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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PERQUISITES

bribe-000.jpgDid you ever wonder if what you read is all true, partly true, sort of true, not true, or bought and paid for? Some blogs are egocentric, some blatantly commercial, and some masquerade as news but are really just P.R. They are bought and paid for by commercial interests and the praise that they get in return.

Tour companies, travel agents, journalists, and others with an audience all are in a position to trade favors with interested parties – it may be tit for tat, or advertising, or just plain scam. But believe me it goes on and is not reported to the client, reader, patron, or believing citizen.

One classic example from our little town should serve as an example of how this works. The West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce recently had an article in the local “newspaper” and begged for money to bribe “independent voices” “to get the word out.”

This quote should give you some idea of the perquisites that are given to these “independent voices:”

“There are some days at the Chamber of Commerce where we seem to spend a majority of the day on our knees begging for donations in order to assist travel writers, major media and tour operators. Donations of rooms, meals, tours, food, gift items, bags and bows, even bottles of water make a huge difference in our ability to have these folks come to West Yellowstone-they are independent voices for us to “get the word out” about what a great destination we are.

 

In a small community like West Yellowstone, our Chamber Marketing budget is small and already allocated. So, when unexpected groups of tour operators, magazine or newspaper writers, photographers, web travel writers, radio talk show hosts, or television producers call and ask for help in setting up their trips. In turn, in order to take advantage of these opportunities for West Yellowstone, we have to reach out to you, our community.”

The list of “Independent Voices” is extensive:

 

  • Kurt Repanshek, Travel Arts syndicated writer writing about West Yellowstone as the “best gateway to Yellowstone.”
  • David Sason writing an article on Montana meeting sites with a focus on West Yellowstone.
  • Utah freelance writers working on a November/December article for Salt Lake Magazine about winter vacations in West Yellowstone.
  • Carol Calicchio with JohnnyJet.com, the most popular travel planning website in California.
  • Steve Cannon with KIDK-Channel 3 exploring the Painted Buffalo Project.
  • Sam Dalton with Boomeradventures.com who will be creating a web page about winter activities for boomer travelers.
  • Steve Pastorino with Fodor’s Travel Guide.
  • Eric Peterson with Frommer’s Montana and Wyoming Guidebook.
  • Eric and Sue Hansen, representing Oregon-based newspapers and Northwest Travel magazine, writing about birding and our birding trails.
  • Salt Lake City-based Western Leisure with a Chinese FAM tour including eight tour operators from the largest tour companies in mainland China.
  • Terry Mansfield with majesticradiotours.com who is creating a web site with downloadable radio spots about West Yellowstone.
  • A German journalist & a photographer representing Markische Allgemeine Zeitung, a large daily German newspaper.

Now then, with all this mutual back-scratching going on I wonder if what I read in, and hear from these commercial blogs, travel guides, TV stations, travel magazines, and tours is a product of journalism or just plain hype?

In the interest of full and honest disclosure, I have not received a bottle of water, free room, complimentary bicycle, free meal, discounted film, complimentary Internet connection, or any bribe or other compensation from the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce. Would that the entities above would disclose how much baksheesh they received.

At least I know that my site visitors are smart enough to take with a grain of salt anything that they read in a travel magazine or commercial blog.

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I’m Still Alive – More Later

The Staff Are Great

I was sick for a bit. Still am; and am still a pretty private person. I’ll blog a bit less and live a bit more. The upcoming winter is going to be a challenge. msk.jpgmsk.jpgAt least the park is getting pressure to be sensible about research findings. It’s a shame the centennial challenge does not acknowledge upcoming weather and demographic patterns. The GAO thinks it should.

 

 

Here’s where I was.

 

……….skyblu

6mm BR or Keep the 308?

THE 6’s ARE JUST WORKING BETTER

My shooting this year has been limited to the close to home matches, and it’s taught me a lesson that I should have known before. When time is limited, stick with what works. My foray into hunter class has proven rewarding and very informative. The thing that score-ee.jpgI learned that has stuck in my mind is that the 30’s require more tinkering than the 6’s.

