Tuesday, January 24, 2017

HIking, the Blue Ox and the South Dakota Legislature

Sunday was cold, we were weak in spirit and did not ride.  We parked at the Genser Trailhead and walked up Rock Wren trail.  When you reach this sign, one continues on up the hill.  See the hill in the background?  We went behind that hill, then a ways north.  Some day, I will have a better way to express distances.

One continues on, following the trail.  One does not take the right turn, one keeps to the left.

Then there is the giant slab of rock to be crossed.  The trail picks up on the other side of it.

Eventually, after much more uphill, one reaches the top.  The views are pretty good.  The oval shape in the middle, lower third of the photo is the expanded reservoir the city is putting in.  It's large.

It's nice up there.  If there are no planes, there is no noise.

Yesterday was really windy, but warmer.  We walked out into the low part of the Tucson Mountain Park, hoping to get some shelter from the wind.  Hah!  Double hah hah hah!  It was really tedious, the brim of my hat kept hitting me in the face, or flying backwards.

The reservoir is dumping water again.  This stretch has been bone dry since we returned.  Now it is wet.  The bees have not returned to the big tree, so bushwhacking along the edge of the water is not fraught with peril.

Later, clouds moved in and there was a spectacular sunset.  It also rained like heck most of the night, drumming on the roof like a crazed thing.

Today we went to pick up our NEW Blue Ox tow bar.  After about 30,000 miles, the holes that two large bolts go though have stretched.  As you no doubt recall our previous experiences with stretched holes in the frame rails, we take no chances with towing equipment.  Anyway, the bolt going in towards the guy's hand was loose.

The bolt about mid-photo was also loose.  They're loose because the holes have elongated.  Applying new bushings would tighten them up for an undetermined amount of time.  Then the tow bar would fail.  So, we traded in our old one, and bought a new one.  It sort of boggles the mind that it only made it 30,000 miles, and that's with replacing one arm while it was under warranty.  However, the guys at the shop said they see a lot of this. 

How many of you are South Dakota residents?  Do you remember the anti-corruption bill that was on the ballot last November? The bill that was approved by the residents of SD?  The gist of the bill is this.
The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act makes it illegal for lawmakers to receive more than a total of $100 annually from lobbyists in the form of “any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium, beverage, meal, food, or other thing of value made or given directly or indirectly.
The lawmakers did not like this bill.  So they did this.
In an unprecedented maneuver, state lawmakers are planning to declare a state of emergency so their repeal of the Anti-Corruption Act would take effect immediately, and deny voters their right to another vote on the measure through a veto referendum,” the statement explained. “The bill guts all of the Act’s provisions, including creation of an independent ethics commission, limits on lobbyists gifts to politicians, tougher penalties for bribery, stronger transparency, and a two-year ban on politicians becoming lobbyists when they leave office."
The article I have just quoted can be found here.  Washington Post also covered the story and it can be found here.  It makes me wonder why we bother to vote on anything, anywhere, for any reason. It also makes me wonder why elected officials feel that they can ignore the will of the people.

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