Archive for the 'Family & Friends' Category

A Perfect Week
04 17th, 2021

Still a bit of morning chill these Saturday mornings – then it’s the continuation of a stunning springtime. My coffee, made from a new batch of Gevalia Kaffe, is just adding to it.

Dinner Out – Last Tuesday dinner-out was one of the better evening’s out we’d had in many a day; Sorrento’s Italian Joint. Great food, wonderful service, and for desert a strong coffee with a Cannoli!

I met Marcia there after walking to the place and then afterwards, while she drove home, I walked back. There, those six miles total took care of the Cannoli.

Entering Sorrento’s Italian Joint is parked a small car. That’s an early 1950s Fiat 500 Topolino (“little Mouse” in Italian) I thought to myself. However, something didn’t fit. I put it to members of my Deux Chevaux on-line club and it didn’t take long before I had the answer. What is parked there is a rusty (floorlesss)  equivalent to the Topolino; a French built Simca 6; same as the Fiat Topolino except for the fact that these had an overhead cam. Accuracy is important!

I was hoping for a rousing after-dinner game of Bocce Ball; we skipped that.

My Historical Hero – has been Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. And, this was not in the least due to the fact that my high school was named; Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute. It’s as a result of a series of factors. He had many setbacks, many flaws, and much greatness; all capsulated in this quote:

“Only Churchill carries that absolutely required criterion: indispensability, without Churchill the world today would be unrecognizable ~ Dr. Charles Krauthammer

Krauthamer declared Churchill the most influential person of the 20th Century.

Thursday evening was captivating as I Zoomed a seminar, as part a one and a half hour exploration of this complex man. Here are some of insights gleaned:

Humor of Churchill” He told a manufacturer; “I want you to make every condom 10½ inches long. I want every box, every carton, and every packet saying; “British, Size: Medium”. That will show the Nazis who is the master race.
He disliked Lord Halifax who wanted to negotiate with Hitler. One time when Halifax came to see him, Churchill told an aide, “Tell Lord Halifax that I am sealed in the privy (toilet), and can only deal with one shit at a time”
Churchill was not vindictive: ”I will not be party to any butcher in cold blood. What happens in hot blood is another matter.” “A nation should show in war, resolution, in defeat defiance, in victory magnanimity, in Peace goodwill.
Churchill’s Health Cures: June 5, 1953 He’d suffered a stroke which left his left side paralyzed. To recover he was up at 7:30, a farmer’s breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages, and coffee followed; then a large whiskey and soda and a Cigar.
Churchill’s Love of Hats: He just didn’t collect them, he wore them; Fedoras, helmets, top hats, yachting caps, fireman’s hats, hard hats, sombreros, and bowlers.
Churchill and ‘branding’: he always left about 1/3 of his 8 to 10 cigars per day in his ashtray, saying, “never forget your Trademark

One Historian noted:
The difference between Hitler and Churchill – Hitler made you think he could do anything. Churchill made you think YOU could do anything.

Churchill himself said:
Be Conservative in Principle and Liberal in Sympathy

Man oh man, what a wonderful Thursday evening.(Photo partially colorized [a work in process] by Marina Amaral shows Sir Winston Churchill in his Knight of the Garter robes, his son Randolph, and grandson Winston and was taken on Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Day in 1953.)

The Climate Hype continues – I remember the cover of Time Magazine’sBe Worried. Be Very Worried” article of doom (April 3, 2006); dealing with how Climate Change was quickly causing the Polar Bear population to vanish. Here is the real story behind that hype. Dr. Douglas G. Frank runs numbers, runs data, and is local here and has done research for decades (I’ve heard him several times and he’s good).

Walmart over the top – My health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross coupled with Walmart by setting up an Over-the-Counter (OTC) benefit pool. Using funds from that pool allows me to ‘buy’ a wide array of health related items at zero cost to me. My pool of Dutch blood started flowing at that news.

Last weekend I read the sent material a little closer. And, since I needed some vitamins, set up an on-line account and placed an order; that was last Sunday. Within minutes I received a mail stating my order of two bottles of pills would be delivered on Tuesday. Most excellent news.

Twenty minutes later and a second Walmart mail; one of the (little) bottles was available at our nearby Walmart location and hence, would be delivered yet that day– remember, this is Sunday! Now also realize that this was for a bottle of vitamin pills that retails for under $7.00.

While I was out for some exercise Marcia heard a rustling by the front door and found a Walmart bag with the vitamins. Returning home, I spotted another mail stating that the delivery had been made and an enclosed photo as proof.

I loved their efficiency and diligence. But, the question is; how can they stay in business with this level of service on a $7.00 item?

Fini –
• Sunday will be Vili’s tenth birthday. With Wu-Flu still on people’s minds, it’s hit movie theaters hard. As an answer these places have gotten creative. So, on Sunday afternoon Adrianne and Tevita rented one of the theater rooms for a private showing of a movie picked from a list. Should be fun, invited guests only!

• Spotted this on one of my exercise walks this week. It’s got to be some sort of code. Can any of my readers decipher?

• A (very) bad photo, but on my traipsing along the Wasson Way Walkway this woman blew by me on her Cyclete — works like an ‘Elliptical’ exercise machine and has no saddle (stand-up only). It actually looked like a fun time and a serious workout simultaneously.

• Dinah is thrilled. First she got accepted as an apprentice (paid at that) with Cincinnati’s Artworks. She’s currently working weekends on a mural for a restaurant. Her team consists of two 14-year olds, two 18-year olds, and one professional. They have already placed a primer coat and have started putting the ‘grid’ on the wall.

• (not my original thought) But, it appears that MLB was correct in pointing out the blatant racism in the State of Georgia. Last weekend at The Masters the golfing community was at its worst. For two days this troop of white men, weaponized with metal clubs, chased after some poor Asian fellow. I later discovered that he’d taken the first flight out after successfully out-running the pack.

• And, I can’t end the Rambling without pointing out these words from John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute; “We’ve been sold a bill of goods by politicians promising to pay down the national debt, jumpstart the economy, rebuild our infrastructure, secure our borders, ensure our security, and make us all healthy, wealthy and happy.” ….. None of that has come to pass, and yet we’ve still been loaded down with debt not of our own making.” And this same horror has been around for a number of decades and is accelerating under the current administration. make yourself heard!

