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The Sandwich Shop

These are my thoughts. They are based on what I see going on around me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

I know very little about myself. If I did know myself better, I probably wouldn't be doing this.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Murder Of Convenience by George Corneliussen

You may or may not hear about his story in the media in your part of the country. Even if you don't, this will no doubt be the saddest story you've heard in a long time.
Two weeks ago, Liz Carroll passed out in a public park outside of Cincinnati. When she awoke, she made a 911 call. When rescuers arrived on the scene Ms. Carroll was treated. At that time, she claimed that her three children plus her 3-year-old foster child ( Marcus Fiesel ) were with her. The rescue workers did find her three children, but they did not find her 3-year-old foster child.
Ms. Carroll made a plea for the rescue workers to find young Marcus. Within hours, a televised news conference was held at which time Ms. Carroll pleaded with viewers to help find her child. Although no traces of Marcus was found, hundreds of volunteers searched the area for days.
For two weeks the entire Cincinnati area was on alert and searching for Marcus Fiesel. Yesterday Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters held a press conference to announced what his office had discovered the truth surrounding the disappearance of Marus Fiesel. Rather than tell you what the truth about young Marcus' dissappearance was, I'll let you read excerpts from Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Sharon Coolidge's story that appeared in the paper today.__________________________________________________
"Marcus left in closet, burned " 3-year-old's foster parents accused of locking him up while they went to reunion By Sharon Coolidge / Enquirer Staff Writer (Tuesday, August 29, 2006)
Marcus Fiesel's foster parents knew all along their missing boy was dead, say Hamilton County prosecutors.
They knew, prosecutors say, because Liz and David Carroll Jr. left the 3-year-old alone for two days in a locked closet while they attended a family reunion. They knew because David Carroll later burned and hid Marcus' body.
They knew even as they cried before TV cameras, begging the community to help them find the missing boy.
Everyone was aware, everyone covered up," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters at a press conference, flanked by Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis and Clermont County Prosecutor Don White.
"It really is one of the most heartless things I've ever seen," Deters said. "The bottom line is you wouldn't treat a dog like this."
Leis added, "In my 35 years involved in law enforcement, this is the worst I've seen."
A Hamilton County grand jury indicted the Carrolls on Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and two charges of child endangering, one for putting Marcus' safety at risk, the other for excessive restraint over a prolonged period of time.
David Carroll Jr., 35, also was charged with gross abuse of a corpse, accused of burning the body in Brown County.
Deters said those charges are preliminary, meant to hold the Carrolls during the investigation.
He said more serious charges are expected.
Both are being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center
Prosecutors say they believe the boy's body was burned in Brown County and the remains were later dumped in or near the Ohio River.
Investigators spent Monday evening searching for Marcus' remains in Brown County at a two-story stone chimney, all that's left of a home on Marriott Road that burned years ago, said the owner of the property.
" We never smelled any smoke," said Mike Cales, 37, owner of the 85-acre property. His home is on the opposite side of the property from the chimney.
But he smelled smoke late Monday as he hovered near the chimney after investigators left.
Thousands of people searched for Marcus since Aug. 15, when Liz Carroll said she fainted in Juilfs Park in Anderson Township and Marcus wandered off.
That same day Marcus had an appointment with Women, Infants and Children, a health and nutritional program for low-income children under the age of 5.
As the days slipped by there was no sign of the little boy, who was placed in the Carrolls' care in April because Marcus was found wandering in the street the night of April 22. The Carrolls were paid $1,000 a month to care for the little boy, who was developmentally delayed and suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He had the mental capacity of a 12- to 18-month old.
Liz Carroll told The Enquirer on Aug. 21 that neither she nor her husband hurt Marcus.
As time went by, authorities grew suspicious of the Carrolls.
A break came Monday after the case went to a grand jury, Deters said.
He said investigators gathered information that showed the couple left their Union Township rental home the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 4, for Liz Carroll's family reunion in Williamstown, Ky., leaving Marcus in a small closet inside a playpen-type crib with no food or water, just an electric fan.
"They intentionally left him there," Deters said.
The Carrolls returned home at 7 a.m. Sunday to find Marcus dead, Deters said.
David Carroll Jr. then took Marcus' body to an abandoned house in Brown County and burned it, Deters said.
Four days later the Carrolls told a caseworker Marcus was ill, turning her away, Deters said. That gave them five days to cook up the tale they told in Juilfs Park.
Authorities said the hoax ultimately worked against them because they started to contradict themselves in their public statements.
These are my words:
If we can tear ourselves away from the sensational aspects of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel's tragic death long enough to look at the big picture, we will see traces of blame in all of us.
We have dismantled just about every social obligation we have, not only as a community, but as a nation, and replaced them with window-dressing that does a lousy job, but relieves us of any guilt we might feel about what it is we no longer have the time to be bothered with..
Do we really care about protecting the innocent ? Can a murdered human being be more innocent than 3-year-old Marcus was ? Simply seeking revenge against Liz and David Carroll Jr. will be a slap in the face to the memory of young Marcus. This horrible, tragic event is an opportunity to look ourselves in the face and ask ourselves, " Whose fault is this?". I know that even though I do not personally know anyone involved in this case, I feel guilt over the fact that this has happened. The time for change has come, and young Marcus Fiesel has paid the ultimate price to provide the opportunity for it.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

