I'm a wiener ... whoops - Winner!

After careful deliberation, the 2005 Mary Jarrard award Graduate Student Paper from the Carolinas Communication Association was awarded to ... me?!?

I faced seven others, all close to graduation, and from long-established graduate programs from the Carolinas and Georgia. With a first-semester paper, and in a year-old graduate program, I didn't expect to pull it off. I went there, presented my paper, and came back home, figuring that I'd done pretty decently for a first-timer, but that I'd have to try again next year.

I was also asked to submit my paper for publication. For those of you who don't know, publication is a pretty big deal in the academic world.

This evening, I'll be getting my award plaque or certificate or whatever they give me. I think I'll even get a little money for my efforts. What's even better is that everyone who reads this is required to buy me a beer or three.

My first two Graduate school academic recognitions, back-to-back, after just one semester in the program. Not bad at all ...

Going to Charlotte (9/22/05)

Well, tomorrow afternoon, I present my first paper at the annual conference of the Carolinas Communication Association. I'm kinda ready, but I'll have a long, long night ahead of me as I finish up going over what I'm going to talk about tomorrow. Ya'll wish me luck!

Today, I feel ... challenged ... ARRRGGGHHHH!!! Image


Carolinas Communication Association

Two Front Pages in the same week (9/21/05)

I made two newspaper front pages in the same week - and NOT for something I've done, either!

Yesterday, the editor of the Manning Times told me photographs I took of my company opening new bridges to traffic on a highway project would make the front page of their newspaper.  Today, I learned that a story I'd written on Homeland Security and emergency preparedness in downtown Charleston in the vicinity of my college, along with photographs of potential threat sources that I'd taken, made the front page of the George Street Observer, my college newspaper.

Elvis Costello

I went online and got a cheap copy of an Elvis Costello CD, which arrived yesterday.

I know this is clearly a variation from my usual louder-for-power screaming and raging metal, but I do enjoy a little break sometimes. I enjoy some of the New Wave and punk bands from England who took a turn from the raging punk of the late 70s, incorporating blues and reggae influences into their music, such as The Police, The Clash, and Elvis Costello.

His first big splash was when he played on Saturday Night Live, and early into his song "Less Than Zero", he stopped the band and had them play "Radio, Radio". The unauthorized stunt had him banned from SNL for a long time.

While Costello, like others of that sub-genre, hit it big in the late 70s and early 80s, Costello is still out there, doing his thing, and has developed a following. In 1999, he updated his SNL stunt, going on stage at SNL to interrupt the Beastie Boys, who were starting to play "Sabotage", who then joined him in again playing "Radio, Radio". I've got the video clip of it somewhere.

What are my favorite Costello songs? Radio, Radio, Watching the Detectives, and Peace, Love, and Understanding.


Elvis Costello Online

Sirius - Way cool Satellite radio for your car (8/30/05)

Been a while since I last posted ... lack of time to focus my thinking, I guess.

Today, I'm gonna tell you (and those of you who know me will say it's about the twentieth time I've done so) about the coolest thing I've run across in a while - Satellite Radio.

No doubt you've seen the commericals for XM, but I opted for the Sirius, service provided by as I felt they did a better job with their programming. I'm so much a fan of it, that I have links to my favorite channels listed on my personal website.

What do I listen to? Hard rock and metal from the 80s at Hair Nation and Buzzsaw, occasional New Wave on First Wave, the kids listen to Kids Stuff and Disney Radio, and I sometimes listen to EWTN - Catholic Radio. What a combination! But with over 100 channels to choose from, even a picky asshole like me can find a few options.

If you haven't checked it out, you SHOULD. Portable units that you can plug into your car without rewiring can be had for $50 these days and the service costs $13 a month. Trust me - you'll LOVE it as much as I do (even if you may not love my choices of music).

Appearances in performances (9/17/05)

In my weekend reading for my Oraganzational Performances graduate school class, I was reading a chapter from Erving Gofffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life". His book deals with how we all put on acts, or performances, in our everyday dealings with others.

