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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many airports have you been to? on: Today at 01:43:03 am
Here's my list (I'll add more if I think of them):

Airports (95)

International (16)
Winnipeg, Canada
Goose Bay, Canada
Mazatlan, Mexico
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Sao Paolo, Brazil
Florianopolis, Brazil
London Heathrow, UK
Manchester, UK
Glasgow, UK
Paris CDG, France
Lyon, France
Geneva, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Frankfurt, Germany
Munich, Germany
Moscow, USSR

Domestic West (17)
Seattle, WA
Spokane, WA
Boise, ID
Missoula, MT
Kalispell, MT
Salt Lake City, UT
Los Angeles LAX, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Las Vegas, NV
Albuquerque, NM
Denver (International), CO
Denver (Stapleton), CO
Aspen, CO
Gypsum, CO

Domestic South (22)
Dallas DFW, TX
Dallas Love, TX
Houston IAH, TX
San Antonio, TX
New Orleans, LA
Gulfport, MS
Nashville, TN
Memphis, TN
Covington, KY
Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA
Jacksonville, FL
Orlando, FL
Ft  Lauderdale, FL
Miami-Dade, FL
Tampa, FL
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
Blacksburg, VA
Newport News, VA
Sterling/Washington IAD, VA
Arlington/Washington DCA, VA

Domestic East (18)
Baltimore/Washington BWI, MD
Salisbury, MD
Pittsburgh, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Scranton, PA
Newark, NJ
New York JFK, NY
New York LGA, NY
Islip, NY
Newburgh, NY
Syracuse, NY
Ithaca, NY
Providence, RI
Hartford, CT
Boston, MA
Worcester, MA
Manchester, NH
Augusta, ME

Domestic North (22)
Columbus, OH
Dayton, OH
Detroit, MI
Kalamazoo, MI
South Bend, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Bloomington, IN
Chicago MDW, IL
Chicago ORD, IL
West Chicago, IL
Rockford, IL
Peoria, IL
Springfield, IL
St Louis, MO
Kansas City, MO
Des Moines, IA
Dubuque, IA
Omaha, NE
Lincoln, NE
Minneapolis, MN
Milwaukee, WI
Williston, ND
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which congressional or other electoral districts have you been to in 2015? on: Today at 01:31:49 am
The outbound part of the road trip is complete and added in.

CO-1,2,3,6,7
ID-1
IL-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
MA-2,3,4,5,7,8
MN-3,4,5,6,7,8
MO-1
MT-AL
ND-AL
WA-1,2,4,5,8
WI-1,2,3,6,7

Total: 31 49
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: Today at 12:59:34 am
Day 6

On Day 4 we saw one of the largest earthen dams and today it was time for one of the largest concrete dams. We got to Grand Coulee dam by 10 am in time for the first tour. Even though the dam is more impressive and puts out over 30 times the electric power of Fort Peck, the tour wasn't as good as the one at Fort Peck. We didn't see anywhere near as much of the generators at Grand Coulee, just a view from above. Contrast that with Fort Peck where we got to put our hand on the rotating shaft transferring power from the turbine to the generator. The interpretive center at Fort Peck beat the Grand Coulee one, too. The only plus for me was that Grand Coulee had an exhibit where you could play along with Woody Guthrie singing Roll On Columbia, Roll On - a song my music teacher had us learn in grade school. I still remembered this verse, so I guess visiting the dam was somewhat of a bucket list item, too.

Quote
And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam,
The mightiest thing ever built by a man,
To run these great factories and water the land,
It's roll on, Columbia, roll on.

