Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“The human brain is unique in that it is the only container of which it can be said that the more you put into it, the more it will hold.” Glenn Doman

Earlier during the week the phone rang at my desk. Answering, I could hear the soft sobs of a child in the background (Marin as it turns out). A slightly frantic Marcia (who was sitting Marin at the time) blurted out something which I understood to mean; “how do you turn on the DVD player?” Thirty seconds later Marin happily started his hour of entertainment.

I’m still chuckling in my morning coffee.

The reason Marcia was sitting Marin was so that Jason & Cathy could evaluate a public school for him to start Kindergarten next year. They love the Montessori school near our house. Registration is strictly on a first-come first-served basis. This means that sometime late Saturday February 9th or Sunday the 10th Cathy will get in line (outside), and Jason the same at a backup school, for the start of the 6 AM registration on Monday morning (I am the scout and will signal exactly when a line starts to form). Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and brother will jump into action and perform various ancillary duties, including, relieve Cathy in line so that she can nurse little Dinah who will be warm and comfy at our house, sitting Marin (this at Cathy’s mom’s house), schlep food and drink (organized from a couple of houses), provide company, and substitute for potty breaks etc. Moments such as these allow me to truly appreciate living in a highly sophisticated industrialized nation where, using elegant and advanced tools and techniques, we are perfectly organized.

Cathy’s brother has agreed to participate in this “family” school registration event if they will reciprocate when the next Harry Potter movie comes out.

As some of you know I volunteer with the Cincinnati Police Department Citizens on Patrol. While still at the precinct Monday evening the place sprung into action as dispatch gave details of ‘shots fired’ and a subsequent homicide in the next district. This meant our officers left to assist. It also meant that rather than having a foot patrol we took a vehicle to cover more turf and focus more on nearby inner city areas.

One particularly rough area has a small strip mall. We parked and visited with the various stores. At the far end is an Aldi grocery store. A young African-American check-out clerk with shocking pink hair was eager to chit-chat. I had heard that this Aldi was relocating elsewhere and this she confirmed. I asked how her customers took that news. “Oh”, she said, “they blame the white man.”

She then told how she talks to all her customers and tells them that it isn’t the white man that is causing the store to leave. She tells each of them that “it’s us”. Asking parents if they know how their children behave in the parking lot, about the drug dealing that goes on, and the store theft that has profits for this particular store at half the chain’s average. All this was said with an upbeat attitude and with compassion. Its moments such as these that give me hope and make my volunteer effort worthwhile. Small baby steps yes, but steps nonetheless.

By the way, she will be made assistant manager at the new Aldi. She loves her work and her employer, saying all benefits are provided; “sure their expectations are high and they work you hard, but you are recognized.” This caused me to research Aldi a bit more. They are a German company that also owns and operates Trader Joe’s. In Europe Aldi’s growth outpaces that of Wal-Mart.

For many this is probably the coldest spell so far this winter, our morning low tomorrow will be 4 degrees. Just want to let you know that yesterday was the anniversary of the coldest day recorded in Cincinnati – on January 18, 1977 it was minus 25°F (-32 °C). Rather than sit about some folk made it their best day and against all advice were photographed doing just that, walking between Ohio and Kentucky across a frozen solid Ohio River. Some folk created powerful memories of an adventure; I remember frozen pipes.

Make it a great week. Now time to get busy helping make Marcia’s famous Gypsy Soup. Tonight is the neighborhood progressive dinner, 75 people have RSVP’d, and we are assisting. Details next week.

Cheers,

Dirk

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