Saturday, December 29, 2007

Poppe's Secret

They say it seemed like he was always awake, never asleep, roaming the streets in the white van. Well, I've discovered Chic Poppe's secret.

Check out this article.

In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

Chic Poppe - Retiring


Pretty neat article about Chic Poppe on Cincinnati.com. I'd have to agree, the guy was everywhere.

I'd see him at any major event I went to in Cincinnati. I'm pretty sure I saw him at the Thanksgiving Day Race. (He missed me for an interview though...)


Photo from WCPO.com.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Educational Thought...


By Thomas Sowell and his "Random Thoughts December 2007"

"Teaching is very easy if you don't care about doing it right and very hard if you do."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"The Problem with Teachers..."

A funny and motivational video for teachers...




Found this guy's website. His name is Taylor Mali. Here is a link to his website. He is a really interesting guy. Big time into education, bettering our current educational system and recruiting talented people into that field.

He's pretty funny and his website is unique.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Is Our Educational System Educating People...

...out of their creative capacities?

Interesting video clip.

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cincinnati Tennis Tournament Ladies Champion Robbed...

Anna Chakvetadze, winner of the 2007 Western & Southern Financial Groups Women's Open in Mason, Ohio, was robbed at gunpoint this week her home in Moscow.

See the article on here.


My wife and I met her this summer at the tournament. Super nice off the court, fiercely competitive on the court.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas in Historic Loveland


Did you know that Loveland lies in three different counties? You do now.

Big weekend in Loveland. On Saturday 'Christmas in Loveland' will take place from 4-9 pm. I'd love to tell you about the great time I had at it last year, but I don't even remember being aware of it last year. Some resident I am!

Some highlights listed on the website: ...free horse drawn carriage rides ...children and adult choirs performing continuously ...Santa ...Live Nativity (kids able to pet the animals) ...The History Museum is open and decorated ...live production at the Stage Co. theater ...free candy canes for kids ...chestnuts roasting on an open fire...



Visit http://www.historicloveland.com/ for details about what's happening in Loveland.

Friday, November 30, 2007

McCormick & Schmick's, The Aronoff, and Fountain Square Parking

Fun night downtown...

Ate the Walleye from this place... McCormick & Schmick's, even though I want to say Schmidt's.

Watched the School of Creative and Performing Arts present "Hello, Love" - "Miracle on 34th Street", and then walked through Fountain Square.

I must say, this was my second venture downtown, IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS! Pretty good for an EastSider from Loveland.






Aronoff and Holiday Things


The Aronoff has two events happening this weekend.

One is presented by Ballet Tech Ohio: Celebration! This will occur in the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. (I don't think I knew this theater existed before today.) Straight from the website:



An International Festival of Song and Dance featuring Choreography by C.R. Barrett, Marius Petipa, Kelly Ann Sloan, Lyrica Joy Smith, Ting Song and Ben Walker II.

Including excerpts from The Nutcracker as well as American, Caribbean, Celtic, Chinese and Spanish ballets featuring the talented dancers of ballet tech ohio with guest artists Thomas Bell and Revelation! Dance Theatre of Kingdom Arts International Institute (Lyrica Joy Smith, Artistic Director.

Jarson-Kaplan Theater


The second is an event I am attending myself, presented completely by School for Creative and Performing Arts: Miracle On 34th Street.

The second event takes place in P&G Hall.


P&G Hall




Saturday, November 24, 2007

Later Blurg.


It was mentioned in another post in another forum on another day, but I want to know, where is BlurgGirl?

Who knows the answer to this question?

We want an encore!

Bring back BlurgGirl!

Article about Holiday Stuff.

Nice article by City Beat highlighting some holiday happenings in the Cincinnati area...

or if nothing there interests you, and you'd prefer some quality family time, you could try this...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Race - 2007 Results! (Follow-up)

Despite struggling up the bridge on the way back in to Cincinnati I finished at 51:34 - over ten minutes better than last year's race time of 1:02 something...


Go me.


Not only that, I passed several former students of mine during the race and wound up finishing ahead of another one that had competed in Columbus, Ohio for the state cross country meet.


