Archive for February, 2023

Happy Saturday morning. Marcia was up prior to me opening my eyes and so, coffee was made! As you can see by my ‘picture of the week’, spring has sprung in Southwest Ohio. This means it’s highs reaching into the mid-seventies followed by frost, lots of rain, and even some substantial winds. It’s all good; the parking of winter in the rear mirror.

As promised – Last week I let you know that brother Pieter finished up his decade old radio show, Listening Lyrics. But, that something new was in the works.

Well, yesterday a completely new show hit the airwaves. Here is the official program blurb as put out by KDRT 95.7FM in Davis, CA. it airs on Friday early evening and repeats a couple of times each week – streaming worldwide.

Imagining Yolo Davis” interviews citizens (imaginers) of this community who are imagining projects that will affect all of us for the greater good. From recycling, music, community groups to park clean up groups the list goes on, private imaginers using their talents to enrich our community.


The gift – This week I got around to firmly plant both feet into my eighth decade. Actually, in English of yesteryear it’s now; four score and one year. Or as it’s said in my native tongue (and for cousins in the Netherlands) “eenentachtig”.

In celebration I decided to give myself a gift – and at the same time pass this gift on to you (I understand that ‘passing forward’ is now a thing). It’s a piece made so very popular by old ‘Satchmo’ himself, jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Louis Armstrong; “What a Wonderful World“.

This full band features the amazing and stunning Esperanza Emily Spalding. It’s a recording that I’ll find myself listening to every so often – including yesterday. And that’s when it hit me; SHARE IT!

To do it correctly, set the video on full screen, adjust the volume, and most importantly – reflect on the lyrics; it truly is “A Wonderful World” [ “…. I see skies of blue and clouds of white – The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night – And I think to myself what a wonderful world….“]

Ciao. Stay strong, value life its precious, keep an eye out for that first spring flower, and stay safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Up, Up, and Away
02 18th, 2023

I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no—again, no—indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns. ~ press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a recent Press conference

Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly, we can fly…

Happy Saturday morning, and so we enter another weekend. I’m enjoying my first coffee, sniffing it as much as sipping the hot stuff. My cold has come and gone, but with our daily temperatures bouncing between 70F and freezing on a weekly basis, we’re probably in for a round two.

Old School – this week our airport initiated flights of a new start-up airline – Breeze. What this one brings to the ‘party’ that is new and different is that it’s bringing back something from the Old School. Breeze is initiating “direct” flights versus “non-stop”.

“OK Dirk, now I am confused, what’s the difference?” It’s a concept I remember from years ago. I’d be traveling somewhere and my flight would make a stop, some folk would get off and some might come aboard, but I’d stay on the plane and twenty minutes later we’d be on our way to the next/final final destination – thus it was a ‘direct’ flight, but not a non-stop.

The last time I experienced this type of travel was years ago flying from Detroit to Chippewa airport in Michigan’s UP; with an intermediate stop in Alpena MI. That this trip was made in a tiny prop-driven Swearingen Metroliner dates it. I remember those Swearingers being so tiny that I was forced to either crawl or ‘duck-walk’ to my seat while climbing over the cross-aisle hump housing the wing struts.

Feb 15, World Hippo Day – The ‘Nati has become the nation’s Hippo center with Fiona (the preemie) and now a lovely nubile young lady of 1,300 pounds. This past year she was joined by a new baby brother, Fritz.

Yup, we take note of something as importants as World Hippo Day!

Yoko Ono – turns 90 today. Somewhere John Lennon has to be singing “<u>Imagine</u>”.

Imagine all the people
Living for today,……..
…..You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one….”

The BIG burn – and train accident 300 miles from us in the other corner of the state, East Palestine. I’m already watching a decrease in news coverage as almost everyone, except the Palestine residents, want to shovel this mess under the rug. The Feds, the State, the Rail company, all are probably culpable and want the whole thing to disappear.

But, what I discovered is an existence of a consortium of States (since 1948) that have pulled together to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin. Meaningful, since this river basin is our area’s most valuable resource; for transportation and water. And we have an ample, year round, supply of the stuff.

I never knew that ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission) even existed. Yet, in the background and without interruption this entity keeps tabs on this resource and communicates with our Cincinnati Water Works constantly. The net result is that our drinking water is some of the best in the nation. Through an array of sand and charcoal filtration systems this level of excellence has been achieved.

Beginning late tomorrow the water intake gates will close and not reopen till after the toxic plume passes on though. This is a screen capture of how the spill sampling data is presented on a daily basis specifically during for the East Palestine mess.

A Canoe? – I haven’t seen it yet, but Vili tells me that he and his sixth grade classmates finished building a full-sized canoe. Previous sixth graders did the same thing and the finished product has hung on display somewhere in the school. I think that this project has much positivity on several fronts. Yeay Montessori!

