Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-24

  • "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it… in bed." #
  • Down at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati with my cousin, Marianne. #
  • Joe…. Like, Joe the Plumber…! Um, well, not exactly… #
  • Final packing and tying up a few loose ends today for two weeks in Austin, Texas. Also, a mid-afternoon break with a brewery tour. #
  • I'm on a brewery tour of Over-the-Rhine. #
  • A quick, last stop at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, #
  • Megabus to Chicago at 1:25 am. Breakfast with @kclmoneycoach then train to Austin, Texas to see @engagingindeed and Quinn C. Brady! Yea! #
  • On the Megabus in downtown Cincinnati. Bound for Chicago. #
  • Sitting in a cafe near the "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis" Tower (formerly just "Sears Tower"). Who knew Todd Bridges had so much money? #
  • If anyone sees Schwarzenegger in Cincy today I'll be a little peev'd. "I'll be back" in 2 weeks. Once lived 2 blocks from Cali statehouse. #
  • Have new book "Over-the-Rhine: When Beer Was King" w/ me for the trip. Equally excited re: Jake Mecklenborg's Cincy subway book next month. #
  • Back on @Amtrak again, this time headed from Chicago to Austin, TX. Scheduled to arrive 6pm Tuesday. Follow here: http://oncincy.com/cb79Y7 #
  • Talking about creating a viable, in-depth news source for Cincinnati around town I hear frustrations akin to this: http://oncincy.com/cqc7h7 #
  • Southern Illinois train sunset over a harvested cornfield. http://twitpic.com/2qfuyj #
  • The people who come on @Amtrak trains because of their speed, on-time averages and amazing equipment bug the hell out of me. Whiny, whiny. #
  • Forgive me @kclmoneycoach for what I am about to say: I feel like I boarded the moron train. It's like a rolling idiot farm on rails. #
  • I'm at Amtrak/Greyhound St. Louis Station (430 S 15th St, St. Louis). http://4sq.com/6uqtJO #
  • Just a few blocks from the State Capitol Building… (@ Amtrak Little Rock) http://4sq.com/94D3i7 #
  • Federal law says, "Passenger trains get priority." In reality, railroads say, "Screw federal law." This has to be fixed for rail to work. #
  • New Metro CEO works for co. providing services to Austin, TX transit. Previous: worked in Lexington, Ky, where Cincy city mgr was in charge. #
  • I'm at Temple, TX Amtrak Station. http://4sq.com/cCC8DI #
  • I have arrived at my final destination. Nice ride, mostly. (@ Austin Train Station – Amtrak) http://4sq.com/6pK3CB #
  • A new learning module from @JLab! Launching a Nonprofit News Site: http://t.co/cd0x8bK #
  • At the Austin mothership. I could get used to that. (@ Whole Foods Market w/ 3 others) http://4sq.com/2NtLcy #
  • Damn hippies! (@ Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Visitor Center) http://4sq.com/anG7Rk #
  • Another woman who wouldn't give me the time of day. http://twitpic.com/2r9chb #
  • Good night from the woods at Enchanted Rock Natural Area. They even have the Internet here. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-17

  • Chapman = insane. Really fun to see in person. #reds #
  • Juan Francisco? One of my favorite places in the whole world! #reds #
  • Going to the ballpark still reminds me of Joe Nuxhall. Can't help it. Miss that voice. #reds #
  • Stealth bomber or some other type of fighter jet flying over Cincinnati. #
  • Nonprofit news site hiring in San Diego: INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER http://bit.ly/bmEzps #
  • Apparently I have an infected nose. Like a clogged pore or something. And now my nose has begun to take on a peculiar shape. #
  • 33 1/2 #
  • http://www.streetpianos.com/cincinnati2010/ #
  • Thanks, Pete. Took you long enough, but thank you. For yourself, your family and the fans. Rose apologizes, sobs http://oncincy.com/aZ29sy #
  • Ah, yes. I remember the Bengals. Especially *these* Bengals. My gawd. #bengals #
  • Apple Pages for iPad just took my resume, I revised it and now it won't give it back to me. Bugger. #
  • I have pleaded for folks to recognize this for a long time: the press release is dead, dead, dead. More in Ad Age: http://oncincy.com/9OneZz #
  • This iPhone 4 is proving to be a hassle. Proximity sensor – still not working. Now, it just shut down and said "Temperature too high." #
  • Tonight it will be a doctor, a lawyer, the first-place Cincinnati Reds and… me. #
  • Flakey day. Good night. #
  • Tropical Storm Julia will become a hurricane, a prediction from the Joe Wessels Hurricane Watch Center. Up next, Tropical Storm Karl Rove. #
  • Google Scribe, an expert in helping writers write blander, is perfect for completing reports, where blah is fine. Even preferred. #
  • RT @cweiser: Schmidt: parades u hear 'stop the spending in washington' & 'I need a job' #ohel Also, "why didn't you let the economy die?" #
  • Beautiful night to sit on a wall, stare at the city. Pondering: Our private thoughts don't really exist anymore. Weird if you don't share? #
  • My 5-year-old niece was ripping on me tonight.: "You're not married, you don't have children and your girlfriend and you broke up." Uh, OK. #

