Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Listen, everyone knows I’m a proud Democrat. I’d vote for Humpty Dumpty before I’d vote for Trump, who’s not exactly a Republican but that’s a whole other story. Anyhoo, what bothers me is when the left as well as the right get thrown into one group and sterotyped. Hey, not all Trump supporters are racist bigots and not all liberals are thin-skinned snowflakes. I wrote about all this is a story called 5 Myths About Liberals (And a Few About Conservatives) so hit that link and read it. Or not, I don’t really give a damn. See? I told you I wasn’t thin-skinned.

Anyway, I support some of the cancel culture that’s been taking place, but only some. What I don’t like is the overcorrecting and overstepping that gives those on the right an excuse to point out how ridiculous all us Liberals are.

For instance, changing the name of Eskimo Pies? Really? Hell, I’d love to have a delicious chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream treat named after me. Who wouldn’t? I mean, how is that derogatory? I don’t get it.

Now Aunt Jemima gone, and I get that one. Land O’ Lakes? Not so much. Looked like a dignified Native American on there to me. Uncle Ben’s? Meh. Again, seems like a compliment. Cream of Wheat I get because of the Rastus name, which has a negative connotation for African-Americans. And I guess Mrs. Butterworth will be repackaged and named. Wait. Mrs. Butterworth is black? I always assumed she was just a portly, jovial grandma type.

Sports names? Yeah, I think Redskins is pretty offensive, no matter how many times I hear they were named with good intentions. Indians is less offensive to me, it’s sort of like Patriots in a way, but that Chief Wahoo logo needs to go. On a related note, Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish is stereotypical too but I don’t see that going away soon.

Random Thoughts: Didn’t Vikings and Pirates rape and pillage from time to time? Uh-oh.

And yes, I think the Confederate Flag should be retired because it was the flag representing traitors to the United States of America. Besides, you lost. It’s been a year or two. Get over it. And save me the “southern heritage” bullshit. That doesn’t explain why some Ohio redneck hangs it on his barn or on his 1997 Ram 1500.

Hey, you don’t see many Nazi flags in Germany, kids. There’s a good reason for that.

Then again, the over-correcting and histrionic excesses are j-u-u-u-s-t a tad silly. Hell, you ever watch reruns of The Office? I’m afraid that will be next, God forbid. Remember The Man Show? Yikes!

With all this in mind I have compiled a list of brand mascots that I feel should be replaced. Oh, wait. First I’ll need you to memorize this:

Feel free to go back and reference that before you fire off a strongly worded message directed at me. Now, back to my list of questionable, and possibly dare I say offensive, brand mascots:

Michelin Man, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and the Pillsbury Doughboy

  • I put these three together because they’re basically the same wobbly white blob. They’re also all fat. Very offensive to the chubby folk, plus they’re all white. Why no black, brown or red wobbly blobs? Disgraceful I tell ya.

Jolly Green Giant

  • Hold on one second there, pea sellers. Ever heard of Gigantism? You know, the one that causes abnormal growth? Clearly JGG has an affliction that you’re exploting. Shame!


  • Yes, Speedy. Little guy from the Alka-Seltzer commercials. If that little dude wasn’t hopped up on uppers I don’t know who was.

Kool-Aid Man

  • The Kool Aid Man is a ginormous, round pitcher of Kool-Aid, man. Pluse he bursts through walls just detroying personal property left and right. I have know idea where I’m going with this.

Count Chocula

  • Der. This caricature is offensive to Counts everywhere.

The Noid

  • I don’t know, I’m just assuming there’s a Noid family living in Topeka, KS or somewhere that’s very upset.

Chick-Fil-a Cows

  • Hold up a second. We’re supposed to believe the Chick-Fil-a Cows understand basic grammar but are just poor spellers? Anyway, stereotyping cows as dumb is just wrong, man.


