Good morning all:

Mother’s Day humor from a retired fart in the Paper and Packaging industry

Last weekend it was a hissing tire that chased Jason and I from the Northern woods—without even a drop of coffee. This morning all that has changed. The coffee is hot and that tire is no longer hissing.

The tire – Somehow, somewhere, we picked up a nail. After a bit of messing about we (Jason) managed to get a plug into the tire. I had our little portable air pump/battery charger and it did the trick. Off we went to enjoy a great concert at Auld Kirk with a husband and wife duo, The Laws.

As the concert ended and we stepped into some brisk spring air it was the angle of the truck that gave the first clue—yup, that tire was flat. Ten minutes of the little air pump doing its magic and we were off. The trek to the cabin is a little over 30 kilometers. At night this is a black strip of asphalt running through fields and forest, with nothing else. In fact, as it turned out, on the way back we never saw a single solitary car going in either direction. With a slow leak speed was the critical differentiator. Our little truck never made it in such good time.

Monday morning at six am the little pump was at it again as Jason and I finished packing for our travel home. By seven the race was on. A quick stop to snap a photo of a cow Moose and her calf and a pit stop for a little more air was all it took. By eight we had reached the town of Bruce Mines and our first opportunity to get proper help. Fifteen minutes later the mechanic had us on our way to our uneventful border crossing.

I never had any coffee till we were well into Michigan! That was wrong, absolutely wrong!

The photo – last week I posted a photo of me putting in the water line with a few pieces of ice floating about my legs. It wasn’t long before the queries began to enter my mailbox. All were a bit different, but the one singular connection they had was the one single word—shrinkage.

For 481 of these Ramblings I have managed to maintain the high road on all maters. That will not change now either. The discussion will end here. Let me just say that I was grateful our cabin’s First Aid kit contained a pair of tweezers.

Preparations – We’re in the final stages of getting ready for our first stay up north. Therefore I was surprised, but not unduly so, when Marcia casually informed me that we had make; “a run to IKEA.” Knowing it was futile to argue I went along. In my mind, over the last few years we’d gotten most everything in their catalog. Wrong. Apparently we absolutely needed 1 Rusch, 6 Fantastisks, 4 Teklas, and 1 Lerberg. I have no idea how we had managed to get along without these items for all these many years, but apparently we had and this was now about to change.

As we walked into the store Marcia must have caught me nervously fingering the little Allen key I have kept on me from some previous IKEA assembly project. As an aside, I swear that one of those little keys is all that any self respecting astronaut would require to repair something like, say, the Hubble telescope. Am I not right Daniel? Anyway, to get me over my jitters we had lunch in the IKEA cafeteria. Of course, Marcia had the Swedish meatballs with the famous Ligonberries sauce, I stuck with chicken.

Sitting down with our platter of food (no, we did not use one of their little platter carts to get to our table) I noted a large, three – maybe four – generational family group enjoying lunch nearby. That is when it struck me. IKEA should advertise that they can host your rehearsal dinner! How cool is that. Have a wonderful rehearsal dinner of Swedish meatballs with Ligonberries sauce (OK, the selection might be a tad shallow) and then the group could fan out. Happy wedding gift shopping for maybe a Blomster, a Sultan Florväk, or a new LÄRD flatware set. Bill it as a “one-stop” event!

Animal Planet – I mentioned earlier the fact that at the start of our race home we spotted a cow Moose and her calf. A quick stop and Jason had his camera at the ready, window was down and the trigger pushed. The batteries in his fancy rig chose that very moment to die.

I groped around for my little ‘point and shoot’. Do you have any idea how well camouflaged these creatures are? All they have to be is six feet into the treeline and they disappear—even as huge as they are. Couple that with the fact that these little ‘point and shoot’ cameras are almost a waste at either dawn or dusk, I am amazed that I captured anything at all. In the picture you’ll note the outline of the beast—no laughter please.

Closing – With all the goings on last week I missed Marlene’s birthday. Happy belated birthday Marlene, you’re fast closing the gap with Marcia and I. Now it’s off to one of Marin’s soccer games.

And, I can’t forget Tevita. His Rugby team, the Cincinnati Kelts, won the Midwest tournament held in Milwaukee last weekend. They are now in the Sweet-Sixteen and rated number two in the nation. His team members are still talking about a straight-arm block he made which sent an opponent flying. Make it a great week.

Cheers,
Dirk

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