1 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
The colder weather is arriving sooner than forecast. We still had clear skies this morning but the winds have picked up and are blowing the clouds in this afternoon.. Colder tomorrow, then cold cold on Saturday.
Nothing unique about my activities today. I walked 7.46 miles yesterday during my three outings. Will probably be close to that same distance today since I'm going to follow the same routes.
Doing some work on the Will Rogers weekly articles for December. I have the one for tomorrow ready (just need to remember to post the link) but have not finished the entire month.
Here is a scary opinion from two government lawyers in the Obama Administration. What will President Obama do with this power? What will future Presidents, if we have any, do with this kind of power?
The government lawyers - CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson - did not directly address the al-Alwaki case. But they said U.S. citizens don't have immunity when they're at war with the United States.
Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, are equipped to make decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.
2 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA51 December 2, 1923
It started a light rain just before I went to bed last night. That continued off and on through the night and into this morning when I took Patches out.
After attending the coffee hour I had breakfast and we then did a shorter morning walk (pull session). It was misting slightly as we finished but was very dark in the west. More rain was coming our way and we just avoided it.
I made a quick dash to RV City where I picked up my curtains. There was a lot of talk, during coffee, about their business practices and their most recent employee turn over. I decided they would not get the curtains hung without my raising hell every day. Not worth the effort, much easier to get someone else to hang them.
I canceled any more walks (pull sessions) for the day as the storm continued to roll through. IF timed perfectly I could have got my other two walks completed but fear of getting soaked won out.
The forecast is now for this cold, stormy weather to be with us for 4-5 days. Will not warm up until mid-week although the rain may not last. No rain and cold is far better than cold with rain. You take what good news you can get.
There is even the chance that I'll wake up to some snow on the ground tomorrow morning.
I'm pleased to report that the Elfrida Clinic dentist's recommendation to use Sensondyne has proved successful. The constant dull pain has now gone away as well as the occasional sharp pains. The NO cavity opinion may just have been correct.
The Bureau of Labor has released their non-farm job numbers for November which the media has reported as being good news but not great. They are focusing more on the unemployment rate which fell to 8.6% as being the good NEWS story from the release.
The past three months have now reported jobs added as: September adding 210,000 (revised from original 103,000) , October adding 100,000 (revised from original 80,000) and November 120,000. However, if you look at the Bureau's historical data, by month, for Total Employed (which includes farm workers and has not been manipulated quite as much) you find that September ADDED 398,000, October ADDED 277,000 and November ADDED 278,000.
The even better news was that Unemployed went down by 594,000 and the number of Employed went up more than the increase in the Population (I said before that is always good news to me).
The bad thing about the huge drop in Unemployed is that most of them did NOT find jobs but left the labor force. The Not In The Labor Force went up 487,000 causing the Civilian Labor Force to decline by 315,000. This resulted in the big drop in the Unemployment Rate.
If President Obama can extend this trend into 2012 he will be able to claim that he has brought the country back to Full Employment by Election Day. The key is to continue to move the Unemployed to Not In The Labor Force. The number of Employed can remain stable or even decline if those moves are large enough.
3 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It was very overcast this morning but no rain. We went for a 3 mile walk in the desert and I set Patches off leash. That means I did a 3 mile walk, Patches did a 2 mile pull plus a run of maybe 2 miles. Pulling just as strong at the end as at the beginning.
We the went to town where I got breakfast at My Place. The plan was to stop at Café Olé but I drove right past it.
Today was Obedience Class but I knew that we could never pass the Final Exam. Therefore, I went in and requested an incomplete for the Class and asked for some advice.
The trainer said I could come back again anytime for advice or help if I wanted it before I left town. She also said I probably was being too hard on myself because she could see that I was doing everything correctly.
That was good to know but does not change my results in any way. The end result is a dog than can NOT be walked without pulling and can NOT be walked past another dog on the street.
Got another batch of groceries at Fry's before I left town. Then as soon as we got 'home' and hooked up to electric we took off for an early mid-day pulling session.
The clouds look threatening but we might get in the afternoon pulling session. Then again, I may just go for a nice walk in the rain or not.
The Club House had Ice Cream again this afternoon. I'll be social for the length of time it takes me to have another Root Beer Float.
4 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
I was up this morning at 3:00 for a bathroom trip and Patches felt the need to go out also. We stepped out into a thick fog that limited viability to less than 100 yards.
I didn't go for my afternoon walk yesterday because it looked like there was snow coming in from the west. With a break in the fog and clouds at coffee time I could see that there was a dusting on the Whetstone Mountains.
It stayed cold with threatening clouds for most of the day. Colder to come tomorrow morning with another day in the 40s.
I did get in my over 5 miles yesterday and today even with the poor weather. Today Patches probably ran off leash for at least 5 miles and was on leash pulling for 2. I could see that she was tired at the end of our mid-day pulling session. She was walking on a loose leash, part of the time.
She has collapsed on the couch, in a sun spot and is snoring the afternoon away. If the sun goes behind a cloud for very long she is then on the floor virtually touching my Wave 6 heater.
As I came out of the shower house this afternoon there was a couple from TX trying to get their brand new trailer off the hitch ball. I gave them what advice that I had and went to get some socks on my freezing feet.
When I got back their other neighbor was trying to help them also. It took 5 of us over 1.5 hours to finally get that trailer off the ball. There is something not right with their hitch, trailer ball and trailer; not sure what it is but it is NOT right.
5 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
The forecast got it right that this morning was going to be cold. Unfortunately they missed how cold by several degrees. It was 20° this morning as a low and I had ice in my beard when I got 'home' from my morning walk at 7:30.
I did a total of 6 miles today. That was in the desert where I had Patches off leash all but 2 of those miles. She is whipped this afternoon. She was even staying closer to me during her running around when we reached the re-attach the leach point on the last walk.
I probably can NOT walk her into the ground during the day with her just pulling. I can however do so by letting her run and then 'challenge' her to pull. She climbed into Desperado VERY slowly after this last walk and has been 'gone' on the couch all afternoon.
This morning was relatively cloud free but they have built up again this afternoon. The high for the day was into the mid-40s with that as a forecast for tomorrow. Then warming into the low 60s by next week, Maybe.
I pulled forward in my RV space and dumped both holding tanks when I finished the mid-day walk. The 'idiot' lights have been showing full for the past couple of days. That usually means that it is time.
I filled the fresh water tank about a week ago and it is showing ¾ full so I did not add water today. I should be good until I'm almost ready to leave for Ajo.
6 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
I 'wimped' out this morning and did not walk until after breakfast. I think it was still below freezing but the sun was bright and it was warmer than the 19° low.
The water pipes in my 'home' were frozen and remained so until afternoon. I seem to be able to withstand one 20° night but not the second one when they come one after the other. I just hope nothing has frozen and split. Total 20/20 hindsight says I should have been in Ajo now!
I have had a few readers of this blog send me suggestions/recommendations to correct the pulling problem I have with Patches. I have expressed my thanks to each of them individually but want to publicly say THANK YOU. If I do not act on your suggestion it does not mean that I do not value your thoughts, I may simply implement them later when all else fails.
I received a backpack for Patches late yesterday afternoon and have had her wearing it for short periods of time. It changed her 'personality' as soon as she had it on. I don't know what it might do to fix the pulling but I'll find out. There are Internet Testimonials claiming that it did wonders for their dog's pulling. I can hope!
I did only 3 miles today with Patches running at least 4 plus walking one (pulling much reduced). I don't think she was completely recovered from yesterday. She stayed much closer to me while running around and has been 'out of it' in front of the Wave 6 or in the sun on the couch since we got back.
As one of my readers put it 'she has been civilized' all afternoon.
We have more and more immigrants, both legal and illegal, coming to this country to do the low paying jobs in our Service Economy. At the same time the younger generation of Americans that could build something here are leaving.
This is from a Reuters story More Americans Go Abroad For Economic Opportunities published on CNBC on-line.
