Happy Saturday morning:

a reflection on intimacy:

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people” ~ Orson Welles

It’s the dead of winter, and Marcia has this crazy notion that all I do is make trip after trip into the kitchen. Then she makes issue of my making use of these trips to test some tasty morsel or other. First, it IS winter and what else is there to do but walk around the house every now and then. Second, if I don’t eat these little leftovers I get blamed for letting; “good foods go to waste.” What a quandary. Maybe one more mug of coffee will assist providing the requisite focus and a proper solution.

Idiots – behind the wheel. These last two days we’ve had temperatures near freezing and a couple of inches of snow each day. These snows arrived in the form of short but intense squalls. For many of you this news is cause for some snickering; especially when you live in areas where you get such snowfalls and use a multiplier to get to what you experience. The difference is the hills. At these temperatures the stuff melts immediately and then freezes into black ice before they can get stuff salted. What happens is that drivers find themselves lulled into safety by driving on only wet pavement and just then sliding on glazed-over pavement.

The other day we had well in excess of 50 wrecks during evening rush hour alone.

One such wreck occurred a mile from our home and killed a pedestrian and landed four others in the hospital including a twelve year old girl walking with the woman who was killed. A twenty-something driver from Kentucky barreled down a hill, blew through a red light, went up an embankment and into a house. Witnesses said that when they rushed over to the car to help the occupants the driver still had a needle stuck in his arm. He’d been on a drug run.

This piece of garbage will now be provided with counsel who’ll argue some inane rubbish about his horrid background, his being bullied, or his lack of another something or other. Can you tell that I am angry?

Winter happenings – We’ve been really busy painting. After all the plastering it was now time to begin painting our new condo. At the same time, Marcia has started to paint the interior of our house as a precursor to getting it ready for sale. It’s all stuff that keeps one busily focused. It’s satisfying on an array of fronts, especially since the results are almost immediate.

Then Tevita had a bit of spare time and, since it really does require two people, he helped me strip the cabinetry from the condo kitchen. This was done nice and careful so that all that was taken out could be donated to a local non-profit which works with handicapped and disadvantaged youth.     DSCF0059     DSCF0336

And during the times not spent painting and breaking stuff down? Well, one goes on line to an auction site. You might think it somewhat “bass awkward” getting items for the condo which won’t be needed for months to come. But, after all, it is winter and possibly a good time to go a little nutty.

Anyway, this week Marcia snagged an item on an on-line estate sale (at approximately 7% of the equivalent value for it). For those familiar with our recreational activities at Northern Comfort, this sale had to be an “eat your heart out” moment for Vern. In the previously described snow/ice conditions we drove to a warehouse in the north end of town to pick it up. The “it” being a 13’ by 11’ braided woolen rug which Marcia felt perfect for the dining area in the condo. We came prepared with tarp and straps to properly bundle the thing for transport home—dragging the tarped rug around I felt a little like a Tony Soprano family member heading for the river with ‘cargo’. Arriving home, and within minutes, Marcia had created a perfect space to temporarily keep and display it until its permanent home is ready. How do you like our new rug?

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Animal Planet – As if UPS and FedEx didn’t have enough woe trying to ensure on-time delivery of packages during the holiday season, let me add one more. DSCF0332  We had been painting and upon arriving home noted that UPS had left a package by our front door. The driver must have forgotten to look around to ensure that the coast was clear. It wasn’t. Lurking in nearby trees were squirrels with theft on their minds. I actually had to chase away the little bugger while he was hard at work absconding with the contents.

Fini – Normally I close with a “make it a great week”, this week it’s a bit different. With more snow expected this afternoon, Marcia made an early grocery run. While at Kroger she dropped the F-bomb on two guys who jumped in front of her at the checkout. For Marcia she started her day feeling she began a REALLY great week.

Some birthdays to celebrate this week and I’ll make note of them next Saturday.
Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.” — Art Buchwald 1925 – 2007

(said this past week while on his way to Heaven via Martha’s Vineyard.)

This morning, in the dark, I was a little panicked. Several months ago my wonderful ‘Davis connection’ surprised me with bags of Seattle’s Best coffee—this morning I ran out. Not only would it be difficult to start my day, but the MacGuffin of these Ramblings would be missing. I did find the new bag of whole beans and ground a cup as per the directions. Grinding coffee at 5:00 am in a still house becomes a very loud event—trust me.

With our Briones gang living a thousand miles away making use of every technology to share is important. One of the best, however, is still the photograph. It is always a happy moment to open up mail and click on a JPG attachment. The latest were of the kids and show 6-month old Kellen during one of his weekly growth spurts. I know that at that age kids love to pick Cheerio’s from the high-chair tray. Kellen must use both hands to eat gobbets of these things.

He’s very proud to show exactly that he’s “sooo big!” What he doesn’t show is that he can’t sit in the highchair anymore since he can’t bend in the middle; he requires a straight line from his buns to his shoulders. For Derek it means that “the chase is on”. Kellen with his increased bulk can now build up a ‘head of steam’ and chase after each of Derek’s toys. Derek, as the oldest in my family, it doesn’t get any easier.

I thought I’d include this photo of Morgan our little old cat since it would appear from her pose and eyes that she is fully possessed. It started by me looking into the living room to see both cats in a state of bliss. Both were laying on the floor, one with its head on the other; a photo-op just too good to miss. I started a mad scramble for the camera (it’s never at the ready when I want it). Very soon I did find it; powered up, got my creaky old bones on the floor for that perfect angle, and yes they were both still in that same idyllic pose. A few more seconds for the flash to power up and then I got blinded by the flash. The result? Only one cat visible, the other had managed to escape, probably because in that one split second he sensed that Morgan had become possessed.

This evening is our annual Neighborhood Progressive Dinner. Marcia tells me that about 70 fellow neighbors have made reservations. Four houses are involved; two for appetizers, one for the main course, and one for dessert, add to that several rolling coolers of liquid refreshments and combine all with gobs of wonderful conversation. I hope that any cars stay clear of this happy troupe wandering our little streets.

Make it a great week everyone: remember, moderation is good—at least some of the time.

Cheers,
Dirk

1/20/2007 07:08:00 AM

One Response to “Surviving Winter”
  1. pieter Says:

    Nice update – I know well the effects of winter driving – last Tuesday around 4 PM I was almost in a wreck – the low winter sun blinded me. For those in the NORTHERN COUNTRY – those things in the car above your heads are called VISORS – we use them to shade our eyes.
    Hey that condo is starting to look mighty fine – enjoy your week