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9/19/2003

Arrrr!

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:37 am

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Good night Wesley, good work, sleep well, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

[Listening to: The Story of Reuben Clamzo & His Strange Daughter in the Key of A - Arlo Guthrie - One Night ]

9/17/2003

Happy Constitution Day

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:04 pm

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216 years ago today, the constitution of the United States was signed with "Unanimous Consent"* from the thirteen states. In the years since, many have used the other writings of those governmental framers to interpret the constitution. To make that task easier, the University of Chicago Press offers The Framer’s Constitution, an exhaustively annotated document that includes not just references to those other writings, but the complete texts as well. The print version is 3200 pages and costs a pretty penny, but thanks to the Liberty Fund, you can access it on-line for free.

If you’re visiting Philadelphia, you can make a trip to the National Constitution Center and museum. Their web site is almost as good, and it contains resources of special interest to teachers. The National Archives on-line exhibit includes hi-res images of the original document — great for those into handwriting analysis. The Government Printing Office has a site that contains a constitution annotated with Supreme Court decisions over the years, including a list of acts of congress that were deemed unconstitutional. Finally, usconstitution.net offers no-nonsense plain-text pages containing the constitution, related documents, biographies of the framers, and other goodies.

* Sure, the constitution claims it had "Unanimous Consent", but there were quite a few no-shows and hold-outs that didn’t sign when it came time.

[Listening to: Nesbitt’s Lime Soda Song - Negativland - Escape from Noise ]

9/16/2003

Another senseless loss

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:04 am

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Ken Kifer was one of the country’s most helpful and outspoken bicycling advocates. His webpages are a wealth of information, and his frequent biking tours educated and inspired many others. This past weekend, Ken was hit and killed while biking by a drunk driver — a driver who had been released from jail only four hours previously for . . . drunk driving. It’s a terrible, senseless, preventable loss.

[Listening to: Drunks and Children - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Devils Night Out ]

9/12/2003

Cry, Cry, Cry

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:53 am

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G’bye, Johnny.

[Listening to: The Long Black Veil - Johnny Cash - The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-1983 [1992] (2 of 3) ]

9/10/2003

Revisiting American Hollow

Filed under:General — eric @ 5:16 am

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Back in April of 2001, I posted a short entry about American Hollow, a documentary film with an accompanying website about a family that has lived in the same isolated hollow in Kentucky for seven generations. Somehow, that entry has become the place on the web to talk about the film, and comments have been left by both viewers and family members who are quite close to those featured in the film. It’s been a pretty neat thing to sit back and watch, and it’s things like this that make me glad I started this website.

This weblog recently passed its fourth anniversary. In years past, I’ve marked the occasion with a collection of highlights from the months-gone-by. I’ve got something different I want to do this time (even if it is a little late). I mention it here as a reminder to myself to get it done already.

[Listening to: Find the River - R.E.M. - Automatic for the People ]

And another goes by…

Filed under:General — eric @ 5:04 am

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The bulk of another big task passed by yesterday, bringing me a bit closer to mid-October, when everything is done and the missus and I head off into the sunset for a couple weeks.

Here’s the background: the Town & Gown Players (the theatre group in Athens that I’m currently the president of, for those of you just joining me) sells season tickets each year. Quite a few, in fact. We have several different types of tickets, and several types of contribution levels beyond that. There is also a recognition program for those that have consistently bought tickets over the years, with levels based on just how long one has been buying tickets. The theater is celebrating 50 years this year, and some of our season ticket holders have been buying for 25 years now. It is a lot of information to keep up with, and up until now, the season ticket committee (usually a single person) kept track of all this using a system of note cards (often yellowed, dogeared, and stapled together). Tickets had to be individually numbered, labelled with all the right information, and then all that had to be recorded in a variety of other places. It was a horrible, thankless task. Of course, I had trouble finding anyone to take over the duties this year. Who’d want to, right?

Well, one of my general pushes as president this year has been to computerize and streamline all of the recordkeeping and paperwork that goes into running the theater. Throughout the history of the place, most of the positions of responsibility have been filled with people that are great at producing great theater but not so great at all this other stuff. By making a suite of tools that make those other tasks utterly easy, those folks could get back to doing what they’re great at. So I set about building an on-line system for purchasing tickets, recording orders that come in (regardless of how), keeping track of mailing addresses, contribution levels, recognitions, ticket numbers, and all of that. It’s done, it works, and it’s totally easy. I’m one that tries to put my money where my mouth is, so I went ahead and decided to handle the season tickets by myself. And sure enough, it was totally easy. Several hundred got mailed out this morning, and from here on out, it doesn’t have to be a horrible, thankless task.

Upcoming major things to cross off my to-do list:

  • Move my office to my company’s new building
  • Put up Our Town (did I mention that there weren’t enough auditioners, so I ended up playing the Stage Manager?)
  • Get through my company’s annual user conference
  • Make sure T&G’s annual meeting and elections go well
  • Make sure that the Georgia Theatre Conference convention, being held here in Athens using some of T&G’s resources, gets the support it needs from T&G

Somewhere in there I have an interview for a new job I’ve applied for — a part-time job as manager of the direct marketing program for Georgia Organics that would keep me occupied through the winter and most of next year. I’ll post more details about that later.

[Listening to: Blue Moon of Kentucky - Patsy Cline]

9/9/2003

One thing down

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:02 am

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One of the items that has kept me busy of late is now behind me. The farming cooperative I belong to, in conjunction with Athens’ Daily Grocery Cooperative, has held a rotating “farmer for a day” and farm tour each month. Sunday was our farm’s turn. To get ready, I had a huge amount of clean-up to do, such as mowing and brush clearing, as well as bed preperation, minor barn work, and other odds and ends. Sunday morning came and we had a dozen or so volunteers for the “farmer for a day” portion of the event. We herded chickens to a fresh pasture, planted many fall seedlings, stretched a shadecloth skin on the second greenhouse, and cleaned up and made some structural improvements to the barn. Several weeks’ worth of work got done in two hours with all that help. Then we had a pleasant lunch by the river and held the tour, adding some more people along the way. The weather was perfect, and it was great to have the help and the wonderful feedback from those attending.

[Listening to: Studio Hair Gel - Barcelona - Robot Trouble ]

9/4/2003

Im back!

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:45 pm

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Found at Defective Yeti:

Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Two — one to change it while the other apologizes for the recent lack of illumination and explains that they’ve been really busy lately.

Yeah… so it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Long enough that a lot of things have happened in the meantime. I’ll try to get to tham all here, along with some nice sites I’ve found. I’m, um, really busy at the moment, though, so I’ll just point to yet another article mentioning the farm in the local paper. This one is on the joys of wild sumac.

[Listening to: Chihuahua - Sugarcubes - Stick Around for Joy]

My College Bought a Town

Filed under:General — eric @ 4:55 am

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My alma mater has long had as one of its claims to fame owning an entire mountian. Not that the general students could do much on it — it is patrolled by guards with automatic weapons. Now I see on CNN that the school will soon own an entire town. Don’t go visit, though — it looks like the guards will be there, too.

[Listening to: Go You Chicken Fat Go - Robert Preston]