Friday, April 30, 2004

Gud Reads

I was in Columbia again today, for the State Music Contest. Alas, the State Contest has grown to such an extent from the days of my youth, (Somewhere toward the end of the Enlightenment... ;->) it has become more of a test of endurance than anything else...

Musicianship is evident, but any Art is not nearly as prevalent as one would wish.

I did not have an occasion to revisit Lakota Coffee Co., but did visit a perennial favorite University Bookstore.

Couldn't logon to the ubiquitous iMac guest account, but went into the Computer Spectrum and logged on to e-mail with a Dell Laptop. They had a wide-screen Dell that was very 17" PowerBook-like...

The Sci-Fi section here has always been a good source and I noticed a couple of interesting items:

Michael Flynn's In The Country Of The Blind seems too be back in print. The 1992 Prometheus Winner, it is highly recommended. In addition, if you are a believer in Space Development and have not read the FireStar Series, you don't know what you are missing. If you don't believe in Space Development, you should read these books and catch the bug... ;-)

Also noticed Allen Steele's Coyote Rising in paperback. Have not checked in on Allen lately, but read through his near-future series and enjoyed one and all. Once again, Space Development stories abound.

'Nite All

Thursday, April 29, 2004

But, what about?

Just a quick note, Festival of Strings was tonight, State Music Contest trip early tomorrow.
Busy few weeks at the school year-end!

Jeff Duntemann pointed me to Micheal Covington's blog and I find it worth a read.

I noticed this a few weeks back and not to be too critical, thought it a bit strange.

(Sorry for the inexact ref., page up to the 21st of April.)

It was not the fact that so many protestants admired the Pope. Read the definition of "evangelical". Anybody else notice anything missing? Like EVANGELISM?

I think the evangelistic aspect of many Chtistian denominations is one of the things that put people off. I know, I know, Great Commision and all that...

Just found it a bit odd that it was left out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

News Bits and the Useless Factoid of the Week

Made a late night trip to the grocery for some school snacks. Checking out I noticed the latest People magazine features Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. (Anybody remember them?) The girls make the shocking statement that they are 'Getting older'.

Just imagine the headlines if they weren't...

And will this be next weeks headline?

20/20 Special Jumps the Shark just before Barbra Walters Jumps Ship!

Note to BABA WAWA: News SHOULD already BE reality TV...

Finally, this week's Useless Factoid of the Week came to my attention when an Outlook alarm popped up on my screen Monday morning. Whoa, I thought, what is with that huge number. I checked the details and discovered a slight problem with the date.
BUT, because of this we now are reminded, this week is exactly 130270 weeks from January 1st, 1601.

Apparently Outlook thought I was supposed to call my accountant sometime during the Reformation... ;-)

BTW, obviously I snagged a real PC for this posting...


The T20 refvsed to reboot this afternoon. Can't say I didn't wasn them. I am posting this with the TH55! Already used NetFront to read my email... Not exactly what I would like to do on a regukr basis, but this...

PDA=Pretty Damn Awsome!

Coming soon to a phone near you: Spam VoiceMail

Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Breaking news...
Yes, folks, it's not just for your inbox anymore.

OK, Stop me if you've hear this one:

I just received voice mail from the CEO of XXXXXX a prominent high-end query and reporting tools company, concerning their upcoming conference in Florida.

(I won't mention them by name, they don't deserve ANY PR, even what little attention they might garner from here...)

Now, keep in mind I did attend one training seminar for one of their products. It was really more of a single-day Introduction and Advanced Demo, with no hands-on. And that occurred years ago, for a project that barely came to fruition and has since been dropped due to lack of interest.

I have received the usual periodic e-mails and junk mail. But this.

Is this a by-product of flat-rate LD becoming available to the business community?
Should it? Have I 'opted-in' by never refusing e-mail and mailings?
Does this fall under the new no-call list legislation?

BTW, as with all things, my preference is NEVER the legislative path. SWBC offers me a service that rejects calls without proper Caller-ID information. Occasional stripping of codes during LD calls has required extra effort on my part when calling home while on the road, but this is a small price to pay for the HUGE drop in sales calls.

I must confess, I kind of miss the dinner-time intrusions. I love playing with them, getting them off script. Or, even better, the time-zone-difference, so-what-time-is-it-here-where-I-am, now-what-do-you-think-I-am-doing-right-now trick. ;-)

Hint: Want to foil the auto-dialers without paying a fee to Ma Bell?

Ever since the girls were babies, Cathy and I planned on emulating proper phone ettiquette. We have always answered our phone with the phrase "Barr residence" rather than the ubiquitous Hello.
A vast of majority of times, if a voice does not respond right away, you will hear a series of clicks and then a dial tone. The auto-dialers are programmed to expect a certain set of 'typical' answers to the call. If it doesn't interpret your verbiage as within it's acceptable parameters, it doesn't think it is a valid answer and goes on! Try it.

Now that businesses will have to deal with VoiceMail boxes filling with spam, we may see technological filtering for such problems. I have wondered why Caller-ID filtering hasn't appeared for the consumer market.

As with all things, the market-driven solution can keep pace with changing conditions faster than any governmental threat of force.

And it gives you, the consumer the control.

GASP! ;-)

Who Am I? - Episode 1 - My proposed bio...

sub-title Musician, Singer, Actor... Columnist?!?!?!

Recieved a call this morning from my lovely bride confirming that my comments on the final Lee's Summit Symphony conert of the season were published in the Journal.

Now, no need to get your shorts in a bunch worrying about the end of the world or life as we know it, it is just a letter to the editor...
(My second in fact. Everyone in LS enjoyed a lovely fireworks display last July 4th. This, I am certain was the direct response by cowed city leadership to my biting commentary on the deplorable absence of such festivities on previous occurances of our Nation's birth. I rest my case... ;->)

I have been considering what my bio should look like if anyone showed the dubious bad taste to actually publish me on any regular basis...

I submit to you:

Bruce Barr is a 23 year roster artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In addition, Mr. Barr has appeared in various opera, musical comedy, drama and concert productions regionally. Like many of his fellow graduates from music school, Mr. Barr has pursued a vocation in the IT industry. However his musical avocation has provided him with a well-recognized career as secondary tenor and henchman to the evil Baritone that has earned him many loyal fans. This position has also afforded Mr. Barr with ample time to hear and critique the performances of all his fellow thespians that actually get to sing the really good tunes. Though classically trained, Mr. Barr’s musical tastes run a wide gamut, to the point that he may very well be the only graduate of the Conservatory of Music that actually appreciates the Highland bagpipe. He even counts as personal friends several professional accordion players.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

And Now for Something Completely Different - A TECHNOLOGY POST!

