Somebody paid somebody something serious to insert a lovely day into the mix. Thursday I took Vili and Vi to the Reds Opening Day parade – and it was a glorious day. Then yesterday back to a ‘good-for-nothing’ day; nothing for either spring or winter aficionados – even the rain was nothing to relish. After a ‘supposed’ night of more ‘heavy’ weather, today we’re now promised that the heavier stuff will actually pour in shortly.

But for now, today it’s a new day and a new beginning, a look into our future. So, let’s kick it off with a solid mug of coffee. Are you ready?

An Anniversary – Today is the 23rd Anniversary of Kirstin’s and Vince’s wedding. I still reflect on a very happy day when a substantially ‘heftier’ (i.e. thick-bodied) me walked our eldest down a grassy aisle.

I also remember the differences between families. Over dinner, what I thought was a lovely time of bonding with my brothers, a time of ‘sharing the love’ was by another segment of the extended family viewed as just an all and out ‘food-fight.’

And later on that evening, the hotel security showing up at poolside was a bit of overkill.

Paragraph of the week:

What is coming into being is a new form of government and social organization that is as different from mid-twentieth century liberal democracy as the early American republic was from the British monarchism that it grew out of…..the war against disinformation can be expressed in a single claim, it is this: “You cannot be trusted with your own mind.”?” – by: Jacob Siegel—[senior editor of News and The Scroll, Tablet’s daily afternoon news digest]; A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century; Tablet magazine

Both the highlighted article and the magazine link directly to each distinct site.

You should know that the article the above was quoted from should be a Must Read for every thinking person. Also, that at 13,000 words it is not for the faint of heart.

First Pitch – Professional Baseball got its start 159 years ago right here in our little town (1866) as the ‘Resolutes’ and quickly changed to the ‘Redlegs’ and now just as the ‘Cincinnati Reds’. Early on the game was pitched underhand and without gloves. Aaargh, tough times!

Anyway, it means that the day the first pitch of the season is tossed is an informal city-wide holiday. Somewhere in the fogs of history a parade starting at Findlay Market was begun. As mentioned, Thursday I took Vili and Vi to watch all 156 parade segments float on by. This was followed by a late lunch at ‘Taste of Belgium’ (Vili chose a very late Breakfast while I had some Goetta Hash). In life, some things are just too important to miss (even for those who like the sport but aren’t aficionados).

Enjoy Opening Day through pictures. The first one was taken by one of the news groups’ drones.


We had heard that as the National Anthem concluded a fly-over of F16 fighter planes would happen. I got excited and somehow imparted that excitement to others. For 15-minutes we parked ourselves in front of our building waiting to spot the things zip on by. We thought that maybe we heard them, clear skies, but nary a F16 was sighted.

To help you get into the mood for the next piece this bit of music is background to those paragraphs. Enjoy:

It’s a Party – We’re lucky that right across the River in Newport, KY is a place called The Party Source. It’s touted as being the largest, 100% employee owned, beverage alcohol store in the nation. Throwing a party, any kind of a party, and they can furnish ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

Yesterday they celebrated their 30th year in business; tastings, sales, a band, and all around good time. To all of this Marcia and I can attest. The two of us moseying around with the rest of the crowd made me think we were steering bumper cars.

And yes, we had a fine time – accidentally timed so that we were on the road heading home right as a lightning rain storm moved in.


Passing by — the ‘Corner of Chaos & Mayhem’we see busses rounding by. At some point I began to take note just how many are festooned with the white toothed (some smiling others stern) faces of the leadership of the personal injury industry, aka ‘slip-‘n-slide lawyers. One is even pictured cross armed sporting oversized boxing gloves (he’ll do ‘battle’ for you).

All this provided the: Phrase of the Week:jury duty, ……….. more akin to a community service sentence than a Jeffersonian rite of citizenship. ” – RT Restoring Truth.

Fin –
• Brother Art will celebrate an ‘O’ trailing birthday number (much behind mine) in a couple of days. Happy day guy.

• Sticking with the birthday theme, a mere few days later we’ll be celebrating Dia and Neanners’ birthdays. Enjoy your special day ladies.

• My new batch of homemade sauerkraut has already had a place of honor on my dinner plate (though it seems like I am the only one eating the stuff).

• This weekend 42 years ago President Ronald Reagan was shot.

• On April 1, 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Happy All Fools Day

“Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the New Year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.”

“These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as ‘poisson d’avril’ (April fish), said to symbolize a young, “easily hooked” fish and a gullible person.”

Ciao. Stay strong, ever stay the lighthearted prankster, keep moving, keep active. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


With a ‘dollop’

03 25th, 2023

Sleeping with rain hitting the windows isn’t all bad; in fact it’s pretty good. Outside at the corner of Chaos & Mayhem it’s about as quiet as I’ve ever seen. That too is good; although a bit forbidding too.

So let’s get going and change our focus.

Phrase of the week:People, what the f**k happened?” – frank-talking, half-Irish leader of the Dutch FarmerCitizenMovement (BBB) party , Caroline van der Plas, at her victory speech last Wednesday. The BBB was formed just three years ago and had jumped to first place in the Dutch Provincial elections. The European Union and their extremist edicts should be concerned.

