Happy “the-Office-is-Closed-in-Observance-of-Derek-and-Dirk’s-Birthday-Weekend” morning:

a thought as we mull that bit of news:

“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it” ~ Samuel Goldwyn

You know how some folk seem to always celebrate those cute special days? Days like “Plant a Flower Day,” or “Absolutely Incredible Kids Day,” even “Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day.” Some of these days have more sinister overtones; “Multiple Personality Day” and “Supreme Sacrifice Day” to name but two. Then why is it that Derek and I are scraping the very bottom of the can with; “International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day” and “National Tortilla Chip Day?” Another sip of coffee as I mull that over.

A Cold – It’s been a bitterly cold winter. And I have done marvelously staying away from all those winter ailments which seem to highlight this particular time of the year. “Stayed away from” that is until the weather turned warmer. Alka-S+ Day one of the turnaround saw 25 mph breezes and the temperature climb into the mid-sixties – that was the day the floodgates opened up in my nasal passages. Now, four days into this phase and I am about to finish up my second full box of Aloe-laden tissues. And that is while maxing out on my Alka Seltzer Cold tablet intake and sleeping in three hour increments.

This week the temperature is supposed to drop again. I trust that will also mean that my cold will vanish. Maybe I should organize my own “Whuppity Scoorie Day” as a means toward wholeness—though maybe that would just be chasing a wish.

Nevertheless, if this silly business continues to persist I’ll start up studying ancient creation myths and the discussions, especially in Hinduism, of ‘cycles’. I was reading where even some comparison in physics can be drawn. For example; was the Big Bang a beginning or a cyclical end of something? See what a cold does to you? Now I am comparing my cold to the Big Bang.

Patience – is paramount. This past week, three times over, a better solution to a situation was achieved by not immediately jumping into the fray. First was a color selection for the bedroom in the new condo. We were at the Home Depot and I was ready to just grab some soft yellow. Marcia wasn’t so sure. A little bit of talk and a better solution was discovered. Now we’re leaning towards a warm mocha-ish brown.

Next, we’re hanging a smallish Amish quilt in the solarium. The wall we want it on is brick. I was ready to ‘blunder’ ahead with a hammer-drill to affix the hanging rod. Marcia came through again, with a; “why not hang a single long rod and then we can use that for everything we want on that wall.” Brilliant!

DSCF0376Then, hanging our mid-19th century Dutch Frisian Staartklok is a bit of precision work. It needs to be positioned exactly so, or it will not work. I hung it perfectly and the wonderful tick-tock-tick-tock echoed in the still empty condo. Then it stopped. Wiggling things a bit I heard something fall into the bottom of the cabinet. Yesterday all came off the wall and I managed to get the little fallen piece out. It was the small brass piece that grabs the pendulum which, over time, had broken in half.

I spent a half hour stewing for an idea to re-create the little piece, and did come up with an idea or two. However, everything on that old clock is made of copper and brass and my ideas would at best only try to; “make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” So, I did nothing, however, walking home I remembered that we had a sheet of heavy copper, perfect for cutting and drilling into the right shape. This weekend, in between grabbing more of my Aloe-laden tissues, would be a perfect time to fabricate a replacement piece to activate the pendulum.

Animal Planet – This past week, based on the somber faces of the weather types and their “green” screens, the ‘Nati’ should have been a washout. It really wasn’t. Though the other evening the wind did howl and the rains sluiced about. All that seemed to be the end product is that the three or four inches of frozen snow had all but disappeared by morning. All around us is back to its winter brown. Now I can’t wait, I am seriously hoping for some bright green to begin poking through.

Then, with my approaching birthday, I have to keep in mind this unstoppable “force of nature”; at least so says Marcia. Here is how the late journalist Robert Quillen put it ever so succinctly; “as we grow older, our bodies get shorter and our anecdotes longer.”

Fini – Happy Birthday Derek. Then, here is to the hope that complete healing will continue for Kellen (stitches) and Vili (flu).

Make it a great week everyone.

From the Archives
Saturday, February 20, 2010

From the blustery city, good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week:

“Fidelity is a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed” — Ambrose Bierce (19th century satirist)

I thought about this morning’s wisdom after watching Tiger Woods prostate himself before the nation. Normally I don’t watch such stuff but last Thursday our little family kicked off a very special TV watching week. Marcia is spending the week keeping a television watch log for the Nielsen Ratings folk. I don’t have the heart to tell her that not every blank space in her log booklet needs to be filled in and that TV watching is not expected to be an around the clock vocation. In any case I made a larger than normal pot of coffee this morning—she should be good to go.

Also, if you have a favorite show let Marcia know and she’ll happily enter it in her log. Two AM till 5:30 is already filled in with the Jewelry Sales Channel.

Last weekend with the grandkids was all I had hoped for. The weather cooperated and we had snow-aplenty. It was Charles Dickens who characterized English writing (illustrated by Shakespeare) as being like “streaky bacon”, ie: comedy with tragedy. I was fully prepared for the two little guys from the sunshine state to behave like “streaky bacon”; three minutes outside, ten inside, to be followed by another three outside—you get the drift (pun); snow clothes and boots on, wet snow clothes and snow-covered boots off, ad nauseam.

I was hopelessly wrong. They were outside hour after hour. Have you ever had a serious snowball fight with a three year old? “OK Opa, my turn.” “I got you, now your turn.” “Wow, you got me too!” Isn’t that just too cool! We had more fun than should be allowed.

Monday morning we woke to falling snow (something they had never seen). Squeals of laughter filled the house. A quick breakfast of waffles and Maple syrup and we all piled out the door and outside. Four to six inches of fresh snow turns our little side street into the perfect place for sledding. Being a hill, that little street is virtually impossible for cars to navigate so it’s a totally safe place to play.

Naturally I thought that the highlight would be going up and down the hill. I was quite wrong. The highlight was their running around with tongues hanging out trying to catch snowflakes.

We did take all of Sunday afternoon to spend at our Children’s Museum. The place is a wealth of activities. Whether a kid is an engineer, water rat, climber, builder, artist, or target shooter, they’ll stay entertained and learn about stuff to boot.

To manage the economics of the weekend Kirstin had booked the flight home out of Lexington, KY on a discount airline. Lexington is only 89 miles from here, no big deal. However, it became a bit of a thrill ride driving on a snow covered interstate highway with visibility a hundred or so yards.

The final forty or so miles saw a warming and easing of traffic. It also meant that some idiot truckers viewed this change as a golden opportunity to make up for lost time. One semi passed us going about 75 mph when prevailing traffic was doing about 55. The wall of slush that hit our windshield had me driving absolutely blind until the wipers began to create slits through which I could see—5 or 6 passes from wipers set on high speed. That was a very tempting moment for me to test fire a XM320 side-loading H&K 40mm grenade launcher. Kirstin, riding shotgun, told me to just leave it be under the seat.

By the way, the Red Tailed hawks which nested in our front yard last year are back. The new nest is being put together as we speak, only now in a neighbor’s tree. For us it means we’re watching constant back and forth low altitude flights carrying twigs and the like. Oh, I did see one dangling a mouse for their snack time.

Derek, have a great birthday party this afternoon. Enjoy the wall-climbing with your friends. And to everyone, make it a great week.



2/20/2010 08:17:00 AM

One Response to “Hack Hack, Cough Cough”
  1. Marlene Says:

    Good luck with your clock. Our grandfather clock stopped just before Christmas and we could not get it going so the clock doctor came and took the workings. $400 later it is working. I guess they are supposed to be gone over every couple years…the gears had a problem.