There will be a slight pause

Slight pause in blogging and podcasting this weekend, as we attempt to end the holiday madness and get things done.

Big concept: Get Things Done.

Personally, if I get 3/4ths the things done I will be thrilled.

So the podcast is delayed, the blogging is delayed, the website is delayed..

But don't worry, there is no strike going on here. There will be a podcast by Tuesday, postings to the blog will be intermittent this weekend, and the website will have something new next week.

Anyway - time to swing into action.


*Roanoke News Alert*

*Roanoke News Alert*

Civility reigns still.

"Roanoke Public Library branches on Williamson Road and the
Main Branch in downtown Roanoke remain open today. All other Roanoke
Public Library branches are closed due to inclement weather."

Nice to know, no matter how bad the weather, how dark the days - the library remains open for those who seek solace within.

Im being very nice here..

*Roanoke News Alert*

Plows spotted! Well, a plow spotted.  Posted by Picasa

*Roanoke News Alert*

*Roanoke News Alert*

It's downright ugly out there - with sleet falling like sand. I just watched a bus fishtail ever so slightly as it pulled out of Tanglewood. The sidewalks look to have about a full inch of icy crap on them, and the situation is not improving any.

I've been through ice storms before - and I know it's no picnic being out in one, even less so when you absolutely have to be out in one. Electric Rd still shows no signs of any type of plowing or salt, even the limited traffic is no longer having an impact on the conditions of the road. I will venture out in a little while to check the conditions and take some photos.

Part of me wonders if we all turned up our heat and opened our windows, would it make a difference? But then again, these are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

*Roanoke News Alert*

*Roanoke News Alert*

The NOAA is now focusing in on a total of 1+ inches of frozen precipitation (snow, sleet, ice) by storms end. Freezing Rain set to invade around noon, with heavy downpours at the onset.

This is no joke here people. Take all precautions you can.. and buckle in, this is ugly.

*Roanoke News Alert*

doesnt look like much... yet. But where the rubber meets the road, things are slick. Very slick.  Posted by Picasa

*Roanoke News Alert*

this is an audio post - click to play
*Roanoke News Alert* audiocast #1

*Roanoke News Alert*

**Roanoke News Alert**

sleet is falling, heavily at that. mixed with light fluffy snowflakes. I am about to venture out into the wilds to see how ugly it really is out there.

Wish me luck.


*Roanoke News Alert*

This is a test of the Roanoke News Alert system. Had this been an actual alert, you probably wouldn't notice.

This system will be activated between the hours of 9am and 9pm for the entire Roanoke area due to the Ice Storm predicted.

We will be bringing you live updates from the corner of 419 and 220, the NOAA reports, and anywhere we are unlucky enough to travel today.

Earliest reports indicate 419 is "iffy" in terms of clear roads.

Proceed with caution, due dilligence, and a brain in your head.

This has been a test of the
*Roanoke News Alert* system.


Weather Hazards for Roanoke, VA

Ice storm. Thats a hazard?

well, I would have never guessed.

face it folks - obviously this is not going to be a banner winter. We are off to a bad start as it is. Everyone stay somewhere safe, and don't leave it.

I'll have my camera close by... cell phone too, provided it works. So check back for audio updates through out the day.

On the ground....

In the sky.....

Under the covers...

We cover Roanoke from all angles.. just for you.

Radio & Text Free Roanoke(found) will take to the broadband waves around 9am tomorrow.

Baby, its cold outside.

I mean really cold, and damp - or at least clammy. One or the other.

We are on the verge of another storm with identity issues. Should I be snow? Rain? Ice? I just cant decide...

Stupid storm.

Did I mention Im getting old? There was a time when I wore the same basic outfit all year round. Jeans & a t-shirt. In the dead of a NY summer, or the teeth of a NY winter, same basic outfit - just added a jacket. Now I actually went out and bought a thermal shirt. Long sleeve. Makes me feel ancient. My hands get cold easily. This from the guy who used to spend days inside the walk-in freezer at the deli. I live for winter, or at least I used to. Nowadays it's Fall Im pining for. At least then there is till some warmth to the day.

Once the holidays are overwith, Im turing this blog back to the focus on Roanoke's history. I realize I have gotten a bit off topic lately, and apologize for that. But there are alot of sites in the works, including the "Lone Oak" and a mansion or two that I am just seeking out a bit more information on before I post on them.

If anyone has any pictures of Lone Oak before it was demolished in 1963, I would much appreciate it.

More later...


Editorials from The Roanoke Times -Reject referendums for Roanoke

And what the Times editorial fails to mention is that most of Roanoke's elected officials DO NOT listen or represent the people justly, which is why some of the people are calling for referendums.

A full on "Tear it down or rebuild it" vote on Victory Stadium where every citizen could cast a vote would leave no margin of doubt what the will of the people would be.

The elected in Roanoke allready have excuses for failing to lead the city, they call it politics.

But as the Times never, e'er reports politics and has no idea what they are, Im sure they don't see it here either.

Either do the referendum vote, or make EVERY position within the higher eschelon of the city government open for vote every 2 years.

Public hearings are just a formality to keep the idea of personal involvement alive. And once again, I know nothing of Darlene Burcham, but I do not see the point in having a city manager when you allready have a mayor and vice mayor.

Even NYC, with x-times the population of Roanoke does not have a city manager.

But regardless, in order to turn the corner on Roanoke and take it to the next level, the government needs to become more representative of the people - and if that means adding a few members to the city council, allowing a referendum vote on the larger issues, or even changing the times for the city council meetings so they are more aligned with peoples schedules, or holding them at alternate sites that rotate, then so be it.

I also think the Roanoke City gov't needs to get with the County and put the nonsense of the past behind them. If the County is unwilling to cooperate, thats their problem. But maybe they need a gentle reminder that without the city, theres not much of a reason to be in the county.

Do not let the Times fool you, their understanding is limited in situations like this. The Times has a very limited view of the world, although you would expect the opposite.

Neither here nor there, I think the whole thing comes down to good governing. If the people feel they are being duly represented, then fine - if not.. well...

Vote or Die (as it was once said by a Mr. P. Diddy)


The Rebirth of Storytelling

As I close in on 500 posts, I give pause to reflect from time to time on the history of this blog, and blogs in general. Back in 1984, Jean Shepherd (of A Christmas Story fame, although minimal compared to his other works) wrote a piece for NY Newsday (just Newsday back then) on "The Death of Storytelling." You can read the article here.

Now I have been a long time Shep fan, although I was not old enough to listen to him back in the day. At 2 years old, your not listening to much at 11pm. One of the longest radio careers in history, spanning 23 years on one station alone, Shep had a following. Well, more of a cult really. I stumbled upon him in my teen years, when I was known to keep vampiric hours. I had no idea this was the same man who made A Christmas Story.

I was not a fan of the movie when I first saw it in the movie theatre with my grandmother. I was quite plain about it too, my review was "I didn't like it."

Actually, upon reflection, I didn't get it would have been more accurate. But regardless, Shep is a genius in many ways you wont understand unless you have listened. And you can, here.

I highly encourage it as a matter of fact. Each broadcast is available for listening or download - think of them as early podcasts. Which is probably what would piss Ol' Shep off the most.

Anyway, he wrote about The Death of Storytelling. Related to our attention spans, TV, the changing idea of whats important and whats not, and our ability to follow a narritive.

Well, I think it might be changing.

Blogs are reaching a level of popularity rivaled only by early radio personalities. For many of us, we look to blogs for the in depth reporting, human angle, and inside information we cannot get from the daily newspaper. We look to blogs for the stories of life, time, and everything else that we cannot get from the newspaper either.

I had my own narritive, "BST", a series of entries recalling my tryst with a tumor. Readership was good while it ran, with many of the people reading coming back for more.

Many of the blogs I read deal with everyday stuff, through multiple lenses. And thats what makes them so interesting, the human filter. No one ever sees things the way you do. TV has somewhat lessened that through the years, but tv is suffering decreased viewership in favor of internet viewing. NBC recently announced that its entire back catalog of TV shows will be available for download and purchase for the iPod.

That, to me, signals a turn from the TV. When a media company has to go back and sell everything they own, it makes me wonder about the current profitability of the company.

I think the charge on this is being led by the burgeoning internet storytellers. Be they news related, personal, or general; people are possibly reading more. I say possibly because there has been no true study on this. But as my fellow bloggers can attest to, we are recieving attention. Multiple visits from the same IPs. People are rediscovering the enjoyment of hearing a story.

Think of it, as children - we all loved to be read to at night, we all loved to hear storys told of things we have never seen or places we have never been. Thats what a blog is, because no matter even if you live with the blogger, you still don't know totally whats going on in his/her mind. How they view the same exact situation out the window that you can see.

Thats where Shep's genius lie. The ability to connect with you, the listener, at the outset by framing the story in something we have all experienced. Then, slowly and deliberately, he builds it until you are on the edge, and finally - delivering the punch line. And returning to a common emotion that we can all identify with, and we do. If even for a moment we are there, with Shep, waiting for the hammer to drop and the Ol' Man to find out the truth, only to glance past and skate to freedom.

You live the highs and lows in a good story, and with any luck, the blogs you read tell a good story.

With any luck, Im telling a good story. And with any luck, your enjoying what you read.

Although I do urge you to reach out and discover some Jean Shepherd of your own, beyond ACS. There is more to the man than Fra-geel-ay(Oh, must be Italian) and the major award.

To give you an idea of the storytellers I read, go check out Lileks.com whose daily Bleats provide me with a few minutes of enjoyment, and a days worth of thinking.

Thank you for being literate, and for choosing to be so.

Im not quite sure how to put this....

I've noticed while going over my logs for the blog that I have been getting hits out of Iraq. Without divulging anything, I just want to say Hoo-RAH!

Feel free to print this out and slap it on the ordinance, from Roanoke with love.

(btw - this is not flamewar fodder, so forget it. try it and you'll taste the bitter end of my mouse pointer)

Forgotten Roanoke

Well, a little overdue but its here. The latest addition to Forgotten-Roanoke.com

It might not seem like much, but theres more to it than you might see at first. It's a peek in what will be coming to F-R in the future. Well, provided I can find any further information on whatever the thing might be. As far as Im concerned, everything has a home somewhere, the hard part is getting it there.

This section of the site will be updated frequently as I discover things which are seemingly orphans of history, with no explination as to how they came to be, or why then? Why there? Or even more important, who?

The usual standard journalistic questions will be used, and new questions will be introduced. This page will be the one to watch, as I seem to discover at least one or two things a week. Sometimes they will be accompanied by an image, sometimes the image will come later - after research. And sometimes the item will just vanish, only to reappear on some page in the future.

And if you have any information to share on these orphans, please do.

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Nvu - The Complete Web Authoring System for Linux, Macintosh and Windows

Nvu - The Complete Web Authoring System for Linux, Macintosh and Windows

I just wanted to let you know that there is infact a new, completely different page being readied for Forgotten-Roanoke.com

It will be a page where I can toss up one-off updates and small things rather than wait the 2 weeks to try and piece together a larger update.

Which means, as things connect the dots - things will be moved from this new page (when it shows later on) to the page it should be on...

A repository if you will.