Archive for April, 2022

A Popping good time
04 30th, 2022

Saturday morning, for us here I’ll be an active one. Actually, the whole weekend will be an active one.

What I did want to share is that this past week I had a family member from each side of our family spend some time in a hospital. Last Monday neither of them had listed on their calendar spending time in a hospital bed as an ‘event’ entry (both now home, recovering, and doing well).

Another family member was tested Covid positive and is home in bed with a temperature. What it reminds all of us is just how precious and fragile life is. How it should be valued, treasured, and cherished.

Personally I’ve been more physically active than I’d been in years. Not so much to extend life; but to be able to celebrate my life to the fullest during my time.

”Life is a moment
Is just a moment in time
So many rivers
Which one do I cross?”
~ Vicentico & Willie Nelson; lines from their duet: Sólo un Momento

Should Willie Nelson not place high on your listening list; directly below is a thirty second clip of the song, Sólo un Momento.

On the other hand, I’d urge you to skip listening to the audio cut and proceed directly to the embedded video of the whole song – personally I think you’ll be glad you did.

Pops and more Pops – 45 years ago the Cincinnati Pops grew out of our Symphony Orchestra. Over that period, and here let me toss out some stats: an estimated 30 million people have viewed eight national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS, and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 56 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra, and sales of over 10 million units. In fact, the Pops received an invitation to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the only American orchestra to play the opening weekend. They are GOOD!

The Pops usually performs at our Music Hall. And, every few years Marcia and I need our Pops fix. This is the year, in fact tomorrow is the day! Celebrating the conductor, John Morris Russell’s, 10th anniversary with the organization it’s a playlist of all his favorite ‘stuff’.

As the advertisement goes; “but there is more!” One of our more favorite performing groups is the husband and wife team going under the name; Over the Rhine. OTR will also be performing with the Pops – a ‘twofer’. Now, how good is that?

Busy grandkids, busy parents – The pandemic is quickly sinking out of sight over the horizon. Part of what that means is that the activity scene is in hyper drive. Vili is busily getting ready for a band performance in mid-May – he is Saxophone.

Dinah spends three hours a day after school – 6 days a week rowing. Last weekend she along with Jason and Cathy headed for Knoxville, TN for a massive Regatta – almost 500 rowing teams.

She and her team bounced between first and second place, one semi-finalist heat was a photo finish (1/10 of a second over 2,000 meters). At the end of the day, several races in both 4-person and 8-person boats, Dinah went home with a Silver and a Bronze medal. How about that for a ‘newbie’ to the sport.


Entering the world as a micro-preemie Vai has shown early prognosticators what can be achieved. Last weekend at a meet, she was doing Shot Put and Discus toss. Combined her school in both Field and in track came in first place combined with around a dozen schools participating. Here are a couple of clips showing the event – both of Track & Field activities. Vai is shown doing the discus.

OK, enough from a proud grandpa!

Fini (a massive ‘Fini’) –
• Happy Birthday today to Marlene – many, many more! Likewise to Willie Nelson, his 89th today.

• Want a wee bit more detail regarding CO2 in our atmosphere and what would happen if CO2 were to vanish. Take a moment to study the attached photo. What it really says that dropping CO2 to near zero (which we couldn’t do) and mean we’d look like Mars.

• What is now going on in DC? A “Disinformation Governance Board”? Our newest propaganda arm, a scary boondoggle headed up by a ‘Russian Collusion’ hoaxer and ‘Hunter Biden Laptop Denier’, Nina Jankowicz. She calls the Musk purchase of Twitter as “troubling.” Is 1984 is creeping up fast (or is that ‘disinformation’)?

• Parking phenom. A while back Marcia and I put the car in a paid parking lot downtown. It was 7:22 PM and I by happenstance I bought 2-hours of parking time. We never looked at a clock until we returned to the car and started it. The car’s clock read 9:22 – 2 hours Dead On to the minute!