One the way into Westport, Mr. Gadgets stopped by the Radio Shack store to check their stock on one particular clearance item. While there I took a look around for, well, gadgets! ;-)

The place was in dis-array. Some sort of Tandy swat-team had descended on the place and was re-arranging every display in the joint.

I guess I would have missed these items one more time if it had not been for their unusual placement.

As luck would have it though, I got a look at some unique USB hubs I have not seen anywhere else.

The 4-Port USB 1.1 Micro Hub with Carry Pouch is certainly compact, but suffers from the same complaint I have with all my other USB hubs. The ports are spaced to close. Don't hub designers use USB Drives?!?

The 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub does better at addressing this.

Even better? The Illuminations™ Mini 4-Port USB 1.1 Hub which spaces the ports out at 90 degree angles. Plus, it has that whole moded case look with the lights. If it just came in a 2.0 version, I would have carried one home.


But it's nice to see the old 'shack can still surprise me...

Of Westport, History and the Journey Uptown

or Change is good?

My time in college was spent in and around the Plaza and Westport.
As I have mentioned, the Conservatory of Music was spread across various parts of central KC. Epperson house, on the main campus was mostly the center of the instrumentalists. (Epperson is a mansion, in every sense of the term. Mr. Epperson had a little contest with Mr. Nelson as to who could build the most impressive place. The winner got to build the new art museum. The Nelson-Atkins Museum is the result, standing on the site of the rival house.) The Dance Studio was South on Troost at about 60th or so. But most of my time was spent at 44th and Warwick. Grant Hall, RS (the former Stover mansion) with the percussion department in the old carriage house.

Three blocks South and one West was the Plaza. Back then their were more apartments surrounding the shopping area and the Western area did have grocery and drug stores, along with a Sears. Still the Plaza was, and still remains 'upscale' shopping. By definition, not the place to go on a student's income.

No, that was Westport.

Kansas City has become what it is because of railroads. (The subject of future posts, I'm sure.) But in the beginning, before the bridge was built and the iron-horse started it's trek across the plains, changing the West forever, there was Westport.

Up the mighty MO they would travel, aboard the steam-boats. And disembark in Independence or slightly further upstream at Westport Landing. Then travel slightly South to purchase a wagon and supplies for the trip West along the three trails. On to Santa-Fe, California and Oregon.

Fast-forward 100 years or so, and some of that time still remains. Kelly's Bar, at the corner of Westport Rd. and Pennsylvania is the oldest commercial building in KC. The plaques throughout the local streets still commemorate the Civil War battle that bears the area's name. And a little further East more 19th century buildings that survived the carnage are still standing.

In the 1970's Kelly's was surrounded by an eclectic blend of bars, restaurants and shops. Just caty-corner to Kelly's was the Earth Shoe store.

Back when Corner Cafe at Westport and Broadway still served dinner, I would always stop at least once during Opera rehearsals. But, alas, that treat ended a few years back. I assume their excellent meat-loaf and black bean burrito are still on the menu. And they have always had the best B & G in town.

Today, I had the occasion to venture into Westport, in search of Seussical the Musical. (Coming next year to LSN PAC.) Back in the day, Classical Westport also carried cast albums. Wandered about, but apparently it did not remain behind when The Classic Cup, a Westport staple of old, made the move to the Plaza.

Funny thing, seems I'm not the only one who had changed. Much, I already knew. The old bread plant is now converted to retail and theatrical space. The 'Largest' Art House in town made the transition to bigger digs a few years back. Even if they still had the late Saturday night showings of Rocky Horror it just would not be the same.

I did not have to try SteetSide Records for the CD, as I received word by cell that Cathy had found it at Barnes and Noble. (I suppose my assumption that StreetSide would still have a wide selection would be as erroneous as the one the Classical Westport would still exist.)

This just ain't the same. Man, change is a bitch.

Did a bit of wardriving. Westport Coffee House, as promised, had a AP, but I was unable to connect from curbside and didn't have time to stop in for a cup. The drive around the block revealed another seven signals. Another 'target rich' environment.

I will definitely be back in the near future, as I stumbled onto the new Half Price Books location @ Westport
& Southwest Trafficway. Will have to get out for a browse and a cup 'O joe at the WCH.

I started a new log in Netstumbler as I drove back to the office.
One hit at the McDonald's, where I stopped for some bunless double-cheeseburgers.

Passed by the Uptown Theater (Once the home of the Lyric Opera.) and what used to be known as the Twilight-Zone Safeway. (Now it's an Apple Market.) Further up Broadway is the Kansas City Life building. I remember laughing my head off watching a butcher from the Safeway chase a shoplifter all across that lawn, as the idiot dumped off cuts of meat left and right, trying to get the meat-cutter to give up pursuit and retrieve his goods. (There's a REASON we called it the Twilight Zone Safeway...)

Passed the St. Paul's cathedral, site of the biggest production of my wedding singer career.

Not another signal until I split off onto I-35. Probably one of the 'lofty' local inhabitants. Have to try war-driving the new loft district, although bunless Town Topics are hardly worth the effort.

Is all this improvement? Ehhhh, mostly, I guess. There are plenty of outlets to purchase classical and broadway, and in the 'burbs. There are plenty of people who live in the city, but in the name of progress it is beginning to look more and more like the suburbs they disdain...

All in all, like the wise man said:

You can't go home again

Monday, April 26, 2004

The Meaning of Life

"The body of Pat Tillman former professional football player and Army Ranger arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware today."

So reads the opening line of hundreds of stories running in newspapers across America this morning.

Thousands of words have and will be written about this young man. Hours of television and radio will be devoted to telling his story.

I, like many, first heard of Pat Tillman when he and his brother, Kevin both joined the Army and pursued a new path in Special Forces. As you probably already know, Kevin was a promising minor-league baseball player.

I heard of Tillman's untimely death during a news break last week. My habitual talk-show programming turned it's attention on this new revelation. Many times, over the succeeding days I have heard him lauded. Some were troubled that Tillman was being held up as special. That somehow his sacrifice of a lucrative career and the limelight of professional sports made his death more significant.

And the amount of press his death has engendered would certainly bear this feeling out. Tillman himself, by all accounts would agree that his death was no different than hundreds of young men and women in the armed forces. His reluctance in life to grant interviews after enlistment, of wanting to be a viewed as 'nothing more' than a member of his unit was his only wish.

Still, the NFL commissioner made special note of Tillman's passing before last weekends draft sessions.

And who could blame the press for running such a 'story.'

Pat Tillman was the embodiment of the dreams of thousands in America. Fortune, Fame, everything that marks success by society's standards.

And in a world with 14 year old professional soccer players, a world where High School basketball stars revitalize the NBA by moving directly to their home-town team, where the very draft that honored Tillman was the subject of a court case that challenged the NFL rule barring players only two years out of high-school from inclusion in the lottery of stardom, what boy would not dream such dreams?

And yet, Tillman turned his back on the recognition, the adulation, the riches.

For something more important.

Duty, Honor, Country.

Like all good fiction Neal Stephenson's novel QuickSilver has caused me to ponder many things.
One of his characters seemed like she could have been speaking of Tillman as I read this morning:
"He has decided to gamble his life on it. Not in the sense of living or dying, but in the sense of making something of his life, or not."

And there lies the lesson...

The difference between Tillman's choice and our own, is his DID involve living or dying.
But he knew what that choice was, and knew he had to make it.

I think most observers have it backward.
What makes Pat Tillman special is not that he was a Football star who gave up everything to be a soldier.

Pat Tillman is special because he was a soldier who gave up everything.

You see, Patrick Tillman understood he was at the crossroads.

And Football is only a game.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Synchronicity, Music History and the dichotomy of being PC

I was thinking of the music of my youth, when KANU started playing some of the tunes.

Right after my favorite radio show, is a very eclectic show called The American Past. You never quite know what to expect, and most Sunday's I am too busy to stay and appreciate the music and commentary. This week, I happened to be on an errand picking up dinner at Sonic. This evening's selections were the direct antecedents of many TrailMix artist's tunes. How synchronistic, given what I had just read.

That got me thinking of the '60s crowd, all grown up now and PC as can be.

Now, my youth was spent camping with my family, in an Apache tent trailer. Also, from the time in the mid-'60s when I started playing guitar, I was never without it on all those trips. And during that time, most every campground had a big bonfire every night where all the guitar-players (and there were always several) would gather and play for group sing-alongs.

Ok, I know it sounds hokey, kind of a 'ruffing-it' version of Mitch Miller. (You can look him up yourself, if you are too young.) In a suburb of canvas and sheet-metal and sometimes, even aluminum. And OH! How we would sing and play.

And a lot of it was Peter, Paul and Mary, which was tonight's retrospective on The American Past.

Now, I never did subscribe to the politics, I just liked the tunes and the comradeship. Not to mention the praise from my 'elders'. (The 16, 17 and 18 year olds who led these 'hootenanys'.) And they usually had these real 'artsy' girlfriends... ;-)

Now, of course, all the members of the 'Flower Power' generation have grown up, at least physically. And whatever percentage of them are unchanged politically would certainly be anybody's guess. I do think it is a reasonable to assume that subset of the PC set that includes the baby-boomers of the age-group I am describing is as close to a 100% PP&M fan base as exists on the planet. Further many of the follow-on generations of the same political ilk are probably fans, especially with the various 'reunion' albums and the nineties releases.

So, I think it a reasonable conclusion to assume that any concert that featured the acoustic music I prefer playing and included a set of PP&M would have a large percentage of PC audience members. I started playing around in my mind with what I would include in my set.

On the way home from the burger joint, I saw a for-real by-damn honest-to-creator Corvair! White, no less!

I took this as a sign, and here we are.

So, here is the set.

If I Had My Way
This Train
Go! Tell It On The Mountain
All My Trials
Early In The Morning

Oh, but wait! There is a test. There is an underlying common thread in all these selections.
What is it, and what does it say about the PC crowd who loves them so much?

E-Mail Me your answer.

The best part of it is, they would all clap and sing along and never get it...

And no, the answer is NOT blowing in the wind... ;-)

Friday, April 23, 2004

Tempus Iocus

I have spent a lot of time thinking about time lately. ;-)

I suppose it is a combination of things:
Multiple funerals gets one thinking of his mortality.
The end of the school year and the multiple annual events that have become familiar after five years.
(I am the proud father of a Freshman in College and a Sophomore in High School. Of course, you wouldn't think it to look at me. Well, come to think of it, you would.)

So a few, hopefully humorous observations on time:

First, who exactly are these fiends who sneak into my house every night and remove the space between the numbers on my clocks? ;-)

Seriously, I feel like Jennifer Garner. (OK, I know what a HUGE leap that is, especially for those who actually know what I look like. If you need a moment, I can wait... OK? Good.) The difference is, instead of jumping directly from 13 to 30, I'm jumping in smaller increments. I SWEAR that Megan's senior year Theater Banquet was just last week...

I heard this on year's ago and wrote it down to spread cheer around the office. Cleaning out my desk at work the other day (a whole opera in itself) I ran across the sheet of paper.

Another reason time has been on my mind is an e-mail interchange with my oldest friend regarding a posting on the monetaristic aspects of gold.

So, as a little warm-up for a future post I'm still formulating in my head, some mathematical manipulations related to time:

We all know Power = Work / Time

Now we know that Knowledge is Power
Time is Money
(Really Money is Time, but that's part of what we are going to get into in that future post… ;->)

Through simple substitution we arrive at:
Knowledge = Work / Money

Simple algebraic manipulation leads us to restate this as:

Money = Work / Knowledge

Now, please note that as Knowledge decreases, Money increases regardless of Work… ;-)

Anyway, expect much more on time in the future. (Ba Dum Bump)

The Airport Singer

The following occured on Friday September 14th, 2001

The Story

It is worth noting that I was only in Quincy Mass. because of the lack of proper facilities in the NYC area offices of this particular client. There was not an available training room in the Jersey City office. I had two participants from the Boston area and six who had traveled up from New York. Had we been doing this where we should have been, I would have been staying in the Marriott Hotel World Trade Center, which allowed easy access to the Jersey office via the PATH train station deep beneath the twin towers. That hotel used to be right between the two, directly connected to one of the lobbies. I still remember one story of a man who credited his rescue of a woman as the reason he was alive himself. He saw the woman silhouetted in the revolving door that connected the tower lobby to the hotel. He picked her up and carrying her to safety, saved himself as the crowd made way to let him through. I have walked through that door many times. I could picture exactly what he was describing. Needless to say, this event had a DEEP impact on my psyche.

