That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
The Way of Water Oregon State University Geography PhD Student, Jennifer Veilleux, records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about transboundary water resources development in the Nile River and Mekong River basins. Particular attention is given to Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos' Xayaburi Dam projects.
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
This Day in Water History Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
Watering the Desert Aptly-titled blog by CJ Brooks, a lawyer-hydrologist-geologist from Tucson, AZ.
Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
WaterWired All things fresh water: news, comment, and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University.
Watery Foundation Tom Swihart, formerly of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, tells all about water management in the Sunshine State.
Western Water Blog The 'mystery blog' about Western USA water issues. What more can I say?
Honduras, a Central American nation of 7.9 million people, has had close
ties with the United States over many years. The country served as a base for U.S. operations in Central America during the 1980s, and it continues to host a U.S. military presence and cooperate on anti-drug efforts today. Trade and investment linkages are also long-standing, and have grown
stronger in recent years through the implementation of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Migration is another central concern in bilateral relations; over 702,000 Hispanics of Honduran origin live in the United States—nearly two-thirds of whom are foreign born. Although the U.S.-Honduras relationship was somewhat strained as a result of the 2009 political crisis in Honduras, close cooperation quickly resumed in 2010. Since then, broad U.S. policy goals in Honduras have included a strengthened democracy with an effective justice system that protects human rights and enforces the rule of law, and the promotion of sustainable economic growth with a more open economy and improved living conditions.
Porfirio Lobo, who was inaugurated president of Honduras in January 2010, is now in the final six months of his term. Lobo assumed power after seven months of domestic political crisis and international isolation that had resulted from the June 2009 ouster of President Manuel Zelaya. While the strength of Lobo’s conservative National Party in the legislature has enabled his administration to pass much of its policy agenda, Lobo has had limited success in resolving the many challenges facing Honduras. His efforts to lead the country out of political crisis, for example, have helped Honduras secure international recognition but have done little to rebuild confidence in the country’s political system. Lobo is constitutionally ineligible for another term, and presidential, legislative, and municipal elections are scheduled for November 24, 2013. Several new parties have been established to contest the elections and early polling suggests that Honduras’ traditional two-party system is fracturing.
Security and Human Rights
The poor security and human rights situation in Honduras has continued to
deteriorate under President Lobo. Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, and common crime remains widespread. Moreover, human rights abuses—which increased significantly in the aftermath of Zelaya’s ouster—have persisted. A number of inter-related factors have likely contributed to this situation, including the increasing presence of organized crime, weak government institutions, and widespread corruption. Although the Honduran government has adopted a number of policy reforms designed to address these challenges, conditions have yet to improve.
President Lobo also inherited a weak economy with high levels of poverty and inequality. Honduras suffered an economic contraction of 2.4% in 2009 as a result of the combined impact of the global financial crisis and domestic political crisis. Although the economy has partially recovered, with estimated growth of 3.3% in 2012, the Honduran government continues to face serious fiscal challenges. The central government’s deficit has been growing in recent years. As it has struggled to obtain financing for the budget, public employees and contractors occasionally have gone unpaid and basic government services have been interrupted. Honduras also continues to face significant social disparities, with over two-thirds of the population living in poverty.
Members of Congress have expressed considerable interest in Honduras since the 2009 political crisis, focusing in particular on the state of the country’s democratic institutions as well as the significant security and human rights challenges that have plagued the country in recent years. These issues have continued to attract interest in the 113th Congress. Members of both houses have sent letters to the State Department expressing concerns about human rights abuses, and Congress chose to maintain human rights restrictions on aid to Honduras in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-6).
This report examines current conditions in Honduras as well as issues in U.S-Honduras relations.
Yep, you've got that right. The Hotel America, O & O by a Chinese corporation. I tell people to look for the 'Coca-Cola' sign. Makes sense, right?
No complaints here - it's right near the fabled south end of the airport, the City Mall, and every fast-food store you can imagine (and some you can't). Fifty bucks per night for a king bed, 90-channel cable TV, A/C, free breakfast, furnishings right out of Mad Men, hot water, and flawless WiFi provided by the Chinese Army.
