Wednesday, November 30, 2005

THOSE NEW TRAFFIC CAMERAS

I drove down Chester last night and noticed them.  The signs have been out for awhile.  But the cameras on those white poles ... they don't seem that high off the ground. 

I do not condone vandalism, of course, but I bet someone with a little motivation (and a step ladder) could spray paint right over that lens. 

Now that I've said it, when it happens, the authorities will want to know where I was when it happened.   Chances are, I was at the office.

Answer Me This

From reading the comments to the most recent Tuesday Talkback, I realize that a few of you have taken offense to what I have written about people who are perpetually working minimum wage jobs and/or on food stamps.

One political pundit I enjoy from time to time wrote in one of his books (and I am paraphrasing as I don't have the book in front of me) that he believes in the "5-65 rule" -- that from the age of 5 to the age of 65, every American should either be:
  • a productive, contributing member of society, or
  • working hard at his/her education in order to become a productive, contributing member of society.
And do you want to know the name of the right-wing fascist who came up with that?

Pick One:

A. Bill O'Reilly
B. Sean Hannity
C. Rush Limbaugh
D. James Carville

I'll give you a hint: he also came up with the line "It's the economy, stupid." Here's another: he ran Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign.

So, when I see people lining up at the trough and staying there, and then crying when the slop stops coming -- or worse, screaming that they are entitled to more slop just because they are sitting there waiting for it -- my heart does not extend to these people. Nor should yours.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday Talkback

Whew! A holiday weekend yields extra Monday Moaning for extra Tuesday Talkback.

"I see General Motors is going to lay off 30,000 people and close nine plants. You can thank all those great Americans for buying Japanese cars. Maybe Japan will set up a welfare program for us when there are no more jobs." - Middleburg Heights

It is always the fault of consumers who want to buy quality cars that last and never the fault of the companies who make boring designs and substandard product. This is what is called the market fixing the problem. The marketplace rewards innovation and quality, and punishes companies that make crap. Like GM. If only the nine plants they are closing were the Buick plants!

"I think it's a shame that TV doesn't show the college marching bands at halftime. They do such a great job." - Fairview Park

Really? How do you know, if they are not shown on TV? Unless you go to the games, and then why do you care when you can see them live?

"This is about the audacity of Congress giving themselves a $3,100 raise and then rejecting an increase in the minimum wage for the poor working people who can't even make $6 an hour." - Seven Hills

Where did we get this twisted notion that people with minimum wage jobs are the "working people"? Anyone who is making less than $6/hour is not working hard enough.

"The nerve of Congress to vote themselves a $3,000 raise and go on vacation when there are so many issues to be dealt with. We ought to vote all of them out of office." - Mentor

Read the constitution bub. You only get to vote for the one in your district. Which, if you live in Mentor, is Steve LaTourette. By the way, he reneged on his promise to limit his terms to 10 years. So what are you waiting for? Go out and get him!

"The American people should write or call their congressmen, senators, state representatives about the food stamp cuts. Many people will go hungry for the holidays if they do not get food stamps. Maybe some of those politicians need to cut their paychecks instead of cutting the money of those who work so hard to try to have something to eat on their tables." - Cleveland

Here we go again! Anyone who "works so hard" isn't on food stamps. If you get food stamps then, no, you are not working hard enough. I know that some of my liberal friends will find that repulsive. Sorry. But those of us who do work hard pay for those people who don't. And because we pay their way, we have to get by with less than what we earned. Where is my government entitlement to make up for it?

"Attention churchgoers: This is flu season. If you are coughing or sneezing, please stay home. God will not strike you dead if you miss church because you are sick." - South Euclid

What if one of these know-it-all holier-than-thou types caught the bird flu and wiped out the whole congregation? Now THAT might be Intelligent Design.

"I'm calling about the traffic light when you pull out of the Best Buy at Brookpark and Ridge roads. It's a busy intersection, especially on Sunday morning with people Christmas shopping, and yet, the light is just flashing." - Cleveland

Another one of these Parma types, calling Monday Moaning instead of calling the city. And if you are shopping at Best Buy on a Sunday Morning instead of going to church and catching the bird flu, then perhaps a road accident is what He has in mind. His will be done!

"My moan is that the Cuyahoga County Public Library is closing the audio-visual department in it's administration building. Now you have to go to the branches. As a taxpayer, this will make me reconsider voting for a renewal levy." - Parma

You live in Parma. Why aren't you going to the branch anyway?

"It is unfortunate that during halftime for college football games we have to listen to commentators telling us what we just saw and what they think. The school bands work diligently to prepare outstanding performances and the TV audiences do not get to enjoy them. Why are the superbowl half times televised and the college ones are not? I was upset when the Ohio State and Michigan bands were not shown to viewers." - Beachwood

More with the marching bands!!! Look, I was once a band geek. But you know what you'll never see? And explanation of 8 to 5 marching and scatter drills preempting a reverse or a quarterback sneak, or even a discussion of one that happened 5 minutes ago. Sorry, but no one needs to see a fifth-year senior dot the eye in script Ohio on TV -- it only encourages that sort of deviant behavior. And if I had my way, they wouldn't televise the superbowl halftime either, crap that it is.