• This coming week, May 4th, it’ll be the 52nd anniversary of the Kent State massacre. On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen fired upon and killed four students at Kent State University and wounded nine, one paralyzed for life. With the Vietnam War raging, then as now, the USA was a deeply divided nation. As has been said, that event was the end of American innocence.

• Times have changed, at least in our country. This photograph taken in 1910 shows West Virginia coal miners coming up after their 14-hour shift.

• This week the Cincinnati Reds won a baseball game!

• Remember when people could dress this way for fun and comedic effect?

• This week the ‘Bird’ was Freed! As was posted on Twitter; “an African American immigrant who manufactures electric cars is now protecting free speech for everyone and somehow the (ed. progressive) community is somehow mad.” Elon Musk apparently drew and posted the timeline displaying his stance on matters:


• And finally, also spotted (but ‘spot’ on); “If college debt is to be forgiven the universities need to pay for it.”

• Wait a minute, nearly forgot. We have a new addition in the household.

Best till next weekend, stay safe, stay healthy; stay involved, and keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


A Plummeting Masquerade
04 23rd, 2022

Saturday morning and a picture perfect morning it is. A couple of days ago M & D drove north to check out their summer abode. So, here is the difference a few hundred miles can make. We’re breaking into summer weather today with an 80-degree temperature. While their view of the lake looks out over a lake of ice. Snow pack was still on the ground and their first night they got another 3” of the white stuff.   Brrrrrrr!

”The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” ~ Anais Nin

Last Wednesday afternoon, at our areas busiest mall, 10 to 12 young males pulled up in two cars, stormed into the place and the Louis Vuitton store, brushed staff aside and seconds later had absconded with approximately $400,000 of goods. They were last seen heading north on I-71 direction of Columbus.

Never at a loss for ideas, I recounted that a while back one of the ‘Nati’s noted Marketing gurus, one Jerry Galvin, had a plan for the betterment of the city’s shopping public. He even went so far as creating of a series of promotional ads.

Had his plan been implemented Vuitton would possibly still have in their possession $400,000 worth of very expensive handbags. Here is an early ad:

Is the party over? – And here I thought that the masquerade party we’ve all reveled and indulged in for the past year and a half was over and done. I said, over and done. But, hold on, not so fast Dirk. It appears that a few places, notably LAX airport, just can’t get enough of all the communal fun; are they continuing with the masquerade ball?

80th Anniversary – of the Doolittle’s Raid attack on Tokyo, the heart of wartime Japan, took place this week. Mere months after Pearl Harbor a scheme was developed to launch 16 loaded B-25 bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. One of the ‘snippets’ I gleaned is that the B-25 normally requires a runway of 1500 to 2000 feet for ‘wheels up’ – they launched all 16 on a ‘runway’ of 400 feet, and did not lose a singe plane.

One of the flyers on the raid, Maj. Tom Griffin, lived in Cincinnati and in early 2013, at the ripe age of 96, was interviewed by one of our local radio personalities. Maj. Griffin passed in February of that year, then leaving just 4 remaining raid members – out of 80.

Discover the importance of a bottle of 1896 Hennessy V.S. cognac (Doolittle’s birth year) to the members of the Raid. How they navigated “shooting a sun line“and were dead on accurate!

Attached is the link to the 38 minute interview from 9 years ago; Click here for an amazing conversation (it’ll open on a new page there click the ‘start’ arrow).


Fini –
• Beginning to spot small ‘bits’ and memes spouting to end property tax at age 65 – and “let seniors stay in their homes”. Think we’ll see a groundswell?

• On the other hand, of all things that never happen, possibly this (such as the above) never happen most.

• When things are very small! Some small things seem very large.

• From The Economist/YouGov March 26 – 29. Eye opening:

• A grandpa – grandson adventure. This week I took Vili and his Sax to Buddy Rogers Music repair center. Twenty minutes later we were back on our way with a perfectly functioning (i.e. sounding) Saxophone. Thanks Buddy.

