Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cold Biking, Rock Chip Repair, Tubac and the Administration

It's been cold this week.  Wednesday, Thursday and today we were able to force ourselves to bundle up and get out on the bikes.  Wednesday really sucked, we were under dressed for the weather.  Thursday was better because we unearthed some of our cold weather clothing, such as undershirts, head socks and full fingered gloves.
This is how you prepare your ice cold clothing, fresh from the cold drawers for wearing.  A few minutes in front of a space heater makes the lycra tolerable.

Thursday morning we had Safelite out to repair a rock chip in the windshield.  Again they did not bring a ladder.  Again they put the machine that injects the glass goo into the windshield on top of the ladder.  This time, they employed a new technique and banged on the windshield with a tool to enlarge the chip.   I think next time we are not using Safelite.  The chip they repaired last year, when they broke our ladder, looks like it has not been fixed, a year later.

Yesterday we wussed out on the weather.  Since we had to do something, we decided to drive down to Tubac.  It's about 42 miles south of Tucson.  It's an artsy fartsy tourist trap.  If you go, this is a good place to eat.  Yelp really likes Elvira's, but our experience was that service was glacial and surly, and the food sucked.  We liked this place.

We had a turkey, swiss, hummus, avocado, mango, cucumber and etc. wrap.  It was very good, and did not leave us feeling poisoned as is so often the case with restaurant food.  The decor is eclectic.

After lunch we walked on a trail for a bit.  It was not particularly interesting, and we were freezing.

For more on Tubac, the old posts are here and here.

These are mine tailings.  They stretch for about 20 miles along the freeway.  They are from open pit copper and gold mining.  It's hard to give an accurate photo of just how large they are.
These will never be cleaned up.  Year after year, they will sit here, depositing who knows what in to the ground water, or blowing dust when the wind is up.  The environmentalists have been fighting a new mine to be built north of Tucson.  They want to deposit the tailings on National Forest Land.  Now that we have a new administration, the mine may very well be approved.

The mines.

Close up of one of the mines

Enormous mining vehicle.

Now for the politics.  I can't help myself.  We're one week in.  So far, he's been signing executive orders written by Steve Bannon.  Yesterday it was the Muslim ban.  You'll notice that the three countries that supplied the 9/11 terrorists are not on the list of countries that are banned.  Medical students - banned!  Families from refuge camps - banned!  There have been no terrorists on US soil from the banned countries.  I guess it was the lack of Trump branded hotels that made them good targets.  Pence and Ryan have walked back their previous condemnation of this, and now are just fine with it.  

Today the Washington Post did an article about how Bannon, a right wing conspiracy theorist has been placed on the National Security Council.  (Italics mine)
In a separate presidential memo, Trump reorganized the National Security Council to, along with other changes, give Bannon a regular seat on the principals committee — the meetings of the most senior national security officials, including the secretaries of defense and state.
That memo also states that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs will sit on the principals committee only when the issues to be discussed pertain to their “responsibilities and expertise.” In the previous two administrations, both were included as regular attendees.
This is bad.  Who makes the decision about whether an issue pertains to the DNI or the Joint Chiefs?  Bannon?  Trump?

In other news, Chaffetz (R-Utah) has released the following.
“It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police. If there is a problem your local sheriff is the first and best line of defense. By restoring local control in law enforcement, we enable federal agencies and county sheriffs to each focus on their respective core missions. “The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities.”
He has introduced two bills to accomplish his stated goals.  The article can be found here.  These moves to give away public lands have gone back in Chaffetz’s Utah for a few years now, and they’re funded by American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and therefore the Koch brothers. I do not understand why this is not receiving more attention that it is.  Once public lands are sold and developed, they're gone.

We keep wondering just how bad it's going to get.  After week one, it appears that it's going to get very bad for the animals, the environment and us.


  1. I am very, very we all should be.

  2. Damn. You do an excellent job of summarizing just how awful things really are. Who would have imagined how much damage he could do in just ONE FREAKING WEEK. The thought of four years boggles the mind.

    We actually really enjoyed Elvira's and had excellent food there. Pricey yes, and I can't recall how the service was, but the food when we went was really tasty. Our blog post: That said, the wraps you got sounded amazing and were much healthier. :-)