Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 
Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Know!  I Know!

Jupiter's clouds are changing color!
Jupiter's cloud patterns are undergoing dramatic changes, reveal new images by the Hubble Space Telescope. Similar transformations of the giant planet's clouds have been witnessed before, but never in such detail – and they have never been explained.


I blame anthropogenic global warming.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, June 29, 2007

True Immigration Reform

Does it bother anybody else that the ardent supporters of immigration reform are now giving up after the defeat of the monstrosity they presented to the Senate? Do they truly believe that their way was the only way to solve the problem? They're like a bunch of little kids who are going to take their ball and go home because they didn't get their way. Why aren't they working on a plan that the American people will support? Instead, they are turning on their constituents in a way I've never seen happen before. If immigration reform is as important as they said it was, why are they giving up?

My personal feeling is that it's because each and every one of them is full of stuff that smells bad and makes plants grow, but maybe that's just me.

Manish brings up a very good point in the comments thread here:
I still await seeing a viable plan (that doesn't involve fantasies like assuming that we can catch them all) that doesn't involve "amnesty" that has a chance of working while not ruining many sectors of the economy that rely on immigrant labor.


I'm waiting as well; the last plan certainly didn't fit the bill.

Here are the broad outlines of a plan,that should solve the problem in a way acceptable to most Americans. Feel free to discuss in comments or at your own blogs.
  1. Secure the borders first. That should be the strongest message that immigration reformers take from the public debate. The first order of business is not to legalize those who are here already, or to deport them. The first order of business is to stop the flood. Trying to deport those here illegally already would be like trying to save the Titanic by bailing it out with a 5 gallon bucket. Stop the leak first. Then deal with the flood waters.
  2. Assess the factors driving the immigration This is actually part of step one. No matter how strong a fence you build, if people want to cross it badly enough, they will. Look at the Berlin Wall, for example. We have to assess what drives people to cross the border, and minimize those drivers as much as possible. The biggest driver for illegal immigration is that unskilled workers cannot find work in their home countries and there's not a whole lot we can do about that. Consider Mexico. When NAFTA passed, all we heard from the opposition is that all the jobs would go south of the border, leading to a labor crisis here in America. Obviously, the "giant sucking sound" was just another figment of Ross Perot's fertile imagination. The Mexican economy is crippled by the corruption of the Mexican government, and that's something we can't do anything about.

    However, there are two sides to this coin. They have too many workers and too few jobs on their side of the border while we here in America have the exact opposite problem; too few workers for too many jobs. Our immigration policy needs to reflect this reality.
  3. Develop a realistic visa policy Our immigration policy should first address our needs as a nation. Immigration should be targeted to fill gaps in our workforce. Jobs with below minimal manning should receive top priority. It is obvious that there is a demand for unskilled labor in the US, and our visa policy should reflect that.

    First of all, let's reduce the upfront burden on the employer. As it stands now, in order to apply for unskilled visas, the employer must first prove that they have jobs to fill and nobody to fill them. Eliminate this requirement. Instead use already available statistics from the NLB to determine which industries require additional workers.
    Second,the visa belongs to the worker, not the company. Why should an American company hold the visa? All it does is take power away from the worker,who is now not only dependent on the company for his livelihood, but for the very ability to earn that livelihood. Again, use the info from the NLB to determine the number of visas allowed for each industry, and issue those visas directly to the applicant. These first two steps go a long way towards reducing the abuses of immigrant labor by big business.
  4. Enact and enforce tough penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens We need to create an incentive to hire legal immigrants over illegals. Right now, the incentive is the other way around,since illegal aliens can be hired significantly cheaper. By creating an economic penalty for hiring illegal aliens, that incentive disappears.
  5. Pass a law that anyone found working in the US illegally will be deported and will never be eligible for a legal visa Why go to the expense of trying to round up millions of illegal aliens when we can create an incentive program that will encourage them to go home voluntarily? If we set up a sane visa policy that allows for unskilled immigrant labor to get visas quickly and easily, and at the same time erect stiff penalties for being caught in the US illegally, doesn't that create a strong incentive for anyone here illegally to go home and come back the right way?


Take all the steps together and you have a sane, practical policy that will encourage legal immigration to address America's needs while discouraging illegal immigration and at the same time, provides a strong incentive for those here illegally to go back home and come back the right way. Throw in a secure border, the very first item on the list, and the solution is complete.

