Sunday, May 30, 2010


There was a titter of giggling and laughter heard across Cincinnati at 11AM on May 30, 2010 as viewers watched Newsmakers.
"Calendars? We don't have calendars."

No transportation? You have a daggone bus stop right in front of your house!
Take the 17 down to Knowlton's Corner & transfer to the 39. It'll take you down Highland Avenue & drop your sorry ass off right in front of WKRC.
Well, FWIW, SORTA's lame ass Trip planner didn't recognize Mr Luken's address.
Bicycle Hatred at Findlay Market

Findlay Market makes great use of their shiny bike racks by using the space for garbage cans.
ok. They have bike racks at each end of the cross shaped market. This north end bike rack was the only one that was blocked. All the racks had at least 1 bike.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Funerary Fun !

Every year around Memorial Day a number of families of Scottish descent pay tribute to their ancestors at Spring Grove Cemetery. In the midwest we tend to bury our dead in boring ceremonies & go on. Other cultures pay a bit more attention. Dia de la Muerte is a good example to the south.
These guys at Spring Grove celebrate their dead with lavish decorations that kind of stand out in the generally staid cemetery.
If you are going this weekend, just get lost & enjoy yourself. To find the "gypsy" graves -
Enter the cemetery from Spring Grove Avenue. You will be heading north when you enter. Turn left/west. From the funeral home entrance just stay to your left. From the main entrance, go under the railroad bridge & hang a left. Go past this lake & head North (right).

John Robinson (circus owner) has a crypt just east of the lake

Travel north til you see this gate on your left

And this monument on your right.

On the first road past the monument go right (east). Explore.
Or on the first road south of the monument head east along the north shore of a pond & pay a visit to Powell Crosley.

As usual, don't bug, photograph people, leave the decorations alone. The people in white SUVs are watching you.
Anyway, Spring Grove is hosting events all weekend, so you can have a fun time in an extremely rigid excursion (You can talk to Lincoln!), or you can just relax & take in the beauty & history.
Memorial Day Fun !

Friday, May 28
Sculpture by Nicholas Yust
  2:00 PM
  10:00 PM
  Northside Tavern
Bomb Prom Moped Rally


Saturday, May 29
Summer Reading Kick Off
  2:00 PM
  Northside Library
Sculpture by Nicholas Yust
  2:00 PM
Coltrane Motion
  9:00 PM
  Northside Tavern


Sunday, May 30
American Legion Ceremony
  10:00 AM
Living History
  1:00 PM
  Talk to President Lincoln !
Walking Tour
  2:00 PM
  Spring Grove Cemetery
Sculpture by Nicholas Yust
The Tillers
  10:00 PM
  Northside Tavern


Monday, May 31
5K Hunger Walk
  9:00 AM
  Lytle Place
Clifton Parade
  10:00 AM
  McAlpin Avenue
Sons of Union Veterans Ceremony
  11:00 AM
Living History
Walking Tour
  1:00 PM
  Spring Grove Cemetery
Wesleyan Cemetery Service / Celebration
  1:00 PM
  Wesleyan Cemetery
The Yellow Light Reduces the Number of Bugs in the Intersection

When I was a kid, Driver's Education was administered by the public school system. They had video games (simulators), classroom education & actual on the road training. On top of that, our parents, to either safeguard their car or kids, I dunno, spent time practicing with us.
That's gone now. No budget. People who hate public schools & love privatization no doubt celebrated this public safety education being passed off to cheesy fly by night companies with no interest in anything but slamming kids through for short term profits.
Driver's quality has just declined ever since.
In a recent survey by GMAC Insurance it was determined 20% of drivers shouldn't even be on the road. The average score had diminished by .4% from the year before. Older drivers, over 45 (about the time public school driver's ed was dropped) scored the best.
Local organizations who don't like paying for schools (apparently public and private) have also argued that the red light running epidemic can be cured with longer yellow lights. The GMAC survey indicates 85% of drivers don't understand what a yellow light means.
So I guess we can pay for the state to educate kids in state schools on how to use state roads or we can abrogate that responsibility & we can pick up the tab ala carte for police, EMTs & private business in the form of driving schools, lawyers, doctors & morticians.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is It Time for Bortz to Switch Hats ?