Again, go me.


Great event. A little cold and windy to start, but didn't rain during the race, and I ran a personal best.

I am not in this photo below. One reason could be because I probably smoked that guy in the giant green outfit, but the real reason is because it is a photo taken off of the website from the 2005 race in which I did not participate.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the winning time was 30:37. I think I was getting to mile marker 4 at that point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Never Park Next to a Crane.

Not sure how something like this happens. It's straight out of Spiderman 3. Look out for the falling crane. I guess Sand Man's on the loose.

Here's a link to the article.

Actually, it's kind of surreal. Could you imagine, you're sitting at a trafficlight and your two year old daughter says, "Dadda, crane, fall, down." You kind of dismiss it like, "That's good hun." As you people watch, and then - CRASH! - a crane plummets to earth crushing several cars 100 feet from you. Wake up.
I hear the crane driver/person was rescued. That's amazing. I wonder what he felt the moment he realized the crane was going down.

Hopefully no one was seriously hurt.

Thanks Chic Poppe and Cincinnati.com for the photo.

Monday, November 19, 2007

98th Annual Thanksgiving Day Race - 10K Run & Walk


This will be my third time running this race in Cincinnati. One of the highlights of this race is the perspective you get of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Last year's weather was beautiful, crisp, with that cold misty air that makes the sunlight glimmer. Fourth street in Newport looked beautiful. The course layout is below.

I told a colleague of mine the other day that I was running in this. He responded with a hint of disbelief and amusement, "Have you been running?" Wait a second, what's that supposed to mean!?!
Anyway...
What I like so much about running this race is that it's a long enough race where I feel like I need to train for it, but not too long that I have become a real runner to complete it. Just enough to stay in shape (and keep of the 45 pounds I lost), but not to where I become an actual runner. (You know the type, Saturday morning, Panera Bread, bright eyed, chippy, with waaay too tight running pants.)
For what it's worth...
I will be running by the Bengals' practice field, and I hear they'll be practicing... Anyone want me to relay them a message?

And finally...


It's a lot better eating turkey, mash potatoes, gravy, and a few helpings of pie after having run 6 miles that morning. At least in my book it is.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Connections create community - Thanks Kevin.

Kevin Lemaster's comment on my last post were rather encouraging. I think I may have discovered my second wind.

Go Cincinnati.

That's the kind of connection that really birthed the idea of this blog in the first place.

Connections create community.

Check out the Building Cincinnati link when you get a chance.

Friday, November 2, 2007

My friend's blog...

I haven't posted in a while. Most people will not read this post. For those of you who do read it, I do not apologize for not posting for a while.

I must say there was initially some guilt when my slide of not posting began. Then the guilt turned into, well, nothing. I sort of forgot about it.

My friend's blog is titled something that is irrelevant to my message. But his message underneath his title is "No promises here. Just a journey." I don't think this is much of a journey, but I have proven the first part of the slogan to be true for this blog.

Here's to a post about not posting.

No more about this.

And where did BlurgGirl go?

Go Cincinnati.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Bengals vs. Patriots


Are you ready for some football?



My prediction: Patriots by 17 or 20.

My hope: Bengals in a shootout.

Oh, and by the way, I'll be at PBS tonight!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Research: Kids Are Smarter Than Monkeys.


I like the opening of this article:


IN another case of researchers reporting the bleeding obvious, European scientists have found that children are smarter than chimpanzees.

I like it for two reasons. One, it is blatantly sarcastic. Two, they use 'bleeding' as an adjective. Great.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Coaching Perspective, Kids and Parents.


