Monday, February 27, 2012

For their safety, either merge Mitchell Caverns State Park into the Mojave National Preserve or allow the Chemehuevi Indian Nation to provide the needed security, NOW!

The state of California is broke, without any political will to fix the chronic
budget problems. The Mitchell Caverns are surrounded by the federal Mojave
National Preserve and the obvious thing to do is to join the properties by
the federal government acquiring the park.

Here is the link to a story about recent vandalism at this state park from the
Guzzler blog. You can get the exact details from that article(don’t forget to
come back here)
- in a nutshell, and this is my opinion, it appears that a couple
of meth heads broke in, did about a hundred thousand dollars worth of damage, and were caught at their nearby campsite.

The article goes on to point out that at least 70 other parks will or have been
shuttered already, many of which are in remote locations of the state.

What part of closing these parks in remote areas, and not providing security
does the Brown administration not understand. Don’t those idiots get it? Don’t
they read the newspapers or even look at the billboards along the highways?
The last reference is to the public service announcement billboards warning
of copper wire theft, a significant problem in desert areas, bringing one prison time. Of course, you need rangers or deputies patrolling to arrest them though, an inconvenient truth, our new green governor can’t quite figure out.

It is understood by this blogger that it will be a major undertaking for these parks to be merged. Hence the call to allow the Chemehuevi Indian Nation and
people to come back in to run the place and provide security, right now and
without further delay
, or there might not be a park, or undamaged caverns
left to talk about.

Per the article referenced and previous knowledge of the history of the area, the
Chemehuevi people frequented the caverns for at least a 500 year period. It
is part of their culture, heritage, and history as a people.

It is this blogger’s opinion, that if there had been a Chemehuevi presence onsite, there absolutely would have been no vandalism. Period.

So to the state of California and the state park administration, do yourselves
and the people of California a favor, and pick up the phone and call the Chemehuevi Nation, the tribal government, at (760) 858-4219, and begin the
process of saving this jewel of the California State Park system, now.

Before it is too late and there are no Mitchell Caverns left to protect.

Morongobill

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Music to listen to while reading that great article referenced earlier today and this week.

The article being the “Confessions of a recovering environmentalist.”
http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6599
This music is a Youtube video which plays a good sound quality track with
photographs of the musicians in a collage while the music plays. It is 11 1/2 minutes long and a great piece of mood music. I decided upon this song which
I have long loved, based on a lyric which seems appropriate considering the content of the article.

“If you had just a minute to breathe and they granted you one final wish
Would you ask for something like another chance?”

Somehow I don’t think those behind the wilderness industrialization
would.

Listen in another tab, while reading that article slowly, is my suggestion.

Presented freely just in case I offended any carbonmentalist readers with
my earlier post.

Morongobill

Unabashedly ecocentric, with no intention to change.

For days, off and on, I have been reading Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist over at Orion magazine online- reading a few paragraphs
and then going on to something else, thinking about what was discussed.
Savoring each and every word, in no rush to finish an article which seems
to tell exactly how I have started feeling over the last few years, especially
about the deserts.

Using different terminology than myself, and obviously much better educated,
the writer, Peter Northgate, has pretty much laid it out there in the open, clearly
showing how the environmental movement has been hijacked, and also just
inevitable it was, that it was bound to happen and it did.

In a nutshell, he is saying that some care for nature for what it is and what it represents, others care only as long as nature can be used for man’s benefit,
no matter to the consequences to the environment.

At long last, I know the camp that I belong to, by its’ rightful name.

Having suffered for a long while from doubts, about the purpose of this blog
and my whole purpose for writing it, as inconsequential and inane as it is at
times- the way forward is clear now.

This blog and its’ writer are unabashedly ecocentric. I will make no apologies
for being selfish, for loving the wild and beautiful Mojave as it is now, and as
I hope that it will continue to be.

