08 8th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. During these ‘special’ times, here’s my thought for the day:

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali

“Thursday time to feed the cat” goes the saying. We don’t have a cat, so Marcia and I celebrated anyway and ended up at Quatman Café, one of our standby favorites. Our table was cleverly “Socially Isolated” through the use of several screens borrowed from my Proctologist’s office. But hey, they did the job.

Since most professional sports are a bit of a joke this year, plus all their political statements which I don’t need to have parked in front of my face – I’ve not watched any. However, at Quatman’s, hanging across from our table was a large screen showing the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks game. Most every Jersey had a saying written on the player’s back – all the mundane and approved stuff you’d expect. Except for one, that of Miami’s #28, Andre Iguodala; on his was printed “Group Economics”. Not sure exactly what he meant by it, but I could appreciate. Maybe it was Nike related?

Walking – was becoming a bit boring and so I’ve set forth on some new ‘highways and byways’. This past week it was lovely. In the back area of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum I almost walked into three Bucks. I also made note of the passing of my dad, 56 years ago this week, as I walked past my parent’s gravesite.

At Rookwood Commons I came across this lovely LTI old London cab. It’s been at least 15+ years since my last ride in one during a London stopover.

On Wasson Way, one of our newer walking trails, I stopped for a moment to admire these high schoolers busy at work with the latest ArtWorks undertaking. It was a couple of years ago that Marin managed to get involved with ArtWorks where he worked for the summer on another of their projects. It’s a great learning activity for students, for artists an opportunity to gain note, and for the citizenry something beautiful to enjoy.

Power Bill – In Canada we have Hydro-One. Each bill comes with its own set of ‘hydro-glyphs’. The larger chunks I can figure out. The small bits and pieces add-ons are a grand mystery, but at least I only get it every three months.

Here back home I have done the right thing. I opted for the paperless model to singlehandedly save the planet by receiving an auto-pay e-Bill. Now comes this. Recently we’ve been scammed by the (now former) Ohio Speaker of the House to the tune of $62,000,000. He had skillfully maneuvered an extra bit of alphabet soup onto everyone’s power bill; it’s been a steady revenue stream.

Then looking at my new monthly bill, it dawned on me that my e-Bill only contains a ‘Total Due’ amount. To gain the details I would have to climb through a series of hurdles and into my actual account. Once there I was amazed at the ‘a few pennies here and a few pennies there’ acronym add-ons. It’s almost impossible to make any sense of it.

At this point I felt a little insight from ol’ buddy Earl might be good. That’s Earl Pitts, “Uhmerikun” for you who aren’t familiar with the sage.

Pizza – Marcia and I ‘attended’ our City’s School Board meeting. Did so virtually; did so over Pizza; and ‘peppered’ the meeting by us commenting continuously.

The result was pre-ordained and so the conclusion was not negotiable. The Cincinnati Public School System would not start this month; instead classes would start on-line from home. All was explained through the use of a series of glib Power Point slides. One of the key presenters joined remotely – and the audio ‘crapped’ out. I looked at Marcia and mentioned that what we were watching had been put together by an IT Specialist and it failed, how then would it all work with third graders in a class setting? I think not!

Most western nations, many school systems in our country, are all opening schools. These are all realizing that it is, “imperative to the normal development of our nation’s children” – Dr. David Samadi. And should you hear scare stories regarding Covid-19 transmission. Remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics flat out states; “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame”

I’ve read and think it correct, the statement that currently the Coronavirus is 90% politics and 10% medicine. It’s time for politics to socially distance from medicine.

In Cincinnati, the Teachers Unions won out. Students are the losers. Parents will feel the hurt. Continue on this path and educationally the students will lose a year academically, and emotionally/psychologically/socially we’ll be on a path to lose a generation. That is really ‘The Science’.

Fini – We’ve all seen some old Western movie featuring a train robbery. However, today in 1963 was ‘The Great Train Robbery’ at Bridego Railway Bridge in Buckinghamshire, England. It’s the name given to a £2.6 million mail train robbery (the equivalent of £41 million today). Some of the gang escaped, some were tried, two then escaped. But, what I thing is best of all is that one of the jurors during the robber’s trial was called Mr. Greedy.

