Sunday, January 25, 2009

Later on....we'll we dream by the fire...

OK. I'm not sure how this is going to work. I'm sure I'm not going to set this up in the best way but I'm going to do it nonetheless. If you are very politically or philosophically interested or curious, this will be fun....I hope.

For the years mostly, I've paid especially close attention to the political world, particularly that of the Bush Administration and the goings on in the country and the world during that time. And during that time, there have been some major events that have sort of rocked us all: The attacks on the WTC on September 11, 2001, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, outrageously priced petroleum, the meltdown of the U.S. economy, and others. I've heard many theories about the why's and what's and how's of these events. But I don't think we've been given many straightforward answers. So, I have come up with several conspiracy theories. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not hording guns, ammunition, food and water and living in a bunker somewhere. I don't put a ton of stock into most of these conspiracy theories. But I am interested to, one day, find out what the facts were. And, I've heard some theories that are a bit out there, to say the least.

So, I'm beginning a new blog project, that I'm hoping will draw people's theories and thoughts out, in regards to the above-mentioned events, as well as others. There will be no guidelines; you can tell me what you've seriously, actually thought, or you can just give examples of the crazier conspiracy theories you've come across. As well, your responses can be just the general musings that have plagued your mind from time to time. And this will not just apply to the Bush Administration. I will try to cover some others as well, and there's bound to be some arise from the Obama Administration eventually. And we'll just tackle one event per entry I think, so I'll try to post a new event at least weekly.

OK...Let's begin with a big one: The attacks on 9/11.

We have a plane hit one of the trade towers, on video. Bush is in the South reading to some school children. There's confusion. Was it an accident? We didn't know so we didn't scramble any jets or military to take action. Not long after, a second plane hits the other trade tower. Another one flies into the Pentagon. I've seen pictures of the explosion, but where's the plane. A fourth plane crashes in a field in Pennsylvania. Some video was shown on the news briefly, then never again. You can look it up on Youtube though. There's a hole in the ground, sure enough. But no plane parts.

Bush is told we're under attack. Jets are scrambled off the East Coast. The response is too late. Thousands are dead, and some of the ones still alive are jumping from 100 story windows to their quick but tragic deaths. The country, the WORLD is shocked. The world's superpower, that mighty beacon of light called The United States of America has been hit and hit hard. Right away, we're certain enough to know who did it, that Bush says it right on TV; It was Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia's prodigal son. I wonder how we knew that; Could it have been that memo that Condi gave to Dubya about a week previous? That memo which stated Bin Laden was determined to attack inside the U.S.---using planes?

OK....I've certainly left out some details. Fill them in for me if you'd like. But I'd like to know the things that have rolled around in your heads since this horrible, tragic day.

Why wasn't the memo taken seriously? Or was it? Why wouldn't Cheney give NORAD the clearance to use jets to shoot down the commercial jets? Why didn't they show the photo of the PA crash on the news after that first time? Where were the plane parts and body parts? And a HUGE one for me: Why did Bush and Cheney agree to talk to the 9/11 Commission about what they knew, but refused to testify, under oath, and on the record?

OK, so that's the general idea. I just want your ramblings. Hundreds or thousands of things have gone through my mind about these events. I want to know what has gone or continues to go through your heads. The point: It will be fun, years from now when we may know more to see if any of us were more correct, or more wrong, than we now know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can't let go of the past...

Any of you who know me also know how much I LOVE Alaska. I've spent a lot of time up there working and playing, exploring and studying. For whatever reason, my grandpa was going through his computer recently, and found a mass email I had sent a short time after my trip to Alaska in '04. For those of you who have never made that road trip, this will give you an idea about it. For those of you who have, you'll be able to relate---although I never took this route after '04.

This is the email:

Sorry about the group email, but it's all I have time for this time. I've heard from some of you separately and, hopefully, I'll get to talk with all of you at some point this summer, but I thought I'd just send an update to all of you. I've been here for a bit more than 3 weeks I guess. The trip up was OK. I traveled alone in my '83 Toyota Tercel Wagon, which I got for $400 back in November. It's been well worth the money, but it isn't without a few bugs. When I left Utah, I was aware that my left front CV boot was torn, but I figured I could make it to Anchorage before getting it repaired. (Based on the fact that you don't turn very much on the way to Alaska--???) I spent the first night of the trip in Whitehall, MT with my friend Travis Thomas. The road in between Twin Bridges and Whitehall was shredded and under construction so I got plenty of the rocks and dust in my CV boot. By the time I arrive in Whitehall my CV joint was making a lot of noise. Knowing how bad the roads can be through the Yukon and Alaska, I stopped in Helena on day 2 and had my axle replaced for $200--more than I would have paid back home but what else could I do at that point? I was full of energy on day 2 though and drove about 16 hours to Whitecourt, AB, Canada. Even when I got there, I felt I could go further. But after getting fuel and stretching my legs a bit, it was 11:30 PM and I decided to rest. The gas station attendant was really nice and said I could spend the night in the parking lot, so I set up camp near a dumpster around back. I was a little nervous being in a foreign town and right next to a noisy trailer park full of people yelling and kids running all around me, but I slept in my car and it was nothing short of 5 star accommodations--minus the shower and free continental breakfast. Oh well. I left Whitecourt on day 3 and drove 18 hours to Watson Lake, YT, Canada. I got there at about 10:30 PM and found a nice gravel pit just outside of town to park and sleep. No shower that day. It's not like I had been sweating; I hadn't even begun to smell up the car with road trip B.O. On day 4, I woke up and fueled up at a gas station in Watson Lake, a town of maybe 500 people. (A generous estimate). I found that they had a shower there that I could use for $5 Canadian. I gladly paid it, knowing that a shower would make me feel fresh and energized for the long day. I hadn't seen too much wildlife at this point but a few bison and some bighorn sheep as I passed over the Northern Canadian Rockies. This is an extremely beautiful and pristine place that everyone should visit at some pint. In the summer and fall it's full lots of wildlife, as I had found on my previous trips home. Anyway, day 4 was a big day. I saw elk, caribou, lots of moose, a coyote, and probably some other cool stuff that I can't remember. It was a bit scary too because I had to drive through snow storm which I hadn't expected. My car does pretty well in the snow, but this was an exceptionally fierce storm which made the roads icy and had my pretty nervous about going on. After filling up with fuel in one village, I had almost opted to wait out the storm for what might have been all day. Instead I decided to move on though and took it nice and easy--around 25 mph--for a couple of hours until I had passed the storm. Once I crossed the Canada-Alaska border I was sure I was home free and celebrating with my car that we had made it with scarcely a problem. I drove to Glenallen, AK, which is about 180 miles NE of Anchorage, and stopped for fuel and to call my mom for Mother's Day and tell her that I had made it. I started off to make the rest of the trip to the big city and about 30 minutes down the Glen Highway, my charge light came on. I about put my fist through my windshield because I had thought about carrying a spare alternator for the trip, just in case. I had even been pricing them for 2 weeks leading up to my departure from Utah. To avoid spending $70, I didn't pick one up and just HOPED nothing would go wrong. The lesson is that the little voice inside our souls and minds, whatever each of us calls it, may actually be telling us something that we should listen to. So, I was 150 miles away from my final destination with a bad alternator. I pulled off the highway at the village of Chickaloon, AK. There was a store open with a sign advertising an on-duty mechanic. Well, the on-duty mechanic was actually just a guy selling batteries and belts. But I was lucky they were open since it was already about 10:00 PM by then. All they could do was sell me a battery for $86. I took it and just put in in the trunk in case my battery wouldn't get me 120 miles to Palmer, AK--home of the Alaska State Fair. I was able to save juice by driving without radio or lights for about 45 minutes, but eventually, I had to turn the lights on. There were lots of moose through the mountains alongside the road, as I got closer to the Matanuska Valley. And if you haven't seen my car, let it suffice to say, it would lose in a fight with a small dog, let alone a 1200 lb. moose. Well, God was looking out for me because I made it to Palmer, even though I had ignored the earlier inspiration about buying a spare for the trip. I pulled into Shuck's Auto Parts--the Alaska version of Checker Auto--at 1:00 AM--(Technically day 5 now). They were of course closed so I spent the night in my 4 wheel hotel and woke the next morning, anxious to purchase an alternator. With luck, they had one. Actually, I can't believe how popular my car is in Alaska. I see them on the road everywhere. I think they must have been the cool 4wd station wagons before Subaru came out with the Outback Wagon. Anyway, I put in a new alternator and tested my old battery. It was good. Wow! A guy from Palmer, who talked with me while I was fixing the car, needed a battery for his truck at home. Lucky for him, I happened to have a highly recommended battery in my trunk for sale. I told him he could have the $86 battery for $50 so I wouldn't have to take it back to Chickaloon. He was generous and gave me $60 so I wasn't out much. Well, I drove the final mileage to Anchorage and met up with my friend Tim and his sister. They're both working with me and we went and got an apartment. It's the same place we stayed last year. It's nice because it's a month to month deal--no contracts. So, what have I done so far? I've gone whale watching in Seward, about 125 miles south of Anchorage. The water was really rough and choppy that day and, for the first time in my life, I got a bit of motion sickness to ruin the trip. I didn't actually throw up over the side--like a couple of my friends did--but I was definitely close to it. Without a bike up here, I'm pretty bored--at least I will be until work starts. ...................

The rest of the letter was boring and had nothing to do with the trip.

I'll try and scan a photo of the famous car into this entry in the next couple of days.