October 31, 2007

Deep Pockets

OK, its horrific that so many people died in the RI nightclub fire. But I'm confused how an insulation company (which made a material that was probably not intended to be used as sound insulation, but was, and was not intended to be used near open flame but was subjected to close proximity pyrotechnics) and Home Depot, which sold the product, just like they sell 1000's of other products every day without knowing where or how they would be used, gets a chunk of liability and end up paying millions.

Somebody improperly used that material in the nightclub (a former owner, probably long gone). Somebody decided to use pyrotechnics that night (the band). Somebody did not have accessible exits or working sprinkler systems or packed the club beyond its safe capacity (the club owners). You have to believe that a fire inspector was in that club once or twice, and missed the code violations. The responsibility and liability is pretty thick in a lot of directions. But I suspect not a lot of the truly liable people have the money that the manufacturer and retailer do. So guess who gets dragged to court.

It's stuff like this that makes me (a) really dislike a certain flavor of lawyer and (b) really want to vote for the tort reform (usually republican) candidate now and then. I hate that every tragedy, accident, or injury becomes a vehicle for payout. Yeah, there is clearcut liability here, but who gets sued seems less determined by liability and more determined by ability to pay, and that's wrong.

Bob Dylan had it right "When you ain't got nothing, you got nithing to lose" and I think the best way to be lawsuit proof is to have no assets......

Halloween Real Time Blogging

No special reason, I am sitting here waiting for the trick-or-treaters. Thought I would document tonight's candy madness. I'll be keeping an eye out for costume trends, cute kids, cute parents, volume.

6:07 - All set. I have a basket full of the "A" candy (Snickers and Milky Way) and a basket of the "B" candy (Starburst and Skittles). In reserve, the "C" candy (Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids). Put a plastic jack-o-lantern over the front porch light, and took the storm door screen out (and lowered the upper window). Zippy is hiding upstairs, away from the kids and the dogs barking. No kids on the street so far.....

6:20 - First group, 2 kids with dads on the sidewalk. Good spidey and bad spidey. Followed soon thereafter by a couple of mom, terrified by the dog barking (they were walking away as I opened the door) and then a big group, maybe 12 kids.

6:50 - Big rush. The "A" candy is about 2/3 through, moving over to the "B" candy. Spiderman seems to be the big costume today. Nothing really super impressive otherwise....

7:40 - Starting to slack off, the "B" candy is gone, well into the "C" candy now (with some "A" in reserve), although I confess to giving out 2 Starbursts cause they seemed small.

7:50 - Hey asshole in white Hummer - it's Halloween, there are kids all over the road, stop driving like a banshee through the neighborhood.

8:05 - The White Hummer made another pass. Over the speed limit.

8:15 - I turned the porch lights off - the kids had slowed to a crawl and I had cleared out the "B" and "C" candy and was back into the dregs of the "A" candy.

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat

Apparently the trend du jour in terms of registered sex offenders and halloween is to impose a curfew of sorts, including requiring that porch lights and house lights be darkened, to discourage trick-or-treaters.

Delaware is on board. So is Idaho. (Which makes me wonder what the porch light status is at the Craig household?)

I think it's a conspiracy cooked up by the American Dental Association, the Candy Syndicate, and the Costumers Amalgamated. Unindicted and unconvicted citizens who might choose to opt out of the annual sugarfest (as opposed to Sugarfist) will be afraid to leave the lights out for fear that the neighbors will suspect them of sex offender status. So we comply out of fear. More goodies for everyone.

Me, I've stocked up with a couple of big bags of candy (and I might pick up another today; the balmy weather promises a bumper crop of costumed visitors). We got close to 200 visitors last year. Living in a nice single family residential neighborhood, close to West Hartford's primary low income housing cluster (conveniently isolated from the rest of West Hartford by Trout Brook), we gets lots of kids.

I actually like handing out candy; it's a find childhood memory I like to pass down to the next generation. Zippy hates it - I think he's gonna find some place to hide tonight.

Well, that's odd

Perusing my Technorati page to see from whence people are visiting my blog, I came across the search term "two scenic pictures and then something pops up and scares you" - I pop up #1 on Google,for no particular reason, just the combination words (fairly neutral and generic) gets one to me.

The odd part is, as I was looking for the car commercials for a recent post (women slamming into things, ha ha) I found the ad that this person was looking for. It's here - I linked it to a specific page (rather than embedding the youtube) since I think it's much better played in context and with the explanatory text.....

Weird serendipity.....

October 30, 2007

The Envelope, Please.....

And the winner for best Myspace Simulation by a political candidate's website goes to J. Stan McCauley. All he needs is a friends list and and some annoying background music.

Come to think of it, doesn't pastor McCauley's daily Light Source Victory Television show on community access violate some sort of election / media laws. I mean, they stopped running Ahnold's movies in CA when he was running for governer.....

Unless, of course, his opponents think his shows might actually cost him votes. The full frame, larger than life headshot with the Brittany headset is kind of over the top, production wise. Maybe he's beaming in his shows from orbit - the shows have that sort of NASA remote feed quality to them....

Misogynist Car Ads

Two automobile ads that have caught my eye lately.

The first, for the 2008 Chevy Malibu, implies that conventional sedans are so boring as to be invisible - so invisible that joggers run into them:


The second, for the Ford / Microsoft Sync, shows a woman requesting that a door open, before running smack into it (with a cup of coffee). Although two of the foils are men, the graphic of the woman running into the door strangely echoes the female jogger in the Malibu ad.


OK, it's slapstick, it has some humor. But it's also disturbing in a sort of "let's watch women get bashed around" kind of way. It's something watch for in other ads...... I sense a media / cultural trend.

Positive Vibes

Sending 'em out to a friend. She was in a pretty bad car accident on Sunday evening - she was banged up pretty badly; hospitalized for a few days. Her husband, with her in the back seat, was hurt far worse (not sure of his condition). Her mother, in the passenger seat, was hurt very badly and ended up passing away (she was older and somewhat frail). The driver was not hospitalized, but I am sure was pretty shaken up.

Sobering - how quickly one's life can be turned upside down, shaken, and shattered. A bolt from the blue.

Books and Music

MYA and I got together tonight; I try to connect with her towards the end of the month when family funds are tight; I think she likes / needs to get out of the house. Our usual Royal Buffet (where we were missed, the sushi guy commented "long time no see") and then, looking for something to kill some time, we went to Borders.

My purchases:

* The long overdue purchase of Springsteen's "Magic". One quick listen in the car, in general, not a huge fan of the production, a couple of great songs, and a few that I am sure will grow on me. Reminded me a lot of the concert, which is good. Springsteen, in general, has taken a step back in my jukebox in favor of more subtle singer-songwriters - I'm just not rockin' the way I used to......

