Italian American Gentleman.

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ALLIANCE, OHIO, United States
Born Detroit at East Side General Hospital, raised in Ohio & Detroit, Progressive Democrat, Politically Active, an Engaged Citizen of the USA. Italiano Americano have lived and worked in Oregon, Indiana, Chicago, Boston, Vermont, Maryland,New York and a few places in between at times; "for Here we have no lasting city, we seek the one that is to come." (Hebrews 13:14)

Welcome visitors. Stay a while please.

To my friends and family. Here is my web page. I hope you enjoy your visit. Scrivatami! Write to me!

Vermont Farm

Vermont Farm
I lived in Vermont & it is gorgeous

View from my Home in Vermont

View from my Home in Vermont
Bennington Battle Field Monument

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Ancient Recycling Center and the first Earth Day

When I was in college in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the first Earth Day was celebrated.  I was at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, an Appalachian setting in Southeastern Ohio.  An activist on campus wanted to start a recycling operation in the dormitory complexes on campus.

The dorms at Ohio U. were organized into groups called "greens" because dormitories were clustered around grassy courtyards.  There was a West Green, An East Green, A South Green etc. Activists and organizers were pulled together and an operation of 100 gallon metal barrels was implemented in the basement garage areas of the dormitories on all the greens.  Several metal barrels were deployed to collect glass and newsprint,mostly, as the plastic water bottle had not been quite born yet.

Volunteers like myself were scheduled and assigned to sort and process the recyclables.  I most vividly remember processing the glass jars and bottles.  In order to reduce the bulk and volume of glass jars and bottles, the glass had to be broken.  To do this, we donned safety goggles and gloves, and took a brick and repeatedly dropped it into the barrels holding the glass until all the bottles were broken down. Very dangerous, but, quite necessary.

Once full, our oil barrels were transported by pickup truck to an empty unused airport hangar at an old airport outside of town. Sometimes, I was scheduled to work in the airport hangar warehousing facility as well.  From there, purchasers of our materials could easily drive up and load what they were interested in onto larger trucks for transport.

Within a year of operation, this ancient, simple, primitive recycling system was generating revenue for the town of Athens, Ohio and the entire operation grew to such a point, that the town took the operation over from our motley crew of college kids who started it off and proved it was possible.

 Its amazing to see how recycling is done today from those primitive beginnings we had around the time of the first Earth day.  CLICK HERE TO WATCH A SHORT VIDEO OF SINGLE STREAM RECYLCING TODAY

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

SEEKING THE CITY YET TO COME

"WE HAVE HERE NO LASTING CITY"..... Bishop Sheen quoting Hebrews 13:14

"For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come." Hebrews 13:14

A Lasting City? A place of permanence? A place well known, familiar and comfortable? 
For me, this just wasn't meant to be.  It must not be God's will for me because by the time I was 17 years old I had already been moved 5 - 8 times depending on what you define as moving or staying somewhere temporarily. 

I was born in Detroit Michigan when my father, a World War II veteran was going to the University of Detroit on the GI Bill.  After Dad completed his degree and got his first mechanical engineering job, we moved around Detroit a couple of times between Mom and Dad's first apartment, my maternal grandparents home, and other apartments in Detroit. 

My Dad got a better job in Cleveland so we began a relocation when I was a couple of years old where Dad sent me and Mom to Cleveland first while he finished things up in Detroit.  Me and Mom lived in Cleveland a while with Dad's parents until Dad could join us and find us a home in Cleveland. I don't have a memory of these first early moves, so, I count on Mom and Dad to relate them to me.

The pace of moving around only accelerated the older I got.

I sat down the other day and listed out all the physical addresses that I had lived at in my life and at some point in time had called "home".  From the time I was born, to age 62 I counted 26 distinct, separate, mailing addresses.

This scripture above from the New Testament has resonated more and more with me and been a source of comfort as I have continued to move way too many times late in my life.  The scripture reminds me that I am on a journey, I am a pilgrim, I have no permanent place.  All is temporary.

A girl I had a crush on in high school said to me one day: "Andrew, you will go far". I thought to myself: "but, but, but, I don't want to go far, I want to stay here with you". Some of my grade school classmates are still in Willowick or Eastlake or Euclid where I went to elementary school and middle school.  I envy them that they still live in the same neighborhood where, as kids, we learned every nook and cranny of our block and knew every crack in the concrete sidewalks we played on.

