Friday, September 16, 2011

My Hometown

During a recent conversation with my dad, the subject of hometowns came up.

My dad was born in Virginia, Minnesota, a small town in Northern MN. He spent his childhood there, and graduated from high school there. And while the average winter temperature there might be -20 degrees, he still considers it his hometown, and he probably always will. With reason.

I do not feel the same way about where I was born. I was born in Decatur, Illinois, a medium-sized city in Central IL. I do not, however, consider it my home town.

We left that city a day after my first birthday. I have literally zero memory of the place. And on a recent trip back there, I was just as lost as I would have been if I'd been plunked down in the middle of Prague.

We lived in three other places before settling here in the Toledo area. And since moving here, I've put down roots and will probably end up spending the rest of my life here.

I have lived either in the Toledo area or in the city itself for more than 3 times longer than all the other places I have lived in combined. Most of my friends and acquaintances live around here. The members of my immediate family either live here or are within less than 2 hours drive from here. I got most of my primary education here, and finished my college education at a local university.

Toledo IS my home town. It may not be where I was born, but it will most likely be where I die someday.

In my opinion, a person's home town does not automatically have to be where they were born. A person's home town is where they feel most at, well, home.

I feel at home here in Toledo. I'm proud to live and work here. That, more than anything else, makes it my home town.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

John and Joe

For those of you who are unaware, Storycorps is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to collecting spoken interviews with ordinary Americans. These interviews are collected and archived in the Library of Congress. They are also broadcast weekly on the NPR program Morning Edition.

These interviews are usually quite touching and can also be very heart-wrenching. And one of their biggest projects is to obtain at least one interview with someone whose life was directly affected by the death of one (or more) of the victims of the September 11th attacks.

The most recent interview broadcast on NPR was the interview with John Vigliano, Sr. His two sons, John and Joe, a firefighter and a police detective. Both were killed responding to the 9/11 attacks.

Since John Sr. Said it far better than I ever could, here now is his story in his own words:
(Note: Don't let the cartoon fool you. Watch, listen, and cry.)

If his story doesn't move you to tears, then once again I say you need to turn in your credentials as a human being and go back to whatever planet you came from.

Also, this is Storycorps's website. Feel free to listen to more of the 9/11 stories. Just make sure you have a good stock of tissues handy. You will need them.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Recently, footage has supposedly been leaked from the new Blu-Ray release of The original Star Wars trilogy.

Apparently, in the re-re-re-release of Return of the Jedi, During one of the final climactic scenes, as Darth Vader watches his son being tortured to death by the Evil Emperor, dramatically utters a silent "No!", and then a more prolonged "NOOOO!"--much as the character did in Revenge of the Sith--before grabbing the Emperor and tossing him over the edge into the reactor core.

See it here:

George Lucas, apparently, doesn't seem to have any problem with taking a dump all over his original creations. After all, he already made the most controversial change of all, having Greedo shoot at Han Solo first.

I remember that scene well. I was amazed. This was one of the first times I had seen a supposed good guy play dirty. After all, shooting someone under the table is one of the dirtiest tricks in the book. But later, as I thought about it, I realized that it is just the sort of thing a criminal would do. He wouldn't stay alive long if he couldn't do that.

But Lucas, never one to let a good thing stand, has once again incurred the wrath of his rapidly dwindling fan base.

Including this fan.

George, if you were counting on me to invest in your new Blu-Ray release, stop counting.

And if this is one of your tricks, like the whole "Revenge of the Jedi" prank, well, then, let me just say that it didn't work the way you may have intended it to. Proof of that will come from your depressed Blu-Ray sales.