Big news this weekend

those pages Ive been promising for damn-near ever are finally going up tomorrow (sunday). at worst case monday, but most likely sunday. keep your eyes posted for a link here.

by the way - Ive turned on my atom/rss feed. if you have an rss reader, I use the one from RSSreader.com - free, you can point it at this link: http://roanoke-found.blogspot.com/atom.xml and you too will get every update you need to get you through the day, fresh and direct from Forgotten-Roanoke itself. Have it before even the Roanoke Times gets it. Have it with a cup of coffee in the morning, or as I do - in the evening with a cup of coffee.

Podcasting update: I expect to try out the whole podcasting thing within the next month, so get yourselves ready. The voice of Radio Free Roanoke (and if you give a listen to some of the local stations, you almost wish Roanoke was radio free lol) will be live and on air soon enough.

It's been a rip roaring ride so far, and it only promises to get wilder.


I was very nice today

I didn't smash things, I did not yell, I did not injure myself or others.

I had no malicious thoughts, no pondering of innards flying.

I had no want to borrow someones semi and barrell through the place.

I was tired, hungry, and peeved.

In that order.

had I been born a rich woman, today would have been completely different. But alas, I am just a man - flesh and bone.

Tolerance be thy name.

DAMMIT!! Theres no cookies left!


A tip for the Times

From Lileks.com's Bleat for today: "If I were king of the forest, and could remake the Daily Paper according to my whims, I’d make two changes. I’d confine the editorials to local matters, because no one cares what the Peoria Gleaner thinks about Sudan. Whereas an intensely local editorial section has a unique power; it’s distributed and read by the people who can actually do something about the issues raised. Second, I’d flip the A and B sections. Newspapers can do the local issues like no other medium. "

Replace with Peoria Gleaner with Roanoke Times and you pretty much have it.

News from The Roanoke Times -Name that tune - if the price is right

Well, I guess since Payola is no longer allowed, and what with the national tragedy of illegal downloading (did I mention that fully half the albums I had as a teen were tapes copied off of friends?), the poor starving musical liscenising companies have finally found a way to get truly funded.

This is nonsense. This stinks of RICO, and a host of other unsound business pratices. I was in many a band, and played many a live show - and not once did we even consider that we owed someone else for our performance of a cover song. Because that cover song was not why people came in. It was not what made us money. (Plus half the time the cover song was barely recognizeable.) We never released it as a single, never featured it on any of the cd's we recorded. It was usually just a one off, something that we played in the studio to break up the seriousness.

I've worked in restaurants. I have seen the BMI sticker on the door of the place, but it only meant that we had access to a larger collection of music. It was a service, not unlike the Dish Network offers today. It just gave us access to a large catalog of pre-programmed music. And Ive worked in places where the only music was off the radio in the dining area. Just regular broadcast radio.

So now your telling me that we were supposed to PAY for all of that? A) I did not get the memo, and B) Try it. Im sure the Supreme Court would have fun with it.

Especially for songs that are historically public. Like "White Christmas." Yes, we all know someone owns the rights to it, but that doesn't stop every single place from playing it, or something like it, or even personally singing it.

A children's choir should now pay BMI for the right to sing it at the town christmas tree lighting?

There needs to be some sort of change in the understanding of media property, copyrights, and licensing - there is for proft, and for public good. The for profit could include: music played in movie theatres before the movie starts, music which is being included to sell a product. The public good is fairly obvious - music for public presentation, wether it be the kids at the christmas tree or "Wind Beneath My Wings" sung by someone at a firefighter appreciation and memorial service. Last week we had the "No Music in Podcasting" issue, this week its "No music in restaurants without a fee." Next week could be a Radio fee on every radio in the nation to pay for the license to play any song at any volume which could be heard by others - thereby consituting a public performance.

Remember kids, don't play songs for your friends - only criminals do that.

I will never walk down the street whistling the whistling part from Billy Joel's "The Stranger" ever again, and I personally apologise to Mr. Joel and his legal team for each instance of doing so.

Google Search: Odeo

Google Search: Odeo
For those in the know, podcasting has come home to roost.

Odeo is browser based software that allows YOU to create your own podcast. Plus, it allows you to find podcasts that match your preferences, and comment on them.

Think of it, not only do you get to air your views or whatever on your very own radio station, but you are syndicated internationally. Possibly universally, if the ET's have gotten off AOL allready and grown up. I just got my invite, and if you head to the site - and sign up for the newsletter, you will probably get one too. It's still in beta testing, but much like G-mail and the Death Star, its fully operational.

Oh - theres another thing out there.. Orkut. Its a social networking software by the brains at google. Its very hush hush, but from what little Ive read - very powerful and useful. Keep your eyes out for this one..And if anyone has an invite to waste - let me know. I'd love to get in on the ground floor.


Someone at DBJ has obviously taken a course in governmental linguistics.

City Market building is big at lunch, but dinner dining seems less certain: "June 21, 2005
City Market building is big at lunch, but dinner dining seems less certain

The debate over what needs to be done to Roanoke's city market building is heating up once again. At a recent city council meeting, some members questioned why the downtown landmark closes so early.
Tenants say business is very strong through the lunch hour, and they are open to the idea of staying open later. But they tell us it's easier said than done, and it therefore probably won't happen any time soon. "


That place is packed during lunch, one can hardly find a block of wood. Or wicker stool. Heck, it reminds me of the 34th St Subway Station at Christmas-time. Only smelly in a good way. I havent found better chinese than I have found at the Market. Once a month (at least) I must have my General Tso there, otherwise I get hives.

Oh yes, hives. nasty.

I say, its the summer. Whats to be lost by staying open late? You know they don't turn that air conditioning off at night, so why not use it. Throw the doors open wide and let the smells entrance all those home-bound worker-bees into debating staying in town for dinner. Or even getting something to go.

Any sale is better than no sale. And summer is the best time to test this idea. Excess sunlight, abundance of warm bodies hanging about with no specific plans. You allready have the inventory, Im sure Sysco and US Foods will be more than happy to deliver again. And if its not well recieved? Well, you tried.

Unless those food stalls are really magical, and turn into punkins' when you close? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Easier said than done... yeah - so hard to assign 2 workers to stand there while you wait for a possible sale.

or do we need a special "Eating after 5" permit?

just try it, stop being whiners.

I'll take a double order of General Tso's to go... but only at 6pm.

roanoke.com - Extra stories -'Hands Around the World'

Is it that hard to see the difference between art that makes a difference, and art that exisits in indifference?

I love this thing. I think I would love it even if it had nothing to do with the Sister Cities. In its own way it reminds me of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows park (1964-65 Worlds Fair). It is an artifact, yet still relevant. Its represents the world of tomorrow, yesterday and in the future. As will the "Hands around the World" statue. We were once all together (yes, so what if it was Pangea?) and we will be again in the future, if the continental drift has its way. We might as well get started now.

I like this, I really do. This is perfect for Roanoke. And so what if its not done by some world-renound sculptor who is famous for recycling 1970's ugly curtains and hanging them in parks a la Christo? Its homegrown, honest, and real. If only it were that way with other things.

Get it? THIS is Roanoke. Simple, quiet yet powerfully moving. It does not take a megaphone to make the world notice you anymore. As is evidence by this blog. I cannot tell you where I get hits from, mostly because it baffles me as to how I get them. But around the world, around the town, and around the corner. It's the small voice that can shake the foundations of the Earth now. In the days before the internet, mostly referring to the 80's, garish design and volume were appropriate.

Well, subjectively speaking they were.

It was a reflex reaction to the stone, steel, and glass bricks which sprang up during the 1960's and 70's. Some of which can be seen in our own downtown. In the 80's, design became writ large across the planet. Unexpected designs appeared in areas no one would have considered. Anyone remember Miami before Miami Vice? That wonderfully art deco area was not so sublime, so desired. Many of those buildings were threatened. For a simple example, look at Ocean City, Maryland.

A dangerous mishmash of 19th century seaside houses side by side with what appears to be a monument to the Aztec pyramid builders as designed by a guy named Vinnie who works in concrete.

Anyway - go support it. Its a good thing. Really good.

roanoke.com: Southwest Virginia starts here - after 5(a.m.)

Ok, Im looking directly into the gaping maw of the beast here.

You start with this story (after ofcourse, the important I/O junk at the top - because everyone should have to hunt for the headlines) "RIVER CLEANUP
Three pressing issues give the Roanoke City Council a rather more intensive day than usual. " Well this shows promise..

Part one of the story involves cleaning up the Roanoke River through a partnership between the City and volunteers. And the Flood Abatement program.

