Archive for the 'Family & Friends' Category

Some Insights
10 2nd, 2021

Weather wise it’s been spectacular; low eighties, sunny, and no humidity. This evening the rains will come in and the temperature will drop a bit, all announcing that Fall is here. Marcia, never at a loss to celebrate a new season, has loaded the lobby with pumpkins.

The words from the site run by ‘Your Money Geek’ stuck with me; “Review: Don Pablo Coffee is Small-Batch Perfection”. By the smell in the kitchen they are correct. Now a quick break while I fill my pre-heated mug. Yup, I do know how to do it right.

DNA – Earlier in the week waiting in line at the Walgreen Pharmacy several of us guys got to talking. One asked if we ‘popped’ a long-neck since it was “National drink a Beer Day” (celebrating the end of this year’s Octoberfest). I guess that is about the time that Earl, yup, that is the Earl Pitts, jumped into the fray. I happened to be able to record it:

Afghan not in the news – The world community, the civilized nations of the world, stood idly by while centuries of Art and Culture disappear from this nation by a band of lunatic death-cultists. Sahraa Karimi was the Afghan Film Director General; she had directed 30 short films, 3 documentary films, and 1 fiction films as part of her credentials. The photo is of what had been her office, now with its new occupants. The world and U.N. watches ‘progress’ without uttering a peep!

Great insight – this on the current state of learning at our nation’s Universities as CRT and Wokeness runs rampant throughout these institutions. It’s from Dr. Adrian Vermeule who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, and became professor of law at Harvard Law School (at age 37):

”I don’t think we should be shocked by the intellectual collapse of the American universities. Sure, it happened fast. But sooner or later a system not centered on a substantive view of human ends has no natural defenses against a substantive and passionately imperial ideology.” ~ Adrian Vermeulen, JD, PhD

Apostles – Here are a few names, some you’ll recognize and some you won’t. All but one known as ‘Preacher’; that person has different primary occupation. But, all were or are the snake oil salesmen and I-am-the-way hucksters of their era: Benny Hinn, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Kash Amburgy, Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Falwell, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, Robert H. Schuller, Kathy Hochul.

The exception has a different primary occupation, but offers the same “I am the way – be my apostle” nonsense; Kathy Hochul governor of New York. Don’t believe me? Here you go:

McKamey Manor – It’s October and Halloween is approaching, Haunted Houses are springing up again. Our neighborhood is always big on any event with opportunity to ‘score’ on yard decorations. It’s begun!

However, imagine a haunted house requiring a 40-page waiver signed by all participants, being subjected to an eight to ten hour fright, creating a safe word to escape early; and be eligible for a $20,000 prize for completing the experience (which to date no one has won).

This Haunted House operates year round in several venues, and has a waiting list of 24,000 people. Employees of the McKamey Manor may “physically assault patrons, waterboard them, force them to eat and drink unknown substances, have them bound and gagged, and engage in other forms of physical and psychological torture.” Oh, and the 40-page waiver signed by participants lists possible risks “which included having teeth extracted, being tattooed, and having fingernails removed.”

The closest Manor to us is in Summertown, Tennessee (population 866). District Attorney Brent Cooper said “the program is legal because people subject themselves to it voluntarily, though participants can withdraw their consent at any time according to Tennessee law.”

Are you ready, able, and willing? Happy Halloween.

President Biden’s photo-op of the week;
Theater at its finest, complete with a stage and movie set complete with fake windows. So the question is, was the ‘nurse’ just an actor or not? Better yet, was the ‘poke’ real or also theater?

Cameras off in scene 1, cameras on and its scene 2. Notice the difference? But then remember people, it’s all about “The Science”!

It was Albert Camus who posited; “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants”.

Fini –
• It would seem that a new Bond 007 movie will have a woman as the main character. If true, this was spotted on the internet as the movie’s new working title; “On Her Majesty’s Secret Cervix”.

• Climate Change over the years. Recognize the monument and ask how we see it different from those who first saw it in 1920?

• Sometimes phrases stand the test of time. Phrases so good that they must be repeated:

• This past week Denmark, Sweden, and Norway removed their Covid-19 restrictions and nothing akin to a Covid passport is required. Scandinavians are living life like normal. Funny, I did not catch anything on this major bit of news on our regular news.

  • Once in a while it’s good to be tall. Yesterday at Aldi’s (where for months on end I’d been waiting find Roggebrood on the shelves) I spotted 9 ‘bricks’ of the wonderful black bread behind some other products on the backside of a top shelf. It’s a true delicacy! Guess what’s now on my breakfast menu?

• Those wondering, yes we did go Apple Picking last Saturday. The question now is, what exactly do we do with all those apples? I can handle two per day. Marcia has already filled a jar with homemade Apple-sauce, and it seems lake we’ve not made a dent in our haul.

Make it a great week. Stay happy. Be graceful and good to those around you. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


For the love of Bourbon
09 25th, 2021

Great morning all; what a week it’s been. It was a crazy wonderful time, with George and Sandy keeping us in tow. The only thing that suffered was my exercise regimen – other than the twice-a-week workout via Zoom with my Bros.; that stayed intact.

However, first, we have a new favorite coffee and are drinking it now. George and Sandy brought us a sack of Café Don Pablo Signature Blend coffee and it’s most excellent. Thanks guys.

The Move – It’s almost 99.9% complete and Adrianne, Tevita, and ‘kiddos’ are our new neighbors. The kids especially love their new digs and with the physical layout of the place are able to isolate for their own and quiet time and homework. Even Rugby-the-dog has settled in.

I am now awaiting Tevita to begin teaching me the Haka so that we can properly face off with the native Pacific Islander war cry when we meet up in our building’s front lobby. I am watching the following to learn each and every nuance so as to do it correctly – still struggling with the ‘tongue’ thing though.

Unveiling – This past week, in the Netherlands, their first national Holocaust monument was unveiled. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, who had relatives murdered during the Holocaust, it lists 102,163 of the Dutch victims (Jews, Roma or Sinti [aka “Gypsies”] who were deported to the Nazi extermination camps). It consists of a labyrinth of walls consisting of bricks, each listing the name of a victim. When seen from above it forms Hebrew letters reading “in remembrance.”

Another and possibly the main reason I mention this unveiling is this quote from Daniel Libeskind, who also oversaw the master plan for the Ground Zero memorial in New York and said it was overwhelming to see his design unveiled in the Dutch capital and added: “It’s a warning to us all what can happen in so-called civilized societies.”

Libeskind’s warning I see as most critical during this time of upheaval and especially with all the Marxist based nonsense of Critical Race Theory (CRT) being pushed like a tsunami through our nation – our schools, our workplaces, our government, and even our military. As a nation we’ve worked too hard to assimilate everyone, to put past problems behind us, and to eliminate people living in isolated ‘silos’. CRT must be denounced!

Our Bourbon Tour – and the few days we spent in Bardstown, Kentucky while staying at an old mansion with 15’ ceilings made the time even more special – the Bourbon Manor built circa 1810.

Sandy organized a tour, and with our guide for the day, Jim, we could not have hit it better. On the surface, being a guide could not be simpler. Upon reflection, doing it right (‘guiding’ that is) is actually quite difficult and Jim was a master.

As luck would have it we witnessed the ‘skin’ being replaced on a Rickhouse. Jim said that over a ten-year span he had never seen this in progress. As a FYI, Bourbon barrels (about 500 pounds each) are stored in a ‘Rickhouse’ and the Racks holding the barrels are NOT part of the Rickhouse which sits like a shell over its contents.

Pictures on tour –



President Biden’s quote for the week;

If Haiti, a God awful thing to say, if Haiti just quietly sunk into the Caribbean or rose up 300 feet, it wouldn’t matter a whole lot in terms of our interest.” ~ Joe Biden, 1994

Fini –
• This weekend Marcia and I are celebrating our #51. The tour was the ‘pre’ celebratory event and as you’ve seen, it was a good one.

• Kirstin mentioned on Instagram that yesterday (September 24) was the day of her first meeting Vince at a party. She shared that he’d invited her to dance. The song? “Shout” by Tears for Fears. Just in case it’s been a while since you heard it, thought I’d give you the opportunity – this was performed by the group in 2019 (since we’ve all aged and they have too).

• In two weeks there will be a conference in Las Vegas titled; “Climate Realism vs. Climate Socialism”. As Luis Aramburu wrote; “Without the relentless MSM propaganda, you wouldn’t even notice there was a climate emergency going on because, in fact, there is no climate emergency. It’s all a fabrication.”

• Let’s just say, a 1964 Chevrolet would survive to September 25, 2021. Then let’s just say that it parked in front of my building. Then, this is what it would look like.

• Shortly I’ll be heading out to buy and replace my right rear turn-signal bulb. It’s not that I am too put out with my inability to signal my intentions, but primarily with the high-speed clicking noise. I can’t stand it.

• Now to all three of my readers, you’re in luck. I did pay my annual “Hosting Service” fee. The Rambling’s’ isn’t going away!

• Question to the ‘Nati’ gang, is Apple-Picking on the agenda this weekend?

Make it a great week. Stay happy. Be graceful and good to those around you. Best till next weekend. And remember, tomorrow evening is Willie Nelson’s annual “Farm Aid” show.

Dirk


Great morning all. This is coming to you directly from now the cleanest office and the most organized desktop in many a day. See, tomorrow brother George and sister-in-law Sandy will come a knocking on our front door and ‘organization’ became the mantra of the week.

In the meantime, the coffee is hot and my mind is a-whirring. So let’s get these “Ramblings” going.

Yesterday was Constitution Day; did you celebrate?

Happy Constitution Day. We should never forget the Constitution wasn’t written to restrain citizen’s behavior, it was written to restrain the government’s behavior. Protecting the Constitution protects our liberties ~ Senator Rand Paul 9/17/2021

A “mensch” – Monday evening our whole gang will be heading to the Great American Ballpark to see the Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates play. It was about this time but in 1965 when major league baseball inserted a new anecdote into its historic records.

1965, the start of the World Series and Yom Kippur (the holiest day in Judaism) coincided, and Sandy Koufax refused to pitch the opening game due to the solemnity of the religious holiday. He ended up pitching the winning game for the Dodgers, received the MVP award, and was labeled Sportsman of the Year. No kneeling, no purple hair, with that guy.

Space – Inspiration4 is the first all civilian space venture ever and is a huge fund raiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I’ve been following this SpaceX launch from inception. Now in space these four civilian astronauts are able to show a more ‘human’ side of such a venture – and are having a blast doing so.

There are a number of firsts with this quartet, not the least of which is Haley who the youngest astronaut ever, is a cancer survivor, and has prosthesis. You’ll love the following absolutely inspirational 10-minute YouTube. Space travel has become real.

Painted Ladies – Walking is never boring. There is always something fresh, interesting, or stimulating to be seen.

This week on one of my walks I started focusing on the ‘Painted Ladies’ along the way. Once I began it didn’t take long to even differentiate; what exactly became a “Painted Lady” in all of its glory; was it the paint? Or. Like another done up in natural (think flowers and greens) that popped up. Even if it wasn’t so much the paint itself, but the manner of construction coupled with the materials used sufficed to make them ‘Painted’. All together it really made my walk.

Gas Lights – Every so often I get asked why living in a Gaslight District is important to me. Well, one of the reasons we moved here decades ago is that these streetlights give character and even excitement to a neighborhood.

Excitement? Yup, never know what I’ll see. This particular lamp must have heard someone use the word “ambiance” once too often, then the light blew its stack.

No more Cicadas – This is the final Cicada update for at least the next 17 years. The attached YouTube gives a solid presentation on the ‘why’ of the 17 or 13 year Cicada cycle. Take a look and remember; this so that you can then sound intelligent explaining it all to your grand and great grandchildren when these pests reappear and everyone is in a panic:

Fini –
• Out of the blue (a phone call giving a two-hour ‘heads-up’) and brother Art blew into town. Of course it was dinner time and therefore it had to be Skyline chili. Thanks for stopping by Art, we loved it!!!

• The Holland in 1888 was a different Holland from what we’d see today. A Catholic wife and her Protestant husband passed and had to be buried in separate graveyards. However, with some clever maneuvering they managed to stay together with a handshake – over the wall which divided them.

• Painted in in 1910 by Ernst Kirtchner and now in the Brücke Museum, Berlin is this painting titled “Marcella”. What strikes me is that to my eye, this could have been painted this year – it appears that current.

It’s good to see the grandkids going at it again after almost 18-months of craziness revolving around schools and life in general. Vili is back at Soccer. Vai is enjoying Volleyball. And Dinah is doing six evenings a week as a member of an eight-crew Skull – actually known as a ‘coxed eight’.

• Finally got to see our new FC Cincinnati soccer stadium last Saturday. Due to my haste I didn’t make it into the place but managed to get home where tuning in to the TV broadcast of the game got me through my predicament. We won!

• Orwell’s 1984 is a major step closer as government surveillance creeps into our bank accounts. Under the Biden’s ‘Build Back Better Broker’ plan it will allow the IRS direct access to gather details on any bank account containing $600 or over. They demand to know how and where you spend your money.

• Celebrate CO2. It’s the only atmospheric element that is not a gas, but is a compound made up of Carbon connected to two Oxygen elements. Since it is heavier than air it sinks and it pools much like water. Gathering in lowlands, pools, and oceans it collects where it then feeds life. Plants would die otherwise. Don’t let the CO2 hoax fool you.

• Now I MUST pay my annual “Hosting Service” fee (managed to forget doing it this past week) or ‘The Rambling’s’ won’t be around much longer.

Make it a great week. Demand the best from yourself, others, and your leaders. Be healthy, and stay happy. Best till next weekend.

Dirk

So Subtle (part deux)



Dog Days of Summer
09 11th, 2021

What exactly do I mean with this week’s title? Well, it appears that the two ‘attack’ Pit-Bulls from the problem property down the street are gone. With the move by the kids, Rugby the dog is now our neighbor. This could also mean that I’ll get a walk or two in on a regular basis.

However, this year the “Dog Days of Summer” end today, August 11. Stemming from the days of Caesar it was thought that; “this was an evil time when the sea would boil, wine would turn sour and dogs would go mad. Disease would also be on the rise.” With the folly we see happening in the fight against the spread of the ‘Wu-Flu’ the season’s moniker seems to be not far off base. Let me have another sip of coffee and ponder on that last bit a little more.

“Directions” – But first, let me park this ‘graphic’ in front of George and Sandy who’ll be visiting with us in about a week and a half. A couple of days with us and then we’ll all head for Bourbon Country in Kentucky. Just in case they end up struggling with their GPS on their way here, I thought I’d help them out with directions. Our place is the Chicken ‘Nugget’ forming the high point on the KFC platter – a pretty easy find don’t you agree? Safe travels you two, we’re excited!

Really, what have we learned? – or Build the Taliban Back Better…. (Joe Biden). During the last two decades? On this, the twentieth anniversary of terrorists using passenger aircraft as missiles causing death, mayhem, and destruction in New York city, the Pentagon, and even a quiet Pennsylvania farm field, what have we learned?

We started a war much akin to one started in Vietnam decades earlier with a toxic blend of warring and politicking and left it even more chaotically (actually could use the word; ‘criminally’).

In the midst of all of that was Benghazi. That debacle caused more American deaths for no purpose and caused by an inept cadre of folk from the Obama administration (lying as they went along). Now, with a core group of ‘retreads’ from that past administration the Biden team keeps on trying to, using the idiom, “make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Aside from using any leverage to curtail the mess we began, we’ve allowed the ‘jackals’ to take over while leaving citizens behind, handed death sentences to friends and their families, allowed women to be returned to lives akin to the suffering their forbears lived 400 years ago, and discarded all of the relationships with had fostered with our NATO allies. What we witnessed has been criminal and if it were any other President impeachment would be a foregone conclusion.

In my long memory I have not witnessed any move worse.

China gets auto chips, Russia gets a pipeline, the Taliban gets US arms, Cartels get open borders. We get mandates, lockdowns, inflation, and a hostage crisis. Don’t you get it yet? ~ Stephanie Hoover

Ribbit Ribbit – For the past 45 years WEBN has hosted the ‘Natti’s Riverfest Fireworks. WEBN radio is known for its mascot, Tree B. Frog, was one of the first stations in the nation which back in 1967 launched something called “Album Oriented Rock”, this at a time when FM didn’t draw a lot of listeners. Their ‘must tune in’ show, Jelly Pudding hosted by Michael Bo Xanadu had every ‘cool hipster’ in the area tune in almost daily.

Also, they would run an array of spoof spots such as; “the “White Rose and Lilac Virginity Restoration Clinic”, “WEBN’s Tree Frog Beer” “The Sleezy People’s Beer” and then years later with “It doesn’t taste like much but it gets you there faster”.” These were so good that stations such as Chicago’s WDAI in its ‘Underground Days’ also picked them up.

Anyway, for this entire run WEBN has synchronized an amazing lineup of music to each year’s Fireworks. I remember the era of the ‘Boombox’ where just maneuvering through the throng of 500,000 people on the riverbank (actually 250,000 since that was the number on each shore), in the dark, found oneself tripping over the things. Enjoy this one minute snippet from this year’s show; “RRRRRRIBBIT!”

The Duck – After all my tribulations, head scratches, and cuts ‘n bruises getting the little French Citroën 2CV home from Canada I got some input from friends and family. Several of their thoughts and ideas centered on turning it in to be recycled for its metal value, i.e. ‘scrap’.

What people really don’t realize is just how special that little vehicle is. How important it was to brining a whole nation a generation forward, and how it’s a ‘showcase’ for innovation. Don’t believe me? Spend a few minutes enjoying this YouTube, and you too will have learned a bit and grow in your appreciation of our little ‘Duck’:

Fini –
• “Have they released the actual number of lives saved by taping arrows to Supermarket aisles”; anonymous while shopping yesterday at Aldi’s.

• Best sandwich board of the week:

• Forgot to mention last week. Here’s to a (belated) blessed Rosh Hashanah to all my Jewish family and friends. Shana Tova and a Happy New Year.

• Welcome home from vacations to Cathy and Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen

• Going WOKE in a manner that’s comprehensible:

• Scary thought of the day. “Realize that the woman who is third in line to the Nuclear Codes claims that she was duped by a hair stylist. Let that sink in”: Todd Bollinger

• I led the brothers exercise sessions this week – successfully. ‘Successfully’ except for the one new workout item I could not master.

• Now pay my annual “Hosting Service” fee. I guess that The Rambling’s will be around for a while longer.

Make it a great week. Demand the best from yourself, others, and your leaders. Be healthy, and stay happy. Best till next weekend.
Dirk


Finally, my days of ‘camping-out’ are behind me. Traveling with a tow is complete. All rested up. And my wounds have healed (mostly). Now, Marcia who got up early made the coffee, so here goes, a little catching up to do – with coffee already at my side. Life is good.

“The” Corner – came to life as soon as I got back. It was like the ‘welcome’ wagon parked next to our bedroom. Most of the day a crew busied themselves making wonderful Zebra designs on the pavement. It’s really pretty impressive work.

Time for contemplation – The stay at Northern Comfort was primarily to take back the place from the ravages of two winters, two growing seasons, and too much time for the mice to party-hearty; plus getting it prepared for next year and a new season of normalcy (I hope). Then came the evenings, a little music and my feet up while listening to Loons in the cove – that was the time for contemplation.

I’ll let others explain better the directions of my thoughts:

One small guess could be that we live in an age where many who protest for peace start wars, those who promote health induce disease, those who cry loudest for equality act prejudiced and those who promote tolerance tolerate only themselves. ~ Svendje Bruket

I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. ~ Ronald Reagan

Traits that are a scourge to human dignity: 1) cowardice; 2) hypocrisy; 3) dishonesty; 4) herd mentality; 5) tepidness; 6) weakness; 7) apathy; 8) faux-empathy
Every leader in the West embodies these dreadful traits.
~ Gad Saad

Dropping like flies – Last week we lost another one from our generation. Probably the nation’s premier humorists, story teller, motivator and overall class-act; Jeanne Robertson – RIP

I picked this ‘bit’ for Marcia since we too experienced the exact same scenario (many many years ago, only ours was an O-Cedar broom)

Trip Home – was a long slog. Actually, it was no longer than the ‘going’ or any other previous return trip. What was different was that I was towing ‘The Duck’ and we’d had a slight mishap where I had to call AAA. The Tow Guy was a master with his flatbed tow truck, and had my troublesome Dolly trailer organized in short order. What it did demand though was a run through every rest area to ensure all was still secure. So, 14½ hours of straight driving later, I was able to secure the little car in Jason’s garage. Whew!

Gift-giving extraordinaire – This to our ‘new’ friends, the Jihadist Taliban:
• 22,174 Humvees
• 634 M1117 Armored Vehicles
• 115 Mxxpro Mine-proof vehicles
• 42,000 SUVs & Pick-up trucks
• 8,000 trucks
• 162,000 walkie-talkies
• 16,035 Night vision devises
• 358,530 Assault rifles
• 126,290+ Pistols
• An assortment of aircraft and helicopters
Creating a situation where this Jihadi Movement is now militarily better equipped than any of our NATO allies. Thank you Joe, Blinken, Austen, Majorkas, Milley, for plundering over $84Billion of our tax dollars as a ‘cost’ for your incompetence and malfeasance. Who of you plan to resign or get fired?

And thanks to the Media for already having dropped this horrendous and appalling event off of the front page. The ‘Fourth-Estate’ is alive and well I say sarcastically.

Fini –
• Vaioleti had a wonderful pool party on her Birthday.


• Yesterday brother George celebrated his Birthday while on the way to some time in California. Since the rest of us did our regular Workout Zoom we stayed on long enough to bring George into the conversation and sing him that special song.
• This past weekend my mother would have turned 110. Not forgotten and still in my heart.

• I brought with me some special Bourbon on my Canada trip; Private Stock Johnny Drum distilled by Willett Distillery. This was shared with Donn and Marlene and Barb and Bulent. We discovered that the stuff sure initiates wonderful discourse.

• Discovered that the Tree Swallows did NOT use our backyard ‘house’. I also discovered the ‘why’. Seems like there was a contest between the Swallows and some Wasps. Wasps seem to have won that battle.

Make it a great week. Value life, be healthy, and stay happy. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


Border Crossing
08 21st, 2021

Well, well. Days of worrisome preparation for travel to Canada. So much paperwork. So much bureaucracy. So much ‘hoopla’. And finally a NAT – Nucleic Acid Test (it’s the one test to get for ease and speed if testing for Covid-19 is required). Finally, yesterday, it was border-crossing time; much easier and quicker than I could have hoped for.

Now, early Saturday morning and nasty connectivity, it’s a quick – all is well note. Coffee has started, but is still perking.

By purpose I will not have any rant on the ‘bobble-heads’ racing around DC and Delaware. Just some deep wishes for the wellbeing of any of those caught against their will in Afghanistan due to the absolute failure caused by the same aforementioned ‘bobble-heads’. However, a note; eons ago it was Nero who fiddled while Rome burned and now we have a marginal leader forsaking citizens and friends alike for some political optics expedient. We’ll rue this emerging horror on the international scene for decades to come. Biden has blood on his hands!

Evening before Last – after an easy shot through Ohio and Michigan I reached my stop-over in St. Ignace in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Walking about the little town to stretch my legs I spotted the three items pictured below. Were it possible to make an even trade of the F150 for any one of them, which would you pick?

   

Lake Difficulties — Walking about St. Ignace I spotted these markers. Lives lost in commercial fishing on the big lakes. And one making note of how people crossed into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan prior to the completion of the ‘Big Mac’ bridge (I twice rode across this span on my bicycle). Marcia has vivid memories of crossing by Ferry boat.

   

Toy retrieval – Early in the week I’ll grab the Dolly trailer and head for the tiny burg of Spragge Ontario. Once I get the Deux Chevaux and ATV pulled out of storage and loaded these will be brought back to the cabin – Northern Comfort. The ATV will be stored at Northern Comfort for the coming winter in preparation for what I am fervently hoping will be a wonderful 2022 season. Our little Duck (2CV) I’ll tow back to the ‘Nati.

Cleaning – of the cabin is going to be much more than I could have wished for. That’ll start in seriousness once I’ve had breakfast and daylight lends a hand.

Two growing seasons have done a number on the property. I could use a ‘bush-hog’. Lacking one of those I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my little weed whacker will hold up. Bravely I’ll proceed.

Fini –
• Happy Birthday to Adrianne and Sandy this coming week and Vaioleti next weekend.

• Breakfast is not breakfast without a stop at Java Joe’s. After a great breakfast at Java Joe’s he and I posed by his daily driver, a 1972 VW. The only disappointment was the fact that they were out of Goetta – my normal ‘must have’ before crossing the border.

• Met up with family members Donn and Marlene when I got to the lake. We spent catching up for a half hour.

• Barb and Bulent are also at the lake and it was good seeing them – Socially Distancing (is a couple of feet acceptable?) we enjoyed a cold one.

Just wonder what goes on in this place when we’re gone (as we’ve been since September 2019). It seems that a Garter Snake shed its skin right next to the refrigerator in the kitchen. How did it get into the cabin in the first place?

• I have already looked at the vacuum cleaner – from a decent distance. That will change shortly, now that I’ve hot coffee in front of me.

• And yes, a pair of Loons, happily ‘yodeled’ when they noted my presence on the lake.

Make it a great week. Value life, be healthy, and stay happy. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


Traveling days ahead
08 15th, 2021

Finally, it’ll be a glorious Sunday – or so I thought. The whole week has scheduled rains. Oh, sure we can use them, but a whole week? Rains starting in mere minutes? But at least the temperatures are moving from triple-digit and high 90s to lower eighties.

Anyway, it’s still dark, it’s still quiet, and my coffee smells and tastes great.

By replacing your morning coffee with green tea, you can lose up to 87% of what little joy you still have left in your life ~ Anonymous

****I need to point out that next week things could be a little chaotic. Assuming all the puzzle pieces fit together I’ll be entering Canada this coming Friday. First thing I’ll see is a Northern Comfort which hasn’t had human contact since September 2019 – two whole years. I’ll try and post something at the regular Saturday slot, but can’t be sure. ¿Comprende?

Sad, how we managed – to once again screw up so royally. Not just under Biden, but Trump, and Obama as well; our penchant to be ‘nation creators’ and with that spend inestimable amounts of ‘blood’ and ‘treasure’ as well as incalculable psychological damage. I am talking about Afghanistan.

Two decades and $88-billion supposedly training a 30,000 member afghan army which managed to get defeated in mere days by a few hundred 1985 Toyota pickups with an old machine gun mounted in its bed. Meanwhile we’re also watching streams of ‘trained’ afghan ‘soldiers’ fleeing across the Iranian border driving the Humvees and other armaments; all courtesy of you and I the American taxpayers.

As Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of the U.N. World Watch (a human rights NGO and UN watchdog group based in Geneva, Switzerland) wrote the U.N. Secretary General in an open letter: “If the world body mandated to protect international peace and security cannot come forward and try uniting the world to save the Afghan people—and especially women and girls—from the Taliban terror, maybe it’s time to just close up shop.

For shame! We’re watching a Vietnam part ‘deux’!

Covid-19 insight – Were you aware that when watching all the ‘hype’ and ‘hoopla’ swirling around the ‘horror’ of the “Delta” variant of Covid-19 there is one fact which is never mentioned? That being that nearly 100% of people ending up in a hospital did NOT get any early treatment and took the CDCs advice to stay home for a week and do nothing. Really, is that following The Science? Give me a break! Why is that ‘advice’ being spouted?

The Fun Continues – Right here in our nation we have a great opportunity to assess differing Covid-19 management options. Two quite similar states adjacent to each other; North Dakota implemented ‘life-saving’ lockdowns, mask mandates, and business restrictions. Meanwhile, they could have ended up like South Dakota which had no lockdown, masks, or business restrictions.

Don’t give in to any petty dictators and unelected bureaucrats and their power-grabbing edicts without a fight! Anything taken away by them will be twice as difficult to get back.

Last Sunday’s Jazz concert – held in our Washington Park was glorious; weather, location, people, and sounds. Here is my poorly made and shaky YouTube, but you’ll get the gist of it – sorry. The 17-piece Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO) & Mandy Gaines doing “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made popular by Sinéad O’Connor and written/composed by Prince), the last half of it, which includes a couple of great solos:

Cyclones Unfrozen 5/10k –Yesterday I completed the 10k portion – in a record time for me of 1-hour 28-minutes! Counting only the 426 10k finishers I came in at number 351, and that for was for all entrants not just the ‘geezer’ group. Enjoy the pictures:

           

Fini –
• My brothers lost a dear childhood and beyond friend yesterday, this after a long illness. RIP Jack Staun.

Two of my preparatory 10k walks earlier last week were managed under ‘real-feel’ temperatures of around 104-degrees. Melt away weather.

• I just know you’ve been waiting to know just how many different type of Screw drives exist. Here’s your answer.

• To make sure I have enough of the substance, I am taking a full roll of the stuff up north this week:

• During High School years one of the sports I played was Water Polo. I remember playing a local Toronto Hungarian men’s team where afterwards my back looked like a Tiger clawed at me. Now I understand why I didn’t pursue the sport any further. The photo shows the former Water Polo great, Soviet-Georgian athlete Petre Kako Mshvenieradze with his grandson. The photo was taken during the 1990s.

• The corner of Chaos & Mayhem does have many a quiet moment. Times where a smile creeps across your face. This photo from across the street celebrating an eighteenth birthday.

