Tuesday, May 04, 2004- - -
Greetings from the sunny south!
Rock Springs, Wyo, that is. I attended my meetings yesterday and now we're giving our surveyors a head start before we begin fieldwork ... so, we decided to drop by the library and no one was using this fine computer. Of course, I'm working without a net here -- no spell check -- so you get the raw stuff.
Naturally, since we're in town for the day, the weather is absolutely gorgeous (with the exception of those gentle 60 mph south Wyoming zephyrs). I'm sure that will change as soon as we head for the hills.
Most interesting so far, my meeting yesterday was held in a brand new, post-9/11 federal building. Complete with serpentine drive, bullet proof glass, card-pass doors, and internal blast walls. Bunker City. Can't blame them I suppose, but it was more like visiting a prison than an office building. Oddly, they didn't have any visible metal detectors, but I suppose those could be concealed in the door frames. Most annoying, the public area and conference rooms are up front and have no access to rest rooms, drinking fountains, or soda machines, not a pleasant place for a guest to spend an afternoon.
Sunday, May 02, 2004- - -
"The United States has never fielded a finer military …"
Ralph Peters has today's essential reading. He's right, too.
They say it as if it were a bad thing
According to the WaPo, the Senate is paralyzed by partisanship:
The Senate was bogged down in its latest snarl last Wednesday when an angry John McCain (R-Ariz.) blurted out publicly what many colleagues have been muttering in private: "Why don't we just go home . . . rather than go through this charade of telling Americans that we are legislating?"
Go home? What a novel idea. After all:
"No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session."
-- Benjamin Franklin
Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder
Michael Jackson wears tighty whiteys? And some guy in New Jersey has two pair in his collection, supposedly complete with Jackson's 'bodily fluids'. Obviously a true fan.
Weirdest of all though, this makes headline news at the NY Post.
Hitting the Road
Literally and figuratively. We're off for some fun in the sun down Rock Springs way, a couple of good-sized field projects that will probably keep us away for a month or so.
Which brings us to this item from today's DenverPost. Ghost roads. This truly is a problem, in several ways. The article focuses on the indiscriminant use of ORVs, which are tearing up the countryside at an alarming rate. In some places you can't find a mountain ridge that doesn't have one of those narrow-gauge ORV two-tracks down its crest, and some riders seem to delight in tormenting what little wildlife they encounter. I can certainly understand the desire to shut down these nitwits.
On the other hand, there are many, many roads out in the hills that are depicted on the topographic maps and have been in use for years, but have never been legally documented as rights-of-way. Even though these roads often present the only access to hundreds of square miles of countryside, some federal agencies, most notably the Forest Service, are busily closing these not-so-ghostly ghost roads. In a few cases they've failed to do their homework and posted roads closed that are legal rights-of-way leading to people's summer cabins, rancher's windmills, & such.
Finding a balance between protecting the countryside and wildlife, and keeping the country accessible, isn't as easy as simply closing all the ghost roads.
Saturday, May 01, 2004- - -
Wedding gown for sale!
Here's a good one on eBay, forwarded by my Dad, a wedding gown for sale by the ex-husband: "I found my ex-wife's wedding dress in the attic when I moved. She took the $4000 engagement ring but left the dress. ..." Read the whole thing, it's hilarious.
A tanker with a delicate touch!
In response to my recent comments on delicate equipment and the tender ministrations of tankers, John Allison writes: "As a recovering Master Gunner I feel compelled to point out that any tankers that I'd trained would have eschewed a sledge in favor of a 2lb ballpeen, accurately applied, except in extremis. ;)"
A 2# ballpeen? We only used those on delicate stuff, like radios and sights and range finders! Although I did fix a broken steering linkage with a paper clip once... I guess that's why they kept officers around, we had paper clips.