Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Diversions

A Love Story

Blue Tongue Films - all sorts of macabre little shorts. I love the handprint left on the doorframe in this one.

A little longer one.

I Love Sarah Jane

haha - these guys are great!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Born Free

Apparently there's been a big cat, a serval, roaming the wilds outside of it's home, Tremont City. It's probably been going through people's trash for the last 2 months. It has been declawed so it's defenses against other critters is impaired. It's about the size of a coyote, tho, so those guys will probably give it a wide berth.
It has recently been spotted near the Upper Valley Mall.

Noose Son story here.
Read All About It
Old Ohio Newspapers Online

The Ohio Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress have taken to scanning & posting some of Ohio's old newspapers (& more) published between the 1880s & 1920s.
In Ohio they have started with Marion, Perrysburg, Akron, Canton, Mount Vernon, Logan, Marietta and Springfield's Springfield Daily Republic and Springfield Globe Republic.
The site is here.

Crappy Noose Son article here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Future of Paganism explored in essays about the Future of Religion.
Paganism is the latest religious belief(s) explored in a series including, Judaism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Mainline Protestantism & more.
Paganism or Neo-Paganism is one of the fastest growing religious movements in America today. Of course it's also one of the smallest, so, duh. Paganism is a blanket term including a large number of paths such as the modern Wicca & recreations of Greek & Egyptian religions.
Other religions, like Vodou & Hinduism, are very location oriented & the communications technologies of the 21st century could & have had profound implications.
So, what's in store for your religion?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Confusion of Being Special

Sharrows, icons painted onto the roadways, tell cyclists which way to ride on the streets & theoretically let drivers know that they need to share the road with bicyclists who will, presumably, be riding where the sharrows appear.
Sharrows have recently been added to Spring Grove Avenue between Crawford Avenue & Mitchell Avenue. The room for the added bicycle space has been made by eliminating some of the center lane on the roadway & re-striping. Re-striping & keeping the curb clear of debris are, to a great extent, all that really needs to be done to make life happier for cyclists. Slow moving traffic is supposed to stay to the right of it's lane. I maintain that by trying to further accommodate cyclists, dull witted motorists will just get confused & further alienated.
While headed outbound on Spring Grove, already an easy cycling stretch, things are fine til you approach Salway Park. Then things get interesting.

yeah, I want to go there

Passing the park, the road narrows as you approach Winton Road. Here we find a rather ominous sharrow.

Where's the rider ?

ok, on reviewing my photos, I realize the sharrow images are not all the same. More confusion? Who knows what rationalization the chowderhead driver will make of these differences.
The stretch between Winton & Clifton is narrow due to a group of buildings built along the south side of the road. There used to be sidewalk all the way out to the curb.

When the city tore up the sidewalk, I thought, "great, they are going to widen the road & make it more bicycle (and truck) friendly".
They planted grass. The companies along this stretch do a good job of keeping their sidewalks clear in the winter which is hard with the city ploughing snow up onto their sidewalks whenever it snows. Now the companies have the added expense of having to maintain a grassy area.

Candidate for a Seed Bomb ?

Looking at the picture of Spring Grove Avenue, above, however, one sees a really obvious bike lane with a bit of separation from traffic via the utility poles. That is, put the bike lane to the right of the poles where the weeds ~er~ grass is. AH, who am I kidding, auto junkies would be careening into 'em constantly.

Approaching Clifton Avenue, the lanes split into right turn only, straight or right, straight only & left turn only. The Sharrow now moves into the most dangerous lane, the straight or right turn lane. Why? Beats me. What if I want to turn left? Also, when do I switch lanes? Back in front of the park there was a kind of lane switcher thingamabob. If this doesn't frazzle the Little Nemos of Autoland, nothing will. Well, if the zombie like driver even notices. After taking these pictures I returned home along Crawford. Going around a blind left curve, I heard an automobile coming up behind me. As I cleared the curve & saw nobody coming, I started to signal the motorist to pass but he had already driven completely over the double yellow line into the oncoming lane to pass me. These people have the self preservation instincts of lemmings. No amount of signage will help them. Adding more will just confuse and frustrate them more.
For more positive outlooks on this tom foolery check out UrbanCincy and Queen City Bike.

I feel like I should change the name of this blog to the bicycling curmudgeon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Score One For The Nosferatu

Brains not Bombs.
7 folks dressed as zombies in Minneapolis were arrested by the local heat because they thought the zombie outfits were hiding bombs.
Story here.
They later sued & received $165,000 for the police misconduct.
This is, of course, the same police force that went batshit crazy during the last Republican Convention & busted, among others, journalist Amy Goodman (in St Paul) who has also sued the Minneapolis PD.
I hope Minneapolis can afford this police force...

A 1922 Kodachrome film test.

Wikipedia tells us Kodachrome was the first successful subtractive color system but was ultimately not commercially successful in the motion picture realm.
Noteworthy in this test is the total lack of dark greens & only a brief sampling of dark blue. I like the pale greens in the clothing. I wonder how many generations of reproduction this web video went through. There still seems to be some decent highlight detail but any shadow detail seems to have disappeared. A black person would have been good for showing off the shadow detail, of course, but it was 1922, so.....
The speed is great. The flickering of the light - not so great.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The Fishwrap reports that the Porkopolis Health Department has posted health inspection results online.
You can find the reports here.
Seems like the local places get hit harder than the chain stores. I am guessing this is because the chains know how to play the game better. If you actually look at the violations, what you find is that you should have died a long time ago from eating the cooking in your own filthy death trap of a kitchen.
Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics.

WVXU reports a law enforcement crackdown in upcoming weeks on impaired driving.
"Cincinnati Police Captain Dan Gerard says in Cincinnati alone 35 percent of all the traffic fatalities last year involved an impaired driver."

Alcohol Alert gives us a handy chart that gives us raw numbers & semi related percentages of drunk driving related fatalities in Ohio since 1982. 1987 was a banner year for traffic fatalities overall and for DUI fatalities as well although percentage DUI fatalities were higher in '82 and while overall fatalities were matched in '89, the number of them involving impaired drivers was down. In fact the number of DUI related fatalities is way down. Unfortunately the overall number of fatalities has not seen as great a reduction. In fact, since 1982 when drunk driving fatalities were at their highest percentages at 60% sober fatalities have risen from 641 to 775 - or an increase of 20% while drunk driving fatalities have dropped off by more than half.
Does this mean sober drivers are getting worse? Drunk drivers are getting better? Should drivers be required a minimum before they get behind the wheel? Should local law enforcement be cracking down on sober drivers at insobriety checkpoints?
Actually to figure out such trends you would have to know the number of drivers in Ohio & that would e a guesstimate since people from out of state frequently are driving here. Of course, you have to note the percentages cited at Alcohol Alert is based on miles driven. Their note that Ohio counts alcohol related accidents differently than the Feds, who presumably rely on the states to compile their info, throws a whole 'nother wrench into the gears.
It's a good thing clown cars don't wreck or we'd have fatality rates in the ∞'s.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Unbalanced Fair Coverage

A sampling of Fishwrap headlines today:
Toddler dies in Amelia crash
Two women found dead in home
Son accused of killing mom jailed
One killed in Butler County crash
Social InSecurity
Gunmen invade Westwood home
Deputy stabbed, kills attacker

Is it any wonder they didn't cover the local county fair?
Virtually doubling their fair coverage the Fishwrap gives us this wrap up article, Fair Attendance May Be All Time Low, on the Hamilton County Faur. Commenters cite a lack of publicity. The Fishwrap's total lack of coverage in favor of follow the gun reporting could be an issue here, I think.
So the Cincinnati Enquirer has 2 morose articles about the local county fair & about 18 not too good photos vs the Springfield News Sun managing about 20 articles & over 200 photos, some being pretty darn good and the Springfield News Sun still has room for shocking gory headlines.
Man stabbed multiple times at motel
OSU paid Kasich $4K per classroom session
Two in Urbana arrested on drug abuse charges
Driver was on tracks when crossing arm came down
Employees lock themselves in office during overnight robbery.

It's been clear for some time now that The Cincinnati Enquirer hates Cincinnati but it appears it's hatred has spilled over to include the whole county. Great.
Previous post on the topic here.

FWIW the Kasich article is pretty good. Will the unabashedly Republican Fishwrap report this?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


About a month ago I posted about Spring Grove Cemetery knocking down a good chunk of brick wall along Crawford Avenue. I wanted to wait till they got some grass or other landscaping in but they seem to have stalled out.
Anyway, here's some pics of their wonderful new chain link fence.

One nice thing is that you can see this one pond from the road now.

I have to admit the black fence does a good job of "disappearing" but it's just not as stately & cemeteryish as the old brick wall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cyber Security

I was babbling at one time about cyber security & compared server administrators to broadcast transmitter engineers. They both manage conduits of information dissemination. So why are broadcast engineers required to be licensed by the government (and required to physically defend the transmitter) but server administrators aren't required of any certification other than their employers wish that they have some kind of hardware / software manufacturer's ?
Jimmy Lehrer's News Hour sent a reporter to The Black Hat Convention in Las Vegas to interview hackers & retired General & ex CIA Director Michael Hayden. While the licensing I am advocating wasn't mentioned I think the dialogue makes my point. It's important that we secure our communications systems but also our utility, service & manufacturing systems as well.

Part I: here.

Part II: here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

City Ruins Bundle HALF OFF !!

City Ruins Bundle

DAZ 3D is offering Stonemason's product line for Poser at half off. This includes the City Ruins Bundle, The Warehouse, The Streets of NYC-Townhouse Row, Jungle Ruins, Urban Sprawl and more!!
Everything you need for your post-apocalypse urban Poser scenes.
Go here.
BIC is not affiliated with DAZ, Stonemason or SmithMicro.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Am I Governor Material ?

The Columbus Dispatch asked Ohio's Republican & Democtrat candidates for governor 25 questions.
How do I measure up ?
I know nothing of sports. My news gathering is pretty much local. I do grasp the concept of "fast food".
I'm wondering if Kasich's excercising & praying is along the lines of jogging while huffing & puffing, "OH GOD!"
Anyway, if this is all it takes to be governor.....

1. What book are you reading right now?
QB: Infamous Lady, The True Story Of Countess Erzsebet Bathory

2. Are you a smoker?
Ever been a smoker?
QB: no & no

3. What is your favorite fast-food restaurant (If you eat fast food)?
QB: White Castle

4. What was your first car?
QB: Pontiac Bonneville (aka The Grey Ghost)

5. Did you have a favorite childhood pet? What was its name?
QB: a cat named cat

6. Who was the best baseball player ever?
QB: not a clue

7. Do you personally use Facebook, MySpace or Twitter?
QB: FaceBook, MySpace no Twitter

8. Where do you get most of your news?
QB: Fishwrap, WLWT, Newsmakers, Citicable, Skrying

9. What is your favorite movie, and who are your favorite actor and actress?
QB: Blade Runner, no favorite actors & actresses

10. Have you ever smoked marijuana?
QB: yup

11. Have you used anything to color your hair?
QB: only for theatrical stuff

12. Would you rather have lunch with William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Tom Clancy or Stephen King?
QB: Twain

13. What is the highest level of math you completed?
QB: Algebra II

14. Do you have a favorite NASCAR driver?
QB: no

15. How many Columbus Blue Jackets games have you seen in person?
QB: 0

16. What does your wife get on your case about?
QB: nothing - she know's what's best for her

17. Who was the best U.S. president?
QB: Gerald Ford

18. What is your preferred alcoholic beverage?
QB: beer

19. Where did you take your wife for your last anniversary?
QB: out back

20. When they make a movie about you, which actor should play you and what would be the title?
QB: Sid Haig, Paradise Lost

