Archive for August, 2021

Border Crossing
08 21st, 2021

Well, well. Days of worrisome preparation for travel to Canada. So much paperwork. So much bureaucracy. So much ‘hoopla’. And finally a NAT – Nucleic Acid Test (it’s the one test to get for ease and speed if testing for Covid-19 is required). Finally, yesterday, it was border-crossing time; much easier and quicker than I could have hoped for.

Now, early Saturday morning and nasty connectivity, it’s a quick – all is well note. Coffee has started, but is still perking.

By purpose I will not have any rant on the ‘bobble-heads’ racing around DC and Delaware. Just some deep wishes for the wellbeing of any of those caught against their will in Afghanistan due to the absolute failure caused by the same aforementioned ‘bobble-heads’. However, a note; eons ago it was Nero who fiddled while Rome burned and now we have a marginal leader forsaking citizens and friends alike for some political optics expedient. We’ll rue this emerging horror on the international scene for decades to come. Biden has blood on his hands!

Evening before Last – after an easy shot through Ohio and Michigan I reached my stop-over in St. Ignace in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Walking about the little town to stretch my legs I spotted the three items pictured below. Were it possible to make an even trade of the F150 for any one of them, which would you pick?

   

Lake Difficulties — Walking about St. Ignace I spotted these markers. Lives lost in commercial fishing on the big lakes. And one making note of how people crossed into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan prior to the completion of the ‘Big Mac’ bridge (I twice rode across this span on my bicycle). Marcia has vivid memories of crossing by Ferry boat.

   

Toy retrieval – Early in the week I’ll grab the Dolly trailer and head for the tiny burg of Spragge Ontario. Once I get the Deux Chevaux and ATV pulled out of storage and loaded these will be brought back to the cabin – Northern Comfort. The ATV will be stored at Northern Comfort for the coming winter in preparation for what I am fervently hoping will be a wonderful 2022 season. Our little Duck (2CV) I’ll tow back to the ‘Nati.

Cleaning – of the cabin is going to be much more than I could have wished for. That’ll start in seriousness once I’ve had breakfast and daylight lends a hand.

Two growing seasons have done a number on the property. I could use a ‘bush-hog’. Lacking one of those I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my little weed whacker will hold up. Bravely I’ll proceed.

Fini –
• Happy Birthday to Adrianne and Sandy this coming week and Vaioleti next weekend.

• Breakfast is not breakfast without a stop at Java Joe’s. After a great breakfast at Java Joe’s he and I posed by his daily driver, a 1972 VW. The only disappointment was the fact that they were out of Goetta – my normal ‘must have’ before crossing the border.

• Met up with family members Donn and Marlene when I got to the lake. We spent catching up for a half hour.

• Barb and Bulent are also at the lake and it was good seeing them – Socially Distancing (is a couple of feet acceptable?) we enjoyed a cold one.

Just wonder what goes on in this place when we’re gone (as we’ve been since September 2019). It seems that a Garter Snake shed its skin right next to the refrigerator in the kitchen. How did it get into the cabin in the first place?

• I have already looked at the vacuum cleaner – from a decent distance. That will change shortly, now that I’ve hot coffee in front of me.

• And yes, a pair of Loons, happily ‘yodeled’ when they noted my presence on the lake.

Make it a great week. Value life, be healthy, and stay happy. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


Traveling days ahead
08 15th, 2021

Finally, it’ll be a glorious Sunday – or so I thought. The whole week has scheduled rains. Oh, sure we can use them, but a whole week? Rains starting in mere minutes? But at least the temperatures are moving from triple-digit and high 90s to lower eighties.

Anyway, it’s still dark, it’s still quiet, and my coffee smells and tastes great.

By replacing your morning coffee with green tea, you can lose up to 87% of what little joy you still have left in your life ~ Anonymous

****I need to point out that next week things could be a little chaotic. Assuming all the puzzle pieces fit together I’ll be entering Canada this coming Friday. First thing I’ll see is a Northern Comfort which hasn’t had human contact since September 2019 – two whole years. I’ll try and post something at the regular Saturday slot, but can’t be sure. ¿Comprende?

Sad, how we managed – to once again screw up so royally. Not just under Biden, but Trump, and Obama as well; our penchant to be ‘nation creators’ and with that spend inestimable amounts of ‘blood’ and ‘treasure’ as well as incalculable psychological damage. I am talking about Afghanistan.

