Not so Nasty News January 10th

Item #1: Who’s got hay?

The last 2 tons of 14 were put in our shed this week. Like Nancy, our hay guy got a bug. He actually has a truck.

Item #2: Who’s got snow?

Newfoundland, buried

We didn’t have snow but eastern Canada did. Some claim to be “buried alive”, but the photos show they seem to be having a good time. 40 inches of snow in 2 weeks is enough to make one tired. We were in Cincinnati when 10 inches fell – in daylight, I think. That was the first large city I lived in, and I wasn’t used to a place not having snow removal equipment. Cincy often didn’t get more than a flurry.

We didn’t have snow at the beginning of the week. Now we do, but not much here. Accumulation in the higher elevations has started and closer to them is Washington’s favorite tourist town, Leavenworth – our own Bavarian village.
Check this site (scroll down) and have look. It is well lit until midnight, so have a look when it is dark; after 6 PM Pacific Time.
WebCams near Leavenworth

There are weather related traffic alerts on the WA-DOT web site.
We are staying home.

Item #3: Grass trees

Because of the fires in Australia I learned of a new plant.
Xanthorrhoea

This first link is to Bush Heritage Australia and in addition to text and photos, they solicit funds. Not a surprise, that.Lorikeets enjoying flower spikes at Carnarvon Reserve (Qld). Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix

Wikipedia claims there are 30 species. Photo above left is of one that has been cut so the inside of the trunk can be seen.
Photos

Photo below is of Grass Trees after a fire. Note the charred cans on the lower left – and the new green “grass” on the burned trees.The picture featured above is by David Ward, of grass trees at Scott River, Western Australia, taken in January 2007, following a “mild, patchy burn”. If you care for the context this is from: jennifermarohasy dot com/ 2020/01/it-has-been-hotter-fires-have-burnt-larger-areas/ – – – fix the dot thing

Item #4: A European vacation

Not. Save money. Gasoline is cheap in Texas.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Jan 3rd

Item #1: Tumbling Tumbleweed

Link to Trapped


Drivers along a highway near Richland, WA were trapped by… tumbleweed.
This location is about 100 miles south of us.
This happened Tues. evening 12/31.
The story seems to have made it around the world and back by Wednesday.
We haven’t been down that way in several years but did see masses of tumbleweed in a few places where fences managed to snag it. Often it is in a road cut that redirects wind over the place. Otherwise, I think it makes it to the Columbia River and heads to the Pacific Ocean.

Item #2: Lucked out

Nancy headed downslope today and called to say she was seeing fog in the Kittitas Valley. I checked the WA-DOT cameras and snagged views from the top (2,600 feet) of the ridge to the south and another from the interchange (1,600 feet) near the small town of Kittitas.The right side photo is about 6 miles north of the left side location; although the view on Manastash Ridge is more to the west.
Upon arriving in WA we made an offer on a house that gets that fog frequently; 2 miles south of the camera at I-90. Other folks made an offer a few hours before ours, so they are down in the fog. We lucked out.
Last night we had an inch of snow – now it is sunny with some thin high clouds.
Snow is coming starting tonight and lasting for several days. We won’t get a lot but the mountains 50-70 miles west will get up to 2 feet.

Item #3: Tiny tiny

Adults spend hundreds of hours making minutely detailed replicas; and I guess you can buy them just like other art pieces. The Wall Street Journal did an article from which I copied this image of the trailer-house. There is nothing to provide a sense of scale. It does say there is a rabbit pen (not seen here) with poppy seeds as droppings.The following 3 minute video does show him at work.
Ken Hamilton: Miniature Artist – Charleston, S.C.,

This one has a person’s hand for scale, scroll down:
Link
It has still photos of a piece called “Charleston Facade” with dimensions 11 inches wide, 18 high, and 5 thick.

