Thursday, August 31, 2006

What I Got/What's Important

I've allowed circumstances and time to affect my attitude in a bad way. I'm down.

I have to remember what falls away; what's important.

My small house sits on a lot 30 feet across and 100 feet deep. Everything that's important is withint that small realm.

It consists of me - 6' foot, broadshouldered, and handsome as hell; the the Divine Mrs. M. whose beauty makes up for her diminutive 5'5" stature; two princesses who are not too much trouble. A dog to guard the manor and 2 cats to keep it humble.

But how can one little kingdom require so much funding?

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Gateway Mom Fullfills Promise

From the "it's never too late category" is this story about a 43 year old mom who just got her GED and is going to Gateway Community College with her two kids.

For some reason it didn't run on-line so my editor sent over this version. Sorry about the poor copy.

This woman kind of took me aback. She had a kid at 17, then that kid had a kid young. She became a grandmom at 37. One year older than me right now. Luckily my just turned 9 year old is at least a few years off from making any mistakes.

Life's all about choices. Made every day. Are you going to work today or calling in sick? Are you going to take a class today or watch some more tv? Are you going to do some situps or eat another burger? Which is it? Every day the force of our choices accumulates and builds up. Every day it gets harder and harder to turn back.

This woman is taking some action. Let's hope it's the start of alot of smart decisions.

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Marcus Fiesel: Last Post

I admit to feeling a bit down after learning that Marcus Fiesel's foster parents killed him. I don't know why this story got under my skin so much. I let that happen every often - it's a character failing of mine.

So I avoided most news yesterday. Driving onto the Big Mac last night, a local radio station that plays Classic Rock! came on with a quick news blurb that Marcus was wrapped in a blanket, then bound inside of it with packing tape. He was then tossed into the closet and the door was shut.

The Carrols have been charged with murder, their four natural kids have ironically been put in foster care. Story here.

My favorite liberal immediately knew how to address the problem with government regulations and initatives. Free abortions, gay adoptions, more funding of foster programs.

I think this illustrates the great divide. Whether it's murdering foster parents or Islamofacist, some think that they can be dealt with; that root causes can be addressed; our own culpability apologized for; that understanding their point of view and reaching out can sate their anger.

Others - like me - believe that it's just evil. The Carrols got through an imperfect (i.e. human) system. They are evil. The only way to deal with them or the terrorists is to kill them. To bomb them into submission. Whether its Abdullah with a bomb belt or some shaved headed suburbanite, make them pay and make them feel that their behavior is unacceptable.

I don't go much with the social stuff because I'm uncomfortable with it. I have trouble defending the status quo and fear that rose colored glass only taint my perspective, but I think there's three things that set the conditions for the murder of Marcus Fiesel.

First, white suburban culture (I know I said I wouldn't pick on them anymore) whose main tenent seems to be "Don't get involved." They don't care about their cities or neighborhoods or towns. If things get bad or if they see a brown person walking down the street - they can just move further into the suburbs.

Second, the breaking down of elemental institutions. A quick definition of conservatism is that maybe our grandparents weren't idiots. they did things for a reason. 5,000 years of human history developed that people behave and flourish best in a traditional family unit with each member playing certain roles. Protector, caregiver, etc. That family then has a place in the village. This scares me. At my daughter's sleep over, our kids were the only ones from an intact home. There were 7 girls there. All very nice, but statistically prone to being victimized by males and living on the borderline of poverty. If the basic building blocks are coming apart, how can the country survive?

Third, I think the replacement of religion with social sciences has impaired people to see wrong as wrong and evil and evil. Evil has been replaced with pathologies and neurosis that need to be cured instead of ostracized, punished, and driven out. I'm not too religious, but I think this has a place. And I know that saying the word evil or ascribing evility to something just drives some people up a wall. So I think there's something there.

This is my last post of Marcus Fiesel. I can't read about it anymore.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Marcus Fiesel: Foster Mom and Dad Murdered Him

Marcus Fiesel was tied up in a closet for 2 days while his foster mom and dad went to a family reunion. You know - because family is important. Enquirer story here.

The bitch tied him up in a closet. They came back 2 days later and Marcus was dead. Then her asshole of a husband drove out to rural Brown County and burned Marcus' body. The extended family helped cover it up.

I'm against capital punishment until about what I hear people do.

I was consoling myself with delusion. I thought maybe he was picked up by some gentle crazy woman who needed to care for someone and would turn him in once he got too out of control. Maybe something like Raising Arizona. I even thought if he was dead, maybe it happened quick. Maybe he didn't even feel it - a fall into a well or something; unfound but at last resting in peace.

No. They tied him up in a closet and shut the door. He was 3 with the brain of an 18-month old. Imagine the terror and fear. I want you to picture it. The temps were in the 90s then. Did the closet have a air duct? Not likely. Even if the air conditioning was left on the closet would have gotten hot with the door shut. Imagine the smell. Imagine the fear and confusion and the pain. The outright fright.

I hope a jury imagines it.

