Happy Saturday morning:

a Kentucky Derby thought:

” Horses have never hurt anyone yet, except when they bet on them” ~ Stuart Cloete

Alright, how many of you ladies have been rooting through your closet looking for that one amazing hat? Personally, I’ve been testing various ones from my own collection throughout the week. Yes, today it’s the day of the Derby and for these parts the unofficial slide from spring to summer.

Frost be gone – Another way that I know that winter is over is by the way the frost leaves the ground. With that phenomenon comes something folk in the north woods refer to as “frost heave”.

IMG_4224 (1024x768)This weekend Donn and Marlene headed up to the lake to check things out. Last evening I received a few photos displaying the status of Northern Comfort. All is well – for the most part. As the picture demonstrates, there has been some shifting around. A bit of frost heave is noticeable here and there. OK, so our formerly rectangular screen door has now taken on the shape of a parallelogram. All it means is that less than a month from now I see a pro-ject in my future.

Wonders of the Food Trucks – Last Saturday was a school foundation fund raiser for the grandkids’ school. All the stuff kids love; playground, face painting, balloon animals, DJ, you name it. For us older fogies there was a whole different form of entertainment – Food Trucks! No less than six of them.

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Seldom have we enjoyed standing in line any more than we did that evening. And the food? It was great!

The next day we went to meet up with Cathy and Jason to put an exclamation point on his birthday. This was done at one of the newer local craft breweries –  Rhinegeist brewery. And, yes, parked right in front of the brewery was our favorite food truck from the previous evening.

Great food, great beer, great company – two days in a row. Ain’t life grand?

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More than entertainment – These past few weeks have been killer (both in the urban and traditional sense). As tenants moved out Marcia and I leapt into action. Long days spent getting the rental property ready for market. Painting, plastering, yard, basement work, and on and on it went; this while our little condo sat patiently waiting for us to continue working on it.

What better time to then also go back to my more activist roots and begin protesting.

A series of planning meetings which culminated by sidewalk protests complete with placards – and yes, we did make the local evening television news.

Say no to CaAFollowing the sidewalk stuff our group attended the monthly meeting of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) en masse (look for white hair in the center of the photo).

Why all of this hoopla? A group going by the name of National Church Residences (NCR) was awaiting the final piece of their financial puzzle to be voted on by the CMHA. This to then build a three-story facility housing between 90 and 180 homeless and severely damaged individuals (drug usage, felony convictions, etc). The facility was destined to be inserted into a single family area, walking distance from several schools (including that of my grandkids), and in a setting which had no plans to offer these folk guidance, therapy, counseling, or oversight. In other words it was a disaster waiting to happen – as the citizens of Ypsilanti, MI discovered with a similar sister facility in their town.

CMHA board meetingThe whole NCR plan is so counter to any of today’s known best practices for reinserting people back into society that it had to be stopped. And stop it we did. Speaker after speaker spoke out eloquently. It wasn’t long before the NCR contingency put their heads together and asked the CMHB board for a delay while alternatives were explored.

At the last minute our little group had stopped a $15+ million badly thought-through project. Stopped a disastrous project cold it in its tracks. We had won!

Animal Planet – Just a short update passed on by Marlene. Keith who owns the Trading Post near Northern Comfort guarantees that the ice will be off the lake in seven to ten days. Keith is better than any trained weather-weenie forecaster since his livelihood depends on the accuracy of his predictions.

Fini – Monday we’ll be meeting with a kitchen guru. We’ve booked a four-hour session that will give us a proper plan for a new kitchen in the condo. He’ll also create a three dimensional rendering of the plan and we’ll see the costs for the project. Pretty exciting stuff.

Make it a great week everyone, stay safe.
Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Morning all:

A happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. I have no idea what the Brits were thinking, or even if it plays into their celebration of Mother’s Day, when they commission a statute to be built. The statute is being created alongside one of their busiest highways, the A1, and is called “The Goddess of the North”. It is claimed that the reclining “goddess” will be nearly half a mile in length and with hips and breasts nearly 100 feet high will be visible from a passenger jet. Leave it to the Brits.

We are finally emerging out of the dark ages. Next week “Zoomtown” will be installed and it will be “goodbye” to dial-up connectivity. Marcia finally bought in to this event. The real reason is that our office is moving to larger quarters and we will have some time to “home office” as the move unfolds. Between some travel next week, and the installation of the high-speed modem (a do-it-yourself project) don’t be alarmed if I miss a post next weekend.

The morning paper is just now being delivered. Before I could see anything I could hear the “thunk” of papers hitting the yards way up the street. I am not sure if the delivery pace is normal or just because he’s running late, but he blew by here at twenty-five miles an hour and managed to get a paper tossed to the neighbor across the street and one in our yard. Pretty impressive.

All week I have spent some evening time getting our Duck out of its winter hibernation—oil change, oil filter, fuel filter, grease linkages, air filter, chassis lubrication, etc. Last night it was that “magic moment”, I climbed behind the wheel of the Deux Chevaux and turned the key. A few cranks and the little 24 hp 2-cylinder engine popped into life. I was all proud and excited about this very magic moment. Marcia was much more utilitarian as she mentioned that a week or so ago she started the lawn mower after its winter hiatus, it also started—pull three on the starter chord, and she didn’t expect anything else! No matter, I am still all proud, and so was she when we took it for a spin around the neighborhood—top down and Shang in the backseat.

Ok, now before the sun gets hot I am going the wash and wax the Duck and make sure that all six months of dust is properly disposed of. Or should I take Marcia to the Amish country for some festival? It seems to me that this Amish festival thing was mentioned one evening when she stuck her head around the corner while I had my head under the car. Your thoughts or votes on this predicament are welcome.

Make it a good week.
Cheers,
Dirk

5/07/2005 07:42:00 AM

One Response to “To Derby or not to Derby”
  1. pieter Says:

    Did you finally sing “We DID overcome”