Item #4: 18 & world class Christopher Lake, near the center of Saskatchewan, is about as flat as a place can be. This young woman, Maia Schwinghammer, is one of the world’s best downhill moguls skiers.
How did that happen?
She began at age 4 skiing with a tow rope behind her uncle’s snowmobile. As young teens, a neighbor pulled his son and me on a toboggan behind a jeep. We had fun but it didn’t lead to a career.

Item #5: Lizard crossing

This kid, seven-year-old Jake Croker saw signs for kangaroo and emu. He wanted to save lizards, specifically one called “sleepy.” The name shingleback is also used, especially for T. rugosa asper, the only subspecies native to eastern Australia. This area is west of Adelaide, on the Yorke Peninsula.
These are slow moving blue-tongued skinks. Do an image search using those 3 words. Some skinks have green blood.
Maybe the name “sleepy” is because of them being slow moving.
I haven’t found an answer.
Anyway, here is the Link.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News December 27

Item #1: A look at the dropped ceiling

We mentioned my project for the holidays. The garage ceiling was calling: “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Below is how it looked.The piece is 5 ft. wide and 11 ft long. It mostly stayed intact except for the right side – note blue oval. The metal rail (only one shown ) for the overhead-door, and the old box, prevented a farther drop and a more serious breaking apart of the plaster-board (aka drywall).
The current recommendation is to use (ceiling) drywall screws at the rate of one every 6 inches. Photo two, below, shows a problem.
Nails were used, with an okay length {1.5 in. through ½ inch material}. However, they are not screws and they are not 6 in. or less apart.Because thin nails tend not to hold well as the wood ages, and drywall is heavy, about 64 pounds for 10x4x half-inch piece, these can sag or fall under various circumstances.
A complicating issue is that here-&-there a nail will stay in the wood and pull through the sheet. One such is on the left side of the blue oval in the top photo. There is some plaster on it, so it looks like a white dot. All nails have to be removed before the sheet can be shoved back into its place.

Did I mention I am not fond of standing on things and reaching over my head to do stretching exercises as required here?

I used 2x4s and 2x6s to get it up and hold it there. So, for now I have stopped the flow of heat from the garage where the water tank and softener are. The original ‘build’ did not include heat or insulation in this 2-car garage. We use small oil-filled radiant heaters to keep it above freezing. The other side came down just like this years ago, and a corner in another place. Twenty years has gone by, and now the third episode.
Time for a full-fix out there. Perhaps, in the spring we will have a contractor convert the car-space to living-space. The would be a major expense. A minimum will be to replace the ceiling, garage doors, insulate thoroughly.
Looking into it now. Happy New Year!

Item #2: The bottle opener

A fancy building, the Shanghai World Financial Center, has been called the “bottle opener.”Use your imagination.

Item #3: Word play

This photo of a dumpster was posted. Is the wording a comment on the “state of being” of the thing, or a directive. Either way, it is likely an unnecessary use of paint.
Item #4: Equally cute If you had a boat with batteries, you can float along side one of these things and plug in.

Item #5: Christmas time bloomer
My photo snap for this is an “in close” view but the amazing thing is that it is Christmas time and this thing is blooming.
The Nuytsia floribunda, or ‘Aussie Christmas tree’ as it is commonly known, bursts into bright orange life each December. Well, it is summer near Perth, so having things bloom is not out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, this is out of the ordinary.
This is a giant mistletoe only be found in the south-west corner of Western Australia and is the world’s tallest parasitic tree. Do have a look.
Aussie Christmas tree

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Name after himself !
Meaning of name: Nuytsia is named in honour of Pieter Nuyts, a member of the council of the Dutch East Indies who sailed along the south and west coasts of Australia in Gulde Zeepard in 1627 and named the land Pieter Nuyts Land. Floribunda is from the Latin words floris, meaning flower, and abundus, meaning abounding in.
Aboriginal name: Mooja

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Dec 20th

Cousin Pat wrote from western Pennsylvania: “We had ice on trees and shrubs yesterday. Today snow squalls. Nice and sunny one minute then you can’t see across the road.”
And from the Naneum Fan – – ice on trees and shrubs.December 18th Photo by John
Ice crystals (hoar {gray-haired} frost, or sometimes silver frost) on Ponderosa Pines and (inset) a small Plumb branch).

