Monday, February 28, 2022

Our Robot

This won't increase your step count, but it is fun to watch and makes vacuuming much easier.  It seems like in another 10 years, humans will be useless. 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Promised Land Barak Obama

 This book, 650-page plus journey through the meteoric rise of the career of Barak Obama confirmed to me what I have always believed, he is a charismatic, relatable leader who wanted to change the course of politics.  At least, that is how I have seen him.  A man whom to me, brought the possibility of continuing the unfulfilled promise of Camelot.  The dreams of the Kennedy administration, cut short by that president's assassination.

Obama became our first African American president, of course. One of his goals was to bring America together by respecting both sides.  That goal sadly was not to be, and our country became even more divided.  At least, that is how it appears.  I sometimes think that with Americans today, we want our side and our side only,

What Obama did accomplish was quite significant. The successful mission of finding Osama Bin-Ladin and stabilizing, perhaps, the worst economic downturn in our history.

The book concludes at his first term, perhaps setting up follow up covering his second term and beyond.   

Friday, February 25, 2022

Deborah Senn Former Washington Insurance Commissioner


Deborah Senn, who was elected Washington State Insurance Commissioner in 1992 died on February 18th.

  Senn, popular in her dogged support of the insured, may have been one of Washington's more polarizing political figures. Loved by rank-and-file Democrats, she was a fighter and often a winner.  

Senn served two terms in Olympia, then decided in 2000 to run for the US Senate.  She was defeated by Maria Cantwell, a one-time member of the US House of Representatives who was staging a political comeback.  Cantwell would go on to defeat incumbent Senator Slade Gorton in a close contest.  Cantwell still holds that seat. 

Senn, I believe is still the only Jewish candidate to win a statewide election in Washington. She would later run for State Attorney General, once again, was defeated.  Perhaps by standing up for the little guy (or gal), she made enemies who had deep pockets.  

Deborah's cousin, Tana Senn, serves in the Washington state legislature. 

Bar, Ukraine

I have been told that our family, at least the Barer side, hails from Bar, a village of about 16,000 in the Central part of Ukraine.  I have heard something like the family name originated in that town.  

Although this small city is not well known, there is an entry in the Wikipedia on it.  Click here. 

Sally Kellerman Dead At 84

Sally Kellerman who played the iconic role of Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlahan in the movie M*A*S*H, has died of dementia, according to sources.  The role was taken by Lorretta Swit in the TV series, which has, in later decades, better stood the test of time. 
 Kellerman earned an Oscar nomination for playing Houlahan, a patriotic nurse who went by the book and loved everything about the military. The character was best known for her affair with the villainous, married Major Frank Burns.

The character was continued into the TV show, eventually giving Houlahan a more muti-dimensional persona. 


Biden Will Nominate Kitanji Brown Jackson To Supreme Court

 Sources say that President Biden will nominate Kitanji Brown Jackson to be the first black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court.  A position is opening on the court with the coming retirement of Justice Steven Breyer.

Jackson currently serves on the US Court Of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Sir Paul To Play Here

 He will turn 80 this June, but Paul McCartney is planning another American tour.  The ex-Beatle (really a misnomer since in our hearts, he will always be a Beatle) will play in Seattle on May 2 and 3rd at Climate Pledge Arena.   
The tour is titled "Paul McCartney Got Back".  McCartney also plans to play, for the first time ever, in Spokane.   That performance will be on April 28th.
Tickets for the event will no doubt, be insanely expensive, but think of it as an investment.  Deb and I watched McCartney perform in 2013 in what was then Safeco Field, and we were left with wonderful memories of a fantastic show. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

VLOG 102: Issaquah, WA

The roving reporter couple who did the Walla Walla report, did this a little closer to where I live now.   This is Issaquah, just 11 miles from Maple Valley.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Snow Is Back

Just when we thought winter was wrapping up, we got snow last night. 
Even though there is little on the ground this morning, it came down pretty hard last night as I was driving home, making visibility poor and conditions hazardous.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Vlog 011: Walla Walla, WA

This You Tube couple takes a look at my original hometown of Walla Walla, WA.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Today In History--John Glenn Orbits The Earth

 Sixty years ago today, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in the Friendship 7 space vessel.  At the time of his death in 2016, he was still probably the most well-known and popular astronaut in American history. 