21. Have you ever gambled? What's your favorite casino game?
QB: yes. Dunno, they are all boring.

22. Do you have a tattoo or piercing? Please specify.
QB: no & no

23. What vegetable will you not eat?
QB: okra

24. On the rare occasion that you're alone and unscheduled on a Saturday morning, how do you spend your time?
QB: go to the cemetery

25. Do you text?
QB: no
Hamilton County Fair Opens

The Springfield News-Sun (online) posted 23 articles about the Clark County Fair and posted over 200 photos. They are currently plugging the Champaign County Faur.
The Hamilton County Fair begins today & runs through Saturday. Will the Cincinnati Enquirer rise to the occasion?
So far we have an article bemoaning the fair's inadequacies & tells us how much better surrounding counties fairs are. One commenter says he will not set foot in Carthage. We got 9 photos here. MetroMix acknowledges the fairgrounds exist.
Maybe somebody will murder somebody at the fair & the local news media will cover it.
UPDATE: 8 more pictures.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Happy B-Day Bethie !

Thursday, August 05, 2010

City Death Benefit

While the City of Cincinnati is wrestling with it's pension plan, one place to look for possibly some small savings is it's death benefit. Raised from $1,000 about a decade ago to $7,000 today, does indeed reflect the cost of burial and a funeral. I think my mom's was $11,xxx. You can get buried for considerably less & a simple cremation can be had for under $1,000.
I would suggest a cap of $6-7,000 to be paid when the survivors submit billing for the retirees funeral. Sure, there would be room for the survivor to profit off their loved ones demise but requiring the bill should cover a lot of those issues & the money is to bury the retiree not spread an equal amount of cash around to relatives.
Lowering the benefit to $2,000, as recommended, is pretty drastic.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Headmistress ?

When I was a kid I attended a small independent private school called Ridgewood. It was established to serve the kids in the fledgling Ridgewood community pioneered by Harry Kissel & recognized by Theodore Roosevelt. Shortly after I started there they moved out to a rural area on the edge of the Springfield Country Club who allowed the students to use their hillsides for sledding in the winter. Probably more than half the kids there were members anyway. On the other side of the school was a cow pasture. The fragrant aromas wafting through the breeze made us all long for winter.
The school didn't have a principal, it had a headmaster. He was a mean old bastard if you were an asshole & a kind and nurturing teacher if you showed any common sense. I remember him as a mean old bastard mainly. ~ahem~ He was a Methodist minister and taught math, Latin & German. His wife taught science & taught a kind of intelligent design. It wasn't the closed minded fundamentalist crap being pushed today.
The school had a student body of about 100. With the small classes there was no room for mischief. There was a very active PTA and it was not uncommon for kids to find a teacher at the dinner table. Every morning, assembling in the gymnasium, we recited the Lord's Prayer & the Pledge of Allegiance.
When I first attended a public school I was terrified by the other kids behavior. I also learned that, after years of being taunted by public school kids for going to a "retard" school, I was about a year or two ahead of most of the public school kids.
Ohio’s oldest independent private school has a new headmaster now, a headmistress actually (headperson ?), who comes from a Catholic school background. Not sure what the old headmaster would have thought of that....
Noose Son story here.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

In the event of a Zombie uprising, who would best be suited to broker a peace between the walking dead & the flesh bags?

My initial thought was Frankenstein's monster because he has been dead and alive and alive again. But the more I think about it, I am thinking he might be better off providing legal counsel for the zombies.
Ann Coulter is a shoo in to address the zombies because she is so scrawny the zombies won't bother trying to eat her. They might go for her brain.. ~ah, who am I kidding? OTOH, she is so annoying the warmies might wind up killing her. Probably not a good choice.
Bill Compton has made his peace with humans by drinking True Blood. Maybe he could glamour some scientists into inventing True Brain.
Another idea might be Godzilla since he is a monster, he could be pretty objective about the whole thing.
Another way to go might be Barbie. Like Godzilla, she could also bring objectivity, she is trusted by warmies & like Coulter, pretty much inedible.
Finally there would be Some Black Guy. Because he did so well in Night of the Living Dead.