Wednesday saw me wandering the neighborhood in shorts. Yesterday, actually starting Thursday, the hoodie was back on and the umbrella raised. Now the weather ‘gurus’ predict that later today when the numbers are released our big Muddy’, the Ohio River, will have risen 14’ and the three local feeder rivers 20’. This includes the Licking River where Dinah practices her rowing almost daily. Let the flooding begin.

Then later this morning wind gusts hitting 55mph will roar through. It’ll be a fun weekend, maybe even exciting.

Anyway, of greater import, it was just announced that soon Christian Moerlein beer will be back in the stores; that’s very good! Christian Moerlein beer has been around for over 150 years using centuries old German recipes and methods.

But, in the meantime I’ll slurp my hot morning coffee loaded with a dollop of Irish Cream. Life is good.

CCJO meets Gospel – was the concert I wrote about earlier. Last Sunday we experienced everything we had hoped for; great music, wonderful song, and a powerful presentation. It truly was a stunning afternoon. I know that some of you have seen a bit of video I captured. In case you haven’t seen, enjoy the Jazz orchestra and choir’s version of Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace.

Bailout? – As I’ve read; “if it looks like a Bailout, if it walks like a Bailout, it probably is a Bailout.”

When Fed Chair Yellen says that; “Uninsured investors will be made whole in that Silicon Valley Bank (SVG)” That means many small banks will end up paying and guess who those extra fees get passed on to? Could it possibly be you and me? Sure sounds like a ‘bailout’.

Have we ever been lied to? Nah, when have we ever been lied to? Surely not in regards to border security, not when giving word that not a single person wanting out would be left behind in Afghanistan, not in a single ‘one-for-all justice system’. I even trusted the sincerity of the “three weeks to flatten the curve.” Wanna talk energy security? Nah, all is fine, all is good!

And so it goes. The latest being ‘no bailout’ Janet Yellen Dropping a bombshell on the Silicon Valley Bank Bailout Scandal with her: “the Fed Can’t ‘Discriminate’ Against Chinese Investors.”

Word of the day: schtum as in ”Dinner conversation between the Trudeaus and the Biden’s was a classic schtum, leaving the other collected guests in utter confusion”; i.e. to not say something about something.

Bless the Mothers – We’re really in a ‘betwixt & between’ period – in more ways than one. In the UK they held Mother’s Day a week or so ago (March 19). Our US Mother’s Day won’t be till May 14th. However, counting the barrage of jewelry ads, primarily for diamonds, used Rolex watches, and fancy colognes, it’s got to be a massive event.

Growing up I remember little about the diamonds and Rolex stuff, just some warm and fuzzy ‘Mother’s’ songs on the radio. In case you’ve forgotten, especially the period from WWII through the 1950s, think of names like; Eddy Arnold, Allan Sherman, Don McLean, the Carter Family, or even Abba.

However, we now live in ‘fluid’ times and the whole concept of a Mother’s Day is under scrutiny. Interesting names such as “gestational parent” and “chestfeeding” are making an exciting entrance into the vocabulary.

Hence I am bridging the gap with a piece from the 1970-80s. Enjoy Pink Floyd doing Mother from their album The Wall:

Cincinnati Food Groups —
I know, I know, there is a large world of ‘Tofu and salad’ lovers out there. At times I too enjoy Tofu. Nevertheless, here in the ‘Nati we have our own list of ‘Faves’ and ‘tofu’ is not on the list. I thought I’d share:

1. Montgomery Ribs ~ the Ted Gregory family
2. Ruby’s Steak Houses/Precinct ~ Jeff Ruby
3. LaRosa’s Pizza ~ Buddy LaRosa
4. Skyline Chili ~ Nicholas Lambrinides and family
5. Jean-Robert de Cavel [RIP Dec. 2022]~ set up his own group of French restaurants (was ‘chef de cuisine’ at The Maisonette – Mobil 5 star rating). I also have to point out that Jean-Robert was the proud owner/driver of a Deux Chevaux.
6. Then for dessert what about: Graeters Ice Cream ~ Louis Charles Graeter


STEM – Had our Vili involved. He and a few other students from his school, since the New Year, were invited to spend one afternoon a week  learning about 3d printing, and modeling design software.

They had to think of a project, plan it, design it, and then print it. Yesterday morning, on the University of Cincinnati campus a couple of hundred student – of all grades, plus a few hard core users such as people from UC Children’s Hospital, got together to demonstrate their work. Surely such a great opportunity was one I wasn’t going to miss.

Vili’s piece was a bookmarker. Not just any bookmark, but one which pointed to the last page and the  last sentence read. How cool is that!


Nature at work – Just so that you don’t ‘hang your hat’ on that tired bit of ‘man made climate change’ gobbly-goog department; remember that the climate has been changing naturally each and every day since eternity. In light of that, here are the two events for this week (quoting Business Insider), please make note:

1. “The sun is getting more active than it has for a decade. Reaching it’s Maximus — and it could lead to power outages, grounded flights, and stunning auroras.”

2. “An asteroid nearly the size of a skyscraper will whiz between the Earth and the moon sometime later today in a once-in-a-decade event. The newly discovered space rock, named 2023 DZ2 could look like a “slow-moving star.””