Sure,there will be a lot of those who are here illegally who will resist going back home. At least,at first. But as they begin to lose work because employers are hiring legal immigrants, and as they see others deported and not come back within a week or two, the incentive for them to stay here illegally will begin to diminish, as will their numbers. The illegal immigrant population will go into a decline,slowly at first, but increasing over time as they are displaced by legal immigrants.

And all of this without English only legislation, or having to round up millions of people.

So Sen. Martinez (who is probably too busy throwing a tantrum to actually hear anything) I've answered your challenge. I've given you the broad outlines of an immigration policy that meets the needs of America, without amnesty, without devastating businesses,and without requiring racially charged legislation. The question is this: Do you or any of your colleagues in Washington have the balls to do anything about it?

Posted by Rich
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Commenting Policy

I don't believe in editing or deleting comments, nor do I believe in banning people from commenting.

So I am very reluctant to do so.

However, in response to my post on Immigration,a commenter has attacked a friend of mine, calling him a racist simply because he supported the immigration reform bill recently defeated in the Senate. Now the irony is that I was called a racist in the same thread because I was against the same bill.

In the words of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Do I delete comments that are insulting, unfounded, malicious, or otherwise objectionable, or do I leave them up to allow those ignorant enough to make them to be seen as they truly are?

Posted by Rich
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SCOTUS and Schools

So, the Supreme Court has just ruled that not only are you not allowed to use race to keep kids out of certain schools, you are not allowed to use race to put kids into certain schools.

How can anybody have a problem with that?

Posted by Rich
Politics • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hot Out There Today, Isn’t It?

So let me get this straight. Our wonderful Congresscritters are attempting to pass a law that requires equal media time for conservative and liberal programming. Leaving aside the insurmountable obstacle of determining what content is liberal and what is conservative (According to the Kos kiddies, the New York Times is a conservative rag.) and the equally insurmountable obstacle of weighting that content (Is a show that promotes awareness of global warming the equivalent of a show profiling successes in Iraq? Or should one be weighted as stronger than the other?) and the equally insurmountable obstacle of determining how to calculate equal time over multiple broadcast formats (TV has pictures as well as sound so 1 minute of TV should equal at least 5 minutes of radio) isn't it a fundamentally unamerican approach to issue sweeping regulations on who gets to say what and when?

Isn't it odd that the same folks who scream about government censorship when a preacher suggests that maybe bloody mutilations and graphic sexual encounters shouldn't be on TV when kids are watching are silent or solidly behind this significantly larger curtailment of our Constitutional freedoms?

Not to keep beating a dead donkey, but don't Democrats ever get tired of their own hypocrisy?

I'm just wondering if they will extend the "Fairness Doctrine" to all media, or just the ones where conservatives dominate? Will we see a Blogging Fairness Doctrine? Will Randy Neal be forced to open his doors to, gasp, the dreaded conservatives? Oh the horror!

Out of curiosity, how will this new doctrine be enforced? Will we be paying people to listen to the radio with stop watches, timing conservative and liberal content? What about libertarian content? Will that be null space? It might as well be since nobody listens to us anyway. What about Green Party ideology? Who will that count against?

Just a side thought, but even though the short term effect will be to limit the ability of conservatives to speak, won't the long term effect be to completely crush the ability of a third party to develop? If all the air time is split between the big two, there won't be anything left for anybody else, will there?

More protection for the incumbents...

So, Republicans don't want us to talk about sex and Democrats don't want us to talk about politics; I guess all we can talk about is the weather.

Hot out there today, isn't it?

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cloture Passes and I Re-assess My Patriotism

Remember when the Democrats told us that since 55% of the American public were against the War in Iraq that we should pull out because it was "the will of the people?"

How is it that those very same Democrats are silent while immigration policy opposed by 75+% of the American people is being shoved down our throats by a Democrat-led Senate?

I'll take hypocritical asshats for 2000, Alex.

Don't think I give the Republicans a pass, oh no. They're right in this thing because instead of voting on principle, they are playing political games with this bill, allowing President Bush just enough leeway to slide this one by. I'll give the President his due; all along, since he first started campaigning for the presidency, he's promised he would provide an immigration reform package. He hasn't flip-flopped, and as is his nature, he's pursuing the course he thinks is right with bulldog intensity, with every bit the same energy and determination he's shown with the War on Terror.

