Highway 140 where the Telegraph Fire is burning

Jul 30, 2008 by

Highway 140 where the Telegraph Fire is burning
This is a photo of three of the kids June 2007 as we made the drive
into Yosemite along 140, which basically is now a fire zone. As you
can see, it would not be hard for things to catch fire in this area,
and it being a month later in the dry season.

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LA Times says 140 Open into Yosemite, sort of

Jul 30, 2008 by

For the latest in official Telegraph Fire information, please check here.  It's Yosemite's Web site

According to the LA Times, highway 140 in California is intermittently open depending on how the Telegraph Fire is progressing.  This report I found says the fire is 15 percent contained and has burned more than 29,000 acres.  Yikes. 

The local TV station, 30HD, has up-to-date information that's one to two days old here

The San Fran Chron has information here.

I noted that one comment said some of this information was incorrect on KSEE

As of 7:30 a.m. CST, this is all the up-to-date information I can find. 

Hang in there CA.  We're pulling for you. 

Here is an AP story on how the fire is curtailing the tourist industry along 140 after reopening from the '06 rock slide.   If you will  note, that point was made here  yesterday.

The scenery along 140 to me is the best way into Yosemite, though as much as we've been staying at The Logger's Retreat, we've grown partial to just landing in Fresno and driving up 41 straight into the south end of the park.   All this makes me sad, however.  The area that's burning is so beautiful.

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The Dying News Business

Jul 28, 2008 by

Today we received news that the impending cuts at The Dallas Morning News, property of Belo, are much deeper than expected.  They're talking about 500 jobs or $50 million in cuts company-wide.

TDMN isn't the only paper in the nation in trouble.  Nearly all of them are since most of us get the news online these days.  Truth is, I haven't bought the paper copy of the paper since the day they made all the new cosmetic changes.  And I don't feel like I've missed anything either.  Yes, my boss comes in from time-to-time and shows me an announcement that I didn't see online, but for the most part, I've broadened my source for news. 

Where is all this taking us though as a nation?  And that to me is the real question.

News agencys have been the Fourth Estate, the checks and balance system for our national government since its inception.  Today, it's nearly all entertainment.  Focus groups lead TV coverage.  News rooms are laying off staff left and right and soon the veteran reporters who went to the good journalism schools will be obsolete.  They're being replaced day in and day out by young kids who barely know what a lead paragraph is, who look cute or pretty, who can read a teleprompter at 20 paces, and that's largely it. 

Papers here in Texas have stopped reimbursing for mileage.  So what's to encourage a reporter to leave the building?  How many news stories have you ever read that originated in the news room?  The answer today is more and more and more.

An important industry in America is being killed off by the Internet.  Is that good?  Some would say it is a sign of the times.  Others, such as me, see it as a danger to our country's future. 

News agencies must find a model that helps keep the lights on and staff paid.  I understand that.  But at the same time, we're killing off a solid profession.  Now I know a lot of people don't like reporters, but they have played an important role in our nation's history. 

The news today out of Belo is not good.  Not good for the families who are about to face the axe, voluntarily or not, of this booming economy, (yeah right Phil Gramm) and certainly not good for this nation, that has relied so much on freedom of the press and the recording of our history, it was even included in the Constitution.

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Sunday night and back to work in the a.m.

Jul 27, 2008 by

The weekends just don't seem long enough.  Yeah, it's a cliche but it's very true. 

It's been an okay weekend, and I'm sure there is only fun and excitement ahead in the next few days.  In Dallas, no rain expected, though we need it badly.  Temps this week are supposed to be above 100 each day and it's not even August yet, the hot month.  Great time to be an electrical company exec for sure.  Wish I was, and then I'm glad I'm not.

Have several projects to do at work this week, and some good ones for at home, too. 

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Storms heading into Dallas tonight?!

Jul 27, 2008 by

I wish. If only there were storm clouds heading this way.  It's 103 outside. 

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Downed B-52 off Guam

Jul 22, 2008 by

A B-52 crashed off Guam Monday early in the morning, which would have been late Sunday here in Dallas and at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA.  My heart goes out the families of the crew.  Two men already have been recovered from the ocean.  Others remain missing at last report. 

My dad spent a lot of time at Anderson AFB in Guam.  First in '69-70 for bombing runs in D-models during Viet Nam.  At least a second time in 1980 as a major or lt. col.  We often worried about him being gone and doing the 30-hour missions out of there.  Heck, we often worried about him flying a Buff at all because of the issues it had that we never knew about. 

I've heard stories about crew climbing back into the hull of the Buff to hit things with a boot, like the landing gear, etc. to make things work.  And don't forget Maj. Kong in Dr. Strangelove.  Hyperbole yes, but not as much as you'd think.

And so with a downed Buff (big ugly fat effer)in the water, my heart pains for the wives and kids of the crew.  It takes a lot of dedication to fly in the Air Force.  A lot of sacrifice for those of all ages in the family.  Dad used to do week-long rotations at the Alert Facility at K.I. Sawyer AFB back in the '70s.  Fly during the day, fly during the night, and then go TDY to places like Guam. 

To those of you who lost a dad this week, I'm praying for you.  God bless you. 

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Back in Texas again

Jul 18, 2008 by

Whew, what a week.  First New York City for 24 hours.  Then Baltimore for 12 more.  Then DC for about 30. Call me tired. 

Met some new people, saw some new sights, ran into old friends, like ones from back in Alabama.  Heard some troubling news about things there.  Saw one of the coolest high schools I've ever been in, right in the middle of DC.  Amazing.

More later about the trip's digest. 

My mind is full of new ideas and I must get them down.

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