Saturday, June 29, 2019

Have no fear, the July ish is here!

Lean back, relax, and bubble a bub or two as you enjoy the July edition of The Last Word - your road atlas to freedom!

This ish talks about the nuisances created by a luxury housing development, right-wing sabotage of bicycling routes, guests vandalizing Airbnbs, environmental benefits of bubble gum, a possible pirate radio station of the '80s, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

All along, along...There were incidents and accidents...

Shh! It's for adults!

One of the most gnawing trends in recent years has been swimming pools that are open to the public but also limit some swimming time to adults only. Pools began doing this because a few grownups whined that letting kids use the pool at those times was hurting their precious little fee-fees.

Even Ziegler Park began doing this (apparently a 3CDC policy). As with many other pools all over America these days, the last 15 minutes of each hour are reserved for adults 18 and older. They call it "adult swim" - as if it's X-rated or something.

Uh, the pool was designed for adults and children alike. Why should anyone give a shit if kids use it? If a pool wants to be family friendly, why do they prohibit kids from using it for 15 minutes of every hour?

When I went to Ziegler Park today, I didn't see any kids committing any major misbehavior. They certainly behaved better than the spoiled brats I went to high school with. Whoever shit the pool was probably only about 2 - not 16 like my high school classmates were when they soiled themselves. One person on the Internet said the real reason for the "adult swim" is to give kids a chance to go to the bathroom so they don't foul the pool. Obviously, that didn't work.

A 2016 article in the Chicago Tribune says the "adult swim" rule is actually illegal - even at a pool that belongs to a private condo complex.

While the pool was being cleaned after the "fecal incident", a funny thought popped into my head. As it was closed for a half-hour, it completely subsumed the 15 minutes that had been scheduled for "adult swim." It kind of serves self-righteous adults right. I can't count how many times my favorite TV shows have been lopped off by sporting events that nobody watches running too long or a breaking news bulletin about the stock market that nobody except rich investors cares about.

The joke's on all the people who demanded an "adult swim" at a pool designed for both kids and grownups.

Be still my beating heart! I found a public pool!

I don't need to hear some right-wing millionaire who won't work richsplain about how rotten I am because I think swimming facilities are important. These aristocrats can afford to swim every day. I have life-threatening health problems, and swimming is important not just because I want to goof off but because it's healthy.

A few days ago, I asked folks on a Bellevue-based Facebook group if they knew of any good places around here to swim. Some of their ideas were completely unrealistic - like Kings Island's Soak City, which would bust any Bellevue budget. But someone said most folks in Bellevue go to the pool at Ziegler Park.

Ziegler Park is owned by the city of Cincinnati and is on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine. It was almost 100 degrees today, so guess where I went?

The pool at Ziegler Park is eminently usable. It's surprising to find a good public pool like that these days. Boone County recently closed theirs because the Tea Party told it to. But Ziegler Park has a rather large pool with varying depths. And the cost of admission was low enough that it didn't wipe that smile away.

My day of basking under that giant, orange ball in the sky that recently emerged from behind the permacloud was nearly (keek!) ruined before I left. This morning, the drawstring fell out of my swim trunks. But I rectified this crisis by attaching my trunks to my underpants with safety pins, so I got to enjoy that fine pool.

The only low point while I was at the pool was when somebody had a "fecal incident." This forced the pool to be closed for a half-hour so it could be cleaned.

Also, I did see a celebrity look-alike. I saw some woman who strongly resembled Annie Lennox in the "Would I Lie To You?" era.

Will I return to Ziegler Park any time soon? It's tempting to say if poo, but I don't want that taken literally after the pool-clearing episode today.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Another Bellevue bubbling

Earlier, a young woman walking up the street bubbled.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Kroger LAP!

Today at the friendly commune Kroger, I was in the section along the back looking for the garbage bag aisle, when I detected the unmistakable audio of a loud-and-proud bunker blast! There were lots of people standing around, so nobody could be indicted for this crime against humanity.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rob Braun leaves Channel 12 because of its right-wing bias

Rob Braun - longtime news anchor at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati - appears to have grown tired of the far-right bias of Channel 12 owner Sinclair Broadcasting. Not long ago, he was forced to humiliate himself in front of TV viewers by reading a controversial commentary written by Sinclar bosses. Braun tried to rewrite this statement, but Sinclair brass rejected the changes.