* Dar William's concert DVD "Live at Bearsville Theater". Dar is someone else who has stepped back a bit. In her early days, I pulled hard for her in the way one pulls for a kid sister (my fandom goes back to the days before "The Honesty Room"). These days, with her success fairly well founded and assured, she has less need for me. I buy her CD's, I listen to her stuff, I continue to subscribe to the DarList, which I first posted to in January 1995. But I'm not quite as passionate about her music as I once was. The DVD was a good deal though ($12.99 on sale, how the heck can you get 16 songs of video for less than a CD?) and the production is pretty good to my semi-professional eye (watching it now, she's playing "February", and I might cry, its a song I associate with my marriage dissolving.....)

* Elizabeth Gilbert's first collection of short stories "The Pilgrim". I am a sucker for short stories, and I loved Eat Pray Love, so what the heck. Might as well pile on, in terms of sending NY Times Bestselling authors more money and sales. Apologies to all my less famous writer friends; you know who you are. I'll buy your next books too, I promise.

* The Bhagavad Gita (Stephen Mitchell translation). I have his translation of the Tao Te Ching, as well as his anthologies of sacred prose (The Enlightened Mind) and sacred poetry (The Enlightened Heart) - so I like his style. I am sure that some will recommend a different translation, but it's a place to start. The Samadhi teacher training works with the Bhagavad Gita; so I figure it's good background for my own teacher training.

October 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

No balloon chasing this weekend - rain on Saturday, and a front coming through overnight left it too breezy on Sunday. So I got a weekend off.

Saturday afternoon, I dropped in to the studio Open House, and went to the Enlightment Intensive preview. It was good; solidfying my commitment to be there in December. As one of the few EI veterans in the space; I volunteered to pull my cushion across from another and do a quick demo of the dyad technique. Amazing how quickly I dropped in to the work; we both went pretty deeply in seconds, and it kind of sucked some of the people in the room in as well. One friend in particular got quite teary. The whole experience brought me back into the EI space and made me want to be back there. So when the intensive master asked if I would be participating in December, my response was a strong and smiling "of course!"

Perhaps energized my the reminder of who and what I am, I came home, cleaned up my table space, and cooked a nice dinner.....who lives here?

As a personal placeholder, my first EI experience touched my bog back in November 2006 (has it been less than a year?) and my second midway through March 2007- I am shocked that my EI's were so recently, within the past 12 months. It feels like the first was 18 months ago and the second was a year ago. Odd temporal shift - I have (in the past) had years slip by without much notice. I think I have been filled with much life of late, so that time is slowing down with all the experiences packed in to each day.

Yesterday, Zippy and I went to see Protaganist at Real Art Ways, which we both loved. I loved the weaving of mythology and personal stories. I loved the puppets. I loved the stories of four men on their own personal quests for life. Pretty sure yesterday was the last day at RAW; I am glad we caught it. We've been pretty lax about seeing movies there.

Afterwards, we dined at the Corner Pug with AC. I had the pug salad and a delightful potatoe and artichoke soup.

And then, I wandered off to see Wah! at the studio. I am glad I went (was on the fence about it all weekend) - the music was wonderful (think Ani DiFranco, were she to devote herself to sacred chanting, although she plays bass) and I was lost in the rhythm at times, dancing, moving, chanting. Part of my Kirtan experience is not being able to fully let go (since I need to remember chords, pay attention to the leader, etc) so its nice to have some space to not be in the front of the room.

And many of my studio and kirtan friends were there; I felt loved and connected and buoyed by their spirits and energy.

October 27, 2007

Rumor Has It

That I was on television this evening. I did the ADA Diabetes Walk this morning, and as we were coming down the backstretch, my rainbow umbrella attracted the TV remote crew - so I was asked to open and close the umbrella a few times to get the sound for the broadcast. Apparently, I was also photogenic enough for the evening news.

So if you were watching WVIT 30 this evening, yeah, that was me. I'll have to check out the 11:00 pm broadcast to see if I am on there.

October 26, 2007

Serendipity Day

It was that sort of day.

I popped over to Manchester for yoga with an old teacher; he and the studio parted ways a while back and I have not practiced with him since. It was really nice to work with him again - his teaching style is unique - challenging, poetic even. And even though my life is overflowing with teachers I respect and enjoy, still there is a place in my heart that remains unfilled since he moved on. I think I'll get over to work with him once or twice a month if I can.

Worked for a while - a study in frustration as I struggled with large data sets, slow computers, and a bit of overall malaise at the nature of the work. I seem to have worked my way into a hole (again!) so I have six site reports queued up, and two trip reports, all of which I need / want to finish up by Wednesday. Hopefully I can crank some of the reports out over the weekend.....

Worked over at the studio tonight. Nice few hours. While there, I heard that Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) was in town, and a posse of yogi's was going to hear her talk, so I buzzed over the Asylum Hill Congregational Church. The place was packed! Close to 800 people to hear Ms. Gilbert speak! And I'd guess 95% women. It was incredible how resonant and popular this book has become.

I had no ticket (who would imagine an author reading would be sold out?) but someone at the door had an extra. And Ms. Gilbert was charming, patient (with the questions from the crowd which seemed to go on for several paragraphs), and funny. Best laugh, one of my yoga friends asked her how her meditation and yoga practice had continued in light of her success and life. Completely deadpan, she said she rose at 3:30 a.m., meditated for an hour, two hours of yoga, then two hours of cardio-vascular - followed by 6-8 hours of charity work. I am sure most of us got suckered, she laughed, and confessed to being able to meditate when she could, and not often enough (and oh by the way, she still was no good at it) - and no word in terms of yoga.

She's a delight. I am blessed to have been able to go hear her tonight, a surprise to be sure. But bittersweet as well - so many people there in two's, three's, or larger groups. Friends out for a night out. I was there alone. A good experience for me - to recognize that I need to let people in, reach out. I knew probably 6-8 people in the crowd. I need to connect, with them, with others in my life.

Tomorrow - Diabetes Walk with Zippy. Open house at the yoga studio. Maybe spend some time with MYA, maybe do something tomorrow night. Sunday, balloon chasing. And who knows what else. Work maybe.

Repair, Reuse, Recycle


I own a large plastic shopping case that I use to schlep tools and test equipment across the country. It's usually stuffed pretty full with meters and things in padded cases; it has wheels and a retractable handle, and it invariably weighs in around 48 pounds at the airport. It's a workhorse....it takes some abuse.

A month or so back, the case emerged at the luggage claim area damaged - it appears that it had not been fully closed (after TSA inspection) and one of the latches had been damaged. The other one worked - so I have continued to use the case, strapping it closed "just in case". The straps invariably come back destroyed, since the air handlers try to use them to left the case.....the rest of the case remains serviceable - surely a bit scuffed up, and the wheels can use some grease, but it does its job.

