Iva's Input

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Another weekend, another home & garden show! Getting to the John S. and James L. Knight Center in downtown Akron is not real tough, although...

178

Must be February, the Easter candy is on the shelves. And the “cabin fever news stories” are circulating.  That’s what appears when all of the...

404

Being stuck inside(Where it’s marginally warmer) for extended periods can send a person(at least this one)over the edge, or at least out on the slippery part. While out there, one can run across some quirkily weird items in the news, To wit...

479

A RED-LETTER DAY Or a red something, anyway.  As I have said before, you can’t make this stuff up. It seems that in Sheboygan, WI a...

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So somebody on a slow news day—Newsweek was mentioned but the internet picked the mention up and ran with it—called it the “stupid virus” and implied that any lagging intellectual powers among us might be the fault of an insidious invasion by these viral marauders...

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A failure of Social Studies Education, I calls it. The recent election, that is…failure of turn-out, failure to understand the way government works(whether it’s supposed to work that way or not), failure to be informed on the issues and the candidates, failure to pay attention to the down-ticket contests…a whole bunch of things that we should all be thinking about but don’t. AND a prevailing, parsimonious attitude that makes a virtue of trying to do everything on the cheap. There’s a powerful big difference between wishing to do things in the most cost-conscious and efficient manner possible to do the best we can for the most citizens and trying to see how much we can get away with before the dreadful consequences which we have been outrunning finally catch up. The difference is the difference between “What’s the best we can afford?” and “What’s the cheapest we can get?” Strangely enough, there are cases in which quality actually does count.

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So here’s the thing….  We need readers and scorekeepers for the Garfield QuizMasters to go out to vanquish our intellectual foes in upcoming Academic...

390

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. We’ve finally seen the end of the political ads (Do you ever get the feeling that the only...

401

I’ve been serving as a poll worker for about seven years now and it always makes me proud to see a former student come in to cast a ballot; wish that I’d see even more of them. It used to be a regular thing in the seventh grade to take my classes down to the Precinct A polls on High Street to observe the voting; the poll workers were always helpful and welcoming and happy to explain the procedures to the kids. Pity we can’t do stuff like that anymore.

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Once upon a time, specific clerks dealt with specific operations and the issuer of license plates might be snowed under with people waiting and waiting, while the driver’s license clerk was able to sit at her leisure to examine the new nail color that she had chosen and tempers tended to shorten as the wait time lengthened. Well, that’s done with…and none too soon.

405

Well, that train left the station without me aboard. I had been planning to take the Portage County Farm Tour but it turns out that...

393

“Imagine looking professional but feeling like you’re wearing pajamas.”

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Well, actually, it wasn’t all that wild but it definitely was interesting and fun.  The Portage County Park District is offering opportunities to scope...

367

Well , it’s not just about football, ya know.  Or volleyball or baseball or cross country or golf or soccer or any of those...

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Well…seasons have started…football season, soccer season, volleyball season, cross country season, interscholastic golf season (The regular duffers have been going at it all summer), marching band season…you name it, the season has started. School is like the opening gun for all sorts of stuff. There are, however, plenty of competitions out there which we “wot not of”. Such as: Amazon has just agreed to pony up a ton of money--$970 million—for some outfit called Twitch which makes it possible for video gamers to watch—just watch, not play themselves—other video gamers play…what else?...video games! This is causing great commotion in the online world for some reason and many of the big names—whatever they are, in the online gamers world are all a-buzz about it. I am not one of these people. Let us get this straight; people can get on their computers to watch other people play video games. Just what IS it that these watchers DO? They don’t have to even move their fingers, just barely their eyeballs. Do the actual players get any feedback on their play? Are there electronic/digital cheerleaders chanting algorithmic encouragement from the in-the-cloud sidelines? Any rain delays when a server goes down? The questions have only just begun to roll in.

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Not one of my better weeks; suffice it to say that I’m now looking for a new car and not a rehab facility.  That’s...

321

So…I’m thinking that my gardening endeavors are in need of divine intervention—for the fungus or whatever it is that’s devastating the hollyhocks and the tomatoes, the slugs and/or whatever is feasting on the berry bushes, the infant poison ivy that seems to be popping up all over the place, the ”sweet violets”, AKA Chameleon plants that are sending out their smelly but vigorous roots everywhere but in the “dead zone” where I’d like them to move in—and I was reading a murder mystery involving a public garden with a statue of a holy fellow called St. Fiacre(Irish--Fiachra, Latin—Fiachrius) patron saint of gardeners (…and maybe cab drivers…who knew?). Why not give him a shot?

