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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Beautiful Eye Quiz -- Hotties Staring Right At You

"The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides." 

 --Audrey Hepburn 

Lovely feminine eyes are bewitching, beautiful wonders. Many celebrities have used their lovely orbs to steal our hearts. How much do you know about those eyes? Can you identify them without a complete face for a familiar frame? 

Today, I challenge you identify what many consider to be some of the most striking, alluring eyes of all time. Granted, this quiz places most emphasis on current celebrities. You may want to comment about omissions. Don't cheat. The answers, of course, are provided at the end of the test along with a little biographical information about each set of peepers.

A. LaLa Anthony
B. Giada De Laurentiis
C. Cameron Diaz
D. Sharbat Gula
E. Salma Hayek
F. Audrey Hepburn 
G. Celina Jaitley
H. Angelina Jolie
I. Kristin Kreuk 
J. Adriana Lima  
K. Jada Pinkett 
L. Aishwarya Rai 
M. Elizabeth Taylor  
N. Charlize Theron
O. Unknown 

The Eyes Quiz

1. Whose eyes? ___

 2. Whose eyes? ___

 3. Whose eyes? ___

 4. Whose eyes? ___

 5. Whose eyes? ___

 6. Whose eyes? ___

7. Whose eyes? ___

 8. Whose eyes? ___

9. Whose eyes? ___

10. Whose eyes? ___
11. Whose eyes? ___

12. Whose eyes? ___

13. Whose eyes? ___

 14. Whose eyes? ___

15. Whose eyes? ___



1. J Adriana Lima   2. L Aishwarya Rai   3. F Audrey Hepburn  4. G Celina Jaitley
5. K Jada Pinkett  6. M  Elizabeth Taylor  7. I  Kristin Kreuk  8. A LaLa Anthony   
9. D Sharbat Gula  10. N Charlize Theron  11. H Angelina Jolie 12. C Cameron Diaz 13. B Giada De Laurentiis   14. O  Unknown   15. Salma Hayek

 Celina Jaitley:

Indian actress who mainly appears in Bollywood films. A former beauty queen and model, she was crowned Femina Miss India Universe in 2001.

 Charlize Theron:

South African and American actress and fashion model who became the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category

Angelina Jolie:

American actress, film director, screenwriter, and author. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes  in 2009,

LaLa Anthony:

American disc jockey, television personality, and actress who came to prominence as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live.
Sharbat Gula: 

Afghan woman who was the subject of a famous photograph by journalist Steve McCurry. Gula was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old.

 Elizabeth Taylor:

From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. As one of the world's most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty, and distinctive violet eyes. The American Film Institute named her seventh on their list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends."

Kristin Kreuk:

Canadian actress and film producer, best known for her roles as Lana Lang in the Superman-inspired television series Smallville and as Laurel Yeung in the Canadian teen drama Edgemount.

Jada Pinkett:

American actress, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman. She began her career in 1990, when she made a guest appearance in the short-lived sitcom True Colors.She starred in A Different World, produced by Bill Cosby, and she featured opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor (1996).

 Audrey Hepburn:

British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema and has been placed in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. 

Aishwarya Rai:

Indian film actress and model. She was the first runner-up of the Miss India pageant, and the winner of the Miss World pageant of 1994. She is a leading contemporary actress of Indian cinema and has received two Filmfare Awards, two Screen Awards, and two IIFA Awards for her performances in Hindi language films of Bollywood. Rai is regarded as one of the most popular and influential celebrities in India, and is often cited in the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world"

Giada De Laurentiis:

Italian-born American chef, writer, television personality, and the host of the current Food Network television program Giada at Home. She also appears regularly as a contributor and guest co-host on NBC's Today.  De Laurentiis is the founder of the catering  business GDL Foods. She is a winner of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host.

Adriana Lima:

Brazilian model and actress who is best known as a Victoria's Secret Angel since 2000, and as a spokesmodel for Maybelline cosmetics from 2003 to 2009. At the age of 15, Lima finished first in Ford's "Supermodel of Brazil" competition, and took second place the following year in the Ford "Supermodel of the World" competition before signing with Elite Model Management in New York City. In 2012, she came in 4th on the Forbes top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $7.3 million in one year.

