Wednesday, May 30, 2007


More on Akron's Dirty Book Business

Scene Magazine runs a portrait of Elora's Cave founder Tina Engler. Apparently she doesn't just publish "romantica," she invented the subgenre and started self-publishing online when her first dirty book was rejected by every traditional romance publisher.

I first covered Elora's Cave on GABB here.


Sunday, May 27, 2007


Red Light Galleries

In Akron is the place to be ‘till June 17. Don’t miss the chance to view and purchase some of the (woefully underpriced) work of Boring Daughter #2!!


Monday, May 21, 2007


Extra Special Garbage Week!

So this is Akron Garbage Amnesty Week, whereupon you can set out just about anything and the boys, and occasional lady, in fluorescent yellow pennies will toss it in their truck.

This act of amnesty, though, apparently taxed our sanitary warriors because when I came home today my city-approved-must-be-facing-the-right-direction-or-we-won't-touch-it trash can was in not in front of my house. Nope, it was visiting the neighbor's.



Sunday, May 20, 2007


New Stuff

I've added some folks to the blogroll. I still run across Akron from time to time and for the most part they go up automatically. Some have been up for a while, one I just found. So here's the rundown.

Am Fem is the domain of Angela, young woman with some apparent web design chops who runs a mostly personal blog. It's compelling, especially as she has some pretty trying life circumstances.

Angela set up a blog for her fiance Chris called Crovin. He seems not to have the fire in the belly -- he hasn't posted since April 29. We'll keep an eye on that one.

Derek offers A Subset of Derek. As he puts it, "An incomplete account of my life, thoughts and feelings."

Andrew Shears runs the boards at Radio Free Ohio. He's a Ph.D. student in Geography at the U.

Check them out and enjoy.


Saturday, May 19, 2007


B&N on SOBCon

Chris Brown of Branding & Marketing attended SOBCon, the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference. From her writeups, the conference aimed at business-oriented bloggers. One speaker apparently advised against bloggers calling themselves "bloggers:"
About which I will simply say it's different for bloggers on different topics. Writing about politics and policy and calling it a blog has never been a problem for me.

Back to Chris's conference experience, her posts are all worth reading, here, here and here.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Pink Shoe Envy Almost Killed Me.

My envy of Marcia at Pink Shoe deepens with her review of The Hold Steady show in Cleveland. Hold Steady is my favorite band working today. Though it sounds like I damn them with faint praise, in fact I like them a lot. Throw Bruce Springsteen, hip-hop phrasing, crunching guitars, beat poetry readings and Larry Clark's Kids into a mixer and the resultant concoction is The Hold Steady.

Life circumstances aren't letting me get anywhere near a rock show these days. If you are as domesticated as I am, check out this video of "Chillout Tent" made as an entry for the band's video contest.

It's the best I've seen of the sumissions, though the embedded Quicktime player keeps crashing so I haven't seen many.



The Pink Shoe: Nature Scenes

Marcia at The Pink Shoes posted one of the more incredible pictures I've seen on a blog. She and her husband were hiking in the MetroParks and ran across a snake eating a toad. You have to click through to see this. Marcia was freaked out, but the science geek in me is terribly envious.

UPDATE: Redhorse was the first to notice that I had embedded the wrong link. It's fixed now.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007


United Way Blog Is Off to a Good Start

When the blog of United Way of Summit County popped up in my Technorati watchlist last week, I was skeptical it would go anywhere. So far, they've done a good job. The blog includes posts about UWSC events, needs in the community, services offered by UW agencies and of course, things readers can do to help the organization.

Two recent posts of note include one spotlighting the UW's involvement in an early childhood education advocacy project called BornLearning and another promoting a cause-linked online shopping site called

As of yet, there is little indication that anyone else is reading -- hey, it's kind of like GABB! But of course there must be content before there will be readers.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Paula Neal Mooney: What Bloggers Earn

Writer and blogger Paula Neal Mooney took a cue from Parade Magazine's annual "What People Earn" feature and compiled a list of blogger earnings. Paula reports that the post has grown legs, and indeed pulls up a number on hits on Google blogsearch and Technorati.

And me?

$0. Thanks for asking.

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Akron Bloggers Issue 17 Roundup


Dane Bramage (note that I disagree with his figures.)


Psychobilly, with takes on other local issues thrown in.

Village Green who explains why she's an angry voter.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


The Miller Way . . .Amish Edition

Delilah Miller has a unique perspective on the Amish enclaves in our area:
Her post runs through five "myths" about the Amish, with her close-but-still-outside point of view.

The one caveat I would off in all this is that several different sects of Amish live in the area, each with different beliefs. The accuracy of Delilah's mythbusting may vary depending on which sect is under discussion.



Akron's Dirty Book Industry

Here in Akron we hear a lot about the forward-looking emergent high-tech industries that hopefully are replacing our old industrial base. Oddly, I'm also hearing about publishing. I've heard of a couple of high lit and specialty imprints in the area and plan on running the information down.

In the meantime, I found Ellora's Cave, an Akron publisher of "Romantica" or "Erotic romance." Or bodice-rippers with a Penthouse Forum level of frankness.

