Morning all:

Pardon me, just a bit creaky this morning. Yesterday it was a bunch of driving and some lifting. Have you ever listened to these infomercials very early Sunday mornings on AM radio? Without exception, a guru with an accent is interviewed since he has the magic elixir and its only $19.95, but only if an 800 number is dialed immediately. Rather than tapping into these modern day snake oil salesmen I have discovered my morning coffee does the trick as well since it does it all, from waking me up to lubricating creaky joints. Could there be hope for me on overnight radio?

Last weekend I took Cathy and Marin away from their home. With Jason and Marcia going wild with sanders and polyurethane I felt it good to get these two away from the fumes and possible trouble. We ended up at a place called “Hidden Valley Farm” where Marin led us into – but not out of – the corn maze. If you’ve never hiked through a seven-foot high corn field, don’t; about five minutes into it each stalk starts to look like the last. Twenty minutes later our leader, Marin, said with all the wisdom of a three year old, “I think I am ready to leave now.”

As mentioned last week, Sunday evening it was off to the fireworks. With about 500,000 fellow firework aficionados there was definitely no paucity of people. From the bus stop we pressed on and on through the crowds till our little group arrived at what was literally ‘ground zero’, ending up immediately in front of the six barges anchored in the middle of the river that are used for the launching. Experiencing a finale where well over 1500 charges were lit in the final two minutes of the half hour show gives some idea of the ‘Nati’s version of “Shock and Awe.”

Yesterday Jason and I drove into Michigan to pick up his new “free” wood-burning stove from one of Cathy’s uncles. This monster weighed a solid back-breaking 400 pounds. Even though there were five of us removing the beast from a white carpeted room, through a sliding patio door, down some deck stairs, down a very wet and slippery sloping lawn (it was raining), and to Marcia’s little truck became a somewhat daunting task. The panic in Cathy’s aunt’s eyes told the complete story.

Men being men don’t panic at times like these. We just barge about, we do not worry about pounds of soot and a small item such as a white carpet We discuss not the fact that it will be chaos (that is an accepted fact), just how to minimize it by a degree or two.

The solution was that we disassembled the monster. This required much rolling around the floor on our backs with very large and quickly sooted over wrenches. Then we daintily traipsed over the white carpet as we hauled the twenty or so pieces out of the house one by one. We tried to keep the fine trail of soot along a single path which we deftly created as part of the process. This expertise in trail making dates back to the male’s history of a hunter gatherer.

The aunt kept muttering something about her vacuum cleaner having a “hepa” filter. I figured that this was a special, easy to use, soot removal tool.

Clever movers that Jason and I are we made a quick stop at a local Home Depot in Detroit, picking up two items prior to loading the wood-burner. The first was a 4’ X 6’ sheet to place the stove on. The second was a freebie nail our tire found in the parking lot. Jason heard the tire hissing as we finished loading. Soot covered and looking like a typical Sanford and Son team we rolled into the local full service garage. Creating an aura of need that strikes a chord and demands sympathy helps big time.

Make it a great week everyone; remember goals can be attained no matter how rough the trail.

Cheers,
Dirk

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