Archive for October, 2020

Booo!
10 31st, 2020

A good Saturday morning to everyone – caramba! ‘Caramba’, once for the fact that Mr. Coffee is perking merrily. Then secondly, and this not as the catchphrase of Bart Simpson of the Simpsons cartoon, but for the fact that after a summer of lockdowns it’s now already Halloween and Election Day weekend.

In other words, it’s already day 242 of the 15-day lockdown. Congratulations, you made it.

One of the very few happenings this week was the CEOs of the large Social Media giants sitting in front of a Senate committee. At one point Senator Cruz thundered loudly at the head of Twitter:

“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report, and what the American people are allowed to hear? Why do you persist in behaving like a Democratic super PAC, silencing the views to the contrary of your political views?” ~ Senator Ted Cruz

But the net result was, as in the past, ‘crickets’.

One of the few comments came from across the pond, the UK Brexit strategy’s lead, Nigel Farage, who was quoted in The National Pulse; “Mainstream media and their friends in Silicon Valley have covered up and actively suppressed the Hunter Biden corruption story in order to stop Donald Trump winning the election.

However, behind the scenes it does appear there is movement. On October 23rd (former) Naval Lieutenant Tony Bobulinski [former CEO and partner of Hunter Biden’s company – Sinohawk Holdings] was questioned for five hours by six FBI agents and counsel present as a “material witness” in an ongoing Hunter Biden investigation. The wheels turn slowly.

Gerrymandering – is a term we’re all familiar with, all political parties have manipulated voting districts – i.e. ‘gerrymandered’, and it works.

This picture shows how simple it is to move the ‘lines’ to create a ‘winning’ solution. Gerrymandering we understand and easily spot; its so old school.

Nearly a lifetime ago I dabbled a bit in the study of psychology (one half of my undergraduate major). All that remains is that I am still fascinated whenever I run across something encompassing the world of that subject.

Enter Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist from the American Institute for Behavioral Research & Technology (and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today). His team is researching the whole area of internet manipulation and its results. Through manipulation by the simple placement of data on search engine pages – i.e. what appears on a front page and what is pushed back. And, since we’re all so connected and dependent on the internet that the role played by entities such as Google, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, that it’s impossible to escape their manipulation – and they’re busily doing just that. His study to date suggests that possibly as many as 15,000,000 votes have been so swayed in this coming election. Vigilance and continuous questioning are your primary defense.

The picture below is a simple display how it can be done. The display is a search for Australia’s candidates, Abbot and Gillard, and how search placement (rankings) can affect a search outcome. That placement can be further manipulated when adjusted for party affiliation – i.e. it would be presented differently according to your viewpoint:

The manipulation is so difficult to trace and can be ‘adjusted’ so quickly that creating new laws would be impossible. Epstein’s methods have 600 field workers watch ‘over-the-shoulders’ of volunteer users much akin to the old Nielsen tracking for TV. It’s a new world and it’s scary.

Walking – offers much more than just simple exercise. This week I switched around a bit in order that I’d be able to cut through a ‘difficult’ urban area part of town. The sad piece was seeing several vacant houses just sitting and quickly deteriorating. Beautiful structures that at one time were probably filled with laughter and kids running back and forth. Now, its hard work just to keep the addicts out.

On the brighter side, I came across a welcoming BBQ joint; Ike’s Best Barbeque. This is now on our list to try out.

Not Purple – Our Governor, ‘Whiney’ DeWine, declared our county was close, but didn’t quite make it into the dreaded Purple on the Covid-19 color chart. Marcia and I took that to mean an evening for celebration and so last evening we headed out to Gordo’s Pub & Grill. Gordo’s was the destination primarily so that Marcia could get her favorite; Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.

The place was warm and inviting as usual. We had barely sat down when I realized that their music selection started up with the Rolling Stones’, You Can’t Always Get What You Want:

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand……

Since that piece of music is ‘part and parcel’ of the start of a Trump Rally, I only thought it proper to jump up and shout; “USA, USA”.

