Archive for October, 2023

Hot Stuff
10 28th, 2023

A Fury & The Electric Circus

Morning all! Before this week’s Ramblings gets underway, I have a question. This week a jewelry store customer accidentally got locked in their vault at closing; he was stuck there until the timer automatically opened the door in the morning. Importantly, he had a phone and was communicating with the outside.

Ok, here is my question. How is it that with my previous carrier I would lose signal in parts of our condo, yet, stuck in a concrete and steel vault which couldn’t be broken through, this guy had no connection issue? Zero?

Think about that as we sip our morning coffee. I’m sipping my ‘Dunkin’ brew even as I massage my worry stone.

Another Week, Another ‘Victim’ – and Marcia just sighs. Earlier in the week was sitting in the waiting area at a local garage. After fixing a cup of green tea I found myself chatting with the other person who was also waiting. And thus, it started.

Somehow, we ended up talking music. My new friend, Roy Naturman, was in our region for a recording session when his Volvo’s cooling system blew and so, there he was; a chance meeting between us two.

Trained in classical piano he moved into Jazz, and as a youngster in South Africa formed a band, Rock, Blues, and some newer sounds making use of rhythms specific to South Africa.

One of his bandmates was a Bassist, Clive Calder, who at some point left the ‘from-gig-to-gig-life’ playing scene; he announced he was moving to the UK and “own the music industry.”

Naturman said it wasn’t until a couple of years later he read that a new music label had signed a band named Def Leppard. That was the start. Calder initially formed Zomba Music Group and the JIVE label which eventually signed artists as varied as Billy Ocean, Will Smith, R. Kelly, N’ Sync (and later, Justin Timberlake), Backstreet Boys, Shenia Twain, and Britney Spears. His worth grew to an excess of $5-BILLION, and he now lives on his private island in the Caribbean.

Naturman and I discussed how lives can join, split, and for a variety of reasons end up totally different. Naturman with his 14-year-old Volvo says he’s enjoyed a happy and fulfilled life playing gigs; as fulfilled as is his uber-wealthy former bandmate (who he still has contact with). I guess it all stems from your view, desires, and outlook, i.e., do what makes you happy.

OK, once back home I researched and found a couple of 45s and one vinyl LP from the ‘60s with both Clive & Roy on the same label. Details follow below:

The Music – For four short years between 1967 and 1971 the hottest venue in New York was the Electric Circus. It was in the middle of that short period of the Circus that several youngsters blew into the city from their Cape Town home in South Africa.

In 1969 they played a one-night Jam: The Electric Jam – Alive At The Electric Circus . Finally, I had discovered something documented with both Calder and my new friend, Naturman, playing together. That was the LP I discovered. On the back cover of that LP Clive Calder paid homage to the keyboardist (organ), the 80-year old guy I had been talking with, Roy Naturman:

“This time (on I Wanna Dream) Roy Naturman on the organ. What a player! In fact, what a scene! Roy Naturman wanted some peace of mind. So, he quieted the scene down. You know, sort of slowed the pace. “Coming Home Babe”. An instrumental, I’ve always felt that organs should be played in church, or on Sunday nights in Electric Jams. So does Roy. So he played.”

Warning: Below is a YouTube of that full LP and thus a little over 30-minutes of great listening to a recording which dates back to 1969. Enjoy!

Isn’t it grand that no matter where you find yourself, an interaction with a total stranger can lead to a splendid few moments.

An Insight – At this time of our world leaders finding another “Jolly Little War” I thought we’d gain with an uncommon insight. Especially seeing how many of the world’s leaders and the protesting University students across the West who apparently ‘flail’ away without real thought and understanding .

This quote comes from by Golda Meir (1898 Kyiv, Ukraine – 1978) who was the fourth prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. She was the first female head of a government in the Middle East. She was brilliant!

57 Fury – The first new car I remember my dad buying when we got settled in Canada was a 1953 Chevy. With a bland tan color, it surely got us around (except for the times the ‘knuckles’ on the shift ‘tree’ got out of sync and the time the battery was stolen).

But three years in was about how long these beasts were able to stay clear of all sorts of issues, and so the time had come to purchase something new. And new it was. Soon a brand new 1957 Plymouth Fury was proudly seen on our driveway.

It was the worst car you could have ever imagined!

Prior to year two when it was sold the ‘Fury’ had blown the rear suspension. Three of the door handles had been made unusable through freezing (it was in Canada after all). And we nearly lost our rented RV trailer miles from home when it was discovered that the left side of the rear bumper was never properly attached to the vehicle. It’s amazing how a good marketing spin can make ‘a silk purse from a sow’s ear’.

