Concert & Rust

06 27th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. Be sure to click on a new Time Check on top of the page.

What’s going on? First it was an angry protest. Now I only see turmoil filled screens filled with anarchy, mostly by groups of pasty white endomorphic and spineless ectomorphs all pretending that they are the current generation of ‘movers’ and ‘shakers’.

“The covers of this book are too far apart.” ~ Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914, American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran)

By and large our town seems to have turned the corner.

Garden Stroll – A week ago, on a glorious Sunday afternoon some kind (brilliant?) neighborhood folk organized a Garden Stroll. And people were oh so ready to remove the cobwebs over their doors and stride out. Being outside just to enjoy the little pleasures of life once again; I think it brought normalcy back.

  

 

Pear Rust – or as those much smarter than me prefer to call it; gymnosporangium sabinae. In all the years we’ve been here we’ve never seen anything like it. Apparently the Juniper trees together with the pear trees which line many of our streets got together (it requires both) and the result is Pear Rust.

Curbsides were filled with the powdery stuff; street after street. And on the day we noticed it (it had rained that night), it seemed like a salt truck had come by spraying orangey paint. It looks strange, ugly, and ‘sorta’ neat all at the same time. The car in the photographs was parked immediately in front of our balcony.

 

A concert — Last evening there was a first of the Covid season. Neighbors held a concert on their property. The group, going by the name of The Groove Mechanics pumped out some lovely R&B, Soul, and Funk tracks: for two solid hours.

Pieces from Booker T. Washington, The Allman Brothers band, Al Green, James Brown, and so it went. It was an evening of foot moving, and head bobbing. Hearing some ‘anthem’ from the early ‘70s I do believe I saw my arms extended over my head.

Marcia stayed home, but caught a snippet live-streamed on the neighborhood Facebook page so she too was happy. Just being there was good!

NO Ramblings – Next week there will NOT be a post, sorry. Marcia felt she was not ready for another sleepless night of loudness from outside ‘parties’ and fireworks. So we’re spending the weekend at a B&B in Rising Sun Indiana and Rabbit Hash Kentucky (a short ferry-boat ride across the river).

Rabbit Hash is a town of 300+/- people. The Mayor of the place comes from a long line of canine mayors. Currently it’s Brynneth Pawltro, a pit bull. Brynneth Pawltro won the title of mayor of Rabbit Hash, in Boone County Kentucky, with a simple slogan: “Peace, love and understanding.”

The place is also known for its General Store, operational continuously since 1831 and the Sunday ‘Music behind the Stove’ concerts (these haven’t started up yet). It burned down in 2016 but was rebuilt and back in operation within a year using salvaged and donated lumber and items.

Fini – Tevita celebrated his Birthday yesterday (and I do believe the celebrations will continue throughout the weekend). Happy Birthday Tevita.

This day in 1971 was final show at the Fillmore East, with performances by acts such as Albert King, The J. Geils Band, The Beach Boys, and The Allman Brothers Band. Operational for only just over three years it already proved to be too small.

With all the hub-bub regarding ‘equality’ and such I noted this news. A graduate of Howard University became the 1st black Female Officer to join the Air Force Thunderbirds’ precision flying team. Captain Remoshay Nelson is quoted as saying; “… to be in a position that is visible, to show little girls that this is attainable, to let them know they can do anything they put their mind to, is an absolute honor.” Why can’t more of this type of news be reported on a broader scale?

Last Thursday at dinnertime I made sure to watch a Press event by Premier Ford of Ontario to see if there would be an update on the US/Canada Border opening. Nothing was mentioned! So, it seems that an end-of-July date is still in play.

Lastly, my friend Linda, offered this bit of insight. Spot on!

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


Indulgences

06 20th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all — the time check above will let you know its morning. My week has been a little ‘peak-ed’, partially due to the fact that the song “MacArthur Park” has been running around in my head the whole time and totally without reason. So, while enjoying my morning coffee I can safely say that this didn’t happen to me:

“Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh no!”
~ Sir Richard John Harris, AKA Albus Dumbledore

Now it’s your turn to uncouple it from your brain. Good luck!

Juneteenth Last evening was an amazing time. At dusk the parties began. The closest to us was immediately across the street. Next block over was another. On her scanner, Marcia kept up with the happenings across the city. Life in the city was ‘a-hoppin’. As soon as it was dark the fireworks began – all over the place and from as far away as we could hear. These continued for a couple of hours. By then enough ‘beverage’ had been consumed and this, coupled with outdoor sound systems, had yards full of folk dancing and singing till well after midnight (that’s when I fell asleep, but Marcia woke up around 3:00 and it was still cranking); and let it be known that I totally hate Rap.

A short history lesson: First African-Americans elected to Congress were Republicans.

Lockdown peccadillos – have created scenes, sayings, and stupidity which will find their way into posterity. We’ll never outrun nonsensicals such as: “we’re in this all together” what exactly does this refer to? I don’t think so! How about the ‘clever’ line: “this is the new normal”. Does this refer to the sixty-year old driving by HIMSELF with a mask on in such a way so that his eyes barely peek out over his mask’s top? This is the “new normal”?

The ‘lockdown’ has Marcia almost going bonkers – definitely into a funk. Luckily we got a $50.00 check from our Insurance Co. as a ‘gift’ for not driving much during Covid-19. And so we both hopped in the car to deposit it at the bank’s drive-through – anything to escape. Once there I hit the little button to open the door; only then to watch the canister disappear (empty) down the vacuum tube. While waiting for it to get returned I noticed that my face as displayed on the system’s TV screen looked awfully pale and pointed this out to Marcia. “Maybe”, I thought, “they’ll send me a little make-up kit back”. They did not.

In the meantime an older pickup with its windows open, a Skoal-chewing tobacco type guy driving, pulled into the neighboring drive-through. I thought it completely appropriate to yell over to him; “you look pale too?” That’s about the same time Marcia began to react negatively.

I am looking forward to the OLD normal; days of going to Costco complete with all of their ‘food’ ladies. I just want to be walking down an aisle trying to balance a small paper ‘pill’ cup with three hot green beans in it and me trying hard not to bounce them out; while at the same time trying not to forget why I was in the aisle in the first place.

