Saturday, January 30, 2010

Porcupine Tree Tour Forum

Announcing! The new Porcupine Tree Tour Forum:

Brought to you by the same fine folks who brought you the forum.

Check it out!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Talkback

These moaners have a fever, and the only prescription is more talkback.

"This would be a better world if Noah would have left only one Republican for the ark."
-- Willoughby

This would be a better world -- without dissent.  Nice.  Without the party of Lincoln.  Fantastic.  Without the party of Strom Thurmond.  Oh, well both parties would be gone then.  Without Glenn Beck.  Oh, well, um... got me there.  

"Isn't it about time the politicians do what's right for the country and not their party? The way it's going now one party could have a cure for cancer and the other party would veto it."
-- Cleveland

Somehow America became the greatest country in the world having, throughout most of its history, a two party political system.  And let's be fair here -- if one party did have the cure for cancer, the other wouldn't veto it -- instead they'd just spend a lot of money and effort convincing people that having cancer is an essential part of freedom.  The Founding Fathers didn't have a cure for cancer, after all. 

"Everybody is trying to pass laws about people using cell phones and texting. Yet at the auto show for 2010 you can get computers in your dashboard. I don't get it."
-- No city

For the same reason we have speed limits and make cars that exceed them -- the auto manufacturers are giving us what we want.

"More red lights should be blinking after 11 p.m. We could save a lot of gas not sitting at some of these lights."
-- Cleveland

I don't know how much gas you'll save -- if you are going to come to a complete stop before proceeding. But being a sitting target on an empty street late at night in a bad part of town seems like a better reason.  And also just to save time.  Of course, blinking red lights would probably cut into the revenue for the city -- so we can't have that.

"I was disgusted to read The Plan Dealer article regarding Prashant Chopra's probation for failing to register as a sexual predator. Frankie Goldberg is right: 'No one is above the law.' Judge Stuart Friedman likens his failure to register as sexual predator to 'forgetting to send a relative a birthday card.' Friedman's decision to let Chopra remain free was 'based on fairness, not special treatment.' I don't think so. As a mother of four children, this article really hit me hard. Why do judges such as Friedman refuse to protect our children?"
-- Westlake

Here is the article.  Are judges obligated to child-proof the world?  This guy was convicted as a result of a sting operation.  No actual child was hurt.  According to the article, this guy moved from Cleveland Heights to the Warehouse District downtown -- and nowhere near Westlake.  If this guy were coming for your kids in Westlake, what is registering his present address downtown going to change?  The law, such as it is, should be followed -- but think, Westlake moaner. 

"Regarding the article about Bill Mason and his 'former' employee: So, Bill Mason sees no ethical problem with an ex-employee receiving over $1 million in no-bid contracts? Just how is anyone to believe that this wasn't more of the pay-to-play corruption that has stymied this county? This, coupled with the article a few months back where Bill Mason's current employees have 'contributed' over $100,000 to his campaign, smells of corruption [and] back-door politics."
-- Cleveland Heights

I'm not going to tell you I know something more or something better than what has already been publicly released.  But I will say this: there is a saying that friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.  When you are in public office, especially a high profile office, and especially an office whose very role is to go after crime and corruption, anything that tarnishes your image, especially something that is self-inflicted, that too will accumulate.  It stains you and you wear that stain till the electorate turns to someone fresh and new.   

"Why is the United States Marine Corps sponsoring NBA games on television? Could the money be better spent to help veterans and their families?"
-- Bay Village

No.  It is called marketing.  They need fresh blood. 

"With a 6-to-1 ratio of unemployed vs. jobs available, why is anybody (Sen. George Voinovich and others) talking once again about raising the age you can collect Social Security? Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. The young begrudge us our jobs. The government begrudges us our Social Security. All wrapped up in a recession that forces early retirement and financial ruin."
-- Euclid

Want to rethink those death panels, anyone?  Just for this moaner?

