I'm done...

Hi everyone.

It's been a long time since I last posted and there have been a few people who've asked what was up with DJ's Random Thoughts.  Well, as of today I have decided to close up shop and end it.  It will stay up for posterity's sake but I am not planning on doing any more editions.  Some of you may be disappointed but probably not as much as I am.  Y'all have probably noticed that posts have been few and far between over the past couple years or so.  The bottom line is I just don't have the motivation to continue doing this.  I'm gonna get into some of what's led to this decision...a lot of it has to do with things that have gone on in my life and some of it just general things...because for those of you who have kept up with me on here (and I thank you a ton for that), you at least deserve to know why.

For a long time now, I've been angry...really angry.  Based on what I mentioned in the last edition of DJRT, I'm obviously angry about how the election turned out.  I don't like what happened and I don't like where things are going.  That's the easy anger to address and I am trying to do something about that which would be a good single reason as any to end this.  However, things run much deeper than that for me.  The aftermath of the election exposed some raw nerves and thoughts about myself and my overall life experiences that I had worked my ass off in trying to avoid and/or overcome that I just can't avoid or maybe even overcome anymore.

I guess the best place to start is to say that I'm frustrated that the efforts I put into working into the past election didn't work out.  I wish something like that wasn't a common thing for me but unfortunately "efforts not working out" is something that has been one of the defining themes of my life as a whole.  I've had a ton of things not work out for me...jobs, relationships, places I've lived, etc.  A few times, I got lucky that happened (I can think of two specific times when I was blessed that was the case) but for the most part it's made my life a mess.  I'm not happy with my life and it seems things I do to try to improve it don't do jack squat.  In the meantime I've tried to help others and other groups in the hope that maybe my life would improve but it hasn't happened and I'm not seeing it happening.   This was something I wanted to bear more fruit from.

Anyway, I'm not sure I've ever talked about this before but one of the things that's made me horribly angry and incredibly frustrated is "expertism".  It's my own term for something I define as "using experience, skills or expertise, and bragging about them like they're the only things that matter, at the same time beating people over the head with that stuff and throwing it in people's faces, treating them like their ideas or they themselves don't matter at all."  That's a lot to take in so let me break down what it means and what that means to me.  For starters, I have no issues with anybody having experiences or skills beyond what I can do.  It can be comforting to know that there are people like that out there.  Who I'm talking about here are those who like to act all superior about that stuff, who act like they know better and have no qualms about beating people over the head with it and even "spiking the ball" (acting all triumphant like with a football celebration) when they do it.  It's the elitist, snob-like attitude coming from that expertise that I have seen in many, many, many people.  It's something I come across pretty damn regularly and it pisses me off.  I think a lot of people have problems dealing with people like that and I have dealt with a TON of them.  After dealing with such people, I've felt worthless, like I don't matter whatsoever, like what I do will never be good enough.  That feeling is very pervasive in me and has demotivated me more than anything else has in my life.  The amount of people who have pulled this kind of stuff on me alone is staggering and the anger and frustration that has come from them...well, I think enough of you have seen people like this in your lives so you can guess what kind of effect this have on me.

One of the bad things about expertism to me is that I have been that way myself.  It was done to me so much that I started doing it myself to others.  I would try to come off like an expert myself and even come off as obnoxious to people whether I was intending to or not.  It had an inverse relation to how much I felt I needed my ideas, or even me, to matter.  The less important I felt in those moments, the more I did it.  So many people did this with me that I started doing it myself as a way to "keep up with the Joneses", so to speak.  I want to matter.  I want to feel like I matter.  I don't want to be behind and I don't want to feel like I'm behind.  Acting like this with folks was my attempts to compensate.  I'm not proud I had to do this and it is really draining to do it.  For anybody who I care about and cares about me who's had to deal with my "expertism", I am truly sorry.  I didn't want to put you off by it.

This leads to my next point...alienation.  Many of you know I hate alienating people.  I hate putting people off from me.  I have alienated so many folks that I have to watch my every single little step with people.  I hate it.  If there was anything that shows me I was not a people person, this is it.  Generally, I want people to be happy.  I want to see them happy.  If possible, I want to make some of them happy if it's within my power.  It makes me physically sick to see people who I care for and want to be happy disgusted or put off by me or my attempts to help.  Yep, I said it...disgusted.  I've seen it and it is very hard to hide.  There were times I didn't want to leave the house because my best intentions went horribly awry.  The same goes for online...I won't post much in times of even anticipating potentially alienating someone.  I know it's a part of life sometimes but it is extremely painful.  I guess that's just the people pleaser in me.  This alienation has really become apparent in the past couple of years and it's taken it's toll.

So with all that meandering I've done here, what does this all mean for the end of DJRT?  Well, I'm angry, I'm demotivated, I've alienated folks, I have issues, and all this has affected everything going on in my life including DJRT.  Outside of one thing I've already committed myself to, everything is up in the air for me.  I have no idea what I'm going to do and everything I had planned, especially for DJRT, just doesn't seem worth it anymore.  A lot of things just don't seem worth it anymore.  With that, I think it's just time to end this.  I would say "until next time" but unless there is some extremely drastic changes for me it isn't going to happen.  It's been a ride.  Take care and God Bless.

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Random Thoughts #153 - the "next year" edition

Greeting and welcome to the latest edition of DJ's Random Thoughts.  I wasn't expecting to do one of these any time soon but I thought since I'm in a good mood and I have some time I thought I'd go ahead and do one, if only to give an update on what's going on with yours truly.  I will say that I'm not sure when I will be doing the next one of these due to some things going on with me over the next few months with one of those things having to do with something related to the edition pic that may or may not have gotten your attention here for this edition.  With that in mind, let's get this started.  Enjoy.

 -  Before I move on to the meat of this edition, I wanted to give a short update related to what I talked about in the last one...the part where I talked about losing that job and what happened to me afterward.  Well, my mood has improved since that last edition with some things that have been going on though I am still dealing with some of the mental aspects of it and there are spurts when the funk comes back.  One thing I didn't mention last time was that it also led to a 15 pound weight gain over the past year.  I'm hoping that upcoming activities will help me shed that back down once again but my clothes...pants specifically...have become noticeably tighter over the past few months.  I'm lucky I have some clothing that isn't affected by that but it still sucks.  Depression does that and it did so big time here.  I've got some work ahead of me to make sure I get that back down so I can wear some of that other stuff again without discomfort.

