Monday, 18 May 2009

Other Swimming Holes

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.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Face of Solid Waste

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.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Mastodon

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.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Second Arson & Neighborhood Still Good

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.