Saturday, January 31, 2009

Callahan’s Cleveland Diary AT&T starts “U-Verse” deployment in the city

Bill Callahan points out a sighting earlier this month of a big treelawn box near our Carnegie library, at Pearl and Mapledale. It's frustrating to spend years promoting good, sensible design and city planning, only to have a public utility owned by stockholders trump the rights of property owners in an urban community. This lowers all property values, as does the proliferation of utility poles nearly 100 years after we adopted sensible community guidelines for handling our common feeds. Read Bill's whole post. Here's my comment:

Bandwidth is good. Design from AT&T is obsolete and the cheapest possible installation. Security is lousy. These things should be placed below grade; visually, they're nasty; they're also vulnerable to sabotage, vandalism, bad weather, and plain old acts of God.

I believe Newton D. Baker's administration wrote the definitive code on how to place utilities, yet we continue to ignore what would be in the best interests of the community in the long term.

Above-ground utilities on thoroughfares have no place in a well designed city, and good design starts now, with the current projects under way.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is reeling under the insult to its streetscape; we need to fix ours now.

Callahan’s Cleveland Diary » Blog Archive » AT&T starts “U-Verse” deployment in the city

Saturday, January 24, 2009

From RICK FERRIS- Sequoia Realty Market Update e-Newsletter

I got this today from my cousin Rick and thought I'd share it. It's about choice. Somehow, too, it reminded me of the Irish patriot Michael Collins and his espousal of  the more aggressive " right to refuse":

Choose Your Attitude for a Positive 2009

For this issue of our newsletter, I wanted to share an important reminder on attitude. I received this from Michael McAllister, President of The CE Shop, a provider of continuing education. He touches on several critical points that shape our personal futures:

  • · We each choose our thoughts and attitude
  • · Remember to focus on where we want to go
  • · Talk about the good news in the market
  • · Which will we choose: feeling happy or down?

These apply to all of our businesses—and everyday interactions—not just real estate sales. I hope that you benefit as much from Michael’s article as I have. Here it is.

“…One of the many gifts we have to give ourselves at any time is the gift of choice. The ability to choose our thoughts and attitudes is a gift worth more than anything tangible. As we change our thoughts to those focused on where we want to go, supported by positive news, we can change our businesses and our lives for the better. This sounds kind of corny but stay with me, as this isn’t just a “feel good” idea but rather a potential revenue generating concept.

As I am traveling the country, I listen closely to a variety of industry participants from agents, brokers, lenders and REALTOR Association staff and executives. I find it no coincidence that the positive comments are coming from those that have been in the industry for many years; this is NOT the first challenging marketing they have witnessed. They exude a strong sense of what is good and talk about the good things going on in the market. Follow their lead and stay positive, focusing on the good news you hear, and let that momentum carry you and your business forward.

If someone gave you permission to feel good or bad, which would you choose? Notice that I say “choose”. Much of life is a choice; the results we get in our lives are a choice. This concept is easy and meets with little resistance during good times when deals are flowing. If deals aren’t flowing for you right now, choose different thoughts. Don’t be fooled, thinking positive is not enough, follow those thoughts through with thoughtful, consistent, client value/focused action.

Positive, inspired thought followed by thoughtful, consistent, client value/focused action is powerful beyond measure. People like to be around those who are positive, so if you find yourself feeling less than positive, consciously make the shift and watch how things change.”

My best wishes to you and yours in this holiday season and let’s make 2009 an excellent year together!



Richard Ferris, CCIM, MBA


Sequoia Realty Corp.

7464 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, OH 44060 USA

voice: 440.946.8600 x103

fax: 440.953.4500

web: and

"Northeast Ohio's Entrepreneurial Broker"

Call us now to auction your property!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Congress 9 percent raised by Jesuits

The Holy Cross alumni association referred me to this Boston-College-centric article. I glean from the comments here that the Catholic faith is still divided against itself and cannot eschew being judgmental. In internet parlance, it's called being snarky; another word for it would be bitchy, another, fractious, or maybe just sophomoric.

The proportionate religious representation is also interesting here:

In another analysis of the makeup of Congress, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life looked at the religious makeup of the House and Senate. A few highlights from the report:

• "Members of Congress are much more likely than the public overall to say they are affiliated with a particular religion."
• The Congress is mostly Protestant (54.7%), mirroring the nation, but the Protestants are from multiple denominations; Baptists are underrepresented, while Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbyterians are overrepresented when compared to their presence in the national population.
• "Catholics are the single largest religious group in the 111th Congress. Catholics, who account for nearly one-quarter of the U.S. adult population, make up about 30% of Congress."
• "Jews, who account for just 1.7% of the U.S. adult population, make up 8.4% of Congress, including just over 13% of the Senate."
• There are two Muslims and two Buddhists in Congress; both groups are slightly underrepresented, as are Hindus (there are no Hindu members of Congress).

