1 March 2014 Tombstone Territories RV Resort (Near Tombstone, AZ)
A lot of clouds this morning and very warm; did our walk without wool cap or gloves. The weather guessers are predicting a 100% chance of rain during the day and 90% chance tonight. They really, really think it is going to rain. They also have a wind advisory and that one they almost always get right. The storm clouds rolled in from the west and sure enough we got some rain starting around noon.
I think I will finish catching up with my Monthly blogs today. Then for the next few days until I get on the road I'll see what kind of progress I can make on getting current with a blog that may be added to that list. I'm now in September 2010 so have some reading to do. HA
I have been trying to get some good sunrise pictures since I have been here, for in my not so humble opinion Arizona has some of the very best sunrises in the world. To do so I know that I need some good equipment and the skill to use it. I have neither so I do what I can.
There is another secret to getting good sunrise pictures. It is the same thing that is required for a successful rain dance - location and timing. The presence of clouds is also very important but without location and timing you are not going to get a good picture. These are the best I have been able to do so far.
President Obama's threat that there would be "costs" if Russia intervened militarily in Ukraine is another red line that President Putin just stepped over. He received permission today from parliament to mobilize the country's military in Ukraine. Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine's strategic region of Crimea. Your move President Obama; maybe draw another line and s
ay "I dare you to step over that line".
Some 30 minutes after issuing his warning to President Putin Obama was speaking before a group of Democrats at a DNC fundraiser and had this to say. Is there any doubt in your mind why President Putin does not fear anything that Obama has to say?
“Well, it’s Friday. It’s after 5 o’clock. So, this is now officially happy hour with the Democratic party,” the president told his cohorts. “I can do that. It is an executive action. I have the authority.”
An audience member then asked the president to “tell us about your plans for nuclear war with Russia.”
“What the heck are you talking about?” Mr. Obama said to laughter and applause. “No, no, don’t worry about it. We’re OK. Have a seat. I don’t know anything about that plan. I don’t know what you’ve been reading. Let me return to what I was talking about. See, he thought happy hour started earlier.”
2 March 2014 Tombstone Territories RV Resort (Near Tombstone, AZ)
WOW we got 1.24" of rain yesterday and 0.10" today. The weather guessers thought we would get about 1/4". Most of it came after the sun went down yesterday with it raining steadily through the night until early this morning. Miller Peak in the Huachuca Mountains at 9,466' had a dusting of snow on about the top 500' that I caught a brief sight of as the clouds broke up. Partly cloudy and in the low 60s today then warming back up into the 70s for the rest of the 10 day forecast.
I went to Café Olé again for breakfast had the Enchiladas de carne de res y pollo Montados again. However, this time I had them hold the cheese on top of everything and they were even better.
Picked up groceries at Fry's and the used my Rewards Card to fill up with gas. This is my last trip into town during this visit. Put some of those groceries to good use as soon as I got back to the Park. Made up a pot of Spicy Fish Soup that includes about 1# cod, 1# shrimp, 32 oz chicken stock, 29 oz diced tomatoes, 14 oz chopped green chili, a diced onion, 5-6 cloves of sliced garlic and some menudo spices and cayenne chili powder. I'll let you know how it turned out after I have some for 'linner'.
My-O-My, President Putin has really made Obama mad now. Soon after the announcement that Russia would become militarily involved in Ukraine Obama telephoned Putin and really laid into him. I guess he does not understand that the United Nations can do nothing because Russia will veto any actions that is proposed. I can just see President Obama stamping his feet in a temper tantrum when he says 'I may boycott the economic summit' and Putin responds with a big yawn.
I would also like to know what they had to say to each other that took 90 minutes. Did President Obama talk for the 90 minutes while Putin had the phone on mute? I can not believe that two people that have as little respect for each other as these two have could participate in a 90 minute telephone conversation.
President Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that the U.S. may boycott an upcoming economic summit in Russia and threatened further penalties if Moscow does not recall its military forces from Ukrainian territory.
In a 90-minute telephone call, Obama warned Putin that Russia faces "greater political and economic isolation," according to a White House description of the call. The president suggested the United Nations would take action for what he called a "breach of international law."
"After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence – the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next." - Sarah Palin, October 21, 2008
Her critics have enjoyed mocking the former Alaska Governor's foreign policy assertions when she ran as the GOP vice presidential nominee, but it appears she was right.
3 March 2014 Tombstone Territories RV Resort (Near Tombstone, AZ)
There was no official rain measured last night or this morning but the ground looked like it had received a little more when we went out for a short walk. Lots of cloud cover that looked like more rain but that cleared somewhat then built up again then cleared again throughout the day. No forecast of rain and will be near the 70 degree mark if the weather guessers are right.
The Spicy Fish Soup turned out pretty good. I served it up and then added a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of dill before eating. The recipe calls for the yogurt to be included while it is cooking but I tried this alternative. If/when I do this dish again I will not include shrimp (more cod) and will add hominy and that will give me a close approximation of what the recipe is for Spicy Mexican Fish Soup.
I had a new neighbor pull in to the east of me last night after dark. He had lights flashing from tow vehicle, trailer and his flashlight for around 1/2 hour. My hearing is bad enough that he didn't disturb me much other than all the flashing lights.
This morning I saw him walking his two little fur balls while Patches and I were out. Then starting soon after that he began the process of setting up his trailer. It is really a PROCESS! He jockeyed the trailer around about a half dozen times before finding a position that suited him. Then began the putting out of slides, unhooking from the tow vehicle, hooking up to electric and water, putting stabilizer down, putting rug and chairs out, getting a flag mounted to the trailer tongue. I was entertained until after noon and I'm not sure that he is through yet because I see him walking circles around the trailer from time to time.
House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) summed the Ukraine crisis up perfectly on Fox News Sunday by saying “Putin is playing chess, and I think we’re playing marbles.” I think John Hayward has also summed up how President Obama got into this crisis with his blog posting Putin plays chess while Obama plays marbles at Human Events. Then to make matters worse, if that is possible, he has Secretary of State John "Ketchup" Kerry (who served in Vietnam) babbling nonsense about "It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century".
A key element of the Obama mindset is his conviction that every day brings him a clean slate. His domestic media allies and loyal followers never hold him accountable for anything he said more than two days ago. He has never been made to accept responsibility for a single thing he’s done in five years of occupying the White House. Obama is a parody of the fast-talking politician who thinks chumps are at fault for believing campaign promises, not the hucksters who make them. Consequently, he doesn’t understand how his foreign policy disasters snowball. He doesn’t get why his actions in Egypt influenced the resolution of Syria, or how the fallout from Syria leaves him looking impotent and foolish as Putin rolls through the Crimea. That’s why he didn’t understand Sarah Palin’s point about how weakness transmitted over George would make the Russians feel their oats today. How could anyone possibly remember anything Barack Obama said six years ago, much less use his obsolete remarks to predict his future behavior? He’s waiting for friendly media to give him the kind of amnesia “reset” he gets after every domestic policy disaster...Whatever comes next, you can rest assured it will be a big surprise to Barack Obama and his team, who thought everything happening today was absolutely impossible one week ago... He’s been deliberately ignoring all the evidence that contradicts his ideological hypothesis that Obama speeches can rewrite history, that all the world is an audience waiting for him to show up with his teleprompter.
4 March 2014 Tombstone Territories RV Resort (Near Tombstone, AZ)
Most of what little I did today was done using email or online Internet. I sent an email to the SKP in Pahrump that said I was coming. They do not take reservations but I have found that letting them know that I want to stay has helped. Received a reply that paperwork will be left at the Office if I come in on Sunday but I may have to boondock if there is no Manager around.
Placed my order for Arbuckles Coffee but found NO way to have the order held for pick up at their location in Tucson. They have a lot of verbiage about Local Pick Up but I could not find that as an option offered under their Shipping Options. I love their coffee but their web site needs some work.
I also filled one more of my VA prescriptions before they expired. I will have a new 'care provider' when I go in for my annual appointment in a couple of weeks and don't know what he/she may do about my prescriptions. It is always an unknown when getting someone new. They may go along with the annual check up and enough prescriptions for one year and then again it may turn into a bit of a hassle.
My fresh water tank idiot light has said that I am completely full since I last filled it but my guess was that I needed to dump holding tanks and take on more fresh water today. I starting filling the fresh water tank and the idiot light went to showing that it was something over 1/4 full. Got that chore out of the way and now ready to leave early on the 6th.
