Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Week in Review

It has been a productive week.  There was another bike ride on the Centennial trail.  We have to find somewhere else to park.  Leaving from the Military Cemetery trailhead puts you on a section with a couple of short but very steep grades, one of them feels like 12%.  When one is riding a very heavy mountain bike, it's hard.  I'm not sure I could get up it on the road bike, which is way lighter, because it doesn't have the mountain bike gearing.  We know there are flatter stretches, we've ridden them before.  

Tuesday we got new drivers licenses.  When I lived here back in the 80s and 90s, a trip to the license place felt like hand to hand combat.  Many people would get there before it opened, stand in front of the door, and dare anyone to try to jump the queue.  Today, they've implemented appointments that you make on line, and they provide a comprehensive list of documents you will need to have.  We got there 30 minutes early, took a picture of the QR code outside the office, and someone came out immediately to usher us in.  It was painless.  Friday we registered the cars.  Our timing was perfect, late morning but before the lunch rush.  As Arizona residents, we were paying close to $2,000 a year in car tabs.  Washington used to be expensive, but Tim Eyman and his ballot initiatives dropped the prices considerably.  He almost killed the Ferry system, which is part of the highway system, but it did lower the plate fees.  Both cars were right around $300 total.  Plates are higher west of the Cascades because the voters frequently approve measures that are paid for by license fees.  Spokane county is too red for that.

Food here is much higher than Tucson.  We expected that avocados and lettuce would be more due to transportation costs; however everything is more here.  Gas is 60 cents a gallon higher, due to Washington's higher gas taxes.  This is offset by lower property taxes than in Tucson and the aforementioned lower license plate fees. 

NBC did another piece on the supply chain and rising costs of everything.  Apparently artificial Christmas trees are going to be in short supply, and therefore,  more expensive.  I offer this screen shot of a Michael's ad in evidence.

Can you believe that?  Admittedly, it's an outlier, but really.

I was looking at table top trees on Amazon and saw this.  It gets terrible reviews, it's not actually this pretty, but it's amusing.

When we bought the house, the previous owners had the TV on top of the gas fireplace, and the cable box and other stuff on shelves above.  They looked like this.  Clearly, they had to go.

 Here is Jim, removing them from the area.

Now they are gone.  The white is the previous color of the walls.  There was much less sheet rock damage than we were expecting.  Painting will be required.  I'm not sure what the previous owners were doing in the house, there are small round holes everywhere.  I hope we get a good paint match so we can march through with a can of spackle and then dab with the paint.

Do you have a sound bar on your TV?  We bought a new television yesterday (anything with a chip will be in short supply), and took the old one down stairs.  Installing the new TV was nightmarish, there are LG channels, and this channels and that channels none of which we wanted, and every time I turned on the cable box it would turn off the TV.  It took awhile to get that sorted out.  Then we went down stairs to pair the remote with the TV that used to have the sound bar attached.  It would not work, no matter what, there was no sound.  As it turns out, when you attach a sound bar, the bar changes the audio settings on the TV without your knowledge.  Later, when you try to run the TV without a sound bar, there is no sound at all.  We did not know this, it took a 20 minute call to Xfinity to sort that out.  Once that was discovered, all worked as it should.  Please make a note of this.

All of Idaho is now in Crisis Standards of Care.  This effectively renders everyone in the hospital as Do Not Resuscitate.  If you're in the the hospital because of cardiac arrest and not Covid, you're DNR as well.  They don't have the staffing levels available to run a full code on a bunch of people.  You would think that this might spur people to get vaccinated, but no.  In a case of cognitive dissonance, people in Florida won't take the free vaccine because they don't know what's in it.  However, they are lining up in droves for monoclonal antibodies which are lab created.  That treatment costs thousands of dollars and requires infusion clinics which takes medical staff out of the already over burdened hospitals.  Go figure.

So, this is what we've been doing, in addition to acquiring and spreading more rocks.  

Update to post:  There has been sort of a retraction of everybody is DNR in Idaho.  Apparently, if there are enough ventilators then they will put you on a vent.  But then they turn around if say if your heart stops we're not doing CPR, which sounds like DNR to me.  The explainer article can be found here.  I still think they're in a world of hurt.


  1. Over a thousand dollars for a tree??? Not at my house. A lot of Montana has gone to crisis care also. And I'm sure its also down here. Might just as well stay home and die.

  2. artificial christmas is not our gig. I usually go for a walk in the park and drag home boughs. People are dumb enough to buy that shite? Great...more cash for China, more off gassing for americans. Maybe that is why americans are so crazy...well played,

  3. Thank you for the tip about the tape and the link. I live in Florida where our dumbass governor thinks monoclonal antibodies are the answer to COVID and is mad at school districts for not following his no mask mandate policy. Lawsuits have been filed claiming he is putting vulnerable individuals at risk including kids with disabilities. Meanwhile, I stay home and hope that I am not exposed should someone need to come in here. I am 62 with a lifelong disability and I am waiting to hear about boosters. I think this country is done and hope that I'm wrong,

  4. I would forego a Christmas tree entirely rather than pay that kind of money! (In fact we almost never have a tree so that would be as per usual.) This whole monoclonal antibody thing is bizarre. People have lost their minds.

  5. the third alive and well in Florida. well, not just Florida. I don't get that whole I won't get the vaccine because I don't know what's in it. do they know what's in the flu shot or antibiotics or any medication they may take or even the processed food they eat every day? stupidity.

    we're thinking about buying a bigger TV today. I have an old computer and TV that I want to recycle which Best Buy will do so while there we're going to look at TVs. my main requirement is an anti-glare screen.

  6. I wonder what Laura did with that cute little tree we bought when she first lived with me? I can barely follow all the political stupidity you brought up. You make we glad to live in Ohio, where all we have is an intelligent R governor who is locked down tight by a gerrymandered R government.

  7. My Grandson lives in Washington and move there from here in Arizona and told me the costs were higher too to live there, but he loves it. I Hope your transition is smooth. As for supply chains, I already see a lot of mass produced product from China is not arriving for the Holidays so shelves are barren of product. It might give the Indie Small Biz a boost and a competitive edge for a change, if they Create their own Products or buy from Locals who produce it.

  8. The administrator for a Spokane hospital was on PBS Newshour last week talking about the overflow they are getting from mostly Idaho. He made it sound pretty bad. I quit putting up a tree two years ago so I won't have to face that price rise. I have a few decorations I put up including a wreath on the door. That's all I need.
    I bet those bike rides look completely different than they did in AZ. Enjoy!

  9. You still manage to find the thrilling sunsets!

  10. $1000 for a fake Christmas tree is even more insane than the political and COVID news. We are going to hell in an handbasket!

  11. Have either of you tried Oboz hiking boots? My DH has very hard-to-fit feet (super wide, weird-length toes), and he has had to take back many a pair of boots. He discovered Oboz a few years back and absolutely loves them. As I commented above, I would also be interested in where you got that chair. I really like it. Thanks!