 Cameron Diaz:

American actress and former model. She worked for Calvin Klein and Levis. As an actress, she rose to prominence during the 1990s with roles in the movies The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding and There's Something About Mary. Other high-profile credits include the two Charlie's Angels films.


Salma Hayek:

Mexican American film actress, director and producer. She began her career in Mexico starring in the telenovela Teresa and went on to star in the film El Callejon de los Milagros (Miracle Alley) for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award. In 1991 Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as Desperado (1995), Dogma (1999), and Wild Wild West (1999).

"You never know how you look through other people's eyes."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Woman With the Perfect Body: WHR or BMI or What?

Just what is perceived as "perfection" of body for an attractive woman? We all realize that beauty is subjective and one beautiful female feature can make irresistible to another person's adoring eyes, but what is the one physical feature that strikes most men?

Legs, breasts, buttocks, curves -- sexy combinations of all proportions dazzle guys. No one can say that perfection is even a term that helps define sexiness. And, all attempts to simplify the attraction and the beauty of a woman's physique are pretty pointless. But, this blog has no problem with editorial comment purely for entertainment and the sake of argument. So, here we go.

What is the main attribute that draws us men like bees to honey and makes us say, "Damn, girl. You got it all."

WHR Claims

Professor Devendra Singh and his daughter Adrian Singh, psychologists from the University of Texas, claim their research proves that lovestruck men have only one thing on their minds: a woman's WHR - waist-hip ratio, calculated by dividing waist circumference by that of the hips.

In the Royal Society journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, they analyse thousands of examples of British literature from the 16th to 18th centuries with Dr. Peter Renn of Harvard University to show that what men find attractive today was also true hundreds of years ago: a narrow waist and thus an hourglass shape. A small waist is a core feature of feminine beauty that transcends ethnic-morphological differences.

(Roger Highfield, "Men Lust for Hourglass Curves, Say Researchers,"
The Telegraph, January 10 2007) 

If WHR determines perfection, just what is the "perfect WHR"?

Researchers at Cambridge University figured out exactly what makes a perfect swivel-hipped walk with "a more angular swaying and bounce to the hips." Their results? The closer that ratio is to 0.7 (waist measurement is 70% of the hip measurement), the sexier the swagger.

"A WHR of 0.7 for women has been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. Scientists have discovered that the waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a significant factor in judging female attractiveness. Women with a 0.7 WHR are usually rated as more attractive by men from European cultures."

This 0.7 ratio translates into a waist of 25 inches and 36-inch hips, making that "tick-tock" walk look absolutely perfect. But the ratio is not necessarily related to measurements or weight—just the difference between those two measurements.

Women who are very thin can still have a WHR of .7. It's not the size of the woman, it's the configuration. A woman could be a size 2 and still have a WHR of 0.7, or she could be a size 22 and have a WHR of 0.7.

(Charlie White, "Mathematicians Figure Out What Makes Women Beautiful,", August 27 2007)

BMI Claims

BMI, or body mass index, is a calculation based on weight and height that used to determine a person's body fat percentage. The general rule is that the higher the BMI, the higher the body fat percentage. Scientists in the U.S. have said the ideal BMI for both sexes is between 18 and 25. A rating below 18 is regarded as underweight, while above 25 is overweight. Over 30 is regarded as obese.

Science contends that men are attracted to a certain body mass because it is associated with better health and a sign of good reproductive potential. Previous studies have indicated waist-to-hip ratio is the most influential factor in female attractiveness because of the association between curvy hips and fertility.

Lately, experts at University College London and Newcastle University, show BMI is even more critical, accounting for 75 per cent of body attractiveness. Waist-to-hip ratio, leg length and other body parts make up the remaining 25 per cent.

Almost 700 men and women from Britain and Malaysia took part in a study published in the journal Body Image. Both sexes were shown images of real women in five categories, from emaciated to obese and asked to score how beautiful they thought each was.

In Britain, the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.85. In Malaysia the figure was marginally higher. The results also showed that attractiveness dropped quickly either side of the 20.85 figure.

