Archive for June, 2021

It’s Saturday morning and a good one to you. Jason and Cathy will be ready to move into their new digs a little later this morning. It’ll be almost 90 today (and reach a solid 90 from tomorrow through Tuesday). But that is nothing compared to our west coast family. The group in Portland will be facing 113-degree weather – this in a place where less than 30% of the homes have air conditioning.

I’m focused on the west coast this AM because we’re drinking Seattle’s best for a week or two; I can smell it brewing.

I’ve been queried regarding activities on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem. Actually (except for some loud cars – muffler & boom box) it’s been relatively quiet. Quiet that is, other than earlier this week when there was some activity three doors over. I’m still unclear exactly what happened.

Quotation:

”People who think a tax boost will cure inflation are the same ones who believe another drink will cure a hangover” ~ President Ronald Reagan

Our current President, a four-dimensional thinker, ponders otherwise – at least that is what he whispers into the microphone.

We’ve had some amazing characters vying for the top echelon of our government. Remember when the diminutive Massachusetts governor, Michael Dukakis, who decided to pose as a ‘tank commander’? That disaster wrecked his 1988 campaign.

A few were self-inflicted ‘flameouts’, think Wilber Mills and Jeb Bush. However, my favorite was independent Ross Perot. Here is a parody of ‘Ross’ on the campaign trail, where at the County Fair he had entered a cow ‘Mooing’ contest:

Le Gendarme en Balade – OK, now it’s totally ridiculous. It’s almost TWO years since I’ve seen or driven our little ‘Duck’ (Citroën – Deux Chevaux) with the idiotic Canadian/USA border closing. It’s so wrong, so political, and this has to change!! And soon!!

Even brother George sending me glowing newspaper articles on the 2CV; these are no substitutes.

Now I find myself sitting around watching scenes such as these, over and over again:

kauwgom – while walking through neighboring Norwood earlier this week I turned a corner just where the street was being repaved. The strong smell of hot tar hit me. And, before I could take a single step, a flashback to my early youth came into focus, complete with smell and taste. The mind is an amazing thing.

The time was in the Netherlands during their reconstruction shortly after the end of the Nazi occupation. I had zero knowledge of anything called chewing gum (‘kauwgom’ in Dutch), never even knew something like that existed. But as kids go we were intrepid discoverers and there was never a shortage for fun, and exploration. In our case part of it was messing around construction areas and coming across hunks of hardened tar. We’d pick a small chunk and begin chewing on it. And that was my flashback; the smells and taste of this tar as it softened. Kinda cool. And the best news of all, we all survived.

Vince’s Scholarship Already it’s the fourth year of this wonderful tribute. The winner (this year it’s Jady Chen at the University of Central Florida) is selected for a variety of attributes, i.e. green solutions, etc., the stuff which made Vince the ‘star’ in his field.

I reflected on Vince’s life and how it permeated through every facet. How the care and nurturing of his children was no different to what friends, family, and coworkers expressed at his Celebration of Life.

I also reflected on his unstoppable drive. His work to achieve his PE accreditation and Leed certification. His ongoing training to then achieve the elite status of being an Iron Man finisher – twice over. Even him beating me to the top of Rock Candy Mountain at the lake; while carrying a backpack with his drone and gear – a little over two months before his passing. Love you guy!

Blissful moments – The other day I climbed on our balcony, lit a cigar, and was magically transferred into the nasty world of the middle-east. I listened to a discussion between professor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Yaakov Katz the Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief on his book; “Shadow Strike”.

2006 and Syria was in the final stages of building a nuclear fusion facility out in the desert. Israel’s Mossad had gotten wind of it. The facility had to be shut permanently, without opening another middle-eastern conflict.

What an amazing tale. How the final solution was brought about not by a team, but by individuals; our President and even more importantly, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. Knowing that the demise of Israel was on the brink and even though Olmert faced jail time he never disclosed what had happened, and how by a mere sliver the nation of Israel was preserved. Considering the capability of our current leadership, could such a feat be managed effectively today? I know what I believe and am not optimistic that it could.

Interested in a listen? Click Newt’s World – Gingrich360 for 35-minutes of delight. No the time right now, just open the Ramblings whenever; it’ll be here waiting for you.

South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) – And no, not a Patsy Cline tribute; but after 90 plus days our Border point-person VP finally made it – sort of. Not saying it was merely a photo-op but looking at the map, it did seem like a convenient stopover between DC and a weekend home. Had she only stayed long enough to answer journalist’s questions we might have found out the details.

