Monday, August 31, 2009

MegaBeth featured on CNN

My favorite Rubber City Rollergirl, MegaBeth was featured recently on CNN. Mild mannered librarian by day, rough and tough roller derby queen by night.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Musing: Three years of blogging has been rewarding!

Last Wednesday I quietly observed my third anniversary as a blogger. The past few days, I've been thinking about how rewarding this has been.

This blog was a result of my passion to communicate. This started when I was in elementary school. I wanted to be a disc jockey as I thought the folks on the radio had to be some of the coolest, and best paid, people around. Cliff Note:Some of the radio folks I know tell me otherwise.

When I got into high school, I wanted to become a sportscaster. My hero in that area was Joe Tait, Cleveland Cavaliers play by play man. After I graduated from high school, I went to broadcasting school, but did nothing with it. I blame no one but the guy at the keyboard.

But in the years since, I have taken advantage of any chance I could to be around an open mike. I feel that in my current capacity as the voice of the Rittman Indians Marching Band, I'm getting my money's worth out of my training. And the appreciation shown me tells me that this is better than many radio gigs.

But back to my blogging. When I started out, I had no idea how long I would be doing this or if I would even get anyone reading. I then promoted the heck out of the blog and hope I would get more readers than people annoyed with my persistence. Then came the rewards.

First reward was having one of my posts printed in an area newspaper along with a byline. That was a From the Pressbox of the Rittman Band Show. Along with the publication, I got thanked by some of the student musicians of the Rittman Band. So that was a double reward.

Next reward is all the blogs that have given me credit, at least partially, for their desire to start their own blogs. One such blog is Cleveland Classic Media, a well written blog by Tim Lones, someone that I became acquainted with on the local media message boards. His blog has taken off well.

I received a book from one who became a friend through this blog during a down period. He told me that it helped him through depression and it was a real godsend to me. I have received other books as a result of my blogging, one of which I was asked to review for this blog.

I have also received gifts from others. Last Christmas, Jen, of Unglazed fame, sent a package to me. It contained a braclet, which she made for my wife, and several bookmarks for me. Pigeon sent me a mug handcrafted by her daughter.

Finally, those that touched the heart the most have been a couple of sympathy cards. As you know I have lost both of my brothers in the past 1-1/2 years. When my younger brother passed away March 4 of last year, along with all my blogging friends at that time supporting me, I got a sympathy card from Struke, of Media Matters fame. He was going through some personal struggles himself at that time, but was willing to reach out to me. Early this month I received a card from Susie aka Clean and Crazy, of My Recovery fame. This one looked professionally made. It had her daughter on the front and a very touching message inside.

And I cannot say thank you to all who come to this blog near enough.

The heck with Twitter. I prefer the slow pace of Blogger.

Rittman Wins! And the band wasn't there

You read this right. The Rittman football team snapped a 27 game losing streak by scoring 27 points en route to a 27-0 shutout of Conotton Valley. The band hadn't been scheduled to go along this weekend, so I didn't have an eyewitness account of the action.

Congratulations to the young men of the Rittman football team.

Cliff Note: Sunday Musing will be posted later today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tooting my own horn

As most may or may not know, Kathy and I have been going through some very rough times for over the past year and a half. It has taken it's toll on Kathy to the point where our doctor is afraid that if the tension doesn't ease up, she will either have a nervous breakdown or a heart attack. I have been trying to take care of her in whatever way I can.

Yesterday afternoon, Kathy was entering some Coke points for me. After she was done she handed the laptop back to me and I was looking at some of the things I could redeem the points for. I had seen that I could get her a twelve month membership to Club Pogo, which is something she asked for for her birthday. She loves the gaming sites. Long story short, Kathy got one of her birthday presents two months early. I'm hoping this can also be therapeutic for her.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm still around

This week has been somewhat hectic for me and I want all to know that I haven't turned my back on my keyboard or all my blogging friends.

I will be back by Sunday morning. My Sunday Musing will be about my third anniversary as a blogger, which occurred two days ago.

