Orange Gearle

family, friends, politics, music and technology... that's what it's all about

Friday, July 21, 2006

jon stewart is a genius

I love how he is able to use one's words against them.

first this

then this

"but is there any way to say that with more condescension or self-rightousness?"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the voter

Three months from today, my daughter turns 18. Nineteen days later she votes in her first election. Yesterday she received her voter registration card. :-) Yes, I'm proud and excited for her. And I didn't cry, as far as you know.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

drive-by truckers

DBT is one of my favorites. Thought I'd share this link with y'all. From this link you can read about them, see pics of them, and listen to a live concert (recorded yesterday at the 9:30 club in DC - and broadcast on NPR). I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but having seen them in concert about 21 months ago, I'm sure it was a good show.

The band's songs tell tales of drunks, widespread poverty, loveable losers and stubborn good ol' boys set against a backdrop of trailer parks and southern despair. They speak of "the duality of the Southern thing," pride and regret: the pride of belonging to a special place with a separate history, speaking in a distinct accent, and a feeling of discomfort, too, about some of that history and attitude.

If you haven't purchased A Blessing and Curse, you should. I especially enjoy the song, A World of Hurt.

So if what you have is working for you, or you think that it can stand a reasonable chance, and whatever's broken seems fixable and nothing's beyond repair
If you still think about each other and smile before you remember how screwed up it's gotten or maybe dream of a time less rotten
Remember, it ain't too late to take a deep breath and throw yourself into it with everything you got

It's great to be alive


freedom of speech

Thank God we still have freedom of speech, as long as we aren't in a No-Free Speech Zone, anyway. So, before King George takes that away from us too...

My friend Donnie over at The Katrinacrat Blog turned me on to this video about the assholes. Watch it for a laugh.

BTW if you google the word "asshole" the above video is number one on the list. :-) And I shouldn't, but I just find this Wikipedia definition hilarious. I imagine it would be even funnier if you read it out loud to a friend. You should try that.

Friday, July 14, 2006

colbert on lieberman

"Mr. Bush has such soft hands, I can only imagine what his lips are like. Evidently low approval ratings can be contracted through saliva."

And oh so much more. Hilarious.

pity the fool

For some reason, I just find this funny....maybe it's because I grew up in the 70s and 80s?

QUESTION: Mr. T, why do you pity the fool?
MR. T: That is a good question. That is a good question and a legitimate question. And I'm the man to answer it. You pity the fool because you don't want to beat up a fool. You know, pity is between sorry and mercy. See, if you pity him, you know, you won't have to beat him up. So that's why I say fools, you gotta give another chance because they don't know no better. That's why I pity them.

Can't you just hear him saying it? "And I'm the man to answer it." Ha! Gotta love Mr. T.

Here is a fool that I do not pity, however:

Arlen Specter: Yesterday the sphincter Specter said that he has reached an agreement with the White House...really?? I'm so surprised. The agreement? Specter said:

I am authorized to say that if the bill is not changed, the president will submit the terrorist surveillance program to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Sen. Patrick Leahy translated Specter's statement best: “[Bush is] saying, if you do every single thing I tell you to do, I’ll do what I should have done anyway.”

Ok, that's the first problem....but the real problem (emphasis mine):

Among the key provisions:

Bush would agree to submit the surveillance program voluntarily so as not to bind future presidents to a requirement that all intelligence programs pass similar muster.

• The administration would have to show how the privacy of innocent Americans is protected and what steps the NSA takes to ensure that intercepted communications involve a terrorist or someone reasonably believed to be linked to a terrorist.

• Foreign-to-foreign communications that pass through telephone call-switching centers inside the USA would not be subject to FISA's provisions.

• The administration would be required to brief the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on any electronic surveillance programs in effect.

My problem with this: Bush has shown absolutely no signs that he would ever voluntarily do anything legal. In fact, just the opposite. This bill gives the president the "option" of submitting it to the court for review, not a "requirement". Let's see...what do you think he'll do?

What in the hell is wrong with doing this all within the law?? Jesus.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

the anti-party

First of all, it's great to be home.

This afternoon Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson (Iowa) and (former) Gov. Mark Warner (Virginia) visited the Democratic Headquarters. Gov. Warner is in town for a fundraiser supporting Gubernatorial Candidate Chet Culver.

