Friday, July 31, 2009

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?

Read more here.

5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, when I had been caching for 2 months, I stood on Iron Mountain and saw Wolf Rock for the first time. My friends told me there's a geocache up there, and I knew I was destined to go there. A week ago today, I did just that. Thanks to cachers who place awesome caches like these, I enjoy geocaching more today than I did 5 years ago!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Complete, Unabridged Log for "Wolf Rock Challenge."

Wolf Rock Challenge: Geocache Find #1600 for Pablo Mac.

Where do I start? How about the first time I saw Wolf Rock, almost exactly 5 years ago, from atop Iron Mountain. From there, my eyes were fixed on a massive rock monolith a few miles to the south. I was new to geocaching back then, when jobthedog and Cache Dawg told me, "That's Wolf Rock. There's a cache up there, too." From that point forward, I knew I had to answer the call of Wolf Rock Challenge, and, since it's the 4-year anniversary since the geocache was found, today was the day.

I had originally planned to go for this cache with deulist, but his plans changed, causing him to have to miss out on this trip. He assured me there would be no hard feelings if I continued as planned, so I went for it. With less than a week to go, jaynes4jesus contracted Wolf Rock Fever, and he was on board with the plan.

We left home in time to start the hike/climb at 0815 (next time we'll start the climb even earlier, as in 0600). When we parked, we immediately realized we were only .25 miles from the cache… well that plus 900 feet of elevation, but we thought, "How hard can that be?" Two days later, as I finally begin to draft this log, I should let my quads tell you how hard it is.

We spent a few minutes looking for Odder's nearby cache, but, wanting to beat the heat on the summit as much as possible, we put that cache on hold until our main objective was in hand. Just a few feet up the trail from her cache (less than ten minutes from the parking area), we met our first "Uh-Oh" moment: the exposed rock runout from the Amphitheater…

… where we had to traverse a steep slope (well, what we thought was steep at that point) across to try to rejoin the trail. After we somehow made it across that first obstacle, we couldn't find the trail, but it wasn't until our return trip that we realized we should have made that traverse straight across the runout, rather than gaining elevation as we crossed it. More simply: when you cross the first rock slope below the Amphitheater, go straight across, and you'll rejoin the trail in the opposite woodline, unlike us, who made it much more difficult by scrambling & scratching our way up, until we stumbled back onto the trail… just before it ended at waypoint #4: the bottom of the only non-technical (but barely so) gully on the entire rock.

Waypoint #4 was where the real challenge started to become evident to us. It didn't seem so hard at first. It seemed like it would only be a matter of making sure of each handhold & foothold all the way up. The problem came from how the slope slowly became less and less steep as we climbed. That may not seem so bad as you sit in your air conditioned home reading this log, but when you're on that rock, climbing deliberately and methodically from hold to hold, and you can see neither where you started the climb or the top, you don't have much to go on. We couldn't see the top until we were almost at the top, at which point we were pretty much freaking out about just how the heck we were going to get back down.

About a quarter of the way up the gully, my Garmin 60CSx got plucked from out of the clip on my waist, and bounced & tumbled about 30' down. I scrambled down to get it, and it was turned off. It turned on just fine, and only suffered a minor scratch in the replaceable screen protector (note to self: install GPS clip on backpack shoulder strap). About halfway up, jaynes4jesus shouted from about 100' above me, "ROCK!" I looked up toward him, and, sure enough, a rock about 2/3 the size of my head was bouncing toward me! It looked like it was going to stay to my left, and I considered just ducking into the mountain and hoping it wouldn't hit me. I'm glad I changed my mind and watched it roll down, because it changed course and went right for my face! I was able to toss my head right and parry the rock away with my left arm (dang - it didn't leave a scar!), sending it out and away from me. I immediately turned my head to watch and listen to it hit below me, but I never saw, or heard it hit anywhere below me (gulp!). I turned uphill and shouted to jaynes4jesus, "That was so cool! Do that again!"

We grabbed a bite to eat directly above the gully climb, then took a few minutes to scope out our scramble along the knife-edge to the cache. We nervously shared a little discussion on whether we would need a helicopter rescue (we were only half joking), and started traversing the slope, just below the knife-edge and directly above the Amphitheater, taking in the unparalleled views all along the way. When we reached the pinnacle a couple hundred feet shy of the cache, the trail ended with a 30' drop to the east. Not wanting to even consider negotiating the 70ยบ bare granite slope above that dang Amphitheater, we crossed over the edge to the much steeper north face and scrambled down a little section of trail that easily (and I use that term loosely) put us at the bottom of that pinnacle, with the cache almost in sight.

The rest of the way to the cache was as straightforward as the previous knife-edge trekking, and we found the cache in terrific shape. The hiker & climber logs were absolutely fascinating to read, and really served to allay our nervousness about getting back down off the rock: if they could do it, we could do it!

We took our time on top, but not as long as we had originally discussed. We wanted to get on with whatever the descent had in store for us, as much ahead of the heat of the day as we could. We got to the top of the gully and immediately realized the potential to miscalculate the approach and wind up descending the wrong gully. We hugged our GPS units and paid close attention to our track log to make sure we went down the only non-technical gully on the monolith.

