Feb 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to Carpe Durham


Congratulations to Carpe Durham on their first birthday!  At tonight's celebration at Pinhook, it was great to meet many of their contributors -- who are younger, slimmer, and better looking than you might have guessed for people who write so well and eat as much as they do.

In a September 2008 interview with Claire Cusick at the Independent, Carpe's Andrew Prins said:

"People in Durham seem to spend a lot of time discussing how we can build a closer community, yet often what it seems like they need to do is stop thinking about it and actually just live in it like a community. There are so many fantastic places and parts of Durham that most residents have probably never seen, and that we certainly wouldn't have seen without the blog."

Right said, Andrew.  The saddest thing about Carpe Durham is that their writers are graduating from Duke Law in May and will move on to far flung places for federal clerkships and more.  One writer said that friends may take on the mantle after May -- but I will not dare hope until I see it.  For now, I'll just be glad we've got the original team for as long as we do.

Above is the Sabor Latino truck they got to park outside Pinhook for their birthday party.  When the west-stretching queue reached around twenty people long, the MarVell Club folks next door politely asked if we could shift the line's direction so it wouldn't block their entrance.  But soon enough, the line grew beyond thirty and started threatening the entrance to Revolution several doors to the east.

The truck people looked pretty happy with the 3 tacos for $5 crowd, despite occasional struggles with language* and despite the early so-many-customers-we're-out-of-cheese (or some other important ingredient) crisis.  Still, downtown Durham has never smelled so good.  And that's counting the weekdays when Ninth Street Bakery is cooking up the cinnamon rolls, and the olden days when Liggett and Myers was processing their sweetest of leaves.  Carpe's SPL interviewed many diners on video.  All had greasy smiles and talked with their mouths full; some expressed their joy via dance.  I burned my fingers on food and did not care.


*near as I can tell from the line: one person in seven spoke Spanish but one person in five had trouble placing an order.  Everybody pitched in.

Photo yoinked from Carpe Durham, of course.  If you're very very clever, you can recognize the boxes of Premium Saltine Crackers on the front dash.  My fellow blogging Carpe-fans did not know what recipe those go into.  Do you?

12:08 AM in Destination Durham, Food, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (4)

Jan 14, 2009

Which Philosopher Are You?

Having recently quoted Nietzsche at my ADDexecutive blog, I started thinking about one of the great questions of this age: Is there a website that will tell me which philosopher I most think like?

Of course there is:

Which philosopher are you?
Your Result: Sartre/Camus (late existentialists)

The world is absurd. No facts govern it. We live well once we truly accept the world's absurdity. YOU give our life's meaning, and YOU control your world. (see Nietzsche for very closely tied beliefs) --This quiz was made by S. A-Lerer.

Early Wittgenstein / Positivists
Plato (strict rationalists)
W.v.O. Quine / Late Wittgenstein
Immanuel Kant
Which philosopher are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

And of course there are other sites, including this one by Vassar professor Bryan W. Van Norden that (gasp) indicates Nietzsche is far down my list:

My #1 is:Augustine
My #2 is:Aquinas
My #3 is:Kant
My #4 is:Aristotle Aristotle" NAME="result4">
My #5 is:Hume
My #6 is:Sextus Empiricus
My #7 is:Protagoras
My #8 is:Nietzsche
My #9 is:Plato

Sorry for the ugly graphic, above.  Here's a prettier link that also links to a profile of Augustine (including his relationship to the web):

See more Philosophy selector quizzes @ SelectSmart.com®
Which famous philosopher do you most agree with?
Here's my top result for this selector quiz by Bryan W. Van Norden:

And lastly, here's What Philosophy Do You Follow? from Quizfarm that I'm too lazy to take right now.

Enjoy yourselves!  (Assuming your philosophy allows pleasure.)  If you discover others that are better than the three above, let us know in the comments.

Addendum: motivated by Buck doing it, I took the Quizfarm quiz, which I think I like best of all three:

You Scored as Existentialism

Your life is guided by the concept of <b>Existentialism</b>: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life. <br><br>“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” <br>“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” <br>--Jean-Paul Sartre <br><br>“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.” <br>--Blaise Pascal <br><br>More info at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Arocoun">Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...</a>




Divine Command

Justice (Fairness)

Strong Egoism





While two of out of three surveys agree, I can't say that I feel like an existentialist (and I don't feel tardy, either. Heh. Funny that it was in 1984 that I took a class in existentialism and enjoyed that Van Halen video which was still in MTV rotation.  Class dis-MISSed!)

12:43 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (4)

May 19, 2008



What drives you to procrastinate?  And what do you do with your time when you're procrastinating? 

My faves involve CRTs or LCD screens: television and the internet.  Blogging is a more virtuous procrastinaction*, but I don't do is often.

I yoinked this poster from the sharp folks at despair.com (click for the whole set).  I think they debuted around 1995 and I'm glad they're still going strong.  I think that Defeat was my favorite of their first series.


*apologies to Ms. P who hates these made up words -- perhaps even worse when they're mushups.  Oh, there I go again.  Dang.

10:14 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (4)

Apr 07, 2008

Rockin' the Stove with Chef Shirlé Hale-Koslowski


When high quality comes along in blogland, I just have to share:

Rockin' the Stove -- Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking, Rockin’ The Stove with Chef Shirlé, vegetarian and vegan recipes, cooking show, songs about food and handmade crafts for the kitchen.

