Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasters Meeting - January 2007

Recorded Saturday during the Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasters group meeting, here is our January 2007 podcast!

Surf over to listen, download it directly, listen here or subscribe via your local podcatcher client.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Middle Tennesse Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting Notes

Thanks to all who came out yesterday to the monthly Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group meeting. This month's cast of characters include:

Amy of Bad Bad Ivy
Shauna of Oh Pish Posh
Michael of Big Orange Michael and This is Smyrna, TN
Kathy T of LaVergne-TN and Where's the Mute Button
Ginger of Ginger Snaps
Chip of Chip Talks
Malia of Musings from Malicious
Elizabeth of Harelipfrog
Gunner of No Quarters and This Is Smyrna, TN
and the delightful Megs of a future blog

Our conversation topics ranged from moving violations to online dating. Big Orange Michael will be posting the podcast soon so be sure to listen and prepare to be entertained. Ginger also posted a lovely picture. Thanks, G.

Our next meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, February 24th at 2:00 PM. Our meeting place will be Espresso Joe's in Smyrna, TN unless someone would like to propose another venue.

Special note that Ginger and Amy are looking for employment and live in the LaVergne, Smyrna, Murfreesboro area so, help out your fellow bloggers and let us know about any job openings that you hear of.

On a personal note, I've installed Ubuntu, linux on a computer and am challenged with getting the wireless usb working. Anyone got some advice to share with me? It is version 6.10 and I did not have the drivers installed prior to the installation of Ubuntu. I've read about ndiswrapper but most of what I am finding is not written for the newbie that I am.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting At Espresso Joe's

I'm here at Espresso Joe's in Smyrna, TN. The day started out clear with brilliant blue skies but has since turned to the regular drab gray that I've become so familiar with these last two months. I'm not sure who will be joining us but will let you know as soon as I can.

It has been a while since last I felt compelled to post. I've been anxious about my heart condition and have really tried to focus on rest and relaxation. I've also moved since December. That is enough stress for anyone. Now I'm nearly all settled and every test that they've run has yielded nothing. More on this later. Big Orange Michael has arrived and I must go to record.

Friday, January 26, 2007

$$$ A big winner in Smyrna. $$$

While his name may not be well known in town right now, his winning might be. Bryan Sumner, a resident of Smyrna Tennessee, has won the world poker open in Tunica.

Bryan Sumner defeated Daniel Negreanu last night to win the WPT's World Poker Open and claim his first major title and over $900,000 in cash.

Sumner is a professional online cash game player from Smyrna, Tennessee, who traveled to Tunica for the side game action. On a whim, he entered a $1,000 satellite to the main event; a decision that would eventually prove life-changing.
He is a professional online cash player. With that being illegal now I hope his career in live playing is as successful as he was in this tournament.

HERE is a live interview(embedded video) with him before the end of the tournament.

Also. If Mr. Sumner comes across this post and would like to be interviewed by local people, drop us a line in comments or email us please.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Two theatres

Today at the YMCA, I heard that one of the theatres may have cancelled due to "overcrowding" of the market. With 28 screens, the rumor did not seem that outrageous.

I made a call to the Malco, and the Roxy offices, and both said they have no plans on slowing down construction. Good news in my opinion. Competition will help guarantee better service to you and I.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasts Meeting is this Saturday

I ran into Gunner last night at the Y and seeing him reminded me that this Saturday is the first meeting of the Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasters group for 2007.

It's been a few weeks since Michelle posted the details, so I figured I'd throw them up there again for everyone.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. at Espresso Joe's in Smyrna, TN.

It's very informal and just a time to get together with fellow bloggers for some conversation and to maybe put a face with the blog as it were.

I've noticed in the comments section, that we've had some new people joining the disucssion here. I want to take a moment and issue a special invitation to y'all to come Saturday. And an even bigger invitation to those of you who read the blog but don't comment.

Here's the details on how to find Espresso Joe's:
Espresso Joe's Coffee Co
901 Rock Springs Rd
Smyrna, TN
(615) 220-2870

Do you have some surplus blood?

Want to be a good steward to society and recycle that excess blood? Well if you do, the Red Cross will be set up at Motlow Community College in Smyrna tonight if you wish to donate.

