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I used to be VERY into Goth music. Still love it.
My wife is gonna post, too!
Just so you know, my wife will be doing some posting, too. She’ll sign her stuff. 🙂
This is the duck I cooked for Marisa and I for Thanksgiving.
Take a bird, a cast iron skillet and your favorite seasonings.
Spray the skillet with Pam and place into the oven on a middle rack at 500 degrees F.
Remove giblets and season your bird inside and out.
DO NOT STUFF!
Once the pan and oven are at 500, carefully pull the pan out onto the stove top. Place the bird, legs down, into the skillet and return to the oven. Cook for 15 minutes per pound, rounding up. Set your timer for 15 minutes LESS than the total. When the timer goes off, pull the pan and bird out of the over, quickly flip the bird over with tongs in the skillet and return all to oven for an additional 15 minutes. Remove everything from the over and place the bird onto a platter to rest for 15 minutes.
Serve, eat, enjoy, food coma. 🙂
The Icons of Kent No More…
“I WENT BACK TO OHIO / BUT MY CITY WAS GONE / THERE WAS NO TRAIN STATION / THERE WAS NO DOWNTOWN.”
Chrissie Hynde was writing about changes to Akron when she penned and recorded this song in 1982. I wonder if she knew it was to be prophetic of Kent. The town I came to be around in 1976 is slowly fading off into the realm of “That used to be…”
When Denny’s closed, few people appeared to give it a second thought; most of us were beyond the age of closing the bars and then drinking coffee and having breakfast at 3am. But it was the first in a string of places that many of us came to know and love that have since passed by the wayside. The College Street Library (it had a few other names, as well,) must have served one too many underage drinker and became a parking lot. Cheers became FedEx/Kinkos when they expanded. The Stuffed Mushroom, a foreign car garage and a few galleries were lost between the replacement of the Crain Ave. Bridge and the new Sheetz. The building that was Long John Silvers for years and years, and then an ice cream store and, finally, a cell phone store, was demoed to build the first Sheetz. The Dog House was there one day and gone the next.
None of these are nearly as iconic as the recently leveled Robin Hood Inn. Even the old Kent Hotel is being changed and renovated and developed into something new. Sadly, a living icon of Kent also has now passed away, Bob Wood, dead of a heart attack at 65. Captain Brady’s, his long-time haunt, became a Starbucks a few years back.
Change and progress is expected, needed, absolutely necessary for growth. Maybe part of the fact that I am turning 40 this year makes me feel that some of it happened too fast, and maybe not for the greater good. All of these are missed in some way, some by many, especially Bob, even if his passing is still fresh.
I want to see Kent prosper, it’s just sad to see so many memories fading into obscurity. Some of these losses are minor and will never really matter to most people, others are hugely significant. The coffee at Starbucks will never be as good as the stuff from Brady’s. The hipsters and others who hang out there will likely never be the artists, such as Bob Woods, who hung out there, making art, or poetry or just playing cards.
The Acorn Alleys, new bus terminal, and other new business are marvelous additions to the city. I don’t know that they’ll ever become iconic, as they’re already seeing tenant churn. I hope that we’re left with a few icons to admire. If Ray’s, or Mike’s, JB’s or Taco Tanto’s fall by the wayside, great connections to the past will be lost forever.
September 11 memories…
On September 11, 2001, I worked for a quasi-government organization in Northeast Ohio. We were the only officially occupied location in a 5 mile radius when Flight 93 was in CLE’s air traffic control area. We also happened to be the site of one the MANY successes resulting from the events of that morning. One of our team leads had gone to DC for a meeting a few days before 9/11. After the destruction of the towers and the subsequent nationwide air traffic stoppage, he was stranded in DC. There were no flights, every train and bus seat was booked, and there were no rental cars to be found anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard.
Jack had been gone from his family for many days, through one of the most spectacular terrorist attacks in history, and he was really wanting badly to be home with his family. We, being a large group of problem solvers, were racking our brains until one of the guys had a stroke of genius… “I bet he could rent a moving truck!” Jack dropped off our conference call and called back 10 minutes later, having rented a 24 foot Uhaul truck on his company Amex. 14 hours later, he was home with his family, and an organizational legend was born.