Remember Punchy? The pugilistic little Hawaiian Punch mascot? Little guy would ask if you wanted a refreshing Hawaiin Punch and if you said yes he’d just wallop the hell out of you. That’s glorifying violence, people. Here’s Punchy in all his sadistic brutality:

California Raisins

  • Uh, well, ok, maybe these guys should actually be retired.

Milton the Toaster

  • Suuure, let’s encourage kids to play with the damn toaster! Good Call Kellogg’s Pop Tarts!

Ronald McDonald


  • Hated by clowns worldwide, also terrifying to children and myself some adults alike.

Taco Bell Chihuahua

  • I think this guy was banned because people were shocked that a Mexican dog might have a Mexican accent.

Lucky the Leprechaun

  • Offensive to not only leprechauns but short Irish people.

Franken Berry Cereal Monster

  • Offensive to all man-made monsters across the globe, especially at the University of Ingolstadt. That’s where Frankenstein was created, but you knew that, right?

Frito Bandito

  • C’mon, man. This guy robbed people of their delicious, lightly salted corn chips, putting all Mexicans in a bad light.

Joe Camel

  • This one was actually banned, apparently because everyone knows little kids want to be like a camel with an oversized head who smokes heaters.

Mr. Peanut

  • Wait. Is Mr. Peanut wearing pants?

Chicken of the Sea Mermaid

  • Clearly too sexy and an unquestionable case of exploiting mermaids. Get her out of here.

The Burger King

  • Few will argue that the Burger King is downright creepy, and where’s the Burger Queen? Burger Princess? Sexism!

Condom Man

  • Yeah, I’m gonna sit this one out.

Mr. Clean

  • Seriously? He’s bald! Do you know how many times I’ve been called Mr. Clean in my life? This is upsetting to the follicly challenged! Mr. Clean can go straight to hell.

So there ya go, my 23 brand mascots that should be banned, and I left out a couple others that don’t wear pants. I’m looking at you, Donald Duck.

Tough Choices, Part 3

Posted: June 27, 2020 in Movies, Opinion, Things I Love

Oh, man. This one will be debated for sure.

Tough Choices, Part 2

Posted: June 27, 2020 in Movies, Opinion, Things I Love

Another tough one.

I know what you’re thinking – myself and my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied must be running out of ideas. To that we say never! Hey, you said the same thing a few years ago when I ranked numbers 0 through 9 and that story received lukewarm reviews was an internet sensation! If you haven’t read it here you go:

Ranking Numbers 0-9

Seriously, I ranked numbers.

Today, however, we shall discuss oddly satusfying sounds. Before we get to the good ones, though, let’s talk about a few that don’t don’t really fit the “oddly satisfying” category yet they are special in their own way. To wit:

  • The sound the icemaker makes in my fridge can startlingly terrifying, especially late at night. To this day I cock my head to listen, thinking for just a second that some ne’er-do-well is in my kitchen.
  • The Wondering Soul – I came across this horrifying video on YouTube late one night and may or may not have sat huddled in the corner the rest of the night. Also known as “Ghost Tape Number 10” was an audio mix the US military used for psychological operations in the Vietnam War against the North Vietnamese. It played deeply on the Vietnamese belief of ancestor worship, spirits and the afterlife.The Wandering Soul was played on loudspeakers installed on helicopters, PCF boats or by infiltrating infantry ‘loudspeaker teams’ on known enemy areas usually at night deep within the jungle. Diabolical, man. So yeah, bad sound.

  • We have a lot of coyotes in our area, and occasionally you’ll hear their pups all calling out at once. Someone told me their mom is out getting them food and they’re calling to her. Whatever cause it, it sounds like somebody opened the Gates of Hell.

Some sounds can elicit completely different feelings depending on the situation. For instance, there used to be an elementary school about 100-yards from my house and it was always great to hear the kids on the playground yelling, laughing and having fun during recess. On the other hand, one time when I was teaching in a really old school building I had to go to my classroom after scouting a basketball game to pick up something I’d forgotten. As I sat at my desk, looking through a drawer with only my desk light on, I heard a child giggling in the dark hallway. I assumed another teacher had to stop in for something as I had, so I went out and looked around. Nothing. Chills, man. I got the hell out of there.

