July, 2011 Century II Campground & RV Park (Salmon, ID )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA29 July 1, 1923
Today ended up being a much longer day, both in miles and time, than I had planned. I made a few mistakes in said plan.
First, I did not look at the Google Map closely enough and mistakenly noted that ID21 and ID55 have a junction – they do not.
Second, when I knew that I had gone too far north on ID55 I did not stop and check my map – the ID55 Scenic Byway compelled me to go on.
Third, I should have gone north on US95 to ID55 then south – longer than what I originally wanted to do but shorter than what I did.
My route: US95, ID52, ID55, See Detour, Banks-Lowman Rd, ID21, ID75 & US93.
Detour: I continued north on ID55 all the way to New Meadows and US95 then returned to Banks-Lowman Rd. This added about 154 miles for a total today of 436 miles.
It was almost ALL mountain driving from Horseshoe Bend where I stopped for breakfast. Even ID52 was through some hills and along the Payette River.
ID55 is the Payette River Scenic Byway which follows the North Fork of the Payette. It reminded me very much of the road that follows the Feather River in California. Then McCall, ID could be the stand in for any of the towns that are around Lake Tahoe.
The Banks-Lowman Rd follows the South Fork of the Payette and the conjunction of the two forks then become the Payette. The South Fork had the greenest water that I think I have ever seen in a river and this Road is the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway.
ID21 is the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway and it gets you up close and personal with the Sawtooth Mountains. They are a sample of what I'll see on Sunday when I go past the Tetons.
Last but not least were ID75 & US93 which are the Salmon River Scenic Byway.
The drive may have been long but this was the most scenic day I have ever spent on the road. There are more scenic short pieces of the United States but I have never seen 400 miles all at one time like I did today!
I checked into the Century II Campground around 5:00. Hooked up the electric and walked a few blocks back to 'downtown'. There at Bertram's Brewery I had a couple of glasses of Sacajawea Stout with brats, sauerkraut and potato salad.
Got back home and started putting this posting together. It is going to be late today before I get it finished, maybe will not get posted until tomorrow.
2 July, 2011 Wal*Mart Parking Lot (Rexburg, ID )
A much shorter day (190 miles) than yesterday but still 33 miles longer than my original plan. My plans, as well as most Fulltimer plans, are written in the sand and the slightest breeze will disrupt them.
I went to breakfast at a convenience store/restaurant/gas station a block north of the Park. As I left the Park I saw a 'woodie' Teardrop with an aluminum roof that looked like one I had seen before. I checked a couple of times before I spotted a fellow outside at his galley and walked over for a chat.
That chat turned into more than ½ hour of good conversation. He was from Salmon originally and was back for his High School Reunion, so he is a 'local' removed to the Bay Area in California.
During the conversation he suggested that I follow the Lewis & Clark Trail over Lemhi Pass. He said that he had never looped south back to ID28 but thought that I could. A little time with Google Maps (Note: Google does not indicate paved or dirt.) and I had a new plan.
My route: US93, ID28, * Agency Rd, MT324/ID29, ID28 & ID33.
* I turned off of ID28 at Tendoy on Agency Rd (Google Maps shows it as Lewis & Clark Highway). I came out onto MT324 a little north of Lemhi Pass Rd (misread a sign to MT324) which is the same as Agency Rd or Lewis & Clark Highway.
This * route will take you over Lemhi Pass (7,373') from ID to MT then over Bannock Pass (7,681') from MT to ID. All (73 miles) except maybe 8-10 miles of the loop from Tendoy to Leadore are dirt/gravel. ID29 has 9 miles of very well maintained gravel the rest is sometimes graded dirt which I drove at 25mph or less.
This was another Scenic Byway day also with ID28 & ID33 called the Sacajawea Scenic Byway. Much different that yesterday when I was I a 'V” canyon most of the time. Today from Leadore to Rexburg was open basin and range country.
Basin and range country has a lot of cows but no cowboys, they are 'buckaroos' in the basin and range parts of NV, OR, ID and a bit of CA. I was in a wide basin with mountain ranges to the east and west. Love to see them while they still have streaks of snow on them where it has not yet melted in the canyons.
After I went in a got permission to park overnight I walked back south to a Maverick and checked their hours. I'll go there in the morning to fill up with gas.
Stopped at a converted bus and picked up some tacos. I think it may have been a Greyhound at some time but now has seating for 8-10 in front, kitchen in back and a dirt ramp along the side to create a drive up to the window level. It helps if you speak a little Spanish when you order. HA
Headed back home to eat but made one more stop at Albertson's to buy some beer to wash the tacos down. Then work up the posting for today. I'm not plugged in but think I have enough battery power to get it done if I have an Internet connection.
3 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Today was a longer day than the 237 miles might suggest. My route: ID33/WY22, US191/US26/US89, US26/US287, & US287.
I was up early and tried to fill up with gas at the Maverick station in Rexburg but the pump shut me down at $125. I asked the clerk about this yesterday and she said that she had never seen it happen. Maybe it is my Bank, something I need to inquire about.
Looked for a breakfast place along the way and didn't find anything until I was past the Tetons and the turn off to Yellowstone. It was just as well that I got through Jackson and past those sights, the tourists were beginning to swarm.
I saw the backside, the west, view of the Tetons for the first time. They are not as spectacular as the eastern, or front side that I saw from a bicycle seat on July 5, 1991, but worth the effort to see.
At the junction of ID33 & ID32 I joined the Teton Scenic Byway until Victor, ID. Soon after Victor the climb over Teton Pass (8,431') began with 3 miles of 10% grade on the west side and 5 miles on the east. Then when I got on US191/US26/US89 just south of Jackson I was on the Centennial Scenic Byway until Dubois.
This took me over Togwatee Pass (9,658') and followed the Wind River downstream until I got on WY287. US26 was closed to traffic at the intersection with US287 because of the Wind River flooding near Riverton, WY.
