Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rails to Trails

To those who aren't familiar with "WIXYspeak", here some terms I will use in this post and a quick definition: WIXYcam- My digital camera.
WIXY/at&t/phonecam- My cell phone.

Okay, I decided to take the time and finally ride my bike on the new bike bike path between Rittman and Sterling. Due to how busy I've been, this was also the first time I was on my bicycle this year. But after the week I've just been through, I owe
d it to myself to do something I wanted to do.

Anyway, the new bike path was where a railroad track once existed. In some sp
ots it runs parallel to tracks owned and maintained by CSX. I told Kathy aka Mrs74WIXYgrad that I was going to ride un
til I got tired then turn around and come back. I was pacing myself and getting off my bike to take photos. First I got out the WIXYcam and tried to take some pics, but to no avail. I then got out the trusty WIXY/at&t/phonecam, and proceeded to take the pics that will be
in this post.

It was an easy ride into Sterling, and the reals to trails portion of the bike path ends short of "downtown" Sterling. You then have to follow a couple of county roads to get back to the dedicated trail.

Where the tr
ail once again resumes, there is a parking lot and an old depot building. I think this is scheduled for renovation. I decided to forgo the other portion of the trail until another date. I decided to follow Kaufmann Ave., which is pretty much main street of Sterling. And I was starting to feel a bit tired. I sat on the steps of the Church of God, and checked Facebook, while catching my breath and drinking some water. Then it was back on the road. I headed towards Rittman as I turned onto Sterling Ave.

About 1/4 mile on Sterling Ave., then back to
the paved trail. Of course at this time, I'm starting to feel my
age, my lack of riding of late, and my general being out of shape. And I did stop a couple of times to take some pics. One of those was a bridge made especially for this trail and a mile marker for the railroad.

I took a couple of short cuts as well as taking a break to sit in the bench of my church, the South Main Street Church of God. There, I checked Facebook and my email. And then to home.

I'm now somewhat sore, but I'm better off for my effort.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hi, my name is Cliff...

...And I write a blog. At least part of the time. I do like being heard, and that takes many avenues.

Anyway, for those of you not on Facebook, things are going well with me. Extra hours are available for me at work, which I'm gladly taking. With the skyrocketing price of gasoline, I have no other choice. It also helps me hone my skills, as the job is still new to me.

Neatest thing about being in telecommunications is the theater of the mind is always open. This is especially true given my voice, which is much younger than my hair. I was talking to someone over the phone yesterday, and they mentioned a product that the client I call for produced at one time. She had mentioned that I probably wasn't old enough to remember it. I chuckled and informed her that I was 55. She said that I sounded like I was 25. I get that often when I mention over the phone that I have grandchildren. I guess I can credit this to either the fact I exercise my voice quite a bit or that I gave up cigarettes a long time ago.

Now, like the average human being, I'm not exactly in love with the sound of my own voice. But I did go to school to become a radio personality, a dream I haven't quite realized. With the exception of of being the announcer for my church's radio program. Cliff Note: Listen to the Power House, Monday through Friday 7:30pm on Faith Ministry Radio, 90.9FM WJDD, Carrollton, Ohio. You can also listen online at

But, as I first realized 10-1/2 years ago, when I began my work as the announcer for the Rittman Marching Band, I have gotten more than my money's worth out of the schooling as I see the difference using my voice and training has made for other people.

People have told me that I should go into radio, but among other things, radio as we know it, is a dying medium. The pay is crappy unless you happen to be the top rated personality in your market. And besides, with my blogging and Facebook activities, I probably get as good a response as I would on radio. I'm not another Howard Stern and I've known that for a long time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And we need a t-shirt for this, WHY?

Yesterday I was walking through the Summit Mall with my wife and our son. As we were going past the Cleveland Indians gift shop, I noticed a rack with some t-shirts. On the shirts were an illustration of the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Over the illustration were the words "Ten Cent Beer Night, June 4, 1974."

Quick summary: The Indians played the Texas Rangers in front of about 25 thousand fans, most of whom were getting quickly inebriated. The game ended in a riot on the field and the game was declared a forfeit in the Ranger's favor. For an accurate description of the night's activities, click on the Wikipedia link given below.

Now why do I need a t-shirt to commemorate a low spot in the region's history? Since I got laid off from my last job, I have been within Cleveland City limits about 4 times, only 2 of those for my own business. But being a life long, except for 1 year, northeast Ohio resident, I think I can find something else to put on a t-shirt to show my pride in the area. Even being a Cleveland Indians fan, I could find something, possibly commemorating Len Barker's perfect game, May 15, 1981. Cliff note: I wasn't there, but I saw every pitch on TV that night.

But the memory of beer night and the surrounding controversy will stick in my mind for a lifetime. Much has been written about it, and Wikipedia has an accurate entry as well. One of the memories I would like to address concerns recently retired Cleveland Cavaliers announcer, Joe Tait. In 1974 Joe Tait and the late Herb Score were the radio announcers for the Indians. During the post mortem of the "Beer night fiasco," legendary Plain Dealer sports columnist, the late Hal Lebovitz gave a portion of the blame for the fan's behavior to Tait, writing, "Joe Tait, who is going to get a National Basketball Association referee killed some night with his highly charged criticisms, didn't help on the Indians play by play broadcasts with his repeated huckstering 'Come on out to Beer Night, and let's stick it in Billy Martin's Ear.'"

Joe called Hal about that and pointed out that he only made the comment because Martin, the Texas Ranger manager had said the game would be no problem since nobody came to games in Cleveland. Joe also pointed out that the morning of the game the PD had a drawing of an Indian wearing boxing gloves. Hal had already taken responsibility for the Plain Dealer's role in the game, and stated that that illustration shouldn't have been run. Cliff note: The descriptions used in the Hal Lebovitz-Joe Tait story can be found on page 104 of the book "The Best of Hal Lebovitz."

Those of us who grew up with the announcing of Joe Tait know that he was the real deal in regards of being a human being. I was at a Cavaliers game in 1975, I went by myself to this game and went down to the announce table where Joe was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time along with some pointers as I was trying to get into broadcasting at the time. I went away feeling good, not only because I got some good advice, but because one of my heroes took the time to talk to me. Ten Cent Beer Night was, no doubt, a low point in his career, but I am sure that Tait took the measures not to repeat the actions of June 4, 1974, and to make good for any mistakes he made that night. And I'm also sure that Joe would be disgusted to see the t-shirt commemorating that night at the front of the Cleveland Indians Gift shop.

And in case you're wondering, I was not in attendance for beer night either. I was at home listening to the late innings on my transistor radio.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Have you ever thought about......

......Writing a book? I understand about 85% of everybody has expressed the thought, and possibly the desire.

I have been getting together my thoughts and writing them down. I also have fresh batteries in my digital recorder. Between all this and editing some of what I've written on my blogs over the past 4 years, the skeleton of a book is now coming together. I will then be putting some meat on the bones and hope there will be people interested in what I will write.

About 99%+ of all books written never become best sellers. I plan on taking the same advice one of my media friends gave me when I first launched this blog in August, 2006. That is don't worry if you don't have anybody reading your blog, just express yourself. Of course in the past 4-1/2 years, I have made many friends as I have done my thing on the internet. I have also reacquainted myself with many friends from my youth, several of whom have become better friends. Hopefully they will either be interested in what I have to write, or they will be inspired to write something themselves. Time will tell.

Many have interesting stories to tell. If you don't believe me, just scroll down this page and check out several of the links on the right side. There are many who have varied hobbies, interesting lives, or just their own brand of humor. Also some of my friends leave comments that show their creative side....I even have a few published authors linked on the side of my page.

Keep in mind this: You ARE interesting to someone!

Friday, April 01, 2011

The busy life

It seems that the only time I can get any rest is when I'm sitting in a hospital. Right now I'm typing these words while sitting at Akron children's hospital awaiting my grandson having minor surgery.
Update: Grandson went through surgery well and will be back at full strength in the next 10 days.

Work seems to be going well for me. I am approaching 6 months on the job and starting to feel somewhat secure there. The client I'm now calling for is about to go into one of it's busy seasons and it's consumers are very passionate about the product.

I have also seen the new hires given the tour of the call center. Several are just like myself, mid 50's, male, and not knowing if they were marketable anyplace before hired on at the call center. I feel like some of the motivational material I have studied over the years would come in handy in a training environment. After 6 months I can bid on open positions in the company. Hopefully the compensation portion of the job will improve. I've been told to be patient and it would follow.