Excursion to Snoqualmie Falls

On Friday, Hubby and I took a drive up to Snoqualmie Falls Park, near North Bend (in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains).  We went late in the day, and the sun was nearly setting, but the Falls was well-lit from where we stood.  It was a beautiful, crisp Autumn day, and the drive up was quite pleasant.  We actually found a parking space easily.

I have always been in awe of what humans can do when they put their minds and backs into a project.  And the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Station required copious amounts of strength, and human ingenuity.  The first part was built in the late 1890s.

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I was very impressed at how quickly and well the project was built.  Nowadays, the project would be held up for years by “environmental impact” garbage, and the cost would be in the billions.  Here’s a diagram.

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Here are some of the pictures I took, of the mighty power of Nature, somewhat harnessed by Human Ingenuity.  The plant is now owned by Puget Sound Energy, and residents of the East Side of Lake Washington get their electricity from this complex.

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This is the top of the falls, and you can see some of the power plant buildings.  Most of the apparatus is actually underground, hewn out of bedrock by people wielding drills.

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This is the Snoqualmie River below the falls.  You can see in the lower left corner the outflow of a portion of the falls that is directed through the power turbines.

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It’s a pretty steep drop from the observation walk, to the bottom of the canyon!  Solid granite, too.

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Compared to earlier this fall, the Falls is at very low water.  There was a lot of rain in September, and the Falls was very high, and there was extensive flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley below.

Here’s some video.  You have to hear it to believe it.

We are so very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of America.

A Bullet Dodged: Thanks Given

Ferry-wake

RushBabe dodged a bullet recently.  I had a health scare, which started in June with an itchy place on one shoulder.  Where it started was easy to remember, since it took place on the street in Leavenworth, when Hubby and I were there in June for the International Accordion Celebration. Gradually, that itchy place took on the appearance of a blood-blister.  It was a red, spongy blister-like thing, and it sometimes itched a lot.  It didn’t worry me too much, since I assumed that it was the result of a bug bite (quote common in the mountains of Washington State).

It didn’t go away, and it sometimes interfered with my bra strap.  So, I decided to make an appointment with my personal doctor, to see if she could lance it (drain it) and make it go away.  She agreed to see me, and I went to her office.  She did poke it, and drained off some blood.  She gave me a big bandage to wear for a while, and I went home.  Well, that thing didn’t go away.  So I went back, and she took a big piece of it and sent it to her lab just to see what was inside.  This time, she had to put in some stitches.  Again, I went home with a bandage on.  When the lab results came back, I went back to have the stitches out and get the results.  The lab found some Lymphocytes, but nothing definitive.  And the darn thing still came back.

So, next step was to make an appointment with a dermatologist.  I did that, and went in for an exam.  The Dermatology Doctor read the lab report from my doctor, and she looked worried.  So, she took another big biopsy sample, and sent me home with some more stitches.  And something about T-Cell Lymphoma.  Oh, and she also told me not to do any “internet research”, since I might not get the right information that way.  I took her advice.

About a week later, she called me on the phone, and asked me to come in.  It turned out that they found two different kinds of T-Cells in my sample, and I might have a lymphoma, though she wasn’t very informative about what that might mean. [OBTW, that lesion on my shoulder had mostly gone away-maybe the big biopsy sample scared it!]  She asked me if I would approve her sending my sample for evaluation to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which works with the University of Washington.  I told her to go ahead.

So, yesterday I braved the I-5 freeway at morning rush hour, to visit the SCCA and speak with a Dermatological Oncologist there.  It took me an hour and a half to drive the 25 miles in to Seattle.  The office was on the fourth floor of their building in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and had a gorgeous view of the lake.  I spoke with two doctors, one an Internal Medicine Resident, and one a Dermatological Oncologist.  They had had time to look at all my records, and the bottom line was, I probably did not have a Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma, but  “Pseudo-lymphoma”.  Weird, but I was happy to hear it.  They did order a complete blood count, just to make sure.  On the way out, I went to the Lab, and had a big blood sample drawn.  The crowd waiting in the lab area was large, but I only had to wait a few minutes.  While waiting, I was internally giving thanks that my health scare was probably just that, a scare.  And I was impressed by the mood of all the patients waiting for lab work.  I could see that many of them obviously had cancer, but they all looked pretty optimistic, and all the staff were very encouraging.

I suppose when you get to be 70 years old, you begin to think that your time left is shortening.  This incident really brought it home for me.  I thought about all the things that I might need to get done in a short amount of time.  And I gave thanks for being pretty healthy for an old lady.  I almost never get sick, and I don’t remember the time when I last called in sick to work.  Geez, I’m still working more than full-time!

