May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
I was on the road for more miles, 363 today, and more hours than I now like to do in a day. The only good place to have stopped for the night was in Winnemucca, NV but the two Parks I contacted said they were full. Full for a month but probably would have had an overnight space for me at an outrageous price.
The route today: ALT US50, I-80, US95, NV140, NV292/OR205, OR78 & US20/US395.
The I-80 portion of the day, about 125 miles, was not too bad, traffic was light and no one tried to run over the top of me.
I stopped at Pilot for gas, this is at the Winnemucca Blvd exit from I-80 on the west side of town. Google Maps gave me instructions that I was to exit here, drive about a mile east, do a U-Turn and the go back to the station. I assumed that Google was screwed up again which proved to be true – just exit, cross the Interstate and you are there.
Then stopped at Sid's restaurant for breakfast before heading north. The food was OK but they were very slow to take my order then made up for it by being extremely attentive after I was quickly served. Good place to stop.
The Loneliest Road in America was the title that Life magazine hung on US50 in Nevada in an article in 1986. It was meant to be pejorative as The Washington Post article was when it called Battle Mountain, NV The Armpit of America.
A far lonelier road is the section of highway between Denio, NV and Frenchglen, OR – 73 miles and I saw 3 other vehicles. I think one of the reasons for such light traffic is the 14% grade that drops into Frenchglen. That is an up grade of 14% is you are going south – no big truck or big RV traffic.
Although the day was long it was very scenic and my first time on most of these roads which is always a treat. A lot of basin and range (with snow covered peaks) geology and a lot of water in the basins in Oregon. Much of that water will disappear during the summer but it is really wet and green now.
Went past, and went past, Roaring Springs Ranch that has some 600,000 acres for its 4,000 mother cows, with most of them now trailing a calf. The ranch headquarters complex is huge with its own paved airstrip running alongside OR205. When I read about the ranch on-line I found out that they also use a helicopter to get around on the ranch itself.
I got into Burns a little after 2:00 this afternoon. Then needed groceries which took me a long time to find in this new-to-me Safeway. Then went across the street and picked up a pizza for my 'linner' today.
The Park that I am in has a lot of very large mature trees that are just starting to bud. I'm about two weeks too early; then again maybe not – I have a good AirCard connection now, not sure what it will be like when the trees all leaf out.
Enough for today, I'm here for the month of May.
2 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
The forecast was for a freeze again last night but it only got down to 34°.
Although there was a high cloud cover and some ground fog it was pleasant to walk.
Remained gray throughout the day with only a little sun but did warm up into the 60s. The wind came up during the afternoon and had Desperado rock-n-rolling for a while. The wind also brought a brief shower or two, hardly enough to really call it rain.
I walked an out and back route to the south on US20/US395 to the town of Hines where I had breakfast at the Apple Peddler restaurant. The service was good, nothing much of note about the meal and it was a bit expensive.
The big plus for the place and why I will return is they are open 24/7 which matches the way I live. Walking routes are going to be a challenge to develop here with a restaurant stop.
Burns and Hines abut each other to form a long town but also one that is rather narrow. There is one walking/bicycling path that I'll be including in my plans but it is only 1.85 miles long and parallels US20/US395.
When I chose Burns I didn't pay attention to what size town it was – it is small and when you add Hines it is still small. A free 'throw away' about the area tells me that the County of Harney is 10,228 square miles in size. This is only slightly smaller that the State of Massachusetts (including its water area) at 10,555 square miles.
Don't have the population numbers for Burns/Hines but the entire County has only 7,705 people and most of them live here. Alaska has the lowest population density of all the States at 1.2 people/square mile. Harney County has 1.3!
The News of the day is that President Obama pulled the trigger, so to speak, and blew Osama away. This is going to sound good on the Campaign Trail but not sure that anyone that does not have a job could really care. It also did not fix the Deficit nor the Debt problems that are pressing issues for him.
I think it will quickly become another 'sideshow' and both he and Congress need to get back to work. There is a Third Party challenger just waiting in the wings if they do not.
A passage from Thoreau’s “Walden” published in 1854 proves once again that very little has changed over the years. We have the same problems, they have simply grown larger.
The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it as for them is a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.
3 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
It did freeze again last night, the low was 27°. It had warmed up to 28 when I left for my walk at 6:00 but stayed below freezing for about an hour longer.
That pattern of slow warming continued throughout the day. Had my heater on again for much of the morning after I got back home.
Lots of sunshine, no clouds in the sky and not much wind but the high temperature could not break through the mid-50s. Tomorrow to be the same and then warmer for 3-4 days before becoming cold again for most of next week.
I think I arrived about 2 weeks too early.
I walked up to the Indian Casino which is closed on Monday and Tuesday then opens at 11:00 during the rest of the week. The girl that checked me into the Park said they were going to close. I'm not sure if she meant permanently or was referring to their Monday and Tuesday schedule which started on May1st.
The casino has to be having financial troubles considering the small size of the community and the poor economy.
Stopped at a Deli/Espresso in downtown Burns on my way home. This establishment is also going to have problems if what I saw this morning is normal. I was there for about ˝ hour, alone, and no one came in during that time.
'Linner' today was soup and salad with whole wheat bread. The soup was simply chicken broth, spinach and frozen five cheese tortellini. The salad just a romaine with some onion, tomato and asparagus added then an oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Nice on a cold day.
This paragraph is from a blog posting by Scooter in the Sticks. The bold emphasis is mine, I have written these same words in my Journal many years ago. I take comfort in knowing that it not just me that recognizes the place that the automobile has in our society.
“There is no getting around the fact that driving makes us feel powerful. We are masters of movement and life. It means freedom. I hear that word often used with motorcycles but is it real freedom or merely a hint at its existence. An escape from the grind and wheel of earning a living and carrying on the business of existence. It's no wonder that anyone who loses the right or ability to drive is devastated. Our power identity is wrapped up in it. It is difficult or impossible to maintain our lifestyle without it. We are reduced to our physical presence without aid of machine. We are no one. Only those sure of themselves can manage the transition to life without mechanized movement.”
4 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
I did a circle route this morning. The first leg sort of followed the River on the right bank toward the south. Then turned west on OR78 to almost downtown where a street angled southwest to the Walking/Bicycling Trail.
I did not take it today but now know for sure where the trail head is. From that intersection I went west until reaching US20/US395 which I mostly took back home.
There was one stop along the way at RJ's restaurant for breakfast. The most that I can say for the place is that they open early and the staff are very friendly.
Rather expensive for a Mom & Pop kind of a place and they completely screwed-up my order. I will go back and give them a second chance. It is kind of like the old joke about the gambling hall – I know they are cheating me in there but it is the only game in town.
It was even colder this morning at 23° than it was yesterday. Slow to warm up once again so I had my heater on for part of the morning after I got home.
It might make it to 60° today as forecast and then it is to be 70 tomorrow. Friday and Saturday to be in the mid-60s but it will then go back to the 50s starting on Sunday with a chance of rain.
President Obama deserves the accolades that he has received for allowing the military to do what they train for – break things and kill people. Some commentators are going a bit far in their praise but they have had much too little in which to find favor so overstatement can be excused.
However, President Obama is receiving this high praise as if he and he alone was responsible for the demise of Osama. It has only been John Yoo, and a few others, that have put Obama's actions in historical context. John Yoo says the following in an Opinion for The Wall Street Journal.
President George W. Bush, not his successor, constructed the interrogation and warrantless surveillance programs that produced this week's actionable intelligence. For this, congressional Democrats and media pundits pilloried him for allegedly exceeding his presidential powers and violating the Bill of Rights.
As a candidate in 2008, then-Sen. Obama held Mr. Bush and Sen. John McCain "responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States." These decisions, he said, allowed bin Laden and his circle to establish "a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world."
I believe that then Senator Obama, congressional Democrats and their lap dog press were simply playing politics with the interrogation and surveillance issues while Bush was President. The evidence for that is what they did when they obtained power; they did nothing to reverse the Bush policies.
President Obama's actions now to kill Osama make for great political theater but once the applause has ceased the world will revert to what it was the day before he died. It was a good thing but changes very little.
5 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
The forecasters called for above freezing last night. Alas, they missed that call when it dropped down to 28° this morning.
There were high thin clouds again making it a gray morning once more but they burned off by early afternoon. The predicted high was 70° and they called that one right, making it a nice day. Not so good tomorrow thru Monday.
I walked a loop to the east on US20/US395, then south on Fry Rd (the north extension of OR205), west on OR78 and town streets along the River home. Plan on doing this in reverse to give me two route during the week.
The drivers here have been extremely courteous to me as I have walked along US20/US395 into town. Then today when I was on Fry Rd, which is narrow 2-lane with a drop-off shoulder, I had cars completely cross the center line to give me room.
Then there is the situation where I need to cross the street: This is what the law says about yielding the right of way to pedestrians in Oregon.
“You must yield in a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection with no traffic control devices, when the pedestrian is on your half of the road or so close that he or she is in a dangerous position.”
Yesterday, I was standing on the curb, mid-block with no crosswalk, waiting for traffic to pass. A car on the far side of the street STOPPED to let me cross. Today, at the intersection of Fry Rd and OR78 I had the same thing happen.
It was 40 years ago, or more, since I have seen this kind of driver behavior anyplace I have been! It amazed me!
6 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA21 May 6, 1923
This morning was the first, since I have been here, that did not freeze. It was 37°, overcast and gray once more. The high dropped back into the 60s with three days of 50s in the forecast. Started to get some of the rain this afternoon that was forecast for later tomorrow and Sunday.
I walked the Harney Wildlife Trail this morning which took me to the southern edge of Hines, OR. An additional .6 mile put me at Eddie's Truck & Auto Center (not nearly as imposing as the name may convey).
There I got a very good 'truckers' breakfast at a VERY good price. I'll be going back again next week but will not take the Trail; it was 9 miles round trip and I think and out an back along US20/US395 will be slightly shorter.
On the way home I passed Country Seasons Café in Hines. They had a sign in the window that said 'Closed for the winter, see you in the spring'. Since they were closed I guess it is still winter, it has felt like it so far this week.
There are a few indications that spring is trying to arrive. There are not a lot of fruit trees or bushes in bloom but I did see one this morning. I also saw some tulips that have open up yesterday and this morning.
I may get to have breakfast at the Country Seasons before I leave here at the end of May.
I believe that President Obama and the Democratic National Committee are seeing the Campaign contributions they received from corporations for the 2008 election dry up. They recognize that there is very little they can do at this point to turn that around so they must focus on denying the Republican Party as many contributions as possible.
There will be plenty of pressure brought to bear on those corporations that have been exempted from the provisions of ObamaCare but that is a reasonably small number.
Here is what needs to be done about the larger number.
President Obama has officially kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign, and don't Republicans know it. The president is expected any day now to sign an executive order that routs 70 years of efforts to get politics out of official federal business.
Under the order, all companies (and their officers) would be required to list their political donations as a condition to bidding for government contracts. Companies can bid and lose out for the sin of donating to Republicans. Or they can protect their livelihoods by halting donations to the GOP altogether—which is the White House's real aim. Think of it as "not-pay to play."
7 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
It rained steadily from late afternoon until around midnight yesterday. Never very hard but I can hear even a very light rain on Desperado's roof. The official measurement was .05 of an inch.
The sky was mostly clear when I got up and started my walk at 6:00, mostly cloudy by 8:00 and overcast/gray again by noon. Colder today as they have forecast and then even colder tomorrow but up into the 60s again starting on Tuesday.
Weather Underground is even forecasting a chance of snow showers tonight. It was 37° this morning with a 10 day forecast that there will be no more freezing nights.
My walk this morning was along the same route that I took on May 4th but stopped at the Pine Room Café for breakfast this time. They only serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday but do open at 7:00 which is perfect for me.
They are on the pricey side but I got a huge omelett for my money. I'll make them a regular stop on Saturday but am afraid they may not be open – I was the only customer between 7-8:00.
I now have a walking route planned for every day of the week. There are 4 of them with breakfast stops and one Espresso day. Some of them are a bit longer than what I normally have done but that will be good for me if I can stick to them.
This RV Park does a reasonable amount of overnight business. I have had a neighbor every night, except one, and had two neighbors one night. The west end of the Park has space for large rigs and there are usually 1-4 of them down there every night.
Only two other rigs here long term on the west end. I have never seen anyone around one of them so it may be vacant and just parked.