Calling Kamala’s visit to El Paso a visit to the Southern Border is the equivalent of going to Olive Garden and saying you’ve been to Italy ~ Lauren Boebert

Fini –
• A few days ago we celebrated midsummer. Oak and Holly once again have fought for the land with the result that now the days will slowly start to shorten.

• Happy Birthday today to Tevita, many, many more.

• Three days ago it would have been Alan Turing’s birthday. It’s estimated that his WWII efforts in cryptanalysis resulted in the invention of the “universal Turing machine”, and thus the ability to break Nazi military codes. He likely saved as many as 14-million lives for which he never got the appreciation as deserved.

• Thought I’d share a tangible change from a year ago – you’ll understand.

• The theory of Relativity as explained by Albert Einstein himself; “when you sit with a nice girl for two hours it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours.”

• Yesterday June 25 (in 1903) was the birthday of George Orwell (born Eric Blair). I’ve not come across anyone who demonstrated in a more clever way the exposing of tyranny, oppression, and the deep injustices of his (and by default, our) time. Read this remarkable man’s opus; Animal Farm.

• This week Presidential words to live by from President Biden; “Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know. And all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government.”… “If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

• A brilliant way of displaying which of our 50 states did best and worst during the Coronavirus pandemic all in a single chart (by analysts at Hamilton Place Strategies). Best states are found in the Lower-Left quadrant both in rates of Covid deaths and job losses. Worst place to be is in the Top-Right quadrant, these states experienced the worst outcomes. The remaining states are ‘middling’ to various degree.

• Reported by the far-left Los Angeles Times with this headline; “The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry.” What, legal marijuana in trouble? Could taxes and regulations have something to do with it? Maybe?

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors!

Dirk


F
06 19th, 2021

The ‘F’ title stands for several things, but first it’s “Good Morning, bring on the coffee.” Some might want a bit of a teaser, so here goes. Look for things such as; ‘F’ for fun, ‘F’ for fear, ‘F’ for freedom, or even ‘F’ for a happy Father’s Day.

I have to point out that a (small) portion of this was written last evening. To the north of us Tornado touchdowns have happened; we’re in for some hefty weather and flooding during the night, especially since warning sirens can be heard. I thought I’d get a head start in case of sleep disruptions.

Quotation:

”Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times>” ~ G. Michael Hopf

In today’s parlance ‘men’ should have been entered as ‘persons’ and would include both ‘child-bearing’ and ‘sperm donating’ persons equally.

Pumas – Last week I wrote about the most excellent band Kirstin and I watched. That then reminded me of that wonderful television comedy show of years ago where it too featured a bit of music; WKRP in Cincinnati. Here is the clip I had in mind, this starring Howard Hesseman as the uber cool Dr. Johnny Fever:

[also, RIP Frank Bonner (Herb Tarlek on WKRP) 2-28-1942 ~ 6-17-2021]

F = Freedom – at least I hope so; slight rumblings that the border to Canada will open in a matter of a few weeks. Wait, that’s wrong, now the opening was just moved back to the end of July – again. It just doesn’t stop!

What has happened to Canada under Covid-19 lockdown and with it most of the Charter Rights afforded their people? Now we see the tossing of Preachers in jail merely for holding open-air services, this while leadership hobnobs without hindrance – this includes arresting a national opposition political party leader. ‘Approved’ gatherings for BLM and hockey are just fine; none of it is ‘Science’, it’s all a power play.

F = Fish – Tevita and Adrianne spent a week at the beach. While there you just don’t watch fish, you go out and fish and make use of the fish market. And that they did. Back home they treated us to a fish and crab dinner. It was spectacular. Thanks guys!

F = Folly – watching the pathetic performance of our President at the G-7 and later during his Putin sit-down; couple these with the MSM covering of the events, and it makes for a sorry show. How can a leader in the space of a few minutes lose track of what nation he was talking about and inserted Libya when he was talking about Syria – three times over. The man looked visibly confused or tired, not certain which.

Later in the one on one with Putin, cheat cards in hand, we walked away from the table without a single solid piece gained. Not even a release promise of the jailed Americans. Afterwards Putin must have ordered his Cossacks a special round of Vodka.

The single concrete piece of news from the event came yesterday when the White House announced that the $100-million military aid package to the Ukraine had been halted.

F = Fear – I am old enough to remember Vietnam. The lives lost, the lives changed, and the crazy withdrawal which left thousands of our Vietnamese allies in fear for their lives. I remember desperate people hanging onto the last helicopters leaving.

All the final chaos as we withdrew from a war we had little business entering and no will to win as it was politically driven. Now we are ready to repeat history; this time in Afghanistan. 20-years, two trillion dollars, and more than 2,000 service members lost.

Our ‘drawdown’ is poised to leave behind are 170-180,000 of our allies, translators, and those who worked with us under an ‘umbrella’ of trust. Sorry, you lose. These “are about to learn that trusting America was a bad bet. Many will be condemned to torture and death as the reward for their service” (American Thinker, June 18, 2021), as that country is poised to quickly return to a brutal, medieval, theocracy. Already the Taliban has overrun one of our former bases.

F = Fun – Most notably the importation of sausages from the UK into Northern Ireland under the Brexit rules. Each sausage must be inspected. And wouldn’t you know, this sausage nonsense reared its ugly head just as President Biden and PM Boris Johnson set their sights on re-doing the 1941 Atlantic Charter between FDR and Churchill. Great fun for us news junkies.

But actually, I wanted to place the brand new, independent, British news service, GB News, under the fun column. Britain has its BBC, Canada has the CBC, and we have PBS. All three, without hesitation, are heavy left leaning enterprises – meaning that viewers get a single viewpoint of each news cycle. Canada shovels $1.5-billion towards their CBC. Britain does it better by pushing to the BBC approximately (in dollars) $5-billion (PBS receives +/- $1.35 per citizen per year).

GB News, touting itself as “Britain’s news channel” has at the head of their presenting team Andrew Neil (as revered as Walter Cronkite was here). It promises to present ALL viewpoints and even some lighthearted FUN stuff. Early ratings show promise; 166K for GBN, 133K for BBC, and 57K for Sky news.

So why bring up this British focused entity? Simple, it’ll be a great way to gain a new perspective on both International and news dealing with our own situation with high quality in depth content. [I got connected through my mobile app store.]

Fini –
• The last surviving officer on D-Day, first wave, turned 99 this past week. At the time a lieutenant, he retired as Major General John Raaen.

• This is for Greta T. (climate wunderkind); this past week we just broke -81° Celsius (-113.8 °Fahrenheit) in Antarctica.

• The Science is settled. Global warming might cause the ice caps to grow. Global warming might cause the ice caps to shrink. We’re not certain, so either way….we nailed it! Dr. James E. Hansen, NASA-GISS

Twitter does it again. Dr. Peter McCullough, MD, MPH, FACC, not an anti-vaxer, but also a believer in early Covid-19 intervention with alternate treatments was ‘scrubbed’ from Twitter – even with 17.4K followers. Just as a point of interest, he’s the most cited medical doctor on COVID-19 treatments at the National Library of Medicine, with more than 600 citations. Yet Twitter does not allow any open debate of controls and treatment. That’s what the “nation’s town square” is all about – censorship. So wrong!

• Still keeping track of our current VEEP’s border travel – after all she is our border Point Person. This week she was spotted here.

• This past week in 1902 the Musical, “The Wizard of Oz”, opened in Chicago.

• Jason and Cathy have a massive Oak tree in their new backyard. This week they had an arborist company work on it. A team of three crawled over all 50’ of this beauty.

• Think on this: During Black history month Amazon (while amplifying Black voices) kicked “Created Equal” the amazing story of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (born in poverty in the segregated south) off their site.

• Think on this #2: “Palestinians fired 4,360 rockets at Israeli civilians last month, now Israel is giving them 1.2 million Pfizer vaccine doses” ~ Hillel Neuer, Canadian-born lawyer, executive director of UN Watch.

RIP Rudolph (Rudy) Moreira, MD, 1943-2021, born in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Rudy was the amazing surgeon who successfully operated on Marcia for breast cancer over 20 years ago. At the same time he and I played on the same soccer team. BTW – Rudy was a much better player.

• Anybody remember Dr. Timothy Leary PhD?

• June 17, 1939 France held its last public guillotining when Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was put to death. This spectacle was held outside of the prison Saint-Pierre.

• Cancel Culture has also taken hold in Canada. This past week the 1895 statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime Minister was hurriedly removed after the discovery of his role in their residential school system.

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors!

Dirk


Out of the Dark
06 12th, 2021

We’ve now switched seasons. We’ve moved from that time of the year when people who wouldn’t ride bicycles because it was too cold now won’t ride bikes because it’s too hot ~ Bike Snob, NYC

I sure had great hopes to at least post something last Saturday. The time in Austin precluded that. I guess that what that means is that I had a very busy, but great time, in Texas. So now, even though it being about as muggy as can be here, the coffee is ready and smells good. Let’s get started.

With the weather here in the ‘Natti, I made it home as planned by being chauffeured from the airport by Maddie and Lyft (Marcia felt that the struggle with rain and the ongoing bridgework delays, getting into KY was a bit much). OK. So I walked through the door about 1½ hours later than anticipated; that wasn’t Maddie’s fault.

