Random Thoughts and Musings From Suburbia....


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WEEK 2- Jackson vs. Solon Halftime Show

Jackson's "Purple Army" doing their halftime show at Solon's stadium this past Friday night.

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Michael Jackson turned 50 this past Friday, making it an astonishing 30 years since his first nose job. But what has he done to himself with all this surgery?

The image below is what Michael Jackson might look like at his current age had he not had plastic surgery.

Since his first surgery, Jacko has had a further nine operations on his nose, his chin and eyebrows reshaped, work done on his mouth and he has had his skin lightened.

In honour of the big 50, age progression experts and a British artist used a mixture of science and computer trickery to come up with an amazing image of what Michael would have looked like if he had let nature take its course and aged naturally.

They started with photos of Michael Jackson before any surgery, and additionally studied how other members of his family have aged, including his 79-year-old father, Joe. To make the image as accurate as possible, Jackson’s lifestyle was also taken into account.

He looks so much happier and healthier as the ‘real’ him, it’s all quite sad really.

Madonna is also 50 this year and has much more subtle, yet effective plastic surgery. Although, she has said that she's "not worried at her physical appearance; she is more concerned with her ‘spiritual age’ "......which apparently is 36.



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So I was readingthe newspaper online, and saw that Journey is headlining a sold out concert this Saturday night at Blossom Music Center in Akron. Anyways, I used to loooooooooooove Journey, but kind of lost interest when Steve Perry quit the band. I mean, because seriously, he had such a memorable and amazing voice that you just couldn't duplicate it with someone else singing lead.

Until now.

I read that the other founding members of Journey- Neal Schon, Jonathon Cain and Ross Valory- found their new lead singer, Filipino born Arnel Pineda....on YouTube. Yes, YouTube.

I was kind of skeptical. Until I heard him sing. Check him out. If you remember what Steve Perry sounded like, you'll probably like the new guy.

Don't Stop Believin'

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Open Arms

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Also, here's the story from CBS News on how Journey came to find their new singer, which is a pretty amazing story. What's even more surreal is that the guy was HOMELESS and living in the Philippines at one point. It's almost exactly like that Mark Wahlberg movie "Rockstar". Crazy. And really cool.

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Yep, someone IS a b*tch....and I think we know who that is, Ms. Palin.


Early this year, an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News ripped into Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance on a morning "shock jock" radio show as "plain and simple one of the most unprofessional, childish and inexcusable performances I've ever seen from a politician."

So what happened? Palin has repeatedly feuded with the state's Senate president, Lyda Green, over a wide range of legislation. Last January, Palin appeared on "The Bob and Mark Show," whose host Bob Lester despises Green. That's when the trouble started:

Early on in the conversation before Palin started to crack up, Lester referred to Sen. Green as a jealous woman and a cancer. Palin, who knows full well Lyda Green is a cancer survivor, didn't do what any decent person would do, say, "Bob, that's going too far."

But as the conversation moved on, Lester intensified his attack on Green.

Lester questioned Green's motherhood, asking Palin if the senator cares about her own kids. Palin laughs.

Then Lester clearly sets the stage for what he is about to say by warning his large audience and Palin. He says, "Governor you can't say this but I will, Lyda Green is a cancer and a b----." Palin laughs for the second time.

What were teenage boys thinking when they heard the governor laugh at someone being called a b----? How about the teenage girls who look up to Palin. What did they think when they heard her laugh?

But there is more. Lester then describes Green's chair as big and cushy. A clear reference to the senator's weight. Palin laughs a third time. She's just having a grand old time.

Palin was clearly enjoying every second of Lester's vicious attack on her political rival.

As the Daily News op-ed notes, Palin later released a statement reading, "The Governor called Senator Green to explain that she does not condone name-calling in any way and apologized if there was a perception that the comment was attributed to the Governor." Then again, at the end of the call in question, Lester asked if he could come visit Palin, and she responded, "I'd be honored to have you."