The Ohio Ethics Committee recently issued a more formal statement telling Cincinnati Councilman to recuse himself from voting on any more streetcar issues (Fishwrap Story). Apparently they think it will be a success, too. I still don't see an issue.
The Fishwrap also whined about not being spoon-fed information from city hall, did some backpedalling on a goofy poll they commissioned & kinda conceded they maybe might have been kinda biased in choosing their Letters to the Editor (Fishwrap Story). This resulted in a flood of pro-streetcaar letters being published.
Still, maybe they have some semblance of a point about city hall not making their case for a streetcar tying together the basin & the Clifton area thus tying together the 2 densest areas of employment with a ton of potential housing, retail & service real estate in between. Maybe they haven't made a case clearly enough for boosting the city's tax revenue with new residents, businesses & jobs. Maybe they haven't made the idea clear that more eyeballs on the street will deter crime more than having police standing shoulder to shoulder on every street in town. Maybe they haven't convinced people that a deserted, abandoned neighborhood is worse than a populated neighborhood.
So maybe it's time for Chris Bortz to stop legislating on the issue & to get out there & SELL the issue. He HAS been a staunch proponent from day 1. He apparently has support & knows how to campaign. He keeps getting elected. Perhaps he can get a pitch together & take it on the road to community council meetings, festivals & all the places he went to campaign for his election in the first place. Maybe he can explain that painting racing stripes on a '72 Pinto leaves you with - a '72 Pinto.
WLWT reports Stan Chesley is blasting city council for not finding funding for city pools. Dunno why he can't set up an ongoing foundation or something, but maybe Bortz should spend some more time looking for private sector investment for the streetcar.
There is no reason his inability to legislate on the issue should stop his involvement with the issue.
Want Torture ?

What did I tell you was going to happen? Videos & ads of worst case animal abuse presented to you by animal rights organizations in an effort to nudge you into a vegan diet.
03/08/10 post here.
Now the Fishwrap reports Mercy For Animals, MFA, has produced a video documenting, yup, worst case animal abuse. The Fishwrap makes the common mistake of labeling the group an animal welfare group instead of what it is, an animal rights group.
Mercy for Animals deserves some credit for bringing these abusive farmers to light but, since evidence was obtained illegally I don't know if it could be used in court. It can probably only be used in their propoganda that, today, is timely in HSUS ballot campaign. Coincidence?
In 2009 MFA trespassed onto a egg laying farm & documented real & perceived animal abuse. Due to the illegal nature of their actions the Ohio Department of Agriculture urged farmers to file charges against the organization. The state prosecutors, however, did not pursue charges.
If these guys worked with law enforcement & the ODA, they might effect some mainstream ethical change. That is not their goal.
One of MFAs complaints was the killing of male chicks. As roosters don't lay eggs & don't grow fast enough to be harvested for meat, large capacity farms have no use for them. City dwellers who might be willing to raise them for meat are stymied by municipal laws outlawing roosters. Animal rights folks are not inclined to change that bit of legislation, however, since their ultimate goal is a vegan world.
Animal rights philosophy? From MFAs website:
"non-human animals are irreplaceable individuals with morally significant interests and hence rights."
(It's kinda difficult to get into their site since they are promoting their latest bit of sensationalism.)
My cat's morally significant interests were, sleeping, shredding, shedding, killing & eating.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Taco Trucks ?
nay !

The hell with taco trucks, we need stripper trucks ! unfortunately Collinsville Illinois has already banned them.
The Collinsville City Council passed an ordinance Monday banning live entertainment vehicles and trailers from the city's streets.