"It's not fair we're kept from entering contests because we don't own computers. There should also be an address given so that we can participate." - Mayfield Heights

Hey, Mayfield Heights, here is an address for you: 1417 Golden Gate Blvd. That's Best Buy in Mayfield Heights. Buy a computer and join the 21st century already. Or go to the library. Even the Parmites know how to use the library!

"There should be a law about turning on Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. Folks, let's enjoy the holiday of Thanksgiving for what it is, a celebration and thanks for the autumn harvest. Save the Christmas lights for December." - Cleveland

You are agitated over the lights? And by the way, they are *ahem* HOLIDAY lights. Didn't you get the memo?

"I think that George Bush would have more credibility if his daughters were serving in Iraq." - Moreland Hills

I'd be curious to know how many enlisted grunts hail from Moreland Hills -- I would guess about as many as the number of Bush twins on active duty. Look folks, there is plenty to attack Bush on, such as the torture or the increased spending that surpasses LBJ. Why don't you pick one that matters?

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Map of the Cameras -- Don't get caught on film!!!

Cool!  A google map of the Cleveland traffic cameras!

As you can see, Superior is now an attractive way back to the East Side!  Of course, it always was if you wanted to stop for White Castle or Popeye's in East Cleveland.  I think I'll go do that now...

(hat tip to Brewed Fresh Daily)

Dirty Word in the PD

Check out this article in the Plain Dealer.

I suspect no one there knows what a "tosser" is in British slang?

ummmm, no. not yet anyway.

OK, I understand that there is some disinformation out there about MJ and me and our relationship.  A member of my family referred to MJ on her blog as my "fiancee."

Not that it wouldn't be wonderful, of course.  But if you saw that and are wondering, the answer is: no, you didn't miss the big announcement. 

Maybe that is the problem with the whole "girlfriend" thing.  It can sound so casual.  Of course, the word "fiancee" suggests a proposal and probably a date.  Other terms sound so forced and contrived: special friend, soulmate, playmate, POSSLQ, partner.   Well, partner isn't so bad, but it sounds a little cold.  Roommate sounds like whomever you got paired with at the dorm.

I don't think the person who wrote it had anything but the best intentions, and I am guessing probably the highest of hopes. 

But since I've gotten some email on this, I thought I'd post something. 

Thanksgiving in NYC

Wednesday -- MJ and I got to my mom's in Sunnyside, only to discover that her shower was broken. The drain had clogged and Mom had poured drain cleaner in it to open it, only it hadn't worked. MJ and I walked to Jamie's so she could take a shower. I then walked back to Mom's to meet the plumber.

We (MJ/Mom/Jamie/me) went to Zen Palate for dinner -- the one at Union Square. Zen Palate is a vegetarian restaurant. Despite being a meat-eater, I left satisfied. MJ was less satisfied. Jamie was in heaven -- he could eat there every day.

* * *

Thursday -- MJ and I went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, then Ground Zero, Battery Park, Wall Street and Chinatown. We then went back to Mom's for dinner. She made turkey, homemade pumpkin pie, and more. Her friend, Joan, joined us, and she brought food too. And Brooklyn Lager, yay! Joan works for one of the more celebrated government agencies, and over dinner, she and MJ shared stories about shaking down people for money.

We then went to Joan's to walk her dogs. She has one dog, plus another who has been rescued that she is watching until a home can be found for him, but she is growing attached. An unfortunate freak mishap with an umbrella led to my spiking MJ's new digital camera into the sidewalk. I was pretty mad at myself.

MJ and I went to an Irish pub a few blocks away for a late drink. Fox Soccer Channel was on. The pub was full of native Irish, and another girl from Michigan, which naturally MJ found. Another girl, Kimberly, was fun to hang out with, as was her boyfriend. I spent some time talking soccer with Paul, who quickly learned that I know very little. So instead we talked about him.

The satellite jukebox had a nice selection. I played MJ's favorite Buffet song for her (Tin Cup Chalace). I also played Porcupine Tree (Trains, Lazarus).

* * *

Friday -- A trip to J&R to replace the camera. We found the identical model -- they had only two left. We took them both. Mom wanted a new camera anyway, and listening to MJ talk about hers, she was convinced to buy the same one. From there, another trip to Chinatown, for miscellaneous shopping.

We met up with Jamie and his mom (Mary Beth was in for the holiday) up in midtown. We went to John's Pizza -- I think everyone was pleased with lunch!

Then we walked and shopped around midtown. Fossil. Tiffany and Co. Jamie and Mary Beth went to FAO Schwarz. We all met up again at Bloomies. Then we went to the Pig and Whistle (?) on Third Ave for beers. Krista joined us there. After her forays in TV production and the salon world, she is going to dental school! MJ was surprised by how much she seemed like my sister, but they are best friends.