No I didn’t really. Marcia made me stay put! But I did utter something, to which she made me shush.

Fini – Today in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the doors of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, questioning Catholic Church traditions; especially the corruption he saw in the use of Indulgences. If you don’t know what indulgences are, today’s equivalent would be something akin to Al Gore building a basketball court in his home, then stating he was going to fund the planting of some trees in the Amazon forest to offset the ‘carbon footprint’ he’d created.

The latest extension of my (now favorite) walkway — Wasson Trail is complete. It was a chilly morning and utterly peaceful. Wonderful!

This week we lost a major personality from the Country-Folk scene, Jerry Jeff Walker (1942 – 2020). Best remembered for a song most everyone of us has sung at some time or other from behind the wheel of our cars; Mr. Bojangles. Here, I’ll get you started;

I knew a man, Bojangles and he’d dance for you
In worn out shoes.
With silver hair and ragged shirt and baggy pants,
He did the old soft shoe.
He jumped so high, ………..

Also, on one of my walks I passed our local Harley Davidson dealership. It was Sunday, and I do believe the place was being used to hold the wake of a biker who had passed. Many bikes on the lot, a BBQ food truck, and in front of the entrance was a Hearse – it just had to be.

   

Since the US – Canadian border stayed closed we never made it up to Northern Comfort this season. So, thanks Kim for sharing this drone photograph of the one little spot of civilization near to our place; the town of Thessalon.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy!

Your Vote counts.

Dirk


C’mon Man
10 24th, 2020

A good Saturday morning to everyone. It’s all over, the debates that is. Thursday evening I hung in till beyond the bitter end and saw the whole of the ‘sham’ debate – c’mon man. So now, early morning, and I’m in desperate need of my coffee.

Sizing up the event and capturing the gist of it is this summary; Trump, as the incumbent, brilliantly managed to maintain his status as a political outsider.

“while pushing Biden, a senator for 47-years and V.P. for 8, into the corner as the failed incumbent.” ~ anonymous

Plowing through – Covid-19. My back is better and for the most part the weather cooperated. Also, my IPhone got repaired (for free at an authorized Apple Service Center – something I could never envision), so my walking regimen got back on track on all fronts.

I had a Dermatologist appointment and another for my eye check. When I was told that my eye pressure numbers (which had previously been edging towards Glaucoma status) had decreased (that’s good news folks); I do believe it’s the walking.
From the song; I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers
But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles

In Class – This week I took part in a class led by Professor Al Tuchfarber, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati Professor Emeritus of Political Science. For about 25-years he was the foremost Ohio political pollster and predicted the outcome of the 2016 national election. He’s good.

His research has it that currently there are six critical swing states, of which Trump must get 4 as ‘has-wins’ and Biden must similarly capture 3 plus one. The six states being; Arizona, Florida, Michigan. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

As of last week, for Trump it looks like he’s got AZ, FL, and NC; he then must capture one of the remaining three. For Biden it now looks positive for MI, PA, and WI.

As it stands, Trump has a huge ‘enthusiasm’ edge, a positive message, and a large world of ‘Shy’ Trump voters. He seems to be on an upswing especially if the Biden family corruption issue takes root. Also, the bias of the main media, the censoring by Social Media, and concerns over Biden’s health and frailty all are favoring Trump.

As an answer to the final question, the outcome of the election, Tuchfarber replied; “I am willing to bet a shiny new nickel on Trump.”

The Biden corruption issue: Former Navy Lieutenant Tony Bobulinski was the CEO of Hunter Biden’s company, Sinohawk. He’s a whistleblower and met yesterday with a Senate sub-committee and turned all his material over to the FBI. This news conference (link here to his Press Conference video) was not even reported on by any major news outlet; censorship at its best.

There, I have just now saved you 1-hour of listening and note taking.

