat. A stop at the bank and then back to the Park concluded this last trip into Sierra Vista for this year.
When I drew up my planned route to the next camp there was a section of gravel/dirt road that concerned me. With the rain yesterday I am past concerned and will take the RV tourist route, mostly Interstate. There are 3-4 alternatives that I have driven before but none of them appeal to me at this time.
More from The Crowd. I have added emphasis to one sentence that I particularly liked.
One of the most essential functions of statesmen consists, then, in baptizing with popular or, at any rate, indifferent words things the crowd cannot endure under their old names. The power of words is so great that it suffices to designate in well-chosen terms the most odious things to make them acceptable to crowds... The art of those who govern, as is the case with the art of advocates, consists above all in the science of employing words. One of the greatest difficulties of this art is, that in one and the same society the same words most often have very different meanings for the different social classes, who employ in appearance the same words, but never speak the same language.
Notwithstanding all its progress, philosophy has been unable as yet to offer the masses any ideal that can charm them; but, as they must have their illusions at all cost, they turn instinctively, as the insect seeks the light, to the rhetoricians who accord them what they want. Not truth, but error has always been the chief factor in the evolution of nations, and the reason why socialism is so powerful to-day is that it constitutes the last illusion that is still vital. In spite of all scientific demonstrations it continues on the increase. Its principal strength lies in the fact that it is championed by minds sufficiently ignorant of things as they are in reality to venture boldly to promise mankind happiness. The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future.
This is what we see happening at the present day with regard to the socialist doctrines which are beginning to be held by those who will yet be their first victims. Contagion is so powerful a force that even the sentiment of personal interest disappears under its action. This is the explanation of the fact that every opinion adopted by the populace always ends in implanting itself with great vigour in the highest social strata, however obvious be the absurdity of the triumphant opinion. This reaction of the lower upon the higher social classes is the more curious, owing to the circumstance that the beliefs of the crowd always have their origin to a greater or less extent in some higher idea, which has often remained without influence in the sphere in which it was evolved. Leaders and agitators, subjugated by this higher idea, take hold of it, distort it and create a sect which distorts it afresh, and then propagates it amongst the masses, who carry the process of deformation still further. Become a popular truth the idea returns, as it were, to its source and exerts an influence on the upper classes of a nation. In the long run it is intelligence that shapes the destiny of the world, but very indirectly. The philosophers who evolve ideas have long since returned to dust, when, as the result of the process I have just described, the fruit of their reflection ends by triumphing.
9 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I saw that Chrome 58 had been released so I did the update yesterday before it was done to me automatically. That probably cost me 250MB but it is early in my Verizon billing cycle and I was 330MB under budget prior to doing it. So I'm current for both Chrome and Ubuntu at this point and within data usage limits. That beats what I went through with Windows for about three months that is for sure!
We had a little rain during the night, nothing official but it did dampen the streets. There are a lot of heavy black clouds moving in this morning which look like they carry some rain. The experts are predicting thunderstorms at 1:30 this afternoon with a high temperature of 59°. I thought it was a bit cold this morning with only a flannel shirt plus windbreaker and sure enough it was 42 for the low.
Got laundry started as soon as we finished our walk and had that taken care of before 8:00. Doing the laundry is never that much of a chore for me but making the bed in the cab over is a job. Patches is absolutely NO help, she sleeps on the couch while I struggle to get my bed ready.
A very good example of how the English language has changed over time. The idiom "a dog's life" once meant a miserable, unhappy existence. But it is now used to describe a life of indolence where the individual may do as he or she pleases, just like a pampered dog.
More quotes from The Crowd. These two I think go a long way in explaining why The Donald became President Trump and it had nothing to do with Russia. He simply was able to connect with the popular imagination of the crowd. I think it also explains his so called flip-flops; he has regarded for the popular imagination as his basis of power, and is not attempting to govern in opposition to it.
A long time is necessary for ideas to establish themselves in the minds of crowds, but just as long a time is needed for them to be eradicated. For this reason crowds, as far as ideas are concerned, are always several generations behind learned men and philosophers. All statesmen are well aware to-day of the admixture of error contained in the fundamental ideas I referred to a short while back, but as the influence of these ideas is still very powerful they are obliged to govern in accordance with principles in the truth of which they have ceased to believe.
The power of conquerors and the strength of States is based on the popular imagination. It is more particularly by working upon this imagination that crowds are led. All great historical facts, the rise of Buddhism, of Christianity, of Islamism, the Reformation, the French Revolution, and, in our own time, the threatening invasion of Socialism are the direct or indirect consequences of strong impressions produced on the imagination of the crowd. Moreover, all the great statesmen of every age and every country, including the most absolute despots, have regarded the popular imagination as the basis of their power, and they have never attempted to govern in opposition to it...
To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them.
8 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
The Match scores are in and it was no surprise that I was dead last in the field of 18 versus near last in fields of 34 and 33 for the two previous Matches. However, I am in the Super Senior Revolver category and have been first in my category for all three of the Matches in which I have participated (only person in that category - HA).
The only way I can judge how well I am doing is to compare my score with the best score for each Match. Using that as my bench mark I shot worse in the 2nd Match and my best effort was in the third Match last Saturday. I don't see the day that I will be competitive but do want to improve.
I made good progress on the pixel art drawing yesterday. Perhaps have a quarter of it drawn and it is finally looking like something. That is always encouraging although it does not make it any easier to do the next section.
My neighbor that crashed on his motorcycle is still in intensive care but they have removed the ventilator. That is some improvement and they continue to say they will move him to the VA hospital when he is stable enough. Not good but better.
It was only a little hotter than the forecast yesterday with the wind picking up in the afternoon which brought some clouds. The clouds are building up even more today which might keep the high down to the 69° forecast. Then tomorrow it might rain and be cold at 61° with more rain predicted for Wednesday and another high in the 60s. Very welcome as are the 70s expected at my next camp.
Another quote from The Crowd where Le Bon expresses his opinion of written history. He has a much higher regard for the myths and legends that 'the crowd' believes.
The events with regard to which there exists the most doubt are certainly those which have been observed by the greatest number of persons. To say that a fact has been simultaneously verified by thousands of witnesses is to say, as a rule, that the real fact is very different from the accepted account of it. It clearly results from what precedes that works of history must be considered as works of pure imagination. They are fanciful accounts of ill-observed facts, accompanied by explanations the result of reflection. To write such books is the most absolute waste of time.
7 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Today has started much better than yesterday - no wind. If the forecast high of 75° become a reality then that will make it just that much better. We have trended down since that 101.6° scorcher on 4 May with a 99.8 the following day and only 88.5 yesterday with the hot blowing wind. I don't believe it but the weather experts are forecasting a 61 high for Tuesday and 68 for Wednesday. Looking forward to my next camp where it is to be in the high 70s and low 80s.
I did no pixel art drawing yesterday. Got involved in the new book that I am reading on my Paperwhite. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind by Gustave Le Bon was published in 1895 but his study has withstood the test of time.
I have always thought of "crowd" actions as being spontaneous but he makes a very convincing case that it might take years to change the 'popular mind' and then it is only the spark that set off the action. I have a lot of quotes and have only read about one half of the book. Today I have two from the preface and the introduction.
Nature has recourse at times to radical measures, but never after our fashion, which explains how it is that nothing is more fatal to a people than the mania for great reforms, however excellent these reforms may appear theoretically. They would only be useful were it possible to change instantaneously the genius of nations. This power, however, is only possessed by time. Men are ruled by ideas, sentiments, and customs—matters which are of the essence of ourselves. Institutions and laws are the outward manifestation of our character, the expression of its needs. Being its outcome, institutions and laws cannot change this character.
The memorable events of history are the visible effects of the invisible changes of human thought. The reason these great events are so rare is that there is nothing so stable in a race as the inherited groundwork of its thoughts. The present epoch is one of these critical moments in which the thought of mankind is undergoing a process of transformation. Two fundamental factors are at the base of this transformation. The first is the destruction of those religious, political, and social beliefs in which all the elements of our civilisation are rooted. The second is the creation of entirely new conditions of existence and thought as the result of modern scientific and industrial discoveries.
6 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I think I did reasonably well at the range today, I'll see scores late tomorrow and then know if I did as well as I think I did. It was a miserable day to be out there. The wind was blowing a gale with dust blowing and targets getting ripped off their staples. It was a smaller shooting group also because of that - some people are smarter than myself and a few others.
