Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Day of the Tims: This one's for Timothy Leary, ten years gone

Boing Boing: Timothy Leary: ten years gone--We used to go to his place outside Millbrook, New York, hoping somebody would kidnap us or at least invite us in. Nobody noticed us, at all. It was very spooky. Still, I think this guy was a legitimate visionary, if only we listen to what he actually said.

Day of the Tims: This one's for Tim Russo

SSRN-Fuck by Christopher Fairman--From Ohio:

"This Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word fuck. The intersection of the word fuck and the law is examined in four major areas: First Amendment, broadcast regulation, sexual harassment, and education. The legal implications from the use of fuck vary greatly with the context. To fully understand the legal power of fuck, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped. Drawing upon the research of etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, psychoanalysts, and other social scientists, the visceral reaction to fuck can be explained by cultural taboo. Fuck is a taboo word. The taboo is so strong that it compels many to engage in self-censorship. This process of silence then enables small segments of the population to manipulate our rights under the guise of reflecting a greater community. Taboo is then institutionalized through law, yet at the same time is in tension with other identifiable legal rights. Understanding this relationship between law and taboo ultimately yields fuck jurisprudence."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oddly Enough News Article |

Oddly Enough News Article a handle (oops!) on them Dutch critters. Export Ken Blackwell.

(You have to read this to see what I'm talking about--It's sort of incredible. Even Reuters thinks it "odd.")

Might make us all think twice about the term "Dutch uncle."

Monday, May 29, 2006

intentional neighborhood

eldershire.pdf (application/pdf Object) A few days ago, George had mentioned "intentional communities" and "intentional neighborhoods," and Gloria and I had remarked to each other how neat it was that these younger people had coined terms for things she and I thought about, but hadn't gotten around to naming. Today, after being part of my community Memorial Day service at the little cemetery off Garden, and being moved by an inspired speech by our own Brooklyn Centre historian, the 99-year-old Miss Ruth Ketteringham, I went poking around the internet to see whether or not I was part of an "intentional community," and I found this *.PDF, with 57 pages of fairly good summary.

Palm Treo 700p review by PC Magazine

Palm Treo 700p review by PC Magazine: "Palm's new Treo 700p may look like older Treos, but it is loaded with internal improvements that Treo fans have been waiting for. The 700p, available in two versions (for Verizon and Sprint; we tested the latter), adds high-speed EV-DO networking, a better camera, and updated software to our Editors' Choice Palm Treo 650. That's enough to keep Palm in the lead for the best-balanced, easiest-to-use smartphone in the USA.

The Treo 700p looks just like its Windows Mobile cousin, the Treo 700w, which in turn looks almost exactly like the familiar and much-loved Treo 650. "

The Interest Must Be Paid - New York Times

The Interest Must Be Paid - New York Times: We need to start talking about this. Most people I know aren't even remotely aware of how we're becoming indentured.

"By definition, federal borrowing eventually results in a transfer of income from American taxpayers, whose taxes go to pay the interest on the debt, to the investors who hold the Treasury bonds. As long as the bonds are owned by Americans, the transfer is simply from one group of citizens to another. Bond holders may get richer, while taxpayers who don't own bonds get poorer, which could add to troubling disparities in personal wealth. But shuffling the income between the two groups doesn't reduce America's overall wealth.
Today, however, 43 percent of the United States' publicly held debt of $4.8 trillion is held abroad, mainly by central banks in Japan, China and Britain and by offshore hedge funds. That's up from a 30 percent share in 2001, an extraordinary increase. Indeed, during the Bush years, 73 percent of new government borrowing has been from abroad.
Paying the interest on the foreign-owned portion of the debt will be a burden on future Americans, draining their wallets and siphoning off the nation's wealth. "

National Free Wireless Broadband Proposed

National Free Wireless Broadband Proposed: "The concept of metropolitan Internet access began in 2005, when Philadelphia decided to offer its residents free Wi-Fi access. Tempe, Ariz., and other cities soon followed suit, while San Francisco's decision to procure a free Wi-Fi network from Google generated intense debate. Meanwhile, technologies such as WiMAX have also emerged as potential metropolitan wireless solutions.
What's different about M2Z's proposal, however, is that it would create a privately-funded wireless backbone across the U.S., something never proposed before.
'I think something needs to be done to deal with the broadband gap we have in the U.S. compared to other nations,' said Bruce Sachs, a founding board member of M2Z and managing partner of Charles River Ventures. 'Here we are at 35 percent broadband penetration and countries like Korea are twice that. Ultimately that gap will lead to gaps in everything from education to commerce. I think the project really addresses a big need in this country.'"

Sunday, May 28, 2006 - Veterans don't want to dwell on stolen PC - Veterans don't want to dwell on stolen PC--Veterans are realistic. Anybody who's been in the service has low to no expectations of our government, anyway. Most of us survived because we didn't believe everything we were told. There can no such thing as outrage when you realize you're dealing with an entity that's a bumbling idiot.

