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/dev/null - i_am_electro - cleveland, ohio blog
August 2009
Mon, Aug. 31st, 2009 11:12 pm

It has been many months, I missed the summer on LJ, but there wasn't much of one in meat space.

I tried twitter and continue to insist that as much as people may want to tweet, the root of twitter remains twit.

Facebook continues to insist on suggesting friends who I really don't want to see. Please dear algorithm, heed my attempts to X people out.

So I'm back here. Sipping whiskey in hand.


Tue, Mar. 3rd, 2009 12:47 am

My sister broke her arm a week or so ago and takes public transport home and works odd hours so I've offered to drive her sometimes when she gets out around 11pm. The problem is she isn't very good with directions and tells me to pick her up on streets that don't exist. Tonight's adventure involved an Armenian Anesthesiologist who shipped his coat to LA as he'll be moving their in July. I drove him home on account of it being 14 degrees. He declared (in his short sleeved shirt) that it really isn't "cold at all." I had taxi driver conversation with him about the area, answered questions about lay-out, demographics, and events, discussed the weather and my love snow being the common enemy that binds us all together.


Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 01:28 pm

Watched the Obamarama Spectacular last evening and the GOP response.

One thing I don't get is this entirely fictitious GOP complaint about the train from Disneyland to Las Vegas... there is absolutely nothing in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifying this link (skip to p. 237 for the section). If anything it sends money to the Dept of Transporation for use at identified high speed corridors which has nothing to do with that leg. My bet is most of it ends-up in the northeast where high speed trains are needed and will succeed immediately and also in the midwest where I high speed trains could work. (I'll admit I love trains and would prefer a reliable 4 hour train ride to Chicago over 45 minute flight with all the hassle of airports.)

The Governor of Lousiana with his official GOP response was entirely tone deaf and railed against this imagined train connecting imaginary places. I'm pleased right wing folks like David Brooks agree.


Sat, Dec. 6th, 2008 03:04 pm

“You buy the house with the white picket fence. You buy one Bloomin Onion a week and when you feel too much pressure at work you go on your roof with a bottle of Jameson and have a good cry while shooting pigeons. Those are the rules.”


Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 09:46 pm

with this astonishing new invention. this changes everything.


Tue, Nov. 4th, 2008 11:22 am

I am not a superstitious person, and although I think we don't understand a lot about our world and overestimate our knowledge, I still think most surprising things are just coincidence. That said. I occasionally am taken aback by intuitive or strangely predictive thoughts.

The last time a bird crapped on me or one of my belongings was probably ten years ago. I don't give much thought to the feces/urine combo that birds drop on us from above. However, about five minutes ago I started to think about it and covered my coffee because I had this feeling and within three minutes plop! My laptop was transformed!

Too bad my secret intuitive super power is predicting when a bird will crap on me.


Tue, Nov. 4th, 2008 10:57 am

I can't wait to stand in line for the next hour or so [amended] 0 minutes. I just walked in, probably three times the amount of voting stations from 2004. Back then, it was about an hour wait and there were cookies and I then went to work for a group monitoring the elections and I had nothing on some of the poor folks further east who were averaging 3 hour waits.


My prediction is that Ohio will not be the poster child for election shenanigans, my guess is that if (shockingly) this is close, the honor we picked-up from Florida will be handed off to Missouri. That state's legislators has been working harder than any other to disenfranchise voters this year.

My sister has waited a long time in Kansas City and she got to the polls at 6am or so. I can only guess if Kansas City has that kind of mess, what must be going on in St. Louis. (Is this where Ken Blackwell, our illustrious former Secretary of State, moved to after getting trounced by Nice Guy Ted Strickland in '06?)


After voting, I'm pleased to announce that I did not meet this fate... boy am I glad we don't use Diebold in Cuyahoga County.


Tue, Oct. 21st, 2008 08:29 pm

1) i received a settlement offer for my car crash 16 months ago. it is about 60% of what i want, i'll push for a bit more, and probably accept it. it amazes me that this crap insurance company of the guy who hit me, first acceptance auto insurance, took so long to do this. the first six months was spent trying to convince them that because they had me on tape saying "i was going the speed limit, 25 mph" that i was not driving recklessly, this was only accomplished by handing it off to my attorney. over the next six months, the adjusters on the case were either getting laid off or leaving, i went through FOUR contacts during that period. then first acceptance played a game called, "we never saw the car so how can you prove it was totaled?" fortunately after being hit, my car was forced into an unmarked police car, so the entire cleveland force showed-up as an officer was injured. part of the force includes a professional photo team that does a very good job taking photos at midnight. after a month or two of wading through the city bureaucracy, i got the photos, my attorney forwarded them on and now there is a settlement. part of me doesn't mind dragging it out in principle, but it sounds like it will be a hassle and the attorney doesn't seem keen on it and i respect his opinion. so, after 15 months, at least i have an offer to work from. first acceptance seems like a scam operation, in ohio, they're in the bottom five when it comes to most consumer complaints

2) the tree that i declared war on within months of moving into my house was cut down. yes, the tree was on my neighbors property, but again, we did all the legal footwork and cut it down today. good riddance to the ailanthus. tree of heaven? what the hell!

