Happy Saturday morning all:

A small bit of awareness:

“We are always the same age inside” ~ Gertrude Stein

Sure, the morning ritual begins by brewing the coffee; a day after day ritual which really doesn’t vary.

This week however I made my annual trek to the attic to retrieve my forty year old Lionel Santa Fe Freight train. Marcia had begun to place some of the Christmas decorations throughout the house and suggested that maybe it was time for the old train to make an appearance.

Not fifteen minutes later I was on my belly watching my train, a model GE FA2 Diesel, engine’s headlight come around a bend in the track. My pre-cataract eyes sparkled as much as they ever did. VIA_6782_FPA4For what my shiny eyes saw was what we’ve all seen waiting at some country crossing and watching as a massive freight train thundered on by. If you were close enough it was a little scary, but in any case it was magnificent.

It just so happened that later in the day Marin and Dinah came over after school. The first thing they gravitated toward? Certainly, it was the train. That evening Adrianne brought Vai and Vili over for a bit. What did they do? They belly-laughed working the transformer, making the train race forward or creep backwards.

Old Gertrude wasn’t far off the mark now was she?

It’s a workaday world – Yesterday, one week ago, we closed on our new condominium. Aside from the fact that after doing a bank transfer and were now out the monies we left the closing without a key to our new property. Mails were sent. And eventually we found a key carefully ‘hidden’ on a little shelf in plain view of anyone coming up to the building. Fanny Mae used a ‘quality’ agent.

Now the only problem was the fact that the back door was not re-keyed, and we had no old key. More mails. Saturday we heard nothing. Sunday, no word. Monday morning a contractor was on the phone. His solution? He’d head for Home Depot and buy a whole new (read ‘cheap’) lock set. Since the lock on the door was a quality period lock matching the rest of the condo, I convinced him to stop by a locksmith we’ve used on his way to the Home Depot. He took the existing lock and in less than twenty minutes was back with a re-keyed lock matching our front door key. Yeah. This was so much better.

Tevita was off on Monday and we went to work at the new condo. Every divot and crack in the plaster was opened up. This was all in preparation to properly prepare the walls for the new paint job. Marcia is working on a stunning make-over color scheme.

Dealing with utilities – Tuesday I got our utility company on the telephone in an effort to start service in the new place. Almost the second bit of information they requested was my Social Security number. To this question I expressed concerns using it as an identifier. I asked whether or not they had any other scheme in place. The discussion went from bad to worse as the agent then wanted a hefty deposit due to a payment screw-up two years ago – our fault by mishandling the mail while we were in Canada. Anyway, I advised him that we’d not proceed any further while I reflected on the whole business of doing business with Duke Energy; and I hung up the line. As a monopoly, they really do have you where it hurts.

The next day I called Duke Energy again. However, this time I listened to the entire litany of phone options and punched the Spanish language key. From what I hear there are more than a few Spanish speakers without Social Security numbers, so maybe, just maybe, there was a possible solution at that end.

I said; “Hola, Buenos Dias,” and proceeded conversing in English. Five minutes later I had service established. My new account number was read to me, no question about any Social Security number (they probably had it already); and no demand for any deposit – hefty or small. Thursday morning when I arrived the lights were on and ten minutes later the technician came to do a pressure check on the gas lines and light the pilot lights.

We had heat! And a good thing too since tomorrow morning we’ll wake up to a temperature of around twenty.

Home for two months – Busy, busy, is what we’re all about these days. Yet, occasionally, the mind does wander back to Canada.

For those not in the know, Canada is oh so easy to get around. After all, except for Quebec, we share a common language – English.

Hah. That’s what you thought. Go ahead and translate this paragraph of Canadian English if you can:

“There’s time for me to collect the loonies and toonies out of my knapsack, put on my favorite tuque, and head out to the Beer Store for a flat of beer. On my way back, I’ll pick us up a double-double, some Timbits, and also two orders of Poutine for dinner. By the way, on the way home, I’ll stop to get some homo and back bacon for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’ll try not to spill your Tim’s by keeping it under 20 clicks over the speed limit, but if I do, no concern, I’ve got a serviette to use in the washroom. By the way, remind me to pay my hydro bill, and if I seem shocked by the size of the HST portion, don’t worry—I’ve got a mickey of Rye to smooth things over. Or maybe you can fix us a Bloody Caesar by the time I get back. Save me a seat on the chesterfield, eh?”