In Illinois a school system does not want its students to copy the habits of their ‘work from home’ parents. They want students to take remote learning seriously and have implemented a dress code for those sitting at home in front of their computers – no PJs

Starting Tuesday August 11 remember, it’s probably not a Jehovah’s Witness at the door, but just your friendly Census taker.

And last, this week a reporter asked President Trump why his guests weren’t social distancing or wearing masks. His immediate retort: “It’s a peaceful protest.” It made my day.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.

Back the Blue

Back the Blue


Light Hearted (mostly)

08 1st, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. A week of new coffee filters, switched from brown to white. For you who have always wondered, no taste difference. It’s still great.

Coronadoom – is with us and won’t go away. Some crazy color scheme has kept Ohio guessing – I believe our county is now ‘Covid Hot Pink’ – but ask what that means and you get a blank stare. I think that what creates the anger and the mental health issues is in part due to the arbitrary, capricious, subjective, and illogical edicts made by unelected bureaucrats and imperial politicians (this week our State generated complete ban on pharmacies to fill prescriptions for HCQ, this was reversed by our courts within a day – whoopsy-daisy).

At the same time options differing from the ‘proscribed’ are flat-out banned even though front line fully certified Doctors from across the country offer alternatives and hope. >>>Click underlined Below<<<

Press Conference of America’s Frontline Doctors

Funerals are tightly controlled, yet we see a dignitary’s massive event with a completely packed sanctuary. As of last evening, no drinks to be served after 10, and doors closed by 11; huh? And so it goes; this while the death count is quite similar to the annual flu. It’s a bad joke except for the power grab which will quickly become a new norm. The latter is no joke.

Music – Last Saturday I ‘repackaged’ myself with a bit of immersion. It was a couple of hours with Randy Bachman’s ‘Vinyl Tap’ show on Canada’s CBC-1. Randy was a founding member of the classic rock band The Guess Who and hard rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive. Last Saturday, his Vinyl Tap’s subject was “He – She music”; a piece introduced and then re-popularized by someone from the other gender.

So, here are a couple of ‘bits’ to clear your head. What would a Boy-Band from the 1870s look like? The heartthrobs of yesteryear.

We all know the amazing career that the Bee Gees had. Their impact on popular music would have been clipped dramatically had the early lyrics to one of their most popular pieces been recorded. But they were! And, had this version not ended up as a pile of tape on the studio floor, their career would have ended tragically:

Landscaping — We live less than three miles from our city center, and the ‘Nati does fall around the top 30 largest places in the nation. Therefore, I was a wee bit more surprised to discover that ten or so houses from our corner of Chaos and Mayhem five Goats were busily cleaning up a yard. Yup GOATS! Their back yard goes up a steep hill for about 80 feet and was overgrown. Five hungry Goats complete with their multiple stomachs were brought in to tackle the job. 


I told you these Ramblings would be light-hearted.

“I was surprised….sometimes you find something that you didn’t expect.” ~ Danish cheese and microflora study co-author Morten Rahr Clausen, a postdoc in the department of food science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

The Cheese – I love cheese. I love really good cheese. ‘Good’ meaning cheese filled with a load of bacteria; aged cheese meets that criteria. This brings me to Jungle Jim’s, our World Market for ‘Foodies’. Their cheese section spans a complete aisle in an average grocery store. And here is where I win taking advantage of our FDA rules.

By edict, food has to have an expiration date – however many cheeses improve with age; something to which the FDA pays no mind. So, I scour the section at Jungle Jim’s which offers products approaching their expiration date and offered at a discount. Yup, I’m not proud; I look for some cheese ‘bonanzas’. Often I am in luck.

Here is a sample ‘find’: A .26 lb wedge of Gourmino Ur Eiche cheese (a raw, cow’s milk cheese made by a mostly female team in the Girenbad creamery in Switzerland) normally at $24.99 per pound I got it for $1.04. I think a Jungle Jim’s staffer asked me why I was doing a jig in the aisle.

