Happy Saturday morning all:

A bit of insight:

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs” ~ Charles de Gaulle

After all the hectic antics yesterday, here I sit having my morning Joe knowing full well that the additional caffeine jolt will just fuel me more.

Years of discussion – reached a close yesterday. For a long time the dreaded “D” word (“D” for “downsizing) was mulled over. I must add that there was more ‘dread’ by one team member than the other. Anyway, the “D” word gained new traction after we got back from our summer at Northern Comfort and we saw what we were in for just to gain the upper hand on the yard and the house. Also, the break-in of two summers ago when the house was sitting empty was now added kindling to our discussions.

Almost per happenstance, during one of my walks, I spotted a condo that had been foreclosed on. It was nary two blocks from our house. You can guess the rest; a look with our agent, we loved what we saw, we convinced ourselves that this was the IDEAL solution, made a ridiculously low offer to the bank, accepted a small adjustment to our offer, and yesterday it was closing time.

Now the real work can begin. However, last evening we began our new adventure with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, a little wandering around Nordstrom’s Rack and the nearby book store, and then a glass of bubbly back at the house.

Laziness – is truly a bane when dealing with some people. The agent representing the bank never left her office throughout the transaction – including the cash closing yesterday.

At the conclusion there were no keys handed over and we thought we’d just get them from the lock-box. We found that the box had been removed. Our agent said that she’d been advised by the selling broker that no keys could be handed over until documentation that the monies had been transferred were in her possession – it was only the first thing I had handed over to the closing agent.

Next came a call that the keys had been taped to the underside of the electric meter. They were not. Nor were they taped under any electric meter of one of the other units. Next, I similarly checked the underside of each of the gas meters. Almost an hour spent on this nonsense. It wasn’t until our – soon to be new neighbor – let me out of the building that I spotted the keys, laying on a ledge, out in the open and totally accessible to anyone walking by.

Question, would you write a complaint to the State Board of Real Estate to file an ethics complaint against that agent? I thought so.

A follow up from – “Maybe next week’s news” as posted last week. Adrianne and I met with our Congressman. Adrianne pressed for a way through the bureaucratic maze to get an entry visa for Tevita’s mom to visit them here for a month or two. The last time they tried it cost them about $2,000 which finally culminated in Vai and Vili’s other grandma to gain a two-minute interview at the US Embassy in Fiji, which quickly ended in a denial of the visa. The reason? She could not prove a negative; meaning, how does one definitively prove that they will return to their home country?

Adrianne presented her case beautifully. She now has been assigned a person at the Congressman’s office who will run interference for them in Washington. We’ll see how it proceeds. Nice job Adrianne!

Geezers and their “Ducks” – can be found rolling around in the Far North and in the Deep South. As you know, for the last couple of years Marcia and I have taken our little Citroén Deux Chevaux – 2CV north to use as our preferred vehicle to traipse around in while we’re at Northern Comfort.Naples Duck

Yesterday, George took a few photos from inside his car of another Citroén Deux Chevaux driving the roadways in Naples, Florida. One of the photos show an older man with a shock of white hair, hunched over the steering wheel, fighting the little car around a curve (2CV’s do not have power steering).

For all their quirkiness, they are amazingly fun little cars.

Animal Planet – Thursday mid-afternoon, I had to make a quick run to the bank in preparation for yesterday’s closing. The truck was out front and I headed out the door towards it. Five steps out and I noticed movement on my left. Here, stopping barely ten feet in front of me (maybe even a bit less) was a six-point deer.

I clapped my hands and came out with a “scoot along” type utterance. Possibly this was not the best thing to do since the buck did nothing. I then noticed he was eyeballing a lovely doe in the yard across the street. Another bit of hand clapping and more “shoo” utterances from me got barely a sideways glance.

Aside from the fact that it was about as tall as me, I noticed that its six-point rack seemed to grow larger by the minute. Finally it stepped forward and casually strolled across the street.

The only missing piece was that young Mr. Buck was not wearing a “No Fear” Tee.

Fini – Now best get ready. Marcia wants to head out to begin looking for paints. Guess what’s going to happen at this end?

