MERRY CHRISTMAS

12 19th, 2020

Happy Saturday morning. Just climbed into my chair and sipped my first coffee – waiting for my mind to snap into gear. While that is happening, with our curfew still in place, I’m noting that it’s deadly quiet outside, no traffic at all. I wonder how many cars are now sitting in their driveway idling, waiting patiently for the 5:00AM end of curfew to then race out. Something like that must be happening.

Ponder this; often the way we see things in the here and now turn radically different down the road. Example; years ago a Dr. Felix Rey was the Doctor who treated Vincent Van Gogh’s ear. In 1889 Van Gogh painted Rey’s portrait. Rey thoroughly disliked the final product. As a result the dear Doctor’s mother then ended up using that painting to patch a hole in their chicken coop (early example of recycling).

Salvaged and now at the Pushkin Museum its value has been placed to be in excess of $50 million. Can you think of any current example which might, down history’s road, be similarly viewed?

Possibly, the reverse of the above can also be true. Here is an early photo of my dad and his brother ‘stepping’ out around 1936. Next to it I placed one of a male model proudly wearing the best of today’s fashion offering. Take your pick.

     

Covid-19 —

My daughter just told me she licks her friends at nursery. Exactly what you want to hear during a global pandemic” — Helen Carr (the kid’s mom)

Our friends Barb and Bulent in Canada, they too are at wits end with the whole Covid lockdown bit. Barb, I think in desperation, is now reading a 10 billion-page book on the history of Europe; lots of minutiae. This caused a mail asking me if I knew who the first Count of Holland was without diving into Google. I had no idea. The next day she sent me a picture of Count Dirk I. I pasted a recent photo of moi next to the one she sent thinking there was some resemblance. Agree? Note the Caspian style hat that I’m wearing, thinking that Count Dirk the First might have come from a place such as modern day Kazahkstan. Who knows?

   

Operation Warp Speed was ridiculed early on when first President Trump introduced it as being just a pipe dream. Starting earlier this week the first vaccinations were being poked into people. Truly AMAZING.

I found a calculator (in the LA Times) where you could click on State and County, click on age, any conditions, and up pops exactly where you are in the long line of people waiting for the vaccine; I did that. So here is the result; In our county, I am in group B1 and have 76,474 people in front of me – spacing 6’ apart that’s quite the line.

This is especially for those of you living in extremely restricted States; those with over-the-top lockdowns, ill-conceived closures, etc. Remember that if you allow the government to break the law or just create an edict and pretend it’s a law, during an emergency, it will create emergencies to further break the law.

Americans have always been a totally courageous people. Yet today there seems to be a prevailing attitude. Our society today seems to be filled with fear, fear of illness, fear of our ever changing climate changing, fear of the people around us, fear of variety in thought and speech, and we can’t forget the fear of dying from the R’ona

What’s happened in the last half century? When did we ever climb into little cocoons to isolate ourselves, to isolate our towns? When last did we kill our commerce, kill our businesses, and kill the education of our kids?

Sailing sailing, over the bounding main – I might as well admit it, Marcia thinks that my following (obsession for?) this year’s Vendée Globe race is idiotic. The Vendée Globe race is held every four years. Little known in the USA it begins in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. Thirty three Imoca Class boats (60’ open cockpit virtually unsinkable monohull yachts) set sail to eventually return to Les Sables-d’Olonne after two and a half months and circumnavigation the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn).

This year it’s 27 men and six women skippers who will cover the 24,000 Nautical Miles. Sailed single handed, nonstop, it’s really several races in one considering that older Imoca boats sail alongside the latest generation of carbon fiber foiler equipped entries.

Now, about 15,000 miles into it, six boats have abandoned the race (one broke in half and the skipper floated in a life raft for 11-hours before being rescued) and are spread out over about 4,000 miles.

Skippers will send in short videos and the race committee itself airs two updates each day. These updates try to convey weather issues, how individuals deal with the loneliness, sleep deprivation, breakdowns and needed repairs, sights (mostly sunrises/sunsets, Dolphins and Albatrosses), food and food preparations, and so forth.

The short video below is of Sam Davis and her boat; Initiatives-Cœur – a charity operation providing heart surgery for kids in the developing world. Sam had to abandon the race when her boat’s keel got damaged after hitting something at dinnertime (she broke a couple of ribs when the impact tossed her about). Sailing on, Initiatives-Cœur was repaired in Cape Town South Africa and, although no longer in the race, she is continuing, all in an effort to keep promoting the charity.

