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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, November 29, 2005

Yesterday Or When ?
While not quite the household name that Time or Newsweek is, U.S. News & World Report is the name of a news magazine many of us should recognize, since it has been around since 1948. So, if I were to describe Vol. XCI No. 8 August 24, you shouldn't have too much of a problem guessing what year ( within a few years, one way or the other ) it was published, should you ? The cover story was a hot topical subject, as were most of the smaller stories the issue covered.
The cover story was titled, " Hispanics Make Their Move"; it appeared on page 60. Here are a few quotes from the article.
" Latin leaders paint a picture of a people on the move-young, agressive and hungry for their rightful share of the American dream. Pointing to a Hispanic population that has grown by more than 60 percent in the last decade to nearly 15 million-a faster increase than that of any major ethnic group-these same standard-bearers talk of a storehouse of "brown power" pent up for years and ready to break loose."
"Electing more Hispanics is a key goal, as the group is vastly underrepresented even in areas where their numbers are great. Only six Hispanics serve in Congress-all in the house."
On page 14 of Vol. XCI, No. 8, there is an article titled, " How Safe Are Our Airways ?". Here are a few quotes from that article.
" The question of whether U.S. airspace is safe has ballooned into an issue of worldwide dispute."
" Within the airline industry, passenger business was reported on the rise again as flight schedules regained a semblance of order."
" Our phone's been ringing off the hook," said Tom Matthews, board chairman of the 100,000 member Airline Passengers Association. "There are two emotions members are expressing: willingness to suffer the inconvenience of reduced flight schedules as long as they know the system is safe. Many even say, "I'd suffer more inconvenience in order to make it safe."
On page 7 of Vol. XCI, No. 8, there is an article titled, " Corruption's Price: Prison, Disgrace ". Here are a few quotes from that article.
" Prison terms imposed on three former congressmen represented the most dramatic example yet of a warning that the Justice Department is spreading to officeholders across the country: Break the law, and you will go to jail."
" Both the House speaker and the Senate majority leader in the state of Washington were sentenced to five years in jail for scheming to make money from a plan to legalize gambling. A former Louisana state offical was convicted of conspiracy in a bribery case involving a crime figure and a state insurance contact. Former Representative Charles Carney
( D-Ohio ) was indicted for allegedly buying goods on the tab of an oil company that tried to influence him."
Finally, here are just some of the headlines from other articles in Vol. XCI, No. 8:
" How Tax Dodgers Challenge IRS"
" When Presidents Go On Vacation"
" Africa's Bleak Outpost Of East-West Rivalry"
" Will Economic Woes Stir Social Turmoil In Europe ?"
" New Finds Cast Fresh Light On The Bible"
" Behind Widening Split Among OPEC Nations"
" Who Tax Cuts Will Help Most"
Even if you are a casual observer of current events, you should be able to peg the year Vol. XCI No. 8 was published. After all, these subjects are just about as fresh as yesterday's paper. But, being fair-minded, I will offer two hints:
1. It was not 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005.
2. (and it's a doozy ) Many of the people who were born in the year Vol. XCI, No. 8 was published now have children in the first grade.
That's right, do the math. Vol. XCI No. 8 of U.S. News & World Report was published on August 24, 1981, proving once again that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
PS: "How Safe Are Our Airways" covered the aftermath of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization- PATCO strike. Remember that one ?
" Corruption's Price: Prison,Disgrace" covered the Abscam scandal and other related crimes in office. Remember that one ?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

They Just Don't Build Protestors Like They Used To:
So, you're sick and tired of the cost of a gallon of gas these days and you're going to do something about it,something that will make people sit up and take notice of just how serious you are about the whole mess.
Hold on there Babba Louie! Before you initiate your grand plan, perhaps you better check out the competition. That would be one Herbert O'Dell Smith, aka Digger O'Dell.
From,"Time" magazine, June 25, 1979 ( Vol. 113 No.26 ,page: 26, under the heading, "Planting a Seed").