I am kidding about that last statement. I Googled 'China sucks' and a bunch of sites came up.
"Those who do not study are only cattle dressed up in men's clothes." - Chinese proverb
"Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose that our views of science are ultimate; that there are no mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete, and that there are no new worlds to conquer." - Sir Humphry Davy (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) (thanks to Jerry Sehlke)
Okay, not really.Toncontín International Airport(TGU) has shed its retro bus station look for a
beautiful new terminal building. It is still one of the world's most dangerous airports: it sits in the middle of the city, has a relatively short runway by international standards, and is surrounded by mountains. Not conducive to confidence when you are landing, that's for sure!
But part of an 'annoying' hillside has been removed and the runway is longer. Plus a road that skirted one end of the runway has been closed. There used to be a stoplight there for vehicles when planes were landing or departing (see this video and related ones). Oh, by the way, the other end of the runway ends abruptly at an embankment that slopes down into the city.
I have landed there 4 or 5 times. Each time, the passengers (myself included) broke out in spontaneous applause upon hitting the runway and hearing the squeal of the brakes. A set of tires probably lasted a couple of landings.
I have heard that gringo pilots - United (former Continental flight from Houston), Delta (Atlanta), and American (Miami) fly there - like to fly high then make a steep descent, whereas the more confident Central American pilots (mainly from TACA, the El Salvador airline) will fly lower, hugging the topography. But oddly enough it was the crash of a TACA flight on 30 May 2008 that prompted the closure of the airport to international flights for a month or so and some improvements in safety.
One of my funniest (but not at the time) experiences regarding TGU occurred in the USA. My wife and I were having three undergraduate students over for dinner on the eve of our flight (the students and me) to TGU. At dinner, Mary Frances nonchalantly mentioned, 'Oh, and I'm sure Michael's told you that you're flying into the world's second most dangerous airport, hasn't he?' The looks on their faces told her that she had said the wrong thing. So much for trust...
But we made it, and flying into TGU was far safer than my driving a 4WD Toyota pickup in Tegucigalpa and southern Honduras!
"There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror." - Orson Welles
Near North Falmouth. I thought I saw some lead ingots stacked near the barn.
Coonamessett Pond near North Falmouth, MA.
"Cape Cod is the bared and bended arm of Massachusetts: the shoulder is at
Buzzard's Bay; the elbow, or crazy-bone, at Cape Mallebarre; the wrist at Truro; and the sandy fist at Provincetown, — behind which the State stands on her guard, with her back to the Green Mountains, and her feet planted on the floor of the ocean, like an athlete protecting her Bay, — boxing with northeast storms, and, ever and anon, heaving up her Atlantic adversary from the lap of earth, — ready to thrust forward her other fist, which keeps guard the while upon her breast at Cape Ann." - Henry David Thoreau
(being a semi-truthful account of my travel adventures, designed to amuse, befuddle, and to be read with a dose of skepticism)
Kazakhstan. The name conjures images of Mongol horsemen sweeping across the steppes. The Silk Road. Majestic mountains. Silos brimming with Soviet nuclear-tipped missiles. The movie Air Force One. Borat. But University of New Mexico professors? Yes, in our never-ending search for contracts, grants, and indirect cost return, several of my colleagues (Tim Ward, Bruce Thomson, and Greg Gleason – none of whom had anything to do with this report) and I are working with the Eurasian National University (ENU) in the capital city of Astana to help faculty there develop a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management and Engineering. Bruce (a civil engineer), Greg (a political scientist) and I just returned
from a visit from there and have much to report, some of it actually true.
Kazakhstan is a former Soviet republic, which found itself thrust into independence in late 1991, when the Soviet Union broke up. It also found itself, along with Ukraine and Belarus, a major nuclear power overnight, as the Soviets kept a lot of their missile silos there (better Kazakhstan get nuked, right?). Wisely wishing to avoid the infamous “WMD/Axis of Evil” tag, Kazakhstan, with our blessing and to our relief, decided to dismantle the nukes. When asked by Congress if all of them were gone, George Tenet, then CIA Director, enthusiastically uttered words that would return to haunt him: “Yep. It’s a slam dunk!” Kazakhstan faced an immediate crisis, however – what to do with hundreds of empty missile silos. Ingenuity quickly surfaced, and the silos are now used for landfills and for “retraining” political prisoners. It is said that spending a couple of cold, dark months in the bowels (remember that word) of a silo has a way making people “see the light”. But enough about Kazakhstan already.
