Category Archives: Ohio

Cincinnati Prejudice

The image below is a sign found in front of Salem Hardware, 6401 Salem Road in Cincinnati.

No room for prejudice and hatred

No room for prejudice and hatred

Racism, hatred, and religious prejudice are not American values and do not belong in the American democratic process.  Our nation was founded in part by people running from religious prejudice, yet years later many in America fail to recall those core values.

When contacted, Salem Hardware espouses their right to “freedom of speech” in maintaining this sign in the front of their store. If you live in Cincinnati and find yourself offended by what is implied in the display of this sign, consider whether you wish to do business with such a company.  Additionally, exercise your own “freedom of speech” to let others know your opinion of Salem Hardware and their sign.

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We Got Power

You may have read my previous post about how Hurricane Ike visited the Cincinnati area, with winds of hurricane velocity.  That was last Sunday, September 14.  By that Sunday evening, 90% of the Duke Energy customers in this region were without power.

Fast forward to today, Saturday, September 20, 2008.  At about 4pm this afternoon, the crew from Duke, reset the fuse on the pole at the end of our street, bringing electricity back to our neighborhood.  I was there when they did that, watching hopefully.  After the crew cleared the wires from tree limbs and reset them on the pole on our street, they had to go up to the beginning of the circuit, up by Sherwood Elementary school, where my children spent their first 6 years in school.  Sherwood is a block from our house, but several miles because you have to drive out of our neighborhood into another.  The wonders of suburban living.

Anyhow, after the power crews completed their work on our street, they followed me over to the school to reset their fuses and fire up our circuit.  They were unfamiliar with the neighborhood, of course, and I was more than glad to speed things up. These guys were from Sumter, South Carolina, had been on their way to Texas, and were sent to Cincinnati instead.  Having been on the road for a week they were ready to get on home, but weren’t leaving just yet.

For me, it’s been a long week without electricity at home.  Thanks to our neighbors, we did have a working refrigerator with cold milk, food, and beer.  We had hot water, and didn’t need heat nor air conditioning for the week.  No TV, no internet, no light to get dressed for school on the dark mornings.  No electricity to run our pool filter to clean up our green swimming pool.

A Visit From Ike

On Sunday afternoon, Hurricane Ike paid the Cincinnati area a surprise visit on his way toward the northeast. Although decidedly not the Ike that devastated parts of Texas, this boy still had legs when he reached Ohio.  The region saw winds in excess of 75 miles per hour, meaning that Ike was still a Category 1 hurricane.  The winds were surprising strong and destructive, whipping trees and power lines for about three hours.

By 9pm Sunday evening, 1.2 million customers in the Cincinnati metro area were without power.  According to Duke Energy, that was 90% of their customers in this region.

Around 3pm, I watched the electric and phone lines behind my house suddenly bounce and swing rapidly.  Three houses up, a limb had fallen directly on the lines, pulling them to the ground, along with the electric service wires to my neighbors’ homes.  Needless to say, that did us in also.

The limb remains fallen on the lines at this hour, as the crews have been unable work on it just yet. My home, like many still in the Cincinnati area are without power.  Repair is not expected for several days yet.  All is not lost, however.  Our good fortune is that our neighbor on the south side has electricity.  With a heavy duty 100 foot extension cord, my family has a working fridge and a single light in the kitchen.  Thank you Amy and TR!!

It seems like a long time without power, but my praise goes out to the hard working men and women on line crews out there 16 hours a day, sleeping 8, and then doing it again.  There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting, and they’ll get here as best they can.  The task has to be daunting.

You can read more from The Cincinnati Enquirer.  (You’ll have to make up your age, gender, and zip though.)  Here’s a page from a local TV station, WCPO.

And now, I’m leaving my electrified office for the electric-free residence.

It’s A New World

Back in July 2008, about 100 of us singers in the community joined together to create the video below.  The song, It’s a New World, was written by two guys incarcerated in Warren Correctional Institute near Lebanon, Ohio.

The video, which is a little over 9 minutes in length, features a diverse group of Cincinnati singers; children and adults, from various ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, and beliefs.  We came together to make beautiful music to help bring needed change in this country.  The video contains words from Barack Obama, but regardless of your political choices, enjoy the music.

