Happy Saturday all:

Weekly crazy slogan:

“Endless Stream, lets you pee in your pants with confidence.”  toofunnydudes

Last evening I became appallingly irked with the latest onslaught of “adverts on the telly” as the Brits would say. Is it any wonder people watch less and less of the moronic pap being fed to us on our screens?

The ad that riled me to no end has some rugby and football types, in their prime, talking up the wonders of a “leakage” pad to be jammed into their tighty-whities. Now, here it is, Saturday morning, a new day, the coffee is just about done, and I am still shaking my head and grumbling—it’s a horrible image to erase.

The good news is, assuming Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt’s claim to be correct, that television is “already over.” What he is alluding to is that with the internet and a huge mix of options for gathering entertainment, sports, news, and communications we’ll be in control and will be able to manage what we want to see and want to be exposed to.

Peanut Jim Shelton – As we all know, professional sports is a business. It’s a massively large business which often uses threat while it tries to demand more and more and more from the places they ‘chose’ to operate in. Peanut JimHere is where Peanut Jim Shelton ties into this tale.

Thursday evening I went to our Zoo’s Blooms and Tunes to listen to one of my favorite local Ragtime and Country Blues bands; Jake Speed and the Freddies. Most of their material has been written by Jake Speed and mostly deals with Cincinnati and Ohio River folklore. Included in his evening line-up was a song entitled Peanut Jim. It’s one of my favorites.

Now, let’s try putting the two together, Peanut Jim and professional sports. There came a time when selling peanuts at ball parks became a cottage industry — peanuts were cheaper than the in-stadium fare. A fixture for over forty years at our old Crosley Field, home of the Cincinnati Reds, was old lanky Peanut Jim. Peanut Jim with his coal-fired peanut roaster was always dapperly dressed in stovepipe top hat and tails; you could hear him yelling as a single word; “wanna-bag-o’-peanuts?”

Fast forward to 1970 and the opening of a brand-new Riverfront Stadium. Mike Brown, the owner of the newly formed Cincinnati Bengals football team strong-armed vendor approval rights for not just the stadium, but also for the several city blocks surrounding the place. Seemingly, that was the end of an institution as vendors needed to be licensed and approved by the Bengals. An eighty plus year old poor black vendor just wouldn’t fit in with the new, smart, and urbane profile Brown sought to establish.100_1317

Cincinnati finds it almost impossible to gain consensus on anything. The Peanut Jim dilemma was different though. En-masse Cincinnatians expressed themselves and collections were taken, Thus, Peanut Jim has entered the history books as the proud recipient of vendor license #1. That summer, at the beginning of a new season, in a new stadium, people swarmed into the place carrying bags of warm goobers. Outside, at the edge of the new stadium, the familiar “wanna-bag-o’-peanuts?” rang out. Thursday evening Peanut Jim’s legacy lived on in song — thanks Jake.

Bogomilism – is worthy of a discussion seeing what was experienced these past two weekends. Here’s why. Founded by a priest named Bogomil, the Bogomils, were a powerful 10th century Gnostic sect springing forth in central Europe. Burning of Heretics on StakeTheir most prominent leader was someone named Basil (that was probably their downfall, naming a leader with the name of Basil – and in fact, eventually he was burned at the stake). But, I digress; the Bogomils believed that everything was created by both of God’s sons, a rebellious Satan and the obedient Jesus; a force for evil and a force for good.

Last weekend my friend Dennis and I made an overnight trip up to Northern Comfort, dropping off a trailer-load of “stuff.” We witnessed the full force of the winter that would not end. 100_1407Snow banks five feet high, an ice pack on the lake that was absolutely solid, and our driveway totally un-drivable with a ten-inch icepack. The morning temperature was 25 degrees Fahrenheit. What Dennis and I witnessed was a force of evil.

This weekend it was Donn and Marlene’s turn to head north with their pre-season load of “stuff.” In a short period of one week the forces of good were now hard at work. At 74 degrees Fahrenheit it’s downright balmy. The ice pack is receding quickly and the lake is opening up. Our driveway is now bone dry and snow free. Seeing two forces at work, almost simultaneously, hmmmm, maybe old Basil and Bogomil were on to something.

Animal planet – for this week means that the animal spirit is prevalent. Starting at 4:00 O’clock this afternoon everything occurring in our little household will be subservient to the watching of the “run for the roses”, the Kentucky Derby.