In Chapter One, he goes into how we may put on appearances that are less than honest to avoid dealing with others, letting them think what they want to avoid having to explain ourselves or knowing our real opinions, when we think it may interfere in our overall interaction with those individuals. To explain, he writes:

It is not assumed, of course, that all cynical performers are interested in deluding their audiences for purposes of what is called "self-interest" or private gain. A cyncial individual may deulde his audience for what he considers to be their own good, or for the good of the community, etc.

To help clarify his point, Goffman goes on to say:

We know that in service occupations practitioners who may otherwise be sincere are sometimes forced to delude their customers because their customers show such a heartfelt demand for it.

QUESTION: Do we often put up appearances for the sake of simiplicity or expediency when we deal with others - even when what we are doing may not adversely affect them?


Half.com ordering info

My latest Newsletter project (9/16/05)

Well, the fall edition of the newsletter for one of my work-related associations was released today.  "The Scoop" is the quarterly newsletter that I write, edit, and produce for the South Carolina Utilities Coordinating Committee.  They're the people who coordinate utilities and construction contractors so nobody digs up anything underground, like phone lines, natural gas or water pipes, etc. 

I'm the Communication Chairman of the group, which has representatives from most of the major utility companies in the state, the SC Department of Transporation and some construction companies as well.

In the same afternoon, I had several calls with compliments, including the PR person for a major utility company, and someone else wanting the palmetto tree artwork.

The first link lets you read the newsletter online, and the second takes you to the association's website.  Enjoy.

Skid Row ROCKS - years later! (8/16/05)

Just got the CD edition of Skid Row's first album, which was originally released way back in 1989. Years and years later, and guess what ... this album still ROCKS! How did I ever not buy this album way back then?!?!?

The band's still out there, but their wildman lead signer Sebastian Bach has gone his own way since then.

Skid Row's on the web at http://www.skidrow.com and Bach's on the web at http://www.sebastianbach.com . Check them out.

Naval Catamarans? (8/7/05)

Today, a bit of news on the military R&D front.

The US Navy has been exploring a multi-purpose catamaran. The craft, which would be far smaller and lighter than conventional naval vessels, could be configured for a number of purposes, including hit-and-run operations, using its light weight, size, and speed to conduct operations on a smaller scale. Such a concept could give the Navy the operational flexibility to better handle unconventional small-craft tactics, such the single boat which hit the USS Cole.

Interestingly enough, a similar vessel was used by Elliot Carver, the media-mogul-turned-villian character in the 1997 James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies". In shades of the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800's (which some attribute to helping spark the Spanish-American War) a stealth catamaran of nearly the same design was used in an effort to provoke a war between Britain and China by covertly sinking a British naval vessel, then shooting down nearby Chinese fighter jets.

I've been saying that the Bond movies have been moving away from the fantasy villans and making more of an effort to seem like they're just a degree away from what is really happening (such as rogue ex-Soviets, North Korean provocateurs, mega-media barons manipulating opinion and events), giving the movies a greater sense of realism.

From Bond fiction to Navy reality - coincidence, or great homework by the Bond writers? What do you think?


On Managerial Communication (8/6/05)

As some of you may know, my paper on managerial democracy has been accepted for presentation at the annual conference of the Carolinas Communication Association, which will be held this fall in Charlotte, NC.

Managerial democracy and corporate communication are happening topics these days, with the insider trading scandals, Martha Stewart, Carolina Investors here in South Carolina, Enron, WorldCom and so forth. Not because of losses inflicted by the companies and those who directly swindled investors and employee pension plans, but also because of the collateral damages inflicted upon investors who held good investments which were valued in part based upon the overall reputation of corporate stocks. A good case of how a few crooks cost a lot of people money, and screwed a lot of good investors and companies as well.

In my paper, I look at the history of those who have critiqued organizational and managerial communication. I follow how they developed better understandings of the processes by which management controls communicaiton, advocated reforms, and how the roles played by corporate entities in contemporary society have changed.

My favorite theorist/critic of corporate and managerial communication is Stanley Deetz. He has examined how management communicates, and can use the workplace communication processes to control and/or inform. In an era where businesses are becoming entities with larger and larger impacts upon everyday life, I share his concerns about where they, and by extension, we, are headed.

Clearly, in a democratic and capitalistic free society, we can't have a schizophrenic world in which we're free in some aspects of our lives, and controlled and not free in others.


My paper on Managerial Communication

Carolinas Communication Association