Bird Signs For One More Season

 Sue Bird, whom I would like to think of as Seattle's answer to Tom Brady, has signed for one more year with the Storm.  

This coming season with be Bird's 21st, although she has missed two seasons due to injury.  During her career, the Storm have on 4 WNBA titles.  

She has also won 5 Gold Medals playing for the US Woman's Olympic Basketball team.  

Friday, February 18, 2022

Cooper Kupp Is Super Bowl MVP

It's hard for me to give recognition to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, after all his statistics against the Seahawks while playing for the Rams are rather astounding.  Against my beloved Seahawks Kupp has made 58 catches for 700 yards and 5 touchdowns.  

However, Kupp is a product of Yakima, playing for the Davis Pirates, one of Wa-Hi's  (Walla Walla High, my alma matter) conference rivals.   Apparently not recruited by any major university, he played for the Eastern Washington Eagles, out of Cheney. 

Kupp would wind up being a 3rd round draft pick in 2017.  Yet, he is now an NFL star after an incredible season and a come from behind Super Bowl victory. 

While the Rams could not be described as a Cinderella story, the saga of Cooper Kupp can be. 

For the Yakima perspective on Kupp's big day, click here

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Celebrating Valentine's

We celebrated Valentine's Day, Monday at Tokyo Steakhouse in Bellevue.  Our meal was prepared at a table with two other couples.  This was taken from our vantage point.  We were all properly spaced apart.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Full Moon Over Maple Valley

This full moon was just too beautiful to not shoot.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Local Fitness Center Closing

I was saddened to learn of the closing of Maple Valley Fitness.  When we moved here in 1998, I belonged to a gym in Kirkland and was wondering if there was a local place to work out While in Wilderness Village, I saw people running on treadmills through the window and knew this was the place to join. 
Except for a couple of years at a club in Crossroads, I have been a member ever since.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Clock Strikes Midnight On Bengals In Super Bowl LVI

 The Cinderella rise of the Cincinatti Bengals ended with a 23-20 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.  The Bengals behind sensation Joe Burrow, became this season's feel good story with a couple of upsets including 2-year reigning AFC champion Kansas City, to get to the Super Bowl.  

For most of the second half, it looked like the Bengals would leave LA with their first Super Bowl victory (it was their 3rd appearance).  A last-minute drive and a touchdown by Cooper Kupp, gave the Rams the victory on their home field.

Cupp, a Cinderella story in his own rite, was named Super Bowl MVP.

Happy Valentine's Day

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Super Bowl Sunday--Rams Vs Bengals

 I could root for either of these teams for different reasons!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

What Is A Kibbutz? - Apr. 19, 2018

I stayed on one of these, but it was actually a luxury hotel on the property.  The kibbutzes have dipped their toes in capitalism.  The picture below was taken in the hotel lounge.

Friday, February 11, 2022

The Beatles Get Back 4: Review

 I couldn't wait to watch this documentary about a documentary, as director and producer, Peter Jackson so aptly described it.  But as I began to watch, I felt a little buyer's (I rented Disney plus to watch) remorse.  This was after all, derived from the same clips that movie "Let It Be" was created.  That was probably the worst of the 5 movies that the group made, watching them argue while making a record, without the antics that helped make the band a complete package. 

There was, however, a certain kind of charm that this series excluded that was missing from the movie as it showed the Beatles were not all angry with each other during the shooting of what became their last movie.  The comradery was still there.  There were some fun scenes throughout the movie of John Lennon and Paul McCartney horsing around as one would have imagined they would have done in the beginning years.