 -  The reason for the subtitle, "next year", has something to do with a phenomenon that went on for years in the city of Cleveland in relation to pro sports.  In the past 50 years, Cleveland pro sports teams had not won a title.  In that time, the popular proclamation from Cleveland fans after every season without a title was "wait until next year".  Well, there is a reason I said "had not" won a title as opposed to "have not".  Back in mid-June, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in a rematch from last years Finals to win the NBA Title and bring the first championship in over half a century to the city of Cleveland.  LeBron James finally accomplished a major milestone for a region starving for a championship when he returned a couple years ago the the Cavs.  "Next year" had finally become "this year".  To say I was and still am ecstatic about that is an understatement.  I never thought I would live to see the day as, like many Northeast Ohioans, I had become accustomed to not winning, to shortfalls, and to just plain losing in some cases.  The weight of the title drought has finally been lifted and I for one am very relieved at that.

 -  I want to get into some particular events and experiences I had regarding the Cavs and the 2016 NBA Championship.  Given what had happened in years past, I had expected them to go down in flames especially when they were down 3-1 to the Warriors.  They came back with two straight wins to tie up the series and force a Game 7.  For Game 7, I went to a watch party at the amphitheater in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.  They didn't have one in Akron for some odd reason though give LeBron James came from there they should have been more prepared to have one.  The city of Akron needs a better planning department.  Anyway, since it was outside on a rather hot and humid Sunday night, I wore a ton of sunscreen because it would still be daylight when the game began.  Unfortunately, shortly after I got there, I got some of it in my right eye and had to miss pretty much the 2nd and 3rd quarters just trying to rinse it out and recover.  My sinuses were acting up as well as a result and made it worse.  By the time the 4th quarter started, I had recovered enough to watch the game to the end.  It was a nail-biter for sure but with Kyrie Irving hitting that last 3 pointer and that amazing shot block by LeBron James on the other end of the court, there was a ton of hope.  Once the clock reached zero, there was a huge roar of cheering from the 500+ crowd at the amphitheater, myself included.  There was a lot of hugging, many high-fives and a ton of celebrating for about the next half-hour or so.  I'm not sure it has still hit me yet even now that Cleveland won it all.  Again, I never thought that day would come but it had and it was really surreal for me.

After the big win, the city of Cleveland scheduled the championship parade for the following Wednesday.  I wanted to go but wasn't sure I would be able to do so much less make it into the city itself with the expected crowds and extreme traffic conditions the day of the parade.  Fortunately, I found a way up there by taking the Metro bus from the Akron transit center really early in the morning.  I got up there by 7 AM and downtown Cleveland was already starting to get really packed.  It initially reminded me of Ohio State game days down in Columbus whenever there was a home game...mind you, that was at 7 AM in the morning.  It only got more packed from there.  I walked around downtown Cleveland for a while, visiting the rally stage area where the parade was going to end and also walking the route on 9th Street all the way to Quicken Loans Arena and the JACK Casino (formerly called the Horseshoe Casino).  I was fortunate to have a brunch at Subway near the arena and actually get in the place to eat before a huge line formed going out the door.  I talked with a lot of different people while I was downtown including a couple of photographers taking pictures of the event and a guy from Atlanta with his new bride who decided to come to Cleveland and the celebration parade for their honeymoon at the last minute.  There were people from all over the place and there was an estimated 1.3 million...that is MILLION...people downtown and even that seemed like a lowball estimate.  I had never been at any event where there was a million people there and may never again but just to say I was there with that many people in one place is something worth bragging about for the rest of my life.  It was obvious there had to be that many people downtown as it took me well over an hour and a half just to walk down the parade route going toward the stage from the arena whereas it only took me 20 minutes or so earlier in the day.  I did find a decent indoor spot to watch the parade from as it was sunny and hot as hell outside.  I couldn't get a good look at the players themselves because people would put others on their shoulders and block a lot of the parade itself but I was able to get pics of NFL great Jim Brown and Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.  I did take pics of the event through the day and one day I may post those once I find a decent place to post them as Google Plus is making changes that may force me to post those and other previous albums elsewhere.  I decided to take off before the official rally started as I wasn't sure I would be able to get back home before traffic all went to hell in Cleveland after the rally which it did.  This celebration parade was the second really big blowaway "phenomenon" experience in my life (the first being my Hurricane Katrina Red Cross volunteer experience back in late 2005) and one that I will never forget.

 -  One of my favorite online games, Marvel Avengers Alliance, is shutting down at the end of this month (September).  I started playing it on Facebook shortly after it started up over 4 years ago and only left for a short time overall after they shut down a version on the Playdom site I played on additionally that hosted it.  I returned to it and last year even created an additional Facebook account under a pseudonym separate from my main FB account just so I could play even more of it and with different and more players.  I am really saddened by this as it has helped me pass the time and I put a lot of time into the game itself.  I did sorta see the end coming so it isn't affecting me as much as a shock out of nowhere would have but it does sting a little nonetheless.  I could have stuck it out but once they made the announcement I decided to go ahead and remove the game from both accounts and all the sites related to it from my favorites.  I don't know what I'm going to do with that second FB account...I might repurpose it but I'm gonna take my time in deciding what to do with it.  Because the game is ending, I'm now going to have a lot more free time on my hands as it took up an hour or two of my day as it was something that was highly enjoyable to me even during the low times.  RIP Avengers Alliance.

 -  Last night I went up to the Red Fox for the first time in a while (about a month and a half, I believe).  There were some major changes to the place.  There was some turnover in staff there, many I didn't recognize.  They also did a renovation, mainly replacing all the carpeted areas with wood flooring and adding a second pool table.  The bar did a great job with the reno but it was a bit visually jarring as I had not expected to see such a drastic change.  Anyway, I also got word that one of my friends who moved out of the area late last year returned to live here for good once again.  I was very happy about that.  I'm not sure how much in the next few months I'll be able to go out but it was nice to get out of the house for a night and have a good time.

 -  Back in the middle of July there was a couple of events I went to that were pretty personally notable.  For the second year in a row, I volunteered with the Soap Box Derby once again as a VIP host.  It was a good experience once again and barring any major changes in my life next year I would be down for volunteering for it once again.  Also, I went to the Mogadore Summerfest event and watch some Ohio Championship Wrestling (OCW) action and the first one I went to since "Big Guns" Jeff Cannon retired and sold OCW.  It was a really great show with some guys pulling double or even triple duty that night.  I came away from the show feeling like I wanted to see more of it when I get the chance, which it looks more and more likely now based on something I found out about OCW which I'm going to talk about now...in the next blurb.

