Sunday, May 21, 2017

The state of the sportball

Spent the week recovering from driving the length of Pennsylvania twice in five days. I've written about it before, and will probably never make that drive again. The rain over last weekend seems to have doubled its way back to Ohio the last couple of days. We had a gutter fixed in the back of the house, now there are still leaks in the basement but they're not as heavy as before. The joys of having a ninety year old house.

Currently listening to the Mets getting their asses handed to them by the Angels, who are ahead 9-0 in the third inning. Injuries and bad managerial decisions have decimated the pitching staff this season. Once again, frustrated and Bitter Mets Fan is not having a good spring.

Everton have finished their season in seventh place, which is probably the best they can do with the talent on the team at this time. Manager Koeman has his work cut out for him in talent acquisition over the summer. They are in Europa League competition next season, which means they get to go to places like SK Brann in Norway on a Thursday night in November.

Meanwhile up in Scotland, Celtic have been a buzzsaw in the Scottish Premier League this season as they finished at the top of the table with 34 wins, 4 draws and no losses. Going undefeated in any league is quite the accomplishment and Brendan Rodgers and his team are to be commended. Maybe next year they can get through the group stages of the Champions League and once again get pasted by a team like Juventus.

Getting worn out by those who think our president is becoming more presidential when he does not fling his own poo for twenty four hours. He's no statesman, but a con man.

Friday, May 12, 2017

You may ask yourself, well how did I get here?

I'm writing this from the parlor of a B&B that was built in the late 19th century and once owned by the family that exported Mumm Champagne into the country. Word on the street says it's now partially owned by a financial analyst who shouts a lot on a cable network.

We're going to be meeting some friends, and attending a pre-wedding dinner of a family member on Sunday in an Ivy League club in Manhattan. Excited about taking trains.

The weather is unseasonably cool. Drove here yesterday in an incessant rain through most of Pennsylvania. A drive I already cannot stand. Paid about $25 for the privilege of driving on some substandard roads.

When we got to the room last night, we set to lie down and catch up on events online but the power in the building went out for about fifteen minutes. It seems the power company was working on some utility lines and they knocked out power in the whole town. So it was not me signing into the wi-fi.

Going to head out and explore the town a bit more before getting lost on the way to our lunch date. Then again, Siri helped us get here with no incidents, maybe she can help us get around New Jersey without any tears.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Life is too short, so I did it

For a minute I was worried the world would blow up while a dream was in transit. I looked in local pawn shops and the guy at Sam's was very cool with good banter as he let me play the 360 they had. Also the people at Sam Ash were kind enough to let me play a new 360 even though it was not what I wanted to pay. Found it on ebay, from a guitar shop in Phoenix who did a great job packing and shipping the instrument.

Rickenbacker 330. It's new, and it's mine. Wife said she was not going to stand in my way. My Aunt's planning made it possible, and she would have agreed too. So there it is. Wanted one for about 40 years and now I can play one whenever I want. It's lovely, I'm building my callouses again and it's what I wanted. (Although the Epiphone Casino is pretty sweet)

I like the amp too. Stereo loud. I have no plans on upgrading the amp to annoy the neighbors but am looking at pedals.

It has me playing again, with noted improvement over the last three days and I walk around the house with it.

But mostly, since I have no plans on going to the studio or touring, it's for The Back Room.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

In West Columbus, and other sad places

The original Lunatic Asylum of Ohio was constructed in Columbus in 1835 on Columbus’ near east side. It burned down in 1868 and the rebuild on the west side of the city was completed in 1877. It was a tremendous building, said to be the largest structure under one roof until the Pentagon was built. If you walked around it, the distance was over a mile.

In the late 1980’s the building was abandoned and finally demolished in the 1990’s. Some of the architectural details, such as railings and windows, were salvaged and installed in the Hilltop Library - where I worked for a few years.

It was a hospital where the criminally insane were sent, where the indigent ended up, and where some poor families dropped off their children and relatives.

There are a couple of cemeteries on the site, They are hidden on the west side of Columbus. The one I finally went to is fairly easy to find. It is north of the BMV, just east of a center where violent juveniles are housed and next to the Columbus Police Department’s Heliport.

It’s a very peaceful, green space but looking at the stones is a very sad experience.

Who were these people? How many of them died alone? How many of them died not knowing they had family out there, or no family left?

How many were truly mentally ill and not given the help they deserved. How many were simply odd or misunderstood?

How many were autistic?

Here is a stone that simply labels a mass grave of human beings, Specimens. This is not the only one.

Here are row after row of tiny stones that reduced people’s names to numbers.

There were so many of these types of institutions all over the country, including one a couple of miles from where I grew up. Most of them had cemeteries just like this one. The numbers of people who were not treated like human beings, not given any assistance or dignity had to be staggering. Yet here we are today, facing an uncountable number of people with autism and other disabilities and we are cutting services instead of creating them. As a society we are not prepared for this storm. I’m not sure if this culture wants to take care of the most vulnerable.

Hope you all had a woke Autism Awareness Month. May is ALS, Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s Disease, Lupus, Mental Health, Stroke, Vision and more awareness month. That’s a lot to be aware of. Will no one will be aware of autism for another year?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Planning well in middle age

It was a year ago when my Brother called to tell me an account in my name had been set up by a brokerage firm. So my ignoring those emails from it was not the best idea. In about 24 hours the life and future of my family was altered. I've tried to do wise things, have made a few mistakes but have done some good moves also. Here I am learning about cost basis, mutual funds and strategies. As long as it all does not tank. Which in this day and age is not outside the realm of possibility.

This freedom allows us to do things like see Brian Wilson. To have a couple of cocktails in the new bar in the LeVeque Tower before the show. I got the practical car, and it has worked out very well almost a year in. It allows us to travel where we want when we have the time. And we're trying to help others too.

Later this week, another dream will arrive. Something I've wanted for about 40 years. I researched, went to local shops and finally pulled the trigger on eBay. I'm terrified, but it's cheaper and healthier than cocaine.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Angry so I wrote a poem

Revisionism, erasure, implied book burnings, not a fan. My Son hates ceiling fans, he has to be aware if they are on at all times. We have two in the house. There is one in our bedroom that he looks at every morning just to make sure it is not moving. The other is in the back room, where I'm typing this on a warm spring day in Columbus. When he was in the kitchen earlier he stared at the back room to make sure the ceiling fan was not moving closer to him. It's not.

There used to be one in his bedroom, but that was taken out shortly after he was born and replaced with a dimmer until that he broke as soon as he was able to move the switch.

None of this has much to do with the poem I wrote today, but it's still Autism Awareness and he's still singing at 6AM after not getting to sleep past midnight. Happy Easter.

Burn me out of your brain and see what replaces me

Erase me, revise me out of history
Ignore me, drop me, block me
Invite me nowhere, trip me in the aisle
You want to roast me
Tell me more about roasting
Avoid me, befoul me
You want to roast me
Put me in your oven
I step on pressure cookers daily
You want to roast me
You want to roast all the dudes my age
When we become shoveled ashes for you to dance upon
who will you find to roast next?
Tell me more
I will show you ovens demand fuel
Who will you roast when you reach my age
Fires are thirsty they need asses after
my old ass gets roasted
Prepare for your search, your hunt for purity
I have the means for you to forget me
It’s cheaper than you think