I hope everybody has a fantastic weekend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Stars Themselves

One thing that impressed me this past Saturday night was how the skaters from both teams connected with the crowd. During intermission the Rubber City Skaters visited with some of the spectators and were very courteous when photos were being taken.

After the bout, my daughter and I went over to the bench area and visited with a couple of skaters, one from each team. I asked the skater who called herself "Megabeth" how she felt the day after one of these bouts. Her reply was "Really not bad. We usually feel better if we win the bout." I said that I couldn't imagine since these ladies are probably 20 years younger than I. Megabeth revealed to me that she was close to my age. Cliff Note:Roller derby must have a youthful effect on you. After posing for a photo with my daughter, we then went to the Black-N-Bluegrass bench and was immediately thanked by one of their team for coming out to see them.

Overall this was a great time and I believe I will be back.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Rollergirl Pep Squad

The Cleveland Browns have the Dawg Pound.

The Rubber City Rollergirls have the Jeerleaders!

The jeerleaders are a group that supports the Rollergirls by inspiring the home crowd. They come to the bouts armed with signs, showing their support for their favorite skaters.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Live from the John S. Knight Center, the Rubber City Rollergirls

When I had last saw Roller Derby in any form, it was Roller Jam, which was telecast every Friday night on TNN, now Spike TV. And as the Roller Games I saw in the seventies, it was sports entertainment, or in my son's words, wrestling on skates.

My fondest memory was watching Roller Game of the Week. The Los Angeles T-Birds were the good guys and everybody else were the bad guys.

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing the Rubber City Rollergirls in a bout against the Black-N-Bluegrass Rollergirls. The Rubber City Rollergirls are from Akron, Ohio. The Black-N-Bluegrass Rollergirls represent Northern Kentucky and are from Florence. I suppose Jeremy could tell us a little more about these ladies.

Now this is different from the Roller Derby of my youth. First difference in this is that the ladies weren't skating on a banked track, but a concrete floor. The other difference was that this was an actual competition and not "sports entertainment." One other thing, these athletes, and I can call these ladies athletes, are amateur and were skating for the love of the sport.

Since most people nowadays are unfamiliar with roller derby, there was a demonstration of the game before the competition began. The bout itself had two 25 minute halves with a 15 minute intermission. The action was very rough and tumble and was before a packed house. Those sitting in the front roll were taking their chances as there were no barrier between the action and the spectators. At one point during the bout, one of the ladies ended in between the seats.

There were announcers doing play by play, Alanouncer and Mad Dog Madrin. They did a very good job of explaining the action, telling who the lead jammer was and who may have been serving the penalty.

If you click on the photo of the teams, you will see that the only theatrics were in the names and the numbers.

The Black-N-Bluegrass Rollergirls won the bout by a score of 88-71. There was a great display of sportsmanship during the bout.

I had the WIXYcam with me and plan on doing two more posts about the evening. The photos in this post were from the program. The logo is from the Rubber City Rollergirls website.

I guess the tribe don't stink that bad after all

You all now know how I haven't been all that pleased with the play of the Cleveland Indians this year. Well here's a situation at a ball game that makes my tribe not smell all that bad.
Skunk's Stink Delays Ballgame @ Yahoo!7 Video

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not From the Pressbox-Mogadore No Show

Let's see....
Spare batteries-Check!
Bottle of water-Check!

Driving to Mogadore was a real adventure this evening. Going through some heavy rain, which I was sure was going to pass. I got me a real good parking space, close to the gate, then came another downpour. I sat in my car reading my script. The rain slowed down, and I got out of my car, got my umbrella out of the trunk. Then came the announcement that there was a tornado warning. All those at the show were directed into the high school 40 minutes later the show was canceled.

Next edition of From the Pressbox will be posted here on or around September 5.

Update: I just noticed that on the upper right corner of this photo is a rainbow.

We need some dryness!!

The Mogadore band show is scheduled for tonight. However we are also looking at some scattered t-storms in the forecast. I'm hoping for a break in the weather since last year's show was washed out.

