Archive for December, 2021

Holiday Egg Nog
12 18th, 2021

Morning all, this getting ready for Christmas week.

Yesterday, about mid-afternoon the rains began and will stop this afternoon. Trouble is, during this time I will be part of a large group of folk doing a 5K around the hills of our Mt Adams – the ‘Egg Nog Jog’ 2021. In fact I’ll be round and about the hills about the time you read this.

After the ‘face-plant’ fiasco I masterminded a few weeks ago I promised sis-in-law Jolene that I’d pay attention to proper hydration. Hence, last Thursday I started a program leading up to this morning’s event. Such a regimen also causes one to get up during the middle of the night. In addition there will be NO coffee for me this morning, just herbal tea. The latter is a first for me.

I’m Confused – Mind you, my sentiment only, written by someone anonymous:

They’re telling the unjabbed to take the jab because the jab works.

And telling the jabbed to get a booster because the jab doesn’t work

All while telling everyone that the unjabbed are putting the jabbed in danger by not getting a jab that didn’t protect the jabbed.”

And so we plod on.

Steel Drums – Earlier in the week Marcia and I were off the Vai’s school – Clark Montessori High School. With almost 700 students it’s part of the city’s public school system. It’s also the nation’s first public Montessori high school and is nationally recognized for academic excellence.

Part of their music program is the fact that they have several Steel Drum bands.

Now back to Vai, she and nearly 30 other new middle students made it into the beginning Steel band, and a performance of her band is what brought the two of us to the school. Two audio bits I’ve attached; first is the band director describing the capabilities of the instruments. Second is the band playing one of several pieces performed – Baja. Keep in mind these kids were all ‘newbies’ last August – most having never seen a Steel Drum before.


Sorrento’s – Italian restaurant is a place Marcia and I wander to every so often. This week we took Adrianne and the kids, none had ever been to the place (even though it’s been around since 1956). They loved it, especially the authentic homemade Canolis for desert. Over our table hung a large photo of Dean Martin (born: Dino Paul Crocetti – now you know why he decorates the wall of an Italian place). Only Marcia and I knew who ‘Dino’ was, the rest of the group – not a clue.


Neighborhood Luminaries – was last Sunday. And it was a perfect evening for this (almost) annual event. Enjoy the photos.


Tuba Skinny – It’s funny how things go in spurts. This past week I’ve listened to more of Tuba Skinny than I had for a long time, and I love that band. In case you don’t know about the group it’s a bunch of authentic New Orleans jazz musicians who still prefer to be viewed as just a group of buskers. I view them as wonderful talent.

Word of the Day – for this week actually a non-word but a brainchild of Jim Salveson. However it could be a word, it’s; “binfluencer” (bin-flu-enc-er). It describes the person on your street who always puts their wheelie bin out first on collection day and thus causes the rest of the neighborhood to follow.

Fini –
This week Henry Orenstein passed at age 98. Orenstein was a Holocaust survivor, Polish-American, a toymaker, and inventor (held over 100 patents including the Transformer toyline).

• As of December 15, 2021 the space probe ‘Voyager 1’ is still ‘alive’ after traveling for 44 years and passing out of our solar system. At over 14.5-billion miles distance from Earth it still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and send data. It has 70.47% of the Plutonium-238 it had at launch remaining. All made possible thanks to nuclear energy!

Dr. Wei Zhang PhD, MIT and Benjamin Pierce Fellow at Harvard, is an Atmospheric Scientist who recently posted; “people often claim “but the climate is changing much faster than ever before”. When you look at Paleoclimatology, you realize that we live in an era of remarkably stable climate. You can even argue that the natural changes in the early 20th century were way more dramatic than now.” I thought you’d want to know.

• The craziness and reversal of progress made with the WOKE push and the whole CRT nonsense is beyond horrible. These two photos best describe what’s happening. The first picture was from the early ‘60s, the second from this year. Really? We call that progress? Sad indeed.


• This week a Happy Birthday to Jeanne Z

For almost a year now, thanks to brother Art we’ve all gathered and Zoomed twice a week for 45-minutes of pretty rigorous exercise. I believe it’s begun to pay dividends; however, a photo such as this proves we’ve got a long way to go!