I had to fly the Kazakhstan national airline, Air Astana, from Almaty to Astana after taking KLM from Amsterdam. I was ready to trash Air Astana, figuring it was like the Chinese domestic airlines (flying those wonderful old Russian TU-154s) or Airzena, the Georgian national airline, which flies planes (2, actually) the likes of which I’d never seen before. But Air Astana was a treat – new 757s, free newspapers, attentive flight attendants (I knew I was not in the USA), on-time departures/arrivals, no scimitars allowed, etc. Air Astana is owned by the government and the UK firm BAE, and recently brought in a Brit, Sir Hugh Jeego, with 35 years of BA experience, to be its President.
Astana has been the capital since 1998. The president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, decided to move the capital from Almaty, the major city and financial and cultural center, to Astana, which was in the country’s interior, on the steppes. By contrast, Almaty, with its beautiful tree-lined streets, was located in the south, near other countries, and framed by the gorgeous Tian Shan Mountains. So how do Astana and Almaty compare? Think Brasilia vs. Rio de Janeiro; Albany vs. New York City, Sacramento vs. Fresno, Cheyenne vs. Laramie. In other words, no comparison. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
President Nazarbayev, who bears a resemblance to Tom Ridge, is the former Communist party chief who miraculously became a democrat (that’s with a small “d” – a very small“d”) overnight. But he doesn’t appear to meddle, acting more like a father-figure (remember Ward Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver?) and stepping in when the “children” get a bit unruly. He apparently takes this father-figure business seriously, as the new board chair of Air Astana, an attractive young woman, is rumored to have a son who looks like Mr. Nazarbayev (or Tom Ridge, if you catch my drift).
I had been warned about Kazakhstan’s national dish: horse-bowel sausage with noodles. I managed to avoid it until two days before departing, when we had a sumptuous lunch in the Rector’s (that’s rector, folks) office. Towards the end of lunch I was breathing a sigh of relief, when the door flew open and the University’s Research Director brought in a steaming plate of the morsels. My first thought? Finally – a good use for a university research director – waiter. My second thought? Unprintable. But actually the stuff wasn’t bad, and I would not have known it was horsemeat (it was, right???) had I not been told.
Since the Rector had us around, he decided to show us off and invited us to a conference ENU was hosting the next day. We could not decline, although it sounded like a psychobabble-type meeting dealing with anomie, dysfunction, isolation, etc. The keynote talk was something like Grieving Towards Healing or some such. We thought of a couple of talks we could give, providing a vantage point from our professions. How about Extreme Social Isolation: The Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, or The Loneliness of the Stream Gauger; or A Modern Societal Dilemma: Why Sanitary Engineers Are Civil But Civil Engineers Are Not Sanitary.
Let’s get serious for a moment. Remember every so often you’ll hear of an incoming international flight diverted to some place like Bangor, Maine, because a suspected terrorist is on board? This happened last year to Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), when the DHS realized he had not written a decent song since Here Comes My Baby in the late 1960s and wisely put him on its “no-fly” list. So why was he allowed to board the plane at Heathrow? Because the airlines do not have to check passenger lists against the no-fly list until the plane has departed. I am not prevaricating here, folks. Do you believe this? In fact, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has pressured DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to change this. Chertoff said he would address this as soon as he finished listening to Tea for the Tillerman backwards, a record reputed to contain encoded terrorist messages. One Chertoff admonition: don’t play Shirley Ellis’ The Name Game with Schumer’s first name.
