Thursday, January 31, 2008

I got rolling and I missed it: Tet +40

Yesterday, January 30th, was the 40th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, which event changed a lot of lives in our generation. In retrospect, I view the whole thing as an overall positive, the start of many unintended and unintentional adventures.

Without Tet, I would have started my working career after college as a PR/advertising man for General Motors, I never would have gone to live in Massachusetts or Georgia, Kansas, and Korea, never jumped from airplanes, never had so much exposure to weapons and explosives, never started to thing about things tactically and strategically, and I probably never would have met half the wild and crazy crew that now comprise my past. Our friend Joe Foley has spoken about how war disrupts and remixes the population from his point of view as one of the WWII generation, and we experienced much the same thing as we were drawn to participate in the festivities surrounding our country's escapades in the RVN.

Anyway, I am now seeing Tet in a new light; yesterday, too, was the 67th birthday of Dick Cheney, and it's really a stretch for me to begin to view that as an overall positive. Remember, Dick was the guy who "had better things to do" when all the rest of us were scrambling in the wake of Tet. Everyone, please remember.

Monday, January 28, 2008

making critical distinctions

Washington Wire - : Did Bill Clinton Go Too Far? -- I like the way this dialogue is getting framed out [bold emphasis mine] :

Mr. Clinton stirred up controversy on the campaign trail by saying he’d been told his wife would lose because voters were choosing candidates “because of their race or gender.” Before the polls closed, Mr. Clinton pointedly told a TV reporter – who asked why both Clintons were needed to beat Obama in South Carolina – that Jesse Jackson had won the state in 1984 and 1988. At the time, Jackson was often seen as the black presidential candidate, rather than a presidential candidate who also happened to be black.

“Do you think President Clinton was engaging in racial politics there?” George Stephanopoulos asked. Obama on ABC’s “This Week.”

The Illinois senator, who won almost four out of five votes from African-Americans, didn’t rise to the bait. Instead, he talked about health care, college costs, the credit crunch and the subprime-mortgage mess. “As long as we were focused on those issues, we thought those would transcend the sort of racial divisions that we’ve seen in the past,” Obama said.

Friday, January 25, 2008

the Brewed Fresh Doily finds a home

At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee - New York Times -- I understand that our friend George is sending the owner of this high-end coffee brewer a gross of Brewed Fresh Doilies to put under his high-end cups and saucers.

Lots of coffee buzzwords here: noble, delicate, sweeter, juicier, moussey, majestic, titillating, floral, sexy, kaleidoscopic, and jammy. To the extent the effete-yet-wired coffee-snob parlance borrows freely from other sensate experiences, it seems akin to the extravagances we studied among the early enthusiasts of wine and cheese, the gentle hedonists. Enjoy; I found the article sort of hilarious, with sort of a nutty bouquet. I love the bit about “If you just want equipment you’re not ready.” I'm sure we'll see the line surface on SNL some day soon. I would have written it for Mango.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

cleveland foodie: a truly useful blog

cleveland foodie: chicago recognizes cleveland as a dining destination -- I just noticed this blog again for the second time in as many weeks, coming to it from a CoolCleveland link. The first time was for the interview with Heather Haviland over at Lucky's, where the fare is healthy and tasty.

This young lady is providing a truly useful service to us all, and she has an interesting writing style to boot. The right sidebar is a definite time-saver for sorting through the local offerings. Thank you, Michelle V.

Monday, January 21, 2008

online consumer rape, by Seattle Direct Coffee

Complaints Board Seattle Direct Coffee--Trusting soul that I am, I have been bilked by Seattle Direct Coffee, and it appears they've been getting away with it for a while. Here's my comment, way down the list, on the Complaints Board--

I just got the same hustle. I feel as though I've been raped. The grinder, a Cuisinart [made in China, by the way], stopped working after a few days. I opened up one bag of the coffee, and it was terrible--I never would have bought such dry, tasteless crap in a shop. They also sent me some sort of Hawaiian Hazelnut frou-frou blend that I never would have selected on my own.

I'm blogging this, contacting the BBB online, and asking my state's attorney general to see what they can do about it. This is fraud, and it seems that it's been going on for a good while now.

This was one of a package of deals that offered Microsoft Office 2007 as the premium.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

MTB reunion, and convergence

Last night, Madame Gloria and I took a ride over to 44111 in the Kamms Corners area to chat with Rosemary Palmer and Paul Hackett, who came up from down by the river to help open the new Palmer campaign office at 15735 Lorain. Both are MeetTheBloggers alumni, Paul back in the day when both a podcast and a transcript were part of the standard offering, Rosemary far more recently.

One thing I remarked at the end of the evening was that we certainly had grown some interesting new groups of friends. The other candidates may have the support of the other local politicians, the unions, and all the other intrenched interests that essentially have gotten us to where we are today, but the people we spent 4 hours with yesterday are interesting, impassioned, outraged, and genuine and human. They're our neighbors. They're speaking out against the same structure that has disadvantaged you and me.

