Friday, May 25, 2018

"Man confronts cops after they shoot his dog"

Again, wtf is wrong with the police?

"Candidates respond to Sterling Brown incident, Bryce, Myers critical of police actions"

RACINE COUNTY — The release of a video on Wednesday of an incident between Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown and the Milwaukee Police Department has received nationwide attention and some local candidates have weighed in on the topic.

In January, Brown was approached by police for illegally parking horizontally across several spaces in a Walgreens parking lot in Milwaukee around 2 a.m.

The body camera from one police officer shows several officers around Brown and asking him to take his hands out of his pockets. Shortly after that, Brown was tackled to the ground, and a police officer clearly yells “Taser, Taser,Taser.” A moment after that, Brown is heard groaning while being shot with a stun gun.

During a press conference, MPD Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Brown and said the officers “acted inappropriately.”

The incident has caused multiple officers to be suspended.

Read more:

Wtf is the matter with the police?  See next video for more police use of excessive force.

Four for Fridays!

Good morning everyone I hope you have had a good week. Yes I am back to do your Four for Fridays this week and Drew is back to work. I will let you know it was a long week with him home and with him doing his birding since it is migration time. Here are your questions for this week.

1) Are you ready for the warm and humid weather we are going to be having?

2) How many of you really like the warm weather?

3) Do you have plans for Memorial Day?

4) If so what are you going to be doing?

I hope everyone has a nice and safe Memorial Day!

Open Blog - Friday

And 'Foxfire,' of course, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Charlie's Shred Sculpture

My boy is an artist.  When he's not shredding, Charlie likes to spend time relaxing on a green Piggly-Wiggly shopping sack.

He has half a dozen of these spread around the apartment.  He ignores a dark green one from Walgreen's.

"News of the Weird: May 25, 2018"

From The Shepherd Express:
The Unkindest Cut of All
In Hudson, Fla., Brandon McCray, 47, came unglued on Tuesday, May 1, after discovering two of his socks missing. When suspicion fell on his roommate, Frank Smith, 53, McCray attacked him with a sword, according to WTVT. The attack continued as McCray also struck and injured two women living at the home. Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said Smith nearly lost several fingers trying to defend himself. Deputies arrested McCray at a neighbor’s house on charges of attempted homicide and battery.
Must Be a Millennial Thing
As finals were ramping up at the University of Utah at the end of April, one student’s class project went viral: Senior Nemo Miller created a stand-alone closet—placed in the J. Willard Marriott Library—where stressed-out students could go for a good cry. KSL-TV reported “The Cry Closet” caught on quickly; even with a suggested 10-minute limit, @Gemini tweeted, “I stayed 11 minutes, but I feel so much better. Thank you to whoever built this. Can we add a box of tissues, please?” Miller filled the closet with stuffed animals and soft materials. “I think everyone just needs a safe space sometimes,” she said, “even if it’s in a very public place.”
Terrus Incognito?
A French museum dedicated to the work of painter Etienne Terrus announced April 27 that more than half of its collection from the 19th-century artist are forgeries. The Terrus Museum in Elne, where he was born, gathered a group of experts to inspect the works after a visiting art historian noticed some of the paintings depict buildings that were not constructed until after Terrus’ death. In all, 82 paintings were determined to be fake. BBC News reported that the town’s mayor, Yves Barniol, called the situation “a disaster” and apologized to museum visitors.
High on the Hog
On Yaji Mountain in China, hog farmers are experimenting with high-rise hog breeding facilities that house 1,000 head of sows per floor. Xu Jiajing, manager of Guangxi Yangxiang Co. Ltd., told Reuters that the “hog hotels save energy and resources. The land area is not that much, but you can raise a lot of pigs.” The buildings range from seven floors to 13, with elevators to move both people and pigs.
“How Much for the Little Girl?”
The grandmother of a 7-year-old girl in Marietta, Ga., became alarmed on Monday, May 7, when a stranger started following her and the little girl around a Kroger store. WXIA-TV reported that Einodd Samimi had earlier approached the grandmother at a nearby Walmart and asked if he could “have” her granddaughter for $100. Turned down, he later upped the ante at Kroger, offering to purchase her for $200 and commenting on the little girl’s “pretty hair.” The grandmother confronted Samimi, drawing a large crowd of shoppers who chased him through the store and to his car. Police arrested Samimi at his home on charges of enticing a child and criminal solicitation.
Parrot Parrots Dog
Police in Loerrach, Germany, responded on Monday, May 14, to complaints about a domestic disturbance after a neighbor reported a loud confrontation that had been going on for some time. But when they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man arguing with his girlfriend’s parrot, according to Metro News. The parrot had been making barking sounds like a dog, and the man became annoyed with it. No charges were filed.
Fast Food Gone Weird
@BurgerKing was looking for love in all the right places on May 9 when workers changed a Boston location’s sign to read: “@Wendys ... Prom?” and posted a picture to Twitter. United Press International reported that it took less than an hour for the red-headed fast-food heartthrob, just a few doors down, to respond: “OK, but don’t get handsy and we have to be home by 10.” In a classic love triangle, @MoonPie expressed his disappointment: “I knew I should’ve asked sooner.”


Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my dears!  How are you?  Had enough rain?  It's always something, isn't it?  Señor Zanza and Junior say that the ground is too wet to work in the garden.  In fact, it's all mud.  Oh my.  If only there were some way to keep our excess rain and use it when a drought hits.  I hear that the farmers can't get out into their fields to plant.  They're currently predicting more rain later in the week. "They" can go you know where.

Foxconn. Foxconn.  Foxconn.  There, that's the business news for this week.  Oh yeah, and Foxconn.  Foxconn can do no wrong.  Foxconn is all powerful.  Foxconn is our new God.  Turn off the lights and repeat the name Foxconn over and over,  The spirit of Foxconn will appear.  Not pretty, is it?

This past week hasn't been pretty, either.  A school shooting in Texas,  All sorts of idiots arrested for crimes.  Like the guy who stabbed his son for getting suspended from school.  He also tortured him by making him stand in the unlit basement with no sleep.  This unmitigated piece of crap should be dragged through the streets.  I hate child abusers.

And I hate animal abusers.  Abusers and bullies of all sorts should be exposed and jailed.  Instead, they often get ahead in Racine.  They'll use their colleagues and lie and lie.  And win.  Because Racine is corrupt.  Mister Ex-Mayor Lying John made sure of that.  Bribe and scheme to get further up the ladder in Racine.

Are we going to have a summit with North Korea or not?  Does anyone know?  If we are, what's to prevent Trump from shooting off his mouth as usual?  That's the way North Korea has spoken to us for decades, but we dare not do likewise.  Let's hope that Trump has something up his sleeve.  Peace with North Korea would be a miracle.

Junior has had his second accident with  Señor Zanza's car.  Oh my oh my.  That's his second accident in his first year of driving.  I'm afraid to ask Señor Zanza what his insurance is costing him.  Junior and the other driver are OK, but the same can't be said for the cars.  Junior ran a red light and slammed into a car crossing the intersection.  He wasn't texting, he was making out with his girlfriend.  Where is his father in these formative, traumatic years?

Thank you one and all for reading my blog.  I love my readers and always covet more.  Tell your friends and neighbors about me.  Share the love.

The weather is supposed to improve.  Go out and enjoy what you can.  The sun is rising right now and it looks strong.  Have a great week.

Please donate: 
If you don't like PayPal, send me a note at and I'll send you my street address so you can send a check or money order.  Thank you.

"Rupert Holmes - If You Like Pina Coladas"

Open Blog - Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"Slingin' In the Rain"

From The Shepherd Express:
May 22, 2018
4:08 p.m.