 -  Ohio Championship Wrestling, which has had shows all over the state of Ohio and had some free shows at the Mogadore Summerfest over the past few years, is now working on a permanent facility and home base, the OCW Arena, in Akron, OH.  It will be used for OCW shows and as a training facility called "SpineBuster University" for aspiring pro wrestlers and referees.  It will be opening sometime in the fall and the address will be 2910 S. Main Street (the former Lakeview Elementary in Coventry just south of Firestone Metro Park...exit from I-277 at S. Main St. and head south...you can always Google Map it if you have trouble finding it).  This is a pretty big deal as far as independent pro wrestling in Ohio goes as OCW is a pretty stable company whose talent works all over Ohio and other places around the U.S.  I've seen several shows first hand and know this to be true.  With OCW soon having a permanent venue to call home, I'm guessing there will be a regular and more frequent schedule of OCW shows once the facility opens up.  You can keep up with the latest updates on the new home for OCW through the Ohio Championship Wrestling and Spinebuster University Facebook pages.  I am really excited at the prospect of seeing more pro wrestling live on a regular basis and I hope my fellow local wrestling fans will be too.

 -  I do have a pretty big announcement to make and it has something to do with the edition pic up top (which I helped in creating).  I haven't said anything about this before for various reasons but I thought I should put this out there now as a heads up to some people I know.  I am volunteering for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to help elect her as the next POTUS.  I am working with the Portage County Democrats as part of the Portage County for Hillary group currently as a data captain but may do more later on as the campaign goes on.  Now, I know some of my friends and family are supporters of HRC and some of them are vehemently not.  I'm announcing this becuase I will be potentially posting some upcoming events on my personal Facebook account from our group for any of my friends and family who might be interested in coming to them...not the DJRT page but my own personal profile.  I'll be posting events such as the official HRC Kent office opening in a couple of weeks and other events likely related to surrogates of the campaign (political and from the world of entertainment).  To be honest, I'm not interested in having any political discussions, opinions or flak on my personal FB account but I did want to give a heads up to everybody out there about what I'm up to these days.  Also, if there is anybody who is interested in volunteering either with me for the campaign regardless of where you're living or volunteering closer to where you live, I'll work to hook you up.  We do need all the help we can get so for those of you who want to help, let me know.

 -  Song on Repeat:  "Gucci Dance" by Sam the Beast.  For about 17 years, I had tried to find not just this song but the name of it but couldn't find either for the life of me.  I finally found a "who sampled who" website where I knew where the sample used in this song came from and finally found it a few weeks ago.  I can't believe it took me this long to find it but I finally did.  It used to be played all the time back in the day at Bourbon Street/Club Dance.  This song along with the Grease megamix takes me back to those days quicker than any others.

 -  Shoutouts:  Because it's been a while and there are so many people I would have to give shoutouts to here, I thought for this edition with a few exceptions I'll just give the group names of the people I'm giving shoutouts to since most if not all of them will be able to identify with one or more of these groups, so here we go:  one of my best friends, Bob and his family, The Crew, Portage County for Hillary, the Portage County Democrats, Anna, Mindy, Maggie and Rita C.

Before I go I do have a couple more things.  Because I don't know when I'll be putting up another edition of DJRT, I want to give a very early Happy Birthday to my friend Ernest Watts who'll be celebrating it later this month.  Also, I want give congratulations to my friend Mindy for getting married this weekend to her new husband Jeff.  With that, I bid you all adieu for now.  Like I said earlier, if anybody wants to help volunteer with the Clinton campaign, let me know and I'll work to hook you up.  Until next time, folks.  Take care and God Bless.

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Random Thoughts #152 - the "returning" edition

Hello and welcome to the first edition of DJ's Random Thoughts that I've done in a really long time.  For those of you who missed it, welcome back.  I wasn't actually planning on taking such a long break from doing this...heck, I had stuff planned for the following month or so...but some things happened after the last edition that I'll get into more later on in the blog.  I wasn't even planning on doing this tonight but for the first time in ages I actually felt like blogging.  Please bear with me as I try to get some of my mojo back here because I do have a lot of stuff to say since I haven't done this in so long.

  -  I'm not even sure how to start this, so let me start with the elephant in the room...why?  Why haven't I blogged?  What happened to me?  Well, let me restate a few things about me that I've talked about before to set the stage for something that happened to me near the end of August of last year.  First, many people already know this but I do suffer from severe depression and anxiety.  Some days are better than others but those conditions affect me big time.  Second, I haven't had good luck with employment and jobs.  That's something I actually try to avoid talking about here or in public or in the social arena but because of what I'm about to talk about it's important to state here.  Third, I have said that I am not much of a people person.  I don't mean that I'm a hater or anything in that regard...it's more along the lines of that I'm a klutz in the area of social interaction to the point where even though I've had a lot of interactions and experience...well, I'm not really all that good at it or as good at it as some people think and I've always had problems with "belonging" for lack of a better term.  I do try and continue to try and improve that aspect but I have had a ton more misses than hits in the area of social interaction.

With that in mind, let me go back to last August.  About a week or so after the last edition of DJRT, I started a temp job with a company I worked for in 2014 that shall remain nameless...not because I'm trying to protect them but, because of what happened with me there, they're no longer gonna get any respect from me and don't deserve to be named here.  That should tell you how bad it ended up.  Anyway, I got hired to help get a store I was supposed to eventually work at opened up for business.  Unlike the year before, this year the staff there was disorganized to the point where I had no idea whether it was actually going to open or not.  They actually fired the guy who did all the hiring (I was actually hired before the managers) and there were conflicts all around.  I was nervous but hopeful that I could get through it.  On the weekend before they were supposed to open, I was sent home early and was told by the store manager that I would be called when I was put on the schedule.  They claimed they were over the hours allowed for employees to help get the store open and had to send me home to save money and that the managers would be the ones to get everything ready for store opening.  I took them at their word and went home.  I waited a couple days before calling them to see if the store was open...no answer, the phone just kept ringing.  Something didn't seem right so I drove up to the store.  I discovered it was open and as I drove by it looked like one of the managers who was at the door as I was driving by looked at me like they were panicking from seeing me and quickly walked away, like one of those power walks but looking back looking all worried and stuff.  That was all I needed to know about my status at that place.  They didn't even have the courtesy to actually tell me they weren't keeping me on.  They never even stated that they had problems with me but there was an uneasiness there that I had originally chalked up to nervousness about getting the store open.  It looks like I was probably wrong on that.  That was probably the most unprofessional experience I've ever had in my life at a job and with my employment history that's saying something.