" When the gasoline began to run out and the prices to run up, Herbert O'Dell Smith,64, agreed to do his bit for the energy crisis. A professional stunt man, he had earned his nickname of "Digger O'Dell" by allowing himself to be buried alive for various ventures. He was campaigning underground for president Carter in Columbia, S.C. in 1976 when he had a heart attack that prompted his retirement.
But to dramatize the gas crunch, the Digger agreed to be buried at Mack's Mobile Homes lot on Highway 280 in Phenix City, Ala.
"I'm not coming up till gas prices come down", said Digger. Then, wearing a T shirt and pajama bottoms, he climbed into his temporary coffin (6 ft. long and 32 in. wide and high, wth a septic tank below and a viewing periscope above that doubled as a dumbwaiter for Digger's food). He was covered by 6 ft. of earth and 4 in. of concrete. Two telephones, a radio and a television, as well as the periscope connected him to the outside world. "I'm just one person, but I'm telling it like it is," he would say, "We don't have a gas shortage, we've got a gas wastage."
Unfortunately for Digger, however, gas prices kept going up and so did his blood pressure. Last week only ten days into his stint, he was ordered unearthed by his doctor. "I'm convinced the seed I planted will be cultivated," proclaimed the haggard Digger. Then he headed back to Cummung, Ga. to tend to the tomatoes on his farm."

Can you dig it?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bar bet winning quality rock trivia:
Next July will be the 20th anniversary of date between Rogers Nelson,28 and Lisa Barber,20. They only went out once. They went to see a movie on their date.The date took place in Sheridan Wyoming.
Mr. Nelson was supposed to pick up Ms. Barber at 6 p.m.on the evening of their date, he was 15 miuntes late. Mr. Nelson arrived a white Buick convertible, which he drove,when he picked up Ms. Barber at her mother's home.
The couple drove to Sheridan's Centennial Twin theater to watch the movie they were going to see. Mr. Nelson and Ms. Barber sat in the back row. By all accounts Mr. Nelson was a perfect gentleman on his date that night. Later Ms. Barber would remark, " There was one time during the movie when he played with my hair and he put his arm around me. But that's all he did. Honest." When the movie was over, Mr. Nelson took Ms. Barber home, dropped her off, and they never dated again. Yet, this date was newswothy enough to recieve a cover story in People magazine and a six page article with nine pictures.
Question: Who were these people and why all the fuss ?
Answer: From the "you couldn't do that these days" file.
In 1986 twenty year-old Lisa Barber (who was working as a hotel maid at the time) won a contest on MTV by being the 10,000th caller to call in. What did she win ? She won a date with Rogers Nelson also known as Prince to see a movie in her hometown with Prince.
Not just any movie, but the world premier Prince's then new movie called " Under the Cherry Moon".
So in the summer of 1986 Sheidan Wyoming's Centennial Twin theater saw a world premier of a movie with an audience of 800 which included at least one former Playboy Bunny and singers Joni Mitchell and Ray Parker Jr.,among others.
*fun facts:
Sheridan Wyoming's population as of 2002: 15,804
Does the Centennial Twin theater still exist ? There is a Centennial Theater in Seridan located at 36 East Alger St.
Google "Lisa Barber"Prince, and you still come up with almost 100 web pages.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Four Reasons To Love Harry Truman:
( and in the process find hope for the future)
On June 7, 1945 Harry Truman wrote:
" You know Americans are funny birds. They are always sticking their noses into somebody's business which isn't any of theirs. The United States was created by boys and girls who couldn't get along at home. So-called Puritans who weren't by any manner of means pure came to Massachusetts to try out their own witch burning theories."
On November 14, 1947 Harry Truman wrote:
" A man in his right mind would never want to be President if he knew what it entails. Aside from the impossible administrative burden, he has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues.
The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make 'em behave. Well all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do."
On November 5, 1950 Harry Truman wrote:
" Because two crackpots or crazy men tried to shoot me a few days ago my good and efficient gaurds are nervous. So I'm trying to be as helpful as I can. Would like very much to take a walk this morning but the S.S. say that there are more crackpots around and the "Boss" and Margie are worried about me-so I won't take my usual walk."
Sometime in 1954 Harry Truman wrote:
" I wonder how far Moses would have gone if he'd taken a poll in Egypt? What would Jesus Christ have preached if he'd taken a poll in Israel? Where would the Reformation have gone if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn't polls or public opinion of the moment that counts. It is right and wrong and leadership- men with fortitude, honesty and a belief in the right that makes epochs in the history of the world."
I don't drink, but I just might "crack a cold one" with the late-great Mr. Truman if I had the chance.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

