Walt's LOCAL/PERSONAL INFORMATION (I'm almost as interesting as your average chisler.) Does this constitute a BLOG?
I don't think the stem cell trial is helping any, nor did the EECP. Difficult to live out each day is an understatement. If it weren't for my wife whom I love so dearly, including the rest of my family & some dear friends, I don't know where I'd be. I've even ordered my 2013 computer tax program. A lot has happened in the last 8 mos. & I don't write much here anyway. I wish I had something pithy to say here & actually I did several days ago, but can't remember right now what it was. I just know I wanted to do something important in my life & it never quite happened. If I remember what it was, I'll let you know.
With my heart problems, it looks like I'll be accepted for a stem-cell trial at UU w/Dr. Amit Patel, I'll know shortly. No LVAD, no transplant, no where, so there's potential for some relief. Months ago, I lost a bunch of weight & continue slowly to lose more. I can buy smaller pants, but I've come to realize that all those people that comedians & others make fun of, w/their pants up to their chest, etc., don't always look goofy because they want to. Age, illness, lost weight, etc., takes a lot out of you & sometimes, you are them, or for me, I felt a distinct empathy for them. Friends tell me I look good, despite being 20+ lbs. now lighter than I was only in March. How I wish I was weightier & could just put a salad in it, instead of drinking those protein shakes, unpalatable to me, but getting necessary.
Had to like David Letterman's "Stooge of the Night" sketches about legislators voting against gun controls despite large percentages in their states being for it, although the longer he did it, the more tiresome the joke became, but he's right. The amazing measures put in place in Australia show that American legislators are just stooges to the gun lobby in the U.S. I enjoy guns, but in the short time since the killings at Sandy Hook, hundreds more have died due to the ongoing stupidity of our Congress. For whomever reads this, hope you & yours are well.
Well, what we all pretty well knew, or were in denial about, is finally over regarding Lance Armstrong. It's one thing to win 7 Tours, but 7 in a row? I thought about the point that no one of consequence had gotten Eddie Merckx's reaction, but, they had. Despite all his prior support of Lance, he just spoke of how "disappointed" he was in Lance. Disappointed? Turns out, Eddie was busted for doping (using a banned substance) in 1969 & in the 70s, 3 times, & was banned from one race (the Giro d'Italia I think) himself. But now, he's again tied as the all-time winner of the Tour w/5 victories, during the 70s, when he'd been caught for doping. I watched all of Lance's Tours, those teams, those incredible races & while frankly, he was a beautiful thing to watch, disappointment only begins to describe the feeling. I'd like to ask him if he thought he could have won the Tour at least once, without doping, but I guess the answer would have been no, at least before 2005. It's such an incredible team sport w/such an incredible singular outcome. I love all the grand tours each year, but it just won't be the same again.
Another shooting, 28 killed in Newtown, CT today, ho hum, when's the next one coming - tomorrow? The community was all going to a vigiil at the local Catholic church, why not go instead, to the auditorium of the NRA? I apologize to anyone that might be offended here, but some individuals in this "discussion", need to be called out. Why not stand out front & shout, "FUCK THE NRA, FUCK WAYNE LAPIERRE, FUCK CHARLTON HESTON, weirdo TED NUGENT, & ALL THEIR FOLLOWERS?" Let's call the shooter/gunman/perpetrator/alleged killer, what he is, a piece-of-shit. Don't give him ANY recognition, or only 2 days after the mall shooting in OR, we'll have another seeking some kind of recognition w/his own massacre. Add another ASSHOLE to this list, DAVID KEENE for his/the NRA's ad including the President's daughters. How stupid can he/they get? (Again, I apologize for my bluntness.)
It's reported so far today that the guns were legally bought by the POS's .....mother??? Bet POS was real good at the game Call Of Duty or other similar game too. Isn't it long past time that we require not a face of despair from Pres. Obama, but ACTION. Stand up to the NRA, and support/applaud the actions of Michael Bloomberg or Jon Stuart or Bob Costas or anyone else that has the balls to speak up against this never-ending violence. The next time a POS does this sort of thing, call him what he is & call those that support gun rights over the killing of our children & citizenry, the plural form of POS. They deserve the guilt almost equally. And it's still only 10 days to Xmas.
Haven't been at this in a while, but wanted to give some credits where credit is due. Kamoa `ukuleles. Back in Feb., I won a Kamoa tenor at a kanekapila on Kaua`i & it was sent to me in June. Since then I unwisely, hung it on the wall while starting to practice with it. After some time, a hairline crack happened between the bridge & the butt & I contacted Kamoa which is based on Kaua`i, about how to fix it. They offered me several suggestions & were always very quick to respond to my emails. After a few, they offered me a new uke, for a much discounted price, which I readily accepted. I don't put this here to give others ideas on how to take advantage of these guys, but to give them a shout out for how responsive they were, how much they tried to help me fix my other one (which for myself & in that position on the uke, is rather difficult w/out special tools), & the offer they made me. I may still pay to get the first uke fixed, but Lulu & Sam (who is a fantastic player/picker) at Kamoa, were terrific in this day of having to pull hind-teeth to get anyone to respond to an inquiry. It's a terrific uke in the first place & I whole-heartedly recommend them for their customer friendly attitude. www.kamoa.com
Next, is GoPro. Another great product, everybody is using them these days. I've been having a couple of misc. little difficulties getting my camera to work/recharge properly. I contacted them & they too were very nice & helpful to me to get it all working properly. Again, for customer service, extremely nice people to deal with. www.gopro.com
Now, a name to stay away from. Impecca. They make digital photo frames which are anything but, impeccable. I've returned 4, maybe 5 now, 15 in. frames to them because the digital programming, especially the timer settings, just don't work. The last two, I had to pay for the return shipping for them to send me a replacement, none of which have worked, including the last one I have now. I originally bought it from B&H Photo, but that was 8 mos. ago now, & Impecca has taken all the returns, but will NOT, issue a refund. I've repeatedly asked them for information on how to fix it, if I'm doing something wrong, or to send me one that actually works. They take forever to respond at all, at business like but not very helpful, do not provide their names, & now aren't responding to my emails at all. They appear to be absolutely worthless at solving a problem, or resolving the issue with the customer, for a product that initially cost over $200. Do NOT buy anything from this company.
