If you like them fine, join with me, if you don't, tough. (Trouble is, some of these things apply to some friends of mine.)
I don't mind if you write me back, please do. But, don't bother if you can't keep your observations civil and intellectual. My observations will no doubt be considered provocative or controversial, but I do this in the concept of stimulating intelligent discourse, not vitriol or angry and blind reactions. Think, then I'd like to know what you thought.
As of April 2012...
Jackson area businesses to avoid, or
Rainmaker, they overbill, they're unreliable, they don't show up on time and don't call to let you know they'll be late, they'll give you less than two weeks to pay and file papers in small claims court when you don't (my situation was 12 days), and are just unprofessional jerks.
Hunting outfitters: They kill our wildlife for sport and think it's good for the local economy.
Snowmobile outfitters: Any opposed to the snowmobile ban in Yellowstone NP.
Teton Village / Jackson Hole Mountain Resort / Bridger-Teton National Forest: Parking, lack of (handicapped) parking, cost of parking, gross overbuilding, ski slopes cut & look obnoxious from a distance, overpriced businesses, ruining a good thing, squeezing out the Music Festival, etc.
Flat Creek Inn or, Motel gas station - 2006-8 - constantly WAY above other local stations in price (pumps now gone). First into town, last out of town toward Yellowstone & their pricing literally constitutes gouging. Their gas prices are often, if not regularly, .50 to .60 cents higher than in town, only a mile away. They rent RVs, hold sales on the lawn, and even with the new turn lane, pose an appreciable danger to drivers passing by as others try to turn in to the station or shop. The whole place is just tacky anymore & overlighted at night for the area it's in. HOWEVER, in late Aug. of 2007, they lowered their price appreciably to be competitive with other local dealers & reinstated the local discount.
Man Handy - John Pierini - Came out, gave me his fee ($50. per hr. + $25. drive time). Perhaps foolishly, I accepted it although just last year, a good handy-man service was $40. per w/no drive time. Then, he didn't show up at the promised time, and didn't call. I called twice during the next two hours & he finally called back with a lousy excuse. We scheduled again for the next day. He didn't show & didn't call. After 15 min., I called him & he said he was on the way out & finally arrived 1 hr. late (even from the Village it only takes 30 min. to drive), did a so-so job & wouldn't alter his fee for inconveniencing me, the client. I had more to do, but paid him off & good riddance.
Sentinel Group & the operator, a guy named Joe Jenkins & his wife - stood me up for a house-cleaning appt. twice. His first excuse, which I bought, was that he had a death in the family. On the second, he promised that at the appointed time, I had priority over any other client. Bullshit. No show, no call, no nothing. More people that suck at professionalism.
Bresnan Cable: Good price, generally excellent service ( & high-speed internet). Small but very irritating problem w/NBC affiliate feed which for over 2 years now they CANNOT fix.
Jackson businesses to patronize:
Edward Jones Investments - Jo Schmillen: Excellent counseling & advice, great office to work with.
Dentist, Dr. Aaron Galbraith: his expertise, staff, friendliness, caring of patients, on-time appts. & more, make him the best dentist in the Jackson area.
Jackson Hole Movieworks: Frank Londy is a good guy and he employs good people. Good man for the community.
Chinatown: Good food, good prices, friendly staff.
Auto/Diesel Repair: Re: Paul. Great work, fair prices, quick, & will tell you if you don't need the work to be done or if you should get it done elsewhere. Gives auto repair a good name.
Sears: Especially from Idaho Falls, etc., as they honor their equipment and work & the prices for merchandise, especially in the boonies like Jackson, has been excellent.
Mangy Moose restaurant: always reliable/good.
Grand Teton Music Festival - 307.733.3050.
J&H Appliance - Made error in sales pitch, then on bill, but corrected & withdrew charges. Excellent on-time service.
Bubbas: Food's pretty good, not that great as BBQ goes, good wait staff. New mgmt. is screwing up the place some though in 2013.
Same with Merry Piglets & Sidewinders under the huge flag on Broadway.
JH Conservation Alliance: Sometimes good, lots of times can't get their shit together & be consistent in the policies they espouse. Overall, or should I say on balance, they're definitely an asset to the community & a necessary counterbalance to the development entities in Teton Co.
