Friday, March 31

Conundrum

The Christian leader of megaplex Regal Cinemas is trying to shape what audiences see -- and don't see -- at the movies.

What should we do? Regal has a monopoly on movies in my area. There are a few Carmike theaters left but they SUCK - all rundown and don't show any of the good movies!

I don't want to support a guy like this but what can I do? I have to see movies...in the theater.

I will say that we get a little of everything, our selection has been bold and complete.

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Agreed


Band of Gypsys :: New Year's Eve 1970

Hendrix's Band of Gypsys came on the changer, and as always, I found myself grinning.

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Shopping with your conscience

I always try to support local and independent merchants and I try to avoid big evil companies but what about putting some portion of my money to good causes no matter what I buy...

There are a few places on the web like this and ecomiles is the newest one I've found. Next time I am shopping I will try to go through their mall.

Also try care2.com

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Thursday, March 30

No more whining


I guess the bitching is over. Freddy Adu will probably see some game time.

Nowak never reveals his lineups before the game, so Adu could very well be the water boy when United opens their MLS season Sunday at home against the New York Red Bulls, but the youngster looked impressive playing on the left side in preseason.

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New software

Please forgive the links to Amazon.com. I usually try to find indi retailers but this new blogging thing (Zoundry) makes it so easy for me to link to them.

Just remember...support your local, indi retailers FIRST and FOREMOST.


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Reading

A Dirty Job : A Novel

I've mentioned this to coworkers and other random people but as I finished How Soccer Explains the World and as I am buzzing through A Dirty Job I am reminded, awed, and maybe a little inspired by how much I have read since I started working at Davis-Kidd.

I've always loved books and reading but since I got my first PC (back in 96ish) I haven't read nearly as much as I should have. I don't have a regular habit like Tara and so many others and I get preoccupied pretty quickly.

Reading is fun.

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Sleep

Why do I stay up so late? It's 2:30am and I'm goofing around on the computer. 1st it was a job search, then it was news reading, and now its software testing.

Good night.

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Wednesday, March 29

If Only

I think I've mentioned that I wasa rather underwhelmed by Brokeback Mountain. In my mind it won the Oscars it deserved. I thought is was beautifully shot, I thought the screenplay was good, and the direction too, but it left me flat. It's got nothing to do with sensitivity toward gay issues, it's got to do with the wow factor. The movie of the year should make you think and rethink what you saw and maybe rethink what the subject was. Brokeback didn't do this for me, Crash did.

But I think the my views would change if Brokeback Mountain 2 came out like this...

Bout time

New anti-racism code announced by FIFA
Under the new rules, an "official or spectator behaving in a discriminatory or contemptuous manner (that) can be attributed to a certain team" could cost the side three points for a first offense, six for a second and relegation for further violations. If its match where points are not awarded, the offending team could be disqualified.

A review of "How Soccer Explains The World: An Unlikely Theory Of Globalization"

by Franklin Foer

This is one of the quickest reads, a testament to Foer’s writing and the editing.

I love soccer but I had never read anything about it. I own Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch but haven’t read it yet, so this was interesting for me to start.

I would first say this is about cultural globilization more than economic. It’s not a treatise on who soccer makes the global economy. It surveys how soccer is the catalyst, sanctuary and jump-off for many groups around the world. Foer does explore the economics of some of the team ownership but he also explores how soccer is used to promote ethnic pride and denegrate ethnic groups, how it is used to help politicians remain in power, get elected and how it is used to start political change. He talks about neighbor hoods who don’t have emotional outlets for their pride/predjudice will support teams in nearby locals who share their love/hatred. He talks about soccer stadiums and teams being the example of the perfect example of regional norms and how that can be exploited by politicians and/or religions.

He travels from Western Europe to Eastern, from South America to North and from the Mediterranean to Persia. He explores judiaism, islam, fascists, socialists, elites, underclass, history, present.

I found his chapters on judiaism, anti-semitism, US Soccer and, of course, Barcelona quite interesting.

You don’t have to be a soccer fan to enjoy the book but it helps.

Thursday, March 23

Lee spikes and scores

I saw this a couple of weeks ago and at the least it is Spike's best and at the most...movie of the year!

I thought it was incredible.

Spike has really learned how to tackle other people's material.
IN The Inside Man, director Spike Lee has put a spin on the classic (read: done-to-death) bank robbery-and-hostage situation and has turned it into an intricately plotted and witty thriller.

Wednesday, March 22

Celebrity Sightings

I think it was Sunday, maybe Monday, the store had several celebrities in at once.