So this Thanksgiving, I will really have something to be thankful for.  My life, my Hubby, my Kitty, my job, my friends.  And I especially am thankful for being born in America.  If I really had had cancer, there is no better place to be than the Seattle area, with all its health care resources. We really do have the world’s best medical system here in America, and I hope that we will never be subjected to the “socialized” system like in Europe, where outcomes are never as good as they are here.  I never take things for granted, and I thank God that I can still be a productive member of society.  I’m thankful for all of my followers and readers on my blog (and the Freedom of Speech that allows me to express myself without being censored), and I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving this year.

 

 

Seattle Landlords are not going to be very happy.

The Washington State Supreme Court has just handed down a ruling that is going to make it much more difficult to own rental property in Seattle.  The near-socialist, depraved City passed a law that requires landlords to rent to the “first in line qualified renter” when they have a house or apartment to rent.  So the City effectively removed the landlord’s discretion in to whom to rent.  Landlords must advertise their criteria, and will be required to rent to the first party who fills the requirement.  No choice, landlord.  Three unmarried guys?  Three unmarried gals?  If they both meet your requirements, you MUST rent to the guys if they were ahead of the gals.  Now, who is more likely to make a mess?  Guys?  Gals?  No matter, regardless that it’s your property, it is now not your decision who your renters are.  Landlords rightly protested that this was a Government Taking of their property without compensation.  Sorry, landlord, the CITY now is an equal partner in your rental unit.  From the article on KOMO:

Justice May Yu wrote that the law is “unquestionably an experiment” and that “there is room for substantial debate about whether such an experiment is likely to succeed.” But she added that it is allowed under Washington’s constitution.

Oh, yes, the Supreme Court also ruled in favor of a Seattle law that requires landlords to ignore “criminal record” status when screening tenants.  Felony in your background?  No problem, you can rent an apartment in Seattle no questions asked.

Hmmmm….  Would you want to own Seattle rental property?  I wonder if this will cause an exodus of “mom and pop” landlords, and maybe a reduction in value of rental property in the city.  It will be interesting to watch what happens.

 

 

The Big Reason President Trump cannot logically be impeached

Because the Far Left Mob was already calling for, and planning, Impeachment before he had even taken office!  The day after the 2016 Election, mobs of leftists had already brought out the metaphorical pitchforks, and called for him to be impeached.  How could he even have committed anything impeachable before he was President?

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He Will Overcome.

I am Owned by a Cat…

And I find this story quite alarming.  Last Friday in the Wall Street Journal (sorry, behind a paywall so I won’t link here), there was a story about cat owners making their cats vegan.  Now, I think that people who adopt the vegan lifestyle are a bit deranged (since God made us omnivorous for a reason), but I don’t deny them the right to eat whatever they want to, as long as they don’t make me adopt their lifestyle.

But this attempt to make an animal that is designed by God to be an “obligate carnivore” into a vegan sounds to me like animal abuse.  When we got our aristo-cat Kikyo,


we went to a kitten class at our vet’s office for tips about how to best make her a member of our family.  One of the things we learned in that class was that cats do better on an all-wet-food diet, with as much meat protein as possible.  We learned that cats normally do not eat vegetables, and should not be routinely fed vegetables.

That’s why this article alarmed me so much.  Especially, when I read this paragraph in the article:

Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, conducted a survey that found high levels of guilt among vegan and vegetarian pet owners who feed their pets meat.

So these pet-owners are taking their own guilt out on their pets!  These people are responsible for the well-being of their feline companions, and they are knowingly feeding them food that the animals are NOT designed to be eating if they want to maintain their pets in the best of health!  This sounds like animal-abuse to me!

Property Tax Rate Disparities around the Seattle area

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates live in the tony suburb of Medina on Lake Washington.

From MyNorthwest.com:

Essentially, the owner of a $2 million home — the low-end of home prices in Medina — would pay $1,680 in property taxes per year to the city under the new levy, an increase of roughly $400. Right now, the city’s homeowners pay just 64 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value, among the lowest in the state. Comparatively, Bellevue pays 94 cents for every $1,000, while Redmond pays $1.15. Seattle pays $8.29 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

!!!!!!!!  No wonder retirees are advised to move away from Seattle when they no longer bring home a paycheck.