Here's how Ellora's Cave describes their product:
I discovered this perusing my Technorati watchlist for Akron, Ohio. I discovered the blog of Ellora's Cave author and native Ohioan Tawny Taylor. She was here in Akron last weekend, for a visit with EC headquarters and a signing at the Chapel Hill Borders.

Final note. Fans of Romantica will no doubt object to the title of the post. Fans of the old Spy Magazine may recognize the homage.


Monday, May 07, 2007


Boring on Issue 17

He breaks down the numbers:
Check it out.



Keeler on Stewart's Erection.

Ben Keeler on the controversial proposal to erect a cell tower in Bath Township:
By the way, if you are wondering why Bath Township can't regulate cell towers, it's my fault.


Thursday, May 03, 2007


Local Bloggers Tagged with Specialty Memes

A couple of Akron area bloggers with specialized interests have been tagged by memes floarting around in their communities. The blogosphere is made up of many interlocking, overlapping communities. One advantage of looking at a geographical slice of blogs is we see a small cross-section of some communities we might not otherwise run across much less visit with any frequency. The memes going around give a special opportunity to learn more about these other blogworlds.

Poetry Recommendations at The Word Cage.

Local poet Penultimatina got tagged with a meme asking what living poets she would recommend to those of less poetic bent. She names 13.
Branding and Marketing on Why She's Obsessed.

Chris Brown's responds to a meme asking for five reasons why she blogs about marketing. By the way, any blog about branding should have a cool logo and Chris now has one:



The Pink Booties

If the Akron area blogosphere is a very extended family, it just got a little bigger. Congrats to Marcia at The Pink Shoe who just became an aunt for the first time as her sister (who blogs from another city) just had her first child.



Jimmy’s Café
2028 Chestnut Blvd
Cuyahoga Falls OH 44223

There’s a secret to having a good, small restaurant. I’m going to give it away:

Take a page out of the Jimmy’s Café playbook, and limit the menu.

1. Pick a style. One you like. One that you can actually prepare well. In Jimmy’s case, it’s Louisiana.
2. With only one Chef, stick to things that can be prepared in bulk ahead of time: gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, soups. Fill out the menu with a lot of varieties of po’ boy sandwiches – you can train somebody to prepare those - and serve up a mean iced coffee and Italian sodas.
3. Round out the experience with good service and quirky décor.
4. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Honestly, I’ve been to some restaurants with menus so extensive, you knew that they had some kid microwaving entrees from Sam’s Club.

We went to Jimmy’s to celebrate Boring Daughter #2’s 18th birthday on Wednesday. An eye opener. Mrs. Boring & I will be headed back, assuming we can figure out how to manage the chauffeuring and get there before the kitchen closes.

Most entrees, in the $9.00 range (the po’ boys, with a side). Most of the Boring Gang had the sweet potato casserole as a side, and raved about it. The Cole Slaw is also very good, kinda quirky.

This is the sort of place that should become an Akron area institution.

I didn’t make note of the hours, but as I recall, the kitchen closes at 7.30 M-T, but they are open to 10.00 on Friday and Saturday.

Cross posted: TBMD

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Single Move Placates Two Major Local Employers

The Beacon this morning reports on a move that helps keep two major employers in Akron happy and here.

Sterling will purchase the FirstEnergy building located on property adjacent to their Ghent Road campus. FirstEnergy states it had not intended to sell the property, but it seems to make sense given their expansion on White Pond Drive. The two companies employ about 4700 people in Summit County, a majority of them in Akron proper.

The city is putting up about $5.5m in funds for the White Pond facility, but the story seems to confuse the TIF contribution.

Regardless, the price tag of $5.5m is more than half what Issue 17, if passed, is expected to generate for economic development projects, leading me to suspect those funds would be used more for land banking and not infrastructure projects.



Time Warner Digital Service Scrambled

About 7:30 this morning, the kids reported their morning cartoon schedule was blocked out. Assuming a not infrequent set top issue, I unplugged the machine and reset it.

That worked, although we lost our recorded programs. Turns out about 450k digital customers had the same problem this morning due to a software upgrade. Gotta love technology.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Akron Relaxing Trash Rules for Spring Cleaning

From a city press release:

This should again make Eric Mansfield say "Hmmm." Meanwhile, if you excuse me, I have some work to do.



Akron Bloggers on Issue 17

The only real item of interest in the upcoming May primary election here in Akron is Issue 17, a proposed increase in the city income tax of .33 percent.

I pointed out earlier this week that the campaign has been essentially sub rosa. Village Green gives one indication of the potential problem with a quiet, turnout-centered campaign: She would be a likely yes vote if persuaded about the necessity of the tax, but isn't sure the case has been made. She is wrestling with the near-universal misgiving -- putting $9 million in a "jobs" (i.e. subsidies to corporations" fund. It's an idea guaranteed to bring out the gag reflex on both sides of the aisle.

