1 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

I think the cooler weather is starting to move in. We have had some high clouds for the past two days now and I noticed an increase in the humidity this morning. Still very nice weather but I can see and feel the cooler temperatures slowly approaching.

We did only a short potty walk yesterday afternoon. Back to our usual distance and route this morning. It is not just me, I can see Patches slowing a little in coming up the steps and she struggles to get up on the couch from time to time. I continue to think that she does have hip dysplacia to match my moderate arthritis. We are a pair!

The last batch of Pozole that I made was much better with just the right amount of heat from the habanero chilies. The beef stock was also an improvement over the tomato base that I was trying to make before.

My homemade habanero hot sauce is just some of that tomato base liquid from the batch of Pozole that was so hot I couldn't eat it. I have had it on my egg hash scramble for the past two mornings and I can't say that I happy with it. I'll be experimenting more in the days, weeks to come to improve on it.

One of the kitchen utensils that I need for making the hot sauce and for some of other things that I have thought about making is a blender. I am hesitant to buy one however because it makes me that much more dependent upon an electric source. The way I have been living that would not be a problem but it could be one if I was boondocking which the economic situation in this country may force upon me.

I know that a solar system with an inverter would be a solution to that concern but I'm not yet ready to take that step. I might get lucky and be able to live the way I am now until I can't do it anymore because of my health. Then again the economy may not last as long as my health does. That requires decisions, decisions; not earth shaking ones but decisions none the less. I may just go with a manual hand food grinder or mortar and pestle, they served the generations before blenders why not serve me now.

Went to the Club House to use the WIFI this afternoon and found that it would connect but not open a web page. Verizon is very slow again but I'm going to try and post this daily update to my site using it.

2 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

I was able to post my update last night using Verizon and it did so quite quickly. There was a good reason for that, the files that were being updated were a new month so had only the one day of text. Small file, quick upload! I may be able to use Verizon for the remainder of time that I am here, I'm going to try. Certainly tired of walking down to the Club House just to find out that the WIFI is not working.

For the past few months I have been sprinkling some tumeric on the egg hash scramble that has become my staple at home breakfast. I had read that because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and may help in the treatment of psoriasis. Since I have both of those conditions and the possibility of any side effects are virtually none when used as a cooking spice I thought it might help.

Yesterday I added a small amount to the serving of Pozole that I was having for 'linner'. It is certainly NOT a traditional spice to be found in Pozole but it added a zest to the flavor and some pleasing color to the broth and to the hominy. I do believe I have that I have stumbled upon a recipe improvement.

I can not say that there has been any improvement in my psoriasis but my shoulders feel the best that they have in over a year. The left shoulder, which was the worse, does not pain me any more than the right and my right hip feels better also. Not attributing this improvement to the turmeric but I'm not discounting it either and will continue to use it in my cooking.

I tried to prepare one more Will Rogers week article this afternoon but could not get it to update using Verizon. It is only a 63KB file but Yahoo timed out three times after trying to upload for 30-45 minutes each time. This post will not add much to the files that I want to update for my daily blog posting so I have hopes that I can do it.

Peggy Noonan wrote the following for The Wall Street Journal Opinion The Drawn-Out Crisis: It's the Obama Way. He firmly believes that to compromise means to agree with what he says, that is how it has been his entire life and he will not settle for anything less. It is the Obama Way! I think the Republicans should give him his Way through non-opposition then hammer him for what his Way has wrought.

The election is over, a new era begins—and it looks just like the old one. A crisis is declared. Confusion, frustration, and a more embittered process follow. This is... the Obama Way. Nothing has changed, even after a yearlong campaign that must, at times, have looked to him like a near-death experience. He still doesn't want to forestall jittery, gloom-laden headlines and make an early deal with the other guy. He wants to beat the other guy...You watch and wonder: Why does it always have to be cliffs with this president? Why is it always a high-stakes battle?... Why is there never a sense with Mr. Obama that he understands the other guys' real position?

3 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

I did get my web site update to post quite easily using Verizon yesterday but the weekly article save took repeated tries and a long time. I do now have all of the weekly articles for December ready to be linked and will probably put off doing anything for January until I can get more reliable Internet connections.

I finished True Evil by Greg Iles last night and went to the Club House to exchange it this morning after breakfast. Since I was going that way I took my laptop and was able to use WIFI while I was there. I knew, from yesterdays experience, that I would have a hell of a time adding the weekly article to its link location on Friday so I got it all set up today.

The book that I traded for a Tami Hoag a few days ago was Hannibal by Thomas Harris the author of The Silence of the Lambs. It was a unique coincidence, or maybe not, that these last two mysteries that I read both had a female FBI agent as the protagonist. In both story lines she had a conflict with the FBI higher brass bureaucracy and was being threatened with being fired so she quit.

Verizon has gone from bad this morning when I was trying to read my Daily blogs to worse in the afternoon. Could not connect at all when I tried a couple of times and then when I did connect it was slower than its usual slow. Will try and post this update using it but it may take some time.

Chris Stirewalt has pointed out the danger the President is facing with his Way of approaching the 'Fiscal Cliff' in Obama Risks it All for Tax Hike. It is not revenue that the President is looking for, as I have said repeatedly, what he wants is to destroy the basic principle of no tax rate increases held by the Republicans. He wants that principle compromised to weaken the Republic Party and to also set up further tax rate increases.

Right now, the president is content to tell Republicans that it is his way or the highway on tax rates and it is seen as mere bluster ahead of the final round of negotiations. But if Obama really is serious about refusing to do a deal over what is essentially a semantic, ideological point – that it is not enough for people to pay more taxes, that they must pay at a higher rate – things could get ugly very fast.
A president who shows that kind of rigidity would scare markets and deepen doubts that a larger deal could eventually be completed. While a post-cliff Obama might have more leverage since he would have more power and be starting with tax rates already higher, he would be in very poor shape if his brinksmanship kicked off a panic or recession.
The president was having success cornering Republicans as the narrow ideologues in this debate, but has now made himself the intransigent one. If the economy starts to tumble, Obama’s tax rate gambit has dramatically increased the share of blame he would receive.

4 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

Posting my update yesterday was ever bit as long and frustrating as I thought it was going to be. I was able to read my Daily blogs this morning using Verizon but it has deteriorated as the day has progressed. Dropped signal connection 3-4 times by 10:00 am and extremely slow when connected. By 11:30 I could not get a connection signal at all.

I think I'll try using WIFI again today. If it is working it will save be a lot of aggravation, if it is not working I'll only suffer the aggravation of walking to the Club House for nothing. The walk may make up for my not taking Patches for hers this afternoon. I don't feel like doing another longer walk today and will take a rest. The way she has been acting the past few days I think she can do with one also.

Nothing much happening so I'll hope for WIFI and get this posted.

5 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

Not as busy a day as last week when we went to town but a busy day by my standards. As soon as we finished our walk, which included meeting a lot of dogs so early in the morning, we headed for town.

Stopped first at Lilly's Mexican Restaurant again and had the Chorizo Plate this morning. It was very good, served up in a very satisfying proportion and it was $2.00 cheaper this morning. She is running an early bird special that runs from 7 to 10 am with the $2 off.

After finishing breakfast I sat in the lot nearby where I had parked and connected to Verizon. Good strong signal, good transmission speed for reading all my Daily blogs and checking all my News sites. It was just like having a normal Verizon connection. HA

Made my last stop at the Parker Safeway on my way out of town and then back home. It is about 10 miles from the Park to the town limits with a 55 mph limit all the way and only one traffic light. I always drive it at 55, not so much because of the limit but because that is as fast as I want to go, and always have cars catch up to me and pass before I get to town or home.