Anytime I do try to tell Marcia about some Vendée bit she starts up with a; “la la la la la, can’t hear you, la la la la la” sing song. It’s not her thing. However I am totally hooked.

Fini – Last week I mentioned the Abraham Accords; the normalization between Bahrain, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Israeli. I mentioned that these Accords were truly a historic diplomatic breakthrough. Well, I forgot to mention that The Sudan was also part of these Accords and feel I need to correct that bit.

Since soon a lot of information the media casually forgot to mention, which will soon be buried even deeper, causes me to remind you that President Trump, some months ago, granted a full pardon to Susan B. Anthony, who was convicted of illegally voting in 1872. I know the coverage of this event was missed due to the fact that the media was busily describing Trump’s hatred for women and other matters.

Thought you’d want to see the list of SHAME – Those countries in the U.N. General Assembly which voted NO regarding the Human Rights abuses by Iran. Here’s the list:

A little piece of detail from The Beatles. Paul McCartney recently mentioned that; “we were writing songs that were memorable. We weren’t writing them to BE memorable, but so that we could remember them!” As James Woods once said; “amazing how self-effacing the Beatles were”.

Keep your eyes and ears open on further news on more brilliant business strategies staged by one Hunter Biden. Could be fascinating!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone. It’ll be a little different this year as far as the celebrations go, but the spirit and the meaning will be the same and especially now, be more important than ever. Again, a MERRY CHRISTMAS to each and everyone of you.

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

Dirk


No More ‘P’

12 12th, 2020

Happy Saturday morning, only two days before Green Monday. With that in mind, no green coffee – green tea is about as close to that color in something I’m supposed to swallow as I get.

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.” —Victor Borge; “Stop by their house, eat some cookies and milk, give out presents, and leave on a magical sleigh. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

And on this, the year of the ‘Rona’ mess and all the accompanying nonsensical edicts, even these once a year trips are cancelled.

I say “nonsensical” because it is. We are under a 10:00PM – 5:00AM curfew; “except for those leaving a sporting event” is the latest proclamation. Huh?

It proves just how supple “The Science” is.

2020 The Year – Friends Ron and Barb started their annual epistle this way: “Be careful what you wish for, especially at Christmastime. Last year we were craving a slower, more slothful season and next thing we know, we’re spending 295 consecutive days at home. It’s like George Bailey [of the Movie; It’s a Wonderful Life] wishing he’d never been born and then Bam! Pottersville.”
(Hey Ron and Barb, run out of colored ink? I took note that this year your letter is printed on simple Office Depot stock embellished with a tiny little sticker. You’re right; it proves that it’s been a tough year; I say with a smile)

The other oddity is not year specific. It references those items that only emerge this time of the year. Our local sage, Earl Pitts ‘Uhmerican’, describes it most succinctly:

Driving home from WVa last weekend – Passing through Adams County on our approach to Cincinnati, we passed the shuttered Killen Generating Station. The smoke stack had been visible for a while. Rolling past the complex I noted that the front façade of the 14-story main building was already gone.

I mentioned to Marcia that maybe I should turn around and take a photo. We agreed that it’d be best to just continue on home.

Wednesday news broke that that same massive structure at Killen had collapsed. A company was on site placing dynamite for the implosion when it collapsed. Five workers got caught. Three ended up in nearby hospitals and the search for the two remaining guys is still ongoing. Keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Walking – I am back in my groove. After missing for most of the previous week (weather and small one-lane roads carrying two-way traffic) it’s back to normal. And it also meant that I took a fresh look at things. For example, our town sits on a bend in the Ohio River. This means that the city streets don’t form a grid, but often are laid out like spokes on a wheel. This makes for some wonderful architecture.

At one point, looking up I spotted this street named as an honorific to Bootsy Collins, probably Funk music’s most notable Bassist and a local icon. It reminded me he was scheduled to do a live-stream event yesterday. This morning I remembered that I forgot all about it. My bad, as another generation would say.

   

Without realizing it, I plowed on by this place. As I looked through the fence I thought of the Jim Croce song; “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and the lines:
“And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog”
As luck would have it these two ‘beasts’ were about a calm as could be.

Politics – The election is finally behind us. I’ve told Marcia and other family members that I am through jabbering about politics. Whatever comes will come. However, as I exit that path, I cannot help but comment on the over-the-top Time magazine Person of the Year issue; it’s completely disgusting.