End of the week and I was flying back from TFGreen Airport in RI. (Quincy is on the Southern edge of the Boston Metro Area. Easier and just as fast to drive up from Providence as to fly into Logan and fight your way through the tunnel to the Downtown/East/South locations that are the destinations dictated by my customers. (Of course this was pre-9/11, when the words easy and fast make any sense in a statement related to air travel…)

If I had flown into Logan I would have not even attempted the flight home, as it was a crime scene. Even with that, I was on the phone with other people from my office who started out that same Friday morning on the drive back. They were downtown and originally had no rental car. They had flown into Logan and only delayed until Friday for the return drive because they were frantically searching out transportation. Rental cars were scarce commodities that week. I didn’t give up mine until I was SURE I wasn’t going to drive back. I have heard anecdotal evidence of many car purchases for trips home. One involved two Suburbans purchased in Vegas, loaded to the gunwales and driven to Florida with a dozen occupants. I had spent a collected few hours on the phone with another trainer who was in Toronto the previous day. Figured I would drive over the Buffalo, pick up Rob as he got off some ferry that surely exists and drive home together. Couldn’t convince him of the hopelessness of his plan to return by rail. I think railroad tickets, already a limited resource, went even before the cars.

So, Thursday afternoon I trundled my self down to RI, ate dinner at best restaurant between Boston & NYC and settled into the Residence Inn. This pre-positioned me perfectly for a early and quick arrival for the expected long wait at the airport the next day.

Next morning at the breakfast buffet (Love those fresh made Waffles!) I met Jerry Vale. He had more troubles than me. He was on tour of a sort and had several boxes of orchestra scores that travel with him for the local players at the gig. At that point you couldn’t drive a car up to the curbside. Assuming he got a reservation back to sunny CA confirmed sometime that weekend, he had no idea how to get the ‘freight’ to the check-in, let alone if they would allow such, even for the extra fees he normally shelled out. I have no idea if my suggestion of posting them did him any good, but wished him well and beat feet to check in.

Arriving to the expected mass pandemonium, I started dutifully waiting in lines. I did notice a news crew filming as I arrived, but that seemed as ‘normal’ as anything else that day. (Being in the Boston area those first few days gave me access to some local news that I assume was unique, given the starting point of the fateful flights. But that is another story.)

I also noticed a huge portable scaffold/bucket at the escalators. Keep in mind Green is not that big an operation, that’s why I like it. There is one set of escalator/stairs to the lower level for baggage claim. I figured, given new security measures, they might be installing new cameras or some such.

Hours later, as my flight was, big surprise, delayed, I saw what was really going on.

They were hanging a huge American flag in the rafters of the check-in/arrival atrium.

I, like many or my fellow passengers were moved by this. It was eerie in a way. At least in the seating area around the central area, there was a kind of hush as the workmen completed their final touches.

Then, spontaneous applause and cheering.

I stepped over to one of RI’s finest and asked if he thought it would be OK to sing the anthem.

He said, “Yea, I ‘tink ‘dat wood be a gud, ideeea.” I explained that I was an opera singer, and it was going to be pretty loud.

He said go for it.

I start belting it out. I had no idea the news crew was still around, this was an hour or two later. The camera operator rushes from out of nowhere and starts filming. (That explains the orchestral start…) I caught his hurried set-up out of the corner of my eye, if I wasn’t a trained professional I would have been very distracted. ;-) The lovely young on-air personality asked me a question of two. I don’t remember the specifics that much, the response of the crowd and camera in my face was a bit overwhelming. Apparently the three facts that I did manage to convey accurately were my name, the home city I was returning to and the fact that I sang with the Lyric Opera of KC.

I then fly home (A complete story in itself.) and don’t give it a thought.

Thus started my 15 minutes of fame. (What Warhol didn’t make clear, is that the 15 minutes can be spread out in dribs and drabs over a fairly long period… ;->)

By Sunday I had received a phone call at home from a ‘fan’ in Providence. By Tuesday, which I took as a mental health day, everybody at work had heard from every client contact they had in Mass. (A not inconsiderable amount of phone calls.) Apparently, after I left for home, not only had the Providence CBS affiliate run the clip, the Boston affiliate had also. We have various offices in Australia, where ex-Pats called to report that: ‘Bruce Barr is all over CNN, they keep saying THIS is the American reaction the tragedy…” Anecdotal evidence indicates that it played in Europe, but no confirmed sightings. ;-) The Lyric’s PR staff called and asked me for an e-mail address, as they were getting inundated with ‘requests for information’ that were really fan-mail from New Englanders. Even received some real Honest-to-Creator postal notes.

By that Friday morning I arrive to both e-mail and voice-mail indicating that some morning guy on one of the rock stations is putting out the call to get me to the big human-flag event at a local KS park later that day. Ended up doing a follow-up interview and leading the audience at the Lyric as we sang the Anthem before the Saturday opening of Magic Flute. KCMO-TV the CBS people here in KC passed that on to Providence. Got a call from the local federal judge and sang at the swearing in ceremony for a group of new citizens. (Wow, you should talk to him. I thought MY 9/11 story was interesting.) Sometime later I did a EARLY morning radio interview back in Providence from my hotel room in Denver. Apropoh, as I was in Colorado completing the tasks originally scheduled for 9/13-14.

Quite a 15 minutes, huh?

In summary, the most humbling event of my life.

Please feel free to send this link to whomever you think might be interested. Especially anyone in the active military. I attended a Lunch and Learn session this week with a young programmer who is also a Military Police Team-Leader that recently returned from active duty over in Baghdad. Those kids are living in unbelievable conditions to protect their country and it’s citizenry while, in the process. freeing the citizens of Iraq of an unspeakable tyranny. (And when I say unbelievable conditions, I’m not even talking about venturing out of base camp and getting harassed.)

If this small offering could let them know how much we love them and appreciate their service, I would be honored indeed. Nothing would thrill me more than receiving an email from in-country saying they had watched this and been uplifted in the good fight.

One last thing. I had the occasion to return to that same Quincy office a year or so ago. First time back and booked through TFGreen. Felt kind of eerie until I arrived and was waiting for the National Rental Car bus. Standing next to me were a bunch of Marines waiting for mass-transit of their own.

I took this as a sign.

