Lopez Grocery

The San Juan Islands hold a special place in Northwest hearts. Idyllic islands not too far from the comforts of home, they seem to exist with an Instagram filter that blends nostalgia and progressiveness. The first time I went camping on Lopez Island, I turned down a little dirt driveway onto a farm that had posted a “Fresh Produce” sign by the street. Pulling up in front of a big barn, I couldn’t see any sign of recent habitation. But just inside I found these refrigerators, a table with a scale, a chalkboard listing the prices of everything available that day, and a cash box with a piggy bank slot for payment.

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About Impeachment, Constitution Article 1 §3.6

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn. I read through the entire Constitution on Memorial Day. It was a short read, and seemed simple. But it’s kind of dry and easy to skim over. So now I’m going back through and studying each clause to make sure I really get it.

Let me know if you think I don’t, or if you have insights I miss. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading

Cat City Reykjavik

When you travel, have you ever noticed that there cat cities and dog cities? Tokyo is a cat city. When I’m in Japan, I always carry a package of dried fish with me to tempt the stray kitties. Everywhere in India, stray dogs roam the streets. There is not a cat to be found. Reykjavik is known for its cats. They even have their own Facebook page. But I didn’t know that at first.

 

The first time I went to Reykjavik was for Airwaves. It was early November and we partied amidst hurricane-force winds. I didn’t see any cats. The next time it was April and warmer, but I was in class all day and didn’t wander the city much, except in large groups that would scare away any half intelligent animal. But the third time was in July. I was in the Eastfjords most of the time, but I spent my last day at the botanical garden in Reykjavik, marveling at how it looked like a Seattle garden in May, and making friends with this guy.

He never let me get close enough to pat him, but he followed me for nearly an hour as I wandered through the lilacs and buttercups. Reykjavik is a cat city.

Article 1 §3.5 Pro Tempore Presidents

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn. I read through the entire Constitution on Memorial Day. It was a short read, and seemed simple. But it’s kind of dry and easy to skim over. So now I’m going back through and studying each clause to make sure I really get it.

Let me know if you think I don’t, or if you have insights I miss. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading

Blue Poppy

 

I visited the Reykjavik Botanical Garden one July, and discovered that it looked a lot like any Seattle garden in May. Lilacs and rhodies, spring bulbs – the usual. Probably quite an achievement in that cold climate, but ordinary to gardens from warmer climes. There were some interesting near-arctic natives. And then there was this. The Himalayan blue poppy, Meconopsis. Stuff of legend and 4-inch pots costing $10 or more. I have tried so often to grow them, and never with any success. But here they were, happily blooming in Reykjavik.

FOMO, the Multiverse, and Doe Bay

Doe Bay

I was reading Neal Stephenson’s book Anathem when my family made its annual pilgrimage to Doe Bay Fest on Orcas Island. It was a hard book to get into in the middle of summer, but sometimes what you read and what you live integrate in the strangest ways.

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Constitution Article 1 §3.4: Vice President Breaks Ties and Records

Lately democracy has been taking a global beating, and the U.S. has not been immune, what with a Russian-influenced presidential election and a new president who appears not to understand or even be familiar with the Constitution. I want to be better at democracy than old 45 is, so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn. I’d love to make it a study group. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading