Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shaking out the dust from the keyboard and other year end matters. And a couple of vows.

Why don’t I get right down to the nut cutting, and let all of you know my number one priority for year 2012- my vow to myself and to the world is to
do my very best to move back home, to the desert, to where I feel the most
comfortable within my own skin; the sooner, the better.

Let me tell you how this came about.

Recently, while driving a trolley with a security officer in an undisclosed OC
city, I casually asked if there were security guard jobs available, say in the
Palm Springs area, for an old timer, one too old to chase down and physically
subdue teenage suspects, for example. His reply, there are many gate guard jobs, etc due to the high number of rich communities out there. That got me to

Then on the hikes out to the windmill area off I-10 and Hwy 111, I noticed a guard on patrol inside the fenced off area, driving a new white suv, windows up, air conditioner going- driving to one windmill and parking for 10 minutes or so, then going to another random windmill, and I thought, I could do this- no
people only the desert, just drive around, not a bad gig.

I have no problem with this, these windmills have been here for decades, somebody has got to do it, might as well be me. Plus with my bus driving license, perhaps I could drive for a local company part time.

Rents are a hell of a lot cheaper, my credit has improved to a 773 credit score,
perhaps I can even buy a cheap house while still working here, and when and if it closed, commute for a while(short I hope) until I found something out there
to pay the bills- I think I am going to make one last effort to grab the brass ring,
to secure a cheap mortgage payment for my so called golden years.

As I have told friends and family, I do not want to die here in the big city, no way!

So there you have it, my vow, my one and only New Year’s resolution, wish me
luck, I may need it.

Now on to some desk clearing, or should I say a couple of brief and mild rants,
after all I don’t want to spoil your festivities.

I just want to say a couple of words about two things that I care for- the southwestern deserts and this country of ours the rich elites, our owners.

I have written thousands of words about the nightmare going on in the desert, in places like Ivanpah and Blythe. Several months ago, I realized that nothing
that I could do would stop or change the process in any way so I quit writing
on the subject. The powers that be don’t give a damn what I or any of us
think, and especially they are not bothered in the least by a small fry blogger.
Maybe my attempts at giving advice to others in the struggle might
have been naive, or amateurish, but it was freely given in good faith, and ignored, as it probably should have been.

I will most likely be writing little about the rape of the deserts. However, be warned that I sometimes have a short fuse, and a particularly outrageous act
by the industrialists may cause me to go off. I apologize in advance for any
discomfort reading my future rants may cause you. Most likely this will occur
after driving out to see what is happening. Now here is what I can do. I can try to support the good works of the fine people over at Solar Done Right or the Desert Protective Council or Basin and Range Watch, for example. I suggest
that you do the same if you are able to, at least check out their websites on the left side of this blog, from time to time.

What I said earlier about the elites not caring, may apply to me, but I can assure you that they are very aware of the good groups mentioned above, that
are doing their best to work within this system, to try to effect a change in our
renewable energy strategy, to put the solar on the rooftops, and not out in tortoise country.

I really appreciate and admire their never ending vigilance and good works.
As the Lord said, faith without good works is dead, I paraphrase, they are truly
doing good works.

Let me say a little about what is happening in this country and I will clean this
up. We are on the wrong path, we cannot continue this way, with our Nobel Peace Prize winning president bombing the hell out of the black and brown peoples of this planet. This cannot go on, nor do I believe that they will stop, unless somebody or something stops them. You all have heard over and over,
my disappointments with this man that I voted for. Such high hopes and expectations, thrown away at the altars of war and mammon.

I vow that I would rather write in Richard M Nixon for president, he’s dead you know, than vote for this butcher-in-chief again. As God is my witness, I would rather die than vote for him again.

That’s all that I am going to say, vote your conscience.

To those who I have infuriated, feel free to get a conversation going with me and my readers, via the comments, or send me an email- however, be warned that a really well written and thoughtful email or comment, may result in your
being asked to write a guest post, in response.

Now I will take the gloves off a little.

To the President and the other warmongers, as well as the industrialists and their lackeys such as our retread Governor Brown and His Excellency Ken
Salazar, I sure as hell hope that the damned door hits your asses as you go out.

That is how I feel ringing out the old year, and welcoming the new one.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

A hike to remember, as my right ankle keeps reminding me!

The day after Lee Murray and I did a short walk out by the Palm Springs windmills in the windy pass off I-10, I woke up ambitious and decided to head
back out and really get a hike in.

Ultimately for the day, I walked 6.25 miles, including up a very steep jeep road
which was very sandy, all on dirt roads of various conditions, and visited what
I thought for years, was a spring way in the distance against the base of the mountain, and where I got a real big surprise.

Sorry folks for my huge file size photos recently, these have been shrunk to a
much smaller size and will allow the page to load much faster.

There will also be a video which shows what I found when I arrived at the spring, or what looks like a spring in the distance.
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The view across the wash looking toward the wind farm. If you look straight ahead, past the windmills, you will see the jeep
trail going straight up that hill, heading toward the gap. The top of that gap was my destination.
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The sign warns in spanish that the electric fence is charged with 7,000 volts. At the bottom of the fence, the wires are
less than a foot apart, about 5 feet up, they do get farther apart. The barb wire fence in front is really for show and to
get you to slow down and not miss the electric fence behind it. This sure seems like a lot of security, considering a few
years ago, I hiked into and did photography inside this very windfarm. Also a security guard in an suv patrolled often in
the farm; actually that wouldn’t be a bad job, sitting in an air conditioned suv, looking out at the mountains, away from all
the people of the city. But I digress. Below is a photo of yours truly in this very same wind farm some years ago, before they got all the new fangled security.
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A more svelte but still as bald Morongobill above inside the windfarm seen in the pictures above, circa 2004 or so.

Here is the dirt road after you pass the corner of the wind farm and start out
along the perimeter of the mountain. It seems I was always going up or down
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Walking around the corner a ways, back going downhill, I decided to forgo the
visit to the springs(?) which are the very green areas in the brown mountainside, until after I tried to climb up to that gap first. Here is a photo of the road veering off to the springs(?).
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Below is a closeup of the possible springs location. You can see this from I-10 which is over 1/2 mile away.
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Along the way, I met this little fellow, patiently going about his business and doing his best to ignore me.
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Along the way to the hill with the gap, I passed several rock grottos and
formations. Sorry, I did not photograph them due to the sun’s angle blinding
my digicam sensor.

At last I made it to the base of the hill. Appearances are deceiving sometimes.
Just as when I was walking the dirt road following the perimeter of the base of the mountain, I can not see the top of the hill in this photo; you have to climb up to a higher level to catch the next view up, same with the mountain, the next craggy ridge line is out of sight to you as you look straight up at the immediate ridge in front of you.
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The view looking back down. You see way in the distance at the end of the windmills, the ridge line going down from left to right is the one that I believe has the ancient trail used by the native peoples here for centuries, judging by how worn into
the ridge, that the path looks.
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Upon this large rock, I rested and ate a little bit of trail mix, surveying the
beautiful scene laid out below me, and tried to decide how much further up
to go. I ended up walking to the boulders in the shade straight ahead, and after looking up, decided that I had enough climbing for one day. My destination was to make it up to that antenna you can see in the distance, up top the ridge. By the way, check out this track that I say to the right on the ground below my perch up on that big rock. On the way downhill, I followed
what appear to be mountain lion tracks, going downhill. Big enough to almost
put your fist in, and sunk in good- a big one, no wonder I felt so nervous sitting
up on that rock, like I needed eyes in the back of my head.
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Folks, my ankle is still bothering me, almost 2 weeks later, and I believe the
problem was caused by this steep hill climb. As stated here previously, the
Morongobill hasn’t missed too many meals, I would take about 30 steps, digging into the sand with each one, then hang onto my staff for dear life, resting up for the next 30. So it may be a while before I do that again.

Enough of my belly aching, I hiked on after coming down and took the fork up
to the spring area. The dirt road was more lightly used, there were creosote bushes everywhere blowing with the breeze and also this unknown object was seen.
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Check out all the bullet holes in what may be part of an old truck above. Another shot of the area below.
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I would like to come back here on a mountain bike, bringing a tent, and set up camp behind one of the giant creosote rings,
and kick back for a couple of days. At this distance you don’t hear the freeway, and hardly anyone comes out here except for
a few people on atv’s, and the ones I saw stayed on the dirt roads or rode down the main wash near the freeway.
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This is really a nice area to hike in, or ride a mountain bike. The dirt roads follow along the mountain base and go all the way
to Cabazon in one direction and to Palm Springs in the other, highly recommended! Email me for precise directions.

As I walked up the scenic trail to explore the springs, I kept a sharp eye out for
the roadrunner that I saw earlier when I passed the trail cutoff on my way to
try to climb up the gap. It really was almost an idyllic scene except for the signs of man, like the shot up car or the complete aired up car tire and rim buried half way into the dirt near the springs. Here is a video shot as I walked up to the springs, and this has the surprise that I mentioned earlier.

Sorry those may not be edible.

Below is a screen shot from Google Earth of the day’s hike.
ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 18 13.05

See the tiny patch of green above here? That is the spring area.

That’s it for today folks, thinking about heading over to the buffet, all this writing
has built up my appetite.

Visit often, any chance you get- light’s always on along with the coffee pot out
here on the backporch.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First post attempt with new tablet

Here is the link to a later post in which I give my final opinion on the Asus Transformer.
This ain't gonna work out at all, very slow and tentative.

I am attempting this on my new Asus Eeepad transformer. I knew that I should have
bought the keyboard dock as well.

Late addition:
I am sitting in my trolley at a construction site waiting for the vip's to come out, and I thought I would add a few more comments.

I originally planned on buying one of the Lenovo Ideapads but saw that for a hundred bucks more, I could get
what the reviewer's say is the hottest Android pad out, so I bought the Asus Transformer. I do plan on doubling down, by also getting the keyboard dock soon.

At the time, it seemed like a good idea. I remember hauling my laptop in my day peak up the side of Kessler
Peak in the Mojave National Preserve, doing a short video and then continuing with the hike. Of course, it nearly yanked my back out of place, lugging it up the hillside but I don't want to dwell on that aspect. That event really got me to thinking tablet pc, small enough to not weigh too much, and capable of filming video and then uploading to youtube as well.

What I never counted on, having never had a smart phone to practice on, was how hard it is for me to type with this screen keyboard. You talk about a learning curve- too bad, I better start learning asap as I can't take it back.

Here is an image showing the one I bought.
image from 2011.

We will see how it goes. By the way, the late addition was typed out on my laptop ;-)