Then tomorrow morning it’ll be watching the Flying Pig Marathon – the fifteenth of this annual event. With over 30,000 total participants (last year over 4,00 for the full marathon) this is a huge event. Runners claim the Flying Pig to be “one of the most enjoyable marathons in the world.”

Unless something comes up (the dreaded hard rains) I’ll be cheering them on at my old stomping grounds of Hyde Park Square where the vantage point for viewing the runners is great; plus they always have a superb little band playing there.

Fini –Make it a great week everyone. Now, I must first drop off some old electronic gear at the recycling center – this year we’re including an old tower computer along with a fax/printer we hadn’t used in seven years. The tower comes complete with a hard-drive which has been ‘kissed’ by my eight-pound sledgehammer. Then there is Omi’s old 45-pound TV set we found hidden in one of our bedrooms (yes it still works in analog mode).

Then finally, same as last week, I’ve got to make it to Marin’s 9:00 o’clock soccer game – always fun.

Cheers, and a happy Cinco de Mayo.

From the Archives
Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good morning all:
Wisdom Of The Week:
“Most people don’t know what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.” — George Carlin

Greetings from the North Woods. Since a new – late spring – overnight frost hit these parts the resultant fog is roiling over the water. This makes it appear as if I’m watching a Creature from the Lagoon “B” Movie. What a great way to wake up, watching nature at its finest while sipping a freshly brewed black coffee.

Marcia and I experienced a lot of ‘new’ this week. No clue, but certainly willing to learn fast.

For example, Marcia in the kitchen; “Dirk, could you come here a moment and help get rid of the squirrel?” The minute the little guy spotted me with broom in hand he started performing his best tricks. My favorite was the climbing of the blinds and running across the slats.

Seeing me zag with broom in hand, he ziigged. Not to be outsmarted by a squirrel I performed the old double zag with a slight ‘stutter’ thrown in for good measure. I believe I did see a lightning fast shadow flash by me heading for our bedroom.

My body, having long ago giving up any semblance of limberness, started rolling about the bedroom floor trying to spot the little fellow. More “new”, this time in the closet. As winter left, its parting gift was frost heaving the electric system’s grounding rod. The rod, located under the cabin, was now sticking up 3 inches through the punctured flooring—a perfect squirrel door.

Moments ago I happened to look up at the still passing fogs. There, staring at me from his perch on top of our grill was the friendly little red squirrel. “No, I am not playing today!”

The other ‘new’ I learned deals with laws of physics. I learned that running water requires that air is purged from the pipes. Trying to perform this feat through an access point in the pump which is located lower than the point where air pockets collect results in gallons of water on the floor of the pump room and little water in the lines.

You’d think that Marcia would find something cute in all the exerted effort, but NOOO. As the “purging virgin” on the lake, my brothers in law showed me the ropes.

It turned out that the solution was a remarkably simple one. First requirement was a trip to the hardware store—manly men MUST start any project with a trip to the hardware store. Now armed with $45 worth of connectors, flanges, ball cock, clamps, and Teflon tape I promptly established a purge point above the air pocket. Rapidly water flowed throughout the little cabin’s system. At least it did till the Pressure Switch broke.

Even though the weather has been “lacking” we’re having a wonderful time. Every day an improvement project seems to get done. Great strides have been made transforming the shed into a proper “Bunkie.” The dock has somehow managed to jut out from the shore. This only took 40-minutes of standing in 40 – 50 degree water tugging at the thing, but hey, I look great in bright red legs.

Our breeding pair of Loons is still with us. Especially at night, these amazing birds start their choral group. The resultant melancholy song can be heard all over the cove. Couple the Loon’s song with the echoing whoop of the owls and other nighttime noises, and you have a true festival of sound.

Did you know that Loons return to the same lake every spring? That their bones, unlike those of other birds, are solid? That they regularly dive over 100 feet deep? And that they require as much as 1/3 of a mile running start to get airborne? I told you they are amazing birds.

And, on the one absolutely perfect day, all of us explored surrounding trails on our ATVs. For more than two hours we climbed the nearby ridge, followed muddy old logging trails, and went deep into the woods. Wearing mosquito nets, gloves, and long pants we were secure from bugs and the like. The only casualty was Marcia who forgot that part of the novelty of wearing Crocs on her feet is a series of cleverly arranged air holes—perfect entry points for moldy smelling trail muck.

Make it a great week. Monday we head home. This week plus a few days has gone by way too fast.



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