This is Perfect. WA Senator proposes bill in Legislature to give Seattle what it asks for.

This is Perfect. WA Senator proposes bill in Legislature to give Seattle what it asks for.

If you follow the Northwest news at all, you will be familiar with the story of the environmentalists behind the drive to remove dams on the Snake River, to improve habitat for endangered salmon.  Never mind that removal of those dams would also result in the loss of many megawatts of clean, carbon-free energy production for Eastern Washington, and add thousands of trucks and rail cars to carry all the cargo that was previously carried on the river.  Local agricultural and utility interests in Eastern Washington have spoken with alarm about this proposal.  Some economists have also come out against the proposal, demonstrating that dam removal would have negative consequences for the entire region, even absent the enormous costs for removing the dams.

So, now, a State Senator has proposed a bill in the Washington Legislature in Olympia, to essentially give the citizens of Seattle (who are so numerous, and so Leftist, that they essentially run the State) the kind of project that they are asking for the citizens of the other half of the state to accept.  Senate Bill 6380 would launch a study of breaching the Ballard Locks and  removing the Seattle City Light Dams, to restore Seattle waterways to their pristine condition.  It would also restore Lake Washington to its original condition, and remove Ravenna Creek from its sewer pipe back to the surface.

This is the Gorge Dam, one of those Seattle City Light-run dams that brings electricity to the Social Justice Warriors of Seattle.

IMG_1426

The story above describes how the proposal would let the Skagit River run free as it did in the early twentieth century.  This story just made me smile, and I am interested in hearing how the Seattle contingent in the State Legislature responds to it.  Tit-for-tat; you want to take Eastern Washington back to the 19th Century, maybe you should contemplate Western Washington being returned to the 19th Century.

Oh, and the Senator who proposed this bill is a Republican from Ferndale, a town in Western Washington just south of the Canadian border.  Thanks, Senator Ericksen!

Winter Wonderland. It’s Snow-homish County! Updated Tuesday 1-14

Winter Wonderland. It’s Snow-homish County! Updated Tuesday 1-14

The news media and local government have been talking about nothing else for the past few days, than the huge winter storm that was bearing down on us.  We saw weather maps with swirls of clouds, and were admonished to “prepare for the storm” by laying in supplies of blankets, candles, flashlights, and food that can be eaten right out of the bag or can without being heated.  Stevens Pass over the Cascade Mountains is closed indefinitely, due to downed trees and power lines.

The snow started last night, and Hubby had to sweep the snow off his car so we could go out for dinner.

IMG_0580

I got in the trusty all-wheel-drive SUV at 5:40AM today, and drove to work.  Here are a couple of pictures I took on the drive home this afternoon.

SnowTrees1-13-20

These trees are in a park right next to the building where I work.

IMG_0591

This is along the road by the local airport, just down the way from work.

Winter wonderland, indeed.

And here are more snow pictures, around our house on Tuesday afternoon.

99thSnow

This is the “green space” right next to our house.  Last year, one of those trees fell right across the street.  There are big Western Red Cedars and some alders (which grow really fast, and fall often, since their roots are very shallow).

CedarYardSnow

These cedars are in the neighbor’s yard just to the south of our house.  That’s our fence in the lower left corner.  These trees drop scales all autumn, making our yard look reddish-brown.

And there are multiple new stories in the news today, warning us of more snow and high wind coming.

New Winter Storm Brewing

Trees Were Coming Down All Around Us

Eastbound Snoqualmie Pass re-opens after Spinouts

And, a view of a snow-dusted Snoqualmie Falls

I love Winter, and just hope none of those trees falls on our house!

2020 Year of the Rat (and the optometrist?)

2020 Year of the Rat (and the optometrist?)

In the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 is a Rat year.  Now, most people don’t have very nice associations with the Rat, since they bring to mind ideas like Bubonic Plague, Lab Rat, filth, vermin, rat traps, and “dirty rat”.  Rats are normally viewed as pests, and most of us would scream and run away if we saw a rat in our house.

However, in the Chinese zodiac, if you were born in a Rat year, you might show an aggressive attitude and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Rats might make a lot of money in their lives, and triumph over obstacles set in their way.

This is also a year divisible by ten, and most of us humans have a tendency to attribute special qualities to any year divisible by 10.  Perfect vision is denoted by 20/20, so there have been numerous references in various places this year to Vision.  I just came up with  this slogan:

2020, the Year of the Optometrist.

 Citizens, make that appointment with your local optometrist, and make sure your Vision is 20/20 this year!  I wonder if the eye-care community is milking this year for all it’s worth?

On a side note, in college I was a Psychology major, and I was required to take a class in Research Participation, which involved using rats. They looked very much like this:

Lab rat

My lab partner (who later became my husband) was actually afraid of the rats!  I wasn’t, and had no trouble handling them, so I handled the rats while he did the recording when they ran the maze.

Oh, yeah..Be sure to check out Ratburger.org.  It’s their year, too!

So rats aren’t always bad, and if you were born in a Year of the Rat, you might become the next Elon Musk or Bill Gates!  What Chinese Zodiac sign were you born under?