Say; “thank you Dirk”.

The Rally – Marcia is done with politics. I am not. Therefore, Thursday afternoon I headed out to our little Lunken Airport for a rally with our Vice President, Mike Pence. There I gathered with a thousand or so others for a rousing event.

If you think that I was there for three hours chanting; “USA, USA, Four more years, Four more years”, then you’re wrong. I had a great time meeting and chatting with folk. I caught up with a Russian immigrant (red cap/black Tee sitting bottom/middle in picture) who drove in from Louisville, and talked for a while with an engineer from Bechtol Engineering who was in town on business and was from St Louis. Both great people.

However, the half hour I spent talking with Bob was the best. He had been military and had connections to Bob Hope the comedian. He told of Hope extending him an invitation to an event where the speaker was Jimmy Doolittle. Yes, the Doolittle of the Doolittle Raid fame and the commander of that Raid, a bold long-range retaliatory air raid on some of the Japanese main islands on April 18, 1942, four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Taking off and leading 16 modified B-25 Mitchell bombers from an aircraft carrier – on a one way trip. The attack became a major morale booster for the United States. For me it was a great evening chatting with this guy.

Fini – Decades of applying standard negotiating issues in the Mid-East have borne little or no fruit. Team Trump applied a different style, business relationships to join the world of trade and therefore peace. During the summer, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed The Abraham Accords with Israel. Commercial flights and trade has already begun. Yesterday another signatory, Sudan, came on board. The President flatly states that more nations are ready to sign on. The hope being that Iran, now stuck in an economic corner will also come to the table. All without nighttime flights of bags filled with $1.5-Billion of our tax money to try to buy them off; as was foolishly done by team Obama-Biden.

Marcia and I do enjoy an occasional(?) glass of wine. It was seeing this unopened bottle of probably the world’s oldest wine – dated AD 325 which caught my interest. Called the Speyer wine is a sealed vessel presumed to still contain liquid wine. It was found in 1867 when archaeologists discovered a Roman tomb near Speyer. The handles on the bottle are shaped like dolphins. It proves the person buried with it was not a teetotaler.

You’ve probably begun to wonder; “what’s happening on the corner of Chaos and Mayhem?” Let me assure you that the activities on the corner just keep on giving. Mid-week I heard a bit of a hubbub. Marcia went out on the balcony and I took a photo from our guest room. It’s totally self-explanatory.

The hype on Covid-19 spikes keep on coming. Our County is trying to stay out of the ‘Purple” (very bad) category by staying in the (somewhat better) ‘Red’ on the color chart by adding a series of asterisks, so now we are ‘Red***; such nonsense. A lot of this I categorize under the “follow the money” category – big Pharma and Politics. To bolster my thinking, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons – AAPS is quoted;

Many physicians strongly believe that an HCQ cocktail makes more public health sense. Remdesivir (the first FDA drug now certified – cost $3,120 per typical patient) can only be used for hospitalized patients. But millions of people could take HCQ to stay out of the hospital”

It’s Dr. Simone Gold, M.D. J.D. who told the Epoch Times that; “the actions taken by NIH and other federal health officials to restrict access to early treatment is a death sentence for millions of Americans.”

Yesterday, on October 23, 2001 Apple introduced the iPod. I still have my Apple iPod Classic 3rd gen – 20GB made in 2003. It works beautifully. Although the battery connects are a problem; it works superbly when plugged in. It’s now considered a Classic (just like me).

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy!

Your Vote counts.

Dirk


A good Saturday morning to everyone – Its happened; Hello Fall. This also means that I prefer my coffee just a tad hotter. Mid-week I spotted our neighborhood’s official announcement that the season had shifted.

From their Canadian Thanksgiving stay up north, this picture taken yesterday by Bulent tells the whole story. The ‘winter in white’ is back.

