1 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
Weather as perfect this morning as I could ask for. A slight breeze, a few wispy clouds and the temperature moving up slowly through the 70s to reach a high of 80 if the weather guessers are correct.
I am just about out of Internet bytes and still have some month remaining. It is the same as when you run out of money before running out of month. Still glancing at News headlines but blogs remain unread for a few more days.
The US Has Become a “Nursing Home” Economy by Bill Bonner at Acting Man is an article that has more to say about the Social Security Ponzi Scheme. He does not write about Medicare or ObamaCare but both of those plans are built on the same base and will also collapse. Future generations can not, will not, pay the benefits that politicians in the past have promised. Benefits will be cut or the 'old people' will be terminated.
It was Alexis de Tocqueville who observed that democracy was doomed. He said it would soon degrade into tyranny. As soon as politicians realized that they could win elections by promising the voters more of other people’s money, it was just a matter of time until they overdid it.
Had he imagined how old people would get, he wouldn't have been so optimistic. As things developed, politicians noticed two important things: that young people (especially those who hadn't been born yet) didn't vote… and old people's votes could be bought fairly cheaply, at least so it appeared at first.
When the US Social Security program was first put in place, for example, the typical American male could expect nothing from it. He was expected to live to 61. He'd be dead before benefits kicked in. But as the 20th century led to the 21st, his life expectancy increased, and so did the burden of old people.
2 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
We had a busy day again but not much walking. I took Patches for a short potty walk this morning and that is all she got. I'll try and give her a slightly longer afternoon walk but I really don't feel like doing it and she has been calm so far today.
I went to Café Olé again for breakfast and tried their Scramble with Chorizo. It was good but not as good as Huevos con Chorizo. Their home fries made up for it with a huge serving and done to perfection.
Arrived at the dentist office a few minutes early and was in the chair for my cleaning before the 8:00 appointed time. They started the crown fitting early also and I was gone by 9:15. The only pain suffered today was to the checking account and it got hurt badly.
This allowed me plenty of time to pick up packages at my UPS Store. In that same shopping complex there is a barber shop that I needed to visit and with two people cutting and only one customer waiting I thought it a good time to get my hair cut.
Arrived for my VA appointment early and was taken in for additional ear washing almost a half hour before my appointed time. Talked to my VA Team Nurse about the readings that I have been getting with the new blood pressure medication and she agreed that the dosage probably could be cut. She was going to talk to the doctor and will be getting back to me using Secure Messaging. I think I have them convinced that is the way to communicate with me but only time will tell.
Last stop of the day was at Ramsey Canyon Feed to pick up the Canidae Pure Elements that they were holding for me. What I now have on board should keep Patches feed for the next three months. If it is enough to get us to Chama, NM I'll order more from the Pet Rescue store there were I got her Canidae last year. That was a just in the nick of time pick up, I don't want to cut it that close this time.
3 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA225 April 3, 1927
The salmon that I bought for my 'liners' this week was one big fillet that weighed just short of 3 pounds. Expensive but I'm worth it and so is Patches. She has gone wild over the skin that she now gets every day. I have probably bought salmon with the skin on since I have had her but never gave her the skin before. My bad, she loves it!
My Internet usage today will probably end the month with me slightly under/over my plan limit. Tomorrow I can spend some time reading blogs again and read some of the News articles rather than just the headlines. I did read some articles today so I could write my monthly take on the BLS Jobs Jamboree.
The Bureau of Labor released their non-farm job numbers for March today that showed an increase of 126,000 jobs. The Ministry of Propaganda is trying to find some way to spin this as good News but appear rather desperate in doing so.
The CES Birth/Death Model added 72,000, or over half, to that total for the month. The Model continuing to add jobs as an adjustment although business deaths continue to exceed births and the Ministry of Propaganda remains mute.
If you look at the Household Data the number of Employed increased for the tenth consecutive month but with only 34,000 being added in March. The past couple of months increases being within the margin of error for the survey does not bode for a strong jobs market. The Unemployed was down by 130,000 but the Not in the Labor Force increased by 277,000 which means a lot of the unemployed dropped out rather than getting a job.
The good News in Unemployment was offset by the increase in the Not in the Labor Force so the Unemployment Rate remained at 5.5%. This was bad News for the Fed because they want a lower Unemployment Rate to justify an interest rate increase. The President is out doing another economy victory lap and this is bad News for him as he tries to tell the story about how great his policies have been.
The increase in the Not in the the Labor Force was enough to change the Participation Rate to 62.7%, down 0.1% which matches the low of last year. The 93,175,000 Not in the Labor Force was also enough to set a new all time record. CNBC failed to write one word about the Not in the Labor Force or the Participation Rate in their spin article. The New York Times also failed to say one word about the Not in the Labor Force but issued a correction to their earlier story that claimed the Participation Rate had remained unchanged.
The average earnings increased by 8¢ to $24.86 an hour while the average workweek declined by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. I think the Federal Reserve is getting the wage inflation numbers that they need as cover for their rate increase and can dance around the Unemployment Rate. I expect more monthly earning increases leading up to the Feds rate increase by mid-year.
4 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
I'm current once again reading my Daily Blogs. That title is a bit misleading even in my own mind, there are not new postings daily but I check for them daily. I transferred all of my Weekly to Daily and after purging both lists somewhat I now have 15 on that list that are mostly RV/travel related. After purges there are 9 remaining on my Monthly list which are also loosely travel related. I then have about 10 other web pages that I check every day for News items. By not reading Comments nor writing any Comments the daily reading moves along much quicker.
I'll be back to building more API maps now that I have a new months worth of bytes. Maybe not today but soon. I have about half of the Mid West Loop car trip left to finish. Then there is one more car trip and all the Teardrop trips. I will be a bit more cautious about how many of my monthly bytes I expend on these API maps in the future but do want to get them built.
"Peace for Our Time". President Obama could have spoken those words in the Rose Garden when he announced that an agreement had been reached, at the thirteenth hour, on the hotly contested issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. However, this is not a final agreement, rather it is an agreement that, at some point, there may be a final agreement with Tehran.
But, that is good enough for what the President wanted. He is reasonably sure that the 'agreement' will hold together for the remainder of his term and then when Iran gets a bomb it will be because someone else allowed them to build it.
The quote below is from Obama Just Gave Iran Exactly What They Wanted by John Schindler for The Federalist.
Why Obama would agree to such a flawed deal is an important question. There is ample evidence that the president is more interested in the domestic political impacts of this issue than anything else. In this calculation, what’s a nuclear arms race in the Middle East when the GOP and Fox News can be shamed and given their comeuppance?
That there will now be such an atomic arms race seems certain. Several key U.S. allies, above all Saudi Arabia, have been watching the P5+1 talks with fear and interest. If Iran is allowed to resume its nuclear program, in any guise, we would be naďve not to expect Riyadh, which lives in mortal fear of the mullahs, to respond in kind, soon. Turkey may not be far behind, and several other stakeholders in the region will investigate their own nuclear options, without delay.
...Tehran will continue to pursue a nuclear weapon, because it is in their vital national security interest to do so. They have concluded a deal with the gullible Obama, because it is wise to do so. It will change nothing in the long run. Obama has defeated the GOP, for now, which was his real agenda. In the meantime, Tehran will address more serious matters, while the White House castigates doubters as war-mongers.
5 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
I was up for the sunrise but didn't attend any service. I did see that the Mustang Mountain Cowboy Church had a big turn out at their new property that has a rodeo arena but the church has not been built yet. That would not hinder an Easter Sunday Sunrise Service however and that it probably what they had.
"Cleanliness next to godliness" was my personal sermon for the day. What that meant was I had to do the laundry that I have been putting off while running back and forth to town for appointments. I wasn't completely out of clean clothes but was close to it.
Whipped through my Daily blog list quickly this morning. Of the 15 blogs on my list there were only 4 that had a new posting since I got caught up yesterday.
Included in the package with my Arbuckle's order was a sample packet of their Mexicali Coffee. This is a blend of chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon which has been added to their Arbuckle Coffee. It is not bad but it ruins the Arbuckle Coffee in my opinion. I do not like coffee flavored by anything except coffee and this blend did not change my opinion. I was able to drink it which is more than I can say for the Desert Flower Tea samples that they have sent me.
