Hello all:

Good morning, it’s amazing how wonderfully clear the mind is, when, fully refreshed in the morning is then allowed to accelerate with that first coffee. Flying home yesterday on a totally filled, near bankrupt, Delta I realized that almost every flight I’ve been on this past year has been almost full—then why can’t they make a buck? With the price of oil and therefore the new gas costs the situation for Delta is not getting better. Yet Southwest Airlines is making money; how do they do it? I figured it all out; they snuggle up to each and every pump which offers a cheap and quick “top off”. Take a look to see what I mean (check the gas prices!).

Talking of flying, leaving town I was comfortably pushed back into my seat chatting with my seat-mate when seconds into the take-off roll the engines were throttled back and we returned to the terminal. It appears that some of the “control surfaces” on the wings were not cooperating with the pilot’s desires. We were advised that maintenance would arrive shortly. I expected to see ten or so brawny maintenance guys who would then line up behind the wings and start tugging on the wing flaps. Not a chance, two coveralled guys got on board, took over the cockpit, found the loose wire, and about twenty minutes later we left. After a horrific week for the airlines this minor hiccup did give a slight pause for thought.

Since this week’s ramblings seem to have evolved into a flight related week let me mention my arrival home. When I arrived home yesterday I fully expected the airport to be filled with “Parrot Heads”. You see, this is Jimmy Buffett’s (of Cheeseburger in Paradise fame) annual “Feeding Frenzy” pilgrimage to town; and we go ga-ga. The show is always sold out within minutes. Today we’ll see the town filled with pale white guys, each strutting about in a 1-day old Hawaiian shirt fresh from Dillards while wearing a rubber shark fin on their heads. And every year the show starts with the same opening song; “You’ll Never Work In Dis Bidness Again”—and the crowd goes wild!

Meanwhile, across town, for three nights, it’s The Black Family Reunion coupled with the Cincinnati Music Festival. Every night it’s more and more great acts that each fill the football stadium. Tonight it’s Patti LaBelle who is the headliner while other nights its the likes of Chaka Kahn, Luther Vandross and Al Jarreau. For lovers of Summer Festivals Marcia and I can barely make up our minds. We’re becoming a bit like the mule in the parable; two piles of hay, one on each side of the road, making the choice of which one to eat all the more difficult. The parable has the mule eventually starving since he couldn’t make up his mind and ended up eating neither. Not us! We’ll probably end up driving The Duck to a nearby, family friendly, organic farm to look for free samples.

Make it a great week.
Cheers,
Dirk

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