Taming the mighty Mill Creek

DSC_7871

Tomorrow I embark on an adventure few in this area would ever consider doing – canoeing down the Mill Creek.

It won’t be my first time. The last time was May 1, 2007 when we left from Spring Grove Avenue and got out near the Ohio River – in utter filth. What I learned on that trip is that the Mill Creek is in much better shape than it has been since the introduction of industry along its banks. Though it can change from day-to-day, the water for 90 percent of its length is safe for humans to be in and around, which was never the case years ago. That’s why you – if you’re from the Greater Cincinnati area – are probably aghast at what I have done and plan to do again tomorrow.

I was also surprised to find an abundance of life living in and around the creek, including spawning fish, snakes and turtles. I saw rushing rapids flowing over resistant rocks, creating a gorgeous display of one of nature’s enduring beauties – a moving stream. Above us and around us were highways with trucks and cars, plus railroad tracks with giant locomotives moving in and out of town. Along side us were closed factories, a wheat mill, a rail yard and a sewage treatment plant. There were also beautiful tall, green grasses and other vegetation that did not seem to know that common knowledge says they should not be there. All that touches the Mill Creek dies. Not so anymore, apparently.

Trash in the Mill Creek near the Ohio River
Trash in the Mill Creek near the Ohio Rover

Tomorrow, I will be hosted again by Commodore Bruce Koehler, a member of the “Mill Creek Yacht Club,” a tongue-in-cheek “organization” of people who are passionate about our local environment, study it and can teach us about what we are seeing. Dr. Mike Miller, a University of Cincinnati professor of aquatic ecology, will also be on the trip again. His insights are instrumental in educating the trip’s partipants on the transformation of the Mill Creek watershed and what it once was before that much-needed makeover.

We are taking a different trip than last time. This time we are starting farther north, in Sharonville, and ending up in Reading. The whole trip is about 6 1/4 miles and is expected to take about five hours. I plan to bring a notebook, my Tevos, a video camera and a still camera. For now, though, check out the beautiful – and some disturbing – photos from the 2007 trip. Click on the above photo to be taken to the Flickr set.

Choosing differently?

I have my hiding places around town.

They’re all over the place. In parks, on vistas, inside coffee shops, at dead ends, in cemeteries, at airports. They are on the West Side, the East Side and in neighboring little towns in Ohio and states that have reciprocal income tax agreements with Ohio.

Most I can drive to in less than hour. Some take a little more.

I love going to these places and thinking. I try to bring focus to my scattered ideas, dreams, aspirations, successes, choices made and opportunities lost. I think about my friends, family, my aging grandmother, relationships current and past. I wonder who I will meet tomorrow.

I think about my choices. The ones that have been great (finally finishing my bachelor’s degree – 17 years after I started it), and the bad ones. I think about the people that love me, why they love me and why I love them.

I think about people I haven’t seen in a long time and about that special connection we made at that moment when we met and those times shared afterward until we didn’t see each other anymore. Those times and instances ride high in my memory. I miss them.

I think about the people who don’t like me. Probably too much. I think how I hurt them and how that must have felt. I think how I have let people down. Especially the ones who care about me greatly. It pains me to think of the suffering they had at my hands or by my doing, even the tiny and everyday wounds and seemingly inconsequential.

I wonder if it is too late to fix these errors in judgment and miscalculations. Will they let me? Do they even care? Why do I?

I love my little nephew. I love my three nieces, three beautiful little girls. I think about what kind of uncle I am. I think about my little cousins and how much they mean to me. I love my parents who care so very much – even when they don’t understand. Will I ever be a father?

I think hard about the world, my beliefs, my town, my country, my wants and my desires. How do they fit into this world. What should I do next?

View of downtown Cincinnati from the Price Hill Incline park.

Pete Rose has given us back what he took away

Pete Rose in his rookie year at Picture Day in...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m not a sports guy.

