08/29/06 11:00 - 62ºF - ID#24666
Best practical joke ever
08/24/06 10:19 - ID#24665
God has a new trumpeter
Growing up every kid has a set of influences that guide him one way or another along the way. One of mine is a man that most people have never heard of, but if you claim to know anything about jazz and you do NOT know who he is, then you've now been officially certified as a know-nothing when it comes to jazz.
If you ever played trumpet you know who Maynard Ferguson is. Yesterday he passed away at the age of 78. This guy was an absolute legend in the music industry. He was known as one of the first to be a so-called "screech" trumpeter - the kind of guy who could do the impossible on the instrument and play high notes on the horn so stratospheric that hearing it would make the little hairs on your neck stand straight up. Jay and I grew up being musicians, and our father was a trumpeter as well... the most important thing our father ever did for us was intruce us to a wide range of legendary music practically from every genre imaginable. Part of our extensive musical education was one of his own personal heros - Maynard. As kids we'd get together with some of our musically inclined horn playing friends and we'd listen to a few albums and be absolutely amazed. How was playing like this even physically possible? Listening to his music inspired us to excel and push ourselves to be the best musicians we could be - even if we couldn't squeak out a double C.
Later on in his life he did some amazing things and continued to record - even up to last month when he and his band finished what will now be his last album. He went to India and set up a music school, and traveled there every year to teach and expose yet another generation to his amazing humility and musical genius. As a man, he gave a lot of himself and constantly pulled in college-age talent from the absolute top music schools in the nation to tour with him around the world. Besides the music, he had a very positive demeanor and had an amazing way of telling a story. Anybody would do well to learn from a person like that, and I have to thank my father for introducing me to a musician who inspired and influenced me as much as he did.
3 generations of American jazz musicians idolized this man and are profoundly sad today. In my own way this is my elegy to him. Goodbye Maynard - rest well and God bless you.
08/22/06 10:32 - 71ºF - ID#24664
Its rare that I'm amused by the junk mail in my inbox. Who doesn't hate the random bullshit that some unsavory types want to send?
Someone with the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org sent me a Washington Post article. I don't know who you are, but thanks! I still remain the only (e:strip)per who has been linked from the Post's site.
Someone named "Wet Wendy" sent me something about wanting to "HookUp 4Sexx" (sic)
Apparently JetBlue is my "ticket to the Buffalo Bills" this season. Not that I wasn't sitting in the club section last Friday or anything.
Someone wants to send me a $100 soda gift card. WTF - If my teeth are ever going to rot out of my mouth I'd prefer it to be later rather than sooner.
Ken Mehlman, RNC Chair, loves to send out mass mails about once a week.
The Wet Wendy thing made me laugh anyway.
08/19/06 05:41 - 71ºF - ID#24663
To Answer Dcoffee
Why are some Republicans supporting Lieberman? In order to understand this its important to know a little bit about the political climate in CT, although any national money coming from Republicans is a separate issue, which I'll highlight on. The R candidate in CT is not a viable candidate, and the Republicans in CT do not want him to run. He has been asked to resign his candidacy but he refuses. The truth is, liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats aren't much different, which is why in the northeast Lieberman is an alluring candidate as an Independant in comparison to Schlesinger. On the topic of the national party in relation to Lieberman, the national R's would support Lieberman minimally if at all, as outside of the Iraq war he has a liberal voting record, which frankly many lefties are refusing to acknowledge because of their blind rage over what the government is doing with the war and Lieberman's support of it. The only pleasure any Republicans are taking out of this is that Lamont is seen as a candidate propped by liberal 527 organizations and any kind of a defeat of a candidate like that is good news in their eyes. Plus, its important to note that if Lieberman was NOT an independant candidate this time around he wouldn't be getting any support from Republicans whatsoever. The fact that Lieberman is technically an "independant" frees Republicans from any so-called "voters guilt" over voting for or supporting Lieberman.
As for your comments about the 2-party system - in general I agree that the 2-party system isn't the best one out there. Stifling choices is a detriment to democracy. However, having multiple parties to choose from ends up completely making a mess of government. Take a look at Europe - Germany in particular, because this just happened recently there. When a party in most European nations do not get 51% of the vote in general elections, coalition governments have to be worked out... which is a worse situation than what we have currently because nothing EVER gets done in governments that are constantly politically gridlocked. Without a clear and established majority, you have chaos in government at worst and status quo at best. This is why, although our system isn't perfect, its still better than what you see elsewhere.