* * *

Saturday -- At the half-price booth, we scored front row seats to Sweet Charity. We being: Jamie, Mary Beth, Ruchi (friend of James from law school), mom, MJ and me. We could see the wrinkles on Christina Applegate's face, we were so close. Also, we could see right up everyone's skirts, we were so close. Granted, their skirts were flying up with all the dancing anyway, so its not like we were seeing something everyone else wasn't seeing anyway. The guys behind us were leering and hooting about what they could see. From our seats, she was as close as just two or three feet away, at times. It was an excellent show, great acting, dancing, costumes -- very well done!

I was thinking, after we saw Applegate, that she must be older than me. Not that she looked bad, she most certainly did not. It seems like Married with Children was so long ago. But I checked, and actually she is a couple months younger than me.

Saturday night, MJ met up with a college friend (Mario and his family) while I went with Jamie and Mary Beth to meet up with some other lawyer friends of his (Cheryl and her sister Michelle). We went to an Indian place in the East Village... then to a little sports bar called Standings.

* * *

Sunday, we drove home. Largely uneventful except for some highway stupidity. We had stopped somewhere in Pennsylvania for Taco Bell -- an all-in-one gas station and Kentucky-Taco-Hutt. Exiting the parking lot, there were two lanes, one to turn left, one to turn right. Well, this moron was in the right-turn lane with his left signal on, and the left lane was open. So I pull into the left lane to make a proper left hand turn. He and I both turn left at the same time. He is laying on his horn the whole time -- and then he starts riding after me on Interstate 80. I'm thinking, I don't really need this crap. So, finally, I let him pass me -- silver Honda Accord, with Ohio tags, Xavier College plates. By now, he (or more likely, his passenger) has made a sign and stuck it up against the window that says "Your Team Sucks and Your Driving Does Too." My team? Oh yeah, I have a Cleveland Browns magnet on my truck! Well, my team DOES suck. But my driving most certainly does not! YOU are the moron who turned left from the right-turn-only lane! I move in for a closer look at that sign, then get out ahead of him, then find a slow moving truck to block him for a few minutes. Then I move ahead a few car lengths in traffic.

And this is where it gets really fun. Apparently these fools thought they'd call the police. A few miles up the road, there is a police car in the median, he pulls out after I pass and pulls me over -- and the silver Accord pulls over too! The cop comes up to my window, and says they called in to report that I got "a little close" on a lane change. I stay calm, but indignant. I explained what happened at the gas station, I explained how he laid on his horn after he turned from the wrong lane and that he'd been chasing me down the highway ever since, I told him about the sign they made, and that now, they are wasting my time and his with this foolish story! Sign? the cop asks. I describe the sign and tell him to go look in their car, he'll find it. Of course, they deny the existence of the sign, but the cop proceeds to search their car. He finds the sign, takes it, and yells at them for lying to him, wants to know what else they've lied about. After he thoroughly chews him out, he sends them on their way, and now it is just me and the cop. And he wants to know if I would accept a written warning for an improper lane change, just so he has some paperwork for the stop. I tell him sorry, but no. If he wanted to write up someone, he should have written them up, since they made the call and then lied about the sign and everything else. He tells me to have a nice day.

A few miles up the road I pass the silver Accord again. I turned and gave him the evil eye. The driver was looking rather sheepish. I made what I would consider to be an appropriate gesture for the situation. He then fell back in traffic, never to be seen again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday Talkback

More talkback to Monday Moaning.

"I'm tired of seeing all these sports figures, including LeBron James, every day in the paper, and now downtown. Why don't we put a nice color picture of all the Ohio soldiers who are dying in this useless war on the side of the buildings so everyone can see their faces, instead of a guy worth $100 million-plus who, you can be sure, is not going off to war" - Chardon

I'll tell you why. Marketing. You sell sports teams with the individual star players. You don't sell wars that way. Look at the last disasterous cross-over effort: Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinal turned Army Ranger. Pat walked away from football and a three year $3.6 million contract in May 2002 so he could join the Army. He was killed in Afghanistan. The NFL celebrated his heroism, as did his alma mater, Arizona State. Too bad the Pentagon covered up one little detail: he was killed by friendly fire. Back to your moan: if you are tired of seeing LeBron James, I make this suggestion. Sell your TV, and never walk into another shoe store or read another newspaper ever again, because this kid is the second coming of Michael Jordan. For as long as anyone talks basketball, they are going to talk LeBron. Perhaps the only place they aren't talking about it is in the hills of Afghanistan.

"I'd like to see the juvenile courts stop dumping kids into the public schools, and deal with them at their end." - Broadview Heights

I am not exactly sure what you mean by this moan. What do you mean "deal with them"? Even a juvenile delinquent oughta get an education. Or would you rather just dump these kids in the hills of Afghanistan now?