Geezers and their “Ducks” – was the caption for a paragraph in last week’s Ramblings. It pointed out that old guys driving little Citroén Deux Chevaux – 2CVs can be found rolling around in the far north and in the Deep South. This was begun by George sending a photo of a Duck toodling around in Naples Florida.

2CV in CAOk, so this week Pieter jumped on the bandwagon and forwarded a photo he took in southern California of one of the little cars—so now they’re also out west.

I’ve been told that there are fewer than 4,000 of them in North America. That means these brothers of mine must have eagle eyes to continually spot the little things driving about. But then, as I said last week; “For all their quirkiness, they are amazingly fun little cars.”

Fini – This evening is the annual Balluminaria. Supposedly it’s one of the largest of these events as twelve to fifteen tethered hot air balloons circle the Eden Park reflective pool. They’ll fire up to countdowns and music while glowing beautifully. Going will depend on the temperature and whether or not the kids are up for it. Personally, I am ready.

Have you started shopping for Thanksgiving yet? This year our contribution will be the ham and it’s already in house. Kirstin, Vince, Derek, and Kellen will also be doing ham this year. Only theirs will be supplemented with Pineapple as they’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving at a Luau in Hawaii. Safe travels you guys.

To everyone, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Make it a great week.
Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekly ‘motivational’ quote:

“Never be afraid to try, remember… Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” – Author Unknown

Last night Marcia asked, “started a new book already?” I nodded a quick yes. But, it’s difficult when you spot probably eight or more books per week that only get added to some sort of vague reading list; knowing full well that the “to be read” and the “read” lists will never be in sync. Now that I’ve discovered that the library system allows instant e-book retrieval it’s a tiny help—nah, I still won’t catch up. Maybe my morning coffee will aid in planning a new mode of attack.

Roaring in the Jungle – Marcia freely spouts forth that I do not like sports. Not true. What I loathe are the televised renditions of sports. Actually, that’s not true either. The broadcasts are fine; it’s the accompanying sound-track that drives me bonkers. Somehow, especially with our national media, there is an inane need to have enough voices telling us the things we see in such a fashion that there is never a second of silence; their changing of a game into an event. I am just not allowed to observe and enjoy. This is what gets translated as “he doesn’t like sports.” That is why I will walk out of the room midway through a sporting event.

Last Sunday Tevita and I got invited to the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Cleveland Browns game at Paul Brown stadium—the well hyped Battle of Ohio annual clash. It was wonderful. And, with club seats on the 50-yard line, it was great. When we won in the last minute with our rookie quarterback managing a long play to the Browns ½ yard line, which then led to a comeback win, it was marvelous! See, I do like sports! Sports the game that is.

And the beat goes on – It’s really the “beating;” my beating as a victim that is. Ok, let’s see. Our County Clerk of Courts has a web page. Currently the opening paragraph reads:

”In these difficult economic times, the Clerk recognizes that we must make every effort to create a positive environment for the legal professionals to do business in Hamilton County. Increasing our Court’s efficiency by leveraging our digital capabilities to better serve the legal community is one way to do this.”

I have a better idea. Put a halt to an ongoing array of stalls which abuse the legal system and by no short measure the victims. It’s all this nonsensical side-show stuff that is clogging our courts. Maybe the “legal profession” loves this, I do not!

Ours is a simple case. Our home was burglarized. A blood sample retrieved from my second floor office door ‘flat-out’ places the accused in our home through a DNA data bank. Currently the resultant legal circus is in high gear—presently there are 24 entries in the accused’s case history file (screen capture at left-click twice to enlarge). The latest now has the “Plea or Trial Setting” moved to January 10, 2012. Bah!

Animal Planet – I realize that my continued referencing of deer in our city neighborhood is getting old. However, yesterday, seeing a large 8-point buck standing a mere 15 feet from our front window – around 8:30 in the morning – is worth noting. By the way, Vaioleti insists that “Bambi’s daddy” was a “reindeer”; I wonder what’s going on in her mind?

Closing – Marcia and my hearts go out to Vince, Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen, as they deal with the loss of their beloved “Gigi”, Vince’s grandmother. She was such a huge influence on all their lives, Vince’s especially, but later on Kirstin’s. Eventually it was Derek and Kellen who’s weekends were complete when they would set out on the hour-and-a-half drive to visit with her in her little lakeside home. To give a tiny insight on the type of strength she was; Gigi volunteered with the Peace Corps and served overseas for two years after she retired. As Kirstin wrote; “she was an amazing woman.”

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,
Dirk

One Response to “Thanksgiving – lots of it.”
  1. Pieter Says:

    Congrats on your – I call it a legal steal – now get to work