Honestly, I had no idea what I may have done to have them act like that toward me.  I thought I was doing good work and being respectful to them but after what happened I have no idea where their line of thinking was.  I know a lot of people who would say just let it go but I've always had trouble letting go of that type of stuff especially since it's happened so many times.  In my personal life, I had this type of experience several times previously and I had vowed to myself I would never put myself in such a position ever again to have that happen yet once again it does anyway, only this time at a job.  Because of what they did, the disrespect and humiliation I felt and the unprofessionalism from these people, I fell into a very deep depression with all the junk and issues that come with it, one that I am going through even now.  I actually have had some physical health problems come from this depression which has only happened once before about 20 years ago...nothing life-threatening, thank God, but enough to cause havoc for me these past few months.  It's taken me a lot on many days to just get up out of bed.  To say life has been difficult is an understatement.  That's not to say I haven't had any good days in there because I have had some here and there...Halloween night, walking outside on Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, some nights at the club.  However, I have not had much interest in doing much of anything, not even DJRT.  A lot of people may have noticed a lot of withdrawal from me, some disinterest, some distance...well, this funk is the reason why.  Some have seen this before and for those who have weathered through this with me, thank you.  I'm not sure how or when this funk is going to go away.  Part of me wants to believe that doing this edition of DJRT might help with that but I don't know.  Unless something major happens that shakes me out of this (it would have to be something pretty damn awesome), I just want to put it out there that I'm not sure when it's gonna end.

 -  Even though I've had my problems and have kept to myself with a few exceptions for the most part, a good number of my friends have been going through some really hard times themselves over the past few months and, comparatively speaking, I had it easier than some of them.  One of my friends had a hysterectomy, another has a child going through cancer treatments, yet another needed a pacemaker put in, a couple of my friends are dealing with depression themselves, and unfortunately one of my friends passed away last month (I'll talk about that more later on in the blog).  I honestly didn't feel right complaining and talking about my situation given all the problems my friends were going through.  I thought they needed the prayers and thoughts should go their way.  Mine are still with them even now and some of them will still need those in the foreseeable future and it'd be great if they could continue getting them.  Times can be hard and people can use all the help they can get in those hard times.

 -  My friend Ernest Pariseau passed away early last month.  He had been going through some serious health issues before his passing but he is now in the arms of the Lord.  Like I said on Facebook when he passed, he and his brother Cory always made me feel welcomed and appreciated whenever I was around regardless of whatever was going on around me.  There is one specific memory I have of him that will never leave me.  It was in 1992 during yet another problematic time in my life.  I was returning to Ohio State in September hoping I could start getting over what had happened on Memorial Day a few months before.  I went over to visit Cory who wasn't home at the time.  Ernest had separately come over to see him too.  We got to talking on his porch and he invited me to go with him to Damon's over on Olentangy River Road (it's gone now).  I remember the both of us specifically sharing a big onion loaf which was basically a big-ass square of onion rings.  We both had burgers as well but I remember us talking about that onion loaf.  That visit with him was one of the few lights in what was a very dark time for me and I have never forgotten that.  I wish I had told him that before he passed but I hope I honor him by sharing it now.  The bottom line is that he was a really great guy and I miss him.  Peaceful journey, my friend.

 -  Speaking of passings, I can't believe how many notable people have passed.  In wrestling alone, there's Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes and in the past week Chyna.  On the music front, there's Glenn Frey of the Eagles, David Bowie, Natalie Cole, and now Prince (which I decided to honor in the profile pic up top).  It's been so hard to see so many influential people now gone.  It's been a turbulent time, to say the least.

 -  Song on Repeat:  "Sugar Hill" by AZ.  This is probably the one song that screams "90's" to me more than any other.  I get taken back to some of the great times when I hear this song.

 -  Shoutouts:  In lieu of pointing out anybody specifically, I just want to give a shoutout to those folks who stuck and continue to stick with me through this hard time I've been going through.  It means an awful lot to me.

I'm not sure how often I'm going to be doing DJRT in the near term but I can safely say that the stuff I've talked about doing in the past couple of editions are on hold until things get better which I'm not sure when that's going to be.  I already have things I want to include in the next edition so it looks like the blog itself might get back to normal next time out.  The only thing I have planned right now for the near term is going to the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield to watch the 1st round of the NFL Draft this upcoming Thursday and anybody is welcome to join me up there that day.  I was planning on volunteering for the Soap Box Derby in July again but given the events that happened in August I'm gonna have to take a long and hard look at that before jumping into doing so again.  Other than that, everything is up in the air at this time.  I'm hoping things get better and I regularly feel better sooner than later.  Depression sucks.  Until next time, folks.  Take care and God Bless.

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Random Thoughts #151 - the "perspective" edition

Hello and welcome to this edition of DJ's Random Thoughts.  After ther reveals of the last edition, you'd think I'd have less to write about given the transition I've been working on to turn the blog into a show.  For this particular edition, however, you'd be wrong...really wrong.  I have a ton to get off my chest here and some of it has to do with some unrevealed changes in perspective that came out of that aforementioned last edition, hence the subtitle.  With that in mind, let's do this.  Enjoy.

 -  When I returned to blogging after I moved back up here to Northeast Ohio, I had talked a lot about being at a crossroads in my life.  I was really in a bad place at that time and I didn't have much actively going for me.  Before and since that time, I've written about a lot of things that have affected me and hurt me and changed me and whatnot.  I hope that what I'm about to talk about here will put a lot of those things from the past several years into a more cohesive perspective that might give folks a sense of why or even how some of those things actually came about.  A lot of this is a rehash of things I've written about before but there is some stuff that only a few people knew about because it affected them directly but it's time to let that stuff out because it is connected to other events.  Now, doing this might reopen some old wounds, some of them self-inflicted, and remind some people of tiffs and unsettled disagreements from back in the day and even in the last year or so, but I'm hoping that what I'm about to do here might actually help start healing that stuff and put some closure to those old tiffs and wounds and start moving those of us affected forward...and hopefully together.  With that in mind, I need to go back to one big thing that happened that has underlied a lot of the stuff I've talked about and where that aforementioned crossroads truly started...the death of my friend Roger Byrd.

I've talked about how much Roger Byrd meant to me as one of my best friends and all of that stuff is still true now.  However, there were a couple of things regarding him and his passing that I haven't let too many people in on that shook me to my core.  As for the first thing, at the time of his passing we had not talked much for several years.  We'd see each other at some points and even danced a couple of times...heck, he even paid for some towels I got at Meijer as sort of a joke.  As much as he was my friend and I thought of him fondly, apparently the feelings weren't as mutual as I thought they were, for him and maybe a few others as well.  Way back in 1998, I left Columbus and unsuccessfully tried to return in 2000.  I was really struggling with mental health issues in that time and those were apparently really evident during my attempted return.  In 2005, I was informed rather reluctantly that many people were spooked by me from that and one of those people was Roger.  Honestly, I was really unsettled by that and I started looking at several people much differently.  I already knew things weren't the same...heck, I had changed thanks to getting some help...but I didn't know how much they were affected by me in apparently a negative way.  It hurt...a lot.  It wasn't going to change what he meant to me especially in those early days but I blamed myself a lot for not being the kind of stable person he and others expected and for not being around and letting them in on what was really going on with me.  That "not letting them in" thing was a big motivation for when I started a personal blog again (I had a website years before that went nowhere) so that I would let them in and hopefully I wouldn't be left out.  He had already moved on with his life, with a wife and family and friends and work and, I have to admit, I got kinda jealous of what he had and wanted the kinds of things he had for myself.  However, that jealousy was based on me trying to cope with the fact that our friendship had changed to a point where it wasn't as close as it once was.

