Beginning of Broadcast Bar

Went to the eGen.TV Season Launch tonight @ Broadcast Bar. Production Manager Ben Piskor was kind enough to invite me. I met Ben through my work reffing plus he attended (& shot video @) The Uncertainty Principle‘s Petite Soirée № 5.

I’m just a fan, but my take on the Concept is:

Late night TV show (e.g. Conan/Letterman/Carson) streamed live from a Chicago bar, with an audience of whoever walks in.

I’m biased because I like Ben, but I think it seems pretty frigging cool and I’m not sure why it hasn’t been done before. Went with Matt to tonight’s premiere and we watched as the show unfolded featuring star guest Hal Sparks. It was surreal to watch it streaming on the flat screens, turn to see Mr. Sparks actually talking to the host, and then see people looking up who Hal was on Wikipedia via their smart phones (and the sophisticated among them hopefully tweeting/denting as well) simultaneously.


If you liked this post, please peruse my other work on danoff dot org, learn in my Teaching Laboratory and buy my book. If you have ideas about what you read please leave them in the comments, tweet them to @danoff or  e-mail them to Thanks for reading and in advance for your correspondence.

Note the eGen TV logo is their property. The text of this post is Copyright (C) 2012 by Charles Jeffrey Danoff licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan license. I, Charlie, give you permission to republish, remix, kopimi, make millions off, or do anything else you’d like this work without permission as long as you attribute me and state the license.

marketing stars

5 January 2011
started writing @ 16:53 USA CT
my room, mom & pop’s, land of beautiful trees, illinois

In yesterday’s blog post I mentioned how I’d been working on my resume and trying to find students in the Chicagoland area to teach. Today I published a first version of my teaching resume online, and then I put up an ad on craigslist today, looking for students in North Chicagoland. Check them out, and if you have any ideas on how I can do them better, please leave them in the comments.

Clone Trooper - 3Steps - Graffiti - Clone Wars - Star Wars

Last night I watched “Star Wars Clone Wars” (video) a show on Cartoon Network that’s been a guilty pleasure of mine since last Fall. Its set in between Episodes II and III and is done all in computer animation. The story lines are fun, exploring parts of the universe that the movies do not have time for, similar to Shadows of the Empire, novel moreso than the game. The animation is as slick as I’ve seen from computers, capturing more of the subtleties of humans whilst talking, thankfully seeming fake enough to not approach the Uncanny Valley. On that note, an intriguing choice the team made was to show robots with human characteristics, especially feeling pain. In one episode C-3P0 and R2D2 are tortured, during which time both scream.

The human aspects to robots is an issue to consider for my and subsequent generations as they become more ubiquitous in our life and AI evolves exponentially. What do you think? Should cartoon robots show human emotion? Or is that too far and just weird? Leave an answer in the comments, please.

image: “Clone Trooper – 3Steps – Graffiti – Clone Wars – Star Wars” by, 3StepsCrew. On Flickr!, CCANCND 2.0 Licensed.

en voyage

Saturday, 28 November 2010
Written around fifteen minutes after 22:00
My Room, Folks’s Place, Land of Beautiful Trees, USA

This’ll be my last evening in Chicagoland for a while, as tomorrow morning I’m shipping out to New York City for a month to study for my Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Mostly packed, save my backpack I left in my buddy’s car last night, but I’ve made arrangements to solve that problem.

From when I first landed in China last August, to when I left her for Europe in July, I invested countless amounts of energy into figuring out what I would be doing in fall of 2010. I thought about Indonesia, Korea, India, Russia, ya da, ya da, ya da. The idea of coming home caddying and reffing to earn money for my CELTA occurred to me, but not as my first option.


As it turned out that’s what I did, in addition to spending time writing, teaching, tutoring, temping, pondering, playing, dancing and not a small amount being lazy. Being home the past four months or so has been incredible. I have gained a deep appreciation for the area I’m from and the family/friends who’ve known and supported me for years. Given all that, I am excited for my next adventure, but also melancholy about leaving my Chicagoland life.

Within that life, ever since Jeffrey got back home on Tuesday evening, my life’s been a blur. I worked the following morning for the running store I’ve been helping, then Jeffrey’s buddy James arrived, and we headed downtown. Stopped in Evanston first with them, then to meet some old high school pals, and as Jason predicted, we met up with some people from our grade whom we hadn’t seen in years. Took the ‘L’ downtown, for a quiet evening, though I planned out a visit to Green Dolphin Street for the younger gentleman, which they turned down.

Following morning, Thanksgiving, I reffed two games then drove Jeffrey and James home for our lovely Thanksgiving meal. Highlight this year was the duck my father purchased from Sun Wah, a delectable Chinese BBQ spot. Enjoyed conversation with the aunt, cousins, grandparents and James, then took a little nap. Jeffrey woke me up to head back downtown for a quiet evening, where we watched “I’m Still Here” and “The Expendables“. The latter was fine, the former was one of the most engaging cinematic experiences I might’ve ever experienced.