Not knowing how much time I'll have nor what my Internet connections might be I did some more 3x5 route card preparation. I have been this way enough times that I can almost remember where all the turns are but needed some reminders to get me out of Tucson. Made up the card that will get me to Hope, AZ where I plan on spending Saturday or Sunday night. Need to make up my mind which route I will use to get through Las Vegas and then make up a card for the last day of travel to Pahrump. I might do that today or tomorrow for sure.
What is going through President Obama's mind to do this kind of thing? I could understand why he chose colleges/universities leading into his first term; that is where he could find a supporting audience. That audience kind of disappeared during his first term and he moved his campaign speeches for his second term to high schools so he would have a non-critical audience. But today he held a Press Conference at an elementary school - what in the hell is that about?
5 March 2014 Tombstone Territories RV Resort (Near Tombstone, AZ)
I made a decision about which way I would transit Las Vegas and made up a 3x5 card to guide me. I also devoted some time to picking a camp when I leave Pahrump and sent off a couple of Park inquiries. One does not offer monthly rates and their daily rate would total nearly $900 - not going to happen. The second one did offer a monthly rate but wanted a deposit and wanted to know what breed my dog was. They then said that they do not accept American Staffordshire breeds and I thanked them and told them that even if they ever changed their policy I probably would not stay with them.
Traded this book that I finished last night at the Park library this morning. I will be leaving here with a full shelf of unread books although some of them are of questionable value.
This book was published in 1993 the same year that under the third Delors Commission, the Maastricht Treaty became effective, creating the European Union. The action in this military fiction then takes place in 1997-98 leaving the reader somewhat confused with reality versus fiction. That is a risk that all authors of futuristic fiction take - their fiction will be overwhelmed by reality. It is a rousing story with plenty of real military knowledge inserted; he may be a contemporary to Tom Clancy in this respect. Publishers Weekly did not care for "New Beginnings" as being too 'warm and fuzzy'; I however like to know what happens to the main characters when the shooting stops. I have another of his books in my unread library now and will keep an eye open for others - recommended.
Fans will no doubt lap up the latest techno-thriller from Bond and Patrick Larkin, the team responsible for Vortex and Red Phoenix . In late 1997, world order has been destabilized by recession and extreme nationalism. The French foreign minister creates "EurCon," a European Confederation led by France and Germany that will rule Europe. EurCon's attempt to assimilate Eastern Europe meets with resistance, particularly from Poland, and soon the U.S. and Britain are pulled into the struggle. The war and its build-up are reported by various observers: the senior CIA field man in Moscow, the private advisor to the U.S. president, a French intelligence agent, a Hungarian police commander, a Russian intelligence man, a CIA economist (the lone woman and hence the "like" interest) and officers of the American, German and Polish armed forces. The French are definitely the bad guys here, albeit dim ones who don't see the writing on the wall when the Americans wipe out their nuclear capability two-thirds through the book. The prose serves the galloping plot and technology well, if humorlessly; maps, dramatis personae and a glossary also help. But the last chapter--"New Beginnings"--is too warm and fuzzy and should have been dropped. - Publishers Weekly
Lois Lerner (former IRS official), who last year refused to answer questions about her role in singling out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, was called back before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on today. Though Republicans argue she waived her Fifth Amendment right not to testify by giving a statement during the last hearing, Lerner continued to invoke that right.
The Committee can now find her in Contempt of Congress and then the full House may pass a resolution of contempt. This will all take forever and is almost meaningless. The penalties are not something that she is going to worry about a great deal. I say again the Committee should grant her immunity and then charge her with perjury IF she should lie under oath.
The quote shown below is from Obamacare Architect: 'You Don't Need a Doctor for Every Part of Your Health Care' by Susan Jones at CNSNews.com. Bill O'Reilly is taken aback that there will not be any doctors at these clinics. Wake up Bill, that is the way the Veterans Administration has run it's clinics for years. Now everyone will be able to get the VA's level of service.
I have been receiving my primary care from the VA since 1999 and I think I have actually talked to a doctor twice in that time, all the rest of my contacts have been with nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Health and Human Services Department is spending billions of dollars to expand community health clinics, which are mainly staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
"It's going to be one part of a complex part of the health care system," Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of Obamacare, told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Tuesday night. "So if your kid has a sore throat and you want to find out if it's strep throat, or your kid has what appears to be an ear infection and you want to find out if it's otitis media -- you really don't need to go to the pediatrician. You can go to these clinics."
"But there aren't any doctors," O'Reilly said.
"Well, you don't need a doctor for every part of your health care," Emanuel responded.
March 2014 Friends (Tucson, AZ)
It was a short driving day but took a long time. Only drove 90 miles via this route: AZ82, AZ83, Sahurita Rd,(then all Tucson Streets/Rd) Houghton Rd, Speedway Blvd, Kolb Rd, Grant Rd, Alvernon Way, River Rd & La Cañada Dr.
There was about 1/2 mile of slow and go traffic at Houghton Rd and I-10 where traffic was backed up to turn left and get onto I-10. Then there were some long stretches of Houghton that were under construction. This added some time but the city traffic was not too bad although I had arrived around 8:00am.
Stopped for breakfast at The Good Egg on Speedway near Kolb. I passed two more of these restaurants on my route for there is a chain of these in Tucson. A little expensive but a very nice restaurant, a couple steps up from my usual semi-greasy spoon, but I got a good chorizo skillet with two very good flour tortillas and the coffee was good.
Made it to my intended stop here in Tucson after nearly 4 hours of travel. There have been many days when I would have covered almost 200 miles and stopped for breakfast in that length of time. Took Patches for about a mile walk which she was very vocal about taking when she saw me put on my GPS watch. It has not taken her long to lean that the new watch means "WALK".
The remainder of the day was spent reading my Daily blogs and a quick glance at the News. Then a long visit with LeRoy and Anne, the couple that I stopped to see for a couple of days in Kansas. They have 'winter overed' here in Tucson where they have done some light workamping for their church and enjoyed warm weather while the rest of the country froze.
I'm waiting for a couple of replies to email inquiries that I have made for a camping space in April and May. If those work out as I hope then I'll see if I can get a dentist appointment for early August and if so then a place to stay during July and maybe August. The June stop is still a question mark in my mind until I settle the other months.
7 March 2014 Friends (Tucson, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA169 March 7, 1926
Patches and I did a big block loop on the east side of La Cañada yesterday afternoon. Then this morning we went out and back on La Cañada which is under construction which limits the traffic on the east side but there is a sidewalk in place for most of the way. Actually a good place to walk especially in the early morning.
My friends took Patches and I to the Olé Grill for breakfast where I had a tamale with eggs and beans plus good flour tortillas and coffee. It was alright but not as good as a Rise and Shine as served by Café Olé in Sierra Vista. Patches was extremely vocal about going with us so she road along but stayed in the car and was a very good girl the rest of the morning.
A lot of my day was devoted to visiting. Will do another afternoon walk with Patches then only a short potty walk tomorrow morning before getting back on the road.
The Bureau of Labor released their non-farm job numbers for February today that showed an increase of 175,000 jobs. The media spin is that this is a surprising rebound from the number of jobs created in December and January considering the bad weather. I'm am sure they had their stories written already that explained the poor numbers in February on the weather. The surprising 175,000 is nothing to get very excited about but the media is doing the best they can.
If you look at the Household Data for February the number of Employed increased by 42,000 keeping the trend in place - just. There have been increases of 818,000 in November, 143,000 in December, 638,000 in January and now this much smaller increase.
The Unemployment Rate moved back up to 6.7%, which the media is tending to ignore. The number of Unemployed increased by 223,000 with the Not in the Labor Force decreasing by 94,000. This was not enough to change the Participation Rate which remained at 63.0%. The analyst are claiming that more people started looking for jobs again; some of them may have been the 1.3 million that had been receiving long term unemployment.
The average earnings rose by another 10 cent to $24.31 an hour, while the average workweek lost 0.3 hours to 34.2 hours. That means that between the increase in the average hourly earnings and the loss in hours worked the average worker lost weekly earnings once more.
You would think that knowing how many uninsured had become insured under ObamaCare would have been a priority 'data point' to be collected. That assumes the stated goal was truly the goal in getting OmabaCare passed which was suspect at the time and is now known to have been a lie. That was never the goal of ObamaCare so knowing how many uninsured now have insurance means nothing to this Administration.
The stated main goal of Obamacare was to provide health insurance to the uninsured who were in a state of “crisis” by not having coverage. On that account, today’s numbers about the percentage of uninsured actually enrolling in Obamacare, indicates a complete and utter failure.
Gary Cohen, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official who oversaw the insurance marketplaces through their troubled rollout, told an insurance industry conference on Thursday that the administration doesn’t know how many uninsured Americans are signing up. “That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,” Cohen told attendees when asked how many of the enrollees were previously uninsured, according to The National Journal.