This excerpt is from a local high school football coach's season preview. He coaches in a district that has had a lot of success on the football field, and because of that, a lot more is expected. He offers a very refreshing take on football, competition, kids, and life. I especially like this paragraph:



In closing, all of us, coaches included, need to constantly remind ourselves and each other throughout this year that football is a very difficult and challenging game both physically and mentally. And that it is played by the likes of mostly 16 & 17 year old boys. Encourage them in the challenging times and make it a point to see the good in their efforts, successful or otherwise. Although this team has lofty goals for itself, the players need constant reminders to enjoy the great experience of the journey that is about to take place. Successful coaches should never be put on a pedestal based on a win/loss record. Likewise, a player's value to a team should never be solely determined by performance in a game or based on the amount of playing time a person gets. So my advice to parents of players, wives of coaches, and true Kings Knights fans -- "Love'm up! They're the only ones you got!"
Best wishes to all for another safe and successful season!

That is the kind of understanding and perspective we as parents, coaches, and teachers need more of...

Dogs and Downtown

Finally we're talking about important issues in downtown Cincinnati... our dogs deserve more.

This article - about forming a committee to figure out where we can have another park downtown where dogs can be allowed to exist in peace and harmony - tells all about this vital and important issue.

I am concerned about the representation on the committee though:

Members of the committee include representatives of the city park board, Downtown Residents Council, the Cincinnati Kennel Club, League for Animal
Welfare, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals.


Maybe a dog should be placed on this committee? Snoop? Underdog? Snoopy? Lassie's nephew? How about some real representation? Just trying to keep it real.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cincinnati Blogging


I just added Cincyblurg to my list of local blogs. The author of this blog is pretty clever and extremely open about her feelings and thoughts about things.


I thought this line in her 'about me' section was hilarious: "Think of this as Cincinnati Blog, but WAY more crass. And with better spell-checking." This in an explanation of her 'blurg.'


I think it's the English teacher in me that likes a subtle smack talk about poor grammar in blogging.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranked seventh




This is a report about the ranking of our own Children's Hospital Medical Center...

I like these reports. I think it keeps these hospitals continuously improving. This is why the media is so important.
I like that our Children's Hospital is one of the best in the country.

"JPMorgan to add jobs, space"


I like articles like this because it is a sign the core is on the grow. The word that comes to mind is solidifying. The core is becoming more solid, healthy.

I'm definitely not an urban growth expert, but when I hear some big time company will be investing in people and space in downtown as opposed to Mason, West Chester, or New Delhi, I think to myself, "that must be a good thing."

Go Cincinnati!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Western & Southern Financial Group Masters... Follow-up


It's been a great tournament this year. I got to see the super-tall John Isner lose in a competitive doubles match, watch Roddick give a match away to an inferior opponent, and today will watch the finals. The following is from "Any Suggestions" on the "Unforced Errors" blog on Cincinnati.com:





That's what James Blake asked the Center Court crowd in trying to figure out how to beat Roger Federer on Sunday. Actually if Federer misses as much as he did today 36 unforced errors), and Blake keeps ripping winners (match point was an incredible passing shot), the American will have a chance.


And with the crowd behind him, which it will be, Blake could be positioning himself for his first win ever against Federer and his first Masters Series title....Or is that just crazy talk?


This is still Roger Federer he's got to play, right?


Federer in two sets is my prediction, although I'm rooting for the American. Go U.S.A.!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Banks and Some Minor Details.


"There are plenty of unresolved issues, including financing. The developers will bankroll $600 million of the $800 million project, but the city and county have not yet said where their $200 million portion will come from."


I don't know why statements like this stand out to me. Seems like a slightly important detail. It's almost comical to me, then I remember I live in Hamilton County and will probably have to come up with the $200 million, well, not all of it, but some anyway.
In all actuality, I'm all in favor of the "The Banks." I think it's something the downtown is majorly lacking, you know, like, somewhere to go... I like the idea of hanging out in a nicely developed setting, a flowing river, lots of people around, and lots to do. It's like what big cities have.
Yay, we're going to have a grown-up city!


Friday, August 10, 2007

Thanks for visiting, Mr. Rudy Giuliani.

Rudy Giuliani was in Cincy this week. He says he is the only one in the GOP that has a shot at beating Hillary in Ohio.

