American Elephants

Blue Skies In Seattle!
June 5, 2023, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Politics

Just plain lovely light blue all over! A very few white clouds on the southern horizon. For those of us who regard blue skies as the natural state of things (Do not live in Seattle if this is the case!) it’s not only nice, but comforting. The world is back doing what it is supposed to do!

Seattle is an inland city, but not very far inland, with an arm of the Pacific ocean on the West, and a very large freshwater lake on the East, then a little farther to the East, another large freshwater lake, then the terrain rises up to form the Cascade Range of mountains which extend on down to Mexico, separating the West Coast from the rest of the country. Nice mountains culminating in the spectacular Mount Rainier, then easing out into farm and ranch land to the East.

Major cities: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego then Mexico. Once you leave the coast it’s farm and ranch land until you cross the major range of mountains, lakes and recreation, and of course winter sports, then it drops down again to more farm and ranch land and another less spectacular range of mountains in Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada. The shape of the land has determined not only the population centers, but the what has become industrial, recreation and vacation land.

America was settled mostly from the East, largely because of the Gold Rush. Apparently the Indian tribes came originally from the Pacific Islands and were here long before any “white men” arrived. Before there was a Panama Canal you had to go “around the horn” down at the south end of South America to get here. The Spanish Friars arrived early from South America. A study of how the Western continents were settled by Europeans is fascinating. There were no native dogs, for example, to be domesticated. They came with the new settlers. Dunno about coyotes and wolves, whether they were brought by Europeans and went wild, or were native before any settlers. Read up on how South and North America were settled. It’s really interesting.

“Online Retailers Open Stores!”
June 1, 2023, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Politics

An interesting headline from the Wall Street Journal. Yes. We are having a hard time figuring out just what the relation of that which is online is to that which is not. We don’t know who has read which, nor who belongs to which category. Is what you see on a page online the same thing that you would see in their store, is the online photo of the same object that is offered in the store? The separation of the one with the other is very unclear. Is that which you see on a page on your computer the same thing that is offered in their store?

The reason for physical stores at some kind of shopping center was because people wanted to see the actual objects that were being offered, if clothing, they wanted to be able to feel the goods, to try them on. That is getting very mixed up. We don’t know anymore if what you see in a photo is what you are actually being offered, how their sizing works, what the fabric feels like, how true the photos are to the real colors.

I grew up in the mountains of Idaho, and we depended a lot on the big 2″ thick catalogs from Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. Lots on offer, but you couldn’t tell all that much about the fit, feel, or quality of what was offered. They did, however, make ordering and shipping easy.

That online retailers would open stores suggests that photos alone are not satisfactory. Is feeling the goods as important as seeing how it fits, what the color really looks like. All very confusing. Easy on one side. A physical store answers all the questions for the customer, but adds hugely to the cost of the goods. Unfortunately an online presentation does not. The physical store requires a larger town or city, costs way more to present your offerings and more trouble for the customer to just get there to see what is on offer. I think we are in a transitional period while we try to figure this all out. There are lots of things I would not purchase if I could not see the physical object itself. Clothing is one thing with one set of problems, other objects require different means of presentation. Earlier it was simply a store, and an ad to inform customers what was on offer. An online offering can reach far more prospective customers than would normally visit the store, but they have a harder time of learning exactly what is on offer. We have yet to figure out successful ways of reaching the hoped for groups of potential customers.

I think we will get this worked out, but we are certainly not there yet. Some people enjoy going shopping, particularly in a major shopping center. Others really really do not want to go to a major shopping center. I think we will get this more sorted out as we grow towards a better solution. We used to have major catalogs from Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck. Big two inch thick catalogs, but those are long gone. Online photos are more informant and more information can be included, except for the essential part of actually trying the garment on feeling the quality, and all the hassle of transportation . Very complicated and the answers are not yet clear. We’ll figure it out eventually.

Where Have You Lived?
June 1, 2023, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Politics

I have mentioned a lot that I grew up in Idaho. Lived in Portland during WWII. Gasoline rationing killed our mountain business that was a long distance from any population center, so we moved to Portland, my dad did war work, my mom taught school, and I attended St. Helen’s Hall, a boarding school for girls run by Episcopal nuns, the only order west of the Mississippi. It was for grade 3 through three years of college. I learned how to curtsy and went to chapel every morning before class.

During the war years, a lot of politicians had their kids in boarding school at home in Oregon, while they went off to Washington D.C. Lived in Eastern Washington for college, art school in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Los Angeles suburbs, Phoenix, San Francisco suburbs, Palo Alto, and East Bay suburbs, Idaho, however, remained home. Family came from Vermont and South Carolina, Never lived in the Midwest or New England. and am very unfamiliar with the Midwest, the South and New England.