So what does the incident actually say about Palin? If nothing else, it plays into the developing perception that she has a ruthless streak when taking on her political opponents, whether they be opposing legislators or state/local employees.

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I just read a funny article by Roger Simon, a journalist for Yahoo Politico about Sarah "Mooseburger" Palin, and her hatred of the media. Or the "elite media". Or whatever. Good stuff.

On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn’t be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols.

Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head Wednesday night (and several in the audience wish she had hit some reporters on the head instead) when she said: “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”

But where did we go wrong with Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways:

First, we should have stuck to the warm, human interest stuff like how she likes mooseburgers and hit an important free throw at her high school basketball tournament even though she had a stress fracture.

Second, we should have stuck to the press release stuff like how she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere (after she supported it).

Third, we should never have strayed into the other stuff. Like when The Washington Post recently wrote: “Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body. … Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints.”

Why go there? What trees does that plant?

Fourth, we should stop making with all the questions already. She gave a really good speech. And why go beyond that? As we all know, speeches cannot be written by others and rehearsed for days. They are true windows to the soul.

Unless they are delivered by Barack Obama, that is. In which case, as Palin said Wednesday, speeches are just a “cloud of rhetoric.”

Fifth, we should stop reporting on the families of the candidates. Unless the candidates want us to.

Sarah Palin wanted the media to report on her teenage son, Track, who enlisted in the Army on Sept. 11, 2007, and soon will deploy to Iraq.

Sarah Palin did not want the media to report on her teenage daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant and unmarried.

Sarah Palin thinks that one is good for her campaign and one is not, and that the media should report only on what is good for her campaign. That is our job, and that is our duty. If that is not actually in the Constitution, it should be. (And someday may be.)

The official theme of the convention’s third day was “prosperity,” but the unofficial theme was “the media are really, really awful.”

Even Mike Huckabee, who campaigned for president this year by saying “I am a conservative, but I am not mad at anybody,” discovered Wednesday night that he is mad at somebody.

“I’d like to thank the elite media for doing something,” Huckabee said, “that, quite frankly, I didn’t think could be done: unify the Republican party and all of America in support of John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

And could that be the real point of the attacks on the media? To unify the Republican Party?

No, that is simply the cynical, media view.

Though as Lily Tomlin says, “No matter how cynical I get, it’s just never enough to keep up.”

I couldn’t resist that. For which I am sorry.



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Sarah Palin's Banned Book List

Time magazine reports that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin wanted to ban books from public libraries.

But which controversial titles did Governor Palin so desperately want to keep out of the hands of book-loving Alaskans?



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This is too hilarious. A friend showed it to me yesterday, and now I'm hooked on the whole series of them. I'll add the other ones in new posts, so they don't run slow, which I've noticed that YouTube clips will do if you add them all in one single post.

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Sonseed: Jesus Is My Friend

So, I think I am the last person in the world to see this video...

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Twitter is Penis

From Twenis.com: "We hijack innocent tweets, subject them to our patent pending penisization process by replacing certain words with 'penis', and republish it for your entertainment. We find it funny."

Enjoy. Because really, who doesn't like a good penis joke? No one I know.



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"The Big C"

So........a couple weeks ago I found out that I have a malignant tumor in my parotid (salivary) gland.

This is the third time I've had a tumor in that area. So this wasn't a major surprise, but one that couldn't have come at a worse time, or been as in-the-way, and complicating my life right now. I've got a lot of personal issues going on right now, and the extra stress of this isn't what I needed. At all.

So I'm going to these IMRT (Image-Modulated Radiation Therapy) appointments in Akron lately, which kind of explains my lack of postings in my blog over the past couple weeks. I'm sure most of you didn't miss me posting, but for those of you who DO read my blog- that's my explanation. Vomiting a lot and being way dizzy doesn't really work well with sitting at the computer desk. And for those of you who hate my blog- look one the bright side- maybe I'll die of cancer and you'll never have to read anything from me ever again! (I know...bad joke, but I was just trying to keep this light and non-depressing.) :D

Anyways- I know I have some friends on this site, so for those of you who know me....I'd really appreciate any good thoughts and prayers you could send my way. Thanks.



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The United States of Mind

Interesting article from The Wall Street Journal:

Certain regional stereotypes have long since become cliches: The stressed-out New Yorker. The laid-back Californian.

But the conscientious Floridian? The neurotic Kentuckian?

You bet -- at least, according to new research on the geography of personality. Based on more than 600,000 questionnaires and published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, the study maps regional clusters of personality traits, then overlays state-by-state data on crime, health and economic development in search of correlations.

Even after controlling for variables such as race, income and education levels, a state's dominant personality turns out to be strongly linked to certain outcomes. Amiable states, like Minnesota, tend to be lower in crime. Dutiful states -- an eclectic bunch that includes New Mexico, North Carolina and Utah -- produce a disproportionate share of mathematicians. States that rank high in openness to new ideas are quite creative, as measured by per-capita patent production. But they're also high-crime and a bit aloof. Apparently, Californians don't much like socializing, the research suggests.

As for high-anxiety states, that group includes not just Type A New York and New Jersey, but also states stressed by poverty, such as West Virginia and Mississippi. As a group, these neurotic states tend to have higher rates of heart disease and lower life expectancy.

Lead researcher Peter Jason Rentfrow, lecturer at the University of Cambridge in England, said he was startled to find such correlations. "That just blew me away," he said.

Psychologists unaffiliated with the study say it's intriguing but limited. There's no way to unravel the chicken-and-egg question: Do states tend to nurture specific personalities because of their histories, cultures, even climates? Or do Americans, seeking kindred spirits, migrate to the states where they feel at home? Maybe both forces are at work -- but in what balance?

Another issue: The personality maps may reinforce stereotypes and tempt us to draw overly simplistic conclusions, said Toni Schmader, a psychologist at the University of Arizona. Knowing Arizona ranks low in neuroticism, Ms. Schmader said, she might conclude that sunny weather makes for sunny dispositions. But if the data had turned out the other way, the sun could just as easily be blamed for high neuroticism -- for driving Arizonans stir crazy by keeping them cooped up in air conditioning.

"We tend to reject information that doesn't agree with our stereotypes," Ms. Schmader said.

Cross-cultural psychology was all the rage in the 1930s and 1940s, driven by a craze among anthropologists for comparing child-rearing practices in modern and pre-industrial societies. But the discipline fell out of favor, partly because of concerns that the comparisons were driven more by value judgments than standardized assessments.

In the past decade, the field has been reinvigorated by the development of a 44-question personality test that evaluates five traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness. Some psychologists disagree with this matrix; others would add traits such as honesty. But the assessment, called the Big Five Inventory, has been widely used in scientific research.

Mr. Rentfrow came to the field full of questions gleaned from a life spent hop-scotching across America. Why were his neighbors in Texas so relaxed, so courteous, so obsessed with sports? Why did New Yorkers seem so tense and inward-focused, often brusque to the point of rudeness?

Eager to dig deeper, Mr. Rentfrow turned to a huge collection of psychological tests administered online from 1999 to 2005.

The assessments were linked to each respondent's current residence, so there was no way to tell if a New Yorker was a New Yorker born and bred, or had just moved from Kansas. But that suited Mr. Rentfrow's purposes. He wasn't trying to gauge how life in New York had shaped any one individual. His goal was a psychological snapshot of the state, and for that he needed to include even recent migrants -- who may, after all, have been drawn to New York because the big-city bustle suited their personality.

Mr. Rentfrow said his sample was proportionate to the U.S. population by state and race. Though it underrepresented the extremes of poor and rich, that shouldn't skew the results, he said.

While the findings broadly uphold regional stereotypes, there are more than a few surprises. The flinty pragmatists of New England? They're not as dutiful as they may seem, ranking at the bottom of the "conscientious" scale. High scores for openness to new ideas strongly correlates to liberal social values and Democratic voting habits. But three of the top ten "open" states -- Nevada, Colorado and Virginia -- traditionally vote Republican in presidential politics. (All three are prime battlegrounds this election.)