Let’s make that clear from the get-go. Any sport I tried to play as a kid ended up embarrassingly bad – including my career-ending smack-in-the-face at one of my very first pitch baseball games. I was in the second grade.

Growing up in Cincinnati meant loving, at minimum, two teams. One was the Cincinnati Bengals. The other was most certainly the Cincinnati Reds. So, on September 11, 1985 I was at home, a new sixth-grader. In the kitchen was a small 12-inch black and white TV and that’s where I remember standing each and every time Pete Rose would come to bat. We were waiting for his 4,192nd hit – the one that would break Ty Cobb‘s all-time hit record. It was an incredible time to be a Reds’ fan – especially because I was born in 1974 and those amazing  Big Red Machine days happened when I was too young to experience them fully.

Then the hit happened and it was amazing to see. Even on that little TV.

A few years later we would come to find out Rose bet on baseball. Rose would continue to deny this for years, despite mountains of evidence against him. Because Pete was one of us – he was born and raised here, grew up and learned to play baseball on the West Side – many of us were much more likely to believe Pete. We wanted to believe Pete.

Rose was banned from baseball and remained cocky and defiant. The pat line in Cincinnati was Pete needed to be in the Hall of Fame – no matter what he had done or how cocky he got or how bad the evidence was against him. I think some of us knew he probably didn’t deserve to be allowed back into baseball, but it just didn’t matter. He’s one of us and was a fantastic baseball player. One of the best to ever play the game. Few anywhere would dispute that.

This past Saturday, though, something amazing happened. On the 25th anniversary of that most memorable night and that historic hit, Rose was back on a baseball field, this time at the new Great American Ball Park and in front of many of those same fans. They were cheering him like they had done so many times and years before. Later that night he, ironically, went to a casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind., about a 30-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati, where he would do a paid appearance at a roast in his honor. The first part of the night, as described by Cincinnati Enquirer writer John Erardi, was light-hearted and funny. But when Rose was done being roasted by former teammates, he took the podium and gave a sobbing apology for betting on baseball. Here’s what he said, excerpted from the Enquirer article:

“I guarantee everybody in this room, I will never disrespect you again,” Rose said.

“You can talk about hits and runs and championship games . . . (But) I want my legacy to be (that of) somebody who came forward. If anybody has a problem here today, come forward. Don’t hide it . . . You can run, but you can’t hide. If I can help a young kid to know what I went through, maybe I can prevent them from going through the same thing.

“I got suspended 21 years ago. For 10-12 years, I kept it inside . . . That’s changed. I’m a different guy . . . I love the fans, I love the game of baseball, and I love Cincinnati baseball.”

Pete sounds like a guy who has gotten some help. Or he has figured it out on his own. Whatever it is (and I hope it’s the former), the apology I’m sure means a lot to his family, his friends and his teammates. It has to mean a lot to him. To let that go, admit to himself that the problem is bigger than this giant, legend-of-a-man – this is no little thing. Men like him don’t have to be humble much and when they should, well, I imagine it’s like being at your first t-ball practice.

Pete is 69 years old now. He gave us back something Saturday. The night of his magical hit can rise up again and be that special moment, untainted by what we found out a few years later. We got unstuck. Pete freed us from those chains he put on us, that burden we carried with him. Thank you, Pete. We needed it probably as much as you did. Baseball got something back Saturday night. Pete got something back. The fans got something back.

It’s time to give him the honor he deserves, what the fans deserve, what baseball deserves. It’s time to turn the page and let the next chapter of Pete’s life be written. I can’t wait to be there for it. And I’m not even a sports guy.

Hamilton County poised to go back to “red” this fall?

Ted Strickland, governor of the U.S. state of Ohio
Ted Strickland, governor of the U.S. state of Ohio. Image via Wikipedia

It’s campaign season and candidates all across the region and the state are in full campaign mode. Or are they?

In 2008, Hamilton County tilted toward the Democratic side for the first time since 1967 when President Lyndon Johnson lead that party’s ticket. Now, two years later and some signs point toward a red win, thanks, it appears, to party and supporter apathy.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in a Sept. 5 Columbus Dispatch poll, trailed former Congressman John Kasich, 10 percentage points, 49-39 in a statewide poll, according to Real Clear Politics.  Strickland bumped up slightly in poll averages in mid-June, but otherwise has trailed Kasich.

