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January 2016 - December 2016

The Grand Canyon Photo Blog

The Trouble with Trump

But, What if I the Grand Canyon Escalade Project?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

   The Grand Canyon Photo Blog -  I was reviewing my hiking records, which I keep in an excel file.  I have now been hiking in the Grand Canyon on 747 separate days.  I began to wonder whether I was close to having hiked on every single day of the year.  Well, I did more than wonder.  I copied my records onto another sheet, sorted them by month and day (and had to edit how multi-day hikes were recorded).  And, the answer is, "No."  That is, I wouldn't say that I am close.  I have hiked on 261 of the 366 days of the year (including leap day, which I have hiked on).  It is a lot, but I am doubtful that I will get the other 105 calendar days.  There are 34 of those days during July and August.  It's darn hot then, and the hiking is not pleasant.  I'm almost sure that if I am to try and get these days (and I could, given my work schedule), they would have to be day hikes.  Another 37 days are in February, April and September, which reflects the fact that my teaching schedule is likely to be an ongoing obstacle to getting these days.  I also have 11 days left in December, mostly in the first two weeks, which also conflict with my teaching duties.  Still I have only 6 days left in June, 5 days in May, 4 days in March and in November, 3 days in January and ... only 1 day left in October; the 29th, which this year falls on a Saturday!

     I thought it would be interesting to post up a photo each day of the year (well, for each of 261 days) for each hike.  And so I have added a new section to the Kaibab Journal - The Grand Canyon Photo Blog.  It has a banner above that links to that page.  I am hoping to add photos every day (or, at least every week) over the course of the next year.  Then I will add others if I add new days to my records.  On the banner I am using the photo shown to the right.  It is Seal Head Rock - or, at least so named by George Wharton James at/about the turn of the last century.  It is along the route out in the South Bass area of the canyon that leads to Mystic Springs, which is barely a damp spot on the ground.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

   The Trouble with Trump -  Donald Trump has really made history with his cavalier run for the White House.  But, the trouble with Trump is that he really isn't, in his heart, interested in changing America from the course it is currently following.  Instead, like Barak Obama, surprisingly (or not), he suffers from a very fatal flaw - he really, really, really wants to be President.  Of course, he (and his advisors) can easily talk themselves into believing that he can win and, quite frankly, I think he has a good chance, but only if he figures out how to run a winning campaign and if he decides to spend at least one of his billions of dollars.

     But, I don't think he will do those things and when he loses that will be a shame.  And, that is because Trump has it in his power to achieve all of the things he wants - the wall, new trade deals, and maybe even a non-interventionist foreign policy, if he would just decide not to run.  What???  Yes, it seems odd, but hear me out.  Trump can ride into the GOP convention, make a bunch of super speeches and then, in an unprecedented act of humility, withdraw from the race and throw his support to a candidate of his choosing that can kick Hillary's you-know-what.

     Who would that candidate be?  Well, there are some choices.  Scott Walker might have been a good pick until he encouraged delegates to vote "their conscience" instead of following the rules.  Nix him.  Most of the GOP candidates this year were awful, IMHO, even if there were seventeen of them.  Marco Rubio would be an interesting pick, but would he sign off on Trump's agenda?  I think not.  But, how about Bobby Jindal?  He'd be a super candidate.  And, why not also pick a Veep, say Carly Fiorina?  Get them to sign on with Trump's agenda and the Donald can go back to making more billions.  And, if they disappoint, he would crush them during the next election cycle.

     Well, that's all good and fine except for one thing.  I think Trump really, really, really wants to be President.  His ego won't release its hold on him to do the right thing.  Of course, that character trait is pretty much what it takes to become a billionaire.  Still, the point is that if he felt strongly about the issues that he talks about, he has it within his power to practically guarantee success, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

     For years I have told my students that I envied Donald Trump's money, but not what he had to do to get it.  I'm quite satisfied with the life I've been able to live, which would have been impossible if I were busy amassing billions.  As I tell my students, I'm pretty sure that Trump has never seen even an entire episode of Battlestar Galatica, much less the whole season, much less three times.  And, don't get me started on Lost.  The point being that I have some balance in my life and take the economist's notion of maximizing my utility seriously.  If I was pursuing billions of dollars there is no way that I could take nearly 350 separate hikes into the Grand Canyon.  As it turns out, that is very important to me.  [I must admit that I am assuming that you "can't take it with you;"  if you can, then all bets are off.]

Friday, September 2, 2016

   But, What if I the Grand Canyon Escalade Project? -  The news that the Navajo Nation is once again considering the Grand Canyon Escalade project has stirred the passions of many, especially in opposition, and I have become inundated with this. I am much more open to this project and while that may brand me with a scarlet letter (although my "A" would not stand for the same thing as Hester Prynne's "A") I would like to offer some comments on the matter that I hope will strike readers as not unreasonable...

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