Archive for February, 2024

silence and commotion
02 17th, 2024

between silence and commotion

The week began at a normal pace. The temperature kept climbing and eventually crossed the 55-degree mark. Events also exploded. Earlier in the week it was a 6.8 mile walk and on Thursday I came back through the front door at 9.75 miles.

But wait there’s more. Marcia and I went to bed early after my marathon-level walk, had just fallen asleep, when we both heard a loud thud and the whole (3-story brick) building shook.

More on that in a moment; first my very first sip of morning coffee – the best!

The Cyclones – If this seems a bit disjointed this morning I have an excuse, Cyclones hockey. Last evening, with a 7:30pm puck drop, I began watching our gentlemanly team, the Cyclones, take on the Toledo Walleye ‘goons’. More on that below.

Quote:Den dat little man in black dar, he say women can’t have as much rights as man ’cause Christ wa’n’t a woman. Whar did your Christ come from? From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with him.” “Ar’n’t I a woman?” ~ Sojourner Truth, black slave – huge on the abolitionist and woman’s rights lecture circuit, never learned to read or write, issued a series of books, met with the likes of Charles Dickens, President Abraham Lincoln, and she hobnobbed with Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Nearly six feet tall and she spoke Dutch!

Sojourner – Sojourner Truth ‘s story is truly remarkable and yet, today, is barely known. born enslaved as Isabella Baumfree sometime in the late 1790s in New York she later changed her name to Sojourner Truth. It didn’t take her long to become a leading character in the abolitionist and woman’s rights movements.

Her fearlessness and humor gave Sojourner Truth an immortality on the popular speaking circuits of the day, she was so popular that in 1986 her face was on a US postage stamp. Anyway, do yourself a favor. Click HERE and read a little deeper from the linked Smithsonian article, or grab yourself a copy of her Autobiography HERE, it’s worthwhile.

****** Ok, that’s it for the ‘A’ side. A small break for you and I’ll also grab another coffee and flip The Ramblings over to the ‘B’ side. See you there! *****

Alright, that was painless, the needle is tracking beautifully, so here we go!

And the winner is? — Aldi’s. What? Yup, Marcia’s favorite is officially the fastest growing Food market in the country. Aldi’s is beating out the likes of Kroger and Publix. It’s a no-frills discount place where almost 90% of the items are private labels. And, this is critically important to me, each store has a ‘weird’ item aisle.

Marcia views the groceries ‘bag-it-yourself’ event as a challenge. She also thinks they’re paying her every time she replaces the shopping cart, and it hands her a quarter.

The reason I mention all this is that in the next few months Aldi’s is acquiring about 400 Winn-Dixie and Harvey Supermarket stores from Southeastern Grocers. This proves that Marcia won’t have to worry that Aldi’s is going to disappear anytime soon.

THE Corner – of course I am talking about The Corner of Chaos and Mayhem. Our little seven-unit condominium’s structure has withstood the test of time – for 100 years to be exact. Storms, the winters of ’77 and ’78, the Great Depression of the ‘30’s, riots, you name it and nary a scratch. Last evening we had a first.

About 10pm, already in bed, a large pickup truck blew into the building. The whole building shook. A later review shows that large pieces of stonework from the 100 year old foundation and some of the brick wall were knocked loose and all busted up.

 

I saw the truck work its way back into the street, hood curled up, horn going off nonstop, but somehow still driving. In the meantime, I was on with 911 dispatch and shortly saw a couple of cruisers scream around the corner. By the time I got outside Fire was already on site, and down the road a ways the cops had the driver standing next to his truck.

I spent time with the cops in one of the cruisers to give details.

Meanwhile a couple of other cruisers had arrived. Alcohol did not appear to be the issue, drugs more likely.

The driver was yelling up a storm about his; “Constitutional Rights, blah, blah”. I think the additional cops arrived to make certain the guy’s new ‘bracelets’ would go on smoothly.

Yesterday, by late afternoon, a 1-hour response team had secured the damage and boxed in the busted portion. A claim had been filed with our Insurance company.

It almost seems like the shambolic Corner of Chaos and Mayhem is now back to its regular state of normalcy.

Next, we’ll find out just how kindly the Insurance company treats us.

Cyclones (le fini) – Snow event number two unleashed on us yesterday afternoon. For me it was a quick change of plans – drive and park under cover rather than do the bus thing which requires a several blocks of walking. It was a wise move.

The game (I hadn’t been to a hockey game for some time) was great fun. A full house of roaring fans had assembled for a great evening; good hockey, a fight, an ejection, countless saves, boundless ‘in between the periods’ entertainment, plus cheeseburgers with a large craft beer for $8. It can’t be beaten.

The only improvement would have been a win. The final score was a 4 – 6 win for the Walleyes.

My seat was in the third row at center ice immediately behind the team. Perfect!

The guy next to me (friendly but luckily, he soon moved) turned out to be the unofficial announcer; “Hey Ref You Suck, Hey Ref You Suck.” A refrain which then was quickly picked up to become an arena wide chorus.

  

     

 

 

From my seat I did see the prettiest goal of the game (if I remember correctly, I think it was Walleye’s fourth). I saw the puck whip off the curved blade of stick, then, as if by magic, a clear path towards the goal seemed to open. Our goalie looked self-assured since he had the whole left side of his goal protected. All of it! All except for a small, maybe 6”, open space between the goal and his left shoulder; and that is where I saw that puck disappear into. You must appreciate perfection; I found myself giving the opposition a round of applause.

It sure was a great evening!

May Peace prevail! Shalom.

Just so you remember, our local Dairy Queen spring re-opening is in 13 days! That’s less than TWO weeks! Can you believe it?

Dirk

BONUS POINTS:

Being a Hollywood aficionado (NO not really), which famous actress collects knives?

1) Angelina Jolie?
2) Halle Berry?
3) Sigourney Weaver?
4) Jenniver Aniston?


‘Foul is Fair & Fair is Foul’

So, says ‘The Bard’, William Shakespeare in Macbeth. With all that’s been happening plus (at what the dear folk at Halmark would say) wishing y’all a magnificent Valentine Day!

Morning all! You’ve probably gathered yesterday as it marked the last day of the Year of the Rabbit, as the next Lunar New Year in the 12-year zodiac cycle starts today.

The real question is just how do ‘rabbits’ celebrate and what are they known for? Hint; expect a baby boom next November. I am hoisting my coffee mug in salute.

The 5K – For people who wondered, I felt great doing the ‘Frozen 5K’ early last Saturday morning. The event was sold out at 5,000 participants. Out of the around 30 or so in the bracket of males aged 70 – 95 I came in at #8 and the first 7 were all between ages 70 & 73.

 

Cathy’s Brunch – on Sunday morning was one of those ‘couldn’t get any better’ events. Talk, laughter, and wonderful foods.

A great Fat Tuesday happening – was last Sunday. Two hours of fine, traditional Dixieland Jazz. There would have even been singing with some of “Jelly Roll” Morton’s pieces. I say “would have” because we were in a church setting and the lyrics just weren’t conducive to such a setting.

As a young kid, ‘Jelly Roll’ got his start in New Orleans burlesques and bordellos. He explained that piano players were viewed as feminized sissies, so by writing over the top crude lyrics gave him ‘stature’. Some stuff like this.

Bigger than Beyoncé? — When it comes to Black female voices in music, immediately coming to mind are artists such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, or the likes of an Ella Fitzgerald. But have any of you ever heard of Mamie Smith? Well, let’s explore.

Mamie (1891 – 1946) was born right here in Cincinnati. She began a whole new genre, but first a little bio. She was an African American who sang Jazz and Blues doing the vaudeville circuit. Then in 1920 she became the first Black female artist to sing and record a secular Blues song – “Crazy Blues”.

In one year that record sold a MILLION copies. This importance caused the record and Mamie Smith to; get inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994 and be preserved in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2005.

She became a Superstar earning as much as $3,000 per performance at her height in the 1930s. During her career Mamie recorded over 160 songs. Enjoy the record that started it all. Love the Blues!

Thank you Tucker – Tucker Carlson has the cajónes to do what no other journalist or media company has dared to do. This week he managed to head for Moscow and interview Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. Click here to view a clip on X.com where he explains his reasoning.

