A good Saturday morning to you.

Last evening was the opening of the Cincinnati Zoo’s 33rd Festival of Lights. An event that was kick-started by opening the Zoo to all its members. And, the grand kids were beyond excited; and I should add their Opa equally so.

“Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left.” ~ Victor Hugo

Millions of lights, the smell of roasted Almonds and hot chocolate, even a quick visit with a live Gingerbread man all lent itself to a special evening.

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ISIS – I have just finished reading Graeme Wood’s major article “What ISIS Really Wants” in The Atlantic. For the first time I can grasp a little better of what is happening in Syria and throughout today’s world. How: “Our failure to appreciate the essential differences between ISIS and al-Qaeda has led to dangerous decisions.”

Dangerous so much so that: “The United States and its allies have reacted to the Islamic State belatedly and in an apparent daze.” And even our own leadership when; “just over a year ago, Obama told The New Yorker that he considered ISIS to be al-Qaeda’s weaker partner. “If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,””

Rather than just reeling in horror at a seemingly never ending series of atrocities and slaughter we better seek out answers to questions such as; “Where did it (ISIS) come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers.”

Do yourself a favor and read this most definitive and concise answer to these questions – as Francis Bacon first stated in 1597 and Thomas Jefferson stated more than once; “Knowledge is Power.”

Pinball wizardry – way back in 1992 I bought a Bally pinball machine for the family – a 1982 Speak Easy. It held a place of honor in the family room. Speakeasy flyer It even kept that place of honor after it stopped working.

And so it sat. Every time that a discussion turned to getting it fixed something else crept in the way, travel, the Cabin in Canada, and on and on.

Eventually there came the move to our condo. More discussions and then a promise (by me). Move the pinball and I’ll get it fixed! This past week Mr. Mark and his van-load of pinball parts stopped by.

About 5-minutes into the visit he diagnosed the problem. Some rooting around through bins full of parts and some soldering and, voila, the machine was operational. I should mention that he also replaced 22 tiny little light bulbs, replaced 5 rubber bumpers, and polished the whole playing surface.

So, here in my tiny office sits a happy pinball machine. Lights are blinking while an ongoing array of clanging, burping, and a final Bwwwwww sounds as a ball is lost all liven up the place. The neat thing is that everyone is an ‘expert’, from Marin who is the current high-scorer to little Vili who at age 4 is the youngest and also a complete master.

Tournament anyone?

Fini – This week it’ll be a busy week culminating with Thanksgiving. Then Kirstin will stop over as she attends her class reunion at SCPA. Should be a wonderful time.

Tomorrow it’ll be our very first serious frost of the season – finally an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the sweater bin.

Make it a great week everyone, stay safe.

Cheers.

Dirk

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