Monday, October 31, 2005

I say Alito, and you say Aloto

Here is a little nugget to think about, and it has little to do with Alito specifically, except when considering what may be his judicial philosophy.

There has been a lot of argument lately against judicial activism.  A fair amount of the argument is code with regard to the decision of Roe v. Wade.  But Roe v. Wade is not the only activist decision in constitutional law. 

Here are two activist decisions to consider that you never hear anyone in the popular media complain about anymore or cry that they ought to be overturned -- yet neither of them can be justified through an originalist, textual or strict construction/interpretation of the Constitution.

The first is the Miranda decision.  Where exactly in the constitution does it state that when a person is arrested he must have his rights read to him? 

The second is Brown v. Board of Education.  The constitution is silent on integration versus segregation, even with a liberal reading of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  But consider that the original document counted black people as 3/5 of a person for census/apportionment purposes. 

Now don't get me wrong: I am not advocating here the reversal of Miranda, Brown, or Roe.  But I think its pretty interesting that the debate on the evils of judicial activism get limited to Roe, don't you? 


That sign says "Welcome to Cleveland"


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your recent visit to Cleveland.

Enclosed please find a souvenir photo of your car, taken by one of our "Campbell Cameras."

Please make your check payable to "City of Cleveland."

Be sure to visit again soon, sucker.

Very truly [up] yours,

Jane Campbell, Mayor

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jackson is the One for Mayor of Cleveland

I agree with what ESC posted here.

Like ESC, I do not live in the city of Cleveland proper, so I do not have a vote. But I work in the city, and the well being of the city directly affects the well being of the region.

With Jane Campbell, we've had a mayor who has "accomplished" all the following -- just off the top of my head:

  • Attempted to clamp down on Browns tail-gating in the municipal parking lots. Better pour that beer into a cup if you don't want any trouble!
  • Laid off police and fire employees. Now, in fairness, it should be known that even after the layoffs, Cleveland still was well above the national average in policemen and firemen per capita. But Jane is so clumsy, did she ever bring that up? Nooooo.
  • "Adopt-a-trash-can" -- which failed, as it should of. C'mon, even in this age of corporate sponsorship, who was going to put their name on a garbage can and be in charge of emptying it?
  • During the blackout in August 2003 -- she volunteered on national TV that as a result of the power outage, the municipal water system had to discharge raw sewage into Lake Erie. No one asked her about that! Why go on national TV and volunteer such a thing?
  • How about the NAACP dinner, where she joked that she was amazed that the event was actually running on time. The only thing funny about the "CPT" joke was Jane's lack of judgment in thinking that it would be funny.
  • Totally muffed the convention center, and the casinos, and the airport -- and they all go to together. Instead of packaging the convention center and casino proposals together, she approached them as separate projects. Hello, here is an idea: tell whoever wants to bring a casino here that part of the deal is they have to build the convention center too. Then we don't have to raise taxes on everyone here in the city and county in order to build it. Face it: a convention center is NOT for the people of Cleveland. It is for people who come to visit. And if you don't follow through tearing down the IX Center and expanding the airport, then who is going to come here anyway? Cincinnati and Pittsburgh -- which both have new convention centers -- also have large regional airports with competitively priced airfare and lots of direct flights. Hopkins Airport doesn't compare. And unless you are already coming from a major city, you won't get a direct flight here. The harder it is to get here, the less likely conventions will be booked here.
  • Remember when she was using city employees to cart around her daughters on shopping trips, camping trips and concerts, not just around here, but out of state, to places like Michigan and Pennsylvania? I haven't forgotten. Boy did that look bad, especially as the safety services layoffs were going on.
  • And how about this: RED LIGHT CAMERAS! I think we should just call them Campbell Cameras. And remember how she pitched it: it was never about safety, it was about raising revenue. And from whom? People like me, who commute from the Heights. (And ESC is right, I don't think I would ever be caught dead riding that Euclid Corridor thing -- maybe if it were RAIL, but busses? Hell, no. And by the way, the original proposal WAS rail.)
  • As for Steelyard Commons -- if you want people to travel in from miles around to shop in Cleveland, you have to bring in something other than a Wal-Mart. We've got Wal-Mart all over the suburbs. Was IKEA ever approached? IKEA wanted to build at the Chagrin Highlands, so we know they were interested in the region. But still, nice going doing that end run around the unions on the Wal-Mart. If you are going to burn your bridges with the unions, how about doing it over something bigger and better than another Wal-Mart?

This list is not exhaustive.

As for Frank Jackson, I don't agree with some of his positions either. I am not 100% convinced that he is the right person for the job. But I am certain Jane is not. And if Frank is no good either, then the voters can toss him out in four years -- just like they should toss out Jane this Tuesday after these last four years.

With Jackson I get a sense of quiet competence. Time will tell if he is really cut from such cloth. But a little competence and leadership would be a refreshing change at City Hall. We know we aren't getting it from the status quo.

Jackson in, Campbell out, next Tuesday.

Harriet -- What Might Have Been...

Doonesbury was all ready to run these strips next week -- until she withdrew.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Yahoo Launch

I changed my internet service plan with SBC when I moved.  Apparently this transaction resulted in my losing my yahoo photo album online and my Launchcast custom settings.  Disappointing, but the photos are no big deal, since I have them all on disc elsewhere.  But my custom internet radio station settings lost!  That sucks! 

So I have launch open now, and rather than work on a new custom station, I simply selected the progressive rock channel.

NICE!  I knew everything would be ok when "Halo" by Porcupine Tree came up first.

So far...

Porcupine Tree - Halo
Marillion - White Russian
The Mars Volta -- Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore: Pisacis (Phra-Men-Ma)
Pink Floyd - The Great Gig in the Sky
Adrian Belew - Ampersand
Peter Gabriel - Lay Your Hands on Me
Rush - 2112 Overture / Temples of Syrinx

I don't think I need to customize anything. 

After Me

There's a line on her jeans that a ball-point made
From a careless mistake that she can't wash away
And there's a heart on her sleeve from a spill of red wine
There's a piece of green in the blue of her eyes
She named it after me

There's a stray dog she feeds that she found in the street
And he loves her to hold him, but he won't let her keep him
And he claws at the door to be let out at night
And she makes do without him, and she worries about him
She named him after me

So if you ever decide that you have to escape
And travel the world, and you can't find a place
Well, you could wind up believing
That paradise is nothing more than a feeling
That goes on in your mind
So if you ever find out what that is
There's something you could do

'Cause if I ever hold that golden dream again
I want to tell you
I'm gonna name it after you

- Steve Hogarth

wow! Amazon deal!

Check out this "Better Together" package on Amazon.

It is only my two favorite albums from the last two years packaged together at one discounted price.

I'm back

One bagel, one venti traditional from Starbucks, and I am back and ready for more.

Now Playing: Script for a Jester's Tear

Rounding Third...

...and heading home!


You know, its pretty weak that the bars close at 2.  Where the hell am I going to go for a drink at this hour?


Friday, October 28, 2005

Twenty first century schizoid man

Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door.
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire
Polititians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.

(Fripp/Sinfield/McDonald/Lake/Giles)

24 hour day

Been up since 4, still at the office, and it'll be a late one.  And you know what?  Except for the fact that I will miss MJ and vice versa, I really don't mind.  I love what I am working on.  It took awhile for me to find my muse, but I've got it now. 