March 2014 Ramblin' Roads RV Park (Hope, AZ)
We did a short potty walk and were on the road by 6:20 this morning. Had road construction almost all the way to the Frontage Rd turn and then some traffic light stops until we reached Marana, AZ.
Relatively slow speed limits all day but that is just fine with me. I made it to my new camp soon after noon and took Patches for another short walk. She has now collapsed for the afternoon until I start stirring around and then she will be ready for her afternoon walk.
Total distance toady was 228 miles via this route: La Ca&ntiled;ada, Orange Grove Rd (in Tucson), Frontage Rd (partially in Tucson), Picacho Blvd, Eisenhower St/AZ87, AZ84, AZ387, Cottonwood Ln/Maricopa Hwy, AZ347, AZ238, Old US80 Hwy, Salome Hwy, Courthouse RD, Harquahala Rd, Salome Hwy & US60.
Stopped for gas in Casa Grande although I could have made it to Parker where I will fill up again tomorrow but Gas Buddy said gas was cheaper in Casa Grande. Didn't save a lot but saved something on almost 20 gallons. I then was looking for a restaurant in Casa Grande and Maricopa as I was driving through and not seeing much available. Just before the turn onto AZ 238 I took a chance and turned into the Fry's shopping complex in Maricopa and found Sunrise Café.
Ordered what they call a Tex Mex Omelet. The central part of Arizona has been Californicated so it was no surprise to me that what I received was more California Cuisine than Tex Mex. It was good and the place is upscale for me so I paid a lot more than usual but there were not a lot of choices. They were doing almost full house business because there are not a lot of choices.
I thought my Verizon worked here when I stopped once before but could not get a good enough connection to open my Home Page. The Park does have a WIFI that appears to be working well so I can only hope that is continues to do so.
Do you remember my writing (26 February 2014) about President Obama addressing an audience of BarackObama.com volunteers and telling them that they were doing "God's Work". Is it just coincidence that Michelle Obama, the First Lady, when speaking to ObamaCare counselors at a Miami health care center said "These places are not easy places to run, but you are doing God’s work.”? Is interpolating "God" in speeches by the Obama's now the thing their handlers have advised them to do?
9 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
A short walk again this morning for Patches and for me to take out the garbage. I woke up a little before 5:00 and didn't go back to sleep so about 40 minutes later we were up and moving which put us on the road at 6:10. Rather dark for the first 20-30 minutes but I have seen all of this country many times so I don't think I missed much.
There was some wind these past couple of days but never enough that driving was a problem. A big difference from when I went south last Spring when I fought winds for three days.
A little longer day for a total of 282 miles and almost exactly 7 hours on these roads. US60, AZ72, AZ95, CA62, US95, Business 40, River RD (both in Needles), Needles Hwy, NV163, US95, Boulder Hwy, Warm Springs Rd (both in Las Vegas), NV160, Manse Rd & Oakridge Ave (both in Pahrump).
Stopped for gas in Casa Grande although Stopped to fill up with gas in Parker as planned and saved about $3.25 because I had filled up yesterday in Casa Grande. I noticed the price of Regular in Needles was $4.49 or a dollar more than it was at a station just across the Nevada state line on US95.
I then also stopped at the Crossroads Café for breakfast where I had their Crossroads Omelet. I always stop there for breakfast if I am passing through and have never been disappointed. They are right on the California border but have not been tainted by any California influence. I saw a sign that said they had opened a second restaurant on the Parker Strip which was badly needed when I stayed there.
10 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
We did one circuit of the Park this morning which was not enough for Patches but she has gotten over her disappointment. Promptly went to town when we got back to Desperado with our first stop at Mom's Diner. There I had Corned Beef Hash with Poached eggs on top with some great home fries.
It was then only a short drive up the street to the vet's office where I made an appointment for Patches. She will get her annual exam and required shots. I'll then have those records sent to the vet office in Sierra Vista and we should be good until next April.
It was then over to the UPS Store where I picked up a lot of junk mail and a couple of packages from the VA. What I did not receive was my coffee from Arbuckles. I sent them an email and they replied that the coffee was delivered where my friends were staying in Tucson as I had requested back on 25 March. They never replied to that email and said that they were going to do it.
They also told me today that I could NOT find a Local Pick Up on their web site because I do not have a Tucson address. They were doing me a favor to deliver and I realize that but it would have been good if they had told me they were going to do so. Maybe I'll get it sent to me soon, then again it may end up being forwarded 2-3 times before I get it. As I told them in my email today: I have learned my lesson, I will NEVER, NEVER ask for Local Pick Up again.
It was also grocery shopping day. I picked up my usual items plus some turnips and kielbasa that I cooked up as soon as we got home. That will go with a big salad for 'linners' this week. I also stopped at the dog groomer to make a bath appointment for Patches but she was closed today so I need to go back.
I was able to get monthly spaces at RV Parks for April and May. Then I was also able to make an appointment to get my teeth cleaned in Taos the first week of August. However, the first RV Park that I contacted there was not offering monthly rates and recommended another Park in town - I await their reply. My June stop is still open also but it is me that is undecided at this time.
Billy Bob at Billy Bob's Travels expressed my thoughts about the change to Day Light Savings Time much better than I ever could. However, I think I have all my clocks reset to the correct time. Moving through Time Zones is bad enough without Day Light Saving to complicate everything.
But know'n the exact hour of the day is just like know'n what day of the week it is. It just don't make no matter one way or a nuther. The way I look at it, the sun come up in the morn'n an' the sun set in the even'n. Anything in between is day light.
11 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
We did some more Park walking early this morning. I then went to the Club House for coffee where I saw a few people that I knew and more that I didn't. They had a much bigger crowd for coffee than was usually there in the past. I'll be going back in a day or two and see if that is the regular meeting group.
I received an email from my friends in Tucson. They do have my Arbuckels coffee and will be re-shipping it to me. This entire effort to pick up the coffee while in Tucson turned into a complete kerfuffel.
I am also having trouble with the RV Parks that I want to stay at in June and July. The one June overnight stop has an online form, which I do not like, that I filled out yesterday and have not received any reply. Filled it out again today. Then the Park that I want to stay at for one month in June does not have an email address available on their web site. Although I hate my cellphone I tried calling them today and found that their voice mail was full. I then did find an email address for them at another web site and sent them an email today.
Somewhat the same problem with two Parks that I sent email to yesterday requesting information for a stay in July. Neither of them have responded to my email yet. It makes me wonder if these Parks have so much business that they can not take the time to respond or are they so poorly managed that they have no business.
I am having better luck with an order that I placed with Amazon yesterday. I received a Confirmation almost immediately and then this morning I got a notice that one of the 3 items ordered has been shipped. No confusion this time about Local Pick Up so I should have all three items by late next week - maybe.
Snowden has got it exactly right in his assessment of Senator Dianne Feinstein and her outrage at finding that the CIA had spied on her Committee.
The whistleblower Edward Snowden accused the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee of double standards on Tuesday, pointing out that her outrage at evidence her staff were spied on by the CIA was not matched by concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens...
In a statement to NBC News, Snowden said: “It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern.”
Snowden, who is in Russia on temporary asylum, added: “But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”
12 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Another day that we went to town, twice. The first stop this morning was at Pahrump Town Diner where I had their Huevos con Chorizo with very good home fries, not very crispy but seasoned well.
Then it was on to the DMV where I drew number 26 to be served. They were serving #5 when I sat down and I sat for almost 2 hours before it was my turn. The wait was aggravation enough but even worse was the guy behind me. He talked almost non-stop for the entire two hours since with my luck today being what it was his number was 25. When called it took me less than 5 minutes to re-new my drivers license.
The really sad thing about the DMV visit was I could have avoided it entirely and re-newed on-line if I had not been turning 71 at my next birthday. To avoid the visit would have required a doctors signed statement that my vision and health was good. I saw a woman go before me that needed a walker and I was not sure she was going to make it to the clerk and then to get her picture taken but she was able to re-new. The physical standards that apply if you can get into see a clerk are not very high. But her vision and mine were both good to go!
I then stopped at the dog groomer to get an appointment and she wanted me to come in this afternoon. This posting is later than usual because that is where we were. Patches was getting a bath while I was being groomed at the barber shop across the street.
