Wednesday, August 03, 2016


New post on new mechanical keyboard - probably lots of typos.  I'm still adjusting...  Another summer of precollege is nearly in the books, just one day of interviews left...  The boy can work the locks on the doors, good thing we have some keys...  Is it just me that cringes every time the a/c kicks on?  Probably...  The suspensions at the top of the NFL season are making me rethink my participation in a fantasy league this year...  Evernote is going to make me pay.  I hope I can get work to cover it.  Which of course has me thinking about a half dozen other freemium apps I use...  Freemium is apparently not a word...  I'm looking for a new backpack, something small on the outside but big on the inside.  I'm not sure such a thing exists...  Bob the Builder has taken a real chunk out of Thomas the Tank Engine's time in my life...  It's tough to make decisions when you really don't know why you're doing something...  Now that I have a new office keyboard I wonder if I will need to get a matching unit for home...  A couple of years ago I wrote a post called "not today true believer" or something close to that.  The same sentiment is going to apply to this fall's election for sure...  I'm glad I didn't make a to-do list at the top of the summer.  Saves me from having to look at everything I failed to accomplish...  Having the DNC and RNC conventions back to back might not be the greatest scheduling.  Next time maybe a week in between so we can recover...  If you have peanut M&M's in your office you will eat them...  Blogger thought I was a bot today.  That's a lot of posts...Sometimes I feel like I need to apologize for the tweet pace of the @NFTRW_Feed account.  The IFTTT recipes sometimes cause it to erupt...  I rewatched "Torchwood: Children of Earth" recently.  It's very different if you have a child...  Actually I corrected all the typos...

Thursday, July 14, 2016


So much for upping the tempo.  I'd have to look but I bet that's the lead the last several times...  Emmy nominations today.  Actually have some former students in the mix...  My little corner of the internet isn't all that thrilled with Mike Pence...  I think our cat finally misses the other cat...  I think partly why I haven't been posting is that I am really just at a loss for words.  Just typing "STOP SHOOTING PEOPLE" over and over doesn't seem to do the trick...  Getting set for the next Rochester trip.  This time with a few day stop over in Chicagoland...  We're probably going to some pickle thing tomorrow, but if Leo had his choice he'd go to the Toy & Train show.  However, he doesn't really get a vote...  I made it through Prime Day without buying anything.  Based on how many of my keys are sticking I should have bought a keyboard...  Speaking of, does anyone know anything about mechanical keyboards?  I feel like I should have one but I'm not sure why...  The yard really needs dethatching, aerating and overseeding - like on an industrial scale.  Not sure we're up to that.  Maybe it isn't too early to start putting off projects into next spring...  Vegas in October is looking more and more likely, but it looks like I will likely miss the LDI show proper...  I got all worried about doing a cantilever for this loft I involved in and then I remembered it would need a ladder where the leg would want to be anyway...  I can't fathom why people hate Hilary so much.  I can understand not wanting to vote for someone, but this is so much deeper than that...  Now that it appears that the Ghostbusters reboot is going to be successful I hope Paul Feig will take a serious look at that Soul Sisters casting I sent him...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


We expedited handling the AC disaster, so naturally it is like 60 degrees outside tonight...  I think there will be no more important position this election cycle than audio technician for HRC...  Went to Target for socks today.  Should have spent maybe $12.  My receipt said I saved $19 dollars today.  Shouldn't go to the store when bored...  The boy can now pick up the cat.  That's a patient cat...  I'm being shifted off a USITT committee I've been on for more than a decade through a rules change - me and about a dozen other people...  Three episodes into Sense8 and I think it has legs.  It's kind of like Cloud Atlas on steroids...  I apparently let the Greenpage lapse for several days.  Oops.  That's all I've got...  Dealing with said AC disaster changed up the solution to a home project I have been stalling on for two years.  I guess it turned out to be a good thing I hadn't done it...  I think I'm now ready to entertain argument that Sanders should step aside without rolling my eyes...  Mrs. TANBI made Wapple Pie the other night.  You should try Wapple Pie...  People keep missing the dimension to the Stanford sentence that it is also jail and not prison.  It makes a difference...  Haven't made it down to the 3 Rivers Arts Festival yet.  I've got high confidence for Thursday though...  I now have dozens of pictures of Thomas the Train track layouts.  I'm sensing a new blog label...  If people start to think about it Trump is rapidly going to run out of judges he thinks can give him a fair hearing...  Nice to see the Pens up 3-1.  I hope someone from their cohort followed the Golden State/OKC series...  I'm trying to keep post tempo up, I really am...