As a matter of personal policy, I do not pray about the weather. I will just keep my fingers crossed and Lord willing, tomorrow I will post the first edition of From the Pressbox for 2009.

Note to self:Get some batteries for the WIXYcam.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This one's almost late

Go over to Personal Thoughts/Observations from N Ky and wish Jeremy a happy birthday. Today he has turned 24.

Gosh, he's a little more than four months older than my son Adam.

I think I'm feeling old now!

But seriously, Jeremy's a fine young man. Happy birthday my friend.

The Bogalusa Bugaloo

After seeing Beth on a regular basis as I buy my paper and other things on my way to work, I now realize that I do have some pleasant memories from my high school years. I do have to make one thing clear though: Beth and I never dated. She was a friend to everybody and I'm glad that after all these years I can get a smile and greeting from her in the brief time we talk on my way to earning a living. I feel that is one of life's privileges.

This high school memory has nothing to do with Beth though, except for the fact that we are both Cleveland Indians fans. The Indians back in the seventies were the "top farm team for the New York Yankees." The tribe had traded their slick fielding third baseman, Graig Nettles, to the Yankees for some stiffs and a young player full of potential. This was an outfielder named Charlie Spikes, who was from Bogalusa, Louisiana. His nickname was "the Bogalusa Bomber." He had showed some promise for a couple of seasons then faded into obscurity.

One of the Indians games was attended by our American History teacher, Mr. Cutler, who happened to be sitting behind the home team dugout. Spikes hit a home run, which prompted Mr. Cutler and another person to do a dance on the roof of the dugout. I wasn't at the game, but I, along with most of the rest of the school, saw the photo of it on the front page of the sports section of the Cleveland Press. Mr. Cutler autographed the photo for quite a few of us students. I wished I had hung onto mine.

I asked him what the name of the dance was he performed and he replied "the Bogalusa Bugaloo."

Cliff Note: It was also Mr. Cutler who alerted my parents that my brother, Ricky, was making some strange, quirky, movements. Those turned out to be seizures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Follow up and classic post-Cheeseburger in Paradise

I blogged this morning about listening to cassettes on my way to work. This evening I popped another in and for awhile became a "parrothead" as I was listening to Jimmy Buffett's greatest hits. This inspired me to post again about the Skyway Drive in in Fairlawn, Ohio. I originally posted this July 9, 2008.

It's been said that this is one of Jimmy Buffett's favorite hamburger joints. Some say that it inspired the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise." If you live outside of northeast Ohio, you probably wonder what this is. What I am blogging about is the Skyway Drive In. there are 4 locations in Medina and Summit counties, but the one I prefer is on West Market street in Fairlawn.

Kathy and I were driving around recently when she had said that she was hungry and wanted a Skyway double cheeseburger. Since we were in the Montrose area, it was a short drive from there to Skyway. we went there and parked our car. A car hop shortly come to our car to take our order. Mrs74 ordered a "double cheeseburg" order of deep fried mushrooms and large iced tea. I got a "cheeseburg" onion rings, and diet Coke. Cliff Note: On their menu and their website, they call them "hamburg" and "cheeseburg."

The taste of these burgers with onions are without a doubt the best I have ever eaten. The buns are fresh baked, and the burgers are fresh made there. as far as we can tell there is maybe brown sugar in the meat to give it the unique flavor. I don't know as I cannot get the recipe online. The mushrooms and onion rings were fresh also.

The location we went to is the original and it's been there since 1952. Kathy and I went there for the first time in 1978 before we were married. If you are ever in the area I think you should give them a try if you want a real good cheeseburg. They are located at 2781 W. Market St., Fairlawn, Ohio. West Market is Ohio Rt. 18 and the restaurant is about 3 miles east of I-77.

And now, some traveling music

Just glad I could have a pleasant ride to work this morning. Instead of listening to the radio, I put in some cassette tapes(remember those?) of some inspirational music. I got some good music from Goodwill. I need a new tape case. I'm somewhat diverse in my current musical tastes. Some days I will be listening to Rod Stewart or Billy Joel, others it may be the Oak Ridge Boys and Statler Brothers. Past couple of days it has been Gaither Homecoming, Promise Keepers, Mast Brothers and Down East Boys. You can't beat those deals. I pay no more than 50 cents per tape. Most of the time this helps me on my ride home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Musing: You can't legislate prosperity. Bet on it!