What does this say about the Illinois Government?

The state just legalized recreational marijuana use, and the demand has been so high that the pot shops are running out of supply.

And the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton, was at the head of the line to buy.

LtGovBuysPot

So, residents of Illinois, with all its other problems (basically bankrupt), now you have to worry about State Government officials getting high.  Be careful out there!

2019 It was a (mostly) Very Good Year

2019   It was a (mostly) Very Good Year

As 2019 ends, and 2020 approaches, I have to say that it was a pretty fine year for our little family (Me, Hubby, and Kitty).  There were no disasters, no serious illnesses, only a few bumps in the road.  Our Country has been wracked and torn by the disgusting DemocRATS impeaching President Trump, but he has not let it stop him from governing well in the meantime.

Month by Month…

January

Not much going on in January.  Early in the month, we went to the Seattle Athletic Club, where Hubby plays squash, to watch exhibition matches with some professional players. Some of it was good fun, as world-renowned players played doubles on the big, glass court.  They were intentionally tripping over each other, missing shots, and getting in some good laughs.

Doubles

Singles…

SquashMatch

If you have never watched a real professional squash match, I urge you to go over to your favorite video site and search on pro squash.  They are very exciting and fast-paced.

February:

February was a busy month for us.  Early in the month, we got some snow up in our home of Everett, Washington (not that common an occurrence), and our backyard looked like a winter wonderland for awhile.  Our local birds were happy to take advantage of our seed and suet feeders.  Here’s one of our Varied Thrushes.

IMG_0097

 

Later in the month, we went down to Southern California for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar, which has already been documented here on Calling-all-RushBabes.  It was a wonderful trip, and we were thrilled to be able to meet some well-known Conservatives.  We also confirmed that we will be endowing a Hillsdale scholarship.  From this year on, all of our donations will be credited to our scholarship (for a music student).  We are pleased as punch to be able to do this.

My Age started to affect things this year, as in October I turned 70-1/2, which means I have to start taking Required Minimum Distributions from my Traditional IRA account. My account is with Vanguard, and they do make it very simple to set them up.  I had decided a while ago to dedicate that money to Hillsdale donations, and I did that in May and November this year.  Of course, the College was happy to receive the donations, and they will fund our endowed scholarship.

March:

March was a pretty uneventful month, with no big trips or happenings.  We did drive up to the Skagit Valley to see the scenery.  It was too early for the tulips, but the daffodils were already blooming. It’s only about an hour drive from our house, so we make the trip often.

Mar-Daffodils

April:

April, on the other hand, was full of interesting happenings.  For a few months, we had been noticing that our water bills had been increasing, and we didn’t know why.  Well, we finally called a plumber, and they discovered that we had a broken water pipe in our front yard that was making a lake near the side of our house!  So, on a rainy day, they came out, dug up the yard, and discovered the broken pipe.

BrokenPipe-Apr

See the bend in the pipe (vertical)?  Here is what the yard looked like:

BigHole-Apr

However, when he was through, the plumber replaced the dirt and sod, and the yard looked almost untouched.  We were grateful.

I turned 70 years old this year!  I don’t feel that old, and I’m still working more than full-time and liking it.  And, as a 70th birthday present to myself, I purchased my very first smartphone, an iPhone 10R.  I am liking it a lot, especially the camera.  It takes wonderful video, and it’s now my primary video recorder.

April is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and we went back up there to see the flowers.

IMG_0281

May:

In May, I took my solo trip to the Olympic Peninsula, also already documented here.  It was a great time to get away and unwind from all the stress at work. [I just looked at my final paycheck for the year, and I worked 383 hours of overtime in 2019!]  I got some excellent photos, and enjoyed the relaxation.

June:

In June, as usual we went to Leavenworth for the Accordion Celebration.  Leavenworth never changes much, and the music was fun, and the kids cute, as usual.  We love the drive there, too.

IMG_0097

July:

In July, we again took a day trip up the North Cascades Highway, to the Diablo Overlook.  That is always a fun drive, and we still marvel at the blue-green water in the glacial-fed lake.

IMG_0674

At the end of the month, for the finale of the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, I got to play with the Festival musicians at the Outdoor Concert.  It was a thrill to play with Amy Schwartz Moretti in the Second Violin section, playing the Elgar Serenade for Strings.

Violins-SCMFJul

August:

In August, we went to a party at my cousin’s house, to celebrate the birthday of his son’s daughter.  We had not seen the son in many years, and had never met his wife.  It was a nice party, attended by my sister, my nephew, and my great-niece too.  Later, we took another fun trip down to Tumwater Falls Park in Olympia.  That park never loses its fascination for us, and I understand why that was one of Hubby’s favorite places before we knew each other.

TumwaterFalls

September:

September was another busy month for me.  We took a trip to the Puyallup Fair, which I already documented here with numerous pictures.  Even at our advanced age, we love going to the fair!

Later, I had a very pleasant dinner with my sister, and our cousin from Portland.  When I thought about it, I had not seen her for over twenty years!  It was wonderful to get caught up on what we had all been doing for such a long time.  I sure hope it won’t be another 20 years until we see each other again.