Above, a pic from her post:  Buying Organic Eggs for Easter?…Then What About The Dye? Easier and more fun than I would have thought.  Click it and see.

You may know Shirlé her band Gerty, or from her Four Corners Cuisine* personal chef service.  Or maybe you just know her because she and her husband David are cool.  In any case, I'm glad you know her now.


*from "a square meal and so much more".  Not from Saturday night's tragic ballgame.  And hey, what's this -- four posts (three on food related) in 24 hours at the Archer Pelican?  There must be something in the water (that has been pouring for the last two weeks)...

11:23 AM in Food, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mar 11, 2008

Today, Instead -- the Jade City

So apparently this is "Durham bloggers go to communist countries month".  If my travels took me to the Emerald City, I guess that the Durham Foodie is off to the Jade City -- Beijing.  Yesterday Kelly had an interesting post on Chinese censorship:

The whole censorship thing really gets under my skin. Besides Google blogger, China censors the BBC Web site, parts of CNN web, and various other news outlets that do not reflect their party line. I was watching CCN on the TV this evening and there was a piece on about the alleged terrorist plot that China thwarted. About 2 minutes into the broadcast the TV went dead. A few minutes later it went live in the middle of another broadcast.

Nothing to report on food. I worked all day and am too tired to eat.

Go visit Durham Foodie this week for more from China, and for months and months of yet more food.  Be warned -- reading her blog can make you very hungry.

Two random bits on Chinese food:

1.  My new Australian friend Karen sometimes visits China where she does not speak the languages.  A paraphrase of her comment: "My best friend in China threatens me to stay on her good side.  'Don't piss me off or your next meal is dog.'  And yes, dog is on every menu."

2.  Calvin Trillin -- a big fan of Chinese food in New York and elsewhere -- supposedly carries a card in his wallet with these words: "I'll have what that guy over there is having."

I'm back in the US for a month or so, but I'll be continuing with posts on the Emerald City this week and next.

11:16 PM in Food, Links of Note, Recipes | Permalink | Comments (4)

Feb 10, 2008

Blogroll -- RDUWTF.com

As we sometimes talk about around here, Durham folks are often reluctant to mix with folks on the Wake side of things.  That's why I'm glad to add RDUWTF to my blogroll.*  At the risk of sounding parochial in exactly the way I don't want to be, let me just say that Robert at RDUWTF would fit in great with my Durham blogging pals.  He hates wanton destruction of old properties, he likes good food (and will drive to Durham to get it), and last summer he did a very nice blog interview with "our" own Endangered Durham. He can even be snarky about local politicians.

From Robert's About page:

There will be much complaining here but we hope to offset those complaints with a recognition of the things in our region that we appreciate. Many of our complaints will be about the disappearance of local character as it faces the wrecking ball of progress. Oh, we aren’t resistant to change! In fact, if you had to give us a label it might be: Modernist but not the Modernism that espouses the timeless and placeless ideal of design. No, we appreciate the things that are rooted here in North Carolina and that are an honest representation of their time and purpose. That state motto on our seal means “To be, rather than to seem” and we think that’s good advice.

So tune on in, 'kay?  And pester him so he keeps writing.


*apologies to fellow Durham bloggers if you've already posted notices about this guy that I've failed to read.

07:23 PM in Links of Note, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 24, 2007

"What's Your Network Value?"

What's the cash value of your network?  The folks at XING.com (a business social networking resource like LinkedIn) have come up with a methodology that requires but 5 minutes of your time.  Click here: mynetworkvalue.com Oh and mine?  $1,222,000.  High for my age and field.  Hooray for me!  If you are reading this, please send me one dollar :-) Shout out to Barry at enrevanche.com for the link.

In a related thing, pal Dave was recently musing about creating a rating system for your relative social rank on the internet.  Your online social rank would be a function of things like:

  • who you're connected to via social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn
  • who your connections are connected to
  • how many recommendations or positive comments you get
  • how often people visit your profile
  • etc.

How would folks use the ranking system?  I dunno -- maybe to decide who gets an invitation to the hippest parties of the week?  Or good tables at the hottest restaurants? 

(Did you ever see Jay Mohr's great but short-lived show "Action"?  In one scene, the recently disgraced film producer is having trouble getting a table at a restaurant that used to love him.  After Mohr raises a fuss, the maitre-d chastises him, "Remember -- it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!")

Network ranking systems are of course not new (think Google Page Rank) nor are they impossible to game.  My friend Adam just burned a boatload of hours getting himself highly ranked at Gooruze -- a site for online marketers.  Adam may have successfully worked the system, and he even got a $500 award for his efforts.  But who really won?  The jury is still out.

