Archive for September, 2020

49 + 1 = 50
09 26th, 2020

A good Saturday morning to all. As erstwhile candidate Beto would say from atop a kitchen counter; “Hola, ¿cómo estás?” OK, that’s enough of that. Blatantly, I haven’t had any coffee yet.

I despise having to wear those horrid masks when going into stores. Unless you wear a specialized, fitted, medically certified one, they’re useless. The versions you see most commonly block larger than .3-microns; while even the largest Coronavirus diameter is 0.14 microns – people, 0.14 microns is smaller than 0.3 microns and thus will blow right through most masks.

So I’m advocating we start weaning ourselves off the silly things. I recommend that everyone, for the next couple of weeks, wear a veil. Wedding stores are probably hurting these days and will be happy to sell some.

Veils; this gets me to the area of weddings – how’s that for a super smooth segue!

“Our wedding was many years ago. We’re finally beginning to wonder when the celebrations are about to start.” ~ Anonymous

Wedding – Today is the wedding of Taryn Cody Pastoor & Alexander Scott Sun. Taryn is our niece. And this will be our first Covid mandated Zoom wedding. The happy couple will be socially distanced in the backyard of Art and Jolene with a handful of family present. Certainly a colossal difference over what was planned many, many months ago. Even so, were all wishing the happy couple the beginnings of a wonderful life together.

One of the many little social graces that have sprung up over the past few years is something called; “pass it forward”, AKA “Pay it Forward, or AKA “Random Acts of Kindness”.

Marcia and I grabbed hold of this little bit of social kindness, and since today is also our wedding day (50th) we’re passing the special meaning of September 26th on to Taryn and Alex. Take to heart the words of Helen Rowlan; “Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning a handspring, or eating with chopsticks: It looks easy until you try it.” Keep smiling!

Apples – Fall is here! Apple picking time is here! Last weekend the whole of the Pastoor clan drove out to one of the nearby Apple orchards and equipped with bags packed and ate to our heart’s content. Jonathan and Delicious seemed to the varieties we gathered.

The fresh air, the fresh fruit, the gathering of the clan, meant that the whole event was one of pure joy!

EmpowerU, Ohio is an entity I am connected with. It offers a ‘smorgasbord’ of classes on an amazing series of topics; many on topics minimally covered anywhere else – these days it’s all on Zoom. So, on Thursday, I enjoyed an hour and a half lecture/discussion on the life, writings, and person of our 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson. Once loved by folk of all stripes, now, in today’s social-media ‘climate’, more controversial – all akin as it was during his lifetime.

He wrote the first cover of the Declaration of Independence. Amazingly, he wrote this when only 33-years of age. He hated being edited, yet had the ‘group-of-five’ work his material over. Then he sat back at times, and argued at other times, as the 1st US Congress fleshed it out further.

As the founder of the University of Virginia that institution became his pride and joy. He was so involved that on his deathbed he penned his “Resolution of the Board of Visitors”, basically laying out the principles for the school’s curriculum. He’d be shocked to see how the place is managed today – since he was shocked enough to write the document after seeing the campus during one of his last visits there.

Lunken Airport – and it’s SkyGalley restaurant was the destination for Marcia and I for lunch last Saturday. That restaurant has been around about as long as we’ve lived in town and it was closing. It was one of those nondescript style eateries which never really stood out, but you were always happy being there. You know the kind of place I’m talking about.

But what is Lunken Airport? Close by, it is our area’s general aviation facility. Brother George soloed there. For a month or two when it opened it was the worlds largest airport. It was home to the first government approved flight school in the US. And American Airlines was born at the place. And, years ago, as I was taking the kids on a bike ride around the property, we made it just in time to see President Ronald Reagan land there. Yup, Lunken has some serious history.

Covid-19 Update – Just so that you remember that close to half the Covid-19 deaths were residents in Long Term Care facilities. And that it’s these 5 governors who required that these facilities take in Covid-19 patients:
** Cuomo (NY)
** Whitmer (MI)
** Newsom (CA)
** Murphy (NJ)
** Wolf (PA)

Fini – Remember when we were told that our lockdown would last two weeks? Well, the original Border closing to Canada was to last one month. It has just been extended for the sixth time. The latest (and probably not final) edict being; “The Canadian-American border, which has been closed since March 21 in an attempt to curb the COVID-19 spread, has been extended through Oct. 21.” It’s “Woe, Canada” for those of us seeking travel north of the border.