This morning I counted those that passed me before I got to town. There was a total of 9 of them. I then noticed that within the town, where the limit is 35 mph, that one of those 9 had been pulled over by the police. I don't understand why it is that almost everyone is in such a rush. Where is it that they must be that 5 minutes will make a difference? If it is that important then why can they not leave 10 minutes earlier?

When I got home I made up the sauce for another fillet of cod. This fillet is slightly smaller than the one I had last week so I'll probably only get two meals from it. I have maybe two more meals of leftover Pozole so need only one from the fixin's I picked up today.

6 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

The cooling that the weather guessers were forecasting may still be coming but it is doing so much slower than they originally thought. They are now saying that those upper 60s won't be here until Sunday and the near freezing lows are nowhere in the 10 day forecast. I'm not complaining, the weather has been as near perfect for me as any place I have stayed for as far back as I can remember.

The great thing is I'll be moving into the same highs and lows that I have been having here. Most of the time when I move I do so too soon. This time it looks like I have timed it correctly.

My Verizon connection was surprisingly good at the Park when I got home yesterday. I was also surprised that it stayed good all day. Not as good as in town but compared to what I have been getting it was good. That did not keep me from going to the Club House and using WIFI however.

I had finished Skeleton Canyon by J A Jance and wanted to trade it for another but could not find one. I like all of her books that I have read but especially those in the Joanna Brady Series. The story line is located in Cochise County where I grew up so it is a little like 'going home' when I read one of those.

While I had the WIFI connection I went to Google Maps and made up my 3x5 card for the trip south next week. In the past my Verizon connection has been so poor that I could usually not get Google Maps to open or if I did I certainly could not use it because it was so slow.

So what do I find today, I can not only open it while sitting in my comfortable chair at home but I was able to use it also. Did some map searching for a supermarket and restaurants that are close by. I think it is going to work out well IF I can stay at the Escapee RV Park. I'll know when I get there.

Chris Cox and Bill Archer wrote Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt for an Opinion in The Wall Street Journal wherein they explained that there should be a pox on both political parties for not coming clean with the American People. The article also explains how silly the current argument about raising tax rates on the 'rich', or for that matter for raising tax rates on anyone, will pay down the Debt.

When the accrued expenses of the government's entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.
Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.
In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation's debt and deficit problems be solved.

There is also a clear message being sent by the President and his Obstructer in Chief in the Senate, Speaker Reid; they are not serious about getting his Deficit Proposal passed into law. The President wants to use it as a Campaign talking point to paint the Republicans as being the obstructionists and the Speaker is refusing to bring up the Proposal for a vote in the Senate. It is all about politics, not about the Debt.

7 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA104 December 7, 1924

Almost no mention of Pearl Harbor in the News today. I would guess that 9/11 will not be a News item either within only a few more short years.

Verizon was very good yesterday, comparatively speaking, but is back to just slightly better than it has been at this location for the past weeks. I was able to read my daily blogs but could not open all the pictures once again.

If I waited long enough I was able to open most of my News pages and most of the articles that I wanted to read. It did take more patience than I have however. Not a pleasing Internet reading experience. Then it became worse and worse as the day progressed. I'll be using WIFI to post this update today. Wrong it was NOT working!

Patches could care less. She has found a place in the sun, the drivers seat of Desperado, and was sleeping for most of the morning while I struggled with Internet connection issues. She may be the smarter one of the two in this household, I'll grant her that.

The Bureau of Labor has released their non-farm job numbers for November, an increase of 146,000; that is less than October but more than the experts were forecasting. The media is now accurately reporting that although the Unemployment Rate dropped to 7.7% the numbers are sending mixed signals about employment strength. If the election were not over they would have been touting how great the Unemployment Rate was.

The monthly report looks a lot worse 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). The numbers for the past five months are mixed with the trend of two strong months being reversed once again: July LOST 195,000, August LOST 119,000, September ADDED 873,000 (the most for any one month in 29 years), October ADDED 410,000 and November LOST 122,000.

Note: the two VERY strong months were those leading up to the election, maybe a coincidence then maybe not. Maybe it is also a coincidence that Consumer Confidence plunged in December after it hit its highest level in almost 5 years in November. Consumers were doing a Happy Dance, singing We're In The Money and Happy Days Are Here Again then a month after the elections they are back where they were in August.

There was a decrease of 229,000 in the Unemployed but not all of them got jobs, many of them quit looking and are part of the 542,000 increase in Not in the Labor Force. This big jump in Not in the Labor Force was the primary reason behind the drop in the Unemployment Rate. If people will just continue to quit looking for work the country will be back to Full Employment soon.

This is not the Job News that President Obama might have been looking for. The drop in the Unemployment Rate is going to make it harder for him to sell his need for more stimulus. It is also going to make it harder for Bernanke at the Fed to make the case for his continuing Zero Interest Policy. Having said that, now that the elections are over the Employment Situation is no longer News anymore and the media will generally ignore it in coming months.

Remember way back, like September of this year, when President Obama was still on the Campaign Trail talking about the Republicans opposing his Jobs Plan to put construction workers back to work? Well at that same time this was the News and it is still the same as is the President's continued lame argument for his Jobs Plan.

After losing 70 percent of their business in the housing crash, the nation's home builders are breaking ground again. New orders for homes are rebounding strongly, and housing starts have shown sustained growth over the past year. The demand is there; unfortunately, in some areas, the workers to build these homes are not.
Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies said “It’s not like these guys are waiting by the phone. It’s been six years. These guys have moved on and found other jobs."

8 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

It was noticeably cooler this morning when we went for our walk. I thought it took longer to warm up yesterday than it has since I have been here. Doing that same thing today, staying cooler longer. No complaints, still great weather.

After going to the Club House to use WIFI yesterday only to find it not working again I tried Verizon at home. It was working great again. This morning when I started to read my Daily blogs it was working great and within a half hour it was terrible. Shut it down for a while and when I tried it again it was working, not very well but working. I am convinced it is all about bandwidth usage which fluctuates during the day.

History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

I have inserted a couple of song titles from the Great Depression era in my recent postings 1) Happy Days are here Again the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and now the unofficial theme of the Democratic Party 2) We're in the Money from 1933.

The intent was to call forth an awareness of that period in our history and how it might be rhyming now. I'll continue with that intent today by providing a few more historical facts.

The Great Depression of the 1930s was not a decade-long era of economic decline. Rather, the Great Depression was made up of two distinct economic slumps - August 1929 through March 1933 and May 1937 through June 1938. The worse recession that this country has seen since the Great Depression, the one that President Obama inherited from former President Bush, began in December 2007 and ended June 2009.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933 the same month that the first slump came to an end. However, during his first 100 days he instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief (government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (economic growth), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation).

Barack H. Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009 and pushed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 within his first 30 days. The ARRA of 2009 and his later banking reform legislation was designed with the same policies as the New Deal (New Deal II so to speak).

It is obvious that the New Deal did nothing to break the recession of August 1929 through March 1933, the recession was over before the legislation was passed. It is also questionable/doubtful that the ARRA of 2009 got the economy out of recession 4 months after it was passed.

FDR was inaugurated on January 20, 1937 for his second term, the first President to do so on that date as prescribed by the Twentieth Amendment. Therefore, President Omaba will begin his second term on January 20, 2013.

If there truly is a rhyme to history will we see the beginning of a second recession sometime in 2013? If so, will it also be former President Bush's fault?

9 December, 2012 Castle Rock Shores Resort (Parker Strip, AZ)

It was a chill morning again. When I say chill I'm speaking of a low around 40°. The high temperatures are still in the mid to low 70s so it is very nice even though the breeze has become a light wind.

I used WIFI to post my update yesterday because Verizon was so poor. This morning Verizon was good, good enough that I could read my Daily blogs and see all the pictures. It was slow but not too bad, I could even open most of the News sites that I wanted to read; not all of them but most.

