Showing posts with label Ohio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ohio. Show all posts

Friday, December 15, 2023

Why Old Men Cry (Part One)

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"Old men are fond of giving good advice to console themselves for their inability to give bad examples." -Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Dear Stickies and gentlereaders,

I am, officially speaking, a member of the (in?)famous Baby Boom generation, people born between 1946 and 1964. Have you ever wondered who decided on those dates? Or the dates that bracket the Ds.O.B. of other generations? 

I consulted the worldwide web of all knowledge and the very first hit returned revealed that the rumors aren't true. There is not an obscure department — buried so deeply in the Census Bureau and staffed by bureaucrats that are the otherwise unemployable relatives of powerful Senators and Congresspersons who rarely bother to actually come to work — where this sort of thing is decided. "...through a somewhat haphazard process a consensus slowly develops in the media and popular parlance." 

Are you aware that people born in the "early 2010s" aren't Zoomers, they're Generation Alpha? Have we started over? Why wasn't I told?

{Are you wondering what this has to do with why geezers cry?}   

That's easy. A fundamental tenet of my Overflowing Cistern hypothesis includes the age of the Geezer in question, more on that in a minute.   

I recently saw an interview in which Jordan Peterson (Boomer) was asked why he cries regularly, and in public, which reminded me of former Speaker of the House John Boehner (Boomer, Red Tribe) who was regularly attacked by members and supporters of both tribes for being a lacrimaniac. 

{What's a lacrimaniac?}   

Well, technically, there's no such word as best I can tell. 

{Ah, you're making up words again.}

But in my defense, lacrimation (the secretion of tears) is a word so it follows logically that... 

Anyway, I thought the responsible thing to do, before proposing my hypothesis, was to have the research department investigate if there might be a scientific consensus; does old dudes crying have anything to do with the physiology or psychology of old dudes?

Answer, no. There are myriad opinions floating around, but no consensus. The guys couldn't even find an unimpeachable meta-study that'll be debunked at a later date.  

Therefore, for your consideration, permit me to present the Overflowing Cistern hypothesis. 

A cistern, if you're unaware, is according to Wikipedia, "...a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water."

The word waterproof is important in that in this context refers to the fact that although there's a way for water (or tears) to get in it's supposed to stay there. 

{Permit me to cut to the chase to save us all some time, big boys don't cry, right? You're cistern thingy is an obvious metaphor. At some point, the cistern all the old dudes have funneled their tears into over the years starts overflowing, right? Next thing you know a given geezer is crying at both appropriate and inappropriate times, Bohener was famous for crying about all sorts of stuff and...}

Thanks for your help, Dana. Permit me to return a compliment you have paid me on occasion, you too have a keen eye for the obvious. However, there are devils lurking in the details. 

First of all, the reason this missive began with a fascinating and informative digression about where generational names and dates come from is because I came across this information when I was researching the three sub-generations of Boomers, a phenomenon neither widely known nor discussed.

These subdivisions are important to my Overflowing Cistern hypothesis and I was searching for the approximate date Sub-2 ended and Sub-3 took over.

{Hoo-boy. Here we go again.}

Remain calm, it's really quite simple. Sub-1s are the early Boomers, and were as much influenced by the previous two generations (the Greatest Generation, 1901-27, and the Silent one, 1928-45) as they are by Sub-2 and Sub-3 Boomers. 


Right? I was trying to determine at what point during the rise of the Sub-2s (when Boomers started tossing out the tot with the Jacuzzi water) the big boys don't cry ethos morphed into the big boys should be more gentle, sensitive, and not hide their feelings ethos that the feminists convinced us would get us laid more often (which unfortunately turned out to be B.S.). 

{Oh my dog! you can't...}

That's a subject for an entirely different column I'm highly qualified to write because I confess I bought it -- hook, line, and sinker. But unfortunately, the rest of this column, for reasons not interesting enough to bother you with, will be published next week. Think of it as a cliffhanger, but in compensation... 