I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? And yes indeed, I do believe that my buddy Herbie was onto something when he said, “I swear the Russians have learned to dick with our U.S. weather through their fancy commie computers, I kid you not.” Focking-A.
For example, think we’ve had enough rain here this not-so-merry goddamn damp month of May? Cripes, the other day I was about to shave, looked into the mirror and thought I noticed a crop of sprouting chest hair. What the fock, fresh chest hair at my age? On closer inspection, I deduced that this growth was not of chest hair, no sir. It was moss. Focking moss. So now I got to piss away some time trying to find out if Medicare covers moss removal, what a world.
Anyways, I’m taking my Memorial Day holiday early, as in right about now, so this page will be a tad light on the word count. Benefit to you the reader is that the type size ought to be larger than usual, which means you shouldn’t need to rent the Hubble Space Telescope just to take a focking gander here.
But the main reason I’m not able to whip nor pump out a heavy-dutifully thought-invoking essay for you’s this week is on account that I be otherwise occupied with slapping together what I would intend to be the “Art Kumbalek Gala Spew to Our 2018 Graduates Be They of University; College; High, Tech, Trade, or Matchbook School; Middle School; Academy Charter Institute of Some Learning for Young People; Grade School; Prison Substance-Abuse Good-Neighbor Sanity Program for Early Release; Pre-School; Nursery School; Daycare Center Who Employs a Bus Driver Who Can Conduct a Head-Count.”
Why? Because it’s that time of year, and I could use a paying gig, you betcha.
And what of my speaking-fee as it would affect you’s tight-budgeted school administrators, not to mention the wanna-be embezzling lady suburban-school bookkeepers undergoing divorce proceedings because they’ve developed a gambling habit as to substitute for what had been their wifely duties as required by the connubial boudoir?
To address your scholastic assemblage, I ask fifty bucks in cash upfront to be followed by a case of ice-cold bottled beer following the ceremony. Done and done.
And yes, I’ve got experience. I’ll always remember—and perhaps you will, too—a commencing gig some years back over by the Wee-Wee Park Your Tot Lot, Institution of Lower Learning (Bedwetters Welcome) Institute.
It was a memorable oratorical performance. I was interrupted mid-speech several times, once even with applause when they mistakenly thought my remarks were concluded, plus numerous other times when young scholars were forced to visit the Poo-Poo room following the dropping of a full-load drawers-side.
It was ’round about the time that I quoted the great American Eugene Debs—“Years ago, I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on Earth... While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free”—that most of the kids started bawling and I was asked to hit the focking road.
I don’t know if those kids got much out of my discourse, but I sure learned something: If I ever got another speaking engagement, I vowed to be abso-focking-lutely certain to demand the case of ice-cold bottled beer upfront, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


"Gorilla Epoxy"

Best damn epoxy I've ever used.  It dries clear and strong.  I don't know about the "weld" stuff, but I tend to believe them.  Maybe I'll use that stuff when I patch up my truck's cracked grill.  Black on black should make it easier.  I'm tempted to use the epoxy on a star that's cracked my windshield.  It's small, but too big for the epoxy cure at J F Auto Glass.  $200 for a new windshield.  The star has not changed shape or cracked anymore.  I may just put a dab or two of the epoxy on there.    

"Celebrating seniors during Older Americans Month"

"Every May a month-long effort to celebrate older adults kicks off. While it’s important to recognize the contributions seniors make in our lives every day, Older Americans Month makes it an official celebration. It is a tradition that dates back to the Kennedy administration."

Read more:

I'm an "older American" now.  Where's my free stuff?

My Stinking Tablet

It's a Samsung Galaxy 3 Tablet.  They're currently producing Galaxy 9 Tablets, so mine is outdated.  It was given to me by Time Warner Cable five years ago when I moved and signed up for a new package.  After staying on the plan 3 or 6 months, they gave me a tablet.  It was obsolete from the start.

However, it's really been acting up the past two weeks.  Last week I lost my Wi-Fi.  I couldn't connect for three days.  Then, when I call to report it, it's working fine.  I was watching Netflix in bed  Sunday night when I lost my Wi-Fi again.  Then yesterday, after charging it, I couldn't get the tablet to turn on.  I must've hit the on button a few dozen times.  Nothing.  It was also cold; usually it's hot after being charged.  This morning, I messed with it some more.  I stuck the charger back on and tried the on button a hundred times.  Nothing.  I figured it wasn't even fit to be a doorstop.  Too thin.

I put it down and forgot about it.  A couple hours later, I tried to turn on the tablet again.  As I clicked and clicked the on button, I saw a flash of light.  No, it couldn't be.  I hit the on button a few more times and it came on.  It was connected to the Wi-Fi again and working properly.  A message came on telling me to remove the charger because the battery was at 100%.  OK.  Hmm.

I almost threw it away.  Of course, I'd have to smash it first to protect from identity loss.  When Spectrum repair men were here, they told me not to expect much from the tablet.  It was slow and full of shit.  All I use it for now is to watch stuff in bed.  This has happened before, but it never took that long to get it to turn back on.  If it "dies" again, I'll wait a few days before I toss it in a drawer and forget about it.  Sheesh.