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

Dirk


Another Saturday morning – topping off a glorious weather week (with some heavy weather in the forecast). Coffee is almost too hot to drink, but that’s a good thing. This week Marcia and I made a stop at our nearby Walmart. It’s not often we do this, but this was one of those days. The place always surprises me:

Why does every Walmart ever build have at least 43 checkout lanes – when they never open more than 3 ~ spotted on the internet

Yom HaShoah – Thursday (April 8th) all of Israel stopped for two-minutes to remember the Holocaust and the 6-million Jewish men, women, and children who were horrifically slaughtered by the Nazis. This short video is must watching:

Celebrate CO2 –

Far from being an impediment to continued human existence, rising levels of carbon dioxide are part of the solution to world hunger. ~ H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy

This from an article in Heartland Institute: “most plant life arose when carbon dioxide levels were much higher than they are today. During the most recent ice age, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels fell to dangerously low levels: just 180 parts per million (ppm). Plants begin to die when carbon dioxide is at or below 150 ppm, because at that point they are unable to use sunlight to photosynthesize food from carbon dioxide and water. After Earth emerged from the most recent ice age, carbon dioxide levels rebounded to approximately 280 ppm, still far below the levels existing when plant life began to colonize the land.”

By the way, this to Greta Thunberg and her sanctimonious anger; if you must complain about this non-pollutant, then take a moment and direct some of it at China – could you?

We found our table wine – at Costco. Marcia and I (Marcia especially) have for a while now, zeroed in on Malbec as our table wine of choice. And, especially Malbec from the Mendoza Valley region in Argentina tops the list.

Well, Costco came through; boxed Malbec (equivalent of 4 bottles) at a great price and we’re thrilled.

While at Costco I did grab an item on impulse. Declared a major weapon by my bureaucratic friends, those ensconced in cubicles in Ottawa Canada, I bought a bunch of Pepper Spray. Made several family members quite happy.

Outrage –

Never in human history, in a culture of such tremendous affluence, have we witnessed such venomous outrage over issues so trivial and insignificant ~ Virgil Walker

Is this in itself a ‘micro-aggression’?

Round Table – was organized by Florida Governor Ron DeSantes. The ‘Round Table’ was then promptly removed by YouTube/Google since it’s fully credentialed panel didn’t conform to the pre-determined “consensus” of experts – they advised against lockdowns.

The panel included Oxford Epidemiologist and winner of the Rosalind Franklin award Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and other notable Drs. such as Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and former White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Scott Atlas – they called the lockdown measures harmful and said that schools should reopen immediately for in-person learning – all “misinformation” according to YouTube.

So, here we have a company which touts itself as a ‘Town Hall’ which bans a sitting President, banishes anyone who questions Fauci and CDC guidance. Also Amazon which removed conservative books, Apple de-platforms alternative sites, similarly with Twitter and Reddit – see a pattern here?

Want to view the Roundtable and see for yourself what was found to be “misinformation” and “objectionable?” A copy is viewable at Reclaim the Net by clicking here.

Fini –

The southern border is stable and not in chaos as the Administration puts it deftly. It’s really interesting that Roberta S. Jacobson, the White House’s border coordinator, is resigning at the end of the month – less than 100-days on the job. No chaos, nothing to see here.

• The new $1.9T ‘Infrastructure’ bill will absolutely fill the ‘Infrastructure needs of the nation. As Senator Kirsten Gillibrand clarifies; “Paid Leave is Infrastructure, Child Care is Infrastructure, Caregiving is Infrastructure.”

• Yesterday more than 15cm (6”) fell in Whitehorse Yukon. Whitehorse was touted as having an earlier spring, a longer growing season, and having less snow. Global warming is alive and well.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) wrote books on the French Revolution and one of them had a startling insight; “radicalism and revolution are produced not by impoverishment but by plenty.” Maybe BLM and Antifa breakouts and the like can be better understood reading Tocqueville.

• In Oregon a professor claims that math is ‘racist’ since it requires a ‘correct answer.’ OK, any more nuttiness?

• Mr. President is it just me or am I wrong assuming that Constitutional Amendments are absolute? I am confused by your statement; “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute.” If you are correct then most every dictator must also be correct since it’s a belief they hold.

• One more Climate Change thought; people who see it as their biggest problem are sooo lucky. The rest of us have more serious problems.

• Since gun control laws are again on the front burner and Executive Orders issued. Does this mean that I can assume that Hunter Biden who is accused of lying on his gun background check will be charged?

• There was a time, as a kid, I had a variety of jobs, one after another. But no, I am not this old; 9-year old kids working in the textile industry around the turn of the last century.

• Recently booked a flight. This was as what flying was like – Delta in 1969 — I’m going to do a comparison check.

• Easter family gathering, Marin and Francesca testing edible grass – must be Ohio’s beginning baby-steps into the broader world of ‘weed.’

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

Dirk


Happy Easter
04 3rd, 2021

And, just like that, it’s Easter and all the wonder which it celebrates. Here in our little part of the world the stars are out on a wonderful Saturday morning – even though it’s freezing outside. After all the doings yesterday we were both in bed ridiculously early. This means that Marcia too is up and coffee’s been made. Good morning all, we’re good to go!

This Orchid I gave to Marcia for Mother’s Day a year ago. Here it is Easter 2021 and guess what decided to bloom. Lovely!

We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did ~ Thomas Sowell, philosopher

infrastructure plan – Language is a wonderful thing. We’re being cajoled into accepting a $1.9T infrastructure bill; after all who doesn’t see the need for new roads, bridges, and highways? Notwithstanding that in the Bill it’s actually an afterthought; just slightly more than 5% is marked for such repair.

Most everything in this tax-and-spend Bill is for a Green reset. Panderers such as Globalists Kerry and Gore love to confuse “climate change” as being equated with “carbon dioxide” (commonly referred to simply as “carbon”) they’ll even shamelessly term it “carbon pollution.” In fact, carbon dioxide (chemical symbol “CO2”) is the substance that is absolutely vital for all life on Earth!

As Chemist Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser in an open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau wrote; “Without that CO2 in the atmosphere, all life on Earth would cease to exist!…. Without that CO2 in the atmosphere, no oxygen would be produced; CO2 is/has been the sole source of molecular oxygen (that we breathe in with each breath)!”

Nevertheless, Globalists will still push for a CO2 reduction. In that light Professor Gad Saad in Montreal wrote sarcastically; “Dear Greta Thunberg and AOC, is there any chance you might direct some of that sanctimonious anger at Noble China?” Maybe he wrote that remark because China generated 53% of the world’s coal-fired power in 2020.

Vaccination time – It took a while, but finally; Success! I did not want the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA technology (Messenger RNA vaccines) where a single-stranded RNA molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene is inserted – whew that’s a bunch. I insisted on receiving Johnson & Johnson which uses the technology where the body’s own immune system is activated to counter the coronavirus. Hence the push was on to find a site distributing the J&J vaccine. Marcia heard on Social Media that at Xavier University (about a mile away) was, this weekend, a ‘pop-up’ site using J&J. And, by pure luck, The J&J vaccine Marcia and I got came from J&J’s Janssen facility in The Netherlands – now I just knew I had made the right choice.

A couple of days ago I took my daily walk through the campus – home of the Musketeers – to see where exactly I had to show up yesterday morning. As luck would have it I ran across the Captain of the Guard, Musketeer d’Artagnan, who promptly pointed me in the correct direction.

