Friday, October 28, 2005

Temporary Leave of Absence

I am taking a few days off from the blogisphere, not that I have been writing much anyway. I have been slammed at my painting business, times are good there. I am moving tomorrow to blog central, the Historic Aycock District. We are moving a bit earlier then I expected, due to a slum lord at our current location. More to come on this later. Once I'm out, I'll drop the dime. Protecting my family and all. Please, take notes until my computer is back up and fill me in when I return. I will be in hell without all of you. Hopefully, Time Warner will have their act together and have me back up soon.

One note on today's news, Libby's indictment was expected. I expect to see more in the near future. I just wanted to wish Mathew a Merry Fitzmas. I think this will be an extended holiday. To bad Hallmark doesn't make cards for this occasion.

See you soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NC Congressmen Introduce Iraq Withdrawal To House Floor

Just received breaking news from the Guilford Democratic Party:

NC House Rep David Price(NC-4) and Rep Brad Miller(NC-13) have introduced this(pdf file)legislation for a detailed withdrawal of the US led Iraqi occupation.

Excerpts from Rep Brad Miller:

"Mr. Speaker, millions of Americans feel increasing frustration with the contrived reasons given for invading Iraq, with the lack of any realistic plan for the aftermath of our invasion, and with the Administration's failure to state clearly what has to happen for our military to come home. And I feel the same frustration. This Administration has said simply that we should 'stay the course,' but has failed to declare our port of destination. It is hard to believe that there is a course, that we are not simply drifting rudderless."

"Iraqis suspicions about our intentions undermine the legitimacy of the Iraqi government, and fuel the insurgency that continues unabated."

"And Mr. Speaker, there is no better way to persuade the Iraqi people that we really intend to withdraw than to begin withdrawing. The Price-Miller resolution calls for a partial withdrawal as soon as possible."

Excerpts from Rep David Price:

“While we should never have started this war…and although no ideal option for ending it is available to us now, the October 15 referendum vote offers the best opportunity we are likely to have to begin the process of withdrawal credibly and hopefully – to turn the responsibility for Iraq’s future over to the Iraqis themselves and to repair the diplomacy and foreign policy from which the invasion of Iraq has been such a tragic departure for our country.”

Way to go Rep Miller and Rep Price. You are making this North Carolinian proud to have you represent us.

Rep Brad Miller has his district cover Greensboro, Raleigh and Reidsville. For a detailed map click here. Rep David Price has his district cover all of Orange and Durham counties, part of Wake county, and a small section of Chatham county.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bush Is Seeing Dead People and...

Our president said two days ago that all of the scandals surrounding his administration are "background noise". Full story here. I guess if you are the spin machine that his administration is you could consider all of these background noise:

1)Lies to go to war, cover-up of lies, outing a CIA operative to help cover-up, over 2000 US boys and girls dead from lies. For incredible coverage from a local Greensboro blogger check out Mathew Gross.

2)Cronyism puts friends in offices of power, cronies underqualified, response to natural disaster botched by cronies, 1000+ dead and 1000000+ more displaced by lack of response. (Just a note: We sent aid to India and Pakistan after the earthquake in less time then we did to New Orleans. Just saying!)

3)Ex-House majority leader Tom Delay booked in Houston on charges of money laundering and conspiracy.

4)Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist under investigation for insider trading for HCA stock trades.

Trouble is an understatement. Background noise, hardly. Clinton went through impeachment hearings for wrongdoing's that didn't cost innocent people their lives. Bush and his cronies should all stand trial for their crimes against the American people. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. I fear we are the Titanic and this iceberg will sink us.

Update on Dimebag Darrell

The AP has a piece here on the gruesome murder of Damageplan/Pantera guitar player "Dimebag" Darrell. The only regret that I have about this whole situation is that his murderer didn't have to face a jury of his peers. Although the bullets that killed Nathan Gale, from officer Niggemeyer maybe have been the judge, jury and conviction. We still miss you Dimebag. I will never forget the wonderful music you brought to my life and the inspiration you brought to me to play music with an undying heart and undying drive to succeed.

For those that don't know what it is like to be in a band, I equate it to being in a marriage with multiple people. Dimebag's brother Vinnie Paul played drums for both Damageplan and Pantera. I can't even imagine what Vinnie is going through. I know for my experiences that when you play with a bunch of cats for a while, it is a brotherhood. I know I would take a bullet for any of those guys. I just can't imagine what it would be like for one of them to take a bullet for me, let alone a brother. RIP Dimebag. You were truly a shining light on the music world and the world in general.

