A Yellow Cat with Six Toes in a Blue State

 

I’m counting on your acknowledgment  of our common humanity here, Ricochet friends, so that you’ll look past the thin gruel I’ve cooked up for you today. I don’t have much more to offer than an eager heart whose only desire is to please.

The fact is, I have very little going f0r me these days, and my life is contracting by the minute.  I rarely leave the house anymore, and the ennui that often accompanies old age smothers any impulses I might have to do something, anything. Worse, I’ve begun to sense that Marie, the most generous of souls, is dropping little hints that she’s bored with me.

But a few days ago, Marie and I got out of the house to take a little trip to Olympia, Washington, to visit my daughter Annie and the grands.  I’m going to see if I can mine that outing for content on which to build a Ricochet post.

I’ll begin with my strong suit: My daughter’s cat has six paws on her left front foot.  I followed that darned cat around trying to get a good shot of her polydactyls just so I could share it with you.  I enjoy looking at oddities, and I was hoping that you would too.

You may already know, from RushBabe’s posts, that Washington may be the country’s wokest and nanniest state.  Upon crossing the Columbia River (think Woody Guthrie), the border between Oregon and Washington, the politics turned so left-wing blue that I scraped off my dated MAKE AMERICA GREAT bumper sticker so that I wouldn’t arouse road rage from any crazed lefties.

Just after crossing the border, Marie and I were greeted by a huge freeway sign that ominously warned us, YOU MAY BE VACCINATED, BUT YOU STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK.   That message was repeated along the freeway for the next fifty miles or so.  Marie and I were intimidated.  We like to follow all rules and we adore science, so we put on double masks inside the car.  Fauci rules!

A little farther on, we came across piles of plastic bags that a cleanup crew had left behind for a truck to pick up.  In large black letters on the white bags, we drivers on the freeway could read, “Ecology Crew.”  So we’ve gone from “Trash Man” to “Sanitation Engineer” to “Ecology Crew.”  Even wordsmiths among the Right would have to admit that lefties are better than we are in the use of words to shape reality. (Think “There is no crises at the border.  There is only a border situation.”)

Later, when we got to my daughter’s house, I took a stroll around the neighborhood.  Every other house, it seemed, had one of the common woke signs, from the simple “Black Lives Matter,” to the inclusionary “Everyone is welcome here,” to the moderately clever “Voting is like driving a car: Choose R to go backward, choose D to go forward.”

In the sign below, probably the most common among the woke signs, we are told that the inhabitants of that house believe that love is love.  Damn, love is love.  What a concept!   The virtue-signaling was so thick that the houses might as well have had neon signs that declared, “I’m just a bit better than you: I’m more moral, I’m more empathetic, and I have more up-to-date opinions.  If the state of Washington is the future, loves, we’re in for a long slog through a slough of despair.

A month or so ago, when my electric car, a 2018 Nissan Leaf, was almost new to me, I wrote a post about how an electric car was ideal for this time in our lives.  The car was so new that I was kinda flying blind (and a host of internal combustion naysayers and nitpickers let me know that).

At any rate, I now have real-world data from a 125-mile trip we took to my daughter’s house.  Our Leaf has a range of about 160 miles, so we could have gone all the way without stopping to top off the battery.  But we were curious about what it’s like to charge our battery along the way, so we stopped in a Wal-Mart shopping area in Chehalis to top off the battery. (Wal-Mart’s around here all seem to have charging stations.)   So we plugged in and walked over to McDonald’s for ice cream and to Wal-Mart for a look-see.

When we got back to the charging station after an hour (the charging stations consist of nothing more than an unattended rectangular post with an electric cord and an ATM machine), we paid for the electricity with a Visa card, and our battery was back at 100 percent.  When we got to Annie’s, we plugged into her outlet, and the next morning we were back to 100 percent.  We drove back to Portland without stopping anywhere along the way, with the exception of a drive-through at a MacDonald’s for pair of chocolate sundaes.