As of late, newscasts are spewing forth with a range of nonsense. On that idiot list is a situation called; “critical race theory.” Look closely at this photo and think for a bit. Then remember the affirmation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of an America in which people are “not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Last evening it was leaked that it seems that later today Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett might get the nod be nominated to the Supreme Court. If so we’ll find out a lot more about her; other than that she is a strong Constitutionalist. After what partisans put Justice Bork through, then Justice Thomas. Their appointments were child’s play compared to what Justice Kavanaugh and his family was put through. These politicians tried to absolutely destroy him and his family. Each time it seems to only get worse with the personal attacks and lies. It was staggering the depth to which he was abused; I hope she gets a fairer, more honest, hearing. I hope that she has a ton of courage.

This week the Senate Intelligence Committee released an 87-page report which is making it look as if everyone except President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. It’s amazing that only one news entity reported on it!

This evening it’ll be dinner to celebrate our Anniversary – outdoors at the nearby Wiedemann brewhouse. This followed by a race home for the Zoom wedding. Somewhere during the day, I’ll try to walk a couple of miles. Whew, busy day – but good!

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

Dirk



A good Saturday morning to all. I opened my eyes & checked the time, 5:00AM on the nose. Most Saturdays I am well underway with these Ramblings by that time. So, 5:00 was a little later than normal, but not late enough to start making ‘late’ excuses. In any case, the coffee is ready, thus ‘awaaaay’ we go. Glad you’re along for the ride.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Passed last evening (in case you hadn’t heard). May her memory be a blessing. As a hard left leaning Justice she had developed a devoted following. And at the same time many of her legal positions were disagreed with by others. This happens when one has and maintains a position based on a core belief.

What stands out most for me was the well-known close friendship she had with hard right leaning Justice, the late Antonin Scalia. This demonstrates that (and especially during these times of extreme political positioning and vitriol) civility can be, and deep friendships can form and grow, while staying true to one’s core beliefs; be these opposite. These two recently late members of our Supreme Court leave this as part of their lasting legacy. RIP – RBG.

Going on Month Seven – Enjoying the six-plus month anniversary to “Two weeks to stop the spread?”

“My friend, Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo: “If reason finally prevails over panic, policy makers will reopen schools and focus on the vulnerable”.” ~ Dr. Simone Gold: MD, JD, FABEM, board-certified emergency physician

Your (my) Political Update – Last weekend a Road Rally rolled along I-275 around Greater Cincinnati: this to show support for President Trump — 9,000 strong. This outer beltway, forming an 85-mile circle, makes for an impressive sight and sign of support. Mentioning this Rally in our neighborhood would have people crossing the street to pass our place.

A new ‘bone’ tossed into the political arena is something called “critical race theory”. During the decade of the Nineties I thought we were well along moving beyond this business of tossing everyone into one ‘silo’ or another – based on race. Yet this business returned under the previous administration and now is picking up more steam. I am happy that President Trump spoke out on the latest manifestation of this ‘theory’ by embracing the principles 0f 1776 over a journalist’s release of something labeled 1619. Likewise, putting a halt to forcing federal bureaucrats to sit through hours of indoctrination sessions; forcing them to learn to feel miserable over their skin color. That whole business is abhorrent!

Lastly, it seems that things don’t change all that much and that people easily forget. This monologue piece is from Johnny Carson the host of The Tonight Show (1962 – 1992) and was from 1987.

Rap – Earlier in the week I was on an afternoon neighborhood walk and came across these neighborhood kids. But first, let it be known that I enjoy all types of music – immensely. This would include most country, especially rock from the ‘golden’ era, Jazz, foreign language material, Classical, Choral, Blues, R&B, need I go on? Then I come to Rap; I detest Rap.

Living on the corner of Chaos and Mayhem I begin to shudder whenever one of those ‘hoopty’ mobiles with their 5,000-amp amplifiers stops at the corner Stop sign and all of our windows start to vibrate. I hate rap.