Things I learned this week – Last Thursday evening I watched the ‘Town-Hall’ TV events. I really don’t know why. On ABC (hosting Biden) Stephanopoulos sounded as if he was ‘cooing’ to a newborn. On NBC (hosting Trump) Savanah Guthrie made it sound like she was screaming at an ex-lover; Guthrie asking 43 questions leaving 10 for the Town-Hall participants. Both were sorry state of affairs; this I learned.

It was telling that neither ‘moderator’ touched the 600-pound gorilla in the room; that From Hunter Biden’s own computer hard drive it appears ‘Don’ Joe B & crack-smoking sonny boy Hunter were caught red-handed for being in the bag to China, Russia, & the Ukraine to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. This needs to be verified and as yet is only conjecture. However, the FBI took possession of the drive last December and I suspect that confirmation will be forthcoming.

Message below by Dr. Gad Saad (bio underneath)

Dr. Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing, holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption, and advisory fellow at the Center for Inquiry. A Jewish Lebanese-Canadian, he lives in Montreal Quebec.

Election Prognosis & Projection:

  • • Zogby Analytics – President’s approval is at 51% (no President has lost an election with an approval rating of over 50%)
    • 56% of Americans gauge that they’re better off now than four years ago. With lower numbers than this, Presidents got re-elected in 1984, 1992, 2004, and 2012
    • Any President with an approval rating of over 75% in his own party primary vote typically gets reelected. Trump’s is at 94%
    • Voter enthusiasm gap, i.e. how enthusiastic are you about your candidate. Trump has an 20-point edge

The Incredible Story of a Blind Supreme Court Clerk – The personal story this young woman offered at this week’s Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearing is staggering. It makes me even prouder of the work our Adrianne is doing, especially seeing the heights to which her population can climb – literally nothing can stop them. Please do yourself a favor and watch Appellate Attorney Laura Wolk’s short story.

Electric Avenue mural – I know I’ve written about my use of our area’s new Wasson Way hiking-biking trail. Now it’s even better with the just completed new ArtWorks mural, adding color and smiles to all along the trail. The Electric Avenue mural was designed by artist Christian Dallas. Then throughout a better part of the summer it was brought to life by two teaching artists who led a team of eight youth apprentices who painted the mural. It spans close to 300 feet and is WONDERFUL.

Concert – Last Saturday Marcia and I brought chairs and headed over to a nearby neighbor’s house. There to gather with others and listen to members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra give an outdoor presentation of Bach’s works. It was so good to be outside and with people and music (though we did forget to bring some wine). Definitely the highlight of our weekend.

Love that background stuff – especially from the world of music. Last week I mentioned the passing of guitarist Eddie van Halen. I thought I’d share this little detail. Michael Jackson’s signature album was Thriller. As the Thriller album was being worked on, Quincy Jones, then Michael’s Manager approached van Halen about playing lead guitar on Billie Jean and Beat It; which he did (these became the second and third singles released from that album).

van Halen later told that he approached his own Manager who advised against doing the gig; there was no money involved. van Halen really wanted to do it; “I did it as a favor” free of charge, but he did suggest that Michael could give him some dance lessons in return.

Recording the guitar solo; his playing had the control room’s monitor speaker literally catch on fire.

Thriller stood at the top of the music charts for 37 weeks.
There is a lesson-learned in all of this. van Halen saw something as good for him and for those around him, forgoing immediate ‘payback’. Apply that line of thinking to your own situations and your own opportunities as these present themselves in your life.

Fini – Hot off the press and important for people in nursing homes. President Trump just announced he’s reached an agreement with CVS and Walgreens to deliver vaccine to nursing homes for free.

It’s happening. Courts are getting involved with the eradication of some of these crazy, over the top, last minute voting ‘rights’ wrinkles. Michigan just learned from the courts that ballot harvesting is illegal. Ballots must be in by November 3 – for those not in the know, that’s Election Day.