That he is as wrong as it is possible for a man to be is tragic; that he is being aided and abetted by a cynical Senator who is willing to sacrifice America's long term security for short term political gain is shameful; that our Senate as a whole is willing to disregard the loudly expressed will of the people in favor of corporate lobbyists and visions of their own electoral invincibility is a national disgrace; that our national press corps is more concerned with covering the release of an heiress convicted of a misdemeanor than covering an issue that will, regardless of the decision made, radically affect the character of our nation for generations to come is sadly typical.

What really gets me is that if you don't read the blogs, if you just listen to the news, you know almost nothing about the issue. You don't know the costs associated with this bill. You don't know about the automatic extension of benefits to those who came here illegally. You don't know that the so-called triggers are only for show, since they won't apply to the vast majority of those who are already here illegally.

You don't know, and most of you don't care.

George (Not Carlos. Gotta stop typing while listening to music) Santayana said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, so let me give you a quick history lesson that applies directly to our situation today.

Roughly 500 years after the birth of Christ, the Romans were evacuating the British Isles after years of occupation. As they withdrew, the island fell into chaos, with native Celts and Woads battling with encroaching Norsemen, Angles and Saxons for control of the territories the Romans were abandoning. In this turbulent time, a king who could not control his borders soon found himself without a kingdom. One such king, by the name of Vortigern, thought he'd found a way to defend his borders against the encroaching hordes without costing him the lives of his own subjects. His insight was radical for the time; since the land was already being overrun with Anglo-Saxons, he would make a deal with them. He would trade them living space for their service as defenders of his borders.

Vortigern approached a Saxon leader by the name of Hengest to make his deal. Hengest realized that fighting to defend a land is much easier than fighting to take it, and the deal was struck. At one stroke, Vortigern had taken a liability and turned it to his advantage.

Unfortunately for Vortigern, his advantage didn't outlive him. Hengest died, and his son Horst realized that the Saxons were stronger than the Celts,and reneged on the deal his father had made. He and his men rose up and slaughtered the Celts, including their king, Vortigern, and took all the land.

Here's another example; ask a Cherokee Indian what unchecked immigration does to the native population. Or any member of a Native American tribe. Ask an aborigine in Australia.

The lesson of history is very clear; when a nation loses the ability or the will to defend its borders, it ceases to exist as a nation within a generation. Its people are replaced with a more vigorous, more robust people, a people who are willing and able to defend their territory.

Folks, this is where America is today. Just listen to the rhetoric on the pro-illegal immigration side. If you oppose this legislation, you are automatically, a bigot and a racist. You are prejudiced, and don't understand the true meaning of being an American. You are cruel and lack compassion. You are all of these things and worse, simply because you believe that we as a nation have a right to say who gets in and who doesn't.

Again, listen to what they say. We must have compassion for those who come here. After all, all they want is something better for themselves and their families. They say America should be open to all who want to come here. They say that there are too many here illegally already; there's no way we can correct the problem except by legitimizing them. They say that attempting to secure our borders is a cruel and racist act. They say that asking those who immigrate whether legally or otherwise to assimilate within our culture is wrong; that we should allow them to maintain their own national identity, even though they live and work in this nation.

Listen to what they say; they no longer believe that our borders are worth controlling.

And I have to struggle with the idea that they may be right. Is America still worth defending? Sadly, I have my doubts. I figure that there will be tremendous outrage when this bill becomes a law, but that fewer than 10% of those who vote to pass it will be defeated in their next election cycle. Remember the outrage over McCain-Feingold? How many supporters of that monstrosity were voted out? Nope, John Q is too busy surfing the internet for pictures of Britney Spears' nipple to be overly concerned about immigration legislation.

So I have to ask myself: Is this nation worth fighting for? Killing for? Dying for?

The question is very important because I have a son who is in that position right now and another who is leaning strongly that way. I served, as did my father, my uncle, and my grandfather. My ex father in law once removed (very long story, but he's good people and I'm proud to consider him part of my extended family) served, as did his son.