Electrics are not for everyone.  But they’re perfect for Marie and me.  We’re at an age where long trips in the car give us no pleasure.  We take the train or fly.  That trip to Annie’s was about as far as we want to go in a car.  (We’ve never owned more than one car at a time, so electric is that one car now.) _______________________________

Postscript:   I made a promise to Jim McConnell a couple of weeks back that I would include a photo of Bob in my next post.  So Jim, here is a pic of Bob the conservative dog as he worries, as we all should, about this fallen and bent world.  The state of Washington may be a precursor of that world.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bob and a cat’s paw. Now there is an illustrated conversation.

    • #1
  2. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    How are the trains?

    • #2
  3. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    John H. (View Comment):

    How are the trains?

    John, we don’t travel in trains very often, but when we do we purchase one of those private rooms.

    • #3
  4. Ida Claire Member
    Ida Claire
    @IdaClaire

    You come from Oregon, where they are pushing for a permanent mask mandate, and your impression of WA is that it is more oppressively leftist? That’s interesting, and it gives me hope.

    Why? Because I’m in deep blue WA (Trump vote 23%, deeper blue than Olympia with 39%), and we are working hard to move – first to E WA (Trump 55%), and from there explore other states, and I was worried that all States were as bad as WA.  If even Oregon is better? That gives me hope.

    As for electric cars? As you said, nice in limited situations. Most people I know that have them use them as a second car, a luxury that most people cannot afford. I resent subsidizing them because it is a subsidy that benefits the rich, by and large, and that just sticks in my craw.

    And finally, six-toed orange cats are smart and have dog like social tendencies.  In short, there the best!

    • #4
  5. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Ida Claire (View Comment):

    Why? Because I’m in deep blue WA (Trump vote 23%, deeper blue than Olympia with 39%), and we are working hard to move – first to E WA (Trump 55%), and from there explore other states, and I was worried that all States were as bad as WA. If even Oregon is better? That gives me hope.
    As for electric cars? As you said, nice in limited situations. Most people I know that have them use them as a second car, a luxury that most people cannot afford. I resent subsidizing them because it is a subsidy that benefits the rich, by and large, and that just sticks in my craw.

    And finally, six-toed orange cats are smart and have dog like social tendencies. In short, there the best!

    Ida, I had no idea that six-toed cats have dog like tendencies.

    It’s a toss-up whether Washington is bluer than Oregon.  Portland is impossibly blue with a city council and a mayor who have let the crazed Left trash downtown Portland.  Portland is now a mess and the powers that be let it happen.  They are only now realizing that riots are not protests.

    I received no subsidies for my electric car.  Perhaps the original owner did, but I bought it used. Right now “they” are trying to figure out how to tax electric cars because they don’t pay the gas tax.  It will happen.

    Our electric car is our only car. We aren’t rich.

    • #5
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    KentForrester: “I’m just a bit better than you: I’m more moral, I’m more empathetic, and I have more up-to-date opinions.

    I think I’ll have that printed up and put it in my front yard.

    • #6
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    KentForrester: The fact is, I have very little going f0r me these days, and my life is contracting by the minute.  I rarely leave the house anymore, and the ennui that often accompanies old age smothers any impulses I might have to do something, anything.

    Did the pandemic and politics beat you down?  Or is this just the next stage of your life?  I suspect you’ve earned a rest if that’s what you want.  

    • #7
  8. Kelly B Member
    Kelly B
    @KellyB

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    KentForrester: “I’m just a bit better than you: I’m more moral, I’m more empathetic, and I have more up-to-date opinions.

    I think I’ll have that printed up and put it in my front yard.

    My reaction to that sign was, if water is life, we should fill that house with it, basement to attic. 

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    KentForrester: “I’m just a bit better than you: I’m more moral, I’m more empathetic, and I have more up-to-date opinions.

    I think I’ll have that printed up and put it in my front yard.