Traveling overseas is usually enjoyable. Lately I have taken to wearing my IAEA logo T- shirts, which gets me lots of airline upgrades and approving nods from the Euros. The IAEA still has cachet, and as long as I don’t tell people what the IAEA really does in Vienna I’m okay. I would not wear such a shirt to Iran and thought better of wearing it to Kazakhstan. I used to wear National Geographic shirts, given to me in quantity by my late younger sister Ann. I always thought that doing so would have some benefit till Ann told me that she never wore them, especially on certain foreign airlines, because some of the NG photographers had really bad reputations as prima donnas (“What? No chilled Tanqueray gin?”, “Pretentious? Moi?”). But then again, I don’t fly the kinds of airlines she did, which had names like Aeromuerto (Paraguay).
No doubt you are all as relieved as I to learn that we are no longer fighting a Global War On Terror, but a Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. No more GWOT; it’s GSAVE from now on. I feel so much safer!
With that, it is time to go. Till next time.
"You can train a puppy and it will later bite you in the calf; you can train a blind man how to shoot a gun and he will later kill you." - Kazakh proverb
"Kazakhstan is the greatest country in the world; all other countries are run by little girls." - Borat
United was certainly promoting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the greatest thing since the Lockheed Electra- ooops - check that - sliced bread. As I'd sit back in my economy-plus seat awaiting the safety video, Jeff 'Slick' Smisek, dapper CEO of United Airlines, would appear and start yammering about the amazing 787. He would be followed by 'regular people', a chorus line of smarmy UA employees trumpeting the features of the all-plastic...I mean carbon-fiber...airliner.
I suspect those ads have been pulled and I'm sure flyers are now checking what type of plane they will be flying before buying a ticket. After all those delays, it seems like the Dreamliner acquired a flaw that those of us with laptop computers worried about a few years ago: lithium-ion batteries and their proclivity to spontaneously combust.
No worries, right? Boeing can fix that problem, just like they did with the engines of the 747. All new planes have 'teething problems', right? Well, yeah, but not like this.
In the current (4 February) issue of The New Yorker, James Surowiecki explains it all in his article,'Requiem for a Dreamliner?'. In it, he describes Boeing's plan to save money by outsourcing to a degree they never had before:
Under these conditions, getting the company to commit to a major project
like the Dreamliner took some doing. “Some of the board of directors would rather have spent money on a walk-in humidor for shareholders than on a new plane,” Aboulafia says. So the Dreamliner’s advocates came up with a development strategy that was supposed to be cheaper and quicker than the traditional approach: outsourcing. And Boeing didn’t outsource just the manufacturing of parts; it turned over the design, the engineering, and the manufacture of entire sections of the plane to some fifty “strategic partners.” Boeing itself ended up building less than forty per cent of the plane.
This strategy was trumpeted as a reinvention of manufacturing. But while the finance guys loved it—since it meant that Boeing had to put up less money—it was a huge headache for the engineers. In a fascinating study of the process, two U.C.L.A. researchers, Christopher Tang and Joshua Zimmerman, show how challenging it was for Boeing to work with fifty different partners. The more complex a supply chain, the more chances there are for something to go wrong, and Boeing had far less control than it would have if more of the operation had been in-house. Delays became endemic, and, instead of costing less, the project went billions over budget.
So we had the triumph of been-counting over sound engineering and project management, at least until things started going wrong.
I call what Boeing did 'extreme outsourcing'. Boeing had outsourced some manufacturing on previous planes - no big deal - but not like with this one. Let the French do the electrical system and the Japanese build the tempermental Li-ion batteries. Cheaper that way, you know.
Based on my limited experience, I will nevertheless propose a law: Campana's Corollary:
"Companies that actually manufacture things, especially those involving public safety, should not be headed by finance, sales, or marketing people."
I imagine the Dreamliner will fly again, but I suspect it'll be a cold day in Hell before Slick Smisek and his employees gush over the 787.
"The safer we get, the safer we expect to be, so the performance bar keeps rising. And this, ultimately, is why the decision to give other companies responsibility for the Dreamliner now looks misguided. Boeing is in a business where the margin of error is small. It shouldn’t have chosen a business model where the chance of making a serious mistake was so large." - James Surowiecki (from the article) [Note: cartoon by Christoph Niemann from the article.]
