Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gmail was down...

If you tried to email me between 8:30 and 3:30 today, I didn't get it.
 

Why Buy Milk at the Store...

... when you can buy it Amazon.

Read some of the comments. Looks at the customer pictures uploaded by the happy milk drinkers. Priceless.

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Tuesday Talkback

The more they moan, the more I talk back.

"With warm weather soon to arrive, the peace and quiet of winter will be shredded by loud motorcycles on our streets. It seems there are no legal limits on how loud these vehicles can be, or else the police are not enforcing the law. After all, it's not as if these loud bikes are hard to find." - Willoughby

Oh, summertime brings out all the worst things. Children playing in the streets, insects, and motorcycles. And people wearing too little clothing needing to cover up. And finally, all these things combined into one glorious display of bad taste. With a plastic American flag on top, made in China, of course.

"I gave Christmas presents to my mailman and snowplow man and haven't seen either one of them since." - Lyndhurst

Fruitcake will do that. I understand that neither of them have been more than 20 feet from the bathroom since Christmas. Thanks to you.

"With the melting of the snow, it's so nice to see all the litter The Plain Dealer delivery guy has left behind this winter." - North Olmsted

Next time give him a fruitcake for Christmas.

"I was sickened by the sight of all of those dead butterflies in The PD on Thursday. How can Connie Hurt kill so much beauty? And she says she likes butterflies so much? That's like selling fur coats and professing to love animals." - Cleveland

No, it really isn't. Ms. Hurt catches butterflies for museums and for educational purposes. And for collectors, yes. How can Connie Hurt kill so much beauty? With a kill jar.

"I can't seem to shake that sad feeling when I didn't receive a 'Happy St. Patrick's Day' greeting from the front page of my Plain Dealer on March 17. Where's the love?" - North Royalton

Maybe they are saving it for April Fools Day, fool.

"The names of concealed-carry permit holders are printed every month, but we cannot see who are the habitual drunk drivers amongst us. Who puts the public at greater risk and causes more deaths?" - LaGrange Township

I guess you've never noticed those yellow and red license plates. Guns, when used as intended, kill. Alcohol and automobiles, when used as intended, do not.

"To the reader from Medina, who blasted the American 'idiots' who drive foreign cars: First, if you are not a Native American Indian, then you are made with 'foreign' parts yourself, aren't you? Second, there is no such thing anymore as a 100 percent American car. The Big Three American auto companies buy and install parts made in other countries, and they even have assembly plants outside the U.S. Chrysler Corp. is owned by Daimler Benz. How American is that? Most of the merchandise we buy in America is not made in America. Do you know where those cute little car magnets that say 'Support our Troops' and 'Buy American' are made? Check the labels. They are all made in China or other Asian nations. The global economy is here to stay. Get used to it. American products have an enormous market in foreign countries too." - Twinsburg

Silly American, you were made with foreign parts. Yer mother works on an assembly line.

"I recently attended the Smucker's Stars on Ice on March 16 at the Quicken. Patrons who have loges need to learn manners. If you wanted to watch a basketball game on TV, why didn't you just stay home? Your TV, loud voices and screaming children affected people seated up to 10 rows below your loge trying to see and hear the skaters, the music and enjoy the moment. Your rude behavior spoiled the show for many people seated in section 106. I paid a great deal of money to take my sister to this show to help celebrate her 85th birthday. Shame on you for almost spoiling this night for her and myself. Just because you can afford a loge, doesn't mean you can be rude and boorish to the rest of the people that have come to the event. Again I say: 'Shame on you!' Thanks for letting me get this off my chest." - South Euclid

Instead of letting some loud idiot ruin your night, you should have alerted an usher. Sitting there suffering, and doing nothing about it, that is your fault. Doesn't excuse the boorish behavior behavior behind you, but don't act like you couldn't have done anything about it.

"My moan is with the bearded public speakers. The deaf and hard of hearing cannot read their messages." - North Olmsted

????? I think this means... the deaf have a hard time reading their lips? I have a beard. Does this mean I am insensitive to the deaf? I never thought of it like that. Depending on where they are speaking, wouldn't there be sign language interpreters? I know a couple of you who read the Talkback know sign language ... what do you say?

"My moan is every parent's moan who has a child that rides a bus to and from school. When the lights flash yellow, slow down, they're going to turn red soon. If you see a parent and children at a corner, you can pretty much guarantee it must be a bus stop. You don't just ignore all of the above and keep driving at the same amount of speed and wave at the bus driver as you pass by. If it was the other way around, you'd be the one yelling the loudest. It may be early but you have to follow the law!" - Olmsted Falls

If I see a parent and child standing at a corner, I figure someone is getting pimped out. This is the difference between Olmsted Falls and Cleveland.

"I am paying over $50 monthly for cable, yet there is not one uninterrupted or commercial-free movie channel. When I first allowed myself to be talked into signing up, there were two such channels (AMC and Independent Films) in addition to WOR (Mets, Knicks) and a Canadian Station (Expos, etc.), all for under $12 per month." - Cleveland Heights

It doesn't matter how much you pay -- you aren't going to see the Expos any more.

"Shame on Sam Fulwood. In his column he referred to his wife as 'the wife.' What happened to 'my wife' or just calling her by name. I thought 'the wife' went out with the term 'the little woman.' Clearly Mr. Fulwood needs to wake up and smell the Millennium." - South Euclid

Is there really a Sam Fulwood? Or is there just a random phrase generator that spits out columns for the PD? Just tweak the variables for different bylines. Add coffee talk for Regina Brett, add Geritol for Feagler, add banality for Fulwood.

"I could share our president and vice president's conviction of this war in Iraq, if their daughters would volunteer for many tours of duty to serve or die or get crippled for their country in Baghdad. It is easy for them to send other Americans into harm's way." - Aurora

Oh, this is so tired. I can't believe there are people who aren't supporting the war that would suddenly support if only the president's children went.

"Why is it that I can spend five days in New York City and not be bothered once by panhandlers, but when I'm on Lorain Avenue between West 131st and Berea Road, I get hit up for money and cigarettes four times in 20 minutes?" - Parma

Well, it all depends on where you are. Not just the city, but where in the city you are. I've been to New York City plenty of times, and I've been hit up by panhandlers there -- but only in certain parts of the city. You probably never went to the part of New York City that is the equivilent of Lorain Ave near West 131st and Berea Road. And when tourists come to Cleveland, they don't go there either.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Mystery

Does anyone know who has the email address michael489@hotmail.com ???

300

I went out with some of the boys in the neighborhood to see 300.  I didn't know the actors, and I avoided reading much of anything on it before I saw it.  I knew there'd be a lot of CGI. 

It was a cross between visual assault and beauty.  Very violent. Very bloody.  Had to be a LOT OF FUN to make. 

I don't think I'll ever be able to watch swords and spears in battle in any other movie and find it realistic or satisfying after seeing 300.  I can hardly imagine it ever looking better or more real than this. 

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Steven Wilson talks to MTV

Porcupine Tree reported on MTV News.
 
excerpt:
 
"I think it's one of the unfortunate things about human nature, that the easier things come to us, the less we tend to appreciate them," he said. "Right now, we have a situation where music is so easily available — and for free — that I don't think people really value it the way I valued music as a kid. If everything is so easily available, it almost becomes white noise, everything from music to movies to pornography, which is a great example. When I was 14, I didn't even know what a naked woman looked like. Now, a 5-year-old can go on the Internet and get access to pornography. It's almost like everything has become so easily accessible that none of it means anything anymore. These kids will grow up without any sense of curiosity or motivation, and they'll grow up without a soul, or a real sense of who they are."

Fear of a Blank Planet, the follow-up to 2005's Deadwing, is a 50-minute suite of six tracks that features guest spots from Rush's Alex Lifeson and King Crimson's Robert Fripp. Wilson said the LP is more potent than any of the Tree's previous offerings. "It's a very intense listen," he admitted. "There isn't really any what you would call 'light relief' on this record in terms of songs you could take out and kind of get played on the radio. It's very intense, it's very dark, and it's really taking the whole idea of album-oriented rock music to the next level.

"It was very much conceived in the way bands used to conceive of records in the '70s, where you've got two sides of vinyl, and you can lay down a piece of music which is around the 50-minute mark, which plays in a continuous way, and deals with the same subject matter, and tried to kind of immerse you in a world for that time. That's always been the Porcupine Tree way, but we've definitely taken it to the next level."
 
He also discusses his recent work on the new Blackfield album (released earlier this month), and an upcoming collaboration with Opeth main man Mikael Åkerfeldt, which should come out in 2008.
 
 

Friday, March 23, 2007

Browns PSLs for sale

Alright, I put them up on ebay.  Here is the listing.
 
I figure with Gina going to grad school in the Fall, I just won't have the time to be at the stadium all those Sundays.  And that would be true, even if the Browns were coming off a winning season and were a favorite to go the Super Bowl.
 
If you know anyone that wants them, send them my link.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Whole Foods University Heights Review

Whole Foods opened yesterday in University Heights.  Gina and I went there last night, Kornells too.  The place was packed.  There was so much to see, so much to sample, so much to take home and try.  The produce was lush and orderly, perfect rows of apples, perfect arrangements of salad greens, pristine and orderly despite all of the foot traffic.  Interestingly, there was a section where you can buy eggs a la carte -- all different kinds of chicken eggs, goose eggs, duck eggs, even emu eggs.  An emu egg is about the size of a mango, and a lot heavier.  I have no idea what one does with an emu egg (make a big omelette, said Gina), but they have them.
 