So while an obese woman was only half as attractive as a woman with the perfect BMI, skinnier women were rated even lower. Viren Swami, a psychologist at University College London who led the study, said: "Our findings show that BMI is a better predictor of attractiveness than curves. BMI is a considerably stronger determinant of bodily attractiveness than waist-to-hip ratio."

  • To calculate your BMI: Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
  • Divide that number by your height in inches.
  • Divide by your height in inches again.

("Score the Perfect Figure,", June 28 2005)

TV shows and movies of the late 1990s portrayed women as being very thin. At a time when average female BMI hovered around 28 – actress Calista Flockhart had a BMI of 15.6. The trend continues today – much of the entertainment industry is fixated with thinness – in spite of a viewing public that keeps on getting heavier.

We see a lot more photos than we used to. And, everything has been retouched. The last 40 years has seen explosive growth in the accessibility of visual media. Portrayal of full bodies rather than just faces has also been a trend. Modern channels of media allows a level of scrutiny undreamed of 40 years ago. Idols are rapidly created and discarded – leaving behind impressionable masses endlessly pursuing impossible goals.

A bizarre combination of male desire and waifish androgyny; thin, no hips, big bust. For most this is only possible with a genetically-blessed bone structure along with surgery – something which America is pursuing with a vengeance. Couple this with the “toned” look, where muscular (but not overly-so) women play lead roles in Hollywood, and champion the fitness industry.

(Jim F. "How Female Body Shape Changed In the 20th Century,", 2013)

History Shows Changes In Judgment

Articles written about Elsie Scheel, the 24-year-old Cornell student who was declared the "ideal woman" in December 1912, show just how much our idea of "perfection" has changed since the early 20th century.

In 1912, Scheel was selected by a medical examiner from a pool of 400 Cornell women as "perfect" and the epitome of "perfect health." She received worldwide media attention, and wound up inspiring countless comparisons.

The New York Times described her as "a light-haired, blue-eyed girl whose very presence bespeaks perfect health," and The Star, a Wilmington, Del. paper, reported that Scheel weighed 171 pounds, stood 5 foot 7 inches tall, and had similar proportions to the famous Greek statue, Venus de Milo.
In January 2010, blogger Kate Harding calculated what Scheel's BMI would have been. She wrote:

"Miss Elsie Scheel’s BMI would have been 26.8, placing her squarely in today’s dreaded 'overweight' category. At Banana Republic, to pick a random contemporary store, she would wear a size 8 top, a 12/14 bottom, and probably a 12 dress with the bust taken in."

Ironic by today's standards, Elsie Scheel lived a long and healthy life before dying of a perforated bowel, at just shy of 91 years of age.

(Emma Gray, "The 'Perfect Woman' In 1912, Elsie Scheel, Was 
171 Pounds and Loved Beefsteaks," December 27 2012)

The Perfect Look -- You Decide

WHR Contender: Kelly Brook, English model, actress, entrepreneur, television presenter.

 BMI Contender: Jodie Kidd, model. "I love being this size - I finally feel sexy," she said recently. "I was too thin, but I was also getting really sour, really jaded."

 Modern Contender: Calista Flockhart American actress, widely known for playing the title role in the Fox television comedy-drama series

 Historical Nonhuman Contender: Venus de Milo.

Historical Human Contender #1: Camille Clifford, the Gibson Girl. The Gibson Girl image that appeared in the 1890s combined elements of older American images of female beauty, such as the "fragile lady" and the "voluptuous women". From the "fragile lady" she took the basic slender lines, and a sense of respectability. From the "voluptuous women" she took a large bust and hips, but was not vulgar or lewd.

Historical Human Contender #2: Sophia Loren. She in 1955 has the quintessential hourglass.

Legendary Human Contender: Marilyn Monroe. No introduction necessary.

And, the beat goes on.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Do You Smell What's Cooking? The Stink Bug Invasion!

Feast your eyes on the brown marmorated stink bug (halyomorpha halys). Chances are you have already met the little creature and you didn't appreciate his odoriferous presence. The stink bug's ability to emit an odor through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards.

