Thursday, March 30, 2006

USITT Day #1

Sessions attended: 0

Today was a marathon ESTA Essential Skills meeting, so I guess technically I didn't really attend USITT. Things I wondered today:

1. Is Hertz really a unit in the same way that other units are units?
2. Is there a simple, positively worded, definition of the word special with regard to lighting?
3. Is it a gobo, a template, or a pattern?
4. Is it politically correct to refer to someone on a crew as the "low man?"
5. Is "hanging position for hanging fixtures on" redundant?

It was a day full of such contemplation.

Alums spotted: Mike, Mike, Ellen, Thom, Mike. I think we're going to try to do a CMU thing tomorrow, so there'll be more then.

Mostly I am wondering if anyone will show for my session. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Random Photos

Phone and camera cleaning day...

Vegas Strip from in front of the Monte Carlo looking North. From my trip during break.

Couple of students presenting in rigging class. This is a working model of a tab curtain.

This is the ladybug that lives in my office. It has been around for months and I figure must either like the cats or have a very poor sense of direction.

Maybe I should have called this blurry random photos.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Going to be at USITT?

If you are going to be at USITT next weekend, I just wanted to invite you to a session I thought might be interesting (oh, and I am chair).

There's been some discussion that in Technical Production we need to do some work to re-engage the commercial end of our profession - basically anyone that doesn't work for a university - with the institute and the commission, that the most exciting and innovative work in the field is not represented.

That discussion lead to the formation of a commission project in Commercial Theatre Outreach, and that project is having a sort of presentation/open meeting this coming Saturday morning as part of the USITT schedule.

If you're going to be there, I'd love for you to make the session.

If you're not going to be there, or you can't make the session, here are some questions I have been asking the participants to try to lay the framework for discussion. I would love to hear any opinions any of you might have.

How active are people that do what you do, or people that work for you in USITT? For those people that don't, what do you believe are the primary stumbling blocks?

Among people working in "Legit" (and for the purposes of this discussion, let's make that anyone making a living from Technical Production someplace other than a school or a LORT) USITT is often referred to as an "academic" group. Is there a reason (other than membership demographics, which would be using the rule to prove the rule) or reasons that people in the Legit sector think this?

Clearly scheduling plays some part in people working Legit Tech Production from attending USITT. The conference is nearly always at the end of March from a Thursday to a Sunday. Is there any timing decision the institute could make that might make it easier for people nor normally attending to make the trip?

It seems apparent that there do not appear to be too many people that regularly attend the conference that Legit Tech Production people are hoping to be able to meet/network/schmooze/sell. Are there people, or classes of people, that we could recruit to attend the conference that would make it more attractive to people not normally attending?

Continuing in the vein of one of the prior questions, most commercial theatre type technical production companies do not exhibit on the USITT Trade Show floor. Are there people, or types of people the institute could look to develop as visitors that might encourage companies like scene shops to exhibit?

Clearly to date there doesn't appear to be any burning need for leading edge tech production professionals to visit the people who normally exhibit on the show floor. Are there companies the institute could solicit to exhibit that might encourage people in Legit Tech Production to want to see the show floor?

It seems that most of the time topics covered in conference sessions are not of interest to people toward the legit end of the spectrum. One of the goals of the outreach project is to try to promote conference programming that might be a draw (like last year's "Get Your Show on the Road" session featuring commercial shippers). Are there conference sessions, or areas of discussion, that you believe would have some traction at the leading edge of technical production?

My own personal feeling is that some of the "academic" reputation for the group is a continuing celebration of the re-invention of the wheel when it comes to technical production. Do you believe that people on the leading edge feel like the level of work represented within USITT activities is somehow *in a different league*? Do you believe there is any appetite at all at the leading edge to celebrate the actual innovative work being done?

Sunday Night TV...

... is exhausting.

So let me see if I got this straight (TIVO users beware): Mrs. Santos may have had a little slip and Toby decided to play chicken with the U.S. Attorney. Tony came out of the coma and Anthony was shopping for a gun. Roman came over for a grandkid's birthday and the people across the street are curious. Shane stood up Carmen at the altar and Helena got cut off.

I swear, its enough to make you roll right out and get a DVR. There's enough TV on the one night to last a whole week and that's without seeing The Simpsons, Iron Chef America, or the premiere of the new season of Deadliest Catch.

For a minute it looked like it might get a little bit simpler. L Word finished up their season tonight. But really that is just making a space for Huff, and truly although I enjoy L Word, Huff is the better show (tonight while watching Big Love it occurred to me that the mother in law on that show appeared to be sitting in the middle of a scene thinking "how come I couldn't get the Mother part on Huff?")

I know its shallow. I know I should have a hobby, or be working, or even reading a book. I know my parents saw it happening and did what they could to keep me from becoming a TV junkie. I think in my defense I am very much a functioning addict. I don't rush home to see things, or pass up opportunities to be out to be home watching TV. I don't tape one thing while watching another thing - 20 years ago I might have done any of those things. So at least I've grown a tiny bit.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be one of those "kill your TV people" who don't even have a television in their house. Well, not so much, I can imagine what 12 cable payments a year going into a 401k would be like. But beyond the pure dollar waste, I mean, how do these people even survive?

Do you think if there were a depression era speech these days it would say something to the effect of "A cell phone in every pocket, and cable TV in every living room!"

Poor Carmen, and that Roman in creepy, and I hope Syl is ok, and I sure hope Santos can carry California. And I hope some day my children have more willpower than I do.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Just Don't Know

Would you sign a loyalty oath if your job would fire you if you didn't? And no, not some kind of oath to your job, an oath to the country and state. The other day when posting articles for the News From The Real World site I came across this article:

I guess this is some sort of post 9/11 solidarity display. The Community College of Southern Nevada now requires all faculty to pledge a loyalty oath. The article lists this text:
"I do solemnly swear that I will protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, and the Constitution and Government of the State of Nevada."
I really don't know how I feel about this. First off, I mean I think I have a problem with a compulsory oath of any kind. Second, it isn't like this is some kind of military or police service. I guess it is possible that this is a government job, and somewhere someone passed a law requiring an "oath of office" from all government employees. But really, from the drama teacher at the community college? I think if this is where our homeland security breaches are coming from then one of two things must be true:

1. We're WAY to worried about homeland security.


2. We're totally not looking where we ought to be for the bad guys.

Also, isn't there something fundamentally unamerican about the blind pledge to defend anything? I thought we were supposed to question our government. I think a pledge to protect the people is one thing, a pledge to protect the nation or protect the constitution maybe, perhaps an oath to insure the integrity of the governing process I can see, but a blind pledge to defend the government? Sometimes the government is the problem, yes?

I just don't know about this one.

Friday, March 24, 2006

CMU Pre-College Design & Production

Do you know a high school junior (or maybe sophomore) who might be heading toward a career in technical theatre? I've been pressing hard to make the CMU summer program sort of a "National High School Technical Theatre Academy." We're well on our way. Last year we had more classes and opportunities than ever before and we're looking this year to build upon that.

Please, if you know someone appropriate, or have contact with high school educators, pass this information on to them.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Link of the Day

I think the next time I find myself having to look for work I might just try to run a business like this myself.

After all, bascially it is automated scenery. Maybe, in the next house, I'll try some of this in my own home.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blog Says its March 22nd

My office three month rolling calendar still has January on it. Since the day I got it I have never had to write up all three months at once.

Been that kind of a spring.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Just Say It

I HATE the new "Big Buckin Chicken" advert on the TV. Hate it. Completely.

Also I am fairly over the use of the word "frackin" on Battlestar Galactica. Really, really like the show; really, really hate the script device.

And as long as I have slipped into ranting mode, I can't stand the practice of blurring prurient visual images on regular TV with a mosaic.

Really, I've had enough. You're not protecting anyone. It's the context that's the issue, not the actual word or the image. If what you mean to be doing is showing a naked person, then show a naked person. If you mean to be cursing, curse:


How hard is that?

This kind of crap is tasteless, cheap, and really just not creative. Do you really mean to tell me the only way you thought you could sell that chicken sandwich was to call it a big fucking chicken sandwich? This is the length and depth of the creativity of an advertising agency? I hope you all lose that account, and that nobody buys the sandwich. What a joke.

The "frack" thing was fun on the old BG. Add to that "feltercarp" which was the analog for another Anglo Saxon scatological interjection and you had some nice dialog. Feltercarp didn't make the trip forward in time to this version of the show, "frack" did. Except that they've become somewhat more verbally dexterous in their application. Use to be that someone stubbed their toe and said "Frack!" Now they've got the new and improved and say things like "Frack You" and "Go Frack Yourself" and my favorite "you're not still frackin her?" This crosses the line from freewheeling interjection to poorly disguised curse word - a verbal mosaic if you like. If the dialog is supposed to be that crunchy, then just make it that crunchy. People know what the word is, or will deduce the meaning from context. The fig leaf is a lazy embarrassment.

