Archive for August, 2020

Cringe
08 29th, 2020

A good Saturday morning to all. And for me, my coffee is almost ready. The audio piece above I put there to alert any walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and traffic passing by the corner of Chaos & Mayhem to ease up since I am working on these Ramblings. Not so sure it’ll help though.

“This COVID mess is a great reminder that there’s nothing more permanent than ‘temporary’ government intervention.” ~ Rogan O’Handley

Day 170 of the 14-day lockdown to “flatten the curve”.

I’m beginning to place some reality on a fear that as Governors run out of dialogue about “doing anything to save lives” regarding COVID, it will quickly translate into propagating ongoing lockdown measures through the flu season, even if COVID ceases to be a threat.

Cringe – Really, I was expecting some serious ‘cringe’, and was prepared to just watch a slight bit and maybe (at most) a flick back and forth as I started watching the Republican Convention this week. This thing was so well put together that the biggest problem was that there were NO ‘pit’ stop pauses!

Very few Politicians ‘blathering’ (which I loved), but each evening filled with ‘real’ people. Each giving and highlighting their personal story, some brought a smile others brought a tear or two. People like Herschel Walker (NFL great), Clarence Henderson (1960 Greensboro, Woolworth Sit-Ins participant), the widow of Captain Dorn (the retired black Police Chief murdered while aiding a friend), Alice Johnson (who was given a full Pardon during the convention), Mr. & Mrs. Mueller (parents of Kayla an aid worker abused and murdered by ISIS), and on it went.
Each evening filled with policy specifics, optimism for the future of our country, and assurance that EVERY American deserves opportunity.

Having seen most every Democrat and Republican convention decade after decade; this one was amazing.

The singer is superstar Tenor Christopher Macchio who afterwards said;

“what the 1st family did for me tonight is something I’ll never forget. They stood in regal nobility as I performed with tremendous love and pride in my heart for a nation grateful for their commitment to saving our culture and way of life.”

Losing it – A couple of days ago I walked somewhere around 6-miles going through the O’Bryonville neighborhood – where Marcia had her flower shop 30 some-odd years ago. By the time I had reached that area, in the heat and humidity, I was kept busy wiping sweat off my brow.

That’s when I spotted this truck – snagged a picture – and was amazed. I thought; “only in America would one find a mobile ‘Shrub’ vendor”. When I came home and cooled off a bit I said what I had thought earlier and showed Marcia the picture I’d taken. “You idiot, they’re selling ‘SCRUBS’, not shrubs,” was the snap-back response. Whoops!

Checkup – Mid week I had my medical checkup. Based on some of the tests results already in from my blood-letting, all is fine (actually excellent). The remaining test results to come anytime.

The highlight of the event’s experience is the Phlebotomist, that woman is amazing!

Kenosha, WI – Another character with a lengthy rap sheet got shot when not complying with a Police order. Another opportunity to loot, burn, and hurt citizens going about their daily business. Then have this spread across to other cities by cadres of paid thugs and anarchists.

The reality is that a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

There is an average of 27 deadly-weapons attacks on officers per day in the U.S.

Having interacted with police in our town for a period of years, these are good men and women, professionally doing a job that can turn life threatening in a mere second. A dangerous job most of us can barely fathom.

Tile gluing – Yesterday one of the marble tiles in our building’s entry way came loose. No problem. Clean the thing up, get some tile adhesive, and re-set the thing. Last evening after dinner I headed for the Home Depot and got what I needed. Question; when on earth did the descriptive verbiage on packaging become akin to having to read a chapter book?

Fini – Today it’s a Happy Birthdays to our Vaioleti. She’s now part of that ‘pre-teen’ world – more mature, less child-like, and a bit more introspective. Rain this morning and sunshine this afternoon, that’s when we’ll gather at her house for a bit of a celebration. Brother George will get his turn later this coming week.

Today, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina (a Category 5 storm) hammered the Gulf Coast. The reporting of that storm was similar to that of Laura which hit a couple of days ago. More devastation, more cleanup, more rebuilding; and so it goes; Mother Nature is still in charge.

Michael Jackson would have been 62 today. Which reminds me. This week I saw a photo of President Lincoln taken shortly before he was shot (colorized by Marina Amaral). Strange, in my mind’s eye he’s always seemed this old ancient historical person. This time, he appears as a vigorous middle-aged man with some serious ‘weight’ on his shoulders.

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

Dirk


wang dang doodle
08 22nd, 2020

A good Saturday morning all; my morning White Castle diner coffee is still a treat! And we’re baaack.