"Why are males with short legs discriminated against. The shortest inseam on men's pants is 27 or 28. We must pay to get them shortened." - Euclid

We live in an off-the-rack world, shorty. My problem is all pants are just too tight in the crotch. Do you hear me complaining? Do you hear the ladies complaining? No and noooo.

"Why is my sewer charge 5½ times what my water bill is?" - Cleveland

Maybe you should try showering 5½ times more often, stinky.

"It seems a shame when, at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ and, in all the catalogues for the sales, they can't even mention his name, as if he's nonexistent." - Bay Village

How exactly would you like Jesus incorporated into the ads to sell these various trinkets? How about ad copy that reads: DVD players for just $19, Christ almighty! That better? That's what I thought. Think before you moan, next time.

"Lets see now, Kmart, Sears, Kohl's, Target, to name a few, won't let their employees say Merry Christmas, yet they make money off of us by selling Christmas trees, Christmas cards, etc." - Seven Hills

Just how freaking naive are you? What makes you think that anything any store employee says is sincere? How shallow are you to think that the same people who are made to say "have a nice day" and "do you want fries with that" give a rat's ass about whether or not you have a Merry Christmas? The ones that really freak me out are the ones that say "Have a blessed day." What freaks me out is that they are being sincere. They actually mean it when they say that. And it makes me uncomfortable too. I didn't ask for their blessing. And if their god were a useful god, they wouldn't be selling soft drinks through a window.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everybody! For Christ's sake, Sam's Club opens at 5am on Friday!

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Monday, November 21, 2005

What, in the Name of the United States, Are We Doing?

A newsreport with information from former and current CIA officers, going over the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that were instituted in 2002. 

I cannot believe that waterboarding leads to reliable information.  Yes, I call waterboarding torture.  Creating the sensation of choking and drowning to death is torture:

The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

If this is not torture, what is?

Yet, we expect the information obtained by such methods to be reliable?  That the subject isn't just telling us whatever they think we want to hear to make us stop?

When we use these techniques, we lose our own humanity.  And for what?  Bad information.  We cannot even argue that the end justifies the means, when the means lead to a useless, unreliable ends. 

MONDAY

Lots to do lots to do finish up things at work offense defense act react get out those letters get out that discovery get out those motions finish that research so I can hit the road get in the car and drive to new york for thanksgiving but first do the laundry have something to wear go to the bank have some walking around cash make sure everything is in order make sure the cats are fed make sure there is food to be feed to them make sure the house is clean enough to come home to and clean enough for Ray and Kristen to see when they come over to feed Kerrey and Minerva and got to make sure my to do list is up to date figure out what work I can take with me to do in the car or late at night after everyone else is asleep and don't forget a bottle of wine or something to bring to my mom's for dinner oh we are going to go to the parade and maybe to the rock and maybe we'll catch a show a show with the Bachman and look I have to make my car payment write a check and drop it in the mail and I might as well gas up over on Superior since its only a $1.99 and make sure I pack enough clothes the right clothes luckily you can wear anything anywhere in New York at least anywhere we'll be going now got to just put my head down get something things done so that in a couple of days I can catch my breath and maybe just maybe relax and enjoy because when I come back it will all still be here waiting for me but time marches on like a train that never stops just jump on at the station where it ought to slow down but it doesn't and then hold on for dear life good god it does sound like I am complaining but really would I have it any other way no.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

NO MORE POP-UPS!!!

Blow out the template, start fresh. 

Yes, it may look somewhat familiar to ESC's readers.  Imitation is the sincerest form, they say.

But ... hopefully this means no more pop up ads... and I'll be making other changes as my free time allows...

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Virtual TPM

For those of us who want to put a little culture under us.
 
(hat tip to Arcady.)

incommunicado

I'd be really pleased to meet you if I could remember your name
But I got problems of the memory ever since I got a winner in the fame game
I'm a citizen of Legoland travellin' incommunicado
And I don't give a damn for the Fleet Street aficionados

But I don't want to be the back-page interview
I don't want launderette anonymity
I want my hand prints in the concrete on Sunset Boulevard
A dummy in Tussaud's you'll see

Incommunicado, incommunicado

I'm a Marquee veteran, a multimedia bona fide celebrity
I've got an allergy to Perrier, daylight and responsibility
I'm a rootin'-tootin' cowboy, the Peter Pan, the street credibility
Always taking the point with the dawn patrol fraternity

Sometimes it seems like I've been here before
When I hear opportunity kicking in my door
Call it synchronicity call it deja vu
I just put my faith in destiny - it's the way that I choose

But I don't want to be a tin can tied
To the bumper of a wedding limousine
Or currently residing in the where are they now file
A toupee on the cabaret scene
I want to do adverts for American Express cards
Talk shows on prime time TV
A villa in France, my own cocktail bar
And that's where you're gonna find me

Incommunicado, incommunicado
 
- Derek Dick

Thursday, November 17, 2005

that pop up thing

The pop up ad that keeps appearing on this blog -- I don't know how I got it.  If I asked for it, I didn't mean to.  And I don't know how to get rid of it.  I just sent my second email to blogger support.  But so far, I haven't gotten any help from them.  Anyone have any ideas???

