My “Train” Of Thought This Morning!

I looked out the window this morning at the arrival of glorious winter and just shook my head and thought.. “Wow….we sooooo need to expand rail options in this state as there are so many reasons WHY it needs to happen”

Indeed, this is the kind of day I would definitely choose to leave a car at home and hop on a train and not have to worry about all the expenses associated with car ownership, as well as the dangers of driving in this kind of weather….all because of the dogmatic auto-driven ideology of a few people…with the charge of this local yocal agenda now running our state! So many people, so few transportation alternatives makes Ohio look like a joke!

Sorry, but it pisses me off that so many of us are forced to be a part of something (driving) we’d like to greatly reduce. And Kasich wants to bring jobs and keep people in Ohio? The dude needs to get a clue as to how and why rail can help achieve just that!

More statewide fight seems to be invested for getting casinos going that are arguably party to contributing to social dysfunction…. than all of the OBVIOUS socially, environmentally, and economically redeeming fruits that can blossom from rail!

Absolutely, pathetically, and utterly ridiculous!

Off I go into the white blue yonder. Thanks a lot Kasich and any others who are too blind, arrogant, vindictive, or self righteous to see the light! If anything, you may at least be interested in the fact that business traveling people can be more productive in a train where they can use laptops, phones, and other devices to perform business—that sort which cannot be performed—or at least SHOULD NOT be performed while driving! Just think!!! It may result in MORE profit for business–And, I know you cannot say NO to that!

P.S. I love winter, but just not driving when it gets severe and I don’t think a transportation mono-culture should cease the day because of it.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 7:14 AM No comments:

 

 

Kasich–Do Not De-Rail Rail, or Joke is On Ohio!

Dear Governor Elect,

I am writing to urge you to re-consider your opposition to passenger rail in Ohio. (3C Corridor project) The following personal feelings are why we must not bypass this great opportunity. I am sure many others will touch on so many issues I have left out, as one letter cannot explain it all, but it is with the strongest plea I ask you to not jump to conclusions about 3C that will ultimately kill a great opportunity for Ohio.

Ohio has for too long had its transportation infrastructure built around the needs of the automobile, rather than the pedestrian. And, part of this has been abandoning a once intricate network of rail lines across the state. Because of the decade after decade steering of transportation funds towards all that is car, we as citizens of this state have been denied the freedom of choice and alternative. To have a freedom of choice, I would think, would be a philosophy you and your party can respect and appreciate….and better yet, help to foster by making the transportation choice a reality.

While I understand that it may be difficult to expect those to fathom any other mode of transportation other than the auto-dependent sprawl model by which they were raised, I want you to understand the importance of a viable transportation alternative from people who DO understand the many benefits and conveniences.

By not supporting this project, we embarrassingly will lag behind other states that will move forward reaping the economic benefits such as job creation and linking our major cities as well as linking markets in our cities with others in the country.

By not supporting it you are driving away the young professional population that will chase and achieve their dreams in other states and cities where rail is an option. Those professionals in my age group 25 to 45 would overwhelmingly support the system.

In your own campaign, you stated that you did not want to see young people leave Ohio and achieve dreams and creating a home someplace else. How then by not supporting this project, do you not see that the results will be exactly what you said you did not want to see?

By not supporting this project, we are faced with an increased cumbersome burden to deal with over crowded highways and a never ending maintenance and construction spending nightmare. The last thing Ohio needs is to make itself more of a slave to road building and/or maintenance. This scene is just making us more co-dependent on oil in a time we need to be reducing it! Few benefit from that. In addition, the added air pollution and other environmental degradation that will have its own set of consequences by being yet another component to fostering an unhealthy populace that will be less productive in our economy. Who can even begin to put a price on that sort of aspect that is never even considered?

On a personal note touching on environmental and personal health—by designing all our transportation infrastructure around the car, you are forcing me to have no choice but to be subjected to the vile emission fumes spewing out of vehicles that are either illegally modified in the exhaust mechanisms, systems that are malfunctioning, or even systems that use a Diesel fuel mix–which to me–is unbearable as it gets sucked right into my vehicle chocking me! And, since your party quite often shuns social responsibility and accountability by wanting less watch dogging on corporate America, I doubt the industries responsible for being party to this this will do the right thing to satisfy those who have not the resources to fight them in court.