I make no bones about this fact- left to their own devices, the spreadsheet
toting, never saw a wilderness site that couldn’t be improved by the
addition of wind turbines, solar mirrors, and transmission line- the
carbonmentalists will destroy this Mojave Desert that some love-
working
hand in glove with the government, Wall Street, and the renewable energy
companies, these so called environmentalists or carbonmentalists, will, as the
article states, attempt to reduce evil incarnate carbon in ways such as the
following lines so brilliantly illuminate, “the wild uplands, are to be staked out like vampires in the sun, their chests pierced with rows of five-hundred-foot wind turbines and associated access roads, masts, pylons, and wires.”

Doesn’t that just make you want to pick up your checkbook and write out a great big check to the Sierra Club, or the NRDC, or whoever? Write that great
big old check so that groups like these can keep on aiding and abetting the industrialists’ destruction of wilderness, ignoring their founder’s visions of saving the wild places as they are now, and for all times, so that future generations can enjoy them, so that the history these places symbolize will continue to be handed down from one generation to the next,
in perpetuity.

Yes, something is going to be handed down all right, if the carbonmentalists
win this battle. A raped old earth, wore out, staked down, all beauty gone except for token patches, carefully chosen, and not too many I would bet, to
show how it was, before the evil carbon started taking over, and the
carbonmentalists’ decision to destroy the planet, to save it.

You know something, I still haven’t finished that article. I am still reading a few
paragraphs at a time. I could probably write the ending, myself. I think I know
how it will end, as I have felt these same thoughts for a long time.

I am not going anywhere, I will not stop writing about this issue, and I definitely
will not change one opinion that I have- this modern day environmental
carbonmentalism movement, at its’ very core is simple- all they really are
deep down, is just a bunch of greedy sons of bitches that want to keep
things going, keep the money flowing, keep the power flowing to them
and their cronies, to destroy the earth so that they can justify their new
religious views, using carbon as the pretext to remake the wilderness in their own image.

In other words, it is just the same old shit sandwich, presented to us in a brand
new wrapper, baked to perfection.

They can shove their crap sandwich where their beloved sun doesn’t shine.

Morongobill

Thursday, February 23, 2012

500th post, but relax it is probably the last one for a while.

I was planning on writing about my playing mountain goat yesterday
but noticed the fact that this would be the 500th post.

500 a nice round number.

Out of the 500 posts scribbled here, maybe 20 or so are worth saving. Scratch that maybe 5 or 6.

Those posts I am proud of, but I prefer to end with what was undoubtedly my
most naive post. That was the one where I suggested that perhaps the richer,
casino owning California Indian tribes might want to consider helping out their
less richpoorer relations such as those facing solar destruction over at Blythe,
a post that thanks to server software, I know for a fact was read at the richer tribe headquarters but, as far as I can tell, was a plea that fell upon profoundly deaf ears.

While I am indulging myself in a little self flagellation, I might as well mention
the many times I pointed out the need to stop Ivanpah in its’ tracks via one or
more of the major environmental group players, siccing their lawyers on the
agencies involved in granting the “kangaroo court” approvals for the project
despite all the evidence against it, NEPA, etc-

I forgot the cardinal rule- the golden rule- those groups have the gold, most of
which probably was coming from corporate donors- how naive could I be- the
lack of understanding demonstrated, of how the world really works, was simply
breathtaking, and I kept on stubbornly insisting on putting the idea out there-
a lawsuit filed at the exact right time, might have stopped the industrialists right in their tracks, forcing them to become more amenable to compromise- you see
this, I am still as full of naivety as a Christmas goose is full of stuffing!

That does it, I will be back, if and only when, I recover from this affliction that I so obviously have, and can discuss the desert destruction in a reasonable manner, free of my inherent bias, which I have so obviously been displaying, here in the pages of my own little blog.

Adios!

Morongobill

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Distributed power generation in action, and a lack there of.

