What would Mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie do?

My son, Timmy, will be six on Friday and Emily, Cathy’s girl, will be eight on Saturday.  So many kids in the family and that means way too many birthday parties and that means my wife and her sisters are doing the same thing that my mom and aunts used to do with all the kids’ birthdays: they group the birthday parties. It’s easier for the family and a whole lot cheaper, too.

Cleveland is having a good year.  The Cavaliers are in the playoffs and if you’re in the playoffs you have a shot at making the finals and the championship.  The Indians are also playing pretty well so far and staying healthy. With a better start than last year they might make the playoffs this year and again, if you’re in the playoffs you’ve got a chance to play in the World Series and win the championship.

Two contending sports teams and the city is also hosting the Republican National Convention  this summer so Republican delegates and Black Lives Matter and Occupy youngsters will be coming in from out of town.  Possibly two sports championships and a national convention and that means three potential riots.

I’ve sent a letter to the mayor about how my mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie consolidated birthday parties and have asked him what he thinks about waiting until after we know if the Indians make the playoffs to plan a big riot/looting extravaganza for Cleveland.  You know, thinking about it if the Indians do get into the World Series and win that will be close to the Presidential election in November and that means another riot if Donald Trump wins. Four possible riots in one year, wow.  Help, Aunt Ruthie.

I know what mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie would do, they’d plan one big event and that could be what the mayor might want to explore.  Fewer riots and less mounted police overtime cost for the city and a chance for Black Lives Matter and Occupy to tear up Cleveland and then go home with a big screen TV.  Seems like a sensible idea to me.

The only down side is if the Black Lives Matter and Occupy kids come in for the convention in July and then postpone their rioting and looting until later in the year, possibly in November, will they be able to get off work in order to come back for the riot and looting activities?


We’ve learned well

As the priest left the church Saturday night he was assaulted, pistol whipped and robbed by three men. The local TV station in reporting the story asked that anyone with information about the possible suspects or their location contact the police. According to the station the suspects were described as wearing all black; a gray sweatsuit and a gray jacket.
Anyone know anything? Has anyone seen the all black clothing, the gray sweatsuit or the gray jacket involved in the robbery and beating of an elderly priest? No further information was provided by the station on whether the sweatsuit had a drawstring or the gray jacket may have had a zipper. Small, Medium, Large or XLarge? Sorry, nothing else was provided.
Know something? Say something! The San Bernardino terrorist’s neighbor said nothing when she thought something suspicious was going on next door. She saw men who she now describes as being middle eastern going in and out of the house with packages at all hours. And what did she do? She did nothing. She didn’t want to be labeled as being a racial profiler and so people are dead and people are injured in San Bernardino and it was only because the terrorist’s bombs failed to detonate that more people weren’t killed or injured. Would it have been profiling if instead of identifying the men as being middle eastern she would have identified maybe suspicious clothing going in and out of the house with packages at all hours?
“…and then they came for me…” and everyone saw what was happening but nobody said anything for fear of being labeled a hater, a racist or a racial profiler. Those who witnessed the attack said that they could or would not pick out the suspect gray sweatsuit in the police lineup which included a beach towel, a light blue golf shirt, a green and yellow bedspread and a pair of Bermuda shorts.
We’ve learned well, America.

Can’t have that

“Sorry about the interruption. I can’t believe the horror of the terrorist attacks in Paris and how many people were killed and injured. People were massacred in Paris with bombs and guns with the attackers shooting into the crowd at a concert hall and patrons shot as they sat at their tables in a Paris restaurant. Now France has closed its borders and the French president says that they will be ruthless in destroying those responsible for the terrorist attacks and you have to wonder, who is next?”
So, anyway. You were saying that you need a safe space on campus because you believe there is a chance that you may receive a slight or a snub which might make you feel uncomfortable? Is that about it? Does that about cover the concerns in your life? Can’t have that. Let’s just see what we can do.”

Great for America

People made things. They saw needs in a young country and they imagined solutions and then they built the factories to make the tools and clothes and furniture and machinery that the nation needed. The factories were built with brick and stone and steel and they gave purpose to the towns that grew up around them. The people worked in the factories and the smoke from the chimneys meant that the workers were supporting their families. The towns and cities and America prospered and grew strong, strong enough to go to war and turn back the forces of evil.
Then things changed, the plants closed and the jobs moved away and the massive factories built of brick and stone and steel and built strong enough to last a century stood there empty and produced nothing.
That’s not right for America or for Americans and that’s not what Americans do so we’re putting those buildings back to work. This time we won’t be building locomotives or washing machines or automobiles or tractors but we will be calling on American geniuses like Ford and Edison and Bell to inspire us.
This time we won’t be building with iron or steel. This time there will be smoke but it won’t be coming out of the tall chimneys next to the factories it will be in the great new sandwiches we’re building with smoked ham and/or turkey and Swiss cheese piled high on artisan buns and a special All-American sauce that brings to mind the strengths of Henry and Thomas and Alexander (why not make it a combo with chips and a medium drink for just $1.99 more).
And don’t worry about parking. Back when the factory was working around the clock there were over 3500 people employed at the plant so we’ve got a huge parking lot.