However, when a human simply handles the ugly bug, injures it, or attempts to move it, the insect often releases the odor. The smell is most often described as similar to ammonia or cilantro, and sensitivity to the stench among people varies from unnoticeable to almost overpowering.

Up until several years ago I didn't really know what a stink bug was. I certainly never remember encountering them around my house in humongous numbers before then.

My wife hates the three-quarters-of-an-inch-long pests with a passion particularly because they produce that nasty odor and because they have a great propensity for entering the house. She attacks each stink bug she sees (usually with a fly swatter) and constantly complains about how many of the insects seem intent on making her life miserable. And, yes, they bite with their proboscis when you grab them with your hands. My spouse views swarming stink bugs as a plague of biblical proportions.

I honestly have chuckled about her obsession to destroy a swarm intent on living in the back yard. But, when they come indoors, I, too, become annoyed with these creepy crawlers. And enter indoors, they do. October seems to bring in the biggest swarms.

Why? Bill Todaro, an entomologist from the Allegheny County Health Department, says less daylight makes the bugs bug us. “Something goes off in their head,” Todaro contends. He says it's like a message that“I’ve got to seek shelter.” Their ticket to longevity is surviving the winter, so they fly to protective places.

Well, what better protective place than a home?  The bug survives the winter as an adult by entering houses and structures when autumn evenings become colder. Adults can live from several months to a year. They will enter under siding, into soffits, around window and through door frames, chimneys -- just about any space which has openings big enough to fit through. All it takes for the stink bug is a crack that is 1/16 of an inch, about the width of a piece of heavy paper.

Once inside the house, they go into a state of hibernation. They wait for winter to pass before reviving, but often the warmth inside the house causes them to become active, and they may fly clumsily around light fixtures, scaring the Hades out of us residents. 

Stink bugs don't pose any real health risks and do not lay eggs or feed indoors. However, if killed in large numbers, they can attract other pests, such as mice or other nasty insects that feed off of the carcasses. And, admittedly, scientists don't know a lot about the effects of swarms of these insects yet.

A recent Fox News report stresses the extent of the problem of stink buggery in faraway California: 

“There are reports of people using manure shovels and 5-gallon buckets to dispose of them,” said Chuck Ingels, farm advisor and interim county director with the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources arm. Others employ vacuums to suck up swarms of the bugs. He continues, "This is the worst invasive pest we’ve ever had."

Where Did the Stinker Originate?

No wonder experiencing the bugs is relatively new -- it turns out the critters are a species of illegal aliens.

Evidence shows that the stinky nuisance somehow sneaked into the U.S. from Asia 15 years ago. Upon its entry into the States, the smelly pests, which can fly up to half a mile at a pop, began feasting on Cali grapes, apples, berries and other crops. It is now considered an agricultural pest, and by 2010-11, it had become a season-long pest in U.S. orchards. The invasive species also attacks tomatoes, soy beans, lima beans, and sweet corn.

"About anything that makes a seed or a fruit they'll eat," said Ames Herbert, an entomologist at Virginia Tech University who researches ways to protect Virginia's soy bean crop from the brown marmorated stink bug. 

These bugs are considered pests due to the fact that they feed on plant juices or fluids by sucking them, using their proboscis. By piercing the plant tissues, they allow pathogens such as bacteria and fungi to enter the plant via their damaged leaves or stems.

There are no comprehensive estimates on the economic damage caused by stink bugs, but an analysis by the U.S. Apple Association found that stink bugs cost Mid-Atlantic apple growers $37 million in 2010.

So, thanks partly to agribusiness, the stink bugs have taken over many places in America. Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, who leads the Endemic and Invasive Pest and Disease initiative at the University of California, says, "Just take a look at the fruits in your fridge for a quick tour of South America."

Another factor in the spread of the stink bug is the increase in tourism.“It’s the size of the world population and how much travel is going on and movement of people and products,” Grafton-Cardwell told

Both the rise in international trade and the rise in tourism have brought with them foreign superpests with few known enemies. As of November 2011 the stink bug had spread to 34 U.S. states, and by 2012 to 40 states and showed an increase of 60% in total numbers over 2011 because in 2012, two full generations managed to reach maturity.