Anyway, I made some phone calls this morning - to Parker Plastics (the case manufacturer, which does not have a website and I had to do a WHOIS search for a phone number) and then to Caseman (a distributor) - and ordered a couple of replacement latches.

So for under $30, the case is back in business, avoiding a $350 replacement cost as well as 10-15 pounds of metal and plastic into the landfill....

October 25, 2007

You Know You Want It......

OPEN STUDIO ... FREE
Saturday, October 27, noon - 6:00 pm

Why Power 12:15 - 1:15, Barbara
Intro to Yoga 1:30 - 2:30, Shankara
Gentle Yoga 2:45 - 3:45, Carissa
Hot Yoga 4:00 - 5:00, Carissa
Yoga Rocks 5:15 - 6:15, Corrina

Free preview for the enlightenment intensive 12:30 -1:30, Dr. Peter Meadow
Free chiropractic adustments 2:00- 6:00, Dr. Peter Meadow
Free craniosacral therapy 2:00- 6:00, D.J. Horn, PT, LMT
Free chair massage 2:00- 6:00, Lisa Hall, LMT

Come to West Hartford Yoga and see what it's all about. FREE classes, discounts on class cards and studio goodies, raffles, and refreshments.

Local Excitement

NEWINGTON - Police are searching behind the Elizabeth Green Elementary school for three masked gunmen who robbed a credit union on Hartford Road this morning, police said.

They entered the Newington VA Federal Credit Union around 9:44 a.m. this morning and jumped behind the counter, police said. Each of the robbers held a handgun, police said.


From the Hartford Courant, story here, or here via WTNH

My office is right up the road; I passed the credit union around 9:15 en route from work to yoga. Afetr yoga, I saw a helicopter in the air over Newington....now I know why.

The building receptionist (always on top of rumors) has it on good authority (one of the package delivery drivers) that the cops had someone down on the ground at gunpoint on Main Street, and that they otehr two have been caught as well.

But....sheesh.....

October 23, 2007

A Little Irony

OK, the blog *is* called Scenic Root. And atop the blog is a photoshopped picture of tree roots; specifically those of the Banyan Tree. From Wikipedia, and apropos of my yoga obsessions:
In Hindu religion, the banyan tree is considered sacred and is called "Ashwath Vriksha" ("I am Banyan tree among trees" - Bhagavad Gita). It represents eternal life because of its seemingly ever-expanding branches.

In Hindu mythology, the banyan tree is also called kalpavriksha meaning 'wish fulfilling divine tree'. In modern parlance in the Hindi language, it is known as Bargad, Vatavriksh, and Barh.

I have noted the tree roots in the past - back in December 06 with regard to the recently unlost Buddha Boy. Elizabeth Gilchrest's book Eat Pray Love mentions the Banyan roots, which brought it to mind.

The funny thing is, my choosing this iconography is completely and wholly unrelated to a spiritual path. I had previously described my transition as being a "scenic route" (and in fact, an essay I wrote back in 2003 that may soon see print is titled "The Scenic Route" - and I thought the wordplay on Scenic Route / Scenic Root was clever. I found a nice photo of a scenic root, I photoshopped a bit, and it became my blog.

Which has become fairly laden with affairs of the spirit - yoga, enlightenment, meditation, etc.

Funny how that happened, eh....

Have I mentioned how delighted I am with the universe of late?

Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

I'm about 2/3 of the way through. Or more precisely 80/108 of the way through....

This is one of those books that haunts me. It's the book of the month at the yoga studio book group (which I have never participated in, but it ends up being present when I am at the studio) and I almost bought a copy last week - but when I was in there with money the last copy had been sold. So it was a spur of the moment decision at the airport, and I devoured it on the way home.

One "highlighter moment" so far, from Chapter 60:

"So I stood up and did a headstand on my Guru's roof, to celebrate the notion of liberation. I felt the dusty tiles under my hands. I felt my own strength and balance. I felt the easy night breeze on the palms of my bare feet. This kind of thing - a spontaneous headstand - isn't something a disembodied cool blue soul can do, but a human being can do it. We have hands; we can stand on tehm if we want to That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands."

This paragraph brings me back to my own experience with the divine via the Enlightenment Intensives. It makes me want to dive into another.

For many years, I have had an intellectual concept of the divine - that God is lonely. That God wants us to evolve to be His peers. That God instills free will and the capacity for good and evil in us on the off chance that we might grow into our potential divinity.

But really, that's a bit archaic in terms of my own experience. Ms. Gilbert's prose is eversomuch more resonant with my own recent experiences.

And it's a lovely concept. I suspect it will change the way I experience my hands on the yoga mat, in postures. In fact, I think it has renewed some of the EI energy that I had let become dull.....

So, Elizabeth Gilbert, thanks.....

Long Day's Journey into Night

Actually, I got comfy here at Southwest Florida International. Reasonably comfy seat. Outlet for my laptop and cell phone. I got a bunch of work done - some website updates, some email, and all the site measurements from yesterday's site visit entered into the trip report template.

Just an hour to go - time to pack up the puter, go find a bathroom and a drink, and mosey on down towards the gate.

En Route Home

Gonna be a long day. I have a 4:25 flight home, but its a one-stop, same plane kind of thing (so minimal flying / travel time) - Southwest had some other options, but all of them involved 2+ extra hours of travel time and a change of planes (equals potential travel mayhem). So....I'm camped out at Southwest Florida International (eke Ft. Myers) where they have a Quiznos and Free WiFi. I got here so early Southwest would not even take my bags - need to go check them once I finish up here.

I found yoga this morning - I went to the Bala Vinyasa Yoga power class which was great - nice a sweaty, a bit more vinyasa than I normally see. I missed my usual mats / covers, so I was a bit worried about slipping towards the end of practice, but nothing serious. Even got a bit of Sirsasana in; towards the end of practice it was offered as an option to Plough and Shoulderstand, and I jumped at it.

They have interesting lighting in the studio, with colored bulbs chinese lanterns that the instructor changed as we practiced: red, yellow, green. It was different, and I think, a nice touch.

Off to check my bags; I may blog later as I settle in for a few hours of waiting, when I get bored of working!

California Fires

Just a quick set of thoughts for friends in Southern CA - my friend Pat in Escondido, Jane in the Hollywood Hills, employees of my San Diego client. Hope everyone is OK. Scary stuff.

I'm not a huge fan of California - it's a desert and wild country that we've bent to our will with irrigation and earthquake resistant structures. I always darkly joke that the paradise of San Diego will revert to form the day we turn off the water. But for all that, there are millions of people living in fear right now, and 100's of thousands wondering if their homes will be there when they return.

What I Do

Readers may wonder what brings me to far flung places like Naples FL or Alton IL or all the other odd spots I visit and occasionally blog about.

I'm here to visit a cancer treatment center. The subject equipment is a specialized flavor of Linear Accelerator, which is used to treat tumors and cancerous cells with radiation. The goal is to radiated the tumor to the point of destruction, while leaving non-cancerous cells intact.