Michael McDonald and family were there the same time Alison Brown & Garry West were there. Garry looked especially tired.

Early that day or maybe the next, Kim Richey (who is always nice but never remembers me - I'm met her through acquaintances several times over the past decade) came in.

New Hero

I don't know a whole lot about Kevin Phillips but listening to him on Fresh Air last night gave me the impression that he might be the smartest observer of politics I've ever heard.

He recently published, American Theocracy, where he links our dependence on forieign oil, our evolution into a debt society (both personal and governmental) and the evolution of the Republican Party into a pseudo-religious party. Not only does he make an astonishing set on links but he also posits that the modern Rebulican Party - through both Bush presidencies - has transformed America into a theocracy.

What brings this home for me is that there was a woman in the store yesterday who bought 6+ copies of two different pro-Bush books (Rebel in Chief & Enduring Revolution)and during her loud & long cellphone conversation. She framed everything as God's will - if it is God's will she will get these books in the hands of everyone, it is God's will that the person on the other end of the phone called her as she was buying these books. It wasn't hard to hear and it was very interesting to listen to.

Hooray for the single taskers!

{...}Habitual multitasking may condition their brain to an overexcited state, making it difficult to focus even when they want to.'
Time magazine: multitasking is bad for you

Buy this music, help rebuild the Gulf Coast


I've checked out a few of the samples and this is some funky stuff. I'm buying a couple.

Rebirth Through Music

Monday, March 20

The Married Life

Tara is out of town visiting her sister, Susie. This is the first time we have been apart since we got married.

I miss her but its pretty normal.

What I have noticed is how Tara's rules are in effect. Basically, I have changed some habits such as, I've continued to make the bed everyday, wash the dishes everyday, I wipe down the counter after I make my coffee. These are all things that Tara insists be done. They are now a matter of habit for me. I mean, I haven't made my bed daily since I was a kid and I wasn't very consistent back then. Pretty interesting how that happens.

Friday, March 17

This is what I'm talking about!

The funky, funky Meters from 1974. This is what it's all about.

Thanks to Some Velvet Blog & Youtube.com



Be patient. Once it's all loaded it should play fine.

Parents suck!

Today a parent bought the cliffnotes for their 7th grade boy. The book...1984 by Orwell!

Thursday, March 16

Strange days

Recently, I have had more writing ideas than usual but less motivation to do them. What's wrong with me?

Congrats to the US Men's Soccer Team for breaking the Top 5 World Rankings! Congrats to me for getting 2 good seats at the Colisseum to see them play Morocco on May 23, a week before they all go to Germany.

Wednesday, March 15

Live Hounddog Taylor




Video description:
This seems to be the only known video of him!

Personal message:
Holy shit! This video is awesome! Live Hounddog Taylor. The date is unknown but I'm thinking late 70s.


YouTube - Broadcast yourself. Watch and share your videos worldwide!
Copyright © 2006 YouTube, LLC

Monday, March 13

Goodbye Chil'ren

Soul singer Isaac Hayes quits "South Park"

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Hard to hold down,
nimble,
alighting wherever it likes:
the mind.
Its taming is good.
The mind well-tamed
brings ease.
Dhammapada, 3, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Saturday, March 11

Can a mega-company be a good company?

The Bite:
Lining street corners in 33 countries, the ubiquitous Starbucks coffeehouse has become one, if not the, postmodern symbol of economic development. This company affects the lives of 25 million+ farmers in 70 countries. Harnessing its powerful position in the global marketplace, Starbucks uses its power to not only amass wealth for its shareholders but also fuel long-term social and environmental sustainability. (And this, dear Biters, is why Starbucks has become a poster child of sorts for Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR).

(Note: this is the 2nd in a series of a new type of tip called the Ideal Bite “Green Chip Company Showcase.” Each month, Ideal Bite will interview and tell you about 2 companies that are making strides to help green the world. Some companies will be smaller, green-focused businesses, while others will be more traditional, blue chip companies that may surprise you with their sustainability initiatives)

Company Background
Ben Packard, head of Environmental Affairs, told Ideal Bite, “Starbucks has integrated CSR initiatives since day one as part and parcel of the company’s core values.” Five years ago the company took a big step forward when it signed on to the United Nations Global Compact. Since then, the company has published an annual CSR report - a tell-all on how Starbucks performs on social and environmental metrics.

Why Would You Care?

