Watch The Launch, and Cheer!

Earlier today, at Cape Canaveral in Florida, a Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) rocket took off for space, carrying two American astronauts in its Crew Dragon Capsule.  The team on the ground cheered, and Americans who were watching cheered as they watched the first manned space mission in many years.  This is a tribute to the American people who created, built, tested, and sent off the two intrepid astronauts, to the International Space Station.  Watch.

https://www.foxnews.com/science/spacex-launches-nasa-astronauts

 

 

Voices from the Lockdown

Voices from the Lockdown

In my travels through the Wall Street Journal last week, I heard the following voices, calling out of the Wilderness that is “Coronavirus Lockdown”, variously enforced in most of the United States, by Governors and Mayors who don’t like the US Constitution very much.  They issue various decrees upon their Subjects, forcing them to stay in their homes, give up their livelihoods, and shut their small businesses.  Here is what the people say:

The virus is especially lethal to the elderly.  I can say, because I am 73 years old, that I don’t give a darn.  Mr. M.A.S. in Maine

 

I concurred almost entirely with your editorial until I got to the closing comment: “isolate society’s most vulnerable”.  Almost to the biblical four score, I recognize I am in that category.  However, my wife and I still drive our own cars (or did until the “stay at home” order), have many organizations in which we are active, enjoy going to our children/grandchildren’s home (local and out of state), look forward to gathering with friends, and are engaged in our church.  Thank you, but while I will be prudent, I am not ready to be involuntarily “isolated”.  Mr. J.A.B.C. in Virginia

 

Universal poverty isn’t an acceptable solution to any problem that I can think of.  Mr. R.B in Pennsylvania

 

And from Peggy Noonan’s column entitled: Scenes from the Class Struggle in Lockdown:

Since the pandemic began, the overclass has been in charge–schientists, doctors, political figures, consultants–calling the shots for the average people.  But personally they have less skin in the game.  The National Institues of Health scientist won’t lose his livelihood over what’s happened.  Neither will the midday anchor.

 

Here’s a generalization based on a lifetime of experiencd and observation. The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. They often come from considerable family dysfunction. This has left them tougheror harder, you choose the word.

 

The overclass says: “Wait three months before we’re safe.” They [ordinary people] say “There’s no such thing as safe.”

And then the Governor of Michigan describes the ordinary people demonstrating against the lockdown as “racist and misogynistic”.  What does that make her?  Her livelihood is not at stake, and she always appears perfectly made-up and coiffed, while her subjects are denied haircuts.

Once again I say:

Defy Tyranny.  Break the Lockdown.

This is Sad. And Criminal. LaConner, Washington

This afternoon, my husband and I defied the “stay-at-home” order, and drove our car up to the Skagit Valley.  It was bright, sunny, and around 80 degrees out.  LaConner is admittedly a “touristy” little town on the Swinomish Slough, with dozens of little local stores selling just about anything you might want.  Not one store is a member of any chain, and we look forward to going up there a few times a year to see what’s new.  This year, this is “what’s new” in LaConner.

LaConner

And then, this.

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We were actually surprised to see so many cars parked on the main street.  But this was sad, sadder, saddest.

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And this was only fewer than half the stores on the main drag.  In his infinite wisdom, the governor of the State of Washington has ruined the town of LaConner.  I wonder how many of those little stores will actually re-open, when His Lowness in Olympia decides it is again “safe” for them to operate.  This was the most depressing trip to LaConner that I can ever remember.  The town is not being destroyed by the Wuhan Coronavirus, it is being destroyed by the Government of the State of Washington.

Sickening, this is really sickening, and so unnecessary.  Destroying the town in order to supposedly “save lives”.  No concern for the lives of all those shop-owners whose livelihoods are now in danger.  I wish them all the best, but fear the worst.

And just outside of town, you would never know the anguish being felt.

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What now, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway?

What now, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway?

This summer, the cruise industry is forced by the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic to cancel all cruises to Alaska.  Cruises to Alaska leave from the ports on the West Coast, including San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC.  So those ports will miss out on the cruise ship passengers’ money, but they have other sources of tourists.  The ports in Alaska, on the other hand, don’t have quite so many sources of tourist dollars.

In the past, those Alaska cities have expressed some degree of dislike of those cruise-ship passengers, who disembark in the mornings, swarm all over their towns, get back on those big ships in the evening, and sail away.  A few years ago, all those towns got together and proposed to levy some rather large taxes on each cruise-ship passenger, to cover the towns’ costs for rubbish removal and other wear-and-tear.  At least one place was concerned about the town’s “cruise-ship passenger carrying capacity”.  Obviously, that swarm of paying customers is a mixed blessing for the Alaska towns that see multiple cruise ships every summer.

So, how will they feel this year, when they receive zero cruise ships, and the many dollars their passengers spend in their cities?  Will they rethink their dislike of all those tourists swarming their towns?  Or will they breathe a sigh of relief when their towns remain quiet all summer?

Ten Years of Kikyo

We brought home our new black cat, Kikyo, in July of 2010.  It didn’t take her very long to settle in, with her new Staff to cater to her every whim.  We bought her a tall cat tree, so she could climb up and watch out the clerestory window in the family room.  We bought her a “toy box” to hold all her many cat toys.  It’s basically a square wooden box about a foot square and two inches deep, with round holes in the top and sides.  If she wants to play with a toy, she has to fish it out of the box first.  We also sometimes put treats in the box, so she has to fish those out too.  She does have fun with it.  Often when I get home from work, her toys are strewn across the family room floor where she left them.

