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RIP No Silence Here

I cannot seem to get a comment to post on the Knoxnews blog No Silence Here.

"I’m told it will cease to exist." That’s a terrible shame. Blogs, content, are history. Like newspapers of old were archived on microfiche, so should blogs such as No Silence Here be forever archived.

Good luck to you Michael! Thank you for the years of inspiration, links, and ideas.

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Veg-o-rama is closed

Knoxville is hard on restaurants. Seems like we close them as fast as new ones open. Today I tried to take a friend to Veg-o-rama for lunch only to find the door locked (had to ask myself if today was Monday) and a KUB door tag blowing down the street. If you’ve never had the displeasure of receiving a KUB door tag, it’s basically a notice that if you don’t pay your bill by 5pm that your utilities will be turned off. The Time Warp Tearoom says they’ve been locked up for about two weeks.

To the best of my knowledge, Veg-o-rama was Knoxville’s only true vegetarian restaurant and introduced me to a variety of delicious entrees I presumed not achievable in a vegetarian dish. From their website:

Welcome to Veg-O-Rama, Knoxville, Tennessee’s only full-service vegetarian restaurant and bar. Our eclectic menu features daily specials based on as much local and organic produce as we can source. We also feature regular menu items like the Veggie Burger, Chili Dogs, and the Getting-to-be-Famous Tofu Reuben that are available all the time.

[veg-o-rama.com]

Veg-o-rama was staffed by wonderful, friendly people. The atmosphere was inviting and accommodated conversation between diners. Additionally, Veg-o-rama added to the developing character of Central Avenue which holds promise of developing into a quaint community. I hope they are simply going through a rough patch and reopen soon but I presume the worst. So, what are your favorite places to each vegetarian in Knoxville?

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Tune in today 9-10am

Radio tower detailToday, May 11, 2011 from 9am to 10am, I’ll be discussing blogging with Brian Hornback (Twitter: @brianhornback), Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas on WNOX‘s 100.3 The Ed & Bob Show (listen live online). You can interact with Ed and Bob on Facebook and Twitter. I suspect you can call in with questions or feel free to use twitter to send messages to @djuggler or post in comments here. This will be a blast!

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RIP Evelyn Sothman

My friend, my Knoxville "mom," has passed away.

To me she will always be "Mom" Sothman sharing the family’s dinner during my college years. She even brought me along to "family" reunions and gatherings of an unrelated family in LaFollette whom she met at a stay in the stay in the hospital. Evelyn Sothman shared video with me of one of the last caretakers of the Wonderland Hotel at Elkmont. Through her, and that smile she wore, I felt closer to the people and the kindness of East Tennessee.

I miss her. May Trisha, Chris and the rest of the family be happy knowing that their mother brought joy to those around her. My love and condolences to you all.

Doug

I am happy to have seen her recently. She was working the polls during the most recent election and I had a few moments to get a hug and catch up.

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Stop Outsourcing at Knox County Schools

A friend from Jobs with Justice of East Tennessee asked that I help spread their word:

Jobs with Justice of East Tennessee is petitioning to save the jobs of 275 or more custodial workers as Superintendent Dr. McIntyre has proposed an outsourcing plan as part of the 2011-2012 school budget which would:

  • lay off 275 workers across the county
  • reduce custodial wages by $2-$5 per hour
  • decrease quality of work (as shown by the last outsourcing attempt)

Please sign our online petition urging the school board to avoid outsourcing in our schools! http://bit.ly/g69Uz3

Jobs with Justice of East Tennessee is having a lunch for custodians and other school employees and community members this Saturday.

Custodians and other school employees and community members have been circulating petitions and talking to the Board of Education about the proposal to contract out custodial services. This is a very bad idea – bad for employees, students, and the whole community. There are a couple of School Board meetings coming up soon, so this might be a good time for folks to get together and talk about what we need to do next.

Let’s meet for lunch Saturday, April 30, 12 noon to 2 pm at the UNITE Building, 1124 N. Broadway (less than a mile north of Central).

Since custodians work different shifts, Saturday seems like the best chance to get together. We’d like the other folks who have been working on this to attend as well.

Lunch & Child Care are provided.

Family members are welcome at this gathering. Everyone is important. We’ll talk about what we’ve accomplished so far, and how we might move forward to save jobs and the quality of our schools. We can do this!

If you have questions before Saturday, call Jobs with Justice volunteers Karly Safar, 615/519-0157 or Brad Rayson, 865/385-4421.

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Not always as nerdy as I should be

Only today have I comprehended the meaning behind HAL’s dirge, "Daisy Bell," at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In 1961, the IBM 7094 became the first computer to sing, singing [Daisy Bell]. Vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and the accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews.

[Source, Youtube, First computer to sing – Daisy Bell]

Max V. Mathews, RIP

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Best ev’r reminder service fails to its own success – RIP Jott.com

I can’t remember…oh right, RIP Jott.

"We founded Jott in April of 2006. … In 2006 Jott emerged as a leader in mobile voice-to-text applications… we will focus our voice-to-text service investments on carrier and enterprise distribution, and no longer on Jott.com." [Source, Jott blog]

Of all the services I’ve played with and have seen go, this is the first that almost brought a tear to my eye. My first Jott was on September 5, 2007 at 9:54am. I spoke into my phone and the service translated my words to text. I would later learn that Jott used a combination of computer software and people at call centers. I imagine that if the software failed to understand a word, that segment of the message would be pushed to a queue and transcribed by person. Jott sat on my speed dial and I could verbally leave a message, send it to another service like Remember The Milk or another person via email/sms/etc, and even set a reminder which would send the transcribed message to me via SMS. I even had Jott installed as the default software for my Jawbone Icon. A while after using it, Jott turned to a paid subscriber model that left a small feature set to free users and shortly after that killed free accounts altogether so I quit using Jott. But I found myself lost without it and soon relented to paying $4.95 a month for the service. Money well spent! Jott became my capture tool of choice and kept me organized and eased my forgetfulness. Now it looks as though Jott is turning to corporate clients.

How the hell am I going to remember anything?! (Springpad of course!)

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Tune in tomorrow 9-10am

Radio tower detailTomorrow, April 6, 2011 from 9am to 10am, I’ll be discussing blogging with Brian Hornback (Twitter: @brianhornback), Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas on WNOX‘s 100.3 The Ed & Bob Show (listen live online). You can interact with Ed and Bob on Facebook and Twitter. I suspect you can call in with questions or feel free to use twitter to send messages to @djuggler or post in comments here. This will be a blast!

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My April/May 2011 Juggling Performances

This is my upcoming performance schedule.

  • April 15 11:15-11:30 and noon-12:15 – UT’s International Festival on the UC Plaza. Fire will be allowed.
  • April 15 3:00-3:30 Dogwood Art’s festival children’s stage near Krutch Park downtown – Fire will be allowed.
  • April 16 5:00-8:30 Zoo-to-do juggling at the Knoxville Zoo. No fire. LED show if darkness comes soon enough.
  • April 17 4:00-4:30 Dogwood Art’s festival children’s stage near Krutch Park downtown – Fire will be allowed.
  • April 30 time tbd (event is 8-5) Dogwood Art’s Chalk Wallk walk-around juggling in Market Square and Krutch Park – details still being worked out. Probably a G to PG-13 rated crowd since this will be atmospheric/walk-around the performances will be shorter more adhoc depending on what crowd gathers to watch. Fire will be based upon each location that is density of the crowd, nearness to flammables, etc. You know.. the standard safety considerations.
  • May 6 5-8:30 Dreamnight at the Zoo with Children’s Hospital – the event is for children with severe ongoing medical concerns and terminal illness. – No fire. LED equipment if darkness comes soon enough.
  • May 7 10-11:30 (probably more like 10:45-11:30 – event is 10am-2pm and the only slot taken is 11:30-noon when Michael Messing performs magic). The event is Children’s Mental Health Week sponsored by TN Voices for Children and will be near Krutch Park.

If you are interested in joining me on any of these endeavors, just let me know. Obviously most of the events are G-rated but I think we can have a little more fun with the UT students. Note: At this point, none of the performances are likely to be amp’d ie. no microphones or PAs. I currently do not have a passing partner for any of these events. If you want to pass with me or have some solo time at one of these events, please let me know. Don’t sell your skills short. If you learn to pass clubs Monday night, you’re already good enough! Performances are much less about perfect juggling and far more about audience engagement.

Juggle til you drop!

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R.I.P. MyBlogLog

In case you haven’t heard, Yahoo (in true Yahoo form), is shutting down MyBlogLog. The official email arrived today:

Dear MyBlogLog Customer,

You have been identified as a customer of Yahoo! MyBlogLog. We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011. Your agreement with Yahoo!, to the extent that it applies to the Yahoo! MyBlogLog, will terminate on May 24, 2011.

After May 24, 2011 your credit card will no longer be charged for premium services on MyBlogLog. We will refund you the unused portion of your subscription, if any. The refund will appear as a credit via the billing method we have on file for you. To make sure that your billing information is correct and up to date, visit https://billing.yahoo.com.

Questions?
If you have questions about these changes, please visit the Yahoo! MyBlogLog help pages.

We thank you for being a customer on Yahoo! MyBlogLog.

Sincerely,

The Yahoo! My BlogLog Team

Yahoo suggests switching to Pulse.

MyBlogLog will no longer be in service from 24 May 2011. We recommend Yahoo! Pulse as a service for you to see all your social updates from your favorite networks in one place.

With Yahoo! Pulse, you can create your own identity on Yahoo! and you can easily connect and engage with the people, content, and applications that matter to you, wherever you are on Yahoo!.

Here’s hoping that if I ever have a successful Internet company that Yahoo never buys it.

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Do your holiday shopping with Amazon!

This year we are striving to do most of our shopping online. I know it goes against "buy local" but if buy local means fighting crowds in a big chain store that isn’t locally owned then I’d rather shop in my pajamas through Amazon. I participate in Amazon’s affiliate program. When I refer people to Amazon, I get rewarded by Amazon. It does not raise the price of the person referred nor cost them in any way. So, if you are inclined to do your shopping online and do not participate in the affiliate program yourself, please consider getting to Amazon by using the link http://amazon.djuggler.net/ which simply goes to http://www.amazon.com/?linkCode=shr&camp=213733&creative=393193&tag=sidesigns-20. Much obliged!

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The Internet’s Lowest Common Denominator

I have reduced the Internet!

To consume all knowledge on the Internet, you only need four sites:

That’s all you need! Granted, there are some sites that make the Internet a little more fun. Hundreds. For instance, Facebook has some value in that, "don’t make me think" kind of prime time comedy hour thing. Seesmic is a great aggregator for viewing your social networks in a single place. For getting links and news, the only aggregator ever needed (and this is huge geek crack so if you have no self-control stay away from it!) is Popurls. That’s about it. Sure, you should look in on Flickr once in a while but nothing else is really needed. Of course, there’s some utilitarian stuff like banking and travel sites but really…the Internet has come down to 4 sites. You’re welcome.

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Switching Spam Filters

I have been a huge Spam Karma fan for years but the open source community does not seem to be taking the ball and running with it.

As of January 1st, 2009, I am no longer developing, maintaining or supporting Spam Karma. If you want to contribute to its code or download the latest GPL release, you can check out the code repository, over at Google Code. [Source, unknowngenius.com]

So I’m switching to Akismet. The last time I tried Akismet, I had many false positives. That is, it reported real comments as spam. With Spam Karma, I had almost zero false positives for all the years I used it. If you try to leave a comment and it fails or doesn’t show up, just contact me.