Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

I walked over lawns…. “which are now carpeted in yellow gold, with leaves happily rotting into the earth..” ~ Melvyn Bragg

Marcia has been a mad-woman raking bag after bag of leaves. Finally I retrieved the leaf blower and made short order of the mess. We then jointly bagged it all. The next morning it was as if it hadn’t been touched at all. Yesterday and last night’s rain caused a brand new issue – for the time being our lawn will be carpeted by “happily rotting leaves”.

Had our Indian summer not disappeared and the chill and rain dropped in, this morning’s mug of White Castle java would probably tastes better on the deck or sitting in the yard.

Election central and a traveling salesman – Ohio happens to be the focal point for this year’s national elections. Turn on the TV or radio and on any given day we’re bombarded by, in excess of, 300 commercials. Tune in the news and the screens fill with pictures of sweaty politicians storming off their plane and diving into crowds of adoring followers.

Since, at least for the current POTUS, we’re in large part underwriting the huge bills incurred by crisscrossing the country in a massive Air Force One (others use private craft) I started giving some thought to the Traveling Salesman Problem. This was an area looked at when I was working full time and the issue of developing software for transportation needs was looked at. Travel between a few cities and the issue is minimal. Travel between many city and finding a mathematical formula to enable each to visit a number of cities in the shortest possible time becomes immensely valuable (and a huge cost saving to boot).

Oh, wait a minute, there will be no cost savings. Any savings will be spent before we can blink our eyes. Maybe even for a fun White House evening dinner with entertainment by Beyonce at $4,700 per attendee that topped out at $1 million. I suspect our new Chinese credit card hasn’t been capped yet.

Rich and worried – With the tsunami of political advertisements that us Ohioans are being buried under the messages have become just background noise. Sometimes four, five, or six in a row, and anyone would be hard pressed to describe whose side is being promoted.

That is why I was ‘snapped to attention’ when a new ad broke through all that clutter. A simple, accented, and heartfelt voice speaking with absolute clarity on a screen filled with black and white photos.

The voice was that of a Thomas Peterffy; born in 1944 in Hungary during the Soviet offensive and capture of Hungary. The ad is not funded by any Super PAC, does not lobby for any ballot measure, and uses only the personal wealth Peterffy has accumulated. It does not mention any specific candidate. During the 1-minute spot he describes his dream to come to America and the hope to capture part of the freedom that offered. It is a just a powerhouse of a statement describing the “slippery slope” of socialism America appears to be embarking on; from the vantage point of an immigrant who loves this country.

 

Winter duties – Last weekend became a highlight as I joined Paul to properly close out his cabin in the north woods. Just enough stuff to do so that a 2-person effort could make it all manageable in just a couple of days. The weather cooperated and all the chores were managed with time to spare.

In fact, we even were able to shoot a bit further up the road and inspect Northern Comfort. Aside of a driveway barely recognizable due to a carpet of leaves and a winter mouse trap containing a single occupant (it was put out to pasture), all was well.

       

However, now there is a new worry. Yesterday’s news described the damage caused by flooding rains in the area of Wawa and the washing away of sections of the Trans Canada highway. Drive to Wawa from Northern Comfort and it’s about 160 or so miles. On the other hand, as the crow flies is probably closer to 100 miles—not much distance for a rain storm to travel. Somehow I suspect/trust that our stuff is fine.

Animal Planet – Being back in town also means that we’re able to see the grand-kids with more frequency. Furthermore, as they’re getting a bit older we’re getting a bit of work out of them—is this child labor?

Thanks for helping to clear the deck of leaves Marin.

Fini – Make it a great week everyone. Safe travels Pieter and give everyone in Amsterdam a huge hug for me. Art, also safe travels and we’ll see you Sunday; look forward to seeing you. Rest assured, your bed is made. Paul, we know that all will be well next Tuesday.

Next weekend we’ll be enjoying Molly’s wedding festivities. There might be a chance that the Ramblings will be slightly delayed.

