Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Architecture Wednesday: Hidden Cove

 Having been Asian during one of my former lives, I am drawn to Asian-inspired art, music, homes, gardens, and this little treasure, on a small bay on Lake Washington, with views of the Cascade Mountains, is just the right thing.

Tis home was built for people with the same aesthetic and sited on this particular wooded lot because  the owners have long been drawn to Japanese gardens for their serenity and beauty, and have spent over twenty years amassing an impressive collection of art and plants and trees they have lovingly cared for and painstakingly pruned consistent with the ancient traditions of Japanese landscaping. 

So, while the home is lovely, this was all about the gardens, which in turn, make the home even better.

The homes was conceived as collection of one-story pavilions surrounding the garden to create an experience that is sanctuary-like and has that sense of stillness and calm. The oddly shaped parcel was challenging but allowed the gardens to expand, with the main pavilions running in an east/west orientation. The garden is divided into two principal “rooms” connected by a water course that falls from the street towards the lake, representing the journey from the mountain to the sea. 

The pavilions are connected by a covered walkway that runs almost the entire length of the property tying the pavilions together. Each pavilion has its own separate function: living areas, bedrooms, art studio and garage.  Consistent throughout is the low-angled hip roof—characteristic of traditional Japanese homes—with overhanging eaves. Each roof is clad in specially designed zinc shingles which will patina over time and invoke the feel of the ancient roofs. 

To keep the home light, the roof was lifted up on ultra-thin steel posts to allow a continuous band of clerestory windows; the sun’s direct rays are shielded by the overhanging eves while allowing the winter sun to warm the interior.

Due to the weather in the Northwest, there are limited outdoor living months, and so extra-large overhangs were integrated; the exterior terrace has an ultra-thin fourteen-foot-deep cantilevered roof which not only protects the space from weather, but allows for unobstructed views of the lake and mountains.

Floor to ceiling glass was used extensively throughout the home frame each unique view of the courtyard garden as almost a painting.  The ceilings are clad with cedar planks for its beauty and for sound absorption—no exposed nails were used in the ceilings; each plank is separated by a half inch to allow sound to be absorbed into the sound insulation in the cavity above.

It’s just the kind of peaceful serene place I’m looking for, where everything seems so natural and organic, but is created and placed with the ultimate care ….

One KindDesign

Lawyers representing the United States at Julian Assange’s extradition trial in Britain have accepted the claim that the WikiLeaks founder was offered a presidential pardon by GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in exchange for helping cover up Russia’s involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee.

Jennifer Robinson, a lawyer for WikiLeaks, told the court that she had attended a meeting between Assange, Rohrabacher, and pro-_____ troll Charles Johnson at Assange’s hide-out, inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Robinson said the two men claimed to be emissaries from Washington and “wanted us to believe they were acting on behalf of [_____].” She says Rohrabacher and Johnson told Assange that they could help grant him a pardon in exchange for him revealing information about the source of the WikiLeaks information that proved it was not the Russians who hacked Democratic emails.

Assange and his team of lawyers rejected the deal.

While the White House denies that ______ took part in any such plan, Assange’s lawyers previewed the allegation in a pre-trial hearing in February and now Robinson’s testimony has been heard in full. After her testimony, lawyers representing the U.S. accepted the witness statement as accurate and confirmed they had no intention of cross-examining the claim. They did dispute, however, that _____ gave his blessing for the pardon offer, And offered up some lame theory; US attorney James Lewis said:

“The position of the government is we don't contest these things were said. We obviously do not accept the truth of what was said by others.”’

Yes, these things were said, but they aren’t true? Then why accept them at all?

Oh, right … swamp.

The Daily Beast

Monday, September 28, 2020

White Judges Keep Black Man In Prison For Life For Petty Theft

Back in 1997, 42-year-old Fair Wayne Bryant was convicted of stealing a pair of hedge clippers and was sentenced to … life in prison. For stealing garden equipment. Of note, of course, is that Bryant is a Black man, and this is Louisiana. Last week the Louisiana state Supreme Court denied a request to review Bryant’s case and he will continue to serve out his sentence … for stealing clippers.

