I'm not quite awake yet, and am unlikely to be for some time (it happens on the last day of a three-day weekend), and so I thought I'd just toss a few more-random-than-usual thoughts together for your perusal...
Yesterday our friends Nadja and Ben came over for a visit and dinner (you may remember them from last month's Linden Vineyard Barrel Tasting story). It was a beautiful day and we all had a nice, relaxing time...but the star of the show was Nadja's new shoes, which leaped off the shelves at the local store and refused to come off her feet until she agreed to take them home:
Are those cool, or what? And don't get the idea that I have a foot fetish or something...feminine arms, yes...feet, no. But that's a subject for another day.
Yesterday's rant about the soaring prices of everything brought a few comments. There was also this interesting story about gas prices that appeared in yesterday's Washington Post...I read it too late to cite it in my post, but it really raises some interesting angles on the price of gasoline. You may recall the question I asked a few days ago about oil company profits: If the factors affecting the cost of a gallon of gasoline are beyond the ability of the oil companies to control, why are profits so high? Read the Post article, and then let your blood pressure go up the next time you see the oil company execs whine that they have no control over the prices you pay.
My friend Katherine also offered a reminder about elevators in her comment to yesterday's post. I started off with a reminiscence about old elevators with live, uniformed operators; she reminded me of the exciting and terrifying paternoster elevators we knew in Europe. A paternoster elevator, for those of you who have never had the experience, is simply a chain of open boxes that endlessly rotates up...over...down...and back up again. You board by standing in front of the open door and stepping on as the car passes your floor, then exit by stepping off as it passes your destination floor...the cars never stop moving, and if you miss your floor you either have to get off at the next one or ride the car all the way around the circuit. I, myself, never had the guts to try to ride it all the way around, although some gutsy riders, probably fortified by beer as much as curiosity, no doubt gave it a shot. Paternoster, by the way, is Latin for Our Father...no doubt because that's the prayer you say if you find yourself stuck on the elevator and facing the prospect of riding it over the top...
Yesterday was the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade through downtown DC - thousands of motorcyclists from around the nation converged on the local area for the unconventional event which honors the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have given their lives in the service of the country. We didn't see the whole parade, but as we were driving up Interstate 395 yesterday morning, we paralleled hundreds of motorcycles, each with an American flag waving from the rear, roaring up the express lanes toward Washington and the parade staging area at the Pentagon. Overpasses along the way were lined with news trucks and waving, cheering spectators. You can read about the Rolling Thunder parade and its history here, and the Washington Post coverage of the event here.
Which reminds us that today is, in fact, Memorial Day - the day set aside for us to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the nation. The fact that we can demonstrate in the streets of DC, blog freely, and speak our minds owes much more to these fallen heroes than to the obnoxious antics of those who protest military recruiting.
Take a moment today between your shopping expeditions and picnics to remember those who made it possible for you to enjoy them.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.