Item #2: Brussels sprouts for dinner A 30 second video with short text;
Link

Part of the story: “a trailer full of the traditional Christmas dinner vegetable overturned in Queensferry Road in Rosyth, Fife”

“Hard as it may be to believe, the Brits eat four billion sprouts at Christmas. Supermarkets and greengrocers shelves groan under the weight of these delightful, nut-sized veggies.”

I did not know that these things were delightful nor that they were part of a traditional Christmas dinner. I don’t recall having them at Christmas, and not frequently anytime.
Perhaps you would like to try:
Traditional British Christmas Side Dishes; #2 is for sprouts

Item #3: Did you know?
the only area in NA

Item #4: Old is new, or something

The headline was from Newcastle, WA – – a place where I’ve been to work on trails. Newcastle was one of the region’s first coal mining areas and its railroad link to Seattle was the first in King County. Underground tunnels, air shafts, and other hazards made most of this hilly area southeast of Seattle an “off-limit” place for development, so it was converted to a natural area with a few trails.
Where is baby Jesus?

A worker for a landscape company, driving a company truck, took items from a nativity display. The town is small and the truck was recognized. The case was easily solved.

Here is the “old is new” part.
My folks got a television (1954, I think) when black & white was the thing. A TV program called Dragnet, starring Jack Webb, was one of the series. Prior to that – before my time – there was a radio show.
Years later some of the episodes were filmed in color.
Each of these had a story about “baby Jesus” disappearing from the manger in front of a church. Sargent Joe Friday investigated. The episode was repeated for many years, so I don’t know when I first saw it.
Radio version – – 1953
Black & White – – 1953; 2 nights after radio
Color TV – – 1967
notes about “The Big Little Jesus”

Item #5: A Pineapple Express Above is a visible image from a satellite showing clouds lined up over the eastern Pacific Ocean. A moist and warm river-of-air is aimed at our region. We have had cold temperature so this has begun as snow – 4 inches today, Thursday.
As this flow continues the lower elevations will switch to rain. The skiing folks hope the higher slopes continue with the snow.

Item #6: Daylight grows longer

December Solstice in Ellensburg, is on
Saturday, December 21, at 8:19 pm.
The perfect time to taste your Yule Log.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Dec 13th

Item #1: Chocolate
Bad time of year for dogs. Especially small dogs. The photo here (from the web) shows several wrapped packages about the size and shape of fancy candy.
The chemicals in chocolate are not good for dogs. Small amounts can cause a dog to vomit, and larger doses can cause a racing heart, seizures or death.
Cats would show similar symptoms but generally won’t rip packages open and eat the entire box.
A box of specialty seasonal chocolate pieces is a modern mystery. Is there “dark” chocolate therein? If so, think of “dark” as bad then, for your dog. Is the box the same size as 20 or 30 years ago? Likely so. Is there as much inside the box as there was? Likely not. Same price – – more air!

Put your chocolate where the dogs can’t get to it.

(Dogs are also sensitive to grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and Xylitol, a sweetener used in gums and candies.)

Item #2: A pain in the back
This photo shows shelves with pain medication. Note Advil on the top left. Tylenol and Excedrin are near the top.
Down at ankle level note Icyhot and Salonpas. There are various types, including patches meant to sooth back pain.
I saw a note from a guy that assumed he was much taller now than years ago. He based this on the fact that when he wants to pick something up it takes much longer to get the job done. Reaching that extra distance just takes longer.
No one over 70 would put back pain medication near the floor.

Item #3: Christmas photos
You might need a photo for your Christmas card. Some ideas.