Social security was never a retirement plan.  It was only supposed to keep the oldest among us, those whose long lives exceeded the typical life span yet were physically unable to labor, from being completely destitute.   

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Talkback

A later edition, but still talking back to those Monday Moaners.

"I want to moan about the most powerful radio station we have in the Cleveland area where a talk show host just decided yesterday that we should not contribute to the Haiti disaster. He thinks we should contribute to local funds. At a time like this when we are seeing all the tragic things in Haiti, it is a time when we should all do what we can to help those people, and be thankful for what we have."
-- Avon

Triv needs to hang it up. I wrote an extensive comment about that on WTAM's message board, and it has received little response. But there doesn't seem to be much traffic over there -- mostly just Gary the Numbers Guy flaming everyone who disagrees with him and his numerology. More on the sad state of local radio below.

"I am so tired of neighbors who are so selfish that they can't extend some help for elderly people removing their snow."
-- Middleburg Heights

Shoveling your elderly neighbor's snow is a fine thing to do. Your elderly neighbor getting an uppity feeling of entitlement over getting his or her snow shoveled by you is not so fine. Grandpa Grouch here scared off his grandkids, and now wants his neighbors to shovel his snow -- but if you do, you better stay off his lawn.

"I wish a few TV meteorologists would learn how to dress professionally. The men do a terrific job, with shirt, tie and jackets. There are a few women who like to wear miniskirts, and how can we concentrate on the forecast when that's what they are wearing?"
-- Avon

There is a storm brewing. In this guy's pants. And did you feel that? It was a low, coming from this blog.

"I wish charities would stop sending me the return address labels and other items. When I donate to a charity, I don't expect something in return to me. This is a waste on their part. The other day I got four solicitations in my mail. I can't contribute to everyone who sends me things."
-- Seven Hills

Yet if these charities send out nothing to market themselves, they get forgotten. They do it because it works.

"Why can't the cemeteries in the Greater Cleveland area and in Northeast Ohio have a computer like the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman has? You just put in the person's name and it tells you the lot number and the section. It's so easy and so convenient."
-- Seven Hills

Why stop there? How about webcams, so we can safely watch the zombies?

"Pat Robertson is an idiot for saying that the Haitian earthquake disaster was caused by a deal between the devil with the Haitian people."
-- North Olmsted

Pat Robertson is an idiot for many other reasons besides that, and he is followed by idiots who throw money at him every time he spouts off.

"I'm just wondering what exactly are Republicans in Congress doing? Other than wringing their hands and lamenting their 2008 losses instead of rolling up their sleeves and working toward solving the U.S. financial and real estate problems, the majority of which were caused by the actions or the lack of action by the previous Republican administration."
-- Strongsville

I guess we'll see today whether stonewalling is a better strategy than governing. And by governing, I mean infighting amongst yourselves about how to go about taking up a cause that, in principle, most people generally agree with working on, but fucking it up to such the nth degree that no one can be happy with the end result. It may turn out that the ultimate death panel will convene after today's special election, flanked by a newly elected Senator Brown, to euthanize this generation's efforts at health care reform. And don't be too quick to gloat, Republicans -- remember how Clinton made it work for him.

"It's outrageous enough that the Northeast Sewer District charges us double for the same water when our usage goes over 1.000 MCF's -- $24.78 per .1MCF. Now, they want to charge us for the free stuff that falls from the sky. When will the gouging stop? Whose pockets are these millions of dollars going into?"
-- Cleveland

It seems like the Water and Sewer district will charge whatever they need to charge to meet their budgetary goals, regardless of usage. Conservation is rewarded with higher charges, usage is reward with higher charges. Invest in a rain barrel and a crate of Febreze.

"I would like to send a message to every tall person who blocks my view at a concert and movie theater and uses their cell cameras to constantly take pictures instead of enjoying the live performance. Get a life: Turn off your camera, and look behind you to see if there is something you can do not to block the view of us little people."
-- Olmsted Township

All you tall people, slouch! All you short people, stretch! As part of the vertically advantaged, what can I say, but ...grow? *sigh* that is one of the problems with General Admission, unless you are tall.