When Gov. Warner arrived he gave a quick pep talk to the staff in the office. After the press set up, Lt. Gov. Pederson spoke about the plight of our nation, the upcoming election, and then introduced Gov. Warner. In front of the local press, the staffers and a handful of other spectators, Gov Warner spoke about Chet, Iowa, and the state of our nation. One of the things that really stood out to me was the sentence (loose quote), "The Republican Party is the anti-party. Anti-Gay, Anti-Abortion." (I would add -- lead by the anti-Christ, but then, that wouldn't be very nice, would it?) The majority of his speech was about fiscal responsibility and education. After he spoke Lt. Gov. Pederson stood beside him at the mic and said it was time for questions. First question, "Are you running for President?" Lt. Gov. Pederson said, "No." Everyone laughed. Of course, the question was directed at Gov. Warner. Everyone knew that, including Pederson, but her humor was well received. Everyone in the room also knew that would be the first question. And everyone also knows the answer. Although Gov. Warner said that he would not be making a decision about that until after the November elections, he also said that he'd been in Iowa several times recently, and planned on returning many more times (implying that he was running). This man is someone to watch. I'm not saying he's the one that I will vote for in the caucus, but I am saying, he's one to watch. There's just something about him that is appealing. And I really like his green tie.

Monday, July 10, 2006

winter park folk fest - sunday edition

The folk fest continued today and so did the rain. This morning we listened to Hunkerdown Bluegrass and Kim Michalowski before it began to storm. Because it was thundering and lightening they held off on the show for a bit. So Hollyanne and I returned to our hotel room. We read a little and played the guitar.

Hunkerdown Bluegrass (yes that's a washboard)

Kim Michalowski

Armed with our newly purchased ponchos we ventured back over to the venue as the lightening passed and we could see a bit of activity. We got there just in time for Jami (AKA Awnry Girl) to announce that they would not continue the show from the park, they were moving the show to the Voodoo Lounge (the location of the after party the previous night). This was exciting because it's been so cold and wet, but I was concerned about us all fitting into the small room. There was a wait of a few hours, so they could set everything up so Hollyanne and I returned to our hotel room. We read a little and played the guitar. It was then that I managed to break my guitar. It's fixable, but it's still stressing me out, and probably a small part of the reason that I am awake and unable to sleep right now. :-) My guitar issues stress me out on so many different levels, I should probably just sell it.

The Voodoo Lounge was packed. Hollyanne and I sat on the floor, up front, with our knees literally touching the artist's monitors. We heard Kathrin Shorr and her husband play. Did I mention that he is a giant? He has to be over seven feet tall. His head nearly touched the ceiling. He had an orange Gretsch. Very purdy. I thought about it last night, and then returning to the Voodoo Lounge made me think about it again....I cannot begin to imagine how many thousands of dollars worth of instruments were in that building Saturday and Sunday. An amazing number I bet.

The Gretsch

Next Tom Freund played. He was by far my favorite of the whole weekend. He's accomplished on many different instruments. When he plays the bass, it's my favorite, I think. Give Tom a listen here. Hollyanne noticed that when he plays the guitar he moves his right hand a lot like my friend Zoot Daze. In fact, he even hides a pick in his fingers while he plucks the strings. It's like a magic trick. :-)

When Tom plays he looks up sometimes. In fact, one of the many reasons that I enjoyed him so much was because he's very expressive, musically and visually.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention another favorite part: Tom played the mandoline WITH a wah wah pedal. Very cool.

(above) Tom Freund is using my capo to play his last song! :-) The place was so packed and there were instruments and speakers everywhere. It was a bit "scattered". Someone requested a song that he needed a capo for....and he couldn't put his fingers on his....and I was sitting directly in front of him.....and I just happened to have a capo in my pocket (I have no idea why, other than when we left I had just been playing and was a bit flustered having broken the I must've just shoved the capo in my pocket). Kinda cool.

Next up was Grammy Award winning Shawn Colvin. She was supposed to be the top of the bill, however, because everything was delayed from the rain, she switched places with John Gorka. Apparently she had to get somewhere and needed her original time slot. Now, I did enjoy her...but, she wasn't my favorite. I guess I'm not quite sure what the big deal is with her. Maybe I just need to listen to her more, but I doubt it. Someone must see something there....Grammy...Sony record deal, etc.

Right after Shawn played those that were on chairs gave them up. Why? Well, the Voodoo Lounge is the bar below a restaurant. The resteraunt had given up their chairs for the festival. So, they gave us the lounge, for free (of course we did buy some drinks), and gave us chairs from the restaurant, so they couldn't seet as many people in the restaurant. It was getting later, and the line for the restaurant was out the door, so everyone pitched in, moved the chairs and sat on the floor.

Last up, John Gorka. I saw him in Cedar Rapids at CSPS this spring. He's not a happy man. :-) He's interesting and all of his songs are depressing. In fact, the first time I saw him, I left at intermission because I kept tearing up. :-) But then, that's me and it was an emotional time in my life. He is an amazing song writer. I'm glad I had this opportunity to see him again.

