Category Archives: Cleveland Browns

Some Continuing and New Threads

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The way our lives are woven together, each of us have common

threads. We have interests that are diverse, but there have been

so many times in my over two years of blogging, where I have said

something about having ‘exactly’ the same thought or ‘truly shared

moments.’ I have some bits and pieces I cull from sources, some

are ‘Aha!’ moments and others are just fun ones that don’t really

teach anything. The conversation amongst my readers has made me

feel like friends chatting about this and that. So, here are three ‘new

to me’ finds to share with you.  Hey, FUN is enough reason to do so!

 

Do you remember Dick Tracy? The comic strip or movie with Warren

Beatty? I think my brothers were the ones who made my Dad read this

comic strip aloud on Sundays. I was more interested in “Hi and Lois,”

“Dagwood” and “Peanuts.” There was an adorable and clever one box

comic, in the daily newspaper called, “Family Circle,” I really liked too.

Well, the first comic I mentioned, “Dick Tracy,” is coming true. When

he used to lean over and talk into his watch, this is ‘happening’ come

January, 2015.

Here are some examples of watches in the very near Future to check

out:

A.  Apple Watch, will cost around $350 and will include a ‘built in

fitness tracker and apps for many things to do with exercise. The

face of it looks like a mini computer. I am afraid I may need a

magnifying glass to look at this, but it is highly rated and many

are anxiously anticipating its release

B.  Samsung Neo Gear 2 Smart Watch is aimed at costing $200.

One of its most heralded feature is its portable music player. This

would be one feature that may get me to buy it!

C.  ** Dick Tracy-like, the Motorola Moto 360, has the ability to

be able to talk into it, while it is on your wrist. It is also the most

likely to ‘fool’ someone, since it looks like a real watch. It has the

traditional circular face, analog display and the highly toted,

voice-activated controls.

By the way, Dick Tracy was originally going to be called,

“Plainclothes Tracy.” Chester Gould wrote and illustrated this

comic strip from 1931 until 1977. Wow! That is a long-lasting

comic.  It was surely enjoyed for its clever story lines, some

gunfights, but the wizardry of gadgets and forensic science

were also featured. The first one was in the Detroit Mirror

newspaper, then it was syndicated throughout the U.S. via the

Chicago-New York syndication, Hearst publications. If you

have never seen the “Dick Tracy” movie, my own children

enjoyed this immensely, after my Dad bought it for them. It

has Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headley and Dustin Hoffman

in the fine cast. This is filled with unique and ‘evil’ characters.

 

The upcoming Tim Burton is fascinating to me. I had two of

the paintings that are often featured with waifs with lovely and

incredibly big eyes, they are haunting in their sweet and lonely,

sad looks. They are not ones to be forgotten either. It is a shame

that the artist was taken advantaged by a man. This story will

be on my 2015 list of “Must Sees” since I am a minor league artist,

who liked to paint pictures for children and young adults. I use

pen and ink with watercolors, although have been known to do

walls, murals and hand-painted toy chests and wall borders.

The movie is called, “Big Eyes.” It has Amy Adams, who you may

have seen in the children’s animated mixed with the streets of

New York, in “Enchanted,” the war story with Tom Hanks, “Charlie

Wilson’s War,” more about fund-raising and the movement to make

an impact or in the 2013 movie, “American Hustle.” She also was

in the movie, “The Fighter” with an emaciated Christian Bale and

played a woman who enjoyed cooking like Julia Child, next to

Meryl Streep who played Julia, in “Julie/Julia.” If those aren’t

enough reason to watch this, the villain who ‘stole’ her art is

played by the brilliant character actor, Christoph Waltz. He was

in a movie playing a German in “Inglorious Basterds,” also has

been in “Django Unchained” and he is actually from Austria and

is 58 years old. (When not playing a maniac, he is quite handsome.)

 

Look who is twittering up a storm about Cleveland: Valerie Bertinelli.

I love this woman who is a dvoted Cleveland fan, even before “Hot in

Cleveland” television show came along. I think every three months I

have to remind you of the ‘genius’ in this comedic group of four famous

women who originally were ‘stuck’ in an airport in Cleveland, but found

their way to a boarding house rental with Betty White as their landlord.