Coming back to bite them in Seattle

Coming back to bite them in Seattle

On my favorite KOMO Web site today, there is a sad story about a King County worker assaulted, right outside the King County Courthouse in (used-to-be) beautiful Downtown Seattle.  This is so disgusting that I am going to copy some of that story for you here.  This is what the City of Seattle and County of King have become. Please do follow the link and read the whole story.

In September, Kara was assaulted just outside the King County Courthouse after leaving work to head to the train.

Surveillance video shows a man cross the road, mumbling to himself. He steps in front of Kara, she goes around him, and then he hits her in the back of the head, leaving Kara with a concussion.

Those are the facts of the case.  County employee, just walking down the street minding her own business, gets jumped by a street vagrant and injured.

But the worst of it is what happened later, when the good reporters at KOMO News try to find someone in City and County Government to address the issue.  Again, from the article:

It’s been nearly two years since we (of KOMO News) first shared concerns from King County employees about the scene outside the courthouse – people drinking and abusing drugs; people in crisis, shaking and screaming.

Plus, county employees and jurors are being assaulted. Many of them no longer feel safe walking in and out of the courthouse.

King County judges have been asking police to ramp up patrols during high-traffic times for county workers and jurors.

“It’s hard to say the needle has moved much,” Judge Sean O’Donnell told KOMO about conditions outside the courthouse.

“Members of the public deserve to feel safe coming to their courthouse,” Judge Jim Rogers added.

Judge Rogers believes some jurors aren’t even showing up because they’re so concerned about safety.

County council members are also asking for more support from the city.

KOMO spent hours outside the 3rd Avenue entrance to the courthouse, only seeing an occasional Seattle police bicycle patrol despite several emergency calls.

“I want them to come here and experience this,” Kara Armatis said about city leaders.

KOMO brought those concerns to Seattle’s City Hall and received very little response.

Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez chairs the public safety committee. She ignored KOMO’s request for comment.   [Emphasis Mine.]

So it looks to me like the members of the Seattle City Council are walling themselves up in their fancy new headquarters, and positively ignoring the plight of their city residents just outside their doors.  Who gets more consideration in the City of Seattle?  Taxpayers, or criminals and vagrants?  This story answers that question, doesn’t it?

 

A Trip to Hillsdale College, 175 years!

The first week of October, Hubby and I flew to Michigan, to attend the Hillsdale College 175th Anniversary Gala, and the dedication of the new Christ Chapel.  The weather was fine on the flight out, and we got to see Mount Rainier from above.

Mt. Rainier

We arrived in Detroit, picked up the rental car, and headed south toward the town of Hillsdale.  It was a beautiful day for a nice drive.  We stayed in the town of Coldwater, about 30 minutes south of Hillsdale, due to the fact that Gala attendees had taken up ALL of the available hotel rooms for miles around!  We learned that there were about 800 people there, and around 600 on a waiting list, which just blew our minds.  The Hillsdale Campus had never entertained that many people at once.

When we arrived in Coldwater, this retail store caught my eye immediately, and I told Hubby that I just had to get a picture.  What with Dick’s Sporting Goods publicizing their decision to stop selling guns, this was an interesting sign in the front windows.

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Our Second Amendment-supporting friends got a kick out of this.

The following morning we were rousted out early, since the first program started at 9:30AM. We grabbed a bite to eat before they finished up the breakfast buffet, and headed over to the Searle Auditorium to hear a presentation on the new Hillsdale Master’s Degree in Classical Education.  Hillsdale is doing their best to encourage real education, not the progressive indoctrination most kids get these days in government schools.  This new program will help train the right kind of teachers.  Next, we heard a great presentation on the School of Government.  Would that all politicians could be educated at Hillsdale!

Lunch that day was quite elaborate (like all the meals at the conference), with carefully-plated dishes that looked very artistic. Are we supposed to eat this?

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We were fortunate to meet up with our Ricochet friends Susan and Jerry from Florida.  We got to sit with them at all the meals except the last one.  You can get an idea from this picture of how many people there were at this celebration.

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And that’s only half the room!  There were almost as many tables behind us!  The lunch speaker was Victor Davis Hanson, whom we had met previously on two Hillsdale Cruises. His topic was Nationalism Good and Bad: Lessons from History, and as usual he spoke without notes.  Mr. Hanson is a veritable treasure, and every word he speaks is golden.

After lunch, we boarded a bus for the short ride over to the Performing Arts building to see a short selection from the college’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  The student actors were wonderful, and got a standing ovation from this audience.  I had never actually seen any of the play before, and I was impressed by how well it was done.

We learned that this production included the senior project of one of the students of stage design.  I was very impressed!

