Monday, December 30, 2013

The Type II

Tomorrow marks the end of the line for the Type II Transporter or Microbus, after 64 years of production and 10,000,000 sold.  It will also mark the last day that Volkwagen will produce a rear engine vehicle.  Volkswagen has been producing rear engine vehicles continuously since 1935.  A sad way to end the year, indeed.  Tonight a photo of a friend's 1964 Camper, which sat on the side of my house for about a year.  There is about three and half feet of snow on the top of this van, the owner showed up on day and shoveled it out and drove it off.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Slight Return

So, this blog thing has returned from a lengthy break and America rejoices. 
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  Something that all Americans should make themselves familiar with.  And it is something after reading you should ask yourself, have you and has the nation lived up to the address.  Did those dead die in vain?  Has government of the people, by the people, for the people perished from the earth?
One could argue that the answer is yes to both questions, yes the Union won the Civil War and several other wars for that matter. However the answer hinges on whether or not you believe the nation lives and that the government is for people, by the people and of the people.  Thus argument becomes has 21st century America become government of  the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation.  If it is then we have failed. 
Lincoln empowered all American's to ensure that this grand experiment of ours will not fail.  It is how we honor those who have died fighting for our experiment.  It also means that American life is not a passive experience, we must be ever vigilant and be willing to fight those who don't want government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Lonesome Death of a Family Farm

Earlier in the Month of June, King County decided to knock down a few building on a couple pieces of property.  The demolition orders had been signed back around Valentine's Day and around Memorial Day, work began.  So what you say, the county knocks down stuff all the time.  This may be true, in this case the county dropped the ball.  The structures on one property consisted of a house and small lumber operation, interesting and reminiscent the early to middle parts of the twentieth century in the upper Snoqualmie Valley.  The other property consisted of a farmhouse, barn and couple out buildings.  This property too was reminiscent of bygone era of our valley and our county.  Both properties had been within the last couple years purchased by the county to add to the Three Folks Nature Area.  Which in and of itself was a great thing for us all.
Here's where the tragedy occurs, the county in all its wisdom and without public discourse leveled the buildings and went about returning the land to its natural state. 
For the second property (the farm) this was particularly sad and senseless.  First both the county and state want to preserve barns, especially historic or relevant barns.  This barn was definitely old enough and add to that it was one of the few barns left above the Falls in the Snoqualmie River Watershed, so it was relevant as well.  The farm dates to at least 1900, as that was when the farmhouse was constructed.  The barn dates to at least 1940, and probably much earlier.  Around the property there are many conifers and native plants.  There also were fruit trees, holly bushes and mature rhododendrons, things that had been planted by the families that owned the farm down through the years.  This landscape had over time become the nature landscape of the area.
The county apparently didn't consider this, instead considered only the liabilities associated with the land and builds and decided to do the easy and senseless thing, bulldoze it all. 
I say senseless because maybe the parks folks should leave their Seattle offices once in a while to get an idea of what they actual have or in this case had, a living relic of the way Eastern King County once appeared.  Small family farms trying to make a living.  This property pre-dates the first east-west highway through region amongst other things.  Its longevity made it worth saving, now the future generations in this part of the world can only look upon pictures of what once was, instead of being able to go and see it.  The blood is on their hands, they missed an opportunity to create or do something really special.
Its been nearly a month and it still hurts and now when I drive past the old farm, all I see is was isn't there, gone is the farm and piece of the old soul of the valley.     

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yeah For Me!

It's my birthday, so a picture of me and the greatest present I could ever hope for, even if it's a few days late.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Triumphant Return of America's Finest Blog!!!

Well, America's Finest Blog has been away for bit. 
Tonight America's Finest Blog returns with a tale of unforeseen consequences, the story of the low flush toilet.  Once upon a time a toilet held 3.5 gallons of flushing power, the unenlightened people of earth flushed lots of water down the drain, they were happy and the drains were happy too (more on that later).  Then came the 1990's, guilt consumed the enlightened peoples of the world and said, change must come.  It indeed came, not in the form of catchy sayings  like, "If it is yellow then let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down."  Instead in the idea that a toilet should use less water.  The results a lot of backed up toilets.  That lead to boom times for plunger manufactures, lots of need for engineers to create the perfect low flow toilet and a federal law that said you're going to like your crappy new toilet because we've banded you old toilet, oh and we suggest you buy a plunger.  Luckily, instead of engineering better bridges and electric cars our engineers created low flow toilets that have to some degree flushed our memories of high flow toilets down an improved drain.  In fact the reduced flow toilets have saved cities like San Francisco 20 million gallons of water a year.  Super duper right?  Well, yes...
Most sewer systems across our fair land and other lands not so fair, were designed to accommodate high flow water systems.  Apparently the sewer loves waste.  The new low flow toilets and shower heads (remember the full flow shower head?) have left the sewers full of sludge, as there isn't enough water to wash it all down.  Makes me happy to be on a septic system...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Food For Thought...I'd Like Fries With That