Fini – Next week marks the 56th year of the passing of my father. I am already well beyond both in his age at death and years since his passing. It’s all just flown by – life is like that isn’t it? Still miss you dad!

Our ‘Duck’ — this past week marked the 30th year since the Citroën 2CV (French: “Deux Chevaux” i.e. “deux-chevaux-vapeur”, literally, “two steam horses” or two tax horses) stopped with production. Our ‘Duck’ is an air-cooled front engine, front-wheel-drive car. It was introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile. Ours was built in 1989 — during the last month of production at their plant in Portugal.

Today, the first of August in 1944 marks the day that Anne Frank made her final entry in her diary. She was arrested three days later.

Today in 1957 the US and Canada created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This finally allowed us to track Santa Claus on his travels from the North Pole for his annual ‘visit the kiddies’ trek.

Then, this day in 1958 the US Post Office upped First Class postage from 3 cents to 4 cents. Had they ‘bit the bullet’ and moved it directly to today’s 55 cents they might not be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy here in 2020.

A couple of days ago another American hero passed, Herman Cain. With the horror show of political sputtering taking place this election year we should celebrate his life. Here was a man able to establish and live the American dream without tons of ‘let us do it for you’ legislation. He was Black and grew up ‘threadbare’ in Memphis during the Jim Crow period. He became a Navy mathematician later chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Climbed the corporate ladder at Pillsbury, Burger King, then the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, and eventually ran as a candidate for the Presidency.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.



07 25th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all. Now that my coffee has been poured I want to mention that my morning coffee isn’t just a consumable, it’s my morning sanctuary.

With the continuing ‘lockdown’ it’s come to a point where, when getting up, I slap myself – it’s a new ritual to alert me as to whether or not it’s a new day, or if I’m just waking up from a nap. This lockdown business is keeping me tired to the point of wishing it was garbage day; those trucks are amazing and watching them perform their ‘magic’ is absolutely captivating. Is it wrong to sit by the window and wave at the garbage workers?

It reached a point where I felt a quick call to ol’ buddy Earl might be what was needed. That’s Earl Pitts, “Uhmerikun” for you who weren’t sure. From what he tells, he has a grip on the situation. Some folk are just smarter than the average bear, here’s Earl:

Coronadoom – This whole Coronadoom period I’ve continued to maintain my daily walk regimen; in part to keep my sanity. Realize that our neighborhood (including the corner of Chaos & Mayhem) is literally amazing and this makes the going about doable and even fun.

Last Thursday evening at dusk we had quite a downpour. I was looking outside at the pounding sheets of rain just as a convertible drove by – top down. I was caught gawking. The driver of the top-down convertible did have an umbrella opened up, leading edge tucked by the sun visor and the rear jammed between the back of his head and the head rest. It all seemed just a bit too normal Reminded me of Dire Straits singing in their song Money for Nothing; “that’s the way you do it.

Earlier in the week we had a bit of a rain and wind storm. Our neighborhood has no nearby trailer parks. I suspect that the wind therefore took aim at any available chimney. This was what I spotted at a house around the corner; house – 0, wind – 1.

Five houses down the street I spotted a Salvador Dali-esque apparition parked curb-side. That really does look like it belongs.

Walking, I am now also keeping track of passing cars with just a driver inside who’s dutifully (OCDC?) wearing a face mask. I plan to avoid these characters when I happen to be driving somewhere, just in case they collapse from Hypoxemia.

I have caught myself openly singing while walking. I think it’s me fighting for my brothers in California whose idiot governor has outlawed singing in church. On the other hand, I have noticed that when passing someone who asks me; “how is it?” my answer of, “fine” sounds more like an ugly snarl. Yup, in general, my walks are therapeutic, and as I said, “even fun”.

Election Special – First of what could be a new series: As we’re in the beginning throes of another Election Season all sorts of wild idiocy is being hurled at us. This rational information came to mind.

“The reason slavery ended in 1865 and not in say 1900 or 1950 was because the Electoral College allowed a guy who won 37.5% of the popular vote to become President” ~ Miles Smith IV

Contrarian Views – The sad thing with this whole Coronavirus thing is that all the trust for guiding is being channeled through just a very few like minded folk. Dr Fauci is in the lead of that pack and he does not have a perfect record of trust – a quick on-line search will readily track his 40+ year fairly spotty track record.

There are many MDs, Medical Statisticians, and research scientists who hold contrarian views regarding the Corona virus, the forms of treatment, and the management of the virus. Shouldn’t input also have added to a solution?

This single viewpoint has resulted in what I only see as a power grab by many elected officials and bureaucrats. They’ve subjected us to massive levels of onerous regulations and restrictions; bypassing the fact that we in our nation do have due process protections. That these restrictions must be put in place by the least restrictive and most narrowly tailored means. I’ve now been watching as the courts are beginning to react to lawsuits dealing with this. However, so much damage has been done – and much of the damage was not for the betterment of the population at large. Are you listening Governor DeWine?

Fini – Last evening the 2020 Baseball season started here in the ‘Nati, sans much of anything other than kneeling players. Without digging into the weeds, I’m just mentioning that I’ve decided to skip involvement with Major League sports. Marcia claims that for me that’s like giving up chocolate covered grasshoppers for Lent.

Yesterday 109 years ago (in 1911), the American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu in Peru. Originally believed to be a ‘lost’ Incan city, the prevailing opinion has changed, today it’s that Machu Picchu was not a city in the classical sense of the word but served as an imperial estate, a religious refuge, or a secret ceremonial city. Eighteen years ago it was one of my life’s highlights when I visited the site — SPECTACULAR!

This week the lawsuit filed by the Covington Catholic School student Nick Sandmann against the Washington Post was settled. Sandmann was attending a March for Life march in Washington DC. (2019). The suit was as a result of defamation, in articles printed by the WP. This was the second settlement (CNN was the first) out of 8 such lawsuits filed – NBC, ABC News, CBS News, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Gannett are still being argued. It’s amazing that all these media entities not only saw fit to hastily print misinformation but then continued to repeat and repeat – as the NYT front page reads; “All the News Fit to Print”. Yah, right!

And for everyone complaining when meal service is canceled on a flight. Remember that today in 1909 French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the English Channel in an airplane – around 22-miles.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.


30 Years Ago

07 18th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all.

Here we are again. What a perfect time to properly set your watch or clock. Click on the audio link and be poised to set time perfectly and sip some coffee while listening.

Soon it will be 30 years ago since the Berlin Wall came down. I remember it vividly. Suddenly I found myself listening to Klaus Meine sing with the German band Scorpions to what had quickly become the, de facto, anthem of the time; Wind of Change. Why bring it up? I had hoped to be in Canada where I could crank the sounds up while organizing Northern Comfort after its extra-long ‘winter’ hiatus. Now we’ve just been informed that the border will stay closed through August (maybe even longer). See the border theme? I guess more news to follow – in the meantime I’ll be here in the ‘Nati!

But there is more to my reflections on the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was emblematic of how the German nation was torn in half immediately after WWII. West Germany buried its past, embraced democracy and Capitalism and thrived, rapidly gaining its power-house nation status in Europe. Alongside that nation’s growth its citizenry thrived. At the same time the new East Germany buried itself under the burden of Marxism; saddled with the dictatorial edicts of Communism.

When the wall was torn down I remember watching TV as thousands upon thousands of people streamed through to the West; for the first time setting foot into personal peace and freedom. Now, thirty years later the former East is, in many ways, is still trying to catch up with its Western brothers and sisters. Escape wasn’t easy, even after gaining the freedom to do so.

Why do I even bother digging into this? The Berlin Wall was built to keep people in. Many died trying to escape and those who made were warmly embraced by the West, each success making headlines across the world.