10:16 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sep 27, 2007

Portrait of the Consultant as a Young Man (with undiagnosed ADD)

report1.gifIn the mid-80s when I was in high school (a decade before my attention deficit disorder diagnosis), there were already clear signs that I would be a frustrated adult -- full of talent, and fully challenged at putting those talents to use. Check out these three quarterly reports from October 1984:

Calculus: Phil is an enthusiastic member of this class.  He participates freely in class discussion and has many good ideas. It is enjoyable to have him in class but also a frustration.  For although he seems to understand new concepts when presented, he doesn't appear to spend time studying so that these ideas and skills become part of his general knowledge.  Until he can discipline himself to do the hard work involved in the education process, he will not be recognized as the talented special person he wants to be.  There will be times in Phil's life when this will have a lasting impact on what he can achieve. [Emphasis added]

British Literature: Phil's work is always imaginative and usually insightful.  His quiz scores suggest that he might prepare his assignments a little more carefully.  Attention to detail is sometimes tedious but always necessary in both analytical and creative writing and thinking.

Philosophy: Phil's quite good performance in both class discussions and written assignments was marred only by his failure to hand in the mid-term exam on time.

So what's changed since then? Many things, thank goodness.  Early in my engineering career, my bosses smacked me a few times for sloppy work and poor detail management, so I got serious about improving.  Along the way, I actually came to enjoy doing careful work (at least sometimes) for two different reasons. 

First, I came to realize how useful and important and rare it was to be a professional who did careful, thorough work.  By doing better work, I made myself much more valuable.  And by being more valuable, I got to do more interesting work. 

Second, I got a lot of satisfaction from learning to do something well that I used to do poorly.  Up until then, most of my "wins" came from doing things that came easily.  Succeeding at something through hard work and persistence was a new and in some ways deeper pleasure.

These days, colleagues and clients often say they're impressed by how I do things with more care and thoroughness than most professionals they work with.  They appreciate how I sweat the details.  This is praise I appreciate -- when I hear it, I know I'm making a difference.  Sure, many consultants are much more competent and pains-taking than I, but they live in a different world with different kinds of megadollar clients.  In my world, I'm happy that I can work with clients and colleagues whose talents and efforts are complementary to my own.  No heroes.  Just people who like putting their strengths together.

Of course this isn't to say that I've conquered all the problems that my teachers spotted in 12th grade.  In particularly, I'm still persistently late: I miss deadlines, I'm late for appointments, and for some damned reason I'm still surprised half of the times when it happens.  I'm working on that, though.  Working on it.

By the way, if I haven't mentioned it to you: check out my new site, the ADDexecutive: Business Strategy and Management for Executives with Attention Deficit Disorder.  It's still in live beta, but worth a look for smart grownups with the ADD bug.


Report card illustration from the Discovery Channel's Educator Resources.

10:47 PM in Links of Note, Me, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (8)

Sep 12, 2007

xkcd.com -- home of my new favorite writer and artist


If you already knew about this site and didn't tell me, shame on you.

Randall Munroe's xkcd.com A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language

07:51 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (7)

May 25, 2007

Introducing Chapomatic

New to the blogroll, Chapomatic, also known as Chap, formerly known as "another one of them geeky dudes at the S&M school".

In any case, Chap is now a Naval Officer with a blog, and he invited an interview from Barry at En Revanche after Barry invited an interview from me.

Here, an excerpt from Chap's responses to Barry's questions.

Used to be, the concept of service was more important and the military part of being a human being was a known aspect of what it was to be a whole person. Used to be, honor mattered. Fools in government were still there, but people understood that if you were one of those fools then you needed to try, and if you saw the fools you knew it was (as Instapundit mentioned today) an example of Robert Conquest’s third law: “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

Over time we’ve moved to a place where nothing is commonly accepted, nothing is immutable, no values are common and no hero is not anti-. We’ve decided that technological progress is bad, McCarthy’s sins were way more important than where he was right (and using the now-time-honored principle of moral equivalence, where he was right doesn’t matter), the sins of Communism and its advocates are down the memory hole, the Boy Scouts because of a doctrinal disagreement affecting an interest group is automatically evil, the academy doesn’t teach you Shakespeare or relativity but enforces a political viewpoint, and the One True Viewpoint must be held in public communications to the point that what I like to read starts feeling like samizdat. If Paul Smith is unknown everywhere but Jesse Macbeth gets on YouTube, I can’t get to a solution you request. When is someone shamed? When does someone retreat from public life due to egregious behavior?

I guess my bottom line is that yes, our disconnect between my military culture, a culture that is an additional layer of my own identity, and overall American culture needs fixing. I don’t see that being fixed until deeper problems get addressed: honor, conspiracy theories, innumeracy, scientific and theological illiteracy, lack of empathy for the fellow citizen who disagrees.

I think Matthew Bogdanos had it right when he talked about how important it was to be a complete human, a person who is a compassionate but if necessary fierce artist and engineer and parent and teacher and student. Lazarus Long had it down, too. Much as I dislike living in a small town I think I like their values though I’m not always in sync with them. They tolerate my eccentricities pretty well.

I appreciate Chap's viewpoints and agree with some, though I would argue the brush he wields in paragraph two is a touch too wide.  But in the same paragraph, he also uses the word "samizdat," so all is forgiven :-)

12:01 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 13, 2007

Bull City Rising

Bcr_title New to the blogroll,  "Bull City Rising: Musings, reflections and general gossip for those more inclined to say Durham-Raleigh" by Kevin Davis, Durhamite since 2005, blogging about it since 2006.

From a recent entry, Do They Get Hazard Duty Pay for This?

So I made a bag of popcorn and turned on the tube to watch Monday night's city council meeting. The Herald-Sun covered the main brouhaha of the night, the much-ballyhooed 'cooling off' period for former city employees. Personally, I found the debate to be a rather pointless one -- and a much less concerning matter than, let's say, the brother-in-law of a Council member being selected over city staff's recommendation for a design project.

But then, maybe that's just me.

...Almost four hours later -- although you can only speak for two minutes at a time, if you've got Victoria Peterson and the Hesters in the house speaking two minutes on item after item, things run long -- it's over. Just another night at the City Council. Do councilfolks get hazard duty pay for this?


image yoinked from same

02:07 AM in Destination Durham, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 11, 2007

Bullsh@t -- Local, Snarky, and Fun


There's a new blog in town, and folks it just reeeks of "creative class".

An excerpt from their blog entry on the Jo & Joe's "Irish Pub" replacement:

I CAN NOT WAIT for the new Irish Bar that’s going into the space that used to be Jo & Joe’s!!! It’s gonna be the GREATEST! It has all the authentic charm of “Irish World” at Epcot Center in sunny Disney World…no wait, the authentic charm of Durham’s “other” downtown, Southpoint Mall!

Just peeking through the window I’m overjoyed by the EXTREME attention to detail. Even the dust on the bar looks imported from “Irish World.” The church pew booths are all the rage…it’s like going to confession—WITH A BEER!

Bullsh@t is just a few days old, and they announced their presence to a friend of Joe V.'s by leaving one of their droppings on said friend's blog.  We have no idea who they are, but if their about page (which mentions that the authors are a collective of real estate people and other locals) is accurate, I'm guessing that they're going to stay anonymous for as long as they can.  That, or quit being funny.  I wonder if they've met Esther Carp?

12:01 AM in Destination Durham, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (7)

Mar 13, 2007

Introducing String Theory at Stringamajig

Some people can knit.  And some people can fiddle.  But how many do you know who can do both?

I only know one, but apparently she knows others and if you're like me, you'll be surprised to find out what happens in the pits at Jesus Christ Superstar.

Above, a detail from "Still Life With Sock and Viola" from my pal Lisa of "String Theory" at Stringamajig (I like her blog name and her URL, so you get both)-- friend from waaaaay long before blogland, and finally now on the blogroll.

03:26 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (5)

Jan 25, 2007

Elrond Hubbard

Elrond A blogroll welcome to Elrond Hubbard, "featuring musings on a variety of things including dance, work, Iraq, physics, lesbians, Diesel engines. Please come to peruse and abuse."

If you're lesbian or like to swing dance, make sure to read this entry.


p.s. my apologies to other folks on the blogroll whom I've linked to without a proper intro.  I've been slack, and Elrond made it easy by writing his own introduction.

p.p.s. a shoutout to THE Adam Schultz who mocked me into finally using the Bloglines account that Dave had pestered me into starting last month. Far freakin' out, man.  What took me so long?

12:51 AM in Links of Note, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (4)

Jan 12, 2007


I just now stumbled upon this personal blog of professional journalist Oliver Wang and his friend Junichi Semitsu, and I swear to God, there are so many funny and/or useful things in there of in so many different categories that I cannot possibly choose a single item to quote.  So just go there, please.  For me.

12:24 AM in Links of Note, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (4)

Dec 06, 2006

Who Does That Guy Think He is, Jack Nicklaus?*

You scored as Jesus Christ. You are Jesus Christ!  You are the Son of the One and Only God!  The holiest of holies, which does make you a big sloppy pussy unfortunately.  Although many people will devote their lives to researching yours and artifacts surrounding it, you have a higher chance of people trying to find the blanket thrown over you after death then attempting to find some of your finer carpentry products. Unfortunately, the cranked up tales written by a bunch of junked up zealots in the middle of the desert will give you the status of a Divine prophet and/or saviour, and your craftmanship in life will be altogether overlooked.  You will die on the same material you lived by (I.E. your trade).


Dante Alighieri


Hugh Hefner


Jesus Christ


O.J. Simpson


Mother Teresa


C.G. Jung


Stephen Hawking


Friedrich Nietzsche


Adolf Hitler


Sigmund Freud


Elvis Presley


Charles Manson


Steven Morrissey


Miyamoto Musashi


What Pseudo Historical Figure Best Suits You?
created with QuizFarm.com

Shout out to Celeste for this one.  (See you at church on Sunday, Celeste <grin>)

FYI, I had to answer a "tie-breaker" question with three choices.  The other two near-outcomes were Hugh Hefner and Dante Alighieri.  And this makes perfect sense to me.


*I just remembered that not everyone will recognize this blog's title/punchline, so here's the whole joke, as told by my friend Dominic back ~6th grade.

One afternoon Jesus is playing golf with Moses as his caddy.  All is fine until they come to the twelfth hole -- a long par four with a water hazard that would require most amateurs to lay up on the near side of the water before shooting for the green.  But for some reason, Jesus is feeling the power and says to Moses,  "You know what, I'm going to be just like Jack Nicklaus and send it over the lake straight off the tee."

So he goes for it. 

Crack!  whishhhh.... Splunk.

Straight into the water. 

"Dang," says Christ.  "Moses, go get that ball, wouldja?"