Went to the Park Office and settled up my electric bill and told them I would NOT be back in February. Also dumped holding tanks but did not add 'fresh' water. After my experience with doing so last time I don't want any more dirt in my tank than what I got then. This has me ready to get back on the road early tomorrow morning.

In 2009 when I was purging things in preparation for fulltiming I tried to get rid of my High School Yearbooks and could find no takers. A few days ago I received a mass emailing to classmates seeking a 1960 Yearbook for sale and I promptly said yes but the buyer had backed out.

Then the following day I got another email that put put me in contact with another buyer and a deal is done. The buyer lives in Las Vegas and we have agreed that he will pick them up when I get back to Pahrump in March. So, good things do come to those that wait. HA

In his weekly address to the nation President Obama said the following with regard to his position on tax rates for the 'rich'. He gave his Campaign stump speech again and then said “I won”, expecting the Republicans to compromise on their tax rate principle. He will not accept increased Tax Revenue is must be His Way - higher Tax Rates.

"If we're serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy - and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families - then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates," he says. "That's one principle I won't compromise on. After all, this was a central question in the election."

10 December 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

We did a short potty walk this morning and were on the road by around 7:00 am. Just starting to get twilight but we had sun rise before getting to Quartzsite where I stopped for breakfast. Patches had hers before we got on the road.

Didn't know where to go in Quartzsite but saw La Casa del Ranchero just before the Interstate and thought I would give them a try. They served up a VERY good Hevoes Rancheros with chili verde and flour tortillas on the side with the meal (I usually have to ask/pay for them separate).

If I were to complain about anything I would have liked some rice and half as many beans. I would also have been nice if I could have payed with my Credit Card. But, I'm not complaining.

The wind started to pick up about 50-60 miles north of Yuma but it was mostly a tail wind and didn't cause me any driving problems. When I got into north Yuma it was blowing even stronger and there was dust blowing, not so bad that it was a driving hazard in town but bad enough.

I had made a note where I would stop at a Lil Caesars Pizza but never saw it where I thought it should have been. Stopped and fired up my laptop to find another one then had about a half hour wait for them to open. Got most of my Daily blogs read while I waited using what I consider to be a normal Verizon connection.

This added a few miles to my total for the day but it was still only 140 miles. The route (as it should have been): AZ95, Araby Rd, Co 14th St, Ave 4E and Co 17th St.

Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

There is some doubt that Tytler was the one that made this observation but he is usually the one that it is attributed to. I don't think it is too important who said it first, what is important is whether it is true and if it is where are we in the historical cycle.

In my opinion the statement is true and the United States is most likely in the 'apathy to dependency' stage. We have certainly reached the point where the majority have discovered that it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. The only uncertainty that I have is how long we will remain in this stage before moving from 'dependency to bondage' within a dictatorship.

11 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Our first morning walk here was along Co 17th St to the west and back. We went to the east yesterday afternoon and then out into a vast empty field that I hoped would be a great place to walk and for Patches to run. I think Patches would like it but it was difficult walking in deep sand.

Part of our route this morning was bordered by alfalfa fields and the rest by citrus orchards. Oranges I think but it was still too dark to see for sure. As I was driving to the Park yesterday I passed a few orchards that were being picked; some looked to be oranges and some lemons. Also went past a field of broccoli that was being harvested.

It felt cold this morning but I checked the temperature history at Underground Weather and found that the low had been 46°. Certainly not that cold but felt cold. The high for the day is expected to be 72 which also feels colder because of the slight wind. No strong wind with blowing dust like yesterday morning as I was coming into town.

I have started reading my Monthly blogs which are well past the monthly point. I didn't even try to read any of them while near Parker with the poor Verizon connection that I had. Made a good start yesterday and have been continuing today. Less book reading on the couch and more blogs on my laptop.

12 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

We only went for a short potty walk this morning. I then drove to the Goldsboro Bakery near Fry's on the east side of Yuma to meet up with Boonie, Occupation Of Independence, for breakfast. This was the first time that I have seen him since we said goodbye in Ajo, AZ. I had email 'conversations' with him but the first time we met was on September 1, 2011 in Ouray, CO then again in Ajo.

After only a 'half' breakfast, no hash browns, and a lot of conversation we re-introduced Coffee Girl and Patches. It went really well compared to their first introduction. We the walked about a block to an open field and let them run for a few minutes.

Patches was a running fool for about 10 minutes and then she wanted to rest a bit. She hasn't had a good run in some time so this was good for her. What was not so good was I forgot to take her choke chain collar off and she managed to loose it. I'll try her with her old collar and see if I can control her now with it, if not then I get another chain.

When we got back to our vehicles we drove up to Fry's where I parked and Boonie gave me a tour of the ½ lots that are available for rent. It is a very nice area with two 'structures' on each lot; maybe a house and a RV or two RVs. There are full hookups available but it is like being in a residential area. That has its pros and cons as I see it from the way I live.

I don't think I'll be moving into one while I am here this time but I now know what is available and how to go about finding them. There are a few listed on Craigslist but there are far more available if you drive around the neighborhood and look for signs.

Back to Fry's where I stocked up with groceries again. When I got home I put the makings of a stew into my Thermal Cooker for 3-4 'linners' during the coming week. I'll probably go to this same Fry's next week because they have a gas station where I can fill up using my Reward Card Bonus. After that I'll go to one that is a little closer toward downtown Yuma.

13 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

The wind has been picking up since our morning walk and it was still cool at noon with only an expected 70° for a high temperature. The weather guessers are predicting some rain, 70% chance later today and 80% tonight. The next 10 days are going to be cooler also with highs in the lower 60s but the lows will stay near 50.

We walked north along Avenue 4 East this morning for a 2 mile out and back route. Will probably do that again this afternoon. There are not too many route choices that can be made from this Park. I will be restricted to only a couple as I was while at my last camp. I'm sure I'll become bored with them long before Patches does, she seems to find new smells on any walk we take.

She did reasonably well this morning with her old collar. I will continue with it until she shows me that I can not control her like I could the chain. Maybe it is going to work out, we will see.

Continuing to make slow progress with catching up on my Monthly blogs. I have almost two months to read rather that just one. I'm also starting to get the Will Rogers weekly articles ready for January. A lot more computer time and not as much book reading as I did when Verizon was so poor.

For the past few months my bathroom sink has been draining slower and slower. I knew that it was becoming clogged but didn't know what I should be doing to fix the problem. Last week I went searching for Home Remedy Clogged Drain and read a few sites that offered up some suggestions.

Most of the suggested remedies I was aware of but I had no 'plumbers snake' and it was past time for preventive measures. I started with some boiling water once or twice a day about a week ago with only marginal improvement. Yesterday when I was shopping I picked up some Baking Soda to go with the Vinegar that I almost always have on hand.

I gave the drain a treatment of the Baking Soda and Vinegar soon after getting home and thought I had made the clog worse rather than better. By late in the afternoon it was looking like maybe I had improved the situation so I added a little more Vinegar. I could see that this was creating the good fizz that says it is working and this morning I could see an improvement when I treated it again with some boiling water. Maybe, I have got it un-clogged, I'll continue to treat it similarly for a few days and hope so.

I am becoming as sick of reading about the 'fiscal cliff' as I was about the presidential campaign. After the election I thought it would go away but the President is still out there on the Campaign Trail beating his drum for 'taxing the rich'. Then there is Warren Buffet and Soros singing from the same hymn book and shouting 'Amen' to his every speech. I too could be championing the 'tax the rich' since I don't have to pay it but Buffet and Soros don't tell us that.

