Monday, January 31, 2011

Cadbury and the Boy

He took the creme egg right out of my hand and would not give it back. At one point he put most of it in his mouth, but would not bite down.

Later, it broke and he was not pleased with the fondant.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dilate Me

Been frustrated for too long. It is my age, physical condition or general deterioration? The better the technology has become in the 44 and a half years I've been wearing glasses, the less I am able to see clearly using it.

Progressive lenses and I do not get along. This is the second pair in a row I've had and they have both sucked. I have not had a decent prescription for over twenty years. The lenses I've received have not come close to equaling the ones I had in Fredonia in the late eighties. I was able to see two inch high numbers clearly at a distance of about 15-20 feet. Any price in the liquor store shelves from the cash register was clear.

On Friday I'm heading to the ophthalmology department at OSU for a thorough exam. All I want is a no frills pair or reading glasses. No tri-vision poly anti-scratch coating hi-index lenses with bendable titanium sustainable recycled from pig's hearts frames.

I want a set of glasses I can see properly out of, is it too much to ask?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Batting Practice

There was a very good slam at Writers' Block on Wednesday night. Twelve poets signed up. That's lot of poets. I got the twelve spot and waited though some good poetry. People brought out some new work. I did an older one, one I think I've only read once, and not in a slam. It's about the local Craigslist Missed Connections and this worker at Microcenter who gets a lot of attention.

I was surprised it scored well and put me in second place going into round two. Here I did another poem I had only read once or twice, and again, never used in a slam. A piece of self loathing called I Got Nothing that was not my best effort and I plummeted in the standings as other poets did very strong work.

Finished tied for fourth place. Just getting into the second round was my goal, and I achieved that. Going to have to work a lot harder though. Bars have been raised, the pitching is live.

Twenty five years ago today I woke up late from my bed in the now torn down house on White Street. Turned on the television to see the noon news and specifically wanted to know how the Sabres did the night before.

Saw that, and Dan Rather instead. Had to work at East Main Liquors at two.

To escape that sad memory - the late 1970's was a strange time to be a teenager. Heavy metal, rock and it's various forms, disco were all in my face, demanding my attention. I tried ignoring it all, preferring to hide in the basement. How could you when these two were on NBC as a summer replacement series.

Then there's this.

That's where my head remains to this day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shaken Up

On Tuesday afternoon a 10 year old boy was sexually assaulted in the mens room of the library where I used to work. I still go here several times a week to do my library business.

I hope the young man recovers from this horrific crime and gets the treatment he deserves.

When I stopped by yesterday to pick up my stuff, all three of the local news trucks were there, and had filmed or were about to film for their evening newscasts. Attention the library does not need. Last week a teenager was followed out of the library then beaten and robbed as he waited for a bus a couple of hundred yards from the branch.

When I worked there, I was always worried about a crime happening that was more violent, and not hidden in a bathroom stall. A lot of people acted out in public areas back then, and may still do.

The staff I spoke to understandably had a rough day, and I am sorry they had to go through this. Obviously it is not something you want to happen. This hits close to home for me, being the parent of an eight year old. But it's not something the library staff are trained to fix, or even prevent. How can you stop a monster?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Slam Season

Time to break out the notebooks, piece together the fragments and find something new in the rubble as Writers' Block qualifying slams for the National Poetry Slam start tonight.

Sadly, my schedule in August does not mesh with going to Boston for a week so slamming for funsies will have to do, until IWPS.

I'm liking the new rules for this season. The main change being the 'no repeat' rule. This means I can only read my unicorn coughing muppets as hairballs poem once during the Nats season, and not in the Nats Grand Slam. If I chose to, I can also read it just once during IWPS season.

You have to have deep pockets if you want to be in a national competition!

Starts tonight at eight. Kafe Kerouac is the place to be.

What's the big deal about Oprah meeting her long lost half-sister, I did that last weekend.

Watched about half of the State of the Union address, though Olbermann's tweets were more entertaining. Was it just me or was Obama trying to channel Reagan with the domestic spending freezes and cuts? The pat down line ticked me off because you know we're going to be searched going onto high speed rail (if that ever happens) and sports stadiums soon enough. I was also wondering if Leno wrote the smoked salmon line. Overall, not really impressed. However, I did find this screen capture to be quite hilarious.

The boy has decided waking up at five in the morning is a good thing to do. As usual, he's not telling us why. Now he's on my hip, thinking about falling back asleep I bet.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yesterday's Football and Getting on Youtube

Both games were fairly boring yesterday. I was perked up by my mojito stupor to find that Todd Collins had entered the game as quarterback for Chicago, replacing the injured Jay Cutler.

