Recent comments

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   4 days 23 hours ago

    Because Senator Murkowski and others in Alaska and Texas think any oil is there is theirs to extract when and as they see fit. They seem to forget that this land is owned by all of us and we may want better uses than resource extraction. There are plenty of places in Alaska to still drill for oil without having to do it in a National Wildlfie Refuge.

  • White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 days 1 hour ago

    Agree justinh.

  • White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 days 2 hours ago

    One can just as easily say that the H. sapiens response to this event as a crisis is also part of evolution. Not to see that is pretty funny.

  • White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 days 7 hours ago

    Well, some people don't see this as a crisis, but once there are few bats in the system, and they are no longer there to consume billions of pounds of insects, we'll see how much the residents enjoy it when diseases begin to spiral upwards and their children start going the way of the dinosaurs.

    This comment was edited to remove gratuitous language.-Ed.

  • White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 days 12 hours ago

    It's so funny that she is doing her job? How thin is the air on your exalted perch?

  • White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 days 17 hours ago

    The bats will adapt or go extinct. It's the way of evolution for billions of years. I think it's so funny that some humans like Craighead see this as a wildlife crisis. If she thinks this apparent failure to adapt by bats is a crisis, what would Craighead call the dinosaur extinction? Adapt or die bats.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   5 days 17 hours ago

    this "land" is Federally owned by the people of U.S., not the State of Alaska or big oil.

    So?

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   5 days 18 hours ago

    Dave - thanks for the links.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   5 days 18 hours ago

    Yes, Alfred, I think a lot of us look back fondly at "the old days." I find myself worrying more, however, about the possibilty that we are losing our moral compass.

    Porn is acceptable. A movie like "Seven Shades of Gray" grosses millions of dollars while grossing out only a few of us who are then condemned for being too conservative and closed minded. Look at the lack of any honesty in our Congress. Look at the increasing dishonesty and greed of corporations and Wall Street. Look at the deterioration of the family.

    I could go on and on. It's hard to separate my fears of declining morality from technology because technology is what makes garbage so easy to spread.

    I just hope there will be enough people who might still be willing to stand up for what's right to keep everything from sliding into the sewer.

    The NPS websites, imperfect as they may be, are refreshing islands of hope in a landscape of sludge.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   5 days 18 hours ago

    No, money is how you count.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   5 days 18 hours ago

    Money is all that counts.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   6 days 55 min ago

    And again, Koch Industries has spent millions on the politicians who can affect their extraction of mineral resources and profits from Alaska. Local resident commentary on articles regarding Senator Murkowski's recent comments have not been complimentary.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 58 min ago

    [and, proving I'm not the most technically competent, deleting a duplicate entry]

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 59 min ago

    And I find myself pursuing a middle ground between Al and Gary's responses here. Is this a great and wide country or not, for a wide diversity of opinions each to be "right" in our own worlds.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 2 hours ago

    The cliff notes response: If you actually paid attention to the facebook feeds, you would see many are paying attention to the sunsets/sunrises in our NPs. Its' a big phenomenon. And yes, I read "1984", "Brave New World", and many other distopian fantasies. Yes, we are merged with the machines in order to better facilitate our survival on this rock. If you want to lecture, put it on youtube, and hope someone watches it. Maybe you'll gather a following, if you are convincing enough, because no one has time for the old fashioned way, especially if it is a waste of time. Let us scrub and scroll past the mundane. : )

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 2 hours ago

    Well, the Indians sure as hell saw what was coming, which is more than I can say for us. Sure, I use search engines and do research on the web. And of course I use and write for The Traveler. But I also take note of the end of civility that all of this "technology" has lately wrought. Look at many folks here, for example--how often Kurt has to cut us off. Consider how many people now hide behind the anonymity of the web, most recently, those attacking my friend who wrote an article why parents should vaccinate their children. The hate mail he got on that was sobering, and of course, totally anonymous, at least the worst of it . And let us not forget everyone "tracking" us to see what we buy and do. In the old days, they had to take a survey at the supermarket. Now they just feed us "cookies," which yes, I erase every day.

    I remember when houses came with porches; I remember when World War II veterans were raising their kids. I remember when we had clubs and talked to one another. I remember the FAMILY vacation, and talking around the dinner table every night. How was your day, Alfred? Now, just visit that campground in Yosemite. Who is looking at the sunset anymore? Well, a couple folks, while the rest are all "linked in." Sure, things change, but don't call change progress until you know the progress that came before. This country progressed right past the civility and patriotism that made it great. I saw it and felt it every day. Now, we are making lots of "deals," but dealing from the bottom of the deck.

    Facebook? I barely use it. Twitter? A waste of time. Texting? I prefer the phone. I thought we left the telegraph key back in the 19th century, although I still recall the Morse code for SOS. If something is worth knowing--and certainly critical to know--I will know it by the end of the day. Meanwhile, I don't need to know that you just got out of the shower, which was the conversation I heard at my coffee house last night. Who's picking up the kids? I don't care to know. The world should not be a phone booth. What happened to silence? What happened to community? What happened to looking up when people approached you instead of gluing yourself to the screen?

    Now, every professor I know says that giving a lecture is a waste. Everyone is on their smart phone. I'm glad I missed it. I really am.