But despite this, Tuesday, when he and his Republican opponent square off in their first televised debate, there are no watch parties planned in the county, according to the Organizing for America Web site, my.barackobama.com. Parties are planned in all adjacent counties: the Republican strongholds of Butler, Clermont and Warren. Hamilton County would be considered a critical county for Strickland if he were to win re-election.

Then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama‘s online juggernaut, combining social media with savvy Web marketing, appears to be underutilized in this area. Praised by politicos from all parties, the site and its accompanying iPhone, iPad and plethora of social networking-connected sites can be used to help organize campaign workers and inform voters in ways that were not previously seen in any campaign. The site  and its millions of registered users transitioned from Obama’s campaign Web site  to Organizing for America, designed to keep enthusiasm and momentum going after Obama’s winning the presidency.

Republican supporters do not appear to have scheduled any debate watch parties in this area.

Sunday morning tune

Caught Lorna Parson of Sharonville this morning as she tapped the keys on a “Play me, I’m Yours” piano on the lawn of the Wyoming Arts Center in Wyoming.

She was playing “Yankee Doodle” from a beginner’s piano lesson book and said she was attempting to hit all 35 pianos before the program officially ends on September 17. She has got her work cut out for her – she only has made it to 10 so far.

“I got a late start,” she said.

Parson said she is not an accomplished player, but enjoyed the experience of playing at the public pianos. Learn more about the program, including the plan to donate the pianos to local schools and needy students needing a piano, at their Web site by clicking this link: http://oncincy.com/ahIlGd

Lorna Parson of Sharonville plays at a "Play Me, I'm Yours" piano outside the Wyoming Fine Arts Center in Wyoming.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-10

  • Had a very nice evening out at the Zaenkert family farm today. They're my cousins. So many mud- and manure-filled childhood memories there. #
  • I just ousted Archie B. as the mayor of Archie Bunker's Place. #
  • Just watched "(500) Days of Summer." Beautiful movie. #
  • Greg Brady http://twitpic.com/2lkmoj #
  • I'm about to ride The Beast. That's another thing one does in Cincinnati – like have a 3-way – that seems lewd but actually is not at all. #
  • To all those moms-in-waiting across America out there about to give birth…I imagine this day has a slightly different meaning for you… #
  • Getting together with a great group of current and retired newspaper photographers? Well, a fantastic way to wrap up a great holiday weekend #
  • Back to the courthouse today. Fun. #
  • "The joy of rubbernecking" also known as "deriving pleasure from the misery of others." #
  • Mr. Typer-Man sitting next to me: Slow down. No need to type so hard and loud. Manual typewriters died and so did the need to bang so hard. #
  • Never trust a computer you can't lift. #
  • Little hint: Podcasting and e-mail newsletters are NOT examples of social media. I continue to be mystified… #
  • Today's Ivorydale smell of the day: rotting corpse. #
  • Out here in the suburbs, the graffiti artists are so much nicer… http://twitpic.com/2mgm6z #
  • iOS 4.1 was my idea. #
  • So, experiencing my first Mac dilemma. Software for my aging film scanner is in a Stuffit file. Anyone have Stuffit Expander? Help, please. #
  • Feeling a bit like a commodity. #
  • Had a great time at Neon's with @LivingInGin @librariangrrl @kate_the_great @shawnbaker @buildingcincy @caseyc @jakemecklenborg #
  • Decided Sunday I'm doing 1) Gateway Qtr tour, then the Brewery District tour at 3. Anyone else in? Now, if the Brewery site would work… #
  • Headed to Austin, Texas later this month mainly to go to this: Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair. Fun! http://oncincy.com/95gQsK #
  • I screwed up. Brewery Tour is next weekend. Gateway tour this weekend: Geez, I hope I didn't get anyone started on wrong planning pathway… #
  • I'm attending Covering the World in a Dangerous Age — http://www.eventbrite.com/s/1itc #
  • Not a big sports fan, but at a HS soccer game and forgot how bad high school referees can really be. #
  • I have just been tipped off that there is a new, great Mexican restaurant in town. In Brookville. Now I wanna go. Who is in? #
  • Have to remember that as people age and they say things that hurt and don't remember stuff, that they aren't the same person they were… #
  • … and that really sucks… #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-03