One thing this documentary does well is to add context.  We find out when the shooting of the film starting, what the goal was, and the day-by-day trials and tribulations of putting the project together.  Every day is logged by showing a calendar and marking off each date with an X.  

What I think made this project work is the band itself.  The great music, the songwriting process shown, the horseplay amongst each other and a certain intangible, the sort of down to earth personalities of the group.  The show made me feel like I was in the studio with them, and I could join their banter.   

The show is in three long parts running about 8 hours.  The best way to watch is to break it up and watch little by little.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Beatles Get Back 3

In today's culture, it seems rather absurd that someone would call the cops on The Beatles, who were playing their first live performance in years.  But it was quite a different world in the late 60s.
Keyboardist Billy Preston was the band's guest musician 
The rooftop concert, now an historic event in itself, was the last time the band played together in public.

Monday, February 07, 2022

The Beatles: Get Back 2

One of the reasons the latest Beatles documentary was produced was prove it was not all acrimony during the Let It Be sessions.
In this picture, John Lennon and Paul McCartney playfully dance with each other 

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Walla Walla Community College's China Pavillion To Be Torn Down

 It's been well over two years since I've visited my old hometown, but a glimpse into the Union-Bulletin website tells me the China Pavillion at WWCC is to be torn down.  

The China Pavillion was acquired by the school from Expo 74 in the mid  1970s.  It had been used as the school's theatre and for drama classes.  In my now mostly forgotten year at CC from 1978-79, I took a drama class in the building.  

I learned something new from reading the article.  The exhibit was from Taiwan or Republic of China, not the People's Republic of China, with which our country today has relations with for better or worst. 

New state building codes and a need for the college to expand were given as the reason for removing the building. 

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Found The Other Shoe

How did my tennis shoe get mixed with Dasher's toys?

Friday, February 04, 2022

Ben & James Taylor - Carolina in My Mind

James Taylor in a beautiful ballad with son Ben.  Ben's mom is Carly Simon. 

Thursday, February 03, 2022

New Name For Washington Football Team

 Washington DC's NFL team need not go by simply Washington Football Team any longer. It was revealed this week that the team will now be The Commanders.

The team's former name, The Redskins, which it had for 87 years, had been considered offensive to Native Americans.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Watching The Beatles Get Back

On the Beatles Get Back feature on Disney Plus, acclaimed director Peter Jackson acquired footage of a project that would at the time turn into the movie "Let It Be". That was the band's last movie as a group and captured the sad and slow disintegration of a body so influential in the 60s and to and beyond this day 
While Let It Be was really not a happy movie, Get Back is showing a much different perspective.  There is great interplay amongst the group. There are, of course, some spats as well. 
Above, Paul McCartney sings "I've Got A Feeling".
I'll have a review once I am finished with watching the entire documentary, which consists of three parts.

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Tom Brady To Hang Up Jersey

 It is official, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement.    He had just finished his 22nd season of professional football, a disappointing loss in the playoffs.  He played his first 20 seasons for the New England Patriots.

Brady won 7 Super Bowl rings, the most of any player.    He was quarterback for every one of the Patriots Super Bowl victories.  He played in 9 total.  

Many compare him with NBA great Michael Jordan as far as dominating and defining a sport.  I see it this way, The greatness of the Chicago Bulls was built, so far, was solely built during the Michael Jordan era, while the greatness of the New England Patriots was built solely during the Tom Brady era.  This differs from the storied teams like the New York Yankees, The Los Angeles Lakers, The Boston Celtics, and the Green Bay Packers, storied franchises who put together many dynasties. 

Stephen Joins Carly Simon On "Mockingbird"

Stephen Colbert amazingly sings the James Taylor part of the classic "Mockingbird", hitting every note. 
You would think that singing a duet with Carly Simon would be like playing one on one with Michael Jordan.  But Colbert pulls it off.