Sunday, April 30, 2017

Put Your Action Where Your Mouth Is

We received a newsletter from our city cleverly entitled “Contract for Seven Hills”. It covered a few topics such as the road resurfacing program, the sewer repair program, and park improvements. One item of interest was called “Deer Update”.

Not a typo. It wasn’t an advice column (“Deer” not “Dear”), but an update on the hunting of deer in our city. Here’s what it said:

“As we all know, residents voted in an advisory election about bow hunting of deer. With a large majority voting in favor, Council quickly legalized bow hunting. The first season was completed. Nearly 20 people received permits and 37 deer were eliminated (5 bucks and 32 doe). This is a good first step in reducing the population. Many are aware that a resident of Seven Hills sued the City and our Law Director to overturn this legislation. The City won this case in court. The decision was appealed by the resident and the City also won in the Court of Appeals.”

For starters, I don’t hunt. It’s not the hunting itself that bothers me, it’s all the after shtuff that does. I don’t want to have to drag it back to my car (deer have been known to run quite a distance after being hit), or go through the gutting stage. I’d much rather pay my neighbor, who does hunt, for part of the butcher costs, so my wife and I can enjoy her homemade burgers that are about half venison (YUM!)

That said, I’m also not a P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) person. Don’t get me wrong; if you mistreat an animal I would happily treat you in kind. But hunting, where the meat IS consumed, is not unethical treatment of animals. Darwinists would call that "survival of the fittest".

As the article stated, a large MAJORITY voted in favor of bow hunting. One person, who I’m guessing voted against, went so far as to sue the city.

I have no problem with a person exercising their rights to voice their opinion. The problem I have is that, like say writing a blog (ahem), it is easy to complain.

We have a society that loves to complain. We have no issue voicing our opinions (like, say in a blog - ahem). Probably because it is so easy to do in our social media world.

But sue? I’m sure the lawyers involved didn’t mind the income - er - work. But come on!

If you really cared about the deer, do something about them (beyond litigious, though admittedly, that IS something). But that’s tough.

Take your own land, put a large fence around it, and have any deer found wandering around Seven Hills brought to you. You can care for them. You can feed them. You can keep them healthy. And you can let them breed to their hearts’ content.

And you can take the money for additional appeals and use it there.

But no one wants to go that far. We say we care, but only when it doesn’t impact us directly.

So, do something. Me? I’m going to enjoy my venison burger.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Five Out of Four Scientists Agree

April 22, 2017 was the March for Science.

(A side note that has nothing to do with the topic: Why do we use Month/Day/Year to express the date? It is different in other parts of the world. In the military it was Day/Month/Year. But none of those make a lick of sense to me. Ever try sorting anything by date? Why not go from the broadest to the finest construct? You wouldn’t go Minutes/Hours/Seconds would you? When I need to label something with a date, like in my journal for instance, I use Year/Month/Day.)

I’ve written my fair share of articles concerning science. I’m not anti-science, but I’m not an all-in advocate either. The reason for that is that the term “science” is used in such a broad manner, that to simply say, “Yay science!” can be considered a bit naive.

(Thus my oh-so-clever title.)

I didn’t participate in the march. I find those types of events to have very little impact overall. Mostly they are used to make ourselves feel good. If that is the impact you are looking for, then go get some comfortable shoes and get out there.

(To clarify, most marches TODAY have very little impact. Gone are the days of Martin Luther King where marches had impact. Today they are mostly anti-Trump speech.)

Most marches (I didn’t say “all marches”) are for some type of protest. To say you are marching FOR science means you are marching AGAINST the lack of funding or education, or AGAINST those who don’t agree with your particular scientific “bent”.

What I want to know is, why were you marching? What kind of science were you marching “for”?

Do you agree with advertising? Do you like being manipulated in subtle ways to purchase the latest gadget? Did you like then-candidate Trump spouting off on Twitter to get people riled up? No? Then you don’t agree with the science of psychology, because it is precisely that type of science that provides the basis for human understanding that allows such manipulation.