I just love the News Releases that the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out and then the lap dog News media spins. Here is what they had to say about April.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in April, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.0 percent...The number of unemployed persons, at 13.7 million, changed little in April.
First, the number of unemployed at 13,747,000 increased by 205,000. This is a little change that merits only passing mention? Second, the unemployment rate edged up from 8.8 to 9.0 percent yet the emphasis is on nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000.
The nonfarm payroll numbers come from a different source than the unemployed so the most favorable are selected each month to provide the News spin that is desired. If these numbers had come during President Bush's watch the News would have been all about the serious deterioration in the unemployment rate and the increased number of unemployed.
There are good things to come for President Obama during the next 6 months. There will be large numbers of people that will no longer be classed as unemployed but will move into the 'not in the labor pool'. This will make for dramatic improvements in the unemployment rate in the months to come EVEN IF the number of employed remains fixed at todays numbers.
For the more than 4 million Americans still receiving extended benefits, the picture isn’t encouraging. The longer they’ve been out of work, the harder it is to find a job. They’ve typically been unemployed for at least 26 weeks, and may have been out of work for as long as 99 weeks, which for many people is the limit.
In the coming months, hundreds of thousands more will drop off the unemployment rolls. The number of people using up their regular 26 weeks of unemployment payments peaked in August 2009 at nearly 800,000 a month. That means a lot of people should be hitting their 99-week limit right about now. And unless Congress does something unexpected, more people with shorter bouts of unemployment will start joining them as the government phases out extended benefits next year.
8 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Another morning low of 37° but this one was colder because of the 10-15 mph wind. Overcast and gray has become the standard for early morning. No snow that I could see anyplace but I did get a few sprinkles of ice just as I was finishing my walk.
I did the east loop clockwise again, this is the same route as on May 5th. There was no traffic at all on Fry Rd today and light traffic on all the other legs. Just me and the birds; saw two cranes the last time but only one today.
When I got home it was time to un-hook from electric and go to town. It was about a one mile trek to Safeway for groceries for the week. As I have said before, shopping in a new store is an adventure. It takes me twice as long to get everything as it did when I was living in a sticks-n-bricks and went to the same store every week.
It stayed cold all day so I had the heater off and on even in the afternoon. Much of my time was spent wrapped up on the couch trying to stay warm.
Maybe getting back up into the 50s tomorrow will feel warm. Looking for spring to come soon!
9 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
I had the low for yesterday wrong, Thought it was 37° and cold because of the wind when it felt cold because it was 31° with the wind.
It felt a lot like it did this morning at 28° and the wind. The day started mostly clear and calm at 6:00 but then went to mostly cloudy and winds of 20-25 mph by 9:00.
I took the Walking Trail again this morning then turned back for home when I reached US20/US395. Stopped at the Apple Peddler for breakfast. I'll do this same route on Wednesday but will have breakfast at RJ's. Both days will be about 7.75 miles, long but over a mile less than Eddie's.
After I got home it was time for laundry. I picked a good time, there are only two washers and two dryers, with only us 'regulars' left in the Park.
There was a lot of sun today compared to the past couple of days but it stayed cold with the wind blowing. Maybe warmer tomorrow and then for a few days before cold again over the weekend.
10 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
This morning was cold and windy but that is nothing new. It was above freezing which is not new but has been uncommon since I have been here.
I did a shorter walking route, about 5 miles, today with a stop at Goodies Galore. This is a bakery that opens at 4:00 am (my kind of place) that has coffee as well as a good selection of pastries. An apple fritter and coffee went down very well.
Only one other person there when I arrived but the place filled up soon thereafter. A lot of take out business. It was the busiest place in town that I have been into, other than Safeway.
Nothing new or different in the rest of my daily routine either. Continuing to catch up on three blogs that have long histories. I'll be with then for some while yet.
Probably take a break from one of them soon and read those that are on my To Read Monthly list.
The other important things that I managed to do were re-new my registration with Nevada DMV plus another year of vehicle insurance.
The total expense of those two items has put my finances 'close to the bone' once again. I had enough saved to take care of them easily until I had the frozen water pipes and then the tooth extraction.
11 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
The past two mornings have been above freezing and the high near 70°. Today was even better with the absence of a wind.
The forecast is for three more days like these, which have not been too bad. Then on Sunday it is back to a 50° high, possible rain and freezing again Monday morning.
The morning walk was a repeat of the Trail route but stopped at RJ's for breakfast. I had a veggie omelet that was quite good and very large. No problems with getting my order correct so my first experience was not repeated.
Spring is hard in coming to the Burns area but I saw more flowering trees today, probably fruit trees although I can not identify them by their flower. More tulips opening up and the daffodils are starting to fade in some yards.
Almost finished reading my latest novel. It is rather ironic that it is about the main characters journey to Osama's hidden headquarters – in Saudi Arabia.
The author is a Brit that has a rather low opinion of the United States and puts American characters in a poor light.
Whereas the main character is portrayed in a rather heroic fashion although he is intent on blowing up as many people as he can – all for his 'family' al-Qaeda. Surprise, surprise it is revealed about three quarters of the way through the story that the main character is a Brit.
Started the novel before President Obama was successful in directing Osama's demise.
12 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
I have read that one of the Rules of Life is: If you have a 50/50 chance of getting something right you will get it wrong 90% of the time.
I think a corollary to that is: If the forecast is for no rain you have a 50/50 chance of getting wet. The chance then moves up to the certainty that you will get wet as the forecast for rain increases to 50% chance and above – IF you are walking.
The forecast for today was a 20% chance of rain or a 70% chance I would get wet. I did!
The good thing was that I had been home for an hour and got dry and had the heater going when it poured down for about 10 minutes. That would have been extra miserable. Then had a few more quick showers during the rest of the day mixed in with partly cloudy and some sun.
The forecast is for this weather pattern to continue through Sunday. Warm tomorrow and Saturday then 5-6 days in the 50s starting Sunday. The possibility of showers again during mid-week. Not the kind of weather I would choose.
Started a new Tom Clancy novel, The Bear and The Dragon today. It was selected at the Pahrump Park because of the author, I have enjoyed everything of his that I have read, and because of its size.
I like to get a much 'bulk' as I can when I make a book exchange. This one is 1,136 pages in paperback, an amazing exchange find. HA HA
13 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA22 May 13, 1923
The forecast for yesterday and today included a 20% chance of rain for both. Yesterday it rained off an on during a good portion of the day with an official recorded .05 inch.