Suggestions:
A) How about showing the Abraham Accords? The normalization between Bahrain, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Israeli. These Accords were truly a “historic diplomatic breakthrough.” Isn’t it stunning that finally and without battlefronts we are seeing in the Middle East an exchange of embassies and ambassadors, and a plan to “sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment…and other areas of mutual benefit.”
B) How about showing Dr. Li Wenliang (1986 – 2020) who sounded the Covid-19 alarm in Wuhan China. He was routed from his home for middle-of-the-night interrogations by the Chinese Communist Party. He died last February 7.


C) If not Dr. Wenliang, how about a cover showing the thousands of Front Line workers, the Nurses, Doctors, Nursing Home Workers, Cashiers, Ambulance Drivers, Truck Drivers, Food Plant workers.

Time Magazine, you folks are a joke!

Fini – This week it’s a very Happy, Happy Birthday to sis-in-law Jeanne Z.

This past week (Monday December 7) we lost “America’s greatest aviator’, Chuck Yeager at age 97. He was the first pilot to break the sound barrier. It also shows just how quickly life is changing. Here within a single lifespan we’ve seen Yeager’s feat, man landing on the moon, and now rocketry which lands itself on a ship upon return to earth.

Wondering what’s going on at the ‘Corner of Chaos & Mayhem’? Returning from West Virginia this greeted us. It seems that a driver careened through our drive, through the neighbor’s fence, across the side street, and through another fence. We missed it all.

Today, in the year 2000, the US Supreme Court announces its decision in Bush v. Gore, effectively ending legal changes to the results of that year’s Presidential election.

Finally, Marcia got censored for her response to a messenger item by her one-word response,  the word; “Wow”. She was not happy to say the least. What are we about these days?

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

Dirk


After a fine night in my own bed I wish everyone a good Sunday morning. We left our B&B yesterday morning and decided to take a more scenic way home. It was the expressway to Huntington, WV; then crossing over near Ironton, OH and followed Route 52 to town.

Now, Marcia is still sleeping and I am sitting here with a hot coffee in front of me.

As an added bonus, I have no idea what to write about!

The week was filled with a flurry of images, days of rain beginning with a day of snow (eventually 5” to 7” of the stuff). Decent enough temperatures and evenings filled with a nightly movie (we brought a stack of them). The movie fare was made more interesting due to the nightly shot of 100-proof we’d pour (locally made stuff which triggered a fit of coughing on my first sip).

     

We had no WiFi and to connect for texting meant that I had to sit on the right side of the couch, hold the phone up high and in front of the window blinds; then, which on attempt two or three it would be successful.

I did bring our little XM Radio and after a bit of ‘jiggling’ and ‘rigging’ it performed flawlessly. We had a window into the world!

 

Half off our week of adventure was trying to find places:

me; “which way to Harmony (name of town)”. Local; “Y’all jist head yonder and you’ll be there direckly”. This left Marcia and me ‘apondering’ since it would probably mean another hours’ worth of driving through one ‘holler’ after another.

We loved it!

Except for that one time when we were given directions and our road (actually a narrow single lane with a proper county marker) switch backed down one steep mile long hill after another. In near tears she ‘ordered’ me to turn around and head back to civilization. OK, no problem, other than the fact that there was no place to turn around.

 

At the end of the road we were on was a ‘highway’, turn left and a quarter mile turn left into Sissonville – seems like about twenty houses and a barbeque joint. We drove this road except we got caught up by a road crew removing trees fallen by a land slide (they seemed to do a lot of that in West Virginia). Once through (after a mile or so) we had to turn around feeling like idiots since we had to wait and pass the same crew.

If you like West Virginia trucking in a Semi this guy is your guide; some mouthpiece:

Where we stayed – was as close as we could get to a season at our Northern Comfort. Yup, we got our knotty-pine fix,

 

Lunch in New Richmond, OH – almost home

 

President U. S. Grant – Point Pleasant, OH – Immediately adjacent to the highway is the birth-home of our former President. I’ve read his memoirs and taken a class on his background. What I didn’t realize is that one of his ancestors, Jean De Lannoy (1570-1604) was a Huguenot.

The plaque referencing this at Grant’s home sort of jumped out at me since it was my father who, as a High school graduation gift gave me a small, golden, Huguenot Cross (Huguenots chose the Maltese Cross to represent them rather than the more common Roman Cross)

Fini – Today, in 1865 the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery.

