Monday, May 31, 2010

Rittman Band in Memorial Day Parade

This is my first attempt to upload a video. I went to today's Memorial Day parade in Rittman. Unfortunately, I was at the end of the parade route. And I was holding the camcorder instead of using my tripod. Hopefully I can get better with some practice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Classic Post: Those you know were affected

Cliff Note: Two years ago, the traveling Vietnam Wall was in Wadsworth, Ohio. We went there, along with the WIXYcam. I looked around, took photos, and was in awe of the general tone of respect. I wrote a whole week's worth of posts about the wall and the traveling museum. For this Memorial Day, I wish to repost one that I did about a friend of my cousin. This originally was written on May 31, 2008. There is one edit to make the post current.

I was 13 years old at the time. I remember my sister showing my mom the Medina County Gazette this particular day exclaiming that Pat Duffy had died.

During the Vietnam War, whenever someone from Medina County had died in combat, that would be the main headline of the day, complete with a large photo of this now deceased hero. I recall that one family in my town had been notified that their son had died in Vietnam, the story and photo had been run in the Gazette, only to have the story retraced the next day. It was, thankfully, a case of mistaken identity.

Sgt. James P. Duffy Jr was a friend of my cousin Billy. I knew him casually but since he was 7 years older than I, we had nothing in common. Pat was one of those young men who was drafted into the service, so he had no choice of joining the army or where he was to be deployed.

I got this computer printout when I went to the information center(you can click on it to enlarge) and one thing I noticed was that had Pat Duffy not been killed in action, he would now be a few weeks short of his 62nd birthday. He went to 'nam when he was 20. At the time, he couldn't vote, couldn't drink hard liquor, but he was required to fight and die for his country.

Instead of being almost 62, Pat Duffy is forever 20.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Been very warm and humid...

As we get closer the official beginning of summer, we have been getting a preview. And the past couple of days, I have been babysitting my 3 year old grandson.

My grandkids like going to the park and playing on the equipment. I found this park close to his brother's school which had quite a bit of stuff and restroom facilities. We had intended to go yesterday, but he fell asleep and by the time he woke up, it was time to get his brother from school. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper.

Today was not a nap day. Silas had seen to it that he would be awake and alert. We then went to the convenience store that has a name similar to a ranch, got fountain drinks and hot dogs, then went to the park to eat them. After he took a few bites, it was time to explore all the equipment.
The reaction wasn't the same as last week when I took him to Christmas Run park in Wooster, but it was a good one nonetheless. Usually I get more a workout than him, and today wasn't a day where I wanted that kind of workout. He ran himself somewhat tired then it was time to pick his brother up from school. After I talked to his teacher, I realized that I was double booked for the evening.

Kathy had promised Ben, the oldest, that we would go to his spring concert tonight. Not thinking about that, I promised my father in law I would mow his lawn tonight. I figured that the grass would still be there tomorrow, the concert wouldn't. We went to the concert. Ben, not being much of an extrovert, looked like this concert was just something taking valuable time from his evening. The kids did a good job and I realize that they still make vocal music teachers the same way, somewhat weird. I felt for the kids. The auditorium felt like a sauna and I'm sure the stage was worse.

I guess it wasn't the heat, it was the humidity.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Air at 25% APR

For a couple of years when I was growing up, my dad had a gas station. Now let me digress a little. The gas station was leased from Gulf Oil. This company was bought out by BP. Now BP's biggest worry is gulf oil. Cliff Note: Though I appear to joke, I know the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is no laughing matter.

Anyway back to the gas station. This was back in the days that you could get maps and air for free. Well maps at gas stations haven't been free for a very long time, and you have to pay for air at most places today too though some establishments are proclaiming free air as if it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Today I gassed up at a convenience store whose name sounds like a ranch. After I fueled up, I went inside and bought a fountain drink. I got into my car and drove around the lot and was reminded when I passed the air machine that it accepted plastic. Funny
that if you don't pay your credit card bill, you are being charged a high percentage of interest for essentially nothing.

Okay back to BP. They now have a very tarnished name and many of us baby boomers and older in Ohio sort of missed the company they bought out on their way to re
assembling the Standard Oil monopoly. So maybe if they would change their name here in Ohio, that would be a nice start. I have a suggestion about what they could change it to...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Special off Facebook evening edition of Cliff's Morning Show

Those who follow me on Facebook are now familiar with Cliff's Facebook Morning Show. I originally used this as a tool to connect with those I went to school with. Neat thing about it is that I have others following it also. I also have a classmate following it with Larry's Second Edition, and my grandson has his own Morning Show.

This is our chance to play VJ and give a little of our own background of why we chose the particular song. All of mine and Larry's songs are from the 70's. My grandson, being all of 7 years old, chooses mostly Miley Cyrus.