Can Bloggers Get Real? - New York Times

Can Bloggers Get Real? - New York Times: Ain't much new here for you, if you're a blogger. Bai's threatened, and he attempts to belittle or minimize the competition. He needs to have one rhetorical question answered, though:

Matt Bai: " Who speaks for pseudonymous bloggers?"

Tim Ferris: "Meet the Bloggers?"

Deafened by the S.E.C.'s Silence, He Sued - New York Times

Deafened by the S.E.C.'s Silence, He Sued - New York Times: This is a must-read. Once again, the agencies that are supposes to be protecting our interests are selling us out, all the while protesting that they're discharging their duties and doing their jobs.

"Mr. Gavin, 44, is not the only one complaining that the S.E.C. is keeping investors in the dark. An analysis by 10k Wizard, an online search engine for S.E.C. filings, indicates that the agency's two-year-old pledge — to publish all correspondence between it and public companies and mutual funds about their accounting and other practices — remains puzzlingly unfulfilled. As a result, SEC Insight says, shareholders everywhere are missing out on information that could help them make astute investment decisions.
Even as the S.E.C. plays hardball with Mr. Gavin, costing his three-person firm more than $100,000 in legal fees, Christopher Cox, the S.E.C. chairman, recently noted his agency's crucial role in providing investors with that most basic of needs: information. Testifying on May 3 before the financial services committee of the House of Representatives, Mr. Cox said: 'When it comes to giving investors the protection they need, information is the single most powerful tool we have. It's what separates investing from roulette.' "

Saturday, May 27, 2006

ABC News: Is Disability Insurance Worth the Money?

ABC News: Is Disability Insurance Worth the Money?: See the little calculator, below. It focuses on the short-term shortfall, month to month. Another thing to consider: What's working worth, over time?

"'One way to look at it is that your income is probably your biggest asset,' Woods said. 'You insure your home, your car, your life. Your earned income is an asset that needs to be insured, too.'
LIFE has a calculator on its Web site at to help consumers determine how much coverage they need."

Save the Internet

Save the Internet--Steve Goldberg sent me here.

Timing the Electronics Market for the Best Deal on a New PC - New York Times

Timing the Electronics Market for the Best Deal on a New PC - New York Times. The question is, is now the time, or "Are we there yet?" This last is an a propos phrase for this weekend, too, especially for those of us with littler kids. In our family, "Are we there yet?" was usually followed with "Mom, she's looking at me" and "Mom, she's breathing on me" and finally "MOM! She touched me!!"

Friday, May 26, 2006

Britain Plans to Overhaul Its Devalued State Pensions - New York Times

Britain Plans to Overhaul Its Devalued State Pensions - New York Times: "Also in 2012, the government would introduce a National Pensions Saving Scheme. Employees earning up to about $60,000 a year would contribute 4 percent of their wages to the program; their employers would put in 3 percent and the government would add 1 percent in tax relief. Workers would be automatically enrolled in the program unless they chose to opt out."

Makes you wonder, I hope, why our contribution rates are so much higher here.

Phone Tax Laid to Rest at Age 108 - New York Times

Phone Tax Laid to Rest at Age 108 - New York Times:--Good. Now that we've taken that back from them, let's go take back something else. We need to whittle this collection arm of the Federal Reserve Bank down to size. Soon.

"Bowing to changes in technology and pressure from taxpayers and phone companies, the Treasury Department said yesterday that it would scrap the 108-year-old federal excise tax on long-distance phone calls. The move will bring consumers and businesses about $15 billion in refunds on next year's tax returns.
The decision, which applies to cellphones and Internet phone services and some landlines, follows a series of court reversals for the government. Large businesses had successfully sued the Internal Revenue Service to recoup the taxes they paid. Phone companies also wanted the tax abolished to relieve them of having to collect it.
Originally a luxury tax to help pay for the Spanish-American War, the 3 percent surcharge was calculated based on the length of the call and the distance of the connection. But as unlimited long-distance calling plans became commonplace, and the tax was applied to a flat monthly fee, some taxpayers argued that the tax no longer applied to them because the duration and distance of a call were irrelevant."

» Internal vs. External — Distracted Mind

» Internal vs. External — Distracted Mind----Tina has done some great work here. This is a "must read" for all--a huge life lesson in only a few paragraphs, and it's entertaining, and piquant.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brooklyn Centre Garden Tour, Sunday, June 11th, 1-5 PM

Interns? No Bloggers Need Apply - New York Times

Interns? No Bloggers Need Apply - New York Times---EEEEEEEWWWWWWwwwwww!!!......... & Hooray!!! Bigotry................& Backlash!!!

