A new mystery

I only wish there was a link I could send you to for this. While scanning ebay I came across a postcard for Reid & Cutshell Furniture. The listing claims Roanoke, Va.

Allright, the best I can come up with is Reid's Fine Furnishings on Grandin, which opened in 1995.

more later

(later - Hat tip to Carilion Memorial Hospital for helping my mother in law)

So like I said, just another damn mystery. But, on a less-mysterious topic:

WHAT a damn beautiful day outside. Days like this make me wish I had a laptop, I'd go liveblogging right from downtown. Think of it - real time photo-blogging. Meh - Then I wouldn't be enjoyning myself and the day.

Were I live, the apartment community you've all seen, we have a pool (opens next weekend) up the top of the hill in our complex.

I never used it last year, and no- that wasnt smart. The #1 complaint of the people who used to live above us (gone, trying to forget them) was that the pool had no bathroom.

They thought so well of their neighbors. Of course, I would have voted them "Most likely to...", well - it goes along with their idea of not having a bathroom at the pool.

The view from the pool is stunning. You look out, well, I'll have to take a picture later. Best as I can figure - you look out northwest, but your looking over the buildings across the street - and out into the valley. The area where the pool is has been terraced. There is the one level with the pool - then a 2nd, nearly deck-like area of grass thats about 10 feet higher than the pool area. I've been up there once, and that is even more breathtaking.

Finally broke down this past winter and picked up some of those folding canvas chairs at WalMart. Hey - they were on clearance. I dont like paying retail for anything..

Maybe I will drag one up there today and just sit and 'ahhhhhhhhhh.....'

You know?


Thank god this week is over. I was getting tired of it anyway. When I took my dogs out for their last walk last night, I couldnt help but feel we had gone back a few months in time. It felt more like November, cusp of winter than it did the razor's edge of summer.

My wife is still confused by the 30+ degree differences between day and night. She's from Florida - they dont swing nearly as much, plus - by this time of year - highs were allready ticking north to 90.

Im from NY, I know how Mama Nature can mess with your head. I remember late season snow all the way into mid-April.

I was born on the hottest day of the year in 1975, in the middle of a stifling heatwave. And if you've ever been to NYC in a heatwave, you know its downright evil. Nothing moves, there is no breeze. Just heat, and humidity, and exhaust, and the smell of every person in a 5 mile radius sweating profusely. Schools up there are not air conditioned, not even equipped with fans. We did not get out of school till the 3rd week of June, so an early heat wave crushed us flat.

You dont get a bus to school unless you live more than a mile from the school itself. So we all would trudge from our homes to school, arriving sweaty and awful. Then at some point, they attempted phys ed. Never worked in weather like that.

The smart ones could con their parents into driving them, the half-smart ones had bikes. Then you had the shlubs like us. Our parents went the opposite direction to get to work, and usually had to leave either the same time, or 5 minutes before. So we walked, in all weather. I never really rode a bus to school except for 1 year. I went to a Catholic school, and it was about 5 towns over - so I had to take a bus. It was ok. But being bussed every day of my school going life? I guess when thats the way things are done, you get used to it.

Im hoping to have a house near enough the school that I dont have to worry about them taking a bus. Boot em out the door in the morning. I used to enjoy my walks to and from, I had my walkman on (they'll probably never know what that is), crankin tapes or the local rock station.

Stopping at the candy store on the way home for a fountain coke and some gum. Then as I got older, stopping at the new 7-11 next to the old candy store for a cup of coffee on the way to school. The old candy store was an ice cream place last time I saw it, probably closed too. We have been through 6 locally owned ice cream parlors in the time I was living there.

Seeing those I was friends with on the walks, avoiding those who seems to have mental problems I knew. Walking in a cool mist, on a foggy gray day in the fall. Theres something no kid should ever NOT have the experience of.

I dont truck with these soccer moms carting the kids hither and thither. We played soccer, baseball, stoopball, football, et. al. in the street. We did not need a league, coaches, or refs. Thats what the older kids were for. And if the road was too busy, we moved the game to a road where one of the other kids lived. One that wasnt busy.

We always whined about staying out after dark, and we were always called in for dinner. My friends mother developed a whistle that carried for blocks, it was early pager technology. And in the summer, we would sit on the stoop (our front stairs - I realize stoop is a regional word) at night and just talk endlessly. Or walk up and down our dead end street, maybe play a game of manhunt.

Summer brings back memories, but never cool ones. In NY, when the heat sets in with humidity - your done for. There are no predictable afternoon showers to cool, there is no breeze which provides some relief.
Its just a solid wall of heat, stink, and wet. But that teaches you more about survival than all the air conditioning in the world.

I dont mind the heat, its the humidity I always hated. It would get thick for days, endless thick.

anyway - enough rambling.


111 Campbell Ave. now has plywood barricades keeping you away from it. These werent there a month ago. Did I miss someone getting bonked by a falling brick, or is construction about to begin?  Posted by Hello

This photo is a detail of the 2nd floor of 123 Kirk Ave. SW. If you look into the window you can see the tile (or similar) detail panels. Posted by Hello

123 Kirk Ave.

Posted by Hello (pic from January, 2005)

This is 123 Kirk Ave. Formerly the Hotel Raliegh. A.K.A. Lilly's Boarding house.

The actual Hotel Raliegh was on Campbell, this was the back end - which also served as a mortuary and chapel for the undertaker whose storefront was also on Campbell. (Im not going to tell you the name, if you dont know it - just look around next time your down there.)

There was a fire here roughly 20 years ago. Took out the Kirk Ave side of the Hotel. This building was condemned. It has sat in pretty much the same condition since. This photo was taken in January, this is the same building in 2002. (the GIS itself appears to be offline right now, I will try and get a pic posted later of the building from above)

On the GIS overhead image, you can see a few work trucks parked out front. Obviously the rebuilding of this has been a slow process. The sign in the window above reads "Baker D Co Inc." If you look at the 2002 photo and then the 2005 photo, you can see some work has begun.

Well, on my last trip downtown a few days ago, my wife (official noticer of things to be noticed) noticed a work permit in the window. The name on the permit was "Center in the Square". Yet when I searched Roanokegov.com for the permit information - there has not been a permit issued since 2003. And that was a plan review, which has since expired. Plan was for "RESTORE FACADE INTERIOR RENOVATIONS", which was also denied due to regulations on C/O and minor details of the ADA code.

So, the question begs itself - what is Center in the Square doing with it? Walking by, up to the windows for a good look in, the amount of remaining architecture and design is astounding. Granted the old tin ceiling is now stacked up at the window, which oddly enough matches the tin ceiling in the entryway to Sheila's Cafe, but on the 2nd floor the original tilework on the walls (purely decorative, not the morgue) is still there.

This is yet another mystery in and among all the development going on downtown.


Editorials from The Roanoke Times -Assault on the media

Editorials from The Roanoke Times -Assault on the media

Oh my god. Shut up.

Yeah - there's now a Vast Rightwing Conspiracy against the media?

This is going to get exhausting real quick. Having to listen to the death rattles of the "established media."
Quote: "In the manufactured uproar over a retracted Newsweek story about the alleged desecration of the Quran at the Guantnamo Bay detention center, a few inconvenient facts have been conveniently ignored by all the president's men."

"Not until 10 days after publication, when the riots turned deadly, did the Pentagon call for a retraction. "

Yeah - the Pentagon wanted 17 people to die over a false story, not to mention that the Pentagon "... had an opportunity to fact check..." the story before publication. So the Pentagon spotted the lies, and figured - screw it, let them run it. Believable? *removes brain* TOTALLY!

more nonsense: "The undermining of the media ranges from the constant drumbeat on talk radio - Rush Limbaugh explicitly called mainstream media "anti-American" on Tuesday - to the Bush administration's hiring of friendly "journalistic" commentators to advocate its policies and production of "politicommercials" disguised as newscasts, all at taxpayer expense."

So, Rush is no longer allowed an opinion on the media as a MEMBER of the media? And the Bush administration hiring journalists to pump certain programs is bad, but nevermind the fact that Bush had to HIRE what Clinton got for free. I guess if your paying for it, its a bad thing.

This mind-numbing op/ed piece ends with these 2 paragraphs: "The attack on Newsweek has every appearance of being part and parcel of this strategy, and the consequences are chilling. As Bill Moyers said Sunday at a conference on media reform in St. Louis:

"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight - ask questions and be skeptical."

First off Bill Moyers is a well known political loonie. Im not sure who he is referring to, but I know I dont follow blindly any singular news source, but rather read several stories - look deep within myself to see how I feel about it, and then decide a standpoint.

I am certainly not 'unconcious' or 'morbidly obese in mind and spirit', I am highly skeptical and very questioning. But thats besides the point.

ANOTHER unsigned editorial in the Roanoke Times which is apparently written for a very narrow audience who have no grounding in reality.

Oh, and theres another peice about Jerry Kilgore.

Hey - Times? What about some LOCAL issues making your editorial column? I mean - you are a local paper are you not?

Just askin'


Corned Beef and Co. Originally Brotherhood Mercantile (mens clothing) 1897. 1st floor renovated in 1935 giving it a Art Deco design. This probably dates from them. (Hat tip to anonymous commenter for the info)

News from The Roanoke Times - Art of funding

Oh I shouldn't have picked up todays newspaper. No seriously, I should have left it in the box where it was.

Art jobs lost in Roanoke!! Panic ensues!

A quote from the article: "...it's a stark reminder of a troubled cultural community which by now is feeling the cumulative effect of several lean years. "The change in state giving has had an impact - that looks pretty clear," said Wayne Strickland, executive director of the commission.

"Troubled cultural community? Mmm-hmm. Change in state giving having an impact? Mmm-hmm.

Yeah - lets break this down, you have a "cultural community" that doesnt give as much as they want - hence its obviously troubled, combined with a state thats not funding their every whim. Except for the Art Museum.

$2.43 million.
Think about that.

As the Times itself shows, thats a 648% hike in funding. Are they acquiring new works? Maybe a Picasso or 2? Nope - its in anticipation of the new Art Museum, or at least thats what one is left to infer, as the article does not clearly state. But the new museum is at least 2 years off.

Now I did some number crunching - you could DOUBLE the funding (this years figures, as stated on the front page of the Roanoke Times) to all the other institutions and still have 200k left over if the art museum got a little more than 1/2 the funding its going to get. That would still leave the Art Museum with $1.26 million to play with. Which I would say is a perfectly healthy figure for a group thats staying where it is for now, is not slated to start construction on its new home for a while, and has low attendance figures. Why not ask the customers who go in and out of Gallery 108 all day on Saturday if they have been to the Art Museum. I'd venture to say the majority will answer Once. Maybe Twice.

Oh - and why are we dragging the poor Mill Mountain Zoo into this? Theyre not included in the funding figures on the front page, and yet in the article, a connection is made between the lack of funding and the resignation of Beth Poff, director of the MMZ. Well, considering the MMZ is not included on the front page funding breakdown - but Explore Park is - I think the Zoo thing might not be directly related to the funding issue. Especially when you consider Ms. Poff's outstanding efforts at private fund-raising.Turn over is fairly common in smaller museums, its only the larger museums that tend to keep staff for anything longer than a decade.

Anyway - theres my Buck Fifty on the matter - Im sure there will be more to come


Maybe Im trying to take on too much here

But Im wondering if anyone around here has seen Wikipedia? The user edited (yes, I said USER edited) online encyclopedia.

Anyone, anywhere, at any time can make a entry, correction, add an image, delete a lie.

Heres my thought:


A totally interactive text of Roanoke itself. Updated 24/7/365. 100% live.

Imagine your curious as to how traffic is downtown on Campbell, you go to WikiRoanoke and someone who is on Campbell has posted that traffic is ok. That post was made 5 minutes ago.

Flooding a problem on Franklin Rd? Well, now you can (eventually) go to WikiRoanoke and the Fire Dept. can post real time conditions for the traffic. Impromptu festival of acoustic guitarists, organized on WikiRoanoke.

Its an idea - maybe even an eventuality. But DAMN is it hard to find info on coding.

(plus its server side, and I dont know if Cox allows such things - but Im migrating soon enough)


Another mystery

corned beef and co./Alexander's.

This ones been sticking in my craw for a while now. In 1919, maps show there were just regular shops at those locations. In 1903; A drug store, offices, and a shop of some sort. 1886, a school (of some sort) and a vacant store. The only other thing I can prove was there was some sort of restaurant sometime around 1920-1935.

Otherwise, I have no idea why there would be a lower half of a star with brotherhood.
Anyone who knows will recieve my undying thanks, and knowledge that they have staved off a major obsessive headache.

Just another day in Roanoke: roanoke.com - Business Stories - Despite perceptions, region 'wants to grow'

Just another day in Roanoke: roanoke.com - Business Stories - Despite perceptions, region 'wants to grow'

I did have something to say about this article - but 2 days later, Ive forgotten - having moved onto other projects.

2 items of interest tho: Howard's Soup Kitchen is re-opening in its old spot.
and the Little Chef on Williamson is re-opening.

Looks like my things arent the only things brewing around town.

Have you seen the Forgotten-Roanoke flyer yet?

Keep looking if you havent.

heres the other photo in question. even less helpful, but the darn trees were in my way for anything better. I gotta start inquiring about roof access.

Allright - a Bronze Filigree to anyone who can tell me where this is. Most of us havent seen it before, or atleast not since it was last painted. But as old as this one is - look just to the left of it - Yes Luke, there is another. A major award to anyone who can tell me what the OTHER ad was. Ive done everything I can with this and one other photo (thats not really much better), and cant come up with the foggiest idea.

dodgeball.com :: mobile social software

dodgeball.com :: mobile social software

If you look at the bottom of the page, it says Copyright 2005 Google, Inc.

Could this be the beginning? Google allready has a GPS enabled Ride-Finder, how long before you can track your friends as they move through the streets of Metropolis? And Google recently launched Blogger Mobile. Blog updates from anywhere, anytime.

Sounds familiar.

Stay tuned folks, I have a feeling things are about to get strange.


A glimpse of your future

EPIC Link goes to an 8 minute mini-movie transmission from the year 2014, from the Museum of Media History, special projects division. (Tampa Bay federal district, Florida). Its a Flash file, and best suited for those with broadband or cable conections. It is possibly the most important document circulating the internet today. It documents the collapse of Media.

Media as in the Roanoke Times, the New York Times, media outlets like CNN and FoxNews. It documents the fall of Microsoft. And it shows the history of Googlezon, the merger of Google and Amazon into the largest and most all-encompasing media outlet and single largest ever "virtual hard-drive" in the history of technology. The box in which your hard drive is stored is rendered obsolete. Everything is stored online, in either a private block accessable only by you, or in a public block which allows everyone to view your media. Its like having Blogger hardwired into your harddrive.

E-paper becomes the new preferred form of printed word. A thin, flexible digital paper; e-paper can recieve downloaded content, and display it just as any other printed ink. With the exception that it is completely customizeable, you can display what you want as content. You decide what stories you want as your daily news.

GoogleOS is, by all accounts, a few years off. Microsoft is running into endless hurdles with the beta testing of its Longhorn OS (next gen Windows). Apple Computers has never really been a major player in the world of Operating systems.

Google and Microsoft will be engaged in battle within the next few years.

And so begins the end of media as we know it.

You have been warned - everything changes from here on out. If you would rather not know, then dont watch.