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The student cast was also pretty impressive.

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On the last night, we actually went to see the full production, with some other Ricochet friends, and at the end, the cast got standing ovations, cheers, and whistles from the mostly-student audience.  They sure deserved it.

We finished the play and chose to walk back to campus rather than ride the bus.  Smart, because it was only a two-block walk!  The bus had driven a lot farther than that to get there.

We then got back in the car and drove to our hotel to dress for dinner and the evening’s activities.  First there was a reception in a building described as a tent.  Well, it was bigger and more permanent-looking than most tents we’d seen before!

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Inside the tent, there was a nice bar setup, and tables of finger food.  The decorations were pretty elaborate, too.

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And there was a student group providing entertainment.  They were very good!

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After the reception, we went in to dinner.  After the meal, there were two speakers.  First was Dr. Larry Arnn, the President of Hillsdale.  Dr. Arnn is quite a remarkable guy, and everyone loves to hear him speak, on whatever topic.  Tonight’s speech described the 175th Anniversary, and the History and Purpose of Hillsdale College.  Or the Reason for the Season.

Next was everyone’s favorite Rush Guest Host, Mark Steyn, speaking on American Academia.  He got lots of laughs, and some groans, as everyone in this audience is pretty familiar with the horrid state of most modern universities.  After dinner, it was back in the car to the hotel, to rest up for the Big Day.

At 9:30AM the following day, we proceeded to the new Christ Chapel for the formal Dedication Ceremony.  We had seen the outside of the Chapel the previous day, and it looked amazing.

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We proceeded inside for the dedication, and we were a bit late, so seated way on the side in the back.  But we did have a view.

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The first speaker was Dr. Arnn.  But it was the second speaker who inspired everyone, and that was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

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After the Dedication Ceremony was over, everyone left the Chapel, and was standing outside waiting for the call to lunch.  That included Board President Pat Sajak, Dr. Arnn, and some Hillsdale students.

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With the Chapel empty, we walked back up the stairs, and got some time with the organ master, who described the features of the Fritts Organ, made by a company in Tacoma, Washington, and got to hear some samples of what it could do. Remarkable!

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That’s Hubby in the foreground.  Now, the Organ:

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And get a load of all those switches!  Even the pedals have extra switches.

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Then we all trooped back into lunch and more speakers.  The lunch speaker was Mollie Hemingway, whose talk was about the political divide in America.  We all had extensive experience with that.

After lunch, we went to a presentation on the Barney Charter School Initiative, with which we were already familiar.  See who was there:

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That was as close as we got to Justice Thomas.  His Security was everywhere, although this audience was about the most congenial and welcoming he could ever ask for.  After that, it was back in the car to the hotel to change for dinner.

The dinner speakers were Dr. Arnn, Mr. Sajak, and Stephen VanAndel, Vice Chairman of the Board, introducing the new Four Pillars Campaign, to raise zillions of dollars for Hillsdale.  There was an excellent video, of Hillsdale students and faculty describing the school.  I can think of no worthier place to donate than to Hillsdale College.  We are so proud of what they are doing, and we are endowing a scholarship for a music student.

After dinner, it was back to the Chapel, for a concert by the Hillsdale Symphony Orchestra.  They were magnificent!

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But the best part of all was the end.  The conductor had promised us a big surprise, and that it was.  The Choir all trooped up to the front, and the orchestra and choir played and sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  I tell you, there were few dry eyes in that audience, as the student musicians and singers praised the Lord in song.

After the concert, there was a reception in the Tent, and music by Hillsdale’s Jazz Band.

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JazzBand

And that was the official finish of the 175th Anniversary Gala.  However, we stayed another day, so we could do some shopping and sightseeing.

We parked on the edge of Campus, and we saw an animal that we last saw there in 2010. I don’t think we have these in Washington.  Have you ever seen a black squirrel?  They were very pretty.

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We next went to the Grewcock Student Union to do some shopping in the bookstore. And guess who we met on the way?  I just had to get my picture taken with the guy.

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When we were done with our shopping, we went over to the Music Building, so we could see where our money will be going, when we endow our scholarship. I guess you can tell that this must be the Music Building.

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It was a school day, so we did hear various ensembles, and a student taking a private violin lesson.

Then we got back into the car and did some sightseeing before returning to our hotel to rest and pack to leave the next day.  We saw a fair amount of fields with already-harvested corn, with the stalks still standing.

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This was an excellent trip.  We renewed our commitment to Hillsdale, and we look forward to visiting again soon, before another nine years go by!