West Coast Love-In (1967)
First, let me be the first to say that this post may be meaningless to anyone but me. Its subject matter is a 1967 long playing record album (aka record, disk, platter) titled, "West Coast Love-In". I've owned this LP for so long I can't remember exactly when I bought it, but I do remember I got it dirt cheap because it was recorded in "mono" and mono records were definitely out and stereo records were in at the time. I probably paid around a dollar for it. That was a pretty common price for mono records at the end of the mono age ( around 1970).
The vital statistics on this record are as follows:
title: West Coast Love-In (1967)
record label: Vault
record number: Vault LP/SLP 113
mode: mono
cover artist: Rick & Ida Griffin
artists: The Ashes, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Chambers Brothers
The front cover of this record is as classic an example of "Summer Of Love" art as you are going to find anywhere. It features a couple dressed in American Indian-style clothing resting against a tree, while the title and names of the artists swirl in Barnun & Bailey type letters above them. On the back cover are "reprints" from the Los Angeles Free Press with quotes like:
" What is a Love-in? It seems to depend very much on your point of view. To the literal-minded, Sunday's gathering from dawn to 10p.m. in Elysian park was a kind of pagan rite of spring and fertility dance held coincidentally on the day on which Christians celebrate Easter.
It was 20,000 people (the daily papers pegged it at 5,000 to 8,000) gathered for a picnic on the open under a leadened sky to go through a number of mystic life ceremonies, who danced to an endless series of electric rock bands, exchanged love gifts, got to know each other as never before in this gem city of 20th Century isolation."
Based on this, you would expect the music on this record to be down right revolutionary and rebellious. While the three cuts by The Chambers Brothers are borderline bluesy (except for tons of echo), the remaining cuts by The Ashes, and The Peanut Butter Conspiracy are about as threatening as a Carpenters record.
The funny thing is, I'm old enough to remember those days; and, believe it or not, at the time many people from that generation actually thought this music was dangerous, rebellious, and revolutionary. Every couple of years or so I drag out this record in the hope that when I play it I will hear some lost gem that proves how hip and happinin' we really were back in those days. But, it always ends up sounding like the Carpenters, so I put it away for a couple of more years.
The message being maybe it would be wise to evaluate the things that are currently cool, in, hip, etc. a little bit closer because down the road what should be a nostalgic look back may in fact turn out to be a skeleton in the closet.
Of course, I might not have a clue about what I'm saying. I just looked up
"West Coast Love-In" Vault LP/SLP 113 on the Internet and found out it is selling for as much as $50 a copy. Never mind.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Does fame guarantee a place in history?
Question: Does fame guarantee a place in history ? Or, put another way, will the world remember you once you become famous ?
Perhaps a good person to ask would be the late Adolph "Spike" Dubs. I'd bet a free lunch that almost everyone is saying, "Who ?" right about now.
Adolph Dubs was fairly famous in his lifetime. He was a U.S.Ambassador to a foreign country, a foreign country that was fairly high profile world-wide at the time, but unfortunately it was his death that catapulted him personally into the arena of world-wide fame.
We have to go back to the year 1979 to appreciate the facts surrounding Mr. Dubs' story. In 1979 Adolph Dubs was the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. At that point in his career as a diplomat Mr. Dubs had been on the job 29 years.
On a Wednesday morning while being driven to work in a chauffer-driven Oldsmobile, at about 8:45 a.m.,four armed attackers, one dressed like a Kabul traffic officer, stopped Dubs'car and abducted him at gunpoint.
The kidnappers took Mr. Dubs to the Kabul Hotel (room 117 to be exact).
From there they issued the demand that needed to be met in order to save Dubs' life. The kidnappers wanted three insurgent Muslim leaders released from jail.
This series of events set of a world-wide diplomatic hurricane. Immediately, Afghan security forces took charge. They excluded Senior U.S. embassy diplomats from the command post they set up. Because of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan at the time, the Soviet embassy's chief security officer, Sergi Bakhturin, became an advisor to the Afghan police during the stand-off.
Attempts to negotiate with the kidnappers who held Mr. Dubs were going nowhere. The president of Afghanistan at the time, Mohammed Taraki, pretty much was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, back in America, urgent cables were flying between the State Department,Pentagon, and White House. They pretty much added up to a message being sent to the Afghan's president suggesting he use "extreme discretion" in the matter.
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan police had their own idea. They issued the kidnappers a ten-minute ultimatum; either give up or we're coming in. Long story short, at the end of the ten minutes they stormed the hotel room. In what was estimated as an assault that took less then one minute, all four kidnappers and Adolph "Spike" Dubs were dead.
Needless to say, the tragic death of Adolph Dubs had all the elements of a classic spy novel of the times. A U.S. Ambassador stationed in a foreign country that was occupied by another foreign country is kidnapped, held hostage, and becomes the center of an international stand-off. Intense negotiations fail, and in a bizarre twist, the diplomat is killed , possibly by the forces trying to save him. For months the news media of the world pondered what international repercussions these events would have and how they would affect world history.
Yet, here we sit twenty-six years later and unless someone told you, you would never have known the whole thing ever took place. Most of the major players (including the Soviet Union) have faded from the scene. The figure that has faded the farthest is the man who was at the center of it all, Adolph "Spike" Dubs.
Maybe the world really is just a big blackboard that keeps getting written on, erased, and written on again, only to be erased and written on again, and so on and so on. We all tend to think of fame as something permanent, but maybe it's only as permanent as the size of the blackboard, how fast that blackboard gets written on, and last, but not least, the size of the eraser.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Carter On NOW:
On Friday November 4th, former President Jimmy Carter appeared on the PBS program NOW. His message was simple and direct.
Mr. Carter has dedicated this stage of his life to making the world a better place to live for all of us by raising the health standards in the world's poorest countries. He makes a strong case ,on many levels, as to why it would be a benefit to all of us to see the entire world healthy.
Since he no longer relies on getting elected in order to get things done he can speak the truth when needed. In his interview he stated that he views religious fundamentalist who use political pressure to advance their ideology as simply being wrong. Not in their basic views but in how they go about forcing others to follow them.
In my time on this planet, it seems like every time people are forced to do something ( even if those doing the forcing feel they are right ) it sets the stage for a backlash as soon as an opening presents itself.
The death and destruction of AIDS, for instance, would come to a complete halt if people around the world stopped having casual, unprotected sex, but denying them help unless they do that won't work. The reason is simple. Every single human on the face of the planet is loaded with flaws. If some of those humans use force to get other humans to do something it draws attention to the flaws of those doing the forcing.
This then builds a resentment in those being forced to do things a certain way. Most of the time this results in the people whose behavior is being controlled doing more of what is trying to be controlled, not less.
It seems to me that Mr. Carter gets this and is not only willing to do things the right way, but he is now old enough and wise enough to
"Tell it like it is".
To cure the world's health crisises we need role models, not police.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Shooting shocks neighbors"
Cincinnati Enquirer November 2, 2005

