knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Rhymes with Sega

Friday, January 30
My good peeps over at Dega Catering have a new website, and boy is it purdy. Stroll on over and have a look. Nice work, I must say. Makes me hungry too.

Is anyone else craving bbq right now?

Duuuuude!

Thursday, January 29
Sony Pictures is releasing a Collector's Edition DVD version of Labyrinth.

Holy David Bowie, batman.

Itty-bitty conspiracy theory

I'm not saying I support John Edwards, and I'm not saying I don't, but I do like to keep up to date with what the Democratic Candied-dates are saying. When I do an MSN search for John Edwards (why in the hell am I using MSN? I'm lazy...ctrl+L) it "corrects" my spelling to reflect a search for a somewhat less viable candidate, John Edward. Sure, sure, the MSN search gives me the option of going on and doing what I really wanted it to do, but why the interruption?

Hmm...

Finally. Proof that I have nothing to do.

Daily Beacon">In today's Daily Beacon

Josh Biedebach writes about the SGA's Adopt-a-Spot program
A great idea that will likely die a sad and quiet death. In the meantime, pick up after yourself.

Jessica Stith explores new "Homeless Management Information System"
This sounds like a great and ambitious program. I hope it isn't setting itself up for abuse. The comments of the individuals involved are promising, but I'm a little confused by the absence of any reference to "people" in the name of the program. How long before Visa gets ahold of this info and starts mailing applications?

Kaitlin Madigan reviews an old book
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is given a solid "A" by Ms. Madigan. I have to agree, but seriously...how desperate is the DB for material?
(the answer is: slightly less deperate than this blog)

Good News!

Apparently, my bellyaching about the proposed week of Christmas changes for employees of UTK actually got some attention. I've gotten good news on two fronts. An associate director type in my office expressed the concerns of the employees in my office about this proposal to Dr. Crabtree. The response he got from Crabtree was that employees should not be worried about losing any annual leave or paid time for administrative closings. Not a real whiz-bang of a comeback, but it's getting there. The employee rep for my office, however, was much more assuring. The exact words were, "come meeting time, this idea is gonna take a beating."

Now that's what I call representation.

Thank you, Tennessee

Wednesday, January 28
Did you know you can vote right now for the Presidential Primary in Tennessee? Course you can.

Run along now.

It's a lie...brary

Hey, Knox County mayor Mike Ragsdale himself wants your personal opinion about what to do about the downtown library.

So go give it to him, dammit.

Make sure you emphasize longer hours, fare-sharing with KAT riders, and a wi-fi network.

ERC(rap)

If you work at the University of Tennessee (or if you just clock in for eight hours a day), you should know that the Employee Relations Committee, headed by Chancellor Loren Crabtree and Alan Chesney, is considering ways to cut spending by 5% or more for the upcoming fiscal year. Their leading proposal at the moment is to eliminate the paid week off work for employees during the week of Christmas (it's supposed to be an arbitrary holiday break, but it always happens the week of xmas). They propose to continue with the week-long closing, but they will no longer pay employees for it. Employees may elect to use annual leave or go unpaid.

This policy will force employees to go unpaid for a week at the most expensive time of the year, or sacrifice traditional vacation time in order to receive pay. Unfortunately, many UTK employees normally use annual leave for a vacation in the Summer, generally to spend it with children and other family members who are not in school during that time. Many take budget vacations to a relatively nearby coast, or enjoy the Summer in the mountains. This will no longer be an option for employees.

The University has had a long-held policy of paying employees for time they would normally work during an administrative closing. This policy would be changed by the new proposal, opening the door for UTK to withhold pay from employees for days of work missed during any administrative closings. Recently, these closings have included more than one weather-related incident and a week-long closing during which UTK had no new operating budget from the state.

It is not uncommon to hear UTK employees describe UTK as a good place to work, not because of the pay, but because of the benefits. UTK has not offered its employees a cost-of-living adjusted raise this year, but it's employee health insurance premiums have increased while the benefits have decreased. UTK also increased its monthly charge for access to employee parking areas. Employees now pay $25.30 per month for parking.

Now, the ERC is considering a plan to eliminate the paid week off at Christmas. If anything changes, I think that UTK should remain open during that week, giving employees the chance to choose between work and vacation, instead of choosing between no pay and vacation. That won't happen, though. The University already saves a bundle by shutting everything down during that week, even though they still pay employees.

UTK wastes money all over the place, but employee wages is not one of those places. If you're taking away paid time off, give it back to us in wages.

Algebra Lesions

Tuesday, January 13
My wife is taking Finite Mathematics. Hates it she does. I've never heard the pretty woman curse so emphatically. She already wants to give up. I can totally empathize.

But I suck at the whole good listener/tutor thing.

Infozo, you hearing me? Any suggestions for the lass?

Free Adam Manookin

He may be an ass, and he may have very little social tact, but Adam Manookin still retains the freedom of speech. If he must be suspended, then it is only fair that he is given a prompt hearing. Forcing him to miss a semester of school prevents a fair outcome to his hearing, having already punished him.

Whoo. Go Vols.