A Busy Weekend

I suppose some of you have noticed I’ve not been following my usual five posts per week this summer. There’s been a number of reasons for my reduced output.

  • Burnout from politics and my growing dissatisfaction with the GOP at all levels.
  • My decision to upgrade my Han radio antenna system. A tree had grown to envelope my old vertical antenna.
  • Building a backup HF antenna, a 40M OCF dipole.
  • Taking off for a trek through the backroads of most of the western states that lasted most of July.
  • Passing a kidney stone after we returned home from our trek.
  • Upgrading my ham ticket from Advanced to Extra.
  • Move and reinstall my vertical antenna.

I’ve completed all those tasks except for the last and I’m close to finishing that.

This last weekend, I knocked off that next to last bullet on the list. I’ve been an Advanced class Ham for over 40 years, since 1971. It was time to upgrade.

Gordon_West_Extra_Class_Cover

Gordon West’s Extra Class License Manual

The class was hectic. It wasn’t a “class” per sé. It was a crash-review of all 700+ questions in the Extra class question pool. I had been studying for the test, off and on, since last Spring. I had both the ARRL Extra Class license manual and the Gordon West manual.

It is much easier studying today than studying for a FCC exam in the 1970’s.

At that time, the questions weren’t published. The only “public knowledge” questions were those who test-takers could remember after leaving the FCC office and some group collected.

This was the second time I had passed the Extra Class written test. When I took the test to upgrade from Novice, I, like all the other hams at that time, took the test at a FCC office under the eyes of one or more of the FCC engineers. In my case it was the Kansas City FCC office (apparently soon to be closed, I hear.)

There were two engineers giving the test that Saturday in 1971. I knew both of them, not that that helped me any. Instead, their expectations of me were much higher.

There was a large crowd of hams at the FCC office that Saturday. I don’t remember how many, now; more than twenty, I believe. The usual practice was to give the Morse code test first and then, if you passed the code test, you were given the written test. That Saturday, there were too many Hams to be tested to follow the normal test pattern (plus the FCC office closed at noon. We had to be finished by that time.)

We lined up and, like many of us did in the military, counted off by twos. The “Ones” filed off to take their code test. The “Twos” went into a classroom to take their written tests. I was a “Two.”

As a Novice, I had to take the General/Technician test first. Then if I passed, I could take the Advanced test and the Extra. The senior engineer belonged to the same ham club as did I. He gave me my test sheets and kept me under his eye.

I quickly finished the General test and passed it. There was still time available so he stuck the Advanced test under my nose and said, “Take this, too.” I did.

Looking back, I thought the Advanced test was easier than the General test. I still had some free time. The other group was still taking their code tests.

The Morse code tests started at 5wpm for those wanting a Tech license, followed by the 13wpm for those seeking a General and Advanced class license. There were a few going for Extra. They were still waiting to take their 20wpm test.

Rather than sit around in the classroom doing nothing or wandering around in the lobby and having passed the General and Advanced test, my FCC friend gave me an Extra class test and said, “Do this one, too.” I hadn’t studied for the Extra class license, but I found many of the questions were similar to those on the General and Advanced tests, just more so.

I passed it. I don’t know by how much. My friend wouldn’t say, so I suspect I was a squeaker. I do remember his firm handshake when I passed it.

By that time, the code group had finished and it was my turn. In the 1970s the code test was generated by a machine reading a paper tape. It was perfect code running exactly as the required speeds. It was also 5-letter code groups. In later years, the code test became a multiple-choice test. I wasn’t interested in a Tech license and no one in our half of the group did either. We started off directly at 13wpm.

To pass the test you had to correctly copy “x” numbers of characters in a row. I had been using the on-air ARRL code practice sessions and was confident that I could pass 13wpm. I did. Since I had passed the Extra class written test, I took the 20wpm code test. As I recall, I needed to copy 100 characters correctly in a row. I gave my copy sheet to the engineer giving the code tests. He had a template that he used to grade the test. He kept shifting it all over my code sheet looking for that magic 100 correct characters.

He could only find 98.

So, I didn’t get my Extra class license that day. I went home an Advanced class. I never tried to retest for Extra until this last weekend.

Sometime in the Spring, I saw on Larry’s List, a ham radio email list, that our local W5YI group was scheduling a class for Extra in August 2015. That class was held this last weekend. I attended and passed the Extra class test late yesterday.

