257 Years of Wisdom

Last Sunday I had the distinct pleasure of driving through some heavy rain for one hundred miles from Frankfort, Illinois to Covert Michigan. The low hanging dark grey clouds and the pouring rain combined with some heavy traffic slowed down the trip. Lovely and I were attending my family reunion. It doesn’t happen every year, but my older brother decided he may not be here next year to organize another, so he invited everyone to his place in Michigan for a good old fashioned Hungarian bacon fry. He is guaranteed a crowd if only his five kids come with their kids, and grandkids. It gets bigger if our sister and her three boys come with their clans, and even bigger if I come with my three kids and their families. We didn’t have perfect attendance, but there was enough of a mix from all three families to make it a great visit. The rain stopped about ten miles from our destination, but the grey sky lingered.

The bacon fry is a family tradition founded by my parents when we were still little. Although it is not recommended by the American Heart Association, we do. It begins with a square of bacon preferably taken from a hog’s jowl. The bacon is skewered onto a long stick and held over a very hot wood fire. Naturally, the grease begins to drip from the bacon into the flames. Sitting on the ground next to the fryer-person is a plate of freshly sliced old world rye bread covered with diced onions and tomatoes. When the bacon is running, the fryer swings the rod off the fire and holds it over the bread to capture the drippings. The fryer, this year was not my brother, but his Irish son-in-law Kevin. Brother Bill told him that since he’s been in the family for twenty-five years he was now qualified to spin the bacon.

When the plate full of bread is soaked in hot bacon grease, a fresh one is placed before the fryer while one of the girls walks the finished plate around offering scrumptious greasy bread to the guests. It takes a while to make enough of the recipe to satisfy everyone’s palate. For those who consider the greasy bread just an appetizer there is also grilled, bratwurst, hot dogs, and a cooker full of Szekely Goulash (Shepard’s Stew slow cooked with cubed pork in sauerkraut, garlic, Bell peppers, and onions), along with number of salads. For me the afternoon turned into a non-stop eating fest.

We spent the time dodging occasional droplets of rain and catching up on the families. Most of my brother’s family came the day before and set up tents to sleep in. The children played lawn games while the adults mostly gabbed away.

The drive home was a pleasure since the rain had stopped, and since the following day was Labor Day, the Sunday night traffic was extremely light. By the time we pulled into our drive there was no evidence of rain at all, and the sun was beginning to burst through the clouds in rays of light just in time for sunset.

Time Flies

It seems like just a few minutes ago I woke up. Yet here it is almost noon, and I am just getting to my desk to write something. Time is important to me, and at this age I relish every moment the Lord grants me. It is my opinion that when time “flies” everything is going well, and my happiness index is high. It is when time slows to a “crawl’ that I believe something is seriously wrong.

An example of what I mean when I say time is at a “crawl” is when I am in severe pain as when I had a kidney stone traversing my plumbing last year. It seemed like eternity to get to where it was headed, and I thank God it was a small stone which kept moving. Had it stopped along the way time would have stopped for me, and my happiness index would have dropped to zero. As it was my happiness was almost non-existent. I guess that is what Einstein meant when he postulated his theory that time is relative.

The planet earth is a mere 4.6 billion years old, and the universe is calculated to be 13.7 billion years. When we look at an average life span of man on earth of 78 years we are but a tiny drop in the bucket.

Take an average human who is 78 years old and divide by 4,600,000,000 years then multiply by 100 equals 0.00001695 percent of the total time we exist. I don’t think we can measure things that small using normal devices. Given such a short life span we have to really put our lives into high gear to amount to anything. I guess that might be why it bothers me when I lose a morning to mundane activities instead of amazing, exciting, meaningful actions. What is more surprising is that even with all of the time I waste, that I can count my accomplishments with pride. What scares me is that the time I have ahead of me is far shorter than that which I have lived. It tells me to get off my ass and accomplish something before the last grain of sand passes through the orifice of life’s hour glass. It tells me to take those baby steps, and to take them very fast.

