How to hike to Black Point Fissures

FissuresThe Fissures at Black Point, next to Mono Lake, are interesting formations that are worthy of the shortish hike.  But as you’ve read, it’s hard to find the fissures because there’s no trail.  So, here are come clues to finding the Black Point Fissures at Mono Lake.

  1.  The fissures do not face the lake, they face west, towards highway 395.
  2. You’ll be tempted to start from the trail head by ambling south along the hill.  Only do that if you want a longer hike. Suck it up an head straight up the hill at only a SLIGHT angle, as shown on the map, a clockwise route.
  3. If you hike too far south, you will stumble on what I call “faux fissures” like I did.  Not worth the side trip.  I deleted that side trip from my GPS route you see.
  4. The route that takes you south of Black Point peak is easier because it’s a bit more gradual and the terrain is a bit more open, meaning, fewer picker bushes.
  5. You do not have to scale Black Point peak to get to the fissures, I recommend skirting to the left or right, unless you really want to see the 360 degree view.  You’ll see the same view by taking my route.
  6. The route north of the point is the way I took back to the trailhead.
  7. A good GPS setting for finding the Black Point Fissures is: 38 01 36 W, 119 05 53 N.  I’m surprised that I couldn’t find this anywhere.  Set your GPS and just go for that point; you can’t go wrong.  I think you can just go straight to that point, and not so far south as I did.
  8. I’m not recommending the route I took, ONLY the GPS setting.  If you give yourself time, you’ll easily spend an hour or three exploring a wider range of fissures than is shown on this map.
  9. In the summer, it can get hot here.  IMO, start early in the morning.  Good luck!

How to Fix the Deficit

The State of Washington has figured out a way to fix the deficit.  Tax our constitutional rights.  They’ve put a $25 tax on guns and a tax on bullets, so that’s taxing our 2nd amendment rights.  But that’s just a start. Let’s look a few more amendments:

1st:  Tax free speech.  If you want to say something publicly, you must pay a tax.  I should have to pay a tax for this blog.

3rd:  Don’t want your home used as a military barracks?  Pay a tax.

4th:  Pay up or the police can raid your home and do full body cavity searches whenever they feel like it.

5th:  Relying on the 5th amendment to not be forced to testify against yourself?  Pay a tax or lose the right.

6th :  Tax the right to counsel.  If you hire a lawyer, you must pay a tax.  This could be huge.

7th:  You want a jury trial?  Pay a tax

8th:  You don’t want to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment?  Pay a tax or it’s the “rack” for you.

9th:  Pay a tax or the govt will take away other, unnamed rights.

13th:  You don’t want to be a slave?  Pay up.

14th:  Pay a tax if you want to be a citizen

15th:  If you’re black and want to vote, pay a tax

19th:  If you’re a woman and want to vote, pay up

It’s interesting that until Washington State, no one thought of this, so I can’t take credit.


Minimum Wage – let’s not freak out

I was a little concerned that we’re rushing to increase the minimum wage, and didn’t understand the rationale.  Then I found this site and realized that in real terms, the minimum wage today is quite a bit lower than when I was making minimum, back in the early 70s.  I still don’t believe that the minimum in Hell, MI should be the same as in SF, CA, but there’s clearly room for some growth.  Something to think about.

Truly Great Book about drugs

“Licit and Illicit Drugs”.  I read this book while in college and when thinking back about the best books I’ve read, this is in the top 3.   It is an outstanding source for historical information about the development of our attitudes towards drugs, the role they play in our society, a straightforward, non-technical presentation of the psychological and biological actions of various drugs, and the effects of our current drug policies.  You will be stunned at the destructive role of our government and certain individuals have played on society through misinformation and just plain bad laws.

Sadly, it is out of print, but you can read it on-line at:

Good reading.

Naming public things

Why oh why do we continue to glorify politicians?  We elect them to do a job, they do the job, often poorly, then we name streets, bridges, airports, parks, schools, and buildings after them, and we give them awards.  This makes as much sense as glorifying street sweepers or doctors.  Even worse, because street sweepers and doctors tend to do useful work.  What kind of sick society do we live us that compels us to put politicians on pedestals?  The next time your local community wants to name something, attend the meeting and suggest we name it after Irena Sendler, or someone like her.

Corporations are ‘job creators’ only as a last resort

My subject line is a quote from Jerry Davis of the University of Michigan.  And from Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times:  “By the turn of the 21st century, a company’s overall market value was no longer tied to its payroll. In 1962, the largest corporation by market capitalization was AT&T, with 564,000 employees; in 2012, it was Apple, with 76,000 employees. Big employers are now typically retailers and food service firms, which employ armies of part-time and low-wage workers; the largest employer among big companies today is retailer Wal-Mart, with 2.2 million workers.  Shifting inputs from built-in-house to built-outside and then ordered just in time revolutionized manufacturing. The same trend is being followed with labor, rather than raw materials or parts. That’s Uberization — the company doesn’t even outsource labor, it just orders workers at the moment they’re needed.”

He goes on to say “Society as a whole may also have to recognize that the responsibility of social welfare, whether healthcare or retirement, will have to be borne more by government, a trend that started as long ago as 1935 with Social Security, continued with Medicare in 1965 and proceeded with the government subsidies provided to insurance purchasers by the Affordable Care Act. If corporate employers and their shareholders are intent on shedding their traditional roles as bulwarks of the working person and the family in order to keep more wealth for themselves, there really is no other way to make them pay.”

I think these guys have hit the nail on the head.  I was with NetApp a couple of years ago, a company with then, 13000 workers.  Almost half were contractors.  This is clearly a trend.  Work used to be defined as a career, then moved to a job when people came to see that company loyalty was no longer rewarded, and now, it’s becoming a task.  I’m not sure we can or should do anything to reverse this, but Mr. Hiltzik is correct, government will have to intercede on behalf of the worker/citizen.

This is huge.




Insider trading now legal!

It appears that insider trading is pretty much legal now.  Here are excerpts from the article in the New Yorker:

…  the court … held that it is not enough to prove that someone traded on a tip that she should have known constituted material nonpublic information; instead, prosecutors need to prove that she was affirmatively aware of the dodgy provenance of the tip. The court also held that prosecutors must demonstrate that the original tipper was somehow compensated for offering the tip.

So, if I pass along an insider tip to a friend, and he/she uses it to get rich, and doesn’t compensate me (wink wink), then it’s all legal.  I am stunned that this court ruling isn’t causing big waves.  I guess that we all KNOW that the little investor can’t compete with the insiders so we just accept it.