Totally organized we were cattle-like processed along with 2,500 other quivering souls (it was cold). A little over an hour later we were heading home and ready to drink a ton of water to; “flush our system.”

Riders of the purple Sage – is the Zane Grey title which immediately came to my mind when I spotted a photo of the Biden cabinet. The book with that title was from my youth and the reason was a chapter referencing a “masked rider.” It’s funny how the mind grabs things from a distant past.

That memory, plus the fact that I had just been vaccinated had me a little puzzled. The photo shows an assembly of our current Cabinet, all dutifully masked and socially distant.

So, I think it a natural that I would ponder on the question; why are all of Biden’s Cabinet members masked when they’ve all been vaccinated? Which part of the equation doesn’t work; mask or vaccine? And considering that more than likely all of them are being tested frequently they should be at a point where life can/should show signs of normalcy. No, it couldn’t be now could it; it really isn’t just ‘theater.” Or is it?

Fini –

• Full disclosure, I haven’t seen any of these films. But have being advised that these are three of the best films on Autism and Neurodiversity: Pixar’s “Loop,” “The Reason I Jump,” and Hannah Gadsby’s “Douglas.”

• Next week it’s Happy Birthday to Jeanne P, and Dia.

• Today would have been Cincinnati hometown sweetheart Doris Day’s birthday.

Overall shot of Beverly Hills in flames the night of May 28, 1977. David Kohl photo

Tuesday evening I am attending a class on a book written about The Beverly Hills Supper Club just across the river in northern Kentucky. The Beverly Hills Supper Club was Vegas before Vegas was cool. It was known as the “Showplace of the Nation” before it burned to the ground in 1977, killing at least 165 people. The Cleveland mob controlled much of the activity in Newport, KY and that area. There is even some innuendo of their involvement in the fire, and the killing of Bobby Kennedy. Should be a fine time.

• RIP G. Gordon Liddy one of the main characters in the Watergate saga at age 90 passed yesterday.

• Today is also the day that Martin Luther King Jr. died after being shot.

• Today in 1957 the first ‘Laptop’ computer was delivered in rural England.

• And, finally, this date in 1860, the Pony express service connected St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. Realize that that was only 161 years ago.

• Now sit and wait till this evening when we’ll have a ‘Zoom’ visit with our Canadian friends, Barb & Bulent. In person visiting would have been preferred, but we’ll still raise a glass of Bourbon.

• Mentioning Zoom, the brothers are still in full swing with our twice a week Workout. I do believe I can tell the difference its making. But, even if there isn’t any difference, it is thoroughly enjoyable.

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and be healthy! And once more; Happy Easter!

Dirk


Annealed
03 27th, 2021

As country comedian Minnie Pearl would yell out; “howdeee”, and with that remembrance it’s the beginning of a wonderful Saturday morning. Coffee is already sitting on my desk next to me. Let’s get going. Good morning!

These are very strange moments in history indeed. Last evening Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Bill Clinton held a webcast; that in itself is not strange at all. What does make it beyond strange indeed was the subject; a discussion about “empowering women and girls.”

So, here you have an old guy whose name appears 27-times on the travel logs of Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express,’ a guy who continues to be accused by a number of women of rape. He’s sitting with Harris who’s clawed her way into the upper echelon of politics with a pattern of fornication and then without qualm pushing her ‘lover’ under the bus. Harris who as Howie Carr famously quipped; started by “working under Willy Brown.” (Brown, at the time, was California’s most powerful politician)

So it’s team Clinton-Harris gushing at each other. Strange times indeed as shame appears to have taken a back seat in popular culture.

Spring Break – Parents working, kids out of school, Grandparent sitting around. It didn’t take long and a day trip was organized to the nearby National Museum of the United States Air Force. Vai and Vili took the offer and so we went off on what proved to be a delightful and exciting day.

I’ll let the photos tell the story. Highlights included the Wright Brothers’ canvas-on-wood first airplane. We talked about WWII and especially about the bombers and P-51 Tuskegee fighters as flown by the two friends and heroes who attended their school; names of people who they had learned about.

Vili especially was mesmerized by the B-52 bomber and the B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber (both aircraft who he and I had seen flying on video) and now could stand next to.

Scale could be grasped next to the massive B-36 “Peacemaker”and especially one of the tires of that massive machine. Seeing the 6 ‘pusher’ piston engines each with a 19′ propeller, plus the 4 jet engines is stunning.

They were awed being next to SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000, which was used by eight presidents — Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton.

The Apollo 15 module (our fourth to land on the moon), the Shuttle trainer, and the array of rockets, all were seen with wide eyes. Yup, a wonderful day it was.

Eggs – A few days ago I hunted for a YouTube showing fun rides in a little Deux Chevaux – this was owing to the isolation felt due to the lockout Canada has imposed and I so missed mine. I did find this great little couple-of-minute video:

Then yesterday on my walk the whole ‘egg’ thing came to mind as I reflected on what occurred the previous evening. I realized that I’d been totally amiss placing all my ‘eggs’ in the Trump Bandwagon during the last election.

This became crystal clear seeing our new President, able to embrace all and as described by others as; ‘a man of science’. My progressive friends had warned me time and again of my error, but only after last Thursday night’s masterful ‘presser’ was I convinced. Gone were the mayhem, the turmoil, and bravura I’d watched at Trump’s ‘pressers’. Last evening calm settled over me.

One specific quote will slide into the annals of history and be positioned amongst lesser pieces such as Lincoln’s; “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent” speech. Or, Kennedy’s; “Ask not what your country can do for you…” Biden’s was masterful and its superiority evident:

”So the best way to get something done, if you, if you hold near and dear to you that you uh um like to be able to, anyway”

To my Progressive friends, I hope that I’ll be forgiven and that under this newfound ‘heat’ of unity I’ll be able to anneal to where I should be. Yes I know I was warned, it just took time.

Walking – has become an amazingly enjoyable daily pastime for me. But, it’s also given me some insight. Most notably an insight in what these unaccompanied children must go through to accomplish their incredible feat of traveling to our southern border.

That child, let’s assume age 11 (old enough to allow them to set a steady pace). Walking 8 hours per day and at an average pace of 4 miles per hour every day of the week; it would take these kids 7 weeks to trek the 1,500 miles from Honduras. No days off and no getting lost and minimal food stops.

OK, so now the question is how are they really getting here? And doing this unaccompanied?

Fini – Derek and Kellen, are back in Zoom School. Here, Marin, Dinah, Vai, and Vili are finishing up Spring break.

• Baby Brother Art (aka; Marius) will be celebrating his birthday next week

• Marcia got notified that she needs to sign up for Jury Duty. Right now she’s trying to convince them that due to age she shouldn’t have to go.

• As mentioned, since I have no access to our little Citroën 2CV, I figured I’d cheer the team on any way I can.

• The Cincinnati Reds, the oldest professional major league team in the nation will start play this coming week. This town is crazy alive and every Health Department naysayer is worried; Covid don’t ya know.

