A Day at the Fair

Starting this past weekend, is the Washington State Fair in the Pierce County town of Puyallup (pronounced pew-allup).  We drove there from our house in Everett, which is a long drive, but it was a nice day on Sunday.  Lots of homeowners there allow their front yards to be used for parking, and local civic groups have lots they use for Fair parking too.  We didn’t even try to find a place on the street.

IMG_0252

This was about five blocks from the fairgrounds.  We entered at the Blue Gate.

IMG_0253

I had a hunch things would not be going smoothly right outside the gate.  First, the sole of one of my flip-flops separated right at the gate, so I knew I’d have trouble walking around if I didn’t get it fixed.  Also, the Fair has gone “total airline” on bag-checks at the gates, so I was required to empty my water bottle before entering.  As if I was carrying something other than water!  It did nothing to improve my disposition, I can tell you.

Once inside, we had to decide where to go first.  I figured I’d have to find someone with glue, or someone selling flip-flops!  Here’s what we saw just inside the gate.

IMG_0254

I knew there was a big building holding the “trade show” booths, of various businesses trying to sell you something. Well, it just so happened that the Vionic people were there, selling their orthotic-friendly flip-flops, so I bought a pair and wore them for the rest of the day.  One problem solved.

Next stop, Carousel.  This is a very pretty one, with nicely-painted horses, ridden by lots of happy kids (and even a parent or two).

IMG_0261

Next, FOOD!

IMG_0256

RushBabe decided to be somewhat incendiary, wearing the Trump garb in Deep Blue Western Washington.

IMG_0257

But this time, I guessed wrong!  I got about a half-dozen remarks on my shirt and hat, and every single one was positive!  I saw another lady in a pink Trump2020 hat, and got a bunch of thumbs-up and people saying they liked my shirt. Very unusual!

Well, what’s a State Fair without animals?  I, being horse-crazy, headed for that area, and I captured two very nice-looking steeds.  I was very pleased to see that the breed that has to be the most beautiful ever designed by Nature, the Friesian, was represented!  They are coal black and shiny, and very graceful. Too bad I neglected to take his picture standing up.

IMG_0281

Here’s another pretty guy.

IMG_0283

And, the obligatory calf.

IMG_0278

And some just beautifully-marked chickens.

IMG_0274

We dropped by the building with local non-profits.  I just got a kick out of these two organizations, back to back.  The Wildlife Conservation folks.

IMG_0259

Back to back with the Trappers!

IMG_0260

I wondered, did they speak to each other?

We visited the Hobby Hall, and saw all kinds of exhibits of crafts made by people all over Washington.

IMG_0264

A nice model of the Titanic.

IMG_0269

And a nice variety of quilts.  I especially loved this Hogwarts one!  See Hedwig on the shelf?  And the LEGO Harry?  Very cute!

IMG_0270

Very Washington!

IMG_0271

And birds.  These quilts are made by professionals, and this one won three awards.

And by this time, we old folks were getting tired, so we headed home.  A great day at the Fair!

 

Thank President Trump this Labor Day

Labor Day

My thanks to GOPUSA.com for publishing this cartoon.

As a result of lower tax rates for businesses, and the Trump Administration’s attack on regulations, there are more open jobs in our country than unemployed workers.  Pretty much anyone who wants to work can find work.  Especially blacks and Hispanics, whose unemployment rates are the lowest ever recorded.  Please keep this in mind while enjoying your leisure time today.

Non-Civilization in our Civilized Country

Did you know that there are pockets of “non-civilization” within our civilized United States?  And we host them, and encourage them to continue to be not-civilized.  We spend significant federal dollars on maintenance of these pockets of non-civilization. Those pockets of non-civilization are called Indian Reservations, and they are everywhere in the United States.  One of the main definitions of civilization is people giving their allegiance to a Nation-State instead of a clan or tribe.  Out of guilt for the way the early Americans treated the natives of North America, we continue to support their tribes, when we should be urging them to get civilized, and join America.

If it were up to me, this is what I would do.  I would give the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America two choices.  First, they could choose to become sovereign nations within the boundaries of their Reservations.  Each tribe would be given title to the land on its reservations, and to no other land.  If the Cherokee wished to be the Nation of Cherokee, they would have all their reservation land for themselves.  The US Treasury would also give the Tribe all the money currently held in trust for them, recognizing that they are fully-capable adult human beings, and should be able to look after themselves and their families without the Big Brother Uncle Sam doling out the money and services.  All services currently provided by Uncle Sam (like the Indian Health Service, schools, etc.) would then become the responsibility of the Tribal Government.  Within their own sovereign territory, they would be able to have their own police, schools, banks, and public services.  They would continue to own and operate any casinos or other retail businesses for themselves, and keep all the profits therefrom for their Tribal members.  They would have no future call on the taxpayers of the United States for any goods or services in their own country.  And they would have the responsibility to take care of their own people, and would never be able to blame any other entity for their problems.

The second alternative would be for all Indian Tribes to be immediately disbanded, and reservations done away with.  All the money currently held in trust by the United States, and all reservation land would be divided up among all tribal members.  All Native Americans would become full US Citizens, with no allegiance to any entity other than the United States of America.  Old Tribes would simply become social clubs, where tribal members could celebrate their heritage in any legal way they wished.  Tribal property like casinos and commercial land would also be divided up among the current owners, and they would become independent businesses, subject to the rules of the area in which they operated.  All businesses would be subject to the tax and laws of their respective jurisdictions, as would individuals.  Without the tribe to hold their allegiance, Native Americans would be able to become truly civilized.

Do I think this could ever happen?  Probably not!  But it’s been over 150 years since the Europeans conquered the Natives, and it’s time they surrendered.  They just might find it a pretty good deal to become real US Citizens instead of pockets of non-civilization in our very civilized country.

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!

You can’t spell Democrats without…

You can’t spell Democrats without…

Rats.  Those wily little rodents are much in the news lately, after our President took jabs at Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings who represents Baltimore.  It seems that more than one news outlet in that area has done stories, and documentaries describing the rat-infestation problems in Baltimore.  It is well-known that rats follow humans wherever they go, or live, and have been since time immemorial (probably since humans settled down in towns and engaged in agriculture).  Cities with endemic poverty, like Baltimore, have more rats than other places.

New York City has its own rat problem, in various neighborhoods, says a story in Pravda on the Hudson (hat tip, Prof. Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College), better known as the New York Times.

Los Angeles is also home to an excess of rats, who have brought with them ancient diseases like Typhus, that have not been seen in America in over a century.

Even Austin, Texas has its own rat infestation.

Seattle, which has one of the largest homeless populations in the US, is plagued by new infestations of rats, which like the abundant trash they can find in the homeless camps scattered around the formerly-beautiful city.

And what do all the cities mentioned above have in common?  They have been run for decades by, you guessed it, DemocRATS.

‘Nuff Said.

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.

IMG_0638

This is the Skagit River around the town of Rockport.

IMG_0674

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!