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Brian Fleck

Fingerhakeln

Walkin'

Stumbling across a “Fingerhakeln Meisterschaftsbankett” is one of my favorite finds while traveling.

Surprises

Walkin'

Life has been full of surprises lately.
Like the other day when Sabra beckoned with a come-hither voice from the bedroom, “will you please come here?”
It was quite the surprise. After 14 years of marriage, she calls me to the back yard to rake leaves, to the basement to lift salt into the water conditioner or to the kitchen to unfreeze her computer. Calls to the boudoir are mostly distant memories along with a 38-inch waist size and hair on my head in places other than eyebrows and ears.

Roughing it in Mesa

Walkin'

Sabra and I are nearing the end of our two-week getaway to Mesa, Az., today, and the feeling is bittersweet.
We’ve had a marvelous time here visiting old friends, hiking up mountain, playing golf, taking in a couple of Cubs games and simply soaking up some sun and heat while folks back home endure a cold spring to follow the cold winter.
Sometimes I feel sorry for the people back home, but then I lay in the sun until the feeling goes away.

Kismet, karma and clues

Walkin'

Three potholders mysteriously disappeared while Sabra was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. The one and only clue that bears on the case is that over the same time period and in very much the same area of the kitchen I broke three wine glasses.

Fleck’s index

4,086: Number of welfare applicants tested for illegal drug use under Florida legislation passed last year.
108: Applicants testing positive for marijuana use.
2.6: Percent testing positive.
17: Republican Congressman from Florida.
3.5: Grams of cocaine Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel was arrested for possessing.
5.9: Percent of Florida Republican Congressmen arrested for buying and possessing cocaine.
-20: Degrees Fahrenheit of coldness that must be reached before Alaska school children are held in from recess.

Waiting for spring

Walkin'

My car and I are feeling old this winter.
The Honda Civic’s doors creak no matter how much oil is sprayed on the hinges; my knees ache no matter how much Icy Hot® is smeared on the joints.
I’m a 1952 model; it’s a 1998.
It has 220,000 miles; I’ve drunk as many beers.

Popcorn recollections

Walkin'

The other night I made popcorn and discovered that we were out of microwave packets. I had to make the salty treat the old fashioned way, in a pan shaken over the stove.
Ah, memories.

Pugsley, one killer bike

bikin'

I’ve been riding my new Pugsley bicycle during this recent cold wave.
Maybe you’ve seen the distinctive bike: it’s the one with the super fat, four-inch tires. Made by Surly, it’s the all-terrain, monster truck assassin assault vehicle of the pedal set. I got mine at my favorite local shop, Sugar Bottom Bikes.

New is not always better

Walkin'

As I enter the New Year it occurs to me that I like “new” less and less.
Mostly, I’m talking about complicated, new-technology things like computers, cell phones and televisions.

Home for the holidays

Walkin'

No Fleck family gathering is complete without a game of cards. Back in the day the adults played Spades, Hearts, Canasta, Rummy, Tripoli and the old standard, Pinochle. Children were gradually brought into the pastime. If someone had to go to the restroom it was a great honor to be deemed old enough to play a hand. By the time I was 10, I could hold my own in all the games mentioned and more.
This holiday I made it home and we played “The Six Card Game.”

Christmas past

Preparing for a holiday meal began in earnest a day or more before the big event. We baked bread, rolled piecrusts, soaked beans, molded Jell-O, browned sausage, prepped vegetables, hauled down dishes from the top shelf, polished silverware... Note that I used the word “we” as everyone helped. One job only Dad could do, however, was make the trip to the liquor store for the rare bottle of wine, Mogen David Concord Grape, that graced the party.

Collective memories

Walkin'

I believe in collective memory or the ability to remember things your ancestors experienced.