Sunday, August 31, 2014

Worth a Look

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

Aurora Theater Should Have Predicted Mass Shooting, Judge Rules

Hit & Run : The 2012 mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was "foreseeable," a federal judge ruled last week. That decision came out of an attempt by the theater's owner to demonstrate otherwise, thus ensuring that lawsuits brought forth by the attacker's victims would be dismissed.

North Carolina Film-TV Incentives Sliced Amid Conservative Tide

Variety: North Carolina legislators have ditched the state’s longtime film and TV incentives program amid a conservative push to cut back on such government support. “We knew that this would be an uphill battle and we were cautiously optimistic,” said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington (N.C) Regional Film Commission. “The problem was that a lot of legislators were philosophically opposed to any incentives, period. So we were absolutely not surprised.” North Carolina has been home to 800 productions over the past three decades.

Rock 'n' Roll's Company Town

WSJ: This town of 9,400 people in Amish country tells the story of the modern concert industry. In 1968, when Frankie Valli and his group rolled in for a show, two young brothers who did sound for local dances turned the Four Seasons into one of the first music acts to tour with its own speaker system. The brothers built a reputation on the road, but they never moved out of Lititz. Their company became an anchor for a cluster of businesses that now supply the sound and spectacle for many of the world's biggest acts.

California Incentives Bill Urges Tariffs to Curb Poaching of VFX Jobs

Variety: An amendment to proposed legislation to expand California’s film and TV tax credit urges trade action as a response to countries that have lured visual effects firms away with the promise of generous subsidies. The amendment calls call for a strategy that has been previously opposed by Hollywood studios, which have benefited from the availability of post-production subsidies in Canada, Great Britain and other countries. In late May, for instance, Sony announced that its Imageworks special effects facility would be moving to Vancouver, further eroding the once-thriving visual effects industry in Southern California.

Metropolitan Opera Reaches Settlement With Last Unions The Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday night that it had reached labor settlements with the last of its unions, including those representing its costume and wardrobe departments, hair and makeup artists, scenic artists and designers, camera operators and others.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boom! It's a Deck

Like a watched pot it seems like all the guys needed to motivate them to finish our deck was for me to stop posting about it on the blog.  Poof:

It was raining this afternoon or I would have taken more photos.  I haven't done a final walk around either, but seeing as how at the end of the day yesterday I had MANY craftsmanship complaints today I appear to be much more satisfied.

So it is huge, and it is high up in front - almost like having a balcony.  It really changes the look of the house from the street.  I think it changes it for the better; a real estate agent might use the word "specific."

We're going to have to rethink the lighting on the front of the house now.  The prior owners left us with this industrial security lamp that lights up the porch, the driveway, and some of the street with a distinct orange/yellow glow.  So that's gotta go.  We're also going to be in the market for some deck furniture I think, although I am having trouble wrapping my head around leaving things out in the front of the house.

I'll have to get over that probably.

So... Most of My Resume is Pointless

The fall semester brings with it the PTM Professional Practice class and the jumping off point for that class is a professional resume.  I like to think I know what I am talking about.  I have 20 years of revisions on my own resume with advice from a good stock of mentors.  I must see a dozen resume articles per week doing the Greenpage.  The last revision I made to the resume section of the class was to start the students into Infographic Resumes.  I've been toying with the idea of video resumes.  But really what I want to do is come up with something interesting on traditional resumes.  Today I think I came up with something.

If you search the tubes for articles on how long recruiters spend on each resume you may discover that (when it is a living breathing person at all) the total time before decision could be as little as 6 seconds.

Based on that I thought I would do an experiment.  I printed up 10 copies of my most recent resume (2012, oops) and set off around the halls of Purnell.  I recruited 10 people to give me 10 seconds each.  I decided I wouldn't use 6 seconds because when I piloted it in my office I only saw one entry in 6 seconds.  I gave each person a short set of instructions - I wanted to make sure that they knew it wasn't supposed to be a speed reading test - the resume and a highlighter.

Then I counted to 10 while they marked up what jumped off the page.

After I had all ten marked up pages I went back to my office and converted the stack into a composite heat map.  Here's what I found:

It's a small sample size, but I think it is representative.  Given a very short exposure time almost nothing on the page turns out to be significant.

It does make sense that since people read top to bottom and left to right that the things called out by the most people are the things on the left margin and toward the top of the page.  I have a separate markup showing the things I most wanted people to see and it turns out that most of those things are items identified by the trial.  But there were 3 or 4 things I valued as very important in those black blobs in the bottom half of the page.  So I guess in the next revision I need to find a way to move those things up and left.

Two other fairly interesting take aways:

1. People don't read too far into blocks of prose.  In the top section of the page it seems clear that once someone sees what the gig is they move on to the next gig rather than read the details.  This is obviously a speed reading thing, but if the "fit/no fit" decision is made at that speed it would be worth thinning out those blocks and making for damn sure the highlight is at the beginning of the block.

2. The readers appeared to see the headings of the lower sections but not the contents.  In terms of job seeking, the headers are useless.  It's the content under the header that matters.  So a rule of thumb for composition would seem to be that what goes against the margin ought to be content rather than organizational text.

With this under my belt I think I have a new assignment.  Tomorrow we're going to do a round robin of mark ups in class and then I'll have each student tabulate their personal heat map.  Then I am going to have them match the results against what they were trying to get across.

I'll let you know if it works out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Exercise in Futility

So it's the day before classes start for the fall and that means what?  Regular readers will know.

So, yes, the copier was apoplectic.  Truth be told it might have been salvageable, but I didn't have it in me (it would have required at least one power-up cycle optimistically and that cycle is like 20 minutes).  Tomorrow I have one class and of course I need copies of the syllabus.

The syllabus is 8 pages and there are 10 people in class, so running it out of a printer isn't monumentally wasteful but I decided that if I am going to run them that way I ought to at least try to print them double sided - even if that means I have to staple them myself.

The laser-writer doesn't have a duplexer, but the driver has a "manual" mode for double sided printing.  Basically it runs half the pages and then you reload the pages and it prints the backs.

How hard can it be?

On the first attempt the printer mixed my job with another print job.  It is possible a third party was involved in this screwup.  40 pages in the recycling.

Second attempt the printer didn't stop for me to reload and ran 40 fronts and then maybe 20 backs before I saw the SNAFU and cancelled.  So here I learn that for this to work, for some reason Tray 2 has to be empty to force the pause.  60 pages in the recycling.

Third attempt I get the 40 fronts and the pause.  I reload into the previously emptied Tray 2 in the configuration shown in the instructions and... I get 10 backs printed on the fronts.  Fair enough, even though the instructions say print side up, the print side goes down.  40 pages in the recycling.

BTW, did you catch the wrinkle there?  If I have to turn the pack over it also reverses the page order.  But the printer doesn't want the order reversed, just the position.  So during the pause before reloading I have to re-stack the whole packet by hand.  Not quite as bad as having to collate, but certainly not user friendly.

Attempt four, I think I've got it: 40 fronts, pause, re-stack, reload, 40 backs on the back!

Upside down.

:-(  40 sheets in the recycling.

Attempt five: 40 fronts and 40 backs.  Off to my office to staple.

Final score:

10 syllabi, 8 pages, one side per page: potentially 80 sheets.
10 syllabi, 8 pages, two sides per page: actually 220 sheets.

So much for saving some resources; and let's not even talk about the toner.  At least I'll know for next time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Deck Day Three Ellipses...

Today it rained so the guys didn't show.  I hope it doesn't keep raining...  Syllabi done for two of three classes, well four classes really.  Still that's down from last year's seven classes...  Really heartbroken over the coverage from Ferguson.  I wonder what will happen when they decide not to charge the cop?  I hope we don't find out...  Beginning to think of AC as being more about humidity than temperature...  I see we're back to killing Americans in Iraq.  So much for "treated like liberators"...  I tried to get work done for school today, I really did...  It's amazing to me how much of a Yinzer I've become.  These first Steeler games don't seem like they're early in the year at all...  Cannot get my iCloud photos to sync up on my laptop.  I sense a conspiracy to get me to buy a Mac.  Or I would if they weren't syncing fine to my office PC...  Had dinner in the Strip tonight.  Feels so trendy.  Of course trendy now would probably be Lawrenceville or Downtown...  With several days of thinking in I still can't come up with a good assignment based on a semester's blog comments.  Everything I come up with is either something I won't care about or something they won't care about...  Feels strange to have not been tagged for the whole Ice Bucket thing.  Warm & dry, but strange.  Guess there's nothing stopping a donation anyway...  Fed the baby mashed green beans today.  He now has a more diverse diet than I do...  Mulling over an iPhone upgrade at the next release.  Not that I'm unhappy with my current phone, but it keeps telling me it's full...  If you've wondered, I've concluded that having Amazon Prime does make you buy more stuff.  Jury is still out on whether it actually costs more money...  Fairly certain I've broken my toe.  Fairly certain there's nothing to be done about it...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Deck Day Two

Another bizarre geometry from the panorama photo.  Check out what it does to the car driving by:

Good progress today.  Looks like the thing is mostly framed in.  They found the ugly spot they made with the change they inadvertently made yesterday.  I think one of the carps came up with a reasonable solution.  The solution will mean a change to the railings that I think they aren't anticipating, so again it will be wait and see.

I think I found another ugly spot today.  We were talking about the joint between the fascia and the ground.  I think we came to an ok conclusion there, but when I looked at it again tonight I discovered that the front carrying beam and the fascia are going to do something weird.  I think the beam will have to carry out past the end of the front fascia in order to pick up the end joist.  It'll happen on both ends.  Not sure I like it, not sure there's anything to be done really (also, a little bit I think both of the side fascias are a little odd).

But this isn't their first rodeo.  Maybe they'll surprise me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Deck the Yard

Mrs. TANBI and I have decided that we're adding a deck to the front of our house.  Maybe it's not a deck, maybe it's a porch.  But it feels more like a deck.  When we started the project we thought it was going to happen mid-July but it turned out that it would have to be mid-August.  That was supposed to be late last week, but it turned out to be today.

So here's day one:

Footings and support beams.  That near beam is not bent like that - we're seeing a panorama artifact.  Mostly it looks like good work so far.  They guys do appear to have made a design change.  The top of the deck was supposed to be one step down from the stoop and they appear to have roughed it in flush.  Strangely that was a change we were planning to give them anyway, so no harm done.  There are two potential ugly spots that domino out from that change.  We'll have to see how it develops.

I thought about doing Baby TANBI's footprints in the footing as it set, but the concrete is buried in soil.  Oh well.

So now the next question is "Will they be back tomorrow?"  Makes me wonder about writing a "Contractor Customer Protection Agreement" for future projects.  Item #1:  If I'm not going to show I will call to let you know ahead of time.

Watch this space.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Over the Line

I may have crossed a line of sorts last night.

Having a baby gives you the opportunity to get back to singing - if you were a singer and now are not.  Conventional wisdom is that babies are soothed by their parents singing to them.  I'll buy that I guess, although I would also imagine there's some quality and content issues involved behind the baseline of just hearing your parent's voice.

One of the first things I discovered here, or rather confirmed what I have always suspected (and what is frequently a pop-culture joke): I don't really know the words to that many songs.

Actually this is a little bothersome because I think the real statement is that I don't know the words to that many songs out of context.  Put me in the car with the radio on an 80's or Classic Rock station and I'll be fine.  In context, with the music, I remember a staggering amount of content.  So much so that from time to time I have wondered if there wasn't something better to use those engrams for (triple integrals comes to mind).

But it's all different sitting in that glider in semi-darkness holding the baby.  Suddenly the repertory shrinks substantively.

One of my first tries was "You Can Sleep While I Drive."  But the words weren't there.  That's too bad because I really like that tune and I think it has real potential as a lullaby.  #manfanfail

Sometimes what I do remember is even more interesting than what I can't remember.  Off the top of my head I can do passable versions of "This Train" and "Make Room for Marty" from a Limelighters LP my dad gave me when I must have been just old enough to work a record player.  The album "Through Children's Eyes" was one of my favorites, I don't really know why.  I have mp3s of all the tracks now.  I went back to try to find the words to "Lollipop Tree" a little while ago.  The last track on that album is "This Land is Your Land."  I could not believe the amount of lyrics I had completely spaced from that song.

Although its not like Baby TANBI will notice.  For a while anyway.

I can do a word and melody perfect "William's Doll" from Free to Be You and Me.  I must have done hundreds of runs through that song with the Traveling Troupe.  In this case not only can I remember the words and the tune, but I can also hear people I used to sing with in my head.  I also remember the title track and "Brothers & Sisters."  I can't remember the tune for "It's Alright to Cry" and there's some disagreement in my head about the lyrics to "When I grow Up."  Part of me wonders if those lyrics were changed somewhere along the way - or maybe if my mom made some kind of artistic executive decision all those years ago.

Anyway, the line.  Out of what I can only assume was a desperate attempt to find lyrical content appropriate to my goal of calming a truly spastic child, last night I found myself recalling word for word and note for note "Comfortably Numb" from The Wall.  There are two problems here.  First, I really wonder about the content appropriateness.  There's a lot of hard living behind the story of that song.  Probably a good thing Leo has no English (that I know of).  On further recollection, perhaps The Eagles "Take It Easy" would have been more appropriate.  I might have all of that in RAM somewhere.

The other problem with "Comfortably Numb?"  The last third is a wicked guitar solo which I cannot in any way reproduce.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two Minimum Wages?

One of the difficulties with discussing changes to the minimum wage is that there are different kind of people that have those kinds of jobs.  While it seems reasonable to argue a working adult deserves one rate of pay it may be difficult to make that same argument for a high school student working a part time gig for gas money (leaving aside the thought that a part time minimum wage job might not buy all that much gas right now).

Arguably, although most likely not universally agreed upon, an adult working a full time gig - ie 40 hours/week for 50 weeks/year ought to earn the poverty rate, yes?  This year, for a single person that rate is $11,670 (  There's another dimension to the thing right there: should the size of an earner's family effect their potential minimum wage?

One disaster at a time.

Round up (arbitrarily raise the poverty rate): $12,000/50 weeks/40 hours is... $6/hr.


I hadn't done that math until I wrote that sentence.  That complicates things.

Here I was, hoping I would be able to make a reasonable argument for having different rates for different types of earners - I still think that's possible.  But... my index for what an minimum earning adult was going to be based on the poverty rate.  Based on that math, rounding up comes to $6/hr.  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr ( or $14,500/yr.

So maybe before we start to monkey with the compensation we need to better frame the problem, starting with coming up with a more realistic poverty rate.  Or maybe the first thing ought to be to try to discover if a single adult can reasonably live on $12,000/yr.

I have to say offhandedly that doesn't sound as dire as I thought.  Certainly it's more complicated than $12k/50/40.  Minimum wage earners would be hard pressed to find truly full time work.  Should the minimum wage reflect full time employment or the more likely experience of someone that finds them-self underemployed?  That's actually a more interesting question than some of the others.

Some of the other factors:

  • poverty rate vs. cost of living vs. quality of life
  • worker's age
  • worker's dependents
  • geographical location
All things being equal (although clearly they aren't) I have always been a proponent of raising the minimum wage.  I am starting to wonder if the underlying assumptions aren't a bigger problem than the politics.

FWIW what I was going to say was that I thought there was reasonable motivation to make a distinction between an earner who is being claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return and someone who is (for lack of a better word) a primary earner.  But let's put a pin in that for a moment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We Have a New Winner

Sometimes I have the thought that I should do an interactive assignment at Home Depot or Lowes.  The idea would be that students would get a list of items and the first student to come back with a cart containing everything on the list would win.  Clearly there would need to be some negotiating with the store manager, and all things being equal it would probably be kinder to them to do it when the store is closed.  I guess maybe the carts are superfluous - we could just use phone cameras.

The root of the thing comes from being a summer stock TD (or strangely a commercial shop project manager).  From time to time I would need something I would have to put my hands on or see before purchasing and that would mean that the intern (or the runner or the purchasing agent) really couldn't do it.  In those cases I didn't really want to spend swaths of my day wandering the aisles of home centers.  Knowing where things are is a necessary skill.

Over the years I've stumbled across some items that defy normal home center navigation.  There are some things that that could be in multiple places and some that just really don't belong anywhere.  My recollection is that the progenitor item in this category was dryer hose.  The first impulse is that it would be with HVAC things, but that would be wrong.  Then maybe with other pipe and tube... wrong.  Maybe it will be with the dryers... close, but no.  It is in the appliance section, but it pretty much has it's own little counter space on the fringe of the department.
I don't know how many items have held the title over the years, but the previous champ was a bathroom exhaust fan.  HVAC?  No.  Plumbing?  No.  With the Range Hoods?  No.  Showers & Tubs?  No.  Bathroom Fixtures?  Not really.  Again, this is an item that sort of has it's own little department at the back of the store, kinda near the end of the Bathroom Vanity aisle.  It's also a frequent aisle cap item which is not helpful at all because that doesn't get you the whole product range.

And yes, FWIW I have needed to purchase both Dryer Hose and Bathroom Exhaust Fans for theatre projects.

The new reigning champion?

Survey Marker Flags.

Outdoor Patio?  No.  Indoor Patio?  No.  Plumbing?  No.  Concrete accessories?  No.  Signage (like mailboxes, address signs and driveway markers)?  No.  Electrical accessories?  No.  Decking & Fence Posts?  No.  That stash of stuff at the Pro Desk?  No.  By the marking paint?  No.

So where are they?  I'll put it in the comments so you can keep guessing.  FWIW I needed like 10 and you have to buy like 50.  A can of field marking paint was $5 and these were $8.  Also for what it is worth when I did ask someone the guy said "wow, that's a tough one."  He took me to his first guess (well, second after I told him they weren't on the outdoor patio).  Standing right in front of them he didn't see them, but I finally managed to put my hands on it.

Maybe I should have just used the paint.  I found that right away.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Those aren't Lego.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


I hadn't noticed the last post was doing that thing where it cuts off every other post.  Sorry...  Republican Congressional politics would be funny if it weren't so sad.  Unfortunately Democratic Congressional politics aren't much better...  Last day of precollege classes today.  Interviews tomorrow.  Still no friend requests...  There are things in my life I am more concerned about than Ebola.  Stupid things even...  Abbreviated Lego playdate today.  We did a tug vehicle for the plane.  Photo update to follow...  FWIW, I think on this blog we'll just call the Washington team "Washington" from now on...  Got it in my head that the home theatre project should be finished in time for football.  Running out of time...  I wonder if being in Hawaii during a hurricane is still nicer than being other places...  The new twitter is up to 13 followers.  Don't seem like much of a growth curve...  It always amazes me what people consider "good theatre schools."  Either there is really no such thing, or there really isn't a good way to research it (there is a third possibility which would be that most people are lazy)...  Summer teaching should not include 4 hour grading marathons.  Regular teaching should not include four hour grading marathons...  Trips are stacking up: NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Mexico, Israel.  The deeper you go there the hazier it gets...  My new routine seems to have put me off the MSNBC.  Of all in time TV it seems like what I now see the most of is Ellen.  Not sure what to make of that...  We're going to have a deck out front soon.  Still trying to decide if I will call it a porch or not...  It's kinda cool looking at a readout and seeing a twitter post I wrote for my account posting all by itself...  I think in the after summer analysis I didn't do more of the things I had set out to do than I did, but I still did a lot...

Monday, August 04, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Last batch from Precollege.  Voting ends Thursday noonish...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Disability Is Not Just a Metaphor":

    We stare and we sympathize, we pretend to be okay, yet we aren’t. When people look around the room, their eyes naturally gravitate towards the person most out of place, often a disabled person. Whether their disability is physical or mental, both are just as noticable for different reasons. The fact is, many people feel uncomfortable around disabled people. They feel bad because they aren’t as “normal” as everyone else. They feel worse because they don’t know what to do or say that doesn’t involve the prospect of hurting their feelings. Disability is a touchy subject.

    I think Hollywood chooses to hire able-bodied actors to portray disabled characters simply because it’s easier to manipulate the story that way. Audiences can establish it’s only a story instead of a reality. They can witness that actor walk or behave “normally.” They don’t witness the struggles portrayed on screen, off screen. That intimidates people.

    For shows like American Horror Story, who includes a Down syndrome actress, while the reality is just as real, these people are actors too. They are not cast as themselves, they play a character who happens to have the same disability as them. If this can be established to audiences, maybe Hollywood will be more open to the idea of casting these actors.

Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Infographic: Only 8 Percent of Sci-Fi Films Featur...":

    Roughly four percent of United States citizens have openly affiliated themselves as members of the LGBTQ community. About Thirteen percent of Americans today are African American, and (unsurprisingly) half of the population is made up of women. The lack of diversity in these movies is often appalling, but it doesn’t necessarily connote segregation in the movie industry. The fact that there are so few women protagonists is most likely based on the concept that men are more suited to fight and survive, an unfortunate widespread cultural belief held since the beginning of time. Despite the gap, Hollywood is slowly accepting more women and African-Americans into the world of film. There may be many more Sci-Fi and Fantasy films that incorporate more diverse casting, however this data only comes from the top 100 domestic grossing movies. So does that mean that people just like Will Smith as an actor, or chose to specifically mostly watch movies that have little casting variance?

Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Critics accuse opera of depicting yellowface":

    I am an Asian American, and I've seen Mikado performed. I wasn't deeply offended by it, but the fact that Japanese culture was being portrayed in this way was definitely problematic.

    Due to my own personal background, I am somewhat removed from this issue. I'm only half Asian (my father is white), I've lived in America all my life, I am white-passing (in most contexts, people generally assume I'm fully Caucasian). While my family observes some Chinese customs, I lead a pretty whitewashed life. Thus, when presented with something like Mikado, it doesn't quite hit me deep down.

    However, I am still a member of the Asian American community and I am still sick of modern attitudes towards Asian culture. In addition to operas such as Mikado still being popular, there are still perceptions of Asian culture such as in the weeaboo and otaku communities. In America, there has been a recent fascination with Asian culture to the point of belittlement and fetishization, and Mikado is just one example of this phenomenon.

Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "I’m Breaking Up":

    Reading an article with this level of introspection is sobering to read. Anything you are passionate about will consume a lot of your time, and many people choose to put that passion higher on the priority list than other things that they want to do. It will be interesting to see how such a fast paced field with so many aspiring participants welcomes someone after their hiatus. Sometimes you have to make decisions that will hinder the option you don’t cater to. Conbere said she burned a lot of bridges while pregnant with her child, and that’s not giving anything to their community. That is only increasing her distance from the field she loves. If she gets too far from it she will regret it. This is a just a balancing act between two separate worlds-but if she wishes to take it on she should.

Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Marilyn Myller, A Stop-Motion Short about Stop-Mot...":

    There is a lot interesting about this past the cute and meta factor. In terms of stop motion, this short emphasizes the idea of putting a lot of effort into work that is often destroyed. Though some stop motion characters might make it through the filming process, they don’t always. However, this film is about more than just stop motion. Much of the beginning is about the emotion that is tied to almost any artistic process, especially processes that involve storytelling. The artist is creating a world, and that comes with an immense sense of wonder and power until something inevitably goes wrong. Myller’s film portrayed the emotion of an artist being passionate about and absorbed in the world they create, and the feeling of abruptly being pulled out of the world. Anyone who has ever had that experience when working on a project, and I would guess that most people have, immediately empathises with the main character of the short, and stays with her for the rest of the story. The skill with which that emotion is portrayed is what makes this film effective, powerful, and relatable.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Worth a Look

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

Critics accuse opera of depicting yellowface

MSNBC: A classic play now being performed in Seattle is raising stark questions about racial and cultural attitudes toward Asian Americans. Richard Lui joins to discuss the controversial performance of the opera “The Mikado”.

Legal fallout begins for 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

TribLIVE: The abrupt cancellation of this summer's North American arena tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” is apparently not being forgiven.
The Really Useful Group, the London-based production company of “Superstar” composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, said July 29 that it was taking legal action against music and theatrical producer Michael Cohl for the “unilateral decision” to scuttle the tour, which was to star punk legend John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child.

SawStop Lawsuit Against Table Saw Makers Dismissed

Pro Tool Reviews: The word “conspiracy” is never a pleasant one to hear tossed around about the corporate world, especially when it involves companies you respect in an industry that you love. Recently, and fortunately, a lawsuit was dismissed by the court against virtually all of the major players in the power tool industry. SawStop, LLC had accused many companies of conspiring against adopting their table saw safety technology in an effort to avoid creating a new safety standard.

Can You Smell That Smell? It’s Theatrical Scent Design

The Clyde Fitch Report: Theatre has begun to embrace a new type of designer. Their work is invisible, but if done correctly it can have a palpable impact on the performance. I interviewed David Bernstein about his work in the burgeoning field of scent design.