I then had to fight my way back to the Park with Desperado getting buffeted all the way. So far the gusts have only reached 28 mph with a Wind Advisory expecting them to reach 40 mph before it is finished blowing tonight. I may skip our afternoon walk, I have been beat up by the wind all I want. But, that may be preferable to what Patches will do to me if we don't walk.
I did make some progress on the pixel art drawing yesterday but it is slow going. I can not even guess what percentage I might have completed but it sure does not look like much.
As the customer review says, Wells is known as one of the earliest science fiction writers but he wrote much more than that. This is a very long novel for Wells with the first part of it following somewhat the same storyline as Ann Veronica. He then creates a situation in which he can present his philosophy of life through the dialog of the husband and wife characters. It does not get very good reviews compared to other novels of his but I enjoyed it.
I've always known H.G. Wells as one of the earliest science fiction writers. This novel about a marriage during the Edwardian age of England illustrates the relationships between a husband and wife during those times. It is a peek into the thoughts, attitudes, and struggles between man and wife as they attempt to forge a life together. Interwoven in the plot are the themes of feminism and socialism. A good read full of philosophical insights. - Customer review at goodreads.com
5 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA332 May 5, 1929
I didn't draw any more on the pixel art project yesterday. Got to thinking about my route to the next camp and started doing Google search/research for that. Then made up my 3x5 card with a breakfast stop selected. This may all change before I actually move but for now I have that ready.
I also got gun and gear ready for the monthly Cochise Gun Club Match tomorrow. This will be the last time that I join them during this stay. I do plan on doing so again next year while I am here. I have been in contact with a club that I will shoot with at my next camp so maybe I can get in some more practice - that is what I need.
"Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun" is a quote attributed to Rudyard Kipling and made famous by Noel Coward but probable was a proverb in India. It certainly describe Patches and myself yesterday afternoon when we were out there doing our walk with the high temperature reaching 101.6°. I knew it was hot but did not know it was that hot until I checked with Weather Underground this morning. The forecast today is for, COOLER, which is a good thing but I have serious doubts that the expected 94° will be as high as it gets; it was already 82 at 8:00am and my A/C kicked on for the first time at 8:30. As I have said many times before I tend to arrive/leave camps too early/late - have stayed here too long.
Another take on what may be going on with President Trump in the office vs The Donald on the campaign trail. Brandon Smith has a pretty fair record for getting his predictions correct. I think we will soon see if he is right with this one.
"The record setting flip-flop by Trump should not be taken lightly or simply treated as aimless schizophrenia on the part of the White House. While the Obama administration flipped on numerous campaign promises, they did so subtly while maintaining their lies in a strategic way for two full terms. This is not what is happening today. Trump’s dramatic change, in my view, should be taken as a signal that a much greater game is afoot, with far higher stakes. It should also be treated as a sign that if a crisis is on the verge of being engineered, then it will be happening rather soon, perhaps before 2017 is over." - Brandon Smith
4 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Shopping day plus some other running around. First there was breakfast at Café Olé where I had their Chorizo Omelet again. I may do that next week also. Filled Desperado's tank with gas at Fry's and the filled her refrigerator with groceries.
The running around then began with a stop at my Executors office to update the contacts that he has for Patches care if I were to die before her. Also updated the information that he had for my broker account.
Then to my UPS Store to pick up a package of Arbuckle's coffee and mail. In the mail was my $50 Verizon rebate, not a check however but a prepaid credit/debit card that I need to 'call' to get it activated - I don't DO calls so next week I'll get Verizon to do the calling. Last but not least was a barber shop visit.
This is the Penrose tiling that was simple because it is not truly a Penrose tiling. It uses Penrose Kites and Darts but does not follow "the rules" necessary for it to tile the plane nonperiodically. What made this patterns easy was that it has translational symmetries, that is to say that the right and left sides of the center line mirror each other. Therefor when I found the x,y coordinates for the suns and stars on the right side the left side was easily done. The web page where I have found the last two Penrose patterns has been taken down so I will be going to Pinterest to get additional inspiration.
Started the next pixel art drawing last night. This one will be only one color but placing each colored pixel for it looks like it is going to be 'interesting'. This same pattern is also offered up using two colors which I will also draw, but later, after I do a few one color drawings.
