Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Columbus Is Happening-Recounts of Saturday Aug 25

So after the long and lonely night on the streets of Columbus my first night, it was greatly made up for the second evening we were there.

Saturday, Roommate, Brooklyn and I hooked up with a friend form college who now lives in Seattle and works as an independent fashion designer. She is originally from Cincinnati, which is where she met the woman for whom we all traveled to Columbus to see off to the Netherlands.

Once we all met up with Seattle and Weeds (woman moving to the Netherlands), we had a late brunch at NorthStar. The menu was simple and unobtrusive and healthy for you. I was the last one to get my meal due to the fact that I was the last one to order. I watched as a wonder plate of home fries, accompanied by a cheese omelet graced Roommate's plate. Followed by 3 other great dished that was set in front of the others.

When the server finally brought my dish I was disappointed served a simple biscuit with one egg and burnt home-fries. I guess that's all they thought I needed.

I cheered myself up by buying a great pair of jeans from Dr. MoJo afterwards.

Just hours after my experience at NorthStar, we had a great dinner at a small Italian restaurant called Basil Italia just a few blocks west of Short North.

I can honestly say, that next to RiverSide, this was the best meal that I have EVER had.

We capped the evening off by dancing our asses of at Q-bar, which happened to be 70's night. The music was great, the crowd was large and boy-sterrous so we all had a great time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Michael Vick: Just The Facts Ma'am. Just The Facts

I came across this breakdown of the controversial case against Michael Vick who is accused of a number of different charges in respect to his in-house dog fighting ring on, one of the blogs that I sometimes like to read. Even though this piece is a bit opinionated, it gives some tertiary facts that some may not have deciphered from the high-profile media coverage.

Vick, Proportionality, and Raceby
Shavar Jeffries (more posts)

Michael Vick plead guilty to three different conspiracy counts today. I must say that I've found the entire episode to be a comedy of the absurd. And without an available neutral principle to explain the vehemence of the reaction against Vick, I cannot comprehend the Vick experience in terms that are not inextricably linked to race.Let's start from the beginning: Vick was charged with three counts of conspiracy: 1) conspiring to gamble on dogfights -- an illegal activity -- and using violence to further that illegal activity -- apparently the killing of several of the dogs; 2) conspiring to engage in dogfighting; and 3) buying and transporting a dog in interstate commerce for use in a dogfight.

The first charge permits the imprisonment for up to five years; the second and third charges each permit only a maximum sentence of one year.The first is a charge under the Travel Act, a statute enacted in response to burgeoning organized crime and racketeering. While the statute was plainly geared toward mob activity, the language of the statute encompasses a wide range of conspiracies, largely due to definitional challenges in isolating those conspiracies specifically linked to traditional organized crime.

I doubt seriously that Congress contemplated that the killing of dogs would suffice as the kind of "crime of violence" that would justify prosecution under the Travel Act. And for good reason. Dog-killing does not pose the same sort of social, cultural, and economic harms that violence against human beings poses in the context of organized crime. That doesn't mean that dogfighting doesn't pose cognizable social harm; it simply means it isn't the sort contemplated by the Travel Act. Charging Vick under the Travel Act, in my view, is an unjustifiably expansive application of the statute, and is representative of the broader over-reaction to this episode.

The last two charges were brought under the Animal Fighting Venture Prohibition statute, which deals directly with organized animal fights and related activity. These charges trigger much more reasonable misdemeanor punishments, permitting imprisonment for less than one year and a fine of no more than $15,000. I say much more reasonable because, again, I cannot imagine Congress imagined applying the Travel Act to acts of violence involving animals, and in any case I believe the law does and should value violence against humans at a higher level than violence against animals.The fighting-venture statute also highlights some of the hypocrisy behind the Vick prosecution, as the statute specifically exempts fighting ventures involving "live birds" in those states that specifically legalize such ventures. This illuminates hypocrisy because I see no principle distinguishing the social or moral harm of indiscriminately killing dogs from that of indiscriminately killing "live birds." Ultimately, I find the entire Vick episode to be a comedy of the absurd.

