Tuesday, September 28, 2004

blogomania (updated)

No one called or emailed from the Chancellor's office to protest my unauthorized use of his name in my new domain. No one seemed to notice, or, noticing, thought 'so what'? Walter's a nice guy; I'll make a gift of it to him to use as he sees fit, an expensive joke, driven by blogical necessity.

Not a peep from anyone about "Not Really Mayor Brad Cole's Unofficial Blog," either. Maybe other Council persons did not appreciate this blog's blatant (tongue-in-cheek) attempt to trade on the goodwill associated with Cole's name (as Ben Wetmore had done in D.C.) and didn't want to appear under his banner.

Perhaps another name would be better, say Carbondale-Illinois.Info? Or "You Name It" blog, it's the same idea -- providing more information to readers about what's going on in the City and its organizations. City Council members are free to write about their projects or whatever ... not just about city codes and ordinances.

Other organizations or "interest groups" could also use their own blogs to give their web sites the latest information about -- Bright Spots, or Festivals of Light, or Brown Bag Concerts, or whatever.

Getting off my blogbox now -- no more posts until the Guitars Between the Rivers cd and web site are completed (by next week). This means creating an on-line "store" where it can be sold, which means more work for me, less time for you, Bloggy.

guitarin' it on

The guitar cd may be sold exclusively on-line until Thanksgiving, but promoted in the music stores and radio, as well.

Once the store is built for Guitars Between the Rivers, "Shawnee Shopping" could add other products, as well, including arts, crafts, books, etc. Sort of what Boundless Gallery is doing, only better. lol. Yo, Peter Gregory, the mastermind behind BG, is a great guy. He also came up with the idea for the Southern Angels Business Plan Contest, the 3rd of which will be announced next month (so the web page needs updating). Peter may may have to excuse himself from voting this year, due to conflict of interest. Sure, Boundless Gallery just sold its first piece, but does it offer Shawnee Shipping (tm)?

bloggin' with walter

UPDATE: Appointment set with Dr. Wendler to bestow and discuss his newly acquired domain, walterwendler.com. Between now and then, the look will be improved, and the "golden shovels" theme more fully developed. The current page was posted quickly, soon after the domain was purchased, driven by blogical necessity. "Golden Shovels" could be the name of a blog about the University's capital development projects, or "The Blog of the Golden Blade."

Sunday, September 26, 2004

a blog by any other name would . . .

The President of American University has a blog named after him, which he says (quoted in the Washington Post) trades on "the goodwill" of his name. I read about it in Not Really Mayor Brad Cole's Unofficial Blog, which makes another attempt at introducing more members of the community into the blogosphere.

Invitations to contribute Cole's blog have been sent to the Mayor himself, as well as to the three most techno-literate City Council persons, to community leaders, and to other bloggers.

It's all part of the process of transforming Carbondale into Cyberdale ... a goal which the university and city have been talking about for several years. Leave it to a blog to accelerate the change.

True, not everyone has time to read -- let alone contribute -- to a blog ... while others may be too computer-challenged to do much more than e-mail and ebay. So e-be it. If only 2 or 3 more contribute, that's better than one. And the residents of the City of Carbondale will be better served for it.

p.s. If you're thinking about "walterwendler.com" being a web site for selling golden shovels, it's available last time I looked. Not any more.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pianists in the news (update)

For the 16th year in a row, experimental music composer Frank Stemper, professor of music composition, theory and computer applications in the SIUC School of Music has won a prestigious award for his work from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP. The $500 award may not be much by rock and roll standards, "but the pat on the back is nice," says Frank.

Also, Cynthia Fligel, who 'tickles the ivories' at Mugsy McGuire's on weekends, and occasionally at Newell House, will be competing as a triathlete in the 140-mile "Ironman" triathlon in Kansas City on Saturday.

Speaking of Newell House, Mel Goot will be featured at tomorrow night and Saturday, accompanied by the Rita Warford.

Joe Liberto, keyboardist for the jazz group Mercy, says has an album in the works at Misunderstudio.

Bob Pina's been playing at Lombardi's in Herrin on weekends.

Majnun's world class keyboardist, Satya, just returned from a (western) world tour with the band this summer.

How does "Pianos Between the Rivers" sound? Stay tuned.

Heeeeere's Johnnie? Or Dick or Tom? or Mike?

