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Walkway from Main St. to the Kinnikinnic River Walkway from Main St. to the Kinnikinnic River
An innocently tessellated brick walkway from the center of town to the river. But wait! Some of those bricks say things. River Falls 4/22/09
River Falls Tire Co 410 N Main Street River Falls Tire Co 410 N Main Street
A brick in the walkway. River Falls, 4/22/09
Brandon Lee McFarland Brandon Lee McFarland
A brick in the walkway. River Falls, 4/22/09
more bricks etc behind cut )Continue to Part 2
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Passed on from My Google

How To Build Your Google Profile
On April 21, 2009 Google introduced a tool, called Google Profile, that allows you to take a little control over what comes up when people search your name. Google Profiles will place your profile at the bottom of the search results for your name if you are one of the top matches. Read on to learn how to take advantage of this new feature.
Essentially, you go to Google Profiles (must have or create a Google account) and add a bunch 'o stuff. You don't have to add pictures or fill out all the fields, but at least add the name(s) most associated with you.

The service just started two days ago and I don't recommend you fill everything out right away. You have some control over basic info, which seems useful to add.
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The Minicon Post Mortem was held at the home of Matt and Kelly Strait, which evolved from the MN-StF Board Meeting and transitioned into the MN-StF Meeting.

Emily at the Post Mortem [ profile] mle292 at the Post Mortem
Minicon 44 Post Mortem, St. Paul 4/18/09
Shaun's first gig as MN-StF President [ profile] kalikanzara's first gig as MN-StF President
Minicon 44 Post Mortem, St. Paul 4/18/09
Ctein Ctein
Before Shockwave Radio interview for podcast re 1,000 Trufen Project. Minicon 44 Post Morten, St. Paul 4/18/09

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After the success of Ascent Into Madness for the CD Exchange at Marscon/Minicon and beyond, I've been in a DJ mood. I've had requests to post the playlists of subsequent mixes, so here they are.

At [ profile] sevenmpls's party at Grumpy's, the bar's entertainment was a beyond-karaoke interactive game called Rock Band (I think) where a bunch of people get onstage and "play" instruments as their part zips by on five different screens. It looked fun, but I went through the selections and didn't recognize the songs. I assumed they were recent pop hits.

At Minicon, [ profile] alierajean and I were discussing this. She knew the songs, of course. I asked her to make me a mix CD of her favorite pop tunes. The next day, she had the CD. She didn't want an Ascent Into Madness CD, so I asked what she wanted. "Girly Music!" she replied proudly. I wasn't entirely sure what that meant, so I guessed, and quickly threw together a bunch of songs by, for and about women (mostly). The next day I presented:
Aliera Girly Music CD playlist )
She and Gillian seem to be enjoying the songs, most of which are probably new to them. I haven't wended my way through [ profile] alierajean's CD yet, partially because I don't have a playlist.

A few days later, a friend who is very into music had never heard of Steeleye Span. Well! I can help with that.
Steeleye Span Primer )
I don't have all my mix tapes in the database, do I can only comment on the CDs, of which this was burn #1015.

I have begun three mix CDs with False Knight on the Road, and ended three CDs with Saucy Sailor; two that begin and end with the pair including the Primer.
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To help raise money for [ profile] accessiblehouse as well as continue the tradition at Closing Ceremonies, the method of Assassination of the MN-StF President was auctioned off. First, here in LiveJournal, where [ profile] micheinnz had the high bid online. Ah, but at Closing Ceremonies, she was outbid by Time Being. Further, TB acquired Minions and a Henchwoman, all contributing to the charity to take part in this historic occasion.

The high bid in, the winner and the minions held a brief conference with the victim. Then...

Death by Unforgivable Curse Death by Unforgivable Curse

Frank Dyson, winner of the auction for [ profile] accessiblehouse, prepares to assassinate the MN-StF President with Death by Unforgivable Curse. Minicon 4/12/09

Death by Unforgivable Curse. Oooh. President [ profile] lydy was in for it now!

Minions hurl their curses Minions hurl their curses

[ profile] erica_j_stark hurls a curse while Alec waits his turn. Minicon 4/12/09

The Unforgivable Curses:
[ profile] aedifica: "May the odors of a thousand unchanged litterboxes hang about your head."
[ profile] erica_j_stark: "May termites infest your library."
Alec Phillips: "May your shoelaces always untie themselves."

The coup de grace:

Avada Kedavra Avada Kedavra

Frank casts the fatal spell. Minicon 4/12/09

And with that, [ profile] lydy was President no more. Stepping into the power vacuum was new president [ profile] kalikanzara.

Thanks to all who participated, and especially those who donated to the greater cause. Including [ profile] micheinnz's donation, we raised $75 for [ profile] accessiblehouse.

