Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Howard McEwen Wins KPA Award

From an e-mail I sent out yesterday:
Howard McEwen, CFA won a 2006 Kentucky Press Association 2nd place award in the Best Enterprise or Analytical Story category for his article for the Sunday Challenger headlined “While Queen City Dawdled, NKY Took Action” (see attached).
In awarding the prize, the judges noted “Another great lead, pulls reader right in. Good detailed history of the airport.”

The article is here. I learned about this a month ago, but kept forgetting to post about it. I skipped the awards dinner. I had little interest in driving the 1 1/2 hours to Louisville for a rubber chicken dinner.

It's cool to win an award in a field I have absolutely no training in. Too bad the paper is defunct. My old editor who now lives and works in Texas let me know about it. Apparently a former reporter or somebody went ahead and did the submissions. Thanks to him...and them.

Stay You.
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My New Job

I haven't gotten it yet, but....

I responded to this ad for a copy writer I saw here:
Tue, Feb 13, 2007-12:00 AM
Do you like pina coladas? Getting caught in the Rain? Ok, we know the song sucks, but, hey, it’s poetic . . . if you’re more into single malt whiskies, late nights with great literature and writing killer copy . . . then read on. Send a small manifesto on the kind of team you need to make your copy rock, 2 samples of your work . . . oh yah and maybe a resume to:

To which I responded with the following:
Dear My Copy Rocks People,
So you caught my interest with your cutesy little help wanted ad that I read two weeks ago. It's been eating away at my attention ever since.

Who are these people, I kept asking myself. Their generic domain name makes them irritatingly anonymous…yet mysteriously alluring. Like that girl at Starbuck's who gives me my Mocha Latte but never wears a name tag.

Maybe it's only because I want a new job. I'm bored in my current one. I'm a financial advisor. I grudgingly do the work I have to in between surfing the net - varying between straight porn and right-wing political websites. Creatively, this job is boring.

But at night I have fun. I put together short little stories for magazines and newspapers. I enjoy the work. Not too demanding, but it loosens up my writing muscles to tackle my longer work – a fictionalized account of the assassination of Kentucky Governor William Goebel in 1901. I love writing stuff that has absolutely no market whatsoever!

But even those shorter pieces aren't doing it for me. Writing copy pays better, I hear. It's still creative. I'd love to suck at the corporate teat a while, but I don't want another corporate job where I'm brought up before some human resources drone every time I scream curses into the ether and challenge God to a good old street fight.

Fine. You got me. Here's my blog with my right-wing political observations and tid-bits on life. Here's my writing website with links to much of my work. I've attached a resume also. If you don't like it, I'd rather not hear from you.

Think I have a chance? It's very similar to a cover letter I sent to Merrill Lynch a few months back. They replied with a restraining order.

Stay You.
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Monday, February 26, 2007


Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" is the best executed pop song in the history of the world.

And by world I mean American secular pop - because we all know that European pop and Christian "rock" sucks.

Stay You.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

In Which Howard Sides With The Mooslims

Ok, make a note of the day. Today, I side with the Mooslims.

The Powerline guys have a post here on the Minniapolis Taxidriver skirmish. It seems that Somali cab drivers don't want to carry passengers who are taking home a bottle of duty free booze. They link to Daniel Pipes here, but I'm at work and can't spare a hour to read him. Maybe the specifics of the case would change my mind.

But if they don't want to carry booze carrying passengers - fine with me. That is if their boss allows it. Why should we force them to do something that violates their beliefs? And that's what this is about - force. Everyone is against force until it benefits them. And the solution is simple: the passengers should either stick the bottle in the briefcase/luggage/or purse or wait for the next taxi.

However, I do think this should be extended elsewhere. Say, if Wal-mart doesn't want to sell abortion pills, then don't give them guff. If a black taxi driver doesn't want to give a ride to a man wearing a "I Hate N------" shirt, he shouldn't have to. The shirt shouldn't be illegal, but neither should denying him a ride. If a devout Baptist restaurateur doesn't want to serve homosexuals, he should have the right - but then all decent people should not go to that restaurant either....and if a homosexual antique dealer doesn't want to sell to a woman wearing a crucifix so be it.

People - libs and conservatives - always seem eager to bring the full force of government to their cause. It's a hammer to frequently used.

Simple free economics - when given the chance - will always bring equity. If this is such a big deal or if it offends enough people, then that will open up the service to competitors who have no problem with it. I picture a line of yellow Somali-driven taxis idling while the O'Malley Brothers Taxi Service helps the folks load up their tax-free Vodka into their waiting trunks.

Stay You.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Is That All There Is?

I've never believed in writer's block. I think it's a crock cooked up by lazy writers who wish to romanticize their lassitude. You never hear a pipefitter call in sick and say, "sorry boss, I've got pipefitter block. I just can't produce today." Nope. You never hear that. But writers phone in that excuse all day long.