Then, in 1922, Benito Mussolini threatens Italian newspapers with censorship if they keep reporting “false” information. Anything familiar, or is the reverse true today?

Then, it’s amazing how history is often seen through ‘rose colored’ glasses. 1969 was considered to be part of the ‘Summer of Love’; yet on this day some Hells Angels, hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, beat to death concert-goer Meredith Hunter.

Then, this coming week it’s Happy Birthday to Donn

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

Dirk


It’s Magical

11 28th, 2020

Turkeyed out yet on this Saturday morning? All of our Cincinnati gang managed to get together – LIVE and IN PERSON no less; pretty wonderful. Plus we Zoomed with Kirstin. Wednesday was an all-day heavy rain-slosh. So, merely some ‘evil’ boding cloud cover was welcome on Thanksgiving Day; we even enjoyed desert outdoors on the deck (was too late in the eve for coffee).

“I want so little: another leather bound
Book, a gimlet with a lavender gin, bread
So good when I taste it I can tell you
How it’s made. I’d like us to rethink
What it is to be a nation. I’m in a mood about America
Today.”
~ Jericho Brown, The Tradition

Illusions – We’ve all seen them. Secretly we’ve probably had a sliver of that feeling of discovery when found. I remember the first time that I ‘saw’ the Arrow embedded in the FedEx logo on one of their trucks. Now it’s almost the first thing I see whenever I spot the FedEx name.

Our new walking trail has a 300’ long mural painted on a Duke Energy building. Since its completion late summer I must have walked by it at least twenty times. This week I did a double take. I spotted the embedded image; the illusion became plain to see.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – virtually – was one I attended live streaming last Sunday. Louis Langrée was the conductor and the CSO presented Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony – mesmerizing.

Love percussion? Listen to Julia Perry’s Homunculus C.F. (Perry b-1924 in Kentucky and lived mostly in Ohio) and you won’t be disappointed.

Soloist Anthony McGill introduced his You Have the Right to Remain Silent. Then with the opening notes of America the Beautiful, playing on the Contrabass Saxophone alongside the electronic cadence of a Kurtzweil, the music gave his insights into the happenings of this past summer – stunningly done. Music is Magic!

The YouTube viewing of the concert is on-line till December 12. Assuming a cold rainy afternoon, it’s worthwhile to ease back and  listen to Langrée’s  introduction and the concert.

Virtual (non) learning – While watching one of our local children choirs on TV, Marcia and I were talking about these tyrannical, obscene, and nonsensical lockdowns and what these have wrought; the damage this has done to your children and our grandchildren. Our kids have totally lost a year’s worth of learning; and almost impossible to recover. The Science says that they should be in school. The Science says they should be socializing. The Science says that their lost year will find recovery near impossible. The Science says that an array of mental issues will follow.

In 1773 the Sons of Liberty revolted in Boston with what’s now known as The Boston Tea Party (Revolt). Enough is enough was their mantra. What’s ours as our petty little dictator bureaucrats, potentates, and Governors keep heaping on with edict after edict. When are we going to stiffen our spines and revolt? Listen to this YouTube from less than two years ago and ask why in the H*ll this level of pride, spirit, excitement, exuberance and happiness shouldn’t part of our kid’s lives today. Deep down you know it should be; and remember that the ‘Rona’ has nothing to do with it.

Are we living merely for Life
Or is our life for making the most of our Living

Truly Magical – Truly a Master Magician – I fess up, doing a compilation it was The Federalist where I picked these ‘bits’. Want detail normally found in footnotes? Click here on The Federalist for the whole piece and all their well-researched entities.
In a nutshell, these are some amazing numbers:
Of the 19 Counties which have predicted the president perfectly over the past 40 years, Trump won 18 of them by an average of 16 points. Biden won one by 3 points.
Of the top 58 bellweathers since 2000, Trump won 51 by an average of 15 points, Biden won 7 by an average of 4 points.

Seeing what’s been presented as the final outcome for the election I can only say; the man is truly ‘magical’.

Fini – Monday morning Marcia and I will be heading for somewhere nowhere, deep in a ‘hollow’ in West Virginia (no Rocky-Top for us). It’s being touted to me as an opportunity to; “get outa Dodge”. As an assist, George & Sandy sent us this single use, self-contained, charcoal grill. Marcia is packing a pair of steaks. Thanks guys.