I don’t have a very good understanding of how much Americans move around the country. I assume, but do not know, that there are lots of people who have never moved out of the state where they were born. I mean for their principal residence, not where they have visited. I have states where I have never been, and states where I have never lived. Is that usual for most people? I have no idea. I suspect that we are mostly unfamiliar with the patterns of our fellow citizens lives. It’s interesting to speculate on how that effects their lives and outlook.

My dad served in the military in WWI, entirely in this country. My husband served in the military in the atomic proving grounds on an atoll in the Pacific. Some college friends were stationed in Europe, and in the Pacific. My daughter-in-law’s father was a survivor of the Arizona in Pearl Harbor. We learn from their experiences as well as our own.

The Seattle Skies Today…
June 1, 2023, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Politics

Faint pale blue. It’s clearly summer, but not particularly warm. Skies are mostly white with a few patches of pale blue peeking through. I bellyache a lot about the absence of blue skies too. When you grow up with blue skies as the daily norm except for an occasional rarely partly cloudy day, the Seattle weather is not particularly rewarding. If you want blue sky and sunshine, you have to go somewhere else to get it. Fortunately not always especially far. This is a moist coastal city, even if it is quite a ways inland. Lots of sunshine just over the mountains.

The ocean beaches are not far away, but not particularly rewarding. If you want to loll on the beach, head for Hawaii, or even California. We don’t even have nice sandy beaches. Yes there are beaches and sand, but not really the lolling kind. Wandering around Seattle, you are not apt to notice a lot of impressive suntans. If you spot one, they are probably just back from Hawaii.

I Notice I Bellyache a Lot About Blue Skies!
June 1, 2023, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Politics

Brought up in the mountains of Idaho, I have always considered blue skies as the norm. If it’s summer, the skies will be blue except for the occasional thunderstorm. It has been hard to get used to the weather in Seattle. It’s moist here.

Seattle is located on a saltwater arm of the Pacific Ocean, with a very large freshwater lake to the East, then more suburbs, another freshwater lake and the land rises to the Cascade Range of mountains, which separate the coastal region from the broad, very fertile plains to the East. The shape of the land has a lot to do with how the land has developed. On the East side of the Cascade mountains is vast, rich farm and ranch land with small towns supporting the region. All the way down south to Mexico, farmland dominates the landscape to the East, and supports the larger coastal cities: Seattle. Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

I don’t think that we get a very good idea nationally, of just how our nation is inhabited and settled. We know what the major cities are, but not much about their surroundings. Big city dwellers head for the mountains or the beaches for vacations, or another state. What do you know about the smaller cities or large towns in your state? Do you just head for famous vacation spots or leave the area entirely, for Canada or Mexico?. Lake Tahoe is a good sized mountain lake and popular, but expensive, unless you are camping out as it is a popular vacation spot where well-to-do Idahoans have summer cabins.

Idaho is not home to many cities. Lots and lots of towns, mostly not very large. The capitol city, Boise, has the state’s capitol building, a couple of department stores, and unless it has changed, not a single bookstore! Boise was 100 miles away for us, so we got there only once or twice a year. As a very “bookish” person, the absence of a bookstore was a major deal.

The capitol building had a small state traveling library in the basement, and on our rare trips, I’d borrow the limited allowed number, and return them by train when due. No libraries anywhere outside the state capitol. Our closest town, nine miles away, was a county seat, but the grade school, the high school, the court house, and the grocery stores carried no books.

The pharmacist who owned the drug store usually carried a small stack of what my dad called “Blood and Thunders” (westerns), and we probably bought them all. Not a lot of readers. Here, and now, every grocery, drug store and many gas stations carry lots of books, so things have improved a lot. And apparently lots more people have learned to read and enjoy reading. But then, television and radio have much more to offer, and any books can easily be ordered and purchased online, so there’s much more opportunity everywhere for readers. Is that making us all smarter? That’s another question entirely.

Blue Skies In Seattle, on a June Thursday
June 1, 2023, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Politics

Some clouds, particularly around the horizon, but essentially, a very nice day outside. Some seasons we just don’t get to see blue skies, and kind of forget that elsewhere blue skies are just normal. People who grew up here don’t even notice, but people who grew up with blue skies and find clouds and rain unpleasant complain a lot. I grew up in the Idaho mountains where blue skies were the norm. Funny how what you grew up with becomes the proper state of things.

The blue sky to the East and South of my second story window is a nice bright blue and most welcome. I have never been able to get used to the standard cloudiness of this West Coast city. Seattle is simply a moist coastal city, on an inland arm of the Pacific Ocean. Inland enough that we don’t get the lovely sandy beaches that California does. And a warning to those who are moving West. check out the standard weather before you decide to move here, depending on how important the weather is to you.

