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Friday, February 6, 2015

Winter pursuits.

Pass the all-spice. Now the dried currents. Okay, now shake this up. Shake harder! HARDER! That's good. Okay ... now we need five coconuts, cracked like hen's eggs. Hurry, hurry!

Check out our podcast, This Is Big Green.Jebus Christmas. It's so hard to get good ingredients this time of year. How the hell am I supposed to make Madagascarian ratatouille without five coconuts cracked like hen's eggs? What the hell are we supposed to eat between now and St. Swithun's day? Coal dust? Hammer handles? (Actually, they're pretty close to corn on the cob if you close your eyes ... and your mouth.) It's a bit of an issue.

Aside from working on the next episode of THIS IS BIG GREEN, our podcast, and the various songs contained therein, we do try to keep busy here inside the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill as the snow falls in sheets, covering the rolling farmland of upstate New York like a bedspread. It seems to slow everything down to a crawl this time of year. And yes, that is a lame attempt to blame the lateness of our first-of-2015 podcast episode on the weather or some other factor beyond our control. Let's be honest: we're freaking useless. But loveable, I like to think.

Yeah, that's the stuff.Tonight Matt and I will return to tracking the new songs we've been working on these long, frigid winter weeks. Mostly working on vocals now, though that effort often descends into strange hooting sounds and choruses of background harmonies that incorporate the words "banana boat" in some fashion. I had the temerity to attempt a guitar part the other day ... an ELECTRIC guitar part ... but thought better of it. Mostly confining myself to keys lately. House keys ... and car keys. Now where did I leave that kazoo ... ?

Apologies if I seem scattered this week. So much to do, so little time. Then there's the ratatouille and the recently discovered planet NASA's been talking about. We're considering sending Marvin (my personal robot assistant) up on a scouting missions to see if the new world contains any potential listeners. Could be why he's been making himself scarce these last few days. COWARD!

Week that wasn't.

Just a few short takes on a variety of subjects. A lot to focus on, so I'll try not to focus too much on anything.

Burning people alive, American styleISIS Killing. The so-called "Islamic State" burned a Jordanian captive alive this week. In retaliation, the Jordanian King executed some prisoners. Meanwhile, we dropped some bombs on some nameless people, some of which, quite possibly, were burned alive (though not in front of a camera). Your pick as to who is the biggest asshole here. On points of style, it's a toss up. On volume, we win hands down.

Ukraine. The reporting on this crisis has been abysmal, though not surprising. Mainstream media, including left-leaning outlets like MSNBC, have been toeing the administration line by and large. When we hear from them about casualties on the Kiev side, it's in graphic detail. Deaths on the separatist side are somehow authorless, with the persistent question of whether they might be the result of bad aim by the separatists. This is a tremendously dangerous conflict, resulting from nearly three decades of bad policy on the part of the U.S. and Europe. Instead of making promises in Kiev, Kerry should be in Moscow talking to the Russians about how to dial this mess back before it gets any hotter.

Vaccinations. Some substantial smoke-blowing over the question of whether or not parents should have the right to refuse vaccinations for their children. Governor Christie and Senator Paul both weighed in, then weighed out ... somewhat ... when they heard the reaction. Meanwhile, 100 kids in California have come down with measles, another smaller group in Illinois. These kids are, in part, victims of misinformation about the science behind (a) MMR vaccines and (b) the nature of disorders like autism. Misinformation fuels skepticism, particularly in an age when childhood diseases like measles and mumps have been brought under control and no one remembers the bad old days when 500 kids would die each year from measles.

I don't have kids, so I can't give advice. I just know that science and public health are on the side of vaccinating your kids. Seems like the right choice, folks.

Nuff said.

luv u,

jp