Friday, December 23, 2005


Been so wrapped up with scanning and crits I haven't had much to say... 15 things about books, that will think some thinking... Speaking of thinking I am thinking Tuesday eve, Bar Louie, Evanston... The lemon cookies were the best, if you didn't get any you should complain... This semester I was really into the idea of faculty crits - I even know what my board would have looked like... I should never have allowed the sneakers in the shoe competition... Frontline the other night made me want to cut up all my credit cards, if you haven't seen it you should... I think we may finally be getting close to getting a wedding album completed... Nice to see our driveway again, a little thaw goes a long way... Three days of shopping were quite enough for me thank you... All week I wandered around muttering how cool it would be if they gave us our December check early, and then they did... I know the transport strike in NYC was a real pain for the people involved, but you can't help but be a little amused from back here in the cheap seats... You know, it is almost for certain now, my wife is the best wife ever... I wonder what happened at the office today... Thanks to the US Senate for doing what the Senate is supposed to do and gumming up the fast and loose legislation from the house... We get a new Mayor next week, think it will help? Me either... I am really liking my four wheel drive... All these people from DUQ are on their holiday bump, but I heard no Gina... I wanted to give more A's this semester - really I did... Have you noticed there is no Led Zeppelin on iTunes... The Critsmas cards were a real success, now I will have to come up with something for next year... I feel I can now wholeheartedly recommend the HP Scanjet 4850 - of course I think it has been discontinued... I am beginning to think I might not really need a cell phone... Looks like shoe voting will be open at least until Monday... I wish I had more substantive things to say... Gas prices have inspired us to rediscover our sweatshirts and sweaters... Congress instituted a tax credit for hybrids, its thinking too small though, they ought to pay for them outright for anyone trading in a car that gets less than 20mpg... Trouble with not running the heat is that the humidifier doesn't run either... I guess I should be doing a year end wrap up, or some kind of top ten, but it isn't coming to me... The trouble with these posts is you never really know where they end... Its possible this one ended some time ago... Given the choice between Monroeville, The Waterfront, McKnight, The Mills, or Robinson, I pick The Waterfront - some of the rest of that traffic is darn near criminal... Should they be doing one year later tsunami stories or covering the trouble right now in Pakistan??? If you were an absentee landlord of a property in New Orleans, would you rebuild it??? It appears that the questions have started. We thought we had one year to finish out our registry at Crate & Barrel, actually it was six months - times up!!! I have now received three independent, conflicting, and mutually exclusive notifications about the assessed value of our home, I am beginning to understand why so many people have been so grouchy about this since I returned to Pittsburgh... I haven't read a book in months, maybe I should do that over this break... Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care... Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows... If you asked me I would say this post is pretty far passed being done... Last week, we notched our first fantasy basketball win, I wish I knew how... I'm not sure it is possible to make everyone happy over the holiday... Ordering a steak at Eleven felt foolish, but it was a good steak... I should be packing... I wish the "brb" indicator on Trillian were more dependable. Even I can't tell if I am there or not... TV has really gone in the dumper the past week or so, at least the new SciFi stuff starts soon... At what point do you think writing simply becomes typing??? Someone should give an infinite number of monkeys a blog called "To Be Or Not To Be"... Several students recently commented that I occasionally just say the strangest things, and now I am wondering what those things were... How bad do you think things have to be before the gutters just fall off your house??? I discovered what's wrong with my sexy Ikea desk lamp: it is melting... If I'd known I was going to write this much I could have tried to think of 15 things about books...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Argh! I'm a Pirate

Its a wonder what a deadline, a little practice, and some perseverance will do to an iterative process.

Another day, another album. 300dpi this time, although I actually had to argue with the scanner which politely informed me that 300dpi was a higher resolution than you need for almost anything.

I have no idea what it says to you when you crank it up to 9600dpi. Maybe: "are you insane?"

So this will let me trade in both albums I have on the next trip. Woohoo.

