Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom:

“Without people’s poor memories, politics would be completely impossible.” —Harry Mulisch’s character, Onno Quist

Last Tuesday evening the SOTU address came and went. Next year all any of us will remember, with a degree of ennui, is that more than likely the previous year there had been a SOTU address. Now, if I don’t grab my morning coffee I might as well get a head start on beginning a SOTU drinking game.

But wait, I did pick up something from the politicos this week. Our local television news let it leak out that henceforth (the word they used) the color-coded terror warnings are being phased out. They showed the new system under which emergencies are coded as follows:  :),  :|,  🙁 . I just heard that the Russians are now going to start using our old color-code system; their spy system must be alive and well.

Two geezers – Marcia pulled out of the garage and headed out. At the dip on our little side street the wheels began to spin. Not to worry she stopped and put the truck into four-wheel drive. Her thinking at that moment being that if 4X4-high is good then 4X4-low must be even better. Sure enough she easily maneuvered over the snow slickened roadway and was on her way.

The next day the bitter cold was still pushing our thermometer down, but we had no choice and had to head out for groceries and stuff. This time I drove. The first thing I noticed was that we were driving in 4X4-low mode. The minute we were on level ground I threw the switch to two wheel drive. Nothing!

My next assumption being that the cold and ice had frozen the vehicle in that 4X4-low mode and a mile or so of travel would heat the gear box enough to release and allow for normal 2-wheel driving. That didn’t happen!

We were now merrily traveling along doing 30 mph tops and the engine whining at 3500 rpm; while holding back most everyone else. I was wearing my little Uruguayan cap, was slumped over the wheel a bit paying more attention to the panel and gauges than I should have; although, not so much that here and there I caught a nasty look from passing drivers.

In the middle of the Home Depot parking lot we stopped. By then Marcia had started leafing through the vehicle’s manual. Lo and behold there was a solution. The electronic shifter in the Ranger has a 3-step process to exit from 4X4-low driving. We actually heard a collective sigh of relief from our fellow shoppers.

The next time I get ready to moan-‘n-groan about some white haired guy with a fedora stuck on the back of his head, who’s just putzing along, I’ll first assume he’s stuck in 4X4-low drive. I am printing a set of ‘escape’ instructions – in large bold print – to hold up against the window. Just being helpful mind you.

Heat – Target ran an ad for their annual space heater clearance. I had been waiting for this to happen since we wanted an additional heater for the cabin. Also, Marcia, the one who is consistently chilled, could use the thing until it heads north.

Driving to Target I got stuck behind the very vehicle in the photo. I drove behind it for a solid mile, through the access roadway, and into the parking lot—have you ever driven behind a McDonalds French-fry deep fryer?

Anyway, I got the exact model I wanted at a great price. Getting home it was ten minutes to bolt the pedestal under the thing and put it into test mode adjacent to Marcia’s permanent daytime knitting seat.

That evening I happened to walk by and noticed that by then Marcia was cooked perfectly rare. Her cheeks were bright red—and the setting was still on low. It was an excellent purchase!

Winter project – This week’s “Picture of the Week” shows the completed project in use. About thirty years ago one of Marcia’s friends was planning to toss a home made rocking horse. Marcia snagged it, mumbling something about ‘folk art.’

For those thirty years it’s been stored, stored, and stored some more. The old nails were hammered down a bit now and then, but it was broken most of the time. You get the drift; it was junk. Now that we’re watching shows like ‘Hoarders’ the time had come to do something or pitch.

Last weekend I finished the rebuild of the little toy. It’s been properly restored with glued-in dowels and screws. Hours after it was put in a place of honor Vaioleti stopped over. For the duration of her visit she did not leave that little horse.

Often you do something and wonder why. With this little rocking horse I knew immediately.

Closing –This week it was Happy Birthday to Kirstin.

Yesterday afternoon Adrianne was admitted to the hospital. It seems as if her little guy wants to enter the world sooner rather than later. At this stage of Adrianne’s pregnancy that request is a little awkward. She’s hoping that she’ll be released today and will just have to take it easy. She could use your thoughts and prayers while she awaits medical input.

Make it a great week!

Cheers,

Dirk

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