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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Snohomish County, WA
Member since: Wed May 18, 2011, 02:12 AM
Number of posts: 2,231

About Me

Retired corporate paralegal.

Journal Archives

Seattle to Sacramento and return

Left 9/3 and returned 9/9. I take this trip at least once a year and have for over 30 years.

When I was younger, I took Coach. Seats are roomy and fairly comfortable (definitely UNlike airline seats). If you take Coach, you must either bring a sandwich or buy meals in the dining car or snacks in the Lounge car. Prices aren't too bad. Food used to be quite good, but now is merely average.

For a number of years now, I take a sleeper. I'm older and need my creature comforts. I have a system: When I go to my compartment I ask that the bed be made up as soon as the car attendant has time. It's more comfortable to extend my legs for the long period of time I'm on the train. I also ask for an extra blanket and pillow to use to prop myself up during the day. And because I'm now older and don't want to try to maneuver walking the three moving cars to the dining car, I order off the dining car menu and have my meals delivered to my compartment. No extra charge, but I do tip the car attendant generously. The Coast Starlight has a Parlor Car for the sleeping car passengers. One can get coffee, hot tea or soft drinks (included in the price of the ticket). They have a wine/cheese tasting ($5 I think) event -- I went once years ago and since I don't drink wine, it wasn't very interesting for me. But many people enjoy it. The Parlor Car is a nice place to meet people. I've done that many times and now just prefer to be in my compartment with the current Vanity Fair magazine and some needlework to work on while I listen to a book or music on CD. Toilets are down the hall and are usually acceptably clean.

I always travel alone but I often see families in the sleeping car. They have three sizes of compartments, each sleeps a different number of people. I once took the train when I had a cast on my foot -- I had a handicap compartment on the lower level with its own toilet. Worked out quite well for me that trip.

It's true that the train must give way to the freight trains -- it's in the lease for use of the track owned by the freight companies. On the way home this time, it was about an hour and a half late part of the way but actually got to Seattle only about 10 minutes late.

On this last trip I met a woman who was going (by train) from Seattle to Los Angeles, then to New Orleans, then somewhere on the East Coast and back to Seattle through Chicago. A real circle of a trip. I'd love to do that sometime.

Check Amtrak's website for various travel plans and special prices. I envy you your trip!
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Thu Sep 24, 2015, 02:02 AM (2 replies)

The only way I would agree to a state income tax

is if they completely rescind the state/local sales tax.

I've seen proposals in the past where they "assured" the voters that the percentage of income for a state income tax would be low or the sales tax would be reduced. If you believe that, I've got a bridge over Lake Washington to sell you. In fact, the rate would be increased faster than you could scream STOP and we would be paying double the taxes we pay now. There have been four failures to introduce a state tax in Washington in the last 70 years; the voters just don't like the idea. We all know that any promise to have a state income tax on only upper incomes would soon change and we would ALL be required to pay more taxes.

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:11 AM (1 replies)

I've had only two encounters with the IRS

First was an audit (later figured it was triggered by my ex-husband's new wife who resented paying child support). I made a pittance at the time, no investments, no deductions. It was pretty straight-forward and I wound up being charged an extra $50 -- I wrote a check.

The second time was a bit more interesting. I already received my tax refund but the audit was triggered by a mistake I made in filing the tax return. I listed my daughter as a dependent although she was working at the time and I was not entitled to claim her. Although I listed her by name, I make the correct calculation of taxes based on her NOT being a dependent (forgot to remove her name). The IRS, seeing that the facts/figures disagreed, sent me a check for an amount calculating her as a dependent. I returned the check with a note saying that I made a mistake in listing her name, but that the amount I paid was correct. They sent the check back. I returned it. They sent it back. This time I returned it with a note outlining how I was right in returning it, listing the dates of the letters in which I attempted to return their money which was sent to me in error. I finished by saying that if they returned the amount AGAIN, I would consider it a gift and cash the check. In received a HAND-WRITTEN note from the IRS apologizing for their error and thanking me for being honest. I figure there's a gold star next to my name and I'll never be audited again. LOL

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Thu Aug 27, 2015, 10:25 PM (0 replies)

I think Sen. Sanders did the right thing.

He made a quick assessment of the situation and apparently realized that any attempt to engage the two women in conversation would have been met with even greater hostility. Therefore, his best approach was to take his sail out of their wind.

He shouldn't worry about the GOP reaction -- they were ready with condemnation no matter what course he took.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Thu Aug 13, 2015, 08:52 PM (0 replies)

An example, in real terms

A fertilized egg implanted in my fallopian tube. Technically, I was pregnant -- a pregnancy test was even positive. The egg grew until it ruptured the tube and I was minutes away from bleeding to death. Fortunately, I was in a hospital and had a doctor who understood that the fertilized egg would die either way: either by being removed or upon my death. My life was saved by a speedy removal of the egg and the ruptured tube.

My fear has always been that a strict no abortion law or a personhood law would doom women with ectopic pregnancies to death.

Do these people have no conscience at all? Is their hatred of women so vast that withholding desperately needed medical care satisfies them? What kind of warped thinking is this? If THEIR wives, daughters, sisters were in this position, would they recommend standing by and letting them die? I fear their answer is yes.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Sat Aug 8, 2015, 11:14 PM (5 replies)

One of my favorites

is Ikon Grill. It's on the corner of 5th & Virginia, across from the Westin Hotel. They have a variety of "comfort" foods -- fried chicken, meatloaf, and their Butternut Squash soup is excellent. For brunch, I've had (my favorite) Ikon's Joe's Special. For lunch, I've had the soup and the BLT Wedge Salad. I've also had their hamburger and it was also very good. It's also an interesting place -- lots of artwork and a collection of little lamps on shelves around the room. Overhead are nets with blown glass seashells. In 1999, I sat at a window seat having dinner and watched the WTO demonstrators marching down the street and all the police in riot gear. My other visits haven't been as eventful.
Here's their menu: http://icongrill.com/foodwine.html

Another favorite is the Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (4th & University). It's absolutely gorgeous! A waiter told me once that it's painted with 13 different shades of yellow. Huge tall ceilings, detailed moldings. The lobby of the hotel is jaw-dropping. I used to work across the street and went there for lunch many times. http://www.fairmont.com/seattle/dining/thegeorgian/ The food is excellent and (at least when I used to go there) they always placed a chocolate on a small plate when they presented the bill. The chocolate had a bit of sea salt on the top.