Just in case you’ve never used an Excel Spreadsheet, today is a day you should make note of. Today in 1979 Visicalc was released. It was the very first spreadsheet computer program for personal computers. I remember using these early programs, one floppy disk-drive for the program and another to place the data. And, should you think that to be ancient history, remember that by then we’d already seen Man visit the Moon – and did so without the use of the iconic spreadsheet.

Mentioning 1979, that was the year of our nation’s, OPEC caused, gas shortage. Marcia and I recollected coming home from Michigan in our VW Campervan with our babies. By the time we reached Bowling Green in northern Ohio we were running on fumes (and had tried several stations to pump, all without success). So, I pulled into a motel for the night. By 5:00AM I was third in line at a nearby BP station – not yet open. Eventually I tanked, max 10-gallons. We barely made it home. Just glad that these days Trump is so hot on keeping us energy independent.

Also; today in 1989 at the start of Game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco, there was a major earthquake. The Loma Prieta earthquake which collapsed bridges, caused 67 deaths, had 4,000 injured, and $7 billion in damages.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy!

Your Vote counts.

Dirk


Fall has arrived
10 10th, 2020

A good Saturday morning to everyone – first mug of Java has disappeared quickly. Next little break will pour ‘numero’ two (second mug that is).

Once upon a time there were two pant-suited and jacketed politicians who held a debate. Let’s call these two; Steve and Abe. They debated seven times, and each debate lasted three hours. The first got one and a half hours, the other got one hour, and then two fifteen minute rebuttal/wrap-up time periods each. Most importantly, there was NO moderator. Did you grasp all of that, seven debates allowing for a total of 21-hours? Each making their case and again; there was NO moderator! That amount of debate time allowed for each to hone their craft and sharpen/tighten their position. Abraham, the loser, gained a reputation for his “A house divided against itself cannot stand” words, which reverberated throughout the seven districts of Illinois.

Stephen was Senator Stephen A. Douglas and the ‘loser’ for the Illinois the 1858 Illinois state election campaign Senate seat was Abraham Lincoln; eventually one of our most revered and beloved Presidents.

So dissimilar to today’s “debates” where the “you have two-minutes” and a rebuttal of “fifteen seconds” orders are barked; with questions assembled by a biased hack ‘moderator’. The whole thing is now a joke with barely enough time to utter a carefully rehearsed one-line sound bite.

“I want to ask the American people, how calm were you when you were panicked about where you were going to get your next roll of toilet paper?” ~ Senator Kamala Harris; during the Pence/Harris debate

How many steps from the Presidency is this woman potentially? Is this for real?

Personal Injury Note – This week I’ve been fighting something my mother referred to as ‘lumbago’ (an old popular term for lower back pain). It just seemed to become a part of me; no announcement, no request. I just got out of bed mid-week and ten minutes later found me ‘walking’ from chair to couch to floor, then to repeat. Even so, I did manage to get my minimum five-miles per day of walking in; round of applause please.

Yesterday, arriving back home, I felt lucky that a cop hadn’t pulled me over for my careening drunken movements ‘walking’ on the sidewalk – crossing a street was even worse since there weren’t any light posts.

An end – The Boeing 747 was my favorite plane to fly on. And, my favorite 747 flight was the one where brother Pieter and I did Japan and China on old ‘Pan Am’ (Pan American World Airways); seats 1A and 2A!

As an aside; I learned that the original plan was to have it configured as a double-decker. However, they couldn’t get it certified that way since they couldn’t evacuate in the required 90-seconds; hence the immediately recognized ‘bubble-nose’ resulted. But, the immense efficiency of the 747 really brought costs down and started the world on the path of flights for the masses.

Thursday was the day where British Airways flew the final flights for their three remaining 747s; the last of these glorious machines left in passenger service. I watched them take off from Heathrow on Sky News.

