Good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week:

PC has run amuck. Extra screenings for 76 year old Swedish nuns named sister Lundquist is idiotic. Homeland Security agencies, notably the TSA, and CBP should get real and only seriously screen people whose last names lend to the adding a magician’s “ta-dah”, such as (Times-Square wannabe bomber) Faisal Shahzad—ta-dah! — Bill Maher, comedian

For some unknown reason, this morning I am savoring the coffee I am drinking as if it’s the rarest single malt whisky. Good thing it is coffee or I’d be red-lining at a ‘two-point-oh’ about now; not even breakfast and already driving this blog at over twice the legal limit.

This morning I was going to write about “humus.” At the end I might still have time, so let’s barge forward.

A rose amongst the thorns – The first part of the week had me in Oak Brook, Illinois for a small Trade Fair. Since I had rented a car for this trip, Wednesday morning found me returning it on 4th street downtown. Nick M, you should love this, the original plan was for me to hop on a city bus for the ride home. That’s when I decided it was the perfect morning to walk a bit—a six mile trek to our house.

I am still dealing with a foot issue from a similarly well thought out plan six months ago. But, oh my, how quickly we forget. Plus, this time I was wearing the right shoes. Besides, it would be an adventure. Adventures always win out.

The walk had me pass the convention center, leave downtown and then through an area called Over the Rhine. If the ‘Natti had a war-zone this probably would come close. Driving here has little old blue haired ladies throw the car seatback back so that their heads are barely visible above the door and window—it’s a survival thing I think. I chose to cut through Over the Rhine via Vine Street. I don’t rightly know if Vine Street is the heart, liver, arm, leg, or foot of Over the Rhine since I don’t know the specialty of the shooters on this particular street. I then had to crawl up the long Vine Street hill, pass the University of Cincinnati, the EPA, the VA hospital, and the Zoo (the nations sexiest), before finally working my way into the comforting area I call home.

Here are my observations: walking through the heart of the city mid-morning is something everyone should do every so often. There is a vibrancy that is invigorating. Entering Over the Rhine finds a wonderful array of Artsy/Etsy shops, great architecture, restaurants, pubs, and a bunch of revival construction in an attempt to gentrify the area. A real pleasant surprise was the number of times I was greeted, everything from a simple nod to a cheery, “good morning.” The grind up the long hill gave time to peek inside the 20 acre Inwood Park—a gorgeous rose among some serious thorns. Inwood was an old stone quarry and has a stunning mission-style pavilion dating back about a hundred years.

Finally, at the top, is an area referred to as CUF and the University of Cincinnati. Jason is on the CUF neighborhood association board and it’s become a “gotta grab the ring, go get it” type of place.

I knew that I was approaching the Zoo by the screeching of the Peacocks. Aside from the buses and delivery trucks a handful of ducks flew over, they too were out getting some exercise. A compliment on having done the right thing (walk) I felt to be in order. Marcia saw it differently, under duress I found it easier to declare myself a bit of a nutcase rather than crying “uncle.”

Forgotten zipper – Last week I related my barbershop experience, sans closed zipper. A friend must have experienced a similar situation and took that paragraph and passed it to his mail list.

One of his friends from New Hampshire, appropriately the “Live Free or Die” state, responded:

“There was a time when one’s barber would not allow you out of “his” shop without a brushing, dusting, and a once-over to insure that you were presentable.

I am far from a sexist, but with today’s social mores, I can only conclude that your friend’s barber is a female and has not been a barber for more than a third to a half the number of years your friend has been getting hair cuts.”

My response contains a message for all the guys reading this:

“In reality my barber is in HIS mid-fifties. He runs the shop with his wife (not a trophy unit, so also in her mid-fifties) she is the back-up and manages overflow. I struggle to think how Marcia would fare listening to my inane banter, repeated over and over again for maybe the 75th time and do so day in and day out. They seem to have worked it out though.

I do not think that the zipper thing was as noticeable as I painted it. I had to look a second and third time even after Marcia pointed it out—that woman has an eagle eye.

It does prove that “size does matter”, and on occasion, diminutive can actually be helpful.”

Humus” is from a Latin root and means “dirt.” I was going to write how our whole entryway is filled with all sorts of Canada bound stuff, excluding “dirt”, but including the ingredients to make batches of the other “humus.” The stuff I love. We are so very ready to head north a week from now.

Teams have already been formed. Marcia and Kirstin are planning the rainy-day craft projects. Cathy and Adrianne similarly have gotten a handle on the various table games. This is serious stuff, since a whole range of ages will have to be entertained. Last weekend it was a rainy one and the perfect time to practice. First on the list? A hard fought game of Rummikub®. Let the fun begin!

Walk like an Egyptian

Then there is Vinnie (our Siamese cat, Vincent VanGogh) who is as set in his ways as any critter can be. This week we started a travel-training course. High on the list was the “harness accustomization” phase.  Two major problems occurred consecutively; 1) nothing slips over his head, and 2) nothing pink goes on his body. The harness Marcia bought missed in both areas. By the time one very angry cat was ready for the “leash phase” Marcia and I were both coated with grey fur. I won’t even go into the detailing the scratches. Vinnie seems to be nearly there. Should be a trip to remember.

Make it a great week everyone. See, I did make it around to writing about “humus.” And no, I hadn’t forgotten–Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! Especially to Marcia, Kirstin, Cathy, and Adrianne.



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