On a Memorial to CVG

After quickly passing through initial security and now sit at my gate at the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), I notice the wide concourse halls with only a scattering of people. My mind, however, flashes to the times when CVG served the hustle-and-bustle as Delta’s #2 hub.

I recall the days of the old concourse and its tight quarters before Delta’s 1980s building boom, which included 3 new terminals. Terminal C served the Delta Connection service that helped build a thriving complex.

I recall the days when reasonably priced flights were available to many nonstop destinations. Yet I also recall the times thereafter when prices soared to make CVG the most-expensive ticket market in the country – which forced many Cincinnatians to use alternative airports as Dayton, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, or Indianapolis.

I recall the industry’s struggle after 9-11, followed by Delta’s acquisition of Northwest – all of which led to the current situation.

Today, terminal C is closed, and Terminal A will close soon – leaving the beautiful monument to serve as a testament to the days gone past.

Years ago the CVG airport board put all its eggs into the Delta basket and rode the wave of success – yet today, the same board holds the keys to vacant buildings and without services from Southwest, Air Tran, Frontier, Jet Blue, nor maximum services from other major carriers.

Many people have lost jobs – yes, we know them. Delta transferred others to another hub – yes, we know them too – and others will lose jobs in the time to come. So cheers to the monument of the short-sighted members of the CVG airport board.

On Fast Fingers

Last week wasn’t my best week as I missed several days of posting. Then again, life has its way of finding periods of frantic paces for all of us. I hope this week will be more normal.

Fingers and hands  are a very specialized body part as various primates have different finger-hand structure for different adaptations. Checkout this amazingly fast human fingers in the mirror. Meanwhile, have a good week.

On a What-If Election

I know health insurance reform is now passed, but this is a different question that actually isn’t directly related to a signature. If the next presidential election were today, would I vote to re-elect President Obama?

Before giving my answer and reasons, I must say that I did not vote for either Senator McCain or President Obama in November 2008 because candidates must earn my vote. Also, keep in mind that through numerous posts on this site, I have demonstrated that I am not a partisan ideologue.

Regardless of the Republican opponent, if the next presidential election was today, I could not vote for President Obama for two main reasons.

First, he ran on being a bipartisan that unites; yet he has relied on the partisan Democratic leadership in Congress to exercise their bully pulpit. I continually point to the Economic Stimulus bill as an excellent opportunity to veto in order to set a tone. Although I do not approve the Republican “No” tactic, I will place much blame on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid link.

Secondly, to his credit, the President is willing to address big, important issues. On the other hand, his tactic seems more akin to the high school student who starts a major term paper the night before it is due and expects an A or B because of its timely completion. The overshadowing of his interest in doing something over doing something well is both obvious and unexpected to me.

David Brooks’ descriptions of President Obama from both the right and left perspective as right on because of the nature of partisan politics. On the other hand, I disagree with Brooks’ description of the president as a center-left pragmatic reformer because I have yet to see the “center” part of that equation.

So far, President Obama (and seemingly unknowingly) is on the path to one-term mediocrity. Maybe the best thing he needs for charting a new course is for Republicans to gain control of at least one Capitol Hill chamber.

A note to Republicans: At this point, regardless whom you run, at this point you do not have my vote because you remain clueless when it comes to meeting the needs of the people and the country. At least President Obama has a few more years to change my mind.

On the 2010 Cincinnati Reds

As a life-long Reds fan, the approaching season is full of anticipation and hype – yet my pragmatic nature seemingly tempers any favorite-team optimism. Besides, the Reds have had nine straight losing seasons!

Although baseball economics features the annual battle between the haves and the have-nots have jilted my overall enthusiasm for the game, baseball is still a season I enjoy the game and will faithfully follow my team.

Here is my spring training preview of the upcoming season with No Doubts and Questions.

No doubt, Joey Votto can hit; but what will the Gomes-Dickerson platoon produce in left?

No doubt, Brandon Phillips can field; but will he elevate his offensive numbers?

No doubt, Scott Rolen is a leader; but will he remain healthy?

No doubt, starting and relief pitching are a strength; but will Aaron Harang and Branson Arroyo combine for 26 or more wins?

No doubt, Jay Bruce has a strong arm in right field; but which Jay Bruce will be at the plate –the pre-injury or post-injury version?

No doubt, CF Drew Stubbs helped the offense during the last six weeks; but can a guy with too many strikeouts be an effective leadoff hitter for an entire season?

No doubt, Shortstop Orlando Cabrera will help the offense from the right side; but will he combine with Rolen and Ramon Hernandez for 50 HRs and 200+ RBIs?

I have said for several years that the problem lies in the offense; but will the offense improve its 2009 numbers? 2009: Runs (12th), Average (15th), At Bats (11th), Average with runners in scoring position (12th), with two outs (11th).