If it's Chinese food you want, Sun Ya in the International District serves Dim Sum from 9 - 3. It's a very popular place and can be crowded. If it's cheap/cheerful you want, there's a food court at Uwajimaya in the International District.

I hope you enjoy your stay in the area.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Wed Aug 5, 2015, 07:29 PM (1 replies)

I should be shocked

but I'm not. It's another RWNJ attacking the rights of women. He apparently doesn't want his wife, or any other woman, to have an abortion or reproductive services or cancer screening. For some women, Planned Parenthood's services are the extent of the health care they can afford and HE wants to take it away.

Oh, another point, just because he impregnated his wife doesn't make abortion a "men's issue" -- his arrogance is superceded only by his ignorance.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Tue Aug 4, 2015, 05:16 PM (0 replies)

Oh, so THAT'S where the idea came from

Many years ago, I met a friend of my brother's. He was from an affluent family and was hitchhiking around the world. He spent his time doing what we now call "couch surfing", i.e., living on the hospitality of anyone who would take him in. He contributed neither money nor labor in exchange. His pinnacle of achievement, to him, was the three months he spent on the beach in India smoking pot and reading various philosophers. Must be when he discovered Fuller. Anyway, this fellow explained to me one day that not everyone needs to work for a living. He said that the people with superior intellect (of which he counted himself, natch) should spend their time developing new ideas and philosophies and those who couldn't achieve this lofty intellectual plane should be the ones to work and support those thinkers. He though that all work was, by definition, menial and not worthy of a thinker's time.

Now, that was in 1976. Looking back, I see the beginnings of the 1%. Although the current 1% think that because they have all the money, those who actually perform some kind of labor should be supporting them. Currently the superior intellect test doesn't apply -- just a bank account review.

I thought it was a crack-pot idea back then and I think the same thing now.

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Mon Aug 3, 2015, 01:05 AM (1 replies)

There are two groups I might recommend

Under "Support Groups" there are two: Bereavement and Coping with Divorce.

My husband and I had been together 17 years (5 years before marriage, 12 years after). He came home from work one day and announced that he didn't want to be married any more, packed up his things and walked out. I went to a psychologist for what essentially was grief counseling. It included looking back at my life, but more importantly, looking forward with goal-setting and self esteem issues (noting makes one feel like shit than having spouse walk out with no warning). That was over 25 years ago. I have, in fact, created a very nice life for myself. When I found out a couple of years ago that he died, I had no feelings about it at all. Not grief, not anger -- nothing. Like hearing of the death of someone I once knew long ago but not actually part of my life.

As far as your daughter goes, my daughter didn't speak to me for 2 years. Before she cut me off, I told her that I would always love her, that I would always be willing to help her if she needed it, and that I hope she could find her way back. She eventually did, we have a close relationship now (she and her husband and daughter live with me -- we share expenses; it's beneficial for all of us)

So, kiddo, it IS possible to move on. Takes some time. Takes some work. You'll have to do a lot of self-examination in order to invent a better path to your future. Don't give up and don't give in.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Mon Aug 3, 2015, 12:18 AM (0 replies)

A clarification

Fathers of children born IN wedlock, have the right to oppose adoption of his child, EXCEPT in the case where the Court determines he has effectively abandoned the child.

Fathers of children NOT born in wedlock have, since 1972, the right to his child. Stanley v. State of Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court, in a 7-2 ruling, held that the fathers of children born out of wedlock had a fundamental right to their children. Up until this ruling, when the mother of a child born out of wedlock was unable to care for the child, either through death or other circumstances, the child was made a ward of the state and placed in either an orphanage, foster care, or given up for adoption.

In 1972, I was working as an adoption paralegal. I had many different types of adoptions, agency, private, international agency, step-parent, and even a couple of adult adoptions. In all cases, the father had to be notified to consent/not consent or be found to have abandoned the child. I recall one case where the alleged father signed an affidavit that said that although he did not acknowledge parentage, he gave his consent to the adoption. In cases where the father either refused to participate or was unable to be located, the Court found that the child had been abandoned.

I don't know how it works in other states, but here all final adoptions are done in Court. (RCW 26.33 outlines the detailed process) The birth mother and father, with their attorney, if one is requested, review the paperwork and sign off everything. The Court appoints a guardian ad litem for the child who "shall make an investigation and report to the court concerning whether any written consent to adoption or petition for relinquishment signed by the parent or alleged father was signed voluntarily and with an understanding of the consequences of the action.(RCW 26.33.070). A consent to adoption can be rescinded up to one year after signing, if "fraud or duress practiced by the person, department, or agency requesting the consent, or for lack of mental competency on the part of the person giving the consent at the time the consent was given." (RCW 26.33.160)

Washington has even passed a law allowing adoptees access to their birth certificates. (RCW 26.33.385)

While I'm generally in favor of adoptees accessing their information, I'm also mindful of the fact that not all birth parents wish to be found and their wishes deserved to be respected as well.

Hmm, guess this response was too much information...............

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:27 PM (1 replies)
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