It was about 8 miles after that when I blew the front left tire on Desperado. Very lucky that it happened when and where it did; in the middle of no-where, not on a steep down grade and no traffic. By the time I got stopped I was across the oncoming lane in a perfect place to park. HA
I surveyed the damage then flagged down a motorcyclist going north and told him my troubles. Also flagged down a car going south and did the same. There were maybe a ½ dozen vehicles that went past me when I was flagging for help that did not stop. I then sat there for about 1 ½ hours and not one other vehicle stopped to see if I needed help.
No one until a Shoshone woman (shades of Sacajawea helping Lewis & Clark) stopped because she saw me there when she went south and I was still there when she returned. She drove back to Fort Washakie where she lives and picked up a jack and her neighbor who changed my blowout.
The spare is a little low but it got me into Lander, WY where I stopped at Safeway for groceries. Then checked into the RV Park and got the A/C running. It is in the low 90s and my A/C has not cycled since I plugged it in so it was probably over 100° inside Desperado.
A lucky day, it was on June 29, 2010 that I blew a rear tire and replaced both of those on that side. I will now replace the other 4 before I leave Lander, there is a Big O Tire in Riverton that I'll go visit next week.!
4 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Went for my first morning walk here in Lander under mostly cloudy skies. There was some thought of hanging around in town after breakfast at the Oxbow to see the parade at 10:00. The more I looked at the sky and the more virga I could see to the south the less I was inclined to see the parade. It just might rain on your parade Lander.
The Park that I am in is just a long narrow gravel covered lot with 22 full hook-up spaces (this morning all but one were occupied). My space is flat level, never before have I seen my target level with the bubble at dead center like it is here.
Parked between two large Class 'A's in a very narrow space with no shade other than what the Class 'A's provide. There is a Allegro Bus to my west and a Newmar on the east either of them bought new would be somewhere in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range.
I haven't seen a 'toad' that goes with the Newmar but the Allegro is towing a Chevrolet that costs more than Desperado did. I kind of spoiled the neighborhood!
It stayed overcast most of the day but didn't rain on the parade or me. Much cooler because of the clouds and a slight breeze which lulled me to sleep for a brief nap. The breeze will probably turn into a wind later in the day near sundown, WY is know for it's winds.
Contacted Big O Tire in Riverton, WY via email yesterday, TracFone has no signal here, about some new tires. I'll get a firm price and availability tomorrow, hope that I can get them put on next Monday.
Whatever the price I'm going to have to pay it. The tire that blew had no sign that it was going to go blow. I knew that it was old and so are the other 4, so any one of them can also go at any time with little or no warning.
I have caught up on my Daily blog reads and started to make progress on those that I'm trying to get current on. I didn't read any of them while underway in travel mode. Very little news reading either although it is easier to get current with the news.
The following article was written for The Weekly Standard, an American neoconservative opinion magazine, by Jeffery H Anderson. For that reason, as well as when the Report was released, you will NOT read any of this in the lame stream media.
I do not happen to believe the “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” but that is my opinion. Therefore, I don't believe that 2.4 million jobs were added or saved thus making the stimulus worse than Mr. Anderson portrays it.
When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt.
The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.
In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.
Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.
This is the verdict of Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisors, which is about as much of a home-field ruling as anyone could ever ask for. In truth, it’s quite possible that by borrowing an amount greater than the regular defense budget or the annual cost of Medicare, and then spending it mostly on Democratic constituencies rather than in a manner genuinely designed to stimulate the economy, Obama’s “stimulus” has actually undermined the economy’s recovery — while leaving us (thus far) $666 billion deeper in debt.
The actual employment numbers from the administration’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent when the “stimulus” was being debated. It has since risen to 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, the national debt at the end of 2008, when Obama was poised to take office, was $9.986 trillion. It’s now $14.467 trillion — and counting.
All sides agree on these incriminating numbers — and now they also appear to agree on this important point: The economy would now be generating job growth at a faster rate if the Democrats hadn’t passed the “stimulus.”
5 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I did an out-n-back route to Safeway (2.75 miles one way) along US287 to check for breakfast stops. It looks like there are only 4 or 5 places that are open at 7:00 maybe only 2 that open at 6:00. I had breakfast on the way back at the Maverick, a motel/restaurant/lounge.
It was packed with only one young overworked waitress that advised me it was going to be a 30 minute wait before I would be served. She told me that it was unusual to have such a crowd in the morning. I'll give them, and her, another try later in the week.
The high yesterday was only in the upper 70s with a breeze all day; very comfortable. Today it has moved back up to the mid 80s, very calm and a high thin cloud cover; not as nice. Have had the A/C cycling on and off during the afternoon.
In an Opinion written for FoxNews-Online James Jay Carafano points out the danger of President Obama's disregard of military advice. The thing that is so bad about the President's beliefs is that our troops will simply become targets.
The president doesn’t worry about (the new Secretary of Defense) Panetta’s problems because he believes the world will be a quieter place... He believes he can manage America’s problems with a few well-placed drone strikes and a few Seal Team Six raids.
...the White House also released a new counter-terrorism strategy. It basically declares that the war on terror is mostly now just a mopping-up campaign. This era of good feelings won’t last long. By contracting counter-terrorism efforts, the U.S. is going to allow Al Qaeda the breathing space to get back in the campaign. While we’re playing whack-a-mole with the terrorists, they’re going to be figuring out how to be better moles. While we draw down too fast in Afghanistan, the Taliban are just waiting to set up base camp for the next 9/11. Meanwhile, all of our other competitors are just content watching America stand down, so they can stand up.
6 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
There are very few different routes, with breakfast stops, available to me here in Lander. All of the restaurants are on US287 and I have only two ways to reach them. There is a chance that I'm going to grow bored with these same two ways but time will tell.
I did change a short section of Monday's route and walked past the City Park. There were a lot of tents set up on the Park grounds that I'm guessing are participants in the 18th International Climbers Festival, July 6-10.
I had breakfast at the Summit restaurant, part of the Best Western Motel complex, on the way home. I may return but this is not high on my list; expensive, three waitresses that were never in sight and an uninspired décor.
There is another restaurant, the closest to me, that was closed over the Holiday and is closed on Sunday. I'll try it before I go back to the Summit.
There have been 7-8 rigs leave the Park yesterday and this morning. One of those was the Allegro next to me on the west side.
I'm still in the Class A section however with another Newmar one space over to the west.
Desperado sticks out like a sore thumb among these thousands of dollars Class 'A's.
Very cool with an overcast while walking this morning. That gave way to scattered puffy clouds and thunder heads building on the horizon with the high in the mid-80s.
It cools down again very quickly as the sun goes down and is perfect during the night. All and all the weather has not been too bad!
7 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
This morning I did the out-n-back on US287 to Safeway where I picked up a couple of things. Then had breakfast at Big Noi, a Thai restaurant, across the street from the market.
Stopped at two more place on my way home to find out what their hours are. The restaurant that is the closest to the RV Park claims to be open at 6:00 am but did not look that way this morning.
Didn't look like it was open at 8:30 when I went by on my way home either. I don't think I can count on it being one of my regular stops.
Yesterday was very calm and I needed to run the A/C or fan most of the afternoon. Much nicer today with a breeze and thunder clouds building up early has kept it cooler. Got some rain which also helped, but it looks like there may come a big thunderstorm before the day is over.
I have been following the Debt Limit drama that President Obama, Congress and the lame stream media have been playing out over the past few weeks and find it to be more comic than dramatic. The number was $2 Trillion now it is maybe $4 Trillion; if either of these numbers are passed it will only mean that they have 'kicked the can down the road' until after the 2012 elections.
They will have accomplished nothing except perpetuate 'extend and pretend'. The Congressional Budget Office reported on January 27, 2011 that the total Debt would be $18.253 Trillion by year end 2021. What is being played out now as High Drama would reduce that to $16 or $14 Trillion, or would leave the Debt virtually unchanged over the next decade.
That assumes that the CBO estimates are correct. In my opinion they are highly optimistic and the Debt total will be much higher, probably in the $20 to $23 Trillion range.
What is being proposed is a solution to the Debt problem? The existing political parties do not want to find a solution, a solution will cost them votes. There will come a time however that a solution will be found but I am more and more convinced it will be by a new Third Party. Don't know when it will happen but when it does one or both of the existing political parties will cease to exist.
8 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA30 July 8, 1923
Another route and another breakfast stop.
This morning I went toward 'downtown' on US287 as usual but then turned onto WY789 for an out-n-back round trip of 2 miles. The turn around was at the Wyoming Life Resources Center which provides training and care for “people with intellectual disabilities”, “people with acquired brain injuries” or “people with acute and long-term medical care needs”. (Isn't Governmental Politically Correct Language great.)
When I got back on US287 it was then the same route as all of my other US287 walks. The new restaurant is Apple Valley Market which sells a few things but is much more of a restaurant than a market.
The omelet that I had was good but the whole wheat bread was excellent! It had that texture and taste of home made which will have me going back for sure. I will probably be buying a loaf or two while I'm here also.
It rained .06 of an inch by official measurement yesterday. Enough to dampen the ground but not enough to wash off the dust that Desperado picked up from the dirt roads I was on. From the look of things today it may be a replay of the weather yesterday including a chance of more rain.
President Obama, and the media do not want this to be News, for them the wars are over. However, I will continue to report our war casualties every quarter; the table below is for the 1st half of each year.
There have not been any in Libya yet but I have continued to list it as a U. S. war. President Obama says we are not engaged in 'hostilities' there but I would be willing to bet that if you asked any Muslim they would disagree; in this case I would agree with them. I am also afraid that the numbers will remain high simply because of President Obama's policy of withdrawing combat troops and leaving 'trainers' as targets.
|Total US Casualties Iraq & Afghanistan & Libya
9 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Restarted my cycle of restaurant stops at the beginning this morning by going back to the Oxbow.
The route that I take to get there is to the west then north through a semi-rural neighborhood then into town. Every morning I have seen one or more mule deer does grazing like the cattle that are also along the route.
This morning just before turning into the RV Park I saw three mule deer bucks on the east side of US287. Stopped for a minute and talked to the Park owner and she said that there were seven of them that had roamed together.
They all are still in velvet on their antlers. The owner said that there was a good chance that they would be in the Park soon to use the trees on the south edge of the Park to rub the velvet off. Maybe get a chance to see that in person, have only seen it on film.
My other contact with animals has not been enjoyable. The past two days I have had almost two dozen flies get inside Desperado and bug me. I'm certain that they are not coming in the door because I do not come and go.
There will be one buzzing around my head, I'll kill him, soon I have another one. This afternoon for a short time there were a swarm of them at my two windows trying to get inside then they were gone. I didn't see where any of them made it but I did end up with flies inside.
Finished the novel that I thought I might have read before. The first chapter of two seemed familiar but not after that. Don't know if I read it before or not but I have now.
No more rain however the clouds build up every afternoon and one of these days I think it will come a good thunder storm. Very pleasant weather with a nice breeze today that I hope stays.
10 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I was prepared for a trip to Riverton tomorrow to get new tires put on Desperado. It turns out that it is even hard to spend money that you don't have.
I got an email later yesterday from Big O Tire that said they did not have my tires, did not know where they were and did not know when they would get them. I now hope that I'll get them put on sometime next week.
The plan had been to get tires put on the pick up groceries before coming home. New plan is hope that they get the tires tomorrow and I can do all of that on Tuesday.
I needed salad 'stuff' to make it through tomorrow so I stopped at Safeway this morning. Then had breakfast at the Maverick, which was far less crowded, on my way home.