By not supporting passenger rail you are denying thousands who do not wish to drive or place themselves on highways and roads—or those who cannot drive—the choice they deserve. By not supporting passenger rail transportation alternatives in Ohio you are essentially forcing many who simply do not wish to drive, to take on all the expenses associated with car ownership and driving. By not supporting the passenger rail you are denying Ohio tourist dollars by those who may be visiting our state wanting to travel it via rail, relax, take their time and take in our state’s interesting natural beauty, art, history and culture. By not supporting passenger rail you are forcing many, who cannot afford it, to be a slave to the gas pump.

These funds Ohio was awarded for development of passenger rail cannot be spent for anything else and it would also be embarrassing if another state seized this money gladly at out of expense economically as well as the expense of our integrity and character.By not supporting this project, you may even impair any future federal funding for transportation grants in Ohio.

Do you really want Ohio to be the backwoods laughing stock that closed the door on a major opportunity? Degraded images do nothing at all to attract people to want to remain living here—or to attract new progressive long term investments in Ohio.

All the bad image scene will attract however are those who see Ohio as desperate to take anything…and will simply abuse our state economically, socially, and environmentally—and when they have reaped from us all they can, will move on. Is this the kind of fly by night investment in our state that you really want to see? That which is run by those living someplace else while raping Ohio?

In this wonderful land of choice, you are giving us little to no choice by not supporting passenger rail. And, I, like the thousands of others I know who would open heatedly and overwhelmingly support this service, will likely leave Ohio to seek places where their leadership has far more of a progressive vision as to the countless benefits that can result from this project.

It is for all the above and so much more I urge you to take a far closer look at what you’re doing…Look at the undeniable facts about this project so someday you do not look back and say to yourself.. “What was I thinking?….” while other places reap the benefits that will bypass Ohio and leave us in the dust.

One person such as yourself should not have the power to impose your will on a whole state. So, I urge you to not turn this into an “Us versus Them” political ego power and control game. Please do what is right for many instead of satisfying those who simply want to “be right” In a state of 11 plus million, we need a choice. And the only choice should not be to get in your car a drive, period. That in itself is a joke on Ohio.

Regards,
Robert Carillio
Ohio Voter

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 2:37 PM No comments:

Gardens Under Glass Re-Source Center: Ideas and Gifts Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles!

The Gardens Under Glass Re-source and Education Center is now open at the magnificent Galleria mixed-use complex in downtown Cleveland! The Re-Source Center is the “branch” of the main tree and cornerstone project at Gardens Under Glass–which is the year-round development of urban agriculture.

In this newly transformed space created with over 95% recycled materials and/or donations of re-used items, you will find a myriad of ideas, displays, and unique gift products which promote sustainable lifestyles. Looking for a really unique gift idea for a loved one? You have got to check out this place! Additionally, everything the center carries helps to sustain local and or independent merchants–which in turn, helps to promote a more economically self sustaining city.

The room features a focus on three components of the biosphere, air, land, and water—and promotes products and/or ideas that when implemented by the consumer, can result in the cleaner and healthier of those three components upon which we depend for our own existence. Whats more, the patron gains an enlightened knowledge of how purchases as a consumer can either have a heavier or much lesser impact on our world–and a more positive one on our local economy.

At the Gardens Under Glass Re-Source Center, there will also be featured events and workshops open to the public that may focus on cooking with seasonal and local produce, self healing through herbs and better diet, hydroponics and aquaponics, and an introductory entertaining presentation about local river and stream habitats, their lesser known fishes….and their conservation through more thoughtful agriculture.

Be sure to visit Gardens Under Glass www.gardensunderglass.net

 

Gardens Under Glass–A Whole Lot More Than Gardens!

Its not easy being green, but the Gardens Under Glass project at the magnificent Galleria structure in downtown Cleveland hopes to make going green easy to achieve! The ultimate vision for the initiative is to provide a neighborhood functional retail and business “eco-village” of learning, local food, environmental sustainability, and green product technology that will provide the core city and region with many green products and services to promote lifestyles that are rewarding and leave a much lighter footprint on the earth!

Some examples aim to promote greener ways leading by example, such as incorporating more recycling and reduction of waste within the facility, more efficient use of existing energy supply…..and even composting! Local food and produce production is the project’s anchor focus. But, Gardens Under Glass does not stop at producing local and healthy produce year round through aquaponics and conventional growing methods. For example, local and independent merchants who are already promoting sustainable philosophies, green products and/or technologies, have the opportunity of being consolidated along one indoor street and under one roof—to increase their competitiveness amidst a highly chain and/or franchised business and retail scene these days.