When I say "been moved", I mean moved somewhere whether I want to go or not.  So many times it seems I have so little say in the matter of whether to stay or move.  The last six years alone, I have moved three times: from Vermont to Maryland, from Maryland to New York and from New York to Ohio.

Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun from Erie, Pennsylvania writes about "Our need for roots".  I just shake my head in disbelief when I see or hear that trite proverb: "bloom wherever you are planted".  Bloom? Hell, I don't even get to put down a root or make a leaf or a bud that can become a flower as I am ripped up and transplanted again and again.

This scripture comforts me.  It reminds me I am a pilgrim on a journey.  I am just passing through this valley of tears.  My ultimate destination is yet to come and all the stops along the way do not necessarily constitute any personal failure on my part.

"WE HAVE HERE NO LASTING CITY" 

BLESSED BISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN on PILGRIMAGE 

Bishop Sheen, perhaps one of the first televangelists, had a TV show in the 1950's, that time long ago when there were only 3 TV Stations broadcasting.

In one of his episodes entitled "The Ages of Man" Bishop Sheen made reference to this scripture and unpacked this scripture for us.  When I say "unpacked", this is a process called EXEGESIS.

Exegesis is critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible. I like to think of this like an onion where we can peel back layers upon layer off of an onion getting to its center or core. 

On his show, Bishop Sheen said this:  [ keep in mind this was from late 1950's early 1960's]

"Life seems to be a kind of pilgrimage. <Selah> A pilgrimage.  We have here no lasting city. 
Ever notice how much that is in boys?  Boys do not want to stay in their own homes; they want to build a tent, go up in the trees.  And, after all, I wonder if we Americans are not the most mobile population on the face of the earth.  One out of every four Americans moves every year; he's on pilgrimage. <Selah> He just has no lasting city. Dreams are an indication of a kind of pilgrimage because we move in dreams. We seem to have goals and destinies. "

All of the Great Literature, is the literature of pilgrimage.

Bishop Sheen continues: 

"And, all of the Great Literature, is the literature of pilgrimage. <Selah> One Thousand Years before Christ, Homer wrote the Odyssey. And then there was Chaucer, his Pilgrim Tales. He said every man has it in his heart to be a pilgrim.  

There was a work in the Middle Ages, which was "The Story of Everyman", going through life, going somewhere, he's not fixed [in place] here. Perhaps one of the most famous of all was Dante, under the leadership of Virgil;  Dante was on pilgrimage through Purgatory and Inferno.

And then, John Bunyon,  was seven years in prison when he wrote that very remarkable work, Pilgrims Progress.  Pilgrims! Our great feast in the United States is a pilgrims' feast.  



 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY

There never was a better example of Adding Insult to Injury than the Canton Ohio Walmart.  Not only do they screw their workers over every which way they can by reducing their hours, not giving them breaks, making them work off the clock, and every other workplace abuse they can get away with, Now, they add insult to injury by actually having the gall to solicit food donations for their staff associates.  It hit the front page of the Plain Dealer newspaper yesterday and has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook. 


Its difficult to believe that its been nearly a year since I participated in a Walmart Black Friday protest in Albany, New York.  Last Thanksgiving, I was living in Schenectady New York.  I have a friend there who is a retired union worker and very interested in labor organizing and right to work laws that states are passing.  He doesn't drive, so I picked him up and we headed out to the two available Walmart stores available to us in Schenectady. One is a standard Walmart, the other a Super center.

He felt sure we could connect with other activists.  The first Walmart we went to there was no activity at all.  So we left to try the superstore on the other side of town.  En Route, we saw two activists carrying a flag and banner so we stopped to try to connect with them.  They told us that nothing was happening in Schenectady, that we needed to head to Albany where the primary protest was focused. 

My friend was not convinced.  He insisted that we go to the Walmart Superstore which is huge and has a huge parking lot on the other side of Schenectady.  When we arrived there, he was speechless.  There was nothing but a stampede of rabid zombie Christmas shoppers.  He was speechless in his disappointment and could only grunt "harumph" and negatively shake his head side to side. 

We had no choice but to head to Glenmont New York Supercenter where the primary protest was located.  The weather was good, so, we were hopeful.  When we arrived on Route 9West the protest was in full bloom and it was very visible and effective. 

There seems to be more awareness this year about the blight upon the American dream known as Walmart, Mallwart, or Wallyworld.  Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton's labor secretary has even been blogging about Walmart, most recently noting that they have had 3 consecutive down quarters.