Finished my latest novel while at the DMV and could have started another one but didn't have it with me. I'll get a review posted within the next day or so. I have started reading Monthly blogs again but not going to read many today, just too busy. HA
President Obama supporters are trying their best to provide a positive spin to his appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” show on Funny or Die. It is not surprising that there are right-wing critics that take an opposite view. Then there is this review by Roger Friedman an independent entertainment news journalist that is writing from an entertainment versus political point of view. I don't think it will help his poll numbers much, a Wall Street Journal-NBC poll released yesterday showed the President’s approval ratings fell to 41%.
In the satirical interview that debuted on the comedy website yesterday, the prez and “The Hangover” star trade insults, feign boredom and annoyance, and plug Obamacare in the six-minute clip.
“It’s not funny but it’s on ‘Funny or Die,’” said Roger Friedman on Showbiz 411, calling Obama’s appearance “less presidential than Richard Nixon saying ‘Sock it to me’ on ‘Laugh In.’” “Obama should not quit his day job,” he added.
13 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Not much happening today. Patches and I both need a down day from all the traveling we have been doing and then our busy schedule since arriving in Pahrump - HA. I have now got reservations for every month except June. The Park that I want has a full voice mail and has not yet responded to my emails; I'll keep trying and hope for the best.
We walked and I went to coffee again. The crowd for coffee was there again, about twice the number that have been in attendance when I have visited here in the past. I also dropped off my old Garmin with both charging cords, 110v and 12v, plus the operating manual on their donation table. Maybe someone will pick it up and get some use out of it.
Patches was a long time getting her bath and toe nails clipped yesterday. I think the groomer over scheduled and was backed up with work. She seems to stay very busy and has to be doing a great business. She has a woman working for her that does the baths but I bet she could use another groomer. Patches came out of the experience all soft and smelling good again. They also claim that she is always 'such a good girl'.
I thought I had read a Robert Ludlum book before this one and perhaps I have but I can not find that I have written about doing so anyplace on my web site. I found this one to be an entertaining tale but the protagonist escapes from the jaws of death too many times for it to be believable. I think it was written for the big or little screen as are many of the action novels of recent years. Twelve of his 27 thriller novels have been made into films and that is where the real money can be made, selling books is not the way to riches in our culture anymore. This novel was published posthumously and written by a ghostwriter using an outline that Ludlum prepared shortly before his death. I'll give the author another chance if I find one of his books when I trade, I didn't find this one quite as bad as Publishers weekly did.
This WWII-era thriller opens in August 1991 as American ambassador Stephen Metcalfe arrives in Moscow, where Communist hard-liners are attempting to wrest control of Russia from the reform government. The fate of the country will be decided by an official known as the Dirizhor-the Conductor-and Metcalfe is the only man who can convince him to resist the forces of Stalinist darkness. Flash back to 1940, just after the Nazis have signed a nonaggression pact with the Russians. Young playboy/espionage agent Metcalfe is sent by American spymaster "Corky" Corcoran to the U.S.S.R. to enlist an old lover, Lana ("an extraordinary woman, impossibly beautiful, magnetic, passionate") in a scheme that if successful will change the course of history. Hot on Metcalfe's tail is assassin Kleist, a Nazi Secret Service agent who dispatches his enemies by garroting them with the E string of his violin. These principals and a host of others thrust and parry between Paris, Moscow and Berlin before a final confrontation in an enormous, mock factory fashioned of plywood and cleverly painted canvas. The factory, a bombing decoy, provides an apt metaphor for the book: a hollow, flimsy construct unable to hold the weight of a bloated plot and an army of cliched characters. All of Ludlum's trademarks are in evidence: one-sentence paragraphs, a plentitude of exclamation points, ridiculous dialogue ("Die, you bastard!") and the breathless use of italics to impart excitement, but in the end there are few surprises in this unsatisfying behemoth. Perhaps it's time to let the master rest in peace. - Publishers Weekly
14 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA170 March 14, 1926
Another day for me to do very little. I have made good progress on reading Monthly blogs and may finish today, certainly tomorrow. It will then be time to start working on Will Rogers weekly article links again. We did our daily walks, I read my Daily blogs and also devoted a lot of time to the News.
I had still not heard from the RV Park that I hoped to stay at in June so I contacted a second one in the area and got a prompt reply to my email. They seem to want my business and they got it!
Another "Red Line". The United States and the European Union will respond on 17 March 2014 with a "serious series of steps" against Russia if a referendum on Ukraine's Crimea region goes ahead on 16 March 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on 11 March 2014. Paul Craig Roberts blog posting title Obama Regime’s Hypocrisy Sets New World points out the sanctimoniousness of what Secretary John "Ketchup" Kerry, who served in Vietnam, has said about the Crimea referendum. Self-determination is ONLY a good thing if the outcome is what this Administration wants!
Having falsely accused Russia of invading Crimea, the Obama regime now demands that Russia interfere in Crimea and prevent the referendum set for next Sunday. Unless Russia uses force to prevent the people of Crimea from exercising their right of self-determination, John Kerry declared that the Obama regime will not discuss the Ukrainian situation with Russia.
So, Kerry has given Russia the green light to send in troops to prevent Crimean self-determination.
The presstitute Western media has not noticed that out of one corner of his mouth Kerry denounces Russia for intervening and out of the other corner of his mouth Kerry demands that Russia intervene in behalf of Washington’s interest and suppress Crimean self-determination.
What is the point of such an absurd demand on Russia?
The Obama regime claims that the Crimean vote is not legal, because all of Ukraine is not voting on Crimea’s future. When Washington stole Kosovo from Serbia, Washington did not allow Serbia to vote on Kosovo secession. In the upcoming Scottish vote on whether to secede from the UK, only the Scottish are voting, not the British population. But these normal processes established in international law cannot be permitted to Crimeans, because the vote will not support Washington’s agenda.
Clearly, an Obama regime this shameless has no shame.
Paul Craig Roberts believes that Ukraine is a path to war between Russia and the United States. Spengler has a very different opinion which he wrote about in Ukraine Is Hopeless … but Not Serious
. I think I lean toward Spengler's assessment, read his posting More sitcom than CENTCOM
also for more Ukraine analysis. The US and Europe are going to make threats, posture and impose some symbolic sanctions but they will let Russia do what it wants - they can't stop Putin without starting WW III and they are not ready for that. Don't forget China is sitting on the sidelines waiting to pick up the pieces.
There isn’t going to be a war over Ukraine. There isn’t even going to be a crisis over Ukraine. We will perform our ritual war-dance and excoriate the Evil Emperor, and the result would be the same if we had sung “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” on a road trip to Kalamazoo. Worry about something really scary, like Iran...
As for the Crimea: Did anyone seriously think that Vladimir Putin would let the main port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet fall into unfriendly hands? Russia will take the Crimea, and the strategic consequences will be nil. We couldn’t have a strategic confrontation if we wanted it. How would we get troops or ships into the Black Sea area in the first place in order to have a confrontation? Perhaps the Belgiums will send in their army instead. I suppose we need to denounce the Russians for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy. - John Quincy Adams
15 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Another very quiet day. I did walk this morning but didn't go to the Koffee Klatch in the Club House. I'll go back but not as often as I did when I was here during prior stays. The crowd is just too large for me to function. A lot of people talking all at the same time makes it very difficult for me to hear any one person talking.
I got started on the Will Rogers weekly article links for May. I didn't do very much but at least made a start. I also took some time to try and read more of a blog to get current. Finished Monthly blogs for a few weeks. I also now have camping spaces for all my stops reserved, if necessary, and a teeth cleaning appointment for the first week in August - my Spring/Summer route is in place.
The News has now been all about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and Ukraine-Crimea. The usual News cycle is 3 days but the lame stream media has kept these two stories alive for a week now. They wanted Flight 370 to be a terrorist attack in the worst way so they could use that to instil more fear in the US. It looks like that is not working out as they had hoped so that story may now fade away.
With the US pull out of Afghanistan this year the war drums are sounding louder and louder. The media and other vested interest 'need' an enemy and continuing war so they must to gin up one somewhere. The Ukraine is probably as good a place as any. However, I don't think this is going to work like Libya did when President Obama told Europe "you and him fight, I'll hold your coat".
Peggy Noonan's closing paragraph in Warnings From the Ukraine Crisis, a good article.
The most obvious Ukraine point has to do with American foreign policy in the sixth year of the Obama era.
Not being George W. Bush is not a foreign policy. Not invading countries is not a foreign policy. Wishing to demonstrate your sophistication by announcing you are unencumbered by the false historical narratives of the past is not a foreign policy. Assuming the world will be nice if we're not militarist is not a foreign policy.
What is our foreign policy? Disliking global warming?
16 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
It was shopping day again. But first I went to the Nugget Casino Golden Harvest Café for breakfast. There I had a build your own omelet with sausage, spinach and Swiss cheese. That was severed with some good home fries (crispy but not seasons so well), sourdough toast and coffee.