Not back from Canada though – the Ports of Entry opening date has now been moved back to the tail end of September. We’ve missed all of summer. The new date, if it holds, might mean we’d catch the trailing end of the Fall Color season; anything later it’ll be cold winds, rain, and possibly snows. Northern Comfort has been a lonely place in 2020. Our poor little ‘Duck’ (Deux Chevaux) has not communicated with us the whole year. Even the extra day, 366 this year, is not helping. It’s a sorry state of affairs.

“’Mailgate’ is the most pathetic attempt to grasp at straws and deflect from policy that I have seen this election cycle.” ~ George Papadopoulos

Just an insight; India has no absentee or early voting. Their citizens all vote on ONE day, using their National Voting Picture ID. One billion people – very accurate results. Hmmmm?

This past week was the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment, known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920. Unknown by me was the fact that Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 (big bucks for that time) for voting illegally in 1872. This week President Trump pardoned her posthumously on that anniversary date. Also, were you aware that all of these early feminists were pro-life? Anthony called abortion “child murder”.

Wang dang doodle – The craziness of our Chaos & Mayhem corner had gotten to Marcia. What to do? What to do? Then it hit home; we’d have a ‘wang dang doodle’; celebrate birthdays, and head for the Lodge at Hueston Woods. We had an amazing time. Swimming for the kids, Tevita taught Vai and Vili how to shoot his Cross bow at the Archery Range. We played Disc Golf, The Os rode their bikes, and I managed to walk close to 25 miles. What a weekend!

 

These shots were not a ‘one-off’, they hit dead center at 70-feet time after time! Did better than yours truly, much better.


Covered Bridge – The nearby (to Hueston Woods) town of Oxford is the home of Miami University. Miami is the 10th oldest University in the nation and the campus looks like it’s an Ivy League school. Oxford is lovely and Marcia and I managed to get to the town-square Farmers Market and ate some amazing Pub food. But that’s not all.

Just outside the city limits is their historic (1868) 3-story Black (Pugh’s Mill) covered Bridge. It’s one of the few still standing on location and on the original timbers. Very cool!

Police – We’ve all heard of the ‘whacko’ Defund the Police movement in too many crazy ‘progressive’ cities; New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, and Austin to name some. As of late our city’s Council has swung a hard left and now it too can be viewed as the ‘City Clowncil”. 60,000 signatures were needed to get a ‘defund’ on our November ballot – they couldn’t come up with the required number. Yesss!

Keep in mind that after our 2001 riots, under Federal Court supervision a massive ongoing training and restructuring program of our police force took place. Currently the Cincinnati Police department is a national model. To disband this force is beyond nutty.

I believe that our local sage, Earl Pitts “Uhmerikun”, could shed a bit of light on all this business.

Beatles Concert – The Beatles were in town – 54 years ago. August 21, 1966 was the date and old Crosley Field was the place. It was the fourth American and became their final commercial tour. I was driving on Interstate-75 South heading towards Kentucky when I saw traffic slow down and a number of cars parked on the shoulder of the highway. I pulled over and asked who the Reds were playing; then was told that it was the Beatles Concert. I think I did hear (nearly) one complete number (splendidly mixed with passing diesel engine roaring) before Troopers moved everyone out of there – no fines were issued.

That day, they played a daytime show in Cincy (should have been on the 20th but changed due to rain) then on to St. Louis for an evening show at the old Bush field. Later it was reported that on the short flight between the two cities the lads talked and made up their minds to stop touring. Think that playing two shows in one day was the catalyst?

Fini – Happy Birthdays to Adrianne on Monday, and Sis-in-Law Sandy on Tuesday. Then Vaioleti will celebrate her big ‘last-before-teen’ Birthday on Saturday. I once read; “a (birthday) celebration isn’t complete without some reflection and introspection. Take the time to look behind you; the clues to your future are in there.”

Now that we’re back we’ve taken notice of a brigade of Census 2020 takers storm (well not really – ours tend to be more like turtles) through the neighborhood. Most knock on a door for a bit and wander off. Wouldn’t it be easier if they changed the census date and have the Census form as an add-on to the IRS Tax filing? I read where the completion rate to date is in the low 50%. I’d put odds on a much better rate with my idea.

26 Wildfires and a bad heat wave in California. Stay safe to all my family spread from north to south in the State; keep them in your thoughts.

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

Dirk


A Break
08 14th, 2020

A break from the corner of Chaos & Mayhem.

We were beginning to find it difficult hanging out, incessant Mask wearing, and the all day long non stop Covid-19 hype. We needed a break!

While you’re reading this we’re on our way for a long weekend at Hueston Woods Lodge and State Park. look at these few photes and be jealous.

I’ll be back on schedule beginning Saturday August 22, 2020

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

Dirk


Power
08 8th, 2020


A good Saturday morning all. During these ‘special’ times, here’s my thought for the day:

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali

“Thursday time to feed the cat” goes the saying. We don’t have a cat, so Marcia and I celebrated anyway and ended up at Quatman Café, one of our standby favorites. Our table was cleverly “Socially Isolated” through the use of several screens borrowed from my Proctologist’s office. But hey, they did the job.

