‘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!


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

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