So off Moses goes, trudging into the water and digging for the ball.  Soon enough he finds it and brings it back to the tee for Christ's second shot.

"Sorry about that," says Christ, "but this time I'm really going to be like Jack Nicklaus and hit the ball over that lake."

And... once more:  Crack!   whishhhh.... Splunk.

"Not to be rude, sir," says Moses, "but would you mind maybe getting this one yourself?"

"Well, I guess you're right," says Christ.  And off he goes, walking across the water to get to his ball.

Meanwhile, another golfer shows up at the tee and is of course surprised at the sight of a man walking on water.

"Hey," he says to Moses, "who does that guy think he is, Jesus Christ?!"

"Naw," Moses replies, "he thinks he's Jack Nicklaus".

01:47 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (6)

Nov 27, 2006

Introducing Celeste

Celeste Is she evil because she's heathen, or evil because she's early?

In any case, Celeste has put up her Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend, and you should read about that and much more at Pique and Reverie, her usually personal but never self-indulgent blog.

01:10 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (2)

Nov 23, 2006

Festivus for the Left of Us -- 9 December, Saturday

Lanandanne Festivus for the Left of Us
Saturday, 9 Dec, 5 p.m.
(Auction ends at 7 p.m.)
Broad St. Cafe in Durham

Below, from my pal Lanya (pictured right, with other pal Anne during the 2006 NC Gay Pride Parade) at gettraction.org:

What are YOU thankful for?  Post it as a comment here:

Our cups floweth over, and talking over turkey (or tofurkey) just won't cut it.  Nope, we're celebrating this huge year by throwing our second annual...

FESTIVUS for the Left of Us!

Traction's holiday-ish party and silent auction fundraiser is bigger and better this year, and co-sponsored by the Independent!

Food, drink, and feats of strength...
Holiday shopping, cool people and a great cause...
Plus fabulous games, dancing, airings of grievances, even get your new year's fortune told!

Here are three easy ways for YOU to plug in to Festivus, and we hope you'll do all three:

1) VOLUNTEER in the planning of Festivus.
You can volunteer that day/night, but we especially love EARLY volunteers.
Help procure items for the auction, get food and drink, plan the decorations, write item descriptions for the program/catalog, try to out-do Celeste's wacky/crafty/fun party ideas (best of luck) and much, much more!

VOLUNTEER PRE-PARTY: 6pm on Tues 11/28 at the Broad St. Cafe (1116 Broad
St.)  Write celeste@getTraction.org to let us know you're coming.

2) Join Casey, Raj, Patrick, Sarah, etc. and CONTRIBUTE to the auction.
You have something to give.  That's not a question.
To juice your juices:
- lessons in your special skill (tennis, cooking, surfing, dancing, French)
- 3-4 hours of your time as a handyperson, babysitter, designated driver, dog-walker... (if you're REALLY generous, give 2 hrs/month for a year)
- a week or weekend at your family's getaway spot!
- a lovely item from a funky store your friend owns
- a gift certificate from a favorite restaurant
- a valuable piece of memorabilia (ask us if you're not sure)
- frequent flyer miles, for those of you who travel a lot

3) SPREAD THE WORD and bring friends!

Write festivus@getTraction.org to donate, volunteer or RSVP.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend and we'll see you on Tuesday!

Muchas gracias, Lanya

P.S. For those of you who don't know Festivus, read about this (pop)cultural phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus
or watch a 3-minute video: http://www.vidlit.com/festivus/

P.P.S. We're NOT thankful for the offensive comments recently made by Michael Richards (who played Kramer on Seinfeld), who is explicitly NOT invited to our Festivus party.

Lanya Shapiro
= Traction =

"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."
                            ~ Emma Goldman

Traction = a social network of left-leaning 20- and 30-somethings who are spicing up progressive activism by throwing fun, issue-based events that inform, inspire and connect us with other savvy Gen X & Yers.

Get in the loop: Write to tractivist@getTraction.org to join our email list.

02:58 AM in Links of Note, News | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nov 20, 2006

"Endangered Durham" on the web


A local site of note: Endangered Durham by Sven Ryelsdorn. Above pic from same.  Whether or not you agree with Rylesdorn's arguments/comments (like this post on Bill Fields and the Medical Arts Building), I think you'll appreciate that he's writing and documenting. For me, he is at the very least opening my eyes to some issues and questions that I haven't considered before.  I've quoted his "Site Statement", below:

Endangered Durham Site Statement           

I started this site in reaction to the ongoing demolition of historic structures in the city of Durham. I worked from within the Historic Preservation Society of Durham for 5 years to try to save many neighborhood and downtown structures - some successfully, some not. I am no longer affiliated with this organization. I believe that city/county/state policy is very weak in providing avenues for protection of property, and that the city has become particularly aggresssive in destroying such property to 'reduce blight'. There are more creative alternatives.

Given the tiresome stream of Durham boosterism and frequently misguided land use/transportation boondoggles emanating from City Hall and their paid booster organizations, I thought I would start highlighting some of the real land use/transportation problems in downtown Durham and formerly-contiguous neighborhoods, rather than the non-problems they often choose to solve. I periodically highlight some of our copious hangover from Urban Renewal and associated transportation 'improvement' projects, as well as how the ongoing abuse of private property downtown and adjacent neighborhoods by slumlords and speculators affects us all, both in our quality of life and our own property values.

