Marcia was up way before me and thus a mug of hot coffee was at the ready. Yes, I am running horribly late with this post.

Last evening I did child-care sitting duties. Adrianne and Tevita have Tevita’s cousin from New Zealand here for a month. Mele, is twenty-one, and was oh-so ready for an evening of ‘clubbing’.

The kids were great and around 9:00 were in bed reading. So, there I was, by myself with a large screen TV and a sleepy dog, plus a TV system which had, I swear, at least 1,000 channels.

Remember the guys from the British BBC Top Gear show? Great show till on-screen language forced their mainstay, Jeremy Clarkson, off the show and in effect killed it.

OK, it’s a new era, and with Jeremy out of BBC purgatory, the trio is back (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May). This time on something called The Grand Tour. I was totally engaged by their antics in Detroit with each driving/racing a US built muscle car on Detroit’s abandoned streets and neighborhoods. Great fun!

Show over and it was barely midnight. What to do? I then came across where one of the three, James May, had talked himself onto a flight on a Lockheed U2 Spy Plane – going up to the edge of space at 70,000 feet.

The U2 program was program was very secret during the Cold War till Gary Powers (the onboard pilot) crashed one in the then USSR. Bam! I was hooked, and it kept me fully awake till the clubbing ‘troops’ returned a little after 1:00am.

”Better Sitters Today. Better Parents Tomorrow.” ~ Anonymous

Oh wait a minute; have I done this whole babysitting thing in reverse?

Slip Sliding – And not the kind of icy slip sliding you are thinking of. Sure we have plenty of that as Marcia will attest to when two wrecks occurred last Saturday on the corner of Chaos and Mayhem.

No, this is a different kind of Slip Sliding. Ice ages have come and gone. Those were days when miles-high glaciers slowly crept from Canada south till they finally ‘petered’ out right about where we are.

Then, about 450-million years ago this area was covered by a warm shallow sea. Combine a lot of piled up gravel and a layer of fossils and ‘voila’ what is left is a wide river surrounded by a number of hills; seven to be exact.

None of these hills are the most stable. In fact, a key neighborhood, Mount Adams, required millions of dollars of shoring up to stabilize the area and keep things from sliding on the passing expressway.

Our former home sits on a hill. The adjacent street still on the hill sits a good forty feet above the street we’re on but a little west. That hill is sliding and is affecting six or seven homes, on top, the hillside, and six or seven homes below. On my walks I am following the progress. Due to the urgency work is continuing even with this week’s inclement weather. I’ll keep you posted.

Music and Reflection – I made the right move last Sunday when I went to our National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Our Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence, Jonathan Bailey Holland, led a concert with the CSO and the Nouveau Chamber Players. It was wonderful. Can’t share the music, but I can share the setting.


The Freedom Center highlights that which went on not so very long ago in our country, the Caribbean, and in South America. And, what is still going on in many places throughout the world. In light of what the Freedom Center stresses I wish that protests such as today’s scheduled Women’s March would have more of a focus. Rather than merely being a hate Trump event where much of the clamoring is about things achieved.

I would hope there would be an outcry over what is still happening in the Middle East where women are mere chattel. And with bullhorns in hand there be marching at Asian and African embassies protesting nations where active slavery and sex trafficking is still commonplace. How about calling China to task as millions of indigenous Chinese Muslims are housed in ‘reeducation‘camps [the Hui and Uighur Chinese – over 10.5 million population].

Where are the voices protesting the United Nations which while publicly condemning the attacks on albinos in Tanzania, Coptic Christians in Libya, and gays in Florida, has never had a standalone statement denouncing any of the many anti-Semitic attacks (even such unseemly statements from  our own crop of Members of Congress!).

Original Slave Pen

Original Ring to hold slaves in pen

Moon Eclipse – Minus 6 degrees in the morning is what we’re being promised on our weather reports. Since the roof to the Observatory has to retract I am hoping for three things:
1 – A little better temperature than something near zero
2 – A cloudless sky
3 – No snow/sleet/or rain
Getting all three means that tomorrow at around midnight I will be having one fine time.

Finis – This week my cousin in Lisieux, France, Jan-Willem, enjoyed a birthday. Late this coming week Kirstin will celebrate her birthday. I am the official ‘packaging’ expert in the family while Marcia is our official ‘wrapper’. Not to worry, both will be done in plenty of time to ship.

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr Day on Monday. Ask the question; where have many of his ‘dreams’ disappeared to?

Make it a great week.

Dirk – at a quiet moment

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