I suspect the town in the Middle East lays greater claim to that appellation, but the New Hampshire town is the one where I spent the summers from 1959 through 1962, working at the Maplewood Caddy Camp. At MCC a number of boys, almost all from the greater Boston area (my Long Island chum Peter Xeller and I were two of the outliers) toiled as caddies for golfers at the Maplewood Hotel, which burned down in the winter of 1963.
My Boston friend Frank Colvario,whom I met there, sent me this recent article from theBoston Globe:
'A tank away' refers to the fact that Bethlehem is one tank of gas away from Boston.
Actually, you should be able to get up and back on one tank - it's only about 150 miles one way. It lies on the edge of the gorgeous White Mountains (shown here, from Wikipedia). Beautiful area!
The top photo is from the article and shows the main street, US Route 302, looking east. The taller peak on the right is Mt. Washington, the highest mountain (6,288 feet or 1,917 meters) east of the Mississippi River outside of the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
Sure brought back some wonderful memories.
"Live free or die." - Official motto ofNew Hampshire
I saw this monument while walking along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL, this morning. Thought it was appropriate for Veterans Day.
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." -Woodrow Wilson
Barney Popkin's latest missive, from back home in Tucson.
But first, his message:
Hello all, hope y'all are well. I am now back in Tucson, Arizona after 26 hours of international travel from Islamabad through Dubai and Atlanta. Atlanta's Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport claims to be the world's biggest airport. In the South, if you ask a preacher if you are going to Heaven or Hell, he'll tell you, "I don't know, but for sure you'll be going through Atlanta!" Back home, LSW is rigorously campaigning for our young, Harvard-grad, Navajo niece running in a Democrat primary for the first Native American Representative to our U.S. House of Representatives. I wish her a long and prosperous life but not in politics as she favors everything I oppose - socialism, larger government, environmentalism, unions, gay marriage, federal handouts, increased taxes on working people, etc. Nonetheless, it's "history" in the making. LSW sees the "history" as the rise of Native American and people of color power. I see the "history" as the budding dictatorship by democracy over good public law and policy, over the domination of the beneficiary majority here at home - the tyranny our founders fear would happen if we abandoned representative, Constitutional republican government. Ugh, now back to trying to got sleep once more out of schedule, swollen eyes and throat and loose, well no need to go into that. Oh, good to be home after three weeks of lock-down, swim in my own pool, rough-house with my own dog, and kiss my own LSW. Yahoo!
Self-promotion alert! Ten years ago today, the IRS granted the nascent Ann Campana Judge Foundation temporary 501(c)(3) temporary as a publicly- supported nonprofit organization. In 2007 we acquired permanent.determination as a 501(c)(3).
Its mission statement is simple:
The Ann Campana Judge Foundation exists to promote, undertake, support, and fund philanthropic projects focused on potable water, sanitation, and health in developing countries.
Loring Green, Mary Frances Campana, and I serve on the Board of Directors. Check out its officers, projects, and financials (990-EZ forms).
Since its beginnings, the ACJF has raised almost $300,000 - not a lot by most standards - to support water and sanitation projects in a number of countries. It now focuses on Central America, especially Honduras (see map at left) and Nicaragua. We've focused on those two countries because we are getting to know the landscape - political, social, topographic, cultural, etc. Best to work in those areas you know better than others.
From a foundation that supported others, the ACJF is now undertaking its own projects in Honduras (see small map above) and has an informal partnership with the Municipio (analogous to a county) de Omoa(see map to the right) in Honduras, located on the coast in the northwest corner of Honduras near Guatemala. The projects are gravity-flow surface water projects for potable water. We work in the rugged Sierra de Omoa.
One potable water project, Brisas de Rio Cuyamel, was completed last summer. The photo shows the tank with me and friend Rolando López on the far right. Rolando acts as our facilitator; we could not work here without him.
Alex Uriel del Cid, a teacher by profession and also an Omoa city councilman, does the technical stuff. Alex has been instrumental in getting Omoa to help out by providing in-kind services such as 4WD trucks, human power, etc.