Prior to Buffet's latest call for the upward revision of the estate tax, the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman has also recently called for income, capital gains and dividend taxes to go up too, explaining in a widely discussed op-ed in The New York Times ("A Minimum Tax For The Wealthy") that higher tax rates over the years have had no bearing on investors like him.
As much as this may sound like selfless advice from a renowned financier who simply wants what's best for America, in reality he's immune from almost all of it... let's look at the gap that exists between proposed tax hikes and actual impact.
The proposed income tax increase on couples earning more than $250,000 year: Buffett's $100,000 a year salary is well known - as is the complaint that his poor, lowly secretary has a higher tax rate.
Then, there's his support for the recommended adjustment to tax dividends and capital gains as ordinary income instead of at the current 15% rate: Berkshire doesn't pay a dividend and Buffett never sells stocks.
And finally, we have his newest pitch to raise estate taxes: He's already pledged most of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and said the rest will go to the tax-sheltered philanthropies his children run. The Wall Street Journal nailed the Oracle of Omaha earlier this year, saying Buffett would not only avoid the so-called Buffett Rule, but he actually told the throngs who flock to his annual meeting to "follow my tax dodging example" and give their money away.

Then there was this poll result included in a Reuters story; all I can say is – DUH! Of course 75% of Americans would accept raising taxes on the wealthy 10%. My only question would be why 90% of Americans don't accept raising taxes on someone else.

Polling shows strong support for Obama's position. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey released late Wednesday, three-quarters of Americans say they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid the cliff.


14 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA105 December 14, 1924

The rains started at about 7:00 pm yesterday. From the sound of it we were getting a good rain. Then this morning I saw that the streets within the Park had some standing water on them I knew that it had been a good rain. The official tally was .58” which for Yuma is a lot of rain; that is 20% of what they have received this year.

Since the street were still wet and I had some standing pools of water here and there I decided that staying on the pavement would be a good idea. The soil along the roads is very sandy which should mean that the rain had soaked in but I didn't want to be in the mud if there was some.

Patches didn't care, I'm sure she would have been happy to walk in the mud. We only met one other walker with their dog while we were doing a meandering route of all the streets. Patches had to make her presence known by barking at that one but she did shut up promptly when I told her to. It was just getting twilight when we got back home and the majority of the walkers started coming out.

I don't know what the shoulder of the road along 17th is going to be like this afternoon. I saw a grader working on it this morning with a water truck following along behind for dust abatement. This after the rain last night does not make a lot of sense but I'm sure that it was scheduled to be done today so that is what they did.

The stock price of Hecla has been depressed all this month so it was no surprise that I had an email trade confirmation from my broker today. The only surprise was that only ½ of my Put options had been exercised ie I bought the shares at the Put price. There is still a week remaining before the other ½ expire so I expect them to be exercised before then.

I'm having some problems finding where I need to go in Algodones for my teeth cleaning. I got a map with the email that set my appointment but can not see the street names of what was provided. Google Maps is no help either. I've sent an email to the dentist office asking for directions. I have almost two weeks to figure it out but I'm glad I have started today.

I see that our Consoler in Chief has sprung into action once again with an afternoon appearance on TV to address the shooting in Connecticut. His prompt response to this shooting is an additional slap in the face to the Sikhs of Wisconsin where he did virtually nothing. Perhaps he has a minimum number of dead that must be reached before he becomes the nations Consoler in Chief? I certainly wouldn't think he would be a racist or have some religious bias toward the Sikhs.

15 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

We got some more rain this morning and it looked like more would fall all during the early part of the day. This may be one of the few days in Yuma when there was not a lot of sun shine. During an average year Yuma has Sunny Days 90% of the time so rain and cloudy conditions are a rarity.

We walked the Park streets again because of the wet ground again. When we walked the freshly graded road shoulders yesterday afternoon there were a few spots that I avoided that looked muddy, in the dark of morning it is hard to see them.

There is a field of alfalfa directly south of the Park, it is perhaps 80 acres in total. Yesterday the east half was 'fenced' off with the three strands of string held in place on fence post, just pushed into the ground, that are about 3-4 feet tall. Within this fenced area there is now a flock of sheep grazing on the alfalfa. This makes a lot of sense to me; you bring the sheep to the hay rather than cut, bale and transport it to the sheep.

There is a Tamale Festival in Somerton, AZ today (that is just south of Yuma). I thought about going but with 25,000 others expected to show up I decided NO. It is something like the Rib Cook Off in Sparks, NV that I went to ONCE. Probably worth going to it but too many people.

I disagree with most of what Jay Carney has to say and feel sorry for his position as paid shill for the President. However, today his statement to the press about the Connecticut shooting was not only appropriate but wise. That did not keep the anti-gun zealots from using the tragedy for their political purposes – never let a crisis, or tragedy, go to waste.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said "today is not the day," to engage in a policy debate over gun control when he took the podium at a press release from the White House today.

The media will be willing advocates for the disarming of America so we will hear a lot of anti-gun rhetoric in the coming days. What we don't hear, and will not hear, is any anti-automobile talk. There will not be any media stories about how safe a child is in school and how at risk their life is when in a motor vehicle. The facts are, for children between the ages of 2 and 14, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death, killing approximately 2,000 per year.

I am not making an excuse for the Connecticut shooter who was, in my opinion, insane. What I am trying to point out is the knee jerk emotional reaction to a death caused by a gun used by someone who is insane versus the killing of that same child in a motor vehicle 'accident'. We as a society have acquiesced to death by motor vehicle, it has almost become a death from 'natural causes'.

16 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Yesterday afternoon I took patches for a walk-run in the big open field that is east of Avenue 4 East from the Park. I walked and she ran toward the east until we came to some signs that said there was unexploded ordnance if we went any farther. That seemed like a good place to turn around.

I'll probably continue to walk within the Park in the morning while it is dark. I can then take Patches to the field or to a road bordering an orchard to the west in the afternoons. She has a good time running so I will let her while I have a good place to do it.

Making slow progress on getting current with my Monthly blog reads. I have also made a little progress with the Will Rogers weekly articles for January but not much.

The same can be said for my current novel, making progress but not yet ½ way through the almost 1,000 pages. It is the second in a series of mythic fantasy that isn't really my preferred genre. It also has a cast of characters that number in the hundreds with some spoken of using more than one name; confusing and slow reading for me. I'm referring to the map in the front of the book and the character appendix in the back every page or two.

The News is in a frenzy to report on the latest mass shooting and try to create the emotional setting for the confiscation of all guns. It has to be confiscation and nothing less if the fact of this shooting are looked at rather than simply an emotional response. Facts: the shooter was insane, he stole the weapons, the weapons were legally registered in a strong gun control state, all three weapons were semi-automatic (NOT on any assault weapons list); what law could possibly have prevented this tragedy other than confiscation.

There can not be any “meaningful action” taken to prevent such tragedies if the person committing them is prepared to die also. The martyrs of Al Qaeda or the Taliban have proven this time and time again as have the Hamas and Hezbollah suicide bombers. Don't forget Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City infamy; he didn't use a gun to kill 168 people including 19 children under the age of six and he was executed with no regrets, except that he didn't destroy the entire building.

Where there any “meaningful actions” that could have prevented McVeigh from blowing up the Federal Building in Oklahome City? Yes, and many were implemented after that tragedy. Did they prevent the attack on the World Trade Center? No, because the attackers were prepared to die also.

The story quoted below has been almost lost among all the reporting about the shooting but points out how gun control alone is not the solution. I have called attention to at least two other attacks with this same weapon and suggested that Bloomberg ban them in New York.

A Tampa-Bay area man who authorities say attacked his neighbor with a hammer has been charged with second degree murder with a weapon...Authorities say Brooks approached Jonathan Acree from behind at a Thonotosassa trailer park, striking him in the head and neck multiple times with a hammer.

