Archive for August, 2007



And this just in…..

From the Christian Science Monitor:

“And just in time, as a national clothesline – or “Right to Dry” – movement escalates. In fact, Vermont is the latest state to introduce a bill that would override clothesline bans, which are often instituted by community associations loath to air laundry even when it’s clean. Now, clothesline restrictions may be headed the way of bans on parking pickup trucks in front of homes, or growing grass too long – all vestiges of trim and tidy hopes that may not fit with the renewed emphasis on going green….”


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Columbus had an “air quality alert” on Wednesday. Before I left the house, I discovered it during the opening statements on WBNS 10TV news. The statement followed by a quick blurb about the weather. On to the next subject.

Later in the same newscast, OSU coach Jim Tressel had a 4-5 minute spot discussing the strategies for the upcoming game. Somehow, his discussion would have an impact on the lives of those living in Columbus, or so WBNS thinks.

Wouldn’t it be more prudent of WBNS to give a bit more air time (no pun intended) to the strategies for avoiding the continued increases in days that Columbus faces air quality alerts?

Perhaps this is a statement about just how far removed the general population is from one of the real challenges facing this city. Poor air quality has a direct correlation to the transportation issues facing Columbus, namely that the general population is forced into cars to accomplish most every task.

There’s a news story here. It seems however, that the local media is more willing to discuss the actions of 22 football players than it is to discuss the actions of its viewers.

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Take High Street, then turn left.


It hit like a ton of bricks. Consider having a red-hot metal rod shoved in your ear, down the Eustachian tube and into the throat. I feel like shit.

Okay, so I’m going to try to remedy this naturally. Some hot tea, some ear drops, all in supply at my neighborhood Kroger. A good 20-25 linear feet of tea to choose from. Properly picked leaves, ground up and sealed in a nice flow-through bag.

Near the pharmacy, twice as many linear feet of tablets made from plants. I can’t even spell those words, though I do remember “Horny Goat Weed”. I bought garlic. Plant extract for better circulation, more flexible joints, greater mental awareness…the list goes on.

Tonight I’m drinking tea because I’m not feeling so well. Other times, I enjoy it while reading a book or magazine. Sometimes its shared over conversation with a friend. It was in my ill state that I realized that marijuana is really no different. It’s a plant. It has various uses and those that use it, enjoy it.

A young professional can enjoy tea while reading the New York Times somewhere along High Street on any given Sunday morning.
How urban.

In Clintonville, a blue algae enema will cleanse the soul, as well as makes it into the ad for the new spa in Grandview.
Aware, very aware.

When a dude in Franklinton wants to smoke a doob and relax to a Nikelback album, he should be able to walk into Kroger and pick it up, just like everyone else’s plant extracts.
That’s socially irresponsible.

Package it, sell it, tax it. Hell, give it 20 linear feet of sales exposure. Make some money off the shit, take it off the street and advertise it. It’s an age old debate, but tonight, it really sank in. What if it was the only thing that would make me feel better?

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It’s Hot. You’re Not.

When I moved up from Florida, my neighbors asked if I was planning on having central air put in the house.
“You’re not?”
“I just moved up from Florida. How bad could summer be?”
“You’ll see” they said.

With a 90 year old house, there were more pressing concerns than central air. I bought a window unit to cool the second floor at night. Heavy drapes over the stairwell keep the cool air from cascading down the stairs, and I can sleep in relative comfort. The living areas of the house are not cooled mechanically, save for a ceiling fan in the dining room.

Each year, I try as long as I can to postpone putting in the A/C. There are two goals here. 1 – continuing to learn to live without for the sake of continued character building (because someday, there will be too little electricity to support such a luxury) and 2 – keeping the electric bill at bay. Money spent on insulation and window replacement have gone a long way in keeping the house cool and was a better investment.

But each summer, I think about the generations that had lived in this house before anyone knew what air conditioning was. They managed just fine. When I walk through German Village, I imagine the porches filled with neighbors escaping the confines of their heat-soaked brick homes during decades past. I suspect there were unpleasant days, but I’ve not read one historical report of social unrest over summer heat. Then again, it’s hotter now that it was 90 years ago.

And on a morning when oppressive heat and humidity makes line-drying the clothes difficult, my e-subscription to Utne Web Watch came in with a link to an article about life before air conditioning. Read it and you’ll remember when things were a bit easier. Perhaps a bit warmer, but simpler and more efficient.

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The Morning Muse

It’s been a morning ritual for years. Brew the coffee, iron a shirt, pour the coffee, then read the news. I used to get the newspaper, but when the A section of the Salt Lake Tribune had an article on the proper way to load a dishwasher, I decided to find my own news.

Before the Internet was widely used in homes, I’d rush downstairs every morning to see if a fax had come in from Europe. My friends and I would fax our letters when that became possible.

When the Net arrived, MSN was my “home page”. During my morning coffee, I could read the European newspapers and see what had already happened “later that day”. And of course, e-mail. After I’d found Yahoo!, I realized just how bulky MSN was, so I switched.

I tried home delivery of the Columbus Dispatch for awhile. Some days it came, other days it didn’t. Having to get up and remind them to deliver seemed far more complicated than just going to get it. Then I realized there wasn’t much in that paper to read, either.

Now more Net savvy than ever, my day starts out with a quick look at the news, then onto the blogs. The Columbus blogs (listed to the right of this post) are where I find out what’s really going on around here. Its the “word on the street” and far more interesting than what’s in the local newspaper. Sometimes it’s akin to being told a secret. Other times its reading about things I’ve often considered myself.

I have a confession to make. I sometimes read the Toledo blog, “Glass City Jungle”. I’ve never been to Toledo. I have no reason to go there. I don’t know anyone in Toledo. I don’t know why I do it. But there, now I’ve said it.

“My name is Jeff and I read a Toledo blog”.
“Hello Jeff”.

I have another confession to make. I really enjoy reading Simon Glickman’s blog, “Very Hot Jews”. I don’t even know how I found it. Simon Glickman does resemble my good friend David Trockman, also a Jew, and they wear similar styled glasses. Maybe that’s it.

(Sera does look like Ron Jeremy with that moustache).

I’m not Jewish, though there is a rumor that my Polish ancestors only spoke German in public. They lived in an area that was back and forth between Germany and Russia (read between the lines here). Considering the fact that I get every wise crack Simon Glickman makes, and typically would have said it that way myself, maybe I am Jewish. Or maybe it’s because I used to live in Kew Gardens. (Queens, not London). Oh god! Funny that it’s in “Queens” and the queen lives in London. I wonder if some New York city planner has been waiting for this to go public.

One last confession; I still do web searches for something that shows a decent picture of the new Fountain Square in Cincinnati.

“My name is Jeff, and Cincinnati’s Fountain Square is a morbid obsession”.
“Hello Jeff”.

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Utah’s Commuter Rail


This week, the Utah Transit Authority begins testing the new commuter rail line, “FrontRunner” which will, upon completion, travel 44 miles north from downtown Salt Lake City.

During peak hours, FrontRunner will operate every 20 minutes and every 40 minutes during non-peak hours. It’s downtown terminus will be at a multi-modal station, where light-rail and bus connections take riders further into the city.

It intrigues me that Utah, with only 2.5 million people, can put together a comprehensive transit program, and Ohio’s considerably larger population, cannot. With our major cities only about two hours from the next, it seems only logical that they be connected.

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