Happy Saturday morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” ~ Albert Camus

Once this post is done and I’ve had my fill of glorious morning coffee I might just wander outside. Yesterday I wandered around the outside of the house in the cold, which is so pleasant, especially when it’s cold enough so that the snow does not turn to slush on the pavements and your feet are not freezing after the first ten minutes. What was I doing? OK, those of you from the Snow Belt areas DO NOT LAUGH. I was outside with my backpack leaf blower blowing snow off the walkway and the drive.

The way it’s snowing right now, I’ll be back outside, but this time with the old, decrepit, banged-up, snow shovel.

By the way – do NOT drink espresso coffee in the evening. Earlier this week I had a serious yearning for some coffee after dinner. Since Marcia did not care to participate I made myself an espresso (smaller machine). The batch I made required I, whoops, use my standard coffee mug. It tasted amazingly good. I was able to fall asleep sometime approaching two AM.

Guys in the cold – for the past couple of years guys especially have had a whole new ensemble to fight off the winter chill. With me it started the other day and as I was dressing for a walk. Marcia took one look and said; “better put on a scarf around that skinny white neck of yours.”

And that’s exactly it; guys have an amazing array of way to manage the old scarf. Maybe it’s the bohemian look worn by ‘arteest’ types; here rather loose-tied scarves are loping down from the neck, showing quite an elegant carelessness. How about the university flick? This has the one leg dangling down the front, and then a single wind around the throat, and the other leg dangling down the back – much like Dr Who from the British television series. I ended up opting for the good boy scarf, neatly folded in front and tucked in tight under the armpits, thus protecting the throat and the chest.

Meanwhile we can’t forget those who select to wind the scarf round and round the throat – could be called the throttling scarf. Personally I’ve tried that funny Italian double loop which came in a couple of years ago, where you shove both ends of the scarf through the loop and bring it round your throat and flash it off in rather an unnecessarily vain way—I found it very warm, and since I don’t really have a scarf long enough, this option has fallen by the wayside.

But, having said all of that, I am really enough of a scarf guy to forego the simple manner of ‘scarfing’ where it is simply hung round the neck like a halter on an old nag and allowed to flap about. .

Language – A paragraph back I used the word “wind” to mean “wrap” rather than meaning “moving air”. That reminded me of earlier this week when I was trying to look up something related to pronunciation and came across a short paragraph that completely stumped me; especially since I had never run across the word “schwa”. Here is the piece; “A tripthong (y + silent r + e = ai-uh (should have a schwa here, but can’t type one on my keyboard)). Versus a mere diphthong (long i + silent e = ai).”

No wonder that bright folk get completely befuddled trying to learn English as a new language.

On line Auction – Marcia has a favorite site, a local company that manages on-line estate sale auctions. This week there was a large one and she zeroed in on some signed and numbered lithographs, and signed watercolors, tossed in were a couple of large, framed posters. All were of fresh water fish – mostly trout.

Low and behold she snagged two batches for a total of $60.00. I believe there are eight pieces. Based on what we can discover on line of those made by two of the artists our ‘grab’ is worth between three and four hundred dollars; this excludes the smaller pieces (all framed beautifully). Two things, we now have more ‘fishy’ art for Northern Comfort than we really need, and our kids finally have an inheritance.

A run – as many of you know, Adrianne and Tevita have their house on the market (it’s a school thing). All of a sudden, after a several weeks long drought, there is an extended series of showing (two more today). Anyway, we are seeing them around at odd time (mostly near lunch or dinner time) for two hour periods.

This also means that Vai and Vili are here, sometimes in pajamas so as to be able to make for bed the moment they get home. Well, they have reached a point where they play beautifully together as this photo shows. What the photo also shows is that they are inventive. Notice that they are playing the foosball game where the faceoff is managed by using your mouth to ‘blow’ the ball onto the playing surface (click twice on the picture to enlarge). Games do not get any better. (I should point out that as soon as the adults spotted the new technique, and I had taken the photo, that the game was reverted back to a standard – non mouth – format.

Fini – Now, have a great week and stay safe.


From the Archives
Monday, February 17, 2003

All right already, I’ve had it with winter. This morning the office is closed. It has sleeted for two days and now fifteen hour of snowfall. This whole business is becoming a very bad dream – possibly even a dream not much different from The Summoner’s Tale. Just envision us running in and out of our little ice-locked houses only to finally awaken to yards filled with spring flowers and green grasses:

“And ere one might go half a furlong’s space,
Just as the bees come swarming from a hive,
Out of the Devil’s arse-hole there did drive
Full twenty thousand friars in a rout,
And through all Hell they swarmed and ran about.
And came again, as fast as they could run,
And in his arse they crept back, every one.
He clapped his tail to and then lay right still.
This friar, when he’d looked at length his fill
Upon the torments of that sorry place,
His spirit God restored, of His high grace,
Into his body, and he did awake;…”
The Summoner’s Tale, The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400)

Cheers, Dirk

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