17 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I'm staying in the Park for our morning walks because it is still dark out along either road route that we might take. However, I'm meeting other early morning dog walkers which causes Patches to react.

This morning was one of those meetings and Patches was actually the better of the two dog, she came to Heel quickly and shut up after one bark upon my Quiet command. I was quite proud of how she behaved. I would rather she not react at ALL but she did good.

As soon as we got home I packed up my bag and went to the laundry room. Got that started and then went into the Club House where I had been told 'the guys' hold court and drink coffee in the morning. There were four guys there when I arrived and after the 'where ya from' question I joined in the general conversation and socialized while waiting for my wash.

As I was leaving the laundry room I heard automatic small arms fire to the southeast of the Park. This continued for a couple of hours. I finally found the Marine Corps Small Arms Range on Google Maps. It is just east of AZ195 (Araby Rd) & E County 19th St or about 2 miles from the Park. I questioned one of the maintenance staff about it and he said that they hear the gun fire all the time but this is the first time I have noticed it.

Yesterday afternoon I had Patches out for a run again. This time it was along the edge of a couple citrus groves to the west and south of us and between the fenced and open alfalfa fields. I say the edge, that is where I was walking, Patches was out in the groves or the fields have a great time.

Paid for another week here in the Park and was told that the lot owners where I am at usually do not come in until sometime in January. If they do the office staff said they would do their best to get me into another space. So it is just a week at a time but I'm probably set for the next 2-3 weeks where I am.

Perhaps I am missing the reports since the Fiscal Cliff and the Connecticut shooting have taken over all the News but did the deaths in Benghazi become not News worthy. I did see an article about Secretary of State Clinton not testifying because of her fainting and non-hospitalized concussion. It seems that not only are the four from the Benghazi consulate dead but the cause of the deaths is now a dead issue also.

The Petraeus sex scandal went away soon after he testified, Mrs Clinton will skate now that she is leaving the administration, Secretary of Defense Panetta is leaving, President Obama dodged the bullet once more (talk about a Teflon President, he has Regan beat by a mile) and only a few no-name staff in State, Defense and the CIA will take the fall.

18 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Only went for a short potty walk to the Club House and back this morning and saw two other walkers out early this morning. I'm re-thinking my idea of staying within the Park during our morning walks. Prepared to go to town and left at about 6:45 just as the clouds were starting to glow with the sunrise.

Fittingly I stopped at the Daybreaker Café a truck stop restaurant on the north side of Interstate 8 across from Fry's. After breakfast it was grocery shopping time once again which gave me enough Reward Points to get a discount on my 35 gallons of gas. That didn't fill the tank but that is all the gallons I can get at the discount price. Before the discount this was the cheapest gas I have bought since 12/16/11 in Sierra Vista, AZ.

High clouds, mostly overcast, for most of the day. There is a chance of rain per the weather guessers but not much chance. The next couple of days are to be cooler with the high to be only near 60° and the low around 45. Then back up into the lower to mid 60s with early mornings around 50. Not too bad weather for Christmas week.

I took Patches to the big field east of the Park yesterday afternoon where she had fun running in the sand again. Today I think we will be going to the citrus groves once more. A little different route but still give her a chance to smell her way around the trees. She likes that a lot also.

You should hear her in the afternoon when I start getting ready to take her out. She gets really vocal. Howling, barking, dancing and jumping around – not that she is eager to go or anything. HA

Charles Hugh Smith said the following is his blog Of Two Minds on December 14, 2012. This is what has happened in those European countries that are now showing United States politicians 'the way' to grow our economy. France 'taxed the rich' by raising rates to 75% and the rich are leaving France. Greece has a huge tax avoidance problem, IF they could collect all taxes that were due they would not have the financial problems that they now have. That is only two examples from Europe, closer to home the same thing is happening in California and New York at the state level.

I would submit that tax revenues have topped out and will start declining, for structural reasons beyond the reach of politicos. Go ahead and raise taxes on everyone, or the top 10%, or some mix of both. People will avoid taxes by making less income, moving assets elsewhere, spending less or moving their enterprise to the cash-informal economy.

Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute, has made a suggestion that is almost identical to what I said the President should do if he really, really wanted to increase revenue. Brook concedes, as do I, that his policy prescriptions will never take hold in Washington.

Eliminate all subsidies and tax credits. "The flip side of that is take all the deductions out of the tax code but then lower the tax rate, the corporate tax rate," he says, suggesting that the corporate tax rate should really be zero anyway. "Because who pays corporate taxes? Consumers do."

19 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I was wrong about the rain yesterday as were the weather guessers. I didn't think it would rain, period. The weather guessers gave it a 20% chance during the day and 10% last night. Starting around 7:00 pm we got another good rain, the official measurement was .02” but I know that more fell here than that.

This morning the Park streets were still wet and I had a puddle on the slab next to Desperado. Not as large as the previous rain but a puddle of water that .02” would not have left. For that reason Patches and I stayed in the Park again. She doesn't mind but has a lot more fun running through the citrus groves like she did yesterday afternoon.

It is slow going with my Monthly blogs but I'm getting there. The Will Rogers week articles for January are about half done which is a good thing since the month of December is about half over. Novel reading is proceeding apace but as I said before it is a long one and a confusing read, for me anyway.

Prepared another Thermal Cooker pot of chili with red beans. I wrote about my needing a food processor or manual grinder or mortar/pestle for some of my desired cooking. One of the things that I wanted to do was to crush the dried habanero chilies.

To do so with my hands is possible but even repeated washings still do not prevent having burning eyes and/or lips if touched after doing so. I am leaning more toward the mortar/pestle because I would not use it much and I found out today that a sandwich bag and a can of beans does a pretty fair job of crushing dry chili.

Tired of all the smoke and mirrors that the politicians want you to believe are negotiations to fix the current Deficit and the Federal Debt? Today The Daily Pfenning offered up these two lessons that put the present economic situation into a perspective that I think anyone can understand. I wish our politicians would study the lessons and learn something.

Lesson # 1:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts so far: $385

What are the chances that the lender will take away the Credit Card?

Lesson # 2:

Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood…. and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ……Raise the ceilings, or remove the shit?

20 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I didn't want to get up this morning. It was cold, 39°, which felt so much colder than the 42 did yesterday morning. I took Patches for short potty walk and then we both went home and back to bed for another hour. Still in the mid-50s around noon with an expected high of just over 60. Cold!

It was a little cool yesterday afternoon when Patches and I were out on the big vacant field to the east. She got warmed up real good by chasing a jackrabbit for over a ¼ mile. It looked like she might have been gaining on it at one point but they always have a head start. I don't know what she would do with a jackrabbit if she did catch one, I don't think she would hurt it but then again maybe she would. It is the chase that she loves, I do know that.

The flock of sheep have been moved west into the second part of the 'fenced' alfalfa field. Many of them are now directly south of me and make for a pretty picture as they mow the field down right to the ground. Within the first 24 hours they cut the level down by at least 4” and it is almost bare ground before they are moved on to the next field.

It is also interesting to see them resting during the day. There are earthen berms about 25 yards apart that control the flood irrigation that is provided to the fields. I noticed today that the sheep lay down along these berms creating an wooly berm rather than an earthen one.

These are the opening paragraphs of a very good blog posting Obama Has One Last Chance To Become A Great President on The Automatic Earth.

