Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished, and put inside boxes.” Dave Barry

My coffee reminded me that since the place opened up on the north side of the ‘Natti I had been avoiding Marcia’s overtures to visit Ikea’s newest massive yellow and blue store-in-a-cow-pasture. Finally, when she mentioned that it had a cafeteria serving top-shelf Swedish coffee, I relented.

I think we amazed the cashier when he finished ringing us up for a total purchase of – $9.98. One reason we did not manage to spend more than $10 was because Marcia kept up with a refrain from somewhere waaay behind me: “slow down will you, slow down!” I think I started moving faster and faster just so that I could read every one of the signs at each display, each item dutifully labeled in Swedish. I got into trying to sound out what it was I was looking at; words such as, ‘skrivbord’, ‘tekanna’, and ‘hundkoja’. I just got more and more fascinated and as we left the store for the ‘parkeringsplats’ looking for our ‘vagn’ (car) am certain that I had become absolutely Swedish fluent. Actually, it had been a most enjoyable gallop. ‘Usch’ (whew) my dreams are now in yellow and blue!

This afternoon we’re heading for a wine tasting of some Oregon wines; not a bad thing to do on a rainy spring afternoon. It is also probably the most restful time I’ll have this weekend. This evening it’s a dinner celebrating Jason’s entry into a new year. And then tomorrow—let me explain.

Four years ago a supply convoy was attacked in Iraq. The event had a local soldier being taken and held. Early on photos of Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin were found on the internet, sitting with hooded people holding guns to his head. Four long years his parents kept up the pressure to have him be not forgotten. They also set up a care organization for the troops in Iraq. Each care packet sent contained a photo of their son – over 300,000. Last March 30th his remains were found. Tomorrow is his funeral.

The funeral service will be held at the 43,000 seat Great American Ballpark (home to the Cincinnati Reds), and it’s believed that the stadium will fill including a possible visit by President Bush. In fact the Fountain Square area in downtown will act as overflow and the very large television screen attached to a surrounding office building will be used to broadcast the service.

As part of my Citizens on Patrol volunteering, at 10:30 I will head for the District 1 police station to be assigned to an area in downtown. Thousands of out-of-towners are expected. Not only that, but a contingency from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas has been given a permit to assemble. These are the people who go around holding up signs exclaiming: “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” among their other diatribes. To counter this group, another group, the Patriot Riders will be rolling into town on their Harleys, hundreds of them.

And me? I will walk around to be a welcoming face to them all; “the Hyatt hotel, yes ma’am, just go up another block and turn left”, “something to eat, sure try Skyline, over a block and you’ll see the sign.” Meantime, use the police radio if needed.

Yesterday, on my commute, I spotted a motorcyclist in full leathers riding ahead of me, pony-tail flapping around in the wind. Gaining I could read his plate, “SLAVE”, and also saw “slave” embroidered on his gang insignia. It wasn’t until I started to pass him that I could read the rest of the insignia, “to my Lord Jesus”. I guess that tomorrow, while walking about, I’ll have to remember not to judge a ‘book by its cover.’

For those keeping track of my Netflix saga, please note that the Luc Besson black and white with subtitles movie ”Angel-A” is still sitting on the shelf – unwatched.

Make it a great week everyone. Remember, it was Alice Roosevelt Longworth who observed that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development. Manage your youth well Jason as you celebrated another year.



Leave a Reply