Morning all:

What a difference a week makes. This morning, thinking about the thousands in the Gulf region, gives a whole new perspective on just the simple ability to toast an English muffin, pour fresh clean water from a working faucet in the pot, and brewing my morning coffee.

The sheer scope of the disaster really came home at about Thursday when I finally realized how large an area was affected. I was instant messaging with someone in my European office on work matters when the subject of the storm and the subsequent flooding came up. He mentioned that in their newspapers it was mentioned that the affected area was about the size of the United Kingdom.

For me personally, I think that even more than the horror video coming out of the area reading the heartbreaking pleas from the many people still cowering on roofs, water isolated hospitals, and in attics with no remaining or fast dwindling supplies becomes almost too much to comprehend. Open your hearts.

This whole event also brings home the fact that the veneer of our civilized and orderly world is awfully thin. All it takes is three days to generate pictures equal to anything coming out of the worst third-world hot spots, right from within our own country. And, how totally vulnerable we really are when communications cease, electricity is cut, and law enforcement becomes invisible. I guess that what makes us still different from many nations is an ability to eventually muster a response, coupled with an overall attitude that just “wills” us through and allows us to finally prevail.

The summer here is finishing up with an annual massive fireworks party. For many years the tradition has been for an end-of-summer festival which brings about half a million people to the riverbanks. This is capped by a half-hour, put to music, fireworks display. One of our radio stations works for the better part of the year to create a theme and then set about the task of selecting the right music. Because of the crowds we’ll park a car downtown early morning. Then tomorrow afternoon a group of us will ride the bus in and have the ability to escape quickly by driving home.

We actually started getting ready for this weekend last weekend by seeing one of our favorite local bands—“Over The Rhine”. The setting was the spectacular Moonlight Gardens at Old Coney Island. Cathy, Jason, and Marin joined us, plus we ran into some others so it became a bit of a party at our table. For those reading this and living in Michigan, the band’s tour has them playing at Calvin College in November; it’s worth clearing that evening and seeing a great concert—are you listening Schies, Kiks, and Zigs?

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

And, make it a great week!

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