The Sky in This Seattle Suburb Is Not Blue Today!
May 31, 2023, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Politics

Bland white. Totally cloudy with very faint hints of blue, and I do mean faint! You have to be pretty determined to see something blue in spite of what is obviously not! The old song “the bluest skies you’ll ever see” are not ever in Seattle. Total Lie. From the West, moving East… Pacific Ocean. saltwater, Puget Sound, saltwater, Lake Washington, freshwater, Lake Sammamish, freshwater, assorted rivers and creeks coming down from the Cascade Mountains, and across the mountains a vast plain of rich farmlands and ranch land and welcoming small towns. Blue skies are occasional, but very welcome. But then I come from the mountains of Idaho

Tomorrow is the First of June!
May 31, 2023, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Politics

Do you think of that as summer? or just a continuation of spring? Seems like a silly question, but there’s a different mindset for the two seasons, beyond whether it’s just ordinary work time or almost vacation time. Vacation time means you are free to do whatever you want and enjoy yourself. Work time means your occupation and your efforts to earn take first place. June is the entrance to summer where you are free to do something special that you choose to do. Work may be necessary, may be enjoyed, and may be very rewarding, but it’s still mostly not what you do for fun. Vacation is supposed to mean fun, isn’t it?

Everything is either in bloom, almost over blooming, or about to bloom, and that goes for your life as well. We think of July differently. It’s odd thinking of how the seasons differ, and how our lives change to meet the seasonal change.

Blue Skies Today Out My Second Story Window!
May 30, 2023, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Politics

Still major parts of the sky are cloudy-white, but it’s always nicer to see actual blue! I’m probably a bit weird, but I grew up in Idaho with blue skies as the normal state. Rain came in occasional thunderstorms, but ordinary days were nice and one didn’t think much about the weather at all. Lived in Portland during the war, which almost always has lousy weather, with lots of rain. College was in Eastern Washington, mostly sunny. Then all over California, which I detest, but don’t get me started on California. Badly governed state, people leaving in droves. Crime is about to shut San Francisco down completely, according to the press.

Seattle is a very moist city. Pacific Ocean flows into saltwater Puget Sound which is open to ocean-going shipping, then a large freshwater Lake Washington, then suburbs moving east, another large lake and rises to the Cascade Range of Mountains topped by Mt, Rainier. To the East a vast range of ranch and farmland that supplies much of the country with groceries. Nice to have blue sky, which unfortunately isn’t the norm either.

What Is a Celebrity?
May 30, 2023, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Politics

Theoretically it is someone who is famous for something they have done. In the case of movie people, it’s starring in a movie that lots of people enjoy. That’s the goal, but even getting that “starring” role isn’t easy, and the would-be celebrities don’t dare appear in minor supporting roles. “Stars” only appear in major roles that get lots of public attention, particularly on theater marquees. If you finally get to the major role area, then you have to protect that area at all costs! The “Has-Been”area is large and well populated, and once you are “over”, that’s it.

But what about the public? Do they care about celebrity? I don’t at all. But I think lots of people do, and cherish any “run-ins” with someone with a famous name. Which is hardly surprising. Journalists work hard at getting photos of celebrities attached to their articles. Anything that attracts attention. Odd!

Tuesday, May 15th
May 30, 2023, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Politics

We actually have blue sky today in Seattle, with some puffy white clouds on the horizon. It is really, really nice to have blue sky. The Seattle area is moist, with a large arm of the Pacific Ocean, and freshwater lakes as well, so clouds, which are moist, are more usual than clear skies. If you need a suntan, save up for a trip to Hawaii, you might get a tan here, but it is far from guaranteed, and you’d have to work hard at getting one. My tans are barely noticeable anyway, and more likely to be sunburns. I’m just not a person who ever gets a spectacular suntan. Red, occasionally with blisters.

Do You Care About “Celebrities”?
May 29, 2023, 6:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

Just what is a “celebrity” anyway? Someone whose face or name are known by many (?) people. Is there some reason why their face or name should be recognizable? Not necessarily. Journalists or writers who write for online publication want desperately to attract readers, and including a known name or photograph does make it more likely that someone scrolling through will stop long enough to read your piece, maybe. Do you click on a recognized name? I don’t necessarily. I am not particularly attracted by the name of a “celebrity”, as I probably disagree about why a “recognizable” name makes an article more interesting to read. Depends on your definition of “recognizable”. No interest whatsoever in present or past movie personalities. I may be interested in the movie they participated in, but enjoying a movie does not mean that I have any personal interest in the actor. Two different things.

So when does a “celebrity” become of interest? When they hold important office, do things that effect my life, that sort of thing. Not when their picture is used to attract interest. When they have done something important, or something that makes news and I don’t know what they look like, maybe.

It’s not their looks that attract, but what they have or have not accomplished. Or, of course, how much of their clothing they have removed. Good boob shots always seem to attract attention. but I would suspect that that is usually masculine attention. Most of us do not pay much attention to politicians photos, unless we do not know what they look like. If they have done something stupid, we are a bit more apt to be interested. And that does happen all too often.

%d bloggers like this: