A Trip to the Olympic Peninsula

The week after Memorial Day, I took a solo trip to the Olympic Peninsula, to use up some vacation hours, and get away from the constant stress of work.  I jumped in the trusty old RDX (old, from 2008), drove onto the Kingston Ferry (where the fare-taker asked if I was really a senior!), and headed over to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.  It was a nice day, and I was going to familiar territory.  No maps or charts needed-just point the car in the right direction and go.  Down Highway 101, west toward Sequim first.  I spent two days in Sequim, and one day in Port Townsend.

I arrived in Sequim around 3:30PM, and checked into my motel.  Then, I took a drive up into the hills south of town, to visit property owned by a work acquaintance.  He is a sailor, and found a nice piece of land near the John Wayne Marina.  He gave me directions, and I found it fairly easily.  This is the view from that piece of hilltop property.

View from Shaun's property

He wasn’t joking when he said he had a view of the water!

I was impressed by the house of one of his to-be-neighbors.  Nice place!

Million-$ house

After that, I drove down to the John Wayne Marina.  I have to say that the name is more impressive than the place.  But it has a nice quiet beach.

Beach-John Wayne Marina

View-John Wayne Marina

I still had daylight left, so I drove back to Sequim, and out to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, where I had plans to spend the next day.  It was too late to go down to the Spit, but I drove along the approach road, and stopped at a couple of the overlooks there.  I actually got some very nice pictures.

There are lots of these bushes at the top of the bluff, with pretty flowers-they are wild roses and are everywhere.

Wild rose

This is the view north over the bluffs down to the Dungeness Spit.

Bluff Overlook

Here’s the view looking south.  All the way to the right (west) is Port Angeles.

Looking South

Straight down below.

Beach and dead trees

This is the Spit itself, to the north.  It is five miles long, with a lighthouse at the end.

Dungeness Spit

And look what I saw!  A Bald Eagle, flying below me.  When was the last time you saw a bald eagle flying below you?

spot the bald eagle

Actually, they are pretty common here in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s still a thrill to see one.

The next day, after a lazy morning doing nothing at all, I headed down to the Spit for a hike.  I actually got to use my National Park Senior Pass for the first time, as the refuge is part of the Olympic National Park.  It was foggy, and that fog did not lift all the time I was on the path and down to the Spit itself.  Well, I already have hundreds of Dungeness pictures from previous trips, so I took a lot of artsy pictures in the fog, and even captured some wildlife.

The path down to the Spit is through a stand of second-growth timber, and is actually very pleasant.

OrangeFlowers

I have no idea what these orange flowers are, but they are common around the Spit.  Followers?

Weird trees

I was taken with this apparently-live tree growing around a dead one.

Path to the Spit

Above is the path down to the Spit.

And, of course, what’s a National Park without some guilt?

Guilt

I found a nice “nurse log”, where a dead tree nourishes new, living plants.

NurseLog

As I rounded a bend in the path, I got my first view of the Spit below, in the fog.

First view of spit

Some of the trees beside the path looked positively eerie in the fog.

TreesInFog

Path in fog

As did the Spit itself.

FoggySpitFoggyBeach

I really loved all the beautiful driftwood on the beach.  Many of these must have been huge trees when they were alive.  And people have added their enhancements over the years-lots of little piles of rocks in the branches and crevices.

Huge driftwood log

big logs

Doesn’t this one look like a log-shark?  It sure did to me! Or maybe a wolf?

log shark

Beaches in Washington tend to be rocky, rather than sandy.  This is due to the fact that granite and basalt form much of the foundation around us, and what falls off ends up on our beaches.  Even the rocks are beautiful.

Rocks sand surf

Rocks

I took this one-minute video, to give you a sense of the beach that day.

Behind me, to the east, is a small bay, in the crook of the Spit as it winds its way north.  A little white-crowned sparrow was sitting on a piece of driftwood, seemingly posing for me.  I didn’t get too close, but he let me take his picture.

portrait of sparrow

And then he turned around.  What a pretty bird!

sparrow facing

More pictures of the bay, and the grasses along its beach.

quiet bay

beach grasses

I’ve always been fascinated by driftwood, with the bark still on it.

driftwood closeup

And a couple of more sights on the path back up the hill to the car.

tree grows funny

empty nest

The next day, I drove up to Port Townsend.  I first stopped at Chetzemoka Park, overlooking the harbor and downtown.  Here is what I saw there.

TallFir

Chetzmoka rhody

Chetzemoka arbor

flowers

Plants

After spending a while at the park, I went to check in to my bed-and-breakfast inn, the Ravenscroft.  It is a beautiful building, and I had a nice room on the second floor.

Ravenscroft

B-n-Bveranda

Here’s the view from there.

View from BnB

In the evening, I took a stroll downtown.  Port Townsend is a touristy place, with lots of nice gift shops and restaurants.  Its harbor is picturesque, and I found some features this time that were not there the last time I went!  It looked like someone had fun piling up the jagged rocks, making “rock people”.

RockPeople1rockpeople2

RockPeoplePier

The next day, I did some sightseeing around the area, where I had not been at all.  I first drove through town, and admired the many old houses around.  PT has a reputation for having many Victorian-era houses that are well-kept (and very expensive).  Many have been re-purposed as apartments or bed-and-breakfast inns like Ravenscroft.

House-1

House-2

House-3

House-4

House-5

Then, I drove south out of town, and headed east toward the water.  I discovered Indian Island Park, which consists of Lagoon Beach and Mystery Beach.  They were really beautiful.  I especially got a kick out of the river-pools running into the main body of water, because they were shallow enough to observe all the crabs-dozens of tiny guys under each rock and on top of the rocks too.

Lagoon Beach

LagoonBeach-river

How many crabs?

IMG_0547

This is Nordland, Washington, on Marrowstone Island.

NordlandHarbor

BlueBoat-Nordland

Pier-Nordland

All too soon, it was time for me to head back to Port Townsend to catch the ferry to Whidbey Island.  When I boarded the ferry, I took lots of pictures of the PT harbor, and the fleet of sailboats out that day.

Ferry-Salish

PT-Harbor

PT-Sailboats

Ferry-wake

Once we hit Whidbey Island, I exited the ferry and headed for the south end of the island, from which I was to board another ferry to Mukilteo, near home.  The last sight of my trip just totally made me laugh.  The car in front of me in the ferry line pushed every one of the standard Progressive buttons, and was not at all shy about advertising its persuasions.  Typical!

Lib-1

Lib-2

Resist Hate, except for President Trump!

All in all, a delightful getaway.  I had a great time, and came back refreshed.

Sorry, I just could not let this go…Celebrating Perverts Month…

On my dashboard, the back-end of Calling-all-RushBabes today there is a link that says “Celebrate Pride Month with WordPress”.

Needless to say, I won’t be clicking on that particular link!

For some reason, I can’t imagine anyone being proud of being a pervert (homosexual); essentially a mistake of nature.  And no, the homosexual lobby will never get me to admit that homosexuality is not a perversion of Nature, a denial of what humans should be.  Humans are designed by their Maker to reproduce, one man and one woman joining to produce little descendants, to carry the Human Race forward into the future.  The Lavender Mafia would try to make normal, heterosexual people, admit that they are the wrong to think of themselves as normal.  Try as they might, the Homosexual Lobby will not succeed in making their behavior normal, or “defining deviancy down”.

This site will never, ever celebrate “Perverts Month”.

The City of Seattle has confirmed that it is Lawless

The City of Seattle has confirmed that it is Lawless

Through a number of city-wide policies, the fast-growing city of Seattle has decided that, because more people “of color” than whites skip out on Library fines, ride the Metro buses without paying, live in tents on the streets, commit property crimes, and use and deal drugs out in the open, that those crimes and misbehaviors will no longer be punished.

This article on the Fox News Web site details how Seattle no longer enforces its laws, and everyone suffers.  This is pathetic.

It’s pretty funny that many wealthy residents of big houses on the east side of Lake Washington are downsizing and moving to pricey condos in downtown Seattle.  They should watch where they walk, lest they get tripped up by used needles and human feces on the sidewalk. Luxury Urban Living.

Welcome Guest Author Richard Easton, and his Proposed New Format for Presidential Debates

This article was originally posted over at Ricochet.com, and I am happy to make Calling-all-RushBabes available to spread his wisdom.  Comments very welcome!

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There has been widespread dissatisfaction with previous presidential debates between the Republican and Democratic candidates. In 2012, Candy Crowley stated shortly before the second debate that she would not abide by the contract she signed. She then interfered in the debate on the side of Obama. In 2008, the vice presidential debate moderator, Gwen Ifill, was completing a biography of Obama. One can easily surmise that financial considerations alone gave her a bias favoring Joe Biden. Clearly, her book had the potential to sell more copies if Obama won the presidency. One may ask why the Republicans didn’t insist that these biased moderators be removed. This tacit agreement to participate in a process that was biased against them may partially explain why they lost both races.

How can you solve the problem of biased moderators? I suggest eliminating them and using the model of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates. There were seven debates, one in each congressional district, each of which was three hours long. The first debater spoke for 60 minutes, the second spoke for 90 minutes, and the first responded for 30 minutes. Today’s Americans don’t have the attention span for an unstructured three-hour debate. I suggest that the candidates cover specific questions in fifteen-minute segments. A coin toss determines which debater speaks first for five minutes. The second debater then speaks for 7.5 minutes, and the first speaker responds for 2.5 minutes. There is a timer in place of the moderator. This allows for more time for speakers to talk without interruptions while also allowing them to challenge each other. In contrast to the behavior of Candy Crowley in the second debate, Jim Lehrer in the first debate asked general questions and let the candidates talk. My proposal codifies this by eliminating the moderators and putting the focus on the questions.

How are the questions determined? One possibility is to have a liberal and a conservative scholar each selecting half of them. Victor Davis Hanson would be a good choice for the conservative scholar. Another alternative would be to have each campaign select 25% of the questions, with the scholars picking the remainder. All of the questions would be known in advance to the public. The only unknown in advance of the actual debate is who speaks first on a question. This alternative is fair to both sides and removes the media from the debates.

The fall debates have recently been of two hours’ duration, including about twenty minutes of commercials. Using my proposed fifteen-minute segments, this would allow for six questions in a debate with ten minutes for closing statements. Recently, there has been both an opening and closing statement, but I suggest eliminating the opening segment to allow for more questions.

My unbiased proposal allows voters to understand better how the candidates think about issues than under the current process. It will be difficult to stall for 7.5 minutes. It will challenge candidates to speak intelligently for that duration and the debates will be improved.

How would this change be implemented? Currently, the Commission on Presidential Debates organizes them. One possibility would be to petition the members of the commission to make this change. Another alternative would be to bring this to the attention of the leading Republican candidates. Removing the press from the process eliminates the possibility for bias to affect the result. If the Democrats refuse to consider this change, the Republican candidate could refuse to participate in the debate. There is no reason to give one side an advantage in shaping public opinion.

The vagaries of the English Language

This is what happens when you are in the bathroom stall at work, and you are given something to think about.  At my workplace, which is a factory, many women of every possible ethnicity use the bathroom.  Some of those women are not the most fastidious, and leave various kinds of trash behind.  The Facilities staff have left various messages on the inside of the stall doors to try to get the users to clean up after themselves.  The current message says:

Be Courteous, Leave the Bathroom Stall Looking Like You Were Never Here.

That got me thinking about pronunciation in English.  In the sentence above, there are two words that are only one letter different, but they are pronounced totally differently.  How would a non-English-speaker remember that Were is pronounced “Wur”, but Here is pronounced “Heer”.  And then, there is the word “There”.  Same “ere”, but pronounced differently than here and were.  How would you know that “where” is pronounced the same as “there” and not the same as “here” or “were”?  There don’t seem to be much in the way of hard and fast rules of pronunciation, so English learners just have to learn as they go.  Makes me glad I’m a native English-speaker.

You CAN teach old ladies new tricks-the joy of giving!

This past week, I did something I’ve never attempted before…since until now I had no need to do it.  Over at Ricochet.com, one of our most beloved members did a post about her unfortunate situation.  She is elderly, and living alone.  She lives in Montana, and we met her in 2017 at the big Montana meetup.  Everyone just loved her, and she was the life of the party.  Well, last week she was essentially cast out by her family.

Since this is the 21st Century, the obvious response was : Someone should set up a GoFundMe for her.  Since no one else volunteered, the task fell to me.  I had already done a post over at Ratburger, for the many Rico Refugees over there, so I had two big groups of “friends you haven’t met yet” as possible donors.  She gave permission, and her post was copied over.

So last Saturday, I sat down at my trusty iMac, found the GoFundMe Web site, and initiated a campaign for her.  I found the site pretty easy to use, and it only took me about 30 minutes to get the campaign set up.  Then, I put up posts on both Ricochet and Ratburger, with links to the site, and an initial goal of $5,000.  I had a pretty good idea that the members of both sites would give generously to help our friend, and I was right, big-time!  Before the end of the day, we had reached the initial goal.  I was just flabbergasted that it took so little time!  That was helped by large donations from a couple of people, and many smaller donations.

The campaign is still open, with a new goal of $7,500.  We are almost there, and I am leaving it open until we reach the new goal.  When the initial posts got buried, I posted updates, and more donations came in.

I have always believed, since I was a psychology grad student, that giving to others not only benefits the recipient, but the donor.  We humans are programmed to get a thrill from helping someone else, and this campaign proves it.  My heart is just bursting with joy, at being able to succeed at a first effort to corral that many donors to reach a goal that would help someone we all know deserves it.  I have this big grin on, whenever I see a new donation drop in!  I get a text message on my new iPhone whenever a new donation is registered, and the site makes it easy to say “thank you”.  I remembered a few years ago, when a Rico member who was wheelchair-bound needed a handicapped van to get around, and the Ricochet family pulled together, and funded it.

I learned that if I want to help someone, I can do it.  I am glad that GoFundMe is there, and their people should be proud that they are able to help so many.  Try it, you’ll like it, and you’ll benefit almost as much as the beneficiary does.

RushBabe Enters the 21st Century

I celebrated my 70th birthday in April.  Just before that, I made it into the Twenty-First Century.  Yes, I bought my very first smartphone.  Thank you, thank you for all the applause, much appreciated.  After a few hiccups in the setup process (don’t EVER forget your initial passcode-it’s awful trying to reset it), I got the thing together.  I bought the phone, an iPhone XR, unlocked at the Apple Store.  I just love going into the Apple Store-nobody has figured out the Retail Ambience like Apple!

This is what I bought:

iPhone XRBlack

And this is what I bought to keep it safe:

SpigenCaseRed

I have the coolest phone out there, in my opinion.  Already owning an iPod Touch, it was pretty easy setting up my email account, and syncing my apps and music from iTunes.  The phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, so I had to buy the adapter so I can use my noise-canceling headphones at work.  Well, I confess that I am still keeping the little iPod, since it does have the headphone jack for listening to my Rush Limbaugh podcast at work.

I made certain to get enough memory with the new phone, so I won’t run out of space for all my pictures.  This summer, I plan to take an iPhone photography class at the Apple store, so I can get familiar with all its features.

One of the things I was really looking forward to with an iPhone was getting the ringtone I’ve always wanted.  Years ago, I discovered that the best-known of Mozart’s Piano Quartets, the G-Minor, was nicknamed “Answer the Telephone”!!  So that’s the first thing I did, try to find it on the Apple Tone Store.  I found it, and now when my phone rings I get to answer the telephone to the music of Answer the Telephone!  Even if it’s a robocall,  just hearing the ringtone makes me smile.  Eventually, once I learn how to use the new version of GarageBand on my computer, I am going to make that ringtone from the real music in my iTunes.

One thing I discovered that really made me jump out of my skin the first time it happened, was that when the phone rings, so does the iPod!  You can answer the phone, but you can’t “answer” the iPod, since it’s not a phone!  That was really weird.  So now, I can join the ranks of those who keep their phones with them at all times, just in case they get notifications or calls.  Mine will stay pretty silent, since, unlike most others, I am not on social media, which is the source of most notifications for everyone else.  I am looking forward to being able to surf the Web in the doctor or dentist’s waiting room (so I don’t have to read 3-year old magazines).  And the phone uses WiFi when available, thus saving those valuable Data Bytes you have to pay for.  Actually, I have a very reasonable phone plan from the folks that used to be AAA Cellular.  I pay $36 a month for unlimited talk and text, and 2Gb of data.

I am getting better pictures of our owner, since the phone is by my bed and by my desk when I’m there.  Kitty likes to curl up on the bed with me, so I can get her in her unguarded moments.

IMG_0042

She is sitting on a little tote bag I got from my oral surgeon.  Can you resist that face?

IMG_0044

Waiting while the sheets are in the laundry, she just takes over!

I think the phone camera takes excellent pictures, and I discovered, much to my delight, that what the camera takes is a tiny movie, and if you hold down your finger on the screen, the subject moves!  That really surprised me the first time I saw it.

So, the learning begins.  Just shows you that we old ladies can learn new technology!