Archive for October, 2022

Halloween & More
10 29th, 2022

A happy Halloween Saturday (for some of you) for the rest, as with our gang, it’ll be celebrated on Monday. I’ve discovered the perfect solution for those who want to fulfill their role as ‘treaters’, but who have a wide array of concerns, i.e. kids with all sorts of allergies, or have climate, and even gender fears. Does this treat pass the ‘sniff’ test?

In the meantime, I’ll pour me a coffee. I should mention that we can’t wait to finish off our disappointing Italian Roast – a couple of days ago at Costco I got a 3-pound can of Tim Hortons. I also tanked up. Gas in these parts seems to fluctuate between $3.799 and $3.599 and one nearby station proudly advertises $3.999. Costco was marked at $3.399 – you just ‘gotta’ love that place. Oh, and by the way, I did pick up one of their Roaster chickens; Marcia goes absolutely wild whenever I come home with a Roaster.

Heads up for next weekend! Next week will be a busy one, Marcia and I both have our eye exams. More importantly, Thursday we’re off to watch the “Head of the Hootch” regatta in Chattanooga. The web site for the ‘Hooch’ touts 173 teams rowing and just over 2,000 athletes. Should be a great time watching Dinah and team compete – cowbells at the ready.
It does mean that, depending on our Air BnB internet connectivity and happenings, these Ramblings might miss my personal production deadline. In other words you might NOT see a post next Saturday.

Bedo – Organizing a bit now that fall is upon us and winter ‘hot’ on its heels I brought out of our storage space my old Merrell hiking boots. These looked and felt great until I took a step or two and realized that one half of the one sole was no longer attached to the rest of the boot.

Along my regular walking route is a small shoe repair shop which has been there at least 40 years, the kind of place you remember from childhood – sight, smells, and everything else. Anyway, I took them there and yesterday day I picked up my boots which now look better than new!


I started this section with “Bedo” of Bedo’s Leatherworks and there is a reason. I Googled around, just to discover all that goes into shoe repair. As a somewhat aside, last February brother George and I shopped at an ECCO shoe store and to test the proficiency of the staff George asked if they could point out the “vamp” on a shoe; sadly, they had no idea. But George knew, since in his early youth he was a mentor to Al Bundy of Married… with Children fame (maybe it was the other way around) – nevertheless, this was a time where you knew your product.

That is when I happened upon Bedo who doesn’t only repair but totally restores shoes and video tapes the process. I found it both entertaining and fascinating and much more complex than you think. This particular video shows what all it takes as Bedo restores a pair of English made Dr. Martens safety boots:

Indiana & Ohio – Decades ago we’d go to a church couples, weeklong, family camp. Once during that week, as kids were put down, four or five of us guys would gather together for an evening of Rail Baron an Avalon Hill bookshelf Game. Often on these game nights the play would last till the crack of dawn.

One of the players, T.M., was a management accountant for a very large company, but his heart was always with trains, and he’d usually end up the winner.

Years passed and he left his company for the lure of self-employment, managing (spoiler alert) a railroad company. He set up the Indiana & Ohio short-line railway with a single old GE diesel locomotive, a few retired train engineers willing to work part time, and a handful of miles of track.

When he sold the line and retired, he’d amassed a small fleet of engines and 150+ miles of track. Tracks were made up of miles here and there from the ‘Nati to the other side of the state, Athens and points west & north. He’d also secured all necessary cross-over rights from the ‘big boys’.

That’s when a large national short line company made him a worthwhile offer. T.M. had always opined that the game was extremely accurate in how it mimicked the nations growth of its railways and certain company dominance.

This week, I crossed over some tracks on a hike and sitting right there, idling very nicely and at least 25 wagons in tow was an Indiana & Ohio locomotive. Good to see that huge mass of steel painted with T.M.’s chosen color scheme. Good memories of some excellent all-nighters with friends.

Recipes – Last week I posted a video of the Harira soup recipe I want to fix. Couple that with the fact that in today’s world just about anything is being digitized – much for free. Couple these with this site – Open Culture – which has made available thousands of vintage recipes.