Collins played for the Bills early in his career. He was handed the starting job after Jim Kelly retired and was a complete waste. Until J.P. Losman came along, Collins was viewed as one of the worst quarterbacks in recent Bills history. So I laughed and laughed loudly whenever he took the field.

Collins did not disappoint, he played two series and was nearly picked off twice. Chicago then replaced him with third string quarterback Caleb Haine, but the damage had already been done.

I missed the second half of the Steelers/Jets game and put on Exit Through the Gift Shop a look at street art, an obsessed film maker turned artist and the elusive Banksy. A very entertaining look at insanity.

Sean FM has been taping many of the events at Writers Block these past few months and some of the work has been put on youtube. I got uploaded last night.

The link to Slam Poet Junction can be found here.

Thanks again to Sean for doing the taping, and for Scott Woods for doing the uploading.

It's that time of the year already - submitting work for consideration in the Columbus Arts Festival. The deadline is Saturday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You Can't Win Them All

As I write this, the Blue Jackets have beaten St. Louis 5-2 for their first back to back road wins since November.

Tonight we braved the cold temperatures and headed to the Ohio State Hockey game. Last night they beat Notre Dame 6-1. I suspected that there would not be a rout tonight, and I was partially right. Notre Dame dominated and won 4-1.

The Fighting Irish are a very good team. Not sure if they're in first or second in the CCHA. There was no way they were going to be embarrassed two nights in a row and came out ready to play.

That readiness combined with Buckeye defensive errors, too many trips to the penalty box and, sad to say, poor play by goalie Cal Heeter were all factors in the defeat.

There was a good crowd on hand, the upper level was partially opened up. We were seated a section up from and just to the right of a growing student fan section.

It's encouraging to see the student support, and a growing fan interest. I think coach Mark Osiecki has a lot to do with this, he's certainly brought me back to the games putting a refreshing style of play and better attitudes on the ice every night. We'll be back in a couple of weeks when they return home to play Michigan State. The Friday night game has a teddy bear toss. I've been hearing about these things and await seeing this event happen.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Random Friday

What can I say about Writers’ Block’s Founder’s Night? People brought new work, dusted off some old poems – dusted off themselves to come out for the first time in awhile. It’s family, and I’m honored to be a part of it. Scott and Vernell have sustained a loving and supportive creative venue for fifteen years and I cannot thank them enough.

Did a new piece called “Slam Poet Junction” in which I took a scythe to slam poetry topics and put a dagger to the throat of my own work. You never know how new work is going to go in such a crowded setting, and I went first so I got to set the tone of the evening. Yes, the title is Schoolhouse Rock based. Yes, there is singing. Yes, it would sound good with bongos, er, congas backing it up!

Wrote it after watching a DVD of the IWPS 2009 finals; There was some very good poetry read, but I’m not sure it traveled well. Kind of like really, really enjoying a wine during a tasting at the winery. Meeting the winemaker, seeing the vineyards, then when you buy a bottle of the wine you just had and take it home, it does not taste as good. Terroir matters.

The week continued with my son’s school bus not showing up on time, again, on Thursday morning. It finally showed up when he was supposed to be in school. Transportation heard from me. The bus driver heard from me. They know I am not pleased with their lack of punctuality.

I finally got the title to the car and went to the BMV to get license plates. There was no one there. No waiting at the BMV is a great thing to receive.

There was a snow event in the city yesterday so the drive home from work last night was an adventure. I took it slow and steady, as did most of the commuters. There was one mini-van that went into the ditch on Fisher Road, but no one was hurt. Wound up getting all my errands done.

On getting home I found my Scottish Wife in our parking space, shoveling a path for me to park. That was sweet. She even shoveled the back walk while I put the new plates on the car. I shoveled the front, and the sidewalk of my neighbor. We ended up with about six inches of snow.

The car was frozen shut this morning and I had to chip away and wait to finally be able to get in though one of the back doors, push open the front doors – great fun in single digit temperatures, in the dark. Scraping the car of ice and snow was finger numbing, even in gloves. It could be worse. Wanted to head out to the car graveyard and salvage a couple of small parts for the interior tomorrow morning, but temperatures are once again going to be cold. So I’ll end up back at work for a couple of hours and will hopefully be able to see my son in the pool too.

Writers’ Block First Draft tonight. Nuku Haiku, including the haiku death match. Starts at eight at Kafe Kerouac. Admission is a mere three dollars. You can’t beat that!

