Saturday, April 30, 2016

Updates 160430

I have the following updates, since my last updates post, in March

upcoming performances
  • "A Bad Year for Tomatoes" playing Willa Mae Wilcox at The Clove Creek Dinner Theater 5/5/16-5/22/16
  • Class Show, Musical Level I, 5/1/16 9pm, at Magnet Studio Theater - 22 W. 32nd St, 10th floor - Room A

Performance completed, since all of those in March, which I mentioned as upcoming in my last update
  • Mme Paula in "Un Vase à Chinatown" d Jeremy Hung 4/16/16 -- in French
  • Standup, The Set NYC, d Pim Shih 3/22/16 "Politics Music Monologues Show"

Courses completed
  • Musical Improv Level 1 (retaking), Nikita Burdein and Frank Spitznagel 3/12/16-5/1/16 Magnet Theater
  • Basic Harmony for Musical Improvisors with Dan Reitz link to class photo 
  • "Playing it Real" with Gavin Speiller, Improv Elective, UCB NYC Training Center 4/5-12/16
  • 48th Street Exercise, with Gary Austin, at Artistic New Directions (AND) 4/1/16

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hobbit Houses and Tornadoes

I have wondered for some time why it is that in California there are these wonderful earthquake related building codes that have saved thousands of lives in major earthquakes -- but there are no tornado related building codes in places like Oklahoma and Kansas.

I lived for a while in Rochester, MN.   This community is the home of the Mayo Clinic.  That famed institution was formed after a huge tornado cut a swath of destruction a mile wide through the community and a clinic was needed to deal with the aftermath.

When I lived there I frequently cowered in the basement in fear when there were tornado watches and warnings. Even when the sky was clear, I thought about how a tornado could come out of it.

I've seen how well the building codes work in California.  They'll announce the magnitude of the earthquake and then they'll say there were some number less than 20 casualties.  Then I'll see a similar magnitude earthquake reported in Turkey or Iran, and there will be tens of thousands dead.  I've seen how natives of the Andes mountains made stone walls where the pieces were fitted together by crafting of the stones, so that they don't fall during earthquakes.

But I don't see where tornado prone states are making building codes to protect their residents.

I did read a story of an underground house surviving a tornado

Earth sheltered homes can survive tornadoes

Then I saw these cute modular homes that people can assemble themselves, and which are designed to be buried.  Wouldn't this be the perfect solution?



Monday, April 4, 2016

@uspshelp -- frustrations with computer sorting

Computer sorting of mail just does not work as well as humans.

Recently I sent a letter to a friend who happens to live near the border of several towns.  His legal residence is in one town in Vermont, while his mail is delivered by the post office in the adjacent town.

When I addressed the letter, I used his legal address, because that's the one I had used when finding his house using google maps.

The letter was returned to me as "no such street, unable to forward."

My friend reports that the human postal carriers were able to figure out such addressing, but the computer sorting facility cannot.

This is really annoying.  I sent the letter to the correct, legal address of my friend's house.   The fact that the postal service elects to deliver mail from the post office of the neighboring town is supposed to be for postal service convenience, not to inconvenience postal service customers. The computer should be programmed to figure such addresses rather than sending letters back to senders.

Even more annoying, when I went to usps.com, to try to send in an e-mail complaining of this situation, I found a bunch of options for complaining about mail service -- and none of the options applied to this situation.  They don't have a category for "other" complaints.  They can't imagine that someone might come up with a complaint that doesn't fall into the categories they have pre-selected.

Again a human being would be able to take a miscellaneous complaint that doesn't fit into other categories.