Climate change and me

I’ll admit it. I’ve been one of those climate change deniers you read about. I just can’t believe the popular theory that human beings burning fossil fuels are causing climate change. It’s nothing political it’s just that I put the global warming and climate change theories into the same category as, the wine is bad, no it’s good, the sun is good, no it’s bad ever changing malarkey we get from our so-called experts.
I do think that the climate is changing. Something is going on and I don’t see how that can be denied. I just can’t believe, however, that driving your car and running the air conditioner and grilling a hot dog are the causes of the climate change. We are seeing changes that will affect everyone on earth and we’ve got to do something before coastal cities are flooded and island nations disappear below the waves. We’ve got to do something before storms and droughts and famines kill millions all over the planet.
We know that we’ve got to do something but is there really anything we can do? If I am right that the climate is changing and if I am right that it’s not being caused by the use of fossil fuels then is there any activity of mankind which can be identified as causing the climate to change? Are there changes in our behavior which can be made in order to save our home, the earth?
I believe there are and that it might not be too late to make those changes. You see it’s all about ocean water and how it circulates and how violent water circulation can cause changes in the weather. When you study the situation you find out about the level of salt in the sea. Less salty areas of water react violently with the more salty areas causing a churning effect which causes changes in the sea which then causes changes in weather which leads to changes in the climate. We are changing the way in which the layers of water in the ocean interact with each other and I believe that if we have changed them we can change them back.
What is happening to cause these changes in the levels of salt in the ocean you may ask and just what is the source of the salt in the ocean anyway?
According to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
Salt in the ocean comes from rocks on land.
The rain that falls on the land contains some dissolved carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. This causes the rainwater to be slightly acidic due to carbonic acid (which forms from carbon dioxide and water).
As the rain erodes the rock, acids in the rainwater break down the rock. This process creates ions, or electrically charged atomic particles. These ions are carried away in runoff to streams and rivers and, ultimately, to the ocean. Many of the dissolved ions are used by organisms in the ocean and are removed from the water. Others are not used up and are left for long periods of time where their concentrations increase over time.
This process has been going on since the beginning of time so what is different now? Is less salt flowing into streams and rivers and then into the oceans? Is that why areas of the oceans are less salty?
No, the salt continues to flow into the oceans. But if the salt continues to flow into the ocean why is the level of salinity dropping in some areas?
Why? Why is the level of salinity dropping? Because of you and me and our families and our neighbors and friends. I believe that the cause of our climate change problem is sitting right there in the kitchen, or maybe on the end tables next to the Lazy Boys where we watch the big game. The cause of our problem has a name and it’s snacks.
During a timeout when you run to the kitchen what do you get? When you feel like a bowl of ice cream what flavor is in the freezer? Think about it. Think about it real hard. You reach for the Nabisco Triscuit crackers, now with sea salt, or the Lay’s Wavy potato chips with sea salt or the sea salt caramel ice cream. Where do you think we get that tasty sea salt?
We can only go to the well, or in this case the ocean, so many times before we see big changes and we are seeing those changes now. We keep taking and taking and taking but Mother Nature has only so much to give. Salty snacks (now with sea salt) and then more storms and floods. Sea salt on our chips and then we see disease and famine. Sea salt caramel ice cream and we watch Pacific islands slip under the waves.
Time to take those unopened cartons of Triscuit crackers (now with sea salt) back to the Food Express and exchange them for the old variety with table salt. Do it now. Save mankind. Save the planet.
But just in case I’m wrong why not ride your bike or walk to the grocery store because maybe it is the SUVs after all which are causing climate change.


So there I was heading up to the tee on the fifth hole at Twin Maples Country Club. That par 5, fifth hole (555 yards) has always given me problems but then I decided, not today.
As I stepped off the golf cart I pulled my driver out of the bag and instead of heading to the mens tee I said to myself, “Bob you are now Roberta”, and I walked to the ladies tee. Now I can’t say that I hit the ball any better but it just seemed that because of the shorter distance I had a little extra confidence when I swung that club. As I got back into the cart (after saying, “Roberta, you are now Bob”) I threw my fist into the air in a victory salute.
I did wonder whether or not I needed to enter some kind of note or asterisk next to my score but I decided that, no, this is a personal choice I am making and it’s nobody’s business if I am Bob or Roberta or Boberta or what I am doing or not doing on or off the golf course. My gender identity is my business.
It did cross my mind though that if I make a big deal out of using the women’s tees while dressed in a golf outfit that said Bob someone might object. If that happens I just might be playing at Boberta’s Twin Maples Country Club in the very near future.