December 15th last year and Marcia and I had just arrived in Michigan for our annual ‘sibs-dinner’ (plus Jeanne’s major birthday party). That same evening it was also our neighborhood’s annual Luminary Walk. At the exact hour that the candles were being lit the snows blew in and a perfect winter’s evening fell into place.

The remainder of December – no more snow. January came and went – no snow. Then came February, and yesterday finally, on the morning of February 7, we had a lovely picturesque snow – 2” of the white stuff. And, the schools were ready. Page after page of school closings were read off on the morning newscasts. Our city school system braved it all and stayed in session. Oh so many parents were totally delighted!

Midafternoon came and I went on my 5-mile walk. The streets were bare and dry as were the sidewalks and walkways. A few patches of snow on grassy surfaces were all that remained. The temperature had climbed to well above freezing and I actually started to overheat a bit. I suspect that spring is beginning to stir. As proof, this morning the Cincinnati Reds equipment truck is leaving for spring training camp in Arizona. Baseball season is around the corner.

All of the above is to point out that a grand weekend awaits. Marcia was up early and had made the coffee by the time I got up and had started a batch of steel-cut Oats. She asked if I had a theme this morning and I guess that my theme is to enjoy all of it.

Optics – It’s been said that all politics is local and personal and is hinged by something called ‘optics’ (today’s buzzword). Without getting too verbose and overly political (in case my kids read the Ramblings) let me just give visual meaning to the best of both the ‘optics’ and substance in the President’s State of the Union message:

What was probably not realized was just how powerfully the opposition played into the evening’s ‘optics’. By the Democrat women’s Congressional contingency dressing in all white, sitting together, so that when a camera passed over it was as if a spotlight had been turned on. The best example was the President’s statements on School Choice and giving a scholarship to a little girl sitting in the gallery with her single mom. They both glowed with joy and much of the assembled roared with approval. Yet, when the camera passed over that block of women in white, sitting on their hands, and with dour looks on their faces, a major message was sent. Any speechifying by them on ‘women power’ ‘people power’ had just become meaningless claptrap. Yup, optics is important.

Impeachment – and the idea for it, was started almost on Inauguration day. As time wore on it became clear that no criminality had taken place. The search for something continued and eventually, sorta out of desperation, the proceedings began to take shape. In the end, by mid-week, the shameful and sham impeachment trial was voted down. It had now become little more than a campaign strategy. I think that the words of Mark Twain best be heeded:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~ Mark Twain

The Corner Rules – Earlier I noted that I enjoyed a good walk yesterday afternoon. On my return, approaching the corner of Chaos & Mayhem, I ended up calling 911. A SUV had piled into a power pole, airbags had popped, and the car’s front end absolutely demolished. A pregnant woman standing outside was bawling and several little ones wailing. I just fail to understand how this all happens. Well marked city streets, dry pavement, and no further than 50’ from three different Stop signs. It’s really beyond me.

From Home to Lot – last week I posted the opening lyrics of that wonderful Joni Mitchell song;

Big Yellow Taxi
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I expected that a week or two and we’d see the change. How about a day or two:

A Frozen Swim – A few weeks ago I joined the YMCA and since have enjoyed doing laps three times a week – it’s delightful.

A week ago required a two day shut down as an exterior wall was repaired. That turned into a few extra days. By Wednesday morning the pool was reopened and I went for it. It was just me, a lifeguard, and water a little beyond the 70-degree mark. A half hour later while on lap 20 I realized I was shivering. Off to the hot showers and ‘mucho’ steam. By 9:00 that evening I was under the blankets since I couldn’t warm up.

During the day, I spotted a new post on Facebook. All the problems seem to relate to the contractor’s clean up: as they were hosing down the repaired area the electric was hit and things fried. I’ll see where things stand on Monday:

Fini – This evening Marcia and I will head out to a performance by our favorite Jazz piano player, Phil DeGreg and his trio. He’ll be joined by international powerhouse Jazz singer Kathy Wade. What’s interesting to me is that I coached Kathy’s daughter in soccer when she was a third/fourth grader. How time flies

This week dynamo Congresswoman AOC clarified that it’s impossible for someone to lift themselves up by the bootstraps. I was so impressed by this bit of wisdom that I’d like her to clarify these:
• “I’m in a Pickle” – how is that possible?
• “Beat a Dead Horse” – would that bring on Animal Welfare?
• “To bury the Hatchet” – what good is a buried hatchet?
• “Its water under the bridge” – probably Global Warming, correct?
• “Cat’s got your Tongue”
• “Pot calls the Kettle black”
• “Raining Cats and Dogs”
Should I go on?

Remember that on this day in 1969 a Meteorite weighing over 1 ton fell in Chihuahua, Mexico. Better ‘keep your eyes on the sky’; did you catch that AOC?

Happy Birthday to twin cousins in Holland, sisters Jacqueline and Karin. Also to Brother in Law David Z

Make it great week and stay safe!
Dirk

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