To some young entrepreneurs, economic possibilities seem brighter in places like Brazil, Russia, China or Latin America. Indeed, the State Department now estimates that 6.3 million Americans are studying or working abroad, the highest number on record.
In fact, according to a survey by marketing consultants America Wave, the percentage of Americans aged 25 to 34 actively planning to relocate outside the U.S. has quintupled in just two years, from less than 1 percent to 5.1 percent.
The California Governor has adopted the Obama solution to deficit reduction. Tax the 'rich', however where do you think most of the money will come from under his plan? It is my guess that most of it will come from the increase in the sales tax. The tax the 'rich' part of the plan is simply the same ploy that President Obama has been trying to use.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday proposed a ballot initiative that would ask Californians to raise taxes on themselves. Facing huge deficits despite $10 billion in budget cuts last year, California needs new tax dollars in order to avoid catastrophic cuts to schools and government services for the elderly, Governor Brown said.
His plan includes a 1 percent income-tax-rate increase for individuals making more than $250,000 per year, and a 2 percent rate increase for those making more than $500,000. It would also increase the state sales tax by half a cent to 7.75 percent.
7 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
I had a busy day planned in town today so I did not walk this morning. In fact I took the day off from doing any long walks.
But let me tell you about yesterday evening!
I put the backpack on Patches yesterday when I got it and she wore it for maybe 15 minutes in the house. Then today after our one walk I put it on her for maybe 30 minutes in the house. I just got back from doing a 1/2 mile walk around the RV Park that she did at almost a perfect heel much of the time. If she got just a little bit in front of my left leg only a slight tug on the leash brought her back into perfect position.
It was a TRANSFORMATION. I used no treat lures and gave her no treats for walking, only treated her when she sat upon command when I stopped. I can not say that every dog will respond in kind but this is what happened with Patches this evening. It was a MIRACLE to watch happen and be a part of!
My main reason for going to town was to have D & J RV Center fix my sagging stove vent hood. I had them take out the microwave almost a year ago and there were long screws protruding up from the hood that I had them cut off.
The bad thing about doing that was it left not much screw through very thin plywood to hold up the vent. I noticed that it was sagging dangerously a few days ago and put some duct tape on it to keep it from falling off.
I got that fixed. Filled up with propane, I been using a lot of that lately. Got my curtains hung. I had not taken them out of the package until this morning and when I did I found that either RV City of the manufacturer had screwed up the order and gave me 4 curtains rather than two. I can live with them but I'll not have anything more to do with RV City.
Had breakfast at Café Olé this morning. They do a huge breakfast business in three good sized rooms. One of those rooms was completely filled with Fort Huachuca soldiers when I got there at 7:00.
I only saw 3-4 waitresses but the room was empty by the time I finished eating and left at 7:30. I don't have any idea how many cooks they might have but they really put the food out and turn the tables. It has to be a real money maker and a far cry from how the Landmark operates.
I also stopped at PetSmart to have them check the fit of the backpack on Patches. She still pulled some, wearing her backpack, when we approched the store entrance but nothing what she did on collar leash. Bought a couple of things while I was there and looked at some chew toys but Patches had NO interest in any of them. She is just not a toys kind of girl!
There is going to be another Pot Luck at The Homestead this Sunday so I went to Fry's while I was in town and picked up groceries early this week. I wanted to make some more Shejanka for the Pot Luck and did not have everything that I needed. I'm now ready to start the process on Saturday and then finish the salad early Sunday.
It is getting ugly for Barak. Now one of his champions has slammed him on CNN. This is now however, when it comes time for the 2012 election Michael will hold his nose and campaign for the re-election of President Obama there is now doubt in my mind.
MICHAEL MOORE, ON CNN: Well, "The Washington post" three weeks ago had this investigation and they said that President Obama has now raised more money from Wall Street and the banks for this election cycle than all -- than all eight Republicans combined. I don't want to say that, because if that's the truth, that Wall Street already has their man and his name is Barack Obama, then we've got a much bigger problem.
But I think President Obama, if he were here in the room, the question I would ask him is why are they your number one contributors? Why are you taking this money?
MORGAN: It's fascinating to find out why they're doing it. I'll ask him.
MOORE: What are they expecting in return in the second term from you? Right now, here's what we do know. Goldman Sachs was your number one contributor the 2008 election. And we have not seen anyone from Goldman Sachs go to jail. We have not seen the regulations, Glass/Steagall, put back on to Wall Street now three years after the crash.
Why hasn't that happened? President Obama, we the people need you to take them by the throat and say, damn it, this is the United States of America; you don't steal from the working people of this country. And this is the way it's going to be.
8 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It was just as well that I did not walk yesterday morning, the low was 14°. It didn't feel too cold this morning so we did go out for my 3 mile walk in the desert while Patches ran 4 miles and walked 1. Our mid-day walk was also in the desert for 2.5 miles for me and Patches did a 3 mile trot (she seemed tired) plus walked 1 mile.
The walking that she does is .5 miles each way to reach a point where I can turn her loose. We cross 4 lanes of traffic each time so having her on leash is important. The past two days that we have gone to the desert have been so much more pleasant for me because Patches has not been pulling; tugging on the end of the leash but not PULLING.
This is all due to a helpful tip that was sent to me by Judy the Bird Lady of Blogland. She knows her birds but knows a thing or two about a dog that pulls because she is the owner of Emma also known as The Wild Child. She writes a terrific blog at Travels With Emma which includes some fabulous pictures of birds, flowers and nature scenes in general. Go there, don't miss it!
She explained the tip to me and said that it was used by hunters when they were training their hunting dogs to not bolt after game. I then spent a lot of time trying to find some reference to the tip on the Internet. Finally found a web site that explains the leash tip and provides pictures of how it is done; Note 16 January 2014: The web site that I found is no longer there. As Mom says in her posting the tip is priceless!
I have avoided anymore frozen pipes during the past two days with the temperatures lower than when they froze. I'm attributing that to firing up my Wave 6 at 2-3 in the morning and turning on all the faucets every time I get up for a bathroom trip (those are frequent for an 'ol guy'.
The forecast is for near freezing lows and maybe mid-60s for the next 5-7 days. Not nearly as warm as I would wish it to be but certainly better than it has been.
I'll probably not do an early evening walk with Patches with her backpack. I thought I would but yesterday she was dropping back behind me as we were finishing our last walk of about .6 miles and she seems wore out this afternoon. Maybe it is time to give her a break. That is my story and I'm sticking to it!
Only other thing of interest that I did was cook up a pot of Pozole in my Thermal Cooker. Started it yesterday when I browned off the pork stew meat and then brought the Pozole and meat to a boil for 10-15 minutes. The Pozole was frozen and uncooked corn that had been de-husked but was not cooked soft like the hominy I have always used in the past. What I found was that it soaked up a lot of water so my next batch needs to take that into consideration. I have sampled it but now eagerly await 'linner'.
9 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA52 December 9, 1923
A much nicer day than what we have been having. However, the difference between the forecast low and the actual is still the same 5-10° that it was last winter when I was here. They predict the day time high pretty close so I can only attribute the poor result on the low side to not wanting to scare off the Snowbirds.
The forecast for last night and for the next 2-3 morning was 31° the actual was 21°. This has been the pattern all through this cold period with never a forecast low to be below 25 when it dropped down into the low to mid teens.
I was out in it again with Patches to do her early morning run. On the way back home I could hear the Whetstone dogs all barking up a storm again like they were yesterday when I heard coyotes yipping near by.
Didn't hear the coyotes this morning but saw one cross the road about 150 yards in front of me and got Patches on the leash quickly. Then where I would have normally called her to the leash I saw a coyote abut 50 yards away very near all the barking dogs.
At coffee, I was told that there had been a large herd of javelina come through the RV Park early this morning also. I am more afraid that Patches will run across them than the coyotes. She may have a chance against the coyotes but I don't think she would survive a confrontation with a herd of javelina.
We did the usual 3 miles for me walking and Patches running most of the time. Then for the mid-day walk I did close to a 2.5 mile walk with Patches and her backpack.
