Friday, May 29, 2009
This week's weird object is the Southwyck Mall in Toledo, Ohio. It's weird because they're tearing it down, all of it. And it's weird because we remember its heyday - not too long ago, maybe 20 years ago.
I guess the downhill slide began when Montgomery Ward's checked out and left a gaping hole where that anchor once held down the south end of the mall. Then the writing was on the mall's wall when developers started building those "lifestyle centers" that try to resemble the downtowns of yesteryear, and which are all the rage, much moreso than most actual, authentic downtowns.
Yep, the Southwyck area just fell into disfavor. Two big hotels sit on either side of the road just south of the ex-mall, hard by the Ohio Turnpike. I have stayed in each, when they were a high-rise Ramada and a Holiday Inn with an exciting (back then) "Holidome". Both are vacant now and the grass is growing unruly. Tumbleweeds may follow. This is simply an area to drive through on one's way to better shopping in Toledo's outer reaches. We seem to keep abandoning our close-in places and building out farther from the center, leaving a wasteland behind, sort of like a glacially-paced atom bomb.
Meanwhile, down in Columbus, the twenty-year old City Center mall has a date with the wrecking ball. Word is that this three-level shoppers' paradise for a brief period of history will be replaced with a park, a "pedestrian friendly gathering place". I believe the mall developers overestimated Columbus shoppers' allegiance to central city shopping. Today's hottest retail spot, Polaris, is a good 15 miles north, a good long drive up I-71 or U.S. 23 for just about everyone.
So this is my W.O.F. salute to those malls of yore that served the shopping public for but a blink of the eye. We're fickle and we simply moved on. In fact, we may be more fickle about where we buy than what we buy.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This guy was pretty photogenic, working the pond pretty hard and, I suspect, eating well.
Seemed to get along with others...Lots of geese in the place: Big ones, little cute ones, future ones...And big ol' carp swimming around. Once in a while we would hear a frenzy of fish action, and see a bunch of fish making a loud splashing. I don't know if this is a fishy rite of spring or what...Then there was this guy, hanging out on what appeared to be a scupture of a sea craft. He turned it into performance art. Aye aye, Cap'n.
That's it for now... THE END
Monday, May 25, 2009
Teachers have existed since we needed to be taught
Teachers give us something that quite simply can't be bought
Knowledge is a gift that will fulfill your every day
So listen to your teachers - there is gold in what they say!
My daughter is a teacher; my wife's a teacher too
And so I am surrounded - I've learned from what they do
I've learned of dedication and care for whom they teach
And seen the great rewards in the lives that they can reach!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It was a nice day, and although many had already caught their limit and gone home by noon, quite a few were still hanging out by the bridge here. A heron had been sharing the river with the humans, but apparently he caught his limit and moved on before I could get a picture.
Friday, May 22, 2009
This is a Norfolk Island Pine that is now taller than I am by a large number of inches. It was a housewarming present when we moved into our house in, um, 1980. Back then, it was handed over to us in a small pot, and was maybe 18 or 20 inches tall.
Now it summers outside and winters in the parlor. I just dragged it outside yesterday and took this picture.
The Norfolk has seen better days. It only has about two tiers of healthy branches right now, making it look like something out of Dr. Seuss. But it's family and we will see it through. I think it will get a decent growth spurt now that it is outside with its "friends".
And that little plant down in the pot in that picture up above - an aloe plant that hangs out with it.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yeah, that's me. Among other things, I am a bit of a magazine nut. I enjoy an appealing layout, good content, splashy graphics. I subscribe to more magazines than I really should, and I even read some of them. Or parts of them.
In an earlier post, I tried to describe the magazine that a friend and I published back in our youth. we reached a circulation of 20 or so, and sent one to a random address in California just to be able to say our reach was coast to coast.
Ours, like many these days, did not survive. We chose to kill our media empire and go off to college or something. Couldn't get Rupert Murdoch to pick it up on our terms.
Anyhow, although the whole print medium industry is considered a dinosaur in its last death throes in many if not most quarters, I still enjoy that tactile feel of the printed page in my hands, on my lap, as I peruse the pages. I mean, who has not just simply THRILLED to the scenery in "Arizona Highways" as they waited for the nurse to usher them in to their appointment? (or if you were in a pediatrician's office, it would be "Highlights for Children").
Sol if I were to inventory my magazine intake, I must get two or three magazines or journals related to my work. Then I get three music (a bigger obsession than magazines, certainly) related magazines (two of which are only quarterly, at best, thankfully). We give small sums of money to a few causes that insist upon publishing and sendiing out their own publications. Some, like "Audobon", at least provide wonderful photography, which I scan, and which often beats reading actual articles in these hectic times.
Then there's "This Old House", which comes so dirt cheap that I re-upped. And there is my favorite monthly, "Wired", which changes their whole graphic approach about once every two years. I don't even know why I like "Wired" so much; the content tends to be all over the place. Maybe that's its charm. You never know what they may feature. The general theme is "here is how technology is making our world so great/scary/fun/apocalyptic (depending on the article)".