“Early cookbooks were fit for kings,” writes Henry Notaker at The Atlantic. There you’ll find “Europe’s oldest [cookbook] and Rome’s only one in existence today.” He wrote; “[it] offers a better way of knowing old Rome and antique private life.” And continues; “It also offers keen insight into the development of heavily flavored dishes before the age of refrigeration.” I think it worth a view, and if you test some please share your culinary adventure!

Possibly 90% – of the population has at one time or another shuffled or split a deck, or even held a chip or two made by the US Playing Cards company, of that I am certain. The company started in 1867 and then morphed into USPCC in 1885. It built its national reach from the city of Norwood. As an aside, Norwood with its own Mayor, Fire and Police departments is completely surrounded by the city of Cincinnati (the city of Cincinnati has several of these city-within-a-city arrangements).

My only ‘still in its shrink wrap’ deck of their product, is of Iraqi’s most wanted characters as part of our wartime propaganda campaign.

Almost daily I either walk through or drive through Norwood. Always the corporate USPCC office tower has poked over top of streets and houses.

Then the change, US Playing Cards moved across the river into Erlanger, Kentucky, and vacated their Norwood property. As Bob Dylan would sing; “the Times they are a-changing”.

Norwood too is not sitting back, much progress on the old Playing Card site. However, paying proper homage, the tower stays. Here is a look as to how it all looks today:

Fini –

Tuesday evening we’ll be enjoying an early Christmas gift (thanks Adrianne & Tevita). We’ll be downtown to see the Tina Turner Musical. Marcia and I saw her in a live performance way too many years ago and her music has always ‘grabbed’ us, so we’re absolutely delighted. As an aside Turner, 93, now lives in and is a Swiss citizen and had a personal hand structuring this production.

• Is this weird? Last evening a delivery service showed up. It seems that someone in the building had ordered a bag of ice. Marcia kept on mumbling; “it’s a bag of ice. Good grief, it’s a bag of ice.”

• The Harira Soup I was going to make a week ago is on hiatus; it’s now my ‘Harira hiatus’. Illness forced a postponement of the family wide, by-the-firepit, dinner.

• Elon Musk

• I believe that, for a variety of reasons (all of which make perfect sense to me), we should vote on just one single day, mail by necessity and request only. Lots of reasons for my first choice, the most being that it prevents shenanigans, i.e., voter fraud. However, since Ohio does have early voting Marcia and I took advantage and on Tuesday we did the deed.

• Margaret Hamilton was an early coder. It was her manual code verification that got Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969. This photo is of her standing next to the printed copy. Yes, there was a time when humans had to verify the automated.

• Just to keep you aware of what our Open Border policy wreaks. Rough numbers mind you, but then who’s counting; over the last two months just over 8,500 Americans have died from Fentanyl poisoning (most ingredients from China and smuggled product crossing from Mexico). Put that in perspective; this equals about 2,000 mass shootings during that period, or two hundred and fifty mass killings per week!

• Mentioning things seen on the web. Though simple, the graph below is totally powerful and should explain much of what you need to know.

Ciao. Stay strong, keep learning, and be happy (and safe) this weekend – especially since the bars here will be hopping as the Bengals are playing on TV; Monday Night football!

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Just a Good Week
10 22nd, 2022

Dog Tag – This week I managed to stick to my 5 to 6 mile daily walks. One of those was my walking home from some shopping at Trader Joe’s which is very near 7-miles away. Marcia drove the shopping home and she got to thinking. Thinking about the fact that I normally don’t carry any ID on me; long story short, arriving home I was informed that she’s going to get me a ‘dog-tag’.

Coffee’s done! Coffee time!

Deep thoughts – Walks have been switching between music and podcasts. Yesterday it was a discussion between Dr. Jordan Peterson and Dr. Karl Friston on Perception: Chaos and Order. Living on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem (please smile here), I perked up immediately. More than that though, it was of interest since Dr. Friston, a British neuroscientist at University College London, is one of the most highly cited scientists of all time and I wanted to listen these two intelligent people ‘fire’ back and forth.

I wasn’t disappointed. Barely two minutes into the hour and a half discussion came the first ‘zinger’. Friston walked through a concept of Free Energy; he sees ‘Free Energy’ as in part being the concept of Surprise. Surprise as one way we begin to bring sense-making (energy) to the brain as it views Chaos about it and we start to grapple with what we hadn’t known previously. Wow!

Deep Enjoyment – I mentioned that I’d been switching between Podcasts and Music; hence, now a bit about my week in music. I’d been familiar with Jon Batiste since I watched him perform on Austin City Limits. It was some of the ‘bits’ he performed in-between his popular stuff which I wanted to explore further; so, Spotify to the rescue. Let me first say that I can be fairly cynical and that much of what is out there in today’s music I view as unlistenable, i.e. as crap.

My deep dive into the music of Batiste had me awestruck. His origins in New Orleans come through as he goes seamlessly into both Jazz and Dixieland. I fell in love with his classical piano, and his last century Swing interpretations. He didn’t stop there though, as I realized I’d was listening to Batiste recordings of R&B, Soul, Gospel and even Salsa music.

Talking later with Kirstin she asked if I had heard him perform the Beatles song Blackbird. I hadn’t and she sent me a link. Here it is. Enjoy:

And, since I’m in the mood, have a listen to the ‘blow your socks off’ finale of his Austin City Limits performance; Tell the Truth:

Appennine Colossus – is a 40-foot tall sculpture was created by the Flemish sculptor Jean de Boulogne on the grounds of the estate Villa Demidoff in Vaglia, Tuscany in Italy around 1580. The interior has a series of spaces built in, large enough to accommodate some intimate concerts. It represents the personification of the nearby Apennine Mountains. It was recently restored and opened for public viewing. When I ran across this bit of news, what struck me is that at a time of only manpower and limited tools such amazing works of art were produced. Thought I’d share.

Harira Soup – This evening the ‘Nati part of the Pastoor clan will gather to celebrate a Fall Dinner (thanks Cathy). I wanted to contribute and have selected a vegetarian version of what I’m told is Morocco’s most popular soup. Reading the list of herbs and spices began my mouth watering. Guess what I’ll be working on beginning at noon. Next week you’ll get a full report!

Here is the full recipe:

Quote of the Week:

In 1948 when Al Gore was born, earth had 130,000 glaciers. Today, just 73 years later, only 130,000 glaciers remain. ~ Annonymous. [Gore also predicted (1992) that we had just 10-years to save the world. He was not close to being a billionaire before he became a climate activist.] Follow the money.

Fini –

• Good grief. I had no idea what people were talking about with, “Indigenous People’s Day”, I just found out that it’s the replacement for Columbus Day. So:

• My growing up hero, Sir Winston Churchill. This photo is of a young Winston, then a 2nd Lieutenant of the 4th Queem’s Own Hussars, Beaumont Barracks in 1895 at age 21 (it seems his pay, then, was £300 per year).

• For my Canadian friends forced to buy beer from a very limited selection, from government controlled official Beer and LCBO stores; reflect on the sign at a gas station I spotted on a recent walk.

• Nothing specific, just for interest’s sake – Median Household Income in the USA by Ethnic Group:

• When a former Mayor of a small town heads up the DOT:

• This is how Tesla caught the employee who was leaking confidential information to the press in 2008. Elon Musk explains, cunning isn’t it?

• Brain size between a human (left) and a Dolphin (right).

• Nearby is a small apartment building busily at work to ‘gheto-ize’ the neighborhood. Amongst a variety of stuff was this parking in the yard, by undoing a chain. It’s illegal, the LLC owners do nothing, police can’t do anything, but Dirk could. One morning this week, at 5:30, tools in pocket I reset the chain so that the clasp could not be undone. Car has not been parked in the yard since.