Every time, I mean this, I watch this show I am almost peeing, due to

the laughter that spills out. I guess some of the Cleveland jokes bring

me back to the “Drew Carey Show,” which brings me back farther to

the lively duo of “Laverne and Shirley,” which takes me back to my

childhood love of “I Love Lucy.”

Anyway, Valerie’s son is named “Wolfie” so she posts or twitters about

Cleveland on her “Wolfiesmom” space. I don’t follow Facebook nor do

I have a clue about Twitter. I just love to read about her becoming a

household favorite for many up in Cleveland. She is married to Tom

Vitale, who has a technological company called, “Veebo.” It is like

an app, because it connects local businesses wherever you visit,

around the world to your phone. This benefits small businesses since

it increases their sales, via mobile tech-app.  Next time you are out of

town, if you had “Veebo” you could be receiving texts that offer you

discounts, coupons or free pizzas.

 

On a serious note, there is a new invention costing a couple hundred

dollars, but is well worth it to victims of brain disorders that create

poor arm and finger mobility. It is being ‘touted’ for people with

Parkinson’s Disease and other muscle disorders. But I have a friend

who works at Advance Auto who was fascinated by this news. When

he eats peas and such, he almost drops half of them. His name is

Mike, who went ‘car surfing’ in his twenties, which means he was

like an idiot, daredevil thinking he was young and would live forever,

standing atop a car which was speeding. He had severe brain injuries,

he is often at the library, playing video games, at age 38 or 40 (age

guesstimate?)  Here is the motion-stabilized spoon which is being

offered by Liftware. It creates a ‘steadier hand,’ creates balance for

people. It is a motor-driven spoon that ‘counters’ movements with

an inner mechanism.

 

Hope this was both an informative and fun post.

Do you have any new technological gadgets that we may not have

heard of or used?

I am mainly a ‘technologically impaired’ woman so any new research

or products will be appreciated.

I like to expand my horizons daily!

 

Spring Ball Fever

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Baseball field walls have been adorned with catchy slogans and

advertising posters, practically since they started building them.

With the bigger stadiums, local news and television stations, major

automobile and other products have been featured and promoting,

along with paying money for the advertising. It is nice to be reminded

of Indianapolis’ being one of the first stadiums to display naturally

growing ivy at Perry Field. It sure would ‘cushion’ someone jumping

into the wall, to catch a long distance ball!

The Perry Field ivy is what inspired William Wrigley to decide to

decorate his new Wrigley Field, reaching its 100th anniversary this

year. A great book, written by George F. Will, better known for his

essays on politics was published in March, 2014. Its title is:

“A Nice Little Place on the North Side.” (Crown Archetype, a division

of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.)

The background story about Wrigley Field was they invested an extra

$200,000 to help make the bleachers reflect nature, along with the

idea of having the ivy walls. At the onset of building, they inserted

big cement tree boxes at the ends of the rows, where plans were made

to plant trees in each of these. Once they completed the stadium,

thy tried this, which sounded like a gorgeous natural setting,

with possible shade for some spectators, too. Unfortunately, the

trees were not able to survive. Gusts of wind off Lake Michigan,

repeatedly stripped the bark and leaves off the trees.

In the book, this simple description also shows Cubs’ owner,

William Wrigley’s frustration at the devastation:

“A week after we were finished, the bleachers looked like the

Russian Steppes during a hard, cold winter. Nothing but cement

and bark.”

George F. Will’s explanation:

“The forestation of the Wrigley Field bleachers was abandoned.”

The Boston Ivy was supposed to be planted and growing, when a call

was made to the ones in charge of this duty. They were only given

one day, so once agriculturalists were consulted, they chose to

plant a fast growing plant named, “Bittersweet.” It grew quickly

with lights strung along the wall. The ‘effect’ of green was able

to satisfy visiting guests to view the sight. Later, they inserted

into the bittersweet the Boston Ivy, since the original ‘quick fix’

for the presentation, still needed a more solid and denser growing

plant for the long haul. It took longer but is a magnificent wall

of flourishing ivy.

