Journal Meme For 2009

“Happy New Year!”

“Don’t have a plan for the Big Game tonight?”

“Legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey, he of the pregnant pause and the ads for CIT-rocallll – has died.”

“Yes, I’ve been building up to this for some time, with little nuggets of hyperbole like “evil” and “awesome” (which, admittedly, I stole.  ‘Cuz I liked it.)”

“Let’s face it.”

“It spans the Ohio River between Sawyer Point in Ohio and Newport-on-the-Levee in Kentucky.”

“Yes, Mark Sanford is still a punching bag for his affair (and his bone-headed attempt to cover it up) a week later, even after the deaths of Ed McMahon, Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson (but sadly, not Axl Rose).”

“Y’all can read this:””

“[One of the earliest blog entries here, it reveals a sad chapter in my IT career.]”

“Recently, I’ve been going through what I’ve been calling ‘The Magnum Opus,’ a big honkin’, sprawling novel that might have been a bit beyond my ability to manage.”


“Maybe another six weeks or so and they’ll have reached the top floor.”


“Of all the Christmas specials I watched as a kid, the trippiest was A Year Without a Santa Claus. “

The Decade That Was…

The decade for me can be summed up like this:

Early decade:  I had a solid IT job after 5 years of contracting despite the dotcom bubble bursting.  I offloaded a parasitic roommate.  I wrote a book.

Mid-decade:  Orphaned, divorced, and publisher turned out to be an idiot in his garage.

Late decade:  Bought a house, met and married the love of my life, went back to school at 42, all despite a crappy economy.

The decade for the world at large:

2000 – Florida can’t count, so the Supreme Court tells them not to, making George Bush president.  On the other hand, there’s no kaboom.  There was never a big, earth-shattering kaboom on January 1, 2000.

2001 – Meh.  Dotcom boom is over.  I can live with 2001 up to about 7 AM, September 11.  And while I’m in the shop getting my tire fixed, some suicidal cowards sneaked in and blew up downtown Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a cornfield in my ancestral home in Pennsylvania.

2002 – Much saber-rattling.

2003 – Shock and awe.  Mission accomplished.  OK, maybe not.

2004 – What weapons of mass destruction?  Um…  Well, Saddam’s in a hidey hole.  That count?  Tsunami wipes out enough people to populate a mid-sized city, just in time to make 2005 the crapfest of the decade.

2005 – Aftermath of the tsunami.  Hurricane Katrina.  Rumor has it there was a mythical city called “New Orleans” along the Gulf Coast, but now there’s a lake.

2006 – America has enough with fear and “Oh, um, we had bad intelligence” and Donald Rumsfeld telling kids to get off the Pentagon’s lawn.  Downside?  The Democrats offer us Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as alternatives.  And how many in Congress got kicked out of the closet that year?

2007 – The Surge!  The One!  The Patriots undefeated season!  And Hillary is inevitable.

2008 – OK, Hillary’s not inevitable.  Barack is not superhuman.  McCain is retiring (sorta).  And Sarah Palin is not going away.  Unfortunately, neither is the mess made by Wall Street.  Plus Eli Manning stops the Pats with the most impossible play in football history.  And $4 for a gallon of gas?  WTF?

2009 – Bank bailouts.  Health care reform.  Ford doesn’t take any money, builds better cars.  GM does and starts to turn it around, builds better cars.  Chrysler takes the money and…  um…  Whattaya mean you spent it all on Nutty Buddy Bars?  You were supposed to put out a flying Jeep!

2010 – To quote Monty Python, now for something completely different.

I hope.

The Year In Jim…

January – I get weirded out by the fact that I’m filing a joint income tax return a year after I thought I’d filed my last joint income tax return.  Of course, I like who I’m joined to now.

February – Jim Winter: 42-year-old freshman.  Sort of.  I’m taking remedial algebra.

March – Tax refund + Internet shopping for furniture = bitching new couch and recliner.

April – Bye bye, wisdom teeth.  Hello, vidodin.

May – I have a major nerdgasm when the new Star Trek comes out the weekend of my birthday.  Wife and kid watch nervously, expecting me to suddenly break out the old Klingon gear and go to the theater in full costume.  (Actually, I went to the Irish place at the Levee before the movie for a shot of Jamie and a Bass Ale.)

