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Friday, July 30, 2004

Where am I

Man, I really have to get back to blogging.  It's been too long.  New gig, lots of stuff in the news.  But I guess real life has been keeping me too busy.

To all my ardent fans out there, I'm sorry for the lack of posts.  I hope the wait will be worth it... 

Saturday, July 17, 2004


In works of fiction, creative writing courses instruct, there is the climax, followed by the denouement and the conclusion. Often, depending on the author, the conclusion may contain a surprise or two, just to make sure the reader is still paying attention.

Life often imitates art. I wrote last about the denouement to the current chapter of my life, and the conclusion did indeed contain a surprise. Rather than simply being allowed to gracefully bow off of the stage on which I played, I was given the hook, unceremoniously. Not to say it was completely unexpected, but it was unwelcome nevertheless. I had come to believe that I would be allowed to exit in my own fashion, but even that was denied me.

Ah well. All in all, it now gives me better satisfaction to be rid of that situation. I expect to receive no further contact from that particular quarter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


So the last few days of the current chapter of life wind their way down. The announcement of the ending of this relationship was taken well. It was agreed that perhaps things are best ended in this way; they could have ended in a far uglier fashion for me had I not taken it upon myself to conclude things on my own terms.

One chapter closes and another begins. All hopes are that this chapter will be a long and happy one.

Time will tell.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Conspiracy theorists, start your engines

U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior House Democratic lawmaker was skeptical on Sunday of a Bush administration idea to obtain the authority to delay the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda

Does the Bush administration have to completely play the straight man to every Michael Moore wannabe out there who wants to play connect the dots? One can not help but read this news cynically as the administration preparing the way for delaying elections indefinitely in case polls turn strongly against them.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Government 101

From the Libertarian Wiki:

Q. What is government?
A. Government is organized force.

Q. How does it differ from other organizations?
A. Government can legally encroach on persons who have done no harm.

Q. What is the purpose of government?
A. Its purpose is to transfer wealth to those with political power.

Q. Why study government?
A. Know your enemy.

Q. How can we stop government encroachment?
A. Vote Libertarian.

And here are some Google bombs: Viable Alternative, Anybody But Bush

Monday, July 05, 2004

Album review: Rush - Feedback


Rush's new disc is as much an exercise in self-indulgence as anything they've done before. In this collection, the sheer joy and fun they had while making it come through clearly. You can also see how these songs, which were what Neil, Alex, and Geddy were listening to when they were young, influenced what became Rush.

The playing on this disc is very different from what we've been hearing over their last few albums. As exemplified with Vapor Trails, Rush is very riff-heavy, and Geddy has been utilizing bass chords more and more often. In fact, the traditional roles of guitar and bass have become blurred and sometimes interchanged. On Feedback, tradition reigns. Alex power-strums his way through these songs, whether on six or twelve string, electric or acoustic guitars. The credits list mandola as well, but I haven't yet pinned down where that is being played. Geddy plays the traditional bass role, providing the bottom, the rhythm, the counterpoint to the strummed guitar. And Keith Moon's influence is clear in Neil's drumming.

These gentlemen show that virtuoso playing isn't necessary to demonstrate one's facility with an instrument. Their sound is, as always, flawless while being fun.

One should not expect to hear Rush "remaking" these classic-rock standards. They are, rather, paying tribute to them. This is clearly Rush playing, but they are just as clearly not playing their own material, but material they enjoy the hell out of.

Was that Neil Lifeson or Geddy Peart? Perhaps Alex Lee?

I have a Google news alert set up which should send me all news mentions of Rush. I had to set it up to find all items which reference "Lifeson", because setting one up for "Rush" would get me everything for Limbaugh, which I certainly don't want to receive. So anyway, I receive an alert every day or two, currently having to do either with the new Rush EP "Feedback" or their current thirtieth anniversary tour. I leave it to the reader to figure out why I found this particular little item amusing...
Two and a half stars

Even if you loath the Rush sound, you have to give this Canadian trio respect for theirability to give their fans 30 years of the music they love.

This anniversary collection celebrates those three decades with a cover album of the band's favorite '60s songs, and it's the first time Rush has ever recorded anything except original music.

Singer Geddy Lee's voice can be as annoying as nails on slate, yet the band has selected songs that actually fit his high pitch, such as the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul" and Buffalo Springfield' s "For What It's Worth" and "Mr. Soul."

While drummer Alex Lifeson and guitarist Neil Peart have a blast with power rockers like "Summertime Blues" and "Crossroads," those numbers don't work as well with Lee's vocals.

Obviously, the reviewer is not terribly enamored of Rush, even though he does try to give them their props (I hope I used that term correctly).

Sunday, July 04, 2004

July Fourth Barbecue...

...was nice and uneventful. My family came over; I put up a tent in the back yard to provide some shade, and that was a great idea. Cooked up some burgers, dogs, sausages; served with the basic salads and assorted junk foods. Followed up by a variety of desserts, many of which my family supplied. Everyone seemed to have a really nice time. The kids were playing with my niece, and they were enjoying themselves. It lasted longer than I expected. By the time everyone filed out, it was after 8:00 already.

Nice, quiet, family gathering. That's what should be happening. Those are the kinds of things that should be occupying life's moments. Not all the chaos of the past few weeks. Granted, it all turned out well, or it it will have turned out well once the next chapter in life officially begins. Anticipating the taste and savor of the closing of the current chapter is, however, quite sweet. I'm sure the experiencing of it will pale in comparison, but I am quite enjoying the imagined events...

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The sum total of politics

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Badnarik banner fixed

I know that the Badnarik For President banner I created was having some problems in IE, so I've re-saved it as a GIF and changed the hosting around. It can now be found at http://tinyurl.com/2hyrw

and code to use for linking to Michael's site would look like:

<a href="http://www.badnarik.org"><img src="http://tinyurl.com/2hyrw"></a>