Sunday, October 18, 2020

New England Fall Vacation

As vacation plans get changed weekly, Jyoti was able to put together a New England trip for us and Kevin and Robyn.

We first flew to Portland, Maine.  Portland is a nice small city, bigger than I expected but not crowded.  It had some great restaurants as well.  I highly recommend BlueFin, they had the best lobster dishes of the trip.  We visited Fort Williams Park and took the obligatory photo at Portland Head lighthouse.  Later in the day, we took a ferry to Peaks Island and rented a golf cart to take a tour around the island.

The next day, we headed up the coast. Along the way we stopped in Bath to visit the Maine Maritime Museum.  The museum had great indoor exhibits as well as outdoor ones.  After a few hours driving through some rain, we made it to Bar Harbor.

At Bar Harbor, we spent two days exploring Acadia National Park.  We did a few hikes and drove the loop (after figuring out the experimental reservation system).  Hikes included the Beehive, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens, and South Bubble.  We drove up to Cadillac Mt. but it was super foggy and we couldn't see anything.  Acadia is beautiful but feels more like a big city park than the massive open spaces of the western parks.

Leaving Bar Harbor, we drove south.  We stopped at several attractions, small towns and lighthouses along the way to Bailey Island.  The island is way off the beaten path but is very nice.  We stayed at a small motel, the Bailey Island Motel.  It was very quaint and had the best homemade muffins!  Since it was pretty much the end of the season all the restaurants were closed and there weren't many people there.  We did a nice short hike to Giant's Steps and visited Land's End.  I would love to visit the island again and spend more time there.

Next stop was Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  We were able to tour the USS Albacore which was really cool.  Strawbery Banke was great even though the houses were not open to walk through.  We had a great dinner at Black Trumpet overlooking the river.

Last stop was Boston.  We spent a day here to visit relatives but got in some sights as well.  We hiked the Freedom Trail from the Commons to Bunker Hill.  Many things were closed but we got into the Paul Revere House.  The Charlestown Navy Yard was closing when got there which was a bummer.  However, our flight the next morning was canceled.  So with an extra day, we headed back to the shipyard to visit the museums, USS Constitution and the USS Cassin Young.

Portland Head Lighthouse

Peaks Island gold cart

Jordon Pond

Top of South Bubble

Beehive summit

Hiking out to a lighthouse

Lands End, Bailey Island

Paul Revere House

Bunker Hill

Monday, October 12, 2020

How To Open Schools and Outdoor Activity

 One of the big debates this COVID season is how to safely open up schools. Anecdotally, the schools that have opened up have had decent results. One of the local school districts has enlisted the support of UCSD to help them figure out the risks and how to manage them.  They have some interesting points.  But the main point IMO is that there is very little risk when outdoors.  The data (at least that data that government allow us to see) shows that there are no outbreaks attributed to outdoor activity.  Maybe we should hold the governor and health departments responsible for their bad decision to close the beaches, parks and playgrounds.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Trump Taxes

Assuming the NYT has it right about Trump's tax returns, I congratulate Mr. Trump on paying so little in taxes.  The NYT is showing that it is ignorant about tax law or is so biased they willfully make false/misleading statements regarding the tax code.

Bigger Pockets has a great review on the terrible Time article. 

Note that Biden uses all the tax "loopholes" available to him to lower his bill.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Forgotton Depression of 1920

There are some great lessons to be learned from the depression of 1920.  The playbook that works is pretty much the opposite of what the government is doing now.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Vintage Rifles at the Range

 Spent some time at P2K shooting a 03 Springfield and an M1 Garand.  The Springfield shot very nicely at 25 yards but the sights on the M1 were low.  I didn't stick around long enough to fiddle with so that will have to wait for the next trip.

03 Springfield

M1 Garand

Friday, September 18, 2020

San Diego DA Admits Protests Infiltrated

In a town hall style meeting, the San Diego city district attorney Summer Stephan, admitted that she had information that the peaceful protests were infiltrated.

According to the DA, the infiltrators were organized enough to remove license plates from vehicles and bring generators.  These were the ones responsible for the violence.  Ms. Stephan declined to mention any other details of the group but it was obvious that she had more information.

Hopefully more will come out about this "movement" and its members.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Adventure Weekend at Mammoth

 After having many trips canceled, we finally got out of town and headed up to Mammoth Lakes for a long adventure-filled weekend.  The drive up was uneventful but the view of the Sierras from 395 where obscured by haze and smoke.  We got to the Devils Postpile and drove and found there were plenty of campsites still available.  We found a great one at Red Meadow right next to the creek.  After setting up camp, we hiked to the resort for a milkshake and headed to Rainbow Falls.  We then hiked back to camp and went to bed.

Next morning, we woke up, broke camp and made the short drive over to the Devils Postpile overnight parking lot.  After packing our packs, we headed.  The trail started with a steady uphill of the west side of the river valley.  We got a great view of the basalt formations on the way up.  It then dropped into the King Creek drainage.  Then the real uphill started for a few miles before leveling out before reaching the Fern Lake outlet.  At the lake, we poked around for a site and found one just barely 100 feet from the water.  The lake was very nice and spent time on a small beach near our camp watching some anglers.  Another early night for us as we read before going to sleep.

We were awoken by somebody walking nearby and talking loudly.  It turned out to be a rather grumpy old guy patrolling the lake and complaining about the other campers.  He was particularly upset about the folks camped right along the water. Pretty odd.  The hike back was mainly downhill but with a butt kicker climb out of the King Creek.  Jyoti's IT band really started to hurt but she made it back to Devils Postpile ok.  We drove over to Minaret Falls campground and found a nice picnic bench to have lunch with views of the falls.  After eating we headed into town to await our check in time.

There is tons to do in Mammoth during the summer time.  Here is a digest version of our activities:

  • Took the gondola to the top of the mountain.  On the way down, we stopped at the halfway point to checkout the information displays.
  • Checked out the earthquake fault.
  • Drove around the lakes with a stop at Horseshoe Lake; it was pretty crowded.
  • Drove down Old Mammoth Road to see some of the old mining stuff.
  • Visited the Mammoth Museum.
  • Took the bus to Twin Lakes and rented a row boat.


Jo along the trail

Atop Mammoth Mt

Fern Lake selfie

Fern Lake camp

Peaceful Protests

Here are some examples of "mostly peaceful" protests:

The stuff going on now is something different.  Certainly many supporters of the cause are peaceful and law-abiding.  But there is obvious influences that cause things to spiral out of control.  It is shameful that few people, regardless of their chosen team, can talk about it factually.