The cheese selection was incredibly extensive.  It was there that I spoke with Ron -- a Lakewood native who had been living in Chicago for a few years and working at Whole Foods there, and then took this opportunity to move home in order to work at Cleveland's Whole Foods.  He gave me a bit of the rundown about how I should feel free to ask for samples, and if I buy anything off the shelf that I take home and don't like, I should feel free to return it because Whole Foods stands behind what it sells.  
 
There were lots of prepared foods bars.  Olive bar, seafood bar (cold cooked seafood), three different salad-type bars with vegetarian offerings, dessert bar, and something called a "smokehouse bar" which was not set up last night (but it looked like it would be barbeque and pulled meats.)  They had premade sandwiches (the turkey pesto looked very good), fresh hot pizza, sushi, a lot of things we'll probably just have to discovery the next time through.  The meats are all hormone free etc., and they looked fantastic.  The fish market had so much to choose from, I had visions of many evenings of grilling fish, and the meat market had lots of excellent looking meat, pork and chicken sausages, buffalo, excellent cuts of beef and poultry.  There was someone passing out sampled of grilled buffalo sirloin.
 
We ended up buying several small containers of the prepared food items to take home and eat, a sort of Whole Foods tapis dinner.  Crabcakes, cooked fingerling potatoes, smoked mozzarella pasta salad, cold calamari salad, a cold seafood salad, Chesapeake Bay style shrimp (think Old Bay), a selection of olives, cheese, two freshly baked cookies, and a smattering of thing from the vegetarian bar, something curried, some marintated mushrooms, etc.  Most of it was good to very good -- there one item we did not care for was a egg-sized piece of calamari stuffed with crab salad. 
 
They had a great beer selection too.  While I didn't buy any, Brian left with a six pack of Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre.  There appeared to be a great wine selection as well.  In fact, rather than entering the store through the main doors behind Cedar Center, we enter on the Cedar Road side through a single door where the wine was.  We skipped over the wine and moved right into the cheese and produce.
The grocery store aisles were of ample width, and reminded me of Wild Oats in the sense that it had enough items that you could shop there as a primary grocery store.  They had natural and organic foods, and lots of ethnic offereings.  It was one part Wild Oats, one part Giant Eagle Legacy, and one part something new.  Gina spotted some dark chocolate peanut butter, and I put that in the cart.   
 
The parking didn't appear as dicey as I thought it might be.  If you pull into Cedar Center off of Warrensville Center by the Boston Market, that seemed to be the primary parking.  I am not sure if the new parking garage is open yet.  We actually walked over, thinking (1) that would minimize any parking issues for us, (2) it was a beautiful night, and (3) to keep our impulse purchasing to a minimum of what we could carry home.  As it was, after going through the store looking for nothing in particular we managed to leave with three brown bags of items at just under $100.  That included some parm-reg cheese which was on sale for $10.99/lb, and some Scottish smoked salmon which was buy buy-one-get-one-free at $14.99 (we'd sampled it), a box of roasted red pepper tomato soup, organic strawberries and apples, brie and robusto cheeses, various prepared foods, a bottle of lingonberry soda (which Kathleen spotted first and put into her cart), a couple of frozen lunch entres, and a few other delightful things that are all down in the kitchen now.   
 
I lived at Shaker Square when Wild Oats opened there and I remember how excited and enthused I was then, and this shopping experience beat that.  Still, I found myself wondering whether the store would look this great in a few weeks or a few months.  Whether the selection would diminish over time -- how soon do those emu eggs go away?  Will the employees lose their enthusiasm and grow surly?  When do the perfect rows of apples become just a bin?  After just a couple of years, Wild Oats at Shaker Square closed down as part of a "corporate reorganization."  Located at the corner of Cedar and Warrensville, I'd almost expect this store to be placed a little further east, a little closer to 271, like at Legacy Village (except that Giant Eagle is already there.)  And the Tops across the street just happened to disappear while Whole Foods was already under construction, making this the neighborhood grocery now (I otherwise shop at Zagara's on Lee, Heinen's on Green and Giant Eagle at Legacy).  But Whole Foods is obviously bigger than a neighborhood grocery.  It seems like people go out of their way to shop at Trader Joe's, and as people discover Whole Foods, I think and hope they'll do the same.  
 
Reading this over ... I left out the live music, the bagger at checkout who was in from DC for the opening, the array of paper products and vitamins and little bottles of natural holistic health stuff, how every checkout was manned and there was no waiting in line, the 2 for $5 pineapples, the bakery, the 2 for $10 hanging potted plants, the lunch counter by the produce and cheese section (which we didn't get near because it was busy busy busy with people seated and eating.)  And they seemed to have a lot of ice cream, including Woo City, Ben & Jerry's, Haagan-Daz (including the larger containers) and more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Giorgis Is Behind It

Read this article: http://msn.foxsports.com/wcbk/story/6589374

Look at the coach's name.

Yes, it is JD's uncle.

Tuesday Talkback

The certainties in life include death, taxes and Monday Moaning. So once again, I talk back.