But my real reason is to bring to light a bit of what we as a nation are facing these days. Sure, the language has softened, and been ‘sugar’ coated, but Marxism is beating at our own ‘gates. Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter (BLM), Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors during an interview had Cullers exclaim; “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

Extreme ‘progressive’ Governors and Mayors in many of our major cities are allowing BLM and Antifa anarchists with their Communist underpinnings free reign and they are busily destroying cities into their world vision. The ‘Cancel Culture’ has gained speed and is now freely being allowed to erase our nation’s history –making it impossible to better ourselves by learning from history as names of founders, statues, and ideas are quickly being erased — and we’ve derided the Taliban for doing just this?  Bernie Sanders, looking a bit like a crazy professor to many, has managed to push one of our major Political Parties into left wing positions deemed impossible even at the time Obama was elected.

Almost 250 years since our nation embarked on our ‘Grand Experiment’ to become the de facto world leader, we are now close suddenly being pushed into an abyss alongside nations such as Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. How did this happen? We only need to go back in time, the time of Greek mythology when ‘sweet songs’ were being touted. In Greek mythology, sirens (creatures half bird and half woman) were known for seducing sailors with their sweet voices, and, by doing so, lure them to their deaths. In mythology it was a simpler time and sailors only needed to place wax in their ears to stay their course. We require much more, 250 years of effort and hard work building our nation lost in a blink — or in an election!

Currently we’re facing an onslaught, a barrage, a tsunami all pushing us into the direction from which East Germany finally escaped! Stay true to our ideals and plow through beyond this ‘surf’ to enjoy what we had and what we still want to attain; Wind of Change;

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind…..

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change…

Coronadoom – Over the past weeks I’ve blathered enough on the Corona virus. So, this week a few voices, each more eloquent than mine;

“If you don’t think the Controlavirus is going to disappear like magic after the November election – pull my finger” ~ Catturd™

There is a great lesson to be learned from my experience handling COVID.. trust your people. Don’t lay down mandates that are going to hinder the flexibility that they need to really get through this difficult time” ~ Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota

”Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” ~ George Carlin

Foods – are what we’re using, in part to get through all of this. Last weekend it was dinner at our favorite pub, Gordo’s. Marcia drools for days just thinking about their Pear & Blue Cheese Salad. Me, it’s a pint of ice cold draft Lager.

Last evening our neighborhood again organized to get one of the area’s great variety of food specialty trucks to make a stop. Placed the order on-line on Thursday, and was given a pick-up time of 6:06 on Friday. So, last evening we totally enjoyed our Korean Rice Pot dinner from Red Sesame Korean BBQ. Worthy of FIVE Stars.

Fini – Next Friday Baseball season starts – months late and without fans it really is a bit of a joke. Just imagine the roar of the crowd when on this very day in 1927 Ty Cobb hit his 4,000th run. Nevertheless, Go Reds!

This day, but back in 1969, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick island……the rest of that story lives on and on in infamy.

RIP Congressman John Lewis, he was one of the few remaining icons of the Civil Rights movement, he passed yesterday. But, also today we can celebrate the life of the first black American to receive the Medal of Honor. On this day in 1863 during the assault on Fort Wagner, SC, Union Sgt. William Harvey Carney, a former slave, despite serious wounds struggled across the battlefield carrying the Union flag which earned him that honor. The award was given to him in 1900.

It’s a new day (future trend?) in the emerging world of ‘Corona-Weddings’. Paul and Dia, in Michigan, watched via Facetime as granddaughter Sierra got married in California. Their toast on their porch never tasted as good. Much happiness Sierra.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! All Lives Matter.


Occam’s Razor

07 11th, 2020

A good Saturday morning all.

Sorry for the late post. While I was preparing the Ramblings, Marcia spotted a bicyclist falling hard right here on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem. The rider was banged up but OK. I ended up driving bicycles, hubby, and her back to their home for cleanup, etc.  So, lets get ‘rolling’ (pun).

The dog days of summer are upon us, at least in these parts. The good news being that we’re getting (almost) a daily dose of ‘pop-up’ showers. A few of those ‘pop-ups’ have chased me down, including one on yesterday’s morning walk. To beat the rain and lightning coming at me I cut across the campus of Xavier University as a shortcut. The view was amazing.