About the "60%" poll that liberals have been talking about quite a bit recently - its important to be precise about the language of the poll to determine what was really said. Here is a breakdown of the results - What the poll determined was that 60% of the polled participants "oppose the Iraq war" and a majority support at least a limited withdrawal of some troops from Iraq by the end of the year. What this *doesn't* mean is that all Americans want all our troops out of Iraq right this minute, although 26% of those polled suggested that. If you look at the numbers, it can be said simultaneously that a majority want at minimum some troop withdrawal, if not all troops withdrawn (61%), and also that a majority want troop levels to change only minimally, if not at all (69%). If isn't the textbook example of a mixed message, than what is? Regardless, Lamont is a far left wacko because he supports policies that are generally unpopular with the American people - complete troop pullout, nationalized health care, anti Wal-Mart, pro-abortion - he is a walking, talking laundry list of issues that are supported by far-left radicals.
I completely and utterly reject the idea that Joe Lieiberman is a candidate that doesn't speak for the voters of CT, for a variety of obvious reasons. To suggest that he is doing this because of ego, or acting like a spolied brat, etc. is demagogery, pure and simple.
1) You cannot say that Lamont is a candidate that has broad Democratic approval in CT, since he really only won HALF of the votes in the Democratic primary... and that was even after our friends in the liberal grassroots stuffed the Democratic voter base by 20,000 votes since May. Joe Lieberman won roughly half of the votes in the primary in a margin similar to the Presidentiall election in '04. According to liberals, GWB does not have a mandate to govern the way he chooses because 48% of Americans disagree with him. If you libs want to say this, than you cannot say that Lamont has a mandate either because 48% of Democratic voters in CT disagreed. Liberals are treating Connecticut Democratic voters in '06 like they treated Republican voters nationally in '04. How much more insane can we possibly get?
2) The plurality of voters in CT are actually registered Independants. In the lastest poll, 53% of likely voters said that Lieberman deserves to be re-elected and half doubt Lamont's ability to do the job - So what does this mean? It means that Lieberman, and presumably his politics, are being supported broadly by Democrats, Independants and Republicans - more importantly, his Democratic losses are being more than offset by his support amongst Independants and Republicans. This is proof that a majority of Connecticut voters still support Joe Lieberman despite his party affiliation. It defies logic to suggest that with support like that he shouldn't run.
Its beyond question. Joe Lieberman has broad support in Connecticut amongst its voters. He is not an unpopular candidate in CT when he has half of the Democratic support and a large majority of the support of everyone else. Its foolish to state that Lamont's victory in the primary was a testament to democracy but Lieberman winning a general election degrades democracy. Primaries are important only to the extent that a politician is chosen to represent a single political party, and that if you don't pick the right candidate you will not win regardless of who is running your campaign. It doesn't necessarily say anything about who most of the voters in their particular jurisdiction support - this is extremely important and if more liberals understood that concept (and the point about the virtual split between Demos in CT between Lamont and Lieberman) then a lot of this complaining would cease.
Last point - enough with the complaints about "not being heard" or "being excluded" in government. Believe me, PLENTY of liberal representation in Congress is making your points for you nobody is more loud and outspoken then the liberal Democrats out there. Just because you are not getting what you want doesn't mean that you aren't being heard. Liberals will get their way when they win majorities and are able to set the leglislative agenda. If you cannot win a majority when you are running for office, or trying to introduce a bill, then you simply are not going to have it your way. Interestingly enough, previous to 1994 when Democrats ran the show in Congress for 50 years I never heard of Democrats complaining about the lack of political parity. My advice to Democrats is similar to yours - get out there, speak out, get your votes together and win. Convince other people that you are right. Get more seats in Congress, win the Presidency, then you will be able to get what you want.
08/17/06 10:01 - 67ºF - ID#24662
So much for all the contrived feel-good, nation-changing rhetoric the Democrats were soaked in only a week ago. This one is a loser for the DNC - if I were a registered Democrat I would concentrate elsewhere. If the Democrats are looking to pick up seats in the Senate there are easier and better places to spend the campaign funds.
Its interesting to me that it was characterized as "democracy in action" during the primary - do you suppose that the liberals that were gloating this last week are saying it now, and will say it again in November? Democracy must only work when you win. Of course, nobody actually won anything , but whatever - Democrats ate one of their own and are pushing further to the left. A continued trend since 1972. Liberals registering 20,000 new Democratic voters in CT in order to skew the traditional Democratic voter base apparently isn't going to have the desired effect its engineers thought it might.
08/15/06 02:07 - 77ºF - ID#24661
Whoever did the iPod versions of the 2006 Artvoice menus - thanks! That is a simple but great idea. I slapped those bad boys on my G5 30GB black bundle of joy yesterday, and now wherever I am, if I need some restaurant advice on the fly... there I am!
Thanks again, to whoever set that up. I hope to see that feature stick around in the future. Look at me, thanking Artvoice! Ha. You guys aren't so bad after all. Just keep getting Niman his meds and we'll be okay.
08/09/06 04:27 - 78ºF - ID#24660
I've been known to bust out and cook for friends on occasion and have even inspired friends to dash out on their own and make a recipe - my boy Jerry makes a killer, killer chili for example. I don't know why I haven't really been inspired lately, but I stumbled upon a quesadilla recipe that I'm going to convert into soft tacos, teamed up with a smoky guacamole made with chipotle peppers in adobo.