And what of the unexpected finding that North Dakota is the most outgoing state in the union? Yes, North Dakota, the same state memorialized years ago in the movie "Fargo" as a frozen wasteland of taciturn souls. Turns out you can be a laconic extrovert, at least in the world of psychology. The trait is defined in part by strong social networks and tight community bonds, which are characteristic of small towns across the Great Plains. (Though not, apparently, small towns in New England, which ranks quite low on the extraversion scale.)

The findings pleased Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who said it was nice to have scientific proof that his state is super-friendly. "That's the Nebraska I know," he said.

But Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman can't understand how Nevada got ranked so low in agreeableness. "We're probably the most agreeable folks in the world, because we have to treat visitors with a great deal of kindness ... to get a big tip," he said.

In Florida, meanwhile, tourism official Dia Kuykendall groped to explain her state's high "conscientious" ranking. She was having trouble reconciling that with, say, the party scene on Miami Beach. "Conscientious of how they look?" she wondered.

The research did give Ms. Kuykendall an idea for a new Florida tourism pitch: "Come visit us, we're not neurotic!"

Social scientists suggest other applications for the research as well. In the Northeast "stress belt," health officials might consider programs to help folks relax. In the Midwest, a dutiful state like Kansas might look to woo more innovative personalities, perhaps by nurturing an artists' enclave or encouraging young chefs to start restaurants, said Richard Florida, an economic development analyst who has written extensively on geography and psychology.

"Most cities are still trapped in the idea that they can recruit a call center or build a big stadium" to spur revitalization, Mr. Florida said. "This is a big wake-up call for policy makers."

It's also a wake-up call for proud residents of the great state of wherever -- some of whom aren't fond of the findings. Mr. Rentfrow said he's had to help some of them feel better. Yes, North Dakota and Wyoming rank quite low in openness to new ideas. But why label them narrow-minded and insular? Say, instead, he suggests, that they value tradition. New York may be neurotic, but he offers another way to put it: "It's a state in touch with its feelings."

Or take a cue from Ted Ownby, who studies Southern culture at the University of Mississippi. His state came up highly neurotic -- and he suspects his neighbors would be proud.

"Here in the home of William Faulkner," Mr. Ownby said, "we take intense, almost perverse neuroticism as a sign of emotional depth."

Here's the interactive map if you want to play with it a while. It's actually pretty fun and interesting to mess around with if you have a few minutes to kill.


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Let's Go Bears!
Italian Spiderman! Ciao, Spidey!

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Mitch Hedberg on Letterman was so LOL funny (as they say) that I had to post it here.

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Last night, it was Homecoming for Jackson High School. I went to the football game with baby Jack, and we sat with my friend Lisa, who we always sit next to at home games. Her daughter is a cheerleader, and she watches Jack at halftime for me, in order for me to be able to videotape the Jackson Purple Army's halftime show, since my youngest daughter plys flute int he marching band.

Anyways....right after halftime, Lisa comes running over to me, and says that the Jackson Varsity squad cheerleaders have Jack and they have him out on the field with them taking pictures. They've all kind of "adopted" him as their little buddy, and he spends a large portion of every home game camped out in front of where the girls are cheering, blowing kisses to them and clapping his hands when the are clapping and doing cheers.

Here's a few pics:



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Here's Jackson's Purple Army's halftime performance from the Jackson-Austintown Fitch football game last night.

It was OK, but not one of my favorite for a few reasons. First of all, it was Homecoming, so they had the alumni band members out there, so they didn't really march or anything, because the alumni members didn't know the current routines. Also, they just played super simple songs due to the alumni people. n't It really made the halftime show boring.

Then- and this was my favorite part (yes, I'm being super sarcastic now) - they stopped between the 2nd and 3rd songs that the band was playing and had this big "advertisement" for the upcoming school levy. They are using the phrase "Unity in Our Community" and they had a a bunch of little grade school kids haul out signs on the field that spelled that phrase out.