Others to avoid:
Do NOT do business with ALLEGIANT Airlines & their package flights to Las Vegas. If, you suffer a medical emergency after paying their advance fee, they do not plan to give any monies back to you. Partial credit only, and for less than one year. Don't use it within that time, & they believe they have the right to keep all your money, or, in order to make use of the credit, you have to pay even more, to replace the funds they confiscated. They have a "Contract of Carriage" that you are supposed to read that explains their process, if anyone bothers to tell you about it. They even keep money that you pay to secure a hotel room, even though the hotel recognizes a legitimate reason for not travelling there, and refunds all your money including their standard deposit. (Subsequently, Allegiant did not accept the no-charge from Mirage, and Mirage kept the funds from Allegiant, not refunding them to me at all.) It's not that Allegiant charges a service fee, or refunds a partial amount, no, THEY KEEP IT ALL. In my case, almost $2,000. DO NOT use Allegiant unless you want to risk being ripped off. ALLEGIANT is a disreputable operation. Caveat emptor.
Avoid Chico Hot Springs Resort at Pray, MT. No air-conditioning
(and in 2007 that's getting to be a must anywhere) and in July and August,
it gets quite WARM up there; no television in the rooms (although I know
sometimes you want to get away from TV); internet access only in the lobby;
a decent but sometimes hit & miss restaurant & prices to match;
unresponsive website; unshielded and obnoxious flood and door lights everywhere,
even where they had no protective use whatsoever. I had to try sleeping
in my car with the A/C on to get any sleep at all due to the heat &
lack of good ventilation in a room for $135. a night. What are you
supposed to do after you finish dinner at 7:30pm until before you go to
bed? Lighting in the rooms is poor so you can't read.
Sex? OK, but the showerhead was like standing under a sandblaster.
If you've been in the car all day, then talk has pretty well been exhausted.
Sit outside, either too hot to too cold to bother most of the time.
Relax in the hot waters, on a stifling hot night, I don't think so.
As a resort, the place is a big waste of time.
Zone Alarm: Provides software for firewall protection. OK for $46., but they won't answer any questions if you have one unless you pay more money to do so, even simple questions.
DISH Network: Often unresponsive, labels music channels one thing but they're often something else, only a couple of HD channels, overpriced, installs don't necessarily cost what they say they'll cost, often unresponsive, etc., etc.
The State of Montana: has just reinstated a bison hunt (July 2005) under the lie of brucellosis infection, for fall & winter of 2005-6, for bison coming out of Yellowstone National Park. This policy is stupid, draconian, and unnecessary, as there has NEVER been a case of bison transmitting this disease to cattle. In fact, cattle originally gave the disease to bison. However, both WY, MT & other states, also hunt elk, etc., that also are carriers of this disease. There are not really enough bison to "qualify for a 'fair chase' hunt," but that is what this is really about. Hunters, getting to kill bison for their trophy count. Burcellosis is a canard and I recommend to my friends and others that read this, to not visit Montana until they decide NOT to do the hunt.
Things to do and things/entities to avoid when visiting Hawai`i. Check
Please, no more Will Bruder designed buildings.
Thank god Barbara Cubin isn't coming back. Both Senators Enzi &
Barasso, voted AGAINST firearm background checks & cloture on the
Now that the war has happened, let's not over do it w/the flag waving. I'm dead set against a flag amendment that the American Legion & other well meaning vets advocate. We didn't serve in the cause of freedom, to protect the Constitution & Bill of Rights, to create laws saying that it's against the law to burn or desecrate a flag. The flag is a symbol of FREEDOM. If people think it's a tool to demonstrate a cause for, whether vets bringing attention to loss of benefits or some nitwit that thinks its a tool to provoke, so be it. Otherwise, respect the flag, fly it properly & honorably, & don't bumper sticker your car with it to show what a great patriot you are, especially if you never served. Please, take it down at night, or light it, but don't overlight it, the night sky here doesn't need the pollution. Just a thought...more below...
If we go to war in Iraq (& we did), without definitive proof of these weapons of mass destruction, then is justification by default sufficient? Sec. Powell showed the U.N. very good photos of a decontamination truck at a storage facility, as well as a crane & other trucks at what he said were a missile storage facility. This he said, was proof, that Iraq was concealing these WoMD? However, we're supplying their inspectors with intelligence on where these weapons are so they can go there & inspect these facilities. The U.N. says we're not giving them the necessary intel which we're so extremely good at obtaining. If we can find the above mentioned facilities & take such good pictures, why didn't Powell have pictures of where these vehicles went after moving the WoMD he said were there? Now the fun part. Of course we know Saddam is a bad person & almost certainly possesses & hides these weapons, but, If Pres. Bush orders a war on the basis of such specious threats, and the war begins and people on either side are killed or wounded: shouldn't Pres. Bush, the Vice-President, the Sec. of Defense, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, and the commanding General in the Iraqi theater that initiates the war, be subsequently charged with war crimes? And by the way if we're so damn smart, just where is Osama & why doesn't the administration talk about him any more, only Saddam?
