Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” Edward R. Murrow

Murrow said it well, with one difference, I have no voice and I yet I am no wiser. A whole week of burning the candle at both ends took a toll. I have a nasty cold.

The Argentineans eat much like the Spanish. Go to a restaurant at 8:00 pm and the place will be closed. Enter at 9:30 pm and you’ll have a complete choice of tables since you’ll be the first in the place. 10:30 pm and the place is humming. This means that it’s back to the hotel room around 12:30 – 1:00 am and this is when the 7:30 breakfast meeting looms very close. My body has informed me that I am not very good at the candle-burning thing.

With all of the business that I had going, Marcia and did manage to see and do a bunch. She had a blast! We did get out of B.A., and especially loved our day in Colonia, Uruguay. The town, with its cobblestone streets is a historical treasure. From climbing to the top of their working lighthouse, to renting a motorized cart to explore the town and its surroundings, to eating a ‘tippico’ local lunch in an old windmill; it was great.

Those who know me also know that I have a ‘thing’ for antique and classic cars. Apparently, there was a time where Uruguay had a peculiar taxing system which got people to purchase old and different cars to avoid the tax. Currently, the place is a living museum of fascinating vehicles. Marcia made me promise that all the automobile pictures get placed into a separate folder so as not to bore friends.

Delta did it again. Totally unproven, but I swear its true, is that they added a row of seats during our week between flights, making ‘my’ space on the return flight even smaller. Over 10 hours of sitting with knees buried into the seatback of someone in front, someone who then insists on reclining just as I was starting to eat is not fun. I did learn to eat without moving my hands further than four inches from my chest.

But that is not really my Delta observation. Let me explain. All of us were processed quite efficiently at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza Airport. First the initial perfunctory security questions, simple ones such as; “are you carrying loaded weapons or a bomb?” Then ticketing itself was a breeze. Follow the snaking line to a point where a series of rubber stamps at immigration completed the formalities. Except for a quick security process and scanning we were done. Minutes later we emerged into a department sized Duty Free store. Now began the hour long wandering about. This is the part during all international travel where passengers take on a zombie-like look and walk staring at overpriced items, all done mindlessly and aimlessly.

So far so good, and quite routine. Then Delta swung into action. High-school aged girls dragged several tables into an open area and made us all form a line for “the hand search”. It proved to be a search where all bags were opened to be followed by a very casual and quick peek inside. It appeared that there was only a single item of concern: ice cold drinks. Drinks, unopened, just purchased in stores adjacent to the tables, became THE security risk of the day. A large bin was used to toss the forbidden items. An acquaintance of mine lost her bottle in this manner and instead, stopped, opened the bottle, and proceeded to guzzle the contents.

I had had enough, and accused the whole operation of theft, pure and simple highway robbery. I forcibly told the rubber-gloved ones that if this were a concern then they should properly post that fact at each airport kiosk. During the consternation caused by my outburst I realized that little attention was being paid to anything else. I gave Marcia a quick shove in the small of her back and she, along with her roller-bag, sailed through “security”—unchecked.

We both smiled sweetly as our boarding passes were scanned.

Today we’re packing for our vacation in Northern Ontario, Canada. Everything is on track for us to leave early in the morning. Also, everything appears to be ready for Marcia and I to close on our little waterfront cabin later in the week. Needless to say we are just super-charged about the event.

We just can’t wait to take on a whole new load of home repair, painting, remodeling, and all the other things we just can’t wait to escape and take a vacation from.

Make it a great week. Tevita, your 31st party was fun—Happy Birthday.

Cheers,

Dirk

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