Some cool goods to import from china images:
Image by brian glanz
Floating Leaves is Seattle’s finest importer of teas from Japan, Taiwan, and China. There is a story behind each tea they import and a personal connection to every producer. At Floating Leaves, expect great conversation on the side.
On a Friday afternoon approaching Happy Hour, I wandered in and met our Tea Master for the day, Rich, who had just returned from the mountain tea farms of Taiwan. Shop owner Shiuwen Tai and a knowledgeable German man named Klaus offered me a seat at the table. Rich walked us through an incredible flight of the very best teas I have ever tasted. The warm and generous people of Floating Leaves match the quality of their teas.
As we whiled away our worries over the best 烏龍茶 (Oolong tea) in the world, more of their friends joined us, including Setsuko, the greatest Japanese baker in Seattle! My wife, Mango Power Girl, had learnt how to make mochi from Setsuko. If you ever get the chance to try her baked goods or her classes, do not turn it down.
Floating Leaves has recently changed location; this cafe opened in August, 2008. It is still on NW Market in Ballard, just a couple blocks east of the old location. Stop by for tea, and to wish Shiuwen and friends all the best as they bring their best to Seattle.
Shopping In America Used To Look Like This
Image by Big Grey Mare
My husband, Jake, will be 83 years old in December, and he can rememebr a time when our country was one people who worked together for it’s good, and the good of each other. The current events in Washington really upset him, as he watches all he once knew and loved and believed in being destroyed. He wrote the following about 4 years or so ago, as his sarcastic solution to the problems we were facing then, and he asked me to post it "all over the internet", because he believes these solutions would apply today also. Anyway…here’s Jake:
The “Cash 4 Clunkers” program appears to have been quite a success – at least as far as stimulating new car sales is concerned. However, most of the trade-ins were sound, high quality, late model pickups and SUV’s that fell just below the gas mileage limit (mainly because they were large and heavy, and were geared accordingly). And the new cars that were bought included many hybrids that run on batteries, hype, and hope. Will the buyers actually pay for them? Also the so-called clunker trade-ins were being totally destroyed–deliberately reduced to trash. Is this right? And many local car dealers have yet to receive one red cent of the 00 promised for each of these piles of metallic junk. In fact, the entire Cash-4-Clunkers stimulus program was cancelled, prior to many dealers being paid anything.
Of course, any money for this, or any other federal program, must come from an empty treasury. So what else is new? If you were to sweep and vacuum all the empty vaults at Fort Knox, you might come up with enough gold dust to make one small wedding ring. But, why bother? Wedding rings are obsolete anyway. However, promised payment from government sponsored programs seem to work just fine. With that in mind—why not initiate a tax refund program? Handled correctly, it could sponsor the greatest consumerism explosion in the history of the world.
It would work like this: Every taxpayer in the U.S. would be eligible for a ,000 refund. Everyone over the age of 10 would be considered a taxpayer and therefore eligible. Since those under 10 do not normally spend their own money—they would be excluded. We pay income tax, sales tax, property tax, gasoline tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, poll tax, pole tax, import tax, value-added tax, syntax, sin tax, excise tax, luxury tax, and numerous other taxes—too taxing to remember. Even illegal immigrants pay taxes. Based on latest census info, there are 258,694,227 people over the age of 10 in the U.S. who would qualify for a ,000 refund.
The tax refund program would start in October, but it might take some time to process the applications. However, since everyone is eligible and promised ,000 by our benevolent government—they start spending immediately. People give assignments and vouchers on their expected checks. Credit cards boom. Real Estate sales go through the roof. Developers, contractors, and builders go wild. Retail sales zoom. The economic growth is off the charts. Banks loan to the max. However, there is a downside.