She still does a very close walk by my left side if I keep a short leash on her, with a longer leash she seems to like to be out on my right side. I don't know what this is all about?
I have been considering the possibility that she has had walk training with a backpack as well as training on a leash to pull ahead while sniffing the ground ahead. This is a reach but I do know that she was owned by a Fort Huachuca soldier and received her rabies shot on the Post. Possible? There is a military K-9 training facility on the Post and she could be a 'washout'?
10 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
No walk this morning. Taking a rest day and we wanted to go to town.
Stopped at My Place for breakfast and had their Chorizo Skillet which has become a favorite.
Then went to PetSmart early enough for me to do some web surfing while sitting in the parking lot. Plus I took Patches for a short walk with her backpack on before going into the store. We then shopped the aisles for about 15 minutes waiting for the trainer to arrive. Bought a collapsible water bowl for Patches to carry in her backpack.
Had a nice conversation with the trainer about the vast difference that the backpack has made in walking with Patches. She said that is what a backpack can do for a working dog that is 'looking for a purpose' to the walks.
I wanted some advice on what to do about the dog to dog aggression that Patches displays more often than not when she sees a dog when we are walking. She did not have any magic bullet advice for me unfortunately. I have found a Yahoo Group that I have applied for membership, perhaps I can get some advice or options from the Group postings.
I made up a second batch of Shejanka that I had started yesterday when I put the yogurt to drain. I now have one container for the Pot Luck tomorrow and one for me. I'm assuming that it will be such a hit at the Pot Luck that there will not be any left for me to bring home. HA
I also made the same stupid mistake by leaving food on the counter when I left Patches alone for a few minutes. This time it was on the stove but readily available from the couch to the counter to the stove. I put a green corn tamale in a pan to be heated up and then went off and left it. She ate it, ate it ALL; (everything) corn husk, tamale and licked the pan I'm sure.
There was Ice Cream at the Club House again. Can not pass up an Ice Cream Social. I was even a bit social since I'm complaining about Patches being dog to dog aggressive I though I best provide a good example. The sad thing is she was not there to take in the lesson.
11 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
Today was all about going to, being at and returning from the Pot Luck at The Homestead.
I got caught up on my Daily Blog reads before leaving this morning. Then went by way of Herford and Bisbee so I could stop at the Country Kitchen in south Sierra Vista for breakfast.
I wanted some different scenery also as I will be going the shorter route through Tombstone next Wednesday for my dental appointment. I also came back the shorter route today.
When we first arrived at The Homestead Patches wanted out but I thought she was looking to go run/walk. I visited with cousins for about an hour and then went to take her for a short walk and found out that I was too late. She had really wanted out to get rid of that tamale, husk and all, that she ate yesterday. My Bad.
After that short walk it was suggested that she could be in a fenced area where she could run if she wanted. I put her in there and with some encouragement she was running around like something was after her. There was a small mixed breed dog that has a reputation for starting fights with any dog that he comes in contact with. He got into the fenced area with Patches and they got along fine until found and removed from harms way. Patches was not aggressive toward him in any way.
There were three dogs running free on the other side of the fence and Patches seemed to get along with them through the fence. There was one small 'dust up' but nothing to get very excited about. Her dog to dog aggression seems to be all related to being on the leash. It is is good news that the aggression is somewhat limited and that I now have a better idea of her behavior.
A great Pot Luck with some green corn tamales that my cousin made that were far superior to those that I bought last week. More people there that I did not know, most of them distant cousin relatives. They were just finishing up the pecan orchard harvest today so this was a harvest festival of sorts.
The running and the excitement of meeting all those dogs wore Patches completely out. When we got home she promptly crawled up on the couch and is snoring loudly as I type this!
12 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
We got out early this morning for my 3 miles walk and Patches' run in the desert. It was very overcast so even darker than normal at that early hour. I also found out that javelina were seen under the bird feeder by the Club House about 30 minutes before we left.
When we got back I caught up with my Daily Blog reads and then went for coffee. I had to take my wool cap and gloves off while walking so didn't wear them for the short time I would be out getting to the Club House. That was a mistake, it felt colder than it had earlier because the wind had picked up.
Patches wanted to go out again at 10:00 so we did so but she did nothing but a lot of sniffing. I saw my next door neighbor and asked her if Patches bothered her with her howling, whining and barking when I went to coffee. She said that she didn't even know I had a dog, she never heard anything.
While returning from our walk we got close to another dog that Patches has displayed rude signs toward in the past. I used all the 'aggression avoidance' techniques that I have been reading about and we made it past with Patches remaining rather calm. One small step and all that!
The forecast was a 60% chance of rain today and 100% chance for tomorrow. That 60% chance started at about 10:30. A steady soaker kind of rain that very well could go on for 36 hours but I certainly hope not.
It has been one of those rainy days for sitting in front of the Wave 6 when I can crowd in front of Patches (she is a heater hog). Reading more of my very long novel that I'm now into the final 100 pages. Reading new blogs that I catching up to current and going through my Monthly Blog reads. Not too much different from my normal day except for the heater. HA
In his latest bog posting The Cookie Crumbles by James Howard Kunstler he takes another slap at President Obama, his one time Messiah.
Did you catch President Obama on 60 Minutes last night. Charming fellow. Sincere and even purposeful, too. But displaying a big patch of cluelessness, like virtually everybody else in a position of authority in this benighted land. The President intimates that we will surely return to the turbo economy of a fast-receding yore. He is missing something big there. We are not going back to that. The fiesta is over. And his job is not to try to go back there, because it is impossible. His job was to lead an epochal re-set of the economy to a very different disposition of things, smaller, finer, more local. It is so far outside the box he's in that light-years cannot even begin to describe the distances involved. And I completely dismiss his claim that the reason no prosecution of Wall Street misconduct happened was because, however odious their schemes and scams were, they were technically legal.
13 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
No early walk for me or run for Patches. It was still wet after a long hard rain yesterday. The wind was blowing hard and it was cold.
The wind seemed to be bringing in more rain clouds with a forecast of 100% chance we will get more today. That forecast became reality at 11:30. I can only hope that it isn't raining again tomorrow when I go to Elfrida.
This afternoon there was beautiful rainbow spanning the town of Whetstone that offered me that promise. Not so long after that the rains came in hard again so maybe it was a false promise.
I did take Patches out for a short walk around the Park after I got back from coffee and had breakfast. She had another dog sighting and acted up. I did not react early enough to divert her attention with 'aggression avoidance' techniques so it was partly my bad.
This is going to be a long learning process for both of us. If I can do my part I think Patches will shed this bad behavior. But I have to stay more alert to the possibility of a dog sighting than she is to make any corrections work.
I found an economics/market web site today Of Two Minds by Charles Hugh Smith that had me reading a lot of the Archives. I think this will become a regular read for me along with The Daily Pfenning, what I found in Of Two Minds made a lot of sense to me.
I have been hard on the Obama Administration about their throwing our taxpayer money away on 'green' investments. The Bush Administration was equally guilty but on a much smaller scale by throwing our taxpayer money at cellulosic fuel development. President Obama has continued the give aways and Congress, led by then Speaker Pelosi, beliving the Government can change the real world passed a law that mandated that oil companies use this fuel that did not yet exist.
Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by 2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch grass and other plant life.
To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.
Most important, the Nancy Pelosi Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed a law imposing mandates on oil companies to blend cellulosic fuel into conventional gasoline. This guaranteed producers a market. In 2010 the mandate was 100 million barrels, rising to 250 million in 2011 and 500 million in 2012. By the end of this decade the requirements leap to 10.5 billion gallons a year.
When these mandates were established, no companies produced commercially viable cellulosic fuel. But the dream was: If you mandate and subsidize it, someone will build it. Guess what? Nobody has.
To recap: Congress subsidized a product that didn't exist, mandated its purchase though it still didn't exist, is punishing oil companies for not buying the product that doesn't exist, and is now doubling down on the subsidies in the hope that someday it might exist. We'd call this the march of folly, but that's unfair to fools.
14 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It hasn't been a good day.
