June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA77 June 1, 1924
Patches was willing but I didn't want to get wet yesterday afternoon. There was a sprinkle that I was afraid would turn into rain before we could do the Wal*Mart loop so it was just a potty walk and back home. No rain. This morning we did our last walk to A Cup of Joe Espresso.
Turned in my bathroom key, unhooked from electric and we were on the road again. The route today was only 133 miles with one stop in Elgin, OR at The Brunswick Restaurant for breakfast. The roads: OR82, OR204, OR11, OR334 & OR335*, OR37, US730, US12 and WA124.
*There was no sign announcing OR334 in Athena, OR. I exited OR11 for Athena and then went west on Main St, turned right when I reached a “T” intersection which is unsigned OR335 and then left in Helix, OR on Columbia St which becomes Holman Rd (shown as OR334 by Google Maps) to Holman, OR and OR37.
This got me to Hood Park a little before 10:30 and by 11:00 I had all of my 14 day spaces confirmed and paid for. I have one space tonight (the last space available), move tomorrow to a second space for 12 nights and then move again for my last night. The moving is not that big a deal however I must be out of the one space by noon and cannot get into the new one until 2:00 which is a little inconvenient. The price is right at $110 for the two weeks with my Geezer Card so I can put up with the moves.
Patches was the same nervous wreck while we were underway. That did not last long however, she has stretched out on the couch and is catching up on her missed morning naps. I think she is happy to be back 'home' again, not a great traveler.
The Bureau of Labor has released their non-farm job numbers for May, an increase of 69,000, which the media has reported as disappointing. They are even more disappointed in the the increase in the Unemployment Rate to 8.2%. These numbers were again far below what the 'experts' had been forecasting.
The monthly report is mixed when 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). There is now no trend: February ADDED 428,000, March LOST 31,000, April LOST 169,000 and now May ADDED 422,000.
The mixed news has Unemployed going up by 220,000. But the Not in the Labor Force decreased by 461,000. This is what led to that slight increase in the Unemployment Rate.
For the past five months the Not in the Labor Force numbers have been very favorable for President Obama's re-election. However, this month it turned against him with more people coming back into the Labor Force and back looking for work. This is not a good thing for him, he is running out of time before the election.
This was also not good news for the dollar, which fell along with the stock market. I still have confidence that it will rally back to my price next week. The Euro is still under a lot of downward pressure from Greece but even more so from Spain. The trading range high yesterday missed my target price by 1¢ although there is no guarantee that my order would have been filled if it had been for the penny less.
2 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
It started raining late last night and I could hear it on my roof every time I woke up during the night. Still raining this morning when we usually get up but Patches was in no more of a hurry to do so than I was. It did quit by 9:00 and started clearing for a very nice day.
We did get out for a short potty walk while it was only a very light rain. Got lucky because soon after we got back it rained hard and steady for more than an hour. I don't think Patches likes missing her long walk this morning but she has accepted it more calmly than usual.
When we did our afternoon walk we went down the left bank of the Snake River toward its confluence with the Columbia. Near the Park boat launch and just upstream from the US12 bridge Patches pulled me to the right just in time to see a beaver entering the water. I could not see a lodge anywhere so he had come some distance for some unknown purpose. I didn't see any trees that he had been chewing on so not sure why he was where he was. Patches didn't bark at him so she knew that he was not a dog, she did spend a lot of time sniffing so she will recognize the scent if she ever smells it again.
This Corps of Engineers Campground is one of the best that I have stayed in. All the spaces have good shade from mature trees, sycamore and pine mostly, with grass everywhere except the paved roads and spaces. All three of the spaces that I will be in face the Snake river for a pleasant view. The spaces are also widely separated; where a commercial RV Park would have 3-4 spaces there are only two.
I move out of my overnight space today before noon. I'll go sit in the Day Use Parking Lot until 2:00 and then come back in to my next space for 12 nights. All of these spaces are back-ins so I'll be getting some much needed practice. It took me three tries to get into my space yesterday, took another three tries today but I had an additional obstacle today. HA
3 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
I think all of our walks will be confined to within the Park. The loop that we did this morning was a little over 1.5 miles which will give us a total of 3 miles per day if that is all we do. I will try a different route tomorrow, weather permitting, but I think it will be shorter which might be good.
Cooler today than it has been the first two day that we have been here. A high broken overcast for most of the day. There is a chance of rain today with an even higher chance for tonight and possibly again tomorrow.
The full park has really emptied out by noon today. I would guess that more than half of the spaces are now available. It is a very popular Park so I will see it fill up again for next weekend I'm sure.
Patches is very happy that this has happened, she has been 'on guard' since we got here on Friday. She has never seen so many people and dogs at one time since we have been together and it was wearing her out. Considering all of this she has done quite well and upon command settles down better than I had thought she would. She has now collapsed on the couch for the afternoon and is catching up on her lost rest.
I can not see myself voting for Obama or Romney in this election unless one or the other get more specific about how they are going to fix the financial mess the federal government is in. The right to complain if you do not vote is argued well by George Carlin who was much more than a comedian. The subject of voting was also well said by Ken Livingstone “If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it.”
You’ll notice there’s one thing I don’t complain about. Politicians. Everyone loves to complain about politicians. They say politicians suck. But where do they think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky….they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. This is the best we can do: garbage in, garbage out. Maybe it’s not the politicians that suck. Maybe it’s the public. The public sucks. Now there’s a nice campaign slogan for someone. I solved this little problem for myself…on Election Day, I stay home. I don’t vote. It’s meaningless. This country was bought and sold and paid for a long time ago. People say if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. But hey, I on the other hand, who did not vote…have every right to complain about the mess that you guys voted for and therefore created.
4 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
The rains came last night around midnight and continued through our normal walking hour this morning. We did get out in a light rain for a potty walk. Patches would have stayed out in that kind of rain, she loves it, but I was getting wet and cold.
There were then more rain showers during the day with a forecast of them lasting through tonight. A reduced chance of more rain tomorrow with the high temperature going down from the mid-60s to low 60s. Not very good weather for me to go shopping in tomorrow.
It was a stay at home day today that is for certain. I started reading my Monthly blogs yesterday and continued to do so today, making a lot of progress in getting current once again. Broke that computer time up with some shared time on the couch with Patches, she sleeping and me reading my new Toni Hoag novel. I have read one or two of her books before and find this one to be very entertaining and enjoyable.
The dollar is continuing to take a beating today as it did on Friday. That means that my trade price is no longer close to being filled. If the dollar continues to move down this week I'll cancel the sell order and wait for it to rally again. I think it will still go up in the short term but can not predict when, longer term the dollar will continue to decline.
New Jersey police and animal control officers are now authorized to cite drivers with unrestrained animals in the car. Violators can be fined $250 to $1,000 per offense. It is interesting that the fine in New Jersey for a human seat belt first offense is only $46 plus court costs.