John Gorka

The last couple of days have been indescribable....absolutely unbelievable. I wish I could experience this much music at least once a month. The total immersion in great's inspiring. I am so thankful for CSPS, but I wish there were more festivals like this in my area. I wonder if I could make that happen somehow? That sounds like a lot of work, but what else do I have to do?? Heh. That's just funny.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

winter park folk fest - saturday edition

Can you say rain? It rained ALL day. Sometimes it poured, sometimes it sprinkled, but it rained all day. It was also only 50 degrees. Actually, we could see our breath! Hollyanne and I bought cowboy hats (orange and pink, of course) for the event today. They did keep our hair fairly dry...and we looked cute. :-)

Despite the rain, Hollyanne and I saw all but one of the groups on the bill. We heard Julie Hoest, Jami Lunde Band (AKA Awnry Girl, the producer of this festival), Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Chatham County Line and The Mammals. Most everyone sang their own tunes, but there were a few covers that were also enjoyable.

(above) Jami Lunde band performs a Son Volt cover.

Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart were wonderful, as expected. Each time that I have seen them they have sang The Old Gospel Ship. They sing it at the end of the show and they sing it a cappella. Well, just before they ended their portion of the program they showered us with appreciation for coming out and listening in the rain. Then they set down their instruments, came out into the audience (and rain) and sang The Old Gospel Ship.

(below) I absolutely love the way Mark and Stacey look at each other when they perform. I don't even care if it's fake. They really seem to love each other -- and like each other too. If only everyone could be as lucky.

After Mark and Stacey performed we went back to the hotel to warm up. I purchased some laundry detergent and washed and dried our jeans, coats, blanket, etc. While they were washing and drying we listened a bit from our hotel. Did I mention that our hotel is right next to the venue? We can actually see the stage from the balcony.

We missed Tres Chicas entire set -- we heard them from the balcony, but didn't "see them" to take pictures. We attempted to go back out for Chatham County Line. They were very blue grassy. Enjoyable. We both liked them, but it began to pour again, so we only stayed for a portion of their set. While we listened to them there was a very cute little boy that went up toward the stage and picked up a painted guitar (with no strings - meant to be decoration) and began to "play" it. Very cute.

Almost immediately after we came back from Chatham County Line, the rain let up a bit and the sun tried to come out. So I went back alone (Hollyanne was sick of the rain) and watched The Mammals. They are not easy to describe. They aren't really country, blue grass or folk. They are all that and a bit of rock and roll, I suppose. They are very interesting to listen to. One of their songs was a bit political - The Bush Boys. After listening to that one, I decided to purchase the CD. Did I mention that Grand County (the county containing Winter Park) is a very red county?? I'm thinking the song went over well with some, and not so well with others. The Mammals ended todays portion of the Folk Fest, however, there was an after party.

The party was to begin at 8pm. Hollyanne and I were hungry so we went to the Voodoo Lounge a bit earlier, around 7:15. We gave them our $10 tickets and sat down in the dry chairs at the dry table right in front of the "stage". Tom Freund was setting things up as we were eating our food. Tom Freund is amazing. He will be playing tomorrow at the festival, but we got a sneak preview tonight at the Voodoo Lounge.

While we were waiting for the show to begin, a few guys came to the door. The man taking tickets explained that there was a $10 cover. They grumbled a bit about that. The man at the door explained that there were going to be a bunch of musicians and that it would be worth it. He was interrupted by the grumbling guys and they said, "I don't mind the music, I just don't like their attitudes." My guess? He voted for Bush. Disgruntled, they left.

Everyone from earlier in the day ended up showing up at the Voodoo Lounge. (except Chatham County Line, they had to leave for another gig) Everyone that will be performing tomorrow (except one, I think) showed up as well, including John Gorka. So tonight was several hours of awesome entertainment. It was like one big jam session. Tom Freund started it all off with a long set. His daughter and partner were there also. His daughter is only about 3 or so, I would imagine. She and her mother left part way through his set. Mark Stuart sat with us for the beginning of the "show". Stacey sat with her neice (Tom Freund's significant other). I bought one of Tom's CDs. I may purchase another tomorrow. By far, he has been the best I have heard since I've been here.

Stacey and Tom Freund's daughter.

Tom Freund

Tom Freund and Mark Stuart

Stacey and Mark

Mark playing a Paul McCartney medley

John Gorka

The Mammals

Saturday, July 08, 2006

from the road friday

We did so much today and it's late. I'll just give the highlights with a few pictures!

We met a woman from Nepal. Her name is Tashi (phonetically). She is a very interesting woman that sold us some beautifully spiritual jewelry.

