Sunday, March 25, 2012

Carving on the Snowboard - our mission here is complete

Our son is now able to carve...the foundation has been laid.

Our mission here is stop, camping in the national parks of Utah!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It Snowed A Little Today

It snowed a little today... I went for a ride....

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why did the snowboarder go out in the storm?

Sometimes, it feels like this at the top...

...but you have fresh powder and sunshine all to yourself on the leeward side.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Volcanic Tablelands hike - Bishop, CA

Just north of Bishop, California, the roads are dirt washboards, and the backdrop of the White Mountains to your right and the Sierras to your left frame a dusty, dry scrub land.

If you judged the area by what you can see from Highway 6 or Highway 395, you wouldn't even slow down, much less get out of your car and walk around.  However, if you walk over the first hill, you are treated to an expanse of unique, rocky landscapes perfect for a day of hiking, climbing, or extreme parkour in the Volcanic Tablelands.

About 750,000 years ago, the Long Valley Caldera spewed an area of lava the size of 150 cubic miles between the Sierras and the White Mountains.  Add a bit of weathering and you get a vast playground.

So, we didn't do any parkouring, but we did do a lot of jumping from rock to rock to sand to rock, and our son learned the valuable lesson of not using your hands to cushion the fall in a scrub area full of thorny plants.

We found a lot of neat shapes in the rocks - some looked like frozen ocean waves, others like toadstools, and others took a bit of imagination.  These are two of those - the top is the "troll's toes" and the bottom is the "grizzly bear".

We went on this hike with a group from the Friends of Inyo, so we found one of the petroglyph sites that are scattered around the Volcanic Tableland.

Of course, after a long, dusty hike with a group and a lot of water, our next stop is a restaurant with a restroom.  We were heading north, so even though Bishop was closer, we opted to stop in Tom's Place.  Proudly serving the High Sierra for 95 years, Tom's Place has it all - store, cafe, saloon, and lodging next to a rushing creek.  We had a welcome break, and filled up on a club sandwich, cheese steak, and a salad.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. - ex-Marine, shot to death by White Plains NY cops

This happened in November 2011.  It's now March 2012, and credit to the NY Times for picking this story up, as it seems to have caught it should be.  This is yet another one of those stories that just leaves you thinking "What in the world is going on in America today?  WTF?"  This guy triggers his medical alert system by accident, and he ends up being shot twice by the "police".  Have the chief of police or any of the FIVE officers involved been terminated?  Based on the below, I guess not.  "Citizens" of WHITE plains, where are you?  Does the fact that the chief of police and all FIVE officers still have their jobs reflect your approval of this shooting?  Ridiculous!

"White Plains PD murdered my father. I’m asking that these police officers be brought up on criminal charges, not just the officer that did the shooting, but any and all officers that were on that scene because someone should have stopped that from happening."

So, once again we have an veteran of the armed services MURDERED without apparent provocation by the "police", we have public employee unions are bankrupting cities and states, we have "public servants" making egregious wages and pensions while there are 43 Million Americans on food stamps, and this kind of news takes four months to be noticed?  I have to say again, WTF?

Pigs on Vermont State Police cars

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stripped of one more right, and you didn't even realize it! Occupy This!

You kid yourself that you are living in the "Land of the Free".  Did you hear ANYTHING about this bill that sailed through the House and the Senate in this, an election year, on any major news service?  It's called "H.R. 347: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011".  It sailed through the House and Senate without opposition or debate.  You can read the full text here.

The summary: if anyone protected by the Secret Service is near you, and you are protesting anything, or get in a fight, or block access to a building, or "disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business", then you can be arrested and imprisoned for 1 year if you have nothing that can be construed as a weapon, or up to 10 years if you are, legally or illegally, carrying a weapon.

But you say you weren't doing anything wrong?  You were just exercising your "rights".  Sorry, one more of your "rights" is NOW ILLEGAL.

If you are exercising your "rights" near any foreign official, White House official, candidate for major office, or during an event of "special national significance", the SS (that's Secret Service, not Schutzstaffel, oops, my mistake) will gladly toss you in jail, legally, for a year or more.  Just hope that you are not exercising your 2nd Amendment "right" to carry a weapon under state-issued license, as your visit to jail will be 10 years, regardless of whether you are legally doing so or not.

The important language:

Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds
‘(a) Whoever--
‘(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;
‘(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;
‘(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or
‘(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;
or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
‘(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is--
‘(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if--
‘(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or
‘(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and
‘(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.
‘(c) In this section--
‘(1) the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area--
‘(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;
‘(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or
‘(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and
‘(2) the term ‘other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

Kudos to Barry Ritholtz, who gets it:

Fantastic quote from Bastiat:
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
- Frederic Bastiat, French writer and economist, as quoted by Bill Moyers.
What else is there to add?