Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

That Time Again

Let me know if you see any problems?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Today I saw the most alarming thing.

Our back yard, small as it is, does seem to be an episode of Wild Kingdom every now and then.  We regularly have squirrels and chipmunks.  I am fairly sure there is a family of chipmunks in the garden - or where there would be a garden if we kept a garden.  There seems to have been a bunny or two hanging around lately.  Once I even saw a wild turkey.

None of which prepared me for today.

This morning I am puttering around in the kitchen and out of the clear blue sky at like a 90 degree angle comes the biggest bird I have ever seen up close.  I am assuming it was one of the Pitt Falcons, but really it came and went so quickly the best I could testify to was that it had wings.

This isn't my first run in with these guys.  Once when I was teaching in 209 one of them tried to alight on the edge of the window on the Warner Hall side.  This is positioned such that all the students looking at me saw nothing but me, looking over their heads saw what appeared to be a pterodactyl trying to fly in the window.  I'm sure my face looked special.

Anyway.  Didn't see the bunny this afternoon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Idea/Bad Idea

Festool has a new barrel grip sabre saw.  It looks really cool and has a bushel of interesting features.  The "killer app" feature seems to be an LED based work light that strobes and is synched to the travel of the blade.  Time the light properly to the speed of the light and it appears to stop moving...

So my question is: is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Looking at the press it seems to suggest that having the appearance of the blade not moving makes it easier to follow a line while cutting.  A little bit I think the plastic chip insert will probably have a bigger impact than the strobe.  But not having used the saw I guess it isn't fair to talk about the ease of use.

I just can't get over the thought that if the blade doesn't look like it is moving that there's that much more chance that an operator will have a brain burp and stick a finger in there.  There'll be a piece of debris by the blade and when looking in there won't appear to be any danger and before your brain can shout "HEY THAT BLADE IS ACTUALLY MOVING" your hand would be moving and then bleeding.

But maybe not.

I wonder if this is going to be a trend with all tools.  I could easily see timed strobes with drills or circ saws too.  Gonna have to be something to get used to.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Know what an out of town wedding and an in town family visit means?  Among other things 10000 titles in my RSS que...  My boss announced my stepping down from OC.  The internet's first response was wondering if I was sick.  Fair enough...  Walked right out of a Wendy's the other day.  Just wasn't willing to wait for a frosty...  Thinking maybe the answer to the gun thing in this country might be insurance...  Got a little carried away with the food for freezing last week...  Today we had one fall day in the middle of the summer.  Aside form being rained on it was pretty nice...  Nobody chats at me when I chat at them on Skype.  I must be doing something wrong...  I'm in my phone update window, should I upgrade?  Can't really think of a reason...  Last week I started getting emails from Klout.  I don't think it's a fair measure without the Greenpage...  Just two weeks left until classes start again.  Better get going on syllabi...  The amount of 2016 talk generated by the New Jersey and New York elections is disconcerting...  Think I came up with a new Technical Direction 3 project today, a catapult job I BNJ'd while I was in Vegas...  I'm no good at ordering at Sonic...  Saved more money today than I will make in salary this year.  Too bad it will take 15 years to realize...  My sister's kids seem like they're older every year...  Coming to the end of the judging period for my summer productivity performance.  I think I've done - acceptably...  I should have done my pre-college evaluations last week...  Need to redo my email .sig and get new business cards pretty soon...  Missed the first Steelers game.  Feels like someone from the mayor's office might stop by to scold me...  Threw a couple of flicks yesterday.  They weren't great flicks.  But they were better than the last ones...

Monday, August 12, 2013

And Breathe...

Dear School of Drama Community,

I write to inform you that Associate Professor David Boevers has chosen to step down as Option Coordinator for Production Technology and Management .

The position will be taken over by Assistant Teaching Professor Kevin Hines at the beginning of the new academic year, 2013/14.

I would like to thank David for the conscientious and very successful job he did while running the PTM Option for some ten years.

David has been involved in many course innovations, curriculum reviews, School Advisory Board visits, and the recent SWOT and scheduling initiatives during his time as PTM Option Coordinator, on top of many other responsibilities. He has also been a great conduit between other courses, the profession and our alumni in PTM.

I am sure you will all wish David the very best as he returns to the faculty to teach and pursue his many interests both within and outside the university.

Equally, I am sure you will all welcome Kevin Hines to the position of PTM Option Coordinator.

Kevin graduated for Yale with an MFA in 1995. He was a Project Manager at Chicago Scenic Studios before being appointed Technical Director of the Goodman Theater in Chicago. Kevin joined the School of Drama in 1998.

I look forward to the year ahead, confident that PTM has a fine educator and knowledgeable PTM Coordinator in place.

Best wishes,


Friday, August 09, 2013

Worth a Look

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

Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Defraud Broadway Producers A former Long Island stockbroker accused of bilking the producers of a planned Broadway musical production of “Rebecca” pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Monday, admitting that he had conjured up fictitious overseas investors and a phantom loan as part of a sham effort to rescue the financially troubled show.

LMI Will Scan You But it Won't be Pretty

CAD Insider: LMI Technologies is pandering to the crowd. A company best known for 3D measurement in manufacturing applications is not above showing a babe in very short shorts. It's only a model of a babe, so even better for the CG-loving, Wierd Science* crowd at SIGGRAPH. She stands tall as we enter the exhibit hall.

The famed Times Square TKTS booth turns 40 Hundreds of tourists and New Yorkers show up each day at the famed TKTS booth in the heart of Times Square with questions about Broadway shows. Often they're very interesting questions. Like: "Can I get a ticket to see the 'Superman' musical"? Or, "Are there seats available for 'The Comedy of Edward Foote'''? And, "What about 'Cats'? We really want to see 'Cats.'" To which the answers are: "You probably mean 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' and, yes, tickets are available." Or, "Might you be actually referring to 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'''? And finally, "No, sorry, 'Cats' closed in 2000."

10 Of The Strangest Theme Bars And Restaurants On Earth; If you love world-building with your food, then you've probably visited a theme restaurant once in a while. But have you ever seen anything as weird as these ten theme restaurants?

Snapple Brings Facts To Life With Lady Liberty's Giant Summer Sandal

NY1: Everyone needs a good summer sandal, and Lady Liberty is no exception. According to Snapple, the Statue of Liberty wears a size 879 shoe, which is one of almost a thousand facts found under the caps of Snapple drinks. The company brought the fact to life in Midtown on Monday, setting up Lady Liberty's sandal at 6th Avenue and 50th Street.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


So I think I've finished with the Greenpage for the summer.  I'll pick up again once classes start...  I can't tell you how little I care about the Baseball suspensions...  Dear HBO, last night I was going to watch something on your network but I couldn't because Verizon cocked up the authentication...  As much as all the news shows say it is too early to be talking about the 2016 Presidential Election, they just don't seem to be able to not discuss the 2016 elections...  Just don't wait over a year to tell the doctor, they may be able to fit it toot suite...  I don't so much care who the new Doctor is.  We'll see once his shows start...  Wouldn't have thought so, but it looks like we may have locked right on time - I mean if you don't consider being like 8 months late to the party...  I've got skype working and yet I am doing precious little skyping.  Plus to make it a true AIM replacement I will need a camera and mic at work...  Really we need some kind of congressional rules that compel them to do the budget and appropriation bills...  First half of our Concert Rigging Package came in this week.  Now we have to come up with a place to put it...  Personally I think I would rather see someone invent a way to make an indistinguishable seaweed-burger rather than put effort into lab grown "meat"...  Mrs TANBI got a new phone to replace her old phone replacing her slightly newer phone, and all is right with the world...  That kid on Jeopardy should have known that spelling counts...  I bought a powerball ticket.  Tough not to start spending that money as soon as you leave the store...  I may have lost patience with True Blood.  Today I found myself reading the weekly synopsis before watching the show...  It is unfortunate how quickly I can be reminded of the true breadth of my work - only takes one question...  For the first time in my life I actually worried about the safety implications of purchasing a tool before buying.  Must be getting old...  Over the weekend I showed the kids my draftings from my first drafting class.  The drawings were more than 10 years older than the students...  Still working on my shop from every state on the Tumblr.  I don't think I am going to finish before the end of precollege though... 