As has been my habit since 9/11, I took the opportunity speak with them:
‘Ladies and Gentleman, before you haul-ass out of here, I would like to just thank you for you’re service to you’re country.”

Hand-shakes and thank-yous and smiles like you wouldn’t believe.

Warmed my heart as I boarded my bus just after their’s had pulled away.

And people claim there is no God…

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Anything special going on today?

It might be noted by some that today is EARTH DAY.


Now, don't get me wrong. I like clean air and water as much as the next person. I prefer a clean environment and wish to pass such down to my progeny.
A quick Google reveals much ado from various groups who, dare I mention it, turn a pretty non-profit on environmental issues:

It just seems so anti-climactic.

Or should I say anti-climatic?

At it's inception, low these 34 years ago, the big fear was a new ice-age.
That's right folks. Ice-age.
The late '60s there was evidence we had already started slipping into it.

Jerry Pournelle mentioned it years ago. He and Larry Niven wrote an excellent book, Fallen Angels with a new ice-age as a major factor.

And we aren't out of the woods yet:

In between, we had Nuclear Winter. You remember that, don't you?

And now global warming.

And it isn't just evil chemicals from aerosol cans that eat the ozone. It's methane and carbon-dioxide. (Dare I translate, cow-farts and other 'output' and BREATHING.)

That's right, you are, right this second, destroying the planet by your very existence.

I don't see much science, unless it's of the Political kind and that label is the only correctness that seems involved in the hyperbole thrown around. Why, it makes one think of the cause of the methane problem...

And the funny thing is, they've won. They just can't admit it.

I'm not saying everything is perfect, but so many huge strides have been made.
And what I really mean is, they've captured the really important item.
The minds of the children. They've had a whole generation and a good deal of another to change the attitude of the general population.

It's just they can't admit it.

Make no mistake, the environment means BIG MONEY.
BIG MONEY in fund raising.

And that, more than anything else, is what the environmental movement has morphed into.

And as this issue and that issue gets addressed, many times by technological innovation of private enterprise, their true colors become clear.

They are green on the outside, but red on the inside.

And it seems worth noting, the ex-communist countries have HORRENDOUS records regarding environmental issues.

No friends, if you want a clean world, you want a capitalist world.

And it ain't just Right-Wing Radical me saying this.

Patrick Moore, Greenpeace founder no less has turned from the darkness into the light:

So, as another Earth Day passes into history, perhaps reason can prevail over hyperbole.
Perhaps all the faculties of mankind can be brought to bear in pure Science, not political posturing.
Perhaps those who profess to value the natural world will let the study of that natural world reveal the technologies and methodologies that will improve the lives of all mankind.

But I doubt it... :-<

WiFi Nettiquette

OK people, listen up, cause this is REAL IMPORTANT.

First, some background:
On the way to Academic Awards tonight Brittany and I stopped for supper at Panera Bread.

Proud Father's aside: Both my daughters are excellent students. Megan gave us reasons to attend the Academic awards multiple times. I have no doubt the same will be true w) Britt.
What can I say? All the experts agree: It's either heredity or environment... ;-)

(BTW, the new steak salad you have been hearing about on the radio is quite good. Recommended, especially for us low-carbers.)

On the way out the door I had a word with the Manager.

On my various searches for WiFi access here in the ShowMe state, I had noticed that ALL the Panera Bread locations in the St. Louis area had free WiFi, whereas we seemed to have NONE in KC.
Now, given the fact that Panera Bread was founded in St. Louis and was initially franchised as St. Louis Bread Co. I could see those locations being first to get some things, but this...

I told her, and I quote, "That we in KC the TRUE gateway to the West should be without this benefit was beyond belief. When exactly was this cultural travesty going to be addressed?" ;-)

In all seriousness, what she told me left me both shocked and appalled, though, I suppose, not that surprised.

She did explain that the free WiFi had been installed at the Plaza location. (For those not familiar, The Country Club Plaza is the original shopping center. Not just in Kansas City or even in Missouri. I mean when it was conceived and built in the 1920's it was the FIRST shopping area, designed and built just for that purpose. As the name would imply, it was in the middle of nowhere. Think of a Galleria with better architecture...)

Now, here is the REAL IMPORTANT part:

She went on to explain that it was not profitable.

Now, dear reader, well you may ask, how could this be?
Free WiFi is not a profit-center. It is designed to attract people to one's establishment, thus increasing your business through the increased traffic.

According to her, people were bringing in food from OTHER RESTAURANTS and using the Panera WiFi!

WHAT are these people THINKING? How RUDE have we become?

SOOOO, as this is the premiere WiFi Blog on the 'Net, here are a few tips for those not versed in the obvious:

Do you really want to pay $9 a day or some exorbitant monthly fee that many other national chains are charging? No, I thought not.

So class, how do we encourage more reasonable pricing? Lead them to the truth and light of how access ought to be?
That's right! We SUPPORT companies like Panera, who recognize the potential of FREE access on their bottom line.

We thank any establishment who is enlightened enough to offer us access, be they individual small business or nation-wide chain. We not only commend them verbally, we leave a tip in any jar ear-marked to keeping access free.

And most of all, we BUY SOMETHING while we are there!

In the long-run, I think that the daily and monthly fee will go to a more reasonable per-use fee.
The NYC McDonald's model is a pre-cursor, buy a meal and get an hour of access.

I have no problems with usage fees. That's the way everything should work. I just don't like exorbitant fees. As I stated above, many businesses recognize the positive effect on the bottom-line.

And I think more and more establishments will offer free access and see their profits more than compensate the modest investment as high-speed connections and cheaper addess point costs fall. Our best friend, competition will make it necessary. And in the process they will develope something that doesn't appear on any ledger sheet, but is more precious than gold.

Loyal repeat customers.

As to this other non-sense, there is little I can think of that will make free access disappear faster.
(JEEZ, didn't their Mothers teach them anything?)

So, once again, repeat after me:

It's free WiFi, but you still have to buy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The 'Golden Age' of TV SciFi

Hearing Jerry Doyle on the radio got me thinking about Babylon5.

Miss that show. There was a very interesting follow-on series, Crusade, but JMS, the man behind Babylon5 got in a conflict with the SciFi Channel, who had acquired the series production rights from TNT. SciFi wanted more ‘jiggle factor.’ Not quite Baywatch in Space, but something along that line, according to the Internet buzz at the time. Straczynski walked, an artistic decision that seems all too in-frequent nowadays.