9/11 was a colossal failure… For the terrorists who attempted to tear the heart out of our country. The most accepted number of people inside 1WTC and 2WTC on 9/11/01 is 25,000 people. 2603 souls were lost directly as a result of the actual WTC attacks and 24 more people are still listed as missing. Only roughly 10% of the people at WTC perished. 8 in 10 walked away and went home.
Personally, 5 people I know were at WTC during the attack, including my ex-wife’s brother. None perished.
2 men I know who are firefighters were in NYC within 14 hours of the attack, doing volunteer work. One now suffers from Post WTC Lung Disease, and still doesn’t regret having gone.
A lady I know who trains search and rescue dogs had her team at the site 11 hours after the attack. It is a 13 hour drive from where she lives to the WTC site under ideal circumstances.
I remember standing at the corner of East 9th Street and Superior Avenue a few days after the attack watching a convoy of fire, construction, law enforcement and city vehicles leaving for New York, the streets lined with people waving flags and cheering for them.
I remember people standing in line for hours to donate blood… Firemen’s boots filled to the brim with money from people having dumped change or cash into them at street corners.
Yes, I remember seeing the towers collapse in real time… But those images are fading, while the ones in my mind above are not.
Of course, the anger still burns, but the pride burns stronger.
Tomorrow, please drive with your headlights on any time you are in your vehicle and fly your flag! (No matter what country you are in!)
8/29/11 – The anger has cooled.. but the memories are still vivid.
A Christian’s view on personal judgements…
Several (hundred) times over the years I have been asked a question that usually goes like this… “How can you consider yourself a good Christian? You hang out with… (homosexuals, pagans, nudists, people who are Miami Heat fans.)” It really makes me reevaluate my friendship with the person asking the question because it’s just not a very Christian attitude at all.
I have never been a huge fan of Paul’s letters in the Bible. I think Paul got a raw deal, honestly. I am fairly certain that he had NO IDEA that his letters were going to end up being canonized by the Council of Carthage into books of the Bible. If he’d have known he’d have written better and more clearly, or maybe not written at all… That said, there are some great gems to be found, my prejudice not withstanding… Romans 14:1-13 comes to mind.
14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master  that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess  to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
This is one of the rare cases where what is meant is clearly and succinctly stated. It is also backed up several other places, such as Ephesian’s 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Also in Matthew 7:1-5 “7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
If you’re a fellow Christian, the next time you think you’re OK to look at someone’s life, lifestyle, circumstance or job and to cast a negative opinion or condemnation of them because of it, perhaps you should rethink the image you are portraying in doing so. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus was asked
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Recognizing a sin means that you can choose not to engage in it yourself, it’s not a blank check to get out of the rest of what the Man taught us. Beyond all that even lies a lesson from my Grandfather John, a WWII USMC vet and survivor of island hopping in the Pacific. He instilled a few lessons in me before he passed and did so in simple words. I think I had mouth off about someone’s sexual preference or something and he spun me around and told me “when you’re 6 feet down in a sand foxhole you don’t care who the guy next to you wants to sleep with when he gets home, you care that he likes you enough to keep you alive.” Lesson learned and passed on, Pap.
Thoughts on Space…
Today was a bittersweet day for me… Being 38 years old means that I have witnessed the entire history of Nasa’s space shuttle program… In 1981 I, along with most every school-age child in America, watched the first successful launch of the shuttle’s STS-1 mission.
The first fully operation flight took place on November 11, 1982… I remember because it was my 10th birthday… Off and on from then on we would watch a launch here and there, but it wasn’t a really a HUGE deal until they decided to put a teacher into space. Christa McAuliffe was to be the first Teacher In Space. 73 seconds into the mission it all went wrong, and we all watched… I will never forget our Vice Principal, Mr. Rowe, walking down the hall crying after the explosion. Most of us who watched the first success in the shuttle program also watched it’s first failure… Older people remember where they were when Reagan was shot, or the pope, or JFK or MLK, JR… My generation remembers that we were sitting in thus and such a classroom with all of our fellow students.
