Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Tree Saga Continues

When last we left the Tree Saga - if you've been following here, on Twitter, and on Facebook - we'd seen a disaster in the making in the yard, gotten a fairly high quote to remove the tree, and unfortunately confirmed that the price wasn't out of line.

Today there were more developments.

It turns out that my town has an arborist. I know this because I looked it up. How did I know to look it up? That I couldn't tell you - although it has This Old House written all over it. So I call the arborist and leave a message (the guy has a voicemail like he might say "could you please speak into the machine?") and today he leaves me a message (on the line where the outgoing message says "please don't leave me a meesage here, I never check the mailbox, call my cell or send an email) saying he'd pop around to the house and have a look and that he couldn't say anything official as the tree isn't on borough property, but that he could give me an unofficial assessment. So he called back later and did just that.

Keep in mind now that the first guy came to see it and said "Take it down."

So of course this guy says "Sure I think you can save that tree." He goes on to say that basically it would mean installing some threaded rod in the break and then a support cable higher up - which happens to be the way I would have detailed the repair myself had I thought I knew the first thing about trees, so maybe I do.

As an aside this makes for a GREAT project for me because I like to take on anything that would mean I would need to buy tools. This project would require a ladder, maybe some climbing gear, an impact wrench and deep well sockets (only one, but who buys one socket), probably a nasty looking auger bit, and perhaps a come-along or even a winch. That's a fairly neat looking list - maybe about $800 in tools? I bet that's close to what the tree guy would charge me to do it for me.

So the Tree Service says take it down and the Arborist says it can be repaired or maybe just take down part of it.

But of course there's more.

See the arborist goes on to say that the particular tree in question is an ash. Regular TANBI readers might remember this post about the ash trees around my home town that were all being cut down due to the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer. Well it turns out that right here in PA we also have that particular pest, not yet right here, but in Western PA in the Cranberry area. The point he was making in telling me this was that it seemed like it might be foolish to spend too much money saving the tree if in not too short a time I might have to take it down anyway.

Great. So to recap: It can be saved, or part of it can be saved, but even if you save it you might have to cut it down soon - depending on totally unknown insect migration.

Sometimes information just makes things less clear than they were to begin with.


  • 09:28 Does $1400 sound like too much to have a wind damaged tree removed? #
  • 16:16 Some days, rarely, Congress surprises me. Now it's your turn to chill out trader people. Nothing done in a hurry is done well. #
  • 22:19 So, it turns out that $1250/day is a reasonable rate for a tree crew and $1400 to cut one down and haul it away isn't unreasonable at all. #
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Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain? Thumbs Down

Guess who's not coming to dinner :: rogerebert.com :: News & comment: "You made a TV commercial showing the moments Obama agreed with you. Everybody knows he did. Did his agreement show honesty, or weakness? It is significant that you said it proved he was not ready to lead. What is the better leadership quality: (1) Willingness to listen to your opponent, and keep an open mind? (2) Rigidly ignoring him? Which of the two of you better demonstrated the bipartisan spirit you say you represent? Was there anything he said that you agreed with? Could you have brought yourself to say so?"

Epic Fail?

Onsypoo32 (6:47:00 PM): I can't take it anymore. I've tried and it just isn't working out. Could you see if I can get a refund if I withdraw immediately?
dboevers (6:47:21 PM): I won't be able to tell without starting the paperwork
dboevers (6:47:35 PM): Dick is still here, so I will go see him and get it started right now
dboevers (6:47:45 PM): the faster we do it the more likely you get a refund
Onsypoo32 (6:47:48 PM): ok
dboevers (6:47:56 PM): this is fairly unexpected
Onsypoo32 (6:47:59 PM): I know
Onsypoo32 (6:48:07 PM): the other people are just being so mean to me
Onsypoo32 (6:48:12 PM): I just can't handle it
dboevers (6:48:17 PM): alright
dboevers (6:48:21 PM): I will see what I can do
dboevers (6:48:26 PM): don't worry about it
dboevers (6:48:35 PM): you should hear from the HUB tomorrow morning first thing
Onsypoo32 (6:48:38 PM): thanks
dboevers (6:48:41 PM): 'night

I'll let the HUB decide...


  • 16:42 Lunch at Wholleys #
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I've found it really difficult to sit down and actually write something lately. Really, lately I am finding it difficult to sit down and do anything. I was going to write something earlier this weekend about the debate. On Real Time this week, right after the debate Ralph Nader hit the nail right on the head when in declaring the winner as Defense Contractors, Wall Street Barons...

The debate was disappointing.

I might have written about how each time Sarah Palin appears on TV I cringe just a little bit more. Last week on Real Time Bill said if you put a gun to her head and asked her what the SEC was that he thought she'd have no answer. It might have been a funny joke had it not had the remote possibility of truth about it.

For a little bit I was thinking about writing about all the wondrous things in my life lately, things about my folks and work and the house and the cats that are having a never ending pee party. Part of the trouble with activation energy lately is that there really just seems to be one thing on top of the next in a way I just cannot recall from my past. Just seems like there's always another hill behind the current hill - and really its like watching some terrible tectonic activity where even before summiting the current hill a whole new one, and often a taller one, just grows up out of the ground.

I'm pooped.

For a little while I thought about writing up our trip to Pittsburgh's Strip District today. We went looking for Mrs. TANBI's "new fruit" - a new year tradition in her family. We struck out we think.

I could talk about my snazzy new GPS which I've been completely unable to sync with my phone even though it looked like it worked for a minute. It is cool to hear it say "PA-30, Ardmore Road" when the old one would say "exit left."

I've been thinking a lot lately about the economy and the state of the American Dream. It seems odd to me that in the media there doesn't seem to be such a thing as a house priced lower than $400,000. Don't most people live in houses worth less than that?

The bank bailout is fairly gloomy too. I know I didn't screw up. I didn't over-borrow - even though while loan shopping I did come against one of the kind of loans that's a big part of the current problem. To me it looked too good to be true, so I passed. How come I now need to pony up my tax money to bail out people who didn't?

But I won't really be writing about any of those things now. Maybe later though.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


  • 18:46 going out to game night for Noam's birthday #
  • 02:55 can't sleep #
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Saturday, September 27, 2008


  • 11:33 Studiocraft - CAD - just enough to be dangerous #
  • 16:41 first option coordinator meeting #
  • 22:20 Why is it that McCain seems to think Obama cannot both understand an issue and disagree? Talk about elitist #
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Sucks to be Me

I have two songs stuck in my head today. The first one goes:

We fish gnu a mare egrets moose, We fish gnu a mare egrets moose, We fish gnu a mare egrets moose,and a hippo gnu year
Think "We wish you a merry Christmas." It was a shoebox card years ago.

The next one starts:
We're whalers on the moon, we carry a harpoon
It's from Futurama - Are you a fungineer?

I have no idea why.


  • 14:04 Today Tech Design 2 was coffee with Kevin, without coffee or Kevin #
  • 22:59 To Kyle who reads my blog: Please don't hit up Mrs. TANBI for money. #
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Rigging Pics

Got rigging pictures?

I need rigging pictures.

Willing to take some rigging pictures?

I need rigging pictures.

Or rigging drawings, that'd work too...

I need any and all visuals I can get pertinent to stage rigging: systems, system components, parts, gear, scenery rigged to fly, curtains, track, curtain rigging, tools, fire curtain & rigging, winches, controllers, support structures, whatever… Photos are best, drawings are cool too.

Got 'em? Send 'em!

Willing to make 'em? I want 'em!

A lot of 'em? Email and I'll get you a Flickr group to post to.

Yeah, I need rigging pictures.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


  • 13:11 Technical Direction: moulding, moulding, moulding... #
  • 14:44 @ninaksimon there's a presentation program that's part of Google Docs #
  • 01:16 Can't sleep. Well, there's always email. #
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Hit & Run > The Four-Paragraph White Flag - Reason Magazine: "No matter how many times you'll hear it said over the next several awful days in Washington, this is not a binary choice between Henry Paulson's re-regulatory bailout and Great Depression 2.0. The 1930s will never happen again, thanks to a whole host of innovations and insights over the past seven decades. And even though the current mortgage-backed securities crisis is undeniably beginning to leak out from Wall Street, I'll reserve the kind of panic Bush seems eager to foment until maybe the economy actually stops growing, unemployment actually gets within shouting distance of Reagan-era levels, and the stock market does something scarier than fluctuate a whole lot."


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clear, Sober, Concise, Logical

That WOULD be Scary

They Don't Make Financial Crises Like They Used To - 236.com - The Room: "It could only be scarier if he asked Colin Powell to present it to us using satellite photography."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Not Up to Them

I don't know about you, but I've been a little off put by the tone surrounding the banking bailout. It sounds sort of like since it is clear that something does have to be done the people that created the mess think they should be able to tell us what they want done to fix it.

Ladies and gentlemen of the financial sector, over the past couple of years you've clearly demonstrated that you do not have any perspective on your industry and selfishly prioritize yourselves far in front of the customer, let alone the public good. On behalf of the rest of the people of the United States I have a message for you: Shut the fuck up.


Just take a moment and look at that number. The first time I typed it I bailed out at seven hundred million. It's just stratospheric. I don't understand a number with that many digits. Right thinking people would have long before switched to exponential notation.

The powers that be say that they need to give this much money to financial companies to keep the credit market from freezing - that without this injection of capital there will be no money to loan. I have a better idea. Just give the people the $700,000,000,000 and nobody will need to borrow money (ok ,that's probably not true, it only comes to like $2200/person if you tally everyone - although that would be more than $10,000 for a family of five).

Interestingly it sounds like really nobody is for this plan as the White House is scripting it. The Republicans think it's socialist and the Democrats think its a corporate bonanza. Hard to be in favor of pretty much anything both parties can muster opposition for.

Like I started though, I think I can be convinced that something does need to be done. I just don't like the air of expectation I am perceiving, like this is some sort of natural disaster the we should all be rallying together to overcome. But this mess isn't Katrina. It's not a fire, or an earthquake or a tsunami - no matter how much hyperbole the newscasters apply to it. Really this is a consumer product disaster, maybe the worst one ever. Worse than the Pinto, worse than Falidomide, worse than Love Canal, worse than the 1980's Tylenol scare, probably even worse than Bhopal or Chernobyl; in terms of man made disasters this one is right up there.

There should not be a rescue without accountability, restitution, and some kind of future assurances.

So if the powers of the financial sector and their lobbyists think the time is right to weigh in making us feel grateful for their help maybe we ought to float some provisions that will make them happy for whatever they can get, and thankful we weren't as aggressive as we could, as maybe we should be. There's talk on the news about how uncomfortable people are with tying top-executive compensation to a bail out. That's really the very least we should be talking about. Perhaps it shouldn't just be top execs, and maybe... maybe it ought to be retroactive to the inception date of the first asset we the people are being asked to buy. I mean, they were screwing up a long time ago, why should they get to keep all that money?

Talk about making them liable for retroactive exorbitant salary and maybe they won't fight so hard about future salary caps.

A list of perfectly justified bailout conditions to maybe help tilt the conversation in our favor:
  • Anyone holding a management position in a company involved in the bailout is enjoined from holding any financial services job for the period of the bailout
  • Upon resolution of the troubled investments any company selling these investments is to be liquidated with the proceeds going to the Treasury
  • A special prosecutor is appointed to research all transactions of all companies utilizing the bailout looking for fraud or criminal negligence, companies involved shall have no privilege or 5th amendment protection from this investigation
  • The entire cost of the bailout will be covered by a special tax to be levied only against people making in excess of $1,000,000/yr or 80% of their income from investments for as long as it takes to refund the Treasury
  • No employee of any bailed out company or their board shall receive annual compensation greater than the highest paid analogous US Government employee retroactive to the sale date of the first asset assumed by the Treasury
  • Although the current Congress and administration can make the promise, not one nickle will be allocated until March 1st, 2009
In the grand scheme it's not much, but it might get rid of this lousy taste I have in my mouth.

Making a mess so big you can't clean it up yourself needs to have real repercussions. From what we see on TV so far I don't think the parties involved feel that way. I can't help but think if that point isn't driven home to them they will simply find a different kind of mess to make after you and I put up the cash to clean up this one.

"M" is for the...

Playbill News: Apple Tree Founder Boevers Will Get Special Jeff Award in Chicago: "Boevers has produced, directed, taught, performed and written for Apple Tree Theatre since its founding in 1983. During her tenure Apple Tree Theatre garnered 112 Jeff nominations and 28 Jeff Awards for excellence in Chicago area theatre. Further, she founded the Eileen Boevers' Performing Arts Workshop in 1970, where, employing Chicago's top theatre artists as teachers, she trained and developed a generation of theatre artists."


  • 09:10 ok, I've been thinking about it, and I am unsure I think this is the best way to spend $700,000,000,000 #
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Monday, September 22, 2008

That Don't Look Right

Think it will have to come down?


  • 19:07 has anyone seen the Steeler's offensive line? #
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Sunday, September 21, 2008


At least BSG got a writing nomination. As usual I watch all the shows nominated for best writing... I bought a new mouse, a Logitech, my first one. It rocks... Cubs clinch, Steelers lose, there's karma for you... We found that last week's storm actually split a tree in our yard in half. Guess we'll be calling the tree guys... Mrs. TANBI isn't feeling very well, even if she is really proud of me... I really wish the cat's would quit fighting over my office, it's MY turf, I shouldn't have to pee all over the floor to prove it, but it may come to that yet... My co-workers are becoming slightly apoplectic about some of our kids. I tend to take a wait and see posture... There's Christmas stuff on display at the CostCo, too soon people, too soon... I got a new GPS. Those people at TigerDirect really know how to pull my strings. this one syncs with my phone, if I can figure it out... Today it got to just the right temp inside to really want to turn on the AC but to know better than to actually do it... I don't think I'll be going to see Lakewood Terrace... There was absolutely nobody at the waterfront tonight... I can't believe nobody voted for Titty Titty Bang Bang, it was inspired... I will soon have three episodes of Fringe on the DVR without having watched any of them. I wonder how many it takes to just give up on a series entirely... Friday's Atlantis was lame... Should I be angsting about the RFID in some of the cards I am not getting? Might be time to shop for a new wallet... Savage would like everyone to know that some of the biggest market losers last week were US Senators, any surprise the government is stepping in? Not really... Really the blog has gotten pretty lame lately, and the analytics bear that out. I should get with the program already... McCain keeps saying Obama will raise taxes on everyone, how come interviews don't just pile in behind saying "...making over $250,000/year." I wonder what percentage of the electorate actually makes more than a quarter million each year... So I am 1/3 of the process through to tenure, and I still don't really know what it's even good for... I'm really not sure Weeds is a comedy series... We went a whole week without powering up the wii. That seems like a waste... The laundry is almost done, thank goodness... I am going to have to convert at least 8 of my rigging lectures to fully tricked out powerpoint for this upcoming side gig - or maybe I should try sliderocket... Today, apparently, in Pittsburgh, every road was closed... This post used the *post-doubler* method... I still owe an anniversary post... I agree Peg, structure is not stifiling, it's enabling... My folks want me to go to NYC this coming weekend, and Chicago three weeks after that. Maybe I shouldn't have moved to Pittsburgh... This page needs a facelift, got any suggestions? Sent them my way... Way to go Mad Men!!!


  • 15:17 is it possible that Google is down? #
  • 19:00 Cubs clinch! Unbelievable disappointment to come. #
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Saturday, September 20, 2008


  • 11:05 Preparing for Studiocraft II - 3D Modeling in CAD #
  • 15:21 Going to have to spend some time with 2K9 if I am to teach it well. #
  • 23:49 thinking about weekend activities #
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Friday, September 19, 2008


  • 11:47 more teaching #
  • 13:41 Barbara wants to see me. I'm doomed. #
  • 21:08 not doomed #
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Hoop


All the best details from Barton Gellman's new book on Vice President Dick Cheney. - By Juliet Lapidos - Slate Magazine: "Page 250: Although Cheney was one of the chief architects of the war, he had his doubts. Directly before the invasion, military historian Victor Davis Hanson said Cheney was 'reflective, quiet, sober. … He was very depressed about both the options of going to war and not going to war. He didn't think either were good options.'"


  • 12:33 Trying to cut 744 hours of labor to get down to a 600 hour budget. :-( #
  • 20:30 ok, enough budget crunching for one day. now I will wonder if ACAD2000 exercises will work on ACAD2009 #
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Good Read

This turns out to be a pretty good read about the design of the cylons from the orignal Battlestar series:

the true history of the cylons « Darth Mojo: "Well, it’s time to bring the rampant speculation and flame-wars to an end. Today, on the 30th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica, the true origins of everyone’s favorite red-eyed, robotic menace will finally be revealed…"
I tagged it for the Greenpage and crosslisted it on the Real World page, but with all that I still think it's worth posting here.


  • 11:48 Getting set to pin down the Woods budget, this is long enough #
  • 15:48 800 Hours over. Hmm, was 800 hours over last time too. #
  • 22:19 "The Man" is listening to your tweets: tinyurl.com/67a3sr #
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


  • 12:08 Waiting anxiously for procurement card training. #
  • 15:08 ooh, that procurement card training was scintillating #
  • 23:36 Good Closer tonight #
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Monday, September 15, 2008

George Will and Stranger Danger

On this weekend's This Week the round table got caught up in "John McCain's lies," specifically that he has an ad running that says that Obama was in favor of sex education for kindergartners. They tried to clear the air to say that the bill actually established "Comprehensive sex ed for K-12" and that intent of the "K" part was a program to teach the youngest children how to "ward off sexual predators."

At this point George Will says that even that should be up for public debate and that conservatives will feel that education of that type is the responsibility of parents and not schools, and that on those grounds the ad isn't a lie.

Maybe not, but the person that wrote it certainly isn't hoping you will parse it that way - or at least I doubt they are.

To bolster his claim, Will asserts that for decades American parents have admonished their children to be wary of strangers. I have to take a little issue with this. First of all, my recollection is that I was also admonished in school to be wary of strangers. I think it would have been first or second grade and "Officer Tommy" (or whatever, I can't remember the name) came to school to show us "Stranger Danger" the film. So perhaps this dispute that Will is promoting is also decades old, and probably fairly settled. Like it or not society has decided that schools will backstop for parents. I think I would actually agree with him that this isn't the responsibility of schools. But I also think that as long as the honest truth is that they aren't getting it at home we shouldn't take the forum away from the educators.

If he really wants to make that point, he ought to do something about the general quality of parenting (says the guy with no kids).

But this is actually the smaller part of my objection. The real issue is this, which of these people are strangers: a non-custodial parent, an uncle, the neighbor across the street, your bus driver, your baby-sitter, your older brother's friend, your sports coach, your clergyman? The answer is none of these people are strangers, and yet over the past several years I am certain everyone can remember some kind of adult/child difficulty relating to one of these people (or someone like them).

I think we've done pretty well with the whole stranger thing. I haven't surveyed, but anecdotally I would say that non-stranger crimes outpace stranger crime maybe 3:1? More? It's not the kind of news I look for. But I think you're much more likely to hear about an abuse of trust by someone with access than you are about a creey guy in a van that says "Free Candy!"

It's depressing that someone would think that 4 and 5 year olds need to be taught how to ward off sexual attacks; and it's depressing to think that children would not get that needed information from their parents (although if the need is depressing, who is going to be thinking about it?); and it's depressing to think that simple "stranger danger" type counselling won't cover the people that are likely threats. But being depressing doesn't mean any of those things aren't actually true. That just may be the world we now live in, and if that's so then comprehensive K-12 sex ed might not be as foundationally wrong as many might think it is.


  • 16:15 Guess I will check in at the theatre #
  • 23:40 Steelers win, we should all get tomorrow off. Perhaps I will suggest that to our man Luke #
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Long But Informative Read

Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes - NYTimes.com: "Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials."


  • 21:07 Day wasted, check. #
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So,So Wrong...

Unnecessary Censorship Sesame Street Edition - Watch more free videos

Tell People You are for McCain

Hear me out. I think the polling is wrong and that we may be in a little trouble. If you heard this story on NPR you're probably agreeing with me. In the story they took a group of undecided voters, talked over the issues and then had a vote. At the end, regardless of testified affiliation, all the white people voted for McCain. This apparently has a name: "The Bradley Effect" over an African American candidate who lost a California election after leading in the polls - due to race issues.

In this case the polls are closer than that to begin with. I'm a little scared. I really think we could use a Democratic administration to re-calibrate and move out some of the staffers. McCain in all likelihood wouldn't exactly be another four years of George W. Bush, but he wouldn't have the motivation to clean house as thoughtfully as Obama. And the house, well, it's dirty.

Interestingly I heard a piece on This Week that was a little encouraging about the McCain scenario. Basically their take was that the Congress will almost certainly tip more Democratic, so even if McCain wins there probably won't be a McCain Economic plan or a McCain Foreign Policy or a McCain Social Security Revamp, or a McCain Health Plan because Congress likely wouldn't pass any of it. We'd be back to the gridlock of the 80's. In some ways, gridlock is nice.

But as nice as that silver lining is, it wouldn't protect us from poor Supreme Court choices, undo eight years of nefarious executive orders and partisan personnel decisions and just generally change the culture of the Federal Government we need so badly. America really needs an Obama win.

Which brings me back to the point: tell people you are voting for McCain. If you really have nads, tell them you are voting for McCain because you don't think the country is ready for a Black President. We need the McCain people to relax and the Obama people to really step it up. With everything so close the danger doesn't appear as imminent as it could be due to the Bradley Effect. They need to be more motivated. If the polls skew Republican, and common public discourse becomes about race then maybe the last few weeks of the contest can get the real injection of energy it needs.

Do you remember Bush vs. Dukakis? SNL did a debate spoof from that election and at one point after Dana Carvey as Bush answered yet another questions with "Stay the course, a thousand points of light, stay the course" Jon Lovitz as Dukakis turned to the camera in an aside and said "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." I can't help but think that if things continue as they are, at the end of the last debate, Obama will turn to the camera and say the same thing. To many of us losing to McCain is frankly unbelieveable. But if the Democrats don't step it up that's exactly what's going to happen.

Do your part. Make them work harder to win.

One For the Good Guys

Ares Homepage: "The list of innovations since Desert Storm goes on and on, but with the elimination of military specialists from many news staff, the ability to follow the technology has opened some gaps in understanding and awareness.

But we agree with Woodward giving credit to “operations incorporating some of the most highly classified techniques and information in the U.S. government” as more important than the 2007 troop surge in curbing violence in Iraq."

