Monthly Archives: January 2011

Happy Meals?

I want to take a break from talking about politics. Instead I’d like to promote some of our area’s great restaurants. I decided sometime ago that I would not post about restaurants I had a bad meal at. On the other hand, I note that a few of the restaurants I’ve highly recommended have closed. I wonder how have some of these boring chain restaurants and some inferior locally owned ones survived when better ones close? I think it’s that the better ones need more people talking, posting and promoting them. I’ve also decided that I will criticize some of our area restaurants (and other businesses) in a hope that they will take a look at what they need to do better.

Let me mention a couple of restaurants that have been gone for years that I really miss. First off is a restaurant that was on Mahoning Ave. in Warren, OH. I think it was called, the Jamestown (if you remember the one I’m talking about let me know). Mrs. E will only eat fish if it isn’t fishy tasting. Given that, we could always count on the Jamestown to deliver. They had these small breaded and fried fish fingers. They were so good that I measure other restaurants fish fries by them. Next is Lum’s Restaurant a chain that was located in downtown Youngstown. They had fish and chips that were as good as it gets. Lum’s also had a Lum’s Burger that had secret spices on top that took a burger to a whole new level. Two excellent casual restaurants gone but not forgotten.

Mrs. E did give a thumbs up to a fried fish dinner we both enjoyed at the Buckeye Diner. It is located on Rt. 224 in Boardman, OH. Service was very good and the meal came very quickly. I’m told by others who’ve eaten at the Buckeye Diner that their breakfasts and burgers are well worth checking out. I must say I am rather baffled by what has taken place in burger architecture in recent years.  When I order lettuce on my burger why is  placed on top of the meat? What are they trying to hide? Proper construction is supposed to be a burger on a bed of lettuce, not a burger under a blanket of lettuce. What’s next lemon meringue pie with the meringue on the bottom?

I tried the fried fish dinner at O’Donald’s Irish Pub in Austintown. The menu called it the best fish fry in the area. It was just OK. Mrs. E had a salad with chicken on it. She sent it back because the chicken was nearly raw. The Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board says, O’Donald’s has a great burger so I’d say go with that.

Mrs. E, Adam (our son), his girlfriend and I went to the new Wing Warehouse franchise in Niles, Ohio. It’s located behind Eastwood Mall. The wings were cold as was the fajita nacho appetizer. Our server was very good, and I’m sure would have made things right but I don’t believe in sending food back. For now, I’d say they haven’t been open long enough to overcome start-up issues.

Mrs. E and I enjoyed an evening at Mikee’s Restaurant in the Youngstown Airport. I believe they are only opened Wed.-Sat. We had the Wednesday special which was 10 wings for $3.50. Tacos were also available for .50 and domestic beer was $1.00 a bottle. On Fridays they feature $1 burgers. The wings were good size and they had quite a number of sauces to pick from. With such good food and affordable prices I see why the place was packed.

Since I’m talking about wings let me mention a fixture in our area. I’m talking about Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, PA. I hadn’t been there in a decade and after recently going with my daughter, Mac I remembered why. We both ordered their week day lunch buffet, priced around $8.50. The waitress said, “You can order some wings with the buffet or get the ones at the buffet.” Mac wisely ordered 10 hot wings, I said, whatever was at the buffet was fine. When I got to the buffet I got the one wing that was left. They later brought out more wings. I got in line but was left with two wings. The wings were cold and tiny. The green beans, corn and mashed potatoes I got all had the same taste, and it was a foul taste. The waitress finally brought my iced tea, which I needed to wash down the nasty taste in my mouth. The next thing I know I was spitting up the iced tea. The tea had the same awful taste. I asked the waitress for a glass of water instead. I smelled the water and then realized their water was the culprit as the beans, corn and potatoes had all been cooked in it. They are located next to the Shenango River and I have the feeling they must be using it right from its source.  I have never been impressed with the “Lube” and wonder why it has lasted so long. They claim to have won wing contests where they were called, the best wings in the USA. I find that amazing because a few blocks away is “Our Gang’s Lounge” which has won the best wings in the Shenango Valley for several years in a row. I won’t wait a decade to go back….I’ll wait a lifetime.

Amos Lee: anti-war song Freedom

El Camino

“I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.”
Martha Harrison





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Remembering Christina the Youngest Victim

Among the six killed and 14 wounded in Tucson, Arizona was 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. I saw her parents talking about her on a TV interview. My heart went out to them. I was trying to imagine how hard that interview must have been to do. The parents must have been torn between wanting private time to grieve, and yet wanting to tell the world about the beauty and wonderment that was their daughter. Dad and Grandfather both worked at jobs in Major League Baseball. Dad talked about how much he loved watching Christina play second base on an all boy’s Little League Baseball team. Her father talked about how competitive and tenacious she could be at sports. Christina had told her parents she wanted to attend Penn State and make a career of helping those less fortunate.

She was featured in a book called “Faces of Hope” that chronicled one baby from each state born on 9/11/01.  Imaging watching a movie about a girl born on 9/11/01, the  day terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people. At the end of the movie the nine-year-old girl is killed by a terrorist at a supermarket. You would think the whole premise of the movie was too far-fetched.

The parents comments about Christina hit me hard as she sounded like my daughter, the Mac. Yes, Mac was twice as old but she also played second base on a softball team. Mac also played some Jr. High Basketball and a decade of soccer. In soccer she played on mostly boy’s teams. Like Christina, Mac was very competitive and tenacious at sports. Mac was the kind of athlete that a coach would never ask to play harder, as she was always playing at 100%. Watching her make dangerous dives as goalie to stop goals, scared Mrs. E and myself. Like Christina, Mac took some interest in politics. She went to downtown Warren to see John Kerry when he ran for president. She also drove to YSU to see Hillary Clinton, when she was campaigning for president. Like Christian who wanted a career helping others, Mac is studying to be a nurse so that she can help others.

