Vacation?

06 10th, 2023

PLEASE NOTE: that The Ramblings will be on hiatus (break, breach, lapse) until early August. This to re-charge my batteries, and at the same time I’ll be returning to the world of the internet.

So it’s finally come to this. Here it is, our last Saturday here at the corner of Chaos & Mayhem prior to heading north to our little Northern Comfort.

First a few quiet moments of contemplation and planning over my morning coffee, as I organize what to write.

In a way I hate to leave this place since activities on ‘the corner’ are always occurring and it’s never dull. Here is a moment from earlier this past week. Yesterday Marcia discovered that the rider, even though EMT took him to the hospital with a neck brace, he wasn’t banged up too badly.

Canada’s gift – stayed with us a better part of the week, like a smelly fog. Wildfires in Canada’s far west caused the smoke to drift this way. This also was a renewed opportunity to hear a whole bunch about everyone’s favorite cult-like boogie man, “Climate Change”.

This from Professor Gad Saad, professor of Evolutionary Psychology and Marketing at at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal Canada, best known for his studies in consumer behavior. I think he explains it best by stating, if;

It’s too hot: Climate change.
It’s just right: Climate change.
It’s too cold: Climate change.
Forest fire: Climate change.
No Forest fire: Climate change.
Heavy snowfall: Climate change.
Light snowfall: Climate change.
Hurricanes: Climate change.
No hurricanes: Climate change.
Islamophobia causes climate change.
Climate change cause islamophobia.
Anxiety is caused by climate change.
Climate change causes anxiety.

Climate change is at the root of every phenomenon.

If you wish to discuss the policies surrounding climate change, you are a science denier who is likely causing climate change.

Jane Fonda explained that racism causes climate change as does toxic masculinity.

It is a grotesque 21st century new religion masquerading under the guise of science.”

the Normandy Invasion – anniversary was celebrated June 6. 79 years ago (June 6, 1944) saw 156,000 allied troops storm a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France. This was the start of the defeat of the Nazi ‘boot’ stomping on the neck of the western European nations.

Marcia feels that I am preoccupied with the black and white images of those days. Not exactly so, but since I do remember a few, child-like, snippets of that horrific time, it is part of me and also of my world view.

I thought you might find it interesting to hear (then) General Dwight D. Eisenhower inform the troops of the struggle ahead – multiple thousands who would never see their home and family again. As it’s been said many a time, this was; “The Greatest Generation.”

La Pinta – was the fastest of the three ships which, under the leadership of Christopher Columbus, was used to explore the New World in October 1492. It was a caravel-type vessel – a style that was well known during that time.

This week, docked on the shore of The Ohio River on the Kentucky side, was the replica of the original La Pinta. It was built by eighth-generation Portuguese shipwrights using the same methods and tools as the original.

At a mere 70’ long with a crew of 26, seeing it maked it seem almost impossible that such an assembled stack of planks and sticks made it across the Atlantic Ocean.

I went and toured the boat. A massive beam formed the handle of the tiller. Below deck was strictly for supplies and animals – the crew worked, slept, cooked and ate, dealt with storms, sun, wind and cold, all on deck.

Navigation of the ship was absolutely rudimentary (pegs placed on a board) and it’s a feat that their ‘discovery’ ever took place. That they survived, and even more importantly, that they made the return voyage back home is difficult to comprehend.

                 

Jazz on the Square – was a short walk across the Purple People walking bridge from seeing La Pinta. Three hours of Jazz, wonderful to listen to and explained music. A couple of hundred of us were absolutely mesmerized. Then it was a bus ride home – glowing with the experience of both afternoon and evening.

     

Packing – has our little condo look like a combination Flea Market, Dollar Store, and warehouse. Bins stacked, loose stuff here and there, and a replacement refrigerator all waiting to be loaded.

The hard work will start tomorrow. June 26 Marin and some pals will arrive which means that Marcia and I know what needs be done upon our arrival at Northern Comfort mid-week. The rest of the clan will be there mid-July.

And, I forgot to mention, that there is importance to us being back in August since we have tickets to see. Drum roll please, WILLIE NELSON along with John Fogerty, the lead and primary songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Should be great!

Etcetera –
• This weekend is the 2023 USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, FL. Dinah and her cousin Adriana (from San Diego) are both there with their respective teams. Also there are brother George & Sandy, and my niece Heather. Adriana will race her finals later today in a 4-man boat. Dinah will be in the ‘stroke’ seat of her 8-man boat in the finals tomorrow.

     

• Since I won’t be writing at Father’s Day, here is a key Dad tendency on that day; “before using the tongs when grilling, he clicks them together two or more times to “test them out”.

• This week President Joe Biden signed a bill suspending debt ceiling for two years. I believe that all of us mere citizens are now discovering that we’re all bumping our heads on that ceiling.

• We sold out Volkswagen (camper) Bus decades ago. I think that Volkswagen thought that was long enough and so they are returning the bus to the US market after 20 years.

• I like my soccer. Currently, arguably, named the world’s best male soccer player is Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. Assuming his Miami contract goes through he’ll be playing here at TQL Stadium around the end of August, Before heading north I’ll try and snag a ticket to the Bailey.

Ciao. Stay strong. Stay Safe. Now grab my cow bell to cheer our young rowing ladies on.

Be well, be happy, enjoy your summer.

Dirk
BREAKING NEWS: Adriana in her finals just place second – great work Adriana!(San Diego (Yi, R)). 1.39-seconds behind the winning boat.


Close with cheese?

06 3rd, 2023

After a low-90s degree day, it’s Saturday, and a new hot day. The fact that summertime heat plus humidity hasn’t arrived yet is a bonus. All that said also means that a hot morning coffee still tastes really good.

At some point yesterday Marcia and I stared at each other. I expected a bit of a snarky; “you look really old” comment. I was wrong. It was; “do you realize that in just two weeks we’ll be at the cabin?”

Now it’s noticeable that the days for us to head north have begun to be shorter and are coming quicker.

I made an appointment at the dealership for an oil change, tire rotation, and belt/hose inspection. The earliest they could accommodate me is 11-am Monday a week (the 12th) – the day before we leave. Not comforting at all.

I think that to keep myself calm I should just plan to, again, watch Peter Sellers do his magic as Dr. Strangelove. Sellers in each of his 6 roles in that film is a performer-beat none. Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove; “[we’re] talking about mass murder, general, not war!” Then, to the American President; “Mein Führer!”………“Deterrence is the art of producing, in the mind of the enemy… the fear to attack!”

The Roast – before I forget, a major thank you to Tevita and Adrianne for hosting the Memorial Day weekend backyard Pig Roast. Tevita especially, up at dawn to start the coals. It was such a fun time, and a wonderful opportunity to meet new folk and re-establish contact with old friends.

“First the pork chops, then morality” ~ Bertolt Brecht

     

Spring Grove – Then last Sunday I decided to walk to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboetum. I didn’t go to visit my parent’s grave site, but to capture the events celebrating the holiday weekend; music from the Revolutionary period and the Civil War, and a three hour tour of interesting history from the past.