Today, I live in Alliance Ohio and the Walmart on Atlantic Blvd in nearby Canton, Ohio has gone viral because they have been soliciting food donations for their workers.

 There still is not sufficient outrage in our communities though.  As of today, there are only 3 Walmart protests scheduled in Ohio.  One in Cincinnati, one in Columbus and one in Youngstown.  None are scheduled in Cleveland, Toledo or Dayton or many other places where there are stores.

Seems to me there ought to be a protest at EVERY store and Sam's Club nationwide.

from ALLIANCE OHIO, Andrew John DiLiddo Jr. aka "AJ"  (pronounced "dee-LEED-dough)  sorta rhymes with "Toledo" 



Friday, November 15, 2013

A Technology Retrospective - A Lifetime of Progress?

THE ANCIENT, STONE AGE, GOOGLE WAYBACK MACHINE AND CELL PHONES

by Andrew J. Di Liddo, Jr.
November 15, 2013 
 
This morning, my alarm clock went off. It's not exactly an alarm clock.  It's a smart phone set up to behave like an alarm clock.  I hit the snooze button on the screen, and groggily did my first Google search of the day.

Taking this smart phone totally for granted, I realize how just a few years ago (actually, a life time ago) I wondered what the heck a cell phone was as I used the “STONE AGE GOOGLE” Wayback Machine - way back in 1975. 

What, pray tell, is the STONE AGE GOOGLE Wayback Machine, you ask?

The old cartoon show Rocky and Bullwinkle had a Wayback machine that the character Peabody used to solve problems, make inquiries and time travel.

Way back, I was in graduate school at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio studying cell biology. 

Back then, we had a precursor to Google at Ohio State in our library there.


Below, Peabody, a cartoon character from "Rocky and Bullwinkle" and his Wayback Machine.
 
 



You see, as a graduate student doing research for my thesis, I was expected to be aware of, keep up on, and read all published worldwide research in the narrow area of cell biology I was studying. 

In order to do this, I went to the reference department at the Ohio State Library as so many grad students did and made arrangements to use their STONE AGE GOOGLE machine.

I provided the reference librarian several keywords in my research realm like “cell”, “mitosis”, “meiosis” and “microscopic ultra-structure”. 



Below a diagrammatic drawing of how cells look through a microscope, some in various stages of mitosis.



A couple of weeks later, (WEEKS, NOT SECONDS!)  a postcard would arrive in the biology department office in my snail mail mailbox notifying me that my search was ready to pick up at the library. Each research paper that hit on one of my key words would generate a hit in the wayback google machine, which would generate a computer card with the reference information to that citation of published journal research.

The computer cards were about 3 inches by seven inches, slightly larger or longer than a 3 by 5 index card.

The first time I picked up the RESULTS of my STONE AGE GOOGLE SEARCH, the results were delivered to me in a cardboard box tray about 3 feet long and 7 inches wide stuffed with hundreds of printout card references and weighing several pounds!

We all have some idea of what a FORTRAN INPUT punch card looks like for computing in that era: 






OUT PUT cards, or RESULTS of a search, came out in similar format but with text instead of numbers.

I had to carry my Stone Age Google search results back to my laboratory and sort through these cards that were supposedly relevant to my area of research.  (think about this the next time you do a Google search and are not satisfied with your results).

Once I identified the most relevant articles, the next step would be to write to the authors of these journal articles in snail mail and request a reprint of their article which would also arrive by snail
mail. Many of the articles I needed were published by scientist biologists in the Netherlands
and this took a while!

What my fellow grad students and I soon discovered was that because we used the word “cell” in our Stone Age Google search Wayback machine, about 90% of the hits our printout cards we received back were related to Cell phones.  In 1975 we had no idea what a cell phone WAS and we were in a state of disbelief that we would ever see one and we had no idea what it would be like.

I guess we were not too imaginative?  After all, we were merely trying to extract DNA from fossilized dinosaur bones and clone a living dinosaur in our laboratory during the middle of the night while the faculty were sleeping!

We knew a cell phone might be sort of like a Dick Tracy wrist watch walkie talkie thingy.  



Cell phones and the computer cards related to cell phone technology were a nuisance to us and quickly converted into scratch pads for taking phone messages with a pencil from land line phones with no voice-mail. 

Like I said, that was a life time ago. 

from Alliance, Ohio.................AJDiLiddoJr