Seems like just the kind of thing our Sheriff & the Creeps for Creepy Values would love to shut down.

Belleville News-Democrat story here.
10 Commandments

The 10 Commandments monument in front of the Clark County Courthouse in Springfield got smashed in 2 by a hit & run driver last Halloween. An omen? Satanists? Moses resurrected? We may never know.
The use of Christian religious monuments in our country was pretty common while the population was still pretty much 99.9% Christian. As our society has changed over the years the promotion of a particular religion has grown distasteful & these monuments are rarely put up on government property anymore. People & organizations sue governments for their removal. Clark County chose to pay twice as much to repair this monument as replace it so they might avoid more legal issues down the road.
I agree that such monuments are inappropriate nowadays but I realize that wasn't the case in yesteryear. Like when black people were considered 3/5 of a human & women couldn't vote & such......
Seems some sort of grandfathering should be in place for this stuff but what Clark County is dealing with is something I admit I had not considered. I would say a replacement should have been ok. Then, again, if the monument is to mean anything, it should have been fixed. Frankly, I think a potpourri of ancient law givers, like on the Supreme Court building would be cooler & more appropriate.

Noose Son story here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Springfield's Forbidden City Tour Recap

Detail from Phineas P Maast home.

Preservation Ohio's tour of abandoned Springfield buildings took the organizers by surprise as hundreds, instead of dozens, of people showed up for the event.
The buildings opened to the public were The Crowell Collier Building, Metallic Casket, The Tecumseh Building, The old K of P home called Castle Knoll (& originally the Phineas Maast home) & the Harriet Bushnell Dimond house.
The Noose Son has pics of 3 of the buildings here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rachel Maddow Jumps the Shark... Again...

Typical extremist left wing crap. Maddow becomes the polar opposite of (and just as bad as) Glenn Beck while spewing hysterical nonsense. 2 + 2 ≠ 666.
Rand Paul's defending individual liberties & freedoms being twisted into a support of lawless beatings is, at least, intellectually dishonest, but obviously she' more intent on rabble rousing & character assassination.
We don't need any more wolf criers.

Does this image promote violence ?

I am not a Shepard Fairey fan. His stuff is ok. It's pleasant. As part of his recent installation/show/exhibit at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, several murals/installations have been put up throughout the Cincinnati/NKY area. I think that is pretty cool. Kinda like the Artworks thingie.
In Covington, folks have decided this image was "offensive" and "inappropriate". Why? They seem to think that it promotes youth violence and, being situated across from a school, will lead the students to modify their M-16s with AK-47 clips and go around killing people (or at least stand guard).
This image is so pro-peace, I can't stand it. Children in poor countries are frequently put in positions of authority & armed. American soldiers have expressed dismay at defending themselves from armed & hostile children. P.J. O'Rourke has a funny but disturbing story about being challenged by an armed child (which, of course, I can't find). The message of the image isn't about armed kids terrorizing people, which they do around here anyway. It's about the responsibility of the adults & their social order to provide a better life for their children.
But the fine folks of Covington find it offensive & have painted it over.
To hell with the fact the owner of the building agreed to host the work & his word means nothing.
What really sucks is that such displays will likely bypass the region now because of the acts of a few small minded people.

Maybe they can put up a cigarette ad.

Covington's Arts Director sez:
The decision to remove the Shepard Fairey mural located at 242 Pike Street was the sole decision of the owners of the building who hosted the mural, MAC Productions. The Shepard Fairey mural was not a City-led project and the City had absolutely no involvement in the removal of it.
Shortly after the mural was put up, both praise and complaints reached the City and MAC Productions. Strongest reaction was directed toward the content of a boy soldier holding a gun and the location of the mural being directly across the street from the John G. Carlisle Elementary School.
Covington Arts District Manager Natalie Bowers said "Support of the Arts is part of the Economic Development initiative of the City and in no way does the building owner's decision to remove this mural reflect the huge amount of support that the City gives to Art and our Creative Community. This was a decision made by a business owner and we, as a community, have to respect that. I can only thank MAC Productions for going out on a limb and trying to support the Arts by offering their wall to the project. And thank you to the CAC for hosting the artist and sharing his talent with the community. We will continue to support the Arts and are only sorry that this unfortunate circumstance has occurred. As the Arts District Manager, I hope our creative community understands that this reaction in no way reflects our City's or Community's support of the Arts. We will continue to strive for freedom of expression and support for the Arts. Perhaps this incident will spark some enlightening debate for future endeavors."