New Congress 9 percent Jesuit-educated - Articles of Faith -

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This Will Be on the Test

I missed this piece about Political Science 216 from Erick Trickey when it first came out.  Today, I'm sort of missing The Professor.


This Will Be on the Test | Article Archives | Arts & Entertainment | Cleveland Magazine - Your guide to the best of Cleveland

contemplating the essence of "busness"

from our friend Ralph Solonitz bus

Bus.The.Bloggers road trip


Dear Blogger Pals--

Would you believe that nobody has stepped forth to write a check for $50,000 to send a busload of bloggers and community-dialoguers from Cleveland to Akron to Columbus to Cincinnati to DC and back again?

Can you even begin to imagine that nobody as yet wants to sponsor an exercise to bind Ohio together, in wholly public discourse, from the road and from the capital and then from the road again, over 4 wired and connected days from January 18-21? To have the content posted forever on the internet as blogs and tweets and podcasts and videos? To usher in the new intergenerational Woodstock on wheels?

I offered the Greater Cleveland Partnership the opportunity to write a half-check for $25,000 to send us on a one-way trip and not come back--something I thought they might snap up-- but nobody got back to me.

My rolodex was out of date when it came to calling Mike White down there with the alpacas or the llamas, so I called around and found everybody else had trouble reaching him, too. I was hoping he would be able to make the call to Sam Miller so that Sam could get behind the "participatory democracy" he holds so dear.

I tried to get a news operation to partner with us by sending along embedded journalists; the blog-based Huffington Post didn't seem to understand, and one of their blogger/journalists, Paul Krassner, is still too bunged up from a 70s police beating to put in 4 days on the road (Paul knew Magic Bus people like Ken Kesey and Wavy Gravy and is a piece of walking/limping history himself). I was going to try to embed Dick Feagler, recently available, I hear, because of his prior successes at interfacing with the blogosphere, but I didn't want to ask him outright until I had the trip paid for.

I've established a couple of things, or a few:

--Nobody who wants to ride the bus has enough money to carry the whole thing off, and doesn't know anybody who could help at the last minute

--There are no civic-minded sugar daddies out there who specialize in making seminal events happen, at least not among our contacts

--There may be more than one way to skin a cat.

Therefore, it's now time for all of you who think that the Blogger Bus needs to roll out of here tomorrow to begin to ASK SOMEBODY TO GIVE US A BUS FOR 4 DAYS. Dan Gilbert over at the Cavs might have one, or the Dolans may have one that's not being used next week, or the Browns organization may have one that needs to be exorcised by having joyous riders for a change.

After somebody gives you the bus, then ask them where's the food going to come from? Then, ask to borrow their air card. It's simple. Like back in the days when everybody went to San Francisco.

Hey, I've blogged this a bit at--

--and I've Facebooked it at--

I've asked some of our politicians, but some were immobilized by fear of conflicts and others thought that, if this were a proper thing to do, their brilliant Washington staff would have already told them about it.

Gloria this morning told me to leave this whole thing alone, that people would start thinking I was crazy, and I thought, "Yeah. So what else is new?"

It's been fun. Call me or email me or tweet me when you get a bus, or a check for food for 40 people for 4 days, or blog it or make a video and stick it up on U-Tube, or even call WKYC or the PD first--I don't care. What I do know is that we can fill the bus in a heartbeat, create a heck of a lot of good will, create great content and post it for time immemorial to the internet, and bring three generations together on a very favorable basis, conducive to telling stories that need to be told and tales that need to be kept in the public consciousness.

I'm going to the market now, before it closes. I have no Plan B yet. I still have faith in Plan A's being executed by a group of bloggers and other people of good will on a bus, somehow, so open-source it and see what happens.

Tim Ferris

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Paul Krassner--from the Huffington Post, by way of The Realist

Paul Krassner has just become my Plaxo buddy, and I was thinking of inviting him to be the embedded journalist on the Bus.The.Bloggers expedition this coming January 18-21. I was originally thinking of inviting Dick Feagler as the embedded one, since he's just recently retired and available and has a history of prior blogger goodtimes, but I'm sure Dick will understand if I invite Paul first. Of course, I can't be sure of Feagler's reaction, because, as many have told me cryptically in the past, I don't know Dick.

