Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Woken up by the Rain

Pretty heavy rain moved through here about 3AM. Everyone else is still asleep. The kid needs his sleep as he's been sick the past few days. I'm hoping he gets enough rest so he can head back to school instead of to the doctor. It's hard when he can't tell you what's wrong and he's good at detecting when you spike his food with medicine.

Been busy getting ready for the move at work. Monday will have my department going to a new location. I will have a window close to my desk.

Also been working on the year end CD. This year's will be available for download and should be finished in a week to ten days. Watch this space for exciting developments.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Got Your Plumber's Butt

A fix merely removed the mask of other problems.


The toilet has been flushing itself for awhile. I've been in denial about it, until yesterday.

If Nationwide Arena did not charge $10 for parking for a Ohio State Hockey game I may not be making this entry today. I do not like paying for parking, but $10 for a game that costs $11 for a ticket is pretty ridiculous.

So I was home yesterday afternoon, and bought new fixtures for the toilet yesterday morning. That's what I did, instead of going to the hockey game.

It took less that 45 minutes to install the new valve and flapper. There was little cursing. The toilet flushed when you flushed it, and that's all. Not a bad job for someone who is not mechanically inclined.

Later, we went out to dinner. When we came home there was audible dripping in the kitchen and a ceiling tile was soaked through.

There has been a minor drip coming from the bathroom pipes for a long time. The tile was not in perfect shape. The work I did though seemed to take away one problem and cause a faster drip in the pipe.

It's not raining in the kitchen but it's annoying.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What if I shit on a Bird?

Jon Sands was the feature at Writers Block last night and Scott Woods kept making him read. Finally, he did the poem above. Dude's amazing.

His first non-chapbook will be published by Write Bloody Press in February.

Jon is also a Pop Up Poet.

This is art, love and poetry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

Google Analytics is a site I check from time to time to see how many people are reading this, and where they are reading from. It does not track individual users, but what sites they use to access this one.

I get a wide variety of hits worldwide, but wonder how much of them are from spambots. Sweden reads me? Cologne, Germany?

In the U.S., here are the top ten states.

1) Ohio. No surprise here.
2) California. I do have friends out there.
3) Florida. Big population, but I do not think I know many people from the Sunshine State. Thanks for reading.
4) New York. My home state.
5) Virginia. See Florida. Who are you Virginians?
6) Minnesota. Really? This is probably the biggest reveal.
7) Washington. I'm fascinated. Thanks for checking in.
8) Utah. You'd think this was a surprise, but there are a couple of blogs I read from this state and the reading must be reciprocated. Thanks.
9) District of Columbia. Thanks for reading my blog Mr. President!
10) Arizona. I think I know a few people there.

I can go deeper, which city or town reads me most. A shout out to Brentwood, Ca.!

Readership has been slowly increasing the past few months. Comments are always appreciated but thank you for reading this piece of the internet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Old and New Tricks

Not sure if it was the change in temperatures, the time change, an illness or something he's not saying but for the past several weeks my son's been in a slump. It happens to all of us. We noticed, his teacher noticed. It's hard not knowing what exactly is wrong, because he's not saying in a way we can get.

The past few days though he seems to be pulling out of it. He's been sleeping better for one thing.

We slept in yesterday morning and he came into my bed with a ball and threw it at me as he said, "Catch the ball Daddy."

It was such a lovely day yesterday we took him to a park. Surprisingly there were not many people there so he had the place to himself. He did not wander along the fence, but used the slide appropriately, he even climbed up it!

We figured something out while he was on the swings. For reasons known to him only he likes to drag his feet on the ground while swinging. If he does not hold on tight enough, he's likely to fall and get a face full of wood chips, so we try to avoid that. Underneath a couple of the swings is a hole in the ground that is deep enough so his feet would not touch the ground. When I tried putting him on that swing, he got right off.

It's amazing what he notices, or, what we think he notices.

Looking up just now, I saw him get up, go to the box of tissues and pull one out. He spilled a little oatmeal on the table and was attempting to clean it up.