I expected to see this first in California or New York, not New Jersey. It will soon be the law in many other states because it is a money maker and the states need a new revenue source.
5 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
It rained off and on all day yesterday and through the night. Patches and I got in our morning walk with just a few sprinkles but when I went to town I had rain almost all the time I was there.
There were strong wind this morning also, not so noticeable in the Park but I certainly knew they were there when I crossed the bridge over the Snake River. They got even stronger after I got back home from shopping as the rains quit and the storm blew out of the area.
My first stop was at Cousin's Restaurant where I had a good Chorizo Skillet breakfast. However, the price was double what I have paid in some of my other smaller camping towns. Pasco, WA is not the size of town that I prefer to camp in or near with a population of over 60,000. But, I do need a taste of our consumer culture from time to time to make me appreciate the small towns that I do enjoy.
I have been surprised sometimes, as in Albuquerque, by the larger town restaurant prices but usually they are higher. I'll try a more 'down home' place next week and see what their prices are. I saw three police cars parked out front this morning, that is usually a good sign that the food is good and the prices are more reasonable.
My second stop was at Rallito De Luna Dos Tortilla Factory where I picked up two dozen fresh tortillas. When I say fresh, I mean fresh, I'm talking still warm. There is a panaderia next door in the same building where I hoped to get some GOOD break but they do not bake any bread at all GOOD or bad.
The groceries for this week were then picked up at Albertsons on the way back home. Next week I will not drive the extra distance to Rallito De Luna unless I find the tortillas to be exceptional. I did want to try them and was hoping the Mexican bakery had some GOOD bread. I'll see if I can find another bakery closer to Albertsons for next weeks GOOD bread quest.
Upon arriving back home I put some of the groceries into my Thermal Cooker for another batch of chili, much like last weeks. That will go with some tacos made with the fresh tortillas and some crumbly Mexican white cheese. A mighty fine 'linner' for a cold, wet, windy day if I do say so!
When I arrived in Bulgaria in 1996 their economy was in the throes of a crisis that Greece is just now starting to experience. Here are two examples similar to what I experienced first hand. In Zlatograd if you went into the hospital you had to take your needed drugs with you and it was expected that family would feed you while you were there. When the Bulgarian government placed price controls on gasoline it almost immediately was in short supply and illegal exporting was rampant.
Masa Serdarevic writes for FT Alphaville:
Greece: when the drugs run out
The country's pharmacies are owed 500m by the state-backed healthcare insurer, according to reports. From next week patients will have to stump up the cash for their medicines upfront, and then claim a reimbursement from the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY).
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a) medicines tend to be very expensive, b) so paying for them may be very difficult for a lot of people, especially pensioners. And c) if the EOPYY is having trouble paying the pharmacists, it's unlikely to find it any easier to reimburse individuals.
In recent months pharmacies have promised to halt credit to patients unless they get paid, and the EOPYY has thrown some money their way. But its arrears are rapidly rising and clearly the pharmacists can only provide so much credit.
Government attempts to reduce their cost burden are only making matters worse. Parallel trades are developing, with medicines priced artificially low in Greece being sold elsewhere for more. When arbitrage is both possible and profitable, it will happen.
Naomi Kresge reports for Bloomberg:
Greek Crisis Has Pharmacists Pleading for Aspirin as Drug Supply Dries Up.
The reasons for the shortages are complex. One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs,Greecehas mandated lower drug prices in the past year.
That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.
6 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
The wind was still blowing this morning which made 46° seem a lot colder than it was. No rain and only some high scattered thin clouds but there continues to be a chance of rain tomorrow and Friday.
It stayed cool all morning and I broke out the Wave heater for a short time. The forecast is for it to be in the low 70s for the next few days and then reach the low 80s the two days before I leave. There is no rain forecast after Friday, I just hope it does not follow me as I move east.
Finished catching up to current with my Monthly blogs once again. I'll also be close to finishing the Toni Hoag novel today, might even stay up later to read who 'done it'.
I ponder some meaningless things from time to time, to wit. Why did the Baby Boomer Generation become so named and subsequent coevals have become known as generations X, Y and Z? I was born into the Silent Generation then came the Baby Boomer but since then for some reason the demographers have resorted to using letters from the end of the alphabet to designate the generations. Generation Y is also known as the Millennials and generation Z is sometimes called the New Silent but generation X is just 'X'. Have the demographers lost their ability to find witty names for the generations?
Here is what another strong Obama supporter in 2008 has to say about him now in Campaign 2012. I'm not surprised by this and I think that the vast majority of those that voted for him in 2008 will vote for him again in 2012. They will do this in spite of the evidence that Obama was not for Change and his only Hope was that he would get elected.
Jackson Browne will vote for President Obama in November, but he’s not excited about it.
“It wouldn’t and shouldn’t be a f---ing surprise to anybody that I’m going to vote for Obama,” the singer recently told The Wrap. “But honestly Obama once again has joined the ranks of the lesser of two evils. The great parade of people that the progressives get to vote for who are the lesser of two evils and who don’t really represent what I believe in any overwhelming balance.”
Browne, who backed Obama in 2008, is feeling disenchanted with the president these days.
“Look, Obama told me in a personal conversation that he wasn’t up for any new [nuclear] plants. Obviously, he changed his mind at some point. But what a surprise that one of his main supporters is the energy company, Exelon -- which has nuclear plants -- and that he would suddenly change his policy,” Browne said. “I don’t know what we would expect. He’s just as a beholden to the people who put him in office as any of the Republicans would be. But what’s a mystery to me is how he installed pretty much the exact same infrastructure in his administration that deals with finances as the administration that we thought we voted out. That’s really a shocker.”
7 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
Colder this morning at 39° with overcast. It warmed up very slowly and the overcast became darker as the day went by. I had the Wave heater going during part of the morning while temperatures remained in the 50s. The chance of rain became a reality around noon.
We got in our morning walk but this afternoon looks like it may be washed out. Patches is not worried however, she was very happy to soak up the heat from the Wave, then slept away the afternoon. She does live the tough dogs life that is for sure.
My dollar holdings got hammered badly yesterday. After Big Ben spoke today the bleeding seems to have stopped. The 'market' had anticipated that there would be more Fed monetary easing and that is bad for the dollar. Big Ben did not say that was not still a possibility but it does not appear that it will happen soon.
I reached the point yesterday in the Hoag novel where I knew who 'done it'. There was just the epilogue to read today. Moved on to Eagle's Cry a historical novel by David Nevin (not Niven, the actor). This is my favorite genre, historical fiction. It is another rather long book so I'll be reading it longer that the suspense novels that I have been reading for entertainment.
This excerpt is from Time.com Time magazine's on-line website by Mark Halperin the author of Game Change. I think he is far to pessimistic about President Obama's re-election chances. His take on the WI recall results are now the mantra of the lame stream media but I think they have it wrong. Scott Walker won the governorship election and did what he said he was going to do, the recall was simply a second chance for the Democrats of WI. I don't think this has anything to do with President Obama and his re-election.