(edited per comments)

Crossposted to [ profile] accessiblehouse
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Click on picture for larger picture.

No report, as today was mostly set up/party.

The truck arrives! The truck arrives!
Co-Chair [ profile] quadong drives the truck, backwards, laden with Minicon supplies from the Storage Locker, to the Sheraton Bloomington loading dock as Peer directs and interested parties look on. Minicon 2009 4/9/09
Registration Registration
[ profile] cakmpls registers Cally Soukup as Kelly and [ profile] sethb help out. Minicon 2009 4/9/09
Raising the bar Raising the bar
[ profile] alierajean and Joel tape down the cardboard and eventually the plastic around the bar area. Minicon 2009 4/9/09

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The CD Exchange proposed by [ profile] dreamshark under the theme Divine Madness. My entry is Ascent Into Madness (includes track listings).

I haven't gotten any back. Minicon is a good opportunity!

To the best of my recollection, I have initiated an exchange with:
[ profile] dreamshark
[ profile] mle292
[ profile] freeimprov
[ profile] pegkerr
[ profile] giftedgear
[ profile] alchav
and one to [ profile] powersalad who was going to build a Cream Cheese Library show out of it, or somesuch.

Is [ profile] dreamshark going to hold an Exchange Party? Or will this be part of the LJ Collective? Stay tuned.

Note: It's not too late to play.
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As we knew from last week's ruling, Al Franken has won the 2008 Minnesota Senate Race. Despite what you might hear from the conservative news media (such as the increasingly irrelevant Star Tribune), Franken is was not "ahead" and didn't merely extend his lead or expand his lead today, he was certified the winner of the state-mandated recount in January and today's ruling effective ends the "counting" part of the election. All that's left is wrangling over a small number of potential (and only potential) misinterpretations, the number of which is smaller than Franken's current total.

Gov. Pawlenty (who's refusal to sign the election certificate has cost Minnesota taxpayers money for the recount and political clout in Washington while trillions of dollars were being spent) and Coleman (the joke of a politician who has no shame) are vying with Michele Bashman for biggest Minnesota laughingstock. They will throw "trial lawyers" at the situation. Funny how Republicans hate trial lawyers except when they don't...

Franken's lead over Coleman this morning: 255.

Franken's lead this afternoon when disputed ballots were added to the mix: 312.

The surge worked!
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Seth Briedbart, shorn Seth Briedbart, shorn
A clean shaven [ profile] sethb, MN-StF Meeting at Blaisdell Polytechnic 4/4/09
Geeking out at your birthday party Geeking out at your birthday party
[ profile] sevenmpls's birthday party is the occasion to take apart a laptop. Grumpy's in downtown Mpls, 4/4/09
The last bun The last bun
[ profile] dd_b nabs the last pork bun amid two tables of fannish dim summers. Jun Bo, Richfield, 4/5/09

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Over on Facebook, I've been clogging the news feed taking a lot of quizzes. Here they are in a bunch. So far.

Baron Dave Romm took the "Who's On First" quiz and discovered he's "I Don't Give A Darn".

Baron Dave Romm took the "What's your favorite number of quizzes to take?" quiz and scored a big fat 0. That's within two of being right.

Baron Dave Romm took the quiz "What shade of White are you?" I was #63: Off White.

Baron Dave Romm took the "Fish or Bicycle Quiz" with the result -- Indonesia.

Baron Dave Romm completed the "How do you pronounce 'tomato'" quiz and the result is "tomato".

Baron Dave Romm took the "How tall are you?" quiz. Twice. The first time I was 4'10". The second time I was 6'3". For a quiz with only one question, it seems poorly worded.
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What follows is a list of five capital-I-Important albums to me, not necessarily anyone else. And not even necessarily my favorite albums, though all are amongst my faves, but albums that influenced me in profound ways. These are more-or-less in chronological order when I encountered them.

A Child's Introduction to Jazz Bob Keeshan and the Honeydreamers. Yes, the actor who played Captain Kangaroo but not in in this song.

A Child's Introduction to Jazz, Zip file of mp3s. The recording is from 1958 or 1959, and it was a fave for many years until I was 9 or 10. This is a 78 (I think), and probably only contained only this one song story, starting on one side and continuing on to the next. I don't remember ever not having this record (and I may have it still, but I'm not going to dig through the vinyl) and always associate it with the other 78s, 45s and even 33 1/3rds heard on our multi-speed but plastic record player: Captain Kangaroo's Treasure House of Best Loved Songs (w/Mr. Greenjeans) explaining "Walzing Matilda" and "The Bear Went Over the Mountain", and even the Mickey Mouse Club Records with the March and Annette singing "Beauty is as beauty does". I'm throwing them all in as one record because that's how I played them when I was six: No covers, just put them on the turntable, lower the needle and play.

