Friday, September 30, 2011

My House



Man, the weeks just flash by these days. I swear it was just Tuesday... Is there a specific temperature for turning on the heat? Today I decided 65... Happy New Year to those of you of that flavor... Today I started following that "we are the 99% site. It's a little depressing... Still have a cat for a new home. Two really... We're in the Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire. Gonna have to make some new dinosaurs... Typing on this thing would be easier if it wasn't constantly thinking I am hitting the space bar... We had a whole lot of people out to the house for ice cream. A good time was had by all... Yale lists like a dozen faculty members in Stage Management. I know many are in all likelihood adjuncts, but still, tough to live up to... Sometimes I wonder if when students follow my advice that it's really a good course of action... Birthday coming up. Guess I should figure out if I want anything... My house by the way: ridiculous... What would have been in your room in that hotel on Doctor Who? I think it's better not thought about (now that I've asked)... I bet the weather is nicer in Vegas. In Pittsburgh it's been a lot like April, but cooler... For a few hours there I was even interested in what was going on in baseball... Are any of the new fall TV shows any good? We still have a DVR full of summer stuff... Florida making me feel like I should post my primary plan again. Just what we need, an even longer campaign... I think a little bit we're not paying enough attention to the protestors in NYC... Arduino workshop next week in TD3. Seemed like a good idea that the time... Dude fixed my watch. Almost costed more than the watch ran in the first place, but dude fixed my watch... At least it's not snowing...

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:20 Left services without an ambulance #itsthelittlethings #
  • 12:55 GOP hopefuls, since you keep telling seniors not to worry about your social security plans, at what age should voters worry? #
  • 14:03 Budget meeting. #
  • 14:59 I get this magazine "Practical Welding" The more I think about it, the more I think I'd enjoy "Impractical Welding" more. #
  • 16:27 @kernelbrooklyn I can't tell #
  • 16:28 @PghDramats looks like it #
  • 16:28 @fiatluxs4 thx! #
  • 16:28 @RobertJF I've worked with people from there, but not with them. I'll check it out. Thx! #
  • 16:35 @kernelbrooklyn definitely has potential to be working, also cold #
  • 19:03 enough #
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:20 @VintageVickyy I am CMU faculty, so I have a high opinion. What do you want to study? #
  • 21:22 @caryatiddreams stress much? You'll probably do a few more shows #
  • 15:47 3 classes back to back to back is a lot #
  • 16:31 Design Forum - I can't tell you what to cut #
  • 16:49 @stagedirections what about STAC? #
  • 16:56 Technical Direction III - Company Biography Draft #
  • 16:58 @andreashock yeh, guess I need to make some #
  • 17:03 To whom it may concern, if you do allow telemarketers to call cell phones with bots I will just never answer my phone again. KTHXBI #
  • 17:18 @andreashock there is a website, but there isn't much info there. #
  • 17:18 PTM Pro Practice - Liability Insurance #
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:05 @matt_dollinger I dvr'd it. Worth watching? #
  • 23:08 One hour of Archer off the DVR. Like me some Archer. #
  • 09:19 Facebook has gotten my friends to enter info I wasn't going to enter. Now if I don't confirm I look antisocial. Well played Zuck. #
  • 12:04 Technical Direction 1 - Put to Detail, Spitballing & Why I Hate Zebras #
  • 12:06 Like Firefly? #
  • 16:34 @Vintage Vickyy whatcha want to know? #
  • 16:49 Looking for Scene Shops again. Know about a shop I should know? Let me know. If you've got a list email me! #2am #
  • 17:07 effin Yale #
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Worth a Look

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

Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. On Racism in Hollywood

ThinkProgress: At an event the Congressional Black Caucus put together to honor the Tuskegee Airmen and to promote George Lucas’s new movie about them, Red Tails, the movie’s stars, Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr., had some pointed things to say about the way Hollywood approaches black actors and directors. Howard said that Lucas had put together the movie with his own money, and that it would be a critical litmus test for a system that systematically devalues black actors and black stories.

Visual Effects Society issues bill of rights for the industry Visual effects artists and technicians still don't have a union, but they can at least claim their own bill of rights. The Visual Effects Society, a trage group representing visual artists and practitioners, on Wednesday took the unsual step of issuing an "Industry Bill of Rights" to "recognize and address numerous industry wide issues affecting its membership."

Pa. school pulls 'Kismet' after 9/11 complaints

CBS News: A Pennsylvania school district has decided not to stage a Tony Award-winning musical about a Muslim street poet after community members complained about the timing so soon after the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Richland School District in Johnstown had planned to stage "Kismet" in February, but Superintendent Thomas Fleming said Tuesday that it was scrapped to avoid controversy.

Lighting Designer Noah Mitz! @

Team Coco Podcast #41: Our Emmy Nominated Lighting Designer Noah Mitz talks rocking out for work, the difference between on camera & real life, what it's REALLY like at The Emmys, and much much more!

Punchdrunk? Try petrified – gaming gets the immersive theatre treatment Scrambling up a narrow stairway, I momentarily pause for breath only to hear a blood-curdling groan a few paces behind me. I daren't look back. A hand, or at least what I think is a hand, grabs at the bottom of my trouserleg. Usually, this would be the point where I press pause, make myself a cup of tea, and wait for my heart rate to slow back down before re-entering the world of video games. But this isn't a game. This is a piece called "… and darkness descended", the latest project from immersive theatre pioneers Punchdrunk. Collaborating with PlayStation for the upcoming release of Resistance 3, Sony's flagship sci-fi horror series, the company has created a terrifying and brilliantly authentic-feeling world beneath the railway arches at Waterloo station. Enter at your peril.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:47 Haven't I seen "kids trapped in a car with dinosaurs outside" before? #
  • 14:19 @keeboch don't touch... #
  • 14:19 Technical Direction 3 - more enormous cove molding #
  • 17:08 Greenpage weekly Top 5: #
  • 18:18 Wanted: 1999 Tech Expo Catalog. Hook me up? #
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Hidden Treasure

A friend of mine who was previously in my line of work was cleaning his basement when he cam upon this:

Actually he came across exhibit guides from 1987, 89, and 91.  Since he's out of the business he offered them to me, and amazingly I think that gives me a complete set (1987 was the first instance).  This is of particular significance as I'd once heard at a meeting that even the institute doesn't have a complete set.

It's even more interesting for me as one of the item in the 1989 show was Greg Bell's "Shop Build Pneumatic Lift Casters."  I was a student of Greg's at the time he entered that into the expo and I did a drawing for his display and article:

If I have this drawing anyplace in my possession it is likely on a 5.25" floppy disk that would need some version of MSDOS that no computer alive would still read - so having the hardcopy is nice.  Also, this would count as my  first published work, so that's cool to have too.

(ok, I just checked my office and I have all but one of the catalogs.  I'm missing 1999.  Anyone out there have one and willing to part with it?)

Monday, September 26, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:05 That looks like Steeler football #
  • 20:38 First down Brown #
  • 20:39 @euromandy we have HBO and I'm not watching it either #
  • 20:54 @matt_dollinger rrrrrrrrrrr #
  • 20:54 @euromandy um, I live in Pittsburgh #
  • 15:47 I am 106 years old and have a zit on my eye. Any of you out there hoping acne just stops at some magical age, I have bad news for you. #
  • 16:20 Tech Direction 1 - Saying "no" #
  • 17:52 @AskDocG the other day I got one from Leon Panetta #
  • 17:52 @aerdin landlocked? #
  • 17:56 If possible I think I'll have a do over #
  • 19:49 @AskDocG I was worried I'd spelled it incorrectly #
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:49 Swell evening out with great people #
  • 22:53 TwitCleaner said I was awesome! Check yourself here: #
  • 09:34 @narcosislabs I used their thing, thought they deserved a shout. (would have been more useful if it had screened my followers) #
  • 18:48 And it's a wrap. Thanks for coming everyone. #
  • 18:50 @aerdin @mboevers thanks for coming #
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 11:57 @aerdin be thankful you don't live in Las Vegas #barsneverclose #
  • 16:35 sometimes you post something and you just KNOW that's where the comments will be: #
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Friday, September 23, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:00 PDAC meeting #
  • 20:02 @stagedirections isn't that the same? #
  • 11:05 You guessed it, forgot my phone #
  • 11:29 Might not be speaking English #
  • 13:03 Studiocraft - Units, Limits, Layers #
  • 15:44 Anyone remember the travel arrangements we made for CM last time? #
  • 15:54 Forgot my phone, so no pic of the Quiddich practice on the cut (as the Ultimate player inside me dies just a little) #
  • 16:27 NPR running a Saw Stop commercial. #
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 13:50 Technical Direction III - Prototyping exercise #
  • 15:33 PTM Professional Practice - Cover Letters, Elevator Speech #
  • 16:28 @stagedirections yes #
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:59 Who is DPswag? #
  • 10:26 sometimes this time of year I think a box of dental floss exploded #
  • 12:20 Technical Direction 1 - Finding the version of the design that fits the resources #
  • 15:07 there are now 14 folders in my "Production" directory - could be too many #
  • 16:39 Production meetings #
  • 17:16 15213: rinse #
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Know Anyone Else?

Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama, seeks a full-time Assistant or Associate Professor of Stage Management.

The responsibilities of this new position will include teaching classes within a growing BFA and MFA conservatory training program in Production and Stage Management, as well as mentoring students in production. Applicants should hold MFAs or equivalent professional experience (including membership in AEA and/or AGMA) and also be able to provide instruction in production management, as well as, ideally, the stage management of opera, dance, commercial/events or other related areas. Previous teaching experience is desirable.

This position is based in Pittsburgh.

The start date for the hire is Fall 2012.

Please send cover letter, detailed CV, teaching philosophy and a list of three references, by October 17, 2011, to:

Search Chair, Tina Shackleford
School of Drama
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Worth a Look

Here are some posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Emmy Nominations

Carnegie Mellon University: While many will be tuning into the 63rd Primetime Emmy awards live this weekend, two Carnegie Mellon University alumni are already celebrating their Emmy victories.
Douglas Huszti (A'94) won an Emmy for art direction for "Boardwalk Empire," and Robert Dickinson (H'05) won for lighting design for the "53rd Annual Grammy Awards."

How Diverse Are The Directors Of Your Favorite Television Shows?

ThinkProgress: The Directors Guild of America has some new numbers out about the percentage of episodes of each major show that are directed by men. And they’re impressively terrible: white women directed 11 percent of the 2,600 episodes the guild analyzed, while women of color directed just 1 percent of episodes.

News: Carnegie Mellon in Rwanda

Inside Higher Ed: Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, came to Pittsburgh Friday to officially announce that Carnegie Mellon University would open a branch campus in his country, where it will offer a master of science in information technology.
While many American universities have opened branch campuses abroad, most have been in Middle Eastern or Asian nations with deep pockets to support the ventures. (Carnegie Mellon is among those universities, with a branch in Qatar.) Only a few American colleges and universities have degree programs in Africa, and they have generally not attracted the fanfare of efforts in China, Qatar and elsewhere.

National Dating Abuse Helpline » 43% of College Women Experience Violence and Abusive Dating Behaviors

Love is respect: Love is Not Abuse, a program of our founding sponsor Liz Claiborne, has revealed the findings of their recent study of dating abuse among college students. The results? Dating violence and abuse among college students is more prevalent on college campuses than previously believed.

'8' courts aud with gay-marriage issue

Variety: A star-filled courtroom drama makes its stage debut on Monday, but the intent of this one-night Broadway outing isn't boffo box office but public influence.
The play is "8," Dustin Lance Black's account of the Prop. 8 trial that unfolded over three weeks in January 2010, eventually leading to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling declaring California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. With a cast that includes John Lithgow, Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Rob Reiner and Anthony Edwards, the reading at the Eugene O' Neill Theater will benefit the court effort to overturn Prop. 8.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Up On the Roof

Today I started my workday on the roof of the Convention Center. A friend had brought me in to help lower some equipment off the roof.

Over the weekend I had assembled a bag of tricks. I'd been told they were placing a derek and pulley and that they would have a rope, but I didn't want to get up there and not have something I needed. I got myself a rope and some beeners and a figure eight. I pulled rescue sheaves and some slings and spansets, some accessory cord and a half dozen shackles. I even recruited a helper.

When we got there we saw a rig you might associate with scaffolding and bricklayers, not necessarily what you'd choose for moving a PANI projector. We looked over the gear and figured out what we were going to do. We rigged the line to belay from above and added a muling sheave to keep the line from riding into a bind. We tested the rig with one of the lighter loads and were fairly satisfied.

Then we met the building manager, took all of our stuff apart and rerigged it his way.

Without diagrams and a long discussion suffice it to say I listened to what he had to say and even if I thought my way was ultimately safer I decided that his way wasn't patently unsafe and that his saying: "I'm the safety officer for the building" didn't leave me much room to move.

Sometimes I think we over think things. The theatre business doesn't have the same safety standards as other industry. I wasn't fond of the anchor, the connection, the sheave, or the rope, but it was his building and it worked fine. Better to work together and get the gig done as harmoniously as possible as opposed to throwing down over the difference between a 4:1 and a 8:1 design factor (or to risk being called "Poindexter" for even saying "design factor").

Sunday, September 18, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:49 Crazy Noam birthday party! #
  • 22:50 @AskDocG couldn't find you on our way out. Great party! Thx. #
  • 14:40 Up 20, half a quarter to go, why are the starters in? #
  • 15:06 Maybe the Bears should throw it in for the day. #
  • 16:24 working. on a sunday afternoon. #
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:12 The brewery on the southside, not the quietest place in Pittsburgh #
  • 20:14 @keeboch I miss all the good parties #
  • 21:11 Thanks for using the Linda Carter WW theme #braveandthebold #
  • 00:05 I want my FIOS back #dslsux #1stworldproblems #
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Friday, September 16, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:07 No more free swim for Rolaren #
  • 22:08 Oh good, he got the gyro joke #
  • 11:52 had to go back for my phone #oops #
  • 12:00 @andreashock they ask me too, not sure you can arrive at any conclusions #
  • 12:01 @giantspatula nap? #
  • 14:17 and now begins an onslaught of MAILER DAEMON bounces #needabetteraddressbook #
  • 15:00 @caryatiddreams nearsightedness #whatacoincidence #
  • 16:33 some nice looking stuff here: #
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:43 @AskDocG forget to bring a charger #
  • 10:30 nice when you discover you do know how to fix something (even something trivial) #
  • 15:41 Technical Direction III - Studio Rigging #
  • 16:43 PTM Pro Practice - Infographic resumes #
  • 16:58 Total schedule fail. Doesn't matter if it's in Oracle if you don't go. #
  • 17:20 @bpeoples I hope the line precesses quickly #< /li>
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Know Anyone?

Carnegie Mellon University - Sound Designer Position

Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama, seeks a full time Associate Professor
of Sound Design (Tenure Track) for start in August 2012.
Ideally, applicants will hold an MFA or equivalent professional experience, including national
and international sound design experience. Previous teaching experience is desirable.
Besides strong, proven conceptual design skills, candidates should have
knowledge of digital audio technology (mixers, control, delivery), networking, Max/MSP
and audio analysis software (EASE, Smaart, etc.). The responsibilities of this position
will include teaching conceptual design, craft skills, and audio technology within a BFA
and MFA conservatory training program as well as mentoring students in production.
This position is Pittsburgh based.

Please send cover letter, detailed CV, teaching philosophy, and list of three references
by October 17, 2011 to: Search Chair, Joe Pino, School of Drama, Purnell Center For
The Arts, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
15213. Inquiries by email to or 412-268-2068.
Carnegie Mellon University is an AA/EOE employer.

Worth a Look

Here are some post from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Is Policing Plagiarism At A University As Counterproductive As Trying To Stop Copyright Infringement?

Techdirt: We've talked in the past about how multiple studies have shown that greater enforcement efforts to stop copyright infringement aren't particularly effective. One of the reasons for this is that they tend to piss off and anger the biggest fans, which has significant ripple effects and unintended consequences. A few months ago, there was an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which I'm finally getting around to writing about, all about one NYU CS professor's experience in trying to catch and deal with cheaters on tests.

Why Is Television Losing Women Writers? Veteran Producers Weigh In

AOLTV: As the fall TV season approaches, it's worth taking a closer look at the people who have created and written the scripted fare you'll see. In the 2006-2007 television season, 35 percent of the writers of broadcast network, prime-time programs were women, according to an annual study by San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. In the 2010-2011 season, that number had dropped by more than half, to 15 percent. What happened?

The travails of a Honduran immigrant in Pittsburgh inspires the play 'Camino'

Post Gazette: The heart of a new Pittsburgh play called "Camino" is invisible.He flits in and out of scenes, and converses with other characters in the production by the Hiawatha Project, a Pittsburgh theater company. His unfinished journey is central to the plot, but the character Camino -- an injured bird cared for by an imprisoned illegal immigrant -- will not grace the stage during his namesake play's run Friday through Sept. 24 at the Dance Alloy Studio Theater in Friendship.Nor will Milton Mejia, the 23-year-old Honduran immigrant whose story inspired the play.

No Beatles for you! EU adds 20 years to music copyrights

arstechnica: It took three years of doing, but the music industry has finally won its European battle to lock up in-copyright sound recordings for another 20 years. Looking forward to The Beatles' music entering the public domain as the 50-year copyright terms expires? Not going to happen.

PLASA Launches Safety in Entertainment Website

Theatre Safety Blog: PLASA announces the launch of the Entertainment Industry Safety Initiative website, now live at The site is designed to raise awareness of safety in the live event production industry among companies and individuals by providing information and resources regarding safe work practices, record keeping, accident reporting, and more. The site currently focuses on codes and regulations in the United States, but will be expanded to cover other countries in the future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:06 @PghDramats have to get around to applying first #
  • 10:30 one of our cats is hiding #
  • 11:57 @bpeoples send me an email and I will forward it to my peeps #
  • 12:02 @PghDramats you could use pics from precollege anyway: #
  • 12:04 Technical Direction I - "work it out in rehearsal" #
  • 13:20 hope for humanity: #
  • 15:03 Note to self. Do not speak. #
  • 15:42 @SarahKSilverman are you sure it's your dog? #
  • 16:36 Production Meetings #
  • 17:31 I wish Marketplace meant it was time to go home. #
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Well, the Steelers didn't really impress on the first outing... I did the walk to work thing, followed by the walk home thing. Have to see if I can make it stick... They sure jammed through that NC Marriage Amendment, didn't they? I continue to winder what these folks are afraid of... We finally got our scaffolding. Only took like three months... I added Best Week Ever to my RSS feeds. I'm happy with that decision... We still have an extra cat. Email me if you'd like to adopt her... That debate the other night, I had to stop watching... Speaking of, if there was going to be a debate so soon after the last one, was it really necessary for the President to reschedule his speech? Just asking... Thinking about a new computer. Also thinking of waiting for Windows 8... Looking to build a mailing list for the Weekly Greenpage Mailer. If you are interested, please let me know... I read a thing yesterday that suggested that the California State University system is pretty much a state school in name only... The end of Torchwood was kind of a letdown, or at least abrupt... Considering contributing to Elizabeth Warren's Senate Campaign. You should too... The end of the True Blood season left us pretty much where we were at the end of last season I think, minus Tera (or maybe not)... Thinking of bringing some Dinosaurs to the Pittsburgh Maker event. If I can remember to apply... It's great when you can get things that are full of angst behind you... I have a fantasy football team, but its on a new system and I don't know what I am doing... I think the house is just about finished (or at least we're pretty much to the end of what we planned)... I wish I could fix the Loudtwitter thing. Maybe I will turn it off for a while... Watching all of SportsNight on Netflix. Having a complete TV series available for streaming could be a very serious productivity problem... One of my mentors had a heart attack this weekend. I hope he's feeling better... Think I've just about got the TD3 schedule figured out: Flyspace, Arduino, 3D Printer. Might need one or two more things... If the House Republicans renege on the August deal I think I might just lose my shit...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:12 @tcschwa you're welcome #
  • 22:55 Couldn't watch that debate #
  • 09:55 and we're going to another meeting #
  • 11:20 @sdeutsch designers do a thesis that is much more than "doing a show" and I think Directors also do a fairly rigorous companion document #
  • 11:21 @bpeoples perhaps the keyboard was shaking due to seismic activity #
  • 11:24 @giantspatula ask Narelle to put it in Business Practice #
  • 14:02 Technical Direction III - The Way Home put to detail #
  • 14:04 Finally: #
  • 14:06 @stagedirections stay away from that Charleston underpass #
  • 14:52 no commenting on the procrastination article on the day the assignment is due #
  • 15:40 SRC Meeting #
  • 17:00 RT @bpeoples: Annnd... WQED's doing a story o n Lightshow Spectacular in December =) #
  • 17:55 Greenpage weekly top five: #
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Monday, September 12, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:19 Rex does look a little more like the Face of Boe than Jack #
  • 23:17 Did you notice any of this? If I did I forgot it after they flipped an effin semi on Canal Street #
  • 23:32 missed this in my last: @ebertchicago:A shot-by-shot analysis of a famous chase in "The Dark Knight." Emerson is exact." #
  • 12:30 Technical Direction 1 - What really is a "significant issue"? #
  • 13:27 @ellenjuhlin I'll take a look #
  • < li>14:43 Preparing for a cross-option meeting. #
  • 15:07 Thesis ideas for production managers? #tubessolvemyproblems #
  • 18:48 and that's one xoption meeting in the books #
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Sunday, September 11, 2011


