Happy Saturday after St. Valentine’s Day morning:

a thought as we proceed with the winter that will not end:

“In a parallel world, Willard Scott exits his cage and sniffs at the air. To the delight of the gathered groundhogs, he reads a Smuckers ad.” ~ Tim Siedell

meantime, Marcia keeps cranking up the heat degree by degree. I have taken solace with wonderful mugs of Puerto Rican coffee brought over by bro Pieter.

Fixation – is primarily what I’ve observed from the various journalists assembled at Sochi; a group that in sheer numbers probably exceeds the total of the assembled athletes at the games. Actually they’ve finally gotten used to the place (Sochi), or their overseers back home have told them to ease up and report on sports, and only sports. But, prior to that, no matter what you saw, heard, or read, it was a discussion on; poop, doorknobs, half hung curtain rods, and missing sewer lids. It seemed like they’d never been let out and away from the sports desk.

NBC got more problems when their unflappable star, Bob Costas, came down with Pink Eye. Pink Eye fervor and fever escalated to the point where some internet wag wrote that; “these Costas jokes are getting cornea and cornea.”


Pieter was here – and rather than detail the one crazy weekend we had I thought I’d just mention Saturday evening. After dinner we went to a local establishment called Northside Tavern. Last Saturday evening there were four acts scheduled at the Northside. DSCF0387 When the little folksinger finished up at nine I took Marcia home while Pieter secured a table in the backroom for acts two, three, and four.

One act cancelled. Another group – local – was great. Then came the headliner, a duo going by the name Brick + Mortar that had just arrived from New Jersey; a bass guitar and drums. Two thirds of a set later, and now after 1:00 AM, my insides had set up their own vibrations to the massive bass these two pumped out – we went home. Plus I was hoarse from yelling out “Hey – Hey – Hey – Hey” to the thumping beat – learn these lyrics and you knew the song.

On the way home a wee-hour stop for a couple of White Castle sliders brought us back to normalcy.

Vinyl – is the hot thing. CDs are fading and the absolute resurgence is for the old analog LPs – vinyl records. In fact Pieter’s radio show from last evening was an all vinyl show:

Spread throughout our house, and collected for many years was a “collection” of well over a hundred pounds of LPs. A few met their demise some years ago when we had a minor termite invasion. Some were used by our young folk as the perfect dance floor. Some were quite pristine. And a box stored in the basement was; well we won’t go there. DSCF0395

So, last Monday morning Pieter and I began sorting. Eventually thirty pounds of records found their way into the FedEx system for delivery to California. Another thirty pounds went straight into the garbage. This left about eighty pounds which we hauled to a used record store. Through snow and ice we hauled the stuff into the place.

After much sorting about 25 albums were selected for further scrutiny. From these 9 were set aside and we came to terms with a ‘reasonable’ offer of $12.00. Seventy-nine pounds of albums were schlepped back to the car.

Now, all that work mandated a stop at a coffee house for a picker-upper. Pieter was the first to notice that a doorway in the place was surrounded by some old 45 singles, and a light went on. We asked the little server if the owner could use some 45s, to which her eyes got big and buggy. To today’s young folk in a marginal part of town the term “45” has a different meaning than that of a couple of old fogies. Anyway, the shopkeeper/owner was delighted. Yup, through the ice and snow we waltzed those 79-pounds of vinyl LPs right into the place. Returning home, Marcia was delighted.

Oh, by the way, remember the $12.00 I got for the nine records? I forgot to mention that while in that shop Pieter purchased an album for $13.99.

Animal Planet – For the first time since the winter of 1977 – 78 we’ve found ourselves in an extended deep freeze along with bunches of snow. DSCF0398 Marcia was the first to notice the tracks. These ‘chutes’ start and stop, show no prints, and meander all over the front and side yards. Any idea what they are? I was thinking that possibly mice or voles burrowing under the snow+ ice layer. Well, bottom line, we haven’t a clue.

Fini – Hope that everyone had a great St. Valentine’s Day. In the spirit of kindheartedness I even wish the same for the dear folk at Hallmark’s. By next Thursday the temperature is supposed to hit 60 – I guess that’ll break this winter’s back. Can’t wait!

Make it a great week everyone.



From the Archives
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Morning All:

This is quite the week. Yesterday was ‘King Friday The Thirteenth’ day – thanks to the late Mr. Fred Rogers. And then today it’s a huge Happy Valentine’s day to all of you. I’d been traveling and made it on an earlier flight home last evening. Kind of nice, since I could just walk into the front door, grab Marcia, and take her straight to a little Hyde Park eatery for dinner. Watching people around us I realized that Valentine Day seems to have a couples focus. So here is a suggestion, all you who became new dads this year do something special for those new moms in your lives. A little recognition for months of sleepless nights might be a good thing.

Now if you are completely void of Valentine Day gift ideas, here is a wonderful suggestion that will be sure to be received ‘mas bueno’ in the appreciation department. Take hold of your beloved and head over to catch a little of tomorrow’s Daytona 500 NASCAR race. Call me if you need details on ‘rules of the road’ or even on the more esoteric aspects of the race, such as; ‘what direction the cars need to run’ (all need to go in the same direction and make many thousands of left turns – remember only left turns). On the way home I read USA Today and it had a special race section so I have become absolutely expert.

Talking about the trip home. I managed to get my favorite seat on Delta’s 737 equipment. I negotiated to get the Emergency Row window seat – row 16; this seat has NO seat in front of you. The ultimate in legroom. Before takeoff the head Cabin Attendant came by to ask whether or not we were willing to perform any required ‘emergency’ duties. With solemn faces we all nodded positively. Next we were asked the more critical question; “have you read and understand how to perform those emergency duties?” Since I had the escape window seat, and since I had a ‘novice flier’ young lady sitting next to me in the middle seat, I felt it my duty to provide the answer. I smiled and replied; “when asked, remove the hatch, throw it out onto the wing, and get my A** outa here – and you do not want me to practice the maneuver during taxiing.” Out of the corner of my eye I could just see the gal next to me drop her jaw.

Have a great week.

2/14/2004 07:50:00 AM

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