With five months until Election Day, Barack Obama faces a grim new reality: Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose ... Last week's anemic job-creation and economic-growth data was sandwiched between two Bill Clinton specials: in one television interview, the 42nd President lauded Romney's business record as "sterling"; in another, he veered from the Obama line on the extension of Bush-era tax cuts ... The failure to unseat Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker in a recall election was another bad sign for Democrats since it will rev up conservatives nationwide, including the kind of millionaires who gave big bucks to Walker's effort ...
8 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA78 June 8, 1924
It is sunny this morning for a change. However the weather gurus are still forecasting a chance of rain for today, tonight and tomorrow. I can't blame them for that, you have to go with the trend. I have been here a week now and we have received rain, some days more than others, on 6 of those 7 days.
Patches and I did get in our afternoon walk yesterday without getting wet. It was maybe 10 minutes after we got home that it started to rain and did so off and on through most of the night.
Patches has been much better about meeting dogs since we have been here. She also tolerates them better when they walk past our space. It may be that she is being exposed to so many that she is overwhelmed, I don't know but it is a good thing. I have also found that I can stop her reaction to other dogs quicker with the Down/Quiet command than Sit/Quiet. Maybe we are making progress?
The Park is filling up again today so there will be even more dogs for her to deal with. I have gone all week with no neighbors on either side of me. But even if they do move in the spaces are big enough that I will still not feel crowded. I have probably twice the room that I have ever had in a commercial RV Park.
I think Charles Hugh Smith in his blog Of Two Minds has identified what is now the 'capitalist economy' in the United States. We have the worst of both worlds, disbursement streams to the Elite (crony capitalism) and distributive entitlements to the majority (social welfare).
In a sustainable system of democracy and capitalism, the Central State's sole role is to protect the commons and enforce and enable competition, transparency, accountability, open markets and dissent. It cannot redistribute funds, as those disbursement streams will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites, nor can it distribute entitlements, as those will soon attract super-majorities that demand the rules be changed to protect their share of the unsustainable swag.
The Central State cannot be in the "business" of "managing" the economy, as the mechanisms of this management will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites or demagogue politicians promising "too good to be true" riches to a super-majority.
Those in the super-majority are delighted to blame the Elites for everything rotten while holding themselves blameless in the subversion of capitalism's key mechanisms (transparency, accountability, failure, loss and clearing the market) to protect their share of the "too good to be true" swag.
The 'News' report shown below is from The Hollywood Reporter
. I copy a portion here only to point out that I do not know ANY of these 'hottest young stars'. I am so out of it! HA HA
Before heading off for a breakfast Thursday that officially concluded his two-day fundraising trip to Los Angeles, President Barack Obama met privately at the Beverly Hilton with two dozen of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, urging them to involve themselves in his re-election campaign.
Among those who met with the president were The Avengers star Jeremy Renner, Glee actress Dianna Agron, Star Trek's Zachary Quinto, Southland's Ben McKenzie, Jessica Alba, Bryan Greenberg, Adam Rodriguez, Zach Braff, Brandon Routh, Ian Somerhalder, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush.
9 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
We seem to be getting a weather repeat of yesterday. The morning started out almost clear and then the clouds built up throughout the day. The official measurement of rain was a 'Trace' although I did not see even than much. We started getting more than a trace starting at 2:00 pm and it looks like it may be with us for a while.
The Park had its Full sign out this morning but I have had the space on each side of me vacant since around 8:00 am. The tent that was west of me came down soon after we got back from our morning walk. Didn't notice when the space to me east opened up but in both cases they were only here for the night.
It has been a long time since I studied American history in school and I have either forgotten more than I thought I had or we didn't cover the topic. Said topic being the Revolution of 1800.
The novel that I have started Eagle's Cry begins with the death of George Washington in December 1799 then jumps to December 1800. The elections have just been held and results are coming in - slowly. There were no TV reporters announcing the winner of each state before the polls closed back then. The drama in the novel is built around those election results and subsequent votes in the Electoral College and House of Representatives (the said Revolution).
This was also the election that revealed a weakness in the Constitution's original procedure by which the Electoral College functioned. The 12th Amendment, ratified in 1804, changed the procedure to what we now have which many people do not understand or like.
It is great reading this historical political 'stuff' by Will Rogers and David Nevin and comparing it to what is happening currently. There is so much that has not changed. Nevin has drawn a word portrait of Arron Burr that allows one to compare and contrast what kind of president he might have been versus President Obama.
Edward Klein author of The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House wrote an essay What do historians really think of Obama? for FoxNews.com. This is what he had to say about a dinner that the President had with five prominent historians on June 30, 2009. There have been two other dinner meetings that Klein comments on also.
Mr Klein has his opinions and I for the most part agree with what he has written. That does not mean that many others do also and I doubt seriously that he has changed any Obama supporters minds. The characteristics that Klein thinks marks Obama's presidency to failure are characteristics that his supporters find as virtuous as the president does himself.
That the adjustment from campaigner to chief executive would prove harder—much harder—than anticipated had still not dawned on Mr. Obama when he sat down to dine with the historians. He was in an expansive mood as he tucked into his lamb chops and went around the table addressing each historian by name—Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss, Robert Caro, Robert Dallek, Douglas Brinkley, H. W. “Billam” Brands, David Kennedy, Kenneth Mack, and Garry Wills.
During the presidential campaign, most of the evening’s dinner guests, like their liberal counterparts in the media, had dropped any pretense at objectivity. For instance, Michael Beschloss ('Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989') described Obama as “probably the smartest guy ever to become president,” which appeared to put Thomas Jefferson in his place.
Judging from Mr. Obama’s questions, one subject was uppermost in his mind: how could he become a “transformational” president and bend the historic trajectory of America’s domestic and foreign policy?
When one of the historians brought up the difficulties that Lyndon Johnson, another wartime president, faced trying to wage a foreign military venture while implementing an ambitious domestic agenda, Mr. Obama grew testy. He implied that he was different, because he could prevail by the force of his personality. He could solve the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, put millions of people back to work, redistribute wealth, withdraw from Iraq, and reconcile the United States to a less dominant role in the world.
It was, by any measure, a breathtaking display of grandiosity by a man whose entire political curriculum vitae consisted of seven undistinguished years in the Illinois senate and two mostly absent years in the United States Senate. That evening Mr. Obama revealed the characteristics—arrogance, conceit, egotism, vanity, hubris and, above all, rank amateurism—that would mark his presidency and doom it to frustration and failure.
10 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
We were able to do our afternoon walk yesterday with no rain. This morning is the clearest that I have seen it since we have been here and the rest of the week is forecast to stay like this. The high temperature for the next two days to be in the low 80s and then mid-70s until I leave on Friday.