"If an employee deviates from the policy, it may be grounds for termination," Mr. Frawley said.
Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, now has an explicit policy. In a section on confidentiality, it states that the employee is "discouraged from publicly discussing work-related matters, whether constituting confidential information or not, outside of appropriate work channels, including online in chat rooms or 'blogs.' "
The problem for the employers is that, in a few highly publicized cases, public airing of workplace shenanigans has proved to be lucrative — and young people entering the workplace know it.
"The Devil Wears Prada," Lauren Weisberger's veiled account of her time working as an assistant to Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor, ushered in the modern "underling-tell-all" genre, abetted by other revenge-of-the-employee tales like "The Nanny Diaries," by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Both became best sellers that will be showing up on movie screens, with "Devil" opening next month.
Busted bloggers like Jessica Cutler (a former Capitol Hill intern whose blog, Washingtonienne, is now a novel), Nadine Haobsh (a former beauty editor whose blog Jolie in NYC earned her a two-book deal) and Jeremy Blachman (a lawyer whose blog Anonymous Lawyer is being released as "Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel" this summer) were all interns, entry-level employees and worker bees who traded up on in-the-trade secrets.

Pogue’s Posts - Technology - New York Times Blog - Apple Giveth and Apple Taketh Away

Pogue’s Posts - Technology - New York Times Blog - Apple Giveth and Apple Taketh Away--Really a nifty little laptop, from the Mac side of the aisle. Read the article, watch the video. Daniella, take note; we're out shopping with you, girlfriend.

Memorial Day parades

I've located two parades scheduled for this Memorial Day weekend. Can we add to the listings?

  • City of Cleveland Heights--Memorial Day ParadeThe annual Cleveland Heights Memorial Day Parade will step off at 10:00 am on Monday, May 29 from Cleveland Heights City Hall. It will proceed west down Mayfield Road to the Veterans Memorial at Cumberland Park, where a brief ceremony will be held. Veterans, scout groups, civic organizations, schools and street clubs are encouraged to participate as we remember those who have given their lives for our country. For a parade application or for more information, call 216-291-2323.
  • Lake View Cemetery Neighborhood: University Circle--Memorial Day Observances and ParadeThe parade begins from the Garfield Monument at 10:30am. Following the ceremonial placement of wreaths and a keynote speaker address, the Cleveland Letter Carrier's Band provides a concert on the lawn. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and picnics to take part in the day's celebration. [216.421.2665; See Website]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Update 10: Report: Fannie Mae Manipulated Accounting -

Update 10: Report: Fannie Mae Manipulated Accounting - --Good News? Chilling, anyway.

"Federal regulators issued a blistering report about mortgage giant Fannie Mae on Tuesday, alleging accounting manipulation aimed at lining executives' pockets and lying to investors about smooth growth in profits and earnings. The government-sponsored mortgage company was fined $400 million and agreed to limit its growth. "

Agency Delayed Reporting Theft of Veterans' Data - New York Times

Agency Delayed Reporting Theft of Veterans' Data - New York Times: "'The V.A. has put veterans at risk for identity theft,' he said. 'If this were the private sector, they would be required to provide each veteran with free credit-reporting services.' "

This sort of OOPS! thing has happened a lot lately. I seem to remember something about our own Ohio Secretary of State being similarly remiss, too. Was there any penalty for him?

When do we start holding our governments' hired employees and elected officials to the same standards to which we--the rest of us--are held?

What would the majority rule here? Who are in the majority now? Are there more of us than there are of them, or do they now outnumber us? Why don't we see numbers on the breakout in the population by job sector classification? For example, do we know the proportions of government employed versus all others, or nonprofit-employed versus all others, or producing-revenue jobs versus consuming-revenue jobs? Why don't we discuss this more often as a community? Such discussion may be what gets us back on an even keel.

riding the bus, second installment

Yesterday was a Big Bus Day, made possible by the Trip Planner, and it proceeded from Archwood-Denison to downtown to Bratenahl to Euclid to East Cleveland to Ohio City and home again. And I learned something.

Originally, riding the bus started out as an economy measure, a cheaper transportation alternative, and it gave me the opportunity to make a conservative or conservationist statement. Yesterday, I read a good part of a book while in transit and finished some administrative paperwork. The bus helped me conserve not only money but my time. I was going to read that book or do that paperwork some time anyway. All those half-hours and hours I spent driving can now be reallocated to reading or preparing for presentations or catching up on the administrative burden.

I guess riding the bus is what I'll do until I can afford a driver. Saving & reallocating time is the higher and greater economy, and rising gasoline prices are what got me thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

HGTV cameras focus on Heritage Lane restoration work

HGTV cameras focus on Heritage Lane restoration work--"The Famicos Foundation has acquired and plans to eventually renovate the University Towers apartment building nearby and use it for government-subsidized housing for low-income people."

I think it's a HUGE mistake not to make that lovely building at least a mixed-use development. We don't need any more of what Sister Henrietta's crew is offering; she may have died, but her acolytes plod on. This whole low-income schtick needs to give this town a respite--it's old, it's tired, and we have a surfeit already that only needs fixing--we don't need anything new or reclassified.

