Saturday, December 24, 2016

The acorn doesn't fall very far from the Christmas tree

I have a pretty sick sense of humor, though I do try to contain it here on the blog.  It's no surprise, then, that Scott's humor can turn rather odd.  Tonight, he showed me two gifts he had wrapped for me.

In the first, he was simply being silly.

Click an image to see a larger version.

No, for those wondering, "Scooter" is not a nickname of his; he was just having fun here.

On the second gift, he started out being too lazy to repeat the full first tag, and then the family sense of humor surfaced.

I laughed so hard when I saw this that I almost pulled a rib.

That's my boy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Leonard Cohen, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, "Democracy," and these dark days

You can read a bit about its creation on Neil Gaiman's blog here and a different take on it at PEN America's site here.  You can watch it there, also, or you can check it out below.

When you're done, consider making a donation back on the PEN America page.

I know Neil Gaiman doesn't need my help in promoting anything, but I believe that these are dark days indeed, and this video shines as a bit of hopeful light in it.

Well done, Gaiman, Palmer, Cohen, and all who helped.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I'm embarrassed to live in North Carolina

I've lived in North Carolina since 1978, and from the first time I saw the area to the present, I've loved the state.  From the mountains to the Piedmont to the beach, it's a large place full of beauty.

I am now, though, actively embarrassed at living here.

Our state government has become reprehensible, a Republican-led gang of elected thugs who have gerrymandered their way into increased power and then hurt citizens all over the state.  The most recent news stories--the last-minute sessions to emasculate our Governor-elect and the failure to repeal the awful HB2--have only served to underscore how bad our government has become.

I can hope only that enough of my fellow North Carolinians become equally disgusted by the actions of our state government that they start voting out the jerks currently in power.

Sadly, I don't expect that to happen, but it's the only hope on offer right now.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dr. Holden will see you now

Holden rarely holds office hours, but when he does, oh, the lines that await him.

After all, if you had a problem, wouldn't you want the advice of this hound?

Click the image to see a larger version.

Calm, attentive, caring, and ready to hear whatever you have to say, he is the very model of a modern therapist dog.

He also excels at keeping secrets.  In all my years with H, I've never heard him reveal anything I've told in private.

You can't buy that level of endorsement.  You have to earn it.

Thanks to Rana for the photo.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What every well-dressed moviegoer is wearing this season

Oh, I am indeed a faithful follower of fashion.

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Nothing says high fashion like sparkly ears and a three-year-old windbreaker.

Several folks who've seen this photo have debated whether this is my normal (a k a "I will kill you") or my mildly annoyed (a k a "I will kill you slowly"s) smile.  I think it correctly shows that I'm about as happy as a man with glittery ears can be.

Monday, December 19, 2016

How I came to own a $500 ukulele

I certainly didn't plan to do it.  I mean, who would?  No, several factors converged to lead me to this fateful purchase.

I'd been thinking for a while about making a donation to a charity as Christmas approaches.  I wanted to give more.

On the way to the Delta Rae concert, Kyle was opining that the most efficient way to help a food bank was to give it money to buy food.

Near the end of their show, the Delta Rae folks encouraged us to hit the merch table and noted that on that very table was a ukulele they had used in the show--one they had both used and signed.  All the money from whomever bought the instrument would go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

I've long wanted to teach myself how to play a ukulele, though that desire had never reached a tipping point--until that night.

So, there I am, at the merch table, picking up a Christmas ornament, and suddenly I find that I'm telling the folks there that I'll buy that uke if I can do so quickly and leave, because the crowds were getting to me.

The merch team makes it happen.

People notice and applaud.  I try to hide and fail, so I just leave as quickly as I can, feeling a bit embarrassed.  I had imagined I could sneak out with no one noticing.

It didn't help, of course, that I was carrying a Delta Rae ukulele case.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Inside, sure enough, is one signed uke.

And that's how I came to own a $500 ukulele.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Delta Rae and Penny & Sparrow put on an amazing show

Earlier tonight, I had the great pleasure of attending a wonderful concert at the Lincoln Theatre.  I was already a huge fan of Delta Rae, but I'd never heard of Penny & Sparrow.  I can now honestly say that if you get a chance to see either group, take it; you will be very happy you did.

Penny & Sparrow, the opener, is two guys from Austin, Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke.  Baxter sings, and Jahnke plays the guitar.  Their songs are frequently sad but always beautiful.  Both, but particularly Baxter, deliver absolutely hilarious deadpan bits between songs.  I intend to give both of their CDs a close listening.

If you read this blog, you've already heard me gush about Delta Rae.  Tonight's performance was an acoustic show that featured a mix of their classic songs, some holiday tunes, and a few tracks from their upcoming third album.

Click an image to see a larger version.

As this shot, courtesy of Gina, suggests, the six members of the band all contributed to almost every song, though the female singers dominated the lead vocals.

Tonight, Brittany Holljes did most of the between-song speaking, and she also sang lead on quite a few of the songs.  Gina caught her in one of the more intriguing poses, her hair blowing around courtesy of a discreetly placed fan.

From what I heard of the new album, I want it already.  I knew I'd love their classics, and I did, my eyes tearing up during "Dance In the Graveyards" as I once again thought of my mother.

If you don't know Delta Rae's music, do yourself a favor and pick up their CDs or buy them on iTunes or wherever, catch them live, and have a great time.


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