Thursday, April 29, 2010

Truth in Journalism

The reputation for honesty, integrity and accuracy enjoyed by commercial media doesn't quite match the rectitude of a carnival barker, but it's getting closer every day.  Consider the recent story of Terri Henry who was attacked by her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Townsend, and his new girlfriend, Carly Woodward, both of whom were aided and abetted by a large dog labeled a pit bull.  The story originally was reported by the Indiana News: Pit Bull Used As Weapon In Robbery, Assault.  The story carefully makes no mention of the seriousness of the victim's injuries caused by the dog, but if you watch the video you'll see a number of bruises on Henry's face that are definitely not caused by a dog - unless the dog were a boxer, that is.

NBC picked up the story and now we have: Police: Pit bull used as 'deadly weapon' in Indianapolis robbery. We've gone from a weapon to a deadly weapon.  The site Indy takes it up another notch:  Indy couple charged in robbery with pitbull from which we learn that:

An Indianapolis couple charged with committing a Westside robbery with a deadly pit bull [my emphasis] were held today in the Marion County Jail.

The pair has been accused of taking the purse of the man’s ex-girlfriend while he hit her with his fist and instructed the dog to attack her, police reports said.
The site IndyStar reports Indy couple charged in robbery with pitbull which states that "Terri Henry received a black eye and "significant dog bites" in the attack."  Finally, we have 13 Eyewitness News in a story titled: Police: Pit bull used as 'deadly weapon' in Indianapolis robbery which states that:

Henry doesn't want you to see her face because of her black eye. But that's not the worst of her injuries after what Henry and Indianapolis Metro Police say happened to the 28-year-old at a west side bus top Monday afternoon.
Okay, just how bad are the injuries?  Here's a quote from Henry, "At first the dog scratched me on my lower back. And then he bit me."  Nowhere does anyone state how much damage was caused by the pit bull.  We do know that the victim was discharged from the hospital and that she has bruises on her face consistent with being on the losing end of a fist fight, but the number of stitches needed to keep Ms. Henry from leaking all over the floor is not listed.  Maybe because no stitches were needed.  Here's a clue to the real motivation to label the dog as being deadly, again from 13 Eyewitness News:

Prosecutors are calling that dog a deadly weapon, which makes the robbery and battery charges felonies. It's a first.
Got that?  This is the very first case of its kind in Indianapolis, maybe in all of Indiana, and it kicks the charges up to felonies.  This is a huge deal to any prosecutor.

Compare this "deadly" pit bull attack to one that happened in July of 2009, via the site Indy where the victim Brenda Hill was mauled by two pit bull dogs owned by Lee Carroll:

The Jan. 25 attack on Carroll’s neighbor, 68-year-old Brenda Hill, has left her without most of her left leg. She has had seven surgeries, is still undergoing rehabilitation and has difficulty speaking.
During sentencing, we learn that:

Hill, whose left leg was amputated above the knee, told Brown that she is learning to use a prosthesis.
That's a deadly attack.  Henry didn't suffer anything close to what poor Brenda Hill suffered and has to endure, but the dog that attacked her is deadly - it's a pit bull, and it's deadly dangerous.  If you believe commercial media, that is.

The trouble is, Moonbats believe commercial media.  They believe all the hyperbole and prevarication, they accept opinion pieces as fact and they carefully refrain from asking any questions, particularly those questions that might expose this entire charade for the false mountain that it is.  When the Moonbats read a story like this one they bark at the moon all night, and their howls are carried far and wide by the Moonbat telegraph, otherwise known as the rumor mill.  I've heard other people refer to this as the jungle telegraph, but that term isn't politically correct so I won't use it.

The biggest howl, bar none, is that pit bull dogs are inherently dangerous and will attack people without being provoked and chew their face and nuts off.  This is a lie.  The reason I know this is a lie is that if it were true, police departments all across the United States would have ditched the German Shepherd Dog, the Doberman Pinscher and the Rottweiler in favor of the Pit Bull.  They haven't, and it has nothing to do with control or inherent aggressiveness.  The decision to keep the dogs they have has everything to do with the amount of damage their dog can do to a criminal that the police are apprehending or to the people in a crowd the police are trying to control.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty Space

While driving the other day I was struck by the number of stores that were out of business and the vacant lots I saw.  Last year Toledo bowlers got their last chance for a final gutter ball at Imperial Lanes, but you'd never know it now.