Now Playing:  Deadwing

Now Drinking: green tea

Welcome to your second term, Mr. President

Your haven't really experienced your second term as president until the first indictment comes in.  And here it is.

What grown man goes by "Scooter"? 

indictments

Today may be the "big day."  I know there will be people who will celebrate whatever happens, whether there is an indictment or indictments, or whether no one is indicted.  If no one is, this will embolden supporters of the administration, as surely as indictments will embolden its critics.  Either way, it will be a sad day for the government.  
 
If there are indictments, I cannot help but compare them with Al Capone getting nailed for tax evasion.  Of all the things this administration is doing, that they would get snagged on these lesser violations.  Nevertheless, going to war was largely a political decision.  WMD and other justifications were never the primary reasons for going, even when they were offered up in an effort to sell the war to the American people.  Yet hearing Kay Bailey Hutchinson argue the other day that perjury was merely a "technical" violation -- when she herself was among those who rallied against Clinton for exactly the same thing -- does she think everyone forgot about that?  And it is in this sense that their arrogance will be their undoing.  Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Clinton had Monica, and Bush has this (whatever you want to call it).  What I'd really like to see is this administration held to account for the torture and other abuses to the detainees.     

Thursday, October 27, 2005

But what about this...?

Could this be why Harriet withdrew?

The Washington Post reports that Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated yesterday that he planned to ask U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers extensive questions about the Bush administration policy of detaining suspected terrorists. Specter released a copy of a letter he sent to Miers, outlining areas about which he planned to inquire, noting that he remained unconvinced of her understanding of complex constitutional issues. Specter indicated that Miers also must convince his committee that she would not give the president any undue deference on cases coming before the Court.
For full story, see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/26/AR2005102600895.html

Harriet we barely knew ye

Harriet Miers has withdrawn from consideration for the US Supreme Court.  They are trying to hang it on the desire to not release certain executive branch documents.  No surprise, as something has to be said to save face. 

So, who will the next nominee be?  I expect we'll hear something soon so the story gets moved along to the next nominee and not Bush's failure in the Miers pick.  Hopefully someone whose competence will be beyond reproach.

Congratulations

Congratulations to Pirooz and Phoebe! 
 
Last night at dinner, Pirooz asked Phoebe to marry him, and happily, she said yes.
 
Dinner was had.  There were 13 of us present. (Cue the spooky music.)
 
For most of us present, it was our first time meeting Phoebe.  Pirooz and Phoebe got together shortly after he and Renee separated.  But since they all live down in Houston, these aren't people I see every day. 
 
As for the proposal -- it appeared to be something she had been wanting, but I am sure she was not expecting to be presented a ring at Lou's Billow Beach in Ashtabula, Ohio.  A bold move on Pirooz's part too -- he must have been sure of her answer.
 
For what its worth, Renee also was engaged last month, and Pirooz mentioned that Renee and Ron are getting married in March.  So congratulations to them too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Inclusion

We are generally taught that inclusion is a good thing. Remember Valentines Day when you were in grade school? Everyone got a valentine. Our mothers would not have allowed us to skip anyone for any reason, even if it was because the kid was a bully or stinky or whatever.

Later we are taught, or at least they try to teach us, that everyone is equal. Or should be equal. Or should be made to be equal. All men are created equal. Equality of justice. Equality of opportunity. Equality of outcome. (I don't agree with that last one at all.)

Among the circles of friends we have, inclusion means something else. Whether you are planning a cookout, a camping trip, a wedding -- there is this tricky game we all play. The guest list. Who is on it, who's not, and why? If we invite the Browns, then we have to invite the Smiths and the Carters.

It can be rough. I got married a few years ago. There was the balancing act of who was in the wedding party. Then there was the guest list. And while there were people I wish I had invited to my first wedding, I don't fret about it anymore because that marriage didn't take anyway. Interestingly, a lot of the people whose friendships I treasure today weren't at that wedding. But about a month before that first wedding, we attended another wedding. And, we were seated at a table where every couple but one had also been invited to our wedding. And someone brought up how in just a month, we'd all be at our wedding. And boy, did I feel small, and terrible, that I had not invited that one couple. Because I hadn't forgetten them -- we just had to draw the line somewhere. But I was still sick over it. I saw they were hurt to be passed over. And indeed, we ended up inviting them late. I enclosed with the invitation a hand written note apologizing for overlooking them and telling them we would be honored if they would attend. And they did. And I am glad they did.

MDC once pointed out to me something interesting about the word "inclusion." After being brought up to be inclusive, you then go shopping for engagement rings and learn what inclusion means when it comes to diamonds: flaw. A diamond that is heavily included is heavily flawed. Inclusions that are visible to the naked eye are far worse. And what are inclusions? Little impurities. Throw "diversity" out the window when you go diamond shopping. Together with cut and carat size, the ideal is clear and colorless purity. Inclusion is bad! And then, I suppose, after learning all this you go home and prune the guest list. Hmmm.

Not much of a theory. But even I got Valentines from every kid in elementary school and I was big nerd.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesday Talkback

Once again, I talk back to Monday Moaning.

"I think everybody should lighten up. We are so concerned about terrorist attacks. We are so concerned about fuel costs for our cars and about heating our homes. I think we should take a time out and enjoy a day, every day. And think of the positives in life. The people go around complaining. I think that is bad."- Parma Heights

OK, grasshopper. And when the terrorists come and burn down your house to keep warm this winter, don't go crying to the ants. Good thing you live in Parma Heights and not New Orleans. Oh, the others are so concerned, what if a hurricane comes, what if the levees break. Relax! Take time out, eat some mudbugs, sing some songs, show us your boobs. People who complain and worry, that's bad. This person might as well go to Tops and play the lottery.

"It is bad enough that we have to breathe every smoker's secondhand smoke, but it is worse that they pollute our environment by flicking their butt out their car window or on every sidewalk. There should be stiff fines for these polluters."- Avon Lake

You know what pisses me off about this guy? He actually has a point. Except that he probably commutes to downtown from Avon Lake everyday by himself in his Ford Expedition -- and his idea of cracking down on polluters is busting on that segment of the population that pays the most taxes for their addiction. And I am not talking about the lottery players this time!

"I went to use the city recycle bin at the former St. Michael's Hospital site and someone had filled it with scrap lumber." - Cleveland

I guess someone beat you to it. Hey, I've got an idea. Call that first idiot in Parma Heights and let him know you know where some scrap wood is that he can burn this winter for heat. Oh, he won't care right now, because people shouldn't worry about how to take care of themselves, but when he's freezing his ass off this winter, maybe he'll thank you. If his phone hasn't been turned off by then.

"Our complaint is about the Cuyahoga County Airport which continues to operate planes at all hours of the night in a highly populated residential area. What happened to the ban from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.? Shame on you." - Richmond Heights

Tell me, how long have you lived in Richmond Heights? Did they build the airport there after you moved there? I didn't think so. Shut up. Maybe you should move to Brecksville, also known as "Rural Town U.S.A."

"The light at Broadview and Brookpark roads definitely needs to be looked at. It shouldn't take 10 minutes to drive down Broadview Road from Snow to Brookpark at 7:15 in the morning." - Parma

So do you call the city? No. You call Monday Moaning. Well do you feel better now? I bet you read the whole front page of the PD while sitting in traffic today. Dumbass.