Woke up again Friday to ref a pair of contests. Had lunch with the boys at Billy Goat, which strangely had a Packers schedule on their wall. Did a little Black Friday shopping, investing my earnings in America, then met up with folks for dinner at Burt’s. Jason also came, and even the sophisticated New New Yorker was impressed. Following after dinner drinks in Wilmette, Jason and I skiied our way thorough three groups of people from the past at three different locations. Then met up with an angered Jeffrey and pals around 800 West Superior, the supposed location of a party I got texted about from a club info service I e-mailed to sign-up for.

It wasn’t warm, and they hadn’t found the “sweet club” as they said in not sincere tones. Jason led the search and then found it after toiling for almost a minute. Turned out *TANTRIK* was finished by the time we’d arrived, but I was at least happy to see it existed. On our way back, I stopped the cab outside a club I’d seen long lines for before, but hadn’t previously visited. Knew it was late, but felt I owed the guys a good spot for dragging them out there, so I made an arrangement with the bouncer to get in for a last drink. I liked entering to “Firework” by Katy Perry and the aesthetics of the joint, but it was a little too small for my taste. When I dance, I enjoy mooooving.

Saturday, today, had one final ref game, cleaned the condo with Jeffrey and James, got my haircut in Evanston, dinner with Mom and Dad at the club, a catnap and now I’m trying to tie up my online life before I head out tomorrow morning.

In closing, the two young ladies I’ve been tutoring in English writing have done some fine work I hope you’d read. Hannah’s written a piece about the 2010 Asian Games and Kitty essayed on how-to give a good speech.

*Corrections & Amplifications*

  • 6 Dec 2010 01:05 USA ET – Changed the date from the incorrect 27 Nov 2010 to correct 28 Nov. Removed a space before the period in the last sentence.

up too late

23 October 2010
Written roughly fifty minutes after the stroke of midnight.

Was lucky today and made some money caddying, wasn’t great for all the things I set out in my “Month of Charlie” post, but money’s important, too, and there won’t be many, or any, caddy days, left so I’m happy. As for this exact moment, I’m up too late, following a second evening of over-eating indulgence and a sour mood as a result.paro_Al_sliding_on_a_banana_skin

In more interesting news, Kitty submitted another article to me earlier this week, which I finally published this evening, its a lovely answer to the question “What clothes are fashionable?

And before I sign off, go Cats! MSU is rife for an upset later this morning.

Image: Al sliding on a banana skin by, / cybergedeon from The Open Clip Art Gallery.

sports past and present

Written after 12:00 A.M. U.S.A. C.T. at the Ravenswood Metra Stop on 19 October 2010

Tonight I hung out with Pat, a former ice hockey teammate of mine and his roommate. While Pat was taking a call I ended up explaining to his roomie Pat and my’s high school hockey history. Sophmore year Pat and I made the JV team that won the state title held at the United Center. Junior year we made Blue, the second varisty team. That year Green, the top varsity team winner of the past 4 state titles, went independent (a la Notre Dame’s independence in college football), taking themselves out of Metro North, our local league. Green’s goal was to play better hockey than was available in its local league. Our Blue team won said league, then lost to Green in the state semi-finals, to my knowledge the best finish of any Blue team ever. Senior year we played for Green, and lost in the semi-finals, ending their 5-year championship streak.

Two out of three.

Following said discussion and Pat’s return, we watched the Hawks battle the St. Louis Blues. Down by two in the third period, Marian Hossa scored his seventh and seventh goals of the season to tie, and the Hawks won in OT on Sharpie’s goal. Afterwards Pat and I headed to Lincoln Station for a drink and unexpected birthday shot.

Amongst other topics we discussed golf. I have played the past three mondays at the club where I caddy. Playing three times in three weeks beats the one-off time I’ve golfed for the past three to four years. My game is progressing. I am now confident using Driver off the tee, something I have never been before. I shot 110 the first two times, and yesterday I played roughly twelve holes. Caddying the past seven years has definitely helped my game, in addition to a change in my playing attitude grown from college crew and Intramural hockey, judo in Japan, basketball in China and a general maturity.

Related to playing golf the past three Mondays I have been to the course for the past fifteen days straight. The longest streak of the year, and my life. Caddying (I did not work three times) the other days has been possible thanks to the amazing Indian summer (possibly Global Warming related) weather.