PSA-220902-Trivia

You’re gonna say “I didn’t know that!” at least 5 times. Really neat stuff here:
Alaska


More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska.


Amazon


The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen supply

The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States.

Antarctica


Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert; the average yearly total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.


Brazil

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.

Canada


Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning ‘ Big Village’.


Chicago


Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largestPolish population in the world.


Detroit

Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.Damascus,

Syria
Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

Istanbul , Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world
located on two continents.


Los Angeles

The full name of Los Angeles is: l Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula– and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

New York City

The term ‘The Big Apple’ was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression ‘apple’ for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City Is to play the big time – The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City 
than in Dublin, Ireland;
more Italians in New York City
than in Rome, Italy;
and more Jews in New York City
than in Tel Aviv, Israel .


Ohio

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio, every one is man-made.

Pitcairn Island

The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn
in Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq Km.


Rome

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people
was Rome, Italy (in 133 B.C.)
There is a city called Rome on every continent.


Siberia

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests.

S.M.O.M.


The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world
Is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta S.M.O.M).
It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, and has an area of two tennis courts. And, as of 2001, has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican.
It is a sovereign entity under international law,
just as the Vatican is.


Sahara DesertIn the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria, that did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically, though, the driest place on Earth
is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island.
There has been no rainfall there for two million years


Spain

Spain literally means ‘the land of rabbits’.

St. Paul , Minnesota

St. Paul , Minnesota , was originally called Pig’s Eye
after a man named Pierre ‘Pig’s Eye’ Parrant who set up the first business there.


Russia

The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in Russia. It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles.) It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen – so massive that the mud coming from the hole was boiling with it.

United States

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

Waterfalls

The water of Angel Falls (the world’s highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters.) They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

I have always said, you should learn something new every day. Unfortunately, many of us are at that age where what we learn today, we forget tomorrow.
But, give it a shot anyway.

I am sorry for the lack of images, but most of the cute graphics for each of these facts came to me as a GIF file and I couldn’t download them into WordPress.

Thank You Friends

Yesterday, the Frankfort Lions Club held the yearly Wurst Fest, and I want to thank all of my friends who came. The Wurst is a fun time to raise money for the club charities account. We cannot help the community without funds, and it is your generosity that keeps our momentum going. The Lions International by-laws stipulate that all monies derived from the public must be returned to the public. The Frankfort Lions faithfully keep that resolution, whether it is for street signs, a village snow plow, or food pantry support it comes from your donations; thank you. At the same time, if we want to treat the members to dinner, or to have fun, we pay for it out of pocket. Mostly we have internal fund raisers which we keep separate from the charities.

I managed to hold the line on the quantity of alcohol I imbibed so I am not tired today. As I write this I am thinking of how many house in the house details remain unfinished. My list of baby steps will aid me in getting things done.

House in the House is Occupied

My project this summer was to build a house inside my house by converting the totally unoccupied basement into a living space. I finished on time and the move-in took place. Now when I visit my shop I take a path through three rooms laden with furniture. I still have a few more tasks to complete before the space is completely finished. I need a new light switch, two more electrical outlets, and a closet ceiling light to install. As that is being worked on I will be filling open spaces between my shop and the new living space to stop dust from covering everything; about two months at the rate I am going.

My shop is a very well defined space, and it now has everything that doesn’t belong in a clean living space stuffed into every corner and in between the machines. I think the task of cleaning and organizing my shop will entail more work than the entire house in house project did. In the meantime, none of my art projects are being worked on. Such is life, and when change comes it sometimes becomes nerve racking and calamitous.

This evening I will attend my Lions Club yearly fund raiser dubbed the “Wurst Fest.” The past two years I avoided the crowds to steer clear of Covid, but this year Covid be damned. I need a night out drinking beer while eating bratwurst and kraut with my friends. Maybe I’ll build up enough steam to dance to the ooompa music too.

Guten Tage mein Kamerade.