"Adopting a dog or cat later in life"

From The Journal

While many people associate pets with kids who can't wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well.
Metro Creative Services
Companion animals bring great joy to their owners. The unconditional love cats and dogs provide appeals to people of all ages. While many people associate pets with kids who can’t wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to feel lonely or depressed when they retire, their children move away or they lose a spouse or close friend or friends. The American Humane Society states that studies show pets help seniors overcome loneliness and depression by providing affection, company and entertainment. Pets also provide much-needed mental stimulation, and many pet owners find their pets help them become more physically active as well.
Seniors who adopt pets may also feel a sense of purpose when helping animals who may not have anywhere to live. This is particularly true of older companion animals, which many young families are understandably hesitant to adopt. Mature pets might be an ideal fit for seniors. When seniors are looking to adopt a pet, there are various reasons why older pets or particular animals might be the perfect fit for them.
  • Adult pets may already be house trained, saving seniors the trouble and effort of training them.
  • Seniors may find cats fit their lifestyles more than dogs, as cats are less active and do not need to be walked or played with as much as dogs. Cats also are small and easily maneuverable, meaning even seniors who have arthritis or other physical limitations can easily care for cats. Many cats are also content to spend long periods of time sleeping on their owners’ laps.
  • Small dogs that can be active within the house might be a good idea as well, especially for seniors with mobility issues. They’re also easily transported to and from vet appointments.
It’s important that seniors carefully weigh the benefits of adopting a pet against any limitations they may have. Having a backup plan for care is advantageous as well. Seniors should not adopt a pet if they anticipate frequent travel or medical care that requires they be away from home for long periods of time.


"Blues Magoos - Gloria(1967)"

Foxconn Truth

Dear Village Board,

For your consideration:

State, County, and Local Governments are investing $Billions$ in borrowed money; abusing eminent domain, “Blight” designations,  TIF guidelines, Pollution Control Standards, destroying the preservation of Farmland and  Wetlands, while redirecting the natural flows and purity of massive amounts of fresh water, along with a Healthy Environment, to an Entity which promises to produce LCD TV screens – employing 13,000 people at an average salary of $53K each + Bennies,  all to prop up the Failed (and Bankrupt) Governments of SE Wisconsin – which continue to loot and oppress the remaining, and largely poor, minority, under-educated,  criminal, and exploited underclass. 


” Racine Floating A Sales Tax” City of Racine commits-to-Paris-climate-accord while supporting Foxconn that exceeds the pollution standards. Then suggesting a .5 sales tax after Racine County spends millions on taking land from taxpayers to support Foxconn.


Tim & Cindy

"Britney Spears - Oops!...I Did It Again (Official Video)"

Open Blog - Tuesday

Hope you have a good one.

Monday, May 21, 2018

"Hillary's Bitterness Tour"

The bitterness tour
By Cal Thomas
Tribune Content Agency
MELBOURNE, Australia — When you hear “world tour” you usually think of superstars performing concerts in various cities for adoring fans. Not so with the presidentially deprived, entitlement-driven Hillary Clinton.
Last week, Hillary Clinton came to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, and to Sydney, its largest, with a huge chip on her shoulder. The chip has been there since the 2016 election and seems to be growing larger with every appearance.
As with almost everything else the Clintons do, it cost to hear her bitterness. Those who went to hear Clinton speak, more than 5,000 people, paid between $200 and $500 Australian dollars (about $15 to $380 US). What they heard was criticism of President Trump and his foreign and domestic policies. Not that long ago, Americans made an effort to stop “partisan politics at the water’s edge,” but no more. Especially with some Democratic politicians who seem to believe that government belongs to them and when Republicans win an election it was somehow stolen from its rightful owners.
Interviewed by former liberal Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Hillary Clinton eventually got to what she believes is the real reason she lost to Donald Trump. It was misogynistic men and women who voted the way their husbands told them to that prevented her from making history, or if you prefer, herstory.
Hillary Clinton was at it even before the event began by tweeting that President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal was a “big mistake” that actually makes the U.S. less safe. As if America would be safer by trusting the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world to live up to an agreement when Iran’s religious and political leaders regularly speak of their commitment to destroy us (and Israel, too).
In his account of her appearance, Chip Le Grand of The Australian newspaper writes that while Hillary Clinton was “at times disarmingly honest (that seemed to be a first), warm, funny and optimistic,” she also appeared “self-serving and sad.”
Like a boxer who doesn’t know when to leave the ring, Hillary Clinton is a two-time political loser who hasn’t gotten the message that she is unlikeable and unelectable. She would do herself and the country (not to mention the Democratic Party) a favor by retiring and leaving the scene of her political accident.
There is still money to be made, however, and to the Clintons money is their catnip.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday: “…it’s Clinton fundraising season. This has been true of every season of every year since the late 1970s. But this is a particularly important moment because of a major event that is now less than two weeks away. Last month Axios reported: ‘Longtime Clinton supporters last week received an invitation offering access to the family (the green invitation features photos of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea) at a Clinton Foundation benefit on May 24 in New York, at prices ranging from $2,500 (”Friend”) for cocktail party and dinner, up to $100,000 (”Chair”) for “Leadership Reception for two, a premium table of ten, program recognition as Gala Chair and invitations to the Clinton Foundation Annual Briefing.’”
The now defunct Clinton Global Initiative (which not surprisingly stopped receiving large donations after Hillary Clinton’s defeat) spent a lot of donor money on a large staff, travel and “miscellaneous” expenses. What do new contributors to the Clinton Foundation hope to get in return for their donations? More bitterness, perhaps?
Very sad.