However, I intend this site to be a mixture of education and diatribe. I hope that some of the more purely historical posts will appeal even to people who disagree with my opinions on Durham politics and development.

12:01 AM in Destination Durham, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (1)

Nov 15, 2006

Seductive? Who, me?

Shout out to Joe V. for the link.

02:14 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nov 03, 2006

Any Mad Scientist Can Use Dry Ice,

Ccwc450 ...but it takes genius to use Efferdent.

Introducing The Bull in Full, a brand new blog from Michael Bacon, who did the genius thing earlier this week for Halloween.

Michael and are bizarro twins: both of us grew up in Asheville and went to NCSSM.  Both of our parent-sets moved from Asheville to Durham.  We both have goatees and a habit of acting out movie quotes on any  occasion.  We both play music in public (Michael more/better than I, but it's still a fact). Both of us have had a longtime interest in the UNC geography department (I wanted to get a PhD, Michael actually did get an MS.)  And we discovered the existence of each other through a last coincidence of exceptional convergence, which I'll only tell you about if you email me.

So please go read his stuff and comment and such.  You just might be glad you did.


Above photo from the Loco Pops first birthday party, with musical guests the Carolina Chocolate Drops, two of whom are pictured left and center.  Michael (who was at NCSSM with the left-hand Drop) is the other person, which made me title the pic "Chocolate, Chocolate, and White Chocolate".  Sounds flavorsome, doesn't it?

12:01 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (7)

Aug 07, 2006

SparkCon -- Triangle Creative Class

Sublogo2_1SparkCon. The Triangle's Creative Class getting together and getting it on, September 14-17.  Arts.  R&D Innovation.  Inclusive Culture.  Indy Business.  Be there or at least send someone whose work you love.

FYI, yesterday's N&O article on SparkCon indicates a Wake-centric focus for the conference, but it ain't so. 

In fact, the excellent Aly Khalifa (event inspirer, chief of Gamil Design, and creator of DesignBox) gave me a bunch of posters to help spread the word in Durham.  Are there any blog readers who can help spread the word?  In particular, I'm hoping to get the word out to communication firms (e.g., McKinney/) and R&D innovators (e.g., TriVirix) on the 54-15-501 corridor.  Anyone out there who can help?

ALSO FYI -- SparkCon has extended its art submission deadline to August 11.

02:20 AM in Links of Note, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Aug 03, 2006

Messrs. Vilas and Campbell Have Never Met

But you can please still welcome them here.

Goodjoe_3 The Fallout Shelter is hosted by moved-from-the-west- eventually-to-Durham entity Joe V. who owns more knives than Ron Popeil.  He also sees his southern life from a different angle than most -- which is to say, about fifteen inches higher.

Burger eater, baker, and man about town... he also knows a little something about vintage cars, and a lot about knowing that quirky neighborhoods are reason to rejoice.  But he doesn't much like the heat:

I remember a summer at my grandmother's, when I saw mold grow on the couch without benefit of anything nutritive besides the couch itself and the water from the air. 

When we lived in Wallace, it was usually my job to mow the lawn.  I would usually put it off until like 2, which meant I was mowing during the hottest part of the day.  We did have a room AC on the first floor; I'd close all the doors to that room and turn the AC on high while mowing the lawn.  I'd also buy a quart of Gatorade and put it in the freezer before I started.  Then I'd go out and mow.  When I was done, I'd come in, get the Gatorade, go into the now chilly TV room, and swill the orang-y goodness.  One time, my throat had some sort of bizarre reaction to the temperature extreme and closed up, so I could only take tiny sips. 

Barry_c_1 En Revanche is written by moved-from-Durham -eventually-to-the-north Barry C., my schoolmate from 20+ years ago.  A writer and editor for as long as I've known him, he once recruited me to write a piece for our school's mag The Open Mind.  The one edit I remember was his substitution of "disseminate" (which I had never heard) for my original word which was less precise (if not less accurate). 

Barry continues to write his own material while also bringing us texts from others whom he finds interesting.  By the way for Durham folks: he doesn't live in this West Village.  He lives in that West Village.  A minor (for him) but useful excerpt:

A little tongue action (several tongues, actually)

Beeb has online lessons, free for the asking, in Spanish, French, German and Italian (with shorter courses in Portuguese, Greek, and Chinese) at BBC - Languages.

And if you're studying French or Spanish, there's tons of audio and video for you to practice listening to.

Welcome, fellas.  Thank you for writing.

12:11 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jun 30, 2006

Here be Lisa, and She Needs to Know...

Lisa_us_1 Welcome to the blogroll: Lisa at A Clear View to a New Life.

From her, a question for those of us who know the Carolinas.

I am considering a late-August/early-September 10-day trip that begins with a few days in Charleston, SC, ends with a few days visiting a friend in Charlotte, NC and in between involves a drive up the coast to the Outer Banks, with that week spent exploring the Outer Banks.

Do you have any experience with this route? Do you think it would make for a nice trip? I like to see new places, enjoy fresh air, take a variety of photographs and meet interesting people.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Opinions, anyone?  Mine, below:


11:14 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (7)

Aug 16, 2005

Marianne, Keen of Scots

Marianne can tell you many things of music and more.