"I'm 77 years old, and I've never driven off-road anywhere. Why are all the ads for driving off-road? Who does that?" - Middleburg Heights

In a Buick, no one, except someone who can't see far enough to find the road.

"To the person not leaving tips unless the waitresses ask for separate checks: Speak up and let them know what you want. They can't read your mind." - Parma

Yeah, I made that point two weeks ago. And have you heard about Anna Nicole yet?

"Jeers to the heartless Ashtabula couple who cruelly killed two kittens by tossing them out of a moving car. Their act was criminal, intentional and violent. They should serve more than seven days in jail - it's unfair that people who have committed nonviolent crimes should serve more jail time than this couple. What they did was commit a vicious act against another living being. I would hardly call that a misdemeanor. I also don't think cleaning cages is a worthy punishment where they are exposed to other animals they could harm." - West Park

Here is the story. Animal cruelty is still a misdemeanor in Ohio, though 38 states have stiffer penalties. Too bad they didn't add littering to the charges.

"To the person complaining about RTA bus drivers. I'm an RTA bus driver. It takes a lot of effort to put on the brakes and make it stop smoothly. It also would help if people would have their money ready, their passes ready. It makes us late. We have a schedule to keep. Every moment counts." - Parma


Apparently the BMV doesn't have enough seats for our lazy and incompetent -- the RTA hires some of the overage as drivers. Tell me, how do the riders having their money and passes ready improve your ability to bring the bus to a safe stop? I missed that connection.

"I want to moan about drivers who don't turn their lights on. If the sun's not out, turn your lights on. No one can see you when it's snowing." - Willowick


Then how do you know they're there?

"My moan is about idiot Americans driving foreign cars. Shame on you! Buy American! All of you are being fooled by that foreign garbage. American cars are much better, and they support American jobs." - Medina


The last American car I owned was made in Mexico. The only American job I was supporting with it was my mechanic's.

"Why is it that cities' safety directors hire retired police officials? Why not clergy or successful businessmen rather than having police watch police? You have a 'fox in charge of the hen house' situation." - Parma


Because former police officers tend to be more familiar with the duties of city safety director than say, "clergy or successful businessmen" -- both of whom probably have neither the desire nor the qualifications to serve in such capacity.

"What kind of world do we live in where a mother can afford 9 ounces of cocaine but can't afford child safety seats for her children? Then she crashes and they are hurt or killed." - Painesville Township


Earth.

"Cleveland has been embarrassed several times by drunken sports fans through the years. And now the Indians are going to sell 24-ounce beers. You're crazy to sell a big beer like that in this city, with these fans." - Cleveland


A few childish offenders should not punish us all. But jeez, I hate to think what a 24 ounce beer will cost at the Jake.

"You can't walk into a bank to get change for even a dollar, unless you have an account with them. What is this country coming to? I saw a lady try to get change for $5 so she could put in bus fare. Someone on the street had to give her change. Someone out there should make them change this policy. It stinks!" - Cleveland


The bank is there for its customers. The bank is not required to make change for anyone who just happens to come in off the street and isn't a customer of the bank. Nor should they be required. How about if I came to your place of work and made you do something for me free of charge and without your consent?

"I wish the meteorologists would stick to being professional. Case in point, one of the male meteorologists was worried about 'hat hair' during the cold spell. And it was a real laugh to me because he doesn't even have much hair. He knows who he is." - Avon Lake


I wish the moaners would stick to their petty little grievances instead of making fun of the bald.

"The nine-story Euclid Medical Plaza building had none of three elevators working on Friday morning. Patients had to walk to a connected office building where only one elevator was working or give up their doctor appointments with a possible cancellation charge." - Euclid

I suppose you think they shut off the elevators just to inconvenience you? Yeah, it sucks, but as soon as you mentioned that the building was in Euclid, well, didn't that just say it all?

"I never realized how many crabby, cranky people lived in my city until I started following this feature regularly. Please move away. I like my town." - Middleburg Heights


Ha, yes. please! Move away! Run away!!! Toledo would be a good place for them.

"In order to get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, did we make a deal that said all inductee ceremonies would be held in New York? Whoever was involved with getting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame building in Cleveland should've made it clear that all inductee ceremonies would beheld in Cleveland, Ohio, like it should be. It's a slap in the face of Cleveland every time everyone reads about the inductee ceremonies happening in New York when the Rock and Roll Hall is located in Cleveland! As long as we permit such behavior, our city will continue to have a bad stigma associated with it - if we don't think our city is good enough for inductee ceremonies, who will? I'm sure it wouldn't kill the 'stars' to travel just a little farther to reach the true Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!" - Cleveland

The Rock Hall is joke, period. Latest example: check out this recent article about how chairman Jann Wenner ignored the final vote this year and unilaterally inducted Grandmaster Flash instead of The Dave Clark Five which got more votes.