Just because public housing, historically, is said to have originated in Cleveland doesn't mean we have to continue to lay it down border to border. Could there be bad karma attached to it, to the hypocrisy of bankers and nonprofit directors constantly moving no-risk money and building for the poor, when really what people need is a chance to become non-subsidized and self-sufficient? Is it time to rein in the poverty industry in Cleveland? Is it right that we've made "poverty" an institution, and many middle and upper middle class earn comfortable livings ministering to the poor? Heck, if these 501(c)(3)'s weren't controlling the money, everybody might be on an equal footing by now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Onward Christian Soldier

Onward Christian Soldier (z)--Another quasi-political blog, in the same vein as Dorothy Fuldheim, but penned this time by Pope Urban II, who tells us, "I've been dead for a while, but never insignificant. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and so I'm here to--finally--repent by preventing Ohio from electing someone more radical than I used to be. My other interests include drinking screwdrivers and watching the Police Academy movies."

I think Dorothy's original tagline was something like, "I'm still dead, but now I'm blogging."

Both these manifestations of the free-and-easy spirit of BLOGGER are sophomoric and in poor taste. They attract me and reward me for my visits.

Toshiba to Add Wireless VOIP

Toshiba to Add Wireless VOIP: Convergence!!
"The phones are the Hitachi IP5000 and the SpectraLink Link 6020. The Hitachi phone will use a company's existing 802.11b Wi-Fi network, while the SpectraLink phone uses a private wireless network operating in the 900MHz band. The third device is the MC50 PDA, which runs Toshiba's SoftIPT softphone software and also uses Wi-Fi.
'It's the next evolution in communications,' said Toshiba America Product Manager Greg Portis. 'You can move without being tethered to a specific location.' Portis said that at Toshiba, 'wireless' refers to anything you can use to communicate and conduct dialogue through without being restricted to 'a certain space.' "

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Microsoft's 'Buy Local' Campaign Growing

Microsoft's 'Buy Local' Campaign Growing

Very interesting--As our friend Norm Ezzie says, "Local production for local consumption." Looks like Bill Gates is getting in on the act, too. Wonder if he'll make Norm a buyout offer he can't refuse?

Meet the Bloggers » Advertise on the MTB Ad Network

Meet the Bloggers » Advertise on the MTB Ad Network--MTB now has a policy for its ad network and is also inviting bloggers to become part of that network. The dynamics here will be interesting.

This is a first approach to what is essentially a new advertising medium, and, to me, it's exciting. It, the network, is to be inclusive of all bloggers and all advertisers, except the obviously and truly whacked, yet has an editorial comment policy that is totally "hands off" and also allows individual bloggers to opt out on an ad-by-ad basis, if I understand the concept correctly.

Let's see where it goes. I'm optimistic.

After Century, Room and Board in City Still Stings - New York Times

After Century, Room and Board in City Still Stings - New York Times: Again, some more interesting numbers about living in a city; these are just some of them:

"In the 1970's and 1980's, cities like Buffalo and Detroit that had been hubs of manufacturing fell into a downward spiral.

But New York fought off that fate as it capitalized on its status as a world capital of finance, said Edward L. Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard University. 'That's really been the reason for New York's turnaround,' he said.

In the last two decades, the disparity between the incomes of New Yorkers and other Americans has widened. Twenty years ago, the average New York household income, which was just shy of $30,000, was about 25 percent higher than the typical American family's, the report states. By 2003, New York households were earning more than $66,000, on average, 33 percent more than the typical American family.

The New York family's expenses in 2003 were about 25 percent higher, at $50,319, than the national average. The bulk of that money went toward housing, transportation and food, in that order. And, by 2003, New York families may have been healthier too. Of every $100 they spent, less than $1 went toward alcohol and only 50 cents to cigarettes.

The trend over the century for alcohol was the opposite for Boston. Spending on alcohol there, as a share of all expenditures, nearly doubled."

Your Money: Never Mind the Clip-On Ties, Geek Squad Can Fix Your PC

From The NEW YORK TIMES: Economists say industrialized societies are spending less on the basics of life — food, clothing and shelter — and more on leisure pursuits. Indeed, Robert Fogel, the Nobel-winning economics professor from the University of Chicago, has gone so far as to predict that by 2040 it will take the average American household only 300 hours of work a year to supply its basic needs.

As leisure time becomes more valued, Americans are loath to give it up. We spend money to get more of it. How much we are willing to spend depends on what we make as well as a more intuitive process of how we measure what our leisure time is worth.

The results from two online calculators that determine what your time is worth may surprise you. Try or

First, your hourly rate may be lower than you think. For instance, someone making $70,000 a year, but who puts in 50 hours a week and commutes an hour each way, may discover the hourly rate is not $33, but about half that.