• A photo of the 1928 “House Band” of the Michelin Hour variety radio show in costume. This photo is being posted especially for my brother George – he’ll understand.

• Competing in today’s world, can anyone tell me why in the world Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown signed a law which allows the removing of requirements that HS graduates show they can read, write, and do math at a high school level? She declined to comment on the decision. Another quick path into the ‘abyss’ has been created; how quickly we march into it.

• The Rolex two-day Fastnet off-shore race took place this week and my love of sailing got a booster’ shot (play on next item). This race is around the western edge of the British isles and finally rounding a large rock – Fastnet – with a lighthouse on it as the northernmost turning point. A number of differing classes and some spectacular sailing were seen.

• Finally, last Tuesday I had a physical along with the perfunctory blood-letting. The photo shows site of my Pneumonia shot, elbow site was a miss-fire with 3-pokes (“vein rolling about”), back of hand as the alternate site. Coming home, Marcia was duly impressed.

Off to do some organizing, packing, and readiness preparations for my travel. A reservation for a Thursday stay at the Driftwood has already been made. To all, make it a great week. Fight for what is true and right, value life, stay healthy, and laugh a lot. Best till next weekend.

Dirk


Paddle Paddle
08 8th, 2021

August is here, and just a couple of weeks and all the kiddos will be back in school. Oh the horror of it all. In the meantime, it’ll be a glorious Sunday.

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different ~ C. S. Lewis

****I need to point out that next week I WON’T post The Ramblings till Sunday. Next Saturday it’s the Cincinnati Cyclones Un-Frozen 10K (Cyclones are our Hockey team) and I have to be downtown at dawn. I’ve done this before – in mid-February (Frozen). This year due to the pandemic it’s an August thing (Un-Frozen).

Paddlefest 2021 – This morning my arms are once again somewhat operable – thank you Ibuprofen, so here goes with a bit about yesterday’s adventure.

At 7:15 I was on the river. We were told there were approximately 2200 people participating and over 1,600 water craft; we were all launched in under one hour. Along the way were anchored several Safety Boats, each with a live band – it was a real PARTY! We were told that this all makes it the largest such event in the nation.

A 9-mile journey lay ahead. I ended up doing one extra mile since I took part in exploring the mouth of our Mill Creek. This 28-mile waterway was explored 200 years ago due to rich farmland and power. More on that later.

4-hours and 29-minutes later I reached the finish line. Once there I assured the ‘handlers’ I could exit my craft on my own. The actuality was that it took three high-school aged, football player sized, ‘handlers’ to get me lifted out and on my feet. I blame it all on the steep slope of the boat launch we landed at.

The before Party – Local Craft beers, Food trucks, live bands, about 40 vendors, and so much to look at on Friday evening. Marcia and I went for dinner and a cold one, listened to music, and just wandered. Even seeing the camping gear today, over what we remember from years ago.

           

The Launch –

 

Meeting folk – 1,600 craft and I spotted this Canoe – and what a small world it is. Paddling over I struck up a conversation on the name of their boat (Holland Amerika Lijn). Turns out the lady was from Holland. I mentioned that I’d come across on the Holland America Line’s MS Rijndam 70 years ago.

I also mentioned that on the 50th anniversary of our parent’s immigration my brothers and I went back to Holland and had a dinner with our Dutch cousins at the former headquarters of Holland America Line in Rotterdam – now turned into a specialty hotel. The woman responded; Hotel New York. I answered “yes”, and added, “I stole a small espresso coffee cup”. She answered; “I was a waitress in that place”. WOW!

A different view from the norm –

           

The Mill Creek – The Mill Creek Watershed in our area’s history

   

The Landing –

   

The Fun Continues – after all the shutdowns and cancellations I’ve missed the enjoyment of hearing our Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO) and their 17-member Big Band sound. Tonight will be the first performance in quite some time. On the ‘menu’ will be standards (swinging’ classics), along with stuff from Radiohead, Earth Wind and Fire, Prince, and Ray Charles. Should be great!

I’ll be listening outdoors at the pavilion in Washington Park. It’s that location, Washington Park, which caused Marcia to state; “I’m not going, I don’t want to get shot.” I’m heading there solo.

School Demands – Our local school system is mandating that all students and staff wear masks indoors. Surrounding school systems have stated that mask wearing is left to the individual and is thus; optional. But for both it’s due to; the Science.

The latest rash of edicts and ‘predictions’ is due to the possible spread of the ‘Delta’ variant; for which there is no test.

Quoting a Dr. Eli David: “If the masses could read scientific papers or analyze data, then;
– Nobody would wear a mask
– Nobody would comply with lockdowns
Government pandemic response is entirely based on people complying with the opinions of “experts”.
Just like in the middle ages.”

Fini –
• Kirstin has rediscovered the joy of roller skating and her home is perfect for twirls, spins, runs.

• This past Thursday, on that day in 1926, Harry Houdini was placed in a coffin and then put under water for 90-minutes before escaping.

• Also, on date this past week in 1936, Jesse Owens won the 100-meter dash defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics. This became his fourth gold medal. His win caused Hitler to lose his cool and storm out of the Olympic stadium.

• As little kids we all just loved to be read to. Then that would change as we began to read and prefer to read for ourselves. Thought; wouldn’t it be more desirous for us all if the President would just turn the Teleprompter around so we could read for ourselves?

The current Covid-19 variant outbreak by (European) nations. Look where the larger outbreaks are. I wonder if it’s due to the testing methodology used – i.e. change the particles per million being tested and thereby increase the number of positives. Then have a reason to place more constraints on their populations?

• Google “Covid-19 deaths USA”. Deaths are at one of the lowest point for the past year and a half, even though the actual cases logged continue to rise. Viewpoint folks.

• Finally, this read on one of my feeds; “I’ll start listening to my government during a pandemic when it closes the border during a pandemic.”

Now, enjoy this month of summer. Make it a great week. Value life, stay healthy, and laugh a lot (if struggling with laughter try smiling). And the same as I wrote last week; best till next Sunday!

Dirk


We Love our Trees
07 31st, 2021

A cheerful Saturday morning to all. For us here, both the temperature and humidity dropped during the night so it’s nothing but happiness. I am almost convinced that Adrianne, Vai, Vili, and Dinah too are awake at this early hour. Mid-morning they’re off to the airport for a week at Disney and Universal. We had dinner together last evening and the anticipation was running high.

****I need to point out that next week I WON’T post The Ramblings till Sunday. Next Saturday it’s Paddlefest 2021. It’s an annual thing, approximately 2,000 canoeists, boarders, and kayakers will go down the Ohio River, 9-miles, and end up at the ‘Nati’s riverfront. We leave the ‘starting-gate’ beginning at daybreak.

“Breaking News – Is that Canada has agreed to open the border on August 9th”, was the headline of a paragraph in last week’s Ramblings; quickly followed by the announcing of an immediate further thirty day pushback by the USA. Apparently America must have the final word.

Then, this week word came out that the Canadian Border Control folks authorized a strike. Thus making it – who knows how long – beyond mid-September before the border actually opens. This whole business is and has become so bizarre that one can only either scream or chuckle. Put me in the ‘scream’ camp.

Disaster – struck our Condominium building. Every 15 or so years our Energy Company, Duke, contracts to trim back trees so branches won’t disrupt power by falling across wires. Our street is lined by city planted trees on the strip between the curb and the sidewalks. Occasionally they’ll ask permission to go onto private property to clear and obvious problematic branch from a non-city tree.

   

5-weeks ago we paid a contractor to prune our four, 100 year old trees. They did a beautiful job. This week a hired by Duke Contractor from Alabama came through to do their thing. They proved to be ‘butchers’ but give it a couple of years and their ‘patients’ will be OK.

Then they got to our place. No notice was given, and by the time we caught wind of what was going on they had effectively killed one of our healthy, just pruned, trees.

Duke’s offer? Contractor will take down the tree. We get rid of the pieces and we manage the required stump-grinding, and we get a “gift-card” for a ‘replacement’ tree.

We’re now not allowing Duke or Duke’s contractor on our property. It’s going to be a Legal matter. Keep you posted.

Popeil Passed – at age 86. Ron Popeil, was the king of early television Infomercials; my favorite was his ‘Hair in a Can’ spray for bald spots’ followed by his catch line; “but wait, there’s more!”

I could not let his passing go by without this short SNL bit, here’s Dan Aykroyd:

Movie drought – It’s the norm in our household. Long periods of absolutely no movie theaters; other than occasionally seeing some kids cartoon with the kiddos on a special occasion.

Then two weeks ago we saw the documentary; “The Smirk Heard Around the World”. The theater was also showing another documentary; “Summer of Soul (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)”; Marcia had no interest, so this week I went to see it by myself – and absolutely loved it, didn’t want it to end.

1969 was part of a very rough time in our nation’s history. That summer the iconic Woodstock music festival did a lot to help heal. What we hadn’t heard anything about was that same summer, over six weekends in the heart of Harlem, NY was the Harlem Cultural Festival. In part to celebrate the many positive changes Black folk experienced during the era of MLK Jr., in part to heal. A range of Black musical groups and artists, performed to a collective audience of over 300,000. The whole event was filmed for distribution (more than forty hours of footage); but no TV entity wanted to air “a Black event” and especially not while the ‘hype’ of Woodstock was still building. So, for 50 years all the film and edited pieces sat in a vault. This was the film I saw.

Loving music from that period, seeing this was just such a blast! Seeing the likes of the artists I appreciated, performing while in their prime was something I could see over and over again. Interviews made recently with attendees and musicians rounded out what we heard and saw. As an example, even when musical acts were segregated there was a deeper change; “one woman, who was a teenager at the time, had never seen a female trumpeter who sang, danced, and led the band. That moment opened her eyes to what she could be….” (courtesyfeed.com)

Let me pop just some of the acts from the film in front of you: Mahalia Jackson, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension (remember listening to; “Aquarius (Let the Sun Shine In)”?), Sly and Family Stone, The Staple Singers, Temptations, Nina Simone, Edwin Hawkins Singers, and a teenage Gladys Knight and the Pips who, now middle-aged, tells just how shocked she was seeing the huge crowd of Black faces and how this helped shape her career. And I could go on and on.

Currently it’s also shown on HULU…. Do yourself a favor.

Olympics – for 2021 just hasn’t caught my attention. It’s for a variety of reasons including actions by athletes in some of the sports I’d normally watch.

However, there are some ‘moments’ that really slip through the cracks. For example, were you aware that the Australian canoeing star, Jessica Fox, used a condom to fix the damaged bow of her kayak, stating “very stretchy much strong”; which helped her win Bronze?

But, on a more serious note, and something which the Olympics hopes to foster but actually which happens all too infrequently. This comes via Hillel Neuer of United Nations Watch: “Saudi judoka Tahani al-Qahtani was pressured to drop out of the match against her Israeli opponent, Raz Hershko, at the Tokyo Olympics.

Muslim athletes from Algeria and Sudan boycotted their bouts with Israelis.

Al-Qahtani stayed in. After Hershko won, the two embraced.”

Fini –
• Prayers for Pieter’s dear friend Jack S who is near passing. Also, brother Art’s best friend Steve J. who is embarking on a very difficult medical path.

• And thoughts with Kirstin’s best friend, Susannah, who lost her dad this past week. Kirstin using her training as an ‘End of Life’ Doula was able to give comfort and guidance as his passing neared. Proud of my daughter.

• This week we’re continuing to see Cancel Culture at work. We’ve seen Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben removed. The Indian Maiden on Land o Lakes is gone. Now in sports it’s the Washington Redskins and this week the Cleveland Indians. At this fast and furious pace of “people of color” removal, it won’t be longs and only ‘white faces’ will remain. So who are racists?

• A couple of weeks ago I wrote that as a wartime kid in Holland I would chew tar as a chewing gum substitute. This was after smelling the stuff at some road paving and memories flooded in. This week it was paving in our neighborhood. So I dipped my finger in some hot tar as a taste-test. Very stupid of me. Also, nasty stuff to get off. Pity my poor mom from those days.

   

• Beginning to spot articles with a similar message: “Climate Scientist Warn ‘next 20-30 years will be cold’”. Science is really NEVER settled, is it?

• Today’s beginning work generation are whoosies. In my day we’d make it into work the next day after partying the night away; stamp (now a wrist band) proudly worn and wearing clothes from the previous evening.

• Spotted this beast on one of my walks. The place is a specialty repair garage for Ambulances. I had never heard of this VA group. Made me wonder how many completely obscure government entities are there? For what purpose and exactly  what value do they bring?

Now I’m mentally preparing for a week of watching my best-bud, Rugby, who’ll require lots of neighborhood walks. Now, make it a great week. Value life, be healthy, and laugh a lot. Best till next Sunday!

Dirk


Amazing! It’s Saturday morning, and Marcia was already up and the Coffee is made. So wonderful!

Outside it’s still dark and quiet, except that Marcia informed me that she saw a mom Raccoon with four young-uns cross the street. Couple that with the fox wandering up to our building’s front door earlier in the week and it makes me think we’re living in a wildlife sanctuary.

Add to the above the little family crossing the car-wash driveway while I was getting a car wash earlier in the week and the whole ‘sanctuary’ thing becomes certainty.

Breaking News – Is that Canada has agreed to open the border on August 9th.

Hold the presses! Not to be outdone by Trudeau, buffering brained Biden and his crack team of buffoons caused (as of July 21st) to have this headline be printed: “Despite Canadian easing, US extends land border restrictions”. The delay seems to be for another 30 days.

The US U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the extension is due to COVID rates in both Canada and Mexico, and says the risk of spread poses a “specific threat to human life or national interests.” These clowns have the temerity to make that insane statement even while the southern border has ceased to exist!

By September we’ll have had over 1-million illegal migrants storm across the border and flown (on our dime) across the nation; no health checks, no origin checks, no masks, no vax, and no papers whatsoever. It’s well beyond a slap in the face to those of us who followed the rule of law, stood in line, and swore a solemn oath to gain entry – even bringing a family Bible from seven generations back as providing proof of who we were (Kamala — there really were no faxes back then).

Anyway, the earlier prospect of travel to our Northern Comfort had some of us talking. It was nearby Earl Pitts who piped up just how he was getting ready for vacation travel. I happened to record his insights:

Should it still come to pass that travel north will be served on some silver platter; I have my personalized GPS routing already fully installed:

The Noise, Color, & more Noise – The accelerating pattern we observe is that more and more vehicles have thoroughly obnoxious exhaust blow-by noise-maker systems installed. A little noise, OK. It’s the over the top monster sound makers that need to stop. Couple that with a mega-watt amped up sound system, and the never ending bass booming Rap which makes the windows shake from almost a block away; now, that is horrendous. Is this rant an aging thing on my part?

The nearby village of St. Bernard has signage installed forbidding this noise stuff – and everybody knows that it’s categorically enforced. I guess that the minute these characters cross the village line and into Cin-City, everything gets ‘pumped’ up.

The Smirk Heard Round the World – earlier in the week we joined good friends Dave and Pat for lunch and they plus ‘moi’ (Marcia just came for lunch) took in a well-produced documentary film; The Boys in Red Hats. Although the incident was broadcast nightly for weeks by the media it was worthwhile seeing it all over again in detail, from various angles, and without spin.

You remember the event in Washington. A prominent nearby boys high school (Covington Catholic) had students go to DC for the annual March for Life. There they got caught up having to deal with activists who had gathered. Some video surfaced and the students’ red MAGA hats were all the media needed to see to spin their ‘mega’ (pun intended) event of the year. If you get a chance to see it I’ll discuss the film with you – should be fun.

Sunday afternoon in pictures – After the Wu-Flu shutdowns and the crippling effects on life as normal it was now a perfect day to wander Findlay Market. Lunch was at our standby Vietnamese Pho restaurant. Marcia ordering her favorite, a small bowl of Pho noodle soup and for me a new dish – a salad; G?i Tôm B?p C?i (shrimp salad) served in a sesame rice shell. It was stunningly good! We finished the afternoon’s wanderings with a sample flight of beer at the Samuel Adams Tap House.

   

Fini –
Reading a “gotta-finish-it-now” book written by Professor Gad Saad; The Parasitic Mind. A book about as insightful as I’ve come across and a brilliant read.

• Kevin Sorbo: “Remember to get vaccinated or a vaccinated person might get sick from the virus that they were vaccinated against because you’re not vaccinated.” See how that works?

This past week (July 21st) in 1969. Ohio’s Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the Moon at 2:56:15 AM (GMT). Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later.

• Also on the 21st, Robin Williams would have turned 70. A comic like none other.

• Yesterday (July 23rd) in 1961 Grace Bumbry, Mezzo-Soprano, became the first black American opera singer to perform at the Bayreuth Festival Opera House in Germany performing as Venus in the then new production of Tannhauser. She received a 30-minute standing ovation and 42 bows. Wow! Now at age 88 she is still an active performer.

Earlier in the week Becca Meyers withdrew from the Tokyo Paralympic Games. She was to represent our country in swimming competition. Becca who is deaf-blind athlete has always had her mother with her as her personal assistant. The USOPC had a single assistant assigned to 33 athletes and refused her needs accommodation request due to Covid restrictions. Bureaucracy at its best.

• Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame); “A lot of Biden’s public statements come off the same when you read them backwards.” This was never more evident than watching the CNN Town Hall event held here in the ‘Nati this past week.

• Crazy. Since 2000, Germany has spent $600-billion on climate science. Since then nothing beneficial has been accomplished. However it has come to the point that electricity costs are now so high that it has now begun to be viewed as a luxury good.

OK, it’s daylight. Tomorrow things should moderate, but today it’s going for a 90 degree temperature along with 93% humidity. “Now isn’t that special” as the Church Lady would say.

Dirk