Item #4: Remember Harvey? Harvey was a 6 foot 3.5 inch invisible rabbit that traveled around with Elwood (played by Jimmy Stewart), often found at their favorite bar, Charlie’s. Harvey is a pooka, a benign but mischievous creature from Celtic mythology.
I thought of this 1950s film when I saw the photo of the pink bunny. I can’t say why in that pink and invisible don’t mesh.
Anyway, the pink bunny was given to a little girl in Saskatoon. Much else was given to the very needy family, but the pink bunny is the central character in this story.
A Christmas Story

Item #5: Garden cash?
One of the more interesting stories this week is about cash. Many countries from around the world have done their sums and discovered they have printed more bills than now are around. Where are they?
Where are you hiding your cash?
In the case of the USA, NZ and other such, much of the cash (apparently) is sent or taken to other countries. Socking those bills away provides some protection against economic turmoil, especially in countries with a record of instability in their own financial systems. Ruth Judson, a Federal Reserve economist, has been investigating this issue.
{Notes copied and pasted from The Wall Street Journal}
Sometimes bank notes are buried in the garden, where they start decomposing, or hidden in attics, where they are used by mice for building nests. Construction workers recently dug up an estimated $140,000 buried in packages at a site on Australia’s Gold Coast, prompting a police search to find the trove’s owner.

In September, a court in Germany ruled on a case brought by a man who stuffed more than 500,000 euros in a faulty boiler only to see it incinerated when a friend made a fix on a cold day while he was on vacation. The man sued his friend for the value of the lost bank notes plus interest. He lost.
In the comments following the WSJ article several people claimed to have a few dollars in an envelope or other stash. I liked this comment by Preston E. – – It ain’t me.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News December 6th

Item #1: A brief disappearance

I don’t think Czar was grinning. He wandered into our big shed while I was moving bundles of old papers, 15 pounds or so wrapped in baling twine. There were 5 or 6 bundles and one cardboard box.
I did not notice him and closed the doors about 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
After dark we began to wonder where he was. That’s about 5.
About 9:30 it occurred to me that I should call him, and as I stood up I remembered trekking forth and back with the paper bundles.
So I found him there in the dark. He followed me out with a string of continuous “meows” that may, or may not, have had something to do with his opinion of me.
The image above is from: Cheshire Cat – – Wikipedia.

Illustrator John Tenniel envisioned the cat in this manner for the 1865 publication Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The distinctive mischievous grin is now associated with Alice, but origins of the phrase “grinning like a Cheshire Cat” pre-date Wonderland.
There is this one from a 1788 dictionary: “ He grins like a Cheshire cat; said of any one who shows his teeth and gums in laughing.
I don’t know how I knew this, but I do not like photos of me or others with a big grin.
Anyway, after eating, drinking, and (we hope) going to the potty, Czar came in and bedded down for a long sleep.

Item #2: Why are things out of place?

Frequently in grocery stores we see things on shelves where they do not belong. If a store employee is nearby, or if the item is normally frozen or cold, we alert someone. Waste is a cost and we prefer that our costs are low.
The photo below was on the web (somewhere).
The person posting this put a caption at the top.
“A decision was made here …”

Item #3: Keeping to the milk versus wine theme

I can’t remember when I last ingested milk, directly.
My “dairy” is limited to ice cream and cheese. Much more than wine, actually. I found this image but it used ‘beer” bottles. I wanted to send it to our vineyard and winery friends so I adjusted it.Thus, this is not about me.

Item #4: Your car? Hope not.

Item #5: Heaven’s sake!

A person from Australia has quit trying to get people to use apostrophes in the manner he believes appropriate. He admits to losing the battle.
Search with “apostrophe misuse” and go to images. Two of my favorites follow:

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Nov 29th

The northeast side of Mount Rainier from Crystal Mountain.
Region wide clear sky and no wind equals very cold mornings; 9°F. Friday.

Item #1: 3 o’clock in the morning
. . . . . . . . * * 2009 * * . . . . . . . .
Remembering Friday after Thanksgiving: Nancy had pain, woke me, and we were off to the local emergency room (11 miles). 10 years and many hundreds of miles later, we are still on the Naneum Fan. Amazing!