The People vs. The Jetsons, A Class Action Suit
George Corneliussen
Updated: 12:37 a.m. PT May 25, 2006 - Plaintown, Pennsylvania
Sam Smith, age 52, a resident of the small town of Plaintown, Pennsylvania, has filed a class action suit against the entire Jetsons family, stars of the animated televison series named after them that originally aired in 1962. In his suit, Mr. Smith names all Americans over the age of fifty as co-complaintants in the suit.
When asked what the motivation behind the class action suit was, Mr. Smith replied, " They've not only ruined my life, they've ruined the lives of countless other American men and women who believed the lies they spread through the guise of a cartoon show. They claimed they lived in the 21st Century, right ? Well, this is the 21st Century and where are all the things they promised us? Where are the robots ? Where are the flying cars ? Where are the floating sidewalks ? And most of all, where 's the life of leisure they promised all of us ? We're all working longer and harder than we've ever worked before, not less and easier the way The Jetsons claimed we would. We're all out here hanging on by our fingernails while The Jetsons are living large off forty years of cartoon royalties. It's just not fair. It's time for the entire Jetson family to pay for all the years they've been lying to us. They've ruined lives, millions of lives. If we had known life was going to turn out like this, none of us would have sat around watching the lies they spread on that TV show of theirs."
Far Fetched ? Anyone over the age of fifty remembers the days when our whole society was talking about the utopian life we would all be leading by the year 2000. Now that that the year 2000 has come and gone, the only thing we remember about 2000 is that it was the year Microsoft put out a really lousy version of Windows. But I digress.
Through the latter part of the 1950's and all through of the 1960's, our society was totally convinced that Utopia was the destination we were all headed for. I remember sitting in front of my family's black-and-white TV in the late 1950's watching all sorts of science fiction shows that showed how perfect life would be in the not-so-distant future. No one would have to worry about health , food, housing, or money ( many sci-fi shows claimed there would be no money in the future; everyting would be free ).
In 1962, I remember sitting in my sixth grade class as my teacher told us about how one day, in our lifetime, food would come in a tube like toothpaste or how a single pill would contain an entire turkey dinner. That same teacher used to tell us that by the time we grew up, there wouldn't be any regular cars; we'd all have flying cars. ( Funny what your mind decides is important when you're a kid. I remember actually worrying about having to learn how to land a flying car. What if I crashed ? Would I be in trouble ? ).
The fifties and sixties were an amazing time in the area of the mechanical sciences. Imagine what it felt like growing up watching "space movies" with spaceships, flying saucers, ray guns, spacemen, and interplanetary travel, and then one day in July of 1969 a manned spacecraft actually lands on the moon. In the fifties, a "portable televsion" was something that two men with a handtruck could move.By the early sixties there were transistor radios the size of a pack of cigarettes. It was a time that was hard not to buy into. A time when the triumph of the human spirit was being marketed with as much gusto as the "American Idol" is today.
When the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" came out in 1968, the dream was already losing quite a bit of its shine. By the time the 70's were over, it had all but been completely erased . When the 80's rolled around, all dreams of equality and leisure in the future were replaced by a " get the other guy before he gets you" mentality; and the way to do that was to work harder and build a power base. Taking time off was for losers.
The 90's saw the generation that grew up on dreams of a utopian future becoming parents and having kids of their own. These kids were raised in a world filled with dreams of Terminators, Predators, and other not-so-utopian things . Now we kids of the fifties and sixties are becoming grandparents and in so doing are finding ourselves coming full circle. We dream of a utopian world for us and our grandkids, a world filled with flying cars, and floating sidewalks, a world where the family is always together and always happy in a world that lives in peace. Funny how the circles in life tend to do that.
It does make you wonder just what would the Jetsons' family life be like in the real 21st Century, instead of the cartoon version of the 21st Century they sold us some forty-plus years ago.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Communication Breakdown ( It's always the same )