Update: as to the ongoing tempest in a teapot that is the Ohio legislature's stumble-bumbling-fumbling attempt to legalize weed, Ohio's five-foot-tall governor is upset.

While our state senate quickly passed a law overriding the citizen's initiative we morons recently voted for (yeah, they can do that) the house (and senate) left town to begin a month-long break for Christmas without taking any action. 

Fun facts: Our legislators have to scrape by on only $70,000 a year, but "leadership" positions pay a little better. According to ZipRecruiter, the average Ohio working stiff makes $47,000 a year. As for what the mean wage is, which I would guess is closer to 40k based on my 38 years of living here in paradise, I couldn't find it on the worldwide web of all knowledge. 

Also, according to Open the Books, Ohio has 164,821 state employees whose wages add up to $9,517,773,573.09 a year.

Anyways... It's occurred to the governor (Mike DeWine, multi-millionaire and full-time politician since 1976) that since the initiative remains in effect till our betters fix it for us it's now legal to smoke weed in Ohio but there's no place to legally buy it so people will be risking their lives by buying it on the "black market" (and not paying the 10% sin tax, which Mr. DeWine would prefer to be as much as 18%).

All over Ohio people who would never even dream of buying weed when it was illegal to smoke it for fear of paying the $100 fine if they got caught are roaming the streets in search of a connection. 

{You're making that up!}

Not the $100 fine part, that's actually all that happens. But I must also confess that our governor is at least 5 foot 6, a solid 140 pounds, and pretty sharp for a geezer pushing 80 and who doesn't cry, not in public anyway.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, October 27, 2023

The Buckeye State

Image by Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." -P.J. O'rourke 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

It occurred to me that it has been quite a while since I have written much, if anything, about my tired little town, one of many in a tired little valley that doesn't look like a valley.  

{Tired? A valley that doesn't look like one?}

As to tired, Dana, Hooterville is in the heart of the rustbelt, and despite heroic efforts to revive it and the valley in which it's located, it remains rather rusty overall.

As to the valley thing, if you found yourself passing through, particularly if you were a Yinzer (a native of Pittsburgh like me), you'd be unlikely to notice that you were technically in a valley. 

The 'Burgh is in a clearly defined, deep valley that conforms to the definition of a valley that I learned in geography class under the tutelage of Sister Mary McGillicuddy. I wonder if there's a commonly used word for a very shallow valley? 

Just a second, I'll be right back. 

Huh, according to Google/Generative AI (Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.) there are a ton of names for shallow valleys including dingle, bunny, thrutch, etceterutch. My personal favorite is cwm, a Welsh word pronounced kuum. I caught a rabbit in the cwm, so we had a Welsh rabbit for dinner. 

And now that I think about it, isn't there a tiny town in West Virginia called Dingle Bunny?

{There's something really wrong with you, you know that, right?}

Living in the Rustbelt ain't all bad. For example, recently our three-burner stove--which I bought new down at the BestBuy 16 years ago, the one near damall?--which originally had four burners transformed, literally overnight, into a two-burner, both of which were clearly not long for this world. 

Not good, particularly given the current cash flow crunch here at Casa de Chaos. However, in short order, we secured a surprisingly decent one from the next tired town over for $100, and the old one vanished the next day.

{A hundred bucks! Vanished?}
As to the price... it's better not to ask any questions. Pay the money, load up the stove, say thanks, and get out of Dodge. As to vanished, we have a very dedicated and discrete group of voluntary recyclers in the area who are happy to deal with anything made of metal left out on the curb.

We once shoved a very large, very dead air conditioner out of a first-floor window and into the yard, intending to drag it to the curb the next day. In about an hour, a very polite, if somewhat disheveled gentleman knocked on the front door to inquire if we had made funeral arrangements yet for the dead appliance in question. 

He recycled it quickly and efficiently with our blessing and our thanks.

