Friday, June 30, 2006

On Vacation

Back July 9, unless I get internet access in the meantime.

Don't break anything while I'm gone...

Here are some pictures where I'm going:

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, June 30, 2006 - Feast One Hundred!

Appetizer - On average, approximately how many times per day do you yawn?

Probably about 20. I don't get a lot of sleep :)

Soup - What was your most memorable school field trip?

Probably the Safety Patrol trip to Washington DC in 6th grade.

Salad - Fill in the blank: I was extremely __________________ this week.

Fill in the blank: I was extremely frustrated this week.

Main Course - Which color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?

Rich green

Dessert - What is something that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?

If I had to, I could probably save up and but an HDTV. If I had to. I wish I had to. That would be nice...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Abstract vs. Concrete

Rich Hailey has a post about free speech. Beware, it has some unkind language not fit for polite society.
So, where do I stand on the Amendment to ban the burning of the flag? Well, it's pretty clear that we've already set limits on how far the freedom of speech goes. It doesn't give you license to lie, or to defame others, or to disrupt the peace. Freedom of speech does not allow you to walk through your neighborhood at 3AM singing Sweet Adeline in 4 part harmony at the top of your lungs. It does not allow you to verbally harass somebody based on their race, appearance, or sex. We accept these limits on free speech because we've concluded that the harm caused by this speech outweighs the speaker's right to express himself. It's an application of the old saw, "Your rights end when they begin to abridge mine."

Here's my comment:

The problem with debates like this is that when making tough decisions, we tend to fall back on abstracts rather than deal with concrete situations.

Freedom of speech is an abstract concept. It's a principle that can apply to many, many, many situations. Anyone can probably list 20-30 examples of Freedom of Speech issues right off the top of their heads. Each of those issues, however, is a concrete situation. And each situation has its own unique circumstances and details.

Life and culture has dictated that we may no longer, in polite society (i.e. in public) use the words Rich specifies at the beginning of his post when referring to other people. Back in the 50's and 60's, especially in the South, it was fairly common but through several decades of education and enlightenment society has determined that those words are offensive and wrong, and should not be used. If you use them in public, you will very likely be ostracized at worst, frowned on at best. There were no laws that said so, no rules or statutes making them illegal - just the general disapproval of society. That "Freedom of Speech" issue decision was made automatically as a process of the evolution of culture.

Similarly, the restriction of "shouting fire in a crowded theatre" has actually become a law based on the acceptance of society. I doubt even the staunchest free speech advocates would fight for that right, because it's simply the right thing to do. Congress made it official, but society actually made the decision.

These two concrete examples were decided for us, so we haven't had to debate them. And society decided them because they were the right things to do to protect our lives and civility. In a similar vein you have restrictions against libel and slander. And revealing classified information.

Yet, in a strict sense, they are all limits on the 1st Amendment, the freedom to say anything you want to.

Flag burning probably should've evolved in a similar fashion as racial slurs - it should've become so deplorable a practice that nobody would do it, at the risk of social ostracization. But that hasn't happened, and there are people fighting to keep the right to burn the flag. And Congress has had to attempt legislation to outlaw it.

That's where the abstract vs. concrete debate comes in. To some freedom of speech advocates, the right to free speech in the abstract trumps the concrete immorality of burning the flag, so they go against the better nature of society and defend the abstract.

In this case, we would be better served to examine the concrete and weigh the pluses and minuses of flag-burning better. Then a better-reasoned, better thought out solution might apply.

Unfortunately abstract is all some people have left, so they fight for it tooth and nail - at the expense of societal decorum and respect for a symbol of our country.

Should anyone ever burn a US flag in protest? No, I can't imagine a possible reason anyone would ever want to. It's a deplorable, horrible practice. Should it be a legally restricted act? I wish it didn't have to, but since nobody should ever do it, and the abstract fighters who won't listen to specifics of this example resist such a restriction.