The shopping experience was enlivened by a group of cyclist that entered Smith's at the same time I did. They broke up into smaller groups of 4-5 each with one person picking up stuff while the rest were providing advice and getting in the way. I got lucky when it came time to check out. There were two of the cyclist in front of me and the store manager opened another register. WAHOOO!
I noticed that their support van had come into the parking lot since I had gone in. This group is being led by Adventure Cycling. A year or so ago I talked to another group that were also at Smith's and were doing a Death Valley Tour which I'm sure this group is doing.
No corn beef and cabbage for this part Irishman. I picked up the ingredients for something more Germanic, which also plays a part in my ancestry. I'll be having turnips, turnip greens (purchased separately) and pork stew meat with my salad for 'linners' the next few days. Got a loaf of Oroweat Schwarzwälder Dark Rye that will provide even more Germanic flavor to the meals.
Why is the Venice referendum not a top story with the US lame stream media? The excerpt below is from a story in The Telegraph a British newspaper. There is nothing said in this country about the separation referendums to be held in Scotland and Catalonia either. Yet, the current US Administration has made threats against Russia because of the Crimea referendum and the lap dog media has howled in support. There are even 'war hawks', like Senator McCain, that talk like they want to start another war with Russia over the issue.
What is the underlying reason for the US opposition? If self-determination advances Washington’s agenda, Washington is for it. If self-determination does not advance Washington’s agenda, Washington is against it. Apparently the separation of Venice, Scotland and Catalonia from their respective countries advances this Administration's agenda. Or, more likely they don't even know they are happening.
Voting begins Sunday on a referendum on whether Venice and its surrounding region should secede from the rest of Italy, in an attempt to restore its 1,000-year history as a sovereign republic.
La Serenissima — or the Most Serene Republic of Venice — was an independent trading power for a millennium before its last leader was deposed by Napoleon in 1797. The republic encompassed not just Venice but what is now the surrounding region of Veneto and it is there that the vote will take place from tomorrow until Friday.
Campaigners have been inspired by the example of Scotland, which will hold its referendum on independence in September, and Catalonia, where around half the population say they want to break away from Spain.
17 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
I went to the Club House as soon as we finished our walk this morning. Joined the Koffee Klatch but started my laundry first. It is St. Patty's Day so there were those of the group that had to wear silly green Leprechaun Hats. It made them look more like Cat in the Hat with green hats than Leprechauns but they were having fun.
To have completed the laundry chore was probably my accomplishment for the day. I was also able to contact a retail outlet for Canidae dog food that will order some Pure Elements for me and hold it for my pick up during the summer. Patches thinks that was an accomplishment.
While at the Club House I did a book exchange in their library. This time it was an even trade; the one Ludlum book that I just finished for another by him. I also finished reading my latest today, it was by Jeffery Deaver which I will review in a day or two.
The President talks, talks and talks about creating jobs but almost every policy that he acts upon has been a jobs killer - ObamaCare, Minimum Wage and now and increase in Overtime Pay. His ideology is such that he can say that these policy decisions will 'fix' the inequities between the rich and the poor but in actuality they create more poor and more governmental dependance which I think is his goal. He wants a governmental dependent class that will then have the political power to hold the 'rich' as slaves. What he does not understand is there will be a slave revolt given enough time.
“In this case, intrusive government regulation on labor will diminish job creation, investment in labor saving capital, and for businesses able to do so, increased incentives to shift operations out of the country,” says Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council president Karen Kerrigan. "The cumulative impact of the President's policies is becoming unbearable for many small businesses.”...“More federal intrusion dictating the terms of small business decision-making when it comes to their workforce won't create more jobs or help firms become more profitable so they can pay their employees more,” says Karen Kerrigan.
The National Federation of Independent Business says overtime expansion, coming on the heels of the president’s pledge to raise the minimum wage, is a one-two punch for small businesses. “The President’s plan to increase overtime pay demonstrates another anti-business policy – coming on the heels of a proposal to increase the minimum wage, increase the minimum tipped wage, rising health-care costs, as well as ever-growing, costly and unwieldy regulations,” says Eric Reller, a spokesman for the NFIB.
Maureen Dowd was a fawning supporter of President Obama but the bloom has gone from the rose. She wrote another scathing Opinion Dems in Distress
for The New York Times
which would not have printed it only a few months ago. It was only a few months ago that the Republican Party was pronounced dead on it's Editorial Pages but they seem to have recovered with the demise of the Democrats.
Hill Democrats are seething at Obama, fearing that the onetime messiah is putting them in a slough that will last until — or through — 2016.
Top Democrats who were fans of the president and prone to giving him the benefit of the doubt now say they’ve completely lost confidence in the White House’s ability to advance an agenda and work with them in a way that’s going to give Democrats a fighting chance in November...
The closest the president came to getting a leg up on mounting a defense was on Friday when he told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview that he had been unfairly maligned for his mom jeans: “Generally, I look very sharp in jeans.” ...the president is having to govern through executive order and revising federal regulations...But governing through executive order isn’t a sign of strength. It’s a sign of weakness.
18 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
It was a short potty walk for Patches this morning which did not make her happy. Today was blood draw day at the VA with a 7:30 appointment and I wanted to be there a few minutes early. When I left Patches to go into the VA she started barking which has been very unusual for her in recent times. She was expressing her displeasure with me disrupting her morning routine. All this traveling, new people, new places and then going to town so often has upset her.
The blood draw was almost painless although they took 4 vials. I had studied for both the blood test and urine test a year ago but they didn't want any urine. This morning they did and it was a good thing that I had studied again just in case.
We then went to Imagine Vegas, a restaurant just south of Saddle West Casino. I saw a banner sign there advertising breakfast and thought I would give them a try. The menu is rather limited but they have a build your own omelet offering at a good price. They have just started opening for breakfast and haven't built up a following yet but I think they will do well. Good food and VERY good service.
My last stop was at the UPS Store. There I was able to finally receive my Arbuckels Coffee that my friends in Tucson had forwarded to me. I also got the mail box application that had been Faxed from the UPS Store in Sierra Vista. Got that completed, copies of my identification, copy of my Credit Card and authorization with everything notarized and Faxed back to them. Maybe, everything is completed correctly and I'll get a Sierra Vista, AZ address within a few days.
I had trouble at this Park with a circuit breaker once before. I'm now having trouble with the one in the space that I am in. Twice now my surge protector has cut off when I returned and plugged in. Today it cut off twice before it finally let any electricity flow to Desperado. I might have to talk to the Office.
On 14 March 2014 I wrote about what Secretary of State John "Ketchup" Kerry, who served in Vietnam, said the United States and the European Union would do if the Crimea referendum went forward. There were going to be a "serious series of steps" against Russia and yesterday we saw President Obama throw down the gauntlet by imposing sanctions against 11 'individuals' described as President Putin cronies. This is a 'serious step'? The Russians and most of the world are laughing at the President once again.
Now almost a week later the Secretary is drawing another 'red line' in the sand and telling President Putin "don't you step over this line - I really, really mean it".
Kerry said it was clear that Russia had intended to complete its annexation of Crimea, and issued a stern warning against further Russian incursions into Eastern Ukraine by Putin’s government.
“We have made it very clear that that’s a hard line in terms of the level — I mean, that will be a major breach and I hope we don’t get there,” Kerry said of the possibility of a further Russian incursion into Ukraine’s east.
19 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
I took Patches for a longer afternoon walk yesterday. That took a little of the 'starch' out of her and she mellowed after we got back home. We then did a routine morning walk today and I think I have been forgiven.
I did some more work on the Will Rogers links but still have quite a lot left to do. A lot of couch time with my book and Patches. I'm trying to get back in her good graces.
I liked this action thriller more than the Ludlum book that I finished just before it. The 'button man', Schumann, gets out of many a tight spot also but how he does it is more believable. The Publishers Weekly review makes me wonder if they read the same book that I did. First, Paul was not nabbed in the act but the NYPD did have a good solid case against him. Second, the spy aboard ship committed suicide, Paul did not kill him. Third, The second suspicious man, possible storm trooper, was killed as Paul was meeting his contact but he did not do the killing. Other than that they got the story right. I will be looking for more of his books - recommended.