Beyond the HopeMobile, outside 44111, the quibbling and niggling proceeded amain, and the Weenie Wars raged on.

Friday, January 18, 2008

getting in touch with my inner Earth Mother

This compelling offer just arrived this morning from Nightingale-Conant as part of my motivational quote of the day, and it struck me as funny. Just yesterday, I was toying with adopting.

No matter your sex or your age, you can still give birth. Giving birth to a new self is a goal that most people seek, but few accomplish. Use the fresh start of this year to improve just one thing about yourself — your charisma. Charisma is perhaps the one elusive character trait that positively impacts your entire world. When you’re charismatic, people gravitate to you, open doors for you, and help to make your life the best it can be. Dr. Tony Alessandra teaches you how to live a more charismatic life.

"A person's main task in life is to give birth to oneself."
— Erich Fromm: Was a psychoanalyst and philosopher

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

local production for local consumption

Mayor Jackson wants local companies to get more city work - -- Our friend Norm Ezzie promotes "local production for local consumption" as something that's integral to a healthy community.

Frank Jackson's new initiative, based on his proclamation yesterday that "We have to invest in our own people," should help turn the tide when it comes to the letting of contracts, but he has a lot of work to do. Doner (rhymes with "boner"?) Advertising of Southfield, Michigan, seems to have a real toehold when it comes to advertising Cleveland+; the airport (CLE) advertises very little, if any, local business through ClearChannel and its Allentown, PA, based office, formerly known as Interspace; and, those irritating, tacky street kiosks come to us compliments of Omni Media/Astral Media, a Montreal firm with a skeleton token staff here.

I'm hoping these initial opportunities for Clevelanders aren't those of street bootblacks and sandwich-board wearers outside the new casinos, whenever the "businessmen" get ready to take another run at it.

Lev Bytes, & pancake makeup

Bytes From Lev: ICF Announces the 2008 Top Seven Intelligent Commuities of the Year --It's hard to believe sometimes, when you live inside the mess, but NEO is truly a progressive, top-seven intelligent community. This is some fantastic news, proferred for our delectation by Lev Gonick. Personally, I find it very gratifying and reassuring--nay, energizing--to be included in such company, along with Seoul, Scotland, Westchester, and NC.

Let's forget from here on in that necessity has been the mother of invention, and drive on.

Remember, though, to listen to the new voices, and make new choices, as that lavishly funded campaign exhorted us to do just a short while ago. Pay no attention to the old men behind the curtains, leaking money in a last-ditch effort to cosmetically cover over and compromise the new growth that's disenfranchising them. Let the Lev Bytes show.

talking about scones

What's the correct pronunciation of "scone"? One that rhymes with "bone" or one that rhymes with "gone"? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers -- I just browsed over to the web page of the new Monastery Restaurant/Tea Sanctuary on West 25th Street and noticed that they, too, sell scones. Now that scones have become more commonplace than they were back in the '50s and '60s, more people are talking about them as they eat them, and the preponderance of folk in NEO seem to think the word has a long "o" and rhymes with "bones." My grandfather, who hailed from a place called Ballymoney in Country Antrim, near Belfast, used to fix scones and soda bread for us occasionally, and his pronunciation rhymed with "gone."

At the opening link, the debate over pronunciation preferences rages on. Meanwhile, back at The Monastery, the concept of the formal tea emerges on West 25th Street, where Nelson Cintron did recently roam. Seems like they have an interesting proposition:

Our menu features our own tea cured meats, a fusion of historic recipes with a contemporary twist, utilizing international ingredients. Over 150 teas are available for enjoying here or at home. We also offer French press coffees, chocolate, and other infusions to stimulate and please your palette. Daily we feature the chef’s special creations. Our recipes take health and nutrition into consideration, while pleasing the senses. You can dine choosing a light and original meal, or hearty, for the larger appetite. We feature homemade appetizers, soup, salads, entrees, and special desserts made fresh daily. Our creations are available for takeout to feed yourself, family, or to entertain.

To increase your awareness and to educate, we offer hand-outs on the health benefits, history, and other interesting facts on tea, beverages and other featured ingredients.

We feature a Formal Tea for your enjoyment. The menu includes homemade scones, lemon curd, honey & lavender cream, strawberry cream, tea sandwiches, and desserts. For your visual pleasure, we also offer "display teas", which is meant to delight your eyes as well as taste buds. They make a very fitting finish to a special meal. They unfurl when added to water, revealing delicate flowers hidden within. The practice of hand-sewing leaves into "blooming teas" is an age-old Chinese art form that dates back centuries.

