Thursday, October 30, 2008

New River Bridge & Little Beaver State Park

Friday after the previous night's WVU win, we turned south towards Beckley. We took a break at the New River bridge, the Western hemisphere's longest and highest single span bridge. The Washington Monument and two statues of Liberty stacked on top of each other would fit under the arch.

(click on any image to enlarge)

Seeing the rock face below, I remembered Sam's stories of climbing beneath the bridge the year after 9/11.
Monday we headed for Little Beaver State park for a two hour, 5 mile walkabout. A chilly and windy day. The dam in the back ground was built by the CCC from hand cut local stone.

The Resort At Glade Springs, WV

Our 35th wedding anniversary weekend continued on Friday as we drove south to Beckley enroute to Glade Springs.

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Our King third floor room

On Saturday we visited Tamarack, WVs premiere arts and craft center and then onto the Daniel's Vineyard for their fall festival. We found the WV wine surprisingly drinkable.

Daniel's Vineyard
Daniel's Vineyard
The view from your 3rd floor room. We had the wing all to ourselves.

Sunday dinner at the Small Talk Cafe in front of cozy fireplace.

Monday after our 5 mile, two hour hike in the Little Beaver State Park we went back to check on the progress of our recent purchase.

Tuesday morning we awoke to almost 3 inches of new snow, that after Sunday's 63 degree, 20 mile bike ride on the Greenbrier River Trail.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WVU 34 - Auburn 17

Hammer time in Morgantown.
Down 10 to 17 at half, the Mountaineers came back with 24 unanswered points in the second half to beat Auburn. What a great way to start our anniversary weekend in WV.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why Did She Send Them To ME????

She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.
'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me,
and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider.

While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication,
Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor,
'It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes.'
He addressed the man, 'Can you name your wife's favorite flower?'
Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, 'It's Pillsbury, isn't it?

A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles.
The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him.
He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife.
She directs him down the correct aisle.
A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter.
She says, confused, 'Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?
He answers, 'You see, it's like this, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store
to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco
and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper.
So, I figure if I have to roll my own .......... so does she.
(I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and
neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs,
the husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?'
'Yep,' the wife replied, 'in-laws.'

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day....
30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'

A man said to his wife one day, 'I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
'The wife responded, 'Allow me to explain.
God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, 'You should do it because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.
The husband said, 'You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.'
Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.'
Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.'
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says

The Silent Treatment
A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him
at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,
'Please wake me at 5:00 AM .'
He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of pap er by the bed.
The paper said, 'It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.'
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

John Prine - "Paradise"

John Prine's Paradise has been one of my favorite bluegrass songs since the late 70s. Repairing FBI radios for 2 years, 77-79, from one end of the state to the other gave me a unique appreciation on his lyrics. Kshon's recent post on his new love for Bonnie Raitt and John Prine led me to do a YouTube search. A product of BTO, Led Zepplin and the 60s and a father who listened to Country western forced me away from that genre until 1975. My first FBI boss was from Harrisonburg, VA and Ron (we) listened to nothing but CW and bluegrass.

Wish I Was Young Again

As much as I try not to be a Universal HD HighDef couch slug, I really enjoy some of the off the wall programming that I come across.
Jeep World of Adventure Sports is one of these kinds of shows on HD.

Red Bull Last Man Standing 2007
One of the world's most challenging off-road motocycle races
100 riders.
80 miles.
2 laps.
You'd be lucky to finish last.
Makes me want to go dirt bike riding again, without the pain, just the mud and smiles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ex-FBI Agents Outraged at Obama-Ayers Ties

Obama launched his political career at Ayers’ home in 1995. From 1999 to 2002, he served with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, but the Obama campaign has refused to say when Obama became aware of Ayers’ terrorist background.
Ex-FBI Agents Outraged at Obama-Ayers Ties
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 9:46 AM

By: Ronald Kessler

Former FBI agents who worked the Weather Underground case are angry about the longtime relationship between Barack Obama and William Ayers, a leader of the domestic terrorist group who has admitted widespread bombings.

“It outrages me to think that a person would be seeking the presidency of the United States and was close to an individual like Bill Ayers,” former agent Max Noel told Newsmax.

Ayers said in his book that he participated in the bombing of New York City police headquarters in 1970, the U.S. Capitol in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. In September 2001, the New York Times quoted him as saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs . . . I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was sent to prison for failing to cooperate in solving the robbery of a Brink's armored car in which two police officers were killed.