But would I volunteer to serve today? I really don't know. I don't know if the American people are worthy of such sacrifice, or if they would just waste it.

A few months ago, I jokingly wrote that I wasn't worried about Sharia law being implemented in America because I was pretty sure the new, fervently Catholic Hispanic majority wouldn't allow it. Whatever humor that quip once possessed has been extinguished by its increasing probability.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Good Day

Have you ever had one of those days that goes so well that you don't want it to end, but when it does come to an end, you're happy because that means nothing can happen to screw it up?

I like days like that.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back by Popular Demand, the Atomic Horns!

How about a little Elvis?


Posted by Rich
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And Now for Something Completely Different

Ladies and gentleman,we here at Shots Across the Bow are proud to welcome to this blog the one and only Atomic Horns Show Band, who will now get down and get funky for you.



Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bonnaroo Pictures

Here are a few shots I took during Bonnaroo. They are all work safe.
casa-hailey.jpg
My little corner of Bonnaroo


Notice the truck tent, which really saved space and made my camping significantly more comfortable. The tall tent just to the right of my truck was my shower tent, equipped with a battery operated pump and a propane water heater. Hot showers are a wonderful thing. If I'd wanted to, I probably could have paid for my whole trip by selling showers to other campers.

my-camp.jpg
The interior view


I built this setup over the last 4 years that my brother and I have been going to Bristol for the races. I've pretty much finished it,except for a good sound system. Due to space considerations,I left the movie projector and screen at home.

dusty.jpg
I could have been much worse off


These cars were clean just a day ago. The dust was everywhere. I saw lots of folks using bandannas to keep the dust from diluting the pot they were smoking.

tent-city.jpg
Music Festival or Refugee camp?

trapped.jpg
Packed in like a can of sardines


If you were on the inside of a row, you were going to be staying for the entire festival, whether you wanted to or not.

pipes.jpg
One of the many vendors selling...ummm...stuff


Quoting from the Bonnaroo Guide:
Illegal drugs are forbidden at the festival, and the festival safety/security staff will work with law enforcement officers to handle drug related violations in accordance with Tennessee Law.


delicious-irony.jpg
Native Americans selling overpriced beads to the white man. Can you get more ironic?


indianpropaganda.jpg
An object lesson in failure to achieve victory.


Yeah, ask them what happens when you fail to control immigration.

garbage-and-desolation.jpg
Centeroo field

green-camping.jpg
Green Camping Bonnaroo Style


Nothing green survives Bonnaroo. Well, except for the almighty dollar.

happypeople1.jpg

happypeople2.jpg

happypeople3.jpg

happypeople4.jpg

If everybody is having such a good time,why aren't they smiling?

good-time.jpg

I'm having so much fun I'm just going to lie here in the middle of the hot, dusty road!

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Ribbon fries


Obviously, Bonnaroo wasn't all bad. These ribbon fries were every bit as good as they looked.

Alexa-and-Me.jpg


And I got to meet Alexa Ray Joel and talk with her for a few minutes. For a young lady who has grown up in a spotlight with two famous parents, she is refreshingly candid, and just plain nice to be around.

She sings pretty well too!

railroad-earth.jpg
Railroad Earth

And if you could fight your way through all the obstacles, there was some mighty fine music to be had,including these guys,Railroad Earth, a newgrass jam band.

Posted by Rich
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The “Talk About Yourself” Meme.

I was semi randomly tagged by Barry, so here goes:

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes,my mother's father. His middle name was Drury. Mine isn't.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Chopping onions for a homemade philly cheesesteak pizza last night.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, it's sloppy and ugly. My handwriting's so bad, I should have been a doctor.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? bologna
DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 6. 7 if you count my ex-wife.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? No; I have a hard time dealing with people who think they know everything..

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Only when I'm awake

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yep. And it's a closely guarded secret that I have the tonsils of three other people in a jar on my desk.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Depends on my alternatives.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Captain Crunch sans the berries.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Workboots yes. Sneakers no. Loafers occasionally.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Legs yes. Heart yes. Will yes.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Praline Pecan

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If their smile is real or fake.

RED OR PINK? Red

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My lack of confidence in myself.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad.