Or do you agree with “clean energy”? You like that birds are being killed by wind turbines? Or that the global temperature is going up in part by the reflective heat from solar panels that are OVER 60% INEFFICIENT? Or that whole towns that depend on mining coal are becoming ghost towns?

The thing is, we have this overly high opinion of ourselves that says we are SO much more intelligent than those who came before. You know, we aren’t idiots like those so-called scientists in the past that said that machines heavier than air cannot fly, or that if you traveled over 50 miles an hour you would suffocate, or that eggs are good for you (Or is it bad for you? I forget. It keeps changing.)

Remember that complete moron who only changed the way we looked at psychology? You remember: Sigmund Freud? No one would dare follow his scientific discoveries today.

But not all science is bad. It's just that much of it is financially or politically (or am I being redundant?) motivated.

So again, I ask you: when you March for Science, exactly for WHAT are you marching?

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Thank You Easter Bunny - Bawk! Bawk!

Today is Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Day, or the Day of the Chocolate Coma. I gave up “giving up things for Lent” for Lent many years ago, but my wife did the usual: she gave up desserts and sweets. At the same time I decided to consciously watch my sugar intake. I didn’t give up all sugars - I still like my beer, and alcohol IS sugar. I just decided to be more cognizant of how much I put in my gullet.

Baseball season has been a big help in the low-sugar front (outside, again, of beer - baseball and beer ARE a great combo!). Instead of nibbling on the homemade dark chocolate covered PayDay bars my wife makes (yeah, it’s like finding Nirvana in your mouth - paradise, not the band - that’s gross), I grab the salt-roasted peanuts and watch my blood pressure rise a few notches. Not that a good game of baseball doesn’t affect one’s blood pressure either. Watching the strike out that ends the inning leaving bases loaded is SO calming (sarcasm font).

But again, today is Easter Sunday. That means I’m probably going to feel like crap tomorrow at work due to the sugar hangover.

And we don’t make it easy either. We have a tall, rectangular jar with a wooden lid that we keep filled with M&Ms. Normally it sits out as decoration (and temptation to guests). Currently it sits in the far back of the snack cupboard, behind the jumbo sized bag of salt-roasted peanuts.

And for some silly reason, our refrigerator has two vegetable crisper drawers. Who needs TWO vegetable crisper drawers?!? We have one with vegetables. The other is FILLED with - you guessed it - chocolate.

My other temptation is ice cream. I’ve been to birthday parties where the host asks me which type of ice cream I’d like with my cake. I say, “Yes.”

Speaking of cake, at one family birthday gathering my mom had purchased an ice cream cake. She asked me if I wanted a piece of ice cream cake or some ice cream. I said, “Yes. Ice cream a la mode.”

So you see, deciding to watch my sugar intake has been both a blessing (weight loss) and a crisis. At 51, I believe I’m just starting to enter middle age (I’m pushing for 100+ club membership), but instead of buying a Ferrari or a timeshare in Florida, I cut back. Though less expensive, it isn’t nearly as much fun.

But enough for today. I hope you have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the delicious goodness of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. I’m going to try and be a good boy.

Right after I grab one of those dark chocolate covered PayDay bars.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I’d Like to Teach the World to Eat

The original title: "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing Eat"

My wife and I live here in beautiful Seven Hills, Ohio. I like to say that we are close enough to Parma to enjoy the pierogies, without having to wear white socks with our sandals.

Ah, pierogies. Not sure if you’ve ever had the opportunity to try this ethnic delight, but when you do, don’t even hesitate.

Over the years there has been a loving rivalry between the East and West sides of Cleveland. I’ve lived in Northfield (Eastside), Akron (Southside - okay, not even connected to Cleveland, but calling it “Southside” anyway), and now Seven Hills (Westside). I have to say, one thing I absolutely LOVE about the Westside is the food. We seem to have the corner on ethnic food: Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and a little place called Slavic Village up the road. And I’m not afraid to say I may have missed a few.

