Tuesday, September 30, 2003

What's in the Lance Armstrong?

Sandwich, that is --
Turkey (either real or vegetarian), Monterey Jack cheese, roasted green chili, red onion, southwest mayo, and lettuce. Worth riding a bicycle to work for.

Speaking of Bike 2 Work Day...

Inside out, outside in?

I've had a chance to mention having the Bike 2 Work lunch OUTDOORS in front of City Hall where there is plenty of room and a pleasant setting for a small gathering, with the planters and architectural beauty of the building. The main objection seems to be setting up tables and chairs for the event. But I suggested that people can stand, and mill around and mix. And if it's raining, well people won't be riding anyway. So I mentioned to the mayor, who said he would think about it, and asked Darren the guy in charge of setting things up, if it was feasible, and he said, yes, if he didn't have to set up chairs. Hopefully Mayor Cole will "think outside the box," (or rather "the room") on this, and City Manager Doherty will give his approval too. Either way, be sure ride to City Hall on Oct. 8 and enjoy lunch and spokes-persons, and maybe some free music, too. And, hopefully, some gorgeous weather.

Arts in Celebration Art

Coming Friday night...to Gallery HQ.

Million dollar tables are back

Apparently Longbranch came up with the million dollar insurance because the tables are back in front of the Jackson St. coffee house. I sat at one myself waiting for Jerry Bradley to show up for a meeting, as he sat inside waiting for me to show up. Despite the missed signals, we got flyers up for my upcoming performance of my rap epic (or "rapic") about Christopher Marlowe and the Age of Shakespeare, Thursday night, in the backroom at the 'Branch. It will be FREE to sit there.

White Diamond Lady smells as good as her actions

She's only been online for a few days, and doesn't even have an email address, but her actions in the real world merit mention and thanks. I'm reminded of a blog entry I wrote months ago, but never published, that offered a twist on the old saying "you can't fight City Hall."

Speaking of City Hall

Council meets "on the road" tonight

The only item on the agenda is to listen to comments from citizens of the Northwest and Southwest areas of town on whatever topics they choose.

This may be a good time to bring up the dog park idea. There's still time to form an "ad hoc" organization. Right out of the Hugh Muldoon playbook. How about DOGG PARC (Doers Organization and Go-Getters for Parks and Recreational Concerns). Maybe DOGG PARC should have a website. If the word website is bold, it means it does and you can click on the bold word to see it.

Meet Muddia

the new issue of "Muddy Media" an Indy Media publication is out, with informative articles and a cartoon that Brad Cole won't like, but maybe he will. Nah, he won't. They just recruited someone to do their website (not me!) instead of scanning the contents or converting to text files and posting, until they develop something 'Flash'ier.

Speaking of flash, this guy's no flash in the pan

The Daily Howler

Bob Somerby's extraordinary website.

The site of Bike 2 Work Day

Instead of indoors, OUTSIDE IN THE FRONT! When I told someone about it yesterday, she said, "that was my idea, you putz." Great idea. More on it later, above.

How much is that Dog Park in the window?

Two informative websites, in case you were wondering: How to start a dog park in your community or how to become a dog park advocate.

The Washington Times tells us CIA plays video game game

Monday, September 29, 2003

Rap + epic=Rapic?

Arts in Celebration poetry coordinator, Jerry Bradley, wants Carbondaleans to mark their calendars for 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, at Longbranch...to see and hear the author read from his "rap epic" poem, The Marliad about the Age of Shakespeare. Doesn't have much to do with Carbondale, but the author's from here. Plus, a short video documentary: Much Ado About Something, as shown on PBS Frontline, which features the author's theory. Promises to be an entertaining and educational event. There's a flyer.

More re: Bike 2 Work Day

In the event of rain, B2W Day (Weds, Oct. 8) will be the next day, or the next, or the next working day. Whichever day it is, Mayor Cole and event organizers urge all participants to wear a helmet and ride safely, using bike routes when possible. Here's a copy of "B2W Day" news release.

Re: the local branch of "Critical Mass" planning a bicycle "action" the day after Bike 2 Work Day!? Here's the national, unofficial Critical Mass website. No mention of Carbondale. But there's some advice on the internet on how to start a Critical Mass Bicycle Ride. (Local CMers are especially urged to read the part about not blocking traffic. )

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Who knew all of Tea's healing benefits?

Excellent website on the use of Public Relations to shape thinking around the world: PR Watch

The New Takhoman was featured in the CBS News mag 48 Hours last night for its role in exposing local corruption.

The City Council of Austin, Texas recently passed a resolution critical of "Patriot Act".

A very creative website: Adbusters Culture Jammers Headquarters.

St. Wenceslaus Day today. 'Good King Wenceslaus' in a Christmas carol.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Chuck Novara of The Southern reports on Ballet Folkrico Mexico which "strives to pass on Mexican traditional dance," according to Sam Jenkins, performing "about seven types of traditional dances that may be done at weddings or parties." They can be contacted at (618) 529-4612.


The Operating System on my computer could not be found yesterday, and I don't have to tell you what that means....do I? Patrick Barnes can tell you on his website. He's the one who fixed it . . . with a soft boot. Me, I used the opportunity to get away from the computer screen and get oot and aboot.