"I'm tired of morning newspaper carriers driving on the wrong side of the street into oncoming traffic with their headlights on every morning. It's not only inconsiderate but dangerous and illegal as well. I guess some idiots think that they get special privileges." - Cleveland

Some idiots do, yes.

"My moan is the post office. When we had that big snowstorm in February, we didn't get mail for three days. I've identified five pieces of mail that I never got, that I know about. Where did these go?If they couldn't make it one day, deliver it the next! I had to call all these places to get the correct payment amount and address to mail to. When you call, they don't care. Their answer is to get a P.O. box. Well, I'm sorry but I'm not spending money to have to go pick up mail that they are supposed to deliver for the cost of a stamp!" - No city

Try paying your bills online, sucka.

"I could share our president's and vice president's conviction of this war in Iraq if their daughters would volunteer for three tours of duty to serve or die and get crippled for their country in Baghdad. It is easy for them to send other Americans into harm's way." - Aurora

Man is that old. And if Jenna went to Baghdad, you'd suddenly support the war? I'm so sure.

"To all Cleveland TV meteorologists who never notify Lorain residents of approaching storms until they have completely passed over us." - Lorain

That is funny, isn't it? Whenever they tell us a storm is coming, they show us the radar about how it is right over Lorain now! Maybe you need some Toledo channels.

"Bus stops usually have free newspaper boxes, but some people glance at the papers and leave them on the bench. Take it with you or at least leave it on the bus! Left in the bus stop, they just blow into the street, which is unsightly yet so easy to avoid. Other people will more likely grab themselves a new one from the box." - Cleveland

If you leave them on the bus, those RTA drivers will have something new to blame for their inability to properly drive the bus. Just try it and see.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm sick

but this is sicker.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Phone Call

Its me.  I'm in a rental car heading to Pittsburgh.  I need directions from the Trioboro bridge.  Yeah.  To Pittsburgh.  Well, its me, and this guy, and this woman who was just telling her father our names in case anything happens.  I gave her my card, uh huh.  So... I agree, we don't want to drive through Manhattan.  Right.  We are heading for the Triboro.  Take that to the Major Deegan, and look for the signs for the George Washington Bridge.  Right.   Yes.  Then what?  Toward Trenton on 95?  Yes, ok.  Yes, our flights all were cancelled.  This woman is a stewardess, flew here from London, trying to get to Cleveland.  We're going to rent another car when we get to Pittsburgh, because this guy is only going to Pittsburgh.  We met up at the rental counter.  Yeah.  From 95 take 78 across Jersey and into Pennsylvania.  We asked for a loaded SUV but all they had was this Hyundai.  We're going to pass Reading and Allentown.  Yeah, we're planning on going to the parade tomorrow.  What are your plans?  Well, we'll be in the car for awhile, no doubt.  78 merges into 81 toward Harrisburg.  And then this Breezewood jog thing?  Have I been to Breezewood? Of course I have.  Well, get off 81 at Exit 52 and follow the signs to 76 -- and its the PA Turnpike all the way to Pittsburgh then.  Ok, sounds good.  We're renting another car when we get to Pittsburgh.  This woman, is she from Cleveland.  No, Pennsylvania.  Conneaut Lake or Conneautville, like our Conneaut but on the other side?  Really?  You're related to everybody in Crawford County PA.  She doesn't know your name.  That's alright.  I don't know what we're doing tomorrow after the parade.  Alaina has this class she is teaching, but after that, I don't know.  I'll call tomorrow when I get into town.  Say hi to Gina.  If you don't hear from me, you can always write a story about this.  I dunno, just make something up about the other people.  Yeah alright.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Give Till It Hurts

Having recently delivered my 2006 financial information to my accountant, I noticed that my charitable giving for 2006 had dropped off from 2005.  I resolved that I would rectify that in 2007.  I have the Salvation Army truck coming next week to pick up several bags of clothes I no longer wear.  But not to be outdone, in just the last three days, I've received emails from three different friends soliciting sponsorship for three different charity events to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, pediatric AIDS, and breast cancer research.  Keep them coming, folks.  It is great getting to itemize!  The trick is keeping track of everything and not leaving anything out when it comes time to file for 2007.

Far Cry

(best guess at the lyrics...)
 
Pariah dogs and wandering madmen
Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues
The ebb and flow of tidal fortune
Electrical changes are charging up the young

It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit
It's a far cry from the way we thought we'd share it
You can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowin'

One day I feel I'm on top of the world
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on, I can get back on
One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel
And the next it's rollin' over me
I can get back on, I can get back on

Whirlwind life of faith and betrayal
Rising angle, fall back and repeat
Slow degrees on the dark horizon
Full moon rising lays silver at your feet

It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit
It's a far cry from the way we thought we'd share it
You can almost feel the current flowing
You can almost see the circuits blowin'

One day I feel I'm on top of the world
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on, I can get back on
One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel
And the next it's rollin' over me
I can get back on, I can get back on

It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit
(You can almost see the serpent growin')
(You can almost feel the planets glowin')

One day I feel I'm on top of the world
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on, I can get back on
One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel
And the next it's rollin' over me
I can get back on, I can get back on

One day I fly through a crack in the sky
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on, I can get back on

 
-- Neil Peart

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday Talkback

What a bum crop of moaners this week to talk back to.