In 2000, Fair Wayne Bryant had appealed his life sentence to be unconstitutionally excessive and over the past twenty years his case made its way through the Louisiana court system, finally landing at the state’s highest court. Bryant’s hopes for an appeal ended after a Louisiana Supreme Court panel—consisting of five White men and one Black woman—upheld his life sentence 5-1 last week.

The lone sane person on the panel was the Black judge, Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson, who called the original sentence "excessive and disproportionate to the offense" and made special mention of the cost to Louisiana taxpayers:

"Arrested at 38, Mr. Bryant has already spent nearly 23 years in prison and is now over 60 years old. If he lives another 20 years, Louisiana taxpayers will have paid almost one million dollars to punish Mr. Bryant for his failed effort to steal a set of hedge clippers."

The state taxpayers have already paid $518,667 to keep Bryant in prison for the petty crime. Bryant had four previous four convictions—the first was for attempted armed robbery of a taxi driver in 1979, while the others were for theft, attempted forgery, and burglary—which the panel used as an excuse to keep him in prison for life.

Justice Johnson, in her dissent:

"Each of these crimes was an effort to steal something. Such petty theft is frequently driven by the ravages of poverty or addiction, and often both. It is cruel and unusual to impose a sentence of life in prison at hard labor for the criminal behavior which is most often caused by poverty or addiction."

After Bryant’s first appeal in 2000, Louisiana’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, stated that a life sentence was an appropriate punishment for Bryant because he had already spent enough time in prison as an adult.

He had been to prison before, so why not sentence him to life … for stealing garden equipment.

Judge Johnson called Bryant’s life sentence a "modern manifestation of pig laws," which were formulated to particularly punish African-Americans for petty theft:

"Pig Laws were largely designed to re-enslave African Americans, and this case demonstrates their modern manifestation: harsh habitual offender laws that permit a life sentence for a Black man convicted of property crimes. This man’s life sentence for a failed attempt to steal a set of 3 hedge clippers is grossly out of proportion to the crime and serves no legitimate penal purpose."

Imagine a white man, even one with a basically non-violent criminal record, being sentenced to life for petty theft.

Can’t, because that doesn’t happen to white people.


I Have Ruined So Many Pairs Of Pants With These New Drawers

Saturday, September 26, 2020

I Ain't One To Gossip But ...

While the 25th Bond movie No Time To Die hasn’t come out yet—the release date was just another victim of COVID-19—it seems there’s already talk as to who will be the new Bond when Daniel Craig hangs up the tuxedo.

And the latest white guy rumored to be Bond—because I doubt they’ll ever give the role to the oh-so-deserving Idris Elba—is tattooed mush mouthed bad boy, Tom Hardy. I can almost hear it now:

“Bond. James Bond.”

Only it will sound more like:

“Brgd. Jmst Brgd.”



Ever since Kim Cattrall saved the world from another sequel to Sex and the City—for which I sent a muffin basket—we have heard about the feud between the two women, and I have come down firmly on the side Team Cattrall.

Back in 2017, SJP wanted to do a third film, even though the most fervent fans of the show were like:

“Oh, honey. No … no.”

And the fans were rewarded when Kim Cattrall announced that not only would she not do another sequel, the idea of appearing beside Sarah ‘Why the long face’ Jessica Parker, was a fate worse than death. Kim accused the cast of being toxic—with SJP being the main mean girl—and said she’d never been friends with SJP and that it was always and only just a job.

SJP acted … badly … surprised by Kim’s words, saying she was “heartbroken” by Kim’s words and that there was never any drama on the set.

Uh huh. And things went from bad to worse after Kim’s brother Christopher went missing—he was later found dead—and SJP decided the best place to offer condolences was on a red carpet being interviewed by EXTRA.

Yeah, and Kim wasn’t playing, and recently talked SJP—and yet actually did not talk SJP—while promoting her new TV series, Filthy Rich:

“Everything is on Google, so I encourage you to Google it, about anything that I’ve said.”

I love that she clearly has no love for SJP but rather than rehash she tells you to go look it up!

“I feel that that was then, and when I look at what’s going on around me, I just don’t have any regrets.”

Well, other than that sequel to the first not-so-good SATC movie.


Well, it looks like Demi Lovato and fiancé Max Ehrich won’t be saying “I do.”

In the age of COVID-19 and social media the rumors of the split broke after Lovato’s bodyguard and her sister both … wait for it … it’s totally 2020 … it’s the new smackdown … unfollowed Ehrich on Instagram.

Egads; and then, pouring salt into the wound, Demi and Max haven’t “liked” each other’s last several social media posts either.

Oh, man, it’s clearly over then.


Another relationship ending is that of HGTV “star” Christina El Moussa Anstead Haack, who is divorcing her second husband, Ant Anstead, and like Demi and Alex, is going the social media route in letting us know.

Only Christina is taking it a step further by scrubbing her social media accounts of every single image of her high-profile, HGTV-aired wedding to Anstead, who still has wedding photos on his social media.

Burt for Christina, it’s like there was no wedding at all, even though Christina also says:

“Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate. We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority.”

But the children will never see those darned wedding photos.


Friday, September 25, 2020

I Didn't Say It ...

Cindy McCain, lifelong Republican and John McCain’s widow, endorsing Joe Biden for President:

My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is Joe Biden. [W] what led me to this decision was like so many other people in the country I’ve been watching what’s going on and I’m deeply concerned and Joe Biden represents to me the kinds of values and integrity and courage that we want in a president. Someone who would have my back as a citizen as someone who lives in a neighborhood and has a family and all the other things that people do. I want to feel like my president cares about me and cares about this country, and Joe Biden does. I’ve known Joe for over 40 years and know the kind of man he is. I’m just so deeply honored to be a part of this.”

And, of course, _____instantly Tweeted that he hardly knows her, though that means nothing.

She knows ____and doesn’t want him in the White House.


Donny Deutsch, MSNBC, proving that _____ is another Hitler:

“What was going on in early 30s Germany? Well, basically you had a destruction of the belief in the free press, you had a blurring between the executive branch and the Justice Department. You have creating an other, whether it’s Muslims, whether it’s Mexicans, whether it’s congressmen who weren’t born in this country. And then you have the destruction of free elections. And we’re here. And what is the difference between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump? I’m not saying there’s a Holocaust, but when you look at the tactics, and that is where we are right now. I want to talk to my Jewish friends who are voting for Donald Trump. How dare you? How dare you, with what our people have gone through in history. You see a man who is a dictator, and once you give them an absolute power he is possible of anything. And if you are a Jew in this country and you are supporting Donald Trump, you are not looking back at our history! And you are blind and you are walking like a lemming off a cliff. It is time to wake up. I’m sorry, this is where we are! There is no difference from what Donald Trump is preaching from what Adolf Hitler preached in the early 30s. Let’s just say it once and for all.”

Seems pretty clear to me … CAST A GODDAMNED VOTE!!


_____, calling into question RBG’s last words about waiting until after the election to fill her SCOTUS seat:

“I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi? I would be more inclined to the second. That came out of the wind, it sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal, or maybe a Pelosi, or shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind.”

Fucking lying pig.


Adam Schiff, responding to that statement:

“Mr. President, this is low. Even for you. No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union. But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true. No confirmation before inauguration.”

It’s almost impossible to fight _____’s when they come at you non-stop, and from all sides. But if we take out the corrupt president, and his corrupt minions, it’s a good start.


Nancy Pelosi, on what options Democrats have if _____ and Putin’s Bitch try to push through a Supreme Court nominee before the election or in a lame duck period:

“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now. The fact is we have a big challenge in our country. This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made. So right now our main goal, and I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want that to be, would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the American people from the coronavirus. The fact is that this administration has been a total failure at protecting the health and well-being of the American people and it has had an impact on our economy. The lives, the livelihoods, and the life of our democracy are threatened by this administration. … We have a responsibility. We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. When we weigh the equities, protecting our democracy requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”

I’m not sure the Democrats can stop this, but I know that we all can stop _____ and McConnell at the ballot box, and in the streets if we have to do that.


Olivia Troye, a former homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Mike Pence, coming out for Joe Biden:

“The truth is he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself. When we were in a task force meeting, the president said ‘maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people. Those people are the same people that he claims to care about. These are the people still going to his rallies today. No matter how hard you work and what you do the president is going to do something that is detrimental to keeping Americans safe, which is why [I] signed up for this role. At this point, it’s country over party.”

Troye has been a Republican her whole life, a “McCain Republican” and a “Bush Republican” but now she’s voting for Joe Biden.