29 December 2009

The Obama-Manson-Insurance Industry Connection

I guess this is what happens when the entire advertising team goes on holiday at the same time and the subs don't know which model agency to use:

22 December 2009

H1N1 Vaccination Info

The H1N1 vaccine is now available to the general public. Give yourself a special holiday present and get vaccinated.

Details are here (info is in Word documents so you'll need Windows). Save yourself time by downloading and filling out the consent form in advance!

21 December 2009

Top 10 Cincinnati Fails 2009

10) WBDZ. You gotta give WBDZ some credit. Year after year of on-air racism, ignorance and outright absurdity and yet somehow Bill Cunningham seems to get all the attention. A couple of gems from 2009 are the theory that "they" invented HIV/AIDS to "wipe out" black people, and Chris Smitherman's claim that young black men will not be allowed to ride the streetcar. RATIONALITY FAIL.

9) The Banks Project. An opportunity for a world class waterfront development, the Banks Project instead typified Cincinnati's modus operandi when it comes to progress: too many chiefs, political bickering and default authority to men in suits. The result? A glorified strip mall. VISION FAIL.

8) Downtown "Tea Party" protest. Nothing more than a circus of ignorant suburban white people who can't spell, read or think, this dittohead parade was a spectacle so ridiculous it can't even be parodied. It's hard to choose a favorite sign but I'll go with "Get an AMERICAN dog!" PROTEST FAIL.

7) Metropole lawsuit HUD complaint. Reasonable people agree that there is a major incongruity in this list: CAC, Nicholson's, Bootsy's, Righteous Room, Jeff Ruby's, Aronoff Center, Nada and low income housing. Reasonable people also agree that the dignity of Metropole tenants should be respected and they should be given assistance in relocation. Current reports suggest 3CDC is going to great lengths to do that. It's sad that Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless appear more interested in exploiting the situation for activist self-aggrandizement than in actually being part of a solution that could be better for downtown and the tenants. To wit, a Legal Aid attorney as quoted in CityBeat: "What the owners of this building are trying to do is cleanse downtown of people like you. They want rich, white people.” Ah, yes, the race card... the last resort of a lost cause. BIG PICTURE FAIL.

6) It was a great year for totally ridiculous public statements, which is why this one is a 3-way tie. First is Chris Smitherman's statement that young, black men will not be allowed to ride the streetcar. Second is Jeff Ruby's Enquirer full-page ad questioning police layoffs as a budget solution. It was so replete with misinformation and ignorance that Roxanne Qualls had to put aside a good part of her morning to address all of it. And finally we have Brad Wenstrup's hilariously asinine assertion that he felt safer in Iraq than in downtown. PUBLIC STATEMENT FAIL.

5) Election year pandering. To a certain extent, this is to be expected. But when candidates promise not to consider trimming the single largest category of municipal spending in the midst of a fiscal crisis, that is special-interest pandering at its best and civic leadership at its worst. LEADERSHIP FAIL.

4) Brian Kelly. He took his team to the Sugar Bowl then lied to them then ditched them then gave a press conference in which he talked about his integrity. OFF-FIELD FAIL.

3) Leslie Ghiz. Proving my theories that (a) Twitter is a toy for people who have nothing to say to interact with people who have nothing to do, and (b) Being a Republican in Cincinnati is just too fucking easy... Leslie Ghiz's puerile huffing and puffing over Laketa Cole was a disappointment even to those of us who expect stupidity from Ghiz. SOCIAL MEDIA FAIL.

2) Cincinnati voters. Apparently, acting like a bratty child and making a fool out of oneself is not enough to turn off voters. Both Ghiz and Cole got re-elected. VOTER FAIL.

1) Issue 9. The issue that exposed the NAACP and COAST as circus sideshows run by circus clowns, the issue that was "about letting the people decide" ended up going just that. BACKASSWARDS FAIL.

19 December 2009

When Artists Go Bad

Or at least bitterly sardonic:

16 December 2009

Today in Media Ridiculousness

From this morning's Good Morning America:

America Going Blind?
Too much texting and video games?