Lots of September 11 stuff today. I suppose that's fitting since it is September 11th. I keep thinking that people's hearts are in the right place, but the "We'll always remember 9/11" T-shirts on sale by the door today at the Michael's just made me think we're possibly overdoing it.

Ten years ago I had started the day with a doctor appointment and had made a stop at the bank to make a deposit on my way into work. The bank had the news on in the lobby and I'd walked in a few minutes after the first strike. I remember hanging out in that lobby for a while. I remember thinking that is was really unlikely that something like that would be an accident. I remember somewhat dysfunctionally that a westbound transcontinental flight would make a good weapon because of the fuel (something I heard over and over on the news later in the day).

I remember thinking "I hope the missiles are already in the air."

The second strike was sometime after I got to the office. I think it's possible I had a TV in my office then and I may have watched some coverage there. They had TV and cable in the treehouse and were watching the news there, a small crowd all day long. They sent all the kids home. There was buzz about how work was high up on some target list because of research contracts. Can't imagine how that could be true.

I remember thinking about my friend Peg, whose commute took her right through the area every day (she'd gone another route that day). I remember thinking about my college friend Michael, who I was certain worked for a company in the Trade Center (he came through fine, although I don't know the whole story). I remember thinking about my friend Stevie, who worked fairly high up in the Sears Tower in Chicago (they evacuated just I case). I wondered about other friends and family in NYC.

I remember hour after hour and day after day of news reporting and thinking maybe some cartoons might be a good idea.

My folks had stayed in California after a wedding. Several of my extended family had done the same thing. My folks had been scheduled to fly the next day. They wound up with a much longer trip then they'd intended. One of my cousins rented a car and drove all the way from LA to Chicago.

I remember fondly how spirited everyone was and how for a moment it seemed like everyone in the US was on the same page.

And I remember that not lasting long.

