Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Radio Blogga

Early this morning Cap Miller (1020-AM WJPF-interviewed newly announced candidate for the Republican nomination for the current Governor's job, State Sen. William Brady (endorsed by both Bost and Luechtefeld) in Murphysboro for a morning eat and greet; while on the air in the same town (on 1420-AM WINI), Dale Adkins and Nancy Ingel were giving listeners their "Daily Briefing," which included dumping on the proposed SIUC student fee increases reported in the DE. By chance, a digital recording of the show was made by Audios Amigos. For a sound byte of Nancy addressing (undressing) the Chancellor (audio link). She has a point: If the SIUC administration is serious about selling Saluki Way, they should pose for a Calendar: Chancellors (and Associates) Gone Wild. Six male and six female. Given the media attention and sales it receive, a great deal of money could be raised for Saluki Way! Check out the GQ-type photo of Dr. Wendler on his web page. I wonder how much Nancy would pay for a little photoshopping.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Gallery gathering

Today had its ups and downs, Bloggy, beginning with a disappointing meeting with a consultant, who knows even more about computers than I do; maybe too much. But my mood and camera were picked up when a group of business and community leaders-in-training, paid a visit to the Art Lovers Trading Company to get a "behind the easel" look at the gallery. I didn't get id's of everyone in the photo, but gallery owner Sue Mills is on the left, next to sand painter Victor DeGraff, whose work is featured on the wall behind the visitors (12, in all, including Phil Schaefer (standing, third from left) and Sally Wright seated on right end of the couch, who co-organized the event). The other eight are from all walks of life in the Carbondale community. Look for the names tomorrow, if you're curious. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 29, 2006

audios, amigos

Instead of watching CBS Sunday Morning today, I listened to the Jan 17 City Council meeting (available on the City website in .mp3 format) in order to separate out the discussions on different topics, and to create sound bytes and highlights.

Originally, I intended to upload only Ed Van Awken's comments to City Council about the Carbondale Park District's plans to subdivide and sell parcels of the Hickory Lodge property, but so many important topics were discussed, that a few more were added to the list, beginning Cole's descriptions of the main goals and guidelines of the City's upcoming budget process: Growth, Services, Involvement, Neighborhoods, and concerned comments by citizen activist Hugh Muldoon and Councilman Wissmann's helpful reply to Hugh and anyone else who wishes to have more input in the process.

The Carbondale Cleanup program received a lot of discussion too, Corene McDaniel and others kept referring to yards that have five (5) cars in them. I'd like to see this yard . . . and snap a foto fer ya, Bloggy -- maybe add it to my application for the new $17 and change per hour "Neighborhood Inspector" job.

A few more links and audio files still to come, but it's such a wonderfully warm afternoon, a bicycle ride and walk around the lake beats the NBA today, or curling up with a good book. See you on the bridge, Bloggee.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blogging from Cairo, Illinois

This just in: Stace England and the Cairo Project will be performing at Yellowmoon Cafe on Friday February 10. His 2005 CD Greetings from Cairo, Illinois was recently picked by BlogCritics as one of the best of last year, and has received reams of good press worldwide. Almost as impressive as Stace's musical achievement is his web site -- which even includes a frequently updated blog.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Feb Fun(d)raising

Following the foodsteps of tonight's annual Chamber of Commerce banquet, three other civic organizations are having big events next month: Carbondale Main Street's annual Winter Ice Breaker, awards and food tasting on Feb. 3; The 5th Annual Women's Center Taste of Chocolate fundraiser at the Carbondale Civic Center on the 10th; and WDBX's 10th Annual Valentine's fundraiser banquet and dance, on Saturday the 11th.

Ticket prices for these events range from $10 to $45 per person, but next week's First Friday show at Art Lover's Trading Company is free -- and promises to be leathery, saxy, and heartsy, with the art of Daniel Cooper, the saxophone and keyboard stylings of Shadi Frick, and Valentine's day artwork by local artists and artisans.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Park Place

If Ed Van Awken has his way, the Carbondale Park District won't be dividing the Hickory Lodge property into smaller parcels for sale.