The story was about an observed increase in the prevalence of nearsightedness. So in addition to not recognizing that nearsightedness and blindness are two different things, GMA also went the extra mile and came up with one of the most ridiculous story headlines ever.

07 December 2009

South-of-the-River Ambiguity

This was taken in NKy so I have no idea whether it should be "Desiree" or "Disarray."

29 November 2009

For the Man Who Has Everything...

... except testosterone:

24 November 2009

Introducing Wasabi

18 November 2009

New Words Inspired by Sarah Palin

Palinium: the densest element yet discovered.

Palinescense: the phenomenon of mainstream media exhibiting increased fascination with public figures in direct proportion to their diminishing significance.

Palinese: a mode of [often desultory] speech in which the speaker's skewed cognition gives the impression of idiocy bordering on lunacy.

The Palinofsky Gambit: a chess play in which a checkmated player blames the loss on the liberal media and then claims victory.

16 November 2009

Beauty Meats

12 November 2009


Not sure if this is a subpar job of putting one's name on a mailbox or a subpar job of putting one's prejudice on a mailbox:

09 November 2009

Actual Southern Indiana Towns

This is just southern Indiana:

French Lick (let's get this one out of the way first)
New Philadelphia
New Boston
South Boston
St. Louis Crossing
Santa Claus
Bean Blossom
Gnaw Bone
Floyds Knobs

(*I heard a woman on the radio just yesterday talk about how southern Indiana is totally racist and she was the only black person in her school so I thought this was an ironic town name)

01 November 2009

Body Dump

Noticed while walking amidst illegal trash dumps at abandoned industrial sites (welcome to my life):

30 October 2009


Have a happy Halloween. Or not. I really don't care.

28 October 2009


Posted on at ATM:

22 October 2009

Cincinnati Cooks!

It is true that America is the land of opportunity. It is also true that some have more roadblocks to opportunity than others. Those who come from circumstances of inadequate parenting, mental illness or poverty, for example, are far more likely to end up "in the system" than others. While it may be morally convenient to brush off all unproductive and criminal behavior as poor personal choice, reality is not that simple and, in any case, ignoring the issue fails to address an issue that needs to be addressed.

Addressing this issue is the role of social service agencies and social welfare programs. While such programs are often criticized, at their best they give disadvantaged, underproductive citizens the means toward productivity, self esteem and economic self-sufficiency.

I took a tour of one such program, Cincinnati Cooks!, last week.

This is the motto of Cincinnati Cooks! It is an intense 10-week program sponsored by United Way and the Freestore Foodbank that teaches the skills needed to work in the food service industry. In addition to food preparation, students must also set tables, take orders, serve food and wash dishes. If it happens in a restaurant, they have to learn it. And that includes fancy French terminology... this is definitely the only place in the city where one might hear the phrases "state penitentiary" in one sentence and mis en place the next.

In addition to food prep training, the students are given ServSafe training which is a food safety course based on CDC guidelines. The course teaches the causes and prevention of foodborne illnesses and is a valuable asset for anyone seeking managerial work in the industry.

Before any culinary training can begin, however, the students must learn basic workplace skills that most of us take for granted but which many of them have not learned. The head teacher, Chef Jeff Pitts, explained that discipline and structure are key elements of the program. Students must arrive by 8 a.m. They must sit straight. They must dress in uniform. They must address everyone by title. They must behave professionally with other students whether they like them or not.

Ordinarily, one might expect the combination of militaristic rule structure and disaffected attitudes to result in high attrition. But in reality the opposite is true because of the presence of former students, including Chef Pitts himself. Graduates of the program return to provide mentoring, guidance and encouragement to current students. This interaction between students and graduates lets students see the life-changing results for themselves and keeps them in the program. As a result, it has a 90% graduation rate. Even more impressive is that just under 80% of graduates were still employed 5 years after graduation (at least when the economy was better).

