About Me

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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exercising One's Second Amendment Rights Faster and Cheaper Than A Tax

Here in Benton County (in eastern Washington State), we are trying to pass a Public Safety Tax. It would be 3 cents on every 10 dollar purchase and would go towards things like hiring new police officers, sheriff's deputies, putting in a Mental Health Court, etc, yet many have written letters to the editor expressing their reasons for opposing it.

Many of the reasons are ideological: no tax is okay, ever!

Many are a little hard to understand: why do we need to have more police, we're safe. (Let's ignore the fact that there have been 3 police shooting in one month!)

But the one in yesterday's Tri-City Herald was ludicrous: "Exercising one's Second Amendment rights would be faster and cheaper than a tax." 

I cannot even begin to explain how wrong - how outrageous - how evil this thought is!

Who's going to take care of them?

That's what Santiago Moncado, a 65-year-old Austin resident, was quoted as saying in an Associated Press article in today's Tri-City Herald: POLL: IMMIGRATION CONCERNS RISE WITH TIDE OF KIDS

What bothers me with this attitude isn't that Moncado is obviously Hispanic. Or that no one seems to care that children are sleeping on cold concrete. Or even that more and more Americans just want to get rid of the problem. No, it's this:

We are supposed to be the country that defends human rights. That stands up for the little guy. That as it says on the Statue of Liberty:


Those of you that reject this. That reject these children. That want to send them back to some of the most perilous countries. Those of you that believe we are still an "exceptional" nation, let me ask you this:

What would you say about this situation if it were a different country being inundated with these children? Would you still want those children to "go home"?

What if these children were coming from Canada or from Europe or -- from Cuba? Would you still want these children to "go home"?

What would your answer be then? When I hear Americans refusing to help children -- I no longer think of us as an "exceptional" nation. Do you know what I think I hear Americans talk about "exceptionalism"? I think it means "everyone except us"!



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reading Around The World -- Let's Visit the Rose City -- Portland, Oregon!!

I'm a little behind on this stop. I actually finished the book last month. But we took a real road trip to Boston to see my brother tie the knot!

This whistle stop is the city of Portland, Oregon, the most populous city in the Beaver State. Portland is also known as the Rose City or the City of Roses. It's had this nickname since 1888 and even has had a Rose Festival since 1907.


The Grand Floral (or Rose) Parade is the second largest all-floral parade after the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.


The book I read that featured the fair city of Portland, Oregon, was Murdermobile by B.B. Cantwell


This was a fun cozy mystery with engaging characters and a touch of romance. I've already purchased book 2 in the series, Corpse of Discovery.


The main character in the book is librarian Hester McGarrigle who works in the magenta-colored Mobile Library Unit (bookmobile) for the Portland City Library. This is what it looks like now, but the book is set in 1990's Portland.

Hester's route takes her down Skyline Boulevard "offering a 360-degree view of forested hills."


When she got done with her route, Hester liked to relax with a glass of Oregon pinot noir.


Another stop Hester has is at Mt Tabor Park, "home to the only extinct volcano inside city boundaries in the United States."

Unfortunately, Hester's day was interrupted by finding the former head librarian stuffed in a cupboard in the bookmobile (hence the title of the book Murdermobile). The murder is where Hester meets her love interest, Detective Nate Darrow who was "several inches taller than Hester, who stood 5-feet-11 in her Birkenstocked feet. His slim build accentuated broad shoulders and a thatch of prematurely graying hair contrasted with luxuriant, chestnut-colored eyebrows.")


Hester has a roommate a huge Maine Coon cat named Bingle T.


Hester's friend, Pim, likes to go to Dogs Aplenty for a kielbasa-on-a-stick for her lunch.


Unfortunately, Pim gets arrested for murder and Hester has to get involved to save her friend. One place she meets handsome Nate Darrow is for coffee at Pioneer Courthouse Square.


If Nate, Pim, or Hester were so inclined, one place they could visit in Portland is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


Nate likes pizza. He orders "sumptuous, huge slices of herb-laced cheese and tender crust" from "Escape from New York" pizza and paired it with a Thomas Kemper root beer.


Hester and her friend Karen attend a meeting of "Women Who Care About Children" at the Mumfrey Mansion, "a historic eyesore in the west hills of Portland." (I couldn't find MM when I looked on-line, but I did find the Pittock Mansion.)


The history of the fictional Mumfrey Mansion is that the home was "erected with grand pretense but a minimum of expense 60 years earlier by Captain Mathusalum Mumfrey, a founding member of the Columbia River Pilots Association." These pilots help guide ships "into the mouth of the mighty Columbia" otherwise known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific."


Karen and Hester prefer to go to Jitters Coffee Co., "Portland's local rival to Seattle's snooty purveyors of caffeine." Apparently, Karen orders a "Black Ocelot espresso that made your ears waggle." That sure sound interesting. 


Karen's husband is an architect who isn't doing well, even though "all over Portland, architects are doing wonderful things like the Portland Building; KOIN Tower; RiverPlace."




Pim lives out on the edge of the Sandy River where she can hear great horned owls hooting. This is where she is when she is arrested. 


She is taken to the Portland Justice Center or "chokey" as she calls it.


Hester has breakfast downtown at the Heathman Pub and Bakery on Friday morning. It seems very ritzy. Hester has a "nine-grain bagel smeared with ricotta cheese and tart gooseberry preserves" and "strong Italian coffee ... served in mugs almost as generous as their pint ale glasses."


Hester walks past a statue of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback while contemplating the murder. She also walks past St James Lutheran Church and sits on a park bench watching Salmon Street.



Karen convinces Hester she needs a "Girls Night Out" to take her to Six Tepees Over Oregon, "a glitzy combination of Indian casino, thrill-ride park and rock-concert amphitheater." This is a fictitious place. However, there are plenty of places like this in the Pacific Northwest. The closest one to Portland is Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, 60 miles SW of Portland. 


The casino Karen and Hester go to is "20 miles up into the scenic Columbia River Gorge." The Gorge is a wonderful and beautiful place to go to. 


On their way to this fictitious casino, they pass a "one-truck fire station" for Multnomah County in the fictitious town of Corbin.


The casino was ostentatious, as they walked on a Pendleton rug.


When Hester goes to work she can see "Mount Hood's shark-tooth peak" and "the low hump of Mount St. Helens."




Hester's favorite breakfast spot is in the Pearl District.


Nate likes to go running in Forest Park.


For lunch, Hester's co-worker suggests Char-Burger in Cascade Locks


In the climax, Hester and her co-worker pass some famous sights in the Portland Area.  Such as Bridal Veil Scenic Highway, Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Vista House, Shepperd's Dell






After the climax, Hester and Nate go to Tad's Chic Dump on the Sandy River, "a venerable rural roadhouse dedicated to good old-fashioned comfort food."


I hope you liked this trip to Oregon and the Rose City. For my next book, I will be travelling down to California. My first stop will by Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California in Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon Series, Firestorm!!

Bon Voyage!!