On the positive side, Deaths per Day for 2020 is backing lower to where it’s now almost the same as the average for 2014 – 2019. On the other side, Deaths due to Alzheimer’s Dementia related causes in America are 20,000 more than past averages. Wonder why?

On a walk, I spotted this a town over. To pour 4 new steps leading to a porch, bring in a truck almost larger than the house itself. Nice going guys.

Thanksgiving morning on our nearby walkway I happened on these lovely people sharing the spirit of Thanksgiving. Thanks ladies.

Otto von Bismarck can be quoted with this gem; “what we learn from History is that no one learns from History.” I’m thinking of his wisdom as it looks like Kerry will be resurrected in a new administration. Don’t remember him? Kerry was a principal character in the Iran nuclear deal that was signed in 2013 when they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash; “Iran’s hostilities substantially increased” after this foolishness. Aside from a legacy of lies he’s also a clown.

Stay sane! We will, especially with a week of no internet. A post next Saturday is a bit ‘iffy’.

Make it great week, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and be healthy! And pay no attention to the picture above — that’s important.

Dirk


Celebrate! Thanksgiving

11 21st, 2020

It’s Saturday morning, warmish & rainy in these parts. Yesterday I stood in line at Costco for a Black Friday buy. While there I tanked up at $1.569 per gallon. Drop it any further and they’ll pay in free fuel for me to shop there. Possibly I might prefer a payout in free coffee.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter” ~ George Washington, 1783

“The First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect comfortable speech. It exists to protect uncomfortable speech.” ~ Matt Gaetz, lawyer & U.S. representative

Then, remember that the First Amendment isn’t only just a protection of personal and political freedoms, but it also protects Capitalism; the freedom to discover, build, manufacture, and market. Maybe the Congressional young’uns in ‘The Squad’ should learn that.

This week I was in a two-hour class (more on that in a bit), but was kept so busy with note-taking that I emptied my legal pad. With a 2CV it’s a never mind, “I’m covered.”

But first, here is your morning time-check. Of special interest to those who are familiar with the nearby town of Batavia. More frighteningly is the mention of Charleston, West Virginia; Marcia and my destination area in a little over a week. For now, just set your clock:

Trash Twitter, Fire Facebook, Gone Google! – was the title of my EmpowerU class mid-week. Two hours on Zoom. Fourteen speakers including 4 U.S. Representatives, a Judge, a TV Anchor, a Woman of the Year for Veteran Affairs, and a couple of professors, and others. All came together to discuss the aftermath of the Senate Hearing with the heads of the aforementioned Social Network companies.

Originally people jumped on board with these companies because all of this connectivity was ostensibly, FREE! Now we’re beginning to come to grips with the fact that, literally, keystroke by keystroke, they own everything about us. Now it’s gone even further as these companies silence and control ‘thought’ that’s not compatible with theirs; without any real pushback. I’ve had a couple of instances where, although perfectly accurate, my post had a “Fact Check” placed on it; nothing further, no debate, no discussion, just done by some faceless person or algorithm. It’s gotten so ridiculous that even communications by our President were pulled.

In my case, I am already in the process of porting away from Twitter (if interested two alternatives are MeWe and Parler). Facebook, is a bit more difficult, but I’m working on it and use it hardly at all; also, it owns Instagram. Google has its tentacles in almost everything. It’s a slow switch; my search engine is already DuckDuckGo and no longer Google.

Our City ‘Clowncil’ – consists of nine members. Early summer one member was arrested for conducting a ‘Pay-to-Play’ scheme and she’ll be sentenced this coming Tuesday. Two weeks ago, the FBI nabbed another one (his home is 1 ½ blocks from our place – now up for sale). Thursday a third was picked up by the FBI (it was widely assumed he’s be the next mayor). Now, rumor has it that the ‘shoe’ might drop again. The way it’s going we’ll be the first city in the nation with a city council having a quorum in Sing Sing. We should be very proud.

Blue Wave – Really didn’t materialize. Not getting into it, I just wanted to show you a photo of two new members of the 117th Congress; the youngest GOP woman and the youngest GOP man. There is a future.

Masks – like most of you I live in a state headed up by a Governor who acts as a unilateral tyrant. This is not a Dem vs. Rep thing, ours, DeWine is Republican, and as bad as a Mayor de Blasio, Governor Newsom or a Whitmer, and others with their ‘do as I say and not as I do’ edicts.

