Double

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Double. More than double. But not for your pleasure.

A new licensing fee appeared on the renewal form for the car I drive most, a hybrid. It wasn’t there last year, but appeared this year and it more than doubled the cost of registering my vehicle. There was no mention of this fee anywhere in the media, that I can find, until after the fact that it was applied to people’s licensing fees. Surprise! The cost of registering your vehicle more than doubled!

The biggest kicker, I am paying a fee for something I don’t use, an electric vehicle charging station (and those this fee is supposedly going to build). Thus the word HYBRID, meaning it powers itself by using two different types of fuel.

I tell you, bigger government means bigger fees. Always. There is never an exception to this. Ever. The problem is that many times the fees aren’t actually used for the stated purpose, nor do they totally justify the collection of the fee in the first place.

Why is the government in charge of building charging stations for electric vehicles? Why is it that those not driving plug-in cars are paying a fee to plug in a car that won’t plug in?

The epitome of what is wrong with government. I mean there is a LOT wrong with our government, at many different levels, but this is just another fine example of why so many people dislike and don’t trust the government.

Fall quarantine

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I’m not ready for summer to be over. I’ll admit, I like the sun and warm days (but not hot days…72 is the perfect temp). But, clearly in the Northwest, that doesn’t happen for long up here.

Being from the Northwest, I have grown up with rain. I don’t like it much. Yes, there is a need for it and it does keep things green here, but I don’t like going out in the rain and spending time in it. Yes, I am going to let that stop me from having fun out of doors, because, well, being in the rain for long period of time just isn’t that fun.

Anyway, we just went through six months of lockdown (literally and figuratively). To say that the summer wasn’t a bit of a let down, even with half way decent weather for some of it, would be kind of an understatement. It was a big let down. Trips cancelled. Outdoor activities cancelled or severely hampered/limited. Not much hanging out with friends or family (but we did some). Always the specter of “what if” when we decided to go for a drive to who knows where…what if they aren’t open, what if they don’t have anything to see, what if we can’t find a place to go to the bathroom, what if there is no place to stay? Irritating when you look back on all this stupidity.

So, now there is a new prospect of a “lockdown” in the Northwest, not from dreaded Covid *eyeroll*, but from the weather. It will be more windy, more rainy, and darker sooner and longer. To say that that will kill the spirit of anyone who has to stay inside for the next six months because of the weather is discouraging. Really discouraging.

I am not sure I can handle this next lockdown. I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder but I can certainly say that I am feeling like I missed out on the best part of the year. I kinda feel like I have treaded water all summer only to have no payoff of fun and relaxation. Know what I mean?

How do you deal with the change in seasons, especially the summer to fall transistion?

Pimpin’ Street Czar

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If all the stuff over the summer wasn’t enough to convince you that the city of Seattle was a place run by idiots and Communists, you have to take a look at this. This should be enough to convince you that spending money that this city, as a tourist or resident, is literally a waste of your resources.

This should be the last straw for anyone living in Seattle. But, it won’t be. Somehow they will still justify it. The city tries so hard to be “progressive” it is actually regressing. This only offers further proof. The city and the counsel and the mayor or anything but “woke.”

The city hired a “former” pimp to be a “street czar” so it could have street cred and to be a liaison between the people and the police.

I’m not kidding. I wish I was, but it’s true.

Who comes up with these ideas? The city counsel overrode the mayor’s veto of the proposed budget (the counsel wrote and approved) that literally defunds the police department – the the tune of actually losing policing ability. 100 officers positions will be eliminated.

Wanna feel unsafe in Seattle? Now you know what it will feel like. Doesn’t matter what color, sex, religion you are. The loss will be felt by all.

Oh, but we better make sure some lowlife, exploiter of women and criminal history with no experience or training get paid large amounts of money to do a job with no job description, defined desired performance goals, or oversight. That’s an effective way to solve problem.

I am starting to wonder if some cities in the US are actually competing to run themselves into the ground fastest. People must be waking up each morning and thinking, “What can I do today to make things worse around here?” That can be the only explanation. Really.

I am avoiding Seattle. I hope you will too.

Check out

reception desk with antique hotel bell

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Rhetorical questions here: Everyone had enough already? Everyone feel like everything is on fire and there is no way in hell you can make it stop? Everyone feel like everything is on fire while there is a tornado whirling around you? A tornado with sharks and snakes and alligators in it?