Ding Dong...

The judge found that intelligent design violated the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking supernatural causation and by making assertions that cannot be tested or proved wrong. Moreover, intelligent design has not gained acceptance in the scientific community, has not been supported by peer-reviewed research, and has not generated a research and testing program of its own. The core argument for intelligent design - the supposedly irreducible complexity of key biological systems - has clear theological overtones. As long ago as the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas argued that because nature is complex, it must have a designer.

One Down - A Bunch to Go

I'm having another "I can't believe I ripped the whole thing" moment, like when I finished ripping all my CDs to .mp3. I finished the first photo album: 423 photos, just over 80meg of images.

Its going to take quite some time to get this whole project complete.

For a while I had thought that what I needed to do was take a scanner next time I went to Chicago. Its pretty clear that if I did that I would never see my folks, thus making the visit pointless. So it looks like I will do it here, one album at a time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fall Semester Review Shoe Finals

Please to vote with your comments. No wagering.









Do you think there should be a prize? A new pair of shoes? Maybe.

Good luck to all the participants.

Happy Birthday Mrs. B!

Mmm, dinner at Eleven.

Tuesday, PM Session

This is the end, and none too soon. I like the alphacrits, but even they do seem to go on after a while.

First there was Shellie...

Surprisingly, Shellie's board didn't look at all like Kate's

Next was Jonathan...

He appeared to be wearing the crit/ninja look people find so fascinating.

There it is again, on Ian...

Ian said Access is his best friend. What ever happened to a dog being a person's best friend?

Final session shoe winner:


Conrgats shoe winners, you've advanced to the finals. And congrats to all the students for great presentations.

Tuesday, AM Session

Last day - end of the alphabet...

First up Jenn...

Jenn styles herself a PM but might do some stage management if Tina talks her into it.

And then Beth...

Beth is trying hard to moot an ETC degree even before starting at the ETC.

Next was Erik...

Erik really enjoys the drafting.

And finally Shannon...

We gave Shannon a fairly light assignment this semester, she didn't TD or anything. Still, she seems to have made the most of the time.

Tuesday Morning shoe winner:


Thought I'd go off the board this time. Try to encourage some experimentation in the future.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Critsmas Cards

Anne suggested I do them last year, so this year I did. My very own Critsmas Cards:

The exterior image can be seen more clearly here, and the text inside here.

Merry Critsmas!

Monday, PM Session

After a long, long break, where more than a few faculty members left to catch up on holiday shopping, we reconveniend for the afternoon session...

First was Kate...

back from H&SS and ready to rumble, she began her pitch by explaining how she dropped my class. Well done Kate.

Next, Izzy...

Izzy talked about her summer, A-Phi-O, being an RA, and her out of department class. I'm not sure she talked about Drama School.

And then Joel...

Joel put on a brave face about how everything was useful to him. I think his internal monolouge was more like calculating the interest he is already paying for this degree. His board looked very nice.

Afternoon shoe winner:


Sparkly - nice.

Monday, AM Session

There were no PTM people in the AM session (declared people anyway).


Morning session shoe winner:


Congrats to Flo. I do think that perhaps the shoe thing may be getting a little too competitive, to that end, Emily gets an unpictured honorable mention.

Requiem For A Perfect Season

Well, today it happened: Indy lost. Bummer. I can tell you, I can relate. I think nobody out there knows how Colts fans really feel as much as '85 Bears fans. Survivors of a similar disappointment: 15-1, no matter how good it turned out, it might seem to be a little incomplete.

At least Indy fans can take heart they were beaten by a contender. In the 80's the Bears lost to an also ran, Miami, the team that happens to own the only undefeated record in NFL history. They got all pumped up and ranted "great teams win when they have to win" and then promptly disappeared into draft speculation. So even though there won't be a doughnut in the loss column at the end of the season, fans can at least take consolation that they lost to a contender.

Also, dejected fans might take some solace from the way the '85 Bears story ends: First Round Playoff Shutout, Second Round Playoff Shutout, most lopsided Superbowl victory in history. We actually had conversations before the game about whether New England would even score (of course New England fans had conversations about how the Patriots were going to win, so there's how much stock to place in pregame speculation). So, today's loss may have stung, but if it puts you on the same path as the '85 Bears it will have been a pain well worth enduring.

So relax. The pressure is off for the rest of the regular season. You are in the playoffs and on the right foot for a dominating post season performance. Anyway, there's no extra points or playoff handicap for going undefeated, and being the second team to have an undefeated season will never surpass the achievement of the '72 Dolphins. That title is theirs, forever. Set it aside, get healthy, start planning your playoff run, and concentrate on the goal that actually means something - winning the championship.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday Scanning

The archiving continues.

Today we have either the very first demonstration of smooth moves, or some kind of sexual assault. In this case I believe that faulty memory is a complete defense and truth be told I cannot remember my state of mind at the time of the event.

I also believe I would have been a minor and therefore not be capable of forming the requisite intent to commit the act.

Anyway, it doesn't look like she's struggling too much. I think she was probably asking for it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Not Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Tons of Work

Will stop this stupid scanning project from moving forward.

I have now just about finished half of one album. It is possible that I have bit off more than I can chew here.

Well, might as well keep at it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday, PM Session

And the end of the calendar week - Friday afternoon reviews...

First up Julie.

Who I skipped to make sure she could get ALL the feedback she could possibly want - and who made the mistake of saying she'd like to work her grad hours in other areas. So much for her free time.

And then Emily

Who appeared to be most excited that people would see her and Julie in the same room so they would stop confusing them.

Afternoon shoe winner:


Liz thought they were very nice.

Friday, AM Session

Second day of crits, PTM participants...

First there is Dana.

I totally missed Dana's crit because when I was one block from work I got a call that I had to go home and help get a car out of our driveway. I apologized though.

Then there is Harumi.

She had a very nice board, but really after Rustin, who will even be looking?
(its a joke, geez)

Morning shoe winner:


I do believe that is a repeat win for her.

You Know Just How Much When 3

(So all the faculty sits in a row of chairs, and a group of students sits opposite them. Boevers standing behind the row of chairs with a bullhorn)

Boevers: Alright, it's time for crits. Please keep presentations short. If you go over five minutes, you'll be hearing from me (pats the bullhorn)

Hallie: Well, this semester, I worked on 3 shows and assisted 2 more...

(Kate runs out and cuts her off)

Kate: STOP! (grabs bullhorn, runs through teachers, hands it to Rustin, stares the faculty down) This is crazy crits! We're switching things around! This time, the faculty crit! Boevers!

Boevers: Well, all things being equal...

(Rustin stops him with bullhorn)

Kate: No excuses! Holcomb!

Holcomb: see...(hair flip) depends...

(Rustin stops him with air horn)

Kate: No more crew grid switches! Molich!

Olich: What I'm seeing here is a dissonance between your goals, and the prescience of a greater ideal.

(Rustin stops him with bullhorn)

Kate: Do you HAVE goals? SUSAN!

Susan: Well, um, you see...

(Rustin stops her)

Kate: We are very disappointed in all of you. We expect more polished portfolio reviews from you next time. We suggest you all take a year off...SIEZE THEM!

(everyone grabs a faculty, mt's come onto the balconies)
(we bring the faculty downstage, a la Urinetown)


(throw the faculty onto the bar grating)

Holcomb: Wait, THIS is crazy crits?

Olich: So, what I'm seeing here, is that you are going to throw us off of the upper tier of Purnell, and that is supposed to be crazy crits? DEATH is crazy crits?

Kate: You COULD say that. I don't know why you would, but you could.

