February Newsletter

The official address for T.O.H.S (Temple of High Strangeness) is PO BOX 8821 Lacey, Washington, 98509.  A few times a month I pick up the mail, which consists of mostly, bills, licenses, advertisements and the usual junk one would expect.  Ever so often a letter finds it’s way, very few, since snail-mail is almost a thing of the past and e-mail has taken its place.  I answer my snail-mail; e-mail is sorted WHEN I have a reliable PC.  Don’t hold your breath, it has been some time since I was online and the future of my re-entering cyberspace is not in my immediate reality… SNAIL-MAIL it is!

As I fumble my way thrue the pile of mail… I am sitting in my car, since someone removed the table and trashcan from the lobby at the post office I realize I am parked kitty-corner from a restaurant/bar. I hardly recognize the place; in fact I no longer notice it when I pass it going to my mail pickups.  I am not sure, but I think it was around 1980 when I first made my first acquaintance with the place.  I called it Fireside Inn, when in fact is was Prime Connection.

Upon entering one find oneself in a foyer, a second heavy wood carved door took one into a world of the aroma of food, which changed daily.  From BBQ, Italian spices, pot-roast, fish on Friday and lingering smells of allspice and pies.  The plush chairs in the dining room, heavy brocade curtains, table cloth, candles and fresh flowers adorning the tables made one feel like one was really in a special place in our, at that time, little town.  The Bar had a high rustic ceiling, much like one found in an A-frame-type ranch house.  In the middle of the room was a huge fish-tank, no wait!  It was a fireplace!  No, it was a fireplace with a fish-tank in the middle, or was it a fish-tank with a surrounding fireplace?  Either way…  Leather chairs were surrounding the Fire/Fish bar, one would just sink into the chair and feel like a million dollars.  One was no longer in need of an office, million dollar deals were made and closed sitting around the Fish/Fire bar sipping a cocktail. One could tell ones occupation just by the drink in front of the person.

Sue, the then considered plump laid back Lady, sipping on her Kalua/Cream in a tall glass.  She was a consultant.

John, the bearded, casually dressed Rusty Nail drinking contractor.

Terrence, the Jack Daniels/Coke/Back gulping Army Recruiter.

Homer, the Gin/Ginger Ale/Back Preacher.

Helen, White Wine for her Real Estate dealings.

Rick, Sam and Sal ordered Screwdrivers after their dental office closed on Tuesdays.

Mr. Moreno topped off his day by having several Bacardi/Cokes.  He was a Stock Broker/Investor.

Barbara, Coke straight up, soliciting for her 501 to feed the homeless.

Me, Cognac with a Coffee Back.

It was the skinny period of the American era.  The time before political correctness, cell phones and hourly deadlines.   A client calls, we tell him/her to meet us at the Fireside Junction, order a drink, put it on our tab, we would arrive shortly.

The men would compliment our pretty dresses, discuss their latest conquests, especially Terrance.

We talk about Dixie Lee Ray, our than first woman governor… we thought she was hell on wheels, especially how she dealt with our then mellow President Jimmy Carter, seemed she always got her way, especially after the eruption of Mt. St.Helens.  Loud, politically incorrect and precise she demanded what she needed from the Federal Government as fast as YESTERDAY and materialized said request/demand.  Life was good.  Everybody knew everybody; we were politicking, forgetting who owed whom what.

Mr. Moreno made too much money one year, trying to lessen his burden before tax time gave me a check for $ 3.000 for the local Urban League.

In later years we found ourselves discussing finances, a taboo in the early days.  It started out as bragging, I think, besides, jobs  and events were rather boring, no one counted calories, we ate what we wanted and had plenty of money to buy what we graved.

OBDURATE according to Webster means: adamant, callous, dogged, hard, headstrong, impatient, impending, insensitive, mulish, stubborn, tenacious, unbending, tough, unfeeling and unyielding.

OBDURATE according to Follette by Gluckman means: hardening, stuck up, heartless and stiff-necked.

Junk mail!  Should get a bigger POB in order to accommodate the bigger bills… if the amounts were shaped like envelopes I would need a U-Haul storage facility!

The voters of Washington State voted to charge $ 30.00 for license tabs rather than the previous amounts, which were based on age and value of an automobile. For several years we had issues with the re-enforcement of said policy, evidently agencies were unable to count charging way more than the $ 30.00 indicated.  The voters insisted they got full accounting of moneys and fees demanded for payment. So here it is:

Vehicle Licensing Fee Breakdown.


$    3.00 Filing Fee: Funds go to the county in which the fee is paid.

$  30.00 License Fee: Funds construction and maintenance projects.

$    0.75 License Service Fee: Supports the computer system used to provide licensing services.

$  20.00 For road, street and highway purposes.

$   3.00 RV Disposal Fee: Supports maintenance of RV Disposable Systems.

$  75.00 Motor Home Weight Based: Supports rail improvements.

$   4.00 Plate Reflectorization Fee: Funds road, streets and highway maintance and improvements.

$ Total: 135.75

Retain current Plate Number ($ 20.00 )

State Parks minimum donation $ 5.00


$    3.00 Filing Fee: Funds go to county in which the fee is paid.

$   30.00 License Fee: Funds construction and maintenance projects.