Whatever your thoughts, we have the right to know and the right to try and understand what is going on with the Russia invasion of the Ukraine. And the $$-Billions we are spending on it. For me, to find out by hearing from both sides is a must.

When the likes of Hillary Clinton gets yanked away from her Chardonay and paraded out to utter; “Tucker Carlson Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’ — ‘He’s Like a Puppy Dog”, it means there is more to the story than what we’ve been privy to. Thank you Tucker!

Quote – Here’s a wonderful quote that still resonates today: “We make fine bourbon at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon.” ~ Julian ‘Pappy’ Van Winkle, the patriarch of Stitzel-Weller Distillery

Bourbon – Not sure if you know it, but we’re living in the Golden Age of bourbon. Maybe it’s a product of the 1897 law when a Bourbon Purity law was passed. Whatever the reason, since my retirement in 2008 the bourbon industry has doubled (just so you know, that wasn’t all that long ago). The Kentucky Distillers’ Association reports that bourbon is a $9 billion industry with distilleries in 42 of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

This growth has also been reflected in pricing. ‘King of the Mountain’ in the most sought-after, world of Bourbons, is ‘Pappy Van Winkle’. Pappy’s priciest bottle — the 23-year — has an SRP of $300. The current average market price? An absolutely crazy $6,525. As I read; in the luxury bourbon world distill less than you can bottle, and people will pay.

Stitzel-Weller Distillery did distill Pappy Van Winkle. Now it’s produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery about an hour+ drive from here, and itself a modern-day bourbon superstar. However, Julian ‘Pappy’ Van Winkle headed up distilling ‘Pappy’ himself till he was 91 years old.

All of this does mean that Marcia and I have participated in both ‘organized’ and self-organized Distillery tours. The last one was with George and Sandy and it was a blast!

Temu – Planning to watch the Super Bowl tomorrow? If so, please make note that the Chinese company, Temu, will announce its presence with nearly $15-million worth of ads.

Rep. Carol Miller (WV) said that Temu markets products made with Uyghur slave labor.

Last June, the House Select Committee on the CCP issued a report accusing Temu of failing “to maintain even the facade of a meaningful compliance program.”

Just thought you’d want to know. Happy watching!

Keeping Score? – OK, grab your Excel sheet. This is the comparisons between Biden and Trump in reference to this week’s special counsel report.

Row XXX: Column A: Biden “TOP SECRET” file stash willfully retaining 18 documents
Column B: Trump “TOP SECRET” file stash willfully retaining 21 documents
Row YYY: Column A: Biden “SECRET” marked papers willfully retaining 36 files
Column B: Trump “SECRET” marked papers willfully retaining 9 files

Racing Season – Locally at Turfway Park the season is well underway. Down the road, Louisville, the hype kicking off the “Run for the Roses” is also about to start. People are beginning to pay attention to Horse Racing. So, I thought I’d share this.

This was the craziest. A young Irish fellow in Brooklyn, Frank Hayes, finally got his chance. A rookie, he got to ride at Belmont (1923) on a barely rated horse named “Sweet Kiss”. Neither rider nor horse had ever won a race (20-1 odds). Midway through the race young Mr. Hayes suffered a hear attack and died.

However, he had slumped over the horse and stayed in the saddle. The horse did have spunk, ran hard, and surprisingly won by a nose, beating out a steed named ‘Gimme’. Frank Hayes was now the only jockey to ever win a race as a dead man and has his place in the Guinness Book of Records guaranteed.

May Peace prevail! Shalom.

Now, watch the lightning-storm move ‘outta’ here and listen to the last of the rain on the windows. All with a  coffee refill. A good way to kick off the Saturday morning!

PS. Yesterday our temp clicked in at 64F and our local Dairy Queen spring re-opening is in 20 days! Now that is perfection!

Dirk

BONUS POINTS:
Here’s a “Where’s Waldo;” how many Corporate Logos can you find?


It’s a Leap Year
02 3rd, 2024

New heights, New temperatures?

Morning all! Last week I mentioned that according to what I had observed, Marcia, while wearing her CD Holter heart monitor for a couple of days, was not to drink any coffee. She protested strongly. I then should have quoted Abraham Lincoln; “Mary Todd, dearest wife, it is surely so since it came from Social Media”.