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In addition to pareidolia, I occasionally suffer(if that’s the right word) from bouts of mondegreen; I don’t think that it’s covered by any reputable insurance(though it’s likely on the docket for some fly-by-night, blood-sucking outfit from the late-night TV)but it can be sort of debilitating when you’ve got it.  Pareidolia, as you must recall, is usually seeing significant images in totally random contexts, like the guy down in Louisiana who cut open an eggplant and beheld the word “God” spelled out in seeds.  Elvis and the Virgin Mary are apt to turn up anywhere, from a toasted cheese sandwich to pictures in mildew on old walls.  

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“Back in the Saddle Again…Out where a friend is a friend…Where the longhorn cattle feed on the lowly Jimson weed…We’re back in the saddle...

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Well, it’s been a quiet week in Little Garrettsville. (Lake Wobegone was another story) BUT…things are moving along. The paving over the “grooved pavement” is inching...

445

You know those orange and white saw horses that the ODOT crews used to have marking off forbidden territory when the summer construction season...

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Pretty generally, my cats are NOT about excitement.  Mostly, they’re about conserving physical resources, i.e., lazing around, with as little movement as possible.  Oh...

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If Jack-in-the-Pulpits are any indication, my yard is a veritable vegetation revival!  Nothing in the bulletin  tells  what the message is.  They’ve popped up...

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Well, now, THERE was a week! Elections on Tuesday.  It was heartening to see that our precinct (Garrettsville A) was up over the prediction of...

369

Open your mouth and say , “Aaaah” Do physicians even DO that any more?  Well, according to an item in the Akron Beacon-Journal, you should...

357

Once, many years ago, I ran across a book with the title, Hollywood Is A Kosher Nutburger.  I think that I read it but...

315

O.K., it’s Thursday, this must be springtime. Holy cow!  What a wild one!  Haul out the long johns, Maudie, the daffodils done froze!  And what...

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This is about the Portage County Park District, first in what will probably be a series of rants. Portage County DOES HAVE a park district....

207

April showers bring May flowers, eh? Somebody alert the providers of floral items.  They’re either going to be left twiddling their thumbs because the general...

210

Out like a lamb?  Maybe a drippy-wet lamb.  Maybe a lamb looking up at the occasional flurries and possible thunderstorms lurking in the wings...

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Maplewood, beware! I’m thinking that the cats—at least some of them—need occupational/vocational counseling. One of the guys(It’s always the guys)apparently thinks that he is a watchcat,...

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The first department store in Portage County (Chic & Shabby/the Root Store)transformed into a  source for home decorating with a distinctive touch…a craftsman fascinated...

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The Oxford English Dictionary has just come out with its quarterly revisions and additions.  Some nine hundred new words and phrases have now been...

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The Old Farmer says of the month of March (and I quote), “In like a sea lion, cold and wet with fishy breath. Rain...

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Mardi Gras, that is.  Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, beginning of the Lenten season.  Carnavale, Carnival, Carnaval, Karneval, Faschtnact/Fasching…whatever your ethnic background,...

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SANK!  The word is SANK!  The past  tense of “sink”  is “sank”…”sank”, not “sunk”.  “Sunk” is the perfect tense, which is either being shamefully...

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Well, here we go again.  The Mayan “end of the world” didn’t pan out, so, now we can look forward to the Viking Apocalypse. It...

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Sometimes bon appetit, the 0h-so-upscale cooking magazine, is just too much. They just assume that everyone has access to—and a budget for—artisan cheeses and spirits,...

152

Don’t you just every so often look out the window or open the door or read the weather forecast and feel like the little...

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Curse that groundhog! Well, it does depend on which groundhog you are going to believe.  The storied Punxsutawney Phil, of Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, according to...

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File under “Sorry we missed this one.” New Years celebrators in London this New Year’s Eve were treated to  an interesting array of flavored fun-type ...

151

Here’s your chance to investigate the Mpemba Effect.  There’s a video of some Canadian dude on the internet performing this interesting experiment.  He takes...

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Sports Illustrated reports that there is now a “Smart Sensor” basketball(94Fifty) full of God-only-knows what kind of sensors, nine of  ‘em, complete with circuit...

158

Now that the clock tower lights are lit, Santa has made the first of his (many) local appearances…for lunch, for breakfast, for pizza, etc….it’s...

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I love the Old Farmer’s Almanac…I don’t necessarily take it as gospel but I do love the miscellany of STUFF that is in it. ...

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AND…just in case you’ve been obsessing about the Comet ISON(International Scientific Optical Network—used by some Russian astronomers to first locate this fast-moving wonder) the...

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There ARE drawbacks to having a warm spell this late in the year.  Yes, indeed. So…I’m sitting in the living room reading the paper; it’s...

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The computer strikes again!  Here I am typing away  at my keyboard-in-the-corner, writing  what I’m hoping will be more-or-less reproduced below and—WHAM!  It all...

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Weeding and quite a number of other garden/lawn tasks are so essentially mindless that they offer “quality time” for pondering totally unrelated topics that ...

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Please pass the rambutan. Right.  I didn’t know what it was either but it was mentioned in a recent filler article in the R-C.  I’m...