Last night he stomped around the house in my wife's boots, which he had not shown interest in for some time.

Toileting though, is another issue although a couple of nights ago I did find him in the bathroom sitting on the toilet correctly. After awhile he got up, no poop, but did put a new diaper on (backwards but give him credit) with two feet in one leg of his pajamas. He tries, he really does.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catching up

Had to take my car to the shop this morning, which caused me to miss my son's swimming. Luckily his Mother agreed to take him, can't thank her enough. Very nice thing to do.

Had a lot of time to kill before finding out the diagnosis on the car so I borrowed my wife's bus pass and got to walk around the city on a foggy morning.

Kept waiting for the sun to burn through the fog, but it never did.

Got a lot of walking in, from Buttles and High to the new park being built to the Main Library. There, I waited with others for it to open, and took over a computer to see the score of the Tottenham/Arsenal game while I waited for the mechanic to call.

Finished a book, and a few minutes later, got the call. I expected the rotors and brake pads to be shot, and they were. What was a bit of a shock, but not overly surprising was being told the head gasket is leaking.

It's a 22 year old car, in rough condition, with 241,000 miles on it. The mechanic and I agreed that sinking $1,600 to fix that was not a good idea. So I'll be watching the coolant levels, and hoping the car can hang on through the winter.

Backtracking to Thursday night's Decathlon Slam, team Shake and Bake was defeated. I lost the one minute round, and still do not the the judge heard the cheers properly. had to sit though an excruciating trivia round. Kids these days do not know their history. Then there was the Haiku Death Match which was closer to sitting at lunch in the high school cafeteria. I think the haiku was that old as well.

We did a group piece based on one of Kim Braswell's pieces about being dissed in a slam, complete with accents. I'm still trying to figure out what the accent was but I ended up yelling out in Long Island. Oh, and right as I was starting my first line the bell in the college went off. Nice.

I was representing our team in the Dozens Round, which is essentially - "Your Poetry is so..." Had come up with some solid hits. Your poetry is so bad Sarah Palin quotes your Tweets. Greg Oden's knee is stronger than your poetry. This was the first time I had done this and I was hanging in there.

I was up against Izetta, who beat me earlier this year at Writing Wrongs. She had my poetry being so bad that Kanye would not interrupt it. Finally though she came up with this gem. "Your poetry is so stupid, Fantasia reads it to her daughter at bed time."

Game. Set Match. She owns me, for now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Morning

A more substantial post is coming. Until then, enjoy Songwriting 101

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is How You Sell a Car

Sure, Corinthian Leather does not exist, but Montalban makes you beleive!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Best Part, it's Free!

Tomorrow night I am taking part in a Decathlon Poetry Slam at Columbus State Community College. More information is here.

If you can't get to that link it starts at 7PM at Nestor Hall.

Looking forward to this. I know my role and am working on presentation. Going to be a fun night.

Our team name is the Shake and Bakes. We even have a mascot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Main Reason I Watch the Game

Guillermo Barros Schelotto is one of the primary reasons I am a soccer fan. Yesterday, the Columbus Crew announced they will not exercise his contract option and are letting him go.

One of the best players in MLS history is being shown the door for no real reason other than sating the ego of a stubborn, incompetent coach and a management that cares little about building a fan base of adults. They want eight years olds who do not care if Steve Lenhart and Jason Garey can't put the ball in the net. As long as Crew Cat and his buddies keep throwing t-shirts into the crowd, it's alright.

Well it's not because the Crew are doing one of the dumbest things I've ever seen a pro sports team do, and that's remove its main asset before it was time for him to leave. Schelotto is why the team won the MLS championship two years ago. Schelotto is the man who puts fans in the seats. Yes, he's 37. Yes, his skills are diminishing. Yet, he can still produce. He was the team's top scorer this season. What did the young players the team wants to lean toward next season accomplish on the field? William Hesmer, the goalie, had one goal to Jason Garey's two. This is going to cost the franchise, dearly, in goodwill.