My timing is perfect. My test will be sent to the W5YI coordinator for confirmation and processing and then sent to the FCC. Usually, it would take about ten days to two weeks for my upgrade to appear in the FCC database.

But, as I said, my timing is perfect. The FCC will be taking their database down next week for maintenance. No 10-14 day turn-around for me. No, I expect I’ll have to wait two to four weeks for the FCC to work through the backlog.

Regardless, I passed. After forty years.

Ramblings

When Mrs. Crucis and I took our trek last month, we expected to see a cross-section of America. We saw some of the best of our nation and some of the worse.

We love the mountains and the deserts of the South West. One of our favorite areas is the Four-Corners area where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet. It is also the location of the Navajo Nation, a third world nation, poverty stricken, and dependent on federal welfare, a reservation where the only new buildings are those built or underwritten by the feds. All else is ramshackled and dilapidated and most of the housing is either rusting mobile homes or decaying federally funded public housing.

The Navajoes have a rich culture. One that appears to be incompatible with that of the rest of the country. It seems to affect the Navajoes more than the other tribal areas we traveled through in Utah, Idaho and Montana. The Blackfoot reserivation in Montana was clean, neat and well-kept. They have the same problems with drugs and alcoholism as do many reservations, but they also have a viable community. The Blackfoot Reservation was remarkedly different from the Navajo Reservation.

The Navajoes culture is dying. When we traveled through Shiprock, NM, we stopped at a (federally underwritten) strip-mall. There was a gift shop that Mrs. Crucis wanted to visit and we needed to stock up on edibles. We usually fixed sandwiches for lunch when traveling.

Next to near the entrance of the grocery was a bulletin board. While waiting for Mrs. Crucis, I scanned the notices, sale items, people looking for rides to one destination or another, handyman flyers looking for work…and a notice from the Navajo Tribal Government looking for people to teach the Navajo language to the younger members of the tribe.

That saddened me. The loss of the language and its culture wasn’t due to assimilation, it was due to purposeful neglect. The feds refuse to allow Navajo to be spoken in schools. The younger generation, those who still remain, don’t speak it in their day-to-day life. The older generation is dying off. The language is headed for extinction.

Contrast the economy of the Navajo reservation with that of Utah, Idaho, Montana and to a lesser extent, New Mexico. In Utah, the homes were well kept and maintained. Nearly every yard had a well-kept, neatly mowed and trimmed lawn. Due to the climate, many were small, some only 15’x15′. But the care and effort to maintain the home was well evident. Mrs. Crucis loves Utah, it is one of her favorite states.

I was struck with Darby, Montana. Montana has no state sales tax; no sales tax at all. On the other hand, there appeared to be a casino around every corner with a pawn shop within walking distance. We saw more casinos and pawn shops in Montana than in any other state in our travels.

What struck me about Darby was seeing three gun-shops in a three-block stretch of town. That’s my kind of town.

On the political scene, to differences are just as obvious. The moral and political corruption of the establishment parties in Washington are becoming incompatible to the conservative core outside of the DC beltway. It matters not if that establishment is Dem or ‘Pub. Both are rotten.

The ‘Pub establishment fears Trump, Cruz, Walker and the other conservative candidates more than they do Hillary, Sanders, O’Malley and Biden. The ‘pub establishment believes they can work with the dems. We already see that in the actions of McConnell and Boehner.

Sadly, the infection is present at the state and local levels as well. The Republican Party is dying. There may be a period of remission if Cruz, or Walker, or one of the conservative insurgents win the nomination and the Presidency. But the sickness is still present in DC.

A conservative President would have to fight both the dems and the ‘pubs in Congress. I doubt that he could prevail unless he chooses to use some of the same tactics as has Obama. Using Executive Orders to bypass Congress, for instance.

Ted Cruz has declared that if he wins the nomination and the Presidency, one of his first acts would be to rescind every illegal Executive Order issued by Obama. I think he should go further and rescind all EOs issued by Obama and some from G. W. Bush, too. That act alone would reverse a corruptive trend in government started by Teddy Roosevelt.

Before TR, a President issued an Executive Order rarely. Those EOs, were issued when Congressional approval wasn’t available, when action was needed immediately. Later, the EO would be presented to Congress for approval. Some were approved, some were disapproved and the EO was rescinded.

It is time for the use of Executive Orders to end. It is time for the political establishment of both parties to end as well.

Is it time of a new party, a third party to give conservatives a choice? I’m unsure. The ‘Pubs have one last chance to survive, to end the rule of the Establishment and return government to the people instead of the Washington political elite.

I’m supporting Ted Cruz. Nearly everyone I meet and talk with does, too. Some like Trump because he says what they believe. I can understand that. I agree with much than Trump says as well but I don’t believe Trump would be a good president. He is as corrupted by power as is the Establishments in Washington.

When we were traveling through New Mexico, the news of the EPA spill in Colorado that polluted the Animas River was announced. The prevailing opinion of the region’s residents is that the EPA purposely broke the dam that caused the spill.

It was ironic that when John McCain visited the Navajo Nation a few days later, he was run off by the President of the Navajoes. The dependent children of Washington rebelled against one of the leading members of the Washington Establishment and ran him out of town.

It was a good day, when I heard that.

Anti-Constitutionalists

When Mrs. Crucis and I took off on our trek last month, we make one decision before we left. We would not enter Colorado. We would not spend any of our money in a state that has purposely violated the US Constitution.

We bypassed Colorado taking a route that passed through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas to reach New Mexico. A few days later we made another decision. Head Northeast towards Cortez, CO to go toward Moab, UT, and Canyonlands NP, or head west towards Page, AZ and Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP. Sorry, Moab, we decided to skip you this time. We turned west into Arizona. On our return route home, we chose to head east on I-80 through Nebraska than use I-70 and drop through Colorado to Kansas.

Why did we make this decision? Because Colorado is infested—infested with those who purposely seek to violate the Constitution. The latest case is of the baker who refused to bake a cake for a ‘gay’ wedding because of his religious beliefs. The US Constitution’s first amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Colorado ignored the underlined portion of the 1st Amendment above. by ordering the baker to comply to the demands to bake, and therefore participate, a cake for the ‘gay’ wedding.

However, SCOTUS has already declared that portion of the 1st Amendment must apply to Colorado as does the rest of the Amendments. The US Supreme Court has declared that the US constitutional amendments (cite: McDonald v. City of Chicago) applies to the states as well as to the federal government.

The ACLU brought the original suit against the bakers and chose their target carefully; a small establishment unable to finance a strong defense. The bakers were unable to do so and the ACLU, abetted by the Colorado courts, has declared the “free exercise” portion of the 1st Amendment does not apply in Colorado. This viewpoint was expressly defeated in McDonald v. Chicago.

The Left likes to pick and choose when and under what circumstances they support the Constitution. They support free speech—when it is THEIR speech. They support free assembly—when it is their assembly and their riots. But when WE want to exercise OUR rights, our free speech, our free exercise of OUR religious beliefs, OUR right to assemble, to protest and petition government, then they do not support those same rights for us.

That is the reason we, as a family, chose to boycott Colorado. I would hope someone, some organization with sufficiently deep pockets helps those bakers appeal through the federal court system. They have a case.

Playing in the dirt

Some have asked what I’m doing. My answer? Playing in the dirt…with my Grandson.

I’ve an ongoing project to upgrade my Ham Radio antenna system. I added a 40M OCF (Off-center-dipole) to the side of the house in June. Now it’s time to re-install my vertical. When I first planted it some fifteen years ago, the nearby trees were much smaller. Over time they grew and one tree’s upper limbs reached the antenna. I had thought just to trim the limbs but that proved to be less than satisfactory. I decided to move the location of the vertical antenna.

That project started last week after Mrs. Crucis and I returned from our excursion through a few western states.

Andrew_digging-2b_08062015

Grandson Andrew starting the hole.

We, or rather, Andrew, discovered that digging through the accumulated thatch and grass root system was harder than it looked.

Hole_dug_ready_for_the_pipe-b_08072015

Hole finished. 24″ x 24″ x 7″.

The hole is finished and a small ‘sump’ hole dug to provide more stability for the pipe. By this point, a few hours after the first photo, we’d only received a few chigger bites.

Ready for the Quikcrete-b_08072015

Ready for the concrete.