Since stink bugs have few natural predators to help decrease their numbers, they have become a real scourge. “Whenever you bring a pest over, they can explode, because there’s no parasites,” Ingels told He claims they’re trouble for farmers, but lately the bugs have really branched out, creeping into houses, breeding in sheds, and even finding homes in urban settings.

Praying Mantis munches on a stink bug.

The Invasion of 2013

While there isn’t as of yet enough information on this year’s stink bug invasion to determine how bad it is, officials have expected it to be among the worst ever because last year’s warm winter didn't kill many hibernating in homes, barns and sheds.

University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp said this will be “a big season.”

 (Jeremy A. Kaplan, "‘Superpests’ Swarming Across America,", September 25 2013)

What is the homeowner to do? Why not destroy the pest with chemicals? Think again. Abuse of pesticides and antibiotics have led to the rise of superweeds and superbugs -- a problem one researcher called “a slow-train wreck."

In some African countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Venda, Zambia and South Africa, people tend to eat stink bugs while considering it a part of their culture. It seems unlikely American McBug restaurants will pop up to follow this trend of boiling and sun drying the insects for human consumption.

The Praying Mantis will slay and eat stink bugss. It starts by devouring the legs of the stink bug so it can't run away, then it completely eats the body. However, there aren’t enough Praying Mantis in the world to take care of the billions of stink bugs here in America.

And, one proposed solution sounds even worse than the stinky problem insects: Scientists aim to import another pest from Asia, a type of parasitic wasp that specifically targets the larva of the stink bug, laying its own eggs within them. Currently living in quarantine, the wasps may be released shortly. Asian wasps? Release another invasive species? Is this a good idea?

Scientists hope the coordinated research and surveillance efforts will help turn the tide against the stink bug. A private company has already isolated an important stink bug pheromone, which could revolutionize indoor trapping efforts.

In the meantime, a homeowner should seal his dwelling to prevent entry and to stop providing the insect with a cozy winter home. Glue traps also seem to work on a limited basis.

And, people must try to be calm in the midst of the stinky invasion. More trouble is on the horizon. Other insects seem determined to make our lives miserable. Following in the stink bug's footsteps is the kudzu bug. It started in Georgia and spread to Tennessee in 2012. The kudzu bug attacks bean crops and, like the stink bug, tries to spend the winter inside of homes.

The kudzu bug was first discovered in Georgia in 2009 in a handful of counties. Now, the bug is in nearly every Georgia county, all of South Carolina, and has spread through about half of North Carolina. It is quickly marching north.

Atlanta homeowner Michele Wright says, "My concern is that they will creep into the small crevices in the home and nest for the winter. That would just be horrible."

Wright used several applications of pesticides to kill off dozens of the multi-legged nuisances, but they were quickly replaced by dozens more.

"I couldn't sleep Saturday night," said Wright. "I had a few bug nightmares. It really does remind you of an Alfred Hitchcock movie."

My wife is really going to love the news of another buggy invader. It sounds as if she needs a bigger flyswatter ... make that industrial size, please.

“Insects -- all business all the time.” 

--David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

Here are a few ways to keep bugs at bay:
  • Clean up brush and keep mulch and firewood piles away from the house.
  • Seal up cracks and crevices with caulk, repair screens and don’t forget to check basement foundations for crumbling mortar.
  • Clean up cupboard shelves and seal up sugary foods that attract insects.
  • Create a barrier in doorways and around windowsills with crushed bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves to repel ants. Briscoe White, an herb expert and owner of The Growers Exchange, says they repel ants indoors and out. Have moth issues? Try peppermint and spearmint.
- See more at:
Here are a few ways to keep bugs at bay:
  • Clean up brush and keep mulch and firewood piles away from the house.
  • Seal up cracks and crevices with caulk, repair screens and don’t forget to check basement foundations for crumbling mortar.
  • Clean up cupboard shelves and seal up sugary foods that attract insects.
  • Create a barrier in doorways and around windowsills with crushed bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves to repel ants. Briscoe White, an herb expert and owner of The Growers Exchange, says they repel ants indoors and out. Have moth issues? Try peppermint and spearmint.
- See more at:

Here are a few ways to keep bugs at bay:
  • Clean up brush and keep mulch and firewood piles away from the house.
  • Seal up cracks and crevices with caulk, repair screens and don’t forget to check basement foundations for crumbling mortar.
  • Clean up cupboard shelves and seal up sugary foods that attract insects.
  • Create a barrier in doorways and around windowsills with crushed bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves to repel ants. Briscoe White, an herb expert and owner of The Growers Exchange, says they repel ants indoors and out. Have moth issues? Try peppermint and spearmint.
- See more at:
Create a barrier in doorways and around windowsills with crushed bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves to repel ants. Briscoe White, an herb expert and owner of The Growers Exchange, says they repel ants indoors and out. Have moth issues? Try peppermint and spearmint. - See more at: 
Danny Bonvissut

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Day in the Portsmouth City Court System -- Paying For Justice

To preface this entry, I want readers to understand I have personal bias. This bias is built upon my recent past experiences. As I have grown increasingly critical of local law enforcement and the local courts, I am definitely bitter about some of my contacts with the system.

During the recent past, I have tried on more than a few occasions to communicate with local enforcement and do what I consider to be my part to assist in keeping my community safe. I have met with much resistance along the way -- distrust and reluctance are common, and sometimes I have experienced anger from those in charge. Among other activities, I have actually done these things within the past five years:

1. Organized a tribute to law enforcement at Tracy Park that included the Ohio State Patrol Post 73, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the Scioto County Sheriffs Office.

2. Met with Lancaster family members and friends at the Portsmouth Police Department to offer assistance finding Megan Lancaster.

3. Tried to inform the Scioto County Sheriffs Office and the Portsmouth Police Department about threats and malicious defamation instigated by guards, attorneys, and owners of Temponeras's Unique Pain Clinic Operation.

4. Organized and led ten Pill Mill protests in ten different locations in Scioto County.

5. Communicated frequently about crimes with the DEA and the Ohio Attorney General.

6. Informed law enforcement officers many times of drug activity including rx distribution, meth operations, and trafficking of illegal substances.

7. Served on the SOLACE and Garrett Maloney Foundation board of directors.

8. Served as a member of the Scioto Drug Action Team and assisted the Portsmouth Health Department with many activities to stop drug abuse.

9. Established Fix the Scioto County Problem of Drug Abuse Facebook group with more than 3,500 members where a constant effort was made to praise the good works of local law enforcement.

10. Attempted to organize a Congratulatory Breakfast thanking Ohio State Patrol Post 73 for an increase in drug-related arrests along Route 23, the Heroin Highway. This was eventually cancelled due to fear of undue favor and gratuity.

My Day In Traffic Court

I was charged for speeding in a trap on Coles Boulevard. It was alleged by the Portsmouth Police officer that I was doing 38 MPH in the 25 MPH zone. I confess that the radar reading that day was probably accurate.

Admittedly, I was extremely upset because I had also been arrested by the Ohio State Patrol within this same month for traveling 56 MPH in a 45 MPH near Rosemount Point on Rt. 23. I pleaded "not guilty" on that charge only to be confronted by lies on the stand by the arresting officer. Of course, I was convicted.

These were my first tickets in many, many years. I feel I drive slowly and safely. In fact, my wife constantly tells me I am driving too slow. But, being aware of points against my license and the possibility of revocation of driving rights, I went to plead "no contest" for the Coles ticket.

Upon arriving early for my 8:45 court date at city hall, I was metal detected and directed to the second floor. After climbing the stairway, I confronted a crowd of more than 50 individuals who apparently had the same appointment time as I.

One wooden bench was available for the comfort of the accused. This small bench was already occupied by four or five people, so the rest of us, young and old, stood in the close quarters of the hallway awaiting the opening of the court door.

I wondered why the courtroom, where there was sufficient seating for all, couldn't be opened as a place to be comfortable. (I had been told before that portable seats couldn't be placed in the hallway because they were "potential weapons.") But, despite the fact some aged folks were having trouble standing for the better part of an hour, the court chose to ignore this inconvenience.