I built only one API map this morning. A very complicated route that required a lot of way points and even then I could not follow my route exactly because it was a mix of Interstate and avoid Interstate. I saw a lot of the Mid West back roads during that Loop car trip which makes it difficult to map the route exactly as driven.
I had read less than 100 pages of this book when I realized that I had read it before. I could not remember what was going to happen but when I read it again I remembered. It was some years ago so the re-reading was enjoyable. It is probably a book written more for a woman audience but not so much that a man can not enjoy it (it is not a 'chick book'). I'm not sure that I will be looking for other novels by this author but I think this book was selected for its bulk so I may find another one using the same criteria.
Against all odds, two newlyweds manage to buy the house of their dreams. In 1982, property speculation is beginning to be a big, big thing in Dublin--and their street is very much in an up-and-coming part of town. "They laughed and hugged each other. Danny Lynch from the broken-down cottage in the back of beyond and Ria Johnson from the corner house in the big, shabby estate were not only living like gentry in a big Tara Road mansion, they were actually debating what style of dining table to buy." But for its various inhabitants, the street is to become a boulevard of dreams--some broken, others created anew. Maeve Binchy has long proved herself a secure hand at multiple story lines, and over the course of 500 satisfying pages she focuses on Ria; her best friend, Rosemary Ryan, a beautiful, endlessly selfish career woman; Gertie, the battered wife of a drunkard; and several other intriguing women, each of whom has secrets not to be shared. There is even an all-knowing fortune teller who early on hints that Ria will travel and start a successful business--two things she knows are definitely not in the offing.
Yet after our supposedly happy housewife and mother of two is confronted by some inexorable home truths, a chance phone call from America will change her life, forcing her to discard her illusions about men, women, and marriage and start all over again. At the same time, the Connecticut caller, Marilyn Vine, has her own lessons to learn when she and Ria swap houses for the summer. Yet there's nothing remotely preachy about this novel--even the bad guys (and yes, they're usually guys) and beautiful mistresses get to maintain some appeal. Instead, Tara Road is a stirring look at the reality behind our consuming fantasies, and a page-turner to boot. - Amazon Review
6 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
We were off to town again this morning. I think, and hope, that this will be our last trip into Sierra Vista this year. Back again next year about this same time.
Did a short potty walk before leaving and then a longer town walk. I was trying to wear off some of the exuberance that Patches was showing this morning but I don't think it worked. She got her breakfast after the walk and I went into Café Olé for mine. Got their Santa Fe Rise and Shine with home fries rather than beans. This will be the last time I have it until I return - it is always something that I look forward to when in Sierra Vista.
We were almost an hour early for Patches' Vet appointment. Used some of that time to get today's posting started. Also checked the AZ DMV web site to see if the personalized plate that I wanted was available. I had checked some months ago and it was. She handled the Vet office visit as well as I handle dentist visits although I haven't barked at anyone in the waiting room (she only was saying a quick Hello!).
AZ DMV could be the 'poster child' for all DMVs throughout this fair land. I was there for 3 hours today to get an Arizona drivers license plus register/title and plate Desperado. Some months ago when I was writing about moving my domicile to Arizona someone commented about how the state would stick it to me for car registration. Last year I paid $193 in NV today it was $105 for AZ. That almost paid for the three hour wait. I now have an AZ plate on the rear of Desperado with the personalized plate from NV still on the front. I'll get AZ personalized plates in 3-4 weeks after mail forwarding - maybe.
It was my intent to go to Fry's and get groceries after the DMV. But you know about good intentions. Didn't feel up to it plus I need to get a stool sample from Patches and deliver it to the Vet office before I leave the area. Tomorrow will be the day to do both of those things.
Consumer Reports: Best AZ Supermarkets by Stacia Naquin for AZ Central is a story drawn from a Consumer Reports survey. Where I do my shopping there are not a lot of Trader Joe's, Sprouts, WinCo or Whole Foods so I was pleased to see that Fry's was at the top of my list and Safeway at the bottom. I never shop WalMart's supermarket so don't even have them on my list.
Walmart Supercenter, the biggest grocery chain in the country, scored near the bottom of the ratings. People gave Walmart low marks in all freshness categories. It also didn't do so well for its courteous staff and store cleanliness. It did score better than many chains for its prices, but it wasn't the best for price.
Here's a look at how stores in Arizona did in this survey:
Trader Joe's - 87
Sprouts – 83
WinCo – 83
Whole Foods – 81
Fry's – 81
Bashas' – 77
Target – 75
Sam's Club – 74
Albertson's – 74
Safeway – 71
Walmart - 64
7 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
I got another difficult API map built for the Mid West Loop yesterday afternoon. This one also included a mix of Interstate and avoid Interstate which was not too bad. The most difficult part was to get around/through Kansas City on the route that I drove while avoiding Interstates. I think the remainder of the Loop will be rather simple - west of the Mississippi is easier.
Today was my last trip into Sierra Vista during this annual visit. Yes, I was here in November also but this is the annual visit to my domicile when I do all those annual things; VA, dentist, Vet, grooming (both of us) and RV maintenance. This time I added a visit to AZ DMV but can do the registration on-line next year. I also added some PC maintenance that I hope was a one of.
We did another town walk and I then had a decent Spinach Omelet at the Landmark Café although their home fries where not as good this morning. Then did another grocery stop at Fry's before stopping at the Vet.
It was there that I left a stool sample from Patches for them to examine. What would you say if you had such a job and were asked "What do you do"? I once met a woman that specialized in horse DNA. She certified the blood line for some very expensive race horses; a specialist within a specialized field.
Some of the groceries were put to use as soon as we got back to our space. My 'linners' this week are going to be cod baked with fresh dill, cream of mushroom soup and broccoli florets. That will be served with a huge wannabe Greek Salad that is the same as last week except will have chunks of Feta rather than crumbled.
None of the great economist of our time believe that "the number of those that can be continually employed" in the United States is dependent upon the capital of the country. Or they have the misunderstanding that when the Federal Reserve creates more 'money' out of thin air that the capital of the United States has increased.
If Adam Smith knew this in the mid 1700s why is it so difficult for the so intelligent politicians of our modern day to understand the concept. This country will develop alternative energy when it is advantageous to society. Global Warming is simply an attempt to divert capital in a direction that it would not have gone on its own accord and to reward those that have paid to put the politicians in power.
The general industry of the society can never exceed what the capital of the society can employ. As the number of workmen that can be kept in employment by any particular person must bear a certain proportion to his capital, so the number of those that can be continually employed by all the members of a great society must bear a certain proportion to the whole capital of the society, and never can exceed that proportion. No regulation of commerce can increase the quantity of industry in any society beyond what its capital can maintain. It can only divert a part of it into a direction into which it might not otherwise have gone; and it is by no means certain that this artificial direction is likely to be more advantageous to the society, than that into which it would have gone of its own accord.
What is the species of domestic industry which his capital can employ, and of which the produce is likely to be of the greatest value, every individual, it is evident, can in his local situation judge much better than any statesman or lawgiver can do for him. The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
8 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
I finished all the API maps for the Mid West Loop, which includes the Natchez Trace Tour, yesterday. I'll get started on the last Car Trip that I'm going to map , Return to Douglas, today or tomorrow. It was a short trip and all done in the west so I don't think it will take long. I then have 4 Teardrop Road Trips that are going to take a lot of time especially the two trips that were 3 months each.
Not much happening here today. It is good to not do much and not have my thought on appointments or getting anything done on some schedule. The only 'To Do List' that I have now is some household chores but I can think about them for another day or two.
I did make up a 3x5 card for my route to the next camp. Deciding where I was going to stop for breakfast and where I was going to get gas played a big part in the route decision. Gas is more expensive at my next camp than it is here but much cheaper at about the midway point in the route that I finally decided on.
I have also read a few Monthly blogs every day for the past 2-3 days and am current reading all the blogs that I have remaining on any of my lists. I also got started with the Will Rogers weekly article links today. Nothing much done other than copying the articles from the web to my web site. That is relatively easy, the formatting for my web page is the more time consuming process.