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Shoes are gray. No pants at the moment. I'm blogging.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A few Fritos.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Elton John

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? taupe

FAVORITE SMELLS? Frying bacon, grilling steaks, the air right before a storm, the air right after a storm, new baby, wood smoke and fresh fallen snow.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My oldest daughter

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football, MMA, Boxing

HAIR COLOR[S]? Dark Brown

EYE COLOR? Blue

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes

FAVORITE FOOD? Too many to list, but here's a few: Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Blackened redfish with fettuccine alfredo. Grilled ribeye medium rare with a loaded baked potato. Lasagne. A fried bologna sandwich w/ chili. Grilled salmon w/lemon and saffron rice.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies with a happy ending. I don't like the movies where the good guys lose.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Ocean's 13

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Gray and Orange UT logo shirt

SUMMER OR WINTER? I want both. I like having 4 distinct seasons and I enjoy all of them.

HUGS OR KISSES? Both

FAVORITE DESSERT? My homemade pecan pie with semi-sweet chocolate chips and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardener. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Lost Girls by Alan Moore.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My mouse.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? A little bit of "Enterprise" I DVR'ed.

FAVORITE SOUND[S]? a gospel choir. A baby laughing. wind in the trees. thunder.

ROLLING STONES OR THE BEATLES? The Beatles.

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Hong Kong or Thailand

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Memphis, TN

WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Anybody who wants to play along.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hillary! Chooses her Song

You and I by Celine Dion.

It makes sense. Hillary wants to import Canada Care so she might as well import her campaign song as well. Of course, she is sending an awkward message that the best song to win her the American Presidency is Canadian.

Posted by Rich
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Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 5

Day 4 Sunday

I bailed.

When I got back from the Flaming Lips Saturday night/Sunday morning, one of my neighbors let me know that she and her husband had chased some folks out of my campsite. They had been using my grill to cook up something that wasn't food. I was pretty sure after that that I was done, and when the kids across the street started playing an extended disco dance mix of Pink Floyd's Have a Cigar at 5:30AM I was completely sure. I was on the road by 7:30AM, which actually worked out kind of nice since there was absolutely no traffic. As I drove back towards Kodak, I thought about why I decided to leave early. There were a lot of reasons, but they boiled down to two big ones.

First, and most importantly, I wasn't in the right place to begin with. Everywhere I looked, I didn't see people enjoying themselves; I saw miserable people trying to substitute frantic activity for true pleasure. I looked through the pictures I'd been taking and I realized that almost no-one was smiling. I was surrounded by people who felt that the epitome of a good time was to drink or dope themselves to the point of insensibility then stumble around in a near coma until they fell unconscious in the middle of a street or field, wherever they happened to be. And if they weren't fogging their brains into oblivion, they were busy spouting the most insane political propaganda imaginable. I had a guy tell me that Bonnaroo was a racist event because they didn't invite black groups to play, which was ironic because we were listening to Ziggy Marley at the time.

It wasn't just the people; it was the music. When I was kid, music was about optimism; it's goal was to make you feel good. That's no longer the case. Today, a lot of music is about anger and frustration, and Bonnaroo reflects that. Sitting in my campsite, all I could here in some cases were the drumbeats and the bass lines,and you could literally feel the menace and the anger they conveyed. And the mood was contagious.

There's enough anger in the world without amplifying it.

The second factor was the organization of the festival itself, or rather, the lack of organization. It seemed like the purpose of the sponsors was to interfere with any chance of people actually enjoying themselves. It was strange to read in the guide that Bonnaroo was against drug use, yet see vendors lining the streets selling pipes, bongs, and other accessories while the police looked on blandly. The hypocrisy rankled, particularly when they were so concerned over whether my camera was "professional" or not.

In short, the good music and enjoyable portions of the festival were far outweighed by the aggravations that went with it. I got up Sunday morning and decided I'd rather spend Father's Day at home with my family.

So I left.

As I look back, I'm glad I went, and there were parts of it I really enjoyed, but I will never do it again. I will find other music festivals to attend, though, because I still like the idea of enjoying a weekend of really good music with a lot of other people; maybe I can find a festival with Meatloaf, Styx, Sister Hazel, and Simon and Garfunkel.

I'll buy tickets for that show tomorrow.

