Monthly Archives: April 2010

No to Teabaggers, Yes to Former Grass Baggers

I heard a candidate for office say; he would get rid of the new health care plan. When asked, what he would replace it with he said, he had no idea. That is the problem with many people who are against something but have no inkling of  a solution.

I don’t hate the government because that would be self-loathing. You see, we are the government. So when I say, I think the government can make a better world I mean, “we the people” are the solution. Given that, it’s up to us to focus on problems and offer solutions. I want to address problems like: air pollution, soil and water pollution, waste of water, waste of fuel, waste of money, waste of time, and noise pollution. At the same time I have  a solution to these problems and many more.  I want to unleash a huge army of volunteers. They would be available to help at: food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, parks, playgrounds, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Helpline, etc.

Who makes up this army of volunteers you ask? It’s folks with lots of time and energy on their hands. They are people who make up my neighborhood and I’m sure yours too. There are so many of them that if we can harness their wasted money, time and energy we can make the USA a heaven on Earth. I’m talking about drafting an army of people known as, “Yard Nazis.”

My yard is completely surrounded by retired, Yard Nazis who have given up on life. They must have because they have decided to do nothing but mow their grass 4-5 times a week. They do this whether it needs it or not. Truth is I mow my yard about once every 10 days and that is all it needs. Mowing 4-5 times a week is a lot of noise and air pollution. Then there is the pollution of soil and water by all the chemicals these grass worshippers dump on their lawns. Then there is the pollution from these people burning leafs, sticks and grass clippings. In my neighborhood burn barrels are like altars to these lawn worshippers. Burning yard waste is a religious sacrament to these people. There is a major waste of money on chemicals, mowers, leaf blowers, edger’s, weedwackers and other tools. Just think about how much good that money could do, if given to charity. Here is a video about how people are crazy about their lawns.

To Yard Nazis riding a lawn tractor is like being, Ben Cartwright riding on a horse overseeing his Ponderosa. One of my neighbor ladies uses a push mower with a bagger. When she is done, she gets on her riding mower with a bagger and mows a second time. She does this at least 4 times a week. All the while she has a cigarette hanging out the corner of her mouth. Ladies, this is not a good look and not a good idea while near a mowers gas tank. Of course in my neighborhood when one Yard Nazi mows the rest are mowing within minutes, even if they mowed the day before.

Over mowing adds to the  national security issue by wasting gas, as that puts us at the mercy of foreign countries that provide us with gasoline. We need to convince Yard Nazis that they are unpatriotic. It won’t be easy because these people are addicts. The smell of gas and grass is like crack to these mowing junkies. These people are to be pitied and need intervention. They are doing meaningless and destructive polluting tasks that need to be redirected. Once they have seen that their time and energy can help their fellow-man they will feel more productive. This new army of volunteers could create a revolution of good will that could change our world for the better.

It won’t be easy to convince Yard Nazis of their potential for good. Some laws will have to be considered. Things like rationing gas so the can only mow once a week could be a start. Maybe to benefit the Red Cross they could have an exchange of one pint of gas for every pint of blood donated. Mowers could also be equipped with a governor or monitor so that it only works one hour a week.

Some Yard Nazis probably cannot get over their addiction. For them we would have a program called, “Grow Food Not Grass.” Yard Nazis tend to waste lots of time so they need to be taught how to grow food quickly. That way they would not waste all day in the garden. This way we could provide for hungry people. Many of my grass worshipping neighbors also have gardens, that they spend many wasted hours in. My neighbor Mr. S brought me over a huge head of cabbage. It was very nice of him especially if you count how many hours he spent in that garden. Doing the math even at minimum wage I realized, he had given me a, $1500 head of cabbage.

We need to do the best we can for the future generations with our time on this planet. Think about when you get to heaven. When St. Peter asks, “What did you do with your life?” Do you really want to say, “I mowed grass.” If God wanted the grass to be half an inch tall he would not have made it to grow.

These junkies can be the new silent majority that can save the planet. We don’t need the, teabaggers we need former grass baggers!  Onward Yard Nazi Army with this new slogan, “Doing good deeds and ignoring the weeds.”

Song: No Mow Zone

Song: Mow the Lawn

Grass is the cheapest plant to install and the most expensive to maintain. ~Pat Howell


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CAFE’ NU, Martini Bros. and Controllers

I was able to go out to lunch Thursday. I went to, CAFE’ NU located at, 300 Churchill-Hubbard Road Liberty, Ohio. It’s a nicely decorated cafe that seats a little under twenty people and has take out. As far as food think, Panera on a smaller friendlier scale. Actually, it has more sandwich choices and vegetarian choices than Panera. The meats on their sandwiches are American Heart Association approved Boars Head meats and cheeses. To drink have: coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, frappe, mocha, iced coffee, tea, hot chocolate, steamers, orange juice and more. For breakfast try a: bagel, cinnamon roll, muffin, breakfast square, breakfast panini or an organic yogurt parfait layer with fruit and granola. For lunch, soup of the day and nearly a dozen different salads. How different of a salad? How about an, Asian Noodle Salad.  It features, Japanese noodles, carrots, celery, green onion, red peppers, Napa cabbage, bok choy and sesame seeds tossed in a soy & housin sauce dressing.  You’re not going to find that at Panera.