Barack Obama has one last, fleeting chance of becoming known to posterity as a Great President.
His first four years were nothing to write home about, but with the burden of seeking re-election gone, you could argue that he can now throw off the shackles that held him back - and down - since January 20, 2009, and at last show his true face and intentions.
If he keeps up what he has done in his first term, Obama will go into history as an utter failure - and likely worse than that -, as a president who had a shot at greatness and blew it spectacularly. And moreover, as a president who led his country instead of into greatness, into disaster. For its people, that is. Not so much for those who financed his political campaigns. But then, Obama has no more campaigns to run or have financed.
These days, the media bombard us with stories about the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations. They do that in the same way that they presented the race for the presidency over the past year: they pretend there's high tension and big decisions to be made. Both are fake stories, aimed at generating attention, expressed in advertisement revenue for the media and credibility for the political system.
In reality, there never was a tight presidential race. As a consequence of that, nothing about the fiscal cliff would need to be tight either. And nothing really is. It's theater....All the president needs to do in order to succeed in that is to grow a pair. Will he? I'm not holding my breath; he hasn't for four years. But if he does, he can go far.

21 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA106 December 21, 1924

Well so far so good. The End of Time (per the Mayan Calender) and The End of the World (per the same seers that are always predicting same) have neither come to pass as I type this. The day is not over yet but it is looking good for me to still be here tomorrow.

Now it is a totally different story in Washington D C. There the News reporters see the world ending because there has still been no agreement on the Fiscal Cliff. IF we go over the Cliff it is going to be the Republicans fault for not accepting President Obama's unconditional surrender terms as the compromise to fix it. I say bring it on. I'm among the Cliff Divers, I want to see what happens when we go over.

Patches and I were back to a longer walk this morning. Back along the road again also rather than staying in the Park. We did a short Park walk yesterday afternoon so we had a rest day.

A lot warmer this morning at 45° but there was some wind so it felt colder than that. I also had my wool cap on which made a big difference as far as my ears were concerned. I didn't take my gloves but I'll not make that mistake tomorrow. If I don't wear them then Patches can carry them for me but I will have them available.

The Benghazi Report has put the death of our Ambassador to rest and we should just all move on 'there's nothing to see here'. Naming John Kerry as Secretary of State will certainly not change anything. Mrs. Clinton is now free to set up her presidential campaign run for 2016 and everyone is happy, especially President Obama and his lap dog media.

K. T. Mc Farland has said it well in Team Obama's entire Middle East policy has failed and the problem is about to get worse, this quote being only a portion of a well written article.

The Benghazi Report has condemned the State Department for “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies.” Four officials have resigned, and a few more lesser heads are likely to roll. Secretary Clinton may have said she takes full responsibility, but she has successfully managed to avoid taking the blame. With the holidays fast approaching, she and senior White House officials can now wash their hands of the matter.
But the Benghazi report misses the point...If the chaos and upheavals continue, which seems likely, we could in a few years see a region stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to Pakistan which is anti-American and consumed by ethno-sectarian violence. The region extends from North Africa to the Middle East to the Arabian Peninsula to the Persian Gulf to Central Asia. It’s home to terrorists, much of the world’s exported oil and our long time ally Israel.
That’s the real story, and the real scandal – not Ambassador Rice’s talking points or the State Department’s security failures. It not even the attack on a Consulate’s American soil and murder of American diplomats – tragic as those deaths may be. It’s that we are losing the Middle East to radical extremists and opening the door to more attacks against Americans.

22 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

This morning was almost the same temperature as yesterday morning but felt much warmer because there was no light wind. The weather guessers are predicting that we will be near 70° today and for the next two before dropping back to the lower 60s. The morning lows however will remain in the upper 40s. Pretty good weather!

Yesterday afternoon Patches was back in the citrus groves having a good time. We went along the edge of the groves that are about ½ mile due south of the Park and found them to be tangerines. It was in these groves that Patches chased another jackrabbit. I saw only the very beginning of the chase which was soon hidden by the trees. She came back with tongue hanging, huffing and puffing and happy as she could be.

I was having a LOT of trouble opening my yahoo.mail account while at Parker Strip and thought it was just a Verizon problem. A couple of days after arriving here in Yuma I saw that most of my yahoo.mail pages looked different, nothing very drastic just subtle changes. I said to myself, “self Yahoo has done it again, they are improving their site”. Sure enough, I am now having problems with yahoo.finance and yahoo.News and I'll soon see some minor changes to those pages also.

I know that Yahoo has programmers that they need to keep working on 'improvements' but why do they feel compelled to make changes just for change sake. Is it simply a job preservation ploy or is there some overwhelming reason to take something that is working and keep fixing it until it is broken?

I have noticed something else about Yahoo. They allow me to change my location designation on their News page and that gives me a section of local News. What it also does is it gives me local advertising which is very good because I don't see the same ads month after month. As Yakov Smirnoff would say: Custom advertising, What a Country. Or maybe it's Bill Engvall saying: Here's Your Sign.

23 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Patches and I did the north road route this morning. I'm getting up a few minutes later so now we are in the dark for the outgoing leg but have good twilight on the way back home. As the days lengthen once again that will improve more each day.

Yesterday afternoon we were in the big open field and I saw a jackrabbit that Patches did not see and I thought she had missed her chance for the day. Within minutes I saw her chasing something that I could not see a loooong way out there through some scattered grease wood. It must have been another jack but I didn't see the beginning of the chase.

Just slightly colder this morning but still over 40°. It is when it drops below that 'magic' number that I begin to really feel cold. The weather guessers are promising it to be closer to 50 for the next couple of days and then stay in the upper 40s during the next 10 days. That is GOOD!

President Obama is such a bovarist that at Senator Inouye's funeral he used the word "my" 21 times, "me" 12 times, and "I" 30 times. This was mostly while he talked about his family and their vacations to the 'Mainland'. In the 1,600 word speech this is what he had to say about the Senator.

Danny was elected to the U.S. Senate when I was two years old. Now, even though my mother and grandparents took great pride that they had voted for him, I confess that I wasn't paying much attention to the United States Senate at the age of four or five or six. It wasn't until I was 11 years old that I recall even learning what a U.S. senator was, or it registering, at least. (Insert here a long rambling recounting of his vacation to the Mainland) And so we remember a man who inspired all of us with his courage, and moved us with his compassion, that inspired us with his integrity, and who taught so many of us -- including a young kid growing up in Hawaii –-- that America has a place for everyone.

24 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

After our morning walk to the west this morning I prepared to go to town. It was about 7:45 when I got to La Fonda Tortilla Factory and Restaurant so I waited until 8:00 when I thought they were to open. Wrong. They were only open for order pick-ups. I didn't have a problem finding Mexican restaurants that were open during Holidays while in Mexico but certainly do here in the US of A.

Went about a block and a half to Brownie's which was open. This is very similar to what I experienced in Parker on Black Friday. The Mexican restaurant was closed and the well established restaurant (Brownie's began serving in 1946) was open.

After breakfast I went to the west side Fry's for groceries. It is not nearly as large, does not have nearly the selection, their produce section is good however and their Mexican food section is larger than the east side Fry's. I got almost everything I wanted but their fish offerings were extremely limited. I'm going to find out how pescado a la veracruzana turns out using salmon, it may be a breakthrough for me.

Last night, soon after going to bed, I got a knock on my door. This set Patches off as you might expect because she had been asleep, I was not. The knocker was the owner of the lot that I am camped on and he just wanted to tell me that he was getting something out of the shed that is here on his lot. During our brief conversation he also told me that he was coming to the lot on January 2nd, so on December 31st I'm moving. I think I'll be able to get another space here in the Park but will not know until the 31st.

I don't pay much attention to what my web page stat counter number counts are each day, they are not many. I do look at what the locations are for those that have come to my web site. Yesterday I had a visitor from Hanoi, Viet Nam; the first time that I can remember having a visitor from Viet Nam.

Speaking of Viet Nam, I want to refresh your memory with some historical facts about the build up of troops in that country.

For the period -1955 through 1960 (Eisenhower) - the U.S. had between 750 and 1,500 military advisors assisting the Diem government to establish an effective army.