Imperial Lanes
5505 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43615

Imperial Lanes R.I.P.

Across the street Local 20 is somehow contributing to the economy.

Local 20 On Strike

I find a certain irony in the bulldozed site of Imperial Lanes and the blue collar strike across the street.  Imperial Lanes was bought out by Promedica for four and a half million.  Prior to that the business was said to have been failing, but I tend to think that the owners were waiting for the price of the land to increase in value sufficiently enough to sell.  Still, the lot is empty.

Further on down Reynolds road I found another vacant lot.  I have no idea what used to be here, but I'm guessing that business tanked along with the old Southwyck mall.  I have no idea what anyone would use the property for.

Empty on South Reynolds

Green Space

Contact Information

There are no labor strikes or closed businesses across the street from this vacant lot.  Somewhat heartening is the arrival of a new business, proving that the Toledo economy is not dead.

Massage - New Girls!

I may be getting jaded in my old age.  This could well be a legitimate massage spa, with licensed massage therapists and connections to many local doctors, hospitals and the like.  But I doubt it.

Just a short way down the road is the mother of all vacant lots - Southwyck Mall.

Southwyck Mall Entrance

Fire Sale

Southwyck Mall - R.I.P.

Welcome to Southwyck Mall!

This is another area that will likely remain undeveloped for a long while.  What the hell would anyone build here?  Pointing my nose back to Sylvania I eventually passed this corner.

Whiteford & Alexis

The South East corner lot used to be Lay's Gas Station.  If a customer bought gas the windshield was washed, the oil and battery checked and the tire pressure was checked upon the customer's request, all courtesy of the ace pump jockey, Rick Lay.  If your car broke down, there were two garage bays and several mechanics who would put you back on the street right away.  Lay's also had a towing service, which was nice.  Now there's nothing but a vacant building there.

Lay's Gas Station

Lease Information

Across the street from Lay's was a two story building that housed a bar with a sawdust floor on one side (East, if memory serves) and Mister G's Pizza on the other side.  Mister G had the best pizza and subs in Sylvania, and the drinks at the bar were very reasonable.

Mister G's Pizza - R.I.P.

I suppose this is an example of progress at its finest, however... when Lay's was in business every gas station in town could afford one or more young men (girls were a real rarity) to come out and wait on customers in all kinds of weather.  That's a thing of the past that will never return, and more's the pity.

Shai Mediterranean Cafe


As of Monday, August 22, 2011 this place is closed.

Actually it's been closed for a while now, but I just got around to editing the review. And no, I do not put this failure down to the economy.

Shai Mediterranean Cafe

5236 Monroe Street
Toledo, OH 43623-3199
(419) 593-0083

Shai was favorably reviewed on Toledo Talk a while back, so I decided to have lunch there.  The place is right across the street from the old Chinese place, now closed, and just down the street from the cinema, also closed.

Happy Rose Buffet - Closed

Cinema 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - Show's Over

I had a gyros sandwich, which turned out to be enormous.  The size of the sandwich was mostly due to the amount of shredded iceberg lettuce, minced tomato and sauce rather than gyro meat.  I also had a side order of humus, which was okay.

Business was fairly sparse while I was there, yet two tables were not bussed when I arrived and remained that way throughout my lunch.

Where's the Bus Boy?

I find few things in a restaurant as unattractive as a dirty table.  The service was otherwise acceptable, which is no surprise since there is no table service.  

The place has nothing going for it.  There were staff available but the tables were not cleared.  My lunch was unremarkable, my sandwich being artificially inflated with iceberg lettuce.  The hummus was acceptable, but not great.  The food came in paper lined plastic baskets, which I don't care for.
I give Shai Mediterranean Cafe a 4 on a scale of zero to 10.  I doubt I'll be back.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Serious Business

I was all set to write a serious piece about something - constitutional rights, police abuse of authority, high crime rates, whatever - when I stumbled across Boobage at Bayou Renaissance Man.  My thought process has been derailed.