Before collapsing for the day, I dumped holding tanks to be ready for the trip to Riverton. I'll probably be dumping every week now while I am here. The RV Park does not have showers so I'm using Desperado's and filling the gray tank much faster.
Sandwiched between two big Class 'A's again this afternoon when a Damon Challenger came in on my west side. There was a big 5th Wheel there overnight but I saw it heading north as I was walking home this morning.
Haven't been reporting each little bit of progress that I have made on the removal of the left side cabinets that were above the sofa. However, as of today they are gone. Have been leaving bits and pieces in the dumpsters of RV Parks for the past few months.
The window blinds and valance are still in place but it will not take much to get them out. The bigger problem is to get the sofa un-bolted from the floor. That is the next project in my living room remodel.
11 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
It was back to the Summit restaurant for breakfast this morning. The closests place to the RV Park appears to be permanently closed with a For Rent sign in the window. The Summit had only one waitress this morning and she did a fine job – I guess it was because she had only customers to talk to.
Took a slightly shorter route, staying south of the Popo Agie* River, to get to breakfast and then home on the same US287 path. *Pronounced like 'ZHUA' as the 'SIA' in amnesia sounds. This was still more than my self imposed 5 mile daily requirement but felt like I was cheating somehow.
Got just a trace of rain from a thunder storm last night after sundown. It was more of a wind storm that anything else with gusts that officially measured 35 mph. The way Desperado was rocking my guess is they were higher than that.
Not long after I got home I received an email from Big O Tire that my tires had arrived. I could have gone to Riverton this morning and had them installed if I had taken the chance of them coming in.
If I had done so they would not have arrived. I'll go tomorrow!
12 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Desperado has new tires!
The first thing I did after un-hooking from electric was drive to the Maverick gas station here in Lander. They have a coin air pump that I needed.
I should have stopped last week as I drove through town to the RV Park but did not see any air pumps. The spare was very low and I did not want to drive another 24 miles to Riverton on it.
When I got it pumped up I then continued on to Big O Tire where I got all the preliminary paper work out of the way by 7:00. They started to work putting on my new tires and moving the one year old ones to the front.
I walked about ¾ of a mile north to the Trailhead restaurant for breakfast then returned. This had taken me an hour and I was surprised by the lack of work that had been accomplished. However, during the next ¾ of an hour a lot got done and I was on the road by 9:00.
Another surprise came when I paid the bill, I got a voucher that was good for a $125 Mail-in Rebate. ALL Right.
Went to Safeway in Lander to pick up groceries for the week then home. The last chore of the day was to fill my fresh water tank. It filled slowly again but much faster than it had in Weiser so I think all is well.
Except, I have a very slow leak out of the cold water side manifold. Also saw water dripping on the opposite side of the coach from the manifold. I hope the water is all coming from the same leak. All will be revealed in its own time.
High thin clouds very slight breeze and high humidity has created an uncomfortable sticky day. This is me, humidity over 25% has me whining. The forecast is for hotter days to come through the weekend. That will probably bring on some more thunder storms also.
I am much relieved now that I've got good rubber all around on Desperado. The other front tire was beginning to separate so I would have been in big trouble Very Soon.
I think President Obama is starting to get desperate. His “I can not guarantee that Social Security checks will get mailed on August 3rd” threat is NOT going to set well with many people. I sent a very nice note to Contact the White House that told him to go for it – withhold the Social Security checks and let us see what happens. I would love to see him do it!
I must add that almost 90% of my monthly income is from Social Security. However, none of it comes by check it is all Direct Deposit. Also, anyone who applied for Social Security benefits after May 1, 2011 would have had to choose some method of electronic payment. Those currently getting checks in the mail will have to switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013.
President Obama knows this of course and was using “check” in the broad sense meaning payment. He being articulate and conditioned to making statements in his classic measured speech would not have used the term “check” unless it was well accepted to mean payment by other elites.
13 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Went to Big Noi restaurant again this morning but added a mile to the route. I walked ½ mile farther north past the restaurant to see what the VFW Post here might offer.
Saw no notices of any meals served, they may do so but do not advertise that they do. No sign even telling when they are open. There was a notice about a memorial being dedicated this Saturday at the Court House.
Not very interested in the dedication ceremony but I may go to see the memorial sometime before I leave.
When I got home it was a big day for domestic duties. I got a batch of Italian Stew made and put into the Thermal Cooker. Will have the first of it tomorrow.
Then cooked up some couscous with feta cheese and olives. This is a side dish to go with my salmon and cod that I'll be eating during the week.
Got my laundry done for another week or two. Then checked out the leak in the cold manifold and it healed itself during the night. No leak today. Don't know why it was leaking yesterday nor why it has stopped.
Still killing flies, not too many yesterday but I'm approaching a dozen today. I also saw 100s if not 1000s of very small grasshoppers when I was out and about doing laundry, none of them in Desperado.
It has been a very busy day!
Do you remember that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
Do you remember how the media simply gushed over his Cairo speech. Well, in a recent American Arab Institute poll five out of the six countries surveyed, the U.S. was viewed less favorably than Turkey, China, France—or Iran.
After improving with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, U.S. favorable ratings across the Arab world have plummeted. In most countries they are lower than at the end of the Bush Administration, and lower than Iran's favorable ratings (except in Saudi Arabia).
While many Arabs were hopeful that the election of Barack Obama would improve U.S.-Arab relations, that hope has evaporated. Today, President Obama's favorable ratings across the Arab world are 10% or less.
Have you read about this anywhere in the lame stream media? I wonder why not? What ever happened to his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. Especially the cooperation between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, forget the rest of the world.
14 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
It was to the Apple Valley Market today for breakfast with some of the great whole wheat bread. Then home where I did nothing.