Really I think the same goes for nudity. Once you hop the fence from bathing suits and lingerie into Full Monty programming, you ought not try to balance up there on the top rail. Do us all a favor and come the rest of the way over and just show what you mean to be showing. The blurred image is again, just lazy.

Why lazy? Because what it means is that someone couldn't figure out a better way to sell the product, tell the story, or engage your sexuality - except to be base, and really their must be a better way to do so in a programming environment meant for all viewers.

And by the way this doesn't mean that there isn't a place for foul language and naked pictures. I think most people actually like both in moderation. But let's put this stuff where it belongs. Go all the way, use the real language and visuals and then put them out of reach of kids. Put them on pay channels, tag them with TVMA ratings, and be honest about the adult nature of the programming. Would it kill me to have to watch Battlestar Galactica after 11PM on Showtime rather than at 10 PM of SciFi? No.

Would it kill me if I never saw that Burger King commercial again in my life? Certainly not.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday at the Movies

We went to see V today. This was of course a risk because much in the same way that I had both been anticipating and dreading the Doctor Who episode on Friday I have likewise had the same conflicting thoughts about this film. Before there was The Matrix there was Bound, and I loved Bound, and then I loved The Matrix and the next Matrix, and that other Matrix (although seeing the third one at the Carnegie Science Center made my neck hurt). So the next film from the same team really had my hopes up - even if they didn't direct this time.

I should at this point say that it is a very good film.

It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, and truth be told I think the marketing people are selling the film I was thinking about, not the one they actually made. So if you were expecting something in the film making vein of Bound and The Matrix, then this won't precisely be what you are expecting. Still good, but different.

I do have to say that watching an entire film where you don't ever really see the face of the main character got to be a little unfortunate - which is funny you know, because I don't think I would have said that about Darth Vader or even Spiderman. Yet in this case, I kept wanting to see some expression on the face of the lead.

Also, in an unexpected way, the plot of the film was somewhat depressing. The environment and the set up are very much a downer, and the ending while affirming isn't nearly as true to life as what comes before. As disturbing and melodramatically drawn as the world of the film is, I can't help but think that we are a lot closer to that world than anyone would like to admit. This world of fear, of political renditions, and of frenzied homeland security just rang too true for me to truly enjoy the film. There's no fault there to be placed with the film makers, they hit the nail right on the head. I guess it just stirred in me a reaction that while substantive wasn't conducive to a day at the movies.

I guess I wish I felt that we had in our world what it took the people of the world of the film to overcome their situation - I just don't. Hopefully it will never come to that.

After the movie? Sushi from a mostly empty Yokoso! Yum.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Where did spring break go??? Well, it is Doctor Who, the Autons were a nice touch, pity about Gallifrey though... People, those are moving sidewalks, it's not a ride... It is true, you have to bet money to win money... I think the phone company's voice mail is like having your very own forgetful administrative assistant... After the fact, back and forth to Vegas in 36 hours still seems like it isn't the best way to plan a trip, well, maybe if you live in LA... What is the point of having insurance that really won't pay for anything or that you can't use??? I have frackin had it up to HERE with that "big buckin chicken" ad and everything else on the TV that is but isn't... The day to work on your resume, CV, or portfolio is not the day before you need your resume, CV, or portfolio... Airlines, for the moment, are not allowed to try to obfuscate the true cost of a trip, wouldn't it be nice if other companies - like for instance the cable people - had to play by those rules too??? The latest Jesse Stone novel is a pretty good, pretty fast read... What's one sure way to get bad information from someone that has a vested interest - ask them... It appears that perhaps kittens do miss you... Why is it that the more work you do the more work there is that seems to need doing??? Doctor Who would have been even better if it had had a new SG-1 before it and a new Galactica after it...

iTunes May Hate Me

The iTunes Oracle

Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
Father to Son (Phil Collins)

Will I have a happy life?
Drowning (Hootie & The Blowfish)

What do my friends really think of me?
Watching You (Melissa Etheridge)

Do people secretly lust after me?:
Do You Love? (Natalie Imbruglia)

How can I make myself happy?
You Can’t Make Love (Don Henley)

What should I do with my life?
Don’t Let Him Go (REO Speedwagon)

Will I ever have children?
Power of Two (Indigo Girls)

What is some good advice for me?
Try Not to Breathe (REM)

How will I be remembered?
Winona (Matthew Sweet)

What is my signature dancing song?
I Wanted to Tell You (Matthew Sweet)

What do I think my current theme song is?
Some Kind of Woman (Traffic)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Leave me Alone (Natalie Imbruglia)

What song will play at my funeral?
When You Find the One (Melissa Etheridge)

What type of men/women do you like?
Men: Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes)
Women: Head Over Feet (Alanis Morissette)

What is my day going to be like?
Stealing Time (Gerry Rafferty)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More More Memes

Kelly Clarkson Shares Your Taste in Music

See her whole playlist here (iTunes required)

Your Inner Blood Type is Type A

You seem cool and collected, though a bit shy.
You are highly driven and a perfectionist, but that's a side you keep to yourself.
Creative and artistic, you are a very unique person who doesn't quite fit in.
People accept you more than you realize, seeing you as trustworthy and loyal.

You are most compatible with: A and AB

Famous Type A's: Britney Spears and Hilter

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

0% Down and 0% Financing on Memes

You Are 80% "Average American"

You are average because you drink on occasion.

You are not average since you have (at least) a college degree.

Only Four Days Left

You Are a Chocolate Martini

You're an elegant drunk, who only likes the best bars and the most expensive drinks.
A bit of a cheapskate, you're likely to mooch ten dollar drinks off both friends and strangers.

You should never: Drink and dash. You're gonna get caught leaving someone with the tab!

Your ideal party: A posh celebrity party you crash, with an open bar.

Your drinking soulmates: those with a Classic Martini personality

Your drinking rivals: those with a Blueberry Martini personality

Monday, March 13, 2006

Clearance Sale Continues

You Were Actually Born Under:
Full of spunk, you are the original party animal.
You bring fun, activity, and stimulation to any event.
Self-control is not one of your strong points; you have been known to over indulge.
Cheerful and energetic, you can turn the most boring thing into something fun.

You are most compatible with a Rat or Dragon.
You Should Have Been Born Under:

You've got a ton of energy - and need plenty of room to roam.
You tend to follow your whims, and it's hard for you to stick to one thing.
Specific jobs, loves, and friends are always changing and never a part of your life for long.
Very intuitive, you tend to know what people are thinking before they say a word.

You are most compatible with a Dog or Tiger.

Spring Break Sale

You scored 55% SWEET, 74% CHUNKY, and 51% UNIQUE!
cherry sweet cream base with cherries and fudge chunks are one of my personal favs: Cherry Garcia. You fall in the middle on all measurements- sweet, wild, and unique, but not overwhelmingly so on any of those. You make a good friend, able to share your unique perspectives on things, and able to have fun without winding up in jail or something. Good job.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 2% on SWEET
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 70% on CHUNKY
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 12% on UNIQUE
Link: The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor Test written by weered1 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'm Famous, Again

Keep this up I just might actually become famous. Not.

Friday, March 10, 2006

All David Honor Roll

The Spring 06 Mid-Semester All David Honor Roll is out:

Devon Allen
Laura Bacon
Chris Conti
Jake DeGroot
Joel Donovan
Dana Hesch
Maddie Keller
Sam Zarn
Scott Hay
Jeffery Shepherd

All things pointing toward a great semester. Keep up all the good work!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Just give Anna Nicole the money already... Windows is, in fact, the devil... Do you think the way things are going that we will have no choice but to attack Iran??? The problem with giving homework is - grading homework, yes, that old chestnut... Does anyone know a driveway guy??? Is there really any choice but to deal with the democratically elected government of a country, even if it is Hamas??? Cats smell like Fabreeze after grooming, do you think it really is Fabreeze??? I might have found another article to write, the last one went to print yesterday... Nobody is talking about the earthquake victims in Pakistan anymore... I think I get to go to Vegas over break... Is it interesting that in the same week South Dakota banned all abortion and Wal-Mart agreed to carry the morning after pill nationally??? I can't believe there is only one mini left in this academic year, where does the time go??? There's really nothing more annoying than car trouble... How many times in your life do you think you need to answer "what do you want to be when you grow up???" New games always seem to mean more RAM... Why on Earth would you boot a car in a permit parking lot - JUST TOW THE THING... That live action Simpsons thing is pretty cool... I am fairly sure that the gambling industry won't be the solution for anything in Pittsburgh... Its time to work on my CV again, anybody got a good CV format for an academic technical director??? Poor Santino, they spend the whole show telling him to tone it down and then in the final tell him he was too conservative... I am unavailable for meetings at 6:00 PM... It will be really nice to see those ENRON guys get it, but good... I am getting some very good work on assignments this year... I hadn't seen a single movie nominated for best picture... Is there anything in life that isn't tax deductible when you work in entertainment??? Doctor Who is coming, outstanding, I sure hope it doesn't suck... Note to self: a 21 page .pdf is too big to email, even with DSL... Is nervous eye-twitch contagious??? I haven't been to the O since I said goodbye to the O, that astounds me... I don't think I will be in good enough shape to play summer league this year, too sad... For some reason I am not all that excited about the return of the Sopranos, although it is encouraging me to once again open my home for student West Nile vaccinations... Really, I don't like broccoli, I'm not just assuming... I like a clean office, I think I'll clean this one...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Link of the Day

From reader Stephanie in Chicago we have this:

Thanks Stephanie!

More Mental Reprogramming

Survey question on the other page.

Mental Reprogramming

I gave a lecture today in rigging class I have done several time before. It is the introductory lecture to the "engineering" section of the course. The semester starts with a review of common systems and then transitions into the workings and selection parameters for the components of those systems - this is the section I started today.

Traditionally this class has centered around some terms: ultimate load, safe working load, proof load, safety factor, minimum failure load, design factor, working load limit. We talk about "rated" and "unrated" and we talk about "malleable" and "drop forged" and how these terms effect component selection. Then usually I ask then which of the terms above appear to go together, and then once we have them grouped we look at the relationship of one group to another, how to relate minimum failure load to working load limit, what is design factor, and how does proof load fit into all of this.

After all of that we talk about entertainment industry traditionally applied safety factors, what to apply in what kind of situation. Finally I talk to them about what it means to derate your safety factor, and what you need to do in terms of inspection, training, retirement, and engineering to protect yourself and the performers under those derated circumstances.

At least, that's what I used to do. Today was very different. Today I spent most of the time hearing myself in my head doing a mantra reminding myself: "Don't say safety factor! Don't say safety factor! Don't say safety factor!"

Safety Factor - No, Design Factor - Yes. (Bread good, fire bad...)

One of the most significant things to my experience as a Subject Matter Expert on the ETCP Rigging Certification was a sort of circling the wagons on technical terms. Actually this has been one of the biggest pluses of the experience going all the way back to the ESTA Certification Program Committee several years ago. I assume that it is a benefit of any high level professional interaction and I would advise everyone to seek out these kinds of gatherings and conversations.

Somewhere along the way in our deliberations we stumbled on the idea that you can't say safety factor anymore. My assumption is that this comes form industry and from litigation. The tone in the room was that by saying you employed a safety factor you were somehow warranting that you had made something safe, when really all you had done was to make something safer as there is always and will always be some element of risk in this kind of engineering. Our job is to design systems to best mitigate and minimize that risk - hence: design factor.

I guess saferty factor sounds stupid.

Today it was me that sounded stupid, hitching up every time I got to what has in the past been "safety factor" and having to remember to insert "design factor." I missed it about half the time. Finally I gave up and explained the issue to the class and then threw on top of it that SWL or safe working load was likely on its way out too. Time to remember to use working load limit.

It bothers me that we can't use the traditional language when the process we're describing isn't changing. If it really is for legal reasons, doesn't it seem appropriate that the process is what is important rather than the language. Derating the ultimate load is making the installation safer. Why should we not be able to call the coefficient applied to the ultimate to arrive at the safer number the safety factor?

And why can't they call flame proofing, flame proofing rather than application of flame retardant? Isn't it clear that eventually everything will burn? Does using different language somehow help that?

And weren't seatbelts originally safety belts?

I am going to miss safety factor.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Still Bugging Me

Quite some time ago I was watching a TV show about the construction projects going on in Beijing in preparation for the summer Olympics. They have a number of truly interesting architectural projects underway. Not the least of which is the Olympic Stadium:

This design is supposed to be evocative of a birds nest, although from this elevation it looks almost as if they've draped it with Rosco texture. The thing is made up of hundreds of unique members, each of which is engineered within an inch of its life. The shell is actually a facade which is attached to the interior structure of support beams.

On the show, they were with the architect while he was on an inspection tour of the facility during construction. They showed a conversation between the architect and the construction manager where they were talking about this lattice of supporting beams. The design was set up so that if you look down the alley between the building and the shell that all of the support beams line up with eachother - so that it just looks like one beam in its front el. On site, they put the things up such that they are all at different angles and significantly obstruct the volume of the space in that same elevation which had been designed so cleanly.

The manager gave a very "what can you do" explanation for the problem and then quickly segued into a treatise on budget and schedule and why there was simply no way the beams could be replaced. The architect let discretion be the better part of valor and did not push the point, choosing not to expend whatever political capital he has on what is ostensibly the building's underwear.

I have to say that weeks later this is still bugging me as a technical director. In such a once in a lifetime project it seems like the attitude for construction was really cavalier. I understand why they can't go backward, but I would have been much more upset that the change had happened in the first place. Even now I find myself thinking that they could apply scenic facias to the existing beams in such a way as to resolve all of the differing elevations into one uniform line. Maybe someone there will think of that too. Because it really does seem like it is a shame.

Building scenery, I often find myself in the "it'll be dark, they'll be drinking" or "if they're looking at that, there is really something wrong with the show" territory. I suppose this construction manager might be thinking that if anyone is looking at the elevation of the inner support beams that there must be something dreadfully boring going on in the competition. But this isn't even something on the order of a Broadway Musical, this is a world showcase; and it isn't an ephemeral project, it is an enduring work of civic art that could stand for more than a century. It just feels the work deserves more respect than it got in this case. But then, maybe that's why I build scenery and not stadiums.

What Goes Around...

I ran a stop sign tonight, totally missed it. The significance of this was not missed by the policeman sitting at the sidestreet.


So I pull off the street into a parking lot, turn on my dome light and get out my paperwork. The officer talked to me some, ran my paperwork, and then explained that he wasn't citing me because nobody ever pulls off the busy street during a traffic stop.

Who knew?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Am Afraid of This Administration

The other day, when I was writing the UAE port management post, I censored myself. If you look in the margin it says I didn't write something because I was afraid of THE MAN. I was going to speculate something I had no proof of and hadn't see elsewhere in the media. It just seemed likely and made an interesting slant on what was a fairly mundane rant.

But I thought better of it, or rather I second guessed myself. What with the way things are going I really did think that I would write something unsubstantiated and all of a sudden my parents Medicare would get cocked up, or I would get the mother of all IRS audits, or CMU would lose some lucrative government contract. It seems like when someone is critical of this administration they do what they can to make things miserable for them. Sometimes it seems that to the puppetmasters the reprisal is more important than their own agenda.

Its scary, and its real, and I am afraid, even with my tiny little blog corner of the world that really I think less than 100 people in the world are even aware of.

All in all I think its fairly sad. What's the "V for Vengeance" trailer say? "People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of the people." Maybe we ought to be thinking about that.

So here is what I was going to say the other day:

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the UAE is a part owner in The Carlyle Group. That this port buy would be of very real financial benefit to many of the people currently running our government and setting policy.
I guess in hindsite there's nothing there that would cause my life to fall apart. But you never can tell, can you?

Today from boingboing:
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment group where the President's father once served as senior advisor, and is a who's who of former high level government officials... Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government buyout firm, invested in an 8 billion dollar Carlyle fund.
So much for my intuition scoop.

These guys are slimy. If it takes the next 50 years we should dedicate ourselves to unraveling the lies and half truths to find out just why it has been necessary for so many people to die, for economies to be tampered with, and governments manipulated all to enrich and empower this shadow elite. (real aggresive accusation deleted - see, shit, I did it again.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

New List Items

Summarized and slightly adapted from the comments below.

Be Patient
Carry a pencil
Carry some paper
crawl/climb over things
Defer to those with more knowledge
Find an alarm clock that works
Having fun in stressful situations
how to clean things
How to handle idiotic comments
How to handle negative criticism
How to make any object a hammer
know when something is too big to fit before you move it there
Know when to smile and nod and when to not smile and nod
Knowing different names for tools, and slang for things
knowing how to call in when you oversleep, because you will.
knowing when it is ok to fuck up and when it isn't
Laughing at your mistakes
Learn to spell
make things fit in box
make things fit in dumpster
make things fit on rack
Play well with others
Prepare for work
remember its us and not me and them.
Remember lists of numbers
Remember names
Show up early
Speak up with new ideas diplomatically
When and How to sleep
Write things down

Now, were I continuing with this exercise, I would likely separate the list into clumps to form course units. I'll have to ponder that.