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

R30

Here is a review of the soon to be released Rush DVD, "R30."

R30 will feature highlights from last year's show in Frankfurt. Lots of bonus material as well.

R30 arrives in the US and Canada this Tuesday, November 22.

As much as I enjoy all the Porcupine Tree I've been listening to lately, I am looking forward to my old favorite, RUSH.

Concert Track Listing:
  1. R30 Overture -
    (Finding My Way, Anthem, Bastille Day, A Passage to Bangkok, Cygnus X-1, Hemispheres)
  2. The Spirit of Radio
  3. Force Ten
  4. Animate
  5. Subdivisions
  6. Earthshine
  7. Red Barchetta
  8. Roll The Bones
  9. The Seeker
  10. Tom Sawyer
  11. Dreamline
  12. Between the Wheels
  13. Mystic Rhythms
  14. Der Trommler
  15. Resist
  16. Heart Full of Soul
  17. 2112
  18. Xanadu
  19. Working Man
  20. Summertime Blues
  21. Crossroads
  22. Limelight

Running Time: 2:10

Among the bonuses is a recording of their performance of Freewill at the SARS-fest from summer 2003 in Toronto. I was at that show with over half a million other people -- and I look forward to seeing that again!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hiatus

I will be out of town on business the next couple of days. 
 
Here is something to chew on while I'm gone.
 
FOX has cancelled Arrested Development.  Boo!
 
FOX has reduced its order of Season Three to just 13 episodes (5 of which have already aired.)  That's almost one episode for each of the 12 Emmys this show has won.  It has also pulled AD from its November lineup.  C'mon, FOX moved it from Sunday night to Monday night, then took it off the air to make room for playoff baseball.  Then when FOX finally brought it back, AD got only 4 million viewers, (nevermind that AD is against Monday Night Football everywhere but the East Coast) they cancelled it. 
 
Here is an online petition to save the show.  I generally think that online petitions are futile, but I went ahead and signed it.
 
See you in a couple of days!  Yes, there will be no Tuesday Talkback on Tuesday morning.  Feel free to read this letter to the editor, a more traditional form of talkback, this one directed at the idiot that moaned about late night flights at the county airport .

Friday, November 11, 2005

Top 10 Reasons Why the Browns Will Win this Sunday Against the Steelers

10. Cosey Coleman may be doubtful, but Big Ben Worthlessburger is out.

9. Because the Browns fans want the win more than the Pittsburgh fans.

8. Because the Browns players want the win more than the Pittsburgh players.

7. Because Reuben Droughns has it all over whatever RB du jour the Stillrs plan on throwing to the dawgs this Sunday night.

6. Because Phil Dawson already knows how to kick the winning FG as time expires at Heinz Field.

5. Because the Stillrs always choke when Romeo Crennel is in the house.

4. Because William Green is coming back -- not to run -- but just to finish that fist fight with Joey Porter.

3. Because Trent Dilfer has never lost in Pittsburgh.

2. Tradition: we beat them last time we played on Sunday night -- and that was with Tim Couch starting!
1. Because the Stllirs fucking suck. Screw the Stllirs into the ground, them and their inbred Iron City swilling hilljack fans with their hairy bucktoothed bow-legged womenfolk, all waiving their yellowed filthy laundry in the stands. Here's 75 cents, Myron, go wash those stinky towels.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

For Mr. Bebout,

For Mr. Bebout,



























Happy Thumbs Up Thursday!

Bill Cosby Game

This is soooo wrong.

For Anyone Who Ever Did Model U.N. ...

... this video is for you!


(tip of the hat to the Bachman.)

open thread

Post anything you want.  Bmac or Brian, too!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nocturne

Did I have the dream or did the dream have me? -NP

Two nights ago I had a dream that made me sit up right in bed. A dream about someone in my past. A dream not of an actual event, but of an event that would be yet to come.

It bothered me all day yesterday. Was it warning? Was it something I should look her up and tell her about? And my sensible reaction is, of course, no. But I kept thinking about that dream all day.

This morning I woke up and the dream was immediately on my mind. Did I dream it again? I am not sure. But why was I thinking of it again? Why is it nagging me?

Dreams -- temporary madness.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tuesday Talkback

Talking back to Monday Moaning...

"My moan is when your doctor, your child's schoolteacher and other people call you by your first name. I respect them enough by showing them the courtesy of calling them Dr. so and so, and Mr. or Mrs. so and so, but they insist on calling me by my first name. They are not my best friends." - Lakewood

Calling you by your first name is a compromise position. I assure you they would rather be calling you biotch.