Deaver fans expect the unexpected from this prodigiously talented thriller writer, and the creator of the Lincoln Rhyme series and other memorable yarns (The Blue Nowhere, etc.) doesn't disappoint with his 19th novel, this time offering a deliciously twisty tale set in Nazi Berlin. The book's hero is a mob "button man," or hit man, Paul Schumann, who's nabbed in the act in New York City but given an alternative to the electric chair: to go to Berlin undercover as a journalist writing about the upcoming Olympics, in order to assassinate Col. Reinhard Ernst, the chief architect of Hitler's militarization, seen as a threat to American interests. A German spy onboard Paul's transatlantic liner grows suspicious and sends a warning to Germany before Paul discovers and kills him. Then in Berlin, Paul, en route to meet his contact, kills a second suspicious man who may be a storm trooper, setting Insp. Willi Kohl of the Berlin police, or Kripo, on his trail. Deaver weaves the three manhunts—Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul—with a deft hand, bringing to frightening life the Berlin of 1936, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Göring, make colorful cameos, but it's the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot. An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa. This is prime Deaver, which means prime entertainment. - Publishers Weekly
20 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
I started another novel after finishing a quick read of the Michael Connelly one yesterday. I stayed up past my bed time to finish it with only about 40 pages remaining. The story was just about wrapped up by that point but I wanted to get through the closing.
This was an Oversize Mass Market Printing that is the same width as a usual paperback but about 1" taller and seems to have slightly larger print type. One interesting thing about the typography of this book was the absence of a hyphen when a word was broken to line-wrap. This was disconcerting when I first encountered it but as I read more I seemed to adapt and not notice it.
I did a little more work on the Will Rogers links. We did our two walks for the day. I read blogs and the News. Another rather quiet day.
President Putin has done it now. He ignored the warnings of Secretary of State John "Ketchup" Kerry, who served in Vietnam, and has made President Obama angry. President Putin was warned that a "serious series of steps" would be taken and President Obama is taking a hard line with this second step. He added 20 more 'individuals' to his sanctions list and maybe the most serious step yet he added a Russian Bank. He then went on to issue a warning that more costs were to come as he also signed an executive order that would allow the U.S. to penalize key sectors of the Russian economy. I suggest that President Putin take heed, President Obama has a PEN.
It is obvious that President Obama believes that the Russian government, i.e. President Putin, takes his marching orders from the 'individuals' that he is sanctioning. His world view is distorted by how the United States government functions - he thinks all government leaders react the same way he does. I don't think he is going to win this economic war against President Putin and will soon find that he has even less allies to wage it than he would have if he started a shooting war.
This excerpt is from a Reuters - UK story Russia races to complete Crimea annexation, EU ponders sanctions that paints a picture of the EU not supporting the President nearly as much as he wants the people in the United States to believe. The lame stream media in this country are spinning the story that the EU is marching in lock step with President Obama. Not happening, and probably will not happen. The more pressure that President Obama puts on President Putin the more the EU is going to be hurt.
Including a handful of figures closer to Putin and calling off a summit falls well short of the financial and trade sanctions diplomats and analysts say would be required to make Moscow pay attention.
Under the staged response that EU leaders agreed last week, phase three would involve restrictions on trade in energy, finance and armaments.
Behind their tough rhetoric, many EU governments are anxious to avoid damaging their national economic interests. They also want to keep Russia's cooperation, if possible, on global issues from Iran's nuclear programme to the Syrian civil war, security in Afghanistan and managing North Korea's unpredictable leader.
Moscow has made clear how it could inflict economic harm selectively in Europe if subjected to sanctions.
It said on Thursday it would demand compensation if France cancels a contract to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to its navy. It is also threatening to shut down one of three major border crossings with Finland through which much lucrative truck traffic from Europe runs, although Russian officials say this has nothing to do with the Crimean crisis.
21 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA171 March 21, 1926
I was back at the Club House after our walk this morning. Joined the Koffee Klach which was about 1/2 the size it had been last week. Closer in size to what I remember from past visits. I also traded books again. Was able to do straight trades of a Deaver and a Connelly for one more of each author. The library here has a lot of Deaver novels so I might pick up another before I leave.
For the past couple of mornings it has been below 40 degrees. Yesterday being the first day of Spring being the coldest at 36°, and the coldest morning that I have had since arriving here. It was warmer this morning and the 10 day forecast is guessing that it will stay in the upper 40s and lower 50s for a low. I have no complaint about the daily high temperatures with most of them in the 70s and one at 81.
I have copied the opening paragraphs of a story John Kerry To Send Homosexuality 'Experts' To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law from the Huffington Post. Is this what we expect a Secretary of State to be doing? Why is the United States Secretary of State sticking his nose in the affairs of a sovereign state? Why is the Uganda President 'happy to receive' the experts? The U.S. is providing more than $485 million in bilateral assistance to Uganda for the 2014 fiscal year - that is why.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Tuesday U.S. plans to send homosexuality "experts" to Uganda to discuss the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act with President Yoweri Museveni, according to Buzzfeed.
"I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which is what he was alleging," Kerry said during a University Town Hall meeting at the U.S. Department of State. "He welcomed that and said that he was happy to receive them and we can engage in that kind of conversation… maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration."
The Ugandan president signed the law, which includes up to lifetime imprisonment for homosexuality, in February after a team of Ugandan scientists informed him that there was no genetic basis for homosexuality.
22 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Go to town day. Another breakfast at Mom's Diner where I had their skillet with sausage, sourdough toast and coffee. Another good meal and a place that is on my repeat list.
Then stopped at the UPS Store where I picked up my two packages with the three item that I had ordered. The most important was a 5 pound CoffeeVac by TightVac to store the Arbuckels Coffee that I bought. I can get the coffee a pound at a time but have to pay shipping if I do so. When buying the 5 pound bag I can get Fee Shipping and with this container it should remain fresh - so the company claims.
The other important item was a new pair of Asics. I think this is my third pair and they seem to hold up just about a year. The last pair developed a hole in the mesh that crosses the toe portion of the shoe which was a first. The heel of the right shoe is worn very badly which is usual so I got the new pair just in time.
Then went to Smith's for groceries where I picked up the ingredients for Spicy Mexican Fish Soup with Hominy. Didn't exactly follow the recipe that can be found online but close. I used cod and just the plain canned diced green chile and diced tomatoes with a lot of garlic and a little cayenne plus menudo spices to give it the Spicy. I changed my daily salad again and will tell you about that tomorrow after I have had some for 'linner' with my Soup.
I also made some desert. Something like rice pudding but used barley, vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, sliced almonds and blueberries. Most people would add a lot of sugar to it also but I have not used sugar for years although I probably eat more of it than I want to in prepared foods. It is very difficult to avoid sugar if you do eat prepared foods including all canned fruit and juices. I did a taste test and this is going to be really good!
Our last stop was at Acme General Store which is an animal feed store where I wanted to pick up a bag of Canidae Pure Elements. They did have some Canidae but had to order the Pure Elements for me and I'll pick it up next week.
This is the first novel of Connelly's that I have read. He has many to his credit so I should be able to find another one. It was good to read a mystery again after the past couple of Russian-German spy/assignation tales. The turmoil that he is facing at home should be gone by book seven in the series or I will be disappointed by the author. A good entertaining read.
In this sixth Harry Bosch novel he is awakened in the middle of the night and, out of rotation, he is assigned to the murder investigation of the high-profile African American attorney Howard Elias. When Bosch arrives at the scene, it seems that almost the entire LAPD is present, including the IAD (the Internal Affairs Division). Elias, who made a career out of suing the police, was sadistically gunned down on the Angels Flight tram just as he was beginning a case that would have struck the core of the department; not surprisingly, L.A.'s men and women in blue become the center of the investigation. Haunted by the ghost of the L.A. riots, plagued by incessant media attention, and facing turmoil at home, Bosch suddenly finds himself questioning friends and associates while working side by side with some longtime enemies. Angels Flight is a detective's nightmare scenario and is disturbingly relevant to the racially tense last decade of the 20th century. Amidst the twists and turns of his complex narrative, Connelly affirms his rightful place among the masters of contemporary mystery fiction. - Amazon.com Review
23 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
The new salad turned out to be quite good. I have been making a green salad for about the past month using Heart of Romaine (I change from time to time but can not remember when was the last time I used Iceberg Lettuce). In addition to the lettuce I included some palm hearts, mushrooms, sweet mini-peppers, red onion and sometimes pickled baby corn.
The one I made up yesterday used turnip greens in place of lettuce with no palm or corn. Continued with my same dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The desert that I said I had tasted yesterday was excellent after being chilled for a few hours in the refrigerator. I think both of these are keepers but I will probably change the greens, fruit and nuts from week to week to give me some variety.