Monday, January 14, 2008

love that diction, the idiom

China blogger beaten to death - -- Here's a sad story about one of the first blogger-martyrs. Has anybody seen Yellow Dog Sammy in a while? What's really remarkable here is the way they express themselves:

"But now someone has been beaten to death on site. It has brought us not surprise, but unspeakable anger."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Villa y Zapata's new, second location

I wanted to make sure our girls knew that now, whenever they visit Cleveland, we can not only make the obligatory visit to the West Side Market but also go to Villa y Zapata for a burrito, some flan, or some cajeta, all without moving the car or getting on another bus.

Villa y Zapata has been one of our old standbys for over 20 years--we take out-of-town guests there, to the Madison Avenue location, because we think it's a unique place they won't find anyplace else. Now, there's a second location just to the north of the Market, on West 25th with another entrance from the market parking lot in the back.

The whole area around the West Side Market is getting to be a really good destination for restaurants. We can pick from Great Lakes Brewery, the West Side Market Cafe, The Angle, and now Villa y Zapata. And then, there's Tremont right down the street...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

for the ferrets

Bowling Benefit at Meszar's Lanes (Sunday, January 13, 2008) - Upcoming -- One of my seldom mentioned alter egos, Tim Ferrets, really wants you to know about this one--there are very few similar events, anywhere, ever, so you might want to take advantage of this unique window in time and hurry on over to Meszar's this Sunday.

This event reminds me of the fact that we who live in Brooklyn Centre are in proximity to a lot of small community gathering places like this bowling alley--the bars, the restaurants, the libraries, the churches, and so forth. As a matter of fact, community places are really dense and readily available. We are already perfectly suited to form, or re-form, the type of community that takes care of itself and its own. But, back to the friendly, frolicking ferrets:

Sunday, January 13, 2008
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Meszar's Lanes
4231 Fulton RoadCleveland, Ohio 44144-1866

Ferrets Unlimited Ferret Shelter (The only ferret shelter in Northeastern Ohio) is having a bowling benefit on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at Meszar’s Lanes 4231 Fulton Rd Cleveland. The party goes from 4:00 - 8:00 PM and includes open bowling, pizza, raffles, door prizes and lots of fun. There is also a cash bar with reduced prices.Tickets are $20 advance (deadline for advance tickets is Jan. 8, 2008) or $25 at the door. Children's tickets (ages 6-11) are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For ticket information please call 216-351-4694 and speak to Elaine or Sarah.Please help spread the word!


Monday, January 07, 2008

just clicked over the 600-contact mark on Linked In

I just got an email acceptance of a Linked In invitation I had sent out months ago, and it put me over the 600 mark. Should I now send a card to Frank Warren over at PostSecret telling everybody  how I REALLY feel about that?

sort of like MTB, but with VC backing and video, too

Ex-Harvard President Meets a Former Student, and Intellectual Sparks Fly - New York Times -- Here's a story about a site making its debut today that seems to have a lot in common with MeetTheBloggers so far as trying to provide the content you can't get elsewhere, and then keeping it posted on the internet in perpetuity, as a reference source.

“The idea behind Big Think is that you do have to sit down for a few minutes and listen to people who know more than you do,” Mr. Hopkins said.

Mr. Hopkins knows his site will naturally appeal to secular East Coast intellectuals, but he wants to challenge their secularism with sections on faith and love and happiness. “There’s a ton of evangelicals,” said Mr. Hopkins, including an interview with Rick Warren, the pastor and best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life.”

“People, whether or not they believe in God, these issues really resonate,” said Mr. Hopkins. “Look at the success of ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Purpose Driven Life.’”

He also hopes the site can transcend partisanship and become a destination for thinkers open to hearing opposing views.

“We live in this hyperpartisan world with really smart people on each side,” Mr. Hopkins said, invoking John Locke and John Stuart Mill, two enlightenment thinkers who believed in being open to hearing out the other side. “But there’s a lot of information not being exchanged because of these false barriers. People should expose themselves to the counterpoints.”

Saturday, January 05, 2008

time for a review

Medical Mart deadline etched - Cleveland's Top Story from The Plain Dealer -- Seeing reports of the most recent posturing by Tim Hagan in this morning's PD, I realize it's time to review the Joan Mazzolini half-reporting that went down when this issue was discussed in a public forum this past summer. What's the best way to search the archived material online at the PD? I'm not having much luck.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

caps make it possible to quantify penalties

Ohio personal injury caps upheld - OPENERS - Ohio Politics Blog by The Plain Dealer -- These caps are a bad idea all around. Not only do they make it possible for a business entity to quantify better the potential claims it might incur for shabby products or procedures, but it also takes the guys in the white hats--the plaintiffs' attorneys--further out of the equation. Half the reason "the little guy" is able to win lawsuits is because the costs of carrying the case are borne by the trial lawyers, until the case is settled. Getting into the pockets of the guys in the white hats will limit their ability to engage our common enemies.

We need to rethink a lot of what has just happened here. One of our major means of societal redress and rebalancing has just been hobbled.