Out on the street, the day was full of interesting encounters . . . I ran into Steve Falcone as he walked his dog, "Philly", on my way to the Interfaith Center to meet with Will Major and Hugh Muldoon , who tells me

Critical Mess

There is a planned "Critical Mass" gathering (?) to use bicycles in some sort of PROTEST fashion on October 9! Plans to block automobile traffic have been discussed. Talk about irony, the planned action comes the day after Bike 2 Work Day. It's almost like the group wants to undo the positive PR that bicycling will get the day before. Couldn't the CM group join the Bike 2 Work effort? I'll try to find out more, since I know some of the people involved in "Critical Mass."


On a quick stop at the Carbondale Public Library to check my email, I encountered Eric Deutsch , who was none too friendly at first, until I pointed out that my account of the public hearing about the proposed TIF District (see below) was accurate. It was the incompleteness Eric didn't like. He thought I should have mentioned that the company the presenter, Mike Weber, worked for was paid $35,000 by the City for his assistance, among other things that bear investigation.

Da Energy Mon

And if that wasn't enough chance encounters, when I got home, I saw Aur Beck in the dining room of my house, since he stopped by for a visit. Aur is the energetic energy guru of Southern Illinois (see his website). He also has a great radio program on WDBX, and supports the Muddy Media project.

Speaking of media, I think by now the media have been given sufficient notice about "Bike 2 Work Day." Here's the deal:

Bike 2 Work Day Details

1. Ride a bicycle to work--with a friend-- on Wednesday, October 8...
2. Ride to City Hall for lunch at noon.
3. Eat a "Lance Armstrong" sandwich (featuring turkey (real and veg) and other ingredients to be announced, as well as fruit, some chips and a soft drink.
4. Listen to a few speakers about bicycle routes and things like that, from Noon til 1 p.m.
5. Possibly win one of the "door prizes" that will awarded in a random drawing. A prize will also be given to the person who rides the longest distance.
6. Ride back to work.
7. Ride back home. Or have Peter Hertzing's Limo Service pick you up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Another DE exclusive: SIUC graduation rates near bottom of the state

Tom Egert will be happy with this Daily Egyptian article about WDBX Thrift Store

Daily Egyptian : SIUC rated underrated


Yesterday met briefly with Francis Murphy, manager of the Neighborhood Coop, and sandwich artist Kris Jones about the sandwiches for "Bike 2 Work" Day, Oct. 8. Kris is planning a special "Lance Armstrong" sandwich to go along with the other sandwiches at the Coop (the Miles Davis, the Linda McCartney, The Ghandi, the Thoreau, et. al). "The Lance" will be made with turkey (real and also vegetarian) and some yet-to-be-named ingredients. Complete details of B2W will be released in a day or two.

Public meeting about TIF District

Happened to be in City Hall when a Public Meeting for the TIF District, with Mike Weber, a consultant with PGA&V, Mayor Brad Cole, and a number of confused citizens and property owners, all of whom left the meeting more educated on the subject than they were. I won't explain the TIF in this blog, but here's a link to a TIF website. The local papers will surely be doing so soon. I did snap some photos though, like this one of Mayor Cole (left) and property owners Eric Deutsch (right), whose "dilapidated" building on Marion St. was featured in a photographic documentation of the blight in the TIF district. Needless to say(?) Deutsch objected to this description, since as he put it, "the building is earthquake proof." There will be another meeting in a few weeks. There are still some important questions to be asked, and some to be answered. Stay tuned.

Ins and outs of Pig Out

Also spoke with a representative of Pig Out about the 17th St. Bar & Grill vs. Big Boys BBQ "controversy," who explained why a Murhpysboro business got the contract for the Carbondale Main Street event, instead a local BBQ place that belongs to Main Street. So now I know. Could it be because Big Boys doesn't have a website? If you're curious, ask me when I see you.
Speaking of mysteries...

Who's Joan Smith?

I thought I ran into the person I thought was "Joan Smith"--almost literally as I pedalled up Illinois to Pig Boys BBQ, as "Joan" was heading in the same direction in her big white car. I told her that Brad Cole wanted to know who she was, and could I tell him. "Who's Joan Smith?" She asked as she sped forward toward the Neighborhood Coop and beyond. So if "Joan" isn't "Joan", who is? Will she post again? Stay tuned.

See you in th' e-hood. Click click.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Let there be flow

Mayor Brad Cole made one local business very happy (and probably quite a few drivers) by opening up access to the parking lot next to PK's to traffic entering from Walnut St. The business is Chaphill's Consignment in the big brown building pictured at left. That's PK's etc. at right... and City Hall straight ahead. The owners of Chaphill's wrote Brad a letter and the Mayor passed the information on to the right people. Perhaps next he can turn "the intersection from hell" into a public outdoor swimming pool.

Monday, September 22, 2003

radio daze

SIU's only student-run radio station WIDB has streaming audio.

A short list of local radio stations using streaming audio . . .here. You'll need to download "Chaincast," using Internet Explorer, which I did. At the moment, I'm listening to WJPF-AM, the George Noory show, which replaced the Art Bell show when Art retired. Tonight guest host: Art Bell. Tonight's guest Dr. Evelyn Paglini.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Another idea slightly ahead of its time: Digital Frontiers Gallery

Good Shepherdess

Continuing my "Month of Sundays" project, I attended Church of the Good Shepherd on Schwartz St. behind Winkler School. Arrived in time for pizza and disco music, though I wish I'd arrived after the disco music. Many familiar faces, including that of Rev. Kim Magwire, who allowed me to snap a few photos, posted here.

