Graceful Queens Of The Ohio

It was a beautiful day when I visited Cincinnati recently and saw two of the remaining paddle-wheelers on the mighty Ohio River.  The River Queen and the Belle of Cincinnati were moored on the Kentucky side of the river, awaiting passengers for a cruise on a bright, sunny day.

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Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs!

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  In fact, today is the 10th anniversary of this crucially important day.

We’ve all got a little bit of inner pirate, don’t we?  We all want to dress in fabulous, riotous clothing, wear matching swords and earrings, have long hair, and scraggly beards, and eyepatches, and talking parrots, and peg legs.  Occasionally we’d like to do a bit of pillaging and looting, and perhaps even fire a pistol into the air.  Pirates were rebels and non-conformists who broke free from convention and lived by their wits on the edge of society, fighting against “the man.” (Of course, we forget that pirates typically were murderous, ill-educated thugs who met grisly ends via beheading, swinging from the yardarm, keelhauling, being boiled or consumed by cannibals, or neck-deep burial in sand and drowning by the incoming tide — but never mind that.)

Still, we all feel those piratical urges, deep down.  We can’t really wear pirate hats or fly the skull and crossbones in our offices, so the only way to express the inner rogue is to talk like a pirate every once in a while.  So, avast there, me hearties!  Today, ye scalawags, ye must let that inner pirate roar!

Attend me, lads!  Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!  And remember . . . it’s rated Arrrr!

Our First Cold Morning In Months

This morning — only a day or so before the official start of autumn — we had our first cold morning in many months.

The last few weeks we’ve moved gradually from hot, sweaty, shorts and t-shirt mornings to cooler, pleasant, long pants and long-sleeved shirts mornings.  This morning, with the temperature hovering around a bracing 40 degrees, I had to break out my favorite hooded sweatshirt for the first time — and I needed it, too.

The night skies were clear and the stars blazed, and it was as if the warmth had been sucked from the world.  Water vapor billowed from the surfaces of the darkened ponds and creeks into the brisk air as we walked past, and we were just on the edge of frost on the ground and visible breath.  I felt the familiar sensation of numbing cold creep into the tip of my nose, my exposed ears, and my fingers.

As we neared the end of the walk, I looked forward with anticipation to a piping hot cup of black coffee.  We get accustomed to the heat, and then we get accustomed to the cold.  A steaming cup of coffee helps.