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Everything posted by Vladimir

  1. I have never had a satellite dish after I sold my C-Band dish. Traveling it is the crank up antenna first. Pickings are getting slim there as many of the translator stations have gone off the air. We do have cable TV at the sticks house and they offer a free service where you can stream almost all of their channels for free while traveling. That works well. Except for the smoke and mirrors games played by Verizon. I tried to talk my home Escapees park into offering the streaming service at the park, but the young techies live in the park instead of traveling!!
  2. It is unfortunate about the insurrection....downtown Portland use to be a wonderful place. I went there on business for three decades. You do want to take I-205 to bypass downtown. I assume you will head east on I-84 and then 12 to Lewiston. Here are some postings on things to do and camping spots along the route once you hit the dry side. Don't forget to visit the wineries in Walla Walla....remember the Napa Valley is the Walla Walla of California. https://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/11/maryhill-state-park-goldendale.html https://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/08/texas-rapids-snake-river-starbuck.html If you have never been over Highway 12 to Montana that is worth the trip. See latter section about Highway 12. https://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2015/12/usbackroads-destinatiion-palisades.html
  3. There has been a HUGE influx of tech people into "desirable" rural areas. They have plenty of funds to support community broadband, however, there are huge areas of the country where there is not enough capitol to finance or build out broadband without Federal government help. I live in a "infected" county. The county does own two dams on the Columbia River and sells the excess electricity. The electrical sales generated enough funds to spend 125 million dollars of county funds to build a county broadband system that reaches 70% of county residents. It would be helpful to have funds to build out the system. However, there are parts of the country that really need the help. The Great Plains, the Indian Reservations, rural Montana, New Mexico, etc. MicroSoft has offered to "help" my county. Yeah, it is really popular with remote MicroSoft employees. But most of the county has had high speed broadband for over two decades now. If you want to do remote work here, get StarLinks or move to a area served by the county broadband system. Hopefully, the Federal government will recognize that other areas should get priority.
  4. I never said that!! But Starlink and Musk have had plenty of public funds. This country needs a broadband policy that provides broadband to the American people. We are going on 25 years plus on the goal and billions of dollars later and are getting no closer to this goal. Just build it, like the Interstate Highway System, and put it in public ownership. I think the Corporations have failed.
  5. I disagree. The comment most appropriate was in the video, that this country has screwed up broadband deployment. And it was done by the officials we elected to public office. Here is a perspective from the process on the "ground" as they say in Washington, DC. It is no surprise that the Indian tribe is in Washington state, which is one of the hostile states for municipal internet. I live in a county where in the late 1990's the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) DIRECTED the county owned utilities in eastern Washington to lay fiber optic lines between their facilities and the BPA offices in Portland, Oregon. The Northwest power grid is controlled by the Federal government through the Bonneville Power Administration. Anyway the county PUD employees as they were laying the fiber optic lines noticed that they were going past schools, local government offices, hospitals, and others that could use high-speed internet. Since the county PUD was already providing electricity, water, sewer, and other public services it wasn't long before the decision was made to lay the fiber optic lines to the owners of those lines.....the taxpayers of the county. Then it hit the fan. It seems those telecommunication companies, while not wanting to provide broadband to eastern Washington also did NOT want the local county government doing it!! So the political party of big government based in western Washington said that "there are some things government should NOT do....like provide internet services". That is the quote from the Governor of Washington. The quote by the Speaker of the House from the political party of small government based in eastern Washington said " it is OUR government and we can do what we want with it". The political compromise was that the local counties could provide wholesale internet to county residents but not retail internet, even though they provided retail electricity, water, and other services. Those counties that owned dams on the Columbia River moved into the 21st century. The other counties were left behind. It gets worse with the National Broadband plan. In 2010, the Federal government set up a program to provide high speed broadband services to communities. At this point, the county provided high speed broadband to about 70% of county residents. It was expensive to build, at that point the county had invested in broadband 125 MILLION DOLLARS for 75,000 county residents. Some of which are to young to even type the password on a keyboard!! The county applied for a Federal grant to connect remaining county residents to the fiber optic system. The Federal grant was in the neighborhood of 25 MILLION DOLLARS. The county utility district did an analysis of the terms and conditions by the Federal government and discovered that it was more cost-efficient to turn the money BACK to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and build out the remainder of the system without Federal HELP!!! Think about that. The Federal government gives you 25 MILLION DOLLARS, but it is going to cost you MORE to accept the money. Is that similar to receiving a email from Nigeria??? That really was not a surprise since the former Governor of Washington State was the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the program. The broadband policy in this country is a real mess and getting worse. I might be with FDR on this one. Set up a RURAL BROADBAND AGENCY similar to the RURAL ELECTRICFICATION AGENCY and just lay fiber optics lines throughout this country. Give first option to the county governments to operate the system within county lines. Otherwise, sell it to the telecom's. Full disclosure, I have had fiber-optic broadband for 20 years now and I have on order Starlink for my off-grid, off-ALL-TELECOMMUNICATION service for my second home in the county that is without electricity or broadband. Do I trust StarLink?? Nope, well as little as I trust ATT, Verizon, Sprint, and Ziply Fiber. But I must say, my trust comes as close to ZERO as possible as I learned in math class. I will do fine no matter what....I cannot say the same for those in the "middle of somewhere" in the western US. I would give first priority to those areas that are NOT infected by "urban covid refugees".