  • In 2005, Starbucks purchased 11.5 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee, making it the largest purchaser of FTC coffee in North America.
  • Will soon make industry history with the release of a 10% Post Consumer Fiber (PCF) cup. In one year, this change will preserve 78,000 trees, the energy to power 640 homes for a year, the water to fill 71 Olympic-size pools, and 109 garbage trucks fully loaded with solid waste.
  • Committed to purchasing 20% of its yearly electricity consumed in the form of Green-eremoving 12,194 cars from the road for a year. certified wind renewable energy certificates. In 2006, this will have the same impact as
  • Offering a 10-cent discount for using a re-usable commuter mug reduced 655,000 pounds of paper waste during 2004.
  • Developed Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, a set of environmentally, socially and economically responsible coffee buying guidelines. Starbucks paid a 23% price premium on 76.8 million lbs of coffee during 2005.

Got questions or comments for Starbucks? Tell us at the Ideal Bite Blog, and we will try to get them answered for you.

Keeping it Real
In recent years the coffee mogul has come under fire for claims that it is swallowing indie coffee shops whole, that its coffee isn’t fairly traded, and that its baristas aren’t paid a sustainable wage. Rather than skirt the issues, Starbucks has chosen to engage with stakeholders and their concerns. The company goes a step further, recognizing and disclosing its weaknesses in its 2005 CSR Report .

This tip was reviewed by Christina Arena , Ideal Bite Expert Panelist.

The Green-anator

Gov. Arnold might have some problems in some areas but on the Green front he seems to be light years ahead of the curve.

The following posted by Jamais Cascio at Worldchanging.com):
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bit of an enigma. He has promoted state policies that have alienated both progressives and moderates (as demonstrated by the resounding election defeat for his various initiatives), but has done more to push a green agenda than pretty much any previous governor. The latest step in his plan, the Green Building Initiative, mandates that all public buildings be 20% more efficient by 2015, and suggests regulatory incentives to get private buildings to meet that same goal.
  • All new State buildings and major renovations of 10,000 sq. ft. and over... will be designed, constructed and certified at LEED-NC Silver or higher [...] Building projects less than 10,000 sq. ft. shall use the same design standard, but certification is not required.
  • ...All State-owned buildings will reduce the volume of energy purchased from the grid, with a goal to reduce their energy consumption by at least 20% by 2015 (as compared to a 2003 baseline) by undertaking all cost-effective operational and efficiency measures as well as onsite renewable energy technologies.
It's great to see good ideas become public policy. 20% is very achievable and cost-effective, and one shouldn't be surprised if many buildings end up beating both the standard and the timeline.
Green Building Action Plan (pdf)

Friday, March 10

Derek Trucks Band Equipment Stolen

Hey there sweet family,

Some very unpeachy news to share this evening:

Derek Trucks Band Equipment Stolen....
Emergency - Please Help


The Derek Trucks Band's equipment trailer was stolen last night in Atlanta.

I need to purchase the following equipment ASAP. Anyone who is willing to sell any of this gear, please call me at 303-778-1156.

1) Two blackface Super Reverbs, 1965 preferred,
1964 through 1967 acceptable. Must have original transformers; everything else will be tweaked by me to Derek's spec. Speakers not important - keep 'em if you like. As long as the cabinet and baffle board aren't busted, I don't give a **** what it looks like.

2) One 1974 or earlier Ampeg SVT head. Must have original trannies. Looks not important Not looking for the oldest production with the 6146B output tubes, please.

Posters in the Atlanta area, please be on the lookout for the stolen gear. A list of serial numbers will be posted as soon as I receive it.

Lord Valve 303-778-1156


Here is a list of the key items that were in the DTB trailer. This is not a complete list but these are the items we’re most likely to spot and hopefully recover. Please contact me if anything turns up.

1) Pearl 5-piece Drum Kit (Black)
Serial numbers: 652623, 642341, 83233, 6526231, 652163

2) '66 Fender blackface Super Reverb with Weber DT-10 speakers.
Serial number: A13225

3) '65 Fender blackface Super Reverb with Pile Driver speakers; has external bias and plate voltage testpoints on rear next to line cord. EXT speaker jack has been converted to a line output.
Serial number: A06896

4) Hammond B-3 w/custom Leslie foot switch Serial number: pending

5) Leslie cabinet, model 147
Serial number: H25474

6) Hohner Clavinet model E7
Serial number: 3447 410

7) Yamaha Motif keyboard
Serial number: IHO1189

8) Cool 1974 Ampeg SVT Bass Head
Serial number: 112149

9) Ampeg 4X10 bass cabinet
Serial number: pending

10) 4 LP Congas in soft bags

11) '96 Matchless Chieftain 2X10 combo amp Serial number: pending

12) Mikes:
3 Shure SM57
2 Shure SM58
Shure Beta 52
2 AKG 460
3 EV 406
Neuman KM184
2 Sennheiser 421
Beyer M88
2 AKG C414
EV RE20