I Don’t Want to “Disrupt” the Live Entertainment Industry

Selling Out: Talk to any shiny new entrepreneur today, and he or she will tell you that their goal is to “disrupt” whatever industry they’re part of. Disruption, when it really happens, changes the fundamental rules of the game, usually to the benefit of consumers and, of course, to the massive benefit of the company doing the disruption.
 FWIW my first pass had over a dozen contenders this week - might be worth a look at the page itself.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Upgrades, and the Before and After Photo

We've been doing some incremental upgrades at the house, some decorating here, a new furniture piece there, couple of shelves someplace else...  As much as I am trying to keep a running record of projects for myself I just can't seem to remember to take the "before" picture.  Truth be told, the "after picture by itself just doesn't have the same impact.

Case in point: we're putting in a new deck/porch/we don't really know what to call it in front of the house.  As part of the prep for this project I took on the task of clearing away some bushes that have been there since we moved into the house.  A couple of weekends ago I hit the yard with a cordless reciprocating saw and two pairs of hand trimmers and presto chango:

Poof, where once there was an out of control bush now there is none.  Except, without the before you have no idea what I did.  Also, the bush went into no less than 10 yard refuse bags which looked REALLY formidable on the curb waiting for the trash guys - if only I had remembered to photograph them.

You'd think that walking around with a digital camera in my pocket would be enough to make me remember to take pictures.  But I guess I should have learned this lesson from my students total lack of posting on the tumblr: having access to a camera and subject matter doesn't create photos.

You have to remember to take the picture.

Or at least you have to remember that maybe you already took the picture several months ago...

Halloween.  You get the idea.

Even without the new addition I think pulling the bush is an improvement to the house.  I can finally see something out of the living room window.  Also, neither of the photos show it, but this space is pretty much the only level space in the whole front yard, nice to pick up some room for a couple of chairs should we want it.

So now that we have the way before and the before pictures I'll be sure to keep the site up to date on the project progress.  Actually, the whole thing was supposed to be done by now.  But we're having a fairly typical contractor experience... the start date got pushed back 30 days because... because contractors don't sell opening night tickets.

On 30 Posts in 30 Days

So I did it.  I mean, less than three days in I had failed by strict evaluation but under 21st century evaluation I think I did alright.  Actually the missing the deadline thing is one of the things I learned from the whole thing.  Let's start with that.

Something about how my life is structured right now means that I can't really find a moment to sit in front of the computer to write until after 11pm.  That doesn't mean I don't find time to sit in front of a computer before that; I spend an inordinate amount of my time in front of a screen.  It just means that this sort of writing seems to get pushed off to the back even when I have tried to make it a priority.  Just to make the point even more clear this is happening right now.

I seem to really not want to take a position anymore.  Looking back through the archive there are all sorts of posts taking one or another firm position on political issues.  Right now I could talk about ebola or Gaza or immigration but strangely I don't.  I'll point at it obliquely in an "Ellipses..." post but the oomph required to generate an entire post seems to have left me.  Not sure what the root of that could be.

I could have an endless supply of posts if Gavri came over every day to play with my Lego.  All things being equal I am not sure those are the posts people want to read... all six of you.

As a side note I have pretty rigidly refused to post links to this blog in any of my other internet homes.  Last week I dropped a link for the comment voting on the new @NFTRW_Feed twitter stream, but at that time that stream had only 6 followers.  I wonder if I would be more or less motivated to write if I cross linked the posts to Facebook or my personal Twitter.

There would probably be even more photo posts if I could manage to get my iCloud photo linking to work better between my phone and my laptop.  It's all set up, but the results are totally intermittent and that means if I want to do a post with a photo I have to wait until I download the camera, email the photo to myself (which BTW my new work email won't let me do either), or sync the phone.  It's not a huge impediment, but it isn't greasing the wheels either.

I still haven't come up with a firm policy on my child's presence here online.  Should I use his name or "Baby TANBI"?  Can I post pictures?  I've been all over the place.  Perhaps that's the policy: all over the place.  Like Lego projects I am not sure my audience is looking for daddy blogging.

At the top of July I made a list of topics for posts with 20 possible posts.  In the end I used 3.  I guess preplanning isn't a guarantee of high posting tempo. So I am not going to try to do a post each day of August, but I will try to keep the post tempo up.