We got up a little before 6:00 because of my dental appointment in Elfrida, AZ a little over 50 miles but narrow, two lane that is a bit rough. The first issue of the day came when I could not get my key in lock on the basement door.
The rain has been blowing in from that side of the coach for the past couple of days and then this morning it froze. The key hole was full of ice and when I finally was able to unlock the latch it was also frozen shut.
I was able to get into the basement, get un-hooked from electric and on my way by 6:30. The first thing I then saw on highway AZ90 was a sand truck because the road had ice on it. That kept my speed down even more and I arrived only 15 minutes before my appointment.
That was when the second issue came up. The Dental Clinic misled me when I made the appointment two months ago. I told them I wanted a cleaning. They said it was AZ state law that all first time patients must have x-rays and an exam but the total cost with a 50% discount would be $150 so I set the appointment.
The x-rays and the exam took almost a full hour then they told me that I had to come back for the cleaning. Then it took another 1/2 hour to get my bill paid and set the cleaning appointment plus have me walk about a block north of the Clinic to get copies of the x-rays they took today. I'm HOT!
The day did improve from that point, which is a very good thing. I stopped at the Roundup Café in Elfrida for breakfast and then headed for Sierra Vista.
I promised the staff at Sierra Vista Animal Shelter that I would bring Patches back to see them before I left the area. Today was the time to do that. They were thrilled to see her and happy that I had not returned her the couple of times when I was thinking hard about doing so.
Since I have now decided that she is a keeper I went to her vet to get Heart Worm testing and preventative drugs. Weighed her again and she has put on 5 pounds since I have had her.
The vet wanted her at 50 pounds and she is now up to 48 so I'm going to cut back on the daily feeding and try to keep her at this weight. That 5 pounds didn't go to fat, she is still just one big chunk of muscle and looks GREAT.
Went to Fry's for my last weekly grocery trip. Put some of those same groceries into the Thermal Cooker this afternoon for a pork, zucchini, tomato and jalapeño stew that will be ready tomorrow and for a few days after that.
I have posted, in its entirety, a scathing article about Professor Omaba written by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.). There is nothing I can add other than Rep. Cardoza will support the President for re-election in spite of all his failings.
After observing President Obama for the last three years, it has become obvious to me that the president might prefer to be a university professor rather than do the job he holds today. While he might not realize that he feels this way, the evidence is very clear to those who work with or watch him closely.
Let me be clear — I’m not trying to disparage professors. But anyone who wonders why the president is not crushing the weak Republican field only needs to examine how President Obama has behaved more like Professor Obama.
In the president’s first year in office, his administration suffered from what I call “idea disease.” Every week, and sometimes almost every day, the administration rolled out a new program for the country. There was no obvious prioritization and, after the rollout, very little effort to actually pass the latest idea/imperative/plan/edict. Instead, the new programs just kept coming, with the new proposals constantly stepping on the previous day’s message. This rampant “idea disease” squandered the tremendous goodwill generated by the Obama campaign’s message of “hope,” tainting the president’s personal appeal. As Democrats in Congress, we often felt like we were drinking water out of a fire hose, trying to simultaneously deal with past failures of the Bush administration and the avalanche of new initiatives from Obama. This lack of focus also made it easy for congressional Republicans to stall and foil many of President Obama’s best initiatives — which they did with relish!
‘I’M RIGHT, YOU’RE WRONG’
Early in his administration, President/Professor Obama repeatedly referred to “teaching moments.” He would admonish staff, members of Congress and the public, in speeches and in private, about what they could learn from him. Rather than the ideological or corrupt “I’m above the law” attitudes of some past administrations, President Obama projected an arrogant “I’m right, you’re wrong” demeanor that alienated many potential allies. Furthermore, the president concentrated power within the White House, leaving Cabinet members with no other option but to dutifully carry out policies with which they had limited input in crafting and might very well disagree. From my experience, this was especially true in the environmental, resources, housing and employment areas. Not by coincidence, these areas have also been responsible for much of the president’s harshest critiques.
LECTURES vs. LISTENING
One former administration official told me directly that the people in the White House “NEVER TALK TO REAL PEOPLE.” Another former Obama staffer confided to me that it was clear to him that the president didn’t mind giving speeches (lectures), but really avoided personal contact with members of Congress and folks outside the Beltway. “He doesn’t seem to derive energy from spending time with regular people the way Clinton did. He rallies to give speeches for the big crowds, but avoids individual contact,” the former staffer recalled. This “arms-length” attitude extends to top decision-makers in the president’s administration. A senior housing official recently told me that, despite the fact that he was responsible for crafting policies to stem the foreclosure crisis, he had personally never met with a homeowner who had been foreclosed on.
The president’s disinterest in input from those outside his inner circle is costing him many wasted opportunities. Recently, a senator told me Obama went to his/her state, but issued an invitation for the senator to attend the event only the day before. “I represent a must-win state and lead the president in approval ratings by nearly 20 points. He was totally off-message for what my people wanted to hear. Doesn’t the White House get it? I don’t need him, he needs ME!”
Many on the Democratic side wish Hillary Clinton, Gov. Jerry Brown (Calif.), Gov. Martin O’Malley (Md.) or Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.) were running instead, but the president still has time to learn a thing or two from these skilled politicians. I’ll still take Professor Obama over the “goat rodeo clowns” the Republican field offers, but I fear the overall student body — American voters — will give him a failing grade next November if he doesn’t improve his performance.
15 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
I have not been able to get warm all day. This morning the low was 26° and it had gone up all the way to 51° by noon but still felt colder than that. The next 3-4 days are forecast to be about the same and then maybe some more rain. The same pattern is forecast for Ajo but with high and low to be 5-10° warmer. I'm ready!
Patches and I did not go out early this morning. I went to coffee, came home for breakfast and then we went out. The desert was still very muddy in many places so I did some route changes while on the walk to try and avoid returning through some that I had already gone through.
This made our total a little longer at 3.75 miles with Patches running while I walked 2.75 of it. They say a tired and dirty dog is a happy dog. If that is true then I have very happy dog on my hands. She is now 'out of it' in front of the Wave 6, not long ago she was snoring on the couch, a real heater hog.
When I called her in to be put back on the leash before walking home she is good about coming and sitting; slow in doing so, but good. Today when I told her to sit she laid down so I knew she was tired and let her stay there until she got up and was ready to go.
The following is an excerpt from the blog posting in Of Two Minds today which makes the same point that James Howard Kunstler made in the posting of December 12, 2011: And I completely dismiss his claim that the reason no prosecution of Wall Street misconduct happened was because, however odious their schemes and scams were, they were technically legal.
The truth has a unique sting, and an equally unique ability to heal the destruction wrought by dishonesty, fraud and lies.
The truth hurts, because the daylight of truth demands changes that the self-serving and those in denial desperately wish to avoid.
But there can be no healing or reconciliation without the truth, baldly stated and plainly spoken without artifice or spin.
If we can finally be truthful with ourselves as a nation, then we must admit that our financial system is fundamentally based on lies, fraud, embezzlement, misinformation, perverse filters and incentives, shadow systems that mock transparency and regulation, class privilege and the systemic flouting of the rule of law.
This is the truth that hurts because it reveals the financial system as one stupendous exploitative fraud; but it also reveals the complicity and irrelevance of our judicial system and the complete capture of the legislative and Executive processes of governance.
There is a system of government in which rule of law is merely a propaganda screen, where financial and political Elites run the show and escape the consequences of their actions: it's called tyranny. The truth is that we live in a financial tyranny.
President Obama will sign the law that I commented on in my November 29, 2011 posting. I think this is a very bad law and this is the first time that I can remember that I agree with the position taken by the ACLU although their statement is weaker than one I would issue. Probably something more in line with the Human Rights Watch statement with more emphasis on the hypocrisy of this Administration.
The White House is signing off on a controversial new law that would authorize the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain alleged al Qaeda members or other terrorist operatives captured on American soil...