"I'm complaining about the Parma school board, the Parma Transportation Department in particular. Their school buses have failed to pick up our children. Three separate months when they have an early dismissal at 1:30 and instead of getting home in 10 or 15 minutes its taken an half hour to 45 minutes. In this day and age, that's uncalled for. It's not acceptable from any school system, no matter what the size. Is it really that hard for someone to remember what time they are supposed to show up for work and pick the children up and drive them to where they are supposed to be." - Parma

So, let's get this straight. When your little booger-eaters get let out of school early, your beef is that it takes them as much as an extra half hour to get home? What, do you have a child fetish or something? Do you think their time is actually worth something? And do you think your kids mind that they didn't come home right away to face the maniacal Munchausen-by-proxy whining of a sick and twisted parental figure? I read this one over and over again, and I suspect you've never had to deal with any real adversity. God help us all if someone puts lite sour cream on your pierogi. You might take out the whole dairy department at Tops.

"Why are gravel driveways still permitted in cities with sidewalks? Gravel everywhere. They are a distinct hazard. This is not rural town USA." - Brecksville

Newsflash to Brecksville. Yes, you do live in Rural Town USA. I used to live there, so I know. You still having trouble keeping the deer out of your yard? Trouble getting a table at Eddie's Creekside? Trouble with bored and overly zealous cops ticketing drivers on Route 21 for lack of anything else to do? There are thousands in Parma Heights who would trade their plight for yours -- and they WILL as soon as they win the damn lottery.

"The AAA office, which was conveniently located just a short walk from Tops Supermarket, is no longer open. The sign on the door states, 'To better serve you, we have relocated to Strongville and Independence.' Go figure." - Parma Heights

That telephone you called in on -- does it have a rotary dial on it? Here is a link for you: Mapquest. Get your directions there, bub. And you don't need a AAA membership either.

Labels:

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blackened Browns

Yesterday's game just wasn't fun.  Both teams played terribly, just that Detroit played not quite as badly.  Garcia didn't look great, but he got it done for Detroit. Dilfer just looked awful.  I was in favor of keeping Frye on the bench, but I am wondering just what we are saving him for.  What is he learning by watching this?  Then again, throwing him in may be a mistake, just like it was for Couch, just like it appears to be for David Carr down in Houston.  I left the stadium feeling like I had wasted my day.

I remember the Shottenheimer--Kosar era from the late 80s, and really, that was the last time this team was actually any good.  The Belichick team from 1994 may have been a rough draft of what he'd eventually do in New England, but it wasn't exactly a great team.  But I look at people half my age, and why would they root for the Browns?  What do they remember? 

Take someone who is 18 now.  This team returned in 1999 when that kid was 12.  The team announced its move to Baltimore in 1995 when that kid was 8.  And that kid was probably still wearing diapers the last time the Browns were in the AFC Championship game.  Why would that kid root for the Browns? 

Growing up, I was around for Red Right 88, The Drive, and The Fumble.  At least we were in the hunt.  But the Browns haven't been the champs since 1964.  Anyone who is mid-forties or younger has no personal recollection of that.  Even people in their late 40s would only have a vague recollection of that championship. 

Even the Steelers-Browns rivalry is becoming a bit one-sided.  Steelers fans have a lot more reason to hate New England than to hate the Browns.  Take a Steelers fan who is 18 today.  Apart from it being a divisional game, why would he even care enough to dislike the Browns?  What have the Browns ever done to his Steelers in his lifetime?  It is probably almost as peculiar to him as it is to me that once upon a time the Browns and Giants were huge rivals -- but that ended with the NFL/AFL merger -- which happened before I was born.  That kid could very well feel the way I feel when the Indians play the Royals.

Right now, I could hardly care if I go to another game this year.  It really stinks when something that used to excite you suddenly just pisses you off.  The hours spent at the stadium would have been better spent at the office, or doing laundry, or practically anything else.  And the money I've spent on PSLs and tickets since 1999 -- that is money I could have put toward my retirement or something.  Ugh, the more I think about it, the worse I feel about it. 

How is THAT for a Monday Moan?

little mysteries

Last weekend, my dad came over and helped me fix the toilet.  By help, I mean he did 98% of it while I watched and learned.  It wasn't flushing right.  That is, it would flush but only if you held the handle down.  Well, nobody wants that. 
 
Now the toilet flushes fine, but the water pressure has dropped in the shower.  What gives?  The pressure was just fine till the day we fixed the toilet.  I played with the water service to the toilet, turned it down to see if that would change the water pressure to the shower, but it had no effect.  So maybe its completely unrelated.  But then, what is causing it?

Pop-Ups

I don't know where these pop up ads are coming from. I have sent an email to Blogger seeking assistance. I have had several comments about them. It is true that there are some click-ads on this blog, but I put them there mostly out of curiousity. I am not trying to make money on this blog. And I never expressly asked any one for pop up ads.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stray Cat Strut

Black and orange stray cat sittin on a fence
Ain't got enough dough to pay the rent
I'm flat broke but I don't care
I strut right by with my tail in the air

Stray cat strut I'm-a (ladies cat)
Feline casanova hey man that's that
Get a shoe thrown at me from a mean ole man
Get my dinner from a garbage can

Meow

I don't bother chasing mice around, oh-no
I slink down the alley, lookin for a fight
Howlin to the moonlight on a summer night
Singin the blues while the lady cats cry
Wild stray cat you're a real gone guy
I wish I could be as carefree and wild
But I got cat class and I got cat a style

-- Brian Setzer

bad Whiskey kitty

Went to my doc.  Got a tetanus shot and penicillin.  He told me to stay away from strange cats.  He also took a look at my wrist, where I cut it from when I put my hand through the window when I moved.  He wanted to know why I didn't come in for that -- and frankly I had no good reason except that I didn't have the time (I was moving!)

HB - who lives down the street - knows the cat.  He had a similar experience and got scratched.  He didn't get sick.  He doesn't pet the cat anymore either.  There is another neighborhood cat that they feed which they call Rufus.  I have seen Rufus, but she usually runs when she see me.

Apparently HB's son has named the black cat "Whiskey" -- short for Whiskers.  Well, that Whiskey may be smooth, but he packs a mean bite. 

Wouldn't you know that Whiskey was sitting by my car waiting for me first thing morning?  He was all loving, rubbing up on my leg and stuff.  Bad kitty!

dumb dumb dumb

Beautiful black cat in the backyard last night. Very friendly. Until he bit me. Broke the skin and everything.

Whose cat is he? No idea. Looks too well kept to not be someone's pet, but I don't know if he's had his shots.

My hand is sore this morning. I have a doctor's appointment at 12:30.

I was hoping to go to Tommy's birthday party weekend tonight. I hope whatever the doc gives me doesn't ruin that! I haven't seen the guy in over 10 years, it would be nice to have a drink with him.

(Tommy that is. Not the doc. I've seen my doc more recently.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

From Brewed Fresh Daily...

From Brewed Fresh Daily... on the mayor's race from the perspective of one IT guy. The really interesting stuff is in the comments, the comments by Ron Copfer (especially comment #8) and the various responses including one from Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis (or someone who so claims to be him -- comment #36). A little slice of stuff you don't read about in the papers.

