Archive for October 2013

Idiots Masquerading As Boy Scout Leaders   Leave a comment

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. Photo by  Don Paulson.

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. Photo by Don Paulson.

Did you see the news coverage this week of the “Boy Scout Leaders” that destroyed a rock formation in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park?

The images were disgusting. The idea was disgusting. My quibble, here, is the headline of “Boy Scout Leaders” getting the blame for destroying a rock formation in a state park.

Two guys, named Dave Hall and Glenn Taylor, were indeed part of a Varsity Scout outing into the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah this past weekend. There were 2 other adults on the outing (I don’t know which were Boy Scout leaders, and which were just adults on the outing) and the Team of 8 Scouts, ages 14 and 15. The Scouts were “playing” among the hoodoos in this park, which are typified by the picture, right. Varsity Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America, intended for older boys.

The “leaders” noticed that one hoodoo was barely balanced, and about to break apart. They saw this as a safety issue, and decided to unbalance the hoodoo to end the hazard. They didn’t consult any park rangers, geologists, or any other responsible adult. Unfortunately.

Their gleeful video went viral, showing them destroying this rock formation that was originally formed millions of years ago.

Today, Mr. Hall and Mr. Taylor are receiving death threats because they destroyed this rock formation.

Their behavior, obviously, is reprehensible. My point is that in NO WAY do they represent the Boys Scouts of America. Here’s what I see:

  • Adults not in uniform, which indicates they are not following Scouting principles.
  • Adults not following required Boy Scout training to “leave no trace” in the wild.
  • Boys not present at all.
  • A video posting that was originally intended to aggrandize the adults … which were not supervising their boys when they made the video.

At this point, I don’t know if these 2 adults had followed any rules of the Boy Scouts of America on this outing. They may have been registered, trained leaders … or not. The evidence I do have says they were not following training that is required for registered leaders of every outing sanctioned by the BSA.

Were they really “leaders” or were they just adults tagging along on the outing? I don’t know. But I do regret their actions, and regret that their actions have reflected badly on the Boy Scouts of America that they truly do not represent.

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4:14pm PDT, 10/21/13

UPDATE: BSA ejected both adults from membership in the organization. Apparently, one of the men was a unit leader and the other was simply a registered adult. From Boy Scouts Eject Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock


Huffington Post: Boy Scout Leaders Topple Ancient Rock Formation In Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park

Salt Lake Tribune: ‘Goblin’ topplers say they are receiving death threats Boy Scout Leaders Destroy Ancient Formation In Utah’s Goblin Valley

Snake River   Leave a comment

Snake River. Photo tweeted by the Department of the Interior, 11/19/13.

Snake River in Idaho. Photo tweeted by the Department of the Interior, 11/19/13.

Posted October 20, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

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The More You Look   Leave a comment

Get out and look around. It’s amazing what you can see!

Posted October 19, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

The Parks Are Open!   Leave a comment

Grand Canyon National Park. Tweeted by the Department of the Interior to celebrate the government being open once again.

Grand Canyon National Park. Tweeted by the Department of the Interior 10/17/2013 to celebrate the government being open once again.

Paying For Content   Leave a comment

Mizzou LogoIt’s happening again.

Just about everyone has been impacted by now with the wars that have developed between those that own content, those that deliver content, and those that receive content.

My latest problem is with the video coverage of my beloved Missouri Tigers.

This weekend, CBS (which has the rights to the their # 1 selected SEC game every weekend, and their # 2 game on their selected weekends) is passing on the # 14 ranked Tigers hosting the # 22 ranked Florida Gators. Mizzou is the top team in the SEC East, but that didn’t matter to the CBS game pickers.

ESPN has the rights to the next 3 SEC games, and they also passed on the MIzzou game. The result? I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch the game or not.

Good news, though: the fledgling SEC network is syndicating the game to 300+ TV stations across the country (no national network picked up the game). I finally found a list of those stations, and it is here. For me, I have to watch the game on channel 56, KDOC-TV out of Anaheim. It’s a station once known for professional wrestling and roller derby. Now, it’s a sports station airing football games that CBS and ESPN don’t want.

Thank goodness.

I’m not a victim: I get to watch the game I want to watch. There’s a lot of people that won’t be so fortunate. They may have to watch CBS’s twin pick of the week: # 15 Georgia (that Mizzou just beat) at the unranked Vanderbilt, and # 24 Auburn at # 7 Texas A&M. I believe both of those games will be totally uninteresting. I’ve run around the football field at Vanderbilt … but couldn’t care less about those 2 football games.