George Corneliussen

( Communication breakdown, It's always the same, I'm having a nervous breakdown, Drive me insane! - Led Zeppelin )
One of my favorite games that we played when we were kids didn't even have a name. If it did have a name, I never knew what it was. To play this game we needed at least a dozen kids, but the more kids we had the more fun the game was to play.
The rules of the game were simple. The dozen or more kids playing the game would stand in a circle facing outward with their backs to the inside of the circle ( it was important that we not be able to make eye contact in order for the game to be played correctly ). Then someone would be designated as the "first" person in the circle. That person would then tell a short story to the person on their right. These stories had to describe something someone had done and contain no more than three or four sentences. Example: "Sally went to the store to buy ice cream. She met Harry on the way. Harry started talking to her about baseball. Sally forgot all about the ice cream."
After the first person in the circle told the story to the person on their right, that person had to tell the same story to the person on their right, and so on, and so on, until the story made it all the way around the circle back to the person who started it.
The fun part of the game came when the last person in the circle told the story back to the person who started it. The story was never even close to the version of the story that started the game. By the time the story of Sally's trip to buy ice cream made it's way around the circle it would sound something like, "Sally's mom yelled at her for eating all the ice cream. Harry felt sorry for her so he took her to a baseball game. Harry tripped on the way to the baseball game and broke his leg."
At this point, everyone in the circle would laugh wildly and compare notes to try to find out how the story got so messed up. Once that was figured out, the circle would reform and a new "first" person would start a new story on its journey around the circle. No matter how many times we played this game, the story never made it all the way around the circle intact.
I don't hear much about kids playing this game anymore, or about adults reminiscing about playing it when they were kids. I think I know why that is..........................
A game ( a way of playing; pastime; amusement;diversion ) is only entertaining when it is in opposition to the norm. A game is always the most entertaining when it takes our minds to a place it doesn't normally go. Now that telling a story inaccurately is the the norm in our society, why would anyone want to entertain themselves doing it ? That would be like someone who works in an office cubicle all day pretending they were sitting in one on their days off.
If you think about why the "circle game" works, it's not hard to figure out. Once the story is set into motion, there is no reference to the source available. Each person in the circle becomes "the whole ball of wax" when it comes to interpreting and communicating the story to next person. The first time a player in the circle isn't paying attention or misunderstands what has been told them, the mutation of the story begins. Then it's only a matter of time before the mutation gets mutated.
If the players in the circle were facing each other, the game wouldn't work. The person who started the story would be following the story around the circle and immediately correcting anyone who told the story incorrectly. The story would make it around the circle accurately every time, but there wouldn't be any fun in playing the game.
Isn't that what we've become as a society ? Aren't we all constantly setting stories into motion and never following up on the accuracy with which they are retold ? Isn't this why nothing in our society means the same thing to any two people? Haven't we all turned our backs on one another when it comes to communication ?
Let's look at the "big picture" for a moment. Are there any products, goods, or services you can think of where the story one end of the circle tells matches the story the other end of the circle tells ? When you deal with a person on a "professional" level , whether it is buying something, using something, or requesting a service, do you get the impression that the person you are dealing with face to face, over the phone, or through correspondence, has the same understanding of the product, good, or service as the owner the company that provides it does ?
Are you surprised when a product offers a "100% unconditional guarantee" and a representative of the company who sold you the product tells you the guarantee is void because you've "used the product"? Are you surprised when the local utility company bills you twice for the same month's usage and when you complain, the service representative thinks you are trying to sign up as a new customer ? Are you surprised when a local elected official publishes their headquarter's phone number, but when you call the number, you are told the elected official in question does not take personal phone calls?
I contend all the things that made the "circle game" so much fun are now a part of everyday life, so we can't entertain ourselves playing the game. We stand with our backs to each other, never make eye contact, never follow up on anything we start, and never correct mistakes along the way. To be fair though, there is one major difference in the way we play the "circle game" in real life.
In real life, when the mutated story makes it all the way around the circle, instead of everyone laughing and comparing notes to see where and how the story got so messed up, the person who started the story simply retells the mutated version of the story and sends it on its journey around the circle all over again. Deja Boo-Boo all over again.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ANALOGY (from Wed. Feb. 12, 2003 )

Analogy: 1. a likeness in some ways between things that are
otherwise unlike; similarity.
2. comparison of such things.