(grab the faculty, throw them off Urinetown style, into the Urinetown Bobby death light, they make the bobby death hand movements, then the smack sound)

Olich: What I'm experiencing is...death

You Know Just How Much When 2

Congratulations! Today is your day
You’re off to Carnegie Scenic.
Your soul's sucked away

You've got the brains in your head.
I have the feet in your shoes.
I can steer you
Any direction I chose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And I'm the guy who'll decide where you go.

You'll look over and over, a crew grid almost bare
And everyone will say "I don't know, and don't care."

Project managers, job leads, a crazy scheme in your head
You’ll do Mrs. Boevers "Echo", until you wished you were dead.

And out come the crits
I’ve screwed with them too
Everyone together
More embarrassment for you.

Oh! the things that I’ll do!

I'm Boevers you see
PTM option coordinator
You think that it's your show
But really I’m the owner

You will leave here with nothing, because I'm changing the grid
No more productions, only labs for you kids

Wherever you go, you know they will laugh
As you read them your resume, applying for staff

So go up on your way
And try to determine
Who to talk to
While you are learning

Because as much as you try
Crazy Crits, crazy scheme
It's Boevers’ world, now you can scream.

You Know Just How Much When...

PM: Welcome to Urinetown: the production meeting. Everyone good? (Looks around) good, good, record time. Well, we have to leave.

Zi: Wait! But, there were two fatalities in the costume shop last night….

Boevers’ booming voice: 5!!... 4!!... 3.!!... (people scurry out and are gone before “2”)

(After the students leave, the faculty relaxes noticeably. Kevin takes out an enormous piece of paper and starts folding. Boevers plays gameboy. Holcomb takes off his pants.)

Holcomb: All right, well what’s on the schedule for today?

Tina: What we really need to discuss is the Jacuzzi addition to the faculty lounge?

Norm: Well, well, well…well what about the staff? Can’t we change the name of the lounge to the...

Boevers: Well you just don’t get to go.

Holcomb: Well, that’s a bit out of scope with our current budget… If we want to move on this idea we’ll have to cut at least 2 or 3 students.

Everyone: Oh yeah; no problem; great

Anne: All right… well, whose expendable?

Cindy (busting in, enormous martini in hand): hi everyone, sorry, I just flew in from Antwerp. what’s going on? You all seem you’re in a good place. Good? Good.

Todd: Oh, we’re discussing who to cut…

Cindy: oh, just cut will.

Beth: Didn’t we cut him last year?

Cindy: no, we just gave him a studio show

Susan: gone. we can also cut Nikki… she’s only on school of music shows anyway

Cindy: why don't we cut all the senior lighting designers. they all suck and besides, then i could stop pretending to look for lighting faculty.

Holcomb: ok. Todd, that ok with you?

(Todd stares at Holcomb for a good 10 seconds, unflinching. people become uncomfortable.)

Todd: yeah, that’s fine with me. They’re always asking to use my lights: it really gets in the way of my quantum shows.

Anne: well, that’s a good start, but it would hurt to lose a little more deadweight

Joe: why don’t we just use the wheel of pain? That’ll teach those students to stop asking for extensions…

Everyone: good idea

(Holcomb reaches under the table and reveals a large board with a spinning arrow on it and peoples names around its axis. one pie wedge has “jackpot in large sparkly letters, another is labeled “bankrupt”. he gives the arrow a vicious spin….wherever it lands, the faculty all stare pensively at the result. Holcomb then slides the arrow over to jackpot.)

Holcomb: Ok, so the entire senior D/P class is gone. That should free up enough dough for the Jacuzzi.

Tina: yes, but who will install it for us?

Boevers: oh, we can have crazy scheme take care of that…

Norm: DAMNIT DAVE!… who will run the plumbing, because that’s not my, my..

Boevers: crazy scheme

Todd: who do you think is going to do the wiring for that?