President Abraham Lincoln – was with us for a full hour. History came to life as a couple of Lincoln’s famous speeches were given. Even more interesting was the shared background Lincoln had to deal with during his time, cultural, politically, socially, and familial. Questions were answered; all while our ‘historical’ Lincoln stayed in character.

Period Music – played across the acres of grass, ponds, and wood lots. Hearing music from the Civil War period played on instruments, especially the pre metal gut stringed Banjo, in that setting made it very special. Add period costuming and it became a bit of a time machine.

Grave Markers – So, I took part in a three hour tour in some of the older sections of the cemetery. Here a docent talked about the people by whose grave we stood who lived and experienced our Revolutionary period. There are 25 veterans of the Revolutionary War buried here. I’ll detail a little of just two such folk.

Lucius Chapin (1760 – 1842) – At age 15 he was too young to fight during the American Revolution. But he could play the Fife. Along with a young drummer lad Lucius was in several of those early battles. He fought alongside General George Washington at Valley Forge.

The Fife player meant you had to call the troops to breakfast, taps, and marches. Additionally, they were an early form of the Signal Corps, signaling for the troops to ‘flank’ left or right. What this meant is that for an enemy to cause disruption, aim for the drummer and fife boys.

Lucius survived and with his brother started traveling regionally as music teachers. Since most people could not read music he was key in developing a method for people to follow music. It was a ‘shape’ (or Harp) style of “Shaped-note Singing” which became wildly popular especially in churches.

As it was written in a description I read: “taking part in a shaped-note singing is an experience like no other. Grouped according to vocal range in a square formation, facing the song leader in the center and singing a-capella, singers create a powerful sonic exchange.”

Matthew Lawler (1755 – 1831) – was Active in the American Revolution. During the conflict he commanded privateering ships, including the Holker and later the Ariel. ‘Privateering’ in reality meant that the English viewed him as a pirate.

     

He was heavily involved in the early work, which, over time, ended up in the establishment of the Navy and Coast Guard.

But, wait a minute, there is more. He served as the Mayor of Philadelphia. And he served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Bank.

Spring Grove cemetery is non-profit and has always been non-sectarian and so it’s not very often that there is a ‘ripple’ when it comes to something as simple as a grave marker.

However, the blue marble Sphinx did cause a bit of a stir. The period saw a bit of fascination with everything Egyptian and hence, eventually, it was approved.

Etcetera –
• A fair bit of the Ramblings this week mentions music. So here is one more. A Mesopotamian tablet which at 3,400 years old is the oldest sheet music found. Named; “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” it’s a tune in praise of the ancient goddess Nikkal.

• Mid week the Atlantic Hurricane season began. They predict with 40% accuracy that it’ll be a normal season. Tell “normal” to those who’ll be staring in some, yet unnamed, storm’s eye.

• Want to see Billy Joel in one of his scheduled Madison Square Gardens concerts? Better hurry, July 2024 it’ll be the end of his 150 concert run.

• We’ve successfully harvested solar energy from an orbiting satellite and then wirelessly beamed the energy to Earth via microwaves. I think this is the very early beginnings of distributing electricity without the use of strung wiring. Kinda cool!

• Take a look at this video of the Cooper Hill Cheese Roll (Gloucester in England). Insanity! Broken bones and concussions are the norm. In one heat a young gal won by crossing the line first – while she was unconscious.

Ciao. Stay strong. Now teach myself to walk around all the bins and stuff packed for Canada. Don’t want to trip like some of our leaders are prone to do.

Be well, be happy, stay safe.

Dirk


Niksen

05 27th, 2023

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. It might actually be good to display a bit of patriotism as we all are out and about grilling everything in sight. Tevita and Adrianne are having a pig roast, in part to celebrate their new home. We’re told that Marcia and I will be two in a group of about 30 expected folk.

Marcia will be bringing her famous and much sought after baked beans. The kitchen counter is filled with over a dozen cans of a variety of beans – all part of some ‘secret’ recipe.

But now, a bit of coffee. Thursday I was at Costco where they had $5 off of Peet’s coffee. Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend (brother Pete’s favorite west coast coffee) so I bought enough to carry us into next month and for our stay in Canada.

Now that summer is about to begin this weekend probably has been traditionally the ‘blowout’ sales season for beer sales. Anheuser Bush and their mainstay item, Bud Light for years were near the sales leader. While at Costco I noticed that the stack of Bud Light had the largest footprint of all the beers available. I also noticed that there was NOT a single case of the stuff taken from the pile. The scene made it appear as if they couldn’t give it away.

Actions have consequences!   

Think you can tame the national debt? Play the budget game – by The Washington Post

“Remember, this isn’t easy. You, and every player, have inherited a debt of $31 trillion. Without any changes, it’s projected to grow to a whopping $52 trillion by the end of the next decade.”

I played the game, here is my result: I am……the Classic Conservative. Apparently I believe in cutting both the size of the government and the programs it funds.

Unlike the ‘Classic Conservative’s’ archnemesis, the Big Tax and Spender, I am one who believes the federal government has to be smaller or else it will impede on the freedoms of our fellow Americans.

Unlike the Diligent Deficit Hawk, the ‘Classic Conservative’’ wants to cut taxes in addition to cutting spending, and we think the economy would grow for everyone if the government just got out of the way.

Click on the link here and play the game. Maybe you’ll be right in sync with our Potus & Congressional gurus – I hope not.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Dissertation – The other day, I don’t even know how the subject came up, but Marcia fired across the room; “what purpose has your degree’s dissertation actually served?” I was taken a bit off kilter for it surely wasn’t the subject material; Appalachian Values; Are They Transferable From A Rural To An Urban Setting?. Now that I’ve reflected on the question some more I have the answer; the purpose was that; I did it.

All that goes into such a thing, the research, the focus, the writing, the defense; and how that all those have combined and thus served me over the years is the answer. The actual subject material was merely the vehicle.

Word of the Day; Niksen: a Dutch verb which means “doing nothing”, which can be roughly translated as “nixing”.

This week we observed the lifestyle of the generation following us. Being retired it appears that their lifestyle all seems a bit of over the top busy. Buried with work, buried with homemaking, buried raising kids, buried with ‘events’.

Recently I came across the concept of ‘Niksen’. The Dutch, in an effort to prevent burnout and institute ‘wellness’, have put into place what they call Niksen; a trend that means “doing nothing.”

It translates into a regularly scheduled (organized) intentional period of doing nothing. The concept seems to be catching on. Niksen is not laziness. It’s a way to stimulate productivity and re-engage your mind by allowing it to breathe. It is essentially a picture of purposelessness.

As a Social Worker wrote; “What’s beautiful about it and the art of living is that you have the autonomy and uniqueness.”

Steve Martin — One of my favorite celebrities is Steve Martin, comedian, actor, and an amazing Banjo player.