This is a new and novel device which looks much like an overgrown CT Scanner, and in fact acts much like one. It images the tumor using traditional CT scanning, and treats the tumor in a similar way. Word on the street is that patients undergoing radiation therapy on such a machine are much less debilitated and have fewer side effects - since the treatment time is shorter and the radiation much more localized to the tumor.

I have almost nothing to do with the actual medical equipment - I am more concerned with the electrical system feeding these devices - circuit breakers, conductors, transformers, power conditioners, grounding, and the electrical service itself. Invariably, I am poking around in a transformer - here a 75 KVA transformer used to step the facility voltage (208 VAC, 3 Phase) up to the voltage the equipment needs (480 VAC, 3 Phase). Sometimes, the transformers are undersized, wired incorrectly, grounded improperly. All sorts of electrical problems that can somtimes affect the reliability of the equipment (uptime, component failures, treatment accuracy). I'm a bit of a "fixer" - I come to town when the problems do not seem to respond to more conventional troubleshooting or are outside of the local and national service engineers' experience.

I like what I do. It helps people. Invariably, I see patients in the waiting area en route to treatment - and realize that each of them are involved in their own personal negotiation with mortality. Some old and frail, others shockingly young and apparently healthy. We all are, really - but working in this field, you come a bit closer to it all than one would otherwise.

October 22, 2007

On the Beach or With the Flow

I am in Naples, FL. I'll be running over to the customer's site this afternoon and into the evening. My one client has suggested I "watch out for snakes" in the equipment room. Forewarned is forearmed, I guess.....maybe I should practice cigar / aerosol flame-thrower techniques (a la James Bond) in case of snake sighting.....

In the meantime, I'm shopping for yoga for the morning; I am here until 4:25 tomorrow (no particular reason, I might hop on something earlier) but figured I might look for a local yoga studio.

I found Bala Vinyasa Yoga which has an 8:30 to 9:45 power vinyasa class, and Fresh Air Yoga on the Beach which sounds kind of cool but more for the ambience / experience of practicing on teh beach rather than for the yoga. I'm leaning towards the Bala Vinyasa studio; it seems a lot more familiar and resonant with my own practice.

Now I am relaxing for a bit longer, listening to Colin via the internets....and getting ready to head over to the customer site....

Monday Air Travel Sucks

Just saying. While Southwest was not all that chaotic, the security line was backed up all along the front of the terminal. Thankfully, it moved pretty quickly (all I could think of was walking meditation.....) and I am on the gate side with time to spare for some breakfast and blogging.

I am headed to Ft. Myers FL via Orlando, thanks to the folks at Southwest. I forgot to check in last night so I got boarding group C all the way. Lovely.

I did not get much done last night - have an overdue trip report to crank out - but I think I am headed down to with most of my life intact. I had to toss a tube of lotion / sunscreen (4 oz) that I forgot to leave in the car, and I forgot my MP3 player (in the car) but other than that - things are cool.

Heading back home on Tuesday evening.....I brought my mat and yoga duds (doh! forgot my strap) so maybe I will have some time to throw down some postures while I am in Florida....

October 21, 2007

Not really a serious Red Sox fan.....

...but I'm watching. How could one not?

Despite the fact that I have a 7:20 a.m. flight tomorrow to Naples, FL (and have not showered or packed)

Better set the alarm clock.....

On the Edge and Ballooning

Long yoga workshop yeseterday "Yoga on teh Edge" with Shankara. Not what I expected, but good - simple poses, held very long, as we studied our bodies and mind under stress or pressure. Note to self - practice dolphin - which was the one posture that pretty nearly destroyed me. Was also introduced to "flow" which was pretty neat.....a good connection between the formality of my usual yoga and a free form body movement.

Last night, a halloween party, featuring Zippy (as Larry Craig) and I (as Marge Simpson) - now to go try to clean the yellow body makeup off the new car trim.....

This morning, balloon chasing with a flight from Panthorn Park into Middletown, just East of I-91.

October 19, 2007

Friday Night Lights

OK, the shark jumping has slackened somewhat.

Good: The whole team self-destruction. The Smash vs. Saracen tension (and fight). The health care assistant at Matt's house. Tammy Taylor looking like a wreck as she struggles with a newborn. Coach maybe coming back. (setting up another season of "come-back")

Did we know Landry's dad was a cop? Did we love watching Tyra describe the good bits about Landry and then start to believe them herself?

And what the heck is up with Riggins finding Jesus? It's a cult, I tell you! Run, Tim!

Oh, and I'm Buying a Car

I drifted over to Saturn yesterday and committed to a new ION-2. It's the last year for this model (in 2008 they introduce the Astra) so they only had a few on the lot. So I got a pretty decent deal, with 0% financing.

I ended up getting it in silver (the other choice was blue). I prefer a 5 speed manual, but all they had was automatics - not optimum, but the addition of cruise control will be welcomed, given my highway driving and penchant for inadvertent speeding. ABS brakes (new for me), traction control (damned if I know what that is, need to read the manual), power locks and windows, alloy tires, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD with a spigot for an MP3 player (excited about this). Should get about the same mileage as my present wheels - a little smaller and newer will add mileage, but the automatic transmission will reduce it.

It's a car, not a lifestyle or a fashion accessory. My insurance went up about $400 a year (adding collision), my property taxes will hurt a little. But no more worries about breaking down, repairs, etc. (Five year / 100K power train warranty, 3 year bumper-to-bumper). The coolest thing about it that I could see was that the battery was installed in the trunk, with the spare. Reason: put a bit more weight in the back, and keep the battery temperature down (the electrical engineer side of me concurs this is a smart idea). They provide a terminal under the hood (for jumping someone) but yanno, it would be fun to pull up to someone backwards to jump 'em, and mess with their minds....

Maybe if I can set some ground rules (for myself) about eating in the new car I might lose some weight.....

I'm donating the old car to WNPR - the $500 donation receipt is probably worth more than I can get for it. I'll strip out the AM/FM/CD for Zippy (for the Horizon, which has a stock AM/FM radio right now). Probably take me a week to clean out the old wheels....an accumulated decade of stuff in there.....

Vance Gilbert at Creative Cocktail Hour

We caught Vance Gilbert's first set last night at Real Art Ways. First time I have ever seen him in a small space - usually he's on the main stage at Falcon Ridge, and I am way up the hill or wandering around or whatever. So, a nice change of pace.

He ragged a little bit on the space - referring to RAW / CCH as "ADD folk music" (because people would drift in and out from the raging cocktail party outside), commenting on the number of persons of color (or lack thereof, he called himself "...the only chip in this cookie..."), and at the omnipresent CCH photographers (after a few flash photos, he mentioned having to do a Stevie Wonder set (he riffed around a little), and then said simply "SLOW FILM", proceeding to vamp in slow motion for the photographer.

