Monthly Archives: October 2009

Living in the Mahoning Valley and Smiling

I haven’t gotten around to making a list of the best things our valley has to offer. I got to thinking, I just need to add some of the places  I have experienced on each blog I post.  More than anything else on my blog, I want you to go to the Armchair Activist section and utilize the actions you agree with.

The following are just a few of a weeks worth of  places I enjoyed in our valley. Yesterday at work we order food delivered, from the Grub Club. It is located at 300 Pratt Street in Niles, Ohio.  They have excellent subs and any sub can be turned into a salad which is very large. There is another Grub Club located at 3600 Southern Blvd. Youngstown OH. Here is their menu.

I needed some hardware goods the other day so I stopped at my favorite hardware store, Handyman Hardware & Supply. It is located at 2200 N. Bellwood Ave. (off of 422 in the McKinley Heights area) Niles, Oh. They have plenty of help and will make sure you find what you are looking for.  You can get in and out quick and once you shop here you’ll pass those big box hardware stores right up.

My daughter was home from college this weekend and wanted me to bring home some fish on Friday. Some of her favorite fish comes from the Buena Vista, home of Uncle Nick’s Greek Chicken. Luckily the Bueva Vista has established a couple of  BV~II~Go locations. One is in Niles on Rt. 422 so I was able to call ahead and pull up to their drive in window. Their fish dinner includes two large pieces of fish and is so mild even the not so crazy about fish, Mrs. Elecpencil enjoys it. The original Uncle Nick’s Buena Vista in Warren, OH. has been around since 1956 making the best fried chicken in the area.

Mr. and Mrs. Elecpencil took their weekly journey to Rulli Brothers grocery store located at 8025 South Ave. Boardman, OH. It is a beautiful new grocery store and locally owned.  It has a very extensive wine and beer selection, nice produce, and good prices on meat. The Elecpencils’ got boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.29 a pound.  Shop locally owned stores, you’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, on the way to Rullis we decide to grab a bite. We went to my favorite bar, the Royal Oaks. It is the oldest bar in Youngstown and is located at 924 Oak St.  Here is a nice article on the Oaks. It was Wednesday so the special was 15 wings for the price of 10. We had 15 Raspberry BBQ wings, fries, and a generous serving of onion rings. Great BBQ sauce really made the wings, good hand cut fries, and some of then best onion rings I’ve ever had. I also love their ribs and burgers which are some of the best around.  Besides our food we had a beer and a pop and the bill came to  a very reasonable $12.

I was just going to do a small segment on these area places and here I went and filled up this post. These area businesses and many more, I will talk about, make me smile and be happy I call this valley home! I will save my issue about a wrong number phone call I received until next time. Meanwhile, enjoy our valley!!

Happy Halloween: Roseanne Halloween

I am going to start featuring some area music. I will lead off with the Zou.

When the Ink Dries

They Don’t Make Them

“A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.”

Erma Bombeck


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Dumb White Folks

I have never been able to understand racism. Support by poor white Southerners for slave owners during the Civil War has always puzzled me. Many of these whites lost their jobs at plantations because the plantation owners replaced them with black slaves.  Yet, when the end of slavery was threatened the same plantation owners were able to convince the poor white former plantation workers that they should pick up arms to fight for the plantation owners.  The plantation owners didn’t go to battle or if they did they called themselves, colonels and stayed back from harms way while the poor whites were in the front lines dying.

The plantation owners convinced the poor whites that the war was over states rights. You know like the B.S. today from the right like: those on the left are going to outlaw your God and guns, that gay marriage rights would mean a loss of heterosexual rights, that dirty air, low wages, non-unions, corporate welfare and tort reform are what is needed to make America’s businesses grow.

I ran across this video awhile ago. It show whites in New Orleans trashing blacks who suffered during Hurricane Katrina:

These whites are not unlike the former white plantation workers who were used like puppets in a war to fight for the interests of the rich.  The whites in the video are being used in a class war today.  They are puppets for today’s rich ruling class that stays in power by promoting the kind of hate seen in this video.