But I think I've got it. At least in relation to this blog. I'm pumping out Enquirer stories but blogworthy content to provide to the masses - ok, 47 hits a day - I've got bupkis.

So maybe I'm tapped out after a couple years there's nothing original I can write or at least rip off in an original way. I'm now an empty vessel. Maybe I'm just putting to much pressure on myself.

But then today I was working out at my new gym downtown and I looked out the window and up to the Carew Tower and got somewhat inspired. There's nothing so human as a skyscraper. In this nihilist age that we live in nothing says "We humans are here and we are to be dealt with" like a skyscraper. Nothing is as declarative as foundation piles driven deep and steel built high. Every skyscraper started out as a thought of some man somewhere. That's wonderful.

That's also what makes trailer parks so goddamn depressing. A mobile home lacks commitment.

It's also is why the symbolic shock of 9/11 were those buildings falling. Yes. Fox shows stupid TV shows that show buildings being demo'd, but people on cheer because they have the hope of something new and better going up in it's place. Show a building being destroyed for a parking lot or just plain fallow ground - and there'd be no cheers.

Stay You.
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Useless People

So I opened drudge up today and saw that Brittany Spears went batty and shaved her head. My first thought was, "Wow, that crazy hillbilly Brittany couldn't stand the useless person spotlight being on Anna Nicole for so that long, uh? The best she would do was shave her head? And from the pics from last I saw her - that means she's totally hairless."

Honestly, that's what I thought.

It reminds me of Dave Foley's comment when the newly deceased Phil Hartman lost an Emmy to the little brother on Frazier, "What's Phil got to do to win an award in this town?"

Anyway, chick head shaving seems so passe. I remember when that woman did it for the first Star Trek movie. Can you remember her name? I could tell you it when I was 8. But now? No. It's here. Hopefully Anna Nicole, Brittany, and the rest of the useless people will go the same way down my memory hole.

Stay You.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Barrack Obama Uncovers Media Racism

Judged not by the color of his skin but the content of his character (defined as age, experience, and trackrecord of accomplishments) Barrack Obama is a joke.

He's a relative lightweight with nothing going on. If he wasn't black - or blackish - then his candidacy would hardly be worth a macadamia nut.

This is blunted somewhat by the claim that it's his biography that sells. Huh? His biography. Is that another way of saying "Cult of Personality"?

He may be a great guy and a greater president, but there's nothing on his resume that explains why he is considered a serious candidate for President. But then again that hasn't stopped John Edwards, but I have a feeling Obama has some shame.

It's unfortunate that he's black and that's the only reason he's being looked to and it's further unfortunate that it's the sort of thing that he supposedly lambasts.

He's a first-termer with light political experience before that who won a statewide office against without much of a challenger. The first Republican candidate - Jack Ryan - pulled out late in the game after being embarrased by that most Republican of kinky sex - sex with his own wife. He just liked giving it to her in front of other people - but can you blame him? The Repubs followed that up with that silly Alan Keyes.

The poor guy got suckered or lured into this and his inexperience - and unfortunately his family's - is going to show. The media is going to turn. This thing is going to imploded or be exploded by the Clintonistas...or co-oped by the Clintonistas.

I'm afraid, he's going to be diminished by this.

Stay You.
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Friday, February 09, 2007

War is Lost - a Definition

When I said in the last post that Iraq is lost - I meant the whole planting and nurturing the seeds of democracy portion. If we define it as getting and killing the Bathist Fascists - then it was won a couple years ago.

Maybe Bush overreached on the democracy thing. I, for one, was caught up in the romanticism of it.

And if we'd broken up the Bath apparatus and then got out to just let the nut jobber mooslims take over, would that be failure? Only if WWII was a defeat for us. After the war, the Soviets controlled half of Europe. France and most of the northern climes were commie symps. Spain was fascist until '75 - Greece was partially. In Asia, the whole of China went Commie.

Stay You.
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Anna Nicole and Me: Iraq is Lost

Before my post, a question:

Since Anna now dominates the news, is there anyone else in the country happier about the death of Anna Nicole Smith than that lovelorn-diaper-wearing-cross-country-driving-stay-away- from-my-man-Major-Nelson wanna-be?

Probably not.

As for Anna Nicole and the war: The war is lost. Clicking back and forth to the cable news leader last night, it was wall to wall Anna. We're still at war, right? Not really. Men are dying, but war? Maybe not so much?

Look, I'm not war obsessed. I thing there's still room for infotainment on the news. But shouldn't they lead off with the geopolitical conflict that will most likely result in a wide range of historically seismic events ranging from the flowering of democracy in the Muslim world to a thermonuclear exchange between Iran and Israel - and the US and then probably Pakistan which of course will drive the Indians nuts who will want to lob at nuke at Islamabad just for fun and then that will really piss off the Chinese what with all that radiological fallout damaging crops - the ChiComs as usually won't worry about the actual people so much unless of course they are 1. Christian and 2. doing ti-chi in the park, then it's "off to the organ harvesting prison with you" - which will then make taiwan and Japan empty out? Shouldn't they?