Life went on… Shuttle launches became routine, same with landings… On February 1, 2003, my ex-wife and I were getting as bite to eat and watched the re-entry of of STS-107… We saw it all go wrong… as did everyone else in the restaurant… I don’t think anyone finished their meals… They just went home. And again, life went on. I was blessed to be able to witness 6 shuttle launches while living in coastal Florida… The beauty of it in person is undescribable.
The risks of spaceflight are small, but there… NASA recently released statistics saying that the first 9 missions had a 1 in 9 risk of failure. All subsequent missions had a 1 in 100 failure risk. I think if you ask most of us who have watched the shuttle grow from a test to a final landing this morning, even at the 1 in 9 risk, we’d all have jumped on. It will not be the same knowing that the shuttles are all grounded and all future flights into space will look similar to the earliest… A capsule stuck to the top of a big damned bottle rocket. Not very romantic. It’s almost like watching the passing of a friend… The shuttle has been a constant source of pride, even romantic daydreaming, for many people, myself included. It has taught us about reaching beyond the conventional, about loss, about dreams fulfilled and that sometimes a dream is just the precursor to a nightmare. But what it has taught us most of all is that through good and bad, failure and success, life goes on.
With the greatest respect to the 14 souls lost on STS-51-L and STS-107, and thanks and admiration to the thousands of people at NASA who made the whole thing possible.
Bob the Bureaucrat Goes To War
I know this guy, let’s call him Bob, and he’s a bureaucrat… Sits in a comfy government office all day, working on paperwork and dealing with members of the public, many of whom probably hate him for being what he is, by day. See, the thing is, Bob got his “cushy government job” by having the experience of leadership in the US Military. It’s easier to work for the government when you already are used to it, and they look for people who used to be military because, well, they’re damned good workers.
Bob isn’t all that intimidating to look at… He’s fit, and he keeps himself in shape, to the point that a lot of people who don’t know about his second job probably think he’s some kind of fitness nut. All the time he’s jogging, or working out, and watches his diet and stays trim and lean. Because, you see, that’s what the US Military still requires of him. After many years of active duty, and then a stint in the civilian world, Bob decided to join the reserves to make a difference. It was a place he understood, and with his degree he got as a civilian, he was officer material when he decided to go back. You’d never guess that Bob is a very special beast… A Direct Commissioned Officer… It takes the recommendation of a Congressperson to make it happen… Civilians who have special skills that are critical to sustaining military operations, supporting troops, health and scientific study may receive what are called “direct commissions.” These officers usually occupy leadership positions in the following areas: law, science, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nurse corps, intelligence, supply-logistics-transportation, engineering, public affairs, chaplain corps, oceanography, merchant marine affairs, and others. Bob does so, and is damned proud of it.
What Bob does is so important that every person in the his Reserve unit will or has gone to war. Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sand Box… And Bob is no different. He’s about to go over to the other side of the world, into the midst of a war zone, to, well, do his job. And he’s chomping at the bit to go. It’s what he’s trained for, it’s what he’s good at, it’s what he loves to do. He does not go without reservations… Most of the people who know him aren’t even being told he’s leaving… You see, feral dogs go after the families that people like Bob leave behind… The wives, the kids, the families who stay at home, and pray, and are proud of the job men and women like Bob are doing. They sit for entire deployments praying not to receive a certified letter, or a sedan full of military officers and their family preacher, or to get a call that the man or woman they love has been wounded and is being airlifted out. And those dogs have sharp teeth, but there are friends and family and loved ones who do their best to keep the family safe so that Bob does not have to worry while he’s half a world away with people all around who just don’t like him because of who he works for, and enforce it with bullets and bombs and other nastiness.
Men like Bob are the truest form of patriot. Bob doesn’t even much care for the current administration, but he doesn’t let that stop him. These people love what our country represents so much that they are willing to put their butts on the line to keep it intact. I am damned proud to have known Bob most of our lives, and damned proud to say that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the feral dogs for him. And I will pray for his safe return every day, so that other people will have the honor of knowing him. Bob, every person I have known personally who went to war has come home, and I expect you to do the same. Preferably intact! Though I can’t name your name, you are appreciated and loved and will be in my prayers every night. Thank you for what you are about to do. Most people don’t give a damn, but I do. Good Hunting.