Satisfaction…Human Ingenuity

I am always impressed with the products of human ingenuity, many of which were designed and built thousands of years ago, and still remain for us to marvel at.  Every time I drive down a mountain road, I can’t help thinking of all the engineering and labor that went into that road.  When I look at a tall building, or a huge containership, my mind says “human ingenuity”.  Some may think that other animals are as smart as we humans are, but when did any animal build something like these?

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VietNam Memorial

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BC Ferry, making its way through the Gulf Islands
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Pipe Organ in recital hall at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

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Photo Challenge..Is it a Table…Or a Bridge?

This particular dinner table is….wait for it…Both!  The people at this table journeyed from miles away to meet with the Honored Guest, a remarkable young man from Romania.  This Gentleman (capitalized because he is the epitome of Gentleman) is known to all of us online, and the friends at this table, along with dozens of other American friends, paid for his airfare to come to America, and see the country which we love so much.  All last summer, he flew, and bused, and was driven, from the East to the West Coast, staying with friends, and seeing America.

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The guest of honor is at the end of the table, with the goatee and red cravat.  He regaled us with stories of his voyage across America, and bridged the gap for us all.  At the end of the evening, when no one really wanted to leave, we had all gained knowledge, and the immense pleasure of his company.  This table is a bridge, across oceans, mountains, prairies, lakes, rivers, and people.

Oh, and I just couldn’t resist this, for Cherie Lucas Rowlands:

Bridges in Cambridge, England, the opposite number of Oxford.

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A peaceful River Cam bridge, behind Trinity Hall.
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Two bridges over the River Cam, Cambridge (seen from a punt)

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Independence Day! Celebrate the Miracle that is America!

Independence Day!  Celebrate the Miracle that is America!

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Cherish your Liberty, today most importantly, but do so all year round.  The country that you live in is the greatest miracle that has ever taken place in the history of Humanity.  A group of intrepid, well-educated men and women journeyed across a forbidding, mostly unknown Ocean to a new land, where they could live in Freedom and make their own way without an all-powerful King to dictate to them what they could and  could not do, make, and own.  And they went to this new Land so they would be able to worship in their own way, and not be bound to the State Religion.

And what a country they made!  Today, even in spite of all the internal and external forces aligned to try to take down America, you live in the most-hospitable, most prosperous, most welcoming country that has ever existed on Earth.  Why do you think that the earth’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” try so hard to get here?  Millions of people have braved rough seas, searing deserts, and other hardships to come to America, because they know that America is the best place to live in the world, and they know that, through their own hard work, they can support their families and become whatever they want to be.

Celebrate America, From Sea to Shining Sea!

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Atlantic Ocean, at Cape May, New Jersey

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Pacific Ocean, Newport Beach, CA

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Liberty Bell Mountain, North Cascades National Park

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST NATION ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH!

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It’s weird the things you remember from days gone by…Tricks of Memory

Today is June 6.  6/6.  It is the 73rd Anniversary of D-Day, that momentous day in 1944 when the Allies invaded France to re-take Europe from Hitler’s evil forces.  But that’s not what I remember.

In June of 1966, I was a junior in high school in Seattle.  I was taking a ceramics class, with a bunch of really “artsy” students.  I have a very vivid memory of writing on the blackboard, “Today is 6/6/66”.  It got a laugh from the class, but it was a distraction for the teacher, so it only lasted a few minutes.  But I remember that day, even 50 years later.  And I also remember another student, a boy, who wore a pink shirt to school that day.  I remember thinking “pink is for girls”!  But I did like that shirt, and today most guys have at least one pink shirt in their closet.  I don’t, since I hate pink!

I have received the notice of my class’s 50-year high school reunion.  I went to the fortieth, and it was fun.  I got re-acquainted with a girl who I was friends with back then, and we discovered that now we have even more in common now than we did then (I became a Conservative), and we have seen each other fairly often, and plan to go to the reunion together, with our husbands.

Memory…  It ties you to the past, and to old friends.

Be Very Careful What You Wish For, Seattle

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Tomorrow is May 1, or May Day, or “Workers of the World Unite” day. In Seattle, in the everlasting spirit of the WTO Riots of 1999, various leftist student, activist, and Anarchist groups get together and march for workers’ and immigrants’ “rights”.  They normally start in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and march down Pine Street to the downtown area, ending up at Westlake Center.  Previous years have seen various degrees of property damage and general mayhem.  In 2016, five Seattle police officers were injured by various projectiles (rocks, wrenches) hurled by the marchers.  This year, however, will be different.  ED: Article from May 1, disruptions expected all day.

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This is the first year of the despised Trump Administration, and the Seattle revolutionary elements have already signaled that this year’s “demonstrations” will be an order of magnitude larger.  In fact, a Seattle City Council member, avowed Socialist Kshama Sawant, has actually urged the demonstrators to break the law.  Yes, an elected member of the Seattle city government introduced a proposal to the council giving city employees the day off to join the protests.  This proposal was unanimously adopted by the council.  She has also gone so far as to urge the demonstrators to block streets.  Seattle City Council Member says “Yes” to May Day Rioters.  Many business owners in downtown Seattle proactively board up their windows and engage added security for May 1.  I wonder how many of them will sit still for their government encouraging the violence.

Well, those business owners and their customers elected Sawant to the City Council.  I wonder if they will regret that decision on Tuesday.  And will Seattle’s Finest stand back and watch the rioters, or will they unmask and arrest all the rock-throwers and vandals?  This year’s May Day may just be the Second Battle of Seattle, with similar results.

68 Years Ago Today…

On April 13, 1949, a huge 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the Seattle area.  Buildings in the downtown areas of Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia were badly damaged.  The owner of this car probably wasn’t able to drive it home that day!

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Structures in areas of the cities built on fill were totally destroyed, and streets crumbled when the ground shifted under them.

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This has meaning for me, because on that day, my mother was 9 months pregnant with me, and overdue by two weeks.  She got in the car and drove downtown to go shopping, and my dad was frantic, since she didn’t tell him she was going.  Well, when that earthquake hit, she was standing on Third Avenue, looking in the window of the Bon Marche Department Store.  The plate-glass window fell…inward, away from her, and she was unhurt.  Three days later…Ta Dah!!  I made my appearance.

I always like to say that it took a 7.1-magnitude earthquake to shake me loose!