Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Almanac says it's time for Red-Tailed Hawks to begin nesting: "Each year the prospective parents rebuild the previous year's nest adding (under the strict supervision of the female) sticks in strategic locations."

Buzzer-Beater Bests Bradley

In his last regular season game at the SIU Arena, Sylvester Willis took a long pass from Darren Brooks and scored a lay-up with .5 seconds remaining to give the Saluki men's basketball team "an unbelievable 72-71 victory over Bradley University Saturday night." Steve Buhman captured the history-making lay-up and dozens of other dramatic photographs from the game.

More good news for Saluki hoops fans

The Southern Illinois University men's basketball game at Northern Iowa Monday night will be televised by WSIU TV-8 as the Salukis go for a perfect Missouri Valley Conference regular season. The game will also be streamed over the internet and can be viewed on a computer with a broadband connection. Details at Saluki Athletics.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Cookies for sale

According to The Southern Illinoisan, 540,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies have arrived. I'm trying to work out how many cookies that would be. A couple of million at least. Meanwhile, the Brownies ar left from Shagbark Council Troop 168 (pictured at left) have sold 4,812 boxes.

Marketing question of the month: Why don't Brownies sell brownies?

click photo to enlarge

That's Entertainment

Daily Egyptian reports: 57th annual Theta Xi showcases Greek talent on campus. That's tonight!

The University restated

Caleb Hale, Southern Illinoisan's man on campus reports The State of the University, 2: "A group of students, faculty members and union representatives gathered in the Morris Library auditorium Friday to hold a forum for their opinions of how the university is doing at the moment. Their ideas were much different from the upbeat tone Chancellor Walter Wendler took last week during his 'State of the University' address."

The Daily Egyptian reporter saw it this way.

Bradley game Sold Out

Three-straight sellouts at SIU Arena for the first time in history.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Briefing with Brad

A couple of days ago I had a "no-holds-barred" Q&A with Carbondale's man with the gavel, Mayor Brad Cole, who candid(ate)ly answered my canny queries about why he voted against the "Anti-Patriot Act" Resolution, and in favor of extending the life of Eurma Hayes Child Care for a few months (so a special panel could try to figure out how it can turn a profit). And why all the City Hall offices are painted institutional gray, upstairs and down. And gay marriage--will he be performing any on the steps of City Hall? Did someone say "any what?" Oh behave.

First, Cole stated his belief that resolutions such as the Anti-Patriot Act Resolution are beyond the purview of the City's official business. "If people want to protest against the Patriot Act, fine. I'll give them a marking pen to make signs. But city government should be about city business. The Patriot Act is a Federal matter. People who are concerned about it should contact Jerry Costello, or another U.S. congressmen or Senator.

In another City Council matter, proposing a specially commissioned panel to make recommendations about the Eurma Hayes Center, and extending the date of plug-pulling until January 1, was the Mayor's ad hoc solution to the outpouring of citizen concern over the July 1 funding cut. But the findings of the panel will be moot if a private child care provider takes over the operation before after July 1.

Even our grey-flannel mayor thinks the walls in City Hall are too drab--especially those in the Parking Division where people go to pay tickets and other city bills, so look for something a more pleasing to the eye in a few weeks or months. Pastels would be nice, but anything other than gray will be an improvement.

Speaking of pastels, Cole is against gay marriage, so don't expect him to start performing marriages on the steps of City Hall like another young mayor in New York State.

Doff we now our politically-correct apparel

Personally, I'm against the word "gay" being used for homosexual men, and "lesbian" for women, because they are not logically the same, nor entirely accurate. "Gay" being a feeling of joy and lightness once felt by everyone, including heterosexual men, and "Lesbian" derived from the island of Lesbos. The current use of the word "gay" (lash me with a wet noodle if i'm wrong) came about in the seventies There should be a "Gay Congress" in San Francisco (there already is!) to vote for new names for those outworn 1970's politically correct, but inaccurate, names. This blog suggests: Menmen and Woomies.

A modest proposal to Carbondale Main Street

A couple of days ago, I visited the Carbondale Main Street organization's website and was surprised to find a photo of mine on the home page, so I made a screen shot (at right). If you look carefully, you can see the caption!

