As some of you may know, my father-in-law works for Morning Edition. He’s been part of the production staff almost since the show’s inception and sometimes reads the voiceover translations for the stories that air. This morning, he was the voice of an Iraqi kidnapped at gunpoint (it’s the first story listed on the linked page). In the past, I’ve heard him as a Chinese AIDS activist. I’m almost always on the way to work in my car and a little bit groggy when I hear him. It’s just a little surreal to be half-listening to a story on the radio and suddenly realize that it’s your father-in-law talking about having a gun to his head while being kidnapped in Baghdad.
Burnt Orange Report points out that after being linked by several blogs earlier this week, Alan Keyes staff has removed campaign pictures that include his daughter, Maya. The word is that she’s a lesbian, which, of course, doesn’t quite fit with her father’s world view. I don’t know their motivations, but I’d question what the hell she was doing stumping for him. I suppose supporting your father is a priority even if he is Alan Keyes, but I wonder what she thinks of being removed. The miracle of the browser disk cache allows me to keep hope alive. Look out, it’s nearly 3MB.
Finally, the house passed a bill on to the Senate yesterday that makes it easier to prosecute file sharing as a federal crime. Thanks to redistricting, the sponsor of the bill was none other than our own Lamar Smith. Those in his district who have an opinion might want to write him about it.
This is the kind of shit that the GOP is sending out in states like West Virginia and Arkansas. It’s not even worth dignifying with a response, but you know that there are plenty of people who will see the inflammatory (and completely false) graphic, read the issues, of which they probably disagree with at least one, and decide right then and there that they’ve got to go out and vote for Shrub. Nevermind all of the other evil shit the GOP is responsible for, those damn liberals want to ban the bible!
Time for another meme (via Sean):
Stuff in bold I’ve actually done.
01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer.
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it.
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read – and understood – your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. …more than once? — More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 75 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them.
183. ..and gotten 86’ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions.
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196. Dyed your hair
197. Been a DJ
198. Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199. Written your own role playing game
200. Been arrested
Ok, so I’m a little late with the second ACL post.
On Friday, we checked out Trout Fishing in America, Rebirth Brass Band, and Franz Ferdinand. Trout Fishing was great. This was our first time checking them out live since starting to listen to them a year or so ago. I’d heard about the height discrepancy between Keith and Ezra, but you have to see it to truly appreciate it. I highly recommend them, especially if you have kids. Big Trouble is a good album to start with. I haven’t got much to say about Rebirth Brass Band as much of their performance was spent dealing with a tantruming soon-to-be-two-year-old. I’m not a big fan of New Orleans Jazz, but I can say that their sound certainly carries. It was damn loud even though we were 20 feet back from the tent that housed the stage where they were performing. By the time Franz Ferdinand came on, The La had worn herself out from the tantrum and fallen asleep. However, she still managed to croak out “Push me, mama” whenever The Wife stopped pushing the stroller. The Wife bravely stayed in a less populated area of the park pushing her around while Andy, Rachel, Anne and I took the boy for a somewhat closer view. The Boy digs Franz Ferdinand’s Gang Of Four inspired single, “Take Me Out” and really got into the live performance of it. From what I could see of it, it wasn’t a bad show. We left before they finished.
Luckily, we got babysitting for Saturday night, so we could enjoy The Pixies. Anne went earlier in the day to hear Cat Power. I would’ve liked to have seen Old 97′s, but it didn’t happen. Anne, Rachel and I went at 5 and The Wife arrived at 7. We parked ourselves at a spot where we could see both the Cingular stage and the Bank of America stage. Modest Mouse had already started when we arrived. They were pretty good. As with most of the festival, I felt like I was really too far away to really get into any of the bands. I decided just to sit back in my collapsible lawn chair, have a few beers, talk, and enjoy being outside. Modest Mouse was followed by My Morning Jacket, Dashboard Confessional, and Neville Brothers. My Morning Jacket and Dashboard Confessional (DC) were underwhelming. DC seemed to have the bigger draw with The Kids. I found their singer’s voice annoying. The Wife arrived during their set and went off to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. I should’ve followed her, but was too lazy and stayed put. I was already familiar with The Neville Brothers from my Sound Warehouse days. They were fine, although still not my music of choice. The highlight of the evening was definitely The Pixies, despite the crappy sound which included several moments of feedback. They played a lot of stuff off of the older albums, “Bone Machine” and “Where Is My Mind?” among the highlights, and made me regret not having seen them in my high school/college days at a smaller venue.
