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


My, my, yesterday I had to race home from a walk to beat a lightning storm. Today, Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of pounding rain. Well, it’s approaching the ‘crack of dawn’ and my Coffee is ready. This means I too am ready to beginning this Rambling.

Breaking News – well, at least news that is not that old: MUFON has set up Permanent Headquarters in Cincinnati.

So what is MUFON you ask? At a time when our little town is struggling as much as any other city we grabbed MUFON. With more than 600 trained investigators and 4,200 members across the world to investigate UFO sightings all UFO sighting photographs will be ‘smudged’ into faintly visible, black & white, grainy pictures; each made ready for distribution right here in Cin-City. See, MUFON stands for the Mutual UFO Network. Welcome to town boys, things are looking up (pun). 

The Corner of Calm & Mundane – had stayed this way for three complete weeks; till Thursday that is. Returning from some exercise I noticed a wall of large ‘Cherry-picker’ style trucks surrounding our building.

The first thing that came through my mind was a mental image of people seeing the arrival of Hannibal (the ancient Carthaginian general), as he crossed the Alps using Elephants. His was to lay siege on Sagunto, Spain, but what I saw was a ‘siege’ on our unsuspecting home.

In reality it was any number of orange traffic cones moving the traffic lanes into confusing swirls. Then, there were five of the truck on the side and in front of our place (these the modern day ‘elephants’). It was something with the underground telephone system further down the road. Why ‘Cherry pickers’ I still don’t know. By rush hour they had disappeared – I guess the ‘battle’ had been won.

Our Climate – This week I came across a quote by climate panic ‘wunderkind’ Greta Thunberg, still the most prominent face of the hysterical climate-change bunch (man controlled of course). What made her latest quote cause my ‘antenna’ (staying with the MUFON theme) to twitch was the less than subtle change in the Climate alarmism drum beat:

” The climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice and of political will. Colonial, racist and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all.” ~ Greta Thunberg

It’s moved beyond the ‘nothing-burger’ of the “12-years to the end” climate nonsense into a pure Marxist trope. As has been said better than I could; “None of that is morally or rationally coherent. But it is very emotionally satisfying.”

Using the title from Jimmy Buffet’s: A Love Song (From A Different Point Of View), these are the earnest words from actor Leonard Nimoy spoken a mere handful of years ago. How quickly we forget:

Shock – well not really so much; I was wondering when I’d receive the notification. Let me back up. September 2019 was the last time I saw Northern Comfort. Everything was tucked in its regular winter hiatus. The dock was cantilevered out of the lake, the pontoon and little Sea Nymph stored and ‘tarped’ securely. Mentally we were already preparing for the 2020 season.

Then the Wuhan virus hit. Panic struck, and governments across the world made one horrific decision after another.

Worst was the turning over of life as we knew it to a handful of friendly ‘health’ professionals; while simultaneously shutting down all other voices. Couple that with the emergence of a breed of dictatorial potentates; these emerged in a stealth manner akin to the Cicadas we saw this spring. And they absolutely worshiped themselves in their new ‘power’ roles.

Quickly the border leading to our Northern Comfort was closed (‘sealed’ is the better word). And now for two seasons we’ve been, by force, prevented from even checking up on the place. So what’s the “shock”? It was the receipt of the twice yearly Property Tax bill. These Dictators across nations, States, Provinces, and Cities, have shut everything not to their liking, and kept anything they wanted in use and viable. They’ve killed economies, they’ve killed off lifetimes of toil and effort, they’ve killed off minimally a year’s worth of learning from our youths, and killed off thousands upon thousands of elderly by horrible edicts (all because of a virus which by the way, has a 95% – 99% survivability especially if there are no underlying issues).

Yet, they and their cronies live almost better than prior to the Wuhan thing as their personal revenue stream never slowed. But those continuing paychecks cost real money. Hence, receiving this Property Tax bill has become another “slap in the face”. Worst of all, we’re almost powerless to react.

The latest whim (none of this has been based on ‘science’) is that sometime after mid-August the border ‘could’ open. Maybe if we all kneel and curtsey while screaming “THANK YOU” in unison it will really happen; prostrate.

Missing “Vinyl Tap” – After approaching nearly a decade of me listening for two hours most Saturday evenings it’s come to the end of “Vinyl Tap,” the radio show hosted by guitarist Randy Bachman.

Bachman was a founding member of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive bands and played with virtually every musician of note since.

Every Saturday evening was filled with ‘bits’ on classic rock, jazz and contemporary pop alongside reflections on the ‘insides’ of the music industry.

Until the ‘plug’ was pulled on this hugely popular Canadian Broadcasting (CBC) show, the mainstay of their weekend lineup. But, some desk jockey at the government funded CBC thought the better and canned to show. Now I’m waiting to see where Randy re-emerges, ‘cause he will.

Fini –
• Just thought you’d want to know that Tim Hale, an Army reservist, walked through an open door into the halls of Congress on January 6; he did no harm, he chanted. Hale has been incarcerated for six months. Transported to 6 different jails before arriving in DC Jail. Now the DOJ wants him to cop to the one felony count of obstruction. At hearing, Judge: “Pretty old case for defendant to be sitting in jail.” Really? Effin right!

• MLB, Major League Baseball’s All-Star game numbers were horrible. Why?

• NFL, why is the TV viewership declining?

• NBA, TV ratings continue to decline, why?

• As noted, professional sports ratings seem to be quickly heading for a ratings ‘cliff’. Possibly, just possibly, could it be that people refuse to be politically lectured by multimillionaire sports figures and be subjected to all sorts of Woke visuals by team management? Possibly even a companies such as Nike publicly declaring themselves as “Chinese”, are they playing a part?

• What’s a “Smoot”? Were you aware it’s a measurement? By way of a prank a fellow by the name of Oliver Smoot, as a lark by his MIT Fraternity, in October 1958 lay down repeatedly on the Harvard Bridge (between Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts) so that his fraternity brothers could use his height to measure the length of the bridge. At 5’7” the 2,035 ft bridge was measured to be 364.4 smoots (+ 1 ear).

Best seen For Sale sign  this week while on a walk:

Daylight is here. The rain has stopped. Next post this epistle and then some breakfast. Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors into the fresh air (the best way to stave of the Wuhan)!

Dirk


It’s a cool Saturday morning (64) and even with the humidity in the eighties, it’s really a decent morning. Coffee isn’t on yet, I’ll do that in a few. What we are expecting is a couple+ inches of rain during the weekend. We’ll see.

I awoke by a general alarm being pushed through my mobile – 3:30AM. Reaching over to see what was that urgent I happened to pick up my phone upside down. Turning it around had this bit of importance disappear into cyber-space. More than likely it was to alert that an unoccupied car had rolled down a driveway – oh say – somewhere in Pittsburgh. Anyway, I really don’t have a clue what all that was about; other than that I am now awake. On that note, a good morning to all.

A little bit late, but here is a thought for the Fourth of July:

”Cling to this day—cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.” ~ Frederick Douglas, 4th of July Oration, 1852

After escaping from slavery, Douglas became a social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. His life displays how America is and was the land of hope for everyone – unlike what the Marxists thinking embedded in Critical Race Theory is trying to foist on us. Don’t be fooled.

Hope for our nation is summarized in this 1½ minute audio piece, a smidgen from a wonderful discussion between former Speaker Newt Gingrich and historian Allen C. Guelzo. Important during these strange times of upheaval, disarray, and disorder. If you want the whole 40 minute discussion, look up “Newt’s World Episode 274: Allen Guelzo on July 4, 1776” or just click here.

Video – A video which is different from the norm and for the reason I’ll explain momentarily shortly. This amazingly powerful statement was made by Mr. Hillel Neuer. Neuer is a Canadian-born international lawyer, writer, and the executive director of U.N Watch., a human rights NGO and U.N. watchdog group based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the meantime:

The Corner of Calm & Mundane – we thought continued in this manner for the whole week. For two days Marcia and I were entertained by a team of Tree Trimmers. It was amazing how much overhang and dead wood was removed; and done in the most acrobatic fashion. It was wonderful seeing it all from our little window on the world.

Then things changed a bit. No, not the mayhem I’ve described so often. This time the action came from three blocks away (behind the Belvedere where my mother lived for a decade). A house located there is gorgeous “Italianate” and is up for sale. And an accepted offer is in play.

Seems like a Catholic order [the Legionaries of Christ] want/need a zoning change from single family status to something termed ‘Monastery’ – their proposed purpose is to rotate up to 10 priests through the place. Hence it would be more akin to something I would label; ‘Motel’.

Originally the city zoning board was amenable. Some further digging uncovered that the Order’s was founded in Mexico in 1941 by a priest named Marcial Maciel – now deceased. Maciel was accused of sexual-abuse and has now been connected to over 60 cases of abuse to minors.

And so it began. It’s since come to light that 33 members of the order were found to have committed abuse as priests or deacons, including 18 active members as of 2019. Further, that millions of dollars are parked in offshore tax havens (according to an AP article).

Hence, it was mid-week when Marcia and I sat on the couch much akin to the way people gathered around their radios to hear the old FDR ‘Fireside Chats’, only now we were watching on Zoom.

Consequently the neighborhood is abuzz! Lawyers hired, even I wrote a letter. It didn’t take long before a ‘zoning change’ decision postponement was granted. Tuesday evening a scheduled neighborhood association meeting will take place.

Now that the ‘hornet’s’ nest has been shaken it’s also come to life. I’ll keep you posted.

Anti Semitism – is alive and well. In New York City security camera videos crop up weekly showing thugs ‘sucker punching’ Jewish looking folk without cause. In Western Europe there is an upsurge of anti-Semitism and it’s revolting.

During WWII my parents gave shelter and aid to neighboring Jewish folk and within my own family I have loved ones I proudly call ‘Jewish’. Today, what we’re seeing is nothing more than very hurtful scapegoating of a people. You’d think we were beyond such nonsense, but apparently not.

As a nation we hand over millions and millions of dollars to the United Nations. At almost 10% of their budget we are the largest financial contributor to the U.N. (India is second). Yet, we are not a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Want to see who’s on this council? Now does the video clip by Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch I opened with make sense? Possibly a ‘sense’ of disgust?

Fini –
• Happy Birthday this past week to Marin (the big 18). And next week to brother Pieter (well beyond his 18th)

• I find it amazing that here are two ‘hard-science” Covid experts who got “peer-reviewed” by the mob and virtually erased from social media. Stuff like that gives credence to President Trump’s just filed lawsuit. Indeed, we’ve all been hurt by these ‘nation within a nation’ corporations refusal to allow for serious debate and input. If interested these experts I thought of are Dr. Knut M. Wittowski and Dr. John P.A. Laonnidis.

• I purchased a jug of Wet & Forget (outdoors). Whenever there is a window of opportunity (mostly weather related) I’ll head over to Spring Grove cemetery to clean up my parent’s tombstone. Full report on how well the stuff works will be forthcoming.

This past week in 1885, our (very) distant namesake, Louis Pasteur successfully administered an anti-rabies vaccine to a 9-year old boy, saving his life.

• Higher taxes through any variety of means are to be used to change earth’s climate – utter nonsense. ¾ of a billion years ago and for a period of 75-million years our earth was buried under ice from the poles to the equator. This ice period was due to the massive release of volcanic sulphur dioxide. Nature is the control mechanism not power grabbing and wealth theft.

Heroes, this week it’s French art historian Rose Valland. She was a member of the French resistance during WWII and secretly recorded the details of the Nazi plunder of French and Jewish owned art.

• As SNL’s “Church Lady” would say “Isn’t that special?” President Biden just gave Raytheon $2-Billion for atomic cruise missile development. His Secretary of Defense just happened to have been a Raytheon board member prior to his jump over.

• It’s true; yeah right.

  • I do believe we still have the 2nd Amendment in place. Biden: “we need to go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oft times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors”, getting people vaccinated. And in case you wonder, yes, I’ve been vaccinated (J&J)
  • Israel just sent 700,000 soon to expire Pfizer vaccines to South Korea so they wouldn’t go to waste. By the way, the Palestinians rejected that offer – apparently they choose hatred over common sense.

• Best bumper (actually fuel door) sticker seen this week.

• Want to understand politics? You can’t until you understand that (most if not all) politicians aren’t trying to solve your problems, just their own. Getting elected and reelected are numbers 1 and 2. Anything left for a number 3 usually is lost in the hub-bub.

• Finally, remember that the Titanic was designed by experts…..

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors and for many, make it the best BBQ ever!

Dirk


It’s Saturday morning and here it’s supposed to be spectacular (and I thought yesterday was already pretty good). The coffee (still Seattle’s Best) is ready so with further slowdown, let’s get rolling with the Ramblings.

Earlier in the week we had Flash Flood warnings all over the place as the rains came and kept on coming. A few blocks from A & T’s home police dispatch alerted that a middle of the road storm-sewer lid on one of our main roadways had blown off and water was spouting 2.5’ to 3’ in the air. All is normal now – nothing to see.

With all the travel over the fourth (except those of us desperately wanting to open our camps in Canada – border is still closed) people are beginning to notice that inflation has begun to rise. Although our President made it clear that this year a Fourth of July backyard BBQ will save you $0.16 over the one last year:
Quotation:

”Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” ~ Sam Ewing, US Senator D-NC (described himself as a “country lawyer”) 1896 – 1974

I remember Senator Ewing somewhat, especially his storytelling done in his native southern drawl. What I didn’t realize was that he along with Senator Byrd (D-WV) were two very prominent Senators who were both staunch defenders of the horrid Jim Crow laws and racial segregation.

The Fourth of July – is more than just celebration of our nation’s Independence. It’s also Made in USA Day, I Forgot Day, Freedom from Fear of Speaking Day, National Anisette Day, and we can’t forget the old (favorite?) World UFO Day.

So whichever one you choose to celebrate – ENJOY!

I know no-one more patriotic than my old buddy, former Air Force officer, Walton Lee B. who I’ve known for over 50 years. Walton Lee grew up in small-town North Carolina and still, every time we talk, swears that: the “South will Rise Again.”

Yesterday on my walk I happened on a couple of guys doing some work on one of their homes in Norwood. Norwood is made up of hard working blue collar folk; for years all of the Pontiac Firebird muscle cars were made there. Our little chat moved around a bit which led to them opening the garage door to show off, hanging in the rafters, their prized Confederate battle flag. Question, is it now illegal to possess one of these? Anyway, it’s a prize since this one also has country singer Hank (Bocephus) Williams Jr on it. So, Walton Lee ole buddy, I took a picture of that scarred flag just for you!

Since this weekend is a celebratory one I couldn’t resist what follows. And since I mentioned blue collar hard-scrapping communities, here is something by the ’90s-ladies choir of Lima, OH (home of the Airstream trailers, and most of our military Tanks). The introduction is by the Right Reverend Jimmy B:

Thomas Sowell – is nothing but a ‘diamond’ on the American landscape. This week (B – June 30, 1930) he turned 91 and is still very active in his field of Economics, also as a social theorist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a brilliant thinker. Happy Birthday Professor Sowell.

He came into the national forefront when he was asked, as a Black man, to attend the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork (1987). Sowell was given 10 minutes to make a case for Bork’s character. It was then Senator Biden who pushed Sowell on Sowell’s stance against Affirmative Action. If you read The Federalist notes on that hearing it’s quick to see that in response to the slander of being a racist, it was Sowell who brilliantly ran circles around Biden. The short Federalist read will be worth your while.

“Advice to the young. You don’t have to listen to anybody. You can learn everything from your own personal experience. Of course, you will be at least 50 years old by the time you know what you need to know at 25.” ~ Thomas Sowell

Pandemonium Corner? – Over time I’ve often referenced our little corner to the world, the corner I refer to as Chaos & Mayhem. It’s dawned on me that the ‘picture’ I have painted is one of cars laying askew, blown airbags, EMT units all lit up, and Fire equipment blocking the roadway. All this is true.

However there is a lot more. Like any great ‘painting’ it must present a balance. This corner also does just that. Yesterday, between the hubbub of traffic heading home to get ready for Independence Day weekend, it was the more mundane that caught my attention – tree trimming. Yup, here at Chaos & Mayhem we also see the Calm & Mundane.

Fini – and before I forget, this week it was wishing a Happy Birthday to Kellen and ‘sil’ Jolene. many, many more.

• School’s out. This row of student housing had the little dears head back to their Parental Unit’s home. It’s the landlords of the student housing who truly see what these kids (most first time ever out of the ‘nest’) accomplish living on their own for a whole year.

• Both nutty and absurd our government is about to add a third gender option to folk applying for a passport. That our government gets sucked into this kind of ‘playtime’ nonsense and then foists it off on us is beyond comprehension.

• It was one athlete, coming in third, who got all the media attention because of her disrespect to our nation in the Olympic pre-ups. The ladies who came in first and second were not even mentioned by name by most media. Let me correct this; DeAnna Price came in first in the Hammer Throw and Brooke Andersen came in second. DeAnna broke her own record with a throw of 80.31m. Previously it was unheard of for a woman to beat the 80m mark.

• Climate ‘experts’ were sure that the Maldive Islands would be underwater in 30 years due to melting ice caps and rising seas. I just want to point out to these alarmist scam artists that now, 32 years later, the Maldives are larger. And, from the electroverse.net comes this exposure of a bogus climate report which blames global cooling on warming. Now the trace gas’ CO2 emissions are responsible for everything. Perfect “doublethink’ as detailed by George Orwell years ago.

• Little mentioned in news on the Surfside condominium collapse disaster is that both Israel and Mexico had immediately sent their crack Search and Rescue teams to assist. Personally I think this would be Page-one stuff, but sadly it wasn’t.

• It had to happen. This week, after a year of riots and plunder a Target store in Baltimore is closing down for good. Now the NYT writes angrily that the store is showing a; lack of commitment to black communities. These propagandists are beyond belief.

• Vaioleti and Viliami both received year end grade honors at school and were given a pass to the Cincinnati Zoo for themselves and three guests for a special evening. Marcia and I joined in the fun. Sponsored by FC Cincinnati, this included a photo op with our new soccer team’s mascot – named “Gary”.

• And yes, the Zoo evening would not have been complete without the perfunctory rain shower.

• In France there is a field of perfectly good looking government vehicles – EVs. The only thing required for each is a new battery pack. However, there are two issues; 1st the battery pack replacement cost are more than double than the cost of a new vehicle. 2nd no landfill or disposal site in France will accept the batteries for disposal. Didn’t see that coming did we?

• Now I’m hearing a bunch about the Covid Delta variant. I spent a career in business and I recognize repackaging when I see it – I haven’t seen the words “new and improved” yet. Let it be known that my masks are long gone.

• It was July 1st 1997 and the first day of the beginnings of a new, brighter, and more glorious future for Hong Kong. Britain signed over their colony to China with ‘guaranteed’ freedoms, independence, and self-rule for the next 50 years. Oh those trustworthy Chinese Party members. How are they still able to suck in the western world’s politicians and their beneficiaries, day after day? Should we ask a lad named Hunter?

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors and for many, make it the best BBQ ever!

Dirk


It’s Saturday morning and a good one to you. Jason and Cathy will be ready to move into their new digs a little later this morning. It’ll be almost 90 today (and reach a solid 90 from tomorrow through Tuesday). But that is nothing compared to our west coast family. The group in Portland will be facing 113-degree weather – this in a place where less than 30% of the homes have air conditioning.

I’m focused on the west coast this AM because we’re drinking Seattle’s best for a week or two; I can smell it brewing.

I’ve been queried regarding activities on the corner of Chaos & Mayhem. Actually (except for some loud cars – muffler & boom box) it’s been relatively quiet. Quiet that is, other than earlier this week when there was some activity three doors over. I’m still unclear exactly what happened.

Quotation:

”People who think a tax boost will cure inflation are the same ones who believe another drink will cure a hangover” ~ President Ronald Reagan

Our current President, a four-dimensional thinker, ponders otherwise – at least that is what he whispers into the microphone.

We’ve had some amazing characters vying for the top echelon of our government. Remember when the diminutive Massachusetts governor, Michael Dukakis, who decided to pose as a ‘tank commander’? That disaster wrecked his 1988 campaign.

A few were self-inflicted ‘flameouts’, think Wilber Mills and Jeb Bush. However, my favorite was independent Ross Perot. Here is a parody of ‘Ross’ on the campaign trail, where at the County Fair he had entered a cow ‘Mooing’ contest:

Le Gendarme en Balade – OK, now it’s totally ridiculous. It’s almost TWO years since I’ve seen or driven our little ‘Duck’ (Citroën – Deux Chevaux) with the idiotic Canadian/USA border closing. It’s so wrong, so political, and this has to change!! And soon!!

Even brother George sending me glowing newspaper articles on the 2CV; these are no substitutes.

Now I find myself sitting around watching scenes such as these, over and over again:

kauwgom – while walking through neighboring Norwood earlier this week I turned a corner just where the street was being repaved. The strong smell of hot tar hit me. And, before I could take a single step, a flashback to my early youth came into focus, complete with smell and taste. The mind is an amazing thing.

The time was in the Netherlands during their reconstruction shortly after the end of the Nazi occupation. I had zero knowledge of anything called chewing gum (‘kauwgom’ in Dutch), never even knew something like that existed. But as kids go we were intrepid discoverers and there was never a shortage for fun, and exploration. In our case part of it was messing around construction areas and coming across hunks of hardened tar. We’d pick a small chunk and begin chewing on it. And that was my flashback; the smells and taste of this tar as it softened. Kinda cool. And the best news of all, we all survived.

Vince’s Scholarship Already it’s the fourth year of this wonderful tribute. The winner (this year it’s Jady Chen at the University of Central Florida) is selected for a variety of attributes, i.e. green solutions, etc., the stuff which made Vince the ‘star’ in his field.

I reflected on Vince’s life and how it permeated through every facet. How the care and nurturing of his children was no different to what friends, family, and coworkers expressed at his Celebration of Life.

I also reflected on his unstoppable drive. His work to achieve his PE accreditation and Leed certification. His ongoing training to then achieve the elite status of being an Iron Man finisher – twice over. Even him beating me to the top of Rock Candy Mountain at the lake; while carrying a backpack with his drone and gear – a little over two months before his passing. Love you guy!

Blissful moments – The other day I climbed on our balcony, lit a cigar, and was magically transferred into the nasty world of the middle-east. I listened to a discussion between professor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Yaakov Katz the Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief on his book; “Shadow Strike”.

2006 and Syria was in the final stages of building a nuclear fusion facility out in the desert. Israel’s Mossad had gotten wind of it. The facility had to be shut permanently, without opening another middle-eastern conflict.

What an amazing tale. How the final solution was brought about not by a team, but by individuals; our President and even more importantly, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. Knowing that the demise of Israel was on the brink and even though Olmert faced jail time he never disclosed what had happened, and how by a mere sliver the nation of Israel was preserved. Considering the capability of our current leadership, could such a feat be managed effectively today? I know what I believe and am not optimistic that it could.

Interested in a listen? Click Newt’s World – Gingrich360 for 35-minutes of delight. No the time right now, just open the Ramblings whenever; it’ll be here waiting for you.

South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) – And no, not a Patsy Cline tribute; but after 90 plus days our Border point-person VP finally made it – sort of. Not saying it was merely a photo-op but looking at the map, it did seem like a convenient stopover between DC and a weekend home. Had she only stayed long enough to answer journalist’s questions we might have found out the details.

Calling Kamala’s visit to El Paso a visit to the Southern Border is the equivalent of going to Olive Garden and saying you’ve been to Italy ~ Lauren Boebert

Fini –
• A few days ago we celebrated midsummer. Oak and Holly once again have fought for the land with the result that now the days will slowly start to shorten.

• Happy Birthday today to Tevita, many, many more.

• Three days ago it would have been Alan Turing’s birthday. It’s estimated that his WWII efforts in cryptanalysis resulted in the invention of the “universal Turing machine”, and thus the ability to break Nazi military codes. He likely saved as many as 14-million lives for which he never got the appreciation as deserved.

• Thought I’d share a tangible change from a year ago – you’ll understand.

• The theory of Relativity as explained by Albert Einstein himself; “when you sit with a nice girl for two hours it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours.”

• Yesterday June 25 (in 1903) was the birthday of George Orwell (born Eric Blair). I’ve not come across anyone who demonstrated in a more clever way the exposing of tyranny, oppression, and the deep injustices of his (and by default, our) time. Read this remarkable man’s opus; Animal Farm.

• This week Presidential words to live by from President Biden; “Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know. And all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government.”… “If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

• A brilliant way of displaying which of our 50 states did best and worst during the Coronavirus pandemic all in a single chart (by analysts at Hamilton Place Strategies). Best states are found in the Lower-Left quadrant both in rates of Covid deaths and job losses. Worst place to be is in the Top-Right quadrant, these states experienced the worst outcomes. The remaining states are ‘middling’ to various degree.

• Reported by the far-left Los Angeles Times with this headline; “The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry.” What, legal marijuana in trouble? Could taxes and regulations have something to do with it? Maybe?

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors!

Dirk


F

06 19th, 2021

The ‘F’ title stands for several things, but first it’s “Good Morning, bring on the coffee.” Some might want a bit of a teaser, so here goes. Look for things such as; ‘F’ for fun, ‘F’ for fear, ‘F’ for freedom, or even ‘F’ for a happy Father’s Day.

I have to point out that a (small) portion of this was written last evening. To the north of us Tornado touchdowns have happened; we’re in for some hefty weather and flooding during the night, especially since warning sirens can be heard. I thought I’d get a head start in case of sleep disruptions.

Quotation:

”Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times>” ~ G. Michael Hopf

In today’s parlance ‘men’ should have been entered as ‘persons’ and would include both ‘child-bearing’ and ‘sperm donating’ persons equally.

Pumas – Last week I wrote about the most excellent band Kirstin and I watched. That then reminded me of that wonderful television comedy show of years ago where it too featured a bit of music; WKRP in Cincinnati. Here is the clip I had in mind, this starring Howard Hesseman as the uber cool Dr. Johnny Fever:

[also, RIP Frank Bonner (Herb Tarlek on WKRP) 2-28-1942 ~ 6-17-2021]

F = Freedom – at least I hope so; slight rumblings that the border to Canada will open in a matter of a few weeks. Wait, that’s wrong, now the opening was just moved back to the end of July – again. It just doesn’t stop!

What has happened to Canada under Covid-19 lockdown and with it most of the Charter Rights afforded their people? Now we see the tossing of Preachers in jail merely for holding open-air services, this while leadership hobnobs without hindrance – this includes arresting a national opposition political party leader. ‘Approved’ gatherings for BLM and hockey are just fine; none of it is ‘Science’, it’s all a power play.

F = Fish – Tevita and Adrianne spent a week at the beach. While there you just don’t watch fish, you go out and fish and make use of the fish market. And that they did. Back home they treated us to a fish and crab dinner. It was spectacular. Thanks guys!

F = Folly – watching the pathetic performance of our President at the G-7 and later during his Putin sit-down; couple these with the MSM covering of the events, and it makes for a sorry show. How can a leader in the space of a few minutes lose track of what nation he was talking about and inserted Libya when he was talking about Syria – three times over. The man looked visibly confused or tired, not certain which.

Later in the one on one with Putin, cheat cards in hand, we walked away from the table without a single solid piece gained. Not even a release promise of the jailed Americans. Afterwards Putin must have ordered his Cossacks a special round of Vodka.

The single concrete piece of news from the event came yesterday when the White House announced that the $100-million military aid package to the Ukraine had been halted.

F = Fear – I am old enough to remember Vietnam. The lives lost, the lives changed, and the crazy withdrawal which left thousands of our Vietnamese allies in fear for their lives. I remember desperate people hanging onto the last helicopters leaving.

All the final chaos as we withdrew from a war we had little business entering and no will to win as it was politically driven. Now we are ready to repeat history; this time in Afghanistan. 20-years, two trillion dollars, and more than 2,000 service members lost.

Our ‘drawdown’ is poised to leave behind are 170-180,000 of our allies, translators, and those who worked with us under an ‘umbrella’ of trust. Sorry, you lose. These “are about to learn that trusting America was a bad bet. Many will be condemned to torture and death as the reward for their service” (American Thinker, June 18, 2021), as that country is poised to quickly return to a brutal, medieval, theocracy. Already the Taliban has overrun one of our former bases.

F = Fun – Most notably the importation of sausages from the UK into Northern Ireland under the Brexit rules. Each sausage must be inspected. And wouldn’t you know, this sausage nonsense reared its ugly head just as President Biden and PM Boris Johnson set their sights on re-doing the 1941 Atlantic Charter between FDR and Churchill. Great fun for us news junkies.

But actually, I wanted to place the brand new, independent, British news service, GB News, under the fun column. Britain has its BBC, Canada has the CBC, and we have PBS. All three, without hesitation, are heavy left leaning enterprises – meaning that viewers get a single viewpoint of each news cycle. Canada shovels $1.5-billion towards their CBC. Britain does it better by pushing to the BBC approximately (in dollars) $5-billion (PBS receives +/- $1.35 per citizen per year).

GB News, touting itself as “Britain’s news channel” has at the head of their presenting team Andrew Neil (as revered as Walter Cronkite was here). It promises to present ALL viewpoints and even some lighthearted FUN stuff. Early ratings show promise; 166K for GBN, 133K for BBC, and 57K for Sky news.

So why bring up this British focused entity? Simple, it’ll be a great way to gain a new perspective on both International and news dealing with our own situation with high quality in depth content. [I got connected through my mobile app store.]

Fini –
• The last surviving officer on D-Day, first wave, turned 99 this past week. At the time a lieutenant, he retired as Major General John Raaen.

• This is for Greta T. (climate wunderkind); this past week we just broke -81° Celsius (-113.8 °Fahrenheit) in Antarctica.

• The Science is settled. Global warming might cause the ice caps to grow. Global warming might cause the ice caps to shrink. We’re not certain, so either way….we nailed it! Dr. James E. Hansen, NASA-GISS

Twitter does it again. Dr. Peter McCullough, MD, MPH, FACC, not an anti-vaxer, but also a believer in early Covid-19 intervention with alternate treatments was ‘scrubbed’ from Twitter – even with 17.4K followers. Just as a point of interest, he’s the most cited medical doctor on COVID-19 treatments at the National Library of Medicine, with more than 600 citations. Yet Twitter does not allow any open debate of controls and treatment. That’s what the “nation’s town square” is all about – censorship. So wrong!

• Still keeping track of our current VEEP’s border travel – after all she is our border Point Person. This week she was spotted here.

• This past week in 1902 the Musical, “The Wizard of Oz”, opened in Chicago.

• Jason and Cathy have a massive Oak tree in their new backyard. This week they had an arborist company work on it. A team of three crawled over all 50’ of this beauty.

• Think on this: During Black history month Amazon (while amplifying Black voices) kicked “Created Equal” the amazing story of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (born in poverty in the segregated south) off their site.

• Think on this #2: “Palestinians fired 4,360 rockets at Israeli civilians last month, now Israel is giving them 1.2 million Pfizer vaccine doses” ~ Hillel Neuer, Canadian-born lawyer, executive director of UN Watch.

RIP Rudolph (Rudy) Moreira, MD, 1943-2021, born in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Rudy was the amazing surgeon who successfully operated on Marcia for breast cancer over 20 years ago. At the same time he and I played on the same soccer team. BTW – Rudy was a much better player.

• Anybody remember Dr. Timothy Leary PhD?

• June 17, 1939 France held its last public guillotining when Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was put to death. This spectacle was held outside of the prison Saint-Pierre.

• Cancel Culture has also taken hold in Canada. This past week the 1895 statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime Minister was hurriedly removed after the discovery of his role in their residential school system.

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors!

Dirk


Out of the Dark

06 12th, 2021

We’ve now switched seasons. We’ve moved from that time of the year when people who wouldn’t ride bicycles because it was too cold now won’t ride bikes because it’s too hot ~ Bike Snob, NYC

I sure had great hopes to at least post something last Saturday. The time in Austin precluded that. I guess that what that means is that I had a very busy, but great time, in Texas. So now, even though it being about as muggy as can be here, the coffee is ready and smells good. Let’s get started.

With the weather here in the ‘Natti, I made it home as planned by being chauffeured from the airport by Maddie and Lyft (Marcia felt that the struggle with rain and the ongoing bridgework delays, getting into KY was a bit much). OK. So I walked through the door about 1½ hours later than anticipated; that wasn’t Maddie’s fault.