Below is a satellite view of the huge Veterans Hospital Center in West Los
Angeles off Wilshire Blvd and the 405 freeway.
ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 21 02.02

Saturday we were running a bus shuttle from the parking lots here to
the Riviera Country Club, for the Northern Trust Open golf tournament.
While I was parked in a line of buses at the curve of Bonsall Ave near the
freeway on the right side, I was pleased to see the following:
IMG_20120218_093115

Where that lawn was, there now are at least an acre+ of pv solar panels.
IMG_20120218_091917

In the above photo looking to the right, notice the panels now providing shade for cars parked below
and making electricity above.
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The view above shows another parking lot with car shade panels up and running. It appears all of the parking lots will
be getting this treatment.

Well this got me thinking about the folks involved with Ivanpah for some
reason, so I did some surfing on the satellite.
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Just part of the Googleplex campus in Mountainview, California- look at all the solar on the roof. Google has invested in
the Ivanpah SEGS solar project.

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At least the NRDC does have solar panels plus other state of the art green energy systems at the Robert Redford
building in Santa Monica, California.
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In this recent satellite view from 2012, you see that the Sierra Club’s rooftop
as well as J.P. Morgan’s building next door, are still bare of solar panels, in
that haven of green-ness, San Francisco.

Why am I not surprised by the last photo above Surprised smile?

Morongobill

 

“Confessions of a recovering environmentalist” by Paul Kingsnorth- read it if you want to know where some of us are coming from when we oppose desert destruction.

Relevant excerpts posted here as screenshots with comments, the full article can be read online here. The Morongobill has just this second finished subscribing to this fine magazine for  two years and I suggest you support it also.

Let me first however say how much I admire this man’s writing skills and how I
felt he had been reading my mind- this is just how I feel but have been unable to express to everyone.
Here is the relevant information that I identify with most strongly.

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Folks, the above attitude is what I meant when I coined the phrase “carbonmentalism” and
”carbonmentalist(s.)” His paragraph below illustrates what I meant when I mention the attitudes
of the “carbonmentalists” when someone dares to oppose their viewpoint, kind of like that
expressed by some of the hardshell religious sects when you bring up young people dancing
or other such “licentious” behavior.

 

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Actually no commentary from me can add, but only detract to this
writer’s words. If you haven’t already done so, click here to read
this absolutely fantastic article. And do consider subscribing.

Coming next as soon as I figure out how to transfer the photographs from
my new Asus Transformer tablet pc to my laptop, proof that at least one government agency does in fact support local power, local distributed power generation, and in a big way.

Morongobill

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I guess “climate change” trumps everything, Pt. 2

I did it. I drove out to the desert near Palm Springs today, planning on taking
a hike and maybe even making a second attempt up that ridgeline running up
Mt. San Jacinto again.

But having traveled on the spur of the moment, and not checking a weather
report, I found the low temperature and intense winds too much for bringing
only a windbreaker, so I decided to just drive around.

In my short drive, I discovered that another good-sized PV solar farm is being built near I-10 and Indian, on the north side of the freeway at the corner of the
freeway frontage road and Karen Avenue, which is just a sandy road heading
north toward the windmills.

I tried to take photographs, but the high winds there defeated my cameras image stabilization, and this is what I ended up with at that project. First up is
a still shot taken from video shot as I drove up Karen Avenue along the projects
western edge.
ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 19 20.14

Then I drove around looking for high ground, but within my digicam lens
range, finally ending up on the frontage road across the freeway, here are
a couple of the better, blurry shots. I am not kidding the winds were fierce.
021912palmsprings 001

021912palmsprings 004

Looking through an opening of the fence, you can see the poles ready for panels in the foreground and finished
ones in the background.
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The above photo was taken from high ground, the solar farm is visible in the distance behind those wind towers.
Note all the vegetation around the wind towers for later on in this post.
Below is the best shot from across the freeway, showing clearly the new solar farm being built.
021912palmsprings 017

So according to the sign, it is about 1 mile west of the Indian Avenue exit off I-10.

