Good morning all:

Weekly ‘historical’ quote:

”In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.” – John Adams

In dedication to the wastrels on the Super Committee I am pouring out some cold coffee. I’ll freshen my mug momentarily; after I collect myself.

On a better note, this morning’s tip-of-the-coffee-mug (a full one at that) goes to Vaioleti. Sitting around the Thanksgiving table the other day, some of us shared the things we’ve been thankful for this past year. When it came to Vai’s turn she did not hesitate a second; “I am thankful for myself!”

It’s wrong – Balluminaria 2011 had a group of us enjoying perfect weather, the sights and the people watching. The setting was custom made for a perfect evening—that is when the phone rang.

On the other end was Marcia (she was not at Balluminaria; she is of the “been there, done that” mindset). Dirk, Darren from up the street is trying to get rid of a couple of tickets (plus parking pass) to tonight’s University of Cincinnati Men’s Basketball game, can you use them? A flurry of chain reaction calls took place. First choice, Jason and Tevita; they were beat from a long work week—thanks but no thanks. Make a long story short, Adrianne suggested that she and I go and we’d sneak Vaioleti in with us. She mumbled something about ever since Viliami she’s just not getting out at all.

We had a plan and without any hitch we’d get to our seats mid-way through the first half. Approaching the drive to some of the garages the line started forming. I was  heard mumbling something about, “why can’t people ever arrive on time?”

The first inkling that there could be a wee wrinkle to our plan was when we inched into the garage and I handed over my pass. I just happened to overhear the woman in the kiosk yell to a coworker; “this still good? It’s from this morning’s event.” Whoops!

Vaioleti was totally excited watching the cleaning crew bustle about in a very empty, very echoey arena. The mass of traffic, we found out, was for a high school championship football game held at the University stadium. Our game was the one game of the season held as a morning event.

Vaioleti loved playing on the practice field under the lights, and this was followed by a repast at the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings with its thirty plus TV screens. Over the din Adrianne voiced yelled a comment: “Hey dad, you know you always have stories about these crazy happenings to you?” Me; “uh hu.” Adrianne; “well, I just realized that now it’s happening to me too. You’re passing it on.” I personally suspect it’s a DNA thing!

Treemonisha – I’ve always loved the ragtime music composed by Scott Joplin (1867-1917). Is there anyone whose foot does not go a-tappin’ listening to his Gladiolus Rag, The Entertainer, or the Maple Leaf Rag? What is a shame is that a great classical opera written by him was tossed in the dustbin—Treemonisha. A black man composing ragtime piano was one thing, creating grand opera another.

I’ve been listening to the wonderful music and voices on an original cast recoding of a 30 year old Houston Grand Opera recording of the piece. A one-hundred year old opera, a thirty-year old recording, and in today’s world the lyrics still have a punch:

“The ignorant too long have ruled,
I don’t see why they should,
And all the people they have fooled,
Because they found they could.”

Animal Planet – Less than four miles from downtown and this scene still amazes me. Year after year, every so often we see them wandering about enjoying Marcia’s garden.

Closing – From all reports it appears that Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in style. Tevita left at ten PM to partake in an early Black Friday sweep. He was awed by what he saw, including one skirmish; he’s definitely gained additional insight into the American way.

Make it a great week everyone. I feel pretty good; a warm day was all I needed to get the outdoor Christmas lights up. I’ve given up trying to beat out the perfect little family down the street.


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