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Jul 31, 2007

Timeless Art

Time_machine_fsmcdvol8no13_2 Watch any collection of 80s music videos, and you'll know how some pop culture doesn't stand the test of time, going forward.  But I've always wondered, how would other bits of contemporary culture do if we sent them back in time?

Consider:

  • What would the WWI Doughboys think of tunes by Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, or maybe Guns 'n Roses?
  • What would Bach and his fellow church members think about Stravinsky or even Haydn?
  • What would the court of Constantine think of paintings by Caravaggio or Tintoretto?
  • What would the Globe Theatre think of anything by Jerry Bruckheimer or Peter Greenaway?
  • And what would Edith Wharton's peers think of food by Mario Batali or even the folks at Peter Lugar steakhouse?

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Time Machine soundtrack image yoinked from SoundtrackCollector.com.

Bonus points for people who remember the McDonald's jokes from the 1979 flick Time After Time.

02:52 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jul 30, 2007

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough

Occoneecheemountainoverlo
Hilly trails.  We don't have many in the Triangle, but Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in southwest Hillsborough has about 2 miles worth.

Above, a NW view from the overlook* down to the Eno River.  The Occoneechee Mountain peaks at 867 feet (~250 above the river), which makes it a good spot for the local microwave tower and fire lookout tower.

You should put Occoneechee Mountain on your short list of pretty, uncrowded, no-fuss destinations for fishing, shaded picnicking, or a modest hilly hike.  Lots of blackberries, too, along the lowest parts of the Occoneechee Mt. Loop Trail.

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*currently closed for safety reasons, but you can get pretty close.

12:35 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (5)

Jul 24, 2007

American Vacation

"As it stands, America is the only industrial nation that offers no legal protection for vacations.  The average vacation in the United States is now only a long weekend, and 25 percent of American workers have no paid vacation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compare that to Sweden, which mandates 32 vacation days...

"'We see overwork as a social, legal problem that needs political legislations,' says [John] deGraaf. 'We are utterly unique in our dismissal of the need for time and the environmental costs; not to mention, the costs to our health and our families have been enormous.'"

-- Dara Colwell, "Work Less, Save the Planet", in the Triangle Free Press No. 72, July 2007.

I've just started researching the topic of why and how to work less, and this article came across my desk.  I'm not endorsing everything it says, but thought it a take worth looking at.

10:38 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Jul 23, 2007

Hypno/therapy

I've been seeing a hypnotherapist for past couple of months, and it is helping with some of my anxiety and ADD issues, though it hasn't been the magic bullet I might have been dreaming of.

Among the messages in our prep and in our trance time: 

avoiding challenges is often much more costly than dealing with them.  And when I begin to deal with them, they often turn out to be much less painful than I thought they might be.  And even when they are as painful as I feared, the work of dealing with them actually gives me a shot at making them go away.

Depending on the day, this message can be my locomotive, my sag wagon, or my life preserver.  And other days, it sits by itself while I immerse myself in six to ten hours of avoidance.  Today was a sag wagon day.  I'm appreciative.

11:42 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Jul 22, 2007

Program Director Opening -- Urban Ministries of Durham

Umdlogo_2 Update -- we found an excellent match who started in September.  All are very pleased.

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News:
Program Director Opening at Urban Ministries of Durham
Apply by 21 Aug 07

PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Urban Ministries of Durham

The Opportunity
Homelessness.  Hunger.  Substance Abuse.  We confront these challenges every day. Will you stand with us and help lead the way to progress for our brothers and sisters in need?

At Urban Ministries of Durham, we seek an exceptional Program Director to lead and manage our major programs to address homelessness, hunger, substance abuse, and poverty.

The job will not be easy.  You will be responsible for providing shelter to ~100 people, and ~500 meals a day.  You will also oversee our substance abuse recovery program that opens the door to great successes, but with many challenges and risks.  And you will help strengthen our food pantry and clothing closet which serve nearly 400 people every month. Fortunately, you will be working with a team of nearly 20 paid staff and hundreds of volunteers, and you will be well-supported by an experienced executive director.

The Ideal Candidate
What are we looking for in our next Program Director?  Here are the essentials:

  • Compassion – you believe in the dignity of each person, and work in a way that both respects and increases the dignity of our clients, staff and volunteers
  • Leadership – you help your staff grow stronger and achieve greater results through your example and your support, all of which create a true engagement with our clients and mission.
  • Organization – you make the most of our resources by effectively directing both time and energy.  You understand the value of processes, reporting, and information technology.
  • Vision – you imagine better ways to achieve our mission as the changing environment creates new opportunities and new risks. 
  • Strength – you make principled decisions and create positive results even when solutions are not easy to find.

Why Work with Urban Ministries of Durham?

  • Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) has a strong reputation built on nearly 25 years of service.  We are fiscally solid and are growing stronger.
  • We work in close partnership with City and County government, religious organizations, and the private sector.  We are a faith-based organization whose services are primarily secular.
  • Durham is a vibrant and growing community in the nationally recognized Research Triangle. Our downtown neighborhood is in the midst of incredible new development and urban renewal.
  • Durham has begun implementing a “Ten Year Results Plan to End Homelessness in Durham”. As program director, you will be one of our primary representatives in the effort.
  • As program director, you will have endless variety: with opportunities to do inside work (with staff, volunteers and clients) and outside work (with government and private partners, and other stakeholders). And you will have many challenges. 
  • Our infrastructure (i.e., organizational structure, physical plant) is established.  You won’t have to start from scratch, but you’ll have the freedom to create new things (e.g., we have just acquired a Jani-King franchise for our substance abuse recovery program).

Professional Qualifications
Successful experience in human services program delivery and management is the primary qualification, including successful supervision and development of front-line and supervisory staff.  Proficiency with MS Office tools (Word, Excel) and experience working with large datasets (via MS Access or other database tools) is essential.  A bachelor’s degree is required and a master’s degree is preferred.  Fluency or facility in Spanish is a plus.

Compensation
At UMD, we treasure the spiritual reward of our careers but also recognize the need for other compensations.  The salary will be $40-$45k, depending on qualifications and experience.  Paid vacations, holidays, and health insurance are standard for all fulltime staff, and we also contribute to a 403(b) retirement plan on behalf of employees after one year of fulltime work. 

To Respond
Please respond with resume and letter of interest no later than August 21 via our recruiting agent, Phil Marsosudiro, at umd.search@gmail.com. We will be glad to hear from you. 

EEO Statement
It is the policy of UMD to employ, place, compensate, train, counsel, promote, terminate, and otherwise treat any and all employees and job applicants on the basis of merit, qualifications, competence, and compliance with other organizational policies and goals.  This shall be applied without regard to any individual's age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, or physical disability.   

01:55 PM in Urban Ministries of Durham | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jul 20, 2007

Blackberries -- The Analog-Only Kind

Blackberriesonpettigrew3
Urban blackberries!  Above, a few from the many bushes on the 1500 block of Pettigrew St. between Erwin Rd. and Swift Ave.  There are yet more on Erwin Rd., across from Sam's Quik Shop.  Sorry for the fuzzy pic -- I didn't realize I'd gotten a bunch of blackberry juice on half my lens.

My pal J and I picked a bit more than a quart last weekend.  I made my portion into way-too-thick preserves with the following recipe:

3 c. blackberries
3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice.

Simmer until anything you spoon out onto a plate cools into a thick syrup.  Then heat a little longer.  Then discover that it cools down into something not quite spreadable.

Last summer on Vancouver Island, I made a different version using pectin, less sugar, and strained-out seeds.  That's an easier and prettier version that also benefits from less sugar.  Maybe I'll try that version with another round of Pettigrew St. berries.

01:56 AM in Destination Durham, Recipes | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jul 18, 2007

Ten Weird Things About Me(me)

Fingerbend
Per the Jerry tag, here is a drunken baker's ten weird (or at least distinctive) things about me, in no particular order:

  1. Headaches make me forget that analgesics exist.
  2. I am sort of homeless.  I sold my house two years ago with plans to buy elsewhere but then plans changed, and I turned into a full-time housesitter.  I use my parents' place for a permanent address and a place to store my books and off-season clothes.  Patty dubbed this the "home-free lifestyle".
  3. My parents invented my first name (Philindo) and my paternal grandfather invented my last name.  I'm the only person I know who owns the domain names for my first and last name.
  4. When I'm with a bunch of white people, I think I'm white.  When I'm with a bunch of black people, I think I'm black.  When I'm with a bunch of New Yorkers, I think I'm a New Yorker.  Etc. etc.
  5. I live on West Coast time but I do it on the East Coast (i.e., I tend to go to bed at 2 a.m. and wake at 11 a.m.).
  6. My fingers bend way back.  (See pic).
  7. Seeing how I've worn a black t-shirt 6 days a week for the last two years, I'm surprised that no one has ever asked me why.
  8. I sleep with earplugs and with a t-shirt over my head to keep out the light.  For years, I would often have difficulty falling asleep because I was anxious that something (like a telephone or a car alarm) would wake me up in the middle of the night and that I'd have trouble falling back to sleep. Things have improved.
  9. When I send text messages, I try to 2 use fwr kystrks by drping vwls whr I cn.  The weird thing is that if I've accidentally texted out "a few complete words like this", I often compulsively delete those fully written words and re-text "a few cmplt wrds lyk ths."  You know, to save effort.
  10. I have chest hair on my left side only.
  11. I had some persistent, occasional RLS (restless leg syndrome) for many years and was finally diagnosed in January 2006.  I took the pills for a week, but they didn't seem to do anything -- the RLS was still acting up half of the days that week.  So I quit taking the pills.  And whaddya know, the RLS has been pretty much absent ever since then.  Geez, I hope I haven't jinxed this.
  12. I used to be a semi-competent and competitive tennis player.  But now if I take a month or two off, it will take me fifteen minutes of spastic approximation before I can predict whether my forehands will stay inside the fence.
  13. I cannot remember faces to save my life, but I can recognize a TV show or movie from a nano-second glance at the screen.  It doesn't matter if I only saw the movie once, ten years ago: flash me a frame or two and I'll recognize it. 

