Happy Saturday morning all:

A bit of head shaking:

“Mr. President, if you liked your apology you can keep it.” ~ comedian/pundit Dennis Miller

and he should have added; “period.” This week, watching our chief honchos trying to plow through the disasters and the crashes of the healthcare mess saw a level of hubris on display that’s on par (maybe exceeding) Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s sex scandals.

However, none of that has affected my joy for my morning coffee.

But, I did have a nightmare which got me up extra early. So, my nightmare was that during the night, stealthily, new legislation was passed which forced everyone to perk a single, approved, coffee blend. No matter what your preference; no matter whether you’re a tea drinker, love Tim Horton’s, a decaf user, or a small batch Arabica-bean aficionado, everyone had to drink the new brew. I woke up in a sweat and with my feet out of the covers – as if I had been running away from something.

I’m glad it was only a dream. I’m glad I discovered it was still 2013 and not some obscure year such as, say, 1984.

 Lists – This week I advised Marcia that I had started to draw up my Christmas list. First of all, she was amazed. Amazed, not that I was so spot on getting ready for the holidays, but amazed that I’d sit around drawing up a list when I could be outside bagging leaves. Can after can, and bag after bag of leaves.

Next, she wanted to know what was so important that a list was required.

Actually, it was quite simple. I started keeping track of any ads that began to run, even before Halloween, with an attempt to drive up the “holiday shopping” hype and sales. So, just how crazy can it get before we all scream; “enough is enough!” Is it when ads begin around Labor Day? Fourth of July?

Any company I spotted I added to my list. These are companies I will not set foot in, or order from, this year. In other words, they have been added to my “scratch-off” list. Are you listening marketing wizzes at Best Buy , Macy’s, and others – you know who you are.

Automation – A sort-of favorite for the filler television news bits is the acceleration of us moving towards self-driving cars. Marcia and I have talked quite a bit about this. We’ve discovered that, that specific subject keeps us out of trouble. Anyway, I think it great that we are moving in that direction. Marcia sees nothing but cars and their passengers heading for the scrap heap as a result of massive and horrible accidents.

It’s like anything, politics, religion, education; everyone zeros in on something which fosters their side of the debate. Let me give you my latest. In the November 13 Atlantic you can find this inescapable bit on aircraft automation: “On typical passenger flight, human pilot holds controls total of just three minutes.” DSCF0102

This then leads to the fact that last Sunday I towed Jason and Cathy’s old Subaru which finally reached the point where it had given its all. I hooked up our Dolly trailer and towed it to its final destination. Even without automation, this car had made it to just under the 200,000 mile mark, and did so without complaint and without difficulty.  Its heart, i.e. all the major components, were still strong, but chassis rust was its undoing.

Maybe next week’s news – can be reported on—next week. It will be dependent on whether or not A & T want me to. Without going into any details at all, it appears that this coming week A and I will have a one-on-one meeting with our Congressman.

I can envision it now, something akin to President Lincoln meeting with the couple from Iowa as in the scene from Spielberg’s movie, Lincoln. Maybe I’ll bring a cigar.

Fini – Yes, we turned our clocks back and thus are conforming to the same time everyone else is using. Question, why the constant shifting between ‘standard’ and ‘savings’ time? It’s a bunch of work and lass of sleep for little or no gain. Maybe there was some obscure reason of which this is a relic. And don’t come at me with that old “it’s for the farmers” bit. The farmers in Indiana don’t want to switch either.

My perception is that now that we’ve again switched it doesn’t seem to get light any earlier, but it does seem to get dark sooner. I guess it’s another mystery of life.

Be safe everyone.

Make it a great week.

Cheers.

Dirk

From the Archives

Sunday, November 17, 2002 

Morning All:

Dark

The only likeable piece of this morning is the dark coffee. For the rest, outside it’s still dark, and the whole weekend promises to be dark, damp and dreary. Really not much to look forward to. The one bright spot is that tonight it’s the first game for Kiwiplan’s indoor Soccer season. Adrianne plays and she adds that extra spark, I’ll be cheering.

Delight

The physical tickets for the Tall Stacks event next October arrived. A large packet with 18 folders each containing the enamel passport pins and lots of brochures – but no dinner tickets. “Well” I thought to myself, “possibly we are to use the receipt letter containing the confirmation number details as our dinner ticket”. Anyway it was something I felt I should check out. The very next day Marcia called excitedly. Retrieving the normal mail delivery from the mailbox she happened on a small stack of 18 tickets and a post-it note paper-clipped to it. It was from our Mailman (same as Mailperson for all you politically correct ones) explaining that he found these laying about when he came to the end of his route and remembered the packet from Tall Stacks arriving at our house. $1200 worth of tickets with no identifier on them received only through the diligence of one USP employee – neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of dark………etc. I can see a substantial tip coming in someone’s near future – he will be delighted.

Dread

Wasn’t’t it horrific weather last Sunday evening – tornadoes from Toledo down to Alabama? I had made the decision to fly late Sunday afternoon into Newark, NJ from Dayton. Leaving the house at 3 showed nothing about any nasty weather. Once in the airport it became a different story with one continuing delay after another each ending in cancellation. At some point I had to go back out through security to get rebooked from AA to Delta. Coming back through security I set off the alarm and discovered that buried underneath my wallet was my little miniature Leatherman tool. Like flies on dung the newly improved screening force descended on me. It took a bit but they finally allowed me to leave security under escort and take the offending “weapon” out to the car. I paid a bored taxi driver $5 to swing me and my baggage through long-term parking and the nearly horizontal rain and lightning to the car and then back to the terminal. Finally, through Atlanta and into LaGuardia, NY (since I had missed the last flight into Newark) I arrived. Long story short, after driving across Manhattan I walked into my hotel room at 3:03 AM. For safety I placed a wake-up call for 6:30 and then for 6:45 – the week had started. Reading the Monday papers, my week was starting just fine compared to the hundreds of others whose lives were devastated by the storms.

Have a great week.

Dirk

11/17/2002 12:22:13 AM

 

 

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