There has been a steady parade of campers pulling out of the Park again this morning. However, I have a neighbor on my west side that is staying for a couple more days. This neighbor came in yesterday and set up three tents, two of them are huge, for his family of five. Three of those 5 are rug rats that got a lot of entertainment out of chasing each other round and around a tree while Dad and Mom where setting up the three 'homes'.
Patches has been good about not barking at them. Not so good about the many dogs that got marched past her yesterday. The rain in the afternoon was a blessing in that it cut down on the number of dog walker somewhat. So all in all she did fairly well over this weekend as she did the last one.
I picked up a round loaf of sourdough bread (not much sourdough taste) at Albertsons on my last grocery trip that has been pretty good. Not quite to the standard that I'm looking for but better than most supermarket bread that I have found. The crust is a little thin but the texture of the bread is close to what I want. It will at least withstand the pressure of a knife applying 'buttery spread' to it unlike much of the so called breads that are sold.
I will continue my quest for GOOD bread tomorrow or Tuesday. I have located two bakeries that are along the way to and from Albertsons that I'm going to give a chance. I'm sure there is someplace here in the Tri-City area that has a bakery with GOOD bread but don't have the time nor the money for gas to find it.
I went to work over the last three days and got the Will Rogers weekly articles for July prepared to link up. I did well this past Friday and remembered to include the link, why can I not do that every Friday?
I also contacted my UPS Store in Pahrump and asked to have my mail forwarded to Hamilton, MT. I was not sure if my VA prescriptions had arrived there yet and ask them not to forward until they did arrive. VA claimed they were sent to Pahrump on June 5th and the UPS Store sent me and email confirming that my mail had been forwarded on June 7th. I'm hoping it included the prescriptions but have my doubts.
11 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
There was a scattered cloud overcast this morning but it was a lot warmer. I had a window open at 9:00 which had not happened before since we got here.
After Patches and I finished our morning walk I un-hooked from electric and pulled out for town. There was a stop however just before we left the Park at the dump station where I emptied my holding tanks. I have enough fresh water to last me until I get to my next camp so I did not take on any more.
The restaurant that I saw last week that had the police cars parked in front is in the same shopping center as Albertsons. This made for very easy parking to have breakfast and then do my grocery shopping.
Breakfast was at Chef's Family Restaurant which was a down grade in appearance from Cousins of last week. The food was just as good and the prices were just as high. I need to get back to a smaller town where Mom n Pop run the restaurant and have lower overhead or not quite the same profit margins.
The two bakeries that I selected in my quest for GOOD bread were both panaderias which I have found here in Pasco do not bake any bread loaves. They have Mexican pastries and breads which can be divided into three main kinds based on the type of dough used: savory, sweet or laminated. The savory might be considered if you are looking for rolls but not loaves.
I guess I should not have been surprised that all the Pasco bakeries were panaderias since the demographics are 56% Hispanic. But, I did think that they would have loaves of bread as most panaderias in Mexico do. Picked up another round loaf of wheat sourdough in Albertsons and the quest will continue.
My neighbors to the west were not setting up all those tents for just their family. They had another car full of rug rats come to join them yesterday afternoon. There are now 6-7 of them running around having a good time and being well behaved which is a blessing. I sort of lean toward the opinion that W. C. Fields had regarding children of that age group: “I like children. If they're properly cooked.”
This week's shopping list prepared me to have no cooking 'linners' for the next 6-7 days. I'll still cook breakfast but all my 'linners' will be a cold salad and sandwich. The salad is a Greek Mediterranean concoction of my own design: cucumber, sun dried tomato, olives, feta cheese, cannellini beans, jalapeño and red onion with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
12 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
It looks like we will have another fine day. Yesterday it got up to 84° for a high with a forecast today of 82. Had the windows open all afternoon and left one open until I woke up chilled around midnight. Pretty nice now that I'm getting ready to leave. HA
My west side neighbors were to be moving out today but they have added one more day. That is what could have been bad news, the good news was that they moved farther to the west. I also have a neighbor to my east but have not seen any people around and their tow vehicle was gone most of the day. It is very peaceful and reasonably quiet except for the mower that came through.
Spent a lot of time yesterday and some today looking for my monthly camp starting in mid-August. Once I found a good possibility I went back and restudied my choice for the month starting in mid-July. Neither choice is 'planned' yet but I do now have a general idea of how I'm going to get back to Pahrump by late September.
My dollar holdings got pushed down some more by the bank bailout in Spain giving the Euro some strength. I think this is very temporary so I'm not ready to pull the plug quite yet. The vote next Sunday in Greece could go either way but in the long term it is not going to make much difference, I think Greece is back in the developing country column.
13 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
I think we are going to have another very nice day. It was warmer this morning, windbreaker weather, or just felt warmer because the wind was very calm. The wind did pick up after we got home but it is still in the breeze category.
Patches and I have now completed 9 consecutive days of walks totaling 3 miles or more each day. This is something that we have not done since sometime back in November when we were still in Huachuca City.
My right hip still lets me know when I have reached the 2 mile point of continuous walking but not enough to stop me. The right knee is much better, rarely any pain while walking and almost pain free at night which was not true for a long time. I'm better.
Both shoulders are still a problem with the left being the worst and the one that needs attention. The left hand index finger is still not completely bendable without pain. Other than that I'm probably as good to go now as I was way back in October before I started having problems.
Seeking Alpha, a market commentary web site, has the following to say about the dollar:
The U.S. dollar is broadly weaker today as the messy consolidation ahead of the Greek election continues. The market positioning still appears stretched. The price action seems to be more a result of market positioning and the failure to rebuild the downside momentum in the foreign currencies as last Friday's lows remained intact on the test. This is a prerequisite for the continuation of the correction cum consolidation phase.
OK, what did he say? I guess I'll just wait out the consolidation phase and the Greek vote and see how things go from there.
14 June, 2012 Hood Park (Near Pasco, WA )
The nice days just keep rolling in. The forecast is for it to be 81° today which matches up well with the 82 of yesterday. I'll be leaving tomorrow and will miss the expected 90 that is forecast for Saturday, that is just as well.
I'll be moving back into highs in the mid 70s which is just about perfect as far as I am concerned. However, I'll be giving up the very pleasant 40° mornings that I have been having and will be getting 30s again.
I moved spaces again today. Needed to be out of the space that I have had for the past 12 days by noon and will move back in one space to the west at 2:00. Will only be there the rest of today and overnight and the back on the road early in the morning.
Got in a couple of hours extra novel reading time while I was un-plugged from electric
during the moves. I am enjoying Eagle's Cry very much and need to be looking for the author when I do my book trades.
I made up my 3x5 route card for the drive tomorrow with notes on anticipated breakfast and gas stops. It is rather simple with only a few different roads. I have also been over all of them in the past but going in the opposite direction and it was a few years ago. I think I'm ready, only need to pull the electric plug in the morning.