Their nonsensical fiats on how to celebrate Thanksgiving or a funeral service are bad enough. And, luckily the courts have gotten involved. However, what is even worse is what these “little Kings’ have done to our school kids by moving them to ‘on-line learning’.

In New York a study showed that testing over 140,000 students the case rate among children was 8 per 100,000, and among staff 12 per 100,000, still lower than the community rate of 13.

The Dutch government conducted a large study of 44,000 teachers after schools were reopened last May. They found those teachers had a cumulative infection rate of just 0.7%, much lower “than the total of 2.0% of the over 940,000 adults tested in the test lanes in the same period.”
When will these clowns follow “the Science?”

There are others who have it right. For example South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem who on the subject of masks said; “here in South Dakota we’re focusing on solutions that DO good, not on responses that FEEL good”.

Fini – Sadly, on one of my afternoon walks I spotted this scene curbside. It appears that ‘Billy-Bass’ from our lake up north missed us this summer and tied to visit us. He didn’t make it. Damn ‘Rona’.

On November 21, 1980, 350 million people tuned in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing. I remember that I skipped it; on purpose. I was a cantankerous contrarian even way back then.

For my ‘vinylphobe’ brother; on this day way back in 1877 Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a method to record and play back sound. As an aside, it was an invention he stumbled on.

And, aren’t we all glad that the phonograph was invented so that we can still enjoy a glorious voice? For, this day in 1934, a very young gal by the name of Ella Fitzgerald stood on stage at the Harlem’s Apollo Theater on Amateur night. A scary proposition, especially since her name was drawn, per chance, out of a hat. She won!

Just yesterday I wanted to be out for some warm evening air. Then I panicked that should I misread my watch and not get back inside by 9:59PM before the 10:00PM curfew I’d catch ‘the bug’. So I stayed inside where I’d be SAFE.

The attorney who reached a multimillion dollar multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit settlement with CNN for the Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann puts today’s happenings into perspective:

“Life on Earth is 1 grain of sand. Eternity is every grain of sand above and below the water of every ocean of the world
Focus on the long term.”
~ Lin Wood

Last. Here is what I stood in line for yesterday at Costco. Not included in the photo are the ‘impulse’ purchases Marcia waits for with trepidation.

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

Dirk


It’s Saturday morning and I guess I know why you’re here. So, three — two — one — and Go; we’re underway. Whoops, first let me dive into the kitchen for my coffee.

Before I forget, did you remember that yesterday was Happy friggatriskaidekaphobia day? Should you panic on those days, little worry, the next one won’t be till Friday, August 13, 2021. Like suspense? The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born on a Friday the 13 (August 1899).

Something new. A new (test) feature, the best Meme of the week:

“The survival of our democratic republic depends on Americans’ belief that their vote counts and their continued faith in the fairness and security of our electoral process.” ~ Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, where he manages the Election Law Reform Initiative.

“We have heard an awful lot about systematic and systemic injustice! But I don’t think anyone here can think of anything more systematically unjust than a stole election in a democracy.” ~ Michael Gableman, former justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court

Sadly, many of the 72,000,000+ of us who voted for our President feel, like sand in hand, the security of our electoral process is slipping through our fingers; I included.

This, in part, caused me to participate in a lecture on President Ulysses S. Grant earlier in the week. Also in part since his birth home is a short half hour drive along the Ohio River banks away. However it was also for the discovery of the man himself. Aside from his innovative battle-field strategies, what I really sought was further insight into Grant’s character, along with his treatment of African-Americans, American-Indians and Jews. He stood up for their rights, despite widespread opposition from the south and the American public. These minorities’ determination, coupled with his support, unleashed opportunities they never experienced before. Foremost of the black voices was Frederick Douglass, who became a member of his inner circle along with the Native American (Seneca), Ely S. Parker (DO-NE-HO-CEH-WEH). Parker was commissioned a lieutenant colonel during the Civil War, when he served as adjutant and secretary to Grant.

Grant saw the good in almost everyone and took them at their word. This became a hallmark of his Presidency as well difficulties when that trust was abused. Grant lived the last 24 years of his adult life believing all people should be treated with respect and dignity. At the time it was said that it was Lincoln who freed the slave and it was Grant who made them citizens. It wasn’t long after these two left the scene that Reconstruction as a force faded and the Democrats put ‘Jim Crow’ laws into place in the former Slave States. Still, he did manage to set up the Department of Justice and made equal education for all a standard.