After taking these shots, the plan was to follow Worsley Road and parallel
Hwy 62, and try to make up my mind, what to do next. Of course, I ended up
going right by the new solar farm at the junction of Dillon Road and Worsley
where I took quite a few shots, again in intense winds.
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Look at all that bare ground. I guarantee there will be more solar panels mounted later in that spot.
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The photos above are to give you an idea of the scale of this project, using my odometer in the Morongomobile,
it appears to be 3/10 of a mile square.
Now here come some closeups taken from the fence along the Dillon Road side. Again, take a close view at the ground-
on the side of the fence with the panels and on the other side. Take special note of the fence as well.
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021912palmsprings 040

Above, contrast the bare ground underneath the solar arrays with the vegetation which is in the wind turbine area. Which
area do you think would provide shelter and food for animal species and birds, without all the fencing?
021912palmsprings 042

Doubters among you are probably saying to yourself right now- he is being selective, showing only brand new projects-
of course they just bladed it as in all construction projects.

So these photos, taken by me in Yermo near Barstow at the site of the now
decommissioned solar farm which was built years ago by an earlier incarnation
of the company now known as----drumroll please---- and rightly infamous for its’
latest creation in the Ivanpah Valley- BrightSource Energy, and you wonder
why some folks including yours truly, say these "solar “farms” will cause damage which will last in terms of our lifespans, for eternity. Here are some
photos which should make all you “greenies” out there sprout some serious
wood.
021311mnptrip 008

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021311mnptrip 010

After all these years, the ground still looks bare with only a little bit of green.
As I and many other opponents have said all along about some of these projects, the only thing green about some is the money being made by the
industrialists.

These photographs were put up here to make a point about what will happen to the Mojave over the next few years if these projects, and by the way, most
are now going to be pv solar arrays like the ones in all the pics here, get built
out per plan. And of course, with these solar and windfarms will be more roads
being built and more transmission towers and lines, and the other detritus of
the modern industrial age.

You can take that prediction to the bank.

Also here is a photo taken in windfarms showing that at least, all the earth isn’t being scraped bare and denuded of all plant life. I realize that isn’t much to throw one’s hat upon, but it is better than what solar pv does as far as damaging the local environment.
12052011pshike 004

You know, in part one of this post the other day, I was pretty hot under the
collar and dog tired. After having a decent night’s sleep and taking a drive
out to the desert, I now realize that in my rant, I failed to point out the things
in that letter that had a lot to do with me losing it.

I will attempt to rectify that oversight right now with a few screen captures of
offending passages in their manifesto in support of these renewable energy
projects being built out in pristine wilderness.
ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 19 21.12
The above paragraph is from p.1. It is really shameless how they say “right place” and “protect desert ecosystems.”
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The above paragraph regarding the desert tortoise is the perfect example of bureaucratic double speak- I mean you
can’t make this shit up folks! By the time these clowns make their decision, the desert tortoise population may be on
life support. That paragraph was from p.3. The following is from p.5.
ScreenHunter_05 Feb. 19 21.21
The next screen shot is the rest of that section.
ScreenHunter_06 Feb. 19 21.22
The above 2 paragraphs I don’t completely understand but it sounds like they will be building on steep slopes such as bajadas.

And now for the icing on this shitty cake they want us to eat, the paragraph
that pissed me off the most, breathtaking in its’ audacity and hypocrisy!
ScreenHunter_07 Feb. 19 21.25

For those of you not yet hip to the references to Ivanpah and Pisgah, allow me
to give you a quick update. Ivanpah will be home to the being built Ivanpah
SEGS by BrightSource Energy, as well as two others to be built by First Solar,
and if my memory is correct, those two will both be photovoltaic panel farms- you might want to scroll back up to the ground photos above for previews of what is to come there, and Pisgah, refers to K Road Solar’s giant solar farm
planned near Newberry Springs in the Mojave, in an area even richer in endangered species, than Ivanpah.
solarone 007

These aren’t all the things in this letter that piss me off, my thoughts about
one of their refrains- first thing that came to my mind- mitigate, shitigate! They
ain’t gonna mitigate a damn thing! Kind of like BrightSource’s serious mitigation
proposals for all the desert tortoises they are killing, to buy land at higher ground where tortoise’s don’t live, and the bureaucrats accepting the proposal.