Allright, who saw the news last night? What major issue did the Council vote on? What issue that is generally unsupported, according to a WSLS poll? Um. Not here - keep moving...

Part 2 of the City Councils day... "SOUTHERN HILLS" - Allright, cool. City votes to finally upgrade the Southern Hills area, bringing it inline with the late 20th Century. And it seems that this development is not truly tied to the Home Depot that might be built there, not totally... still missing something.

Part 3 (the wrap up) - Its headline is "Rental Inspection." Its basically about Roanoke changing the rental inspection laws, bringing it inline with changes the state made last year. Umm.. still missing something. Keep reading....

"In other action, the council unanimously approved the issuance of $12.8 million in general obligation public improvement bonds for a handful of capital projects.

The bonds are expected to pay $3.7 million to aid in the construction of the new art museum in downtown; $2.6 million for pubic parking facilities; $2.6 million for a financial information system project; and $4 million for the purchase of the Countryside Golf Course should the council choose to exercise its option on the land where it hopes to see mixed-use housing developed.

Only one person spoke during a public hearing on the bonds. Sarah Higgins of Countryside Road said she spoke on behalf of the Countryside Neighborhood Steering Committee and asked the council not to go forward with the Countryside purchase."

Hidden. One line, not even a full sentence. And then to note only one person spoke, and not even on the issue of the Art Museum makes it sound like the museum is widely accepted and uncontested. But.. what can one expect from the paper which touts the museum as " grand architecture or the Wreck of the Flying Nun." A term used when the design was first unveiled a few short months ago. Because there have been no serious challenges made - so we keep using the silly name. Make those who oppose it seem trivial. Good job RT - wonderful choices in reporting the story.


WSLS Survey on the Art Museum

In the words of Pepe, the King Prawn: "It's Over.. Okayyy."

Kinda sad, especially considering in the face of overwhelming public opinion, they're still insisiting on building the damn silly thing. But then again - some of the greatest French buildings were done during the desperation prior to the Revolution.

This could be the new Victory Stadium.

But go right on ahead, no one will be any the worse for it.

The details.

Allright, Im sorry. I realize that just because the majority polled do not want the Art Museum does not mean that the poll has not been tampered with, unduly influenced, nuanced, spun, or generally mis-interpreted as a valid result.

Silly me, I must be thinking of the presidential elections.

But seriously, if this is not a clear indicator - I will personally go around town, conducting my own informal, unscientific, nuanced poll and I bet you I get the same results. Most people don't want/don't care/won't go/won't pay for the art museum.

It's a sad day when the will of the people means so little. But the people have longer memories than one might think. And legal recourses. Lets not forget the entire area there is both on the state and national historic registry. There is precedent, oh yes. September 10th is not so far off.

Oh, and I personally, as being someone directly affected by 9/11, find the timing a bit tacky. Considering its supposed to be a day for the nation to unite in patriotisim (and considering how on a Sunday not much gets accomplished here) Satruday would be the appropriate day for such a celebration. But instead, we are going to have the single most devisive issue in Roanoke today. And it is, wether you have noticed it or not.

But boy oh boy - lets hand a award to the city council and the ARB for least input from the general population to affect a decision. We had more warning on Explore Park. The monied minority has spoken, and a crappy looking building we shall have. Or not. Theres still alot of time between now and then.

2007? I do hope the word "quagmire" does not rear its ugly head.

Go ahead and start rushing the construction before you really begin to feel pressure. Cost over-runs, site problems, weather challenges.. Yeah, we will just sit back and laugh.

And in 5 years, if I hit the lottery, I promise to buy the decrepit, unoccupied building and level it. I will recycle what I can into cheap foreign cars - might as well send it back where it came from.

Then I will make Mr. Important Architect a little plaque - highly polished, so he can see what failure looks like.

Oh Im tired allright.. But somehow, I feel better.

I know Im not alone, how about you? How big and important is your crowd? The "Starbucks Elite" could leave Roanoke, and it would not fail. But put those same "Starbucks Elite" in a truly cosmopolitian town, and they would. Little fish, little fish - go try your hand in the big pond.

Stabbed trying to end fight

hows that for classy for ya? Take the kids to Chuck E Cheese for Fathers Day, watch mom get into a fistfight - then watch daddy try to gut a man for trying to keep the peace.



A notice:

Due to work schedule, blogging will mostly take place in the afternoon. Please check back then.