The space in which we stood was old, dreary, dirty, and, of course, congested with people of all ilks. I thought about the run-down facility and the lack of pride presented in its dank appearance. Portsmouth City Hall mirrored the crumbling downtown of its namesake. I envisioned a tourist who might have wandered into the city. Perhaps, one came into this building and found its creepy, old, intimidating confines. I believed anyone with their senses would see, hear, and smell a structure that presented an unfriendly, uncooperative environment full of filthy windows, closed doors, and an air of stagnation.

All the time I waited to enter the courtroom, a crew of vested janitorial staff that I assumed were inmates from the city jail freely walked among the crowd, stopping at least ten times to converse with others and to open a once-locked closet containing what appeared to be little more than a broom or two. Their presence was a little unnerving, but so were more than a few in the group awaiting their hearings.

Of course, no one in the crowd appeared to be happy to spend their morning in court, and I began to wonder about the seriousness of the charges some faced. In honesty, I felt more like a caged, corralled animal there instead of a tax-paying citizen. Waiting in discomfort in a confined space intensified the irritability of all present. Thank God for the metal detectors downstairs.

At 9:20 A.M., after a wait of approximately 35 minutes, someone opened the door and instructed the people who were there to make pleas to enter the courtroom. Fifteen minutes later the judge entered, and naturally he expressed his regrets for making us wait amid the human sweat and the building mold. He instructed us of procedures and began to hear the pleas.

Another half hour or so passed as people were called forward. The woman who pleaded right before me had also been ticketed in the Coles speed trap. She went on about her and her husband's state of health while traveling on Coles to reach Southern Ohio Medical Center. She also told the judge she just didn't have the money to pay a speeding fine. Blah...blah... woof ... woof. This and that was asked and answered. Then, it was my turn to bow and face the truth.

After asking a question or two about possible points against my license, bemoaning a speed trap set on my home turf of Coles, and informing the judge that the arresting officer told me how the city had recently received a grant to ticket more "dangerous 62 year-old speedsters," I admitted my guilt and pleaded "no contest." I told the judge being honest was more important than anything to me. I told him I had speeded this time but that I was very upset about the lies told by the state trooper during my previous recent speeding trial. I also told the judge I hadn't gotten a speeding ticket for decades before these two offenses. It really didn't matter what I told him -- the system, the lies, the connection hold the trump card. The code keeps them together. Justice does not mean fairness.

To save me points, the judge charged me with some penalty I didn't understand and instructed me to stop on the first floor to pay my ticket. I owed $84.00 for the ticket and the court costs. That raised my combined fines for the tickets to $243.00, and I hoped the total I paid might finance putting  another bench in the court hallway to ease the backs of future, fellow vehicular criminals like me.

I descended the stairway and entered the clerk of court's office. As I took my turn at the window, I asked if I may have a receipt for my payment. This question caused considerable dismay and confusion among the staff. At once, I felt as if I was in a Steve Martin skit. "Well, excussssse, me."

I was told in no uncertain terms by Sherry someone, the ward of the ascribed deputy clerk Susan Adams, to wait for answers. Having dealt in the past with perturbed Portsmouth officials, this "official" curtness was not uncommon to me, so I sat down and waited. I had evidently just ruined "someone's" day. Sherry acted as if I had just farted aloud in church.

Then in a few minutes, after being summoned to the window again, I asked about the receipt and was immediately reprimanded and sharply told I would be returned to the judge for being non compliant if I didn't be quiet. In Charge Sherry looked around at her coworkers for instant approval of her direct command.

The others didn't say anything, but Commander Sherry told me not to ask any questions at the time. I honestly believed she intended to have me arrested for something. My confusion heightened, reaching the level of a Portsmouth resident unsure of what day garbage was to be collected.

I did politely tell the rude woman that I was a citizen and a taxpayer in the city, but she acted as if social decorum and due process didn't matter in her "beloved" Portsmouth City Hall, and she again threatened to have me taken back to court. I began to have visions of eating bread and drinking water in the pokey for having the temerity to induce a SNAFU into the system.

Then, a few minutes later, Sherry called me forward and began to read mechanically the instructions on a printout of my charge. I stood speechless, worrying about whether I would soon share a cell with Big Bubba for going over 25 MPH on Coles Boulevard. At that point, I was in a state of shock, and I felt as if I had been reduced to the level of dirt littered by unfettered promiscuity for my brazen speeding ticket.