East Price Hill - The shooting of an 84-year-old man during a robbery attempt by four young men posing as trick-or-treaters has shocked residents of quiet Terry Street, but they acknowledge that crime seems to be increasing in the neighborhood.
"We've never had any kind of trouble," 78-year-old Rosemary Davis, a Terry Street resident for 30 years, said Tuesday. "We're all good neighbors." "This is really a quiet street for the most part," said neighbor John Hines of the two-block side street located off both sides of West Eighth Street.
Charles Iles, of the 800 block of Terry Street, remained in critical but stable condition at University Hospital Tuesday. Police said three or four young men posing as trick-or-treaters knocked on the door of the Iles residence about 8:55 p.m. Monday. When the victim's wife told them they were no longer giving out candy, the intruders forced their way into the house.
When Iles reached for the telephone to call police, one of the suspects shot him twice in the chest, police said. The young men fled without taking anything.

These are my words:
O.K., this absolutely stinks ! A couple in their 80's should be able to enjoy their home and know that they are safe there. This goes way beyond what the responsibilities of local, state, and federal government are or any liberal/conservative rhetoric.
Every single law abiding, hometown loving, citizen must voice their outrage every time a horrendous act of cowardice like this happens.
Not just in your neighborhood, but in any neighborhood in this country, or the world for that matter..
We cannot simply sit back and chalk it up to another example of how bad things have gotten. We need to send the word out to the fools who do these kind of things that we, as a community, are going to find them and prove to them that these actions will not go unanswered.
I do not know Charles Iles or his wife, but I did make the effort to find out what their address was and send them a card that basically said how wrong what happened to them was, and how much we hoped and prayed that Charles pulled through.
How much effort does it take to let the victims of senseless violence know that you think what happened to them was wrong ? Maybe we can't go out and chase down the bad guys, but that doesn't mean we can't try to undo some of the damage they have done.
If you would like to send the Iles family a card or letter e-mail me and I'll give you the address.