He was taken from his birth mom after falling from a 2nd story window. His birth mom gated him into a room alone for days. The walls were found smear with feces. He was then placed in this hellhole. He was put there. He was delivered with the sanction of the state into the hands of his murderers.

If he was too much trouble, all they had to do was make a call...and give up a check. Instead they stuffed him in a closet.

The Carroll's will not be put to death for this. Neither will any of the relatives that helped cover it up. They won't get the needle because they didn't intend to kill Marcus...and they are white.

Obviously the Ohio foster system needs reviewed. And the ones demanding the loudest review should be other foster parents.

This happened in a nice suburb in Ohio, a typical neighborhood in the richest most advanced country in the history of the world.

I'm sick.

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Two Enquirer Articles Today

I don't have much comment on these stories. The kentucky community college system has come up with a new slogan "Higher Education Begins Here". Where it ends I have no idea. The Gateway people are very responsive. That story is here.

I also did a story on a Methodist charity working the NKU campus. It's called the Grace Place. Story here.

I'm tired from having several girls spend the night for my daughters birthday so this is all you get. Maybe I'll post pictures later.


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Comair Flight 5191

The Enquirer is all over the story. The pilot is my age and died with two little girls, 2 and 3. The co-pilot is burned and the only survivor. A former pitcher for the University of Kentucky and his wife were flying off to their honeymoon. Comair is based out of Northern Kentucky so the pilots and the crew probably lived here.

More stories will be emerging.

I was having a bad day at the office. Perspective is helpful

Nothing on Marcus Fiesel today.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Marcus Fiesel: Follow the Foster Care Money?

Two developments with Marcus Fiesel. Sheriff Simon Leis has announced very little but that they are pursuing all avenues and following all leads. For non-Cincinnatians, Simon Leis has a storied history and his wikipedia entry is worth checking out. Channel 5 has learned that the foster mother's day care license has been termed for other reasons. I read somewhere also that the dad's girlfriend who was living with him and his wife had foster kids of her own.

Is Ohio facing a foster care crisis like Florida did a few years ago? Just asking? I'm asking for facts, but some of the money I've read about for caring for foster children sounds pretty good. What are they paid?

I guess my big question is: To show kindness, has the state agreed to pay large amounts for caring for foster kids that it attracts an unwelcome element to the system? Does it attract people who just want the check along with the genuine caring people that take these children in?

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Etta Cowan: May Be Last Post for A While

Five 9-year old girls are sleeping over tonight. Beforehand, we're taking them to Cincinnati's Coney Island. I may not survive the night. Pray for me.

A couple weeks ago, I did this story on the gift 104-year old Etta Cowan gave to NKU and her church. Today, I found this from John in my comments field eulogizing her. Very well written and a nice tribute.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Marcus Fiesel: A Lot of Cruel People

I would never say there's no way Marcus' foster family had nothing to do with his disappearance. That would fly in the face of experience, statistics, and common sense. But a sense of decency urges me to keep my mouth shut about accusing a mother or father of a child's murder.

If someone ever accused me of being a child killer, I would consider that a punch in the face offense.

Apparently there's lots of folks who think otherwise. This site is full of hatred toward the mother who has not been shown to have done anything. Have some decorum. Talk about it with your friends and family in your homes, but to put your little assumptions, guesses, and - in some cases premonitions - into writing in public is just wrong. Blatantly calling a woman a child killer may cross the line into evil.

Go back to watching Springer or Oprah or whatever else it is you people watch. I'm going to finish work then go read The Crucible (uhmmmm! That's good allusion!).

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Happy Birthday, Dagny

Yesterday was my oldest's 9th birthday. The evening started out badly when she was watching the news - they said for her to at she does - and she learned that Pluto is no longer classified a planet. Since Pluto is her favorite planet (yes, she has a favorite planet) this brought tears.

How am I ever going to handle girls?

The Divine Mrs. M. suggested this was a good thing. Her take on it was that in honor of her 9th birthday, the structure of the univere changed - the scientific community took away the 9th planet.

We went to eat at the girl's favorite restaurant The Hong Kong Buffet in Newport Kentucky. Arghh! After I eat there I feel like Jackie Chan is leaning against my abdomin from the inside and squeezing my heart with a kung-fu greasy grip.

After that we went to Shine On, Bellevue, a little celebration of turning on some new street lamps along Bellevue's main street, Fairfield Ave. The lights came on at....9:00. Then the Divine thought, heh, the girl was born at noon. So at the lighting she is 9 years and 9 hours old.

Then we came back for cake and presents. I played side one of disk two of the white album. Track one is Birthday...but track 12 is Revolution #9 so I just had to play that.

At this point Dagny got creeped out so 5-year old Harper started repeating "Number 9, Number 9, Number 9" in the rounded English accent of the voice from Revolution 9 and chasing her screaming older sister around the house. She then chased mommie around saying "Number 37, Number 37", then me with a creepy intonation of "Number 36, Number 36".

Oh, she got a Lemony Snickets book and a $20 gift card to Claire's.

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Marcus Fiesel: Going A Bad Way

From the outset, I've said don't even suggest that that parents of Marcus Fiesel had anything to do with the disappearance. I did this out of hope...and dread. I think there's a special place in hell for pundits, bloggers, and next door neighbors who malign a mother with a missing child - even a foster mother.

My own initial gut reaction was that something was up at home. Unfortunately in life, we invite troubles into our home. We welcome them, feed them, and let them play with our kids and bring them into our bed. I've never been one to wear rose colored glasses. My glasses are, in fact, grey, dark, and cloudy.

For the foster parents, it looks as if things are going a bad way. I will still warn that the papers get stuff wrong all the time and so do the cops and the combination makes mistakes grow exponentially. Staci from Union Township posted some thoughts last night that were confirmed today in this Enquirer story.

  • The case worker was turned away at the last home visit with a "Marcus is sick" excuse.
  • Dad has a girlfriend...that lives in the same house.
  • Dad is bipolar.
  • There's been an arrest or charge of domestic violence (unconfirmed)
I appears that Marcus hasn't been scene since August 3. He went missing from the park August 15.

So circumstances and accusations are started to take a heated turn toward the foster parents. I still pray they are uninvolved in the disappearance. I don't want to think that Marcus went from a home where he fell from a 2 story window and was locked in a feces covered room into a place that was just as bad. I don't want to think that's possible. Let the sheriff think suspicious thoughts.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Who's Howard McEwen/Guilt Over Marcus Fiesel

My site meter is going up faster than my cholesterol because of my entries about Marcus Fiesel. It raises two points that I thought I should address.

First, who is Howard and what is this Pure Investor? I'm Howard. I'm an investment advisor who lives in Bellevue Kentucky and has an office in Western Hills (Bluecollarish westside of Cincinnati). I'm also a freelance writer (see here). I write mainly for the Enquirer and Community Press but work elsewhere. In this forum I'm a blogger. I originally set up this site to help market my book The Pure Investor (feel free to go ahead and buy one) but I soon realized that I said all I wanted to in the book. I found that when you lay out your general principles and adhere to those, the little things that happen from day to day or month to month are somewhat boring. Also, much of it is just the same old shat. Very boring after awhile so the blog turned into a personal site where I can do a brain dump.

It's therapy. Also, it helps my wife who doesn't have to listen to me rant about these things. I'm been doing it over two years now. I've got some regular readers and people I trade comments and barbs with. They are mostly listed off to the right.

Now you new people have to go away, this is for my regular readers

Just us now? OK

I started blogging about missing Marcus Fiesel because it struck a chords with me. A kid handed a crappy life almost gets into a safe place and then things have appeared to get horrific. But after the first couple posts my hits went through the roof. There's no financial profit just the ego stroke of a 100+ people a day reading you - based on a missing kid. I don't like these hits. They make me feel uncomfortable. It doesn't seem honorable. I'm thinking of disabling my sitemeter but - truth be told - I have been overly curious how many hits I am getting.

Very strange. Should I disable it? Should I not care?

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Marcus Fiesel: No Videotape

No one remembers seeing Marcus Fiesel at the park the day his mother passed out and Marcus vanished. The parks department apparently videotapes the park but...

As part of the investigation, officials reviewed surveillance tapes from Juilfs Park. Steve Barnett, spokesperson for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, said there were no usable images on the tape.

In fact, the tape was a blank blue screen, said Anderson Park Board Executive Director Molly McClure.

The machine was recording at the time, but it had not functioned properly. While the tapes are changed daily, McClure said, they are not reviewed on a daily basis, but only when something happens.

Story here. Later they explain that the tapes probably wouldn't have helped anyway since the cameras weren't focused on the area of the park where the family was playing.

The videotape recorder's failure may not have been that important, Barnett said.

McClure confirmed the camera was not located near where Carroll and the children were found.

Asked if a properly functioning camera would have made any difference, Barnett said it "probably wouldn't."

No, but maybe the camera could have caught the direction Marcus wandered away in or the direction - and description - from which an abductor may be come from.

Can I ask if any tax payers are pissed off that the cameras that their government purchased to protect the citizens were working? What are the cameras there for? It seems to me the equivalent of an on duty cop missing a bank robbery because he dozed off.

'Probably wouldn't'
just won't cut it. Someone wasn't doing their job and now a chance to have a clue of a child being found is gone. Who's responsible?

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Pro-life, anti-Gay Marriage Conservative For Guiliani

As I noted last week, I've simplified my politics to two items:
1. Low Taxes
2. Dead Muslim Terrorist
Whoever can accomplish those goals will get my vote. From what I can tell Guiliani is the man.

He's only been a major of a city and not a governor and not a senator. But NYC is the capital of the world. I would bet that being the executive of New York is just a tad more difficult than being governor of at least 30 states.

Not only was he mayor of the capital of the world, he saved it...twice. First, for my entire life until the 90s, New York was considered a horrible place. Sometime after On the Town, New York became Taxi Driver to the country until Mr. G. came along...And then his behavior during 9/11.