Charges against Ayers were dropped because the FBI used so-called national security wiretaps that could not be used legally in criminal cases.

Obama launched his political career at Ayers’ home in 1995. From 1999 to 2002, he served with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago. In response to criticism of their relationship, Obama has said he was 8 when Ayers was bombing buildings.

But the presidential candidate was a grown man when he sought and obtained Ayers’ blessing for his entry into politics.

Former FBI agent Willie Reagan said, “I spent seven years of my life hunting down people who described themselves as revolutionary communists and were involved in bombings.”

Reagan, who infiltrated the Weather Underground in New York, said he witnessed members of the group making bombs.

“At some point, Obama knew of his background and should have repudiated him, not later when he is running for president,” Reagan told Newsmax.

Noel, who worked the Weather Underground case in San Francisco, also questioned Obama’s reaction to questions about the issue, saying, “I have a problem with Obama minimizing the relationship and saying it has nothing to do with anything. Because having done background investigations for security clearances for years, you look into a person’s character, his associates, his loyalty and so forth.”

Noel noted that Ayers was a directing force of the Weather Underground. His wife-to-be, Bernardine, headed that organization.

“They were a violent, violent, anti-government, domestic terrorist organization,” Noel said. “Obama has not only associated with those people, he continued associating with racist people like his minister Jeremiah Wright over a period of 20 years. I don’t think that’s by happenstance. It’s just amazing to me. The American people are being led by the nose by people who say this isn’t important.”

Oliver “Buck” Revell, a former associate deputy director of the FBI, is similarly blunt. “In dealing with Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and the element that they represented, Obama was dealing with individuals who both openly and admittedly have engaged in treasonous activity and violence against the United States,” said Revell, who worked on the Weather Underground case in Philadelphia and Chicago.

The Obama campaign has refused to say when Obama became aware of Ayers’ terrorist background. When Obama began going to Columbia University in 1981, both Ayers and Dohrn were frequently in the news because of their violent past and brushes with the law. Ayers’ past was well known in Chicago, where he was quoted regularly and described as a former radical and former fugitive. Obama continued to serve on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago with Ayers for more than a year after Ayers expressed regret in the New York Times for not bombing more people.

“Obama is a bright man, and he’s certainly well read and intelligent,” Revell said. “He had to know the background and activities which have been openly described by Ayers.

“The relationship says to me that Obama lacks judgment, that he lacks a perspective on what the United States should stand for,” he said. “It’s appalling that he was even elected to the state Senate in Illinois, but to go from there to a United States senator and then to a candidate for president is astounding.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of
© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Amazing American Experience - Palin Rally, Richmond, VA

Click on any image to enlarge
All images copyrighted 2008 Jay Chamberlain

We got there early enough, we were 6' from the railing. It was worth standing in place for 2 and a half hours.

Hank Williams, Jr. sings the National Anthem

(L-R) Hank Williams, Jr, Martin Buser (4 time Iditarod Champ), Todd Palin

Valerie tried for a handshake but got her poster signed instead.
Valerie did get to shake hands with Alaska's "First Dude" and America's future "First Hunk", Todd Palin
Sarah Palin's autograph
The crowd was estimated at 20-25,000

Hank sang this version of his hit song "Family Tradition"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Democrats “no inmate left behind” voter registration drive

10/9/2008 10:46:00 AM
Frederick says tactics “stink”
Richmond, Virginia (October 9, 2008) – It may not be illegal, but Delegate Jeffrey M. Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia is crying foul over recent press reports about Democratic sheriffs’ tactic of registering prison inmates to vote in this November’s election.

Sheriff Stan Barry of Fairfax and Sheriff Vanessa Crawford of Petersburg, both Democrats, have been signing-up new voters from their jail cells who are being held for misdemeanors or awaiting trials on felony charges. Felons lose their right to vote upon conviction.

“First we hear about felony voter fraud in Virginia. Then we have state election board employees rushing to restore voting rights to felons. And now, we have partisan sheriffs going into their jails and making sure criminals can vote. Can these people get any more into the gutter? Where is the shame,” asked Frederick. “Is this really the electoral process Washington and Jefferson envisioned?”

Democratic-leaning organizations have been aggressive this year in registering people to vote. One group, ACORN, had its offices recently raided in Las Vegas for submitting hundreds of fraudulent voter forms, and is also being investigated in Missouri – another battleground state. Another group, the Community Voters Project, had three employees charged with felony voter fraud in Hampton, Virginia earlier this year.

Governor Tim Kaine, national co-chair of the Obama campaign, has been restoring voting rights to felons at a fevered pace this year, with staff at the State Board of Elections then working to register those felons to vote. Former Gov. Mark Warner, a candidate for U.S. Senate this year, began the process of streamlining voting rights for felons.

“This might not be illegal, but it sure stinks to high heaven. Is this really how Obama expects to win the presidency with – a coalition of criminals? I guess it’s Obama’s latest big government program: ‘no inmate left behind’” Frederick said.

Red Bull Rampage Qualifying - Holy No-hands Batman!

October 6, 2008
Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will feature 26 of the world's best mountain bike riders, duking it out on some ridiculous big-mountain terrain to determine just who is the all-around best freerider.
The return of Red Bull Rampage is drawing close and the world's best riders are getting set to tackle a course that will be the ultimate test of their skills. With a $10,000 first place prize, these riders are set to give whatever it takes to be on top - blood, sweat and maybe even some tears. In addition, the Utah Sports Commission will present a $5,000 check for the best trick of the event.

This is one sick video.

Red Bull Rampage returns triumphantly after four years of silence. Although a rain delay kept many anxious, the mountain bike gods unleashed the glorious sun to scorch the barren Utah terrain.
More daredevil that athlete, Thomas Vanderham, stuck a no-hander over a 59-foot canyon gap and took home best trick. However, it was 17 year old Brandon Semenuk that took home the prize of 10,000 dollars and bragging rights.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Army Amateur Radio Station in Iraq Seeks American Military Personnel to Lead Station

Army Major Scott Hedberg, AD7MI (left), of Leavenworth, Kansas, hands over the BARS station duties to Army Captain Jeffrey Hammer, N9NIC, of Speedway, Indiana, in April 2008. [Photo courtesy of Army MARS]
Army Captain Jeff Hammer,YI9IC/N9NIC, the custodian of the Baghdad Amateur Radio Society (BARS), is due to come home after a nine month tour of duty with the Indiana National Guard. "I need someone I can turn the BARS station over to," he said. "Please assist me in finding other Amateur Radio operators in or coming to Iraq."
The Baghdad station boasts the following equipment: an ICOM IC-7000 transceiver, an LDG Z-100 autotuner, a Kantronics KAM XL wireless modem, a RIGblaster Pro, an MFJ 25 A power supply, plus a Cushcraft MA5B 3-element beam and a Trans World TW2010 vertical dipole. The club library is valued at $400. All items in the station have been donated by various Amateur Radio vendors.
Hammer, a military intelligence officer who previously served in Afghanistan, took over the club leadership last spring from Army Major Scott Hedberg, AD7MI, when Hedberg returned to the US. Since his arrival in April 2008, Hammer has mentored half a dozen service members for their licenses and led the station's first ARRL Field Day operation. "We enjoy learning about radio and talking with unique people in unique places," he said. "We've been excited to talk to many stations back in the U.S."
Hammer said it can get busy, too, handling MARSgrams between soldiers and their families during holidays. BARS members operate under the Army call sign AEN5NAA relaying soldier messages through MARS WinLink stations in Qatar or Germany.
Keeping the club active is a challenge in the face of constant troop rotation, Hammer said. "Operating Amateur Radio in camp is fairly easy, as long as you ask your commander and don't cause interference," he said. "If you know of any hams deploying to Iraq, contact me as soon as possible to coordinate the transfer of equipment and discuss licensing procedures." Hammer can be reached via e-mail.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why The Mountains??

Sam's reason for "Why the Mountains?" Columbus Day 2008
Devil's Marbleyard, VA photo by Maggi Chamberlain

Photo by Samuel Chamberlain

"Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence — the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes — all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose by the seriousness of the task at hand." — Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

"To those who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties that they will not disclose to those who make no effort. That is the reward the mountains give to effort. And it is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly to those who will wrestle with them that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again. The mountains reserve their choice gifts for those who stand upon their summits." — Sir Francis Younghusband

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way." — Dr. Seuss (1904—1991)

"Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out — it's the grain of sand in your shoe." — Robert Service (1874—1958)

"A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it." — Martin Conway

"But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails." — William Arthur Ward

“The burning lungs, throbbing legs and aching back are a small sacrifice for the freedom and tranquility of the mountain trails.” -- Jay Forest Chamberlain