OK, so I came across this group of local kids. They had a speaker system set up, two were doing the moves, one was filming, and one was Rapping. I stopped. I listened. Then I asked if I could ‘hang’ for a bit and take a picture or two. Then I had a very good time watching these kids work with amazing energy, total focus, and absolutely absorbed in their project. Do I now love Rap? The answer is still No. But, I have gained in appreciation; of the musical style, what goes into it, and the fact that these undeniably motivated  kids rather than just ‘hang’ and get into trouble can channel their energy.

Look closely at the photo, who knows; maybe down the road you’ll recognize a face in some Hip-Hop article showing an emerging star. Go guys!

A Glass Eye – Nearby Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum became the destination point for one of my walks this week. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place with mile after mile of roadway, ponds, and plants (plus a lot of gravesites); and is the final resting place of my parents. Also, I have taken advantage of their events, such as taking a guided nighttime horticultural walking tour. On that tour I learned that there are located three busts in the place where the family had glass eyes placed into the sculpture. This fact I promptly forgot; until this walk.

Turns out that close by to the section where my parents lie is the family grave of a Mr. C.C. Breuer. It is his marker which is one of the three mentioned to have glass eyes. The fascinating thing with the glass eye is when walking past the monument it actually appears that his gaze is following you.

With C.C. Breuer there are two versions regarding the eyes. An optometrist by trade, he committed suicide in 1908, he supposedly requested that his eyes be removed, put in glass, and placed in the bronze bust likeness of himself. The other version is more mundane; purchased glass eyes were used.

Stop by, I’ll give you a private tour and you can decide.

Fini – It’s really beginning to look like the border into Canada won’t open till November. I do want to at least get there to review the status of Northern Comfort and to ensure that it’ll be OK for the hard part of the winter.

I have arranged for our Duck, the little Deux Chevaux, to be secure for the winter. Having put 0 (as in ZERO) miles on a car you love to drive is difficult. But, what is, is.

I drive Marcia crazy whenever she catches me watching a YouTube of some historical WWII black-&-white footage. I never realized that they actually filmed as much as they did – both by the Allies and the Axis. If this is of interest to you just start your own hunt, you’ll be amazed as to what is available. I mention this because today in 1944 was the start of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest – a series of fierce battles fought from 19 September to 16 December where whole armies disappeared in the forest. This fight, on the heels of Normandy, is almost forgotten by the Battle of the Bulge, yet it was horribly fierce.

Yesterday I saw a photo of Paul back in his favorite chair. Welcome home Paul

Marcia’s dad loved taking photos. These, almost all slides, were left by his passing, boxes full of the things. As time marches on these became more and more just potential items from the past to pitch. To the rescue came grandson Marin. He loves photography. He loves technology. He bought equipment to digitize the slide collection. This week he sent out a link for us to view or grab 660 of these transferred so far. Reviving old memories captured decades ago is wonderful – such as the time Grandpa’s whole house was moved several blocks to a new location.

A huge (as in ‘YUGE’) thanks Marin.

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

Dirk


Start of Normalcy
09 12th, 2020


A good Saturday morning to all. Today I did get my order-of-sequence correct so my first, yet un-tasted, cuppa (or is it ‘mugga’?) of coffee is sitting next to me at my desk. Now, let’s get this thing rolling. Here are this weeks Ramblings as of the morning of September 12, 2020.

Contractors – Interviewing a worker for that stunning project you’re envisioning? Tip, check out the ‘wheels’ they drive up in to make their pitch; lots of information to be gleaned. Just sayin’.

Speed of Light – Scientists at M.I.T’s Media lab have created a camera that can capture the speed of light, taking a photo in less than two-trillionths of a second.

To gain perspective, it was pointed out that if we captured a blink filming with that camera we would see the enormity. To gain some perspective, consider that we film our blink at 10-trillion frames per second (lightspeed), then it would take (approximately) 1,900-years to play it back at normal movie speed of 24-frames per second. Just think, start watching that movie of my eyes blinking during the time that Jesus walked the earth and watch my eyelids open fully again right about the time of World War I. Now, just think that at that speed it still takes sunlight an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth. Yup, that’s the speed of light.

