Bus Versus Bike

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

My ad­ven­tures with the 23 con­tin­ue. Last week I es­sen­tial­ly raced it home every day. Three con­sec­u­tive days I passed it at the cor­ner of Carnegie and Ontario and caught up with it on the oth­er side of the bridge. I’ve got no pseudo-math to throw at this ex­per­i­ment, but my gut tells me that, at least on the re­turn trip, it is a wash de­ter­min­ing which is faster: my bike or the bus.

The bus al­ways gets to the cor­ner of Clark and Scranton about a min­ute be­fore me, but I’d have to walk home from there so the bike makes up for that. Similarly, I’d have to walk to the bus stop on Ontario by Public Square to catch the 23, which means that I’d have to wait for the one af­ter the one I’ve been rac­ing since I can’t walk twelve blocks as quick­ly as I can ride them.

I know for sure that my morn­ing com­mute is faster than the 23, since I don’t have to make all of those ear­ly morn­ing stops to pick folks up. I know that no one cares, even I don’t, re­al­ly.

Other Swimming Holes

Monday, 18 May 2009

I’ve been very busy late­ly over at The Design State, and swim­ming around the eGov­ern­ment, Gov 2.0 web. Keeping in the GovLoop. Today I be­came an Invited Expert on the W3C’s eGov­ern­ment Interest Group. I’m try­ing to ex­pand my ex­per­tise in my field, and talk­ing with peers from around the globe on how they are im­ple­ment­ing or try­ing to im­ple­ment so­cial me­dia and oth­er en vogue ap­pli­ca­tions in­to their gov­ern­ment web strat­e­gy is very ful­fill­ing; es­pe­cial­ly when it is so hard to find some­one lo­cal­ly who’s on the same page as I am, or in­ter­est­ed in read­ing the same book for that mat­ter.

When I spoke at the Westside Leadership Collaborative a few weeks ago I was asked to put to­geth­er a lit­tle guide for com­mu­ni­ty folks to use for set­ting up their own com­mu­ni­ty web pres­ence. I fin­ished it up tonight and though it is still rough, I hope it will help more non-tech­ni­cal folks gain the con­fi­dence to cre­ate some swim­ming holes of their own. That’s why I called it Waterwings.

I’ve been do­ing oth­er stuff on­line as well. At one point I had a line on 7 dif­fer­ent web-re­lat­ed projects, but I’ve not heard back from most of the peo­ple in weeks, if not months. That’s the way things usu­al­ly end up for me. I do feel like I’m get­ting caught up and set­tled in on the work I’m try­ing to ac­com­plish. I’m hop­ing to tie up a few more loose ends be­fore I leave for Canada in three weeks. Those fish bet­ter watch out.

The Face of Solid Waste

Friday, 8 May 2009

This is the sec­ond video we’ve shot at my house for a County agen­cy. I’m in this one in­stead of my off­spring.

We’re shoot­ing an­oth­er video for the Solid Waste District to­mor­row, for their twice-an­nu­al Household Hazardous Waste round-up. My mug will be in that one too.

One of my cowork­ers dubbed me The Face of Solid Waste.

Mastodon

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Mastodon blew my fuck­ing mind for two hours last night. For the ma­jor­i­ty of the show I was in the pit. At one point I was pushed over a dude right as he fell down and re­ceived an el­bow to the face that popped a lens out of my glass­es. I found it af­ter the show, but it was scratched to the hell I’d fig­ured it would be. This is the sec­ond time I’ve seen Mastodon, and they are so much bet­ter live than on-al­bum. It was a hard sell to get me to be a fan, be­fore I’d ever seen them live I con­sid­ered Mastodon to be naught more than ex­cel­lent tech­ni­cal play­ers rock­ing out in the over­ly-pre­ten­tious Malmsteen-style.

I’ve cer­tain­ly changed my mind: now I think they do what they do in the man­ner they do as a nat­u­ral pro­duct their col­lec­tive cere­bral cor­tices. I re­cent­ly fin­ished watch­ing Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible I and II, and to­tal­ly wigged to see Mastodon use clips from that film in their video back­drop. I had to Ask MetaFilter for guid­ance re­gard­ing oth­er films that were used in it.

Whenever I make it to a met­al show, I just get a re­in­forced sense that I will al­ways fun­da­men­tal­ly be a met­al­head. The surg­ing sea of hu­man­i­ty in­evitably drench­es me in oth­er people’s beer and oth­er people’s sweat. The con­cept of per­son­al space is oblit­er­at­ed. People tend to much more self-con­scious at in­die shows. Anything more than an arms-crossed head-bob seems vast­ly out of place.

Mastodon played the en­tire­ty of Crack the Skye and bits of Blood Mountain, Leviathan and Remission. Here’s some video of the first song they played: Oblivion. 

Second Arson & Neighborhood Still Good

Friday, 1 May 2009

While I was watch­ing the Celtics/​Bulls game, some­one set fire to the aban­doned build­ing just cater­corner from me on Holmden Court (the al­ley be­hind my house). Either the fire start­ed back up around 3am or the ar­son­ist came back to fin­ish the job be­cause the street was clogged with fire trucks. This is the sec­ond ar­son less than a block from me in two months, and the fifth (that I know of) with­in half a square mile from me in the last 2 years.

These last two were both “aban­doned” hous­es with squat­ters in them. Rumor has it that the bank who owned the house be­hind me (which was slat­ed for de­mo­li­tion) had the house set aflame so they could re­coup as much from the prop­er­ty as pos­si­ble. Rumor al­so holds that some kids set the fire, or, less like­ly, some­one set fire to keep warm.

The house had been aban­doned since I moved in­to the neigh­bor­hood and over the course of two years it was peeled like an onion and pit­ted like an av­o­cado. By the time whomev­er set fire to the place set fire to the place, all that was left in­side the struc­ture was some crazy-look­ing linoleum.

Now, there are quite a few se­ri­ous prob­lems that are touched on di­rect­ly or tan­gen­tial­ly in this post:

  • Habitual Arson
  • Foreclosed Homes
  • Squatters
  • Folks steal­ing sid­ing, wiring and any­thing of val­ue from aban­doned prop­er­ties
  • Crazy Linoleum

and one very good thing. Thank you Cleveland Fire Department, you guys are great.

While the ar­sons are trou­bling, there is much that is great on my street and in my neigh­bor­hood. I have new neigh­bors who are ren­o­vat­ing the home next door to me, and the chil­dren who ap­pear to own the house cater­corner from me on Holmden Avenue are fix­ing the place up quite nice­ly.

The new Buhrer Elementary school one block away is near­ing com­ple­tion, and I just found out, will be re­main­ing a Dual Language School. Now if on­ly Debbie could get a job as an art teacher there, all would be set. However, find­ing an open po­si­tion in the CMSD isn’t the eas­i­est.