13) Furman-PL plus power conditioner
Serial number: 7Z37

14) Drawmer DL441 4 channel compressor
Serial number: 706

15) 3 DBX 160A compressors
Serial numbers: pending

16) TC Electronics D2-Delay Unit
Serial number: 3107455

17) Yamaha SPX90 effects processor
Serial number: 26308

18) Cool Tascam DAPI DAT recorder
Serial number: 580001

19: Midas Mixing Console
Serial number: 173052 0324011056

20) Tascam 8 track model DA78HR
Serial number: 100101

21) Tascam 8 track model DA38
Serial number: 270262

22) Tascam 8 track model DA38
Serial number: 40369

###

Take care and know that you are loved ... and we know you'll do anything you can to help,

Lana and Rowland

Bathroom Design

Edge designs is an all women run company that designs interior office space. They had a recent opportunity to do an office project in NYC. The client allowed the women of this company a free hand in all design aspects. The client was a company that was also run by all women execs.

The result...well...

We all know that men never talk, never look at each other, and never laugh much in the restroom. The men's room is a serious and quiet place. Now, with the addition of one mural on the wall...

let's just say the men's restroom is a place of laughter and smiles...

Look below

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This is a crazy combo. Damn!

From Galactic's Newletter:

We are pleased to announce that Galactic will perform with New Orleans rapper extraordinaire Juvenile on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The performance will be broadcast on March 14th.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless words is
one
meaningful
word
that on hearing brings peace.
Dhammapada, 8, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The results of karma cannot be known by thought, and so should not be speculated about. Thus, thinking, one would come to distraction and distress.

Therefore, Ananda, do not be the judge of people; do not make assumptions about others. A person is destroyed by holding judgments about others.
Anguttura Nikaya

Wednesday, March 8

Master of the Camera Dies at 93

Gordon Parks, the photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

We’ve lost a giant.


Ali Farka Toure dies at 66

I never got into him like a couple of friends of mine but I do respect his work and being.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Meditate on that which is beyond words and symbols. Forsake the demands of the self. By such forsaking you will live serenely.
Sutta Nipata

Sunday, March 5

Ramblin' Man and Woman, Married With Kids - New York Times

Nice article about Derek & Susan. I think Derek has the one of the best albums of the year and Susan had one of the best of last year!

Ramblin' Man and Woman, Married With Kids

Thursday, March 2

Buddhist Thought of the Day

All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness. All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others.
Bodhicaryavatara

Wednesday, March 1

Derek in full force.

Set your VCRs & TiVos!
add an appearance this coming Friday on Conan O'Brien -- his band's national television debut

::reprinted w/o permission from the Wall Street Journal::

Allman and Clapton Are Playing With Trucks
By ASHLEY KAHN
March 1, 2006; Page D10


Three things worth knowing about Derek Trucks: He is young, he is a veteran, and he is the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today. That may seem both a bold and contradictory claim; let's take it one step at a time.

A youthful 26, Mr. Trucks played his first paying gig at age nine in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., and at 14 began building the band he currently leads. Since then, he has toured under his own name, jammed with guitar heroes like Buddy Guy and Joe Walsh, and, since 1999, been an integral part of the Allman Brothers Band (which includes his uncle Butch Trucks on drums) filling the role originated by slide guitarist Duane Allman, who died in 1971.

In recent weeks, rock radio has leaked the news that Mr. Trucks will be part of Eric Clapton's handpicked touring entourage for most of 2006. "Last year I started hearing various rumors that Clapton might be looking for a slide player, and then I got a call to come out to Los Angeles," Mr. Trucks said recently from a hotel room while appearing in San Francisco. "To hear his guitar sound! He's one of those guys who's been able to keep his tone. It was the same hands, the same technique. You remember really quick why he is who he is."

An obvious question: Will they re-create "Layla," the timeless rock anthem from 1970 that featured Duane Allman alongside Mr. Clapton as Derek and the Dominoes?

"Eric brought up the Duane connection, but it was more off the cuff. It would be a thrill to play those tunes with him, but I think once the band gets together it will kind of lead itself. I know when and where I'm supposed to be for rehearsals, and that's about it."