At the end of the month, I went, with my violin, to the 30th Anniversary celebration for Music Center of the Northwest.  I was on the original Board of that community music school in Seattle, and it was fun to catch up with all the former board members, and hear about what had been going on at the center.  They also scheduled a reunion of Hildman Strings, the string orchestra whose leader was the driving force behind Music Center.  We played together again, and didn’t do too badly for a pickup group!

October:

October was a momentous month for us.  For the first week, we flew back to Michigan for the 175th Anniversary celebration at Hillsdale College (see my post).  They dedicated the new Christ Chapel, and we got to hear Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speak at the dedication ceremony.

We also celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary in October, with a nice dinner at the Metropolitan Grill in Seattle.  I just had to take a picture of a page in the menu, describing the various varieties of Wagyu beef they serve there.  Having seen a picture of a slab of Wagyu, I certainly would not be interested in eating any, since it looks like it’s at least 50% fat!

Oct-Meat with your fat?

Just look at those prices!

November:

In November, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving since our marriage, alone.  I have been basically drummed out of the family, based on the content here on my blog that my sister objects to.  So we went to a nice dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Bellevue, and didn’t have to worry about saying anything that would offend anyone.

And we made our excursion to Snoqualmie Falls, that I have already documented here.

December:

I made a momentous decision in December, after I received a letter from my long-term-care insurance carrier.  The letter informed me that, if I did nothing, my insurance premium would be increasing in January by 40%, and would go up by an additional 150% in the next five years.  Well, that was the last straw.  I decided that this would be throwing good money after bad, so I basically canceled my policy.  The money that I have already paid in premiums (over $30,000) would still be there for me to draw on if necessary, but I will be paying no additional premiums.  I made the decision to take the money I would have paid in premiums, and invest that money in my own account, to earn dividends until needed.

Hubby and I had a very much Christmas dinner at home.  I made a boneless rib roast, and he made garlic mashed potatoes.  We had a nice salad, and apple pie for dessert.  I even got out the good china and Grandma’s silver plate.  Here’s our table:

ChristmasTable

The day after Christmas, we did the University Unitarian Church full-length sing-along, play-along Messiah.  I played first violin, and Hubby sang.  It was wonderful, as always.  This year was the fiftieth year the church has been doing this, so the conductor appeared as the Composer!  Cute, but she said the getup was really hot!

Karen-Handel

The remodeled sanctuary was beautiful, and we got nice padded chairs!  The choir sang very well, and we in the orchestra were proud to be playing for them. It was a great ending to a good year. Oh, one more thing…  This is a Unitarian Church, which is as far Left as you can possibly be and still be a religion.  Here is a sign outside the rest room.

IMG_0565

We are both in aerospace, and get the time between Christmas and New Years off.  This year, we saw three movies in our weeks off.  We saw the new Star Wars movie, Richard Jewell, and Ford Vs. Ferrari.  That’s more movies than we normally see in six months!  And we enjoyed them all.

Also this year, we followed the case of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which was grounded for much of the year, after two fatal crashes in Asia and Africa.  This incident brought opprobrium to Hubby’s employer, and my company’s biggest customer, and we winced every time new bad news was received.  This issue will carry into the new year of 2020, and promises to be uncomfortable for everyone.

Now, as the old year winds down, I would like to express gratitude for all the good things that have come our way this year.  I earned a very nice salary, was able to put away a rather large sum in my retirement accounts, and benefited from a rising stock market all year.  Hubby and I have been healthy, except for my cancer scare (also documented here) in the fall.  We are incredibly fortunate not to have had any major problems this year, and we thank God for our lives, and our friends, and our colleagues.   We are big supporters of our President Donald Trump, and wish him and his family a good new year.  I would also like to thank all of my loyal followers and commenters, here on my blog.

Onward to 2020!  Happy New Year to all!

Natural Beauty at the Asian Grocery Store

This past weekend, Hubby and I made a trip to the local Asian Grocery Store.  Uwajimaya has two big stores in the Seattle area, the flagship store in the International District of Seattle, and a new branch in Bellevue where we went.  This family-owned store has been in business since 1928, and stocks a bewildering variety of goods, from packaged noodles, produce, and meats, to every imaginable kind of Asian spice, sweets, and sauces.  A trip there is to walk into a wonderland of colors, smells, and sights.  I again discovered the utility of that smartphone in my pocket.  If I see something interesting, I can just whip out my phone and take a picture.

I am always fascinated by the variety of totally unknown (to me) fruits and vegetables to be found there.  Here are some pictures I took with my new phone.  The camera is awesome!

IMG_0570

Did you know there was a vegetable called “Buddha’s Hand”?  Neither did I, but it is aptly named.

IMG_0571

IMG_0572

IMG_0573

IMG_0574

Have any of you seen the Anime series “Daikon Brothers”?  Named after those Daikon Radishes you see on the left!

IMG_0575

IMG_0576

No, you don’t necessarily have to range far and wide to see beauty, just head on over to your local Asian grocery.