Take it with a grain of salt, as you should with everything you read.

Municipal Judicial Races

Here are the ratings of the various candidates by various bar associations and media outlets.
 
Better to look at something like this than to just pick the name that sounds familiar.

Issues

I have started to see the Reform Ohio Now yardsigns along my commute. 
 
This organization urges passage of Issues 2 through 5. I just took a quick look at them. 
 
Issue 2 would allow anyone to vote by absentee ballot, not just people who fall within certain select reasons.  Recalling the line I waited in to vote last November, I certainly support the idea.  I'll have to look at the wording before I decide for sure whether to vote for Issue 2.
 
The other issues, 3, 4 and 5... I'll have to consider as well.  On their face they sound like good ideas.  But as always, the devil may be in the details.  Taking oversight of elections away from the Secretary of State may be tempting to some, but if you didn't like Kenneth Blackwell's handling of the 2004 election, is the solution to change the system entirely, or just vote in a new secretary of state?  How about if we change the so that if you are secretary of state, you can't be the state chairman of anyone's presidential campaign?
 
I guess I've got some studying to do before election day. 
 
* * *
 
And where is Issue 1?  That would Bob Taft's tech issue.  From what I've heard in general, I tend to think I'd want to support it.  That is, in general I would want to support an issue whose purpose is to bring more high tech jobs to Ohio.  But again, I need to go learn more.  What do we have to give up to get that?     

Christmas Cheer!

Yesterday I walked by the card shop in the Galleria and saw they had already moved the Christmas ornaments to the front of the store.  I said to LadyLeah, no!  It is too soon!  It isn't even Halloween yet!

Then I went to Giant Eagle on Cedar Hill last night -- and the Great Lakes Christmas Ale is already out!  Yay! 

So I guess I won't complain about the ornaments after all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

cool cleveland

It was just brought to my attention by ALM that Cool Cleveland mentioned my "Tuesday Talkback" in its email newsletter.

So now people all over Cleveland might not only be reading my little rants at the Monday Moaners -- but also about my new flannel sheets.  Fun!

can anyone explain this?

Last night, MJ and I went to Home Depot.  On the way out, there was a man with a marker who wanted to see my receipt.  I handed it to him, and then I opened my bag so he could look into it.  He didn't look into my bag at all.  He only marked my receipt with an "x" and then told me to have a nice day.

This sort of stuff has been going on for awhile at several stores.  I know Best Buy does it too.  When I used to shop at BJ's, they'd do it too. 

I don't get it.  What is it they are doing exactly?  And if he doesn't even look in my bag, what does marking the "x" on my receipt accomplish?  If I had acted all nervous, would he then have questioned me about shoplifting?  By voluntarily opening my bag, was I in essence saying "There is nothing in my bag that is not on that receipt." 

When BJ's would do it, they'd look at the receipt and actually look quickly at the contents of the cart -- maybe to check for a few key items to make sure they were accounted for.  If the guy just takes your receipt and marks it without looking at your stuff, does that mean he's just going through the motions and being lazy when he should actually be looking at my bag?

People who run the stores must think this is worthwhile, or they wouldn't pay someone to stand there, right?

cozy and toasty

Last night...

The firewood finally arrived.  It was supposed to arrive the day before but the guys truck broke down or something.  I got a third of a cord.  When its gone, its gone.

We picked up new flannel sheets.  Washed them and put them on the bed.  I slept great!  I love sleeping in a cold room with a warm bed.  And that's a good thing too, given what the cost of gas is going to be this winter.  We are just going to keep the heat low and dress warmly. 

It seems that whenever the heat kicks on, the furnace does a good job of warming up the basement.  Perhaps we'll be hanging out in the rec room a lot this winter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday Talkback

If you are a regular reader of The Plain Dealer, you know what "Monday Moaning" is. Throughout the week, PD readers may call 216-999-6463 and leave their anonymous gripes. The "best" ones run on page A2 every Monday.

When they started this feature, I think it was in 2000 or 2001, I enjoyed it very much. I even got one of my gripes published in September 2001. As of late, it seems as if they are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Below are the actual Monday Moanings from The Plain Dealer, with my responses.

"Why do grocery stores sell potatoes in only 5- or 10-pound bags? Some people can't use that many before some begin to rot. How much potato soup can a person stand?" -- East Cleveland

Where do you shop, grandma? Every store I go to has loose potatoes in the produce section. But even if your store doesn't, maybe you should try having your grandkids over for dinner once in awhile. Or maybe they hate you because you whine about things like this? You are lucky they haven't put you in a home yet.

"Why, oh why, did they allow a gas station to be placed on the corner of Hilliard Boulevard and Warren Road? Cars pulling out trying to get into the left-turn lane cross traffic, causing no end of danger and are hazardous to other drivers." -- Lakewood

Why did they allow a gas station on the corner? Are you kidding me? ANY gas station on a corner is going to have people pulling out and trying to get into the various lanes of traffic. Yet there are corner gas stations all over America. I know the intersection you're talking about, and it is not that unique. "Causing no end to danger"? Please, cut the melodramatic bullshit. Surely the danger ends sometime. But apparently not before you picked up the phone to moan, jackass.

"Shame on the buyers of instant lottery tickets, who after scratching off the cards, rip the cards up and just throw them around the parking lot. It's disgusting." --Parma Heights

Listen here, Parma Heights, the slogan for the Ohio Lottery is "Odds are, you'll have fun." Now think about that. The truth is, odds are, you are going to lose if you play the lottery. So consider this. If you play the Ohio Lottery:
- Odds are, you'll have fun; and
- Odds are, you'll lose; so
- Odds are, you are a loser and are so comfortable with that, you'll have fun.

But not really. In order to have the promised fun, lottery players tear their losing tickets into confetti and shower the parking lot at the Parma Heights Tops. If you think that's "disgusting," try shopping at the Tops at E 185th sometime. Yeeech. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat at a Tops deli again.

Hippie time:

"What have we done to our Earth? We're eating plastic food, inhaling polluted air, forgetting empathy and communication and caring, because of electronic opium. The American Indians said we did not inherit the Earth from our forefathers -- we're borrowing it from our children. Why didn't we listen? -- Shaker Heights

Well, hippie, to answer your last question first, I'll tell you why we didn't listen to the Indians. Because we killed them and stole their land! You think that after that we are going to take their advice on how to take care of it? If they cared about their children getting the Earth, they would have scalped a few more European invaders and not succumbed to smallpox and syphilis, and not drunk whitey's firewater.

As for the "electronic opium" -- what exactly are you talking about? TV? Internet? Radio? Doc Johnson's battery operated marital aids? And because of these things we're eating plastic food? They should sell some of that plastic food up in East Cleveland, because plastic doesn't rot, not even in the 50-pound economy bag!

"Why is it that Marc's and Giant Eagle can get flu shots for their customers, but my own primary-care doctor cannot get flu shots for his patients?" -- Euclid

I'll tell you why. Because it isn't cost effective for your doctor to deal in penny-ante flu shots. You doctor loses money on each shot. He doesn't even break even on the shots. Not to mention that he loses all the opportunities to treat you if you don't get sick.

On the other hand, who the hell gets a flu shot at Marc's? Tyrone, clean up on aisle 3 -- then report to aisle 9 and bring the syringe. No thanks! Don't buy anything at Marc's that doesn't come in a well sealed can.