Monday, August 05, 2013

Last Week of Precollege

And just like that it was over.  I feel like this summer went more quickly than others.  It's too bad.  I really like doing precollege.  It is so much less stressful than the regular year.  I guess half the classes and a total lack of production will do that.

So what's left?

For the drafting class I have to grade assignment four and finish mentoring and then grade assignment five.  So that's grading 20 plates of drafting if everyone finishes (it's feeling like pretty much everyone will.

For tech production the kids have their estimating assignment due Tuesday, so there's grading that.  Tuesday will be class time on that project and discussing the results.  I have to come up with something for Thursday; maybe knot tying or TaitStages on the Slingbox.

I have to finalize and publish the interview schedule.  Should try to do that tomorrow.  As a side gig I need to finish revising the interview forms and scoring rubric.  That's not about precollege, but I took it onto myself and the group will need the new forms Friday or we go another year without revising so we keep apples and apples (otherwise the precollege interviews happen with different paperwork from the regular interviews and we get apples and oranges: candidates we can't compare).

And evaluations.

Sounds achievable without too much stress.  Let's see how we do.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Worth a Look

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

Building an NDA-Compliant Porfolio At some point in your technical communications career (and probably at most of them), you will be asked to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before beginning work for an employer or client. Like most professionals, you plan on doing great work, and want to be able to show future employers and clients exactly what kind of technical communications masterpieces you can produce. But you’ve got to sign that NDA, and it’s gnawing at you how you’ll be able to show your capabilities without divulging information that could impact the company that hired you.

For Equity actors in D.C., nice work if you can get it

The Washington Post: Washington’s Nanna Ingvarsson won a leading actress Helen Hayes Award playing Janet in “The Rocky Horror Show” with Woolly Mammoth in 1991. A few years later, performing with a Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences show, she joined Actors’ Equity Association. But getting Equity work was tough. The city was increasingly awash with young leading ladies, and though the theatrical scene was blooming, the top troupes hired (and still hire) out of New York so often that D.C. actors sometimes adopted New York phone numbers, hoping to be taken seriously.

Corporate Entertainment – what is it and what trends should you be aware of? Corporate Entertainment is a bit of a buzzword in the visitor attractions industry – something that everyone thinks they should have a bit of in their business plan but much more rarely something that is actually a serious revenue stream.

Teller Magician Interview - Chris Jones Teller Magician Profile

Esquire: On or about March 15 of this year, Teller — the smaller, quieter half of the magicians Penn & Teller — says he received an e-mail from a friend in New York. In that e-mail, the friend included a link to a video on YouTube called the Rose & Her Shadow. Teller, sitting at his computer in his Las Vegas home, within eyeshot of a large black escape cross once owned by Houdini, clicked on the link. The video lasted one minute and fifty-one seconds. "I had what I can only describe as a visceral reaction to it," Teller says today.

Next Two Congressional Hearings On Copyright Reform Show The Exact Wrong Approach

Techdirt: As Congress kicked off its latest effort towards comprehensive copyright reform, I noted some talking points that raised a really big concern: many in Congress appeared to suggest that copyright reform was a fight between "content creators" and "technology companies" and that any eventual result would be a balance between what those two sides were squabbling for. This is very concerning for a variety of reasons. First off, neither of those groups should be the primary concern of lawmakers. The Constitutional mandate for Congress when it comes to copyright is to "promote the progress of science" (the useful arts stuff is about patents...). The key beneficiaries are to be the public.