Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT)

Discovery Channel Telescope

I dropped in to check on my gold interests in Bagdad, Arizona, last week. Bagdad is the home of a gigantic open-pit copper mine run by Freeport-McMoRan. Gold is a respectable byproduct of the copper extraction process, which is where I come in. Looking into that unbelievable hole in the ground is always worth the trip to Bagdad.

Afterwards, I took a leisurely drive over to Prescott and Camp Verde to visit friends, and on into the Coconino National Forest to the Lowell Discovery Telescope, which receives its mail through the village of Happy Jack.

The LDT is owned and operated by the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, established in 1894. My friend Ivan is on the staff at the LDT, assigned to exoplanetary research. He studies young stars and young planetary systems using spectroscopy.

We discussed matters of astronomy and astrophysics while at the same time hiking deep into the forest, far from civilization and its interests.

for What Pegman Saw

Brasilia

Was visiting my gold mines in Minas Gerais and decided to hop over the border to Brasilia to see an old friend (that’s his place above) in the low-income Taguatinga neighborhood in the capitol.

Brasilia has always been overcrowded and that hasn’t changed since my last visit. Millions with inadequate sanitation. Many without safe drinking water. Shoutout to Habitat for Humanity for doing good work here. Saw a picture of President Carter the other day, in his nineties and recovered from a brain tumor, driving nails at a new house. A modern-day saint.

Unfortunately, in this time of pandemic Bolsanero has invited crowds to Brasilia, taking the “this pandemic is no big thing” stance. I’m pausing my mines as soon as the first case of covid-19 is recorded in them.

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U. S. Marine

I was in Washington D. C. last week, on a business trip regarding my worldwide gold interests. While there, I stopped in Brentwood to catch up with some relatives of friends I had visited in Luanda in September (https://joem18b.wordpress.com/2019/09/14/luanda-angola/).

Washington is almost 50% African-American and Angola was active in the slave trade back in the day. The folks in Brentwood have roots in Southwest Africa stretching back to the 1700s.

We spent a quiet weekend, in part discussing the John McWhorter book “Talking Back, Talking Black,” which describes and explains the Black English dialect. I had a great opportunity to observe the dialect in action.

The family lost a grandfather in 1945 at Iwo Jima and by chance they were visiting the Marine Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery for a Sunday ceremony. I went along. It was quite moving. The past is still with us.

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Sükhbaatar

Hello, all.

After my visit to the gold vault in Switzerland, I flew to Mongolia and took the Trans-Mongolian Railway to Sükhbaatar on the country’s northern border with Russia. I have interests southeast of there in the Gatsuurt and Boroo gold mines via a private company in Singapore.

I maintain a pied a terre in Sükhbaatar (not to be confused with Sukhbaatar, a district in Ulaanbaatar) because of my Genghis Khan DNA.

It’s a modest neighborhood and bitterly cold a lot of the time, but my place is cozy.

Of course, half of Europe’s males have Genghis Kahn DNA, but not as much as I do. Plus, I’m fluent in Mongolian. Since it’s a typical agglutinative language, it was easier for me to learn since I’m also fluent in Turkish and Basque.

I have a wife and three kids in town, but I don’t make a big deal of it.

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Amsteg

hi, everyone.

i’m in amsteg, a hamlet in the swiss alps. i make my way up here once a year because this is where i keep all my gold.

americans are not required by law to report gold stored in foreign countries.

there are gold vaults around the world, mostly secret for obvious reasons. i prefer those in switzerland because of the stability of the government and the country’s long experience handling wealth in a secure and private, very private, way.

there are a thousand idle military bunkers in the alps and a few have been converted into vaults by security companies. the vaults screen their customers and check their deposits. vault standards exceed those of companies offering safe-deposit-box services.

i agreed not to post a pic of the vault!

it’s fun to visit my gold, especially the old coins, and then go out and hit the ski slopes!

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St. John’s, Newfoundland

Hi, everybody. I’m back from my NGO trip to Angola and settling in to my sometimes summer place in St. John’s.

The climate here is temperate in the summer months, ignoring the occasional hurricane. Lots of natural wonders available, yada yada.

Myself, I’m partial to bingo. Here, for example, is a place I’ve whiled away some time in. It’s a bingo parlor that shares space in the building with a for-profit university and a hair-styling salon.

On Topsail Road…

There are seven venues that I frequent, plus a list of online sites when I want to play from the comfort of my home.

In addition to the winnings, it’s a place to meet women of a certain age. I find that between the parlors and several different AA meetings, my social life is quite active. If you’re not into nature or fishing, romance is pretty much next on the list.

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Luanda, Angola

Last time I was here, in 1975, the city held half a million souls and was a comfortable place to be. The Portuguese had just left, though many of their countrymen remained. Then a civil war that lasted until 2002 drove refugees to the city. Now there are 8 million residents, sprawling slums, and from the picture, you can guess why malaria is a big problem.

Luanda is the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. Many Brazilians, growing number of Chinese and Vietnamese. Plus a few ex-pat buddies of mine.

That’s me on the right. A few Angolans are very, very rich and a lot of Angolans are very, very poor. Lowest life expectancy in Africa, last time I checked.

It’s a country rich in resources and there is a lot of building going on, including some to help replace the slums. Fingers crossed, but climate change threatens Luanda five different ways.

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Dog Sales

(snapshot, Sisavath St., Vientiane)

I came to Laos to sell dogs. Most Vientiane dogs you see out and about aren’t strays. Most have a home and many serve as guards there, although during the day they can be friendly. It’s rare to see a dog that appears to be feral, with medical problems.

Sadly, dogs are on the menu in Laos. The country also exports dogs to Viet Nam to be used for the same purpose, but that’s not why I’m selling dogs in the country.

The thing is, an amazing number of Laotian canines have stubby legs. Don’t know why, but this creates a demand for my dogs, which all have long legs.

That’s their selling point. They sell in Vientiane like, well, like hotcakes. Or hot dogs. If you see a dog in the city with exceptionally long legs, it’s probably one of mine.

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