April 30, 2011


When I was a child there were many things I wanted to build, but did not have the aptitude or the perseverance to stick with a task for too long. One of those was building a miniature village, or like this picture of a real train, the whole countryside. This looks like a great model railroading scene would look. This is a real train on real tracks taken by a real photographer.

Go Tribe

Do you get bored with news about a baseball team. I am sure you do. But what is going on on the northcoast of ohio boggles the minds of we who live in ohio and are enjoying what we're seeing. Each day that this terrifically fun anomaly goes on records keep being set, as this one after last nights win.

It gave Cleveland 17 wins in April, the most by the franchise in 111 years in the AL.

So bear with us, reality will set in eventually and this blog will stop looking like a sports ticker. But for now, GO TRIBE.

April 29, 2011

The Wedding

...and finally, what else a little wedding related humor.

Wonderful techie toys. Which do I want to own?

That's about the way I react to the warp speed changes in the technical devices we love to own. I own a Kindle and about every week I read that this or that may happen to my little ereader and that it may morph into an Ipad before long. I don't doubt that it will.

Draft Day 2011

First off I must say I know very little of the intricacies of a football draft. Secondly I couldn't from memory tell you the starting eleven of the Cleveland Browns if I had to. I could speak with a little more authority about the Cleveland Indians, and from their experiences in recent years I get the picture of throwing a fist full of names at the wall and what remains is maybe the keeper. Is this the plan of the Browns 2011 draft? Are the Browns so needy that they need a handful of maybe's instead of one sure person to help out on Sunday afternoon? Under the Indians current ownership that is the plan they use. Offer up one super star player and receive in return many marginal players, most of whom end up on the wavier wires sooner rather than later. Well I certainly don't know what's going on so I will rely on seasoned sports analysis from Ohio columnists and bloggers to pass along their considered verdict of Draft Day (s) 2011 with it's best face showing.

April 28, 2011

GAS Prices

Damn! Sorry for that but I was out and about today and my local gas stations were all proudly advertising $4.15 per gallon gasoline. Damn again.

If our politicians are proudly leading us, I wonder to where? One in my opinion is worse than the other.

April 25, 2011

Last Day on the Farm

Saw this on Kim Komando's page. It is very reminesent of Charlie Karault and his successor's work on Sunday morning on CBS. Love this kind of piece.

April 21, 2011

A rust belt, small market team glorified..really.

A column by Roy Johnson from the website MLB about the white hot nine from the rust belt by the Cuyahoga river. Pinch me I'm surely asleep or maybe I died. All you folks who root for a small market team take a look.

April 20, 2011

Died alone?

MANSFIELD: .............., 70, of Mansfield, passed away Friday, April 15, 2011 at his home. Arrangements are pending with ............ Funeral Services. Anyone with any information regarding Mr. ......., please contact the funeral home.

This appeared in my local newspaper today. I found it terribly sad. I don't know any specifics, nor did I know the deceased. Perhaps he has someone who just did not keep in touch. I hope so.

To die alone
by chance or design

seventy years you lived
I hope you had happiness
and memories to recall.

To have no one at the end
seems cruel if by design
or perhaps you desired
to meet someone on the other side.

Good thoughts, fear, resignation?
We will never know.

A happy transition is my wish to you
to a place of happiness and hopes fulfilled.

April 19, 2011

Food movies

There are two movies that should appeal to you if you like eating, and who doesn't? One is the Danish movie Babette's Feast where one half of the movie is given over to the feast. Danish food is not my thing, although how much Danish food have I eaten? Not much or is that none, but the look of enjoyment of the actors might make me think otherwise.

The other movie is The Big Night. I liked the looks of all the food presented for the guests enjoyment, and it will make your mouth water.

Good Imagination

April 18, 2011

A most improbable event.

A most improbable event will be occurring in Kansas city. The Cleveland Indians and the Kansas city Royals will be meeting for the first time this year in what is being called by some THE CLASH OF THE TITANS. Cleveland owning the best win/loss record in the American league will face off against Kansas city, only one loss behind them. Improbable? Unlikely? Impossible? Yes, it's true it is improbable, unlikely, and impossible, yet it is happening. These are two teams who are having a great time while trying not to wake up to reality. Speaking as only one wahoo watcher and I am sure for the Kansas fans who wonder if they are indeed in the land of oz. Whatever, these moments of what New Yorkers and Bostoners must enjoy annually has gone off course and landed smack in the middle of the clash of the titans. Reality and reason will certainly return and we in the rust belt and the fields of wheat will return to normal while those moneyed, big market teams on the east and west coasts will go about business as usual, but not for a little while yet, the clash of the titans is about to commence. Yahoo.

