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  1. You ARE a grump! Surely you knew Seattle Driver’s reputation before you came. To survive here it’s all about the time of day you go (if not the actual day itself) and knowing all the back ways with fewer lights and prettier scenery (like through the Arboretum) that bypass a lot of the freeway to get to your destination – until you finally are forced to get on the freeway for the last bit of travel. If you bus it to and from work most days (hopefully on an express- with plenty of earplugs in your bag) you aren’t learning the famous “back ways” that keep you off the freeway. BUT! Just Google something like “clever surface street routes to Ikea.” They’re all there, and you find fun “hoods” along the way. BTW – on Lake city way heading South from 145th – as you get near to 125th on your right – you’ll see a place called Kaffeeklatsch Seattle. It’s one door before Homestreet Bank. Looks like another little coffee place, but is a genuine German bakery with all the old favorites. You can park out fron on LCW – 12513 Lake City Way NE “H”, or drive around to the back which is a strip mall with Bartells, Fed Ex, Homestreet Bank and other stores and free parking. I don’t think Kaffeklatsch has a door on that side, so just walk through Homestreet Bank. The German-ancestry woman who works in Homestreet Bank swears by them. I snagged their last bag of fresh rye bread last night. Best regards,

  2. Our corporal was Jeffreys. Like us, he didn’t volunteer to be in the army and tried to make the best of it by becoming a corporal. I guess that made him a bit of an asshole. He was 19 and the youngest in our troop of graduates was 23. Halfway through our 3-month basic training, under the influence of some new “friends”, he started cussing profusely. After about two weeks, we couldn’t take it anymore. We lined-up, in formation, and our “Bungalow Bill” called Jeffreys over so we could talk. One by one, several of us admonished Jeffreys, not only for the cussing but for allowing himself to be influenced by “friends” to betray his upbringing. The outcome was quite unexpected. The cussing stopped and Jeffreys didn’t retaliate. Instead, he kind-of withdrew, barely going through the motions of being our corporal. He truly seemed embarrassed about having been called out by his troop. Or, more specifically, that he allowed himself to get into a place where “subordinates” could legitimately admonish him. I guess he wasn’t much of an asshole after all.

  3. Bob Dylan, possibly being informed by the same muse than you and your father, wrote: ‘he not busy being born, is busy dying’.

    And he (the muse?) was awarded the Nobel prize for literature!

  4. Your mother had a good point. What defines who has travelled and who stayed put? Your fathers answer about other considerations was not very considerate. He knew that it would bring in something about one having accelerated, but he was scared of answering the next logical question; acceleration relative to what reference? This would bring in inertial reference frames and gravity, which, apart from being a dangerous topic to discuss with mothers, as the story indicated, is actually sparcely understood by us, the logical and mathematical. Lets be honest, our understanding of the universe boils down to breaking things down to smaller and smaller parts – molucules, atoms, protons and neutrons, and then quarks, of which some are strange and some are down, which refuse to be broken down more and which do not have any volume, ie do not really exist from any mothers point of view. We then argue that they exist as mathematical concepts, which means that the universe only exist as a mathematical concept, which is a circular argument. Mothers know better.

    • Of course mothers know better! It’s like that wonderful argument in the movie Creator (aka “The big picture”) in which professors argue about whether/how we know that we exist, and a woman comes along and says, “Why don’t you start by thinking you don’t exist, and see where that gets you.”

  5. You’re in trouble again!! “like a jealous husband with an ugly wife…”. WTF? Jealousy has mostly to do with the insecurities of the one who is jealous and little to do with the outer or inner qualities of the person he/she is jealous of. Jealousy is scary stuff! The need to have total control or power over another person and other’s reactions to that person – or status, or whatever you perceive you don’t have and can’t get. First you dissed knitting. Where do we go from here? Annoying isn’t it? You can’t even tell a funny story without being dissected for motive.

  6. You’re not letting Dewald read these posts I hope… if you think bad boy tricks were toxic then – you may not live to see 2020! Then again, all things considered, with the country you’ve adopted none of us may.

  7. So, 40 odd years after your mother told you about the finite number of people that will love you and the respect you should have for that, she managed to make a permanent change in the way I will be thinking for the rest of my life, because of your story. Thanks for that.

  8. Mia has an element of Tim Dowling’s deadpan wife in this one, and is crucial to the action (ha ha). Please, it’s past time for a visit, whole family?

  9. Mia! Did you really call Maarten a pussy? More than once? Do the children want to lean to ride? What would immersion therapy for horses be like? You may have it foisted on you 0ld Son if you don’t shape up!!

    • He eventually did get on a horse, Linda, but horse got scared. Suffice it to say that things got out of control.

  10. Ms Mentz gave me my first hard-on, when she applied my make-up. I was a wise man in the play. We did not have any lines, wise men never do, but we had to, fortunately, for some reason, be black. We had to, unfortunately, for some reason, lay down behind the palm trees on the stage floor during the whole play, until someone said something about a star, before we stood up. I was already standing up, which was highly uncomfortable, while lying on a wooden floor.

  11. Brilliant work, Maarten!!! One of the best political allegories of the current situation told from a Software Company perspective 😀

  12. Awesome !!!. Enjoyed every word of the post. Infact while I was at it, reading, I thought to myself; how it would feel if you were to narrate it.

  13. Toilet spray of embarrassment had me do a spit take! Reading Gary’s exclamation as the punchline was so surprising but also so vivid as the words painted the picture of the strange bathroom in my mind.