Then, lest I forget:

Ciao. Stay strong, keep learning, and be happy – take care of your health!

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


10 15th, 2022

It’s Saturday morning and our town is alive! FC Cincinnati clinched a spot in the playoffs and will be playing later today, and Blink is in full swing.

I managed to drag myself to the Blink opening evening parade on Thursday and then, last evening, went into the city with the Ongoleas to catch the start. I love this stuff! More on Blink below.

But first, a bit of coffee. I emptied our can of Tim Hortons blend. See just how totally useful Tim Hortons containers can be?

Tucking in the cabin — It was Donn & Marlene who were the last to close up. They were also the only ones who experienced the fall colors. Therefore, I was thrilled with the fact that they stopped by Northern Comfort to document that all was well. Thanks guys!


BLINK – Our city’s immersive Arts show is back after a Covid hiatus: our nation’s largest outdoor light festival. Expected are a million and a half visitors to the event; all wanting to experience and to be part of the more than 100 installations. It’s an amazing event of block after block of music, large-scale projection mappings, murals, and interactive light sculptures. It spans 30 city blocks, across the river and into Covington Kentucky – about a mile and a half of sites to see.

Thirty artists including international artists from 14 nations submitted works. One which is amazingly impressive is the work of an Australian artist who worked remotely from her studio in Melbourne. She wanted dancers to be part of her display and used local school students to perform; their dance routine was then melded into her work along with reflective visuals from Australia.

Since BLINK is a visual experience – here are several short YouTube bits to give you a flavor and let you in on the experience. Guess which one of these I recorded.

A couple of photos to start and show that we were all ‘eyes and ears’ as part of the show.


Overview of last evening:

Honoring the people of the Ukraine

250 strong, Drone show:

Scene from on the Ohio River banks:

And for those with a bent for something from Greece, how about 80,000 square feet of art from Greece:

Wrap Up video (love to see you at a future BLINK):

Fini –
• This week it was wishing Paul birthday greetings (he’s one of the very few October folk on my ‘rolodex’ (remember what a ‘rolodex’ is?)

• Finally for this ‘Fini”, instead of a blurb on crazy political shenanigans or matters to better control us little people with outrageous climate spewing Let me just finish with this:

Ciao. Stay strong, keep learning, and be happy – and support the Arts (we all need those to enrich our lives)!

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


10 8th, 2022

It’s Saturday the 8th of October everyone! This means it’s merely 11 days (October 19th for those struggling with adding/subtraction) till “Investor Education Day”. These days when many of your investments (especially stocks and as of late, housing) are taking it on the chin, you might want to spend the day educating yourself.

”The same thing happened today that happened yesterday, only to different people” ~ Walter Winchell

Then, let me add this brutal quote from Louisiana Senator Kennedy:

”I have hope for my liberal friends. Jellyfish have survived for 165 million years without a brain” ~ John Kennedy

In the meantime, the coffee is done, I am relaxed, and there is a ‘nip’ in the air. Creek Bank Printing has a mug with the following thought; “for some of you…the wheels on your bus do not go round and round …” Let me add to their thought, “I think my bus’ wheels are going round and round; therefore I’ve had my coffee”.

Last weekend’s block party — was a huge success. Weather was spectacular. The street was filled with happy voices. We’d never seen so many little kids on the block. Marcia’s baked beans disappeared immediately. And, best of all, ‘Our Duck’ the Deux Chevaux stayed the whole weekend. For that whole time it became ‘our ‘daily driver’ (even an overnight in the driveway).


In fact the gathering was so good that when the discussion happened to turn to Kayaks I ended up detailing the historic past of the Folbot brand and that of our old 17′, two person, canvas Folbot. Net result is one of my old neighborhood friends, Ken, and I have had a few back-and-forth mails this past week – end result, he’s exploring getting a Folbot for his place on Lake Superior.