Customers who want to support local and or independent businesses offering something unique rarely found elsewhere, can come here to find many things without wasting fuel driving all over the area. Such stores like galleries promoting local art and handcrafted products, many made from recycled materials. Thrift and clothing stores with garage sale prices—selling not only unique vintage items, but lightly used and like new items all displayed professionally as in a traditional retail store. Need a blender? Looking to decorate your home with an original theme?…..How about a unique furniture item, article of clothing….or even tools? How about an original gift item? You may find something fantastic here for under $5.00! All this within a charming, clean and attractive high end facade in the facility itself. Best of all you will know that your purchase has helped to promote recycling, less oil dependency, preservation of forest and farm around our city’s buffers—and thus maintaining a vibrant urban core!

In addition to the above, Gardens Under Glass is currently developing an educational center which focuses on air, water, and soil pollution—and will also promote products, that if used instead of current ones in the home, will result in cleaner air, water, and soil in the outdoor environment. The learning center will entertain and inform groups wishing to implement more green practices in their daily lives, as well as school children who will ultimately inherit this planet. They will learn how to become wiser and greener consumers and stewards of the world by discovering how choices they make in their daily lives can either have negative or positive impacts locally and globally.

Gardening aspects of the project will promote less energy dependent yard care and those which attract hummingbirds and butterflies by using native plantings. You can even discover how to make the most of even the smallest bit of soil in the urban environment whether you plan to grow, or attract backyard friendly wildlife on your rooftop garden!

As you can see, Gardens Under Glass is no cookie cutter idea for any kind of mixed use retail and business center. Its vision is so much broader than growing produce under glass. In the bigger picture, it can serve as a national example for progressive adaptive and functional reuse of a building. The project is ultimately about encouraging and fostering a community of walkable neighborhoods, local foods, products and business—to in turn—help promote self sustaining neighborhoods. Gardens Under Glass can demonstrate that their is an economy and jobs to be created in a healthier environment—and can serve as the regional centerpiece and powerful voice for green initiatives and innovation that can be implemented locally and nationally.

Lastly, if you are an entrepreneur or existing business that believes in the objectives and vision of this project, and would like to join forces by locating here, please contact us to discuss the economic advantages you can gain in positioning your business or nurturing your idea here. Together, we can help “grow” your green idea or business! You can contact Gardens Under Glass at the website below.

www.gardensunderglass.net

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 9:18 PM No comments:

The Flaming Ice Cube Cafe–Cleveland!

When you’re in or near downtown Cleveland and want to experience a fresh, healthy and delectable food alternative, be sure to walk down to the Flaming Ice Cube Café… Located at the street level of The Park Building directly across from the soldiers and sailors monument on historic public square! The view of the square is charming and makes for the perfect cafe atmosphere! Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner the Flaming Ice Cube is an earth friendly eclectic vegan café offering selections that appeal to everyone!

Freshly made from scratch soups, sandwiches, and gourmet salads for starters! For quick energy on the go, try one of the many smoothies or freshly made juices. The Flaming Ice Cube also prepares a fine array of home made baked goods, breads, cakes, muffins, and healthy decadent deserts are available.

Top off your meal with a hot cup of one of the Cube’s freshly brewed specialty coffees or teas. So come downtown to the Flaming Ice Cube today. They’re open weekdays from 7:00am to 8:00pm. Just remember “The Cube on the square” right in the heart of downtown Cleveland – The Flaming Ice Cube Café!

Flaming Ice Cube Website: www.flamingicecube.com

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:04 PM No comments:

Gulf Oil Gush: When will we learn–What does it take?

Anyone paying attention yet?….

I often have wondered what will it take for people to start waking up to the realities of how much our environment is plundered everyday at the expense of, or in the name of profit. I have also thought that what good is the profit, if we have no world left to enjoy the fruits of good life that it supposedly bares in the first place? Nothing has slapped me in the face with these kinds of thoughts more than the Gulf Oil Gush (Hell of a lot more than a “spill”) catastrophe that continues to spew thousands of gallons of crude oil into the sea water ’round the clock now approaching a month and a half.

I am completely flabbergasted that for some people, even this event does not seem to spark even a sub-conscious thought in the back of their minds that we really need to curb the oil addiction, NOW. Are cheap happy meal toys, Sprawl-Mart STUFF, green lawns, meat with each meal, allowing the SUV’s to idle for moments on end (“S.U.V….”A.K.A. “Selfish Unaccountable Vice!”)—and the list could go on and on for many oil dependent acts/products—worth destroying that which sustains life itself? Perhaps we need to do a personal audit on ourselves to see how much our daily lives involve acts that can be connected to a frivolous use of oil, and maybe consider alternatives that would result in less consumption of this finite resource.