• Talking sports, our new major league soccer team (FCC’s) new stadium is nearing completion and it’s pretty spectacular.

• RIP Jessica Walter. In her role as Mrs. Lucille Bluth on “Arrested Development” (one of my favorite comedy shows) which follows the life of a habitually dysfunctional family as the boozy matriarch was as good as it gets. Lines such as these:

Lucille: “Get me a Vodka on the Rocks.”
Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth her Son; “Mom, it’s breakfast.”
Lucille: “and a piece of Toast.”

• In our part of the country we understand that Carbon is a good thing; trees grow and crops do better. Even better, coal is cheap. Hence, where else in the nation could you get a Specialty Plate for your car like this?

• Mentioning Climate Change, these renderings showing what the world was like before our Neanderthal cousins invented fire. Yup, climate change is real, it’s happening constantly and we have little to do with it, just ask Mr. Sun!

• And, I thought I’d finish with this image of what it’s going to take to re-float the stuck container ship blocking the Suez Canal. Good luck!

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

Dirk


Peas and Zip
03 20th, 2021

After weather ups and downs, we’re in for a great Saturday morning and in celebration, my coffee is brewed.

I was going to stop keeping track, but after seeing Senator Dr. Rand Paul (KY) and Dr. Fauci going at it.  Apparently Senator Paul didn’t order the “Fauci Baloney on Rye with RNA Sauce sandwich”.

So I thought the better of it. This week for us it’s been over a full year since the 15-day shutdown to “flatten the curve”. Follow the science – and keep on following wherever the ‘goal-posts’ move.

In the meantime, we keep inching into Spring (and I am finally into sync with the time switch). I say “inching”, because there is frost on the cars this morning.

   

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” ~ Our former city’s Mayor, Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, U.S., Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ken Blackwell

The Princess and the Pea – I watched enough (OK, a couple of tiny snippets) of the Oprah & the Royals TV debacle. However, upon reflection, I must say that I do have sympathy with the newly formed Team Meghan and Harry. I would agree that the Royals (those in the UK) can be a difficult bunch.

To demonstrate, I came across this dinner party with Tracey Ullman and Hugh Laurie who happened to host a “Royal Visit”.

Bell’s Palsy – We are in the midst of Brain Awareness Week. What better way to bring this to light than to post this drawing made by Dr. Charles Bell, 19th century surgeon and neurologist. Plus, he was also an amazing artist. This printed in his Anatomy of the Brain (1802);

You might know the term ‘Bell’s Palsy’, it’s named after his description of the effects of a type of paralysis caused by damage of the 7th cranial nerve (yes, I had to look that up). Considering the rudimentary instruments available it is really amazing seeing the depth of understanding people had at that time.

If interested, there will be a live Q & A as part of #BrainAwarenessWeek activities, today (the 20th) at 2pm. Click on ‘YouTube’ here.

Finding Bellarmine Chapel – Walking through the campus of nearby Xavier University on my ‘daily’ earlier in the week I spotted this dear soul sitting by herself near Bellarmine Chapel with nary a soul around. What to do, but walk by with a hearty greeting. Naturally, this led to a bit of a conversation (etc. etc. for those who know me).

It had to be six or so minutes into the ‘conversation’ when a young kid strode by, and called out to me; “yes, everyone on campus loves Mother Theresa.” I smiled at the kid, nodded, and hustled off; understanding had come to me like a lightning bolt.

Zip Line – I know this isn’t for real, but it’s just some “what if” thinking on my part – probably some dream. Let me start with what is real though; Governor Whiney DeWine came to town on Thursday to oversee 10,000 of my fellow citizen’s get ‘poked’ at the Cintas Center on the nearby Xavier University campus as part of the Covid cure.

And, on another part of the campus a Zip-Line was set up as entertainment for students.

So I wondered how it would go over, if (and I know that this would never happen) people would, for a fee, be ‘zipped’ past the long line of those patiently waiting for entry into the Cintas Center after registering properly much, much, earlier.

That, at the front of that line were some red-haired woman with a formal name tag, with a name such as, say; Jen Psaki who allowed these ‘zippers’ to cut into the front of the line. Then when questioned would keep coming out with the same answer over, and over, and over; “Good question. I’ll have to circle back with you“. Naw, that didn’t happen, that was just some dream I was having.

Columbia University – is a perfect example of how I view our country as turning from something we’ve referred to as exceptionalism into an ouroboros-like serpent; a laughing stock of a nation.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on how we moved from a coming together period during the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early on into this century. This was a time when even a ‘woke’ company such as Coca-Cola proudly put out a Tomorrow’s People musical advertisement with the recording of “the Real Thing” . However, and especially during the last 15 or so years, we’ve been put into, and placed ourselves into, an array of separate ‘silos’.

Now I read where aside from a traditional graduation ceremony at Columbia University there are nearly half dozen others. Virtual graduations for the following ‘silos’: Native Graduation, Lavender Graduation (LGBTQIA+ community), Asian Graduation, FLI Graduation (first generation and/or low income), Latinx Graduation (whatever “Latinx” is).

At this pace it won’t be long for separate dormitories to emerge – wait, those have already been asked for, or separate water fountains to be installed – wait, we could just grab some of the old ‘Jim Crow’ ones out of storage. This nonsense is going nowhere good. ”Separate but Equal” sets us back 100 years to segregation times.

Fini – Derek and Kellen, plus mom Kirstin, on spring break, spent the week in Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and had a BLAST! As a bonus, they also got to visit with dear friend Susannah.

    

Then, after showing little interest for the past two years, Derek took to the wheel on the forest Parkway.

As I’m penning this they are halfway home, but not before seeing Graceland and the amazing Bass Pro Shop ‘pyramid’ in Memphis.

   

I love how marketing entities are having a field day. Advertisements now come in threes. In some the casts have masks on, some have been cast with half masks, and some totally without. You gotta love it.

From ideas gathered on the staircase of her childhood home here in Cincinnati, as the adults talked downstairs and where Stowe encountered fugitive enslaved people and the activities of the Underground Railroad, emerged Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin which was published on this day in 1852. It was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”

President Reagan: “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”” Now, from our current President: “Help is on the way”.

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

Dirk


Spring Forward
03 13th, 2021

It’s Saturday morning and after yesterday’s massive workout with my brothers and a 6+mile walk in well under 2-hours I am happy to be here. This all is making the coffee very gratifying, i.e. it’s very tasty.

And I might as well keep the drumbeat going. This week for us it’s been a full year since the 15-day shutdown to “flatten the curve”. Follow the science – and keep on following wherever the ‘goal-posts’ move (1).

Spring Forward – a three-fer – It’s an exciting weekend with all the happenings. First it’s the time change, then it’s all about recycling, finally it’s about warming temps with flowers budding.

I tried to present all of this in some understandable manner and I think I got it. I remembered a video made by a musician whose talents encapsulate (embrace) all of the above.