"To the lady who was driving the SUV on Ridge Road by Ridgepark Square shopping center: When I commented to you at the traffic light about throwing out your apple core, why did you let the kids in the backseat of your car roll down the window and throw out bags of trash in defiance of what I had told you? Grow up. What an example! - No City

First of all, nothing good has ever been discussed out the window of a car at a traffic light -- except maybe on Lorain Avenue in Ohio City. Second, "in defiance of what I told you" -- who the hell are you, biotch? Third, she is driving an SUV -- do you really think she cares about the environment? Fourth, an apple core is biodegradable -- much like your corpse would have been had she blown you away right on the spot. (And by "blown away", I am not talking about the kind of blown away you can negotiate at a traffic light in Ohio City.)

I work the third shift in Lakewood and drive home at 4:30 a.m. About once every six weeks, the police stop me for some stupid, insignificant reason, but I never get a ticket. They are pulling me over on suspicion of DUI. And all day long, on Clifton Boulevard, I rarely see an officer when the children are walking to school, or during rush hour when everyone is speeding. If they can be so zealous at 4:30 a.m., why can't they be as zealous at 8:30 a.m. when it would really make a difference?" - Lakewood

Credibility, sir. You drive home at 4:30 in the morning, and instead of going to bed, you expect us to believe that you stay up and watch for police activity as you watch the children walking to school? That sounds really creepy. Be happy the police aren't asking to see your hard drive.

Why isn't classical music represented on cable TV?" - Avon Lake

You live in Avon Lake, where you have Comcast Cable. That means two PBS channels, plus two music channels devoted to "Classical Masterpieces" and "Light Classical." Those channels are 10, 20, 434 and 436. You're welcome, biotch.

"Why didn't the Rock Hall plan a concert facility for seating? Paying money to stand for a concert is not my idea of fun. You can't see, and we'll never go again." - North Olmsted

As my Middle East Politics prof once told me, the revolution is over once you carry around file cabinets. And the music of rebellion that makes you wanna rage is made by millionares who are nearly twice your age. They put up a museum and the revolution is over. Suppose they had installed seating -- it would have had to have been plastic so they could hose it off after you and the rest of the leaky Depends crowd were done sitting there. Whiny geezer biotch.

"Gas stations still quote prices in tenths of a penny." - Cleveland Heights

Would you prefer they round to the nearest dollar? Don't give them any ideas!

"President Bush gives a medal of freedom award to Mohammed Ali. I think he should give a medal of freedom award to all draft dodgers." - Euclid

How many other draft dodgers can "move like a butterfly, sting like a bee"? Besides, how unseemly would it be for a sitting president to give himself and his predecessor the medal of freedom? Face it: neither "move like a butterfly, purjure like a lying biotch" nor "move like a butterfly, torture like Augusto Pinochet" has the same ring to it.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Justification for staying home on Tuesday

You don't make it to the polls at all, here is some justification you can point to in support of your position.

The authors of this article also wrote "Freakonomics" -- an excellent read, I wholeheartedly recommend it. 

1-2-3-4-5

I am having a tough time with Issues 1-2-3-4-5.

Issue One seems like a good idea on its face. Then I remember Taft is behind it -- and if Taft has ever had a good idea, than this would be the first. Sonenshein brings up the eminent domain angle on his blog -- and if the public use provision can be used that way, that's a problem. I know the whacko Christians are against it because of the money for stem cell research, which makes me want to vote for it. But then I think about it coldly, and it seems like another corporate welfare giveaway. It will create jobs, but at what cost?

Issues 2-3-4-5 -- this is what happens when corrupt and ineffective politicians run the state for 8 years. This whole slate of amendments is reactionary against Taft and Blackwell. Some of this would seem to be "good government" reform. I think I'll vote for Issue 2 because anyone should be able to get an absentee ballot on demand. I will vote against Issue 3 because campaign finance monetary limits shouldn't be written directly into the constitution.

Issues 4 and 5 -- I am undecided. As to Issue 4, the reapportionment game is one that is played by the party that controls the state. Isn't that the way it should be? I need a better sense of what we'd be replacing the system with. I am leaning against Issue 4.

As for Issue 5, which would strip the Secretary of State of the power to oversee elections ... why is it ok that unelected panels can run the county boards of election, but not the state's? The opponents say that passing Issue 5 will take the accountability out of the system. Well tell me -- since the 2004 election, when exactly is Blackwell going to be accountable? He is term limited from running again for Secretary of State -- and he is planning on running for Governor. So I guess he gets his accountability moment then. I am leaning toward Issue 5. Though what would really be a good idea would be a law disqualifying the secretary of state from being in charge of a campaign whose election he is overseeing. You can't tell me that having Blackwell as a chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign was not a conflict of interest to his election oversight duties as Secretary of State.

Approaching the Finish Line

In the race for Mayor of Cleveland, a new poll suggests that Frank Jackson leads with 52%, incumbent Jane Campbell has 37%, and 11% are undecided.
 
If this poll is accurate, and if the voters actually show up and vote (16% turnout for the primary!), this appears to be the end for Jane Campbell.  She really has no one to blame but herself.  It is not like Jackson has offered anything better, other than he is not her.  And that will probably be enough to carry the day for Frank Jackson.  But will it be enough to lead the city? 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I was living another life, in another country, in another time...