Fast food works across the land have been striking for a $15 a hour wage.  It is either a sign that there are really no good jobs left in the land or education is too expensive or both.  Then again, it could be that there aren't any good paying jobs for folks that will never get ahead.  Whatever the reason, most current fast food employees wouldn't cut it as $15 a hour fast food employees for two reasons.  More would be expected of a $15 a hour employee and second the labor cost would drive automation, imagine a legion of burgerbots making perfect 1/3 pound rat and kangaroo burgers for now unemployed former fast food employees to eat.  Seriously speaking it is a problem, I can remember my fast food days, when I was making $3.35 a hour.  I would watch people having to decide between welfare and a job, and nearly always choosing welfare because it paid better.  I am sure that hasn't changed and probably it has gotten worse since my days.  Another thing that hasn't changed, the motivated will find a way out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


96 years ago today, Pomeroy incorporated, well incorporated again.  Originally the town incorporated when Washington was still a territory in 1886.  Apparently the old articles didn't work, so they tried again.  So, happy re-birthday to Pomeroy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Don't Burn Those Bridges, Knock 'em Down

So there is  Canadian who is the biggest heel in the Pacific Northwest, talk about your bad days, that dude's takes the cake.  So with that guy in mind, have a photo of where once a bridge stood.  This was taken in the 1940's just west of Ellensburg, probably on the Thorp Highway.  No Canadian truckers didn't take out this bridge, spring run off did and as a result it was not covered by the BBC.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Goodbye Professionals

Well this week we were told be the CEO of a certain Internet search engine that has a certain very prominent photo sharing and management site in its portfolio, that there are no more professional photographers.  That everyone nowadays could be, can be or is a professional quality or quantity photographer.  That's swell and in the social media circles her quote attached to a terrible, which evidently proves that there is at least one not professional quality photographer left on the planet, made it way around generating grumpy responses. Truth is, that she isn't exactly wrong, it is easier to be a good photographer these days.  But there are plenty of professionals out there, because at the end of day, the arm's length self portrait only goes so far, as does the senior photos taken by your mom.  So get a good smart phone or get a nice camera and start shooting.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The family had a nice picnic dinner tonight.  In honor of that, here are photos of another family picnic.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Boating Season

Today was the opening day of boating season, which usually means, rain and wind and misery.  It seems that the good Lord doesn't like the smudge and arrogant members of the local yacht clubs that parade their boats past the poor folk on the shore.  Today though it was sunny and warm, July-like really.
This day also marks an anniversary of the affects of another warm spring.  Back in 1880 on this date, several dozen fishermen drown in their small crafts off the month of the Columbia River.  Fishermen in those days would ride the outgoing tide through the month of the Columbia and drop their nets.  Then when the tide came in they would be pushed through the month of the river and toward the many canneries on the shore.  But on May 4, 1880, the river was running high and fast due to a early snow melt, so high and fast that the outflow of the river prevented the high tide to wash into the river.  This then meant that the fishermen's boats were washed toward the Columbia Bar and the fierce breakers.  The boats were swamped and the fishermen drowned.
Tonight, to honor the fishermen and the beautiful weather, a shot from Fishermen's Terminal in Ballard on a beautiful spring evening.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Birthday

Well the world wide web turns twenty today, or at least CERN's decision to keep it free, turns twenty today.  It is also Willie Nelson's birthday, he is older.  Anyway, tonight a picture of somebody wearing a Willie Nelson t-shirt posted to the world wide web.  Thanks Al Gore.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Well, it appears that the NBA isn't returning to Seattle, a place it shouldn't have left in the first place.  It is disappointing, not that I am a big fan of the professional game, as it has too many resemblances to pro wrestling.  It's disappointing because I remember growing up with the game, the 1979 championship, Bernie's teams in the middle 80's and those wonderful teams of the 1990's.  I can remember being the Sonics taking on the hated Bullets and Lakers in my back yard.  It is dissappointing as this is something I can't share with my kids.   