Today has been clear with only a few scattered high thin clouds and back up over 70°. Same forecast, two entirely different realities.
This made for a much more pleasant walk to Eddie's this morning. It warmed up enough that I had my windbreaker off on the way home and was sweating.
I took an out and back route this time along US20/US395 and the round trip was 8.75 miles. This was only .25 miles shorter than the Walking Trail one way and the Highway as a return, I thought it was going to be shorter than that.
Today is my anniversary; one year ownership of Desperado. Also one year of living in Desperado 24/7 on the road in 32 camps.
It has been a year that included some trouble and more expense that I wanted or planned for.
It has been a year of mental peace and improved physical health.
It has been a much better way for me to live and I'm going to do it for another year or more.
14 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
The forecast for thunder storms is at 60% for today and 80% for tonight. I heard some thunder last night soon after going to bed but did not hear any rain during the night.
The forecasted thunderstorm for today came at about 2:00 this afternoon. Not much thunder but a very strong wind followed by a bit of hail and then buckets of rain.
Desperado is now more of a house boat than a motor home. Because the ground was already saturated the rain had now place to go and I now have a lake in and around my site.
It was partly cloudy this morning but the warmest it has been since I got here. I started my walk without my wool cap and gloves for the first time since once or twice while in Pahrump.
I went to the Pine Room again, one of my shorter walks, and had a vegetable omelet. It was not as good as the one that I had last week but was equal in size – large. They also had more customers this morning so I'm not as concerned about them being open next week.
I'm sitting high and dry for the rest of the day. If there is more rain tonight, or as predicted for tomorrow, I'm not sure that this Park will not be flooded. The river is already over its bank in places with lots of snow melt still feeding it.
Every politician believes that the solution to every problem in the world must be solved by government. Apparently good o' Bill is not aware of snopes.com or FactChecker.org; both of them doing what he proposes the government get involved in.
I think the two organizations that he points to, NPR and BBC, as models for the new 'agency' gives a very good idea of what he and his liberal kin have planned if such an idea were put in place.
If Bill Clinton had his way, there would be an Internet agency created by the U.S. government or United Nations to debunk malicious rumors that originate and spread online.
"I think it would be a legitimate thing to do," Clinton told CNBC in an interview that aired Friday. He was interviewed alongside Mati Kochavi, a cybersecurity entrepreneur.
But Clinton added that if such an agency were ever created, it would have to be "totally transparent" about where its funding came from and would have to be independent.
"Let's just say the U.S. did it. It would have to be an independent federal agency that no president could countermand or anything else because people wouldn't think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out," he said.
"That is, it would be like, I don't know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors," he said.
15 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
No walk today! It was 37° when I got up with a wind chill of 31 and the expected high was 50.
It rained throughout the night and continued with light showers into this morning. Total rainfall for yesterday thru 6:00 am this morning was officially .90 inch.
The .62 inch that fell yesterday set a new record for that date breaking the old record of .32 inch set in 1981. I guess I just got lucky to be here for the record setting event, it doesn't seem that this is common. HA
There is more than an inch on the ground around Desperado especially in front of me where the gravel road in the Park is completely covered.
The forecast for today is more showers with rain tonight and snow down to 4,000'. Burns is just over 4,000' so there is a chance that I'll be snowed in. This afternoon when it cleared a bit I could see new snow on the mountains to the east that fell last night.
I have been wrapped up in my sleeping bag, on the couch, for most of the day. Reading Tom Clancy, trying to stay warm (had the heater on and off all day) and doing some more blog reading. I started my To Read Monthly blog list yesterday, that will take me a few days to get current once more.
16 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Another record rainfall of 0.80 inch was set at Burns yesterday; this breaks the old record of 0.50 set in 2005. We also got patches of snow in town with all of the surrounding mountains covered with a new blanket that is probably 1-3” of accumulation.
There is a continued forecast for a 20% chance of rain today and snow again tonight. Tomorrow is a 50% chance declining to 10-20% chance on Thursday and Friday. I am awash and they are promising me that there is more to come. I have really picked some great places to camp so far this year of 2011; record cold in Huachuca City, AZ and now record rainfall in Burns.
It was just above freezing with a 10 mph wind that convinced me that the shorter out and back route to the Apple Peddler was a smarter walk this morning.
I did have some sun but it wasn't warming up very fast. Stayed cold even after I got home with the high for the day struggling to reach the 50° forecast.
Had the heater on if I was up using the computer. Then would turn it off when I wrapped up to read while on the couch.
There were 9-10 RVs that came into the Park last night after I went to bed. The rain and snow was good for business but they are now all gone. The bus RV that appeared vacant has moved and I saw three people around it yesterday. Have not seen a 'toad' so I'm not sure how they got here, if they are still here or if they are gone again.
This is being reported in a manner that would lead you think it is a serious issue. NOT SO! This is what the Treasury has been doing with the Social Security Trust Fund for YEARS. There is nothing in the Trust Fund but a bunch of Treasury IOUs that are “made whole” every month from Social Security taxes collected.
It is a government run Ponzi scheme in which you can not refuse to participate. Why shouldn't the government employee retirement funds be handled the same way? Why only borrowing from one of the two?
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has informed members of Congress that, with the U.S. government reaching its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling Monday, his department will have to turn to a string of last-resort measures so that the government can keep paying its bills. At the top of the list is a plan to suspend investments to two government employee retirement funds, while borrowing from one of them.
Geithner stressed that the move will not affect federal workers and retirees and that the accounts will be "made whole" once the debt limit is increased. But he ratcheted up his call for Congress to take action soon.
17 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
This is from a National Weather Service Flood Warning announcement:
“At 9:33 am PDT... according to local authorities... flooding has been reported on some roads in and near Burns... including West Loop Road... Foley Drive... and Stancliff Road. Flooding is also expected near the Highway 20 bridge which crosses the Silvies river. As of 8:40 am PDT... water was getting onto the bridge pavement but was not flowing over the bridge. A team from the National Weather Service will be doing a flood assessment in person today and we will update this statement as new information becomes available.”
I am parked about 50 yards west of the Highway 20 bridge and can see the sandbags that have been placed along the Silvies River near Stancliff Road maybe ˝ mile north of my site.