Pushing Passion

Sunday morning and the New York Times: Interesting article, The Greatest Story Ever Sold about Mel Gibson's film The Passion. Mel's not from around here, but there are quite a few Christians and Jews and Cinema majors to make it of local interest.

Speaking of cinema, there's

Veggie House 2: Hold the Sausage

Plans to shoot a movie about the conflict between meat-eaters and vegetarians in a college town have ground to a halt after a meeting between myself and Eye Yiyi, the film's executive reducer, who pointed out the unreliability of students and the scarcity of faculty with experience in producing a 20-minute trailer. Eye pointed out that the only teacher who could help was in New York City this semester. Forgot to write down the name, but I should drop him a line. I need a web page for Veggie House.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

P is for Projector, G is for Gone

Posted by a member of SAVE who happened to be in the right place at the right time this morning:

When the Colts left Baltimore, the owners loaded up the team in the dead of night because they wanted to avoid the inevitable throngs of jilted fans pelting their buses with rotton food. Kerasotes on the other hand -- you've gotta give them their props -- sold and removed the Varsity's projection equipment in broad daylight this bright, clear Saturday morning. Either 1) they think the community doesn't care what happens to the theater or 2) they don't care whether we care.

Earlier, Hugh Muldoon spoke with a man who said he had just bought the projector. According to this man, the seats were also for sale. Only the screen may be spared because -- again according to this man -- it will do too much damage to it to move it. Sounds like if the screen does get removed it will be in order to throw it away.

I just happened to be downtown because I wanted a picture of the varsity to document its current state. I saw that the doors were open, so I went in to speak to a woman sitting quietly behind the desk right inside the front doors. She confirmed that they were "removing some things" from the theater. When I asked if I could take some pictures of the interior of the theater, she told me no. They could get in trouble, she said, for "insurance reasons".

We knew this might be coming. Maybe we were naive. Maybe we shouldn't have waited idly by while Mr. X was in negociations with Kerasotes. Perhaps we aren't the best ones to be leading this project, but who else was as willing to try? Of course, this just increases my determination. Is this what it means to be a good business person?

Rant against City government deleted.

Oops, there it is

Apologies to Jerry Bradley, the Southern's FLIPSIDE Online guy. The Murphsboro BBQ Fest is/was indeed listed on the "At a Glance" page, which probably should be renamed. ;-)

Before you go to the Shrimp Fest in Ware or the Air Show at Williamson County Airport, you might want to stop by at the Mexican Independence Day celebration at Turley Park today, until 5 p.m.

They Still Draw Pictures

Thanks to Margie Parker for reminding us that Children's Wartime Art from the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo is showing at the SIU University Museum through October 19, thanks to Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) and Dr. Michael Batinski, SIUC Department of History.

Alternatives to Empire

Another peace-inspiring activity tonight at Longbranch: Alternatives to Empire, "starring" Noam Chomsky, Nelson Mandella, and Arundhati Roy. Starts at 7:30. 3 bucks admission benefits Muddy Media. Oddly, I couldn't find a single reference to this film on the internet.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Alley up?

A sign in Greeley, Colorado that it's a clean town.

Shawnee Forest Gump 2: Southern Illinoisan Editor, Meta Minton, at 3rd annual Golconda Shrimp Fest.

Shawnee Forest Gump?

Tomorrow at 'Ware's the Shrimp Farm,' east of Ware in Union County, the McLanes will be throwing a Shrimp Festival featuring music, food and "the chance to buy shrimp at $8 per pound" from noon to 5 p.m. at the farm. You want directions?

Marketing assistance is provided to local shrimp farmers by the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Economical and Regional Development Center, which just received a grant for a 12-state regional marketing co-operative--which means it won't be a shrimpy festival. Maybe they can provide a map link. There's an article in The Southern about it, so is an article about the Air show taking off this weekend at Williamson County Airport.

But I couldn't find anything about the Murphysboro BBQ cookoff, in The Southern Flipside online edition, but the Carbondale Community Calendar has the details.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

We're Back

The Daily Egyptian headline sez: Cole is back, but actually, he'll be going to Marion to work in his newly reinstated job as Senior Public Service Administrator for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services for Southern Illinois, because that's where the CMS office is. Read the entire DE article for more details.

A more accurate headline would have been "More's Back," because I actually did just roll back into town from Colorado, where the annual meeting of the Marlowe Lives! Association was held in Colorado Springs. The weather in the Rocky Mountain state was cool, and the scenery very nice, but the people of Carbondale are cooler and nicer. It's good to be back. It's also good that the mayor got his job back. I didn't want him to have to become a substitute teacher. I didn't want to compete with him for the same 11th grade PE class at CCHS.

Speaking of PE at CCHS, it's old news that DeWayne Kelly died suddenly last year, but I just came across a nice web page to his memory on the CCHS website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

POOLing out of town

This morning, had an informative meeting with Phil Moya, the Greeley Recreation Supervisor, who directed me to Water Technology Inc a Wisconsin company that has experience constructing the kind of water recreation facility needed by a city the size of Carbondal--the kind that's fun and makes a profit. More on my conversaton with Phil later. Right now I gotta getta bus to Denver.