I wonder how in the hell they kept a straight face? If I were in their positions, I
would be hard pressed to keep a shit-eating grin off my face, that’s for sure. You talk about selling somebody a pig in a poke!

If this isn’t enough two-faced hypocrisy for you, go take a look at the PEIS
report that all these enviro groups are falling all over for. But that will have to be a subject for another day.

Allow me to again, for the umpteenth time, reiterate what BrightSource’s  kinder
and gentler approach to the land at Ivanpah SEGS really means, and this is especially for those Greens driving around in their electric cars- you know the cars that you plug in to sockets that are probably getting their juice from those so called “clean coal” burning plants over in Navajo country-
the B’S’ers have decided to gently mow the existing vegetation to a height of around 18 inches or so, some plants of course being hundreds of years old, all of this so that their precious heliostatic mirrors can do their jobs without competition, just as they have evicted every damned animal inside their state of the art, 911 antiterrorist fencing, leaving only the birds that can escape being caught in the deadly hot reflections off those mirrors aimed toward the receiving towers, said birds of course risking incineration. Below is a screenshot showing their humane mowing method in action.
ScreenHunter_08 Feb. 19 21.50

The above screen shot was taken from an excellent post over at the Mojave
Desert Blog and can be read here. I strongly suggest that you make that a
daily stop for the most up to date Mojave Desert information, especially regarding renewable energy development.

So there you have it, my day and the reasons for being irritated by that manifesto signed onto by the money grubbing, corporate cash loving, two faced so called environmental groups along with their partners they are so
obviously in bed with, such as First Solar and BrightSource, to name just a
couple.

Read it and weep, then slap yourself upside the old noggin and vow never to fall for their sales pitch again.

Go ahead, do it, I did, and I feel a heck of a lot better.

Those enviros that signed off on this can go straight to hell, as far as I am concerned.

That’s just how we feel about it out on the backporch.

Morongobill

 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I guess “climate change” trumps everything.

Of couuuurrrrrrssssseeeee, I am referring to those paragons of wilderness
preservation, those died-in-the-wool environmental saviors, the modern
day environmental messiahs
- the signatories to a recent letter to the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. Here are screen shots of their signatures
at the bottom of the letter.
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Question for you- can you find the true blue environmental groups listed up
above? Scroll back up, we’ll wait for you.

Find them?

What’s that you said? You said you didn’t see any listed above?

Exactly, there aren’t any listed up above as signatories to this document!

Oh, I am accusing them without providing the evidence? Where is this document located? On the web, go look for it.

Okay, Bill I know you’re tired from working all those hours but you need to give
the folks visiting some information.

go here to view this letter in Adobe Acrobat format.

I bet you haven’t even opened that link yet.

That’s okay, you are not alone. Or if you did open it, you probably can’t understand it.

It’s okay, see one thing that you need to know is that these people really don’t want you to know what is going on; if they wrote it in simple english- what we
speak everyday to our friends and families- We the People might actually rise
up and do something about it.

Nah, people are too busy watching television or playing with their Smartphones.

You want to know something people? I am finally, at long last, after almost
two years of tossing out a few ideas here and there, starting to get it. Now,
I know that maybe, just maybe I may be a few bricks shy of a load, and a
little bit naive- but I think I understand now-

Most people just do not give a damn about wilderness.
And while I am on the subject, they define wilderness as having trees on it. Last time I visited the Ivanpah Valley, I didn’t see a lot of trees. Maybe that is what is
going on- why arguments put forward opposing the
industrialists siting of these solar projects in the deserts vs rooftops seem to be not gaining traction quickly enough to dent the other side’s momentum.

But even though I have evidently been wrong all along, I can relate something that I saw today with my own eyes, that I am quite sure most of you will be
interested in. Today while driving a bus through downtown Brentwood, I
observed about 8 or 9 papparrazzi, sue me if I misspelled that, taking pictures of a young couple pushing a stroller across the street, and my passenger aboard assured me that they were photographing Jessica Alba!

You know I am going to tell you guys something right now. I have f---ing had it
with this modern culture, this age of television and spreadsheets- with the whole damned mess.