I don't even think the two candidates will be running against each other. Hillary may get the nominee, but if Fred Thompson runs, it's all him. (That's my prediciton anyway)
(My darkhorse prediction is that Al Gore enters the race and wins the Democratic nomination.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Aaron Harang

This guy is one of the bright spots for the Cincinnati Reds. He threw 8 shutout innings against the L.A. Dodgers last night. He's 11-3 on the year.

I have a bobble head of him. I gave it to my 20 month old daughter. She wasn't that impressed with it though.

He's also really tall. But his bobble head isn't.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Parents and Police

I am a regular reader of Brian Griffin's blog that covers Cincinnati, politics and the like. I like the topics he covers, whether I agree with his views or not, I like his frequency of updates, and I like his humor.

On a recent post (discussing the Enquirer's article about the improvement in safety in Over-the-Rhine due to the presence of the Hamilton County Sheriffs) he pointed out that the area in front of Jordan Market had not really changed.

Now, there were many responses to this post, but one of them stood out to me. On person wrote in reply, "If the police did their job, we wouldn't need the sheriff's guys."

I think my response is, "If the parents did their jobs, we wouldn't need the police."

Just a thought.

Western & Southern Financial Group Masters


This is a great tournament. I look forward to seeing it combine with the women's tournament in a few years and draw the top women tennis players in the world.

Of course Roger Federer (above) will be the favorite, but since there are so many talented players, it's worth spending the day there.

Even the wild card entries will be interesting to watch, especially John Isner, who is 6'9". Wow.

I don't think he usually plays on his back with his racket five feet away. But then again, maybe he does, and that's why he has such a low ranking.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Chad Johnson's "Got His Sexy Back"


From Peter King's article on SI.com...

The Chad Johnson Show is on, and he's loving it. Post-practice at Georgetown
College, he's telling me how he's got something wild planned for the first game
of the season when he scores, the Monday night opener against Baltimore. "Maybe
it'll get me suspended for a game by Marvin,'' he says, but it's something he
says he just has to do.

It takes all kinds.

"I tried being a normal guy last year, and I think it hurt me as a player,''
he says. "I can't be the guy who just does what he's supposed to, and
nothing way out there. It's not me.''

But 87 catches, 1,375 yards? That's not a horsecrap year.

"I know. But it's not good enough for me. I tried it everybody else's way.
Now I'm going back to my way. I've got my sex back.''

"What? 'I've got my sex back?''' I say.

"No, no, no,'' he says, "I've got my sexy back. That means, I've got me back,
I've got my own way back. And I promise you, it'll be more fun. You know me. I
won't do anything to disrespect the game. I never have. I love this game more
than anything. I might do something that'll cost me a game, but believe me,
everybody will love it. The memory of it will last a lifetime.''

What in the world is it?

He's not telling. I think I can live without knowing.

Wow. He's obnoxious, but not offensive. That's why I think Chad Johnson is absolutely hilarious. I'm OK with his antics if it doesn't hurt the team on the field.

In fact, I may like the hype and talk about the possibility of his antics more than the antics themselves.



Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cincinnati Blog: Pete, Please Excuse This#links

Cincinnati Blog: Pete, Please Excuse This#links

Hilarious video about the upcoming Cincinnati City Council elections from Cincinnati.blogspot.com.

Nice find.

Bike Trail Update

It looks like it's a go! From the City Council's report...

EDUCATION,HEALTH & RECREATION COMMITTEE
67-200700860
MOTION, dated
July 30, 2007, submitted by Councilmembers Jeff Berding, John Cranley, Chris
Monzel, Cecil Thomas and David Crowley, WE MOVE that in conjunction with
their efforts to advance the "Permanent Alignment," the City Administration
cooperate with and take no action to hinder the citizen-led volunteer "bike
trail group" in implementing the "Temporary Alignment" plan for the Ohio
River Trail as outline in the memo dated 4/11/07.

This trail will be a great addition to downtown. This will create an outdoor recreational outlet for those who live in the downtown area and will bring people to the downtown area such as bikers, joggers, and walkers who will traverse this section of the trail. I look forward to its completion.

Link to the proposed trail here.

The Ohio River Trail will end at and connect to the Purple People Bridge in downtown Cincinnati.