The recent release of Mr. Trucks's sixth album, "Songlines" -- which will itself require time on the road -- promises an exhausting year ahead. But Mr. Trucks's commitment to his own group is steadfast. "I could feel it was a real turning point while we were doing the record. We grew into a band making this album, rather than just capturing a live performance in a studio, which is pretty much what we've done till that point."

Mr. Trucks is proud of his groove-producing sextet, whose musicians range from men in their 20s to one in his 60s. Singer Mike Mattison, percussionist Count M'Butu and keyboardist-flutist Kofi Burbridge are recent arrivals, while bassist Todd Smallie and drummer Yonrico Scott started with the guitarist when he was in his mid-teens. "The last three years it's been snowballing. I think everyone's starting to realize that the band is forming its own sound now."

Combine the band's progress, the new album, and the Clapton world tour, and add an appearance this coming Friday on Conan O'Brien -- his band's national television debut -- and it seems certain that Mr. Trucks's career is poised to reach a higher level. Whatever happens, he's already drawing to his concerts 20-somethings who regard the Allmans, Mr. Clapton and similar '60s stars as progenitors of the current jam-band scene, as well as gray-haired rockers who heard those bands in their prime and still prefer their music with guitars out front and a solid blues foundation underneath.

Yet whether it's blues-rock or jam-band, Mr. Trucks bristles at being confined to any one musical category. "There's not a scene I really am head over heels about. I don't think there's any that completely fit the bill for what we're trying to do, you know?"

Mr. Trucks's new album opens with a rousing version of jazzman Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Volunteered Slavery," leading to the Southern soul of "I'll Find My Way," the electrified Delta blues of "Crow Jane," and eventually Caribbean rhythms and an Indian raga. "I think there's a way to incorporate all these styles that the band is playing so that it's more of an original music and not just a collision of different genres."

When Mr. Trucks appears live, the band's set lists are as diverse as his recordings.
When he slips a small medicine bottle onto his finger and touches it to the strings, his guitar is the thread pulling it all together with an unhurried fluidity that reveals a musician who has learned to speak through his instrument. That he chose to focus on slide guitar as a pre-adolescent has much to do with it.

"The first connection I had with it was listening to Duane Allman on the Allman Brothers' 'Live at Fillmore East' and to [bluesman] Elmore James. The sound just really struck me and made me want to do that. That, and having small hands. When you're nine years old, it didn't hurt as much to play slide.

"Later on I felt like it was pretty much only with the slide that I could get out what I was trying to do musically. It's a fretless instrument, so you can get all the little nuances that vocalists get that you can't get on other instruments."

Mr. Trucks found that what he was attempting on slide guitar had little precedence:
The majority of slide specialists who came before him had kept to an established blues-rock approach. "As an instrument, it has territory I could really explore,"
he says, "while with the electric guitar, after Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, you have just a thousand clones out there. The slide guitar really is kind of untapped."

Onstage, Mr. Trucks is unorthodoxy in action: Often his right hand snaps, more than plucks, the strings. Unlike most guitarists, he plays straight to the amplifier without pedals or special effects, yet can elicit the breathy detail of a saxophone or the growl of a well-tempered chainsaw. On his new album, he produces a grating, oil-drum effect on "Mahjoun." On the "Crow Jane" track, he follows the vocal so closely that it is moments before it registers that the melodic line has been assumed by the guitar.

"I try to be ultra-sensitive with whomever I'm playing, even the guys that I've played with for 10 years," he says. "I think part of it is I don't want to feel like I'm completely comfortable, so I just keep working at it."

Today, Mr. Trucks still resides in Jacksonville, where his father bought him the garage-sale guitar that started him on his journey more than 17 years ago. He and his wife, the singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi, are raising two children while pursuing their respective careers. (Mr. Trucks added lyrical touches to Ms. Tedeschi's latest album, "Hope and Desire.")

Among his generation, Mr. Trucks is an anomaly: a rising rock star who is unpierced, untattooed -- a long blond ponytail his most outstanding feature as he closes his eyes and works his guitar in concert. Don't expect any windmill strumming or stage leaps. (Of the recent Grammy Awards broadcast, he says, "You had all these superstars on stage and everyone was trying to make their big moment count. It's just not musical, man. At least sing in tune!") Like many of his musical heroes, he favors art over artifice, musical growth over grand, momentary gestures.

"They all stayed students, you know? They're always learning. Playing with the Allman Brothers I get that feeling, especially with [drummers] Jaimoe and Butch back there. They've been at it almost 40 years and they're not resting on their laurels. They keep that fire burning."

Buddhist Thought of the Day

"How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?"
"By not halting friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood."
"But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?"
"When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining I crossed the flood."
Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"
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