Fin –

Liberal Democrat, attorney/professor Alan Dershowitz eviscerated NY DA Bragg’s potential Trump indictment as a “Mickey Mouse event”.

A head of cabbage, slivered carrots, some ginger, and a sprinkling of fennel equals? Answer; the 2nd batch of my homemade sauerkraut. Batch No. 1 flew out of the frig.

Last weekend Marcia looked over her shoulder, there, about 8 feet from the window was a group of 5 deer. Leisurly as you please they slowly walked by. Then, looking both ways, crossed the street and disappeared between the houses. We live in the core of a decent sized city and see more deer here as we do in the North Woods in Canada.

In case you want to know, with Dr. approval I have re-joined my twice weekly Zoom exercise group with my brothers and family (no overhead stuff especially with weights). Also, back to daily walking – easy pace 3 to 5 miles. And, I have signed up for a 5k in mid-April; Matt’s 5k Pursuit.

Ciao. Stay strong, never stop learning, never stop moving. Be safe and be healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Finally: Spring ~ Sprung

03 18th, 2023

The first mug of Dunkin’ coffee, with that a very happy Saturday morning to everyone. We ran out of Tim Hortons and so did Costco – not a bad changeover at all.

Although, at this end, we’re all still smarting from last weekend’s time shift – when will that nonsense end?

Now that Spring is here the 1st ¼ of the year passed successfully, even after my eye blowout and surgery. I’m almost back to normal and started the Zoom exercise program with my brothers and Jolene – just no overhead stuff with weights. That and back to walking, It all feels right!

With Spring now here we’ve begun the planning process for the opening of Northern Comfort at the lake. Like everything else, its one step at a time and each step has to be decided on, practiced, and perfected. First on the list is the proper way to exit the ‘Nati.

Phrase of the week; “on the lam”. This because it seems that in our area not a day went by where we weren’t apprised of the fact that one ‘perp’ after another was “on the lam”.

2CV – with the change of seasons, its time to break out “the Duck”, our little Deux Chevaux – 2CV, roll the top down, and grab a little sunshine.

For any new readers, here is the history of ‘the Duck’ in about a minute.

Enjoy – Karambolage:

Dora – aka “Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area”. The ‘Nati loves to celebrate and St. Patrick’s Day nears the top. Overnight most all pubs became green-beer havens!

On the riverfront in their Dora area all could participate in the shenanigans by taking part in the State’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day race. Participants ran 0.1 miles while holding a beer (any beer would do, Guinness gave you a yard or so head start). Before the race, people celebrated with Ohio’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade – 100 yards and carrying multiple beers (green was encouraged).

Propaganda – Lord Arthur Ponsonby was a British diplomat and politician (1871–1946). He was a member of the House of Lords. Being a keen and cagey fellow he pinpointed 10 rules of propaganda. Wherever around the world we look at past and current despots, the rules apply.

Springing forth to here, look at how disagreement to edicts and then how the disagreement is addressed in media and on microphones in the West. Do Ponsonby’s rules apply here too? Think of the many Covid edicts, our Ukraine involvement, Social Media constant spin, or even the handling of the Freedom Convoy in Canada; all require we give them careful thought.

These are Ponsonby’s ten rules:

    1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.
    2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.
    3. Our adversary’s leader is evil and looks evil.
    4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest.
    5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes.
    6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons
    7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big.
    8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause.
    9. Our cause is sacred.
    10. Those who doublt our propaganda are traitors.

Dutch politics – The activities currently seen in the Netherlands came about because the European Union in collaboration with the Dutch politicians have been pushing (forcing) rules the farmers couldn’t possibly meet. And, where the proposal was to mandate centuries old family farms (businesses) be sold to the government. This quickly brought about a, sometimes ugly, uproar.

This past week that nation had Provincial elections. A startup party (2019), the
Farmer Citizen Movement (BBB) or Farmers Party in the Netherlands from went from zero members in the Senate to now the majority – my observation is that sanity prevailed!

Were Ponsonby’s rules in play here? Will the farms stay?

Fin –
• Brother Pieter and I managed a quick get-together for lunch in Louisville, KY. A really fun time in a lovely (100+ varieties of Bourbon) pub restaurant.

• Of our local College teams only one, Xavier, is still on track towards the peak of basketball’s March Madness. Marcia, she being the College Varsity player of the sport, can hardly stand it and spends half the night scouring the radio dial seeking one game after another on radio. I think she’s hoping to catch another upset.

• Tomorrow we’re off to join our Contemporary Jazz Orchestra with about as much anticipation as possible; CCJO Meets Gospel: Amazing Grace. Hallelujah!

Ciao. Stay strong, be observant, and question all. Stay safe and healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.



03 11th, 2023

A smallish return to winter, but still, a happy Saturday morning to everyone. Here it’s still silent and I’m beginning to feel like it’s a calm before a storm. Oh well, Mr. Coffee just informed me that all is both good and ready. And “Whew”, just now restored my WiFi internet connection! A good half hour of hassling with the system and WiFi gear.