What I like best about, CAFE’ NU is that they use the best local ingredients and organic products which helps support our community. So now it’s time for the community to give back, by eating at CAFE’ NU. It’s great food and even the Elecpencil can afford to eat there! Hours are: Mon.-Fri 7 AM- 4 PM and Saturday 10 AM-2 PM.

Mrs. Elecpencil and I also enjoyed dinner one night at another relatively new place in our valley. We went to Martini Brothers, 1300 North State St. Girard, OH. They are located inside the Creekside Golf Dome. We both enjoyed excellent hamburgers on ciabatta rolls and fries. We have some great burgers in the area and I’d rate this burger as a contender. I’ve been told by others their pasta, pizza and long list of sandwiches are all very good. If you’re really hungry enter a contest to see if you can eat the monster, “Fat burger.”  Prices are very affordable and they offer some terrific happy hour specials. To help you out, go to this page and click on 1 coupon and enjoy!

Now for something concerning parents. Mrs. Elecpencil and I have raised a son and daughter, both are now in college. For those of you parents who do not have a female and male child, I think some myths should be exposed. A good job of breaking the top five myths about gender is done in this article. I want to address myth #5 which shows males are just as emotional as females. Males though are more likely to hide their emotions from onlookers.

I want to talk about some overly emotional maleness I was privy to this weekend. It was an ugly emotion that turned  to verbal cruelty and a need to control. My daughter, the Mac, a freshman in college, came home from college this past weekend. Along with her, she brought her roommate to visit our home for the first time. It was the first time the roommate had been to Ohio. Mac took her roomy to meet grandma. After playing cards with grandma they  went to visit one of Mac’s high school friends (a female). The next night, Mac was taking her roommate to meet a few of Mac’s friends (again all females) who happened to also be home from various colleges.

I had noticed that the roommate was spending a large part of the weekend either answering calls or texting on her cellphone. As Mac, a neighbor girl and the roommate were about to leave the roommate gets another call on her cellphone. Her boyfriend from her hometown was calling, telling her, she is not allowed to go out anywhere. She was in my daughter’s room arguing with him for hours on her cellphone. She told Mac, to go ahead and leave as she was not going to go with her. Mac and the neighbor left to meet their friends.

The next day before heading back to college, Mac told us that the roommate gets calls at college from the boyfriend, telling her to stay in her dorm. Mac, told us she would never take that B.S. from any boy. That was very reassuring to Mrs. Elecpencil and I because we raised her not to ever be controlled by anyone or to try to control anyone else for that matter. We of course taught our son the same thing.

I am afraid that controlling and verbally abusive males could possibly also resort to physical abuse. Parents, here are the ten signs to teach you children that they dating a controller. Teach you children to respect themselves enough to not want to have anything to do with the controller types. The Mac thanked us the other day for raising her, to know love should not include hurt. Teach your children to avoid the emotional controlling types, your kids will thank you.

Fun With the Gregory Brothers:

When you meet that right person it’s: Butter On My Roll

The Gregory Brothers: Nobel, U.N. Health Care

Don’t smother each other.  No one can grow in the shade.  ~Leo Buscaglia

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Lunch and a Tea Party

I was off work this week so I was able to go out to lunch, a couple of times. One day I went to the Elmton, in Struthers, Ohio. I had a couple of pieces of their pizza, which is one of my favorites in the area. It has a unique taste because it is topped with Swiss cheese. I sat at the bar and also enjoyed a Labatts on draught. The also have excellent broasted chicken and chicken parm. I highly recommend the Elmton. Two pieces of pizza and a beer and I spent less than $5.

On a different day I enjoyed lunch with a friend. We went to Basilones at 708 Roemer Blvd. in Farrell, PA. I had not been there in decades but it was as good as I remember. It looks like a little hole in the wall but is a very nice place inside. The have a limited menu, plus fresh daily specials. I like a place with a limited menu because it says, they have learned to do a few things very well.  They have some of the best hot dogs you are going to find. Try the, Margie Dog, which has hot peppers (mild ones available). Also try the white pizza (pizza available after 4). Its Elecpencil affordable and also highly recommended.

I want to mention another group in our area that is reviewing restaurants, in the interest of promoting our area, the Grub Club.

