Monday, July 28, 2008

Rick Ferris @ Asterisk 8.8.8

From my cousin Rick:

Greetings Friends, here is the opening announcement for my upcoming group show at Asterisk Gallery. Hope to see you there! Rick


AsteriskGallery proudly presents:

triumvirate (trī-ŭm'vər-ĭ)

1. An association or a group of three. Also called troika.

2. A group of three men responsible for public administration or civil authority.

3. A group of three individuals: three, threesome, triad, trine, trinity, trio, triple, triune, triunity, troika.

The term triumvirate (a law)(from Latin, 'of three men') is commonly used to describe apolitical regime dominated by three powerful individuals.

New works by:

Dana L. Depew

R Ferris

William Schwartz

Opening reception Friday 08.08.08


Asterisk Gallery 2393 Professor Ave – in historic Tremont Neighborhood

Cleveland, Ohio


hrs by appt.

show runs through August 27, 2008

Dana L. Depew

In my recent work I impose my being on the pre-constructed world. I attempt to resurrect the old and rejuvenate the mundane through the use of vintage chenille bedspreads, afghans, and other fabrics. I initially wipe these materials clean of their past colors and connotations leaving a rich yet colorless textured landscape in which I reinvent into a series of contemporary and active works. Through the use of vibrant colors I create an exciting bridge between a forgotten textile and painting.

R Ferris

A limiting of the extraneous, a focusing into one aspect of everyday stimuli, informs the work to reveal transcendent material. The discipline of the camera and the editing of days into hours into minutes, the compression and manipulation of experiences to create and potentize the simulacra I create.

Informed by Buddhist experience and spiritual mysticism I navigate among everyday routines, deadlines, and responsibilities to capture momentary revelations. For example, the noticing of a thistle on the side of the road – its simplicity, beauty, and ordinariness reveals an opportunity for reflection and celebration.

By highlighting, focusing, and distorting, isolating, and juxtaposing moving images and audio, I find release in expression of feelings. To labor with the sacrosanct, to scoop up the primordial and shape it, to play with the sacred, this is what I am interested in sharing.

William Schwartz

What is real and what is illusion; and which illusions do we accept and abide by in our everyday lives? The pieces I have created for this exhibit deal with the influence American culture has on our personal identities. In my brand of political-Pop conceptualism, I make various attempts to either strip down or intensely exaggerate familiar items and symbols we encounter and relate to on a daily basis. My hope is to spark a sort of internal dialogue within the individual; a self-interrogation about what freedom really is.

R Ferris


for mail lists and announcements, please mailto:

check out my video art at:

A good book should be an axe for the frozen sea within us ~ Kafka

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the politics of sustainability, from the perspective of the bus

Cuyahoga Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones cuts back on use of county car - Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer -- So much of leadership entails leading by setting the example, and here we have PLJ about to set foot on the bus. Gloria and I just bought our two weekly passes today, since we're in town most of next week. I'm wondering whether Peter gets a free pass, or whether he has to come up out of pocket for it. I've heard that GCRTA employees get complimentary passes.

If Peter begins riding the bus, he'll take note of what we've been seeing lately: Overcrowding, broken air-conditioning, little available ventilation because of modern bus design, busted out/broken down shocks and springs, and missed stops. He'll also note that the buses don't run anywhere near frequently enough, and that the hours need extravagant expansion. As working hours expand, so should the economy. Mobility is one key to productivity.

He'll also note there's a certain zen aspect to the bus ride, a time for a sort of mass-transit-induced reflection and meditation. He can even catch up on reading. Knowing him, though, he'll probably talk to everyday people, asking them what's really going on. Until you ride the bus and walk the streets after business hours, you really don't know.

Will Peter ever casually sit down next to Debbie Sutherland? Will she be clutching her purse with white knuckles? Does the bus run out to Bay Village? Stay tuned for another episode of Adventures in Regionalism: From the Bus to November.

