Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fake News

It seems like everyone, including mainstream media, is getting into the "fake news" business. Not wanting to be left out of a growing trend in the publishing industry, I feel pressured to make my own contributions...

Hillary Caught Telling The Truth: In a surprising and utterly shocking development, Hillary Clinton was caught telling a bold-face truth to reporters. In the past, she has done this only when under oath and threat of perjury. Even her steadfast and most zealous supporters were caught off-guard. Nancy Pelosi (we must pass this bill in order to know what's in it) commented "this is not our party's way...clearly, her major health problems have impaired her judgement".

CNN Registers As Lobbyist: CNN has announced that it is giving up all pretense of being an independent, fact based news organization and has registered with the government as a lobbyist organization. CEO, Jeff Zucker, stated that "we have lost so much trust with the American public by way of our false and biased reporting that we felt we could make more money as lobbyist... plus, we no longer have to worry about all that journalistic integrity nonsense such as having two sources confirm a story".

Trump Quits Twitter: White House Press Secretary, Sean Spencer, told reporters that President Trump feels so badly about by-passing the mainstream media via his Twitter account that he will no longer 'tweet'. There is some concern that this move may give the media less to report and therefore lead to job losses within the industry which ironically, is the opposite of Trump's goal of creating more jobs in America.

Mexico To Build A Border Wall: Mexico has announced that due to a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Guatemala and Belize, they will build a wall on their southern border and America will pay for it. Although there were no specifics on how the USA will pay for it, speculation is there will be a border tax on all illegal drugs smuggled into the country.

As I once told Mark Twain, "The difference between nonfiction and fiction is that fiction must be believable".

Sunday, February 12, 2017

London Bridge Locks

Occasionally in my travels, I come across something that I find interesting but have no clue as to why it is there. On the east side of the London Bridge, there is an iron railing that is covered with dozens of locks...

Click on image to enlarge

Is it art? Is it a way to keep people from stealing the bridge? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Fisherman Intaglio

The Fisherman Intaglio, a stick figure carved in the ground by early Native Americans, depicts a man holding a spear with two fish shown below and a sun and serpent above. It is located between Bouse and Quartzsite, AZ off the Plomosa Road. It is not well marked and you have to hike a ways to get to it.

I recently bought a DJI Mavic drone and thought this would be a good way to view the complete figure from the air. Due to recent inclement weather and high winds, I have not had much time to practice flying my new toy so the video is not as professional as I would have liked. Still, you can see the potential and with time, I hope to shoot some amazing videos.



Click on image to enlarge

FYI - In order to achieve the drone's compact size, they gave it a short landing gear so you need to have a relatively flat surface for takeoff and landing to keep from damaging the propellers. 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Illegal Voting

There has been much discussion in the media about illegal votes cast in the national election. Some believe it was in the millions, others believe it was much less. President Trump has called for an investigation into the matter. I am for such an inquiry, assuming it can be done in a fair and non-partisan manner, as Americans need to have faith in our election system.

In my opinion, there are some cases of dead people voting along with people who are registered in two or more states. However, I suspect those numbers are rather small compared to the total number of votes cast. What I believe to be a much more significant problem is illegal immigrants voting.

There are currently 12 States and Washington, DC that allow driver's licenses to be issued to people in the country Illegally. These licenses can in turn be used as identification for people to vote in a number of states. Add-in fraudulent documents such as counterfeit Social Security cards, fake “green cards,” and phony birth certificates and you can see that a determined individual would have no problem voting.

According to the Pew Research Center, there were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014. California has the largest number of illegal immigrants with an estimated 2.4 million unauthorized immigrants making up about 6.3 percent of the state's total population. 

Common sense suggests that some illegals voted in the national election. The question is... how many?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rough Riders

Mack & Joleen were kind enough to invite me ride with their club, the "Rough Riders". As the name suggests, they like to go where most people fear to tread. I must admit they have a unique way of checking out their skid plates while on the trail...


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wastebook

Senator Jeff Flake has released Wastebook: PORK√©mon Go, the latest chronicle of government waste in a series started by former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn. The report covers 50 items and more than $5 billion in spending on outrageous government programs and frivolous projects. All of this waste is going on while our national debt is approaching 20 trillion dollars (that's $20,000,000,000,000 or ~$166,775 per taxpayer).

Click on image to see real time numbers

Friday, January 20, 2017

Visiting VIPs

Yesterday, while sitting on the couch contemplating solutions to our nation's problems, a brown truck pulled up behind the RV and a thin, skinny woman got out. She looked vaguely familiar but it wasn't until I saw Greg that I knew it was Merry. She immediately laid to rest my concern that she had gone bulimic and just to prove it, they invited me to join them for dinner. We had a great time at Shugrue's Restaurant overlooking the Colorado River and I got to hear the latest salacious gossip from the Arizonian RV Park (the only thing known to travel faster than the speed of light).

That's the London Bridge in the background

PS - my solution to the national debt crisis is to fine all politicians $10,000 every time they tell a lie. I figure the country will be out of debt in no time at all.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Havasu Balloon Festival

This weekend was the Havasu Balloon Festival. Inclement weather the past two days hampered most of the activities but this morning it cleared up enough for a group of balloons to launch...




Sunday, January 01, 2017

Hualapai Mountain Resort

One of my park neighbors showed me some photos of elk taken at the Hualapai Mountain Resort southeast of Kingman so I decided to drive over for lunch and take a look around. Sure enough, the elk were still there...



The snow was an added bonus...

Elevation ~6,200 feet

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fascism

I keep hearing the political left calling Donald Trump a Fascist. In as much as I suspect most of those individuals do not know the definition of Fascism, I looked it up: "Fascism - a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government". In my opinion, this sounds more like the Democratic Party of the last eight years than the Republican Party or how President-elect Trump has acted since winning the election.

Consider the following:
  • "a government ruled by a dictator" - would not the 260+ executive orders issued by the President in order to circumvent Congress and our duly elected representatives be akin to a dictatorship.
  • "controls the lives of the people" - would not the 21,000+ federal regulations that were passed in the last eight years be a way to control our lives.
  • "not allowed to disagree with the government" - would not calling someone a fascist, racist, misogynist, homophobe or climate denier be a way to discourage disagreement with the government, not to mention an assault on the first amendment (free speech).
Which leads me back to Donald Trump being called a Fascist. His stated goals are to reduce the size of government, limit federal regulation and lower taxes. He has met with and listened to both proponents and opponents of his agenda. This seems to me to be just the opposite of a Fascist.

PS - If you have not read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, I would highly recommend it. In the book there is a fictional language called "Newspeak". It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as "thoughtcrime"

Another great read is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It's a little wordy for my taste but presents an excellent portrayal of government and politicians run amok.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chloride Arizona

Chloride is a onetime silver mining town founded in 1862 and is considered the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state. After talking to a couple of locals, I got the impression that it attracts an eclectic crowd, who appreciates the remoteness and laid back lifestyle.

Click on photos to enlarge

Apparently, graffiti is encouraged

Looks like the train could pull up to the pumps for fuel

Huh!?!

Chloride is also known for the Roy Purcell rock murals which are located ~1.5 miles east of town. The dirt road to the murals was quite rough today so I would recommend a high clearance vehicle to access them...

The murals were in the shade so I was unable to fully capture the brilliant colors


In 2006 Roy, along with other artists, returned to Chloride to restore the faded murals which were originally painted in 1966. I was told Roy is now 80 and has a gallery south of Tucson.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas

Except for breaking my arm last Spring, 2016 was a good year for me. I got to see and do some pretty interesting things and met some wonderful people along the way. Here's hoping I get to do more of the same in 2017.

For everyone who visits this blog, may Santa grant all your wishes and fill your stocking(s) to the brim...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shark Fishing (1988)

It has been cold and windy here the past couple of days so I have stayed busy by digitizing some old camcorder tapes. One of my favorite memories of my Dad is us shark fishing together off the coast of Dana Point, CA. Here's a highlight video...



The downside to catching these large sharks is I no longer enjoy bass fishing as much as before. As I told my cousin, "my bait was bigger than the bass we are catching".

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Desert Bar

One of the most popular and unique watering holes in the area is the Desert Bar / Nellie E Saloon which is located... you guessed it, out in the middle of nowhere east of Parker. The bar is pretty much off the grid with its own well for water and solar power for electricity...



I rode with a group from the Prospector RV Resort which included my friends from the Nebraska mafia, Kenny & Dee and Larry & Carol. On the way to the bar, they erected a memorial to their friend, Martin, who passed away last year at age 60 and after having just retired. In his memory everyone had a shot of "Fireball". Larry may have had more than one...


On the way back, we took the Defiance Trail which had a few "pucker points"...



All in all, another great day riding in the desert with good friends.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Oatman Arizona

Oatman is an old gold mining town known for its "wild" burros...



It is also located on the longest, continuous stretch of historic Route 66 still left...


When I first entered Oatman, there was a large group of Asian tourists wandering all over main street taking pictures and oblivious to everything around them (even the burros had enough sense to get out of the way of oncoming traffic)...



Fortunately, the local sheriff stepped in and quickly restored law & order in town...


Caveat: Parking for your buggy can be a little difficult...


Lastly, for those young-at-heart but a little older in other places, remember the 60s TV show Route 66. Perhaps, Buz and Tod stopped here to fill up the corvette...

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Desert Oddities

While driving across the California desert on Highway 62 in the middle of nowhere (there's a lot of that out here), I came across a couple of sights that I thought were worth photographing.

For my friends, Sunny & Stormy, who are back on the east coast experiencing bumper to bumper traffic...

Rush hour
(click on photos to enlarge)

Next was a large collection of shoes on a fence...




