But a black day follows

Morning all!
This week my ‘Jeeves’ role and Uber driver side-gig was in full swing as Marcia’s road-to-healing continues without pause. She’ll have her Carpal Tunnel surgery early January (her first 80th gift?). She’ll have a DEXA scan shortly. Then, the pièce de résistance; at the insistence of the surgeon who (while using a loud voice) said she required a family practitioner for her Pre-Op (it had been six years without).

She now has her own personal ‘Doc’.

A little sip of my Dunkin’s java and I’ll continue.

After her visit with the surgeon, I went on a walk. The light went on and I changed my route to swing by my doctor’s practice. Informing the front desk that I was bringing them a new patient I was offered either a male or female doctor. I signed her with Dr. Trout, the lady Dr.

By happenstance, arriving home, Marcia was on MyChart and said, “so you signed me up with a Dr. Trout?” I told her that I had told the office folk that in response to their question of which Dr. she’d want that, “Marcia had just “landed a Trout!” Marcia was in shock.

Also got her a little office time the following day for a ‘meet-n-greet’. Outcome, she loves Dr. Trout!

Ps. On her MyChart, while reading the surgeon’s notes, Marcia spotted that in brackets he had put that she (“had fired her last Doctors”). Marcia is now a marked woman.

Power Shopping – time is very near. In fact, next Friday is Black Friday – the absolute holiest of all our holidays. In preparation I have just purchased a new Blood Pressure Monitor, the wrist cuff model no less.

Actually, at the previously mentioned ‘meet-n-greet’ it was discovered that Marcia’s blood pressure reading was a wee bit high. The old monitor had bitten the dust, so it was time to start shopping.

Neighborhood ‘jawing’ around, the topic naturally came around to this annual, dreaded, shopping phase of life in America. I say “dreaded” because I challenge you find a guy looking forward to it. Of course, local stick-your-nose-into-everything-and-I-have-an-answer guy, Earl Pitts, had to offer his input:

‘tis the Season – and the Dutch are gearing up and preparing for the ‘intocht van Sinterklaas’ (Santa’s arrival). As has been done for ages, on the evening of December 4 clogs, some milk, cookies, and a carrot or two for the horse will be placed by the fireplace.

For all the cute little towheads (and all others too) the wait for their gifts is on. Then on the morning of December 5th, all kids will be up before dawn to see if ‘Sinterklaas’ had stopped by and if it was goodies or a lump of coal sitting by the hearth. A dreaded lump of coal for those with a blemish on their score card delivered by ‘zwarte Piet’ (black Peter, Santa’s assistant). Or even worse, it could be a trip over zwarte Piet’s shoulder in an empty coal sack, and off to that dreaded land of horrors, Spain.

Shalom – With all that is going on in the Middle East. And, as the seemingly cyclical rise of antisemitism rears its ugly head once more, I thought I’d give a push for peace and Shalom. Share some of what all lies behind the Hebrew word Shalom. In English we use the word as a casual expression of ‘peace’ both coming and going.

But from the book of Exodus, it’s realized that it is much more where its translated as “make it good.” And the Apostle Paul fleshes out the greater meaning when he ended his letter to the Thessalonians, by using ‘shalom’ in the modern English translation; “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”

Think about this more expansive meaning while reflecting and listening to Itzhak Pearlman, playing his most requested, Main Theme from Schlindlers List:


A great quote – A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.“.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday event – Sunday I am taking the youngest grandkids, Vai and Vili, to a small nearby church, the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati. Tomorrow afternoon it’ll be a concert; a really good jazz trio – all three are tenured music professors at the University of Cincinnati. Then, from New York, saxophone giant Jim Snidero. Joining in will also be a 12-piece orchestra featuring some of Cincinnati’s finest string musicians. I am so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon!

From Snidero’s Bio: “Grammy award-winning alto saxophonist, composer and author Jim Snidero encapsulates what is both unique and compelling about jazz. Hailed as an “alto sax virtuoso” (Downbeat) with “mind-boggling” improvisation skills (The Guardian), and “an alto saxophone sound that is one of the richest and purest on the planet” (Stereophile), he has amassed over 16 million streams on Spotify and Apple music presenting acoustic jazz of the highest caliber………….” And on it goes. As I said, “I am so looking forward to the concert and to spending time with the kids tomorrow.”

Tax Prep – I am being reminded almost daily by brokerage firms, banks, and various characters on the television/radio newsy programs that NOW is the time. The time to get my taxes in order. And here I thought all along that NOW is the time to get my final decrees and wishes in order – have I misunderstood all this time?

Thanksgiving – I just can’t finish this ‘Ramblings’ without wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving. Please do take a moment or two to reflect on all the blessings and gifts you must be thankful for. Me, I am starting my Thanksgiving morning by joining in doing a 5k (the 114th annual Thanksgiving Day Race). The fun finish to this event is that the finish line is on the TQL Stadium’s pitch of our professional soccer team, FC Cincinnati. I thought this would be a cool way to start my Thanksgiving.

Make it a great week. Try something brand new. Yesterday we, on a whim, I bought some White Thai Eggplant at Jungle Jim’s which I fixed for dinner last night. It was received 50-50, one raved while the other somewhat tolerated. But both of us ended up happy about the experience. Remember, smiling is easier than snarling.


May Peace prevail! Shalom. Dirk

Walking has absolutely plummeted across America (per a study found on Axios). Just between 2019 and 2022 walking has dropped a startling 36% (per a StreetLight Data report). This data used travel behavior based on anonymized data from mobile devices, vehicle GPS systems where one “walking trip” is any trip taken by foot that is more than about 820 feet (250 meters) from start to finish.

Your task, name the three cities which tied for last place.
1) San Diego, CA
2) Boise, ID
3) Portland, OR
4) New York, NY
5) Orlando, FL
6) Las Vegas, NV
7) Ogden, UT

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