I have done well with the 22PPC and the 6PPC in the varmint classes. My 308’s, however have been inconsistent and I’m sure that the variety of ranges and altitudes has something to do with it. I don’t have the time to arrive early and establish a load for the elevation at each range. My best scores are at ranges with elevations similar to the elevation in West Yellowstone. The greater the elevation, the better my scores. I’m no ballistician, but it makes sense that pressure and air density play a great role in this.

So I’m going to have some BR’s built. A 6mm BR and a 30 BR.

I’ll be relating the progress of these tools during the next several months. For now you can check the best web resources for the BR movement at the following excellent sites:

6mm BR @ Varmints for fun,

The 6mm BR Remington @ Chuck Hawks,

The 6mm PPC @ Chuck Hawks,

The 6mm BR Norma @ Norma,

The 6mm BR Norma @ Lapua,

The 6mm BR project @ F-Class Info,

My 6mm BR Rifle @ Benchrest Central Forum.

Semper Fi, Redux

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

I hope this works. I’m sweltering in the hopper-laden meadows of Slough Creek. This post should appear at noon on July 4, 2007. I’ll find out when I get back. Have a safe and joyous celebration of our independence.

…..skyblu

skyblu tribute

Tag You’re It

THINKING BLOGGERS

Here are my picks for the Thinking Blogger Award:

  1. Jim Macdonald: Compiles the Yellowstone Newspaper, blogs about Yellowstone in The Magic of Yellowstone, discusses philosophical underpinnings of anti-authoritarianism and how it relates to park administration, and maintains a discussion forum – among other wonders of the blogsphere.
  2. Small Dead Animals: insights from Canada, pertinent to all of us.
  3. verbena-19: another bucketful of insight from Canada, social justice, environment, civil liberties, environmental awareness – great stuff – [old site, new site.]
  4. Wild Wilderness Blog: well researched perspectives about the threats to our public lands and the ever present push to make a buck.
  5. CUSS: irreverent, tawdry, base, uncouth, true, real, and what all of us are really thinking – but not saying!

Well, that’s it. There are certainly others worthy of the tag, but these are the guys that I read and these are the ones that make me think. Visit them and let me know. Comments are always open.
The rules are: Congratulations, you won a

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

A Few Quick Takes

I’M OVERWHELMED BY NEWS

dry-fly.jpgAs an anxiety killer, dry fly fishing ranks near the top. It’s fishing that requires Zen-like concentration tightly focussed upon threading a nearly invisible pin hole atop a hook deftly dressed as a fly, with a nearly transparent line and tying a minute but secure knot in it. The other portion of your time is spent a) getting into your ridiculous-looking gear b) casting as far and gently as possible to land your lure gently upon the water and then c) watching the river for an encouraging ripple signifying the presence of trout that are within your view but seemingly always out of reach.MAMACITA

polar.jpg‘I don’t want to live in permafrost no more.’Gristmill

Changes to agricultural practice and forestry management could cut greenhouse gas emissions, buying time to develop alternative technologies.Scientific American

Eye candy that’s melting fast.Gristmill

grizzly-muddler.jpg— There are a number of ungulate hairs suited to spun and clipped patterns but the best spinning hairs are coarse, spongy and soft. – Philip Rowley

Non-indigenous fish, introduced in the 18th century are taking over South African rivers and streams.Get Outdoors

palomarknot.gifThe Palomar Knot is a general-purpose fishing knot . . .Women Fishing

— By the End of the Century Half of All Species Will Be Gone. Who Will Survive? – RedOrbit

But a good barbera is the epitome of an elemental, honest red wine. It offers you fruit — lots of spicy cherry and raspberry flavors — and it doesn’t hurl w-vs-beer.jpgthem at you in some formless mass. Barbera is shaped by a bracing acidity. It’s got a bite, a burr, that makes the fruit incisive and refreshing.Eric Asimov / New York Times

. . . a Gallup poll revealed that, for the first time ever, Americans preferred wine to beer. This was an astonishing development, akin to Americans jilting baseball for bocce.Slate

================

The Brucellocis/Bison/Cattle Industry/Yellowstone/Montana PROBLEM continues to make news on many fronts, (go to Yellowstone Newspaper for the stories – both the lewd and the lucid.) One element that has not been addressed is the fact that as the planet warms and Yellowstone becomes a bit more bison-friendly environment; the population of these habituated beasties will grow to the point of destruction. whine.gifIf all the bison that have been killed in the last five years had been allowed to mature and reproduce there would be no grass left in the park.

