Want to know what ‘pettifogging’ means? This will explain; “pettifogging attorneys are the bane of civil society”. If you were one of the 2.5% of the population who bothered to put up with the blather, repetition, and irritation that played on television this week, hour after hour, for days on end, then you know exactly what it means. You were pettiffoged.

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s continue. This past weekend we went to our town’s world food market, Jungle Jim’s; it’s one place where I can get Dutch Rusk. Hence, this morning, I am starting these ‘Ramblings’ with a great mug of hot coffee and a wonderful Holland Rusk or as my mother would say; a “beschuitje”. I know you’re jealous.

So far we’re experiencing a non-winter winter; a bit of frost here and there, some chilly winds, but mostly it’s mild. Yesterday I heard that the last measurable snow was on the 17th of last December.

But meanwhile the winter plods along in shades of dark brown and is mostly dank, and that isn’t what it’s supposed to be either.

“To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” ~ Anonymous

Neighborhood fire becomes opportunity – A week ago, a few doors down a home caught fire. I heard something explode and looked out the window, saw flames, and called 911. The place is completely done in and now is just an eyesore.

This is the story after the story. Marcia wanted me to check whether or not kids were rummaging in the place. So, on my next walk I went over to check things out. Soon the owner of a large multi-unit apartment building came over. Shortly, the Property Manager from the 11-story Belvedere Condominium across the street also wandered on by. Then, the owner of the burned property joined. Now it was serious. We had a ‘confab’.

Forty minutes later a path leading to a solution became a real possibility. The Belvedere needs parking spaces, but not that much space. However, the apartment owner does need a few spaces. The owner of the building needs it cleared. See where this is all heading? Who knows the outcome, but serious discussions are underway and as a neighbor I’ll be rid of an eyesore. Yes!

Jazz Evening – It was Marcia who spotted a likely Jazz evening at Café Vivace. Two groups were on the schedule; Animal Mother and Out on a Limb. Best evening in quite some time.

For two and a half hours we listened to original music (one piece was not theirs). Piano playing that was as good as one could wish for, Sax that was stunning, drums and Base that formed the backbone. And oh, I nearly forgot that it was also the first time that I saw and heard a three-necked guitar being played. It was wonderful! And there we were with some excellent Malbec. Then as it got later, Marcia got a large buttery Scone and I got one of my favorites; a mug of African Peanut Soup and a black coffee.

It’s really good to see a new generation of Jazz musicians coming into their own. Café Vivace billed these groups as ‘Garage’ Jazz Bands. Well. I remember when Janice Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company were also billed as a ‘Garage’ Band – a group that produced some of the best Blues, Soul and Southern Rock And Roll ever produced.

Totally different we were thrilled to have had the opportunity to be part of the artistry displayed by Animal Mother and Out on a Limb. Who knows where these guys will end up on the Jazz scene?

Fini – Next weekend expect The Ramblings to appear on SUNDAY. Saturday morning early I’ll be participating in (what’s now become an annual event) the Cyclone’s Frozen 5/10K. Early weather prediction is partial sun with a high of 48 – so much for the ‘Frozen’ portion of the run.

Care to see what the area around our Northern Comfort cabin looks like? Care to see where one of our favorite Family Style eateries is located? Have this Fly Fishing show introduce you to both as seen through the eyes of Ann and Jim Kehoe owners of the Outpost Lodge which served as the base for the TV production. The Outpost Lodge, on Lake Jobamageeshig, is about five miles north of our place . Put this YouTube on the big screen, put your feet up for a half hour and savor the area we call ‘home’ each summer: https://youtu.be/SUFaiBvH_dc

In the meantime have a look at this two minute trailer of the show:

Yesterday President Trump unveiled the logo for our 6th branch of the military, the United States Space Force. Just thought you’d appreciate.

This past week I spotted a small note mentioning that the iconic Blues musician, Lead Belly (Huddie William Ledbetter), was born this week (January 20) in 1888 in Mooringsport, Louisiana. It reminded me that as a teenager I purchased a small portable record player and Lead Belly’s rendition of “Take This Hammer” was the very first 45-RPM I had – ‘B’ side. Remember those little plastic inserts that allowed 45’s to be played on the much smaller turntable spindles?

Last evening Marcia allowed me in the kitchen where I made dinner; Nasi Goreng. It’s an Indonesian spicy rice dish and a Dutch staple. Dutch you say? Yup. That goes back to days of yore when Indonesia was a Dutch colony. Anyway, Nasi Goreng with shrimp is what it was – and as luck would have it, there is enough left for a wonderful lunch. Wonder how that happened?

Make it a great week and stay safe!

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