Saturday, September 13, 2008


  • 10:32 CAD class was so easy it was like it didn't happen at all #
  • 10:32 @renelae I am sure Dennis Leary is. #
  • 11:17 Can you actually see Russia from Alaska? I watch Deadliest Catch and all I see is water. #
  • 16:30 Methinks Kenley would wear everything in her line #
  • 00:08 Astonishing, Two Rigging instruction gigs in one week from my ETCP Recognized Trainer status. Not sure what to make of that. #
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Friday, September 12, 2008


  • 14:04 Today in Tech Design we watched TV - Mythbusters and Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Experience #
  • 16:38 and to complete the sweep - clocking out early - woohoo! #
  • 00:30 Thinking about tomorrow's CAD class #
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Good Advice

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our Girl Sarah

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die


  • 10:28 Technical Direction - "work it out in rehearsal" #
  • 14:55 tearing up the spring schedule #
  • 20:33 I am fairly slowly but surely losing the will. #
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

David Starts a Meme

Five "Playground" projects I would very much like to see:

  1. Human Foosball - pretty well self explanatory I think. The best venue here is probably the lobby with people watching from the second floor. There'd be no spinning, but there would be people "playing" to push the rows in and out.
  2. Project DP - a retelling of one of the first 3 DP semesters in Project Runway format, with each project being an elimination challenge where "one day you're in, and the next day you're out."
  3. Facebook! the musical - or maybe just a dramatic reading of several students' mini-feeds, perhaps from the first week of the year or maybe the week of finals.
  4. The Planet of the Apes musical from The Simpsons. I bet you might even be able to get Kevin Hines to play Taylor.
  5. The New Yankee Experience - a live performance of the building of a piece of furniture showing each step and completing the project within the footprint of the show.
I might even come to see those.

Make sure to put a link in the comments if you take a crack at it.


  • 12:00 Off to Tech Design II #
  • 21:14 waiting for the SRC #
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008


  • 10:19 Monday - Technical Direction class #
  • 12:44 Provost's Assessment Taskforce meeting #
  • 18:49 ok, enough for the day #
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Monday, September 08, 2008


I think I am almost caught up to the third day of school... Can you believe the judge found for JK Rowling? That's not the way I read the statute... That the Republicans have a lead in election polls gives me the heebie-jeebies... With all my feeds I hardly ever seem to hit the Stumble button anymore... Today I ate a lunch I didn't really want... The other day I was looking at 36V cordless tools. How high do you think they'll go? I wasnt my 220V cordless drill! not... The Steelers game was cool, but not as cool as the Bears game... Last night I watched Norm build a flagpole. I wonder what jumping the shark looks like for a PBS carpentry series? I do think maybe they're getting to the bottom of the project list... We had people over for cards Friday and I lost Euchre twice... Is it a good thing or a bad thing there were more Palin articles today than Britney articles? Let's call it a wash... Tonight on The Closer the cops flat out murdered a guy, that was new... Should I be watching the new Bochco show? I did go to Carnegie Mellon, but I already added Sandhogs and Terminator is back - I only have so much time... They bailed out Fannie and Fredie. Do we get some kind of interest in the holdings in exchange for our tax money? I thought not... I can't get over the number of green page comments that look authoritative instead of enlightened... Sometimes I think it might be nicer to be stupid, clueless and hot... It's been real hard to get back into gear lately... I think I am ready to hire a green page staff... The guy who said he could do our driveway mid-September has disappeared... After years of being told "CFA doesn't do early decision" today they told us if we want we can do early decision, thanks... Some day I will find a desk I really, actually, want... The car-pooling really has cut down on the gas money... The SRC meets tomorrow, fingers crossed...

But How Do You REALLY Feel?

Wake Up, America! -- The Morning After America's Blind Date with Sarah Palin - Huffington Post:

■ Most Americans want health insurance for everyone.
Sarah Palin opposes it.
■ Most Americans are not biblical literalists.
Sarah Palin is. In spades.
■ Most Americans favor a woman's right to choose in abortion.
Sarah Palin wants to outlaw ALL abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
■ Most Americans favor environmental protections and understand that global warming is largely caused by human activity.
Sarah Palin doesn't.
■ Most Americans believe the findings of science.
Sarah Palin doesn't.
■ Most Americans do not think Tim LaHaye's "End Times" with millions of non-Christians drowning in rivers of blood while Jesus cheers are upon us.
Sarah Palin does.
■ Most Americans disagree with most of what has happened during the last eight years and with George W. Bush.
Sarah Palin is Bush's more-evil fraternal twin.


  • 13:12 Steelers #
  • 18:54 Steelers game - check Green Page - check #
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Sunday, September 07, 2008


  • 15:01 Saturday in the office - the big fun #
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Cover Shots - updated

So I now live in fear of three "shorties" posts in a row, so much so that I posted images from this entry last night to keep that from happening knowing I would come back and and later. Sad.

As I posted earlier, I submitted my review binders a couple of days ago. They firmly live in the world of "never finished, only published" as when they went it there were still hundreds of little tweaks I could have done. I'd started out this time thinking I would make the whole thing into three .pdf files and then have them printed, two sided on glossy paper, full bleed and then book bound rather than do the binder thing again. I didn't.

Still, I try to wind up with something polished and professional. This time around there's only one entry in all of the binders that's a xerox, and I only did that because the xerox machine can automatically do 2 into 1 printing and I could not figure out how to do it faster with an original. Everything that has color in it gets printed in color, and all the photos and this time some of the simpler images went on photo paper. In my every day life I try to stick to one or two fonts and that helps these aggregations a lot. Last round I put out such a nice package that the next several people to come up got a "go see David" instruction from my boss. For a few weeks I thought maybe graphic design might be a good direction for me.

The covers. Last time I used photos, they seemed to properly indicate my involvement in the program and a certain lightheartedness. This time that didn't feel right. When I turned these in I saw that the other binders that were there already hadn't done much of anything coverwise. So I guess really I didn't have to do anything, but I do think that coming up with something interesting helps the case - as much as maybe it shouldn't - and every little bit helps.

As the previous post said, I used the Wordle web app to generate the cover images. The cool part though was determined by the text sources used to make the app go. The range and size of the words it picks are determined by the composition of the source text. All in all I think these came out real neat. The first binder is anchored by my personal statement, so I used the personal statement to make the image:

While I was procrastinating leading up to the project I kept thinking it would be necessary to go through the source documents and remove any word I didn't want to appear. It probably would have made sense to delete: needs, never, accusations, and insular from the document. Looking at the whole composition though I don't think it was fatal.

The second binder deals a lot with service, so for the source text there I used the PTM Option Briefing to the School of Drama Advisory Board - of which I was the author:

Turns out many of the same problem words are here, things like without, unable... Still I think it says something that my personal statement of teaching philosophy and the option report to the advisory board live in such a close world of language (alright, it says I wrote them both and have a limited vocabulary). To me that indicates a real positive relationship between myself and the program. I guess it's up to the various committees to decide if a positive correlation ultimately is a positive thing.

I think the third cover came out the best. Volume three is largely a portfolio, so I used my resume as the source text:

This one has some things that come out as cryptic, but nothing that really looks negative. I particularly like how "positively-engaged" shows up, having nothing in the source text to do with me as a person: "a positively-engaged tracking system" but yet still complimenting me in the new context.

If you haven't, you should click on the images to see them full size. They are really cool.

I went a little more conventional on the back cover:

I used the same image on all three volumes on the backs. I think it conveys a nice sense of the breadth of my career as a professor. I'd briefly thought about going back to photos here, but this seemed more professional.

Is it odd that in some ways composing this package seems like doing a brochure for myself?

I hope not. In the end I carried that theme all the way to its logical conclusion, composing a "but wait! there's more! kinda page for the inside from cover:

Would you tenure that person?

Last time in my personal statement I had done a "I'd like to draw the committee's attention to these specific items" thing. I didn't do that this time, so I thought this teaser page would do the job. Maybe I'll get lucky and they won't even look at anything after scanning that page. Only time will tell.

How much time? I am lead to believe the school decision will be made by the end of October, college by November, and then the University sometime in the early spring. Cross you fingers with me.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


  • 09:23 College of Fine Arts "retreat" - we've retreated all the way to the student center for half a day #
  • 13:46 What do you call it when a retreat it over? Charge? #
  • 19:16 gaming it up #
  • 00:56 gaming over, now sleeping #
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Friday, September 05, 2008


  • 13:45 FIrst show - $500 over without the flying people - keep looking into flying people? I think not. #
  • 16:47 ok fine, I will keep looking #
  • 18:29 Cross Option meeting. #
  • 20:06 meeting over! #
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Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Can't Believe I Printed the Whole Thing


Never finished, only published.

If you've been trying to get hold of me for the last week or so, or if you're waiting for me to do something for you and I haven't, here's the reason. Three 3" binders chok-full-o-career.

So I'm pretty much done with what I can do, it's up to the committees now (although people can still send unsolicited letters until Monday).

I think they came out pretty well, maybe not quite as slick as the last set, but still fairly well done.

I have more later to show, but I have to let it go for a few days. In the meantime go play with Wordle, it's cool.


