Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thorne on our side

Looks like Scott Thorne of Bytelife is stepping up to fill the shoes of Peter the Great (who by now is safely at is new home in Oregon, perhaps reading this post). Fill the shoes? Well maybe Scott and I can each fill one shoe. Scott can write informative factual posts about the local political economy like the one about Sheila Simon being not so dumb after all, and I can focus on throwing people under (or on) the bus.

I saw Peter on Monday, and presented him with a going away present -- the DVD I did for Art Lovers, about sand painting with Victor DeGraff. We chatted over chocolate in the Back Room of The Branch: he downed a (scrumptious) brownie, as I sipped a chocolate egg cream. (Shoulda got two straws so I could snap a photo of us sipping from the glass at the same time! lol).

I got the feeling Peter was ambivalent about the move, but with his positive attitude (expressed in his final post to Gregorian Rants) and hard work ethic (not to mention, bankroll), his success is guaranteed.

I think the same thing might be said about Scott Thorne, who has a great track record of his own, as a professor of Marketing at SEMO, as owner of Castle Perilous, and now, as a blogger with an eye on the City's business(es).

Thursday, July 19, 2007


The local blogging scene's evolving ...... 2006's "Blogger of the Year" and winner of the "Soggy" for the best blog (sez me) Peter Gregory is moving to Oregon's greener pastures, and Bob Pauls found greener ones in Iowa, Jim Syler's restarted his 21 Days (blog about his National Guard experience) and Scott Thorne is posting more frequenty to the Bytelife blog, and Tom Leverett continues to do yeoman work on his blog(s) about his life, work, and play; and Cindy's MySpace blog about her family and music keeps me updated on her doings, while I have added Graydog's Blog, about my Greyhound experience.

Since I've been spending more time "uptown" in the 200 block of North Washington, I'm seeing a different side of the world than I am used to at the art gallery up the street. On Tuesday afternoon my son and I played catch with an unlucky (dumb) Greyhound customer who got kicked off the bus for smoking in the lavatory. Don't know when the last time anyone played catch in that block Washington St.

This afternoon, I took him with me to work at Greyhound, and he enjoyed watching me explain to a man who doesn't speak English why I couldn't give him a full refund for his ticket. Eventually the hombre who runs the Santana Auto Body shop on the corner of Oak and Washington volunteered to translate, which helped. He gave me his cell phone #, too, in case I never need his help again. I asked about what "questionable activities" he might have been engaged in, according to the testimony of M. Stalls, on the anti-bus-stoppers. Mr. Santana was surprised to hear that someone made some disparaging remarks about his business.

In the afternoon, my son and I walked with me on my walking tour of the Main Street, the Chamber where I got some good tips for places to go and things to do, such as the Herrin Pool.

It's a good thing Family Video rents PlayStation 2 by the week.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Since you ask . . .

A longtime reader writes:
Have all the bloggers in Carbondale gone on vacation or WHAT?! Everyday I check to see if you or Peter have posted anything new -- nada! I hope things are well, I know you are writing a Blook and that Peter was considering a move to Oregon or something granola like that. How's the king? I see he's going after that liquor commission again....
Well here's the skinny, Minnie: Peter the Great is moving in two weeks to his favorite college town in Oregon, where there are more people like him, and more opportunity to do great things.
In his latest post he tells us he's been summoned to serve jury duty for his last two weeks in town. He says he has two or three more posts in him before leaves, so look for them.

I'm planning a little going-away party for PG at Pinch Penny Pub next week. The Beer Philosopher will be there (He and Peter have never met! And maybe some other Bloggers and Bloggees will want to come slap Peter on the back (or in the face, if you're Sheila Simon, ha ha).

I spoke to Sheila, two-three weeks ago, outside of Tres, and she was planning a bicycle trip in Canada with her husband Perry, to mark the 20th anniversary of their marriage. She also received an "All Year 'Round" Trophy from Mayor Cole at Bike 2 Work Day in May, and will work with the "Spokes Folks" group to improve the bike lane situtation in The Dale. . . .

Roxanne Conley has stepped down from Main Street, a new Exec Direct is Meghan Cole (no relation to you-know-who) .
Roxanne has moved on from the position because she believes "change is good" and that this change simultaneously encourages growth within the organization. Mrs. Conley added, “Of course there will be a transition period and I encourage everyone downtown to be helpful during that time.” Mrs. Conley has not yet accepted another position, but will be actively searching for a suitable position soon.
Makes you wonder what the reason for her resignation. Certainly not dissatisfaction of the Board of Directors.

As for Ms. Cole, she

impressed the Main Street board with her enthusiastic attitude, strong skill set and valuable experience during their initial meetings. She comes into the job with a strong knowledge of downtown revitalization and improvement gained during a brief tenure with the downtown association in Decatur, Illinois.
Since Roxanne will be searching for a suitable position soon, the Main Street press release offers glowing testimonial to what a great job she did. (She'll probably have another position before my blook is published. ;-))

"King" Cole is doing his thing. On the political side, he took a lump from the School Board, which failed to act in time to sell a piece of land.... And his liquor commish request, and salary increase for the next term mayor are on the table at the next City Council meeting. On the personal side, besides his surprise date with the winner of the Marry the Mayor contest, I hear he's dated other women from that deal. Women who have contacted him directly.... He was seen last week having dinner with a beautiful grad student at a local restaurant. Probably one of his MySpace friends. And someone at The Hound told me of another, so . . . he may yet be married by the end of the year, as he resolved to do in January.

My own professional life is very busy, or bussy, lately. Having fun with the new blog, posting photos of customers and brief blurbs about them. Planning to revisit "The Great Bus Stop Debate." The City Council dropped the ball on June 19 by turning its back on the plight of so many people. Someone in the City should be doing more to address this problem than voting "No" to an imaginative and viable solution. At least Wissmann and Jack tried to do the right thing. But it turns out that Pohlmann, Haynes and McDaniel are anti-bus(iness) racists. Safety in that "bad neighborhood" was Pohlmann's main concern? Isn't that racist? The other two may not be racist, but just wrong, as will be shown in Graydog's Blog.

In the world of Creative Media, the sand painting by Vic DeGraff of the old Stage Company building is complete. And Larry Weatherford has found a way to make sand paper prints -- which Victor has touched up with actual brick from the building.... To be sold as a fund raiser for the Stage Company.

And work has begun for a new Between the Rivers compilation cd, this time Voices.

Let's see, what else? No Troy Hudson Basketball Tournament this year. I guess there was a fight or something at the last one, and he wanted to avoid liability. Something like that. His mom has opened a shoe store in the Campus Shopping Center.

Oh, and the other night I bumped into TJ Silas, former CCHS b'ball standout, turned rap producer/impresario. We talked about the benefit for the old Tuscan Lodge building currently on its last legs. He's currently producing a show at Eurma Hayes.

And, I hear that Bethany Krajelis has started work at the Southern Illinoisan. A fresh grad from the Public Affairs Reporting Master's Program in Springfield. Looks like another step in The Illusion's turn around.

The Newell House renewal continues. And owner Dan Terry is opening a new bar up the street where Herald Printing used to be, called Maxum's selling expensive, exotic drinks, in a sumptuous atmosphere. (Unlike the "sump pump" atmosphere at Greyhound. ha ha.)

Another real estate wiz, Tom Egert, sold the WDBX Community Thrift Store building to a plumbing or electrical outfit, I hear. He's buying the building next door to WDBX in order to expand the station.

The stores on Jackson St. are thriving: Longbranch, Global Gourmet, Arthur Agency, Town Square Market. Behind The Branch, Rosetta Books has merged with the Tropicana. The back of the store opens onto Washington St. across the street from where I spend mornings at The Hound, me and Charley chatting on the sidewalk in front of our storefronts, looking at the ugliness across the street. Tom Egert says he's gonna clean out the storage in back of the Tropic-etta to open it up for business. The Big Muddy Independent Media Center has possibilities, as well. Auntie's Wings? Another one just bit the dust there. I can't count how many failed restaurants have been at that location. I've spoken to some neighbors about closing the 200 Block of N. Washington Street for a STREET FAIR, so let's see what develops. .... Perhaps a WASHINGTON STREET BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AND RAP FESTIVAL TO BENEFIT THE TUSCAN LODGE!

Blooking Central: blook-to-be

My blook has been noticed in Blooking Central: blook-to-be: Cheryl Hagedorn sez:
"I somehow have a feeling that Carbondale After Blog won't be winning any Blooker Prize. [I could be very wrong about that. Maybe they too would be bowled over by novelty. And if the writing on the CD held up ... .]"
She's probably right, but "if the writing on the CD held up . . ."

Held up? That's the final test of anything, the quality, which is all that matters in the end.

Prizes, Awards and Honors are nice, but the greatest reward is a trophy from Carbondale Trophy: "World's Greatest Blogger." . . . I think I'll have one made for myself. ;-)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Post Independence Day post

Not much time for blogging lately, busy with other things, like working on my blook, and Art Lovers projects, such as the sand painting of the old Stage Company (Bank of Carbondale) building.

And since the morning bus now leaves at 10:10 a.m. instead of 10:40, been opening the office at 9:30, instead of 10. So now, instead of sitting at this keyboard writing, I'm selling Greyhound tickets to St. Louis and beyond.

Poor me, going to work at 9:30.

But that's okay, I also plan to change the focus of this blog from local to national, supporting political causes like 9/11 re-investigation, and political candidates like Ron Paul, a friend of mine on MySpace -- a Libertarian in elephant's clothing.

Although some say Ron's foreign policy is naive, but he's raised more money than McCain, and stands for principles I value, such as peace and freedom.

On the Democratic side, there's Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and the dark horse, Gore. The Dream ticket: Clinton-Obama will be the final choice, I predict.

Republican dream ticket: Ron Paul and Brad Cole. . . . Yeah right. In my dreams.

And Cindy Sheehan could prove to be a nightmare for House Speaker Nancy P. Cindy says she'll run against Pelosi if the Speaker doesn't put impeachment back on the table in the next two weeks. You go girl! (and you, too, girl!)