Finished John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades

One of the advantages of road trips and convalescent times is the opportunity to take the time to read long bits of novels uninterrupted. We purchased and I got to read John Scalzi’s first 2 books of the Interstellar Colonial Union, Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades. They were fun, quick reads, with good thinky concepts, in addition to rollicking action. His third book in this universe, The Last Colony, is now out in a hardcover edition. It is getting good reviews on Amazon, and from others who enjoyed the first 2 books. I’m going to be going to the library to see about borrowing a copy until the softcover edition is published. Yes, I’m cheap. I prefer to purchase paperbacks to hardbacks. It leaves me more money and room for books at the house!

Sooner or later I’m going to finish George R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings. I finished A Game of Thrones and it was pretty intense. I get into the second book, and have to set it down to make sure I don’t get too wound up in the story to sleep, since I do most of my non-convalescent reading at night in bed.

I’ve started reading The Artist’s Way, and it is more a recipe for action. I need to start setting sometime aside for the prescribed actions, but with the motorcycle mishap, my sleep is messed up too. Getting up of a morning in time to do before getting ready and out is the hardest part for me. I’m not a morning person.

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HBO’s Rome ends tonight.

DH and I have been watching Rome on HBO. It has been a fascinating series that is more or less historically accurate. Sometimes a lot less,but still in broad strokes has an somewhat accurate picture. The sets are lush and the locations are spectacular. Tonight was the series finale. Octavian ascendant, Antony and Cleopatra dead (duh); and several fictitious character’s arcs resolved. I liked seeing the use of henna on the Egyptian characters hands and feet, that feeds in to my side business.

Is the Government trying to kill Internet Radio Broadcasters?

A warning heads up here. I’m on my political soapbox now.

It appears that the entertainment industry has gotten to the folks who make regulations about what broadcasters should pay. The Copyright Royalty Board has set the new royalty rates to levels that will bankrupt most if not all of the different internet broadcasters. They have set these rates to be retroactive to 2006. It increases the licenses fees and royalty rates astronomically from where they had been. The Copyright Royalty Board set these rates with no regard for the broadcasters, it simply set the rates as requested by SoundExchange, the mouthpiece for the RIAA. I listen to Radio Margaritaville and Pandora online. Both broadcasters provide music online for free. Pandora offers listening without ads for a small ($36/yr) fee. Radio Margaritaville is broadcast on Sirius Radio and on Dish Network. Both of these broadcasters would be hard put to make the requisite payments that the new ruling would require.

There is an Internet radio web site that has links to things that you can do to help keep the internet streaming music! The Live365 website has a page that gives contact information for the Copyright Royalty Board, the various US senators and representatives, and a few other places. This page lists the royalties as they stand and the increases and percentages that the current ruling sets. You can get your senators and representatives contact information online at Thomas. It is best to pick up the phone and call their offices or physically write a paper letter to them. They have a tendency to write off any email communication from their constituents.

This declaration is BS. And you can help influence it by talking to your elected representatives and advocating for small broadcasters. The retroactive $500.00 license fee per channel and the rates that increase at 20% to 40% per year are ridiculous.

Get the word out about this stupidity! The broadcasters pay license fees and royalties, SoundExchange and RIAA just want more. And it will affect the quality of what is available online. But they don’t care about the quality of the music available.

Recovering from the concert

Well, it always takes a couple of days to recover from a Cowboy Mouth show, but this is ridiculous. Of course, Zydeco is a standing room only kinda place. But I’m no longer as young as I used to be, and the smoking others were doing was killing me. I’m just way too sensitive to cigarette smoke and my sinuses are letting me know about it now. 😦

But the show was great! I danced and sang and yelled and laughed and had fun! DH enjoyed the music, but he’s a teacher, and a good one. Good teachers stand to teach, and he’s no exception. The standing room only was not a good thing for him. He trashed his knees when he was in the service, jumping out of airplanes when he was young. So he lets me do the jumping around for him.

Dumpstaphunk was very good too! They did a cool version of CCR’s Fortunate Son. and a number of their own songs, and a James Brown number that I can’t pull the name out of my head right now. After their set, we stepped outside to breath fresh air for a while. Ian Neville came up the steps where we were and I had the opportunity to thank him and shake his hand! Woot! No fangirly squeeing, but a heartfelt thank you for the great music. I will search out Dumpstaphunk again for live music.

Before the doors opened up and the folks who were waiting were allowed into the upstairs part of the building, the crowd were entertained by someone else. This was more along the lines of watching a car wreck, but everyone outside on the steps was amused. There is an apartment building about a half a block west of the club, across the street. The upper floor apartment has several very tall windows. One of those windows didn’t appear to have any blinds, unfortunately. That apartment was lit up better than the club and a guy inside was woring on something on the far wall. Which wouldn’t have been bad, except that he didn’t appear to have any thing on. With all his lights on and the window blinds wide open. The crowd was amused by his actions. More to the point, everyone wanted to call him and get him to close his blinds.

Going to Cowboy Mouth’s concert tonight!

Neener neener neener! I’m going to see Cowboy Mouth tonight at Zydeco here in Birmingham. I’m gonna dance and jump and yell, and have a great time. Fred, Paul, Sonya, and JT are coming, and it is going to be a fantastic show! Dumpstaphunk is opening up, and I’m looking forward to hearing them for the first time. Ivan Neville and Ian Neville are part of this band, so it should be great, too. Lots of good music tonight, what more can I ask for?

Surfing Blog tags,

Or a study in random occurences.

One of the tags I like to check out is Books. It is a fascinating look at what other folks may be reading. You never know what you may run across. There are folks who will very eruditely discuss the classics that they are reading or re-reading. There are folks who are propping up furniture with books that reach the specific dimension that are needed. There are folks reading trashy novels, and art books, and detective stories, and everything across the spectrum. Its a never ending surprise to see what is there today.

Did I get the URL’s for these blogs to pass along? Of course not. It figures. Do your own tag surf and see what pops up!

Alton Brown is fun!

I’m a food network junkie. And my hero is Alton Brown. He’s matter of fact, silly, scientific foodie! His show, Good Eats, was on tonight and he was working with lentils. We don’t use lentils very often, so it was interesting to see what he did with them. And the second episode tonight about pocket pies was fun. Its obvious that the crew of the show has way too much fun working on those episodes. Check out AB and see what you think!