So, here is something he recorded for you, he is shown playing in Spring –like outdoors surrounded by warm grass and great trees. Plus he, here’s #2, plays mostly in Europe so we have an automatic time change.

And here’s #3, this week I joined a Zoom seminar with Dr. Douglas Frank. And, although it wasn’t his main topic he does love digging down to the core of an issue – hence; Recycling. Doing all his research he came up with the fact that were it not totally underwritten, recycling programs would be a huge financial failure. In fact, he flat out stated that only three items, when recycled, pay for themselves; milk jugs, aluminum cans, and carpets. Everything else costs more in energy consumption than savings when recycled. Our musician fits this ‘bill’ perfectly in that he is a one-man-band who plays several instruments that he created out of, you guessed it, recycled objects.

Our musician is Massimo Tortella. He’s from Viadana, Northern Italy. He busks primarily throughout Europe under his band’s name; Porcapizza. You’ll hear him play guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keyboards as he performs that great Jimi Hendrix standard; Foxy Lady. It’s STARTLING!
Enjoy!

Now, tell me, wasn’t that a fun way to start your Spring Time Ramblings?

Elon Musk – recently had a discussion with Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience. A portion of the subject was; Liberty!

In part he dealt with the Coronavirus shutdown, which many are still under – us, under the ‘thumb’ of our micromanager Governor “Whiney the Wine” here in Ohio, included.

Elon does not mince words;

“We should be concerned about anything that’s a massive infringement on our civil liberties. You’ve got to put a lot of weight on that. A lot of people died to win independence for the country and fight for the democracy that we have. We should treasure that and not give up our liberties too easily. I think we probably did that.”

But he took it a step further. Basically what he said was; “If you own a small business, DON’T LISTEN. STAY OPEN! No politician has a right to prevent you from making an income. In America, government exists to protect certain unalienable rights, among these are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” not to run citizens’ lives.”

We need to get back to work. From the original dream of the Founders we’ve, year after year, moved away from that dream. We’ve allowed the federal government to grow and grow. And as it did its sucked away one freedom after another. Now, under the guise of Safety and Health we’ve gone so far as to hand over voluntarily many more freedoms. (2)

This week, amongst much cheering and hand clapping we’re sitting around waiting for ‘our’ $1,400 check. That message, delivered in a pre-taped, pre-planned, pre-written, pre-practiced, pre-edited address; was a little dark but perfectly managed. However, just remember that this obscene ‘Relief’ Bill divided by 330-million Americans is in reality costing you $5757. Think of it as pulling a bucket of water out of the pool’s shallow end and pouring it into the deep end so that it’s easier for you to swim.

As Musk told Rogan, “Let me just break it to the fools out there: if you don’t make stuff, there is no stuff.”

There is nothing magical out there. Economists are in agreement: We need productivity and output. We need to climb into our jobs, we need to open our businesses – 100%

Bits –
(1) From above, paragraph two; “Goal Posts move”. A subtle change made by the World Health Organization describing “What is Herd Immunity”, first from 9 June 2020 adjacent to it is the other mere weeks later 13 November 2020. Catch the subtle change?

(2) Freedom thought related to the fourth paragraphs above. This from Frederick Douglas (1818 – 1895) Slave, Social Reformer, Orator, Secretary to President Ulysses S. Grant, was nominated for Vice President of the United States on the Equal Rights Party ticket, and actively supported women’s suffrage.

A chart detailing just how our concept of Freedom has shifted over the years from the time of our Founding Fathers — I know, it’s being reposed on purpose. It’s worth clicking on it to enlarge and to take a careful look. Would JFK recognize the current political Parties? Could he be nominated in 2020? The answer to that bugging question lies in the chart below.

Crypto currency – has begun its path to becoming mainstream. We’re in that phase where there are a myriad of entrants, currently over 3,000 variants. China is the international leader in Crypto. Upon arrival in Beijing for the Olympics, each of the Olympic Athletes will receive a ‘wallet’ pre-loaded with Yuan (Chinese currency). The ‘wallet’ is theirs to keep and use and eventually to take home. Clever, don’t you agree? Another ‘something’ our leadership should make note of rather than worrying about the establishment of things such as the “Gender Policy Council” which Biden just signed.

Fini – A couple of weeks ago Dinah and my Birthday parties were celebrated with family in our Mount Storm Park. Marin is shown handing me his gift, baked-from-scratch loaf of Sourdough Bread (even the sourdough starter is his) and the flour used is white, unprocessed, made by the Amish. I cannot remember ever having had better bread.

The other day I while on my walk I kept looking about – primarily to keep an eye on the looming rain clouds; and yes, I did get soaked and with the subsequent sun and breeze dried out before I made it home. During all the looking about I made note of my surroundings and realized that on the Wasson Walkway trail it was much like riding a train. One is constantly looking onto people’s back yard. That’s the place no one preps for viewing. Actually it’s more interesting than looking at the manicured front yards.

Our home is not all that far from our city center. About a half mile away is an area called Avon Woods Preservation woods. The neighborhood social gossip web site can hardly go a couple of days without someone reporting a Coyote sighting on their street or yard. Yesterday I cut through Avon Woods on my afternoon walk and thought it lovely for Coyotes to call home. Just believed I’d share that insight.

   

Today in 1869 the Arkansas legislature passes anti-Ku Klux Klan law. That was at the end of the Civil War. Ask yourself; what happened subsequently that allowed the KKK to strengthen and cause the many horrors they perpetrated, when earlier on they were outlawed?

Another history first. Today’s date in 1877 Chester Greenwood patents earmuffs after inventing them at age 15. I can’t understand why he had to wait until winter was over. It would have been much more practical to secure his patent in September or even October. This way he’d have a patent and have the things produced in time for the Christmas rush.

Just to snap you out of your reverie blocking all thoughts of winter, winter’s extremes, and lovely warmth. Remember that this weekend in 1888 was the Great Blizzard of 1888 which raged across the east coast of the USA and Canada

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

Dirk


Wow, what a Week
03 6th, 2021

It’s a banner springtime Saturday morning, and now with masks at the ready we’ll properly make note of the first anniversary since the 15-day shutdown to “flatten the curve” which began last year. I was going to use the word ‘celebrate’, but felt that a bit too crass, too insensitive, too uncaring.

Massive changes on many fronts have come quickly this past year. You might want to sip contemplatively on your morning coffee while staring at that bundle of plastic straws in the drawer or the hardcover Dr. Seuss collection on the shelf – wondering whether or not the FBI will storm through the kitchen door.

Now that the Dr. Seuss books have been pulled from eBay and other sites for ‘racism’ and other nefarious reasons, I thought it appropriate to reference the absolute ‘horror’ we all must feel at the writings scribbled by Theodor Geisel 90-years ago (born March 2, 1904). Over 60 books written and 600-million copies sold.

It is with utter regret (now that I am expected to understand the embedded ‘racism’ in his books) as I reflect on the misplaced joy our kids and later the grandkids expressed as they squealed with laughter during reading times.