  6. California imports ONE-THIRD of its electricity. Currently the impact on the fires is negligible. California state government has mismanaged its electrical system for decades. The incompetence is stunning. Here is the minute by minute grid operations in California: http://www.caiso.com/todaysoutlook/pages/supply.aspx And since California is dependent on adjacent states for its electricity here is the Northwest Grid and its operations: https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg3.aspx Check out that amount of electricity being sent to California on the inter-tie. Somewhere there is a similar web site for the southwest and its contribution to California electrical demands, but I haven't searched it out. Back in the early 1990's the Forest Service got sued by the Earth Justice League (Sierra Club) and I got to learn a LOT about the BPA grid in the northwest. Tried to keep current, but when it is no longer your job to keep up with the grid I probably am missing some changes in the grid operation. I own a solar house and think solar/wind is frankly a dead end for generating electricity, except for the space station and off-grid homes. On a per acre basis both wind and solar are environmental disasters!!! BUT California persists and it could actually make it work if they pave Paradise with solar panels (sorry, Joni Mitchell) AND build lots, and lots and lots of natural gas generating plants to make up for the cloudy and still days. Watch the two web sites for demand and generation by source for a couple of months. It will be an education.
  7. I would buy a electric car since electricity is so cheap in my area. Our second home, that we run as a vacation rental is 30 miles from our primary home. That is really the place I need to access at ALL times of the year. So here is my criteria for buying a electric vehicle. 125 miles on a charge at ZERO degrees temperature. 8,000 foot of elevation gain over those 125 miles. Four-wheel drive and a ground clearance of over 8 inches. My friend paid 125,000 for a Tesla, I will pay 20,000 net after the Federal subsidy. Nothing even comes close to meeting the 125 mile standard with 8,000 foot of elevation gain at ZERO degrees. Lithium-ion batteries are great for low-land California and Florida. They don't do that well in mountains and cold weather.
  8. How did you get the WSJ at $4.00/month?? Don't ask what I am paying!!! Escapees magazine, the Northwest Fly Fishing, and Sky and Telescope.
  9. I bought a great bird app for $20...then a great astronomy app for $20. Downloaded almost a 100 magazine subscriptions on fly fishing and astronomy. They ALL quit working on upgrade to IOS 12. That was the end of IOS for me as a computer. Free or $1.00 for apps and it better be a PDF for a magazine subscription not tied to a IOS. NOTHING that I want to keep will be download to the IPAD or IPHONE>
  10. Well, the comment early in my career was a good forester can do anything!! "brightest young engineering minds", however, does not give me confidence. Google, is keeping Lidar in their self-driving cars. My sense is you need multiple feedback loops in self-driving cars. Nothing wrong with camera's, but they are visual and there are lots of issues with visual. I know several dead hen pheasants that I shot because of "visual" issues.
  11. Thanks to everybody for contributing to the thread. I learned several things. My point was that electric or ICE vehicle really isn't that important. I think Musk knows it which is why he keeps touting the self-driving features in the Tesla's. My point was that relying on camera's only is probably a dead end when it comes to self-driving cars. You really do need lidar. Tesla's by dropping Lidar and relying on camera's only is going to fall behind in that race. If you don't make it or use it, you will fall behind. I am looking forward to a self-driving car!!! That will change the dynamics of the car market much,much more than electric versus ICE.