Friday Evening – Sunday Evening
Written after two September twentieth, 2010

Headed East for

the groom

the groom, a.k.a. DJ Autorock


"the chicago mafia"

after the operation was complete

district of columbia

district of columbia

watch the video recap by clicking the clip art


All photos and video Copyright Charles Jeffrey Danoff, 2010, all rights and wrongs reserved. wedding sign clip art by Theerud Lawtrakul / Anonymous on The Open Clip Art Gallery, public domain.

this, that and away again

Thursday, September 16th, 2010
My Room, Family’s Home, Winnetka, IL, USA

Sunday night into Monday afternoon was spent troming between downtown Milwaukee, two lovely nearby suburbs, and some places in outer dimensions courtesy of Steven Speilberg’s masterpiece failure: AI, which Alex, Jay and I casually observed and discussed early into Monday.

Naturally Monday evening was an early one, as soon as I got home, I accepted Dad’s invitation for a beer, twisted it open, then fell asleep on the couch, awaking early the next morning. I repeated the pattern the following two evenings, each night sleeping on the family room couch instead of my bed. Past three days have also been my earliest string of caddy attendances this year, though I believe that’s more related to not trying to pack som many things in before sleep, e.g. this blog, so I close my eyes a little earlier.

Yesterday, along with Dr. Marjorie King, a.k.a. Grandma this blog’s far and away #1 fan, we started teaching Collaborative Lesson Planning on Peer 2 Peer University. I was delighted to discover the course attracted four students, and am eager to see how the next six weeks go.

I have been slacking lately, but tonight I got another lesson plan uploaded to the collection of them I am publishing from my last year in China, this evening’s star is … Mr. Danoff’s FWE 7A Lesson 9.

Also got up a new edition of danoff dot org, the center of my online worlds.

Aside from boring computer related news I attended a Colgate alumni event last night at a bar in Chicago. Place was kinda lame, but it was fun to see some old friends and meet some new folks. I know its a path that’s been tranversed by all of mankind, but its fascinating for me to see how people around my age mature and the choices they take to spend their time. I was sorry to discover I was the only golf caddy in the bunch.

On a related (path traversing) note, tomorrow, Friday, afternoon I’ll be driving East with a friend for another friend’s wedding.

revised syllabus

Saturday, September 11th, 2010
My Room, Mom & Dad’s Home, Winnetka, IL, USA

Finished publishing my blog post last night around midnight, but decided a little afterwards to screw around and then to place a call to my old Chinese teacher in Anqing, China and before I knew it, two hours had rolled off the clock. Naturally I got to the course a little later than planned this morning, but it turned out not to matter as almost no caddies worked today on account of a series of showers by mother nature.

Aside from writing, chatting, reading and napping I also used my down time to re-write the syllabus for the course I am planning on teaching this fall on Peer 2 Peer University, Collaborative Lesson Planning. It will be a course building off the talk I gave this summer at Wikimania 2010 on the topic and my own efforts at creating a resource with all my old lesson plans on Wikiversity. The idea is that teachers should publish their lesson plans online for their own archival purposes, to personally review them, to share them with others, and ultimately that the teaching community can work together to improve one another’s work. If you’re interested in more details you can visit the course homepage here. You can find the updated syllabus here, or download the PDF here .

Published the new syllabus from a cute local coffee shop following a delightful Mocha and coffee cake snack. Had an incredible Mexican dinner with Mom and Dad I was unfortunately a little too full to enjoy, then came home and finished the open book exam online for being a USA Ice Hockey referee. Tomorrow morning I’ll be driving North to attend my one day seminar so this fall and winter I can referee ice hockey.

To close the post I’ll dial in the bullpen for my reliable uploaded lesson plan. Today’s is Mr. Danoff’s FWE 7A Lesson 13, its part of that lesson plan resource I have been building I mentioned earlier, more details can be found here.

down time

Thursday, September 10th, 2010 (Written after midnight that evening)
My Room, Mom & Dad’s Home, Winnetka, IL, USA

Following a loop and a half, dinner, a large desert, some nachos at home and a difficult-to-watch White Sox loss, I fell asleep on the couch last night. On account of not preparing for the following day I did not arrive at the course this morning till eight, and if not for some help it would have been later.

Had a lot of down time, which I used to chat with colleagues, eat, write, read and work on two of my websites: danoff dot org and Mr. Danoff’s Teaching Homepage. They are not totally ready, but I posted the works in progress tonight, which are viewable by clicking on the links. Better just to get them up there, even if they need some work – hat tip to agile development.

Over dinner, desert, mellower home snack of prosciutto, onion and vinegar and an enjoyable Saints Vikings opening NFL season game, I did not fall asleep on the couch. I tried to re-set up my phone which I lost, again, on Monday, to no avail. Was impressed with both teams and QB’s and the better team in ‘Orleans won.

And tonight I also luckily uploaded another lesson plan: Mr. Danoff’s FWE 8A Lesson 6. It’s an addition to a resource I have been building with all my lesson plans from last year in China for my own reviewal/archival purposes and for others to benefit from via re-use, modification, inspiration or ?