Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana down time

I gotta say, I was really looking forward to the cabin. It's down time. Private time. But here are a couple pics:

Drew and Matt's catch

Skipping stones

Our little friend, destroyer of mice

Swinging at Drew and Carrie's

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back home again in Champaign

It's always nice to be "home" again, and having lived in so many locales, it's easy to get that feeling in a lot of places. Last night back "home" was Champaign, IL. However, we played a venue that I had somehow missed during the years that I lived there. Mike 'n' Molly's was great. We played outside in the beer garden. Bob did a stellar job of running a really great sound system. We even had fancy lights! [smile] I'm not sure that I've ever heard "outdoor" music sound so fine. I'm sure that will be the best sounding show of the tour.

Not to mention having Talia back on board. Things always sound better with cello. Period.

I'm really looking forward to the first week of July when Talia is actually in Colorado with me, playing some shows and laying down tracks on two of the three upcoming Dan Beahm projects. Keep an eye on the Renaissance Boy Calendar to see when and where we'll be playing in Colorado.

It was grand to see all our Champaign-Urbana friends. Thanks to all who braved drinking on a school night to enjoy friendship and music in the beauty of Mike 'n' Molly's beer garden!

And thanks to Murph for being such a swell guy.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The good people of Salina, KS

After last night's show, I can only hope that all of people of Salina, KS, are as good a folk as the people who populated the audience... a fine breed indeed. I felt like I was back in Indiana -so much warmth and generosity.

When we arrived at the venue (111 Ultra Lounge), I was a little worried by the lack of sound, which is to say that there was no PA. The issue was quickly resolved with a trip to the establishment's basement. "Should we call somebody to make sure it's OK to use this stuff?" I asked the bartender. So special thanks go out to Rich for letting me use his personal PA.

Extra-special thanks to John as well, for making sure there was a full house. It would have been an entirely different show had he not brought along so many people. Thanks so much, John. Hopefully we'll get to see you again soon. (John also negotiated the work for the show flier created by Jordan --so thanks again to John and also to Jordan).

So many new friends (that felt like family); I can't wait to get back to Salina for another show!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just a couple pictures I took in my front yard...

Sometimes I still can't believe I live here.

The other direction:

And a shot from snowboarding at A-Basin a few days ago:

Full episodes of Battlestar Galactica (the REAL one) online

what's playing: Battlestar Galactica, episode 102

I don't know how this slipped by me, but I just found out that the original Battlestar Galactica is streaming from NBC's website. Episodes 101-115.

Man, I forgot how much I loved this show. Actually, I always remembered really liking it, but now I remember why. It's awesome! The Cylons' voices rule (and is most likely why I like Daft Punk so much). Both styles of fighter ships rock. I remember how the Cylon fighters' wings would pop out a bit and then there were actual spring-loaded rockets that would really fire (and always got lost in about ten minutes).

Plus, Dirk Benedict is hot (but honestly, who actually names their kid Dirk?).


Friday, May 9, 2008

Still boarding in May!!

oh... yeah.

[edit:] Now what the hell is all the crap below?! That's like a whole freaking TOMB of information just because I posted a picture from my cell. It looks like Verizon has found yet another way to make things SUCK. I guess I'll stop mobile blogging from my phone. Bastards.

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizon(sucks) Now seriously, who is so stupid that they can't figure out how to "snap pictures" with their phone? If they can't do that, they surely can't freaking figure out how to access the referenced web page.

To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required. Visit to download the free player or upgrade your existing QuickTime� Player. Note: During the download process when asked to choose an installation type (Minimum, Recommended or Custom), select Minimum for faster download.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mouse Jacket (not a jacket for a mouse, but a jacket made of living mice cells)

what's playing: "You To Thank" by Ben Folds

This has got to be one of the weirdest things I have read in a long time.

Evidently, someone made a jacket out of mouse stem cells --an actual piece of clothing that was alive and being fed by tubes (TUBE TECHNOLOGY!!!). The jacket was being kept alive in an incubator, but after 5 weeks began to grow too fast, so the piece of apparel was euthanised.

If ever three letters were more appropriate, I don't know the occasion.


click here for the full story from The Art Newspaper

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Proud to be an American

what's playing: "Yeah (Crass Version)" by LCD Soundsystem

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time writing letters and contacting friends and family in Indiana to make sure they were getting out to vote for Barack Obama. I've been more interested, excited and involved in this race than just about anything else that's happening right now. Crazy. At the moment, politics is more exciting than movies (though I can't WAIT for The Dark Knight --c'mon, c'mon, c'mon July 18th!).

It was a tight race in Indiana, and even though Obama lost by a narrow margin, most of the news outlets this morning were leading with some variation of Tim Russert's quote: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it.” (New York Times via MSNBC)

That made me happy. But something that made me even happier was all the responses I got from friends and family from the MidWest regarding what was going on. One mother of two wrote:
As I listened to Michelle Obama speak about her husband, her role, her family and their convictions I was truy moved that people of this caliber would seek the office of President. I'm inspired by Obama. I've been involved in getting word out to vote here in Anderson. [. . .] I'm praying tonight for this vote. I look at my two daughters and know that I must do something to change the way things are. I'm voting for my daughters tomorrow! I'll be at the poles first thing in the morning.
Another Clinton fan wrote to let me know that while she hadn't changed her mind, she would take the time to take another look at what Obama was all about. When was the last time people were actually "taking a look" instead of just heading to the poles armed with sound bytes and general ideas? I love it.