Next, if you've ever heard of a heart enhancement procedure called EECP, (External Enhanced Counter-Pulsation), then check back here. I wanted to do this after reading about it's positive effects, but the literature & the websites of providers, is strewn with bullshit. Many listed providers simply don't exist in reality, or have shut down, or are very far away from where I live in WY. I wanted to go to Phoenix where several were advertised on the web, including the Mayo Clinic, but no, not there if you call them. I did contact one in Phoenix where a practitioner I finally talked to, sounded interesting but quirky. On subsequent attempts to contact & set up a treatment schedule & to get more info, after repeated calls & emails, I never got a response. I have found another clinic at a cardiology facility in Phoenix, that seems very reputable & am pursuing a 7-wk appt. w/them for the treatments, but even this one is tentative at the moment, despite having to do a number of tests here in Wyoming just to get on their list. I plan to document the treatments & their effect on me, which will be difficult to measure objectively as I think the best measure might be an echo-cardiogram. If I do this, I'll post notices here about the quality of this process. I might add, that the Braverman book w/its contacts or the company that manufactures the EECP equipment, are either unresponsive, or evasive about the procedure & effectiveness & any attempt to do this procedure, despite its approval by Medicare, should be approached very skeptically. The manufacturer, Vasomedical, lists clinics on their site that aren't operative & the one time I spoke w/a rep, they weren't helpful & were defensive about their valid weblinks. Best I can tell, they're full of BS, & just nobody, responds from Braverman, so they're effectually useless other than selling their book. It may be the end of the year before I have this done if at all. Check back if you like.
11/29/11 - It's that time of year when all the idiots come out & play.|
Did you notice all the pundits dumping on that 13-yr.-old girl who sang & messed up the national anthem at the football game this past weekend? Whyyyyy? And, why didn't they say something about all the football players & coaches & others on the sideline who, during that national anthem, couldn't be bothered to render a salute. Many did put their hands over their hearts as is appropriate, but a surprising number, did not. While that's their right, why were the pundits picking on that kid instead?
Romney is running an ad where he quotes Pres. Obama to his advantage, making Obama look like a left-wing jerk. But, it was out of context where Obama was actually quoting a statement from the 2008 campaign, by John McCain. I thought Romney was better than that, but obviously, he's not. When called on it, he wouldn't apologize & said the ad would keep running anyway. That's, presidential?
Pres. Obama didn't mention god in his Thanksgiving speech according to Fox "News." He did in the written speech, as if that really matters on Thanksgiving, but didn't in the YouTube version. Wow. Fox stupidity strikes again, and again, and again, and.............
9/2/11 - At one point, I thought that the internet would be a good thing, for improving literacy & spelling & such, as people needed to spell exactly what they wanted on an address line to get where they'd want to go. But, w/Google & other search engines, despite spell checkers, if you misspell something, they'll provide pushes to what you want asking if you "meant" something else, being the word you meant to spell correctly. But, also, with the loss of newspapers to internet "reporters" or blogs, the loss of intellect & the art of spelling correctly, continues to diminish at an ever-increasing rate. Sure, we all make mistakes now & then, it's inevitable, but the consistency of errors by "reporters" & with the lack of knowledgeable or adequate proof-readers at even major sources, the slide continues at what appears to be an ever-accelerating rate. From time to time, I'll post some examples here & ask, why should we read the information provided by people that have lost the ability to write correctly? Are their reporting skills somehow any better? And it's not just spelling, but headlines that can be read in ways totally unintended by the writer, but aren't checked for their double meanings or, that they just don't make sense.
1-4 - Courtesy Google News webpage...
1. "Opportunity, the resilient Mars rover that has been exploring the planet for seven years now, recently arrived at the massive Endeavour crater and discovered a rock that hints at an ancient water source and a once warmer plant." International Business Times, 9/2/11
2. "A tsunami alert was issued early Friday for Alaska's Aleutian Islands -- and canceled minutes later -- after a sizable earthquake there at 2:46 a.m. Alaska time." L.A. Times, 9/2/11
3. Headline: "Global protests against Japan dolphin hunt" AFP News Service, 9/2/11
4. Headline: "Hamas welcomes Turkey move to expel Israeli envoy" Egyptian Gazette & AFP News Service, 9/2/11
5. Headline: "Former King Pavol Demitra killed in Russian plane crash" The KING was killed? What country was he king of? NOT a country you say...but a member of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. But, you knew that right, like the writer of the headline naturally assumed you would. 9/7/11
6. Headline: "Judge denies Knox bid for new DNA review" Actually, she didn't. The prosecutor in the Italian Amanda Know trial, did, but it was denied by the judge. 9/7/11
7/1/11 - Curious item, why hasn't anyone called out Mark Kelly over his statements about his devotion to his wife, Rep. Gabby Giffords, after she was shot in Tucson months ago? He recently has retired from NASA saying things like his life is devoted to hers, yet he left on his Space Shuttle/Station mission & the next day, she went back into the hospital for surgery, but he was in space, not with her? I don't begrudge him his job as an astronaut & the thrill that must present for a military man & adrenaline junkie he probably is, but to say one thing & go to space, or to say it on retirement like she was always his only focus, is extremely disingenuous & frankly, smacks of so much B.S. Maybe he's sincere & I hope he is, but his actions haven't spoken louder than his words.