I originally did a piece on Dimebag here in December of '04.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My Converge Experience

I would say that this past weekend's Converge South conference was a success. I only got to sit in on one session out of the whole conference, but everyone I talked to and everyone I have read over the past day or so have made me believe I missed one hell of an event. We even made the national news. (Updated cache link. Thanks Ben.)

What I did do all weekend was concentrate on the music portion of the conference. Here is my weekend experience:

Friday morning- Meet up with Ben and get going loading in the PA set-ups with our sound company Audio and Light. We started with Lyndon St Artworks. A little mixup at our next venue caused us to wait and eventually break for lunch at the conference. We proceeded to load in Solaris and the Flatiron next. I took Ben to his car and went to our last location Chumley's Pour House to load in the last venue. I then rushed home to get ready for the Aycock BBQ at Hoggard's. We are now at 6:30 and I am exhausted.

Friday Evening- At the BBQ, I finally got a chance to meet Jay Rosen, talk to a bunch of people who I had missed all day and have the Matt Gross banana pudding that I had been reading about for the last couple of weeks. My folks showed up to converge with the convergers, getting a chance to meet the folks they helped with travel for the conference. I got a chance to thank Tom Lassiter for the fine piece of film he shot for Converge. Best advice of the BBQ, Jay Rosen telling me to "Keep writing." Thanks Jay, I will.

Off to run the music. First stop, the Flatiron to watch Tracy Thornton play the hell out of his steel drums. Next stop, Chumleys to catch part of Tommy Gun's set. Then, Lyndon Street to catch Heavy Contact laying down the beats. Last stop of the evening Solaris to catch my old band The Five L's. I laid down my sticks as a drummer two years ago. I haven't played since. I got the chance to go old school with my old bandmates for a song. It felt great. I hurt a lot when it was done, but well worth it.

It is now 1am and I am off to Lyndon Street to start the first of three club PA load outs. I got a hand from Patrick Bowen, an A&T J student that happens to work with my wife. My wife covered his shifts at work this weekend so he could attend Converge. Patrick most likely gave you your name tags when you arrived. We loaded out Lyndon Street, Chumley's and the Flat all in a row. 3am, headed home for sleep, but not much.

Saturday morning- 2 hours of sleep, got up and showered and off to the airport to pick up our conference headliner, Alana Davis. 8:15 am, got Alana and her tour manager Brian Jobson, we go to the hotel and they can't check in until noon. So we headed for breakfast at the Smith Street Diner. What great food. We still had a bit of time to kill so we decided to come to the conference. I posed for a bunch of photos with Alana for my fellow bloggers, introduced Alana to a few folks and up to the computer lab. Alana wanted to see for herself what all the hype was about. She told me in conversation that she does read the blogs in Los Angeles. I think she saw the passion that the Greensboro blog community has for it's work. More on that later. I got Alana and Brian to their hotel and headed back to the conference. I got to catch my only session, Roch Smith Jr.'s session on Alt media. I had so much to say, but moving my lips and using my brain felt like an impossible task at this point. After debating another session, I decided to go home and do some napcasting. Another two hours of rest.

After my short nap, off to Solaris to prepare the club for Alana's arrival. Then, off to the hotel to pick up Alana and back to the club for sound check. Alana went on at 10:30, and she kick much ass. Alana is living proof that money buys a Grammy, not talent. Quote of the conference for me, Alana says on stage,"Blogging to me is the real free media. I have a lot of bitchin' to do, so I guess I'm going to have to start a blog." She also talked about the passion of the bloggers here at the conference. After she was done with her set, and she played longer then she was supposed to, Alana signed albums, posters and t-shirts for her loyal fans and new fans from the conference. Then some tapas food from Solaris for Alana and it is time to start winding down. Patrick came back to help again with the last PA at Solaris and we wrapped up at about 2am. Went home for about 2 hours and then departed to pick up Alana at the hotel. Airport bound. Got her to her 6am flight and then headed home. Sleep coma.

I only have a few regrets from this years conference, I couldn't see all the sessions, I couldn't see all the bands, and I could meet each and everyone of you. I am only one person. I guess I can be pro cloning now. Can't wait for next year's bigger and better Converge South.

I would like to thank Rick Farmer, Ben Hwang, Barry Stoneking and Audio and Light, the clubs, Tyler at Source Energy Drinks, Sam Funchess at and most of all the artists that donated their time for our conference and our dream to make this city a much larger and more entertaining city in the future. Without the musicians, there would not have been my portion of the conference.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

If God Talked To Anyone Else

If God talked to anyone else in this country, and we bragged about it, what do you think would happen? Loony bin? Funny farm? Read this article and see why we need to psychologically check our leadership in this country. To me this alarming, I don't know about you. If it were up to me, I'd prepare a presidential straight jacket and haul this guy off to a white padded ranch in Texas.
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