From Grand Coulee we took the scenic North Cascades highway. There is a turnout at Washington Pass with a short walk to an overlook of some beautiful glaciated valleys and peaks. Finally we arrived at our destination resort at Birch Bay, just south of Canada. Coming in to town and seeing the setting sun shine off snow-capped Mt Baker to the east and the waters of the bay to the west was a great way to welcome these travelers.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 31, 2015, 01:08:04 am
Day 5

Fire defeats ice. The last time we were in Glacier National Park was 1997 and my children were too young to remember the scenery. They wanted to return to see some of the namesake glaciers, though the park is named more for the glaciated valleys than the few small glaciers that still remain in the park. A couple can be glimpsed along the road to Many Glacier, but the hike to see them well would have taken more time than we had available. We expected to get a good view along the iconic Going-to-the-Sun highway over Logan Pass, but a wildfire had the road closed. We did some short hiking and had to make do with the distant glimpse.

A little later we encountered another stop that refused to cooperate. Browning MT is about 40 miles from Many Glacier and it looked like a good stop for gas, lunch, and since it was the main town for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, there was a quilt shop that had a pattern that combined native themes and water. Gas was fine, but the local hamburger stand couldn't serve us since the other help hadn't shown up. Google maps gave conflicting reports about where the shop address was in the small town and we couldn't find it at Google's location. It was probably located near some major construction that jammed the main through traffic intersection of US 2 and 89. We gave up only to find that no bypass for the construction was marked and we had to ask a worker how to get out of town.

It looks frustrating to read events so far, but the rest of the day went great. We took our time in Kalispell for a late lunch and some shopping. Back on US 2 heading west around Glacier to avoid the fire we rely on the series of Roadside Geology books to provide insight to the scenery. As we headed towards ID the book mentioned a scenic view of the Kootenai Falls. Google maps only shows it as kootenai River Historical Marker about the river, but there is a path to to view the falls. With a 200 foot drop in two cascades its the largest undammed waterfall in the northern Rockies. Well worth the stop. Our hotel that evening in Coeur d'Alene was two blocks from a restaurant that distilled its own vodka and was nice nightcap on the rocks with a twist.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 10:03:26 pm
Day 4

Now with four in the car we left for our longest leg so far. Fortunately the weather was beautiful with sunny skies and a high around 80 as we trekked across the Big Sky country of MT. The oil rigs of the Williston Basin fade out after a short distance into MT and the 500 miles we covered are rolling hills with ranges and wheat fields, occasionally interrupted by a small town. BTW Amtrak follows the same route we did along US 2 and we saw an eastbound Amtrak at one point in the afternoon.

The highlight of the day in the morning was a tour of Fort Peck Dam and Powerhouse. This federal Depression era project project (10K employed) is the largest earthen hydraulic dam in the US and the almost 4-mile long dam creates a lake with a shoreline longer than that of CA. The powerhouse uses the 200 foot drop in water to turn 5 turbines and produce about 180 MW of power. My daughter is a recently graduated engineer and my son is studying engineering, so the tour was an excellent fit with the interests of the passengers and ties to our water theme.

The rest of the drive was pleasant and my wife and daughter were able to pick up patterns at three MT quilt shops. Our final destination was the Cobblestone Manor Bed and Breakfast in Cardston AB. We have a nice loft space with deck that could easily sleep 6. Thanks to good weather and high speed limits in MT we arrived in time for dinner, where I enjoyed a very nice homemade roast beef dinner with some excellent mashed potatoes and gravy.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 09:37:54 pm
Falling about after 30 years? No plans to maintain it/update it or are you just speculating that they might take it down? That would be unfortunate (though I'm glad you managed to finally visit at least)

The tower had an 8 ft chain link fence around it with a sign saying that concrete chunks were falling off of it. The sign also said that engineers had determined that the structure could not be stabilized through repair. It mentioned that the structure was likely to come down and a new design would replace it.

Was the route through ND Muon2, to see more water features?  ND is the one state other than Alaska to which I have never been. It's not on the way to anywhere, and does not have a destination feature.

The Peace Garden is centered around a stream, pond and fountain that sit directly on the international boundary. It is a significant tourist destination despite being out of the way (AAA Gem attraction). You should seek it out if you need a trip away from the hustle and bustle.

I could also count the quilting stops as water themed since all the participating shops designed a water-themed pattern this year. Wink

7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 28, 2015, 10:18:57 pm
Day 3

When I was little I liked to collect state highway maps that gas stations gave for free. I'd pick them up during travels to visit relatives. In the car a frequent game was to identify as many different state license plates as we could. I noticed the ND called itself the Peace Garden State, and on the maps there was this place tucked on the international border called the International Peace Garden. It seemed interesting and remote and it's been on my bucket list to visit for 50 years now.

It was still a few hours drive to get to the Peace Garden from Grand Forks. On the way I got to see the monument in Rugby ND that marks the geographic center of North America (and my wife got to a nice quilt shop there as well). The entrance to the Peace Garden is on the international line and is accessed in between the two customs stations so that visitors from either country don't have to go through customs of the other country. On the grounds one can walk back and forth across the line through the gardens, and customs only applies as one drives away. One unfortunate feature is that the Peace Tower which was built in 1982 is falling apart and may have to come down within a year.



After the the visit to the Peace Garden the weather took a nasty turn and for the last two hours I found myself driving into a 39 mph (62 km/h) headwind with crosswind gusts as I drove through fracking country. We ended up in Williston, ND where it seems everyone drives a pick up to work in the oil fields. Shortly I'm heading to the Williston Airport to pick up my daughter who will join my son, wife and I for most of the rest of the trip.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe the politics of the previous hypothetical person--historical edition on: July 27, 2015, 11:11:32 pm
This is pretty far off topic, since most of the posts are likely to be pure guesswork. Based on the other threads like this posters rarely provide anything to support their guesses, it's mostly just individual's views of the current stereotype. I fear that this thread will devolve into speculations based on current stereotypes of past political positions. Generally I moved those to the Individual Politics board, but there's a lot of reworking topics right now, so I'm not sure where it goes. Don't be alarmed if this moves somewhere else.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 27, 2015, 09:59:56 pm
Day 2

Day two started out with a couple of stops to pick up some supplies that were overlooked in the initial packing. There's always something forgotten on a trip it seems. One advantage to a road trip is that a stop to Target to pick up some stuff is easy to add. Here we stopped at the original Target location (but new building) in Roseville MN, a place I bicycled to from my home in the early 1970's. We added a couple more acquisitions before really getting underway just after 10 am.

The theme of this year's road trip is water, and our point of interest this day was Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We stopped at both the upper end of the lake and the popular north end of the lake. That's where a short rock crossing of about 25 feet spans the official start of the river. There were a couple dozen kids and their parents wading across the "Mighty Mississippi".

Before we go to Itasca we stopped in tiny Hackensack MN (pop 313) for lunch, but more importantly to pick up a pattern at the quilt shop there. There's annual summer event where quilt shops in all 50 states offer pattern on a theme, and this year's is H20 (there's the water theme again). The quilting hobby is big enough that the proprietor said that since mid June there had already been 200 people who visited the store in the middle of nowhere to not just pick up the pattern, but to buy a kit with the needed fabrics.

After a drive through the White Earth Indian Reservation and fields of sugar beets we arrived at our overnight destination in Grand Forks ND. We got in about 7:30 with plenty of time for a dinner out. A sign pointed to Sertoma park and advertised a Japanese Garden. It's small with a couple of traditional stone lanterns donated by the Japanese sister city of Grand Forks. For a city that size it's nice, though it could be improved with somewhat less pond scum.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 26, 2015, 11:21:02 pm
Day 1

The start of the trip isn't much to write about. We didn't start until early afternoon because of a couple of sporting activities. I wanted to see the final leg of the Tour de France. Even though the jerseys were all decided, I'd watched the first 20 legs and I wanted to see the final sprint. At the same time my wife was at a special class to train for her 3rd degree black belt that she hopes to get in Nov. We finally got going about 1:30 pm.