Even though the friendship wasn't the same, his passing in 2008 itself was the second thing that shook me to the core.  It led me to question my own mortality and my existence seeing as I was only a couple months older than he was.  There may have been some folks that thought I was coming off as desperate to show how "genuine" I was but I went through a ton of turmoil and I did my damndest to keep people at a distance so that they wouldn't be affected by that turmoil.  That was likely why some of them may have thought that.  I should note that despite that turmoil I was hoping to spare others of, many of those same people claimed I was "family" but after the funeral barely kept in touch with me, not even for a quick check-in.  The bottom line was his death completely upended my life at that time.  I stopped going to the church I was helping out at because I was questioning my own faith in light of the death.  There was a temp agency I was working at where my prospects for jobs through them seemed to just dry up right around the time of his passing.  I was getting really argumentative with some other friends and distancing myself from others.  Does anybody remember the events surrounding the "single" edition in 2009?  Well, that actually has a big connection to Roger.  The night before I wrote that edition up, I had a great conversation with one of my best friends about some of the stuff I talked about in that edition.  Though this didn't come up in the conversation at the time, I had a very similar talk with Roger and one other person back in 2004...actually, it came off more like a lecture from them on their end...that at the time I had trouble making sense of in 2004 but my friend helped me to understand it and put in into perspective through the stuff he was going through.  I was so pumped when I wrote that next edition up but because of the examples I used and me not making it clear what led to why I wrote it up in the first place, some folks read a lot into it and there was a four year estrangement where in order to end it I had to reveal to connection to Roger.  Believe me, it was emotionally charged for me to do that but friendships with many people got back on track from the revelation.  There are other things that happened that resulted in the years since that were a direct or indirect result of Roger's passing including the anger I had much of last year and for a long time just kept me underwater, for lack of a better term.

You're all probably wondering...why open old wounds or even talk about this stuff?  What's the use?  Well, there has been a recent sea change on my end...a big one.  Several times in DJRT I've talked about being aimless and not having goals or dreams set.  Roger's passing changed all that.  I didn't just question my existence...I wondered if my existence had any meaning for others and for myself.  I had to do some serious soul searching in order to "find my way" so to speak.  As most of you can probably tell by now, I have found that way.  The last edition of DJRT where I revealed my intentions to start up a show was the culmination of that soul searching that started around Roger's death.  Despite whatever has happened between the two of us I have actually been mourning his death since then and, though I will terribly miss him, the time for grieving is over.  Seven years is long enough and it is time to move forward.  I can honestly say now that because of and as of that last edition of DJRT, that crossroads is now over.  The passing no longer has the emotional resonance it once had.  Now, I bet you're all wondering...why bring this up at all?  Well, one of the big things I'm going to do with the show is that once it really gets going I'm taking it on the road and I will be visiting and revisiting places such as Columbus and other points around central Ohio.  It is very likely I will be meeting up with some of those very same people who have been spooked by me over the years and might still be looking over their shoulder for me in some regard.  That "looking over the shoulder" stuff needs to stop.  I'm no threat.  If those people have wounds, they need to heal them.  If they have grievances, they need to be redressed amongst themselves privately because those issues are likely more about their hangups than anything affecting me.  If people have worries that whatever happened way back when might happen now, those worries need to end.  I also don't want any more intermediaries getting involved and trying to soften the blows of opinions either from me or them or "solve the problem" so to speak.  Despite any good intentions, they just aren't necessary anymore.  The past may be prologue, but the past is the past and it needs to stay there and not be used as an excuse or a hammer to beat anybody over the head with.  However those people get over their drama or issues regarding me or how they do it, that's on them.  I don't need to be necessarily involved in the healing...they just need to go do it so we can all move forward together.  If Roger's death has taught me anything, it's that tomorrow is not promised to us so the sooner the drama ends the better.  I'm hoping that I can get as many people alongside of me as I can on this ride that will be the show DJ's Random Thoughts and it'd be a shame if some of the people who've been around me before decide to stay stuck in the muck, so to speak.

 -  Before I move on, I want to reveal a couple of things that helped me get to the point where I could get past all the grief that haunted me since Roger's death.  Remember that woman I talked about previously who I've been crazy about the past few years and who helped inspire me?   I met her in 2009 at a time when I had trouble seeing people and things clearly but I met her and things changed.  Just by being who she was and is and doing what she does, I was inspired to do things for myself for my sake and dream again.  I don't think I would have a lot of the good things that have happened since I met her.  Maybe someday I'll be able to tell her in person how much she has meant to me and if that day ever comes I hope she doesn't get freaked out or creeped out by what I tell her...it is a tad intense.  Meeting her was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me and helped me a lot here.  The second thing that happened occurred back in February of this year.  It was the wrestling show Jayfest and it was the final one.  Years ago, one of the brothers of the promoter of the show passed away and the promoter decided to put this show on in his memory.  At the end of the show back in February, the promoter talked about the passing and him finally letting things go and ending Jayfest.  It was something that really affected me and if not for going to that show and hearing that, I probably wouldn't have been inspired or maybe even able to let go myself.  Aside from what I've already acknowledged about who and what has helped me before, these two events...meeting that woman and going to Jayfest...may have done more for me in regard to letting go than anything else and I didn't want to forget that when talking about this stuff.

 -  Regarding the DJRT show, I have had some interesting feedback on what I'm planning.  Most of it was positive and there was some criticism but I appreciated it all nonetheless.  I have to admit...I wasn't camera-ready but I will be working more on becoming that so by the time the show hits I'll be more ready for the spotlight.  Since the last edition of DJRT I have been getting more inspiration and more signs of good things coming and it has been amazing.  I've still got a long way to go but I am so excited about the prospects.  BTW, don't forget that you can donate and participate beforehand to DJRT.  The more that stuff happens, the quicker the show gets here so do both often. ;)

 -  The pic for this edition up top is the DJ Logo against a backdrop of Summit County.  Let me know how that looks because I'm considering it for putting on shirts and other merchandise in the DJRT Store.  Speaking of the store, I do have new shirts up with some of the past few edition pic designs.  Go check them out and buy one if you want to help me out here, even if it is just as a nightshirt or something.  Every little bit helps.

