Birthday Plans, AudioFeed, Deliverance

DAY 9 -- Remember a few years ago when I saw One Bad Pig at the nearby AudioFeed music festival? A band I listened to like crazy when I was a kid.

It appears that AudioFeed is bringing on another favorite from my youth this year -- Deliverance!

I'm old as dirt these days and so are these guys...

...but I cannot wait to hear them hit me with This Present Darkness live after almost thirty years (despite their line-up changing a bajillion times over the years)!

The three-day AudioFeed festival offers the opportunity to pitch a tent and camp for a few nights on site. My birthday happens to fall on the second day of this festival and a few days on my own, in a tent, with live music aplenty, is what Amy has agreed to as a gift to me this year. I'm all in for some solitude, but even more I'm in for some Deliverance, Propaganda, Project 86, and Listener.

Man. I can't wait for this.

Office Help, Poison Ivy, Guns

DAY 8 -- The seniors graduated last Friday so they're done and work is much quieter this week with a quarter of the student body no longer in attendance. With plenty still to do in the next five days, I had a "helper" on hand at work today.

Anna woke up feeling crummy this morning but I had too much to do at she hung out with me all day in my office. I'm saying her "sickness" was nothing more than allergies but if you ask Anna, we were pretty close to calling the paramedics. It's amazing how much better she felt tonight once school was over and it was time for softball and dance.

Rules are rules, though. No stuff after school.

. . .

Our modest garden is looking good except for the fact that the berm continues to produce a healthy crop of poison ivy.

With calamine lotion on my feet and a gallon of Round-Up soaking the berm, I'm declaring myself victor! Even so, it appears that mowing the berm in flip-flops last week was not my best idea.

. . .

Now guns.

I'm tired of guns. I'm tired of guns killing people. And I'm tired of the excuses.

It's my right! The second amendment! Guns don't kill people...people kill people!


When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards. That was my hobby. Had I been an irresponsible baseball card collector and others had put their hands on my legally owned baseball cards, that's on me. But if those cards went on to kill other people and destroy the lives of countless families every day, that's a problem.

Let me repeat.





But we're not talking about a 1985 Topps Mark McGwire USA card made of cardboard and ink. We're talking about weapons -- oftentimes weapons that are far beyond what any reasonable hobbyist should ever own for recreational use. Even if your guns are legally owned, the end result can be catastrophic. Case in point being last week's shooting in Texas.

Here's a slightly altered quote from a recent news article about the shooting in Santa Fe:
Pagourtzis was armed with his father’s 1976 Topps Pete Rose and a Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
Police responding to a baseball card collector inside Santa Fe High School got locked into a 25-minute battle with the collector. 
Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds? If that was the actual story over and over again ... every day on the news ... I'm quite sure some anti-baseball card legislation would start to emerge.

But the baseball card industry doesn't pad the pockets of those in power to make such changes like the NRA does.

If my Tony Gwynn rookie card kills a dozen innocent people, you might question my baseball card collection. If multiple baseball card collections killed multiple people in multiple cities every day for weeks and months upon end...a rational person might question the need to own those baseball cards in the first place.

Get it? We're not talking about somebody saying guns are bad because they're loud and they annoy the neighbors.

Guns kill people.


Maybe you're a responsible gun owner, but so was the father of the Santa Fe shooter. So were so many other gun owners whose weapons caused unnecessary killing. What's it going to take for you to get it? Do you need your own innocent child to die a bloody death? Maybe your spouse or your sibling needs to be gunned down by a stray bullet?

No? Your hobby is more important than those lives? Look at the faces of the people in this article and tell me you're okay that they're dead as long as you're still able to play with your guns at the firing range.

The problem is not people. The problem is guns.

You can save your counter-argument. You're not going to change my mind.

Seriously. Don't waste your time.

Your guns are killing innocent people on a daily basis. Your hobby is causing others to suffer and for their lives to be changed forever in a terrible, terrible way.

Every day.

How you justify that is beyond me.

Nada Limonada. Again.

DAY 7 -- Deja vu.


See also, yesterday.

Nada Limonada

DAY 6 -- Nothing better than a day like this. A pretty nothing kind of day capped off across the street with a few drinks around my in-law's pool.

See also, tomorrow.

Sicko, Neighborhood Talent, Biker Gang

DAY 5 -- Mason went to bed with a fever last night and woke up at the same temperature this morning.

Sick day.

Yes, I realize it looks like we don't feed him, but I assure you he has plenty to eat on a daily basis. No need to make any phone calls.

. . .

The official word went out today for an event in Indianapolis I've been invited to be a part of. Heartland Film will be hosting a viewing of the Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor on June 6th -- a few days prior to it's official release later that week.

First of all, if you have the means and it's screening in your neighborhood, go see this film. My investment in Mister Rogers aside, you will not be disappointed.

Second, I'm humbled to be the "talent" on hand for the Heartland event as I'll be there as an "official" Mister Rogers archivist/historian for a discussion following the film. If you're in the Indianapolis area and are interested in this at all, check out the Heartland site for details.

. . .

Speaking of Mister Rogers, an advance copy of the upcoming biography The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers arrived in my mailbox today.

I'm only about fifty pages in and it's, so far, the best Fred Rogers book I've read since Michael Long's Peaceful Neighbor. So very well done from what I've read so far and I'm sure it'll have my full endorsement come September. In the meantime, if you're interested in a solid look at the work of Fred Rogers from an adult (and social issues) perspective, I'd definitely recommend Peaceful Neighbor.

. . .

My friend from high school, Mike, texted me tonight with a picture that sparked my interest in an immediate road trip. Apparently, Southern Grist -- a brewery out of Nashville, TN -- has created a coconut infused milk stout they're calling "Copra Kai." Reminiscent of the Sweep the Leg peanut butter stout from last year, this Karate Kid fan may stop at nothing to get his hands on a can or two.

. . .

This evening wrapped up exactly like I'd love to see many of this year's summer nights come to a close -- with some time relaxing in the yard and having fun with the kids. After some basketball and hammock time, the five of us took a bike ride in the church parking lot behind our yard. As we all rode our bikes back to the house, I was reminded of this awesome picture from 1983 taken by my brother.

Me and our friends, Greg and Brett -- three tough guys with their rad bikes.

Only one thing to do with that kind of memory.

. . .

Mason's feeling better, by the way.

And it's still "yanny."