Picture of Today 8/21/2017, Peek of the Solar Eclipse

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My view of the latest solar eclipse of 2017, above.

Living and working in Seattle, I witnessed a 92% peak of its possible totality. It was a privilege to have that much, being so close to its 100% totality across mid-Oregon state.

Such was an awesome sight from glasses (well worth the trouble in procuring). The time of the moon passing over the sun a little over two hours, with its peak at 10:20 AM. Such was the lively experience, witnessing the awesome power of our tiny moon, blocking the overwhelming presence of our closest star, for just the moment.

The picture here doesn’t capture the natural glow as well. But getting the pic was a fun challenge, using another pair of eclipse glasses as a filter over the lens, then trying to focus wild holding the camera and trying not to go blind. All went well, though my eyes definitely needed a rest afterward. Overall, a great experience made better by sharing with others. I shall look forward to the next solar eclipse in the US during 2024, though it will require a little travel. Hmmm…

– Orion T

Yesterday, Observing Tension and Community

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Recently was another day that best describes the ongoing situations that better define national social unrest tensions in 2017. This, by yesterdays headlines involving the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. White nationalist groups marched, and a counter protest happened. There was tragedy resulted from acts of hate, leading to terrible injuries and a horrific fatality.

A day later in Seattle, a different situation happened, and I was there for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A nationalist militia group Patriot Prayer (and other sympathizers including the Proud Boys nationalist group) gathered for something called a “Freedom Rally.” while they claim not to be associated with the White supremacy movement of the East, there are similarities with their rhetoric (in looking them up online): labelling those in favor of BLM, anti-Trump, progressives, immigrant defenders to some incorrect narrative of violent “Antifa” anarchy, while promoting their own version of religious and gun-toting freedom. Meanwhile, there are subtle roots of racism in the PP militia presentations, with the usual promotion of “All Lives Matter,” disregarding the message of Black Lives Matter with their own distorted narrative. They claim to bring something different to the table of social discussion which becomes lost when appearing in military gear, preaching hateful rhetoric, politically cheerleading for the alt-right and praise Trump for his controversial policies that alienate immigrants and Muslims.

But oddly, they shared the stage with those giving back harsh words to them, and the white nationalist sympathizing festering from the growing alt-right. Lots of loud speeches for Black Lives Matter, Indigenous people’s awareness, Bernie Sanders, anti-fascism, anti-capitalism, clarifying socialism, income inequality, anti-racism, and anti-Trump’ all drew loud cheers from the counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, the PP militia group held their area in the middle, mixed with independent media folk. The nationalist group used American flags as peripherals, which I found bothering because that assumes the US holds a special place its dominant white demographic, should any other groups of a different color or ethnicity, or non-Christian religion suddenly gather in military gear and taking advantage of open-carry protections. Such an imbalance suggests the American flag in regards to militias and accumulation of firearms, builds for white privilege.

Anyway, some of the members of the PP militia groups spoke as well, with some very passive aggressive speeches about tolerance and free speech. Such felt a bit silly, with many among them passing off fallacies, alternative facts, and hailing Trump as some lord and savior for conservative causes. Of course, those were met with heavy boos and shouts of “bullshit” It was all an amusing with the display of cooperative civility, allowing for this “Freedom Rally” and counter protesting to happen and keep itself in control, though there were a few troubling incidents resulting in arrests and police counter-measures.

Overall, those gathered around the PP militia were anything but those what social media haters would describe in general as the communist, mask wearing, violent, unemployed immigrants, or whatever else incorrect labeling is out there. Such is wrong in observation of the assembly of downtown Seattle natives I see every day, bearing every class, color, and ethnicities; all young and old, with visual styles suggesting many statuses and lifestyle choices. Most in part, pushing for an end to the threats of racism and fascism (many with signs and adornments expressing such).

I moved about in the outer circles, mingling with an otherwise chill atmosphere, occasional bursting in cheers and boos (depending on speaker and content). The conversations were friendly, with word exchanges about social change and the recent situation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Also, many funny comments about the silent PP militia man standing in the background on the stage, constantly chewing gum or tobacco for at least an hour.

So, another fun Sunday afternoon in Seattle, for which I glad I checked out. Such forums are always great staples of this city life, though can also be unpredictable. Yet, I feel these moments are worthwhile, in the peaceful interactions and learning more about each other.

– Orion T

The picture was taken from my phone around 3:00 pm, Sunday afternoon. I wished I took a better shot of the counter-protesting crowd surrounding then PP militia. Such was clearly a larger gathering, emphasizing the Seattle local response to nationalism and its disdain for the alt-right movements.

Sunset through a Hazy Sky…

Just days ago, the air in the Pacific Northwest suffered through smoke from some wild fires in Canada. The air quality was bad, with the hazy skies covering the blue. Yet, the good part being the decline of the threatening heat have and awesome sunsets.

I was not around for the height and worst of the air but managed to see this catch this moment last Friday. From the Seattle waterfront’s Olympic Park, I enjoyed this moment of this dim sun falling far beyond Elliot Bay.

Then, I went home.

 

Picture of Today 7/7/2017, Music in the Park

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A small concert presentation in the park is a pleasant way to end the afternoon and move gently into the evening.

Such was today, passing through Freeway Park in downtown Seattle. The happening was a welcome surprise put on by the Seattle Chamber Music Society for their Summer Festival. The small event was free, before a gathering of locals relaxed in chairs and lawn spaces.

My ears appreciated and enjoyed the music. I hope to randomly find more when walking in the parks.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 7/5/2017, A Seattle Dog in the Park

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I took a little time out to enjoy a local treat, being a Seattle-style hot dog. This is your usual hot dog but grilled meat (or veggie substitute) with cooked sweet onions and cream cheese on a toasted bun. For better, add some other veggie bits, and use a higher grade of cream cheese than the cheap brand name spreads and warm that up. For messy action, throw whatever condiments you love on top of it; sauerkraut, mustard, BBQ sauce, whatever. Somehow it all works out, for a fine tasty guilty pleasure.

Such was my fine evening moment, taking time out on the way home to enjoy this at Westlake Park (though, I refrained on the extras). The best Seattle Dog there you will find, is the “Dog in the Park,” stand in the back area. They have other Hot Dogs styles as well, but I find this one to be the best taste, for those hungry and passing through the area on a warm summer evening.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 7/4/2017, A Quiet Independence

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Today is the 241st annual day in the United States since the final draft of the Declaration of Independence document was approved and put forth. The actual agreement by the Continental Congress to separate from the British, was actually on July 2nd.

I had my day off from work, celebrated my independence by staying home for much of it, tending to chores and projects. I did take a short walk outside, to enjoy the nice summer weather; a warm push of mid 70’s Fahrenheit with a gentle breeze throughout.

No fireworks for me today. I am safe inside, with my windows shut and my headphones on. I hope for the many patriots out there, to stay safe and enjoy what the day gives you.

– Orion T

Today’s picture is the great Space Needle of Seattle, about two hours before sunset. A flag stands above it, to celebrate the 4th of July.

Picture of Today 6/26/2017, Way Over There…

The day has been very busy, but I can afford a look away for this moment. 

The view is interesting, and draws upon my imagination. And that, is worth the time. 

– Orion T

The view is from downtown Seattle near Pike Market overlooking Elliot Bay with the Great Wheel in the way, a couples before the sunset.