Alan Rhodes

Dog Days Deliberations

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

While I get pretty lazy during the summer, I still faithfully keep my journal going, so I thought I’d share some random entries from July and August.

The August Bellingham Bake-Off. It’s too damn hot! I’m tired of seeing heat waves rising from my body whenever I unwrap the wet towel draped around my head to reduce the amount of wildfire smoke I’m breathing. All those years it took me to give up cigarettes and now I’ve got a smoker’s cough again. To make things worse, I hear that because of global warming this could be the new normal. Wait, didn’t President Trump say that climate change is a Chinese hoax? But this all seems so real. Those Chinese sure know how to pull off a stunt.

Summer Reading. This was a good idea, coming to Lake Padden and stretching out on a beach towel on the lawn by the water. I see a lot of other people have done the same. They are all reading detective novels and light summer fare. Maybe my book choice wasn’t such a good idea—Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning. Everyone else is looking happy and relaxed. All I’m feeling is terror. After Albright’s discussions of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and such contemporary thugs as Erdogan, Duterte, and Putin, I turned the page to find a chapter titled “President of the United States.” This is not reassuring. I wonder if the woman next to me would swap her Agatha Christie for my book.

The Huckster’s Holiday. This is certainly an interesting story here in the Seattle Times. State Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) has been taking vacations in Cambodia, staying in deluxe hotels and resorts, financing much of this with campaign funds, and passing off these sojourns as some sort of official business. Doug’s last little jaunt was supposedly to monitor the Cambodian election. That’s amusing, given that the entire world, with the possible exception of Doug, knew in advance that the election would be a sham. Hun Sen, Cambodia’s corrupt dictator, obviously saw Doug as a useful idiot who might add a touch of legitimacy to his fake reelection. OK, to give credit where credit is due, it’s not often that Doug actually does something useful for someone (except corporate donors, of course).

Useful Idiot’s Sidekick. Doug has been taking a buddy along on his Cambodian trips, State Representative Vincent Buys (R-Lynden). Vincent, we need to talk. Why are you cozying up to a ruthless dictator? Even worse, why are you hanging out with Doug Ericksen? Didn’t your mother ever give you that talk about avoiding friends who are a bad influence? Up to this time, Vincent, I assumed you were just a naïve fellow with a partiality for simplistic thinking who is in over his head in the legislature. It’s occurring to me now that you might be, well, just plain stupid. Have I been giving you too much credit?

The Lynden (Un)Fair. A new couple, Amy and Michael, moved into the neighborhood recently and thought it would be fun to take their three kids up to Lynden for the Fair. Amy later said that the admission total alone for two adults and three kids was $50. Carnival ride passes for the kids cost $38 a pop, setting her back $114. Barbecue beef sandwiches were $15 and cheeseburgers were $10, and after adding in drinks, fries, etc. they were out another hundred or so. By the time the day was over the family’s monthly budget was shot. The kids said they couldn’t wait to go again next year. Amy said she hopes they forget about it by then because if they don’t she’s afraid they might have to take out a second mortgage to finance the day’s outing.

Respect. I was so sorry to learn of the passing of Aretha Franklin this summer. Where’s the fairness here? Aretha dies while all sorts of horrible people live on. I got so upset over this lack of cosmic justice that I started making a list in alphabetical order of all the people I wish had bought the farm instead of Aretha. I decided, however, to abandon the project as too ambitious when I was up to 746 people and had only gotten as far as Tucker Carlson.

A New Attitude. It must be heatstroke from the August temperatures, but I find myself smiling nostalgically at the thought of winter snowstorms. Sliding around on black ice is starting to sound like a refreshing recreational opportunity.

Sugar Ray
Past Columns
Bellingham 2050

February 13, 2019

Looking Backward

January 2, 2019

Joy to the World

December 19, 2018

A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Mr. Cranky’s Files

July 11, 2018

Can We Talk?

June 20, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Rollo and Me

March 7, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Sharing Beauty

December 13, 2017

Subdued City Shakespeare

October 25, 2017

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest


A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

11:30am|Whatcom County

The Imaginary Invalid

7:30pm|DUG Theater

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

My Circus Valentine

6:00pm|Cirque Lab

Almost, Maine

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Cupid's Arrow

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Shakespeare in Love

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

West Side Story

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Our Town

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

No PDA allowed


Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

One-Act Plays at BAAY

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Always...Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

Serial Killers, Episode 3

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Winter Swanrise Valentine's Celebration

7:00am|Barney Lake

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Celtic Arts Dance Championship

9:00am|Whatcom Community College

Caring for your Roses

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Be Mindful of Minds Panel Discussion

10:00am|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Let's Make Mozzarella and Burrata!

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Growing Giant Vegetables

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Tax Help Available

12:30pm|First Congregational Church

Native Plants and Birds

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Era of the Megafires

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Love is in the Air Story Share

3:00pm|North Fork Library

Artist Talk with Margy Lavelle

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

Fighter in Velvet Gloves

7:00pm|Village Books

Los Vivancos presents "Born to Dance"

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

MacMaster and Leahy
Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

My Circus Valentine

6:00pm|Cirque Lab

Shakespeare in Love

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Our Town

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

West Side Story

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Almost, Maine

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

One-Act Plays at BAAY

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Sedro-Woolley Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Do It Yourself Publishing

12:00pm|BRUNA Press

History Tour

12:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Bellingham's Got Talent

1:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Girsky Quartet

3:00pm|First Congregational Church

Blue Water women

4:00pm|Village Books

Sprite Night

7:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Trove Web Village Books
Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Community Soup Kitchen

6:00pm|Little Cheerful Cafe

Bite of Blaine

6:00pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Seasonal Fermentation

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op


7:00pm|Alternative Library


9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »

Kinky Boots Village Books Trove Web MacMaster and Leahy Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1