His latest effort on Showtime is Jeremiah.

Not the broad stroke space opera of B5, but an interesting premise. Good production values, from the episodes I have been able to catch. The story arch, a big factor in B5, seems weaker here. Not surprising, as some the searches I did to research this post indicate this is based on an outside source, rather than from JMS himself.

One notable aspect of Baby5 as many affectionately know it, is the video effects. These were all accomplished using a bank of multiple Video Toasters. The original ‘look’ that sold the show was produced by a single guy in his bedroom using this Amiga based (anybody else remember those?) video device from a company (then) based in Topeka Kansas! In fact Will Wheaton, the much-maligned Sci-Fi teen heart-throb lived in the Kansas capital for awhile and was the Toaster ‘evangelist.’ (Not to be too redundant, but: Anybody else remember those? ;->)

A quick search found this Wired article from 1993:
(Wow! Wired is over ten years old! Do you realize how old that is in relation to their subject matter?)

NewTek has since moved to San Antonio.
Company history from their site:

Hmmmm. I would have gone for Austin, given the better music scene. ;-)

The huge significance of those computer-based graphics is lost in today’s world of Yoda actually walking and jumping around and Pixar being mainstream enough that it doesn’t need Disney anymore.

A quote from the article just reinforces this post’s title:
By the end of 1993, Toaster networks created some or all of the effects shots for seaQuest DSV, Viper, The X-Files, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Two times in the decade there were double Star Trek franchise shows running. In 1993-4, the last TNG season, Deep Space 9 was starting up. Later in the DS9 run Voyager started its run. Heck, throw in Xena and Hercules on the Fantasy side and there was a LOT of shows that were not the norm of sit-com and cop show on the air. (Well, X-Files was KIND of a cop show, but you get what I mean.)

Of all the ‘pure’ Sci-Fi, I think DSV was the first to go. (Remember this gave us the other heart-throb, Jonathan Brandis.) Although I liked the shows first season they started veering WAY into weird even for me by the second. Witness, what turned out to be the final episode:

The seaQuest is captured by an alien spacecraft and taken to Hyperion, a completely aquatic planet. The crew is then drawn into the civil war between the KrayTaks and the Hyperion resistance. The crew must sacrifice themselves and their ship to destroy the KrayTaks before the KrayTaks destroy the small resistance on the other side of Hyperion.

I remember hearing the late-great Douglas Adams giving an interview on NPR years ago. (Yes, I do listen to NPR on occasion.) He admitted it was probably not the greatest decision in the world to blow up the home planet of your reading audience in the first chapter. What they really thought they were going to do with this radical change is a mystery that I, for one can live with.
Plus, the episodes that second season were not nearly as polished. Production values, people, production values. (The ‘futuristic’ comm. Units that hung on the wall of the sub are actually speaker phone units that we still use in our conference rooms at work.)

All in all, the 1990s were really fun for me, TV wize.

Nowadays, there have been some programs of note, but it is much harder. Until I checked it out today, I thought Jeremiah had died on the vine. Jake 2.0 couldn’t survive on UPN of all places. And that with ST:Enterprise as a lead in. (HATE the song.) Each of the ST shows have been weaker and weaker if you ask me. I tried, honestly, but I was watching something else by Veger’s last episodes. Did they EVER get back to Earth? The latest season with the ‘terrorist WMD’ story thread does not, given DSV’s history, bode well for Enterprise.

As to Jake’s demise, I suppose the siren call of cheap ‘reality’ shows that draw audiences and thus, ad revenues will change the Darwinian landscape of programming for the next few years. (I figured out in the first five minutes that Survivor wasn’t really about what it takes to survive. I don’t agree with the message and have done my level best to not give any of the genre a moment’s time since.) Jake was also victim of the new instant overnights. I look forward to the not to distant future when the network cancels a show during the first commercial break of the pilot… :-/

Also on the ash-heap of ratings are:
USA's The Peacemakers (CSI in the old west.)
FoX's FireFly (Cowboys in Space.)
How to categorize these? Maybe Science-Westerns?

TNT's Witchblace had good ratings, but still got the axe. (So to speak... ;->)

ABC's Threat Matrix was doomed once they moved it to Thur. against the Friends/Survivor juggernaut.

I was watching all of these on a regular basis.
I would ask if anybody everybody blinked and missed these, but the answer seems obvious.

Just thought of two more '90s SciFi shows:
Quantum Leap. (Apparently Dean Stockwell has already guested on Enterprise, not quite the doom factor I initially imagined.)

Sliders, staring my fav, John Rhys-Davies. What IS the story with him? He is in everything, including some real drek. (Not my opinion of Sliders, BTW.) He starred in the second worst movie ever made. There HAS to be a story there. Gambling debts? Multiple alimony payments? Who knows. Arguably the most talented of the second tier working today, but poorest impulse control by far. ;-)

So, the furture looks bleak for now. ;-)

Here is a site I found with a role call of cancellations the last few years:

But AH! The good old days!

And there’s hope! The local Best Buy had a B5 box set on the front table this week. Season five I think.

Wonder how much the whole schmear would run me off e-bay? ;-)

Talk 2 Listen 2

No that isn't a score... ;-)
I am a talk radio junkie. Have been for years. I guess it would seem a bit strange that a person who has and still does, think about and create music should not spend his time listening to the music 'media.'

It is not that I don't appreciate much of the output of the popular music industry. Especially in recent years, as vocal groups have become very popular.

I suppose one reason that I prefer talk may be the distraction of 'background music' represents to me. I tend to pay too much attention to the music.

Sidenote: I remember, in the mid-'70s, when my great-good friend Eric P. Kantor had a part-time job at the then Hilton franchise just North of the Plaza and, convientiently, across from Grant Hall, the main building for Conservatory vocal students. (This is not the converted elementary school that bears that moniker today. This was up @ 45th and Main, across Warwick Boulevard from the KC Art Institute. More than half the music school was separated from the main UMKC campus back then. The old location of Grant Hall is the present day Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. But I digress. Big surprise, huh? ;->) Eric started out as a valet and quickly moved up to the front desk, a position he was particularly suited to. ANYWAY, he used to drive the people from MuZaK crazy. Within a week of a new tape installation, Eric had identified every song and could sing along. Big No No. This was supposed to be BACKGROUND. I can’t remember for sure, but I think that six months of replacing tapes every week and they finally gave up…

I don’t know that I really start analyzing the tunes ala Music Theory per se. (Hi Dr. Bean!) I just pay attention to music. Any music. I do have some tunes I listen to on occasion when there is nothing interesting on the band, but I just don’t multi-task as well…

The REAL reason for this posting is the great pleasure I had in listening to Jerry Doyle as he filled in for Michael Savage last night. I had run across some info. somewhere a while back that Jerry was now a talk show host, but he was not on the air in KC.

The Talk Radio Network (catchy name, huh?) has a number of interesting hosts. Michael and Laura Ingraham are on KMBZ. Others I have enjoyed while on the road include B1 Bob Dornan and Barry Farber.

The Talk Radio people do have streaming available, but, assuming I am reading the info. correctly, runs $60/yr. PER SHOW. Given my opinions on overpriced WIFI, which will become more evident as we go along here, this just ain’t gonna happen. I might consider a one time fee for all the feeds, archived for my convenience, but this. What are they thinking? (I know, I know, they’re thinking they are in the live radio business, not an internet radio archiver. But they have CONTENT here. Everybody needs to think about reusing content or going the way of the dinosaur…)

If Doyle’s name sounds vaguely familiar, you are obviously not a SciFi fan. His major claim to fame is his starring role in the Emmy-Winning 1990s SciFi TV series Babylon5. Jerry played my favorite character, Michael Garibaldi, chief of security. Later, after reading Jerry’s bio, I was hooked. The radio has a good background that includes info. on Jerry multi-faceted career path:

As it mentions in the bio. Jerry had a bad case of temporary insanity and ran for a California seat as a Republican. ;-) I lost track of him after hearing about that.

Very interesting show style. From the limited time I got to listen in, he seems to be one of us Libertarian leaning types…

Assuming I can figure out the affiliate info. (the talkradionetwork site is not the easiest I have run accross) I plan on finding him on the air as I travel.

I recomend you do the same.

Monday, April 19, 2004

The ConcertOH!
(The following was submitted to the Lee's Summit Journal mere moments ago.
At least you can read it here... ;->)

I was privileged to attend a very special event on Saturday night.

Imagine yourself a painter, but your painting a picture of pure light.
That you sculpted in fog and mist, as ephemeral as a cloud. That your art was but a fleeting thing.
That the experience of your art was through the active participation of your audience, for the duration of its performance.

Fleeting glimpses of the soul poured out into vibrations of the air.

Each performance a unique experience. A unique fusion of the piece and the artist interpretation into the expression of all that it is to be a human being.

No wonder such concerts are an event.

The setting was perfect. Historically significant and this final performance not an ending, but a new beginning with all the promise of youth.

The players were excellent. Yes there might have been a slightly strident passage in the strings, and times the woodwinds or brass might have tuned bit more. But the ninety plus players on that stage sounded wonderful.

And there is nothing like hearing a live orchestra playing great music. Music whose deep rich chords touch the heart and thrill the soul.

I can tell you from experience, the only thing more thrilling is the sheer joy of singing with an orchestra like this one.

The musical selections ran across many styles, with excellent variety.

And leading it all was a true community treasure. A master of both his craft and his art.

I suppose it should not be surprising that Lee’s Summit could form an orchestra as fine as this, given his distinguished teaching career has left a legacy of music that will echo for years to come.

And the best part? This was not the end. It was just the beginning of many further musical adventures.

I look forward to next year.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

I have posted on death latlely, so it only seems right to address the other half of the proverbialy unavoidable twosome:

(Cue Beatles tune.)

macro (rant ON)

HA! Thought all that positive millennium talk last post was going to be the only thing I was pondering on today of all days? You should be so lucky.

April 15th. The day that SHOULD live in infamy.

Every year the same ritual.

You fill out the paperwork, or purchase a computer program to do the computations, or hire what you hope is a competent professional.

The ever increasing series of laws and rules are applied in a calculus that would turn Leibniz and Newton to a gibbering fool. And you place your bet and takes your chances...

And never once do you question if it is right.

Now, lest I be considered some kind of kook, I did not say LEGAL. I said RIGHT.

The great lie of Democracy. That the fact that a majority of people think something should be done means that they (society) have the right to FORCE some individual to do something that individual does not wish.

Before you start in on this, that or the other thing that is justified as a government function, answer me this:

Name a single solitary service that the government provides that it doesn't manage to screw up in the process?
Forget whether it is the most efficient way to deliver that service.
Just a simple service that is not riddled with unintended consequences.

A wise man once put it this way:
"That government governs best which governs least."

The United States was based on three principals of freedom:
Life, Liberty, Property (Hint: That's what 'Pursuit of Happiness' MEANS, every educated person of the day knew that. Nowadays, we lack the education to recognize the fact.)

Bastiat states it in a slightly different way: Life, faculties, production

Read Bastiat:

Listen to Bastiat:

Go ahead, I'll wait....

Legal Plunder, interesting concept 'eh?

To quote:
"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

Sounds like the Income Tax to me. Hell, sound like the whole damnable government as it exists today.

Take a close look at the constitution. There are several USAGE FEES enumerated within the original text. I have no problem with USAGE FEES. I USE it, I PAY for it.

I DO have a problem with the concept of a tax based on output of my faculties.

And no-one ever even QUESTIONS that the legislatures, local, state or federal should be able to perpetrate such plunder.

The most interesting concept to me when first perusing this treatise was the conceptual/historical relationship of the modern day liberal/progressive/utopians and the royal decree of the past. Their egalitarian rhetoric notwithstanding, they would be the new rulers, and we the people molded to their whim.
It seems so simple, having been stated thus, but the direct heritage of such thought had never occurred to me before.

Ah, but they wish nothing but GOOD for us all.

And it makes no difference, conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican, they can't help themselves.
As Yakov Smirnoff says:

macro (funnyRussianAccent ON)

Poli meaning many...
and tics meaning blood sucking parasite...

macro (funnyRussianAccent OFF)

And so, each year the tax code grows and grows. And, in truth, NOBODY can really understand it all. (SHHHHHH, don't tell anybody...)

Great system, huh?

Many alternatives have been postulated, the Flat Tax being one of the more popular choices.
This will NEVER happen. The legislature can't INFLUENCE your behavior with a flat tax.

Besides, whatever would the legislators do with their free time after retirement if those lobbying jobs are gone?

Many talk of reducing government.
Which means we cut the planned increase in the budget.
Not actually cut the budget, mind you. Just the INCREASE in the budget.

