Sunday, April 30, 2006

Petro is doing worse than I thought...

The front page of today's PD shows that Blackwell leads Petro in a poll among likely Republican voter, 50% to 29%. Petro's campaign remains the worst in recent memory by someone who ought to have been able to run a winning campaign. And Blackwell remains a gay-baiting bigot.

As for the Dems, I was excited when Chris Redfern became state party chairman. I knew him in college. Knowing him as I did then, I am not the least bit surprised to see him where he is now. But I don't think I am ready to take the D ballot just because of that.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Withdrawal in Disgust Is Not the Same as Apathy

May 2 is the primary election day. It is on this day that Ohioans take the partisan ballot of their choice and help the parties select their nominees.

Whichever ballot you take, you become a registered member of that party. That's how it works here in Ohio. In the not so distant past, I started taking the Republican ballot. So, this makes me a registered Republican.

That said, I think Bush is a terrible president. I have neither the time nor the inclination to count all the ways he has completely motherfucked this country, our allies, and the planet. The Congress is no less culpable.

And looking at the GOP primary ballot for this election for my precinct, the Republicans I care the most about, the ones in the judicial races, none of them are facing a primary challenge. The state senate seat is contested, but I don't have a sense of who to vote for there (and they will lose the general anyway.) Statewide, we have two dreadful candidates running for governor, Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro. While Ohio is overtaxed, I think Blackwell's tax plan could devastate this state. And he's a bigot. Turning to Petro, he's damaged goods. His campaign is disorganized. And if you can't run a decent campaign, then I don't expect you to be able to run the state. Petro should be whipping Blackwell by twenty points. Instead he's trailing by two or something. Petro's values ad from a few months ago turned me off. I don't care if you go to church on Sunday and love your wife -- I care whether you are competent. And the Republican party -- the party that I once held as the party of competence -- is anything but -- both in this state with the Criminal in Chief Bob Taft, and in the Congress and the White House. If only Betty Montgomery hadn't moved from the governor's race to the attorney general race -- I'd have been pleased to vote for her for governor.

Senator Mike DeWine is facing challenges from two opponents, but he should be fine. Whoever they are, they are likely challenging him because he's not conservative enough. Meaning he, like Senator Voinovich, made a couple of principled stands against the nonsense which is the Bush administration. So, there is the one reason I can see maybe bothering to vote. But at the same time, neither he nor Voinovich have done enough to stand up against Bush's brand of conservatism which could more accurately be described as Christianist Socialism -- men with Jesus fetishes and a complete disregard for fiscal responsibility which could only be explained by a belief that the second coming is almost upon us, so balanced budgets and global warming don't matter.

So, my choice is to take the ballot for that claptrap. Or I can hold my nose and request the Democratic ballot -- which would make me a Democrat again. And there is nothing there to inspire me either. Strickland should have no trouble beating Flannery for governor. Chandra would be a far better AG than Dann. Dann and his affiliation with Capri Cafaro is all the reason I need to never vote for him -- and Chandra seems incredibly competent and driven -- and with that name he probably has no chance. Sherrod Brown should have no trouble beating his primary opponent, and I couldn't care less either way, since I have no intention on voting for him in November. (Oh, if only Paul Hackett were still on the ballot!) And there are plenty of contested judicial races I could vote in, if I took the D ballot.

But the thing that is really eating me right now is this: I don't feel good about either political party. I don't feel at home with either of them. And I feel that if I take one ballot or the other, I am aligning myself with one party or the other. Right now, I just don't feel it. I was leaning toward taking the D ballot -- but it doesn't feel right.

So, I am seriously considering not voting this Tuesday. In the general election, yes, I'll go vote. But I am having a hard time with this primary election. I majored in Political Science, and I take the process seriously. I am just so disgusted by the process right now, I don't want to be a part of it. Perhaps I'll have a change of heart by Tuesday.

Steven Wilson covers Alanis

Visit Steven Wilson's page on myspace.com and listen to his cover of "Thank U." 

Friday, April 28, 2006

I Don't Leikin it

I took my car in for service yesterday.  More specifically, MJ drove it to Classic BMW in Mentor (where she works) and Leikin Volvo came by her work and picked it up, serviced it, then dropped it off again.  I got to drive her BMW for the day.
 
Anyway, Leikin returns the car and ... they've taken off the Motorcars emblem that was on the trunk and put a Leikin dealership license plate frame around my back plate.
 
I didn't ask for that, and they sure didn't ask me if that was ok.
 