The Tour de France starts again tomorrow & on it goes about Lance, doping, etc. & whether his fans or anyone else believes him. Personally, I hope it's not all true & that he's always been clean, but it's looking pretty poor these days. However, until he's indicted & proven dirty, all the B.S. & accusations by his buds or detractors, etc., is getting pretty nauseous & tiresome. I've had cancer, twice, & don't think for a second that I could have done what he did then, or since & I certainly hope he's clean & continues to be the example he purports to be. The French never like anyone & certainly didn't like Lance & his record, although they admire his achievements nonetheless, but not for them, this would have probably gone away long ago. No drugs on the tour is easy to say, but just knock it off & let the investigation take it where it leads. Jeez.
5/30/11 - I watched the National Memorial Day concert tonight from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. And, they invited the Bush dupe & shill, Gen. Colin Powell, to speak to the nation & the audience again tonight, honoring the service of those in the military. This man presented the bullshit rationale for Geo. W. Bush at the U.N., to justify the unjustified invasion of Iraq, which subsequently & still, takes the lives of those veterans he chooses to honor. It was largely, HIS FAULT that so many have died & so many more, are maimed for life, instead of prosecuting the war more vigorously in Afghanistan. This man is an embarrassment to those of us who are/were in the military, yet he's continued to be afforded such elite celebrity status at such events. Until he apologizes for his role he the fiasco that he so helped to perpetrate on the American people, he ought to be shunned & banned from any such future military events.
5/3/11 - When will the stupidity stop? The news & internet media can't get anything right. First, the UBL compound was in SE Abbottabad, then someone posted a spot in central Abbottabad which was clearly not the place, only to find that it's in a somewhat vacant farmland area to the NE of Abbottabad, not immediately close to the Pakistani West Point, but at least 3 miles away. It's not a luxury compound either. Not 8X larger than homes surrounding it, just a larger, dingy, walled compound. Was he "double tapped" in the face as an oh-so-clever CNN reporter said the SEALs are trained to do, or once in the chest & once in the face as others say? SEALs, (DEVGRU) are trained to do what is necessary, adapt as necessary, shooting merely twice to assure a kill, isn't necessarily necessary. Was a woman his shield, or just killed in the crossfire as many think? Did the SEAL team have 20-25 as most say, or 30-40 as others have said? Did the damaged helo go down outside the compound walls or inside, nobody seems to really know but each reports as if they do? And, was it subsequently destroyed by missile fire?, doubtful, or by charges set by the departing SEAL team?, most likely. Did they rehearse their assault twice, or multiple times? As originally reported, they almost certainly did NOT stop at a Pakistani base to stage or refuel. They came to/from Afghanistan, possibly w/aerial refueling, the whole way. Depends on who's BS you hear reporting. If the compound was so "heavily" guarded, why were there only several others killed in the assault? Did the Pakistanis know or not know about bin Laden's presence? Of course they did despite the back & forth. Did bin Laden really grab a gun & fire back, or as others say, was he ordered to surrender, refused, & was simply killed to avoid all the later hassles that would come w/capture? Isn't this the same but better, than a missile strike where ID confirmation would be difficult or impossible, with no intel collected from UBL's computers? Was he killed at near the start of the raid, or near the end? Probably neither. It seems the SEALs had time to gather computer related files & other misc., so in 40 min., it was probably at least earlier than later. Quit the BS, of course the high-ranking ISI people & some in the Army knew, how could they not? Conspiracies now about whether he was killed or not, or buried at sea? Just fucking idiots. Pay NO attention. Does the Donald want to see bin Laden's death certificate too? Probably. What's really on bin Laden's computers? Don't worry about it, none of us will ever really find out, only our intel people will get that info. The ironic thing is that due to the nominal resistance put up at the compound, the training of the SEAL team, the planning & research for the mission - is that the event was probably a piece of cake for these guys & not much more than a live-fire exercise for them. Other than what they got for their effort, they were probably a little disappointed that they didn't have more to do while there. News Networks: stop the BS until you REALLY know what happened. Give us all a break from your lack of, intel!
Ongoing kudos & respects to Lara Logan & Richard Engel & Martha Raddatz, for their brave, insightful, knowledgeable & intelligent reporting.
5/1/11 - As for those Navy Seals (DEVGRU), part of JSOC, my observation is that they probably should have all gotten the Medal of Honor before they left their base for the mission on Abbottabad. Whether their names are kept secret or not, I know they'll get their due recognition, & if any of them ever stop by this website, THANKS. And, to those in the intel community for keeping up the hunt & doing the grunt work... THANKS. And to those in the SF community whose missions we never hear about, THANKS. Now, let's get Ayman al-Zawahiri & Awlaki (the American piss-ant).(Update: 11/11 - we did get Awlaki!) THANKS.