“The works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to us as Dr. Seuss, have sparked a love for reading in generations of students. His whimsical wordplay and curious characters inspire children to dream big…” Representative Brian Mast posting this President Obama quote.

President Obama was quoted from just a mere couple of years ago — how quickly we flounder.

As I quoted from Professor Gad Saad last week; “slowly we inch toward ……”.

Education – It’s not been a secret stating that I am disgusted by what has happened with our public schools this past year; totally unnecessary and unacceptable, as kids across the nation lost a year. The craziness of the ‘virtual’ classroom for kids in their formative years is nothing more than child abuse.

Rather than me starting a rant watch this, a short project film titled, Numb, made by Liv McNeil, 9th grader in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Her words; ” This is a mini film, Numb, by me. I did this for a school project but I’m really happy with how it came out, so I’m posting it here. This took me a combined 3 weeks or so. hope you enjoy! please feel free to share as much as you like, just credit me and M83, the band who made the music.

Many reacted to this film. One student’s reaction to seeing it: “As a 9th grade student too, I feel like my worth is measured from turning in assignments on time and doing well on quizzes. This hits a little too close to home. By the end of this, I was absolutely sobbing.”

A Trillion – Day after day we read about a nearly $2-trillion ‘relief’ bill made up of Pork and a little bit of Covid aid. We lose track of what that number really is. So I thought I’d write it out for you; $2,000,000,000,000.00.

Have a trillion in single dollar bills? It would take you about 31,546 years to count each dollar bill. Going back in time, a billion seconds and you’d be doing Disco in 1987, go back a trillion seconds and you’d be around 30,000 B.C. Have all that money in singles? This bundle would weigh about 2.2 billion pounds or over 630,000 mid-sized cars (many more if we all owned a Citroën 2CV). Now get the idea? Makes more sense?

History – The study of which I love, and something Marcia despises. I’ve come to realize that the ratio is about 1 to 5; those who enjoy the study of History versus those who don’t. So, I won’t go into the seminar on Alexander Hamilton I attended this week – except for the fact that I enjoyed it immensely, and these couple of snippets.

He was born on the British Leeward Islands and immigrated to North America virtually penniless. He joined George Washington in the War of Independence against the British (American Revolutionary War). A war of insurrection, it took shape and Hamilton quickly climbed through the ranks. He became about the only person General Washington entrusted with the names of those who were our spies against the British. The relationship was more of a mentor-teacher in that Washington was 23-years older than Hamilton.

His thoughts and Washington’s buy-in combined to create a sense of Nationhood rather than a loose collection of States as Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

He and his wife had eight children. His oldest son was also killed in a Duel prior to Hamilton’s own death at the hand of Aaron Burr. It was a strange time with a sense of ‘honor’ that stretched beyond the pale.

Forty + Years of friendship and that whole time William (Bill) Melvin built exacting model aircraft and drawings/paintings of these marvels of the air. Hundreds of them. Bill is one of those people who just keep on going; umpiring baseball into his mid-80s. His wife Janie passed a while back and the kids finally convinced Bill to move closer to them – New Jersey.

Early last winter we gathered with friends to wish Bill [now 90] a safe new journey as he prepared to make his move. So, did Bill just quietly shrink away? No, not a chance.

Last week a Facebook post announced that Bill’s art was being exhibited, and curated by Haifa Bint-Kadi, Artist, at the Riverfront Art Gallery in Yonkers, NJ. As their announcement states an: ….”journey through the war times, learn about various aviation heroes – all in one exhibit that’s worth 70+ years of love and time”, and dedication.

I just had to share this story. The black and white below is just one of nearly 200 pieces he created, and is of one of our nation’s heroes, Chuck Yeager, and the plane he piloted breaking the sound barrier for the first time. Click on Bill’s name above to learn a bit more about this remarkable friend. Enjoy!

   

Fini – Yesterday Art organized a change in our twice a week via Zoom workout regimen. Yesterday Kirstin led us in a morning Yoga session. Great fun, and more physical than I expected. Also, Kirstin is one great instructor.

This week Governor Abbott of Texas announced that his State was joining a few others and reopen. It’s wonderful to watch where people are once again able to take personal responsibility for our own wellbeing. Thanks! And I hope other Governors (ours included) take note.

Now expect to again hear the ‘claptrap’ coming from Paris as we’re rejoining that bunch. Let it be known that Climate Change has always been and will be real. It’s the nonsensical predictions of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming which is a scientific fraud.

Today in 1869 at the Russian Chemical Society, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first periodic table. Oh, the hours I spend memorizing and absorbing this table throughout my school years. Now I hardly recognize the updated version.

And, in 1836 on this date The Alamo in Texas fell to Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna after a 13-day siege. It was a brutal and chaotic time. The loss didn’t have to happen. Had it not though we probably wouldn’t have the myriad of great tales of derring-do by the likes of Davey Crockett, James Bowie, and William Travis; “Remember the Alamo”.

People have wondered whether or not the corner of Chaos & Mayhem is still active. It certainly is and it’s ongoing. This photo was taken yesterday.

My baby-brother Art got to meet baby Bryn Corinne – his first grandchild.

The Vondee Globe around the world, non-stop, solo, without assistance, sailing race finished yesterday when the last sailor came in – Ari Huusela of Finland. He was the first Fin to sail this race, 58 of years of age and an Airline pilot he took 116 days to complete his 30,000 mile sail. His homecoming back to Les Sables-d’Olonne, France was just as raucous as each of the others. Thirty-three boats sailed, one was lost, six dropped out due to mechanical issues, and in 4-years it’ll all happen again. For this race, this’ll be the last ‘bit’ on it you hear from me.

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

Dirk


Side by Side
02 27th, 2021

Hey, it’s Saturday morning – the sun will come out, the temperature should climb to near 60, and it’s dry….I am HAPPY!
Now, coffee, and then a quick start on The Ramblings.

Excited about Zoom – Actually two differing Zoom sessions. First is the ‘Brothers Zoom’ (NOT to be confused with ‘Brothers Grim’), where under the expert guidance of athlete sis-in-law Jolene we’re doing 45-minutes or so of demanding stretching and exercises. I am emphasizing the ‘stressful’ portion since we’re using floor exercises, stretch-belts, and a pair of 10Lb weights. Sweat is part of this twice a week event.

Then, this coming Tuesday I’ll Zoom to connect for a class with Empower U. That evening it’ll be National Security Affairs Professor Stephen Knott, who holds this post at the United States Naval War College. He will present material from his book Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth; Secret and Sanctioned. We’ll examine the impact of Alexander Hamilton on the founding of the United States. I do know that Hamilton fighting alongside Washington became appalled by the inefficiency of the government under the Articles of Confederation and by the reluctance of the states to contribute to the war effort; now I look forward to Knott’s insights. Should be one fine session!