If President Obama signs this bill, it will damage both his legacy and American's reputation for upholding the rule of law," said Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "The last time Congress passed indefinite detention legislation was during the McCarthy era, and President Truman had the courage to veto that bill."..
"It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent."
Senator Rand Paul (in opposing the law) said there were already strong laws against support for terrorist groups. He noted that the definition of a terrorism suspect under existing legislation was so broad that millions of Americans could fall within it.
There are laws on the books now that characterize who might be a terrorist: someone missing fingers on their hands is a suspect according to the department of justice. Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weatherproofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist," Paul said. "If you are suspected because of these activities, do you want the government to have the ability to send you to Guantánamo Bay for indefinite detention?
16 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA53 December 16, 1923
Today was a do nothing day.
I did start it off by sleeping in for a few minutes and Patches and I then did not do an early walk. I read all my Daily Blogs and then we prepared to go to town.
I had the Enchiladas con Huevos at the Café Olé once again and think that is their best Mexican dish on the menu.
Then moved across town to Fry's and filled up with gas. Put in 47 gallons which may be a new record for me. The only good thing about that quantity is the first 35 gallons was 2¢ off with my Smith's Bonus Card. Smith's and Fry's are also Kroger and my Smith Card works at all of them.
We then fought a head wind or side wind all the way to Elfrida. Arrived there about an hour before my appointment time so I gave Patches a potty walk but she refused to potty. I then spent some time on-line catching up on the News before signing in for my appointment.
They did a very good cleaning plus checked all my 'pocket' depths. A much better job than what I got in CO. The only negative was that they were 20 minutes late taking me in.
The other positive experience was that the total for x-ray, exam and cleaning was actually less that the quoted $150. So, if they had not screwed with me on the appointment of the 14th I would not be too upset.
If I can avoid x-ray charges in April when I see my regular periodontist and convince them that the exam here was excellent then I'll be about even for dental expenses for the year.
The circus in Washington called Congress keeps moving right along. This bill will then go to the Senate where the esteemed Senator Reid, Majority Leader, has threatened to block a vote and at the same time blames the Republicans for a government shutdown.
"I rise in strong support of this bill. I urge my colleagues to support this piece of legislation. None of them have read it. Not one of us has read every page in this bill," Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said on the House floor about the $1 trillion spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown. Hoyer is in the House Democratic leadership.
17 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It was a little warmer this morning, the high trying to cross over into the 60s. No wind today made it much nicer than yesterday but the clouds are coming in for the chance of rain tonight and a better chance tomorrow
Patches and I did a desert walk/run of a little over 3 ½ miles. At the 2 ½ mile mark I told her to lay down and she did so with no argument. She had her tongue hanging out and was huffn-n-puffn so I let her rest until she got up, ready to go some more.
She seems to sort of 'get it' when I give her voice and hand signals for which direction I want her to go. Her Come response is better than a cat but she still does the “I'll get back to you” routine before actually coming.
After getting home I made up a batch of the Mediterranean Salad that I have been eating, with Sardines and without. I also put a large container of yogurt to drain in a colander lined with cheese cloth. That will be ready to made Shejanka tomorrow.
It is Saturday so there is another Ice Cream Social. Can not miss this one, it will be the last before I leave next week.
18 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
The forecast for rain last night did not come to pass. This morning the clouds were building in the west but it is a slow moving storm that may not arrive until tonight.
Because the approaching clouds did look threating Patches and I did not do a long run/walk but settled for a shorter backpack walk of about 1/2 miles. She is such a pleasure to walk with her backpack you would not believe what a Jekyll and Hyde transformation takes place without it.
I have been getting full signals from my gray and black water tanks as well as empty signals from my fresh water tank. While the sun was out between passing clouds I took care of all those signals so I should be good to go Thursday morning.
I just found an blog titled UNRELIACE from which the following was extracted. I agree with this so completely that I'm envious that I could not have penned it myself. It is a blog that I'll be reading much more, I'm now getting current but have been VERY impressed.
“The greatest intrusion into my life, as in yours (whether you care to face it or not) is nearly any and every politician, bureaucrat, technocrat, public "servant", clerk, etc., compensated directly or indirectly by our tax dollars. In a small government role these people serve a purpose, but in a big government role we are here to serve their purposes!
All of us sense and/or are oppressed by the political class. Our government, formerly a representative of the people, has now taken on the unmistakable presence of an individual identity. It is no longer a bumbling hodgepodge of performers in a two-ring circus. Our government is no longer a contest between two parties of opposing ideologies, it is now a two-headed freak show, a Frankenstein monster that has gotten away from its creator!
The parties that be have the same agendas. The media picks for us the contestants, tells us which to vote for and then declares the winner of their choice. Any true red, white and blue patriot that attempts to run on the real issues is immediately marginalized to the periphery of the pack and then promptly smeared and ignored. Those very few that run the gauntlet successfully are again marginalized by the homogeneous party/committee system that acts to decide how and for what these "objective" representatives will vote for.
Want to be free? Break all reliances they can use against you. Take away the power they have to make us behave as they need us to. If I don't need them then their power is greatly reduced in my life. Unreliance is the only way left to personal freedom in a world where nation states are dissolving into unions that are globally governed! Liberty can only be found in the hearts of men, not their governments!”
This next to last paragraph is so on point with what is happening in the run-up to the Republican nomination. The Lame Stream Media wants Romney to be on the ballot against President Obama.
They did everything they could to keep Cain off the ballot, that was their worse nightmare. Two Blacks/African Americans/Negroes running against each other for President; this is something that can NOT happen, it would destroy years of propaganda work by the self same media.
It is now time to focus on Newt and kill his chances as well. He is far too Conservative for the Fourth Estate to allow him to run head-to-head against an avowed Collectivist. This can also can NOT happen, what would become of all the work put in for a New World Order if Newt happened to win? It is unthinkable!
19 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It was VERY cold with the wind blowing when I took Patches out for her before bed toilette yesterday. Then the rain came soon after we went to bed, light rain through the night.
This morning was much the same. Cold, with a wind blowing in more storm clouds from the west. We didn't go run/walk although Patches gave voice that she wanted to. She does not understand that the weather was not fit for man nor beast, and she is the beast.
The high temperature for today is forecast to not get above 50° with a chance of more rain. The next few days are to warm up but it will still be much colder than 'normal' for this time of the year. Ajo is warmer but that is a relative term, I'm sure that those that are there are whining like I am about the cold.
It is a staying inside kind of day. I finished my long novel that I had been reading for the past 6 weeks or better. It was nothing to merit any special mention except it was almost 1,200 pages long. It could probably have been ½ or 1/3 that length and told the same story. I did exchange it from the Park book exchange here and have started a legal thriller along the lines of those written by John Grisham.
Joe Biden was picked to strengthen the ticket in 2008 because of his foreign affairs strength, which Obama totally lacked, and his connection to PA, a state that Omaba needed badly. He has shown since becoming Vice President that he does not have the foreign affairs strength that was assumed and has come up with some amazing statements. This is only his latest.
In an interview with Leslie Gelb in Newsweek, Vice President Joe Biden says:
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.
If the Taliban is not our enemy then why the hell are they trying to kill our troops? Who are these 'bad guys' of which he speaks? There are times I wonder if he is abusing drugs when he comes out with this kind of stuff. The Lame Stream Media then just continues on with the interview as if what he has said made sense, no follow-up question simply acceptance of this gibberish.
20 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
It was warmer this morning but not by much. The bigger difference was the wind was not blowing.
After I had coffee I saw that the sun was out in a scattered cloudy sky so thought I would get in a run/walk while I could. The roads in the desert are still rather muddy in some bog holes but much better than last week.
I extended our out-n-back route with a little loop on the end and as we closed this loop there was one of those bogs in front of us. I directed Patches to go around it to the left and she did take off in that direction. However, the next time I saw her was just a gimps out of the corner of my eye as she hit me with a 'football clip' on the left knee.
I came down hard, real hard on my back, on my left hand and did some painful damage to my ring finger. I don't think I jammed it, no joints are swollen, but I can not bend the first joint, which is turning black and blue, and the ball of the finger tip is puffed up a lot and hurts like hell.