Another shorter walk to Goodies Galore for coffee and a fritter this morning. Very overcast and gray again like it has been much of the time I've been here.
When I got home I quickly un-hooked from electric and drove back to Safeway, only a block from my coffee stop. There I loaded up another basket of groceries for the next 7-8 days.
Got back home and dumped my holding tanks before hooking back to electric. I was going to pull forward a bit after dumping but I was in less mud and standing water right where I was so stretched the electric cord a little and called it good.
It is still cold, the high struggling to break 50°, so I've used the heater most of the day; of and on between times on the couch.
Started to rain again in the early afternoon but only a brief shower and then cleared up a lot, even got some sun for maybe a couple of hours, then back to raining again. This is expected to continue through the weekend – I'm tired of it NOW.
A couple of News stories about health care IE medical insurance. The first gives a good idea of where insurance cost are going to go under the provisions of ObamaCare which follow the Massachusetts plan closely.
The May 2011 medical index by consulting firm Milliman Inc. says health care costs for a family of four will rise 7.3% in 2011 to $19,393 for those insured through work, with employee out-of-pocket expenses up 9.2% this year versus 6.6% last year...
Premiums are rising even faster in Massachusetts, even after that state introduced its own health care reform in 2006 requiring residents to buy health insurance in that state, according to Consumer Watchdog. Insurance premiums for a single plan have risen 13.4% nationally from 2006 to 2009 versus a much larger 18.4% in Massachusetts, while premiums for a family plan rose 19.8% in Massachusetts in the same period, versus 14.5% nationally.
The second has to do with exemptions from ObamaCare, they just keep coming but there seems to be a new twist. It seems that more overt politics has now shown up in former Speaker Pelosi's district and Senator Reid's home state. Wasn't she the one that said that she was going to 'drain the swamp' of corruption in the House of Representatives?
President Barack Obama’s administration approved 204 new Obamacare waivers in April. Thirty-eight of them went to upscale businesses including four-star hotels, gourmet restaurants, day spas and hip nightclubs in Pelosi’s district.
Michael Steel spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, told The Daily Caller that this is another “backroom sweetheart deal” for Obamacare...
“It looks like ObamaCare’s backroom sweetheart deals didn’t end when it became law,” Steel said in an email to TheDC. “Remember when former Speaker Pelosi said we needed to pass the bill to find out what was in it? I guess once they found out, the high-end eateries and spas in her Congressional District weren’t big fans.”
If Pelosi is going to be rewarded then Senate Majority Leader Reid had best not be forgotten. He has not been.
The Health and Human Services Department announced late Friday that Nevada had secured a statewide waiver from certain implementation requirements of the Obama administration’s health care law, because forcing them through, the department found, “may lead to the destabilization of the individual market.”
The announcement makes Nevada one of only three states to have compliance requirements under the health care bill waived.
18 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Statement as of 8:04 PM PDT on May 17, 2011
The National Weather Service in Boise has extended the Flood Warning for...north central Harney County in southeast Oregon... until 1045 am PDT Thursday.
At 6:15 PM PDT... the Silvies river near Burns had risen to 13.50 feet or a flow of 3750 cubic feet per second. Local authorities indicated that Highway 20 at mile Post 133 was closed by Oregon Department of Transportation to perform work to mitigate flooding
near Burns. Expect detours through Wednesday or Thursday. Flow on the Silvies near Burns is expected to range between 13.55 and 13.45 feet tonight.
This morning I could see water on top of the bridge but it was not flowing over it, perhaps it had been and the water level receded. The work to mitigate flooding is to cut another channel across US20/US395, there had been two pipes put in before I got here because of snow melt flooding.
There are also a lot of local volunteers bringing in more sandbags for the west bank of the River. They seem to be extending the sandbags more to the south toward the bridge and adding height to what was already in place.
There has been a line of them visible to me since I got here that extended more east to west. Until a couple of days ago I could see some water to the north of that line of sandbags, now I can see a huge lake there.
I went to RJ's again for breakfast but did not walk the Trail, took the short route that was the same as yesterday. The Trail goes through some low lying areas and I was concerned that it may be partially covered with water.
At RJ's there were 4 guys together at a table when I arrived. Soon after me another fellow came in and this was the conversation:
New Fellow: Good Morning. You guys still trying to golf?
One of the 4: Yeah, last week we played the nine holes twice that were not underwater.
Another of the 4: Today, we think we will play the three dry holes six times. Not sure about next week.
I may have made a wish decision, the golf course is close to the Trail.
Still cold (in the 50s), partly cloudy and more wind. No rain yet with a chance of thunder storms. It is to warm up for the next two days with only a slight chance of more rain but then back to cold and rain for the weekend.
The only thing that I have managed to do that was different was to get on-line and the phone and arrange a dental cleaning appointment in August.
I contacted two periodontal offices and they both wanted x-rays, past records, yada, yada. When I told the second one that I thought this was a bit much just for a cleaning she led me to believe that it was a CYA thing.
She was good enough to recommend someone however. There is a hygienist that works in a Spa and I have an appointment with her. She has periodontal maintenance cleaning experience so I'm happy.
I don't know if this is a Colorado thing or maybe I'm going to have the same problem again in December someplace else. There was no problem last December when I made an appointment in Las Cruces, NM.
19 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Personnel from the Oregon National Guard are supporting Harney County officials as they continue to deal with flooding near Burns. The Incident Commander, Harney County Judge Steve Grasty, said approximately 1.5 inches of rain and snow melt have contributed to a dramatic rise in the Silvies River. The Sheriff was quoted as saying that this is the highest that he has ever seen the Silvies and he has lived here 60 years.
I spoke to a couple of the Guard members this morning as they were filling sandbags. Large earth moving trucks bring in the sand and dump it on US20/US395 just west of the Park where the Guard is working. The filled sandbags are then loaded onto 4-5 quads that carry them out to the levee that has been built up by sandbagging.
The cut across US20/US395 remains just that, there have not been any pipes put in and the road is still closed. That left me no way to do the east loop so I went back to Goodies Galore again.
This route that I call the short route is about 5.25 miles which not so long ago was my normal daily distance. I now try for 6 miles and look at anything less than that as being short. HA
Although there has been plenty of sun today there has also been a steady wind. Both of those should dry everything out but there is just too much water and the ground is too sodden.