Paul's one of the few cultural icons still alive from that other era of riding the bus, 40-50 years ago. Here's his bio from The Huffington Post, and I guess he has some Cleveland connections still, as well:

Paul Krassner's next book is Who's to Say What's Obscene: Politics, Culture and Comedy in America Today, with an introduction by Arianna Huffington and a foreword by Wavy Gravy, to be published by City Lights in July 2009.

His latest book is One Hand Jerking: Reports From an Investigative Satirist, with a foreword by Harry Shearer and an introduction by Lewis Black, available at, as is the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster.

Krassner's FBI files indicate that after Life magazine published a favorable profile of him, the FBI sent a poison-pen letter to the editor, complaining: "To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute. He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut."

"The FBI was right," said George Carlin. "This man is dangerous--and funny; and necessary."

When People magazine called Krassner "Father of the underground press," he immediately demanded a paternity test. He had published The Realist magazine from 1958 to 1974. He reincarnated it as a newsletter in 1985. "The taboos may have changed," he wrote, "but irreverence is still our only sacred cow." The final issue was published in Spring 2001.

Krassner's style of personal journalism constantly blurred the line between observer and participant. He interviewed a doctor who performed abortions when it was illegal, then ran an underground referral service. He covered the antiwar movement, then co-founded the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. He published material on the psychedelic revolution, then took LSD with Tim Leary, Ram Dass and Ken Kesey.

He edited Lenny Bruce's autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, and with Lenny's encouragement, became a stand-up performer himself, opening at the Village Gate in New York in 1961. Ten years later--five years after Lenny's death--Groucho Marx said, "I predict that in time Paul Krassner will wind up as the only live Lenny Bruce."

Paul Krassner

Twittering Tips for Beginners -

Ah, if the New York TIMES if for it, then who can be against it?  David Pogue writes what is for me the first lengthy, populist exposition on the Twitter phenomenon. Personally, I wasn't able to function very well in Twitter until I picked up on a gizmo called twhirl: the social software client, and I'm still not that hot at any of it, or over it.

When you get up and running, tweet me. Some day, this might all make sense.

From the Desk of David Pogue - Twittering Tips for Beginners -

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Craig's photographic research here shows the solidity of the structure just demolished over in Tremont, against the wishes of the owner, in defiance of all of the most integral preservation tenets, disregarding basic human decency. Drive by. Offer to help right this insult to our city.  Here's the owner's name and address:

Frank Giglio
2288 West 14th Street
Cleveland, OH  44113-3611

I wonder where they're forwarding the mail? I wonder how we all go about recapturing our lost values from the vile perpetrators?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 18-21: blogging from the bus

A few days ago, on the 7th, a friend in Cincinnati proposed sending out a blogger call for a road trip in conjunction with the inauguration. The response was pretty positive. Today, we have the resources lined up and the plan partially fleshed out. Tomorrow, we start pounding the phones for money.

To this point, we have a bus reserved for 4 days. It carries 55 and has two drivers. It will start in Cleveland late on the 18th, stop in Akron, and hit Columbus at midnight. From there, it will proceed to Cincinnati, where there is an event at 3 PM, after which it will go on to DC, where it will arrive sometime early in the morning of the 20th and disgorge its load at the end of a T1 line, where the load will proceed to live blog and tweet and stuff for the entire day. We have made arrangements for clearance papers--I guess it involves the metropolitan police and the Secret Service. Then, on the 21st, it's back home. Coming and going, there will be photo ops and other media events.

We have lodging arranged for the only night when a bed will be possible, between the 20th and the 21st. A few other people and I are getting the money together for the bus, for food and lodging, and for a modest amount of walking-around money for each participant. Gloria and I can't go due to her recent retrofit, but we can certainly get vicarious. The bus will populate itself, we think, with three generations--it's a great opportunity for recording oral histories and the varied perspectives of the past 50 years.

Tomorrow, in addition to sponsorship, we'll be trying to get in-kind participation, as in air cards and wireless services. If we could blog and tweet all the way from Cleveland to Akron to Columbus to Cincinnati to DC and back, wouldn't that be a marvelous advertisement for a new wired America? The bus trip is a story in itself, and there are lots of other stories within that story.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

a poem by Langston Hughes, from Anthony Houston over on Facebook

There is a dream in the land
With its back against the wall
By muddled names and strange
Sometimes the dream is called.

There are those who claim
This dream for theirs alone--
A sin for which we know
They must atone.

Unless shared in common
Like sunlight and like air,
The dream will die for lack
Of substance anywhere.

The dream knows no frontier or tongue,
The dream, no class or race.
The dream cannot be kept secure
In any one locked place.

This dream today embattled,
With its back against the wall--
To save the dream for one
It must be saved for all.