"My moan is about drivers who don't wave thank-you any more. Especially when you let somebody out in traffic and they're talking on the cell phone, they'll just pull out in front of you and they'll just keep on talking. Drives me nuts." -- Parma

I'll tell you why they don't wave. They have one hand on the phone and one hand on the steering wheel. If they wave, then that's no hands on the wheel! Duh, bad idea! And you're the dumbass for letting someone into traffic with a cell phone attached to his ear. Why are you giving that idiot any consideration? This is your own damn fault!

"The breed of dog misnamed pit bull is a good breed. They are strong, loyal, loving unless owned and trained by vicious handlers. Unless a dog is intrinsically sick, the handlers are the problem every time." -- Cleveland

If by "intrinsically sick" you mean "genetically predisposed to violently attacking babies and children and ripping their precious little faces off," then yes, I agree. Otherwise, you are an idiot. Go play in traffic -- preferably over at Hilliard and Warren.

"My beef is with RTA. When we had all the hot weather and humidity, they never ran the air conditioners on the buses. And when you tried to open the windows, they were locked. I called customer service about it, but nothing was done." -- Cleveland

I've got an idea. If you want the comfort of air conditioning, get off the bus and drive your own freaking car. Next you are going to want clean seats, drivers who aren't surly, and riders that don't smell like sulphur. What do you think $1.50 buys you? A trip to hell, with multiple stops at every bolgia, that's what.

"In the Super Lotto, a $1 ticket got you a chance at a $4 million prize. Now, in their wonderful new game, a $2 ticket gets you a chance at a $1 million prize. In other words, twice as much money for a chance at a quarter of as much prize. Did the Lottery Commission think that nobody would notice this?" -- Kirtland

Yeah, Kirtland, that's exactly right. People who play the lottery obviously don't understand the numbers, because if they did, they wouldn't play the lottery. It has been said repeatedly by others that the lottery is a tax on people who don't understand math. And if you say when you play that you are doing it for the schools, then try voting for a school levy for a change, or maybe becoming a math tutor. Quit acting like you are doing it for the kids when you tear up your losing tickets and toss them around the Parma Heights Tops parking lot, you loser.

Labels:

Monday, October 17, 2005

You Wouldn't Want Them to Go to Hell AND Be Sick

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the upcoming relocation of Ohio's death row from Mansfield to the "supermax" prison in Youngstown will result in inmates having more time outside their cells for recreation each day and the ability to eat meals in small groups.

However, smoking in the death row unit will be banned.

Brilliant!  Wouldn't want them to get cancer or something while they're waiting to be put to death.

(tip of the hat to G. Carlin for the title of this post.)

The Weekend

I could write about it, but MJ covered most of it already.

Some old friends stopped by briefly on Saturday after I got home from work -- dinner plans to be determined -- probably sometime next month.

I screwed up all my fantasy football this weekend. I completely forgot to put in my picks or adjust my rosters. I didn't forget two weeks ago, when the Browns had a bye. But yesterday I blew it. I set the Browns game on the TiVo so I could watch later in the day, and then football was completely out of my mind.

A friend of mine may make a marriage proposal to his girlfriend in a rather public setting. I always thought that was really risky -- because if her answer is anything other than an unequivocal "yes" it makes for a terribly awkward moment for everyone present. But then MJ brought up a point. What if the woman perceived that you couldn't ask her without the support of the crowd around you, and if she did perceive it that way, wouldn't it make you look weak somehow? I hadn't thought of it that way. If anything, I thought it would take more courage to do it front of a group, regardless of whether that is a good idea or not. But I don't think I would ever make a proposal in front of other people like that, so I'll admit, I never pondered all the angles beyond the "what if she says no" or "how sweet of you, we need to talk."

So, public marriage proposal: yes, no or depends?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sorry Ladies, But It Is NOT a Real Holiday

Today is Sweetest Day? What day? Sweetest Day. In this small part of America there is this pseudo-holiday which is really nothing more than an excuse by candy-makers, florists and greeting card makers to get a a little bump in sales in the Fall. Sweetest Day is best celebrated by couples whose relationships aren't stable enough to last through Valentine's Day.

A Google search suggests that Sweetest Day began in 1922 and originated right here in Cleveland. And while I am usually pretty open to all things Cleveland, this idea should be thrown right into the burning river. The third Saturday of every October is Sweetest Day. Or so we are supposed to believe.

Well, I do not celebrate Sweetest Day. And I think, or at least hope, that MJ is cool with that. I don't need some silly pseudo-holiday to take her out for dinner or express my feelings for her. And I do celebrate Valentine's Day.

Friday, October 14, 2005

More on the Gavin Harrison Drum Stick

from Haves:

Well this should be added!

I was next to you when you received the drum stick. You could have offered it to me!!
Your jealous Porcupine Tree buddy.


to Haves:

what, I should add it to my blog???

Haves is jealous *I* didn't offer him the stick.  Apparently he was standing on the other side of me.


from Haves:

YES HE WAS
 
;-)

Miers is Another First for Women, sorta

I just thought of something.  When Clinton did things that were middling between the Ds and the Rs, it was called "Triangulation."  It was considered rather shrewd of Clinton, because it was a way to pick up some moderate GOP votes -- which he needed after 1994, because after that election he no longer had a governing majority in congress.

With Harriet Miers, Bush has kind of acted the same way -- except that he didn't have to.  The Republicans ARE the governing majority.  All he had to do was put up another Roberts-like nominee, and he or she would have been a shoo-in.  Instead, he has put up someone who is female and merely technically qualified, and definitely not a scholar.  Would it be too bizarre to call her an affirmative action nomination?  Yeah, I won't call her that.  But she does represent a new female first for the court.  Unlike O'Connor and Ginsburg, who were both incredibly accomplished before their nominations, Miers is the first unremarkable and mediocre female nominee to the court. 

It used to be for a woman to get promoted, she had to be twice as good as the man with whom she was competing.  Not anymore!  Now we have Harriet Miers, and another glass ceiling is shattered. 

Yay, progress.

Bagel day

Today is Friday, so we have bagels at the office.  I got the last mish-mosh bagel.  All the sesame were already gone.  Who eats those raisin bagels?  Those are always the last ones to go.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

now playing ... Fadeaway

Now Playing: FADEAWAY by Porcupine Tree. 

From the new remastered release of Up the Downstair, with Gavin Harrison on the drums instead of a drum machine. 

There is nothing like REAL DRUMS. 

Not that you can't make music with a drum machine.  And you can eat spaghetti with cheese that comes out of a cardboard can, too.

Glad I have a blog where I can share such sentiments. 

Yesterday I received the 12" dance mix vinyl of You're Gone by Marillion.  I played it this morning in the basement while I was getting ready for work.  After MJ got up, we were both in the basement when she asked me what was in the package.  I told her, while walking over to the stereo to show her the album.  And then -- here is where I made my big mistake -- instead of  just leaving it at that, or asking her if she'd like to hear it, I turned the stereo back on to play it again.  And by doing that, I was IMPOSING MY MUSIC on her. 

