Archive for July, 2020

Contrarian
07 25th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. Now that my coffee has been poured I want to mention that my morning coffee isn’t just a consumable, it’s my morning sanctuary.

With the continuing ‘lockdown’ it’s come to a point where, when getting up, I slap myself – it’s a new ritual to alert me as to whether or not it’s a new day, or if I’m just waking up from a nap. This lockdown business is keeping me tired to the point of wishing it was garbage day; those trucks are amazing and watching them perform their ‘magic’ is absolutely captivating. Is it wrong to sit by the window and wave at the garbage workers?

It reached a point where I felt a quick call to ol’ buddy Earl might be what was needed. That’s Earl Pitts, “Uhmerikun” for you who weren’t sure. From what he tells, he has a grip on the situation. Some folk are just smarter than the average bear, here’s Earl:

Coronadoom – This whole Coronadoom period I’ve continued to maintain my daily walk regimen; in part to keep my sanity. Realize that our neighborhood (including the corner of Chaos & Mayhem) is literally amazing and this makes the going about doable and even fun.

Last Thursday evening at dusk we had quite a downpour. I was looking outside at the pounding sheets of rain just as a convertible drove by – top down. I was caught gawking. The driver of the top-down convertible did have an umbrella opened up, leading edge tucked by the sun visor and the rear jammed between the back of his head and the head rest. It all seemed just a bit too normal Reminded me of Dire Straits singing in their song Money for Nothing; “that’s the way you do it.

Earlier in the week we had a bit of a rain and wind storm. Our neighborhood has no nearby trailer parks. I suspect that the wind therefore took aim at any available chimney. This was what I spotted at a house around the corner; house – 0, wind – 1.

Five houses down the street I spotted a Salvador Dali-esque apparition parked curb-side. That really does look like it belongs.

Walking, I am now also keeping track of passing cars with just a driver inside who’s dutifully (OCDC?) wearing a face mask. I plan to avoid these characters when I happen to be driving somewhere, just in case they collapse from Hypoxemia.

I have caught myself openly singing while walking. I think it’s me fighting for my brothers in California whose idiot governor has outlawed singing in church. On the other hand, I have noticed that when passing someone who asks me; “how is it?” my answer of, “fine” sounds more like an ugly snarl. Yup, in general, my walks are therapeutic, and as I said, “even fun”.

Election Special – First of what could be a new series: As we’re in the beginning throes of another Election Season all sorts of wild idiocy is being hurled at us. This rational information came to mind.

“The reason slavery ended in 1865 and not in say 1900 or 1950 was because the Electoral College allowed a guy who won 37.5% of the popular vote to become President” ~ Miles Smith IV

Contrarian Views – The sad thing with this whole Coronavirus thing is that all the trust for guiding is being channeled through just a very few like minded folk. Dr Fauci is in the lead of that pack and he does not have a perfect record of trust – a quick on-line search will readily track his 40+ year fairly spotty track record.

There are many MDs, Medical Statisticians, and research scientists who hold contrarian views regarding the Corona virus, the forms of treatment, and the management of the virus. Shouldn’t input also have added to a solution?

This single viewpoint has resulted in what I only see as a power grab by many elected officials and bureaucrats. They’ve subjected us to massive levels of onerous regulations and restrictions; bypassing the fact that we in our nation do have due process protections. That these restrictions must be put in place by the least restrictive and most narrowly tailored means. I’ve now been watching as the courts are beginning to react to lawsuits dealing with this. However, so much damage has been done – and much of the damage was not for the betterment of the population at large. Are you listening Governor DeWine?

Fini – Last evening the 2020 Baseball season started here in the ‘Nati, sans much of anything other than kneeling players. Without digging into the weeds, I’m just mentioning that I’ve decided to skip involvement with Major League sports. Marcia claims that for me that’s like giving up chocolate covered grasshoppers for Lent.

Yesterday 109 years ago (in 1911), the American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu in Peru. Originally believed to be a ‘lost’ Incan city, the prevailing opinion has changed, today it’s that Machu Picchu was not a city in the classical sense of the word but served as an imperial estate, a religious refuge, or a secret ceremonial city. Eighteen years ago it was one of my life’s highlights when I visited the site — SPECTACULAR!

This week the lawsuit filed by the Covington Catholic School student Nick Sandmann against the Washington Post was settled. Sandmann was attending a March for Life march in Washington DC. (2019). The suit was as a result of defamation, in articles printed by the WP. This was the second settlement (CNN was the first) out of 8 such lawsuits filed – NBC, ABC News, CBS News, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Gannett are still being argued. It’s amazing that all these media entities not only saw fit to hastily print misinformation but then continued to repeat and repeat – as the NYT front page reads; “All the News Fit to Print”. Yah, right!