The Ministry of Propaganda has been very quiet about any casualties in President Obama's Iraq War III. He is now pulling the Afghan troops out and leaving a token force to be trainers and Taliban targets. He had a 'clean' first quarter in 2015 but that could change quickly if he gets the war he wants with Russia. The numbers shown below are for the first quarter of each year and the president that was in office when it happened.
|Total US Casualties Iraq & Afghanistan
9 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
I was surprised that it felt so cold this morning. The official low was 45° but it felt colder than that. The forecast for Sunday is that it will be cold(er) with a high of 63° rather than the near 80s that we have been having. The guess is that there will be a 60% chance of rain also.
I got started building API maps for the Return to Douglas car trip yesterday. Finished all maps this morning with only the one day that was difficult to build - driving through Tucson and most of Phoenix. That map end up being an approximation of the route I drove because the route description that I wrote was confusing when I tried to map it.
Got started on the household chores today by washing dog slobber and nose prints off the cab windows. Patches messes up the passenger window some when we move from camp to camp. However, she makes a big mess of both windows when she has long waits for me to return from appointments that are not a part of her usual world. She understands me going to breakfast and to grocery shop but not dentist, VA or DMV.
I also vacuumed the cab area. This is something I should do on a regular basis but put it off until the dog hair builds up to very unsightly levels. Patches hasn't reached her near naked summer coat yet but has left a lot of her winter coat on the floor of Desperado.
I am somewhat surprised how good the cod dish I put together turned out to be. It is a keeper that will be repeated but I may add the broccoli florets latter in the cooking process. I'm not sure if the fresh dill made the dish what it is or not but it needs to stay in the recipe.
Has American Business Lost Its Mojo? by Thomas B. Edsall appears on the The Opinion Pages of The New York Times. What is going on? They allow Mr Edsall to write something like this and they publish it? He says that federal and state officials are contributing to the business birth/death reversal and they allow him to do so?
The New York Times has supported President Obama's attacks on business for as long as he has been in office. They also have glowing words for Elizabeth Warren the Democrat Party poster child for anti-capitalism. He has written a good article but I am very surprised that it is in The Times.
The forces driving this trend include the increasing regulation of small businesses, corporate consolidation, more occupational licensing requirements and too few immigrants with high-tech skills. Ultimately, however, the political system itself appears to be making a significant contribution to the problem.
Federal and state officials, often under pressure from major corporations seeking to stifle competition, have adopted a regulatory regime that makes the creation of new businesses more difficult.
10 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA226 April 10, 1927
Yesterday afternoon and last night I did a lot of work on the 2015 AIP Map that is now in the left column of the Home page. The first thing that I did was learn how to make the map fill the entire web page. This was probably the hardest part of the entire project. Then I wanted it to pop up when selected from the drop down menu which turned out to be relatively easy since I was able to find a blog that had written the code for me. Then it was a simple matter of inserting the data for each camp location into the API Map that I had learned to fill a page and I have a map that is a model for all the other years.
It is going to be some work to convert them all but I am very pleased with how they are going to look. I think they are much 'cleaner' looking, not so cluttered with the big listing of locations and the big search box. They can still be zoomed in and out and dragged while in the smaller Pop Up or when expanded to the full page. I'm a happy map builder!
In the past couple of days I have had three visits to my web site that I can not remember ever seeing before. One was from Mongolia and the second from Ethiopia with one from Ghana a few days before those two. I see visits from China and Russia fairly often but just assume that they are looking for something worthwhile to hack. My site is not worthwhile and they move on.
There were 3 new postings in the 15 Daily blogs that I check every day so I went through them rather fast. I even had time to leave a couple of Comments but didn't spend much time reading Comments that has been the big time sink for me in the past.
The time I saved was devoted to cleaning the toilet and sink in the bathroom. Then vacuuming the bath and kitchen floors which required a break for a second cup of coffee. I was then back at it and got down on hands and knees to wash the bath and kitchen floors. That called for one more cup of coffee before vacuuming the living room carpet.
At that point I wanted to say 'no mas' to household chores for today but the fresh water idiot light was showing red (it has been for a couple of days) and the water pump was sucking air. Therefore, the dumping of holding tanks and taking on fresh water that was scheduled for tomorrow got done today. I'm finished with household chores.
11 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
A rather quiet day since I got all my household chores taken care of yesterday. A beautiful clear day with the high expected to be 80° after a low this morning of 49°. The weather guessers continue to forecast a high of only 62°, overcast and 20% chance of rain for tomorrow. I think they are wrong.
Have started building maps for the first Teardrop Road Trip, 2005 IGT. The trip did not pass through any big cities so I think these maps will be easy to build. That may be famous last words but I'm hoping for that to be true. I am watching my byte usage VERY close and will back off any map building if my average usage is going to cause me a limit problem again this month. I was over as of the 9th and did no maps yesterday which brought me back just under where I want the daily average to be as I move through the month.
When I finish 2005 IGT I think I will work on building a replacement for the 2014 Google My Map that is linked in the drop down menu in the left column of my web Home Page. This will give me a little variety in the projects that I am working on.
This posting to the Allen West blog is just too good to quote in part. I have copied the entire posting. Allen West posts frequently to the blog of his name and has a lot to say - worth a read.
Is this the real reason Obama returned that Churchill bust? by Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief.
There’s one specific artifact — and one particular person — in the White House that seems to have caused some discomfort in the Obama administration. You might recall the bust of Winston Churchill, which was given on loan from the British government to the White House after the September 11th attacks back in 2001, where it remained for the rest of George W. Bush’s tenure as president, according to Eagle Rising. The British offered to extend the loan of Churchill’s bust for Barack Obama’s presidency, as well. But Obama refused. So the sculpture was returned to the custody of the United Kingdom and now finds its home at the British Ambassador’s Residence.
There is one more bust of Churchill that remains in the White House – this one is displayed outside The Treaty Room, but there’s little chance Obama will be hanging out there, considering he has little interest in actually discussing treaties with Congress.
Nonetheless, it is perhaps this quote from Winston Churchill that makes him less than welcome in the White House:
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy… A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
After all, it was Barack Obama who said “the future must not belong to slander the prophet of Islam.”
However, there is another Churchill quote which Obama best heed: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
12 April 2015 Quail Ridge RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)
My map building yesterday chewed up a lot of bytes. I'll be taking a break from building any more until after I have settled into my new camp. I'll also go easy on reading any News tomorrow and the next day. That should put me back on track to not exceed my limit for the month.AMERICA’S SKILLS CHALLENGE:Millennials and the Future
Checking to see if I had any replies to the Comments that I left a couple days ago also was wasted usage. Not reading Comments and not posting any is the way I need to go. It is too tempting to go back and see if there is some rebuttal to the Comments that I have left. A waste of bytes and accomplishes nothing.
Speaking of accomplishments. The weather guessers got the forecast correct and I was wrong. Now it is not uncommon that I am wrong but it is also uncommon that the forecast is correct. We did only a short potty walk and I called the morning walk because of sprinkles. I could see heavy rain not far from us and did not want to get wet. We needed a rest day! HA
I think the preface to this report tells the story that we all see evidence of everyday. The Dunning–Kruger effect explains the tragedy of this situation. That effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Or in simpler terms: stupid people don't know that they are stupid. Read the entire report!
This report, the first in a series to be produced by Educational Testing Service using data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), is an attempt to focus attention on a topic of interest to a broad range of constituencies. The subject of this report is our nation’s millennials, those young adults born after 1980 who were 16–34 years of age at the time of the assessment. The authors chose to center attention on this cohort for several key reasons. First, these young adults include the most recent products of our educational systems. Second, according to recent reports, they have attained the most years of schooling of any cohort in American history. And, finally, millennials will shape the economic and social landscape of our country for many years to come.
One central message that emerges from this report is that, despite having the highest levels of educational attainment of any previous American generation, these young adults on average demonstrate relatively weak skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments compared to their international peers. These findings hold true when looking at millennials overall, our best performing and most educated, those who are native born, and those from the highest socioeconomic background. Equally troubling is that these findings represent a decrease in literacy and numeracy skills for U.S. adults when compared with results from previous adult surveys.