A gluttonous and insatiable appetite for such a limited fuel source that took millions of years to form, yet is used faster than it can be taken from the ground, will not be satisfied no matter how many holes we drill in the earth, as long as we waste it on crap we don’t really need. The same goes for any energy source. We need to start taking account of how we waste what the earth currently yields. To think we can continue to use oil or any resource with no accountability and recklessly is like expecting a 10 pound capacity bag to carry 50 pounds of potatoes.

What they save, we pay for….

The Gulf oil disaster is brought to you by not only an all too often and unnecessary hoggish appetite for fuel that humans have conditioned themselves to think they need—but also by unaccountable and irresponsible industry types who do not want to play by the rules, and will lobby tooth and nail against measures that demand for better safety and regulation standards that could possibly prevent such disasters as this oil gush—as well as lobby against any further risky fuel extraction endeavors that jeopardize both our future well being—as well as the planet’s of which we are connected. What such industries do not wish to pay for now, comes back to cost all of us so much more….economically, socially, and environmentally. Their short term profits become everyone else’s long term problems and costs. The classic externality.

You may have guessed correctly that I am thinking of the film documentary “THE CORPORATION”—And, since “the corporation” as so eloquently outlined in that production, wishes to be treated as “individuals” in our community—AND demand the same rights, then perhaps it is time they be punished for their crimes just as anyone else (“individual”) would be. With every fiber in my body and setting all news reports aside to use my own conscious, the Gulf disaster somehow violates every natural law of the universe, as well as every environmental law ever written. Yet, I feel in my bones that BP will somehow get away with it and eventually continue as business as usual. The fines will be considered a cost of doing business.

Furthermore, I have also heard the opinion floating around that suggests the incident is being projected in the mainstream news as something far worse than it is. But, while I tend to seek out alternative news sources from those such as “Faux” News, I witness a side that insists it is a lot WORSE than what we are being told. Again, setting all sources aside, I will use my own conscious and place my trust in information that is not orchestrated by a BP PR machine or any chamber driven entity that represents the interest of stockholders and not stakeholders.


How is this poison?….

As an avid naturalist, I do know a little bit about how the earth works myself, and I can tell you…this oil gush is in no way something that will simply cleanse itself in a short while. How it is poison, I describe like this: Just as the human body is one living organism, so is the earth. Just as the human body has substances contained within that are stable; such as what is traveling though our intestinal tract, so does the earth. The human body: Feces. The Earth: Crude oil. If I poke a hole in the human intestine and allow all that foul waste to escape in the rest of the body and contaminate the human body as a whole, then the same is analogous to poking a hole in the earth and allowing the otherwise—stable in its place—crude oil, to escape in the water. Get it?


Money…Money…Money….MONEY!

I don’t think The O’Jays could have said it better. It is a sick and utterly pathetic testament to the de-evolution of the human sense of compassion, ethics, and moral responsibility to be good stewards of this world to have talked with many people about this and hear the concerns only rooted around somebody losing money. While granted, I feel for all the smaller family owned businesses that will suffer from the devastation, I am not about to cry an river of oil tear drops for BP and their stockholders and act as though they are our benefactor. Besides the small and independent local businesses that, again, I DO feel for….What about the scores of innocent animals that are suffering a painful death at the expense of what is ultimately about appeasing a disgusting out-of-control lifestyle that has not learned the meaning of the word “limits”

Our ability to exercise compassion for this world is what should be the one cornerstone and basic attribute that would warrant our position in this world as its care-takers. But when this is thrown out the window because of the dependence on money, I feel we are slipping into an oblivion of regression and chaos. Do we want to be the generation that will be looked upon as the plunderers who could have made a difference but chose not to? Time will tell of the grave repercussions of this disaster. I hope that this is well documented with photos that will say a thousand words. The kinds that may just help people pull the blinders away from their eyes. It will be difficult for any marketing or PR team to hide this one–Even as BP does not wish to have aerial photos taken! Makes you want to say “Hmmmm”


Just one other thought worth the quick mention….