At the end of the day, he bet on dogfights, and subsidized an enterprise that sometimes wantonly killed dogs who weren't top fighters. As a consequence, he's already lost millions in endorsements and has suffered incalculable damage to his reputation. The federal court is now considering a term of up to five years; and the NFL apparently a ban of an additional year on top of his prison sentence.

In my view, anything beyond six months imprisonment would be outrageous; and any suspension by the NFL beyond the several games players routinely get for violence against women or drug abuse would be equally unjustifiable. If Vick had bet on bird fights, he apparently couldn't be prosecuted at all in many states. Severe harms are perpetrated against human beings on a daily basis with nothing remotely resembling the witch-burning Michael Vick is experiencing.

I love dogs, too, but I love humans more. Michael Vick should pay a price, but the price should be proportionate to the harm and should not cause more harm than necessary. Destroying the life of a 27-year-old because of his poor decisions concerning dogfighting would be unconscionable in a nation that prided mercy as much as this nation says it does. I don't like invoking the race card, but because I cannot explain the hysterical reaction to Vick's conduct on the basis of a neutral principle, I fall back to an unshakable perception: It wouldn't have went down like this is Mike Vick were white.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Columbus Is Happening-Recounts of Friday Aug 24

As I mentioned in my last post, I took off for the fair city of Columbus, OH just minutes after I left work on Friday. On this trip I spent a bit more time in the city so I was able to take in more of the sites.

Getting in to town around 6pm, my roommate and I met up with one of his old friends from college, who is currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. (Coincidentally, the three of us and two others who will meet up with us on this trip are congregating in Columbus to see goodbye to a friend who is getting married and moving to the Netherlands this week.)

Brooklyn, Roommate and my self check in to the hotel and then head to Short North and take in the sites along with a few appetizers and libations at Union Station, a far cry from Cincinnati's excuse under the same same. This bar had a great outdoor seating area, which was in front of the bar, so that you could watch passers by, walk their dog on the street or ride their crotch rockets.

After this late dinner, we heading back to our hotel room for a quick change an headed to Q-Bar. Last time that I visited this bar, it was packed with eye-candy, but when we walked in this evening, the crowd was non-existent. We did manage to score a few free drinks, (thanks to Brooklyn) and two tickets to hear a DJ spin at Wall Street, which unbeknownst to us, was just around the around the corner from our hotel room.

I had a great time and the music was great, but as the night wore on, I got the feeling that I would be heading back to the hotel alone. This was perfectly OK, except for the fact that Roommate and Brooklyn left with their respective conquests without saying goodbye to me and without a key to the hotel room.

Needless to say that it was a long, lonely night (which led to the morning) on the streets of Columbus for me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Columbus A-Go-Go...Take 2

In just minutes, I will be heading back to Columbus with some friends. We are all driving up to say good-bye to another friend who is leaving for the Netherlands. I will keep you posted on all the "goings ons" in the state capital. Meanwhile, you can read about the last time I stayed in Columbus here.

Can it get any hotter?

I read this article this morning in the Cincinnati Enquirer. I thought it pretty much summed up the weather situation that we have been having in the Ohio Valley.

Steamy again
Another record possible today, then relief this weekend

Getting tired of the heat? Too bad. With another record broken Thursday and a possible record high today, August is quickly losing its appeal. National Weather Service meteorologists say a persistent area of high pressure is blocking possible cool fronts from reaching here.
For the fourth time this month, the thermometer soared into triple digits. Thursday's high was 100 degrees, breaking the previous record of 96 for the date in 1948. It is the third record broken this month. Aug. 8 and 16 were 100 and 101, respectively.

The weekend should bring some relief from the oppressive heat."It's going to be slightly better Saturday," meteorologist Brian Coniglio said this morning. "Sunday's about the coolest day we'll see for awhile."The high for Saturday is expected to be around 90 degrees. Sunday's high is expected to be in the mid-80s.There's a 50% chance of thunderstorms Saturday during the day, and a 40 percent chance Saturday night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Taking My Writing To The Next Level

As a revisit yo the post Pushing 30 Blues, the "things that I have been working on" are about to be reviled. I have decided to take my writing/editing and translation business to the next level. For the past couple of years, I have written resumes, cover letters and business plans for friends and have even received a few paying clients out of it. The weird thing is, I actually like doing it. I like being able to help people get the jobs that they have always wanted.

