This morning, I asked Harry if he was woke? He said, like he frequently does, “I’m awake.” I explained that I didn’t mean the past tense of wake, but rather woke as in “alert to injustice in society, especially racism and sexism.” Along this vein, in Berkley, CA, its woke city government is planning on renaming all the city’s manholes to maintenance holes. Heaven forbid that a non-male gendered city employee be asked to climb down into a male gendered hole in the ground. But on the other end of the spectrum, at the Soo Walmart today, woke thought faced a whole new challenge. When Anne got in line at the pharmacy, there was already a woman at the pickup window and a man was seated at the bench beside it. Anne asked the man if he was in line, but he said, “No, that’s my girl there.” Anne explained that she hadn’t wanted to butt in line. He answered, “That’s OK Miss, you can have cute girl privileges.” This conversation occurred within earshot of “his girl” and while Anne was picking up her first Medicare prescription. Anne never felt offended by any of this, instead she was simply amused.
Last night, I watched Secrets of the Shining Knight, a PBS Nova show, where a modern day master armorer and his team recreate parts of a knight’s medieval armor and test its strength, while rediscovering centuries-old metalworking secrets. A knight in shining armor may sound like a character out of a storybook, but once upon a time, knighthood was serious business, and for countless medieval fighters, their armor was what stood between life and death. This show asks the questions, what was it really like to live beneath the metal? How was that shining armor crafted, and how strong was it? Could it withstand impacts from the lethal weapons of the day, like crossbows and early guns?
The photo is of the armory in the Tower of London, from our trip of a couple of years ago. Today’s highlight was dinner. Anne made Chicken Tartarin, which was yummy. After dinner Anne acted as impresario and squired her folks through a slide show of her mother’s European vacation, from the fifties.
For years, Tillamook Rock was a sanctuary for wildlife. Then in 1879 the birds scattered, when high explosives were used to blast this basalt rock. A boom marked the commencement of lighthouse construction. The top third of the rock was removed. For 500 brutal days, through howling winds, pounding waves, dense fog and bitter cold the lighthouse was built, earning it its nickname. For 76 years until 1957 the light from Terrible Tilly shone its warning beacon out to sea. While it was operating the wildlife stayed away. After the lighthouse was shuttered, the wildlife began to return. Closed to the public, it is an important nesting site for the Common Murre. If you look closely at the above photo, you can see dozens of sea lions resting at the base of the rock, just above the surf.
Today was laundry day. Anne and I did it all. Bubs and Harry came into town and we joined them at Penny’s for lunch. Later we shopped at Meijer’s.
Switching now from Terrible Tilly to Terrible Trump, I cannot stay silent over his recent spate of racist tweets and statements. He has repeatedly attacked four freshmen congresswomen of color, using the racist dog-whistle of telling them to go home. Three of the four have known no other home than this country and all four are US citizens. While it is certainly permissible to disagree with their politics. It is unacceptable to employ racists tropes, as Trump has done. While his behavior is hardly surprising, the silence from the Republican Party is even more distressing. Their silence enables the #RacistInChief.
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” A Jedi at playing Solitaire that is. My Dad plays Solitaire on his PC, while I play it on my phone. Either way, it is a solitary pursuit, but also a pleasure that we have in common. I’ve had to throttle the phone App that I use though, cutting off its access to the Internet. I prohibit it from using any part of my data plan. If granted access it would only download annoying ads that I don’t want to watch. Likewise, I’ve turned off its use of the phone’s speaker, because occasionally this naughty App circumvents my will and plays an ad. It has figured out how to do this in two ways. First, if wi-fi is on and I enter the game, then it uses wi-fi to download and play ads. I’m usually pretty careful about this and turn wi-fi off, before entering the game. Its other method is when the App is occasionally upgraded. Each upgrade is accompanied with a new ad. This is how yesterday, the game finagled an ad. It also introduced a new future ad generating feature. Previously, I could choose to play a new game or replay the old one. I rarely chose the later option, but I did occasionally. The new feature that was added to this list was to choose to play an “easy” game. This option was seeded with three free games, which I played and handedly won, but I was left feeling somehow cheated, as if the deck had been stacked in my favor, which it had. I never even thought about buying more easy games, by watching an ad. I’ve gone back to the way that I have always played this game and have somehow earned another three free easy games. So far, I have not had any inclination to play them. I like messing with this App almost as much as playing the game of Solitaire.
It rained last night and by the morning, the wind had come up and created quite a blow. Big waves were crashing on the beach, but fog and mist had closed in. The island floated in and out of visibility, while Canada was as good as gone.
Bubs .had her annual high school reunion today. With Studebaker’s closing, the luncheon had moved back to the country club. This year’s party numbered only two tables and 15 guests, of which only about half were classmates. Down significantly from even a couple of years ago. She had a good time this year and remembered most of the other guests who were seated at her table.
We took advantage of their outing, with a getaway of our own. We drove out to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, but first we had to negotiate the construction project that 6 mile has become. Men were working the stretch of road east of Brimley, to the state park. Traffic was down to one lane and we had to wait a good long time, before it was our turn to proceed. We found new blacktop all the way through the Res. There is still a lot of orange out and about and striping needs to be done, but it looks like paving is complete, at least west of Brimley. The most surprising discovery was a separated paved bike path that connects the two casinos. I am very interested in trying it out, maybe as soon as tomorrow.
We eventually negotiated the construction and made it to the lighthouse. It was very windy there and the surf was even more intense. In contravention to all that is right, Anne threw rocks into the water. Even if she did throw like a girl. Save the date, August 3rd, the trans-Superior sailboat race starts from near there.
After the lighthouse, we enjoyed a late lunch at Pickles. Anne had the special, mango whitefish tacos and I had their two-piece whitefish dinner. I really liked the fish’s breading, it was way more flavorful than the regular Cozy Inn fare. After lunch, it was late enough that the road workers had folded for the day and we beat Bubs and Harry back to the cabin.