A day of reading blogs and my latest novel. The RV Park here has a small exchange library that I used to make a trade yesterday. I'll probably finish the book that I'm reading now in time to trade it also. Will then be on the road with my full number of unread books.
I am now out of the Class A neighborhood. They have all left, the one that was east of me did not have anyone in it until yesterday. He came in, stayed the night and pulled out today.
I'm now not so crowded, a much better camp. There are three spaces open to the east and one to the west. The west one just came in today or I would have had three open spaces on each side.
The weather has been great today. It is in the mid-80s but a nice breeze has been keeping me very comfortable. Lots of those puffy, flat bottomed clouds floating up over the horizon and moving east. One of those days where it is tough to find anything wrong with the weather.
I'll save my whining for the Budget Limit circus that is going on in Washington D. C.
This is the posting for July 14, 2011 on White House Dossier; posted in its entirety so you need not look it up. It may explain why the President is getting so testy about the Debt Limit, he has a lot to lose if it goes sour.
Oh boy, this is going to look bad.
The Republicans may not realize it, but they have an extra point of leverage in the debt ceiling talks: Barack Obama’s birthday.
It’s on Aug. 4. The president is turning 50. He’s decided to have a quiet celebration with family and a few close friends.
Instead, the president is planning an extravagant fundraising bash Aug. 3 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, including a birthday concert teaming with celebrities and – for couples contributing $35,800 – a private dinner with the president. All this just one day after the government is scheduled to run out of cash!
Undoubtedly, the sight of so much money getting thrown around and dissolute stars crooning to Obama will make a stirring contrast with a federal government bankruptcy featuring unpaid government workers, seniors and soldiers wondering how they’ll afford the groceries, shuttered national parks, and angry investors trying to cash out their Treasury Bills.
If the government defaults, you can be sure the birthday bacchanal will do much more to harm Obama’s reelection prospects than help them. Maybe House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has been refusing to back down while needling Obama to the extent that the president stomped out of a White House meeting yesterday, already knows this.
The excitement kicks off at 4 pm with a concert that may feature singer Jennifer Hudson and other A-List stars, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
To show that hope and change is for everyone, a pauper section will be included for those contributing a measly $50. But the general admission ticket is $200, and the more you give, the more you get.
For $1,000, you can sit in the rich people’s area with easy access to alcohol. And for $10,000 you not only get a great seat, but a photo with The Birthday Boy.
Perhaps Timothy Geithner will be doing stand up comedy at a smaller room elsewhere in Chicago the same night, with all proceeds going to fund the federal government.
15 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA31 July 15, 1923
Started my third cycle of restaurants for breakfast at the Oxbow this morning. Made a slight modification in the walking route but there are not a lot of choices.
The days keep rolling along with each much like another. The sameness of them gives me very little to write about. The lack of money keeps me from seeking adventures that would provide blog fodder.
The Debt Limit drama has even reached such a level of sameness that there is no News there either. That may be the goal of the politicians and their lap dog media, make it so boring that the American People will not see what they do.
16 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Went to the Maverick restaurant for breakfast. Added some distance by modifying the route to take me past the Court House.
The Memorial was wrapped in a canvas awaiting its unveiling today at the dedication. I'll go back and take a look in a few days.
This modified route took me through some of the older residential area of Lander. I say older only from the size and appearance of the houses. I haven't seen any homes that compare to the older historic homes that I saw in Weiser.
It seems that the original 'downtown' was along US287 and the one or two streets north. The newer homes, and a few businesses, that I have been walking through are to the south of US287.
More blog and novel reading. Have added the Will Rogers project, need to prepare the weekly articles for the month of August. I may even do some of September if I get real energetic.
Congress is working on dual tracks and racing against the clock to raise the nation's debt ceiling while President Obama appeals directly to the public in hopes of influencing a deficit reduction deal that failed to materialize during talks he led at the White House.
President Obama said: Let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to how a treasury auction goes.
He could not convince the professional politicians to do a deal behind closed doors. Now suddenly he is appealing to that same public at large that has not paid close attention to influence a deal. He failed in his attempt with the professional politicians and now wants to do a 'lead from behind' with the public?
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Friday: "Now the debate will move from a room in the White House to the House and Senate floors." The Senator has got it exactly right, the President has it wrong!
A historical note: The last time the Debt Limit was raised was when Joint Resolution (H.J.Res.47 ) passed in the Senate on March 16, 2006. The vote was 52 to 48 with NOT one of the 45 Democrat Senators voting YEA; Senators Obama, Biden and Reid with 42 other Democrat Senators all voted NAY.
17 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
This morning was breakfast at the Summit. To get there I did the modified route of Friday but then crossed back over the River on the River Walk foot bridge.
The bridge is open but the Walk has been severely damaged and part of it has washed away in a flood. I could walk a short bit of it and then gain access to a street again.
Where that happened was at a City(?) coin operated water station. I have been seeing lots of trucks or trailers coming into or leaving town with plastic water tanks. This morning I saw a truck at this station and spent some time talking to a fellow about his hauling water.
There are a lot of people that have homes outside of town that cannot afford to drill a well or the water isn't available if they did so they haul water. There is this water station and some other people in town that have wells also sell water.
Yesterday afternoon was hot, over 90°, and calm for part of it – needed to run the A/C during that time of the day. Today is shaping up to be a repeat however we are getting a lot of cloud build up so maybe a thunder storm is in the making.
Got the Will Rogers weekly articles ready for August. Also finished catching up to current on one of four blogs that I've been reading. Will select another new blog to read from its beginning but first need to read my Monthly Reads.
I refer to them a Monthly Reads but is seems that almost two months have past since I last read them.
This is from the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal that outlines the beginning steps for the Federal Government to take over as a 'single payer' for all of everyones medical payments. I say everyone, that is everyone except those elites in the government that have designed their own plans that will exclude them from the exchanges.