Early in 20th century, Grant’s reputation was damaged by what was known as the Dunning School and quickly his Presidency’s place sunk near the bottom. More recently it’s been moved into a top tier. It was Walt Whitman’s famous assessment that includes the line, “What a man he is!

It’s amazing how distant history brings clarity and form to a person and a Presidency. I firmly believe that that same historical perspective will heap honor and praise on our current President.

Keeping busy – The absolute joke what most of the news and media have become, for a news junkie like me, it caused an I NEED ESCAPE moment. That’s why I watched a complete concert by the UKs, Florence Welch who fronts for the Florence and the Machine band, and was glad I did. That was exactly what the ‘doctor’ ordered. Great music.

Second it was the start of the Vendée Globe around the world race. Nonstop, solo with no assist, almost 25,000 miles and taking between 8 and 10 weeks, it’s a massive undertaking sailed every 4 years. Luckily, with on-board technologies it’s possible to keep up with the boats sending daily video clips. Two days in they encountered 40-45 knot winds and 5-meter waves; all stunning to see.

   

It was with a bit more ‘meat’ that I listened to an interview on The Rubin Report with Thomas Sowell. Aged ninety, Sowell is ‘sharp as a tack’ and much honored as an economist and social theorist who is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Dave Rubin is a wonderful interviewer much along the style of an earlier Dick Cavett, Charlie Rose, or a Phil Donahue. I captured this short one minute piece of the one-hour in-depth exchange between the two – Enjoy!

And, it’s been a beautiful autumn. Even this week while on my walks there is still a lot of color to relish. All to help keep the mind clear.

Blink and it’s been a 100 years –

Warp Speed – Did you hear the President give his update on the progress of a vaccine yesterday afternoon? Light is visible in the tunnel even as many ‘leaders’ and ‘experts’ still treat us like children with crazy lockdown schemes. Stop eating at 10:00PM because the restaurant must close. No more than a handful for Thanksgiving, or better; no Thanksgiving, and NO singing. Where is it that these little tyrants advocate for self-responsibility? How come each report lists an array of horrible sounding ‘Rona’ case numbers, but we don’t hear any meaningful ones, i.e.; numbers listing recoveries, deaths caused by co-morbidity, etc.

“Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.” ~ Elon Musk – November 13, 2020

Meanwhile Speaker Pelosi is hosting a large dinner for new House Members.

Thank you Mr. President for the massive push you organized to get this business behind us. I am so ready for life to resume as normal.

Fini – Shopping this week it became clear that as a tall person I cannot offer to reach something on a high shelf for a stranger, yet if they ask me I should oblige. Apparently, this is the law of the tall ones.

Yesterday Marcia handed me the mail while giggling. The reason for her merriment was this advert. It took away all the surprise!

With the difficulty eating out these days we are beginning to establish meal categories. This past week it was foreign sounding foods.

On my walks seeing something truly ‘Hot’ is still a thrill. This Z-car parked by Xavier University was such a moment.

If you think Joe Biden got 8 million more votes than Barack Obama, pull my finger and I’ll fart Bohemian Rhapsody in E minor.

On that previous ‘note’ (pun intended), its Mark Levin who is quoted saying; “it’s amazing how 100% of the dead voters vote Democrat”.

Finally, we might soon have a new China policy;

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

Dirk


It’s Saturday morning and I hope that it finds you well. Here, I am the only one awake, hardly a soul to be found outside, coffee was just poured, and I took my first bite of a ripe banana. A good start to the day my fellow insomniacs.

What is it about this first full week of November over the years?

The year was 1605 and based on accounts by Sir Robert Cecil there was a Catholic conspiracy in 1605 to blow up the House of Lords on 5 November. A letter delivered to a Lord Monteagle days earlier allowed the plot to be ‘foiled’ at midnight on 4 November. The plot’s leader, Guy Fawkes and his 13 co-conspirators were rounded up and life went on as usual – except for Guy and his buddies [they were sentenced and met their demise] and for the annual (mandated) celebrations; now as Guy Fawkes Day.

The year was 1860 and the South had watched in horror as an unlikely candidate, a ‘rube’ from the back-country, grew in stature. He gave no serious speeches after his nomination, but he did not need to, as the Buchanan administration began to collapse under the weight of its incompetence and greed. By then the most toxic campaign in American history delivered Abraham Lincoln. The Press wrote bitterly against the candidate. Lincoln had to survive his election and a difficult transition, severely resisted by an entrenched political establishment that had no intention of giving up power. On November 6, Lincoln was elected, the first President from the new Republican Party.