Posted by Rich
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Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 4

Day 3 Saturday

Day three started out hot, dry, and bright,just like the days before it. After the long delay at the gate the night before, I decided to avoid the main gate for the remainder of the weekend. I had to walk a little bit further to get to the side gate, but there was almost no line, and the security checks were much less strenuous. I was actually allowed to bring my camera on site for the first time all weekend. I went directly to The Other Tent, where Railroad Earth was playing and met up with my brother and his friends. We compared notes about the festival, and who we'd seen and heard. They were planning to stay there for the Hot Tuna, show, and I wanted to sample some other groups,so I moved down the road towards the Sonic stage, where I got to talk with Alexa Ray Joel again and get her autograph. I'd missed most of Railroad Earth's set at The Other Tent, so I was happy to see that they would be playing at the Sonic Stage in just a few minutes, so I stayed there,and happened upon another happy accident.

Jonah Smith,a singer songwriter I'd never heard of before was playing a set and I really enjoyed his music. His voice reminds me a bit of Ken Block of Sister Hazel, but that may just be me. In any case, I really enjoyed his set, and I've downloaded his album.

By the way, just about every artist I've mentioned has songs available on Zune Marketplace.

After Jonah, I listened to the full Railroad Earth show, and then wandered the venue checking out other acts, and doing some people watching. The crowds were the heaviest I'd seen at the festival and I decided since the Police were playing that night, I'd leave the crowds behind for a while and go out to my camp and get a little peace and quiet before the madness of 80,000 people trying to get to the same place at the same time. Yeah, I missed a couple of groups I wanted to hear this way, but I was fuly charged up and ready for the Police, followed by the Flaming Lips.

Unfortunately, as my live blog of the Police set covered, they didn't play for the full two and a half hours they were scheduled for, coming up about 45 minutes short. I guess the greatest rock band of the 80's didn't think they had enough good music to fill the full set. To be honest, Sting just doesn't seem to remember how to rock any more. He didn't really cut loose until the final song, and songs that should have rocked just kinda floated instead.

The Flaming Lips, on the other hand, put on one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. Even though I was a couple of hundred yards away from the stage, I could still see what was going on.

Their light rig was built to move, and to look like a flying saucer, although you couldn't see that at first. The show started with the stage filling with red light and fog, while spacey organs played a droning chord. As the fog built, the lights came down from above the stage, showing the flying saucer, and on top of the saucer was the Lips' front man, Wayne Coyne, trapped in a large transparent bubble. The saucer moves down to the stage, where Coyne walks the bubble down the ramp and is released after a titanic struggle. The saucer then tilts up to reveal a monster light show underneath, and the show began in earnest.

I'm not going to describe the rest of it because you really should see it yourself, but even though it wasn't my favorite music, it was the best show of the festival.

Day 3 Tips

  • Saturday, the venue is packed. Be prepared for large crowds and nowhere to sit. Hot, tired, and cranky Rooers will be sitting everywhere they can find the least bit of shade.
  • Eating on site can be challenging since there are, as I just mentioned, not many places to sit. A few dozen picnic benches would go a long way towards improving conditions in Centeroo.
  • Flexibility is the watchword for the day. The large crowds make it certain you will miss something you wanted to see.
  • To avoid waiting in long lines to get into the venue, here are two helpful hints.
    • First, avoid the main entrance like the plague.
    • Second, and this will seem counterintuitive, don't go early. Get to the gate with just enough time to make your show. The reason is simple; everybody else will be doing the same thing and a huge crowd will develop. Health and safety concerns will force security to speed up the inspection process, resulting in a line that moves about as fast as you can walk.

  • Be prepared for the weather to change. Temperatures Saturday night dipped into the high 50's or low 60's which is very chilly unless you have a decent sleeping bag. Or a decent sleeping partner.
  • When going to a show at one of the main stages, you have two options.
    • You can get there several hours early and fight your way through the crowds to get somewhat close to the stage, then stand up for 5 hours straight. Or you can get there 10-15 minutes before the show, set up a beach chair and sit back under the stars and listen to the band play live.

  • The night and evening shows are much more pleasant than the day shows. They are also more popular. Plan accordingly.


Posted by Rich
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MIchael Moore Outraged Over Movie Piracy

Michael Moore has promised a full investigation into determining who released a master copy of his film sicko and then uploaded to YouTube.

In a related story, he's playing golf with OJ tomorrow.

Posted by Rich
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