Happy Saturday morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”    Eckhart Tolle

A great gauge for realizing that the temperature made a substantial dip during the night is when, as you take that second sip of morning coffee, you contemplate re-pouring the rest into a thermos style mug. This morning is such a time.

Of course, Marcia would offhandedly make some comment that makes a reference to “cranking up the thermostat.” Personally I am not so certain, but she could be correct.

This is the second time – where, recently, I have ordered on line using a standard (think; “unhurried” and “cheap/free”) shipping method. Each time the ordered item finally gets delivered by our regular mailman (that is “mailperson” for you PC types), yet the envelope tags reflect a stop at our main airport in Hebron, Northern Kentucky.

I finally figured it out. Delivery is a joint USPS and DHL operation. The vendor ships via DHL and they do the initial sort. DHL trucks or airfreights it into their airport hub/sorting facility at our international airport. From there it moves to our main post office and onto our local branch for delivery.

Apparently this is a ‘dirt cheap’ shipping process for the vendor, by which both the USPS and DHL can still be profitable moving a package. Possibly it even makes the combination of the two entities more than competitive with UPS and FedEx. For those of us who thrive on ‘factoids’, DHL is owned by Deutsche Post, the German postal system. It is a global world.

Ensemble Eclectique – is the name of our town’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) Jazz ensemble. Eighteen musicians, ten for strings, four horns, two guitars, drums, and keyboard make up the group. Last evening I was treated to an amazing performance.

Kirstin graduated from SCPA and ever since I make note of something put on by this remarkable grade/high school. From friends whose son currently attends SCPA, and plays in the ensemble, I got word that they were putting on a dress-rehearsal performance prior to their invitational travels to Poland. Wjile in Poland they’ll be performing in places such as Warsaw, Krakow, and O?wi?cim (location of the Nazi death-camp of Auschwitz) some performances in traditional settings, and at least one in a museum built to reflect on the heritage and suffering of Poland’s Jewish population during the Nazi occupation.

The director for the group taught music in Poland immediately after graduation (from 1988 through 1991), which had him in the country from when it was communist and then the triumphal beginnings of the Republic of Poland with the “Solidarity” movement. This was also the resurgence of a love for American jazz in that nation.

Using all of that as a backdrop, the group’s artistic director, Dr. Isidore Rudnick, built on the Jewish and Yiddish heritage found in Poland, and took a number of their folk tunes and wove them into a jazz setting. To us in the audience it was a marvelous success.

Last evening I listened to a high school aged group perform effortlessly, taking the music from Dave Brubeck’s Take Five as it was spun around the much slower Gershwin’s Summertime. Add a prelude consisting of a Bongo drum solo with an Afro-Cuban beat to this fresh interpretation and it’s hard to believe that they pulled it off. Let me just say that the 75 or so of us in the audience jumped to our feet with cheers as they finished. WOW!

Hallmark eat your heart out – It’s well known in family circles that I struggle with the observance of what could be referred to as “Hallmark card Days.”

Track back to last Tuesday evening. At Marin and Dinah’s school (which happens to be about five houses from our place) they organized a pizza dinner and Valentine card evening. A massive stack of pizza boxes greeted us as did lunch tables covered in plastic and filled with plastic bins of glue, scissors, colored pencils and markers. Lots of doilies, and hearts of all colors.

The kids barely found time to eat some pizza before getting on with the, very serious, task of making Valentine cards. Dinah was bound and determined to make 23 of them. As she carefully explained to me; “there are 24 kids in my class, but I don’t have to make a card for myself, so, 24 minus 1 equals 23”. Perfect, Dinah.

Marin, on the other hand, had a whole different scheme. He organized a few of his buddies into making stick-on nametags. You know the “Hello My Name Is” variety. So far so good. A few minutes later I spotted Marin walking about with a new tag that read; “Hello My Name Is – Bruce Clinton.” I greeted him by saying, “hello Bruce.” He grinned. A while later I noticed that he was now “Peter Finn”, and so it went.

I think that Marin has a bit of his father’s style of humor in him.

Animal Planet – Our Daffodils are poking above ground. On my walks this week I spotted the first of this year’s crop of Crocuses – only purple so far. Spring cannot be far off.

Fini – Marcia has already left with an armload of framed pictures. She is “staging” Adrianne and Tevita’s home – they have a showing of their house around noon. This past weekend Tevita pulled the carpeting in their living and dining room, sanded the hardwood, replaced a small section of flooring, stained all of it, and polyurethaned it two coats (sanding between each). They are quite determined to sell the place.

We’ll have the gang over during the showing, so I best get ready for the onslaught. Make it a great week and enjoy the President’s Day weekend.

Cheers,

Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Morning all:

The main reason I am up at this hour of a Saturday morning is really not because of my morning coffee. The real reason is because I have not been sucked into watching twirling skaters decked out in full suits of spandex, hour by hour by hour. I am getting my full night of sleep. Even Derek at age three, earlier this week asked why his daddy was tired and then offered the solution; “watching too much skating daddy?”

Hah, you did not see me scrambling around like some of the worked up suckers I saw when I went to lunch last Wednesday. When I realized I was seeing a 50-50 mix of harried versus smug individuals I just knew that I had entered the ultimate Hallmarketing zone, V-Day. For me? No worries! I had conveniently scheduled a business dinner for a cadre of in-town visitors. In case you think of me as a total slob, I did bring home to Marcia a major share of something called “the ultimate raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake”.

Last week I sat in a windowless hotel room for days on end, in Los Angeles no less. For someone going somewhat stir crazy trying to survive the mid-western winter doldrums I had to be crazy not to try and enjoy some of the southern California weather. So, Saturday before flying home, I spent the day with brother Art and sister-in-law Jolene. Mid afternoon I threw caution to the wind and Art, young nephew Kelton, and I did a walkabout on the high Chaparral reserve near their home. No mingling with ‘the people’, no iPod glued to my waistband, no idling in the middle of 5 lanes of LA traffic, it was just us taking in the Karma of the open country; along with a steady stream of Kelton banter. All went really well until an oncoming mountain bikeaneer informed us that a young (2 foot tall) cougar had just crossed the path some distance in front of us. As is usually the case, the going home part of the journey is always quicker.

You just know that you’re flying at the absolute wrong time when the glued-to-the-ceiling television set at the gate is playing The Late Show with David Letterman, the dreaded Red Eye. In my case I remember about one half of the takeoff roll before I became aware of my ears popping on approach into Atlanta. Delta, financially in the dumper, had seen fit to place their famous ‘over two hour flight snack pack’ on the empty seat next to me. Since barely anything in the terminal was open I had a great snack pack breakfast while waiting for my connection. Using the enclosed 1-inch plastic knife I managed to scrape the cheese-spread out of the 1-inch plastic tub and onto each of the two pieces of wheat cracker (6 since they had broken): with my fat fingers I must have looked like a ‘doh’ moment in a Homer Simpson episode.

Afterwards I realized that while I was sitting at the gate trying to spread cheese on cracker crumbs and finally just onto my fingers, because it was easier, that I was way out of place for sitting and judging other folk. You’ve sat around airports with the non-ending stream of people and whiney kids. Souls with bony knees poking from under shorts, others bent under the weight of duty free packs of rum, characters in full “hi, we’ve just been cruising” regalia, down to some business types strutting along with dark suit, the power tie, and a ‘ruler of the roost’ air about them. Staring about with cheesy fingers in my mouth really made me the laughable one.

Happy birthday this week Derek (and me too). I’ll bet your party will be bigger.

Make it a great week.
Cheers,
Dirk

One Response to “Valentines”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    🙂 mail carrier 🙂