An Icon falls – In the latter part of the 1800s a printing company evolved into what became the United States Playing Card Co. They became known for various brands; Bicycle, Bee, Tally-Ho, Congress, Hoyle, and Aviator. It operated next door in Norwood until a recent move into adjacent Northern Kentucky. In Norwood for over 100 years the place could be found via its iconic tower. This week it came down – all except the tower, it’s a fixture which is staying.

In 2003 they released a deck under the name of “Most-Wanted Iraqi Playing Cards“. The deck contained the most-wanted members of President Saddam Hussein’s government. I still have one unopened deck. Looking up how history dealt with these characters, all but 6 of the 52 have been killed or captured.

Fini – Last evening the party across the street was still going full bore when I heard sirens. A block away fire equipment, EMT, and Police roared in. So, a little past midnight, I walked over to catch the goings on. Net result? Nothing. Lots of equipment, hoses running to and fro, but no fire to be seen.

However, earlier in the week a trailer-load of massive ‘bouncy’ houses were dropped off; six in all. Of course a few had to be tested. You can imagine my consternation upon returning from my walk one morning and being confronted by this scene from Easter Island.

I thought you’d want to know that on this date in 1893, after a murder trial which captured the nation, Lizzie Borden of Massachusetts was cleared of the charges. The murders were memorialized in a children’s rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.

And if you aren’t scared enough these days, remember that on this day in 1975 the movie Jaws was released. Many a sleepless night ensued.

It’s almost with a tinge of pride that Marcia proclaims that with the Lockdown our little condo has taken on the appearance of a Frat house. Your thoughts? She couldn’t possibly be correct, could she?

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


Months Postponed

06 13th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. Last weekend we had great weather, and then during the week the humidity kicked in. Now, this weekend, it’s back to perfection. Mother Nature understands oh so well that I do not do humidity. At this point I can be seen lifting my morning mug of fresh coffee in appreciation to her.

As an interesting bit of ‘factoid’ our nation’s beginnings had a stinky start. It was on this very day in 1777 that a young 19 year old Frenchman set foot on our shores after a two month sea voyage — sans showers (or baths). By then he had to be a seriously stinky bloke. It was the newly arriving Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (we only referred to him as La Fayette, because barely anyone in the soon to be USA could read French or even names for that matter) who as a 19 year old pup with no combat experience befriended both Washington and Jefferson as he assisted fighting in the War of Independence by helping train and lead revolutionary regiments.

[I tried to make that last sentence as long as La Fayette’s name on purpose so that you could really see why no one used his whole name]

Food Truck Love affair – It all started because Restaurants were forced to stay shut due to the Covid bug. Our neighborhood began by selecting differing Food Trucks to offer their specialties on a weekend evening. Select, order, and pay on line. Select the pick-up time. Say “hi” to a neighbor or two (from 6-feet away of course), and head home with some very tasty morsels.

Last evening it was Venezuelan food fare from Empanadas Aquí Café. Marcia and I both had an Arepa made from Venezuelan style shredded skirt steak, shredded Queso Amarillo (yellow cheese), and housemade Guasacaca sauce (avocado cilantro sauce). Plus a side of the perfunctory Garlic-Rosemary Yucca fries.

Marcia was immediately transported back to her days in La Victoria and Caracas.

Madness breaking loose:

”Have we eaten on the insane root that takes reason prisoner?” ~ William Shakespeare

“Hoooo…boy. When the pendulum swings back the other way, things are going to be insane” ~ Robert Laurie

”We are living in an era when sanity is controversial and insanity is just another viewpoint—and degeneracy only another lifestyle.” ~ Thomas Sowell

”Did you ever wonder how a civilized country like Germany could descend into a perfect storm of mob rule, street violence, obedience to authority and racial hatred?
Well wonder no more.
You’re living in it.”
~ Alice Smith

”A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying; “You are mad, you are not like us.” ~ St. Anthony of the Desert

This short video made by Monty Python star John Cleese could have been made this morning rather than the 40-years ago as it was.

Enjoy.

And, I have stopped watching Television news. I couldn’t take any more of their 24/7 non-stop, blasting forth of ‘click-bait’ while carefully hawking depression. It stopped being accurate news a long time ago and it’s only become worse.

Dirk the ‘voyeur’ – This week I have been following on a daily basis the adventures of a Welsh Automotive Information writer as he traveled 2,000 miles from Wales to Croatia and back – in an old Deux Chevaux. Yes a 2CV! I never knew how stunning an area both Slovenia and Croatia are.

Ian Seabrook is a classic car nerd, motoring writer, editor and videographer and his YouTube pieces under the name of ‘Hubnut‘ are wonderful.

He headed out to two differing automotive gatherings. The furthest out was a week-long world gathering of 2CV owners in a small town outside of Zagreb, Croatia; nearly 2,000 of them!!!

So, for me it was; dinner done and feet up, behind the telly (as the Brits & Welsh would say). Just couldn’t wait.

Also on display were three ‘barn’ finds totally unrestored. These 2CVs were hidden immediately prior to the start of WWII to keep their embedded new technology from the Nazi’s. They used 8 torsion bars for suspension and one had a water-cooled engine installed. All had aluminum bodies. Interesting how ‘Our Duck’ could have looked had the vehicle not been, clandestinely, redesigned during the war. Not certain I would have purchased one had it looked as these look – even if new.

     

Fini – the ‘new’ (looks brand new) iPhone SE came. It was purchased through Swappa. Originally I was introduced to Swappa through Vince and now having purchased from them again have not been disappointed. Soon we’ll have Marcia join the world of ‘the connected’.

Yesterday our State’s Supreme Court dealt a blow to our Governor’s heavy handed (now deemed illegal) lockdown strategy. This morning I noted that similarly in California Governor Gavin Newsom got slapped on the side of the head by their courts. Last week Michigan’s Governor Whitmer lost another round with the ‘Barber-of-Owosso’. It’s good to see that constitutionality does still prevail.