The best explanation of how working-class whites are used I have seen is explained in this video:

Atomic Rooster: The Devil’s Answer

Broken Wings

“At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when he brought some people into being.” ~ Friedrich Otto Hertz

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Plenty to do so Enjoy

Last Sunday Mr. and Mrs. Elecpencil attended Christmas in the Woods in Columbiana Ohio.  There were over 100 crafters selling beautiful handmade goods.  It is also going on this Saturday October 17 and Sunday October 18. I highly recommend you check it out.

B.E. Taylor will be performing Christmas music both days (noon-1) and from (2-3).  Check out appearances on his site to catch the longer versions of the Christmas shows he does throughout the PA, OH and West Virginia areas. Mrs. Elecpencil and I loved his show last year in New Castle, PA so much we will be attending it again this year. You can also catch his show on December 4, 2009 at Victory Christian Center in Coitsville, OH.

Today Mr. and Mrs. Elecpencil ventured down to Newell, West Virgina. we attended the tent sale held at Homer Laughlin China Co. It’s a crazy event where Fiestawear lovers like Mrs. E stand in line for hours to buy Fiestaware seconds and  discontinued china items. It was actually lots of fun visiting with people from all over while freezing in line.

On the way home we stopped in picturesque Lisbon Ohio. We had a late lunch at Pondi’s Restaurant and Bar on Rt. 45. It’s a small quaint place that has been around forever. Mrs. E enjoyed a very good hamburger while I had a Haddock sandwich with hand cut fries that was excellent. I was surprised that with a soda and a draft beer we ended up with a bill under $15.00. Good value and great food. I’m told their dinner menu offers steaks and blackened fish that is excellent.

While in Lisbon we swung by Mary’s Pizza located on N. Beaver St. near the high school. Mary’s  started in 1961 and many folks claim it’s the best pizza they have ever eaten.  I have never tried Mary’s pizza but I learned they have frozen ones to go so I thought while I was in Lisbon I’d check it out. I’ll be eating it sometime this week so I’ll let you know my opinion.

Update: Mr. and Mrs. Elecpencil heated up Mary’s pizza for our Saturday dinner. This is really different pizza that I can’t really compare to any other pizza. It came out of the oven with a crunchy thin layer but with a thick layer of dough on top. Very good meat sauce with lots of cheese.  If you like thick dough this is the ticket. Don’t ever order it with extra sauce or cheese as it already has a generous amount.

I’m tired of having people tell me there is nothing to do around here. That is just so much B.S. Truth is every day I can find a dozen things to do. The only thing limiting me is time and money. Get out and take a fall drive and enjoy yourself!

Greenslade: Bedside Manners are Extra

Red Light

“People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” ~ John Wannamaker


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Senator Combover and Health Care

The Elecpencil stopped at Dubic’s  Palm Cafe today for lunch. They are located at 301 Steel Street in Youngstown. The place was packed and for good reason. They smoke chicken, ham and lamb every Saturday. I am not a lamb fan but the ham is the best I have ever tasted! You can buy ham by the pound and a half or whole chicken. Don’t take my word for it check out Casey Malone’s  review here: Palm Cafe.

Also cross the street and go to Roscoe’s Poultry Market for some chicken or steaks to grill up at home. Roscoe’s also has spices and their own line of soda.

I was surprised to hear President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s  based on hope for what he might do in the future. I’m already disappointed I haven’t seen any of that change he promised while campaigning.  Obama won in a field of 205 people nominated. I’d love to see the rest of the list but the names are kept secret for 50 years. One good thing about Obama winning is that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s brains exploded upon hearing the news. Both of their brains were put in the same thimble with room to spare.

What in the heck are the congressmen and senators doing about a health care plan?  I want a health care plan but I’m worried about this crowd. You see I am a CSPAN junkie. I have taken a good look at the senators and congressmen. I therefore ask myself, do I want this bunch of politicians picking our future health care plan?