There was a lovely moon set in the west that I got to see from the large window behind me. Nice way to get the day going.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tonight - Writers' Block Founder's Show

Tonight is the fifteenth anniversary of Writers' Block. It's going to be a celebration, a roast, a call to ignorance and so much more. Scott Woods and Vernell Bristow have a lot of be proud about as they start year sixteen.

You should be there. Starts at eight at Kafe Kerouac.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cracking It

One of the places we went over the weekend was the mall of my youth, the South Shore Mall.

Wasn't really looking for anything, just a place go to get away from the house and cold.

Ending up getting some food from Panera and found by an old high school friend.

After eating I looked at the news stand and candy kiosk. Been searching for a specific item for years. It was not Charleston Chew but something even harder to find.

There it was, on the bottom shelf.

Been looking for it for a long time. It was no longer made until recently, but last summer it came back.

Have not tried it yet. Trying to avoid the nostalgia that would make it underwhelming to have again. The past never tastes as good as you remember does it?

Monday, January 17, 2011

And, We're Back

Returned from a busy trip out east. My Scottish wife met a lot of my family for the first time. I think it went well. We were busy, but a bit isolated as there was a lot of snow on the ground.

We did drive out to the beach. Robert Frozes State Park, it was cold out there. What was shocking and sad was the amount of erosion that has occurred since my last visit.

This picture was taken in the spring of 2007 from the beach at field five of the Robert Moses State Park.

This picture was taken on Friday the 14th of January from about the same spot.

It's quite the difference. Looks like about 50-75 yards of beach has been reclaimed by the Atlantic Ocean.

Also saw some deer for the first time so close to the road. It's not a new thing, just my first time.

It was a good trip. The boy was great on the plane and he and my Mom seemed to get on very well. Even met my Half Sister for the first time, and I'm still kicking myself for not taking a picture.

Back to work as normal activities resume tomorrow.

More to come.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hosed by Timing

It's impossible to be seething with anger at things you can't control. At the moment though, I'm shaking my fist at nature.

We're supposed to be flying into LaGuardia on Thursday morning.

Think the runways will be plowed? What about the LIE?


We're supposed to be getting 2-4" of the white death today. Will schools be closed tomorrow, or will we be buried in less of the white, cold, wet, powder than predicted?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Escaping to a Game

The latest car ordeal has ended. The bearing has been replaced. The car started right up in single degree temperatures this morning. Let’s keep our fingers crossed this will be the last major repair for a long time.

After getting the car back we decided to get out of the house, since I really had not been out for two days. Went to our first Ohio State Hockey game this season.

Got great seats on center ice, we were also given complimentary souvenier cowbells. Ohio State Cowbells. Block "O" Cowbells. Anyone else here thinking “Columbus Clippers Ring Your Bell” here? The crowd did use their cowbells to great effect during power plays, penalty kills, whenever an OSU player did something good.

OSU was playing Miami University, who were ranked seventh in the country coming into the weekend. This is a good hockey team. What I saw out of OSU was surprising. They came right out and started hitting, and maintained this pace the whole game. Miami gave it right back, and this was a great hockey game to watch. The average size of a Miami defenseman is over six feet, their back line is huge, what are they feeding them in Oxford?

This was the first game I’ve seen since OSU coach Osiecki took over and the new attitude of the team impressed me. I have not seen a determined OSU hockey team in years. Win or lose, it’s very refreshing to see the program begin to be lifted from some a very stagnant team philosophy.

Miami outshot OSU by plenty but it was Sergio Somma who scored on a power play goal with 8.9 seconds left in the second period to make it 1-0 for the home team. Now it was up to the Buckeyes to hold the lead for the final period.

There was a lot of shaky play and giveaways by the OSU defense all night, but somehow a teammate always managed to clear out the puck. The most important player on the ice was goalie Cal Heeter, who not only cleaned up the mistakes of the tea, but stopped every shot put to him by a ferocious Miami attack. Heeter was the man of the night as OSU hung on to win 1-0. A well earned shut out, but the game really could have gone either way.

There was a very good crowd on hand, at least 5,000 in good voice. I was quite impressed that there was a large and vocal student section behind one of the goals. It’s very important to have some student tradition and great to finally see the kids come out to support the team. I’d like to think Coach Osiecki finally got the athletic department to reach out to the dorms to get the students to the games.

I missed last night’s OSU win, which was just as exciting. They were down 2-0 going into the third period but scored five straight goals to get the sweep. Great weekend for the team.

Looks like I’ll be back at a few more games this season.