Friday, June 03, 2016


So, the AC crapped the bed.  So much for the emergency fund...  Watching the NBA Finals suggests to me that being an NBA coach must be one of the most frustrating jobs in existence...  Now that the boy can get out of bed himself bedtime has become somewhat more complicated...  I have a tote of Craigslist Lego to sort, but no place to put it.  The former bit is slowing me down...  Turns out a "health cut" on a large oak tree can be quite expensive (although not as expensive as a new central AC unit)...  The end of the fiscal year is coming up at work.  I should find some things to buy sooner than later...  I guess the Supreme Court seat is just going to sit open.  That's fairly depressing...  Pushing the boundaries of the waffle iron again tonight.  I'll let you know how it goes...  My brother in law got the boy an SI Kids subscription for his birthday.  The first issue arrived today and was destroyed in less than a minute...  I'm fixing that sculpture my dad made again.  Gonna have to come up with a strategy for when it's back on display so it doesn't get broken again...  I went to see if I could use my snazzy controller with an iPad game I bought a while ago only to fin that the game isn't supported anymore...  Doesn't seem like the cat misses the other cat, and neither does the boy...  Three weeks until I am officially back to work.  I wonder if I'll get anything done in the meantime...

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Trying to keep the post tempo going.  You'll know if I succeed...  Turned on the air last night before we went out so the house would be cool when we got back.  When we got back we found out the ac needs servicing...  Doesn't saying you are going to bring things up at the convention if they aren't handled in advance really constitute "derailing?"  The press really isn't doing a great job on this election cycle...  I was going to do the room in the attic this week.  I didn't.  Maybe next week...  I do not want Windows 10.  I do not want it tonight.  I do not want it later.  I'll get it when I get a new machine.  Please stop bothering me...  Decided against playing in the summer ultimate casual league.  The game locations and times made the driving sound anything but casual...  We're having a party for our 11th anniversary, we were indisposed for the 10th.  Shoot me an email if you'd like to come.  The more the merrier...  Melissa Harris Perry was on Real Time last night.  She couldn't get a word in edgewise through the active participation of the Trump supporter next to her...  I think we're going to see the actual Thomas the Tank engine next month.  The boy will be very excited...  Speaking of the boy, he hasn't seemed to notice our 50% drop in feline population.  Here's hoping that lasts...  How long do you think it will be until someone does a site or an app to integrate all of the medical portals?  I think I'm up to four.  I know email isn't 100% secure, but all these special communication portals are not really convenient for me...  I finished reading Hugh Howley's Wool, Shift, & Dust trilogy.  It was pretty good.  Maybe worth its own post...  There appears to be a Chihuly mobile in the new student center extension.  I'm sure that will make prospectives feel like CMU is reasonably affordable...

Monday, May 23, 2016

And Then There Was One

For a while there we had six cats.  There was Rolaren who I had from a long while back.  Then there were Bra'Tac and Freya who we adopted one day when we went to buy patio furniture.  After that there were Petra and Bean who we literally rescued off the street.  And rounding out the pack was Tivel, my mother's cat that we took off my father's hands.  We never intended to have that many cats.  I don't think anyone really ever intends to have that many cats.  It just happens.  One day you have a cat and then some day you look up and you've become cat people.

When the boy was imminent we decided we needed to thin the herd some.  It didn't seem responsible to begin that project with all that chaos.

Tivel was the first to depart.  He had to go to the shelter.  Tivel was mean.  I decided he wasn't going to be able to stay with us when it became glaringly clear he was never going to make friends with the rest of the group.  He had been an outdoor cat in Chicago and never adjusted to being an indoor cat here with us.  Plus he had been on his own for more than a decade.  I don't think it was in his plan to become one of six.

Next to go was Rolaren.  I don't think Ro liked being part of a big family either.  She was twitchy right from her adoption and in hindsight it seems like maybe she was better off in a one cat household.  One of my former students took her on and it seems like she's very happy there.  I see pictures of her occasionally on Facebook.

Next was Petra.  We tired really hard to find someone to take Petra and Bean together but had no luck.  It didn't help much that we couldn't really give a rousing recommendation for her: "she only bit me once..."  As the clock ran out on the project we had to take Petra to the shelter.  We did find a new home for Bean.  He went to the family of a co-worker.  We were talking about him just the other day and like Rolaren, Bean is having a fine time of it in his new home.

That left us with Bra'Tac and Freya.  Two cats seemed reasonable for a house with a new child.

