We got up to 89°F/ 32°C today.
So: toasty, and about as warm as we get here in the city.
(Ten years ago on July 29, 2009, though, Seattle saw a high of 103°F/ 39.5°C, but so far, we have been spared from a repeat of that).
The massacres continue unabated here in the United States.
Saturday at an El Paso Walmart: 20 dead, dozens wounded.
Early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio: 9 dead, 27 wounded.
Both are acts of domestic terrorism, committed by home-grown white nationalist Americans.
The Republicans and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have repeatedly blocked laws passed by the House in the Senate.
The New York Times notes: “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”
It should be noted, though, that in 2013, Connecticut State lawmakers did make sweeping changes to the state’s gun laws. It did not impact gun sales very much, but today Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the nation. (‘Lowest gun death rates’ is still a problem).
Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell fielded a lot of questions today after the announcement that the Federal funds rate will be cut by 25 basis points to a target rate of 2.00 – 2.25%. He characterized the cut as a mid-cycle ‘adjustment of policy’ — and that it is a way to brace against downside risks. (Um, another way to ‘brace against downside risks’ would be for the Trump Administration to stop the never-ending tariff wars with China and others).
That means savers will earn even less money on their savings. Borrowers for say home loans, may get a little relief from lower borrowing rates .. but 0.25% will barely make a difference on an 18% annual rate on a credit card!
CNN is hosting the second round of Democratic candidate debates this week. I played tennis and could not watch last night, but I saw the highlights. The lowlights would be Trump’s Twitter responses that continued into Wednesday.
The Washington State Open tennis tournament started at the Seattle Tennis Club today— for the week, and I went out today to go and take a look. The facility is not even 2 miles from my house, but I have never been there. All other times of the year it is members only and very exclusive.
It was $30,000 to join the Club in 2015 (a figure almost certainly higher by now), plus annual dues. The wait list time is said to be 8 years or so. Rumor has it that Bill Gates wanted to become a member, but now has to wait his turn, as well.
I discovered a manufacturer of Spirograph-like gears online, and ordered a few sets of gears. It started out as a Kickstarter (publicly funded) project in 2013, based in Vancouver. The gears are laser-cut from acrylic.
So! I’m just getting started, and I will have to pick a few of my favorite patterns and add colors in and embellish them.
The buzz on the cable news programs about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s un-spectacular testimony on Capitol Hill (about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, continued on Thursday.
No question: Trump is 100%guilty of welcoming the help of the Russians, of then obstructing the investigation into it, and of repeatedly lying about it. But his Attorney-General and the Republicans under Senate Leader McConnell do not care, and are completely supporting Trump.
What will the Democrats do next? I say start impeachment hearings. I’m with Charles Blow that writes in the New York Times:
People were told that opening an impeachment inquiry would be a mistake because that’s what Trump wants to energize his base — particularly a failure to convict in the Senate — and that it would virtually guarantee his re-election.
None of this washes with me. While Democrats worry about tearing the country apart, Trump is doing just that in real time. His base doesn’t need further energizing; they’re juiced up on sexism, xenophobia, racism and nationalism.
Hmm.. is that a legitimate word: cenosillicaphobia? I wondered, as I looked at the letter board sign behind the bar counter in the Elysian Capitol Hill Brewery tonight.
Well, kind of. It looks like it was invented some 10 years ago. It is listed by Urban Dictionary, but not by Merriam-Webster (the gold standard for online dictionaries).
Ceno means empty, such as in cenotaph (a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person, or group of persons, whose remains are elsewhere), sillica would be the glass and phobia (of course), the irrational fear.
No reason to suffer from cenosillicaphobia when the bartender is right there, though – unless you have had several too many, already.
There it is: Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister of the United Kingston (per Ivanka Trump).
Can Johnson pull a rabbit out of the hat and deliver an orderly Brexit by Oct. 31?
Writes Roger Cohen in an opinion piece in the New York Times: Johnson has played with his country, treating it like one of his many dalliances, with a sloppiness and fecklessness no wit or charm can excuse. He backed a British exit from the European Union on a whim — in the expectation it would be rejected — and has since become a pawn of the Brexit ultras, the crazed little-England monomaniacs who have now delivered him to 10 Downing Street.
The sidewalk on the left is the one that I always take to walk to the grocery store, and there is a really bad tree root bump in it.
One of the city’s transportation crews has dug into the soil today. An arborist will advise if the trees can survive, once the troublesome roots had been taken out. I hope the trees will be OK! I guess I will soon find out.
We are spared the heat wave that is gripping the Midwest and Northeast of the country.
The Seattle area may see 86°F/ 30°C by Sunday, but that is mild compared to the sizzling temperatures forecast for St. Louis, Washington DC and Boston.
Today marks ten years since the opening of the Seattle light rail transit system. I was one of the 45,000 riders that boarded the light rail train for the first time, on July 18, 2009.
The initial line ran from downtown to Tukwila International Boulevard (close to Seattle-Tacoma airport). Four more stops have opened since then (Seattle-Tacoma airport & Angle Lake to the south, Capitol Hill and University of Washington to the north). The next extension of three more stops to the north, will open in 2021.
Trump: ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body’.
Joe Biden, asked about it by a reporter: ‘That means he has no bones’.
It’s Wednesday, and the furor over Trump’s tweets from the weekend, urging four female members of color of the House of Representatives to ‘go back to their countries’ (all four are American citizens, of course) has not died down.
Ai, aster, aster, vat my hand en druk my vaster, want my kop voel deurmekaar as ek na jou skoonheid staar*
*a rough translation: (young man to his girlfriend) ‘hey aster, aster, take my hand and hold me faster, for my head is humming, you are so stunning’.
– from the 1970’s Afrikaans folk song ‘Ai, meisie, meisie‘ by Jan de Wet
The aster in front of my house is flowering. Its genus is Kalimeris, from the sunflower family. It was first described in 1825 by the French botanist Alexandre Henri Gabriel de Cassini.