The West Virginia Optimist


Charleston, WV is now 3G!
June 27, 2008, 9:38 pm
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After about a year of bugging every AT&T rep that I ever met about 3G, Charleston WV FINALLY has 3G service. Not only does 3G(HSUPA/UMTS) provide Internet connection speeds on par with DSL, it also impements WCDMA for voice calling. In my experience, WCDMA provides MUCH better voice quality over GSM connections.

I have no idea how widespread this 3G rollout is in the area. Usually, AT&T only takes care of the major metropolitan areas. So be aware that you’re going to bump back down to GSM/EDGE once you leave the 3G coverage area. I plan on scoping out the coverage zones at least until AT&T updates their 3G coverage maps.

I do have bad news for all of you Blackberry or iPhone1.0 users, Until you upgrade to this or this, the Blackberry Bold, you’re still going to be relegated to the GSM/EDGE network. Contrary to what some AT&T reps have told some people, Blackberry Curves and Pearls are NOT 3G capable. Sorry.

Also: the rumor I heard was that Huntington and Morgantown were to go live tonight with 3G as well, but I cant’ verify with anyone there that it actually happened. Anyone?



Over the Cliff
June 22, 2008, 8:53 pm
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Old 97’s – Over the Cliff

In the spirit of DIY, which seems to be the overall theme not just in my life but the entire city of Charleston with Festivall going on, above is a great example of it. (especially the last few lines). It’s also a bit less harsh than Fugazi



Song#1
June 21, 2008, 7:23 am
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Fugazi – Song#1 from the DVD – Instrument

Uncompromising standards directing their music forward, for me, Fugazi holds a special place in my life. It continues to inspire me to no end. A child of the 80s/90s, I gravitated towards them instead of the their former bands like Rites of Spring and Minor Threat. I did get a chance to see Ian McKaye of Minor Threat/Fugazi at the VFW in Charleston last year in his new band, the Evens. I managed to share a few words with him and although people assume he’s a bit self-righteous, in my experience, it couldnt be further from the truth.

Daily Festivall for me
9 AM – 3 PM
ART ON A STICK in Davis Park. Local artists offer their work and unused supplies yard sale fashion. Music by Josh Buskirk, Ryan Kennedy

Noon – 6 PM – this should be awesome!
WEST VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL STUDENT FILM COMPETITION and showing of A Moving Monument: The West Virginia State Capitol at WVSU Capitol Center Theater. Contest films will be shown and prizes awarded. At noon, there will also be a screening of the only documentary about West Virginia’s state capitol building produced by MotionMasters. WVIFF movingmonument



Festivall Begins!
June 20, 2008, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Festivall is now in full swing! Very excited about the events to come. Perhaps the one I’m most excited about is Buswater
BUSWATER ON THE BOULEVARD
1520 Kanawha Blvd SE
Group art exhibition of 20 local and regional fine artists.

Friday, June 20, 6 PM -Midnite opening reception
Saturday, June 21, 11 AM – 10 PM
Thursday, June 26, 5 – 8 PM (during Art Walk)
Friday, June 27, 6 – 10 PM
Saturday, June 28, 11 AM – 10 PM

This exhibition is always fun, fresh and full of breaking artists in the state. Large installations, paintings, photography, the whole lot. Check it out.

Another great event tonight from 5-8pm is at Callen McJunkin Gallery “at The Loft at 219 Hale Street- Art on Paper, June 20 – July 31. The show includes West Virginia artists Robin McClintock and Barrie Kaufman, current and former WVU faculty members Juan Giraldo, Sarah Smelser and Sergio Soave, Sonya Evanisko of Shepherd College and 12 other artists.” This gallery is top notch with wonderful staff. The caliber of work shown here is astonishing.

Check them out, I’ll be at both.



Tolerance (ltd.) in West Virginia
June 20, 2008, 7:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This blog post is part of “A Better West Virginia Day,” a collaborative blog effort by West Virginia bloggers to overturn some of the negative stereotypes about West Virginians and our fine state.  Please visit A Better West Virginia for links to more WV blogs participating in this event.  Also, feel free to post your own – be sure to add your link in a comment at A Better West Virginia!

tolerance

n. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of  others.

When describing to my friends and family in Virginia that I was moving to the ‘other Virginia’, the most common response I heard was, ‘Why?’. I had visited Charleston, Lewisburg, a few of the tourist attractions (Cass, Snowshoe, etc.) and had fallen in love. When deciding where to move, Charleston seemed to be a perfect fit.. the right amount of cultural offerings, employment options and still relatively close to home in Maryland/Virginia.

I was amazed at the difference in attitude of Charleston versus my former Virginia home. It’s difficult to explain what the difference actually is..to give it an exact word, but what I have narrowed it down to is an overall vibe of ‘live and let live’. It is truly an execution of the state motto, Montani semper liberi, Mountaineers Are Always Free. The people I have met in this state have been kind, generous and open-minded, very different from the national press coverage we’ve seen. For the first time, I feel as if I’m part of a team. I take personally the perception held by people outside of this state, something I never felt in Virginia.

For me, progressive ideas and Montani semper liberi go hand in hand. As we look forward, I am very proud of legislation that is inclusive of all people. City legislation such as this . Charleston city Councilman Marc Weintraub, the bill’s author and sponsor said:

“I think, as we continue to try to make Charleston a great place to work, live and visit, we sat down and tried to think of ways to do this,” he said. “One way is letting gays and lesbians know they are welcome and protected here.”

There was even an overwhelming support for this bill in the Senate in the last legislative session. The mere fact that this is being discussed and voted on, speaks very highly of West Virginia to the rest of the country. That the legal rights of it’s citizens doesn’t contain footnotes with exceptions

Legislation like those above is why I’m proud to be a West Virginian. There will always be more work to be done, but I feel we’re headed down the right path.



Jet Fighter Man
June 18, 2008, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A quick thanks to the Graffiti on their write up of yours truly, Oncee@blogger and 304blogs.com. The coverage is very much appreciated.

Making some slight updates to 304blogs.com this evening accompanied by The National’s Boxer. One of my favorite releases last year. With that I ask..

What are some of your favorite more recent releases?



rain rain on my face.
June 15, 2008, 12:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Back in 2004 when I lived in Richmond, we had an enormous flood in the Shockoe Bottom area . I was lucky enough to live in an apartment at higher elevation. I’m not going to try to sound like I was a victim of that flood, because frankly, I wasn’t. However, I did get to see it first hand…absolutely horrific. I can’t imagine what people in Des Moines are going through right now.

….and then I see this. I hope this isn’t tacky, but this excites me. Yes, Obama filling sandbags is a photo-op, but it’s hard to deny the power of ground-up community action. If this gets one more person involved in the relief efforts or in their community, it’s all worth it.

It’s hard to say this without coming across as a bit trite, and I’ve never really felt comfortable saying it (because it sounds sort of cheesy) but he was the single deciding factor in me becoming involved in my community. After his speech on race in Philadelphia, I felt like I had to do something. I made contacts with a few organizations that I now lovingly volunteer with. Sure, I could always do more, but think about what would happen if more people did just a little.