THEN LATER: War in Iraq and dissidents at home & vets and pro-war types that hate the dissidents. I served in the Air Force & am a member of the Jackson American Legion Post. As such, I believe that I and others served to protect the concepts as put forward in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Therefore, we served to protect freedoms among which are the rights to not agree with pro-war types. President Bush did NOT prove we are justified in going to war with Iraq. While we all believe he has weapons of mass distruction, he did NOT prove it & this war is essentially illegal. And, those who say "America, love it or leave it," are probably the ones who ought to be leaving as they just don't get it. When the Republicans are in power, they hate whatever the Dems do. When the Dems are in power, it's about the same in reverse although I rather believe Dems are a good deal more tolerant. What people don't get it that it's called the "loyal opposition." People in America have the right to disagree with others, so quit being such jerks by saying if you protest, you're giving aid to the enemy. Bullshit.
A friend in my American Legion Post said at our March meeting that an American Senator, Tom Daschle, had made remarks that bordered on treasonous statements. What kind of an idiot would say that about a sitting Senator? Well, this was a retired WWII Army Air Corps Colonel & a former WY State Senator, so I guess he's got the right, right? NO. Sen. Daschle had said, which Bob loosely knew about, that he was extremely saddened that this administration's failed attempts at diplomacy were forcing us into a war. Does that sound treasonous to any reasonable person? If Bob had said that about me, I'd have been on his ass & knocked him flat in a second. I challenged his statement & while he hedged on it, he wouldn't back down. I called him the next day & we talked about it, but he wasn't desirous of retracting the statement, and I've asked him to apologize at our April meeting, which he said he'd think about. Treason! How stupid do people have to get? But, Bob's a right-wing, die-hard, one-lever Republican & anyone who doesn't think his way or endorse this President 100%, is apparently anti-American. He doesn't have a clue about what patriotism is about and that's sad. Even sadder, is that when our Post Commander not once, but 6 times threatened the life of the President, and the Vice-President, no one but me said anything about it. When another member at a meeting slandered the person I was talking about above, Bob, I challenged that individual, who backed down & did the honest thing and apologized to Bob. Did anyone else in the Post stand up against the slanderous remarks, no. Did anyone else tell Bob that making such a statement about Sen. Daschle was dumb, wrong, preposterous, etc., no. I thought veterans would stand up for what's right, but they're just like everyone else with their prejudices and lack of backbone on occasion & it didn't happen. Very disappointing.
Bob went to a Cheney rally the night before the 2004 election & booed the service of Sen. Kerry, cheered when asked to by Rep. Cubin about his poor service to the country, doesn't think Kerry deserves his 3 Purple Hearts. When I later wrote a letter to the paper noting this twisted form of patriotism, Bob actually told me on Veterans Day at the Legion Post, that I was being divisive. Hope anyone reading this doesn't have a Purple Heart in their closet, cause Bob will think you're undeserving, unless you're a Republican with one I guess.
I'm a Republican although sometimes I wonder why; I'm a veteran; I've got a right to agree with war or dissent, and this time I dissent. Bush is a mental lightweight & is dragging us to the brink. How can people like Sen. John McCain, or Sec. of State Powell, support this dufus? I believe that if their is no real justification for this war, then the order to go to war was illegal. American soldiers have a legal right to disobey an illegal order. As such, now that people on both sides are dying, should my earlier statement be invoked legally? That too is a very harsh indictment, but the aforementioned should have refused to follow illegal orders, but of course, none of them would & people are dying now as a result. Franks said the oft repeated phrase again last week in an interview, that those that are charged with fighting the wars, are the ones that hate war the most. Again, bullshit. They want to make their mark in history, they beg for the opportunity during their career to do what they've been trained to do, and let's face it, most are men & men like to play with guns. I'm constantly fascinated with war programs on the History Channel, with weaponry, etc., but I abhor the thought of using such lethal force. Somebody in their right mind ought to have said no, but no one did. Where's the heroes and cowards now?