And Now For the Down Side

I have to say, with the things that are available on the list that if I come through with aloof and cynical I think I did fairly well.

After doing both the johari and the nohari surveys I thought a couple of things were interesting. I thought that it was interesting that the groups of respondents were not the same. I thought that more of the johari respondents were identifiable to me. I wonder who Brooke is. It is interesting to watch the answers from known respondents based upon when they know me, although most of the people were recent, there are some distinct bands with that group, and even more distinct differences based upon people who go farther back. It's also interesting to see which people I am aware of reading the page elected not to participate.

Oh well, without further delay, here's the bad news (you can always scroll down for good news if you like):


(known to self and others)

glum, insecure, lethargic, cynical

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

intolerant, inflexible, aloof, simple, withdrawn, hostile, selfish, unhappy, needy, cruel, ignorant, distant, childish, boastful, chaotic, loud, insensitive, self-satisfied, smug, overdramatic, predictable, callous, cold


(known only to self)



(known to nobody)

incompetent, timid, cowardly, violent, stupid, irresponsible, vulgar, unhelpful, unimaginative, inane, brash, irrational, blasé, imperceptive, impatient, weak, embarrassed, vacuous, panicky, unethical, rash, dispassionate, dull, inattentive, unreliable, foolish, humourless

Dominant Traits

54% of people think that dboevers is aloof
54% of people agree that dboevers is cynical

All Percentages

incompetent (0%) intolerant (9%) inflexible (18%) timid (0%) cowardly (0%) violent (0%) aloof (54%) glum (18%) stupid (0%) simple (18%) insecure (27%) irresponsible (0%) vulgar (0%) lethargic (9%) withdrawn (45%) hostile (9%) selfish (9%) unhappy (9%) unhelpful (0%) cynical (54%) needy (18%) unimaginative (0%) inane (0%) brash (0%) cruel (9%) ignorant (18%) irrational (0%) distant (45%) childish (9%) boastful (9%) blasé (0%) imperceptive (0%) chaotic (9%) impatient (0%) weak (0%) embarrassed (0%) loud (9%) vacuous (0%) panicky (0%) unethical (0%) insensitive (9%) self-satisfied (9%) passive (0%) smug (18%) rash (0%) dispassionate (0%) overdramatic (9%) dull (0%) predictable (27%) callous (27%) inattentive (0%) unreliable (0%) cold (18%) foolish (0%) humourless (0%)

Created by the Nohari Window on 3.3.2006, using data from 11 respondents.
You can make your own Nohari Window, or view dboevers's full data.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


So if you've looked at the margin of this page you know I work at Carnegie Mellon - The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Also if you've read any number of posts here then you know that I am a technical instructor. That's the preamble.

I really think the people at the number listed above ought to have to have something else appear on my call waiting when they call me. It happens roughly once every other month.

Here I am sitting at home playing a relaxing game of CivIV when the phone rings. Casually I peer over at the display to see the incoming number and I see "268-4366 CARNEGIE MELLON." If you understand that Technical Directors are basically professional pessimists then you might have an idea of what happens to me mentally and physiologically in the next half second.

Mostly I just assume that the theatre building is on fire.

Sometimes I get the feeling that something one of my students built, installed, or rigged has failed in one way or another and several people are on their way to the hospital.

Occasionally I figure some kid has run their hand through the table saw.

Whatever it is, it is usually enough to shoot my blood pressure into the stratosphere and just briefly stop my heart.

The last time this happened was two nights ago. On this particular occasion I had the added dimension that my wife had gone to CMU to see the show on stage. So along with my usual suite of nightmares I had one that something had happened to my spouse and they were calling to tell me that she was on her way to the hospital by ambulance and I need to go meet her there.


Without fail however, upon picking up the phone this is what I hear:

"Mr. Boevers? I'm Joe Student calling from Carnegie Mellon. We would like to talk to you about the alumni giving program."

What do you think the odds are I receive this message warmly when all I see in my head are mars lights on various emergency vehicles? I mean, I know I could do a lot to relax in my life. But really, this kind of help I don't need.