Other than the pick up at the martial arts studio, there were stops for gas, a snack, and dinner. The snack in Madison was combined with a stop at a quilt shop for my wife's hobby. We've driven the road between Chicago and the Twin Cities many times, so with the late start we just headed to our first stop in Roseville, MN with a college classmate of mine.

I'll keep my signature updated with the daily travels.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Guidelines about what threads are appropriate on the Individual Politics Board on: July 26, 2015, 05:52:48 pm
I get the rationale to move the geographic opinion threads off of IP, but there are a couple of factors that I think should be considered. One, my observation is that most of the geographic polls/competitions are decided based on the poster's view of the politics of the location. Two, the polls have the potential to crowd out the substantive threads in Off Topic: sports, science, etc. Ideally there is a child board for the personal opinion polls, but we'll see where Dave goes.

Fun stuff being a mod. Sad Actually I never vote for a location based on its politics. I typically prefer places with politics at variance with mine. But hey, if the geography post is a poll or question specifically about a location based on its politics, I will leave it here. How about that Solomonic compromise? Smiley Or alternatively, since it's about geography, how about moving them all to your board Muon2?  Tongue

These type of polls have occasionally on Political Geography. I usually let the develop for a few replies. If the the replies are adding factual information about the geography I let them stay. If they become purely opinion (and it's usually about politics as posters are demonstrating the Big Sort) then I move it to IP. As I said, I'd prefer a board to collect all forum opinion polls. Otherwise once one starts it tend to generate many along a similar line. That's not bad by itself, but a dozen such polls will knock other substantive threads off page 1 of the board.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Group draw for the 2018 World Cup on: July 26, 2015, 07:20:30 am
Who qualifies for the berths? I assume that the best team out of each of the 9 groups qualifies. Are the other 5 selected from runner ups with the best results in the groups? In particular how do they compare results from groups with different numbers of countries?
13  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Lame duck period on: July 26, 2015, 05:13:58 am
It should be 1-2 weeks. That's more than enough to pack your stuff and get out.

Of course that entails adopting first-world vote counting procedures.

How would you handle overseas ballots that can be mailed up to election day?

How would you handle provisional ballots that have to be checked against voter lists by the same people who are certifying the vote totals from regular ballots? There's actually a lot of required cross-checking of precinct data before a count is certified.

That's why it's unrealistic to do it in less than 3-4 weeks.

How does every other country in the developed world manage to count all its votes within 24 hours with virtually no errors? Well, do as they do.

I've attended the vote counting at an EU country back in 2002. They don't seem to count late mail-in ballots, if you are out of the country your vote must arrive by election day. That contrasts with the US where ballots must be postmarked by election day. That would require overseas military personnel to vote as much as three weeks before the election to insure that it arrives in time.

Provisional ballots are required to help voters who came to the wrong polling place or whose registration may have been in error cast a ballot. In the US the voter can cast a ballot and it is eventually matched up to lists at the correct precinct. What I saw in the EU was that if you weren't at the right place your vote didn't count.

The error rates in the US and EU seemed comparable controlling for the technology. My observation was that in the EU there was a greater reliance on the finality of the local count. Recounts are much harder to obtain for close elections in the EU.
14  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Lame duck period on: July 25, 2015, 06:52:50 pm
It should be 1-2 weeks. That's more than enough to pack your stuff and get out.

Of course that entails adopting first-world vote counting procedures.

How would you handle overseas ballots that can be mailed up to election day?

How would you handle provisional ballots that have to be checked against voter lists by the same people who are certifying the vote totals from regular ballots? There's actually a lot of required cross-checking of precinct data before a count is certified.

That's why it's unrealistic to do it in less than 3-4 weeks.
15  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Lame duck period on: July 25, 2015, 02:08:40 pm
Because there are overseas military and provisional ballots, an election cannot be certified for as much as three weeks after the election. That puts the reasonable limit on seating a new body at four weeks. In IL that's the span used for most local offices. For example IL county boards are sworn in on the first Monday in December.
16  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Moderation in April - 0.22% Mod Rate. You be the Mod Poll on: July 25, 2015, 10:39:02 am
9.It's just a question people.  Trolly perhaps, but if you find it a troll question, ignore it.