I didn't know whether to be flattered or offended: Flattered that Linda and Roxanne thought well enough of one of my photograph's to use it in their website; offended that they thought poorly enough of me to not ask permission, or give credit--and a link beneath the pic--in exchange!

(You'll have to go about four clicks down the CMS second page to find the Shawnee Network link, while another community portal site is feature prominetly on the CMS home page, and given a few dozen choice words of description on page 2, as well. And this blog isn't even listed!)

Today, I visited the CMS site again and found yet another photo of mine being used -- of Mark W. sprucing up Dairy Queen.

So I'm flattered that Carbondale Main Street likes my photographs. The ladies are welcome to use them . . . on one condition -- that credit to Shawnee Network and a link to the home page be given (small type is fine) underneath. That's only fair.
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Diversity Dischmersity

It's ironic that the Campus Ministries organization took the action it did--voting to exclude non-Judaeo-Christian religions from its group. Ironic, but perfectly logical.

Perfectly logical, but not quite.

It's a Jewish-Christian group, but leaves out people of Islamic faith, who believe in the same Creator/Sustainer as the Jewish-Christian tradition (except the Message was updated through Muhammad, it's claimed). To be logical, strict-constructionist Christians ought to exclude the Hillel Foundation representative, too, since Joshua ben Joseph, son of Mary, isn't the Jewish Messiah of choice.

It's a Tempest in a Teapot, really. If no one outside of those two religions was asking to join, why force the issue with a vote--and why go public about the result?

What is most striking about Campus Ministries officially closing their organization, is the blow it strikes against the commitment to diversity proclaimed in the Carbondale university's Southern at 150 document.

Today, I'll try to get hold of Vice-Chancellor of Diversity, Seymour Bryson, as well as one or two of the ministers who voted in favor of excluding representatives of any other religions that wanted to join Campus Ministries.

An interesting fact: the ten representatives of Campus Ministries have quasi-official status as "Adjunct Staff" with certain privileges (such as Blue Lot parking) that go with it.

Another interesting fact: anyone wanting to be listed with the Counselling Center as a religious counsellor must be approved by Campus Ministries! So where does that leave people of other faiths in the Counselling Center?

Where in the world is the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau

This organization receives $270,000 per year from the City of Carbondale, but doesn't have a link to it on the City's current website! What's up with that?

Are those Dutchman's Breeches breaking the surface?

Tickets For Bradley Game Still Available
"As of the close of business Thursday, approximately 700 student tickets still remain for Saturday's men's basketball game between Bradley and Southern Illinois. Any student tickets that have not been claimed by noon on Friday will be released to to either the general public ($9 adults/$6 high school-under) or for free to SIU students with a valid ID. The tickets are in general admission seating in the endzones."

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I haven't seen Mel Gibson's Passion movie yet, but after reading this review in MSN Slate magazine, and seeing a clip of the scourging scene on television, I probably won't.

Thanks to SIU Department of Political Science and the Public Policy Institute , Joseph Nye, Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will lecture on “Soft Power and the War on Terrorism” as part of the Morton-Kenney Lecture Series tonight at Lesar Law School Auditorium at 8 pm. Dr. Nye has earned degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard, and received various awards in recognition of his distinguished work for government agencies.

He defines "Soft power [as] the ability to get what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals. It differs from hard power, the ability to use the carrots and sticks of economic and military might to make others follow your will. Both hard and soft power are important in the war on terrorism, but attraction is much cheaper than coercion, and an asset that needs to be nourished."


Sounds like a good idea. But now that you know the main idea, you can skip the lecture, unless you'd like Dr. Nye to elaborate, or sign his book for you afterwards.

Forgot to mention another (almost) local blog, Nika's Garden. Not quite local yet, but will be soon, because artist/writer/webdesigner Tiffany is moving to the 'Dale next month to set up shop.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Blogs are them

My search for intelligent local blogs came up with Ryan F., a politically-conservative Southern Illinois University student with a first-rate blog: Fraydog Blog Log: "Hynes chasing jobs from Illinois, then blaming Bush."

John G., a graduate student in Philosophy at SIU is part of the more "earthy" but no less intelligent, Blog Collective.

The man they call Treesong has a touchy, feely blog and posts to Big Muddy Indy Media.

From Big Muddy IMC: newswire/36: "The REAL State of the University, Fri Feb 27 11am"

No brainer

I heard on the radio this morning, two Carbondale neurosurgeons (the only two brain surgeons in Southern Illinois) have turned in their resignations to SIH, and will pull up stakes in a few months, due to rising malpractice insurance rates. Can you blame them? Malpractice insurance cost $30,000 four years ago; now it cost Three hundred thousand ($300,000). Caleb Hale has more

Guard Dawgs

Saluki guards Darren Brooks (pictured left), Stetson Hairston, Tony Young, Bryan Turner, and Jamaal Tatum combined for 40 points, 9 steals, 9 assists, and 17 rebounds to top Creighton, 68-60. Seth Whitehead writes: "It was 20 minutes of heaven, 18 minutes of hell, and two minutes of the . . . team doing what it's done all year-- finding ways to win," as the Salukis extend its MVC winning streak to 26-0.

Earlier in the day, Tatum and forwards LaMar Owen, Brad Korn, were selected to the 2004 MVC All-Bench, Most-Improved Teams, selected by the league's newspaper beatwriters.

Photos by Steve Buhman, See Gallery.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Talking the talk

The City of Carbondale wants more people to sign up for "Carbondale Conversations for Community Action," a small-group discussion project to bring our diverse community together to discuss and solve problems facing our neighborhoods and city. Participants should sign-up by March 1 so the 20 discussion groups (15 people per group) can be finalized and the location of the four scheduled meetings between March 21-April 24 can be determined. More details in the press release.

'Blue Ribbon Panel' appointed

Yesterday, Mayor Brad Cole named a nine-member review panel to make recommendations by July 1 to the City Council on what to do about the Eurma C. Hayes Child Care Center -- recommendations that can be implemented by Jan. 1, 2005.

Former SIUC Chancellor John Guyon will chair the group, while former Head Start Executive Director, and current Associate Chancellor for Diversity at SIUC, Seymour Bryson, will serve as the panel's vice chairman.

Andrea Kampwerth tells us "The panel is rounded out by John Holmes, a member of the City of Carbondale Human Relations Commission; the Rev. Rick Jackson, pastor of Bethel AME Church; Lori Longueville, director of Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College; Dianne Meeks, Carbondale citizen and attorney; Nancy Hunter Pei, assistant to the vice chancellor, SIUC, and administrative supervisor for Rainbow's End Child Development Center; Helen Porter, president of the Carbondale Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and John Yow, former city councilman.

Assistant City Manager Don Monty and Community Services Manager Deborah Walton McCoy will provide staff support for the review panel."


I thought Elbert Simon would be appointed too, since he was so vocal about saving the Center and offered his services. But it's hard to argue with Cole's choices, though Mr. Simon may.

Sweet #16

Les Winkeler reports: Salukis ranked 16th, best ever: "the Associated Press Top 25 basketball poll released yesterday. The Southern Illinois University Salukis are ranked 16th in the nation, their loftiest ranking ever. The Salukis are ranked 17th in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. "

Meanwhile, Creighton seeks revenge

NOT 'Year' of the Dawg, please

How about DECADE of the Dawg instead? The "Dawg Decade"? Why not? Saying "The Year of the Dawg" leaves out next year's team, which should be strong as well, and future teams. As Southern Illinoisan editor Meta Minton wrote: "Words matter." At least let's save "Year of the Dawg" until the team advances in the NCAA tournament.

I thought it was tinnitus

Jim Jung reports in his almanac the calls of the Chorus Frog can be heard this time of year. And hikers may notice the Spring Beauties beginning to bloom.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I agree with Scott Lambert: The hero of the game Saturday night: Tony Young.

Meta: for that matter

Southern Illinoisan Editor Meta Minton writes: Be Careful with the Words you Choose. Noting the Governor's choice of words in his State of the State Address, and the Chancellor Wendler's in his State of the University, and Bush's in his State of the Union, (but not Mayor Cole's "State of the City"*) Minton gets down to the real business of the editorial: apologizing for her reporters, who failed to mention that a business was located in Johnston City, and for calling a deaf person "hearing impaired." Well excuuuuse the Southern Illinoisan!

Meta repeats several times that WORDS MATTER, concluding "I thank Laura [an offended sign-language interpreter] for reminding us that communication and the words we use must be right on the money." Interesting choice of Meta for a metaphor. Could there be a full-page advertising promotion being planned in Franklin county? Or is it simply a Freudian reminder that the bottom line matters in the newspaper business as in any other economic activity.

*Click here for this blog's critique of Brad Cole's word choice in his State of the City Address.

Caleb Hale reports in The Southern Illinoisan: Morris Library renovation like open heart surgery: "Beginning in October, students will be filing into what will mostly be a construction zone. . . . Library materials and personnel will occupy only the basement and ground-level floors of the six-story building. After two or three years of work, following the groundbreaking, SIUC hopes to have a brand-new, updated library facility.

Got a few more photos posted on the Shawnee Network Photos page this morning. Still going with the extreme closeup thumbnail just for fun. There are actually four (count 'em 4) photos of Chancellor Wendler posted and one of Mayor Cole, but neither are in the thumbnails.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Looking into other blogs tonight, discovered Electablog, which had an insightful post on Darth Nader

Campus Ministries mysteries

In answer to my own query, I don't know what Jesus would do, but I won't be surprised if more than one member of Campus Ministries resigns, following the organization's recent vote to exclude people of non-Judaeo-Christian faiths. I guess the question is, who is being excluded and do they care? The DE article doesn't say. What would Carbondale's own Sheikh Din do? What will Joan Friedenberg of the Hillel Foundation do? And what will Hugh Muldoon of the Interfaith Center; Chris Repp, of the Epiphany Lutheran Church; and Father Chris Piasta of the Newman Catholic Center, do? Those four were out-voted by six more exclusive members.

Over the Rainbows

For best results when reading this post, you may want hear a few bars of "Go You Salukis."

Were you at the "Bracket Buster" game sporting maroon? Only the 14th sell-out in SIU Arena history, I heard 'em say on ESPN, wearing a blue shirt with a spot of pizza sauce on the front. They were comparing this basketball team to the one Walt Frazier led to the NIT championship in 1967. Like that team, the Saluki guards played terrific defense, tying the school-record with 21 steals. Brooks, Tony Young, Jamaal Tatum, Stetson Hairston, LaMar Owen. It's how they won the game, and did you see Owen's monster put-back? That's him celebrating at right.

In a nutshell, Saluki Athletics' Seth Whitehead writes:

SIU men's basketball team showed a nationally televised late-night audience, a sellout crowd, and the University of Hawaii just why a mid-major team has risen into the Top 25. The Salukis played great defense -- and got clutch shots ..., knocking off the Rainbow Warriors, 66-62, early Sunday morning, bolstering their already impressive NCAA Tournament resume.

See LaMar Odum on the home page of ESPN.com: College Basketball while it lasts.

Saluki Athletics has more photos (you're looking at two of them) and more details.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Coyotes go a' courtin'

Starting today.

The Queen gets a paint job

Carbondale's landmark refreshment spot, Dairy Queen, will be opening its little sliding glass doors to customers this week, says owner Mark Waicukauski from his atop his ladder.

Why is Brown Eyes Blue?

The word on the street is the old American Tap building is scheduled for demolition over Spring Break. I wonder if it would be worth trying to preserve the mural on the wall of the courtyard. Probably not. Maybe commemorative tee-shirts.

Daily Egyptian : The Tap's time is running out

X-ter, X-ter, read all about it

Yesterday, I asked one of the janitors at City Hall to pose for a photo throwing out my parking ticket (after I paid it, of course), with the caption: "the man you have to see at City Hall to have a parking ticket thrown out." (A gag I announced in this blog earlier in the day, mentioning the janitor by name). But I have since received an email message from him, requesting that his name and image not be used, specifically he didn't "appreciate [his] name, or employment status with the City of Carbondale being used to make mockery of the City's parking fine policies." And fine policies they are indeed.

Too bad. Originally, I planned to have a close-up of his head, which you could click-on to see the context, like the one of another guy (at right) whom I met at the Flower and Garden Show (also in the Civic Center yesterday).

Speaking of which

Smells of flowers fills the air and local hotels

This weekend, the Carbondale Convention & Tourism Bureau is sponsoring The Southern Illinois Garden Show in the Carbondale Civic Center.

Bring the family and spend a winter day dreaming about the coming spring and summer! This event includes vendors of garden related equipment & supplies and three days of workshops. See two incredible garden displays, the “Butterfly Tea Garden” (where formal teas are held) and the “ Railroad Garden. The event also includes a standard flower show, hosted by the Evergreen Garden Club. The flower show was rated one of the “top ten shows” in the nation last year – all under one roof! Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm. ; Sunday 10am - 4pm Admission $1.00. Workshops are free. Tickets to the formal teas are sold in advance.

Friday, February 20, 2004

After the Chancellor's address, the art installation at the Vergette Gallery in the Allyn Building beckoned (note: Allyn Building couldn't be located using either this map or this map on the SIU web page) to see the 52 Words/ 52 Images show. Five artist did their postcard size take on 52 different words, sample of which can be seen here. Unfortunately the show is down, but all the work was intriguing, especially Erin's.

This morning, Chancellor Walter V. Wendler delivered his 'State of the University' address in the Student Center Ballroom B. Topics for this first-ever address will include "the University's budget, ongoing and planned building projects and an update on Southern@150, the long-range blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019," according to Tom Woolf (left), SIUC's man on the Chancellor beat.

SIUC Main Campus Map. This doesn't help find the Allyn Building. Campus Maps didn't help either (not even with the spelling); the image would not appear on the screen, even after loading Adobe SVG Viewer.

A tip of the hat to Jim Muir for following-up on the legality and feasibility of the City of Carbondale buying the old American Tap building from convicted felon (and unconvicted slumlord), Henry Fisher. The headline says the deal was Legal and Smart.

While I'm at, a nod to Tom Reichmann for following-up on the other Fisher-owned property being vacated by the State of Illinois, where the Dept. of Revenue was situated on College Ave. Can't link to it, but find a copy of the Carbondale Times, available all around town.

Things are cool with Judge Schwartz, or rather with Jennifer, his firm and fair Circuit Clerk, so in late March and early April I'll be available for jury duty. Never served on a jury before, so looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Legal notices

If it isn't one thing, it's another. At 7:30 a.m. I left my house to find a policeman issuing a ticket to "whoever parked the car there" (mea culpa*), for $7 for blogging, I mean blocking the sidewalk, or rather the old brick path that passes for a sidewalk. Since the car was only there for a short time, it seemed a bit extreme, but hey, $7 is a small price to pay for a first-run movie in some cities, so I'm gonna see if I can get it "thrown out" at City Hall, but not the way my summons to jury duty was accidentally thrown out, or lost among the stacks of mail arriving daily at Guitar House. I got reminded of it this afternoon, by registered letter, from Judge William Schwartz, whom I must meet tomorrow morning. )

*My bad. (Note to basketball players, hip hoppers and hope-happies. Try using the Latin phrase "mea culpa" instead of "my bad" next time you commit a minor offense. Guaranteed to raise the eyebrows of the highbrows.)

TypePad: Hosted Weblog Service offers a 30-day free trial, which looks good, since it has some useful blog formatting features, so watch out for new look. Speaking of new looks, anyone else notice how much the new SIUC home page resembles the Shawnee Network home page?

Graduate student's Pepsi/Apple parody video brings international attention. Reported in the Daily Egyptian

Mixed media

This morning SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler will be interviewed by WJPF-AM 1340 Talk Show host Tom Miller. Look for the interview--and all subsequent ones with Miller--to be posted on the SIUC Multimedia Gallery.

Just discovered Perspectives Magazine about SIUC research and creative activities by the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean, added to the list of local news sources on the Shawnee Network home page.

Chris Wissmann's been at the keyboard lately with enough material to fill Four Corners: including a table that puts SIUC's Spring enrollment decline in perspective, and a heartwarming story about a man, his dog, his car, and a snow angel.

26th Season

DE reports: Big Muddy Film Festival kicks off: The 26th annual festival runs from tomorrow night through Feb. 29, presenting seven feature films, as well as 40 to 50 short independent films selected for judging.

Did you you that Kerasotes devotes one of its screens each week to art and alternative films. There's a newsletter, too.
--Thanks to Ruby J.

What would Jesus do?

Daily Egyptian: Campus Ministries converts to Judeo-Christian-Only organization: "In a meeting late Wednesday afternoon, 10 members from varying religious groups active on campus voted on the change that would permit membership from only those people of the Jewish and Christian religions. The vote was a close 6-4 in favor of limiting membership."

How's he doing?

One of this blog's university contacts sent a PDF file of Chancellor Wendler's evaluation recently, so when I saw Walter at the International Festival yesterday, I asked him about it. He said wasn't disappointed in the overall result, though he sees room for improvement. He said he was surprised and mildly shocked at the some of the insulting comments of his student critics.

Truly, Walter Wendler has a "PR" problem with students. Perhaps some Morris-style barbecues would help, or appearances at the tailgate parties, or Sauki games, once in awhile. Perhaps lunch at neighboring Harbaugh's, or the Interfaith Center on Sunday night for Soup 'n Tunes.

(Note to Harbaugh's and WJPF: Since you are using the Chancellor's persona in your radio ads, why not send him a couple free lunch passes?)

But students were not the only groups unhappy with the Chancellor's job performance, his own boss finds fault with the management team, which causes me to wonder if there may be a one or two fewer vice-chancellors by this time next year.

I did have a chance to ask the Chance about my license plate design, which he said he liked, but not enough to displace the current clock tower SIUC logo. As already noted, you can't even find a Saluki on the SIU website! Will it take a petition? This post may belong in the Bark 2 the Future blog!

As anyone who reads the SIUC Press Releases knows, everything that occurs at the University these days is due to the master plan, Southern at 150, which is frustratingly inaccessible as segmented PDF files. Wendler himself would like to see Southern at 150 be available in an easier and more fluid .html format, which I pointed out was already available in short form.

Southern International University

At last night's International Festival Iam Srinivas R Kolli snapped photos and others contributed their parts for the kick-off which featured no less than three proclamations, followed by a ribbon-cutting, a gong-ringing, and a ceremonial toast -- plus some souvenir buttons being given out by a nice student to everyone there, including Chancellor Wendler (pictured above right)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

This Wan's for Brad

It was old home week for Brad Cole and Wan Kamal Wan-Napi at the International Festival last night at the SIUC Student Center, at very spot where Brad read an official proclamation as Student Body President in 1993. "Now I can proclaim whatever I want," joked the mayory old soul, young Cole, "and read my own proclamations." Wan is President of International Student Council. I didn't get to speak to him much, though his speech was impressive. Perhaps the ISC will upload it, along with all the proclamations, and a link can be inserted into this sentence.

Blogification

In a comment to this blog's Big Muddy Independent Media Center post on Sunday, AJ asked some good questions, but the comment feature only allows up to 1000 characters, so I'm answering here:

Why do you get to not pay? Do you get in free to events at any other places because you "blog"?

It's standard practice for media-types to not pay at events they are reporting on, or photographing. I have been admitted to quite a few other places and events for that purpose. Not just because I blog, but because I'm fairly persuasive and snap good shots.

On top of that, I had just shelled out $30 to WDBX for the Mad Hatter's Ball (since I was eating and dancing as well as snapping photos (occasionally at the same time)) so by the end of the night, I was tapped (and snapped) out, and I was just their (by invitation) for some peek and speak, before going home to process the 80 or so photos I snapped at Mad Hatters Ball. I planned to stay for, oh, maybe 15 minutes, but got accosted after about 5. (The issue was not that I snapped some photos, but that I didn't pay -- and was disrespectful to the door-dudes who asked to see my ID because they were "going by the book." I'm over 50!) In addition, the flyer advertises a $3-$5 suggested donation, not a fixed price.

Did you get permission to take pictures?

I was invited to the event by two people who have been with Muddy Media for a long time, who know very well what I do, to check out the new digs. I think it was "understood" that I'd snap a photo or two. (Actually, three. One of Treesong eating a piece of beef jerky when he thought no one was looking that I'm sending to the National Inkwirer.*)

There weren't many people in the room, and no one seemed to mind. No one was doing anything they shouldn't be. I spoke to one of the organizers, who I've known for a long time. No one said "no photos" . . . It's a MEDIA CENTER, for crying out loud! (Also, asking permission is a sure-fire way to not do something, in journalism as with just about everything else.)

Because of the donation flap, I didn't get a chance to hear about the work that Tony and the others did fixing up the room, or anything else about the BMIMC, which still remains something of mystery to me. But I will continue to check in on the website.


*This joke has been cleared with Carbondale's most prominent vegan, Treesong.

Kouncil Kares

In its wisdom, Carbondale City Council voted to "aggressively seek" a private child care provider to do business in the Eurma Hayes Center rent free. A citizen's panel will also be formed to come up with the best recommendations it can to save the current operation by July 1. I wonder if I can get someone to define in writing what "aggressive seeking" means beyond placing advertisements in newspapers or child care journals.

Council Cam

Tom Riechman, Carbondale Times editor attended last night's City Council meeting to hear what people had to say and snap some photos, so he could write about it for today's newspaper. Andrea Kempwerth was also there to get the story, along with two or three hundred people, because next year's budget was being voted on, and the City's investment in child care was about to be reduced. I took a peek in the control room and saw where the show is produced. From that vantage point I could see the crowd in person and on television. Television was better. City Council should consider investing in a couple a big screen to show the tv image to people sitting in the audience. After Rich Whitney spoke, I drove to a cabled-up friend's house to watch the rest of the meeting from his living room. Much better. Probably the only reason to attend a City Council meeting in person would be to speak to the members, or vote, or record the proceedings.

Speaking of recording the proceedings, during the recess the City Council video camera points up to toward the ceiling but you can still see heads floating along the bottom of the screen as people trickle back to their seats beneath the camera's view. Just heads moving along the bottom of the screen.

Kouncil Kares for Kids

Andrea Kempwerth reports Council's Interim solution: "A mayoral appointed panel will review the viability of the Eurma C. Hayes Child Care Center and provide the Carbondale City Council with recommendations no later than July 1."

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

On this very day, Belted Kingfishers begin arriving.

Topic for family conversation or dinner party: Who would play you in a movie?

We're #20 or 21, We're #20 or 21

Men's Basketball Climbs to #20 in AP, #21 in Coaches Poll.

That's today!

International Festival opens Feb. 17

Opening proclamation, 5:30 p.m., Gallery Lounge. Dignitaries from the University and city of Carbondale will issue proclamations in honor of the International Festival.

International Programs and Scholars reception, 6 p.m., Gallery Lounge.

Step Afrika!, 7 p.m., Ballrooms C and D. Admission is free; no cameras or videotaping during the performance.

Once again I'm faced with a choice between a public meeting and a musical performance. The Council meeting will be on videotape.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Martial artists and spokespersons: Can anyone defeat "the 1000 styles of Rumsfeld?"

SIU website changes

Speaking yesterday at a news conference in the Illinois Room of the SIU Student Center, associate director of Media and Communication Resources Rod Sievers, noted that the new SIU website is not set in stone, which was good to hear, because . . . the website was released too soon, before obtaining my approval. (ha.)

Since not all the features demonstrated in the "grand opening" worked (maps, e.g., and some STILL do not work--try to cast your vote for the template design), it's uncertain why it was rolled out at this time--even while the issue of the SALUKI mascot's place in the university's identity remains unresolved (to the satisfaction of this blog).

I asked Sue Davis if the reason she didn't consider my suggested license plate design was because it came too late in the process, she nodded agreement.