Two decades and $88-billion supposedly training a 30,000 member afghan army which managed to get defeated in mere days by a few hundred 1985 Toyota pickups with an old machine gun mounted in its bed. Meanwhile we’re also watching streams of ‘trained’ afghan ‘soldiers’ fleeing across the Iranian border driving the Humvees and other armaments; all courtesy of you and I the American taxpayers.

As Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of the U.N. World Watch (a human rights NGO and UN watchdog group based in Geneva, Switzerland) wrote the U.N. Secretary General in an open letter: “If the world body mandated to protect international peace and security cannot come forward and try uniting the world to save the Afghan people—and especially women and girls—from the Taliban terror, maybe it’s time to just close up shop.

For shame! We’re watching a Vietnam part ‘deux’!

Covid-19 insight – Were you aware that when watching all the ‘hype’ and ‘hoopla’ swirling around the ‘horror’ of the “Delta” variant of Covid-19 there is one fact which is never mentioned? That being that nearly 100% of people ending up in a hospital did NOT get any early treatment and took the CDCs advice to stay home for a week and do nothing. Really, is that following The Science? Give me a break! Why is that ‘advice’ being spouted?

The Fun Continues – Right here in our nation we have a great opportunity to assess differing Covid-19 management options. Two quite similar states adjacent to each other; North Dakota implemented ‘life-saving’ lockdowns, mask mandates, and business restrictions. Meanwhile, they could have ended up like South Dakota which had no lockdown, masks, or business restrictions.

Don’t give in to any petty dictators and unelected bureaucrats and their power-grabbing edicts without a fight! Anything taken away by them will be twice as difficult to get back.

Last Sunday’s Jazz concert – held in our Washington Park was glorious; weather, location, people, and sounds. Here is my poorly made and shaky YouTube, but you’ll get the gist of it – sorry. The 17-piece Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO) & Mandy Gaines doing “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made popular by Sinéad O’Connor and written/composed by Prince), the last half of it, which includes a couple of great solos:

Cyclones Unfrozen 5/10k –Yesterday I completed the 10k portion – in a record time for me of 1-hour 28-minutes! Counting only the 426 10k finishers I came in at number 351, and that for was for all entrants not just the ‘geezer’ group. Enjoy the pictures:

           

Fini –
• My brothers lost a dear childhood and beyond friend yesterday, this after a long illness. RIP Jack Staun.

Two of my preparatory 10k walks earlier last week were managed under ‘real-feel’ temperatures of around 104-degrees. Melt away weather.

• I just know you’ve been waiting to know just how many different type of Screw drives exist. Here’s your answer.

• To make sure I have enough of the substance, I am taking a full roll of the stuff up north this week:

• During High School years one of the sports I played was Water Polo. I remember playing a local Toronto Hungarian men’s team where afterwards my back looked like a Tiger clawed at me. Now I understand why I didn’t pursue the sport any further. The photo shows the former Water Polo great, Soviet-Georgian athlete Petre Kako Mshvenieradze with his grandson. The photo was taken during the 1990s.

• The corner of Chaos & Mayhem does have many a quiet moment. Times where a smile creeps across your face. This photo from across the street celebrating an eighteenth birthday.

• A photo of the 1928 “House Band” of the Michelin Hour variety radio show in costume. This photo is being posted especially for my brother George – he’ll understand.

• Competing in today’s world, can anyone tell me why in the world Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown signed a law which allows the removing of requirements that HS graduates show they can read, write, and do math at a high school level? She declined to comment on the decision. Another quick path into the ‘abyss’ has been created; how quickly we march into it.

• The Rolex two-day Fastnet off-shore race took place this week and my love of sailing got a booster’ shot (play on next item). This race is around the western edge of the British isles and finally rounding a large rock – Fastnet – with a lighthouse on it as the northernmost turning point. A number of differing classes and some spectacular sailing were seen.

• Finally, last Tuesday I had a physical along with the perfunctory blood-letting. The photo shows site of my Pneumonia shot, elbow site was a miss-fire with 3-pokes (“vein rolling about”), back of hand as the alternate site. Coming home, Marcia was duly impressed.

Off to do some organizing, packing, and readiness preparations for my travel. A reservation for a Thursday stay at the Driftwood has already been made. To all, make it a great week. Fight for what is true and right, value life, stay healthy, and laugh a lot. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


Paddle Paddle
08 8th, 2021

August is here, and just a couple of weeks and all the kiddos will be back in school. Oh the horror of it all. In the meantime, it’ll be a glorious Sunday.

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different ~ C. S. Lewis

****I need to point out that next week I WON’T post The Ramblings till Sunday. Next Saturday it’s the Cincinnati Cyclones Un-Frozen 10K (Cyclones are our Hockey team) and I have to be downtown at dawn. I’ve done this before – in mid-February (Frozen). This year due to the pandemic it’s an August thing (Un-Frozen).

Paddlefest 2021 – This morning my arms are once again somewhat operable – thank you Ibuprofen, so here goes with a bit about yesterday’s adventure.

At 7:15 I was on the river. We were told there were approximately 2200 people participating and over 1,600 water craft; we were all launched in under one hour. Along the way were anchored several Safety Boats, each with a live band – it was a real PARTY! We were told that this all makes it the largest such event in the nation.

A 9-mile journey lay ahead. I ended up doing one extra mile since I took part in exploring the mouth of our Mill Creek. This 28-mile waterway was explored 200 years ago due to rich farmland and power. More on that later.

4-hours and 29-minutes later I reached the finish line. Once there I assured the ‘handlers’ I could exit my craft on my own. The actuality was that it took three high-school aged, football player sized, ‘handlers’ to get me lifted out and on my feet. I blame it all on the steep slope of the boat launch we landed at.

The before Party – Local Craft beers, Food trucks, live bands, about 40 vendors, and so much to look at on Friday evening. Marcia and I went for dinner and a cold one, listened to music, and just wandered. Even seeing the camping gear today, over what we remember from years ago.

           

The Launch –

 

Meeting folk – 1,600 craft and I spotted this Canoe – and what a small world it is. Paddling over I struck up a conversation on the name of their boat (Holland Amerika Lijn). Turns out the lady was from Holland. I mentioned that I’d come across on the Holland America Line’s MS Rijndam 70 years ago.

I also mentioned that on the 50th anniversary of our parent’s immigration my brothers and I went back to Holland and had a dinner with our Dutch cousins at the former headquarters of Holland America Line in Rotterdam – now turned into a specialty hotel. The woman responded; Hotel New York. I answered “yes”, and added, “I stole a small espresso coffee cup”. She answered; “I was a waitress in that place”. WOW!

A different view from the norm –

           

The Mill Creek – The Mill Creek Watershed in our area’s history

   

The Landing –

   

The Fun Continues – after all the shutdowns and cancellations I’ve missed the enjoyment of hearing our Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO) and their 17-member Big Band sound. Tonight will be the first performance in quite some time. On the ‘menu’ will be standards (swinging’ classics), along with stuff from Radiohead, Earth Wind and Fire, Prince, and Ray Charles. Should be great!

I’ll be listening outdoors at the pavilion in Washington Park. It’s that location, Washington Park, which caused Marcia to state; “I’m not going, I don’t want to get shot.” I’m heading there solo.

School Demands – Our local school system is mandating that all students and staff wear masks indoors. Surrounding school systems have stated that mask wearing is left to the individual and is thus; optional. But for both it’s due to; the Science.

The latest rash of edicts and ‘predictions’ is due to the possible spread of the ‘Delta’ variant; for which there is no test.

Quoting a Dr. Eli David: “If the masses could read scientific papers or analyze data, then;
– Nobody would wear a mask
– Nobody would comply with lockdowns
Government pandemic response is entirely based on people complying with the opinions of “experts”.
Just like in the middle ages.”

Fini –
• Kirstin has rediscovered the joy of roller skating and her home is perfect for twirls, spins, runs.

• This past Thursday, on that day in 1926, Harry Houdini was placed in a coffin and then put under water for 90-minutes before escaping.

• Also, on date this past week in 1936, Jesse Owens won the 100-meter dash defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics. This became his fourth gold medal. His win caused Hitler to lose his cool and storm out of the Olympic stadium.

• As little kids we all just loved to be read to. Then that would change as we began to read and prefer to read for ourselves. Thought; wouldn’t it be more desirous for us all if the President would just turn the Teleprompter around so we could read for ourselves?

The current Covid-19 variant outbreak by (European) nations. Look where the larger outbreaks are. I wonder if it’s due to the testing methodology used – i.e. change the particles per million being tested and thereby increase the number of positives. Then have a reason to place more constraints on their populations?

• Google “Covid-19 deaths USA”. Deaths are at one of the lowest point for the past year and a half, even though the actual cases logged continue to rise. Viewpoint folks.

• Finally, this read on one of my feeds; “I’ll start listening to my government during a pandemic when it closes the border during a pandemic.”

Now, enjoy this month of summer. Make it a great week. Value life, stay healthy, and laugh a lot (if struggling with laughter try smiling). And the same as I wrote last week; best till next Sunday!

Dirk