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Ol' What to Post, Post

I really have nothing particularly interesting today, other than a photo of the countryside near Duvall.  As it was on this date back in 1968 that the great drug induced, Duvall Piano Drop took place.  The only thing that was higher than the piano when it dropped were the 3,000 people there to witness the spectacle.  It wasn't much of a spectacle the piano was dropped about 150 feet from a helicopter on to the soft earth with a muted whump.  The chemically enhanced crowd loved it and then settled in to watch a Country Joe and the Fish show. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Galaxie 500

Tonight I am reminded that there things that will follow you for a long time, some good, some bad.  One of the good ones, for me at least, is Galaxie 500, no not a Ford Galaxie 500, a fine car well worth owning if you can find the right one.  No this is band, a short lived band from the late 1980s.  They were unique, nothing sounded like them, I remember wanting to like them, and it took awhile for them to grow on me and once they did, it stuck.  Tonight as I played around with some photos I got a chance to listen again and dare I say nearly 25 years later, it is still as enjoyable as it was when I was a skinny 20 year old kid. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Celebrating Dinosaurs

Today is Record Store Day, a day to celebrate the end of the record industry and the record store.   With the rise of online music stores and the big box stores, the independent record store is dying a slow death.  The record industry too has been wounded by the Internet and the digital transfer.  So Record Store Day was born to celebrate both the industry and the record store.  For the music lover it is a great day because there are all sorts of rare and unusual stuff available.   It's also a day to try to ensure that world will have record stores for the near term.  It would be nice to have record stores around so my kids can browse and discover just like their old man.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Happy Tax

Well, I could spend my time talking about how the Republicans once again did the right thing for mostly the wrong reasons.  After all, more background checks wouldn't have actually done anything to stop any of the high profile gun violence for which it was aimed to curb.  More and better background checks are important and probably should be done, that said until it is easier to get an insurance paid visit to a shrink than to purchase fire arms the legislation is mis-guided.  The background checks are mostly paid for by the gun buyer, whereas mental health visits are paid by insurance companies, so it is easy to see the route that was taken.  I could also talk about how the liberal, or fascist mainstream media has not covered the mass stabbing at a Texas community college the same as the sexier gun 'em down killing sprees.  Although one article noted the suspect didn't have a history of mental illness, but did fantasize about stabbing people, cannibalism and wear other peoples facing.  I could point out there hasn't been a call for background checks before purchasing sharp pointy things.  I won't write about any of that, as this is a photo blog and just don't have the right photos for any of that. 
Instead we'll talk about beer, which apparently makes you happy when you taste it, even without alcohol beer makes you happy.  Our Governor would like to tax beer more, as it makes him happy to thing of all the tax dollars generated by beer he drinks.  Our Governor wants to tax your happiness.  How much of a happy tax, try a 325% increase for small breweries.  That tax will be pasted on to the consumer, resulting in less happy making beer consumed.  Which will make small breweries sad, because they will go out of business and it will make us common folk sad as it will cost more to be happy and eventually require us to consumer Bud Lite to be happy, after the beer tax wipes out all the local breweries.  Then of course is the state which will be sad when it's happy tax dollars go dry.  Furthermore, it is a tax that is against business, against ingenuity and against happiness, what a terrible trio.  Raise the sales tax, because end of the day if you need to raise taxes make everyone share the burden, not just beer drinkers and breweries.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ah, Rats

Great news for rats, scientists have made rat kidneys in a test tube.  These kidneys function like real kidneys and even look the same.  That is thanks to fancy science stuff that allows the kidney cells to grow within a frame work of the rat kidney.  Basically its like stripping your home down to the studs and remodeling from there.  This all meaning that there will come a day when there will be no more expensive rat kidney dialysis procedures.  Next on the agenda duck liver (except for in California) and pig brains.  Science is fun.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In The Moment

Every so often, I find myself in the moment, that rare time in which the past and future do not exist.  "They" say that humans have a difficult time living in the now, as now usually is corrupted by thoughts of the past or future.  To be in the moment is rare and I must say almost like being outside one's self.  It is really a lovely feeling, sadly it doesn't happen often enough for me, but when it does I am usually in the car.  Afterward, find myself wishing I had a camera so I could take a picture of the moment, to save it for the ages.  Then I could open a gallery of shots taken at 70 mph through my windshield, pictures of semi-trucks, and Chevy S-10 Blazers.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

All Hail Beer!

Eighty years ago today beer was legal to buy, sell and consume in the United States for the first time since January 1920.  So here's to the greatest day ever!