What can any of the other contenders claim? Passing some watered down education bill in their state after compromising with some pig farmer state senator from the north end of the state? Lowering a state sales tax from 4.5% to 4%? Guiliani took on the mob, took on Wall Street, and will take on the Mooslims.

Does his gay marriage thing bother me? Not too much. First, what real effect can the president have on that debate? Second, as I read somewhere, if you look at all the GOP frontrunners: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, George Allen, and Mitt Romney, ironically the only one with one wife is the Mormon Romney. Not alot of respect for the institution of marriage there. In my personal experience, everyone I know who is against two dudes taking vows is either divorced themselves or in a very unhappy marriage.

If I remember right, Giuliani's announced his impending divorce from his second wife in a press conference before he told her. Don't care.

As for being for legalized abortion, as I noted before, Republican voting, middle class, Christian middle America will be pro-life as long as there's no chance of abortion being outlawed. Everyone is pro-life until their 16 year old daughter gets pregnant and then it's bring on the knitting needles!

So who has proven themselves to work at keeping taxes low and keep on the terrorists - just Rudy!
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Marcus Fiesel Update

The (foster) mother of Marcus Fiesel gave a press conference to local media at the park where Marcus disappeared. The 45 minute video is here. A day by day account since Marcus' disappearance is here. I only see three options here:

1. Mom passes out and a predator just happens to be there and snatchs Marcus.
2. Marcus wandered off and is trapped or fell somewhere where he can't be found.
3. Marcus was never at the park which puts the blame on the foster parents.

I just don't see #1 as likely. The stats don't hold up. #2 seems unlikely considering the search that went on. If he is found at that park, someone needs to hold the sheriff accountable. #3 seems to be everyone's favorite and it would be my normal instinct, but for some reason I can't consider it. Yes, the husband failed a polygraph and yes no non-family member remembers seeing the boy for days before his disappearance. I can see my way past both. Dad was nervous and I can't remember the faces or names of my kids friends, much less busy moms who pass me on the street.

What other options and I not thinking of?

It strikes me as a little nuts that mom was caring for 4 kids and dad was caring for 3 others. Seven kids? Is this safe for the kids or the parents?

Also, from the Enquirer story.
In January, police reported that Marcus fell from a second-story window at the Middletown home of his mother, Donna Trevino. In April, he was taken away from Trevino after he was found wandering in traffic. Police reported that the home was filthy and that Marcus' bedroom consisted of a 2-inch foam mat in a gated room, where the walls, carpet and homemade gate were smeared with feces.
Why is it harder for me to get a back yard fence approved than for this woman to have kids?

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marcus Fiesel: Husband Failed Lie Detector

The foster mom held a press conference. She said husband failed lie detector; cops are mum. Enquirer quick hit here. I have out-of-town family at my house and have to hit the gym sometime but I'll give my thoughts later. Check back.

Also, in classic closing of barn door after the escape of a cow detailed here, the county is looking into the foster kid placement agency. You can even read where one dad was totally shocked after his foster kids were taken away after he got a DUI - with the foster kids in the car! How unfair is that?

Marcus Fiesel has been missing for a week now.

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Marcus Fiesel's Foster Mother Speaks and Children that are Hurt

Carroll said she focuses on when she'll be reunited with Marcus.

"I dream about feeding him in his high chair, I can't wait until I wake him up in the morning and see him running to me and saying, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.'"

On Monday night Sharon Coolidge of the Enquirer got an interview with Marcus Fiesel's foster mother. Of course, I hate to say it, but apparently the families quick move was media related - just like I said.

I don't want anyone to think that I'm saying the foster parents had nothing to do with this, I'm just saying cool your heels a bit. If this family is innocent, yelling J'cuse and pointing fingers seems rather cruel.

The reason I say this is that I have the firm belief that your average 3 year old is safer in your average prison yard than a lakeside family reunion. Another Sharon Coolidge article proves my point. In the past year, in Hamilton county (Cincinnati) 4 children have been killed by the boyfriends of mom. Thanks mom!

In my personal experience, all cruelty/harm/and abuse was done by an uncle or trusted family friend. Convicts kill child molesters, families make excuses. Amber alerts are most often triggered by a nutty dad or nutty mom using a kid as a pawn in their relationship. Rarely - stats back me up - is a kid nabbed by a total stranger. I don't have the time to look it up, but maybe 135 year. that's horrible, but considering we're a nation of 300 million. That's not much,

We must somehow exercise these tumor of people from our lives and stop inviting them in and coddling them.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Marcus Fiesel - Grasping at Straws/A Just God?

"This kid literally vanished -- no evidence, no leads, nothing," Buop said.
That's from this story on still missing Marcus Fiesel. Tomorrow will mark a week that a child vanished like smoke from a suburban park.

They're looking into any lead whatsoever. The first hopes that he was lost or hiding but would come out when hungry are gone. He was only 3. He's someplace being held somewhere or trapped in a place where he can't be found.