When we hit the bottom of the gully (waypoint #4), we took a short break in the shade, and continued down, this time staying on the trail. The traverse across the bottom of the Amphitheater that had intimitated us on the climb now seemed like something we could do cartwheels across. As much as we craved the level ground of the parking area, we put forth the effort to find Odder's cache, and jumped into the truck to find a few more caches.

I have travelled challenging terrain before, but Wolf Rock represented a new level of risk that forced me to focus long and hard on each and every step along the way, because the only alternative is great injury or death (or just staying on the couch to begin with). That may be hard for an armchair cacher to comprehend, but this experience is extremely invigorating and energizing.

Wolf Rock Challenge did not disappoint: this is my 1600th geocache find, and it blows every other cache I have ever found out of the water. Thanx for the fun & adventure!

Get the GPS Track Log here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Principles & Values of the 9.12 Project

The 9.12 Network of Principled Patriots is dedicated to 9 Principles, 12 Values, & the Constitution of the United States of America.

The Nine Principles
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

The Twelve Values
7-Sincerity 8-Moderation
9-Hard Work
11-Personal Responsibility

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor "I Am A Product Of Affirmative Action"

"I am the perfect affirmative action baby." "My test scores were not comprable to that of my colleagues at Princeton or Yale"!

So we are now going to get a Supreme Court packed with "affirmative action babies" whose intellect is sub-standard.

It's funny, if a white person ever suggests that minorities who got through on affirmative action programs weren't as qualified as their white & Asian counterparts minorities will scream bloody murder. But here is Sotomayor herself - ADMITTING - that her intellect was sub-standard and stating the only reason she was there was because of affirmative action!

I guess the truth is out now.

Barbara Boxer Plays the Race Card Again

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mountain Biking + Geocaching

Are you tired of the same old trails? Are you ready to explore new areas? Using your mountain bike and a GPS, you can hunt down thousands of hidden caches throughout the world while discovering new trails and parks!

Read more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visualizing The US Power Grid

NPR has produced an interactive map that shows how America produces and transfers electricity. You can see what our current electrical grid looks like, where there’s solar and wind power to harvest, a breakdown of each state’s power sources, and various proposed improvements to the grid.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Ayatollahs Have It

I Want to Vacation in Slovenia

Federal Reserve = America's Doom

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks....will deprive the people of all property until their children wakeup homeless on the continent their fathers conquered....The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Thomas Jefferson

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson approved the Federal Reserve Act. A few years later, he reflected:

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world -- no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Geocaching with 4>5!

4>5, a blind geocacher based out of Lebanon, Oregon enjoys his first geocache find with Pablo Mac, Aliex, and Dude of Dude/Sweet!

My Favorite Local Mountain Bike Trails

Singletrack, doubletrack, smooth, rocky, flat, hilly, plus a nice jump area - there's a bunch of variety at the "Dikes" trail system in Lebanon, Oregon.

Al Gore Sued By Over 30K Scientists for Global Warming Fraud


The Versatility of "Dude."

Mexico Building Walls to Keep Americans Out

Friday, July 10, 2009

Audit the Federal Reserve

Apologist in Chief

By John Steele Gordon

As far as I know, there is no word in English for the opposite of jingoist. But if there were, its entry in the dictionary would belong next to Barack Obama’s photograph. It seems he can’t set foot on foreign soil without apologizing for this country’s past sins and promising that it will sin no more under his leadership. In doing so, of course, he both disses his own country and praises himself by implication.

He apologized to the Arab Middle East in Cairo. He apologized for American carbon dioxide yesterday at the G-8 summit, managing to imply that it is somehow even more damaging to the environment than other people’s greenhouse gases. He has even apologized to the French for American arrogance and dismissiveness. That’s like some weekend duffer apologizing to Tiger Woods for occasionally playing golf.

If Obama has ever had a good word to say about America or any of this country’s myriad accomplishments (like, oh, leading the liberation France in 1944) and uncountable contributions to the betterment of humankind, I must have missed it.

Does he hate the country he leads? No, of course not. But Obama, like so many on the Left, is predisposed to see his country’s faults rather than its virtues, its failures rather than its triumphs. In this he reminds me of some parents. They love their children, they just expect perfection from them. Therefore praise is never called for and criticism is constant. Their children, unable to meet their parents’ unmeetable standards, have anxiety-ridden, unhappy childhoods. And later the parents — their children grown up and gone — wonder why the kids never come to see them.

I wonder whether this is an element in Obama’s falling popularity. America is not a jingoistic country. But it is a great and a good one and its people know it. Someone should tell the President.

Socialism 100

This just in via email:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked, and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan." All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade, so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, they all failed, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

"DAYAM - She's Mighty Fine!"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Eugenics

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she was under the impression that legalizing abortion with the 1973 Roe. v. Wade case would eliminate undesirable members of the populace, or as she put it "Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."

Continue reading here.

If you're not familiar with the term "Eugenics," start here (sit down first).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Best Pickup Line Ever: "Want to go Geocaching?"