I did watch the House Subcommittee hearing on the “Twitter Files”. Here is how one of two journalists testifying, investigative reporter (for years writing for a very liberal Rolling Stone) Matt Taibbi, described the event:

”….it was more farcical horror and a parade of self-owns that made me more sad than upset……..much of the hubbub yesterday involved the many “When did Elon Musk start beating your wife?” questions…..”

The gas bubble in my eye is slowly dissipating and is at a point where each morning it’s shrunk a bit. This morning though, there is something new. Two small bubbles have broken away and attached to the larger main bubble. Now, as I am working on this Rambling, I keep seeing a Mickey Mouse head everywhere I look. Cute at first, but already it’s getting a bit old.

That Corner – Oh, you know, ‘That corner; Chaos & Mayhem. We spot more frequently than not, people racing around the bend, no stopping, then stomp on the accelerator and blast off – often with straight pipes so that everyone knows the ‘coolness’ of their wheels. This happens especially at night.

Then, how often is it that national car manufacturers unleash a new or updated model by demonstrating exorbitant speed and cornering on their TV ads?

To put all of that into some perspective I felt it time to share some data:

• The earth is spinning on its axis, so we’re already moving at 1,000mph
• Then, we circle the sun, doing so at a stately 67,000mph
• The sun which we revolve around is galloping around our galaxy at a speed of 514,495mph (remember, we too are being sucked along at that speed).
• The nearest sun with planets similar to ours is Proxima Centauri. The distance to Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years or about 296,000 years of travel time at Voyager 2 speed; remember that we can only trace humanity as a cluster of early cave and tree dwellers back about 10,000 years. This means that undertaking such a journey is more than going across town. We aren’t going there anytime soon no matter how hard you stomp on your accelerator.

Bottom line: It’s laughable in that stomping down on the accelerator and roaring
your engine through the corner of Chaos and Mayhem does very little in the
grand scheme of things other than possibly waking me up. I don’t like to wake up grumpy!

For those who will still stomp their accelerator willy-nilly, watch this short description of what real speed and planning requires:

Vaioleti’s Week – was really special. Our original micro-preemie proved that she’s really come into her own; she’s become a shining star. So, this was her a-typical week.

Last Saturday she participated and represented her school, Clark Montessori
Highschool, at; ‘ECHO Youth Poetry Slam. 23 contestants and she easily (we think 2nd place – maybe it was 1st) slid into the finals to be held April 7. Here she is presenting her poem (I shared with a few folks earlier, to you, enjoy it one more time).

But, there was more. Her school’s Steel Drum Band (Clark Montessori – the nation’s first public Montessori High School) held a concert.

We’ve all heard the lighthearted Calypso music from such bands, and we had that. However, how about music from the 1980s group, the Eurythmics? Then, I was blown away when they began the first movement of Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. What a special evening!


For the love of the waterfront – gave me some thought. Yesterday I read that the home of deceased radio host, Rush Limbaugh, was sold for $155-million. A piece of Palm Beach, FL waterfront property, 2.6 acres with 250 feet of direct ocean access. The article went on to list several moguls with similarly priced waterfront properties on that Florida coast. Then I remember reading that former President Obama and Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, also bought ocean front properties and McMansions.

So here’s the question; many of these people fervently support the spoutings of an activist ‘wunderkid’ like Greta Thunberg or those of globalists like our climate Czar John Kerry, our own ‘master of the carbon offsets’ Al Gore, and the WEF’s Klaus Schwab. Since they ‘seemingly’ buy the climate stuff aren’t they worried that all their seashore properties will be joining the sunken Lost City of Atlantis in a mere 12 years?
As the song goes:

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me………..
………While we devotin’
Full time to floatin’
Under the sea

Gospel Jazz – Hallelujah, this coming week we’ll be going to see and listen to our Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and the Gospel music from several church choirs. The audio and pictures below are from the 2020 performance after which the subsequent events were rudely interrupted by the ‘Wu-Flu’. We’re truly excited that it’s back!

Have a listen to the old favorite; “Travelin’ Shoes”:


Fin –
Dinah, has a ‘magical’ piece of paper that allows her to sit behind the wheel of a car as a learner. Congratulations!

Two of our local College teams are still on track towards the peak of basketball’s March Madness. Marcia as a College Varsity player of the sport has game after game either on radio or TV – no end in sight.

Ciao. Stay strong, value life and everyone around you – it’s too short to do otherwise. Stay safe and healthy.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Catching Up

03 4th, 2023

Happy Saturday morning. The heavy weather finally has rolled on through. Yesterday the rain was measured in inches. Tornados and straight-line winds caused havoc in counties surrounding ours. And, through it all we plodded. Plodded? Yes, plodded, I had my six week post surgery eye exam, and since we were on the north edge of town decided to drive another 12-minutes further north and head for Costco.

Other than loading ourselves and our goods into the truck – seemingly like we were doing it underneath a fire hose, all was good. Ok, now a sip of coffee and we’ll catch up.

you’re Old – when a man stops you in a Meijers parking lot and says; “every week I am given a back-seat load of Donuts to distribute to veterans and seniors, and you look worthy.” We received four boxes each containing 8 rich frosted Entenmann’s chocolate covered donuts.

And I did not have my sunglasses on or was using a cane, so have absolutely no idea why we were selected. And yes, we did have a nice little conversation.