We went on a long hike up a mountain today. It was amazingly picturesque. Words cannot discribe it. We found snow. Hollyanne and I both tried our hand at rock climbling, unsuccessfully. :-) There were more waterfalls. We found someone's poop! We hiked up to an area that is right at the tree line or a bit below. Absolutely fantastic!

At Hollyanne's request we visited the Argo Mill and Gold Mine. We listened to the history of the mine, completed a self-guided tour, and then got to pan for gold.

Tonight we attended a song writing workshop lead by Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart. We got to meet and talk with Stacey and Mark prior to the workshop. They both remembered us right away, called me by name and greeted us both with hugs. When I was turning off my cell phone before we began I said, "Why does a cell phone make noise when you are turning it off? That just doesn't make sense." Stacey agreed and showed me how to make my cell phone NOT do that anymore. I told her that I would tell people that "Stacey Earle fixed my cell phone." She writes beautiful music, "she's cute" (someone once told me) and she is helpful. What more could you ask for? :-) Mark informed me that my email to John and Mel at CSPS may have worked! Mark and Stacey finally heard back from them (they've been trying to for years) and they are ironing out a date in April for them to perform. The workshop was wonderful, of course. Afterwards a bunch of us stayed after and played guitars. That was extra fun.

We are both tired and anxious for tomorrow!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

from the road

Yesterday we drove over 800 miles. Does everyone know how flat the middle of Nebraska is??? That part, however beautiful, was quite boring. We didn't know how far we would drive in one day. I know this is very unlike me, but I didn't plan it at all. I made reservations in Winter Park for Thursday-Monday, but nothing for Wednesday night. I just decided to drive until I was tired, keeping in mind that I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. The anticipation of our adventures ahead kept me going, much to my surprise, and we made it the whole way, basically.

When we got to the Boulder/Golden area (around 1 AM local time, but 2 AM to our body clocks) we called the hotel in Winter Park. I thought maybe we would be able to stay in the same location, but alas, our room was "taken". I question the truthfulness of that, only because there is almost no one here now. I'm sure there was probably a room available, but I think I woke the guy up when I called!

To make a long story short, immediately following the Boulder/Golden area, there were exit closings, detours, and road construction all on mountain roads, in the dark. I kept saying, "I know we are in the mountains. I bet it's beautiful. I wish we could see it." We planned on driving all the way to Winter Park before looking for a hotel, but due to road conditions, we stopped at the first hotel we saw. It was located in Georgetown, CO. This is what was waiting for us out our window when we stepped out the door this morning:

Because neither of us like to miss a thing, we decided to drive back to the Boulder/Golden area this morning too see what we missed! Last night we saw several signs for attractions along our drive that we thought we might enjoy. I didn't feel comfortable leaving our guitars in the car to partake of the tourist fun, so we decided to go to Winter Park, check in, and then retrace our steps later.

It was fortunate that we did not try to make it to Winter Park last night. The roads were in great condition, actually, except for the brief bit of construction, but we went up and over a mountain to get to Winter Park. This means 180-degree turns going up...and back down. Another really good reason to be thankful that we didn't drive it last night: it was spectacular scenery, full of waterfalls and beautiful vegetation and we would've missed it all.

Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass (elev. 11,307) marked the top of the mountain.

(above) The Pacific Ocean Watershed Side. Check out the road in the background. That's one road, of course...just one hell of a curve! (below 2 pics) The Atlantic Ocean Watershed Side.

When we arrived in Winter Park we were pleased with everything. It's a quaint little town with many shops. We had to wait to check into our room so we ate lunch and explored the shops.

After we checked in, we went back toward the cities to retrace the steps we made in darkness last night. It was a great decision! Below are pictures of our adventures:

(above five pics) These were taken at Lookout Mountain just off I-70 between the cities and Winter Park. The pictures don't do it justice, of course.

Along I-70 we saw a sign that said "Geological Points of Interest". We decided to check it out. The above pictures were taken at Red Rock Park. Amazing. There is also a huge amphitheater in this park. Too bad we aren't staying longer, later this month Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are going to play there!

The pictures below were all taken along Hwy 40, the twisty road that leads us over the mountain and down into Winter park. My corolla has a difficult time getting over the mountain, I'm not going to lie!

(above) Hollyanne stands in front of this extraordinary waterfall. It is also pictured below in the next three pictures. The first of the photos below is the whole waterfall (above and below the little bridge). It goes underground and feeds into the stream pictured in the second photo. The last waterfall pic is of Hollyanne and I standing on said little bridge.

Finally, the weather hasn't cooperated completely. It's been raining off and on all day. After watching the weather tonight, I am reasonably concerned that the Winter Park Folk Festival this weekend will be effected. Fortunately, mother nature produced this parade of colors, which Hollyanne says, " the definition of glorious." I concur. (look closely; it's a double)