And don't get me wrong. I started getting my car serviced at Leikin Volvo because I was dissatisfied with Motorcars Volvo's service department.  Also, Leikin is more convenient.  Leikin has been nothing but excellent in servicing my Volvo otherwise.  And I couldn't care less that the Motorcars logo is gone from my trunk.  I just think it is very presumptuous of them to do it without asking and then for them to put their big old LEIKIN plate frame on the back of my car.
 
What do I get in exchange for advertizing their dealership?  If I were inclined to put anybody's dealership on the back of my car it would be Classic -- because that's where MJ sells cars -- even though they don't sell Volvos.  Just about everything else though.
 
And if you are of mind to buy a car this weekend, Classic is having their used car "tent sale."  Anything you want up at the Classic Auto Campus in Mentor, ask for Marquise (that's my MJ) and she'll take care of you. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Smokin'

I fired up the grill for the first time last night -- after first checking for gas leaks!

I noticed that the grill didn't come with briquettes.  I went to Home Depot in search of "something" so it wouldn't just be grilling over a gas flame.

I picked up a cast iron smokebox and a bag of hickory wood chips.  I also picked up a bag of mesquite wood chunks. 

I soaked some of the hickory chips for half an hour and then filled the smokebox, and put it in the grill.  Cooked up a couple of steaks.  The hickory smoke added so much flavor!  I was pleased.

I read a tip ... that if you soak some chips and then throw them in a plastic bag in the freezer, you can pull them out when you're ready to grill, so you don't have to wait when you want them.  I think I'll try that.

I'm still getting used to how hot the grill is.  I usually like my beef rare.  I cooked my steak medium rare instead, but it will still awfully good.  I guess I just need to practice!  Darn, having to make more steak.

Have a Happy One!

Won't you join me in wishing James a Happy Birthday?


Happy birthday, Jamie!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

More talk back to The Plain Dealer's Monday Moaning.

"In response to Monday moan ing about the people coming into the Justice Center and Federal Building who have attitudes and a chip on their shoulders. Yes, we are homeland security. We are not customer service. These are courthouses, not department stores." - North Olmsted

We already covered this last Tuesday. But thanks for playing.

"To the people in Cleveland who are responsible for cleaning up Euclid Avenue. Thank God Sony Pictures came to town. The empty storefronts have been cleaned, the windows are dressed, sidewalks and breezeways cleaned. It finally doesn't look like a slum anymore. I guarantee when Sony leaves, this city will be filthy again." - Cleveland

Let me see if I follow. The film crew for Spiderman 3 has come to Cleveland, to stage car crashes and other such scenes on East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue to have it double for New York City, and in order to make it look like New York City -- they had to clean it up? Look, I've been to New York lots of times, and I love New York, but if there is one thing I have never thought as I walk around Cleveland it is "hey, this place would look just like New York if only we just cleaned up the filth."

"I came here as an immigrant with my parents when I was 2. I've recently had to pay $240 to have my citizenship done only because my parents neglected to apply for me, so I feel that the immigrants trying to get into this country should pay their fair share like I did after living here for 55 years." - Parma

And your point would be... everyone picking fruit, landscaping and cleaning houses should get 55 years to scratch up $240? And what the hell is the matter with your parents? Seeing that you're from Parma I will generally refer to, but spare everyone, the obvious Polish joke.

"On the new absentee ballot: The ballot is too big, too cumbersome and too hard for someone like me who has arthritic fingers. I don't believe that most of those votes will even be counted because everybody is not going to color those circles correctly and, if they are not done correctly, they will not be counted." - Cleveland

OH MY GAWD, are you kidding? Here is a sample ballot. You fill in the circle of your choice!This is no different than all the testing we do in schools, only easier because there is no right answer. Is that why certain schools aren't passing proficiency tests, because the students there just can't fill in the circle correctly? It isn't that Johnny can't read, he just doesn't know how to fill in a hole? Do we need remedial classes on how to fill in a circle with a pen? If you have an actual physical problem holding and using the pen, then that's one thing. But short of that: if you can't follow instructions and properly fill in a hole with a blue or black ink, I don't want your vote to affect the outcome of the election. You can be too drunk to fuck, yes, you can be too dumb to vote.

"Regarding the moan about having 'beeping alarms on all cars when they back out': After thinking about it, can you imagine all the beeping, and thus chaos, that would be going on in crowded shopping malls, after athletic events, etc.?" - Independence

What is this? That's twice this week that people phoned in to talk back on Monday Moaning. I covered this last Tuesday, folks.