The Cincy gang (and Marcia as their properly registered ‘Baby Sitter’) have been enjoying the community pool. It’s by appointment and in 3-hour chunks of time. But (so they tell me) it’s wonderful.

Friends and neighbors Barb and Bulent will head for their north woods camp next weekend and then we’ll hear how ‘Northern Comfort‘ fared last winter. We can’t cross the border at least till the end of July. Paraphrasing that old Dire Straits song, Money for Nothing; “that ain’t nothing but that’s the way we have to do it” – sadly!

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


Being thrashed

06 6th, 2020

Morning all. This morning’s curfew hasn’t lifted yet. And I am surprised. On the one hand the activity on the road is negligible. On the other hand, with a curfew in place, there is more traffic out and about than I would have thought. Maybe, as soon as the coffee is done, I’ll pour a mug and contemplate on the puzzle.

Whew! What a week. This is one for the memory books. As someone once said; “I feel like I’ve been thrashing in a Beaver pond while wearing trunks woven from Willow.”

“Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town when it is under siege..” ~ Voltaire

With whiny DeWine – Almost daily at two o’clock we Ohioans gather around our TVs and radios. Soon Governor DeWine is introduced, we sit raptly and are regaled for fifteen or so minutes of blather and a bit of nostalgic insight into the state’s darling first lady, Fran (who has borne the couple eight children and who sews masks). Then the real reason we’re staying tuned emerges. Quickly, with approving nods of Health Director Amy Acton, a new listing of approved openings is announced.

The event reminds me of my College days as we student gathered in similar fashion. Only then it was as the Selective Service Lottery numbers were announced. Vietnam was along well enough into the struggle that it was quickly becoming ever more clear that those selected were being sent into the fray for a ‘saving-face’ closing out operation – “quickly now boys, the killing fields await.”

Both events had a plethora of miss-steps, power struggles, incompetence, and saving face media events. Utter nonsense with both.

This week, State big-wigs cheered on the “calm and peaceful” marches and turned a blind eye towards the ‘Social Spacing’ edicts and the wearing of the highly regarded (near) mandatory face mask by the assembled. Meanwhile, an outdoor Amusement Park is still closed. Grab a beer is OK, stand up with the same beer means the pub can get fined. And kids still see yellow caution tape blocking their playground entrances.

Originally (it was so long ago), but maybe you can still remember when it was a 15-day ‘Lockdown’ to ‘Flatten the Curve’? Next in line was the importance to ‘build immunity’ by mingling so that “Herd” immunity would take hold and save us. Instead, over long week after long week we’ve been beaten into submission with lockdown and scary fairytales – a new one breathlessly told every evening. We’ve been pushed into depression over an influenza-like virus that is almost on par with the regular flu – except this one seems to have a longing for the elderly. But in fact, the Seasonal Influenza has killed more children than the Covid virus.

Voltaire had it right.

Our town’s “Thin Blue Line” – Cincinnati went through a troubling time about twenty years ago. This resulted with input from the courts, the Feds and city management into a document labeled the “Collaborative Agreement”. The product that emerged is now rated as the best Police Force in the nation. Other cities turn to us for guidance and training. For twenty years no Police Officer has carried a baton. Similarly, a ‘knee on the neck” move has been outlawed for all since that time.

So, living in a town with excellent policing as a backdrop, I struggle with seeing the level of vitriol expressed to police. We too have had an occasional rogue cop – and this should be dealt with quickly. But, the resultant burning and looting seen across the country as a response to the murder in Minneapolis has little to nothing to do with honoring a murdered individual.

Even across the street from our place is a “Black Lives Matter” sign and this too is part of an agenda that is not meant to improve. If it were, go with “All Black Lives Matter” and be just as vehement about the 15-homicides (nearly all black) in Chicago last Sunday alone. Outrage should be there for a 77-year old retired police Chief David Dorn, Federal Protective Service Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, Police Officer Breann Leath. They were murdered this week – all three were black. And the list goes on. Where is the outrage, the kneelings, where are the marches for these people who served us, these servants who protected us? Instead it’s deadly quiet, barely a peep other than a ‘ton’ of hatred which keeps on being heaped. There is an agenda at play and these murdered servants don’t fit the dialogue. Shameful! All Black Lives Matter; change the chant and you my might see me climb aboard.

Heading Out – Marcia reached a point where something had to give. We took a drive and ended up heading to our eastern ‘burbs and a new Jungle Jims. The place has whatever it is you want as a foody. Asian fresh veggies? Sure, Indonesian, Russian, Korean, French or British, Serbian or Dutch? Yup, it’s all there, acre after acre.

Marcia did her thing. I found five wedges of different European cheeses (these had my name on them) – Marcia thinks that the more ‘green’ on them the better I like it. True!

At lunch I’ll have another piece of smoked herring; a bit salty but delightful.

                

     

Fini – This day in 1944 the western Allied forces from the United States, Britain, Canada, and Free French forces returned to the European continent in something code-named “Operation Neptune”. D-Day beachheads were secured in Normandy on five beaches—code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

Signage on another side of Chaos & Mayhem:

Marcia woke up shortly after 4:00AM when the police scanner came to life. Police were asked to converge on our west end, near downtown. Two cars were chasing each other for several blocks until the lead car crashed with at least one fatality. For several blocks the roadway was strewn with empty casings and even an empty magazine. Along the way five parked vehicles were riddled with bullet holes. With nary a grumble our heroic police officers did exactly what we’ve asked them to do – proceed into the morning blackness and deal with the situation.

In the meantime, later today our City ‘Clowncil’ will be meeting to approve to NOT prosecute any of the several hundred curfew breakers picked up this week. To the Council, understand the word ‘cajones’? Well, grow a pair!

Our neighborhood pool club opened up this week and Marcia joined in with Adrianne, Vai, and Vili and got some sun. The event was a positive enough experience that Thursday Marcia was seen at Target looking for a bathing suit.

So, I sat and watched, first the launch of the SpaceX Dragon. Then, second the arrival at the International Space Station with it’s two passengers. I just love all of this. If offered I’d jump aboard in a heart beat.

