Morning all:

Some days the morning coffee just sharpens the senses and causes thinking to just snap into focus, I believe this to be one of those days.

What is with the weather? Kirstin & Vince have hurricanes toy with them week in and week out, now Ivan the terrible is making a beeline for them. Then, completely around the other side of the world sits our brand new Peace Corps volunteer Adrianne who gets seven inches of rain on her swearing-in day. And here we are enjoying one spectacular late summer day after another, and this Saturday is no different. This evening Marcia and I will celebrate the warm-up to Zinzinnati’s German heritage by heading for MainStrasse across the river. Then next weekend our side of the river will be holding our massive Oktoberfest street party—complete with the ever present “Chicken Dance”. Bring on the brats and mets!

Talking about things I do not understand. These days, when walking Shang every day and always in endless concentric circles, I do pass lots of political signage. Each sign is urging me to vote for perfection in the form of one candidate or another—something like perfect verses super perfect. All of this passion made me realize that more than half of us believe that more than half of the other half is incompetent and therefore totally incapable of voting for the proper candidate for President in the first place. Then I began to take note of a new sign. This one is for a candidate named O’dell Owens, MD, who is running locally for the position of coroner. Please tell me, how does anyone of us judge the capabilities of a coroner? Especially those I just described to be in the lesser half of the half which cannot even competently select our next President. What is this all about anyway? Vote for a coroner?

Now that I think about a bit more though, and here is where the early morning coffee clarity piece kicks in, there is more to it. What if O’dell, as coroner, cracks rib cages in a caring and compassionate manner. Possibly even urge the city fathers to spring for a properly sized coffin. And what if his opponent just barge ahead, solo, without the benefit of an accompanying Valkyrie-like posse of sturdy Germanic type of RNs having names such as “Brunhilde”, and therefore slashes away probably unnecessarily. See, it does make sense. I just need to study the candidates a bit more. Either that or just follow a party line. “Chads” anyone?

We have experienced a bit of a camera malfunction at our house. I realize that this is the year of the “malfunction”, and that the year’s most high-profile malfunction has cost some companies dearly. So please be gentle with me since this was outside of my control. If you notice, I have been very lax displaying new photographs, all due to the malfunction. It would appear that the kind folk at Fuji placed a nearly hidden very small switch on the camera which allows the lens to function perfectly very close up or normal distances. Our problem was that we were happily shooting everything as if it were an extreme close-up of a small flower bud. After the laughter has subsided we’ll head outside and get some shots to post.

Adrianne has been sworn in as a new full-fledged U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, and Marcia and I couldn’t be prouder. For Marcia it brought back old memories of her similar experience in Venezuela, especially so when Adrianne mentioned that she had received her moving allowance and was now buying items such as pots and pans, knives and forks, even a bicycle. All of her belongings get shipped by boat on Monday, and then next Wednesday she flies the seventy year old DC3 back to Vava’u to get her program and island life started.

Now I better practice tucking my hands under my armpits and then flapping my elbows. If I slowly build up speed with the flapping I should be able to join the thousands of MainStrasse chicken dancers tonight and not make a fool of myself. Has anyone seen my Lederhosen?

Please remember those whose lives were turned upside down three years ago today. That the healing continues and that the pain becomes more bearable.

Have a great week everyone.



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