The Eye – and I both got good news. I even got to see a nice blow-up photograph taken of the interior of my eye; scars and all. I was impressed enough so that I am certain that photo will be used as a centerfold in the next copy of ‘Ophthalmology Revealed’ magazine.

I was informed that the gas-bubble will be totally absorbed in about a week. As soon as it’s gone (i.e. I can’t see it anymore) I can do about everything I want, exercising, walking, swimming – all no problem.

Also, ranking right up there in the great news department, is the fact that I am done with eye drops.

It was a scary time at New Year when I was informed I might have lost a major chunk (like most) of my right eye vision, so thankful with the quality of care where all my vision is absolutely intact! Kudos to Dr. Miller, and all the staff of the Cincinnati Eye Institute — you’re the best.

Corner of Chaos and Mayhem – has really not changed. It’s not that nothing happens, it’s that the excitement and confusion to us has become somewhat commonplace.

Thursday evening we saw multiple cruisers pull a car over as it crossed the intersection – not certain but it appeared to be a drug bust. The driver was cuffed and the car towed.

The photo is from early in the week when a car had broken down by the corner ‘Stop’ sign and two cars piled into each other behind it. The broken car was towed as was the middle car since its Air Bags had gone off.

It’s better than any TV.

Our Poet – A couple of weeks ago three students were selected from Vaioleti’s school, Clark Montessori. These three made up a total of 20 students city wide entered into a poetry competition held at the University of Cincinnati’s Language and Arts Department. Vai was a ‘freshman’, the other two ‘seniors’.

One part of the competition was that each student was given an ‘opening’ word and a ‘closing’ word. The closing word became the starting word for the following student’s poem – each had a half hour to create this, their special poem.

When I heard what our Vai had written my goose bumps had baby goose bumps.

Today at 10:00 we’ll be on the UC campus for the finals presentation. Yes, Vai was selected to participate.

Are we proud? Do you really have to ask?

The Halifax Explosion – Our neighbor/friend who now reside in Halifax sent me a short animated film on the Halifax Explosion of 1916. A munitions ship carrying over 2000 tons of wartime munitions got broadsided in the Halifax harbor and caught fire.

The subsequent explosion blew away what was then the city of Halifax. It seems that a sailor caught in the explosion went airborne and fell back to earth and survived (apparently having been blown 2km away).

Two Canadian ladies created this beautifully done animation (almost Ballet-like) of the event and Bulent shared it with me. He got it through The New Yorker.

Now, one more coffee and then begin to get ready. Let the day begin!

To Dinah: happy, and successful, ‘rowing’ as a new 16-year old. Congratulations!

Ciao. Stay strong, Value life, its precious even should things ‘explode’ around you. Stay safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Happy Saturday morning. Marcia was up prior to me opening my eyes and so, coffee was made! As you can see by my ‘picture of the week’, spring has sprung in Southwest Ohio. This means it’s highs reaching into the mid-seventies followed by frost, lots of rain, and even some substantial winds. It’s all good; the parking of winter in the rear mirror.

As promised – Last week I let you know that brother Pieter finished up his decade old radio show, Listening Lyrics. But, that something new was in the works.

Well, yesterday a completely new show hit the airwaves. Here is the official program blurb as put out by KDRT 95.7FM in Davis, CA. it airs on Friday early evening and repeats a couple of times each week – streaming worldwide.

Imagining Yolo Davis” interviews citizens (imaginers) of this community who are imagining projects that will affect all of us for the greater good. From recycling, music, community groups to park clean up groups the list goes on, private imaginers using their talents to enrich our community.


The gift – This week I got around to firmly plant both feet into my eighth decade. Actually, in English of yesteryear it’s now; four score and one year. Or as it’s said in my native tongue (and for cousins in the Netherlands) “eenentachtig”.

In celebration I decided to give myself a gift – and at the same time pass this gift on to you (I understand that ‘passing forward’ is now a thing). It’s a piece made so very popular by old ‘Satchmo’ himself, jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Louis Armstrong; “What a Wonderful World“.

This full band features the amazing and stunning Esperanza Emily Spalding. It’s a recording that I’ll find myself listening to every so often – including yesterday. And that’s when it hit me; SHARE IT!

To do it correctly, set the video on full screen, adjust the volume, and most importantly – reflect on the lyrics; it truly is “A Wonderful World” [ “…. I see skies of blue and clouds of white – The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night – And I think to myself what a wonderful world….“]

Ciao. Stay strong, value life its precious, keep an eye out for that first spring flower, and stay safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


Up, Up, and Away

02 18th, 2023

I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no—again, no—indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns. ~ press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a recent Press conference

Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly, we can fly…

Happy Saturday morning, and so we enter another weekend. I’m enjoying my first coffee, sniffing it as much as sipping the hot stuff. My cold has come and gone, but with our daily temperatures bouncing between 70F and freezing on a weekly basis, we’re probably in for a round two.

Old School – this week our airport initiated flights of a new start-up airline – Breeze. What this one brings to the ‘party’ that is new and different is that it’s bringing back something from the Old School. Breeze is initiating “direct” flights versus “non-stop”.