A permanent director of the Public Policy Institute will be named soon. The Daily Egyptian describes the process as the PPI director search draws to a close: "Mike Lawrence, former associate director under Simon and a University instructor, ... acting as interim director ... is one of the four final candidates vying for the permanent position. . . . The other candidates include former ambassador Johnnie Carson, policy director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington D.C., Richard Sims and National Security Affairs special assistant to the U.S. president, Thomas M. Newcomb."

On the strength of his years of media experience and knowledge of Southern Illinois and Senator Simon and the work of the Institute, not to mention his persuasive, hard-hitting editorials in The Southern, Mike Lawrence should get the nod.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

World Class Carbondale (Artists Division)

Rory Jaros, the chairmaker, will be entering the Smithsonian Craft Show, a very prestigious event held in April in Washington, DC, and I'm helping him craft his application to post online through Juried Art Services, including photographs and descriptions of five (not so easy) pieces from his portfolio. I'm telling ya, Bloggy, Rory's work is world class (on display at the University Museum in October, and eventually at Hundley House, with other 'gifts to die for').

The Southern Illinois region not only has world-class craft-artists (like Rory, Roberta Elliot, and Karen Fiorino, who have web sites), but also world-class guitarists who deserve a world-wide audience. And artists are not the only exemplars of greatness in our community. Don't forget the few, the proud, the tenured, who excel in their own disciplines at SIU (the people Chancellor Wendler wants to pay top dollar to get and keep them here). And even more individuals and establishments in "Greater Carbondale" are world-class. The medium doesn't matter. You can be an academic chairperson, or a chair person on E. Jackson St..

I met another first-rate artist, Inga Silver last week at Art Lovers' Trading Company to view her portfolio and discuss the cover art for the Guitars Between the Rivers compact disk. Inga learned her craft under the legendary John Yak, at the STC Graphics Program back in the day. (I'll spare you the yack-yack about John's draconian (yakonian?) instructional method, but his program turned out the best-trained graphic artists in the biz. Yak deserves more of a web presence than a California graphics company with his name, so this parenthetical may have to do.) Anyway, Inga's "four fruit chair seats" are currently on view (and for sale) at Harbaughs.

Art Lovers Trading Company, Carbondale's newest art gallery has only been open a few weeks in the Newell Building (formerly Bening Square), but they promise to be "unique," so we'll see. The owner, Sue Mills, plans to host "First Friday" type events beginning Oct. 1. (Murphysboro used to do that, maybe they still do -- have art shows and coffee house entertainment on the first Friday of every month.) Maybe Longbranch will join the fun, or the new coffee house two doors down from Longbranch.

And speaking of world class, this Friday and Saturday night jazz pianist Mel Goot and Rita Warford (above) will be performing at Newell House Coffee Cafe, and the toe-tapping cajun stylings of Chicken Foot Gumbo can be heard at Mungo Jerry's in Murphysboro on Friday.

Cat's cradle of liberty

Do you wonder what the-artist-formerly-known-as Cat Stevens planned to do in the U.S. before he was forced off the flight from London to Washington, D.C., after it was diverted to Maine. Was the man who sang "Peace Train" on a war plane? Why was the airplane permitted to take off from London in the first place if his name was on the "no fly" list? Is this a high-profile example of how the President's policies are keeping us safer? Oooh baby, it's a karlrove world. The artist-now-known-as Jusuf Islam has an interesting web site reflecting peaceful values.

Meanwhile, at noon today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a news conference at noon today to say "When internationally-respected Islamic personalities like Yusuf Islam and Professor Tariq Ramadan [an Islamic scholar who was due to begin teaching at the University of Notre Dame] are denied entry to the United States, it sends the disturbing message that even moderate and mainstream Muslims will now be treated like terrorists," according to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. DHS officials recently revoked the visa of Tariq Ramadan. SEE: "Muslim Scholar Barred from US Preaches Tolerance.

So why was Mr. Jusuf Islam considered a threat to national security? Perhaps the feeling is that the high-profile image of a Muslim man of peace runs counter to the stereotype of the enemy in the "war on terror." . . . Usually there are peace talks in time of war ... even Vietnam had the Paris Peace Talks. But there's no one sitting at the table with the U.S. to discuss the CAUSES and END of the terrorist attack(s), is there?

Supposedly, our grudge is with Osama bin Laden, wanted dead or alive, but Bush is back-pedaling on that . . . Now our enemy is described generically as "extremists" i.e. the terrorist insurgents and rebels in Iraq, Afganistan, and around the world. So we're bogged down in Afganistan and Iraq for years to come, creating more martyrs for Allah, and turning away Muslim men of peace and good will. Good plan. The Kerry campaign should start playing Cat Steven's Peace Train at rallies, and Kerry should try to arrange secret peace talks with Osama in Cambodia.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

john a. slogan

Haven't you heard? Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole has trademarked the phrases "Haven't You Heard" and "The Capital of Southern Illinois" in the city's name . . . a gift to Carbondale. Since I try to emulate the Mayor in all things work-ethical, I should trademark "Land o' Linkin'" and give it to the City, except another local blogger thinks he may have thought of it first, as in "landalinkin." Mm-maybe, but the phrase "land o' linkin'" was first used by me at a New Year's Eve party in Florida in 1999-2000 . . . As everyone else was saying HAPPY NEW YEAR, I shouted "Land o' Linkin'!" -- with a nod to the phrase "Land o' Goshen," and "Land of Lincoln," a touch of computer technology (for the linking) and a couple of apostrophes for good grammar. Different spelling and intent, so ... it must be a case of grating minds running in the same direction.

Speaking of which, last week Mayor Cole did a quick sprint away from the phrase "home of the dome" as a permanent "nickname" for the City of Carbondale, when the suggestion was made by a member of Fullerites for Truth at the Student Center. He said the City is already "home of Southern Illinois University" and "The Capital of Southern Illinois" ... and how many distinctions can one town have, anyway? Besides, there aren't many good examples of geodesic domes around the city anymore. The one that's best-known is wearing a giant plastic shower cap, surrounded by a rickety fence, in need of money to spruce up. True, the SIU Arena is a dome, but it ain't geodesic.

So it looks like "home of the dome" may end up belonging to Lancaster, WI, the City of the Dome, although I still think with a commitmentment by the City, it could be done. But it looks like Carbondale will be known as "The City of the Childcare Center," instead.

SIU needs a new slogan, too? Does anyone know what it is? Deo Volente? It sounds like the name of pop singer from Philly in the 50's. And the subtitle of Southern@150: "building excellence through commitment," is a worthy ambition, but less catchy than a Phillies outfielder in the 50's. Can you tell I grew up near Philadelphia? Now that city has a great slogan "the city of brotherly love," (translated from Latin). . . . God willing, SIU will get an excellent new slogan also, to reflect the Southern@150 push for excellence. A contest? How about a hip-hop jingle for the university? An official song for Carbondale? As I recall, the amazing C'wissmann once wrote an editorial about how ineffectively the university was spending its marketing money. I don't know, but someone on campus will. It may be time to meet some marketing experts well-suited to their jobs at SIU. I wonder if there's money in the budget for a slogan, song, or jingle contest. Something you can put on a button, or listen to, like a few bars of "Go You Salukis," sampled and remixed, titled: "Yo, You Salukis." Why not?

Speaking of a few bars, quite a few of them are chipping in on advertising to "Celebrate the Strip," next month. Strip? what Strip? It's about three blocks long. More like a "Str--". The event should be called "Get Drunk in Carbondale." Now that's a slogan you can take to the bank. ;-)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Building Good Will

This morning dignitaries convened to name the Federal Building in honor of Senator Paul Simon, a ceremony full of honest appreciation and smatterings of irony, as dignitaries from all over the State gathered on stage to give honor to the late great Senator from Illinois and his family. The music by the SIU band was superb and the croissants were fresh and chewy, which is more than can be said for some of the speeches, ha ha. But I was especially moved (to laughter) by Governor Blagojevich's circular definition of public service. I'd like to read the transcript of G-Rod's remarks about corruption and patronage in government. But all the politicians had nice things to say about Paul Simon ("he would have been a Founding Father," Sen. Durbin reminded us) and Mayor Brad Cole welcomed everyone after the two Senators had left, and spoke of the many services available at the Simon Building (try to speak to a human being there, Mr. Mayor). But the highlight of the day was hearing Paul's grown children Martin and Sheila proudly introduce their own friends and offspring (two of whom have won grade school elections, must be in the blood.) Martin sounds a bit like Ron Reagan (Jr.), something he's heard before, and Sheila, well, she's wonderful. Both of the Simons had personal memories of the Federal Building. Sheila remember parking in the parking lot for movies at the Varsity, and Martin remembered skateboarding up and down the ramps inside while his dad caught up with correspondence over the weekend. Both noted their father's lack of interest in personal honors, but each hopes it helps advance the goals of the Public Policy Institute, which Paul founded after his retirement from the Senate.

I actually got to shake hands with G-Rod, but failed to tell him "Opportunity Never Left Southern Illinois, Governor."

The security was tight, at the event. They even had a guard at the Elm St. entrance, as if anyone would ever try to get in that way. It's always locked. They should just brick it over and be done with it.


(photos and links will be added after the server problem is solved)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

jumping through hoops

By now, it's old news that Justin Dentmon will be playing in Seattle, but new news is there was a workout/scrimmage of new SIU recruits (including highly-touted Bryan Mullins) and the current Saluki squad yesterday. According to the Southern Illinoisan, the practice would be open, so I went to the Arena to check it out . . . Well, it wasn't. . . . I got kicked out because of an NCAA rule against publicizing possible recruits. Although Mike Scally, Assistant Athletics Director (Business) at SIU failed to explain this, as he insisted on my departure. In the parking lot I ran into another veteran Saluki fan, Mr. Chris Barron, sports writer for the Carbondale Times, who said there was a Saluki Talk bulletin board, where fans can learn the latest scuttlebut about any of the Saluki sports teams.

I shoulda snapped a photo of all the players gathered in loose groups under the south basket, without a ball in sight, as coaches and former players stood around and chatted and watched, until the aforementioned Assistant A.D. spotted me. Afterwards, I checked it out at Saluki Talk, and yes, apparently there is an NCAA rule. If the workout wasn't advertised, it would have been alright to watch . . . I think.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Man in the Pink Flannel Suit

That's City of Carbondale Business Development Manager Jeremy Hayes developing business in the hot pink suit of the "unnamed(?) Carbondale Pig Out mascot. Did I mention "hot"? The photo at right was snapped by inserting the camera into the snout of the pig's head to give you a snouts-eye-view of Jeremy promoting business in downtown Carbondale.

Bonus tongue-twister: Say "snout shot" quickly 3x.

The snout shot is one of my proudest as a photo-journalist. (Who knows? It could be picked for a Nostrildamus Prize for sniffing out the news.)

Apples 59, Pigs 9

This past weekend was full of things to do, Bloggy. Events in eight venues spread hither and yon: the Murphysboro Apple Festival, the Carbondale Pig Out, the Southern Stampede in Duquoin, the SIU Tailgate Party, the Football game, the (well-attended) Shrimp Fest in Golconda, a secret basketball workout at the Arena, and big dance in the country.

The Apple Festival was better than ever this year. For a few days, the capital of Jackson County was transformed into a small Missouri town with a parade, rides, food, music and apples -- the whole she-bang, although the theme for some reason was "Wonderful World of Sports." Meanwhile, in Carbondale, Pig Out offered more than just barbecue, booze and bands to a smaller throng (that's throng, Bloggy). There were activities for children too. But Pig Out also had the Saluki Football Tailgate party and football game to compete with, so . . . not as many people heard the fantastic strains of Big Larry, Chicken Foot Gumbo, Cajun Stomp or the wonderful musical acts on stage as might have otherwise. But the Woodbox Gang show that night was rockin', so I hear, and people from the football game got in free with their ticket stubs after the game which the Salukis won 59-9.

Meanwhile, the Dance in the Bluff was calling. (click here for more links)

Friday, September 17, 2004

blogs err us

According to the blogging community ("the blogsphere"), the recent CBS memo forgery flap, shows bloggers are the Big Bang of Information Age, or, as another blogger puts it the blogosphere is a media improvement because the sheer number of blogs, and the speed of response, make errors hard to sustain for very long. The collective mind is also a corrective mind. Transparency is all."

So what's up with Carbondale, Bloggy? Are people in town really so internet-challenged that a few more bloggers can't get into the act? Sure, we have SIU types Fraydog, and T Lev, and Pragmatik, but there is little or no interaction between them. The best use of blogging for political purposes in these parts is Saline County States' Attorney candidate David Nelson's campaign blog.

Where are the student journalists? The journalism teachers? The business faculty and students? local activists? the vice-chancellors?

Blogs are more than simply personal online journals; the best ones offer issue-oriented summaries and opinions with links to supporting evidence for whatever claim, word, or phrase is in question. Because blogging allow for group contributions as well as solo efforts, blogs make excellent project-development tools.

This blog was originally started as a development tool for the Shawnee Network web site, and has in turn been been instrumental in getting other blogs rolling for personal and community projects -- such medical malpractice, local business, obama and keyes, etc. Some haven't been posted to for months, but the concern and the people and the possibilities are still alive and well. All they lack are a few more contributors.

Bark to the Future - carbondale dog park
Between the Rivers - "guitars between the rivers" project.
Bike to the Future - bike 2 work day
Carbondale Biz - business blog
Carbondale to Cyberdale - new
In this Corner - Keyes vs. Obama
Lime in the Coconut - medical malpractice
POOLside - public outdoor swimming pool
V for Varsity - saving the venerable venue

How about a City Council blog! Why not? We're talking Community Conversation here. Study Circles for the 21st Century. I bet at least three Council persons would love to try it, and the others could be convinced, why not? Not enough time? It's highly ironic that the Carbondale Conversations (Study Circle) groups don't maintain a blog . Does anyone besides a few reporters and the members know what's happening with the Carbondale Conversation Action Groups? If you're not on the mailing list, you don't. This is true with other groups and organizations too. The Peace Coalition, for example, and Carbondale Community Arts. And City Council . . . don't forget City Council. It's all part of Operation Carbondale to Cyberdale.

Blogs are da bomb.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Walk, Parade, Carouse

The Heart Walk in Carterville starts at 9 a.m., the Homecoming Parade in Carbondale at 10, and the football game at 1:30. After that, people will be celebrating The Strip: "Tawl Paul, Massive Funk, Mercy, Chicken Foot Gumbo, Action Man (Early 90's), Loose Gravel, Four on the Floor, Big Larry and the Down Home Blues Band, Night Soil Coolies, Monster Truck, Crank, DNS Vibrators and 138.

They will be playing at various locations, including Tres Hombres, Big Boys Q'n, Town Square Pavilion, Newell House Coffee Cafe, PK's, Booby's, Hangar 9, Stix, Melange Coffee Cafe, and Gatsby's."

Photos later.

apples, pigs, and shrimp: a shady mix

The Murphysboro Apple Festival is taking place this weekend, Bloggy. Like a benign and profitable hurricane touching down in the capital of Jackson County. Kudos to the folks there who put on a great show -- a labor of love, with a good web site to show it.

Meanwhile, in the Capital of Southern Illinois (tm), the 8th Annual Pig Out will be forking out the fun in the 710 Parking Lot all weekend, with barbecue, music and wine and beer and other food, as shown in photos from last year. So ya got Live Music, Children's Activities, Kansas City BBQ Contest, Food, SIU Football Pep Rally -- and MORE" (that's right, making special appearance). Unfortunately the web site doesn't convey the atmosphere of Pig Out, but there's a music line up, and a colorful tabloid insert in the Carbondale Times, you'll see around town.

Note to Shady Mix fans, you can hear them tonight at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro and tomorrow night on stage in the 710 Parking Lot, then head on over to the Golconda Shrimp Fest on Saturday. After that, you can buy one of their cd's and listen to them until they play at the Bluegrass and Bar B Que in Harrisburg next month, or at the Brown Bag Concert in October 13.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

cyberdale to carbondale

Yesterday's Carbondale to Cyberdale breakfast meeting was yummy and filling, thanks to the Office of Economic and Regional Development, Heartland Catering, and John and Sue Andrews of Salem, who filled the satiated audience with facts and stories about how their company, U.S. Sonet, provides fiber-optics communications connectivity to homes and businesses in their home town.

It really sounds great, but no chance of them doing it here anytime soon. Can't some other entrepreneurs run with the idea? New categories for entries in the 3rd Annual Southern Angels Business Plan Contest will be announced next month. Who knows?

I told Sharon Schumacher about the new Carbondale to Cyberdale blog and sent her an email invitation. If you'd like to contribute as well, send a message c/o this blog. Meanwhile, other techno-literate local leaders will be invited, too.

Speaking of joining, this blog was recently added to the ArchPundit and Chicago Trib writer Eric Zorn's Notebook list of interesting blogs. Coincidentally, Zorn is a friend of the guys from this weekend's "Dance in the Bluff" band, the Little Egypt Pep Steppers.

I'm not bluffing, Bloggy, the twice-yearly contra dance at Barb Sibert's house is very cool. The food, the setting, the music, the moonlight, the dancing.

From cyber trail to forest trail . . . Need directions?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hummus where the heart is

Time for a tasty health break, Bloggy, here's a good hummus recipe: "The best thing about hummus is that it has no cholesterol, no sugars, no saturated fat and is high on protein and fibers. It is perfect for the health-conscious peeps. Try using it as a dip instead of the usual sour cream or mayonnaise."

If you don't want to make it yourself, Carbondale is pretty rich in hummus take-out places: Egyptian Corner, Global Gourmet, and Dar Salaam will fix you up. If you don't know what it is, check it out. Besides helping your health, hummus could also help to end the global war between the cultures. It's that good.

Dance in the Bluff

If you've never "contra" danced before, or been to Barb Sibert's house south of town, this Saturday night is your chance to do both, at the "Dance on the Bluff" above Cedar Lake in the Shawnee Forest in beautiful southern Illinois. You won't want to miss the fabulous Old Time tunes by the Little Egypt Pep Steppers, including Chirps Smith, Jim Nelson and others, with Dot Kent calling from 8-11 pm. All dances are taught with a walk-through. No partner, costume or experience are necessary, only $8 and the willingness to have fun. There's more about Contra Dancing at their web site.

Cyberdale, Land o' Linkin, US

The Carbondale to Cyberdale group will meet tomorrow morning at the Dunn-Richmond Center, according to the new Carbondale to Cyberdale blog. Will community leaders of Carbondale learn that e-mail and list-serves are not the last word in interpersonal/social communication? Is it a case of "a turtle not going faster than a turtle can go"?

Speaking of turtles, the official Illinois State Reptile and Amphibian will be named soon, and you can still vote, or perhaps seek the reptilean guidance of the folks at Waterman and Hill Traveler's Companion, which is based right here in Carbondale; I mean Cyberdale.

drink to me only with thine 'official beverage'

Care for an official Illinois drink?

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration is considering selling, to a yet-unchosen beverage company, the rights to Illinois' name. No other state has ever done it. . . . The example most often cited by proponents is that of New York City, which signed an 'official beverage' agreement with Snapple last year worth $126 million over five years for the city. . . . Local expert Larry Briggs, an associate advertising professor at SIU, said such government-corporate agreements are profitable for taxpayers. However, 'it limits the choices [for consumers] ... [and] you're kind of selling out to the corporations,' Briggs said."

Maybe G-Rod could come out with a whole new brand of soft drink, while he's at it. A state that could better capitalize on that idea is Minnesota, if you hear what I'm saying, and the cities of Sarasota and Pensicola, Florida.

Could the City of Carbondale use its Home Rule authority to authorize an official beverage of the City of Carbondale? Cole's Cola? Our youthful Mayor, thirsty for fiscal success, has already come out with a brand of water, why not cola?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Sunny Sunday

Even though the Saluki football team got bit by the Huskies of Northern Illinois yesterday, on the 3rd anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed 2,749 in New York, the sun is still shining in The Capital of Southern Illinois (trademark) this morning, Bloggy, although elsewhere in the world things are very gloomy . . . like in The Sudan and, of course, Iraq, where violence rages, and the civilian death toll has exceeded 10,000.

Meanwhile on a different note . . . the guitars cd is coming along nicely, thanks to everyone involved.

Project B. Goode

The Guitars Between the Rivers cd is making good progress, Bloggy. . . . Only two more songs to get: one from Cajun Stomp's Robert Russell, who sprained his finger the day before he was scheduled to record, and one from the Majnun tandem of Bill Carter and Din Dayemi, just back from a two-month European concert tour with some hot live recordings to prove it. Meanwhile, more biographies are needed for the site, plus some sample tracks.

Man, the music biz is cool! You get to tap your feet while you work.

What makes this project even more special is the guitarists are contributing royalties to a Music Scholarship Fund in honor of The Hurd Brothers who were killed in a traffic accident a year ago. Forrest and Doug will also be represented on the album, thanks to their sister, Marcia, who provided a tasty track from her brothers' album Deep South Blues.

Another fun aspect to this project is meeting talented musicians like Rita Warford, whose bluesy jazz -- blazz -- blows her audience away -- like a bubble -- whenever she opens her mouth ... to sing, which she'll be doing at Newell House Coffee Cafe (formerly Bisanis in Bening Square) on September 24th and 25th, accompanied by Mel Goot on piano. I'd like to get Rita hooked up with one of the guitarists on Between the Rivers . . . to form a really tight combo: "The Rita Warford Blazz Band" -- Jon Austin maybe, or Grant Morgan. Keep your ears on, Bloggy.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

round about Round 3

The Senate race between Keyes and Obama seemed to require another blog, if I didn't want to bog this blog down with reports of political posturing back and forth, so I created a new one, In This Corner. Originally meant to focus exclusively on that race, it could widen to include other political races, too. It's new, but maybe some pundit types will type some punditry on it. Invitations will be sent to Illinois political bloggers, like Fraydog and Cannon and ArchPundit, as well as others.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

from gloomtown to boomtown

Even if I saw the invitation, I could not have attended the Community Leaders Breakfast at John A. Logan College yesterday morning. For the past few days I've been suffering with some major tooth pain; taking antibiotics and eating mushy stuff. But this blog's pointed prose won't be turning mushy, Bloggy; don't worry. The keynote speaker was Jack Schultz, author of "Boomtown USA: The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns," shared his ideas for making Southern Illinois more economically successful. (Can you say "regionalism"?)

Schultz is chief executive of Agracel Inc., an industrial development firm. His book is being distributed through the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) web site, along with a link to the Bloomberg Small Business television interview with Schultz, which Bavarians and one-horse towns will find inspiring, as you shall see.

name that building


Have you noticed the new name on the Carbondale Federal Building, Bloggy? It won't be official until dedication on September 20, but there it is, a well-deserved -- if ironic -- honor for a great man. But if you like the honor, read some excerpts from his book!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

clean-cut blog

This blog is spiffier now that a Google search engine has been added (above) and a link (below) for e-mailing individual posts, like this one showing the physical resemblance between SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler and Floyd the Barber (Howard McNear) on the old Andy Griffith Show (as suggested by a contributor on the IEA list serve).

mmmm, soy-based diesel fuel

This comment just in from PurePolitics.Com: "This is PurePolitics.com, LLC based out of Atlanta, GA. We wanted to let you know that PurePolitics.com interviews candidates from across the country. We made a request to interview Mr. Shimkus but got no response. Thank you."

No interview with Shimkus? Then what's this? The current Representative of the 19th Illinois Congressional District answers questions posed by Krystle Russin on the PurePolitics web site, and reveals the fact that soy-based diesel exhaust smells like french fries. Shimkus explains he was:

"very involved in passing legislation that increased the use of soy diesel from a legislation called EPACT...Because of that legislation, the demand for soy diesel has increased from 50,000 gallons to 25 million gallons...Ever been behind a bus, and it smells terrible, and there's that black plume of smoke that goes up? When you use soy diesel, there's no black plume, and it kind of smells like french fries...Passing that biodiesel legislation did two things: it helped to decrease our reliance on foreign oils, and it added up a new market for our farmers.

This may prove to be a boon to the fast-food industry if the fuel becomes more widely used. (Note: the interview does not completely load with Netscape, IE is required)

Although the left-hand doesn't know what the right-wing is doing at PurePolitics.com apparently, many excellent resources for Illinois voters are available at Illinois Election 2004 "Have Fun". Have Fun? Why not?

Anyway, Tim Bagwell seems like a fun guy (though hard to reach by email) . . . so maybe he can promise voters a fuel that smells like sauteed mushrooms.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Cole's Gram & Tom Ridge's Record

A horse named "Cole's Gram" was 10-1 in the first harness race at the Duquoin State Fair yesterday, which would have paid $20 on a $2 bet.

Since I was wearing a bright yellow shirt with Carbondale's Mayor Brad Cole and Marion Mayor Robert Butler's images emblazoned on the back -- promoting Carbondale while standing in line for a Lemon Shakeup (the drink, not the ride) -- I decided to place a bet.

Besides, I was intrigued by the name "Cole's Gram" . . . of what? Was there a connection to Cole's Original Home Remedy? (making possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis sativa a city offense, payable by mail, reports the DE). Ignoring the odds, I placed a (losing) bet, but should have bet on a horse named Tom Ridge (who, despite the name, did not run backwards around the track) set a two world records ("like back to back no-hitters") in the World Trotting Derby.

Despite the colorful shirt, neither Mayors Butler nor Cole needed me to stand in line at the Fair to promote their cities. Both were recently featured in a St. Louis P-D article by William Lamb, as other cities consider "Cole's Home Remedy #2" -- the probably unconstitutional Home Rule medical malpractice ordinance he came up with. But that's a topic for another blog.

If you're still wondering what "Cole's Gram" referred to, apparently there are horse care products called "Cole's Liniment" and "Cole's Gel" on the market, but not much information about either was available.

But one question remains: if there are 11 (12?) Big Ten schools, why can't there be four races in the Harness Racing Triple Crown?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

how many shovels?