Crew management should keep the picture above in their offices, and look at it once in awhile, because it's unlikely they will see a player of that caliber play in Crew Stadium, as a member of the home team, ever again.

Guille, thank you for showing me how to love the game.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everybody's a Dreamer, Everybody's a Star

Watched a horrible documentary about The Kinks last night. A wasted hour with horrible production values. At least I did not pay for it. Best not to mention it again.

The clip above is interesting. I'm not familiar with the show "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush" so I looked it up on Wikipedia. That's Jools Holland on the keyboards and former Squeeze drummer Gilsom Lavis playing too.

Here's a mid 70's clip of one of the best songs Ray Davies has written.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Not Cheap When it Comes to Beer, but There are Limits

Friday night we took a voyage up to Whole Foods in Dublin. The journey had a specific purpose. When we walked in the market we went past the produce and saw a very lengthy line of twenty somethings holding empty wine glasses. Must have been wine sample night.

The place was crowded. I really think the number of drinkers was more than the number of people doing their shopping. There were groups of people wandering the aisles, drinking wine. If it helps business by turning a supermarket into a pickup spot one night a week, who am I to be cranky about it? I just was not prepared for the crowds, or at least not expecting a bar when I was shopping for tea and a specific beer.

Rockmill Brewery is located in Lancaster, Ohio. It opened up in September and makes four beers. All of their beers are made from organic products, including grains and hops. Their beers are made in a Belgian style, which made me sit up and take notice as I think Belgium makes the best beers in the world.

Yes, I know Pilsner Urquell is my favorite, but Belgium makes the best variety. If I had to drink the beer of one country for the rest of my life I would choose Belgium.

We chose the Tripel, which is rather pricey, and their most expensive at $16 for a 25oz. bottle. (the other three cost $13)

After negotiating past a belching hipster in the parking lot, and a trip to Jeni's, we made it home and opened the beer.

It had all the right components of the Belgian Tripel - the aroma, the color, the lace of the foam on the glass. Beautifully balanced in flavor with an appropriate for the style alcohol content of nine percent. Honestly, a dead ringer for one of the world's best, made in Lancaster, Ohio. I give the brewers top marks for this and will try the others as soon as I recover from the visit to Whole Foods. I'm glad this brewery's approach is to keep the quality at a top level without going completely over the top with exotic ingredients and excessive alcohol and hop content, like Dogfish Head does. Their production is so limited it is only available for retail in a few spots in Central Ohio.

I'm still a bit concerned about the price point. While shopping today I price checked Chimay Tripel, and it costs $11 for the same sized bottle. I admire Rockmill's commitment to quality, but when your product costs five dollars more than an authentic Trappist Ale, you may want to reconsider your pricing. It's obviously not an every day beer, at least it should not be! It would be nice to be able to afford it more than every few months.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Movement in 180 Grams

Plans sometimes have a good way of falling together. Yesterday we're trying to figure out what to do on our day off when Scott Woods issues a Facebook blast suggesting it would be awesome if we met at Spoonful Records then head to lunch.

Which is exactly what we did.

I went downstairs and found a few records I wanted to trade. They've been sitting down there for eight years and have not been played in longer. Time to find some music that I could use.

Got a fair trade and my Scottish Wife and I picked out a few records. Found some Bowie, Ray Charles, Roxy Music, Queen, Steve Winwood, and more. We were joined by Scott and a few others. Played a bad game of pinball. Besides those that Scott brought to the shop, the place was rather busy on a day off for a lot of state employees. Brett's got a good thing going in that location and I hope he can sustain it.

Lunch was great. I'd never been to J. Gumbo's as it's only open during the week. Cajun food similar to what Da Levee's doing, and just as good. I knew J. Gumbo's used to be a place called Skambo's, and Writers' Block used it as a venue, many years ago. Also had a good conversation about where to get pants for our skinny sons.

Really great idea by Scott and I hope we can do this again sooner than later. We must go through all the eateries in Pearl Alley.