But one job of moderators is to keep trolls in check so they don't dominate the forum. The problem here is that we can't see if it's an isolated question from a productive poster or a trolling post from someone who frequently trolls.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Guidelines about what threads are appropriate on the Individual Politics Board on: July 25, 2015, 09:59:50 am
I get the rationale to move the geographic opinion threads off of IP, but there are a couple of factors that I think should be considered. One, my observation is that most of the geographic polls/competitions are decided based on the poster's view of the politics of the location. Two, the polls have the potential to crowd out the substantive threads in Off Topic: sports, science, etc. Ideally there is a child board for the personal opinion polls, but we'll see where Dave goes.
18  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Forum Feedback on: July 23, 2015, 12:31:59 pm
Indeed.  Do people really think they're going to get boobies and weeners in the FC?


Well no, but nobody is actually thinking or suggesting that.

Actually a number of regular posters have asked to be left alone when they post NSFW material (text and/or pics). The mods are called prudes when that material is deleted.

Yes, but putting aside such complaints that need to be ignored, if the FC site is private, but has the same standards it has now, is that a step in the right direction or not?  I very much doubt Dave would want a private board that has material on it that is NSFW.

If FC is held to the same standards of posting, what difference does it make to be private? It seemed that the whole idea of making it private was to allow posts that would otherwise violate the standards - particularly along the lines of vulgarity and profanity.
19  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Forum Feedback on: July 23, 2015, 07:48:30 am
Indeed.  Do people really think they're going to get boobies and weeners in the FC?


Well no, but nobody is actually thinking or suggesting that.

Actually a number of regular posters have asked to be left alone when they post NSFW material (text and/or pics). The mods are called prudes when that material is deleted.
20  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Forum Feedback on: July 23, 2015, 05:15:50 am
I enjoy posting on the Forum Community board and do it frequently. However if it becomes a closed board where people can post anything including the NSFW material I will have to avoid it for professional reasons. There are so many places on the web where one can post whatever, it's nice to have places where I don't have to worry about certain types of content. I had hoped that a parallel forum would satisfy that need, so I hope there will remain a board for open discussions about activities in member's lives that doesn't need a NSFW label.
21  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Are you a "moderate hero" on any issues? on: July 20, 2015, 11:04:00 pm
I find few issues are cut and dried to one extreme or the other. Nuance is the order of the day on most public policy. That said, I often have to choose between two less-than-ideal options since that is all that is available. Yet, just because I must choose doesn't mean that I can't still espouse a nuanced position.

Is that moderate hero enough?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 20, 2015, 10:33:46 pm
angus, the good news for us is that the stop frequency is now reduced compared to years gone by. If you look at my 2005 log and apply a decade of math I will now be traveling with adult children at 20 and 22. The driving gets easier with the extra drivers, but lodging gets more complicated since I can't pile everyone into a bed (or two given the age and genders involved). However, points at hotel chains do have value in this type of planning.
23  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Moderation policies: what should they be? on: July 20, 2015, 02:38:15 pm
... and that the boards have different standards based on the nature of their subjects.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Florida Megathread on: July 20, 2015, 12:40:17 pm
Shouldn't most of the content on this thread since the court announcement on the map be on the Congressional board?
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 19, 2015, 09:01:59 am
The Skagit destination was booked last year to coincide with the week when I have a meeting in Seattle. The MN layover is the only one associated with a personal friend. Layovers in ND, WA, and OR are at the request of my kids who haven't slept in those states before (OR for me as well). Otherwise destinations are spaced to keep the travel days at 350 to 600 mi (600 to 1000 km) depending on anticipated stops.
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