  12. Wow, read the linked article. I thought camera's and radar were standard on all "self-driving" cars!!!! Tesla, depends on camera's ONLY for their auto-pilot feature. Good interview. Worth reading. I guess we need more reporting with facts on "self-driving" cars and less shuck and jive. https://slate.com/technology/2021/08/teslas-allegedly-hitting-emergency-vehicles-why-it-could-be-happening.html
  13. Humans have changed natural ecosystems for thousands of years. The impact is incredible. We view natural ecosystems as "natural" simply because we ignore the land management by Indians in the American west. Human impact on weather?? Well, maybe urban heat island effects for one. UC Berkeley had a study on "tule fog" in the central valley of California and its disappearance due to air quality laws and regulations. Limiting particulate matter has significantly reduced the "tule fogs". Here in eastern Washington I am convinced the Roosevelt's Columbia Basin Irrigation Project has changed the weather in eastern Washington. How else do you explain the endless cloudy weather and fogs during the winter months in what was originally known as the "Great Columbia Desert". Full disclosure, all the NWS employees I have discussed this with, think I am full of it!!! I am sure there are other examples from elsewhere on earth. However, looking at the ecosystems of California (where I got my ecology education) they have been totally changed by invasive species below the forested public lands. The change is species predicted by climate change models is NOTHING compared to the wholesale changes due to the invasive species during the past 150 years. I think you would enjoy reading the book I mentioned earlier. This book: https://www.amazon.com/Up-Down-California-1860-1864-Journal/dp/0520238656 It covers the drought in the early 1860's. Great read on the "natural" ecology of California, though it was already being thrashed by that time.
  14. It was 10,000 years ago. So they expect it to take 10,000 years for the climate to change again. To every generation of humans on earth....the climate was normal when they were born and growing up. As they got old, the climate changed and they complained about it. The blame does change depending on culture, location, and religion.
  15. 10,000 year history of climate in the western US...though most of the research and book focus on California. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520286009/the-west-without-water Anyway, it will curl your toes as you read it!!! It is a little scientific so a difficult read for those without a intense interest in the subject or a science background. It appears that we have lived through the "best of times" in the western US. Now that the climate is headed back to normal....it will get interesting. Teaser, to get you to read the book....think the last 20 years in California was a drought?? How about 150 years of a drought?? The Sierra lakes gone and turned into meadows, then forests, and then drowned underwater when the rains returned a couple of centuries later!! I find it funny that there is so much concern about "man-caused climate change". That is chump change compared to natural climate change over the past 10,000 years.
  16. California for the worst roads, particularly for their state highways. I lived and worked in California in the 1970's and as a Forester traveled most of the state. When I retired in 2007 I made it a point to visit all the timber sales, campgrounds, etc. etc. that I had a hand in building. Well, all those state highways in California.....are just like 1970 with 10 times the traffic!! 40 years and the roads are still the same and in poor maintenance. TRUE STORY.....I was traveling up I-5 to Oregon towing my tent trailer. Everything exploded. I pulled over at a Wal-Mart in Oregon to replace the battery box and all the damage done by the rough roads in California. I left my Swiss Army knife on the roof of the tent trailer. TWO HUNDRED miles later I pull over at a rest area and noticed that my Swiss Army knife was STILL on the roof of the tent trailer. I would give Oregon the award for best roads....but I wouldn't send my kids to school there!@!!. Bad schools, good roads. See pictures....leaving California. Thank god....after that I was in Nevada. https://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/12/davis-camp-park-bullhead-city-arizona.html?m=0
  17. We had the same issue on the National Forest in eastern Washington. When I compared citations written to a statistical survey of our visitors I found that the percentages were pretty much a perfect match. That is both locals and western Washington residents got citations in almost the exact same proportions as their use!!! People are people. That doesn't change by location. Visitors from other states, farther away, might be "better" stewards. They are wealthier and seek out faraway places.
  18. The Federal data bases are NOT linked due to Federal laws primarily due to immigration laws passed by Congress that keep the Federal agencies from sharing information. For most natural born Americans it doesn't matter. For me, when I filed for Social Security they denied my application. They would NOT take the following items: My citizenship papers, when I became a US citizen. My PERSONAL US government passport. A photo-copy of my OFFICIAL US government passport, traveling on US government business overseas. AND the topper on the cake....a US government pension based on working for the Federal government for 30 years (you have to be a citizen to be a Federal employee...with rare exceptions). At the end of all this, I did ask Social Security what their computers showed as my status in this country. She looked it up and said...."foreign national". Right...that ended in October, 1969. I understand that Social Security is probably a little behind in updating their computer databases.
  19. In some ways....a pretty funny discussion. I started boondocking, before trying any other form of camping. So to me it was a progression of learning how to deal with campgrounds and in particular RV campgrounds. Just do it....and see if you like it. You won't die. You won't freeze. The worst that can happen is you will run out of water and have to go a day without a shower.
  20. The public land are "dangerous" places particularly for urban folks. They just do not realize that THEY are responsible for THEIR OWN SAFETY. Having worked for the BLM, FS, and NPS. Let me tell you, getting lost on a NPS trail is difficult for most folks. In 2003, we lost four firefighters in a burn over, and OSHA cited the Forest Service "because a FOREST FIRE is an UNSAFE work environment". That is fine, so should the Forest Service stop putting out forest fires because it is a unsafe work environment?? Good thing OSHA doesn't oversee the US Military!!! Likewise, the past 50 years or so the story has been that nature is somehow gentle, kind and wise. It isn't. It is brutal and uncaring particularly for those caught unawares of which there are more and more wandering the public lands. The land management agencies take care of hazards on a NEED basis. There are very limited financial resources particularly for the BLM and FS. The pavement rule is a good rule of thumb. IF there is pavement, the agencies are pretty careful about safety issues. The farther you go from the pavement setting, to gravel, to dirt, to nothing the less the agencies do about safety. THEY ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING. In my last job with the Forest Service, we had 10,000 miles of various trails from hiking, horse, motorcycle, bicycle, snowmobile, snowshoe, x-country ski, and several interpretive trails. There were probably a thousand of miles of trail that probably saw a Forest Service employee once every ten years!!! Should the Forest Service close those trails to public use??? I am a firm believer that the public lands belong to the public and should be open for public use. On my National Forest we had five snowmobile fatalities every year like clockwork. The causes were snowmobiling in a avalanche chute (called high pointing, do a search on high pointing snowmobile), speeding and being drunk while operating a snow machine, speeding, hypothermia while knowing where you are, and hypothermia when lost. So what should the Federal agencies do about the above problems?? It seems like that is a personal responsibility. Blaming the NPS for getting lost on a trail, will result in the trail being closed to public use. A costly analysis, to see how to fix the issue, and a expenditure of lots of tax dollars to "improve" the trail or more likely closure of the trail to public use. For years there has been "talk" of limiting public use of wild lands to those that show a compentency in outdoor travel. Is this where we want this to go???
  21. It depends where your working. Concessionaire hosts are NOT covered by typical Federal wage and overtime laws. There is a "special" law that applies to concessionaire hosts and ski area workers. I did administer the concessionaire program for the Forest Service on a National Forest. A Department of Labor investigator called me about a complaint regarding labor laws and the concessionaire program. He was pretty hot under the collar, and I told him that the Forest Service would comply with any of his findings. I never heard from him again. I have to admit up front I am not a fan of concessionaire campgrounds on public lands. One of our Ranger Districts did an analysis of the Forest Service taking back operational management of the campgrounds. He said it penciled out, IF we paid our employees minimum wage for 30 hours and required them to donate 10 hours a week!! I don't think we EVER want to be in the position of the Federal government "requiring" their employees to "donate" their work hours!! Thankfully, it is illegal. So think about it. A non-profit, the Federal government, cannot provide the same level of service as a FOR-PROFIT corporation. The difference was made up by the employees of the concessionaires. That said, we had some great concessionaire operations. We had one or two awful companies that we cancelled their permits. Bless, the campground hosts, they do a great job for very little pay. Would I do it?? NO, but some people do not have the choice. Treat them kindly.
  22. I read the book. It was an interesting read for RV'ers. Not sure how it would appeal to other people. I can see where it would work better as a movie than a book. It was available as an e-book in my library, but that was over a year ago.
  23. No....they LOVE cats. It is a real dinner treat for coyotes. I believe we have fed six cats to coyotes over the years. I finally had enough on spending money on cats and having them become dinner and answered a ad for a "found cat". Yeah, he knew how to avoid coyotes. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to kill mice or rats. Sometimes, when he was bored he would catch a bird in the middle of the night and release it in our bedroom at 3:00 am. Then he decided to live 18 years AFTER I rescued him!!! Cats are cats and dogs are dogs. Take the good from each and ignore the rest.
  24. A couple of years ago I had the MLB app. You had to cast the broadcast to the TV. I used ChromeCast, but it did have issues. She should call MLB tech support. You can put the app on three devices. She could put it on a laptop, if the MLB app, allows it.
  25. My parents never had a credit record. They paid cash for everything!!! On the other hand, I have ALWAYS paid my credit card balance in full every month and have a sterling credit rating. Once, I noticed a finance charge on my credit card balance and immediately called the bank. It turns out that I transposed a couple of digits on the check and paid the bank $40 less than the full balance of $800. The finance charge was over $100 on carrying a $40 balance!!! In fairness, the bank reversed that charge given my payment history. Pay your credit cards off in full EVERY month. Otherwise, it is a short path to financial ruin. I would find a credit union to work with. Be honest with them, BTW the smaller the credit union the easier it would be for you to work with them. I have been with the same credit union for 43 years and have NEVER lived within 40 miles of the credit union. I have stepped into the building TWICE in 43 years. A few years ago I needed a 30,000 bridge loan for ONE MONTH. Called a couple of places and then called my credit union to see if they could offer anything. Inside of an hour, had the loan. Paid it off the following month with interest charges of $50. No fees. Oh, didn't have to show up for the loan either!! Good luck, but credit unions are the way to go.......banks are just too weird to do business with on a continuing basis.
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