 -  Last Saturday, I volunteered as a VIP host at the Soap Box Derby.  It was my first time volunteering since I left Columbus so it was a nice change of pace.  It was really hot out but I was in the shade for a good part of my shift.  I helped out where I could and it made for a good experience.  I'm hoping to do more volunteering in the future.  Maybe in the future I'll share my volunteering experiences on the show so you get to all see them first-hand.

 -  I found a very great site for anybody who is looking to volunteer for different organizations and events.  It's called VolunteerMatch and it lists a bunch of opportunities with many different things such as local events, animal shelters, wildlife, hospitals and healthcare, etc.  This is the site where I found out about opportunities at the Soap Box Derby and will likely be the place where I find more volunteering opportunities in the future.  I can vouch that it is an excellent resource for such opportunities.  Go check it out at volunteermatch.com.

 -  A couple of weeks ago I got to check out this year's Mogadore Summerfest.  I missed some of the fireworks because I thought they would be cancelled due to an upcoming storm but I got back just in time to watch half of them.  It was my first fireworks show of the year because I decided to bail on the July 4th fireworks in Akron because I just wasn't feeling up to watching those.  Anyway, I was also able to take in the yearly professional wrestling show put on by Ohio Championship Wrestling.  It was as good as past ones and I got to speak to the wrestlers after the show as well.  I was also able to get some inspiration for a segment that I'm planning to do for the show that I'm hoping one of those particular wrestlers will be available for...this segment, I promise you, will be interesting once I get going.  Anyway, I had a great time and an even better time afterward at the Red Fox.  It was a good night all around.

 -  Staying on wrestling for a moment, I want to talk about a new promotion that is getting ready to start up in Columbus.  It is called New Ohio Wrestling (NOW) and it will be having it's first show this Saturday, August 1st, with a 7 PM bell time at the Resolute Athletic Complex at Easton.  I'm not going to be able to go there myself but I wanted to give my friends and fellow fans in Columbus a chance to see some of the talent I've had the pleasure of watching perform up here in NE Ohio in a place closer to them.  It will be the first promotion to try to run Columbus regularly since before I went back there in 2004 so go check out the show and help support the return of indy wrestling to C-town proper.  I believe the building the show is taking place at used to be the Sports Barn and to get there, get onto Morse Road around Easton and turn south onto Morse Crossing...take a right on Chiller Lane, at the corner where McDonald's is at, and it will be right past the plaza that's on the left.  It it being sponsored by Adobe Gilas at Easton and there will be a pre-show party there from 3-6 there.  Here's a poster with more information about the show...remember, it's this Saturday:

 -  As of early this month, the Red Fox has new owners.  I guess the old owner decided to sell and I don't think that is a bad thing at all in this case.  He apparently burned a lot of bridges especially in the past year or so and conflicted with several people.  It was noticeable that so many of the people who used to go there when I started going myself are now returning with the former owner gone now.  It was a shock but as long as my friends still go up there and have fun I will too.  I'm hoping it might lead to some better things down the line, maybe including some plans I've had that have been on hold but we'll see.

 -  Going back to something wrestling-related for a moment, I want to talk about Hulk Hogan.  In the last week or so, he was released from his WWE contract over racially-tinged remarks (I'm being diplomatic here) he made about 8 years ago that appeared on a sex tape he was on and is suing the web site Gawker over.  There are a couple of things that come to my mind that are indirectly related to Hogan here.  The first is the revelation of the remarks publicly.  The sex tape has been known about for a few years now and yet the remarks are only now being exposed.  There are many people right now wondering about the timing of the release of his remarks, yours truly included.  Speaking of Gawker, recently there was a scandal over the outing of an exec at a rival company who was not that much of a public figure where the ownership pulled the article from the site...and rightfully so IMHO...and the two top editors quit over the pulling of said article.  As I mentioned earlier, Gawker is also embroiled in a 100 million dollar lawsuit with Hulk Hogan over that videotape.  The conspiracy theorist in me tells me that the pulling of that article and the release of the racial remarks are connected in that somebody, maybe an insider or one or both of those editors, released the remarks to gossip sites in retaliation for the owners pulling that article.  If anybody from Gawker released those remarks to the media, they could easily be found with a default judgement against them in their case with Hulk Hogan including huge penalties on top of a potential 100 million dollar default judgement against them.  Given some of the comments from the Gawker site folks who felt slighted over the editorial judgement of the ownership, I wouldn't put it past any of those particular staffers if they were trying to screw over the owners and put them out of business as revenge...potential nine-figure penalties are no joke.

The second thing that comes to mind for me regards the circumstances behind why the remarks might have been made.  When that tape was made, he still had his reality show with his family going on and it was near the end of his marriage to his ex-wife Linda.  His daughter Brooke was also starting to work on leaving the nest as evidenced by some of the remarks made on the tape.  I'm not making excuses here for Hogan as to why he made those remarks, which are offensive as all hell BTW, but I wanted to show what was going on in the timeframe where that video took place.  Now, for me, this situation posed a particular question for me that I'm fairly certain many of us have asked at one time or another.   That question is this:  would I be proud of my actions during my lowest points or when things are going bad?  I can say for certain that there are many times where I held my head up high in facing down the bad times...not all the time, mind you, but there aren't many instances where I have been that far into the dark side of reactions if there were any.  This is definitely something I cannot say for Hulk Hogan at this point.  He used some very hateful language with the racial stuff but the way he was going off about his daughter was extremely spiteful in itself.  That goes to intention and he intended to be selfishly spiteful and degrading to his daughter with those remarks and that wasn't right, then or now.  The way he is still trying to reach out in the media is troubling in itself as if he wasn't sorry about making those remarks until they were released by the gossip media sites.  This is a time he needs to be contrite and with the way he's been handling the media as of late that doesn't seem to be the case.  If he doesn't stop being an idiot, he may be in for some serious trouble for a long time to come.

 -  Song on Repeat:  "The Man" by Aloe Blacc.  I have a confession to make...there have been only two times in my life where I truly felt like I was "the man".  The first was at my first dance in the 8th grade where I showed off some of my moves for the first time.  The second was when I put out the last edition of DJRT.  Regardless of my demeanor or circumstances in the past, these were the only two instances where I really felt that.  Outside of those, I felt like much less than that...less than human in some instances.  I don't want that anymore.  It may be my own ego talking here but I desperately want to be the man in every aspect of my life and I am hoping the upcoming show gives me a real shot at becoming that.  This song, usually found in sporting commercials, embodies where I want to be as a man in general and it will probably be one of my theme songs in the future.  It's a lot to aspire to and I still have a long way to go but that's where I'm aiming.  On a side note, the artist behind the song, Aloe Blacc, performed "America the Beautiful" at this year's Wrestlemania.