He also got a few folks upfront laughing uproariously, and then vamped on their laugh. I was happy to see (at the end of the set) a pretty full house, and lots of people heading for the merch table to buy product. Go, Vance.

He's working on an album called "Sounds Like..." wherein the songs are written in the mode of or inspired by other artists, and what he played sounds great. I hope he's back at Falcon Ridge next year....he was missed this year.

October 17, 2007

Looking at Cars

I am car shopping. My 96 Saturn is ready to go - it has 255,000 miles on the original engine. It's due for a clutch, and tires, and shocks and struts, it burns a bit of oil, the front end is loose. It's past the point where I can justify putting more money into it.


I'm considering a Saturn to replace it. Because (a) when you get 255,000 miles out of a car, it builds a bit of brand loyalty, (b) I remain stubbornly convinced I should buy American if I can, (c) I've driven one (rental) and liked it and (d) nothing that Ford, Chevy, or Dodge (or the affiliated brands) makes blows my dress up. So I have an appointment tomorrow to look at a pretty stripped down Saturn Ion 2 - manual transmission. Honestly, I'd just as soon have crank windows and stuff although I suspect that might be hard to find. But we are talking basic. I really do not care about color. I suspect I might end up with a leftover 2007.

But just in case, I did some tire kicking today at the Nissan dealership, looking at the Versa. A small car, but plenty roomie. (I'm concerned the Saturn might be a bit tight in terms of headroom) Not bad - the only real thing I did not like were the environmental controls (felt kind of delicate). So the Versa is a decent fallback option.

Long Time, No Blog

Apologies to all. I been busy.

Sunday morning was balloon chasing, which was fine - a nice ride from Bristol over the ridge to 91, near the Country Club Road exit. I took some pictures but nothing spectacular, so nothing bloggable. Sunday afternoon we hoofed it up to NoHo, where Zippy had a support meeting; I kind of cruised downtown NoHo - some light shopping, getting upset because I am not stylish enough for that town, and wishing I had a bit more money (and slightly less body) for clothes.

Monday morning, I worked at the studio, learning the ropes. Same thing tonight. I also practiced Monday (gentle, with Sharon) and a surprisingly good savasana; I say surprising because I tend to link savasana to the depth and energy of the practice - so a gentle practice would not make me expect this kicking savasana. Guess I was really present.....

Tuesday morning, more practice, with Nikki. Ostensibly a backbend class, I was expecting at least a Camel (Ustrasana), which I wanted to try since I got into it for the first time in Barbara's workshop - but we did get Wheel, and a bunch of variations on Bow. The rest of Tuesday was driving MYA up to Boston - long day.

Today, work, a little tire kicking (I am looking at new cars), and meditation following working at the studio.

October 13, 2007

Very Well, Very Well

Bad: Came upstairs from watching crash to find the internets down and the router lamps flashing ominously. A power down, then a push-button reset did no good.

Good: I happened to buy a new wireless router on one of my last business trips - I forgot a cross-over cable and it was the only way to connect to a piece of test equipment. So I had a spare hanging around, which had not made it over to the office. So, painfree swap out.

Bonus #1: Absolutely no problems getting back online with the new router - I feared having to dig up and reenter passwords and user ID's and the like.

Bonus #2: New router has faster WIFi, better security, and better range. All good for me since I am the one who uses the WiFi. (Zippy is hardwired)

Eddie Perez and Crash

I was out at a yoga workshop all afternoon, but Zippy was home to get a visit from Mayor Perez and a small contingent: his wife and a councilperson. They were walking the neighborhood, calling on the neighbors. Mostly talking about schools. Zippy and our next door neighbor got his ear for 15 minutes or so. By all accounts, the mayor got off lucky: Zippy was not prepared for the visit so did not go into his litany of concerns with regard to (a) loud ice cream trucks, (b) pocket racers and gas powered scooters and other loud vehicles, (c) people parking on the street on gabage day, (d) eyesore properties in the neighborhood, and (e) the condition of our primary access road (which is on the WH property line and *is* being done over at the moment.

OK, I lived in Waterbury for 12 years, and never once even met the mayors: Santopietro, Giordano, or the other guy who got indicted but did not go to jail. We've gotten two calls from Mayor Perez in the past few months and now a visit. Say what you will about him, the man sure does know how to press the flesh and campaign.

In other news, we netflixed Crash (if its not at Real Art Ways, odds are I don't see it lately, which means even Academy Award winners slip past me). Zippy actually liked it (unusual). Really great and thought provoking film.

Tomorrow is balloon chasing in the morning (I'll try to get pictures, it should be a primo day) and in the afternoon, I'm ferrying Zippy up to NoHo for a meeting (MYA is gonna tag along, and we'll hit the town)

People Weaver

Back in March, I noted that a friend had gifted me with a title or description of my life work: People Weaver. I have been thinking about that of late; I seem to be making life decisions. Not the sort of major life decisions like "I need a new job" or "I want a divorce" or "Let's have another child" but more subtle decisions that will nevertheless create change. In light of this decision making, I have been thinking about life work, perhaps of my personal mission statement. And so I have been thinking about people weaving.

Sometimes, its completely serendipitous and unconscious. I met a woman at a holiday party - a friend of a friend. We got to talking about yoga and it turns out she practices at my studio. We rarely share a class, but I see her coming and going, enough to know names, enough to say hello. Last night, she was at an organ recital at Trinity, and our paths crossed as I was leaving Cinestudio. As she noted "I don't know anyone in Hartford, but I run into you" Life is sending me a message - here is a person for you. Maybe a friend. Or maybe she is a piece of a puzzle, and somewhere in my life is the matching piece. But, now that she has entered my consciousness, I remember her. Like that old kid's game concentration - I turn over the card, see what is there, and keep it in mind for when I find it's match.

But it's not simple match-making - of the connubial sort or otherwise. Sometimes it's making sure friend A knows friend B. Or that two communities intersect. Or bringing together opportunities with needs.

It's also a path of subtlety. Not demanding that a person come to an artificial, arranged meet-up, rather it's a recognition that a friend might like an activity or a group, and just slowly making an introduction. Patience is required, and the willingness to watch and wait, sometimes for years. And sometimes, it just never happens.

To what purpose? I am not sure, really - except that the world is a very beautiful place and the interconnectedness of it all is part of what gives it beauty and depth. So to weave a few strands of that beauty provides great joy.