Then there were these names formed from rocks on the embankment of a railroad track. It was not just one but hundreds of names that ran for miles and miles...



What I found particularly interesting about the above items was that as far as I could tell there was not a house or any sign of civilization within 30 miles. Must get pretty boring in the desert.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Truecaller App

If you have a cell phone, there is a pretty good chance you are getting spam calls from robo-dialers. And following Murphy's Law, these calls generally come at inopportune times.

A Google Play search for "cell phone spam blockers" brought up a number of apps of which I chose Truecaller due its good reviews and high number of downloads. It has only been on my phone for about a week and already has warned me of several spam calls which I have blocked for future calls.


The software has a number of other features which I am beginning to explore but it is the spam blocker that I use the most. It's still early but as of this writing, it works as advertised. If you have tried similar apps and like them, please feel free to comment in the section below.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Snowflake Protesters

I've been watching these snowflake high school and college students protesting on television and I'm thinking "what a bunch of wimps".

When I was growing up, we were so poor we could not even afford water; I had to squeeze hydrogen and oxygen together just to have something to drink. To get to school I had to walk five miles in deep snow, uphill (both ways).

And in an age where corporal punishment is now forbidden, I had to deal with this...

Click on photo to enlarge

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bob "The Gray Fox" Micklick

In the Spring of 2013, I had the good fortune to pull into a space next to Bob Micklick at the OK RV Park in Moab, UT. Bob had over a million miles in jeeps and had been coming to Moab since 1967. We became friends and he was kind enough to take me with him on several rides and show me what a jeep can do in the hands of someone who knows what he is doing.

Unfortunately, Bob passed away on July 4, 2014. I had put together a compilation video of him conquering some pretty gnarly obstacles but until now never had the bandwidth to upload it to YouTube...


Monday, November 21, 2016

Online Order Reply

Like a lot people, I order stuff online for the convenience and pricing. If I get an email reply, it normally says "Thanks" and lists the item purchased. The response I got from Right Channel after ordering a CB installation kit is so unique and funny, I am posting it below...

All was quiet today until the Right Channel warehouse intercom crackled to life: 

"Listen up, people!  We've got a new order for James Brown from Arizona ....."

....but no one could hear the rest of the announcement over the thunderous roar of applause. Champagne bottles were popped. Tears of joy were shed. “Don’t Stop Believing” rang from every speaker. Even Alan our peak packer smiled—and Alan never smiles.

Simply put, your order caused pandemonium and everyone is thrilled you're now a customer. Thank you!

Update 11/22/16...

After our celebration of your order subsided, we went sprinting off down the warehouse isles to find, pull and pack your purchase.  Soon, your items were safely packaged and we handed them off to Eric, our trusty off-road courier.  

He set off in his Land Cruiser FJ40 from our wooded Montana warehouse braving deeply rutted roads and swift streams.  After winching himself out of an especially muddy section of trail, he finally arrived at our rural Montana shipping station.  Mud spattered and weary, he dashed inside with your package under arm, just in time to catch the last truck leaving for the day. 

We've got some good news! All of the items from your order have now been shipped.

Update 11/23/16...

We know you've never needed those pesky in-the-box directions.  And we're guessing you won't need them for your CB upcoming install, either.

But just in case your "buddy" runs into trouble with his install, we thought we'd pass these resources along.  They cover everything from tuning your antenna to troubleshooting high SWR issues.  We hope they're helpful (to your buddy, that is).  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Casino Ride

Don, Cathy, Dan, Lynn and I followed the power line from Black Meadow Landing to the Indian casino on the California side of the Colorado River where we had lunch...


Along the way, we came across several wild burros...


Including one who checked out the inside of my jeep...

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Cabin

I joined Mack & Joleen and their friends on a ride to "The Cabin" which is out in the middle of the nowhere southeast of Lake Havasu City (think 40 miles from land, 40 miles from sea)...


The money stapled to the rafters reminded me of Tortilla Flat...


There was even a ball & chain for ruffians, scalawags and politicians...


And who could forget the bat cage...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fremont Street Halloween

If you have never been to Fremont Street in Las Vegas on Halloween night, may I suggest you put it on your bucket list. In my opinion, it is right up there with Mardi Gras in terms of energy, excitement and dare I say kinky weirdness.

I started out the evening with a "single bypass burger" at the Heart Attack Grill (which is not known for its "political correctness"). As soon as you enter, one of the "nurses" puts a hospital gown on you...


I am not sure if this is an omen but if you sit at the bar, the seats have safety belts...


And if you are a bad boy...


Did I mention they are not politically correct

Then it was on to the Fremont Street Experience...





Lastly, for my cousin Chris, who prefers photos of dancing girls...


Once again, photos do not do the experience justice. You just have to be there.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

RV Add-ons

The more RVing you do, the more interesting rigs you see...

Click on photos to enlarge


And for the economy minded...