Blogosphere: January 2005 Archives

Friday night linkage


Worth your while:

Bobby Holt of Tulsa Topics is writing about the 15th & Utica zoning controversy: What Does a Zoning Travesty Look Like?

Discoshaman says "Team America: World Police" was "was one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time." (I agree, although the version he saw was apparently not as foul as the American original.) He also continues to keep us abreast of the latest political developments in Ukraine under new President Yushchenko. And there's this well-written entry tying the anti-intellectualism in certain segments of the Charismatic movement to a faulty understanding of the components of human nature.

His wife TulipGirl continues her watch over various forms of spiritual oppression in the evangelical world, such as Gothardism and Ezzoism. Her post on Gothard's ATI -- explaining that it isn't so easy to move on from such an experience -- includes some very thoughtful comments from her readers.

Dustbury has so much good stuff I can't even begin to summarize it. Just go read what Charles has to say.

Large mammal invades Tulsa home


Dawn Eden, Petite Powerhouse, was a guest in our home last weekend. I'm sure you're all wondering what it's like to have such a highly-ranked and popular blogger under our roof. In a nutshell: It was fun to have her around, and I think she had a good time, too.

The kids liked having someone new in the audience, although they were baffled that she didn't take them up on their repeated invitations to play Super Mario Kart. One night, Joseph read her part of the last chapter of The Horse and His Boy (book 3 of C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia) -- a little more her type of entertainment.

During her visit, Dawn made use of the extensive Bates Library, particularly the Reformed Theology and mid-20th-Century Comics sections, perusing some Francis Schaeffer and rereading some favorite stories from the Pogo Revisited collection.

She ate well: Metro Diner on Thursday night; the Fountains lunch buffet on Friday; homemade potato leek soup and baked salmon, prepared by my wife Mikki on Friday night; Sunday lunch at Chimi's; and a feast at the home of some friends from our church on Sunday evening; plus scrambled eggs on toast (her favorite breakfast, she said) every morning, fixed by me.

It really was cool to be simul-blogging a mere 10 feet from each other, and to know I was the first person in the world to read the latest Dawn Patrol entry. The downside: Thinking, "I wonder if Dawn has posted anything since I checked last," and realizing, "No, she went to bed an hour ago." I won't reveal her trade secrets, but I will tell you she is lightning-fast at finding what she wants to blog about and turning it into an interesting and beautifully written post, while yours truly slogs along trying to find a simple way to explain a zoning controversy. That's why, in the ecosystem of the blogosphere, she's a Large Mammal (albeit petite) and I'm a mere Adorable Little Rodent.

"What's she like in real life?" you ask. One of her more endearing traits -- one I hope to emulate -- is that when she likes something, she says so. She is quick to express appreciation and praise, and that's a nice quality in a house guest.

Another cool thing about her visit: Having someone who's written liner notes for over eighty '60s pop music CDs providing commentary and trivia as you listen to an oldies station.

Dawn has posted the first installment of her recollections of the trip, covering her visit to the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore. She's also posted some fascinating photos of celebrities (here, here, and here) who have joined NARAL's "I am Pro-Choice America" bandwagon, and a biting piece of satire on the Schiavo case by her mom, proving that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

UPDATE: Dawn expresses amazement that I failed to mention that she blogged in her jammies. In fact, I did, and for the record, she was very modestly attired in a blue plaid flannel nightgown, which was so modest as to conceal even her feet.

Dawn has posted Part 2 of her Oklahoma travelogue.

The evolving ethics of blogging


Tulsa attorney (and my friend) John Eagleton sends along a Wall Street Journal article about the growing clout of bloggers (the story reports an estimated blog audience of 32 million people) and the debate over ethical standards, particularly involving objectivity and disclosure of financial interests. The article also touches on a blogger's legal liability -- the bottom line is that you don't need a printing press to enjoy the protections of the First Amendment that you may think only belong to traditional reporters.

The last paragraph contains a usefully simple ethical standard:

All the way back in 2002, Rebecca Blood advised bloggers to disclose their conflicts of interest, publish only what they believe to be true, and correct mistakes publicly. Her counsel to readers? Follow the same rules as one would walking down the street: "Don't make eye contact with someone who seems crazy."

Karol Sheinin of Alarming News is a political consultant, and she has posted the following disclaimer on her home page:

NOTICE: I work at a political consulting firm in NYC. From time to time I will write favorable posts about my clients because I believe in my clients and their causes. Consider this statement as adequate disclosure for all my possible conflicts of interest now and in the future. Additionally, all material on this site should be considered my personal opinion and may not represent that of my employer.

This may seem inadequately specific, but in her situation, disclosure of her firm's involvement with a specific client may violate the client's expectation of confidentiality.

Karol's disclaimer was suggested by a commenter to her blog and slightly modified. It was inspired by her post on Armstrong Williams' allegedly taking money to promote the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" bill -- you can read her wrestling with the issue and readers' comments here.

Hill's angles


Charles G. Hill can say more in 10 words than I can in 1000. For example, here's his take on the passing of Johnny Carson.

If you can handle a bit of double-entendre, read his take on the arraignment of former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson.

Blogger Bash recap


Had a great time at the first-ever bash for faith-friendly Oklahoma bloggers. About 14 folks showed up -- Don Danz has the list here and here . (Browse around to see several of his entries about the event.)

Dan Lovejoy has some great pictures here, with links to larger versions.

The event was instigated by Dawn Eden, who over the years had come to know a number of Oklahoma bloggers and wanted the chance to meet them in real life. Dawn spent the morning with her longtime penpal (or should that be electron-pal) Charles G. Hill, seeing the city and doing some shopping for old vinyl.

Don Danz was liveblogging the event, and nearly everyone made an entry or two, enjoying the free WiFi available at Will's Coffee, which is in the lobby of the old Will Rogers Theater on N. Western Ave. in Oklahoma City. (More info about the coffee house here.) It's a good adaptive reuse of a great building. The theater itself has been converted into a banquet hall. Many of the original decorative fixtures are still in place, including a mural depicting scenes from the life of Will Rogers.

Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Theater was designed by the same architects (Jack Corgan and W. J. Moore) for the same theatre chain (Griffith Southwest Theaters) as Tulsa's old Will Rogers -- Tulsa's was built in '41, OKC's in '46. (The Hornbeck in downtown Shawnee may be the only Corgan-designed theater in Oklahoma still in operation as a movie theater.

Several folks brought laptops, which gave us a chance to show off our blogs. Dwayne (AKA Mike Horshead) and lovely wife Barb showed us some of his wonderful photos of classic neon signs -- a passion shared by many present. (Check his various "Photos" categories on the right-hand side of his home page. Here's one stunning example: Ritz Bowling in Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Wild Bill of Passionate America brought along his son Brandon and brother Mike (both budding bloggers as well). (Wild Bill has a photo of the Wienermobile, which had been parked down the street.)

It was great to see John Owen Butler, whom I'd met before through PCA circles. He told us about his new blog, PsalmCast, which links to recordings of psalm-singing. It's set up with an RSS2 feed for podcasting -- listening on your portable audio device.

Jan, the Happy Homemaker, has an entry about the event here and a photo here. After the bash broke up, Jan, Dawn, and I went next door to Sushi Neko and shared a boatload of sushi (picture below), and then Jan had us over to her beautifully decorated 1920s home, where we met her husband and her two adorable boys. Dawn and I had the privilege of looking through the collection of Valentine cards, dating back to the early '40s, that she's been featuring on her blog. (What she's posted so far is in her January archive.) Dawn and I are Pogo fans, so it was exciting for us to see one of Pogo's larger cousins on Jan's backporch, contentedly eating cat food, with no apparent fear of predators.

Sean Gleeson was there, too, but he hasn't blogged about the event yet. And Brett Thomasson doesn't even have a blog, but it was nice to have him there, too.

Photos after the jump.

Blogger Bash underway

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I'm here at Will's Coffee on Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, using Dan Lovejoy's PowerBook. Right now I'm listening to several OKC-based bloggers singing the B. C. Clark Jewelers jingle. We're having a great time, and in a few minutes we'll be going down the street to pose in front of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. (Update: Didn't make it outside in time to get to the Wienermobile -- enjoying the conversation too much to budge.)

Don Danz has a list of the attendees and several of us have been live blogging. (I'll add links later -- can't quite get the hang of this Apple keyboard, although I'll say that my site looks even better on the PowerBook in the Safari browser.

Guess who's come to visit?


Daily linkage


Here's a spot-on parody of National Review's group blog, "The Corner". (Hat tip: Overtaken by Events, which also has news about the tsunami relief effort led by their church, St. Gabriel's United Episcopal Church in Springdale, Arkansas.)

Don Danz remembers Rosemary Kennedy, who died last week. Her father, Joe Kennedy, had her lobotomized as a young woman because she was difficult and emotional.

TulipGirl links to the Positive Discipline Resource Center (aka "Get Off Your Butt" parenting), which aims to help parents to navigate between the Scylla of punitive discipline and the Charybdis of permissiveness. (Turn your volume down before you hit that link -- there's a really obnoxious Shockwave ad at the top of the page.)

The Happy Homemaker has a helpful Biblical parenting checklist -- daily tasks like "Hugged my child and told him, 'I love you and God loves you,'" "Did not expect behavior beyond his age capabilities," and "Praised and thanked my child more than I criticized him." She invites her readers to follow suit with more thoughts in the comments.

Dustbury has an item about pico-hydro -- using small streams to generate small amounts of electricity, not enough to power an American home, but enough to make a difference to a Third World household. This kind of approach can do more good, more quickly than the kind of massive public works projects which have been favored for foreign aid funding in the past. Like micro-credit societies (another effective small-scale alternative to massive economic development programs), pico-hydro encourages self-sufficiency.

Michael Totten takes a look at reasons behind the widely varying stats produced by various website stat programs. (Hat tip: Alarming News.)

Discoshaman links to an article in Elle magazine about an evangelical Christian conference for teenage girls. Carlene Bauer writes that the conference caused her to reflect on her own Christian upbringing and her rejection of much of it. Discoshaman says there are some valid criticisms and the evangelical world should pay attention.

Welcome back, Bitweever


After three months of displaying nothing but a blank page to the world, Tulsa blogger Bitweever is back. He says the blog may take off in a new direction to match the new directions in his life. In the past, he's blogged about all sorts of topics, including politics and technology.

(And you're more than welcome. It's the least I could do for someone who took a photo like this, which still graces my computer desktop at home. It's a nice reminder of what we have to look forward to in just three short months -- although I saw some of that already in Savannah this week.)

Better than a poke in the eye


We've been ringing in the new year watching Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, and Dr. Howard racing through hospital corridors, in the original "Men in Black". There's nothing like the merry cackles of an eight-year-old and a four-year-old, already giddy for being allowed to stay up late, watching classic slapstick. Oh, for the days when anesthesia involved the use of mallets!

New Year's Eve was warm here in Tulsa -- temps in the low 70s. I walked with the kids as they rode their new bikes from Santa to visit some friends a few blocks away. Eight-year-old helpfully observed that the elves forgot to remove the Academy Sports price tag from little sister's bike. That's the sort of thing that can get you dropped from Santa's preferred list of subcontractors. (Santa used to build it all at the North Pole, but you can't beat outsourcing.)

Meanwhile, other bloggers have been busy:

Bobby Holt at Tulsa Topics is pondering the age-old problem of reconciling God's goodness and omnipotence and the reality of pain and suffering, in light of the massive death and destruction dealt by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Discoshaman and his boys rang in the new year with a bang in the heart of Kyiv, Ukraine, and he's got photos.

Wizbang is keeping up with the ongoing controversy over the recounts in the Washington State governor's race, pointing us to an analysis of ballot count and voter count discrepancies by Seattle blogger Stefan Sharkansky.

It was last reported that there were 3,539 more ballots counted in King County than voters who cast them. The discrepancy is actually much larger.

The 3,539 is only the net. This comes from having roughly 1,500 more voters than counted ballots in some precincts, and about 5,000 more ballots than known voters in other precincts.

The situation in Washington bears a strong resemblance to election discrepancies in Tulsa's City Council District 3 race, complete with spin-filled editorials attacking the real winner for complaining about discrepancies. In Tulsa, however, we didn't have new ballots magically appearing. I don't know what the laws are in Washington, but here in Oklahoma if the number of irregularities exceeds the margin of victory, the outcome cannot be mathematically determined and a revote is mandatory. It's the only way to be sure.

Closer to home, Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock answers the first in a series of Frequently Asked (or Insinuated) Questions: "Why do you hate the suburbs?"

Oklahoma City's Downtown Guy previewed downtown Oklahoma City's New Year's Eve celebrations. And Charles G. Hill of Dustbury has some typically brilliant observations on the decay of Oklahoma City south of the river, concluding with this bit of pith:

The city can wave whatever magic wands are at its disposal, but change comes from the bottom up, one street, sometimes one building at a time.

Well said. And Happy New Year 2005 to one and all!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Blogosphere category from January 2005.

Blogosphere: December 2004 is the previous archive.

Blogosphere: February 2005 is the next archive.

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