This report explores the growing importance of education and skills in the context of the larger technological, economic, social, and political forces that have been reshaping America for the past 40 years. To put it bluntly, we no longer share the growth and prosperity of the nation the way we did in the decades between 1940 and 1980. Since around 1975, those who have acquired the highest levels of education and skills have become the big winners, while those with the lowest levels of education and skills have fared the worst. Millions of hard-working Americans who believed they were strongly anchored in the middle class have fallen into joblessness and economic insecurity. As the authors note, these changes have both immediate and long-term consequences for families, communities, and the nation as a whole.
The findings also offer a clear caution to anyone who believes that our policies around education should focus primarily on years of schooling or trusts that the conferring of credentials and certificates alone is enough. While it is true that, on average, the more years of schooling one completes, the more skills one acquires, this report suggests that far too many are graduating high school and completing postsecondary educational programs without receiving adequate skills. If we expect to have a better educated population and a more competitive workforce, policy makers and other stakeholders will need to shift the conversation from one of educational attainment to one that acknowledges the growing importance of skills and examines these more critically. How are skills distributed in the population and how do they relate to important social and economic outcomes? How can we ensure that students earning a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree acquire the necessary skills to fully participate in our society?
Some may argue that we need not pay attention to these findings, that comparative international assessments such as PIAAC do not yield valid results. If PIAAC was the only study to raise a cause for concern, then perhaps that case could be made. The fact is that other educational surveys, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), have reported similar results for our high school seniors. In 2013, NAEP reported that 74 percent of the nation’s twelfth graders were below proficient in mathematics and 62 percent were below proficient in reading. In addition, organizations such as ACT, which evaluates the college and career readiness of the young adult population in the United States, recently reported that nearly one out of three high school graduates (31%) taking its exam failed to meet any of the four college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading, and science, suggesting they are not well prepared for first-year college coursework. Similarly, the College Board reported in 2013 that 57 percent of SAT takers failed to qualify as “college ready.” The PIAAC data, therefore, is not anomalous; in fact, it forms part of a broader picture of America’s skills challenge.
To be sure, the skills challenge we face is complex and multifaceted, but we need to first acknowledge there is a problem. I believe we are at a crossroads. As a nation, we can decide to accept the current levels of mediocrity and inequality or we can decide to address the skills challenge head on. The choices we make will provide a vivid reflection of what our nation values.
April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
With the Time Zone change and my other problems today I was not in my space and settled until 3:45 Mountain Time. I much prefer to get in before 2:00 so I'm way behind today. I also had to take Patches for a long walk as soon as we got here or she would have been hell to live with.
The distance that I drove , 231 miles was not a problem. Nor was the route: AZ82, AZ80, Davis Rd, US191, City Streets, AZ80, NM80, NM9, NM338, I-10, Bus-10, US70, NM90, Kirkland Rd & Flury Ln.
The problems started in Douglas when I went to El Chef the restaurant that I had selected for my breakfast and found it closed. So I went to Denny's and had a good Santa Fe Skillet. It was the paying that became a problem. My Credit Card was not accepted.
This happened yesterday at Quail Ridge also when I tried to pay for my electric bill but I wrote it off as their problem. Today I knew I had a problem so I used the Manager's cell phone to call the number on the back of the card. Finally got a human on the phone but I could not understand half of what she said. I asked her to repeat one thing 4 times and then asked her to spell it and still could not understand her. I gave the cell phone to the Manager and he had to ask her twice what she wanted.
She was asking for my birth date. There are probably four explanations for this difficulty: 1)the cell phone 2)she had a headset microphone too close to her mouth 3)she had a speach impediment 4)my hearing. Or, it may have been a combination of the four. She finally said that she was going to transfer me and hung up either intentionaly or by accident.
I continued on to Lordsburg, NM where I stopped for gas at Love's. I went in and asked if there was a Wells Fargo in town before filling up and found that there was not. But, I was able to use my Debit Card to pay for the gas which was at a good price compared to Sierra Vista or Silver City.
I knew there was a Wells Fargo in Silver City and it was still open. There is always the chance that branches will have been closed. They were a little short staffed so I had a wait. Then a real person helped me call the Wells Credit Card people and this time I got someone that didn't need my life history, and I could understand him, before he could tell me that the account had a hold on it because of suspicious transactions. They were not mine so it is good that they did not process them.
They are sending me a new card but that is going to be a problem also. It will go to my UPS Store and they will then forward it to me and charge - my Credit Card - for the forwarding. I'll be sending them an email to see how we can work this out.
One last stop was made at Albertson's to pick up groceries for the week. I'll be able to continue to eat because they take my Debit Card just as quickly as they did the Credit Card. I may have to get some cash so I can eat at a restaurant once a week but most of them take Debit Cards also so I should be fine until my new Card catches up to me.
14 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
The low temperature here this morning was about 10° lower than what we have been experiencing for the past couple of weeks. It was cold. The 10 Day forecast highs will also be about 10° less than what we were having. That is going to be better for Patches, she was not enjoying those afternoon walks in 80° temperatures.
The Park owners here have gone out of their way to express how happy they are to have me back. I haven't stayed at the same Park on very many occasions so that is a new experience for me. They only other Park where I have repeated much was the Escapee park in Pahrump and the Manager there was always glad to see me again.
I'm cooking up a batch of potatoes with sardines in my Roaster today. I have some doubts about this because it is a modification of an online recipe that calls for baking in an oven. I'll have some today for 'linner' and report on the success or failure tomorrow. I'll also see how well the concoction re-heats for 'linner' tomorrow.
This is the third book in the Earth's Children Series and I have read them in order. For me they have become progressively worse. The Weekly review is a good review as far as it goes, picking out the positive aspects of the book but not a negative whisper. The negative for me was what they refer to as a 'complaisant Jondalar'. He wasn't complaisant he was indecisive, weak, wissy-washy; the 'pajama boy' of the cave men. The author doesn't have much respect for her readers either in my opinion. Every time Jondalar makes an appearance in the story she has to remind us that he is jealous as if we have forgotten since she told us that in the previous chapter. I do like the background detail and will pick up another book in the Series if I find one for that but not for the characters and story line.
The authenticity of background detail, the lilting prose rhythms and the appealing conceptual audacity that won many fans for The Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of the Horses continue to work their spell in this third installment of Auel's projected six-volume Earth's Children saga set in Ice Age Europe. The heroine, 18-year-old Ayla, cursed and pronounced dead by the "flathead" clan that reared her, now takes her chances with the mammoth-hunting Mamutoi, attended by her faithful lover, Jondalar. Gradually overcoming the prejudice aroused by her flathead connection, Ayla wins acceptance into the new clan through her powers as a healer, her shamanistic potential, her skill with spear and slingshot and her way with animals (she rides a horse, domesticates a wolf cub, both "firsts," it would seem, and even rides a lion). She also wins the heart of a bone-carving artist of "sparkling wit" (not much in evidence), which forces her to make a painful choice between the curiously complaisant Jondalar, her first instructor in love's delights, and this more charismatic fellow. The story is lyric rather than dramatic, and Ayla and her lovers are projections of a romantic rather than a historical imagination, but readers caught up in the charm of Auel's story probably won't care. - Publishers Weekly
15 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Happy Income Tax Filing Day!Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet
Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me
The sardines and potatoes was far better than I anticipated. Rather simple also. I used 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes sliced in rounds, covered the bottom of my Roaster with olive oil and then sliced potato rounds, on top of them went 9 sardines with about half a tube of dill paste then covered with more potato rounds. I'll find out today how good it is when re-heated.
I have been in email contact with my UPS Store and they have made it easy to work around the Credit Card problem. I may have the New Card by the end of the month. It is good that it happened when it did or I would be trying to decide where my mail should be forwarded. As it is I have an entire month to get this straighten out and get the Card forwarded to me here.
I have managed to build four API maps during the past two evenings and have kept the byte usage down to the daily average that I need not to end up 'byte broke' at the end of the month. Also have been doing more work on the Will Rogers weekly article links. There was also a blog that I moved from Daily to Monthly and I have read more than half of those on the Monthly list.
I thought I was going to meet up with my friend Boonie
and Patches would get to run with Coffee Girl again while we were here. Alas, I got an email from him yesterday and he has left and is in Show Low. I was going to be going that way when I left here but the Park that I had selected never responded to my emails so I changed my route. Any visiting or dog running will have to wait.
The results of the TIME 100 reader’s poll in which readers pick the 100 most influential people on the planet will be released by them tomorrow but Zero Hedge
had them early. For me the sad thing is that 4 of the top 5 are entertainers; rapper-singer CL (of the South Korean girl-group 2NE1), Lady Gaga, Rihanna & Taylor Swift. There were 6 entertainers that were voted more influential than President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton was way down in the list.
16 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
The low temperature this morning was 43° which was just right with my wool cap and without gloves. It slowly warmed up a little but then got colder again as clouds moved in. The high yesterday was 67 and it is expected to be 57 today with the low tomorrow morning down to 34.
It is winter again! I fired up the Wave heater and Patches crowded right in front of it. Laying on top of my feet part of the time so she is a Good Dog. She has lost a lot of her winter coat so the heater is needed for her as well as for me.
I got three more API maps built last night. This morning I was just under the daily average of bytes used that I am trying to maintain. I did some Will Rogers weekly article link preparation yesterday also which used up some bytes but probably not a lot. Need to watch my byte diet closely!
I think most everyone in the United States understands by now that the liberal wings in the two branches of the One Party System want this country to follow the pattern of Socialist Europe. Look for them to push a new law based on Scotland's The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (C&YP Act) We need to "do it for the children"! Within this Act is the provision that every newborn, ie a baby that is not aborted, must have a "Named Person".
A Named Person is an individual that is 1) an employee of the service provider, or 2) is an employee of, a person who exercises any function on behalf of the service provider, and the individual meets such requirements as to training, qualifications, experience or position as may be specified by the Scottish Ministers by order.
In simple terms the child becomes a ward of the state from birth until 18 years of age. This is happening in this country now under a hodgepodge of local social service laws, rules and regulations but one law like that in Scotland would codify it under federal law and central governmental control which is a goal of the liberal wings. Parents would become 'breeding stock' under the control of the federal government.
17 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA227 April 17, 1927
The weather guessers were close yesterday with their expected 57° - the high was 60°. They missed the low by 10° however thinking it would be 34 and we got a 24. I didn't have anything freeze but I probably should have plugged in my basement heater knowing that the guessers are seldom right and usually optimistic when predicting lows.
I dressed for a colder morning with an extra layer, wool cap and gloves. It felt cold but I was surprised that it had gone as low as reported. The windchill was about 18° while we were out walking and I felt better than a few days ago when it was at 40. It didn't warm up very fast and I had the Wave heater going again. Patches was hogging it until almost 10:00 when I finally turned it off but the temperature had only reached 48 by 9:30. Warmer today and tomorrow morning - maybe.
I finished building all the maps for the first Teardrop Road Trip, 2005 ITG, this morning. Set up the templet for the second Trip, Deming Loop, and also prepared the templet for the 2014 map that will go in the Camp Maps drop down menu. The 2014 map build will take some time but will not use up as many bytes as doing all the maps for the second Trip. I'll probably have it done in just a few days.
Who would have thought it? Where do they find these people? Consumers Love Higher Gas Prices: UMich Confidence Rises To 2nd Highest In 8 Years.
In the face of rising gas prices, Consumers were loving it - UMich printed 95.9, beating expectations of 94.0 by the most since August, for the 2nd most exuberance since 2007. Current and futures expectations rose notably as consumers believe now is a good time buy a home, vehicle, or major appliance more than ever.
18 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Just as Patches and I were leaving for our afternoon walk yesterday I got a visit from Glenn of To Simplify. He has been blogging and Simplifying for five years now and has a very popular blog. It is always great to meet fellow RVers and fellow bloggers face-to-face and we had a good visit.
I built the 2014 API map last night but didn't verify that all the coding worked until this morning. It is now a link in the Camps drop down menu in the left column of the Home Page. It was far easier to build than all the individual maps for the various Tours and Trips that I have been building. Their difficulty will not keep me from moving on to the second Teardrop Trip but I may rest for a day or two.
A warmer morning at 35° than it was yesterday but I didn't dress as well for it so it felt about the same. The high yesterday was up slightly but the weather gurus now have a 10 Day forecast that is showing near 70s for the highs and mid to upper 40s for the lows. Afternoon winds probably everyday.
Confidence and Ignorance Shouldn’t Go Together is a great article that complements what I wrote on 12 April 2015. What I said then was that stupid people don't know that they are stupid. That was supported by a report produced by Educational Testing Service. In this article Monty Pelerin says much the same thing.
Mark Twain described education as … that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
The US educational system now specializes in the latter half of Twain’s definition. That is a tragedy. More dangerous is that these people believe they are educated and have been taught to be confident in spite of their ignorance. Ignorance is better served by humility, not confidence.
Schools must get out of the confidence, self-esteem and politically correct mode. Knowledge conveyance, not lock-step behavior and a false sense of one’s self, is required. Convincing incompetents that they are competent puts them on a path that leads to failure and disillusionment. Is there any other industry so cruel and unethical to their customers?
19 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
We did our usual morning walk and then went to town. We had the timing down just right by following this schedule. Arrived at Albertsons' soon after they opened and then at La Mexicana soon after they had opened.
The grocery shopping went reasonable well. They had no Hearts of Romaine other than chopped up in a bag which I can live with. Grabbed up two small Plain Greek yogurt containers and found that one of them was Coconut Cream after I opened it, mixed in some dill paste and tasted it -surprise, but I can live with it. They only had one large container of Greek God Honey & Vanilla but I have some vanilla to add to the other container of just Honey that I got.
The owner of La Mexicana welcomed me back and explained that although the tamale & eggs was lined out on the menu they would still make it for me. That is what I had with hash browns and some not so good coffee. I had a young inexperienced waitress that was attentive although not very skilled. Maybe I'll see her again next week and then again maybe not.
The Greek yogurt with dill paste will be going on top of some salmon that I got. Patches will get the skin as a treat every 'linner' this week which she will be looking forward to starting tomorrow after she gets some today. She never had it so good - gets to lick the yogurt containers plus salmon fish skins.
I finished the Total Trip API map for the second Teardrop Trip yesterday evening. This is the easiest of them all to build. The individual daily maps that show the route are the more difficult. Maybe do a couple late today or maybe not until tomorrow.
I checked my Daily blog list after getting home and starting to prepare 'linner' for today and the rest of the week. I now have 14 on that list and as of this morning not one of them had a new posting since I checked and read them yesterday. Became current with that list very quickly today.
The Weekly has classed this as a 'contemporary suspense thriller' but I agree that it delivers more romance that suspense. There was certainly no mystery involved, the bad guy just sprang forth with no clues, that I detected, left for the reader to discover before the disclosure. It was a quick to read, entertaining book but not one that I will be going out of my way to find more like it.
"Bless me Father, for I will sin." In her first contemporary suspense thriller, Garwood, better known for best-selling romantic fiction (Ransom; the Clayborne Brides trilogy; etc.), explodes out the narrative gate, but delivers more romance than suspense. While waiting for test results to determine if he needs another round of chemotherapy, Father Thomas Madden is the guest of Monsignor McKindry at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Kansas City. He offers to sit in for McKindry in the confessional. When a mocking voice seeks the good father's prayers to prevent him from murdering the priest's own sister, Laurant Madden, panic quickly sets in. The faceless voice behind the screen admits to a previous murder and also knows about Father Tommy's cancer. Tommy quickly calls FBI agent Nicholas Buchanan (Tommy's best friend since childhood) and asks him to track down the madman and protect his sister. Laurant has never met Nick before, but is instantly attracted to him. The two fake falling in love to flush out the murderer, but the pretense is short-lived. Some members of the chorus provide amusing turnabouts most notably outspoken elderly sisters Bessie Jean and Viola Vanderman, who serve up casseroles and counsel safe sex. Garwood's writing is strongest where affairs of the heart are concerned. If the thriller aspect of the novel fails to ignite, the sexual pas de deux between Nick and Laurant delivers sufficient smolder for Garwood's fans. - Publishers Weekly
20 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
A do nothing day appears to be on tap.
I did go to the Park exchange library and trade the book that I had finished. I picked up another author unknown to me but the book had good volume. There are a lot of books here to select from but there are not a lot that appeal to me. I'll probably trade a couple more here before I leave so maybe additional perusal will turn up something.
