Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.” — Scott Adams

Astronaut Donald Pettit is my new space hero of the week. He recently invented the Zero-G coffee cup for use in space. Rather than drinking coffee through a straw his cup uses surface tension to hold in the java. Is it true that in space no one can hear you burn your tongue?

Derek and I both celebrated our annual journey around the sun (our birthdays are 1-day apart, and yes to you skeptics, there is also a span of a few years in between). Derek did it with Pizza, 14 pals, much playground stuff, and dinner at Disney Village’s T-Rex Cafe. I celebrated by symbolically racing around a track and a superb Thai take-out dinner. We both celebrated with an evening at Blue Man Group—thanks to the amazing thoughtfulness of Vince and Kirstin.

Derek is often quite introspective. But, during this show he was belly-laughing and rolling about his seat. You just know that the whole evening was a major hit when, as soon as the applause stopped, he burst out; “that was awesome!” Vince said that the first thing he saw was Derek’s ear-to-ear grin when we were coming down the escalator to our pick-up point at Universal Studios. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I had a great time reconnecting with all my loved ones in Florida. All the things I promised I’d do, an evening of baby-sitting, etc, never came about. I think it was because the week just flew by. We did manage to join Derek for lunch at his school; I had forgotten that kids inhale their food and that this normally social event lasts about three-minutes. Also, we were kept quite busy picking up after their new house member—Snicker-Doodle the Dutch rabbit. And when I say picking up I do really mean exactly that. Thanks so much guys it was wonderful.

Upon my return I found Marcia maintaining a wake for our old kitty, Morgan. She’d been a runt-of-the-litter, but as an adult became an amazing huntress. A yellow streak, climbing trees to chase birds was common. Bringing one proudly to the back door was not unheard of. Ditto with an occasional squirrel. She decimated our yard’s vole population laying them out neatly in groups of five on the front porch. The neighborhood mice had a rule, “stay clear of the Pastoor’s. Marcia selected the spot and I buried her just prior to rains moving in.

Approximately twenty years ago we visited grandpa for the Christmas holidays. He lived at the end of a cul-de-sac in a small two-light town by the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. We pulled into town about midnight and as normal practice, I unloaded the car and then pulled it in front of the house (every morning grandpa ran out very early for his coffee and newspaper). The scientific fear ‘du jour’ for the nineties was Global Cooling. That particular December it was near sixty degrees, and to the kid’s dismay, no snow.

In the morning I had a parking ticket under the windshield wiper for impeding snow removal.

Somehow, bleary eyed at midnight I had failed to spot a single small sign placed at the town’s outskirts forbidding the impeding of snow removal. Parking tickets were conveniently written on the front of a small envelope. The drill was written on the back; insert the fine, seal the envelope, and drop it off at the police station.

That Sunday I happen to read an amazingly apropos comic. On our way out of town I placed that, now cut out of the newspaper, comic into the envelope/ticket, sealed it, and as instructed, dropped it off at the police station. A half hour later the town’s police chief stood at grandpa’s door.

Arriving at home eight-and-a-half hours later our phone was ringing (no voice mail in those days). Small town police chiefs appear to lack in humor.

This past week, in Florida, I came across a re-run of that old Herman comic. Kirstin remembered instantly. I had forgotten just how angry the kids were with me over my stunt and that during the whole trip home they were certain that a fleet of cruisers, sirens wailing, were chasing us down.

By the way, I think that this twenty year old comic strip’s message is still very relevant today.

Now, time to get ready for a morning of Citizen on Patrol re-training at our Police Academy. How times do change. Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,

Dirk

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