Now he's leaving the station despite a generous contract offer. Braun said, "I don't feel I fit well with the Sinclair News model." In other words, he's leaving because of Sinclair's extremism.

Since last year's controversy, 4 other longtime reporters have also left the station.


3CDC again violates First Amendment

3CDC - the secret society of big corporations that has been given free rein in most of Cincinnati's urban core - no longer thinks it owns only Fountain Square and historic buildings that it tears down. Now 3CDC thinks it owns everything.

This organization forced antiwar activists to buy a prohibitively expensive insurance policy to speak on Fountain Square - even as the Tea Party got to use the square for free (and left litter all around). 3CDC's hatred for free speech continues as now it is removing racks that distribute free newspapers from all over downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This includes free publications like the popular CityBeat.

This is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and it may lead to a legal challenge by CityBeat - which receives a significant portion of its readership from these boxes. In a similar case, a Cleveland newspaper won a First Amendment suit after its boxes were removed. Even a right-wing paper at Oregon State University won a similar suit, even though it wasn't even being singled out like the other papers were. In fact, the Supreme Court in 1993 struck down a Cincinnati ordinance that forced the removal of racks that contained commercial handbills. If commercial speech can't be restricted, newspapers can't either.

There's also the question of whether 3CDC - a private group - can determine what's allowed on the public right-of-way. Here's a hint: It can't.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders look-alike sighted at UC Hospital

Bernie Sanders is one of my political heroes. I've been a fan since I was 17. Why can't Kentucky have senators like him, like we have a right to have?

But I've just received an urgent text message informing me that a guy who resembles Bernie Sanders was sighted at University of Cincinnati Hospital. According to legend, he looks just like him!

Bernie Sanders is cool!

Extremist calls Bevin opponents "traitors to Christ"

I can't count how many times people have told me to be the better person when confronted with right-wing fanatics. I won't even try, because they can't be reasoned with. I know this from experience after the old Law Talk BBS.

With Matt Bevin trailing in general election polls (PPP has him down by 10%) and barely surviving the Republican primary (with only 52%), someone has created a "GOP for Beshear" Facebook page to support his Democratic opponent Andy Beshear. This fails to enchant the right wing that dominates the Republican Party.

The Far Right is so devoid of any constructive response that one Bevin follower said that group is "a bunch of traitors to Christ himself."

For one thing, the Far Right's ideas are un-Christian, but the more important point is that this statement shows their fanaticism. If they've brainwashed themselves into thinking they're doing God's work, how far will they go to carry it out?

We could accurately say that the Far Right is "a bunch of traitors to science itself." Not only does that sound less extreme, but it's a fair statement. Why is it different from the frenzied comment above? Because science is provable. It's not just a set of beliefs like religion that varies from person to person. As dissenters from the right-wing order, we believe in science, and that's why we have a right to live in a society modeled on our ideas. Science should have the privilege of guiding public policy because it's provable.

I'm not here to please or entertain fanatics who deliberately derail progress. If they support holding society back, that should be their problem and nobody else's. You don't get to use public office to fight a culture war to fulfill authoritarian policy goals that trample economic security and personal autonomy.

Let this sink in. Perhaps the biggest policies enacted by Donald Trump and Matt Bevin have been to cut taxes for the 1%, give taxpayer-funded handouts to corporations, and rob workers of their pensions. But while their followers hide behind religion, these policies defy Jesus's teachings - and they run afoul of basic, self-evident economic and social facts.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lawsuits loom after UMG fire cover-up

Record companies like to control every aspect of musicians' work. But while record labels demand ownership of performers' master recordings, they don't even take care of these masters, and they let them become carelessly destroyed.

After Universal Music Group was allowed to take over gobs of other labels, the company stored irreplaceable master recordings at its warehouse at Universal Studios Hollywood. This building burned down in a massive 2008 fire.

UMG said at first that the fire was no big deal because nothing irreplaceable was stored there. UMG said only films were kept there, and that these works had duplicates stored elsewhere that were safe and sound. But this was an out-and-out cover-up. Lately, it's come to light that perhaps 500,000 master recordings were kept there - and that they included masters by hundreds of major artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty.

The artistic losses from this fire are incalculable. Master recordings contain elements and documentation that no copy contains. Many of these recordings were never even released - so no copies exist.