April 14, 2011

Comments about Obama's medicare speech

Comments by Ronni Bennett of TIME GOES BY about President Obama's speech.

Did you watch President Obama's speech yesterday afternoon? Whew! It was better than I feared it would be. Kinda busy today (Wednesday) so mostly I'll stick to the major points affecting elders.

If you will recall, Paul Ryan's deficit reduction plan, widely praised by Republicans, would turn Medicare into a voucher program which, as the president said, “would end Medicare as we know it.”

“It says that ten years from now, if you’re a 65 year old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today,” said Obama. “It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy insurance, tough luck – you’re on your own...”

“They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.” [emphasis is mine]
Write that down, everyone. Paste it on your desk and as the debate on the budget continues in Washington, let's not let him back down.

One of the biggest budget busters in Medicare is the prescription drug plan. Rammed through Congress during the Bush II administration by a Louisiana legislator, Billy Tauzin, who almost immediately left Congress for a $2 million per year job as head of the pharmaceutical industry lobby, the bill specifically denies Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices as the Veterans Administration does.

Yesterday, Obama sounded like he wants to rescind this horrendously expensive giveaway to big pharma:

“We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market.”
Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the country and allowing negotiation would go a long way toward reducing Medicare costs. I'm pretty sure the board rooms of drug companies are going ballistic this morning while planning their assault on Congress members to reject this idea.

Referring to Medicare and Medicaid, Obama said he would reform these programs, “but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.”

”That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security,” he continued. “While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older...

“[B]oth parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”
Okay, he rejected privatization of Social Security. That's good. He wants to protect current beneficiaries and not “slash” benefits for younger people. That's sort of good. Unfortunately, he left the door wide open for some kind of cuts for people younger than 55, for smaller cost-of-living adjustments and made no reference to maintaining the current retirement age.

And there was no mention, either, of raising the salary cap which, if it were to be eliminated, would fix almost all the Social Security shortfall for the next 75 years. So, there are still some red flags to Obama's commitment that we need to keep our eyes on.

Those are the big points relating to elders. I like it when Obama gets all warm and gooey about what America is (or should be), as in this passage of his speech:

”The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism. We take responsibility for ourselves and each other; for the country we want and the future we share.

“We are the nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness. We sent a generation to college on the GI bill and saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare.

“We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.

“This is who we are. This is the America I know. We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit investments in our people and our country. To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms.

“We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.”
Nevertheless, I was struck by the president's offhand acknowledgment of a sad truth about you and me and everyone who is not rich. While enumerating the many things wrong with the Ryan budget proposal, Obama said,

“There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. [emphasis is mine]
That's the president saying out loud that if you're not rich, you don't have a say in government which implies that any benefits for the middle class and poor are left to the largesse of the corporate controlled government. Oy vey. What an admission.

April 12, 2011

Nation of Whiners?

About ten years ago I wrote this for the old public reader. After rereading it to see if it was applicable today ten years later, I concluded that we are in a bit more trouble now than we were then. We seem to have engaged ourself in three wars; a mini-depression; gas prices that will reach four dollars a gallon any day now; politicians that seem to have forgotten the phrase-for the people, by the people and substituted the word party for people; and a president whose high minded words seem not to match his mundane acts. But still I believe that the country that was born two hundred and thirty some years ago will set itself right when they remember that we are only as strong as our most needful citizens and become again the country of hope and promise, and act accordingly.

By Jim Kittelberger

Do we know how fortunate we are?

Fortunate in that we were born in a country that allows us to pursue whatever we desire. Be it riches or just the desire to be left alone. All because two hundred and twenty five years ago some rich white men thought their taxes were too high. Now rich white men still worry that their taxes are too high, but somehow I can't see that flat tax guy or the Windows guy in Seattle or The Donald in New York willingly risking their fortunes and lives for a principal.

We who are born in America take our freedom for granted and seldom reflect on a time when miracles took place on our continent of North America. From 1776 to 1788, a country was established and laws were enacted by a collection of men whom the term, imbued with greatness, would be an understatement.

It was indeed a miracle. I believe no other word adequately describes the caliber of men who guided our country into existence. They won a war that logically they could not win. They then set about framing our constitution and a bill of rights that spelled out the limits of government and the peoples rights under that government, that still exists almost unchanged over two hundred years later. These were well-to-do men who certainly were comfortable who risked it all and then forged so ingeniously these documents that are more, or at least as relevant today than they were then.

So listen up you whiners out there. Get up off your complaining hindquarters, and if you can't think of anything right about the world today, at least remember how lucky you are to be in a country that will put up with the whining. And will probably, pro bono, find you a group that will fortify what you knew all along, that somebody else is responsible for your unhappiness. Aren't they always? Have a nice day.

April 11, 2011

Amazing Fact Generator

From Mental Floss, the Amazing Fact Generator is kind of fun. Are the facts factual? I don't know.

Amazing Fact Generator

I checked this one out and it is accurate. I like the idea of having someone else pump your gasoline. Somehow it would make me feel I'm getting a little payback for being gouged. Wouldn't help much, but a little satisfaction is nice.

In New Jersey and Oregon, pumping your own gas is illegal. These states banned self-service out of fear that untrained consumers might light themselves on fire. The laws are surprisingly popular with citizens, and any mention of their repeal has been met with fervent opposition.

April 10, 2011

The Big Gold Frame by BANKSY

Does anyone actually take this kind of art seriously?

Never under estimate the power of the big gold frame.

Baseball is Big Business

I seem to be hung up on baseball lately. I'm sorry for the redundant subject but here is one more article that should not surprise any baseball fan. Baseball is a big, big business. From the Chronicle Review this paragraph in the middle of the article is not a revelation to anyone:

...It's not just our nostalgia for the idealized innocence of the sport that makes us avert our eyes. Look more closely at the patterns of public support. Baseball has always been a big business. Owners were even granted an antitrust exemption in 1922, a few years after crushing a rival professional league. That exemption amazingly persists to this day, when a middle-of-the-pack team like the Cleveland Indians is valued by Forbes magazine at more than $400-million. But as Andrew Zimbalist points out in his chapter in the Cambridge Companion on baseball's economics, unlike in other successful businesses, baseball's owners have never wanted to look rich or even particularly successful.

April 9, 2011

Cleveland Indians magic number is down to 155

Only a cleveland Indian fan will appreciate the post from this blog. Well maybe a Kansas city fan from the same central division of the american league could. Take a look and smile as you enjoy.

College Athletes

Should student/athletes be paid for the amount of time invested in their sport? My answer is OH YEAH. How they should do it? I haven't a clue. All I know is that in the big universities the money drawn into the university coffers by the labors of the student/athlete is huge. They are recruited by the schools for their athletic abilities and their participation in a sport. Here is an article followed by comments and suggestions.

Should College Athletes Get Paid? - By Duncan Currie - The Corner - National Review Online

American Revolution in four minutes

April 8, 2011

Manny retires instead of taking a 100 game suspension

Manny I guess was just being Manny and retired today. He was tested for drugs in spring training and it was positive. He would face a 100 game suspension and he decided to retire instead.

I will always remember Manny as part of the Indians in the nineties when all the young players were coming into their own. Thank you Manny for those memories. Get some help and ditch the drugs.

Travels with Charley

Old Mr. Steinbeck is sure in trouble now. A whistle blower in a quest for honesty in the literary world has set the record straight. He has matched each location with journal entries and found them not correct, thus Mr. Steinbeck is what? Is he a fraud, a user of someone else's words, a plagiarist? No, he doesn't say that. He says that he made up conversations, and/or situations for some unknown reasons thus it is an illegitimate journal and makes Steinbeck a charlatan maybe. The book in question is Travels with Charley

In my opinion anyone who could write like Steinbeck could in GRAPES OF WRATH, deserves better than having his work questioned for legitimacy of some sort. If my timeline is right a man named Truman Capote wrote a non-fiction book and enhanced it with fictional parts maybe four or five years later and called it a non-fiction novel. Perhaps if Steinbeck or his publishers had used that term all would be right. Oh well, tempest in a tea pot I guess.

