Monday, December 22, 2008

Andy Rooney: Perusing the Christmas Catalogs

A quick blip. I got a kick out of this past Sunday's Andy Rooney segment on Xmas holiday sale offers. $20 gift card with the purchase of $100 or more. Hidden pictures calendars with Highlights for Children subscriptions. Free fudge. Hah.

The latter is what stuck in my mind: a memorable quote I'll remember until I become as old as Mr. Rooney (Andy, not Mickey).
Free is the worst kind of fudge.
Potent to me, for some reason. Feel free to substitute fudge for the alternative, whenever you fudge something up, for instance. Gasp.

Read the whole thing here.


And on the site, the several movements at the end of Abbey Road are really connecting with me today. "Her majesty's a pretty nice girl. Someday I'm gonna make 'er mine." (and) "OH YEAHHHH, OH RIIIIIGHT. OH, you're gonna be in my dreams--tonigh-eet."

Sigh. :-)

"Don't let it be anymore"

As many as my friends are well aware, my efforts toward greater sustainability, community-oriented responsibility, and recycling has intensified greatly over the past year. After taking the first course installment, this past summer--called "People and the Environment I"--I began to ask myself many questions about why we do the things we do, and what comes next. Individual responsibility should and does come first when creating a social movement. My mission toward reuse, recycling, and "recollecting" refuse is a fire inside my core anymore. Look forward to reading about the internal conflicts I put myself through. I never denied that I wasn't a little crazy.

Anyway, I started reading about a small neighborhood called City Airport, outside Detroit, which has really bitten the dust since the 1960s and 1970s. It is where many auto workers once lived. But when plants began to close, whites moved out, blacks later moved out--now it's a hodgepodge of drug dealers and the dreadfully poor. Everyone is afraid to leave their hiding places; the neighborhood park and former school are abandoned and decrepit.

The following article is from a man who began writing for the Detroit News about the misfortunes and small victories in this struggling neighborhood, where only four to five homes remain on each street. There was an man who found an abandoned tire after returning from a barbecue in the park. He decided to take individual responsibility and roll it to the nearest dumpster.
Somebody hit a ball over the backstop and across French Road during a batting-practice session at Fletcher Field last Sunday.

A little pooped from the previous day’s festivities – our second annual barbecue at the park – I was just watching from the bleachers along first base. So I got up, crossed the road, found the ball in the high grass along the City Airport fence line and then tossed it back into the park.

On my way back to the bleachers, I spotted a discarded tire near the Fletcher Field fence line and decided I didn’t want to leave it there. I put the tire back on its treads and started to roll it toward a dumpster on the Gilbo side of the park, which was put there the day before for cleaning up after the barbecue.


It took me about 5 minutes to get to the dumpster, with the tire wobbling most of the way and falling altogether occasionally. I then picked up the tire and heaved it upward to get it over the dumpster’s 8-foot wall. Before I did this, I should have checked the interior of the tire.

It was full of dirty water, which splashed all over me – hair, face, shirt, pants. I was a mess.

As I headed back toward the baseball diamond, somebody along the route took one look at me and asked me what happened. I told him of my stupidity, that I should have known the tire was full of water.

He then offered this: “Why didn’t you just leave it (the tire) where it was?”

For some reason, what he said struck a sour note with me, really fired me up.

“That’s the problem,” I shot back. “Everybody leaves it.”

We just can’t leave it anymore.
Michael Happy is his name. He bares no resemblance to the animated character Mr. Happy, but I like this guy.

[Extended reading:, UTNE Reader, "Bloggers vs. Blight: An online community beats back urban decay in Detroit"]

Now I would have rather that tire made it to a recycling facility, but in a place like City Airport, you do what you can. Anywhere else though, where resources are more plentiful, there's this:

Many cities in the United States have already started using rubber sidewalks in select areas, improving visual aesthetic in neighborhoods, prevented the razing of curbside trees in sidewalk buffers, improved walkability of the sidewalks--in terms of pedestrian health and route viability--and greatest augmented tree root health and drainage. Regional city Hamilton, OH seemed to be working towards implementing rubber sidewalks in its historic Rossville neighborhood, but I'm not sure what happened with the effort. The next time I'm in Chicago (12/31!), I'll be looking for their own rubber sidewalks, located near the Chicago Center.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Fix _ 12/20/2008

I have been having such great luck with used music lately, so I decided to log it in some way. Shake-It Records, here in Cincinnati, has an expansive $1.88 section that seems to have some quality buys. Conveniently the price is $2 per selection after tax, so one can easily make a killing on disowned music.

Today I picked up the following:

  • 764-HERO _ weekends of sound [Up Records - 2000] ($1.88)

    Feels like much of the forgot late 90's band I enjoy who have a minor chord, chugging/creeping progression. It would be perfect music to delve deeper into depression as an angsty new adolescent. As a happy person with adult responsibilities, it's a wonderful opportunity to get lost in the swirling aura of empty study room aura and a longing voice of reason. Contains many stints of instrumental frustration with eventual splooge of powerful guitar force. Thanks, I've got your number.

  • Frank Black _ Frank Black [4AD/Elektra - 1993] ($1.88)

  • Anthrax _ Return of the Killer A's [Beyond Music - 1999] ($1.88)

  • AFrames _ 2 [S-S Records - 2003] ($1.88)

  • Atreyu _ A Death Grip on Yesterday [Victory - 2006] ($1.88)

    I'll update this list with my takes and shakes when I get around to all of them. I also was blessed with several dozen free downloads from Rhapsody, so I have been taking advantage of out-of-print, hard-to-find, and other somethingdashsomethingdashsomethings. The first night I tried to redeem them, several of the codes didn't work, but others completely screwed up, granting me $10 credits instead of the normal 99 cent credits. Should I feel bad? Eh. It's not like when someone dropped a dollar in the lunch line back in grade school, feeling so guilty about keeping it that I handed it over to the lunchlady serving the "pizza". No, this is a ticket to obscurity. Like sexual fulfillment, sometimes you take what you can get, but you never know what you're going to get. All music ever created should be kept in print at least digitally.

    The birthday was a wonderful one. Recaps forthcoming.