By December of 1961 (Kennedy), 3,200 U.S. military personnel were in Vietnam as advisors... included Army Special Forces (Green Beret) instructors and CIA personnel organizing the Montagnards in the mountains. By 1963 (Kennedy), U.S. military advisors in Vietnam had grown to 16,000 and the Americans were firmly identified with the oppressive Diem regime.

History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year (2013), part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge.
The teams will be limited to training and equipping efforts, and will not be permitted to conduct military operations without specific, additional approvals from the secretary of defense.

I think small teams in 35 African nations is equivalent to placing bets on 35 different numbers on a roulette wheel. You have a good chance of breaking even with each spin of the wheel until one of the three numbers that you have not covered comes up, then you loose it all. I don't like the long term chances.

Why do I not read any Liberal rantings about an Imperial President sending troops to far away countries without Congresses approval? Why is it only this ignorant blogger that sees a potential problem with this latest military incursion in not only sovereign states but virtually an entire continent? Does this have anything to do with China having more of a presence in Africa? Where is the media coverage of Cindy Sheehan when we really need it?

25 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Merry Christmas!



We were up and out for our walk a little earlier this morning. Started to walk only around the Park but met another dog in the dark that caused Patches some distress. So we went out on the north road route and met another dog walker, in the dark, coming back. We didn't do the entire road walk or it would have been twilight by the time we returned.

The Park set out luminaria along all the streets a couple of days ago. They used colored bags that felt like plastic or plastic coated which I thought would provide some nice color. Early last night they lighted them all and I was very disappointed – not nearly as colorful as I would have thought. Maybe not enough bags? More likely it was they left the street lights on and the electric lights 'washed out' the luminaria.

Something was troubling Patches last night. Every time I got up to go to the bathroom she was awake. This is very unusual for her. To give her credit, she is making up for it today. She found a nice sunny spot on the passenger seat and has been asleep there for most of the morning.

Success, I'm now current with my Monthly blog reads. It is now time to start over so I don't get as far behind as I was when I arrived here. Now if I can only get the rest of the Will Rogers weekly articles for January set up to link before the end of the month I'll feel like I'm back on 'schedule'.

On 8 October 2011 while I was in Deming, NM I stopped at Amigo's, a Mexican Food processor, where I bought a dozen green chili and cheese tamales. Then on the 15th I picked up two dozen, one of green chili and cheese and one of pork. I don't think I liked the pork very well.

Last week I inquired about some tamales at the east side Fry's and found I could get a dozen from the Deli, so I got some pork that I didn't like much. Didn't bother to look at who made them. Today I went to the Deli at the west side Fry's and got a dozen green chili and cheese that were made by Amigo's in Deming. Very good, I think I'll rinse and repeat!

Not that what he says makes any difference because Jeff Sessions, of the Senate Budget Committee, is a Republican in a Democrat controlled Senate. He does understand the political situation, as many Republicans do not, and rightly contends that nothing has changed.

”President Obama today gave yet another speech about the fiscal cliff," says Sessions. "No plan, nothing that can be scored or analyzed, just another speech. If President Obama wishes to avoid the fiscal cliff then he, with all the power and influence he holds as the leader of this nation, must submit to Congress – in legislative form – a plan that he believes can pass both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. No more secret meetings and pointless press conferences. Certainly this is not too much to ask. So we await his action: will he move from an unscorable speech to scorable legislation? If he is unwilling to submit such a plan then we may be left with only one persuasive conclusion: that he has used two years of secret meetings with Republican leaders not as an opportunity to achieve fiscal reform, but as a political exercise to defeat his opposition and preserve the expansion of federal spending."

26 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Just another short potty walk for Patches and I and then off to town. This time the town was Algodones, Mexico for my teeth cleaning.

I wanted to get there with time to find the dental office but arrived about 30 minutes earlier than I had planned. I did finally receive an accurate map that showed me were it was although the map did not show any street names I was able to walk straight to it. I was also very happy to see that the email information I had received was correct that the office opened at 8:00 Arizona Time.

That does not mean that they started to clean my teeth at 8:00 it just meant that the office was open. The male hygienist, maybe dentist, did get me in the chair by about 8:15 which was 'on time' in Mexico, or in the United States for that matter when it comes to health providers. My dentist in Pahrump also does his own cleanings so I'm not discounting that I had a dentist working on me today. He seemed much more knowledgeable that just a hygienist.

The price was right and I had no wait to cross back into the United States. Most people were just arriving as I was leaving so it worked out perfect. I then stopped at Bubba's Southern BBQ for breakfast in Yuma on my way home. It is a BBQ place but serves breakfast all day and did a fair job doing so for me.

I think I have picked up a cold from somewhere. Have had a cough for the past couple of days with the sore throat today and the beginning of sinus pressure and leaking noose. I can usually avoid colds by staying away from people but not this time.

Success! I have the Will Rogers weekly articles for January ready to be linked to my Friday postings. Now all I need to do is remember to do the links. Need to start getting February ready before I get behind again.

27 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I felt a little better this morning and the walk to the west went well. I noticed two trucks attending to the sheep but it was too dark for me to see what they were doing. By the time we come back it was twilight and I could see that they had moved the flock to another field adjoining to the west. Can't see them anymore from Desperado but that would also be true on the 31st when I move.

It is still in the lower 40s for my morning walks which is fine. What is not so good is the slow warming during the day. I have had my Wave 6 on for a hour or two after I get back from our walk. Patches thinks that is a good idea also and flops down in front of the heater, between it an me. Heater Hog is her second name!

This one story encapsulates all the gun issues that I have been writing about since the latest mass shooting and when I first shinned the light on hammer killings.

William Spengler served 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. He was convicted only of manslaughter, and was paroled in 1998. Spengler is the individual that shot the firefighters in Webster, New York, one of the strictest gun control states in the nation. As a convicted felon he could not legally own a firearm yet he had one. Last but not least, Spengler shot himself.

First, here is another hammer killing. IF there had been stronger hammer controls back in 1980 the grandmother might be alive today.
Second, longer prison sentencing or a curtailment of plea bargaining may have kept Spengler locked up or perhaps he would have been found to be insane prior to parole.
Third, the New York laws that make it illegal for convicted felons to own a gun did NOTHING to keep Spengler from obtaining one. More paperwork is not going to keep the next killer from obtaining one either.
Forth, I REPEAT, you can NOT keep this kind of killing from happening IF the killer is also prepared to die.

The Journal News a local New York newspaper published an interactive map that shows the names and addresses of thousands of residents who have handgun permits. The online map was published along with an article under the headline: "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood." I think their readers would be just as well served with an interactive map that shows the names and addresses of residents that own hammers.

28 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA107 December 28, 1924

I had a rough night last night, not much sleep and still have the cough. Also was chilled all night and then found that I had sweated through my long sleeved t-shirt. We only did a short potty walk before I prepared to go to town.

Went to meet up with Boonie, Occupation Of Independence, for breakfast again. This time it was at Penny's Diner which offered some real breakfasts, ones that include hash browns. It was good to visit with Boonie once more but I was feeling rather poorly and we didn't run Coffey Girl and Patches.

I was able to borrow his cell phone to call TracFone to get them to re-activate my phone. The only thing that they asked me in their 'verification' process that I had not provided in my email to them was my date of birth. I think the entire 'call us' requirement was to let them make some sales pitches which I declined to listen to. This was all done with an automated 'operator' - End of Story – I have phone service again.

The morning low was 39° which is cold by my standards. The next couple of days are predicted to be near that low with the highs only in the lower 60s. Winter has come to Yuma. However, it is warmer here than almost any other place in the United States. That is what brings the flocks of Canadian snowbirds, that and the better exchange rate and lower prices for most things.