Hieronymus Bosch – Completely by happenstance I came across the most detailed overview of the Dutch painter I’d ever seen, Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516) [his real name was actually; Jheronimus van Aken]. Born in the small Dutch town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (now usually called ‘den Bosch’). He painted mostly in oils painted on oaken wood panels. It was his painting of Hell that brought him immense attention and he became well known and widely copied.

The video that I watched dealt with his other hugely popular work; The Garden of Earthly Delights which is a paneled triptych altarpiece.

Other interpretations exist, actually, there are many and most of these are totally different. To me this one is the most cohesive and comprehensive.

Prior to Hieronymus painters mainly did recognizable religious and portraits. A painter’s bread and butter was portrait work – they were the photographers of their day. However starting during the 15th century it was a time of change – from the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance period. There came Hieronymus, and boy, did he upset that apple-cart!

Below I’ve posted the video I’ve now watched twice over and it’s a masterpiece. Set aside some time and learn about this fascinating historical painter who definitely ‘moved the needle’. As an aside, our neighborhood friend, Rosalie’s, husband was born in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, small world isn’t it?

Fini –

• I spotted early statistics resultant from the pandemic. This is one of those; per the National Federation of State High School Associations, the number of participants in high school sports dropped by 320,000 after the lockdowns.

• This past week marked the anniversary of the wedding of 26 year old Anna Nicole Smith and 89 year old billionaire Howard Marshall in 1994. It ‘details’ were blasted around without pause for multiple news cycles. The pair were still newlyweds when, after just 14 months, the senior member of the union died in 1995.

• Dutch farmer update: Continuing on their globalist track the Dutch government (in conjunction with the cabal in Brussels/Davos) just announced that the confiscation of farmer’s land will be speeding up. 500 to 600 farmers will be forced to sell their land to the state in 2023. Stay tuned as both anger and protests mount. If memory serves right wasn’t it Mao in China who also seized farm lands?

• Last time we had Pride Month I spotted a photo of a western group of Transgender activists with a large banner touting transgender people in solidarity with Palestinians (more likely it was an anti-Israeli statement they were making). This past week a gay Palestinian, Ahmed Abu Markhiya, who had escaped into Israel was found decapitated in Palestine. Apparently he’d been hunted down and smuggled out of Israel. My question; why not a single peep by western politicians or human rights groups. Picture is that of a small vigil for Markhiya in Israel.

• I came across this photo of the oldest complete Christian Bible in the world. It’s Ethiopian, written on goat skin, illustrated, and apparently dated to be from around the early fifth Century AD.

• Finally for this ‘Fini”, I could not let it pass without a reference to the non-stop ‘Climate Change’ barrage; Greenland ice has recovered from an earlier (in recent history) low in 2012. It’s now accepted that the earlier loss was due to “natural variability” and not human CO2 emissions.

Ciao. Stay strong, keep learning, and be happy – cling to life its precious!

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


It’s a Meme Day
10 1st, 2022

Happy 1st of October everyone! And I am sitting here with a shot of Bourbon. Bourbon? Yup, see, when you’re reading this I’ll also be enjoying my morning java. But, since it’ll be a hugely packed day I am laying the groundwork for this week’s Ramblings Friday evening – and enjoying a bit of Bourbon doing so. Make sense?

This afternoon (Saturday that is) we’re having a block party. The focal point will be in front of our old home. Street blocked off, 25+ homes represented, foods, a desert truck, and adult beverages. This will go on till 10PM and there is rumor of a party after the party.

In the meantime, I am picking up ‘Our Duck’ the Deux Chevaux. Marcia is doing her baked bean specialty as part of the dinner fare, and then we’re both driving it into the thick of things. If the weather is as promised I’ll even have the top down.

This past week — I realized that in just five months I’ll have another birthday – that’s less than half a year. I am Panicking!

Five months is way too short a time to recruit an evil mini-me, a Klaus Schwab (he of the World Economic Forum) type, as a new add-on cast member to play alongside Peter Sellers the main character in a favorite movie of mine Doctor Strangelove, by Stanley Kubrick. It’s the movie I plan to watch on my special day next February.