So does that mean you hire a handyman only when he costs less than $16 an hour? It's more complicated than that. With only about 12 hours of true leisure time a day, each precious hour is bought with more than 5 hours of work. According to the calculator, each hour of spare time would then be worth about $85.

How an economist measures the value of leisure time is inexact because do-it-yourselfers sometimes have a stronger motivation than saving money. They enjoy the process. Because seeking joy is less understood than seeking money, economists are still struggling to decide whether growing tomatoes or making drapes is rational

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Treo 700p Goes Back to Palm OS Roots

Treo 700p Goes Back to Palm OS Roots: "The Treo 700p marks a welcome return to Palm's handheld operating system and adds EvDO network support, allowing Palm OS fans to get broadband-like speeds on their smart phones.
In eWEEK Labs' tests of the previous Treo—the Windows Mobile-based 700w—we didn't find much that would tempt users away from the popular Treo 650. The Treo 700p, however, builds on the success of Palm's smart-phone technology with new features that will be sure to please mobile workers. For example, along with wireless broadband capabilities, the Treo 700p has 128MB of storage (60MB available for end-user storage) and a 1.3-megapixel camera and camcorder. "

Deadline Set for Wireless Internet in Parks - New York Times

Deadline Set for Wireless Internet in Parks - New York Times--New York's doin' it by July they say. Our Archwood-Denison neighborhood plans to get off the dime this month. What's everybody else doing in this regard?

Campbell seeks RTA board seat

Campbell seeks RTA board seat: Peter Lawson Jones on Jane Campbell: "'She could get a public appointment almost anywhere,' said Jones. 'I would not appoint her simply so she could pile up a couple more years on PERS [Ohio Public Employees Retirement System]. She qualifies on her merits.' "

As a people, we need to limit these public-pension payouts. It seems from what PLJ is saying that service on the GCRTA must carry some salary or service credits.

We can't afford to have the same old cast of characters lining up at the trough; we cannot continue to keep filling the trough for them; we cannot continue to reward mendacity and mediocrity. We must take the incentive to serve personal interests first out of the public-service arena. This mutual-admiration society we call politics-as-usual in Cleveland is what keeps the whole region behind.

Break the stranglehold.

Congressman's Condo Deal Is Examined - New York Times

Congressman's Condo Deal Is Examined - New York Times: "Still, Mr. Jarvis, Mr. Mollohan and their wives enjoyed a lucrative real estate partnership managing condominium rentals at the Remington, a 52-unit building that bills itself as 'Washington's best kept secret.' The couples own 27 Remington condos, which have more than tripled in value, to $8 million, over the decade.
Mr. Mollohan stepped down last month as the top Democrat on the House ethics committee amid an F.B.I. investigation into his personal finances and his handling of special federal appropriations known as earmarks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has subpoenaed papers from the Remington partnership.
The inquiry was prompted by a 500-page complaint from a conservative Washington group accusing Mr. Mollohan of failing to properly report the Remington investment and questioning whether his relationship with Mr. Jarvis — whose lengthy list of creditors included the congressman's father and the federal government — was appropriate."

Local Company Makes Good, Mentioned in New book

Passport Magazine - Travel Bound, Hot Type for Savvy Travlers, May 2006: "Signspotting: Absurd & Amusing Signs from Around the World ($7.99. Lonely Planet, is an irresistibly rib tickling photo collection of mangled language and unfortunate juxtapositions. All too many of the examples spotlighted in this book can be found in the good old U.S.A, where English is alleged to be our native tongue. Gems include the “Superior Erection Company” in Richfield, Ohio; “We Rent Handguns” in Racine, Wisconsin; Miami Airport’s “Duty Free Restroom”; and the San Diego highway sign “Cruise Ships: Use Airport Exit.” This is the sort of book that makes any sharp-eyed traveler slap himself on the forehead and think, “Hey, I could have put that together myself.” In fact, you can help put together a sequel by submitting digital photos of your favorite signage faux pas to editor Doug Lansky’s website ( for a chance to win weekly prizes and a StarAlliance round-the-world air ticket for the “Best Sign of the Year.” Winning signs also appear in Lansky’s syndicated newspaper travel feature. "

Please don't ask, and I won't tell how this information came into my purview. - News - Fire Department Response Times - News - Fire Department Response Times--A very interesting, revealing rundown of relative public services. After reading it, I have a couple of questions regarding pricing and valuation:

1. Do the property and casualty insurance rates, both personal and commercial lines, reflect fire response times--how widely do the P&C underwriters spread the risk there?

2. Would certification/accreditation of a city, as done by the NFPA, reduce the P&C rates for residents overall? If so, by how much, theoretically? What has been the result in Toledo, for instance. (In searching for the URL for the NFPA, I found it is part of the NIST.)

3. Do people and the real-estate markets take into account the more excellent city services in established, mature areas (high safety quotient, reflected in low response times) when it comes to buying and selling real property?