I'm sure many of the details of the experience have faded. I guess maybe a few minutes to try to remember more each year isn't a waste of time. It's easy to get caught up in the notion of how much I may have agreed or disagreed with actions that were taken in the aftermath. But today I think I'll hold to being thankful that so many of my friends came through ok, sorry for those that didn't come through and their families in their loss, and grateful to everyone that tried to minimize the suffering.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:03 DVR the game and go out? #
  • 12:26 This NFL Sunday Ticket thing could be a problem. #
  • 12:32 Oops #
  • 13:09 @scoutfinch2271 ??? #
  • 14:11 With the new rule, kicking it out the back out to be a five yard penalty. #NFL #
  • 14:20 Four scores in one quarter? Not impossible. Not likely either. #
  • 14:51 When they said 9/11 was a day to "give back" they weren't talking about the ball. #notetosteelers #
  • 17:51 @matt_dollinger you should see the DirectTV NFL Game Mix channel - although I guess for you it'd look a lot like work #
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 19:06 @mattigray see anything useful to steal for MMX? #
  • 19:07 @billmaher I once watched a friend blow through $200 on craps in the Orleans because we were a half hour early for a movie #
  • 19:08 checking in on the install #
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Friday, September 09, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:30 @naavon it's possible that's the sum total of my knowledge of the subject #
  • 11:29 Studiocraft CAD - Introduction #
  • 12:08 Option Coordinator Meeting #
  • 13:37 I saw a @FeeFighters add in my RSS reader today #
  • 13:41 WHY!?!?! is it so hard to buy scaffolding? #
  • 13:43 @bpeoples actually seems to have little to do with campus #
  • 14:54 Would yo u have any interest in getting this as a weekly email newsletter: #
  • 16:03 @bpeoples first they REALLY want to rent it to you #
  • 16:03 @bpeoples then they NEED to know you are qualified #
  • 16:03 @bpeoples then you have to PROMISE not to misuse or modify it #
  • 16:04 @bpeoples and then after all of that they will be out of stock #
  • 16:50 m omentarily had thought I'd accidentally deleted the 50 odd messages in my "To DO" folder. honestly couldn't tell if I was upset #
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Thursday, September 08, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 09:28 @naavon long time since calc... slope of the curve? Rate at which the trend is changing? #
  • 09:29 @keeboch gonna have to add aerobics at the end at that rate #arewhatyoueat #
  • 09:33 @AskDocG look into feefighters @feefighters #
  • 10:41 BAM! Beth's folks kicking it up a notch: #
  • 10:45 @Johnzuiker i think one side will be fleshed out liv ing dino and the other will be skeletal #
  • 11:29 Good News everyone! #
  • 11:30 @tcschwa I believe so, yes. #
  • 11:31 Really can't wait: #
  • 13:55 That'll let the air right out of your balloon: "To have our order manufactured as ordered will take no less than 4-6 weeks." #
  • 16:22 Technical Direction III - Commercial paperwork #
  • 16:54 PTM Pro Practice - Resume Roundtable #
  • 19:27 High Level Brown! #
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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 09:27 Well. That's a lot of cabbage. #
  • 09:28 and... forgot my phone. again. #
  • 10:00 Nothing in the Morewood lot either RT @keeboch: Crazy day for parking (@ East Campus Garage) #
  • 11:54 Technical Direction 1 - and more estimating #
  • 12:07 Weekly Newspage Top Five: #
  • 17:25 @keeboch crap, walked away too soon #
  • 17:28 @bpeoples 9mm Glock? #
  • 17:30 tee hee hee "The researchers who caught the crabs" #
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Worth a Look

Some posts from the Greenpage that might be worth your time...

But What’s The Audience For?

HowlRound: So, after a quiet cry in my studio, I realized that my artistic faith demanded that I question why it is that mainstream American theater has such a strong tendency to limit the audience’s role, to feed them a performance without demanding (or even leaving an opening for) any vision on their part, to create work that is only marginally different from what that audience might see at the movies. And, eventually, I began to wonder if the linear nature of traditional American theater-making is partially at fault and if my way of working as an artist isn’t contributing to this problem.

Record Biz Braces for Legal Battles Over Copyright Law

Rolling Stone Music: Starting in two years, the rights to classic albums by some of rock's biggest acts, including Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town, Billy Joel's 52nd Street and the Eagles' The Long Run, could revert back to those artists. The change threatens to upend the music business – putting more cash in musicians' pockets and less in those of the labels. "It's something I've thought about on and off for a while, and it got put on the back burner because it wasn't timely," says Eagles singer and drummer Don Henley, who founded the Recording Artists Coalition, which advocates for artists' rights. "And now the time has come."

Looking back at the cultural impact of 9/11 The second entry in our slide show series about pop culture after 9/11 covers three years, 2002-2004. It was a dense and lively period that saw movies, TV, music, literature and comics shifting out of a numb, somewhat disconnected state and becoming more reactive, then provocative, and by 2004 -- an election year -- combative.

Wacom Inkling May Become My Favorite Gadget of All Time

Gizmodo: Being an obsessive compulsive sketching bastard, I'm all shades of erect looking at the new Wacom Inkling. With an exquisite design and 1024 levels of pressure, it looks like the perfect device for anyone who sketches anything, from illustrators to architects.

The Creativity of Anger At first glance, this cultivation of anger and criticism seems like a terrible idea. We assume that group collaboration requires niceties and affirmation, that we should always accentuate the positive. Just look at brainstorming, perhaps the most widely implemented creativity technique in the world. In the late 1940s, Alex Osborn, a founding partner of the advertising firm BBDO, outlined the virtues of brainstorming in a series of best-selling books. (He insisted that brainstorming could double the creative output of a group.) The most important principle, he said, was the total absence of criticism. According to Osborn, if people were worried about negative feedback, if they were concerned that their new ideas might get ridiculed by the group or the boss, then the brainstorming process would fail. “Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud,” Osborn wrote in Your Creative Power.

Time Tracking

We have a "too much" problem at work. There's too much work, too much class, too much crew, just too much. A long time ago we decided that we'd attack the problem by capping the required course load. CMU uses this fairly good system of "units" rather than the normal credit hour. One unit is one hour for a course on average for the whole semester. So if a class is six units then you can expect to spend six hours per week on the class over the course of the semester. Everything a student does should be class and every task for class should be unitted, so if you are honest one ought to be able to handle their load pretty precisely by capping the required units. We picked 56 units. That makes school for the average person just a bit more time consuming than a full time job.