It is going to take a couple of weeks of weather like today to make a difference and that is not in the forecast. More rain possible starting Saturday thru Monday.
I continue to have fish for 'linner' about every two out of three days. The third day is usually a one-pot dish that I make up in a big batch. Today a made up a batch of couscous with kernel corn and diced green chile for that purpose.
To go with it I cooked some diced boneless pork chop with mole sauce added just before serving. Sort of a Mexico meets the Mediterranean kind of a dish of my own creation.
20 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA23 May 20, 1923
Statement as of 10:38 AM PDT on May 19, 2011: The National Weather Service in Boise has extended the Flood Warning for...north central Harney County in southeast Oregon...until early next week or longer if needed.
At 1033 am PDT... the Silvies river near Burns had risen to 13.50 feet or a flow of 3750 cubic feet per second. Flood mitigation along highways 20 and 78 is ongoing by local authorities. Expect detours or Road closures due to flooding of the Silvies river and nearby fields. Flow on the Silvies river is expected to remain elevated for awhile due to recent rains and snow melt.
The National Guard continue to fill sand bags plus they brought in two of their large trucks that are now being used to transport them to the levee. The local volunteers did a hell of a job with their quads and deserve the thanks of the Burns Community.
From what I could see this morning the River is down a little bit, I could see no water on top of the bridge. The weather conditions are the same as yesterday so some drying can happen but there is just too much water to expect much.
I did the long walk to Eddie's for breakfast this morning. This took me past the west side of the golf course which looked high and reasonably dry.
The east side is closer to the Trail and lower but I could not see a lot of standing water. The conversation that I heard at RJ's with the golf group was 'amplified truth' I now believe.
Because the east loop is still not open on US20/US395 I'll try the Trail on Sunday and maybe Monday. That is I will if it is not raining. The chance of rain has been reduced but I know how much faith I can put in the forecast so we will see.
There is a two edged sword in hoping for better (warmer) days. It will help the flood problem but the insect population is going to explode with mosquitoes leading the charge.
I'll be moving on in about 11 days and can only hope that Idaho is going to have better weather.
21 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Statement as of 8:34 PM PDT on May 20, 2011: The National Weather Service in Boise has extended the Flood Warning for...north central Harney County in southeast Oregon... until early next week or longer if needed.
At 8:30 PM PDT... the Silvies river had fallen to 11.4 feet or a flow of 2500 cubic feet per second. Flood mitigation along highways 20 and 78 is ongoing by local authorities. Expect detours or Road closures due to flooding of the Silvies river and nearby fields.
Flow on the Silvies river is expected ton remain elevated for a while due to recent rains and snow melt.
The National Guard was not filling sand bags today and there was only a small amount of sand remaining on US20/US395 so it appears that they are finished - for now. From what I could see this morning the River is down a little bit more, but NOT the two feet that the Weather Service is claiming.
The low last night was 46° and 50 or above while I was on my walk to the Paine Room for breakfast. There was virga off to the southwest but I had only a few sprinkles on me just before reaching the restaurant.
The 10 day forecast is for more of the same; overcast/partly cloudy, some chance of rain with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Rather dreary weather.
The lame stream media put the spin on Nevada's April unemployment rate with the good News that it had declined to 12.5%. I does continue to be #1 however with the highest rate of any State.
The number that I look at to see if there has truly been some improvement is the Work Force. That number went down again in April by 3,400 so I discount the good News about the rate.
If you look at the year-over-year numbers for the Work Force you will see that it has dropped 45,100. The y-o-y number of Unemployed is down 38,200.
The difference (6,900) between those two numbers is how many jobs that have been lost in Nevada during the past 12 months. The unemployment rate has fallen from 14.9% to 12.5%, this is great News. However, there are 6,900 fewer people working in Nevada, this is not good news.
22 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Statement as of 11:44 AM PDT on May 22, 2011: The Flood Warning remains in effect until 1045 am PDT Tuesday for north central Harney County...At 1139 am PDT... the Silvies river near Burns as fallen to 10.5 feet or a flow of 2100 cubic feet per second. Flood mitigation along highways 20 and 78 is ongoing by local authorities.
I could see that the River is down slightly at the bridge but I am not seeing the 2-3 foot drops that the Weather Service is claiming. I have also not seen any additional flood mitigation by the local authorities. It has been very quiet all weekend.
The Park owner did some flood mitigation this afternoon. He has a pump working just a bit in front and to the right of me that is trying to empty the small lake that is across the Park road.
I didn't feel up to the longer walk via the Trail to the Apple Peddler this morning so did the shorter out and back route. I may do the Trail tomorrow but then again if I feel as I do now, probably not.
It has been partly cloudy today but more sunshine than on most of the days that I have been here. The chance of more rain is still in the forecast with a 50% chance tonight and tomorrow.
My excitement for day was to get laundry done, including the bedding. When I re-made the bed I put on lighter bedding with the hope that the 40° and above nights will continue.
23 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
I awoke to the sound of light rain on my roof at about 4:00 am. There was none when I got up at 5:30 so I took the shorter route to RJ's for breakfast.
Then almost got home before getting caught in some sprinkles that then became light rain for about an hour.
The low temperature was 42° which was good, what was bad was that it stayed near that until nearly noon. The overcast and gray morning then broke into scattered clouds for a few hours.
By 3:00 it was overcast, gray and light showers again. Another dreary day that had me on the couch reading Tom Clancy or sitting with lap top in front of the heater.
Continue to make progress on the To Read Monthly blog list. Have also moved some of them to my Daily reads.
There were a few on my Daily that were no longer posting daily so I made the swaps. That might even result in me writing a Comment from time-to-time on the new Daily – maybe.
24 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Burns, OR has a hard time turning loose of winter. It froze again last night and the 10 day forecast has been revised.
They now are projecting highs in the 50s with lows in the 30s but not freezing. I'm probably to blame for this change in the weather since I put on my lighter bedding. HA HA
Although it froze it has been partly cloudy becoming clear and it warmed up faster than yesterday. The high still only in the upper 50s but it got up there quicker.
This made for a more pleasant walk to Goodies Galore this morning for coffee and an apple fritter.
The Park has pumped enough water out of the lake that was in front of me that the road is visible once again. The sun and wind have partially dried out the west side of my space but it remains quite muddy to the east.