Had I only been a year younger I would have selected another Kubrick film, A Clockwork Orange. However turning ‘fourscore plus one’ years of age also means that some things must remain, sadly, just a memory. Its comments on juvenile delinquency, gangs, social, and even political subjects, would be too much.

Watching that movie once more could lead to me exhibiting untoward outbursts should, heaven forbid, I be shipped to ‘The Home’.

The Three Amigos live across the street from us (truth be told, there are really four amigos). It’s cute how each has a different body type (as a student of these things, Marcia will be happy to detail).
It’s the start of a new month and it appears they’re moving out – so sad; but, then maybe we’re wrong.

Venice, (Nokomis) FL – was hurricane Ian’s ‘bulls-eye’. I am willing to place odds that the piered, thatch roofed, and on the water Pop’s Sunset Grill in that town is the only place left standing. And that the ‘gentleman’ who plied Cathy and Marcia with free whiskey shots is still on his seat at the bar. Really, the odds are pretty good!

In all seriousness, prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this storm. George and Sandy’s home in Naples came through unscathed, they even kept power. Think that walls made of concrete and rebar, with underground utilities, made a difference?

Chaos & Mayhem corner – Barely a week goes by without something new and exciting. This week it was the re-lining of the stormsewers on and next to our property. This 30-second clip was taken from our balcony (we smelled the chemicals most of the day):

Honkey Tonk Woman – Last week’s Ramblings had details on a wonderful evening with our Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Well, Sunday I and a small group of fewer than 50 met up with players from that evening. Included were the Rolling Stones’ Saxophonist, Tim Ries, and the pianist, Phil de Greg with his Trio.


Two hours of fabulous music. This included the Stones’ great hit; Honkey Tonk Woman, like you’ve not heard it before. Listen (volume up) and pay attention to the marvelous Upright Bass solo!

LS-325 – began service landing troops and equipment on Utah Beach in Normandy on ‘D’ Day, June 6, 1944 when our troops breached the beaches as our first move into Nazi held Europe during WWII. Then LS-325 made many hundreds more ferry runs. Now it’s the oldest perfectly functional Navy ship afloat and the only remaining LST (Landing Ship Tank) left.

Thursday I walked to the riverfront and spent two hours exploring the ship. Volunteers keep the ship operational and crews of 50 volunteers rotate service, they eat sleep aboard. Even the ship’s 40mm guns were fired. Talking with many of these old-timers was a true privilege. For me it was a wonderful day.


Memes – are often in your face, often subtle, messages. The good ones make you smile and make you think. Take a moment by each and explore whether or not there is a deeper or broader meaning. I see them as a newer version of the editorial cartoons of yore.


Fini –

• The women of Iran are protesting the regime’s horrific treatment of women. It started when a student displayed her hair by removing the hijab. She was murdered while in custody. This beautiful piece of protest art is ever so powerful:

• Looking at weather reports I spotted a subtle change in the manner weather is reported in Canada. Any opportunity they can find to hammer home their preferred view and reason for the ever increasing carbon tax.

• Small talk at the check-out at Trader Joe’s seems to always have the cashier ask very personal questions. Or is that just me?

• The crews tuck-pointing the old LeBlond smokestack have a bit of a climb to get to their ‘office’. Hats off to these guys.


Walking through the core of a ghetto area I spotted this written on the door of a derelict-looking building. Maybe some good things are actually happening inside.

• Schrödinger’s plates. Plates are both broken and not broken until the door is opened

• Preparedness. The staging area for arriving power/line crews near the Villages in FL prior to Ian’s arrival. They were ready!

• Living in a city with huge diversity often opens up one’s eyes, I spotted this church sign which was new to me.

• We live on a road commonly used by funeral processions. Occasionally we see this hearse pass by. I’ve told our Duck that when it grows up it too can handle such important work.


Yellow Pages were delivered to our building. What are they for?

Ciao. Stay strong, stay involved, and be happy – life is precious!

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.