The days are slowly getting longer here in the Pacific Northwest.
It has not been ‘too cold’ (always a relative term: 50 °F/10 °C) and we have had a nice stretch of six days of dry weather.
The rain is coming back tomorrow, though, and will bring more snow to the mountains as well.
P.S. The traffic adjustments and volumes with the Alaskan Viaduct now closed, has not been too terrible at all.
Kakuro – derived from the Japanese kasan kurosu (加算クロス, ‘addition cross’) is my new favorite puzzle game, for now. (Sooner or later I always go back to playing Scrabble against ‘Expert Computer’ as my favorite).
I find Kakuro games in online newspapers, and print them out larger, so that I can write clues for myself into the tops of the boxes. I see there are free puzzles available online as well.
I did not run out to a store or a mall today to go and shop. The United States’ consumer economy had better not look at people like me for keeping it going, I thought. I will look for something and buy it when I really need it, and not just because it’s out there on Black Friday.
Just for fun, I clicked around on luxury purveyor Bergdorf Goodman’s website (see left).
A long time ago, I was in New York City, and I stepped into the revolving door at the Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue, to go inside and check out the merchandise. It was then that I saw the inside, and realized that the store was stratospherically out of my league. Keep going, keep going, I thought, pushing the revolving door to escape onto the sidewalk again.
Sigh* .. at least Trump visited California (on Saturday), and saw the devastation firsthand. He seemed to get along swimmingly with the new Governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom. This after he had been pretty rude to him in Tweets in the past. (Gossip: Could it be because Newsom’s ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle now dates Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr.?).
*Trump felt the need to repeat his ‘assessment’ of California’s forest management: ‘In Finland they rake the forest floors’. (This baffles the Finns, and prompted a denial from the Finnish president that he had ever told Trump that). Then Trump got the devastated town’s name wrong, calling Paradise ‘Pleasure’, instead. When he did it a second time, FEMA administrator Brock Long (and Governor Jerry Brown) could no longer stand it and corrected him loudly.
At least 12 people were killed in a shooting late Wednesday at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Borderline Bar and Grill was holding its weekly event for college students. The gunman (28) was a troubled Marine Corps veteran that turned his gun on himself.
Here is Roxane Gay writing under a heading ‘Please Be Shocked at the Thousand Oaks Shooting’ in the New York Times:
According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 307 mass shootings in the 312 days of 2018. They are a commonplace occurrence. This is a horrifying thing to say, but it is the truth. We need to say this truth over and over. We need to face this horror without looking away. We live in a country where there are relatively few restrictions on gun ownership and where our cultural tolerance for mass murder appears to be infinite. … It is a peculiarly American affliction that this epidemic of gun violence doesn’t move us to take any real steps toward curbing gun violence and access to guns. … It is painfully obvious that there is no shooting appalling enough to make American politicians stand up to the National Rifle Association and gunmakers. A congressman was shot and critically wounded. Children at Sandy Hook Elementary were murdered. Revelers at the Pulse nightclub were murdered. Concertgoers in Las Vegas were murdered.
Here’s an article in The Atlantic that confirms that I was on to something, when I resisted turning on Amazon’s one-click option. (Needing only one click to make a purchase; so no final confirmation, no entering of an address or credit card – it’s all stored on Amazon and ready to go).
I browse, and first put stuff I want in my Amazon cart, and most of the time, I let it stay there overnight. And then I still make myself walk through a few clicks to buy it. There are a lot of things in my cart, that I end up not buying .. and that’s a good thing.
Here’s the No 10 bus stop closest to my house, that I frequently take to go to downtown.
Oaxaca (say ‘wa-HAH-ka’) is in southwestern Mexico and best known for its Zapotec and Mixtec indigenous peoples and cultures.
Look for a Grumpy Cat helium balloon carried by the child in the bottom middle of the picture.
As it happens, helium was discovered 150 years ago to the day, on August 18, 1868, by the French astronomer, Jules Janssen, during a total solar eclipse. There is a strong case to be made that helium balloons be banned.
We have a limited helium supply in Earth’s crust; we cannot manufacture it, and we need it for superconductors and MRI scanners. So putting helium in balloons is a frivolous waste. Once helium ends up in the atmosphere, it is lost forever into space – it is too light to be contained in the atmosphere by gravity.
FOBO is Fear of Better Options. FODA is Fear of Doing Anything. Both are quandaries a decision-maker may find himself or herself in, when faced with lots of options. These states of mind definitely apply to me sometimes!
1.For everyday things, I do what I call “Ask the Watch.” I whittle something down to two options and then assign each item to a side of my watch. Then I look down and see where the second hand is at that moment. Decision made. It sounds silly, but if you try it — asking the universe — you will thank me.
2. For the big things, I try to think like a venture capitalist. I write everything down on the topic — pros, cons, and so on — and I read it out loud. That process is basically like writing an investment memo for a V.C. investment, but in this case the investment is of your time, your money, your energy.
Hey – I could complete two of three little LEGO classic models with my bricks from Germany: the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Windmill and the Limited Edition House. The Truck will have to wait a little while!
Little kits for each of these three models went for about $20 at Walmart (pricey), and are now sold out.
If you need some really specific LEGO bricks, neither Amazon nor LEGO.com, will be of much help. Go to bricklink.com, the vast international marketplace for bricks, from very old to brand new ones, all that had ever been produced by LEGO.
My order from a bricklink seller in Baden-Württemberg, Germany arrived today: 184 bricks neatly tucked into a small Deutsche Post box.
I saw the new version of my favorite Uniqlo polo shirt on their website today*. Instead of ordering it online, I thought it best to run out to the store to go check it out and fit it on. I liked it – and now I have a new shirt.
*Funny how it goes: Roger Federer played in Uniqlo at Wimbledon this year. Let’s check out the website, I thought, and whoah! – what have we here? a nice new shirt for me.
Not to be a party pooper, but it may be time to look for high-tech options* to replace the massive fireworks displays for events such as Fourth of July. Prof. Cliff Mass reports on his weather blog that Puget Sound Clean Air Agency measured a huge spike of the dangerous PM2.5 particle in the aftermath of Thursday night’s show. From levels under 20 µg/m³, the readings increased to over 100 µg/m³, which is in the ‘unhealthy’ air quality index range.
*Using drones, like the ones deployed at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, is a possibility. But yes, I readily concede that drones do not explode with loud bangs.