“OK Dirk, now I am confused, what’s the difference?” It’s a concept I remember from years ago. I’d be traveling somewhere and my flight would make a stop, some folk would get off and some might come aboard, but I’d stay on the plane and twenty minutes later we’d be on our way to the next/final final destination – thus it was a ‘direct’ flight, but not a non-stop.

The last time I experienced this type of travel was years ago flying from Detroit to Chippewa airport in Michigan’s UP; with an intermediate stop in Alpena MI. That this trip was made in a tiny prop-driven Swearingen Metroliner dates it. I remember those Swearingers being so tiny that I was forced to either crawl or ‘duck-walk’ to my seat while climbing over the cross-aisle hump housing the wing struts.

Feb 15, World Hippo Day – The ‘Nati has become the nation’s Hippo center with Fiona (the preemie) and now a lovely nubile young lady of 1,300 pounds. This past year she was joined by a new baby brother, Fritz.

Yup, we take note of something as importants as World Hippo Day!

Yoko Ono – turns 90 today. Somewhere John Lennon has to be singing “<u>Imagine</u>”.

Imagine all the people
Living for today,……..
…..You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one….”

The BIG burn – and train accident 300 miles from us in the other corner of the state, East Palestine. I’m already watching a decrease in news coverage as almost everyone, except the Palestine residents, want to shovel this mess under the rug. The Feds, the State, the Rail company, all are probably culpable and want the whole thing to disappear.

But, what I discovered is an existence of a consortium of States (since 1948) that have pulled together to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin. Meaningful, since this river basin is our area’s most valuable resource; for transportation and water. And we have an ample, year round, supply of the stuff.

I never knew that ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission) even existed. Yet, in the background and without interruption this entity keeps tabs on this resource and communicates with our Cincinnati Water Works constantly. The net result is that our drinking water is some of the best in the nation. Through an array of sand and charcoal filtration systems this level of excellence has been achieved.

Beginning late tomorrow the water intake gates will close and not reopen till after the toxic plume passes on though. This is a screen capture of how the spill sampling data is presented on a daily basis specifically during for the East Palestine mess.

A Canoe? – I haven’t seen it yet, but Vili tells me that he and his sixth grade classmates finished building a full-sized canoe. Previous sixth graders did the same thing and the finished product has hung on display somewhere in the school. I think that this project has much positivity on several fronts. Yeay Montessori!

Pieter – my brother has had, for a decade, a weekly music/interview show; Listening Lyrics on KDRT 95.7FM in Davis, California. Now, over 300 interviews later he’s taped his final show. Click here to listen on past shows on Apple Podcasts. Is Pieter done? No he is not! Next week I’ll post on his next endeavor.

Ciao. Stay strong and value your health. Remember, you can’t change the world, but you can your own house and neighborhood – work on it. Say safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.



02 11th, 2023

This was some week. Along with anthems of ‘cheers’ and ‘boos’, our snollygoster-in-chief, our unprincipled scalawag-par-excellence, the master of the teleprompter, held forth.

We were privileged to learn that what is up is actually down, what is a positive is really a negative, what is more is less, what is white is black, what is wide open is totally secure, what is good is bad.

Our first President, President George Washington, gave the nation a series of over 20 insights in his farewell address – here are eight I think should be on any list. These days, we best pay heed:

1) “Be vigilant, people will seek to use the government for selfish ends.”
2) “Control bureaucracies; make sure they all work together.”
3) “Avoid political parties; they will cause divisive factions and unscrupulous men will use them to undermine the government.”
4) “Be suspicious of administrators; they may serve themselves rather than the people.”
5) “Preserve existing checks and balances and add more where power needs to be checked.”
6) “Religion and morality are essential to create the virtue necessary to preserve the union.”
7) “Avoid debt; and immediately discharge any debt created by war.”
8) “Be guided by principles, not interests.”

Fun Time – with young Viliami last Sunday. I know I described the afternoon concert Vili and I attended so no more on that, just a few photos from the event. But, let me just say that George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue reset into a Jazz piece warranted a standing ovation!


Deutsch or Dutch? Every so often I’ve been asked whether I can speak of understand ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’. No, I cannot. The Pennsylvanian ‘Dutch’ is really a German variant of ‘Deutsch’ spoken mostly by their Amish population.

Anyway, since I am sitting around even more trying to gain the upper hand on a cold, I dug around a bit more into the languages. Dutch is connected to Middle English. While German is connected to a series of Germanic peoples and languages found along the northern edge of the European continent – as can be seen in the Roman ‘Germania”.

Both England and ‘de Nederlanden’ (Netherlands or ‘low-lands’) were major sea faring nations during the 1500 1600’s and with trade and skirmishes there was quite a bit of cross cultural and language movement with Middle English (the Dutch eventually substituting the letter ‘d’ for the English ‘th’ sound.

I thought it’d be of interest to view this set of words (you should sound them out – at speaking speed for extra fun), same meaning in each of the three languages. The left is English, the middle balloon is German, and the right-hand balloon is Dutch.

The BIG Game – will come and go tomorrow. Our home team would have been playing in that game had, during the final seasonal game, the one which determined who would play, our opposition not received a never seen before, critical, FIFTH down. As must be realized there now reins a lack of interest at this end.

