Good morning all:

Wisdom Of The Week:

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

Greetings. I travelled to California this week expecting only mediocre and tepid morning coffee and was pleasantly surprised. Staying with Pieter and Jeanne, basically tea drinkers, they brewed as good or better as even this morning’s brew.

I flew Café Delta out west. No longer do the cabin attendants wander the aisles with the old; “coffee, tea, or me.” The new and ‘improved’ has them running about with electronic re-ordering scanners selling little cold packets of marginal overpriced “food” stuff. For someone who has traveled about a million miles during my career seeing these attendants transformed from a service/safety group into a profit center is a bit of a head shaker.

At airports throughout the nation orange is the new green. Ever since 9-11 the constant stream of loudspeakered instructions at airports remind everyone that security is at level “orange”. This has not changed for eight years, so by default, orange, is now completely meaningless and could just as readily be red or green. Also, why, sitting at the gate, well past security, do I have to be intruded upon with constant reminders that my car should not be parked curbside?

One adjacent gate had the counterperson desperately calling out passengers for Minot, North Dakota. I believe she had a quota to meet and was now actually paying prospective passengers to head out to wherever Minot is located. If we’re really serious about ‘sustainability’ and reduction of our collective ‘carbon footprint’, why fly to Minot?

Waiting to board some sweaty guy and his rollerbag ran over my feet trying to cross over to the “Blue Carpet” line which designates highly-important travelers. He apparently was running late and missed the crucial pre-boarding for these folk. The net result? I was on board before he was, and I used the regular scruffy standard carpeting. I suspect that his flight experience would not have been complete without passing over that blue carpet.

It was announced that for ‘security’ reasons only lavatories situated in the class section one is traveling in may be used. Get this straight, 16 people up front get one facility and the 166 riding in the back get the other one. That is assuming you can get to it with food carts and all blocking the aisle. I so love the TSA brain trust that thinks up this nonsense.

Pieter and Jeanne had my uncle from The Netherlands visit with them. Pieter then thought that it would be a grand opportunity for all the brothers to visit and spend a little time. Jeanne caved in to this idea and was a trooper dealing with the ensuing band of ne’er-do-wells who invaded her castle. Thanks so much for a great week you two.

By the time I turn 93 I hope that I have half the vigor, stamina, sharpness of my uncle, and his ability to love the mandatory afternoon Happy Hour complete with a very special adult beverage – Dutch Genever (elixir of the gods). One change though, by then I do hope that technology will have addressed the deficiencies presented by dueling hearing aids. It was an amazing time spent with the senior member of our clan.

My favorite line from my uncle came after he looked at some photos from our little Vaioleti. Seeing her transformation from a 1 pound 14 ounce preemie to a bouncing 14 pounder eight months later led him to ask me a question. “Dirk, how long did it take God to make the earth and everything in it?” I replied with the standard line as found in the bible. He came back with a follow-up: “and then how long was each day”. I replied that we really did not know and that it probably referenced a period of time.

He concurred, and went on to say that each “day” could as easily be millions of years. Then added; “Dirk, maybe what I just saw in those pictures of Vaioleti’s caregivers is creation still in progress”. It really was a privilege having a little time with him.

Now time to get ready. At nine I need to be at the Police Academy for a 1-day Driver Certification course to enable me to drive city equipment (older Police Crown Vics) as part of my Citizens on Patrol. Last night, trying to get to sleep, I repeated over and over again; “avoid the stop sticks, avoid the stop sticks”. We’ll see if I pass.

Make it a great week. Ours will be spent packing for week’s-end travel up north to open the cabin from its winter hibernation.

Cheers,

Dirk

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