Thanks to Art for digging up this old dealer’s training video:

Hippy Themed – is a restaurant located about 40-miles from here; the Plain Folk LIVE – Music Cafe. Located in the tiny town of Pleasant Plain. It’s on my list – music and food in a small-town setting has got to be alright. This would have been a good week to try the place with the weather mid to high 70s. Probably, the next chance we’ll get the snows could be flying.

Elephants – A few weeks ago while retrieving our recycling bins a trucker stopped and asked me for directions to the Zoo. Lots of rebar in back, he mentioned it was for the elephant section. That was the first time I heard that something ‘elephantine’ was afoot.

Turns out that they’re creating a new 5-acre enclosure for these large animals. In that light, it’s good to see that the place is looking towards the long-term survival and the coexistence of the creatures. Both in the wild and in their care. It’s much more than a place to go, “ooh” and “aah”. As the #1 rated Zoo in the nation, we’re understandably proud.

Factoid of the day: did you know that Elephants don’t like tea?

Halloween for adults – acquires a whole different take than merely costuming and heading out for a candy grab. On the other hand, do not make it a macabre reflective time either. ?

Swedish Confusion since Marcia is half Swede, and since 120,000 people a year confuse Sweden with Switzerland (thinking these are one and the same), I want use my Ramblings as a vehicle to help you. I thought I’d give you a short video titled “Visit Sweden” (click on the title). It was created primarily to educate the many people who confuse Sweden with Switzerland as President Biden did recently.

Make it a great week. Should you be as old (or nearly so) as me, remember it’s about time to deal with your 401K RMD’s – you have till December 31st.

This week make a new friend. Keep seeing your ‘glass’ as half full. And remember, smiling is easier than snarling.

May Peace prevail! Love to all. Dirk

BONUS POINTS: Know what these Baby Boomer words/expressions/phrases mean?
1. Crash on the Davenport
2. Gas
3. Thongs
4. Don’t flip your wig
5. Wet rag
6. A bone to pick

Fabulous stuff
10 21st, 2023

The Arts, and Art

Morning all even though outside it’s sitting at 44-degrees! And alongside the ‘and Art’ (referencing my brother), it’s Marcia too – read further on down.

This week it got to a point where I had to head for Costco. The reason is there was a great sale on Peet’s Coffee along with a tire issue, a fuel fill up, a new hair dryer, and a must buy rotisserie chicken. I have no idea how it was that at the register it took two persons to unpack my shopping cart.

Now study the reality of this comic while I take a sip of coffee.

A trope – this trope regarding the current (ongoing) Hamas vs. Israel fracas sums it up pretty well. Hamas launches a skirmish against Israel. Israel retaliates. The most vocal world voices quickly toss all blame onto Israel – which is then run up the flagpole by the world’s willing media. At least that’s the trend as we’re currently seeing it. Here’s the trope as written by a very clever Canadian, Mark Steyn:

“One day the U.N. Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world’s soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

“Great idea,” says his deputy. “Er, but who would we play?”

“Israel, of course.”

A Dr. Visit – Marcia; “Dr. did you just label me a pulchritudinous, pneumatic, somewhat minimally callipygous, but overall Junoesque patient?”

Dr. J.; “Mrs. P., my apologies, I was just dictating my findings regarding your median nerve and your serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome.”

And thus, it was how Marcia discovered she has a serious problem. Or a “sensory cutaneous innervation to the medial forearm, medial wrist, and medial one and one-half digits” aka Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to be more specific.

Sitting in on her medical happenings, I now feel ready to pass an exam on the subject! By the way, during the EMG electrical test portion I could have sworn Marcia was sitting on a whoopie cushion.

More matters: Marcia & Mangoes – One of the secrets Marcia shared with me after we started dating seriously was that she was allergic to Mangoes. During her Peace Corps stint in Venezuela, she noted that Mango trees grew everywhere, i.e., “fruit for the picking”. After eating a Mango from the tree (almost Genesis-like don’t you think) her face ballooned and turned red. Fast forward, decade after decade as time went by. Not until this week did I learn the reason.

Seems like the Mango (and Cashews) are all from the same plant family as Poison Ivy – Anacardiaceae. And, that Poison Ivy isn’t poisonous but its leaves contain an organic irritant compound – Urushiol. That same compound is also on Mango skin, and Cashew shells.

Problem solved. Buy and eat all the Mangoes she (or you) want, just skin them; the fruit is wonderfully delicious.

Artists – For someone who appreciates art, but produces little, I am amazed by the insight, interpretation, and execution of their vision. Artists truly are a step above. Have a look at these two short videos – totally different, both stunning.

And finally, all art is interpretive. I saw this sculpture and feel as if this piece is a reaction to what seems like sanity, throughout the world, has ‘sailed’ away. ‘Crazy’, in all its forms, is so rampant that ‘normalcy’ is unable to cope with it all – we’re unable to wrap our collective heads around it. That’s how I see this sculpture by Belgian artist Thomas Lerooy:

Boys in the Boat – When granddaughter Dinah started rowing, I had zero knowledge of her sport. Since I always have difficulty operating in a vacuum one of my first moves was to pick up and read a striking true story on the subject. This excerpt from the Amazon book site on Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown:

“In 1936 nine working-class American boys burst from their small towns into the international limelight, unexpectedly wiping the smile off Adolph Hitlers face by beating his vaunted German team to capture the Olympic gold medal.”

That book gave me insight into the determination, comradery, strength, and teamwork that sport requires.

Now we’re on the cusp of George Clooney’s release of a movie based on that book, to be released Christmas Day. Click below for the Boys in the Boat movie Trailer.


Numbers – usually tell a story quickly and succinctly. Here is a numbers graph which shows the salary requirement to own a home in cities across the nation:

Dia De Los Muertos – “Day of the Dead” is celebrated at All Saints Day in many Latin countries (this year on Oct 31, or Nov. 1, 2, 6). Years ago, in Guatemala, Marcia and I happened to be there during that time. People were decorating cemeteries and having family picnics by gravesites. A blend of Aztec, Mayan, and Christian, it’s a really major, colorful, and happy festive time.

Meeting Folk – I’ve heard way too often that I can’t step anywhere without either just chatting with someone or making a new friend. Tanking up at Costco I met this fellow and his ‘toy’. We were happily ‘jawing away when one of us noticed that the line behind us was growing.

Anyhow, here is a photo of my latest ‘victim’, my new friend, and his answer to improving plant growth through carbon.

Monday, brother Art will become the newest family recipient to receive a hip replacement. Keep him in your thoughts. I believe that the regular exercises over these past two years will do him well when it comes to a speedy recovery.

Make it a great week. Do your best to stay healthy, stay happy, stay grateful, and continue to learn and grow.

May Peace prevail! Love to all. Dirk

BONUS POINTS: any concept of what these short forms mean on Social Media?
1. LOL
5. TL;DR

Seriously, I got caught up in it all

Morning all! I just realized that I am not at all cantankerous since I discovered it wasn’t me who put the ‘pee’ in “peevish”.

Posting a little early today since Jason and I will be heading to Wilmington, OH to watch Dinah race in a regional regatta. Last weekend, in Pittsburgh she rowed to an amazing finish, 551 entries from as far away as MX, cold and very windy, a 2.5-mile race, and she rowed twice in one day. First race (4+ boat) came in first and then in the 8+ boat a second-place finish. The race where she finished second was won by the other entry from her club. Her club is a true powerhouse!

Mr. Coffee coffee just beeped and so my morning begins officially. BTW, want to know all about how coffee (caffeine) affects your brain and aids perking you up?

Such as “Without caffeine, the neurotransmitter adenosine typically binds to adenosine receptors to slow down cell activity and make you feel sleepy. But caffeine can bind to those same receptors and block adenosine, so cells speed up instead of slowing down.” Or is that TMI? If you want that level of detail, then click here.

Otherwise just scroll down.

My Bad! I’d Forgotten – That last weekend, October 7, 1948 to be exact, was the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the 2CV. The launch of the Citröen Deux Chevaux (2CV) occurred at the 35th ‘Salon de l’Automobile’ in Paris. It became the hottest thing on the show’s display floor.

“Citröen has kissed the last of austerity with masochistic fervour.”

journalist at the exposition in 1948 seeing the unveiling of the 2CV and eyeing it for the first time

Did you vote last week? – as part of the ‘Fat Bear Week’ contest’? Last week I published the how to vote details, here are the results. The winner of Katmai’s Fat Bear Week contest for 2023 is …drum road please… ‘defensive’ mama Bear #128, aka, ‘Grazer’. If you want details, she received 108,321 votes to her closest competitor, Chunk’s, 23,134 votes.

What’s the Weather? – For several years now, I have sat in on many sessions offered by a local non-profit educational group, EmpowerU America, not afraid to tackle almost any subject from any angle – even having speakers often shunned or cancelled by the standard national ‘news’ entities. A great learning base for me with my Libertarian/Conservative leanings.

This past week I sat for 1 ½ hours on Zoom raptly absorbed discovering a virtually unknown local. Unknown? Yes, barely known, Cleveland Abbe (1838 – 1916). Abbe was America’s First Weather Forecaster, in fact he developed the methodology which allowed the start of weather prediction. Starting in Cincinnati with the first daily weather forecast published in the US in 1869. Right here in Cincinnati, and with the nation being primarily agricultural, this was absolutely YUUGE!

Fine and dandy you say, but really, all that hoopla on weather? Well wait a minute. How about if I told you that he was also a key contributor developing the idea for standard time zones. With rail crisscrossing the nation and Europe, time standardization was realized as a necessity. Traveling to Europe and some negotiations he gained international buy-in. In fact, if Great Britain had not been the world’s superpower, the world could now be talking; ‘Cincinnati Mean Time’ instead of ‘Greenwich Mean Time’. What a fun evening.

Fear, it’s just Fear – which had almost ruled out Marcia going anywhere. I’m not talking to the Supermarket, kids home, restaurant, etc.; it’s trips of substance. Now, with 2 months of healing behind her, she has just about kicked her hodophobia (hodophobia; is your word of the day). So, in a bit under three weeks we’ll be heading for Michigan for a sibling gathering – we’re excited!

To help her prepare for greater mobility I found this portable little Pedal Exerciser in the CRAZY middle isle at Aldi’s. She is using it and loves it!


Red Bull made for the ‘Nati – Red Bull marketing knows how to pull it off. Rather than me trying to describe I’m attaching two short videos. First from a few years ago and shows one of our local TV anchors manhandling (or is it was manhandled by?) the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, Cincinnati. The second was from this summer’s Red Bull ‘Flugtag’, Cincinnati and it’s self-explanatory. Happy howling!

Red Bull Soapbox Derby, Cincinnati

Red Bull ‘Flugtag’, Cincinnati


ArriveCan App and its development has cost Canadians $54million of their hard-earned monies – and ArriveCan App is now being described as a criminal “boondoggle”. The RCMP is investigating, and the Globe and Mail (Canada’s premier newspaper) is writing about it. The first real hearing on the matter was cut short by a demand by Iqra Khalid of the ruling NDP-Liberal Party to adjourn thus forcing a vote to shut down the Auditor General’s testimony; it passed, no further open dialogue.

I am galled in that for two years I was abused having to detail and submit to the app’s onerous demands simply trying to gain entry to check on my property.

Next stop, the Psyche Asteroid Yesterday morning with mere minutes to spare before the start of my brothers’ Zoom exercise session, I watched the launch. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket with two side boosters lifted off right on schedule. I even got to see the two side boosters return and land perfectly on their pads.

Apparently, the asteroid for which the $1billion probe is heading is what is described as a; “bizarre metallic asteroid.” This is why I was so rapt (Marcia thinks, over the top so).

Quoting re. my interest; “Scientists think the space rock Psyche, which is about 173 miles wide, may be the exposed core of an ancient protoplanet — a type of object they’ve never seen up close before. Psyche will reach its space rock target in 2029, then study it from orbit for about two years thereafter.” Are you too just as excited?

Vai’s Steel Drum Band – at Seasongood Pavilion was stellar and fun. Vai plays a tenor drum and is in the middle row on our right side. Rather than me blathering on and on, just watch the video and enjoy. By the way, make sure your audio is on.

On your schedule – If you haven’t yet purchased this year’s Halloween candy; click your mobile on the QR code to discover your State’s favorite Halloween Candy. Some are a natural, some you’ll go; “huh”?

Make it a great week. Worried how old your bread is? Check the clip or tie’s color and ask your store their color code; usually it’s the bake day of the week. I just mention that little factoid to take another morning concern off your plate. Do your best to stay healthy, stay happy, stay grateful, and continue to grow.

May Peace prevail! Love to all. Dirk

BONUS POINTS: This is a question with five parts:

  1. When was the world’s FIRST speeding ticket issued?
  2. What was the legal speed limit at that time?
  3. What was the crazy speed of that infernal machine?
  4. The auto had just a driver, but by law, how many people were required to operate it?
  5. It was also missing an all-important ‘Red Flag’, why was it a necessity?