According to a 1983 article in Illinois Parks and Recreation, "the estate of the late Thomas and Elizabeth Martin (then valued at $275,000, was formally dedicated and recognition was given to its donor, Mrs. LaDeane Kirby, by the Carbondale Park District Board of Park Commissioners [in 1983]. . . . The Board also recognized Mrs. Kirby's sisters, Mrs. Pat Gamble and Mrs. Jean Gladders, for their cooperation in donating three additional parcels of land that adjoin the three acre grounds of Hickory Lodge, bringing the total acreage conveyed to almost ten acres with a value in excess of $350,000"

Ed spoke at the City Council meeting last week, and has been out talking to people and organizations about preventing the CPD's tactic -- aimed at violating the spirit of Mrs. Kirby's bequest. His comments to the Council will be uploaded here in a day or two.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Trophy exec

Last Friday, after a week on the low pro, a high profile appointment was announced by the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce -- hiring 23 year old Joel Sambursky, star of many a football game at McAndrew Stadium in recent years, as Executive Director of the organization. His office is located in the old train depot (also home to Carbondale Main Street) at Illinois and Main, on the edge of Town Square. Perhaps Joel'll be persuaded to make a walking tour of businesses downtown (especially ones that belong to the Chamber). Since he's now retired from football, he may need the exercise. But even if he drives a car the half block to Carbondale Trophy at 116 N. Illinois Ave., he should talk to the owner, and hear why she's unhappy with the Chamber lately.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Walter's Wall (of Sound)

My interview with Chancellor Walter Wendler has been posted in small, downloadable segments, including his comparison of the degree's hanging on his wall (at left) to different kind of paper certificate -- a metaphor will cause you to 'take stock' in the value of your own sheepskin, if you have one. If you don't, you can get one here or here or here (at SIUC)

My contribution to the conversation can be summed up like this: You've heard of a face for radio? Mine is a voice for print. But the Chancellor warmed up on a couple of topics, and it was an easy interview, which you can hear for yourself. (Warning the sibilant "S's" can be a bit harsSsh, but the thinking is smooth and articulate).

With past appearances on WJPF-AM and WSIU-FM, and his own monthly television show, SIU Connections,, listed in his mulitmedia gallery, Dr. Wendler has actually blazed a trail in local .mp3 poscasting, and he didn't even know it. He is not at all reticent about talking to local public media. He has even appeared on WDBX on the Pepper Holder show (where Pepper kept peppering him for a job!)

If the Chancellor gig doesn't work out for Wendler, he could easily become a TV News Anchor, following the journalistic footsteps of another famous Walter. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

The emPower Brokers

Busier than usual today, beginning with a meeting with SIUC Chancellor Walter V. Wendler, who generously agreed to speak with his out-of-the-box friend for a recorded interview for podcasting. "You aren't trying to compete with Tom Miller, are you?" Walter joked, before we got down to business. I wanted to know how the book he was reading at the time of our first meeting (The Power Broker, by Robert Caro -- about architect Robert Moses) inspired Saluki Way. You can hear the Chance's full replies to this and other provocative questions, including a new way of looking at the value of a university diploma.

Afterwards, I buzzed to Longbranch coffee house to the monthly meeting of the Historic Town Square Coalition, to hear a busy B inform a small group that included Kevin Clark, community development specialist, about improvements that could be made to the Carbondale cityscape, far beyond the 4-8 benches that are in the City budget for Town Square. The "On the Square" newsletter will have more details about the benches, and what's happening to the old Tuscan Lodge building in its first issue. (It looks like the old building will definitely be demolished sooner or later -- unless the owner turns to the hiphop music stars to save it, since it used to be a musical venue. The Tuscan Lodge needs a major fundraising, the kind that doesn't come in government grants. The TL is a "reality show" waiting to happen. Unfortunately, this idea was not put forward at the meeting, but perhaps it's not too late, if the right people read this blog.) But my big idea for moving the Amtrak building across the tracks was shot down big time by a big shot from the City, though I'm not sure why, exactly. But you know me, Bloggee, the man who put the "pest" in persistent. The City will have to build an intermodal transportation center (like the one Champaign) on Washington St., across from IV's -- just to get me to fly away. And then I'll be . . .