I got an e-mail asking me if I was going to make fun of the Tea Party held yesterday in downtown, Warren, OH. I can’t humorously compete with the outrageous humor of the event itself. This from the Warren Tribune, 4/11/2010: “several area residents had their turn up front during open mic segments of the event. Bob McFall of West Farmington, for example, offered up a call to put people back into office who will “represent the people, speak for the people and work for the people.” McFall like most tea baggers in attendance called for the election of honest people. Yet, former representative U.S. Rep. James Traficant was a featured speaker. The “baggers” see nothing ironic with having Traficant who served time in prison for serving himself and not the people, being someone they admire. It’s as if these Tea Party events were scripted by Monty Python.

Also from the Warren Tribune, “Standing among the crowd, Dennis Pisegna of Hermitage, Pa., said he “is waking up.” Saturday marked his first visit to a Tea Party. However, he said he plans on attending many more and doing what he can to make his position known.” This country is under siege,” he said. “People need to realize that, understand that and do something about it. It’s not going to change unless we stand together and let our government and our leaders know that we are serious.”

Under siege? Are there armed military troops in the streets sent by the government, I missed somewhere? A few years ago I traveled with a few others to protest an appearance by, President GW Bush. He was making a Labor Day speech at Neville Island, PA. The group I was with was carrying various signs, all opposing GW’s policies. The police escorted us to a small park behind a high fence, somewhat out of site of where Bush’s motorcade would pass. We joined 50 other protesters behind what we called, “the first amendment fence.” One elderly man defied the cops and went outside the fence. He said, “This is America I have a right to demonstrate.” He was promptly arrested. Bush supporters walked past the fence and heckled us. Even if I had been one of his supporters, I would have wondered what was happening to my America, that protesters were kept behind a fence. It didn’t seem to bother  any of those supporters passing by.

I think the Tea Party protesters are being used by the corporate powers, in my country but I still support their right to assemble and protest. I reserve the right to protest their protest. If they were to give me a hard time about doing that then I have a problem with them. I also have a problem when they spit on politicians and call them, niggers or fags. Now a days protesters against President Obama stand on street corners with pistols in holsters and rifles slung over their shoulders. By today’s laws they are allowed to do this. It does make me wonder what the NRA would do if their members came to the NRA convention all packing loaded guns. The only weapon I had a few years ago while protesting Bush was a sign and some oral ammunition and I was put behind a fence and guarded by police. Yet, I am being told Obama is taking our rights away? Stop it, you’re making my side hurt from laughing.

The tea baggers are calling for smaller government. Corporations want a smaller government and less safety nets for the people, as that is money that will be up for grabs, for more corporate welfare. The tea baggers are being used as an end to a means for the corporations. The corporations will not be content; until the USA is one big “company town” such as the coal companies use to run. Look at the latest coal mining disaster, where employees were just a “resource,” to be used and thrown away. The coal company had plenty of safety violations because profits are more important than people.

Let’s be honest, we would have had a health care bill a long time ago if we had tied it to: corporate welfare, estate tax law changes, tax breaks for the rich and farm subsidies. I see the tea baggers as a dangerous vehicle as they are operating on a fuel known as, fear. The fear fuel is provided daily by the likes of: Rush, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O’Rielly, etc.

I ran into a tea bagger type a couple of days ago. He was an employee of a recycling center I was at. He started telling me about how we need to throw all of the incumbent politicians out of office. I told him as we are both working-class guys we need to look at what each politician has done for us. I stressed how we need to not vote against our own interests. I tried to find what we had in common and work from that position. By the time I left we had both agreed, that not everything is as black and white as it seems. Try to find what you have in common with people and work from there. I’m convinced world peace is going to come from as many one on one encounters as we all can do in a life time. Peace

Chumbawamba: “Never Mind the Ballots”

“Hanging on the Old barbed Wire”

The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That’s the only difference. ~ Ralph Nader

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Condolances, Beer, Poetry and War

First off my condolences to the family of, Mary Alice Gallagher Kaufman. I have a link to Mary’s blog, it is called, “Meander with me.” Mary was just shy of 90 and one wise woman. I learned a lot from her blog, I loved her poetry and her views about religion. We corresponded back and forth and I am glad now that I was able to tell her how much her views meant to me. If you have someone who has affected your life in a positive way DO NOT put off telling them that before they are gone. The world has a little less sunlight in it with Mary’s passing. Bless you, Mary.

Last week I went downtown Youngstown for an event. Mrs. Elecpencil was busy at a work meeting. I was on my own to grab a meal. Being a spring like day the only thing I was craving was a cold draft beer. Where does one go in Youngstown for the best cold draft? The Golden Dawn on the North Side,of course. The Golden Dawn has been around since, 1934. The bartenders are dressed in white shirts and ties.