• Thursday evening we celebrated Jason’s birthday by going for dinner to Pepp and Delores for Italian like never before – homemade pastas that were stunning. And complete with an after dinner sip of Limoncello infused with Thyme liqueur. Happy Birthday Jason.

• This week the Dutch will be celebrating Koningsdag and my cousin and her choir will be singing all day long.


• Yesterday the President flew a 4-engine Boeing 747 aircraft, plus another with more equipment for around 3,000 miles each way to sign an executive order on Climate Change; let that sink in! And so the game continues.

• Kudos to Kirstin. She was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” of their local school system. Proud of you kiddo!

• Now that The Ramblings have been written, it’s time to focus on preparing to head out to the other side of town for Vai’s Track and Field meet. Marcia and I will watch her doing the Shotput and the Discus throw. Should be a good time.

Best till next weekend, stay safe, stay healthy; stay involved, and keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.



Easter weekend is here. Friday morning midnight people began climbing the steps leading to The Church of the Immaculata – almost the highest point in Mt. Adams. Any opportunity I have to play tour-guide, the church is (using Roman Catholic Easter parlance) one of the ‘stations’ on my guided tour – I love giving those tours.

Since 1859 the faithful have climbed the steps leading up to the church. News reports informed us that this year there were people from every State and from overseas. Next year I should plan to take the 45-minute trek.

Regatta – Springtime in the mid-west means that weather is all over the map. Last Saturday, the day of the Regatta where we saw Dinah rowing, weather-wise we had all the hallmarks of a ‘Terra Nova’ Arctic exploration.

When Marcia and I got home mid-afternoon, it took hot chocolate, hot shower, and a night under the comforter to bring our core back to temperature. That said, Dinah was thrilled with the event. She received a choice oaring slot. And of nineteen entries she and her team came in First Place in the 4-man boats and Second Place in the 8-man races. Marcia and I found an outdoor fire pit, so yes; we survived and actually had a great time.


Bearly fun – Yesterday, Marcia was most eager to race out and pick up her winning bid from an on-line auction. A small, made in Japan during the late 1930s granny bear that knits; and the movement still works beautifully.

The place for pick-up was near Lunken Airport, thus a perfect starting point for me to head out with her and then walk home through the historic neighborhood of Columbia Tusculum (touted as Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood).

Columbia Tusculum scenes —



Matt’s 5K Pursuit – last Sunday was a wonderful event. The crazy weather from the previous day (the day of the Regatta) had moved on and was now perfect. Scroll down to last week’s Ramblings to see the route map (all inside Spring Grove Cemetery) and the place where my parents are buried (red dot); my plan was to wave when passing. What I didn’t realize is that things look quite different when approached from another direction. You can guess; I missed waving when passing.

The ‘Pursuit’ raises funds for all the regional K9 needs – dogs and training. And there are almost 100 dogs needed by various policing agencies in our area so it’s a huge effort to maintain this need properly. In appreciation most of these animals and their human partners were present and acknowledged. Also, a series of demonstrations were given where the K9s were put through their paces; awesome!

The following video clip I took and shared with some family members. But it was my event highlight so here it is again. Passing close overhead in roared a State Patrol helicopter; on board was a police handler with his K9. Some distance away by the tree line was hidden a person of interest. Look closely after the landing and you’ll see the dog leap out, race off to the area pointed to, and seconds later had cornered its quarry.


Fini –
• This morning Turkey season is starting in Kentucky. I suspect that every Turkey around wishes that Ben Franklin’s wish had won out and that the Turkey had been selected as our national bird rather than the Bald Eagle. In that case Eagles would be hunted and Turkeys protected.

Happy Birthday to Vili and we’ll celebrate with the family on Easter Sunday (his special day is on Monday).

• Kirstin received an award as “Volunteer of the Year” from their school system. Very proud for what she’s been giving back to her community!

• Quote by Elon Musk; “Convert Twitter San Francisco HQ to homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway.” Then this one; “69.420% of statistics are false.”

