Archive - 2006

January 17th

Horse population

I asked below about when the horse population peaked, and I received an answer from weblog reader Miles.

Here are the US numbers:

1867 – 8,000,000
1915 – 21,500,000
1949 – 6,000,000
1950’s (early) - 2,000,000
1960 – 3 million

Today, there are an estimated 75,000,000 horses in the world. China leads the pack (herd?) with 10,000,000.

Scenic highlight



This scene in Platt, KS was the highlight of the drive from Dalhart, TX to York, NE.

Link

Here is one conservative's take on the Bush attitude towards laws limiting his power.

Gas

A trip isn't a trip until I nearly run out of gas. I was at an eighth of a tank as I turned north on US 81 off of I-70 in central Kansas today. I assumed that there would soon be a gas station.

There wasn't. Although 81 is a big, sweeping four-lane at that point, I went for miles and miles without so much as seeing a billboard, much less a gas station.

Rule of Law

I am something of a fundamentalist when it comes to the rule of law. I thought it was right that Bill Clinton was impeached for perjuring himself (although he was never convicted) in testimony under oath. The punishment was about right: Although the Senate decided Clinton wasn't guilty of a "high crime and misdemeanor," Clinton's lying under oath and the subsequent circus of hearings permanently sullied his presidency. A person of his intelligence should have known to take seriously his responsibility to respect the rule of law.

January 16th

Gore Speech

Never thought I would get inspired by Al Gore--who was a complete washout as a presidential candidate--but his speech today in front of a coalition of civil liberties groups from both the left and the right was right on the mark. He raised every point I can think of which needs raising right now. Gore was introduced, incidentally, by ultra-conservative former congressman Bob Barr, another man I never thought I would find myself in agreement with.

Dalhart, TX

Decided to take the cross-country route on US Highway 54. Made it as far as Dalhart on the Texas panhandle. Odd that Texas would be on the way from Arizona to Minnesota, but it is. I checked, and it is 961 miles from Dalhart to Brownsville, TX. Texas is a big state.

Geese, cows and grass. That's what's in Dalhart.

The nice woman at the check-in somehow got on the topic of religion and announced that she was a "holy rollah and proud of it! We're just very emotional pipul!"

January 15th

Leaving Tucson

As if to taunt me, this morning was about as beautiful as it could get in Tucson. Had breakfast outside at a little greasy-spoon called Frank's with friend Ron, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who hails from back home. Then stopped by the home of Dad's high school roomate Elmer before heading down I-10 to near the Mexican border and then across into New Mexico.

Caballo Mountains



This beautiful range is east of the freeway running from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Truth or Consequences, NM. At the base of the range runs the Rio Grande River. The scenery around Truth or Consequences is some of my favorite in the country.

January 13th

Dishonest photography

If you are planning a trip to Tucson based upon my pictures, beware. I have done nothing to depict the city accurately. In fact, the entire goal of my picture-taking, it seems, is to idealize, to eliminate the ugly, and to pull out what I see as beautiful or at least intriguing.