I spoke with one graduate who expressed great satisfaction with the mentoring aspect because, unlike his regular job as a chef, mentoring had a "humanitarian" aspect of giving back to the community which is something he had never experienced before. This person had previously been in prison and couldn't get a job afterwards. He told me he was hired within two weeks of his graduation.

Students of the program serving at the cafeteria style lunch

Some of the day's offerings (not shown: all the fattening things I chose)

The tour included lunch so we sampled the students' work. I was particularly impressed with my entree, chicken stuffed with wild rice and mozzarella. The chicken was perfectly cooked: delicious, moist and tender. All the food was gustatorily and aesthetically pleasing so it should not have been a surprise to find out that Cincinnati Cooks! has a flourishing catering operation with selections for breakfast, lunch (including box lunches) and dinner. They do weddings and corporate events and provide 1000 lunches every day to low income schoolchildren.

I asked what Cincinnati Cooks! can do with additional resources. The answer, predictably enough, is that it can hire an additional teacher and take on more students. The program is already planning to move into a new building with a kitchen space dedicated to its catering operation which it hopes will expand and generate supporting revenue.

Crew works on the new Cincinnati Cooks! site on Central Parkway

Based on my observations, Cincinnati Cooks! is an exemplary social service program. It provides job skills, personal responsibility and financial stability to those who did not have them. In a strictly economic sense it is an outstanding investment in human capital because it converts an underproductive tax-consuming group into a productive taxpaying group. In a humanitarian sense it lays the foundation for personal pride and self-determination that many students feel for the first time. Such success does not happen by accident and United Way and Freestore Foodbank deserve accolades and gratitude for setting up this effective program that benefits the city.

20 October 2009


18 October 2009


14 October 2009

Art at the Weston

From Ryan Mulligan's current exhibit on display now until Dec. 6. You'll have to check it out to make sense of it.

11 October 2009

Fountain at Night

Bible 2.0

The Bible is quite a book. I haven't read the whole thing but I've seen the movies and it's pretty clear the Bible has just about everything one would want in a Hollywood blockbuster/word of God... executions, fires, floods, rape, pillaging, stoning, blessings, curses, family disputes, etc.

We've gotten a lot of mileage from the Bible considering it's way old. But let's face it, it's time for an update. There are things missing from the Bible that are hard to overlook in this day and age. Most important is the lack of spaceships and zombies. While this was fine two thousand years ago, it is simply not acceptable in the 21st century.

I am not enough of a Bible expert to re-write the whole thing. But I know experts are out there. I thus call upon the experts among us to update those books of the Bible which need updating for our modern times. In addition to spaceships and zombies, subjects worthy of serious consideration are time travel, black holes, hip-hop and pescevegetarianism.


10 October 2009


...going, going...

08 October 2009

Puzzling Portal Paint Job

UPDATE: Now it's on the ground, too:

28 September 2009

Art Cars

ArtWorks put together this "Art Cars" event last weekend in Clifton. It's new to me but apparently it's done all over... artists select a painting and then paint that painting on a car. The cars are loaned by their owners who then drive them around after their painted. So if you see one of these cars on the road, try not to wreck.

24 September 2009

Virology Victory

Well, it took 25 years and a bazillion dollars to get to this point but it's finally here:

For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result.

The study tested the combo in HIV-negative Thai men and women ages 18 to 30 at average risk of becoming infected. Half received four "priming" doses of ALVAC and two "boost" doses of AIDSVAX over six months. The others received dummy shots. No one knew who got what until the study ended.

Results: New infections occurred in 51 of the 8,197 given vaccine and in 74 of the 8,198 who received dummy shots. That worked out to a 31 percent lower risk of infection for the vaccine group.

"It gives me cautious optimism about the possibility of improving this result" and developing a more effective AIDS vaccine, Fauci said...

It is unclear whether vaccine makers will seek to license the two-vaccine combo in Thailand. Before the trial began, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said other studies would be needed before the vaccine could be considered for U.S. licensing.