Friday, July 25, 2008

magicJack, the giant killer

magicJack -- Take some time and watch the videos here. Giant-killing has come into its own.

My friend Jon down in Florida, always the connoisseur of frugality, told me about this just this afternoon. Just as Vonage and Skype have made inroads into the AT&T turf, this product makes inroads into the Vonage and Skype territory.

Jon exited the POTS plantation a short while ago and picked up Vonage, then added Skype, and is now considering replacing the Vonage with MagicJack. It makes financial sense if the outlay is about $40 for the jack and $20 a year after the first year.

Total communications can soon be comprised of a package of MagicJack, a cable connection or easy access to wi-fi, a cellphone, and Skype for a backup.

Note that the website offer says that the Free Trial Offer expires today.

Farrar, Strauss & Giroux is giving away Tom Friedman's book until August 4th


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regarding New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas L. Friedman

Hot, Flat and Crowded

To commemorate his new book—a rousing, essential call to action for our climate-challenged future—we're giving away his national bestseller The World Is Flat.

The World Is Flat

The World Is Flat sold over three million copies and established Thomas Friedman as one of the world's preeminent thinkers. Now he explains how America can lead the green revolution in the 21st century.

In Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America, Friedman brings a fresh and provocative outlook to a pressing issue: the interlinked crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energyboth of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to the 2008 presidential electionand to all of us who are concerned about the state of America and its role in the global future.

From now until August 4th you can download The World Is Flat audiobook, delivered in three easy-to-download sections. You will also receive an exclusive preview audio excerpt of Hot, Flat and Crowded before everyone else.

You can sign up directly for the free downloads here, or at

Pre-order Hot, Flat, and Crowded here.


Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux | Hardcover | September 2008



Thursday, July 24, 2008

there goes the neighborhood

The End of White Flight - -- Interesting article, as the WSJ heralds the end of white flight; now that they've said it, folks, it must be so. It points out the factors shifting the balance to some degree--declining minority birth rate, hip senior empty nesters, young professionals. It doesn't talk much about tax abatement, and that is probably because tax abatement was never needed in the first place.

All you have to do is have a place that is--

1. Safe
2. Clean
3. Economically sensible and attractive

--and people will move in. You don't have to bribe them by giving them financial incentives that the existing residents don't have.

Maybe we can start a PILOT program (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) for all the newly minted Clevelanders who have joined us the past decade; we need to buy more trees and landscaping.

And let's not forget to spend more on police and fire, while we're at it, until we reach equilibrium, much like that one experiences in a small town. That's what a neighborhood is, after all: a small town in extremely close proximity to other small towns.

There goes the neighborhood. Here comes the neighborhood.

the three prior posts

We signed up for Hosted Exchange from Live Office at the beginning of July. I guess there are just some things we don't understand about these mail-server things, because the three prior posts are all still showing in our DRAFTS folders back at our PCs. We had no idea they went out.

Confusion nothwithstanding, this is a great time to be alive, and we need to work out some of the inconsistencies. Will wonders never cease?

short notice

Dear Blogger-

Sorry for the late notice but I just heard that Dennis Althar will be "sounding off" with his awesome Copernicus speakers at 5:30 p.m. today. He's making them available for viewing by prospective investors and/or partners. Dennis has a rich entrepreneurial background.

If you have the time to take a short detour for a great experience,  stop off at 5432 Broadway, call 429-3000 to enter the gates and be ready to hear some great sounds.

Recently when asked if the speakers are good as Bose, Mr. Althar queried "Is a Rolls Royce as good as a Chevy?"

These speakers were recently showcased at the Whitney Museum of art.

If you can spare the time, you will be rewarded.

barely 3 hours' notice


Hey, I know that this is going out with barely three hours notice, but we act and react as best we can. As that great ad campaign stresses: "Life comes at you fast."

I got this notice this afternoon from Gloria at 1:15. If you can take advantage of it, you should be well rewarded for your time. I saw an two earlier iterations of these, and they're awesome. I'd market them now for more than we paid for our house back in 1983, and they might hold value better as well.