And for everyone complaining when meal service is canceled on a flight. Remember that today in 1909 French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the English Channel in an airplane – around 22-miles.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.

Dirk


30 Years Ago
07 18th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all.

Here we are again. What a perfect time to properly set your watch or clock. Click on the audio link and be poised to set time perfectly and sip some coffee while listening.

Soon it will be 30 years ago since the Berlin Wall came down. I remember it vividly. Suddenly I found myself listening to Klaus Meine sing with the German band Scorpions to what had quickly become the, de facto, anthem of the time; Wind of Change. Why bring it up? I had hoped to be in Canada where I could crank the sounds up while organizing Northern Comfort after its extra-long ‘winter’ hiatus. Now we’ve just been informed that the border will stay closed through August (maybe even longer). See the border theme? I guess more news to follow – in the meantime I’ll be here in the ‘Nati!

But there is more to my reflections on the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was emblematic of how the German nation was torn in half immediately after WWII. West Germany buried its past, embraced democracy and Capitalism and thrived, rapidly gaining its power-house nation status in Europe. Alongside that nation’s growth its citizenry thrived. At the same time the new East Germany buried itself under the burden of Marxism; saddled with the dictatorial edicts of Communism.

When the wall was torn down I remember watching TV as thousands upon thousands of people streamed through to the West; for the first time setting foot into personal peace and freedom. Now, thirty years later the former East is, in many ways, is still trying to catch up with its Western brothers and sisters. Escape wasn’t easy, even after gaining the freedom to do so.

Why do I even bother digging into this? The Berlin Wall was built to keep people in. Many died trying to escape and those who made were warmly embraced by the West, each success making headlines across the world.

But my real reason is to bring to light a bit of what we as a nation are facing these days. Sure, the language has softened, and been ‘sugar’ coated, but Marxism is beating at our own ‘gates. Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter (BLM), Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors during an interview had Cullers exclaim; “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

Extreme ‘progressive’ Governors and Mayors in many of our major cities are allowing BLM and Antifa anarchists with their Communist underpinnings free reign and they are busily destroying cities into their world vision. The ‘Cancel Culture’ has gained speed and is now freely being allowed to erase our nation’s history –making it impossible to better ourselves by learning from history as names of founders, statues, and ideas are quickly being erased — and we’ve derided the Taliban for doing just this?  Bernie Sanders, looking a bit like a crazy professor to many, has managed to push one of our major Political Parties into left wing positions deemed impossible even at the time Obama was elected.

Almost 250 years since our nation embarked on our ‘Grand Experiment’ to become the de facto world leader, we are now close suddenly being pushed into an abyss alongside nations such as Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. How did this happen? We only need to go back in time, the time of Greek mythology when ‘sweet songs’ were being touted. In Greek mythology, sirens (creatures half bird and half woman) were known for seducing sailors with their sweet voices, and, by doing so, lure them to their deaths. In mythology it was a simpler time and sailors only needed to place wax in their ears to stay their course. We require much more, 250 years of effort and hard work building our nation lost in a blink — or in an election!

Currently we’re facing an onslaught, a barrage, a tsunami all pushing us into the direction from which East Germany finally escaped! Stay true to our ideals and plow through beyond this ‘surf’ to enjoy what we had and what we still want to attain; Wind of Change;

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind…..

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change…

Coronadoom – Over the past weeks I’ve blathered enough on the Corona virus. So, this week a few voices, each more eloquent than mine;

“If you don’t think the Controlavirus is going to disappear like magic after the November election – pull my finger” ~ Catturd™

There is a great lesson to be learned from my experience handling COVID.. trust your people. Don’t lay down mandates that are going to hinder the flexibility that they need to really get through this difficult time” ~ Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota

”Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” ~ George Carlin

Foods – are what we’re using, in part to get through all of this. Last weekend it was dinner at our favorite pub, Gordo’s. Marcia drools for days just thinking about their Pear & Blue Cheese Salad. Me, it’s a pint of ice cold draft Lager.

Last evening our neighborhood again organized to get one of the area’s great variety of food specialty trucks to make a stop. Placed the order on-line on Thursday, and was given a pick-up time of 6:06 on Friday. So, last evening we totally enjoyed our Korean Rice Pot dinner from Red Sesame Korean BBQ. Worthy of FIVE Stars.

Fini – Next Friday Baseball season starts – months late and without fans it really is a bit of a joke. Just imagine the roar of the crowd when on this very day in 1927 Ty Cobb hit his 4,000th run. Nevertheless, Go Reds!

This day, but back in 1969, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick island……the rest of that story lives on and on in infamy.

RIP Congressman John Lewis, he was one of the few remaining icons of the Civil Rights movement, he passed yesterday. But, also today we can celebrate the life of the first black American to receive the Medal of Honor. On this day in 1863 during the assault on Fort Wagner, SC, Union Sgt. William Harvey Carney, a former slave, despite serious wounds struggled across the battlefield carrying the Union flag which earned him that honor. The award was given to him in 1900.