3/19/11 - Now, we're joining in to suppress Kadafi (I noticed recently in a scene from a Libyan hospital, that that's how they spelled his name there in English script.) in Libya. How many wars do we want to involve ourselves in. This one, while noble, isn't that justifiable any more than Iraq really was. What if in the U.S., say in Montana, a bunch of white supremacist types got together enmasse, & decided to rebel against the U.S. Government? And our police & government went in militarily to suppress them. Then, what if the Russians or the Chinese said you can't do that & we're going to suppress your military from doing so? Dumb huh? Well, while Kadafi is a tyrant, so was Saddam, and it's the responsibility of their people in Libya to get it done or not. Civil war, doesn't usually involve outside forces except to arm the rebels and, we don't even know who the leaders of the rebels really are, friendly to the U.S. or not? Are we going to support the Taliban because they're rebels, against us? Let the Libyans free themselves or fall where they may however regrettable. Or, let the French & English support them unilaterally, as we've already got enough on our plate & the Muslim world isn't going to give us any credit for helping them anyway. So the Saudis support this too? Hell, they're sending troops to put down the rebellion in Bahrain! How many does the government get to kill in Syria before we go there? How many wars can the U.S. fight at one time, how many nations can we build, why are we the world's policeman and the world's sugar daddy? How many lives will we end up losing this time? Who do we save, next time?
1/9/11 - On it goes. The shooting in Tucson yesterday. There'll be recriminations & gnashing of teeth, again... & all for naught. Children are shot in schools-Columbine et al, Congresspersons at grocery stores, security guards at holocaust museums, students on university campuses, etc. ad nauseam. There will never be a change in this recurring horror in America, at least not until the bought & paid for members of Congress reject the NRA lobby. I like my guns, but there should be solid legislation to preclude people from getting them so easily. Guns don't kill people, only people kill people? Gimme a break. Guns, people, hatred, stupidity, religion, money, mental defect, bigotry, general nut jobs, militia zealots, ALL kill people, including people who think they're doing other people a favor by killing people. Does anyone really think the U.S. will be invaded by the Russians tomorrow & Joe Citizen will need our guns to repel that invasion? Now that, is stupidity. We've all got nukes & if anyone was going to invade anyone with ground troops, I'm surprised Bush 43 didn't try it on Russia too. Or, is it only OK to kill someone, so long as it's not someone you like.
And by the way, who really thinks that the national championship game will actually be any good after about a 4 wk. layoff by both teams. None of the rest of the bowl games were any good w/3 wk. layoffs. What a waste of TV time at the beginning of the new year.
11/11/10 - Ah, love the TSA or not, after the advent of full-body screening or pat downs now, you really have to weigh how you want to travel anymore. I'm planning a 2 wk. trip to Phoenix shortly, but got to doing the math & it's rather startling nobody talks about the REAL costs of flying anymore, much less whether in the screening process, if you don't mind that your "budding" 14-yr.-old daughter should get the same-sex pat down or your 10-yr.-old son, get one either. Consider these expense comparisons.
If I fly from Jackson, WY to Phoenix, AZ, it only costs about $360. (fees included) for the plane ticket, per person x 2. Not bad right? Wait! That's $720. plus $80. for cab fare & tip to & from the airport. That's $800. now, plus about $40. x 2 for 3 bags each way. That's now $960., plus $900. for a mid-size rental car from Alamo for 2 weeks. on arrival (while the car itself is about $600., it cost another $300. for tax, fees [mandatory] to get out of the parking lot.). We're up to $1860. Now, I have NO option at check-in, as I have an implanted medical device, which means I HAVE to opt for the pat-down. Oh joy. My wife can do the scanner, but, should she, for the sake of this asshole Osama bin Laden & Mullah Omar, who we can't catch under two administrations?
Option two is to drive. I really don't like my Prius. For 950 miles it will be uncomfortable, but, the mileage is excellent. It'll take two days & at least one overnight. Gas round trip at $2.90 a gal., 55 mpg, = will cost about $100. & two room enroute, about $300. That's about $400. to drive it, although that's 4 days on the road as opposed to 2 in airports or airplanes. Trade-offs. $400. vrs. $1860.? What to do?
At least I know: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, United Airways, Frontier Airlines, Delta Airlines.........you lost our money this year, not that you really care.
If you're going to Hawai`i where you can't drive anyway, it's a no brainer, but for shorter trips of about 1,000 miles, for a one or two week stay, the math is rather eye-opening. The airlines screw you & the TSA seems to be helping w/the tactile experience now. Don't forget, when you visit somewhere & go to a concert, ticket refunds if you're injured in a car wreck, or you plane arrives late or you don't leave at all, etc., means, NO refunds, even with a handling fee. What if it rains at an outdoor venue? Screw you again. No refund. Sit in the rain, risk lightning strikes, illness, noisy & drunk people on the grass next to you, who cares? Screw you. Money you're forced to throw away. Change your airline reservation? Is the fee reasonable for the occasional traveler - $100. per change or so? Hell no. Where are our legislators on these injustices? Same place they were before the fiscal crisis of 2008, heads buried in the sand, not regulating, etc. In other words, nowhere. It's well known that they don't live in the same world as the rest of us, whether you're Dem or Repub or TP. And you want to have some money left over at the end of the year to donate to some worthy charity? Why bother being magnanimous. Keep it for yourself. Everyone else is screwing you. Watch out for No. 1 right? What's the point?
12/09 - Send more troops to Afghanistan, don't send more, it'll cost too much, we'll lose more lives, we need to get out, yada, yada. What should Obama do & it won't matter what he does as there will continue to be people who will constantly snipe at whatever decision he makes. More troops means more lives will be lost, that part is fairly simple although many people say that more troops will protect the ones that are already there. Strange logic. However, we still don't have Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden & I'm beginning to wonder if we ever will get them, with or without Pakistani help whatever that is. Pres. Cheney/Bush didn't take advantage of the opportunity so we're left with a host of what-could-have-beens. Their stupidity & drive to destroy Iraq, made the destruction of the real problem, al-Qaeda, a nearly lost cause that continues to haunt us today. Now, we take on the Taliban & al-Qaeda & try to minimize or marginalize their influence. Instead of Iraq, this is where we ought to be if we want to accomplish anything toward providing for our national security. It's the right place to be if only we don't have to be there forever although from images I've seen of our bases there, rightfully or wrongfully, they're very substantial & permanent looking structures. Lord knows over the next two years, the money & supplies & facilities we'll leave in Iraq when we start pulling out. Remember, when we pulled out of SVN, that we left them intact, the world's third largest air force! Give us good health care, more jobs (not just military ones), & get out of Iraq & eventually, sooner than later, Afghanistan. But, no matter, no one of consequence will read or hear this, so I write on with blind desire to solve the world's problems on my own. Can't even solve the ones with the nitwits at my Legion post. We'll always have wars. Afghanistan is better than most for our intent or resolve. Within reason, support it as long as possible & hope we actually get the job done, whatever that is. Good luck over there.