Boevers: crazy scheme

Holcomb: Ok, that about wraps it up. Anything else:

Boevers: yeah, if anyone needs snow shoveled…

(Norm grabs a bottle of lotion and Kevin grabs a box of tissues)

Norm: Well, if that’s everything, I have to go…

Kevin: Um, yea, the router needs, some, er, gotta run…

(they run out)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thursday, PM Session

After a longer than usual lunch, we returned for the afternoon crit session. This afternoon's PTM students...

First was Matt

Matt had what is to our recollection the first pneumatically powered crit (if you don't count the keg Chuck had - maybe that counts more as hydraulic).

Then we saw Taylor

Taylor had a VERY green shirt, and he posted an unexpected amount of work from my class.

After that was Kristin

Kristin is trying very hard to not prove the transfer rule. She also apparently really had to go because as of 7pm her work was still posted. I wonder if it is down yet.

Followed shortly by Sylvia

Sylvia apparently does not miss family or friends, just the old 312 (847, 630, 708...)

Eventually we came to Rustin

Rustin raised the bar for PTM PM/SM crit panels. Clearly we are not giving him enough work to do.

And finally Kathryn

Kathryn was very proud she had read so many books and wanted us to know that she had OWNED those H & Best Guess people in class discussion.

Afternoon shoe winner:


If I heard correctly, she bought the shoes at Payless. That could be a new low for the competition, but very nice anyway and nobody will know.

Thursday, AM Session

Because of my subversive schedule idea, there won't be much rhyme or reason to these photos - other than that they will all be PTMish people...

First off we have Chris.

Chris is perhaps trying to set a record for longest student tenure in a Drama program. Just about everyone did remember him though.

Next we have Loren.

Loren has decided to throw scheduling to the wind and attempt to accomplish "the double" a TD/LD emphasis. Good luck on that.

Next up is Dominique

She wanted us all to know about the myriad "disasters" she'd surmounted. Well done.

And then, Jessika

for a relaxing elective, Jessika took Logic from the Philosophy department. When I was at CMU, the Logic course was something we did online at 300baud for 3 easy units. I gather that is no longer the case.

Also getting a mention is April

April gets a spot because of her Crazy Scheme contribution. Thanks April.

Thursday AM shoe winner:



The fall semester reviews started today. I had earlier made many many many people upset by suggesting this year that we go alphabetically through the students rather than do it by class. There's a school of thought that I should have thought it was a good idea as soon as I heard how many people didn't want to do it. Well, today we started, and the world did not come to an end.

We did have two, very nice, two hour crit sessions where we were not once forced to cut anyone off. We finished the day an hour ahead of schedule - and at least on the page - today was the longest day.

So, in many ways it is too early to tell, but for the moment the Alphacrits idea feels successful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Fall '05 All David Honor Roll

The grading for the semester is complete and the following students have distinguished themselves with excellent work in my classes:

April Bartlett
Jake DeGroot
Lee Hollin
Joel Krause
Bob Moczydlowsky

Can I tell you how glad I don't have Bob in CAD next semester? Talk about a worst case title block name!

Congratulations to all, you each deserve the recognition for a job well done. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Scanning Continues

Here's the pic of the day...

Those of you who know me are probably assuming someone just came to my door and asked if they could borrow my stapler.

I assure you that isn't what happened, but it is truly intriguing how little things really do change over the years.

Doing a couple of pictures a day I should be through with this project just in time for my own kids to begin scanning the albums full of photos of their father sitting at his desk scanning pictures.

So far I've stuck with 200dpi, but I think I am making a mistake and should be scanning at least double that. 200dpi will make a serviceable print of the same size as the original, but if I ever want to do anything bigger I am going to wish I had started with more resolution. But then, that's more time, more data, ultimately more disks...

I'm sure whatever I decide to do will ultimately be wrong. That kind of project I'm afraid.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Gifts I Have Already Thought of and Dismissed

I have this peculiar shopping habit. I like to go into the store and look at things and then not buy them. Somehow, getting out the door of the store with nothing feels like winning to me.

