So, I have a problem. As I’m writing this morning’s Rambling, Jason, Cathy, Dinah, and Marin are on the road heading towards Northern Comfort – driving through the night. As is usual when this happens, I found myself tossing between being asleep and awake. Finally I just got up. It was 4:30am – and on that detail I wish you all a good Saturday morning.

My problem? Actually quite simple, do I hold off making my morning coffee, or just start brewing a pot and have Marcia’s share waiting for her in the thermos?

I’ll let you guess the answer to my predicament.

This week, even being as remote as we are I received robo calls; it’s out of control – it’s the real downside of the much better connectivity we’re enjoying this year. Here is a good way to put a stop on these intrusions:

”answering “Sheriff’s Department, Fraud Division” sure has slowed down the telemarketers” ~ Unknown

Great American Songbook – Mentioning “better connectivity” does imply that our summer stay at Northern Comfort is a summer without television. We do bring along a variety of DVDs; just so you know, we’ve yet to drive the hour and a half to the Soo to wander the television sections at Walmart or Best Buy to satisfy a TV fix.

Conversely, we are somewhat dependent on our XM Radio. Whether it’s Fox Business News or stuff as different as Canada’s CBC1, our radio is on. The latter seems to fluctuate between airing ‘Indigenous’ people’s happenings and Randy Bachman’s Rock and Roll insights. Then, I can’t forget Holger Petersen’s Blues show also on CBC1.

Lately though we waft between Willy Nelson’s channel with Dallas Wayne hosting and that of Dave Matthew’s Band. At Northern Comfort DMB seems to be playing nearly 24/7.

That brings us to last evening. The Frank Sinatra channel on XM was on as we began to ease up from several busy days of organizing for our visitors. Marcia and I looked at each other when we realized that the music had stopped and we were hearing a delightful interview on a segment named Town Hall. This Town Hall piece had Alec Baldwin talk with Tony Bennett for an hour and a half and what a privilege it was that we happened to tune in.

Bennett’s love of the Great American Songbook (a focus on the music of the ‘20s, ‘30s’ & ‘40s) as being a major Renaissance period which will be viewed as classics even a hundred years from now was central to the discussion. Tony Bennett is already a living classic and his insights into that music, the writers, and composers as well as its interpreters; all sprinkled with some of his songs made the evening a wonderful one. And yes, we did have a glass of wine to further the enjoyment.

Mega-Millions – I have won the Lottery! Recently a new Lottery winning ticket was announced – Mega-Millions. However, I am way ahead of that bit of news. Let me explain.

Throughout, I have been winning and I have never bought a Lottery ticket. How? Let me ‘splain (as the kids would say). As an example, in North Dakota citizens lay out an average of over $700 per year on lottery tickets (the dollar amount spent by folk varies state by state). Therefore, by staying away from the lottery machines where the ‘chance’ to win is less than that of the air being sucked off of our lake means I automatically win.

Actually, using Lottery executives own language I have opted a guaranteed life payout – by not buying a ticket. Doing so I am guaranteeing myself as much as $700 per year – unfailingly. Yep, I am winning!

Animal Life – is splendid. This week we heard a noise like an adult swimming immediately behind the trees on the edge of our property. In fact Marcia and I both thought that Barb from next door was about to come into view (she loves to swim). Instead, it was something else; a River Otter. With a height of 30” to 50” and the weight of a mid-sized dog these are substantial animals.

Years ago a crib-dock was built immediately next to us. The dock is long gone, but remnants of the crib exist – along with an ever present gathering of small Rock Bass. The Otter was doing what Otters do several times a day – eat.

The Bald Eagle is a national symbol. The picture of a majestic Bald Eagle having dropped from the sky and now soaring up with a salmon in its talons is iconic. However, during much of the year these birds compete with Turkey Vultures for carrion and scraps of any sort. This bird was perched in a tree patiently waiting for the local dump to close. Dump? Yes, dump. That magnificent harvester of salmon was waiting to rip through bags of garbage looking for an easy (if not stinky) meal.

 

Finis – Okay, while the sun is not yet up, dawn has broken and the morning fog is rolling on by. Kenneth and his team have arrived to continue the rebuilding work on his island cabin. A half hour ago I heard him at the landing loading his pontoon with planks and plywood. I guess that he didn’t want to waste any daylight once his crew gets up.

Our gang should be somewhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula based on a projected arrival time of 8:00am; this part makes for the longest part of the wait. Beds are made and breakfast at the ready. We’ll see how to proceed, mom and dad off to bed and the start of an activity laden day to occupy the young-uns. I’ve parked the newly refurbished canoe (named “Road Kill”) front and center.

Tomorrow it’ll be 54 years since I lost my dad. It’s amazing how certain events and times never leave and are seared into memory. Miss you dad – you’re not forgotten.

Life is precious here on our little blue sphere floating in infinity. Make the most of it; make it a great week everyone!

Cheers.
Dirk

Heard car doors slam — THEY’RE HERE!

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