I have fond memories of going to the old cement stadium in Cleveland

to see both the Indians and Browns play. When they tore it down, to

build what was first named, “Jacob’s Field” I thought I would miss

the old one. It is a beautiful structure and ‘there isn’t a bad seat

in the house.’ I have never personally been to the Indianapolis Perry

Field or Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field, but enjoyed seeing the

photos and reading about the history of the latter’s field.

Happy 100th Anniversary, Wrigley Field!

Congratulations for making it to one hundred years!

Since I know that Columbus Clippers is having a whole weekend of

playing against Toledo Mud Hens, I will say I am ‘rooting’ for my

home team of the Clippers!

I can hear the old song, “Take me out to the ball game,” and imagine

the old Cracker Jacks and peanut shells falling onto the ground…

Have a wonderful weekend and I am now off to Mom’s…

(We only worked a half day today, due to a lot of overtime this

week… Also, my eyes are doing much better, less pressure than

in the Fall and Winter months! Hip hip hurray!)

“Cleveland Rocks”

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I have a follow up post about Kevin Costner and his friends,

the band he performs with, “Modern West.” When I wrote about

Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and the movie, “Draft Day,”

directed by Ivan Reitman, I did not have the “whole story”

to share with you! I had started by writing one post about

the movie being filmed in Cleveland and its “calling it a

wrap” around Thanksgiving!

The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland hosted Kevin Costner and

Modern West to a packed audience, all enjoying the music

with a few brews being consumed by members of the band,

actors and the “general population” who assembled there. I

am glad to say that Kevin Costner consumed a pop, Coke,

instead of partying like the others. It is always “refreshing”

(not to just drink a Coke! See advertising placement! No

money being exchanged, though. Darn!) to have a famous person

sharing and trading stories, along with setting a “good”

example for young movie goers who follow his actions closely.

The Modern West band is a country-rock band and performed lively

tunes, including “Red River.” Kevin Costner’s daughter, Lily,

played as a guest that night, on her guitar and joining in

by singing the songs with the band.

Kevin Costner often plays quiet parts, an easy going man, but

not very effusive or outgoing. I was pleased to hear that he

is a warm and friendly man, one reviewer, my old high school

cohort, Michael Heaton was writing about the stories Costner

told between songs, also friendly banter about Cleveland

Indians and thanking Cleveland for being so gracious and open

to the film being made in our town. It is appropriate that he

mention baseball movies because, even though I am not a sports

aficionado, I appreciate the Browns and the Indians. I expect

guests to our town to show their interest and enthusiasm to

the local teams, by ‘shouting out’ a word of encouragement.

I also have watched the beautiful movie, “Field of Dreams”

and humorous movie, “Bull Durham,” with Kevin Costner acting

in them. It is only “fair” to reciprocate to Cleveland, since

we have been faithful viewers of his fantastic movies!

Kevin Costner shared that his father was not too “keen” on his

being an actor and did not approve of pursuing his dream of

acting. It was not until his father watched Costner’s movie

directorial debut with “Dances with Wolves” that he earned his

respect. All of the audience could relate to disappointing Dads

sometime or other!

A funny comment about not drinking but enjoying watching others

came at the end of his rocking out the place, Costner says

Cleveland is known for their beer drinking ways. He added,

“You have not lived, until you’ve seen a girl from Cleveland

suck down an ice-cold beer. It’s really something to see!”

Lots of laughing followed that closing joke!

Wish I could say I was there but I was glad to hear both

the television news story and read the “Minister of Culture,”

Mike Heaton’s story. I have mentioned him before, his column

in the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a must-read when I travel

home, mostly because he graduated from Bay High with me,

but I always add a ‘shout out’ to his sister, Patricia Heaton,

who ably had us laughing on “Everybody Loves Raymond” but

pulls my heart strings for her being so “real” on the comedy

show, “The Middle.” Now, they just have to talk Kevin Costner

into coming to our 40th high school reunion in 2014!

Newsworthy Ties with Cleveland!

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An Alternative Title for this Post:

“Two Films, New Life and a Funeral”

There was a photograph on the front of the Plain Dealer newspaper,

of a man’s funeral being held in Cleveland. It was for the founder of the

company Progressive Insurance, Peter Lewis.