OK, enough of those questions. I know the answer. That’s why they were rhetorical.

I lied. One more.

Ever wish you could just check out of life like you check out of a hotel room?

“OK, I’m done here. I am not picking up or cleaning. I am not making the bed. Here’s the key. I am moving on. Nothing here is my responsibility any more.”

Yeah, I wish life was that easy.

I have had enough of everyone. Of everything.

Time to start over. Another time. Another place.

Ever feel like that?

That question, it’s not rhetorical. Go ahead and answer.

17+1

group of people making toast

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I took the day off yesterday, from and blogging.

Family is in town from out of town, so yesterday was when everyone could get together at the same time.

It was actually kind of a big deal, since most of the time people are uncooperative and typically chaos ensues as the planning and execution of said plans happens.

So, 17+1 all managed to make it to another¬† part of the state and gather in a sort of “family reunion” type gathering. 17+1? Well, there were 17 people, plus one on the way.

Family? My wife and I, our combined 6 children, 2 of their spouses and a significant other, and 6 grandchildren (plus the one on the way).

Picnic lunch, visiting shops and stores amid a pandemic and ridiculous restrictions, ice creams stops, and lots of driving (about 6 hours round trip). So, as you can imagine, there are always a bit of wrangling issues when you have people in your group from ages of 53 to 2. But, for the most part, it was a memorable time.

Granted, these are the people that a large portion of the topics here on the blog deal with, but yesterday they were all exempt. Genuine effort by all made for a day that was mostly pleasant.

So, today, while I don’t feel like Pissing and Moaning, I guess I’ll just be appreciative.

Seattle

aerial view of city buildings

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I don’t recommend you visit.

It’s irritating to watch from a city nearby and see all the garbage that is going on down there.

The City and County Councils have gone off the rails. The mayor is a failure. Chaos in the streets (continues) and chaos in the government.

Homelessness is rampant. Drug use is up, even to the point that the city is providing space to allow and encourage it. Mismanagement of funds. Sheltering illegal immigrants.

“Handcuffing” cops so they can’t deal with unruly “protesters,” but just making them stand there to watch the lawlessness or take the physical and verbal abuse.

CHAZ and then CHOP.

Defund the Seattle PD by 50%, which is causing a mass exodus of officers to other communities.

Close the King County Jail within the next several years and completely stop youth incarceration. They want to take the position of the sheriff from being one voted on and into the position to one of being appointed.

They are trying to tax big businesses in the city and county to ungodly levels, which will eventually drive them out, not only from the city and county but very likely even the state (Bezos is public enemy #1 instead of the rioters destroying the city and holding parts of it hostage).

Make any sense? Any of it?

None. Not one bit of it.

Unless, your playbook was written by Marx. And Lenin. And Stalin. And Mao.

Ah, suddenly a picture comes into focus.

Don’t visit Seattle. Don’t be a tourist. Certainly don’t even think about moving there. Stay away from it. I have decided that I will avoid it as much as possible. No more visiting (it’s not safe). No more sports teams (can’t guarantee getting to the stadium will be safe). No more exploring. No more spending. No more.

Don’t visit Seattle.

Day 2

white blank notebook

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Vacation, Day 2:

Plans are rather sparse today.

The weather doesn’t appear, at least at the moment, that it will cooperate like it did yesterday for more outdoor activity in the yard.

So, what to do, what to do today?

Well, at least for part of the day I am going to put on my mask and venture out to get some propane and weed killer. I don’t think we have any other needs in the supply area at this point so it should be a fairly quick trip outside the confines of these four walls.

After that, who knows? Perhaps I’ll set up some scaffolding and begin painting on the ceiling…or get out a toothbrush and clean the grout between the tiles in the kitchen floor…or maybe I’ll even read a book…

With no plans on this vacation it is hard to decide what to do with so much time.

Time. We always say we need more of it so we can get things done. Now I have it, but can’t get things done because we are supposed to limit our travel to “essentials” needs, which means the stores I need to go to for supplies to get things done are “open” but mostly off limits. Plus, we don’t know how long this whole lockdown thing is going to last so is it really wise to spend money on big projects I want to get done when that money might be needed for something else more important in the near future? Yeah, it’s a question that is sorta like “Why did the chicken cross the road?” There is no right or wrong answer, just an unending philosophical, circular thought.

This is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Vacation, Day 1 Update:

So, the chores and nice weather won out. this was the progress made in the front flower bed. Not much to look at because over the years many of the plants that were there to fill the space have now died due to insects and cold. So, lots of empty ground. But, at least there are no weeds in there now. At some point it will get replanted…but should it happen before landscape improvement or after?

Without notification

airline flight schedules on flat screen televisions

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Someone left town to visit family this weekend. Flying in these times is a rather curious endeavor now and there was already anticipation that some flexibility would be needed. The thought was that returning home might end up being a problem (that still remains to be seen). So…

Night before flight, 11:23pm: Flight is on time for an 8:00am departure.

Morning of flight, 4:11a.m: Flight cancelled and booked to another flight at 10:21am.

If I hadn’t checked of my own volition, the change would not have been known until arriving at the airport.

Did you catch that,¬†“of my own volition”?

That’s right. Not a single notification from the airline that the flight details had changed. No text. No email. No call. That last one I didn’t really expect, but not even an email? Is that how they handle flight changes now?

Really disappointed in Alaska Airlines.

Granted, for the first leg of the trip the flight is not on their actual airline, but the trip was booked through them and they are the “confirmation number issuer” so you would think they were the ones responsible for notification.

I have always liked flying with them. They take pretty good care of you and they fly to most places I want to go for a fair price (most of the time). But, this taints the relationship a little. She luster is now gone. Oh, I’ll still probably fly with them but there is a little love lost now.

I may have a wandering eye, checking out the other options available. Fair warning Alaska, fair warning.

 

Power(less)

people wall blur inside

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Traveling in the electronic age is rather interesting, or frustrating, depending on your point of view and experience.

On my vacation last week, I had the opportunity to visit four different airport concourses. All were Southwest Airlines concourses, but I am not actually sure who is responsible for setting them up. Obviously the airport maintains them (cleaning, etc.), but as far as designing and then implementing the design, as I understand, that is up to the airline.

The interesting thing is that all four airports had vastly different designs and amenities. Seattle’s hub, surprisingly, was the most comfortable and there were AMPLE places to plug in the electronic devices. Between a bar looking setup with plugs to all the chairs having plugs and USB ports, there was no fighting over access. As such, there was no possibility of running short on power, but I was just starting my trip so everything was fully powered already.

San Jose’s Southwest concourse was rather dinky and probably the least comfortable of all four, but again the chairs all had plugs and USB ports available so now finding a place to top off the devices wasn’t difficult. Find an open seat (maybe more difficult since it was a small place) and plug in.

Phoenix’s Southwest concourse was actually comfortable, but access to power was rather sparse. Again, I was fully charged so I didn’t need a place to power-up, but if I had there seemed to be a few “bar” looking places spaced throughout the concourse, but the plugs available at these were limited. The seating had no charging capability at all, at least not at the gate I was at and it didn’t look any different any place else.

Finally, Southwest’s Sacramento concourse was a decent size but again the power options were really limited. Again, there were a few of those “bar” options, but again nothing in the chairs. Fortunately, there wasn’t anything that needed topped off for me at this point in my trip. I was conserving power fairly well.

The return trip home was rather eye-opening. I fully expected that what I had available to me on my trip down would be available to me on the way home. That was not the case. I was a little surprised that the airline didn’t have the same amenities available in all of it’s concourses, at least as far as access to power goes. Yes, I know size of the airport and what other comforts available depend highly on the design of the building, but the easiest and most effective way to offer power options to your flyers is to add the chairs with power access right in them. The last two airports, not so much.

So, if you haven’t flown in a while, be prepared to be “powerless” on some legs of your trip. You may have to supply your own as the battle for outlets continues to increase in our electronics driven lives.

Exhausted

photography of bedroom

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So, I got a good night’s sleep last night. After being up at 3:00am to get to the airport, I waited as long as I could to go to bed so that I didn’t end up getting up too early from going to bed too early.

It worked. I got eight and a half hours of sleep, BUT I am still tired. The last five days have really worn me out! It was packed full of activity and warm, sunny weather.

It is safe to say that was one of my top vacations ever. I couldn’t have asked for much better. And, as you probably have gathered, I am not really the kind of person to “see the bright side” of many things so that is saying a lot.

I am going to lay low today and tomorrow before being back at work (I’m telecommuting) Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be back to the office.

I’ll pick up with the regularly scheduled Piss and Moan tomorrow. I am sure there will be something to make your eyes roll then.