These regulations make it almost a certainty that serious corruption is going to play a big part in what insurance companies get to participate in what exchanges. More of the Obama guiding principle that you reward your friends and punish your enemy.
On Monday (7/11/11) the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department released draft regulations telling the states how they must run these organizations (exchanges), which are the core of the new entitlement and are where people will receive heavily subsidized coverage. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the rest of the Obamacrats are using the language of choice and flexibility to sell their handiwork, but this is the triumph of euphemism over reality...
The word "require" appears 811 times in the 244-page rule and its 103-page supplement. "Must" shows up 580 times—and this is merely HHS's first batch of exchange mandates.
The draft rules command that the structure of every exchange needs federal approval, much as in Medicaid, which in practice means an HHS veto of market-based innovation. State standards for the "certification, recertification, and decertification of health plans" will also be subject to HHS. This means Washington will dictate rules about which insurers are allowed to sell plans in the exchange, and thus which insurers will continue to exist as viable commercial concerns. It also looks as if HHS will require the exchanges to enforce de facto price controls on premiums...If states don't set up an exchange, or the exchange they create doesn't clear HHS scrutiny, HHS will impose its own version...
A poorly designed exchange could send many insurers into a death spiral of unpayable claims, hastening consolidation, reducing competition, and increasing the political demand for government to run everything. This was precisely the goal of many Democrats who wrote the Affordable Care Act, and we suspect it is also HHS's motivation.
18 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
There was a very brief shower hit me in the late afternoon yesterday. Then sometime during the night I woke up to the sound of a light rain but promptly went back to sleep.
Very overcast this morning and much warmer with a lot higher humidity. It seems that all the rain did was make it muggy and with the high back over 90° it is uncomfortable.
It would not be too bad with a breeze but has been very calm all day.
Breakfast was at Big Noi then returned home. Nothing but the usual routine for the remainder of the day.
One of the Monthly Read blogs provided his trip expenses for the past two winters. The trips were both about six months long with one in Mexico and one in the southern U.S. In both cases he spent almost what I get for the entire year to live on.
I have dropped his blog and one other one from my list at this time. They just no longer write about things that I have in common with them other than a desire to travel. My travel is now limited so I'm less interested in travelogue blogs and seeking more full time RV living blogs or alternative home living.
19 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
This morning it was time to try the sourdough biscuits and gravy at the Apple Valley Market. It was good, had lots of sausage in the gravy but was disappointed with the biscuits.
There was not much of the sourdough flavor that I was seeking. I'm now not so sure that I want to try their sourdough bread, maybe just stay with the whole wheat that is so good.
Another hot day that has had very calm winds once again. This has me running the A/C for most of the afternoon until cooling breezes pick up around sundown.
Got a big Class 'A' neighbor on my east side yesterday. They may be here for some time if all the preparations they made are any indication. Have hooked up everything, raised two TV antennas, un-hooked the 'toad' and put covers on all the RV wheels.
This went on for a couple of hours so I know they are going to stay for more than an overnight. Unless, they enjoy doing all that set-up!
The media has had a feeding frenzy where the Debt Limit is concerned but have virtually ignored related government financial News. The Federal government has been relying on the Trade Deficit money being invested in U.S. Debt for years.
President Obama and his administration believe that this is going to continue even through China has been warning them for months now to fix the debt issue and quit devaluing the dollar. After the Debt Limit is raised, and it will be, who is going to be buying the roll-over and new debt issued?
The Treasury International Capital (TIC) reports measure the monthly demand of international investors and governments for US private and government securities. Comparison of the TIC with the Trade Balance surplus or deficit gives an idea of the sustainability of the US external position.
It is not looking all that great. The (TIC) net foreign purchases of long-term securities were $23.6 Billion in May versus a Trade Deficit of $50.2 Billion. In April (TIC) net foreign purchases of long-term securities were $30.6 billion and the Trade Deficit was $43.6 Billion.
The biggest buyer of U. S. securities this year has been the Federal Reserve which monetizes the debt. Is that the continued plan?
Monetize more of the debt which devalues the dollar and increases inflation. Then change the calculation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to reduce future Social Security monthly benefits. There are additional savings from anything tied to the COLA formula. This then becomes a perfect 'back door' cut in entitlements that all the politicians in both parties can claim they did not do.
I LIKE IT! The lap dog media would never understand what has happened much less report it. The whole 'house of cards' will come tumbling down but it is going to happen in the future where any current politician can disavow having anything to do with the problem.
20 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
No walk this morning. I try to take my resting pulse in the early morning when I first wake up, and before I get up, for a bathroom visit. I'm usually groggy at that early hour but remember to take it often enough to monitor it.
When it goes up a few beats per minute that is an indication that I should take a rest day. Any excuse will do but this one has some medical support behind it. That is what I found this morning, an increase by a few beats.
Then as an additional sign that maybe a rest day was in order I slept past my usual wake up by 30-45 minutes.
I was still up by 6:00 and rather than walk I read my Daily blog reads. Then did the holding tank dumps, un-hooked electric and drove to the Maverick.
After eating breakfast it was grocery shopping time at Safeway then home. Hooked up to electric again, filled my fresh water tank (didn't seem to take as long) and should be set for another week or 8 days.
It is cooler today but not by much. However, it feels much cooler because the humidity has decreased and there has been some breeze for most of the day. The thunder storm clouds have not boiled up on the horizon either. The sky has been the clearest that I can remember since I got here.
21 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Not much happening. My life has kind of fallen into a rut, similar to the Debt Limit talks.
President Obama has latched onto a 'plan' that he seems to like because it offers him some a chance to tax the 'rich'. This will be done in the name of 'reforming' the tax code of course.
This will give the President some Campaign speaking points and the Republicans will have an 'out'; they didn't raise taxes they reformed the tax code. Everyone is then happy, with everyone being all the politicians.
The taxing the 'rich' is the most critical part of this entire drama. That is a MUST. With the ability to claim that he, President Obama, has made the 'rich' pay their fair share he can then go after the middle class where most of the money is.
One or two years down the road the talking point will be: I got all I could from the 'rich' but it just isn't enough, so now everyone needs to make some sacrifice. After all, we are all in this together.
As Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith said: I believe no matter how random something may appear, there's still a plan.
Started my cycle of restaurants with the Oxbow again this morning, taking the same route that I did the first morning I was here. Since I was at the Maverick yesterday I'll probably skip it in the rotation which would have been tomorrow.
Maybe shuffle that rotation and try a new route modification, the first part of either main route must be the same. I'll decide in the morning.
Much cooler early this morning but continues to be hot in the afternoon, near 90° which many places in the country would love to see but it is hot for here. Have the clouds building up once more and very calm winds off-n-on.
22 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA32 July 22, 1923
I went to see the Fremont County War Memorial by the Court House this morning. The statue is very well done and looks to be a World War II soldier.
This is appropriate if the names on the WWII plaques are of those killed. There are a lot of names for one county in WY for just WWII. There are a lot of names for Vietnam also, many more than I would expect for one county.
I looked on-line for a news story about the Memorial but could not find anything; I think the local newspaper is a weekly. Maybe get some more information about the Memorial before I leave.
From there I continued to Big Noi for breakfast and back home. On my walk to Big Noi I passed the very first National Outdoor Leadership School campus. There are NOLS located all around the world now but the very first one was established her in in Lander in 1965.
Lander is also the home of Wyoming Catholic College which I pass everyday on US287. For the last week or so I have meet, in passing, small groups of students walking toward 'downtown' as I am going home.
Today I noticed two other buildings in 'downtown' that are also WCC sites that I assume the students are going to. This is all an interim campus with the permanent one still under development but it will also be near Lander.
The first graduating class of the College, a total of 30, had their Commencement in May 2011. This is a four year Liberal Arts College that will easily cost $100,000 for a degree. The 2012-2013 tuition is $17,000.
I am back into a Class 'A' neighborhood. Had another one on my west side that only stayed overnight but then got two more this afternoon on that side. The one to my east is showing signs that they leave tomorrow. This is surprising considering the amount of set-up and tear-down that they do, I thought they were here for the long haul.
23 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I decided that this morning I would go to Apple Valley Market by way of the west route. This took me past the Park but continued straight on the city street rather than follow the River Walk as I had before.
It was about 6:45 when I arrived so I sat and read until their 7:00 opening. When that did not happen by 7:06 I continued toward home and stopped at the Oxbow for breakfast.
I may give the Market another try before I leave Lander but then again I may not. I have very little patience with any business that can not open when they say they will.
Very clear sky once more and much cooler into the afternoon with a nice breeze. I hope it will continue, I have had the A/C on only in the late afternoon for the past couple of days and then for only one or two cycles.
All of my Class 'A' neighbors are still beside me. The movements around the one to the east of me were not signs of leaving. It was simply 'puttering around'; there are stick-n-brick owners that like to 'putter around' their place.
That same mind set is present in some RV owners also, the neighbor to the east is one of those.
24 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I didn't feel like walking this morning but convinced myself that I would walk to the Summit (maybe 1.25 miles) for breakfast and return. It was still early when I got near the Summit and they did not appear to be open.
Felt more inclined to do my 5 mile minimum so continued on to the Maverick where I ate. Then for my return home I went a few blocks south of US287 to see a building that
It turned out to be an Elementary School that is being torn down. Seems a terrible waste to me; it is an attractive brick building that was probably built in the late 1920s or 1930s. The replacement is most likely some tilt-up ticky-tacky construction that has the appearance, and character, of a mini strip mall.
By the time I got home the two Class 'A's on my west side were gone. That absence of Class 'A' company was quickly filled by another one by 10:00 am.
The weather has become very repetitive. Very cool mornings, clear sky most of the day, high temperature near 90° with some cloud build up late in the day.
I have heard stories about the wind never stopping in WY but the recent days have been calm. I feel comfortable with the 90° and some breeze but have needed the A/C these past few days when it goes away.
25 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I forgot where it was that I wanted to go for breakfast this morning. Yesterday I found that I needed a bag of salad so would go to Safeway and then breakfast at Big Noi (it is close by).
Took off on my walk this morning to the Summit for breakfast and did not remember the salad or Big Noi until 'linner' time. That is when I found that I did not have any salad and remembered the plan. I'll try again tomorrow.
Finished another novel yesterday and made a trade this morning at the Park book exchange. Then got laundry done, including bedding, so that should be the last time to do it here.
It is expensive here at $4, I can usually get it done for $3 or less.
It got hot earlier today and very calm so the A/C has been on since noon. A lot of cloud build up this afternoon but still calm; if the wind would pick up I think it would cool quickly.
President Omaba went “A Bridge Too Far” so to speak. He had an $800 Billion revenue (tax) increase Deal in hand. Then got greedy or his natural arrogance came into play and he had to push for an additional $400 Billion.
The deal went up in smoke and I think he has lost his best chance, for now, at making the 'rich' pay their 'fair share'.
He and the Democrats in general talk a lot about the 'fair share' but never put a number on it. Or keep changing the number as the President did in the Debt Deal.
I would really, really like to know how much is this 'fair share'? I would also like to know if those people that pay nothing, or receive a tax credit payment, are paying their 'fair share'. If they are, why?
26 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I remembered. I went to Safeway first and got the bag of salad that was needed then to Big Noi for breakfast. Big Noi is a one woman operation; she is the waitress, the cook and the cashier – she does it all.
But not for much longer. She told me that July 31st will be her last day. She has sold the restaurant after 21 years and will be 'retired' on August 1st. I'll probably have one more breakfast there before she leaves but most likely will have none from the new owner.