Cooking for me is about the same things that playing a musical instrument is about - its about the creativity, of finishing something you start and not just enjoying the final product but attempting to excel at it.
Anyhow, about the food. I need *the* definitive produce section in Buffalo. The Co-Op's produce, hate to say it, is abysmal. I've actually been to some of the fruit processors that they supply from, and I know for a fact that they shelve fruit at the Co-Op that the producers themselves would not consider prime fruit by any stretch. So, that leaves me with Weg, the Farmer's Market and Guercio's. Where do I buy my produce here? Weg is particularly strong and I am aware of their extremely tight produce standards but Guercio's based on reputation alone seems to be an excellent choice.
08/04/06 12:59 - 80ºF - ID#24659
08/03/06 11:56 - 76ºF - ID#24658
Anyhow, more madness from the Middle East. Those of you hoping and/or wanting and/or demanding a cease-fire... flush the idea down the toilet. It isn't going to happen for a variety of reasons, the primary one being that Hezbollah's mandate is the eradication of all Jews in the area. For those of you who don't know, that little tidbit is actually in their founding charter. Hezbollah's master, the state of Iran, wants the destruction of Israel. Hezbollah provoked Israel into bombing Lebanon, not the other way around. Israel will not cease firing until A) it gets its soldiers back, and B) the rockets stop flying into northern Israel. Oh, and by the way, forget about Israel negotiating with Hezbollah over the release of prisoners. Negotiating with a terrorist group that has aims to kill every single last Jew is the most idiotic and suicidal foreign policy that Israel could possibly implement. Like I've said before - the only way that this problem is going to end is if one side wins and one side loses. Peaceful co-existence isn't an option when one side is drunk with bloodlust for the other.
The Iranian President, as reported through Iranian state media, claims that the permanent solution to the Middle East crisis is the destruction of Israel (!!!). If you are surprised by this then you haven't been paying much attention. As long as Iran is meddling in the affairs of its neighbors and arming Hezbollah there is going to be no lasting peace. Its a proven historical fact that cease fires in the ME only serve to give the terrorists a break to build back up, only to shoot again. To attempt such a strategy again is absolutely laughable.
That isn't the most enraging part of the story though. King Abdullah, our buddy over in relatively moderate Jordan, claims in the article that Israel must give up occupied terrotory and "set up a Palestinean state," as well as stop "agression" in order to get the Arabs to calm down. I call BULLSHIT. A) Israel already has given up Gaza and West Bank... they've already done that and they got rockets from both sides of the border in return. You can throw that theory out the window. B) "Agression?" Who does this guy think he's kidding? Firstly, Hezbollah instigated this current fight, and since Mr. Abdullah and the rest of the Arab speaking world refuses to acknowledge Hezbollah's part in this how is it possible to take anything these people say in a serious manner? Yeah, Jewish citizens are dying too, but you don't see much focus on that in the MSM or the Arab world, do you? Secondly, if Hezbollah and the Palestineans stopped monkeying around and left Israel alone the conflict would be OVER. Israel just wants to be left alone. To somehow suggest that Israel is an aggressor in the region is completely insane and is an opinion born from a lack of historical knowledge and perspective.
I will congratulate Hezbollah on their tactics, however brutal they are. Its nothing short of a miracle that these people operate out of civilian areas, effectively using innocent people as human shields in the case that Israel tries to go after them... and the civilians then blame Israel when they strike! That is nothing short of brilliant. Hezbollah is directly responsible for where Israel is targeting due to their predilection for putting civilians at risk, and the civlians completely whitewash the fact that its Hezbollah that is enabling Israel to target places were civilians live and work. Why do they whitewash Hezbollah's part? Because despite Hezbollah putting innocent people at risk these people have been brainwashed since a young age to believe that the Jews and the Americans all need to either convert to Islam or die. They could care less about what Hezbollah does as long as Jews die and they keep operating hospitals.
I'm going to say something relatively startling, but you've learned to expect that from me. Any American who doesn't believe that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization needs to have their citizenship revoked. This includes a certain Democratic Representative from Michigan, Mr. John Dingell. When asked recently to discuss the recent crisis in Lebanon, Rep. Dingell refused to take sides between Hezbollah and Israel, and when asked if he believed that Hezbollah was a terrorist organization he said "no."
This is the same organization that packed enough explosives in a truck to level the strongest and most secure building in Lebanon and resulted in the deaths of 240+ U.S. Marines. The very definition of terror, and this guy, as a member of U.S. Congress, is refusing to condemn Hezbollah? This guy is going to be crucified publicly, as he should. His career is over, but just wait for liberals to condemn Republicans for character assassination on this guy... which nobody with a brain would actually believe since this guy did it to himself.
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