3 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Not much going on here. I will be drawing more on the Penrose project and might set up the next pixel art drawing. At least pick out what I want to draw and get the PDF pattern downloaded to Ubuntu on the Toshiba.
I didn't know how much trouble it was going to be switching from one computer to the other. If I were in a sticks-n-bricks and could leave them both set up on a desk it would be no issue at all. In Desperado I do not have that luxury but is has not been all that troublesome. Not ideal but not bad.
This is panel #29 that I said was rather simple. I made a good start on the latest Penrose tiling yesterday since it is also simple compared to the past two patterns that I have drawn.
There have been a lot of articles written about President Trump's budget negotiation but I think Daniel Horowitz has said it best in Run over by a parked car: Trump and Republicans cave on budget
. The Donald went in to Drain The Swamp and the gators ate him!
Now, with control of all three branches and a president who sold himself in the primaries as the antithesis of weak-kneed Republicans who don’t know the first thing about tough negotiations, we are in the exact same position. Last night, President Trump signaled that, after not even fighting on refugee resettlement and Planned Parenthood, he would cave on the final budget issue – the funding of the border fence. But fear not, he’ll resume his demand … the next time!...
In light of the colossal betrayal on the inviolable promises to build the wall and repeal Obamacare, why would anyone put any stock into Wednesday’s promise for massive tax cuts? Why should we take his discretionary budget cuts seriously if Democrats will raise exponentially more outrage over that proposal in September and again threaten a government shutdown?
"A year ago, President Trump’s critics were calling him a “con man.” But they never said he was bad at it." - Dilbert
"At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy. Yes, formally speaking, modern countries have all the attributes of democracy: Elections, freedom of speech, access to information, freedom of expression. But even in the most advanced democracies the majority of citizens have no real influence on the political process and no direct and real influence on power.
People sense an ever-growing gap between their interests and the elite's vision of the only correct course, a course the elite itself chooses. The result is that referendums and elections increasingly often create surprises for the authorities. People do not at all vote as the official and respectable media outlets advised them to, nor as the mainstream parties advised them to. Public movements that only recently were too far left or too far right are taking centre stage and pushing the political heavyweights aside.
At first, these inconvenient results were hastily declared anomaly or chance. But when they became more frequent, people started saying that society does not understand those at the summit of power and has not yet matured sufficiently to be able to assess the authorities' labour for the public good. Or they sink into hysteria and declare it the result of foreign, usually Russian, propaganda.
Friends and colleagues, I would like to have such a propaganda machine here in Russia, but regrettably, this is not the case. We have not even global mass media outlets of the likes of CNN, BBC and others. We simply do not have this kind of capability yet.
As for the claim that the fringe and populists have defeated the sensible, sober and responsible minority - we are not talking about populists or anything like that but about ordinary people, ordinary citizens who are losing trust in the ruling class. That is the problem." - Russian President Vladimir Putin
@ Valdai International Discussion Club, Sochi, Russia, October 27, 2016
2 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I went back to the Toshiba and GIMP yesterday to save this drawing one more time. When I looked at it using Ubuntu Firefox it still appeared to have a colored background. I moved it to My Google Drive and then uploaded it to my web host and put it on this page and it looks just fine - transparent background. I am not entirely happy with how the coloring of this drawing appears but that is what I must work on.
I have been selecting cross stitch patterns based on their size in pixels but I think the next few drawings that I do will be selected by number of colors. This one was not quite 10,000 pixels and maybe 10 colors although the cross stitch pattern called for 15.
Perhaps I'll start with only one color and move up from there without much regard to size of the drawing except it can not be too small, nothing less than an inch square or about 5,200 pixels. However, the next drawings I do will be another stained glass panel and then another Penrose tiling.
Finished a stained glass panel yesterday afternoon and early evening. It was a very simple design and I didn't try to complicate it. The next one in the series does not look too complex either but then the following 18 on the same web page will offer some challenges.
Everything that has been going on in Washington since The Donald became President Trump leads me to believe that we are seeing a rhyme in history. The Republican Party may not disappear as did the Whig Party that preceded it but there will never be another President elected under its banner.