Patches did not even slow up when she hit me. She is 48 pounds of pure energy that would be worth a fortune if I could only harness it in some way.
The following is from an interview that President Obama did with 60 Minutes on December 9 and aired on December 11, 2011. This excerpt was NOT aired, it was left on the cutting room floor, for obvious reasons. I have always accused Obama of being arrogant but his statement here leads me to question that judgement. He may need professional help.
I think he may have a problem and it is not excessive pride. Grandiose delusions are distinct from grandiosity, in that the sufferer does not have insight into his loss of touch with reality. In colloquial usage, one who overestimates one's own abilities, talents, stature or situation is sometimes said to have 'delusions of grandeur'. This is generally due to excessive pride, rather than any actual delusions.
The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln -- just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it.
21 December, 2011 Mountain View RV Park (Huachuca City, AZ )
My injured finger is much more black and blue today and the finger print area continues to be swollen and tender. Any slight bump or pressure is enough to really get my attention. The ongoing pain has gone away from where it was yesterday and through much of the night.
Patches and I did not run/walk this morning. I did not want to get my finger involved in trying to control her on the leash. We did go to the dumpster at noon and she had a opportunity to take a pee break.
There were some very dark clouds coming over the mountains from the west that looked like rain. The forecast is for partly cloudy today and tomorrow with no chance of rain. I hope they have this right for my travel day, driving in the rain is not my preference.
A stay inside kind of day except for my trip to the Club House for coffee . Try to stay warm and not bang my finger on anything. Blog reading, Internet News reading and my new novel have been the main events for this shortest daylight day of the year.
The first paragraph of an article written by John B. Taylor for The Wall Street Journal describes the payroll tax cut (holiday) Congressional Circus extremely well.
The two-month payroll tax cut being debated in Washington reduces to the absurd the recent revival of short-term Keynesian stimulus programs. That such a temporary cut would stimulate the recovery and get employment growing defies common sense.
There is no hard evidence that the temporary payroll tax cut of this year stimulated the economy, and another one for the first two months of next year will obviously do even less. In fact, economic growth declined after this year's temporary tax cut was implemented, so proponents need to appeal to dubious "things-would-have-been-worse" arguments.
Do you remember the big announcement by Government Motors (GM) that they paid off all the federal government loans they had been given. That was simply PR 'spin' and bookkeeping manipulation.
The first two paragraphs from an article written for Mackinac Center for Public Policy give a better picture of where GM is with regard to how much they owe to us the taxpayers. There is every indication that all the money thrown at the Volt is probably wasted. The price is too high, the general public does not want it and the recent fires in the Volt will not build sales; I think it is history.
Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Hohman included in his analysis 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.
This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,” said Hohman, referring to the car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.
“It just goes to show there are certain folks that will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,” said State Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “It’s a glaring example of the failure of central planning trying to force citizens to purchase something they may not want. …
December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
I was up early and stirring around but not in a big rush to leave. This first day after the shortest daylight day of the year did not suddenly have daybreak at 6:00 am.
I got everything ready to roll except for un-hooking electric and used that electric to read all my Daily Blogs. We then got on the road west at just a few minutes after 7:00. I knew there had been a Border Patrol Check Station on AZ 83 so it was no surprise. However, Patches did not know about it and certainly did not know about the detection dog on duty. I was trying to carry on a conversation with the Border Patrol Agent and Patches was carrying on one with the detection dog. It was a fun stop in that they did not keep me and strip the motorhome.
Stopped for breakfast at the Casino Del Sol on west Valencia Rd. Last February when I stop there they were putting up a hotel addition. It is now finished and it is huge, there is no need to describe where the Casino and Hotel are - it is VERY obvious.
They have a limited menu, the service is slow but the prices are excellent and they gave me a nice Senior Discount which reduced the cost even more. It is a good stop for me when leaving Huachuca City because it takes me about two hours to get there and I'm ready for breakfast.
There was a new Border Patrol Check Point set up on AZ86 before you reach the Kit Peak turn off. They waved me right through but about 100 yards down the road was a bank of cameras taking pictures. It is my understanding that these are tied together and they can compare how high/low the vehicle is riding from the ground to give them an indication that a stop may be necessary.
My route today: AZ90, AZ82, AZ83, Sahaurita Rd, Mission Rd, Valencia Rd, AZ86 & AZ85.
The total was only 210 miles which included a slight backtrack to the bank to get cash to pay for my first month at the RV Park. Before trying to check in I stopped at the Olsen's IGA almost directly across the street and filled the pantry with food for the week. With any luck I'll do all my grocery shopping on foot for the next couple of months. Olsen's is rather small when compared to Fry's in Sierra Vista but I was able to get everything I wanted today. Maybe a bit more expensive but I didn't burn 3-4 gallons of gas to get there and back. It all seems to even out.
My space in the Park is not what most people would be happy with. I'm in the very first row up near US85 with all the traffic through Ajo going by. Hasn't bothered me so far and I doubt that it will, being slightly deaf reduces the noise enough that I can ignore it.
Patches is NOT a great traveler. Then again, she is NOT a bad traveler either. She is nervous all the time we are moving; getting up in the passenger seat, then getting down, goes back into the coach then comes forward again, wants a scratch, lays down then gets up. The passing scenery does not seem to interest her at all. She is wore out and collapsed on the couch since I got us set up, it was a tough day for her.
23 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA54 December 23, 1923
I wrote about what a tough day yesterday was for Patches. It seems that it was a little hard on me also. My watch lost an hour or so sometime during the night and when I got up at what was probably near 6:00 Patches was ready to get up. I told her it was too early, go back to sleep and that is what I did. When I next woke up it was daylight and I had slept in until 7:15, it has been a long time since I did that.
We both got our early morning toilettes taken care of and then headed out for an early morning run/walk. We went east into the mostly desert that was crisscrossed with a maze of roads/ATV trails. Patches was off leash for about 2 miles of my 2.5 mile walk and got in a good run.
We met another walker with a dog just before I called her back to be put on the leash again. I am sure she saw the dog but she did respond to my Come command and then reacted, but not too badly, when the dog went past us.
When we left the RV Park to go run/walk I looked into a sunken cactus garden directly behind, to the east, of where Desperado is parked. There in the picnic area were 4 Javelina standing so perfectly still that I thought at first they were silhouettes but when I moved again one of them took a couple of steps. I don't think Patches saw them, if she did then there was no reaction from her which is the best thing I can hope for if she ever does come across any of them.
When we got back home I left Patches and went across the street to Olsen's. There I got the last biscuits and gravy that the Deli had along with an Apple Fritter and some coffee. I did miss the Club House coffee hour that I went to almost every morning for the past two months and the bit of socialization that came with it.
Nothing much happening in my new digs. I started a batch of pork stew pozole yesterday using hominy rather than the pozole corn. It sat in the Cooker overnight and is ready for my 'linner' today with some tacos. I also signed up to provide my ~Greek Salad for Christmas Pot Luck here at the Park.
Patches and I went for a little over 2 mile out-n-back walk, with backpack, along US85. This took us past the VFW which has a Fish Fry every Friday, I won't be going today but maybe go to it next week. There were a couple of early morning coffee and bakery places that I'll probably be stopping at in the next few weeks.
I am not a committed Gingrich supporter but I have to respect him for the following exchange he had with a gay that baited him and he did not bite. I wonder if there is any other Republican running for the nomination that could have responded as truthfully?
Scott Arnold, a man who identified himself as gay and an adjunct professor at William Penn University, approached the former speaker, asking Gingrich how he would sway voters who disagreed with him on same-sex marriage.
"How do you plan to engage and get the hope of gay Americans and those who support them?" Arnold asked.
Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage.
"And I accept that that's a reality," Gingrich said. "If that's the most important (issue) to you, then you should be for Obama."
"Okay. I am, but thank you," Arnold replied.
