May 31 2007
04:08 pm

I got an email from CNN last week announcing that Pipeline, their video service, will no longer require a paid subscription after July 1. This could be good or not so good depending on whether the viewer will be bombarded with annoying ads.

Since I signed on last fall I have been served the usual pablum that is dished up on the cable channel with a smattering of useful information. Just before the election they covered Bill Clinton's stump speech for Claire McCaskill in its entirety, something that wasn't available locally. I do enjoy listening to a president who speaks English.

Late at night some of their "pipes" display live images of the White House or the Capitol Building or such.

It was worth the subscription price, they will probably screw it up in July.

May 31 2007
02:36 pm

So Steven Heller, a senior art director at the NY Times, professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, editor of the AIGA Voice, and author of more than 100 books on graphic design, illustration, and popular culture and his coauthor, Mirko Illic, former art director for Time Magazine's international edition, happened to read my now-latent blog back in 2004.

A slightly different (made for print) version of the above blog graphic just ended up in their new book, "the anatomy of design: uncovering the influences and inspirations in modern graphic design."

Mirko Illic contacted me about this project a year and a half ago. I didn't think my graphic would make it into the final cut for the book.

It did. Me: speechless.

Note to all bloggers: you never know who is reading your blog.

May 31 2007
02:01 pm
By: Brian A.  shortURL

No, it wasn't my imagination:

Heavy smoke is blanketing many parts of West Knoxville Thursday afternoon.

Rural Metro authorities tell 10News that the smoke is coming from a "controlled burn" at a construction site off of Everett Road.

The "controlled burn" must be pretty big; the smoke is quite noticeable in the Gallaher View area.


However, Knox County Health Department air quality inspectors sent out to the scene were unable to find a fire at that location.

The National Weather Service now confirms that the smoke's source is the wildfires burning in Georgia.

Weird. If this is the Georgia smoke, where did the first report come from?


It seems like sometimes it doesn't. I can feel air coming through but the fan doesn't come on every time. Is this normal?

May 31 2007
11:49 am

Whitescreek opines, "What I see is a bigger ass than even John McCain. April 2007 is the third deadliest month for American Troops in this stupid and tragic war's history."

Lieberman sees progress because the market he is in is open and the schools are open. I'd like to see more. Is the market open just because he is there? How often and how long are the schools open?

I'd like to see progress. How about showing this progress on the news when Lieberman isn't there?

May 31 2007
09:13 am
Q1 2007 Q1 2006 % INCR
ExxonMobile $9.280B $8.400B 10%
Chevron $4.715B $3.996B 18%
ConocoPhillips $3.546B $3.291B 8%
National Avg. Regular $3.191 $2.848 12%

Share prices (source: Yahoo Finance):


This Dutch reality show sinks lower than snake-dung to attract an audience. The sad thing is it could become as popular as American Idol. If it does I'm going to build a homemade spaceship and go live on the moon.

May 30 2007
11:19 pm

Even tho I should have stopped being surprised long ago, two of these from the Bush administration in one day is too much.

First, the FDA announces it will "fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease."

Seems that one small company wants to test all its cows for mad cow. Larger companies object, because the smaller company could advertise its quality and they might be forced to test all their cows too in order to compete. Isn't that how the free market is supposed to work? (CBT, where are you?)

But no-oo, the Bush administration must protect the big guys from competition from a small business, although how the hell it can forbid somebody from testing its herd is a mystery to me (and apparently to the Federal district judge who first ruled for the meatpacker).

Then NASA Administrator Michael Griffen says that although global warming is a problem, it would be arrogant to try to address it. I can't even attempt to explain this one - as GR would say, read the whole thing.

And please just kill me now.

May 30 2007
11:03 pm
By: Elrod  shortURL

I drove the entire length of Kingston Pike today, from UT to Dixie Lee Junction. It is, indeed, the longest strip mall I've ever seen. But I was pleasantly surprised at how many independent businesses there were along the way. It wasn't all big box hell as most suburban strips tend to be. It also was much greener than suburban strips of this ilk usually are. Maybe my years in dreadfully flat Chicagoland have soured me on the possibilities of suburban beautification but I was quite surprised to see such a heavily commercialized strip with actual live trees astride it.

Oh, and the Dixie Lee Baptist Church may just be the most Southern-named place on Earth. Of course the name has to do with the old crossroads of Lee Highway and Dixie Highway and not to any particulary "Southernness" but still, the name is pretty neat in its own way.

I also saw Lenoir City for the first time. What gives the right of small villages like Lenoir City and Tracy City the right to use the word "City" in their names?

May 30 2007
06:40 pm

Still waiting around for the opportunity to genuflect before the Cable Guy during an audience that was ordained to have occurred between 1PM and 5PM.

6:40PM now, no Cable Guy. Good thing I work from home and didn't have to take the afternoon off for no apparent reason...

<seinfeld>They know how to MAKE the appointments, they just don't know how to KEEP the appointments. And isn't KEEPING the appointment sort of the point of MAKING the appointment?</seinfeld>

May 30 2007
06:17 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Shit happens. C'est la vie.

May 30 2007
02:56 pm

Washington insider Fred Thompson is declaring his intention to run for President as an "outsider."

Consider how he responded two weeks ago when liberal filmmaker Michael Moore challenged him to a debate on health care and called him a hypocrite for favoring embargoed Havana cigars. Thompson had chided Moore's new documentary, Sicko, which unfavorably compares the U.S. health care system with the one in Cuba.

" 'Jeri said, 'You know, we could have some fun,' " Thompson recalls. " 'Why don't you do something on the Internet?' So I got to thinking about it."

"And Mark Corallo and Ed McFadden had that camera there in 40 minutes," Jeri, who is sitting in on the interview, breaks in. Corallo and McFadden, aides to John Ashcroft when he was U.S. attorney general, have been helping Thompson behind the scenes.

In the video, sitting in at the desk in his study, Thompson seems to be studying his calendar, an unlit Montecristo in his mouth.

So, Mr. Former Senator (resident of McLean, VA and employee of NYC-based Dick Wolf Productions) has Mr. "former RNC communications director for Victory 2000" and Mr. "former speechwriter for John Ashcroft" already on speed dial. Hm. Continuing DC experience... DC hacks on board... Where do the outsider bonafides begin?

According to the article, longtime Washington insiders Representative Zach Wamp and Senator Howard Baker are pimping his candidacy. Nope, no outsider bonafides here.

Well, gee. Fred's insider status even extends to the home. His wife, Jeri Kehn, was a political operative working out of the D.C. firm of Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand around the time that they married. Her resume also includes stints at the Senate Republican Conference and the Republican National Committee.

Looks pretty apparent, doesn't it? This is an insider candidacy being pushed from the inside. This "outsider" crap is "Hey! Rube!" schtick for the next GOP presidential campaign.

Senator Fred is an insider. He worked in DC. He lives in DC. His friends are in DC. His media campaign is being run out of DC. Presumably, his oncologist is in DC.

This straw-man looks pretty easy to knock down, but it's going to take repetition. Here's the message: From the moment he gets up to the moment he goes to bed, Fred Thompson is a Washington insider.

Only in his dreams and memories is he anything but.

May 30 2007
10:54 am

Great news: C.E. Petro, formerly of Thoughts of an Average Woman, has started up a new blog called The Crone Speaks. Check it out.

Other new additions to the blogroll include:

Chris Jackson
Ellen Smith
Frank Murphy
Mushy's Moochings
Nobody Asked
Soccer Mom Vote

May 30 2007
08:39 am

Joe Powell's take on the subject of Fred's gushy, buttkissing ode to soldiers.


What IS it that makes these Chickenhawk Republicans so pro-military once they're past service age? The way they romanticize the armed services, you'd at least expect their sons to have enlisted, right, Tony Thompson?*

*This would be Fred's boy, who is nobly serving his country as a high-dollar lobbyist down on Capitol Hill in Nashville -- He's an ecumenical kind of guy who's in bidness with old McWherter crony Harlan Mathews, which demonstrates that it's a small world after all because Mathews briefly held the US Senate seat vacated by Al Gore and subsequently won by Ole Fred.

But back to my pro-military theme -- what does it say about Ole Fred that he seems intent upon capsizing the candidacy of his erstwhile best friend John McCain, a genuine war hero whose service record was smeared by the Bush campaign during the 2000 GOP primary fight?

Nuttin' good, I'd say.

p.s.: This probably doesn't need to be said, but Fred, of course, had better things to do than sign up to save democracy in SE Asia back when he was cannon fodder age. Like running errands for Howard Baker, which was a job with a future.

May 30 2007
07:48 am

In an update to the story you first saw here, City Council has imposed a 14 day moratorium on issuing building permits for lots along Spence Place in Island Home.

Hayes Hickman at the Knoxville News Sentinel has this report, with this map showing the old and new property lines.

Councilman Joe Hultquist requested the moratorium "to allow city planners the time to correct an unnoticed but longstanding problem with the neighborhood's platting maps."

May 30 2007
07:20 am
By: Nelle  shortURL

I was surprised to see a Bill Lyons byline on an opinion piece about Kenneth Starr and the Clintons in this morning's News Sentinel.

But the tag at the end of the story says it's by Gene Lyons. The story online has the correct byline.

I wouldn't want to be answering the calls from Mayor Haslam's office at the NS today.


An African American friend of mine feels the black community should show up in huge numbers to let everyone know they aren't just going to take the insult of the Klan rally in Knoxville go unnoticed.

My own take on this is to just ignore them. These hate mongers love media attention and crave opposition. I think it's far better to belittle them by staying away, staying silent, and therefore showing them they simply don't count. On the other hand, my friend's view has some merits.

Any opinions on this?

Carole Ann


Well, now that I've spent just about a week here in Maryville I can offer my first-glimpse perspective on things I like and dislike about the area. I'll start with the dislikes. Fortunately, none of them have been "surprises." In fact, all of them have been thoroughly discussed right here on Knoxviews many times. They are:

1) Politics. The place is just too Republican. We all know that and folks here on Knoxviews and elsewhere are trying to change that, bit by bit. But there are some important caveats that I've discovered. First, liberals and Democrats aren't scared to speak up here. There's a dude with a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker on his Camaro just four houses down. And two blocks away, next to a car with a W sticker on it (the only one I've seen here this week except for one in front of Home Depot in Alcoa) is a guy with a huge Peace on Earth bumper sticker. Based on anecdotal evidence, the place is no more Republican than south central Michigan where I used to live. Oh, and Knoxviews is probably the highest profile East Tennessee political blog, and it ain't exactly reactionary:)

2) Religion. There are an unbelievable number of churches down here, most of them deeply conservative denominations (Baptist, Church of Christ, Pentecostal). But again, there's a caveat. Some of the biggest churches here are theologically moderate or liberal, including the Methodist, Presbyterian and even First Baptist, which is a Cooperative Baptist Church (Jimmy Carter's creation) that broke away from the SBC in the 1990s. People speak often about church here, but I've found their motives to be much less conservative than I had originally imagined.

3) Maryville Rebels. The school system is a point of pride for folks here, and justifiably so. That Maryville High School can excel both academically and athletically is something that everybody should celebrate. Unfortunately, the team is stuck with a name that divides the community in half. I've found many people here hate the name precisely because it is so divisive; here again I thought support for the team name would be more widespread but it seems mostly to get support from a minority. Everybody from the school board to the football coach to the school administration despises all the Confederate flag crap surrounding the school. Why don't they just change the name? It'll cause a big stir but so what? In two or three years it will all be history.

1) The people: I've never encountered more friendly, hospitable, helpful, empathetic people in my entire life than the people here in Maryville. This goes for people from all walks of life, from neighbors to store workers, to teachers to just general strangers.

2) The scenery: Stunningly beautiful. I drove the Cherohala Skyway today and was in heaven the whole time. The Smokies are a treasure, of course, but the surrounding forests are just as good and a quarter as crowded.

3) Schools: Flip-side to the "Rebels" issue, Maryville city schools seem to be as good as advertised. The pedagogy at Fort Craig Elementary is the most progressive I've ever seen in any part of the country. That it's free is just amazing.

4) Maryville College: The college is what drew me here in the first place, of course, and I've found that it garners a lot of respect in the community. There seems to be very little town-gown trouble. Quite the opposite, it seems.

5) Music: This morning I got into my car and turned on my radio and heard John Prine, Gillian Welch, Neko Case and Junior Brown in succession. Yes, I'm already a WDVX junkie. The live music scene is just as impressive, and in Maryville it's getting better with the Shed, Brackin's, the future Civic Arts Center, and the Palace.

6) The vibe: It's hard to nail this intangible thing but I just get a very good feeling being here. The things I dislike have already faded into the background and the things I like are front and center all the time. If anything, this area is too good and will become inundated by people moving in from Florida, the Midwest and the Northeast. It reminds me of northern Virginia in the mid-1980s in a way, just before the population exploded. I might be just a bit too up on the place what with all the problems we discuss here on a daily basis. But at the end of the day, Maryville and East Tennessee in general is one of the nicest places you can live.

May 29 2007
01:54 pm

I have just discovered something that the rest of you have probably been using for months. Answers 2.2.27 extension for Firefox allows you to ALT-Click on a word in browser text and bring up a small window from with an instant definition. It's sometimes handy for keeping up with metulj's posts as they can often sail right over my head.

If you knew about the extension already, please disregard my enthusiasm, and why didn't you tell me about it? If you told me already, I'm sorry, I forgot, I'm old, gimme a break.

Carry on and here's wishing a nice day for all my friends on the other side of this monitor glass.


CNN reports that Cindy Sheehan is exhausted, disgusted, and giving up the fight for peace...

Poor brave Sheehan, she certainly learned that the peace movement is sometimes a rough river full of alligators and pirhanas, and the pro-war movement is tireless, supported by the evil Fox News, and cruel. I'm sure she feels battered and abused. Her inital entry into this was sincere and innocent. No one can blame her if at times she was manipulated by powerful people on all sides. Now she will mourn her beloved son in private. Something she probably hasn't had a chance to do before.


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