Lens-Artists Challenge #112, Pick a Word

For this week, bloggers pick one or more of the following words, to illustrate with their photos.  The words are: Growing, Crowded, Tangled, Exuberant, and Comfortable.

I think I can find at least one photo that illustrates each word for the week.

Let’s start with Comfortable.

People who are owned by a cat know that most household pet cats spent the majority of their day sleeping.  Or relaxing.  Or peering out the window.  Cats are the world’s best seekers of comfort, and my owner, Kikyo, is no exception.  Here she is, curled up on the unmade bed.

comfortable

On the path next to Snoqualmie Falls, I found this pretty bush,  growing near a stand of trees.

growing

And, now that I look at it closer, more than one kind of plant is tangled together!  And here’s another visualization of Tangled.  In this case, cactus plants are tangled in the branches of the tree that grows in the same plot at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Cacti attacking the tree

 

On a trip to Colorado, we took a tour through the Garden of the Gods park, with its winding trails among the red rock cliffs.  This climber looked pretty exuberant to me!

Rock climber’s elation

As for Crowded, at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, there are vendors’ tables outside the Festhalle, where the shows and competitions take place.  Those tables can get pretty crowded with accordions for sale.

And, in my back yard one year, our suet feeder was crowded with Common Bushtits looking for lunch.

Thirteen Common Bushtits on our Suet Feeder, January 2012

You know how they say that one reason real estate is so valuable is “they’re not making any more land”?  Well, actually, Mother Nature IS making more land.  Due to the lava flowing from the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, more land is being created, and we got to watch it off the deck of the Crystal Symphony cruise ship in 2018.  So you can say that Hawaii is Growing more landmass.

Link

 

Damn You, Jay Inslee.

Damn You, Jay Inslee.

Another notch in your (well, I was going to say gun, but you abhor guns) billy-club.  Congratulations, you have destroyed another small business in Washington State. Another livelihood ruined, lives put in jeopardy by your “Rule by Decree”.  We have to destroy it in order to save it.  You’re lucky that the Sheeple of Washington are more than willing to let you ride roughshod over their lives, in order to “protect” them from the Evil Wuhan Coronavirus.  I feel for the proprietors of the LaConner Sweet Shoppe, who are now forced out of business.  While you sit, secure in your office in Olympia.  Your livelihood and job are in no danger, so it doesn’t matter to you, how many others’ jobs and businesses you destroy.

Well, we are not all Sheeple. It is abhorrent that you make the legitimate small and large businesses in our state do the enforcement for you.  You make THEM require all their customers to don a disguise before entering their establishments.  So if I exercise my God-given right to freedom of association and refuse to cover my face, they are the ones who suffer if I am allowed to.

MaskRules

Welcome?  Masks Required doesn’t sound very welcoming to me.  It says “You and all our customers are Dangerous!  You are by definition Infectious and might Kill us and the rest of the customers in our store!  Max four customers?  Not too welcoming to me.  And then, there’s this:

StateOrder

This has been pretty effective in causing the destruction of Society, for it is not society if we are prevented from seeing our friends’ and neighbors’ faces.  No way of reading lips for deaf citizens either.  Just more destruction.

And you want a third term?  Disgusting!

Lens-Artists Challenge #111 Everyday Objects

When I saw the topic for this week’s challenge, the first thought I had was “Ooh, this one is going to be fun!”.  And I think it will be.  I hope my readers think my choice of said objects is fun.

My first two everyday objects are items that are precious to me.  The first one, I have had since October of 2003, when I got married.  My boyfriend and I had been looking around for suitable wedding rings (not matching, since our tastes are different).  We happened to be in one of our favorite places, Leavenworth, Washington, and walked into a little jewelry store on a side street, away from the tourist-trap main drag.  And there I found exactly what I had been looking for.  It was made by Margaret Ostling, and it’s called a “Mini Moebius”.  She made them in both white and yellow gold, with and without diamonds.

IMG_0713

Such a simple concept, beautifully made, it is a continual source of wonder, and feels so good on my finger.  And it’s unusual enough that I have never seen anyone else wearing one.

The other most precious object is my violin.  It’s a bit older than the ring, having been made in New York in 1987.  I bought it from its maker, who moved to Seattle just before I bought it.  I took my violin teacher along when I first went to play and see if I wanted it, and she was quite impressed by its sound, saying that it sounded almost as good as her 18th-Century Italian instrument.

Not only is it beautiful to look at, it sounds wondrous, and I love playing it.  When I bought it new from its maker, I had the idea that even Antonio Stradivari must have had to start somewhere, and was a young violin-maker just starting out, hoping people would like, buy, and play his instruments.  Well, we know how that turned out!  I just hope that David VanZandt of Seattle will become as famous.

Now, for something a bit more “everyday”.  I took this picture of a very every-day kind of object, for a post that was based on a pun.  But, now that I look at it, it’s quite a contrast between the object, and the pretty placemat that I used as a background for it.  How best to show off your “tuber”?