24 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
I forgot to include the link to the weekly Will Rogers article yesterday, I have done so today. My life is so filled with activity that I simply can not keep track of the day of the week, Friday just seems to leap ahead without my noticing.
I got up at my more normal time this morning and Patches and I went about our toilette. That brought us to twilight time and we took off toward 'downtown' on US85 for a 3 mile walk with backpack. I have only the weight of the backpack and a collapsible water bowl on Patches so far but she acts like it is the weight of the world at times.
She has been out of it on the couch this afternoon just like she is after a long run. We met a jogger twice today and she had no reaction to a person running toward her. Also had two people approach us with hiking sticks and this did not seem to faze her at all. I wish she could see other dogs in that same way!
We stopped at about the 2 miles mark and I went into Marcela's Café & Bakery for coffee and a muffin. Wasn't very happy with either so that may be the first and last visit that I make there. I was very pleased with how Patches behaved while tied to a table outside so I could go in a get what I wanted and return.
After we got home I gathered up a load of laundry and got that taken care of. I need to do another load of my bedding within the next week and start the New Year out fresh.
I am reading a blog that is written by a RVer that is currently in the Sulphur Springs Valley. His posting for yesterday, December 23, 2011, includes pictures and commentary on snow flurries during the day while he was on his way to and while he was in Douglas, AZ. It was not all that warm here yesterday, nor is it today, but if you are out of the wind and in the sun it is much more pleasant than being snowed upon.
25 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Today was much like any other for me with one big exception. There was an RV Park Pot Luck this afternoon that I had to prepare for.
We were up a little later than usual this morning, did not sleep in just stayed in bed a little longer. I had started the Wave 6 heater around 3:00 and noticed that Patches had got out of her nest on the couch and was stretched out in front of it at 5:00. She was not excited about going out into the cold for a potty walk at 6:30 and neither of wanted to run/walk.
I went across the street to a Food Mart and got a big cup of coffee and a a pastry. With that in hand I read all my Daily Blogs and what little News that was posted this day.
Prepared my Greek Salad for the Pot Luck and let the dressing season it up real well for 3 hours of so. It seemed to go over pretty well, I have maybe half of it to last me for the next few days. The Pot Luck selections made for a traditional meal but there was a custard pie for desert that you usually do not see at one of these affairs.
Patches has been as lazy as myself today. I'm not sure that she is feeling 100%. When we walked in the afternoon two days ago she threw up three times and she has had a warm nose from time to time. I also saw that she was still passing the tamale corn husk that she ate about a week ago.
I try to watch her when we are walking but it is not possible when she is running. She will eat ANYTHING. I caught her with what looked like a chicken bone once when we were walking and fished it out of her throat. She is a smart girl but is also so stupid at times.
26 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Yesterday, around 4:00 Richard, my neighbor, knocked on my door and invited Patches and myself to drive out into the desert and let our dogs run. The first challenge was to get the two dogs together for a meeting and not have a fight.
That went rather well. After Patches approached his dog with all hackles standing straight up and tail wagging the sniffing began; this did not last long at all and then Patches turned and wandered away.
We then got into Richard's truck with Patches and I in the back of a dual cab and the other dog in the passenger seat. Patches promptly stuck her nose over the seat into that passenger area and almost got it snapped off. I was pleased that Patches did not respond in any way other than to give the passenger seat area a lot of space.
We only walked a circle of about .6 mile while Patches ran and the 11 year old, with a hip problem, walked along with us. No problems between the dogs at all, Patches was a perfect lady and had a good run of 1.5-2 miles.
This morning after sun up we did another out-n-back walk toward town with her backpack. This was just a little over 2 miles with a stop at ½ way for me to get coffee and an apple fritter. Patches was tied to a post in front of the Bakery where she could see me inside and I could see her.
She was well behaved while waiting for me. However, when I came out to untie her she acted like I had been away for days and she was so happy to finally see me. Silly dog!
Nothing exciting happened the rest of the day. Patches has been sacked out on the couch and I have been reading Daily and Monthly blogs plus the slow News day Internet offerings.
27 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Patches and I did the out-n-back walk, with backpack, toward town again. Extended the distance a little for a total of 3 miles with a stop at Marcela's Café & Bakery.
This time I tied Patches to a wheelbarrow-planter next to a table inside where she could see me and I her. When we went to The Homestead for the Pot Luck in early December patches was confronted by my cousin pushing a wheelbarrow. She did not like it much at all and barked at him but it was not him rather the wheelbarrow. She checked it out real well and accepted the fact that it was not a threat.
She did not like the one today much better until she had a chance to check it out. She then behaved perfectly while I had Huevos con Chorizo for breakfast. She didn't do her 'Where have you been act today' when I went to untie her.
Marcela's Bakery is not worth stopping for but when it comes to a place for breakfast there is not much choice. This is the ONLY game in town within walking distance from the Park so I'll be stopping in again.
There is another Bakery just north of Marcela's where I stopped yesterday. That will also be a regular stop for coffee and pastry. Other than the Food Mart and Olsen's across the street those are my choices. I made my breakfast a lot while in Huachuca City so I was looking forward to someone else to cook a REAL breakfast rather than oatmeal.
The temperature has been slowly warming both high and low since Christmas Day. Clear sky with lots of sun. The morning lows have been near 40° with a forecast of upper 40s by this week end. The daytime highs will then be in the lower 70s. Not too shabby!
28 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Patches and I tried a route to the west this morning. She had her backpack on but there was some open desert available after about ½ mile. I may bring her back for a run in a day of two.
About half of the route that we did today was paved and the rest was maybe a road but more likely ATV tracks. There are a lot a washes coming out of the mountains to the west so it is pretty rough country. The Javelina worry me the most but I heard a large pack of coyotes 'singing' yesterday morning out in that direction also.
The 40° low did not happen this morning, more like 35 and only 37 when we finished our 2.5 mile walk near 8:00. Stopped at Olsen's and got a Biscuits n Gravy, cinnamon roll and coffee while Patches was tied to a bench near the entrance.
She had an admirer standing near her when I came out that wanted to know if he could pet her. He said that she had been very well behaved when he approached her and was VERY happy to see me when I came out of the store. I wish she would act the same way with other dogs!
I have noticed something else about the relationship that Patches and I now have. For the first six weeks or so she never rolled over for a belly rub. We humans think that is what our dogs are asking for but the reality is most important. The belly rub is a side benefit for the dog; in dog speak rolling over and exposing their belly is very submissive and tells me that she has accepted me as the Alpha dog of our small pack.
I stripped my bed this morning and got everything washed, that was the easy part. To remake my bed has always been somewhat of a trial but I'm now handicapped. For the past couple of months I have had very sore tendons/ligaments where the thigh muscles attach to the hip. This has made lifting my legs, especially the left one, painful.
Then to make matters even worse, my right shoulder has been giving me a lot of pain. This happened about 5 years ago and was the primary reason I quit Action Shooting, I could not draw my revolver out of the holster without a lot of pain. It did finally go away and then the left shoulder bothered me, but not as bad, for a month or so.
Well this stove up gimp had a lot of fun making my bed today. I did one layer at a time and then I would rest for some time and then go back at the next layer. I got it done and maybe the extra motion was good for me but I have been walking through the leg pains and they have NOT improved much. This getting old is really NOT for sissies!
I have sad News to report today.
Cheetah, a chimpanzee said to have performed in the "Tarzan" films of the 1930s, has died at the age of 80, according to the Florida sanctuary where he lived. This Cheetah was said to have performed in "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932) and "Tarzan and His Mate" (1934), classic films about a man reared in the jungle starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. There were several other Cheetah's used in the Tarzan films but this is probably the last to pass on to the Greater Hollywood in the sky.
29 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Just another day. However, this one did start with a low temperature of 41°. That is very good, the high for the day is not that important to me. I have had my windows partially open for the past two days with the high today and for the next few days to be in the low70s. Yes, this is the way it should be!
Patches and I did the toward town and back 3 mile walk today, with backpack. She was confronted with two situations where dogs were nearby and we handled them both reasonably well.