The only excitement was another visit from the blogger of To Simplyfy. I introduced him to Arbuckles' Coffee made with my AeroPress. The AeroPress was nothing new for him, that is what he uses to make his coffe from beans that he grinds just before brewing. The Arbuckles' was something new and he seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed our couple hours of conversation and Patches was all over him seeking some affection.
This story could be true. Then again maybe it is false. But if it is false it is only because it has not happened YET!
A woman from Los Angeles who was a tree hugging, liberal Democrat and an avid opponent of hunting purchased a piece of timberland near Colville, WA . There was a large tree on one of the highest points in the tract. She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land so she started to climb the big tree. As she neared the top she encountered a spotted owl that attacked her. In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground and, as a result, got many splinters in her crotch. In considerable pain, she rushed to a local ER to see a doctor. As she explained how she came to get all the splinters, she shared with him that she was an environmentalist, a Democrat, and how much she despised hunters.
The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her to go wait in the examining room while he would see if he could help her. She sat and waited three hours before the doctor reappeared. The angry woman demanded, “What took you so long?” He smiled and then told her, “Well, I had to get permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management before I could remove old-growth timber from a ‘recreational area’ so close to a waste treatment facility. I’m sorry, but due to Obamacare they turned you down.”
21 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
I built three API route maps for the Deming Loop Teardrop Trip yesterday evening. They were relatively easy and I don't think they used up too many bytes but I thought I would leave well enough alone.
I checked Verizon usage this morning to see what impact they had which will give me a better handle on usage while building maps. A few months ago it didn't seem to be a problem but it certainly was last month and appears to be one this month.
After we finished our walk this morning I took my blood pressure. That was the 14th daily reading since I have been on the 25 mg dosage versus the 50 mg. I sent all of the readings to the Sierra Vista VA and await their decision about what I should do.
The average resting readings were up 7/ 3 which I think is good and the average diastolic pressure was now above 60 which I think they were looking for. Or as one heart disease expert that I have read says: "So the trick in treating systolic hypertension is to reduce the systolic pressure to below 140 mm Hg — or as close to 140 mm Hg as possible — while keeping the diastolic pressure above 60 or 65 mm Hg."
President Putin has done it again, The Greek "White Knight" Emerges: Putin To Give Athens €5 Billion For Advance Gas Pipeline Fees. The United States/President Obama spent $5 Billion on the Ukraine and bought nothing but trouble. Russia/President Putin is spending €5 Billion and buying a sanctions veto in the EU. The real beauty of the "deal" is that it is going to cost Russia nothing when you follow the flow of funds. The other beautiful thing is that Russia/Putin are denying that there is any such deal with Greece - it will have to be Greece that makes the announcement that they are turning away from the West. That may happen today.
Following the death of the South Stream, whereby the EU pressured Bulgaria to refuse passage of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe, Russia needed an alternative route of bypassing Ukraine (and Bulgaria) entirely, something which according to Kremlin's plan should happen over the next 3 years. And with Hungary and Serbia all eager to transit Russian gas to the Austrian central european gas hub, Greece was the missing link for a landline transit. With this agreement, Russia gets the green light to extend the Blue Stream all the way to Austria and preserve its dominance over the European energy market while leaving Ukraine in a completely barganining vacuum.
Perhaps just as importantly, suddenly Russia will
energy emerge as the generous benefactor riding to Greece's salvation, in turn even further antagonizing the Eurozone and further cementing favorable public opinion. As a reminder, several weeks ago we showed that Russia already has a higher approval rating among the Greek population than the Eurozone. In this way, Russia has just won a critical ally for the very low price of just €5 billion, without even having to restructure the entire Greek balance sheet should Greece have exited the euro and been attracted to the Eurasian Economic Union. Which also means that all future attempts to impose further sanctions on Russia by Europe will fail thanks to the Greek veto vote.
Russia (Gazprom) gives Greece money, which Greece uses to repay the IMF, which uses the Greek money to fund a loan to Kiev, which uses the IMF loan to pay Russia (Gazprom).
22 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Happy Earth Day and Happy Birthday Vladimir Lenin
I built four API route maps for the Deming Loop Teardrop Trip yesterday evening. They were easier than the three that I did the day before so I should have used about the same amount of bytes. I checked Verizion usage again this morning and the bytes used on the 21st were more than double what is shown for the 20th. I don't understand the usage measurements but have to live with them; questioning Verizon is like questioning the federal government.
Nothing exciting happening today that I know of. I guess I could be surprised before the day is done. I did finish reading another mystery/suspense novel for which I'll post a review in a day or two. Started reading another tome that will take me much longer to finish.
On 9 April 2015 I quoted Thomas B. Edsall from The Opinion Pages of The New York Times. I was very surprised that the Times had published his Opinion article since it was critical of Obama and the Times has been a strong supporter.
The Times has now done it again. Has Obamacare Turned Voters Against Sharing the Wealth? is not as critical of the President but expresses a fear that his focus on "economic inequality" has lost support. If public opinion is turning against the President's inequality then Elizabeth Warren's position for redistribution or wealth will not be supported either. I get the feeling that the Times would much rather have Warren as the Democrat nominee but the mood of the country is not in her favor nor that of the Times.
This is his closing paragraph in a long article that quotes a lot of 'experts' and 'studies'
The findings of the Saez group are consistent with Luttig’s. Taken together, they suggest that even if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate in 2016, largely on the basis of favorable demographic trends, the party will confront serious hurdles if it attempts to deliver material support to working men and women and the very poor. Redistribution is in trouble, and that is likely to tie American politics in knots for many years to come.
23 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
I finished the last three API route maps for the Demming Loop Teardrop Trip yesterday. I then went through all the maps and verified that the links worked and everything looked correct. That would have used up a lot more bytes than just building four maps. When I checked Verizion today my usage was about 2.5x what I need my daily usage to be but it was not unexpected after doing the map verifications.
I also set up the templet for the 2013 API map that will go in the Camps drop down menu. This is a time consuming build but does not use up the bytes that individual route maps do when building. I made a start on the build yesterday and could finish it by tonight. Next I'll start on Teardrop Trip 2007 ITG which was 88 days on the road and I'll have to build about 70 maps. That will take some time and I need to get my Verizon usage back in line first.
About the same temperatures today but we have more wind again. The forecast is that it will be much cooler on Sunday, down into the 50s, with a 70 % chance of rain. Then will move up into the low 80s by this time next week. Probably what can be expected during spring at this elevation. Not so bad.
This was the first Grippando novel that I have read. I liked all the main characters, liked them a lot. Many book jackets always read "I couldn't put this book down". This jacket did not say that but for once it was true. A great mystery right up to the final pages and then the author wrote a gymnastic dismount ending. That is one of those ending that does a back flip and a triple twist to end the book. Very good read - I'll certainly pick up another of his if I can ever find one!
Grippando might not be the most lapidary of legal thriller writers, but he certainly has the imagination and research skills to plot up a storm. Readers of his seventh book (after A King's Ransom) will find themselves riveted as Miami criminal lawyer Jack Swyteck the hero of Grippando's first thriller, The Pardon returns to discover himself and his family under attack from several corners. Jessie Merrill, a particularly hot old flame of Jack's who's now dying of ALS, has hired him in an unusual civil case involving a "viatical settlement," in which she sells an insurance policy in return for an immediate cash payment. But the doctors were wrong: Jessie isn't dying, and the shadowy consortium of Russian mobsters who bought her policy are now suing to get their money back. Jack and Jessie win the case; Jack realizes that he and the Russians have been scammed; and when a principal character turns up dead in the Swyteck bathtub, Jack's unstable wife soon joined by a vengeful prosecutor thinks Jack did the dirty deed. There's also a tough and dangerous young Cuban woman with reasons of her own for wanting the Russians brought down, a likable roughneck whom Jack once rescued from death row, and enough mean-spirited federal agents and prosecutors to settle a career's worth of scores for a lawyer-turned-writer like Grippando, who was a partner in Janet Reno's firm before he took up the quill. - Publishers Weekly
Remember when Nancy Pelosi said:
“We have to pass it, to find out what’s in it.”