The Tax Refund To Americans Program (or T-R-A-P)—as with every federal program—requires considerable paperwork. In fact, the T-R-A-P application is 877 pages, and weighs 18 pounds 12 ounces. The U.S. Postal Service screams. Tree Huggers, Inc. goes crazy when they realize the number of national forests required to produce that amount of paper—not even considering the massive amount of lumber being used in the housing/construction boom. Al Gore comes to Capitol Hill screaming that Nobel also invented T.N.T. The T-R-A-P snaps shut. Not one dime has been paid to the American taxpayers—yet the economy is booming. The tax refund program ends just before Christmas and our wonderful government takes over every bank in America in January. Hitler could not have done it any better.
The two other major problems—health care and the national debt—could be solved just as easily. Since our current national government seems to be operating in the Communist-Fascist-Socialist New World Order format – why have they not seen such a simple solution right at hand? It is Social Security. Properly utilized, Social Security answers almost all of our health care and money woes. It is so simple, even young people are aware of many of the aspects. In fact, many young Americans are quite well-informed.
Most younger Americans know what Tweetie-Bird had for breakfast and where Goldi-locks itches. They also know that Michael Jackson’s circulatory system contained 52% drugs and bleach and only 48% real blood. And every young person knows that 40 is old, 50 is really old, 60 is ancient, and 65 is ridiculous. And most folks in America – both young and old – realize that our current Social Security system is the most massive Ponzi scheme of all time. Young folks will never receive a penny of what they contribute. So why wait? Why not cut off all payouts from Social Security now? Money comes in, but nothing goes out. Everyone over 65 is eliminated. All of their assets go to big government; and we can then pay off the national debt, loan money to China and Brazil, and underwrite the Euro. SS China Agents, of course, will supervise. Social Security will become the answer instead of the problem.
The total assets of the elderly in America is a mind-boggling amount, surpassing the combined wealth of 158 poorer countries around the world. Members of Congress (under 65, of course) can divide-up condos, mansions, estates, etc.– but only one each. Since many older folks have funds stashed in off-shore banks, SS troops will be sent to seize these accounts — along with the banks and Caribbean Islands where they are located. Everyone knows that these islands should belong to America anyway.
Many jobs are created. Hawaiian document forgers are overwhelmed with orders for birth certificates showing more recent birth dates. And, of course, a large number of jobs become available to build and operate the Senior Serenity System — a system which eliminates a senior’s aches, pains, worries, and confusion forever. Each facility consists of a very large caldron, capable of holding 1000 seniors, a forge furnace, and a conveyer through a tunnel. SS China agents with pitchforks keep the conveyer running smoothly. Abundant corn oil, unused for ethanol, is used for the boiling-in-oil process. On the 2nd day, the temperature reaches 2,200 degrees — then it is allowed to cool. On the 4th day, funeral parlor workers come to skim off burial bottles, before any flavors are added. Cinnamon, lemon-lime, and chili all seem to work; but the original “Granny” flavor is by far the most popular – whether for Fido and Rover in “Bow-Wow Chow” or George and Larry in “Wham-Bam Spam”. The list of new jobs and other positive ramifications goes on and on.
Alaska Caldron No. 3 could be built at the end of the Bridge to Nowhere. Videos of SS China agents with pitchforks, keeping order on a conveyer, are sold to evangelists, and are shown on large screens at revivals. Since griping, grouching, frowning, and bitching are no longer permitted – SS China agents enforce our happiness. Yippee!
As the elderly disappear, the general health of the population improves dramatically. In fact, Alzheimer’s rarely shows up at all, and Erectile Dysfunction becomes fairly uncommon. Nursing homes can now take in the homeless. There is no more Medicare or Medicaid. Hospitals now compete, using discounted rates. Doctors will have to work for reasonable wages. For instance, a regular MD will receive 2 times the minimum wage. Surgeons get 3 times minimum wage, and the Surgeon General gets a whopping 4 times the minimum wage. How could it be any more fair. Also, it is discovered that swine flu is a by-product of excessive congressional pork spread all across the country – which will be corrected just as soon as pigs fly. Welcome to the new America!
Jake Von Canon
Please feel free to send to everyone you know, ever knew, or never knew.