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Public Art: Year of the Snake 2013

Every year in the St. Clair – Superior neighborhood, also called Asiatown (both of which are part of the larger Midtown section of Cleveland), twenty some Chinese zodiac sculptures are erected for a few short months. This year, is the Year of the Snake. As one of my immediate family members is a snake, we made sure go on a scavenger hunt to see all the sculptures.

I tried to find some history on this annual occurrence but have come up empty. The oldest sculptures I’ve seen are from the Year of the Dog in 2006. I have never seen any sculptures from the Year of the Pig, 2007 in person but one can still find many sculptures from Year of the Rat 2008 on display. My family did scavenger hunts for the Year of the Ox 2009 and the Year of the Tiger 2010. We completely missed the Year of the Rabbit 2011 and the Year of the Dragon 2012 but I found great pictures. I wish the sculptures were up longer.

If you would like to go on your own scavenger hunt, you get the list of sites here. It’s so worth it. When we went today, I included photographed and Dragons and Rabbits I found. If you only have time to make one or two stops, the best place to go is Technical College. There are a couple tigers, a couple rabbits, a dog, an ox, a snake and there is another snake right around the corner at Horsbough and Scott. It’s fantastic. The best place to see a bunch of snakes all in one stop is Asia Plaza, of course, as there are 5 displayed together.

I hope you enjoy my pictures.

The Feathered Serpeant

601 Lakeside Ave E

Golden Tut
1900 Superior Ave

Unexpected Stitch

East 30th Street, outside of Asia Plaza

Cloisonnake
East 30th Street, outside of Asia Plaza

Python reticulatus
East 30th Street, outside of Asia Plaza

Naga; Sagacity Snake
East 30th Street, outside of Asia Plaza

Rocky B. Boa
East 30th Street, outside of Asia Plaza

Madame White Snake
3615 Superior Ave

Serpentes the Sorcerer
3820 Superior Ave

Technicolor Serpeant
3951 St. Clair Ave

Painterly Post Modern Dragon
3951 St. Clair Ave

Golden Heart Rabbit
3951 St. Clair Ave

Blossom
4058 St. Clair

Dragon Pillar

4058 St. Clair – so sad to see this sculpture so ill used

Zig Zag
4515 St. Clair Ave

Copperhead
St. Clair between E 49th and E 53rd

Aqua Snake

1419 E. 40th St

The Guardian

1614 E. 40th St

Treasured Snake

3601 Chester Ave

Blue Racer
3711 Chester Ave

Foo Guard – The Blessing Guard

4005 Chester Ave

Don’t Tread on Me

1374 E. 51st St

Jack Rabbit

1374 E. 51st St

Quick Vic

1374 E. 51st St

The Great Lake Snake
1201 E. 55th St

Nuwa, the Snake Goddess
1274 E. 55th St

Coiffured Cobra
6016 St. Clair Ave

Transformation

6025 St. Clair Ave

Name Your Poison
6409 St. Clair Ave

Look Before You Leap
6111 Lausche Ave
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Whoa… Slow Down

I really needed a new pair of running shoes and have been leaning towards trying minimalist shoes.  I’ve heard a bunch of talk about New Balance Minimus shoes.  It just so happened that while I was on a date I spied a New Balance store and decided to stop in.

The Minimus is so expensive; the model I like is $90!

new balance ionixIt’s hard to drop $90 on an experiment.  What if I don’t like minimal shoes?  Then I have $90 shoes to … what? Walk in?  I walk in heels.  I have a closet full of strappy, gorgeous sandals for summer.  Or, if I’m slumming it, I have loads of flip flops.  Cleveland doesn’t have a lot of nice, warm days.  When it does, I want naked feet.   So I don’t want $90 running shoes I can’t run in.

Anyway, I walked into the New Balance store and the manager immediately decided to “fit” me.   So I walked across the paper to check my foot type and the manager immediately decided that the Minimus was not the shoe for me.  He also decided that the the $60 shoes I liked weren’t for me either.

I decided I would allow him to shoe me the shoes he thought would be right for my training (for the Columbus Marathon in October). Minutes later the manager emerged with 3 boxes of shoes and a package of inserts.

The first pair of shoes the manager recommended were $144!  I was having a hard time with $90 shoes and was checking out $60 shoes and the manager decides that I’m going to be shelling out $144 for shoes?  And he had inserts too.  For $144, they better do the running for me and there’s no way on earth I should need accessories.

I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but on top of being insanely expensive, the $144 shoes were some of the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.  Look:

new balance 1260v3I would never wear these.  I’m not an elite runner so there is no way I need $144 shoes.  And if I was an elite runner, I would be sponsored and wouldn’t be paying for my own $144 shoes.  The way a shoe looks is still important to me.  I’ve run many a race in Nikes and Asics I bought at Kohl’s when they were on sale and I had a 30% off coupon.  And I have a few pairs of more expensive Asics.  There was little difference between the cheap pairs and the expensive pairs.  The biggest difference is how well the shoes last.

The next pair of shoes the dude had me try on were equally ugly, but less expensive.  At $114, they were surely a bargain.

Luckily at that moment, more customers entered the store.  So I peaked into the last box the manager had brought out for me.  It contained the ugliest sandals I had ever seen.

I hate salespeople that treat me like a chump.  He could have probably sold me the $90 Minimus with little problem.  But no, he had to grab the two most expensive pairs of shoes in the store and try and get me to buy them.  And his dreams included selling me inserts and ugly sandals.  I came in the store wearing gorgeous strappy sandals and he thinks I’m going to buy gross, old lady sandals.

So I came home and ordered a new pair of Nikes off amazon.  They are super cute but are more than I really wanted to spend.

Here are my new shoes:

nike flex 2013They are super cute and airy but the padding is rather strange.  It hits right before my heel in almost a straight line.  I did a 2 mile run this evening in them and it was significantly different than my Asics but I think it’ll be fine.

Anyway, the moral of this story is that salespeople shouldn’t be so greedy.  I ended up paying $75 for shoes.  A $75 sale is much better than the no sale the salesman got because he made me uncomfortable when he came out with such ridiculously priced shoes.

And, I may end up with a pair of Minimus, but I think I’ll ask for them as a Christmas gift.

 

 

 

 

And I Have No Privacy

We all have read the articles about how to manage one’s online presence. Some are geared toward potentially embarrassing things being found by a potential employer, others are intent on keeping one’s private information private.

 

A while back I bookmarked a couple of these articles with the intention of going out and getting my private info off of online databases. The first thing most articles suggest that one do is a google search on oneself. I did this and the amount of information that came back was horrifying. One site, that I have no connection with, had a map with a satellite photo of my house, information about every house I lived in since I turned 18, my age, and the names of my husband, brother, and father with their ages and addresses.

I see a lot of snarky comments from people that suggest this information is available because I must post it on facebook, but that is completely not the case. My profile has ALWAYS been private. I’m such a paranoid freak that, except for a small period of time after Facebook made yet another change to privacy settings, you can’t find my info in a facebook search. The only way to find me is to find someone who is my facebook friend and click through. And facebook wasn’t even around until I moved to my current home. My age has never been listed on facebook, and the birthday I entered is false. These places have my actual age, not my facebook age.

Anyway, I started with the first site that popped up in a google search and was horrified to see that you have to create a user account to have your data deleted. The second site with my info wanted an e-mail address so that they could “confirm” my identity. WTF? In order to remove MY data, because it is mine not theirs, I have to give these scumbags more data? I tried to find a way around this but haven’t found one. So I put the idea aside for several months.

Yesterday I decided to just suck it up and start again. A google search returned the following:

  1. LinkedIn account – This is acceptable. I want to be found this way.
  2. Names.whitepages.com
  3. Intelius.com
  4. Mylife.com
  5. Radaris.com
  6. Pipl.com
  7. 123people.com
  8. & 9. – race results – I wish my finishing time was faster, but I don’t mind showing up in these results.
  9. Netprospex.com – seems to be a sight that aggregates info from sites like LinkedIn so I guess I’m cool with that
  10. -15. Race results
  11. Backgroundfinder.com
  12. Race results
  13. Names.whitepages.com – again
  14. Scribd.com
  15. Oh.idoget.me
  16. -22. Online posting of an intern job for which I was recruiting – The job is long gone so I don’t know why the posting has been up for so long (few years), but this is ok
  17. Webmii.asia
  18. See 21 & 22
  19. Race results
  20. Peoplefinders.com
  21. Ohio-voters.findthedata.org
  22. www.name-list.net
  23. Reunion.com

I decided to start at the top.