The less said about the Blue Jackets, the better.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Waiting, immovable

Yesterday I waited all day for a part to be fixed in my car.

After paying for the repair I got in the car and noticed shortly thereafter that there was a noise coming from the area of the repair, and that the brakes were failing.

We were on Dublin Road at the time and managed to pull over to a safe lot. I do not want to think about what could have happened if we had my son with us, or were on a highway.

After waiting an hour for the guy to come and look at the car, a night where the roads were crap due to very icy snow, he showed up and concluded that the wheel bearing he used to fix the old was was faulty.

Four of us crowded into the front of a pickup truck for the ride home. I had to make a couple of phone calls to assure that I would get the car towed to the repair shop.

So, again, like yesterday, I'm waiting for the same damn thing to be fixed, screwing with my work schedule. Looks like my weekend is today and yesterday and this weekend will be spent working. Unless, of course, the car does not get fixed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When Media Does Good

If you have not heard the story of Homeless DJ Ted Williams, there's the link to the story.

One day ago he was holding a sign asking for money at an off ramp to I-71 about a mile from where I lived for ten years. A local newspaper reporter put up a video telling his story on the Columbus Dispatch's web page. YouTube got a hold of it, as did Gawker Media then Reddit.

He's been on WNCI this morning, phone calls are coming in for him, offering job opportunities. He's going to be on The Early Show. Pretty amazing and emotional stuff.

It's not all bad out there is it?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Four on the Fourth

Today is the fourth anniversary at my job. I still feel like the new guy, and very lucky to be here. Part of it was the temporary work space we were all in while the library was being renovated. I think a lot of people felt like they were in flux.

Things are starting to settle in the new digs, there's a large window to my right.

Seriously it's a great place to work, almost perfect once the vending machines are installed.

The other night, at open mic, the subject of hating your job in your blog came up. My name was not mentioned until later. People have short memories. It's been four years but I had some memorable postings of job hate. Not anymore. Not since leaving a very toxic place. There have been few, if any, days I have not wanted to come into work in the last four years.

My colleagues are great and I like what I do. Again, I'm very lucky.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Year of Discoveries

One of my favorite apps on the iPod Touch is Tunein Radio. It's a very impressive app that I'm having a lot of fun with and have not even scratched the surface of the stations available.

My stereo system has a dock and charger for an iPod and I tried plugging it in after I bought the iPod, with no success. Finally realized that the back cover had to be removed for the unit to function properly, and it's plugged into the stereo right now, BBC Radio 6 is on. Beautiful.

I've found a couple of stations from the New York City area, one of them being WINS. It's an all news station that is lacking in the Columbus market. For decades they have been delivering the news 24/7. Their slogan remains, "Give us 22 minutes, and we'll give you the world."

When I was growing up on Long Island WLNG could only be tuned in if the wind was right. They're located on the east end and from where I lived, the signal was rarely strong enough for good reception. I love this station's approach. They keep the ads local, there is a sincere personality to the on air talent, and the music is oldies. Their oldies format runs deep to, not just the top five singles, but they go a bit more obscure - and I like that. Plus, the DJ's voices are processed with a bit of reverb. It's a fun station.

Yesterday I somehow lucked into listening to a soccer match live on Radio Merseyside. Most of the BBC stations live soccer matches are blocked over here for copyright reasons, but Everton/Stoke I was able to experience live, and despite the Everton loss it was a thrill to hear as it happened.

This morning I tried to find a link to the Old Firm match, but was unsuccessful. Managed to find a decent video link on the laptop. I cannot be stopped when the urge to see a match exists. Celtic won 2-0 and all was right in the world.

Goofing around a bit later I managed to track down the audio from the second half of the Chelsea/Aston Villa match. Very exciting as the lead went back and forth and Villa tied it, seconds after Chelsea thought they earned the victory.

This season I've been listening to a lot of the Bills losses on the laptop but I listened to 97 Rock's feed as the Jets kicked their asses in today. Looks like the Bills will have a top five draft pick.

This iPod touch is a fancy piece of technology. Bought a cassette adapter so it can be used in the car and a cigarette lighter adapter so we can charge the battery in the car. A lot of wires but to put a new stereo in the Subaru would involve demolition, filing of edges and would lost much more than the twenty five bucks just spent.

Trying to get my writing discipline back. Too many distractions that are my fault are keeping me away from how I want to get it done. Plus, my son has been bouncing off the walls all year. Thank God school starts back tomorrow. Little sleep has made me a grumpy dragon.

I've only been following stats for this blog since April, but thanks for the 2,863 visits. I know I'm not The Dooce, but I do what I can.