The year is 2020 and on Thursday November 5 Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister and three others imposed a Second National Lockdown to deal with the Coronavirus. This move is one that will affect everyone in Britain and extend the economic war waged against the people. Opposition claims that little transparency and the numbers didn’t warrant such a lockdown, especially when the first one only triggered a sharp rise in deaths.

November 5, 2020 and the morning showed a complete reversal of President Trump’s re-election fortunes. In fact, by the end of the day a (almost 100% negative) Press was clambering for Trump to concede. As noted over the previous 4-years, Trump does not quit easily and will ‘jab’ and ‘punch’ till the bitter end. By November 6 word of illegalities in Ballot handling; especially in Detroit and a chronically corrupt Philadelphia surfaced.

Then, a County in Michigan reported that a flaw in their software had 6,000 Ballots to ‘flip’ from Trump to Biden – a small breath of air. Then it was reported that 47 other Counties used the same software program and it was also being used in other states – more oxygen. Then Georgia ordered a complete recount – another breath. Late in the day Supreme Court Justice Alito ordered that Philadelphia separate its late Ballots from those entered by the end of Election Day – some more oxygen to the campaign. It ain’t over yet; remember it took months for Al Franken Minnesota Senate seat to be resolved. His opponent threw in the towel; but that was a different time.

What is it with the first week of November? If you stopped drinking this past week, you couldn’t have done so at a worse time.

“‘Remember Remember the 5th of November…” ~ first line of John Milton’s poem In Quintum Novembris [On the Fifth of November].

Referring to the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day

“I am old enough to remember when votes were counted on Election Day” ~ Benny Johnson

“Florida is double the size of Michigan, but had its results almost immediately. What is the reason?” ~ Caleb Hull

Sports – You should know that by now (for a variety of reasons) I have pretty well given up on Professional Sports. But, even under the ‘R’ona’ virus restrictions there is an escape, possibly buried in the lesser tiered Sports one can find delight. Enjoy!

Listening? Focus on the announcer. There was way too much hilarity going on around that lonely guy sitting with a mike on a bridge table by the edge of the bleachers.

An Overpass Apart – on yesterday’s walk I came across two sights. The sidewalk approached a highway overpass. On one side I looked into a homeless encampment – no tent, just right into the guy’s bedroom. On the sidewalk he had a display of ‘bits’ and ‘pieces’ he’d put up for sale and display.

On the other side of the same overpass is a Harley Davidson dealership. They were prepping for a fun evening. A band was doing their sound-check, riders were beginning to arrive, and the Food Truck was nearly ready to serve.

Two scenes, just a mere 100 feet apart from each other; but worlds apart.

Walking – A treasure spotted. Also on yesterday’s walk, while nearing home this gorgeous little Buick Skylark came up to the light. The owner was very proud and I gave him a ‘Thumbs-Up’, then, while traffic held up, I reached in and we gave each other a High-Five. Even under all of our current virus edicts, LIVING LIFE is more important to me than merely living.

Office Scenes – I’ve been pretty open sharing scenes from the corner of Chaos & Mayhem. But actually, I’ve done you a disservice. All the scenes I’ve shown are from the front of the Condo or the side balcony. This week I’m sharing occurrences spotted from the rear, from my office window (both happened this week). Two separate events, a neighbor needing Medic assistance. The other was some Fire happening – three fire trucks and a medic. How can I get any work done you ask? “I don’t have a clue”, is the answer.

Fini – The US – Canadian border is still closed. This is causing some mild panic by the Treasurer of our nearby Lake Association. Wonder why?

Now I can go back to hiding under my desk. It’s a safe place while the current mess whirs around me and AOC and her Squad has its team looking for me to place on one of their lists. Shhhh!

Have some spare time? These Fireside Chats podcasts (here linked) by Dennis Prager are always meaningful, insightful, and a learning experience. I urge you to listen to one, especially this one since it was posted November 5 – remember that date?

Thought I’d be the first to introduce the Biden’s new campaign Logo:

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

Dirk


Booo!

10 31st, 2020


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

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

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

Your Vote counts.

Dirk


C’mon Man

10 24th, 2020


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say; “thank you Dirk”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Vote counts.

Dirk



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

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

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

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

Message below by Dr. Gad Saad (bio underneath)

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

Election Prognosis & Projection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Vote counts.

Dirk