22 September 2009

Streetcar Open House Today

Hoping to build public support for a proposed streetcar line from Downtown to Uptown, Cincinnati city officials have scheduled 10 open houses on the plan this fall.


Tonight's open house is 5-7 p.m. at the Aronoff. I can't make this one but I encourage others to go and demonstrate support for progress!

20 September 2009

Oktoberfest Pics

A truckload of goetta is a truckload of good time as the poet Schiller wrote.

I hope this guy is getting overtime pay for this. Also I love that the poop truck has a warning beacon on top.

I do not know who these people are and I did not ask because I had a pretty good idea what they would say.

Kickin' brass with the Zinzinnati Bierband!

These revelers threw sausages at me until I agreed to take their picture.

There's one in every crowd. And this time he brought a friend.

Chicks with chicken hats.

I didn't see smoke or flames but apparently there was a fire at Carew Tower.

19 September 2009

Oktoberfest Celebrity Sighting

Here's "Norm" from Cheers. I presume he's a celebrity host or emcee of some kind.

17 September 2009

Kid's Bike

I saw this bike outside City Hall which seems out of place for a kid's bike. When I was a kid we had a purple girl's bike with a banana seat and the seat had flowers painted on it. I think there was also a basket in front with plastic flowers on that as well. We lived in a big townhouse complex and I rode the bike all over the place, often with my little sister sharing the seat with me since she didn't know how to ride a bike yet. I attached playing cards with rubber bands so it would make a motorcycle sound when the spokes rubbed the cards. That's what separated the cool boys riding girl's bikes from the uncool boys riding girl's bikes.

So there I was, riding a purple girl's bike to see Stephen (rhymes with "Geffen") and Dominic, my childhood friends. Stephen was my best friend but his family moved to California. Dominic had a big afro for a little kid. His older brother had an even bigger one. Sometimes I wonder what happened to those two and I wonder if they sometimes wonder what happened to me.

Before Stephen and Dominic I lived in Kenya and when I was just barely old enough to have a friend I became chums with a kid across the street named Samir. We played together all the time. Then my parents came to America and I forgot all about Kenya (including the Swahili I once spoke) pretty quickly. But I had relatives in Kenya and when I went back to visit them 10 years later as a teenager they told me stories about crazy things I did when I was a kid and how I always played with Samir. They actually tracked his family down and I went over there for lunch. His parents sent him to school in England so he acquired polished manners and an English accent. He didn't seem at all excited to see me again and we didn't have anything in common.

My parents sold that purple bike when we moved into a house. Somewhere in Cincinnati a girl rode it around to see her friends and I wonder if she now thinks about what happened to the friends she rode her purple bike with.

I don't remember Stephen's or Dominic's last names and I doubt I ever knew them. But if I did I'd probably look them up on Facebook. If I had a children I would definitely write down all their friends' names. It's never too early for networking in the 21st century.

05 September 2009

02 September 2009

Unexpected Email of the Week

Did anyone else get this in their inbox? I am trying to figure out if this is a good example of social media marketing or an awkward attempt at it.

My name is Jessica and I work for LasikPlus. As you may know, they are a Cincinnati-based laser vision correction company with locations across the United States.

Despite the economy, Cincinnati ophthalmologist Dr. Vince Marino of LasikPlus continues to see patients for laser vision correction to get rid of corrective lenses, improve their “game” in sporting activities or for professional reasons. Around 70% of his potential clients come to him from recommendations of others in the Cincinnati area, and he has had the pleasure of performing Lasik on entire families – including second generations!

At any time, any interested Cincinnati resident can come in for a free comprehensive eye exam to determine if they’re a candidate. This is a great deal for those who have ever considered the surgery, or are interested in learning more.

With financing available and the ability to use an HSA or FSA, now is actually a great time to invest in Lasik.

Let me know if you’d like any additional information on LASIK, LasikPlus or if you’d like to connect with Dr. Marino. We’d love to connect with Clark Street Blog readers.


01 September 2009