Photo by Jake Mecklenborg

Below is a picture of the end of the Little Miami bike trail. The Ohio River trail will eventually connect to the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

Photo by Dave Dumbacher

Downtown Cincinnati's Comeback...


"The obituary for downtown was written prematurely," said Arn Bortz, taken from a Cincinnati Enquirer article from July 28, 2007.

This is a great article about the revitalization of the downtown area. It lists several of the factors that have caused this rebirth of business and influx of people to the streets of the downtown core.

City Council and 3CDC (see link under Politics...) were cited as having leading roles in the redevelopment.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cincinnati Public School Levy, Retiring for a Raise, Financial Illiteracy

Although the following articles may seem like they are completely unrelated, they are in fact, perfect illustrations of how absolutely financially illiterate our society has become.
From The Cincinnati Enquirer's article "Cincinnati schools need big levy":
Predicting a “devastating” financial crisis within a year without new tax dollars, Cincinnati Public Schools Treasurer Jonathan Boyd on Thursday recommended a 10-mill emergency levy for the November ballot.

If the district cannot pass a levy by the end of the upcoming school year, Boyd said, it will be faced with a $79 million budget gap in 2008-09 – and the gap would grow from there.

The size of the levy and the projected deficit took board members by surprise.

My favorite line from the first story is "The size of the levy and the projected deficit took board members by surprise." I mean, it's not like they would have any interest in the budget for the district. I mean come on, all those big, complicated numbers, projections, estimations, and calculations. It's not like they're the advisory body elected to supervise the activity of the district. Oh wait, they are. Oops, better raise taxes fast to fix that problem.

The problem isn't the impending massive deficit, the problem is that they were surprised about it. I hope they're reserving some of their mental energy for determining a true and healthy solution while they're reactively figuring out how to ask for more money.

Maybe some of that money deficit is going to people like this.

From The Cincinnati Enquirer's article "Judges don't like double-dipping":
Nine Hamilton County Common Pleas judges are asking the board that oversees a Hamilton County correctional center to meet in full to reconsider allowing the facility’s director to retire from his $90,000-a-year job and return to the same job at a lower salary.

The change boosts John Baron’s income $40,000 a year because he’ll begin being collecting his $65,000-a-year state pension and get a $65,000-a-year salary. Baron will also be paid accrued vacation and sick time.


Again, the problem isn't what some would call greed or a desire to take advantage of the system. The problem is that somehow, someway this is possible for him to do, and we need a judge to step in and question the logic of it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Extreme Cheese Coney Eating Contest

I'm there. Not going to compete, but plan on laughing and snapping some pics. Good luck to whomever has to clean up after the competition.

Details about the event can be found on MyFountainSquare.com.

Or here...

Event Detail:

At noon on Friday, August 3, the contestant who consumes the most Skyline Coneys topped with Extreme Habanero Cheese in 3 minutes will be crowned champion!

To register for a chance to compete, complete the official entry form located at www.myfountainsquare.com/skyline. Fifteen contestants will be randomly drawn and notified on Monday, July 30. The Grand Prize is a $100 Skyline Gift Card and bragging rights for a year. Runners-Up win a $25 Skyline Gift Card, T-Shirt and Hat.

Skyline will also sell Extreme Cheese Coneys on the Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A portion of the proceeds, up to $2,500, will be donated to the FreestoreFoodbank.

Produced by Skyline Chili and Fountain Square Management Group.



Low Interest Loans for Home Improvement in Hamilton County are Underused

This is a good article by Justine Reisinger on CityBeat.com. She writes about Hamilton County's program that offers interest rates lower than the market rate for home improvements. Interestingly, it is an underused program, mainly because people do not know about it.

Well, it seems like a good, practical incentive for keeping people living in Hamilton County, instead of splitting for areas like Mason, so... let's tell people about it.

It may not be such a bad idea to use some of the $28 million budgeted for this year to get the word out. Just saying.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who's Now? Cincinnati Style

Help me brainstorm a bracket for Who's Now - Cincinnati...