Then, they took a big block of time to introduce each member of the hated school board, and had them all come out onto the field with the marching band. Afterward, they made sure to "remind" everyone to vote for the upcoming levy, and made this lame speech about "Unity in Our Community". It was a blatant and disgusting ploy by them to try to get people to vote for their stupid levy.

I'm still not voting for it. And if the school board members are so into having Unity in Our Community, then maybe they'll all take some much needed pay cuts instead of spending district money like drunken sailors and then trying to get the Jackson homeowners to step up and save their dumb as5es. You administration people want your huge salaries? Fine, then YOU find a way to pay for them. Because I'm betting that the Jackson voters will ONCE AGAIN vote this levy down when it comes up in a couple months. The way that the Jackson school district is currently being run is a complete JOKE. It's ridiculous and the entire school board and current superintendent needs to be replaced. Yes, that means you, Cheryl Haschak. You've completely run our schools into the ground, and you need to go.

I'm sorry, but when your district superintendent is making more than most surgeons, while still collecting a pension from their retirement fund and double dipping, they aren't going to get much sympathy from hard working township residents who are trying to get by and raise their families.

Anyways...enjoy the halftime show, I guess. Oh, and if you're reading this and are a Jackson resident, don't forget to go out and VOTE AGAINST THE SCHOOL LEVY in November. Thanks. :)

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Well, I just finished reading Levi's new blog entry. I can't believe that he and y2h are no longer friends. Back in the early days of Yappi, those two were inseperable! They did everything together and you never saw one of them without the other one.

It sounds as though things ended badly, and I'm sorry to hear it. I always liked the two of them very much and we had lots of fun times togeher over the years.

So, guys, if you two read this- I hope you both get things worked out eventually and can continue to be friends. Best of luck to both of you.


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Note to Bobcatfan: I loved your LOLCat comic that you used on your most recent blog post. So cute!

And by the way, if Kenny keeps giving you such a hard time, you're more than welcom e to come to Ohio and be my nurse instead. I have my IMRT cancer treatments now 4 times per week starting this week and Lord knows that I could use someone to help me out around here right ow.

Not that baby Jack isn't loads of help ...but I promise that I would never yell at you or complain or any of that type of stuff. I'm a model patient- so much so that you could probably get a lot of well deserved rest while you're here- just feed me my pain and anti-nausea meds every few hours and make sure I have enough Jell-O and chicken broth in the house, and occasionally walk me to the bathroom when I'm feeling lightheaded and that's about it... :laugh: :laugh:



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John McCain, WTF?

How we will we make ends meet with the high cost of household help?

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So this evening, I was reading some of my favorite Hollywood gossip sites (yes, I know they're without substance- but right now, I'm drowning in real life and more substance than I ever wanted or needed, so sites like these are my way of getting a break from it all..), and lo and behold, I came across a new video by Miss Britney Spears.

WOW! The girl looks and sounds great and is back to her former self as far as her dancing and her singing goes. I really like how she's doing a lower range voice. Very grown up, and all business, imo. Her new song is called "Womanizer", and it is the first song released by Britney from her upcoming album Circus who’s going to be released this December.

I have to say that I was really impressed by how far she's come. It's amazing when you look back to last year when she was behaving so oddly and having all kinds of breakdowns, and then fast forward to this video, where she looks like she's worked very hard to get herself back to who she used to be, I'm sure it took a lot of hard work on her part, and it really shows. And I think her coming back like this will only do wonderful things for those suffering from various mental diseases- it just goes to show the world that you can have a mental disorder and still lead a normal and productive life if you just have the support of loved ones and the right type of treatment for yourself.

Anyways, for those of you who are into her, you night want to check out her video for "Womanizer". She's naked in a lot of the clip. And I know how you guys love yourselves some naked Britney. Hey- I have to admit that I was even digging her in this video! The girl is HOT! :D

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