We all would be better served to not follow blindly the abstract concepts that make up our customs and laws, but to apply logic, reason and fairness in understanding how these laws apply to our culture, decorum and public respect. Then make your decisions based on all sides of the argument.

Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Let's Give Him What He Wants!

This is great - One Hand Clapping is reporting Drudge as saying:

Saddam Hussein believes the Americans may reinstall him as president of Iraq, the NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report on Sunday, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

Saddam Hussein has no illusions, his chief lawyer says. As he sits in his prison cell reading the Quran and writing poetry, he knows the inevitable is coming — a death sentence handed down by the Iraqi court trying him for crimes against humanity.

Yet Saddam refuses to submit to the fate that awaits him, Khalil al-Dulaimi, said, for he believes there is a way out:

President Bush will use the court’s sentence as leverage to try to persuade Saddam to tamp down the insurgency, he said, so desperate are the Americans to stanch their losses.

In his madness, Saddam believes the Americans might even reinstall him as president of Iraq!
I love it - here's what I think we should do:

Find an area in the desert southwestern US that resembles the Iraqi desert and climate. Build a replica of a palace and surrounding cityscape. Use cardboard and duct tape if you have to - maybe even put the whole thing inside the Astrodome if you have to, nobody's using it.

When Saddam is sentenced to death, have a crack US team "rescue him" in the night, telling him Bush has decided to reinstate him to the throne, and supposedly fly him back to Iraq. In reality, you take him to this "New Iraq" and turn him loose in it - constantly monitored 24/7 by undercover agents disguised as generals, townspeople, servants, sycophants, even his (dead) two sons. Let him believe he's really in charge back in Iraq. Use whatever Truman Show/Capricorn One/Star Trek holodeck technology and stagecraft is necessary to pull off the illusion, and have our people subtly press him for information about where all the leftover Iraqi secrets are hidden. Eventually Saddam would give someone an order to dig up a bunch of live WMD's he ordered buried in the sand, or put in a call to Syria to ask for the stuff back he shipped there before the war started. Then get all the Al Quaeda and other terrorist cell contact information he has.

Even have Bush or Condeleeza Rice pay him a visit, to maintain the illusion that we've really put him back in power.

Then, when we're all through with him, we "attack" and "capture" him again. Provide him the route to another spiderhold to hide in. Arrest him, put him back on trial. Set up another "escape"...

Repeat ad nauseum. As long as you can keep everyone from cracking up when they talk to him, you should have a grand old time screwing with his head for years to come...

Around the World in 80 Dances

Unbelievable. I just sat with my jaw open, transfixed.

Where's Matt?

Here's here. And here. And here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and there, and there, and over there, and under there, and way around there, and...

Well, here.

Dance on, Matt.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, June 23, 2006 Feast Ninety-Nine

Appetizer - On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you like your job?

Wow. Hm. Overall I'd say it's a 7 but right now it's about a 4 or 5.

Soup - When was the last time you think you were lied to?

I feel like I'm lied to all the time when I read about politics and anything to do with people wanting to get or keep a political office.

Salad - Share some lyrics from own of your favorite songs.

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear,
I've seen that road before.
Don't leave me waiting here,
Lead me to your door.

Many times I've been alone
And many times I've cried.
Anyway you'll never know
How many ways I've tried.

But still they lead me back,
To the long, winding road.
You've left me standing here,
A long, long time ago.
Don't keep me waiting here,
Lead me to your door.

Main Course - What do you do/take when you are in pain?

Thanks for reminding me. I have to take a couple of Aleve because my back's been really stiff and sore the last couple days. I always take Aleve for any muscle pain or headaches - it always works.

Dessert - Fill in the blanks: My __________ is very __________.

My back is very sore.

Wait, we covered that. How about:

My patience is very stretched.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe

Honk! is the story of Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, Ugly must find his way home. Along his rollicking and harrowing journey he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, but also finds love and acceptance in all its forms.