Fishwrap story here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After Hours at the Casino / Club Ritz Part 2

I posted this video awhile ago. Recently the state legislature has been working on whether to allow free drinks, 24 hour drinking & age limits at the casino on Broadway Commons. There has also been a murder in Club Ritz.
WCPO reports that patrons believe private security allows guns inside. Another questions the metal detector wands functionality. I have questioned, in the past, if the police urging the use of off duty police was just a way of getting some more pay for fellow officers. These accusations from Club Ritz patrons lend some credibility to the concerns of the police over private security. In the video the Club Ritz managers discuss the money they have spent on security.
The Fishwrap reports on some of the aspects of the regulations concerning the casinos. Legislators are allowing for inspectors but no requirements for security minimums are listed. Patrons will have to be 21 or older. Some bars have established 35 & older when their licenses are threatened.
I am really looking forward to seeing how things pan out at the casino. I think Club Ritz is pretty much doomed.
Coincidence ?

Is it just a coincidence that Bike to Work Week and American Craft Beer Week are the same week?
More from the twilight zone.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Northside Farmer's Market Returns to Hoffner Park

Northside's Farmer's Market returns to Hoffner Park for the summer & fall. Tunes will be supplied by The Northside Garage Band. The Market has a FaceBook page, just like everybody else. Be a fan.
We can now expect rain every Wednesday afternoon for the next 6 months.
UPDATE: Members of the Northside Skate Park will be at the Market doing demonstrations & discussing plans for the proposed skate park.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Bicycle Friendliness

The other day I rode on a street with "sharrows". Ludlow Avenue. I rode helmetless. It has been pointed out that sharrows increase motorist awareness of cyclists. It has also been proven that helmetless riders are given a wider berth by motorists. Sharrowmagic didn't work for me. Cars seemed to pass closer, actually. On my return trip, sharrowmagic didn't give me any joy with the traffic lights, either.
While in Clifton, I visited the Bender Optical Memorial park. It is a big slab of pavement with a couple trees towards the sidewalk, some black benches & a couple tables. This will, no doubt, be incredibly popular in July and August when visitors can pass out from sunstroke while frying eggs on the black benches. As I looked around for what obviously should have been there, a bike rack, I was left wanting.
So lets go the other route.
Spring Grove Avenue. Much of Spring Grove is nice and wide & pretty accommodating for bikes. On stretch that is not is between Winton & Mitchell. There are wide sidewalks there (between Winton & Clifton) and recent construction led me to think maybe the little used sidewalk would be narrowed & the street widened.

nope. The sidewalk is being narrowed but the street is staying the same & it's looking like grass will be put in. No improvements for anybody but nore maintenance for somebody
When I got to the Kenard Kroger I found the bicycle parking eliminated by overpriced plants.


Kroger's hatred is not limited to just cyclists, however.

They hate their postal customers, too.
So, even with all the well intentioned systems in place, it still isn't getting through to people. Maybe it's because they keep getting clonked in the noggin while trying to send mail. Beats me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Because it's 5/15, duh...

or, more old shit.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Queen City Gothic

My latest book report....
Queen City Gothic, by J.T. Townsend, tells the stories of a number of unsolved murders in Cincinnati going back to a series of possibly related murders of young women in Cumminsville (Northside) in the early 1900s. The stories are told in chronological order up to the last case involving several murders in 1971. The author tells each story, gives a summary & then tells the story again as a sort of dramatization. I am only reading the stories. I am not thrilled with Townsend's writing style, tho easy to read & some of his locations don't seem exactly right - well, the ones in Northside at least. The really great thing about this book is the detailed bibliography. If you decide to go to the library & look up the newspaper articles, you are all set.
I am skipping some of the stories & only reading the ones that occur in neighborhoods I am interested in. I am probably screwing myself but the chapters are pretty short & it's real easy to just pick up & read for short periods of time. Not to be dismissive, but it might be a good bathroom book.
What Townsend does really well, however, is giving the reader an idea of people's attitudes, police attitudes & policies and a glimpse of the society of Cincinnati & it's neighborhoods at the time.
Brushing off safety issues because only "fallen" women were being targeted. How people are afraid when a white guy is suspected but people go totally berserk when a black guy is the suspect. The commonality of, if not pedophilia, the really obviously inappropriate behavior of adult men towards little girls & the fact that some of the little girls were actually promoting it. Descriptions of the old neighborhoods, like Mohawk & what is now called the Brewery District which was still very well populated & not destitute but still had the maze of tunnels under the streets & old breweries that would bedevil police investigators. Talking about a Cumminsville that still had a train going through the middle of the community. People ready to lynch one another & people leaving their houses & apartments unlocked if not wide open.
It's not a great book but it has some good shit in it. If you are into Cincinnati history, it's worth picking up.
& seriously, the bibliography is a goldmine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Comic Book Politics
The Way We were

Patrick, over at the Pagan Temple has a post up about the politics of Iron Man / Tony Stark in the movie sequel, Iron Man II. I had to quit reading his post because I smelled spoilers, however he has linked to a couple other bloggers discussing the same issue. Heck, even Reason Magazine has an article about the subject.
This happened with The Watchmen as well, with people citing conservative / libertarian influence, but The Watchmen came out the mind of an anarchist magician in the late 80s.
Back in the 60s, before blogs & social websites & email, web forums and even newsgroups, DC's Superman was king. The stories were banal as hell & the letters to the editor generated were equally banal. Over at Marvel, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko decided to make their stories a little more challenging by getting into real social and political issues and by using a broader vocabulary. This gave older teenagers who were naturally starting to question the society around them & the college age kids, who were actually getting schooled in the issues, something they could really sink their teeth into. The letters to the editors frequently brought up the politics and ethics of the day. Amazingly, there was even discussion amongst readers although their comments were only published once a month. The relationships between the government, Stark Industries, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America & the U.S. military brought up all sorts of issues & the readers chimed in regularly. The letters sections got bigger & bigger & I found myself frequently reading the letters before the story. That these issues resonate to this day is great & a real testament to the creators. I don't have any problem with people discussing the stories & characters, I just feel like I am hearing the same arguments I heard 40 some years ago.

Tales of Suspense - 1964

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Even More Old Crap

Derek and the Dominoes

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The End of UrbanCincy ?

While the UrbanCincy Twitter feed is all abuzz with banter about birthdays & beergardens, the site appears closed.
Could the UrbanCincyers have fled Cincinnati? Could they have moved to sunny bright suburbs? Could the deadbeats have not paid their domain registrar?
The humanity....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bike Month

In honor of Bike Month, I have acquired a new Trek 7.1 FX from Team Cycle & Fitness.
My experience with the store has, so far, been excellent. My experience with the bike has, so far, been excellent. My experience with Bike Month has, so far, been pretty much like any other month. Of course in my world it is Bike Month 12 months a year & Halloween 365 days a year so.....
A ride through the cemetery sounds kinda nice about now.
If you want to celebrate bike month with a new used bike, MoBo Bike Coop is having a bike sale Saturday, May 8 from 10 AM to 4 PM @ 1415 Knowlton Avenue in historic Northside, Cincinnati. While you are there you can pick up a tomato plant, too.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

