Good morning:

One of those crazy mornings. I should still be sleeping, playing sleep deprivation catch-up, instead finding myself wide-awake as if it were the workweek. A late week hotel wakeup call at 3:00 to catch my morning flight sort off set the pattern. Anyway, even after last weeks mourning for the end of our PLUNDER coffee run, I am still enjoying what will now be my last cup of this brew. So maybe getting up was not such a bad idea after all.

I completely understand if you persist in throwing a brick through your computer screen. Go ahead and scream: “enough of the Cicada stories already.” Living here, with these critters, has become an all-consuming event. Getting home and settling in the other night I finally said something to Marcia about the idiot down the block who apparently didn’t have a clue how to turn off his car alarm – you’re right, not a car alarm but Cicada screeching muffled a bit by doors and windows. Marcia power washes the front of the house and the porch each evening, then in the morning sweeps a path for the mailman to have it easier going to the mailbox. She is approaching the one-third mark of the garbage can quickly filling with swept-up Cicada carcasses. This morning the air was absolutely still, going outside to get the paper I heard the trees rustling as if there was a gale blowing through their tops – Cicadas.

There is good news though; they shut up at night!

Travel this week had its ups and downs. On the up, I made all my meetings. On the down, I spent an unplanned and very short night in Detroit. Through a quirk of overzealous and too-efficient planning my unscheduled Detroit night caused fresh clothes and necessary paperwork to remain in the trunk of my car. The clothes issue I ended up solving with an after dinner stop at a little Laundromat– no problem there. A little more problematic was my lack of paperwork since this was required for, what proved to be, a six-hour one-on-one with a Corporate Director of Purchasing. I did manage to get through this meeting without bumbling too much, and I think that an order is forthcoming. See, there is more than one way to come off as a consummate professional.

One of the little tricks I use to keep travel fresh and different is to explore local specialty foods. Doing this creates appreciation for local habits, patterns, and tastes. Occasionally, even a culinary delight is found. While in Montreal I asked about a food unique to the area. Twice over I received the same answer, and then only after much head scratching; said with the typical nasal francophone twang; “well, we do have chips and gravy.” After much searching I did discover that Montrealers enjoy sandwiches made with something called, “traditional smoked meat.” Elsewhere this same stuff seems to be called corned beef, still pretty good though.

Now I better find my big wingback chair and hassock. Have a great week everyone.



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