Now, if I were to apply that to the rest of life, whenever I turn on the TV, I am imposing my shows on her.  Whenever I buy groceries, I am imposing my food on her.  Whenever I wash the sheets, I am imposing clean sheets on her.  Because I do NOT ask for permission before I do such things.  And I don't ask before I turn on the stereo either.  

When you share a living space, there is going to be give and take.  Always true.  No matter how much you enjoy the other.  And she doesn't have to like my music.  I don't drag her to shows she doesn't want to see.  But I will not refrain from from ever playing my music when she is around.   When we are in the car together, I try to have some music that we can both enjoy, and there are some bands we do both enjoy (like TMBG, Pink Floyd and The Beatles), and in the case of Marillion and Rush, there is a selection of songs that she seems to like or find agreeable.   And I know that she cannot stand Porcupine Tree whatsoever.  So I don't play that when she is in the car.  Personally, I think she is missing out on some of the finest music being written and performed today, but that is only my opinion, and she is entitled to the opposite opinion.  And when she says I am a music snob, I don't argue about that.  Because I am. 

As for my error in "imposing my music" on her -- I'll see if she remembers the standard she set the next time she plays me some dreck she downloaded onto her iPod.  Even though most of the time, I'll give it a chance.  Except for that Bob and Tom.  If there is anything out there less funny than Bob and Tom, it would have to be a cholera outbreak. 

mo' stoopid T-mo

So I finally do get a call from T-Mobile.  But its not the manager.  It is a collection call.  I read him the riot act.  And I tell him I will pay the bill as soon as I see one -- so I will pay him today if he gets the bill in front of me today.  Unlike yesterday's idiot, he is able to square things away on the website so that I can view my bill.  He gets it done in maybe 2 or 3 minutes.  And once I could view the bill and see that it was in order, I paid it online.  It shouldn't have been so hard.


bah, T-Mobile

That manager who was to call me in an hour ... never called me. 

Of course, this is exactly what I expected.

Bah.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Porcupine Tree -- from the archives

My previous review from when PT was last in Cleveland.

Go to hell, T-Mobile

I just got a text message that my cell phone bill is past due.  What bill?  Ever since I changed my plan, I've been looking for a bill.  I keep logging on to tmobile.com and NO BILL.  Nothing!  I thought maybe since I changed plans, maybe my billing cycle changed.

Guess not!  Turns out my bill is 18 days past due.  WTF?  Where is my bill?  So I log onto the webstie, and again, NO BILL!  I call in, I understand I am past due, so I'd like to see a bill please.  Well, they can mail me one.  Yeah, that would be nice, but better yet, why can't I see my bill on the website?  Before I changed my plan, I could see my bill there, just as I always have for what, maybe three years???  And the fool on the phone says, "maybe the website is not up to date?"  Not up to date?  Are you kidding me?  So, when might I expect it to be updated?  He says, I have no idea. 

I ask to speak with the manager.  I am put on hold.  Five minutes later, he comes back and says the manager isn't available right now, but he can call you back in an hour.  Sure, why not.  We'll see.

Go to hell, T-Mobile.  I'd have paid you already and on time if you'd only have put my bill up online so I can pay it.  The money is right here, show me a bill, and I'll pay you.  I know I had phone service the last month, so I am certain I owe you something.  Just show me a damn bill.  Why do you even have a website with online billing if you are going to conduct business this way?  Morons.  Figures with the change of plan I just recommitted to another year.  If this had happened a month ago, I'd have just switched carriers.


On the Sunday of Life

Sunday was a fun-filled day. I got to see my football team win, and I got to see one of my favorite bands, Porcupine Tree.

The Browns played at home against the Bears. While the Browns had beaten the Packers in Green Bay three weeks ago, they had not won a regular season game at home in nearly a year. Yet the oddsmakers were actually favoring the Browns by 3.

It was a frustrating game. Lots of turnovers, lots of penalties. And at the half the Browns led 6 to 3.

After the half, the Bears got a TD and took the lead 10-6, and that remained the score for what seemed like a long time.

But MJ and I stuck it out...

And in the last 5 minutes of the game, everything started to come together -- and not a moment too soon. Dilfer connected with Bryant for a touchdown, taking the lead, 13-10. A turnover by the Bears quickly led to another score, and sudden the Browns were up 20-10.

With the Browns up by two scores, the Bears fans scurried off, leaving their seats in the corner empty.

And the Browns had the first regular season win at home since October 17, 2004 (when the beat the Bengals, 34-17).

A change of clothes and I headed to Flannery's to meet up with friends before the Porcupine Tree show. Flannery's is right around the corner from the House of Blues, which makes it a convenient place to meet up before a show. We congregated in the bar area of the restaurant.

Here are ESC and MDC smiling at Mel about something.

While we were at Flannery's we saw Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson walk in. Haves went over and said -- half jokingly, "Hey Steve, we've got a couple of seats open over here!" And then Steve walked over! Then he had this look of realization on his face that he had just surrounded himself with fans. He smiled and waved, then went over to the restaurant section. Of course, I wasn't surprised that he didn't stay -- I was more surprised he walked over after Haves called his name!

We got into the venue and stood on the floor stage right -- in front of John Wesley. It was a bit dark at HOB, so naturally I waited till then to take more pictures.

MDC and Mel:

Diana and Bardan (rushtour.com friends up from Cincinnati):

Haves:
Matt:
George:
Me and ESC:
Personally, I was impressed that EDC was in such good shape for the show, given his weekend of tea, cookies and croquet in Indiana.

Robert Fripp opened with about 45 minutes of his "Soundscapes." Most of the audience was not into it. Fripp is a great guitarist, but when you go to a show to rock out, listening to 45 minutes of loops and effects is just going to be lost on the crowd. The fact that there was a door stage right in the staff-only area that kept being slammed shut only further destracted from the performance.

And then Porcupine Tree came on. Here is the Cleveland set list:

Open Car
Blackest Eyes
Lazarus
Deadwing
Don't Hate Me
Mother and Child Divided
Gravity Eyelids
So Called Friend
Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
Heartattack in a Layby
The Start of Something Beautiful
Halo
-----------Encore
Radioactive Toy
Trains

Most of the focus was on the present and last album. Again, nothing from Signify. But getting to hear Radioactive Toy from PT's very first album, "On the Sunday of Life" -- that was a treat. A big audience participation moment to, with the crowd screaming back:

Give me the freedom to destroy
Give me radioactive toy

I understand from George that in Detroit they played Hatesong instead of Deadwing and Buying New Soul instead of Gravity Eyelids. I am just as glad to have heard this set list.

I had to laugh when Steve Wilson commented on the "Record number of John Wesley T-shirts in the audience -- I see... two." Haves and George were wearing theirs.

* * *

Before the show, MDC and I went to the merchandise table. They were selling the remastered "Up the Downstair" -- I asked, "This has the drums redone with Gavin Harrison, right?" And MDC and I were talking back and forth about Harrison. Finally, the man working the table reaches under the table and says to me, since you are such a Gavin Harrison fan, here: and he hands me a rather well worn Gavin Harrison drumstick. WOW! And in a moment of instant selflessness, I offer it immediately to MDC, saying "You're the drummer, do you want this?" I hope I didn't offend the guy at the table, since we didn't even walk away first!

Later, I thought about how that drumstick would have looked nice on my rec room wall, but I got John Wesley's guitar pick last time, so better to share wealth. And MDC is the drummer -- I think he liked it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On the Sunday of Life, Executive Summary

I have much to post from Sunday.  No time to get into it all now.

