The first thing Marcia said when she got up and spotted me keying in these Ramblings was; “well you’ll need a nap later today”. Apparently it was a subtle reference to my coming home at 12:30 this morning. Having said that, I best grab more coffee.

Our St. Valentine’s Day celebration was slightly different this year. Marcia was at home and watched her favorite channels, Circle-R which is the Grand Ole Opry channel and then on the Decades channel a re-run of the old Dick Cavett Show. She was wearing her brand new flannel-like (no little ‘Flannels’ were harmed in the making of the faux flannel) lounge pants and quite likely had a glass of red wine alongside.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, I kid-sat while the parental-units went out for the evening. Eventually, I found Rugby-the-dog laying on the couch next to me with his head in my lap. On a cold night can it get any better?

These couple of days have been the coldest of the winter 13 to 17 degrees in the mornings. Tomorrow it’ll be back into the forties and by mid-week the flood waters will recede.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~ John Ruskin

St. Valentine – I finally discovered the ‘true’ story of St. Valentine. Can’t totally vouch for it, but last evening discovered that he was a sort-of ‘hermit’, living in the upper reaches of lake Tonlé Sap in Cambodia. Once a year he would travel by a rudimentary kind of a boat down that large fresh-water lake and then the 75 miles of Tonlé Sap River to where it connects to another series of rivers. Eventually he would end up by the Gulf of Thailand for his annual ritualistic cleansing.

Along the way he was known for his flower gathering along the river banks. These he would distribute to the women at the shore when he finally arrived at the Gulf.

Over the years people would actually gather to witness Valentine’s annual pilgrimage. And, frenzied, they would anticipate the distribution of flowers. Over time ‘magical’ love properties were attributed to the whole event. Eventually the St. Valentine craze was picked up and promoted by a company named Hallmark; hence, even here in the mid-west it makes women ‘mad’. It’s also suggested that men too use the day to cleanse in the St. Valentine manner, and shave or at least trim their beards.

Audio Books – Once again we think of ourselves as the inventors, this time it’s the Audiobook. Wrong!

Century upon century ago that’s what people had, audiobooks. Listen to a reading of the Iliad, or Beowulf. Even a translation of the Heliand is rhythmically charming. Remember having to read Chaucer in school? These were all audiobooks meant to be read and listened to (especially at a time when the masses could not read).

Ah yes, and we think we’re so smart. Now that the political silly season is in full swing just listen to the many ‘new’ ideas promoted by slick charmers (today’s version of the Snake Oil salesmen of yore). Nearly all tried (and failed) at an earlier time. Just stop and say to yourself; “nothing there, nothing to see here” and go on your merry way.

Jazz – Last Saturday evening Marcia and I went to a wonderful Jazz evening. Phil deGreg and his Trio were masterful (and since they all taught at The University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music they are true Masters). Add to that setting Ken Wade on trumpet and Kathy Wade a jazz singer reminiscent of the greats of yesteryear meant that their final number at shortly after 11 came way too soon.

Canada stuff – Canada for its early history always flew Great Britain’s Union Jack, or Royal Union Flag. Then on this day, February 15, 1965 a formal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II, and the new Canadian national flag was raised above Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The bright red Maple Leaf had become the flag we now all identify as Canadian.

Something which has never changed since about that same time is a little charge the Bell Telephone company of Canada has stuck onto the bill of every land-line still in use; $2.80 for having a push-button phone. For years it’s been impossible to even get a ‘dial’ phone, yet that silly little money grab continues.

Fini – Back to swimming. Pool repairs are complete and the temp is hovering at 80. It’s grand.

Now that this whole idiotic Impeachment business is behind us it’s interesting to note that on this day, February 15, 1798, the first serious fist fight occurred in Congress.

And as a ‘first’ in the wacky world of Climate Change, The London Zoo in 1925 announced it would install lights to cheer up fogged-in animals.

Make it great week and stay safe!
Dirk

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