It’s a new day (future trend?) in the emerging world of ‘Corona-Weddings’. Paul and Dia, in Michigan, watched via Facetime as granddaughter Sierra got married in California. Their toast on their porch never tasted as good. Much happiness Sierra.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.

Dirk


Occam’s Razor
07 11th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all.

Sorry for the late post. While I was preparing the Ramblings, Marcia spotted a bicyclist falling hard right here on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem. The rider was banged up but OK. I ended up driving bicycles, hubby, and her back to their home for cleanup, etc.  So, lets get ‘rolling’ (pun).

The dog days of summer are upon us, at least in these parts. The good news being that we’re getting (almost) a daily dose of ‘pop-up’ showers. A few of those ‘pop-ups’ have chased me down, including one on yesterday’s morning walk. To beat the rain and lightning coming at me I cut across the campus of Xavier University as a shortcut. The view was amazing.

Earl Pitts – had some thoughts. Our ‘voice in the wilderness’, Earl Pitts has been stewing. It seems that he feels he’s lost his manliness during the lockdown – resulting in some scary moments. Here, I’ll let him explain it himself:

Traffic Lights? – Our governor has re-invented the traffic light, this one for the virus. Coming out with a slew of mumbo-jumbo numbers (which really are incomprehensible) during the regular ‘whining with DeWine’ hour it was announced that our county now falls in the ‘red’ zone – mandatory masks when outside.

“When I watch terrified people wearing facemasks…in the outdoors…alone with nobody else around…I think “television is the world’s most dangerous drug” ~ Martin Geddes

So much for the original “two or three weeks to Flatten the Curve then ‘herd immunity’ will take hold” (that was last March). What’s happening now is beyond just a health matter when we have a 99.85% survival rate. Yesterday the first lawsuits had been filed.

Why all the hoopla about just wearing a mask Dirk? Well, I took college level chemistry way too many years ago but still remember what a ‘petri dish’ looks like. And, as someone smarter than me wrote;

“If you want to catch the ‘rona, I recommend wearing a moist, a sweaty, germ-trapping mask over your nose and mouth everywhere you go. Be sure to touch your face, adjusting your moldy mask frequently too.”

Fresh air, sunshine, distancing, and frequent hand washing will totally suffice, thank you very much.

Actually, I am following “the science” listening and following the pronouncements made early on by our Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Dr. Birx, and Dr. Fauci who then stated masks were not warranted; that was a time when they were still talking science, unencumbered by politics.

Our weekend vacation – Last weekend we went to a B&B about 45-minutes from our corner of Chaos & Mayhem. Staying in Rising Sun, Indiana, a part of that state we’d really never explored. That was then capped by a ferry-boat to cross the Ohio River to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky and back home. Not being being ‘G’ folk (golfers or gamblers), there was nothing to do; this meant we had the BEST time in a long time. A weekend of just watching the river glide by, visiting some quaint shops, eating the best made – plain country – food, and meeting the nicest people. Since the county we were in had only experienced a single virus case early on, life was now back to normal, and that was both very obvious and welcome. Where else could an after dinner drink complete with good folk and a cigar be enjoyed inside at the bar. It was grand!

                    

Rabbit Hash – population about 300 is a complete throwback to the early 1800s and driving there is a motorcyclist’s paradise. The town’s Mayor, Brynneth Pawltro, a Pit Bull, was still sound asleep when we were walking around.

   

What became my highlight was crossing the Ohio to Kentucky. I was invited to run the car Ferry (holds about 7 to 9 cars). No fear, I was supervised by a Master pilot — and no, that wasn’t Marcia. The job, on one hand, is simple. On the other, considering the river’s current, ramp angle, etc., it’s also more difficult than I at first thought. It was a BLAST!!

Fini – Happy Birthday this past week to Marin. He’s so busy that we’ve yet to see him in person to wish him another great year.

Tomorrow it’s brother Pieter’s Birthday. And for those wondering, he still hasn’t caught up to me.

Since ‘Hamilton’ is still the hottest musical around. Today early in the morning in year of 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey, Vice President Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had their duel. Hamilton died the next day.

Today is also the Birthday of two lookalikes – at least by facial images. Popular actor (The King and I) Yul Brynner (1920-1985) and Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland (1274-1329).

To show how malleable our language is, here is how Robert the Bruce’s name has appeared over the years; Medieval Gaelic: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Brus; Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys; Early Scots: Robert Brus; Latin: Robertus Brussius. For some reason this stuff has always fascinated me.

During this time of upheaval and extremist mob activity appreciate and keep the members of the thin blue line in your thoughts.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! Remember; All Lives Matter.

Dirk