  • Carson Palmer
  • Chad Johnson
  • Marvin Lewis
  • Jeff Ruby
  • Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Aaron Harang
  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Pete Rose
  • Marty and Tom Brenneman
  • Lance McAlister
  • Mark Mallory
  • Cammy Dierking
  • Brad Johansen
  • Willie Cunningham
  • Gary Burbank
  • Paul Daugherty
  • Mick Cronin
  • Sean Miller
  • Nancy Zimpher
  • Anthony Munoz
  • Charlie Coles

Others? Suggestions?

In the near future I will put a bracket/poll up for the Who's Who of Cincinnati competition.

"St. X to be rated No. 1 in nation"

Here is the link to the Cincinnati Enquirer article that discusses St. Xavier's possible number 1 preseason national ranking.

Should be another great prep football season in Cincinnati. A couple big weekends open the 2007 season. There's the gigantic 2007 Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge Challenge taking place in Cincinnati and northern Ohio, and the season opening Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

Even though the St. X vs. DeMatha game is supposed to be the highlight of the Ohio vs. USA Challenge, I'm looking forward to seeing Elder end the nation's longest winning streak at 108 games, currently held by Charlotte's Independence High School.

Here is a link to SI.com's article about DeMatha's athletic program.

Go Ohio!

No Deals for Reds. No, really?!?

Why doesn't this surprise me? Does it surprise you?


NO DEALS FOR REDS
trade deadline comes and goes
By 700 WLW 20-20 Sports
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plenty of teams were busy at the trade deadline of 4pm Tuesday but not the Reds. Interim manger Pete Mackanin talked with General Manager Wayne Krivsky after the deadline and Kvivsky told him the club did not make any trades. The Reds did make roster moves Tuesday. They activated shortstop Alex Gonzalez off the restricted list. Gonzalez has been apart from the team since mid-July, attending to his son's illness. The Reds have placed infielder Juan Castro on the disabled list. He has a partially torn ligament in his elbow that will likely need surgery. The Reds have called up infielder Mark Bellhorn from Louisville and sent catcher Chad Moeller back to the minors. Cincinnati also called up RHP Elizardo Ramirez from Louisville, takign the roster spot of Kyle Lohse.

Sounds like fun...

Found this on the Downtown Cincinnati website listed on Cincinnati Now... Looks like a good time for all of you who are downtown on Friday's.


Round Town Trolley

presented by P&G and the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network


Fridays, June through August 11am-2pm

6/1/2007 -- 8/31/2007

Remember the popular trolleys that ran throughout the holiday season downtown? Look for their return as the 'Round Town Trolleys during lunchtime this summer!


Presented by P&G and the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network, the two trolleys will run every Friday, June through August, from 11am-2 pm.


Operated by Metro, the trolleys will run a 9-12 minute route connecting the Fourth and Fifth Street corridor to Vine Street, Central Parkway and Sycamore, transporting downtown workers to the events on Fountain Square as well as to dozens of dining and shopping options throughout downtown.


Step outside your normal lunch routine and try something new for lunch downtown this summer!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Downtown Shopping

Anyone been shopping downtown lately? No, not Norwood or Hyde Park... downtown! Did you know there are places to shop? I got a couple suits from JoS. A. Bank Clothiers last week. Great service. Nice sale going on too.



Here is the website: http://www.josbank.com/


Over-the-Rhine


Well, from what I understand, since having a solid connection between Clifton, Over-the-Rhine, and Downtown Cincinnati is a key ingredient to revitalization of Cincinnati's downtown, I figure OTR is a good topic for Cincinnati Now's first post.
Such a neat area... full of history, wonderful architecture, and...
What else does this area have to offer? Art? Food? I think this section of downtown Cincinnati has a few neat pieces that will contribute to an overall downtown experience. Obviously safety concerns keep most people away, as does lack of knowledge of what is offered here.
Education and safety are vital for this revitalization movement.
I used to drive around this area a lot when I was in high school, shooting photos for class, but I wouldn't do it now. I think I had very little awareness of crime and safety during my "invincible years," and now maybe I'm a bit paranoid.