Porcupine Tree at HOB was awesome, as always.  Great seeing ESC, MDC & Mel, Haves, George, Matt, Joe and Annette, Bardan and Diane.

The Browns game was frustrating for over three and a half quarters, then the last five minutes made it all worthwhile!

MJ posted a picture of us from the game on her blog.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Harriet Miers has a Blog

Hey Kristen, instead of just going off on the associate crony to be named associate justice on your own blog...


...why not check out her blog???

Andrew Sullivan on "Real Time with Bill Maher" Tonight

My favorite blogger is going to be on TV tonight.  No, not Kristen.  Andrew Sullivan.

Andrew will be Real Time with Bill Maher tonight on HBO on a panel with Salman Rushdie and Ban Affleck.  Andrew will be the "conservative voice" on the panel. 

Andrew is an insightful and well reasoned conservative who was bashing George W. Bush long before it was fashionable among conservatives to do so.  And even endorsed John Kerry in the last election, on several premises, including that Bush had done a terrible job in Iraq and is fiscally irresponsible.   Both are true, and the latter has proven to be especially true today.

Andrew is also a proponent of gay marriage, and is appalled by the new pope.  He is open about his catholicism and his homosexuality. He has also been on the forefront of airing issues related to torture.  He laments the takeover of the Republican party by the evangelicals.

To me he is what being a conservative should be.  Thoughtful, rational, in favor of smaller government, personal freedom and fiscal responsibility. This makes him completely unlike most of the so-called conservatives in power today.  And that is why I read his blog every day. 

Thursday, October 06, 2005

hahahahahahahaha

I can already tell you this is a bad idea, Buffalo fans!

Porcupine Tree This Sunday!!!

Radioactive Toy

Run through forests on a hot Summer day
Trying to break down walls of numbing pain

Give me the freedom to destroy
Give me radioactive toy

Taste the water from a stream of running death
Eat the apple and cough a dying breath

Feel the sun burning through your black skin
Pour me into a hole, inform my next of kin

Run through graveyards on a dusty Winter day
Spit the dirt out and try to say...

Give me the freedom to destroy
Give me radioactive toy

- Steven Wilson

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Stormy Ladies Continued

I just KNEW this was coming ...

Just like I wrote when Rita came around...

Here it is ... from weather.com:

Tropical Storm Tammy!


(thanks to Knob Enterprises for being the first to bring it to my attention.)

Government by the People

Yesterday was Cleveland's open primary for mayor. The top two finishers face off in November. Let's look at the raw numbers:

CLEVELAND CITY - MAYOR 
Vote for 1 (With 450 of 450 precincts counted)
ANTHONY B. BROWN 346

JANE L. CAMPBELL 15374

JAMES A. DRAPER 5644

FRANK G. JACKSON 19873

DAVID M. LYNCH 4072

MICHAEL L. NELSON 915

BILL PATMON 894

ROBERT J. TRIOZZI 5248

Frank Jackson, with 38% of the vote, finishes ahead of Jane Campbell, and the two of them face off in November. The last time an incumbent mayor finished second in the primary, is was Voinovich finishing ahead of Kucinich.

The Plain Dealer reports that this constitutes roughly 16% turnout among eligible voters in the city of Cleveland. This is less than half the turnout of four years ago.

But let's consider. Cleveland's population, the city proper, is 472700. Now, a lot of those people are children and are thus ineligible to vote. And I'll admit, I don't know how many of those people are under the age of 18. Nevertheless, disregarding "eleigible voters" and looking only at the total population, only 4% of the peoplevoted for Frank Jackson. And only 3% for Queen Jane. And just over 1% for Bob Triozzi.

Voter turnout was shockingly low. Now, I will be the first to agree that if someone doesn't want to vote, then don't push them, because I don't want the ignorant or ill informed diluting my vote. But at what point does a group of people lose the ability to even govern themselves?

The news outlets discuss the outcome in terms of percentages. But look at the hard numbers. Jackson 19,873 to Campbell 15,374. In the 33rd largest city in the United States.

Look at it like this: roughly 52,000 people voted in this election. That is less people than will be in attendance at the Browns game next Sunday.

Jackson got less votes than the total number of residents of Ashtabula, Ohio! And he is now favored to win the mayor's office.

You don't have to live in the city to take notice and be disturbed. Like it or not, the fortunes of the entire region are tied into the properity and success, or lack thereof, of the city of Cleveland. The overwhelming majority of the residents of the city can't even take an interest in their own governance. Eighty-four percent of the eligible voters couldn't be bothered to come out and vote for mayor. How sad is that?

I will say this though -- as for all of the also-rans, you cannot blame them for having stars in their eyes. If for every 20 residents of Cleveland, you could secure one vote, you'd have blown out even Frank Jackson. Someone only had to catch fire, or just had a message that sang to even just 5% of the city, and moved them to come out and vote.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

dumb question

I live in the city -- to be specific, University Heights. I have a house with a wood burning fireplace.

Where does one go to get firewood? I've never had a fireplace. I've never had to chop wood. I don't live anywhere now where I could chop wood. How much wood would I chop if I could chop wood? I'd chop all the wood that I could, if I could chop wood, I would.

When the home inspector inspected the house, he looked at the chimney too, and he said it looked good, so I think I'm ok to burn a little wood. And besides, with the price of gas these days, I may be wanting a lot of wood.

So, do I need to drive out to the country to buy some wood? Would it be cheaper to do that? What does one look for in firewood? Is it ok if I store it out in the screen porch?

Ian Fishback, American Hero

A moment for something serious.

Andrew Sullivan's lastest column, which ran in the Sunday Times, on Captain Ian Fishback -- a brave man who has bravely traded in his military career to stand up for what is really American. 

That Scooter was the leak, any of Tom DeLay's indictments, whether Mike Brown was the fall guy, that Harriet Miers becomes the first mediocre woman nominated to the highest court, whether anything will ever be done about entitlement spending, even whether you agree or disagree over going into Iraq, it all pales compared to this:

The American record on torture under the Bush Administration is obscene, embarassing and shameful. 

And all of the other chatter is really beside the point.  Except for the irresponsible runaway borrowing and spending.   That is the other shame of this administration. 

Anyone Up for a Roadtrip?