No special reason to play this song except for the fact I liked the tune and it was easy to dance to. So now here's Paul McCartney and Wings with "Silly Love Songs". Enjoy this and have a great evening.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's check our values....

For the past few days, the buzz in this area has been "Where will Lebron end up?" I say I really could care less at this point. As I get older, I become less of a professional sports fan. Matter of fact, I am getting very offended at these over sized crybabies getting the world handed to them on a silver platter because people bow to them.

Part of the problem is the area in which I live. The sports teams promise the sun, the moon, and stars. They fall far short in what they deliver but ask the fan base to support them in years and years of nothing. But buy the t-shirts and show your support. They ask the fans to come to see them perform. But have they seen the unemployment rate lately? At my house it's at 100%.

Back in the day, athletes knew what the general public had to go through as they worked real jobs in the off season. I think when the salary went up, they forgot what it was to be regular people. Today's athlete will sign a contract for 120 million over another for 119 million, saying they have to think about their family. Give me a break. If you manage your money right, which I hear many don't, you are set for life. Don't cry to me until you have to look for a food pantry to get food for your family...

Oh, and I hear next week the new American Idol will be announced. that's all well and good, but I don't give a whip about that either. Just another prima donna in training. And I don't like these entertainers trying to dictate public policy.

There should be a show called "American Idolatry." On this show people will be shown how stupid some are for looking up to someone because of how they entertain instead of what useful purpose they serve to society.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some take me too seriously...

When I blog, I am the voice of Cliff and no one else.

I have no intentions of leading a mass boycott of Walmart stores. I go there for basically the same reason as everybody else, to save money. Dollar General and the IGA in Rittman are fine, but don't have the volume the stores in Wadsworth have.

If I would shop at Target more often, I would probably have given them a nickname and wrote horror stories about them too. K-Mart? Don't kick someone when they're down for the count. Sears? I don't shop there. Haven't for many years because of their credit racket.

I also have friends who work at Walmart. They worked there when I was there part time a dozen years ago. They tell me that it's nowhere near the same company I worked for. I have also applied for a job there, but I figure every time my fingers touch my keyboard, I reduce my chances even more of getting hired. But it's their loss.

The Evil big Box Store(tm) stories are meant for me to blow off steam and to entertain. sometimes it seems the only one to be entertained is me. It's also meant to get some hits, as I know that when I blog about certain things, I excite those using search engines. And since Blogger is owned by Google, we go to the head of the class quite often.

So "Jack" if you are reading this, I will continue to shop at Walmart. And if I see something funny there, I will write an Evil Big Box Store(tm) post about it. Heck, I may print up some "Follow me to the Evil Big Box Store" bumper stickers. Maybe slap them on a Lexus or BMW when the owners aren't looking, possibly over their "Follow me to Goodwill" stickers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dinner and Concert tonight

Tonight I went to Rittman High School for the annual spaghetti dinner followed by a concert given by the Rittman High School band. This would be my last chance to see some of these students s they would be graduating in two weeks.

The dinner was prepared and served by the World's Greatest Band Boosters(tm). This was to benefit the student musicians in their future activities as members of the Rittman Band. the dinner was tasty and all you can eat.

After we were filled with good food, we were entertained with great music. The band started their program with a selection written by Wolfgang Mozart, Eine Keine Nachtmusik.

Next, we heard Snake Charmer, written by Randall Standridge. Then we were entertained with the English Folk Song Suite, by Ralph Vaughn Williams. This consisted of three parts: Part one was a march, "Seventeen come Sunday" Two, intermezzo, "My Bonnie boy" then this concluded with a march, "Folk Songs from Somerset."
Now it was time for individual features. Four songs were performed by members of the band either as a solo or duet. Barbara Ann was performed by Brian Miller and Joe Landrum. Next we heard the Jackson 5 hit, ABC, as preformed by Brenna Grimes. Ashley comer and Cody Lyons jazzed it up, playing It Don't Mean a Thing(If It Ain't Got That Swing). Sasha Caynor concluded this portion with Cruella De Vil.

Then came the bittersweet portion of the program. This, being the last concert of the year for the entire band, it was award time. It was also time to recognize the senior band members for five years of participation. This year's senior were the first group that started marching as 8th graders. For me it's always a pleasure to watch the student musicians as they grow as very responsible young adults. Once the awards were presented and all tears were dried, it was back to the business of making music.

The last segment was written by Eric Morales after dreaming about Four Moons. this was followed by a number that once again proves that composers can have a very weird sense of humor, March of the Sun Dried Tomatoes. This was composed by Julie Giroux. The evening was concluded with the band playing Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayane. It was good to see the band tonight and it made me hope that marching season would hurry up and get here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ode to the closed K-mart

My daughter walked away with grace
From K-Mart, once the saving place
The store that once so many chose
Yesterday the last time closed

The store that one time stood so tall
Going there and not the mall
Our kids would think it was so sweet
On Sundays going there to eat

The last ten years, my daughter's perk
Would be going there to work
From high school, college, then to teaching
Friends made from there, she would be reaching

The company would have it's trouble
Another one would more than double
Move into town across the way
Take customers with less to pay

I know the times we live in now
There will be jobs, some where, some how
It's just we need to find a way
To get the jobs we need today

And to the Evil Big Box Store
Someday, someone will fix the score
The once mighty now will fall to you
Someday you might be falling too

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A nice Evil Big Box Store(tm) story

This evening I had to get a few items, which included a new keyboard. I found myself at Evil Big Box Store(tm) #1812, which was very busy tonight. Anyway, I found myself fifth in line at the register and thought I would pass the time by listening to my MP3 player. For some reason, my earbuds were tangled, so it took some time to untangle them. While I was doing this, a customer behind me took a magazine to read. least it wasn't a tabloid.

I had noticed the customer in front of me had brought her own bags and I guess her husband and son were with her. And to be honest, I didn't know what to think, just that she was eco friendly.

The cashier was working rapidly and efficiently. When the green team got to the register, I noticed that they were working as a well oiled machine. The cashier would ring the item, place it aside and then the green team assembly line would place the item in the appropriate bag. As I gave my compliment to the team, the lady said, "I guess you could tell, I'm a teacher by the way my bags are organized.

My son was behind me and asked where she taught. When she mentioned where she taught, I asked if she knew one of my readers, who is also a teacher there. She said that he was on her team.

Well, the green team was gone, and now it was my turn. I had to compliment the cashier for the good job she was doing, handling the volume of customers coming her way. when the transaction was over, I said "have a great evening and thank you for working at Walmart." And yes, she was taken aback with that. And the customers around chuckled.

So there you have it. An Evil big Box Store(tm) post that isn't snarky and sophomoric.

Some announcements

Okay, seeing that I'm giving myself more hits than I'm getting from others, it's a good time to get some announcements out of the way.

First, Ohio Media Watch is in the process of moving. OMW is closing out his presence on Blogger, and will make Word Press his permanent home, as he finds it more to his advantage. You can still find him at his Blogger address, but his new home is:, and after awhile this will be the only place where you can catch the latest musings from the dean of area media bloggers.

Ginny, moving on: Ginny, my blog friend from south Florida, has started a new blog, called Moving On. Here is where she tells about the latest going on's in her life, as she goes into the next chapter.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Hmmm....And a proclamation

Maybe I should screw up more often. Just joking of course, but my confessional post of yesterday got me the highest hit total in weeks.

Also showed many of my high school friends how I've improved with age. Johanna, a long distance version of Brenda, let me know that the pulled post was "snarky and sophomoric." But she was pleased at how much I've matured over the years.

Snarky and sophomoric only works for me on the message boards when I am attacking a public personality, especially if they have done something to rouse me. Even then it has blown up in my face.

Okay now it's time to have some fun. On my Facebook Morning Show, I made a dedication to Shelley, of Building a Log Cabin fame, posting a video of The Eagles' "Take it Easy". I want to extend Shelley day to my blog here. Go on over and say hi to Shelley and enjoy her blog while you're at it.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Explanation

I try to put a worthwhile product on this page. Blogging is a hobby and a passion of mine. And since all many know of me is what they see on these posts, I want the true essence of my personality to come through in these posts.

I was trying too hard to be funny in my post yesterday, and in so doing, I poked fun at one whom I shouldn't have. YEKIMI told me in the comments that this person had much going for him until he was injured in a car accident. He knew whom I was talking about because we both shop at this particular place of business.

Having two siblings who are mentally handicapped, a daughter who teaches special education at one school and one of my best friends, a reader of this blog, who teaches special ed at another, I could not leave this post up with a clear conscience.

Reconnecting with many of my friends from high school on Facebook has taught me a lot about forgiveness. Among those I have chatted with are a guy whom I did not treat well in the 8th grade. We were able to make peace and put this behind us. Another was a girl who this group I associated with treated her badly and one of the guys gave her a terrible nickname. She and I became real good friends during our senior year. She also said that she would check for the explanation so anyone who comments, please give Johanna a shout out.

And once again I find myself in need of some forgiveness.

I have pulled my last post.....

I checked my blog before going to bed last night and noticed YEKIMI's comment. As I went to sleep, I was intending to pull it and give a full explanation as to why the post was pulled. I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep as I was thinking about the post. So now I have pulled the post and I may rewrite it and repost it later. But after I can get a little more sleep, I will post the explanation. Stay tuned....