He had a 10-minute head start. Dozens of volunteers, highly motivated and highly trained professional searchers with their dogs, and aerial spectrographs can't find a thing.

He had a hard life - his brain didn't work as good as others and he was taken away from his mother for reasons undisclosed - and I can't believe a just God would allow him a terrible end. But there is no just God. The sweep of history and loss of innocents from the exile from paradise to Buchenwald to a small part in southeast Ohio remind us of that. The only thing we can depend on is the alertness of neighbors and what must be an overtaxed sheriff's department.

I'm not too religious, but I believe one of the greatest sins is a loss of hope. Take a look at every kid. No matter how silly it seems, take a look in every little place. Stranger things have happened.

Anyone with information on Fiesel's whereabouts should call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.

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Marcus Fiesel Family Moved

My doubts about the guilt of the Marcus Fiesel's foster family is really making people mad. Do they want these people to be the bad guys? I'm not saying they're not; I'm just saying wait.

Also, by the looks of my e-mail, alot of people are quite defensive about my rants against the burbs. After looking at past entries I will say that I've played that out and for my regular readers, I've become boring as hell on the topic. So from this point forward, no more rants about soulless, colorless, cultural suburbia, if you all will agree not to send any more e-mails that start off "Hey, A--hole".

The fingerpoint at the foster family escalated quite a bit when the family moved out. However, as we read today...

From today's Enquirer:

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said the family has moved.

"We're not concerned," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Barnett. "It does not hinder our investigation."

He said the sheriff's office was aware that the family was moving. The foster parents are not considered suspects in the disappearance, Barnett said.

Neighbors saw the family moving a few pieces of furniture and some clothes out Saturday, but said the couple did not clear the house out.

On Sunday, the backyard was littered with children's toys, a bicycle and a trampoline. It was unclear whether the move is temporary or permanent.

Let's give these people a break. The woman may be totally innocent. She lost a child entrusted to her. Isn't that about the worst thing that you could have happen to you?

Here's an article I did for the Enquirer today on HVAC classes. Not too exciting but it's what makes our day comfortable.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Marcus Fiesel's Family is Gone

I'll say upfront that I have no inside information. Everything I know is from the web or tv.

The foster family of missing Marcus Fiesel quickly moved out of there home. Story here. Witnesses say the mother who passed out with the heart condition helped in the move.

Obvious questions from the news accounts is did the police comment on the move and did the neighbors contact the police when the saw the move taking place. Those questions went unanswered.

I have no idea why the family bolted or to where. Maybe the media of which I'm a member, junior grade scared them away. Maybe all the neighbors are beginning to think they're in on Marcus' disappearance and couldn't take the accusatory glare. Could any of us? Maybe, just maybe, they have something to do with the missing boy, but the recent arrest in Bangkok in the Ramsey case should give some people pause.

My post yesterday slighting the suburbs was called sarcastic by the sole commenter, however I did receive e-mails rather angry about my silly comments about the 'burbs and the east side. A few didn't like my choice of living in Bellevue. For the record: I would say that it's not a ghetto and it's not where people come to buy drugs or whores. Yes, it is inner city, but I - a kid who grew up in the endless suburbs of Ft. Wayne, Ind. - feel rather comfortable here and just don't see what the writer sees. I'm raising my kids here. I feel safe.

However, I will say and have said that those people in the burbs confuse me a bit. The adults just bore me. Yes, that's a generalisation and we do have friends that live in the suburbs, but most of them bore me. I don't care about their large screen plasm or their SUV or their golf game or the basketball team of some college neither of us went to or the office politics of clawing your way into middle managment into some multinational. That's what many of them talk about. Most teenagers in the suburbs look like columbine kids to me - sullen, angry, empty and - worst of all - not terrible interesting or curious. Have you ever seen a poser goth from a Cincinnati burb? Kind of funny.

I find the kids in the city different. More mature. There is a certain maturity that a 17 year old kid has when he knows that mom and dad's two corporate income lifestyle isn't going to bail him out for life and that he probably isn't going to avoid any hard decisions about life until after he completes his 5 years of bachelors at some state school and finally runs out of intellecual steam 2 years into a masters program. 25 is a bit old to face life. The teenagers I met here are facing getting themselves into college or praying to get a union card somewhere or being stuck making $8 an hour. That clarifies things and fosters maturity.

Let's hope that Marcus Fiesel is found safe, well-fed, and smiling somewhere sometime soon.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Another Marcus Fiesel Update

3-year old Marcus Fiesel has still not been found. They've given up the search. Local restauranteur Jeff Ruby has offered $10k for info. Story here. Jeff Ruby's website here. Videos here.

I thought about driving out to Anderson to get a bit of local color, but that seemed a bit macabre for a simple blog. Also I tend to get hives when I enter the suburbs - especially on the east side.

That's too far into them to drive unprotected.

My trip was saved by a commenter here and here from Anderson (said suburb). I appreciate the description of the park, hospital, but I think its a bit soon to make public accusations toward foster parents who may be going through the worst part of their lives right now so please take that with a grain of sea salt.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Lil Liberals Kick Ass!