Luckily Amazon Prime has begun its freight operations at our airport, and with many international carriers having converted 747s to freighters I can still muster over to the viewing area to catch sight of one gliding in. Amazon Prime Day is this coming week; and we aren’t even members — how’s that for a plug?

Bulent comes through – My friend and neighbor is currently at his north woods camp enjoying a late autumn and the corresponding color. He inspected Northern Comfort and judged the place as “sound”. All is well, even the tarp covered boats not only survived last winter’s snows, ice, and winds, but also spring and summer. Not certain if this is because I did such a good job ‘tucking’ them in or if I was lucky and bought high-quality tarps. Let me not take a chance, so, thank you Harbor Freight.

Nevertheless, I (phrased kindly) am still not happy with the border lockdown due to the Wuhan mess. Everything better be open no later than next season.

Halloween – No matter whether Halloween will be celebrated legally or not, we’re plowing forward. Marcia has arranged the décor and the prep work (candy purchasing) is progressing. Even in the sunroom our ceramic pumpkin greets all passers-by. Donn see what’s giving it its ‘spark’?

Fini – Yesterday, from the Washington Times I learned that; “Nebraska is the only state in the nation with a ‘unicameral’ legislature’ — a zero party, zero partisanship House, absent a Senate where bills are presented and debated without the typical Republican versus Democrat bickering, and then sent along to the governor for signing, or not.” See, one is never too old to learn.

Tomorrow, we’ll be wishing Paul a very happy birthday. He keeps on trying but finds it difficult to catch up to ‘moi’ and he’s no better gaining on his sister.

Tuesday I’ll join in on a discussion (via Zoom) at EmpowerU. A ‘twofer’, first up is Civil Rights Attorney Robert Newman who’s sued the City of Cincinnati. And secondly is Averel Meden. She’ll be discussing how the Ohio States’ $26 billion K-12 public education system monies are doled out. Aside from public education, the state has 5 school choice programs. Averel’s agency operates a network of Protestant and Christian schools who advocate for a parent’s right to choose the best education for their children. Both speakers will hold my interest.

Concert later today put together by nearby neighbors who passed this note around: “Kim and I will be joined by some of our dear friends and colleagues from the Cincinnati Symphony this Saturday October 10 at 3 pm in the afternoon for a CSO in ‘Your Neighborhood Concert’ in front of our house!
Bring a chair, picnic blanket, snacks, drinks etc. for a socially distanced 45 minute performance on Rose Hill Ave.”
Guess where Marcia and I will be.

RIP Peter (Peter Stambrook) who I didn’t know as a London born Professor of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology. No, I knew him as a teammate who, as we’d both run the length of the soccer pitch would trip, fall, roll, bound up, and still beat me. That’s the Peter I knew.
RIP Eddie Van Halen (Edward Lodewijk van Halen); guitar god. He was from the city of Nijmegen, also in my own birth country of Holland. Cancer is a beast.

After almost 50-years of friendship our friend Bill Melvin is moving to be with his kids in the NY & NJ area. Aged 94 and he’s giving us a little lunchtime talk during a luncheon in his honor which Marcia and I went to. He’d sold his car (don’t need it in NY), and a lifetime of model aircraft he’d been building — some are in museums and decorate homes and corporate lobbies. Many more years of health and joy Bill, it’s been much more than just a pleasure.

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

Dirk


Fall has arrived
10 3rd, 2020


A good Saturday morning to everyone. Overnight Marcia and I became survivalists.

We had almost run out of coffee. The only place carrying out ‘go-to’ brand of White Castle coffee was Costco; and they informed me that it was now no longer being carried. The search was on.

That afternoon I came home with a 2.5Lb canister of Duncan Donuts branded coffee. Not bad, but it wasn’t White Castle restaurant quality.

Yesterday we were back at Costco and I felt like a Homing Pigeon heading for the coffee isle just to “have a look”. There, at the end-of-aisle display was a double skid of, you guessed it, White Castle coffee. I loaded three 3-Lb bags of the stuff into the truck. Last week we celebrated our 50th, our coffee stash will now last till our 75th.