Bloggin' in the Wind

Did you feel that wind yesterday, Bloggee? I can't recall a wind so strong, so steady for so long, averge 23 mph, gust 46, and I grew up on the ocean where it blew up a storm once in awhile. But enough about the weather. How about those bloggers? Millions of them worldwide. In the city of Carbondale, there are about eight, not counting student bloggers, both university and high school. The university should co-sponsor an area Bloggers Conference like they have in other places, either held on campus, or at one of the City's new hotspots, such as NewCilan's coffee bar where wireless internet meets Greyhound bus.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Triple Double-U

Ever tire of saying "Double-U, Double-U, Double-U", Bloggee? From now on, I'm shortening it to "Three W's" or "Triple W" when giving a website address vocally. I'll try it out on Vic DeGraff, the sandpainter, this morning when we meet to shoot some footage for his documentary on sand painting. Later in the day, I'll use it when speaking to restaurant owners in the Town Square area: Longbranch, Global Gourmet, Newell House, Thai Taste, Mary Lou's, reminding them of the value of having their menus online, and offering free hosting to advertisers in the "On the Square" newsletter, where the pavement meets the internet. Which reminds me:

Chillin' at NewCilans

Although the food may not compare to the haut cuisine of Jackson St., NewCilans coffee shop deserves kudos for building its own website, and adding wireless internet access to its menu (with help from Eric Deutsch, geek guru and big man at Big Muddy IMC). Since Carbondale Greyhound has moved its ticket office there, NewCilan's (rimes with Chillin') is a hub of media and transportation. A great place to have the 2nd meeting of Carbondale area bloggers in April.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Mercy

You may have seen the Front Page story in Tuesday's Southern Illinoisan: "Mercy will play its last Sunday at Pinch from 9 p.m. to midnight, Jan. 22. The group is actively looking for another permanent gig, and is considering new directions such as performing a Sunday brunch or an earlier dinnertime slot." Two places come to mind downtown: LBJ's restaurant (formerly Dar Salaam) and the Newell House downstairs lounge.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blogmatic decision

If you read the previous post, you got the message that this blog would be silent until Feb. 26 the day after the Salukis' final home basketball game, during which time I would read a novel, publish the "On the Square" newsletter for the historic town square district, work on my blook, and attend (or listen to) the remaining Saluki men's basketball games at The Arena.

But last night, the Salukis lost vs. Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids in double overtime and fans mobbed the floor, and this morning's DE has a story about Prof. Joan Friedenberg settling her lawsuit vs. the university and how the mob was floored, and my mind became crowded with thoughts of flourishing mobocracy, and the importance of daily posting for the success of my blook, since it's hybrid paper/digital format makes it ineligible for the Blooker Prize, which rules out digital media. The organizers at LuLu Press seem to be missing what the "L" in BLOOK stands for: Links. As in . . .

Ploetry in Motion

Another local blogger wants to organize a contest for poems with links.

Linked words in poetry creates a 'ploem'
With hypertext embedded like a bone:
A bit of food for thought -- like a Zen scone,
Conveying clicking readers far from home.

The contest still needs judges and prize consideration. On a local level, winning ploets could get a free cup of coffee at one of the local coffee shops, such as NewCilans, which now has wireless internet. Very Blohemian.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pragmatic decision

As a shopper, I go to certain grocery stores for certain items. For espresso coffee beans, it's Schnucks (Papa Nicholas brand). For peanut butter, naturally it's Krogers. But for hardback books, in the future, it'll be Save-A-Lot, where I bought a book called The Newsboys' Lodging House, or The Confessions of William James, a $24.95 book for $1! -- An award-winning novel about the seminal American philosopher-psychologist William James, the father of "Pragmatism" and Horatio Alger, father of the rags-to-riches novel, during the time of James' "lost months" in his thirties, when, driven by depression, he disappeared from public view, only to emerge from isolation months later with "a surer sense of self and a new clarity of purpose" (quoting the book jacket).

Lost in a digital snowstorm of data, I am inspired by James' famous essay Will to Believe to disappear from public view in this blog until Feb. 26 -- the day after the final Saluki home game vs. the Panthers of Northern Iowa (who play host to SIU on Monday night. Watch on WSIU-TV, Channel 8).

Without the distraction of writing (and rewriting) this blog, I'll have more time to read the novel; publish the "On the Square" newsletter in print; attend (or listen to) the six remaining Saluki home games; and work on the blook, so when you click on the link for Carbondale After Blog, chapter headings and samples will pop into view, plus an order form.
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Friday, January 13, 2006

The location at left is not the pick-up site for the Blue Star Lines winery tour, but the location at right is the new pick-up site for Greyhound Bus, on Washington St. and Jackson. Tickets can be purchased inside New Cilans Coffee Bar, which now has wireless internet, as well.

