Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Go see...

Shovels and Rope tonight at Barley's.

It's pint night, there's no cover, and they're great. As far as I know, there's an opener that starts at 9pm.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall is Here and it's Corn-Mazing!

Yesterday, I went to the Cruze Farm Corn Maze. I've never been to a corn maze before, so I had a lot to take in and a lot of observations to make.

It was definitely a wholesome affair, attracting young and old.

We didn't know whose birthday it was, but did it really matter?

Height of this Pumpkin Head? About 5'5" tall.

The food was delicious, which is to be expected of Cruze Farm- ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Mmmm.

In the maze, we were asked to spot some celebrities along the way. Here's Mary Costa, voice of Sleeping Beauty, who was from Knoxville, or lived here... I can't remember...

And here is Governor Bill Haslam. Striking resemblance!

I wasn't keeping time, but it probably took us about 30-45 minutes to walk through all of it. Not difficult, but we stopped along the way for some photo opps.

Of course, we bought snacks for the road. Look at that straw. Cruze Farm knows it's all in the details. 

Hope you can make it out there or to another local corn maze. I've heard of several, spooky and non.

Below is some info about the Cruze Farm Corn Maze. I'm not positive when their hours are, but I'm sure you can call them and find out: 300-3307. 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Fall!

Yours truly,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lets Revisit the Idea of Speed Cameras Shall We?

Pol here, with an idea that is likely to get me rather lambasted by anyone who reads it. I've been thinking through the idea of traffic and congestion recently and think I may have a rather novel solution to a common problem.

We here at the Wigshop tend to hate red light cameras. They are revenue focused, do not reduce accidents, and represent the privatization of our police system, in short they are bad.

I have wondered though, if there is a way to take that technology and apply it usefully in such a way as to actually improve the quality of life in our city. I have also become rather obsessed with the body count that is our highway signage these days, the death count was at 604 when I checked last.That being said my proposition is as follows:

I suggest that a system of speed cameras set up on all main interstate corridors within Knox county to enforce the speed limit would actually reduce the overall time of commute, free up police resources, and reduce traffic accidents.

Picture with me if you will, a series of cameras, well marked, at equal intervals, and run by the Knoxville Police Dept that enforce the speed limit along 40, 640, 275, 75, and Pellissippi. These cameras would be active from the hours of 7AM through 9AM and again from 4:30PM until 6:30 pm. Signage would clearly mark the bounds in which these cameras operate and lights would signal when they were active. I propose the following guidelines:

  1. Any speed over 5 mph over the speed limit would result in the ticket
  2. The fine would be approximately $10
  3. You could receive a maximum of 1 fine per day
  4. The fine would not be reflected on a motor vehicle report
The entire purpose of this program would be to make traffic flow at a consistent speed which would overall create a much more pleasant and safe driving environment. We have all been passed on the right by some person trying to gain a car length or frustrated by someone going 50 in the left lane, this program would create a mild incentive for everyone to travel at the same rate of speed and if you do exceed the limit the penalty is not onerous.

Optimally this program would be revenue neutral, but even if it does run a deficit the benefits of a better commute cannot be undervalued. Reduced stress, lower impact on cars, less damage to roadways, less need for police to risk life and limb for a ticket, it could be a great way to, on the margins, make Knoxville different from other cities.  And until I get my self driving car I have to deal with other people driving.

So, who knows how to get is started?

Monday, July 16, 2012

July First Friday Highlight: Brigid Oesterling

Photo by Shawn Poynter

Last First Friday (July 6), Magpies, where I usually begin my evening, wasn't holding their usual tasting event, so with a stomach void of mini cupcakes, I went to the 100 Block earlier than usual. At 6pm, it was pretty steamy outside and there weren't many people out yet.

Photo by Shawn Poynter

I went to a couple of shows that I'll write about soon, ones you should check out before the month ends, but since things were pretty slow at that point, my friend talked me into grabbing a beverage at the Crown and Goose.

Photo by Shawn Poynter

On our way back down Jackson Avenue, we passed a crowd gathering outside of the Heuristics Workshop on Jackson Avenue by the Gay Street Viaduct around 8:15ish.

I had heard Brigid Oesterling was having a fashion show and discovered this is where it would be happening. A few minutes later, Three Man Band began playing, and her models came out, walking along the loading dock outside the warehouse.

Photo by Shawn Poynter

I was fortunate to have seen another Brigid Oesterling fashion show recently in Nashville. We were both part of a show put on by RAW Nashville last month, and she and her mostly Knoxvillian models looked great on the runway set up in Mercy Lounge. (View photos here.)

Photo by Denise Sanabria

I was excited to see her designs, however, on Jackson Avenue in Knoxville, sauntering to the tunes of Three Man Band. It all seemed very... fitting (pun intended).

Hair was done by Kim Woods from Belleza Salon, and makeup by Lara Duren and Brynn Gonzales (left) of Lox Salon. Photo by Shawn Poynter

It was just the type of thing I like to see on a First Friday.

Brigid. Photo by Shawn Poynter
artist. curator. costumer. seamstress. sewing machine collector.  specializes in re-creating with recycled/re-used materials, especially inner tubes and rubber.


Video by Matthew Amudsen

Sunday, July 08, 2012

swimming + Olympics = Knoxville

So who knew, but apparently Knoxville has some really good swimming facilities.

And apparently a contingent of the USA swim team is here doing pre-Olympic training.

Ryan Lochte has been spotted along with several other tall, broad shouldered individuals.

Training is not open to the public, but i bet one could wrangle some sorry of pass of one was so inclined.

Just thought everybody should know.


Friday, July 06, 2012

Freedom Thighs 2012

I couldn't tell you specifically what I like so much about the Freedom Thighs bike ride. There's an inexpressible feeling it gives you, something pictures and text may not have the ability to convey, but I'll try.

Outside the Birdhouse

The bike ride happens each 4th of July, meeting at the Birdhouse around 4pm. Bikers line up in the street, listen to a rendition on the Star Spangled Banner (this year, Dolly Parton's), and begin their patriotic cruise through the neighborhoods of Knoxville.

Most attendees are decked out in American themed apparel. I myself bought a flag vest a couple years back for my first Freedom Thighs, and it's become a go-to for this ride each year. This year, two synchronized boom boxes towed behind bikes busted out jams ranging from Ludacris's Roll Out to some USA themed songs sung in Spanish.

Eagle on Rollerblades!

I couldn't tell you either, if there is any common thread that runs through each of the bikers who come each year to ride this ride.

 I overheard one hipster-looking biker say to his friends as I slowly meandered past them, "I can't tell if this race is satirical or not. It seems like there are a lot of truly patriotic people here, but I know there are some anarchists here as well... and just so y'all know, I bought this (American flag) t-shirt at Wal-Mart."

Sidenote: I don't know much about this subject, but it's true that there is a small contingent of anarchists that like to ride bicycles in Knoxville. They're some real nice people, yet would a true anarchist attend an American-themed bike ride? Are anarchists known to be especially ironic?*

Maybe what I like about the ride is the simultaneous delight and confusion I feel.

Freedom Thighs does mostly draw a bunch of white hipsters, it's true.

Part of the route winds through some East Knox neighborhoods which are predominantly inhabited by African Americans. These are some of my favorite streets to ride through because there is such a great community presence there. So many families came out on their porches to cheer on us white kids dressed like idiots.

And together, we all cheered on America.

 If that's not patriotic, I couldn't tell you what is.

Babe-raham Lincoln

We made a stop at the Pilot on Magnolia. That Pilot made a billion dollars yesterday, and so did the ice-cream man who stopped there when he saw all of us.

Love grows at Pilot

Then some idiot started shooting fireworks. Really? At a gas station? I can't say everyone on the ride is the brightest.

I saw many faces on the ride that have moved away from Knoxville over the past few years. They come back for this ride, and that's saying something.

I didn't end up finishing out the whole route. I think they went about 10 miles in all, making various stops to rest, consume cold beverages, and eat hotdogs, but I had a cookout calling my name.

The Ice-Cream man found us

If you have been intrigued in the slightest by this post, you should consider taking a chance on shenaniganery and joining the ride next year. No one fits in, but we all do because we're American, you know what I'm saying?

 Wherever the 4th of July took you, whether you were enjoying a/c with normal, calm people or with a bunch of hooligans on bikes, I do hope it was as merry one.

Facilitators of Freedom Thighs

*Questions for another time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Do You Own Property Downtown?

If so please vote The Pol (Cullin Spellings) for the CBID board.

You should have received your ballots in the mail the other day, and you have all of 2 days to get them filled out and returned. You can do one of two things:

#1 Vote for the pol (as seen below)


#2 Designate Cullin Spellings to be your Proxy (as seen below)

Or finally, if you will be at the yearly CBID Board Meeting on Monday the 25th at 11:30 at the Chamber of Commerce please vote for Cullin.

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know he loves downtown and would do a great job at advancing the interests of the residents. If you have any lingering doubts, here is a final reason why you should vote for him.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mystery of Jesus Dreams Solved... kind of

Here is why you should go to CBID meetings. Look who one of our neighbors spied the other day. BOOM

So here is the scoop (hat tip to Mr. Owens who lives in The Holston), Ricky, the "artist", is actually some kind of religious zealot. Not sure if its a particular sect or something he just came up with, but this is psuedo-christian missionary work apparently.

 Now it gets interesting. Ricky puts up the "Jesus takes away bad dreams" and the other variations because #1 it is Gods message and he can put it on Gods property and since God owns everything he can put it everywhere. And #2... wait for it... the message itself is aimed at the Jews. Apparently a jewish person will understand this code language and perhaps be converted. Any of our semitically inclined readers care to comment on that part? Gentiles don't feel too left out, he has started a new line of all inclusive art (see the bottom right corner of the picture) a picture of the bible that says Jesus loves you.

So if you see Ricky around putting up posters feel free to call the police as he is defacing public property, and generally being a creeper. The things you learn by going to the CBID residents meetings.

Also the Pol has been nominated to be one of the CBID board members representing the residents downtown. So all you property owners please vote for Cullin Spellings or assign him as your proxy for the June 25th meeting. You'll be getting your ballots in just a few days. Thanks!