Thanks Moonbatty, We plan on flying to NYC this fall you just earned yourself something nice!

Now I just have to go about recreating all those pages. Argghhhh!

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Wanna Give me Free Advice?

I'm a tech loser.

I'm trying to get my other website at least somewhat professional looking. that's what I plan on doing this weekend. However, I can't figure one thing out.

the site is

The address of my freelance Journalism page is

I would like it to be

How do I rename it? Wordpress just assigns it and I don't even know what that part of the web address is called to even start to fix the issue.

Can anyone help? Moonbatty?

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Missing Marcus Fiesel Update

They're bringing in dogs and divers to hunt for him.

Story here.

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New School/Photoblogs

We were worried about our eldest at the new, larger, public school. But the first days reviews are - she loves it! the change in her attitude and personality from generally quiet and pleasant and carefree to estaticly carefree and eager to learn and wanting to tell us all about it is jarring to me.

She loves this new place and has stated outright that she doesn't want to go back to the old place - the place she loved. The people she loved. Strange. Makes us wonder. She says it's because the teachers are happier and have fun teaching. I can see her point. At the old school, there was one teacher - I kid you not! - who never smiled. She never changed her expression. It was as if her face was frozen. I thought she had a handicap of somesort, but no. She just never smiled. How do you not smile when teaching elementary school?

Then my important realization - Over the last 3 years, I sank a few thousand dollars into that place she now doesn't want to go back to. Arghhh! - but no. It was the best decision at the time.

Lileks today put me in a sad mood so I thought I'd post some photos from the summer just past and never to be had again.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where's Marcus Fiesel

People usually let you know they're nuts...if you keep your eyes open. The guy they nabbed for the JonBenet killing obviously looks nuts. He should be arrested for that reason alone. Remember that runaway bridge chick...crazy eyes...she's nuts. Put her away or at least don't work yourself up into a nationwide panic when she 86's it out of Georgia.

Sure, we'd lose good freaky looking people like Steve Buscemi and Peter Lorre, but....

Speaking of missing kids and on a tragic note, on Tuesday in Cincinnati, a mom passed out from a heart condition at a playground while watching her kids and babysitting. Her 3-year old developmentally delayed foster son wandered off. Mom was out for about 10-minutes. The other kids were younger but stuck around. The playground is in a heavily wooded area. They were hoping that he was hiding in the forest, but they've called off the search. Suspicions turn to a snatching, but that's improbable: a passed out mom and a creek just happens to be there. Not likely. Suspicions will start to turn to foster dad...and maybe foster mom. From this Enquirer story:

From Anderson Mercy Hospital, Liz Carroll told reporters during a speakerphone conference that she had not seen or heard from her husband since he went to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office early Wednesday morning to make a statement and take a polygraph test.

Barnett of the sheriff's office, would not confirm if a polygraph test was conducted but said that David Carroll was not in custody.

"No one is under arrest and no one is being held," he said.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope he's found just a little bit hungry and thirsty. I'll keep you updated.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First Day

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kids Off to School

Today's their last day of summer. It's full time school for both of them them. K and 4th grade. I can deal with the kids better as they get older. It's nice to see them conqueror challenges and met the world. They're doing a much better job at it than I did which gives me hope that they'll have a better life - not that mine's that bad.

However, like all things, I must ask - what does this mean for me?

I'm no longer single, no longer newlywed, no longer that nice young family that carries around the diaper bag and stroller and wet naps and bottles and binkies and onsies who knows who Blue is and that Bear in that house and that Canuk clown chick.

I'm a guy with kids.

I don't know how to be that guy. All the guys I know who are those guys are, or appear to be, dead inside. They have guts and are really into their TVs and really not into their wives. They play golf and wear golf shirts but never lose weight. Oh, God, I'm wearing a golf shirt right now! Ok, so it's a wine festival golf shirt so that takes the sting out...BUT IT'S STILL A GOLF SHIRT!

Life is closing in on me.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Life Lessons

I did three articles for the Enquirer today that hit me right where I learn life lessons.

This profile
of country music singer Lisa Dames that I did showed that even when you screw up early you can still succeed. She had a temper, learned from it, corrected it, and moved forward. Nice.

This one about a bunch of highly educated engineers spending time at Gateway learning about cars from a self described "old time mechanic" taught the value of always learning from people no matter their station - or yours.

Finally, this article on Pamela Spoor shows that a little work from just one person can change the look of a community. She could just as easily stay at home and complain like most people. What makes her act? I don't know, but we should thank God for people like her.

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Last Weekend of the Summer

I didn't have anything to do this weekend - at least no work work. Nothing with a deadline. Nothing that needed to be done that if wasn't done would cause me panic and headaches today.

So I dug up a tree. The Divine Mrs. M. calls it a bush, but it was taller than me so that's a tree.