 -  Shoutouts:  Sarah & Dave, Sean D., Cory, Chad M., Mary S., Ernest W., Holly, Anna, Ron U., Ron & Teresa, Alan, Melissa, Stan, Jen D., Stephanie, Jay, Desirae, Margie, Fran, Griff, Scotty, Walt, OCW, Jimmy Shane, Justin Diaz, Stephen, Diane, Tony C., April K., Aunt Sue and Todd.

There is one more thing I want to say before I take off here.  A former classmate of mine, Josh LeBorgne, suffered some pretty serious injuries a couple weeks ago and he needs all the prayers he can get in his recovery.  He's already got mine but the more the better.  With that, I bid you all adieu.  I've got to get back to work on ideas and stuff for the show.  Until next time, folks.  Take care and God Bless.

Read this edition >>

Random Thoughts #150 - the "civic" edition

Hello and welcome to this very special edition of DJ's Random Thoughts.  I have been waiting a very long time for this particular edition to come out, not just because it's the 150th one but because this is the moment where things are going to start to change.  It's not going to show right away but once I say what I'm going to say which I've been cryptic about and kept very close to the vest for a long time now except for a few I've let in, everybody is going to know what I've been up to and, more importantly, where things will be going for yours truly and maybe others as well.  Instead of just having it in written form like I've been doing for all these years, I'm just going to tell you...in my own words:

 -  The news is out.  My dream has finally been revealed.  DJ's Random Thoughts is eventually going to become a show.  The video above is just a small sample of what I'm aiming for but it will definitely have much more than that.  I'm aiming for this to be an online show but I am formatting it for potential TV viewing as well if that ever happens...for all we know, television might go the way of the dodo but I'll format for it anyway.  It will come out on a regular basis once I get enough segments filmed to make several shows ahead of time...with some segments added in as I go if there is a timely issue or event happening.  I'm planning on episodes happening weekly or bi-weekly but definitely more of a regular basis than this blog has been for a while.  Now, I could have been okay with just keeping this as just a blog or even making a hybrid.  It would have been safer and in some cases it would have been easier.  However, there are things that I've wanted to do in DJRT that I couldn't put down in just written form or at least not in a way that my writing could effectively express.  I wanted people to actually see some of my journey and share a bit of my world, to see the things I experienced, to see scenarios and even some skits I've had in my head, to do interviews with people that captured my attention either currently or at some other point in my life, and potentially even show off not just some of the things I do and I see but that of some of my friends and family...for example, one of my friends showing off something they do or talking with me about their lives and experiences.  I've also found that people tend to prefer to watch stuff rather than read it.  Even with all that, I'm keeping the name "DJ's Random Thoughts" for the show because, one, it will be a continuation of what I've been doing with the blog all these years and, two, I've invested a lot of time and attention with the name and did not want it to go to waste.

Now some of you are probably asking, why turn it into a show?  There are a lot of reasons on top of what I've already laid out earlier.  This is actually a combination of many of the dreams I've had throughout my life.  A few years ago I was inspired to take pieces and parts of all those dreams and put them together to create one new dream in which this is the result.  Something I haven't much talked about before is that I've worked in both radio while at OSU and online streaming TV through Crossroads World Christian Center.  Even though I was shaky at doing both at those times, I found myself immensely enjoying those experiences and learned a lot from them.  Being in media was something I could actually envision myself doing.  There is one other big motivation for me in pursuing this.  As many of you know, for most of my life I haven't had much in the way of life goals or a life focus.  I've had my general ones, like dating, maybe marriage and children, hoping for a good job, etc., but nothing really set in stone.  That has frustrated many people along the way, including teachers and especially people in my family.  I had done tons of soul-searching over the years but I just couldn't get anything going on many fronts or find or be anything that was worth being or doing.  A lot of it had to do with stuff that I've gone through in my life, much of it I've already talked about in DJRT.  During probably one of the roughest periods of my life...come to think about it, when haven't I had one...anyway, a few years ago so many things and events happened during this one period that instead of me just going through those events and surviving them...I actually got inspired...a particular person here, an event there, but I got really inspired.  Ultimately, I discovered what I really wanted in my life and from it.  I wanted to do something with my life that was worth doing, that was worth it for me to do, that I could do regardless of whether I was rich or poor (I've been more of the latter), that would let me feel good about myself in the process, and that could make me happy overall.  A lot of events throughout my life have been out of my direct control or I would have some control but was always reacting to someone or something else, so starting around then I really started wanting a life where I could control my destiny or as much of it as I possibly could.  I got sick and tired of having a life where things could be easily taken from me at a whim.  I've had too much of that.  This dream of mine is a huge motivation to pursue that life.  I've been waiting years just to get to the point where I could go after this and working on and producing that video and seeing it become a reality makes me want it even more.  I didn't want to reveal this to everybody until now because there's a lot at stake for me personally and I've put a lot into not just the decision to go this route but the work I've already put into it.  I've done such reveals before but without anything to back up my intentions, but here all of you get to see where I'm going.  I've had a ton of doubters throughout my life and I'm probably going to have some here, but this is different...this is for me, from me, by me, about me, whatever me...the doubters and haters can suck it.  I am so excited about this and I can't wait to get this really going.

 -  As I mentioned in the video, as much as I've worked on to make this happen, I am definitely gonna need help and am officially asking for it.  I've actually asked for very little before...mainly prayers or even to be left alone...but I think this is definitely the time to ask for it.  At this point, while I'm still doing some ground work on the show, all of you can help by subscribing to the DJRT Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter pages...links are on the right and the web addresses are also listed in the video...as well as donating to DJRT via Paypal with the link posted beneath the Twitter feed on the right, listed under "Help Out DJRT", to help me get some of things I'm going to need to make this happen.   Those who have donated in the past are listed in the credits under Special Thanks in the video because they've already helped to make this happen and now all of you can too.  You can also check out and buy stuff from the DJRT Store found in the link above.  Speaking of the store, I've mentioned this before but I am also seeking feedback on the last couple edition pics in the upper left hand corner of each edition as well as this one (it's a parody, folks...don't worry, I don't have that kind of ego...yet...heh heh heh).  You can go back and check those editions out to see them but I can also show them on the social media pages individually if that's how you want to see them...that means you'd have to subscribe to those pages to do so, so that means it doesn't just benefit me for you all to subscribe but it does for you all as well.  For the most part, I will be working on the graphics and the editing of the shows myself...I hope you all like the ones I did for this edition's video...but once the show gets going I will be needing volunteers to help me out.  I'll be looking for those who want to work behind the scenes, mainly camera work but other potential things as well, and those who want to be on camera, maybe hosting or acting or background or whatever I might be looking for in some particular segment.  There is lot of potential here with the upcoming show and I hope it comes sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, like I mentioned in the video the blog is going to continue on until the show is ready to go.  Again, just to make it clear...I will be replacing the blog with the show and I am extremely excited about it.

 -  Not only is this the 150th edition of DJ's Random Thoughts but this week is the 6th anniversary of the namesake of the blog.  I would recommend going back and reading some past editions...who knows, you might have been mentioned in them.

 -  Before I go on, there was something I was going to talk about in the last edition that I said I was going to talk about but then I had a brain fart and completely forgot to.  ESPN has apparently demoted Mark May from it's main college football coverage show.  For those of you who don't know who Mark May is, he was an analyst who has been notorious for hating on, putting down and criticizing Ohio State football at any available opportunity.  He was very biased in his presentation to the point where even former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz called him out on it to his face on one of ESPN's other college shows.  He really had an ax to grind and it got under many an OSU fan's skins, yours truly included.  He was really going hard against them during this past college championship and bowl season coverage.  It was really bad and I'm thinking that this bias must have become more obvious to ESPN bosses and maybe an embarassment to them as well because I have not seen or heard him on any of their programming since a couple days before the national championship game which, of course, Ohio State won.  Let's face it...Mark May needed to take his head out of his ass and also take his foot out of his mouth...that's right, he was just a messed-up pretzel of player-hatin'...seriously, don't actually try to visualize that, it's a gruesome image...and maybe this will be a wake-up call for him to change.  I'm not counting on it but one can hope.

 -  Now back to the reason for this edition's subtitle.  One of the things I've been wanting to do for a long time, especially in relation to the potential show but generally for me personally, is re-engage myself in volunteering and civic involvement.  I haven't really done this in a long time mostly due to circumstances but I've had the itch to do so and there may be some opportunities opening up on that front in the near future.  One thing I am definitely doing is volunteering at the Soap Box Derby later next month.  I've been considering other opportunities as well...maybe the Red Cross for disaster relief if I can get a few more things and even political involvement again.  I've been averse to it for a while now but I'm getting the itch once again and I've been keeping my ear to the ground on that front more than I have in the last decade or so.  I don't know what I would be doing within the political sphere especially since past participation had worn on me before but I am definitely not the same person I was when I did it then.  I have a better idea what and who I stand with (I always knew what I stood FOR, but who to stand WITH was vexing) now so I'm thinking I might be able to do things differently this time around.  I haven't made a final call on that yet but I'm getting there.  I'm not sure what I will be doing overall but I will say if anybody wants to volunteer with me or stand with me on whatever, please let me know.

 -  Peaceful Journey:  The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, passed away last week at the age of 69.  Honestly, I thought he was older than my parent but I was wrong.  Anyway, he was probably one of the best ever talkers in the pro wrestling world and was really good at engaging an audience with his trademark style.  His rivalries with Harley Race, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen are legendary in the wrestling world.  I'm not sure there will ever be another like him.  I was able to see him live at the first live professional show I went to back in 1987 for the NWA at the JAR arena at the University of Akron main campus.  He wrestled Lex Luger who was in the Four Horseman at the time as well as the United States champion.  He didn't win the title there but he did win it at the Starrcade event a few weeks later.  You never forget your first wrestling show and it was a blessing to be able to see him live and in living color, as he might say it.  Rest in peace and peaceful journey, American Dream.

 -  You all will probably hear about this more in the next month of so but on August 7th through the 9th, the state of Ohio is having a sales tax holiday on certain purchases throughout that entire weekend.  You can buy any eligible clothing item that is $75 or under without having to pay any sales tax  and for eligible school supplies and instructional materials that are $20 or under.  It is done per item and not per purchase so let's say you want to buy some clothing and one item is $74.99 and another is, say, $25.00.  You would only pay $99.99 because it is on individual items $75 and under, not for the total purchase.  All stores in the state of Ohio have to participate in this because it was signed into law that they have to...no exceptions.  I'm not sure of everything that is eligible but you can go to the state of Ohio website to find out or you can just wait for the news to report what you can buy.  It is definitely an opportunity for many of you who might be in need of clothing or supplies for school to wait until that weekend to save a little money.  You'll probably be hearing more about it in the coming weeks but I thought I'd give you all a heads up on that.

 -  As if one time weren't enough...another mayor in Akron has resigned.  Following Don Plusquellic's much-needed exit from the position, his replacement Garry Moneypenny resigned within a week of having the job due to sexual harassment while he was being congratulated by a female city employee.  Within one month's time, there were three different mayors in the city of Akron.  Jeff Fusco is the current mayor but he will not be in the uncoming mayoral election in November.  That means that unless something else major happens, there will have been four different mayors who have either served or been chosen to serve in the calendar year 2015.  I found a shirt on a website for a local clothing store that sums up what I thought about all that:

 -  Last week the Cleveland Cavaliers had their season end at the hands of the Golden State Warriors with a loss to them in the NBA Finals.  It was a hell of a run for the Cavs who had a lot of momentum going into the series but an injury to PG Kyrie Irving and a ton of blown and suspicious calls from the refs killed any chance of Cleveland winning it's first national championship in over 50 years.  The blown calls were so bad and so obvious that I'm thinking there was a conspiracy of some sort to keep Cleveland from winning.  That's the conspiracy theorist in me talking but I have to wonder why things went down the way they did.  Oh well...the "wait til next year" thing continues.

 -  A couple days ago, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor joined the Cleveland Browns as a possible wide receiver.  He's had trouble at the quarterback spot with past NFL teams he was on so he saw the writing on the wall and decided to change positions.  I believe based on his size that he could end up playing tight end or even the H-back where teams might have to worry that he might throw the ball on a trick play.  He would at least be an emergency quarterback, but obviously he would have to make the team first.

 -  I want to congratulate my friends Alan and Melissa on finally getting married a couple of hours ago.  It's been a long time coming and that time is now here.  I'm really looking forward to the reception this weekend.

 -  Song on Repeat:  "Queen of Hearts" by Juice Newton.  This was a song I heard an awful lot of in the 80's.  I remember specifically hearing it a lot when I would go camping up at Mill Creek Campground on Berlin Reservoir.  Any time I even get close to that direction, I would hear that song in my head.  I would remember that as a kid and also getting Pac-Man stickers at a local store...I thought that was one of the coolest things.

 -  Shoutouts:  Bob, Lynn, Dave & Sarah, Mary S., Cory, Ron M., Patrick, Ron U., Brandon, Jay, Stan, Alan, Melissa, Stephanie, and Ernest W.

Well, that's it for this very special edition of DJ's Random Thoughts.  I've waited such a long time to be able to tell everybody what I've been up to all these years and it feels good to finally get that out there.  For those of you who have been along for the ride for any of the past 150 editions, thank you so much.  There's a lot more coming down the pike to look forward to and I hope you all will continue to ride along with me down the road.  Until next time, folks.  Take care and God Bless.

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