Happy Saturday morning:

a thought for those of us stuck in winter’s grip:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing” ~ some ancient sage

Since the ‘theft’ of my old beat up snow shovel (in between storms there was enough of a melt to ascertain that the thing was really gone) my kind neighbor has cleared a path on the sidewalk. However, getting to the house means traversing a layer of snow topped by another layer of ice – no sinking, just crunching along the top. This late in the winter I am trying to limp along since, once we move, I’ll never need another one of those backbreaking implements. I’ll toast to that thought with a fresh mug of White Castle’s best java.

in winter's grip

in winter’s grip

Emerging from Middle Earth – Last night, at 11:00 PM Pieter arrived in Dayton. This meant that I left the house a little after 9:30 for the trek north. Earlier I was busy doing something and came downstairs just in time to watch several groups of the Sochi athletes materialize from some cave underneath the stadium; much like hobbits emerging from Middle Earth. They all looked very happy – I believe it was due to the fact that they were finally allowed back on the surface.

Marcia adores the Olympics; me not so much, especially the winter Olympics. I think that the current version of the winter games has been designed for women – think of the huge number of figure and dance skating contests. These games have also begun to resemble the X-games; which are few and far between on TV since no one watched them when they aired. In other words, all that “half pipe”, luge, and slopestyle stuff is just fine for a young, fully tattooed and metal impaled, crowd. This really just leaves hockey for the likes of geezers such as me.

The “nasties” – One group athletes that might want to think twice about proceeding with their “discipline” are the skiers that stop every 500-yards or so to take a pot-shot with a rifle. I don’t think it wise to race around some woods in a region covered by 40,000 military types, each on edge, hunting for any and all possible ‘nasties’ (terrorists, gays, and wild boars, to name a few). At minimum they should be heading out in camouflage gear rather than rainbow colored spandex.

A story too far – Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s NBC trying to get some value out of their $75-million Olympic Games broadcasting investment. But, how do you really feel about the ongoing array of “human interest” pieces? Do we really need to know that little Joey, for years on end, was plagued by the neighbor’s dog on his way home from school? That now this strengthening experience has forged him into becoming the rear ‘horse’ on a men’s 9-man bob sled team? I thought so.

At this point I’ll stop; it’s about time as we listen to another massively powerful Olympiadic drum roll bumpering in another break.

Pieter is here – and today is filled with us seeing the town – all to be totally recorded on his GoPro Hero camera. A camera that touts; “Wear it, Mount it, Love it…..” I would say quite a sensual experience; no? A camera which as their web site promises, will; “make it easy to document and share your life’s most interesting experiences.” We’ll see just how interesting we can make it, won’t we Pieter?

Then this evening it’s out for dinner to be followed by an evening at one of the ‘Nati’s venerable pub/café’s. Tonight there will be an array of four acts between 7:30 in the evening and 2:30 in the morning. We’ll see how long we’ll last.

Fini – Happy birthday to David – who escaped from winter’s grip and is now dangling his tootsies in the Gulf. Leaving nighttime television a couple of days ago Jay Leno’s was a class act, summarizing his wrap-up this way; “I don’t like goodbyes; NBC does”. To everyone, make it a great week.


From the Archives
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This week was filled with too many waking hours and too few for sleep, too many temperature changes and some time-zone changes. The net result is that I am managing a glorious head cold complete with shot vocal chords. Therefore I should be drinking tea with some lemon and honey; nevertheless it is my trusty mug of java next to me.

I flew out of Indianapolis about the time that the Super Bowl had its kick-off (Indy since Cincinnati – for the second year in a row – is the costliest airport in the nation thanks to the absolute Delta Airlines dominance). In fact, since my travel was fairly last minute Delta wanted $1,000 for travel to Salt Lake City, Southwest did it for $219. Anyway, due to the Super Bowl this normally full flight had about 30 people in it. The woman across the aisle from me was a die-heart Colts fan who was determined to avoid any and all reference to the status or outcome of the game since her Tivo system was recording the whole spectacle. Fifteen minutes into the game the Captain came on the air to announce that the Bears had scored; so much for her efforts.

While I was underway at the annual Bowl party Marcia, Adrianne, and Tevita were doling out the Dutch ‘Bitter Ballen’ I had made early that morning. These were a major hit I was told later.

Thursday evening’s session-two of my Citizen on Patrol training was amazing. We spent almost two hours each on ‘Gangs’ and ‘Illegal Drug Use’. Both instructors were seasoned members of the Cincinnati Police Force, specialists on their subject material, and dynamic presenters. It became quite an eye opener learning how to spot gang activity from that of just some kids loitering on a street corner. Methods on how to address gang activity and at the same time stay out of harms way were discussed. Cincinnati is light on gang activity. Cincinnati has 69 known gangs.

Back in the ‘60’s the Marijuana we played with (smoked but not inhaled) had a THC (the major active chemical) level of 7%, the stuff being distributed today has a THC level of 25% and up to 35%. It is a substantially different drug from that of a few years ago.

From an inventoried locked box was spread out on a table in front of the class all sorts of drug paraphernalia and the actual “stuff”. From Ecstasy, Meth, Heroin, to Crack and Cocaine, we got to see in detail what to watch out for, and how it looks. How it is packaged and distributed. What ‘bits and pieces’ are discarded and easily spotted when walking the neighborhood. For me it was an eye opener.

If my pre-class perception about the training I’d be exposed to would focus mostly on shin splint prevention and the like I was grossly mistaken.

Make it a great week everyone: remember, if you are like me then you are probably much like Johnny Carson: “I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.”


2/10/2007 08:59:00 AM

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