"Here is some advice for my whining co-workers. If you don't like your job, quit!" - Cleveland

There is a lot to be said for quitting, for freeing yourself of a lousy situation. But why do I think this guy is the one who sits in his cubicle clipping his toenails?

"To the person not leaving tips unless the waitresses ask for separate checks: Nobody wants you to come into the restaurant in the first place. If you don't want to tip, just don't come in in the first place. They work hard for their money. Don't go out to eat. Stay out of restaurants." - No city

This dead horse has been beaten to horse jerky over the last few weeks, and for good reason -- there are still idiots like Mr. Pink who don't tip and come with elaborate traps to justify not tipping. Maybe these people should get special license plates too.

"People who choose to live along the river do so to enjoy the view. They also know they will be flooded out from time to time. They should repay the government for any money they receive to help them." - Beachwood

That assumes the government should even come out and help them in the first place. But that is easier to say in the abstract than to actually apply it in real life. Unless the flood is caused by Hurricane Katrina. Then you pat each other on the back for doing a helluva job while people remain sitting on their rooftops.

"When is Wickliffe going to do something about the slum area in the middle of town. It's been 10 years now, and they're not doing anything about it." - Wickliffe

What do you propose they do? Offer them all low rent apartments in Euclid?

"It's bad enough that baseball players do it, now golfers have taken to spitting chewing tobacco. It's disgusting." - Rocky River

I'm surprised it has not enjoyed a resurgance in bars and restaurants -- now that we are "smoke free." Replace those ashtrays with spittoons! But let's call them "cuspidors" -- it is a more elegant word.

"The TV stations' snowstorm coverage scares us to death. They start it two days early and it never stops! Stop it! Please!" - No city

The media doesn't make the snow storm -- they just report it. Now turn off your TV and pull those covers high above your head.

"I'm bothered by all the incorrect grammar and misused words in the media and in ordinary conversations. People string words together that don't make any sense . . . like 'went missing.' Nobody went missing. They are missing or were missing." - Moreland Hills

Ah, here you stepped right into the thick of a growing debate about an increasing popular usage of "went" and "missing." Google it, and you'll see. It seems that the term "went missing" originated in England, where they have been using it a long time. And while your position is technically correct, I think saying that someone "went missing" or that something has "gone missing" conveys a different meaning than just saying that someone or something is "missing" or "disappeared." My cat, Kerrey, is missing. She went missing last May. Perhaps it is safe to say she is now lost. I guess I could say she disappeared last May. Perhaps she went hunting. Or went swimming and drowned. Or went crazy. If the British are saying it, that is good enough for me. English is not a dead language, and this is something I can embrace.

"Last fall, I paid the city of Euclid to have my driveway plowed. Unfortunately, when I needed them, they didn't show up." - Euclid

And instead of calling the city, your mayor or a member of city council, you called Monday Moaning. Good thing the weather warmed up, huh?

"I have two gripes. One is with those homeowners who throw snow into the street, especially after the street crews have gone to all the trouble of clearing their street. Most of the offenders are using snow blowers, and those can be angled so that the snow is thrown onto the area on either side of the driveway. The other gripe is with all those inconsiderate smokers. It is bad enough that they pollute the air we breathe as well as their lungs, but they so very often are standing right outside the doorways, making it virtually impossible to walk by them without breathing in those deadly poisons they are exhaling! And then they almost always throw their cigarette butts on the ground to boot!" - Strongsville

What's up with this two moans for the price of one? Can we have a little decorum please? Then again, if these are your only two gripes in the world, life must be pretty good, huh? Here is something to think about, Strongsville. Whether or not people are smoking, they are exhaling all of the time, and you are breathing in their air. Maybe you can't see it or smell it when it isn't full of smoke, but that air has been inside of them, through their filthy mouths and noses, deep inside their germ-infested little bodies, and then back out into the air -- where YOU will breath it in next. You may as well swap spit with every homeless man you pass on the street. And god forbid you ever touch a door know, or push a cart at the grocery store, or touch the buttons on an elevator -- especially at a medical center -- all those people are sick!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Far Cry - the New Rush

Rush's new album, Snakes and Arrows, won't be released till May 1. But you can hear the first track, Far Cry, by streaming audio at rush.com.

You can also buy the single on iTunes or Napster.

Of course, that is no substitute for buying the album -- but it isn't for sale till May 1.