And about recidivism

Gideon called me out (and rightfully so) about a comment I made vis a vis recidivism of sex offenders. And pointed me to the Report of the Sex Offender Policy Task Force by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS (February 24, 2007)

It cannot be doubted that some sex offenders, just like some burglars, swindlers and robbers cannot or will not be rehabilitated and will commit subsequent crimes. However, the research demonstrates that sex offenders are far less likely to repeat their crimes once caught and punished. Recidivism rates for sex offenders are significantly lower than those for other offenses. A study conducted by the United States Justice Department revealed that only 5.3 percent of persons convicted of a sex crime will commit will be arrested for another sex crime and that only 3.3 percent of persons convicted of child molestation crimes will be arrested for another sex crime against children.5 These recidivism rates are substantially less than equivalent rates for other offenders. For instance people convicted of theft offenses were re-arrested the rate of 77 percent and motor vehicle thieves were re-arrested at the rate of 79 percent.6


So, yeah. Mea Culpa.

October 12, 2007

University Pushes to Evict Sex Offenders

The University of Washington in Seattle is pushing for the eviction of more than a dozen sex offenders who live in supervised rooming houses near campus. They have no history of causing problems, but the school still wants them out of the area.
Podcast here after 3 p.m.

Ties in to my previous post Have We Gone Too Far?

It's an interesting story - the landlady prefers these tenants to freshman / sophomore college students (who she describes as brats) and she takes her responsibility for these offenders seriously. She works closely with the parole / probation folks, and none of her tenants have re-offended. As for the evicted tenants - where will they go? How many will fall through the cracks into homelessness or drifting, with a much higher likelihood of falling back into their old ways, and/or ending up back behind bars.

Essex Steam Train

No particular reason for this post; they are one of my clients and I was just interested in seeing if my google ads would show one of their ads (we have google and yahoo ad campaigns going with them) in lieu of the perpetual yoga ads that my blog seems to attract.

If you *are* interested in steam trains, they are running regular steam train and riverboat departures through the end of October (Wed - Sun), then Day Out With Thomas (November), and the North Pole Express and Santa Special (between Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Free Hot Yoga!

Just a quick plug for one of my favorite yoga instructors. Carissa Field has been teaching some Hot Yoga classes down at West Hartford Yoga. In an effort to boost the class participation and perhaps introduce Carissa to some of the regulars who work with other instructors, WHY is offering FREE hot yoga classes with Carissa the week of November 5th. I highly recommend Carissa - she was one of my first instructors (via intro, gentle, and all-level classes) but of late she has been developing a hot / power side to her teaching that I find perfect for those days that I want to practice within myself - she and I are at a pretty resonant level in terms of energy and flow. So she is a perfect segue to those who are considering a more rigorous practice but have not felt strong enough for the other hot / power instructors.

So if you have any interest in checking out the studio, and hot yoga, do consider these free classes!

Tuesday, November 6 - 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 8 - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, November 9 - 8:00 a.m.

While I am on the subject, WHY is hosting their one of their periodic Open Studio events, with all classes free, on Saturday, October 27, noon - 6:00 pm

Why Power 12:15 - 1:15, Barbara
Intro to Yoga 1:30 - 2:30, Shankara
Gentle Yoga 2:45 - 3:45, Carissa
Hot Yoga 4:00 - 5:00, Carissa
Yoga Rocks 5:15 - 6:15, Corrina

Free preview for the enlightenment intensive 12:30 -1:30, Dr. Peter Meadow
Free chiropractic adjustments 2:00- 6:00, Dr. Peter Meadow
Free craniosacral therapy 2:00- 6:00, D.J. Horn, PT, LMT
Free chair massage 2:00- 6:00, Lisa Hall, LMT

Come to West Hartford Yoga and see what it's all about. FREE classes, discounts on class cards and studio goodies, raffles, and refreshments.

October 11, 2007

Serving Something Greater

From an email to the manager of my friendly neighborhood yoga studio, who grabbed me after practice yesterday to sell the concept of helping out around the studio:

********************************************************************

Yes, yes, I have been thinking about it.....

I guess I have never seriously considered work-study; in the grand scheme of things yoga is not that expensive, and in a work-positive environment (i.e. - I always seem to have more work than I seem to be able to get done) it never seemed to make sense to add a few extra hours per week at the studio - I always figured if I simply turned just one of those hours into billable time, the yoga was paid for. That's the economic rationale......

On the social side of thing, I have never had a problem justifying the cost of yoga, and I just assumed that there were plenty of folks queued up for work-study slots. So I figured let the slots go to folks who either might not be able to practice without the work-study, or might need the extra incentive - a single mom, a college student, etc. That's been my thinking anyway....I've always been a "pay your way" kind of person, inside this shell of aspiring enlightenment beats the cold heart of Dagny Taggart.

So....I guess the personal invite was somewhat surprising. And upon further consideration, an honor that you would think so highly of me. And it's helped me to frame the work-study / helping out around the studio somewhat differently. Because, the studio and the community that has coalesced there is pretty darn special to me and is one of my core life supports at the moment, and I would love to be more integral to it. And seeing you struggle to fill slots and plug holes, as well as to make some more space for yourself, I recognized the value of work study to the livelihood of the studio. And that has helped me to see it not simply as an economic bargain, or a financial aid program, but rather as a way of serving the studio, serving the community. And that resonates with me, a lot.

So.....after wading through the angst and equivocating up til now, the answer is, YES - I think I would like to do something to help you and the studio out. So let me know what you need and what the next step is....

************************************************************************

As if my life is not full enough as it is ::grin::

October 09, 2007

Yoga and Life Catch-up

Tuesday morning brings with it a busy day of non-work-related errands: a morning appointment for MYA, and zapping this afternoon. I'll probably squeeze some work in there as well - this morning as well as this afternoon.

Monday night yoga; I'm at trying to get to the 6:00 pm Power I class more regularly, mostly to get more familiar with and to the instructor (also the teacher trainer) - she has always been able to take me deep, but I have until recently viewed her as more of a special occasion instructor - workshops and the like - because I just did not feel ready for her. But teacher training starts on 3 months, and its time to start being ready.....

I continue to be a bit scrunched financially; with one client sitting on a lot of large (for me) invoices. When I see the checks I will be mucha happy, and I expect another couple of largish checks in from other sources as well. But in the meantime, I am financially crabby.....

Gonna try to get an early start today - sneak over to the office for a few hours of work before heading out to Bristol to start my motherly duties.....

October 08, 2007

Voices of Men


Voices of Men - An Educational Comedy by Ben Atherton-Zeman (one of my FRFF friends.....who you may know as the original "Lost-and-Found Guy")

This multi-media play deals with several important issues:

– Sexual assault and consent
– Dating violence and domestic violence
– Sexual harassment and objectification

The play uses humor and celebrity male voice impressions to bring these topics to audiences in a way that minimizes male defensiveness. Each male character in the play is forced to deal with one of the issues listed above – in doing so, they come to the realization that they are, in fact, both part of the problem and part of the solution. The process each male character goes through has led many boys and men to become involved in both self-reflection and in violence prevention efforts.

“Voices of Men” is ideal for a special program at a college, assembly at a high school, conference or community presentation. The play is supplemented by educational messages projected on a screen behind the actor – in between characters, video clips depicting violence prevention efforts are shown.

October 07, 2007

Karma Yoga at Samadhi

The folks at Samadhi Yoga lured me over to Manchester this afternoon for Karma Yoga (wherein the proceeds go to MARC. Truthfully, I've been meaning to get over there since they moved to the new space in early September, so I was glad to finally make it over there.

First off, the new space is great. They have two studios - Earth (larger) and Sun (smaller). And while they have retained the feel and vibe of their old space, its newere and nicer (especially the cork floor, replacing carpet which I never really got used to). It's a really light and well conceived space, with plenty of parking. They have a ton of classes scheduled, and although I imagine some will drop off, its nice to see them growing.

The practice was good - a small group of mixed levels, so pretty basic, but Anne gave me a few adjustments that were helpful - she is hands on which I like (a foot to the hip here, a pull there). A nice Sunday afternoon practice, not too strenuous or draining. Interesting to practice in a different studio - I found balance difficult (all my dristi points were missing!) Anne is another one of those teachers I enjoy watching (as I practice) because she is so good with mixed groups and beginners, I appreciate that aspect of the class even as I do my own work.

Anne and I chatted a bit afterwards about Teacher Training; I suspect until I really get rolling at WHY I am gonna be filled with "What Ifs"

Bottom line: visit the new Samadhi space if you have not. They have lots of classes, plenty of parking, and not too far from the old space. Wish I were closer; its a bit of a haul except for special occasions (and yeah, its not like I do not have enough yoga on my plate at WHY as it is)

Blue Skies

Awoke this morning to the sound of much needed rain. Which kept the balloon grounded - my 5:15 wake-up call contained four words: go back to bed. A bad weekend for the balloonists - foliage just starting to turn, and two unflyable mornings (fog yesterday, rainbn today). The shower soaked my laundry, still on the line from yesterday. My yoga mats as well, so I'll probably skip my usual Sunday morning practice. No biggie, I did the Power II class yesterday. I'm not much for using the studio mats - I sweat too much to want to soak communal mats.....


Yet, at 7:15 this morning, I am listening to birds singing and looking out the window at a crystal blue sky and luminescent clouds. Go figure.

Zippy and I will probably go out for breakfast, just to get some us time in. He's heading off to Scotland for the Highland Games today. I'm at loose ends.....

Council of Elders

I spent about four hours in the northwest corner of the state, in a circle of about 30 people - the crew chief meeting for the annual Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

During the meeting, we went around the circle as each crew chief talked about the festival recently past. The number of crews for the festival is legion: site crew, camping, security, first-aid, volunteer kitchen, festival kitchen, access, recycling, parking, front gate ticket sales, vendors, kid's activities, instrument lock-up, food tickets, merchandise, accounting, volunteer coordination, credit cards, lost-and-found, teen crew, ice sales, signage, communications, performer liaison, and a person in charge of each stage: main, workshop, dance, family. I am sure I am leaving someone out, and apologies for that. But you get the picture - a lot of people, each pretty sure that their crew is the keystone to the festival happening. And each correct, really. All the pieces need to work for the festival to happen.

It was a singularly pleasant exercise - seated in a circle under a large tree, each of us spoke of the recent festival: how it went, what worked, what needed to be improved. In the breaks, smaller conversations between crew chiefs: thanks for a particular situation, requests for something different next year, closure on a particularly testy moment or a well handled situation. After we all went around once, we went around again, with a chance to speak from the heart this time. The teen crew chief, a middle-school teacher the other 51 weeks of the year, spoke movingly and eloquently about his mission - both a responsibility to the festival to nurture and train the next generation of volunteers, and a responsibility to his charges, to pattern responsibile adulthood, to instill a sense of purpose and responsibility.

I've volunteered at Falcon Ridge for 15 years now - I started in 1992 on the heels of the breakup of my marriage. I went to a folk concert at Thomaston Opera House that spring, and they were raffling off a pair of tickets - and I suddenly and inexplicably knew I had to go. While I did not win the tickets, I did notice that they were seeking volunteers, and I called and went that year, and every year since (I missed one year when I was in Indonesia for work). That first year, I pulled my car into a space next door to a woman from Long Island named Ellen who has become my annual campmate, crew chief, and friend. Such is the nature of serendipity - sometimes she is bold and evident, other times she knits with a more subtle hand.

I have always known that Falcon Ridge was special - the festival has always been advertised as a "four-day community of folk music and dance" and the fact that the festival is a community - deliberate, planned, nurtured, guarded, discussed - has always been clear to me. How blessed I am to have been invited into this community within a community, to come to be seated in that circle yesterday, having been charged with nurturing, guarding, one small slice of that community.

Yesterday at yoga, Nykki had us focus on two things: something we wanted, and something we were thankful for. I am thankful for moments like yesterday, for the opportunity to be part of something bigger, part of something special, to be of service to something larger than myself which makes this world a better place. And perhaps, what I really want is not financial stability, or to be loved, or to be healthy and strong, but to be able to experience moments like yesterday (and like the folk festival itself) more often in my life.

October 06, 2007

Folk Music Tonight

St. John’s Coffeehouse
Singer-Songwriter Showcase: A night of contemporary folk & acoustic pop

Saturday, October 6, 2007
7:30 p.m. ­ doors open at 7:00

Featuring the music of:
Bonnie Lee Panda (CT)
Jason Harrod (NC)
Namoli Brennet (AZ)
Chris O’Brien (Boston)
Scott Sylvester (NYC)
Stefanie Harris (CT)

St. John’s Episcopal Church
400 Humphrey St., New Haven, CT
Suggested Donation: $10
Information: (203) 787-9642

I'd probably be there if I were in town tonight; but you can go.......

Samadhi Yoga News

Samadhi Yoga in Manchester is having an open house today at their new facility. Information here.
I would definitely enjoy the YOGA SUN_A_THON in the parking lot. Join us for 108 Sun Salutations to live drumming.....Come for a few or come for all. It looks like a fun day and I wish I could be there; I'm heading out to the Northwest corner for a FRFF crew chief meeting; otherwise I would go.

I probably will hit the morning power class at 9:00 this morning; Nykki is subbing for Peg and I miss her (Nykki) and am interested in how she runs a more vinyasa style class......

Honestly, I miss all my yoga teachers - I have maybe 4 or 5 that I work with a lot, and when my schedule and practice keep me away from a particular one for a while, I begin to seek him/her out specifically. I wonder if my practice is better for having such a variety of instructors, or would I be better off working with one teacher?

Speaking of teachers, John Dorsey has popped up again, teaching a Wed morning and Friday morning power class at Samadhi in Manchester. Schedule here.