One of the hot button issues year in and year out in Ohio is legalized gambling. Casinos and slots have been on the ballot and been turned down several times. I believe that Ohio voters have made the correct decision. I am opposed to gambling on moral grounds and cannot see much good come from it.

WTAM afternoon personality Mike Trivisonno is fond of saying that people don't have a gambling problem, they have a losing problem. In some ways, I have to agree with him. They lose tons of money, they lose self respect, they sometimes lose their families, etc. Not to mention that there are much larger percentages of bankruptcies in counties where there are casinos.

When the Ohio Lottery was launched in 1974, education was to be the main beneficiary of the profits. I have been told by one of my teacher friends that state funding for education has been worse since 1974 because when the state budget was written, there was an estimate as to how much the education allotment would be from the lottery, then that amount was removed from what the state would allocate from the general fund for the schools. Now that we have Mega Millions and those large jackpots, education still doesn't get much. But the lottery commission is quick to tell us how much education has gotten. If the state could match that, maybe it would make a difference. Don't sell us on legalized gambling, tell us it's going to benefit education, then have the schools in such bad shape where they have to continually go to the voters for levies.

Another problem is these big money games bring out the worst in people. Ohio went for quite a long time before we had a major jackpot winner in Mega Millions. The first jackpot winner from the buckeye state won about 165 million. She didn't come forward for several days. What prompted her to come forward was someone seeking to defraud the lottery by saying that she had the winning ticket, but it blew out of her hand in the parking lot of the convenience store which sold the ticket. The person who bought the ticket then came forward and the lottery commission debunked the story of the other lady. But to show you how some people are, she was interviewed on the radio and the host of the show heaped praise on her for what she did. Just goes to show that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey has said that the lottery is a tax on the poor and those who can't do math. Also the majority of big lottery jackpot winners file bankruptcy within ten years. I guess all the new friends and long lost family members they become associated with cost money.

And if people don't have gambling problems, why is there Gamblers Anonymous?

Friday, August 14, 2009

New London show, part 2

As we get closer to next Thursday's show season opener at Mogadore, I give you the conclusion of the Rittman Indians Marching Band. This clip includes the drummers featured in "Ode to a Refuse Container."

Cliff Note: There will be a Sunday Musing this week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

As promised: For your viewing and listening pleasure....

As we get closer to the 2009 debut of the Rittman Marching Band, let me share with you the first of a two parter. The is from the New London Band show where I messed up on two successive intros. The band was at their usual flawless best.

The next week when I arrived at the Smithville game, band director Ed Sims first handed me a "script" full of tongue twisters. then after he and majorette advisor, Becky Cline had a good laugh, I was handed the correct script.

Enjoy the first part of this show. This is where I made my mistakes.

Coming a week from today!

Next Thursday, the Rittman Indians Marching Band will be performing in the Mogadore Band Show, marking the beginning of my 10th season as the voice of the Rittman Indians Marching Band. I am the undisputed loudest band announcer in Northeast Ohio.

It also marks the third season of From the Pressbox, which is my review of the performance. The WIXYcam will be there with fresh batteries.

In the next couple of days I will be posting some performances from years past. I may post one from one of my WORST performances as announcer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free coffee on sidebar!

I don't have much to blog about today, so I will share with you something I found while surfing the web last night. To your right, under my "Prayer Hubs" button, is a special offer from Dunkin Donuts. Click on the ad to get a free sample of Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Unfortunately, it's just available to those residing in the cointinental United States, but those of you within the continental United States, take advantage of this offer. Remember these two things:

America runs on Dunkin,

And if it's free, it's for me!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sometimes I'm glad to see them

Since I graduated from high school 35 years ago, I have had contact with very few of my classmates. Haven't lost sleep over it either. Some I wouldn't mind seeing every once in awhile, but I also recognize that life goes on. As I have said before, I was the fat kid from the other side of the tracks, so I didn't have that many friends to begin with.