So far I think that's worked fairly well. It did however turn out to be just one facet of a truly complex problem. We would learn that capping the required units would only begin to address the issue.

Even with the load capped we still have the "too much" problem. It does seem like there is not longer too much class, and the question of if there is too much crew would be a lively discussion with people on all sides of the issue. It still does seem though that overall there is still too much. Another metric for too much class though would be rooms and we discovered that capping a student's load does nothing to assure that our offerings fit in our building.

About a year ago I started to think that the next thread to pull on the thing was how much each teacher is teaching. My thought was that were we to discover the faculty were overloaded, and do so in a way that was quantifiable and verifiable, we might be motivated to reduce the number of course offerings and thereby get ourselves to fit in the building.

Fit in the building is actually an oversimplification. The reality of the thing is that the course schedule is so dense as to leave no room for improvisation. Moving one thing necessitates moving so many others as to feel like it necessitates moving everything else. So there's that, and we don't fit in the building.

Anyway it's this last thread that has brought me to time tracking. My thought was that each faculty member is supposed to be be doing some amount of teaching, service, and research. That should allow one to look at the time they need to be spending for service and research, deduct that from the total number of hours, on average, we're supposed to work, and be left with the actual amount of time available in a schedule for teaching. That number of hours could then be broken back into individual courses.

My suspicion was that for an average faculty member teaching classes that are necessarily evolving, so as to require ongoing prep, and that include project work that requires grading there would likely not be time available to teach more than between 2 or 3 classes per semester.

The quick math looks something like: base 50 hour week, 10 hours research (thin BTW), 10 hours service, leaves 30 for teaching. In my world "production" is teaching and production advising would take half of that 30. That leaves 15 hours for class. Two classes would have six hours of face time, three would be nine, six leaves nine and nine leaves six. That remainder is all the prep and grading. I'm not sure that six hours of class requires nine hours of outside time, but nine hours of class could certainly use six. The sweet spot is someplace in the middle. That initial 10 and 10 is a fairly arbitrary assumption. If we're to follow through on this we'll have to come up with better guidance there.

FWIW this semester I am teaching: TD1, TD3, Studiocraft 1, Studiocraft 2, PTM Pro Practice, Thesis, and Stagecraft - but several of those wouldn't count as a full class.

So last week started time tracking. After one week I have learned:

1. I am working the total number of hours I thought I was.
2. I do not spend enough time on research.
3. In the first week I spent nearly equal amounts of time on teaching and service.
4. I do not like time tracking.

The first week probably isn't very indicative of the whole semester. Guess we'll just have to keep after it to see.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 00:01 where do I requisition another off day? #
  • 10:07 not really anxious for today's menu #
  • 10:35 @BirdbrainLabs maybe like this: #
  • 10:41 and... we're back to double posting - oh loudtwitter why hast thou forsaken me? #
  • 13:51 Tech Direction III - Some more commercial bidding #
  • 15:00 Thesis meetings #
  • 17:59 tequila? don't mind if I do. #
  • 18:25 @PlasaOnline what does PLASA stand for? #
  • 18:26 @PlasaOnline never mind - found it! #
  • 18:48 SRC Meeting - The Joy of Tenure #
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Monday, September 05, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:28 @AskDocG not. gonna. happen. #
  • 20:30 "American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution" #
  • 23:20 @AskDocG ooh, read that wrong, much better #
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Sunday, September 04, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 13:47 Tiny kittens: #
  • 15:15 Waterfront supping excursion complete. #
  • 16:24 Supping, shopping, whatever. #
  • 17:25 Quick surprise visit with Jonah and April! #
  • 17:53 Don't leave food in the building!!! RT @sspuh: just discovered that a cockroach had taken up residence in my model box at school. #
  • 19:06 Vegas. Booked. #
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Friday, September 02, 2011

Grinds my Gears

The other day in class I went off on a jag against Thanksgiving. It must have been pretty good because it got tweeted and talked about in my absence and those sort of things never happen to me. The substance of the thing is that I might just be done with Thanksgiving.

Lets start with the notion that if e story of the first thanksgiving is a true story, it is a woefully inadequate memory of those settlers' lives and their interaction with the indigenous population. The true story is that almost all the people died and that it was the start of a fairly dark relationship with the Native Americans.

Then maybe it's worth discussing that the contemporary thanksgiving is a fairly significant display of excess in a world where many live without. Rather than having the staple of the holiday be food stuffed with other food (and no, I'm not talking about a turducken, but thanks for reminding me), maybe on that day we should go without food to demonstrate our thankfulness for the food we have every other day of the year, and empathy for those that go without more often.

Those are shallow though compared to where this really comes from in my head. Mostly for me it's because it has become a holiday about travel. I guess it made more sense when extended families were fairly closely located to each other. Now though when a HUGE number of people travel across the country for two or three stressful days of demonstrated excess... Isn't their something better we could do with that time? Wouldn't doing away with thanksgiving be the green thing to do? The carbon footprint of all of those airline flights must be staggering. And for what? Many times in my adult life when I've made the trip we can't even seem to make the event last into the evening and wind up running off to the bar or the movies, or watching that third NFL game (maybe it just feels like three).