Last Friday Freya passed away.  She seemed fine at the top of the week.  I didn't notice anything amiss the times I saw her.  And then Friday she was gone.  Mrs. TANBI saw her Friday afternoon and thought she looked mopey.  She thought it was strange that Freya had let the boy get close enough to pet her.  I figured I'd give her a look over when I saw her.  After we got home Freya didn't present herself, so after a little while I went looking for her.  She was in the basement on the first step just hanging out.  I brought her upstairs thinking maybe she needed some water.  She didn't eat or drink, just sat on my lap.  Her breathing sounded labored so I put her down and searched that online on my phone.  While I was looking she walked into the living room and laid down.

She didn't get up again.

I got her carrier and found a 24 hour animal ER but we never made it to the car.  She'd stopped breathing and I couldn't hear a pulse.  I put her nose in my ear to see if I could hear breathing but there was nothing.  Just like that she was gone.

We're sad.  I'm taking solace from the thought that she got to say goodbye and that it happened quickly and at least apparently without pain.  The whole family is going to miss Freya.  She was a great cat.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Should I write something?  Ok, I'll write something...  Commencement was last weekend.  I spent the next week buttoning things up.  It's taking more than a week...  I really don't think the total lack of a supreme court confirmation is getting enough press.  Starting to wonder why the Democrats aren't jamming up anything else that tries to move in the Senate...  There's a robin's next outside our bedroom window.  Probably makes sense to move it, but I can't come up with a reason...  I weaseled out of teaching Drafting this summer...  Freya kitten passed away last night.  Two days from appearing perfectly healthy to the end.  We're sad...  I can't remember if anyone but my parents came to my 8th grade graduation.  I do seem to recall that I was next to Eric Steiger in the procession...  There's a nice house for sale three blocks over.  Is it stupid to move three blocks?  Feels like it should demand a fairly significant upgrade to be worth it...  I didn't go to the NYC cocktail again this year.  Probably should make a point of going sometime soon...  I'd really like the folks harping on Sanders to get out to tell me why prolonging an argument taking the discourse to the left is really such a bad thing.  We've lived right of center for so long.  Seems like a leftward current is a good thing...  If at all possible I would like news directors to change up the relative amounts of conjecture, opinion, and news in their news...  Looks like it is going to be a summer without Melissa Etheridge for me...  I'm hoping this next week will see an end to a home project that has dragged out for nearly two years now (although it's not like I've actually been working on it).  If it does I'll post some pictures...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Costumes and Makeup: Designing Temporary Body Modification

HowlRound: Every day we get up and get dressed. We may think for hours, days, and weeks on what to wear. For some of us this process begins with the buying of garments, and for others it is a no-brainer because our likes are clear and our needs are simple. We modify our look with what we wear. It is our armor. We use it to protect ourselves from the weather, to suit our mood, and to shield our psyche from the world. As a costume designer, I know this to be true. I use this process to discover the characters I am designing for the productions for which I am involved. However, how many of us have considered it to be a type of body modification? It is temporary, but it is also modifying. We are visually changing how we are seen.

Historians are criticizing Hamilton, and fans should be thrilled. In part thanks to this Q&A between Slate’s Rebecca Onion and Rutgers professor Lyra Monteiro, a conversation is finally brewing about how Hamilton, the brilliant musical phenomenon, approaches history, the factual record, and its real-life subjects. If, like me, you work in theater and spend a lot of time procrastinating on social media, you’ve probably seen many of your friends ranting about small-minded academic quislings fact-checking every minute of the show from their ivory towers.

Orientalism, Whitewashing, and Erasure: Hollywood’s Historic Problem With Asian People

The Mary Sue: Hollywood has no idea what to do with Asian people. And, given the fact that Hollywood often serves as a reflection of contemporary culture, this is a major problem. Aside from casting us as goofy comic relief (Long Duk Dong, really) or evil mystical ninjas (come on, Daredevil season 2), they just don’t know what to do with us. The confusion and ignorance around what we bring to the table sometimes gets so bad that rather than try and find out who we actually are, they’ll overwrite us with white characters, erasing us completely from narratives that inherently belong to one culture or another (looking at you, Ghost in the Shell). Sometimes, to bridge that gap, they’ll even try to use yellowface, which (if you somehow weren’t already aware) is the practice of donning makeup and a really racist accent to look and sound Asian.

Breaking Records at Art+Feminism's Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

The Creators Project: For it’s third-annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Art+Feminism supported 2,500 participants in 175 events across 6 continents for a record-breaking year of editing and creating pages for women in the arts. Organized in collaboration with the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts (POWarts) and the Museum of Modern Art, the Edit-a-thon was led by Si├ón Evans of Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group, Jacqueline Mabey of failed projects, and artist Michael Mandiberg (read: "Meet the Man Printing Wikipedia as a Book").