And here’s news for you: if you are a cable subscriber … or a satellite subscriber … then you are paying to have those CBS games delivered to your home. The ESPN games, too, if you get ESPN. You see, ALL cable subscribers pay, whether they watch football or not. That’s how our system works.

How much are you paying? Those fees are negotiated with each cable system owner, but ESPN’s fees average $4.69 per month. That’s what you pay whether you watch sports or not. The CBS fees are more difficult to figure out, as they include all of the CBS affiliated networks, such as Showtime.

I don’t know how much my Dish Network pays KDOC, but I’m glad they do!

David Byrne, 2006

David Byrne, 2006

On another front, today I read an interview with Talking Head’s David Byrne (the voice of the 80s signature hits, “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House”). He made the somewhat provocative statement that paying for music content the way we pay for cable content will “suck all creative content out of the world.” The link’s below. Mr. Byrne feels that if we do generic licenses for music, such as we do with Pandora and Spotify, then artists will get the short end of the stick. Record labels will suck up a large portion … and artists starve.

As Mr. Byrne pointed out,

“Even Wagner was always in debt and slept with rich women to get funding – so nothing’s new, right?”


Paying For Music

RockMNation: Watching The Florida vs. Missouri Game…. Why CBS Passed On SEC East Leader Missouri And Its Pivotal Games

TheGuardian: David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world

SportsGrid: How ESPN Is Making Your Cable Bill More And More Expensive


The Year Was 1953   5 comments

Back when telephones had cords and a lady wore sensible shoes.

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Posted October 16, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

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Autumn’s Spell   Leave a comment

Posted October 15, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

12 National Park Openings   Leave a comment


Posted October 14, 2013 by henrymowry in National Parks

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I Was Working Too Hard….   5 comments

I was in the garage workshop, and it was work. Sweat was involved. Work.

But then, when you’re cutting 10′ hard maple planks that weigh about 50 pounds, you, uh, work.

Here's the table saw ready to do a crosscut on a hard maple plank.

Here’s the table saw ready to do a crosscut on a hard maple plank.

I was ripping 2″ thick hard maple and black walnut, which means I was cutting the boards lengthwise. For this operation, my table saw is underpowered … I’ve got a good home-use saw, but this is a demanding cut into very hard lumber.

And I had been making them for a while.

The secret to making good cuts is going slow and steady. Too slow, and the blade may burn the wood. Too fast, and you stress the saw motor until it stops. That could be bad. Very bad.

I was going slow and steady, but the blade still stopped. I quickly turned off the saw so I could carefully back the board away from the blade. I assumed the knot in the end of the board was pinching the blade (when a board has uneven grain, such as around a knot, it can squeeze the blade and stress the motor). So, I flipped the board end for end and began the rip again.

This time, the blade quickly seized AND the saw tripped the breaker on the power circuit. Big trouble.

And that’s when it hit me. I was working too hard. Why wasn’t the saw doing the work? Could it be the blade was dull?

I pulled the sharpened blade I had waiting on the shelf. I use the Forrest Woodworker II 3/32″ Thin Kerf blade.


I’ve got 2 blades that I rotate. When one gets dull, it goes out to be sharpened. When I get it back, it sits on the shelf until the cycle repeats. The blade on the shelf had been mailed back to me January 2012. That tells me 2 things:

  • I’m not doing enough woodworking.
  • The blade in the saw should be dull after 2 years … especially as I enter round 3 of the routed bowl affair.

So back to the question. Why was I working so hard?

I installed the newly sharpened blade, and tried to cut the 2″ thick hard maple again. How did it cut?

Like butter.

I need to remember to not work so hard.

Here we have the largest variety of hardwood I've ever had in the shop. From left, there is black walnut, hard maple, canarywood, mahogany, padauk (the orange one), purpleheart, African teak and cherry.

Here is the largest variety of hardwood I’ve ever had in the shop. From left, there is black walnut, hard maple, canarywood, mahogany, padauk (the orange one), purpleheart (you figure it out), African teak, cherry and poplar. But I’m not going to work hard.

Grand Canyon Open for Business   Leave a comment

Sanity slowly returns to our national park systems with “creative” funding provided by local sources.

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