Lastly, and in my extreme editorial opinion….I am in total disrespect and disgust in people like Sarah “Spill Baby Spill” Palin and Rush Limbaugh, who cannot resist the opportunity to turn this into a “Blame Obama and environmentalists” campaign, solely to further their own opinionated agenda. They have proven time and time again which beds they’re sleeping in, and that they are more interested in “being right” even if they’re WRONG…than doing what is actually RIGHT—“Right”, as long as it fills their bank accounts no matter what the expense…even if it is the entire Gulf Of Mexico or beyond. Their arrogance is only exceeded in size by this oil gush! Anyway, maybe Rush can invite Sarah over for dinner at his Florida home and they can dine on shrimp glazed with petroleum sauce…and drink black wine, vintage 10 million years! High tide is here…the oil should be washing in anytime. And Sarah, you’ll have plenty of dead animals to stuff. Shame on both of you. Your lies you pass as truth must stop. Maybe we ought to plug the leak with both of them!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 11:16 AM No comments:

Warren Ohio: Not Going Green…Going TREELESS!

After several years of paying close attention to the assault on this city’s once prominent urban forest, Warren desperately needs to implement a better tree maintenance and tree replacement plan. Currently, one does not seem to exist, or if it does, is ignored completely. It is bad enough that on private properties we have seen a fair amount of trees get knocked down from storms, let alone what happens on the public grounds or tree lawns by the city‘s doings.

On private yards the scenario is the following: A few go down or are damaged, then suddenly everyone seems to freak out in fear of their home property being damaged by a future falling tree and hence tree cutting spree ensues. Even perfectly healthy ones–those that can be saved—or trees that pose little to absolutely no threat to personal property or public safety are being removed each year.

Next up, Ohio Edison sends along the tree trimming brigade which does one dandy hack job on city trees along streets. Instead of doing a “V” cut to allow power lines to pass through, trees are butchered in such a way that could eventually result in the death of the tree, and finally, more tax money spent to remove it completely. Worse is the fact that many living and healthy limbs are removed—the few that remain on the tree–while dead ones are not! I understand that power lines must have clearance around them, but does this mean we have to mutilate the tree to allow for that?

Education is an important component in helping to produce a generation that will better appreciate the value of trees in a community. Do we recognize Arbor Day in schools anymore? Perhaps we should so we can be reminded of the many benefits trees provide. Benefits like preventing soil erosion, cleaning air, reducing noise, retaining water, preventing droughts, enhancing the value of property, providing habitat for backyard friendly wildlife—and trees even act as barriers against intense summer heat or extreme winter cold and winds. These are just a few pluses many people take for granted.

For whatever reason a tree comes down, be it a storm, (which the more we remove, the more we contribute to creating the severe storms that take them down in the first place), laziness in not learning how to mulch, compost, or rake leaves—or fear of property damage from falling limbs—when one learns the purpose and many functions trees provide free of charge, it is clear to see the benefits outweighing the perceived negatives.

The biggest disappointment is that too few are replacing trees on private properties in the neighborhoods, nor is the city doing anything that substantially replaces the thousands that have been removed over recent years on the tree lawns or public grounds.

The cost of not replacing them will exceed any cost that has fear of “what might happen“, ruling people’s decision to remove them. There are many places in the world that once had forests like Ohio and later became deserts because of the loss of trees—and they could only wish for such a landscape now, boasting the kinds of trees that took many years to grow to such stately heights, yet see us ripping them down in a matter of hours.

This is an issue Warren cannot continue to ignore or go down the path it has gone down for over 10 years or we will have nothing left of our urban forest. If that happens, and all the tree services cannot make money in Warren, I guess they will have to find a way to make money planting them instead. With communities coast to coast trying to achieve more environmentally sustainable practices, the last thing we need is to have no active tree replacement plan/education.

To sum it up simply, Warren once boasted a stunning urban forest canopy, and now looks uglier as many trees slowly disappear or are dying from poor maintenance practices. Hey Warren city and residents: Try planting some for a change! You might find it a rewarding and feel good activity to do with your children and for yourself! Future generations will thank us instead of looking upon us as the plunderers who just didn’t get it.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 11:00 PM No comments:

A Plea: Cleveland?…Seek Alternatives To Sports Championships!

I have been a long time supporter of all the Cleveland professional sports teams. In my older years, I have learned to not get so caught up in the drama that can accompany the games, good or bad. I admit, it is addictive and taps into emotions we never knew we had. This past year, just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water with being a part of the high of the spectacular Cavaliers basketball season….and after the they collapsed once again in the playoffs, I admit, the same feelings of disappointment returned that we all felt with past Cleveland sports heartbreaking and haunting moments like “Red Right 88“, “The Drive”, “The Fumble”, “The Shot”, “The Hit”, “The Choke”…….and this latest debacle of a performance against the Celtics that I am sure will be named soon.