Motlow Community College, 220-7800, located at 5002 Motlow State Blvd., Smyrna, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 1-6 p.m. (registration-Red Cross bus)
Even odd looking platinum haired people can donate.

a night on the strip

All or nothing seems to be the two choices when it comes to the light at the intersection of Sam Ridley and Motlow College Dr.. Either the city pays for a light and road change, or nothing gets done.

In the words of the great Sesame Street voice narrator. The word for today is compromise.

I showed up to the Y last night at a bit before 4pm. A short time later I saw the remains of the 4:05pm accident out of the window from the pool. As there were 7(I counted) cars in the middle when I tried to make it through that intersection, I wasn't surprised that one occurred so quickly.

After I left yesterday a question came to me as I passed Toot's, just a few hundred yards down the road from the Y. Why does Toot's get a turn lane when Motlow College drive doesn't? How much would adding two turn lanes at that intersection cost?

I contacted Mr. O'Neal about the cost of a light at that intersection a week ago and he replied.

It is estimated that the cost would be $200,000 +/-
I did not even think of asking how much adding turn lanes would cost.

It is the crowding in the middle that is the danger. Turn lanes would handle that issue well enough by themselves. This could be the compromise that would protect the 3000 YMCA members, and 1000 Motlow college students.

If Toot's is good enough for a turn lane, why not the Y?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Police academy and you.

The city website has announced that the Smyrna police is offering up a citizen police academy that may be of interest to some.

Smyrna Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy Gears Up

We are gearing up for the upcoming Citizen's Police Academy The new class will begin on February 15th 6:30-9:30. The application deadline is February 8th. Applications can be obtained here or at the police police department. You can also apply online. The goal of the CPA is to educate Smyrna citizens about the structure and activities of their police department. The CPA class is not a "training" class, but is an exciting "information" class, a behind- the-scenes look at the SPD.
The specific website describes the classes that you would take part in.
Police Departments across the nation have adopted the "Community Policing" philosophy. Locally, the Smyrna Police Department has implemented different ways of working more closely with citizens on problem-solving in the community.
The Citizens Police Academy will provide participants with an opportunity to gain a broad perspective of the police profession. The nine week Academy is designed to give citizens an overview of the department's functions and procedures, while providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and concerns relating to the community. However, be aware the Academy is not designed to train the participants to perform any law enforcement services.

Some of the topics covered in the Academy are:

History of Law Enforcement
Communications
Patrol
Traffic Enforcement
The Judicial System
Defensive Tactics / Officer Survival
Tactical Operations
D.A.R.E.
Gangs
Domestic Violence
Child Abuse
Criminal Investigations
Narcotics
K-9 Operations
S.W.A.T Operations
Fire Safety and Equipment- Smyrna Fire Department
I wasn't sure how hard it would be for someone like me, with limited mobility and horrible knees, to take part in this academy.

I had my doubts answered at the January 18th Town Council and Planning Commission meeting. I talked with Rick Hall. He is the Rutherford county commissioner for district 12. I have seen him many times in the past at the town meeting and thought he was there as a police representative. The firearm and handcuffs on his belt was a big giveaway of his job. I didn't know until a couple of weeks ago that he also a county commissioner.

I introduced myself to him as from "This is Smyrna, Tn" website and asked him about the city police academy and my worries. He said that even with limitations such as mine, that I should have no problems making it through.

I'm very tempted to apply but for one problem. The classes are on Thursday night, the same nights that the city has their regular workshops. The workshop where I first heard of the smoking ordinance. So right now I'm rather conflicted.

Now not everyone can take part in this academy. There are some limitations that need to be noted.
Background investigations will be done on all applicants. Potential candidates must also meet the following criteria:

Live or work in the Town of Smyrna, or have a vested interest in the growth, development or cultural well-being of the community.
No Felony convictions.
No convictions for DUI, any drug offense or any offense involving moral turpitude.
No history of mental illness.
Applicants must be approved by the Chief of Police Michael Beach. Written notifications will be sent to those that are accepted.
I try so hard to keep my personal political views from this website, but forgive me this small rant.
No convictions for DUI, any drug offense
There is one thing in common between most youth in America. They are dumber then a rock, and have a sense of immortality. This leads them to do some seriously foolish acts while young. How long should these youthful acts follow them, and hinder them? Should a 60 year old maid who doesn't even cross against the light, be kept from these classes for driving to the store after having a mint julep when 16 back in the 60's?

Other then that I think this would be a great activity to take part in.

The town is ill?

I would have been rather lonely if I had shown up at the Town Council Special Workshop tonight. I went by the city website to see if they had posted an agenda and found the following notice.

Town Council Special Workshop on January 23rd at 5:00 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss recodification.
*Cancelled Due To Illness*
I believe this meeting will involve the new ethics rules and committee that the city is being required to enact.

Monday, January 22, 2007

28 screens in Smyrna?

Over the weekend, I saw a poll on the DNJ web site, wondering if Smyrna can support 28 movie screens. The poll was fairly evenly divided when I saw it, though the "no" vote was slightly ahead (about 53% to 47%).

I'm glad to see Smyrna getting this abundance of movie theaters. I'm not sure having them in such close proximity to each other is going to be a help or a hinderance in the long run, but at least we'll have plenty of options.

That said, I hope that the new theaters mean we'll have plenty of options. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good blockbuster as much as the next person and I am counting down days to Spider-Man 3. That said, I hope the abundnace of screens will mean some of the smaller films will get a longer run. For example, I planned to take in Children of Men this coming weekend in Murfreesboro, only to find it will be leaving the Murfreesboro theater after this Thursday, after an incredible two-week run locally.

I'm sure the movie will continue at other theaters in the area, but I'm lazy and I would like to keep the revenue in Rutherford County if I can.

So, I hope the abundance of screens will mean longer runs of movies and not just more screens filled with the latest teen slasher flicks.

Read a book, win some gas(oline)

The Linebaugh Library system is holding the annual Walter King Hoover Winter Reading Program. The program kicked off last week, runs five weeks and is open to both adults and children.

The program includes weekly prize drawings for both adults and children. The adult prizes are gas cards, according to the librarians at the Smyrna library.

You can sign up at the circulation desk at the Smyrna library. (This program is going on at all the public libraries in Rutherford County). You'll be assigned a folder and given your first review form. You read a book, write a short review/summary and turn it in. You will then be entered into that week's drawing for the prize. The weekly drawings take place every Friday and all entries for that week must be turned in by 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The more books you read and the more reviews you submit, the more entries you have in the hat for the prize.

Everyone who reads five books will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. The grand prize drawing takes place on February 23.

Details on the program are on the Smyrna area of the Linebaugh web site. You can also print out copies of the review form to fill out.

So, stop by, sign up and get to reading!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Free Flu Shots

The Tennessee Urgent Care Associates is offering free flu shots because they have extra vaccines and don't want them to be wasted. Read all about the offer in this "breaking news" article from the Daily News Journal. It states that they'll come to you for a group of 25 or more in the Smyrna and LaVergne communities.

50 dollars

I need feedback from all readers here. Rather important for an article I'm writing.

If you had the chance to spend $50 on something that will protect you and your children for years to come, would you? One time payment only. It also will protect people into the future.
Feedback on this shadowy question is very important.

Thanks all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Busy schedule for city council

This month has a busy schedule laid out for the members of the city council. Last week was the first town council meeting of the month and year and they already have another planned for later this month..

There will be a joint meeting of the Town Council and Planning Commission on January 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Centre to discuss the Comprehensive Development Plan.

There will be a special workshop for the Town Council on January 23rd at 5:00 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss recodification.

Next Town Council Workshop is: January 30, 2007 - 7:00 PM
Last weeks meeting was pretty much all business, with the standard comments by Gloria Shelton to add spice.

The council has a lot on their plate with the new ethics rules and the resulting need for a new committee. This entails a scheduled "retreat" for further study of the proposed rules.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that at least two of the council members have read this website since the last town workshop. Hi!

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Malco Theatre information

A Google alert informed me that the Malco theatre will be part of a retail complex and not a solitary standing building.

Business Condos USA is teaming with a regional theater chain to develop a mixed-use project in Tennessee. The 25-acre site in Smyrna, Tenn., will be jointly developed by Jacksonville-based Business Condos and Malco Theatres, which operates 37 sites in five southern states.

The project will include 133,600 square feet of retail condo space and a 14-screen Malco Theatre. The retail space will include shops and restaurants and there will be a connecting road between the retail space and the theaters. The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2008.

Business Condos President Larry Walshaw said the $17 million project will be done in two phases, with the first consisting of three buildings and 57,100 square feet of space. Business Condos is in the permitting process and has started pre-sales of the units. The first phase should be completed by the end of the year, Walshaw said, and the start of the second phase will depend on sales, which have already started.
Smyrna is due a theatre.

TSSAA here in Smyrna

Smyrna will be hosting this years TSSAA state bowling tournament.

State Bowling: The TSSAA state bowling tournament will again be held at the Smyrna Bowling Center Jan. 25-27. Besides team champions, individual champs will be honored for the first time. Finals are at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.
I went and bowled a few games last month and found the center a pleasure.

While the TSSAA is a youth league, the center does seem to be having an adult based contest you might find interest in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

First the 10 Commandments, now opening prayer

Many of you may have heard about the huge bill Rutheford County has to pay for posting the 10 Commandments.

Now, the question is whether or not to open the county commission meetings with prayer is a good idea.

The issue of the separation of church and state at such meetings is complicated according to this morning's Daily News Journal. As the story points out, such things as using the Bible to swear in the President are done and those extend all the way up to the federal level.

Of course, the last thing we need is the ACLU coming in and suing us again for something because someone got offended.

Could their be a moritorium on new building?

In this morning's Daily News Journal is an article about a potential six-month moritorium on new building in Rutherford County. Here's some of the article:

Rutherford County leaders want to study a possible moratorium on residential growth for six months while developing plans for the future, officials said.

Members of the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission asked its legal staff Monday to study the legality of a moratorium and report back in February, said Jeff Phillips, a member of the commission.

County Attorney Jim Cope will report first to Rutherford County Commission's Steering Committee during its meeting Feb. 5, said Phillips, chairman of that committee.


The planning commission will then be briefed at its Feb. 12 meeting


It would be interesting if this were to happen. As many of you may know, Rutherford County is the fastest growing county in the state of Tennessee. And while I'm proud of this fact, I do think that making sure the growth isn't just done haphazardly is a good idea. I've noticed Smyrna does a good job with growth and that seems to extend over to the rest of our county.

But what does everyone else thing? I'm sure there are positive and negative aspects to this that I haven't even begun to consider.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A great man passed away

Likely some of his products are in your kitchen right now and you don't even know it.

Momofuku Ando, the founder-chairman of Nissin Food Products Co, who was widely known as the inventor of instant noodles, has died of heart failure at a hospital in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, his family said. He was 96.
.......
Ando was inspired to develop the instant noodle after coming upon a long line of people on a cold night shortly after World War II waiting to buy freshly made ramen at a black market food stall, according to Nissin. The experience convinced him that "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat," it said.

In 1971, Nissin introduced the Cup Noodle, instant noodles in a waterproof styrofoam container that could be used to cook the noodles, ahead of his competitors.
So do what I did today. Go boil some water, and eat a bowl of instant ramen noodles for this great man.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Verbal Assault on Bus Drivers

At what point does a person say enough is enough? What can one do to prevent this?

Today I was told of the verbal assault against the driver of bus 173 in Rutherford County. The student told the bus driver to "Shut the f*** up. How many times have I told you to shut the f*** up." The student continued her tirade of verbal assaults against the bus driver laced with other profanity. This happens all the time according to other students on the bus.

This enrages me. How does one exercise compassion and forgiveness? How can the soul be peaceful in these situations? What kind of parents raise such a child?

I wish the bus driver could have the option to simply drive past these offensive individuals - assuming they have evidence to justify their actions - and deny them transportation to and from school. I know that they probably have no power to do this but this non aggressive act would give peace to the other students on the bus. The bus driver would be acting compassionately toward the other students and the offensive student is forgiven in so much as the outcome resulted in no harm to the offender.

What would a Buddhist do?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Excitement Over Crap

Oh joy... how wonderful a day it has been. The day when your little one finally grasps the concept of using the toilet is truly a wonderful day.

I know that you may care less about this but I am truly proud so consider this an entertainment piece of sorts. For you see, my little one is not human. No, my dear friends. I set out to toilet train my cats and guess what, joy washed over the entire household when my fifteen year old went to do her "duty" and discovered a brown suprise in the toilet tranining system that I rigged in my toilet bowl in the guest bathroom.

You got it, folks... my toilet training efforts are indeed paying off. Who said cats were stupid?

Daily News Journal smoking article

The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, has printed an article on the smoking issue that has become news here in Smyrna. I'm a bit tickled as it parallels my earlier post on this subject.

But if people don't want to battle the smoking environment at Toot's on Sam Ridley Parkway in Smyrna, for example, then they should go somewhere else. Voting with your pocketbook is one of the most effective forms of protest anyway. Eventually, the restaurant would get the message in the form of lost revenue. But so far, we're not seeing many people staying away, apparently because the lure of Toot's wings and burgers is greater than the dread of cigarette smoke.

Would we like to see restaurants offer a nonsmoking area for consumers? Sure, because it makes good business sense and gives people the opportunity to eat without coming out smelling like an ashtray.
.........
As much as we dislike cigarette smoke, including the danger of second-hand smoke and the way it infiltrates clothing, we don't believe our local governments have any business dictating the smoking rules at private businesses.

If people don't like a restaurant where smoking is allowed at every seat, they need to eat at home or go somewhere else. Smyrna has plenty of options these days.
I do believe that this months city council meeting will be eventful .

One comment left under the DNJ article did point to an interesting fact.
This "article" is not clearly marked online as opinion, neither does it indicate if it is an editorial or someone's commentary. Since it is unsigned -- at least online -- one must assume that it is an editorial. However, some readers might take it as news -- the gospel truth -- which it is not.
Newspapers that sound like bloggers. How ironic.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Smyrna. A great place to be sick.

Our own hospital has earned an award worth noting.

StoneCrest Medical Center won a 2006 Achievement Award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, according to a news release.

“The Tennessee Excellence Awards offer something most organizations desire, but few attain: Confirmation of being the best,” Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said in the release. “Winners of these awards have demonstrated a level of organizational aptitude that is only seen in the most dynamic, forward-thinking, competitive organizations in the world. It’s gratifying that Tennessee is home to several of these organizations.”
I was happy when I first heard that a hospital was moving in. Other "alternatives" had bad reputations. Glad they are performing so well.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting - January 27th

I'm making my way back from moving he**... Michael, this post is for you!

I'd like to start with setting the date for the next Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting. I'm proposing January 27th at 2:00 PM at Espresso Joe's in Smyrna, TN. Please feel free to propose another venue if you have one in mind. I do enjoy the free wi-fi.

As some of you may know, not only have I been moving, I've learned that I may have a potential heart problem. At a recent doctor's exam I had an abnormal EKG... I will get an echo cardiogram done January 22nd. I know that I have something wrong as my heart tries to do somersaults sometimes at night and on occasion it is like I forget to breathe. I may learn that I have asthma, for all I know.

I've been listening to a Buddhist meditation CD and I think it really helps. There is not enough time for meditation. Anyway, send some happy thoughts my way, please.

Ciao!

Smoke-free Smyrna?

The Smyrna town council may soon consider an ordinance to require all restaurants to have a non-smoking section, according to this morning's Daily News Journal.

There are two restarants in the area that do not have a no-smoking section--Toots and the Catfish House.

Smoking bans are all the rage right now in other cities and states. For example, Washington D.C. enacted a ban on smoking at all resturants and bars that went into effect yesterday. There's even a smoking fan going into effect in Nevada that could include casinos. These are just two of the area in the United States who have enacted a ban in the recent months and many more are debating the merits of such a plan.

Personally, I think there should be a no-smoking section in all resturarants. I'm not sure about an entire ban on smoking in every restarurant and establishment in Smyrna, though that is a step the town council could take if they wanted.

What do you think about the proposed smoking ban?