Finished another book yesterday and with this posting am up to date with reviews. I have also finished getting the Will Rogers weekly article links ready for the month of May. That means it is time to start reading my Monthly blogs once again. OH so busy, busy, busy. - HA
I have taken exception to some of the reviews by Publishers Weekly but they got this one right. The first book that I read by Baldacci was Absolute Power that I wrote about on 18 December 2013 which I enjoyed. This is the first in his King & Maxwell Series as those two characters form a partnership at the conclusion of the story. I did not think this was a good as his first book but am willing to give him another chance.
"We just solved a huge, complicated mystery," says one protagonist to another in this latest novel from the bestselling author of Last Man Standing, Absolute Power, etc. And that is the problem: this story of two disgraced Secret Service agents who come together to solve two campaign-trail crimes doesn't play to Baldacci's strengths, which are suspense and action (as well as strong characterizations; here's one thriller author who writes people that readers care about). The novel is primarily a mystery, with lots of talk and untangling of clues, and a less than gripping one at that. It begins in 1996, when Secret Service agent Sean King is distracted-by what isn't revealed until near the book's end-just when the presidential candidate he's guarding is shot dead. Eight years later, agent Michelle Maxwell lets the candidate she's watching enter a funeral parlor room alone; he's kidnapped. Then a body appears in the office of King, who's now a successful lawyer in North Carolina. Maxwell sees King on TV and decides to look into the event that caused his disgrace, so similar to hers. Meanwhile, King's old flame, Joan Dillinger, an ex-agent whose security firm has been hired to find the kidnapped presidential candidate, hires King to help in the hunt. The narrative ties binding the characters don't loosen much over the novel's course, as curious cross-currents flow between the two cases, all leading to a cinematic but off-the-wall denouement that reveals a villain who is more cartoon than human. What saves this novel are a few strong but brief action sequences and, above all, the interplay among the principal characters, particularly the romantic tensions among King, Maxwell and Dillinger. - Publishers Weekly
24 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Another pretty quite day. I went to the Club House for coffee again and visited some with a small group. Also traded the Baldacci book that I had finished for another one of his. The library here has had a book by every author that I have wanted to trade for so far.
I forgot one thing that I have added to my daily salad, that was 1/2 of a diced avocado on top when I serve a portion every day. I am also going to be changing my breakfast scramble a little bit starting with my next grocery shopping excursion. It will depend somewhat on the report I get tomorrow from the VA about my blood tests. More about that in the next day or two.
Maybe Flight 370 will now be put to rest since the Malaysians have declared it to have crashed in the India Ocean. But don't bet on it. The lame stream media has too much invested in the story to just let it go away. I think the talking heads will keep it alive for another week and there have to be books written and movies to be made.
I think President Obama is going to get the United States into another shooting war someplace in the world before he leaves office. The buildup in Africa looks like as a good a place as any. The Chinese have taken a lot of interest in Africa so obviously our 'national security' is threatened there. The same can be said about the Ukraine and Russia so we could have at least two surrogate wars ongoing by 2016.
President Obama has ordered a sharp increase in U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to Uganda and sent U.S. military aircraft there for the first time in the ongoing effort to hunt down warlord Joseph Kony across a broad swath of central Africa.
The CV-22 Osprey aircraft will arrive in Uganda by midweek, along with refueling aircraft and about 150 Air Force Special Operations forces and other airmen to fly and maintain the planes, according to Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs. At least four Ospreys will be deployed...
The new War Powers Act notification sets the approximate total for all U.S. forces in Uganda at 300.
25 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Not a very busy day but I will post what happened later in the day. The big event will be my VA appointment which is this afternoon. I much prefer to have an early morning appointment but get what I get. What I find out from my new primary provider there will be the bulk of the post later today.
The morning activities were just my usual. The only exception to that was I emptied holding tanks and took on fresh water. That is a usual activity but not daily. More computer time reading blogs and the News.
Well, Crap! I made my VA appointments three months ago using their Secure Messaging (that governmental speak for email). They replied that I had an appointment last Tuesday at 7:30am for the Lab and at 1:00pm today to see my primary care provider. I was even told last Tuesday, when I had my blood draw, that I had a 1:00pm appointment today.
So, they changed my appointment for today to 8:00am and MAILED me a notice of the change. I have told them repeatedly that I do not receive MAIL on a daily basis but that is not how the VA works.
I would guess that the single largest customer that the US Postal Service has is other US governmental units. It should be no surprise that the ObamaCare website did not work, and still does not work. The US government does not understand the Internet and they are incapable of using it. You would think they would be on the cutting edge since Algore invented the Internet but that is not what has happened, they are way behind on the learning curve.
I now have another appointment for this Friday at 3:00pm. Not a good time, even worse than today but I get what I get! The weather forecast is guessing that it will be cooler with an expected high of 74° so Patches should be fine while she waits for me in Desperado.
Finished another novel by Iris Johansen today. I think this was the second one of hers that I have read. Sort of a mystery thriller that I'll get reviewed in the next day or two.
26 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
We had some 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph last night. The forecast is there will be more during the day until midnight. The weather guessers usually get the wind forecast right so we most likely will be rocking and rolling around sun down.
This was a Red Letter Day for my morning walk. Not that I have never done a morning walk but I did the one this morning in my new Asics; not that I have never done that before either. I said that I get a year from each pair which is almost all 'measured walks' in the morning and afternoon which for the past three years has been 1,200 miles/year plus or minus a few miles.
The other exciting thing I did today was go to the Club House again. Had some coffee and some conversation. Also traded the Johansen book that I had finished for a Lisa Jackson book and then realized my mistake. Went back and found a lot written by Johansen and made the trade again. Continue to be able to trade for the same author.
This is the first of Johansen's Eve Duncan Series that numbers 18 at this time. The first book of hers that I read was The Ugly Duckling which I wrote about on 7 October 2013 where I said it was a good entertaining read. That held true for this book also. I was hoping to find the next book in the Eve Series here at the Park but that didn't happen. You need to be careful when selecting an Iris Johansen book; she writes both mystery thrillers as well as contemporary romance and historical romance novels.
While not as unrelentingly grim as its predecessor, And Then You Die, this suspense thriller (from an author who has successfully written historical romance with a dark edge) has its share of grisly scenes, beginning in medias res at the execution of Ralph Fraser, the serial killer who has murdered protagonist Eve Ducan's only child, Bonnie. To overcome her grief, Eve takes up a (notably icky) career as a forensic sculptor, making busts from the skulls of unidentified murdered children so that their parents can identify them. New trouble comes when computer mogul John Logan recruits Eve to reconstruct and identify an adult male skull. The job comes with unforeseen risks and political implications; various criminal figures want to keep the skull's identity a secret and are ruthlessly determined to go to any lengths to avoid exposure. Eve, who combines a tough survivor's instinct with emotional vulnerability, is led to fear for her own life and for the lives of her mother and dearest friends. Despite slow early chapters and stilted dialogue, Johansen makes an admirable effort to give psychological depth even to her villains, and her action scenes use terse prose to build tension. With the help of well-timed, steady disclosures and surprising revelations, the book's twists and turns manage to hold the reader hostage until the denouement, a sure crowd pleaser (since it promises a sequel). - Publishers Weekly
27 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
I emailed instructions to my broker yesterday to sell 10 Hecla Jun 14 Puts at a price that was at the Ask at the time I sent the email. I didn't think I would get a 'fill' on the order but I not only sold but got a price that was 5¢ more than my 'at or better' Ask. Now I sit back and see if my guess about what the market is going to do with the price of Hecla stock was correct. Worse case - I'll own an additional 1,000 shares at a good price.
Making great progress on getting current with a blog that I may add to my Monthly list. I'm into March 2012 now, not as much from my efforts but because the author slowed down and wasn't posting very often in late 2011 and early 2012.
It appears that at least some of the anti-gun rhetoric is simply marketing. If guns are in short supply because of anti-gun laws then those that are in the gun running business have significantly improved their chance to make a sale and profits.
One of the leading anti-Second Amendment rights crusaders in California, powerful State Senator Leland Yee, has ironically been arrested for (drum roll…) allegations of gun running, along with a host of other corruption charges, including campaign fraud.
Federal agents raided Yee’s home Wednesday while at the same time Yee’s offices were also raided, reports CBS San Francisco. The report states that Lee’s littany of corruption charges involve his current campaign to be California’s next Secretary of State, and that Lee was charged, among other crimes, with a scheme to move guns into U.S. from Russia.
Then we have Senator Harry Reid trying to provide cover for President Obama's most recent ObamaCare delay. What he did was insult most of the people in this country that tried to use the ObamaCare website by inferring that they are stupid. Then he shows his own ignorance with the example he cited; a 63 year old person does not need ObamaCare nor can they sign up for it. They are not eligible and should apply for Medicare or Medicaid.