Cheers,
Dirk

From the Archives
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Good morning all:

This week I had access to, and choked on, all the 24-hour news and with it the tons of Guerrilla Marketing techniques spewed out by the major political parties. As massively obscene amounts of money are being spent to create an almost religious ‘white heat’ of political fervor, especially that of extremist views touting another massive shift towards a more socialist state—then remember what has made America unique in the world. That of a nation with a history and unparalleled growth by being a centrist nation with a population desiring a minimalist government, with minimal intrusion in our lives; one which instead allows for the freedom of self reliance to be the main determinant of every citizen. Remember this as you vote during the next few days.
Quote Of The Week:
People living under the yoke of corrupt governments tend to want … more government regulation. It’s a vicious cycle: in trusting societies, people act civilly and expect less government interference. In distrustful societies, people act selfishly and expect tighter regulation. But, more government corruption leads to less-trusting societies, and people will generally “prefer state control to unbridled production by uncivil firms”—even when they know their leaders are crooked” — “Regulation and Distrust” National Bureau of Economic Research

Last night Marcia and I arrived home from a week in Las Vegas. It sure is great sitting here with my own White Castle mug of steaming coffee rather than the highly overpriced hotel version.

This past week, upstairs in our hotel room the news talked incessantly about recession. Downstairs, the casinos, the restaurants, and the shows were jammed to capacity – day and night. It certainly is an unreal world. Our final night we walked the complete length of the strip – at 11 pm on a Friday night – and the sights, sounds, and the people watching is beyond belief. This is assuming one can navigate the gauntlet of ‘south of the border’ migrants hired to try to and thrust a bit of porn touting one local escort services or another into every passer-by’s hand.

Marcia and I managed to escape the virtual reality of Las Vegas by pure luck (using a Vegas term) by stumbling on a street vendor who had escaped the corporate life by setting up his own start-up business. John Yeager III builds, sells, and rents a two seat 3-wheeled scooter built on the core of a small single-cylinder moped. He picked us up at eight Friday morning and along with one other couple we set off for the nearby Red Rock Canyon national park.

The park offers a 13 mile scenic loop with a series of breathtaking and spectacular out-look vistas. This we drove for a self guided tour in our tiny 3-wheeled scooter (Marcia actually tested and had no difficulty dragging her knuckles on the pavement by reaching outside our tiny vehicle). The weather was perfect and the skies clear. The 5-mile drive, from the storage facility to the park entrance in a vehicle that tops out at 40 mph was made on a public highway. This little extra jaunt gave an already amazing experience an additional rush of excitement. (click on each of the photos for an expanded view)

Then so much thanks to our friend Susannah who, as a cast member having access, gave us prime seats at Cirque du Soleil’s ”Love” which is built around the music of the Beatles. Having seen several Cirque shows this one tops them all. As one would expect, the acts are amazing but it is the production, staging, and then the music that makes for an unforgettable experience. The fact that the sound-system – built over and around everyone, including each and every seatback – means that you’ve really never heard Beatles music performed like this.

Then the topper was the behind the scenes tour and introductions to cast members. The offices for ‘Love’ are built in what had previously been the apartment used by Siegfried and Roy – a show which we took in a number of years ago. This gave the whole evening a bit of special “oomph”.

Hey, Vegas can make anyone feel like a “high roller’. Even us little folk were upgraded to a suite complete with a nice gift basket. And this for two ‘gamblers’ – one who never placed a quarter in a slot machine – me, and Marcia who won maybe thirty dollars total. I picked up a brochure detailing the odds, that each casino has to publish. Just know that the odds are in the house’s favor for anything you play.

Make it a great week. Now, being home, there is appreciation for the daily routine and grind – enjoy yours.

Cheers,

Dirk

One Response to “An Advertising Blizzard”
  1. Pieter Says:

    Rain rain go away, come again an other day.
    I wonder what that viper sounds like without a muffler.
    Cheers