I got started on my Monthly blog reading today. The first one on my list was a month old so it is good that I did get to it. Maybe tomorrow I can get motivated to do some work on the Will Rogers weekly articles. I stayed prone on the couch most of yesterday. Not feeling great today but have not been in the prone position nearly as much.

29 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I had a better night last night, got a lot more sleep, the cough seems to be much better and sinus drainage may be ending. I was chilled again and found that I had sweated through my long sleeved t-shirt before the fever broke.

Over all I feel better but we only did a short potty walk to keep me out of the cold as much as possible. I'll be doing some shorter walks with Patches on a very short leash for the next few weeks anyway. I want to get her to walk at a heel, that is beside me not ranging out ahead or side to side sniffing at everything along the way. Of everything that I have attempted with her this is probably going to be the most difficult.

Made up another batch of Frey's Chili that is on the counter in the Thermal Cooker. I won't have any today but it will give 4 'linners' or more starting tomorrow. I stayed with my time tested receipt with one exception. I could not find any dried habanero chile so I'm using dried aebol that do not crush into small bits. Will see how it turns out.

Today I be having my second helping of the pescado a la veracruzana made with salmon. It is not bad but I don't think I'll do it again. The fillet came with the skin attached which is not an issue with grilling, baking or broiling but is not so good when you want to cook with a sauce. I skinned it first which was more trouble than I had supposed. The finished product is good but it does nothing for the salmon, I would have been happier if I had baked it.

30 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I'm not saying that I'm over my cold but I feel like I'm getting there. Didn't have the chills and sweats last night like the two previous ones which was good. I got more uninterrupted sleep than I have had for some time, also good.

Yesterday afternoon I did a walk around the perimeter of the Park with Patches and saw only one empty space. I may be leaving here tomorrow. If I do need to leave I'm ready, I just don't know for sure where I'll end up staying although I think I'll be here in Yuma somewhere.

I had a surprise waiting for me when we got back to Desperado – about 1” of gray water in my shower floor. I knew that my gray water tank was very close to full a couple of days ago but have not been paying the close attention needed because I felt so bad. The idiot lights on all my tanks are giving me false signals so I need to use other signs, water coming up into the shower floor is one of those. That means you need to dump gray water NOW.

I got that chore taken care of and filled with fresh water. Since the black water tank is never as full as the gray and I dump them both at the same time I avoid having a big black water mess due to the idiot light on that tank.

After a short potty walk at HEEL this morning it was to the store again. But, I first stopped at Daybreaker restaurant for breakfast. They were getting very busy as I was leaving so it is a good idea to arrive early on Sunday. Then went to Fry's and got groceries and gas. Needed to use my Reward Card Bonus Points for gas today or tomorrow or loose what I had accumulated.

The opening paragraphs of Charles Hugh Smith's blog Of Two Minds on December 26, 2012 explain the problem very well. What he does not say is how the problem will be solved but I believe the politicians will continue to kick the can down the road until they are forced to do something different. That force can come in many forms but I think ONLY force will result in them seeking a solution. It is not yet time but it will come!

The fiscal cliff dominates the mainstream news, but it is more like a bump on the pathway to the real cliff. In essence, the path has turned down and we're picking up momentum, gaining speed as we head for the cliff.
The real cliff is the gap between what has been promised and what can plausibly be collected in tax revenues: $86 trillion but one recent estimate, over $120 trillion by other guestimates. The difference is caused by the relative rosiness of the projections to control Medicare and Medicaid spending. Lower estimates assume we can stop the growth of these programs in the long-term, something that has not yet happened for the reason that the system lacks any controls to do so.
This gap widens by $7 trillion a year. That is, the promises to present and future retirees and beneficiaries goes up if we count the promises made not just for 2013 but for the future.
This $7 trillion is twice the entire Federal budget and roughly 50% of the nation's GDP. Understood in this way, we can see that raising taxes by $200 billion or cutting expenditures by $200 billion is not going to keep us from hurtling off the real fiscal cliff in a few years.
The fiscal cliff is only one edge we're racing toward; there are others. One is a Constitutional Crisis cliff that is just beyond the fiscal cliff, because the Constitution has failed to limit the power of concentrated wealth (the financial Aristocracy) and failed to resolve the Tyranny of the Majority: 50+% of the voters are now dependent on Federal transfers, while 25% pay 90% of the Federal income taxes. Those collecting benefits will naturally vote for what they perceive as their immediate self-interest, which is raising taxes on the minority until the minority rebels.
The only other option is to print the needed $100 trillion, which will destroy the nation's currency and economy. Either way, the 50+% will find the promises made are empty. Either the oppressed 25% opt out ("when belief in the system fades") and tax revenues collapse or everyone's $1,500 transfer from the Federal government will buy a single loaf of bread. Either way, we will face a political crisis.

31 December, 2012 Kofa Ko-op Escapees Park (Yuma, AZ)

I am still here in the Escapee Park. I unhooked from electric and drove to the office all prepared to move into a different space (although when I walked the Park yesterday afternoon the chances did not look good). That is what they had to tell me at the office today also. I could move into the Dry Camp area and wait for something to open up was about the best they could offer me.

But, but, the owner of my space will not be in until January 2nd, Wednesday, so they said I can stay in this same space until then and we will see what happens. They also said that I was first on the list for a space, because I have been in a space, even though there are also people waiting in Dry Camp.

That grant of first priority changes my thinking somewhat. I thought I would be at the back of the wait line if I moved into Dry Camp. So come Wednesday if there is no open space I may stay a few days there and hope for an opening. If nothing happens by the weekend I'll then probably move out of the Park.

Feeling well enough today to tackle the chore of cleaning my toilet and bathroom. This should have been done soon after I arrived here in Yuma, or better yet the week before I left Parker Strip. I complain about it every time I finally break down and do it and know it would be easier if I would just do it more frequently. But...well you know.

I feel a lot better about my Monthly blog reads. I'm as current as I've probably ever been when we start a new year. What a way to start – Ya. I'm also current with my Will Rogers weekly article preparation – another good start for the new year.

A cold morning at 39° with an even colder one predicted for tomorrow morning. The days continue to warm up into the lower 60s with near 70s forecast for next Friday and Saturday. The lows to be back up into the lower 40s. Pretty nice for the beginning of a New Year.

James Howard Kunstler has posted his annual predictions for next year, they are shown below. The more interesting part of his Forecast 2013: Contraction, Contagion, and Contradiction is the long commentary preceding those predictions.

-- Dow 4000 (What!? Did he say that!? Again!?). Even the algos will run squealing into the underbrush this time.
-- Gold $2500 by 12/31/2013 (and headed higher) after a Q-1 deleveraging swoon. Silver $125. Uncertainty trumps greed and fear.
-- Two-way Stagflation -- massive asset deflation combined with high energy and food costs. Americans go broke fast, go hungry, go nowhere.
-- California, Illinois, and New Jersey are broke ask the federal government for bailouts. The federal government pretends to bail them out. Austerity has a field day.
-- Despite willingness to do so, the Federal Reserve can no longer "print" money to overcome the deflationary contraction of wealth. They are finally "out of ammunition." They will try nonetheless. Consequently some nations will stop accepting dollars for trade, possibly the Middle Eastern oil exporters. That would be very bad news.
-- Shale oil and gas production stop increasing, possibly turns around to decline. The event hugely demoralizes "energy independence" cornucopians.
-- Gasoline shortages return to the USA on a scale last seen in the 1970s. Cause: broken oil market allocation system. Some regions suffer more than others.
-- Drought continues in the US heartland. The grain belt withers in 2013. Dixieland cooks like a chicken-fried steak. Food costs go crazy. The American public finally begins to freak out when confronted with $9 boxes of Cheerios.
-- A major earthquake hits the West Coast.