And in that life, I was a country singer.  Yeehaw!
 

Friday, November 04, 2005

MadonnAARP

I just saw a clip from the MTV European music awards of a 47 year old
Madonna dancing and shaking it like she used to back in the 80s, when
I was a teen. Commentators were talking about how great she looked
and how she is still hot.

When I was a teen, Tina Turner had her big comeback with "Private
Dancer." I remember then the buzz about how she was still hot. But I
couldn't see it, not then and not now.

I don't pretend to have my finger on the pulse of today's teens, but I
think I have a pretty good idea of what they are thinking about
Madonna. The same thing I thought about Tina Turner back when I was
that age.

I remember when Madonna was hot. I also remember the first space
shuttle. Time to ground them both.

Neverland

When the darkness takes me over
Face down, emptier than zero
Invisible you come to me
..quietly
Stay beside me
Whisper to me "Here I am"
And the loneliness fades

Some people think I'm somethin'
Well you gave me that, I know
But I always feel like nothing
When I'm in the dark alone

You provide the soul, the spark that drives me on
Makes me something more than flesh and bone

At times like these
Any fool can see
Any fool can see
Your love inside me

All these years
Truth In front of my eyes
While I denied
What my heart knows was right

At times like these
Any fool can see
Any fool can see
Your love inside me

I want to be someone
I want to be someone
I want to be someone
Who someone would want to be
Someone would want to be

Wendy
Darling
In the kitchen
With your dreams

Will you fly
again
Take to the sky
again

Undo the hooks
Once and for all
Banish the tic tic tic tok tok tok
Again

Will you be
Yourself for me
Cause I can take it
I can stand
Anything

When you're with me
I can stand it
I can stand

But when you're gone
I never land
In Neverland

Want to be someone someone would want to be
someone someone would want to be
someone someone would want to be
someone someone someone someone

Any fool
Any fool can see
Any fool can see
Your love
Inside me

- Steve Hogarth

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Get well soon, Mr. Bateman

If you are a fan of Arrested Development, like me, you were sad to hear that Jason Bateman underwent throat surgery yesterday.  Naturally we all wish him well and a speedy recovery.  Nevertheless, our favorite show is on hiatus until he heals.  There are a few episodes of AD that will air through the month of November -- this Rita story-line has yet to play out. 

In the meantime, we can visit Oscar's website.  Thankfully the music can be turned off in the upper left corner.

If you have not been watching AD, you have some catching up to do.  Seasons one and two are out on DVD.  All three season three episodes are still on my TiVo for repeated viewing pleasure. 

Between Iran and a Hard Place

I look at something like this ... and I have a hard time with the idea that of all the threats against the United States, that Saddam's Iraq was the one the US absolutely had to target (at the apparent exclusion of other targets.)

small updates

I am still trying to figure out how to get rid of that pop-up window that sometimes appears. I have, however, added on to the list of "Blogs I Enjoy."

  • Be Careful What You Wish For... This is Mel's blog. I know Mel from my year at UT. She is married to MDC (ESC's brother.)

  • Happenings on an Urban Campus This is TSA's blog. His blog speaks for itself. TSA is of course married to the lovely and charming CSA.

  • Brewed Fresh Daily George has linked on his blog a couple of my Tuesday Talkbacks and my recent "This Sign Says Welcome to Cleveland" -- and I've enjoyed checking out his observations about Cleveland and IT and more, so I've added BFD to my list.

  • Over a Candle This is PM's blog. PM used to live down the hall from me at BGSU. He is a philosophy prof now. How 'bout dat?
  • Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely...

    My Uncle David was responsible for a fair amount of my cultural education, especially when it came to the theater. Uncle David lived in New York City and taught English at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He taught me to appreciate Broadway, and growing up he took me to more shows than I can ever keep track of. He taught me his prejudice against Andrew Lloyd Webber, and his preference for Stephen Sondheim. His friends were all theater types, and it was through him that I met all sorts of actors and other people in the industry, including Constance Carpenter (and became her "boyfriend for a day," but that's a story for another time.)

    Whenever Uncle David visited here, (and by here, I really mean Erie, where he grew up,) he'd at least make sure we'd get to the movies. Well, one time the movie he took us to was The Monster Squad. What an awful film that was! But it didn't matter. It was still the experience of getting out with a man whose wit and humor were unlike anyone else I knew. He left a big mark on me. And I miss him very much.

    So, the fateful day we went to The Monster Squad, we went all out. David didn't even have a drivers license, and living in the city, who needs one? Aunt Mary drove David and Kat and me to the Millcreek Mall. We went to the pizza place next to the theater – they had these slices of Sicilian style pizza with the really thick crust. Well, we figured out that it was less expensive for the four of us to have a whole pizza than to each order slices. It meant more pizza for less money. And we ate it all.