• Dr. James E. Olsson; “Somebody explain to me why only about 5 to 10% of us know what the hell is going on.” And continuing with; “Go out in public and chit chat with the average person like I did just yesterday. 90% of them have no clue what is going on.”

• Referencing the “A typical driver will save about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump, if they just buy an electric car” statement by the President, some wag countered with; “Milk is cheap if you just buy a farm and a bunch of cows.”

• From the ‘more true than not department’ comes this gem: “Chinese third graders are learning multi-variable calculus. Our third graders are being taught that “men can have babies.” This will not end well.

Anyone over the age of 50 will know what this is:

• Interesting (to me): This place looks a lot like our parent’s brand new home in Scarborough (bought in 1953) for somewhere in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. My brother spotted the article in the Toronto Star. Crazy!

Best till next weekend, stay safe, stay healthy, stay involved, Pray for Peace.


The weekend is here, a very cold and wet weekend, weather wise tucked between two very nice weeks. Supposedly, this morning we’ll even have a quick snow shower.

A couple of days ago I set out for Costco – some wine and a gasoline fill-up (over-the-moon with their $3.519 per gallon price). The exit person (think “guard”) marked up my receipt showing $140.00.

You start out thinking it’s max a $60.00 minor pass to grab savings on ground beef, some Tylenol, and Soy milk – but it usually results in dreams of endless neighborhood parties at our Condo requiring the likes of 6 lb jars of lobster spread, cheese nibbles, fancy never tried before (amazing) crackers, and Lemoncello chocolate almonds. The whole demanding a filled up the fridge ~ Peter Sibner (slightly edited by me)

Regatta – I got a bit of a jump start on my Ramblings, thanks to Dinah. Today at East Fork Lake (nearly an hour away) she and her fellow rowers are part of a major regional Regatta staged by her team: Cincinnati Rowing Club. She’ll be participating in four races against teams from all over, including competition from cities such Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago; 1290 athlete rowers, the farthest coming from Gonzaga, Washington.

After a wonderful spring which put everything into full bloom and a coming week with daytimes in the mid-seventies, we’re having the possibility of cold rain complete with snow flurries today. So, for Marcia and me out comes the winter wet-weather gear complete with knit hat and gloves; can’t forget the umbrella either.

Play Ball – Well well, it does appear that finally Baseball season is here. Our town, at its base, is a baseball town. This is due to having the nation’s first professional team (now starting season 141) and “one of only five 19th-century teams still playing in its original city.” Also, the Reds were the first to begin to have games broadcast on radio, and to offer night games under the lights.

All this means that the city stops completely for Opening Day this coming Tuesday; starting with a two hour long parade beginning at Findlay Market. My plan (as a retiree having plenty of time) is to walk into the city, watch the parade, then either walk home or take the bus – using my ‘geezer’ pass. Tuesday should be a blast. Marcia thinks I am nuts!

What a hike — Gorgeous afternoon last Sunday and Cathy, Dinah, and I hiked nature trails in the ravine Nature Preserve areas by their house. As the photos show, the area is wonderful for exploring. It was Cathy who suggested that in one area I remind her to point out a city sign posted there; picture below.

Turns out that the area we walked had been an escape route in the mid-1850s for a group of 28 escaped slaves coming out of Kentucky. From this point it would become easier and easier the further north they went; some as far as Canada. Cathy pointed out that a few of the still existing structures from that period still have tunneling underneath as back up escape paths.


The photos of our two plus hour hike display what a fun afternoon it was. Nearing the end I rested by sitting on a branch. Dinah wanted to take a photo of her Opa – GQ style. Nah, it didn’t work.

Where we were, is also the highest point of the local geography. It was just about at that point that I looked down to step over and to the side of some brush stumps. That is where I spotted a fossil. Here I was, the city’s high point (my watch said 685’ elevation), and I find the fossil of a sea shell. I suspect that since our area was about as far south as the glaciers moved during the last ice age that 2,000’ to 3,000’ of ice acted as a formidable ‘bulldozer’ (it is also a reason why our hillsides are so unstable). BTW, the fossil is about the size of your thumb nail.

