Greetings from Seattle

Saturday, January 19, 2019

An Anniversary, And Other Stuff

Was it just two years ago that Tom and I joined more that 130,000 people locally, and millions worldwide for the first Women's March? We were jubilant that day, reacting en mass to the inauguration of Donald Trump, signaling our determination to resist and persist. 

Much has happened in those two years, some of it good, much of it bad. Among the good, women are still persisting. This evening we are going to see the movie "On The Basis Of Sex", the biopic about RBG, to commemorate this anniversary. 

As I write this post, women are again marching, but we did not join them. My walking is more limited these days. However I am still walking, trying to get in a two mile walk most days.

This morning we walked in the neighborhood, as usual. With my partner at my side and classic rock music on my iPod, I did my best to be in the moment, to appreciate the chilly, blustery, fresh day, another day when the rain didn't materialize, and not dwell on my stiff back and complaining joints. 

It's fun to watch the dogs and their owners play in the dog park as we walk. 
 The clouds are thin, with now and then a ray of sun breaking through. 

Here at home the walls keep going higher. Work goes on every day, from dark to dark. 

Meanwhile we await the latest announcement from that man who sits in our White House, as we squabble over that other wall, while hundreds of thousands of federal employees go without pay, and immigrants continue to be abused at the border. 

Post Script: "On the Basis of Sex" is a very good movie. But more, it is an important movie. It left me feeling both happy and angry; happy that we have had someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg championing women's rights, happy that we have come a long way, and angry that we still have a long way to go before we can really say we have equal rights and opportunities not  just for women but for all affected groups. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nothing But Blue Skies
Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but blue skies from now on
I never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly by
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin' but blue skies from now on
Sure, they won't last, but while we have them, Oh, how do we love them. 

This was today, on my walk in the local park. Officially it's partly cloudy, but right now it's mostly sunny. 
We've had a stretch of fair weather, which makes our mossy hearts sing. On Sunday it was totally sunny when we went for our walk over along the Sound at Seahurst Park. 

The Olympic Mountains were aglow in the west. 

 The waves were lapping on the pebble beach.
 Forest and sea meet here in this preserved section of Puget Sound coastline. 
 This was a slow walk, a take your time, stop and soak it in walk, and for me, a walking stick walk on uneven ground. 

 We walked along that pebble beach for a little ways. 
 We lingered, as others were doing. 

 Ferry boats shuttled their passengers to and fro, everyone out to enjoy the sun. 
Ah, yes, when the rain returns we'll remember days like this. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Isaac's Field Trip

Tuesday, January 8th was Isaac's 16th birthday. It was a school day and a work day, so the celebrating was limited.  Instead we planned a field trip with family for Saturday. 

Somewhere  Isaac developed an interest in old military tanks. He saw some earlier at the Joint Base Lewis McChord Museum. There are a lot more at the late Paul Allen's Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, or, in other words, a collection old military planes and tanks from prior to about 1960. 

This museum is located in the hangers that surround Paine Field and the Boeing Plant at Everett, Washington, north of Seattle. That's where we went on Saturday. 

It was a beautiful day.
Upon entering the first of three museum hangers we were introduced to Art. Arthur Unruh is a decorated WWII veteran of 50 missions as a gunner on B-17s, flying out of Foggia, Italy. He wrote a book about his years of service.
He also had objects of interest: hand grenades, very heavy helmets, and most especially the three pieces of jagged metal, flak, that he took from his pocket. He said more planes were downed by the heavy flak casings than by actual gunning, and he has a vivid memory of the flak shell that exploded right outside his window that scattered metal fragments throughout his plane, including the three he carries. That's an up close and personal experience. And Art is a treasure. 

Then we were off to explore.

Gunners didn't have much protection. 

Planes in this collection were found all over the world. This one was found in a jungle.  Another was found at the bottom of a lake, bombs and rockets still strapped under the wings. All the the planes here are completely restored to operating order, and all but two are flown on a regular basis to keep them in good condition. 

This is one of the planes that is not flown, because it is the only one of its type left in existence. 
As you can see, it was a German plane, surrendered in 1945. 
This is a V-2 rocket, of the type that blitzed London and other European cities. 

The V-1 German "vengeance weapon" was the first guided missile used in war. 

This "tractor" carried the shells and pulled the anti-aircraft Flak guns, 

Mission markers
 A separate side gallery discusses the causes and the results of the various US wars. I am not one to glorify war, and hold out hope that lessons learned will not be repeated. 

 I did find this to be almost a bit of comic relief. 
 This not so much, wooden rattles to warm of poisonous gasses. 
And certainly not these, models of the first two Atom bombs, dropped on Japan. As the sign says, they changed warfare forever. 

 Back in the galleries, some interesting details on tanks. 

 Plane paint. 

 And more in another hanger.

 OK, I saw a cute face on this weapon of destruction. 

 This flag flew on one of the first vessels in combat at sunrise on D-Day. A survivor of the landing, the tank carrier's captain ordered a new flag flown. The crewman kept this one and it survived in a shoe box for many years. 

 Aircraft carrier planes used in the Pacific front. 

 Paul Allen's space toys, the space craft and its plane launcher. 

 I asked Isaac which tank he liked best. This one, the Churchill Mk VII Crocodile, because it was so heavily armored and "it has a flame thrower". 

 We all found different reasons to like or appreciate this museum field trip.  It is certainly a priceless treasure of preservation and well worth more than one visit. I personally gained an increased appreciation of the personnel, the people, who maintained these craft in very difficult situations, and those who flew the missions and manned the tanks, and all of the other men, and some women, who risked their lives, and gave their lives, for causes they believed in. 

Then we went to a late lunch. Then we worked our way back through Seattle traffic to our house where, because it was a birthday, there was cake!

While they didn't see sea turtles on their Mexican vacation right after Christmas, they did see them in Hawaii last spring break, and they love them and they remind them of snorkeling in the balmy tropical waters, so that's what Irene chose to make as a cake for her brother. And yes, she made it all by herself.  
Happy Birthday, Isaac!
And with that, this post is finally extinguished.