    If the world is so great, why are so many people unhappy--and working twice as hard as they did 30 years ago? Could it be because they never read 1984? Or even saw the movie? Here's another movie you should see: The Best Years of Our Lives. It won the Academy Award for best picture in 1946. There is the country I grew up in, not perfect, but sincere. It stuck together through thick and thin. It knew honor, sacrifice, and courage. All we know is the phone.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 3 hours ago

    Judging from what I see in your links, the old website is still live, but they didn't go through and remap all the links to direct and forward the URL to the new site where similar pages already exist. That's always a tough game, because there can be so many pages on a website, and when you do a complete rebuild, somethings old pages get lost in translation. I've been through many website rebulids in my lifetime, and that's never easy. I did find a link to the director on the new site, but didn't find any writeup like the previous page you pulled up. That one string is also very convulted. "history/history/hisnps/npshistory"... wow, who thunked that one up? Talk about redundancy overkill.http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/director.htm

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   6 days 4 hours ago

    Agreed, Jim. Predictable rhetoric from Murkowski. The land isn't being threatened by development; the local commuity is being threatened by the federal government. One wonders if the history of American political rhetoric might be mapped according to pivots for reversing commonplace narratives.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 4 hours ago

    I am glad to see that the NPS has realized how dated and broken the NPS web is at the present time. Creating a useable web site is real work and worth the money and time that has to be devoted to it.

    I must say however that I am not optomistic about the success of this effort. There have been many efforts to "improve" the web and in my opinion all have failed. This is a result of poor management, lack of trained people, resources and too much of a top down approach. Any success of the NPS web effort is the result of talented and hard working lower level employees who have gone over and above the resources and time given to them to do this work.

    If the NPS is serious it will hire managers who know and support this technology and place the maintance of the many park and program web sites as a critical element in their performance standards. The problem is not so much a money issue as it is a management issue.

    If you need an example, then visit the National Park Service History web site (http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/hisnps_NEW.htm) which has been under construction and not updated or corrected for three years. Take a look.

    If you still need convincing then look at "Classic" National Park Service Publications (http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/hisnps/classics.htm). Every link is broken.

    Finally, I sure hope Director Jarvis does not find out that the Directors of the National Park Service web page (http://www.nps.gov/history/history/hisnps/NPSHistory/directors.htm) no longer exists.

    Perhaps this information is not important.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   6 days 4 hours ago

    I'll let others who are smarter than I am explain how that meshes with "protecting the land."

    Some see the value in "land" as more than just dirt.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 5 hours ago

    The old guard would have probably attempted to scalp the young guys for using the smoke signals.

  • Possible Fireworks Over Interior Funding As Sen. Murkowski Threatens To "Squeeze" Budget   6 days 5 hours ago

    Sen. Murkowski: "But the land is the land, and that’s what I am here to protect, and the people of the state of Alaska and their right to access the lands."

    Sure a lot of conflicting ideas--and interpretations of terms--in just one sentence!

    According to the story, a key part of her definition of "right to access the lands" means oil and gas development on federal lands in Alaska. I'll let others who are smarter than I am explain how that meshes with "protecting the land." A more honest statement would be to say her goal is to protect the economic interests of Alaska. That's what some expect their senator to do, of course, but such clear admissions of goals are rarely the stuff of sound bites for politicians.

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 5 hours ago

    Alfred has some good points, and I think we all agree that one must be careful and use technology with caution. But I've discovered that when it comes to planning a park visit, using the website may actually increase my chances for experiencing some serendipity. Many times have I learned something from a website that I had not known. What I learned has sometimes allowed me to go seeking the chance for one of those moments. Sometimes it has worked.

    I wonder if Americans in the 1800's had the same concerns with telegraph and telephones. Or Native Americans of long ago when someone invented smoke signals? ;-]

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 6 hours ago

    Alred thinks he might be insulting me, but I don't really take much of what he says with a grain of salt. I've done my share of trekking all over the west in remote places without a gps. Was it on the same level as Lewis and Clark? No. Has Alfred ever done an expedition like Lewis and Clark? Doubt it. Since i'm a gen xer, I haven't had the luxury, like most boomers of being able to work in the same company all my life and having the perks that go with it. But at least I know how to use a smartphone, and use search engines. And, yes I can use my own brain to determine if the information I get is worthwhile or useless.

    The reality is that we are all heading towards responsive design sites. Kurt even said the Traveller is heading there. It's a natural evolution of website architecture, and you can either advance or devolve. Some of us enjoy the freedom and challenges of new things, while others seem to just want to give up and go with what is comfortable.

    Maybe if Alfred attempted to reroute his friends route on his phone, they could have took the same route Alred knows. Usually most map based GPS apps allow you to do that. There is little difference between the paper map he uses, and the digital map on his friends phone. They contain the same information. But, hey...

  • National Park Service Centennial Will Include Revamped Websites   6 days 17 hours ago

    Damn, Al, if I didn't know that you and I were virtually the same age I'd think you were starting to sound like an old fuddy duddy. That note is so absolutely filled with generalities and assumptions - to say nothing of pure resentment that time is moving on - that it really doesn't stand up to your usual standard of scholarly commentary.