We installed a window perch in our second-floor bedroom, so she can watch out the window into the back yard.  She spends hours there, sleeping or watching out the window.  Here, then, are ten years of pictures of our Owner, The Lady Kikyo (named after a priestess in Medieval Japan, a character in the anime series InuYasha).

This is the first picture I took of her when we brought her home.  Notice the collar and tag.  Being an indoor cat, we removed the collar after about a week.

Here she is in what I like to call her “legless position”.  Some people call it the “meatloaf” position.

We discovered that she could be quite the little acrobat. How about this balancing act?

Here she is on that tall cat-tree.  She can scamper up there in a split-second when there’s a bird in the maple tree outside the window.

How could you resist this face?

Kikyo discovered fairly early on that she could jump up on the banister of our stairs to the second floor, and jump across to the top of the front closet.  From there she saunters over to the plant shelf.  One day, I caught her sitting on the shelf, snuggled up to a vase in the shape of a cat.  Of course, she had no idea that she was next to another cat!

My favorite place to be is on my bed, with a good book or the Wall Street Journal to read.  Kikyo’s favorite place to be is on me.  When we brought her home from the shelter, she wasn’t much for sitting on people.  But I taught her well.

Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

Now, is that relaxed, or what?!

Anyone who is owned by a cat has seen their owner in this particularly hilarious pose.  I can’t believe she can actually do this-it’s embarrassing to me! Most undignified!

I brought home a little free bag from my oral surgeon, and for some reason Kikyo likes to sit on it.  If I leave it on the bed, she prefers to be on top of it.

She also has a low cat tree, that sits in the kitchen next to the table.  This particular pose made a great Christmas card in 2015, with the addition of a Santa hat.  This is also the picture on the lock screen of my phone.

 

Then, there’s her Aristo-Cat pose.  This picture is priceless.  She sat in this position for a good ten minutes, watching a bird out the window.

When she’s on her window perch, she just looks so relaxed and lazy.  Mistress of all she surveys.

Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

This one is more recent.  The look says: “You rang, underling?”.

There is Nothing like being owned by a cat.  We got an especially lovely one, with a coat like mink.

 

 

 

 

I Defy

I defy the authorities who tell me that, as an over-70-year-old person, I should be staying home and not leaving my house.  I defy the Government Authorities who say this:

 The CDC guidance comes as two top infectious disease experts with ties to the federal government have advised people over 60 and those with underlying health problems to strongly consider avoiding activities that involve large crowds.Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC, said these two groups should consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.People in these two groups “should strongly consider not doing these activities at this juncture,” Schaffner said.“This ought to be top of mind for people over 60, and those with underlying health problems, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or compromised immune systems,” Schaffner added. “The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people.”

I do this by continuing to go to work each day at my aerospace job, which is defined as Essential.  Now, my job will be a casualty of the Wuhan Coronavirus, since I have accepted a “Voluntary Separation” offer from the company.  I have also been given a rare honor by my immediate supervisor, and her boss who is the Director of Supply Chain at our company.  The rest of those who accepted the offer will be done at the end of April, while I have been given another month to train my successors in the specialized duties of my particular position.

I, however, refuse to be a casualty of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  I will not cower at home and avoid traveling by airplane and shopping, because I insist on controlling my behavior, and not letting the all-mighty Government (even its all-knowing infectious disease “experts”) control my behavior. My over-60 husband and I will fly to Hillsdale College functions when necessary, because we are big supporters of the College.

I am the master of my soul and my life, and only I determine what I do in response to this new health threat.  I am remarkably healthy, and I went many years at my job with nary a sick day.  I have never had the flu, and I get my flu shot every year.  I WANT to get tested for the virus, to see if I have been exposed, but not enough tests are available, and this, I think, is a massive failure of the public health system.  And I should be able to get tested, if I agree to pay whatever it costs.

I will continue to defy the authorities who want me to act like a scared rabbit.  Even when I retire from this job, I will continue to work any way I can.  I intend to work temp jobs if they are available, and I will continue to work my volunteer job compiling the Business Survey for ISM-Western Washington, which I have now done for 21 years.

So the Government can do its best to get me out of the workforce, but I will continue to defy.  I am strong, and a Happy Warrior.

For Who Will Record the Truth…

…in these days of Darkness?  Who will write down, for others to read, exactly what happens?  Who will write the History of events in all the turmoil?  Who will record exactly what is said, and meant, by President Donald Trump?  How will posterity know exactly what kind of President he was, when the recorders are those who despise him, and despise those who elected him?  When the video record of rallies and press conferences is edited to make the President look foolish, or crazy.

Who will record the Truth, when even those who call themselves “conservative” devote an entire magazine issue to hatred of the candidate?  Who will provide the true descriptions of events that shake the world?  We are living through a momentous time, when Government decrees that Society will Stop in its tracks, to prevent the spread of a thing that is so small, so invisible, that the people will only know it by its deliverance of illness and death.  We are living in a difficult moment, when we are subjected to writings by a so-called “press” who devotes itself to denigration of the President, even when he does what is obviously necessary to preserve the Nation.

Who will write the History of these Days of Hurt, Darkness, and Death?  We need to tell the Truth, about the actions of the Elected National Legislators who, instead of working on behalf of the Voters who elected them, work to investigate, and undermine, the duly-elected President.  We need to write, and preserve the Truth about these days.  Witness, and write about what you see.  History depends on You.