The Dems and Rinos - most who voted for the war - are debating how best to politically distance themselves from it. Meanwhile, the 4 moderates in Iraq are trying to keep the lid on this thing while crazy-eyes Akmed and his trusted side kick Anbar are just waiting to see the last marine lift off from the embassy before they can go medieval on the country (and when the go medieval, they mean that literally).

Unless some positive news happens soon, the war is lost. The left can't stand to see American interests furthered anywhere and as for the public - the war now bores them - and that's the greatest sin you commit on any American. Boring them.

Stay You.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Simon Cowell and Me

I've noted before: I've never watched reality tv. I've never seen a CSI Anywhere. I haven't watched a Law and Order since Mr. Big from Sex and the City left the show.

However - this season - for the first time - the Divine Mrs. M. and I have watched American Idol. I'm a little uncomfortable admitting it, but there it is. I watch - and enjoy - the damned thing. It's season passed on our Tivo.

But something bothers me. Obviously, before watching I knew who Simon Cowell was and that he was mean. But then I watched it and...he's not mean.

I guess in the cubicle dominated landscape of the corporate world where all is controlled by a merciless and litigiousphobic h.r. department, he may be mean. But in a world where men pay their bills by making a sale - whether real estate, machine tools, or investments, he's somewhat tame.

I lived in the corporate world where a direct observation of a co-worker's or underlings failures could elicit their summoning the jack booted hr department to stomp on your career. I grew up in public schools where it's just easier to pass you along than deal with irate parents, stupid kids, or hard work.

I watch this Simon Cowell guy and he seems to have respect for those who respect themselves and respect all of their time. Yes he's pointed and clipped, but - especially when you are running your own business and your time is precious - this is some much appreciated by the likes of me.

The fact is that most people want to be nice and lie to your face than appear to be mean and tell you no. But that only encourages me to waste time on them and not go on to the next guy. Tell me like it is and I'll live. I'm a big boy. Don't let me delude myself anymore than I have to.

Stay You.
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Justine Timberlake and Me

So I was hiding in bed today with the snow piled up around our cars when the Divine Mrs. M. turns on the Ellen Degenerese (sp?) show. They flashed to a thing called Justin Timberlake declaring in melody that he was going to bring back the sexy. And I thought.... No. That was MY New Year's resolution.

I was going to bring back the sexy! So there's another dream shot to hell. Now back on 'bringing back the slovenly.'

Stay You.
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Postal Service and Me

The unofficial, as I learned motto of the United States Postal Service is:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Our offices mailman just dropped off some items and I was reminded of just how stupid that motto is. In fact, it's abusive.

This poor guy is freezing his nethers off walking around the west side of Cincinnati in 12 degree cold sans wind chill. For what? So some old ladies can get their Cat Fancier magazine? To deliver 100 lbs of junk mail? Look, I'd rather get my direct tv bill a day late than have this poor civil servant catch pneumonia and die. I'm a small government kind of guy and I hate to waste public money, but come on guys - take the day off...with pay.

Neither snow nor rain...that's stupid.

Stay You.
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Monday, February 05, 2007

Thoreau and Me

Thoreau said most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Not me. I'm a big old bitch. I complain about anything and everything...and I'm still one of the quietest guy around.

Stay You.
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Howard's Still Here

It's not that I don't want to blog. I just haven't the energy, time or interest lately. The end of last year was a bit hectic. Christmas was expensive. January was just a recovery time. But I still need some time (However, my writing this probably signals the return of this blog.)

Plus, I'm tired of writing. In January I did 10 stories for the Enquirer, 6 for a community newspaper on the Ohio side of the river and 2 more for a paper south of the Ohio that's not hired me before.

That makes 18 stories in a month. Not much but considering it's on top of my regular day job, and investment business and family commitments, but it's not bad either. Plus, I've joined a writing group. This one. I've a stirring of interest in writing fiction again so I joined up with them to try to flame those long dead embers.

I also haven't even felt like reading blogs. I find all of you charming as always, but I just don't find myself clicking on those links.

another thing keeping me from blogging is political burn-out and the fact that I don't think I have anything interesting to say. Nothing original. Nothing humorous.

Maybe diet has something to do with it. On top of continuing to work out, I'm eating better so maybe I have less stress which I sometimes dealt with in blogging. Oh, I have lost 30 pounds in the last couple months. I've also started using a face cream. I look downright you.

Maybe someday i'll show you my guns, or pecs, or my six pack or whatever phrase the closeted homosexual guys who work out hard with other guys so they have an excuse to look at other guys say.

Stay You.
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