April 7, 2011

Tribe baseball fantasies

Joy abounds in northern Ohio. The Cleveland Indians have started the baseball season with a 4-2 record. They have finished a series against the Boston Red Sox winning 3 out of 3 to sweep the series.

Hazel and I ate out tonight and the topic of conversation among most of the old crowd joining in bowls of Goulash were How about those Indians. Now Boston of course will correct their course and start smashing one team after another probably on their way to the post season, and maybe even the world series. They are that good, but for the Indians this is big big big. Boston has not started out this bad since the 1945 season. Don't despair bosox nation, they will be where they are expected to be by May.

But for Cleveland fans we have had nothing to cheer about or even fool ourselves that things will be better for a long time now. We are all relishing this baseball version of a mirage, what we think is there is not, but I don't care. For now I love it.
Maybe tomorrow the bottom will fall out of our spring madness, but for now it's great fun. Go Tribe.

April 6, 2011

Funny news just uncovered

I wonder if that third Wright brother was named Evel?

April 3, 2011

Babes Ghost

By Jerry Vilhotti

Zeus would tolerate no nonsense from any gods this game as he had the first few thousand after they discovered this thing playing itself out on Gaea's earth promising each and everyone of them that he would do a Prometheus on the miscreant who dared break his concentration but instead of one vulture eating his or her replenished liver once a day he - The Supreme Ruler who had beaned his father the mighty Cronus when he wasn't looking - would have Edgar Allan Poe's twenty-four hook-nosed birds eating a new liver every long tortuous hour.
He was so intent watching this contest between a young lefty who had a father like he who declared war on all sixteen year old males approaching manhood against a pitcher who was also destined to be ranked among the gods of the game - named Walter Johnson.
Even though Zeus agreed with Poseidon that the nickname Red Sox had no real meaning wishing instead they had taken the name Yankees, he nevertheless was going for the Beantowners for the sole reason their cocky youngster called "Babe" had captured his liking with all the moxie he displayed on and off the field.

"No bull! I don't want anyone playing with the pentagon guy's brain making him forget what's a strike and what's a ball. And Hermes I don't want you tripping runners because you bet against their team nor Athena, my aegis carrier, giving managers the idea to run and hit with the bases loaded like you did to Popeye!"

With no fooling around, the game was indeed a classic as Zeus watched closely the contest going on between pitcher and batter. He jumped excitedly whenever a high and tight fast ball was thrown knowing the next pitch, almost for sure, was going to be a curve that often had a batter falling backward out of his little box and sometimes out of his spikes.
He could see much of himself in this Babe; in the boy that would father the man he would become. His feats would follow him all the way to the house he would build in The Bronx where he would eat thirty hot-dogs while washing them down with ten golden beers speckled with partially chewed materials and then go out onto the field to hit prodigious home runs way over where his tomb stone would one day stand.

The game ended with only one run being scored, due to the "dead ball" , with the Babe hitting the sac-fly for the win.

Zeus hoped strongly that the earthlings would not make earth a dead ball and when he found out the Beantowners had sent his Babe to New York - he became an anti Boston fanatic vowing the Red Sox would never again win another world serious. It was Zeus who encouraged a bald man for the Cardinals to scamper home from first after lulling the defense into thinking such a thing could not be done. It was he who fashioned the great stretch drives between the Yankees and Red Sox and delighted when the Yankees beat them out and it was he who struck in the last half of the ninth inning when the Red Sox had all but defeated the Mets. He convinced the Boston manager not to put in an uninjured reserve first baseman for defensive purposes who just happened to have good use of both legs and it was he who had the two outs made and the third batter have two strikes on him before allowing him to hit a pop up with eyes to fall unmolested just beyond two outstretched gloves; made a base on balls happen by having the pitcher lose his control and an umpire forget what constituted a strike zone; a wild pitch that he made slip out of sweaty fingers to advance the runners into scoring position and then allowed the polluted sky to fall by having a little snaky grounder - that looked so harmless - slither its way through the legs of the first base man, who found it difficult to bend, and make its way to shallow right field just far enough to score the tying and winning runs!

Zeus didn't even have to show up the next day for the seventh game for the hex was sure to remain for he was the Zeus man and would never forget what "they" had done to The Babe .... END


Jerry submitted this to the old version of THE READER, and several more in the same vain after that. I always enjoy his work and posted several more of his works when he was kind enough to send them my way.