Robinson R44 helicopter ferry Day 2: riding through all of Hell and half of Texas

After we had finished registering voters in El Paso, we headed east along Interstate 10. Here we are parked on the “pad of shame” at Fort Stockton:

(As with self-checkout, self-service aircraft fueling is where I learn that there are no jobs with required skill levels lower than my own.) Nobody was around mid-day Saturday so we proceeded to Sonora, Texas (KSOA) where there was also nobody around, but we were able to take the crew car to some superb barbecue:

(Not worthy of inclusion in Austin and Lockhart, Texas: 10 barbecue restaurants in 72 hours, but still great compared to what’s available in 95 percent of the U.S.)

At T82 (Fredericksburg, Texas), which has an on-field restaurant and an on-field hotel, we discovered that Bidenflation has pinched the economy so badly that almost everyone was forced to drive a small two-seat imported car, some that were decades-old:

I was unwise enough to contact Austin Approach and the controller vectored us halfway to Mexico despite our low altitude. We did enjoy seeing the Radha Madhav Dham, however:

Radha Madhav Dham is one of the largest Hindu Temple and Ashram in the U.S. and is widely known for welcoming hundreds of visitors every day, regardless of their backgrounds, to its religious services, family festivals, and devotional retreats. Located in the rolling hills southwest of Austin, Radha Madhav Dham is an integral member of the local interfaith community, working with other faith-based institutions to provide charitable works and strengthen the common bonds between all religions.

In addition to the spiritual development of human souls, Radha Madhav Dham actively supports the charitable activities of its parent organization JKP Worldwide which is deeply involved in improving the material welfare of the underprivileged in society.

It would have been great to land the helicopter in the grass and see if they could explain the “common bonds” between Hinduism and Islam as interpreted by Jaish-e-Mohammed and also to ask for donations to help the material welfare of underprivileged followers of Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, we wanted to be on time for dinner at Casa Medina (“city of the Prophet”) near the Conroe, Texas airport (KCXO) and The Woodlands (see Atlas Shrugged in Houston (The Woodlands)). Conroe is also near where Mexican national Francisco Oropeza shot his Honduran neighbors. We’d previously flown over what looks like it might eventually be Mr. Oropeza’s taxpayer-funded home in the U.S.:

Despite our humble piston background, we were received like royalty at Galaxy FBO:

We returned for breakfast at the FBO’s upstairs restaurant and discovered a shocking scene of inequality:

Our emergency phone call to Elizabeth Warren was not returned.

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Why didn’t NCAA boycott Florida and Texas for March Madness?

NCAA is supposed to boycott states that do not practice Rainbow Flagism. “N.C.A.A. Ends Boycott of North Carolina After So-Called Bathroom Bill Is Repealed” (NYT, 2017):

The N.C.A.A. on Tuesday “reluctantly” lifted its ban on holding championship events in North Carolina, removing its six-month-old prohibition less than a week after the state’s Legislature and governor repealed a so-called bathroom bill that had led to boycotts of the state.

The organization, which governs college athletics, said in a statement that the law’s replacement in North Carolina had “minimally achieved a situation where we believe N.C.A.A. championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment.”

Where were the March Madness basketball games held? Among other places, Florida and Texas. Both of these states are on the official California boycott list for their insufficient devotion to the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community (2021):

California is adding Florida and four other states to its official travel ban list after Attorney General Rob Bonta said Monday the states passed anti-LGBTQ laws that are “directly targeting transgender youth.”

Before Bonta’s announcement Monday, 12 other states were already on the California ban list: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

California in 2017 banned state-funded travel to Texas after the nation’s second most-populous state allowed agencies to reject adoptions by LGBTQ couples based on religious reasons.

Here are NCAA basketball tournament cities for 2023 that are in no-go locations for righteous Californians:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • for the Final Four… Houston, Texas (“Due to existing Texas laws, abortion is now banned in Texas.” says the leading abortion care industry vendor)

Why not rename this event “The Tournament of Hate”? And what happened to NCAA’s principles between 2017 and 2023?

Separately, note that South Florida is home to 50 percent of the Final Four teams with Florida Atlantic University (sounds private, but is state-run) and University of Miami (sounds state-run, but is private).


  • “I’m calling on the NCAA to boycott Texas (again) after SCOTUS allows abortion ban” (Deadspin, 2021): From lifting mask mandates to trying to control women’s bodies – the NCAA should stop hosting events in the Lone Star State … “This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. … In March, I suggested that the NIT and the NCAA Women’s Tournament consider boycotting Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate.
  • if you love sports and roasting/basting in Miami’s summer weather, the May 5-7 Formula 1 race (only $590 to attend, but that doesn’t include a seat)
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Life in the suburbs of Austin, Texas right now

I caught up with a friend in the hills just west of Austin, Texas today. He was spared from the power failures that have made the news, but life at 0 degrees F was not comfortable. “Even with the heat pumps going full blast and the extra resistive heater that is supposed to be used only occasionally, the temperature inside the house still fell to 55 degrees.” Better now that it has warmed up a bit? “The house has come up to 66, but the water system has been shut down. The treatment plants are back online, but there is simply no water in the reservoirs for pressure. It all leaked out when pipes burst.” If the power hadn’t failed, would these pipes still have burst? “I think so. Our neighborhood did not lose power, but neighbors have still reported on the mailing list that they had pipes burst.”

Earliest this week, I suggested the following to a friend who lives in Austin:

Wouldn’t the best stunt be “drive to Monterrey”? 67F and sunny tomorrow there.

I offered this same suggestion to my friend on the phone. It is only a 6-hour drive. Why not follow his senator and go to Mexico? “I can’t leave my neighborhood,” he replied. “Remember that you come up a hill to get to this house and it is still a sheet of ice. They might have one or two salt trucks for the entire city. I said that I would never need AWD now that I’d moved down here.”

T-shirt weather in Austin almost exactly two years ago, February 20, 2019:

(instead of running, I was doing research for Austin and Lockhart, Texas: 10 barbecue restaurants in 72 hours)

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