Honk! won the Olivier Award (the British equivalent of the Tony Award) for Best New Musical in London in 2000. Witty and hilarious, but also deeply moving, Honk! treats audiences to equal amounts of laughter and tears. Its charm, humor and message of tolerance are perfect for every audience.

Erin Youth Players
Erin Presbyterian Church
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23, 24 - 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 25 - 2:00 pm
Reserve Tickets Online

For some reason I didn't get listed on the production team on the web page, but I am Music Directing this show. Come see it and say hi!

That Time of Year

Thank goodness, our annual long national nightmares are over.

Miami Heat wins NBA finals, Carolina something-or-others win NHL finals.

Now that that uselessness has finally passed, can we get on to more important things?

Oh and by the way - today is the longest day of the year. Celebrate! It just gets worse and shorter from this point...

80's Video Blast of the Week V

In 1984, a band released their third album entitled, "Sports". It hit #1 on the Billboard charts and was designated multi-platinum a year later.

I saw them in concert at the old Stokely Athletic Center in 1985.

This week's Video Blast of the week came off of that album, a poster of which hung on the wall of Marty McFly's room in "Back to the Future". It represented the quintessential beach song to me and a lot of other people that summer.

Watch the video to see all the hints and clues.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from my favorite band Huey Lewis and the News, "If This is It".

By the way, rexwilder (of course) got it. And the answer to his clue is that HLN sued Ray Parker Jr. because they thought several parts of the "Ghostbusters" theme were too similar to their own "I Want a New Drug".

I don't see it, but that's just me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


It would be nice if the Knoxville News Sentinel and Metropulse paid nearly as much attention to the Knoxville area theatre scene as they did to the Knoxville area music and night life scene...

Check out the KNS Entertainment page for comparison. Lots of coverage of "Bonaroo", a blog devoted to the Knoxville entertainment (if he covers local theatre, it's sparingly), individual sections on "Music", "Night Life", plus CD Reviews, MusicScene, Band Reviews, etc. Only in the "Fine Arts" section do you find the occasional play article, but it still has to share space with visual art, symphony, ballet, etc.

There are a good number of ongoing theatre companies in the Knoxville area that produce plays year-round. Home-grown rock bands and music festivals get a lot of free publicity in the papers these days - it would be nice to see the theatrical acting and behind-the-scenes talent we have locally get a share of it.

Guess the 80's Video Blast of the Week

That time again kids - Guess the retro-video! If someone gets it in one, I' I'll...I'll wear parachute pants to work. And leg warmers.

Ok, this 80's-era video:

1) Opens with a piece of another song by the same artist/band playing on the radio.

2) Features at various points in the video: a big snake, a gypsy sceance, French sailors on leave, severed heads, an airplane pulling a banner and exhausted vacationers.

Friday, June 16, 2006

LiveJournal Invasion

I'm suddenly getting a bunch of referrals from Live Journal places like - several dozen of them, all with different "blahblag" names, but the rest is the same. And I don't think I've gotten a referral from the same one twice.

Since I don't know anyone that hangs out on the LiveJournal morass, I can't figure out where the links are coming from. I visit the links, but it's so much of that middle school chaos, it's hard to read a thread. I don't see any links to

Has anyone else seen the same thing?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just Point Me in The Right Direction..

I haven't mentioned here that I'm Music Directing a new show. It's called, "Honk!" and it opens next weekend for a one-weekend run. The show is a musical version of The Ugly Duckling story, and won raves in London and Broadway the last several years. This particular production is cast entirely with middle-school and high-school kids, so it's been a challenge teaching and rehearsing music to some kids who, a) don't really read music, b) voices haven't changed enough to have the real articulation and projection to reach much past the edge of the stage.

But the show goes on. I'm lucky to have my friend Michael the Bass Player from "Annie" helping out, as well as another good friend, Dan, on keyboards that I've known and worked with for years.

The rehearsal schedule has been fairly brutal - I get up, go to work, grab a quick dinner and rehearse from 6:30 - 10:30 or 11. Get home, unwind for a bit, go to bed.

Repeat ad nauseum till June 26.

As a result, I'm part of the walking undead these days. My enthusiasm for work has hit a big low, and I don't feel very much like the happy corporate camper these days.

I need sleep, I need to play with my kids, I need quality time with my wife (well, I always need quality time with my wife and we're lucky to get a night out here and there anyway), I need to do something productive outside of theatre.

Hey, hopefully "Lost" - Season 1, Disk 5 will get here tonight from Netflix.

There goes my sleep...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blog Title of the Month

"Wastin' Away in Blogaritaville" (

I love it - I wish I'd thought of it...

Didn't We Already Cover This?

From Brian Hornback, Knox GOP Chair:
The Brian's Blog team will be doing some research to determine what if any advantage there is for Knox County having a Charter. A review of pros and cons. County Commissioner Mike Hammond of Friday remarked in an interview. "I'm not sure we need a Charter."

Didn't the citizens of Knox County fairly decisively determine they wanted a charter back in 1988? Have there been any significant calls for revocation or amendment to the charter in the intervening years (save the metro government initiative a few years back)?

These sentiments have been shared by public officials and citizens to Brian throughout the weekend and week. Keep in mind that before Friday only 2 out of 95 counties in the state had a Charter form of government. There has been a decline throughout the country in local governments having a Charter form of government.
Keep in mind, Brian and others, that the opinions you gather over a weekend will tend to be those closest to your own views and mindsets. The folks you associate over a typical weekend will likely be folks at your church, friends in the neighborhood, political allies, etc. Therefore any "concensus" you might glean from a weekend's worth of "fact-finding" are likely to be very similar to your own views and each others. You're more likely to be exposed to dissenting opinions during the workweek and out in the public at large.
A proper first step would be to have a refrendum with a simple question of Shall, Knox County have a Charter form of Government? If it passes then pursue a Charter Commission, if it fails than begin prepartion to revert to the normal structure.
Again, we had a referendum 18 years ago that voted in the charter. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. It seems fairly obvious to me that some people in the County would be glad to keep term-limits from being re-imposed, and are siezing an ideal opportunity to "revisit" the idea of a charter's existence.
It is possible that the Charter could be an instrument or fad, who's time has come and gone. Similar to the schools that were built with open style classrooms that were designed in California in the 1970's, they were then bulldozed and replaced while Knox County is still living with at least 3 of these schools, today.
I'd like to think political parties could be declared a fad as well, but not much luck in that.

But simply bringing up the possibility can plant seeds of "are we out-dated? are we behind the times?" in the public mind without it being true. Case in point, the schools example here. I don't have any idea the validity of the argument that "open classrooms" are good, bad or indifferent. All that's stated here is California used to have them and we have three of them still. Maybe they're great schools? Could be. But this comment implies that because they came from California in the 70's (considered a kitschy decade to most people) they must be bad. Like they still had plaid furniture with suede wallpaper and lava lamps in the classroom...

Hey, maybe these three schools are lousy. It doesn't matter. I could just as easily the idea of charters to a fabulously successful venture that began in the 70's and give you a completely different perception. Like, oh, let's say this - there was a computer networking adventure that began in earnest in the late 60's, early 70's. Maybe you heard of it: "ARPANET". That network eventually evolved into a little venture they call today the Internet. Maybe you've heard of it.

Knox County voters opted to govern themselves with a charter in 1988. That's it. Work to fix the charter, like Mayor Ragsdale is doing. Don't pretend there's a groundswell of sentiment from the citizenry to abolish it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Comes Around...Like a Bug

Remember this?


It's a Clog World After All

My Foot Soldiers:

See here for first breaking news of the glorious revolution...

80's Video Blast of the Week IV

In the mid-80's, artist Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated many of the musical lessons he learned there into his mega-hit album, "Graceland".

This song, the first single of the Grammy-winning album, was released in 1986.

The video features Paul Simon's friend from some of Saturday Night Live stints, Chevy Chase, who "takes over" the show and sings the song (in Paul's voice, of course). Paul appears a bit dejected, which is in his character from appearing on SNL, but does do some background vocals. Paul does get to play a couple of instruments including the bongoes, penny whistle, bass guitar and sax. Chevy joins in on trumpet as well.

Reportedly, it was shot in one continuous take but I'm not sure that's true as there are several jump and P.O.V cuts.

WATCH FOR: Chevy setting the glass and whistle down on the "table".

Congratulations, Rich - got it in one, as well. I've got to make the clues harder :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Paul Simon with "You Can Call Me Al"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Charter Responsibility Question

I have a question.

Have we determined who's responsible for not turning in the charter to the TN State Government 18 years ago?

According to this story, The Knox County Law Director's Office had to request Knox County Administrator of Elections Greg Mackay to forward a copy of the charter to the state immediately. Mackay had testified in the charter validity hearings that he could find no evidence that it had ever been turned in.

Shouldn't there be some accountability from both the Election Commission and probably the Law Director's office for 18 years of inattention?

I don't care to see heads roll, I just want to see someone admit, "Yes, I screwed up." And if the person(s) responsible from 18 years ago are no longer available, I still want to know.

And I want to see documented evidence of new procedures put in place so it never happens again.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Guess the 80's Video Blast of the Week

Here's the clues for this week's 80's Video Blast of the Week:

1) The artist/lead singer who sings this song isn't the one actually lip-synching the lead vocals in the video.

2) At various times in the video a trumpet, sax, pennywhistle and bongoes are played. Well, sortof.

3) It was the first cut released off of a very special album.

4) By some reports, the video was shot in one continuous take.

Since RexWilder guessed "We Are the World" last week in one try, maybe these clues are too easy... we'll see how quickly someone gets it this time.

What do you think? No Googling! Makes guesses in Comments....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Top 10 Effects of Knox County's Charter Being Ruled Invalid

From the Home Office in the smoke-filled basement of the 5th Avenue Hotel...

Top 10 Effects of Knox County's Charter Being Ruled Invalid

10) Anderson County immediately invades Karns and Farragut, Union County moves in on Halls and Fountain City and Blount County cuts off the Northshore Drive supply line. Sevier County makes slight mistake, releases Seymour into the wild.

9) Bill Haslam circles the wagons, declares Knoxville city limits to be closed into 100-yard radius around City-County Building.

8) Knox County Chancellor John Weaver fulfills life-long dream, sentences Herb Moncier to a good ole-fashioned hangin'. Tim Hutchison brings a lunch and a lawn chair, makes a day of it.

7) Charter Cable mistakenly files for bankruptcy.

6) Kurt Russell sightings begin at Chilhowee Park. Local biker gangs upset when it turns out to be David Keith in an eyepatch.

5) That sweet, sweet smell of burning zebra...

4) Jack Neely rejoices, reopens circa-1900 saloons on Gay Street. Immediately gunned down in street for 2 dollars and a pint of whiskey.

3) The ghostly spirit of Cas Walker periodically appears, makes angry observation that he was declared an invalid a long time before the County was.

2) County Mayor Mike Ragsdale decides to run for his life. Once again runs unopposed.

..and the Number One Effects of Knox County's Charter Being Ruled Invalid...

1) Wanda Moody and Mary Lou Horner tearfully reenact Thelma and Louise final scene, drive car off Cherokee Bluff into Fort Loudon Lake.

UPDATE: Wow, I wasn't far off the mark:

Charter fallout continues

Two commissioners suspended their campaigns because of a previous ruling upholding term limits and lost in the primary. But as result of Judge Weaver's ruling, both Mary Lou Horner and Wanda Moody dropped out of a race they did not need to drop out of .

"Obviously that (term limit decision) had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the election," Moody said.

"I felt like that was the right thing to do, and I did it," Horner said of her decision to suspend campaigning back in April. "Since they've heard that my telephone has rang, rang, rang, rang."


Neither has any recourse, other than find new ways to get involved in a political process whose future is far from clear after Friday's ruling.

"We'll get through it," Moody said of Knox County.
Lake advisory to boaters on Fort Loudon: Watch for falling cars...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Grab Your Torches and Your Pitchforks...'s time to riot in the streets! Anarchy rules, baby!!!

DEVELOPING: Chancellor rules Knox County's charter invalid
Chancellor John Weaver on Friday ruled the county's charter invalid, re-igniting the controversy over term limits for county officeholders.
Dogs! Cats! Living together! Mass hysteria!


But seriously.

Chancellor invalidates county charter

A chancellor ruled today that Knox County’s charter is "invalid and ineffective," meaning the county would revert to the form of government outlined in the state constitution.

The ruling also invalidates term limits, which restricts the number of terms an elected official may serve.
I know the legal specifics are complicated, but it looks like in Knox County if you vote for something, it ain't necessarily so. Especially when various clerks and legal officials forget to turn in the charter to the state for 18 years. How can we expect them to cross the t's and dot the i's?

So we continue, and barring appeals the county commissioners who should by all rights be sitting at home planning their next ventures are back in the saddle again. Probably for another 8-12 years each.

Where's Frankenstein when you need him?


"I was shocked," County Commissioner David Collins said.

Collins was one of five commissioners who filed suit, asking Chancellor Weaver to determine if the charter was valid or not. He did so in hopes of providing clarity on the issue of term limits and did not think the ruling would be as wide-ranging as it was.
I think it's safe to say, "Be careful what you wish for, buddy." Oh, and thanks a lot guys...

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, June 09, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Seven

Appetizer - About how much money did you spend on gas this week?

Probably about $30

Soup - What is your favorite brand of toilet paper?

I just close my eyes and grab what's closest.

Salad - When was the last time you discovered something that you thought was pure genius?

Sometimes I'll hear little snippets of music, a chord progression here, a style of playing a certain passage there, that just take my breath away and I marvel at how composers and performers will occasionally hit on a very special moment where everything just clicks, or brings you to another level or emotional experience.

Main Course - What is the least amount of sleep you can get by on per night?

About 4 hours. Any less, or the same for a couple nights in a row and I'm a zombie. Just like I am now (curse you, First Season DVD's of "Lost"!)

Dessert - June is a popular month for weddings. Do you know anyone who is getting married this month?

No, I guess I don't. There was a time about ten years ago friends of mine were getting married left and right. Today not so much. Maybe the cycle will come around again...

But meanwhile, I do know of a really nice blogger (a Nashville transplant to Down Under) who just got married.... Ain't they purty?

UPDATE: Holy CRAP! So did he!!

What Goes Around....

I'm teaching a class on blogging history and basics to some area seniors today, and I'm using all of you as examples, so you'd better be on your best behavior! Watch the language today, huh, and keep the nudity down to a minimum? I don't want to have to give someone CPR because Michael suddenly decided to start doing Half-Nekkid Thursday yesterday...

This is also a day where a big step in my future employment status will either be encouraged or squashed. I'm nervous as all get out. Think of me fondly...

UPDATE: I demonstrated Big Orange Michael, Logtar, Sugarfused and SayUncle. Also mediablogger Michael Silence and a couple other guys no one's heard of like Glenn somebody-or-other.

I also used Becky as an example of a person I would never have met in real life that I've become friends with online. I mentioned how she actually once showed me a live shot of the Hawaiian coast, and how blogs can be used to meet people and see places you might never get a chance to in real life.

There were only five people, but they were attentive and asked questions. Everyone created their own Blogger page (I know, I know...buggy and all that but it's what I'm familiar with) and I showed them how to edit and create posts.

I'm exhausted :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Feed Withdrawal

What's up with Bloglines? I'm not getting any RSS feeds today...

Injury to Actress Turns Into Treat for Audience

Accident Turns Play Into an Improv Show
"The Pajama Game" became a waiting game last night when a minor accident injured a cast member and caused a 27-minute interruption in the performance.

To calm the restless audience in the American Airlines Theater, Harry Connick Jr., who plays the lead character, Sid, conducted a question-and-answer session, sang "Happy Birthday" to someone in the audience and talked about the future of his native New Orleans and his high school career.
A slight onstage injury to actress Roz Ryan necessited a pause in the performance, so Connick took the opportunity to occupy the crowd during the delay.

Good for him and good for the audience. It's treats like these that make live theatre special.

Eventually the actress was treated, the set repaired and the show went on.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Proof They're Just Pretending To Be In Charge

A charter request, 18 years later
"Eighteen years after the fact, Knox County Law Director Mike Moyers asked local election officials Monday to forward a copy of the county charter for approval by the Tennessee secretary of state.

State law required that the Knox County Charter and the results of the referendum vote that approved it in 1988 be sent to Nashville. An official proclamation declaring the charter's adoption also would have been returned.

Yet for whatever reason, none of that apparently ever happened, Greg Mackay, Knox County administrator of elections, testified last week during the contentious three-day trial over the charter's validity. At least he couldn't find any evidence that it happened, Mackay said."
More evidence that nobody anywhere has any idea what they're doing anymore.

You'd think once in the past 18 years someone in the local or state government would've, you know, like, noticed.

If a document that had to be filed with the state hadn't been filed in my company for 18 years, heads would roll. In Knox County, you smirk, shrug, and start digging through the filing cabinets.


Oh, Linus....

Our good, good Linus, how you will someday regret these words:

Your Sweet Baboo awaits you, my friend...

Monday, June 05, 2006

80's Video Blast of the Week III

In 1985, famine in Ethiopia was a hot button topic. Inspired by the success of Band-Aids "Do They Know It's Christmas," Harry Belafonte gathered a group of performers never before gathered for one project. On January 29, 1985 21 soloists and more than 20 other contributing vocalists from all parts of the music industry "checked their egos at the door" (as requested by organizer Quincy Jones) and recorded the Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie-penned "We Are The World".

The single went on sale March 7, 1985 and was an instant smash. It went on to sell 7.5 million copies in the U.S and was #1 on the Billboard charts for 4 weeks. It also won Grammies for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Cindy Lauper's jangly earrings caused some momentarily disruption in the recording process (close, Masses of Everything!) and a hasty rewrite of the lyric, "there's a choice we're making / we're taking our own lives" to the less suicidal-sounding, "there's a choice we're making / we're saving our own lives". What didn't make the final edit was adjustment to the line "as God has shown us / by turning stone to bread", which is an error because the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones to bread but he never did.

Congratulations Rex Wilder for guessing it in one!

A list of performers follows the clip. Enjoy :)


* Lionel Richie
* Stevie Wonder
* Paul Simon
* Kenny Rogers
* James Ingram
* Tina Turner
* Billy Joel
* Michael Jackson
* Diana Ross
* Dionne Warwick
* Willie Nelson
* Al Jarreau
* Bruce Springsteen
* Kenny Loggins
* Steve Perry
* Daryl Hall
* Huey Lewis
* Cyndi Lauper
* Kim Carnes
* Bob Dylan
* Ray Charles

Contributing vocalists

* Brian Elsenbeck
* Dan Aykroyd
* Harry Belafonte
* Lindsey Buckingham
* Sheila E.
* Bob Geldof
* Jermaine Jackson
* Jackie Jackson
* LaToya Jackson
* Marlon Jackson
* Randy Jackson
* Tito Jackson
* Waylon Jennings
* Bette Midler
* the News (of Huey Lewis & the News)
* John Oates
* Jeffrey Osborne
* The Pointer Sisters
* Smokey Robinson

(Sources: Wikipedia and MSNBC)

Into the Woods..

My kids are both out at Wesley Woods camp this week.

Tink recovered nicely from her little bout of stomach flu and will be back Tuesday afternoon. Brainyboy will be back Friday.

One of Cathy's is out in the wilderness this week, too.

House is kind of quiet.

I woke up with our cat nestled in the crook of my arm this morning - he hasn't done that in the 13 years we've had him - I guess he missed them.


80's Video Blast of the Week - Your Guess...

Sorry, but I neglected to post a new video blast on Saturday. I'll post one for this week tonight.

Any guesses to the one I have selected?

Here are a few hints:

  • It was released in the mid-80's
  • The single sold 7.5 million copies in the U.S and was the #1 single in the U.S. for four weeks.
  • There was a problem with the sound of jangly earrings being heard on the taping
  • There is a line in the lyrics that contains an inaccurate Bible quote
  • Another of the lyrics was rewritten because it was feared it might be misinterpreted as a call for suicide.

    No Googling Allowed!

    There ya go! I'll post late tonight or tomorrow morning.
  • Someone Clear This Up For Me...

    Was or was not, George Carlin the Vice-President of the United States in 1945?

    If not, could someone alert my subconscious of this historical error, because that's what I dreamed last night... and I'm a little concerned what else I might dream in error tonight.

    Just to sort of "head off" any confusion before it happens, I'll repeat to myself tonight before I go to bed:

    "Sir Isaac Newton did NOT invent the Cuisinart."
    "Vasco de Gama was NOT the first man on the moon."
    "Judy Garland did NOT slay Goliath."

    There, that oughta do it.

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    The Diagnosis

    Stomach bug. Apparently one's going around that causes a high-ish fever and tummyaches.

    As yet, no yakkin' - but the day is young.

    Doc said it's a 24-36 hour thing, so we should be clear by tomorrow afternoon at the latest (hopefully).

    Of course, it doesn't help things a bit that I watched a Discover Health Channel show the other night about a horrible salmonella epidimic that made 200,000 people sick a couple years ago and caused some teenagers life-long damage...

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, June 02, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Six

    Appetizer - On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how funny do you think you are?

    I think I have a better sense of humor than most - I'd say about an 8. I have the ability to make people laugh in most situations...

    Soup - Name a local restaurant would you recommend to a visitor to your town or city.

    Litton's Restaurant in Fountain City, which is the area of town in North Knoxville where I grew up. It makes the best hamburgers around.

    Salad - What's a lesson you were lucky enough to learn the easy way?

    I never had to learn the painful lesson of a breakup. My wife was my first real girlfriend, and we dated until we got married. And she still puts up with me! I guess I learned how to be a partner without going through hell and back like a lot of people.

    Main Course - Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

    I don't have any desire to move so I hope I'm still here in Knoxville. As far as career goes I would like to see either advancement or movement to another business, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I hope that I have advanced my theatre "hobby" into a part-time career by this point, by which I mean I am able to make enough money from directing and musical directing that it starts to be a supplemental income - if nothing else for groceries and clothes and what not. I know my family life will be different as I'll have a son in high school and a daughter almost ready to go to middle school.

    Dessert - If you could see the front page of a newspaper from June 2, 2106, what would you imagine the headline might be?

    "100th Anniversary of Invention of Flying Car Today. "

    (subhead) Historical records show most adoption of concept quick and easy, becoming part of everyday life within first year of manufacture.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006


    One of the worst things a parent has to face is also one of the most common: illness.

    I came home from rehearsal tonight to find Tink sacked out on the living room chair and learned she had a fever and a stomachache. I'm happy I was able to cheer her up a bit - it's amazing what a few silly faces can do to light up a sad one.

    She's sleeping in the bed with my wife now who can give her much better TLC than I can - when the kids are sick I'm a nervous wreck. I've slept on her floor once when she was still in the crib and had a fever (just a minor one, too, but it didn't matter to me).

    But still, she's in good hands :)