Since I’m ok with LinkedIn, stop number 1 was names.whitepages.com. These jerks make you create an account. I did, sadly. Less than 24 hours later, my data is gone. But now they have a valid e-mail address. In the end, I’m not sure that I win. Maybe only because instead of any scumbag online being able to get my info, just that scumbags at whitepages.com have my info.

Intelius makes you send in a copy of your driver’s license. F$%^ers! Intelius tells you to black out your driver’s license number and your picture. Just blacking it out didn’t work on my copier. I had to use a paint marker until I was satisfied that no one would be able to read the stuff I was trying to black out. Otherwise, you could still read everything. I went further also. I blacked out my weight, height, eye and hair color, birthdate, and any other piece of info on my license. The only thing legible is my name and address. I don’t know if this has worked though. I still show up in a search currently.

I had to e-mail Mylife. Not sure if I’ve been removed yet or not.

Radaris has a profile. It’s old and lists me as residing in a previous house. It does have my correct age though. I followed their info removal instructions and they don’t work. When I search my name, at the top of the page is my name, age, and city of residence. Below is this long list of “related” names with addresses and phone numbers! And none of the addresses or phone numbers are blanked out. Full addresses and phone numbers are there. Because my name isn’t listed in the spreadsheet type format, I can’t select it to delete the info. Frustrating.

Pipl.com doesn’t give an option to remove one’s data. The site says that they merely aggregate (so, you know, they are absolving themselves of any responsibility) and helpfully recommends that you remove your info from all the sites from which Pipl pulls your info.

I went to scribd and still can’t figure out really what this site is so I’m going to skip it for now.

Peoplefinders has an online form to fill out. Once you have, you get a confirmation screen that LISTS YOUR IP ADDRESS!!!!!!!!!! Then, they try to convince you to buy, for $49.95, your profile from them. F U peoplefinders.

Ohio-voters.findthedata.org is truly disturbing. They list every election in which I have voted along with my stated party affiliation for each election. Additionally, they list the local ward in which I live. That identifies where I am down to a few handfuls of streets. The site also says that it won’t remove data which it has acquired through public records. How can this even be legal?

I am not even sure what the point of name-list.net is. I think they list names so that one can use them for characters in stories and games. How odd.

When I went to Whitepages.com to see if my info had been removed, I saw that they had sponsors that had profiles on me. Spokeo.com and Instant Checkmate.

I’ve already removed my 4 profile listings from Spokeo but had to provide an e-mail address to do so.

From Spokeo, I saw that I have a profile at addresses.com which lists my current complete address online. That’s just bulls%^t! I filled out their crappy form to remove my info, but you had to confirm your info in the form. I wonder how many of these places will just use my opt-out info to update their listings?

Just now, I did a Bing search on myself. I know no one uses Bing (except characters in shows that are sponsored by Microsoft – I’m talking about you Vampire Diaries), but I wanted to see if anything different came up. It’s mostly race results and the same scummy websites I found during my Google Search.

A new scumbaggy data aggregator I did find is emailphonedirectory.com. What a dumb name. I was going to remove my e-mail address, but based on the info they show (it’s partially blocked out), it’s a completely invalid e-mail address. I NEVER had an address that fit what they show. So not only are they scumbaggy, they are inaccurate.

A helpful blog is geekosystem.com/get-off-background-check-sites. It lists the main “offenders” for putting private info online/for sale along with links to opt out pages, and instructions.

I get that most of these sites are accessing public records. It’s one thing for someone to go in and request my information from a government agency. The requester may need to show identification and fill out a request. And then that person only gets one piece of data about me. No one should be able to do a google search and get my name, age, e-mail, addresses for the last twentysome years with a list of the years I lived in each place (that’s a special F U Mylife, you bast$%^s), a satellite image of my current home, my complete lifetime voting record with every election I’ve voted in and with which party I am affiliated, the name of everyone that I ever lived with or with whom someone that lived with me once lived with, and whatever else is out there that I didn’t find. These are not things that I agreed to share. These are not things that I have posted online. This is MY information. If I wanted it out there, I would put it out there myself. It’s complete crap that this is allowed to occur. Grumble grumble.