Amazon sets forth this track listing:

1. Far Cry
2. Armor and Sword
3. Workin' Them Angels
4. Larger Bowl
5. Spindrift
6. Main Monkey Business
7. Way the Wind Blows
8. Hope
9. Faithless
10. Bravest Face
11. Good News First
12. Malignant Narcissism
13. We Hold on


And THIS JUST IN -- while no tour dates have been officially announced -- Ticketmaster lists the Cincinnati date as September 1. Hmmmm, a Saturday night show in Cinci in September on Labor Day weekend.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Big Ol Porcupine Tree Show

I have tix for Gina and me. MDC, Mel and ESC have their tix. Betty and Phil, too. Haves has to have his by now, and Big George got his. From rushtour.com, Xana from Tampa got his and is flying up. Bardan and Arc are coming up from Cinci, RC from Springfield. That's 13 of us so far... who else?

Tickets still on sale at Ticketmaster -- May 18 at House of Blues: Porcupine Tree.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Know Your Rights, All Three of Them

I saw this post today, and I wanted to post a comment there, but I didn't.

I was tempted to write something snarky like "I hate welfare in Ohio, too -- so let's get rid of it." But that isn't really how I feel. Welfare should exist and be available as a temporary measure, just not a way of life. But that said, I just cannot sympathize with someone complaining about how much harder it is to get foodstamps in Ohio compared with her experience getting foodstamps in New York.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fear of a Blank Planet

Sunlight
Coming through the haze
No gaps in the blinds
To let it inside
The bed is unmade
Some music still plays

TV
Yeah it’s always on
A flicker of a screen
A movie actor screams
I’m basking in the shit
Flowing out of it

I’m stoned
In the mall again
Terminally bored
Shuffling round the stores
And shoplifting is getting
So last years thing

X-box
Is a god to me
My finger on the switch
My mother is a bitch
My father gave up
Ever trying to talk to me

Don’t try
Engaging me
The vaguest of shrugs
The prescription drugs
You’ll never find
The person inside

My face
Is Mogadon
Curiosity
Has given up on me
I’m tuning out his eyes
The pills are on the rise

How can I be sure I’m here?
Pills that I’ve been taking confuse me
I need to know that someone sees them
There’s nothing left, I simply am not here

I’m through
With pornography
The acting is lame
The action is tame
Explicitly dull
Arousal is null

Your mouth
Should be boarded up
Talking all day
With nothing to say
Your shallow proclamations
All this information (all misinformation)

My friend
Says he wants to die
He’s in a band
They sound like Pearl Jam
The clothes are all black
The music is crap

In school
I don’t concentrate
The sex is kind of fun
But just another one
All of the empty ways
Of using up a day

How can I be sure I’m here?
The pills that I’ve been taking confuse me
I need to know that someone sees them
There’s nothing left, I simply am not here

Bipolar disorder
Can’t feel the border
Bipolar disorder
Can’t feel the border

Don't try and feel like you don’t mind
You feel no sun
You steal a gun
To kill time

Somewhere you know where, you don’t care
Catch the breeze
It still leads
To nowhere

-- Steven Wilson

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Tuesday Talkback

Every Monday, they PD readers phone in and moan. Every Tuesday, I blog and talk back.

"The mayor closes a police station be cause Cleveland is now smaller, but keeps the size of City Council the same." - Cleveland

It isn't up to the Mayor to decide the size of city council.

"I'm calling about the drivers who honk at the elderly people walking in the street because of the snow and ice. If an elderly person falls on the sidewalk, he could get seriously hurt. Have respect for the elderly." - Cleveland

And if an elderly person falls in the street...? Are they "daring you to hit them with your car"? (Wait for it.)

"I feel so much better knowing that the big news of last Monday's paper was that Al Sharpton's great-grandfather was a slave to Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather. I know this is going to make me sleep much better." - Lakewood

I found the use of the surprise twist ending to be a welcome addition to Black History Month.

"Why can't or won't RTA drivers come to a stop without slamming on the breaks. People who are standing are nearly thrown to the floor. If you say anything to the bus driver, you are libel to get a very snide remark." - Westlake

It is good to know that all the people at the PD who work on this feature understand what "libel" is. When they get promoted, this could prove to be especially entertaining.

"When I go to a restaurant with another person, or with my husband and another couple, the waitress should ask if we want separate checks. If she does not ask, she does not get a tip. Not that we are cheap, just that it's much easier for all of us all the way around if she asks." - No city

Let me ask you this. When it comes time to place your order, do you have your waitress guess what you want to eat? No? Well, if you can tell your waitress that you want a patty melt with hash browns instead of fries, then you can tell her that you want separate checks.

"I was notified via telephone that Barack Obama would be in town. I'm a 57-year-old man, and I didn't know that you had to go online to get the free tickets. I guess I'm a little bit old-fashioned and things are done a little differently these days." - Shaker Heights

If you think going online to get tickets is scary, just wait till the next time you try to vote.

"I was one of the 17,000 people who spent an evening with Joel Osteen. It was really like a church service. It was out of place to see people come in with their popcorn, nachos and beverages. People need to have more common sense and consideration." - Cleveland

Uhhhh, Joel Osteen and his traveling mega-church show appeared at the Quicken Loans Arena -- and you wonder why there were nachos and popcorn? Just like all other Q events? I should hope there was also beer!

