From a winter’s cold ‘Nati, good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week:

“Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink” — Whitstran Brewery sign

I loved it when I read that beer advertising sign. However, in reality it’s my morning java that does the trick—such as my steaming mug on this cold morning.

Wow, a late start this morning and a non-stop day staring at both Marcia and I. First, let me kick in Pandora for a little background music. I had occasionally been listening to Last.fm as my internet radio channel. Last week when Vince and Kirstin visited they showed what they were doing with Pandora Internet Radio. Now I have several, tailored to my tastes, channels. Currently playing is music akin to the style of Leonard Cohen and U2, specifically, an old piece (1987) from the Silos’ Cuba. Great stuff.

Our Christmas spirit kicked into high gear last evening when a neighbor called asking whether or not we had any use for a pair of tickets for last evening’s Symphony. Since our social life is so amazingly packed, Marcia was all “damn right we can use them!” We had just enough time for each of us to throw on a scarf (it’s amazing what a jauntily hung scarf can do to doctor up clothes normally used to go shopping). Jaunty scarf and all we sat among the hoity-toity dab smack in the middle of the Orchestra section. Chopin and Elgar never sounded so good. Thanks much Michelle.

Parking was a bit more of an issue. As mentioned earlier we were in a bit of a rush so I threw the car into a self park a block from Music Hall. You know, the kind of place where you note your parking space and then stick dollar bills into a corresponding little slot on a large board. Carefully I folded three dollar bills into a little strip (so that now it was the thickness equivalent of nine dollar bills). Two-thirds of the way into the slot the whole business got jammed up. Other people must have had similar issues since they had a little “jam-it-in” tool hanging on a chain. After getting sore fingers using that little tool I started looking desperately for a (non existent) mallet stuck somewhere on that board. Eventually I set about to pull the wad of bills back out. Here is where the little built in grabber began its magic (this to prevent a desperate wino from getting too clever). Eventually I did get the dollar bills out—in various pieces. Getting the smaller segments into the slot proved much easier and the little jam-it-in tool actually worked.

With five minutes to spare, sweat wiped off my face, Marcia and I nonchalantly strolled into Music Hall. For that instant we looked like the Salahi’s crashing entering the White House.

Shortly we’ll begin folding and filling forty-plus lunch-sized paper bags in preparation for this evening’s neighborhood Luminary Stroll. Assuming everyone participates each home on the streets making up our neighborhood will have candles along their street fronts. It’s always a gorgeous sight.

At the same time, Adrianne and Tevita’s little town will have their holiday festivities kick off. Beside Santa coming to town, the celebrations will include horse-drawn carriage rides. I can see little Vaioleti now as her eyes take in this whole range of firsts.

At the trailing end several of our neighbors, including Marcia and I, will gather for hot soups and eats. Another neighbor will then kick off a backyard bonfire. Notice that we’re not using any cars in all of this. This is done on purpose for two reasons, first in case any adult beverage is served in quantity throughout the route. Secondly, not driving will be the carbon offset for the subsequent bonfire. I hope that the bonfire will be a two-story behemoth.

Okay, time to upload and get started.

Make it a great week everyone, be safe as you too gear up for the seasonal festivities.

Cheers,

Dirk

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