When I checked out and checked back in at noon the host told me that they were getting 20 campers in today that would fill the Park. That usually does not happen until Friday. As I was waiting for 2:00 I saw 4-5 rigs that I think are part of the 20. They were all classic cars with antique trailers in tow.
15 June 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA79 June 15, 1924
Patches and I did a slightly shorter morning walk before lashing everything down prior to departure. The timing was impeccable. I had to wait only seconds as the Park Host got in his electric cart to go open the gate to the Park at 6:00 am.
Stopped in Dayton, WA for breakfast. It was cash only so I don't have a receipt but it is a small Mom n Pop place on the western edge of town. Ate the same thing that I had at Chef's last Monday and paid 25% less.
I hope the restaurants here in Hamilton are the same but I have my doubts. I have read that the entire Bitterroot Valley has had a large influx of Californians over the past 20 years and they have brought their culture with them.
It was a long day of 359 miles but the route was simple: WA124, US12 & US93.
There were two sections of road that they were repaving and had grooved it as part of the preparation. This left a lip in the outside road edge about 2 inches high that my right rear dully got up against. I can see that I rubbed some rubber off but won't know if it is going to go flat until tomorrow.
The day was made even longer by my crossing into the Mountain Time Zone and lost an hour. Here it is almost my bed time and I still have to do an afternoon walk with Patches and read my Daily blogs. This moving sure disrupts the routine. HA HA
I'll be telling about the Park later. The only thing I will say now is that I'm under a big shade tree with the windows open and the temperature is 77°. That is also the forecast for the high on Saturday and Sunday then it goes down into the 50s.
16 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
I think Black Rabbit Park is named for a rabbit that I saw this morning across the street from the Park. It is actually brown with black markings and may be a black tailed jackrabbit although it did not match the pictures that I found on the Internet. The Park could have just as easily have been named Moose RV Park because I saw one of those this morning also.
That sighting was across the Bitterroot River north of the Park and west of the bridge over the river on US93. The moose was 300-400 yards away and I thought at first that it was a horse but it turned its profile to me and I could see the moose shaped head. I talked to the Park owner when I got back from our walk and he said that there are moose here in the Park from time to time.
Our morning walk was started about the time that the low temperature of the day was set at 42°. It felt a little colder than that because of a slight wind but pleasant and we got to see all that wildlife. Warmed up nicely to the mid 70s again like it was yesterday when we arrived.
The walking route was north along US93 on the west side, under the bridge to continue north on the east side of the bridge over the river, back under it to the west once more then maybe ¼ mile farther north which put us about a mile from home. The route back was simply the reverse except we stayed on the east side of US93 after crossing the river on the bridge and then crossed over US93 to the Park.
We did stop at a Conoco gas station, almost next door to the Park, on the way home and picked up a cup of coffee. Between the station and the Park is a very tall cement smoke stack that is the remains of a sugar beet refinery that was being built in the early 1900s. The refinery was never completed and beets were not grown because an irrigation project failed.
The Park is nothing special. I'm probably as close to the office and the bathroom/showers as I could be. This also puts me right at the entrance to the Park but in and out traffic is light and has not bothered me. Being slightly deaf does have its advantages! HA HA
The spaces are just gravel but very level with big mature trees for shade in the north section where I am. There is a big grass area to the west bordering the Bitterroot River that makes for a good dog potty walk. I'll be doing walks around the area but from Google Maps it looks like most of them will be out and back routes along US93. A lot like my routes while I was staying in Ajo.
I did have a couple of areas in Ajo where I could let Patches run. I may find similar opportunities here. Where I saw the moose this morning might be a possible but it would mean a 2 mile walk plus run for her and I'm not sure how much of that I want her to do. I'll check an area to the east that looks promising on Google Maps also.
17 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
I awoke around 4:00 am to the sound of rain on Desperado's roof. Went back to sleep and got up to no rain a little before 6:00. Patches and I did an out and back route to the south along US93 for 2 miles and stayed dry. But it has briefly showered throughout the morning. Colder tomorrow and Tuesday with an increased chance of rain.
Not too far south of the Park I saw one black rabbit. In talking to the owner of the Park I was told that there were a lot of black rabbits here in the Park when they bought the place but predators have cleaned them out. There is very little cover within the Park for places the rabbits can hide so they were on the menu.
There were also some brown rabbits and even a white one or two. They were domestic rabbits that escaped from a rabbit breeder south of the Park and have gone feral. Some of the brown ones with black markings that I saw yesterday are probably the result of crossbreeding.
Went for breakfast at The Coffee Cup and had a good Biscuits and Gravy with sausage patties. It was a little pricey but not too bad for an upscale Mom-n-Pop place. However, when I got the check it was marked ½ off in celebration of Fathers Day. I lucked out with my restaurant choice today!
The Safeway was my next stop to pick up groceries for the week. The Safeway store here is one of the smallest, with the least choices, of all the Safeway I have been in for many years. They did have some bread that I thought I would give a try.
A long loaf of pugliese that was on sale and a round loaf of sourdough. I have tried the pugliese for a sandwich today and it is quite good. A thin but hard crust with a moderately course texture but some big air holes inside. Not too bad!
It looks like the exit polls are giving the Greece vote to the two parties that want to abide by the Troika bailout agreement. That will probably give the Euro another rally and depress the dollar during most of next week. What might happen after that is hard to tell but Spain is still in a lot of trouble and Italy is not far behind. I can sit on my long dollar position until those two shake out.
18 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
I was expecting a much colder morning but it was almost the same as yesterday. The sky was almost cloud free and it had the look of being a repeat of the past few days. However, the forecast is still for a high of only 63° with a 60% chance of rain and a 90% chance tonight. The clouds did move in and it was totally overcast by 10:00.
Our walk this morning was an out and back to the north, across the river. Saw another brown rabbit near the bridge that may have also had some black markings but not as much as those that I saw before. I have now arranged my routes in the morning so that I can stop at the Conoco station and pick up a cup of coffee on the way 'home'.
When we got back I bundled all my dirty clothes up and went to the laundry room. There are only two washers and two dryers so it may be a problem to always get a machine but I had the place to myself this morning. There was also a small exchange library there that I took advantage of by trading one of my books. Not a great selection but I may trade one more before I leave.
I have canceled my sell order for the long dollar position I hold. I think Charles Hugh Smith has called it right in his blog posting of today:
The Eurozone "drama" is now in re-runs and I for one am switching channels. Nothing will change until some critical part of the worm-eaten, corrupt construct of artifice and denial collapses in a heap. Until then, all we have is replays of the same boring plot lines.
I'll sit tight and wait for the collapse. I thought it would come if the Socialist won in Greece, but it will still come either because of Greece or Spain or Italy or some black swan in Europe. The dollar did not fall more as I expected which is a good sign but it is going to take some kind of shake-up to get it to rally once more.
Oh what a difference a day makes or in this case a little over one year. President Obama had it right back in 2011 as the quote below explains.
Why then did he issue an executive order that reversed everything that he said back then? He needs all the votes that he can buy; either with cash payments or with favors to special interests.
However, I think he is forgetting that his actions also have consequences and among them is the backlash from other voters that expect him to enforce the laws. If he breaks even with votes gained versus votes lost I think he will be doing well. If he is the smartest guy in the room then I can only say that he has some real dumb advisors.
In March 2011 President Obama told a group of young Hispanics: “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. That’s part of my job.“Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws,” he said. “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”
19 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
The rains came at 4:00 yesterday afternoon. They were but a brief shower just enough to keep me close to home in fear of getting wet if we did a long walk. So it was a short potty walk along the water race on the western edge of the Park.
This water race looks like it was dug to channel water from the Bitterroot River to power a water wheel sawmill. The Park owner told me that there had been a sawmill on this property at one time which supports my guess. The only information I could find on the web was that there were 26 sawmills along the Bitterroot during the late 1800s, nothing about this particular place.
We did do a 2 mile walk this morning under heavy threating clouds but stayed dry. There was rain falling in the mountains to the east but it stayed to the east. There was a deer in the Park near the entrance as we went out and I saw more brown rabbits. Have been seeing wildlife almost everyday all within a mile of the Park.
The forecast for rain today still continues and the colder prediction has come to pass. It has stayed in the 50s most of the day and I had the Wave heater on part of the morning after we got back home. Better days are ahead of us with it to be back in the 70s starting tomorrow.
Am I reading too much into the quote below? It sure seems to me that it describes what has been happening in this country since the 1960s as well. Will we follow Greece and Europe down the road that they are now on? I keep thinking that the American people will finally punish the two Parties that we have but I guess more suffering is required.
The rest is history: welfare populism, cronyism, statism and corruption can describe the Greek political system for most of the period from 1981. This is why Greek people have finally punished the two former main parties (New Democracy and the social-democratic Pasok party) for leading Greece into a horrible economic crisis with huge debts and deficits and a corrupt, inefficient state, unfit for reform and captured by special interests.
20 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
This morning was one of those that give Montana its Big Sky Country name. One of the consequences of that Big Sky is lower temperatures at night. This morning it was 4-5° colder than yesterday when we had the cloud cover.
Parches loves it. She gets frisky in this kind of a morning after a long nights sleep. Then ofter our walk turns into a couch potato, that includes loud snoring, or a heater hog when we get home. Had the Wave going for a short time to take the chill off but it warmed up into the mid 60s by noon heading for low 70s.
I finished Eagle's Cry which I enjoyed very much. I will now be on the hunt for the author's continued series of books about American history. One of them is about the Lewis and Clark Expedition that could have trod the very ground that I have been on since entering WA and staying at Hood Park.
Started another novel of Toni Hoag's which I have also found very enjoyable. They are suspense/mysteries that provide good entertainment. I particularly like her character Nikki Liska a woman detective that is a real 'piece of work'. Have also made some more progress on the blog that I'm trying to get current, more reading of Joe Bageant and a little of Social Statics.
For 'linner' yesterday I cut into the round loaf of sourdough bread that I picked up at Safeway on Sunday and was disappointed in so many ways. First, the outer layer of the loaf (I can not bring myself to call it a crust) was thin and soft. Second, the texture of the loaf is very loose almost falling apart when applying a buttery spread, it would not withstand the application of real butter unless it were melted and brushed on. Third, it has no taste of sourdough that I can detect nor that I can smell. Overall assessment, a BAD loaf of sourdough!
21 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
The Bitterroot Valley is celebrating the coming of summer with some 80° weather for the five days through Sunday. It may even approach 90 before cooling back down to highs in the 70s next week.
I don't think Patches is going to like that. She walks along with her tongue hanging out almost to the ground when it is in the 70s. She loves to get scorching hot in front of the Wave but acts put upon if it is hot outside. Crazy Dog!
The nights are still very cool so it is great sleeping weather. Even with those hotter days the nights will stay in the 40s. That makes out morning walks more to her liking but she is eager to go anytime. I wanted a dog to walk with me and I have got her!
Very much a routine day. Lazing away these early summer days.
22 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA80 June 22, 1924
Every time I see cross country bicycle riders on the road during my travel days it brings back so many memories of my bicycle touring days. Yesterday afternoon I did not see the riders but I did see a sag vehicle come into the Park. Went over and talked to the driver for a few minutes before he left to find his riders.
When Patches and I got back from our afternoon walk the rider were there also. They had ridden about 20 miles south of Hamilton but there was no camping spot available so they sagged back here. I sat and talked with them for about an hour until they started getting dinner ready (just like one of the OFC Meetings, great memories).
They are riding the TransAmerica Trail, with the Trail maps from Adventure Cycling, as an American Cancer Society event. You can read about their ride and/or make a contribution by going to Event.
The weather gurus have predicted that we will get back up to the mid-80s again today but we had overcast sky all morning which cleared by noon. There is a slight chance of rain today with some increased chance tonight but still to be in the 80s through Sunday. Then cooler with a higher chance of rain starting next week.
The big activity for the day was to take on some fresh water. I think my idiot light is not working quite right; it showed full for a long, long time and then went to last quarter of a tank overnight. Dumped holding tanks while I was at it although they were not yet in need. Better to do it today rather than when they really need it and I would have to dump them while it was raining.
I don't know if this was President Obama's idea or someone on his Campaign Staff in Chicago but IF it were me I would kill this web page in a heartbeat. How tacky can politicians get? See the entire site by going to Registry.
Register with Obama 2012
Got a special milestone or event coming up?
Instead of another gift card you’ll forget to use, ask your friends and family for something that will go a little further: a donation to Obama for America. Register your next celebration—whether it’s a birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, wedding, or anniversary—with the Obama campaign. It’s a great way to show your support for a cause that’s important to you on your big day.
Just log in or sign up to build and customize your page—and congratulations!
23 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
Since Hamilton, MT is on the TransAmerica Trail there are a lot of bicyclist coming through town during June. There were two more stop overnight in the Park yesterday. These two guys, both from WI, are doing a coast to coast ride but only a few pieces of the Trail. The majority of their route is of their own choosing and will take them through their home town and some of the route that I rode back in 1990.
There were a lot of other campers that came into the Park yesterday also. It is not full but there must be a dozen more here now than when I got here last Friday. I would say that they also brought a dozen dogs with them.
Patches has accepted the situation fairly well although she stays on guard more now. She thinks that she has to protect me from these strangers walking past our 'home'. Not as reactive as she has been it the past so I think I'm making some progress.
There is one large dog along our walking route to the south that has come to his fence to bark at us 2-3 times now. In each case Patches has lunged towards him but has not responded with answering barks. She has also promptly sat down when I have demanded a DOWN command. That appears to be the command that she recognizes as the proper one to quit acting the fool and sit in the presence of another dog. What ever works, she is slowly training me!