Are you searching for a way to describe the way the current world situation makes you feel ?
Would you feel better if you could express that feeling of being where you belong, but also feeling like you are terribly out of place?
Would you like to express that frightning feeling of knowing that something is terribly wrong, but nobody seems to notice it but you ?
Would you like to describe that stomach turning feeling of wanting to get out of a situation before someone notices you, and something terrible happens to you ?
Try this for an analogy:
Remember that dream where you suddenly realize that you're at school, and you're only wearing your underwear ? That one pretty much covers all the bases.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"I Met An American"
by: George Corneliussen
Originally Written 5/11/04

Last weekend we pulled into a Meijer's gas
station,it was in the lot of a Meijer's store.I
filled up,got back in our vehicle, and turned
the key.Click,dead battery!I had a plug in
battery charger with me, so I asked the folks
working at Meijer's if I could plug it in and
charge my battery enough to get our vehicle
Long story short,they said no.I could buy a new
battery from the main store, but charging my
battery was out of the question. It was too much
of a potential liability.Couldn't I just go away?
At the risk of being labeled a profiler,I'll say
that everyone at the Meijer's store looked like
they were born and raised in the U.S.
Across the street was a Shell station,I walked
over.The station was managed by a middle eastern
man who gave us more help than you would
believe. Long story short,he let us charge our
battery. When the charge didn't work he drove
his car over to our vehicle and gave us a jump.
When the jump didn't work he drove us home so we
could get our checkbook and buy a new battery.
We drove our other car back so he didn't have be
bothered. All together he spent about two hours
with us. As I was hooking up our new battery I
heard my wife talking to someone; it was our new
friend he was back. He wanted to make sure we
were O.K.
Not until the new battery started our vehicle
did he shake hands one last time and leave. My
wife offered to at least pay for the gas he
burned up running us around,he refused.
Between all the things he did to help us we
talked to him about many things. He was born in
Egypt. He became an American citizen ten years
ago.He said America's system might not be
perfect, but it was the best one he had ever
lived in.He said he was worried about how his
fellow American's seemed to be freely giving up
the freedoms that made America great.He was
puzzled and bothered by the number of native
born Americans who didn't know their own
history.He made it clear how much he cared about
In short, he was everything you would expect an
American to be. His name was Hany and he was
born in Egypt.
PS:I bought my new battery at Auto Zone, not
Meijer's, guess where I'm buying my gas from now
Apathy: a state of mind caused by lack of
participation by that mind .

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shipwreck Of The "General Grant", A Firsthand Report (1869)

George Corneliussen

If you are a fan of the television show "Lost", you will enjoy reading about the real thing.

This is the first chapter of " Shipwreck Of The General Grant ". Written by H.D. Jarvis, a survivor the shipwreck. The story was printed in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in the March, 1869 issue. An up-to-date history of the shipwreck can be viewed at http://www.maanz.wellington.net.nz/projects/gengrant.htm