I appear to be doing the same thing this year with gifts for the holidays. So far I have had several ideas that have died in the larval stage. Here is a sampling...

#1. NetCams for everyone! Me, the missus, my folks, her folks, her sibs, my sister. Then we could all do video chat instead of phone calls. We looked at cameras, but alas the idea dies in its infancy as we decide that a lack of high speed access for some of the participants is a deal breaker.

#2. Desktop setup for the missus computer! My wife, she has a laptop, which is real cool as a laptop. I had this thought that perhaps I would get her a fullsize keyboard, a flat screen monitor, a mouse and a hub. This idea fails I think because I like it much more than she ever would. It turns out she likes using her laptop as a laptop.

#3. Preloaded Video iPod! This is very cool. You buy an iPod from these guys and they will load up any video content you buy, plus you get the DVDs for home. Apparently transferring non iPod video to you iPod is annoying. Unfortunately, this idea reaches the "need a second mortgage" level fairly quickly.

#4. Wallet full of Gift Cards! While standing in line for a hot chocolate I spy a Starbucks giftcard and thing, hmm, I could get a really cheap wallet and give it as a gift. Then the person opens their gift and is all "what is this crap?" But then they open the wallet and there are a bunch of gift cards for various stores. This gift was made all the more alluring by the idea that our local Giant Eagle store has a stand with gift cards from their whole development - all of whom are national chains, and we get $.10/gal off on gas for every $50 purchased at that store. So we could parlay holiday shopping into free gas. This idea falls apart for being crass, and then also for being something that to be substantive enough also starts to cost real money.

Hmm. And so back to square one. Guess I'll have to do some more brainstorming.

The Scanning Begins

For like the past, forever, I have been trying to get around to either myself or my Dad scanning all of their photo albums.

Last trip home I actually kidnapped the first two - there are maybe 20 - and brought them home with me to start the project myself.

Of course that meant getting my scanner going - the one with the dead power supply. No luck there. But today I finally stopped looking at scanners and bought a new one. I'm glad I did. This one is mucho faster than its predecessor, and it seems like there must be people all over the place doing exactly the same project I am. The software seems specifically set up for large volume scanning of photos. You can scan multiple pieces at one time, do color correction and scratch restoration while scanning. Its all fairly slick.

And that's not counting all the archiving options which I am too overwhelmed to wade into. I think I will stick to directories now.

Would you look at the wallpaper.

Anyway, I officially have another project for my spare time. And I am fairly sure that the scanner and my monitor might join the missus's laptop on the next trip to Chicago - better than trucking priceless albums across the country. Plus I think I will wind up chasing down a lot of emails to make pictures available to them.

No need to look for that guy's email though.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Squeaky Wheel

Did you notice the other day that the format of the page was screwed up? The ad banner at the bottom of the referrer thing had grown to full page width and was cocking up everything.

I was fairly irritated.

So much so that I clicked the banner, looked for a "contact us" thingy and complained:


the adwindow on my referrers links just decided it wants to be full screen width - and its messing up my formatting something nasty.

Anything that can be done aside from dumping the whole applet?

Happening in firefox and in IE - although slightly differently.
Site address: []


and do you know what happened? I actually got a message back, and in just an hour or two:

"Hi David ---

Sorry about that. The new scrolling ad has been hard to get right in all
layouts. I changed yours to a fixed-width that looks like it works for
your page.

Thanks for letting me know; if you see any other problems (or if it
still seems broken for any reason) please just drop me a note.


And presto, the page is fixed. So thank you Mr. Sean for being such a stand up person and helping keep my blog from looking stupid.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Now That's a Snowball

Oh to be in college...

Someone must have had some spare time during last night's snowshower:

These things are six feet if they're an inch. Couldn't tell you how many people they would take to roll. Although they were at the bottom of Flagstaff Hill, so momentum may have had something to do with it.

Talk about freerolls!!! Look out below!