The we cleaned out the shed. Hadn't done that since we moved in in 1999. Lots of old pool toys and things that seemed nice to have for a new house - into the garbage. You can't hold on to everything.

So I did a little bit around this house. This is the last weekend of the summer. The kids start back to school on Wednesday. The Divine Mrs. M. goes to an orientation tonight. New grade. New teachers. New school. Excitement.

Too mellow to blog today. Three stories int he Enquirer. Here, here, and here.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

This Thoughts I Believe

My personal political philosophy started in the economics department of Ball State. I took the basics, as well as a class in monetary policy, and two or three in third world economics. I can trace the development of my thought process from an intuitive grasp of Adam Smith, then a thread can be ran directly to JS Mill through Veblen tying up the loss ends at the Austrian school with Von Mises, Hayek, and everybody's favorite crazy Uncle Friedman. I rejected Marx and JM Keynes. Mr. Philip's curve proved to be an anomoly and not a rule - I just wish the rest of the world would give up their school book learning in the face of 40 years of history.

I did dabble a bit in non-economic thinkers and the thoughts they thunk. Rousseau seemed too silly and too French and downright not realistic. Hobbes seemed about right. It seemed to fit - in general. If, like Bush, you include Jesus in that group, the self-sacrificeing quality of his stuff still seems to rub me the wrong way. Of course, I then went to bed with Ayn Rand.

Admittedly, alot of this stuff was self read and self taught. I was left to my own devices. I'm sure there are holes in my knowledge and also holes in my logic in places. Blogging helps this.

I say all this because I don't want to be included in a group I found with many who call themselves conservative but have no idea why. It's a large group. (Alternatively, I've most liberals can't express why they are without defining against conservatives, but I'll pick on them later.) These conservatives listen to Rush or Hannity. They don't like taxes or abortion although I've found they will quickly change when taxes pay for their kids school loans or their 14-year old daughter gets pregnant.

I say all this because I want you to know I'm serious about the conclusions I come to. that was until I had a kid and then 9/11 happened. Now my personal politics can be boiled down to two points. I'll vote for who ever...
1. Lowers my taxes so I can feed my family better
2. Kills Arab terrorists wherever they be with extreme prejudice so my kids won't have to deal with this.
It's that simple. Bush meets these qualifiications although I think he could be a little rougher on the Mooslims. He's also lowered taxes quite a bit. As I look to 2008, that's how I'll be basing my decisions - taxes and dead terrorist. From this vantage point I only see one figure that even starts to meet those qualities and, oh my, his name ends in a vowel.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Great Observation from the Blogosphere

Better said than I could have done. No Brainer's Hate Capacitor has a great blog entry here.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thoughts on War

Congrats to Ned Lamont for beating a former VP candidate. One good thing: at least there wasn't any charges of anti-Semitism that I heard. It would have been an easy out for Leiberman. In today's victimization, racialized culture its a good thing he didn't play that card. One bad thing: there's something unseemly about these multi-millionaires financing their own campaign. I could be wrong and am too lazy to look it up but of the $6 mill spent, $4 mill was Lamont's money - or at least his granddad's money. But I guess that's been going on throughout history. With the Roosevelts, Kennedys and Bushes being the best examples.

I don't think I'm out of line to say that if there wasn't the war there would be no candidate Lamont. At least Leiberman stuck by those guns too. I thought of my own position of being pro-war and what that meant and I thought of the war in Israel and those faked Reutters pics (these for instance) the righties in blogosphere loves to uncover. Then I thought of this man.

I have no military experience. I never had an interest in joining the military. Honestly, I find the military a necessary evil. However, I was fully aware that when we went to war that bad things would happen. I knew children would die. I knew US soldiers would die. I knew that miscommunication might wipe out a village. I knew that a scared private might kill a family. I knew that some sickos in the military would abuse prisoners - I just didn't think they'd be so stupid as to take pictures.

In war bad things happen. It's axiomatic. My anger doesn't go to people like Ned Lamont. I don't know much about him, but I'm sure he was against the war from the beginning. My anger goes towards those who were pro-war and are now hedging. In for a penny, in for a pound. The thing lasting too long. Too bad. I think if you were ok to start it which would cause the aforementioned horrors of war, you can just be a little patient.

That's why I thought about the nice somewhat sad looking man above. He was a man who knew what his country turning communist meant - mass murder, totalitarianism, blinding poverty. So as a South Vietnamese general he had to do one of those bad things.

He caught a viet cong - a guerilla fighter who recently slaughtered some of his men and put a bullet through his head. Unfortunately, he did it in front of cameras.

Knowing the circumstances behind this execution, I don't have a problem with it. Dogs of war and all that.

The pic won the pulitzer and gave a huge shot in the arm to the anti-war movement. The anti-war movement won. Whether we should have been there or not is debatable, but our pulling out lead directly to the slaughter of the South Vietnamese army, the enslavement of the Vietnamese, the Cambodian killing fields, and the blackness that came upon that smallish peninsula from the Indian border down through Burman, Thailand, Laos to the tip of Vietnam.