Chapter 1:
On the 28th of November, 1865 the ship General Grant , Captain William H. Loughlin, sailed from Boston to Melbourne. A fine westerly breeze urged her cheerily along, and the crew, of which the narrator was one, began the voyage in good spirits. During the second night out a heavy gale struck us, and while shortening sail the third mate, Rufus S. Tyler, was lost overboard. This ill omen was followed by good weather, which took us in sixty-eight days to the Cape of Good Hope.
Bad weather vexed us thence to Melbourne, which we reached on the 13th of March, 1866.
We remained in Melbourne about eight weeks, loading for London. By one of those coincidences which sailors dread we took aboard part of a cargo that had been intended for the steamer London. This ill-fated vessel had sunk in the Bay of Biscay on her voyage out, and there were many gloomy prophecies that no freight of hers would reach London in any ship. The rats are also said to have left our vessel. Our cargo consisted cheifly of wool and hides, with about four thousand ounces of gold. We sailed on Friday the 4th of may, 1866, with sixty passengers, among whom were six women and about twenty children. The men were nearly all miners, returning home with their families and what property thay had acquired at the diggings. The crew numbered twenty-three, four officers and nineteen men.
The Auckland Isles are a group of black basaltic rocks, lying about 1500 miles southeast of Melbourne, and 199 miles south of New Zealand. They are barren and uninhabited. Whalers and sealers occasionally visit them, and have left a stock of pigs and a few crazy huts. Many vessels have been cast away there, and an abundance of wreck-wood may be found on the shores. Captain Musgrave, of the schooner Grafton, was wrecked there in 1864, and remained eighteen months. He left a substantial hut, and at his instance the Government of New Zealand put goats, sheep, and domestic fowls ashore there, and planted English elms, oaks, and ash-trees. Nothing throve but the goats. Papers were also left giving the bearing of New Zealand and other useful information; but these seem never to have been found.
For five days the General Grant made good progress with a fair wind. The Captain had originally intended running to the northward of the Aucklands; but on the seventh day a southeasterly breeze sprang up, obliging him to beat to windward.
Heavy fog closed in, and a sharp look-out was kept for land. The last observation was taken that morning. Throughout the next two days the weather was so thick that we could scarcely see the end of the jib-boom from the deck. At 10 1/2 o'clock at night of the ninth day the lookout forward cried, "Land on the port bow." This was Disappointment. When fairly clear of the land, which he supposed to be the most northerly of the Aucklands, instead of the most westerly, the wind shifted from southeast to northwest.
All danger seemed past. The yards were squared and the doomed ship put on the straight course for Cape Horn. An hour later the look-out reported, " Land dead ahead ", but after inspection with the glass the officers declared it only a fog-bank.
Not many minutes later the wind died completely away, leaving a heavy sea. At the same time dawned upon us the terrible danger we were in. The sea and the current were carrying us toward a rock-bound, precipitous coast. The main island of Auckland lay directly ahead, and every swash of the sea was pushing us toward destruction.
A breeze, through ever so slight , might save the ship and enable her to run between the two islands. All passengers were called aft, all the crew on deck. In vain was every sail set, every yard braced to meet a breath of air. The tide took us at one time so far to the south that it seemed we might go clear. Then an eddy carried us to the northward again, nearer and nearer to the overhanging rock.
The scene on deck and in the cabins struck terror to the strongest hearts. Miners were seen tying up their gold in blankets, women were wailing and children shrieking. All hands were pulling at the braces as long as a spark of hope remained.
Cruel fate urged us pitilessly on, yet so slowly that it was a relief when the end came, and that long agony of hopeless waiting ceased. As we neared the land the lead was heaved to find anchorage, but no bottom could be found.
At half past one at night the jib-boom struck the rock at the foot of a cliff many hundred feet high, and with the bowsprit was carried away. This shock caused the ship to spin around and strike her stern, carrying away the the spanker-boom and rudder , and breaking the ribs of the man at the wheel. We now found ourselves drifting helplessly into a narrow cove inclosed by precipices of unknown height. The ship's sides were striking heavily against the rock, and there were thirty fathoms of water under her. All hope was gone; yet the captain stood nobly at his post, and the crew remained subordinate.
Lanterns were held over the side and carried up the rigging. Not a foothold for a bird could be discovered. The masts were not cut away, as they could not fall clear of the deck. There was too much water for anchoring.
So we drifted on, and the cove grew narrower. Suddenly the fore-royal mast struck the rock above and came tumbling down, followed by the other spars. As the main-royal mast and top-hamper succeeded we realized the appalling fact that we were being sucked into a cave of unknown depth.
The rock above was tearing the masts out of the ship and in detached masses, breaking holes through the deck and forward houses. After losing all the fore-mast, the sump of the main-mast caught against the solid roof, and stopped farther progress. But for this circumstance the General Grant would have sunk that night and none lived to tell the story.

To Be Continued: Next week the General Grant sinks, lives are lost and the survivors find themselves LOST!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

There Are No Good Songs.
Sat, 18 Jan 2003 09:08:01
Even though nothing mankind has ever achieved has ever been the
result of one person, the way we are obesssed with personal
recognition says a lot about us. It tends to fall into a unique category we all help perpetuate. That is , even though we all know it takes an army of people to get an idea from one individual's head out into the world we live in, we all pretend that one person did it all.
Maybe that's because we all figure that if we do that, we'll each get a shot at being admired for something we do, or maybe it's simply because we never really grow up, and everything we do is just a complicated version of the shows we put on in the back yard when we were kids.
Recently, Paul McCartney let it be known that he would like to change the song writing credits on some Beatles songs to McCartney-Lennon, instead of the Lennon-McCartney the world recognizes.
How many people on the face of the planet have more personal
recognition than Paul McCartney ?
It doesn't bother me that he wants to make the change, but it seem that if he is going to take that route, he is opening the door to a few questions.
Does the world know Paul because of the orginal ideas he had in his head for those Beatle songs, or the records that ended up being the only version we ever heard
If the records are what became famous then everyone who effected the final result actually deserves part of the song writing credit.Between the ideas in his head and the final records there were other musicians, studio engineers, a producer ( George Martin ), promotion people, factories that made the records, and many others all of whom had an effect on the sound of the records that became famous.
Even though they all played a vital role, none of us really expect all of them to get credit for the end result. That would be way too complicated.
However, a long time ago somebody with more insight than me said it best. " There are no good songs, just good records."
By the way this e- mail is not about Paul McCartney per se.