There's an off-year election coming up, (11/7),  in which the good citizens of the Buckeye State will decide if, going forward, weed, with the requisite sin tax and no shortage of silly Rules&Regs, will be recreationally legal, not just medically legal as it is now.


Well, after all, it is a weed, and I'm led to believe it's not difficult to grow, particularly since instructions, advice, and equipment are easily acquired. My favorite caveat? You can legally grow your own, as long as you don't have more than six plants, 12 if there are at least two adults in the household that are 21 or older. 

After all, like tobacco, you're not allowed to use it till you're 21. However, it's still legal to join the military or star in a porno if you're at least 18.  

Also, possessing more than 2.5 ounces is illegal, but that's not silly. That's just Ohio trying to make sure that sin and state and local sales taxes are being collected, and that the shady-looking dude that hangs out in front of the 7-Eleven and his colleagues aren't dodging both sales and income taxes and underselling their legal competitors. 

This might seem odd given that the Republicrats, the party of small government, currently have an iron grip on most of our carefully gerrymandered state, but maintaining a full-time, two-house legislature, 24x7 x365 ain't cheap. Neither is maintaining numerous tired, tiny towns that all have their own government employees, school systems, police departments, zoning boards, etc. 

Having friends in low places, I could have weed delivered to my front door, with no delivery charge, by making a phone call. I haven't been a regular user in decades but I'm voting yes so that those who do choose to indulge can do so knowing the source of the product and know that nothing dangerous/crazy has been added to tweak its potency. 

There's another issue to vote on this year, a proposed constitutional amendment no less, that guarantees abortion rights to the women of Ohio. This, as you might imagine, has generated endless Sturm und Drang... all of it unnecessary. 

Long story short:

Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supremes but Ohio already has a law in place restricting abortion (21 weeks and 6 days), a law the majority of its citizens support.

The masters of morality in control of the Ohio Legislature pass a law that limits abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, that is promptly, and currently, blocked by an injunction. 

A ballot initiative, a broadly worded amendment (thus guaranteeing endless litigation if it passes) to amend the Ohio Constitution to include abortion rights is added to the ballot. 

Money is pouring in from outside Ohio by people and organizations on both sides of the issue to fund information/disinformation campaigns. 

Our 76-year-old, five-foot-tall governor (whose son is an Ohio Supreme Court justice) and his wife have released their own ad. They both look right into the camera and lie their bums off, stating that if the amendment passes partial-birth abortion will be legal in Ohio. 

They neglect to mention that there's a federal law in place that bans that barbaric procedure nationwide.   

{Ain't it cool that the German phrase Sturm und Drang sounds like what it means in English? Is Mike Dewine really five feet tall?}

Nah, I lied. Go Buckeyes!

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).

Saturday, August 5, 2023


A Republican State?

 Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in debilitating psychological trauma.  



Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." -Unknown  

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

As my regular readers are awareI live in a fortified lair, Casa de Chaos, in the mountains of Ohio. 

Ohio is a Republican stronghold these days although we do have a token Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown, our Senior Senator (in more ways than one, he'll be 71 in November) who's been a politician for all but two years of his life since leaving college.

His brother, Charlie Brown, was the Attorney General of West (by God) Virginia from 1984 to 1989 when, according to Wikipedia,  "...he exchange for an end to a grand jury investigation into allegations that he lied under oath and into his campaign financial records." And which resulted in a very brief Wikipedia entry.

{Charlie Brown? You're making that up!}

No I'm not, Dana, follow the link.
My current official position concerning America's two major political parties can be summed up by Mercutio's famous declaration in Romeo and Juliet, "A plague o' both your houses! They have made worms meat of me."

{Thou wouldst have us believe thou art a Shakespeare fanboy, gentle sir?} 

We studied a condensed version of Romy and Julie in high school and I saw the (in?)famous 1968 movie version that very briefly featured Romy's bum and Julie's boobs. 