• In a few days Kirstin and the boys will be coming to town. We are totally excited!

• Last Wednesday the central bank acknowledged that inflation is no longer “transitory”. The consumer price index rose 6.8% in November, and it could be ‘hot’ again this month. Next year, watch the rates rise; thank you Joe.

Have a great week, and a beautiful Christmas. Be safe, watch the drink, stay happy.

Best till next weekend.

Dirk – rain wanderer

Post # 1,000
12 11th, 2021

Morning all on this, Post #1,000. Three days ago we had our mandatory December point-one inch (0.1”) of snow – this had the morning rush hour in total panic. Across the river in Kentucky they even brought out their decades old list of school closings.

This morning my weather page contained this announcement. Yet, looking out it seems damp but not even wet. What would be your first reaction seeing such a Weather Service note; possibly sheets of rain and tree-slamming winds? You’d be wrong, no nothing, nada. I’ll get the coffee started. Then possibly take some over to the Weather Service Bureau to make certain they’re actually awake.

Breaking News!
[The news just reported that Tornadoes did strike in Kentucky to the south of us with apparently well over 50 deaths – keep those affected in your prayers]

80th – This past week was the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, “a day which will in infamy.” There is one story from that event which is both wonderful and amazing.


Pan Am’s “Pacific Clipper”, a large Boeing 314 flying boat — “essentially a seaplane on steroids” (it was about as large as is the Boeing 747) was returning from New Zealand via Honolulu Hawaii back to San Francisco (California Clipper NC-18602).

The crew of twelve was ordered to leave Aukland immediately, keep radio silence, and head west. A handful of dollars between them, and a map purchased from a library plus celestial plotting was how they navigated. Anticipating possible trouble Captain Ford had a sealed envelope with him to be opened ‘just in case’. The plane was considered state of the art, and if captured was to be destroyed; worries about the crew were to be considered secondary.

In Java fuel was in short supply so car gasoline was hand pumped into the reserve tanks leaving aircraft fuel in the main tanks for take-off. One landing they came to find out that where they had landed in the harbor was in fact a minefield.

They were shot at a couple of times, borrowed monies during their refueling stops. At one point blew a piston on one of its engines and fixed it. Reached New York after 209 hours in the air and traveling 31,500 miles; the first commercial circumnavigation of the world. The Pacific Clipper’s record for the longest commercial flight by mileage is still the record!

Coups D’état – It’s been a while since I’ve been following Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. Nephew to President Kennedy and son of Robert Kennedy. I disagree with him on many subjects, and totally agree on others. He’s a brilliant lawyer and author. And it’s his latest book is what grabbed me – ‘The Real Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health’.

Kennedy has been totally silenced, pushed off the map. Social Media giants won’t publish ads for the book. Entities such as The New York times won’t review it at all (even though it’s a major seller). See, the book is extraordinary, it’s, has been said; “a Heroic Resistance to the CIA’s Continuing Covid Coup D’état”. And with its 2,194 references he makes you understand; “that the Covid-19 crisis is an intelligence-run operation controlled by spooks working with medical technocrats like Anthony Fauci, billionaires such as Bill Gates, the military, media, Big Pharma, the World Economic Forum, etc.”

So it was last evening when I caught up with him in a major, deep interview on British Television, the new independent “GB News” site. The moral courage displayed by Kennedy as he addresses the; ”controlled demolition of American constitutional democracy” made for a powerful interview. This brilliant thinker deserves being heard, especially by all of us who will not tolerate an Orwell 1984-like totalitarian future being washed over us.

Did you know that:
• Fauci has an annual $6 billion budget, most of which goes toward the research and development of new drugs.
• He is the highest paid federal employee, more than the President, with an annual salary of $417, 608.
• He controls 57 percent of global biomedical medical funding directly and indirectly via the NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Welcome Trust, and therefore controls the scientists looking for research money.
• He has for decades overseen the regulatory capture of government health agencies by Big Pharma.
• Fauci and other officials receive yearly emoluments of up to $150,000 in royalty payments on products that they help to develop and push through the approval process.
• We are one of two nations in the world which allows Big Pharma free reign advertising their product to a point where media is dependent on those dollars.
• The CIA has long been deeply involved with vaccines, viruses, drugs, weaponizing cancer, biological weapons. “The CIA does not do public health. It does not do democracy. The CIA does coups d’état.”