Special days at Dar Salaam

The 2nd Anniversary Celebration at Carbondale's best and only Middle Eastern restaurant started yesterday and continues through the weekend with daily specials, drawings, samplings of superb entrees and appetizers, as well as classical Middle Eastern dance performed by Malaka. If you haven't eaten at Dar Salaam yet, do--it's simply one of (if not the) best restaurants in town! To tell people about it many months ago, I created a simple, unofficial web page for Dar Salaam, but omitted the address and phone number: 2271 S. Illinois Ave., 351-9191. The restaurant is located a few hundred yards past Arnold's Market on "old" Highway 51, south of town. Just follow the signs.

Good folk

This Friday, Sept. 19th, Melissa Javors is the featured singer-songwriter at Cousin Andy's Coffee House, with opening act - Steve Taylor. Melissa and Steve will join Jane Reh on Jane's "On the Backroad" radio program on WDBX 91.1 FM around 4:30 before the show that day...... tune in for a preview! Meanwhile, you can visit Cousin Andy's website website for info about the entire season of concerts at Carbondale's #1 acoustic music venue in the friendly confines of the basement of Church of the Good Shepherd.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Football Salukis win, move up in rankings.

The seeds for the Pomona Winery began with the Annual "Big Squeeze" at George and Jane's, says article in the DE Pulse. (The two volleyballers-turned-vintners aren't the only ones who miss those golden, delicious days.)

You'd be wise to take a gander at the 2003 'Hooters' Calendar.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Rocky Mountain Hi, 2

Greeley, Colorado is a town of about 70,000 people with 6 parks, three swimming pools and new dog park. The idea of a dog park for Carbondale came to me a couple of weeks ago when I attended Rev. Bill Sasso's pet blessing at Evergreen Park. All of the dog owners assembled there agreed that Carbondale could use a place for dogs to run free while their owners socialized. With that in mind today, I inquired at the Greeley Parks Department about the Rover Run Dog Park to learn how it was done.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Phil Moya, the guy in charge of the Greeley Recreation Dept., to learn about the economics of public outdoor swimming pools. Even if the old CCHS football field property is out of the picture as the location, another suitable place can be found. If Carbondale is the "Best Small City" in Illinois, then both a dog park and public outdoor swimming pool ought to be on the Carbondale Park District's agenda. I'll make my report when I'm back in town.

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

By February another old campus landmark bites the dust, according to DE article.

Two Christian organizations join forces to purchase Winkler School property says DE.

Funny excuse notes to teachers from parents.

Funny Church Bulletin bloopers.

Tomorrow night, and for the next ten weeks, "you will be feeling very sleepy...deep, deeply sleepy." Read about the new hypnosis course.

No surprise here. According to the Daily Egyptian, not everyone agrees with "worst sports town" tag.

SAVE update

The ubiquitous Kevin Clark, and the three Roberts on the SAVE Board of Directors (Streit, Gallegly, Lucas) met with an accountant last week to discuss the business of operating a non-profit corporation. One result of that meeting has been to light a fire under the Board to make SAVE's non-profit status official. The SAVE brochure is nearly complete, and Bob Streit has written a preliminary prospectus to give to potential partners and funders. No specific deadlines for fundraising yet, but the Board plans to set up an account with Southern Illinois Charitable Foundation so people can give SAVE money (doesn't that sound optimistic?) even before the non-profit paperwork has gone through.

According to one Board member, ex-Mr. X, Barrett Rochman's notion that the theater is a risky investment reaffirms a growing feeling that the Varsity will only survive if SAVE (or a group like it) takes a leap. If no one else follows us, at least the Varsity's end will not be an ignoble one. V is for Varsity.

Rocky Mountain Hi

Greetings from the "not quite a mile high city" of Greeley, Colorado, noted for its smell, its wide tree-lined streets, and several public outdoor swimming pools. More about the latter later. Greeley's smell is remembered by all who have passed through here, although the cause is not widely noted on the internet.

Wissmann to Blagojevich: "Clean out SIU Board of Trustees" -- open letter in Nightlife

Sunday, September 14, 2003

WDBX Fund Drive Facts

On Friday, WDBX Community radio launched its annual fund drive. To help the cause, one the station's show-hosts sent the following info you should know:

One hundred volunteers putting in between 2 and 10 hours each and every week to produce 75 different shows from 7 am to 4 am every day and attend meetings to promote and fundraise. We now reach as far away as H'burg, Benton, P'ville etc with our new 3000 watt transmitter. Before the 3000 watts we reached a potential listening audience of up to 80,000 and our range was about 20 miles and now we go out closer to 50 miles. We have over 450 members and over 50 underwriters.

Membership options:
Memberships are $10 for students, $25 for families, $100 for patrons, and $250 to be a supreme member. Patrons get 1 free WDBX Tshirt and 2 tixs to the annual ball. Supremes get 4 tixs and 2 shirts and on a day of their choice they get 5 announcements of a non political or commercial nature that we will play (i.e., happy day or happy anniversay, etc).

Street Seen: anonymous verses

The verses below arrived in a plain white envelope "over the transom" so to speak, over the weekend, with an offer of more in weeks to come. Shawnee Network will create a web page especially for Street Seen:

Streets not mean or clean
rolling dawn
party gone
bass heavy echoes
Lites on lawns.
Silent Cross.
Another loss?
(#1 before we're done.)
Wagging tails through Sufi gates
north to younger daze, brighter gaze
wrappers circling from the past,
leashed by memory.
Pigs to pigouts,
fishers to fry,
houses get high,
enrollment down low
where'd it all go?
Move over, old timer...move on.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

X him no questions

My meeting with the man I thought was Mr. X, turned out to be a meeting with a man who was NOT Mr. X. "I wouldn't buy that building," says Barrett Rochman, "From a profit motive, it's a high risk investment." Rochman, president of Rochman Investment Group, and still SIU's one and only "Mr. Sandwich" has real estate investments throughout the state, but he's more interested in talking about his favorite project: The Jeremy "Boo" Rochman Memorial Park, which has absorbed much of the entrepreneur's energy over the past few years. A memorial to his son, who was tragically killed in a car accident along Giant City Road, Boo was an early player of "Dungeons and Dragons," reflected in the theme of the park, with wizards and dragons and unicorns among other decorative artwork that Barrett has imported to the site. It may be open next Spring. No fanfare, says Mr. Not-X, "we'll just open to the public, and people can visit if they want."

Dear Dancers

Don't forget -- In the Bluff is coming up this Friday, September 12. The weather forecast looks very good and the moon is still full, so don't miss Southern Illinois's wonderful fall outdoor dance! (Should the weather take a turn for the worse, we will dance in Carbondale at the Yoga N You studio at 213 West Main.) Whatever the weather, please come out to Barb's for the potluck beginning at 6 PM. The dance begins at 8 PM. We'll dance to tunes by Reel Women and the Jigelo. The caller is our own Joe Surdyk. And the cost is still only $7 for adults and children. (Please, no children under 12). For directions, click here.

Pig Out this weekend

Two days of music, meat and drink. Stellar entertainment lineup, including Creole Stomp, Big Larry, Eva Hunter and the crowd-pleasing Jungle Dogs, whom principal event organizer Steve Payne coaxed to play an encore 3-hour show this year. Since the Southern Illinoisan is co-sponsoring the event, there is plenty of print publicity around town, but the event doesn't have a website.

Later this morning: meeting Mr. X(?) for some Q & A, right after paying a visit to the Dental Technology building for an interview. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Dental Technology Program newsletter

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Nice Daily Egyptian story about Makanda's own Dave Dardis, aka, The Rainmaker.

Krispy Kreme and Wal-Mart together at last.

The number 1 college town in America is Madison, Wisconsin, according to Sports Illustrated on Campus. Would you believe that Carbondale is the worst College town?

Computer technician Patrick Barnes invites you to: Visit the Midnightech website

What's on these service clubs' menu?

Did you know The Rotary Club of Carbondale - Breakfast, is not the same as the Rotary Club of Carbondale? There are two clubs in town - one meets at 7am on Tuesdays at the Student Center (the Breakfast club) and the other meets at 12 noon on Wednesdays at the Elk's Lodge.

This leaves an opening for possible clubs like The Rotary Club of Carbondale-Dinner or The Rotary Club of Carbondale-Midnight Snack.

The Shawnee Dharma Group is hosting a Morning of Mindfulness Meditation on Sunday, September 14, from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Yoga n' You Studio at 213 W. Main in Carbondale. Bring your own meditation cushion. Chairs, tea, and water will be provided. Questions or wishing to help plan? Call Yo at 457-0458.

Always improving, always behooving.


Today I might meet Mr. X. I say "might" because I'm not sure it's him, but two very reliable sources have indicated that he is. If so, then I'll ask him how negotiations are going with Mr. Kerasotes for the Varsity Theater.

For the birds

This newsletter

Such a deal

These guys had a good deal for a limited subscription to the Trib. Plus they offered two free gift items, including hats and artwork. Click on the pic for a bigger picture.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Morning becomes eclectic

Ah the wonderful, weird world of cyberspace. I'm not making this up, as Dave Barry says. This morning there were three photos on my camera that I did NOT snap myself!...One was of the mosque on Marion St. and one of Don Camillo Grocery store sign, and one of the store's new location in the old Nutrition Headquarters bldg. They weren't very good photos, either lighting or composition. Is someone trying to tell me something? I'm already considering putting the Southern Illinoisan headlines in the left column of this blog (beneath the Blogger logo) after last week's hacking. Now am I supposed to learn Arabic and Spanish? Man, this blog-thing is taking a lot of my time. I hardly ever get to walk around Campus Lake anymore. Shall I walk around today? Or shall I skip it? bahdumdum.

What's the Pig Deal, 2

Also this morning, heard from a representative of Carbondale Main Street invited me to come to the 710 Parking Lot on Friday, as 17th St. Bar & Grill of Murphysboro set up, so I will understand why they were given a contract for Pig Out instead of a Carbondale barbecuery (Big Boys BBQ) that belongs to CMS, and has won 1st prize in Pig Out competition.

Band aid

Wrote to one of the top underbooked bands in Carbondale this morning and offered my services.

No such thing as a free one

Or is there? Looking for the best and cheapest provider of box lunches for Bike to Work Day, October 8. There's a short list of approved caterers that City Hall must work with, but since the lunch will be just cold sandwiches and fruit, couldn't any restaurant with a Health Dept license provide the eats? Must find out before next meeting with the mayor about this project. Understandably, he doesn't want to get tabbed for a huge lunch bill. I'm thinking 50 people will show up, which would be a good turnout. I'm going to try to arrange some bicycle-related speakers or posters or whatever, too. The event will be from, say, 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.


It's possible that I will be meeting with Mr. X (the anonymous angel interested in buying the Varsity Theater) later this week. 'Y', you ask? We'll Z.

When Wendler?

And what about Mr. W? Gonna try to meet Chancellor Wendler this week to discuss the Budget Task Force Report and other weighty documents. Maybe next week instead.

Added the Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast newsletter to the Shawnee Network local news link.

Heads vs. Feds

I missed this debate at the Student Center last night, but earlier in the day, one of the wisest guys I know pointed out that the Fed rep looked more credible than the Pot dude. Read a preview in the Daily Egyptian or one written by the SIU News Service. I'll try to find out who "won" tomorrow. Judging from the publicity photo used by the booking agency, Wolfman Productions, who do YOU think won? Here's the Daily Egyptian's coverage of the event.

Best Buy guy

At the biggest electronics store in Karmadale today, pricing a new computer system, and ran into an old friend, a musician, who was shopping for a CD . . . and since I'm always snapping "artsy" photos of people, I asked if I could snap a shot of him and he said yes, but as I tried to snap another, I got a tap on the shoulder, and was informed of corporate policy against snapshots being taken in the store. Not sure of the value of this restriction. If I were a corporate spy, I'd be using a miniature camera. I asked the manager of the store (who was a very offended that I called him "young man") for a name of the media relations person. So we'll see. I guess we could just go to Plaza Records--the oldest and music store in town--in the same shopping center as Mr. Mike's Music.

Speaking of media relations ...

I'll see your million, and raise you a million

The City Manager writes "the amount of insurance coverage probably should be more. You have brought my attention to this matter and we will look more in depth at increasing the required coverage." I wrote back to the CM that the amount should be "fair and consistent," and in-line with what other cities require. So we'll see. I hope Jeff doesn't get my life insurance premium raised as well.

Monday, September 08, 2003

City Council takes the show on the road

In three weeks, on Tuesday, September 30, the Carbondale City Council will hold a Town Meeting to offer residents of the Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods an opportunity to discuss issues and opportunities affecting their neighborhoods--at Parrish School, Multi-Purpose Room, 7:00 p.m.

The following week, October 7th is the annual "Council Meeting on Campus" at 7:00 p.m. in the SIU Student Center, Ballroom B.

This may be a good time for the City Council candidates who lost to make an appearance. Perhaps have an acoustic jam on stage or something with the other Council members. (At least one Council member Sheila Simon, plays a musical instrument. Probably Chris Wissmann too.) Meanwhile, Councilman Lance Jack's off-line still, but inching closer to getting wired. (He told me at Mungo Jerry's) I don't know how many other Council members play musical instruments, but they appear to be working harmoniously behind that long table they sit behind each week, thanks to City Clerk, Janet Vaught (keeper of the sheet music) and City Manager Jeff Doherty, who teams with "front man" Mayor Cole on lead vocals occasionally.

Murshid's birthday

I said I'd find out what they had for dessert at Sheikh Din Dayemi's annual birthday extravaganza at the old Tokyo Restaurant last night, but I didn't attend the event due to another commitment, but dropped off a small gift--a photo of him playfully wearing a wig, seated with his teacher's grandson, Anwar, at Sufi Park during "Kid's Day" in May. I posted a rollover image of it . . . here. I hope he enjoys it. If he thinks that's bad, he should see the one I did of Kim Magwire once.

Later I found out that dinner was Thai-themed: Tom Ka soup (coconut), Spring Rolls, Red Curry vegetables, Pod Thai, Pineapple something, and Cucumber salad. Dessert: extra-chocolatey cake and, of course, ice cream. Now I wish I had attended. Well, maybe next year. Insh'allah.

Speaking of Kim Magwire...

Kim's anniversary

Yesterday also marked the 5th anniversary of Rev. Kim Magwire's pastorship of Church of the Good Shepherd, with a party and "roast" by another good shepherd, Hugh Muldoon.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Dental Technology Program - College of Applied Sciences & Arts NEWSLETTER

Yahoo! News - Librarians Protest New Action Figure

Marberry Arboretum website created by Prof. Dan Nickrent.

Month of Sundays, 2

This is the second Sunday of my "Month of Sundays" coffee table book project documenting the churches and people of Carbondale and vicinity. Today, I'm going to Unitarian Fellowship and St. Francis Xavier Church.

Flouride Alert

Lynn Sabens of Tropicana Vintage thinks you should know about


Saturday, September 06, 2003

Million Dollar question

It turns out that the insurance for Pig Out, where thousands of people will be drinking and carousing is the same as it would be for two people sitting at a table drinking coffee in a quiet neighborhood. Go figure.

What's the Pig Deal?

So why didn't Big Boys BBQ which is a member of Carbondale Main Street and a First Prize winning entry at a previous Pig Out, not have the opportunity to bid on the job of selling barbecue at next weekend's Pig Out? Why did the contract go to a Murphysboro restaurant instead? Seems like CMS has some 'splainin' to do AFTER next weekend's extravaganza at the 710 Parking Lot.

Muddy + Media = Muddia

Remember Satyagraha? Hard Times? Big Muddy Gazette? Wild Turkey Review? That's the genre of Muddy Media (which I call Muddia) a new issue of which is available now around town, printed on newsprint with lots of gray to look at.

Rumor has it that MM plans to have benefit at Greg's house the same night as Pig Out.

Two bits, 3 bits

I stand correkshted. Price for drafts at PKs on Tuesdays is $.75, not 50 cents as reported below. I remember when a draft was 25 cents, but now I'm dating myself (because I'm a cheap date.) You really can't say you're a true Carbondallier if you haven't seen Tawl Paul blues show at PK's--unless you were born after 1982 or just don't like down-home blues backed by the two best lead guitarists in Southern Illinois (imo): Bill Carter and Bruce Camden.

Friday, September 05, 2003

David Blaine: the world's hungriest magician. I interviewed this guy once. He's the real deal.

Southern Exposure, 2The Southern Illinoisan headlines appeared on the Carbondaley Dispatch page again when it came up on my screen yesterday. I had a computer tech I know come over and look at it...And he said it appears that the site had been hacked. The only problem is, when the page is reloaded the headlines disappear, making it difficult to trace the problem.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Majnun tonight

Want to know more about "the Sufis"? You can hear their band Majnun perform at the CD Release Party for their CD of the same name, at Hangar 9 tonight, about 9. Bring $3 for the cover, and your dancing shoes.

Spokes persons

After a lengthy discussions with just about everyone in town who rides a bicycle except for Time Lloyd and the guy who rides the three-wheeler everywhere, it looks like "Bike to Work Day" will be on Oct. 8. Many businesses have said they will donate items and coupons for a big drawing, and Mayor Brad Cole said he might provide a box lunch at City Hall during the lunch hour, depending on the number of people involved. A man of action, the mayor said he would himself ride a bike to work that day--and he doesn't even own one! But with three bicycle shops a stone's throw from his office, it shouldn't be hard for him to find a suitable ride. I don't think they sell training wheels for bicycles his size, though. ;-)

Meanwhile, businesses up and down the strip--and beyond--have been donating valuable things for a drawing to be held that very day. Who knows? You might ride home with a new helmet, or a throw rug. Thinking about it further, there should probably be special prize for the person who rides the longest distance (Kyle Harfst lives in Carterville!). A tube of Ben-Gay maybe.

My conversation with the City Manager

First of all, Jeff Doherty, owns a bicycle and goes riding out on the country roads south and west of town, so he's all for Bike to Work Day. Secondly, he plays more golf (once a week, instead of once a month) now that Brad Cole is mayor. "I still work 10-12 hour days, though," he says. Yesterday, he gave me one of those hours to explain such things as the new TIF District (which still none of the local newspapers have written about. Last week the City placed a classified ad in the Southern Illinoisan calling for development proposals. (I wonder if Meta Minton, editor of the SI, reads the classifieds.) Apparently, the TIF isn't a "done deal" yet. There are still several major steps that must occur, including a public meeting, so eventually, all the papers will catch up.

Another thing we talked about, the "Million Dollar Tables," made the manager a little defensive, insisting that $1 million is reasonable amount of insurance to cover private encroachment on public use area (tables in front of Longbranch). In fact, he said, $2 million might be a better amount to require.

My own point was that sitting at a table drinking coffee is not as risky as walking down the same sidewalk, where you might trip. If you are just sitting there, how much risk could there be? Something could drop from the window of the Rolf practitioner's office on the second floor, maybe if a session got a little rough a client could fly out the window ;-). I have an appointment with an insurance specialist to explain it all. I wonder how much insurance The City requires for Pig Out, where alcohol is served and many people are gathered, if it requires one million for two people to sit quietly at a table.

Let's see, what else did we talk about? The Home Ownership Program that he and Brad Cole put together in order to stimulate construction of more affordable nice homes in the City.

Speaking of HOP:

Educating Sheila

One of this blog's readers, Councilwoman and bicyclist, Sheila Simon, was the sole vote cast against HOP at Tuesday night's meeting. Not necessarily because she opposed it, as she explains:

Hey David – you missed some fun. I would call it Sheila learns about City Council, lesson 4 (or so).

Here’s what I learned. Despite the reputation of governments as being slow moving, this one moved way too fast for me last night. City Council members receive an agenda on Friday evenings, and last Friday was the first time I learned about this home ownership plan. Since this particular plan was drafted only recently, my guess is that the other council members heard about it first on Friday as well. I think the idea is worth consideration, and I tried to slow it down to get more information for myself and more input from the community. But everybody else was ready to get this done quickly. My conclusion is that I need to find ways to get fast input from folks the next time an important measure is brought up with little notice. One way to do that might be to tap into the Dispatch here, so stay tuned.

Southern exposure

Coverage of Carbondale news and business by The Southern Illinoisan has lapsed considerably since ace reporter Linda Rush was assigned to temporary duty as night copy editor several months ago. Currently the paper has no City Editor or Assistant City Editor! Yo, Meta, I'm available!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

New housing boost

At last night's City Council meeting, Mayor Brad Cole and City Manager Jeff Doherty revealed a plan to create a Home Ownership Program, which will offer grants ranging from $3,500-$5,000 in saved fees and infrastructure assistance. Cole thinks that over a three-year span, there is a reasonable expectaton of achieving the goal of constructing 200 new homes in Carbondale. The Council voted 6-1 in favor of the Program.

Bike to Work, Part 3

After conversation with Kyle Harfst an avid cyclist who works at the Dunn Richmond Center it seems better to cut back plans from 5 days to 1 day, either the 8th or 15th, tba.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Heard from City Manager, Jeff Doherty about the "million dollar tables," with an explanation that I'll post as soon as one or two points are clarified.

Less is more

All blogs are revised for readability and accuracy, as they will be appearing in Carbondale Before Dark about the seemly overside of life in the "Capital of Southern Illinois."

Love's Labor Day Lost

Yesterday being Labor Day, I labored for most of it. So, fast forward to 6:00 p.m.

I had just returned my friend Jim Jung's car, which I borrowed to go Kroger West (where I saw Councilman Steve Haynes managing things). Jim and his wife Ruby publish the Waterman and Hill Traveller's Companion, a local almanac full of facts and lore about nature. So I was riding my bike up Oak St. (training for Bike-to-Work Days, in case I have a job by then) right past the original Tekke (or house for dervishes) of the Sufis (aka, Dayemi Tariqat, Inc.) led by the charismatic Sheikh Din Muhammad Abdullah al-Dayemi (Dean), called Murshid by his students and followers. I've known Sheikh Din for about 4 years. For about 6 months in 1998, I studied and prayed with the Sufis, and still count many of them as friends, including Murshid. There were 40-60 people in the driveway. So I pulled my bike up into the driveway, dismounted, and walked to the circle of chairs when Murshid motioned me over, and shook my hand warmly and invited me to get a plate of food. There was fried chicken and fresh garden vegetables (grown organically at the Sufi's Farm in Cobden) and corn bread and pie and watermelon and tea and coffee. I didn't eat much, because my ex-girlfriend was there, and I got butterflies in my stomach. (They may have been moths, I'm not sure.) I wish I had some of that chicken now...but Terry, who manages Dar Salaam Restaurant, gave me some pie to take home at the end of the evening, so I can snack on that as I tell you more about . . .

An evening with Sheikh Din

Asalaam aleikum

"Are you gonna say we're a cult?" the charismatic sheikh asked a reporter from the Southern Illinoisan as she was leaving. The reporter, whose name I didn't catch, was attending the Labor Day barbecue in connection with the Sufis new Majnun CD Release Party, Thursday night. "No," she said, "just the CD." "Phew," gestured the funniest holy man this side of Swami Beyondananda.

I could make this a really long blog about the first time I met Sheikh Din and how our relationship has transpired. I remember he really liked a press release I had written for a "Godstock" music festival (an idea whose time has past) in 1998. If I can find it on my other computer, I'll post it sometime, because the ideas expressed about ONE GOD are still sound, I think.

After the meal, evening prayer was announced (Muslims pray up to 5 times a day) and I joined the group in the basement of the house, where a small, but serviceable, mosque is set up. Before they moved the mosque to the old Tokyo Restaurant, it was where most services were held, and where I myself studied and prayed from the Koran. (Allah-hu Akbar.)

If you've never attended an Islamic prayer service led by Sheikh Din, you should--even if you're a Christian or a Jew or something else. City Council should send a delegation to visit the Sufis. Carbondale Main Street should form a special committee to send. A lot of people are curious and others are simply misinformed about the man and his followers, or find them standoffish and cliquish. (When they speak of "the community," they don't mean the rest of us, but themselves.) So maybe it's not a cult, but a clique. Even so, the religious service is undeniably powerful, with the musical chanting and the Arabic prayer. Call me an ex-Catholic-used-to-Latin, but I enjoy hearing ancient words repeated in prayer. In fact, that was why I originally wanted to hang out with the Sufis years ago: to hear and learn the Koran in Arabic, since the English version (which I had read) doesn't do it justice. For Mohammad (peace upon) the verses were his message. He challenged the local tribal leaders to top his verse, arguing that if their religions were true, they could write something better. But they didn't have as good a "ghost writer" as Muhammad did.

Sufism is defined as a mystical branch of Islam, that uses chanting or dancing to get the endorphins of the brain to kick in and a feeling of well-being. Joggers get the same feeling, though not as musically, unless they're wearing headphones. The ritual of the prayer is also reassuring. Everyone who attends religious ceremonies experiences the familiarity of their minister or rabbi, the ritual of the words and body motion. Stand, sit, kneel, whatever. Islam requires a very stylized form of prayer movement, that some say even has beneficial health effects, with the up and down and bending motions. A stairmaster and some sit ups might have same health benefit, but the spiritual and mental aspect would be lacking.

After the prayer, Murshid sits in the only comfortable chair in the room, while everyone else sits on the floor, or on less comfortable chairs. It's part of the tradition, a sheikh thing. Last night, he reminisced about the first time he met most of the people there, except a few newcomers, myself included, and his mother, who had a better memory of that event.

So if you live in or around Carbondale, and are interested in different religions, or just curious about what the Sufis do, then Murshid and his band of merry men and women will make you feel at home, and maybe even feel a little better than you did before you joined their company for however brief a time. And Murshid's band, Majnun, will do the same this Thursday night, at Hangar 9. (see below, Weds. Aug 27, for details)

p.s. Although he didn't ask me what brought me back, I had two answers ready for everyone's amusement: 1) I was looking for a wife, and there are quite a few attractive women gathered there (attracted to Sheikh Din's attractiveness. ... How do you compete with a guy in a plush chair when you're on the floor? Answer: you don't!), and 2) I needed a hair cut.

Aleikum Salaam