Author Archives: beth

About beth

Ann Arbor-ite writes about enjoying life with all of its ironies and surprises.

veep.

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kamala harris, in the beginning

 

“A patriot is not someone who condones the conduct of our country whatever it does.

It is someone who fights every day for the ideals of the country, whatever it takes.”

– Kamala Harris – The Truths We Hold: An American Journey/2019

 

 

 

photo credit: la times, courtesy of kamala harris

printing money.

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Take the Wooden Money

During the darkest days of the Great Depression, the logging city of Tenino, Washington, created a complimentary wooden currency to help locals survive the economic crisis. Now, almost 90 years later, the town is once again “printing money” on postcard-sized sheets of maple to help locals suffering from financial hardship. Pegged at the rate of real U.S. dollars, the currency can be spent everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations and child care centers, whose owners can later exchange them.

“It worked perfectly,” says Tenino’s mayor Wayne Fournier, who offers residents who demonstrate they are experiencing economic difficulties caused by the pandemic a stipend of up to $300 a month in wooden dollars. These currencies aren’t actual replacements of real money. They are complementary currencies — a broad term for a galaxy of local alternatives to national currencies.

According to research published in Papers in Political Economy in 2018, 3,500 – 4,500 such systems have been recorded in more than 50 countries across the world. Typically they are a localized currency that can only be exchanged among people and businesses within a region, town, or even a single neighborhood. Many are membership programs limited to those who have signed up; they typically work in conjunction with, rather than replacing, the official national currency.

They take many different forms. Relatively few are based on paper money; many are purely digital or exchanged via smart cards. Their goals can span multiple economic, social, and environmental objectives. Some aim to protect local independent businesses. Some promote more equal and sustainable visions of society. Others have been founded in response to economic crises when traditional financial systems have ground to a halt. As the coronavirus pandemic brings on a wave of social and economic tumult, all three challenges appear to be in play at once.

In Tenino, which has a population of less than 2,000, the wooden money is printed using an antique 1890 Chandler & Price letterpress. Since the launch in May, cities from Arizona to Montana and California have been in contact with Tenino for advice about starting their own local currencies.

“We have no idea what is going to happen next in 2020,” adds Fournier. “But cities like ours need to come up with niche ways to be sustainable without relying on the larger world.”

“sharing money is what gives it its value.”

-elvis presley

 

credits: story – Bloomberg City Lab, Peter Young. photo – Jason Redmons, AFP

‘c’ is for breakfast.

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after spending the night at daughter #3s’ house

i woke up early at my usual farmer time

everyone else still fast asleep

hunted and gathered food items from their kitchen

soon realizing i had put together a ‘c’ themed breakfast

that was quite satisfying –

coffee with cream, chocolate cookies, cheetos cheese things, computer

i believe all food groups were well represented.

i know this guy might think that ‘c’ is only for cookie, but —

 

“health food may be good for the conscience, but oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”

-robert redford

enthusiasm 2.

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free movie night at campus martius park in detroit

safe, distanced, well-planned

the little one soon had her own plan

 drawn in

she moved right up front by the screen

enthralled

 laughing, dancing, twirling

throwing spells along with elsa from ‘frozen 2’

until she became a part of the movie. 

 

“true enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire wherever I see it.”

-charlotte bronte

downhill.

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hard to tell from this shot

but these benches

were sitting

back to back

slanted at a downward angle

on the side of a hill.

is this a geometry puzzle?

is this a statement?

is this art?

is this science?

is this_______?

 

“if the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough!”

-shel silverstein

 

ticket to nowhere.

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Taiwan continues to cater to the needs of its travel-starved population by offering yet another aviation experience that doesn’t actually take you anywhere. Following up on an offer in July, in which the public was able to check in and board a grounded airplane in Taiwan’s Sonshan Airport, one airline has just upgraded the faux travel experience by offering an actual flight — to nowhere.

EVA Air, one of the biggest carriers in Taiwan, is offering the special journey on August 8 (Father’s Day in Taiwan) to help satisfy its customers’ travel itch. The trip will take around three hours, with the flight taking off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport, then circling the skies before returning to the same airport. If it’s a clear day, passengers will be able to take in views of several Taiwan attractions including Guishan Island and the scenic Huadong coastline, as well as other nearby islands.

Passengers will be flying on the “super popular” Hello Kitty Dream jet.The plane bears EVA Air’s special Sanrio-themed livery. An A330, it features many Sanrio characters including Hello Kitty, My Melody (Hello Kitty’s BFF), as well as Little Twin Stars’ Kiki and Lala. They can expect Hello Kitty in-flight amenities, free WiFi for texting and an inflight entertainment system that is usually reserved for long-haul flights. Inflight dining is another highlight of the trip, offering a choice of two main courses created by a 3-star Michelin chef.

The flight will be operated under flight number BR5288. Why? When spoken, it sounds like “I love dad” in Chinese. An economy class ticket is $180. Passengers can choose to upgrade their seats to business class for an additional $34.

International tourism has been effectively stopped in much of the world as countries shut their borders to stem outbreaks of Covid-19 and Taiwan is no exception. The island locked down its borders in March amid the growing coronavirus pandemic. Foreign nationals are still banned from visiting the island at this time.

“you know the actor, john garfield? in one movie he walked up to this train station, the ticket booth, and the guy says, “yes, where are you going?” and he says, “i want a ticket to nowhere.” i thought, that’s it. i want the freedom to do that. i want a ticket to nowhere.”   -wayne shorter

 

photo and story source: cnn travel

coffee talk.

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nothing like a bit of coffee talk between friends

to restore your balance and make for a great day. 

 

 

“as long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

-cassandra clare, City of Ashes

 

 

 

 

art credit: ryan conners, painting, midsommer 2019, cat art