Happy Saturday Easter Sunday morning even if it fall right behind Tax Day:

a Tax Day government bloat thought:

“from this place the entire Roman Empire was governed” ~ Gore Vidal – in Rome showing a very small cul-de-sac, maybe about the size of a couple of dozen terraced cottages on Capitol Hill…..”everybody who needed to be in Rome to do the administration worked here and that was it.

Having just participated in Tax Day I could not help but wonder on the enormous, ever accelerating, government bloat; bloat without end in sight. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers has our national debt increase over the next six years and upped the administration’s estimate to now top $20.3 trillion by 2020.

Part of the problem is that we seem to have lost direction. With a long laundry list of all that is going on and that needs urgent attention we’ll send 200 heavily armed individuals to stop 400 or so cows from pooping in the desert. One of the more classic absurdities, according to the Heritage Foundation is that; “Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.”

Are we on a steep slope and lost our brakes?

Auctions – are another thing that appears to be creeping into the “watch” column. DSCF0582Especially with the ladies auctions have moved from the “fun to look at” to “I’ll bid on just this one item – only” to a daily scouring of on-line auctions to then quickly move any item seen into a “this is so necessary” bidding war.

We are currently working hard to both sell and make a new place ready. We are downsizing. Therefore, this week, Marcia with eyes sparkling with excitement informed me that she had “won” an Oak Mission style chest. Of course the chest is so ‘absolutely’ necessary in what will be our new smaller dining space. See what I mean?

Promptly at ten o’clock this morning we’ll be at Everything but the House on-line auction headquarters to pick up Kirstin’s newly acquired “winnings”. And here I am wondering about government bloat. I only need to look in my own yard.

DSCF0583

021Birthday Boy – Aside from being a neat kid, at now age three Vili is one happy little guy and so easy to please. Yesterday was his day. The family only birthday party was all he ever envisioned. We all sang to him – hugely wonderful and embarrassing at the same time. He got a sugary-sweet Superman cake that included a Superman flying over it at the speed of sound. And cousins who showed him how all his new toys worked and who were just begging to romp.

And for Oma, Opa, Aunts, and Uncles there was a dinner built around grilled Mahi-mahi. All that on a gorgeous springtime evening; it doesn’t get any better now does it?

Animal Planet – This week Marcia and I watched a NOVA segment on intelligence and animals. For problem solving few can beat out the Crows and Ravens. We watched a crow figure out an eight-step puzzle requiring two different tools to complete. He did it without much hesitation.

The other interesting snippet was that both Crows and Ravens live about 60 years when kept in captivity.

Fini – This week it’ll be Jason’s birthday as well as Connor’s. Following Adrianne’s instructions I have an eye exam scheduled for mid-week. And by mid-day Marcia and I will sit down with someone from IKEA to start zeroing in on what the new kitchen could/should look like.

Then tomorrow, Jason wants to photograph Our Duck in one of the nearby parks using some strobe in an umbrella light source. Dutifully, yesterday I washed and waxed the little car. If you want to see why I even own the thing click here for a YouTube by a Brit who normally reviews top-end speed cars.

Now, have a Happy Easter and make it more meaningful and reflective than just about bunnies, eggs, and chocolate.

Make it a great week everyone, stay safe.

Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, April 23, 2005

Morning all and a Happy Thirtieth Jason!

The last two weeks have had some travel. All the while the spring weather here has been astounding, resulting in a bumper crop of every flowering tree being in massive bloom. Even our little Azalea bushes are overflowing. Now I am back. Yesterday morning it started going downhill. At 6:30 AM I am in the kitchen pouring a cup of coffee when a lightning bolt hit the power pole in the back yard and I saw sparks flying. That was followed by hail which in a minute had our deck white. This morning we’re expecting the rain to continue mixed with slushy snow. Yes, welcome back.

By the way, power was restored three hours later.

Last week it was a great week which included wonderful family time at the tail end. Business brought me to Naples. With George and Sandy’s help we orchestrated a bit of a family weekend at their great new home. Marcia flew in, our Ocoee gang drove down and Niece and soon to be Nephew-in-law also made it. Why is it that these times often come right along with issues? In our case, within hours of arrival, Marcia came down with either a food or flu thingy: down to the point of having to tip the hotel maid extra after registering her expression as she opened our bathroom door.

I had promised Marcia a wake up call at 4:00 AM so that she would be sure to make her flight into Naples. A front-desk wake up call, my cell alarm, and room clock radio alarm all went off within minutes of each other. So far so good. Question: why do I wrap myself with these totally unnecessary “mantles-of-responsibility”? 4:00 on the button the home phone rang with my cheery voice at the one end. Since I knew I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting on my calendar my sleep was now effectively history. Too early to get up and too late for more sleep I did what every normal traveler is known to do—turn on the TV. In this case I hit the jackpot. I watched a, just released, PBS documentary titled Prisoner of Paradise. The story was gripping enough to where, last night, I bid on and won a DVD copy of it on eBay. Just let me know if you want to borrow it.

What cannot be forgotten was the crazed and zany hour spent broadcasting on George’s regular radio show. Thanks for all the hospitality in Naples G & S.

While attending a show at Chicago’s McCormick center earlier this week I purposely booked a hotel closer to the airport and took the El train each day. I found it a great way to participate in a little slice of Americana. Of four trips I got into conversations with people on three of them. The second morning I was talking with a guy who had retired from the paper industry when, mid-sentence, I lost my train (bad pun) of thought entirely; all due to a completely bizarre woman who walked in front of us to wait for the train to stop. The resultant seriously pregnant pause was noticeable enough for her to make a comment about it. Whoops!

Have a great week.
Cheers,
Dirk

PS. Dia, glad to hear that only two days since surgery you’re well enough to critique this post—go at it!

4/23/2005 07:14:00 AM

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