A physician pointed out: “That’s the definition of a stool sample.” ba dum tish
24 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA228 April 24, 1927
Yesterday afternoon we walked around the south side of the rodeo arena to Peterson Dr then looped back along US180 and the rodeo arena. I didn't remember what the distance was for this loop and this was the first time we have walked it since we arrived this time. It is a little short of 2 miles but it is a good route.
I think I also found another contributor to the increase in my byte usage. I rarely turn on Flash to watch an Internet video but I either did and then did not disable it or the recent Firefox upgrade activated it. I have now turned it off again and that should help but I know the map building is a big part of the increased usage.
The third contributor to usage within the past few days was an automatic update download from Windows. I saw a brief flashed message in the lower right of my screen yesterday when I first booted up that I never can read but it means that there will be an update installed. That always messes up my attempts to manage usage; never know when it is coming nor how big it is going to be.
We had a couple of sprinkles yesterday afternoon and I stepped out into a couple more this morning. Didn't look like we would get wet so started our morning walk. Called the walk just short of the 1/2 mile turn around when it started a light rain mixed with some small hail. Then by a little after 7:00 the sky was almost clear except around the horizon.
However, when I walked up to the Club house/Office to put my laundry in the dryer I got sprinkled on again. Laundry and trading the last book I read in the Park library was about the extent of my doing anything constructive today. The way the weather has been acting an afternoon walk is not even a certainty.
The Armenian Church prepared on Thursday [23 April 2015] to canonize up to 1.5 million Armenians massacred in the Ottoman Empire amid tensions over Turkey's refusal to recognize the killings as genocide. Then there is this article Armenia’s Genocide and Obama’s Shame about President Obama's display of disrespect for Christians and deference to Islam. The President no longer has good relations with Turkey so SAYING that they committed genocide or remaining mute it is not going to make a damn bit of difference.
Despite a 2008 campaign promise “to recognize the Armenian genocide,” President Obama refuses to follow Pope Francis’ example and call the murder of 1.5 million Armenian civilians by its right name. Of all the despicable things this administration has done, this one stands out for vile hypocrisy. CNN reports:
President Barack Obama, wary of damaging relations with Turkey amid growing unrest in the Middle East, won’t use the 100th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire to declare the brutal episode a genocide.
43 countries–including Russia, Italy, France, Sweden Poland and the Netherlands–recognize the Armenian genocide. Not the United States of America. It is a shame and disgrace.
Despite Obama’s campaign promise in 2008 to “recognize the Armenian Genocide” as president, the White House on Tuesday issued a carefully worded statement on a high-level administration meeting with Armenian groups that avoided using the term “genocide.”
25 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Just another shopping day. Went to Albertsons' as soon as we finished our usual morning walk. The timing worked out like it did last week but I have to slow down while getting groceries now that I am finding where everything is. If I get everything too soon then I'll have to wait for La Mexicana to open.
I had their Hevoes con Chorizo with hash browns and beans. Not as good as their tamale and egg plate but the coffee tasted better this morning. I don't remember them advertising that that served Salvadorian Coffee when I was here last year. They also offered a Salvador Breakfast Special that did not appeal to me.
Upon getting backed into my space at the Park (which I am now doing with aplomb). I dumped holding tanks and took on fresh water. The water pump was sucking air again this morning which is certainly a sign that the fresh water tank is near empty. The idiot light just started showing red yesterday but I'm parked a bit unlevel so what water was in the tank was probably tilted away from the outlet.
Hillary Clinton Is In Trouble by Monty Pelerin offers up some reasons why Hillary will be the Democrat nominee but can not win. The 2016 presidential election season is going to be very entertaining. Of course the option remains that President Obama will suspend the elections and declare himself president for life. Who is going to say that he can not?
Mrs. Clinton cannot quit the political race because she is a bag woman for International and domestic interests. They have paid her in expectation that she will be the next President. She may lose the election but she cannot afford to not run. There is honor of sorts among thieves. Not running would violate this code.
She will be the Democrat nominee. No one in the Democrat Party is electable. The Republicans will not enforce campaign and influence-peddling rules on her. She is stuck in this race until the end, a race she cannot win. Oh, that H. L. Mencken were not still alive and commenting on this great comedy.
Here is another story that points to an area where Hillary may also be in trouble. Hillary Lets The Veil Slip: Religion Is A Problem To Be Disposed Of
. She is not worried however, President Obama got elected after his clinging to guns or religion comment and he has been attacking Christianity at every opportunity since taking office. Religion (except Islam) is fair game for progressive politicians.
“Laws [about reproductive health care and safe childbirth] have to be backed up with resources and political will,” Clinton said. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
If one is to assume that “reproductive health care” rights are a euphemism for abortion (a fairly safe assumption), then this is quite telling. Maybe it’s because she was speaking to a friendly audience (at the Women in The World Summit), but this honest appraisal is a reminder that politics are downstream from culture, and that uprooting long-standing religious and cultural beliefs are a prerequisite for utopian progressivism. As President Obama might say, we do tend to “cling to guns or religion.”
Or, how about this quote as an example of why she may be in trouble. If you are confused by what she said I'm sure one of her supporters can clarify the quote.
“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.” – Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014
26 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
I pulled the plug on Verizon yesterday at noon. I don't have enough bytes remaining to read Daily blogs and News for the rest of the month. I estimate that I have 3-4 days left and there are 9 more days in the service month. Switched over to the Park WIFI which is slower but so far is good enough. If I lose WIFI I'll plug Verizon back in to do my daily postings but other than that I'll wait for WIFI to come back.
Finished the 2013 API map yesterday using WIFI. Then verified that all the links were working correctly. It is now in the Camps drop down menu in the left column of the Home Page. I also got the Total Trip templet prepared for the 2007 ITG Teardrop Trip.
It was very black along the mountains north of us when we stepped out for our walk this morning and building up in the west. At about the 3/4 mile turnaround we started getting some sprinkles and by the time we reached the shelter of Desperado it was a light rain. If we had continued the walk I had planned we would have got WET.
It quit raining around 7:30 and began to SNOW. Great big fluffy snowflakes that began to stick as soon as they fell. The reason it started to snow was it was getting colder after the sun came up rather than warmer. I fired up the Wave heater again after breakfast when I started to feel cold and Weather Underground was reporting 33°. The weather guessers expect it to reach 56° for a high but it was only 42 at 1:00 with a windchill of 33 and strong winds. I may forgo an afternoon walk if it doesn't warm up some or the wind doesn't die down.
WIFI was good enough yesterday that I got a map built showing all the Katy Trail camps. Also made good progress on the Total Trip map for the 2007 ITG which includes the Katy Trail Hike (unfortunately, it did not save so I get to do that work again). I think since the trip was 88 days long I will do the mapping in three segments. Will finish up the first 30 days of Camps in the Total Trip map and start building the daily route maps.
Today I built all the daily route maps for the Katy Trail Hike and verified that the links were working from the Katy Camps map. Then repeated some of my efforts of yesterday and got the Total Trip map completed for the first 30 days. I will probably get some of the daily route maps built before the day is over. It all is dependent upon how well WIFI holds up.
27 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
It did reach, and exceed, the expected high temperature yesterday afternoon but it sure did not feel like it. The high was 56° with a prediction that today will be WARMER at 64. The low this morning was 37 which was an improvement from the 33 of yesterday but still cold. Maybe up to 82 on Friday and the lows are to be back into the 50s.
I was able to build 8 maps for the 2007 ITG yesterday using WIFI. This morning when I signed on there was no WIFI so I used Verizon to read Daily blogs and scanned the News. I'll use Verizon again this afternoon to post to my web site if there is no WIFI but there will be no map building using Verizon.
My 'linners' for this week have been, and will be, a big salad and cod. The cod was cooked the same way I did it a couple of weeks ago - baked in the Roaster for about 1/2 hour in cream of mushroom with chopped fresh dill. This time I added the broccoli florets during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. It is very good and re-heats great.
This quote is from Change They Don’t Believe In the posting by James Howard Kunstler last week but I'm just getting around to reading it. His predictions rarely come to pass but I think this one has a good chance.