Yes, Calling Someone a "Techie" Can Be Offensive

OnStage: Sometimes, even with the best intentions, certain terms, labels and names you have for various people can be offensive to them. One term that is commonly used in theatre is to describe the technical crew, technicians, etc as "techies". And while this term is often used with the best intentions, at the end of the day, it's offensive.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Worth a Look

Here are a few articles from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

How To Survive Working On An Underperforming Team

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: In general, people are poorly educated to deal with workplaces. That's because education is a largely solo affair. Students are asked to work alone. Grades are given to individuals. Indeed, the idea of individual achievement is so ingrained that when kids are assigned a group project in school, they worry how their own grades will be calculated if their team members fall down on the job.

They're probably right to. In the workplace, teams that fail usually bring everyone down with them. But there are a few ways to survive that fallout, or at least minimize its impact on your own career.

With Hollywood's Advanced Digital Face-Lifting, Do We Even Need Actors?

NPR: You can now digitally replace just about anything on an actor's body — including the actor himself. Journalist Logan Hill explains this practice of often invisible digital retouching in media.

The Writers, Directors, and Producers who Make Films that Fail the Bechdel Test Rather than generalize a sexist system, one theory is simple: filmmakers, unintentionally, make movies about themselves (i.e., write what you know). Since the most powerful producers, writers, and directors are men, male-themes permeate into Hollywood’s output. To see if women are more likely to write about women (i.e., pass the Bechdel test), we compiled the genders of the producers, writers, and directors on thousands of films.

Led Zeppelin 'Stairway To Heaven' Copyright Case Will Go To A Jury... Meaning Band Will Almost Certainly Lose

Techdirt: federal district court judge Gary Klausner rejected a variety of claims from Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and said that the case needs to go to trial in front of a jury. That's going to make things difficult for Plant and Page. As with the Blurred Lines trial last year, you see that many people freak out when they hear two songs are pretty similar and assume that something wrong must have happened. Of course, that's not how copyright law is supposed to work, but alas, that's what years of the big legacy industries brainwashing the public on copyright has resulted in.

After social media outcry, AMC changes tune on texting experiment

Ars Technica: Just one day after Ars and other outlets published comments by the CEO of AMC Entertainment saying he's interested in allowing some texting in theaters, the movie chain is backing away from the idea.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

How One Simple List is Changing the Face of American Theatre According to a recent study, only 22 percent of plays produced in the United States are written by women. That means, if life worked like theatre, 4 out 5 things you ever heard would be said by men. But a Los Angeles-based gang of badass women playwrights and theatre makers are attempting to rewrite this narrative.

The novel and play that predicted Donald Trump's rise – and countered a swell of Great Depression demagoguery The performing arts and politics have an uneasy relationship.

From Aristophanes satirizing the senselessness of the Peloponnesian War in Lysistrata to Shakespeare telling the story of Elizabeth I’s grandparents in Henry IV Parts I and II, artists have put forth sharp criticisms of their governments. Artists in Russia and Germany during the 1910s and 1920s created art that supported communism. And during the 1960s, artists all over the world were some of the loudest voices for social and political change, whether it was the civil rights or anti-war movements.

“He struggled and kept his guard up”: Hamilton in the Big House

plainKate – The online portfolio for Kate Powers: I work with a group of men who aren’t used to seeing themselves in the narrative, unless it’s as the villain; maybe not in your history book, but in a few newspaper articles a few years back and in the hearts of their victim’s families. These men understand that much of America thinks they are monsters who deserve to be locked in cages. They are the bastard, orphan sons of … every kind of women you can imagine; they are also beloved sons and husbands in close families who come to see them in the visiting room at the prison every week. Maybe they’ve been “livin’ without a family since I was a child. My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild.” Many of them know all about impoverished, in squalor, and fathers who split. A few of them are in college, working on being scholars.

People look at them like they’re stupid; they’re not stupid.

The Tonys Are Just As White As The Oscars

Forbes: #TonysSoWhite might become the new social justice hashtag. In the midst of a notably diverse Broadway season, we delved into the Tony Awards database to see how they compared to Hollywood’s highest honor. The result? The Tonys and the Oscars are almost the same institution when it comes to racial diversity.

crew safety meeting...for real. being a safety conscious touring industry.

this tour life: In light of recent events in the world (Brussels attacks), even more specifically in the music industry (Paris attacks), we have never been made more keenly aware of the need for emergency procedures when on tour. These horrific attacks have sparked discussions on how to create a safety conscious industry and what things to implement in case of such incursions. Venues all over the world have plans in place in the event of an emergency but does your touring crew know what those are? Do you know where all the exits are? Do you even know what the emergency number is for the country you are in?