As I put fingers to keyboard (a.k.a. “pen to paper”, but who am I kidding?), the Easter holiday is rapidly approaching. My in-laws are coming to town for a visit, and all kinds of cooking and baking is taking place. On Saturday, my wife and I did a little shopping in preparation. We hit a few “ethnic” shops near us and picked up some kielbasa, ham, pierogies, and dry curd cottage cheese for paska bread.

Paska is a sweet bread with a cheese filling and raisins. At one of the bakeries we stopped at (the chocolate cake looked too good to pass up) they had mini paska breads for sale. When we pointed them out the lady at the counter asked us if we wanted any paska bread. My wife replied, “I’m baking my own.” The lady gave us a big smile.

Which brings me to the purpose for this post.

There is a lot of talk about immigration, refugees, and just how many is too many. There is a concern with people coming to America and not “assimilating”.

I’m going to approach this as a “foodie”.

I say, "Let them come here and add to the beauty that is America."

Yes, we are a melting pot, but we are also a buffet - full of many varieties and flavors. And every new ethnicity that comes only adds to that which makes us so delicious.

And yes, I believe everyone who comes should partake in the basics that make America function - including working hard and paying taxes. No one should come here and expect to be a freeloader.

But we who call ourselves Americans should not live in fear of losing our American culture. Because, without all of the different ethnicities, we HAVE NO CULTURE!

One of my co-workers went on vacation this week to Dallas, Texas. I told her to have a good time and eat well. There are foods that are local to where she is going that either you can’t find here, or if you do they don’t taste quite the same.

Ever wonder why a New York bagel does not taste like a New York bagel if made anywhere but New York? I say it’s the water. I also say it’s the atmosphere of eating a New York bagel IN New York.

Should everyone who comes here learn English? I say yes. But again, I’m selfish. I don’t know how to ask, “May I have seconds?” in any other language.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It’s the 2nd of April and I’m Ready to Stretch!

I sit down ready to blog. There are a number of things on my mind that I could write about, but what dominates my thoughts is something that has me so wired that everything else falls short. And that something?


Our Cleveland Indians hat collection
Okay, not JUST baseball, but Opening Day baseball. Today is the first official game of the season. Not for the Cleveland Indians (they play tomorrow), but for baseball in general. And my wife and I have been anxiously waiting since our Pitchers & Catchers Report party mid-February for the first pitch.

Now, there are those of you reading this that don’t give two spits about baseball. And that’s okay. I’m not going to try and convert you. To be honest, until last season I really didn’t care all that much either.

And it’s not just baseball either. I’m not into games in general. I don’t like to play them. Once I was asked to join a softball team. My response was “Softball is seven innings long, and my attention span is an inning and a half.” (Thank you Smothers Brothers for that line’s inspiration.)

My wife and I have attended an event in Utah called Nerdtacular, which is comprised of folks into technology, cosplay, comic culture, and gaming. We are attending it again this year. We love hanging with the folks there. We listen to a lot of podcasts by those who host the event, EXCEPT for those that focus on gaming. Just not interested.

At work I don’t consider myself a “team player”; I consider myself a “team worker”.

But somewhere along the line from third base to home plate, I fell in love with baseball. Not to play it. No. Not that. Again, my attention span is far too short for that. But I love to watch the game. And I don’t care who is playing. I just love to watch.

Lisa and I at Fifth Third Field for a Toledo Mudhens game

There is something magical about a well-executed double play.

We have plans to watch as many major league games as we can on TV this year, and attend as many minor league games in person as we can. Heck, we are even looking at the possibility of catching a Salt Lake Bees game when we are in Utah this summer.

And it’s weird. I’ve never been this into any sporting event before. I had a pastor who once said that football was 50k people who need exercise watching 22 people who need rest. To use my wife’s line, “this body is built for comfort, not speed”. In other words, I should be doing anything physical outside of watching a sporting event. But baseball . . .

Lisa with Muddonna of the Toledo Mudhens

One of the best parts of baseball!

Here’s to a wonderful baseball season. May your home team play above and beyond what they did last season. I know I’m going to be rooting for mine.

Now, excuse me while I go grab some peanuts and tune in a game.

Play ball!

©Emittravel 2017