But on to the cool sounds, the sounds of life that I love to hear. I won’t include music because that’s sort of obvious, is it not? Let us proceed . . .

  • The sound the sweeper makes when it pick up little rocks. I’m right, right? You know that damn sweeper is doing its job when you hear that sweet crackle.
  • A basketball swishing through the net. Of course I love that sound, especially in a quiet gym. Just a little twish or swoosh as the ball drops through. Love. It.
  • A basketball bouncing in an empty gym. I love the little “poing” sound it makes as it hits the gym floor. Of course, I also like the sound of 30 basketballs bouncing during a camp too.
  • Birds. Any birds. I got my love of birds from my mother, and I love any bird making any sound at all.
  • A screen door slamming shut. This goes back to my childhood, and I still love that sound.
  • Baby sounds. Yeah, 3-weeks ago this wouldn’t have been included, but now that I have my first grandchild I’ve been reminded how cool all the cooing and gibberish really is. Amazing.
  • Rain hitting a tin roof. I used to stay with my grandparents a lot as a kid, and they had a tin roof. As I slept in their living room with the windows open the sound of the rain hitting the roof put me right to sleep. So soothing.
  • Crowd, heard from the locker room. Sure, the crowd noise during a game was great, but there was something about being down in the locker room and hearing that muffled roar before we took the court that was always thrilling.
  • The crunch of Fall leaves under your feet. When you live in an area that has an annual Fall Festival of Leaves this has to be included, right? PS- In the Fall southern Ohio is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
  • Whir of a fan on a hot summer night. I’m talking about one of those old-fashioned oscillating fans. Like many I can’t sleep without a fan pointing in my direction.
  • Popping bubble wrap. Ah, the age old favorite, universally liked by almost everyone.
  • Walking through crusty snow. There’s something satisfying about that crunch, amirite?
  • Waves crashing ashore. This, this is why I always leave the windows open when I’m at the beach.
  • Opening an airtight jar. Something about that little “pop” that is cool to hear.
  • Sparky’s nails clicking on the floor when I get home. Of course I love most of the sounds The Spark makes, from his gentle snoring to the way he growls and whimpers while having a dream.
  • Bacon sizzling. This also happens to be a top smell. Bacon is at the top of many a list with me.
  • Fire crackling. Preferably during a cold Winter’s night or around a campfire.
  • Outdoors at night. – Frogs, crickets, it doesn’t matter. I’ve always been a night owl and I love the sound of being outdoors in the country.
  • The electric click of a mosquito flying into a bug zapper. Weird? Come on. You know you like it.
  • Popping open a can of beer or soda pop. Something about that click and hiss, that pffft, that . . . whatever you call it I like it.
  • Horse trotting down a street. That clickety-clop is sort of mesmerizing, no? Plus it gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite videos of all time:

Man, I love that video.

I also like certain words, like hush, serendipity and shenanigans. Hell, I wrote a few articles about words called Cool Beans! Words and Phrases That Need To Make A Comeback , Here Are 7 Words That Are Older Than You Think and Word Up: Snorkel, Curds and Uranus. Check ’em out!

So whaddaya say? What sounds make you happy? Let’s hear it!

With all the madness going on lately I thought I’d lighten things up a little this weekend. Before we begin, I must make two points:

  • A hamburger is not a sandwich. Technically a sandwich is made by putting a filling, traditionally sliced meat (but now anything goes) between 2-slices of cut bread.
  • As a general rule I like my sandwiches hot.
  • A hot dog is not a sandwich, so shut your piehole.

Ok, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Let us proceed . . .

The following rankings are certain to evoke outrage, shock, and dare I say discombobulation amongst my loyal readers and for this I say sorry not sorry. This is my website and it is filled with my opinions, so deal with it. Let us commence with the rankings . . .