In Love Again – 2021 was the year that Kirstin introduced me to two music artists both of whom have become part of my go-to listening entities. She and I went to see a group going by the name; the Black Pumas, and was immediately enamored.

Previously I had seen a recorded Kennedy Center performance where Philharmonix with Ben Folds introduced an artist with the name of Jon Batiste and in small print was the name Kishi Bashi. Well, Kirstin saw Batiste, had me see his performance on Austin City Limits and I WAS HOOKED!

Hence, those two became my listen-to artists for the year 2021.

A couple of weeks ago Cathy and Jason went to see a little known act across the river in Kentucky. It was the same Kishi Bashi; Kaoru Ishibashi (Kishi Bashi) a singer with incredible range and who plays violin. His band mate is an electric banjo player Mike Savino of Tall Tall Trees – you’ll recognize him in the video. They talked me into exploring a bit further, and I did. You must listen/watch and I urge you to fire up the sound-bar should you have one – plus, do not miss observing the faces on the various Nu Deco Ensemble members, Here is Kishi Bashi performing his Atticus in the Desert

Assuming that you have the time, I attached a second piece also with the Nu Deco Ensemble. This one is a love song titled; I am the Antichrist – to you:

For me, musically 2022 is off to a great start! Wow!
Ps. I do believe J & C could have invited me along.

Fini –
• Tomorrow morning I’ll be doing the Matt’s 5K Pursuit. The 17th year of this fundraiser for the Matt Haverkamp Foundation & ongoing K9 work. It’ll loop through our nearby Spring Grove Cemetery; in fact it’ll pass my parents grave sites (red dot on the route map). Picking up my bib on Thursday I felt I had some excellent escorts standing by me.


• Have you been paying attention over the years? Question, most people know that President Reagan loved Jelly Beans and always had a jar of them in the Oval Office. Which flavor was his favorite? ‘Googling’ is cheating! (answer at bottom)

• On my almost daily walks I keep traversing the urban landscape. I’ve seen it all, gloriously painted Victorian ladies housing stock, even vehicles with bullet holes. Homes and places neat as a pin. Then, on the other side…..:

• Vai had her very first multi-school Track and Field competition. She’s been training in Discus and Shot Put. For a newbie placing well into the middle of the pack on her first outing – she was more than pleased. Nice going Vai!

• Not to be outdone was Vili. His montage was submitted as one of 5 students to represent North Avondale Montessori in Thursday’s city-wide art competition. Be sure to take a second look at the “Picture of the Week” page. Personally I see New York tenement housing – possibly from his recent trip to that city?

• Is it just me or am I wrong assuming that the National Oil Reserves were meant to be used in a National Emergency? Are bad policies now considered an emergency?

• From British TV pundit Neil Oliver: “Any medic who has to ask me if I might be pregnant is not coming anywhere near me with an x-ray machine.”

• Elon Musk – new member of Twitter’s Board of Directors tweeted: “Great Work by Tesla Texas Team!! Built and delivered first Giga Texas production cars & threw a killer opening party.” I think that Nikola Tesla still is an important influence with Musk.

Best till next weekend, stay safe, stay healthy, stay involved.

*** answer: Licorice ***

04 2nd, 2022

Morning to all my Saturday morning person readers. I say “person readers” out of respect to our new Supreme Court nominee since I, like the person up for nomination, am not a biologist and thus feel unqualified to define the readership.

This week, with my neighbors away on vacation (Adrianne & grandkids), I took Rugby-the-dog on many a walk. Upon their return he seemed extremely happy to finally see the rest of his ‘pack’. I believe that part of his joy lay in the fact that my walks offered him more distance with fewer sniffing stops.

In addition, it presented me with witnessing the nuttiness of our weather. One day it hit eighty, the next day a short snow flurry. I am amazed that I am not walking about with a case of the sniffles.