11/09 - Reconsider that new 2010 Prius IV, it ain't that great a deal. Find out why at this LINK.
6/3/09 - FYI: I sure as hell never voted for these two idiots that ran our country & 4,000+ Americans, down the fill-in-the-blank.
tr.v. con·flat·ed, con·flat·ing, con·flates
1. To bring together; meld or fuse.
2. To combine (two variant texts, for example) into one whole.
[Latin c?nfl?re, c?nfl?t- : com-, com- + fl?re, to blow; see bhl?- in Indo-European roots.]
Dick Cheney's most recent illumination (6/1/09 on CNN) sets the record straight for all of us silly people who ever thought anyone was conflating Iraq and al Qaeda in order to provide the necessary justification to invade Iraq in 2003. Here’s the money quote from CNN’s story entitled Cheney: No link between Saddam Hussein, 9/11:
"I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true," Cheney conceded.
From the same story:
The former vice president said in 2004 that the evidence was “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and that media reports suggesting that the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks reached a contradictory conclusion were “irresponsible.”
“There clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming,” Cheney said at the time.
9/17/08 - Please goto this LINK, to understand what the families of America's POWs & MIAs, think of John McCain's bid to be President of the United States.
9/3/08 - Not really much to talk about except this silly pick by John McCain to be his vice-president. My real observation here is for anyone to try to imagine the face of vice-president Cheney, sitting in his home at Teton Pines about 15 miles from my house, watching TV that morning, when McCain made his announcement. A V-P who has spent the last 8 years, dominating policy at the highest level of government, outing a CIA spy & getting away with it, starting a war w/Donald Rumsfeld while also dominating this dork of a boss called the president, quietly smirking in the shadows, and he hears that Sen. John McCain has nominated Gov. Sarah Palin to take over HIS job. Try to imagine the facial expression on this guy when that happened. Can you?
Watched the colors being presented at the RNC tonight. How poor was that? People saluting indoors with no cap, w/a baseball cap, etc. Many saluted properly with hands over hearts, but others didn't take their cowboy or other hats off to do it. They announced they were going to do the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, then two women were introduced to do the pledge & had a "hoo boy" on mike when they finished. The National Anthem was actually a very, very, very extended version of America the Beautiful, w/religious fervor of arm-waving, flag-waving, and eyes lifted to heaven in prayer, I think. And they didn't leave the colors on stage, they simply took them backstage again. In fairness, I didn't see a colors presentation at the DNC, but I sure hope it was better than the Repubs did. Almost laughable. At least the color guard did it well.
Also, what about this decathlon winner at the summer Olympics? What's with this guy? His name is Bryan Clay. But, he literally tanked the last event, the 1500m race. He had the event sewn up because he had the most points. IF, he had been leading by only a few points, do you really think he'd have said he was tired & not given it his all in the last event? OK, he deserved to win because of his point total, but tanking the last race anyway? For that, I'd say he probably doesn't deserve the gold medal after all. I'm no athlete, but his last event and the way he performed it, was disgraceful, to the prior decathlon champions, to the Olympic "spirit" (whatever that is) & to the U.S. team, etc. Just, disgraceful.
Summer's ending, glad I survived it. Hope I can survive until November for a leadership change from perhaps the worst president ever. Hope you can too, if anyone ever really reads this. wf
4/24/08 - I went back on the air after 18 yrs. since my last show, today at noon helping with a Latin/African/So. American music program at KHOL. Fun, a few hiccups, but come next week I'll be doing it regular on T/Th & another guy, Walker White, doing it M/W/F. Even though I've resigned from the board after 7 yrs. of work, as soon as we can get past a few technical issues, I hope to start doing the international program I did w/some popularity, back at Trinity Univ. in San Antonio before we moved to Wyoming. Plenty of snow still here, & it's coming down tonight. Winter keeps hanging in. I've also started a new webpage for a group of friends. We all get together for lunch each week on Wed., & I've posted several pages of pics from the group at our restaurants & of members. It's the Deaf As A Post Lunch Bunch, or DAAPLB. The link if anyone's interested, in on my homepage. Well, no jury duty last Monday, no pneumonia, arm healing, back to cardiac rehab tomorrow. If only I could spend a couple of weeks devoted to cleaning up my office.
3/30/08 - KHOL will be on the air this Friday, 4/4/08 @ 5pm. Tune in. Fractured my elbow the other day so we didn't get out of town to Vegas either, but I'll be there anyway when we throw the switch. Hope the snow melts here eventually. Long winter this year.
3/12/08 - Been awhile since my last "blog," so what's new? Well, winter's kinda come & gone. Heavy snowfall, 4 planes have run off the runway at the airport including a jetliner, Obama won caucus for Wyo, and, life goes on. I had another heart attack in Jan., 2 days before we were to leave for Hawai`i for 2 wks. Spent a week in SLC getting the chest worked over, which however, was a lot better than the last time I did this. Cardiac rehab now, while working with others to get the radio station on the air. KHOL, 89.1 FM, Jackson Hole Community Radio, will hopefully go on the air on April 4, tune in. www.jhcr.org Short trip planned at end of this month to make up for not getting to Hawai`i. Maybe next year.