The weather predictors have extended the 80° days out through Monday with Tuesday then dropping over 20°. There was some thunder last night after I went to bed but no rain. A chance of thunder showers forecast for almost every day through the next 10 days.
I finished the Toni Hoag book that I had been reading and have started the last one that I have unread. I will exchange at least one more while I'm here at the Park that does have some possibilities for a trade. I may also check out a bookstore in town and see what kind of deal I can find there.
24 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
Patches and I did a little shorter walk this morning and will do a shorter one this afternoon. She was wore out after the walk yesterday afternoon. I think it was partially the distances we have been doing day after day and the heat. She was huffing-n- puffing to cool down and had her tongue hanging out a mile.
She will go when, where and as far as I want to go but I need to pay attention to how she is doing. She has collapsed on the couch all day since we got home from my shopping. I think she needs to cut back a little for a day or two. I can probably do with a little cut back also but my story is that I'm doing it for her and I'm sticking to it.
I found a highly rated breakfast restaurant here in Hamilton on Google Search and went there this morning. They may be great but I'll probably never find out because they do not open until 8:00 am. Usually the only time a restaurant gets my breakfast business after 8:00 is if I'm on the road driving from one camp to another.
Went back to the Albertsons parking lot where I could park and walk to Perkins Restaurant & Bakery where I ate your normal restaurant chain breakfast. They had a sign on the entrance window about BREAD and I saw a display case with cakes, pies, cookies, muffins etc but NO bread. When I went to pay my bill I asked if they had any bread and was told that they do not. So much for the bakery part of their name!
I did find a loaf of French bread in Albertsons that is not too bad. The crust is rather thin but does have some crunch to it and the interior texture is such that it can be buttered. I also picked up an Italian round loaf that I'm guessing will have similar character.
Other grocery items purchased were the ingredients for a stew and salad. Nothing very unusual about the stew but the salad will be de-stemmed chopped kale, grape tomatoes, avocado and raisins with an olive oil lemon juice dressing. Pretty good eating!
25 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
It was nearly 60° this morning when we went for our walk. The projected high for today is 86 then falling to 68 tomorrow. Patches is going to be happier with that lower temperature and then for the forecast 70s to follow during the rest of the week.
I have not had my A/C on during these mid-80 days but I have been running the fan. When we get back from our afternoon walk we are hot and the breeze does not make it into Desperado so the fan comes on. I'll then go to sleep with it running until I wake up chilled before turning it off. I look forward to the 70° highs as much as Patches does. HA
Did a lot of nothing for most of the day. Took advantage of a nice breeze that was blowing through Desperado for part of this afternoon. There was some couch time for reading the last un-read novel that I have. Time to read blogs, do some more catching up to current on another one and reading the News of the day.
The headlines are now all about the Supreme Court decisions. Those that they have handed down and those that they are going to hand down this week. The Arizona Immigration Law was the big headliner today with the Federal government losing the most important decision. But, that does not stop the Feds from simply not enforcing the Federal Immigration laws per the order of President Obama. So, Arizona can do all the immigration checking that their law allows, and the Supreme Court approved, but the Feds will act only when someone is found to have a felony conviction.
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
26 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
The forecast high today was to be 68° but it was 60 when we went for our morning walk. But it did not warm up much as the day progressed, storm clouds blew in before noon and showers started at 1:30 so the forecast may turn out correct. Yesterday reached 89 with calm winds so I did have the A/C on for a couple of hours. It will be nice to not have to do that again today.
Our afternoon walk was also restricted to the grassy shaded area here in the Park. Nothing but a potty walk with Patches sniffing every inch of the way. This morning we walked north and had a confrontation with a dog off leash that appeared to belong to a 'troll' sleeping under the bridge.
Patches did really great! She sat on command, quite barking on command and did not react when the dog approached for a get acquainted sniff. Luckily the other dog was not aggressive and the meeting went well. While this was going on the 'troll' stayed in his bed some 25 yards away and made a couple of feeble calls to his dog that were ignored.
The Republicans in Congress are trying to reduce the cost of SNAP in the Farm Bill being currently debated. At the same time the Administration is spending money advertising the eligibility requirements with the hope that more people will sign up and increase the cost. Meanwhile the president is out on the Campaign Trail saying, with a straight face, that he is trying to reduce the deficit.
The government wants more people on food stamps. Even though the number of people using food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP, is near a record level, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says many people qualify for the program but don't use it, CNNMoney reports.
Already, one in seven Americans or about 46.4 million people are on food stamps, just below the all-time record set in January. But the USDA says over one in four Americans are eligible but don't use them.
Therefore, the USDA is broadcasting free public service announcements and spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on advertising in several states and the New York City area to educate people about the programs eligibility requirements, according to CNNMoney.
27 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
The high temperature yesterday was 71° but it sure did not feel that way. It was 60 at 5:30 am and 61 at 5:30 pm so that high went away quickly. I made a mistake this morning and wore my windbreaker jacket only to find that it was 43 with a wind chill below 40.
Patches was loving it. This is her kind of weather, she get all frisky and wants to play. She was all fired up to go again this morning and was 'talking' to me as if to say 'Come on, come on, what is taking you so long, let's go'!
A very routine day. I did all my usual stuff and added the semi-routine of preparing links for the August Will Rogers week articles. Did not finish the chore but did make a start.
Then there is the Italian bread loaf that I got at Albertsons last Sunday. As I had guessed it is much like the French loaf. It has a thin crust with a good interior texture. Pretty much the same dough just baked as a round loaf rather than long one and called Italian rather than French. Both of them not too bad.
A follow-up to my Food Stamp posting of yesterday.
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.
28 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
I didn't make the same mistake this morning that I did yesterday, it was 45° this morning with a wind chill below 40 again. I wore my wool shirt/jacket this time and was glad to have it. The forecast highs have been increased to the low/mid-80s for the next three days then cooler on Sunday. I liked yesterday and was looking forward to more of the same but it does not look like that is going to happen now.
I spent some time yesterday afternoon visiting with a couple and their 3-4 year old son that were bicycling self contained across most of the country. They started out following the TransAmerican Trail but diverted from it after crossing WA. They got back on it again in Missoula, MT and will stay on it until Yellowstone National Park. Then they will leave it again and be on part of my Park to Park route from there into CO. From Denver they will do a few pieces of the trip by Amtrak and ultimately end up in Florida.
I did nothing of note today other than spend a lot of time reading the News and doing research for this posting.
ObamaCare has been confirmed to be the law of the land. The Supreme Court did what the Democrat controlled Congress could not do, that is pass the law with the individual mandate defined as a tax. President Obama emphatically argued that it was NOT a tax and the Democrats in Congress, reading from that same play book, knew that they could not get it passed IF increased taxes were tied to it.
The Republicans will certainly campaign on the issue that President Obama said he would NOT increase taxes and he then did so 21 times in the ObamaCare bill. The individual mandate tax has now been added to the list, is the largest one of them all and it targets those that are just beginning their careers.