  • 08:53 Canceled class because I didn't think I'd be functioning. I was wrong. #
  • 17:01 book turned in - off to production meetings #
  • 17:37 Our first show needs a freelance sound designer. #
  • 21:12 Project Runway - who's going to be out? #
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Executive Experience

Is it possible we're over-lauding the idea of "executive experience?" The last couple of days we've heard over and over how Sarah Pallin has executive experience from being a mayor and the Governor of Alaska. Does it really matter though? The West Wing, my primer on all things political, would seem to suggest that the real executive skill needs to be seated in the Chief of Staff's office rather than in the Oval Office. Are we to now start doubting Professor Aaron Sorkin?

A recent President, one I try every day to forget, had vast executive experience. He'd been the Governor of a state, and the CEO of a baseball team. While he was running they called him the "MBA Candidate" or the "CEO President." His VP has had a vast amount of executive experience as well. Probably by most measures, if executive experience is the best qualifying gauge, it's possible that Bush/Cheney was the single most qualified ticket in the history of the Presidency.

"Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?"

By the testimony we hear through the media and investigations the current administration is the most corporately run ever. The idea of the "unitary executive" is a guiding principal of their organizational structure. Dick Cheney has spent the entire administration pooling power within the VP office in a way we've never seen before. Clearly these guys are tremendous executives. Their government though is craptacular.

Perhaps after eight years of executive influence what we need for the White House is a President who is more of a coalition builder and less of a shot caller, maybe the very best thing for us would be more of a compromiser and less of a, well, of a... dictator.

I think we need to be careful not to equate "vision" and "drive" or "purpose" with "executive." It is possible to go great places without the route being my way or the highway.

I'm an independent voter, and had I been a Democratic voter I would have likely been a Hilary voter (good golly am I glad I was spared that PA Democratic primary) which means I am now a "sought after" vote in a "battleground" state. Here's my message for both camps: I've had just about my fill of the whole "executive experience" thing. Instead, please show me the way out of this dark hole we're in.

It shouldn't take much of an exec to facilitate our escape once we know the route.


  • 12:48 Tech Design II - re-budget Into the Woods, again. #
  • 01:07 done #
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008


  • 10:27 Binder printing - day three. It will all be over soon. #
  • 22:14 Not done, but surrendering - I can see then end, have to get there tomorrow. #
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So Much For a High Level of Debate

Binder Wars - Day Three

Well, I'm not done. There, I said it. Some do and don'ts for people that may come up against this particular challenge in the future...

do bring in an extra computer, printer, and power strip

don't run out of photo paper

do ask people for help

don't wait till the day before labor day to ask for help

do be willing to spend money when time counts

don't expect to finish a binder and have it really be finished

do remember that you're not the audience

don't leave your soda on the table

do keep copies of things on multiple computers and online

don't print out every applicable blog post - there will be WAY too many

do reboot the computer every couple of hours

don't expect the embedded images to have stayed with their drawings

do remember it's just the REST OF YOUR CAREER

don't get overwhelmed

Off to bed to dream of malfunctioning printers, runny ink, missing files, and broken image links. It'll all be over tomorrow.

Monday, September 01, 2008


  • 14:12 Back to the renewal binder saltmine #
  • 18:18 woohoo - book 1 of 3 to substantial completion #
  • 23:09 Mad Men. Good TV #
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You Can Take the Boy Out of Theatre School, But You Can't Take the Theatre School Out of the Boy

My "book" is due Tuesday.

If I were one of my more typical underclassmen students and my book was an assignment for one of my classes then it's more than likely I wouldn't have started it yet. I guess I am more like one of my upperclassmen, I know about lists and time management, and about polishing and consequences, so instead of having not started it yet I have. Today I got to maybe 30% complete.


Last time I did this I submitted three binders. Roughly they were: Classes, Service, and Research - except that a lot of my service is more like publishing, and in theatre our research almost never looks like research. I think it's likely that there will be three binders again this time. Over the last month I got a real jump - I bought binders. Well more accurately: binders, dividers, bright white inkjet letter paper, bright white ledger paper, photo paper, and ink, ink, and more ink. All of that has been sitting on my desk while Pre-College wound up, I lallygagged for a week, and then the semester got started.

So a couple of days ago, with only a couple of days to go, I started generating output in earnest. The "Classes" binder is to what could be called "substantial completion." It could be turned in as is, but I would be unhappy with it. That does represent the biggest chunk of work because for better or worse the last three years have mostly been about teaching. Tomorrow I am going to try to pound through "service" and try to amass a staff to help turn out binder #3.

All on the very last day. I feel like I am pulling an all nighter for lighting class all over again. Oh well, at least it only happens a few times a decade now.