Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can Cleveland Make a Comeback?

I love this article by Joel Kotkin and Richey Piiparinen. It puts into words some of the things I would like to say about this area, and about "the Rustbelt" in general, and it adds some things that I wasn't aware of. I've heard some things here and there from local news agencies about how Cleveland is trying to position itself as a leader in the health-care service and technology industry. The new Medical Mart is supposed to be a big key in this endeavor. However, as an almost life-long resident of the Cleveland area, I've heard lots of ideas that were supposed to help Cleveland that turned out to not really be all that exciting. One of the latest ones I remember was the new Horseshoe Casino in the Tower City building. Sure, it's providing jobs, but anything you could put in that spot would provide jobs. Is it bringing outside money into the city? I don't know, but I do know that the Avenue shopping center, also located in Tower City, seemed, to me, to be a shadow of its former self when I visited this year. If people are coming to the casino, I think the hope is that they will spend money elsewhere too. I'm not sure that is happening judging by outside appearances. I may be wrong; Mr. BTEG might be a better source, since he works downtown every day.

However many close tries and possibilities Cleveland has had, reading that the CEO of Siemens, USA described the city as a hub for the healthcare industry means that perhaps the city has done something right. I absolutely agree with the authors that trying to appeal to artsy hipsters is not enough to revitalize a large metropolitan area like Cleveland. I also like that they see manufacturing and engineering as keys to a city's growth, instead of concentrating solely on service-type jobs, as seems to have been a prevailing idea among some economists as our manufacturing base has disappeared. Rebuilding it in a twentieth-first century format would be a great way to provide income for people who would then have money to spend on retail and services.

I would like to point out that one thing the article cites as encouraging international investment, is cheap and abundant domestic energy, such as natural gas. Encouraging people to move more with things like unemployment benefits, as suggested by Berkeley-based economist Enrico Moretti, makes as much sense as Nancy Pelosi's assertion that unemployment cash makes the economy grow. Growth only comes about if people are *working.* And affordable energy makes starting or growing a business more affordable and more appealing. If the Rustbelt can come back by providing blue-collar jobs, it will help the very people government claims to care about the most.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Surprise Night at the Theater

Mr. BTEG got a phone call from the owner of the Dancer's dance studio on Saturday. Seems an adult who takes a private lesson on Saturdays came in with four tickets to that evening's showing of the play Newsies, at Cleveland's Playhouse Square. The studio owner wanted to double check that we could use the tickets. We were happy to accept, especially since the Dancer's tap recital dance back in June was to "King of New York," from Newsies.

After some calling around, it ended up being Mr. BTEG and I, the Dancer, and one of the Dancer's best friends, who is interested in theater, who attended. Said friend was actually at the high school theater painting scenery for the next high school theater production when we got hold of her, and she had to rush home and take a shower.

It was definitely the kind of evening we won't be reproducing anytime soon. In addition to the four tickets, we also got a pass to park free in the Playhouse Square parking garage, with a covered walkway to Playhouse Square's group of theaters. And when we picked up the tickets at the Dancer's studio, we discovered that they were loge tickets. We sat in our own little row of four seats, with some small tables, and waitresses came and took food and drink orders and brought the items directly to our seats. That was a new experience for this family.

I suppose it sounds silly to say that it made me feel ridiculously rich to have the tickets and the parking and everything, but it did. The Evil Genius family is very blessed, but there isn't room in the budget for these kind of events, especially in the luxury seats we had. It was a very pleasant and welcome surprise.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Picture of the Day

I thought this picture would be an appropriate one for the day, although it was taken in December of 1989.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Moving On, Moving Out

Another life change has happened here at Casa de Evil Genius: the Musician has moved out. It's been an adjustment, having only one daughter at home. I miss having the Musician around, but it's also freeing. Most of our homes have been on the crowded side, and it's nice just having the space. And the Musician was very happy and eager to be more on her own (she's rooming with a friend.) Honestly, it's nice having more time to focus on myself! I've enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, and I look back very fondly on that time. But it's also nice to be able to work more on my own dreams and ambitions.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Back to the Beginning

After an honest try, I'm back to my original medicine. The other ones we tried just weren't working for me. I'll just have to see my GP and see what she thinks about drugs to help lower my cholesterol. I would appreciate prayers still, as I am still a little wobbly mentally.

A couple of things emerge out of all of this. One is how blessed I am to have a psychiatrist who understands what I am going through. She's very good at reading body cues, and she's also been my psychiatrist long enough that she can read me personally, and gauge where I'm at in relation to previous visits.

Secondly, I'm thankful that we have good medications for stabilizing mood out there. It's amazing how much the medication helps my brain to function properly.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

For My Friend Scottius Maximus

Ruh-roh. Do you think this will affect the Cardinals playoff chances?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Update on Common Core Stuff

The Dancer has told me that one of her recent Spanish assignments was to pretend that she was a girl from Costa Rica, and write a letter to one of the other girls in class, who was pretending she was a girl from Colombia. They were to learn some facts about the country and then write a letter describing some of what their country was like. Mind you, my daughter is in Honors Spanish III. Both the Musician and I agreed that an assignment like that is pretty Spanish I type of stuff. Does anyone have any input on this? Obviously, it depends to an certain extent on the complexity of the writing required, but this doesn't seem to have been a very complicated letter. I know the Dancer thought it was kind of a silly assignment. She has been keeping me up on things, now that she has seen my previous post on Common Core. By Honors Spanish III, one is generally getting into the more difficult parts of grammar, and learning more advanced vocabulary. This assignment doesn't seem to have fit that bill.

I heard from the one mom I know well enough to contact about this. She said she didn't know what we could do about it. Hmmm. I have heard that there is an Ohio House Bill under discussion which would repeal Common Core for the whole state. I already called my State Representative and told him that I support it, even though it's still just being talked about. That may sound silly, I suppose. I wanted to let my rep know it was already being talked about by the larger community, and that there are people that support it. Ironically, I heard about this bill when I put up a Tweet with a link to my previous Common Core post. I also heard about Ohioans Against Common Core this way. The Evil Genius in me wants to buy an anti-Common Core shirt and wear it to home football games.

At least my daughter's AP US History class seems to be going the same way it was when the Musician took the course, BCC (Before Common Core.) They are using the same textbook, which I think was older already when the Musician used it. I am keeping an eye on anything they might be using outside of the textbook. Also, Mr. BTEG was a chemistry lab assistant in high school, and minored in math in college, so he is knowledgeable enough on both of those subjects to make sure the Dancer is getting a solid foundation in those courses. I wish every student was so blessed.