Seen on Reddit:

So I'm in the hallway of my apartment locking the door when the freaking hot girl from down the hall walks past and asks me what I'm up to. I tell her "not much, just getting ready for a Sunday afternoon drive to do some geocaching". Then she gets interested and tells me that she has heard of geocaching before and always wanted to try it out. A few more exchanges about the details and she still sounds interested. Out of nowhere (subconscious part of the brain I guess) I ask her if she wants to tag along, telling her that it shouldn't take more than 45mins-1hr. At this point I'm trying to comprehend what just came out of my mouth but I heard her say "sure, let me go get my sunglasses". Somehow I was able to calmly wait in the hall for the 30 seconds it took her to come back; sort of felt surreal at the time. We got downstairs and hopped in the car. Fortunately she tended to run the conversation so I didn't have to worry about coming up with things to say. After the 15 minute drive to the approximate location of the cache I handed her the GPS and told her that she was in charge. Definitely a premeditated decision because I knew that she would probably need instruction on how to read the GPS. It provided a great opportunity for me to talk/instruct on something that I knew. After 10 minutes of walking we got within a couple of yards of the cache and began searching for it. I found it under a chunk of tree bark and called her over before fully unveiling it. I signed the logbook and re-hid the box. We trekked back to the car and began to drive back. (should have done a tic search, damn) Conversation on the way back was a little bit less rigid and more relaxed. We pulled up to the apartment complex about 50 minutes after leaving. Then we walked up stairs and told I her that if she wanted to, I would probably be going out again next weekend, or that she could go running with me in the evenings if she liked running. She bit off on it, we're going running together tonight!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Non-Sustainable & Non-Recyclable

Special Commentary from United States Senator Jim DeMint

A few months ago, I was on CNN talking about the future of the Republican Party. As I always do, I predicted that we could certainly regain our national majority, if we first rally around our great, unifying principle of freedom. The anchor cut me off: “What the h--- does that mean? … Freedom?”

Anyone wondering why America is losing its freedom can find an answer in that question. After all, how can we preserve and defend freedom if we don’t even know what it is? To help remind Americans of our shared heritage of freedom and to rally them to reclaim that heritage for ourselves and our children, I wrote a book, out this week, called Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide Toward Socialism.

Freedom is not a gift from government, but a right given to us by God. We believe that every human being is endowed with “certain unalienable Rights,” including “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In 1787, our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to forge a new system of government, designed to “form a more perfect union” and guarantee Americans, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “the maximum of personal liberty consistent with order.”

Paramount among the reasons this system succeeded in America was our political and religious culture that accepted the inextricable connection between personal freedom and personal responsibility. It was understood that, for every question in life not answered by government, individuals, families, and neighborhoods must work out answers for themselves. The Founders knew that the natural order of things was for government to expand at the expense of personal liberty, so their Constitution was based on an implicit bargain – the less government does for you, the less government can do to you.

Today, our once-limited federal government has betrayed those founding principles. It tries to be all things to all people, yet despite its good intentions, government action usually does more harm than good. Look around: every system Washington touches – health care, education, energy, infrastructure, mortgage lending – quickly begins to break down. In some recent cases, including the automobile bankruptcies and the Wall Street bailouts, even the rule of law itself has been subordinated to the good intentions of politicians and bureaucrats. And yet government’s solution to the problems it causes is always … more government. To solve problems created by government’s role in our schools or health care, Congress now proposes a complete federal takeover of these systems!

What Washington refuses to understand is that government systems will always fail because they are not free. Private schools perform better than public schools. Private health insurance provides better care than government programs, and controls its own costs. And on and on. Without the competitive pressures and transparency of a free market, government agencies have no motivation to improve their services. After 10 years in Washington, I have concluded that both parties are slow to recognize this one simple fact: freedom works, and government doesn’t.

That’s why I wrote Saving Freedom. Washington simply will not change on its own. To change our politics, we first have to change our culture. We need to remember that freedom demands responsibility. We need to reject politicians who promise us something for nothing, and instead take back both our freedoms and the responsibilities that go with them. We must not only end our growing dependence on government; we must become independent in our own right.

Given the space and choices to make our own decisions, whether in education, health care, civil society, or in business – the American people will thrive, as they always have. But the political class in Washington will not easily return the power it has taken from us – we must take it back, in two ways.

First, we must remake America’s culture of responsibility: in our family life, in our communities, and in our businesses. We must prepare our nation for its rebirth of freedom, so that when government finally does begin to change, our culture and economy can hit the ground running.

And second, this cultural renewal must assert itself in the political arena. Elected politicians are only as unresponsive as their constituents allow. They know that every letter and email and phone call represents hundreds more just like them. They know that Big Government’s worst enemy is an informed citizenry, ready at the next election to punish anyone who infringes on our God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. Get involved, and I promise – we will see results.

Freedom can be saved, but it can’t free itself. Like the patriots of Bunker Hill and Philadelphia, of Gettysburg and Normandy, our generation must now take up that banner for ourselves. Saving Freedom is never easy, but it’s always worth it. Please read Saving Freedom and join the fight!

Obama Nazis Stop July 4th Tea Party