With the constant stream of news-ready negativity day in and day out I thought I’d post this little musical piece from Steve Martin. It’ll bring a smile to your face. Enjoy:

Etcetera –            

    • Lots of people happenings this week. Henry Kissinger turns 100. Bob Dylan turned 82.
    • Marcia had to spend time listening to the music from Tina Turner who passed at age 83

    • This past week would have also been Dr. Sally K Ride’s birthday. The first American female in outer space (1951 – 2012). Passed of Pancreatic cancer.

    • Yesterday I had my 6-week final checkup on the results of my eye surgery last January. Verdict? Quoting Dr. Miller; “the results could not have been any better!” I have a couple of small sight issues (curvature & depth) which should clear up over time.
    • Here’s one for the little people. This week the Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act only regulates wetlands that have a “continuous surface connection” to larger bodies of water. A farmer can no longer get ‘nicked’ by the EPA over a duck pond on their farm.
    • Mid-week I realized I could stream the FC Cincinnati vs the NY Red-Bulls for a jump into the elite final eight for the US Open tourney. How could I have known that the game would go into extra time with two additional shortened periods. Then would go into a 10 kick penalty shootout. By 11pm I go to bed happily knowing the home team had won!
    • Vili is leaving school — primary grades that is. Off to Middle School (Clark Montessori Highschool) next fall. Nice going kiddo!
    •      
    • Now that the Round the World solo sailing race, the GoGo2022, is over, There was a massive void. Bulent to the rescue. He now has me following the Imoca class 5-crew round the world race (this is the high speed stuff coupled with a couple of stops). Tense sailing, great watching as the “The Ocean Race” is on!

The Ocean Race 2022-23 – 10 May 2023, Leg 4 Day 17 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Malama sailing downwind in waves.

Ciao. Stay strong. Now post and then watch Marcia do her bean magic – appreciate Life and be sure to incorporate a little ‘niksen’ into it.

Dirk


Hi-Heel Sneakers

05 20th, 2023


Drop this Rambling quickly and then head for East Fork Lake (about 45 minutes away), cowbell in hand, to watch row Dinah row. It’s another weekend and another regatta.

Now, I first should open up ‘Chatgpt’ to have the system inform me which would be the quickest, easiest, simplest way to make the best morning coffee. Since it’s A.I. it’ll be easy to also include best ground, coffee type, water temperature, and method of brewing etc, all for the sake of coffee perfection.

If I’m not happy with the A.I.’s ensuing answer it wouldn’t be all too crazy for me to run over to White Castle with my thermos. Yes, we do have our own coffee; just thinking of alternatives.

Hi-Heels Sneakers – Tuesday evening it was “Jazz at Fountain Square”. This week it was the Michael Mavridoglou Quintet with an evening of ‘60s Jazz, Soul, and Gospel. So what did all this all translate into? As an example, they played ‘Hi-Heel Sneakers’ by Tommy Tucker written in 1964 – this number has been covered by folk such as Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Elvis, and Ramsey Lewis to name a few. It was a great evening.

5 of us, (two couples plus me) total strangers when we arrived, for two hours shared a table. And for that whole time had wonderful conversation alongside great music. Quite an evening. Here’s how Janis recorded ‘Hi-Heels’ with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company – this definitely not a jazz rendition.

Also spotted on Fountain Square was this dog, a breed I’d never seen before. Talking with the owner, it turns out that it’s an Italian breed, a Cane Corso, and looks much like a Mastiff.

       

Climate Change – part one; 500,000 years ago – i.e. well before man, and when fossil fuels were still in the developmental stage, our area was massively affected by Climate Change, temperature and when accompanying glaciers reworked our landscape:

We [Cincinnati area] are a Landslide Area, one of the top four in the nation.” ~ Laure Quinlivan former anchor for the local ABC affiliate news and filmmaker – “Living With Landslides

Earl Pitts came out of the woodwork. Actually, he ‘musta’ happened on the scene because of the fact that our region is dead center in the world of racing and some of the guys were just ‘jawing’ around.

Days ago it was The Derby a little south of us. Then next weekend it’s the Indy 500 a little to the west, and all of this followed by a worldwide audience. So yes, these events are really hyped in these parts.

Anyway, I happened to record Earl‘s ‘take’ on it all, so have a listen:

A Canoe Life – At Vai’s Clark Montessori Highschool we attended their annual Festival. Marcia spotted, then went wild, and finally bought a bunch of raffle tickets, for a student made 13’ Canoe. We did not win.

Thursday evening she got a call. The gist of it was that the winner of the canoe took a pass, so another ticket was drawn. It was one of Marcia’s tickets! She had to yell (in delight) into a pillow so as not to scare the neighbors.

Yesterday afternoon we picked it up and it is gorgeous.

Art visited –. I promised a week ago that I’d fill in on his visit, so here’s more detail. Art was on business nearby and wanted to do brunch. He also wanted to make certain that Vaioleti would join our Brunch gathering at First Watch.

Now let’s go back in time. Vai was supposed to arrive in December 2008. In actuality she arrived August of 2008; she surely was a wee little micro-preemie.

At the time, Marcia and I were in Canada. Brother Art happened to be in Indianapolis for business. That next morning he drove to the ‘Nati and the ‘NICU‘ at Good Samaritan Hospital, there talked his way into the micro-preemie ward. He took a photograph of the 1-day old Vai and placed his Blackberry on the incubator as a size comparison. We’ve always loved that photograph.

Fast forward to last weekend.

Vai was surrounded by mom Adrianne, dad Tevita, and brother Vili as uncle Art pulled out of a bag a professionally mounted and framed copy of the picture he had taken that day. Mounted above the photo was the actual Blackberry which he had saved all this time. It’s stunning and an instant heirloom.

I saw a very emotional Vaioleti do some serious swallowing and give some serious hugs.

It was a beautiful moment!

Fin –

It’s common knowledge that Southwest Airlines has ‘grab-any-seat’ boarding (with a few exceptions). Now here’s a trick, for a mysterious ‘healing’ experience board in a wheelchair. It’s amazing how many people board a Southwest flight requiring a wheelchair and somehow get healed enroute, and walking off.

Cincinnati has the first pro Baseball team in MLB, The Reds. But immediately across the river we have the Florence Y’alls baseball team part of the Independent Frontier League. One of the crazy (but I love it) differences in that league is that any foul ball caught by a fan is an immediate out for the batter. Thought you’d want to know.

Last evening I listened to a live-stream of the opening performance of our May Festival’s 150th season; on my studio headphones – UNREAL! The Festival kicked off with Bach’s Manificat! Plus the premier of two commissioned works. The choral portion was by the voices of the local May Festival chorus, youth choir, and boys choir. I think I actually swooned. 

Just discovered that the ’fraddies’ and ‘nerdish’ at MIT have written and created a file which contains around 35,000 Japanese style 3-line Haiku’s – their subject? ……… each one written about the ‘killer’ luncheon meat we affectionally call “SPAM”! This Haiku came straight from the ‘can’:

SAS sent out
To destroy the SPAM missiles
Fear in Tel Aviv
— Angus

Now my final coffee and a little breakfast all with my feet up. Mid morning, assuming the weather (i.e.rain) clears, it’ll be a drive to East Fork Lake to watch Dinah race in yet another regatta. Row Dinah Row!