For too long—and since Cleveland fans are loyal to a fault—we have seemingly embraced the idea of a professional sports championship (which I admit is long overdue!) as the be all end all cure for erasing our poor self esteem, civic pride and image too many of us have of our city/region—AND—as a cure for the national image as well. Many of us have centered all our hopes, dreams and economic success potentials around the ideology that if our teams are not winning it all, the we cannot be successful as a city/region and that the rest of the world must think we suck! The fact is, the rest of the world probably could care less about what our sports teams are doing if they came to visit Cleveland with a clean slate.

What has all this taught me personally? Well, I have concluded that many Clevelanders/N.E. Ohioans may want to start viewing other ways we can be champions; to stop solely turning to sports and sports figures for our heroes—or their successes or failures to define who we are as a people, city and region. When one turns to this arena for defining who we are, we set ourselves up for major disappointments, as we have seen. And, if we choke in the big one, all life as we know it seems to cease to exist!

I think it is time we set our priorities straight and in an attempt to do so—or at least find out where they are—in a moment, I will list a few questions of thought that many of us die-hard frustrated and tortured Cleveland sports fans may want to do a little soul searching and ask themselves. To assume if we are not winning the big one in sports, we are failures, really underestimates the diversity, intelligence, best-kept-secrets, and dynamics of this city/region.

How can we become champions in other ways?….. How about environmentally, socially, and economically? (seeing that these three categories upon which we have failed in the past, happened to be some of the biggest culprits of damaging our reputation)

Let’s think about it…… Hmmmmmmmmm…………

1. Sports championship, or champions and leaders in a new kind of environmental stewardship that demonstrates a 360 degree turn around from our polluting past—and such that will erase in the minds of everyone…any burning river or “mistake-by-the-lake” joke our city has ever had to endure? How about champions in cleaner waterfront/shoreline, riverbanks, and air?

2. Sports championship or attracting and embracing a new entrepreneurial population that will bring new unique ideas and visions for Cleveland? Champions in attracting new people who discover potentials in our city of which many locals have lost sight, and who will make our city more demographically diverse and attractive to new residents and businesses? How about being Champions in reducing crime and social dysfunction, that to many, is accepted as the norm? How about being champions in reducing rampant obesity? Afterall, a healthy population produces better widgets and is more productive in the economy!

3. Sports championship or champions in creating the finest rail transportation network in the country and greatly reducing the city’s carbon footprint and dependency on oil and creating a whole new host of jobs? How about taking advantage of the new wave effort in the world of achieving sustainability by becoming a world leader in attracting green jobs (green collar jobs!)?

4. Sports championship or making Cleveland a world destination city with many attributes and attractions for all?

5. Oh…and here is something that just might be a bit thought provoking: Sports championship or champions in creating a world class public school system that will turn out bright, critically thinking youngsters who will evolve into the kind of citizens the world respects–and who can help solve (instead of being so much a part of, for a change)…a world crisis such as climate change?

Indeed, all the above can be done even if the sports teams fail. All can help to raise the lack of self esteem that plots Clevelanders often, as its own worst enemy by creating the pervasive “woe-Is Me” and nobody likes us persona. If the sports teams go in the dumper, then it won’t matter that much because we will have so many other elements to offer that will make us a great place…and feel better about ourselves. Guess what? Cleveland already has many great attributes and more to come in the future, but because we often gets way too caught up in sports addiction, we fail to recognize the special or important things we take for granted here. Listing them all is for another article, another day.

So, back to the important lesson: Here is my plea: Cleveland/N.E. Ohio, instead of banking all life’s happiness and your perception of our area on whether LeBron stays or leaves…..whether or not we win a championship in sports and risk feeling miserable if things don’t go our way, why not take the time to discover the many other reasons we should be celebrating? (You are not the only city in the world with problems…or sports teams that have had bad luck!) Afterall, there are many ways we can be champions! Let’s take the time to discover just how many ways in which we can. I just listed a few ideas of my own in how I would like to see our city excel—or ways in which I feel it is already making important strides in the right direction. As for the sports, it will happen when we least expect it!

If you’re still preferring the sports champions to many ideas I have mentioned in how we can be champions…OR, if you cannot think of an original idea of your own, then such a decision would only reaffirm my belief that many of us have a serious priority and sports addiction issue here!

I have finished slaughtering this sacred cow! Now, Cleveland… Go be a champion!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:14 PM No comments:

NO-BAMA…NO OIL!

I always thought it was naive to think that by placing our lives, values and trust in the hands of one person, that we would all live happily ever after….but hey, I always make sure I vote! So, when I voted for Barack Obama, I voted for the kinds of changes I would like to see in this country. Regarding this nation’s energy issues, I am not satisfied with the President’s recent push for off shore drilling.

I wrote an article about why I felt off shore drilling would not fix the US energy woes during the McCain/Obama election race so I won’t go into what I discussed in the past other than saying that we use oil at a rate in this nation faster than we can pump it out of the ground—and no amount of holes we drill in the ground will satisfy what should be curbed—and that is, our insatiable addiction to the oil habit.

It just seems to me, however, that the President is somehow caving in and trying to attract support from the Bush, Cheney, McCain, Palin, and oil lobby club–all who which were adamant opponents of his ideas on energy policy. But rather, than getting to political, I would like to focus more on the idea that the US as a nation, needing to take inventory, responsibility, and accountability for how we presently use the oil we have.

To me, it is not worth leaving our dirty footprints on what are some of the earth’s last high quality environments—all life support systems, providing for free, some sort of sustenance for our very own lives. To me it is not worth polluting the last breath of air and last swallow of water for the sake of sustaining the kinds of economies that have our markets flooded with cheap Chinese plastic goods like Happy Meal toys we really don’t need in the first place.

Instead, why don’t we take a look at how we can find much of the fuel we supposedly need, in the fuel we waste on a daily basis as individuals. Let’s ask ourselves many questions how we use fuel daily, and if we really need to be using it the way we are using it. Some questions that pop up in my mind are the following…..

In terms of transportation: Do we really need to own a vehicle that gets a whopping 7 MPG in the city? Do we really need to add a gas powered motor to a bicycle? Do we need to let our cars idle for moments on end on a weather perfect day while waiting for someone? I am sure most are smart enough to figure out sensible alternatives if they put their minds to it and stop letting mass marketing tell them what they need to drive and how they need to drive to be a satisfied customer!

How about how we approach yard care? Do we really need to have a lawn treated with carcinogenic petro-based chemicals because we have been conditioned by companies like the one that rhymes with SNOTS—that a lawn has to be a colorless, fragrantless, sterile, lifeless and mono-culture patch of green turf that isn’t even used for a sporting event? I liked the neighborhood better when it was a peaceful, fragrant and colorful scene—especially after a long winter’s hibernation! Do we really need to keep all 20 acres of our rural property mowed? Why not plant a wildflower meadow on half of it instead? Furthermore, do we really need to mow the lawn 3 times a week just for the sake of making it look like a groomed carpet?


Do we have to use gas powered filthy emissions producing dirt blowers that just rearrange dirt and create a storm of ambient air pollution just because we think a driveway has to present the illusion of being anti-septic?
Thanks for covering my house, car and lungs with filth. Try a broom; it is much more social and far less polluting.

How about how we carry groceries or other products? Paper or plastic? How about neither? Why not use something re-usable.Besides, ever notice how much these plastic bags are turning up in our environment. They are literally choking lakes and oceans.

These are just a few questions that address how we may be wasting oil on a daily basis that we may totally be taking for granted and never making that particular action’s connection with oil consumption. All involves the use of oil in either using it directly, or in the manufacture process of what product we are using that we do not really need to be using. Try and think of many more ways you may be using and wasting oil on a daily basis that you may not have considered–such as leaving the computer on for too long!

Finally, as a nation, we have been accustomed to using a certain level of oil and thus, we think we actually need this much. And, so drilling for more while ignoring the fact that we need to seek alternatives and conserve what we are already using— would only increase the dependence and addiction. Such is analogous to buying an alcoholic more to drink or a fat lady the all-you-can-eat buffet! We make up a small portion of the world population, but use most of its resources and demonstrates a total imbalance in how we live with the rest of the world. We really don’t need to be using this much oil. We use it because of selfishness, greed, and for some….a choice to remain oblivious—and because many of us have never been taught that resources aren’t limitless. It is time for a change…the real change I thought I was voting for. So, please…NO Bama…No oil drilling, for the fuel we think need can be found in the fuel we waste. Don’t cave in to the short term profit driven greed of a few.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 9:33 AM No comments:

CURB THE JUNK MAIL WASTE STREAM TO YOUR HOME

For as long as I can recall I have hated junk mail. Credit card offers, coupons, catalogs, insurance, grocery ads, or just anything I did not solicit on my own. I have no problem of being informed from time to time about a product, service I have shown an interest in—-or a worthy cause I have supported. However, in recent years, the stream of unwanted mail that goes above and beyond the occasional update, has seemed to escalate to the point it has undermined any effort I took over the years to curb its flow.