Snow will melt eventually. I'm waiting for some indication of spring, sunny, clear skies, warmer, to feel better, although incrementally in the interim. Hey George, McCain says HE'LL get Osama, why not you instead, it was your job & you're running out of time, thank goodness. Lost another Wyoming soldier in Iraq this past week. George's stupidity goes on and on, but he dances on the steps of the White House while waiting for McCain to show up to congratulate, the same McCain he trashed and humiliated in the 2000 campaign. And, McCain has kissed up to him ever since. I want to give McCain the respect he's due, but it's very hard. Re 10/07 comments, I heard from my POW friend's wife this afternoon, after he'd sent 3 more emails that were B.S., who said she's been trying to get him to also check his stuff before he resends it. Good effort, but apparently not too successful. We've all got friends like that right? I've got some real good ones too & believe me, it's very good to have those.
Well, got past this latest health scare, Nov. was almost my last post. Hopefully another before too long. Good night all...
11/14/07 - CBS News reports on reports that 125 former veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly Iraq of course, are committing suicide every WEEK!!! That's 5-6,000 per year!!! Since the beginning of the war in Iraq, there have been a bit over 3,000 killed in combat actions, at least those that have been reported. But, while in Iraq and since returning to their homes in the states, it's 5-6,000 suicides a year!!! Paying attention to another cost to your stupid war George and Dick et al??? The money, about 1.5 trillion $ now, not really the $800B allocated. The lost equipment, the injured soldiers, the bad and getting worse military and VA healthcare system under this administration's ineptitude if not outright criminal negligence, AND THE LIVES of soldiers serving their country that don't deserve to die for such a stupid president. And those radio hosts, congresspersons and senators, and all those others that continue to defend and support this inordinate stupidity. Come on America, if you're truly patriotic, get rid of these people and bring our fellow Americans home from Iraq.
One more reminder, where the fuck is Osama George? Incompetence extraordinaire while you continue to castigate the loyal opposition.
10/07 - I"ve got a friend who's a former POW from Vietnam, who sends me emails extolling right-wing philosophies and propaganda and the hideous world we'll live in if Hillary is elected. I know another person, a local, who sends me occasional emails & sent one recently about the words "under god" in the pledge. Please quit it people. While the pledge email was forwarded, unintelligently, from others that had no doubt forwarded it to their "friends" unintelligently, it had some info that was correct and other that was not. Can't people check snopes or truthorfiction, before forwarding stupid emails? Apparently not. I guess if you're a U.S. citizen but happen to be Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, agnostic, or whatever, you're required to say "under god" during the pledge or you're not a good American & should leave to wherever you came from. I, came from Jacksonville, but guess I'd better go back there. No idea where I'd need to go after that, but leaving America is apparently mandatory under the rules these people have determined. My former POW friend, thinks the world will collapse if a Democrat, or anyone other than the Republican persuasion, is elected next time. Under god help us. There's just no logic with these folks. So, STOP SENDING ME THESE DUMB EMAILS, as if I can't make up my own mind who to vote for anyway. It's pretty easy to see who got us into this awful national/international situation we're in. I just pity all the other folks getting these ridiculous emails, and blindly forwarding them to their "friends" and so on, as if they're gospel, but don't have time to check their veracity in the first place. Per my below 8/07 item, maybe I should make sure Foster is on both their email lists.
And quit telling me on your answering machines out the to just hang up when I finish my message or press one for more options. Damn it, I think I've figured that out by now.
Speaking of "god help us," it was mentioned on the Ken Burns' documentary The War, that soldiers in WWII in some forgotten battle of a certain ferocity, made that exclamation. Another soldier nearby responded, "And god, come yourself. Don't send Jesus. This ain't no place for children." Actually, that phrase was recorded as having been said during WWII, during the Italian campaign, Feb. 5, 1944 in the "Fifth Army Medical Service History" account. There was a medical compound at Nettuno, just S of the Anzio beachhead & only 6 miles from the then front line of battle. A Luftwaffe bomber was being chased by a British Spitfire over the area, which jettisoned 5 of its anti-personnel bombs directly over the 95th Evacuation Hospital which was handling about 400 patients. 28 were killed, including 2 doctors, 3 nurses, & 6 patients. The German aircraft was shot down & the pilot was eventually treated at this same hospital. The quote was attributed to a 1st Armored Div. mess sergeant which was recorded as, "God, help us. You come yourself. Don't send Jesus. This is no place for children." Even quotes like this, however well-intended, get the "Hollywood" treatment.
8/07 - No, Foster Friess on a horse doesn't make it any more right than me on a horse either. It was only a few weeks ago & a few thousand letters to the editor, that we did the "peace" or "protest" march here to Cheney's front gate. The intolerance and defense of this administration's policies and killing of Americans under the guise of fighting terror (not terrorism?), is appalling. And for people like Friess, to say he wants civility, and then at the same time, denigrate those who marched, is just plain dishonest. Mr. Schloss wants to communicate with those opposed to the administration, but as the Teton Co. Republican Party chairman, a party that I'm a member of, and despite the fact that he's a neighbor of mine, he's not even in the phone book. An acquaintance of mine, Brad Mead, doesn't even get the irony of the effigy being pulled over. And for those who might wonder, I never characterized myself as a "war veteran," but am a Vietnam Conflict era veteran. 3800 and counting, and these people continue to defend the Cheney/Bush administration. As I've often said, Mullah Omar isn't in Iraq, Ayman al-Zawahiri isn't in Iraq, and fuckin' Osama bin Laden was never in Iraq. But, more keep dying due to Bush's feeble-mindedness and Cheney's probable criminality in Iraq. Yes, I can ride a horse too Mr. Friess, but I don't defend stupidity. And to the person that called himself a Navy Seal who sent me a threatening letter, I doubt you're a Navy Seal at all. Navy Seals aren't cowards, but you didn't put a return address on your letter. Do I smell a coward there? Does that count as civility Mr. Friess?
Elsewhere, doing a few star parties at the end of the summer, working to get the radio station ready for early 2008, and engaging misc. other activities. Several friends are sick, have cancer, are in the hospital, or have come out recently. Hope JH doesn't have something bad in the water here, all I can do is wish them well to recovery.
The foxes have left, or the kits at least. Mom still passes through the yard from time to time & visits with us on the deck. Her coat is much smoother and shinier now that the nursing is done. She really looks great. Lunar eclipse, the Tour de France is over, and just lots of misc. stuff to do. Hope everyone else is doing well.
While riding with a friend down near the Snake River on the day the above picture was taken, I wondered how many Indians or trappers or cowboys or whatever, had some day long ago, wandered the same spot. I wondered once when visiting the cemetery at Normandy, if someone might have died on the very spot I was standing at any given moment. It's just strange to think about those things, but while we looked for elk, saw a bison & a moose along the trail, I just kept thinking that this particular day, was a very nice day.
4/28/07 - It's been a few months, so what's new? Just got back from a trip to San Antonio and another to a radio conference in New Orleans. Well, we're starting up again for Jackson Hole Community Radio (JHCR) & I just posted a completely new website this past weekend. Check it out. We should be on the air by March of 2008. Upcoming trips to Pocatello, Salt Lake and hopefully Honolulu and Lahaina early in 2008. Gas prices climbing again though.
Bush is still screwed up & refusing to acknowledge that his policies have failed & continue to do so. Cheney came and went yesterday/today at the airport after the controversial commencement speech at BYU.
Mrs. Fox just moved in some new kits under the observatory again & we're very happy about it, we just won't know how many this year for a little while yet. Over the last 6 yrs., she's had as few as 3 and as many as 10. With new neighbors in the last 2 yrs., she hardly showed up at all last year. They're quite a treat as long as she doesn't move them. Staining the deck today & she came over about 15 ft. away & proceeded to take a nap next to the house. Can't believe all the websites that consider them a nuisance! She'd eat out of our hands if we tried to. The nighttime howling can be a bit annoying however, but it usually doesn't last long.
Here's a couple more pics of papa fox & mama w/several kits this season...
Snow's gone, summer's starting, star parties planned at the high school here and in Driggs, w/classroom work too. It's good to have the teachers want us to help them foster astronomy & our pleasure to do so. Got some pictures this past week of Louie the Library Llama on the town square and meeting with Sheriff Zimmer. Can the summer reading program at the library be far ahead?
12/21/06 - Political cartoon kinda says it all. And by the way, we've now lost as many or more Americans fighting the war on terrorism in Iraq, that were lost on 9/11. And this dufus, despite all the recommendations not to, is going to send MORE to die for his stupidity. And, it's amazing how many veterans actually support getting more of our own killed by this president and my vice-presidential neighbor.
As you may be aware, I am no longer the House Manager at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Crappy deal, but at least the Executive Director had to leave shortly after.
Dear Pres. Bush & V-P Cheney: There are over 1800 (2300) dead Americans from Iraq now. There were no terrorists there before the war, but they are there now. When was the last time you captured someone like OSAMA, Mullah Omar, Ayman al-Zawahiri, etc. Energy bill for your buds, gas prices through the roof for the rest of us. Good long vacations though. Get off your ass & do something right.
That pond down below? Took it out.
For those of us who think the U.S. was misled into the Iraq War & that our current leadership is woefully corrupt in its policies, here's a bumper sticker I have a small quantity of if you'd like to get one...let me know.
Festival has started and what's it going to be like without Eiji next year. Big mistake they're making, but who do you make understand. Very frustrating to myself and a lot of other patrons/board/staff/locals. Otherwise, the weather is wonderful & all moves along regardless. While my astronomy column moved some time ago to the Planet, it's moved even further & is being translated & published in La Palabra. We'll see if that translates into Hispanic star gazers.
Did a bit of cowboy poetry for the library and summer students there. Here's a pic.
Guess I drew a crowd, kinda fun even though none of the kids had ever heard any cowboy poetry & only a couple were even interested.
4th of July event coming up & have a tour of the Shane sites for the
American bureau chief out of LA for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Otherwise,
it's a bit slow for now although it sure doesn't seem that way. Hope your
summer is going well.
It's almost May of 2003 and not much has changed these days.
Foxes are back under the observatory w/new kits, great fun, and oh yeah,
there's been a war. And no, if you agree the war was justified, we won't
agree at all. Glad we got rid of Hussein, but we had NO reason to get
into this one and certain of our own leaders ought to be brought up on war
crimes charges. Just glad it went well & casualties were low which
isn't much better than the zero it should have been. If we can say let's
go to war because we say someone is bad or they have bad things we don't like
without any proof, then who's next? Florida because they can't vote
properly? Or France, because it's only been 58 years since WWII &
they don't have a right to an opinion? Or, war on each other which has
been the case for anyone who doesn't stand up & holler, yeah, we killed
'em. Some Americans will never understand the concept of the "loyal
opposition." I hope my friends reading this, do.
