Happy Saturday morning:

a thinking on ‘issues’ i.e. weather:

“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast” ~ Alfred A. Montapert

Not that I have a major problem this morning, other than that my coffee tends to chill down unless I drink it immediately –absolutely in three big gulps or less. I have this little app where I instantly have the weather for several locations. Of course I have home as well as a location near Northern Comfort as two of the locations. But also, Austin, Texas, Hudsonville/Holland Michigan, Davis California, you get the picture. What I don’t understand is how it is that the ‘Nati’ oftentimes has worse weather than locations I would logically expect to be in a “worse than” category. Why is it that for the past couple of days we’ve been colder than folk in Michigan? Coming Monday we are expected to bottom out at -14 degrees, while Thessalon, Ontario will drop to only -1 and western Michigan will barely touch 0 – this is all so wrong!

Luke 15 – details a parable of a lost sheep. The story is where a shepherd loses one and after searching and finally finding that one goes around joyfully proclaiming the fact that he found that his lost sheep.

OK, not quite the same, but Marcia did find our own ‘lost sheep’; sort of, and I am joyfully proclaiming.

DSCF0358It’s amazing what things pop out of unseen nooks and crannies when setting out on a path that uproots everything. In our case it’s pulling stuff for disposal or safe keeping as part of the job of getting our home ready for sale. Marcia has been painting the living room. Finally, last on the list were the built-in book-cases. Each shelf was emptied and their contents sorted. The wall behind was then painted, as was the woodwork, and finally the shelves got a new coat.

Approaching the end was the final set of shelves. Near the top, a good six feet up, was a shelf holding all our photo albums. These came down, but the shelf itself was stuck. Climbing the ladder one more time to get it loose Marcia heard something rattle – she could not believe her eyes.

Running up the stairs she blurted out; “here is your Anniversary gift for this year” and with cupped hand deposited an unseen object in my hand. There was my wedding ring! The ring which I never expected to see again and which we were all certain was part of the loot taken two and a half years ago when our home was broken into.

I was thrilled. Staying with the Biblical theme; “hallelujah”! Had I been thinking I would have put on Leonard Cohen singing his blockbuster hit of the same name – I wasn’t thinking.


Discovery – that life in a multi-unit environment does mean greater interaction with those around you.

Years ago I remember chuckling at Pieter and Jeanne, who, arriving back at their beach condo discovered a rather unpleasant situation in their bathroom. Something went awry in the pipes causing any bathroom activity in another unit to get funneled into theirs. Much like watching someone slip on a banana peel, I had a good laugh.

Earlier this week I’d been painting. Near dinner time I went to clean up and happened to look over. Marcia made me promise not to post any photographs of the event, let me just say that it was not pretty. It forced me to race home and get rags, rubber gloves, and a large amount of extra-strength bleach and Spray-9.

I should have set up a Skype session with Mike Rowe, he of Dirty Jobs fame. He would have been proud.

DSCF0355An hour and a half later a large plumbing service truck was parked in front. The requisite access hole was cut at the most inconspicuous place possible (the laundry area). And, two hours later all was hunky dory. Last evening I went over to check on things. All was well, the heat was on, and the bathroom area was absolutely pristine. Hallelujah! Once again, where was Leonard C when I needed him?

Animal Planet – Al Gore, yes he of Global Warming and Carbon Footprint fame, discovered the solution to shrinking ones carbon footprint; carbon offsets. Using carbon offsets he could travel by private jet with a clean conscience. The fact that the whole scheme was ‘borrowed’ from medieval Catholics who set out to sell indulgences as a way of forgoing heading out on another boring Knights Templar sponsored crusade played no part. Anyway, that aside, here is how the USPS manages the whole pesky ‘carbon footprint’ affair.

Last Tuesday I walked two miles in -15 degree wind-chill weather (exercise, not doobey-good ‘offset’ stuff) and mailed a package to Austin, Texas with the hope of it arriving by Monday the 27th at the latest. The clerk gave me a receipt with a tracking number. As of this morning the package is at a distribution center in Des Moines, Iowa.

I think that the USPS’ solution to shrinking their expanding carbon footprint (since they seem to ship packages to their final destination using a “monkey-at-the-keyboard” scheme) is to make the carriers walk more and drive less. Watching our mail carrier trudge through the winds and snows has me believe that I am correct in my assumption.

Fini – With all the crazy winter weather stay safe and make it a great week. This week there were several birthdays so Happy-Happy to Joel vdS, and Jason Pr. And yesterday a special one to Cathy and on Monday to Kirstin.


From the Archives
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Morning all:

If this is (and I don’t believe it is) global warming then I am all for it. Our critters have trained me well so that by 5:30 they are all “helping” me gather up the morning paper. This morning, and it’s still January mind you, I was comfortably out on the sidewalk in my shirt sleeves. Back inside and after pouring my White Castle mug full of coffee I then spent the time drinking it, in the dark on the back deck, trying to round them all up. Oh well, it really is a good and quiet way to start off on my weekend.

Our town had one of the very best NPR radio stations in the nation—now no more. The nearby Xavier University station had a wonderfully eclectic programming mix. Now it’s been assimilated into another group. Gone is my weekend Jazz programming and Echoes, the nation’s premier New Age listening program. All replaced by news with a lot of it being BBC programming ported over from England. This BBC stuff is done to lend gravitas to news coverage. There is something that creates immediate legitimacy if news is reported in a style that makes it appear that the announcer, while reporting, is simultaneously dealing with a very hot potato in his/her mouth.

This morning I put into place my own solution to my listening vacuum. Last week, as part of my weekend emceeing duties, I had created a special 5-hour listening mix on my I-pod for background music. Since I created it, it reflected my musical tastes which included a hefty dose of Jazz and New Age. So now, while posting, in the background using one of these mini FM transmitters on the I-pod, I am listening to some excellent sounds—see there is always a solution.

Air New Zealand picked up a new passenger this week. Scheduled for mid-March travel Marcia will board and head for Apia, West Samoa, do a quick transfer and shoot across to Tongatapu, Tonga. Adrianne whooped it up when she heard the news (we called her). I think that I can handle peanut butter sandwiches for 3 weeks without any difficulty. We’ll see how many nights Marcia can manage to live as Adrianne does in her little fale before they have to cart her off to the nearest resort—wagers anyone?

Last night there was babysitter illness and since plans were in place Marcia and I had a fine time with little Marin. We started the evening with a couple of scenes of Kipper on the DVD. The weather being as nice as it was I retrieved the 3-wheeled EZ Strider Instep stroller from the basement and Shang, Marin, and I had a great walk. Back at the house it was snack time, and a little play. Way too soon the parents were back at the door and Marin was whisked out and home to bed. Twenty-five or so years ago, had you suggested that this would be a great way to spend a Friday evening I would have declared you loco.

Next my project is to write a reply to a note I received earlier from a dear family friend in the Netherlands. Close to ninety he still lives on his own. Anyway, I have to do this in my halting Dutch, so it will take a bit more time and is a bit more of a challenge. Then, it will be some work on the little upstairs office. Wait, that will be my Saturday won’t it?

Happy birthday this past week to Cathy and Kirstin.

Make it a great week.

1/28/2006 06:48:00 AM

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