Goodbye Dave

Today started out like any typical day, my alarm went off at 9:30, I rolled out of bed, walked into the bathroom turned on the shower, came back to my night stand, unplugged my cell phone and checked to see if I had any cell phone messages. Only one message – Subway Dave passed away.

You see Dave was a franchise owner of the Subway on Henderson Rd, thus the nickname Subway Dave. I’ve probably known Dave fifteen years at the very least. Whenever I would stop in his Subway to get my roast beef foot long he would see me and nudge his employees out of the way to make my sandwich often placing a couple of extra pieces of roast beef on it. If I told him a couple of good stories while I was waiting for my sandwich he would slip a couple of chocolate chips cookies in my bag.

Don’t get me wrong Dave and I weren’t really close friends, but our paths crossed often especially during football season. He especially liked college football and when I shared a beer with him he would talk a blue streak about his favorite team, the Penn State Nittany Lions (he was from Pennsylvania from what I understand). Last season he and I started playing the spot cards together, he would pick two teams and I would pick two. We never won, but we had fun doing it !

I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, but the guys at Subway said he was cutting back on his work hours so I didn’t really think anything of it. Dave had a lot to be proud of running and owning his own business and it’s sad now that he is gone at the young age of 47. Dave would often say to me that life’s a struggle, but knowing that he is at peace now should give us all much comfort.

Horseshoe Hotbox

I’m not going to Ohio State’s home opener tomorrow, and I’m kind of glad.

Normally the first games of the year are great.  You get back into the football mode, do a little tailgating, watch the Buckeyes kick the butt of some overmatched team, and get to see lots of players play.  But tomorrow’s game will not be a normal game, and I’m not talking about the off-season developments or the fact that seven Buckeyes are suspended for the contest.

No, I’m talking about the weather.  The Buckeyes’ game has a noon start time, and the forecast is for temperatures in the high 90s.  The players on the field will lose hundreds of pounds in water weight, struggling through the steamy weather in their equipment and uniforms, but at least they have trainers to keep an eye on them.  I’ve been in the stands for early games where the temperature hit the low 80s.  When my seats have been in the sun field it has been miserable — the rays beating down, lots of concrete and plastic radiating heat, and tens of thousands of people sweltering in close proximity.

I can’t imagine how hot it will be, sitting in the stands tomorrow.  If you are a Buckeye Nation stalwart who is going to the game, remember:  Liberal deodorant application.  Suntan lotion.  Hat.  And lots and lots and lots of water.

The Power Of Zero

The August jobs report was released today, and it showed that the American economy created no net jobs in August.

That’s right:  a big, fat zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  A goose egg.  Naught.  Zippo.  What could be a more apt and powerful description for the moribund state of our economy?  Neither up nor down.  Dead in the water and becalmed.  Not really doing anything.  It’s the first time since 1945, 66 years ago, that the government reported a net job change of zero.

This result comes as no surprise to those outside the Washington Beltway who are looking desperately for jobs that don’t exist or are trying to find their way during this time of economic standstill. We’ve seen the listlessness, the lack of growth, and the lack of confidence firsthand and all around us.

Next week, President Obama will give a speech to a joint session of Congress to spell out his latest plan to jump start the economy.  If another speech could help, shouldn’t it have been given long ago?  If the Administration had new ideas on what to do, shouldn’t they have been proposed already?  The zero reported today seems to reflect a lack of ideas and a lack of urgency as much as a lack of economic growth.

Our Car Looks Like E.T.

People tend to smile at our Acura SUV as it trundles past.  I think it is because our car looks like E.T.

I’m not just saying this because humans have a well-recognized tendency to see patterns as human faces.  Our brains seem hard-wired, from birth to dotage, to interpret random blotches and spaces and to organize them into face-like shapes.  This is why we see “faces” of religious figures and celebrities in wallpaper patterns, on buildings, on plates of food, and in rusted spots on the sides of giant oil storage drums.

In this case, however, our car’s eerie resemblance to E.T. is no fluke product of randomly firing synapses in the human brain.  No, our vehicle actually looks like the friendly visitor from another planet, with its large, wide-set eyes, its button nose, and its shy, happy smile — just like E.T.’s expression when the ship from his home planet returned to Earth to take him home.  Of course, our car lacks a glowing finger and a glowing chest cavity, but that’s beside the point.

Judge for yourself!