I have made a decision, and the reservation, for my July camp. I'll be going to Lander, WY for the month.
I contacted two RV Parks there to ask if they had a space available and if a deposit were required. I got an immediate answer from the one that I preferred; had a space and no deposit. I wrote back to hold the space for me!
The second park has not yet replied – Oh well.
25 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Another miserable looking morning with a 70% chance of getting wet. That chance goes even higher tonight and maybe snow down to 5,000'.
The low tomorrow morning to be freezing once again. Snowing and freezing on May 26th in the High Desert, that must be some of the Climate Change I've been hearing about.
I didn't walk. Didn't want to get wet and had some errands to run.
I first stopped for breakfast at Ye Olde Castle, across the street from Safeway. The meal was nothing special but the antiques that decorate the interior of the restaurant are worth the stop. I had not stopped before now because they do not open until 8:00 am – that is like the middle of the day for me. LOL
Then went and filled up with propane and gasoline. Back to Safeway where I filled up with groceries. Then waited in their parking lot, where I exercised my generator and surfed the web, until Figaro's Pizza opened.
With pizza in hand I just did make it back to the Park and get hooked up to electric before the rain started. It continued throughout the afternoon that stayed cold, gray and dreary.
I would expect, and not go there, this kind of weather on the Pacific Coast of Oregon but I'm in the High Desert. I have a very different idea of what the climate in a Desert is like.
26 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
A record rainfall of 0.49 inches was set at Burns Oregon yesterday. This breaks the old record of 0.39 set in 1942. That is also the third new record set during this month of May and I have been here for all three of them.
It was partly cloudy but I could see that the nearby mountains to the west had no new snow. The mountains to the east are further away and were cloud covered so I could not see if there were new snow.
It did not freeze in Burns this morning, and had quit raining by late yesterday, so perhaps the predicted snow did not fall. It became more overcast as the day went on bringing more light rain showers but possibly not in measurable amounts.
I went to Goodies galore by way of the shorter route but changed my return. The short route is a loop of 5.25 miles with Goodies at the 4 mile mark.
If I had done and out and back to there it would have been a 8 mile round trip. I wasn't up to that so modified the return to just under 7 miles. I think I'll do variations on this route for the rest of the week that I'm here.
I had a neighbor last night that was driving a Class B Roadtrek which I had seriously considered before buying Desperado. I talked to the owner upon returning from my walk and he confirmed that I did the right thing.
His gas mileage is 13.5 vs my 8.7 which is not enough to re-pay the higher used vehicle price that the Roadtrek commands. He loves his rig but told me that if he were to Fulltime it would be in something the size I have or larger – the Class B would be too confining.
I'm surprised that Senate Majority Leader Reid allowed President Obama's budget proposal to come to a vote. Perhaps he had so much pressure from his own Party members that he had no choice.
This is just the beginning of the Debt, Deficit and Budget brouhaha that is going to erupt during the next few months. President Obama will attempt to distance himself as much as he possibly can, he is in Campaign mode and can not take a fixed position on anything at this time.
The budget proposal released by the White House back in February didn’t win a single vote in the Senate on Wednesday— the final tally was 0-97. Senate Republicans pushed for the vote as a counterpoint to the defeat of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan.
Politico’s David Rogers reports: “The vote on the president’s plan turned into a rout, with neither Republicans nor Democrats voting in favor of taking it up. At one level, the 97-0 vote showed how out-of-date the February requests can seem after so much has changed in the spending debate already this year. But for Democrats, it also proved a convenient way to mask their substantial internal differences over how to proceed” on addressing the government’s fiscal problems.
27 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA24 May 27, 1923
Woke up at about 3:30 am with the sound of a light rain falling on my roof. This continued until I got up at 5:30 but by that time was only a sprinkle.
I was a mile into my walk to the Apple Peddler before it became a light rain again. It was not too bad even though it continued until I got home; I only got a bit damp not soaked as I did a week ago.
The clouds broke up enough that I could see new snow on the mountains to the east. I don't know if it came last night or the night before. There is another snow forecast for tonight, down to 5,500', with rain possible thru Tuesday.
I leave on Wednesday for Weiser, ID were it is predicted to be partly cloudy and 80°. I'm ready!
It did clear up some here this afternoon when a cold wind blew some of the clouds away. Got a little sunshine but not much warmth.
I had my heater on for a lot of the day. Was sitting with my lap top working on web page preparation for June's Will Rogers links.
Read my Daily blogs but didn't make much progress on the Monthly or catching up to current on the new ones.
28 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Special Weather Statement as of 4:36 AM PDT on May 28, 2011... Unseasonably cold and wet storm for the Holiday weekend...Another late Spring storm is developing over the area. This storm is expected to last through Monday morning with main impacts being unseasonably cold... wet and sometimes snowy conditions.
The forecast: Scattered rain and snow showers in the morning...then numerous snow and rain showers in the afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 60 percent. Snow level 4000 feet. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Highs 42 to 48.
Winter is going to take one more shot at me before I leave, maybe have a White Memorial Day.
When I went to RJ's for breakfast it was partly cloudy but the clouds were building up fast. They were those 'black bottomed' kind that look like they are carrying rain.
That proved to be the case , it was totally overcast and raining once more by 10:00 am. It did not rain very hard or for very long but there was some snow mixed in with the rain; sort of like Mother nature could not make up her mind.
I finished reading those blogs that are on the Monthly list. Also got all the Will Rogers Weekly Articles for June ready to be linked. Then did more time on the couch reading because the high temperature was struggling to break 50.
I would not mind these kind of days if there were some sun and it didn't stay so cold!
I selected the quote shown below to demonstrate how our political leaders fail to understand our economy. Then the lap dog News Media simply parrots what has been said with no critical thinking about what it means.
Vice President Joe Biden touted the Obama administration's bailouts of U.S. auto makers in the White House radio address Saturday, saying they succeeded in turning around the auto industry and helped the economic recovery.
"Because of what we did, the auto industry is rising again. Manufacturing is coming back," Mr. Biden said. "And our economy is recovering and it's gaining traction."
What Mr. Biden said is true but far from the TRUTH. The truth is that the auto industry bailout has had a minor impact on what little recovery there may have been.