A series of parts for Our Duck – our little Deux Chevaux arrived. Now my wait to head north has quickly become even more difficult.

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


Hooliganism runs rampant

05 30th, 2020

Morning all. Here in our little nook to the world the corner of ‘Chaos & Mayhem’ is vastly different, this morning it’s the corner of ‘Calm & Monotony’. Reason?

You knew there had to be a reason, didn’t you. At 2:21 this morning the following public emergency message was received and it caused Marcia and I to be up the rest of the night listening to the scanner:

“Cincinnati Police Public Information – Social Media Administrator Sergeant Franz, Cincinnati Police Department AGENCY

There are several active protests & groups causing damage to property in the Downtown & OTR neighborhoods currently. Please avoid this area.”

Protests occurred in the evening. These were peaceful and pretty well over with when the ‘thugs’ emerged. So we listened throughout the night as reports of groups of hooligans stormed through the downtown area starting fires, busting anything in sight, and looting, looting, looting. To properly honor the fellow killed in Minneapolis it seemed to demand that any store having “Jeweler”, “Pharmacy”, or “Computer/Phone” in the name be trashed and looted.

The one positive to all their actions is that the stupid something called, “lockdown”, now seems to be relegated into the annals of ancient history.

Hope: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Memorial Day walk – happened last Monday. It was gorgeous outside and since we’re a mere (almost) four miles from Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum where my parents are buried I decided to walk there. I let Marcia know what I was doing and set out.

Once inside the park – and with about 40-miles of roadway winding about, slightly lost, I put on my earpods. My music? It couldn’t have been better for such a walk; Kraus Badelt. Badelt has written the score for at least 35 movies, plus TV scores, and live performances.

To listen to stunningly heroic music walking through the Arboretum passing the graves of Civil War and World War I veterans was more than special. Finally arriving home and quite high from the whole event was such that it finally got Marcia to tell me; “great, but…..” (Meaning, please no more).

Amazed – Ever been blindsided? Gobsmacked? Jason did that to me when he sent a video clip of an outside security camera he had just installed at his house. He’s now talking me up with language such as:

“I will try separating the video camera from the regular network on a VLAN next. I’ll add an additional switch for Power Over Ethernet should I get more cameras”

No, he didn’t just run into Costco to pick up a Blink or a Ring system. Jason bought enterprise level components and built/set up a system to record continuously for 20-day stretches. The clarity is amazing. And, after what went on last night just about ½-mile from his home, totally timely!

Dinner Out – Actually it was almost a bit of a first date style event. We went to the nearby Wiedemann Taproom and its excellent pub food. Fish sandwich, coleslaw, and cauliflower nuggets with a glass of draught Amber Ale.

Since it’s still the “easing in” period for indoor dining the place was plainly marked at 110 person maximum (normally 220 persons). Several tables were taken on the patio, but Marcia and I wanted the experience of indoor dining. Aside from the staff, there were three people sitting at the bar and Marcia and I, plus background music and the echo of our chatting. It was lovely!

     

And yes, I was certain that Elvis was in the room.

Fini – This is the year that both Derek and Kellen will be in their school’s Marching Band. It’ll be a strange year. They’ve got a new music director. Covid-19 means that they don’t have a clue as to how rehearsals and games will be managed. Anyway, to give a clue how difficult it is to manage the group, here is last year’s Anderson Trojan’s formal band photograph.

This afternoon at 3:22 East Coast Time the NASA/SpaceX Dragon launch is scheduled for lift-off the International Space Station with 2 astronauts aboard. This will be a first in a decade. The ‘marriage’ between NASA in the role of ‘manager’ and SpaceX as the innovator and builder is a lovely thing to see.

I sat and watched the weather scrubbed try two days ago and was amazed at how different it all was from the launches years ago. Urge you all to take time and watch it – fingers crossed that the weather hold this time.

While it’s still the ‘Merry Month of May’, remember that this whole moth is; “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is for the duration of month of May for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.” We’re proud of you Tevita, ofa atu!

This week I needed a prescription refill. It took a couple of back and forth during which time it crossed my mind that almost all pills are made white. Why? Wouldn’t it be more delightful to open a new pill bottle and look on a rainbow of color? Just a thought.

During this week (on the night of May 28) 1977, during the Memorial Day holiday weekend the Beverly Hills Supper Club in nearby Southgate, KY burned. A total of 165 people died and more than 200 were injured as a result of the blaze. More and more, small bits of detail point to both the Cleveland and Chicago mafia having a hand in starting the fire. Then Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll ordered the burned out structure to be bulldozed on the very next day. A Federal team of fire investigators – 12 strong arriving from Baltimore – were told look where you will, but by then the room where the fire started had already been cleared. John Davidson was the headline act that evening. Marcia and I happened to be in New Orleans when we heard of the fire.

This day in 1889 the brassiere was invented – that’s what’s referred to as ‘Bra’ for you who attended Woodstock in 1969 and those were the things you burned.

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


Memorial Day Weekend

05 23rd, 2020

Its Memorial Day weekend and the weather is turning glorious. A few spring showers (after the floods in the first part of the week), but lots of sun and daytime a bit over 80. That calls for starting this AM with a mug of java.

Memorial Weekend is huge here. Tens of thousands head downtown for ‘The Taste of Cincinnati’ running for three days (it’s the oldest continuous such festival in the nation). The Reds are at home playing a four-game set with the Chicago Cubbies.

Oh wait, its early morning and I must still be dreaming. No, huge chunks and a myriad of specifics are reminders that much of the lockdown is still in place. No Taste of Cincinnati. No Reds vs Cubbies.

Even so, across the streets they had a pair of Kayaks loaded and off they went; and with that started their long weekend -early . So yes, things are beginning to look normal. They aren’t of course. There are still a ton of nonsensical ‘can’t do’ and ‘must do’ edicts. But at least our restaurants, churches, barbers, gyms, retail stores, and so forth are open – even a last minute addition, Bowling Alleys, were added to the ‘open’ list.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Tony Fauci (L) speaks to US President Donald Trump (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Lockdown – is a killer! For several months now media darlings and White House advisors, move the goalposts, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Brix have driven our nation ever deeper into our lockdown and social isolation positions (even while wildly swinging on many subjects; remember the “no masks” change to “wear masks”?) However, yesterday even these two could not negate the data, aka “the science”, and Fauci pronounced; “Stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long”.

Even so, power hungry dictatorial fruitcakes, such as Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plow on by extending her “stay-at-home” again, this time to June 12. And worse of all, we let them! As our local icon and curmudgeon, Willie Cunningham, says; “when citizens fear government, that’s Tyranny. When government fears citizens, that’s Liberty”.

”We know lockdowns work because lockdowns work, which is why we locked down, because if we didn’t lock down it would have been worse. It’s science.” ~ Staff Sergeant Briggs; “heard from professors; it’s very convincing to them”

Futurists – are really not magicians, mostly these are extreme and astute observers of the human condition. With the draconian measures which have turned our world upside down, a name that’s cropping up a bit more these days is George Orwell author of ‘1984’ and this line; “A liberal is a power worshipper without the power”. His most famous work, 1984 (published in 1949 – 35 years earlier) even went so far as possibly predicting Brexit. It makes reference as the UK being a “landing strip” for a superstate, ‘Oceana’, and not as that for the superstate, ‘Euroasia’.

Graduation – celebration was delightful as the sixth-graders of the North Avondale Montessori School graduated: Vaioleti was a proud member of this 2020 class.

At first I was disgusted that this group of kids got ‘whacked’ again by having their normal ceremony cancelled (first the annual sixth-grade March trip to Washington D.C. was cancelled as was their spring band/choir concert). However the drive-by parade, complete with a DJ blasting Kool & the Gang’s ‘Celebration’ over and over, saw these kids aglow! To a point where even ‘wet blanket’ Dirk was heard to say that this was better than the traditional ceremony. In fact, I got so into it that I purchased a Cow-bell to ring – and it drove Marcia nuts!

                 

Normalcy at – the corner of Chaos and Mayhem does not mean that around us is like a country lane; far from it. This ‘country lane’ vision was underscored by another Coyote seen walking through the street in broad daylight. But all is not normal.

I don’t know about your community, but since the ‘lockdown’ and stay-in-home” edicts our town’s murder rate has doubled over last year, as have robberies, burglaries, and so forth. Part of it, I am sure, due to idiot mayors and governors opening the prison doors. Part of it due to the horrific rise in unemployment caused with the needless shutdown of business, along with the resultant frustration. Society is paying a serious price – that ‘Us’ folks.

Earlier in the week a car chase blasted by – car being chased by two police cruisers. Marcia turned on the scanner and we followed the chase for fifteen or so minutes on radio. Eventually this ended up in nearby Golf Manor (where Marcia and I rented our first apartment after moving here in 1970). K9 got the ‘perp’ in an apartment building basement.

Two days later another a car chase ended up at the edge of our driveway. We saw the car and a couple of cruisers screech to a halt. We weren’t expecting the five other cruisers, plus the ‘unmarked’, plus the K9.

That same evening further down was a car fire. Being well after dark I didn’t bother heading out. The next morning the effects of this fire became a bit obvious. It’s better than any Reality TV. By far!

Fini – Yesterday I got word that in the Calgary, southern area of Alberta, they were shoveling snow. So maybe not being in Canada just yet is OK.

It’s beginning to look like the Canada ~ US border will open just ahead of the Canada Day/Fourth of July time period. Add it bit of time for the resultant chaos to dissipate and the subsequent ‘nuance’ mandates to be in place sees me heading north the first/second week of July. I am eager to inspect Northern Comfort for any winter effects.

If you haven’t caught any of the Press Briefing held by our new Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, you must take the time. I have never seen such composure and such management of the unruly, non-functional, Press mob. Yesterday she actually gave them a long weekend assignment starting with 5 questions they should be asking regarding the illegal unmasking of General Flynn – but choose not to. Watch the whole briefing, not just the snippets the MSM parses out for their purpose.

In Ohio, not one school aged child has died of Corvid-19. Yet the Superintendent of our 37,000 student school system is actively contemplating not opening school this coming school year, or doing a partial opening (1 or 2 days per week). What idiocy! How dare she!

Grabbed a lunch at Chick-fil-A the other day. With the seating issues it was drive through only. Multiple lanes and probably faster than I’ve ever grabbed my order. It’s an amazing company!

Gallium (GA) and atomic number 31 melts at about 85 degrees (30C). My idea is that for the foreseeable future all gavels used to ‘hammer’ home another idiotic edict be made from Gallium; this so it can melt and lay on the desk in a puddle prior to use.

Now a little breakfast and then some exercise. This afternoon it’ll be a family Barbeque. I am all psyched.

This day in 1701 the pirate, Captain Kidd, was hung in London. On a brighter note and also today, in 1969 in the UK, one of my favorite studio albums, “Tommy”, was released by The Who.

Kinda nice of the stranger who wanted to keep a tidy car interior by placing their meal packaging on our walk. Much appreciated.

Make it great week, stay safe and be healthy!
Dirk


All in This Together

05 16th, 2020

It’s Saturday ‘lockdown’ day 100 (or thereabouts) and Marcia says that I’m now well into a full-blown “acting strange’ mode. I think not!
Tell me who wrote these lyrics?
I’m a Doctor, I’m a Lawyer, I’m a Movie Star.
I’m an Astronaut, and I own this bar…..

Answ: srehtorB ymalleB ehT

While you’re gathering your thoughts and the answer, let me take a few sips of my coffee.
“Acting strange”? Why, not at all!

” If masks work, why do businesses need to be closed?
If they don’t work, why are we forced to wear them?”
~ Ryan Fournier

We’re all in this together – but not quite. Pretty amazing, don’t you agree; the fact that it’s hard to find a radio or TV ad not using that phrase? The daily Corvid update grind is peppered with it. Newscasts has those folk using it hourly. But it’s simply not true. What is true is that for eons fancy language has been used to alert the masses that they need to subjugate themselves.