(Readers may email Cal Thomas at


Cal is an asshole, but so is Hillary.  Fuck 'em all!!

Open Blog - Monday

I think Mondays are less like a knock on the head and more like a kick in the pants.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Wanted in Ohio: Workers who can pass a drug test"

Christa Case Bryant,

Bill Cruciger could easily double the staff of his roofing company, Roof Rite, given how strong the economy is right now. And 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have been that hard. There was always a mason or carpenter around who could easily pick up the trade. But today, it’s nearly impossible – especially given the opioid crisis, which has disproportionately hit men without college degrees.
“It’s just mind-blowing how many people we hire who have never pounded a nail before,” says his son, Chris Cruciger, who is general manager of the family-owned company. “That’s why, when you come across someone with a lot of experience and they tell you they can’t pass a drug test, it’s so disappointing.”
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce says 40 to 60 percent of job applicants are failing drug tests. Once hired, some quit within weeks or even hours. State Rep. Tim Schaffer (R) of Columbus says he’s talked with HVAC contractors who, like Roof Rite, say they could double the size of their operation if they could find qualified applicants. “They are just begging for people who want to make $50,000 to $60,000 per year with a brief training program,” he says.
Indeed, the challenge of finding qualified applicants for skilled labor jobs is a statewide phenomenon. Employers here also talk about applicants who don’t have the soft skills needed for a job interview, like writing a résumé, dressing appropriately, or making eye contact.
“This is not just one employer saying it, this is across the spectrum,” says Chris Ferruso, legislative director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Ohio, where it has 23,000 members.
Some new initiatives are trying bridge that gap, with the goal of restoring a sense of purpose for those who have struggled with opioid addiction, while also enabling businesses to expand their reach and productivity.
The Youngstown regional Chamber recently started a new program to cover the cost of drug tests for employers. A local nonprofit, Flying High, has established a robust program of recovery and job-training for both recovering addicts and former felons, and built a network of more than a dozen employers willing to hire their trainees.
And in a bipartisan effort from Congress, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) of Ohio teamed up last month with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) from next-door West Virginia to introduce the CARE Act, which would provide $100 million in grants for communities or tribes offering combined addiction recovery and job training programs – two areas that are already federally funded but administered separately. Combining the two would not cost taxpayers any more money, but would help individuals in recovery see a clearer path forward.
“We found fairly often that someone gets treatment, then can’t find a job, and struggles on the streets,” says Senator Brown in a phone interview. “If we can work on those programs together … when they are clean, they can much more likely find a job.” 
He adds he’s willing to work across the aisle with majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky, who has proposed similar legislation. “We will work on this together,” he says.
Ohio has the second-highest overdose rate in the country, and the state spent more than $1 billion fighting drug abuse and addiction in 2017. But Gov. John Kasich (R) has come under fire for not investing even more, as the trajectory for opioid deaths continues to slope sharply upward. Meth is also on the rise in southern Ohio, and marijuana use is pervasive.
An October 2017 report from Ohio State University found that between 92,000 and 170,000 of Ohioans are addicted to drugs. It also cited a report that estimated that the opioid crisis had cost America $78 billion in 2013; more than half of that cost was attributed to lost productivity.
That is posing an increasing challenge for employers, particularly in trades that involve heavy machinery. Because of the safety hazards of operating such equipment while high, and because Ohio businesses can get a discount on worker compensation premiums for maintaining drug-free workplaces, many employers here require pre-hire drug tests and sometimes screenings of current employees.
Some try to skirt those tests in creative ways.
BJ Panchik of Steward Health Care/WorkMED outside Youngstown, whose office administers drug tests for local employers, has seen it all. One boss even tried to use a contraption called a Whizzinator to smuggle in someone else’s urine and pass it off as his own.