Getting home when I did also meant it was right at the height of Cicada season. Tree trunks look like they have beards created by the shells of the little beasties. People, some wrapped in plastic rain gear, are fun to watch making wild dashes for their cars with arms flailing. Even prior to departing I had the leaf blower busy several times to make the front walk passable. I recorded the incessant mating ‘chatter’. It was from our balcony and in the background what you hear are cars, the rest; well you know the rest.

In the Dark – What are the odds? What are the odds that in a large commercial venue, a major event (i.e. a High School graduation), goes DARK at the exact time that the ceremonies begin? And, the craziest of all is that the event was supposed to be outdoors, but due to weather was moved into Austin’s Delco Center. For Derek his graduation will go into the memory books.

   

Most of it was held under the lights of hundreds of cell phones with sound powered by a single Bull-Horn. What did come out better than ever, was the voices of a couple of thousand people, singing our national anthem a cappella– in the dark.

And, you know what? None of the ‘hiccups’ mattered at all. All present were thrilled. The students were happily delighted. The guests were chatting with those around them. It was a great occasion.

Man in Black – Derek made a late play to head out to his final school Prom. Labeled “Austin Weird” it was made open to all seniors, date or no date, formal or ‘whatever’, none mattered. There went Derek, at 6’3” plus, wearing his size 15 shoes, looking very GQ’s. Mom proud. Opa delighted. And Derek, who took it all in (nervous?) stride.

Black Pumas – After multiple delays due to weather and Covid Kirstin, with a couple of tickets, invited me to join her to an outdoor performance by Austin’s own Black Pumas. The band are 4X Grammy Nominees. Hence, we stood with what was estimated at roughly 2,000 other fans in Stubbs backyard (their outdoor venue), for a wonderful performance by this red-hot band. I had a blast. Thank you Kirstin.

   

Not familiar with the psychedelic soul sounds of the group? Have a listen. If you are familiar, skip past the video clip.

Nearly Black and Green – is what the fence at Kirstin’s back yard had turned into. Only one solution; Power Wash the thing. Off we went to some outlets to select the exact machine needed. At Lowe’s we hit the mark, and later back home it did the job.

   

While I was there we got a solid start. Kirstin finished it after I went home. That, plus some gutter work, and a re-do of the paint on the back door; her backyard had never looked so good. In fact, so good that what had to be the best meal of my stay was a dinner of authentic Asian Ramen eaten in the backyard’s pergola in the new favorite spot; the backyard.

Fini –
• Welcome to the family (courtesy of Alex and Taryn) is baby Varenna Summer Sun Pastoor. I am told that she’s all that Alex, Taryn, & grandparents Art and Jolene could have wished for.

Boarding my homebound flight reminded me of the way they move cattle into the slaughterhouse.

• The current G7 in Cornwall is happening in a world where the group is hanging by their fingernails seeking to stay relevant. Their ‘family’ photo reminds me of watching elderly Chinese getting ready for the 5:00AM morning program of ‘qigong” meditation exercises. What a team!

• Now that a series of texts by Hunter Biden have come to light. These, where he casually keeps on using the “n-word; it appears that “white supremacy” propaganda by the media has immediately shifted over to “climate change”. Hmmm, very interesting.

• What the insanity of the past year and a half has brought to light is that our enlightened culture has ‘progressed’ from testing ill people (to prove that they were ill) – to testing healthy people to prove they were healthy! Why? Because our so called scientists told us that was the science. Disagree? That made room to be censored. Wacko stuff indeed.

• Every day this week more negative stuff on Dr. Fauci has appeared. This week it was dollars sent to the Wuhan virology Lab. Possibly for something called “gain of function”. This man has bounced around more than a marionette doll worked by a seven year old.

• Kamala Harris’s trip to Central America even had CNN declare it a disaster. Lester Holt pinned her to the fact that she had NOT been to the border — wasn’t she appointed our Border Tsar? As the photo shows, Lester was wrong on that count.

• Were you aware that it tales over 100,000 lbs. of materials to make one electric car battery? Guess how many of these rare earth mines are owned by China?

• Love this paragraph by Australian Peter Clack: “The history of earth’s geological past is well understood. Science reveals an endless pattern of rocky surface plates moving, colliding & sinking. Science records this creation of the world, life & its ocean driven climate. Life may be based on CO2, but climate is not. It’s a hoax.”

• My favorite photo of the Three Stooges. I always loved their totally juvenile antics.

• Walking between my hotel and Kirstin’s home I had to cross this spot. For some silly reason I caught myself looking up each time I came by this place.

• First view of the ‘Big Muddy’ as I headed home.

Make it great week people, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and head outdoors — walk a block!

Dirk