How many golden shovels did it take to break the ground for the $42 million Morris Library expansion project on Friday? Did anyone snap a photo like this one of the record-setting groundbreaking ceremony for the new Student Center? With Governor Rod Blagojevich the guest of honor, you gotta figure more. Presumably the Governor was holding a shovel when he suggested that SIU might want to rename the expansion for State Sen. Gary Forby, since his Forby didn't attend college (judging from his official biography)

You gotta hand it to G-Rod . . . (the shovel, that is) . . . he knows how to lay the rhetoric on thick.

In an interview with Jim Muir, the Governor answered questions about the budget, his "wallflower" attack on Rep. John Bradley, and what a great job he was doing with his Opportunity Returns campaign, including $30 million for SIU to spend on a "50,000-square-foot expansion will be built to the north of the existing main entrance and will hold more computer rooms, Internet connections and a lobby featuring an Internet cafe," . . . the Forby Wing?

Will SIU attempt to subsidize costs by selling the rights to name the room to a corporation or foundation? Or name it after a popular choice . . . or have no name at all? Since Chancellor Walter Wendler said the project "would help the University's mission to be the most student responsive research facility in Illinois," I vote for the late Humanities Librarian, Alan Cohn, the most student-responsive librarian I've ever known, or someone else who gave years of service to Morris Library.

Dependent media reports on local indies

Corporate media Lee Enterprises (working as Nicole Sack in this case) got the story, even as the BMIMC did not: Carbondale group members arrested during NYC protests: The name of one "detainee" Ben Reid is given, but no more. Guess we'll have to read the Big Muddy Independent Media Center report for answers.

But still no name, which seems odd, but hey . . . we know it wasn't Jennifer K. because she sensed a set-up, which it was. . . . According other eyewitnesses to the event, the NYC Police and associated law officers played the marchers and demonstrators for fools moved them down to dead-end streets, and then corraled them in plastic fences and plastic handcuffs, to detainment until the President left town. Brilliant tactical control by law enforcement . . . Dark days for democracy.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

then you didn't, now you do

As you see, if you're using Internet Explorer, the problem of this blog's invisible photos has been fixed. It will take a day or so to go back and fix all the previous posts, but it won't take long (er, uh, maybe it will).

Come to think of it, "Then you didn't, Now you do" could have been Carbondale's new tourism slogan, instead of "Haven't you Heard", but so could "Carbondale: Have you ever" or "Carbondale: What happens here, stays here . . . unless it winds up in Dave's blog."

But "Haven't You Heard" is good. Suggestive and positive. According to the article in the Southern Illinoisan, the new slogan was selected from a list of ten (now lost to history) and the local business associations like it, but hopefully the City will have a list of possible answers to "Haven't You Heard" (you know, boring factual stuff like Carbondale has more domes per sq.ft. that any other city in the U.S., or Illinois, or Jackson County, whatever)

True, "Haven't You Heard" is intended to be informal and suggestive -- meant for out-of-towners, not locals. But the idea of having a (short?) list of possible answers to the question is worth considering . . . as would a more solid, long-term slogan . . . one that will outlast the current crop of Council members well into the new century.

Perhaps Home of the Dome" could be used along with "Haven't You Heard." If a few other organizations support the idea, as well as the Bucky's Dome Home group: like the Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Main Street, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc. and one or two university groups, then the City Council might agree. In addition to the many geodesic domes still found around town, the SIU Arena is also a nice dome, and would benefit from being associated with phrase. Win-win-win-win-win scenarios are best, don't you agree? A tetrahedron of success. High five.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On the streets of NYC

Some Carbondalites are inside and some are out, as the Big Muddy IMC reports: Big Muddy reporter arrested at Ground Zero with hundreds of others, but curiously doesn't say who. Was it Jennifer Killham? Treesong? Marc Torney? Neal Young? A reporter to be named later?

If you're a news junky like me, you'll enjoy the BMIMC reports; "up to the minute", edgy, and accurate. This last quality is very important, for we are warned: "If you watch television news or read newspapers, please don't consume the corporate bull**** they are feeding you. It's not objective, it's not truthful and it's not accurate."

Is Big Muddy Indy Media objective, truthful and accurate? Certainly, the reporting has been excellent at times, like the report on Sunday's March. Check it out for yourself, Bloggy.

p.s. Will the Southern Illinoisan reporter interview the Carbondale protesters, or stick to Shimkus, Keyes and the Republican delegates?

p.p.s. the four asterisks (****) were added by the blogitor in place of the letters t-i-h-s, though not in that order, since this blog may be absorbed by the corporeal media some day.