Happy Saturday morning all:

A concern about aging: “So now he’s walking around looking for his home?” ~ Vaioleti

I am certainly glad that I was with it enough this morning to perk the coffee – and that in our brand new coffee maker no less.

DSCF0096Yesterday Marcia was cleaning our, trusty five plus years old, Cuisinart. Mid-way through the process she heard the decanter ‘pop’. Looking there was now a 25-cent sized hole near the bottom and in front of the spout. In today’s world it’s about as efficient to buy new as scout around looking for a replacement decanter.

As luck would have it, the previous evening’s newscast had a segment – Don’t Waste Your Money – where it was reported that Consumers Reports had tested the low priced Mr. Coffee coffeemaker to be as good as or better than any other tested brand; so, off shopping we went. The early morning photo shows our very first brew. And, I must say that the coffee is very good.

The wanderer – Last Monday mom Adrianne made note of the fact that her happy duet, five-year old Vai and two-and-a-half year old Vili, were a bit wound up. That happens every so often in every family. The outcome is mostly dependent on how these moments are managed.

Adrianne did it brilliantly. She told the kids that if they got into their pa-‘jam’-as and their dressing gowns they’d all go to the library and there have their very own ‘Jam’-oween party. Bam! The kids were soooo ready.

Next came the call for adult reinforcements.

It was already dusk when I decided it was the perfect time to head out for my daily three-mile walk. I had to divert a bit to make a stop at the local Cricket shop to return a cell-phone I’d found the previous day and noted it had “Cricket” markings. It was now totally dark as I stepped out on my regular route when my phone rang. It was Adrianne; “want to join the kids and I at our ‘Jam’-oween party at the library?”

Now, I would never turn down such a request. Never. So, it was decided that she would divert and pick me up. To help find me I would have my flashlight on (our neighborhood streets have 80-year old gaslights as street lighting – which means darkness plus occasionally something akin to a glow-plug). It’s an ambiance thing.

In the car a precocious Vai immediately noticed that Adrianne was NOT heading for the promised library visit. It was explained that Opa was coming along and that they were picking me up. In fact Vai was asked to keep a lookout for me waving a flashlight in the dark. That was something to absorb and make sense of for a five-year old mind. Finally Vai had the solution to this mystery. “Oh” she said, “so he’s walking around looking for his home?” At last, in her mind she had found the solution. I was a poor lost soul, stumbling around in the dark, and trying to find my way back to my house. It was so logical that it just had to be true.

They found me. I was safe. And, everyone at the library thought it spectacular that we were having such a wonderful ‘Jam’-oween party.

The real Halloween – at least in our parts, was sorely impacted by the weather. All week we’d had wonderful fall weather; mid-sixties, the trees in full color and sun galore. Then a cold front began heading straight for us from Texas north. The folks with the “best Dopler radar ever” began to predict heavy rains and strong winds coming into the area beginning at 6 PM. For once, they predicted with to the minute accuracy.

Most of the adjacent counties in Indiana moved Halloween to a time over this weekend, as did a number of northern Kentucky cities. We, in Ohio, are made of a hardier stock. “Dad-gum, if Halloween falls on the thirty-first then it’s to be held on the thirty first.” Aside from being made of “hardier stock” we are also better at math. Anyway, that phrase was heard spoken in every drug store and Walmart in town as people were loading their carts with candy. The only weather concession made was that now the candy had to be in waterproof wrappers.

The kids never noticed. In fact, to them it was an even more enchanted night. Not only were the streets filled with princesses, superheroes, fairies, and ghouls, but there were umbrellas to be carried, and puddles to jump in. Vili, Superman for the evening, couldn’t contain himself as the wind-gusts made his cape flutter straight behind him and he, in his mind, was flying over the very houses where people dropped candy in his plastic Elmo bucket.

In the end even the parents milling about on the sidewalks, as the kids hoofed it up each walkway, were smiling. It really was a charmed evening.

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Fini – Marcia made me promise that I would never again wear our old Joe Camel looking camel’s head when anywhere near Vili.

Be safe everyone and remember to turn your clocks back tomorrow evening. By the way, did you know that the earliest known reference to the idea of daylight saving time comes from a quirky 1784 essay by Benjamin Franklin, called “Turkey versus Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle.

Make it a great week.
Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Morning all:

Happy Halloween weekend. A little bean grinding in the early morning hours, and the result, a large steaming mug, is wonderfully worthwhile. Work-wise it’s been about as busy a week as I’ve had in a good while. All of this is beginning to force me along the lines of beginning to think of the “V” word—vacation. A little of the “recharge the batteries” time on which to start focusing. Maybe its time to get serious and do a little planning.

This past Monday night the ‘nnati was in the national spotlight—big time. The city turned on its lights as Al Michaels and John Madden crowed about the way the place looked and felt. On top of that our lowly Bengals threw a major burr under the Denver Broncos’ saddle. Yet I was disappointed! Yes, what was said was nice and all, but these national celebrities stopped short, even Hank Williams, Jr. failed to include any reference in his opening piece. The reason being is that no one even mentioned that Cincinnati is the world’s epicenter of the Corn Hole toss.

For this year’s college campus craze, the Corn Hole toss, look no further than Cincinnati. During the late evening constitutional with Shang will find whole families tossing their little hearts out. The playing “field”, usually a driveway, brightly lit under the harsh glow of their “shade tree” mechanic halogen lights. Now I ask, can you envision a sight more beautiful?

Last Sunday little Marin took all of us to the Children’s Museum. That place is an absolute jewel in this city’s crown. The little guy knows exactly where he wants to go and what activities he wants do—all with tongue out intensity. The adults either also get involved or just lounge about with happy smiles on their faces. The only crying I heard was approaching the elevator as parents tried to get their unwilling little ones out.

It was earlier in the week at about ten in the evening that I spotted Adrianne’s name as being on-line in my Trillian instant messaging window. A quick check and yes it was her. Next I hollered downstairs to Marcia who with only a bit of effort tore herself from the couch, where by the way she was watching one of her half-dozen or so “must watch” CSI shows, to join me for a little “chatting”; great fun. I understand full well the dynamics of how it all works. Yet it still impresses me that it is so easy and seamless to communicate instantly and in real time at ten at night literally around the world, with a daughter who has just gotten back to work from lunch on my following day. I believe it was Captain Cook who around 1768 was the first European to set foot on the Tongan islands, his one-way communication only took two years.

Lastly; please go and vote. If you do not we’ll all be subjected all over again to many more weeks of horrid campaign ads and “talking head” political pundits by the hour; I absolutely can’t take any more. My internal clock tells me that this year’s political funny season has lasted for well over a year—and enough is enough. Actual delivery on the “stump-speech” promises means we’d all have a chicken in every pot, or something like that. Help me end the nonsense—VOTE!

Have a great week.
Cheers,
Dirk

10/30/2004 07:17:00 AM

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