If they have an 'average' student loan the the monthly payment will be about $250 and the mandate could add approximately $300 per month through an exchange (assuming an average annual starting salary of $40,000). FICA and Income Tax Withholding will take somewhere around $1,200 per month leaving about $1,600 per month for 'living expenses'. In this example the mandate has imposed a 20% tax on the individuals monthly 'living expenses' with about one half of their monthly paycheck going to the government in one way or another.
The ruling will probably increase my taxes also unless my VA plus Medicare Part 'A' coverage allows me to claim that I have insurance coverage. However, the tax will be far less than what the cost of buying insurance will be so I either pay it or refuse. If I refuse the IRS will simply withhold the tax from my Social Security payments so there truly is no way I can avoid paying it. I would rather go to jail and get free health care but the IRS will not let that happen as long as they can get their hands on some of my assets.
Maybe I'll be exempt from the tax if the least expensive plan option in my area exceeds eight percent of my income. It is doubtful however that this will happen because the state exchanges must set premiums, with federal assistance, that meet with federal approval. Some states have refused to set up exchanges and then the federal government steps in a creates it. Therefore, it is not likely that any of the exchanges will have a least expensive option that allows for many people to be exempt.
There is also the possibility that the law will be repealed in part but I doubt that will happen either. The Republicans will posture for repeal during this election cycle but with the Senate still under Democrat control that will go no place. ObamaCare is a new entitlement that will then grow like all other entitlements with neither political party willing to make any reductions.
That will happen ONLY when the federal governments financial situation becomes a crisis of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy magnitude. We are still some years away from that happening but probably not so many years that I will not get to see it, IF I'm lucky enough to live so long.
If you have been paying attention to what President Obama has been saying on college campuses when he talks about student loans you would think that it is going to save current students some money. The reaction from those students that are currently at the colleges support that thinking.
However, the student loan bill that was being debated by Congress never had that intent and as now passed does not save existing students any money. The reduced rate is for NEW students that get a loans starting this July but then expires after one year.
So, what we have is a student entitlement that was first established to benefit NEW students during a 5 year period that has now been extended one more year. Any guesses on what is going to happen to that entitlement one year from now?
The student loan pact would keep today's 3.4 percent interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling for new loans approved beginning on Sunday, an automatic increase that Congress enacted five years ago to save money. If they did double, it would affect 7.4 million students expected to get the loans over the 12 months beginning July 1, adding $1,000 to the interest costs of the typical borrower over each loan's life.
29 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA81 June 29, 1924
I made another mistake this morning by wearing my wool shirt/jacket, rather than my windbreaker, with the low at 49°. It is hard to get it right with the big temperature changes from day to day. The biggest contributor to my mistakes, I don't check the weather prior to going out which is something I obviously should do.
I have felt a little tired, the knee a little sore, the last couple of days and Patches has been a little slow in climbing the steps when we get back home from our walk. Therefore, I reduced our afternoon walk some yesterday and our morning walk today. As long as the high temperatures stay in the 80s we will be doing shorter afternoon walks, it seems to take too much out of Patches to do 2 miles when it is that hot.
I finished the novel that I had traded for here at this Park. That left me nothing to read so I went back to the Park library searching for another trade. The pickings are slim but I did find something that may keep me entertained for a few days. The local bookstore that buys/sells used books is a long distance to the south and closed on Sunday (my past two shopping days) so I have not made a special trip to see what it might have.
My discourse on the ObamaCare ruling yesterday was much too long without my adding to it. However, I will add to it today. The example I gave for the young person just starting a career assumed that they would comply with the mandate. I then went on to say what my situation would be by not complying.
This is what was said in the opinion:
"Congress's authority under the taxing power is limited to requiring an individual to pay money into the Federal Treasury, no more. If a tax is properly paid, the Government has no power to compel or punish individuals subject to it. We do not make light of the severe burden that taxation -- especially taxation motivated by a regulatory purpose -- can impose. But imposition of a tax nonetheless leaves an individual with a lawful choice to do or not do a certain act, so long as he is willing to pay a tax levied on that choice," the majority wrote.
Therefore, in most cases it is in the young persons interest to NOT buy insurance, through an exchange, even with some federal subsidy, and simply pay the tax. This will change as their income increases but more importantly as the tax is increased. It is very low in the current law but you can bet it will be increased.
The entire premise behind the mandate was to 'compel' young individuals to buy insurance so that the insurance companies could afford the coverage that they were mandated to provide. Since the Supreme Court ruling Representative Pelosi has been referring to those same individuals as 'freeloaders'. There was also an assumption by the law makers that we being a law abiding people would do what the mandate said and buy insurance. It will take some time to see if that assumption was correct or IF young individuals can see the financial benefits for NOT doing so and pay the tax.
30 June, 2012 Black Rabbit RV Park (Hamilton, MT )
I got it right this morning with my clothing selection matching the low temperature; a windbreaker for 53° was just right. Winds were calm and have stayed that way for most of the day. It is forecast to reach 86 which will mean some A/C late in the afternoon if the wind does not pick up.
We did only a potty walk late yesterday in the grassy area near the water race on the western edge of the Park. It was not too hot but I did not feel up to a longer walk. That will probably be the last time we walk there however, the mosquitoes have claimed that area now and they are BIG ones. I'll let them have it!
After our shorter morning walk today I un-hooked from electric and went to town. The breakfast stop today was at BJ's Family Restaurant where I had a pretty good Mexican Omelet but at a big city or chain restaurant price. Not a small town Mom-n-Pop place nor price.
It was then time for another shopping adventure at Albertsons. I bought almost the same things this week as last week when I had to ask where the dried fruit was. Maybe by the time I leave here I'll remember but I had to ask again this morning.
I also wanted some kale and the three bunches that were offered looked terrible. I got the Produce Manager to go in the back to see if she had some fresh bunches but she came back to tell me that what she had in the back was just as bad and it ALL needed to be thrown out. Picked up a fresh looking bunch of mustard greens that I am using as a replacement for the kale salad I made last week.
A National Senior Pro Rodeo has come to Hamilton yesterday and today. There was a parade in town yesterday that I missed and I'll also miss any of the rodeo action at the fairgrounds. What I am not missing is a rather steady stream of trailers pulling into the Park dump site just to the south of me. Most of them are horse trailer/RV combinations with the living quarters up front and horses in the back. They are not as elaborate as the Toy Hauler RVs that you see but they are certainly as long.
The remainder of my day was a warm lazy one. Started reading my Monthly Blogs again which will take me 2-3 days to complete. Did a little work on the links for the Will Rogers weekly articles. Everything else was normal routine. The normal News cycle for the Supreme Court decision has passed so the weekend News is pretty quiet. There will be a lot more TV Sunday Talking Heads giving their opinions tomorrow but mostly I think the lame stream media want this News item to go away.