Monthly Archives: September 2016

Travel history

I have a new iPad.  A big one.

What’s amazing to me is that this iPad, monogrammed with my name, left the factory in Shenzhen, China on Wednesday morning (local China time), went through Hong Kong that evening, and then was in Memphis at 12.30 a.m. Thursday morning. Less than three hours later, that iPad was through Customs. And less than 9 hours later after arriving in the USA, that iPad is on the truck for delivery, and was in fact delivered to my office mail depot just after 10 a.m.

Commerce in this century, in integrated supply chains, is a wonder indeed!

Activity Location
9/29/2016 – Thursday
9:26 am On FedEx vehicle for delivery MAPLEWOOD, MO
6:54 am At local FedEx facility MAPLEWOOD, MO
5:26 am At destination sort facility BERKELEY, MO
4:36 am Departed FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
2:58 am International shipment release – Import MEMPHIS, TN
1:44 am International shipment release – Import MEMPHIS, TN
12:24 am Arrived at FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
9/28/2016 – Wednesday
9:49 pm In transit LANTAU ISLAND HK
2:44 pm In transit LANTAU ISLAND HK
12:25 pm Left FedEx origin facility SHENZHEN CN
6:08 am Picked up SHENZHEN CN

Thomas J. Friedman

“I am not enamored of Clinton’s stale, liberal, centralized view of politics, but she is sane and responsible; she’ll do her homework, can grow in the job, and might even work well with Republicans, as she did as a senator.

“Trump promises change, but change that comes from someone who thinks people who pay taxes are suckers and who thinks he can show up before an audience of 100 million without preparation or real plans and talk about serious issues with no more sophistication than your crazy uncle — and expect to get away with it — is change the country can’t afford.

“Electing such a man would be insanity.”

~in the New York Times this week.  I could not agree more.

Jiffy Lube

Courteous.  Affable.

And living out their mission statement: “It’s the mission of everyone at Jiffy Lube to go beyond oil changes alone, to help alleviate the anxiety that routine vehicle maintenance can bring.”

That’s my assessment of the very nice young man who took care of me at the Highway 7 Jiffy Lube last weekend, in Blue Springs.

I was on I-435 northbound near 63rd Street when my ‘check tire pressure’ light popped on.  In the rain.  As I was heading across the state.

I drive the extra 15 miles to someplace I knew.  Rain had just stopped; customers were few.  I pulled up to the bay, and this young man hopped to work.  Five minutes later, I asked “How much do I owe you?”  His reply: “Zero dollars and zero cents.”

I wanted to hug him, but I didn’t.

And the car rode noticeably better on the way home.

Anxiety was resolved.  And my little corner of the world felt brighter for a while.

Well done, Jiffy Lube.  Well done indeed!


Whilst visiting my hometown this weekend, I made the short trip south to Adrian, where my mother was born and where most of my maternal ancestors and forebears are buried.

I walk the green lawn of Crescent Hill Cemetery and I find four generations of relatives.

My grandmother for years sold the seeds that the local farmers planted to grow their own gardens.  This soil is part of my DNA.  These are my roots.

Our most recent family addition to this ground is my great-aunt Esther Summers.  I eulogized her in 2014.



Nearby, my sainted grandmother and grandfather:


And a few yards away, this tribute to a man who clearly was a farmer:


One the way back into Lee’s Summit, I stopped by to see my mother:



I’m in Kansas this morning.  Brownbackistan, as it’s called by those who disagree with the current governor’s foolhardy and failed tax policies.

The hotel near the intersection of US 69 and I-435, in Overland Park, is dated but quite comfortable.  The view is, well, of Kansas.

And I’m using a digital room key for the first time, meaning that I access the room from my phone.  (I know . . . after my debacle three weeks ago, I should be demanding a key on a chain and an old-fashioned deadbolt.)

The cross-state soundtrack yesterday included two hours of NPR, Jason Gould’s new EP, Michael Feinstein and Hugh Martin singing the Hugh Martin songbook (and a few songs I did not know), then some of Audra McDonald.  I’ll finish that one today.

Breakfast with Pop awaits!