On the subject of learning. During an earlier session I shared a question which must have prompted something. A week ago, totally unexpected, I received from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University a book; 50 Core American Documents. It’s almost a study guide and I love it. Actually, I love learning!   

If you want your very own copy text me and I’ll organize

Title IX – On occasion I receive differing historical input from a Brazilian lady, Marina Amaral. She shared a photo of this mosaic of Roman women playing sports and exercising. It’s an amazing floor mosaic from a Villa Romana del Casale in Sicili from early in the 4th century.

Now that women are losing the ability to have their own venue to excel (as we believed was guaranteed in Title IX), I thought it appropriate to show just how it’s taken 1600 years to come to the conclusion that women must be subservient to men. Hence, on day one of our newly installed ‘progressive’ administration it was not Covid that took center stage. Covid can now only be considered a faux pandemic since it was immediately put on hold; No, the most critical piece of business that first day was an Executive Order granting males full access to women’s private spaces and sports.

Side by Side The other day picking up Vili after school I took special note of the marble bench placed under the flag pole. It honors Lieutenants John Leahr and Herb Heilbrun. Both grew up in our neighborhood, in 1928 both attended this school and were in the same 3rd grade class, both became pilots in WWII, (one flying bombers, the other covered the bombers flying a Tuskegee Red Tail P51 – they flew Side by Side); one was White the other Black. [as an aside, I’ve had the privilege meeting and talking with both of these men, these two fast friends were out-and-out heroes]

We live in a multi-racial part of the city and the Block parties and socials fun events have always had everyone interacting. Fast forward, our kids and then the Cincinnati grand-kids attended this same (now) Montessori focused Public School. During the time that our kids went there our kids mixed, studied, played, and hung together. They made friends, black and white, as kids do. Color played no part. Finally, and similarly throughout our nation, it seemed to be that the end of any vestiges of the Jim Crow era had finally come.

What I am seeing now is a change that started a few decades ago, and it’s frightening. We’re watching ‘silos’ of isolation and thereby segregation being formed – Black Americans wanting separate dorms and their own graduations as example. Our neighborhood views itself as absolutely “Progressive”, yet what I see is property upon property Virtue Signaling as they form one little separatist island after another complete with yard placards filled with glowing platitudes. I suspect that the idea is that without these signs one cannot move about or feel safe.

Now it’s the raising of the ugly head of ‘Identity Politics’ which has similarly emerged. Whatever spin is put on, this it’s racism, pure and simple. As a ‘lifelong liberal’ Smith College staff member Jody Shaw, a Whistleblower said; “This is the essence of critical race theory. In order to make “progress” in “combating racism,” everyone is reduced to a stick figure.” All of this dark bigotry and racism has crept into Schools, government, and corporate America all under the guise of preventing racism – such malarkey.

Taking it even a step further, Thursday the ‘Equality Act’ passed the House, and the detail in it is frightening – you should read sections of it.

” You can be sure anything that comes out of D.C. does the opposite of its name.” Christopher Bedford, The Federalist, February 25, 2021

Someone smarter than me has noted that; “slowly we inch to the abyss”.

Fini – Wednesday Dinah is celebrating her Birthday. It would appear that later today we’ll be at a proper outdoors venue to celebrate as a family.

This month 20 years ago, February 2001, Al Gore made an amazing prediction. He stated flat out that by 2021 we would all be dead due to Global Warming. Whoops, sorry Al, still here.

Once we pass and burden future generations with another $1.9-trillion debt, ostensibly required to fight the hardships and needs of Covid-19, remember that merely 9% is focused on dealing with Covid-19. Really think that this bill, the COVID-19 relief bill, is all about Covid-19 assistance? It might be a good time to give your Representative some serious input. Here is a portion of the Bill’s text.

This morning it is the 348th day since the 15-day shutdown to “Flatten the curve” began. To celebrate this ‘near’ anniversary, last evening Marcia and I went out for some craft beer and Lenten-based Fish & Chips. It was our “Friday-F-the-Mask night” at the local pub; seems like a few others had the same idea.

   

Now that another birthday came and went I am treading new turf; ‘entering a new era’ so to say. To some I am now a “wise elder sage”, while to others I am now merely a “tottering old fool”. Personally I think it is a little of both.

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

Dirk



I hope that this Saturday morning finds you well. Other than a cold morning, I slept well enough to get a late start on this week’s ‘Ramblings’ – it’s not quite 6:30. Having said that, Mr. Coffee just ‘beeped’ so the day has begun.

“ Talent returned to God.” ~ Mark Steyn who adjusted Rush Limbaugh’s popular tag line, “Talent on loan from God, in his memorial post on the passing of Limbaugh

The Title – The title of this morning’s post, “What If We Ignore the Government?” is a direct copy the title of an article written by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey and the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

The article is a series of ‘What ifs’. “What if when government fails to protect inalienable rights, we simply ignore it?”
“What if we have other inalienable rights such as the freedom of speech, the right to assemble peacefully, the right to worship, the right to travel and to self-defense, the right to fairness from the government, the right to take chances, the right to own and enjoy property, and the right to be left alone?”
“What if government workers join in a massive civil disobedience of local and state rules governing personal behavior on private property? What if the governors who have been controlling us realize that they have no real support and thus have become toothless?”
“What if we ignore the government at our peril? What if when government tramples our rights, we alter or abolish it? What if the time to do that is coming? What if that time is here? What if — as Jefferson wrote — when the people fear the government there is tyranny? What if when the government fears the people, there is liberty?”

Yesterday was the first day back at school for Vili, and I was asked to pick him up. Let me also say that for the past year I’ve only worn a mask occasionally to gain entry to a store and such – hence I lack any muscle memory grabbing the thing. So, yesterday I skipped the few blocks to the school, and joined a throng (mostly grandparents) trying to spot what’s theirs. That’s when I realized I seemed to be the only one not wearing a mask. That’s when the wise musings of Judge Napolitano flashed by as a pang of ‘guilt’ struck home; Lord Fauci and our very own Governor, ‘Whiney de Wine’, had done their jobs well. And, you know what? No one said a thing. It was exactly what I remember from past years, a smile of recognition and a skip home with a happy kid.

Surgery 2021 – Brother George had surgery on his spine mid-week; a procedure which a decade ago would have had him hospitalized for most of a week (or more). But, times have changed.

The procedure took a couple of hours. Recovery took a couple of hours. And, he walked out of the hospital. Part of the recovery process is that he was to walk about the house at least once an hour. The photo shows his progress yesterday, the second day after surgery. George had not seen numbers such as those for the past three years. He’s thrilled. Sandy is thrilled. I am thrilled; as is the rest of the family. Amazing!

When the weather has you locked in – then I’ve discovered ways to find things that please. I had been listening to Canadian radio and my favorite music show hosted by guitarist Randy Bachman. The show had a number of pieces performed as duet by people who had gotten together when normally you wouldn’t think of them as a pair; think Willie Nelson singing with Ray Charles as an example.