The hole is now ready for the concrete. The pipe continues 3′ into the ground leaving around 20″ remaining above the surface of the concrete. I’d gone to Home Depot and bought four bags of Quikcrete. They tried to sell me eight bags. I thought that was too much.

Four_bags_full_b-08072015

Four bags full.

I was wrong. Four bags wasn’t enough.

Watered-b_08072015

Watered and set.

I was wrong. I bought two more bags.

The first four bags were 50lbs. each. I bought two 60lb bags of a different type that should produce a smoother surface. That is the next task. I’ll post some more photos as the project nears completion.

That was the status as of Friday evening. Sometime during Friday, we must have stirred up a nest of chiggers. I counted thirteen bites on me. Andrew had about the same.

Note to self: use bug repellent next time.

5,361

Five thousand three hundred sixty-one miles. That was how many miles Mrs. Crucis and I put on the Great Blue Beast from July 13th through July 27th, 2015. In those fifteen days we visited twelve states, five national parks, three national monuments and one New Mexico state park. Two weeks on the road.

We used 2-lane, non-interstate highways as much as we could, maybe two-thirds of the roads overall were not on an interstate. With all that windshield time, we had a lot of time listening to the radio…when we could pickup a station. AM works in the mountains, FM not so well. I should have subscribed to XM but…I didn’t think of it before we left.

There was a single topic on talk-radio that we heard continuously—Donald Trump. Politicians of both parties railed against him. The ‘Pub establishment plotted against him. Pundits, members of the DC ruling class, chastised him.

Through it all, Trump continued to rise in the polls and the media and the dem and ‘pub establishments were dumbfounded. They, none of them apparently, have a clue to Trump’s success.

The reason for Trump’s success, regardless of some of his political views, is a simple one. He says what he means and is unapologetic for his statements. Not only that, when he is attacked, he counter-attacks with everything he has available—some severely. The other candidates mill around in confusion…all but one or two of the GOP candidates. Huckleberry understood Trump as did Cruz. None of the others, including the so-called great populist Rand Paul, knew, and continue to know, how to respond.

Trump was right in many of his statements. John McCain was a hero—once. He isn’t today. He is a traitor to his heritage. Now, some are investigating McCain’s time as a POW, looking at some contradictions that has been kept hidden under lock and key for nearly fifty years. Lindsay Graham, aka, Lindsay Grahamnesty, reminds me of a small yap dog barking around Trumps ankle and when Trump finally notices him, Graham scurries for cover, quivering like a coward.

Trump is a fighter. I, and many, many others like me, like candidates who fight. That is one reason why I was a Gingrich supporter in 2012. Not only is Trump a fighter, he says what many of us believe. The waves of illegal immigration is nothing more than an invasion of barbarians.

We could end that invasion simply by enforcing existing law. Cut all benefits to illegals, eliminate the rule for anchor-babies and require at least one parent to be an American citizen before granting citizenship on those born within our borders.

Cut all public benefits. No welfare, no in-state tuition. No free healthcare. No free education. Absolutely nothing for anyone here illegally. Enforce the existing law against employing illegals. Make citizenship verification a no-exception policy. Any employer who is found to violate those restriction should have ruinous fines imposed and face jail-time.

End all federal funding to sanctuary cities and to the states that allow those cities to exist. Illegals would soon find life getting harder. When Missouri imposed welfare restrictions against illegals, they fled to Kansas where pickings were easier.

Within months we would see a constant stream of illegals leaving the US for easier climes. Parasites, and that is what so many of them are, will always take the route of least resistance. When life becomes hard, go where it is easier.

Add to all that no more catch-and-release for criminal aliens and the imposition of maximum penalties for crimes committed by illegals. Do that and the invasion of illegals would end. Not immediately, but the trend would be reversed in a short period, less than a year.

Trump says what so many of us believe. He is not the perfect candidate. He isn’t my first choice; I’m still a Ted Cruz fan. I do understand why Trump is on top of the polls. Will he remain there? I haven’t a clue.

Huckleberry, one whom I despise almost as much as I do McCain, Bush and Graham, has copied Trump’s tactic. It worked. Will other GOP candidates adopt Trump’s tactics? Maybe. They could not do worse.

Think my logic is flawed? Rasmussen doesn’t. Here is a column by Thomas Sowell on the Rasmussen website:

The Trump Card

A Commentary By Thomas Sowell, Tuesday, August 04, 2015

With Hillary Clinton’s multiple misdeeds coming to light and causing her political problems, reflected in her declining support in the polls, both she and the Democratic Party have reason to be concerned. But both of them may yet be rescued by “The Donald,” who can turn out to be their Trump card.

Donald Trump has virtually no chance of becoming even the Republican Party’s candidate in 2016, much less being elected President of the United States.

The reason is not hard to understand: Republican voters simply do not trust him, as the polls show. Nor is there any reason why they should trust him, given his chameleon-like changes in the past.

Why then is he the “front-runner” in the polls?

One reason is arithmetic. When there is a small army of Republican candidates, each with a tiny set of supporters, anyone with enough name recognition to get the support of a fifth or a fourth of the Republicans polled stands out, even if twice that many Republicans say they would never vote for him.

When both kinds of Republicans are counted, Donald Trump is both the “front-runner” and the leading pariah. The danger is not that he will get the nomination, but that his irresponsible talk will become the image of the Republican Party, and that his bombast will drown out more sober voices that need to be heard, thereby making it harder to select the best candidate.

More is involved than arithmetic, however. Many Republican voters are so disgusted with their party, especially over its repeated betrayals of them, and of the country, especially when it comes to immigration, that they are immediately attracted to anyone who voices the outrage they feel.

The column continues. Sowell is not a Trump fan. He does understand, however, why Trump is in his current position.

Repost: Teddy Roosevelt’s Legacy

All too many today appear to think the left’s attacks on our Constitution and federal republic form of government is recent, something that started with Johnson’s “Great Society” or even earlier with FDR’s “New Deal.” Both answers are wrong. There was nothing great about Johnson’s welfare state society nor with FDR’s attempt to impose a leftist dictatorship by packing the Supreme Court. No, it started much earlier, decades earlier with Teddy Roosevelt and his progressive movement in the first two decades of the 20th Century.

Here is a repost of an article I wrote a few years ago before the ‘Pub 2012 convention in Tampa. Many conservatives denounce the 16th Amendment’s imposition of the income tax. Few give thought to the implication of the passage of the 17th Amendment.

***

The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell made my daily task easy today. It’s a short history lesson on Progressivism. 

If you ask a sampling of High School graduates, or even some college graduations today, the question, “When did the election of US Senators start?” many would give you a blank look assuming that the direct election of Senators was in the original Constitution.  They’d be wrong of course. It started with the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution and Teddy Roosevelt was one of several who helped pass it.

The 17th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress on May 13, 1912 and was ratified on April 8, 1913. It replaced the appointment of US Senators by the state legislatures with a provision for the direct election of senators.

Text of the 17th Amendment

Section 1.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

Section 2.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

Section 3.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

The push for this constitutional change started in the first decade of the 20th century.  Supposedly, it was to “enhance” democracy.  In reality, it was another step to grow and strengthen the central government at the expense of the States.  The checks and balances in the original constitution balanced power between the States and the Federal government. The original design of our government was almost that of a confederation with power sharing between the states and the central government. The aftermath of the Civil War began the process that upset that balance. The early 20th Century Progressive movement further upset that balance.

Wiki has a reasonably balanced writeup on the 17th Amendment and the history that led to its adoption. Teddy Roosevelt was also involved along with William Jennings Bryan. Roosevelt, along with Taft and Wilson were the three Progressive Presidents between 1901 and 1920 that brought us the 16th and 17th Amendments that has directly led us to our current fiscal crises.

Now we get to today’s Morning Bell from the Heritage Foundation.

Political Convention Drama Begins

This week’s Republican National Convention is already experiencing its own drama thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac, which has postponed most of the events until tomorrow. But this year marks the 100th anniversary of another Republican Convention embroiled in political drama of a different nature.

Unlike today’s conventions, which are little more than multi-day campaign rallies, at the 1912 affair in Chicago, 1,000 policemen stood by to make sure the delegates didn’t get out of hand. Strands of barbed wire lay concealed beneath the bunting on the speaker’s platform to keep disgruntled delegates from charging the stage.

The very nature of our Constitution and our democracy was at stake, as William Schambra explains in a new First Principles essay from The Heritage Foundation.

On one side was Teddy Roosevelt, who ran for President that year aiming to reshape American democracy. He thrashed lackluster incumbent William Howard Taft in the primary contests, declaring, “I believe in pure democracy.”

