Morning all:

This morning it took me five minutes to pick at the hermetically sealed plastic bag of something called “Morning Glory, French Vanilla on My Mind” coffee. The smell of the stuff has permeated the downstairs and upstairs and is one of the penalties paid for running out of regular coffee. This stuff just isn’t right, but sadly it is today’s coffee Du Jour.

As Secretary of State in the mid seventies Henry Kissinger talked frequently about a concept coined the “domino theory”. It sounds good, but I’ve always had difficulty with accepting the concept. Here it is 2006, and I am finally sold. Let me explain. It all started last weekend when I had a thought, which I agree could have been construed as possibly a promise – Marcia then interpreted it as an oath – the thought was to work on fixing up the home office. From history I know that formal oaths date back to the beginnings of written history with the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and are serious stuff. I distinctly know that my thought was not an oath.

Anyway, it all started by me bringing home a small computer desk. The next thought was to open up the office by replacing the large clunky stuff there with this new little desk. All this meant much reorganizing: which turned into even more cleaning and pitching, followed by vacuuming. And, the next thing you knew I had rented a large carpet steam cleaning machine with a sound like a jet engine going full bore howling up there. Eventually the steam cleaner worked its way to the downstairs living room. The concept of the domino effect is now crystal clear to me. It was a long weekend.

By now most of you have picked up on the horrifically tragic event in Tonga and also on its emotional impact on Adrianne. The Peace Corps has posted a wonderful tribute on its web site to Tessa the volunteer who lost her life: In it is quoted apparently one of her favorite sayings from Gandhi, “I want to be the change I wish to see in the world”. Another volunteer, Kyle, in his post had a splendid thought in tribute. This from Kyle: “In her own group I heard she was known as the true Peace Corps. Tessa would buy a shovel and the others in her group would buy one too. They had no idea why they’d need it, but if Tessa got a shovel it must be important.” It is amazing that oftentimes, even in too short a life, some individuals can muster to live more than scores of us can in many long years.

This weekend we have our annual neighborhood progressive dinner. Four houses and seventy or so people wandering from one house to the other is a great event. The first two houses are for appetizers, then one for dinner, and the last for desert. Meantime large coolers of specialty beers and wine are dragged about from location to location. It is a fine time.

Then tomorrow it’s off to friends from work for what has become the annual Superbowl party. “Borrowing” one of the high intensity projectors from the office, coupled with a large movie screen and home theater sound system all makes it so that you can see the vent holes on the jersey’s and hear the crunch of the pads. Marcia is still worried what to bring. I have told her that anything is just fine, however that the Mid-West classic staple of green bean casserole complete with lumpy cream of mushroom soup and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes is out.

Make it a great week and be safe.
Cheers,
Dirk

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