Oh well, one thing about baseball – the long season does a good job of sorting.

Logo is the property of the Cincinnati Reds

On a Dancer from the Past

With tonight being the start of Dancing with the Stars – Season 10 (and that we watch the show that got us started with ballroom dance), today is a perfect opportunity to look back at two dance legends: Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell.

They seem so effortless in this 1940 tap-dancing clip. Enjoy a look at the past and have a good week.

On Foghorn Leghorn and Basketball

With his classic, That’s a joke… I say, that’s a joke son, Foghorn Leghorn is one of my favorite classics. As a large, friendly, but overbearing rooster, Foghorn delivers many great lines, which I will both highlight below, even some on audio. And if you’re looking for round 2 basketball tournament picks, they are at the bottom of this post.

10 Points about Foghorn J. Leghorn

  • Created by Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Brothers
  • Starred in 28 cartoons between 1946 and 1963
  • Loved to hum Camptown Races, but only knew the words Duh dah, Duh dah
  • Original voice by Mel Blanc
  • Drawn from Senator Claghorn, a blustering Southern politician who was a regular character on the Fred Allen radio show
  • Made a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Space Jam (1996)
  • Grandfather to Feather Buster
  • Appeared with Henery Hawk – a young chickenhawk who usually is seen looking for a chicken to eat, but doesn’t know what a chicken looks like
  • Moves around a lot – one address is Cucamonga, California where he received a telegram from Rhode Island Red
  • According to the cartoon Raw! Raw! Rooster!, Foghorn and his chum Rhode Island Red went to Chicken Tech

Some Classic Lines
“Okay, I’ll shut up. Some fellas have to keep their tongues flappin’ but not me. I was brought up right. My pa used to tell me to shut up and I’d shut up. I wouldn’t say nothin’. One time darn near starved to death. WOULDN’T TELL HIM I WAS HUNGRY!”

“Boys as sharp as a bowling ball.”
“Pay attention, boy!”
“Boy’s like a dead horse — got no get-up-and-go…”
“That boy’s as strong as an ox, and just about as smart.”
“That boy’s like a tattoo … gets under your skin.”
“Go away boy. Ya bother me.”

“This is gonna cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show!”
“You’re doing a lot of choppin’, but no chips are flyin’.”
“I’m cuttin’ but you’re not bleedin’!”
“That dog’s as subtle as a hand grenade in a barrrel of oat meal.”
“Clunk enough people and we’ll have a nation of lumpheads.”

Random Recordings (Click to here)
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven

Take them to the bank
Kansas over Northern Iowa
Tennessee over Ohio
Ohio State over Georgia Tech
Syracuse over Gonzaga
Butler over Murray State
Kansas State over BYU
Kentucky over Wake Forest
Duke over Cal
Villanova over St. Mary’s

Yes, but beware
Wisconsin over Cornell
New Mexico over Washington
Baylor over Old Dominion

The Coin toss says
Michigan State over Maryland
Xavier over Pitt
Purdue over Texas A&M

The Upset Special
Missouri over West Virginia

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 56

On a Sincere Cheer
Although the Olympics is turning into a distant memory, I still smile when thinking about Penguin fans giving Buffalo/U.S. goalie Ryan Miller a louder ovation than their own, but Canadian player, Sidney Crosby.

On Construction-Area Driving
Spring is upon us also means the start of the highway construction season in Ohio. One thing for sure – I do not like driving on an interstate with concrete barrier walls on my left.

By the way, I recently had a rental car on a trip with a push-button starter – my first experience with that keyless function.

On a Massage Table
A friend of mine is embarking on a new career as a massage therapist. I do look forward to the part of his training where he has to practice. As part of the process, he has to purchase his own massage table and considering the one with the breast openings. Now I was picturing the opening going all the way through the table … but in actuality is is holes in the padding.

On Political Action Money
Many politicians sponsor their own political action committee (PAC). These men and women of nobility use the money to fund campaigns of candidates in their party in other districts.

Is anyone surprise that four of the largest PACS are sponsored by the 4 highest ranking people in the House of Representatives? Yep – Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Boehner, and their lieutenants (Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Cantor respectively lead the way.

Let’s see – I’ll give you money to help you get elected so you can vote for me in a leadership position and follow my lead. Yet please many still wonder what is wrong in Washington.

On a Commercial
I just saw a commercial against the health insurance bill that concluded with “Put our interests before special interests.” Of course the commercial was paid for by a special interest group.

On Spring Training Time
Spring training means baseball’s opening day is approaching. Not only is a special and celebrated day in Cincinnati, it is the start of the national pastime. Become of time constrains, I may fore-go providing my monthly analysis of the Reds. On the other hand, my all-time teams (based on first names) will continue.

On the Madness
Day 1 of March Madness brought forth the normal unpredictability!