"To the two young ladies sitting behind my wife and me at the Cleveland Orchestra concert on Saturday night: Please show respect for your fellow concertgoers and remain silent while the orchestra is performing. If you absolutely must continue to talk during a concert, even in a whisper, show some courtesy to those around you and remain in the lobby until you're ready to sit quietly and listen. Or, better yet, just stay home and talk."
-- Lyndhurst

I hope this person actually DID something about it rather than sit there through the whole show and be miserable. The wife and I had words on Christmas Day with a young lady and her mother at the movie theater as the young lady kept playing with her cell phone, despite the specific announcements in the theater that all phones were to be off. The mother's response was "It's Christmas!" and "you can move if you have a problem with her phone." My response was to get the usher. "It's Christmas!" Really. She said that. It's Christmas, so my undisciplined devil spawn can be rude and break the theater's rules. The usher made it clear that if I had to get him again, they were out. Merry Christmas.

"The weather has been bad the last several days -- cloudy, snowy with low visibility. I never cease to be amazed at how many folks are driving without headlights. Headlights need to be on, not only to see, but to be seen."
-- Brunswick

If you can't see them, how did you see that they couldn't be seen...? OK, ok, this person has a point. Thanks, Safety Dog.

"In response to a gripe regarding the two men shredding Christmas trees along Pearl Road in Strongsville on Dec. 23. I happen to be one of those gentlemen that was working there that day, regrettably doing a job that I was hired to do, even though I didn't agree with what was taking place. I, too, wished the owner would have drastically reduced his prices or better yet donated the remaining trees to a charity. I'm sure a lot of hard-working families wished that they could have enjoyed one of those trees that were so selfishly destroyed. That guy better watch out next Christmas, for that karma bus will be traveling through Strongsville."
-- Strongsville

You just can't get good help these days. You hire some chump to clean up, they moan about it in the paper. Love it.

"Whatever happened to integrity in local support? A number of local Cleveland bands earned the right to go to a competition in Nashville, Tenn. These bands had to hold fund-raising drives through the clubs where they play, which means the patrons who support them on a regular basis (cover charges, buying the bands' CDs, album releases, etc.) again have to come to the rescue. What happened to local commercial radio? The local commercial radio stations have done nothing to support these bands -- no contributions to help defray the travel costs, no airplay of their music, no mention of where to go see the bands -- with the exception of Cleveland college radio. Cleveland likes to still call itself the rock 'n' roll capital of the world. Based on the mentality of local commercial radio, it's a wonder they have any rating at all. You all should get your act together and support locally"
-- Euclid

And that's what makes college radio great.

"What some people don't realize is that Simon Cowell is uniquely qualified to judge on 'American Idol.' While his comments may be harsh, they are right on. The net result was Cowell made talented contestants work harder. The psychology of the challenge to do better works. Let's hope 'Idol' finds someone of Cowell's ilk. Otherwise (with the exception of Randy Jackson), it could be boring."
-- Cleveland

Is this world really so short of catty, bitchy, Englishmen? I'm quite confident there is a robust supply.

"I am completely amazed when I read the paper and see negative stories, editorials and comments regarding the pay, benefits and pensions of teachers, police and firefighters. These hard-working people are criticized for being a drain on the taxpayers and having inflated perks and pay for what they do. Yet, no one ever comments about the sports figures who work maybe four months a year, receive enormous salaries for playing a game and play those games in taxpayer-subsidized palaces. These so-called role models can take drugs, steal, assault people, etc., and they are placed on a pedestal by society. Something is seriously wrong in America when this is what we place value upon."
-- Aurora

I generally agree with the overall point, but I have to burst this one bubble. There are plenty of teachers, cops, and firefighters who take drugs, steal, and assault people. You don't have to play a child's game with a ball to be a reprobate.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Talkback

Time to talk back to more moaners.