Pieter – my brother has had, for a decade, a weekly music/interview show; Listening Lyrics on KDRT 95.7FM in Davis, California. Now, over 300 interviews later he’s taped his final show. Click here to listen on past shows on Apple Podcasts. Is Pieter done? No he is not! Next week I’ll post on his next endeavor.

Ciao. Stay strong and value your health. Remember, you can’t change the world, but you can your own house and neighborhood – work on it. Say safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


02 11th, 2023

This was some week. Along with anthems of ‘cheers’ and ‘boos’, our snollygoster-in-chief, our unprincipled scalawag-par-excellence, the master of the teleprompter, held forth.

We were privileged to learn that what is up is actually down, what is a positive is really a negative, what is more is less, what is white is black, what is wide open is totally secure, what is good is bad.

Our first President, President George Washington, gave the nation a series of over 20 insights in his farewell address – here are eight I think should be on any list. These days, we best pay heed:

1) “Be vigilant, people will seek to use the government for selfish ends.”
2) “Control bureaucracies; make sure they all work together.”
3) “Avoid political parties; they will cause divisive factions and unscrupulous men will use them to undermine the government.”
4) “Be suspicious of administrators; they may serve themselves rather than the people.”
5) “Preserve existing checks and balances and add more where power needs to be checked.”
6) “Religion and morality are essential to create the virtue necessary to preserve the union.”
7) “Avoid debt; and immediately discharge any debt created by war.”
8) “Be guided by principles, not interests.”

Fun Time – with young Viliami last Sunday. I know I described the afternoon concert Vili and I attended so no more on that, just a few photos from the event. But, let me just say that George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue reset into a Jazz piece warranted a standing ovation!


Deutsch or Dutch? Every so often I’ve been asked whether I can speak of understand ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’. No, I cannot. The Pennsylvanian ‘Dutch’ is really a German variant of ‘Deutsch’ spoken mostly by their Amish population.

Anyway, since I am sitting around even more trying to gain the upper hand on a cold, I dug around a bit more into the languages. Dutch is connected to Middle English. While German is connected to a series of Germanic peoples and languages found along the northern edge of the European continent – as can be seen in the Roman ‘Germania”.

Both England and ‘de Nederlanden’ (Netherlands or ‘low-lands’) were major sea faring nations during the 1500 1600’s and with trade and skirmishes there was quite a bit of cross cultural and language movement with Middle English (the Dutch eventually substituting the letter ‘d’ for the English ‘th’ sound.

I thought it’d be of interest to view this set of words (you should sound them out – at speaking speed for extra fun), same meaning in each of the three languages. The left is English, the middle balloon is German, and the right-hand balloon is Dutch.

The BIG Game – will come and go tomorrow. Our home team would have been playing in that game had, during the final seasonal game, the one which determined who would play, our opposition not received a never seen before, critical, FIFTH down. As must be realized there now reins a lack of interest at this end.

However, there was an incident that occurred during a previous game with the Buffalo Bills. Our opposition had a player who collapsed on the field in full cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped and for almost 10-minutes, on the field, CPR was performed.

He was sped to our University of Cincinnati Trauma Center (a Level III and the same one Adrianne rushed me to with my eye issue). With the care he received, there, his comeback was almost miraculous.

In appreciation the medical team was honored in Phoenix where the recovered Buffalo Bills Safety, Damar Hamlin, paid tribute to those who had a hand in giving him a second chance at life. At not quite 25 years of age he gave this very eloquent statement:

”My entire life, I felt like God was using me to give others hope and now with a new set of circumstances, I can say he’s doing what he’s always done,” …. “I have a long journey ahead, a journey full of unknowns and a journey full of milestones, but it’s a lot easier to face your fears when you know your purpose.”

for clarity’s sake – “We are calling this an ‘object’ because that is the best description we have right now” (i.e. an ‘object’ is an object which is an object an so forth); John Kirby of the National Security Council during a briefing at the White House. OK!

February 11, 2020 – mere months after the first case in Wuhan, China, and approximately three weeks after the first U.S. case was reported, the World Health Organization officially named the illness that would go on to cause a pandemic “coronavirus disease 2019,” shortened to the acronym COVID-19.

I would arguably declare it the most poorly dealt with viral outbreak in memory. The lockdown of healthy people, forced treatment of the unaffected (kids), compulsorily housing of elderly in facilities, the absolute blocking of the use of early intervention medications, and arbitrary application of those deemed ‘essential’ versus ‘unessential’ was unconscionable. I firmly believe that history will prove me correct.