Since most professional sports are a bit of a joke this year, plus all their political statements which I don’t need to have parked in front of my face – I’ve not watched any. However, at Quatman’s, hanging across from our table was a large screen showing the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks game. Most every Jersey had a saying written on the player’s back – all the mundane and approved stuff you’d expect. Except for one, that of Miami’s #28, Andre Iguodala; on his was printed “Group Economics”. Not sure exactly what he meant by it, but I could appreciate. Maybe it was Nike related?

Walking – was becoming a bit boring and so I’ve set forth on some new ‘highways and byways’. This past week it was lovely. In the back area of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum I almost walked into three Bucks. I also made note of the passing of my dad, 56 years ago this week, as I walked past my parent’s gravesite.

At Rookwood Commons I came across this lovely LTI old London cab. It’s been at least 15+ years since my last ride in one during a London stopover.

On Wasson Way, one of our newer walking trails, I stopped for a moment to admire these high schoolers busy at work with the latest ArtWorks undertaking. It was a couple of years ago that Marin managed to get involved with ArtWorks where he worked for the summer on another of their projects. It’s a great learning activity for students, for artists an opportunity to gain note, and for the citizenry something beautiful to enjoy.

Power Bill – In Canada we have Hydro-One. Each bill comes with its own set of ‘hydro-glyphs’. The larger chunks I can figure out. The small bits and pieces add-ons are a grand mystery, but at least I only get it every three months.

Here back home I have done the right thing. I opted for the paperless model to singlehandedly save the planet by receiving an auto-pay e-Bill. Now comes this. Recently we’ve been scammed by the (now former) Ohio Speaker of the House to the tune of $62,000,000. He had skillfully maneuvered an extra bit of alphabet soup onto everyone’s power bill; it’s been a steady revenue stream.

Then looking at my new monthly bill, it dawned on me that my e-Bill only contains a ‘Total Due’ amount. To gain the details I would have to climb through a series of hurdles and into my actual account. Once there I was amazed at the ‘a few pennies here and a few pennies there’ acronym add-ons. It’s almost impossible to make any sense of it.

At this point I felt a little insight from ol’ buddy Earl might be good. That’s Earl Pitts, “Uhmerikun” for you who aren’t familiar with the sage.

Pizza – Marcia and I ‘attended’ our City’s School Board meeting. Did so virtually; did so over Pizza; and ‘peppered’ the meeting by us commenting continuously.

The result was pre-ordained and so the conclusion was not negotiable. The Cincinnati Public School System would not start this month; instead classes would start on-line from home. All was explained through the use of a series of glib Power Point slides. One of the key presenters joined remotely – and the audio ‘crapped’ out. I looked at Marcia and mentioned that what we were watching had been put together by an IT Specialist and it failed, how then would it all work with third graders in a class setting? I think not!

Most western nations, many school systems in our country, are all opening schools. These are all realizing that it is, “imperative to the normal development of our nation’s children” – Dr. David Samadi. And should you hear scare stories regarding Covid-19 transmission. Remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics flat out states; “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame”

I’ve read and think it correct, the statement that currently the Coronavirus is 90% politics and 10% medicine. It’s time for politics to socially distance from medicine.

In Cincinnati, the Teachers Unions won out. Students are the losers. Parents will feel the hurt. Continue on this path and educationally the students will lose a year academically, and emotionally/psychologically/socially we’ll be on a path to lose a generation. That is really ‘The Science’.

Fini – We’ve all seen some old Western movie featuring a train robbery. However, today in 1963 was ‘The Great Train Robbery’ at Bridego Railway Bridge in Buckinghamshire, England. It’s the name given to a £2.6 million mail train robbery (the equivalent of £41 million today). Some of the gang escaped, some were tried, two then escaped. But, what I thing is best of all is that one of the jurors during the robber’s trial was called Mr. Greedy.

In Illinois a school system does not want its students to copy the habits of their ‘work from home’ parents. They want students to take remote learning seriously and have implemented a dress code for those sitting at home in front of their computers – no PJs

Starting Tuesday August 11 remember, it’s probably not a Jehovah’s Witness at the door, but just your friendly Census taker.

And last, this week a reporter asked President Trump why his guests weren’t social distancing or wearing masks. His immediate retort: “It’s a peaceful protest.” It made my day.

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

Back the Blue

Back the Blue

Dirk


Light Hearted (mostly)
08 1st, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. A week of new coffee filters, switched from brown to white. For you who have always wondered, no taste difference. It’s still great.

