Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State of the Union Adress. January 28, 2014

Just before Mark Levin comes on and tells me what he thinks of the speech last night, I thought I'd state my opinion for the record.
I only listened to a small bit of it, but what I heard was the President blame the rich for the poor. The successful for being
irresponsible, and that Global Climate Change is a fact. The President stated that they have cut the deficit in half which is hardly possible, and took credit for increased oil production in America even though it has been in the private sector. He continues to claim victory over unemployment and the recession.

The President also continues to states that he will continue to overreach his office and create changes in our society even if he can't get congress to agree. He speaks of putting more money into schooling ever younger children but doesn't address the failure in the quality of the education system.

Lies, misrepresentations, threats and ever expanding power grabbing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


It was finally time. We had spent our last time for a while with Eliza and her kiddies, and it was time to head out to California. There had been a bad storm the day or so before, and though the roads were clear, there were still a few cars in the ditches along the highway as a result. There was one semi off the right side of the road facing the wrong way. I would not have wanted to be the driver who managed to spin a semi 180 degrees. At least it didn't tip.

We reached Montana near the end of the first day. Just a little too late to eat we thought, but we got a room in Billings and there was a nearby pizza place that took an hour to deliver a mediocre pizza to us. Apparently the storm that dropped grainy snow on us in North Dakota, dropped heavier wet stuff on Billings. The roads had been plowed enough to drive on, but there was still a lot of snow to drive through. I'm glad we have a jeep instead of the low slung Prius we had before. We got up in the morning and had breakfast at the little diner next door and got on our way.

I-94 had turned to I-90 and we followed it towards Idaho. Our Garmin wanted us to change to a couple of smaller state and federal highways to save us an hour or so, but considering the weather and the terrain (as we were in Yellowstone country), I opted to just stay on I-90 until it met I-15. As we made the turn onto I-15, it began to become noticeably warmer. At some point, we noticed the temperature at 27 degrees. Up 54 degrees from the -27 it had been in North Dakota. I had needed a break from driving and we pulled off at an exit that said there were no services. I just needed to stretch, so it was okay. There was a remnant of a town with some broken down buildings, a parked highway snowplow, and signs that someone still lived here. Add in the "No Trespassing" signs, and it was a little creepy. I would have loved to take some pictures.

We continued on into Utah. Laurie said she didn't want to drive past eight o'clock, but was hoping to get through Salt Lake City. We did that, stopping in Provo for the night. The La Quinta there was great and we ate at the hotel restaurant which had a steak house theme. A good night's sleep and a small breakfast in the hotel lobby, we packed and left. It had started to snow, and the plows were just starting their work. What worked for us, was that we had gone through (thanks to Laurie) the heavily populated section of Utah, so the traffic was getting heavy mostly going the other direction. There had been a lot of construction on highway 15 two years ago when we had been through here, and it was completed now. The road was very good to drive on. As we travelled south, the weather just kept getting better.

Just before you get to Nevada, the highway cuts across about 50 miles of Arizona. This is the Virgin River Gorge. I don't think you can get to it any other way but I-15. I've always loved this part of the trip. High cliffs and steep drop offs into the river as the highway snakes along. We stopped at one of the only places you can, and I got out and walked around and took a bunch of pictures of an area you can't really see from the road.

In to Nevada where there is absolutely nothing until you reach the Las Vegas area. As we approached, everything for miles was clear except this haze of smog that hung over Sin City. We stayed on the freeway and went around the city. There was a lot of construction on the highway. The are doing some nice work with animal statues and artful walls and such Made the drive nice. At one point, there was a concrete divider next to an onramp, and some kids was sitting there with his back pack on the ground strumming his guitar. Then more desert until you reach Primm on the southern border.

With much joy, we crossed the border into California. ("Follow along in your books as we learn the next three words in Turkish. Bath, Towel, Border. May I see your passport, please") We stopped at the "Now entering" sign and took pictures as though we were tourists. ha ha. I noticed as you drive along, the Nevada desert is all scrub brush, but when you cross into California, there are suddenly all these cactus plants that are 4 to 7 feet tall. Maybe they aren't allowed in Nevada? Just south of that border in the distance we saw fields of while on the ground and towers in the middle. I realized the fields of while were solar mirrors and the structures were collecting towers. I was reminded of the movie "Sahara" which is why I figured out what they were. Then I saw all the transmission lines running from the place.

California is California and we were too excited to stop until we got home. We took the 215 branch off I-15 and it was not only shorter, but it cut out the canyon drive I'm used to between Riverside and San Diego counties.

Finally. we are home in SoCal. It is warm, and it is good.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Just because we had so much going on at the time, Jericho was one series we missed seeing. It was only 30 episodes and 23 of them was the first season. Since we don't have cable right now, we've been using our Roku and watching things we missed. We really enjoyed the series. I'm sorry it's gone, but that's the mark of a good endeavor. I understand they continued it in comic form, and there's talk of either a film or another season.

I think the reason it didn't do so well, is that it was a bit too advanced for it's time. How often has tha happened? I can think of two other series that had the same problem. Firefly and Star Trek. Why else would shows such as Fringe and Lost do so well while equally great shows don't?

I guess timing is everything and it takes a Lost or X-Files to pave the way.

New Year

Well, here we are in a new year. It's been a busy season. My daughter had a beautiful 22lb boy on the 18th. Little Corbin didn't want to leave the hospital for a few days, so my daughter stayed with him. Everybody is at home now and doing well. We all had our Christmas celebration at Eliza and Dustins. Laurie worked Christmas and New Years, but it makes it so she doesn't have to next year.

Looking forward to our impending trip to the west coast. Laurie is still trying to lock down an assignment there.

Weather had been really cold. Today it warmed up and that brought on freezing rain. A bad day to be all the way out in Grand Forks. We went to see "Saving Mr. Banks" We really enjoyed it. Now I have to go start the drudgery of packing.