Total “Goods-producing” employment (which includes Mining and Logging, Construction and Manufacturing) was 17,997,000 (or 13.7% of total employed) in April 2011. “Motor vehicles and parts”, that is all employees in the auto industry not just those bailed out was 698,700 (or 0.5% of total employed).
To suggest that improvements in all of the manufacturing sector will lead to recovery and 'the good old days' is not supportable, it no longer contributes a large enough percentage of those employed. It is laughable to say the same thing about the auto industry.
If Mr. Biden had wanted to tell the TRUTH he would have said that the bailouts saved some auto manufacturers from bankruptcy and bought the continued support of the auto industry unions. Is this a good or bad thing depends on your personal beliefs. I would have let them go bankrupt.
29 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
Weather – just more of the same. It was near 40° all the time I was walking this morning but the 20-25 mph wind made the chill factor near freezing.
I planned on going to The Pine Room for the last time for breakfast but they were closed this weekend. So, I did an about face and went back to RJ's again.
That detour added about .75 miles to the short route that I was going to do today which made it just over 6 miles.
The Oregon Dept. of Transportation finished laying pipes across US20/US395 late yesterday afternoon and lifted the detour that had been in place for about 10 days. They have been working on it for the past week.
There has been a steady stream of dump trucks going east with rock, gravel and dirt. Then going west there was a similar procession of dump trucks carrying rock, gravel and dirt. I don't know what that was all about, maybe I can tell when I drive past on Wednesday.
30 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
This morning was my final walk to The Apple Peddler. It was not very cold but there was a brisk wind that made it seem so.
Not being very ambitious I took the shorter out and back route with a slight detour through the residential area west of 'downtown'.
This took me past the County Courthouse, a rather simple brick building. The Jr. High School, which I suspect was once the High School, is a block from there and also of same brick but with more attractive trim.
There are also 14 bronze statues at various locations in Burns-Hines that I have passed, some of them many times, that are worth searching out. I particularly like the 'kid statues', these are of kids doing kid stuff.
It has been partly cloudy and cool all day and showers in the afternoon – nothing new. Not as cold as the past two days but I did have my heater on from time to time just not for as long each time.
No change in the forecast here – more of the same for the next 4 days. The Weiser, ID forecast for Wednesday has now changed to be a high of 67° and a chance of rain. It appears that I may have a gift and can assist those areas of the country that are in a drought.
The News Media here in the good 'ol US of A want us to believe that Europe and the Middle East absolutely love our President Obama. That does not seem the case in a Opinion piece written by Robert Fisk for The Independent, a UK newspaper.
Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says?
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.
While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama groveling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America's new role in the region. It was pathetic. "What is this 'role' thing?" an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. "Do they still believe we care about what they think?"
And it is true. Obama's failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime – which has killed more of its people than any other dynasty in this Arab "spring", save for the frightful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain's cruelty and remains absolutely, stunningly silent over Saudi Arabia. And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any wonder, then, that Arabs are turning their backs on America, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or violence, but with contempt? It is the Arabs and their fellow Muslims of the Middle East who are themselves now making the decisions.
For ALL the breaking News from Washington check out veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler at White House Dossier
. It is the only 24/7, independent, and totally unauthorized White House blog.
Obama earlier today laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and met with families of those killed in battle. But he emerged from the day’s solemnity to go golfing for the 12th time this year and the 70th time of his presidency.
The decision to golf on Memorial Day invites comparison with President George W. Bush, who gave up the game early in his presidency and said he did it out of respect for the families of those killed in Iraq.
31 May, 2011 Burns RV Park (Burns, OR )
More of the same weather – overcast, gray and dreary! That has been the major theme of my month long stay here in Burns.
Perhaps a recap of the month for my future reference. There have been 7 days that the Weather Service called 'sunny', that is chairitable on their part. Then there were the 11 mornings that it was freezing or below, this does not count those where the wind chill made it feel below freezing.
There were 3 days when the high temperature was 70° and above but 5 days that never got above 50. It rained during 19 days, setting a new record on three dates, and snowed once with an accumulation (other days did not accumulate).
The ground around Desperado never dried out and much of the Park was covered by standing water for the entire month.
Mark Twain when questioned about his trip around the world said: "I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again". I believe that expresses the feelings I have for my stay in Burns, OR during this month of May. It does not mean that I will never return to Burns but I'll never come back in May.
My last walk here was to Goodies Galore for more coffee and an apple fritter. I usually do not pay much attention to my total monthly walking mileage but I did check it today. I walked on 28 of the 31 days while in Burns for a total of 170 miles or just over 6 miles per day. The weather was horrid but it was good to walk in – only got soaked once.
The only thing I needed to do today in preparation for a early departure tomorrow was dump holding tanks. That chore was taken care off quickly but the 'idiot lights' claim that both tanks are still holding the same as before dumping. I can only guess when I need to dump, the lights tell me nothing.
Travel day tomorrow!
You don't get this kind of News from the lame stream media; you need White House Dossier. Although it is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek it does point out what importance President Obama has placed on the issues of Budget, Deficit and Debt Limit. He wants to be as distant from those issues as possible in the eventuality they become a political burden he can then blame someone else.
Vice President Biden is being touted as the White House point man on the budget, leading the discussions with Congress as our nation’s leaders try to come up with a plan to slash the deficit and avoid defaulting on the debt.
Just today, Biden was the subject of a glowing profile in USA Today describing his unique qualifications for honchoing the negotiations.
It’s a tall order — just the sort of task Biden, 68, has taken on for a president who chose him largely for his foreign policy credentials. In the 28 months Obama and Biden have served together, the vice president’s role has grown to include many of the thorniest issues on the president’s plate.
With Congress back in town following the Memorial Day recess, bargainers are set to stream back to the table, roll up their sleeves, and start hashing through the numbers. Biden will be leading the charge.
Wait a second. No he won’t. It’s back to foreign policy for the vice president. This just in from the White House:
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden have departed en route Rome, Italy, to lead the Presidential Delegation to the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy on Thursday, June 2.
Though the Treasury Department has already begun taking extraordinary measures to avoid default, budget talks can wait apparently for unification of Italy celebrations to end.
Biden take the opportunity overseas to gather with a few other world leaders who will also be on the scene. Which begs the question: Will the Secretary of State, who normally performs such functions, lead the deficit talks this week?
Biden and his wife won’t be back until Saturday.