Check 'em out.

Anyway, here's Gloria's note:

Sorry for the late notice but I just heard that Dennis Althar will be "sounding off" with his awesome Copernicus speakers at 5:30 p.m. today.

If you have the time to take a short detour for a great experience, stop off at 5432 Broadway, call 429-3000 to enter through the rolling gates, and be ready to hear some great sounds.

Recently, when asked if the speakers are good as Bose, Mr. Althar in turn queried, "Is a Rolls Royce as good as a Chevy?"

These speakers were recently showcased as part of an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Art.

If you can spare the time, you will be rewarded.

--Gloria Ferris

P.S. This is Tim again. I might add that this address is easily accessible from downtown, either off Broadway or off I-77, off I-490 at East 55th, or off East 55th itself. Also, we hear that this section of Broadway is nearly as well built out as Playhouse Square when it comes to those "pipes" for fiber optics or cable or whatever.


Dear Blogger-

Sorry for the late notice but I just heard that Dennis Althar will be "sounding off" with his awesome Copernicus speakers at 5:30 p.m. today.

If you have the time to take a short detour for a great experience,  stop off at 5432 Broadway, call 429-3000 to enter the gates and be ready to hear some great sounds.

Recently when asked if the speakers are good as Bose, Mr. Althar queried "Is a Rolls Royce as good as a Chevy?"

These speakers were recently showcased at the Whitney Museum of art.

If you can spare the time, you will be rewarded.

Monday, July 21, 2008

here, they'd be invited onto the Jerry Springer show

9 sentenced to be stoned for adultery - -- Life is not fair. In some parts, it downright harsh. The part about being buried and then taking the shots to the head is especially unnerving, as is what appears to be the kangaroo-court aspect of the whole thing. Here, in the United States, the worst that could happen is that they'd be sentenced to the Jerry Springer show, where they would wilfully forfeit whatever shreds of dignity they might still have.

In the end, it's important to exit with your dignity intact. We need to remember that it can't be taken from you; you must give it up to lose it.

Americans, abused freely by their governments and institutions, need to remember that.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

barking mad, and painters, too

Art - William Butler Yeats’s Relationship With Maud Gonne Is Explored at the National Library of Ireland - -- Here's a New York TIMES rundown on William Butler Yeats, Yeats Meets the Digital Age, Full of Passionate Intensity. There are things in this article we didn't cover in school, plus links and digital content related to the on-going exhibit at the National Library of Ireland.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jack and George and Thomas review Instructions from the Cook interview Brewed Fresh Daily -- Watch the video interview, done with The South Side restaurant in the background. Jack has such a nice way of talking about massive change in a nonthreatening way. Here's George's lead-in from BFD, with all the links you need:

It’s turning into a big media day for me. Besides today’s radio show on WCPN (don’t forget to call in your questions and comments), the video interview for Instructions from the Cook Thomas did last Monday when the book came out is in this week’s issue of CC:

Jack Ricchiuto & George Nemeth, local community-builders, have
teamed up to author a new book entitled Instructions from the Cook, a collection of creative recipes and and ideas for engaging and empowering a community to change. Based on zen principles,
their book speaks of how small acts can bring big change. Listen to this video interview at their book signing in Tremont with Cool Cleveland’s Thomas Mulready and learn how to initiate conversations, both on the internet and face-to-face, that maximize our individual gifts and talents to build our community.

When is the last time you actually made soup for a senior, exchanged stories with a homeless person or used one of your unique gifts to reach out of your comfort zone and help someone with lesser resources? Dive into this little gem and become authentically engaged.