I have started advertising on I am advertising under several different categories to optimize my exposure. My daily goal is to advertise in one city a day. So far, I have been meeting that goal.

Along with reading books that explain some great strategies for running an online business, I have created a new business blog where I give free advice about writing, editing, and successful business practices.

So far, I have been getting about 2 to 3 jobs a week. Not too bad for part-time work.

Next step is to create a website. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More pics of Jr.

I have not come up with a name of this little one yet. Some of the contenders are Sausage, Peanut, Tico, Sloppy Joe and Maurice.

Any opinions?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Colors of the Queen City

For those who watched the the television show WKRP in Cincinnati, know that one of Cincinnati's most prized possessions is the Tyler Davidson Fountain located smack dab in the middle of Fountain Square, downtown Cincinnati.

It has been moved several times since it was donated to the city in by Henry Probasco, in memory of his brother-in-law and business partner Tyler Davidson and dedicated in 1871, but with the recent renovation of The Square, the The Genius of Water now faces south.

Last night, I had a late happy hour at McCormick and Schmick's, located just across the street from the square and that's when I saw it. The completion of the renovation of the 5/3 Bank building (located just north of the fountain) was signatured with the array of changing lights that faded in and out of site.

I am impressed....the city is starting to get their stuff straight.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Seems Like A World Away

What a weekend...and it is only Sunday morning.

Yesterday, my roommate and i borrowed a canoe from our married friend D and C and decided to take a canoe trip down the Licking River.

The Licking separates Campbell and Kenton counties, emptying into the Ohio River. Even though I was born and raised in Kenton County, I never realized how large the river was. Trolling along the river for 7 miles, I found out that barges actually travel up and down this river.

It was a bit daunting being next to these behemoths, but this city boy quickly found his webbed feet.

Unfortunately, in the process of becoming acclimated with the water skiers, barge and other boat traffic, I was not able to take as many pictures as I had liked.

Another unfortunate note, my 1990 Honda Civic broke down on the side of the highway on the way back from the trip. Thank God for AAA. On a better note, after the two truck delivered my car to the service shop, he offered to purchase it. This sparked my interest, but since the service station was closed, I suggested that I first find out the extent of the repair before he makes an offer.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is Cincinnati Ready for YouTube?

Of course it is. Bloggers such as myself and have used this video sharing website to the hilt, but now WLWT Channel 5 is honing in on the craze and introducing this fast growing entertainment behemoth to its viewing audience.

I thinks its a great idea. I would love to watch old news casts. Especially when my News 5 did an exclusive on my neighborhood when I was a pre-teen, or see live video of the riverfront before it was graced with the Paul Brown Stadium and Cinergy Field.

We can even take a look at talk show host, turned reality game show host Jerry Springer when he was a news broadcaster here in Cincinnati, just years after he was the Queen City's mayor. Make sure you listen to his commentary here, he actually makes a good point during the posted commentary.

My love of Youtube is not secluded to the fact that Channel 5 has a new YouTube Channel. It is gems like these that keeps me coming back for more.

-----Warning------- Offensive Language (but funny)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pushing 30 Blues.....

I guess I should not call it "Pushing 30 Blues". I should call me recent state of mind, "Not so happy with my current job...Blues"

It's OK, I guess, but the place just sucks the life out of me every day I go into work.

Luckily, this past weekend brightened my soul a bit.

I made a vow to complete some of things that I have had under my hat for quite some time now and low and behold. Tico came into my life.

I am not sure if I will keep him or not, but he spent the night last night. I am putting up fliers around the neighborhood today to see if anyone has lost him. Here is a pic of the little cutie.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Quills up for Qualls

I think I just coined her next campaign slogan.

For those of you not in the loop, Roxanne Qualls, former mayor of Cincinnati is planning to fill the city council seat of my neighbor, Jim Tarbell when he steps down early next month.

While Ms. Qualls was mayor of the Queen city, she had a very high approval rating. A friend of mine had her as a professor while she was mayor and was flabbergasted that while going through all the trials and tribulations of being the mayor of a major city, she still had time to research poignant questions. You can read a bit more about her accomplishments here.

I am excited that she is stepping back into politics. I bodes well for the city and especially downtown.