Archive for June, 2023

06 10th, 2023

PLEASE NOTE: that The Ramblings will be on hiatus (break, breach, lapse) until early August. This to re-charge my batteries, and at the same time I’ll be returning to the world of the internet.

So it’s finally come to this. Here it is, our last Saturday here at the corner of Chaos & Mayhem prior to heading north to our little Northern Comfort.

First a few quiet moments of contemplation and planning over my morning coffee, as I organize what to write.

In a way I hate to leave this place since activities on ‘the corner’ are always occurring and it’s never dull. Here is a moment from earlier this past week. Yesterday Marcia discovered that the rider, even though EMT took him to the hospital with a neck brace, he wasn’t banged up too badly.

Canada’s gift – stayed with us a better part of the week, like a smelly fog. Wildfires in Canada’s far west caused the smoke to drift this way. This also was a renewed opportunity to hear a whole bunch about everyone’s favorite cult-like boogie man, “Climate Change”.

This from Professor Gad Saad, professor of Evolutionary Psychology and Marketing at at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal Canada, best known for his studies in consumer behavior. I think he explains it best by stating, if;

It’s too hot: Climate change.
It’s just right: Climate change.
It’s too cold: Climate change.
Forest fire: Climate change.
No Forest fire: Climate change.
Heavy snowfall: Climate change.
Light snowfall: Climate change.
Hurricanes: Climate change.
No hurricanes: Climate change.
Islamophobia causes climate change.
Climate change cause islamophobia.
Anxiety is caused by climate change.
Climate change causes anxiety.

Climate change is at the root of every phenomenon.

If you wish to discuss the policies surrounding climate change, you are a science denier who is likely causing climate change.

Jane Fonda explained that racism causes climate change as does toxic masculinity.

It is a grotesque 21st century new religion masquerading under the guise of science.”

the Normandy Invasion – anniversary was celebrated June 6. 79 years ago (June 6, 1944) saw 156,000 allied troops storm a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France. This was the start of the defeat of the Nazi ‘boot’ stomping on the neck of the western European nations.

Marcia feels that I am preoccupied with the black and white images of those days. Not exactly so, but since I do remember a few, child-like, snippets of that horrific time, it is part of me and also of my world view.

I thought you might find it interesting to hear (then) General Dwight D. Eisenhower inform the troops of the struggle ahead – multiple thousands who would never see their home and family again. As it’s been said many a time, this was; “The Greatest Generation.”

La Pinta – was the fastest of the three ships which, under the leadership of Christopher Columbus, was used to explore the New World in October 1492. It was a caravel-type vessel – a style that was well known during that time.

This week, docked on the shore of The Ohio River on the Kentucky side, was the replica of the original La Pinta. It was built by eighth-generation Portuguese shipwrights using the same methods and tools as the original.

At a mere 70’ long with a crew of 26, seeing it maked it seem almost impossible that such an assembled stack of planks and sticks made it across the Atlantic Ocean.

I went and toured the boat. A massive beam formed the handle of the tiller. Below deck was strictly for supplies and animals – the crew worked, slept, cooked and ate, dealt with storms, sun, wind and cold, all on deck.

Navigation of the ship was absolutely rudimentary (pegs placed on a board) and it’s a feat that their ‘discovery’ ever took place. That they survived, and even more importantly, that they made the return voyage back home is difficult to comprehend.


Jazz on the Square – was a short walk across the Purple People walking bridge from seeing La Pinta. Three hours of Jazz, wonderful to listen to and explained music. A couple of hundred of us were absolutely mesmerized. Then it was a bus ride home – glowing with the experience of both afternoon and evening.


Packing – has our little condo look like a combination Flea Market, Dollar Store, and warehouse. Bins stacked, loose stuff here and there, and a replacement refrigerator all waiting to be loaded.

The hard work will start tomorrow. June 26 Marin and some pals will arrive which means that Marcia and I know what needs be done upon our arrival at Northern Comfort mid-week. The rest of the clan will be there mid-July.

And, I forgot to mention, that there is importance to us being back in August since we have tickets to see. Drum roll please, WILLIE NELSON along with John Fogerty, the lead and primary songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Should be great!

Etcetera –
• This weekend is the 2023 USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, FL. Dinah and her cousin Adriana (from San Diego) are both there with their respective teams. Also there are brother George & Sandy, and my niece Heather. Adriana will race her finals later today in a 4-man boat. Dinah will be in the ‘stroke’ seat of her 8-man boat in the finals tomorrow.


• Since I won’t be writing at Father’s Day, here is a key Dad tendency on that day; “before using the tongs when grilling, he clicks them together two or more times to “test them out”.

• This week President Joe Biden signed a bill suspending debt ceiling for two years. I believe that all of us mere citizens are now discovering that we’re all bumping our heads on that ceiling.

• We sold out Volkswagen (camper) Bus decades ago. I think that Volkswagen thought that was long enough and so they are returning the bus to the US market after 20 years.

• I like my soccer. Currently, arguably, named the world’s best male soccer player is Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. Assuming his Miami contract goes through he’ll be playing here at TQL Stadium around the end of August, Before heading north I’ll try and snag a ticket to the Bailey.

Ciao. Stay strong. Stay Safe. Now grab my cow bell to cheer our young rowing ladies on.

Be well, be happy, enjoy your summer.

BREAKING NEWS: Adriana in her finals just place second – great work Adriana!(San Diego (Yi, R)). 1.39-seconds behind the winning boat.

Close with cheese?
06 3rd, 2023

After a low-90s degree day, it’s Saturday, and a new hot day. The fact that summertime heat plus humidity hasn’t arrived yet is a bonus. All that said also means that a hot morning coffee still tastes really good.

At some point yesterday Marcia and I stared at each other. I expected a bit of a snarky; “you look really old” comment. I was wrong. It was; “do you realize that in just two weeks we’ll be at the cabin?”

Now it’s noticeable that the days for us to head north have begun to be shorter and are coming quicker.

I made an appointment at the dealership for an oil change, tire rotation, and belt/hose inspection. The earliest they could accommodate me is 11-am Monday a week (the 12th) – the day before we leave. Not comforting at all.

I think that to keep myself calm I should just plan to, again, watch Peter Sellers do his magic as Dr. Strangelove. Sellers in each of his 6 roles in that film is a performer-beat none. Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove; “[we’re] talking about mass murder, general, not war!” Then, to the American President; “Mein Führer!”………“Deterrence is the art of producing, in the mind of the enemy… the fear to attack!”

The Roast – before I forget, a major thank you to Tevita and Adrianne for hosting the Memorial Day weekend backyard Pig Roast. Tevita especially, up at dawn to start the coals. It was such a fun time, and a wonderful opportunity to meet new folk and re-establish contact with old friends.

“First the pork chops, then morality” ~ Bertolt Brecht


Spring Grove – Then last Sunday I decided to walk to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboetum. I didn’t go to visit my parent’s grave site, but to capture the events celebrating the holiday weekend; music from the Revolutionary period and the Civil War, and a three hour tour of interesting history from the past.

President Abraham Lincoln – was with us for a full hour. History came to life as a couple of Lincoln’s famous speeches were given. Even more interesting was the shared background Lincoln had to deal with during his time, cultural, politically, socially, and familial. Questions were answered; all while our ‘historical’ Lincoln stayed in character.

Period Music – played across the acres of grass, ponds, and wood lots. Hearing music from the Civil War period played on instruments, especially the pre metal gut stringed Banjo, in that setting made it very special. Add period costuming and it became a bit of a time machine.

Grave Markers – So, I took part in a three hour tour in some of the older sections of the cemetery. Here a docent talked about the people by whose grave we stood who lived and experienced our Revolutionary period. There are 25 veterans of the Revolutionary War buried here. I’ll detail a little of just two such folk.

Lucius Chapin (1760 – 1842) – At age 15 he was too young to fight during the American Revolution. But he could play the Fife. Along with a young drummer lad Lucius was in several of those early battles. He fought alongside General George Washington at Valley Forge.

The Fife player meant you had to call the troops to breakfast, taps, and marches. Additionally, they were an early form of the Signal Corps, signaling for the troops to ‘flank’ left or right. What this meant is that for an enemy to cause disruption, aim for the drummer and fife boys.

Lucius survived and with his brother started traveling regionally as music teachers. Since most people could not read music he was key in developing a method for people to follow music. It was a ‘shape’ (or Harp) style of “Shaped-note Singing” which became wildly popular especially in churches.

As it was written in a description I read: “taking part in a shaped-note singing is an experience like no other. Grouped according to vocal range in a square formation, facing the song leader in the center and singing a-capella, singers create a powerful sonic exchange.”

Matthew Lawler (1755 – 1831) – was Active in the American Revolution. During the conflict he commanded privateering ships, including the Holker and later the Ariel. ‘Privateering’ in reality meant that the English viewed him as a pirate.


He was heavily involved in the early work, which, over time, ended up in the establishment of the Navy and Coast Guard.

But, wait a minute, there is more. He served as the Mayor of Philadelphia. And he served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Bank.

Spring Grove cemetery is non-profit and has always been non-sectarian and so it’s not very often that there is a ‘ripple’ when it comes to something as simple as a grave marker.

However, the blue marble Sphinx did cause a bit of a stir. The period saw a bit of fascination with everything Egyptian and hence, eventually, it was approved.

Etcetera –
• A fair bit of the Ramblings this week mentions music. So here is one more. A Mesopotamian tablet which at 3,400 years old is the oldest sheet music found. Named; “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” it’s a tune in praise of the ancient goddess Nikkal.

• Mid week the Atlantic Hurricane season began. They predict with 40% accuracy that it’ll be a normal season. Tell “normal” to those who’ll be staring in some, yet unnamed, storm’s eye.

• Want to see Billy Joel in one of his scheduled Madison Square Gardens concerts? Better hurry, July 2024 it’ll be the end of his 150 concert run.

• We’ve successfully harvested solar energy from an orbiting satellite and then wirelessly beamed the energy to Earth via microwaves. I think this is the very early beginnings of distributing electricity without the use of strung wiring. Kinda cool!

• Take a look at this video of the Cooper Hill Cheese Roll (Gloucester in England). Insanity! Broken bones and concussions are the norm. In one heat a young gal won by crossing the line first – while she was unconscious.

Ciao. Stay strong. Now teach myself to walk around all the bins and stuff packed for Canada. Don’t want to trip like some of our leaders are prone to do.

Be well, be happy, stay safe.