The whiners have tamed Yellowstone and provided us with wolves that peer into car windows, bears that approach humans, coyotes that beg for food, and bison that proliferate without predation. The bison situation is far larger that the slaughter of a few poor babies. It is the problem of a sentiment gone rampant. Don’t dare ask the cheerleaders what would happen to the park if bison were left to their own protected devices.

Where are the whiners at Wind Cave National Park? Did you know that bison management has worked there and that roundups and culling continue? Did you know that there are some sane managers in the NPS?

 

“The park holds a roundup annually to monitor the health of the herd and to manage herd size for available forage,” said Superintendent Linda L. Stoll.

The wolves have done wonders with some of the elk herd – where’s the “TRADITIONAL” bison predators? Where is the sane management? Ahhh, I get it: publicity, not a care for the park.

water-buffalo.jpg

Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce

SHE’S A WONDERFUL COOK

Recipes are scattered all over the web and this is just another one. I like it, the folks back home like it, my friends here like it, I hope you try it and like it too.

The Sauce: in a crock pot.

 

1 large Italian sweet sausage, (about 1#),
1 large Italian hot and spicy sausage, (about 1#),
1# pork shoulder, (small cubes),
1 yellow onion, chopped, (not too fine),
double handful of sliced mushrooms, (the earthier the better),
2-4 cloves of garlic, (peeled & mashed),
8-10 large tomatoes, (stemmed and halved),
1 small can tomato paste,
Oregano, Basil, salt, pepper, (to taste),
water & red wine,
Olive oil.

spaghet.jpg

Quickly brown the pork shoulder in olive oil in cast iron skillet, (very hot and very quick – just the outside.) Drain on paper towels and place in crock pot on high. Squeeze sausages out of casings and mix together – crumble and brown the sausage in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Drain on paper towels and reserve.

Prepare remaining ingredients. After 2 hours, add sausage and onion and 1/2 the tomatoes to the crock pot. After one more hour add remaining ingredients, adjust consistency with water/wine, and turn to low. Cook for 1-3 more hours, adjust seasoning and consistency with water/wine and cook with top off for last 1/2 hour to thicken.

cella-lambrusco-white.jpgNothing special about cooking the pasta; spaghetti is a good excuse for this sauce, I also like it on great big shells. Cook it to your own taste and throw it on the ceiling or cut it with your tongue, or whatever – this is personal, so do it your way. Be sure to drain the pasta well and stir in some butter and olive oil while still hot. Serve immediately!

Dad’s family always drank both red and white wine with red pasta sauces. They are both fine. I like an Italian Cella Lambrusco – white. Use red if you choose, or both like Dad did.

Spinach just made it to the interior of nowhere. I jumped all over it and we have had spinach salad, steamed spinach, raw spinach, and shredded spinach pesto, (more about that another time.)

spinach-salad.jpgMy favorite, (among favorites,) spinach salad goes like this: 1 bunch of spinach, 5-6 mushrooms, 5-6 pieces of bacon, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of half a lemon, 1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, Salt, black pepper. Cut the bacon thin, and thinly slice the garlic and mushrooms. Fry bacon and garlic in olive oil on low heat until the bacon becomes crispy, add mushrooms at the very end. Toss in the vinegar and then turn off the gas. Pour the bacon & mushrooms onto the spinach and mix well. Season it with salt and black pepper and lemon juice.

sbcake.jpgMom & I disagree about how to best enjoy strawberries. She likes them on buttermilk biscuits, I like them by the handful. If they have to be with bread, then gimme scones.

There are two recipes on the web that I’ve used. Delia’s buttermilk scones & Whole Foods’ cardamom scones. Click over there if you need a better shortcake.

================

There’s a gentle drizzle outside, I’m going to run around town, have some breakfast and then go fishing. Mom’s going to clean up and pack.

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