Getting home when I did also meant it was right at the height of Cicada season. Tree trunks look like they have beards created by the shells of the little beasties. People, some wrapped in plastic rain gear, are fun to watch making wild dashes for their cars with arms flailing. Even prior to departing I had the leaf blower busy several times to make the front walk passable. I recorded the incessant mating ‘chatter’. It was from our balcony and in the background what you hear are cars, the rest; well you know the rest.

In the Dark – What are the odds? What are the odds that in a large commercial venue, a major event (i.e. a High School graduation), goes DARK at the exact time that the ceremonies begin? And, the craziest of all is that the event was supposed to be outdoors, but due to weather was moved into Austin’s Delco Center. For Derek his graduation will go into the memory books.

   

Most of it was held under the lights of hundreds of cell phones with sound powered by a single Bull-Horn. What did come out better than ever, was the voices of a couple of thousand people, singing our national anthem a cappella– in the dark.

And, you know what? None of the ‘hiccups’ mattered at all. All present were thrilled. The students were happily delighted. The guests were chatting with those around them. It was a great occasion.

Man in Black – Derek made a late play to head out to his final school Prom. Labeled “Austin Weird” it was made open to all seniors, date or no date, formal or ‘whatever’, none mattered. There went Derek, at 6’3” plus, wearing his size 15 shoes, looking very GQ’s. Mom proud. Opa delighted. And Derek, who took it all in (nervous?) stride.

Black Pumas – After multiple delays due to weather and Covid Kirstin, with a couple of tickets, invited me to join her to an outdoor performance by Austin’s own Black Pumas. The band are 4X Grammy Nominees. Hence, we stood with what was estimated at roughly 2,000 other fans in Stubbs backyard (their outdoor venue), for a wonderful performance by this red-hot band. I had a blast. Thank you Kirstin.

   

Not familiar with the psychedelic soul sounds of the group? Have a listen. If you are familiar, skip past the video clip.

Nearly Black and Green – is what the fence at Kirstin’s back yard had turned into. Only one solution; Power Wash the thing. Off we went to some outlets to select the exact machine needed. At Lowe’s we hit the mark, and later back home it did the job.

   

While I was there we got a solid start. Kirstin finished it after I went home. That, plus some gutter work, and a re-do of the paint on the back door; her backyard had never looked so good. In fact, so good that what had to be the best meal of my stay was a dinner of authentic Asian Ramen eaten in the backyard’s pergola in the new favorite spot; the backyard.

Fini –
• Welcome to the family (courtesy of Alex and Taryn) is baby Varenna Summer Sun Pastoor. I am told that she’s all that Alex, Taryn, & grandparents Art and Jolene could have wished for.

Boarding my homebound flight reminded me of the way they move cattle into the slaughterhouse.

• The current G7 in Cornwall is happening in a world where the group is hanging by their fingernails seeking to stay relevant. Their ‘family’ photo reminds me of watching elderly Chinese getting ready for the 5:00AM morning program of ‘qigong” meditation exercises. What a team!

• Now that a series of texts by Hunter Biden have come to light. These, where he casually keeps on using the “n-word; it appears that “white supremacy” propaganda by the media has immediately shifted over to “climate change”. Hmmm, very interesting.

• What the insanity of the past year and a half has brought to light is that our enlightened culture has ‘progressed’ from testing ill people (to prove that they were ill) – to testing healthy people to prove they were healthy! Why? Because our so called scientists told us that was the science. Disagree? That made room to be censored. Wacko stuff indeed.

• Every day this week more negative stuff on Dr. Fauci has appeared. This week it was dollars sent to the Wuhan virology Lab. Possibly for something called “gain of function”. This man has bounced around more than a marionette doll worked by a seven year old.

• Kamala Harris’s trip to Central America even had CNN declare it a disaster. Lester Holt pinned her to the fact that she had NOT been to the border — wasn’t she appointed our Border Tsar? As the photo shows, Lester was wrong on that count.

• Were you aware that it tales over 100,000 lbs. of materials to make one electric car battery? Guess how many of these rare earth mines are owned by China?

• Love this paragraph by Australian Peter Clack: “The history of earth’s geological past is well understood. Science reveals an endless pattern of rocky surface plates moving, colliding & sinking. Science records this creation of the world, life & its ocean driven climate. Life may be based on CO2, but climate is not. It’s a hoax.”

• My favorite photo of the Three Stooges. I always loved their totally juvenile antics.

• Walking between my hotel and Kirstin’s home I had to cross this spot. For some silly reason I caught myself looking up each time I came by this place.

• First view of the ‘Big Muddy’ as I headed home.

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors — walk a block!

Dirk