Yesterday I come into contact with one of the most popular people in my graduating class. The reason that she had so many friends is because she didn't look down her nose at anyone, even the fat kids from the other side of the tracks. I saw her at the place where I buy my paper on my way to work. She's the new manager there. I recognized her before she knew who I was. She has aged well. When I told her who I was, she came over and shook my hand. We talked a few minutes which made me late for work but I didn't mind. I found that even though she got married and became a parent well before I did, I'm ahead of her on grandchildren. That may be also why I have gray hair and she doesn't.

I haven't mentioned her name because I told her I wouldn't put her in my blog, so I half kept my promise. I do think though if she is the same level headed person I knew in high school this mini mart will be a better place for people to shop and for the employees to work.

I will wait awhile before emailing the home office about the wonderful job I think she will do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I like Margaret because...

Although I've not been at my blogging best lately, especially commenting on all your blogs. Most of you have more faithful in coming to see me and Margaret is no exception.

Because she attended at the College of Wooster, Margaret is an honorary Buckeye Baby Boomer Blogging Buddy(tm). Margaret does come back into the Buckeye State on occasion from her home in suburban Baltimore, Her brother Ben, another BBBBB(see above) lives in Northwest Ohio.

Margaret writes Bellathena's Blog, named after her two dogs, Bella and Athena. In this blog, Margaret shares much about her community, and her interests. She's a lover of nature and of all things yarn. Every once in a while, she will even give away something she has knitted to a lucky blogger. Like many who come here, Margaret has a good heart,

Margaret also participates in A-Z Mondays and Weird Object Friday. Please pay a visit to Bellathena's Blog if you haven't already.

Friday, August 07, 2009

"www" Stands for WORLD WIDE web

I would like to thank Scott Wynn for the inspiration for this post.

I had heard on the news yesterday that a pet store in a local mall had closed. The reason for this was due to some cruelty to some of the animals. One of the employees had drowned two rabbits and her manager took a picture of her holding the dead animals. She posted the photo on her Facebook page.

This young lady will be facing charges which may include time behind bars. I don't know what she may be more guilty of, cruelty to animals or stupidity. I mean come on, what will this do for her chances of getting a decent job in the future?

We are always warned that things we put on the internet can stay on forever. That goes for MySpace, Facebook, and other social utilities. There are many things that you may dismiss right now but will come back to bite you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I like Betty Ann, aka MsHen because...

Betty Ann has been a friend of mine since the first of the year and quick became one of my biggest supporters. Betty Ann is a recovery blogger. Her blog is titled Diary of a Frugal Hen without a Rooster. She is a member of AlAnon and is very serious about her involvement in it.

Quite often I will get a word of encouragement from Betty Ann. Sometimes it will be in the form of a ((hug)) which comes at a needed time. We have become good friends in a short time.

As does most of the recovery bloggers, Betty Ann always includes a gratitude list in her posts. It always gives me a smile since she always is grateful for the most simple of things. When she gets through struggles, she will blog a gratitude about what she learned from that.

She is a single mom. She has a son still at home and she is very involved with him and very proud of his accomplishments. Betty Ann once sent me an email with photos of all his new exotic pets, some of which would freak my wife out.

Another thing I like about Betty Ann is how she will go to blogs I feature in some of my posts, comment, and start following them. She, like many others here, is a great encourager.

So if you've not been to visit Betty Ann, go to Diary of a Frugal Hen without a Rooster. If you leave a comment, don't be surprised if she pays you a return visit.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I'm on top!

Struke has been writing a series of posts at his blog, Media Matters, about putting your name in a search engine. He was surprised with what he found.

I have been doing the same thing myself, "googling" my own name. Been doing this for some time now, probably since I've started blogging. This is because there is another Cliff Feightner who is as active as I am on the internet. This Cliff is a distant relative and a friend. We met when I was a retail salesperson and he was a supervisor at Goodyear. We also attended a family reunion together. I will say that the "other Cliff" leads a more interesting life than I.