Ciao. Stay strong; work hard to maintain friendships, keeping healthy is a priority, keep those affected by the disaster in Syria and Turkey and especially the rescue teams providing aid there in mind. Say safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


24 – 48 – 72 hours
02 4th, 2023

It’s 4:30 on Saturday morning. I know for a fact that I am currently up with several thousand people. The difference between them and me? They’re all prepping for the Cyclone 2023 “Frozen 5/10K”. Like them, I too have a bib, number 925, but mine will stay here. I really enjoy this event and have participated for over 4 years straight, signing up early last December.

At yesterday’s session with my eye surgeon I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not be participating (agree that he and Marcia ganged up on me?). Just in case you think me a complete idiot, I had already come to grips with the fact that I would not participate.

I should point out that with a current ‘real-feel’ temperature of 11, it is a perfect time to hold a ‘Frozen’ event.

To not ruin my day completely he did give me the OK to again drive. So yesterday I drove home from the appointment. The first time behind the wheel in over a month!

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world. ~ L.M. Montgomery

With a Buddy –I’ll be attending an event tomorrow afternoon. The ‘buddy’ will be young Viliami, our family’s youngest grandchild. Next year he’ll be starting Middle School and is maturing oh-so-fast. Additionally, he’s got a super inquisitive mind (which has not yet been dulled) and a great sense of humor. On top of that he plays Saxophone in his school band.

So what is the event? We’ll be off to the First Unitarian Church for a Jazz concert. There we’ll be part of an event featuring Cincinnati-based saxophonist Rick VanMatre in a concert fusing the worlds of classical and jazz. VanMatre will join virtuoso pianist Phil DeGreg on a new, arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as their own compositions.

You might ask; who are these characters, DeGreg and VanMatre? Both are Professors Emeriti of the University of Cincinnati’s renowned CCM (Conservatory of Music). Both are huge in this town’s vibrant Jazz world.

In addition, these smallish concerts held at that church have an intermission complete with a drink, cheese, and grapes and a big PLUS. The ‘plus’ is the opportunity to then mingle with people, including the musicians. And, if tradition holds true, these musicians love to hold young interested folk ‘under wing’, i.e., they show interest.

A tip for all you parents and grandparents. This thought came originally from neighbor and friend, Fanchon Shur (whose late husband, Bonia, was professor and head of music at Hebrew Union College); “if you want to have a youngster maintain interest and attention, sit them as close to the front as you can.” This is a given at the church venue.

Should be a great afternoon. I’m excited!

Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends and Distance – means that communication is even more important. Bulent M and I have had ongoing correspondence and even more so since he and Barb moved to Halifax.

Originally a Justin Trudeau (Canadian PM) voter he realizes the downward direction that’s come about under that guy’s leadership (similar as to what happened under the Pierre Trudeau – Justin’s dad in the 1980s). Bulent is a changed man.

Naturally, some of our discussion deals with all the happenings. Fast forward to the other day, but first a bit from my own ‘path’. Ever since one of Canada’s best thinkers, Dr. Jordan Peterson stiffened his spine to the screaming Woke mob, I’ve been following Peterson’s journey, now back to the other day.

Bulent sent me a 90-minute long conversation of Dr. Peterson with American theoretical physicist Dr. Steven Koonin. The subject title; “Unsettled: Climate and Science — Weaponizing Doomsday Hysteria”. Don’t even bother to open the attached YouTube of the full conversation if all you’re interested in are answers through 30-second sound bites. However, if your cup-of-tea is to understand what lies ahead with ‘climate’ from a thought through, nonpolitical, perspective then you must take an evening and listen to these two mega-intellects. I really hope you take the time, for this conversation is as actor Mike Meyers said in the Austin Powers comedy, “most excellent”:

72 hours and counting – It’s been that long since Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen have been living ‘off grid’. And, not by choice, but as part of the aftermath of the ice storm of the century which hit Austin.

Luckily the temperature has risen, but at first especially, it was not comfortable. It was a time to pull out the woolen Hudson Bay blanket, make pancakes and boil tea water on the outdoors griddle. Yesterday, Kirstin told us that they’d been advised it might take as much as another week before power is restored, WHAT?

Yesterday, February 3, 1959 was the 64th anniversary of, “when the music died”. In a tragic plane crash those of us from that era were devastated by the news that Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens had died. As a side note, then a band member, Waylon Jennings, was supposed to be on the plane. Jennings opted to take the bus instead with the other band members, Holly had joked, “Well, I hope your old bus freezes up.” Jennings joked back, “Well, I hope your plane crashes.” Valens had taken Jennin’sg seat in the four seat plane.

Buddy Holly's Plane Crash

Ciao. Stay strong; work hard to maintain friendships, keeping healthy is a priority, educated vote casting is imperative. stay safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.