Yesterday, May 15, in the year 1252 Pope Innocent IV released a papal bull; Ad Extirpanda. The faithful were thus informed that it was OK to torture heretics (well, there were some limits set – couldn’t be all bad). But like the controls on our ‘lockdown’, rational details were woefully weak and a heresy-of-the-day easily slipped in place as desired. All this to show that the nonsensical abuse we’re experiencing today has been around for centuries.

Maybe today we don’t get a turn (pun) on the ‘rack’, but we do get tossed into jail. We can’t sit and get a hair cut, but just fine to stand in line in a liquor store. Can’t shop at Mabel’s Flowers, but head for Kroger or WalMart and grab a bunch. Look at the details and it’s absurd. Most, couched in language of “the science says”, without any science backing or medical facts. In fact, could a lot of it really reflect some political goal? As my Brazilian friends would say; “que exaustão mental, né”? (such mental exhaustion, correct?)

Tale of Two States – or ‘The Power of the Press’. Viewing Florida and its Governor, Ron DeSantis could be a model for proper handling of the current pandemic. Safety of Florida’s citizens became a primary concern; achieving safety while minimizing hardship. Much is already open and the number of ill and fatalities is lower than most States – and exceptionally so when one considers the large aging (the most affected) population. It’s what every State hopes its own administration would achieve. Yet, DeSantis has dropped in the polls.

In New York is Governor Andrew Cuomo, is a darling of a liberal media. The way he managed the results of the Covid-19 outbreak could not be handled worse. He had depleted and not resupplied the State’s stocks of PPE supplies required for a pandemic. As the extent of the Virus became evident he enjoined people to join in a city-wide parade. Covid-19 infected patients were ordered back into nursing homes. A city dependent on public transportation was ordered to reduce the number of subway cars. Need to go on? Yet, with the backing of a compliant Press, his popularity could scarcely be higher. The Media does have power and can manipulate; keep that in mind

I miss – Reuters and Toronto’s Globe and Mail both reported that the international border (U.S. and Canada) now won’t open till June 21st. One more delay and it’ll be hardly worth the effort to head up north, other than to check out how Northern Comfort fared last winter.

So, I am now sitting training by the hour watching YouTube. There are some things I want to accomplish this summer and therefore YouTube and I have become best friends. The parking brake on Our Duck (a weird under the hood disk-brake configuration) and possibly a carburetor kit installation. Also, a bit of plumbing, a bit of PEX water-line re-placement (most has been done). And, a power switch-over from the grid to my generator for any extended power outage.

Then Marcia talks about a new rear (driveway side) door. We’ll see, I do need to test the kayaks and the vintage little Johnson engine on the Sea Nymph. The lake calls me.

Out/In – dining has become something to look forward to. At a central location in the neighborhood one of the many Food Trucks is invited in. Pre order on line, specify a preferred pickup time and pay — then just pick-up. It couldn’t be easier. Last evening Marcia and I brought in some great pulled pork sandwiches, sides, and desert. Had it not been raining I would have tossed a blanket in the condo’s side yard for a picnic – that didn’t happen.

Fini – I thought many of my four readers would appreciate this 10-year list detailing the end of the world.

I happened to catch the commissioning of the new Space Force Flag in the Oval Office ceremony. The more I read about the future of 5G technology and domination path other countries have embarked on made me appreciate the importance of this new DOD member.

Also yesterday in 1928 a cartoon with the title “Plane Crazy” premiered. It introduced a new character; Mickey Mouse. Plane Crazy didn’t do well and Mickey did not achieve iconic status until the release of “Steamboat Willie” later the same year.

The corner of Chaos and Mayhem has been quiet. Having said that, this week we had three EMT runs nearby – all legitimate health related calls. The photo is from immediately across the street.

Marcia was totally delighted with her Mother’s Day. Of note was this container planting of Salad Greens and herbs from Jason and Cathy. With the cool spring the lettuce should do well.

Make it great week, stay safe and be healthy!
Dirk


Holy Schneike

05 9th, 2020

Brrrr it’s mid-May, almost Mother’s Day, and it’s Freezing. With that said I wish you no more than just this Saturday ‘lockdown’ day to get through.

” Holy Schneike Holy Schneike” ~ Mollie Hemmingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist

Her expression upon hearing that the bogus Department of Justice case against Three Star General Flynn was dropped earlier this week (the case had been unraveling for some time and when the senior Prosecutor, Van Grack, resigned – well, that was all she wrote).

And, also my expression upon hearing our erstwhile weather folk proclaim a case of solid frost this morning (something we hadn’t seen for decades this late in the season).

Tik-Tok – I’m done. The ‘lockdown’ has me around more than I want to be. And, every afternoon is comprised of a series of Covid-19 pronouncements by all of our nearby governors. These are akin to a series of High-school produced Tik-Tok events; each finds me listening to a death rattle taking place.

Once each governor get through the ‘counts’ the dissection takes place. This part is much like groping around an Asian Wet-Market; especially when they park their Medical Directors front and center and these folk get wound up – excitedly yet dignified.

At first I thought all this cute. Our Governor (R; ‘whiney DeWine’) sounds a little Christopher Walken sans glasses. Kentucky’s guy (D; ‘a beer with Beshear’) is more like a gruff Arnold Schwartzenegger with a bad accent. Now, I’m way past all of that.

What then follows is the team-tag minor league stuff as the City ‘fathers’ and the County big wigs climb on a similar media stage to drone on further on Covid-19. The County Commissioners are the ones I ‘respect’ most when during a discussion regarding the feasibility of getting a bridge loan one of them in all seriousness asked why such a loan needed to be signed on a bridge. Ah yes people, strange times indeed.

Woke – We here are so very woke! Just perchance I discovered that yesterday by mid-day a black market hair cutting salon had opened up in our bathroom. Shortly, Marcia emerged and looked stunning; with that newish style of short on the one side yet somewhat longer on the other. Being the shy person she is, she couched the ‘look’ by stating that; “if you don’t like it, hair does grow in.”