However, there was an incident that occurred during a previous game with the Buffalo Bills. Our opposition had a player who collapsed on the field in full cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped and for almost 10-minutes, on the field, CPR was performed.

He was sped to our University of Cincinnati Trauma Center (a Level III and the same one Adrianne rushed me to with my eye issue). With the care he received, there, his comeback was almost miraculous.

In appreciation the medical team was honored in Phoenix where the recovered Buffalo Bills Safety, Damar Hamlin, paid tribute to those who had a hand in giving him a second chance at life. At not quite 25 years of age he gave this very eloquent statement:

”My entire life, I felt like God was using me to give others hope and now with a new set of circumstances, I can say he’s doing what he’s always done,” …. “I have a long journey ahead, a journey full of unknowns and a journey full of milestones, but it’s a lot easier to face your fears when you know your purpose.”

for clarity’s sake – “We are calling this an ‘object’ because that is the best description we have right now” (i.e. an ‘object’ is an object which is an object an so forth); John Kirby of the National Security Council during a briefing at the White House. OK!

February 11, 2020 – mere months after the first case in Wuhan, China, and approximately three weeks after the first U.S. case was reported, the World Health Organization officially named the illness that would go on to cause a pandemic “coronavirus disease 2019,” shortened to the acronym COVID-19.

I would arguably declare it the most poorly dealt with viral outbreak in memory. The lockdown of healthy people, forced treatment of the unaffected (kids), compulsorily housing of elderly in facilities, the absolute blocking of the use of early intervention medications, and arbitrary application of those deemed ‘essential’ versus ‘unessential’ was unconscionable. I firmly believe that history will prove me correct.

Ciao. Stay strong; work hard to maintain friendships, keeping healthy is a priority, keep those affected by the disaster in Syria and Turkey and especially the rescue teams providing aid there in mind. Say safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


24 – 48 – 72 hours

02 4th, 2023

It’s 4:30 on Saturday morning. I know for a fact that I am currently up with several thousand people. The difference between them and me? They’re all prepping for the Cyclone 2023 “Frozen 5/10K”. Like them, I too have a bib, number 925, but mine will stay here. I really enjoy this event and have participated for over 4 years straight, signing up early last December.

At yesterday’s session with my eye surgeon I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not be participating (agree that he and Marcia ganged up on me?). Just in case you think me a complete idiot, I had already come to grips with the fact that I would not participate.

I should point out that with a current ‘real-feel’ temperature of 11, it is a perfect time to hold a ‘Frozen’ event.

To not ruin my day completely he did give me the OK to again drive. So yesterday I drove home from the appointment. The first time behind the wheel in over a month!

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world. ~ L.M. Montgomery

With a Buddy –I’ll be attending an event tomorrow afternoon. The ‘buddy’ will be young Viliami, our family’s youngest grandchild. Next year he’ll be starting Middle School and is maturing oh-so-fast. Additionally, he’s got a super inquisitive mind (which has not yet been dulled) and a great sense of humor. On top of that he plays Saxophone in his school band.

So what is the event? We’ll be off to the First Unitarian Church for a Jazz concert. There we’ll be part of an event featuring Cincinnati-based saxophonist Rick VanMatre in a concert fusing the worlds of classical and jazz. VanMatre will join virtuoso pianist Phil DeGreg on a new, arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as their own compositions.

You might ask; who are these characters, DeGreg and VanMatre? Both are Professors Emeriti of the University of Cincinnati’s renowned CCM (Conservatory of Music). Both are huge in this town’s vibrant Jazz world.

In addition, these smallish concerts held at that church have an intermission complete with a drink, cheese, and grapes and a big PLUS. The ‘plus’ is the opportunity to then mingle with people, including the musicians. And, if tradition holds true, these musicians love to hold young interested folk ‘under wing’, i.e., they show interest.

A tip for all you parents and grandparents. This thought came originally from neighbor and friend, Fanchon Shur (whose late husband, Bonia, was professor and head of music at Hebrew Union College); “if you want to have a youngster maintain interest and attention, sit them as close to the front as you can.” This is a given at the church venue.

Should be a great afternoon. I’m excited!

Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends and Distance – means that communication is even more important. Bulent M and I have had ongoing correspondence and even more so since he and Barb moved to Halifax.

Originally a Justin Trudeau (Canadian PM) voter he realizes the downward direction that’s come about under that guy’s leadership (similar as to what happened under the Pierre Trudeau – Justin’s dad in the 1980s). Bulent is a changed man.

Naturally, some of our discussion deals with all the happenings. Fast forward to the other day, but first a bit from my own ‘path’. Ever since one of Canada’s best thinkers, Dr. Jordan Peterson stiffened his spine to the screaming Woke mob, I’ve been following Peterson’s journey, now back to the other day.