1. Grilled Cheese
Oh yeah. Everyone knows of my love for all things cheese, and I prefer my Grilled Cheese with Pepperjack  and Bacon. However, I have been known to add some Jalapeño Peppers if I’m feeling like I need a kick. My favorite Grilled Cheese from around Southern Ohio can be found at Gibby’s in Circleville, The Rusty Keg in Washington Court House and Wagner’s Roadhouse here in Chillicothe.
Cheesey and Baconey goodness.

2. Oyster Po’ Boy

Love me an Oyster Po’ Boy, and my favorite can be found at Chilli Peppers Grill & Pupuseria in Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks, NC. They put some sort of cheese sauce (yes, cheese again) and it is spectacular. I feel a road trip coming on!

3. Italian Sub

Hard to beat a well-made Italian Sub, man. I like mine with salami, mortadella, capicolla and ham along with Provolone cheese, green bell peppers, green olives, salt, and black pepper. I like the Italian Subs at Cristy’s in Chillicothe, but the ones made at the Valero right here in lil’ old Bourneville, Ohio are damn good as well.

4. Crab Cake Sandwich

Aw, man, I love a good Crab Cake Sandwich when prepared correctly. I need a lot of crab and less filler, but doesn’t everyone? I like j-u-s-t a touch of crispiness in my Crab Cake as well. I had them at the Thames Street Oyster House in Baltimore once and nearly passed out from sensory overload. So, so, so, so, so good. And I know a few Crab Cake aficionados recoil at the thought on eating them on a Brioche Bun, but those people can go to hell. Oh, and Crab Cake Sliders? Delish. PS- No tomato please.

5. Fried Bologna

My love of these go all the way back to when I was a kid and my mother would make them for me. Again, as a general rule I like my food cooked well and Mom would make them so they were a little crispy and turned up at the edges. I also like the thinner slices rather than the thick ones some places serve. Drop some Pepperjack on those bad boys and I’m in Hog Heaven. Get it? Hog Heaven? Pigs? Never mind. The Cozy and Wagner’s Roadhouse both make killer Fried Bologna sandwiches locally.

6. Tuna Melt

For me the best Tuna Melt includes mayo, some pickles for the crunchiness, just a little celery, Dijon mustard and of course Sharp Cheddar cheese. Again, not a big fan of tomato.

7. Philly Cheesesteak

Love a good Philly Cheesesteak, especially in Philly. Many will argue for Dalessandro’s and others as having the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, but I’d have to go with Chubby’s. I like it because the steak isn’t really finely chopped, nor is it in slabs, but the perfect in-between. Flavorful as all get out. They also have a Mushroom Swiss Chicken Cheesesteak that is absolutely killer.

8. Cuban

Sometimes called a Cubano sandwich, and I love them. The perfect Cubano is grilled and made with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, Cuban bread, and sometimes salami. However, the essential ingredient is the roasted pork, and it must be marinated in a spicy mojo sauce that includes orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, and cumin. After the marinating you roast that baby and go to town. A buddy of mine from the Outer Banks used to have a Cuban restaurant called Bacu and his Cubano was spectacular.

9. Meatball Sub

A Meatball Sub is only as good as its meatballs. Duh. That said, the right Marinara sauce and cheesey toasted bread is essential as well. I had a Meatball Sub at Polpetti Meatball Bar in Chicago once and I must get back there post haste. Also, any self-respecting Meatball Sub must contain Grated Parmesan and Shredded Mozzerella Cheese.

10. The Gyro

I was told many times by an Italian ex of mine that this is pronounced YEE-roh and I have henceforth used that pronunciation. Anyhoo, the best Gyros I ever laid my tastebuds on were consumed at Bill’s Gyro Souvlaki on The Boardwalk in Atlantic City. It’s basically Ground lamb, seasonings, onion, garlic and bacon nestled in a pocket of Pita Bread. Then you add some Tzatziki Sauce and you’re in foodie heaven.