Many of the folks traveling are students who get three days off for thanksgiving. Then they come back to school only to turn around and go home again two or three weeks later. I've got an idea: blow off the holiday and make winter break start earlier.

That's a fairly uncritical view of the travel as well. Truthfully the problems start well in advance of the holiday. If you're from a family with an established tradition and a default location more power to you. But if you are in that situation let me clue you into the experience the rest have. They have to decide where to go for the holiday, and inevitably the family they decide to not visit are made upset by the decision. A fact only compounded when the jilted family also has to make the trip to the other location to have the holiday. There was movie, right? That showed one family that had to do four holidays to accommodate marriages and remarriages. Unbelievable. Wasteful and unnecessary.

Maybe the movie was for Christmas.

Don't get me started.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:43 @naavon they are coming here, you should visit #
  • 10:46 @CMUClusters should this have a link? Or do I have to go IRL? #
  • 10:54 @aerdin maybe if you laid off the smack #
  • 12:44 archiving the last of last year's email #
  • 13:03 When I purge deleted email in Outlook, it only purges half. I have an email hoarding computer. #
  • 13:04 @SenatorReid How was the play? #
  • 15:00 Thesis meetings #
  • 15:41 Scheduling meeting #
  • 15:49 Class with many many guest presenters is hard to schedule #
  • 15:54 special delivery for my wife in my office - hope it makes it home. #
  • 17:24 today's twitter aggregation will not be as interesting as yesterday's #
  • 18:30 Air? #
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Thursday, September 01, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 23:04 Too busy to listen to the President mister Speaker? Really? #
  • 23:34 The Bacon in the Rye #replacebooktitleswithbacon #
  • 23:36 Are You There Bacon? It's Me Margaret #replacebooktitleswithbacon #
  • 23:37 Ethel the Aardvark Goes Bacon Surveying #replacebooktitleswithbacon #
  • 23:38 The Satanic Bacon #replacebooktitleswithbacon #
  • 10:09 Gridlock Scheduling Committee - go team! #
  • 10:10 @stagedirections fire treating, fire retarding, trouble with that whole "proof" thing #
  • 10:12 @mattigray so much for your discretionary spending decisions #
  • 10:19 @andreashock tease #
  • 10:57 anyone added a "send to" in Google Reader for Evernote? #
  • 11:36 @stagedirections have to read it first, I am sure its super #
  • 13:31 Should the big dinosaur go to Maker Pittsburgh? #
  • 13:32 Should the inflatable Scotty Dog go to Maker Pittsburgh? #
  • 13:38 @Mboevers @sdeutsch @andreashock "Brian Thesis Meeting 1:00pm-1:30pm PCA 205" #
  • 13:42 Technical Direction III - The Way Home bid meeting, Maker Pittsburgh discussion #
  • 14:30 @kernelbrooklyn here's hoping the end of that lesson wasn't this morning. #
  • 14:30 PTM Professional Practice - content outline, requests, crash planning. #
  • 14:32 Upgrade Achieved! #
  • 14:41 That new Vader "Noooooooooo" is barely a "Nooo" and isn't such a big deal #getoverit #
  • 14:49 Oh yeah, that too... RT @Mord4k: @dboevers asks that we all do our part to end the evil known as Thanksgiving #
  • 16:27 Scheduling meeting #
  • 16:29 Radio says downtown traffic is a mess. #
  • 17:46 Just realized I can now scan my whole historical hoard of draftings. #
  • 19:47 Another surprise Steeler game #
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Peg wants posts, Peg gets posts... I am having real trouble trying to figure out the basis behind the fear that motivates so much of public discourse these days... Apparently Huntsman finally sounded like a Republican today. Too bad... Got a November appointment in Fabulous Las Vegas. Have to make travel plans... Three days into the semester, so far I think I am doing ok... I filled out a form at the doctor today that, when I was done with it, did not look very good... Not sure I can get behind Sears rolling out Craftsman tools to other retailers. Having it only at Sears made it special (David can hear someone in the distance saying "special don't pay the bills!")... That's sure a lot of marks in a row... With the mother of all reboots happening today I am thinking about taking up some comic books. One of the Batmans maybe? Suicide Squad looks interesting. I wonder if they have an app... The speaker of the house told the President of the United States that Congress couldn't be available for a joint session. A new low in American political discourse... Took the bus to work the other day. Still haven't done the walking thing. Soon, maybe... The cats are still in kitty jail. A least one of them is definitely over it... Found a junior high Facebook page for the school I went to. I wonder if I could find people that didn't make it to HPHS that way... Is it me or is it getting hot again? Was real nice there for a few days... Sometimes I wonder why we do any pre-planning at all at work... I'm in the midst of a time tracking project. I forgot how much I dislike filling in a timesheet... It's extremely Yinzer to say so, but I am more than ready for regular season Steeler games to begin... Which says nothing about the quality of my Fantasy team which I predict will be out of the running by week two... The greenpage is up and running with student comments again. You should check it out...