Decoding 'Da Vinci', from THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

Decoding 'Da Vinci': "'This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.' "

The book's critics need to remember that this is fiction, and fiction has license. Personally, I'm extremely concerned that there is a vocal segment of American society that takes things so literally, and uses religion as a front for organized intolerance and groupthink.

A lot of them masquerade as Republicans, and Christians.

RTA Board approves fare increase – first in 13 years

Newsroom - News & Updates Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority--"CLEVELAND – Pushed by fuel costs that have more than tripled in recent years, the Board of Trustees of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) today approved the first system-wide fare increase since 1993.

To lessen the impact on customers, the Board approved a two-step increase. Most fares will increase 25 cents on July 1, 2006, and 25 cents on Jan. 7, 2008."

This is not bad at all. In my particular case, a monthly pass will increase $4, from $54 to $58, and this still feels like quite a bargain to me, considering the fact that it cost Gloria $40 yesterday to get the UrbanCombatVehicle to half full.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Scan This Book! - New York Times

Scan This Book! - New York Times--a HUGE article, even by Sunday TIMES standards, but worth your time. Time to go out and get that tablet PC.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bill Pierce takes a whack at MSM

Pierce for Senate: THANK YOU: Bill Pierce, who ran against Mike DeWine in the Republican primary and who appeared a short while ago on Meet The Bloggers, takes a parting shot at the "mainstream media" (MSM)--or perhaps it's just the opening volley:

"My most heartfelt appreciation goes to those whose gallant efforts to inform the citizenry of Ohio that a choice did exist in spite of the main stream media’s refusal to acknowledge a contested primary. The blog support and the talent of those who write them were greatly appreciated. I only hope and pray that someday people will realize the contribution they are making to our society and the voids they fill created by the laziness or hidden agenda of the main stream media we used to rely upon for a complete news package."

"I am determined to find a way to continue to speak out in the name of common sense and entice the populace to take a pro-active interest in government rather than a passive “I give up” approach. We must re-engage our citizenry or risk losing a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Please help me find that way and help me deliver that message – future generations are counting on us."

Dark Sky Options ~ Hinkley Architectural ~ design · illuminate · enjoy

Dark Sky Options ~ Hinkley Architectural ~ design · illuminate · enjoy: Here's a refreshing and aesthetically sensible concept from a local firm with a national presence. Click on the link to see the picture of a representative Dark Sky fixture:

"Hinkley Lighting, a leader in outdoor commercial and residential lighting, is dedicated to preserving the night sky for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are trying to do your part to protect our environment or adhere to legislative requirements, Hinkley Lighting has designed products for both commercial and residential applications to fulfill your lighting needs. Utilizing every design tool at our disposal to reduce glare, control up-light, light trespass or conceal lamp image, we can design products to meet or exceed your requirements.
Our commercial products are designed for superior optical performance utilizing full cut-off, cut-off and semi cut-off hydro formed reflectors, segmented reflectors, and refractive globes allowing our customers more choices when designing for roadway and area lighting requirements.
We are proud to be the first manufacturer to offer residential sized products that address our ability to truly enjoy the night sky in all its’ splendor. All Hinkley Lighting solid roof lanterns can be modified to be Dark Sky friendly."

Some Outbound Skype Calls Free Until 2007

Some Outbound Skype Calls Free Until 2007: "Skype must pay for all these phone calls it is giving away for free, so the deal is a classic 'loss leader'—when companies take a loss in order to sell more products in the future. "

Matt Furey Uncensored: Nuclear Weapons in Walmart

Matt Furey Uncensored: Nuclear Weapons in Walmart--Matt Furey "weighs in." Love this guy. Among the many early adapters of using the term "Walmart" like a club.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Until we recover the domain GLORIAFERRIS.NET from having been hijacked by a disgruntled former administrator of ours while registered through Network Solutions, Madame Gloria will be posting here, at Save Our Land, and also at George Nemeth's Brewed Fresh Daily.

If you are longing, as I am, to see Gloria blogging away happily at her very own blogsite once again and, to this end, want to contact our disgruntled former administrator, imploring him to point the domain away from the Mole&Wart ad and back to DreamHost, where it belongs, you may email him through this link here or call him on his cellphone at 216-xxx-xxxx. These are the last points of contact he left for himself on the WHOIS function for Network Solutions.

We welcome and encourage your participation in this reclamation project. Waste not, want not, we always say.

Adbusters : The Magazine - #64 Spiritual Pollution / The Secret to Being as Radical as We Want to Be is to Finance the Revolution Ourselves

Adbusters : The Magazine - #64 Spiritual Pollution / The Secret to Being as Radical as We Want to Be is to Finance the Revolution Ourselves--George Nemeth posted the link to this on Brewed Fresh Daily just a short while ago. Make sure to read it in full, and then to reread it in the context of what goes on in the Cleveland region. The dialogue has begun in earnest; the gloves are off.