Top Dawgs

Have you attended a Saluki home game yet, Bloggee? If you're planning to, the chances are good that they'll win! Saluki Fan #1 writes:
SIU is now officially #1 in consecutive home wins with 31. We passed Gonzaga and Illinois on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the lead won't last for long -- both Gonzaga and Illinois have home games this weekend, but we start a 3-game road swing. Our last home loss was on January 2, 2004, to University of Charlotte. Since the start of the 2001-2002 season, SIU is 61-1 at home! In Missouri Valley Conference history, we have the third-longest MVC home winning streak, with 40. Oklahoma State had 41 in 1936-1942 and Cincinnati had 41 in 1957-64. (Neither team is now in the MVC.)
Also from Wednesday night's program: Most wins in last 4+ seasons (as of Wednesday night). Take a look at the company the Salukis are keeping: Duke 127, Illinois 124, Pittsburgh 120, Connecticut 117, Gonzaga 116, Syracuse 115, Southern Illinois 115, Kentucky 115, Kansas 114.

You have six more chances to see the Dawgs defend their home court:
1/22/06 Sun Illinois State
1/24/06 Tue Creighton
2/01/06 Wed Indiana State
2/07/06 Tue Missouri State
2/18/06 Sat Bracket Buster
2/25/06 Sat Northern Iowa
See you courtside, Bloggee!

Fresh Friday

I hope Arthur Agency folks will place an ad in "On the Square" since their office is "a stone's throw" from the wood frame Pavilion that marks the visual centerpiece of the area, and speaking of which . . . couldn't some additional statuary be installed around 'the square' to make it look more like a square and improve the aesthetics of the area?

And speaking of aesthetics, the anti-graffiti ordinance in Carbondale is under-enforced. No ticket has been issued to two years. The reason, according to Tom "Groundhog" Grant, the City official in charge is it penalizes the wrong person, since the owner of the building is not responsible for the graffiti. Maybe cleaning could be a sanctioned Community Service activity. Grant thinks a public graffiti wall might be a good idea, but would it eliminate graffiti?

There are some recurring words and symbols on the C'dale graffiti scene. "Nothing is New" is one, and remember the Brad Cole silhouette? How about Tofu? FINK? According to current law, an owner is given a week to clean it at his own expense. If the wall gets tagged again, tough luck; so the enforcers have have been lax. Clearly some implementable law should be on the books so Carbondale's cityscape can look fresh.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Media matters

Fresh off a telephone call to the Carbondale City Planner about organizing photos in the Planning Division, I just sent an email message to WJPF's Tom "Cap" Miller during his show's commercial break to apprise him of my availability for a spontaneous telephone interview (glowing from my Southern exposure), since Rep. Jerry Costello had to cancel at the last minute and Cap isn't sure what he will do.

Okay, Miller's back from break with a taped interview of John Mead, of SIUC coal institute, which I heard on Monday, so . . .

Let's hear what Dale and Nancy Adkins have to say in their Daily Briefing on WINI 1420-AM in Murphysboro (a station which offers a left-wing balance to right-wing JPF (where you can still hear Ted Kennedy Chappaquidick jokes, I kid you not.)

Speaking of radio shows to the right of the dial, I caught Jim "Mr Right" Muir on his call-in show out of Benton, WQRL, 106.3 last night. He sounds like a crusty coot, but right on.

But Dale & Nancy are a hoot. They should have a nationally-syndicated show. Or at least podcast their morning briefings. I will contact Dale about that possibility, and who knows, soon you you may be able to hear them from your desktop. Stay tuned.

Another clue for you all: the blogger is Cindy

It was wrong for me to state that the young woman who wrote the article for The Southern about local bloggers didn't have a clue about blogs, since, in fact, she has read them for personal and professional reasons. It was local blogs she didn't know much about. But another local blog has been added to the rolls, inspired by the SI article: Cynsings at MySpace.

Selmier strikes again

The only direct descendant of Frank Selmier, the one-time king of clean linen in the Midwest, sent an email message through this blog the other day to request a photo of the now demolished Selmier-Peerless building, and relate an interesting fact or two about his long-dead grand-dad. Bill Selmier was once executive editor of Writers Digest, and he writes well enough to have his own blog!

Who's Arthur?

They made their debut in a ShawneeNet photo, two years ago, now Arthur Agency has added some new faces with well-known names to its team. Earlier this week, the agency was profiled by Nicole Sack in the Southern Illinoisan. Don't be surprised if Arthur plays a major role in transforming the Southern Illinoisan's flagging website from user-unfriendly oldspaper to a spiffy online new(s)paper. If it doesn't happen by May, a digital cartoon image will eat these words.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Re: buildings

Just posted my Q&A with Don Monty about how downtown Carbondale came to have fewer retail storefronts on Illinois Ave. Among the details he recalls, Don confirms the fact that the Amtrak station is on rollers, because it was supposed to be moved to another location.

Really Complicated

I've received email messages from four people since the Southern Illinoisan article. A retired music teacher wrote to say she planned to start her own blog. The grandson of Frank Selmier, who founded the Selmier Peerless company, wrote to inquire of the status of the building. The third message was from a guy wanting to know more about the Varsity Theater. I'll get to those things later, but a fourth message arrived as a comment from Anonymous, who found my take on the local oldspaper article about bloggers as "ungrateful" and "a tad hateful," advising me not to "worry about being featured in another disasterous , tacky and day-old article" in The Southern.

Really, I love The Southern Illinoisan. I love the reporters and photographers who work there, and the folks in circulation and production. But don't expect me to "go easy" on the decision makers, who should know better: the graphic was ugly, the headline and article misleading (and self-serving, from an institutional standpoint). Still, if nothing else, the article made one young blogger very happy, and may bring more bloggers and readers into the fold, and I appreciate those things.

Keep it Simple, Southern

Wouldn't you know it, after about 24 hours on the shelf, the article has disappeared -- along with the entire Life section online-- replaced by Error Message. Not only was it posted a day late, but it comes up several dollars short in the "user friendly" department. This sort of thing happens all the time with The Southern. The people in charge don't seem to realize the purpose of RSS. (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication). The top newspapers, blogs, and podcasters use it. With The Southern, linked-to articles so often get an Error Message, that this blog has effectively stopped linking to their articles altogether, using the DE (which keeps all of its articles available in archives) instead.

Before leaving southern Illinois's oldspaper of record, it's good to see "Mr. Right" Jim Muir, back in the saddle From Where He Blogs. If you're a fan of the right wing politics, then Jim's a must read. Too bad no local lefty who blogs as well as he does. (Don't look at me, Bloggee: I'm neither left nor right; it takes two wings to fly.)

Alright, enough Southern exposure.

What about the Varsity?

To be accurate, brief and clear: The building is being used for temporary storage by Kerasotes. Not much chance of it ever being used again as an dedicated entertainment venue. For awhile, there was an active group trying to save it as an entertainment venue, but it has run out of gas and cash. Best hope: Save the Marquee -- convert the building into a multi-use facility, including retail, with private and public investment.

What about Selmier Peerless?

What's happening on the Southwest corner of Walnut and Washington? A lot! The owner demolished the old building last week. Now there are effectively Four Corners on Walnut St. and Washington for developers to develop with nothing concrete in the works.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What's the Motive?

Lately, I've been installing Verizon DSL software for folks who don't want to pay a lot for their high speed internet: currently the price is only $14.95 per month for residential users. But someone called RidgeRunner, posting to Big Muddy IMC, has some advice about the Motive SmartBridge part of the Verizon installation. Well, I don't know who RidgeRunner is, but you got me, and I got you, Bloggee.

Warhol Who?

A few more folks are reading this blog, since the Southern Illinoisan's 'jumping on the bandwagon story' about local bloggers. I still haven't read the article, but will - for the chapter on "Meeting the Media."

Do I seem ungrateful for my "15 minutes of Fame" by criticizing the headline and graphics of the article? No, I'm happy to have a few new readers. But as a media pundit, I have a duty to critique the media, and having someone write a story about blogs who knew nothing about blogs, instead of someone (like Jim Muir) who actually has a blog, or a reporter who actually reads blogs, makes no sense.

Since I haven't read the article, I can not fault the author (unless she chose the headline, or designed the hideous graphics). More likely, these were choices of the editor of the Life section, Likewise, the fact that SI blogs by Paul Klee and Jim Muir weren't mentioned. No matter, most of the newsprint copies will be in the recycling bin by now anway. Fifteen minutes of fame, indeed! -- about the length of time it takes to read The Southern Illinoisan oldspaper -- on a Sunday . . . counting coupons! If it were available online -- wait, here it is -- with a broken link to this blog! Ha! and the Bloggers Dictionary, and an advertisement for Klee's Dawg Blog.

Oldspaper? Have I coined a new word, or has the term been used before?

How the Strip got Stripped

Yesterday an informative briefing was given to this blog by a Carbondale official who has worked for the City for more than 30 years -- about how the retail spaces on Illinois Ave. came to be decimated through redevelopment in the 70s and 80s. Did you know that the current Amtrak station on Illinois Ave. is on wheels? I will try to get the interview broken down into mp3 segments by topic by tomorrow.

And speaking of wheels, the Carbondale Greyhound ticket office is moving over to Jackson St. "on the square" before the end of the month.

Monday, January 09, 2006

music, science, poetry . . . oh my

Last night, before they took the stage, I shot a new band photo for the Ivas John Quartet since Shadi Frick has replaced Mel Goot in the ensemble. The versatile Frick (on the right) teaches music at Carbondale Middle School by day, and adds saxophone and keyboard riffs to Ivas's guitar blues stylings, as Wayne Goodwin (left) keeps the beat, and Jim Layman backs-up with bass. I stayed for a toe-tapping set, before going home to watch the set -- a Discovery special about a group of MIT students creating a crop circle. Did you see it? It's not a question of "believing" in crop circles, anymore, is it, Bloggee?

Thinkin' linkin'

My Southern exposure anxiety has passed. Yesterday's paper is in the recycling bin, though the comments of the other bloggers are interesting to read. Thirteen-year old Noah Leverett is thrilled by his new found celebrity (deservedly so, his blog rocks!), while his dad's comments cause me to ask the question: Who Invented Link Poetry? Some (himself) say Tom Leverett may have done so, others (me) say I did. As evidence, this example from 2002. The link is not currently valid, but it was at the time. So who's your daddy, link poetry? BYE!

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tops for Dawg

Saluki men stay perfect in MVC play with win over Braves: "Tony Young scored a career-high 30 points to lead Southern Illinois to its ninth-straight win, a 67-55 victory over Bradley. . . " this afternoon.

Le Blog et Moi

Anxious about the feature article on local bloggers in today's Southern Illinoisan when I went to bed last night, I woke up before dawn to an interview on NPR of a French blogger who was speaking my language.

A cup of capaccino later I found the interview here: Why is Le Blog so popular in France?:

"In France blogging has exploded in the past few months. The French blog community, or blogosphere, [is] the second largest in the world behind the US. But it was a podcast interview of French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy with blogger Loic Le Meur just before Christmas that caused a cyberspace sensation in France. It was the first blogger podcast interview with a major French political leader and it has the French mainstream media and political establishment looking on with interest and perhaps with some envy." (boldface added)

Since the newspaper was delivered to my doorstep this morning, I've glanced at the article in The Southern, but haven't read it. The title and the graphic turned me off:

"Everyone's Talking About Blogs: Locals Jump onto the Weblog bandwagon"

The only locals jumping on the blogging bandwagon is the The Southern Illinoisan! The bloggers featured in the article have been doing so for a combined total of six years. Odd that the recently-started (bandwagon-hopping?) blogs by The Southern's own reporters Jim Muir and Paul Klee were not mentioned in the article.

The story graphic features half of a large female face with a wide-open mouth sticking out of a computer screen -- framed by a wooden-looking rectangle. Photos of the bloggers at their computers, or screen shots of their web blogs might have been better. As a blogger, I could have accomplished that in a single afternoon, while the newspaper had a week and a staff photographer, but only came up with tiny head shots of Sheila Simon, Tom Leverett and me. Borrring.

Loic Le Meur's blog gets about 200 comments per day; Guy Degen's 23-minute interview of Le Meur should be inspiring to bloggers everywhere. If you want listen, it's at dw-world.de

I won't be reading The Southern article in print, since I'd get too involved trying to improve it - a waste of time for the "carved in stoneness" of the medium. And it's not available at the Southern's online "Life" page -- nothing is! Instead, I'll upload the .mp3 files from the first podcast interview of a major Carbondale political leader, with a tip of the chapeau to Loic Le Meur.

If any readers have been inspired to start their own blogs after reading the Southern, Le Meur, or me, send a link to dispatch@shawneenet.net, si vous plait.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sweater than Wine

Happy Saturday, Bloggee. As you can see by the post date below, I'm 'up and at it' dark and early once again this morning. The sun won't horizon for another hour, according to the local almanac.

Last night's First Friday party at Art Lovers Trading Company was fun and artsy-fartsy. (especially, fartsy, but I'll couch my words). The artsy part was a New Year's kiss from an artist whose lips felt like cushions! No, it wasn't featured artisan Rory Jaros who laid one on me, he makes chairs, not couches, and I ain't tellin' who it was, but it was sweet as an edible gourd.

Now I've done it. My significant other will want to know who it was, and so will the insignificant other who told me to lay down on the couch so people could play checkers on my sweater. I was mortified, Bloggee. Checkers of all games! Why not chess? Is it because of my checkered past? Because I jump from one thing to another? Because I go around saying "king me" all the time? I wish I had worn a sweater woven by Richard Cox, who scarfed down a sandwich and a glass of wine as we sat and chatted on that very same couch.

Harrisburg bound

Today, I plan to distribute more Between the Rivers music CDs to stores in the aread, including Harrisburg, where the Hurd brothers lived and died; and where the scholarship fund is administered.

New neighborhood name

Did you know there was an "Arbor District" in Carbondale? It's the new name for the West Central Carbondale Neighborhood Association, a new domain and a newsletter. Thanks to Study Circles' Sarah Heyer for the forward, and her advice to read and 'feel good about Carbondale'. I'll try. Nice looking newsletter. Good job by the editor; bad job by the organization president, who failed to mention the name change -- or the new newsletter format -- during our long chat at last night's arty party. Too much wine and sand, maybe. By sand, I mean Vic Degraff's sand paintings, made from 100% natural sand; and by wine, I mean Blue Sky.

Limo Combo

Speaking of wine and art, would you like to consume more of both in style this Spring? If things work out between a local limousine service, a local art gallery, and the local wineries, you will be able to do just that, so keep your glass and glasses handy, Bloggy. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 06, 2006

and then I wrote . . .

Forgot about the blog POOLside in the blogroll (devoted to the idea for public outdoor swimming pool) . . . and didn't mention the failed blogs to the SI reporter ('cause she didn't ask): Cole Train . . . The Golden Shovel . . . Who's Joan Smith? V 4 Varsity, In This Corner, Lime in the Cocanut and More 4 Carbondale, which morphed into the Communitarian (which has become more of a catch-all) and another blog devoted exclusively to photos. None of these are blogs in the truest sense because they aren't kept up daily. Some, not for months.

One reason for this is obvious: the issues (Medical Malpractice Insurance; the 2004 election, Obama vs. Keyes; and the public outdoor swimming pool) are dead. Well, one of them is; the other two are merely sleeping until the next City Council election.

Another reason is the amount of time people feel they lack the skills to 'put it in writing'. The blog's answer: make a photoblog, or phlog, for short, or forsh, for shorter yet, if I may elaborate a bit.

The first 'First Monday' piece by Jim Muir (Mr. Right) in The Southern was a bit disappointing, because it wasn't something you wouldn't ordinarily find in a newspaper, as advertised (so to speak). It was a well-written human interest story about a guy who commutes 200-plus miles per day to eat and sleep with his family-- a coal miner who had find work north of here. Well written, but no cigar in the "not found in a newspaper" category.

Speaking of miners. The story about how the word went out that the miners were alive, and the family's wanting to sue for false reporting and getting their hopes up. Wonder what Mr. Right thinks of that. Hopefully, he'll be posting to his blog again soon.

Speaking of found in the newspaper: In my email exchange with the SI reporter I managed to MISQUOTE MYSELF! Here's how: In answer to the question Why are blogs so popular? I replied:
It depends if you're a writer or a reader.

For someone with writing proclivity, they are popular because the technology makes it easy to produce a professional looking product. All the writer has to do is supply the words, the photos and the links, and Blogger.Com makes uploading a breeze.