I didn't answer her immediately. I guess my temporary silence really pissed her off because she verbally attacked me again. She also re-informed her coworkers that I should be arrested for noncompliance. Very simply, I hated her at that point. Her domineering behavior had made me ashamed of intruding in her perfect little legal world. But, I bit my lip, held my temper and without the slightest visible displeasure, regained my voice.

Finally, Sherry instructed me to sign the papers, which I did. Then, she did ask me at that point if I had questions. Completely exasperated by that time, I gave up and quietly left the building. I felt like a criminal, a subhuman who wanted to leave town and crawl under a rock in some faraway place. The only semblance of self worth I felt was due to the fact I not once had I raised my voice, said anything remotely derogatory, or caused the slightest insult.

Portsmouth justice had just taught me another well-deserved lesson, one I want everyone to practice -- please, just do this for me. Just once, drive under 25 MPH on Coles Boulevard, get rear-ended and fingered by a long line of angry motorists behind you who are shouting about carnal relationships you have with your mother. And through it all, remember if you exceed the limit, an officer, a judge, and Sherry are licking their lips and waiting down at city hall to abuse your ass for your dreadful, selfish crimes.

Reaching my car, I thought about my past experiences with enforcement and the courts -- the good things I had tried to do, the efforts of praise I had tried to assemble, the help with arrests and wrongdoings I had offered, and, naturally, the two speeding tickets I had received.

Two tickets have reformed me and changed my life. They are the final straws that have led me to a real awakening.

The dealings with the clerk of courts was indicative of my total feelings. I realize that enforcement and courts in Portsmouth, Ohio are self-inclusive, uncooperative, and hateful of the public. With corruption, power, and money in the system, they disdain any outside help, fearing interference. They cover up inconsistencies committed by each other, and sometimes they deny justice to those deserving it because those needy individuals are outside the higher class they so willingly protect.

I understand my bias and my propensity to believe that decent people should be treated with respect; however, I, all too often, have seen firsthand much incompetence and complete indifference. After this experience, I want to scream, "Get off your tender asses and find missing people, deal with real crime, and clean up your own cancers in the legal and enforcement systems!" I want to scream, "Try to communicate with people and stop treating them with suspicion when they want to help solve crimes!" I want to scream, "You good old boys are a major part of the problem!"

What I say here, in my blog, comes from my own mind based on my own experiences. I do not care if you want to deny or refute evidence of the problems of which I speak. I am bitter -- I admit my bias. But, it is difficult to remain a member of this community who trusts the law. For years, people have confessed knowledge of legal wrongdoings, police bias, and political pressures to me. I used to listen and laugh about many of the reports, preferring to file them under "gossip" and "unfounded allegations."

Lately, I believe more and more of these stories of corruption. Despite names like Shipley, Barney, and Pratt that I have trusted, I really don't care for cops anymore. And, we all know a lawyer or two who needs to be admonished for criminal activity. In addition, when a top dog judge or enforcement official breaks the law, hand slaps are usually administered. People involved with the law who have been charged are seldom revealed by the press but instead remain employed or rehired with records of reduced charges. And the beat goes on.

Recently a video titled "What The Hell You Know About That 740?" surfaced on YouTube. I watched the video, which has been produced and filmed by local youth, and I felt it is honest and portrays cultivated understandings about the environment of Southern Ohio. It punches the gut hard but true. You should watch it. I included the link below.

Right now, I believe any activism I support will be the movements aimed at changing the present antiquated system. Maybe Sherry, the "bi-atch," could start the ball rolling by saying "thank you" to hard-working people giving up their precious cash for speeding tickets that help keep her employed as a civil servant.

There is an underlying hostility and a distorted desire for political control present in our county. Leadership is grossly lacking that might change this. For too long, those in charge have sought to blame everything under old sol for their laziness, lack of proper goals, and substandard performance. Scapegoats are plentiful here. You can bet the law, the courts, and their officials will conduct "business as usual" until some brighter light focuses upon the real problems. God help us.

"What The Hell You Know About That 740?"