Good morning all:

Getting up I could swear that I heard the furnace. After a wonderful week it is now raining and cold. I poured my coffee and then stuck it in the microwave for fifteen seconds just to get it “slurping” hot; yes it is that kind of morning. I hope that yesterday each and every one of you was able to pull off a great prank.

The mind is an amazing thing. Heading upstairs with my, now very hot, coffee an old Dutch tongue twister sprang to mind; “De kat krabt de krullen van de trap.” (The cat scratches the curls off the stairs). Now, I wasn’t even aware that I knew that little line, yet there it was, ringing like a bell in my head. Truth be told, if you have seen our bottom stair recently, and how the cats have mangled it, then it makes absolutely perfect sense that I thought of it.

Talking tongue twisters, this one I did practice as a reading exercise in the second grade in Holland. I thought of it seeing a news photo of the pilot whales stuck in shallow waters by Adrianne’s island of Okoa and seeing their black shapes. Here is this Dutch tongue twister that kids there used to have to practice; “Zeven zwarte zwanen zwemmen in de Zuiderzee” (Seven black swans swim in the South sea). Oh go ahead and give it try, No, its got to be done out loud!

Last night Marcia and I had a great little dinner at a new completely packed and bustling place called Konabistro. After which we walked across the street to a sold out new CD – Drunkard’s Prayer – pre-release gig by a local group called Over the Rhine. And a fantastic concert they put on. This release starts a national tour—yes Pieter, they will have San Francisco as one of their stops. Also, go on their web site, click on the left of the main page where they have highlighted one of the CDs play-list numbers entitled “born”, They are giving their fans a free download of this six minute cut.

Now I am going to slip into high gear. I’ll be traveling all week so first will be Shang’s final 3-mile walk until I get back. Next it is packing for summer weather, always a bit of a struggle when the concept is still a bit foreign. I leave dinnertime and tomorrow at 1:35 in the afternoon I’ll walk out into the muggy 90 degree air of Porto Alegre close in to the Uruguay border. Monday I’ll drive into the mountains for the cooler air found in a town called Farroupilha for a 1-day meeting. Then it’s back into areas surrounding Saõ Paulo through Friday.

Finally, my mind is clear. All the tax work has been done and Adrianne’s school loan paperwork has been submitted. The City was even amenable and we settled on a logical solution to a slight underreporting on one of Adrianne’s tax years where some hefty Interest and Penalty charges were dropped. Then, life does continue its merry whirl as I wish brother Art and sis-in-laws Jeanne and Dia all a happy birthday. And for Vince and Kirstin, I can’t believe that their five-year anniversary is now in the history books.

Have a great week, and to the group just just mentioned on the start of your new year.

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