She meets people on the sidewalk as perfectly as I could ask. I move off the sidewalk and tell her to sit, she does so and then watches the person walk by just as calm as can be. That is my goal with dogs also within the next year, a big challenge considering where she is at now.
I stopped at Marcela's Café for breakfast again, this time having the Hevos Racheros which were very good. The service is slow but this is almost Mexico so I have to reset my expectations and go with what IS.
When we got home I went across the street to Olsen's and got enough groceries to carry me through until 2012. I used the markets basket to get my purchases home but the next time I will stop at the RV border. The gravel lot that I'm parked on is very soft and the cart sunk into it a lot, if I had a bigger load it would have been a mess.
I got a neighbor in space number 1 this afternoon that is from ID and has been coming down to this same RV Park for the past 4-5 years. There seems to be a number of others that have also been coming back every winter for quite a few years so a winter community forms every year.
President Obama has sued every state that has attempted to enforce the Federal Immigration Laws. That process is not working out as well as he had hoped so now he has instituted 'administrative' measures to keep the illegals in this country. He knows that they can not vote, in most states, but he is pandering to the Hispanic/Latino base in this country that can vote. If the illegals are costing the states money he could care less, this is all about getting re-elected.
As states across the nation ramp up their efforts to catch illegal immigrants, the Obama administration on Thursday launched a new free hotline for people busted on violations to get help.
The hotline, run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is available 24/7 for detained individuals to phone if they think they “may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.”
The hotline will have translation services available in several different languages. ICE personnel will gather the caller’s information and send it to a field office for immediate action, according to the press release.
The purpose of the hotline and other measures are “to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.”
30 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA55 December 30, 1923
Patches went for an hour run in the desert while I walked 3 miles. She was on the leash for only about ½ mile getting her to a point where she could be turned loose.
I saw her chase her fist jack rabbit and then latter I think she was after another one but I didn't see it. Just before I was going to re-leash her I saw a single Javelina about 30-40 yards to the south of us. I quickly got Patches back on leash.
I then tried to show her what a Javelina looks like but it stood very still and she seems to only pick up on motion. We then walked west a few yards and I saw two more that I'm sure are the same herd that I saw in the sunken cactus garden.
There were a lot of tracks and signs of rooting in the washes to the east and north where we walked today. That has to be a part of their range.
I went over to Olsen's after we got home and picked up a couple biscuits with sausage. Their coffee was almost gone and is not all that great so stopped at the Food Mart next door for some of theirs. It was almost an hour after our walk that I was sitting on the couch with Patches and found a long thorn in her left rear foot.
She had not been licking it or favoring it in any way but that thorn was about 3/4” into the top of her foot. Then I saw that the webbing between her two middle toes had some blood which she then ministered to after I had pulled the thorn. She is a tough one!
It was in the low 40s again this morning which is fine. I opened up my windows earlier today and wider with the high temperature going to the low 70s. Some really nice weather compared to what I had earlier in the month. This is GREAT!
I thought Chris Matthews would not be coming to the defense of President Obama and throwing his support his way until closer to the November Election. He must feel that the President is in danger to start this early in the Campaign. He must also believe that Mitt will get the GOP nomination or he would not care what he said about his Messiah.
What he fails to point out in his defense is that all of Romney's entitlements were provided by rich parents. President Omaba wants to redistribute all that money those rich parents have as entitlements to other people. A modern day Robin Hood in the flesh, steal from the rich and give to the poor so the poor will protect him. It has worked for many dictators over the years he sees no reason why it will not work for him.
His attack on Reagan is simply in poor taste since the man is dead and can not defend himself. But that is not how he meant it I'm sure, he meant it as an attack against Romney but was too much of a coward to attack him up front.
Chris Matthews fell into a frenzied defense of President Barack Obama after Mitt Romney said he wants an "entitlement society." Politico's Charles Mahtesian called Romney was using "dog-whistle politics" because Republicans "know what he is talking about" and "those are words that Republican caucus-goers understand."
"It really bugs me. Let me tell you why, Perry, this bothers me. Barack Obama, whatever you think of him, did not start at the top. He wasn't born a Romney. He wasn't born in the Ivy League crowd. He worked his way up to it. He came from a mixed background, a poor mother raised him to a large extent by his grandparents. He busted hump to get scholarship after scholarship. He worked his way to the head of the Harvard Law Review. And this guy Romney, who was handed everything, has the gall to say to this guy 'oh, he wants an entitlement.' What about your fricking entitlements? From the day you were born, buddy. It's unbelievable. it's unbelievable," Chris Matthews said on MSNBC.
Matthews likened Romney's "entitlement society" phraseology to using the term "welfare queen" in the 1980s. Matthews called Reagan's position on welfare "ethnic crap."
"You heard the same stuff from Reagan, by the way. Food stamps to buy booze with. I remember all that old stuff. its the old ethnic crap. Okay?" Matthews said.
31 December, 2011 Ajo Heights RV Park (Ajo, AZ )
My day became really busy yesterday after I had posted to my web site.
First, I had another Fulltimer/Blogger stop and say hello. I knew he was coming to Ajo but did not know when. This was Boonie at Occupation Of Independence with his two dogs a young Australian kelpie (Coffee Girl) and a 16 year old poodle (Pancho).
We visited for a while and then planned on doing a run/walk in the desert in the morning of the 31st. We thought it would be a good idea to have Coffee Girl and Patches meet before that happened. The meeting was done while both dogs were on leash and it did not go so well. There was some snarling, snapping and barking going on but no blood; Patches was good about not responding aggressively but she is very 'pushy' about meeting. Coffee Girl took that to be aggression and responded defensively.
When we went out to the desert we tried to have them get along while on leash but that was not going to happen, more of the same as yesterday. So I turned Patches loose and she started her wild running routine which included some close passes to Coffee Girl which she understood to be attacks.
I finally got Patches to quit the close passes and then we turned Coffee Girl loose. There was a brief dust up when they first came together and then they had some dog pushing and shoving while chasing each other. That settled down fairly quickly and they got along fine for the rest of the day.
After the run/walk we stopped at Marcela's for breakfast and more visiting. Boonie's blog is so much better than mine with some very fine writing. The time that I have spent with him face to face has been equally enjoyable. We tend to agree on many subjects so it is nice to find a kindred spirit to share thoughts.
Second, I received an email from (Carlos Guzman) a fellow that I served with in the 104th Finance. We were together in Dominican Republic where the two of us did about ½ the total payroll using a 'field computer system' and IBM punch cards. Very high tech at that time and cutting edge for the Army.
We were then together with the 104th at Ft Devons when we came back to the States. We were there only a few days/weeks and got sent for TDY (Temporary Duty) at Ft Hamilton in New York City – Brooklyn. We were there for 90 days and Guzman being from Brooklyn spent most of his nights at home.
There were two others that were also sent TDY but they worked at Ft Wadsworth on Staten Island. These three have remained in contact over the years and found my name on the TDY Orders that one of them had kept. Guzman found my email address and sent me the first of two emails that we have now exchanged. It has only been 45 years since I last saw any of the three.
An interesting fact has come out in just those two emails. All four of us had a career in banking, the other three longer than myself.
The low temperature was in the low 40s again this morning, I even went on the run/walk without my wool cap. The high is in the low 70s with a gentle breeze. A wonderful way to wrap up 2011 and the forecast is more days like this are coming in 2012.
The investment that I made back in June was a very small position by most standards but was a fairly significant % of my total portfolio. I was sitting with it in Cash and decided that the Dollar would strengthen vs the Euro so bought a stock that would benefit from that movement. I have done much better than if I had just kept my Cash position and expect some more improvement in the 1st Qtr of 2012. I will then probably close the position with the anticipation that the dollar will weaken again.
The euro had proved resilient for much of the year – burning hedge funds that bet on a steeper decline – but on Friday touched a 10-year low against the Japanese yen, and is near lows against the dollar last touched a year ago. Despite efforts by policymakers to shore up the eurozone, analysts and bankers expect next year to start on a glum note, as Europe continues to grapple with its debt crisis.