I see President Trump running for re-election, if he is not assassinated, as the candidate of a third party. Somewhat like Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party. He will lose but so will the Republican Party candidate. The winner will be a Collectivist from within the Democrat Party as was President Wilson when Roosevelt split the vote. The economy will probably be in a shambles and 'The People' will vote for a Brave New World. I would expect some selective nationalization, more welfare, more tax the rich and a more aggressive police state - Venezuela Lite.
1 May 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I finished the pixel art drawing last night but there is a problem. I was not able to save it as a transparent background png image. I did it before but something is wrong. I'll be working on that later this morning, perhaps working on it for awhile until I can save it with a transparent background.
That and a little more cooking is all I have on the agenda for today. The cooking is not much; put a salmon fillet in the roaster and make up a batch of dessert.
I did some Amazon shopping this morning. A couple things for Patches - 1000 poop bags and 240 Soft Chew Glucosamine Hip and Joint Supplements. Then for me I got 6 Microfiber Cleaning Cloths in assorted colors for eyeglasses & laptops. I received one of these cloths when I picked up my new glasses and found it to be great. I also placed an order for more Arbuckle's coffee. With any luck I get everything by this time next week.
30 April 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
I have not yet reached the end of my Verizon billing cycle and have not gone out of my way to curtail data usage but I'm under budgeted usage. That includes over 1GB for Ubuntu updates, without those I would be way below my limit.
I discovered a trick a few days ago that will save me a lot of usage in future periods. Then this morning I used a Chrome feature that may not reduce data usage a lot but is great. It does allow me to disconnect from Verizon and work offline so it does save some. The feature lets me turn a web page into a PDF document which I can read later offline. Slick!
I finished next month's Will Rogers week article setup yesterday. Also made some good progress on the pixel art drawing. I might even finish that within the next few days. It is a slow process.
The Sawmill fire is now considered to be almost 90% contained. The home owners that had been evacuated to the Pima County Fairgrounds have returned home but remain on pre-evacuation alert as are two other residential areas. One of them, Rain Valley, is about 5 miles from the Park but probably 10-15 miles from the remaining active fire. No smoke and light winds this morning.
Not much happening. I did make up some more sardine potato cakes this morning for 'linners'. That used the last of the fingerling potatoes that proved to be not the way to go.
29 April 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
It was time for me to get next month's Will Rogers weekly articles copied and formatted. Past time. I did one of the articles last night and will do a couple more today. I could do them all but it does get boring and I have pixel art work to draw also. That drawing is finally looking like something and I'm more excited about finishing it now.
The Sawmill fire is now about 60% contained and did not grow much in size since yesterday. The winds have changed direction and are now blowing somewhat back in the direction that has been burnt. Early this morning when we were doing our walk there were a lot of dark clouds that looked like possible rain. Within an hour they were all blown away and the wind had died down quite a bit. The firefighters have to be grateful.
We finally got some relief from those high temperatures that started on 16 April. There were 8 consecutive days with high temperatures over 90. Broke below that on the 24th and we have had two days since then that were below 80 with today forecast to be 68°. All good things come to an end however with increasing highs to be in the upper 80 for the 10 Day forecast.
28 April 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA331 April 28, 1929
The Sawmill fire is now being reported to have burned about 47,000 acres, I did not see a containment number. They re-opened AZ83 late yesterday. Wind still blowing hard with the smoke going to the north end of the valley were Benson is probably getting a good taste of it.
While at Fry's this morning to pick up groceries I saw an aircraft tanker support truck in the parking lot with MT license. Then as I was almost back to the Park I saw the Prescott Hotshot trucks and those of the Santa Fe Hotshots. I can only guess that they were coming off the fire line to check-in a motel for some rest.
I stopped for breakfast at the Landmark which almost always has some of the Army personnel there since it is the closest restaurant to the main gate to Ft. Huachuca. This morning there was a table with 4 males and 2 females - all captains. Joining them was another female captain from Korea and and a male from Belize(?) that was probably also a captain.
One of the female captains was sporting a 101st Airborne patch on her right shoulder. I would have enjoyed talking to her to get her story. She had to have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan and appeared to me to be a rather young looking captain. As did the Korean - but then again everyone is starting to look young to me! HA
The only thing that I will probably do today that could be considered constructive has been done this morning. Made up a batch of breakfast meals and the next three days dessert. For the dessert this time I used some sliced almonds, Greek Gods Honey, Triple Berry Medley and some maple syrup - looking forward to having some this evening.