“Coffee is the best medicine.” ~ anonymous

Even during the days of the Wuhan-Covid this quote has power.

Personal Injury Attorney – OK, I am not making fun of, or trying to create a SNL skit. It’s just a bit of, maybe call it; karma. Yesterday, Steve Barnes of the famed Cellino & Barnes law firm and one of the nation’s key personal injury attorneys died; he was killed while piloting his own small plane. “He was always a fearless advocate for his clients,” the statement from former partner Ross Cellino read.

I suspect his estate will now become a client of the firm he founded.

Wedding – Last week we had a great time watching niece Taryn Cody Pastoor & Alexander Scott Sun get married. And as I wrote last week; “this will be our first Covid mandated Zoom wedding”. After Marcia and I together with our whole Cincinnati gang had our, socially distanced, Anniversary Dinner we gathered at A & T’s place to watch the wedding on their large screen.

So, and this is the beauty of today’s technology, we watched their exchange of marriage vows. Only, some of the witnesses were physically there, some were watching from Taiwan, some watched from locations in Pennsylvania, some from places in Europe, and we in Cincinnati. “Plus one” you say? Yes “plus one”. Kirstin joined from Texas in a most unusual way.

She experienced difficulties joining in and ended up calling Adrianne. The solution those two came up with was brilliant. Kirstin was on Face-Time with Adrianne. She handed her phone to me. I held it close to the screen on my laptop (it was used to power Zoom to the TV) and framed it properly – and so she too was part of the ‘circle’ of friends and loved ones. It was lovely.

Anniversary Celebration – was magnificent. The dinner at Wiedemann’s Brewhouse with accompanying band and great weather was all we could have hoped for. Afterwards came the wedding. Then Kirstin in Austin joined in as she powered up a “Tribute” show of video clips made by family and friends, plus photos from over the years. The only problem being that it was too much fun and some of it was lost due to us laughing. That evening both Marcia and I, almost at the same time, made note that our bellies hurt from laughing as hard as we did. Thanks to everyone who participated, it was delightful, amazing, and fantastic; truly a wonderful surprise! To Kirstin, for the hours of work putting it all together – THANKS.

And, we cannot forget the wonderful Peach desert made by our Fourth-grade Viliami – magnificent!

Fini – For the past 4-years we’ve become used to condo living, especially this year when we couldn’t get to Northern Comfort in Canada. We complain on occasion, but there is also a bunch to appreciate. This week we looked out the front door and the carpets in the lobby and stairs were busily being cleaned.

Mentioning cleaning. Marcia ‘begged’ not to get her anything for her Anniversary due to our limited space. Anniversary day, to her delight, brought her a new Dyson ball vacuum.

This week, October 3rd, 1942 Germany launched the first V2 rockets into England. Many of these things were launched from the farm fields beyond the outer beltway (de singel) of my city in the Netherlands. These things were pre-programmed and pretty crude. Occasionally one would fail and begin to circle over the city until its fuel ran out, then crash and explode. I remember, that as a kid, playing on the pile of rubble of what had been a home less than a block away. Some of these events are still very real and very vivid.

On a much more positive note, also on October 3rd, but 1990, it’s The German Unity Day, the National Day of Germany. It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification when the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were unified. For the first time since 1945 there was now a single German state. Remember President Reagan’s; “Tear down this wall!” line from a speech in West Berlin on Friday, June 12, 1987, calling for the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to break the dividing wall between the west and communist east Germany. That began this change.

And, on this day in 1995, O.J. Simpson got acquitted after; “the Trial of the Century.”

And, this is now our best way to view the annual highlight of our regular season at Northern Comfort. Still, its a serious loss not being there.

Now back to my League of Women Voters newsletter to review my selections for later this week when Marcia and I will vote early — IN PERSON.

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

Dirk