Got a few errands done yesterday, but after lunch ended up taking a nap then played vinyl the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tools and Taps

Oh that Writers' Block, bringing out the ignorant in everyone. I can't sit next to Vernell for awhile - the things that were said, I have to donate to the United Negro College Fund to atone. Scott Woods gave me a poetry assignment for next week. The word I was given is in the urban dictionary.

While driving home, by the Schottenstein Center there was a familiar ker-flunk ker-flunk noise by the right front tire. Yes, it had gone flat. Tried to make it home and could not without causing untold damage to the rim and who knows what else. Ended up in a lot by the gas tanks at Trabue and Dublin Road. It was well lit for 11PM and the surface was flat.

My mechanical skills are quite limited. This was the third time I've ever had to change a tire, first on the Volvo, and the first late at night.

So I pulled out what I needed from the compartment in back of the wagon. The spare is full size, not a doughnut, and set to work. The jack is about the size of a breadbox. Somehow I managed to get the wheel off the ground. Four of the five bolts came off the tire rather easily. The one bolt left though, serious pain in the ass. Yet, after some thought and a few cuss words it was finally extracted.

The tire came off rather easily but it took a few tries to get the new tire on. It was not quite light enough to completely see the bolts through the holes in the rim, but there was success. Got the bolts back on tight enough to make it home. Only took about half an hour. Aside from the damaged and torn apart tire, no one was hurt.

This morning I get to head over to the tire store and have them put a tire on the rim. I think I'll keep the spare on as it is a full size tire in decent shape. A plus is having the day off. The kid is here to wait for the school bus then we face the rest of the day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On the Same Boat

A couple of friends of mine have written some powerful stuff about their lives and dealing with their child's autism in the past day. Katie had this reaction to a letter.

"While making dinner, I listened to the "letters" segment of All Things Considered when a response came in about a story about disabled adults who are forced at adulthood to go into managed care facilities instead or remaining at home with the assistance of hole health care. Some man wrote in to ask what the value of this woman was and why should taxpayers take care of her? This asshole drives on roads that I pay for, took advantage of an education that I paid for, has police and fire protection that I pay for and military protection that I pay for and never, ever do I ask to measure his worth for all of these advantages of living in this country. Fucker! So here was my response:

I was sickened to that one of your listeners believes that since some disabled people don't "contribute" to society taxpayers shouldn't be obligated to care for them. I have an autistic daughter who does contribute to our society including providing employment to dozens of people including teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and many home health aides who enabled my daughter to live as normally as possible. Having these aides furthered her development more than any single treatment, for the record. Instead of judging her worth on what she contributes, I sometimes prefer to look at what she doesn't do. My daughter will never drive and congest our already congested roads, she will never default on her mortgage, she is unlikely to rob a bank, she will never run into you in the street because she is too busy texting a friend and most importantly she will never be a judgmental asshole like the man who thinks that disabled people don't contribute anything of value. I am so lucky to have a daughter who constantly reminds me of what's important."

She's always been quite frank about whatever situation she finds herself in. I've always admired her for that. It's an important issue; what are we, as a society, going to do with all these autistic children when they become adults?

Sue's a published author and has been blogging about her life, and her son's autism for over five years now. Her latest post, about parental guilt has lot to chew on in it, and she also has asked the question about autistic adults in her blog, and in her current situation as her child is of legal age.

Most days being the parent of an autistic child is rewarding. Others it can be an incredible pain in the ass. Like when he poops in his diaper ten minutes after you take him off the toilet. And when it's out of your control, like today when his bus did not show up on time so I had to drive him for the second time in two weeks - it's an annoyance. Especially when the transportation section of his school district will not admit a 20% failure rate on on-time delivery is not acceptable. I know that sometimes the bus is going to be late.