“The hardest part sometimes is keeping a straight face,” she says.“But the fact of the matter is, it’s tragic.”
Last month, the Chamber partnered with her office to provide free drug tests for potential employees through a $20,000 grant. To help them get the biggest bang for their buck, she found a kit that tests for 12 different types of drugs, many of them opiates, and provides results within minutes. It costs only $3.75 compared to $40 for the usual test, which is sent by plane to Minnesota.
“The high percentage of [drug test failures] is crushing our small companies here in the market,” says Nick Santucci, director of education and workforce development for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. “We’re hoping that by covering that drug test costs, it will alleviate some of the financial burden on the companies here.”
But it’s not always that simple to match available resources with the need; Mr. Santucci says that despite advertising the free drug-testing program through various channels, including on social media, for a month they haven't had a single company use it so far. And while his data shows there are 17,875 job postings in the area, he often hears people saying there are no jobs.
April Caraway of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, for example, has many people trying to get back into the workforce but stymied by lack of a driver’s license or Social Security card, or by a felony on their record – which, even if officially expunged, can’t be erased completely due to the Internet.
“You guys keep telling me there are all these open jobs in the Valley, and I’ve got all these unemployed people – how can we get these people jobs?” she asked the Chamber. So they worked together to create a list of employers who would consider hiring felons. Anecdotally, she says, recovery house mangers are now seeing a slight improvement in men being able to land jobs.
Even if all job applicants could pass drug tests, employers would still have a problem, labor experts say. It stems from what many here see as an unwise decision to push young people en masse toward four-year colleges rather than channeling some into vocational programs.
“We have a long storied history of being a manufacturing powerhouse, and unfortunately so many of those skill sets that are necessary, you just can’t find in Ohio,” says Mr. Ferruso of NFIB.
The problem is particularly striking in Youngstown, whose population has shrunk from 165,000 to about 65,000 since its flourishing steel mills shut down in the 1970s. Last summer it ranked as the most economically distressed small or mid-sized city in America – ahead of places like Flint, Mich., and Trenton, N.J. So employers are getting creative about how to do more with the employees they have – and where to look for new ones.
On a recent day at the Columbiana Boiler Company, half an hour south of Youngstown, close to a dozen career welders gathered around a glass conference room table armed with schematic drawings or dry erase markers. They are here in response to CEO Michael Sherwin’s challenge: Devise a way to reorganize the shop operations for maximum efficiency. The team with the best idea gets a cash bonus.
It’s not just an academic exercise. Mr. Sherwin, whose company pays $40,000 to $80,000 a year with benefits, says he basically hasn’t stopped looking for people for the past two years and still hasn’t been able to fill his open positions.
He’s also started looking for potential hires in unusual places – such as Flying High, the nonprofit that helps those emerging from substance abuse and/or prison get job training and reenter the workforce.
Mike Oates, a recent graduate of their welding program, gets up at 4:30 a.m. every day to put in 10-hour shifts at Columbiana Boiler, where he helps make massive kettles that hold liquid zinc for galvanizing large metal objects like cellphone towers and light poles.
“He’s been a great find,” says Sherwin. For the type of welding Mr. Oates does, “He’s probably No. 2 in the shop.”
For Oates, it’s a welcome opportunity to get his life back on track.
“Just because someone makes a mistake in their life doesn’t mean they’re a criminal,” says Oates, who hurt his back working in a steel mill in the 1990s, was prescribed opioid medication, and got addicted. He was convicted of felonious assault and spent two years in prison. There, he says he underwent a major transformation and emerged a passionate Christian determined to help others. “You can’t live in your past, because you’re never going to have a future.”
In many ways, the same could be said for Ohio.

"ive Video: Kilauea Lava Flow Activity In Lower Puna Hawaii"


"Frank Zappa on The Steve Allen Show March 4, 1963.mp4"

"Frank promotes his new record How's Your Bird & The Worlds Greatest Sinner movie and then plays a bicycle with Steve. Fun for all."

"The Hollies - Bus Stop"