Any Benefits? –

“Sweden, now, looks like a country from a parallel universe. Children didn’t miss a day of school…its economic hit was half of ours” (Britain). ~ Fraser Nelson

Stanford Professor Jay Bhattacharya, director of Stanford’s Program on Medical Outcomes as well as the director of the school’s Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging, found it “”shocking” that, as countless countries earlier this year moved to shut down ahead of COVID-19, and then forgot to “think about both the cost and benefits” of such policies.” Why this ‘Lockdown’ mitigation strategy?; “when there had been a playbook … to address the epidemic in ways that took into account both the cost and benefits of the policies.” (interview with John Solomon in Just the News)

Now from the New York Post comes this; “Teachers are fighting tooth and nail to prevent reopening public schools for in-person learning — in the name of safety. Yet our just-released study suggests that these reopening decisions have more to do with influence from teachers’ unions than safety concerns.”

Cincinnati’s public school system with 35,000 students has had ZERO Covid-19 deaths in their population. There is NO transmission of student to adult pattern. Yet, there is no in-person schooling in the Cincinnati public school system. All surrounding suburban schools and including several Catholic high-schools schools have sports as normal. Cincinnati allowed for practice but NO games. It’s NOT the science. It’s NOT for safety. It’s NOT for wellbeing.

What it is, is POLITICS and the large Teachers Unions. Wake up people!

Cafê Vivache – Wednesday Marcia and I tasted normalcy! After six months it was finally the total experience. We watched and were perfectly mesmerized by a live concert, enjoyed a steaming bowl of West African Peanut Stew (one of our favorites) and some flatbread along with a glass of Malbec.

The group we enjoyed was Trihos Urbanos. Husband and wife team (both instructors at Miami University) of CCM graduate João Rocha and Dr. Paula Gandara (Professor of Lusophone Studies). Percussions were managed by Baba Charles Miller displaying the percussive traditions of Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. It truly brought me back to some of the haunts I so loved on my times in Brazil. This YouTube was the evening’s finale, Another LINK here is to a YouTube of Gandara singing one of her poems and featuring the percussion artistry of Baba Charles Miller:

 

Media – Since the Media cannot extend one good day to our President I felt the need to let you know that in the past month:
** President Trump brokered peace and trade between Israel and the UAE.
** Peace between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel.
** Economic normalization between Serbia and Kosovo (96% Muslim).
** Has been nominated for two Nobel Peace Prizes.

Efforts had been made without success for decades by both Republican and Democratic Presidents. So what does The Atlantic quickly write? “End the Nobel Peace Prize – The Trump nomination shows that peace had its chance, and blew it.” [Sept 11, 2020]. These people are psychotic fools!

Fini – Recently I joined an online international group primarily because of our little Citroën Deux Chevaux-vapeur or 2CV (“two steam horses” a French taxing designation). One specific I looked for was replacement of the disc on the under-hood disc parking brake. Here’s what I have learned so far; that the hydropneumatic suspended Citroën’s were used for many years as camera cars for horse racing. Always start learning about the important stuff first.

Some people have that extra measure of ‘zest’. This past week back in 1955, and at age 67, grandma Emma achieved her goal. Months earlier Emma Gatewood told her children that she was going for a walk – they didn’t ask where. She did go on a ‘walk’, a 2,165-mile walk, and became the first woman to complete the Appalachian Trail solo and in a single season.

Yesterday we honored the fallen and celebrated the first responder heroes from the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center destruction, but still, we have no functioning Visa Exit System. This was ‘merely’ the top item (as in #1) on the 9-11 Commission recommendations list. Yesterday it was a parade of somber faced politicians on video and posing for photographs as they uttered hollow words; most all phonies, fakes, and hypocrites.

transcript of a Voice Mail sent from the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Somerset County, PA

My niece, Lori, took this noontime photo from in front of their home in Clackamas County, Oregon. Keep her and her family in your thoughts, as well as all the people of Oregon, Washington State, and California who are dealing with these horrendous forest fires.

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

Dirk


109
09 5th, 2020


Saturday morning and waking up I heard Marcia’s scanner tell police that ‘Shot-Spotter’ heard “shots fired” in more than one location. The city never sleeps. Here, even traffic passing by the corner of Chaos & Mayhem has eased up. Having begun on these Ramblings, Mr. Coffee just alerted me that my first cup-of-Java is ready. So let’s get started. First, remember this is day 177 of the 14-day lockdown to “flatten the curve”.

If you could see me this morning, I’d look a little different to you, a little ‘hunched’. Carrying a heavy box of stuff home from Costco I twisted putting it into the truck bed and pulled a muscle. So here I sit with my Home Depot back-brace. My mother would have called it ‘Lumbago’; remember that term? Even so, Fitbit gave me this bit of wake-up news this morning.