After the show, Marcia sound asleep, I stayed up and explored by taking it a step further. Remember Freddie Mercury of Queen? Mercury, singing songs such as, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls‘, and ‘We are the Champions‘, while prancing about the stage in a sleeveless undershirt and skin-tight jeans, that’s who. That’s when I came across a duet of Mercury with opera singer Montserrat Caballé singing his ‘Barcelona’. The duet is amazing and the piece a triumph. Enjoy!

Fini – Thought with the people of Texas and their weather difficulties. Kirstin had frozen pipes and through a number of phone conversations and a series of texts complete with photos she came through unscathed. Also, there is a Hospital less than a block away and her home is on that ‘grid’, hence, she never lost power.

The ‘Nati’ has never been competent in snow removal and road clearing. In fact, it sucks! On a walk when I got to the place in the street where the Cincinnati boundary ends and St. Bernard starts up. Guess which place starts and which stops.

The few times I’ve been through Bristol it’s seemed like many small Appalachian towns. These days it’s seen as being a bit different; a more compact version of Cincinnati, OH ~ Covington, KY. See, rather than a river separating each, one side of Main Street Bristol is in Virginia and the other in Tennessee. And in Virginia bars and restaurants have to close by ten O’clock. On the Tennessee side they can stay open till 2:00AM. The whole business is, as some wag has said, a perfect metaphor of covid absurdity.

Here is another reason not to send your kids to an Ivy League school. Many tens of thousands of dollars dumped into some black hole to achieve what? This kind of absolute nonsense is what: Harvard researchers claim COVID-19 wouldn’t have been so bad if US paid reparations.

Last long weekend part of our local gang went into the hill country of South-East Ohio for a few days away; a few days to get out of town for some restoration. Well done, mission accomplished.

Careful wording is critical. This signage on a dumpster is motivating.

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

Dirk



After an enjoyable week, I’ll wish you much contentment this Saturday morning. Here our week had Mother Nature give us a blast of winter; like nothing seen for over a decade. Currently she’s taking a breath, then to return for most of next week – with a vengeance. Or so they say.

Monday into Tuesday predictions are for 12” of more snow. But then, last week’s 10” snowfall was supposed to be a 2” to 3” event. So here we are, our supercharged weather teams making note of some “pressure system” off of the far corner of Australia. Then, weaponized with cameras on satellites, the ‘tracking’ and ‘analysis’ begins; multi colored charts emerge on TV screens, complete with a myriad of lines. At that juncture, the whole thing proves to be dead wrong.

I’ll continue to trust St. Bernie as my predictor. Snow at his feet; then it’s cold. Grass at his feet; then it’s tolerable. His shadow also plays a part, I just haven’t figured out that part. Coffee anyone?

Last week I did mention forthcoming birthdays. Well, they’re still forthcoming, but I’m starting to take note, especially since I’ll be involved. In the meantime I thought I’d share this truism:

“After turning 35, men must make a decision; to either get really into World War 2 history, or really into smoking various meats.” ~ Anonymous

I opt for both!

The focus on aging (a pun that is related to smoking meats and therefore is intended) dictates that I share this short video, especially since the ‘aging’ thing played such a part in last weekend’s Super Bowl. Enjoy!

Political Theater (of the Absurd) – is so rampant all around us that it’s actually becoming difficult to see what’s ‘up’ and what’s ‘down’, what’s ’white and what’s ‘black’.

To illustrate:
• Lord Fauci praised Cuomo as he lied to the Feds about his nursing home victims. Cuomo gets a literary prize.
• House Managers were caught using fake ‘evidence’ at the impeachment trial.
• Biden halted Deportation flight of African Criminals because it’s Black History month.
• Trump accomplished a breakthrough Peace accord in the Middle East – the Abraham Accords – BLM gets nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Changes in Masking; Biden’s “100 days of Masking” has now it’s become indefinite. Add to that, wearing masks inside, wearing multiple masks.
• At Davis, Russia’s Putin spoke; the “future course for the western economies is obvious – one only has to observe the return of (former Fed head) Janet Yellen to the U.S. Treasury; of (former IMF head) Christine Lagarde to the ECB and (former ECB head) Mario Draghi as PM in Italy, to understand that a full blown ‘reflation trade’ is underway”.
• Lockdowns continue even though a study in Frontiers in Public Health on the data delivered by 160 countries has found no correlation between death rate and stringency of lockdown measures. These continue even though horrible damage occurs with the separation/isolation of human beings through the application of masks, distance maintenance between people, stay-at-home orders and business closures. Yet, slowly we march on down that path – worldwide.
Women’s sports took it on the chin when our new administration thought it important enough to, on their first day, allow males to compete wherever they wanted.
• Originally touted as the new “Town Square” public debate has been silenced by our wave of big Tech overlords; Facebook, Google, Twitter. Competitors have been silenced, even a President silenced. Disney pushed aside one of their biggest stars, pushed aside for ‘daring’ to present her heartfelt viewpoint.
• April of last year that CNN claimed that a year and a half timeframe of producing a vaccine would raise safety concerns: “Eighteen months might sound like a long time, but in vaccine years, it’s a blink”. Glossed over is the fact that these vaccines have been released as ‘Experimental’ and any problems have been glossed over. Now, with coronavirus variants emerging the problems are mounting:

  • the Chinese vaccine Sinovac has been found to be only fifty percent effective in Brazil.
  • South Africa suspended use of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca after researchers found that it provided ‘minimal protection’ against mild to moderate coronavirus infections caused by the new variant – 10% effective.
  • A number of countries hundreds of elderly people died after having received their shots. This side effect became so troublesome that some governments – Norway, for instance – has issued new advisories and guidelines concerning vaccinations for older individuals.

• Try crossing the border into Canada (and it’s been suggested by the Feds to do the same for passage into Florida) and we get quarantined for two weeks in a hotel – at our own expense. Yet, do the same by crossing illegally at the southern border and with virtually no questions asked get put up in a hotel at taxpayer expense, then released.

Much of what we’re experiencing has not been seen since the time of the Spanish Inquisition when, then expressing a differing viewpoint or failure to comply would see you burned on a stake.

Fini – Today in 1936 the very first Social Security check was put into the mail. This was not very long after when it was still possible to place a stamp on your kid and mail him off to Grandma’s home.

Earlier, on this date in 1633 Italian Philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

This past week, Good News! The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an internal investigation and they’ve cleared the CCP of any blame in the coronavirus outbreak. As Professor Saad added; “Also the ‘Himmler Appreciation Society’ has cleared the Nazis of links to the Holocaust”.

One more piece of insight, this by Mike Cassiop; “I am old enough to remember when closing schools for one school day was considered a difficult decision due to loss of a day of education and students missing lunch/parents having to miss work. But I guess missing 1.5 years is OK when fear and hysteria rule the heart and mind.

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

Dirk