Friday, September 30, 2011

Rant: Self Defense

I'd have thought this article would have come from the local bird cage liner, but it seems I was a bit too quick on the trigger.  WTOL News 11, Toledo's self-proclaimed news leader advocates we all surrender meekly to villains, burglars and thieves in the hope that the criminals will let us alone.  Here's a link to the article: Violent crimes in Toledo rising, police say residents need plan

I have a plan, thank you so much for your consideration.  Here's the part that causes my blood pressure to rise.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Life: More Foster Kids

As some of you know and others don't, my brother Shotgun Bob and his wife The Girl decided that they would become foster parents. The reasons behind this decision are known only to Divinity, and that includes Shotgun Bob and The Girl. Their first foster child, Flounder, has been returned to the system for being too aggressive with The Girl. I don't know the particulars and no one is talking, but I'm guessing that Flounder threatened physical violence while in the midst of a temper tantrum. Flounder was thrown out of the local YMCA over this kind of behavior, so I'm not all that surprised.

Foster care soon offered a replacement. Two boys and a girl, all related, between the ages of 10 and 15 needed a home. After Shotgun Bob played 20 questions with the social worker, he still had more questions than answers. The current foster parents were contacted via telephone and the three had a conference call. Here's an approximation of the interesting part:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Well, it's that time of year again.  I wrote about the entire business last year - here's the link to Happy Birthday 2010.  Centenarian is one hundred and three years old - that's right, 103.  Yes, it's amazing.  The next question invariably concerns her well-being, which is fair.  Up until a couple months ago, Centenarian was living by herself with regular visits from Main Lady and irregular visits from yours truly, Mad Jack.  That has changed.

Film Review: Killer Elite (2011)

Killer Elite (2011)
Rated: R
Running Time: 105 min
Genres: Action | Thriller

Jason Statham as Danny (Our Hero)
Clive Owen as Spike (Primary Villian)
Robert De Niro as Hunter (Our Hero's Hero)
Dominic Purcell as Davies
Aden Young as Meier
Yvonne Strahovski as Anne
Ben Mendelsohn as Martin
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Agent
David Whiteley as MI6 Man
Matthew Nable as Pennock
Lachy Hulme as Harris
Firass Dirani as Bakhait
Nick Tate as Commander B
Bille Brown as Colonel Fitz
Stewart Morritt as Campbell
and a host of others who are generally inimical to Our Hero and his Friends.

I wanted to see this action film because I was in the mood for something that did not require a lot of thinking, that had things blowing up with a nice, loud bang and might have naked women in it. This film satisfies the parameters pretty well, but there's an added attraction that made me glad I went to see it; It's based on a true story. Just how true is up for debate, but after reading about the author I'm inclined to read the book and decide for myself.  Here's a film review without spoilers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Film Review: Contagion (2011)

Film Review: Contagion (2011)
Contagion (2011)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 106 min
Genres: Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Gwyneth Paltrow as Beth Emhoff (who dies early)
Tien You Chui as Li Fai (this is the same Tien You Chui who played Officer James Shum in La lingerie and who also played Goh Keung in The Haunted School. Who knew?)
Josie Ho as Li Fai's Sister (Josie Ho! Need I write more?)
Daria Strokous as Irina
Matt Damon as Mitch Emhoff
Monique Gabriela Curnen as Lorraine Vasquez
Griffin Kane as Clark Morrow
Yoshiaki Kobayashi as Japanese Bus Man (finally, after years of directing and abusing actors in the name of art, it is now Yoshiaki's turn in the barrel)
Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Ellis Cheever
John Hawkes as Roger
Jude Law as Alan Krumwiede
Teri McEvoy as School Nurse
Sue Redman as ER Nurse #1
Teri Campbell as ER Nurse #2
Stef Tovar as Dr. Arrington
and a host of others, most of whom die off during the film.

I saw Contagion a few days ago and since then I've gone through three bottles of hand sanitizer and invested in one gross of Latex surgical gloves. If you are interested in developing a good case of mysophobia and a high probability of moving on up to full blown obbsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), then I can highly reccommend this film as a good beginning. Here's why, without spoilers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

John Coble for Judge

A good friend of mine, John Coble, is running for office.  You can check out his website here, at John Coble for Judge.  John is running for Judge at Toledo Municipal Court.  He's endorsed by the following organizations:

  • Lucas County Democratic Party
  • Teamsters Local 20
  • Ohio and Vicinity Council of Carpenters
  • Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbers, Steamfitters and Service Mechanics Local 50
  • Carpenters Local 1138

and John is also endorsed by yours truly, Mad Jack.  John's a good man.  He's fair minded and equitable, he's got a lot of experience with the justice system and he's so honest I'd shoot dice with him over the phone.  I believe that John will be an outstanding judge and a real credit to the community.

The current incumbent, Robert Christiansen, has not endorsed John as yet but I'm sure he'll come around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Blog: Things I Don't Understand

I've been getting short, commercialized comments from someone calling himself covnitkepr1, which I suppose translates into something like Covenant Keeper One.  The man purports to being a born again Christian and writes one essay a month.  His blog is AccordingToTheBook and his one line comments always end with:
I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower as well.
I checked out his blog and found a critical error on page 1.  Ain't is always the way?

Hold the Onions, Please...

Back in February I wrote about Steve Hartsel, the city manager of Hudson, Michigan and his head on collision with the Hudson Machine.  You can read about the particulars here:If You Don't Stop It, You'll Go Blind!, but the long and short of it (pun intended) is that a spiteful, lying bitch on a stick accused Steve of pulling his pud in public.  The case finally went to trial and on September 15, the jury returned a verdict.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Restaurant Review: Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Maumee Bay Brewing Company
Maumee Bay Brewing Company

The Oliver House
27 Broadway; Toledo, Ohio 43604
(419) 243-1302
Mon – Thurs 3 PM - 10 PM
Fri - Sat 3 PM - 11 PM
Closed Sunday
Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Although I've eaten many times at Maumee Bay Brewing I've never given it a review, mainly because I'm lazy.  Big Mike and I customarily eat a late lunch at Maumee Bay after shooting at The Bullet Stop, there being few things that go together as nicely as lunch after shooting.  In short, Maumee Bay is a micro brewery, producing two products and offering a third that both of us enjoy.  So generally, there isn't much of an argument about where we go after we finish shooting.  Note that I said generally, because recently things got bad enough that I considered mounting a serious objection to Maumee Bay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rant: TSA Thugs

In all reasonable probability most people have read the account of Shoshana Hebshi, a Toledo, Ohio area blogger who was seized by The Anointed One's fascist thugs because someone said that she'd been behaving suspiciously on a flight from Denver, Colorado to Detroit, Michigan.  Since We the People retain a limited version of the first amendment, Ms. Hebshi wrote about her account; Some Real Shock and Awe - Racially Profiled and Cuffed In Detroit.  Forbes magazine summarized the event: Woman shocked by being taken from plane in Detroit.  At this point the real question is, What are our elected officials in Washington D.C. going to do about it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Life: Dogs and Sunflowers

I'm posting this for my own amusement and to elicit a response from History Mike, a blogger of some local renown who is own hiatus due (he claims) to a self-imposed work load.  You see, History Mike has a fondness for sunflowers and grows his own with some success - that is, when he can keep the puggles out of them long enough.  I photographed this while walking Excellent Rachmaninoff through Lincoln Woods.

But first a paid political announcement.