Possibly a quick listening to Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game” might be interesting as a conclusion to the above:

Dylan’s latest – Having just mentioned Bob Dylan, he currently is truly the nation’s poet. In 2020 he wrote/recorded “Murder Most Foul” It’s just over 16 minutes so I didn’t embed it, but click on the title to listen to this stunning work when you have a little time.

From Senator Bob Dole’s farewell letter – just prior to his passing this week at age 98: “I’m a bit curious to learn if I am correct in thinking that Heaven will look a lot like Kansas.
……And to see, like others who have gone before me, if I will still be able to vote in Chicago.

Remember – remember that while good old Joe is having fun playing virtual tag on Late Night television that there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan (I think he’s forgotten).

Word of the Day – is for this week actually a phrase from the 16th century; its “give someone the bauble” – to play them for a sucker or a fool.

Art in town – totally unexpectedly brother Art made a quick three-hour stop in town. Tea and cookies were served. In addition we placed a Holiday Wreath on our parent’s grave. The cemetery, Spring Grove Cemetery, is a huge garden with miles of roadways. I knew where the plot was, but with inches of wet leaves on the ground their plot remained well hidden while, for nearly a half hour, we searched. Finally success!

Fini –
• This is day 636 of the “15 days to slow the spread”.

• On the 5th of December 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified. Prohibition went into the history books!

• On December 6th 1865 the 13th Amendment was ratified abolishing slavery in the U.S.

• On December 6, 2017 the Trump administration made history when we recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

• 1918, this single page published by our government detailing the ‘Spanish Flu’ is more concise, measured, and holistic than all of the hundreds of hyped up (much being nonsensical) instructions we’ve been fed for the past two years.

• Last Sunday was the first time, ever, that a pig was roasted in our Condominium’s parking lot.

• A thought I spotted on line. A great idea. “End Property Tax at age 65”, let seniors to stay in their homes!

• From Human Events comes this; Elon Musk is raining on Biden’s Parade and advocates that Congress throws out the Build Back Better Bill.”

• Why we’re quickly falling into the abyss. Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, signed a Bill removing reading, writing, and math requirements for high school kids, to help ‘students of color’. (Reuters)

• Last month the Consumer Price Index jumped almost 6.8% from a year ago (the fastest pace in almost 40 years); thank you Joe.

This week the gatherings and parties will ‘slip into gear’. Be safe, watch the drink. Stay involved. Stay creative. Stay happy.

Best till next weekend.

Dirk – lover of the serious

Thank you Joe
12 4th, 2021

‘Tis the Season come to life in the ‘hood

Morning all. Don’t know what it is, but it sure seems quiet this morning. Tonight kids all across the Netherlands will head for bed full of anticipation. For tonight Saint Nicholas will stop by their house either bearing gifts or a piece of coal (for those less than ‘good’). Here, we’ll be putting outside our door a pair of ‘klompen’ (wooden shoes) with a couple of oranges, a few ginger cookies, and some carrots for his trusty steed. You just never know!

Two days ago (last Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021) the date was both a palindrome and a rotational ambigram. Yes, I too had to look it up; but it means it reads the same forwards and backwards even if it’s flipped upside down.

2 0 2 1 1 2 0 2

Trapped — And remember that while we’re having fun playing with that date, at the same time there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan. These were trapped because Joe Biden abandoned them.

Insight – Since it’s still so quiet, it’s a good time to reflect on this paragraph from a WSJ piece by John Waters of Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, and other transgressive cult movies fame.