Which does remind me, now that all the tests are in from my recent physical; I find that I am in great shape. So, best discard the back-brace thingy as quickly as I can.

The Nutty Season – is now in full swing as both political conventions are behind us. This week I spotted a video of Senator Menendez walking around a restaurant with no mask. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just officiated a wedding with no mask (while undergoing cancer treatments). Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her hair done (illegally) without sporting a mask. Yet, their party and to a person, they say we can’t vote in person. Liars!

Speaking of Nancy Pelosi;

“an eighty-year-old woman who’s having a cat fight with her hair lady is in line for the Presidency.” ~ Anna James Zeigler

Ponder that for a minute!

“Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, and then it tries to silence good.” ~ Archbishop Charles Caput

Birthdays – This week my mother would have celebrated her 109th birthday. An only child growing up in a military household and educated as a teacher she was much stronger than we (my brothers and I) realized. She got married at the outset of WWII in occupied Netherlands – to an outgoing sales-type husband. It took a yeoman’s sales job by her to convince her dad that marrying such a person was a good thing.

Under the laws of the time, getting married and planning on kids, meant that she had to quit her teaching profession; times were different then. The difficult war years faced her. I was born during that time; at home. Also, this new husband got involved in efforts to do damage to the occupying forces and aid their Jewish friends – getting caught could be disastrous (I do remember him being taken away twice and managing to clear himself each time).

A decade after her marriage we were in North America, all without her knowing or speaking a single word of English. A short decade later, our dad, her hubby, died leaving her with four (difficult) sons to raise and minimal income.

She managed. She actually succeeded and blossomed (thanks Madeira Garden club). Thanks mom. Loved you and still in my heart.

     

I did head this portion “Birthdays, in plural. That is because my brother George had his birthday this week. George exhibits a problem that many of us guys have. Asked what we want as a gift and we get tongue tied. Of course the solution is to plan ahead and to speak up. Our local sage, Earl Pitts “Uhmerikun”, is most eloquent addressing this very issue:

Diverse – As a regular reader you know best how I love to make note of the various happenings here on the corner of Chaos and Mayhem. However, the past couple of weeks it’s been quiet (not ‘serene’ mind you, just quiet). About the only thing that’s different these days is the cadre of Census Takers floating about.

I’ve yet to see a Census Taker display any sense of urgency. Apparently they are not paid on any quota scheme, nor are they paid by ‘successful completions’. In fact, usually they pull up to the curb where they lounge in their car (where I swear they sit and eat bags of yellow Cheese Curls). When done they finally get out and stand on the sidewalk seemingly to take note of the neighborhood. Standing on the sidewalk, not moving, and with a bewildered look; much like a cat walking into a room not remembering why.

Anyway, we are a diverse neighborhood. My squad (recently having become a political term) of four readers is pretty well located in lovely communities spread to most corners of our nation. How many of you can walk around and in fewer than eight houses away see sights such as these? You just have to love it!

Fini – Today in 1793 was the beginning of The Reign of Terror period of the French Revolution. I mentioned our ‘nutty season’, but ours is nothing compared to their series of massacres and numerous public executions which took place in response to some crazy revolutionary fervor. They kept the guillotine, or Le Rasoir National (The National Razor), very busy.

Today in 1957 was the release of ‘On the Road’ a novel by Jack Kerouac. It’s one of those defining a period sort of book and if you haven’t read it you should. This continuing ‘lockdown’ period would be a most excellent time to do just that.

The other day I walked the neighborhood at dusk. In front of one of the houses were three deer. The (large) Buck was partially hidden by some bushes and trees. This Doe was comfortable enough to continue eating. Remember we’re three miles from the center of a good sized city.

A couple of years ago Marin spent the summer as an intern for the Artworks nonprofit agency which uses nationally known artists to have them design art specifically for murals. These are then placed around the city. A new walkway, the Wasson Way trail, at one end has a few commercial buildings. This was placed on one of them. And, this stunning piece is just half of the whole thing.

Remember, today is the running of the 146th Kentucky Derby in Louisvile. This year it’s being held 4-months late due to the ‘vid-19’ – which horses can’t get and people still can’t watch. These are strange times.

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

Dirk