The Soapbox Archives:
At the local Dunkin' Donuts near my workplace, I found out that someone stole a can of money that was used to collect money for the fight against cancer (not sure if it was for Dana Farber or the Jimmy Fund). How low can someone be to steal money that's suppose to be used to fight cancer? What if that money would have directly contributed to finding a cure for cancer in time to save their parent or child?
Yet, there was some irony in this stupid act. The fund raising drive was sponsored by the Mass Association of Police Chiefs.
There is more information than just the Boston swing dance scene. I run a sister webpage for Argentine Tango and one of my friends is starting to learn that dance. My friend never knew about my website because the link is off my front page, not my calendar page, so she was missing a lot of useful information. Of course, there's also other dancing down in southern Massachusetts (where she lives) where some venues aren't close enough to make the Boston calendar.
...of course, this discussion is rather pointless since those people who link directly to the main calendar will never see this Soapbox.
Someone suggested that I come up with some form that organizers could fill out that would make it easier for me to interpret and enter useful information into these webpages. I'm reluctant to do so because regardless of how I could design such a form, someone will certainly come up with information that doesn't fit.
Yet, I should have guidelines. This at least whittles down the information to a manageable size. And gives me an excuse to ignore certain people who want the free advertisement and yet are too lazy to edit their own propaganda. Well, here's a stab at it.
In the end, ask yourself...is this something *I* would want to list on this website? Take a long look at the other information on this website for examples. And "don't make me look it up". Rules subject to change without notice. Actually, most of this is on the list of Frequently Asked Questions. You'll find more detail there.
A public service announcement:
One thing that annoys me about many of the current personal computer magazines is that they focus on the current operating systems (Vista & Windows 7) and ignore the fact that some of us are happy with our very stable Windows XP desktop environments and have no interest in upgrading to Microsoft Vista. The next Windows 7 won't make it painless to upgrade from Windows XP which just serves to discourage the average user from upgrading; those customers will just wait until their computer dies and forces them to move to the currently available operating system. I just upgraded my fourth and last computer to Windows XP; it's extremely stable right now and is much easier to network than Vista. Note that all my computers are on Windows XP *Professional*. That will be supported by Microsoft until 2014. Windows XP Home has been unsupported for a couple of years now so if a friend's XP Home computer dies, I wouldn't be able to rebuild the operating system and get all the service packs and patches for it; they'd *have to* buy a new computer.
Whenever possible, I nowadays recommend getting the "Professional" version of any Microsoft operating system (assuming that you do use Windows, that is) because big business demand that the higher end software be supported for years. That means, even if Windows 7 comes out in October, I have no reason to upgrade for another 4 years. That means I don't have to hand over my money to Microsoft for a few more years.
Note that Vista is pretty much 64-bit software these days so if you buy a new computer and want to reuse some of your old software, check to make sure that the 64-bit Vista operating system will support it. I know someone who's going to buy a second new laptop with 32-bit Windows XP because her office's VPN won't run on a 64-bit machine (so she can't connect to her office securely with Vista) I found this out when I tried to install the second license of my Trend Micro purchase on a newer Vista 64-bit computer and found out it would work only on a 32-bit operating system.
A bartender said to me, "I know it's going to be a bad night when customers come up and ask "What's for free?".
I think that some people don't seem to understand that the dance space and music come with a cost. Many bars didn't use to require a cover charge because they assumed that people were going to drink. And people who go out to drink don't want to pay a cover charge. If the owners doesn't at least cover their cost, then they're going to stop offering dancing.
Over the 18 years that I've been in the local dance community, I've seen many public dance venues that offered swing dancing that then closed down or just got rid of swing dancing because they weren't able to be profitable. I can't tell if people just didn't have the money or if they were just being cheap. Granted, I get in free to most of the swing dance venues I attend; however, I still try to buy some drinkables at any venue I go to and I always tip the bartender, even if I'm just buying water. I never bring my own drinks into a place had a bar; it'd be like going out to eat at a restaurant and bringing your own food. It's not like you have to buy alcohol because we know you can't dance well if you're drunk, but people dancing at a bar should make some effort to buy water so the venue owner will find it worthwhile to continue providing another venue for swing dancers.
Sometimes I wonder how much nicer the world would be if (some) people would stop and think about the effect of the exact words they use on the listener (or reader). There are many ways to say the same thing, yet each one manages to solicit different reactions.
I had something else written in this space but someone on Sunday gave me a much better idea.
Some visiting teachers came in to teach workshops but were surprised (in a bad way) that not that many people signed up for the workshops. They (or the organizer) cancelled the rest of the workshops, alledgedly due to the feeling that the local community did not appreciate their talents and offerings.
Now, having been around for a loooong time, I could see *many* reasons why a lot of people didn't show up. But that's not important.
What *is* important is the attitude that was projected. While I bet that the comment that was reputed to them was either off-the-record or exaggerated, having it declared as it was just gives dancers a sour taste for those teachers; I'm pretty sure the dancers who did show up as well as anyone else in the community will think twice about ever taking any workshops with those teachers. I think those teachers should have just sucked it up and taught the workshops. Imagine the pleasure of those students who would have gotten close to a private lessons from decent teachers. It would have done good things for the instructors' reputations.
It's one thing to have a thought...it's another thing to actually declare it in public, not to mention the potential damage it could do. The organizer should have just said that the workshops were cancelled and most people would have just shrugged it off; now dancers are going to be forever annoyed at those teachers.