Sunday was our longest day at the festival. Unfortunately, we missed Earl Harvin Trio, but arrived at 2pm to ensure that we got a good spot for The Roots. I’m a huge fan of Do You Want More?!!!??! and haven’t ever had the chance to see them live even though they seem to play Stubb’s every few months. I was unfamiliar with most of the material that they played and this particular performance seemed more rock than hip hop, so much so that they reminded me of Fishbone on more than one occasion. In the end, it was a great live show. I recommend going to see them if you haven’t had a chance, although I’d pick a time when the sun wasn’t baking me alive. Their show more than any of the others reinforced for me that the festival needs to be about a month later than it’s current date. After The Roots, we trudged across Zilker toward the Cingular stage for Elvis Costello. On the way, it became clear that we were going to have to seek shade for at least part of the afternoon if we were going to survive the rest of the day. We ended up at the H-E-Buddy Beach, which is usually sand volleyball courts, but were converted to an impromptu beach with umbrellas, plastic chairs and beach toys. It was supposed to be for families with kids and this rule was enforced by security until the sun finally went down. We made the beach our headquarters for the rest of the day, occasionally venturing out of the shade of the umbrellas to check out another stage. I listened to Elvis Costello, Spoon, and Pat Green from the beach. The sound was pretty bad for the bands unfortunate enough to be on the Cingular stage (Costello and Pat Green) and I really can’t stand Pat Green or any music of that genre, so I just closed my eyes and pretended I was on a beach but with crappy music. Some of our group went over to see Wilco at the other end of the park. It was obvious when Wilco finished as it seemed that every person from that end of the park walked past (and through) us on the way to Cake. I took the boy a little closer for a few of their songs. I really liked Fashion Nugget and Prolonging the Magic. I distinctly remember listening to Prolonging the Magic incessantly around the time The Boy was born and looking forward to singing “Sheep go to heaven ” with him. “I Will Survive” has to be one of the greatest covers ever recorded. Once again, I couldn’t really get into the show because I was so damn far away. Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky?
- Too damn many people
- Too damn hot
- Too many KGSR-friendly bands. I need some more raunchy/hard rock.
- Hudson’s On The Bend had the best food
- The beer selection sucked ass. In retrospect, it’s probably because they were limited to those that come in a can. Glass was a no-no and I guess they didn’t want to mess with kegs.
The line-up next year will have to be as good or better than this year to get me to fork over $160 again and even then, I might have to be persuaded.
The reviews of this year’s ACL Festival are appearing on the blogs of various friends. I’ll have a more proper review with a picture or two up tonight along with some shots of the kids in the login required section of the site.
The common complaint this year seems to be that there were just too many people. One side effect of the number of people, estimated at about 70,000 each day of the three day festival, was that it was virtually impossible to call another person at the festival via cell phone. I tried several times only to get a busy signal or a voice mail message that was never delivered. Frustrated that I couldn’t contact friends to meet up at a particular location, I switched to text or SMS messaging and discovered what thousands of japanese schoolgirls already know. Text messaging is fairly easy with a T9 phone and pretty damn reliable. I was able to text back and forth and meet up with R. several times throughout the weekend. People in the U.S. don’t seem to have gotten the hang of this feature that’s generally included with most phones and phone plans these days. So, my message to the ACL 2005 Festival-goers: Text, baby! Text!
Of course, I did run into some problems of my own. The Wife supposedly has text messaging enabled for her phone, but she wasn’t able to send at the festival and I tested sending messages from her phone to mine back at the house on Saturday without any luck. Guess I’ll be calling AT&T sometime this week to get it sorted out along with why she doesn’t get a indicator when she has voicemail.
I didn’t get to finish my rant last night because my sister called in the middle of it looking for car advice. Somebody hit her a few weeks ago and the insurance company decided to total the car since it’s too old to be worth fixing. It looks like she’s going to get a Protege. I’ve been pretty happy with the two that I’ve had over the last 10 years. One of them was cursed, but I’m pretty sure that’s not something they do at the factory.
Anyway, back to the rant… One of the consensus opinions among military leaders on the ground is that the Bush administration totally screwed up Fallujah earlier this year. If you’ll remember, some civilian contractors were killed and then dragged through the streets, prompting justifiable outrage from many here in the U.S. and abroad. The military leaders on the ground wanted to take a measured response, but were pressured from the White House into the large scale seige on Fallujah. Then, just as they were about to go in and it was clear that there would be a lot of civilian casualties, the White House ordered them to pull back. The feeling is that they shouldn’t have reacted with so much force in the first place, but once they did, they should’ve followed through. The waffling made them look weak, which was exactly the wrong message to send, especially in the Middle East.
