Saturday, June 08, 2002
To be frank, we do not know how to cure or prevent micromanagement. It is practiced by individuals who have so little trust in their coworkers that they most control everything. Micromanagers are rarely likable enough for anyone to try to help them. Our considered advice to PMs who are micromanaged is to request a transfer.
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — A would-be rapper from Mt. Juliet has been charged with holding up the Alpine Lodge in Cookeville and is a suspect in two similar motel robberies in Crossville and Carthage, police said.Now I know as an aspiring rapper you gotta keep up a certain image. But listen up, buddy boy... You got nerve stomping all over the American flag while still partaking of the cultural bounty of America! Do you think they even have Victoria's Secret catalogs in places like Iraq or Libya? Sheesh!
Earl Raymond Vantrese, 22, of Mt. Juliet, was pulled over on Interstate 40 Thursday after a clerk was held up at gunpoint at the Ramada Inn in Crossville around 6:30 a.m. that day, police said.
After stopping Vantrese's 1981 Buick Regal near Monterey, police said, they found numerous rap lyrics and a boom box in the front seat, along with a Victoria's Secret lingerie catalog, a video camera and pictures in the back seat of Vantrese stomping on the American flag, along with $812 in cash.
Friday, June 07, 2002
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Ten Commandments have been removed from Hamilton County court buildings, ending an episode that may cost the government as much as $80,000.Many of the quixotic chumps pushing this crap are the same ones protesting big government and wasteful spending. Well, here's a perfect example of waste in government. (the article goes on to say that the county commissioners who voted to post the commandments originally said public money would not be used to defend the decision, but it fails to state where else the $80,000 in legal fees might come from.)
[County Commission Chairman Bill Hullander] said he believes a drop in Hamilton County's crime rate can be attributed to the posting of the Ten Commandments. [...] The ACLU submitted a bill this week for more than $50,000. Hamilton County's attorney estimates the county owes between $30,000 and $40,000 for outside legal fees.
Before the bible thumpers track me down, I should point out that I have nothing in particular against the 10 Commandments. But I also believe in the Bill of Rights, which is designed to keep government out of the religion business. Say we post the 10 Commandments. Well, what happens next week when Satanists want their manifesto posted in the courthouse?
And the idea that this is some sort of deterrent to crime is absurd. I can just see it:
HEAVILY ARMED ROBBER: Stick em' up. And gimme all the money from the register before I blow your brains out.I wonder what the $80,000 spent on this travesty could have purchased if it were put toward improving schools or building affordable housing...
SCARED CONVENIENCE STORE CLERK: You know, according to the 10 commandments posted in the county courthouse, holding up convenience stores is wrong.
HEAVILY ARMED ROBBER: Really? I had no idea. I'll be off now -- I'm so terribly sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice day!
Thursday, June 06, 2002
I was car-free for 3 months year before last, and took the train or bus everywhere. I discovered that, for me, there was a major issue of time. ...Good point. I commuted across the city periodically using public transportation when I was in DC, and it was somewhat more inconvient then driving. This was mostly because the place I was going to wasn't very well served, and there were multiple transfers involved. To really make it work, I think you probably have to make a concious decision to live where you have very good transportation access, and you have to work somewhere well-served by public transportation. Even if I were to move to a city that had excellent transportation, I'm not sure I'd entirely give up my vehicle. But I would certainly make use of the added flexibility provided by the better transit.
I grew up in eastern Kentucky far from any buses, trains or hints of public transportation; people sometimes still rode a horse to the nearby grocery store. I remember with longing the slow lazy summer days; I hope to be back to some semblance of that again some day. But using public transportation consistently isn't similar to that kind of slowing down, and requires basically a restructuring of your life. Not many people who've grown up in other contexts (i.e. Nashville) are likely to embrace it.
Part of the problem (I think) is that even cities with excellent transit systems are afflicted by sprawl and poor urban design. If planners and architects design with cars in mind rather than pedestrians, then people will tend to use cars. It takes a concious effort to build in such a way that walking and public transit alternatives are actually MORE convienient. That's why I got so fed up a few years ago when I heard that folks were opposing a dense new-urbanist apartment/retail building next to a Metro station near where my parents live. People were upset by the "density" and "lack of space for parking lots" inherent in building in the urban location, and concerned that the buildings would reduce green space. The thinking seemed to be "Well, there's all sorts of land out in East Bumblefuck, why can't they build out there and leave my neighborhood alone?" People missed the whole point -- that putting dense residential and commercial development right next to a train station is a great idea. It allows people to easily use the train rather than a car, thereby reducing traffic and pollution. It cuts down on new development in the countryside, reducing sprawl and saving more true greenspace. And it helps create the sort of vibrant urban community where many people like to live.
Building a pedestrian-friendly city with good transportation requires a leap of faith. You have to build the infrastructure first, and do it in such a way that it will tend to encourage more better-planned and more pedestrian-friendly development. It's not going to happen overnight. but just as Krusty Burger joints and Exxons tend to cluster around Interstate exits, walkable communities will tend to cluster around rail stations.
Diversity, we want a place that's diverse, where there's different kinds of people on the street. Of course a job is important, but it isn't just "a" job: We need lots of jobs because we know now that "a" job isn't going to last long. We want a city to be creative, we want it to be exciting, we want it to have all kinds of amenities, we want it to have outdoor sports, extreme sports, rollerblading, cycling, art scene, music scene. Then we asked, "Do you do all that stuff?" and the answer was "No, we just want to know it's there."Read more in Christopher Dreher's Salon article Be creative -- or die.
UPDATE: Bill Hobbs has more on this subject.
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
The basic Bush attitude toward accountability seems to be: stuff it. This distaste for what he considers “Monday-morning quarterbacking” predates September 11. Allow historians continued access to old unclassified presidential documents? Nope. Release the names of those corporations that had private audiences with Vice President Cheney’s energy task force? Not gonna happen without a court order. Come clean at long last on the contacts between the White House and Enron? In your dreams.
(...) [T]he only way to secure our safety—at the FBI or the chemical plant down the road—is holding people accountable for performance. Bush understands that in the field of education. It’s about time he starts raising standards for homeland defense too.
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Realists cannot solve problems, only idealists can do that. Reality is far too complex to deal with in its entirety. An "idealist" is needed to strip away almost all the reality from a problem, leaving only the aspects of the "real" situation with which he or she wishes to deal.
Monday, June 03, 2002
"Listen. Listen. I'm not homophobic; I told them I'm not homophobic," said Tyson, who has used derogatory remarks in his everyday language. "So if I use a homophobic term . . . I'm not homophobic." And his thoughts on Saturday night's showdown at The Pyramid with Lennox Lewis? "I'm ready," Tyson said. "I'm going to kill him."Ain't boxing just the greatest sport...
Dreaming of a beautiful, efficient, democratic, growing capital, [Washingtonians] have tried to build a beautiful, efficient, democratic, growing rail system. That Metro serves so many functions so well marks it as a triumph of democratic consensus. In 1970 the Washington Post described Metro as "the last best chance to make this metropolitan area a decent place to live in the future."Since moving to the "New South" hamlet where I now reside, I've really begun to realize how good we had it in DC. Nashville's not as bad as some cities I've visited, but its populace has clearly subscribed to the idea that the automobile is the only worthwhile form of transportation. Once centrally located on the Louisville & Nashville railroad, the city now has no passenger rail service. (The city's decaying Union Station was finally converted to a luxury hotel in the 1980s.) Once serviced by a fairly extensive network of streetcars going to a variety of destinations, the city now has no commuter rail or light rail. Buses, which were touted in the 1940s as quieter, faster, and more modern replacements for the streetcars, are now seen as transit of last resort for the poor and downtrodden.
While plans to open a single (federally-subsidized) commuter rail line have been tied up in political wrangling, the state has foged ahead on plans to build a massive 186-mile circumferential highway around the city, pushing sprawl further out into the countryside.
People here just don't get it. You can barely survive in this city without a car. Fewer than 1% of Tennesseans use public transportation to get to work, and even those who would be willing to are unable to find convienient ways to do so.
Which brings me to the point of this little diatribe. In her fascinating article Without a Car in the World, Jane Holtz Kay describes a five-year experiment in "life-sans-automobile." She notes that urban geographies take on an entirely different meaning when not encountered through the eyes of a speeding SUV:
One spring day in my car-free life, a new friend took me on a ride to trace the geography of my childhood and child-rearing days in my home town. In only ten minutes, we traversed the arc of my life: by the courtyard apartment where I grew up in an intimate, sidewalk community...up a hill to the small house on a dead-end street where I reared my children...past the home of my high school days, just paces from the classroom. In short order, we had swung by the library, the corner store, the town swimming pool, my sister's house. "You have lived your life in such a small space," my friend, a planner, said thoughtfully.Something to think about. Personally, while I own a used pickup truck, the idea minimizing its use and avoiding the hassles of traffic, parking, and trips to the mechanic is very appealing. But it's really a chicken and egg problem -- public transportation doesn't improve until people see its benefits, and people don't see its benefits unless they have a good public transportation system.
"Small…," I said. It had seemed universe enough. Not small at all to a child on foot. Not small to an adolescent or young mother. Not in the detail, the change, the shifting drift of streets, the palette of tree and vegetation, the variety of architecture, the scale of windows, the ornament of accretions through the years. Each locale, each corner, each doorway had meaning and actuality. Each segment had a rich and diverse presence as I walked from store to school to playground. To me, the arc was large as life: It was built at a walker's pace, and paced it I had. Its mobility was the pedestrian's--the person's--mobility, shifting, evolving, engaging eye and mind. How different from carbound America's hypermobility, the endless passing of faceless places.
Sunday, June 02, 2002
What’s wrong with my house: a list for the perusal of the public
- Garbage disposal doesn't work. Evil sounding electric humming when switch is flipped. Did not wait around to find out what would happen if left on, but suspect it would involve fire department.
- Gate to back yard has screw loose. Multiple screws, actually. Will fall off if wind blows wrong way. Mildly concerned about security of $10 plastic patio chairs.
- Roof on top of front porch appears to have collided with tree limb, causing minor case of shingles. (ba boom, ching!)
- Caulk in shower is deteriorating.
- Crack floor replacement team of Larry, Curly, and Moe apparently did not re-secure insulation in crawl space after having destroyed laundry room in December. Discovered when went to hide back yard detritus in crawl space.
- Attic window appears to be broken. Don’t have ladder long enough to actually enter attic and investigate – for all I know, could be dead bodies stashed up there. Yikes.
- Front walk is developing massive pothole/sinkhole type of thing.
- Family of birds seems to have taken up residence inside roof at back of house. Strange noises provide hours of entertainment for resident cat, but probably do not bode well for future of roof. Suggest eviction at some point.