Restaurant Review: Criteria

Having written a few restaurant reviews and planning to continue to do so, I though I might write a brief explanation of what I'm looking for when I review a restaurant.  Generally speaking, here's what I look for.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Life: RFI from LEO - Updates

This is an update of my post RFI from LEO. If you haven't done so, I suggest you read the original post before trying to decipher this one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Life: RFI from LEO

Request For Information from Law Enforcement Officers

Contrary to popular belief, Big Mike was not assembled from used up people by a Mad Scientist working in a remote laboratory somewhere in Austrian mountains (like this unfortunate).  He's the right size, but the resemblance stops there.  I support my affirmation with the existence of Big Mike's mother, a kind and goodhearted lady that it has been my privilege to know for almost as long as I've known Mike.  In the past I've referred to Mike's mom as Chatelaine and Mrs. Martini as memory and the situation dictated; here I will refer to her as The Victim.  You see, someone or several someones broke into Chatelaine's home and burglarized it.  The scumbags didn't get away with much since Chatelaine keeps her valuables in a safety deposit box, but they did break in and they did steal.

This crime was committed during the day, in the afternoon.  The criminals were forced to use the window since Big Mike had secured the doors with deadbolt locks.  The back window was smashed out and the window frame ruined.  Loose change was stolen along with a one gallon whiskey bottle filled with pennies - go figure that one out.  They didn't take the TV or any electronics.

The chief clue is a message left on the answering machine.  A girl called Chatelaine's house when Chatelaine wasn't home, allowed the machine to answer the call, play its message and begin recording.  Then we can hear a female say "Okay, she's not home." with two or more males in the background and the phone goes dead.

Chatelaine called the police when the crime was discovered, filled out all the forms that the police and insurance company requested and the crime has been turned over to a Toledo Police detective.  Here's the problem: The detective refuses to work the case.

All I know about police detective work I've learned by reading the paper and watching TV, but it seems to me that if a clearly suspicious phone call was made, some sort of record of that call would be available to officialdom - like a police detective, for instance.  But maybe I'm wrong about that.

Anyway, getting around to the point here, I know that a certain number of people who read this site are law enforcement officers or affiliated with law enforcement one way or another.  So my question is this:

How do we get the police detective to work on this particular case?

If the answer is 'you don't', I'll accept that and move along.  Nothing more to see, right?  However, all of the people involved are open to suggestions.  If anyone isn't comfortable posting, by all means send me some email.  We'd all appreciate any help or suggestions you can give us.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Life: Range Report.

Last Saturday was range day, and as usual Big Mike got hold of me earlier in the week, interrupting my afternoon siesta with the news he was coming into town for an unscheduled visit and felt inclined to put a few holes in paper.  When Big Mike asked me to choose between Cleland's and The Bullet Stop, I naturally chose the closer of the two - Cleland's.  Big Mike objected.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Film Review: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
Rated: R
Running Time: 99 min
Genres: Horror | Thriller

Bruce Gleeson as Buggy Driver (Our Buggy Driver)
Edwina Ritchard as Housekeeper (Our Helpful Extra)
Garry McDonald as Blackwood (No Good Local Crazy, Deceased)
Bailee Madison as Sally (Our Heroine)
Katie Holmes as Kim (Our Hero's New Girlfriend/Wife)
Guy Pearce as Alex (Our Hero)
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen as Airport Cart Driver
Jack Thompson as HarrisJulia Blake as Mrs. Underhill
David Tocci as Workman
Lance Drisdale as Policeman
Nicholas Bell as Psychiatrist
Libby Gott as Nurse
James Mackay as Librarian
Emelia Burns as Caterer
...and a host of others, all of whom should have been killed off but none of whom were.

This is one of the good old straightforward horror movies, no more, no less.  People do stupid stuff like split up and investigate on their own, the monsters are good performers and the grand finale is fairly predictable.  That doesn't make for a bad film; it just doesn't make a new, innovative and interesting film. Still, the film has some good scenes, it manages to build suspense in all the right places and the pacing is good. Here's the good and the bad, without spoilers.


My congratulations along with a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of my afternoon bourbon glass to Stephanie M. Lorée over at Scribbler to Scribe. Stephanie is officially a published author as of today (Thursday, September 1, 2011). You can read about it at Officially Published.

Good job, Stephanie.