The last CSPAN Senate hearing I watched I was thinking, oh look there is Senator Combover from Montana, Sen. Combover from Indiana, Sen. Combover from Florida etc. Do we want a group that thinks their combovers look good making life or death decisions for us? It’s amazing the king of combovers Donald Trump isn’t a senator. How early do you think he gets up in the morning to tease that rat’s nest?

Still don’t get what I am saying? Think locally. Former Congressman Jim Traficant might run for congress again. I suppose his slogan will be, “Put the con in congress.” Do you want Jimbo who picked out that rug picking your health care plan? I understand that Jimbo’s wife is a hair dresser. Wow, ladies I ask you do you want your hair done by a woman who let her hubby wear that throw rug? The woman must be blind.

I would think that Traficant’s health care plan would include some preventative health options. Like to improve your health you need some more exercise. Jimbo would set up an exercise program where you have a choice in physical exercise. You can either go to Poland, Ohio and work on his farm for free or do the same in DC working on his boat.

When my wife and I were dating I use to play a game with her when, we were somewhere like a mall that was crowded. I called it, “Toupee alert.” I would say, “ Toupee alert and it’s a really bad head carpet.” My wife would then have to figure out who I meant. It was kind of  a “Where’s Waldo” of  bad hair pieces.  Oddly enough my wife still married me.

The congress has health care so they can drag their feet about passing a plan for others.  There are tons of folks who are without health care and in trouble now.

Horslips: Trouble With a Capital T

Horslips: Sword of Light

Here in Washington, DC, we do anything we please and get away with it… Why? Because the average American voter doesn’t even read a newspaper anymore and has the attention span of a cocker spaniel… You don’t care, so we don’t care! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha… – Wiley, Non Sequitur, 9/24/2000

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The Secret War We are Losing

Mr. and Mrs. Elecpencil did something today that we only do a couple of times a year. We went to see a movie today. We went to Tinseltown in Boardman, Ohio to see, “Capitalism : A Love Story.” This is Michael Moore’s latest film and I highly recommend it.

Some film credits have claimed it’s, Moore’s best film. I have seen all of his films and think it is impossible to pick one over the other. That is because each film represents a place in time and the time is right for this film. Some critics are claiming Moore offers no solutions in, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” I feel any critic that says that just wasn’t paying attention.

Moore’s answer is more democracy in politics and the workplace. He shows workers applying direct action and workers who own their own companies and control the means of production. He ends the film by asking people to join him in fighting back against the corporations that own our politicians and control our media. Moore features Ohio politicians, Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur. We Ohioans are lucky to have these two representing us.

I agree that Moore is right we all need to wake up and realize there  is a class war going on and we are losing. We are losing because if we even say the word, “CLASS WARFARE” the media goes crazy calling us communists. Meanwhile the media pushes the agenda of the top 1% in this country. That includes agendas like Tort Reform, tax cuts for the rich and getting rid of Estate Taxes.

I note that while I was in the movie a group of citizens was elsewhere applying direct action. That was happening at the teabagger party going on in Warren, Ohio’s Courthouse Square. Unfortunately, these poor and middle-class citizens were being used by the corporate owned media FOX NEWS. These teabaggers were fighting for Tort Reform, Repeal of Estate Taxes and against providing health care for needy fellow Americans.

Did the teabaggers invite politicians like Kaptur and Kucinich that have the peoples best interest at heart? No, they invited former Rep. Traficant who went to prison for serving his own interest.

Teabaggers are busy bashing Obama as if he has passed some radical agenda for this country. The truth is he hasn’t done much of anything yet and in the end will probably be shown to be just one more corporate owned politician. The following video from last nights, “Saturday Night Live” sums up my thoughts on Obama better than anything else I have seen:

Root Boy Slim: Hey Mr. President

Boogie till You Puke

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning. ~ Warren Buffett

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