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KDHX & The Royale Tonight

I’ll be the guest on KDHX’s Collateral Damage program tonight from 7pm to 7:30pm.  Listen at 88.1FM or tune in online.

Afterwards I’m heading over to the smoke-free Royale for some last minute preliminary election conversation.  I might even have a beer.


New Poll; Ready for digital TV?

February 15, 2009 Media 4 Comments

Each Sunday I change the poll question that appears on the upper right of the main page. This week I want to know if you are ready for the change to digital TV. I know Congress has extended the deadline from February 17th to June 12th but about a third of the “full power” stations will stick to the 17th –Tuesday! The balance will make the switch between March 14th and June 12th.

Two stations in the St. Louis market will make the change at midnight Tuesday: WRBU (46) and KDNL (ABC30).

From KDNL’s website:

For the past year, television stations, including this station, have notified viewers of the February 17, 2009 analog shutoff date through on-air announcements, informational crawls, full-length programs, and their website. As a result, in order to avoid additional confusion due to the date change and as permitted by the recently enacted legislation, this station has notified the FCC that we would like to cease analog operations on February 17, 2009, as originally planned, and the FCC has consented to this station’s plans for early termination. As required by the FCC, we are currently airing announcements throughout the day to inform our viewers that we will terminate analog broadcasting on effective at 11:59PM on February 17.

So if you are still analog you can watch Scrubs & Deal or No Deal on Tuesday but if you want to watch Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Barbara Walters Special or Oscars within the week you’d better get busy or call a friend who is digital prepared.

I have not had a TV since moving to my loft in November 2007 so come the 18th my life won’t be any different than today. Although I’ve enjoyed the break, I am planning to purchase a small (26″) HDTV soon – I miss CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes

So take a minute and answer the poll above in the upper right corner of the main page. Add any comments you have below.


The Pledge of Allegiance

July 4, 2008 Media, Religion 4 Comments

We recited the pledge as children in school and occasionally as adults. It has meaning but it has also changed over the years since first written in 1892. The pledge did not become officially recognized by the U.S. government until June 1942 (wiki).

Comedian Red Skelton was in his late 20s by this time but he still had recited the pledge in school. He recalled the pledge on his show in January 1969:


When Skelton was in school our nation only had 48 states.

The words “under God” originated with the Knights of Columbus in NYC in 1951 and by 1954 they became official. Personally I think the pledge, originally written by a minister, was better without reference to a deity. Recent court cases have challenged the “under god” phrasing. At least one bill has been introduced in a prior session of congress that would have forbidden the Supreme Court from ruling on challenges the the wording or mandating of the pledge. Of course Congress can’t pass a law prohibiting the Supreme Court from ruling on constitutional matters.
Happy Independence Day!


My Top Ten Videos on YouTube

June 30, 2008 Media, Site Info 1 Comment

I’ve posted over 60 videos on YouTube over the last couple of years. This pales in comparison to my friend Antonio French over at pubdef.net but still not bad. So, in looking at the number of viewings of each I decided to do a lame top ten list:

#10 Gateway Cup 2007: 723 viewings — a compilation from four days of bike racing last Labor Day weekend:

#9 valet cones in bike lane: 758 viewings — one establishment on Olive decides their valet service is more important than the bike lane:

#8 Poor Pedestrian Signals: 768 viewings — SLU and the city make crossing Vandeventer on foot a challenge:

#7 smart card tech 923 viewings— Metro engineer explains smart card technology, note audio is note in sync with the video:

#6 St Louis Arches: 1,029 viewings —talented youth riding unicycles and performing other stunts:

#5 Arriving Brentwood station: 1,215 viewings — from the opening of the Shrewsbury MetroLink line in 2006:

#4 Arriving Shrewsbury 1,225 viewings — also from the opening of the Shrewsbury MetroLink line in 2006

#3 Ballpark Village Announcement: 1,303 viewings – The announcement about Ballpark Village and the unveiling of a fancy model:


#3 Shrewsbury Station: 1,503 viewings — New MetroLink light rail trains being pushed into the Shrewsbury Station before the line opened:

#2 Hamilton Blocks Sidewalk: 1,623 viewings — Insider at City Hall parks on the sidewalk with ‘official business’ placard on dash, denies blocking sidewalk when caught on camera (original post):

#1 Cardinals World Series Champs: 14,188 viewings — the fireworks and excitement following the Cardinals victory:



I Made the A-List

June 25, 2008 Media 15 Comments

The July 2008 issue of St Louis magazine is out on newsstands featuring “115 picks for the best in…” Well they have all the usual categories such as various best of areas in dining and shopping. This year the editors named me “Best Blogger.” They wrote:

No one but urban gadfly Steve Patterson could write 50-plus blog posts about the McDonald’s on Grand, much less make said posts so completely compelling that we’ve clicked through them for hours on end (in our spare time, of course). The real-estate guru of Urban Review STL has written volumes about everything from farmers’ markets to building permits, scooters to city politics, averaging 28 posts per month across his blog’s 56 categories — and scarcely slowing down to acknowledge his disabling stroke this February. Honestly, we’re in awe.

Thanks guys!

Since starting the blog on October 31st of 2004 I’ve posted over 1,500 posts. Some have been guest posts. The guest commentaries always bring a new perspective to the discussion. When I was in the hospital my friend, Architect Dustin Bopp, was able to keep the blog going with updates on my condition and to post a number of guest posts. Thanks to Dustin, Margie, Jim and others for your contributions.

The blog has reached a milestone of over 15,000 reader comments. That is a lot of discussion! I see my role as putting the topic out there and taking a position and then letting others share their thoughts.

So thank you to all the readers out there and thank you to St Louis magazine for the recognition of my work.

OK, a little house keeping. Regular readers have likely noticed the missing right sidebar. I was trying to add in a graphic for the very cool walkscore.com site and something went very wrong that caused the entire sidebar to disappear. Of course I had a backup of the sidebar code but the software is not accepting it. I’m getting a programmer on the job as soon as they become available.

Something has also happened to my anti-spam code word plug-in for comments. As a result I’m getting hit with lots of spam. To combat this I’ve set it up so that any comment that has a link in it will be held for moderation. The good news is that I’m now able to read & approve comments from my iPhone.

I’ve got some interesting posts planned for the coming weeks and months. As I resume the Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development program at SLU this Fall I’ll bring you some of what we are discussing and learning. I’ve got a stack of books to read & review and a growing list of additional books that I want for my library.

Now is an exciting time to study cities and to write about urbanity.

Update 6/27/2008 @ 12:15pm:

I made a big omission in my thanks yous above.  My friend, Seattle Architect Rich Kenney not only contributed blog material during my absence (and before) but he also flew to St Louis within days of me being hospitalized.  Although I was sedated so I don’t remember him being here.  The missing beer & wine from my fridge and his picture of me in ICU is enough proof.  We’ve been friends for twenty years now and will be for another 20.     Thanks Rich!