Mrs. E and I drove Mac back to college this past weekend. In the car I was listening to WTAM 1100 AM from Cleveland. The radio host, Bob Frantz was talking about the Arizona shooting. Mac started asking me questions about the shooting. It would have choked me up  to tell her how much Christina reminded me of her. Frantz was doing what the rest of the right-wing talk radio hosts were doing. That was circling the wagons to protect guns, the Tea Party, the GOP, Palin, right-wing radio, and the hate speech that may well have pushed the shooter over the edge. Franz’s major villain was Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Dupnik. Sheriff Dupkin had pointed out that Arizona is a Mecca of  bigotry and hate, fueled by hate speech from right-wing media and right-wing politicians.

Some callers mentioned the shooter sounded like a right-winger, some mentioned hate speeches by Palin and the Tea Party. These callers were all cut off. The callers that blamed the sheriff, Homeland Security and the government were given unlimited time. I found most of the callers to be very hate filled scary people. A couple of callers suggested the shooter was a Manchurian Candidate. The conspiracy as they saw it, was that liberals and the Obama Administration brainwashed the shooter to do mass murder. This way the government could claim guns, right-wing radio and the Tea Party were to blame. Thus, the government could close down radio stations, ban guns and lock up Tea Party members.  These callers were obviously paranoid and disturbed like the shooter. Their calls to Frantz must have really been pleas for mental help.

Along with physical health care problems our country is faced with mental care issues. Yet, we have a new GOP congress that wants to take health care off of 30 million people. They are saying, “I’ve got my health care, f-you” to 30 million fellow Americans.  To me that seems like greed and a hate crime

I dropped my daughter off at college thinking about Christina’s death and Frantz and his callers’  hate.  I know Christina’s parents are wishing they wouldn’t have let her leave the house the day she was shot. I realize the Mac is an adult now, and I have no choice but to let her go her way. It’s hard being parents in such a dangerous time. Mrs. E and I made the couple of hour drive home in peace with the radio off. I wish in life it was just that easy to tune the  hate out.

Examples of right-wing hate speech.

Examples of violence inspired by right-wing hate speech.

Nick Lowe: What’s so Funny About Peace and Understanding

Hope For Us All

I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.




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2011 the Year of Choirs

Happy New Year!

I like hearing from readers so drop me a comment or an e-mail. I’ve noticed people tend to respond more when they disagree with me, than when they agree. It’s human nature I guess. I’ve had quite a few conservatives e-mail me. It’s always to tell me why they think I am wrong on various issues. I have been back and forth corresponding with many of them for quite a few months. I’ve noticed I tend to anger them when I try to present facts on an issue. They tend to be much more into what their gut feeling is, than facts.

I really do try to be patient with those who disagree with me. I try to find the common ground we might have and show we may have more in common than we have in opposition. I try my best to not resort to name calling, but I sure get called everything under the sun. Lately, one of these e-mail conversations has me thinking I’m just wasting my time. Several months ago a conservative named, Thomas sent me a nasty e-mail about something he did not like that I posted. We ended up sending e-mails back and forth for months. Then, at some point Tom mixed my e-mail address up and put it on his list of conservatives that he sends anti- Obama hate mail to. I called Tom on the first piece of Obama hate fest he sent me. Tom sent out a piece saying the Obama’s were not having a Christmas tree or celebrating Christmas 2010. It insinuated it’s because the Obama’s are Moslems. I looked it up on and some other sources that debunk myths and lies. It was not even a fresh lie but a lie that went around from Christmas 2009.

I sent Tom the info proving it was  a lie. I asked him to send the facts I sent him to the long list of folks he had sent the lie to. My theory is that people deserve to know the truth. My other theory is to fact check information, before you send it out to people. Tom refused to correct the lie with the people he sent it to. Tom replied that Obama is so evil that he is sure there is a ton of things he’s done that haven’t been uncovered. Tom feels that justifies any lies he sends out.

I sent Thomas an e-mail saying I would no longer correspond with him because he lacks a code of ethics or honor. Thomas then sent me a racist joke about Moslems, telling me to pass it on. Dealing with dishonest people is bad enough, add in that they’re a racist and you see why I want nothing to do with them. I now laugh out loud remembering that Tom told me he’s a good Christian.

Ignoring Tom’s e-mails from now on lets me better use my time communicating with people who aren’t blinded by so much hate. I’ve heard the expression, “You’re just preaching to the choir.” I realize that’s what I’m doing by not reaching out to the Tom’s of the world. That’s fine with me because I’ve come to believe that the Tom’s can’t be reformed as they’ve sold their honor (maybe their souls also).

A choir is made up of people who all contribute a different vocal range and need each other to make beautiful music. I want to join that choir because they create harmony, that’s a lot better than dealing with people who want to put “harm on me” and mine. Can I get an Amen from the choir?

It’s a new year! Are you at an age like me where you are left asking, what can I as one person do to make a better world? One of the best examples of what one person can accomplish was in the news last year. I’m talking about a chef in India named, Narayanan Krishnan. Check out th e video on this page and see if Narayanan doesn’t inspire you as mush as he inspired me.

Ten ideas for a green New Year.

Now for some choir music:

From 1967 Mentor, Ohio’s the Choir: It’s Cold Outside

A choir can be a place to speak out against problems: Philadelphia Complaint Choir

“I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to se the faces of real people devoting them selves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.” ~ Paul McCartney

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