I have gotten one newsweekly since I was a freshman in college: Newsweek. Sometimes their editorial slant can drive me nuts; usually, I have no major quarrel. I am one of those few who go for good reasoned theory rather than rants, and at least Newsweek does not suffer the rants much, so I appreciate most of the columnists, no matter where they are coming from. As long as they are including some original thought and positive suggestions, I can appreciate them without necessarily agreeing with them.
At any rate, Newsweeek has just undergone a massive design change, and actually, a content one as well. This is big stuff for a magazine junkie like me. Paging through magazines just getting their "feel" is somehow important, and the new layout looks clean and well organized, based on the first new issue received this week.
I could go on, but there is something occurring right now that trumps magazine transformations, and that is that northern Ohio is currently enjoying those two or three days of PERFECT WEATHER that tend to come and go all too quickly every spring. So for now, it's time to put down these things and get outside. I'm outta here.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I hope your weekend has gone well, and that tomorrow will be Swell - being that it's A-Z Monday and we are all the way up to the letter S.
Remember the sense that a parent would bring
When your mom or your dad took you under their wing?
That while they were there, there was nothing to fear!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The weather was perfect. The mood was festive. There was a wonderful baccalaureate service the night before, where a dozen or so students shared their thoughts, some scripture from their holy book of choice (the student body comes from a number of countries), or some music. Our son chose to sing and play (on piano, no less) "Morning Has Broken", Cat Stevens aka Yusuf style.
We were also treated to a Saturday morning Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony. Yeah, the kid is bright. A neat part of the ceremony has all the inductees sign their names in a ledger that, I assume, goes way back in time, so their names join those of their predecessors from the 20th and 19th centuries. Pretty cool.
Then the ceremony, followed by a small reception in the Physics department where the lad spend much of his time. Well, it had to be a small reception, as they had all of seven senior Physics majors!
Finally, a dinner at a local restaurant, with a table for eighteen, including Grandma, who William's sister and bro-in-law picked up, and also one of William's favorite professors, who is in the 75-80 age range by our reckoning, but still going strong, and his wife. Two or three of us had written out some memories and tributres, and both William's sister and father (that would be me) found they couldn't read what they had written and maintain their composure, so Linda jumped in and pinch-read. A family of wimps, we are, some of us more than others!
And, after the cake had been diminished in great measure, Linda and I gathered our stuff and our wits and headed home, leaving the lad behind with his friends and his apartment where the lease lasts 'til May 31 - and by golly he's gonna get his money's worth out of the place! The future is a bit uncertain, probably involving some time collecting thoughts (and, we hope, a salary of some sort), followed most likely by grad school.
It all reminds me of a Kodak ad that used to run during the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights, which proves, if nothing else, that I am relatively ancient to recall such a thing. Anyway, the ad does a time lapse of a kid growing up to be an adult, and some sappy song plays along, asking" Where have you gone, my little one?" Or something of that nature. Anyhow, I cannot account for the time that has lapsed, or how we came to have two ADULTS out there in the world, but there we are, proud of both, finally relieved of college tuition, and ready for whatever the next chapter brings.
Monday, May 11, 2009
The feeder hangs upon the pole
To anyone it's plain
The seeds it holds are for the birds
-Not to this rascal's brain!
The squirrel's all about the seeds
He jumped from tree to pole
Then hung absurdly upside-down
And lots of seeds he stole
And so I moved the pole away
From that inviting tree
So go ahead, you rascal, you,
Can you get 'em now? Let's see!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Anyhow, I filled and hung up the feeder last night and enjoyed the show at breakfast today. Not so much the fairly commonplace bird (above) who took in some breakfast.
It was this squirrel who provided the show - I wish I had gotten to the camera in time to get some shots of sir squirrel's attempts to alight on the food trough. He tried jumping from the tree. He tried shinnying up the pole. He just stood there and CONTEMPLATED for the longest time. Finally, poor guy gave up and took off, deciding it was for the birds after all.
I suspect I have not seen the last of his attempt to storm the castle. I expect an army of his buddies to make a squirrel ladder or something in the near future.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Anyhow, the light at the end of the five-year tunnel is a shimmering, bright one, as they traditionally call making the five year mark with negative tests for blood markers a "cure". And that is where Linda found herself yesterday.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, and for us, Happy Cinco Anos!!
Monday, May 4, 2009
I’m in a quandary, don’t know what to do
I need a word; this week’s letter is Q
I’m quaking and quivering as I make my quest
I’m quizzically pondering which word is the best
I question the quality if I just pick
A word like “quadratic”; that is just sick!
There’s more in my quiver than any quaint note
Or a quip or a question or notable quote
No quarrel that Q is a quirky old letter
Little quantity of words; other letters are better
I’m quashing this exercise, my brain’s a quart low
I’ve reached my quota, I quit, gotta go!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I have no idea where this came from. we did not make it here. I think it was a garage sale freebie - one of those deals where you take a whole box of stuff, good and bad. A great scheme to get stuff out of the house.
Anyhow, it found a home over a door at the end of an upstairs hallway. It has resided there for years. We cannot figure out what species of animal it is supposed to represent. One kid called it a "bear-cat-dog-horse" or something like that.
So, what do you think it is?