Bureaucracy bar none — Question? Who exactly runs our nation? I believe that our governmental infrastructure, and accompanying bureaucracy, has grown beyond functionality. Earlier this week it was proposed by the administration to hire (‘require’?) an additional 87,000 IRS agents; and just so you understand fully we’ve been informed not to expect refunds for months on end.

The ancient Greeks understood all of this and found an answer. In that light, have we created our own ‘Gorgons’, a ‘Medusa’ for each overgrown bureau? An entity where nothing and nobody can stare into a department without turning into stone? Does our term ‘to stonewall’ even apply?

Bumper Cars – Way back in 1895 in my state of Ohio there were only two cars on the road (properly registered). Somehow they managed to find each other and properly crashed into one another. Some skeptics claim that only one car was involved in an accident and it hit a tree, I prefer the first tale.

The joy in $$$ earned – by the health care industry primarily due to the way Covid-19 was presented and managed – worldwide. Words such as ‘lockdown’, travel restrictions, masking, and Zoom have become part of the everyday lexicon (even the word ‘Passport’ has taken on new meaning). Almost made illegal were any and all attempts to treat Covid-19 as symptoms were first noticed using a variety of widely available prescriptions; it was rest at home until too sick and then be admitted to the hospital.

So here is what was paid out to hospitals, State by State, for each Covid-19 case dealt with. Remember that the $$$ amount shown is per patient. Not included is how the bottom line of Maderno and Pfizer were affected.

While we were bombarded with a daily drumbeat of cases and the raw numbers of deaths attributed to the contagion, here from World Health Organization and John Hopkins Covid Resource Center are the actual survival rates.

Traveling in Style –

The Graf Zeppelin is a ship with a soul. You have only to fly in it to know that it’s a living, vibrant, sensitive and magnificent thing ~ written by British journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay (shown seated in the Graf’s lounge)

Most of us have known of the burning of the huge airship, a Zeppelin named Hindenburg, while landing in Lakehurst, NJ. What most don’t realize was the level of comfort and safety the Zeppelin airships offered beginning in the late 1920s.

The Graf Zeppelin was 100 ft wide and 776 ft long. It had a crew of 36 and carried 24 passengers who were afforded amazing comfort. The Graf Zeppelin had nary a single injury. It made regular crossings of the Atlantic and into Brazil. In the end of its ‘run’ it had made 590 flights totaling over 1 million miles which included a “round the world” trip – Lakehurst, NJ from start to finish, flying time 12 days, 12 hours, and 13 minutes accomplished in 21 days (20,651 mi covered).

On its second flight it also transported ‘Susie’, an eastern gorilla which had been captured in the Belgian Congo. After touring the US, Susie went to Cincinnati Zoo in 1931 where she lived until 1947.

Fini –
• Today is ‘baby-brother’ Art’s birthday. He’s the last of the brothers’ still plowing forward while in his prime – the last of us still in his sixties.

• Later this week two ladies who’ve been a joy in my life celebrate their birthdays, Dia and Jeannie (Neaners) P.

• Have you ever sat at a railroad crossing waiting impatiently for the train to cross? Consider yourself lucky it wasn’t for the Norfolk & Western train of 500 coal cars that travelled 157 miles between Iaeger, West Virginia, U.S.A and Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1967 – it was 4 miles long, pulling 42,000 tons of coal.

• Adrianne and the grandkids vacationed in New York City. Little did they realize that we can send a person to the moon in much less time than it would have taken them to make their trip from the ‘Nati’ by Stagecoach.

their incoming flight seen from my favorite viewing spot

• Possibly, since writing about travel’ and the German ‘Zeppelin’, today marked the day – April 2, 1917 – that Woodrow Wilson had America enter World War I.

• And finishing up this ‘travel’ version of the Ramblings is this factoid; the purported world’s shortest street is 6 centimetres (2.4”) long. It is in Scotland.

• This especially for our family numismatist, Jason, comes this piece of history. Today in 1792 Congress authorized the minting of the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins (as well as the silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime). Any of these in your collection?

Best till next weekend. Travel safely!