Tommy continues to try to sell me on a trip to Lancaster, Ohio for his 35th birthday:

I hope you come down for the festivities, at least one night. Our little get togethers are usually interesting at the very least. Forget about the 10 years, it could be 10 months, 10 days, even 10 minutes, I live in a time vacuum. Base your decision a fun factor. If when you go out and drink and party your fun factor is an 8 of 10 -- we at teamenjoyment guarantee a 4 point upswing!!! If you go full out 10 of 10, look for a swing 5 to 7 fun factor points. This would be an unheard of 17 of 10. Almost impossible to achieve any where else but with teamenjoyment!!!!!
Don't take my word for it -- here is some testimonials:

"I was a fun loving fish until teamenjoyment met up with me. One night when Tom and Eric were out drinking until dawn they felt they needed a third to keep drinking. So they pulled out three beers and three shot glass and Vodka from the freezer. Needless to say an hour later I was swimming into the side of the tank and just having the time of my life!!!!! I passed away two days later but a great time was had by all." Flexso the Fish
"It was Christmas Eve and Tom and Eric stop by to exchange Christmas gifts after a full day of spreading Christmas cheer. At this time Tom shopped for every ones gift at the liquor store and had brought me a handle of Black Velvet. These super fantastic bastards decided that I was going to be the last stop of the day so we started drinking the handle. After an hour and a half we were out of B.V. Eric boldly jumped up from the table and states "Don't worry Tom got me a handle of Canadian Club." So off to the car he went. After a couple more drinks Eric needed a ciggy, but had forgot his lighter. "No problem" Tom said "use the gas stove". Eric replied GREAT IDEA!!!! Before I could say anything he had turn on the burner that just did not work quite right. Next thing you hear is the stove clicking to light. click click click......voom!! Eric had lit himself on fire, no eye brow, a couple of hairs on fire and his ciggy lit. Then he just sat down at the table like nothing ever happen and just kept drinking. Unbelievable!!!! " Debbie Jones AKA Debbie Provino
It was Christmas Eve and Tom was returning Eric after spreading Christmas cheer. Of course we were waiting to go to midnight mass. Note many times Tom and Eric roled in all crazy and loaded but this was the first holiday (not the last). Luckily for the two of them my husband saw there condition and hurried Eric into the basement to avoid the whole family who was waiting for them to get home to go to church . The basement might not have been the best place to put them. Disappointed with the boys we went to church without them. Tom left for home and we all made sure Eric was passed out in a good place. While we were gone a couple of things happen. We got home and my husband went to check on Eric. when he got to the bottom step there was 2 inches of standing water in the basement. Worried that a water pipe had frozen and broken he looked around but could not find anything nor Eric. He went into the bathroom to find Eric had used the water pipe to get up off the floor. When Eric was asked WHAT THE FUCK!!! Eric explained that he had gotten the bath mat wet and had put it in the toilet to dry, but when he flushed it to dry it, it got stuck and water started over flowing. Then he slipped in the water and when he fell grabbed the water pipe to get up. Eric boldly stated "It's a Christmas Miracle I'm ALIVE!!!!" Sandy Lang, Mother


Now these testimonials only shows two days worth of events and only about 5 hours in the life and times of teamenjoyment. Do the right thing and add your name to the ranks of teamenjoyment!!!! And I would like to see you!!!

window washers

Three cheers for the brave men and women who scale our buildings and wash our windows. 

I will say this though: it freaks me out to be sitting in my office and suddenly hear voices and noises just outside my window.

Woo! My view of the Crazy Horse sure got a whole lot cleaner just now.  How can I complain?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Maybe Next Year, Tribe Fans

Well, so much for the Cleveland Indians this year.

MJ and I went to the last game. We were hoping it wouldn't be the last game, but it was. It was great being there, and it was fun watching the Indians turn it up in August and September. But really, if you get swept at home by Chicago, a team in your own division, you don't belong in the playoffs. Plus, having to hope that the Yankees would also win (in order to force the playoff with Boston) was unnatural -- a crime against man and God unnatural (as far as sports go).

So here is the thing: the Indians won, what, 18 more games than last year? And last year they made similar progress from the year before. Can they build on this for next year? I hope so, but there is talk that we are going to lose Milwood. And I understand there are other key contracts that are up. The Indians payroll is a fraction of that of either the Yankees or the Red Sox. Dolan, Shapiro and the management have done a fine job growing talent. But if its only so we can sell it off, then what's the point? And if its only so we can be "competitive" in the last month of the season, again, what's the point?

The Indians, both the team AND the mangement AND the ownership all have to take the next step. The next step on the field of play, the next step in contract negotiations, the next step in acquiring a couple of playmakers to complement the rest of the team. The sellout games in the last week show that the people will come out to watch a winner. But you have to put a winner on the field for that to happen. (As if the record 455 consecutive home sellouts aren't proof of that too.)

This off season is going to speak volumes about whether their recent run is something they are going to build on, or something they are going to rest on. Because if they rest on it, forget it. They weren't that good. If they were, they wouldn't have lost two to Tampa Bay and been swept at home by the White Sox all in the last week. A better team would have plucked the division from the White Sox, not failed to make the wild card berth.

Still, it was fun watching these last few weeks. But if they are rebuilding all over again next year, I will barely remember or care about what almost happened this season.

Except for Wickman. I LOVE Wickman. I love the fact that as long as Bob Wickman is playing ball, I too have the body of an athlete. Ninth inning yesterday, three pitches, three outs. And Wickman waddles to the dugout, his job done. And again, this might be it for him.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I Guess 35 is a Milestone Birthday

I got an email from another old friend -- one I have not seen or spoken with in at least 10 years:


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The 1st Annual Fall Extravaganza



Unlike other parties an extravaganza is a two day event!!!

October 21st & 22nd

(with preview night October 20th)


It is, as you may or may not know, the time to celebrate the birth of one of the most magnificent bastards that this world has ever seen. This fantastical* and all around Szechwan deluxe* son of a bitch will be turning 35. To recognize the fact he has lived this long and the fact he probably only has ten years of life left, it is mandated that all invited come to beautiful Lancaster, Ohio. As you might have notice this persons name has been auspiciously been remised.

His omnipresence, knowing all things fun and evil, is Founder and President of one of the greatest organizations, Teamenjoyment Inc. Teamenjoyment Inc. was founded back in 1995. This will also be a celebration of ten years of excellence. At the Corporate office located in not so beautiful Youngstown, Ohio he manages along side his Co-Founder and Vice President Eric Lang delving out fun and frivolity to all the masses. Most laymen believe any enjoyment they have just happens, this is incorrect. All enjoyment in the Midwest is controlled by these two fantabulus* mother fuckers. All requests are submitted through our regional branches in Lancaster or Chicago . There are times we deny enjoyment and sometimes we feel things need kicked up a notch. Enter our Operations VP Louie Igyarto. Mr. Igyarto is directly responsible for all OVER ENJOYMENT!! Sometimes these things happen. So, on behalf of the whole Teamenjoyment staff please come and celebrate 10 years of unadulterated customer service and El Presidente's (Tom Provino’s) 35th birthday.

A special thanks in advance goes out to VP Igyarto who has already pre-approved over enjoyment for all three days. The festivities will commence anytime Thursday and will end about 7:00am on Sunday. The Lancaster location is located 30 minutes from either of Columbus airports. We will arrange transportation on the cavalcade of frivolity*. Please let us know your flight plans and will make the appropriate pick ups. All lodging is as follows, we will provide some where and something or someone to sleep on. We will also provide childcare both Friday and Saturday night. Feel free to forward this to all people in your address book that would like to join in on the funtastics* Shoot me a pithy email I'll send you good direction from any where or call me.

*ALL MADE UP WORD, PHRASES AND ALTERNATE MEANINGS ARE COPYWRITED BY TEAMENJOYMENT INC. USE OF THESE WORDS OR PHRASES WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONCENT IS STRICKLY PROHITIBED!!


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The "cavalcade of frivolity" -- I wonder what else I have missed out on in the last 10 years?

Tommy and I were friends when I lived in Youngstown. I went to high school there for two years before going back to Geneva. For those of you who thought the story about the whip was edgy, I probably should not get into the debauchery that is Tommy.