Check just how good/correct you are. Verify at this site, click here:

Happy Town
10 7th, 2023

Top Fifteen no less!

Morning all! The week crept slowly towards Marcia’s last Physical Therapy session. More on that further into The Ramblings. So, sit back, put on your readers, and relax for a bit.

My own morning coffee has already been poured so I too am ready.

Chaos & Mayhem – as in ‘The Corner of’ has not been mentioned since I emerged from my hiatus. However, ‘The Corner of Chaos & Mayhem’ is assuredly living up to its reputation. This photo, from earlier in the week, will verify. The activity here is better than any TV. The only thing that comes close would be a performance by Cirque du Soleil.

FC Cincinnati – won a huge honor in Major League Soccer, the Supporters’ Shield for the best record in the league this season. This means that throughout the playoffs FC Cincinnati we will have home team advantage. Not bad for the latecomer entry on the national scene.

Outdoors – selected Cincinnati close to the front in a listing of the 15 happiest places in the Nation. I’ve never made it a secret that I love living in this town, but the Outdoors honor confirms my thinking.

What popped us up in the ranking is our 8,057 acres of greenspace and 365 parks, 88% of the citizenry is no more than a 10-min walk from any one of them. Geography has given us a temperate 4-season climate with both a long and glorious Spring & Fall season coupled by a short winter.

The ‘Underground Railroad’ came through here; we’re part of the North and the South. Today a 2,000-mile bicycle route retraces that ‘road to freedom’; and the 4,800-mile North Country National Scenic Trail crosses it right here. But, most importantly, our real ‘secret’ sauce is beer. Breweries were set up by German immigrants in the 1800s and over 80 are still “going strong” most offering Taprooms and/or “Biergardens”.


[Cincinnati riverfront – Smale Park]

Fat Bear Week – As a precursor to next month’s elections, your vote is important for this event. Katmai National Park, Alaska’s Fat Bear Week is a celebration where anyone can vote. Vote? Yup, vote for the fattest brown Bear – the one who’ll emerge from its winter slumber as the ‘king of the hill” (or woods).

The link below will show the bears participating in this year’s competition. Weight is put on by the success of each bear’s salmon catch. Have fun!

Vote now till the 10th (October 4-10) and vote daily from 8am – 5pm AKDT at!

Cheesecake Factory Does a Cheesecake Factory restaurant indicate a mall’s financial health? Moody’s Analytics says it could. They found that 93% of loans in places where a C.F. is located were current, versus 72% without the eatery.

Entities such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Gucci, Lululemon, Vuitton, or an Apple store also tend to maintain brick and mortar places in Malls where the Cheesecake Factory has a presence. Of our four major Malls, just one has a C.F. restaurant. These four, by looks, fit’s the Moody’s profile with in that the one where there is a C.F. appears to be the most successful. It’s unscientific, but hmmmm?

People want to know – was our viewing the 100-year-old silent movie of Harold Lloyd in ‘SAFETY LAST’ earlier this week worth it? Answer; ABSOLUTELY! The theater was at least 80% full, from our Q-tipped heads to highschoolers. Along with the crowd we were mesmerized, and Marcia and I were caught belly-laughing more times than not. The piano accompaniment player was the perfect add-on, and his period costume made it even better.

Marcia – it’s a new day! Thursday Marcia graduated from Physical Therapy! In celebration we ‘gifted’ each other a block-long walk to the corner – No walker and No holding on. She did great, grumpy but great. Thank you, Dr. Stephanie!

Mid-month it’s off to the nerve/hand specialist, so Marcia will be embarking on a new path, and some new challenges. Success is awaiting; as Steve Jobs once said:

“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

Steve Jobs

Vai’s Steel Drum Band – will perform tomorrow afternoon (for those in town, it’s at Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park). Since we’re rushing headlong into the Halloween event along with all its screams and dirges, hearing the bright and sparkling steel drum sounds will be just perfect.

Weekly(?) Numbers – Should this segment become a regular feature? This week it’s a chart showing, the years 1968 through 2021 death rate (by color shade) for each age bracket per 100,000 people. Don’t worry, if you’re reading this, you’re OK.

Make it a great week. In every day there are 1,440 minutes. Use each of the 1,440 to do your best to stay healthy, stay happy, stay grateful, and continue to grow.

May Peace prevail! Love to all. Dirk

BONUS POINTS: if you think you know the answer let me know and I’ll verify. Likewise, have no clue?, ask and I’ll supply you the answer.

Do you know what this is?