Someone very close to me wrote and let me know:
My dad (usually a strong Republican) and my mom (usually a split ballot) both voted for Obama today. Both said they were "tired of the Republicans", and feel Obama is the first candidate in a long time they believe in! So exciting that he is crossing generational and political gaps!!
If you knew the dad, you would better know the miracle of Barack Obama. I love that even in Indiana, older, white Republicans are voting Barack because of hope for a better future.

SUCK IT, McCAIN!!! [smile]

But I think the MVP e-mail response goes to my good friend Mike Jenkins.

Before I get to his e-mail, I want to say, the reason that I want Barack Obama for President is that I sincerely believe he will do more to make this country a better place than any President in my life time. But Mike reminds me of how lucky are we to live in this country in the first place. I usually kind of cringe when I see the "Proud to Be an American" slogan plastered everywhere, but I do feel that sentiment immensely (all the time), I just think the language needs to be rearranged a little, maybe something like: "I Appreciate My American Privilege," because man do I appreciate the fact that I was born into the privilege and ease of living in this great place. And I soooo appreciate those who have made it possible, though in the future, I think we need to be a little more careful and thoughtful about disregarding the rights of the people we ignore and quash in the process (again, this is why I believe Obama will be such a fantastic President).

Without further ado, the words of Mike:

Final thoughts from Indiana-

The way I see it is that Obama is my candidate of choice, but if Hillary gets the nod from the Party, then she becomes my candidate. It was inspiring to see how many people actually gave a crud enough to came out and vote. That was very refreshing.

I was very moved yesterday when I revisited my voting experience in my mind. Many ancestors ago, our countrymen (and women) had the collective forethought to say that elections free from persecution and intimidation were worth dying for. Many lost loved ones forever so that I may stroll in with Starbucks in hand, joke with the volunteers and press a few buttons. There is an ironic yet comforting beauty in how such a complex and historic concept that people sacrificed their existence for has filtered through later generations’ technology to the ultimate in simplification of pushing a button. Merely pushing a button can have national impact. Other than being a role model for my kids, I don’t know if I have any other opportunities to have that kind of an impact during my time here. When I walked in the building and there were no army people. No guns, no extremist conservatives in disgusting togas and grizzly beards threatening me, no machete wielding warlords, no sinking feeling that my vote does not matter since the elections will be corrupted anyway. True, no elections are fool proof, but we have the best model to date.

I was moved… I walked in unencumbered and unafraid and FREELY exercised my granted right as a citizen to influence my community/my nation with my thoughts on how we should structure a government whose influence will be felt by my children for the next 4+ years. Obama won Hamilton County which is where I live and helped him gather 61% of the vote. I am forever blessed to be born into this. I love our country and remain unabashedly optimistic in our chances this year.

I Appreciate My American Privilege


Can she, WILL she, bow out with dignity?

From The New York Post:

Pundits Declare the Race Over

Published: May 8, 2008

Very early this morning, after many voters had already gone to sleep, the conventional wisdom of the elite political pundit class that resides on television shifted hard, and possibly irretrievably, against Senator Hillary Clinton’s continued viability as a presidential candidate.

The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC. “Those closest to her will give her a hard-headed analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared super delegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

It was not exactly Walter Cronkite declaring that the Vietnam War would end in stalemate. But the impact was apparent almost immediately, starting with The Drudge Report, the online news billboard that is the home page to many political reporters in Washington and news producers in New York. It had as its lead story a link to a YouTube clip of Mr. Russert’s comments, accompanied by a photograph of a beaming Mr. Obama with his wife, Michelle, and the headline, “The Nominee.”

The thought echoed throughout the world of instant political analysis, steamrolling the Clinton campaign’s attempts to promote the idea that her victory in Indiana was nonetheless an upset in the face of Mr. Obama’s heavy spending and his campaign’s predictions that he would win there, or that she could still come back if delegates in Florida and Michigan are seated.

“I think there’s an increasing presumption tonight that Obama’s going to be the nominee,” Chris Wallace, the Fox News host, said to Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru, who is now a Fox News analyst. The statement preceded a discussion about what a general election race would look like between Mr. Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain.

A posting on the DailyKos Web site included a mock memo to Mrs. Clinton titled, “To-Do List Before Dropping Out.”

Speaking on CNN, David Gergen, a former adviser to several presidents, including Mrs. Clinton’s husband, said, “I think the Clinton people know the game is almost up.”

Stating it more bluntly, Bob Franken, the political analyst, told the MSNBC host Dan Abrams shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern time, “Let’s put it right on the table: It’s over. It’s over.”

And it picked up again on the major morning news programs in a devastating cascade of sound bites for Mrs. Clinton and her campaign.

Bob Schieffer on the CBS News program “Early Show”: “Basically, Maggie, this race is over.”

George Stephanopoulos on the ABC program “Good Morning America”: “This nomination fight is over.”

Matt Lauer on the NBC News program “Today”: “Good morning, is it over?”

The commentary was punctuated by some brutal morning newspaper headlines: “Toast!” blared The New York Post; “Hil Needs a Miracle” declared The New York Daily News.

[. . .]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I guess I am a LITTLE bit country

I thought I had posted this already, but I guess it slipped my mind.

Here's a song called "Trainwreck" that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. The video's just me playing guitar in the front yard, but check out that view. Man, I love my life.

Those of you on the mailing list will be receiving an MP3 download to the recorded version as soon as we get the Renaissance Boy blog integrated with the new mailing list system. And hopefully the album with this one on it will be done soon... along with the other two albums.