You can order a copy of IftC at
Designing Life Books.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mike Lang finally in the PD, after he throws women's clothes into the booze equation

Euclid Avenue construction nears completion - Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer -- A few weeks ago, I wrote here about our friend and neighbor Mike Lang and his survival epic that's played out on Euclid these past few years. Now, yesterday, he gets some front-page billing in the PD, and its for adding women's clothes to an aggressive mix of liquor and men's sartorial splendor. I understand he had a minor marketing epiphany recently listening to that song that has the refrain, "Show me, where's the dress?"

Good luck, Mike. I'll be teetering down to 1275 Euclid soon, as quickly as I can get used to these new heels.

this is just about the last place to cut

Crain's Cleveland Business: RTA to boost fares, cut service to reduce red ink -- At a time when ridership is making buses bulge at the seams, cutting service and charging more for what remains is the last thing you want to have happen. Service and bus routes should expand; administrative staff should be cut; salaries should be cut; grants should be acquired; general taxes should be levied. But service should expand both in the number of buses circulating each route and in the hours of operation.

We found out recently that GCRTA has no idea how many people actually ride these things. We ride quite often, and the fare boxes are always inoperable.

The shopping areas depend on bus traffic. So do schools. So do the legion of newly minted commuters.

Here's some input from somebody who buys and uses a weekly ticket at all hours and for all destinations:

1. Make the bus appear every 15 or 20 minutes on each route during the
hours of 5 AM and 8 PM. Expand the workday to fit what many of us really

2. Run the buses all day and all night.

3. Stabilize the routes and the scheduling, to the point where it becomes
intergenerational knowledge. Quit the switchey-change-o managerial flourishes
and give an area something it can depend on.

4. Maintain our investment: make the fare boxes work, replace the shocks
and the springs.

5. Make the buildout of the RTA a primary focus; now, the area see it as an
expense for transporting poor folk; it's actually an asset that enables a person
to save $8,000 a year in car expenses (see David Bach's Go Green, Live Rich). GM, Ford, the UAW, and State Farm will suffer for a while, but it's about taking care of the welfare of the individual members of the community first and foremost. Pretend for a while that we are New York City, and there's no way to have a car

6. If we don't do all this, then what the heck did we do spending all that time and money on Euclid Avenue? Was it merely for some short-term jobs and to cut back on the number of independent businesspeople? If we cut back on current service, we need to somehow get back the money we as a community just spent on the Euclid Avenue Extravaganza, and perhaps damages, too. Where do we start?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

choppers for the urbane - Men's Cruiser Bikes--I've found the street bicycle I want. My criteria were that it have front and rear fenders and a chain guard, and now here's this creation by Nirve that I could even ride down to The Ugly Broad and park amongst the motorcycles. It's called The Cannibal.

I found a companion bike for Gloria in electric moss green, or metallic moss. Her nickname used to be Toad, so the color's more than appropriate. Hers is called The Switchblade.

Here on the Near West Side, we have traditions that die hard, even in the yuppier-than-thou pursuit of sustainability.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stephen Post on Sir John Templeton

John Marks Templeton passed away July 8th at the age of 95. On the podcast at the link, his friend and benefactor Stephen Post, President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and formerly of CWRU, remembers Sir John. This is a great synopsis the life and beliefs of a thought leader of our times. Dr. Post is now operating the Institute from Stony Brook, New York.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

learning from Belfast

Belfast: Open for Business -- There's a lot to learn here in this story of Northern Ireland's emergence from The Troubles and decades of dependence on the public sector for jobs. The reasons for their being attractive now include stability, a well-educated English-speaking workforce, and proximity to financial centers in Dublin, from which they get the overflow. Throughout the article the discussion focuses on relative costs and value.

Friday, July 04, 2008

the giddy ascent to happiness

And the world's happiest country is . . .. U.S. Reuters -- Interesting article; at least, it seems our world happiness quotient is on the rise. Other links here to the University of Michigan news service and here to the actual study allow you to peruse the data; I'd recommend digging through it; it's instructive and encouraging. The bottom line:

"Ultimately, the most important determinant of happiness is the extent to which people have free choice in how to live their lives . . .."