”When I was young there were beatniks, Hippies, Punks, Gangsters. Now you’re a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin’ down MasterCard. But there’s no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with a bad posture. Has Wikileaks caused a look? No! I’m mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that ~ John Samuel Waters Jr. on the very sorry style of today’s rebels

Breakthrough — Also on December 2nd (year 2016) was the anniversary of the ACS recognition of the development of Ivermectin at Merck & Co, Inc. in New Jersey (worked on in the ’70s & ’80s). It celebrates a breakthrough in the fight against diseases transmitted by parasites. Shortly after approval for use by humans Merck set up a program to donate the drug to treat ‘River Blindness’ (onchocerciasis). Even while entities such as Dr. Fauci poo-poo’d the use of Ivermectin as an early additional treatment to combat the symptoms of Covid, there is a body of science which welcomes its use. Follow the Science.


Travel – Mentioning Covid and the latest in its string of variants, there has been further lockdown in many a nation and state. Especially places where politicians manage to use it to glean further control over people. Here we’ve stopped travel from Africa. Several countries in Europe, Australia, and Canada have stopped a lot of airplane travel. Will it stop the spread of the disease? No! Will it slow the spread? Possibly.

However, also keep in mind that there is more than just a slowing of a disease which is not fatal to 99% of the population. This from Mark Twain:

”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts”.

Is Omicron a nasty thing? – Local guru and mouthpiece Willie Cunningham says NO. He maintains that; “Omicron allows the progressive crowd to relive their Good old Days of Lockdowns – Mask mandates – Business shutdowns – Bailouts – Vaccine orders – 6-feet of separation – hand washings – Booster shots – Live Fauci updates with breathless support from adoring CNN anchors. They and Media misses panic!”

New sitcom – Found on the internet was this pitch for a sitcom. A progressive Speaker of the House; “using insider trading gains, retires to a rich Florida community filled with the very people she used to demonize and moralize against, including a former president & top golf pro. High jinx ensues.”

Pilot episode could be something like wanting to add additional staff quarters onto the mansion, the former Speaker has to battle Byzantine permitting processes, which draws the ire of the locals including her hired environmentally conscious bartender, an Alexa Caballo.

Nah, probably so over-the-top unrealistic that it would never work.

Listening – I have recently discovered [and can’t stop listening to] a master 7-string classic guitar player from Brazil – Yamandu Costa. Have a listen to his live performance of a piece called “Porro”

Fini –
• This is day 629 of the “15 days to slow the spread”.

• Our November energy bill was 62.5% HIGHER than just a year ago & 56% higher than the year prior. Temperature was probably a bit harsher than last year, but not 62.5% harsher. Thank you Joe!

• Florida is now the State with the lowest Covid-19 rate in the entire nation. Why are entities like CNN and The New York Times (which touts “all the news fit to print”) totally silent on this?

• Fascism is alive and well in Australia, something I had never thought possible. In Australia’s Northern Territory (an area with few Covid-19 cases) the authorities have set up a voluntaryCentre for National Resilience’; a camp complete with barbed wire to house returning travelers and many indigenous residents. People were removed from their homes and then ‘quarantined’ in the two camps set up in extremely remote nearly desert-like areas, Alice Springs and Howard Springs. This week three indigenous teenagers escaped. This caused a massive police manhunt complete with helicopters. All three had tested negative for Covid-19 the previous day.


• October 30th would have been Winston S. Churchill’s birthday. He was that one individual who with amazing fortitude, unyielding perseverance (with a drink or two), and the mobilization of language was a major force in defeating probably the darkest tyranny the world had seen. My High school years were spent at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute and he is one of my great heroes.

• Other heroes, large and small. This nameless guy, just 31 years old, invited his 89 year old neighbor to live with him to spend her last days in loving company.

• A car from the ‘50s which I always admired but never even got to sit in, the Renault Dauphine. Have a similar wish?

• The Salvation Army shot itself in the foot – Wokeness gone amok. It ended up withdrawing an item in their guide following a major backlash, when it asked white donors to “deliver “sincere” apologies for their race and past sins of the church.”

• Missed last week was the Word of the Week. This week it’s ‘Latibulate’ (17th century) meaning to hide in a corner until the situation improves.

Enjoy the Saint Nicholas weekend, then make it a great week. Stay involved. Stay creative. Stay happy. Watch out for your neighbors.

Best till next weekend.

Dirk – lover of Pomegranates