From Cincinnati, on what promises to be the warmest day to date, good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week:

“Here’s something to think about: How come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?” — Jay Leno

Does anyone remember the great ventriloquist, Shari Lewis and the amazing work she did with a rather dim sock puppet named Lamb Chop? This week, whether watching television news anchors or politicians, they all reminded me of a series of brainless Lamb Chops possessing only a moving mouth. With one exception though: Scott Brown, the new Senator-elect for Massachusetts. Great Scott! It was the one bright spot in what otherwise was a dreary week. I’ll have a slug of my morning coffee to celebrate it’s conclusion. Think it’s just me experiencing the winter blahs?

The horrific pictures we all saw of the devastation and hurt in Haiti are etched in my memory. Now, and this is not being cynical, but I do believe that we’re missing something in all the outpouring of money and aid to that nation. I have yet to see anyone discuss with a degree of certainty efforts accompanying this outpouring to shore up, streamline, and safeguard that all of the aid will get to those most in need. So far, it’s people in the street begging for a bottle of water or some lentil soup while the delivered supplies are rotting somewhere else.

Then there are the images of the theft and looting of the meager supplies that do leave the warehouses. Add to this is the chronic corruption and mismanagement which has been rampant in Haiti for decades. For decades relief monies have been “lost” into some black hole; is anything underway to address that? All of this means that I wish that the Haitian government, the UN, or currently, as the de facto managers of the airport and the port, the USA address the safety and delivery systems so that this deluge of supplies will really do some good—for the long haul. I suspect that the latter will be something that can only be addressed by the Haitians themselves.

Last week I mentioned that Marcia and I would start up our little Citroën 2CV. That we did. Marcia suggested we take it shopping. We drove a carefully plotted route which would avoid the expressway. Doing so quickly got us trapped in traffic converging for the start of a Xavier University men’s basketball game—whoops (not hoops).

Filled with groceries we decided to take a different route home, one that had us on an expressway, but only for 2.5 miles. It was glorious as the little “Duck” accelerated to nearly 50 mph. I was the first to feel a little engine stutter, Marcia noticed it too as our speed had reduced to 40 mph. When we reached our exit I was able to coax it along at 25 mph. By this point Marcia, in full throat, was telling me to pull over. Here is a male-female difference, my goal was to keep on driving as long as I could, especially since at idle the little 2-cylinder engine did just fine.

I tried my best to keep up some chatty banter, which did absolutely no good. Finally Marcia could not contain it any longer and blurted out her strongest line yet: “we look like geezers!” To which I concurred. By this time, taking roads with only slight grades, we were, on the flats, doing 20 mph (a little less uphill). Finally, safely in the garage and groceries unloaded, things returned to normal. Marcia packed away the foodstuffs while I dove into the “troubleshooting” sections of my car manuals.

It was not until the next day when I was grilling on the deck that it hit me. Actually, I was pre-heating the grill, and enjoying a cigar to bide the time, when it hit me. The last time I had filled the tank on the Duck was September 2008. Even with gas stabilizer and now down to 1/8 of a tank, I am certain that I was trying to run on some very nasty gas. I hope that the carburetor jets aren’t partially clogged. Tomorrow I’ll spend some tome addressing the issue.

Shortly, and for a better part of the day we’ll be busy moving the old bedding out and installing the new. I’ve already forgotten what the Swedish name Ikea gave it, or I would have inserted it here, ‘bed’ will suffice.

This coming week it’s Cathy and Kirstin’s birthdays which we’ll celebrate. Doing so should move me past the winter ‘blah’ thing. Just yesterday I mentioned to Marcia that it’s only 4 months to go before we open the cabin.

Make it a great week everyone.



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