"A bah humbug to the two gentlemen on the side of Ohio 42 in Strongsville who were shredding Christmas trees on Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. to close up their business. Could they be so money hungry or hard-hearted that they would rather shred Christmas trees than to give them to needy families or a shelter to distribute? I hope they have a change of heart this year." -- Cleveland

It sure is easy to tell someone else how to conduct their business -- so, allow me.  If you really thought that giving away all of those unsold Christmas trees to a shelter or to charity was such as good idea, why didn't you buy the trees yourself? You could have bid on the whole lot. You could have loaded them on a truck. You could have searched, on the afternoon of the 23rd, for a charity that would accept a truckload of unsold Christmas trees for distribution. Too much work for you? Don't want to spend your money on your great idea? Well, then bah humbug to you!

"Why do we celebrate New Year's? It's just a calendar change." -- Cleveland

Why do we celebrate anything? A birthday? Just a year older. An anniversary just marks another year of bliss or misery. No one says you have to celebrate at all. 

"It's very sad about our state of academics. Last week's 'Academic Challenge' featuring the slightest students. They didn't know the authors of certain books by Washington Irving and Ernest Hemingway. Very sad." -- Lorain

Perhaps students don't need to know about their books for the proficiency test.

"If the residents of Nebraska are so outraged and embarrassed because their senators got them that exemption on the Medicaid health care bill, why don't they just refuse it and go on and pay it like everyone else has to do? They can vote to rescind, it can't they?" -- Cleveland

I highly doubt that Nebraska's exemption will make it to the final bill.

"To the person who wanted to put a logo on the Browns helmets: They had one in the late '40s on their programs. It was called a Brownie." -- No city

The Browns have a logo: the plain orange helmet with brown and white stripe, and gray facemask.  I think it'd be kind of amusing, just once, to send the team out in helmets with an image of an orange helmet on the sides of their orange helmets.

"It's amazing that we can send billions upon billions of dollars all over the world. Now they are talking about sending Yemen billions to fight the terrorists. Billions and billions of dollars for the war. And the people on Social Security can't even get a small raise. What a country." -- No city

Yes, I suppose it is true, that money spent abroad is money not spent at home. That money spent on one thing is not spent on something else. That money spent on wars and to fight terrorists isn't spent on the welfare of seniors. And that all of it comes out of our pockets and the pockets of our children and their children. And it goes into the pockets of interests whose business is made by waging war, who have better lobbyists than you.  What else is new?

"As a taxpayer of Northeast Ohio, I demand -- demand -- that my tax money stop going to pay double-dipping politicians. That is unconscionable. I want it stopped." -- Bay Village

Then as a voter, stop voting for politicians who stick around long enough to double dip, and barring that, vote them out when they do.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tuesday Talkback

A new decade is here. But the Monday moaners keep moaning, and I'm ready to talk back.

“When I worked at a company in Bedford years ago, the IT manager managed to get himself promoted several times and not just because he was efficient at his job. It’s because he delegated a good portion of his day combing through the system, seeing who was sending e-mails, what types of things that were being searched on the Internet and when he brought this to management, there were four employees over the course of eight months that lost their jobs. All you can say is, employee beware.” -- Bedford

So, all those years ago, the IT guy found you searching ebay for high heels in a Mens 13D? Or was it your emails to the latin shemale on backpage? I'm not making judgments, but ... on company time? And years later, still unemployed, and now phoning it in to Monday Moaning? Don't look back in anger, not even at the IT guy who busted you. It'll put worry lines all over your pretty little face.

“Hey, homeowners, believe it or not there are still some of us that like to walk. And sidewalks that are clear of ice and snow would be a great help. Maybe that would have prevented the unfortunate death of that girl in Ashtabula. And I’m not talking about the seniors. I’m talking about the 20-, 30- and 40-year-olds that are fully capable of doing it. Please clear your walks of snow and ice.” -- No city

So... you would exempt the seniors from clearing their walks, but anyone 20 to 40 has to get out and shovel theirs? Well, that's not very helpful, is it? Do you really think that if anyone over the age of 40 doesn't shovel that this will keep the kids from walking in the street, and keep the drunks from driving their SUVs in to them? C'mon. Take a stand. Make granny go out and shovel, and tell her if she doesn't that more children will die. Sick. Better yet, why don't you go shovel her walk for her, and lead by example instead of whining.

“I am sick and tired of these agencies not sharing information, especially when it pertains to security. I think a new rule should be that anything sent to one should be copied to the other one. Happy New Year, if we live that long.” -- Cleveland

"Anything sent to one will be copied to the other one." Just one other one? Do you realize what you are asking for here? And how are you going to enforce this? Have a tip? Notify ALLLLL these agencies.

What I'm sick and tired of are these people who think that if one person dies or get hurt, or indeed, if one plane goes down, that the whole system collapses into failure. That the only way we have "safety" is if we eliminate the slightest possibility of any injuries or fatalities. Forget about flying -- if I were you, I'd not only not fly, but I wouldn't drive either. Did you know that in this country, in the first six months of last year, 16,626 people died in our streets? And that was a decrease from the year before? But you know how apeshit this country would turn if 16,626 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks instead of car accidents. But dead is dead. And you are far more likely to be killed by a middle aged woman in a white SUV who clips you while you are walking down the street, than by a religious zealot with a bomb in his shorts.

“My moan is for the people that call the talk show hosts Mike Trivisonno or Rush Limbaugh and say what a pleasure it is to speak to them and fall all over the host. That’s sickening. Get a life.” -- Cleveland

And yet you tune in and listen. Get a life indeed.

“My moan is with my cell phone company, which wants to charge $1.50 per month for receiving a paper bill. I think that is ridiculous.” -- Parma Heights

For those of you a decade into the new century and still paying bills via snail mail, if the 44 cent postage was not a deterrent, then go right ahead and pay the $1.50 for the more inefficient and resource consuming method of paying your bills. I bet you still use phone books too. How quaint and precious.

“I’m through saying thank you. Definitely through with thank you. All everyone’s response is ‘No problem.’ Was there a problem to begin with? Thank you very much. No problem.” -- Cleveland

Indeed there was a problem, but they were too kind to tell you directly. And after having dealt with you was there then, and only then, no problem. You're welcome.

“Why is it that the taxpaying Ohio residents will have to pay for Nebraska’s Medicaid expenses forever according to the new health care bill? Why didn’t our Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown extract special treats for Ohio in exchange for his vote like so many other senators were able to do?” -- Medina

Why didn't Ohio's other senator get with the program and help come up with a better bill?

“I am a patient at the Ireland Cancer Center at the Chagrin Highlands location. There is an area that is for cancer patients to park. Many people park there that are not using the cancer center. I have even witnessed drug reps using these spaces, forcing cancer patients to park far away. There is a reason for these spaces. Most people with brains and common sense can figure out why these spaces are close to the building.” -- Northfield Center

Even drug reps. Drug reps. Those paragons if virtue. You think the drug reps care about you? Seriously? I don't want to be too hard on a cancer patient here, but ... drug reps!

“To the Brunswick writer who moaned last Monday about Americans who buy foreign cars: I own a Toyota. My car was manufactured in the United States by American autoworkers. Before you call us ‘idiots,’ please take the time to check the window stickers on any so-called American car. Look carefully at where that vehicle was manufactured. Dollars to doughnuts it was made in Mexico or Canada by Mexicans or Canadians.” -- Twinsburg

I can ignore Monday Moaning for months or years, but the stock moans about buying American versus foreign cars never go away. Here's something for you: cars, domestic or foreign, kill! Whether an American made car kills you in Oklahoma City, or a foreign made car tries to kill you in Detroit...

Happy New Year to you, from Audient and Tuesday Talkback. Cheers!

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