"How does the city of Brook Park Recreation Department expect youths to learn how to play baseball on a field that is half covered with grass, with big lumps of grass and deer tracks all over the place?" - Brook Park

I learned to play baseball on a "field" with chunks of crumbling asphalt, broken beer bottles and condom wrappers. And I was grateful to have it. And I walked uphill through the snow both ways to get to that field. And if there'd been a deer in sight, someone would have cooked it and eaten it, just like all the pigeons. And we were happy to have it! Until someone set the dugouts on fire, but that's another story for another day.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

I Can't Read

I can't read and I can't write down
I don't know a book from countdown
I don't care which shadow gets me
All I've got is someone's face

Money goes to money heaven
Bodies go to body hell
I just cough, catch the chase
Switch the channel watch the police car

I can't read shit anymore
I just sit back and ignore
Cause I just can't get it right, can't get it right
I can't read shit I can't read shit

When you see a famous smile
No matter where you run your mile
To be right in that photograph
Andy where's my fifteen minutes?

I can't read shit anymore

-- David Bowie

Grill, You'll be Cookin' Soon

Sunday, sunday, sunday... I worked -- first at the office, then at home.

In between, I saw my Dad. When we moved to the new house, he brought over his hand truck/dolly (whatever you like to call it.) Anyway, since Easter, CM decided that moving to Florida wouls be the thing for her and the Tater Tot to do. Well, why not. Give it a try, girl.

That said, my dad wanted the hand truck so he could use it to move her stuff into storage -- she is going to moved down there for now with just what will fit in her car. If it works out, she come get the rest of her stuff this summer. While Dad was here, he saw my sad, broken down gas grill out back. I almost didn't bother moving it here from the old place. He took one look at it and told me he was buying me an early birthday present (my birthday is not till August) and MJ a late birthday present (hers was last week.) So, we are the proud owners / recipients of a new grill.

Besides the fact that it works (presumably), it is an upgrade -- with a larger grilling surface and a side burner. MJ volunteered to put it together last night. She did most of it herself, except where two people were needed to hold things together.

The only thing left to do is test the gas line for leaks and then fire it up!

We did take the time to watch The West Wing. Josh needs a vacation. Hey Josh, too bad you couldn't hold out just another three weeks, because then you'll have all the time you need.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Screw the Odds, I Got Nailed

Well, it finally happenned.  Speed camera on Chester.  Bastards.  $100 fine.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Never Mind the Odds, I Had Fun

The Ohio Lottery has some new $10 scratch off ticket.  I have never spent so much on a single ticket before, but something drew me to it.  Just had a feeling.
 
I won $20.  I cashed it and split with the money. 
 
Doubling my money in sixty seconds was a nice break this afternoon.
 
This little event will only reinforce my white trash fascination with the lottery, unfortunately. 
 

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Judicial Candidates Ratings -- May 2 Primaries

Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition ratings for candidates in the upcoming Cuyahoga County primary elections are available at the following links:
Democratic Primary
Republican Primary  

With so many judicial races, looking at what the candidates' peers think of them is far better than just picking the name that sounds familiar, I think.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today is MJ's Birthday

I know that MJ hasn't been reading my blog lately, so perhaps I can spill the beans here without her knowing...  MJ if you actually are reading this on your birthday, and we haven't had dinner yet STOP RIGHT HERE AND DO NOT READ FURTHER!!!
 
La la la...
 
Today I told her to meet me at my office at 6pm.  When she gets here, I'll be taking her to a certain Westside restaurant on the Gold Coast that has recently been remodelled.  I have reserved a special table, with a view.
 
I have picked up a certain piece of jewelry that I know she's had her eye on for some time.  No, it is not a ring.  IMHO, that is not for birthdays or holiday gift giving.  It is something from the Tiffany & Co. catalog though -- I know she'll like it.
 
I dressed up today for work even though I wasn't meeting with anyone special -- except her. 
 
Ah, to be the big 2-8.  Happy Birthday, hon.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

They moan, I talk back -- you know the drill.

"To those dinosaurs who still make fun of people with cell phones. Good luck in trying to find a public telephone, let alone having change. Wake up and join the revolution that's called progress." - Brooklyn

I can hardly imagine using a payphone anymore, except to call my bookie, my dealer, and my call girl. But seriously, some people whine about other people using telephones in restaurants like this is something new. I seem to remember old movies and TV shows where a character would be sitting in a restaurant, and the waiter would inform the person at the table that he had a call and then bring the phone on a tray to the table. And then he'd take the call, right there at the table. I wish I could remember the name of a movie where that happened. Does anybody else remember this? But did this actually happen in real life too? Or was this just a bit of business that screenwriters made up? I don't know. Growing up, our idea of fine dining was riding into town to go Ponderosa. They didn't bring you anything there. The steaks would magically appear at the table while you were lining up at the buffet.

"Why do so many people feel it's necessary to apply their brakes when approaching a green light?" - Concord Township

That is an excellent question, and I have the answer. They're hoping to slow you down just enough so that when the light changes you have to stop for it (and thus, get off their ass.) Seriously, I apply the brakes as I approach a green light -- anywhere there is a speed camera in our fair city.

"Why don't they have beeping alarms on all cars when they back up? With all the vans and SUVs, you can't see to back out of parking spots." - Wickliffe

Having a back-up alarm is not a license to back up blindly. But I feel your pain. I've been parked by a large SUV and not been able to see to back up because it is blocking my view. Here is my suggestion: break the windows on the SUV. It'll be easier to see through then. Be sure to urinate all over the seats so they know it wasn't an accident. And if you want a back-up alarm -- they sell those as an after-market add on. Perhaps you'd like a semi horn too for your Kia.

"Ladies who go to have manicures and pedicures and are on their cell phones or headsets reprimanding their entire family, etc. We go there to have a relaxing day, and we have to listen to them crabbin'." - Westlake

Man, I wish I had your freetime and your problems -- that I can go spend the day having someone do my nails and then complain about other people complaining. Try going to a salon that bars cell phones. Or better yet, take a bath at home and do your own nails.

"The Cleveland Clinic is a non profit? I just got billed $64,000 for a one-day heart procedure." - Brecksville

Next time, die. It's cheaper. Your kids will thank you.

"Why do doctors schedule six to seven patients an hour and then give you six to seven minutes? This is an assembly line, and it's very sad some of us cannot get personal physician service." - Seven Hills

If you want that kind of attention, may I suggest a manicure? C'mon, what do you expect from a doctor? That the two of you are going to walk a quick nine holes before you show him your rash?

"My gripe is with the Federal Building and Justice Center screeners. When you first walk in, they have attitudes and a chip on their shoulders. This is supposed to be a customer service position. It's Homeland Security. I want a little bit better customer service." - Cleveland

Uhhh, this is making my head hurt. (deep breath). OK. You got it half right. They are SECURITY. They are not there to disarm you with their charm. They are they to stomp the snot out any piece of subhuman filth that comes into the building with a weapon (or worse.) Nobody wants Guy Smiley guarding the door. Nobody with any sense, anyway.

"How many times in one hour do we have to hear the commercial 'Do you know how old I am?' It's ridiculous." - Parma

Change the damn channel. Who watches commercials anymore? Saddle up your steed, ride into town to the telegraph office and order thee a TiVo.

"To the person who 'stole' or 'found' my credit cards and had a field day shopping, I would like to say, 'Only the fires of hell burn long and hot.' " - Bay Village

Oh, sure. The lengths you will go to convince your wife that the $1000 in charges at Christie's Cabaret aren't yours.

"We get it: WTAM, you're 1100; WTAM, you're 1100; WTAM, you're 1100. Stop it already." - Avon

Station Indentification. They have to do it. I am sure "The Big One" appreciates the free advertizing you gave them today in the paper. 'Scuse me now while me and Marty Allen go out and get some Mr. Chicken.

"To all of you idiot tailgating drivers out there: You are a menace on the road and you'll pay, big time, one of these days when your impatience and stupidity overcome you." - Olmsted Falls

Let me guess, you drive a Buick?

"It took two weeks to determine the blood alcohol of the Eastlake lieutenant involved in an accident, but it only takes one day to determine a citizen's level of intoxication." - No City

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the good lieutenant wasn't actually in his car when the accident occurred? I'll tell you, nothing kills a good buzz like getting hit by a car while taking a leak on the side of the road.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

A Simple Kind of Mirror

Friday night, we drank scotch, or Tito's, or beer. And by scotch, it was either Glenlivet, Auchentoshan, The Macallan, or Dewers (for those who mix with soda). And by beer, I mean Yuengling, except for the strays that Kat was drinking from the back of the fridge. And by we, I mean all of us who got together to spend a few minutes with Jamie while he was in town for Easter.

Like so many such gatherings, I didn't get to talk to everyone I wanted to talk to for nearly long enough. Unlike so many gatherings, this one was all very last minute, and I pat myself on the back a bit for getting it together on a moment's notice.

I subjected the room to vinyls new and old. There weren't too many complaints, haha, until Mr. Bebout wanted to hear Toto. We did not run out of 50/50. We did finish off the Auchentoshan.

If there is one thing I have finally learned from hosting a few get-togethers, it is that I never have leftover shrimp. I should have skipped the cocktail weenies and gone for more shrimp.

While there were a few folks that we missed, we got a good turnout of FOBs (Friends of the Bachman), to raise a glass with him during his short stay in town.

I woke up the next day, not so much hungover as dehydrated. A couple large glasses of water and I was good as new, or as good as I normally am anyway. (Cue the Toby Keith right about here.)