It seems that no one much cares for the Saluki "sock puppet" logo since it doesn't reproduce well when reduced in size. But it would reproduce well on the home page, along with an explanation of "what's a Saluki" Why not?! Do none of the other Illinois State universities have mascots or logos on their home page?

I asked webmaster Janet Douglas, (top right photo) why there was no Saluki info on the site, no image or description. She said a description of what a Saluki is could be found on the Saluki Athletics website (which Davis also told me later, so maybe Janet got it from Sue or vice versa). But when I looked for it with another SIU webmaster, neither of us could any info about Salukis. I'm not sure where Sue found it, so I'll ask her, and keep you posted.

Of course, other people were involved in creating the site, and and Davis introduced them all, including Paula Davenport, an SIUC news reporter, who will have all the names spelled right and other details. So will Caleb Hale, the Southern Illinoisan's man on the SIU beat, and quite few other college-aged people who didn't ask questions, including Jane Huh who wrote the story for the DE. One question that was asked was, "How much did it cost to produce and how much to maintain?" Sue didn't have an answer for that, but promised to have one.

Sievers emphasized the website wasn't carved in stone. So with all those people working on it, they ought to be able to get a picture of a dog on it, and an explanation of what a Saluki is.

A look at the new look

According to Media Advisory, this morning in 25 minutes SIUC will unveil its new website in the Lincoln Room and answer questions about the new look. Walter Wendler will be there (probably) and Sue Davis, and maybe a webmaster or graphic artist. I haven't received any feedback about my license plate yet, so maybe I can ask them about that.

Speaking of new looks, the new Carbondale website is due for a preview soon also. Actually, it's already posted, but the URL is a secret, and very few people have seen the new design.

Prof. wins Lincoln Prize

John Y. Simon, executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association has won a prestigious national award for outstanding achievement of 2004 for the landmark Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. But here's the kicker, "enhancing the culture of research and scholarship is among the goals of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019," so chalk one up for Southern@150 the University's blueprint for the future.

On Campus: Munchy Man garners support from USG including a nice editorial.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

No reflection on Big Muddy IMC

The photo on the right cost me $3. I was driving away from an unfortunate visit to the Big Muddy Independent Media Center, where I snapped a few photos of their new digs, but not without incident, because the woman pictured at right hassled me about paying. It didn't matter to her that I was "working," since I'd been invited by two different Big Muddyers (who know my blogging tendencies) while at the WDBX Mad Hatters Ball earlier in the evening. So after a tense facedown (and me without my lampshade hat), I discover that my escort (being of the fairer sex, though I'm pretty fair-minded myself) had already left because of the incensed (sic), and was sitting in the car in front of the Cadillac Lounge with the windows rolled up, doors locked, crocheting. But I was feeling crotchety, so we drove back to my house and I got $3, and brought it back and gave it to the door man, as a statement, but forgot to get a receipt. So I told Mr. BMBM (Big Man in Big Muddy) who said thanks, he'd try to return the favor some time. By this time, the other old-timers were leaving, so I did too, just in time to snap the photo above of Kristen being "hassled by the man" above right. I guess everything was cool though, because the party went into the wee hours, so I heard (not because I live nearby, but from one of the Rosettans later).

Fundraising parties aside, the last I checked, Big Muddy Independent Media Center website is more muddy than media. Not much content, but the site is new, so let's keep an eye on it. Do I sound critical? Well, I'm Gumby, dammit.*

*note: I'm not really Gumby. Gumby is Green and I'm Blue. Besides, the Green Party is represented by Richard "Dont' call me 'Dick'" Whitney.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Caring for kids at ECHCCC

Andrea Kempwerth has the latest: Taking the budget bull by the horns yesterday, Mayor Brad Cole "circulated a proposal to City Council members ... that would keep the Eurma C. Hayes Child Care Center open, but would minimize the city's involvement. The plan is to find an outside child care provider to come into the center and operate it privately. The city would furnish the facilities, equipment and supplies rent-free. Children who already use the daycare would not be displaced by an outside provider."

"Procrastination is not a solu