Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” — Grace Murray Hopper

It is sooo cold that….
Let me back up a minute. It is almost impossible to train a cat, ours included. They are very independent cusses with minds of their own and seemingly zero control over stopping something they want to do, i.e. scratch furniture. The one thing I have worked hard at is keeping them off the bed—51% successful at that, so it’s a breakthrough. The method used was the threat of turning them into a “sail cat” [a sail cat is flattened and dried roadkill used much like a Frisbee]

Okay, here we go again, it is sooo cold that….this morning I woke up with one of the cats under the covers. It was when he started to ‘groom’ himself that I had enough. Since I have been forbidden to do a similar thing I decided to get up and put the coffee on before Marcia could accuse me. Is enjoying a piping hot mug of coffee a form of self grooming?

Last week’s post had me describe the inauguration events in somewhat neutral terms. With our recent conversion box installation, and now having umpteen PBS stations available to me, I happened to see some footage from the inauguration. I had not seen any of the ‘pre’ event entertainment and it caught my attention. The particular clip I saw had Bruce Springsteen and a group on stage. They and the multitudes on the Mall were being led by none other than folk singer Pete Seeger. I got Goosebumps hearing this 89 year old national icon belt out:

“Nobody living /
can ever stop me /
as I go walking /
on freedom highway.”

Pete included the original Woody Guthrie lyrics that have been considered ‘too political’ and are commonly dropped from the song. Remember that this song was written during the Great Depression. Today the final verse might again have renewed meaning:
In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.”
(click here for a video clip and the full lyrics of “This Land is Your Land”)

Identity Theft is one of those things that always happens to other persons. Many a time I’ve sat and watched the news as some unfortunate soul is describing the devastating effect of Identity Theft on their life, and the difficulties encountered trying to clean up as a result. All those times I just sat, watched, and shook my head wisely. Now it’s hit home.

Nothing horrifically major, but still a bit of a pain. Last December I got stopped when my car plate revealed that I had an outstanding warrant from New Mexico. The whole situation was so incongruous that I started laughing. The officer gave me more details and the next day I went to the police station to get it cleared up. I even called the New Mexico authorities. In the end, I made the assumption it was probably some clerical mix-up.

Then last week, Adrianne, driving a car titled to me got stopped for the same thing. This prompted some detailed communications with the police. To their credit, they have followed through and are now trying to have the New Mexico Attorney General’s office clear my Social Security number from an outstanding warrant dating back to 1995. It seems someone arrested for a DUI used several aliases and several Social Security numbers – one of which happened to be mine. As I said earlier, nothing horrifically major, just a pain. Be careful of your personal data.

Marcia is continuing with her “mid-winter—spring-cleaning” rampage. Her office is beginning to look amazing and has already been completely repainted. On the other hand, the hallway leading to my office is now completely jammed with boxes. All require checking, sorting, filing, or shredding. The shredding is revealing a whole life from years gone by. One box contained all the financials from my college days – including stacks of old checks. To make certain only the ‘junk’ went through the shredder I took a quick glance at each item.

Attached is a scanned copy of one check I came across as I was in the midst of this shredding process. At the time I wrote the check I thought I was dating Marcia. I had no idea that I was actually paying her. Thirty dollars to a poverty struck student was big bucks at that time. I cannot remember if this was a weekend or a weekly rate. Maybe it’s something I should bring up over dinner some evening—it was probably just a misunderstanding.

In our household January – and a few other months – are birthday months. In the past seven days my favorite daughter-in-law Cathy had one. Also, my favorite eldest daughter, Kirstin celebrated hers. Both ladies are now securely parked in the “thirty-something” group.

Remember the line from one of our great authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who once said, “At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look; At 45 they are caves in which we hide.” Cathy and Kirstin keep standing on the “hills”. And for everyone, make it a great week.

A question: what’s Green, Yellow, and Blue? (answer next week)

Cheers,

Dirk

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