The economic losses to musicians are steep too - because now these masters can't be used for future releases.

Now some lawsuits are expected against UMG for the 2008 blaze. A high-profile Los Angeles law firm is representing many unspecified recording artists in the upcoming legal actions.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A person bunkerooed at 7th & Race

Today I again went Roads Scholaring with the help of Red Bike's new electric bicycles. It's great exercise! After going out to Lower Price Hill, I went back downtown. At 7th & Race, a young man who walked past squeaked out an LAP bunker blast.

I had lunch at Piatt Park again and then shivered for a while because it was about 40 degrees outside. While I was there, I noticed that people were riding the new electric Red Bikes all over the place - proving the electric bikes are an incredibly popular addition.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Red, Red Bike...Stay close to me...

Last night, I made a major purchase. I buyed a year-long pass to use Red Bike - Cincinnati's popular bike-sharing program.

The cost of this pass worked out to only about $6.67/month. And it allows an unlimited number of 1-hour bike trips - for a whole year. Yes, I already have the Peace Bike, but Red Bike recently began offering electric bikes - which comes in handy after the Road Ruiner's motor blew.

My cellphone costs about $50/month, my Internet is $70, and electric probably averages about $80 (for an efficiency apartment, no less). All 3 of these services are owned by large corporate monopolies. And quality of these 3 services ranges from average to terrible. I've also had bad luck with intercity travel companies like Greyhound (also a monopoly) and Delta (which has a monopoly at the Cincinnati airport). But Red Bike - which is a nonprofit, according to its website - costs less than $7/month. So far, my experiences with Red Bike have been positive. This should ream a gaping chasm through the unceasing cries of those who claim that only for-profit services should exist.

Today, I used Red Bike to ride around Cincinnati. Although the pass allows each trip to last an hour before additional charges accrue, you may restart your hour by docking the bike at a Red Bike stand and undocking again. There's a limited number of these stations, and most are clustered together in small areas, but it sufficed for today.

Here's a detailed itinerary for today. The Red Bike stand near my place in Bellevue didn't have any electric bikes when I left this morning, but I found one at the next station - on Riverboat Row. I easily took that across the Purple People Bridge. The end of the bridge had a stand where I restarted my hour. Then I braved the construction gauntlet on US 52 east of downtown.

The only hill I had trouble with today was Collins Avenue. But the bikes I used today were more efficient than the Road Ruiner ever was. I zipped up to Avondale and dropped off the bike at a station. I got a snack and then returned to the station. I think I ended up with the same bike.

I absolutely flew downtown. I shut the motor off on much of Vine Street, since it's steeply downhill. I dropped the bike off at the stand in front of the library downtown. Then I foraged for lunch and rested at Piatt Park for a while.

When I left there, the electric bikes at the library station were gone, so I walked around the block to the stand on 7th and got one there. The battery was very low on this bike. I tried to swap it out at the aforementioned stand at the Purple People Bridge, but there were none available. But this bike managed to make it all the way to the stand where I left from this morning.

Later, I logged on to my Red Bike account, and it estimates that today's trips covered 15 miles and have already saved me $18.45.

Red Bike has so far been usable, and hopefully it'll be allowed to expand outside the few small areas that have it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


This is usually a serious blog, but are you ready for some humor, 'Pail style?

I made another of my humorous videos for you to peep, weep, and oggle-beep...

Monday, June 3, 2019

Recent celebrity look-alikes!

Last night, I received an e-mail describing several celebrity look-alikes. According to this e-mail, someone who strongly resembled John Bolton - the right-wing extremist who serves as national security advisor - was seen at a hotel breakfast room in Pennsylvania. Plus, 2 women bubbled at a zoo in New York. Best all, someone put paper towels in a urinal at a truck stop.

The same e-mail said a Willie Nelson look-alike was seen mowing his lawn in Sharonville yesterday. He even wore a red bandana!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A person bunkerooed at a festival

Are we entering another golden age of bunker blasts? One can hope! Recent signs have been promising.

Last night, I goed to a small festival in the alley across the street. As I was strolling down the alley, I detected the scent of an ever-popular silent-but-deadly. Best all, it was in the presence of a local elected official. There was a group of people standing nearby, and I recognized one of them as an occupant of a local public office.