The teenage actors, now in their 70s, were so scarred by the experience they sued Paramount — 55 years later — for half a billion bucks, although unsuccessfully. And I'm definitely a Mark Knopfler fanboy whose song Romeo and Juliet is a favorite of mine (but not the kinda dumb video).

But I'm drifting, Dana.

{As is your wont, gentle sir.}  

All things considered, I'd rather live in a state where the Republicans are in charge rather than one in which the Democrats are because California. California reveals everything you need to know about the current state of the Democratic Party.

Big BUT, Ohio, like California, demonstrates what can happen when one-party rule is in effect. 

There's going to be a special election this week, in feckin' AUGUST! (8/8/23) to gut an Ohio tradition that's been in effect since 1912. 

There are elections every year somewhere in Ohio. We not only have off-year elections we have off-off-year elections. This year there will be statewide elections in August and November. The one in August only has one issue (no humans) on the ballot to vote for or against. 

It will cost the good citizens of Ohio about $20,000,000. 

{It can't wait till November?}


The powers that be are using the August election to change the rules in the middle of the game to help them defeat a ballot issue in the November election that will expand abortion rights — if the citizens of Ohio agree to do so. 

Currently, the carefully gerrymandered GOP supermajority has decreed that abortions are only permitted for the first six weeks of pregnancy and they don't want to take the chance that the voters might disagree. 

If next week's ballot initiative (initiated by the legislature) passes, come November it will take 60% of Ohio voters to expand abortion rights. Since 1911, ballot initiatives have only required 50% + 1 vote to pass. 

Going forward, not only will it take 60% to pass an initiative, the Rules&Regs for citizens seeking to get an initiative placed on the ballot will tighten dramatically. Bottom line: much harder to initiate, much harder to pass. 

Given how polarized Americans are just now, getting 60% of voters to agree on anything, anywhere, is obviously a tough sell. 

And by the way, since the old Rules&Regs will still be in effect on Tuesday, it will only take 50% + 1 voter to pass the new Rules&Regs, and the taxpayers are on the hook for the $20,000,000 regardless of the result.

Machiavelli smiles. 

A very long story short: At the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1912, Teddy Roosevelt spoke in favor of the creation of the current system. “I believe in the initiative and the referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative.”  

The referendum on referendums passed and it became possible for anybody to start a petition drive to amend the Ohio constitution, propose a new law, or overturn an existing one. Get enough signatures and the proposed statute or amendment will be on the ballot. 

If 50% of the voters, and that nut job from Newton Falls support it (+1), it passes. 

(Irony alert. The referendum that permitted initiatives and referendums passed with 57.5% of the vote. If the proposed new Rules&Regs had been in effect it wouldn't have passed.) 
Last January, the legislature passed HB 458, an election reform law. According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose the bill, among other things, did away with "...August special elections – a costly, low-turnout, and unnecessary election for our county boards to administer – unless it involves a political subdivision or school district that is in a state of fiscal emergency."

(It's a tradition in Ohio for subdivisions and school districts to use August elections to get unpopular levies passed with the help of low voter turnout. F.Y.I., despite allegedly being a Republican state, Ohio has a sales tax, sin taxes, property taxes, local special levies, local income taxes, and a state income tax.) 
Last May, they decided that there would be at least one more special state-wide August election, hoping to bump 50% to 60% before the abortion vote this fall, hopefully while no one was paying attention. The good news is that a lot of ones were, and are, paying attention. The Democratic Party, among others, has made sure of that.

{Wait-wait-wait. Aren't you the one that's written about the wisdom of America's founding pasty patriarchs setting up a republic to counteract the downsides of democracy? Couldn't "initiatives and referendums" proposed by Wokies or Normies get ugly?} 

Potentially, sure. Another big BUT: since 1913, only 71 citizen-driven ballot initiatives made it to the ballot and just 19 were approved by voters. That's an average of once every six years or so.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, December 31, 2021

You May Not Be Interested In Politics...

But politics is interested in you

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
                                                                                              -Mao Zedong 

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

{Wait-wait-wait. Leon Trotsky's famous quote isn't "You may not be interested in politics..." it's "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."}

Actually, it's not. Being a semi-responsible columnist I've done my research and it appears highly unlikely that Trotsky should get the credit. It's a very complicated story that I'll spare you and my gentlereaders. 

{We appreciate that, and ain't you the clever little columnist for cashing in on it anyway?}

Thanks, Dana, I think so too, which brings us to congressional redistricting by the legislature of my beloved home state, Ohio. One of the ten American states that have full-time legislatures. Lucky us! 

{It does? And didn't you recently write a column about Ohio and 35,000 misprinted license plates? And isn't Ohio the same state you never tire of reminding people that you're only temporarily residing in — for the last 35 years? Is this column now only about the goings-on in Ohio?}

Yes, it does. Yes, I did. Yes, I do. No, it isn't. Think of this as a sequel if you like. Ohio part two, Politics. Read on, Macduff! 

{And now you're deliberately misquoting another misquote?}

Good point, mayhaps a theme is emerging. If it pleases the court, I need to supply some background information. 

The majority of the current 135 members of the Ohio legislature, 98.6% of the members of the executive branch, and...

{You pulled that percentage out of your...}  

Technically speaking, mayhaps, but it still serves...and four of the seven current Ohio Supreme Court justices are Republicans.

{Hold on there, Sparky. The supreme court justices are non-partisan!}

All that means here in the Buckeye State is that although they're creatures of the party that nominates them, there's no tiny R. or D. next to their names on the ballot when they're running for office. 

{Is mayhaps the word of the week? Is it even a real word?}

Not long ago the legislature approved, and the governor signed, a law that redraws Ohio's congressional districts. I shall spare my gentlereaders (and Dana) all but a minimum of the gory, insanely complicated details.

Suffice it to say that Otto Von Bismark's famous quote, "Laws are like sausage. Better not to see them being made" comes to mind.

{Let me guess, he didn't actually say that, right?}

Apparently not, but I don't recommend following this link. The article from Quote Investigator that it links to is rather, um, sausage-like. 

Bottom line: The redistricting, which is supposed to last till the next national census in 2030 will only last for four years when fresh sausage will have to be made. That's assuming it withstands the legal challenges that are already being litigated. 

The new law could be used to teach gerrymandering 101. Starting next year my current congressional district (a weakening but still Democratic stronghold) will have grown a tail that's seven Republican counties long.

As my late father-in-law would say, "A blind man could feel it with a walking stick." 

{Let me guess, he didn't actually say that.} 

Sure he did, why do you ask? 

Fun Ohio Fact: Our Republican governor's son is a Republican Ohio Supreme Court justice who has made clear he doesn't see any need to recuse himself from the law's challenges before the Ohio Supreme Court.  

{You're a Republican, shouldn't you be glad that...}

No, I'm not, and I'd be embarrassed if I were. 

As of now, I'm America's only official Neorepublican, and I'm running for king in 2024 — follow this column for details. The Democratic party is controlled by Wokies; the Republican party is a personality cult in thrall to the Donald.

For now, let me just point out that we Neorepublicans are primarily motivated by reviving America's founding principles. Reluctantly, I must step in to save the Republic.

{Gee, thanks. but what about the vaguely menacing title/subtitle of this missive?} 

Everything above has been about building to my big finish which the citizens of any given state can relate to, not just the citizens of Ohio. 

The story of the in-your-face sleazy politics perpetrated by the Ohio Republican Party has vanished faster than the story about the driverless rogue SUV that attacked a Christmas parade in Wisconsin.

If the blatant gerrymandering isn't stopped in court the people here in Hooterville, and certain other now-former Democratic strongholds in Ohio, are going to be very unpleasantly surprised come November 28th, 2022.  

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, December 10, 2021


Collector's items on sale!

