Wednesday, October 11, 2017
We won't be heading to Arizona any time soon...maybe not even at all this year. My back gave out Sunday September 24 and I have been laid up ever since. We've been in and out of more medical offices than I can remember. I've had the obligatory x-rays, MRI, etc. I have a major nerve that's being badly pinched by a bulging disk between the L3 and L4 vertebrae. There have been many times in the past two weeks when the pain has been Class 10. Generally, I can't stand up for more than a minute or two and can't walk farther than from the house to the car or the car to a medical office. Pickleball is a distant fond memory.
So, there you have it in a nutshell. We're staying here at our Idahome until the above medical issues can be resolved. We do not know how long that process will take. It could be weeks. It could be months. We begin a treatment procedure Friday that may or may not work. If it doesn't work then we will be recommended for back surgery. Due to the location of the "pinch," surgery would be complex and require substantial time for physical therapy and rehab.
We have held off mentioning anything on Facebook about these new circumstances until we knew for certain that there was no way we'd be heading south according to our normal migration schedule.
Susun has been an awesome care giver since the very onset of these circumstances. Clair is an Angel! THANK YOU, Sweetie Susun! We both have a good attitude about our situation. Interestingly, we're both excited about spending the entire winter here, if that's the way it works out.
We both believe everything happens for a positive purpose. We're both looking forward to whatever our new "back to the future" paradigm will bring. We're Happy Campers even if we can't camp any more!
Our Dear Friends may have noticed that we've been posting more frequently on Facebook. That's true. It's because all we can do is sit here in front of the computer so additional posts are a natural outcome of such a circumstance. We don't plan on putting many (if any) future posts about our medical condition. We figured we really needed to let our Dear Friends know we won't be soon showing up in Arizona.
In case you're wondering, there was no specific incident or injury that brought on these circumstances. It wasn't pickleball related in any way. It just somehow appeared. The medical people we've talked with say that's the way it happens with many people. Fickle finger of fate kinda stuff.
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 6:19 PM
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
After well over 60 years of knowing about, playing and honoring the legendary Game of Monopoly, I learn today everything I thought I knew is lies, lies and damned lies!
Charles Darrow did not invent Monopoly. He stole it from Lizzie Magie. And then to add insult to injury, he changed the soul of the game! I have to tell yam Life's Myths die hard and learning all of this today has been a genuine revelation. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The whole story is after all SO monopolistic!
This is the original patent for what would become known as Monopoly. It all started with thisTweet from the US National Archives for #ArchivesGameNight
Here is Lizzie Magie's signature on the patent paper. This NPS story brought my whole Monopoly Myth crashing down around my Get Out Of Jail Free cards:
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/03/382662772/ever-cheat-at-monopoly-so-did-its-creator-he-stole-the-idea-from-a-woman Below is the abstract of the book written about the whole story.The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins. Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily--and richly--ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord's Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game--underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today--was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust. A fascinating social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.
Ah, well, maybe it's better to let sleeping dogs lie.
After all, Monopoly has a Life of its own these days.
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 9:18 AM
Sunday, October 1, 2017
|The camp site we stayed at in Waterton is just a few feet out of view on the right hand side of this photo.|
Sooner or later, ya gotta face reality...
"The long-term impacts on the guest experience and visitation in Waterton are going to be horrific, no question about it. The backcountry is burned to a crisp.
It will be about two decades before the trees in Waterton are taller than people walking through the forest. It could take a century for trees to be full-size again."
It really hurts to look at Alberta's Waterton Lakes National Park photos. It makes me nauseous. But sooner or later, ya gotta face reality and deal with it: the incredibly beautiful area around the Waterton Townsite has been destroyed and will never look the same again in my lifetime. We are so grateful that we went there this August before it was destroyed. Oh, how we would be kicking ourselves if we had let fire smoke deter us. Yes, it was a little smokey (well, a LOT smokey) but at least the innate beauty of the area shined through everywhere we looked. We had one final chance to see the place before it flashed to black. The Waterton Townsite itself was saved from the fire but everything around the Township was burned either by the advancing fire front or by the back burns set to save the village. It's hard to imagine, hard to swallow and hard to face reality. But it's true. Source for quoted narrative above: http://rdnewsnow.com/article/553786/waterton-lakes-national-park-will-take-decades-recover-wildfire Source of the photos: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/securite-safety/feu-fire-kenow/feu-fire-images-05
We visited this exact spot during our stay in Waterton.
Will try to find the photo we took of those two iconic chairs.
We drove up this once lush Valley to visit a pristine glacial lake.
The team started work Monday morning at 8 a.m. MT and continued hard for the next 31 hours. From 9 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. the next morning, there wasn't time to take a break as the fired rolled up within about a hundred metres of the hotel. "The embers were rolling up on the porch of the hotel," Primrose said. "We did get showered with embers, right up to the hotel." With flames encroaching, a rain of embers came all the way to the doorstep of the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. "It was the most intense fire I've ever been involved with, and I was never at that point where I thought we would lose it," said Calgary fire district Chief Jeff Primrose on Thursday. "Not even for a second." A team of about 50 Calgary firefighters, in rotating groups, was sent to the national park to protect structural assets in the hamlet of Waterton as the wildfire approached. Crews from a number of other municipalities including Lethbridge and Taber were also called upon. Calgary's team returned home Wednesday as the risk to the town site declined. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/prince-of-wales-calgary-firefighters-1.4290763 Calgary fire Chief Steve Dongworth said local firefighters in Waterton, tasked with protecting the venerable Prince of Wales Hotel and other buildings, endured a hectic night facing down the massive blaze as it surged into the townsite. “To me, watching the fire coming down the valley at pace would have been very intimidating, and when the fire did arrive, it was very close,” he said, noting the crew worked in excess of 24 hours. “The building is unscathed to the best of my knowledge.” RELATED LIVE: Stay tuned here for real-time updates on the fire and evacuations Dongworth said crews in Waterton had been dousing the 90-year-old hotel with water and fire retardant foam in advance of the blaze. The hotel’s location, surrounded by grassland instead of forest, also helped keep it safe, said the chief. Calgary crews were able to quickly snuff flying embers from the wildfire, some the size of baseballs, which posed the greatest danger to the structure, Dongworth said. “We had a solid plan in place and we told them although the structures are valuable, none of them are more valuable than the lives of any of our people,” he said. http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/securite-safety/feu-fire-kenow
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 2:23 PM
Monday, September 25, 2017
We ordered this new paddle for Susun at 8 AM, September 20. It was tracked as "shipped" a mere one hour later. It finally arrived at 1:45 PM, September 25. It left Kent, Washington, and then went to Seattle. From Seattle it went to Boise and then Twin Falls. For some inexplicable reason it went back to Boise. After sitting in Boise for awhile it went back to Twin Falls. It stayed in Twin Falls for quite awhile and then went to Salt Lake City. The tracking records show it left Salt Lake but then came back to Salt Lake. Finally it left Salt Lake City and went to "points unknown" because it took 26.5 hours to get from Salt Lake to Idaho Falls...a journey that is normally four hours. That's why we are so danged delighted to finally have it here.
Susun actually used this paddle (or I should say a demo of this paddle) in Stanley, Idaho, on Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10. Many Thanks to Bill Hart for allowing her to use his demo paddle. Also Thanks to Bill for providing the discount code for Sawtooth Pickleball that saved us 5% on the purchase.
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 2:05 PM
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
|Icing on the cake! we've logged 1.22 inches of precip out of this!|
Yes, The Fall Season came in with a BANG. That's often the way it goes here. Flip a switch, change a season. It's cold enough for us to flip our own switch and turn on the gas, force-air furnace. Seriously. It's cold enough to fire up the heated mattress pad!
Yes, in the middle of a brutal Idaho winter, mid-40's would be considered Truly Tropical. But when it's been upper 80's pushing 90's for daily highs for what seems like forever, a sudden drop into the mid-40's is downright cold. It takes awhile for our human physiology to adapt to these sudden changes.
It was only a few days ago that I enjoyed shopping in various stores because of their COLD air conditioning. Today, I savored shopping in my two fave stores because they had their HOT heaters going full blast! Such as it is in Idaho. Oh, How We LOVE YOU, Idaho!
|These are the airport readings, We're a degree cooler.|
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 6:22 PM
And so that is how and why we created an esoteric post today on our "Travel Trailer Tips" blog. We're always thinking we're going to post frequently on that blog but we don't. Today was THE day to add a new post to that mostly dormant and truly esoteric blog.
Anyway, for those few of our Dear Friends who actually own and tow a single axle trailer, today's topic is all about Axle Alignment.
We have many, many other blogs as well and we're going to begin using each of them more often. We love writing but we know that writing LOOONG Stuff on Facebook is a real "no-no". Don't worry, we got that message Loud & Clear!
Thank You for reading!
Thank You for reading!
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 5:58 PM
"Just Gotta Go before it's burned down, locked up, sold off or destroyed." We've used that mantra for more than 20 years. The scope and scale of change seems so much more profound with each passing year.
Prior to leaving for our Glacier-Waterton trip, we "almost" talked ourselves out of going because of the fire smoke issues. At one point we actually said, "It's going to be too smokey, let's call it off." But then we remember our mantra and looked at each other simple said, "Just Gotta Go."
And now we're go glad and grateful that we did. So much has already changed in the few short weeks since that trip. The Sprague Fire in Glacier National Park burned down Spreey Chalet and has wrecked havoc with the Lake McDonaald Lodge area along the Going to The Sun Road. We were able to see this beautiful ocne pristine area before it mostly went to black.
