Archive for July, 2009

Yesterday was a good day in ink for me. I had a poem called “The mundane but discretely lovely details of our daily lives” featured in the Carrboro Free Press special “Waste” or trash issue and was listed in the TechJournal South as a technology maven — there were some pretty damn smart folks listed along with me too.

Neither of the publications are yet online although both promise to be. In the meantime, folks outside of the Carrboro area here’s the poem which some of you liked from Twitter and Facebook snippets (“Where dumpsters meet their dumptruck lovers and are raised in their arms like whales”). Thanks to the editors of both publications for liking me and the poem.

The mundane but discretely lovely details of our daily lives

The list on the refrigerator
gives all the signs of family:
peanut butter and tuna steaks,
garbage bags and red wine,
an offer to discount the mortgage.

On the sill, a reddening pepper.

The green side in shadow
with a crip dried soap bubble
breaking the reflected light
like rose cathedral windows
warming the cold grey church–
hearts welcoming in a spirit–
exotic and solid as mango seed–
sweet pulp of these days;
like a map with too many details.

Gods of a world too mundane for gods,
you blinded me. Now you amaze.

So much, so small, and so irregular–
who will sing of you?
Who will tell your particularity,
your temporary insistance,
the way the pepper sinks in the sill
when overripe, how a drop forms
then falls from the faucet?
Only those who have been too wise
for too much of our lives,
who pause before you here
and for a moment know
that one beautiful fear.

For you I will rise early
before dumpsters greet
their dump truck lovers
and are lifted in their iron arms
like passionate whales,
I will gather what is wasted,
what remains American,
and be forever true.

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The jazz – mostly – band Equinox plays an original True to the Blues (by drummer Spence Foscue) at Weaver Street Market accompanied by hoopers, a juggler, small children, small dogs and off camera a pygmy goat.

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But with the Mark of the Best or the Mark of the Beast? This image was discovered on the steps of the One True Manning Hall at UNC – Chapel Hill this morning by the ever alert @taranga. A shadowy figure in round glasses and a fez. What could it mean? Someone monkeying around? Andre the Giant gone Morocco-academic?

@smalljones vandal fan club? or unpaid guerilla worship: on Twitpic

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Open Source for America

ibiblio helps found open-source advocacy group

CHAPEL HILL – ibiblio, a conservancy of freely available information on the Internet based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a founding member of a new group aiming to promote use of open-source technology by the federal government.

The new group announced today, Open Source for America, is a cross-section of more than 50 companies, universities, communities and individuals holding that government can and should become more transparent, participatory, secure and efficient by using open-source software.

The group also holds that the open-source community can drive collaborative innovation for government; and that a decision to use software should be driven solely by the requirements of the user. For more information about Open Source for America, visit http://opensourceforamerica.org.

The term “open source” refers to software that is distributed with its source code, so that user organizations and vendors can modify it for their own purposes. Most open-source licenses allow the software to be redistributed without restriction under the same terms of the license. For more information, visit opensource.org.

ibiblio, accessed at www.ibiblio.org, was one of the world’s first Web sites and is the largest collection of collections on the Internet. It is supported by UNC’s School of Information and Library Science and School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“We’re delighted to help explain and promote the rewards and benefits of open sources to the government sector,” said Paul Jones, director of ibiblio and clinical associate professor at both schools. “Open code is a giant step toward providing the kind of transparency and accountability that democracies require.”

Only two North Carolina universities are represented in Open Source for America: Carolina and N.C. State University in Raleigh. Others represented are the University of California’s Irvine and Merced branches; Carnegie Mellon; Oregon State University; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

ibiblio’s goals include expanding and improving the creation and distribution of open-source software; continuing UNC programs to develop an online library and archive; hosting projects that expand the concepts of transparency and openness; and serving as a model for other open-source projects.

School of Information and Library Science contact: Wanda Monroe, (919) 843-8337, wmonroe at unc.edu

School of Journalism and Mass Communication contact: Kyle York, (919) 966-3323, sky at unc.edu

News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589

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Listen!

Django Haskins plays “Blood and Oil” solo at Saxapahaw

We love getting out to Saxapahaw, an old but re-enlivened mill village on the Haw River about 10 miles west of Carrboro, for their Saturday music, farmer’s market and food. One of the nice surprises, and there are many, is that we run into friends from all over the area out there.

The farmers market is more of an artisans’ market than a vegetable purchasing place. Wine, jams, pickles, flat breads, new wave sock monkeys, and the like are all there and all local, very local, to the area.

The BBQ Joint brings a truck up and there is always ice cream (all local of course), but the big surprise for us this time out was the great food up at the Shell station aka Saxapahaw General Store. Yes it is a functioning quick stop store and gas house, but behind the grill something else is happening. Goat burgers, roasted veggie sandwiches, seafood specials (until they run out which on Saturdays is apt to happen), local beef, taters fried in duckfat (I donno why this is so good but it is), great greens, nice wine that you uncork yourself which makes for a great price. Ambiance? It’s a quickstop so you could be eating in a booth facing the motor oil and the wine is next to the fishing worms, but outside, if eating by the worms is not your ideal eating situation, there are some nice tables and while not quite a river view, a good place to sit in the evening. You could take out as a picnic to the music and farmers market or down to the river tho.

Thanks Heather and Tom LaGarde for putting on the shows and market, and of course Django for the music this time out.

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Big Medicine returned to Quail Ridge Books where they first met Garrison Keillor and were asked to play on his Prairie Home Companion. A slightly new line up for the Meds but still a very good sound — except for the cash register keys occassionally clicking near my iPhone, but that’s what keeps the store open and the venue a cool one for unmic-ed bluegrass and old time music.

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Just back from a walk around the new Dino Trail at the Museum of Life and Science. Beck Trench aka @10ch arranged an early preview especially for bloggers and tweeple that she could reach from the @lifeandscience twitter address. Over 100 of us checked in by 3:30! Too many to namecheck here bit check the hashtagged links. Our tweets are all tagged either #dinotour or #dinotrail.

Beck has set up a page for participation called /dinosaurs that will allow visitors to upload their videos, drawings, links to their blog posts etc.

On the #dinotrail on Twitpic

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We took at trip over to lovely Carrboro to see and hear @steveburnett play theremin. Steve managed to get everyone in the room to play at the instrument and gave some generous explanations of how it works. His theremin and several of his effects boxes are from Big Briar and signed by Bob Moog.

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