Blogs are popular with readers because they are fresh and knowing. Since most blogs include the "I" perspective, readers feel they know the source a little better than the institutional third person. Blogs are more intimate than other electronic information sources, except perhaps e-mail.
If I could rewrite it, I'd say
Blogs can serve different purposes, such as a journal, a corporate newsletter, a pulpit, or a pundit perch. Writers like blogging because blogger technology makes it easy to produce a professional-looking product. Readers enjoy blogs because the "I" viewpoint offers personal topics and fresh perspectives on current events.
Which is much better: shorter, more accurate and more complete.

But the article is already set on the page.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Adding photos to your blog with Picasas or with Blogger.Com's upload feature makes the process a snap.

The facade of the old Selmier Peerless building is all that remains.

Once the rubble has cleared, this will make an excellent location for an Intermodal Transportation Center, like the one in Champaign.

Southern exposure

Today is the final day of my son Chris's visit from Colorado to the Land o' Humidity. Weather permitting, an hour or so of hoops at Attucks Park, and lunch at one of Carbondale's fine dining establishments on the streets of brick before hitting the road to Lambert Field.

Meanwhile, my interview with Southern Illinoisan reporter Marleen Shepherd went pretty well (conducted via email) -- for an article about local blogs and bloggers. Marleen had some questions for yours truly, author of the town's longest-running blog.

And speaking of The Southern . . . did anyone see Jim Muir's "First Monday" piece? I couldn't find it on the Southern's web site; and apparently Jim hasn't seen it either -- since there is no mention of it on his blog. I'll try to scout out a copy of Monday's paper.

And speaking of blogs, the list to the right of this post has been updated and reorganized for your reading pleasure.

Have you seen the old Selmier Peerless building lately, Bloggee? I snapped a mess o' photos yesterday. Making Way for Progress!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bloggy New Year

As 2006 begins, the Southern Illinoisan newspaper is becoming even more "blog friendly." First, encouraging "Mr. Right," Jim Muir, the opportunity to blog about whatever; now Paul Klee (the sportswriter) has an interactive blog going: The Dawg Blog. The Southern is really hot on blogs lately. Yesterday, I was contacted by a reporter who is interested in writing an article about local bloggers. I gave her links to two of my favorite local blogs; Johnny G's and TLevs because they keep them up to date. Muir's, too.

As a blogging advocate, I couldn't be more pleased by these developments. In Connecticut, the Norwich Bulletin needs a few good bloggers -- and they'll even teach you how to do it! As a blogging and bicycling advocate, I couldn't be more pleased than if the newspaper editor who told me to submit some writing samples had to push a pencil down Main Street with his ear.

Monday, January 02, 2006

First Monday

Are you curious to read Jim Muir's first "First Monday" piece, Bloggee? Supposed to be something you don't usually read in a newspaper, but must also be something that can't be read on the web, either.

Planning to attend tonight's Saluki basketball game vs. Wichita State at the Arena as part of "Operation Lifelong Saluki Fan" for my 12 year old son. (Can't make the game? It's on ESPNU). I played basketball with him and his older brother, along with old friend Moe Goodrich, and a 25 year old named Ron, who showed up at the court with three small kids. At one point I lapsed on defense in order to shoot a video highlight clip of son Patrick taking it to the hoop for TWOoooooo.

Writing my "What Have I Done" list for 2005 yesterday revealed: not much, or not enough (imo) -- but "Wait 'til Next Year!" I mean, This Year!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hoopy New Year

That's Matt Shaw slammin' for two, as he led the Salukis to victory over the Drake Bulldogs yesterday. I watched the game with my son Chris, who's visiting from Colorado, and saw his first Saluki game at the Arena.

Monday night, another Valley Conference game versus Wichita State. At age 12, Chris will probably be a lifelong Saluki fan after seeing that game.

Meanwhile, my hopes are up for a game or two today at Attucks Park, the best outdoor courts in town.

Man, I remember when the Park District sponsored indoor basketball leaugues in the winter. What happened? Too much golf course? I don't care how much you love to play golf or football, the best sport is basketball. Here's why:

1. From 2 to 10 people can play a variety of different games . . . from full court 5 on 5; to one on one "HORSE"

2. The ball is round

3. The game calls for moving continuously (except for TOs and Free Throws); so a better aerobic workout.

4. One person can shoot baskets alone. Untrue for other sports.

5. There had to be five reasons (didn't there?) , and the fifth and most important reason Basketball Rulz . . . The Rules! Posted by Picasa