Happy Saturday morning all:

A debt ceiling thought for a Saturday morning:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit”. ~ Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

It’s that time again, and this time we’ll bump up to around $17-trillion (almost double of that of when Obama made his 2006 speech—it was then at $8.5-trillion). Add to the quoted national debt all the unfunded liabilities and we see the national debt rise to more than $70-trillion. $70-trillion, almost an incomprehensible number; even trying to consider such numbers fully fortified by a second mug of coffee.

This ever increasing debt is a pattern crossing party lines—all are to blame. However, it’s now at a level where it’s doing major damage to the nation and future generations. Yet, there is still complete unwillingness to even attempt ways to begin reining it in. In the seventies the UK reached their “over-the-cliff moment after a long period of spend, spend, and more spending under their Labour governance. The result was their Winter of Discontent (1978 – ’79) which came as a result of efforts to restrain inflation. More recently we all witnessed the turmoil in Greece. What going to be our future? No one knows, but this I am sure of, we’ll pass this next $1-trillion bump-up in our debt ceiling this coming week—to be followed by business-as-usual.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – is how I described the way our place looked upon our return. Then, Marcia became a traffic-stopping, lopper wielding, whirling dervish, shaping up our yard. And that she did; the place has taken on more than just ‘shape.’ It is back to its original showpiece quality.

Amazingly the company that maintained our grass during the summer happened by. The lawn-guy couldn’t resist and climbed on his Lazy-Boy seat on four wheels and proceeded to do a masterful job on the lawn – complete with all the necessary edge trimming. Our yard is whole!

Whole that is, except for the tall grasses overgrowing in the back yard. But then, we have time. The next yard waste pickup is two weeks away and the pick-up guys need a break; we saw how they gasped and do a double take as they arrived by our driveway and spotted the pile.

yard waste-gimpversionFall Fair – at North Avondale Montessori was last evening—grandparents were invited. The event was great. Think, several hundred kids who’d all been quietly cooped-up in their classrooms all day now able to ‘stretch’ – voices and muscles. It was a cacophony! Plus, over and over again, we were nearly trampled by children with the widest smiles ever. I loved it.

Here are a few photos which will detail better than I could.

DSCF0028  DSCF0026  DSCF0043  DSCF0029  DSCF0038  DSCF0039

Fini – Last evening, after the Fall Fair it was another evening of enjoying “a glass of wine” with neighbors – complete with appetizers.

This afternoon I will attend a memorial service for Dr. (Bud) Johnston. He was a family friend and almost my brother Art’s surrogate father after our dad passed away at a way to early an age.

Yesterday it was a moment to wish a great birthday to Paul. Here’s hoping you’ll make it up to the lake to close up sometime this coming week.

Tomorrow we’ll watch Marin play soccer. Then its next week and all that it will bring.

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers.

Dirk

From the Archives

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.” — Dan Rather

Speaking of snobbish elitism, this week I spent several days near Bristol, Tennessee home of a major NASCAR race track. In addition, I spotted way too many pickup trucks sporting an “in memory of” decal to the late Dale Earnheart. Since I believe Formula I racing as being a ‘level above’, I thought it best to keep that bit to myself. Back to my coffee.

While in Tennessee I was invited and had the privilege of touring one of the top ten paper mills in the world. “Ho hum” you say. Let me explain that this nearly 100-year old mill has been rebuilt to world class status on its 250 acre site. It is so environmentally friendly that it resides smack in the heart of the town of Kingsport without presenting any difficulties. I hate to quote numbers since that is normally the surest way to put any early morning readers back in bed – but in this case? So, real quick, here goes:

– The paper machine is 50’ tall and is the length of 2 football fields

– Over the 550’ of the machine the paper starts out at 98% water and is transformed to 98% solid

– When they start a paper run it will spit out a 30’ wide swath of paper at 55 mph without stopping for 8 days straight – a length of paper reaching from here to Australia.

– Each 1:45 hour it completes a 30 ton roll of paper that when cut up generates 37,450 reams of beautiful white copy paper.

Ok, impressive though all this is, enough already.

Do any of you remember the wonderful game of Lawn Jarts? Back in the eighties it was the ‘must have’ yard game. All went well until the know-it-all do-gooders bent on protecting us from ourselves got together and managed to ban the game. I found ours carefully squirreled away for all these years.

Last Sunday Tevita, Adrianne and I had a great time playing, even on the rock-hard ground in our yard (due to our drought conditions). And no, the game did not stop because someone ended up with a Jart sticking out of their head. And, luckily for us, the Jarts police did not swoop in to stop the fun. Give me a call if you want to swing by and set up a Jarts tournament—I’ll buy the beer.

Just before leaving town I received word that the brand new Airbus A380 was going to do a fly-by over the General Electric Aircraft engine plant – they make the engines for this monster. For those who do not know, the A380 is a double-decker airplane which can seat over 500 people.

At 8 AM on Wednesday I was parked in the employee parking lot at GE. At first this behemoth aircraft did a distant pass about a mile high. It then turned and at near stall speed came over at less than 2000’, banking and doing wing dips. Seeing an airliner the size of a small cruise ship was more than amazing.

But, what really gave me goose bumps were the hundreds of employees who had gathered outside and who broke into spontaneous hand-clapping as the plane passed over. I guess that pride in one’s work is still alive and well.

Last night I made it back to the ‘Zincinnati in time to patrol with my Citizens on Patrol group. We walked from seven to nearly 9:30. With the ‘summer-in-October’ temperature hovering in the mid-eighties it did bring people out into the streets. While still at the Police precinct the radio crackled with a “shots fired” call about 5 blocks from our planned patrolling destination.

Warm weather brings plenty of opportunity to meet-n-greet the folk in the street. A little chatting with people near to an Ice Cream vending truck that sells much more than Ice Cream (wink wink) through a little window about 5 by 8 inches was interesting. I don’t know if this patrolling makes any difference, I just like to think it does.

I believe that many of the folk sitting on their stoops do value the fact that citizens volunteering to stop by and, if only for a moment, stop to talk. To let them know that there are people who want to bring a little stability to the neighborhood is appreciated. Having a police radio connected to the dispatch center is also useful.

Make it a great week. Whatever it is you do, this week, do it with a little extra effort.

Cheers,

Dirk

10/06/2007 07:52:00 AM

One Response to “What’s a little debt here, or a little debt there”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    Looks as though you are back in the swing of things in CVG – enjoy those grandkids