Just the way it is I suppose.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

While Waiting in the Vision Therapist's Office

You, ok, I think of the weirdest shit sometimes. Ok, maybe more frequently than sometimes. More than a top ten list, here's a list of -

Rejected Christmas Gift Ideas

Tickle Me Brett Favre's Penis
Tea Party Rally Sign Spell Checker
Unicorn Barbie
Salmonella Fruitcake
Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" with a new Forward by Lebron James
Birth Control Sponge Bob
Jan Brewer Racial Profiling Kit
Blu-Ray Charles DVD Player
EZ-Bake Oven (Dachau Edition)
Charlie Sheen Roomba Recyclable Drug Dispenser
Circus Clown Black Ops
Texting While Driving Barbie
Mr. Potato Blight Head
How to Finally Let Go by Virginia Thomas
David Carradine Memorial Neck Tie
Slam Poetry for Dummies by Jory Farr
Obama/Biden "Two More Years" Commemorative T-shirt
Madden '11 - the One with the Buffalo Bills on the Cover
Kanye West's "Guide to Taking Turns"
2013 Mayan Calendar
Siamese Barbie

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Not Sure What's Going on Here

After about a three year absence, the new Sakert record was released in August. Readers here know that Sakert = Annika Norlin = Hello Saferide. I like them all, even if I have no knowledge of Swedish.

Annika shows up in the video at the 1:45 mark.

In trying to find a link to purchase, I found a download at a very reasonable price through Amazon.UK. This is very good news.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Ticking in My Hand

The time change usually has an adverse effect on my son. So far so good today. He was in his room and I asked what he was up to. I believe he said, "Causing trouble." It's something I say to him when he's up there alone. He's plotting things up there, I know it.

Now he's sitting next to me with a book. I asked what he was doing, he said, "you reading a book." We got him looking through Green Eggs and Ham. He's showing a lot of interest in it.

I've been on a lucky streak with books myself. There was Room which I followed up with Pat Conroy's "My Reading Life." His last two works of fiction have not really done it for me, especially his last one. His non-fiction works though. In the new one he gives a lot of shout outs to his teachers and why Gone With the Wind is one of the best works of American fiction. His storytelling is at a peak here and I found it to be very entertaining.

I'm following these two books with Keith Richards' autobiography, which is very enlightening and rousing - and I'm only at the point the Stones are still forming.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Heckled and Got Candy Thrown at Me

Yesterday we were informed that there is a new microbrewery in Ohio that is producing Belgian style ales.

We were excited to hear this and made plans to go to dinner where these beers were available. Unfortunately their production is so small they are not kegging their beer so they were only available in 25oz. bottles at a price that was a bit steep. No fault of the dining establishment, they have to make their money, but we opted for a drink and a draft.

At least the service at this place was improved from the last time we were there.

Last night's Writers' Block offered up some great work. I'd never heard Adam Stone's work before and was taken in by Robert Frost Checking his Netflix Queue.

As for the rest of the evening, well there was a porn poem read off a cell phone. I released a new poem, a stoner poem. It had been awhile since a stoner poem had been read and in the defeat of Prop 19, some things needed to be said. As for a procedure known as 'shake and bake', it would seem that simply having the darn sex would be a lot less traumatic than purchasing all that Mrs. Dash product.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prepping for the Hayride

The sun is rising today, as it did yesterday, as it will tomorrow. The election cycle is over, for a couple of days, until the shouting beings again. So here I am with a bank lobbyist as my congressional representative and a former fox news talk show host and lehman brothers manager as my governor. This state is facing an eight billion dollar budget shortfall.

Do I want fire protection, or paved roads?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not Shutting Down

Today is supposed to be Communication Shutdown Day, people turning off their twitter or facebook accounts in support of those with autism. There's been a counter effort for autistic people and those with Aspberger's Syndrome to tell their stories and not shut down because the internet and social media is one of the main ways for them to communicate. I agree with the latter group. I've written before about many organizations, such as Autism Speaks, that use celebrity spokespeople and ad campaigns of gloom; rarely using actual autistic men, women and children in their public service announcements.

This is my eight year old son. He has autism. The short clip is not him being bad, or being good. This is him. Communicating.