Yes, now that we're in this, we need to support our troops.
Not that dissent and support are mutually exclusive as the right-wing would
have us believe. This philosophy does not make dissenters un-American,
they want to save American and other lives, but that doesn't matter to
many. I salute them for expressing their freedoms that the rest of
us fought for them to have. Same thing with the flag. I support
your right to burn it or spit on it, although I think you're an idiot when
you do. It represents a lot, to a lot of people, especially veterans.
I support your right to be an asshole, but watch out, the consititutional
amendment is on the way that would stop that. It's the American way.
I called the local PD to see if I could either make a call, I have a cellphone you know, & have the police speak to these people on the spot, then if they continue, actually file a formal complaint. No law on the books really. Doesn't constitute child abuse legally. Hell, why not? What is it in this day and time when parents still leave their babies in the back seat, windows rolled up, engine running or not, & run into Valley Bookstore (or you can name your own nearby business) to grab a book? The cops will come out & talk to or cite the parents for that one, but the parental units still get indignant that someone would call in on them as they're good parents & they were only running inside the store for a second. Stupid, stupid, stupid. After all, this is Jackson Hole, not the big city. Tell that to the parents of lost and stolen children all over small town America. And I do believe that all these people watch Jerry & Sally & all those other inane talk shows with all those screaming crazies on them that talk about such serious subjects.
But I've always liked tilting at windmills but the trouble
is some of them punch back. Oh what the hell, if they haven't the smarts,
why not tell them how dumb they are. As they old saw goes, there are a
lot of people out there that shouldn't have children in the first place.
What would "everyone" say if there were a White Entertainment Television, whether it came before BET or after? Who would be the first to boycott a Miss White America contest? Who would be the first to condemn the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant All-American Music Awards event?
There is a considerable propensity in this country to blame whomever you just don't agree with. Not to be one country, but to divide along ethnic boundaries and not be one people despite how this country was founded. It's all to true that the White majority has opressed other ethnic minorities over the years and that is a mild understatement, but it's of little doubt that if another minority were instead the majority, they'd have been equally opressive in their pursuits. While there is true tolerance among a few, while there is tolerance that must be learned by others, while there is tolerance that will never be learned or understood by many, it is the goal to strive for. The other ethnic communities must understand that their actions are as divisive and racially wrong, as the historic positions of the White race. Sure, we can condemn the KKK, but in this day and time, we can't be politically correct to condemn La Raza where warranted, or some other similar entity? They've always been historically wronged, so they can't be wrong now to condemn the White race for their shortcomings. Bull. And in so doing, the prejudice and racial intolerances continue and are perpetrated to new generations. The sins of the fathers(and mothers), the prejudices, the hatreds, the lack of understanding, are all at their root, basic flaws in upbringing, often indigenous to intellect and compassion and basic reasoning.
The next time you watch some racially segregated event, notice who is putting it on and ask, what are their motives, and why must it be that way at all?
Here's an interesting P.S. Watching the 2000 Summer Olympics today. The famous disciplinarian in the New York school system, Joe Clark, about whom a movie was made, has 3 daughters(actually 2 plus a daughter-in-law) racing in the same track & field event at Sydney. He was interviewed about how proud he was & hoped they'd well represent their country, family, &, their RACE. Now, what if a white father had said that about his children at the Olympics. Give me a break. I sent a note to Oprah once for some odd reason, about why Michael Jackson has produced so many misogynistic anti-women videos. They're always in some sort of jeopardy, which he usually is the cause of, and sometimes he actually rescues them. Want Michael Jackson to scare the hell out of your sister and then rescue her, the whole concept is a bit bizarre. Never heard a thing from her, of course, I didn't really expect to. But, it never ceases to intrigue me that some people are a bit untouchable when it comes to their persona. Jackson's had his oddities and even the child abuse charges, but who would be silly enough to think that someone like Oprah, would challenge the intent of his numerous music videos. Check 'em for yourself. Great stuff, but with a twisted form of content if you like to bash women in general.
One other thing of similar note. While watching
the Kennedy Center Honors the other night, I noticed that we give awards
to everyone. This of course is a great thing. But, do other
similar honors in other countries include Americans? Not that I've
ever heard much of with the exception of the Nobel Prize or the music awards
show annually out of Monte Carlo. The Canadian music awards show,
I forget its name, doesn't. But, the Academy Awards are given to
foreign films. The Grammys here are awarded to foreign artists.