We also sit with anticipation on each day’s newly pronounced edict. Will it be one of “don’t worry, masks don’t stop the virus” as it was for a good while? Or, one of; “to gain entry to …(here fill in the blank)… you must wear a mask”?

I miss – the days when it was first proclaimed that to “depress the curve” we would have to “hunker down” for 15-days. That was a long time ago. Then, holy EMC2, time itself shifted as the goal posts kept getting moved about on a daily basis.

I miss, as Dennis Miller puts so nicely; “the good old days before sign language interpreters had acting coaches.” As some sage put it; “now they look like squirrels on crack”.

I wish I could; “remember the Asian flu pandemic of 1957-58, which caused an estimated 70,000 to 116,000 U.S. deaths. Remember how we closed down our economy then? Neither do I” ~ Brit Hume

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light of consciousness” ~ Elon Musk

Fini – Last Saturday Marcia and I enjoyed a stunning craft Burger along with a mint-cucumber Margarita (in a Ball-jar) for Marcia while I enjoyed a small-batch Amber ale Crowler. This was part of a neighborhood organized Food Truck event. Ordered on line, picked up down the block, and ate at home – dining Out/In.

Today celebrate the birthday (1921) of Sophia Magdalena Scholl. We tend to think of the German population during the German Nazi years as marching in lockstep to the warped Nazi ideals. However, there was quite an extensive undercurrent of anti-Nazi activists. Scholl and her brother, Hans, were leaders in the White Rose non-violent resistance group. She and her brother were caught and both put to death by guillotine in 1943. Sophie Scholl’s final statement: “it is such a splendid sunny day and I have to go….stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone.”

Some inkling of activity in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is openly contemplating opening the U.S. Canadian border on May 21st. Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford hints at reopening cottages on May 24th. This would mean that the opportunity to open up Northern Comfort sometime in early June might be reality.

The Ohio National Guard fired up their F-16 fighter jets and this week zigzagged around our sky passing over each of our 15 area hospitals as a way to acknowledge the work of the medical staffs of each. Marcia and I went outside and kept on hearing them. Finally, for a second or two through an open space between the trees across the street from us, spotted the low-flying aircraft zip by. It was fun being a kid for a few minutes.

It was like a roach infestation. See nothing, and then in a glance, there they were. All was marginal, but normal, across the street from us. Then, last weekend it swarmed. What looked like ‘druggies’ and ‘hookers’ came and went along with partying adults and playing kids. That lasted until Tuesday morning when a throng of Vice Squad and uniformed Police – 13 in all, made their ‘entrance’. The ‘roaches’ have disappeared, two ‘perps’ were picked up, drugs were seized, and a safe taken away. The next day, the lawn was trimmed and some little kids were playing with a beach ball. What a difference a day makes.

Did you know that the Hummingbird is the only creature that has legs but can’t walk on them? (Just me prepping for my summer hiatus with the birds while at the lake)

Make it great week, stay safe and be healthy!
Dirk


Isolation

05 2nd, 2020

‘Musta’ been a solid night. The first I heard was Marcia’s Police Scanner announcing 6:00AM. Lately that would mean that I’d already been up, coffee made, a second poured, and halfway into my Saturday post. So, another happy Saturday lockdown day (for most of us).

” Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have.”Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Coronavirus – There’s been a change. In many ways the Coronavirus has already come and passed over; an it did for a vast majority of us. But, government will NEVER forget just how easy it was to take control of your life; to control every sporting event, classroom, restaurant table, and church pew. Even down to controlling whether or not you can leave your house.

And we allowed it! Not for a day or two when facing an unknown, but for weeks on end. In my state, with about 8-hour notice another month was added to the lockdown – and we the people sat. By and large we did nothing.

And trust me; it definitely is NOT ‘the Science’. “Science” is not what’s being followed, power is. Two hundred years after initiating the principles our nation was founded on, those flew the coop in a mere few weeks.

The ‘Science’ – For as long as I can remember ‘the science’ advocated going outside into the sunlight and the fresh air – for (so was the then ‘science’) the air in one’s home was the most polluted. Best for little kids? Go outside, play and root around the dirt and grass – “builds up their immune systems” was also the thinking. I remember a ‘science’ which advocated quarantining the stricken; the frail and elderly only.

After the declaration of a Pandemic, a forward path was promulgated by the medical community; a path which has been devastating to Ohio and the nation economically. Why were other specialties not brought into the discussions; specialties such as Biomedical Statistics and meta-research? People such as a Dr. Knut Wittkowski (formerly of The Rockefeller University) and Dr. John Ioannidis (Stanford) whose works offer a forward path 180-degree divergent from the draconian one we’re currently on?

Now, finally there are a number of States backing off those, panicked induced, edicts and life is proceeding. Others have doubled down and the scary craziness continues.

In the ‘Nati – the Lockdown seen change. The Murder rate has almost doubled over years past; as has Child Abuse, Domestic abuse – all the stuff a proper society does not want.

Yesterday, I saw two auto accidents; a total of 6 cars were totaled. The first one a driver blew through a red light two blocks from our place, then the driver jumped out of the vehicle bare-foot and through broken glass – totally high on something.

The second, a mile away, on a straight road with a 25-mph speed limit had a guy hit a pole and then do this to oncoming and parked vehicles. This is not normal stuff.

The calls for EMT help are difficult to keep up with. Yesterday, at the end of my walk I went into the kitchen for some water when an ambulance stopped across from us. Much of this in one way or another can be traced back to the difficulties of and the management of the Pandemic. Things need to change – NOW!

”Why forced isolation is bad: The Data is in – stop the panic and end the total isolation” Elon Musk

Two Odds & Ends – We live close enough to our Appalachian regions where seeing something like this is mostly viewed as normal.

On my walk I often pass by the offices of The American Postal Workers Union (APWU). I spotted this car in their employee parking area and it was a bumper sticker that caught my attention. Can you imagine this person’s Chinese counterpart in Beijing placing a MAGA sticker on their car?

Fini – Condolences to Dia with the loss of her mother. RIP Oma Kok.

Today, back in 1919, the first U.S. air passenger service started. It’s kind of ironic that today, a mere 101 years later and with a multitude of airlines ferrying millions of passengers yearly, most are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

I was at Whole Foods when I saw two guys taking groceries out for delivery. I think it was close to a total of 100 separate bags. Part of our new world.

Heading for Aldi’s we stopped behind our County Coroner’s van. Seeing her name on the seal made me realize that my mother baby-sat her when she was a toddler. Time ‘clicks’ along rapidly!

Mentioning Aldi. Marcia asked me to go back and grab an item back near the store’s entrance. Now, having to comply with the new ‘One Way’ shopping experience, it was like figuring one’s best way through a maze to do it (and do it correctly).

Later today the neighborhood is bringing in a Food Truck that’ll park nearby. After calling in our order we’ll have something we call: Dinner “Out and In”.

An ode to the Great One; from my investment company this quote from Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky offering a post-pandemic strategy: “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.”

Make it great week, stay safe and be healthy!
Dirk


Black Hole

04 25th, 2020

Last evening at our neighborhood’s outdoor Happy Hour I was reminded that the weekend was about to start. I am so excited realizing what portion of the week I was embarking on that I woke up early. Happy Saturday, and yes, I’ve already had my first slug of coffee.

”Can’t believe it’s already whatever day it is now.” ~ Chuck Ross

Happy Hour – These weeks, time has both stopped while at the same time it’s slipping by; every day is “Ground Hog Day”. Way down deep you do realize something is different, but tune in and the same dour faces are spewing forth their identical daily list of details, using an unknown term now familiar to even every Kindergartener: Covid-19.

So, last evening fifteen or so of us stood in the middle of Burton Woods Lane, each loaded up with an Adult Beverage of choice. We were properly spaced and happy to see folk we thought had disappeared.

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I just want these specialists to know that my personal curve has now completely flat-lined. And, that unless that ‘flat-line’ quickly starts to get a few ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ I will do what the ladies did in the ‘60s; only I’ll be burning my facial Bra.

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Then, take note of Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee this coming week as these states lift their ‘lockdown’. See how long it takes for them to achieve ‘Herd Immunity’ (another term I’d not heard before). And, also of interest, how many small businesses will or won’t reopen. This might be a bit of a guide pointing towards our future.

Black Hole – I think that I’m fairly accurate by saying that the nearest Black Hole to earth is 7,500 light years away. But, yesterday when our President signed the latest half-Trillion ‘stimulus’ package I had seen something no Astronomer had ever seen – the formation of a ‘Big Bang’ and a ‘Black Hole’ simultaneously. I’ll explain!

In the meantime, remember the rallying cry of the Great Recession of 2008, “Shovel Ready Projects”? Can you name even one project started and completed from that venture? I can’t. So now we’ve experienced the first $-multi Trillion ‘stimulus’ package. Yesterday the second piece was signed and the planning for number three and number four is underway.

Each of these does have some monies for their designated purpose, but have no doubt; a better half is pet project ‘Pork’ (the other word for ‘Pork’ is WASTE). So that is the ‘Big Bang’ we just witnessed. The ‘Black Hole’ our grand-children will see the full effect of when those borrowed dollars come due.

Positive – One thing that is happening for the first time in my lifetime is occurring and I think it positive. We’ve always been told of our nation being a ‘Grand Experiment’; a series of states which hold the power and a minimalist Federal government. That idea had long ago disappeared as more and more of the power is being concentrated in Washington DC. A slight crack in that formula is creeping in. President Trump in a brilliant move is diverting many of the ‘next steps’ to the Governors of the various States – the true pieces of our Grand Experiment.

Birthday – Jason had one of those strange Corvid-19 birthdays. We talked on the phone and since there was a slight dampness in the air (not quite rain, but dampness which did stay on my hoodie) Marcia decided to stay home while I went over to their house to both hum ‘Happy Birthday’ and bring his gift. After all, Marcia had delivered him in the first place and was totally familiar with the whole birthday thing.

So, we sat outside on the front porch, properly spaced as we were told. It was a good visit with happy chatter and laughter. But, I missed the raucous behavior as we would gather as family in some warm place eating unhealthy, but oh-so tasty, pub foods – and I am certain Jason did too.

Shopping – This week I had to swing by our Kroger grocery store. Blue gloved ladies were scrubbing down the handles on carts. Plastic shields at the registers and masking-tape lines on the floor. None of that really piqued my interest. What did catch me was the wide array of home-made face masks. As I explained to Marcia, for a moment I felt as if I were on the set of some old Western Movie with all the bandanna variants.

Fini – I came across this old cover and thought of my mother, our ‘Omi’. And it’s so true, she really lover her fried chicken. And, to her, Colonel Sanders was indeed the sexiest Chicken Salesman around.

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Today, back in 1961 Robert Noyce was granted a patent for the integrated circuit, or microchip. To our kids and our grandkids computers coupled with the internet have been around forever. But, the earliest opportunity to even contemplate all we take for granted electronically began only a mere 59 years ago.

It’s springtime here and in The Netherlands. This is what the fields of tulips look like prior to the bulb harvesting start-up.

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And yes. The weather was great. And our now nine year old Viliami burst out with the fact that he had a great Birthday (even though no kids were present).

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Also today, back in 2014 the city of Flint began sourcing water from the Flint River and with that began a debacle which brought to the forefront incompetence and cover up on multiple levels. Meanwhile the citizenry of Flint is still paying a price.

It’s beginning to look more and more like the only thing I’ll be doing in Canada is pay our Property taxes. The border between Canada and the US is closed and from what I read, Prime Minister Trudeau is in no hurry to open it. Fingers crossed – maybe Trudeau is waiting for Black Fly and Mosquito season to pass first.

While out on my walk I passed a UPS Store. Got a bit of a chuckle when I spotted the Amazon driver dutifully standing in line (#5 from the front door) to either deliver or pick up. No favoritism shown here.

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Make it great week, stay safe and be healthy!
Dirk