Saturday, I worked for a bit, but did get outside to enjoy the lovely day -- if only to work around the yard. But there was something strangely satisfying about cleaning up the old leaves, sticks and other debris. I feel like I know the land my house sits on much better now. The yard is ready to mow, as soon as the grass grows a little. I also picked up turfbuilder and a spreader -- one bag to be applied this week, one bag to be applied Memorial Day weekend.

Easter, MJ and I went to Jefferson to have dinner at my Dad's. Dad and Marcy put together a nice meal, and Marcy's parents and kids were over as well. Dad grilled steak, and over dinner we talked about such tastefull table topics as autopsies, dissections, and medical procedures. We played Clue, we played Skip-Bo. Dad's stigmata healed just in time for the holiday. We have pictures we can upload later if you really want to see. Also a pic of Kat "bearing" a cross (made of chocolate).

MJ and I endured a little pointed questioning from Marcy's daughter, CM. Marcy's daughter is this cute young thing with a baby in tow -- a baby I once referred to as the Tater Tot, because he is about as wide as she is, but stubby. Before long, mama could hem her pants and give them to the boy as hand-me-downs, but perhaps I am overstating the case. (Hey kid, nice pink capris!) But since it might be a little mean, perhaps I won't call him that anymore. Unless he doesn't grow out of it, in which case, yeah, I'll be that mean.

Anyway, the questioning. CM asked me if I was planning on having any children. She asked me how old I was now, and more or less, what was I waiting for -- that I shouldn't want to get too old without having kids. The thing is, CM's situation is so tragically fucked up, dishing it back at her would have been mean. All I said in response was that at my age, I still had plenty of time to become a father, decades even. MJ got a few similar questions too, apparently, when I was out of the room. MJ is 7 years younger than me, so there is still a fair amount of time on her clock before having babies looks like a now-or-never proposition. Still. On the ride home we took turns one-upping each other with the snide retorts we didn't make -- such as:

I want to enjoy my adulthood before having kids.
I want to do it right and get married first.
I want to be financially secure before I start bringing new life into the world.

Which on their face aren't snide, but in the context of the situation, yeah, that might have been snide. Except that she did ask, so, it might have been fair, even if a little harsh.

I concluded that it was unnecessary to be that mean (though here I am blogging about it). To a young mother with not a whole lot else going on for her, squeezing out the Tater Tot is her biggest (and perhaps only significant) accomplishment, and in the context of her life, being a single mom is pretty much all that she is about now -- and it is what she has to talk about. That and some anti-Michigan comments she made for MJ's benefit. Surely we were too easy on her.

Easter

A ghost of a mist was on the field
The grey and the green together
The noise of a distant farm machine
Out of the first light came

A tattered necklace of hedge end trees
On the southern side of the hill
Betrays where the border runs between
Where Mary Dunoon's boy fell

Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

Out of the port of Liverpool
Bound for the North of Ireland
The wash of the spray and horsetail waves
The roll of the sea below

And Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

What will you do?
Make a stone of your heart?
Will you set things right?
When you tear them apart?
Will you sleep at night?
With the plough and the stars alight?

What will you do?
With the wire and the gun?
That'll set things right
When it's said and done?
Will you sleep at night?
Is there so much love to hide?

Forgive, Forget
Sing "Never again."
 
-- Steve Hogarth

Friday, April 14, 2006

scotch, scotch, scotchie

It may only be lunch time, but I am ready for a little scotchie to kick off this holiday weekend.

But I am going to hold out till this evening.

Care to join me? Stop by after 8.

(hat tip to AG for reminding me about the scotch reference in Anchorman.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

SOM-thing I learned today

For a long time, I've wondered what the "SOM" in SOM Center Road (aka S.O.M. Center Road, aka Route 91) stood for.  For awhile I thought it might have been short for Samuel O. Mather.  But according to the website for Orange Village, S.O.M. stands for Solon, Orange & Mayfield.  Sure enough, SOM/Route 91 runs through all three.  Of course, it runs through a number of other places as well, but I guess other cities like Eastlake don't rate.  Too bad -- SOME Center Road is no more silly, really, than SOM Center Road. 
 
It may just be Center Road once Rt 91gets to Lake County, so maybe that's the reason it is SOM and not SOME.  But for consistancy, perhaps SOM Center Rd can be called EW Center Rd in Lake County, you know, for Eastlake and Willoughby.  Ew.
 

Get on Your Bikes and Ride!

I don't watch AI, but I just caught a clip of the dude singing "Fat Bottomed Girls."  Terrible.  I understand he was voted off.  Seems appropriate, based upon what I saw. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

They Call Me the Mowin' Man

I left work early on Tuesday (early for me -- got caught in regular rush hour, bah!) to go check on MJ.  She went in for a follow up and instead they re-did her procedure!  Apparently, the ER doctors did a real half-assed job.  Do you think the doctors in the ER had any idea what I do for a living? 
 
Anyway, she was pretty woozy, and after taking care of her, getting her fed, etc., that freed me up with just enough time to run out and buy a lawn mower.  
 
I ended up with a Craftsman mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine.  I looked at Home Depot first, but they didn't have anything I liked that was less expensive than the comparable Craftsman mower in the Sunday Sears advertisement.  
 
I didn't get an ordinary push mower because the front yard is a big hill.  I got one of those mowers with front wheel drive and the oversize back wheels -- it is supposed to be better on hilly terrain.  We'll see.  Given what it cost last year to have Jeremy the Lawn Boy cut the grass, buying my own mower seemed like a bargain.  Until I stick my foot under the blade or something.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

Pour yourself a big bowl of Honeycomb, because it is time to talk back to Monday Moaning.
 
This is for the person who griped about bill collectors who harassed them on Sundays. Simple solution: Pay your bills on time! The phone calls will stop immediately, I promise you. - Twinsburg
Here's another idea.  If you can't pay your bills and don't want the phone to ring -- then don't pay the phone bill.  That too will stop all those pesky phone calls, including the ones from your in-laws.
 
"President Bush is going to repair Iraq with every drop of American blood." - Cleveland
Look -- you can be against the war in Iraq, that's fine.  But how stupid are you to say something like this?  This doesn't even make sense.  Repair Iraq with every drop of blood?  WTF?
 
"How much longer must we in Cleveland listen to Sharon Reed of Channels 19 and 43 call the state of California 'Cali'? She must think it's very hip. I feel it is very unprofessional in her business." - Lyndhurst
Sharon Reed has been too hip ever since she ran naked down the Ninth Street Pier for that Spencer Tunick photo shoot.  Why is anyone even talking about California in our local newscasts?  I don't understand that.  Oh, and Sharon -- nice ass.  Wish I hadn't chickened out for the shoot or maybe I'd have seen that round little booty with my own eyes.  Aw, but it was too damn cold outside to stand around naked by the lake.  Shrinkage, baby!
 
"What happened to that old law they used to have - the gouging law - or doesn't that apply to the Republicans?" - Seven Hills
You mean the anti-gouging law?  And what are you talking about anyway?  Hurricane Katrina?  Haliburton?  Gas prices?  Mayor Beryl Rothschild and the property tax hike without a vote in University Heights?  You are obviously pissed about something, but can you be a little more specific?  Because being pissed off at Republicans these days doesn't narrow it down very much at all.
 
"Why can't the NBA be as exciting as these college basketball playoffs? They are like a bunch of old men running up and down the floor and they depend on organ music to rev up the crowd." - Euclid
I think you just answered your own question.  They aren't LIKE a bunch of old men running up and down the floor.  They ARE a bunch of old men running up and down the floor.  And Lebron.  But give him a couple more years, and he'll be "old" too.  The Chosen One is already twenty-one. 
 
"I will be working May 2 for the voting. I took the class with the new electronic machines, and they are a nightmare!" - Euclid
Uhhhh.... you mean you'll be working the polls?  Oh goody, the old fart who checks our signatures is now hollering about those new-fangled machines.  "Back in my day, we got to charge people before they voted."   I can't wait to vote. 
 
"When the good Lord said, 'Forgive them for they know not what they do,' He must have been thinking about the tax department in Columbus." - Middleburg Heights
I am not a religious sort, and I can enjoy a good bit of blasphemy.  But somehow, when Jesus died on the cross, and he uttered those famous words, I don't imagine he was thinking about the Ohio Department of Taxation.  On the other hand, if you run a restaurant, and your books state that you fed 5000 men with just five loaves of bread and two fishes, you better pray for a miracle that you don't get audited. 
 
"Why does Wal-Mart only have those gigantic carts? Why not also have the option of small carts? And, no, I don't want to have to carry a basket." - Willoughby
Big Wal-Mart savings doesn't fit in little carts!  If you don't like the carts at Wal-Mart, do what we civilized folk do and shop at Target.   Less pick-up trucks in the parking lot too.  I'll tell you, when I lived on the west side, I used to shop at the Wal-Mart in Brooklyn, and damn if I didn't get into fight in the parking lot with some redneck just about every time.  Usually it involved me getting cut off in the parking lot, and me giving some guy the finger, and then he'd threaten to break off my finger and shove it up my ass, and then I'd spot the Vietnam Vet sticker on the back of his truck and I'd tell him that he doesn't have the guts to do that, cause if he did, we wouldn't have lost 'Nam.  Then he'd quietly get back into his truck and drive away.  Then I'd read in the paper a couple days later about some vet who beat up his wife and his kids, and then got taken away.  Wal-Mart is hell, I tell you, hell.
 

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Sunday, went to the emergency room -- on the way home, got a flat tire.
 
Everyone is more or less ok now.  Except the tire -- that is a total loss.
 
How about them Indians?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Dayton Experience

Alright, I was in Dayton on Thursday and Friday for work.  I don't write about work on my blog, so I have nothing to report here about what exactly I was doing down there workwise.  But work aside...
 
I ended up staying at the Econolodge just south of downtown.  It had the three things I really wanted out of a hotel room for this trip: close to downtown; a king size bed, and and internet connection in the room.  It did have these three things, and not much else.  It wasn't the worst hotel I've ever stayed in, though it is probably the worst I've ever stayed in for work.  The place just wasn't that clean.  The bathtup and countertops and sink had all been painted white (as further evidenced by the white painted drains).  The carpet was gross to walk on with bare feet.  I nearly killed myself on the slick floor trying to get out of the shower.  It was, however, close to Wendy's, and close to downtown.
 
As posted earlier, I checked out the Oregon District, which is just east of downtown, along Fifth Ave.  The place had a felt like a cross between Ohio City and Coventry.  The street was made of brick, and there were all sorts of cool little junk/vintage shops, some adult stores (including a gay store), some bars and clubs, an intriguing used book store (with a large section of vintage comic books), and an exceptional music store called Gem City Records.  Gem City Records had, besides a decent selection of CDs, a rather exceptional selection of used and NEW vinyl.  And yes, I not only have a record player, I still play it.  So I checked out the new vinyl, made some tough decisions, and bought a few selections. 
 
While I was looking at the Peter Gabriel reissues, I met a man at the store named Craig.  I don't know if this is his store, or if he simply works there, but he is a welcome throwback to the records stores of old -- a true music lover, extremely knowledgeable, full of all kinds of helpful insights and opinions.  It grew apparent that he himself was a collector and that we had some overlapping musical tastes.  He told me about how he had slowly added to his collection all of the Peter Gabriel remastered and reissued vinyls, and that though expensive, they were worth it -- that he heard things in them that he never even heard in the original vinyls or the subsequent CDs.  These 200 gram vinyls... I simply could not afford to buy all the selections they had in stock, but I did pick up So (with Red Rain, Sledgehammer, In Your Eyes, Big Time) and his third album (the one with Games Without Frontiers and Biko).
 
Naturally, this lead to a discussion on Kate Bush -- he was a much bigger fan than me.  But I told him that I did prefer disc 2 of her new Arial album and could muster up a few reasons why. He asked me if I got her single off of Arial, and I said no -- and he mentioned that the "B side" (if we can still call them that) was a cover of Sexual Healing.  He told me if I stopped by again the next day, he'd get me a copy of it (since it is no longer available.)  And indeed, when I stopped by the next day on my way out of town, I discovered he'd put together a whole a sampler of songs by different artists for me -- very cool. 
 
Getting back to the vinyl -- I have a lot to listen to.  Besides the two Gabriel albums, I picked up:
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd -- 30th Anniversary re-issue
Franz Ferdinand (they had the 2d album too, but I only bought the 1st)
Give It Up by The Postal Service -- includes a bonus 12" with B-sides and remixes
Ghost Reveries by Opeth
 
Also in the Oregon District, just behind Gem City Records is a Thai and Sushi restaurant called Thai 9.  I had a meal there -- and I think it was the best Thai food I've ever eaten.  The place was packed, and the only seat in the whole place just happened to be at the sushi bar, so I ordered a spicy salmon roll as an appetizer.  But then I watched some of the futomaki and other rolls they were making and I wished I had ordered something a little more adventurous.  I had never seen a spider roll being made, but I watched the sushi chef roll a whole soft shelled crab into a futomaki roll, and suddenly I found myself wanting one.  Which is very odd, because I had an unpleasant experience with softshelled crab when I was 12, and I've been turned off to it ever since. 
 
Anyway, I look forward to my next trip to Dayton.  And while I was there, I learned that the Dayton Art Institute has the Diana exhibition until June 11.  MJ, a closet anglophile, wants to go see it.  If it means another meal at Thai 9 and stop at Gem City Records, I can be talked into it.      

Thursday, April 06, 2006

adventures in dayton

I find myself in the Oregon neighborhood, Wayne and E 5th. music
stores, antiques, piercings, and various bars and clubs... some of
which are not yet open for the evening. The Dublin Pub is open. A
single seat was open at the bar... as I am now sitting in it, drinking
a properly poured Guinness. A pleasant little place this is. and a
good place to celebrate the bounty of new vinyl I've acquired. Must
have a listening party soon.

