Monthly Archives: April 2007

Turn the Glasses Over (trad arr. Cindy Kallet)

I've been to London, I've been to Dover
I've traveled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over
Drink all you have to drink and turn the glasses over.
Sailing east, sailing west
Sailing over the ocean,
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock
Or you'll lose your girl in the ocean

as heard on her Leave The Cake In The Mailbox CD.

Here's a video of a cup game that goes with the song; I don't know how trad. this is or if it's new.

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Proximity is the killer application

Jim Benson has a great photo essay on the disruptive effects that a freeway has on community:

Here’s an example. Before the creation of I-5, the East Lake and Boston neighborhoods of Seattle were connected. You could easily walk from place to place. After I-5, they were highly separated. Now getting from “Start” above in Eastlake to my “Finish” in the Boston neighborhood is very difficult.

If you didn’t know the area, and relied only on automated mapping tools to find your way from here to there, it’s a long zigzaggy path. If you know and are confident of your urban wayfaring skills, there’s a direct walking path – under the freeway. Who walks under wide freeways?

More so that we realize, the paths that we regularly take determine who we see and what kinds of things we run into. I took the bus most of the way to work today and ran across Spencer Thomas at a new cafe on the ground floor of the building that he works in. Did we plan that meeting? No, but in some sense we didn’t need to, because the paths that we both regularly take cross there.

A big reason for doing web development in Silicon Valley or San Francisco (rather than out here in the provinces) is the likelihood that you will run into someone nearby who can answer your question – whether it be how to do a Bluetooth sync between a Razr and a Macbook answered in a San Francisco cafe, or something more organized like shared space for companies working on developing complementary wiki applications in Palo Alto.

Choosing where you live is a big part of living. Choosing where you work, and who you work with, is a big part of managing to be productive and happy. Proximity to support – and to the occasional dose of great weird ideas – makes all the difference in managing your life. Knowing that there are like-minded people around, and organizing some way to be near them and talk to them regularly, is one constant in a world where things are changing all the time.

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Robert Allen, Ann Arbor Public Schools presentation on school finances

Robert Allen sent me his presentation that was given at Burns Park Elementary on the state of Ann Arbor Public Schools finances. I put it on Slideshare – you can see it here. (A few slides didn’t appear to make it 100% on slideshare, but you can also download the original there).

Comments can go direct to him at allenr@aaps.k12.mi.us.

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a2b3 in the Ann Arbor Observer, May 2007

a little bit of the lunch series made it into print. Deb Merion writes:

I was surprised and delighted to find a nice little story about A2B3

and Ed on p. 9 of the May 2007 Ann Arbor Observer.

Excerpt: “Attendees generally belong to the city’s technorati–

computer programmers, project managers, grad students, and even a

couple of tech-minded politicians. But the key common denominator is

that they all know Ed Vielmetti.”

links for 2007-04-30

links for 2007-04-29

Definitive answer from the Swedish Chef: what is a bumbershoot?

Dan Cooney had a question at the last a2b3 – “what is a bumbershoot?” Here’s a definitive answer from the Swedish Chef on that topic:

More on “bumbershoot” from World Wide Words:

It seems to have been yet another of those gloriously facetious bits of wordplay so characteristic of America in the nineteenth century. Quite how it came about is a matter of some guesswork, but it looks moderately certain that the first part derives from the beginning of umbrella, with a b put in front so that it makes the evocative and forceful first syllable bum; the second half, as you surmise, is a respelling of the final syllable of parachute, presumably because of the similar shape.

No need for your bumbershoot today, though a parasol would do you nicely.

Credit to Al Abut for snagging the Chef from YouTube.