On the other side of the spectrum, Boring Made Dull surprised no one coming out against it some time ago. Meanwhile, Redhorse and I each had thoughts about the Bob Dyer column making fun of a boiler room caller working on behalf of the campaign.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007


UA Leads the State in Commercializing Research

According to the Buchtelite, Akron leads all colleges in the state -- public and private -- in developing technology and transferring it to private-sector applications:

It's a good news story. I hope the Beacon picks it up.



Farewell Gucci Buddist?

Mia at Gucci Buddist posted yesterday that, "This blog will no longer be updated..."

She's been going through some difficult times, but this came as a surprise. A distressing surprise. I hope when things look up for her she reconsiders. For now I'm leaving her on the roll.



An Akron Blog Hits a Milestone

The Chief Source, one of the oldest blogs in town (and run by a team whose bloggers are among the youngest) hosted its 400,000th visit this week. I was #400,145, if anyone's counting. Psychobilly alerted us to the milestone as it approached. Congrats to the Team Chief Source.



So What Am I Doing with GABB?

Cross-posted on Pho's Akron Pages.

Some of you may have notice that I’ve been posting a lot on the Greater Akron Bloggers Blog (GABB). Not many of you have. Probably the rest have noticed that posting on Pho's has been a little thin. Yes, I’ve been working through some ideas about GABB and, yes, let things go a little to seed on my home blog. I’ve done enough on GABB to feel there is a viable mission for the blog.

A Brief History of Akron Blogging.

Redhorse and I started GABB a year ago. At that time, the idea was building the community of Akron area bloggers by offering a forum for people to blog about Akron-oriented stuff that would be a little off-topic on their home blogs. People contributed some good content for a while, but things gradually petered out.

The original model for GABB didn’t work for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s hard enough to keep one blog up to date. Adding unique content to a separate blog was too much for the participants. Also, many of the bloggers who got involved – most notably Redhorse and I – expanded somewhat the subject matter for our blogs. Red and I are not so much all politics all the time; we now do a little more of what the folks at Placeblogger call place blogging.

Still, there was GABB and some good came out of it. We did one meet-up last summer. Red and I had gotten to know the Chief Source folks and Mr. Boring, but none of us had met PeppermintLisa before then. We kicked around some ideas for building the blogger community, but then everyone got terribly busy and a second didn’t happen. GABB was one vehicle for keeping in touch while it lasted.

Whither GABB?

When thinking about what to do with this thing that started but suffered from a flawed format, I thought about my story. I started the Pages for me, with no thought of building an audience. Then I discovered Brewed Fresh Daily and George discovered me. He linked to me, blogrolled me, others did the same and, without really planning it, I had a blog.

We have a great blogging community here in the Akron area, most of whom don’t know each other. Or rather, we have a bunch of different communities, with thin tendrils connecting them occasionally. I’m interested in helping build the communities that arise around blogs and trying to forge connections I’m trying to revive GABB with something like the BFD model. Since we are all regional these days, think of it as BFD+ if you’d like.

Over the past few days I’ve been highlighting post on Akron-based blogs that are about Akron. Lots of the blogs around town are personal journals, and a number cover politics or business or some other passion, vocation or avocation. But all occasionally talk about something happening here in Akron and that seemed to be the best way to winnow down the wealth of posts.

Not to say I won’t occasionally also feature a post that isn’t about Akron qua Akron. It’s happened already and will happen again when something particularly tickles me or really illuminates the soul of a local blogger.

In addition to that, I will highlight news stories about the area germane to topics under discussion (the Highland Theatre, for instance) in local media. If something pops up in either the national media or blogs from elsewhere, I’ll post about that as well, especially if it seems to be flying under the local radar. And occasionally a story will appear that is so local, so lacking in deeper import, that I'll toss a post up with a quick take.

In addition to all that, I’m planning two regular features of original content. One is photos from around town. This will be just what strikes my fancy and what my crappy pocket digital camera captures reasonably well. First example is directly below.

Second, I plan to feature a Website of the Week – something Akron-based and cool. Or perhaps something Akron-based and deserving mockery. The first of these went up last week

Invitation to the Community

The original members of the blog are still on and still free to contribute any way they want. If someone wants to post a photo or highlight something particularly cool from their home blog feel free. I’ve put my imprint here mostly by default. I’m absolutely ready to let a broader community of bloggers overrun the place and make it over.

Finally, I encourage people who are interested in blogging but don’t have the time for the care and feeding of a blog to sthink about getting involved. I do want to know someone before opening it up, and want to let other people with posting privileges have some input on all that. For now, I invite 54Cermak and J.D. Amer -- bloggers who found their lives too busy to keep up blogs full time. If you guys are interested, drop me a line. In the future, invites may go out, for instance, to people who frequently post good comments.

There are other issues to consider which can wait for a later date. For example, I want to expand the sidebar to include link lists for Akron websites, but I also want to do something about this butt-ugly template and have learned not to invest a lot into the sidebar before a template change. Also, if a community grows around GABB, I want that community to have input into the look of the place.

So with that, let us declare GABB 2.o officially launched. Enjoy.


Seen Around Akron

Aladdin's parking lot, April 28, 2007


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