Butt Out

Pete

Mayor Pete has ended his campaign for the DemocRat presidential nomination.  Since the beginning, I have thought of him as “Mayor Butt”.  I figure that many voters just aren’t ready for a homosexual president (count me in that number).  What a waste of cuteness!

BTW, he was a pretty poor mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and would have made a worse president.

Thought Experiment

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What would happen if, with my magic wand (pine wood with unicorn hair, rigid flexibility), I caused the hair color of every woman in this picture to revert to its natural color?  Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray, Kamala Harris…  Wouldn’t it be just sweet to see every woman with her natural color, just like me (I love my silver locks, all-natural)?  Just a thought on a lazy Saturday night.

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:

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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?

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter

And a big Thank You to JK Rowling for writing the novels that captivated me, an old lady. After seeing the first movie in 2001, I was totally hooked on Potter and his world of witches, wizards, spells, and potions.  I was thoroughly entranced by the movie, and I thought the casting of the main characters was as perfect as it ever could be.  Even today, the first movie is my favorite, and we watch it every so often. Of course, I have all the books, and have read them all dozens of times.  I am collecting the illustrated editions, and can hardly wait for Goblet of Fire this October.  I am a Pottermore user, and have been sorted into my houses at both Hogwarts (Slytherin) and Ilvermorny (Horned Serpent-see a pattern here?).  I have got my wand (pine wood with unicorn tail hair), and Patronus (stoat).

JK Rowling, for me, is just like Dorothy L. Sayers, in creating real people in her characters.  Peter Wimsey, Sayers’s aristocrat detective, seemed just like someone you might meet, and if you look closely, you will see elements that Rowling pulled from Sayers in the Harry Potter oeuvre (where else would she have found the name Cattermole, but in “Gaudy Night”?).

Best wishes to all the Potters, and all the Wizarding World!

Random thoughts on Saturday

School dreams.  We all have them.  There are numerous variations on the situation where you find yourself in class, and it’s test day and you haven’t reviewed any of the course material.  The textbook is a fat volume of stories and you haven’t opened it all semester.  And you’re naked.

I have been having an entirely new variation on the school dream.  I am playing in an orchestra, and it’s concert time.  I open my violin case, and my violin is just a pile of sticks.  Or my bow has broken in half.  This one actually has a small connection to something that happened to me in real life.  I opened my case, and one of my bows had lost half its hair!  Another time, I opened my case and discovered that I had bugs, and they had eaten away part of the tip of my bow (you could see the little bite-marks-gross!). I had to fumigate the case and get the bow repaired, which just happened a couple of weeks ago.

On an entirely different subject, I feel a brag coming on.  I have been keeping a running tally of my finances lately, to show progress toward my goal of financial independence when I retire.  My total of investments at my primary investment company, Vanguard, is now comfortably over a million dollars.  About $650,000 is in my retirement accounts.  I am now a “Flagship” investor at Vanguard, and am entitled to a free meeting with a financial advisor, which I intend to set up sometime in August.  And in keeping track, I discovered that I have run out of digits on my little calculator!  Frustrating, but in a good way.

Last weekend, we took our first drive of the season up to the Diablo Lake Overlook in the North Cascades.  I have zillions of pictures of that area, but I always take my camera and get more.  Here are a couple.

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This is the Skagit River around the town of Rockport.

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This is Lake Diablo.  People for scale over on the left.  The water is always that bright blue-green color, as it is glacier-fed.  However, the temperature that day was about 85 at the overlook, and 92 at Newhalem, the town just where the road goes into the mountains.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

It’s Leavenworth Time!

Once again, its mid-June, and time for the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration.  Hubby and I took last Thursday and Friday off from work, and drove the 2 hours up US2 to the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth.  As usual, it was a beautiful drive, with nice scenery all the way up and over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth in Chelan County.  The pretty town was much the same as previous years, but we did notice some changes on Front Street, the main “tourist trap” (but we love it).  This building had been repainted in front, and there was a new business there.

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There has always been an outdoor store on the main street, but this year the facade had been re-imagined too.  Nice!

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And inside the Festhalle, we saw more changes to the decor.  There was some new wall art.

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And a new piece of equipment.

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Of course, Leavenworth is nothing without the accordions!  There was a special exhibit this year, of very old instruments.

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And, of course, the new ones, on sale at the booth of Tempo Trend Music of Victoria, BC.

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The competitions brought out many new players who we had not seen before, and a few familiar faces.  I especially love the kids, ranging in age from about seven to teenagers.  Here’s a group picture of all this year’s kids.  Those guys on the ends are this year’s judges!  On the left is Emmanuel Gasser of Canada, who has been competing since he was about eight years old.  On the right is everyone’s favorite pro, Gary Blair, from Scotland.

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I also took some video with my brand new iPhone.  This act was the best of the entire festival.  Every time I play it, I get all teary-eyed, since they are so cute!

Of course, I had to do my obligatory pilgrimage to the Taffy Shop on Front Street.  I found  a new product they are selling!

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The proprietor says they are selling like hotcakes.  But here is a fixture at the store that never fails to bring smiles.  How long has it been since you saw one of these?

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All in all, another great year at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration.

Happy Holidays-Try Tiffany this Christmas

Happy Holidays-Try Tiffany this Christmas

Readers, do you want to really impress your spouse or “significant other” this year?  Have you been wracking your brain trying to think of something to give him or her for Christmas this year?  Are your gift ideas just not making it?  Well, try something from Tiffany.  That distinctive blue box under the tree will excite just about anyone, especially if they are not expecting it.

You say, “Tiffany is way too expensive for me”, or “I’m reluctant to even walk into a Tiffany store past those intimidating guards”.  Let me disabuse you of those notions.  Tiffany sells many products that are within the budget of most people.  Did you know, Tiffany sells a line of home goods, including glassware, barware, and even chopsticks?  Yes, chopsticks! I actually bought my husband a pair of their solid-walnut chopsticks, with a sterling silver end piece that I had monogrammed with his initials.  Very cool!

Get a load of this, just for those who live in cities where plastic straws are banned.  It’s a sterling silver “Crazy Straw”.

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About those door guards…  They are just human beings, and you should not be intimidated by them.  Just think of yourself as a Customer, and like any other retailer, Tiffany loves customers, especially new customers.  So get up your courage, and walk right in, being sure to greet the guard with a smile and a hearty “Good Afternoon”.  Then, just go around and look in all the display cases, and find something that your honey will like.

Tiffany has a huge selection of sterling silver jewelry and accessories that are very affordable.  When I was single and living on a shoestring, I saved up all year to go to Tiffany and treat myself to a pair of sterling earrings.  They come out with new styles all year long, so you should be able to find something in your price range.  And from long experience, I can tell you that Tiffany salespeople understand if you are on a limited budget, so tell them what your price range is, and they will come up with something wonderful.

So, Try Tiffany this holiday season.  You won’t regret it, and your Sweetie will be delighted.  I guarantee it!