Item #2: High wind or maybe … Yakima Washington – 40 ft. Spruce tree

When it fell, the tree’s base that sat in a hole in the plaza appeared to shear off. City spokesman, Randy, said the tree will be a bit shorter when it is reinstalled, as crews will have to reshape the trunk to seat it.

Photo at right is from 2017 .The plaza has square blocks for the surface. Chainsaw Mike’s right toe has one in front, and a second block away is a hole. With the tree held by a crane, they have shaped the butt of the tree to taper and fit the hole from removal of one paving stone. Note the slab from the tree behind Green Vest Joe.
The 2019 crew tried a different method.
The right side photo (above) shows the butt of the 2019 tree that snapped. The chainsaw grooves show they cut most of the wood away and left a square portion, apparently, of a size to fit in the hole made from removing a single stone.
The tree looks to be about 20 inches across (314 sq. in.) and they left an 8 inch by 8 inch prong to go in the hole. They left just 20%, and it is not centered in the butt.
They had tensioned cables (guy-wires) to keep it upright.
Because of Thanksgiving, with city workers at a minimum, the tree won’t be put back up until Monday, Dec. 2nd.
Then they can decorate it. A 2016 photo here: Yakima Plaza Christmas Tree shows the scene.

I’m tempted to go down Monday (45 miles) to see what they do; how they shape it. I’d remove 3 more stone pavers and make the hole 4 times larger.

Item #3: not a pie
Thanksgiving is a time for cooking. So a tradition in my mother’s kitchen was Pecan pie. Today I learned that the thing is not a pie, at least not technically. It is a tart. I chopped a lot of pecans making something in the shape of a pie; we did not bake these with whole pecans.
Technically, a pie has a pastry top & bottom. Without the top, it is a tart. Single serving tarts are common but small size is not the defining characteristic. The term tassie is used for the small ones. The lemon & raspberry ones look yummie.
However, a custard pie is not a pie either, it’s a flan. Those things thrown toward people’s faces, often called custard pies, are not. Those who throw them are called flâneurs; at least in Europe.
Who knew?
Back to pie. The name is, perhaps, from the bird Magpie. One historian of the language has suggested that the food was named after the bird because the varied ingredients reminded people of the birds’ habit of collecting together all sorts of bits and pieces in their nests. The first pies in Britain contained a mixture of meat and vegetables, and made folks think of the Magpie’s nest.
Our neighborhood thanksgiving dinner was last Saturday, and tonight we are out of both turkey and pie. About time.

Item #4: ‘truck farm’
I was reading a news item about Vietnamese people found dead in a lorry.
I did know what a lorry is, but wondered where that term originated.
Here is a site that doesn’t actually answer the question because no one really knows.
a bit mysterious

Now here is the good part. Near the end of the text an explanation is given for the word ‘truck’ in the sense of ” “to have no truck with,” and from there to why a small farm selling fruits & veggies is called a truck farm.
Information in the comments is even more interesting, explaining why a vehicle we call a pickup is so called.
Early model Fords in rural areas would often have their bodies removed behind the front seat and their owners would lay boards across the frame to create a flat surface. Some would even put rails on the sides. These modified vehicles would be used to move various things, to move truck, and were referred to as “pick-up trucks” (the hyphen was later dropped), and that was how the vehicles were named even after commercial versions were manufactured (if you can find automobiles ads from American advertising in the 1960s and 1970s, you should be able to find this term easily or for a more current example, a Google search for “pickup truck” will display recent truck ads). By the 1980s, the use of “truck” to refer to ‘trash’ had fallen out of common usage, and many younger people didn’t know the classic definition. The term “pick-up truck” was too long to stick in modern American vernacular, and the “pickup” part was dropped. Leaving “truck” as the name of the vehicles.

The truck = trash definition is in a 1955 Webster’s Dictionary that I have. In an older one, this might be more prominent.

Item #5: Cooking a large bird

For many years we have had others do the cooking of the turkey at Thanksgiving. This year and last it was smoked. The chef, Rick, bought a large outdoor BBQ smoker like the one shown.
The fuel goes in the small part on the right (under the grating), and that to be cooked goes in the larger (left) side. Heat and smoke enter and pass across the grill and exit via the stack on the left.

The single panel from the cartoon of “Breaking Cat News” gave me a chuckle. Rick’s method ends a tradition. See the full cartoon at the link:
Tradition

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Nov 22nd

My bit is short this week. See Item #3.

Item #1: Again?
This must be the 4th or 5th odd wreck photo I used this year. There isn’t much special about this one, except I thought it funny that the business, a consignment furniture place, calls itself Once & Again. How many times do the police see these sorts of things? Do you suppose the 911 dispatcher and the police make jokes?

Item #2: Confused

The image at the right is an advertisement that appeared on my monitor this week. I usually ignore such things, but I looked at this one and wondered why I was getting it pushed at me.
I was confused by the text and the lady of the image.
The words “for the little ones” and the person did not seem to relate.
What are they selling, other than the dress?
She is likely a very nice lady – no disrespect intended – but she is not one of the little ones.
I did not click on the ad to find out more.

Item #3: Busy

I have been reading this week, but not searching for news.
One of our geography colleagues is working on a book about a 2nd colleague that has had an amazing life that went in odd directions. Prior to Nancy’s illness [that was 10 years ago] he wrecked on a bike, tore up the left side of his head, and rearranged some stuff in his brain that the best doctors in Seattle don’t understand. Then his 2nd wife, of 20 years, gave a 12 hour notice that she found someone else – and moved out. He has managed to get through the last 10 years with some help from a son from the first marriage.
So the book is his story as he tells it, in a “voice” or manner of a person with an odd early life and a scrambled period following a stint as a university professor. He is several years younger than me, and now has good physical health. So the story is not over.
The book is transcribed from interviews and Nancy and I are reading a draft.
So maybe next week I can find some more “Not So Nasty News.”

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Nov 15th

Item #1: Eggs

How long does she have to sit on an egg for it to hatch?

‘Ice eggs’ covered a small section of a Finland beach on Sunday, Nov. 7th.
Recent story.

It was a small area and the ice eggs were smallish. The photo below is from the article, but the place is Nayda in Siberia and it was in 2016. Some were 3 feet across and they went for 11 miles.

Item #2: Thrill

This one is from Washington State, but there was at least one other this week someplace. Car going airborne, I mean.The top car in the above photo has Oregon plates. It is double parked in a driveway in Walla Walla, WA.
The yellow slash points to a large rock. This was a landscape item placed at the entrance to the drive. The working theory is that the car hit the rock, moved it, and caused the car to become airborne.
It is a large 4-door Jeep.
Late word is that the driver was having a medical issue.

Item #3: Toasted toaster

Does your toaster need cleaned out?
Most have small trays that slide out. However, there are things that do not fall through. Earlier this week a piece of bread broke away and lodged along the side.
I emptied the little tray. Then I gently shook the whole thing – a 4 slice model. No luck. I turned the toaster upside down and shook some more. With a little prodding from a wood stick – think popsicle – the large piece fell out.
After the cleaning – nothing worked.There are solutions. Photos above are not from me.

The last two mornings I fried breed in an iron pan.
Nancy has found a replacement. This is a 2-slice model from a divorcee. She got the toaster. It bothers her to use it.
Now ours.

Item #4: director of workplace morale

Dog story 1: Milo the border collie
Several others follow after Milo’s workplace efforts.

From Australia


Item #5: Travel by train

Dog story 2

The Dog Train Link

Strays: “We made a place for them to live.”
And the next obvious step is to build a dog train?

More dogs: Young pup talks to grumpy older dog.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News NOV 8th


Item #1: Street scenes
The top photo is of the 17th worst traffic choke point in the Nation . That’s what it was like last week when we went to the big city. On the Naneum Fan, our traffic jams involve herds of cattle or flocks of sheep, both rare.

The photo with the plant and green water can shows another urban phenomenon we have missed. A current story is from India where the problem of potholes has gotten so bad the residents starting filling holes so often that authorities became worried (putting people out of work, or what?), and ordered them to stop. Among others who have taken up the pothole cause across India is an artist in the tech capital of Bangalore.
Earlier this year, he created a video of someone dressed in an astronaut suit walking on a street so badly pocked and broken that it looked like the surface of the moon. Authorities fixed the street the next day.
Last year “Pothole Vigilantes” in New Orleans showed what can be done with beer, sliders and 700 pounds of quick-dry asphalt. Elsewhere, pothole activists have posted photos of toy boats and rubber ducks bobbing in water-filled potholes.
There is also a fellow in NYC that plants flowers and then makes and posts videos of drivers navigating around them.
Coby Persin hit a pothole

Ask not what your city can do for you, but get out there and be creative. Search ‘images’ with ‘city potholes’ for ideas. You are welcome!

Item #2: $30 car tabs initiative
Tim Eyman has been the leader against high cost car registrations.
On the right side, note the 2 stick-on tabs. The partial left one is for the month – January is 1 – while the many colored ones have the year. 2019 = black, 2018 = green; 2017 = red; stuck on top of that for prior years.

This is complicated. Voters in Washington State just voted, for a second or third time, to set a yearly car license fee to the cost of providing the “tab.” That has been calculated to be $30.
Some years ago the State tacked on “fees” – taxes – to auto registrations. WA politicians do not have the word taxes in their vocabulary. They quietly add fees to things.
In the 1980s registering a car would cost several hundred dollars. As new residents we were shocked at the price, but did not have a clue about it. Then in 1999, Tim Eyman (pictured above) detailed what those fees went toward. The initiative was passed by voters with 56% but declared unconstitutional – and so it has gone for years. Voters say “charge us only what it costs” and government comes back with a legal challenge regarding the constitutionality of the initiative.

The most recent fuss involved recently voted-in fees to help fund an extension of public transit, called Sound Transit 3, abbreviated as ST3. Only the auto owners in three counties [only King (Seattle) and Snohomish (north of Seattle) voted for this] would be charged the new fee.
It got interesting when the early renewals had to pay as much as 4 times more than they had the previous year. Why?
Authorities used a car-value-table that critics say is an over-inflated value for a vehicle rather than something closer to what the Kelley Blue Book thinks that vehicle is worth. This formula dates back to 1990 when legislators wanted more money so they quietly changed the way value was established – and the fee went up. Surprise! However, note that this was not a new tax.

I’ve called this method of funding larger government as “stealth taxes.” Such increases are not done in secret, but they are added in such a way that few folks realize it happens. Stealthy is the best description I can think of.
Others have provided descriptions more colorful.

Item #3: Oysters
I have nothing against oysters as long as they stay where they belong, namely on a reef in a bay. I think this is dependent on how close you are to an ocean while you were growing up. At a meeting on Thursday evening, a fellow told me his brother had brought dozens of fresh oysters from the coast near where they lived growing up. He was thrilled. I told him I preferred Hickory nuts and Cottontails. Anyway . . .

This story is from Australia’s Port Phillip Bay, between Melbourne and Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean.
discarded shells make oyster reefs

They used dredges to harvest oysters and ruined the reefs. Now, by using shells from restaurants to rebuild starting places in appropriate bays, behold, life is returning.

The shells came from restaurants.
My question: Where did the restaurants get the critters?

Item #4: Dental

Last Friday I had dental as Item #4. I had a double temporary crown procedure. That was on Wednesday morning.
It came loose on Saturday. Monday of this week it was “cemented” back on. I have no idea what the cement is. Terms such as adhesive and resin don’t help. How about Zinc-Oxide Eugenol (ZOE)?
Anyway, the permanent crowns (not linked to one another) are to be put in place on November 21st.
Just 12 more days.

Item #5: Latitude
Think of this: Here on the Naneum Fan we are 110 miles North of Ottawa, or 1,500 miles north of Miami. Hello Darkness.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John