I woke up during the night to the sound of light rain. This morning there was a heavy cloud cover, the streets were wet, it was humid but no more rain. Official rainfall was .01 of an inch but the streets looked like there had been more than that.
Back up to near 90° with the higher humidity and no wind. That has had me running the A/C since noon again. A lot of clouds still so maybe it will cool down when the evening winds pick up.
The best Debt Limit comment that I have read today were written by Daniel Foster for National Review Online, he said:
Carney gets hit for ten minutes on the Obama Plan or the lack thereof. After bobbing-and-weaving for nine minutes, Carney finally says what everybody knows: the president won’t put his plan on paper because he doesn’t want it to become “politically charged” before a compromise can be reached. In other words, you’ve got to pass it to find out what’s in it.
If there is a Plan that he likes and it looks like it is going to pass in Congress then he will drop his 'leading from behind' policy and quickly rush to the head of the parade and act like he was the drum major all the time. The very sad thing about this is that he thinks that the American People are too stupid to understand what he is doing.
27 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
I got a little bit of a late start this morning. Slept in for about 15 minutes past my normal get up time.
It is staying dark longer in the morning now so that will most likely happen again. It doesn't change by routine, I just start it a little later if you time it with a clock. Have not owned an alarm clock since 1997 or 1998, rely more on the sun.
Then got delayed after 2 miles into my walk by stopping to talk to 3 guys here for a conference at the Wyoming Catholic College. Had breakfast at the Oxbow and when I got home I was un-hooking electric when visitors arrived.
One of the blogs that I am catching up on is Oasis of my Soul written by Ara about his travels (including wonderful pictures) on a BMW motorcycle with sidecar that carries his dog Spirit. The blog page includes an 'app' called Spot that tracks his travels on a map and can also be used to summon help; Ara has had multiple by-passes. Prior to getting the Spot service he had a possible heart attack while traveling.
I check Spot occasionally to see where he is and found that he was near Lander two days ago. Sent him an email that told him where I was going to have breakfast, with an invitation, as well as where I was camped.
My visitors were Ara & Spirit on their way south but took the time to stop. It is always good to meet the people, face-to-face, that you 'know' through reading their blog. Then there is Spirit – one of the calmest, unruffled and self-possessed dogs I have ever read about and have now met.
We only visited for a few minutes because they had many miles to go over the next two or three days. I only had to go to Safeway and pick up groceries. Also, filled up with gas at the Safeway station where I could use my Bonus Card.
Got 30¢ discount on the first 30 gallons. Then had to re-input Bonus Card and Credit Card to continue filling the tank but got a 3¢ discount on the rest.
Once I got back home the day was pretty much a repeat of the last 3 or 4. I did finish catching up with all my Monthly Reads. Have added one more new blog from its beginning and continue with my current novel. All done while trying to stay cool.
28 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
After yesterday's activities and visiting I'm back in my usual routine today. Nothing much happening.
I can't even drum up any excitement about the Debt Limit drama. I did read a quote from former Speaker Pelosi that I was going to post. However, I read it then re-read it and decided not to.
It was bizarre and made no sense; completely 'off the wall' even for her.
Then my good senator Reid has been puffing and blowing, carrying the President's water for him.
The President keeps threatening to veto every Bill that the Republicans pass out of the House. Reid keeps threatening to 'kill' everyone they submit to the Senate. Yet, the Democrats have not passed anything and the President will not present his Plan to the media nor to Congress.
The only constructive thing that I've done today is cook. Not much, just make up a side dish using wild rice, feta cheese and walnuts. I tried this once with couscous but like the wild rice version better. It goes well with my salmon and cod that I have four times during the week.
29 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA33 July 29, 1923
Breakfast was at the Summit this morning. Since I dropped Apple Valley from the rotation I will now go to each remaining restaurant one more time.
The Debt Limit drama is now reaching the finale. I find it VERY interesting that Senator Reid's Plan will be voted on at 1:00 am Sunday. There is little, to no, chance that it will not pass in the Senate.
The Senate Bill will then go to the House where there will be very little time for it to be amended and passed. I'm assuming that it will be but then it will have to go through a reconcilement process in both houses of Congress.
I'm betting that there is a 'short term' debt limit passed while this happens. The end result will be that President Obama will get what he wanted: virtually no cut in spending and a Debt Limit increase that will cover his Deficits through the election of 2012.
I think the AAA credit for Treasuries will stand also, for now. I'm sure Moody's et al have been told how the 'cow ate the cabbage' and they will go along to get along. That may change however between now and the election of 2012 or soon thereafter.
This fight has only begun. It is going to go on now for a long time or until there is a PIIGS style crisis with US government debt.
I made an investment decision about a month ago with this scenario in mind at the time. It is coming to pass, now I will see if the investment performs as I pictured it would in my mind.
30 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
This morning I had my last breakfast at Big Noi. I asked the owner what she was going to do in her 'retirement'.
She said that she didn't get to retire, she was going to MN to take care of her grandchildren. Such is the life for most 'seniors' in this country. The raise their own children, work at a career (21 years as a restaurant owner) then raise the grandchildren.
The two Class 'A's to my west left just before noon. Then the space next to me was filled again before 2:00 by another one. Can't stay out of the high class neighborhood for very long at all.
Trying to finish the novel that I'm reading before I leave. Will trade it here at this Park and be back on the road with a full un-read book collection.
31 July, 2011 Pioneer RV Park (Lander, WY )
Just another day of counting down until I leave. My last breakfast at the Oxbow and two more days to go.
I find very little to comment upon in my final days at each month long Camp. It is almost the same as when living in a sticks-n-bricks. The days become repetitive and there seems to be nothing worthy of notice.
I remember that I went for a year without writing anything while living in one of my apartments in Reno.
Continue to try and finish my current novel and looks like I'll do so. Will also start to plan my route and prepare 3x5 card notes. That is about all I can do today to get ready to leave.