    We then went to the theater. Of course we had to have popcorn – you remember good theater popcorn, before they ruined it by taking the coconut oil out of it? And another thing David taught me is that you MUST have Junior Mints at the movies. And lo, the theater had a special where you could get a popcorn, a box of junior mints and a soda for one special price. We EACH got that. After all that pizza. And we ate it too!

    Monster Squad was a short movie, thankfully. The only thing I really remember about it was that they needed a virgin to kill or ward off one of the monsters and the one girl had to confess that she really wasn't a virgin. And when we got home to the grandparents house on W. 26th Street – still full of pizza and popcorn and mints and coke – Grandpa Pfister had made dinner.

    We put off dinner as long as we could. We couldn't tell him we weren't hungry – that would have broken his heart! He had made sauce and was about to put on the pasta. He had made salad. His cooking was the best. And he was also a product of the Depression. You MUST eat, you MUST clean your plate. You eat not only when you are hungry, but if there is food, you eat to PREVENT from getting hungry. Not kidding!

    Well, we put him off to the point that he got very annoyed, and he started yelling that we must all come to the table and eat. And we did. I somehow forced in a whole plate of spaghetti, and bread, and salad. And when there was a little pasta left at the end, I ate it because I was a "growing boy." Of course, I was a teenager at that time, and I really could eat piles of food. But even this was too much.

    For years after, we'd remind each other of The Monster Squad, and the horror that ensued. Not the movie itself, but the mass consumption of food that day. It was the sort of thing we would reminisce about in the years that followed. Unfortunately, there were not that many years that followed. I looked it up, and that movie came out in 1987. Uncle David passed away November 1, 1994, after a long battle with a number of complications from AIDS. He was much too young. And I wish he was still here.

    Since I never saw him every day, his absence from my day-to-day life is, for lack of a better word, minimal. Sometimes it just feels like its been too long since our last visit. But every time I go to New York, every time I go to the theater, every time I wear my St. Francis College t-shirt, every time I hear "Tomorrow" from Annie (the first musical he took me to), and every All Saints Day, I remember him. Thanks for everything, Uncle David.

    Now David, don't you worry, this cold world is not for you... - SW

    Tuesday Talkback

    More talkback to Monday Moaning.

    "I think it's a disgrace what they did to that family with all those children. They should have investigated further. You can tell the mother is hurt. Apparently, they were well taken care of. If she doesn't get them all back, I think it would be terrible. You can see the kids aren't being mistreated." - Painesville

    Whose family are you talking about? Does this have to do with those "caged kids"? By "well taken care of" do you mean those homemade bunk beds covered in chicken wire were "well constructed?" These people who adopted these eleven special needs children remind me of that old woman down the street who took in all the stray cats, then couldn't keep up with cleaning all the cat boxes, and then got all bent when the authorities came in and took them all away. And before anyone gets on my case that I shouldn't compare a special needs child with a stray cat, let me ask you something: how many have you adopted? One, two, eleven? Sorry, but all the love in the world does not make eleven special needs kids in one house tended by just two people a good idea. Eleven stray cats is no picnic either. One stray cat can ruin your day, as I explained here and here.

    "Why aren't bicycle riders made to stop at red lights? They zip pass me and go right through. Those heading downtown in the morning down Lorain Road are the worst." - North Olmsted

    Hey Jane, your Campbell Cameras going to do anything about these two-wheeled thugs? Of course not, as there is no money in it. And as we all know, this was always about the money, and never about safety.

    "I just found out that in Parma, they now only allow what they call "cone shaped roof" on garages. And my thought is, what are we building here? Garages or castles? Sounds a little ridiculous." - Parma

    Every time I want to think that the people in Parma are really ok, that Parma is actually sort of a normal place, somebody like this guy opens his mouth and blows it for me. What is he talking about? Unless this guy is trying to store road salt, I have no idea.

    "The drivers in the (if you want to call it the fast lane) who are driving at or below the speed limit. They need to move over into the curb lane to let other people pass. This is not only on the highways, but also on the regular roads." - Parma

    Can I hear an "amen"? And you KNOW whoever is blocking the way in the passing lane is driving a Buick.

    "Here's a tip to the idiots who drive without their headlights when it is still dark at dusk, dawn, foggy or raining. When the streetlights are on, the light bulb in your head should turn on suggesting that it's time to have your lights on." - Medina

    The light bulb in your head? Is that like the light bulb in your refrigerator? Seriously goofball, here is where you got it wrong. First, you complain about people who drive without their headlights on at "dusk, dawn, foggy or rainy." Then you try to give them a snarky little tip about checking the streetlights. Well doofus, you had it right the first time: turn on or keep on your headlights at dawn, dusk, fog or rain...period! Instead you tried to come up with some cute little rule about the light bulb in your head. Besides, what if there are no streetlights? What if they didn't turn on? And what about the light bulb inside the refrigerator? See how jarring a misplaced metaphor can be? I know why the caged kid sings.

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