Tater

A friend at work is a quilter, and I bought a set of six placemats in this ornate pattern from her at our holiday bazaar a few years ago.

Last but not least is an item that is not everyday for me, but is everyday for my dentist, and I thought it was so beautiful a tool that I just had to get a picture.  Can you guess what it might be?

TeenyTorqueWrench

Actually, it’s a little precision dental instrument, a very tiny torque-wrench, used to tighten down a crown onto the dental implant underneath.  My dentist loves it because it feels so good in his hand.  In my opinion, it’s a piece of industrial art, too.

Well, thanks for accompanying me on this tour of Everyday Objects in my little world.

Here’s the Link to Patti’s Original Post.

 

WheelTug, Driving Aerospace

A friend of mine is the CEO of a company called WheelTug.  They are an aerospace startup, developing a product that fits inside the nose wheel/landing gear of an airplane, enabling it to move under its own power around an airport, including pushing back from the gate, turning around, and gliding up to the taxiway so it can take off.  This is a really exciting product, and they already have about 2,000 commitments from airline customers.

Next month, they will be giving the first fully-public demonstrations of the WheelTug system.  This Video acts as an Invitation to attend the TestDrive, either online or in person.  I invite my readers to take a look, and see if you don’t think this is a remarkable invention.  WheelTug promotes their system to airlines, not as a fuel-saver (which it does), but as a time-saver, adding minutes per day that airlines can use to squeeze in additional flights, or improve scheduling.  The system also saves aggravation, and eliminates the need for a separate ground-tugger and personnel to man that tugger (and potentially get in the way of the airplane, causing damage).

Take a look at the video, and tell me what you think.  Comments encouraged!

Will someone tell me how this does not constitute “Inciting Violence”?

Just recently, a member of the US House of Representatives gave a speech.  Ayanna Pressley called for unrest in the streets.  Can someone tell me how this does not constitute inciting violence?  As I recall, President Donald Trump has never called for unrest in the streets, but he sure has drawn such unrest, since even before he took office.

badwords

He said it better than I could…Today’s Quote

I admit that I copied this quote from George Will’s book The Conservative Sensibility, from a friend’s post over on Ricochet.  He (George Will) said this better than I could.

Conservatives’ task is to build a society that nurtures individuals to self-sufficiency, including independence from politics. Now more than ever conservatives need to be focused on this nurturing because the related forces of urbanization and statism are exerting a powerful pull toward an enervating dependency. It is a dependency on large economic entities, and on government, for security. Ultimately, it is dependency on – and addiction to – security as the highest aim of life. This addiction produces, over time, a timid, fearful debased people erecting barriers against a competitive world and aggressively asserting an entitlement mentality, including an entitlement to government protection against uncertainty. This entitlement exacts a steep moral cost. Government that acknowledges such an entitlement becomes a bland Leviathan, administering a soft, kindly, but ultimately corrupting statism of benighted benevolence.

Those units of Government who now control our lives, due to “emergency” declarations over the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, are demonstrating how far this country has declined into the “Enervating Dependency” Mr. Will describes.  Can we stop it?  I wonder.

Headline: Top CEOs paid 320 Times Typical Worker’s Pay

Yes, it’s a real article.  It set me to thinking.  When you see that kind of a headline, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind?

Is it: Wow, cool!  I wonder how they got to make that much money?  I wonder what they had to do for their company to get that kind of salary?  What company has that much compensation variation?  I wonder what I would have to do to become a CEO?  Maybe I should try to get my foot in the door at that company so I can rise to be the CEO someday.

Or, is it:  That is totally insane!  That CEO is being paid WAY too much money, if he earns 320 times the average worker at his company!  He must be stealing that money from workers  lower down the totem pole than he is.  He must have cheated to make it so high in that company!  That company must be really keeping those other workers down, and favoring the executives.  That firm must have rules that make it harder for the average guy to get a higher salary there.

So, are you like the conservative, who sees that headline as a motivator, who tries to find out how those CEOs rose so high, and earned so much at their company, so he can emulate them?  Who thinks that, if CEO X can do it, so can I!

Or are you like the typical Leftist, whose first thought is how to bring that over-paid CEO’s salary closer to the average worker.  And devises ways to take away the CEO’s huge salary, by increasing taxation on the higher-earners, and lobbying for higher minimum wages so the lower-earners make more without earning more.

Leftists don’t want to give the workers at the bottom a hand up, so they can climb the corporate ladder, and earn a better job at a higher salary.  Their first thought is to bring down those at the top, which benefits exactly no one.  That guy at the bottom benefits not one bit from the CEO earning less, and may actually be harmed, if that excellent CEO takes another job where he can earn what he is really worth.

Think about it.  What would you say to that headline?

Lens-Artists Challenge #110..Creativity in the time of Covid

First of all, let me say that the Government-required “lockdown”, mandating that free citizens of the United States remain at home under modified “house arrest” has affected me, personally, only minimally.  I am employed in an Essential Industry, Aerospace, and I have been going to my job at my company’s factory every single workday, except for the one day of vacation I took, and the two-week plant shutdown that everyone took.  I actually enjoyed the lack of traffic on my daily commute to and from work.  I have also been enjoying the nearly-empty parking lot at work.  I never have to worry about finding a good parking space!

It was a major inconvenience not being able to get a haircut or a pedicure, but I managed  to work around those issues (a friend whose hairdresser works out of his home was able to wangle me a haircut, and I just had to re-learn how to cut my own toenails).  When the  state lockdown was announced, I thumbed my nose at “Dimslee” in Olympia, got in my car, and drove up to the Skagit Valley to look at the scenery.

I have been able to do some photography in the last six months-my creativity was not really impacted at all.

In June, we took a day trip over the Cascades to Leavenworth.  I wanted to see if the entire town was shut down.  It wasn’t.  There were people walking the streets, and some of the shops were open.  And on the way back to the car…

Rainbow-Leavenworth

That’s the Festhalle, where they have the competitions and concerts at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration.  It was cancelled this year.

On my way home from work every day, I drive the perimeter of Paine Field, the Snohomish County Airport.  I have been dying to take these pictures, and finally I had the time.

Trees on horizon

Horizon

Creativity in the time of Covid does not have to differ from creativity at any other time.  Do not fear going outdoors, because Nature is not your enemy.  Neither is your fellow man or woman.  Get in your car and take a drive.  And don’t forget your camera!

Link

Ruining Society Every Day

The so-called “Public Health” “Authorities”, and the so-called “Press” (scare quotes fully intended) seem to be in collusion with the state government to ruin society.  If Society means people interacting with each other for mutual benefit, Society is being ruined, decimated by the reactions of Government to the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The lockdowns that started in March, and are continuing in various forms six months later, are having deleterious effects on every aspect of Society.  Here are some stories from today’s KOMO Seattle Web site.  [Please note that the actions of the Seattle City Council and mayor might have taken place anyway, but are amplified due to the abrupt halt in revenue from sales taxes curtailed by business shutdowns.]

Nearly 600 Layoffs as Boeing Supplier to Close Plant in Kent

Covid-19: Report Looks at Risks of In-person Learning

Washington adds 800 New Covid-19 Cases While New Report says Cases Are Plateauing

Some counties worry that people fleeing the heat could bring Covid-19

Mayor Durkan extends moratorium on evictions through end of year

All of the above articles directly relate to the effects of government shutdowns to try and halt the spread of the virus.  Please note that none of the efforts to halt the virus have been effective.

Now, to the double-whammy affecting residents and businesses in Seattle, the City Government and local “activists” add their Demands.  Some of these issues stem from the death of a black man in Minneapolis that was immediately assumed to be the fault of the policeman who was arresting him, but now, with new information coming out, may have been the result of medical conditions he already had.  No matter, Seattle activists and Antifa will be equal-opportunity destroyers.

Seattle businesses ask the City Council to stop the Payroll Tax      That would be the tax on high-earners that would affect companies like Amazon and Bartell Drugs (a local chain which was started in Seattle in 1895)

Activists demand Mayor Durkan to use $100 million for minority community

Seattle Police arrest 4 at Cal Anderson Park for alleged criminal trespass   That park was part of the CHOP/CHAZ zone that saw so many incidents of shooting, vandalism, and property destruction.

All the above stories testify to the ruination of Society in our area.  Please see my post on the War of All Against All, where the governments are pitting every citizen against every other citizen.  The Seattle city government is a past master at this, with their ruination of landlords by requiring them to accept tenants who do not pay rent; their ruination of area bars and restaurants by forcing them to close; and their ruination of thriving businesses with a payroll tax on their most creative and productive employees.

I feel sorry for the ordinary citizens of Seattle, who seem to be despised by the people they elect to public office.  Maybe you get the government you elect.  Good and Hard.

This made me laugh.

I have a presence on LinkedIn, but I don’t do much with it, and soon I will be doing even less.  My last work day is August 31, and then I finally retire.  I do intend to do a post to that effect, so they can stop sending me job listings.

I will probably still get requests from people to “join my network”.  I got one request today that made me laugh out loud.  It was from a company in Thailand!  Personally, I am not fond of companies who send their business offshore to save costs.  I don’t think that, in the end, many costs are saved, since you have to consider the costs of shipping to and from overseas, time-zone differences which hamper communication, and problems when you receive defective material from halfway around the world.  The company I work for now is buying some complex assemblies from an offshore source, and it seems to me that they are a bit late, since many firms are bringing their stuff back!

I have a friend in Thailand, and I hope he is also getting a chuckle from this.  Not only will I not accept that Thai company into what network I have, but I am planning a post asking that foreign companies, especially those from Communist China, not ask to join my network.  Being retired, I can’t do them much good, now can I?