3) a painting i picked-up in high school of a cow contently eating a bed of flowers was framed today and i picked it up. the title is bad bessie. i am quite pleased with it. the cow made my sister very angry then when i purchased it as she shares its name. she still harbors ill will towards the painting twenty years later. i really like the painting.

4) i have launched a campaign against all the GOP bozos in the state who prevented municipalities from enacted laws to protect against predatory lenders four years ago. half of them are up for re-election this year and i've assembled a small machine that writes to small town newspapers about how crummy their incumbent reps are. four years ago i felt like these guys were untouchable, but not anymore. look for me in the Zanesville Times Recorder!

5) last month i started volunteering at a mens homeless shelter. it sleeps 400. i have to say when i go there it is intimidating. the weight of the problem seizes me up. 400! anyhow, i volunteer there once a week to teach computer skills to guys looking for jobs. sometimes it is kind of a waste of time, but sometimes it is great! today it was great! it is pretty exciting when you teach people to start writing on wikipedia or understanding how to do baseballs stats analysis in open office.

in summation: progress from the year of unexpected collisions, my neighbor may kill me when she comes over to scream about her missing overgrown weed that was crushing my sewer (and i will respond, "what tree?"), bad bessie still gets a reaction, crank letters sent to zanesville, and the homeless will be the end of Britannica.


Fri, Sep. 26th, 2008 09:50 pm

My mother sparked my genealogy interest again by putting together an expedition to Detroit to meet distant relatives connected several generations back-- nobody was from the area, so we convened at an airport hotel and I immediately realized that these people were much more hardcore than I was. I wasn't sure how this was going to work out.

One of them had arrived from Minneapolis on Tuesday and had been doing research the entire time. All sorts of adventures were recounted including tales of: hostile archivists (who knew they were out there), underfunded libraries (Detroit is still having major problems keeping their libraries open, the main branch remains closed on Sundays and Mondays, but that's better than when I visited in 2004), and spelling creativity (Schloff = Schlaff = Schlaf / Freidel = Fredel = Fridell = Freidell).

The trip was successful, yielding three key findings so far:

1) We found a two hour taped interview from 1969 with the brother of my great grandfather reminiscing about the family farm (now a park in Dearborn Heights, Michigan), diphtheria outbreaks, Henry Ford, that sort of stuff. He lamented the death of trains (he managed the main station in Detroit for awhile) and said "HOLY CATS!" and spoke with a little bit of that Minnesotan accent.

2) I learned a lot about cemeteries from a former seminarian who administers a number of 100-200 year old cemeteries in Detroit. I love experts who love what they do. You wouldn't think sitting in the office of some overly formal cemetery administrator for two hours talking about the history of mortuary science and various methods for mapping poorly documented cemeteries would be a fun, but it is. He also made some jokes about the local hostile archivists and the politics of it all. I figured he was probably just five years older than I was, but boy was he serious... so sincere though.

3) There has been a family legend that each of these disparate parts of the family knew and that is that my great great grandfather died in a snowstorm, leaving eleven children behind on the farm. I'd been going crazy searching newspaper accounts and we'd located death certificates but there wasn't anything about the cause of death. I'd been searching for weather records also and no sign of a snow storm. Anyhow... we're at their parish with the aforementioned expert and he digs through the records from the parish priest and finds:

Anno dmi 1887 die 17 Feb. sepultum est corpus Petri Schloff, mariti Catherinae Schloff, actatis 38 annorum, erat vis insanus et suicidium

So we thought, what does that mean? Did he freeze to death and it was deemed a suicide by the parish? He did die on his 37th birthday, what are the odds of that? The aforementioned cemetery expert pointed us to some local records, including the daily journal of the township mortician and sure enough, that settled it. From the Diary of E. D. Howe, February 15, 1887:

Rained some last night. Cloudy day. Peter Schloff, 4 miles s.e. of here cut his throat and died last night. Merritt and Mary came 4:27 this P.M. to stop over till tomorrow. Mr. and Mrs. Brown called this evening.

Lost in a metaphorical storm, perhaps.


Wed, Sep. 17th, 2008 06:14 pm

Earlier today I observed a Google Maps vehicle turning off of Madison in Lakewood. The driver appeared to be following local laws. I contemplated skipping out on a meeting and trading my business suit for a rented polar bear outfit and to follow the car around. Alas, I couldn't.