The USA has suffered mightily from globalism, by which a bonanza of cheap “consumer” products made by Asian factory slaves has masked the degeneration of local economic vitality, family life, behavioral norms, and social cohesion...The crop of 2016 White House aspirants shows no comprehension for the play of these forces and the field is ripe for epic disruption. The prospect of another Clinton – Bush election contest is a perfect setup for the collapse of the two parties sponsoring them, ushering in a period of wild political turmoil. Just because you don’t see it this very moment, doesn’t mean it isn’t lurking on the margins.
Monty Pelerin provides a list of reasons why the two branches of the One Party system that now exists in this country is set up to collapse. Read Political and Economic Beliefs
to understand "where he is coming from".
Both political parties grow government.
Both engage in unnecessary military adventures.
Both exploit citizens to feather their own nests.
Both pander to voters rather than adhere to principles.
Both routinely ignore the Constitution.
Both raise taxes and spend monies in excess of taxes.
Both expand programs that have little chance of succeeding.
Both support programs that produce results opposite of what was intended.
Both refuse to cut any program, regardless of the harm it does.
Or, his position on economics and the State.
There are no economic problems. There are only political problems. Economics is self-equilibrating, if not meddled with. Every political intervention is an attempt to thwart individual intentions and corrective adjustment. Political intervention does not help although it may hide (temporarily). Every political intervention makes the economic issue worse. Small targeted problems turn into large targeted problems.
28 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
There were off and on rain showers during the afternoon yesterday. When we left Desperado the showers were off but at just a little over .6 miles they turned on again with some hail. We sought shelter under a scraggly pine tree that offered limited protection and when I thought we had a chance to get back we went for it. Got a little WET but it could have been worse.
I had slow WIFI last night and a VERY difficult API map to build that was a mix of Interstate and avoid Interstate through St Louis, MO. It took me forever and I still was not totally satisfied when I finally said "it's good enough" - the favorite saying of Bulgarians when I was there - It's good enough.
Who would have thought that Silver City, NM would be the cross roads where bloggers meet. I had my second blogger visitor this morning since I have been here. The author of A Life By Design stopped by to say hello. I first read about her RV life on a older blog Travels With Miranda that started in 2008 and was shut down in 2014. It was good to sit down for a few minutes and talk face-to-face with someone that I have "known" for years. Patches was also excited to meet someone new that would give her some attention.
The review below calls this book romantic historical fiction which is probably accurate but the romance does not get in the way of a very good story. The background information about pearling and a peek into the Aborigine culture made the book very interesting for me. I'm a bit of an Australophile so any novel that uses it as a background for the story will get my approval. I would like to read more of her novels but I don't think I have seen one of hers before this one.
This author is a born storyteller. She weaves a spellbinding story of a young woman, Lily Burton who, upon the death of her mother, embarks upon a search for her roots. The only link with her past is a beautiful mother-of-pearl pendant with distinctive markings. Her voyage of discovery takes her to western Australia and a town called Broome. It is there that she finds her great-grandmother Olivia's diary and discovers the rich, though startling, truth about her family and its heritage.
This is a vastly entertaining book that transports the reader to the hardscrabble world of late nineteenth century western Australia, which finds young, pregnant Olivia Hennessey and her husband, Conrad, newly arrived from England, embarking upon a journey and adventure of a lifetime. There, they would meet Captain John Tyndall, a handsome and dashing adventurer with whom they would forge a thriving business alliance that would later transform itself into something else for both Olivia and the Captain. These star-crossed lovers would find that the path to true love is not an easy one.
This is an exciting story told against the backdrop of Australia's pearling industry of the time. It is an adventure story laced with romance, as well as an epic family saga. It is a story that will keep the reader riveted to the pages of this book, as Lily's search for her family's heritage unfolds. This book is an enthralling work of romantic historical fiction. - Amazon Customer Review
29 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
I built two more maps for 2007 ITG last night using very slow and not so reliable WIFI. These maps were not very complicated but the slow WIFI was driving me crazy. Two maps were all I could handle without bouncing off walls.
The 1st Qtr 2015 GDP number was released and surprise, surprise it was less than all the experts thought it would be. The consensus was for 1% and it came in at 0.2%. This is a first guess so it may be even less than that after the 2nd and final guess is made but those revisions never get the attention that the first release does.
The thing that is not spoken of is the GDP methodology that changed in mid 2013. That was when research and development and the creation of artistic works were added to the calculation of GDP. That change was thought to increase the measured GDP by close to 3% according to BEA's analysis at that time. That means that using the 'old' methodology there has been NEGATIVE GDP growth for the past two quarters which defines a recession.
But potentially there is even worse to come. If US inventories, already at record high levels, and with the inventory to sales rising to the great financial crisis level, had not grown by $121.9 billion and merely remained flat, US Q1 GDP would not be 0.2%, but would be -2.6%.
That means that as this massive inventory is eventually cleared out GDP will be pressured even more with every passing quarter. There is only one thing that can save the country from falling into recession as I see it - change the GDP methodology again!
Production and Plunder is another good article by Monty Pelerin. Here are a couple quotes from it that I thought were "right on".
The necessity of government may be an unthinkable for many, however few still believe in the nobility of government. Why and how public servants become millionaires without producing anything does not go unnoticed. When Harry Truman left the White House he was broke. There was no pension, secret service or even an escort home. He drove himself back to Missouri to the home he had inherited from his mother-in-law.
Government has grown wildly over time and moved mass thought toward the left. A dramatic example of this change can be provided by examining the political positions of John F. Kennedy, Democrat elected president in 1960. His positions today have no place in the modern Democrat Party. Indeed, many would be considered too far right for the Republican Party.
H. L. Mencken, almost ninety years ago, described both of the Clintons in Notes on Democracy
(The male pronoun should be read for the times. Mencken did not exclude women from this same behavior):
Ostensibly he is an altruist devoted wholeheartedly to the service of his fellow men, and so abjectly public-spirited that his private interest is nothing to him. Actually he is a sturdy rogue whose principal, and often sole aim in life is to butter his parsnips.
30 April 2015 Manzano's RV Park (Silver City, NM)
Yesterday the Park WIFI was good in the early morning hours and then died completely during mid day. When I finish our afternoon walk I tried it again and it was slow but good enough to build three more maps for the 2007 ITG. I thought the slow response may have been Google Maps because I could load other web pages quickly - is it Google Maps that is making me crazy? This morning I had to use Verizon and when I went to Google Maps it open quickly so maybe it has been fixed or it was a WIFI issue?
Google API Maps is contributing to my frustration. Most of the maps that I have built in the past have all been west of the Mississippi and I have learned how to build maps that mix Interstate and avoid highways. Avoid highways has meant avoid Interstates.
Now that I am building maps east of the Mississippi I am finding that when I select avoid highways Google API Maps avoids US highways where I want it to draw the route. So now a mixed route is Interstates plus US highways and avoid highways I just don't know which US highways until I try to draw the route on them.
No WIFI this morning. Years ago motels advertised Air Conditioned, then TV, followed by Color TV and WIFI; but they never said that they worked. RV Parks are at that same level of advertising with regard to WIFI. They may have it but it rarely works. It does not cost much to "have" WIFI but you need to spend money to provide WIFI "service" to your customers and most RV Parks have not yet spent the money.
The Dwindling US Economy by Paul Craig Roberts is a good article - recommended read. He says much the same about the 1st Qtr GDP that I did yesterday. That is what makes it a good article. HA
Headline: Among oldest Americans, 1 in 5 dies broke by John W. Schoenat CNBC online. If you read the story you find that it was not 1 in 5 it was 1 in 8. Or, it depends on how you define "broke". Hillary claimed that she and Bill were broke when they left the White House and now have an estimated 150 - 300 million in assets.
The story cites a number of studies, quotes experts and provides visuals to support the fact that old people die without much money left. What the story does not do is explain why that is a bad thing. Why is it a good thing to die if you still have a lot of money remaining?
Here is the quote from the story about the 1 in 5 and the 1 in 8 that die broke. The 1 in 5 are not broke as I would define the term, but that must just be me (I added the underlining).
The latest report on how many Americans die broke comes from an analysis by the Employee Benefits Research Institute based on data from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study. Of those 85 or older who died between 2010 and 2012, roughly 1 in 5 had no assets other than a house, according to the analysis. The average home equity was about $140,000. Roughly 1 in 8 of those households had no assets at all.