A few minutes ago I "googled" my name and found that on the top was a link to this blog. As a matter of fact 6 of the first 10 results referred to me.

So for the time being, I have some bragging rights. That and a buck will get me a small cup of coffee.

Cliff Note:The photo above is the "other Cliff."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Around the other blogs

As the long time readers here know, every once in awhile I like to send you over to blogs on my list that you may not know about, especially if they have done good posts lately. I haven't done this of late, so here goes.

Scott and Sue were over at Cornerstone Methodist Church to help with a back to school program last Saturday. They talked about it on the air yesterday and Scott wrote a post about it on his blog. The post is titled "It was only Saturday." He writes that he was lucky to be there. I have to disagree about that, Scott. You and Sue and many others were blessed.

Unfortunately the company that Shelley was selling log cabins for went out of business. Shelley and Greg are now representatives for a new company, Expedition Log Homes. She takes us on a tour at her blog, Building a Log Cabin.

You saw my photos and I hope you got the view from the other side of the parade. Brenda gives us some photos from the World Famous Rittman Sleepwalker Parade in
. We also see some "art work" demonstrated by the Rittman cheerleaders.

Clean and Crazy just needed to smile. So she posted some photos that will also make you smile, along with her gratitude list that always blesses.

What's a wedding and reception without alcohol? I say it's a good thing. Gin blogs about her non alcohol wedding in her post, titled "I Do.'' I especially like the comments this post inspired.

Please tell us Margaret. In her Z-A Monday post, she features a mystery object. This week the letter is W so she titled her post "What is it?" Check it out.

So if you haven't been around to these blogs go see what you're missing.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Musing: Some things needed in health care regulation

I am all for affordable health care. I've got some good health care benefits where I work, and in the years I've been with my current employer, I've had three knee surgeries, which has included a total knee replacement. I also have access to coaches and advice nurses in the network.

I have noticed over the years that my co pays have gone upward. Some of this is necessary to cut down on abuse of the system I would guess. The cost of the insurance itself both to the employer and employee has gone up and the quality of the total package has gone down.

One of the major reasons that health care costs more and gives less is the cost of malpractice insurance to the doctors. One of the reasons for that is frivolous lawsuits from those looking for an easy dollar. The frivolous suits make it difficult for those who have legitimate complaints. Only real winners in these situations are attorneys.

I believe that doctors should give you the care you pay for and I also think that doctors are deserving of top pay. A doctor spends a good chunk of his, or her, life in schooling and have to keep up with their studies on a constant basis. I'm sure some are guilty of gross carelessness and deserve some punishment, but the high cost of malpractice insurance is a case of the majority paying the price for the transgressions of a few.

I also think that we all should pay more heed to the doctors' advice. Maybe walk more and eat less. Or maybe eat better and healthier. Spend more time away from television and our computers. And we need to educate ourselves about health maintenance.

Before we can expect our employers, or the government, to take care of our health care needs, we have to start taking care of ourselves and practice common sense all around.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Fried green tomatoes and half runners

Today has been a slow day and deservedly so for us. We did some grocery shopping and then were talking about getting some produce that you can only get so often, green tomatoes. Most of the time when you go to a roadside stand, you cannot find any green ones, just the good red tomatoes. Kathy likes fried green tomatoes so I had suggested that she go on Freecycle and ask other members if they had any for her. We got a nibble, but no bite, so I called Bender's Farm Market, in nearby Copley, Ohio. They told me that they do sell green tomatoes, so I decided that we would go there and get some.

Great thing about going to farm markets this time of year is you can get some good deals and also some produce that is just ripe enough. And if you like your fruits and veggies, you never leave with just what went there for. They also had some very sizable cantaloupes for 99 cents, and to our daughter's delight, half runner green beans. We also got a small basket of ripe(as opposed to rock hard) peaches. And we did get our green tomatoes, which we fried up for supper tonight.

What we need to do before summer's end is to go to Amish Country and check out some of their produce, and hope we can get some more green tomatoes.

Now I have to go eat some cantaloupe.