  • I derive tremendous inspiration, plus substantial knowledge, from tech guru @leolaporte Great profile in LA Times: http://oncincy.com/cj30UW #
  • Tomorrow begins my stint on Hamilton County jury duty. If all goes well, I will get a trial w/ intrigue, mystery. Or, better, nothing at all #
  • Not one for food cravings, but for some reason want a Chilito right now, but don't feel like driving to Minnesota http://oncincy.com/a2CER5 #
  • The Hamilton County Courthouse security model-of-efficiency. Two lines, full of angry, discontented people. http://twitpic.com/2jnoza #
  • The courthouse coffee tastes like it has soy sauce in it. #
  • Jury duty continues in the "jury quiet room," where I am holding out for the Rod Blagojevich re-trial and pretending to get work done. #
  • Free to go! Yea. #
  • synced their Myspace account to Twitter http://lnk.ms/0WBg6 #
  • synced their Myspace account to Facebook http://lnk.ms/0WBg6 #
  • Six games! #
  • I have been spared again. Free to go home – and no jury trial for Joey! #
  • I'm at Mercantile Library in Cincinnati, OH http://gowal.la/c/2pvf9?137 #
  • 7 Games!! #
  • Twenty years. It's time. Let's do it! #reds #
  • I wonder if it's too late to get hired on as a vendor at GABP? It's been 20 years since I last did it. I want my old job back. #reds #
  • I'm in a bar in Cheviot. #
  • Reminded, once again, the world is small. And the guy having a beer with me lived my elementary school dream for me 15 years later. Wow. #
  • iPhone 4 issues persist. Proximity sensor not working, attenuation fixed – but bumper needed. Boxy, hollow to callers. 9 days to return it. #
  • Because of Obama, I am getting one of these Tea Party t-shirts. http://imvotingteaparty.com/ #
  • I ate the eight that ate eight eight eight ate eight my ate eight a Cardinals ate eight games. Glenn Beck ate eight the eight curse. #reds #
  • Two unidentified flying objects seen over Harrison and Rybolt. Appears to be flying burning trash. Very odd. http://twitpic.com/2kei5g #
  • I wonder what Josh Spring of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coal is trying to accomplish. I agree with mission but question his tactics. #
  • Importing Michael Jackson's Ultimate Collection 4-disc set into iTunes. Virus-free, peer-to-peer networking, courtesy of my local library. #
  • This is only funny 'cuz no one was hurt. http://oncincy.com/dt2EWi Another example, that together we can do more than any one person alone. #
  • Spellcheck is socialism. #
  • Yee-haw! @ABC: Breaking: Another Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf, Crew OK, Spill Uncertain http://bit.ly/d00LGs #
  • Wonderful. Now I need a notary. #
  • A little nauseous. #
  • I'm a walking karmic disaster today. I'd stay at least 50 feet away until further notice. #
  • I need a spokes model. Someone to talk into a video camera for @CinDaily and has some newsy-type background and/or interest. #
  • For those keeping track: Not required to report for jury duty Wed or Thurs. No jury trials start on Friday. Monday=holiday. Maybe Tuesday? #
  • Spoke with one of my favorite people in the whole world. Met her 8 years ago, messing around. Where'd we meet? HotorNot.com. True story. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-27

  • Don't let the party end until I get there. #mpmf #
  • Al Franken is leading the charge on Net Neutrality. A perfect example of the lies being spread by misinformation http://oncincy.com/98UEao #
  • I checked in at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (11700 Princeton Pike) on #Yelp http://bit.ly/cY4mwN #
  • Just went golfing with my Uncle Rick, cousin, Henry, and nephew, Connor. It was Connor's first time golfing! http://twitpic.com/2habia #
  • "I think that this sort of person often becomes either a writer or a career criminal." #
  • Steve Chabot is kind of like the Jay Leno of Cincinnati politics. #
  • As I lay in bed and contemplate my day, I think, after my first class in at least five years, "Yoga should not have been that painful." #
  • I just became the mayor of Eastern Hills Dry Cleaners on @foursquare! http://4sq.com/9NVAj4 #
  • Apparently the guy singing at the bar is not the guy I knew from
    high school. That guy apparently died. #
  • Wow! Something kinda remarkable just happened. I feel like the keys were just given back to me. This is gonna have some nice repercussions. #
  • Heading to Walnut Hills High School. Why? Well, to watch my cousin and his Colerain Cardinal soccer squad squash the Eagles. That's why. #
  • One more cliché and I'm going to barf. #
  • Getting Grandma fitted for her hearing aids. Here 5 minutes and results are already amazing. This makes me so happy (for her and everyone)! #
  • I wish people would stop saying that appointing judges is "not the American way" and "not how we do things here." Makes them sound foreign. #
  • Today it's California in Ohio. #
  • So, up here in Hamilton, pro se at 1pm, and I come across this Alexander Hamilton quote etched in the sidewalk: http://twitpic.com/2iddl9 #