Take This Job

I work for a huge multinational company.  In the time I’ve worked there, I’ve gone from getting paid a premium and getting topnotch benefits to being paid less than industry average and getting rather crap benefits.

And this change has nothing to do with my performance.  It has to do with the company thinking that, because of its name, can attract top talent without paying for it. Only, I can tell you what kind of talent is being attracted.  Top talent doesn’t need to work for a company just to use its name on a resume.

The work load has increased almost exponentially in the past few years as more and more people leave or are let go and not replaced.

The worst part of all of this is that is doesn’t make sense.  We have an entire department of people who try to find a way to save 2 cents on a pen.   But leadership doesn’t spend anything on talent retention.  It can cost tens of thousands of dollars (in real expenditures and in lost productivity) to recruit and hire someone new.  But because this figure doesn’t show up on a stupid spreadsheet, no one is paying attention to it.  But this is such economically retarded behavior.

Company “wisdom” is that we’re so big that we can cover any hole that occurs when we lose someone.  But since the company already cut into bone, this isn’t the case.  And the people who stay, because they don’t want to relocate, because the job market is still on the tight side, aren’t going to be as productive.  Good ideas and high efficiency doesn’t come from people who feel trapped in their jobs.

I have coped for so long because I my work is pretty solitary.  My department is very small and we’re mostly left by ourselves.   I also learn from what I observe.  I have had so many excellent bad examples.  Dozens and dozens of examples of non-leadership.  Lying, avoidance, bullying.

It doesn’t matter how good your “press” is.  Eventually, people will hear about the awful company culture and will seek work somewhere else.  And they do.  It has become so difficult to fill the positions which are open.  And the people who are recruited tend to leave quickly.

When are business leaders going to remember the value of human resources?  It’s your workers who make your company.  If you’re lucky enough to be at a big company, you can weather the cost of poor human resource management for longer, but not forever.  Instead of worrying about a 2 cent reduction in the price of a pen, worry about keeping your talent happy and engaged.   Those  big spreadsheets will look a lot better if you do.

702 520 2397

The other day I forgot my cell phone at home. Part of me was frantic, the other part relieved. I feel so much more productive without the constant distraction of my phone.

Regardless, I feel much safer having a cell phone on hand for emergencies. It just so happened that my 11 year old was grounded from her phone (for telling me to shut up while she was talking on it). Because she can’t be trusted to stay off her phone while she’s grounded, I made her put her phone in my purse. So, as it turns out I had a phone.

During the day, I got the best phone call. Ashley, at 702-520-2397, called to let my 11 year old know that she qualified for a $250,000 small business loan. It’s ok if my 11 year old has bad credit. As long as she has been in business for 3 months and can fill out a simple form, she still qualifies! That is great to know.

I can’t wait until she gets her loan. Her origami samuri hat business is going to be HUGE!

Adobe Walls

What is up Adobe? Every time I actually reboot my laptop, Adobe Flash Player needs an update. I realize I only reboot once a month or so but what could you be possibly updating every month? It would be different if I noticed improved performance. What’s especially obnoxious is the crapware, McAfee Antivirus that Adobe tries to trick you into downloading.

I don’t want McAfee. If I did, I would go and seek it out myself.

So knock it off Adobe. Stop trying to trick me into installing programs I don’t want. Quit trying to trick me into automatically allowing Adobe to update itself. Otherwise, I might have to completely uninstall Flash Player. It’s just too annoying.

Jingle Bell Run

I got my daily inundation of Living Social e-mails yesterday and actually quickly scanned one. This is significant because I usually just delete them anymore. I have yet to find anything which I actually wanted to buy through Living Social.

This deal caught my eye. Running 5Ks has become a significant hobby. But 5Ks don’t normally cost $35.

I hadn’t heard of this race so I clicked through to get more information.

Also, I might want to run this. My goal is 20 5Ks in the next year (in addition to my 5K/obstacle courses and quarter and half marathons). I still hate running but I’m going to keep doing it just to make sure I don’t like it. Besides, there’s nothing like a paid registration to force me to get my chubby butt out and exercising. Continue reading