General Nguyen Ngoc Loan tried to rebuild his life in the US but was hounded until his death because of that pic. Which of these doctored Reutters pics which seem to be all anti-Israeli going to do the same. Those pics are deliberate falsificiations.

The guy who took the pic above was Eddie Adams, he said:
The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.
What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'
Wikipedia's story on General Nguyen seems to be the same as what I've read elsewhere.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reaching the Goal

My youngest daughter goes to school fulltime next Wednesday. We're not crazy about all day kindergarten but that's what we got here and she is more than ready.

When we drop her off, it will mark a major milestone. When my first daughter was born, we quickly decided that daycare just wouldn't cut it. There was no way we were dropping her off with strangers for 8+ hours a day. The nearest family is 3 hours away.

Our goal at this point was not to have the kids ever experience daycare.

We were still in an apartment. Couldn't afford a house yet. So we bit the bullet. The Divine Mrs. M. continued working where she was during the day. I bit the bullet and took a demotion to work the night shift for a large Boston based investment firm.

My day consisted of working from 11 - 7 am, saying goodbye to the wife, then watching the kid until she got home at 5 or 6. I then hit bed until 10ish to do it all over. The Divine's day consisted of coming home, eating dinner, putting the kid to sleep, then waiting to wake me up. Not very exciting for either.

Two years later, within the span of two weeks, we bought a small house, bought an even smaller brand new car, she quit her job, I started another (daytime), and tried to build up my business.

Now almost 9 years later. The last kid is going to school. Goal reached.

We did it without going broke, into too much debt, or getting divorced.

Now we can lord it over the girls the rest of their lives.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Etta Cowan Gives to NKU

Imagine the life of this woman. She could remember middle aged men who were born slaves. Her war was WWI. She was middle aged when she woke up to hear of Pearl Harbor. She was given the right to vote - twice. She was in her 60s during the 60s. She woke up early to cook for rich white people and lived longer than ever imagined. Almost 40,000 days from start to finish.

From what I could tell there were no children and no family. Just a church and a university.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Candy Philosophy

In my view, candies are not created equal. Hard candies are at the bottom of the candy heap. Complicated, frilly candies - more than 3 ingredients - needs to be outlawed. Sour candies don't deserve the name. Anything Willie Wonka makes in pointless to me. In all cases, chocolate rules.

The pinnicle. The tops. Is the simple Hersey's bar. One that hasn't been frozen, or melted, or allowed to age too much is perfection.

Now for varieties sake, I'll allow a couple things to be added. Almonds or other nuts are fine. The puffed rice of a Crunch bar is pretty damn good. However, I hae to draw the line at adding caramel (too low a yield in flavor for the investment in messiness). Marshmellows? Come on?

This came up because I did this story for the Enquirer on two friends who aren't doing too badly pumping out the frillier stuff that I don't appreciate. Good for them. I'm glad that people like their stuff and they just e-mailed me saying their orders have increased a bit in the last day or that's nice...but I don't get it.

Give me some nice old plain milk - or on occassion - dark chocolate and I'm happy.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

McEwens sans Kids

Sunday the Divine Mrs. M. dropped the kids off with the parents. They've been in Ft. Wayne for the week and we pick them up tonight.

I almost feel like a calm rational grownup again...until about 8:10 p.m. tonight.

What did we do?

We worked. With our youngest going back to school, the Divine is finding time for some money making. She's doing an editing/fact checking job for a client that I stopped working with a year or so ago. She submitted the work later this week and almost immeadiately got an e-mail back asking if she's available for another project. She'll cover the mortgage from now on.

While she worked. I wrote some articles. They'll appear soon.

On Monday we headed up to Mt. Adams. You can see it from our back yard but we just never go. Here's the view from our restaurant. We had apps here. Then $2.50 long islands here.

Then we drove the very narrow, very curvy streets home.

Tuesday I took the day off. We shopped without looking over our shoulders to check were the kids went to. We talked. We even went to see the Johnny Depp pirate movie - an nobody fought about who gets to sit next to mommie!

Wednesday I came home, we made dinner, then we ate it while watching a romantic movie.

Last night it was to the levee for $4 aluminum bottles of Bud Light and to listen to The Rusty Griswalds. When you gotta hear some Rick Springfield, Bon Jovi, and that "Pour some sugar on it, Love" song (I'm hot;sticky sweet...) with other 33+ year olds...These are your guys. Only one drunk broad got carted away.

Now the drive to pick up the girls.


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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mel Gibson Question

Just a poll:
What's worse: the fact the guy was drunk and speeding down a highway or his bad words. It seems that endangering the life of a third shift mom is far less an offense than calling her an evil Jew.

Why is this getting more play (ok, I know) than the guy who actually did kill a Jewish person the other day in Seattle?

I keep meaning to get this book, but I still don't understand why anyone would be anti-Semitic. It seems to be pervasive across the world. Really? What did these people do? Nothing that I can tell - unless it does all go back to Golgotha. Holding anti-Semitic thoughts just seems - silly.

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