    I like it. Do it in the same color scheme as that “we believe” sign. I have seen that “We believe” sign or some very much like it on  my bicycle rides around here, though I don’t remember where. But signs of that kind are far outnumbered around here by Trump yard signs and flags. I know of one on our road that came down long after the electi0n, but most are still up.    Maybe a Trump sign with that color scheme would be the thing.

    • #9
  10. Ida Claire Member
    Ida Claire
    @IdaClaire

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Ida Claire (View Comment):

    Why? Because I’m in deep blue WA (Trump vote 23%, deeper blue than Olympia with 39%), and we are working hard to move – first to E WA (Trump 55%), and from there explore other states, and I was worried that all States were as bad as WA. If even Oregon is better? That gives me hope.
    As for electric cars? As you said, nice in limited situations. Most people I know that have them use them as a second car, a luxury that most people cannot afford. I resent subsidizing them because it is a subsidy that benefits the rich, by and large, and that just sticks in my craw.

    And finally, six-toed orange cats are smart and have dog like social tendencies. In short, there the best!

    Ida, I had no idea that six-toed cats have dog like tendencies.

    It’s a toss-up whether Washington is bluer than Oregon. Portland is impossibly blue with a city council and a mayor who have let the crazed Left trash downtown Portland. Portland is now a mess and the powers that be let it happen. They are only now realizing that riots are not protests.

    I received no subsidies for my electric car. Perhaps the original owner did, but I bought it used. Right now “they” are trying to figure out how to tax electric cars because they don’t pay the gas tax. It will happen.

    Our electric car is our only car. We aren’t rich.

    Oh, I got that. I think electric cars are nice in situations like yours. I got to ride in one ☝️ nice, and I loved how quiet it was. Especially at stoplights. That was lovely. 
    The subsidies I was thinking of are more in the nature of infrastructure- we pay for our roads here through a gas tax, and then there is that annoying free charging station we installed at our library in the most prime of parking spots. 

    I read your posts (I love your writing style), and I know that you are better than me at letting the little things roll off your back. It’s one of my (many) flaws that I get so annoyed at that free library charging station. And frankly, if was you parked there I wouldn’t be annoyed (double standard? You betcha!)

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Ida Claire (View Comment):
    The subsidies I was thinking of are more in the nature of infrastructure- we pay for our roads here through a gas tax, and then there is that annoying free charging station we installed at our library in the most prime of parking spots. 

    There are certain people who, when you object to windmill subsidies (for example) will tell you that our use of  fossil fuels is subsidized, too.  And they will give you numbers, though not in detail sufficient to explain what they mean, but I suspect they often includes things like oil depletion allowances and the fact that the U.S. Navy protects shipping lanes. 

    They use the fact that we subsidize one thing to justify subsidizing another, whereas I would think it’s a reason not to subsidize another.

    But there are some differences in the types of subsidies.  They all have problems, but some subsidies are more direct manipulations of the markets than others, which just create broad conditions under which a broad array of companies can compete.  

    So we need to be prepared to nuance the issue, and not just say subsidies are bad.  Maybe they all are bad, but some are a lot worse than others. 

    • #11
  12. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    KentForrester: When we got back to the charging station after an hour (the charging stations consist of nothing more than an unattended rectangular post with an electric cord and an ATM machine), we paid for the electricity with a Visa card, and our battery was back at 100 percent.

    If you don’t mind, how much does an hour at a Walmart charging station cost?  Do they charge based upon wattage consumed, or time plugged in, or both? 

    • #12
  13. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    KentForrester: When we got back to the charging station after an hour (the charging stations consist of nothing more than an unattended rectangular post with an electric cord and an ATM machine), we paid for the electricity with a Visa card, and our battery was back at 100 percent.

    If you don’t mind, how much does an hour at a Walmart charging station cost? Do they charge based upon wattage consumed, or time plugged in, or both?

    Nohaaj, they charge per watt.  I haven’t yet figured out what it costs to “fill the tank” with electricity. I believe, but I’m not sure, that an electric car costs less per mile.  I’ll have to figure it all out one day. Wait, you’ve got me curious.  I think I’ll go to Google when I finish this sentence. 

    • #13
  14. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Kent, thank you for the Bob photo. It was worth the wait. Somehow, his personality seems to come through in his photos; he must be a nice companion.

    • #14
  15. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Kent, thank you for the Bob photo. It was worth the wait. Somehow, his personality seems to come through in his photos; he must be a nice companion.

    Jim, he is indeed.  He’s an integral part of the family and a wonderful companion. 

    • #15
  16. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Bob most certainly understands the troubles we endure. His eyes tell it all. I like my car better than it seems I would like yours. It’s a Ford Escape hybrid and it is a very clever automobile. It has all the beeps and auto-warning, auto-braking, auto-parking gadgets, which are cool. it gets great gas mileage, and, the best thing is, it makes its own electricity. If I need to refuel, it takes five minutes and we’re good for 600 miles.  But please forgive me for bragging. It sounds like your car has a feature that mine doesn’t. It makes you explore Walmart every week or so.

    • #16
  17. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Love the interesting cat toes – one doesn’t see that every day.  Your description of crossing from one liberal state into another sounded like going from West to East Germany……back when checkpoints were what separated freedom from communism. I feel like the lines are getting more and more blurred.  We had two signs stuck at one entrance of our neighborhood since October – the multi-colored fists that say Love Your Neighbor – Black Lives Matter. I looked at the covenants and all signs must be approved, even real estate signs.  I didn’t want to be rude, and we tolerated them during and after the election.

    As president, I asked our board should they go and the answer was yes, and we had a clause to support it.  As luck would have it, somehow one sign vanished and I think the occupants moved.  The other one right across the street was gone this morning. I’m still going to bring it up at the annual meeting.  Things are getting more insane by the day.  We can look forward to Kent and Bob to cheer us up.  You’re more green than most of us. Happy Earth Day!

    • #17
  18. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    KentForrester: You may already know, from RushBabe’s posts, that Washington may be the country’s wokest and nanniest state.  Upon crossing the Columbia River (think Woody Guthrie), the border between Oregon and Washington, the politics turned so left-wing blue that I scraped off my dated MAKE AMERICA GREAT bumper sticker so that I wouldn’t arouse road rage from any crazed lefties.

    I didn’t think the difference between Oregon leftism and Washington leftism was so large any more.  But I got out of Oregon almost 30 years ago.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    Bob most certainly understands the troubles we endure. His eyes tell it all. I like my car better than it seems I would like yours. It’s a Ford Escape hybrid and it is a very clever automobile. It has all the beeps and auto-warning, auto-braking, auto-parking gadgets, which are cool. it gets great gas mileage, and, the best thing is, it makes its own electricity. If I need to refuel, it takes five minutes and we’re good for 600 miles. But please forgive me for bragging. It sounds like your car has a feature that mine doesn’t. It makes you explore Walmart every week or so.

    All part of the long-range Walton plan…

    • #19
  20. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    I do wonder how is the excess electricity needed for all these cars produced and at what cost? Batteries are also extremely corrosive. Where is that battery stored once its life is done. Where are they stored and at what cost to the environment?

    I love Bob’s expressive eyes.

    • #20
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    I do wonder how is the excess electricity needed for all these cars produced and at what cost? Batteries are also extremely corrosive. Where is that battery stored once its life is done. Where are they stored and at what cost to the environment?

    Arguably electric cars are also heavily subsidized, and not just through rebate programs etc (for original purchasers, although that also filters down since it makes the used prices lower too…) but because disposal costs are not figured into the pricing.  Nor are cleanup costs for much of the manufacturing, which includes rare mineral and earths extraction in countries using slave/child labor and with few environmental concerns…

    • #21
  22. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Nor are cleanup costs for much of the manufacturing, which includes rare mineral and earths extraction in countries using slave/child labor and with few environmental concerns…

    What country has the most lithium?