June – Mark Sanford:  Says he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail on Father’s Day when he’s getting some strange in South America.  Jim Winter:  Says he’s hiking the Loveland Bike Trail on Father’s Day when he’s…  um…  having breakfast at Loveland’s Paxton Grill after a long walk on the Loveland Bike Trail.  Hmm…  Mrs. Sanford asked for a divorce.  Mrs. Winter painted the living room.  Guess who treated his wife better?

Also, wonderful first anniversary with Nita.

July – Staycation, all I ever wanted; Staycation, had to… er… um… stay away.

August – Jim attempts to write a hit man novel

September – And still working on the hit man novel

October – My first Bouchercon in 3 years.  Great to reconnect some old friends.

November – After a scolding from Ken Bruen, abandon hit man novel and resumed work on “The Magnum Opus”

December – The Enterprise continues…  Also, flirted with 300 pounds because Nita feeds me well.  Too well.  (That and we eat out a lot in December.)

My Town Mondays: The Decade In Cincinnati

2000: The Queen City abandons the ceremonial mayor system, in which the top vote-getter for council is named mayor, and opts to vote for a “strong mayor,” who functions as a chief executive. Charlie Luken, the sitting mayor at the time of the change, is elected.

The Bengals move from Riverfront Stadium to Paul Brown Stadium.

Junior Griffey comes home to Cincinnati, where he will play for the next eight years.

2001: Before 9/11, there were the riots in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s decaying inner city neighborhood. Racially charged and centered on police treatment of black suspects, the Queen City adopted a siege mentality for three days. A long boycott ensued, but fizzled out less than two years later.”

2002: Great American Ballpark becomes the home of the Reds.

2003: The agony is over! The Bengals hire Marvin Lewis as head coach. Two seasons of 8-8 followed by a winning season and a playoff appearance follow.  Even when the Bengals falter, the Lost Decade of the 1990’s becomes a distant memory.

2004: The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opens on the city’s riverfront. Sadly, the surrounding development called The Banks doesn’t even see a shovel turned.

Marge Schott dies.  Ironically, at Jewish Hospital.

2005: Local Congressman Robert Portman joins George Bush’s cabinet.  Unfortunately, he’s replaced by Jean Schmidt, who promptly goes to Congress and calls a decorated Marine a coward.  Thanks, Jean.

Bob Huggins is fired as Bearcat coach, making University of Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher the single most unpopular woman in Cincinnati.

2006:  The late hit heard ’round the world:  The Bengals, hosting their first playoff appearance ever in Paul Brown Stadium, suffer the loss of Carson Palmer after a late hit by Pittsburgh’s Kimo Von Oelhoffen, rupturing Palmer’s ACL.  Palmer would come back, but it’d take three more seasons before the Bengals would return to playoff form.

2007: Reds broadcast Joe Nuxhall dies. The city was a darker place for weeks afterward.

The Cincinnati Post folds.

Radio legend Gary Burbank retires.  Fellow blogger and Burbank sidekick Duke Sinatra begins a career of writing booger jokes for precious little money.

2008: Ground is finally broken on The Banks!

Ground is also broken on Queen City Square, the city’s tallest building.

Hurricane Ike reaches Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the last time Duke Energy, which sent its crews to Galveston to deal with the storm there, did not exist the last time a hurricane reached the Queen City.  So to say they were caught off guard is an understatement.

2009: Ohio gets casinos, which means Broadway Commons, once a leading contender to host Great American Ballpark, gets a casino.

The Bearcats go undefeated in football under Coach Brian Kelly.  However, Kelly absconds to Notre Dame to take “his dream job” when the Bearcats don’t make the National Championship.  They will, however, play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

THE BENGALS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!  EAT IT, RAVENS!  (Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.)  Unfortunately, they also have to deal with the loss of Chris Henry, the formerly troubled player who came back and had a spectacular season until a broken arm sidelined him.  Henry died in a car accident while recovering in North Carolina.  We miss you, Slim.

2010:  Big building goes up.  Buildings on The Banks go up.  Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl.  Bengals in…  the playoffs.

More at the My Town Mondays Blog.