More on Branding

Did Krikorian really say, "Now, do you really think a guy with a name like that has a chance of ever being elected?" ?
A lot of people probably said or thought it. Yalamanchili must have thought of it. His campaign was "Vote Chili". It's not uncommon for people with long hard to spell names to just change or shorten their names rather than have to constantly spell it out & correct people's pronunciation.
So, assuming Krikorian even said it, was he racist in making such a statement? Or did Jean Schmidt's handlers know that coaxing a racism charge out of a liberal is pretty much like getting a knee jerk reaction?
FWIW, I have no love for Krikorian but he has been kinda responsible for airing some alarming fact finding about CIA operations & some hilarious legal entertainment. For the record, let it be known that I object to EVERYTHING!. Watching Sibel Edmonds try not to laugh cracks me up every time.
Full deposition here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Machete - Happy Cinco De Mayo
The Importance of Naming Your Product

BPOS ? Really?
Micro$oft has a product called Business Productivity Online Suite AKA BPOS.
In these times of snarky internet acronyms, is that really such a good name? Somebody from the marketing department needs to go.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Spring Grove 5/4/10

Monday, May 03, 2010

Funding City Parks

Over at UrbanCincy, Mr Simes has a post about the proposed upgrades for Washington Park. One of the issues is - only about half the funding is in place.
The park is managed by the city park board & financing with that entity is weird. Still money's tight all around these days.
Cincinnati has some lovely parks & is also home to some really nice cemeteries. One thing I think makes a city great is great architecture, art and statuary. On that last one, statuary, Cincinnati is pretty weak. OTOH, cemeteries like Spring Grove are treasure troves of statuary.
So, in an effort to get more statuary in the city & help pay for the parks, how about selling people graves in the public parks? Washington Park is a no brainer because it actually used to be a cemetery. Monuments could be as simple as a bench or giant angels blowing horns & stuff. Park planners could set up a kind of "form based" system with bold monuments in some places & monument benches, tables, drinking fountains, arches & stuff in appropriate places.
The sites would be more expensive than regular cemetery lots because the whole idea is to raise long term maintenance money & the deceased would get more face time with the living being in a park instead of being tucked away in a cemetery.
It's kinda like selling personalized pavers except bigger & more permanent. (My mom bought a paver for a museum & she is one of only a few who still has her name on the brick. Everybody else's wore off, but they put a trash can on my mom's so it is still in great shape!)
PS Spring Grove now has summer hours. Open late til 8 on Mondays & Thursdays.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hymns From the House of Horror

Rue Morgue Radio releases the 17 song/band compilation, Hymns From the House of Horror for free download. The Ghastly Ones, ZATS, Psycho Charger, Damn Laser Vampires & more.
go here ~ get it while it's cold.
Always embrace the Hellfire, y'all!
Waiting for Danno

Playing around with Strata & transparency, field depth blur & global illumination using QCD's pano picture.
Surprise, Strata doesn't do field depth blur in transparency. OOPS
Had to select every piece of the VRMLized Poser figure & delete the default texture to get transparency to work & then my 1 sided poly mesh still comes out hollow.....
I guess there is a reason God doesn't make slotted people. Is it Hurley time yet?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General was originally released in the U.S. as The Conqueror Worm. It was directed by Michael Reeves who showcased the British countryside the way American westerns showcased the American west. Reeves did not want Vincent Price for the title character & rode him throughout the shooting to squeeze out a great & unique performance.
The story has nothing to do with Ed Poe's poem or the Ligea story from whence it came. It was about a young couple in 17th century England & the negative & fairly deranged effect of witch hunting on their lives. Notable in the movie are the various tests to prove or disprove the unholy pacts people might have made with the devil when obviously the devil was behind the ones doing the testing.
Good flick. Beautiful. And it seems to be appropriate 40 some years later.