October 05, 2007

When Yoga Hurts

A short piece in this week's Time Magazine. Some bullets:

* Over the past three years, 13,000 Americans were treated in an emergency room or a doctor's office for yoga-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

* Though the Yoga Alliance, formed in 1999 and now based in Clinton, Md., has set a minimum standard of 200 hours of training for certification, only 16,168 of the estimated 70,000 instructors in the U.S. have been certified.

* ....most of the injuries he sees are sustained by "weekend warrior" baby boomers who begin yoga without realizing that their bodies are no longer what they used to be. "They think that yoga is an easy way to start exercising, so they go to class once a week, not stretched out at all, and they get hurt."

An interesting warning; I know I am high on yoga for lots of reasons. But I ramped up to my current practice slowly, through 16 weeks of intro classes, and then months of gentle and all levels classes before I grew into the hot and power classes.

I do, however, disagree with this comment: "And while yoga has been shown to alleviate stress and osteoarthritis, it doesn't develop the muscle-bearing strength needed to help with osteoporosis." - because when a 200 pound person can balance and support her weight on her head, her arms, or one leg, there is muscle-bearing strength involved.

Milford, PA

Quick post before hitting the road. Drove down here yesterday afternoon, worked on site from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Back at the hotel. Heading home this morning.

Milford PA is a small town on the Delaware River, just across from Port Jervis, NY. Can't say I've seen much, but it looks pretty; the downtown is quite lovely. Leaving the site past night, the service engineer banged on the door to "scare away the bears", and peeked out before escorting me to my car.

October 03, 2007

Hate when that happens

Sitting in the back of JFB's talk at Uconn this evening. We got there late, cause we stopped for dinner. Bad us. As things wind down a woman walks by and says "Hi Jude...." and I said hello back.

No freaking idea who it was. Someone from the mentoring program? Yoga? Kirtan? Online? Damned if I know, much to my embarassment and chagrin. I'm sure if she identifies herself, my brain synapses will reconnect, but for now - zippo.

For future reference, it helps if you are holding a guitar. Otherwise, I am horrible with names and faces....especially out of context (like if I know this person from some place other than the queer community)

Argh!

One Big Freaking Plane

Chion Wolf is everywhere. Including Bradley Airport for the Airbus A380 visit.

Chion's flickr page has become a regular site to visit.....she does nice work.

Busy Days

Suddenly, it's busy again.

Today, a 10 a.m. meeting with a vendor. A few hours of finishing up work and prepping for the meeting before that. A 3 p.m. appointment with our counselor. Then off to Bristol to fetch MYA and from there to UConn for a talk by author Jennifer Boylan.

Tomorrow, I head off to Milford PA for a late evening work gig. This particular client has a pricey and in demand cancer trearment machine that is not idle often, so we sneak in the work when we can.....

October 02, 2007

To the bald dude in Section 325, Row J

Uhm, not sure why you kept looking back to your buds in Row M to see when you should stand up and when you should sit down. But you shoulda sat down more. Just saying.

Other than that, the Springsteen concert rocked. Even from the back of the house.

The set list for last nights show is here - songs from the new CD in italics

Radio Nowhere
The Ties That Bind
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker
Magic
Reason to Believe - had a real bluesy / Leon Redbone feel and riff
Night - Complete and pleasant surprise to the die-hards
She's The One - Great to hear this one too....
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Town Called Heartbreak - Duet with Patti
Darkness on the edge of town
Darlington County
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last To Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands
-
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Thundercrack - A long fabled singalongthat I had never heard
Born To Run - House Lights up full!
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
American Land - A rip-roaring Irish singalong, complete with Danny and Roy on Accordians

One of the shorter concerts I had seen - the show time was officially 8 pm, they got rolling around 8:30, and I was back home by 11:30, including hanging out in the arena waiting for the halls to clear, walking back to the car, and small traffic in the parking lot and roads. But long enough for these aged bones and ears. I liek the new songs, and will get the new album post-haste; I have a trip to PA coming up which should give me an opportunity to listen to it a few times.

Springsteen is one of the things I've sort of put down for a bunch of years - I remember the Lucky Town / Human Touch / not working with the E Street Band tour (I must have seen that tour......I remember commenting on the band) but the subsequent years have been a blur - I own Tom Joad, The Rising, and Devils and Dust, but not Tracks nor the Seeger Sessions.

I need to fill out my collection, I need to dump Bruce into the MP3 player.

You heard it here first....

In yesterday's Courant, Eric Danton reviews Springsteen's new album, "Magic"
It's a theme he revisits on the first tune, "Radio Nowhere," grinding out a taut, rolling guitar riff reminiscent of Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny," as he wonders, "Is there anybody alive out there?"

Of course, back on Sept 11, I quipped:
And, I will be kicked out of Springsteen heaven for this, but I swear if you play this track backwards, you will hear the riff from that Tommy Tutone classic 867-5309 (Jenny) - the chord progression just sounds really familiar but slightly off....


Hm....I've actually had a few blog hits on the theme, with someone from Columbus, OH searching for "nowhere tutone" on 9/29, someone from D.C. looking for "tommy tutone chord progression jenny" on 9/28.

So my rock n' roll senses are still somewhat acute, despite recent years of folking and chanting...

Tonight, nosebleed seats at the Civic Center.....BRUCE!

October 01, 2007

Ken Burns, The War

Against type, Zippy and I have watched the entire series so far. I say against type, since neither of us is much of a television viewer, and Zippy in particular tries to avoid violent or loud programming. Yet we sit transfixed. It's horrible and beautiful, scary and proud. Tonight, talking of the firebombing of Germany and Japan, we were horrified, but when faced with an enemy that vows to fight to the last man (and woman), are the decisions valid? And when confronted with the firebombing results in terms of physical desolation and human lives lost, were the nuclear bombings any more horrific?

It has weighed on my psyche - I dreamed the other night that I was a soldier, and was being dispatched so I was handed loose piles of material - bullets and morphine and needles, and I did not have a belt to store things in, so I went down to the barracks shop, which was oddly being staffed by the owner of my local yoga studio (also the yoga teacher training instructor, who I pretty much adore and am intimidated by). In real life she has been quite friendly to me of late, which is odd (I am so used to skulking around on the periphery, to be acknowledged by anyone is kind of novel) so maybe that plays into her sneaking into my unconscious.

But - the documentary has been quite good - I am learning so much that I probably should have learned in high school, and appreciating both the horrors of the war as well as the courage of the soldiers.

It will be interesting to see what this does to the national psyche as we deal with the war in Iraq.....which grinds on.

Quick Update

Weekend - Pipes in the Valley festival at Riverfront Park. Ballooning. Lyman Orchard's Corn Maze. Laundry. Ken Burns "The War".

Since it's October 1st, I have my head buried in invoicing - I have at least five to crank out this morning. Ugh. I need a minion to do this stuff......but if I do not get it out, I do not get paid!