But his definition of “pure democracy” included upsetting the Constitution. He endorsed “certain governmental devices which will make the representatives of the people more easily and certainly responsible to the people’s will.” These reforms included the initiative, the referendum, the recall of elected officials and even judicial decisions, and the direct election of U.S. Senators.

On the other side were Taft (Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor in the White House just four years earlier) and the Republican leadership, including Senators Elihu Root of New York and Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. They stood for the Constitution. Root and Lodge were great admirers and longtime friends of Roosevelt, but Roosevelt had sent shock waves through the Republican Party. Roosevelt had proposed a dramatic constitutional change that, according to Schambra, “posed the danger of undermining popular confidence in the institutions of government.” Therefore, Root, Lodge, and Taft were determined to deny Roosevelt the nomination at the 1912 Republican convention.

Unlike the typically bland convention keynote speeches designed to smooth feathers ruffled by the nominating contest and unite the party for the main event in November, Root’s keynote was a call to constitutional conservatism.

As Schambra notes, Root grounded the Republican Party in the Constitution, since it had been “born in protest against the extension of a system of human slavery approved and maintained by majorities.” After all, the GOP was the party of Abraham Lincoln, who had declared in his first inaugural address that “a majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations…is the only true sovereign of a free people.” The party’s duty, therefore, was not to reform the constitutional system but to “humbly and reverently seek for strength and wisdom to abide by the principles of the Constitution against the days of our temptation and weakness.”

Preventing Roosevelt from winning the Republican nomination, these first conservatives saved the party from a platform of radical constitutional reform. But it also meant losing the general election. Taft won only two states, and Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, with Roosevelt coming in second.

“The result of the Convention was more important than the question of the election,” Root later said. Losing the general election did not supplant their “duty to hold the Republican Party firmly to the support of our constitutional system. Worse things can happen to a party than to be defeated.”

Root, Lodge, and Taft sacrificed their friendship with Roosevelt and victory in the general election to save the Constitution from a proposed overhaul. Constitutional conservatism began with saving the Republican Party from Teddy Roosevelt. It continues today with the fight to save America from a deeper descent into progressivism. Members of the Tea Party movement are the intellectual heirs of Root, Lodge, and Taft.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “it is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor.” In a new essay in Heritage’s Understanding America series, President Edwin J. Feulner explores the ways the American people are bound to preserve our republic.

It is up to us to ensure that we remain a virtuous and free people, Feulner writes, and to make sure our government stays faithful to the principles on which it was founded.

“This is partly a job for the free press and the ballot box,” Feulner writes, “but we will not be able to speak and vote in support of America’s founding principles if we forget what those principles are.”

As we watch the political party conventions, we have a duty to educate ourselves on the constitutional role of government and to compare that with what the candidates are saying. As Feulner says, “we have always an obligation to pass the inheritance of freedom on, unimpaired, to the next generation.”

While the ‘Pubs in Tampa wait out the passing of Hurricane Isaac, contemplate what changes to our government has been inflicted on us by Progressivism and how we might reverse or mediate those impacts.

From here to there and home again

A few of you may have wondered what happened to the ‘Court. Most of the rest of you nay have never noticed I hadn’t posted since early in July.

There was a number of reasons. First, I’d become really, really, really hacked at the GOP from the national to the local level. Second, I needed some time off.

Mrs. Crucis and I decided to seek new climes and took off on a two week excursion out West. We traveled to twelve states and six National Parks and National Monuments.

A few close friends knew we were gone. However, we didn’t broadcast to the world we were away from home until after we had returned. I’m amazed how many give no thought to the security of their homes and blab to the world they aren’t home.

Be that as it may, we are back. It’s time to start saving for our next excursion.

Here are a few pics for your enjoyment.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

I was surprised to note that the last eruption was only 2,000 years ago. That was this morning, geologically speaking.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, MT

Now you know why it’s called Glacier National Park. We also saw some glaciers on mountains in Idaho. By the way, we discovered that the state crop in Idaho is NOT potatoes. It is hay. We saw one, ten-acre potato field but saw hundreds of well-kept and irrigated hay fields.

Mountain goats, Yellowstone National Park

See if you can find them. Mountain goats, Yellowstone National Park, MT