Anyway, the Holter experience came and went flawlessly. All is back to normal, and I am enjoying a quick coffee before heading into town and my 5K.

Favorite Headline –Gregg Abbott and the Invasion of the Border Snatchers.”
We’ve come a long way from the Boston Tea Party. What would happen to “extremists” throwing tea into a harbor today? Independence Hall. Lexington and Concord. The Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry declaring, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to my dying day your right to say it”.
Donald Jeffries ~ Author “I Protest” Jan. 30, 2024 https://donaldjeffries.substack.com/p/greg-abbott-and-the-invasion-of-the

Her ‘la pointrine’ — was on full display during Marcia’s ECHO exam last Monday. The tech was busily working to get her heart in its most fetching pose possible when he noticed Marcia trying to peek at the screen. Soon he had it turned for her to also see – (and the ‘Beat Goes On’ / Sonny and Cher comes to mind.) When Marcia popped out of the exam room the word I heard her use a few times was “fascinating”. I wasn’t certain if it was because she saw her working heart, or if it was the sensation of a massive amount of gel being rubbed all over.

Then as I mentioned above, immediately after the trial by ECHO, Marcia was fitted with a CD Holter Heart Monitor – wearing it for 48 hours. All went well, and lucky me got to return the equipment.

 

A weekend for the history books – is about to start. Last week the weather turned from weeks of rain to where I got almost 12-miles practice in (plus some limbering up exercises). Now the fun really kicks in.

The, sold out at 5000, Frozen 5/10K sponsored by our Cyclones Hockey Team’s Foundation will start shortly. Then, this evening it’ll be our neighborhood’s Progressive Dinner. Lots of anticipation on that one. A number of the old folk have moved and we’ll see what the new crop is like.

Then comes Sunday. It begins with a Birthday Celebration Brunch for Cathy. She selected a place I hadn’t ever heard of; ‘Proud Hound Coffee – Café and Roastery’. Online it looks appealing. It’s located in an area close to where we spent our younger years, which went through a downturn and is now experiencing a resurgence.

Then Sunday afternoon I am going solo to be part of a Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra performance; Mardi Gras Party featuring Queen City Vintage Vibe”. It’ll be an early Fat Tuesday  fete reminiscent of king cake and beads. On the program are New Orleans marches, music of Jelly Roll Morton, as well as Mardi Gras favorites like “The Saints Go Marching In!” What a ‘topper’ to the weekend!

The Venue – for my Jazz concert is the nearby First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati which offers some wonderful acoustics. What is also special with that venue is that our 27th President, William Howard Taft (1909 – 1913), was a member of this church. Just as an aside, President Taft was also our Solicitor General as well as the tenth Chief US Supreme Court Justice.

 

In Inches, Feet, Centimeters, or Meters – these all point the same direction. Data shows us that during the 1800s Americans were the tallest people in the world. But the height thing has changed; DRAMATICALLY!

Records show that beginning about 1980 average height started to decline. Currently we are number 47 in the height rankings department (women rank 58th). The Netherlands tops the list.

Professor John Komlos (former holder of the chair of economic history at the University of Munich) states that height is an overlooked indicator of human welfare. “This is especially important from the point of view of human welfare, changes in average height reveal a lot about how well a society cares for its children.”

CO2 – Geologist, Prof. Ian Plimer (Australian geologist and professor emeritus at the University of Melbourne). broadcasts that; “Game over. We are dealing with a fraud.” As he demolishes the “human-induced climate change” hoax. He continues; “No one has ever shown that human emissions of CO2 drive global warming… And if it could be shown, then you would have to show that the 97% of emissions which are natural, do not drive global warming.


I do believe one of those MUST WATCH Red Carpet shindigs in Hollywood will take place this weekend. I’ll be to busy to turn on the ‘telly’, but you must watch. If not you may not catch a momentous moment such as this:


May Peace prevail! Shalom.

PS. Our local Dairy Queen spring re-opening is in 27 days!

Dirk

BONUS POINTS:
What was the concept meaning of EPCOT?

1) Experimental Prototype to Change our Tomorrows
2) Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
3) Every Patron Challenged Often and Totally
4) Exotic Paradise Countries of Transylvania, Tenerife, and Tuamotus.
5) European Principal Challenges Over Time