Be safe everyone. Make it a great week.

Cheers.
Dirk

 

From the Archives
Saturday, November 21, 2009

From deep in the Bengal’s Jungle, good morning all:

Quote of the Week:

“Enjoy a ‘Who Dey’ Latte today! It’s made with a bold front line of espresso, a steamed offense, and a dash of whoopass!” — Coffee Shout (a Twitter page)

Ouch! This morning I woke up due to a muscle cramp in my right calf. Luckily I came to my senses quickly enough to react and stretch my leg; so it’s not one of those “limp in the morning” style cramp. What it did do was snap me out of a very comfortable and very cozy sleep. Here it is 4:45 in the morning and my Windows XP is just ringing its start-up ditty. Bring on some coffee—oh wait, that’s my job.

I’ll be good and have a banana with my morning coffee; a combined caffeine ~ potassium jolt. Then here is a thought. Last evening Marcia was fixing something and was busily working at melting a lot of chocolate. My thinking is this, if that chocolate is still in its molten state I should be able to dunk my banana and do a caffeine, potassium, chocolate number—how good is that for breakfast?

Last weekend you would have ‘thunk’ that the local boys had won the Super Bowl. Twice this season the Bengals have beaten the defending champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the past decade, by this point in the season, the Bengals would collectively just lie on their backs and ask to have their bellies rubbed—then they would stay there and purr. It’s a different season.

The ‘Nati has hit the big time. Yesterday a new, close by, Nordstrom Rack store opened. For those of you unfamiliar this place is amazing. At least I am amazed; the ladies just seem to go gaga. Here is an example of why they go gaga; a Chloé ‘Heloise’ Leather Hobo designer purse which normally runs at a paltry $1,595.00 can be had for a song at their Rack store—think something like $850.00. How can anyone refuse such a deal; “I’ll have two of those please.”

In case you think I am blowing this way out of proportion, last night I actually watched TV news footage of cheering and swooning ladies almost trampling each other as the store ribbon was cut.

Marcia was going to be part of the opening day melee. She wasn’t!

Oh, it didn’t have anything to do with Nordstrom’s, it was due to the other event. See, the new Nordstrom Rack store is located in an upscale outdoor mall. Think of a horseshoe shaped strip mall with fancy lighting and flower boxes with hidden speakers all playing new age music. On the other side of the ‘horseshoe’ is Joseph-Beth Booksellers complete with Bistro and coffee shop. That very day, for the mid-day period, Joseph-Beth was home to one Sarah Palin—she of the “going rogue” fame.

Five hours prior to the book signing the line was already formed. Multiple police at each entrance ensured that traffic would be horrible and parking non-existent. For a few moments Marcia did entertain heading out and park on some side street. Yeah right, no one else thought of that one either.

In desperation Marcia resorted to some ho-hum last minute grocery shopping. She did see the Palin “going rogue” tour bus as it was heading out of town. Thinking back at Marcia describing her seeing that bus leave, I believe she did it using her best, albeit subtle, Tina Fey impersonation of Palin.

We’re (Marcia is) getting ready for next week’s invasion. Thanksgiving will mean us hosting a total of eight adults and five grandkids. Some of you will say something like; “that’s nothing, why I remember being at aunt Tilda’s house with 43 adults and 18 kids.” I don’t want to hear it; we’re both thrilled and will be overwhelmed by thirteen. We’ll have a blast celebrating family moments that are too few and too far between. This morning I am letting Marcia sleep in a bit prior to her starting another day of her rampaging through the house.

Tonight is the annual Balluminaria and we’re all heading out for this annual event. In sequence of who is most excited: Opa (me), Marin, Dinah, Vai, various parents, and Marcia. The weather will be great and just after dark 12 to 15 tethered hot air balloons, all positioned around a reflecting pond, will glow in the evening sky. Sprinkle in some food and maybe a Santa visit makes for a special time.

Make it a great week everyone. Those of you traveling this week do it safely—remember that you’re requiredvalued guests by those at the other end.

Happy Thanksgiving and Cheers,

Dirk

11/21/2009 07:21:00 AM

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