Two for the road

“You have to keep busy. After all, no dog’s ever pissed on a moving car.”

Tom Waits

It was just slightly too cold to sit outside this evening at Black Dog. So I sat by the light of the inside fireplace. And smoked a cigar and listened to Tom Waits ‘Nighthawks at The Diner‘. An introvert’s nirvana. Life In raw form. Tom’s a quirky, beautiful genius. Perhaps we both are–I’ll tell myself that.

Black Dog Ridge is now a home. A beautiful mountain home. More pictures to come in a couple of weeks. Kenny packed up his tools and trailers and went off to start his next project. It was a bittersweet moment for us both. He liked this project, but projects by definitely have a beginning and an end. We have formed a nice easy friendship these past months, and that will continue. But the homebuilding is now complete.

Birthdays come and go. So 60 has come and gone. Not without acknowledgment.

My birthday recognition took many forms this year. A lovely dinner with Brittany at Jeff Ruby’s; Short Noth Pub Crawl, Family Dinner, a whirlwind trip to Scotland for whisky and rugby, & a great cigar experience at Fado. Planning and execution all went well. Made me feel a little bit special. It was a lot of activities, but also sort of under-stated which made it all seem not too overwhelming. 

The First Annual Short North Pub Crawl was a grand success. Carla came from Idaho & Scott from Nashville. Sukanti and Pete joined and Allen & Lars, and Eric and Rachael and Stephen and of course Brittany organized everything.

I cry a lot on planes. No idea why. I just get very emotional. On the return from Europe, watching a movie called ‘Leave No Trace’. Good movie but sad. And so…you know.

Two things you don’t want to hear when you walk past the cockpit in the plane you are boarding. ‘It’s always a crap shoot’ and ‘guess we’ll figure it out’. Which is exactly what I heard when I was boarding the flight from CDG to ATL. But one must have faith.

The Scotland trip was exceptional. Shane and I landed in Edinburgh and drove to Glasgow to meet Sjoerd. We had some extra time so we walked the city to see what there was to see. We found time for a few beers.

Sjoerd joined us after a while and we had a lovely Italian dinner and then whiskey at Pot Still. The next morning, the drive to Pitlochry through the beautiful green fields and sheep filled Scottish countryside. We stopped at Dewar’s that day, then later took a taxi to the highlands to Dalwhinnie for another tour and tasting.

I was forced to re-claim driving responsibilities when Sjoerd nearly crashed us around 50 times. Opposite side of the road, and 6-speed manual transmission on very narrow roads with lots of lorries and tractors.

A lovely couple of days followed with more exploration of the countryside, whisky tastings, nice meals, long walks and a cigar on the deck in the sunshine with cold beer. We walked 35 miles in 5 days and watched Ireland rugby team give Scotland a beat-down at BT Murrayfield. The forecast called for rain every day. But in 5 days, we had no rain. On the 6th day, in the taxi to the airport, it rained on us. 

A nice trip. Always good times with the 3 of us. 

Frogs were on strike at CDG so the airport transfer was a bit slow—but not really too bad.

Turns out maybe raccoon dogs started COVID. Which makes perfect sense, or no sense at all. 

Trump is officially indicted. Not for any of the mean, hateful, insanely stupid things he did to damage our country and our people, the coup d’é·tat & insurrection, rolling back environmental legislation, taking babies from the arms of their mothers, trying to overthrow an election, generally being a world-class menace—those crimes remain unaccounted for. He was brought down for making a payment to a hooker and logging it as a legal business expense.  But Stormy may just give us at least a glimpse of what a mugshot of Trump would look like. We shall see. He’s been in tight spots before and wriggled out like the snake he is.

Life and work remain busy. So busy that I have neglected my beloved blog. I need to stay a bit focused now on work. But with BDR finished, time will start to avail itself more readily. Words come and go of course, every day, but they don’t get transcribed to my notebook for later analysis, refinement and eventually digitized. But now is not the time for apologies or explanations.

Time ebbs and flows along with all other aspects of life. 

So these snippets and photographs will do for now. 

I am reading more, coincidentally. And now slogging through a re-read of ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’. Depressing stuff since we know the outcome, but instructive. The passage below strikes me as relevant in today’s society in the United States — an atmosphere where a large segment of the population has deep beliefs that are so incredulous and without any basis in fact or rationality.

No one who has not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime’s calculated and incessant propaganda. Often in a German home or office or sometimes in a casual conversation with a stranger in a restaurant, a beer hall, a café, I would meet with the most outlandish assertions from seemingly educated and intelligent persons. It was obvious that they were parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers. Sometimes one was tempted to say as much, but on such occasions one was met with such a stare of incredulity, such a shock of silence, as if one had blasphemed the Almighty, that one realized how useless it was even to try to make contact with a mind which had become warped and for whom the facts of life had become what Hitler and Goebbels, with their cynical disregard for truth, said they were.” 

William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

No other news of note.

Humbly submitted.

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