The only antidote for all the poison forced down my throat, by this modern day society is to get the hell out of Dodge, to go somewhere far away, a night and day opposite from this fast paced, don’t give a hoot about anyone but me
“civilization.”

And I am really fed up with people such as the ones who signed off on this
ongoing theft of our public lands, all in the guise of saving this planet from
the horrible ravages of cliiiiiimate chaaaaaannnnngggggeeeee.

I will be back here as soon as I get some desert time.

While there are still awesome landscape views that do not include a solar heliostat or a wind turbine.

Whether or not you will be is up in the air.

Can’t say I blame you if you shake the dust off your keyboard and never return.

Good bye.

 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here's some weekend reading for you, guess which one makes me want to yank out the rest of my hair.

http://slvrenewablecommunities.blogspot.com/2012/02/ground-truth-do-we-need-industrial.html

http://www.mojavedesertblog.com/2012/02/beyond-reid-gardner-coal-plant.html


http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2012/02/clearing-up-the-record-on-solar-energy-on-public-lands#readercomments

 Let me give you a hint. The last link is to an article written for a renewable energy trade
site by Ms. Johanna Wald, of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Long time visitors here know my opinion of Ms. Wald, I am sure. However, if you are new here, feel free to type Wald in the search box, left side of this page, to be brought up to speed.

Of course, I intend to give my opinions of these articles, but even though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. I am wore out- 45 hours this week and tomorrow will be 15 hours starting at 0300, that's 3 in the morning, pacific time.

I am off Sunday, then work 2 days, then off Wednesday and Thursday. I am sure that my post will be out by then.

Do yourself and the deserts a favor and read those 3 links. Also feel free to comment on those sights- let your voice be heard!

Morongobill

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Last post for a while.

May I suggest you get your desert news from the sources on the sidebar?

Lots of good stuff to be found in those links.

I am tired. Bone tired. And tired of being stressed.

Just found out that I was outbid, and lost my Sundays and Mondays off, so will be off
this Sunday, work 2 days, then will have Wednesdays and Thursdays off for the next few months, at least until the next bid- we bid for days off at my place of employment.

Looks like this Sunday will do chores like laundry and any desert exploration will have to be
on the next days off.

The good news is at least the hiking trails are not packed midweek nor are the campsites.

My next post will be a desert related post, hopefully a trip report.

Later on dudes.

Morongobill

Monday, February 13, 2012

To hell with Youtube and Google- pulling all my videos-see this post for the reasons why.

Take a look. I don’t know how or why the Google search engine is screwing
up so bad, and I really don’t care. On the one hand, the name “Morongobill”
is out there, but on the other, it appears that folks are vaulting somehow to the top of the video search pile, somehow piggybacking upon me.

Here is the proof from the first 3 pages of search, under the term “mojave cross.” Similar results if you looked under the term "mojave desert cross.”

I probably will end up posting all over at my account at Vimeo.

These are screen shots, the page number is at the bottom.

One thing is for sure, a lot of people thanks to Google are get some bad links now.

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The above link in particular really frosts my bottom. That is not me in that picture and I did not
video that individual. Amazing algorithms by Google!

ScreenHunter_14 Feb. 13 17.55ScreenHunter_15 Feb. 13 17.56ScreenHunter_16 Feb. 13 17.56

All these mistakes just in the first 3 pages! Proof positive of what I have
been saying for a long time, regarding Google software being buggy.
I visited several of those links thinking perhaps I had been linked somehow
by whoever put up the videos but that was not the case. Nowhere was the
name Morongobill anywhere on the video pages nor was I mentioned by them.

So it is all Google.

I know that I do have some ability to get my site high up on Google’s search results but this is high up in the opposite way- I prefer high results generated by the tags used when I post, not from algorithm error.

I first noticed errors like this with my Marshal South Yaquitepec videos
which I pulled from Youtube and sent to Vimeo. Guess I should have
done them all then.

Goodbye Youtube, the videos should all be gone within the next 10 minutes or so.

Morongobill