Briefly, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi, who is the chief witch doctor of Iran, proclaimed that the cause of the recent earthquake is naked women.  Being a retired sky pilot, Bayou Renaissance Man wrote about Sedighi's novel revelations and promptly forgot about the whole thing (probably a reflex from his old days as a sky pilot, women being sinful and all).  From there Jen McCreight, a self-described perverted atheist and official Hoosier, became intrigued and decided to test the witch doctor's theory.  Jen appropriately named her project Boobquake and has selected Monday, April 26th as the official test date.

And so, in the name of Science and for advancement of human knowledge, I'm officially requesting that all ladies support this project as best they can.  Keep in mind that no matter which way you look at it, less is more and barer is better.

Remember, this is for Science and the Advancement of Mankind.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rachmaninoff's New Haircut

Excellent Rachmaninoff went to the dog groomer today and got his summer haircut.  I had to reassure him that he was very handsome, as his first reaction is generally embarrassment.  Our afternoon canine constitutional was almost diverted by a water hazard.  I didn't care to get wet, but my companion wanted a drink.  I used the burst mode on my camera for these shots and have the color contrast set higher than normal.  The pictures seemed to turn out a lot sharper than others I've taken under similar circumstances.

Excellent Rachmaninoff Gets A Drink

Rachmaninoff's Summer Haircut

He's Having a Double

Drinking at the Well

Water's Hard To Get

Rocky Gets Sprayed

Wet Muzzle

Centenarian's Garden

We have an elderly Swedish lady living near us.  She's over one hundred years old and made friends with Excellent Rachmaninoff some years back.  She's come to tolerate me pretty well, which is saying something.  I don't know what, exactly, but something.  Here's her front yard.

Dangerous Mallard

On the way home I was menaced by this mallard duck.  Fortunately for me, my trusty dog is familiar with this hazard and knows how to deal with it.

Mallard in Flight

This was not taken in burst mode, mainly because I didn't see it coming fast enough to switch modes on my camera.  I'd like to get the sequence of the dog stalking and flushing the ducks, but he notices the ducks long before I do.  By the time I'm aware of what's going on, both parties have defined their roles in the duck drama and one is exiting via the wings.

Pun intended.

Politics As Usual

It isn't about guns, it's about control.  In this case, it's still all about control.  The Blade ran another dog warden story today, Decision Delayed On Dog Warden's Authority which is ostensibly about allowing Julie Lyle, the new Lucas County dog warden to run the department the way she sees fit.  As usual, Commissioner Ben Konop does not agree with Comm. Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon-Wozniak who are supported by sock puppet Peter Ujvagi.  The entire argument stems from the 'retirement' of ex-dog warden Tom 'Papa Doc' Skeldon who over-indulged his hobby of killing dogs to the point where the hoi polloi started burning him in effigy.  Ben Konop wanted to fire Papa Doc.  Gerken and Skeldon-Wozniak wanted to beautify him and provide him with newer, more repressive dog control laws.  A compromise was reached and Papa Doc's whereabouts are unknown.

Gerken and Skeldon-Wozniak want Julie Lyle, the new dog warden, to pick up right where Papa Doc left off.  Since Julie was hired to correct Papa Doc's mistakes it should come as no real surprise that more dogs are being adopted and fewer are being killed.  In particular, so-called pit bulls are being adopted out instead of killed off.

Gerken and Skeldon-Wozniak do not like the new arrangement.  They wanted to keep Papa Doc.  Now they both oppose Commissioner Ben Konop with the intemperate disposition of spiteful twelve year old children who have encountered an obstinate parent, and who want to take out their frustration on everyone around them.  As old as they are, I would have hoped for a little emotional maturity by now, but it seems my hope is in vain.

As for Ben Konop, one thing he could do is to tell Peter Ujvagi that when Ujvagi should have an opinion, he'll be told what it is.  In the mean time, Ujvagi should keep his resume updated.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Walk

I probably should use Dog Walk as a tag and provide a more descriptive title, but I won't.  It's equally likely that I should separate my opinions from my amateur photography, but I'm not going to do that either.  For all that, I should be at the gym exercising, and after I'm finished here I'll likely go and do that.

I attempted some night photography the other day (pun intended) and this is the only result fit to publish.  Naturally, it would be a police car in the quiet, gentle neighborhood of Lincoln Woods.


I took Excellent Rachmaninoff on our canine constitutional this morning and had an accident with the dog leash.

Dog Leash

Attached to the leash are house keys and a flashlight.  I've been thinking of attaching a .38 S&W as well, as many older S&W revolvers still have the eye for the lanyard, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  Anyway, after I got the dog attached to the leash via the gentle leader I realized he'd managed to get his whiskers caught in the ring with the keys somehow.  I managed to help him extract himself before Main Lady could arrive with the scissors.  Excellent Rachmaninoff wasn't seriously injured.

I don't think the tulips will last much longer.  Here are a few select samples from Main Lady's front yard.

Fancy Double Tulip

White Tulip

Red Tulips

Flowering Bush

Dog Wood Tree


Butterflies are one sign of a healthy ecology.  It's early to see any butterflies, and so I'm glad to see this one, even more so given the way Main Lady's neighbors insist on spreading ecology killer on their lawns along with chemicals guaranteed to make grass greener no matter what.


Neighbor's Tulips

Yellow Wildflower

One of my neighbors asked me if we were troubled by moles.  I replied that we were not.  The moles tunnel and neither of us are troubled by it. The neighbor in question is a very intense young man who is likable and easy to live with in close proximity.  He is, however, on a quest to completely eradicate the common mole.  Likewise, these wildflowers which will grow in profusion and require little to no maintenance seem to trouble him greatly, and he wishes to send them the way of the mole, the tree squirrel and the stray cat or dog.  Make no mistake; the man isn't malicious, he simply does not want to share his own slice of the American dream with these things.  He's also cutting down all the trees in his yard, one at a time.  I don't know his reasoning and likely wouldn't understand it if I did know.

As I said, he's a good neighbor.  He doesn't tell me how to live and I offer him the same consideration.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dog Walk

The weather was very nice yesterday, and so rather than stay inside I took Excellent Rachmaninoff on a dog walk.  This provides me with a good excuse to take a few pictures of the flowers in Main Lady's yard as well as other gardens around the Lincoln Woods neighborhood.

Red Tulips

The brilliant red of the tulips has always fascinated me.  It's almost too red for the camera to capture without blurring the photo, although I've discovered another setting on my camera that seems to help the focus. 

Hyacinth and Tulips

I discovered that the mystery flowers are called hyacinth.  This section of the yard was planted by Main Lady's three little darlings; Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. 

Front Yard

I would have left this part of the yard alone, as the flowers are arranged around a street sign.  If anything goes wrong with the sign or maintenance is required, the city workers will very likely destroy the flowers and plead that they were only following orders.

Front Yard

Front Yard

Front Yard

I like the white tulips, and I think it would be interesting to plant some red and white next to each other, as the contrast would be striking.

Front Yard

The Drug House

The scene of the crime! This is 6945 Williamsburg Dr. in Sylvania, where the armed robber Louis Mason met a timely end courtesy of the home owner, Clay Hausenfleck.  Many neighbors have referred to this place as the drug house, which a few other neighbors object to on the grounds that it tends to devalue other properties in the immediate area.  I think the moniker is here to stay.

Tulip Tree

The flowers on the tulip tree don't last long.  There were no petals on the ground the day before this picture was taken, but today there is evidence of shedding.  All the flowers will be off in two or three days.

Flowering Tree

I've been watching this tree for several weeks, and it shows no sign of shedding its flowers.  These trees don't seem to grow very quickly and must do fairly well in the shade, as there are several small ones around the neighborhood.

The Sheeny Man

Unlimited pick up is coming to Lincoln Woods and the Sheeny Man was making the rounds.  There is some controversy about the term Sheeny.  I thought it was synonymous with junk man, but was corrected when I was down South; it's used as a derogatory term for Jews.  HistoryMike blogged about that here.  I tend to agree with HistoryMike's assessment.  When I lived in Madison, Wisconsin and later in Baton Rouge, Louisiana the Sheeny Man would make regular stops at the apartment complex dumpsters and pick up any furniture or housewares put outside.  Most often people would put their usable furniture next to the dumpster rather than inside it, and I found several useful items that way, including a rather nice floor lamp and a large piece of luggage that was in pristine shape. 

I think Excellent Rachmaninoff likes cold weather better than heat.  He showed that he was somewhat tired and not up to his regular self yesterday, as he failed to bark at kids on roller blades who passed us.  He was content to enjoy a little shade.

Rachmaninoff in the Shade