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown. 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"You can't go into Youngstown, Ohio, and tell everybody they're going to be retrained and go work for Google or Apple." -Michael Avenatti

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Ohio, temporarily my home state, and where I have lived for the past 35 years, recently was the subject...

{Given the undeniable fact you're old I'm guessing you weren't born there?} 

Correct, and as I clearly stated in another column, it's not Ohio, it's me.

{You're supposed to post a link to that column. I have it on good authority that's good search engine optimization (SEO). How do expect the Goog to find and offer up your column to some unsuspecting someone who's searching for some sort of information having something to do with say, Ohio, who turns out to be an internet "influencer," who will promote our brilliant work to his/her/their followers, whereupon, we will go viral and become rich and famous just like that?}

I've got a hooge (always try to link to another page on your website) problem with both the words our and brilliant work, but that aside, did you notice that the very title of this column is a word that all sorts of random users might have occasion to use, and that I not only repeated Ohio in the first sentence in bold, I've also re-repeated the word Ohio since, and now that you've got me thinking about it this would probably be a good place to link to content on another website (about SEO) which is also good for optimizing search engines, not just the Goog, to hopefully send an unwary reader or three my way. 

Or, I could just write my column because I really like to, concentrate my efforts on writing a good column, and hope for the best. 

{Balderdash! There's no money in that!}

Tell me about it. But still, there's something to be said for writing for a small, cheap discerning, audience. No pressure, just pleasure.

{Whatever, Dude. But ain't this supposed to be a column about Ohio, not trying to not so subtly warn Stickies and gentlereaders about how people like you are trying to manipulate them for fun and profit via the internet?}  

Ohio, temporarily my home state, and where I have lived for the past 35 years, was recently the subject of a very brief Associated Press article. I went a-googlin' and discovered that it had been published, in one form or another, on the website of many a news outlet:

Ohio printed 35,000 wrong Wright Brothers license plates 

You see, a banner, wafting in the breeze that says Birthplace of Aviation — was attached to the wrong end of the Wright brothers plane.

{In somebody or others defense, I gotta say it looks, to me, like the banner is attached properly. But let me guess, you fell in love with the phrase, wrong Wright Brothers, right?}

Wrong. All right, you're right. But it was a quote from a state spokesperson included in the article that triggered a crank attack. 

'"We will recycle the 35,000 plates that had been printed. It is too early to know about if there will be any additional cost,' said Lindsey Bohrer, assistant director of communications with the Ohio Department of Public Safety."

I'm sure that Lindsey Bohrer, as well as the other (roughly) 50,000 H. sapiens that work for the state of Ohio (as of 2017 anyway), are, on average, very nice people (you'd be amazed...maybe not, at how difficult it is to find current numbers) and that the same can be said for the 132 full-time legislators.   

BIG BUT, additional cost? None of these 50,132 people thought of 2 words, eBay?

{Two words?}

Well, two words mashed together, Echo Bay, tweaked, presumably to capitalize on a then-current fad to insert an e (for electronic) in front of any and all internet-related ventures. Echo Bay by the by, was the name of the consulting company run by eBay's founder, Pierre Omidyar. 

{What the hell are you...}

If one of the first items sold on AuctionWeb (eBay's predecessor) by Omidyar was a busted laser pointer for $14.83 — the busted laser pointer that launched a gazillion transactions — surely it would be easy to sell 35,000 "collector's items" in a market consisting of 7,900,000,000 potential customers?

Misprinted Ohio license plate - Mint condition, never used - Shipped to you in the same authentic plastic sleeve the Ohio BMV uses for regular license plates - Comes with a certificate of authenticity that looks like a standard Ohio vehicle registration! 

And, Ohio can then pay itself sales tax. Win/win!

{This is a very weird column...}

Said the imaginary literary device.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Stuck In Ohio

 A Mr. Cranky's 'hood column. What are the four seasons of Northern Ohio?

👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted. Reading via monitor/tablet is recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Intended for H. sapiens that are — in the words of the late, great bon vivant and polymath, Professor Y. Bear — "Smarter [and cooler] than the av-er-age bear." 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader 

"There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism." -Alexander Hamilton 

{I see what you did there.}

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Fall (aka, almost winter) has come to my corner of Flyoverland and I'm still Stuck in Ohio (there's a bumper sticker...). I've been temporarily living here for 36 years. I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and all but one of my six siblings still live there, four above ground and one below. 

My big brother Ed was the first one that I remember calling Ohio the Flatlands after I landed here, and promptly got stuck. He was living in southwestern Pa., not far from the West Virginia panhandle at the time. He's now on the West Virginia side of the border — same difference. 

Lots of hills and lots of economic stagnation. Lots of relatively cheap houses too, but prices have risen in the more desirable spots. Ohio's no slouch when it comes to economic stagnation but we do have Columbus, which is rockin', and which is flat. 

I left Pennsylvania for Texas in the fall of '84 seeking a geographic cure for a broken heart. Pure serendipity; an opportunity that appeared when I needed it. 

I had the best year of my life there (so far) that included meeting my wife and stepdaughter. The bad news is that it culminated in getting stuck in Ohio, a long story that I will spare you.

{I think I speak for all of your gentlereaders when I express my sincere thanks.} 

You're welcome, Dana. My apologies to those that like living in the Flatlands. It's not you, it's me. If it makes you feel any better the woman that I ran to Texas to try and forget (I'm not foreign legion material) used a variation of that classic line on me. 

Also, Texas (with the exception of the mind-melting heat), with one of the world's larger economies and a legislature that only convenes for 140 days every other year (by law), is a tough act to follow. 

{You should've joined the circus.}

Oddly enough, Dana, that never occurred to me. Ironically enough, a bit of research revealed that the Cirque du Soleil started up in 1984. I coulda been a star! Why are you laughing? Anyways, speaking of panhandles, Ed, you ain't seen flatlands if you haven't seen the Texas panhandle. But I digress. 

{As your gentlereaders have come to expect, if not necessarily love. Will this column be returning to Ohio anytime soon?}   

Fall is my favorite season in Ohio. Spring (aka, still winter) is often wet, cold, and snow-covered. 

{Living southeast of the Lake Erie snow machine might have something to do with that, you should move to Southern Ohio. Milder weather.}

Hmmm... the Cincinnati side or the West Virginia side?

{Well, a lot of West Virginia's really pretty, almost... heavenly.}

I once knew a guy that said he was going to wait till the last person moved out or died and then make an offer.

{Are you trying to offend as many gentlereaders as possible?}

Sorry, offended gentlereaders, it's not you, it's me. Summer in Ohio this year (aka, construction) was construction in the rain this year. On the other hand, gnats and mosquitoes had a hell of a summer. 

{Geesh, I'm outta here, go for a walk or something will ya?} 

In the name of sucking it up Buttercup, let me unequivocally state that fall in Ohio can be amazing. 

It never rains every day, even in a year like this one. And even though the Stickies are wearing masks again, and even though there's already talk of reviving the unmitigated disaster called remote learning, migrating geese will soon begin staging in the parking lot of the recently abandoned nursing home across the street from Casa de Chaos.   

It warms my calloused heart to see all the trouble people go to in these parts to avoid disturbing our temporary guests even though they often leave unwanted souvenirs behind and even though I'm jealous that I'm not headed south for the winter. 

I heard my first distinctive HONK just the other day, the same day I saw an eagle, first one in a while, patrolling overhead in search of breakfast when I was on my morning walk.

Soon there will be that perfect morning or three when the sun melts the light frost covering the Kool-Aid-colored leaves and renders the resulting water drops as diamonds dripping from the many tall, old trees in old Mr. Cranky's neighborhood.  

Wouldn't it be cool if the hair of H. sapiens of a certain age turned various bright colors instead of grey or white (but didn't fall out)?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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