Ciao. Stay strong, appreciate Life, and just so you know, the A.I. was not much help with brewing my morning coffee.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk


42

05 13th, 2023


Happy Mothers Day Celebrating Moms Everywhere.

Well, well, seems like a day or two that’s all that has gone by and now it’s Saturday already. Maybe it was my anticipation for events later today, but that usually makes it appear that time has slowed. I should have had a conversation with Albert Einstein on the subject when I had the chance. Now it’ll have to be with Dr. Michio Kaku; but more on that later.

A morning mug of coffee anyone?
Sit back, relax, and enjoy these few moments of tranquility and leisure. Just do not discuss should these Ramblings put you back to sleep.

Word of the Day: apothegm: Just stating, “everything points to the number 42” is not an apothegm. An ‘apothegm is merely a short, sweet, phrase that incorporates a life lesson.

42 – Mid-2020, mid Covid, the Trump Whitehouse invoked Title-42 which allowed immigration officials to quickly return illegal aliens to their native countries for the sake of public health – 2.5-million illegal entrants were removed that way.

Yesterday Title-42 expired and according to NBC News; “DHS is now preparing a memo that will direct Customs and Border Protection to begin releasing migrants into the United States without court dates or the ability to track them…”

A week ago Jordan Neely, an out of control criminal type, was causing mayhem on New York’s subway. He was restrained and subdued, as a result he died. Turns out he had 42 previous arrests on his rap sheet.

Ok, good, finally, the number 42 shows up. But wait, here’s more….

Any of you ever read, ”The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams? No?
Well, in the ‘Guide’ the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and of Everything” was calculated by an enormous quantum supercomputer named ‘Deep Thought’ over a period of 7.5 million years. By then, no one remembered what the actual question was, and thus they were utterly stupefied when the computer (after 7.5 million years mind you) spit out the answer, which was……………………………………42.

It appears, that (much like the number 15) the number 42 is one of those cosmic numbers which keeps the Universe in balance and thus keeps us little peons guessing.

Vili and his Saxophone – have become a team. Last Tuesday evening his school, North Avondale Montessori, held their spring event with dancers, choir, bongo percussion, and a full band.

Like many of these events and my cynical self, I did not expect all that much. I was wrong! We all had a great evening.

Next year Vili will join Vaioleti at Clark Montessori High School. He’s already informed Vai that he won’t join her playing a steel drum, he’s going to try out for the school band and is hanging on to his Saxophone. He knows what he likes and what he wants.

”Anywhere you can dream is good, providing the place is obscure, and the horizon is vast.” ~ Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) writer (Notre-‘Dame de Paris, ‘Les Misérables’) Politician

A spectacle shown – as last week the ‘dream’ continued in London, but was it good? Much like an old movie house movie reel that kept on breaking, was as how I saw the coronation of King Charles. Never saw the full video, just a series of ‘stop-start’ photos.

I caught snippets of a figurehead, with no purpose, and a person who is not likable. I have no issue with a monarchy per se, but I interpreted this event as an over-the-top fiasco, a bit of a sad fairy tale. Considering what England has devolved into, what it has become; to me what I spotted was akin to an old Monty Python joke.

Platos allegory – In Plato’s famous ‘Allegory of the Cave’, a group of prisoners have been chained to the floor of a cave all their lives such that their heads cannot move. All they can see is the wall opposite them, upon which they observe shadows in constant motion.”

“The shadows are of people and objects moving behind the prisoners, which are projected onto the wall by the light of a fire that is constantly burning. But the prisoners cannot see any of this. For the prisoners, the shadows are their reality. It is the only reality they have ever known.

If they could turn around, they would see the world as it really is. But they are incapable of doing so.” (from article by Mike Bedard)

“Crazy” you utter, “Dirk, what in the world are you driving at”?

The video (10-minutes) mentions politicians and the news media. It mentions the overt slanting of their utterings. However, what’s even worse, what is even more insidious, is what they do NOT say.

As anexample, this week a Congressional Committee had a Press Conference which detailed and made available Bank statements (from 4-banks), e-mails, whistleblower statements; all detailing in depth the corrupt financial dealings of the Biden family. To date, “ABC, CBS, NBC devote(d) ZERO Seconds to Oversight Committee’s Bombshell Findings on Biden Family Corruption” (headline from an article by Debra Heine in American Greatness).

And so dear readers, that’s how we truly are the chained, kept in the dark, much as the ‘prisoners’ Plato wrote about.

Row, row, row that boat – Dinah is busily finishing her school year (think ‘tis the season of exams). At the same time, she is practicing 3-hours a day, 6-days a week rowing.

This has also meant that already this year one week she rowed locally, then in
southern Tennessee, followed by a weekend in Saratoga, New York, with more regattas to follow.

And what does she gain? Physical fitness, goal setting, life-long relationships, winning graciously – losing graciously, getting along, cooperating/sharing, time allotment, just to name a few. With all of that, I thought I’d share a write-up mom Cathy shared the other day.

Fin –
* I began by using the word ‘anticipation’. Here is what all that is about.
Brother Art had business in Columbus yesterday. This morning he’s
hightailing it to Cincy. I will be taking him, and Vai (by his special request)
to lunch. Next week I’ll be able to fill you in fully.

* Then right after lunch Vai has to perform at school, an all afternoon Clark
Community Festival. I’m hoping Art can stay a bit to watch. Marcia will join
at that time.

* The Flying Pig Marathon weekend ran on time as scheduled. Saturday with
the ‘half’ the 10 & 5K were held in absolutely perfect weather conditions. I
think we all got a little too smug. Because………..

* Sunday the full Flying Pig Marathon started exactly at 6:30. Ten minutes later it was curtains of rain blocking vision, thunder, and lightning. A 40-minute break and then it was round two. It was horrible. A cadre of weather people hunching over screens, the management team from the Boston Marathon, fire, and Police, were all in on one HUGE confab. In the end, most of the starting crowd of 20,000 finished – and all went well. Me? I sat in front of the ‘telly’.

* Never heard of it? It’s still going on so hurry down. The ‘Nati is hosting the
2023 APP Vlassic Classic Pickleball Open tournament. With almost 900
players it’s much larger than I had suspected.

       

* Yesterday (May 12 th ) in 1963, Bob Dylan walked off the set of the Ed Sullivan Show. His “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” was not to be sung. I guess Bob showed the ‘power-set’ who was in charge.

* Three Pedal offerings – A quickly-dying breed, stick shift cars can still be found in the US. Car and Driver compiled this list: Here 

* Tomorrow will be the 30th anniversity of the horrific Carrolton, KY bus crash on I-71 – killing 27 youth on a church outing. A drunk driver hit head on a school bus. The kids were returning from a day long fun trip at our nearby King’s Island ammusement park. Anytime I travel to Louisville a roadside marker reminds me of that horrid event. Don’t drink and drive!

* Citroen meet-up in Enschede / East Holland (my birth city)

Ciao. Stay strong, stop by and have a little of my self-made Sauerkraut (contains more probiotics than found in anything else) – appreciate Life.

Dirk



Saturday morning, and with our just missing the coldest-May 1st-on-record the current change is for the better, temperature that is. The warmer weather makes for me to come out of the gate spritely and upbeat. So let’s get started, with a smile and sparkle in the eye – even more so now that my coffee is ready.

Word of the Day: dryasdust: A boring, pedantic speaker or writer. Dull and boring.

‘Dryasdust’, I hope not with this morning’s read. For us the town will be hopping, actually running. See, it’s the weekend of The Flying Pig marathon. Between the 5K, the 10K, and the full marathon, there will be 40,000 runners on the streets, add to that about 8,000 volunteers and 100,000 spectators and, yup, it’ll be a hub-bub of activity. Tomorrow morning I’ll be one of those ‘squeelers’ (keeping with the ‘pig’ theme) cheering the marathoners on.

The ‘Nati’s Jewel – has to be our Mercantile Library and yes, you may pronounce it MercanTILE or MercantTEEL (wanna sound local?, just call it “the Merc”). Founded in 1835 by a few young business types. since then it’s grown and also assembled a number of fine art pieces.

The Merc is a remainder of earlier of membership libraries (which were around before there were public libraries). Anyone is welcome and visits are free.

Over the years there have been an annual series of speakers. Looking back, how about Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Harriet Beecher Stowe (who grew up nearby). More recently notables such as Rabbi Isaac Wise, John Updike, Salman Rushdie, Robert Caro, David Brooks, Julia Child, and Doris Kearns Goodwin have given lectures.

With membership the events are open as is the ability to peruse amongst the more than 80,000 book collection – many of historical value from a bygone era – the oldest dates to 1641.

What is truly amazing is that the place has survived two fires and the space it occupies on the 11th and 12th floor of the downtown Mercantile Building has had the library there since inception. There under a 10,000 year lease (yes, you read correctly; ten-thousandyears)

Want to see a recent event on video? Click on this Crowdcast LINK.

All this woke Bud Light stuff and in-your-face virtue signaling advertising needs to chill. First, they came for Uncle Ben (a credit to his rice) and I said nothing. Then they came for Aunt Jemima and I said nothing. Then they came for Dylan Mulvaney, and I said, “Whatever.” ~ Ron Hart, libertarian op-ed humorist, this on Dailey Caller

G°G°R 2022 or ‘On the Minnehaha’ – The 36′ boat, Minnehaha or “The Laughing Waters”, is a very special older boat – it just finished a global circumnavigation of 30,000 miles winning the quadrennial 2022 Golden Globe 2022 (G°G°R 2022) race in first place. (this race started September 4, 2022 – finished April 27, 2023).

My own love for sailing has me quickly connect to these massive races. In 2000 it was the Vendée Globe, now it was the G°G°R 2022 which I could track and follow. Over the years I did some lake sailing and racing and it must be that these races fulfill a small piece of my wish list. Besides, I just love the sights and sounds.

Sailing solo with just two quick (video card transfers only) stops, South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer, the only female in the 16-boat race, won the race. First of the only 3 boats that completed the race.

1st place even after diverting 95 miles to rescue a fellow sailor who was bobbing on his life-raft. Finish sailor, Tapio Lehtinen, had 5-minutes to activate his EPIRB device, grab his logs & sim cards before his #6 boat, Astria, completed its Titanic-style maneuver. He then floated for 24-hours in a raft before Kirsten was able to rescue him. As an aside, he was later transferred to a cargo ship which had also responded.

Neuschäfer’s boat had to be reworked and retrofitted. By race rules, everything has to be as it was on the first Golden Globe Race of 1968. Sealed ‘emergency only’ gear and a couple of minutes a day of telephone contact only is mandated. No restocking of supplies — Kirsten even collected and used rain water for drinking. Even to where CD’s are not allowed only cassetes because the CD wasn’t available in 1968. Plus, all navigation is by the stars only – no GPS. To rework the boat she spent almost a year on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) town of Baltic where she worked alongside the locals to get her Minnehaha ready.

A while back Marcia and I spent time in Canada’s Maritimes including P.E.I. and, like Neuschäfer, also loved the place and its people. Enjoy the short video and music by P.E.I’s  folk singer/songwriter Lennie Gallant and townsfolk as backup singers.

Fini –

• A quickie from our corner of Chaos & Mayhem comes this visual of a wrong-way tow – nice try though.

• Former Budweiser Bud Light marketing vice president, Alissa Heinerscheid, following her Dylan Mulvaney fiasco has re-surfaced. This might be a limited trial run with, possibly, her new employer?

• Watching everything WOKE, especially with high school and college aged kids I can’t help but wonder. Wonder if kids these days could muster the fortitude of those of The Greatest Generation of WWII. Think of a young kid climbing into the Ball Turret on a rattling B-17 Bomber. Gunners were squeezed into a suffocating totally exposed bulb, withstood bitter cold, hours on an oxygen mask (ok, we’ve had two years of the mask thing), and cramped in a fetal position. Your thoughts?

• Dinah raced in Saratoga, New York at the Toga-Invitational. A first place in the 8-person and 4th in the 4-person boat. With 1,500 athletes registered that becomes ‘most excellent’.

• Does anyone have a cogent answer as to exactly why the IRS needs to spend $10-million on weapons and ammunitions? I certainly haven’t got a clue.

• Our dazzlingly amazing veep (alongside Dan Quale & Walter Mondale) Kamala is now our A.I. tsar. I suspect it’s due to her stellar performance managing similar ‘tsaristic’ duties as Border ‘bozo’ and abortion ‘goat’. To formalize, this week a meeting on A.I. was held in the White House Roosevelt Room – the room’s portrait of the great namesake man himself seemed to come to life; it appeared he began rubbing his temples.

• Dutch is my original tongue. During my school years I’ve had a discussion or two about the fact that The Netherland’s most northern Province, Friesland, has its own language which is more closely related to English than to Dutch. This week I came across a chart which clearly details just how I’ve been correct all along. ‘Checkmark’ for Dirk.

• Last Saturday as mentioned last week, we made an excursion to Ikea. Actually, Ikea ‘shopping’ is a day-long event, hence it’s no wonder they built a restaurant and the halfway point. That aside, the ‘gravadlax’ salmon salad was amazing!

Ciao. Stay happy, stay connected, run your own life’s ‘marathon’ in whatever form suits you best – just keep on going! Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk



Saturday morning, and we’re on the ‘doorstep’ of the Merry Month of May. Is it me or is time no longer creeping but has begun to accelerate into a full sprint?

Word of the Day: Torschlusspanik: The fear that time to act is running out.

In any case, enjoy the weekend and since it’s still dark here feel free to tape your eyelids open to read The Ramblings. An accompanying mug of coffee should also do you well.

We are so in tune with the realization that we’re in the midst of the allergy season; I noticed that we magically now have a shelf-full of Kleenex. From the book of survival Marcia has alerted me that; “its bad form to throw dirty garments into the wash without first checking for used tissue”.

What a dinner – we had last Sunday. This to celebrate and honor Viliami and Jason’s Birthdays. Carefully chosen was Gyu-Kaku Japanese Barbeque (meaning “Horn of the Bull” in Japanese). Selected was a private space, large table and two in-table grills.

Food was great. One minor ‘hiccup’ was some difficulty getting one of the grills operational. Twice a young Asian person had to dive under the table to perform some magic. For a moment, only momentarily mind you, I envisioned us watching a ‘Rick Pitino moment’. Soon all was fine and we had a blast – the photo of Marcia absolutely proves it.

           

A sad occurrence – should this proceed. At the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 673 professors signed a letter of protest. Reason? The North Carolina legislature has legislation which would mandate all public university students to take a 3-credit course that focuses on the history of America and its founding.

The course has as required reading “the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, no less than five essays from the Federalist Papers, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King’s letter from the jail in Birmingham.” (House bill 96, as reported on by American Greatness)

The letter by the 673 professors states such a law would violate the school’s “academic freedom.”

Stop providing a new generation of leaders the pertinent details of American exceptionalism and in short order we WILL be doomed continuing as the extraordinary nation that we are.

The Bailey – Mid-week Jason and I headed out to the new soccer stadium to catch a FC Cincinnati soccer match from on ‘The Bailey’. In case you missed it, The Bailey is an all-aluminum, 3000 ‘rabid’ fans strong, standing room only area. At a 34-degree angle it became an amazing place to be. Even standing for a complete soccer match was not noticeable as the time flew by.

The short video clip does give a sense of just how frenetic the experience was, with drums, flags, song, cheering, smoke, and beer. I made video shortly after our boys scored the game winning goal. Enjoy! We did!

           

Dante’s Inferno – Dante Alighieri, nearly 700 years ago, was exiled from his residence in Florence. Through the remainder of his life he traveled about and stayed with friends as a guest.

It was during his exile where he used his time to write an epic poem which has become a standard in literature, The Divine Comedy. The poem, an allegory, details an imaginary passage through the afterlife; hell (the Inferno), Purgatory, and heaven (Paradise) meeting up with friends, loved ones, and enemies.

This week we lost Jerry Springer and likewise I envision Jerry, somewhere, busily writing away his own epic life’s poem, his own Divine Comedy.

Born in London, his parents had escaped the Holocaust. He become a city council member here in the ‘Nati, staying until a prostitute displayed a check for ‘service’ rendered payment.

The net result was him becoming the Mayor of Cincinnati. Next was a climb to the number one TV news anchor in the city – closing each broadcast with a short bit of philosophy.

A hiatus (actually it was a failed run for the Ohio Governorship) and he was on to Television, First a legitimate format (it died) and on to create the nation’s number one hillbilly fight garbage TV show – a show which made him a multi-millionaire. RIP Mayor Springer

Jerry-Jerry” – “Jerry-Jerry

Thanks a Lot ‘Tuckah’! – Mark Steyn giving homage to Tucker Carlson. Seems both of them, true additions to the national discourse and wellbeing, were canned for being just a wee bit too vocal.

Carlson was a mainstay of my listening/viewing repertoire. Now I’m trusting he’ll be back in some format bigger and better and without constraint. Enjoy a piece of Steyn’s reflection:

Care to listen to Steyn’s whole show (it’s quite good)? Follow this LINK.

Fin –

• As most countries are busily scooping up their citizenry in strife-torn Sudan, am I wrong or is Captain America missing? Shades of Afghanistan maybe?

• Not my photo, but I came across this wonderful photo of the town of Houten in the Netherlands. What is interesting is that the main road through the town was first laid out by the Romans.

• The end of decade’s long entertainment provided by Australian comedian Barry Humphries; always in character as Dame Edna came this week. Humphries died at age 89. Hunt up some of the video clips, these pass the test of time in comedy.

• Dinah is racing this weekend in Saratoga, New York at the Toga-Invitational. I’m told that the rowing athletes are amongst the very fittest athletes in any sport. Go Dinah!

   

• And, a very Happy Birthday to Marlene. Catch up soon (in the meantime, say hello to Clair LePaige!)

• We know that the WOKE advertising scheme by Anheuser Bush blew up in their face. Think this WD-40 advert better?

Now it’s organizing for a morning excursion to Ikea – actually, if we wait a bit we could grab lunch at the place (possibly a salmon gravadlax salad plate?).
Anyhow, ciao. Stay happy, stay connected, stay involved. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk


Frabjous

04 22nd, 2023


So, it was a short night, and both a busy day and busy weekend lies ahead. Hence a slightly more criptic Ramblings. It was a hot week and after yesterday’s rain its quite a bit cooler. So, let’s get started!

Paragraph of the week:

America is in a similar position to where it was in 1861, 1929, 1941, and 1968—only perhaps worse, given in all those cases, there was at least a president and Congress that identified and reacted to the crisis, whereas today our elected government is what caused the crisis.… ~ Victor Davis Hanson, historian

To add a little gravitas to Dr. Hanson’s uttering, here are some ‘creds’. First, he’s a farmer. He received his B.A. with highest honors in classics and general college honors, from Cowell College, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His PhD is in classics is from Stanford University.

Then to round out his background, here are a few of his ‘secondary’ bits; visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy. Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Presented the Manhattan’s Institute’s Wriston Lecture. Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is in classics and military history.

So, when Dr. Hanson puts ‘pen to paper’ we just might want to pay a little attention!

Frabjous – adjective – delightful, joyous.
The night before last the young ladies of the family, Dinah and Vaioleti, went to bed full of frabjous expectancy. Dinah left yesterday for a regatta this weekend held in southern Tennessee. Two weeks ago, her 8-man boat got Silver in the standard 2,000 meter race and her 4-man boat got Gold at that same regional regatta.

Vai in ‘mucho’ anticipation of the school play put on last night, A Night of One Acts, which I went to – and was glad I did. Vai was part of the Crew.

A major difference is that since 2009 Clark Montesori High School has put on these plays under the name of EPIC Productions as a totally run by students event.

This means that students choose the plays, procure them, cast them, and the plays are then performed by, produced by, and directed by the students without teacher involvement.

The Plays — Four of them, ranged from hilarious, almost slapstick – A Tale of Two Balconies (Off the Wall Plays) which juxtaposed a Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet and a modern day R & J couple on the same stage to the more intense. In Romeo and Juliet both couples were ‘star-crossed’ and of course there came the disastrous ending.

One of the other plays, “A Slippery Slope” (Blue Moon Plays) was cutting edge and explored a current look at human sexuality. The setting was a science classroom in a conservative Christian Middle School. Two students had to give a report on the nesting behaviors of the same bird, the Albatross, but each gave with a different take. Pretty powerful dialogue, insights, and right vs wrong discussions.

Results: The 5K – The Matt’s 5K Pursuit, had me feeling pretty good about my effort. In my age category (walkers 60 – 99) we had 57 ‘chipped’ walkers and as the ‘elder’ of that category, I came in 9th overall.

Weather was great. I even got another walker (the runners were probably finishing by then) to take my picture pointing at my parents’ grave as we passed it.

The whole event (approaching somewhere between 4,500 & 5,000 people) couldn’t have gone better.

The Foundation which receives the profits works with regional Police agencies and their K9 units – 100 dogs placed and over the years $1-million raised which includes having temperature sensing and reaction devices in K9 cruisers. In appreciation 50 or so dogs and handlers were present and an exciting demonstration was put on.

                 

As a bonus, for that morning I was probably at the very safest place in town.

Link to a short video from the start of the 5K:  IMG_0141

Happenings – This shortened Rambling is because soon I’ll be assisting with the logistics of Adrianne and Tevita’s move to their new home. Currently our truck is parked out front to keep space for the moving truck.

Tomorrow evening it’ll be a nice dinner to celebrate both Viliami and Jason’s Birthdays.

Fin –

• What is it with the middle of April as a period of disasters. April 15, 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated. April 18, 1906 was the the massive San Francisco Earthquake. April 15, 1912 is when the unsinkable Titanic floundered on her maiden voyage. April 19, 1993 was the Federal Bureau, the ATF, raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX. After a lengthy siege it escalated and a massive fire broke out resulting in the deaths of 76 people, including children. The Oklahoma City bombing (April 19, 1995). Not to forget the (April 20, 199) Columbine High School shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting (April 16, 2007), and the Boston Marathon bombing (April 15, 2013).

• Even the Notre Dame Cathedral fire (in Paris) occurred in mid-April April 15, 2019).

Tax Day was this past week; remember that it was Cincinnati’s own, President William H Taft, who during his single term of office introduced a “TEMPORARY” national Income Tax in 1913. The original tax had a base rate of 1 percent with a first $3,000 exemption. This meant that fewer than 2% of the population had to pay. Where exactly is the difference between Joe Average today and the serfs of medieval times?  Yup, always trust government!

• On a lighter note, also this time period in 1968 Robert P. McCulloch bought the London Bridge for $2.4 million and had it shipped across the ‘pond’ to reassemble it in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Ciao. Stay strong, Especially during this mid-April, keep looking over your shoulder. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk



All week it’s been stunning weather, sunshine and low eighties. Today it’s a transition day and this evening the rains will start. Tomorrow morning at 9:00AM I will start on my first 5K since my eye ‘thingy’ (and the rains won’t stop till noon).

In the meantime I’ll continue to be outside and smell the flowers. Enjoy this springtime photo of Clinton Springs place du 798, home sweet home taken from the infamous corner of Chaos & Mayhem.

It’s early, no sound in the whole building, very few cars on the road, and a large cup of steaming coffee next to me. It’s a perfect time to be alive!

Round & About the Neighborhood – during springtime is an adventure. Little needs be said, just enjoy the visuals (click to enlarge):

                 

Paragraph of the week:

Virtue gives birth to tranquility, tranquility to leisure, leisure to disorder, disorder to ruin… and similarly from ruin, order is born, from order virtue, from virtue, glory and good fortune ~ Niccolò Machiavelli, in his Florentine Histories

Cyclical – Machiavelli was right, as was Plato, and many more after him. History is not a straight-line progression; history is cyclical.

Currently we’re reaping the results of half a century of government organized single parent households often run by a mother who is still a child herself. We’re observing a portion of the cycle where education by many parents and schools and churches are catering to the whims, foibles, and oddities of an upcoming generation.

A portion of the current cyclical fallout is the continued voting into office of ideologues funded by subversive types (those at odds by furthering the values we’ve been built on); think Governors, State and city AGs and DAs, many of them elected and reelected by a population of slackers, loafers, and goldbrickers; each chanting the current mantra of entitlement; “we want it OUR way, we want it FREE.”

This leads to the question of gun violence; why was there virtually not one mass shooting as recent as the 1950s; this at a time when guns were about as readily available as today? Could it be that possibly we need to look at the 45-year span since we’ve paid serious mind to a creeping Mental Health problemcombined with a lack of parenting? Is that what’s changed?

This isn’t just a reaction to today’s world of WOKE-ness and headline grabbing characters named Mulvaney or Lia. Take note that over the years I’ve tapped my ‘toes’ into the past worlds of the Beatnik, the Hippie; yes generations do go through phases.

But this has a difference, more and more, a booked law breaker, be they murderer, robber, thief, a criminal of any type, is back on the street before the cop has finished the required paperwork.

That’s why I love this song by Toby Keith & Willie Nelson where they offer a brilliant solution. Remember the suggestion the song proffers is posted by me, a nearly really old geezer, but it’s one that works really well:

The 5K – has been approved by my surgeon; with the promise of ‘walking only’, no jogging or jog-and-walk. The event is through the grounds of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, which even in the rain should be stunning this time of year.

It’s called the Matt’s 5K Pursuit to benefit the Matt Haverkamp Foundation which was set up to both provide animals and secure training for K9 and Rescue/search dogs. To date just over 100 dogs have been provided to our regional and city Police agencies.

     

The location, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum was set up as a nonsectarian, nonprofit corporation by a special Act by the Ohio General Assembly back in 1845 and is the 3rd largest cemetery in the nation. Aside from the spectacular lakes and scenery there are two other ‘bits’ on the 5K. First, the route is such that it will pass right by my parents’ grave site (yes, I am planning to give a wave). Then, upon completion, there is scheduled to be an exhibition where some of the dogs will have a chance show off their skills.

See why I had the talk with my surgeon and why the nod of approval was given?

The Bailey – On the 26th FC Cincinnati MLS soccer will face off against Louisville in a run-up to the 2023 US Open Cup. Cincy is currently super HOT and leads the MLS Eastern Conference..

The Bailey portion of the stadium is a 3000 person behind the opposing goal standing only section angled at 34-degrees. All aluminum (for noise), and its where all the foot stomping, drumming, singing, horns, smoke takes place.

Now the exciting part, to experience The Bailey has been a ‘to-do’ for me for quite a while. Tried to drag Marcia along (won’t note her answer but somewhere I heard her use the word; “crazy NOT”). However, Jason was different; he too is excited and will join me.

I forgot to mention that it’s ‘tradition’ for the Bailey crowd to first enjoy a couple of beers at the nearby Samuel Adams brewery, then march ‘en-mass’ to the stadium. The linked short video will show how it all looks.

I am super stoked!

Gordo’s – is by far and away our favorite Pub/Café. It’d been a while since we’d stopped by, and last night was the night.

What struck me that we literally drank ‘suds’ (beer) from our personal histories. Marcia had a ‘Stout’ brewed in Holland, MI while I had a ‘Lager’ brewed in my birth-town of Enschede, a bottle of Grolsch.

Fin –
• Is there any doubt seeing why our nation’s rail system can’t gain proper footing?

• This coming week we’ll celebrate two (not one, but two) Birthday’s. Viliami who can hardly wait to step into his next year. And Jason, who’s now realizing that he’s on a path where he’s quickly chasing me down.

• Eight days ago the world marked the passing of Ben Ferencz at the age of 103. Mr. Ferencz who was both the youngest and last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials. He secured convictions against 22 Nazi death squad commanders. A 60-minutes interview from six years ago (when he was 97) showed a Mr. Ferencz swimming, doing push-ups, and working with weights – not bad for someone who barely cleared 5 feet. He led an amazing life. Click here on “60-minutes” to link to the interview.

• Vai demonstrating a beautiful piece of art glass which she created, including the colors embedded in it. What the picture can’t show is that after completing the piece she went back to school, and that shortly after she left her instructor the Police showed up and arrested him for murder. He’s accused of murdering his, then, fiancé a decade ago. Wow!

• Last weekend Dinah rowed her first Regatta of the season. Her 8-man boat finished Silver and her 4-man boat got a Gold. Quite the start kiddo!

  • Adrianne and Tevita signed a ream of paper yesterday and now (in partnership with their bank) are now the proud owners of their new home. More busyness in their already busy lives as a move looms near.

Ciao. Stay strong, wouldn’t it be special if everyone took just a few minutes this week to climb a tree? Low hanging branches are OK. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk


Easter

04 8th, 2023


What is it with my ‘body clock’? Yesterday was a busy and long day running well into the late evening. The plan I had was to just sleep in and get started on The Ramblings at the ‘whenever-I-wake’ hour.

4:05 in the AM and I was ready to get started. No other day of the week would I fall into that kind of crazy trap, but this being Saturday I had little choice.

Now, a bit of writing, then some coffee, then a bit more of that; and so it goes.

In the meantime, wishing you an Easter celebration that moves you well beyond the banal commerciality of chocolate Easter-bunnies. And to all, a great Passover remembrance over this weekend too.

Easter 2023 occurrence – Dr. Sheldon Roth, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, author of “Psychologically Sound: The Mind of Donald J. Trump.”

During this time of Easter and Passover Dr. Roth provides more insight than the yokels in the New York DA’s office ever realized with the timing their persecution of Trump

The list of persecution attempts:

• Operation Crossfire Hurricane
• Mueller Probe
• Impeachment 1
• Impeachment 2
• January 6th Committee
• Mar a Lago Raid
• Manhattan DA Indictment

As Trump was hauled in front of a very biased and weak AG during Easter/Passover week it reminded Dr. Roth of another persecuted individual, Jesus Christ. Jesus, charged and who was hauled in front of a weak and biased Roman judiciary. Jesus tried on charges to ensure a conviction 2,000 years ago. Now here is Trump on trumped (pun) up and cobbled together charges in 2023. Both, with little to no possible outcome of anything resembling fairness.

Dr. Roth goes a step further addressing our Jewish family and friends with the botched timing of Trump’s arraignment, Passover. Passover as you might remember commemorates the story of the Israelites’; escape from slavery from Egypt. Their leader was Moses – also a persecuted character.

However you think of Trump, these legal fiends in their ignorance and awkward timing, bringing charges during Easter and Passover week have created much empathy for Trump. By virtue of the season, they have established sympathy for Trump even if nothing more than subconsciously.

Now that they’ve made their move they can’t erase that. As early polling data shows, Dr. Roth was probably correct.

Paragraph of the week:

(I) compare our election choices (of late) to “Which disease would you rather have?” much to the dismay of certain readers. I’ve long thought we could do better when it comes to the person who holds the loftiest office in the United States….But indicting a former president (any former president) on ridiculous charges to keep him out of the next race is a bridge too far.” ~ Daisy Luther writing an article under the Headline: If Political Prosecution Can Happen to Trump, It Can Happen to Any of Us – April 6, 2023

Tiny Us – We [at least the media and by default us] love to ruminate on and on, on ‘tempest in a teapot’ issues. Then bounce from one of those to the next; be they real or invented. By the hour it’s jumping from the drivel in NY, then in the next breath the botox overkill on some starlet, as so it goes, day in and day out. Week in, and week out.

To get you to think on just how pitiful all the nonsense we ‘stew’ over is in the grand scope of things, I’d like to introduce Dr. Brian Cox to you. Dr. Brian Cox CBE FRS, professor of particle physics School of Physics and Astronomy at the
University of Manchester.

In the next short minute he’ll detail to us just how both ‘significant’ and ‘insignificant’ we are. Have a quick listen:

Our Poet – Vaioleti is one of those kids who is happily immersed in High School life and all its activities. One of those ‘extras’ is her involvement in ‘Slam’ poetry. Last night she represented her school in the city-wide finals held at our Memorial Hall.

’Slam Poetry’, “a form of performance poetry that combines the elements of performance, writing, competition, and audience participation. It is performed at events called poetry slams, or simply slams. The name slam came from how the audience has the power to praise or, sometimes, destroy a poem and from the high-energy performance style of the poets— Encyclopedia Britannica.

Vai placed well in the top tier. Loved how she and everyone else did and had a blast. We, friends, parents and grandparent loved what all these kids did. We hooted and hollered, sometimes appropriately and sometimes not. And had a blast!

I should point out that I bought her a bouquet of flowers when I stopped by Trader Joe’s. The checkout clerk, making small talk, asked if it was going to be an active weekend. I mentioned that I was heading to watch my granddaughter at a Poetry Performance later in the day.

His reply? “Trader Joe’s would like her to have this bouquet as our gift!” Now how cool is that. It’s marketing genius at the max to empower the frontline people to make quality decisions. Hooray for Traders!

Walking – I am back to walking and exercising now that the ‘gas bubble’ has cleared my eye (held a tiny ceremony cutting my medical alert bracelet off).

It’s great being round and about. Springtime on the campus of Xavier University is a time I am glad I didn’t miss – both, seeing and walking.

Now that life is back to normal I will be walking a 5k (no mixed jogging/walking yet) later this coming week at the Matt’s 5K Pursuit. Monies raised will go to deceased police officer Matt Haverkamp’s foundation for the procurement and training of rescue and K9 dogs; over 100 dogs have been funded so to date. The event will be held throughout Spring Grove cemetery and Arboretum – this time of the year with shrubs and flowers in full bloom the place is stunning.

As an aside, our part of the 5K route through Spring Grove goes directly past my parents’ grave site. I’ll wave!

Fin –
• This front yard sign spotted on a walk earlier this week had me puzzled.

• Finally the little pin converter arrived. Up to that time I had never realized just how good an experience listening is as when using Studio quality headphones. Brilliant!

     

• Today in 1979 the final episode of All in the Family aired. This hugely successful comedy sitcom dealing with topics of sex, bigotry, race and gender could never be made/aired today, and that is beyond quite sad.

• When someone who doesn’t drink tea does you a favor. Marcia came home with two boxes of herbal tea for my afternoon refresher moment. Lovely. One small detail; we do NOT have a Keurig coffee/tea maker.

Ciao. Stay strong, ever stay focused on that which is important and that what is right. As I said last week, keep moving keep active. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.

Dirk