I once asked him why he worked in the remote Sierra de Omoa, he said that the people there had no political power so the politicians ignored them and the NGOs would not work there because the chances of failure were too great. I immediately knew this was a man with whom I would like to work.
Omoa MayorRicardo Alvaradohas also been a huge supporter. Here's a photo of him presenting me with a certificate of appreciation. Rolando is on the right.
We are currently working in Los Mejias, a village of several hundred persons. The project should be completed by the end of August.
Total cost to the ACJF is about $22,000. The Brisas de Rio Cuyamel project cost about $9,000.
Here's a photo of some GI pipe that will be used to link the small dam to the 5,000 gallon tank. The smiling man to the right of the pipe is Alex.
We are scoping out additional projects in including Rio Abajo (Omoa) and El Pacayalito (Santa Barbara). We'll also have to raise a fair amount of money, probably about $20K - $25K for each project.
Want to donate? Your money will be put to good work. Only about 2-3% will go to administrative costs.
Several things I've learned:
1) Think sustainability! If you can't do sustainable projects, don't do them at all (thanks to Ned Breslin).
2) Solve the global access to water issue one village at a time. You can't do everything everywhere.
3) Appropriate technology and solutions only, please! [See #1]
4) ¡Muy tranquilo, por favor!
It's been a great ten years. But I'm just getting started; I'm looking forward to ten more.
“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” - Betty Reese
A Polish nobleman is riding by a Jewish ghetto some centuries ago. He sees several targets painted on the outside of the walls and upon closer inspection, notes that most of the bullets are exactly in the target center. He is surprised to see this, and asks around, “Who is such a good shot?” Several people tell him it’s Moshe, the tailor’s young son. The nobleman is determined to meet the youngster and see what he might learn from him. Making arrangements, the nobleman meets the young man and asks him how he has so perfected his armament skills. Moshe replies, “Why should I be a bad shot? It’s simple, you see: first, I shoot at the wall. Then, I paint the target around the bullet!”
Had a great trip up to Banff. Just a glitch or two along the way.
There was an Idaho State Police checkpoint at the WA-ID border. The troopers were turning back cars bearing 'Save The Wolves!' or 'I Brake For Liberals' or 'Obama 2012' bumper stickers. Fortunately, my Starbucks cup was hidden from view as was my 'NRA sucks' T-shirts. Trooper Haywood U. Gonow snarled, but stamped my passport. I spent Sunday night in Coeur d'Alene preparing for my assault on the Canadian border on 4 June.
I arrived in the Banff area about 4 PM local time today after a short (about 325 miles or 525 kilometers) trip from Coeur d'Alene, which is about 100 miles (160 km) below theCanadian border. The trip through northern Idaho was gorgeous, and served to prepare me for what was in store.
I passed the beautiful, deep (c. 1,150 feet or 350 meters) Lake Pend Oreille, where the U.S. Navy still tests underwater detection devices.
Here is a picture of the Kootenai River Valley just north of Bonners Ferry, about 10 miles south of Canada.
As I drove north on Highway 95, my mind would wander to thousands of years ago, when huge floods, precipitated by the failure of the ice dam containing ancient Lake Missoula, shaped the landscape, especially the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington (see my earlier WaterWired post, The Great Lake Missoula Floods). Some evidence now suggests that additional sources in Canada augmented the Lake Missoula waters. Regardless of the sources, the floods were so huge that the effects propagated as far away as my home area, the Willamette Valley of western Oregon.
I crossed into British Columbia at Eastport, ID, with nary a problem. Just a few questions from the Canadian border official and a perusal of my passport sent me on my way.
My 45-year old knowledge of structural geology, learned in the folded Appalachians, ill-prepared me for an understanding of what I was about to see. Pretty soon I I was staring at the gorgeous Rockies, a sight that would only become more spectacular.
I even stumbled upon the source of the Columbia River!
As I entered Kootenay (different spelling in Canada) National Park a sign warned methat bears were on the roadway. Sure enough, a few kilometers later I encountered a momma and her two cubs taking a leisurely stroll across the road (Highway 93).
Here is a picture of me in KNP with the Rockies in the background. The view is to the southeast. At this point I am about 50 miles(80 km) from Banff.
After a few more hours of work and perhaps a brief trip toLake Louise, it's off to a 5 June meeting with the CWRA Board of Directors.
Good week ahead.
"Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice." -- Will Durant
Just like he didlast June the President-For-Life is about to embark on a solo road trip in the official state vehicle - the 2003 Toyota MR2, Platita ('little silver one' in Spanish). The PFL and First-Lady-For-Life are childless, so like most childless couples, we give names to inanimate objects. Pathetic,we know.
Here is the latest newsletter from my former graduate school officemate Barney Popkin, globe-trotting water, environmental, and energy consultant. It has some good advice on staying balanced and focused.
Friend and former graduate school officemate Barney Popkin is on another trip, wrapping up a trip to Manila for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Here is his fourth seriocomic report (read the first one, thesecond one, and the third one).
Friend and former graduate school officemate Barney Popkin is off on another trip, this time to Manila for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Here is his third seriocomic report (read the first oneand thesecond one).
Here's Barney giving a geography lesson, indicating how well Americans know the whereabouts of Philippines.
"The people who illegally cross into the country are from countries that have very close ties to al Qaeda, whether it's Yemen or Afghanistan, Pakistan, China. It is an absolute national disgrace." - Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
Firend and graduate school roommate Barney Popkin emailed me a week or so ago saying that he heard in October 2010 - Halloween, no less - that I had died of swine flu. So he emailed me to see if I was alive, and I responded in the affirmative. So I am back on his email list, and here is his latest missive.
I just finished aroad trip with Platita and kept her top down the whole time. One of the reasons I take these trips is to play a lot of music and refresh my memory of all the songs I've collected over the years.
When I first got an auto cassette player in 1990, I binged and taped a bunch of songs. These tapes have lasted far longer than I thought they would and I should probably get them trasnferred to CDs before they die completely.
An aside about auto stereo systems: I could never understand why you needed a 200W stereo system to fill such a small space. Then I got a convertible.
So here are my Top-Down, Top-Ten for this most recent road trip, in no particular order.
1)Urgentby Foreigner (1981). Quintessential 80s song about excess. Reminds me of...never mind. Junior Walker's saxophone solo is arguably the best of the rock era (apologies to Clarence Clemons and Raphael Ravenscroft). Urban legend has it that the group was recording this in NYC and heard Walker was gigging nearby. They asked him to play and he recorded it on the first take.
2) Feelin' Alright by Joe Cocker (1969). If the original version by Traffic was on 'ludes, then this one was on coke and meth. Cocker really rocks, and his band cooks like few others have. Percussion and piano make it go. And the backing singers (Brenda Holloway et al.)! The song was not a big hit but has evolved into a cult classic.
3)Pushin' Too Hard by The Seeds (1965). From the drug-addled (or close to it) brain of Sky Saxon (born Richard Marsh in SLC) the Seeds were a psychedelic garage-rock band in LA and had some success for a brief time in the 60s. Saxon, who had resurrected his carerr in recent years, died in 2009.
4) Easy Lover by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins (1985). What can I say? There are some great live versions on YouTube although none with Philip Bailey; my favorite is this one from Paris (yes - despite the Spanish at the beginning) with co-writer and bassist Nathan East singing Bailey's part (2007). The band looks like they are having a real blast. The guitar virtuoso Daryl Stuermer solos,
5) Since I Don't Have You by the Skyliners (1959!). Jimmy Beaumont's vocal is one of the best of the doo-wop era; he's really torn up. Co-writer (with Beaumont) Joe Rock wrote most of the lyrics while sitting in his car between stoplights; his girl had just left him. Now listen to this version (1993) from Guns N' Roses - Puhh-leeze, Axl!
6) I Fought the Law by The Bobby Fuller Four (1965). Fuller was found dead in a car just as this song was climbing into the Top Ten. The LA police ruled it suicide, although friends and family, to this day, claim he was murdered. This song is one of the most covered in rock history; that os no wonder given the subject matter. The Clash released a version in 1979; the song takes on a whole new meaning when they do it.
7) Jive Talkin' by the Bee Gees (1975). This launched their second career. Originally titled Drive Talkin', the chunka-chunka-chunka sound at the beginning is based on the sound a car makes as it drives over the Biscayne Bridge in Miami. I wasn't a big fan of disco or the Bee Gees' new sound, but this song is one of my favorites.
8) One Toke Over The Line by Brewer and Shipley (1970). If this doesn't recall the 60s, then no song does. It was apparently written as a joke and when sung by Gail and Dale on The Lawrence Welk Show, Welk commented, "There you've heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale." Duhhh. Tom Shipley lives in Rolla, MO, where he is part of the staff of Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly the University of Missouri - Rolla). He is manager of learning, video, audio, and other special video productions for the university. Michael Brewer lives near Branson, MO.
9) Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves (1985). The definitive summer song - upbeat, breezy, and all that. I did not realize that these folks were from the UK; I would have guessed SoCal. A true top-down song. Crank it up!
10) Yellow River by Christie (1970). Another upbeat, positive song. Originally written for the Tremeloes, who recorded it but declined to release it. On the hit version for Christie, Jeff Christie sings lead but the Tremeloes are actually playing the music. The Blakley brothers were in the bands - Mike in Christie, Alan in the Tremeloes.
That's it. Next road trip, I will undoubtedly have a different suite of songs,
"We don't like their sound; groups with guitars are on the way out." -- A Decca Records executive, after declining to sign the Beatles (1962)
I spent the evening of 24 June in Winnemucca, NV, after a lesiurely 480-mile (770 km) drive from Corvallis.
As you can see, the welcoming sign is pretty sedate considering this is Nevada. I was expecting a garish sign replete with flashing lights and young, happy, beautiful people cleaning up at the dollar slots. And the motto just blew me away. Understated, for sure.
I need to give a shout-out to the good folks at the Les Schwab Tire Center in Winnemucca. They took care of a minor problem with Platita and got me back on the road by 8:15 AM. And no charge! Why not? I don't know, but for all your tire and brake needs, visit the nearest Les Schwab Tire Center near you and tell them the President-for-Life sent you!
As I drove across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats on I-80 the sun shone brightly and I was glad to have a good pair of sunglasses as the glare was something else. This photo was taken looking west towards Nevada, after I had traversed much of the flats. To get a better sense of what I had driven acrossclick here.
After a great two-day drive from Corvallis, Platita (top down all the way) and I arrivced in Salt Lake City in the late afternoon of 24 June 2011. It was quite enjoyable hitting the highways in Nevada and Utah, where the interstate speed limits are 75 mph (120 kph).
Yesterday I took a little side trip to the gorgeous Heber Valley,east of SLC on I-80 and then south on Highway 40 a few miles beyond Park City. Friend Donna Packard lives there, where she is a ski instructor in the winter and park ranger in the summer.Here she is doing some pruning on a fruit tree she planted in the park.
She then took me to Homstead Crater, where people snorkel and scuba-dive in the turquoise thermal waters.
The President-for-Life is about to embark on a solo road trip in the official state vehicle - the 2003 Toyota MR2. The car's name is 'Platita' - 'little silver one' in Spanish. The PFL and First-Lady-for-Life are childless, so like most childless couples, we give names to inanimate objects. Pathetic,we know.
The PFL is heading to Salt Lake City - actually the Snowbird Resort, just east of SLC - to chair a conference of very important water people.
The PFL does this conference stuff from time to time. It makes him feel good.
It's about 800 miles from Corvallis to SLC. The PFL will take the scenic route for much of the way, heading southeast from Bend, then to Burns, then down to Winnemucca, NV, where he'll spend the first night. Then it'll be Interstate 80 to SLC.
I will leave on 23 June and arrive on the evening of 24 June. I will return on 1 July.
Not sure how many more trips like this PFL will be able to take. Many more, he hopes.Driving is therapeutic.
"Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage." -- H.L. Mencken
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