Lisa Rab of THE CLEVELAND SCENE Archives Searchby_line=Lisa Rab--

Based on her last article, about cheeseball homebuilders in Central, I'm going back through THE CLEVELAND SCENE archives to review Lisa Rab's work. I think she's got a handle on what's keeping this community from moving forward, and she keeps working away at it. | News | Things Fall Apart News Things Fall Apart: "'You probably got a worse ghetto than what they had when they tore these houses down.' "

Incredible, great job by Lisa Rab at THE CLEVELAND SCENE. We'll all have to watch her work closely. She has the best interests of the community at heart. We'll have to pray she's not marginalized, ostracized, discredited, shunnned, or offered a more lucrative position out of town.

For years, I've been aware of these politically-connected local "developers" who are short on experience, skills, and ethics and therefore fit quite well into the cheesy dynamics swirling around Cleveland City Hall and the local nonprofits. Lurie stands out and is an easy target because of his quick and too-facile transition from the garment industry, and I've mentioned for years that Lurie isn't much of a home-builder, and I have heard him roundly praised and defended by nonprofit executive directors uniformly mouthing the "Cleveland Tomorrow/Us Today" Pollyanna party lines.

The good news is that this story is up and out. The bad news is that local people--our neighbors--have been robbed, bilked, swindled, and stuck by their government, their banks, and their local nonprofits. It's time to begin to take them all apart. They have failed to serve. They have exploited those to whom they are supposed to be accountable, for whose well-being they are responsible.

Full Tanks Put Squeeze on Working Class - New York Times

Full Tanks Put Squeeze on Working Class - New York Times: "'There is not enough money to spend for gas,' she said. 'You have to think about it: If I go to see my friend, I won't have enough gas to work tomorrow.'
As many drivers struggle to cope with soaring fuel prices, working-class people like Ms. Lopez who commute long distances to their jobs are suffering the most. In many cases, they had moved far away from major metropolitan areas to be able to afford decent houses. Now, paradoxically, the cost of gas is making the distance prohibitively expensive.

'If you're poor, you're forced to make choices,' said Stephen Cecchetti, a professor of economics at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. 'All of a sudden, when the price of something that you can't give up skyrockets, you still have to go from one place to another.'

The increase in gas prices comes at a time when many Americans of modest means are already finding themselves squeezed by increased insurance costs, wages that have not kept pace with inflation, and the rising pressure of adjustable rate mortgages. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll showed that 63 percent of respondents had cut back on their driving because of the gas price increase, and 56 percent had cut back on other household spending. Nearly half said they expected to change their summer vacation plans as a result."

The squeeze is on, forcing behavioral change, forcing cultural change. Outlying housing prices should begin to tank, in-town should begin to rise. Lenders will be largely upside-down. East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Lakewood, and Cleveland proper will now revive because of their access to (1) rapid-transit lines and (2) bus lines. Downtown will be the most desirable place to work once again. The dynamic will be the same as it was post-WWII, 60 years ago. This will usher in a new era of civility as all social classes begin to get to know and appreciate and respect each other again, riding the public transit. I am beginning to see how the automobile has isolated each of us by cutting down on the amount we interact with our communities. I guess that the "auto-" should have been a tipoff. What other "auto" things are fully positive? Autoerotic? Auto da fe? Automatic, autonomous, autocratic? Automation. Automorphism.


Questions Raised for Phone Giants in Spy Data Furor - New York Times

Questions Raised for Phone Giants in Spy Data Furor - New York Times: "Civil liberties lawyers were quick to dispute that claim.
'This is an incredible red herring,' said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group that has sued AT&T over its cooperation with the government, including access to calling records. 'There is no legal process that contemplates getting entire databases of data.'

The group sued AT&T in late January, contending that the company was violating the law by giving the government access to its customer call record data and permitting the agency to tap its Internet network. The suit followed reports in The New York Times in December that telecommunications companies had cooperated with such government requests without warrants."

This issue is huge. We saw the beginnings of it all with John Ashcroft. I think this Bankston would be an interesting person to have Meet The Bloggers.

Friday, May 12, 2006

CareerJournal | Tips on Taking Charge After a Sudden Promotion

CareerJournal Tips on Taking Charge After a Sudden Promotion: A Diebold tale: "Mr. Swidarski began his first day as CEO last December by asking himself what he'd want from a new top boss. His answer: candid communication. He sent an email to Diebold's 14,500 employees inviting comments and outlining his priorities, including building customer loyalty by speeding the flow of products through the supply chain, and 'providing quality products and outstanding service.' He told them that leading Diebold 'does not rest with one person -- it rests with each and every one of us.'"

I am thinking that, as a fan of what's candid, Mr. Swidarski might make Meeting The Bloggers a priority, especially here in Ohio and right after this May 2nd primary and the experience with the new machines. Mr. Swidarski, should it be our place or yours?