And then there is my favorite, making you AWARE of how much you pay.
Everything from itemizing tax withholding on your pay-stub to MAKING you actually periodically WRITE a CHECK. (Not a foreign concept to many retired persons, which may explain what a dedicated voting block they represent...)

The Tax Freedom Day people ( have been figuring out for years just how long you have been working for the government and when you can start keeping some for yourself.
My idea? (Keep in mind this has as much chance as anything else I have mentioned. After which we can all join in the snowball fight you know where...)

No longer do we have a fixed day for Federal, State and Local taxes. Each taxpayer owes such taxes on the individually calculated day, based upon their individual tax bracket, applicable code, etc.
They figure not only what the figure is, but when it is owed and pay then.

Farfetched? Maybe.
An interesting and pointed object lesson in just how crazy a 'system' we have allowed to exist?
I certainly think so.

Crazy? Nah.

Crazy is not getting any take home pay until AFTER your Tax Free Day every year.

Now THAT'S revolutionary! ;-)

macro (rant OFF)

Catching up on 'paper-work' @ the office and could not believe the significant date I missed.
Imagine being distracted the last few weeks...

Palm Sunday was 04/04/04.

admittedly, similar dates will occur each of the next eight years.
But consider, the same dates will not occur again until the NEXT century...

Perhaps we should use these to reflect on the new century, still so young, still so full of promise.
Or slipping backwards? Who can tell?
I prefer to think it is the former. Jeff Duntemann calls his blog ( the Contra-Positive Diary.
While I don't know that I think of myself as a contrarian, and, thusly don't think that is the impression of others, I do sometimes feel I play the part of the Curmudgeon. (n : a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas)
Truly, I still find the world a wondrous place, full of beauty and mystery, if we just stop to notice.
And to live in such a time as this, at the very start of not only a new century, but a new millennium...
(Pop Quiz: Class when did this event occur? Hint: Did we have a year 0? I know, I know. NPR lumped me in with the 'picky literialists'...)

BTW, what IS the consensus going to be for what we call this first decade?
The 00's? Michael Flynn's characters lived through the 'Naughty Oughts'.
I prefer the tribute to Jethro. We should call them the 'Double-Naughts'... ;-)
Any ideas? E-mail me:

I have always had more respect for the Flynn's who write about the near future.
Too easy to get it wrong. I can think of half a dozen great reads that still have much to teach, marred by now evident differences with the actual timeline.

It takes more courage to try to predict what may happen in a decade than to hypothesize futuristic space operas...

What a time to be alive. Our parents lived through more technological change than all the previous history of man. How ever will we top that?

The very thought is so exciting/terrifying it boggles the mind.

SOOOOO, take the time to mark these special days. Some would have us believe that the Mayans were correct and we only have until 2012 or so anyway... ;-)

The truth of what we will see may be MUCH stranger than fiction...

I wait, expectantly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

And then there was One.

I have mulled over this posting many times over the last week.
What to say, after such a week?

That last posting on the first seems a lifetime ago.
Probably because I have spent much of the time since considering my life and times.
And the participants that have shaped my experiences.

At one point, it was titled: And then there were three.
That was and is a true statement. Three Brothers of the Eight siblings.

The news was twice blessed, Mildred out of her misery and passed on to glory.
And a new life. A baby girl. A Great-Grandchild, born the same night.

The trip made once more, down into the Ozark hills. The greeting and grieving and fellowship that, alas, only death seems to precipitate.

Upon my return, I learned of two more friends passing that same fateful Saturday.
Both having suffered long with cancer. One, the husband of the woman who introduced me to my bride was but a shadow of his former vital self. But never yielding.
The other thought she had evaded the grim outcome, and was caught unawares.

I have thought much on suffering and death this past fortnight.
All of the Barr clan that have passed have suffered to some degree.
Mother suffered, but kept it from us. To an extent, the drugs kept it even from her.
Ebb and Saundra in their hospital beds. And I am an awful Grandchild and Nephew, to have not taken the time to visit them one last time there.
As I never could mother.

But the Easter week is not about suffering and death.
It is about sacrifice and renewal.
Of freedom from the veil of tears.
Of the promise of life eternal.

And so, my mind has wandered over the memories of childhood. Of youth.
Of acceptance as a peer.

And has stopped so many times to reflect on the Matriarchy that has influenced that life.

And now they are all gone, save one.

The Hillhouse women were gone in the blink of an eye. Could it really have been only two years between Mother and Saundra?

The Barr clan Matriarchy, both in-laws and out-laws, was spaced out over many years.

And now only one remains.

The mother of my oldest friend.
Who introduced me to the wonder of science. The marvels of art and natural philosophy.

Only two were honest enough to weep at the passing of a Sister-in-law, of a mother.

And I lament the coming day, when all the women I have known my lifetime through are gone.

For I have seen the future.

But heaven will be complete then.
And all the sweeter, knowing they are waiting...

Thursday, April 01, 2004

April Phule!

Let us all reflect that this day of silliness was brought to us by the French.
Those silly FrankoPhones! Couldn't get it through their heads that Charlie the 9th, their nine year old Le Roi had MOVED the year's start from the Vernal Equinox to January 1st...

And so, we all made fun of them, foolish Frenchmen. (Boy, isn't THAT redundant?!?)

What that fish thing was, I'll never know...

But everybody remember, it's yet another holiday revolving around hating the French.

Or in this case ridiculing them... ;-)

The Wyandotte Nation has a Downtown KCK Casino, much in the news of late.

I will state my long-time opinion:
Given the atrocious behavior of the U.S. Government regarding their treaty obligations.
Given a appallingly large portion of Americans think it is perfectly fine to license/regulate people's vices.
All licensed casinos should be the purview of various Indian Nations.

Here is the instant message I just sent Tom Becka on KMBZ:

First, AMEN to Personal Resposibility!

The reason for my message:

According to your 'sensitive' caller Mayor Carol Marinovich would be in favor if it was done 'properly.'

She indicated what 'properly' means in her quote heard on KMBZ morning news.

The city/county wants their cut.

Any Government at any level, it's all about the taxes...

The Personal Resposibility comment was in response to an earlier caller.
Of course, if the Government is going to officially license casinos and accept their largesse, how can they NOT be responsible for their 'addiction'?

After all, they do call such things Sin TAXES.

Make no mistake as to what is really important here.

It's all about the money...