Lewis passed away down in Coconut Grove, Florida and the services

and funeral were held up here in Ohio. He died on November 23, 2013,

a man who was a billionaire and had given over $500 million dollars to

numerous charities, the three main, renowned ones being Case Western

Reserve and Princeton Universities, along with the ACLU.

Peter Lewis was buried in a simple pine casket with his black Stetson on

top of it. He had waited until September, this year, to marry his longtime

lady friend and partner, during his later years who he loved dearly.  The

essence of this report of his death is to tell you that this Jewish man, Peter

Lewis, held high regards for the rights of people of all backgrounds in our

country. His proof was in his support for the agency that can either be

sneered upon or praised. He chose philanthropic projects that served and

added to peoples’ lives. He wanted workers’ rights to receive a lot of his

financial support, even at the “expense” of losing some of his valuable clients.

Mr. Peter Lewis’ memorial service was peppered with others who declared his

outspoken, kind and humorous nature, held at the Temple Tifereth Israel on

University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio.

Such praiseworthy descriptions for the deceased, were given, that anyone would

wish to be remembered in such a manner:

“A loving father” and an “ethical leader.” The family flying in the “Untouchables,”

a jazz band, who played and filled the air along the Cleveland streets during the

procession from the memorial service to the gravesite:

“When the Saints Go Marching In…”

There were a few people interviewed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer who said, Peter Lewis

had acted as “saint” in his 80 year lifetime.

Another photograph that caught my eye, was of Kevin Costner. Sorry, men! I

am sure that you know we, women, cannot resist his “charms!” Anyway, there

were a group of attractive people gathered in a local watering hole. The movie,

“Draft Day” will be released in April, 2014. It is a fun movie that any Cleveland

Browns’ fans will love and a story that is fictional. It is about the Browns having

a General Manager played by Kevin Costner, joined with the beautiful actress,

Jennifer Garner and witty Denis Leary. The Cleveland Brown alums will also

be exciting to view, with legends, Jim Brown and Bernie Kosar. The Lionsgate

movie was filmed around Greater Cleveland area. This will be all about the

NFL draft, coming out a month before the NY drafting process  begins.

In 1961, a Clevelander Langston Hughes wrote a play about an African American

celebration of Christ’s birth. He entitled his play, “Black Nativity.” I am proud

and excited that this play has been annually performed and celebrated around

the U.S. by varied groups but its origin from Cleveland’s poet, playwriter and

novelist is important to bring people up to date in that there is a movie being

shown now based on this play. “Black Nativity” has Forest Whitaker, Angela

Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige in the cast. It has been not well

received by critics, but will be worth seeing by the people I believe due to

the beautiful music and meaningful message. There is a teenager who has

been acting up in it, asks his grandmother this question. A line that is being

attributed to the original play goes like this:

“How do you keep your faith when so many bad things happen?”

Her wonderful and powerful, but so simple answer was,

“God’s grace is all around you.”

An exciting and happy news event occurred at the Cleveland Metroparks

Zoo: Announcing the rare birth of a Giant Anteater! It is their first to

be born here in Cleveland, in our Rainforest exhibit.

This occurred on Monday November 25, 2013. The “baby” is less than

2 pounds and is being closely guarded and protected by its mother.

The sex will be hard to determine for awhile. The proud mother, “Pica,”

will be having this baby clinging onto her, almost appearing like a

marsupial in its infant appearance. She is 13 years old.

Travis Vineyard, the zoo’s animal curator, tells a few facts about these

animals.

Anteaters are insectivores, or bug eaters. (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

Hey, does that last word sound like a dinosaur? Well, they are one of

the oldest animals… The females can weigh as much as 80 lbs.,

while the males can weigh as much as 100 lbs. Their origin is from

South or Central America.

Another interesting fact that I learned about the reason why these are

challenging creatures to take care of, they have a slurry or flurry or

slushy concoction that appears as a milkshake made of tiny pellets and bugs.

The zoo now does not have to blend this up on the premises, but a company

out there produces these and sells them.

So, there are always things happening in Cleveland and I was happy to give

you a few ‘ties that bind’ me to this place on Lake Erie, Ohio!