Meanwhile, fire has hit Waterton even harder. The photo you see above is all that's left of the Waterton Visitor Center. This structure sat right on the edge of Waterton and we passed it many times during our stay here. We often used the parking lot of make u-turns. It can't be more than a quarter mile from that epic landmark, The Prince of Wales Hotel.
Reports seem to indicate that the fire burned right to the edge of Waterton in other areas, too. That beautiful forest surrounding Waterton now appears to be mostly or totally gone. Ditto with the forest on the way out to that nearby glacial lake.
It's hard to imagine what it must look like there now. We are so fortunate to have been able to see it during its last season of splendor.
That's why sometimes ya have to ignore the superficial stuff. So happy we remembered "Just Gotta Go!"
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 9:24 AM
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 8:01 PM
Well, he got it. I told him I could teach him to play pickleball in five minutes. It actually took about three minutes. And then I turned him loose as he and I played two of APPLE's best female players. We smoked them 11-4 and they were stunned and dazed. It was ALL because of Carlos and his natural moves and acrobatic skills. He went on to win every single game he played in yesterday, a mark unheard of for new players, especially against the tough pickleballers that call APPLE Home.
I asked him yesterday if he was coming back and he laughed his 20-something, easy-going laugh and said, "Yeah, I'll be here." Sure enough, he showed up right on time and proceeded to play nose-to-nose with the Big Dawgs, winning way more than he lost today.
He's so impressive to watch. I asked him if I could have my picture taken with him and he smiled and grabbed me by the shoulder. It's been a great first year of pickleball and this was a very fitting anniversary marker.
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 5:38 PM
Monday, September 11, 2017
Duane Wilson has been hosting The BLM Cottonwood Campground for 19 years. We first met Duane in June 2002 and we have been BFF's ever since. It was so great to reconnect with Duane at Cottonwood today. Duane is somewhere in his 80-something decade--he won't say where. He lives "six and six" as we Snow Birds love to say. His winter roost is in Barstow, California. It takes him four days to drive to and from Barstow to Cottonwood.
To us and to many we know and many people we will never know, Duane is a Living Legend and we ALL LOVE HIM SO MUCH!
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 7:02 PM
Well, that's what happened to our trusty Old School GoPro HERO2 on this trip. It quit and it bricked. We hoped we could perform some CPR on it when we returned to Idaho Falls. Nope. Even a software reinstall and firm ware update couldn't save the little puppy. It recorded it's last few frames yesterday and now we're probably gonna drill a hole through it and make it a another brick on the wall hanging in our Man Cave.
This GoPro had a truly interesting story that's worth retelling here. We bought it in early June 2012 just before Joshua Wheeler came to visit for two weeks after his freshman year at NAU. We had all sorts of fun Concept Ideas about how to use the GoPro to record Joshua's first trip to Idaho.
We were SO Proud to strap on the GoPro for a memorable whitewater raft trip on Father's Day 2012. The camera performed admirably in the first big rapid--Shotgun.
To see the full two minute video of running Shotgun click this link: https://youtu.be/i3gzIpXsBs0
However, after running into a wall of whitewater at Sunbeam Dam in the second rapid the raft guide reached down into the six inch deep water still inside the self-bailing raft and pulled up a GoPro camera. She calmly asked, "Anybody lose a GoPro?" Yep, it was mine.
Oh, the shame and embarrassment! I had forgotten to put the GoPro in its waterproof housing. So, it was bricked almost right out of the brand new box. Well, we let it sit out in the sun and put it a ventilated bag of rice and forgot about the camera. By and by a few weeks later, we pulled the GoPro out of the rice and, voila, it worked!
So, we used it for this and that now and then and a month or so before the one year warranty expired, the audio quit. So, we contacted GoPro and they said they would fix it but we HAD to have the purchase receipt. Of course, we had long lost the receipt. On impulse, we went out toe the now-defunct Sports Authority outlet where we bought the unit. They said contact Corporate in New York City and maybe they could resurrect a receipt. Believe it or not, Corporate came through! We bundling up the GoPro and shipped it off to GoPro Land and it arrived a mere two days before the warranty expired.
Sure enough, GoPro honored their warranty and sent us a supposedly brand new GoPro. Trouble was the so-called brand new GoPro had a great big ol' rock chip right in the middle of the lens! So, we contacted them and they apologized and we sent out chipped GoPro back and got a honest-to-gosh brand new GoPro back.
Well, this trusty little cam has served us SO WELL since then until this weekend. This cam bricked when it reached the GoPro age of four years and three months which is the equivalent of 87 human years.
We're not sure if we're going to replace the GoPro with either another GoPro or a knock-off action cam. We're thinking our GoPro Days are Gone With The Wind and may be bricked as well.
It was a Good Run from June 2012 to September 2017.
Posted by Johnny Montezuma at 5:42 PM