$   10.00 Weight based Fee: Used to improve the movement of fright.

$     0.75 License Service Fee: Supports the computer system used to provide licensing services.

$   20.00 Replacement Fee: For roads, streets and highways purposes.

$     4.00 Plate Reflectorization Fee: Funds roads, street and highway maintenance and improvement.

$ Total: 67.75

    Retain current Plate Number ($ 20.00)

    State Parks minimum donation $ 5.00



$    3.00 Filing Fee

$   15.00 funds constructing and maintenances fees

$    O.75 Finance Service Fee.

$ Total 18.75

The gang is gone, we buried Barbara in January.  I am the only one left.  I light a cigarette…..  I can smoke in my car just a little longer, since the new law which forbids me to smoke in my own car in the presence of a person younger than 18 years of age has not yet went into effect.  Wonder what it would be like to sit and chat with the friends around the Fish/Fire bar…..

The heavy door sticks, the smell of the food is unfamiliar.  Chandeliers have been replaced with energy efficient lamps.  Ashtrays are absent; I do not know the bartender.  Here are my friends sitting around the Fish/Fire bar as always. 

“About time you got here!  We have been waiting so you can tell us the latest; we already ordered your coffee.”

“How is the new Year?”

“Sal, I waited all day to see the ball drop in Time Square.  All day they talked about the new ball, how is green powered only using as much powered as 10 toasters.  Came time to show the ball drop the cameras showed everything except the ball.  The people, the confetti, everything except the ball.  I changed the channel only to witness the fireworks at the Space Needle in Seattle malfunction, a total flop.  I laugh, in 40 years I have never seen anything like it.  It was an indication how 2008 came into existence and has been ever since.”

“John, how is your new electric car running?”

“It’s a nightmare, I have to plug it in every 40 miles or so, it is impossible to find a plug-in on I-5.  I-90 is not any better!”

“Lilian, do you want to borrow it for your trip this summer?”

“No thank you! I lost all of my sponsors so I am not sure if I can go this time.  I cannot afford the mail these days.”

“The last storm we had was strange, you could have taken your mail and sailed it like an airplane in the jet stream.  It would have returned like a boomerang in 2 days, the storm went in circles.  Who ever heard of a Tornado in Vancouver, Washington?  Did you get your roof fixed from the storm damage?”

“No, I am still waiting for my Good Samaritan to come, I was told flying wheel barrels were not covered by neither Insurance nor FEMA.  The furnace is still broken, since December 11th 2007.  I have been unable to come up with the $700 it costs for repair, it is cold but I still consider myself lucky.  On January 24, 2008, 6.ooo people were in shelters and 2.631 people were sleeping on the streets in King County, Washington.  It was 13 degrees!”

“Helen lost all of her money in the Stock Market.  Should have checked out Lilian”s prediction on www.highstrangeness.tv.”

“Sam, did you watch Ami Goodman’s show in which she explained who is backing and advising the candidates for President? 

“ Lilian, why are you airing old shows?”

“I realize many subjects I covered 6-8 years ago are in line with the times now, it is only now people understand what I was trying to say.  People now experience some of which I spoke so long ago.”

“BARTENDER!  Give us another round!  Explain what you mean by people just now understanding what you said so long ago.”

“The writers strike is a good ting inasmuch as people watch things they would normally not.  LIFE WITHOUT PEOPLE on the History Channel is a good example of that.  The movie making is fantastic.  I shows that without people the world will continue.  It also shows the importance of humans, each one of us.  Come to think of it, I assume we were all legal during the time we maintained the earth.  On January 20th 2008 my granddaughter asked me to take her to work.  She called at 5:56AM.  At 6:20AM I was on the road.  The weather was terrible, we had lumpy rain… rain and snow mix…  I looked up and saw an orange glow thrue the snow and the thick clouds.  As if in an old fashion puppet show a curtain opened and I saw a golden planet, twice the size of the full harvest moon.  After a few seconds, as if the curtain was being closed, the sky was back to normal.  It was still snowing.  My thoughts, as to what it was I had witnessed, were interrupted by the ring of my cell phone.  My granddaughter called to tell me her nose was bleeding profusely.  I raced down the empty street to come to her aid.  An Olympia Police officer saw me speed by.  I pulled over before he was able to turn on his lights.  I told him my granddaughter had a nosebleed, could he please help me.  He suggested I do not run red lights and told me to go.  Olympia Police is notorious for frisking and tasering people, regardless of the circumstances.  I counted my blessings… We were at the hospital for hours.  Upon examination everything was normal, except my granddaughters nose was bleeding.  The Doctors eventually soldered the artery in her nose and we went home.  The nosebleed and the visitor from the sky occurred simultaneously.  She never did go to work.”

“You were lucky with the police, they are no longer there to help us, and everything is rather OBDURATE.”

“Where has the time gone, the world is unrecognizable, what happened to us?  How come people did not notice what happened to the world in the 21st century?”

Bartender!  “I am getting a check from the President, so I will pay my tab in May!”

This round is on me. A SLOW SCREW, this way your hangover will be mild and it hurts less!

Love and Light


PS. SAVE JOURNEY BARBARA O’NEIL!  She left us on New Years DAY. http://www.theolympian.com/southsound/story/325857.html