Dayton

So, what does one DO in Dayton?  Well, right now I am in my hotel room.  It doesn't have much, but it has internet, so I can make do as to the rest. 
 
I brought other work to do, so I figure I'll do it.  I haven't had lunch yet, but I am thinking maybe I should just wait till dinner, since it is so late.  There is a Wendy's right by the hotel.  I could get one of those turkey sandwiches with the pesto on it -- those are surprisingly good.  Of course, dripping in pesto mayo, it defeats the idea of eating turkey.
 
I am not far from the University of Dayton.  It doesn't look like there is much to do out there.  Does Dayton have nightlife?  I am looking at the chamber of commerce publication in my room and not finding much of anything.  I guess I can look on the net and see where one goes to eat around here... other than Wendy's. 
 
Apparently Wright State University's performance hall/venue is called Nutter Center.  I shit you not.  I need a tshirt that says that.

 

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On the Road Again

Going to Dayton on business -- Thursday and Friday.  Good times.
 
Sometimes there is something refreshing about being on the road.  It is kinda like a space walk.  Tethered to life-line, floating out into space with a mission. 
 
OK, Dayton ain't exactly a walk outside the space shuttle.  But still. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

The moaners are back, and so is Talkback.

"I think it's a form of harassment for bill collectors to call you on Sunday. Even the Lord rested on Sunday." -- Cleveland

Maybe Judas can spot you $30 to make a payment.

"To the heartless, hateful person who was in such a rush on Howe Road in Strongsville that they couldn't wait for the goose to cross the road and plowed into it, leaving it to die." -- Brook Park

Sorry, but no. Even heartless people don't want goose bones in their tires. So I have a hard time believing anyone would hit a goose on purpose. That said, once you've hit a goose, what are you supposed to do? Pull over and give it first aid? Scoop it up to make pate? Uh...no.

"Parents who bring their little kids into bars and plop them on a barstool so they can watch a sports game. It's not right, and they are morons." -- Berea

Sorry, but no, again. My favorite childhood memories include sitting in bars in Erie, drinking scotch out of my sippy cup. And I turned out just fine.

"A big, fat Monday moan to the idiot driving the dark SUV who nearly caused several accidents on northbound Interstate 271 while playing road-rage games with the silver PT Cruiser." -- Broadview Heights

Uh... you didn't call 911, you called Monday Moaning? Here is another fun number to call: 1-800-GRAB-DUI. Just tell them you saw them driving erratically and you think they might be drunk. I've gotten some good results with that one! It is the number I call when I get cut off or get the finger. Because only a drunk driver would be so impaired to to do something that stupid to me.

"Can someone please tell me why the only tomatoes I can find in the stores are grown in either Mexico, Canada or Holland? Don't we grow any in the U.S.A. anymore?" -- Seven Hills

Be patient. It is barely spring, and you want fresh local produce? Here is an interesting article I found on tomatoes. Also, Florida apparently has strict rules about selling less-than-perfect looking tomatoes out-of-state during the winter. So, unless you have something against Mexicans, Canadians or the Dutch, enjoy your tomatoes -- and remember how just a couple of generations ago you'd be eating your tomatoes out of a jar this time of year.

"The adults who stole the money for Operation Rice Bowl from the first-graders at St. Stanislaus. They raised that money for the poor, even poorer than they are." -- Cleveland

I'd talk to that first moaner... I think she paid her Citicard bill in nickels after the last Sunday morning phone call she received.

"I can't imagine why the Garfield Heights mayor, the city planners and others would allow workers to start construction on Transportation Boulevard on the opening weekend of City View Plaza." -- Garfield Heights

All I can tell you is that Garfield Heights is a backwards little burb. I once got a speeding ticket there and had to go to their court. It was a harrowing experience. I am too emotionally scarred to go into all the details here, but I assume that it is somehow NAFTA related, that we have Mexican law enforcement north of the border right here in Garfield Heights.

"I hate when salesmen call me young lady.' I'm 67 years old. I'm not a young lady. I know it, and they know it. I find it insulting." -- Willoughby

You thought you were insulted before, you just wait till they call you what they REALLY WANTED to call you, you shrivelled up old bat.

"Ninety percent of waiting rooms have TV sets, and it's impossible to read. Why can't they provide a quiet waiting room?" -- Lorain

What, you can't read if the TV is on? Seriously? And you want a special accommodation? I have one for you -- go stand outside with the smokers.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

to moan, perchance to talkback

Cleveland.com has this week's Monday Moaning available online.  Yay.