Sunday, June 25, 2006


The music seems to be taking over. I'm practicing pretty much every day now. My playing and singing continue to improve. I'm supposed to play downtown with Patty Butcher on July 4th, 4-6. Woo-haa!

My youngest daughter came out to the Wednesday night jam, now at Lynagh's Pub, and did one of her songs, "Saturday", and Jefferson Airplane "Somebody to Love". I was very unsure how the 2nd would come out, but I focused on the chucka-chucka rhythm guitar and the drummer Steve did a great job and it came out very nice. I somehow pooched the easy harmony on the chorus, oh well, I'll get it right next time. Everyone loved having Christie up there, definitely a nice addition to the normally all male ensemble. It was her first time playing with a band, she really enjoyed it. Hard not to, there is really an infectious fun playing with a decent band.

But, with the music, I'm reading, exercising and blogging less. Seems like playing in a blues/rock band is really not the best hobby for the twilight years, but what the hell, it's lots of fun. I had gotten up to about 35 miles biking, that last 2 weeks I only did 26 and 28.4. Somehow don't feel like killing myself anymore.

Got another new album from a Brit I really like, the first from Corinne Bailey Rae, eponymous, 4 stars. Not a bad tune on it -- seems like anytime a song is a little dull, suddenly a totally tasty rif or chord change shows up. Anymore I have to listen to a lot of new music 3-4 times before I can get a feel for if I will like it. This one, the first listen, I was going, holy shit, I am really going to like all of these after I get them burned in. Kind of like Norah Jones, but goes bluesy where Norah Jones would go country.

Read the third book in Charles Stross' Merchant Princes series, "The Clan Corporate". Seems to be one of those mid-series books where a change in direction was needed and pretty much everything goes to shit. 3 stars.

Also ready the 4th Orson Scott Card Ender/Bean book "Shadow of the Giant". A good read, I guess. How much longer is Card going to mine this?

I have been posting to the Kentucky Association of Science Educators (and Skeptics) occasionally. The guys seem like nice, mild mannered teachers, who I am trying to stir up to get mad and kick ass vs the ID fundamentalist dumbasses, without much luck. I'm sure they're thinking, who is this asshole? Here's my post there re Ann Coulters apparently excrable book "Godless":

Re ID vs evolution, there is no sense, logic, rhyme, or reason to be dealt with here.

Occasionally when talking to the religious, I try to do a quick survey to find out what they do and don't believe. It generally doesn't go far. The bottom line is, it's not about thinking. It's about running the jebus program, and having your "thinking" spoon-fed to you. My (raised atheist) children often commented that when talking to religious friends , if the topic turned to things outside their religious beliefs, their analytic minds (these were MSTC magnets at Lexington Dunbar) would just shut down and refuse to go there.

It is no wonder, that people whose level of fear, insecurity, loneliness, etc. are such that they need to run a strong religious program to get through the day, are readily influenced by the strident neocon demagogues.

Organized religion is probably the strongest mental program (memeplex) that the human mind has developed. The neocons, in their seemingly limitless cynicism, have become expert at hitting the limbic brain buttons, many of which are reinforced by religion: fear; desire for security (the 50's illusion version); and tribalism, in mindless patriotism, flag-worship, and gay-bashing.

Anymore I try not to think about it. But, sometimes there seems to be a level of naivete in these discussions, as if we were dealing with fellow rational beings of good will. We are not. The neocons most cherished value is to win at any cost. Who really knows how many of them are christian rapturists who can hardly wait for the world to end and jebus to return? As I said when I tried to orchestrate an intelligent discussion of evolution in the HL letters to the editor, as long as we don't realize the rules of the game (none), we are going to continue to get our asses kicked.

Where are the brain implants and mandatory software upgrades when we need them? Until then, we are facing a totally uphill struggle ...