Coronadoom – is with us and won’t go away. Some crazy color scheme has kept Ohio guessing – I believe our county is now ‘Covid Hot Pink’ – but ask what that means and you get a blank stare. I think that what creates the anger and the mental health issues is in part due to the arbitrary, capricious, subjective, and illogical edicts made by unelected bureaucrats and imperial politicians (this week our State generated complete ban on pharmacies to fill prescriptions for HCQ, this was reversed by our courts within a day – whoopsy-daisy).

At the same time options differing from the ‘proscribed’ are flat-out banned even though front line fully certified Doctors from across the country offer alternatives and hope. >>>Click underlined Below<<<

Press Conference of America’s Frontline Doctors

Funerals are tightly controlled, yet we see a dignitary’s massive event with a completely packed sanctuary. As of last evening, no drinks to be served after 10, and doors closed by 11; huh? And so it goes; this while the death count is quite similar to the annual flu. It’s a bad joke except for the power grab which will quickly become a new norm. The latter is no joke.

Music – Last Saturday I ‘repackaged’ myself with a bit of immersion. It was a couple of hours with Randy Bachman’s ‘Vinyl Tap’ show on Canada’s CBC-1. Randy was a founding member of the classic rock band The Guess Who and hard rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive. Last Saturday, his Vinyl Tap’s subject was “He – She music”; a piece introduced and then re-popularized by someone from the other gender.

So, here are a couple of ‘bits’ to clear your head. What would a Boy-Band from the 1870s look like? The heartthrobs of yesteryear.

We all know the amazing career that the Bee Gees had. Their impact on popular music would have been clipped dramatically had the early lyrics to one of their most popular pieces been recorded. But they were! And, had this version not ended up as a pile of tape on the studio floor, their career would have ended tragically:

Landscaping — We live less than three miles from our city center, and the ‘Nati does fall around the top 30 largest places in the nation. Therefore, I was a wee bit more surprised to discover that ten or so houses from our corner of Chaos and Mayhem five Goats were busily cleaning up a yard. Yup GOATS! Their back yard goes up a steep hill for about 80 feet and was overgrown. Five hungry Goats complete with their multiple stomachs were brought in to tackle the job. 

   

I told you these Ramblings would be light-hearted.

“I was surprised….sometimes you find something that you didn’t expect.” ~ Danish cheese and microflora study co-author Morten Rahr Clausen, a postdoc in the department of food science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

The Cheese – I love cheese. I love really good cheese. ‘Good’ meaning cheese filled with a load of bacteria; aged cheese meets that criteria. This brings me to Jungle Jim’s, our World Market for ‘Foodies’. Their cheese section spans a complete aisle in an average grocery store. And here is where I win taking advantage of our FDA rules.

By edict, food has to have an expiration date – however many cheeses improve with age; something to which the FDA pays no mind. So, I scour the section at Jungle Jim’s which offers products approaching their expiration date and offered at a discount. Yup, I’m not proud; I look for some cheese ‘bonanzas’. Often I am in luck.

Here is a sample ‘find’: A .26 lb wedge of Gourmino Ur Eiche cheese (a raw, cow’s milk cheese made by a mostly female team in the Girenbad creamery in Switzerland) normally at $24.99 per pound I got it for $1.04. I think a Jungle Jim’s staffer asked me why I was doing a jig in the aisle.

Fini – Next week marks the 56th year of the passing of my father. I am already well beyond both in his age at death and years since his passing. It’s all just flown by – life is like that isn’t it? Still miss you dad!

Our ‘Duck’ — this past week marked the 30th year since the Citroën 2CV (French: “Deux Chevaux” i.e. “deux-chevaux-vapeur”, literally, “two steam horses” or two tax horses) stopped with production. Our ‘Duck’ is an air-cooled front engine, front-wheel-drive car. It was introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile. Ours was built in 1989 — during the last month of production at their plant in Portugal.

Today, the first of August in 1944 marks the day that Anne Frank made her final entry in her diary. She was arrested three days later.

Today in 1957 the US and Canada created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This finally allowed us to track Santa Claus on his travels from the North Pole for his annual ‘visit the kiddies’ trek.

Then, this day in 1958 the US Post Office upped First Class postage from 3 cents to 4 cents. Had they ‘bit the bullet’ and moved it directly to today’s 55 cents they might not be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy here in 2020.

A couple of days ago another American hero passed, Herman Cain. With the horror show of political sputtering taking place this election year we should celebrate his life. Here was a man able to establish and live the American dream without tons of ‘let us do it for you’ legislation. He was Black and grew up ‘threadbare’ in Memphis during the Jim Crow period. He became a Navy mathematician later chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Climbed the corporate ladder at Pillsbury, Burger King, then the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, and eventually ran as a candidate for the Presidency.

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

Dirk