27 April 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
The smoke has cleared this morning and I don't smell it as I did the past couple of days. Yesterday afternoon the Whetstone Mountains were clear of smoke but it had built up against the Mule Mountains on the east side of the valley and they were completely hidden.
The news is reporting that it has now burnt 40,000 acres but is 20% controlled as of last night. More high winds today will most likely increase the area burnt. That might also bring the smoke back, the wind died down last night and changed direction somewhat.
I made some progress on the pixel art drawing even after going back and changing the color on part of what I had done. I keep trying to match the cross stitch colors and that does not work. I must use much 'stronger' colors for the pixel art drawing to look anything close to the cross stitch picture.
President Trump surrendered his 'Wall' to the Democrat blackmail threat that they would close down the federal government. So sad! Once you pay blackmail it never stops. The Democrats now say that the government will shutdown if the ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurance companies are not continued AND give Puerto Rico a billion to help bail them out of bankruptcy AND extend the expiring health care for miners. It never stops!
Volume II of Modern Democracies continued with a review of the democratic governmental form in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The second half of the volume is then a repetition of of what he has said at least two times prior when discussing each country. For the most part I think the second half can be skipped and you will not miss much OR forget reading Volume I and the first half of volume II and read only the second half. He wrote a number of other books which I am guessing are in this same style but I may give him another chance. He does go on and on and on. I have one last quote that may, or may not, prove that Bryce had prescience about a democratic government in the United States.
Strange and unexpected evolution! Democracy overthrows the despotism of the one man or the few who ruled by force, in order to transfer power to the People who are to rule by reason and the sense of their common interest in one another's welfare: and after two or three generations there arises from the bosom of the democracy an effort to overthrow it in turn by violence because it has failed to confer the expected benefits. The wheel has gone its full round; and the physical Force which was needed to establish democracy is now employed to destroy it.
“When people can vote on issues involving the transfer of wealth to themselves from others, the ballot box becomes a weapon with which the majority plunders the minority. That is the point of no return, the point where the doomsday mechanism begins to accelerate until the system self-destructs. The plundered grow weary of carrying the load and eventually join the plunderers. The productive base of the economy diminishes further until only the state remains.” – G. Edward Griffin
26 April 2017 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Huachuca City, AZ)
What has been named the Sawmill Fire started on Saturday southeast of Green Valley, AZ but the winds blew it east over the Santa Rita mountains and closed down AZ83. It has now burned about 20,000 acres and for the past two days has been sending some smoke and smell over to me. It is less than 10% contained with some 88 homes evacuated from the east side of AZ83. I'll be getting more smoke for some time to come with the winds usually blowing this direction.
A friend of my neighbor that crashed gave me an update on his condition this morning - not good. Still unconscious and still in intensive care. I think he in Tucson Medical Center but they will move him to a VA hospital when/if he gets out of intensive care. A lot of damage with head injury, four broken ribs as well as the broken back.
Another good quote from Modern Democracies by James Bryce. It should have been required reading for the neocons that have been intent on regime change and nation-building these past 3-4 decades. I have added the bold highlighting.
Here is the real difficulty. It is said, with truth, that knowledge and experience as well as intelligence are needed to fit a people for free self-government. But a still graver defect than the want of experience is the want of the desire for self-government in the mass of the nation. When a people allow an old-established government like that of the Tsars or the Manchus to be overthrown, it is because they resent its oppressions or despise its incompetence. But this does not mean that they wish to govern themselves. As a rule, that which the mass of any people desires is not to govern itself but to be well governed. So when free institutions are forced on a people who have not spontaneously called for them, they come as something not only unfamiliar but artificial. They do not naturally and promptly engage popular interest and sympathy but are regarded with an indifference which lets them fall into the hands of those who seek to use the machinery of government for their own purposes.
This is from a long interview and story at Politico which is left leaning but did a good non-biased job on it.
"Look at Detroit in 1945 and Hiroshima in 1945. And look at the two of them today, something went wrong... What I’m saying is the America we knew and grew up with, it’s gone. And it’s not coming back. Demographically, culturally, socially, in every way, it’s a different country. And I think it’s come to resemble more of an empire than a nation and a people." - Pat Buchanan