Just Missed The Cut: Fried Chicken Sandwich, Sloppy Joe, Lobster Roll. Ham & Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Roast Beef w/Swiss Cheese, BLT, Falafel Pita, Bagel w/Lox & Cream Cheese.

Highly Underrated: Straight Up Bacon Sandwich on White Wonder Bread, Straight Up Cheeze-Whiz Sandwich on White Wonder Bread. Random thought – I bet a Bacon & Cheez-Whiz Sandwich would be breathtaking. On it!

Cannot Go Without Mentioning: The legendary sandwich I invented called The Sweet Cheezus, consisting of Cheez-Whiz and Cheez-Its on toasted white bread. Glorious.

Get This Crap Out Of Here: Turkey Club, Rueben, Tuna Salad, Liverwurst, Cucumber Tea, Hummus.

Fun Fact: I’ve never had a PB & J sandwich, ever. It’s true.



Rambo defeated Jack Reacher, King Leonidas, John Wick, Rooster Cogburn, William Munny and The Man With No Name on the way to the championship. Thanks for voting!

We are now down to the Final 2. The Championship Matchup. The battle to end all battles – The Man With No Name vs. John Rambo. On his way to the final Rambo took out Jack Reacher, King Leonidas, John Wick, Rooster Cogburn, and William Munny (Unforgiven). The Man With No Name’s march to the finale was no easier as he defeated Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction), Tyler Durden (Fight Club), James Bond, and Lee (Enter the Dragon).

Let’s do this.

And here we are – The Final 4. Many great movie badasses have fallen and these remain. Who will survive?

Badass with the most votes gets a bye! Who ya got?

Man oh man. What matchups we have in Round 3. Take a look:

James Bond vs. Snake Plissken

Frank Dux vs. William Munny

Indiana Jones vs. Rooster Cogburn

Doc Holiday vs. Harry Callahan

Jason Bourne vs. Lee

John Rambo vs. John Wick

The Man With No Name (BYE)

Remember, you can vote once from any device – laptop, phone, kid’s phone, etc.

We had some major ass whoopings in Round 1, some tight battles, but in the end half of our entries were eliminated and half advanced. That’s how tournaments work, you know. Anywho, get ready for Round 2. By the way, Snake Plissken drew a bye this round.



Who’s the baddest movie character of all-time? Only humans are allowed so there are no supeheroes in the bunch. Let’s GOOOO!

The Scioto Ribber!

The Scioto Ribber won with 55% of the vote, winning by over 150 votes! The Ribber is located at 1026 Gallia Street in Portsmouth, Ohio.



You can pick 10 players. Let’s gooooo!

Lots of opinions on this one! Who ya got?



Ritchie’s Backyard Barbeque is located in Piketon, Ohio, and received nearly 50% of the votes for best wings! The Dock at Water finished a distance second. Congrats to Ritchie’s Backyard Barbeque!


We have completed two polls thus far, with FredNeck’s winning for Best Pizza and Beast and Bottle winning for Best Burger. Next up, Best Wings. Whatcha got?


Beast & Bottle!

Beast & Bottle is located at 106 South Market Street in Waverly, Ohio. I cannot lie, I haven’t been there, but judging from their dominating performance and photos of their burgers I will be visiting soon! Following Beast & Bottle in our poll was Taylor Brothers Saloon (Chillicothe) and Furman’s Bar & Grill (Greenfield). Congrats to Beast & Bottle!


Fredneck’s received 398 votes to beat out Acord’s, Giovanni’s, Cristy’s, Jerry’s and 14 other pizza places in Ross County and surrounding counties! Nearly 2,500 people voted. Congrats!

You can visit Fredneck’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Should be a battle!

Pizza, man. Everyone loves it. Let’s see who has the best around. Vote for up to 5!

We began with 64 artists and we’re now down to the Final Two – The championship game. The Beatles have defeated Metallica, The Who, Aretha Franklin, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin. Elvis Presley has defeated Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Prince, and The Rolling Stones.


And here they are – The Final Four.