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Nor are cleanup costs for much of the manufacturing, which includes rare mineral and earths extraction in countries using slave/child labor and with few environmental concerns…

    What country has the most lithium?

    It doesn’t even matter which countries have the most of particular resources, the real issues come from which countries make the resources the most available at the lowest cost.  And/or, even after extraction, which countries allow manufacturing using those resources at the lowest cost, with the least regulation, etc.  Which is why you get things like trees from the Pacific Northwest being shipped to China/Vietnam/etc, turned into even simple basic furniture, and then shipped back.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    KentForrester:  I rarely leave the house anymore, and the ennui that often accompanies old age smothers any impulses I might have to do something, anything. Worse, I’ve begun to sense that Marie, the most generous of souls, is dropping little hints that she’s bored with me.

    Let me guess: You haven’t been riding your Peloton as much as you should, right?  I’ve long noted that seven days without a bicycle ride makes one weak. But it’s worse than that. It doesn’t take that many days without vigorous exercise before I feel what you’re describing, except it’s worse because Marie has never even heard of me.  I got a bad foot sprain on a ride three and a half weeks ago. The swelling isn’t too bad any more so I’m getting back to regular exercise on a frequent enough schedule, which makes a huge difference in my mental state of well-being.  There were a few stretches in there when I felt I should take it easy and let my foot heal, but it sure didn’t make me feel healthy enough to last long on this earth. 

    • #24
  25. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    KentForrester: You may already know, from RushBabe’s posts, that Washington may be the country’s wokest and nanniest state. Upon crossing the Columbia River (think Woody Guthrie), the border between Oregon and Washington, the politics turned so left-wing blue that I scraped off my dated MAKE AMERICA GREAT bumper sticker so that I wouldn’t arouse road rage from any crazed lefties.

    I didn’t think the difference between Oregon leftism and Washington leftism was so large any more. But I got out of Oregon almost 30 years ago.

    This may be heresy, but I think Governor Brown is doing a pretty good job at holding the line in Oregon against the Covid-restriction fanatics elsewhere in state government.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    KentForrester: You may already know, from RushBabe’s posts, that Washington may be the country’s wokest and nanniest state. Upon crossing the Columbia River (think Woody Guthrie), the border between Oregon and Washington, the politics turned so left-wing blue that I scraped off my dated MAKE AMERICA GREAT bumper sticker so that I wouldn’t arouse road rage from any crazed lefties.

    I didn’t think the difference between Oregon leftism and Washington leftism was so large any more. But I got out of Oregon almost 30 years ago.

    This may be heresy, but I think Governor Brown is doing a pretty good job at holding the line in Oregon against the Covid-restriction fanatics elsewhere in state government.

    I speak to my youngest brother regularly, he still lives in Oregon and seems to vehemently disagree with this assessment.

    • #26
  27. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    KentForrester: I rarely leave the house anymore, and the ennui that often accompanies old age smothers any impulses I might have to do something, anything. Worse, I’ve begun to sense that Marie, the most generous of souls, is dropping little hints that she’s bored with me.

    Let me guess: You haven’t been riding your Peloton as much as you should, right? I’ve long noted that seven days without a bicycle ride makes one weak. But it’s worse than that. It doesn’t take that many days without vigorous exercise before I feel what you’re describing, except it’s worse because Marie has never even heard of me. I got a bad foot sprain on a ride three and a half weeks ago. The swelling isn’t too bad any more so I’m getting back to regular exercise on a frequent enough schedule, which makes a huge difference in my mental state of well-being. There were a few stretches in there when I felt I should take it easy and let my foot heal, but it sure didn’t make me feel healthy enough to last long on this earth.

    You’re right, Retic.   i haven’t got back on the bike since I had that back problem awhile back. I think i’m ready to ride again.  I think I’ll go for a short ride tonight in Moab.

    • #27