"Why should I clean off my side walks when the kids in my neighborhood don't use them. Spring, summer, fall they walk in the middle of the street, disrupting traffic and daring you to hit them with your car. No thank you." - Garfield Heights

Ohhhh, there we go. Kids who walk in the street are daring you to hit them, while the elderly who walk in the street, we are supposed to respect them. I have trouble keeping all of the straight. How am I supposed to tell when I am running someone over just how old they are, especially this time of year when everyone is all bundled up?

"I am so tired of traffic lights that are supposed to be vehicle-actuated but are malfunctioning and no one will fix them. I'm also tired of seeing Cleveland police officers going through these red lights because they don't feel like waiting for them to turn green. Right through the red light - no siren, no lights, no nothing. If John Q. Public has to stop for these lights, then police cars should, too. And don't tell me that they're on a 'call' because after they run the light, they aren't going any faster than they were before they went through the light. Disgusting!" - Parma

I've never seen a Cleveland Police car run a red light without flashing its lights first, but it wouldn't surprise me. Nothing would surprise me about the Cleveland Police anymore except if someone were to finally crack down on them.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ <--- this means the below moans didn't make the paper, and are bonus moans available exclusively on cleveland.com -- and if a 57 year old from Shaker can't figure out how to go online to get Obama tickets....

"In stores, why do people try to push their way through a group of people like Earnest Byner going for a touchdown instead of using their head and moving to another aisle? In some cases, I have been standing less than an inch from a wall and people have been trying to get though the gap between me and the wall. I'm in my 80s and see no reason to move for someone a quarter of my age, even if they do say, 'Excuse me.' " - Lorain

If someone is crashing down the aisle like Earnest Byner, that means he'll probably drop a loaf of bread right before reaching the check out. But maybe they are in that aisle because that aisle has the groceries they need too. Ever think of that? Tell me -- when you are driving your Buick down the street, do you ever wonder why the honking line of traffic building up behind you just didn't take another road instead?

"It's hard to understand why citizens and Congress subsidize bloated government and educational programs and agencies yet allow the manufacturing sector - the engine that drives the economy - to collapse. We should be building factories instead of stadiums. We waste the taxes taken in and farm out the manufacturing needed to generate taxes. What are they thinking?" - North Ridgeville

If the manufacturing sector needs to be propped up by the government then NEWSFLASH it isn't the engine that drives the economy.

"The Cuyahoga Falls Y has large windows so neighbors get to see their patrons exercising all day long. It would be nice if we could see someone clearing the snow from the public sidewalks around the Y. Every winter, they leave their sidewalks snow-covered and that's not very neighborly." - Cuyahoga Falls

On next year's YMCA winter class schedule: spinning meets twice a week, yoga meets three times a week, shoveling meets as needed. Riiiiight.

"I'm so sick of hearing about the Gravelles' bad parenting. What about the agency that allowed them to foster too many kids, especially with special needs? My sister had to jump through hoops to adopt a child. Isn't that agency to blame in the first place?" - North Olmsted

In the first place? No! When an individual commits a crime, he is to blame in the first place. Not the government. Not that someone didn't screw the pooch here, allowing this to develop and happen. But you can see it, can't you? One couple, willing to take all these kids that no one else wants? Amazing there wasn't a whole barn out back.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Your Daddy...

...took a raincheck.




(just for Gina.)




Thursday, March 01, 2007

PORCUPINE TREE back in CLEVELAND May 18

The greatest band of the 21st century returns to Cleveland on May 18 at the House of Blues.

from www.porcupinetree.com

Porcupine Tree are happy to announce the US/Canada leg of the Fear of a Blank Planet tour (the first of two PT North American tours this year):

Tue 08 May - SEATTLE, WA - SHOWBOX
Wed 09 May - PORTLAND, OR - ALADDIN
Fri 11 May - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - WARFIELD
Sat 12 May - LOS ANGELES, CA - AVALON
Sun 13 May - ANAHEIM, CA - GROVE OF ANAHEIM
Tue 15 May - BOULDER, CO - FOX THEATRE
Thu 17 May - CHICAGO, IL - PARK WEST
Fri 18 May - CLEVELAND, OH - HOUSE OF BLUES
Sat 19 May - NY, NY - NOKIA THEATER
Tue 22 May - BALTIMORE, MD - RAM'S HEAD
Wed 23 May - PHILADELPHIA, PA - ELECTRIC FACTORY
Fri 25 May - BOSTON, MA - ROXY
Sat 26 May - MONTREAL - SPECTRUM DE MONTREAL
Sun 27 May - QUEBEC - SALLE ALBERT - ROUSSEAU
Mon 28 May - TORONTO, ON - DANFORTH MUSIC HALL

HELL YES!

If there is just one concert you go to this year, you could do no better than this one.