I used to call every sender of junk mail that I would have never solicited and requested that I be removed from their lists—and—EVEN tried to create a mailbox that would only allow for standard sized envelopes to be delivered. That worked for a little while until the carrier started leaving junk mail elsewhere. Most recently, I wanted to take a stand to curb excessive junk mail once and for all when I discovered a whole new heap of it in my mailbox from sources I could not possibly trace to any purchase I made or submission of personal information. No matter how hard I tried to connect the dots as to how this mail could have found me, I could not. Maybe there is someone out there who does not like me and thought it cute to give my name to a supplier of urinary health and control products for the elderly, as well as a manufacturer of an electronic cigarette! Who knows?

How ever this mail must have reached me, it was either going to be recycled, burned or pitched as I have always done–and to be truthful, these are tasks I wish to not have levied upon me by a relentless direct mail marketing industry, or our very own post office management which must seem to feel it is ok for the public to serve as their dumping grounds. I called the post office and spoke with the manager on how to best deal with the new wave of junk mail assault. I was given a few numbers to call for those “do not mail” services that are supposed to stop the flow, (I have already tried this in the past and have had marginal success) but after the manager offered what she must have thought to be helpful tips, I had to wonder about their interest to curb it at all when she then tells me how much they depend on the delivery of junk mail these days to keep the US Postal Service functioning!

The manager insisted their funding from the government has reached an all time low. I immediately thought that if they would find a way to stop being the sole conduit for mass mailing from advertisers, perhaps they’d save quite a bit of operating cash that goes out to simply deliver unsolicited mail which most, the moment it is received, ends up in the trash can! I also had to wonder just when has the sole purpose of the US Postal Service become about serving the needs of advertisers sending unsolicited mail?

Sure, I can understand mail order business being of value to them due to the growth in internet usage which has all but eliminated anyone ever sending a real letter anymore—But I am not talking about the USPS serving the needs of customers who have ordered products/goods/services through mail; rather, I am talking about downright plain and simple unsolicited mail. I have little pity for the struggles of the USPS if in fact, their main function and source of revenue now depends upon them sending people garbage they don’t need or never asked for!

Because of all this, I have read a lot of the latest information about how to curb the junk mail. What was so illuminating to me was being reminded of the staggering and alarming waste of natural resources that goes into this whole direct mail marketing industry from the forest that produced the trees that supplied the paper, to the journey to the landfill where most of it still goes, and all the oil used throughout the production, delivery and disposal processes.

Even if some of the junk mail is recycled, such a process still consumes energy that did not have to be wasted in the first place. So, again, if delivering junk mail is the main source of sustenance for our postal service, perhaps they need to find a new sustainable and productive function in this day and age. Think about it: From life giving forest….to paper….to junk mail….to delivery…..to garbage can…to landfill! What a futile waste of natural resources. The act, in my opinion is about as productive as bailing water out of a boat with a bucket full of holes!

The postal manger I spoke to basically justified the junk mail delivery for the sake of job preservation and her “just throw it away” attitude was a sad testament to the wasteful attitudes pervasive today. Her comments reminded me of the sentiment of the whalers of the 1800’s how they justified the endless slaughter of whales in the name of preserving the whale oil/product industry. The only difference is that we slaughter forests as the living entity. The old “destroy much to save little” ideology! (The end of the hey day of whaling didn’t give way to any kinder of an industry, but that is another story!)To top it all, the manager added that any junk mail returned or left behind is NOT recycled by USPS! The question I left her with was simple: Do you really think this is a wise use of limited resources? Well, if she didn’t think of today, maybe she will think of tomorrow and her children.

Finally, I want to take this time to pass along helpful websites that I have discovered to be very helpful in curbing the stream of waste and environmental destruction caused by junk mail. Here they are:

1. STOP THE JUNK MAIL MONSTER: http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail/index.cfm#step7

2. 41 POUNDS DOT ORG: http://www.41pounds.org/

3. DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION: https://www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/home.action

(Oh, by the way, here is a little tip too…. Just save all your junk mail in a box, black out your address on all articles….then send it back to the post office or the last or most frequent mailer of junk mail with a note that states: “YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THIS MONTH’S JUNK MAIL AWARD!”…. No, just kidding… seriously, don’t try that at home folks!)

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 3:39 PM No comments: