Vacation Ramble from the Curmudgeon and the Red Headed Irish Wisecracker

Just got back from the latest vacation after driving 600 miles from Montana to Oregon in ten hours. I am both tired and wired.

Itinerary: We drove up for a quick grandchildren visit in Seattle with the three girls 8,6 and 4. Delivered each a complete set of Incredibles 2 toys from McDonald’s (courtesy of Grandpa hitting six locations in a week to get all the characters). Once again had a big hit.

Lit out for the border, allowed in despite being an admitted knife owner, and headed northwest into British Columbia, stayed in Kamloops, (Not a breakfast cereal).

On to Jasper National Park in Alberta. Many natural wonders to behold.

A wondrous and awe filled journey down the Icefields Parkway, which runs the spine of the Canadian Rockies from Jasper Park in the north to Banff Park in the south and runs up to 6800 ft above sea level.

Stayed in Banff at a very classy place, treated ourselves to Victorian Luxury in service, atmosphere and food.

Lit out for the US border into Montana and revisited Glacier National Park which we had seen thirty years earlier.

Drove Going to The Sun Road across Glacier Nat Park.

Woke up in Kalispell MT, 605 miles from home in Oregon and drove it today on one tank of gas.

Still tired and wired.

Ground covered- 2685 miles, five hotels from Super 8 to Five Diamond class.

Casualties- One Windshield, One tire

See pics.

First- The wildlife knew their lines, made well rehearsed entrances and put on a good show. All these were shot from the truck window with no telephoto.

Then we suffered from Vacation Interruptus- a truck threw a rock chip into the windshield of the Faithful 150 and a small starburst crack turned into a three foot slice within an hour. We added a day, and the local Ford dealer suggested a little glass shop just outside the park. Next morning, I was there, drank coffee for 90 minutes while a very competent auto glass guy got the windshield in, connected the embedded sensors to the truck network so I could sense rain, maintain lane and sundry other stuff the windshield does for me. Even my insurance worked, so I just paid my $100 deductible in Canadian and was off.

Our highlight was one of the World’s best scenic drives- the Icefields Parkway. You climb almost 4000 feet over 140 miles and there is a photo of awesome nature in every mile. Do it.

On our way back to the States, about thirty miles out from Cut Bank Montana, just on the edge of the Blackfoot Indian Res. We were barreling down a two lane and my dash flashed a low tire pressure warning. My diagnostics panel showed my left rear tire was running at 28 pounds to the other three’s 40, and seemed to be dropping a pound every ten minutes or so. (I was still rolling hot down the road).

So we decided to keep rolling and make it to town. We did with 24 pounds left.

The tire place in town was just closed, but the guy told me to bring her in at 7am the next morning (Saturday) and he would open up and fix it.

On the next morning, of course the tire is flat, so I grab the inflator from the toolbox, plug it into the dc outlet and bring it back up to 40 pounds. Rolled down to the tire place and the owner waved me right in. He apparently had been working at tires since high school and he was my age, so he was what you could call a Master Craftsman of Tire Repair. He and his Blackfoot sidekick worked their magic, plugged the hole made by a small jagged piece of iron, remounted it and I was on my way, happy to pay the whole of $15.00 American, as requested.

I ran the diagnostics the whole trip over Going to the Sun Road and the tire never lost a bit of pressure.

It was great to see real folks who know what the heck they are doing and happy to do it.

Lesson learned from the trip. Even though I was tethered to work by the magic of the interwebs, it was easy to run that from my mind and refocus on the scenery, the sights and the people we met.

It was a good thing.

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1200 Klicks to Canada, in the high lonesome

Here we are , doing one of our classic vacations while working over the net deals. We just arrived at our first destination after driving the F150 over 1200 kilometers (they use different measures up here and pretend it’s meaningful).

Jasper Alberta is smack dab in the middle of a National Park with crystal waters, slate gray mountains and thin rooted pines struggling with pre-permafrost.

It is a cathedral everywhere you look, an imposing yet gentle persona in every view.

Wifi is working which means I can sneak a few hours to keep the wheels of industry turning.

More to come if I get the Muse.

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The San Antonio Spurs Can Go To Hell

Get a load of this: Spurs’ Lonnie Walker Says He ‘Will Never Celebrate 4th of July.’ From the article:

Lonnie Walker IV, the recently selected 1st round pick of the San Antonio Spurs, took to Twitter on Independence Day, to say that he “will never celebrate 4th of July.”

The tweet read: “Will never celebrate 4th of July. Know your history!! and stay woke.”

Between this and Gregg Popovich’s sub-literate anti-Trump blatherings, I have never before seen a team so determined to alienate their fan base.

After all, San Antonio is known as “Military City, USA.” Who is running the Spurs nowadays, Mullah Omar?


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“America the Beautiful” as sung by the Silver Fox

You know, in the bayous of Louisiana – quelle beau pays – that’s what the Cajuns say.
And in New York’s Little Italy – que bella terra – that’s how they say it their way.
And in the beer halls of Milwaukee, you’ll hear the words wie schöne das Land.
And it’s que lindo país – that’s what you’ll hear them say along the border, down by the Rio Grande.
You know there’s a lot of ways to say it. And it’s a privilege to play it.
‘Cause a lot of good people earned it. And this is how I learned it…


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TOTD 2018-7-4: Independence Day Memories

My mom told me a long time ago they went to the US consulate in Kobe, Japan on July 4th. What she remembered was having Coca-Cola. At that time that was special and hard to get in Japan in the early 1950s.

My memories of the Fourth were of an airshow followed by fireworks over a bay. We could see it from our house. We lived up the hill from the water. (Is being a mile away considered beachfront?) One year a man in an experimental plane died in a crash.


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TOTD 2018-7-1: Happy Canada Day

I am a day early because Canada Day is a day late this year since the first of July is a Sunday. This is a celebration of three colonies coming together is 1867. The three colonies were Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. I grew up in Washington state and Canada was a neighbor. A good neighbor I thought. By my calculation Canada is 151 years old. What I read they have fireworks on this day.

I think it was George Bernard Shaw that said, “The United States and Britain were two countries separated by a common language.” I think of Canada and the United States as two countries bonded by gratitude that they live on the good side of the border.

Since I am thinking of the Anglo-sphere. I hear Britain and Canada celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day than we do. My Brit friend tells me the date is July the Fourth. 😉


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What Dad listened to

Dad died a year and a half ago.   Gee I miss him.   I was very fortunate to have him for so long; he was 85.   I saw Fathers Day mentioned today, so when I got a chance to kick back this evening, I went to listen to the stuff he listened to.  I was never musical much, though I enjoy singing in church.   I also was never much into pop music.  Not rock and roll, either.  I was a jazz fan, because Dad was a jazz fan.   We lived within radio range of the public radio station at the University of Tennessee, and they played jazz in the evenings beginning shortly before my bedtime.

I still have some of Dad’s favorites on real honest vinyl, but since we moved to new digs in February I have not found the time to set up the turntable.  So here is a Youtube link to one of our favorites.   Bossa nova.  Enjoy; this is Stan Getz on saxophone, but the thing that makes the album shine is the fabulous guitar of Charlie Byrd.

 

So, what did your Dad listen to?


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TOTD 2018-6-16: Dad’s Day Eve

It is the day before Father’s Day. The holiday that takes a backseat to Mother’s Day. Why is that?

I went to Wikipedia and checked out the history. The first public celebration for Father’s Day was July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Here is the background of that celebration.

Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested that her pastor Robert Thomas Webb honor all those fathers.

Does anyone want to guess how soon Father’s day became a national recognized holiday on the 3rd week in June after this 1908 local celebration?
Please make your guess in a comment before checking. (If you already know the answer don’t comment till later.)

For those who want to know about Mother’s Day.

In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-in-law’s Day”.[12] However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday,[13] with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday[14] (the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

If you are still reading, I would like to wish all the fathers a wonderful day tomorrow. You are not taking a backseat in this post. You are driving the car.


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TOTD 2018-5-29: You are what you are thankful for.

Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember that people gave their lives for their country. Who do you remember on this day?

As to the title of this post, we either go through life being thankful or complaining. It doesn’t have to do with having things either easy or hard for I have seen people complain in good circumstances and be thankful in bad. It is in the interpretation of the events.

I listened to a little of Candace Owens. She phrases things differently. One either sees oneself as a victor or a victim. The victim loses the old battle every day whereas the victor looks forward to the win.

I have heard said this place is full of exiles. No, this place is not an afterthought but a forethought.


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