There a rumors now that a large scale assault on Fallujah is scheduled for just after the elections. Just as with the production of a “high value target” from Pakistan during the democratic convention, if there is, in fact, an assault just after the election, we can chalk this up to one more cynical play by the Bush administration.
Ooo. Ooo. And then there’s this.
While I’ve been unimpressed with the Kerry campaign since the democratic convention, I must say that things are not looking good for ol’ G.W. despite his slight surge in the polls.
In the the time since the republican convention, questions have been raised again about his national guard service (although the documents causing the stir appear to be fakes), new books have arrived from respected Florida senator Bob Graham and veteran controversial biographer Kitty Kelley that paint an unflattering portrait of our current president, a National Intelligence Estimate was released painting a rather bleak picture of the current situation in Iraq, one of G.W.’s economic professors from his grad school days is speaking out about what an arrogant yutz he was in those days, a number of the 9/11 widows, who were instrumental in getting the administration to appoint the independent 9/11 Commission endorsed Kerry and finally, Donald Rumsfeld emerged from his virtual media blackout last Friday to give a talk to the National Press Club where he confused Saddam Hussein with Osama Bin Laden not once, but twice.
If I were prone to conspiracy theories, I’d say that the Bush administration is setting Rumsfeld up as the fall guy for the laundry list of blunders they’ve perpetrated over the last four years. I can see it now.
“Rumsfeld? He was crazy. It was all his idea. You heard how he confused Saddam and Osama in that speech. It was him, not us!”
You get the idea.
Look out, I feel a rant coming on…
I think he’s absolutely right on. I think containment was working. There was no imminent threat from Iraq. The inspectors were there. They were having an effect. Congress (John Kerry among them) foolishly voted to give the president a blank check, thinking that he’d wave it around, but wouldn’t actually fill it out. What they didn’t count on was that he and the intelligence community were listening to the neoconservatives in the administration that we all know had a hard-on for Iraq ever since the Gulf War. They had Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress exile group who had a vested interest in seeing us go in there feeding them fabricated crap about what was going on in Iraq when it was really a big mess. We went in. We weren’t prepared to stop the looting. We weren’t prepared to do the nation building that G.W. swore we shouldn’t be doing when he campaigned in 2000. We relied on Halliburton, Bechtel and other contractors for way too much stuff. If you were an Iraqi out of work and you saw that a bunch of foreigners were being employed by american companies and being paid exorbitant salaries to drive trucks in your country, wouldn’t you be pissed off too? At what point do those who keep pointing out that Iraq is part of the global war on terror step back and decide to do a little cost-benefit analysis. Look at what we’re spending in hard cash, lives and political capital. Is it worth it?
Preparations for this week’s ACL Festival have begun in earnest. We’ve got an out-of-town guest arriving tomorrow and we secured babysitting for Saturday night so we can all see The Pixies without tired kids. Now that I’ve realized that Franz Ferdinand is responsible for “Take Me Out”, which I’ve been hearing a lot on the radio, I decided that I need to see them on Friday night. Given their similarities to Gang Of Four, it’s serendipitous that Bob has a post this week about everyone’s favorite late 70′s/early 80′s punk/funk brit band. I must dig up my out of print Infinite Zero CD of Entertainment! for another listen.
Other must-see bands as far as I’m concerned are Trout Fishing In America (for the kids), Cake, Wilco, The Roots, Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello and Earl Harvin Trio. Anybody have any other recommendations? I heard a rumor that the surprise guest this year is Prince. Can anyone confirm or at least corroborate the rumor? You can e-mail me if you don’t want to incriminate yourself publicly. Really.
Last night, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show continued their campaign against CNN Crossfire and Chicago-Sun Times commentator Robert Novak in a segment called Douchebag of Liberty and bestowed the Congressional Medal of Douchebaggery on him. His outing of a CIA agent for partisan reasons, refusal to reveal his source for the outing, recent editorial on the Swift Boat Veteran ads and hypocritical call for CBS to reveal it’s sources for the recent Bush Texas National Guard memos have convinced me that it’s time to start paying tribute to the man, blogger-style. Who’s with me? Let’s all show our love for the Douchebag of Liberty.
Of course, someone has already registered douchebagofliberty.com, so make sure and link that to our favorite commentator’s name.