Sports Illustrated included foreigners in their turn of the century award
presentations, etc. We include them, but they don't include us.
What's the point?
Hunters in helicopters herding wildlife in an illegal hunting area for a son to kill one for the fun of it. That's the kind of people that exist in Wyoming and the world. Fortunately for a change, the WYOGA, Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Assoc., has spoken out against this one. But, where have they been during events such as: people who shoot wolves saying they thought they were coyotes, which was a known lie; people who shot moose saying they thought they were elk, give me a break; a man who shot a moose and its yearling in his back yard, illegally; WG&F letting the WYOGA kill more animals such as mountain lions without the substantive research to prove that it's remotely justifiable; their dumping on one of their own because this outfitter challenged them on salt baiting to attract animals to areas just outside the Yellowstone so they could be killed without effort; and the list goes on.
There have to be reasonable lines to draw; regardless of whether we like it or not, we humans are at the top of the food chain and its a known fact that we're carnivores as well as herbivores. Cause cancer and other diseases?, probably. Can we kill animals and do it humanely?, yes. Are there very many responsible people out there doing that?, no. Do we need to test animals like we used to, using barbaric methods?, absolutely not. Is there any need to hunt and kill wildlife for sport?, the embarrassing thing is some will say yes. Kill for fun. What kind of person are you? What kind of person leaves their mouser cat outside when they know it'll be eventually preyed upon by coyotes, then decry the spread of coyotes that endanger their children? Such logic is amazing, again born out of stupidity and an inherent unkind nature. Then there's the other forms of killing, such as ant poison for ants; kill aphids to help our gardens; kill coyotes because they kill trophy animals are "nuisances;" kill voles because they mess up our nice green yards; kill dandelions for the same reason; kill rats & mice because of the diseases they spread; etc., ad infinitum. When does it become OK to kill regardless of whether we're at the top of that food chain or not?
My minor objective here actually is sport hunting and its inanity. Akin to slob hunting and nothing relative to the inordinate stupidity of canned hunts, it's nonetheless unnecessary in today's society. For us in the west, wildlife is one of the main reasons people come here, to see such things that have been deleted from their urban society, to rekindle a spirit of the wild, to reconnect with their roots. But, people also come here to kill, too reconnect with their basest roots. We once NEEDED the hunt, but no longer. That so many do it for recreation can no longer be conscienced. That their tiny little minds can see no harm, is incredible.
I probably haven't helped my argument a whole lot in this little treatise, but for whomever reads this, I hope it helps you rethink whichever argument you side with. Bottom line for me is that sport hunting isn't that at all. It's killing people, it ain't harvesting, or culling, or whatever you want to call it, it's killing stupid. KILLING. If you're all right with that, then as I think it was once said & this is out of context, "Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object." The animals, they are our friends and sometimes, just sometimes, it's OK if the grizzly is at the top of the food chain, especially if you're on his property.
A P.S. here too: That hunter with the helo had it confiscated
by Game and Fish & later put up for sale. The hunter couldn't
buy it back, but nothing there to say his wife couldn't. She did,
for $50,000. What a life.
I don't know, too many opportunities missed.
The person that comes out to interview you and their cameraman if there is more than one person, are getting paid. By whom you ask? The station they work for of course, which gains all its revenue from sponsors advertising on the evening news. You watch the evening news & there is your story, but before and after that story, are commercials, usually 4-8 of them in a block. The advertisers pay the station a LOT of money to air those commercials, specifically during the newscast or whenever else they want. The station, the newscasters, the cameramen, the sales staff, the admin staff, etc., all make money, based on those commercials AND your story.
Why shouldn't you ask, and expect, them to pay you for YOUR story? They probably won't pay, but they should. It's your story, it's good for their news, but they don't want to pay you a thing...same thing with video of newsworthy items. You want to give it away, that's your business, but why should you? Only if you can use them to promote a story for you, a club, an organization, your business, etc. But, if your story involves a housefire in which someone in your family died, screw the media. Are they going to help you with the funeral expenses? You do the math and figure out who deserves what from any particular story & if it pays for YOU, go ahead. No free rides remember?
And it's so nice to see Dan Rather gone from the evening
news. CBS is bound to surge again with his crap gone from the tube.
More to come no doubt...
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