“We have hundreds of thousands of people who tried to sign up and they didn’t get through,” Reid said during a press conference, before describing the difficulties people have with the Internet in general.
“There are some people who are not like my grandchildren who can handle everything so easily on the Internet, and these people need a little extra time. … The example they gave us is a 63-year-old woman came into the store and said, ‘I almost got it. Every time I just about got there, it would cut me off.’ We have a lot of people just like this through no fault of the Internet, but [because] people are not educated on how to use the Internet,” he said.
28 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA172 March 28, 1926
Another grocery shopping day but went to Denny's first for breakfast. I don't go to a Denny's very often but when I saw that the Nugget Casino parking lot was full of cars I went on by. I do like the Skillets that Denny's offers and I had their Santa Fe this morning. It was good although a little rich for my budget but it won't break me.
After gathering up my meals for this next week I went To Acme General Store to pick up food for Patches. There were three pallets of different animal foods that had been delivered early this morning but my bag of Pure Elements was not on any of them. Maybe next week?
As soon as I got home I went to work making my salad for the week. This time I used mustard greens, red onion, sweet mini-peppers, mushrooms and will dice half an avocado on top of each serving before dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The only thing different from last week is using mustard greens rather than turnip.
Then cooked up a cup of Quick Barley. This will be added to a large container of vanilla Greek yogurt, a package of frozen bing cherries and a small bag of walnut pieces. The only difference from last week is the different fruit and nuts.
My VA appointment is at 3:00 pm today so I'm posting a little earlier. I will then have the VA experience for blog fodder to be used tomorrow.
Obama’s World of Make Believe by Peter Wehner for Comentary online magazine was published on 20 March 2014. Then President Obama appeared at a joint press conference at The Hague on 26 March 2014 which simply reinforced what Mr Wehner has said. At the conclusion of his remarks there was no applause, only one person began to clap and then gave it up. Apparently Europe is fed up with him. When was the last time you saw a leader not get applause when he stopped speaking at a press conference?
For anyone who has observed Barack Obama over the years, it’s obvious that a fundamental part of his self-identity involves seeing himself, and having others see him, as pragmatic rather than ideological, reality-based, driven by reason instead of bias.
This has never actually been true. Mr. Obama is, in fact, unusually dogmatic, blind to counter-evidence, and mostly unable to adjust his views to the way things are. So when his worldview collides with reality, he often can’t adjust. He instead creates his own make believe world...
In psychiatry, there’s a condition known as dissociative disorder. It’s considered to be a coping mechanism, when the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience too traumatic to integrate with his conscious self. A person escapes reality in ways that are unhealthy.
That pretty well sums up the Obama foreign policy. He cannot understand how someone as brutish, crude, aggressive and chauvinistic as Vladimir Putin is acting as he is. The fact that in the process Mr. Obama is being humiliated is simply too much for him to bear. And so he’s created a fantasy world where disengagement translates into influence and we’re strong and Putin is weak.
For Barack Obama, the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.
29 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
Good news and bad news came from my VA appointment. The visit started out bad with me being called in almost 30 minutes after my appointment time. They have always been good about not making me wait but most of the time I have an early morning appointment. I'm sure they get later and later as the day progresses.
Good news about my weight although no one commented on my loosing 18 pounds since my last visit. I'm sure they would have said something if I had gained the weight. Using the Body Mass Index (BMI) I have gone from the low end of Obese to the high end of Overweight.
There are some claims that loosing weight will lower cholesterol but I did not see that happen. However, the good news is I have been off statin drugs for two years now. Although my cholesterol level is high, my LDL is high, my HDL is better and none of the numbers have become worse since I started taking fish oil versus the statin.
My health care provider this time was a man that looked to be almost as old as I am and was originally from the Philippines. I think I now prefer a younger doctor rather than an older one that I might out live. He commented on my age 3-4 times and included "you are doing good" during one of those times. So I think I'm good to go for another year!
I will continue with my current food choices and see what happens after another year of trying to loose more weight and lower cholesterol. This past year I completely eliminated any alcohol, ice cream and pizza. I may re-introduce pizza as a treat occasionally but have targeted high fat cheese for reduced consumption.
The 10 best foods to lower cholesterol are claimed to be: soy (tofu), beans, salmon (fish oil), avocado, garlic, leafy green vegetables, margarine (I don't use butter or margarine; cook with olive oil), mixed nuts, tea and dark chocolate. I have included almost all of these in my diet but have not seen any great improvement although I think they have helped me loose weight.
Oatmeal has also been championed as a good food to reduce cholesterol but I don't like it much. I have found that quick barley has only slightly less fiber than quick oats and since I like it better I eat more of it. The best barley is hulled rather than pearled and quick but it is usually not available in your usual supermarket and certainly not available in some of the small groceries where I shop. I may try some (the only negative that I have read is the longer cooking time) and if I like it then stock up with a large quantity through Amazon.
The waiting time at the VA gave me some time to read and I finished a novel by Stan Johnson. I'll get a review posted tomorrow. Have started another book today to be read during couch time with Patches. Have started on my Monthly blogs and made good progress today.
30 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
When we got back to Desperado yesterday from our afternoon walk Patches promptly sat down. This is not her usual behavior and then I saw she was licking her right rear paw. A quick look and I thought I saw a sticker driven into the side of one of her toes near the nail. Tried to pull it out and realized that it was part of the nail. She had broken off most of the nail at the tip and it was bleeding some. I clipped off the piece of nail that was sticking out and she got the bleeding stopped and now seems to be fine.
I have no reason to believe there was any connection to her broken toe nail but Patches was not feeling well last night. I woke up to her soft woofs around midnight and took her out for a walk. When we got back she took a long time in getting comfortable and going to sleep. She seems to be fine this morning except for some pain from the broken toe nail which had her carrying her right leg a few times when we walked this morning.
The pot of Spicy Mexican Fish Soup that I made up last week was enough that it gave me two 'linners' this week. Today I'll be cooking up some stir fried Brussel sprouts and chicken with sweet chile sauce. I pre-cooked the chicken so I can add it and the sauce after the sprouts are cooked. That, my daily salad and my yogurt/fruit/nut desert will be my 'linners' for the next 5 days.
We had some strong winds blowing in a storm last night. A little rocking and rolling with gusts up to 50 mph. It tried to rain but after a half-hearted attempted it gave up and most of the clouds had blown away by noon. The forecast claims that it will try again on Wednesday with a 50% chance of rain. The next two days when I need to be out and about are to be clear which is a good thing.
This is the first book that I have read by Stan Johnson. The review by Anonymous says it as well as, or better, than I could. The book provided me some entertainment but did not have me wanting to find more of the authors works. If I can not find anything else I will not avoid reading another of his but not as a first choice.
This novel is a "good read" that jumps back at you. So for me that's so meaningful, since I do not live among "the literati," I read solely for enjoyment - especially novels, where the didactic can often be a real stretch. Johnson has taken his knowledge and writing skill and gave me a pleasurable 2-day ride last Fall at a time when I was all stressed up. "Once a Ranger" had all the necessary elements: well-developed characters, informed plot, timely issues and familiar, but interesting, protagonists. My only knock, a familiar dialectic: an Antagonist on the stimulants of children fetish and a Conquistador-complex, but Johnson got this arch-Colombian Bad Guy character to support all the other elements. The Lead Guy is an ex-ranger, and a comforting dad whose son gets snatch. With some old Buds and his Wall Street squeeze, they retrieve his son and some other kids. I simply enjoyed Johnson's weaving of this story! It took me away from my troubles for a brief time - and has jumped back at me often since, as so many of Johnson's themes and human nature insights are reflected back in the glare of today's news. Read it, if you seek some moments of pleasure! - By Anonymous at Amazon
31 March 2014 Pair-A-Dice Escapee RV Park (Pahrump, NV)
The chance of rain went away but the winds have remained. I'm guessing that they are blowing in the storm that has been promised by the weather guessers for Wednesday.
We did a short walk this morning after I got up a little later than I wanted. Went to Mom's for corned beef hash, poached eggs and home fries with sourdough toast again. Finished up in plenty of time to reach the vet's office, just down the street, for Patches annual checkup.
She behaved herself very well while we were waiting to be called. Then she was good about getting her temperature taken and vaccinations. Her rabies was not due until July but I got it today so she will have that on the same schedule as all of her others. Picked up another year supply of heart worm pills and asked this office to email all of her records to the vet in Sierra Vista, AZ. I'll find out if that happened next year when I make my appointment with the office there.