Archive for January, 2021

Exercising and finds
01 16th, 2021

Saturday morning and we’re told snow-showers are on the way; am still not sure what exactly is meant by that. In the meantime, the coffee is nice and hot. This reminds me to say that I miss the daily 2:00PM Espresso break I enjoyed at Kirstin’s. That was so much easier since she has a Nespresso machine (instant results), while ours requires much set-up. Spoiled aren’t I?

“ Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” — Milton Friedman

And it would appear that we’re on a quick path to get a few of them.

Vaccine – Seemingly our State’s plan to distribute the COVID vaccine is to not have a plan. The start is with 80-year olds. These dears, beginning now, are to man their phones and start calling numbers to see if they can get inoculated. There is a trick though. They have to first go onto a web site (not yet complete) and do a twenty-question like test to find places and numbers to call.

The scheme is akin to giving monkeys a typewriter and hope that (at least one) will actually write the book.There a song from the old (1946) movie Gilda with Rita Hayworth, called; Put the Blame On Mame:

They once had a shootin’ up in the Klondike
When they got Dan McGrew
Folks were putting the blame on
The lady known as Lou
That’s the story that went around
But here’s the real low-down
Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame
Mame did a dance called the hoochy-coo
That’s the thing that slew McGrew
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame

Anyone qualified enough to create another stanza? One where the boys put the blame on ‘Mame’ only this is where the city blames the county, the county blames the State, and, the State blames the Feds? See where this could go?

Lockdown desperation – has reached extremes. Marcia is at a point where I can hardly talk her out of the house. Me, I too find myself doing things I normally don’t. The latest is contemplating on how many different model Citroën’s have shown up in the Adventures of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy (by the Belgian cartoonist; Hergé). This would include the lovely Citroën model DS, the Traction Avant, and best of all, our delightful Deux Chevaux.

                              

Art’s Gift – this Christmas has to be one of the most thoughtful ever. Art had shipped to each of the brothers a pair of 10-pound weights. Yesterday these were used for the first time as he organized the four of us to get together on Zoom for an organized exercise program.

Art and Jolene’s daughter, Taryn, was asked to generate a ‘geriatric’ strength program and so we started. Aside of the physical benefits it’s also a twice-a-week opportunity for the four of us to just socialize a bit.

Yesterday, with Art in California, Pieter in Portland, George in Naples, and me in Ohio it came off without a hitch. Cool stuff. THANKS Art!

Fini – This past week was Marcia’s Aunt Doris’ Birthday. She’s a strong 97.

Nearby is an old Fire station, now unused it’s been made useful again as a museum and meeting place. Love how they’ve spruced it up.

Also from a walk this week, I came across this sign which does really reflect the historical roots of our town.

Just in case you only think of Pyramids and Egypt, other cultures also built similar structures. This picture is of Pyramids from the ancient Nubian kingdom of Kush (now Sudan). These almost 5,000 year old pyramids have substantially steeper slopes than those found in Egypt. BTW, years ago I did get to visit the Egyptian pyramids and was awestruck!

With 25,000 troops in DC this week I think all should be quiet. Not to worry, the photo below is not current; it’s only from the previous inauguration when a little rioting was a minor concern.

By default this week seems to contain an inordinate amount of Car ‘stuff’, so I might make it a theme. Mid-week while walking past the VW dealership I spotted this beauty.

A warm glow enveloped me as I gave thought to our 1971 VW Westfalia Campervan. Bought new ($4,000 including tax & an AM radio) it served Marcia and I well as our little family took shape.

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

Dirk


It’s Saturday morning and I am pretty well settled in after returning from visiting with Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen. Anything new happen while I was gone from these Ramblings during the past couple of weeks?

Kirstin had a to-do jobs list (much shorter than I expected).

This left us time for much tea, much chatting, and much binge watching – two shows, Escape to the Chateau and towards the end of my stay, Alone.

Both got me into the thick of the occurrences, happenings, and adventures. So, couple all of that with a massive (should have called it; ultimate) Mediterranean Party Appetizer Platter from Costco which Kirstin kept sitting around her kitchen island; made for some seriously fine times. Then, can’t forget our daily 2:00PM Espresso break.

And, just so that won’t think we were just a pair of ‘couch-potatoes’, we (most days) managed to trek about her neighborhood to the tune of 5 to 6 miles each day.

Last Saturday our whole gang (minus Piper the dog) did one of the Austin area nature trails; lots of crossing of creeks. At one point it was going over a small dam. As a joke I pretended that I had to crawl across the dam and sent the picture to Marcia. Her immediate response was that; “some people never get beyond age 40”. So much for that!

   

“Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”

“They blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.” — Buddha

at Chùa Linh-So’n Temple

   

Covid-19 gifts – Actually two gifts. On Thursday I received a note from my nearby YMCA branch along with a heartwarming drawing.

Yesterday, I got a postcard from the State, letting me know that they understand just how ‘crappy’ I feel (I don’t, however I’d feel even better living my life without notes regarding my possible ‘crappyness’, i.e. Anxiety, Stress, & Isolation). Just to let me know how deeply personal this card was it was addressed to: Dirk Pastoor Jr. or Current Resident.

   

Which card would you appreciate most?

Also, on the State’s postcard, anyone even know what that partially shown yellow piece of equipment is? Asking for a friend.

Birthdays – A week ago Marcia had her birthday (with a great celebration at Adrianne’s home with the whole ‘Nati gang there). Next month it’ll be my turn. This places the two of us ‘square-dab’ in the mature range. Hence I thought it appropriate to share this YouTube:

Fini –A-woman and Amen” this was the manner in which the opening prayer concluded during the first session of the new 117th Congress. I recently spotted this truth; “If you say A-woman then Amen, you’re A-moron”. Unreal and way beyond any satire I could muster.

Walking the aisles of Kirstin’s nearby H-E-B grocery store I spotted this employee removing the 6’-spacing and directional floor stickers. I do believe I spotted the beginnings of a return to normalcy.

Two Sundays ago in the year 1496, Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested his concept of a flying machine. Then in 1793 Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight in North America. Then also around this date, but now in 2020, I flew nonstop to Austin in a plane loaded with about 180 people. Thought you’d want to know.

The iconic iPhone was unveiled by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs on this day in 2007. Doesn’t it seem like it’s been around forever?

Then, in the wonderful world of Social Media, Marcia’s account got blocked for a couple of weeks. Her crime? She posted “WOW” in response to some point made. The original point was deemed politically correct, her “wow” comment was therefore offensive. I do believe this was Marcia’s first run-in with the new First Amendment interpretation popular these days.

After this week I think it appropriate to end with the lyrics of Loudon Wainwright III’s song; “Dead Skunk”

“Dead Skunk
Crossin’ the highway late last night
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn’t see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are

You got your
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road…..” ~ Loudon Wainwright III

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

Dirk