What you want to get to drink is a schooner of Genesee. The schooner is a 15 oz. frosted glass of ice-cold draft that makes you say, ahhhhhhhhh.” The menu includes steaks costing over $15. Though the bulk of the menu is Elecpencil budget friendly. They have whole pizza for $5.25 or by the slice for a little more than a dollar. The pizza is on a soft dough with a slice of cheese on it. It is very different but quite good. Also available are cavatelli, fried chicken, and meatloaf dinners all very reasonable. From the sandwich section I got a meatball splash with homemade sauce and two schooners for a total of, $4.75. Truly one of the many treasures of the Youngstown area.

April is poetry month. To celebrate attend the Pig Iron Literary and Art Works Second Tuesday Open Poetry Reading, April 13, 2010. It will be held at the Art Outreach Gallery at Eastwood Mall, Niles, Ohio at 7:00 p.m.

I like poets who have something to say about the world we live in. I cannot think of poets who deserve to be heard more than soldiers serving our country. One such soldier poet is, infantry team leader in Iraq, Brian Turner. These poems are from his book, “Here Bullet.”

What Every Soldier Should Know

If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,

It could be for a wedding, or it could be for you.

Always enter a home with your right foot;
The left is for cemeteries and unclean places.

O-guf! Tera armeek is rarely useful.
It means Stop! Or I’ll shoot.
Sabah el Khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.
Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.

You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.
There are bombs under the overpasses,
In trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.
There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
In foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.
Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.

Graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kell you, American.

Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms and say Inshallah.
There are men who earn eighty dollars
To attack you, five thousand to kill.
Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai —
and any one of them
may dance over your body tomorrow.

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gag.

Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

One must admire a poet who can kind poetry in such horrible surroundings. Such poems need to be read to our politicians who send generation after generation off to wars. Let’s not forget that we not only need to get our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to stop the insanity of war.

To read other peoples war poems see here.

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Time to Go Home

Hey World (Don’t Give Up)

In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers. ~ August Bebel

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Condolences, Beer, Poetry and War

First off my condolences to the family of, Mary Alice Gallagher Kaufman. I have a link to Mary’s blog, it is called, “Meander with me.” Mary was just shy of 90 and one wise woman. I learned a lot from her blog, I loved her poetry and her views about religion. We corresponded back and forth and I am glad now that I was able to tell her how much her views meant to me. If you have someone who has affected your life in a positive way DO NOT put off telling them that before they are gone. The world has a little less sunlight in it with Mary’s passing. Bless you, Mary.

Last week I went downtown Youngstown for an event.  Mrs. Elecpencil was busy at a work meeting. I was on my own to grab a meal. Being a spring like day the only thing I was craving was a cold draft beer. Where does one go in Youngstown for the best cold draft? The Golden Dawn on the North Side, of course. The Golden Dawn has been around since, 1934. The bartenders are dressed in white shirts and ties.

What you want to get to drink is a schooner of Genesee. The schooner is a 15 oz. frosted glass of ice-cold draft that makes you say, ahhhhhhhhh.”  The menu includes steaks costing over $15. Though the bulk of the menu is Elecpencil budget friendly. They have whole pizza for $5.25 or by the slice for a little more than a dollar. The pizza is on a soft dough with a slice of cheese on it. It is very different but quite good. Also available are cavatelli, fried chicken, and meatloaf dinners all very reasonable. From the sandwich section I got a meatball splash with homemade sauce and two schooners for a total of, $4.75. Truly one of the many treasures of the Youngstown area.

April is poetry month. To celebrate attend the Pig Iron Literary and Art Works Second Tuesday Open Poetry Reading, April 13, 2010. It will be held at the Art Outreach Gallery at Eastwood Mall, Niles, Ohio at 7:00 p.m.

I like poets who have something to say about the world we live in. I cannot think of poets who deserve to be heard more than soldiers serving our country. One such soldier poet is, infantry team leader in Iraq, Brian Turner. These poems are from his book, “Here Bullet.”

What Every Soldier Should Know

If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,

It could be for a wedding, or it could be for you.

Always enter a home with your right foot;
The left is for cemeteries and unclean places.

O-guf! Tera armeek is rarely useful.
It means Stop! Or I’ll shoot.
Sabah el Khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.
Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.

You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.
There are bombs under the overpasses,
In trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.
There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
In foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.
Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.

Graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kell you, American.

Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms and say Inshallah.
There are men who earn eighty dollars
To attack you, five thousand to kill.
Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai —
and any one of them
may dance over your body tomorrow.

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gag.

Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

One must admire a poet who can find poetry in such horrible surroundings. Such poems need to be read to our politicians who send generation after generation off to wars. Let’s not forget that we not only need to get our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to stop the insanity of war.

To read other peoples war poems see here.

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Time to Go Home

Hey World (Don’t Give Up)

In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers. ~ August Bebel

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized