Freedom…It’s a beautiful thing!

For the first eleven days of September, Hubby and I drove from our home in Washington State to South Dakota and back.  We went through the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The State of Washington has a state-wide “mask mandate”, requiring all open businesses to require all their customers who go inside their establishments to wear a “face covering”.  Effectively, this deputizes all state businesses as enforcers of the Mask Mandate.  A business who allows non-mask-wearing individuals into their premises can lose its license if the state deems it at fault.  No business wants to risk losing its license, so the mandate is fairly well-enforced, everywhere in the state.  Highway rest areas in Washington have signs on the doors of the bathrooms stating that masks are required (rarely or never enforced).  This is manifestly unconstitutional, but has never been challenged in our state.

It was very refreshing, in all the other states we visited, to find either NO mask rules at all (WY, SD, ND, ID), or rules that were not enforced (MT).  We stayed at motels everywhere, of our favorite brand; the Hotel Corporate Office had a mask rule, but I never obeyed it anywhere, even in Montana, and was never challenged.

Once we got to South Dakota, there were never any rules posted.  We went to restaurants for lunch and dinner with our group of up to 14 members, and no one wore a mask, other than the restaurant employees.  Freedom!  We found some stores that required masks inside, and we did comply when visiting Safeway and Walmart stores.  But it was such a relief not to have to worry about where my mask was, and if I would need one.  Many of our members went to the Sturgis Mustang Rally, and no masks were found there.

I can’t believe how wonderful it was, to go through a state and actually be able to see the faces of their people.  Everywhere we went, we saw people wearing masks, and people not wearing masks. It was their choice, not the State’s rule.  Big companies are within their rights to require masks of their customers, but States are way outside theirs to demand all residents wear masks whenever indoors.  As for me, I have always prided myself on being liberated, and incendiary.  I am willing to take my chances on being exposed to the Evil Wuhan Coronavirus (as did our 84-year-old friend we visited in Montana, who did not wear a mask or ask that we wear them).

If I get infected by the virus, then so be it.  If I get very sick, it’s on me.  And if I die of the infection, I can be comforted by the fact that I lived, and died, a Free Person, not cowering under my bed in fear.

Freedom!  It’s a wonderful thing!

Facebook Supports Antifa, the Destroyers

Facebook Supports Antifa, the Destroyers

In violation of its own standards against so-called “hate groups”, Facebook allows Rose City (Portland, OR) Antifa to recruit online, on its platform.  You have, no doubt, seen all the news stories of the violent riots in Portland for the past 100+ days.  Please read the linked article above, and then sever all ties you have with Facebook.

We already know that Facebook supports and listens to the sleazy Southern Poverty Law Center when it deems groups such as the totally non-violent Tea Party and educational site Prager U “hate groups”, because they happen to strenuously disagree with the current Social Justice Warrior philosophy.  It is time to give up Facebook.  Forever.  Your family can find you on your WordPress Blog, can’t they?

Retirement. It’s bittersweet, for me.

Tomorrow, Monday, August 31, will be my last working day at my current job, which I have held for 12-2/3 years.  That’s the longest I have ever worked at any job in my entire working life.  My original goal in life was to work forever, and never retire.  Well, the Wuhan Coronavirus put an end to that goal.  The aerospace industry has been decimated by the travel bans all over the world, and our customers have been pushing out and canceling orders right and left.  And our customers’ customers have been doing the same-dominoes continue to fall on a daily basis.  It has made life at work lately very uncomfortable, and I will be glad not to have to worry about that stuff.

My husband also works in the aerospace industry, and it looks like he will be forced to retire, or get laid off, also within a short time.  We had counted on his working after I retire, as he is younger than I am.  I have been covered under his health insurance, too, and his retirement means I will have to go on Medicare pretty much immediately, something that is very distasteful to me.  Well, as with most things in life, we will get through.  We will have to watch our finances a bit more closely, and I have already been trying to get into the “live poor” mindset.  I did it for many years, and I can do it again.

I have spent the past two weeks training the buyers who will be taking over my responsibilities, and I am constantly reminded of how much I know about the little things of my commodities, and my suppliers.  Who constantly emails with niggling little issues, who always gets back to me right away with quotes, which items are very long lead-time…  I’d almost like to empty the contents of my Tribal Knowledge center in my brain, but the researchers haven’t designed the cables yet for that function.  I know that the people who take over my functions are pretty savvy, and it will not take them long to figure things out.

For the past couple of weeks, my coworkers and suppliers have been celebrating my retirement.  Two weeks ago, my favorite production planner organized a farewell lunch for me, and a couple of other people who are leaving for the same reason I am.

MeAndLy

She is such a bouncy little lady, and she calls me “Mother Goose”.  I think I will miss her more than most of my other work friends.

MeAndEE

This is my other favorite work friend.  He is an Electrical Engineer, and he also plays the violin.  He has taught me so much about the products we make, and how they are put together.  He loves to come by my desk to bother me (but he knows I’m not really bothered).

RetireChick

This is the t-shirt my little lady friend got me.

Last week, I was very surprised to receive a huge bouquet of assorted roses from one of my suppliers.  They are just beautiful, and lasted a long time.

RetirementFlowers

Last Monday, when I came in to work, I found that my desk had been decorated by my boss and a coworker.  I was VERY surprised!

DecoratedDesk

Well, I know for absolute certain, that they will miss me.  A lot.  And I will miss them, but not the company.

This past Friday, they gave a department retirement lunch for me.  The food was great, and my coworkers were supportive.  But there was some of the “bitter” part, which has nothing to do with my job, or my coworkers, or my friends.

EatingRule

How to put a damper on any kind of festivities, from the very beginning!  I have no idea why those people in the picture are smiling.  This kind of thing makes me sad, and angry.  I refuse to be afraid, and socially “distant” from my friends.  Distancing is for enemies, not coworkers or friends.

Distance

Yeah, you can almost talk to each other at lunch, when you are separated by a few feet and wearing a mask.  I did not wear a mask, from the minute I entered the room until it was time to go back to my desk (masks are mandatory in the building whenever you are away from your desk).

Lunch

This shows more of the layout.  Sad.  The lady wheeling in the lunch cart by the door is my boss.  Of course, she is wearing her mask, as always.

On Tuesday, Hubby and I get in the car, and drive to South Dakota for a Ricochet meetup.  As soon as we cross the Idaho border, no state we will travel through has a mask mandate, and I hope to never have to wear one when not mandatory.  I know the hotels we will stay in require them, but I am way looking forward to being able to see my Rico friends’ faces, and see them smile.

I am also looking forward to a more leisurely trip home, with no deadline to get back to work, and no one to answer to except Hubby.  We will be traveling through Idaho, Montana, a little piece of Wyoming, and South Dakota on the way there, and will be going the Northern route through North Dakota on the way back.  We will be able to stop more often to admire scenery, and will be able to spend a bit more time when we visit my supplier in rural North Dakota.  We went through there on our Hillsdale trip in 2010, but this time we will be able to stay longer, and I will be able to take the pictures I missed the first time (the territory around Killdeer is very interesting, and I kicked myself for not taking pictures then).  Stay tuned for a big travelogue post when we get back.

So this week I will be starting an entirely new phase of my life.  It will be exciting and a little frightening, but I know I can handle anything that comes along.  I have my Sweetie to help me, and be a shoulder to cry on if I need one.  I am looking eagerly forward to becoming a Hillsdale Associate, helping the College in any way I can.

Onward to the Next Great Adventure!

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

 

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.

 

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.