U.S. has high rate of newborn deaths: study - MarketWatch

U.S. has high rate of newborn deaths: study - MarketWatch--It may be well nigh time to look into two very old-fashioned ideas: public health clinics (I'd imagine The Cleveland Clinic started this way, before its own survival became more important than its patients) complemented by fee-for-service providers. We need to cut out all the middlemen.

cMarket - Online Fundraising Auction Services for Nonprofits

cMarket - Online Fundraising Auction Services for Nonprofits--cMarket of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has initiated an interesting fundraising auction for a local group, CAAO. Check the technology. See who's for sale. Hurry. Ends today.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Microsoft and Google Grapple for Supremacy as Stakes Escalate - New York Times

Microsoft and Google Grapple for Supremacy as Stakes Escalate - New York Times: "'We will keep them honest,' Mr. Gates said of Google. "

And Paris Hilton will keep them chaste.

But let's not get sidetracked. Well written. Good story about convergence. For balance, let's throw in some Flannery O'Connor for contrast with Paris: Everything That Rises Must Converge.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Scion Art Cars: Following BMW? Not Exactly - New York Times

Scion Art Cars: Following BMW? Not Exactly - New York Times--Make sure you click on the slide show. This is a type of folk art folk around here would understand: So long as it has to do with cars, it must be OK.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Early Intensity Underlines Role of Races in Ohio - New York Times

Early Intensity Underlines Role of Races in Ohio - New York Times: "COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 6 — For the Democratic Party, the road back to power in Washington begins here in Ohio. But as long-dominant Ohio Republicans struggle with a corruption scandal, economic distress and rising voter unease, Democrats face a challenge in making the state a launching pad to seize control of Congress and the White House, leaders of both parties say."

Seems like MTB will not go lacking for work this year. Make sure you click on the graph, marked "Graphic: Closely Watched Races in Ohio." There's a good & succinct presentation of lots of data there.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Outspoken Saudi Bloggers Wary of "Official" Group

Outspoken Saudi Bloggers Wary of "Official" Group: "'You cannot regulate the Saudi blogosphere. You cannot 'refine' it nor 'filter' it or whatever else I read that you wish to do to it. Now get your filthy hands off blogging,' wrote Farooha, a female student who has one of the most popular sites in Arabic and English.
'I do feel that by joining them I'd be slightly drawing unwanted attention to me... As for being traced, well, it is something that I know is very likely,' she told Reuters.
Known for her colorful rants against austere social rules that prevent women from driving and segregate them from men, Farooha said she feared her identity was already out. Women give her nasty looks on university campus, she said. "

Well, I guess we have something in common; so far, our problems here don't seem to have the magnitude and intensity of the problems "over there."

Click for the Spectrum of Clogs - New York Times

Click for the Spectrum of Clogs - New York Times--Crocs. Read up. Enough said.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Voter takes rage out on electronic voting machine

Voter takes rage out on electronic voting machine--I see that this happened down on Jennings Road. I think this guy might be one of my neighbors in Ward 15. I guess we're all a little high strung around here lately. For myself, I sort of enjoyed using the new machine and the technology--made me want to vote again, and again, and again; I must have the Willie Brown gene.

Office Collaboration, the Wiki Way - Software -

Office Collaboration, the Wiki Way - Software - going mainstream, with the CFOs of the world. Why all the Hawaiian stuff, anyway?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Peter Coffee: Will Web Apps Need COPEing Mechanisms?

Will Web Apps Need COPEing Mechanisms?--Intelligent article on COPE from eWeek.

Microsoft Software Will Let Times Readers Download Paper - New York Times

Microsoft Software Will Let Times Readers Download Paper - New York Times--He might be a bit heavy-handed in positioning his software, but Bill Gates is also a master of forming strategic alliances and beating everybody else to the punch. I guess we'll have to be thinking more in terms of tablet computers instead of laptops to gain the most functionality in the new world of reading.

New Microsoft Browser Raises Google's Hackles - New York Times

New Microsoft Browser Raises Google's Hackles - New York Times: "Microsoft has lost some ground in the browser market in the last year, mainly to Firefox, which is a Google ally. But Microsoft still holds more than 80 percent of the market. And Internet Explorer 7 is expected to be extremely popular because it is an improvement over Microsoft's previous browser, and because Microsoft will promote downloads of it and include it in Windows Vista.
That gives Microsoft the potential to use the browser to steer substantial traffic, and business, to MSN and away from rivals. MSN handled 11 percent of searches in the United States in March, down slightly from a year earlier, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, a market research firm. That put it well behind Google, which had a 49 percent share, and Yahoo, with 22 percent.
Microsoft insists it has no intention of deploying its browser as a weapon in the search wars. But Google suspects otherwise."

Microsoft is at it again, using software to gain market share, muddling the line between fair but aggressive competition and unfair and exclusionary treachery. It's hard to judge them, but you have to admit that Bill Gates is an excellent game player.