Earl Pitts – had some thoughts. Our ‘voice in the wilderness’, Earl Pitts has been stewing. It seems that he feels he’s lost his manliness during the lockdown – resulting in some scary moments. Here, I’ll let him explain it himself:

Traffic Lights? – Our governor has re-invented the traffic light, this one for the virus. Coming out with a slew of mumbo-jumbo numbers (which really are incomprehensible) during the regular ‘whining with DeWine’ hour it was announced that our county now falls in the ‘red’ zone – mandatory masks when outside.

“When I watch terrified people wearing facemasks…in the outdoors…alone with nobody else around…I think “television is the world’s most dangerous drug” ~ Martin Geddes

So much for the original “two or three weeks to Flatten the Curve then ‘herd immunity’ will take hold” (that was last March). What’s happening now is beyond just a health matter when we have a 99.85% survival rate. Yesterday the first lawsuits had been filed.

Why all the hoopla about just wearing a mask Dirk? Well, I took college level chemistry way too many years ago but still remember what a ‘petri dish’ looks like. And, as someone smarter than me wrote;

“If you want to catch the ‘rona, I recommend wearing a moist, a sweaty, germ-trapping mask over your nose and mouth everywhere you go. Be sure to touch your face, adjusting your moldy mask frequently too.”

Fresh air, sunshine, distancing, and frequent hand washing will totally suffice, thank you very much.

Actually, I am following “the science” listening and following the pronouncements made early on by our Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Dr. Birx, and Dr. Fauci who then stated masks were not warranted; that was a time when they were still talking science, unencumbered by politics.

Our weekend vacation – Last weekend we went to a B&B about 45-minutes from our corner of Chaos & Mayhem. Staying in Rising Sun, Indiana, a part of that state we’d really never explored. That was then capped by a ferry-boat to cross the Ohio River to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky and back home. Not being being ‘G’ folk (golfers or gamblers), there was nothing to do; this meant we had the BEST time in a long time. A weekend of just watching the river glide by, visiting some quaint shops, eating the best made – plain country – food, and meeting the nicest people. Since the county we were in had only experienced a single virus case early on, life was now back to normal, and that was both very obvious and welcome. Where else could an after dinner drink complete with good folk and a cigar be enjoyed inside at the bar. It was grand!


Rabbit Hash – population about 300 is a complete throwback to the early 1800s and driving there is a motorcyclist’s paradise. The town’s Mayor, Brynneth Pawltro, a Pit Bull, was still sound asleep when we were walking around.


What became my highlight was crossing the Ohio to Kentucky. I was invited to run the car Ferry (holds about 7 to 9 cars). No fear, I was supervised by a Master pilot — and no, that wasn’t Marcia. The job, on one hand, is simple. On the other, considering the river’s current, ramp angle, etc., it’s also more difficult than I at first thought. It was a BLAST!!

Fini – Happy Birthday this past week to Marin. He’s so busy that we’ve yet to see him in person to wish him another great year.

Tomorrow it’s brother Pieter’s Birthday. And for those wondering, he still hasn’t caught up to me.

Since ‘Hamilton’ is still the hottest musical around. Today early in the morning in year of 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey, Vice President Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had their duel. Hamilton died the next day.

Today is also the Birthday of two lookalikes – at least by facial images. Popular actor (The King and I) Yul Brynner (1920-1985) and Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland (1274-1329).

To show how malleable our language is, here is how Robert the Bruce’s name has appeared over the years; Medieval Gaelic: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Brus; Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys; Early Scots: Robert Brus; Latin: Robertus Brussius. For some reason this stuff has always fascinated me.

During this time of upheaval and extremist mob activity appreciate and keep the members of the thin blue line in your thoughts.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy! Remember; All Lives Matter.


Concert & Rust

06 27th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


06 20th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Months Postponed

06 13th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madness breaking loose:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Being thrashed

06 6th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire had it right.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Signage on another side of Chaos & Mayhem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hooliganism runs rampant

05 30th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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