But for today's introductory quote: an excerpt from her Myths about the Scottish and Scotland, Part II.

I bet you know a song about that

I think people think I grew up in a bothy* playing the fiddle and singing about the events of the day. Suprisingly enough, these were probably much the same as your average American teenager's daily events - crushes, exams, avoiding gym and how many calories I ate. Not when the herring fleet is coming back, or how my new tartan is coming along, or should I cook my porridge for one overnight or two. I have a neighbor who always asks me this no matter what the circumstances are: 'Hey Marianne, I see it's the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima - I bet you know a song about that'. I don't.

*"bothy" -- see comments.  Originally I incorrected it to "both". -- Phil

12:35 AM in Links of Note, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (1)

Jun 06, 2005

Ken, Erika, and the Return of Dave

After far too long, I am finally introducing you to The Real Kato, and Crouching Hamster -- the former whom I met via the latter.

First, part of a recent entry from The Real Kato (who, by the way, was kind enough to buy adspace on Suburban Bliss just to support the cause)

This wasn't a "date".

We were very clear on that point...So here's the story of my non-date with GunGirl...  She seemed a little nervous at the start, keenly interested if she was making a bad impression on me. (She wasn't.)... She was cute, too, especially the couple of times she flipped her hair with her left hand. By the way, hair-flipping is the number one subconscious flirting signal for girls. You probably knew that. But remember, this wasn't a date....

And from the incisive Crouching Hamster, formerly of Raleigh, now of New York:

Fight Club

Guys, I don't care HOW much you loved this movie. How much it spoke to you and your sad dull corporate existence. Yes, I know you think the deep twisting narrative rivals that of "The Terminator." I know you think the cinematography was edgier than an episode of "Homicide." And now that you've HEARD the Pixies, you LOVE Frank Black. And you're cool. I get it.

But please, don't bring this out on a second date.

Have you ever had to watch "The Color Purple," starring Oprah, on a second date? On any date?

I didn't think so.

Just keep it on the shelf between The Shawshank Redemption and Reservoir Dogs.

And, lastly but way the hell not leastly -- Fistful of Plooble has returned to active status.  Please do not freak out.  Just read, and encourage longevity via the comments, eh?

12:04 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 24, 2005

Daily Dose of Imagery

In case you're not a regular visitor at Daily Dose of Imagery, I urge you to visit this one photograph. You may need to scroll down to see the whole photo.  I've worked with homeless people for many years, but this image still moved me.

01:15 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (1)

Feb 07, 2005

Mobile PC Meets Trogdor


I love how MobilePC.com digs Trogdor of HomestarRunner.com.  But bummer about the iPod.

Elsewhere in this January issue, MobilePC magazine listed HSR as one of their top five timewasters, despite HSR's two year old-ness.

12:09 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jan 26, 2005

Judy and Anna Jump on the Blogwagon

Chicas_1How time passes. 

In the ~12 years since I snapped this photo, these three women have become award-winning professionals in their various fields. 

Anna (bored, at top), is an decorated and accomplished newspaper writer; Judy (administering wrestlemania chokehold) has won awards for her photography and graphic design; and Mandy (apparently enjoying the chokehold), is an oft-recognized humanitarian and MD.

But of course, it wouldn't have been a stretch to have made those predictions.  Nor would it have been a stretch to predict that Anna and Judy would end up married with a very cute boy, and that Mandy would have a baby girl who would look just like mommy.

What we never would have predicted wasthat this photo would end up on my weblog (whose "Archer Pelican" name was created by Judy back in '96), and that this weblog would be introducing Judy and Anna's new blog "She said / She said -- the innocuous adventures of two girls and a boy.".

Go visit, 'kay?  Or if you need a free sample, here is one of their first posts -- about getting civilized as woman and woman:

"Public displays of Portland

I'm not even going to begin to get into this notion that the kiss outside City Hall was our first public display of affection. We're married, for golly's sake, whether Multnomah County acknowledges it or not. I have witnesses. Many, many witnesses.

That said . . . Yes, something feels different. Not because of the domestic partnership. That is a bone, a big, fat, meaningless, marrow-free bone that symbolizes nothing. Except health insurance for you and, eventually, The Boy. (Thank you, pinko liberal Major Media Company.) But this place is bringing something out in me, and I don't think it's just the fact that we're living in a community that is as close to San Francisco as we can afford. Maybe it's leaving our North Carolina nest, maybe it's moving a continent away from our family, maybe it's owning a house or being a parent or finally having no credit card debt or seeing middle-age creeping up, but I'm feeling braver these days. I don't really care if the homeless man on the bus looks askance as we celebrate our silly little certificate. I don't even care if my sources see me catching a smootch on my way back to work.

Besides, I've always felt fairly normal. Stereotypical, if you get right down to it. Two women, two Subarus, two dogs, one baby boy. What's unusual about that? -AnnaRay"

12:26 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jan 21, 2005

Muppets Over Time aka Muppets Overtime


I implore you to watch this now, while it's still available and free.


Thanks to the wonderful Ms. Pinky for pointing me to it.

12:50 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (11)

Dec 23, 2004

Self Taught Girl at Peace

It is a fine thing -- to receive, out of the blue, a helpful and friendly note from someone whose online journal you've long admired.  This week, I heard from Kate of SelfTaughtGirl.com.  By email, she explained to me how to make a "©" in .html.  It's very nice.

So it's high time I introduce you to the world of Kate, whose online journal is a well-written story that draws in many admirers, and perhaps even better, an online world of people who cheer for her every day.  It's a good, long-lived journal with regular posts.  No comment function, but you can write to her if you like.  Here's a quote from her About page:      

About Self Taught Girl:

I love reading people's "about" pages, and feel disappointed when people only write one or two things and then say something like "that's all". It's a studied sort of coolness that I don't have, I guess. Natalie Goldberg (my muse) says that people write out of loneliness and a need to communicate something about themselves or the world around them. Because this is exactly why I write, and because I believe that that's why 99% of the rest of the world writes, I don't understand people who fall short of explaining themselves. That and I'm incredibly nosey and interested in other people's lives, a habit I will probably never manage to break.

Visit her here:  SelfTaughtGirl.com 

I can't figure out any permalinks, but try September 6, 2004 for a good entry about being, and September 24, 2004 about the pursuit of both health and health insurance.

Oh, and it goes without saying that I can't mention SelfTaughtGirl without sending props to my chica, Gina N., from whose Realm of the Lintqueen blog I discovered numerous fine peeps, including Kate.  And did I happen to mention that Gina knows many things?  And some things very well?  She is both fox and hedgehog.

12:22 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oct 18, 2004

Sno Globes, Hurricanes, and the Messiah | links of note


Click here for link to the story, the video, and more.

Above, my friend Amandeep Jawa. Who is, shall we say, more than most people would ever dream or want to be. Fortunately, he does a fantastic job of being his active self: iMusic professional by day, San Francisco environmental activist by afternoon, and entertainer o' friends by evening.

These days, he's on a mission to save Florida from himself. Yep, he's gone canvassing for Kerry in Chadland, with the League of Conservation Voters' Environmental Victory Project. He'll be providing updates from his new DeepTrouble blog, which I'll encourage you to visit all the damned time. See also his very useful blog on the recent USOFTWEBSYS credit card scam that has nailed several of our friends for $9.95.

Please join me in welcoming Deep to blogland.

01:16 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (2)

Dec 23, 2003

McSweeney's Religious Rappers | link

Timothy McSweeney's Orange Things are Round.

McSweeney's is the very definition of good writing, often funny. For me to describe its variety of qualities would do a thousand injustices, so I'll not try.

But I will give you a semi-random excerpt from Suggested Names for Religious Rap Artists by Michael Ward and Josh Fischel:

Dr. Dreidl
Holla 4 Allah
Notorious G.O.D.

Please to scribble me your own. Make me laugh so I can't breathe.

12:49 AM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (3)

Dec 16, 2003

"Christmas Story" by John Henry Faulk | link

photo: Alan Pogue
(from the NPR website)

In the true spirit of Christmas, I will spare you from my originally-intended post for today, a screed on how the Modern American Christmas drives me to the nuthouse.

Instead, I'll point you to one of my favorite NPR features, a 1974 recording of John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story. The storyline isn't particularly distinctive (middle-class man learns about how two rural poor families, one white and one black, create a joyful Christmas together). But Faulk writes and reads with much skill, and I only hope that you have a fast connection to the internet, a good sound card, and a nice set of speakers that will do justice to his voice.

Note that you'll need Real Audio (or possibly Windows Media Player) to hear the story. The NPR website also includes Faulk's biography and a link to the full text of the story.

May we all have the most wonderfulest Christmas.

tomorrow -- reminiscing about last December's ice storm, and praise for writer and actor Kevin Kling.

08:32 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dec 14, 2003

News of the World, from Around the World | link

On Saddam-surrender days like these, I get a little curious about what the rest of the world considers front page news. Fortunately, there's one link that gets me many places in a hurry: Onlinenews.com "Thousands of Newspapers at your Fingertips." ,

Many newspapers in non-English-primary countries (e.g., Indonesia) have English-language newspapers online. Just remember that if you're looking for a local perspective, you have to think twice about who their publisher and intended audiences are.

But if you're looking for light-hearted adventure, why not experience the thrill of reading international papers in languages you've never had the time to learn? The Durna (Tabriz, Iran) proclaims today: "S*ddam Tutuldu." While the BBC Welsh edition Cymru'r Byd leads, "Diweddaraf -- Ann Clwyd yn croesawu dal Saddam Mae Ann Clwyd, cynrychiolydd arbennig Tony Blair yn Irac, wedi croesawu'r cyhoeddiad bod Saddam Hussein wedi'i ddal" with an accompanying photo of a woman I'm guessing is Tony Blair's top official in Iraq. (Either that, or she's Saddam's second wife, who supposedly gave him up to the Man, according to "well-placed Lebanese sources" quoted in the South African Mail & Guardian. Sometimes it's hard to tell these things.)

For for those of you with a little Spanish, check out the Portuguese language papers to enjoy the frustration of "I think I know what they mean, but damned if I'd trust Brazil's O Globo ("A humilhação de Saddam") for directions from my Rio de Janiero hotel to El Museo de la Guerra.

Shouf, eh?

11:11 PM in Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (0)