Bulent sent me a 90-minute long conversation of Dr. Peterson with American theoretical physicist Dr. Steven Koonin. The subject title; “Unsettled: Climate and Science — Weaponizing Doomsday Hysteria”. Don’t even bother to open the attached YouTube of the full conversation if all you’re interested in are answers through 30-second sound bites. However, if your cup-of-tea is to understand what lies ahead with ‘climate’ from a thought through, nonpolitical, perspective then you must take an evening and listen to these two mega-intellects. I really hope you take the time, for this conversation is as actor Mike Meyers said in the Austin Powers comedy, “most excellent”:

72 hours and counting – It’s been that long since Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen have been living ‘off grid’. And, not by choice, but as part of the aftermath of the ice storm of the century which hit Austin.

Luckily the temperature has risen, but at first especially, it was not comfortable. It was a time to pull out the woolen Hudson Bay blanket, make pancakes and boil tea water on the outdoors griddle. Yesterday, Kirstin told us that they’d been advised it might take as much as another week before power is restored, WHAT?

Yesterday, February 3, 1959 was the 64th anniversary of, “when the music died”. In a tragic plane crash those of us from that era were devastated by the news that Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens had died. As a side note, then a band member, Waylon Jennings, was supposed to be on the plane. Jennings opted to take the bus instead with the other band members, Holly had joked, “Well, I hope your old bus freezes up.” Jennings joked back, “Well, I hope your plane crashes.” Valens had taken Jennin’sg seat in the four seat plane.

Buddy Holly's Plane Crash

Ciao. Stay strong; work hard to maintain friendships, keeping healthy is a priority, educated vote casting is imperative. stay safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.



01 28th, 2023

Jump starting the day a bit since I have to travel out of State to do some Costco shopping – into Kentucky. Actually it’s not as bad as it sounds since our regular location closed and opened up further to the north, it’s now actually better (I think) for us to head into KY. What we won’t do just to re-supply our coffee stash.

And yes, our truck has heat. The costly six-hour ‘fix’ (a dealership bills on) was handled for $288. And, the place which Marcia had panicked about proved exemplary, efficient and personable.

And, the other reason for the Costco morning run is to beat the “Who Dey” Bengal crowd getting ready for tomorrow’s AFC Championship game.

This town has gone football crazy!

Birthdays and more –It seems like this week’s been an ‘event’ cornucopia. Cathy and Kirstin both have celebrated their birthdays. Just as meaningful is that this week, 5-years ago (2018) Tevita became a US citizen. That day was truly a big one for the whole family. If in doubt, just look at the pride shown in everyone’s face.

“It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.” ~ Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958 founder of Delco, Dayton, OH)

Vince’s Legacy –This year it’s coming up on six years since Vince’s passing, but what a wonderful legacy he left his family – direct and extended families. His legacy goes much beyond just letters inserted after his name [Vicente Briones, University of Central Florida with a BSME and Professional Engineer (PE) license designation, LEED AP]. Vince’s passion for environmentally friendly engineering became crystal clear as became a driving force in the formation of the US Green Building Council, Central Florida Chapter and the green building movement. Those efforts are now in the form of an annual scholarship award to a worthy student from his alma mater.

Yesterday, on her birthday, Kirstin was invited to present this year’s scholarship award in Orlando. It’s significant enough in that Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer, was there for this year’s presentation.


“An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.” ~ Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958 founder of Delco, Dayton, OH)

This Week’s Lesson – For some time I’ve followed the efforts and work of a Marina Amaral, Brazilian, best selling author, Forbes under 30 list, artist and openly declared Asperger/autistic person. She researches history and using those insights to colorize early historical black and white photographs.

Currently she’s researching the early beginnings of photography; Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) who with a partner created a new form of visual communication, the first commercially viable photographic process: the daguerreotype.

So, here is where her research is leading me to? In 1849 a person by the name of James Presley Ball (1825-1904) opened a new daguerreotype studio in Cincinnati, Ohio – “Ball’s Daguerrean Gallery of the West” right here in Cincinnati! Oh, and what I hadn’t mentioned is that Mr. Ball was a Black free man.

James Presley Ball was a “fierce outspoken abolitionist who had learned the daguerreotype process a few years earlier in Virginia, from another Black free man, John B. Bailey”. At this pre-Civil War time, here in Cincinnati (then considered America’s outpost of high culture in the West) he “held photo exhibitions and oversaw the creation of a 2,500-square-yard panoramic mural put together by a team of local Black artists, depicting the horrors of slavery.”

Ball was a hugely successful individual, traveler, and ended up photographing notables such as Frederick Douglass, Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, and more importantly, he captured American history by photographing images of children, blacks and whites, the poor and the privileged, even wounded soldiers.

Now my takeaway of all of this; especially to you who hated history while at school. Take some time and discover, round out if you will, your understanding of what is today and how it came about. Dig around and discover.


(a wounded soldier and Frederick Douglass taken by James Presley Ball)

Fin – This week we approved sending tanks to Europe and the Ukraine. I think I am beginning to see a pattern here. And it’s NOT any strategy that I see! What I see missing is any concerted effort to organize an equitable peace. From our government it appears to be more, more, and more — weapons and war.

This past week, seventy years ago in 1953, three provinces in the Netherlands flooded with untold deaths, with village after village flooded. This then became the massive Dike building works to prevent such a disaster.

And yes, we did spend a few hours sorting at Matthew 25 Ministries. As you can see, we had a great time volunteering.


Ciao. Stay strong; look back even as you look forward, stay connected and safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.