Oh, by the way, you can find me in some of the footage from 2:10 to 3:12.  That’s me, wearing a black t-shirt with Voices of Freedom (my choir) singing away and clapping my hands.

It’s a new world!

Opening Day

Opening Day, that rite of spring whereupon the first baseball game was played, is a holiday in the Cincinnati area. Since the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first professional baseball team, Major League baseball used to commemorate that tradition by having the now Cincinnati Reds play the first baseball game of the season. Until they sold out to television, which decided it preferable to play the first game during prime time on Sunday night before the “official” Opening Day. Cincinnati commemorates the day with a parade from Findlay Market, a party on Fountain Square, marching bands, and a baseball game that gets sold out in minutes to the scalpers, I mean, ticket resellers.

I don’t enjoy baseball much anymore. It’s not because my favorite teams, the aforementioned Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are so darn lousy. Baseball was always so rich in tradition with strong appeal and connection to the fans. Much of that has been lost on me for quite some time now. Escalating ticket prices, poor pitching, spoiled players, as well as prevalence of performance-altering chemicals cause me to look elsewhere for my entertainment.

However, it is Opening Day of a new season. It’s spring and “hope springs eternal” (Alexander Pope). Winter is over, the smell of spring is in the air! The Reds will get some pitching this year. The team won’t be out of the division race by June.

At the time of posting of this article, the score was Diamondbacks 4 – Reds 4.  Middle of the 7th.

Snow

It’s been a long week. On Tuesday, I made a rainy five hour drive to Pittsburgh, so that I could bring my son home from Carnegie Mellon later in the week. In Pittsburgh, I hopped a Southwest Airlines flight to Philadelphia to work on a database project. A colleague and I hammered out a rather complex data structure for a system we’re building, and on Thursday night, it was back on Southwest to Pittsburgh.

By the way, I can’t recommend the $10 beers nor the curt bartenders in the Philadelphia airport.

What does any of this have to do with snow?

The return trip from Pittsburgh of 300 miles, which normally takes 5 hours, took 9 hours. You see, dear reader, we drove into the jaws of the largest snowstorm in Ohio this year. Our driving speed was reduced to a maximum of 40 miles per hour, frequently moving at the rapid pace of 20 mph. In Zanesville, Ohio we spent over an hour in bumper to bumper traffic because I-70 was closed and we were routed onto National Road, US 40. The Ohio Highway Patrol reported over 610 accidents in that time period, we spotted at least 5 jack-knifed trucks, and cars spun out everywhere. Ironically one such truck was seen off the road right near the famous Hell is Real sign on Interstate 71 south of Columbus.

I drove the entire trip, given that my son just doesn’t have the experience yet in those dangerous conditions. We took frequent pit stops, mainly so that I might unwind from the stress of navigating skating rink quality, sweaty palm, hands tightly gripping the steering wheel, icy highways.

As I look out my window from the warmth of my favorite living room easy chair, I see snow. White everywhere. A snow covered yard and a snow filled sky. They say a blizzard is coming.

Obama Wins Again

Democratic candidate Barack Obama has gained much momentum recently and on this Tuesday, won primary elections in the states of Hawaii and Wisconsin. Candidate Hillary Clinton is struggling a bit to keep up, and might be expected to make a major effort in my state of Ohio. Actually, she is already doing that; her campaign visited Cincinnati last week to order Skyline Chili from a store in Oakley, while our household has already received several phone calls right from the ex-First Lady herself. Recorded, of course.

It’s time for a change, and I believe the country is tired of Bush style divisiveness and arrogance. Our nation needs some new energy and leadership.

This is where Obama appeals to me. He is saying the right things, and apparently doing the right things that attract the voters of America.

The problem I have with Hillary is that she does not have this appeal. Although she appears to have some good ideas, I see her as an “insider” and more of the same old Washington. I’ll open my eyes and ears to what she has to say when the campaign road show come rolling through Ohio in the next weeks, but I’m going to need some convincing to cast my vote her way.

I can’t help wondering, however, what will happen come the Democratic National Convention this summer. What about an Obama-Clinton ticket?

What say you?