So, there you are.  I'm supposed to tag other people but I'm feeling lazy.  If you'd like to self-tag, please let us know through the comments.

Marianne and Gina have also heeded Jerry's call.

12:38 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Jul 17, 2007

The Paradox about Berkeley...

Berkeley

The paradox about Berkeley is that its citizens can have such detailed concern about the problems of this world while also exhibiting a cluelessness that makes you think they're actually living on some other planet.

-- someone I was talking to last week (for some reason, I cannot remember who).

Perhaps-not-clueless pic yoinked from a funny and fun guy at iwalt.com

02:36 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jul 13, 2007

Hoping for Prepared Foods at the Durham Farmer's Market

My friend Yvette shared this letter that she sent to the Durham Farmer's Market, and I volunteered to reprint it here as a local editorial.

Hello Durham Farmer's Market,

We are proud to live in Durham and have such a vibrant and living farmer's market to support, which in turn supports us with healthy produce, beautiful plants, tasty treats.

Our family loves to travel and we love farmer's markets, so no wonder the market is always our first destination in a new city or country.  We have been to some amazing ones, and find that what makes a good market great include variety of farm fresh items, some prepared food for sustenance and to top it all off, music to keeps your toes tapping.

The only ingredient we find missing at our Durham Farmer's Market is prepared food.  We love when a local restaurant sets up with samples and recipes using market ingredients, but we'd be happy to purchase food and hang out, listen to music and meet friends.

In our travels, we've enjoyed a variety of tasty eats at local farm market's:

  • Home-made tacos, hand-crafted breads at the Dublin's Temple Bar Bio Market (also a great muesli and granola vendor)
  • Made to order crepes at the Noordermarket (Bio) in Amsterdam
  • Mexican, South-American, Caribbean cuisine and more at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market in California (also with pony rides and pony ride protesters)
  • Vegan burritos at the Organic Farmer's Market in Berkeley, Calf.

I understand that the Durham Farmer's Market may be going for a more traditional "farm market" sensibility, it is also a community gathering place and could be the best place to go for a meal in Durham if we allowed it to be.  I don't in any way mean to take away from all the hard work and integrity of the farmer's that sell there, they are of course the reason we attend the market year round.

Adding chefs and delicious food to the mix creates a vitality and symbiosis that make buying local and preparing fresh food exciting!  What to do with all those zucchinis?  Ask a chef!  Have some vendors as regulars selling prepared food (even 1 or 2 would be great); and sometimes having chefs or restaurants do a special appearance would also be wonderful.

Thanks,
Yvette Yasui

01:58 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jul 06, 2007

The Collective Consciousness at Dinner

From Barry while dining at Fishmonger's, "So... what's the collective noun for grouper?"

01:42 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jul 02, 2007

Cleveland Holloway Neighborhood

New in blogland: the Cleveland Holloway Neighborhood at the eastern edge of downtown Durham.  I look forward to reading more from there, and maybe we'll soon see links to more bloggers from eastern Durham.  (If you know of any, please let me know.)

From the CHN intro:

The Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood is located between and including Elizabeth, Liberty, Cleveland, and Canal streets. We have a rich history that continues to the present: many residents have lived in our houses for over 50 years. Our diverse neighborhood includes families, single working class individuals, artists, and musicians.

Shoutout to Endangered Durham for the link.

10:59 PM in Destination Durham | Permalink | Comments (1)

States in Song

Rhodeislandphysicalmap_2 A challenge inspired by my pal jenny who has a fondness for Michelle Shocked: come up with a list of not-ridiculously-obscure songs whose lyrics include all fifty US states.

If you know the one obvious song for the state shown at right, you'll get a dozen states straightaway.  But after that...

Here are a couple to get you started:

Alaska, New York and Texas: Michelle Shocked, Anchorage <-- click for a nice video at AOL.
Louisiana: various artists, Cotton Fields Back Home
Massachusetts: John Forster, Entering Marion

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By the way, did you know that the official state rock song for Ohio is "Hang on Sloopy"?  Well now you do, and I apologize.

12:01 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (31)