We went to Alaska for two weeks after the season ended. Met brother Malcolm & wife Debbie after a few days on our own in Anchorage. Visited Aleyeska, Cook Inlet, Denali area, and more. Went to Seward to board the Carnival Spirit & proceeded to visit Valdez, several glaciers, Juneau, did a whale watching excursion, Skagway & the White Pass & Yukon Route tourist train. Heavy winds forced the ship to not stop at Ketchikan so we just wandered in the inland passage until we got to Vancouver. Spent two days there wandering about, attending ceremonies for Sept. 11th, seeing the sights and the music.
I went to Kansas City two weeks ago to attend the reunion of my Dad's shipmates from the aircraft carrier USS Salamaua from WWII. Good group of guys. Got lots of stories about the ship & what they went through in the Pacific at Leyte Gulf, a kamikaze that went through 7 decks, the typhoon that destroyed the air unit on the ship & a lot of the ship itself & their time in Tokyo Bay when the treaty was signed. While there, I got to visit the Black Baseball Hall of Fame, the Jazz Museum & the WWI Memorial as well as a few jazz clubs.
Kay & I are going to Salt Lake in a week or so for a library conference in our new Toyota Sienna minivan. Had the Aerostar for 12 yrs. & sold it in about an hour. Maybe I can get a few pictures up shortly to accompany this note as I've also gotten a new webhost for my site. It can hold a lot more, but doesn't necessarily download any faster if there are a lot of photos on a page.
Already had several snows but it's not sticking in the valley as
yet. It is in Yellowstone. Scott & I flew over it earlier in
the week from the Bechler Region to Old Faithful to Norris Geyser Basin to
Mammoth, over the Grand Canyon & back via the west side of the
Tetons. Lots of pictures from that flight too & a pretty good layer
of snow up north. Want to fly over the Sunlight Basin & get shots of
the Beartooth Pass before the snow gets heavy. Well, all for now...
The foxes left rather early this year, but had 5 kits before they left. We went out and cleaned up under the floor, smelly stuff including a dessicated weasel. Then we filled in all the space underneath & went our way. Then, two weeks later, I noticed one had returned & dug out 2 more entrances again, but doubt they'll re-den. And, we went to Jellystone last weekend & got this shot of a grizzly on the Rockefeller Parkway. Enjoy the views...
Well, the season is coming around again. Have foxes under the observatory again, probably with new pups. Big planetary alignment in 2 nights, but, can't disturb the foxes. Trying to arrange a military flyover for Old West Days this year, but don't know if it'll fly or not. Mailouts out for new ushers for the coming Festival season, looks like a good one. Have a Dutch film documentary crew coming in mid June to film a program about 100 yrs. of western films, at some of the Shane sites. It's always something. Snow's melted from the valley floor, but nights are still in the upper 20s. Doing the program at Jenny Lake Lodge this summer from June through Sept. on Wednesday nights. People still aren't buying the History film book. Wish I could get them to understand how much information is on a cdrom, more so than in a book, that if it were all in a book, would cost them several hundred dollars. I'm a man ahead of his time in archiving historical info. Well, here's a male fox pic for your enjoyment. More next time.
I've also written a piece about WY film history for the JH Magazine for their summer edition & have to get out shortly a services update for the local resorts about film, astronomy, cowboy poetry, etc. Lots to stay busy at. We went to the CES Celebrity Wild West Night last night & here are a few pics...
Buzz & Lois Aldrin, Tony Lo Bianco & Connie Stevens & Tony's girlfriend I guess,
Fun night & I ended up dealing 21 for an hour at the gambling tables.
Got a local friend in Afghanistan in Delta Force to email with. This kind of war is an interesting time in U.S. history. Bush stopped by here after the Olympics & stayed within a rock's throw of the house, but no, I didn't. Cheney comes & goes a lot & I think he's spent more time here than being a V-P. I'll presume he works & isn't just vacationing.
Well, have to run & make my Oscar picks & see if I can win the
local contest again. Any inside suggestions will be appreciated.
Observatory, 8x10 rolloff dome, for 8" SCT. Estab. 1993, Jackson, Wyo., w/pond
View out living room window to NNW...
Sample of Walt's cowboy poetry, at least that's what it appears to be...
"The Ballad of Lonesome Jack"
For good cause his name was
a name he wore like a badge.
He was ugly as sin, & twice as thin,
and his best friend was a skunk he named Madge.
Now his problem
wasn't his temper,
as quick as it was classic.
You stayed far away, & prayed for a rainy day,
you see Jack was extremely......aromatic.
Why, his horse smelt better'n
hadn't seen a tub in 10 year.
The girls at the sportin' house, all required him to get deloused,
but his breath would still drive 'em to tears.
We'd fight to
ride point on the cattle drives,
hopin' that Jack would ride flank.
Ridin' drag in the dust
was a definite plus,
this guy could get really rank.
At night round the campfire, Jack
loveddddd Cookie's beans.
I think you all know what's comin'.
The sounds and the smells, through the holes in his jeans,
kept us awake with the buzzin' & hummin'.
Once we dunked
Jack in a lake,
then we scrubbed & we scraped,
but we really shouldn't have tried.
The wrong time in May or it just wasn't our day,
thousands of fish up & died!
Years later I saw Jack in
he looked clean shaven & neat.
A lady on his arm, he was.....oo oozin' the charm,
why he even had socks on his feet.
He'd become a
man of dis-stinkshun,
he wore toilet water with a scent.
It was lilacs I think, & it drove me to drink,
to see Jack becomin' a gent.
I was stunned & amazed,
a bit in a daze,
he was a pig in gentlemen's clothes.
But fragrant he oughta be,
he'd just won the lottery &
came out smellin' like a rose.
Marshal Farmer, June 1995
Photo Ron Sprouse
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