"A Child's Introduction to Jazz" was especially formative because it introduced me to the concept that music came from somewhere. My admiration for covers and fascination with the folk process probably had its genesis here. Despite being anti-semitic (they do the history of jazz including Dixieland without mentioning kelzmer), the journey from African rhythms to Negro Spirituals to French folk music and so on to American jazz is done really well by kid's standards. The Honeydreamers were harmonizing be-bop, sort of like Manhattan Transfer.

Wow, I'm listening to it for the first time in years, and it's still great.
They were coming from all over when America was young.
And they knew what they were doing when they picked this promising spot.
Oh they came across the sea
to the country of the free.
And the races got mixed in the (beat) melting pot.

America is a melting pot. (xylophone break)

When they settled here they all began to speak the English tongue
But it started sounding different 'cause they changed it rather a lot.
We speak English now a-days
in a lot of different ways.
'Cause the accents got mixed in the (beat) melting pot.
Well, sort of. The Africans didn't exactly come over "to the country of the free" and miscegenation was illegal in many states at the time. Still, for a child, this optimism and recognition of our heritage as a nation of immigrants was pretty powerful.

That Was The Year That Was Tom Lehrer

We had all three Lehrer albums, and in a different mood I might have picked An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer, but I'm going with That Was The Year That Was because it's more political and also has my favorite Lehrer song, "Pollution". The 1965 album is the most recent of the three canonical Tom Lerher albums, and we probably acquired it around the release date, so I heard if from about age 10 onwards.

Politics were always serious in our house, as various local and state-wide office holders came in and out. My father's position as a center-left editor in a very conservative county was always precarious. And all of this bounced off us kids. We were exposed, first-hand, to the great issues of the day. Laughing at the foibles and hypocrisy of everyone, even those we agreed with, was part and parcel of the territory.

Tom Lehrer had three things going for him. First, he was a superb pianist and songwriter, and could play in almost any style or from any culture. Second, he was a great stand-up comedian (though he was sitting down) and was truly funny. And third, he had a razor-sharp wit that sliced through political buffoonery rarely matched even today.

Finding out that he did these songs on television, opened my eyes to the power of parody. I've never seen the show, which was before my time. I'm not surprised that TW3 started in Britain and wasn't a huge success here. Music could be funny and witty and political. Lehrer wasn't the first nor the last to produce successful political satire, but he was one of the best, and one of the first I was exposed to.

Calypso Harry Belafonte

I'm generally more song oriented than album oriented and found Calypso when searching for two of my favorite songs: "Day-O" and "Jamaica Farwell". Both on the same album! I got the album, probably sometime in college, which led to a greater appreciation of Harry Belafonte. Calypso was the first album to sell over a million copies; a big feat in 1956, during the height of McCarthyism. Despite the tremendous racism and political repression of the time, Belafonte was the first black man to win an Emmy. His association with Paul Robeson helped get him blacklisted.

By the time I encountered the album, I sort of knew all this, but really it's not why the album was an influence nor why it stands up today. Calypso is a great album and all the songs are strong. Covers of the songs continue to appear. Indeed, the writer of many of the songs, Lord Burgess (aka Irving Burgie) never got the acclaim that went to Belafonte for his marvelous singing but went on to write the national anthem of Barbados and even has his own book and CDs. I have Island In the Sun, which isn't all that good but makes a nice compliment to the Belafonte versions.

Calypso was my first major encounter with what some call "Worldbeat" that didn't sound like be-bop jazz.

Now We Are Six Steeleye Span

Now We Are Six is not my favorite Steeleye Span (SSpan) album, but was the current release in 1974 when I was slipping into science fiction fandom and hung out with the Albany State Science Fiction Society and my eventual roommate Frank Balazs. Frank had many SSpan and related albums, and between the two of us we got most of the available recordings. Starting with SSpan led us (or me, anyway) to related groups like Renaissance and Fairport Convention. And, later, groups like Boiled In Lead and The Chieftans.

I've talked about Steeleye Span in depth in many other places including my CD reviews and don't wish to go on here. Suffice to say that they remain my favorite group (though I haven't heard the most recent CD or two) and lead singer Maddy Prior remains my favorite singer.

Horses Patti Smith

I never liked punk, and still don't. It can be fun to watch angry adolescents rage against the machine, but with few exceptions the punk movement produced no music that survived that particular era of pissed off teens. The Dead Kennedy's are one exception, and possibly the Ramones. But as far as I'm concerned the only real artist to come out of the punk movement was Patti Smith.

Horses is an astonishing album. If she had started 20 years earlier she would have been a Beat Poet, as it is she owes much to The Lost Generation and pissed off social commentators like Lenny Bruce.

I can't really understand much of the lyrics on Horses, but the emotion comes through. I consider Patti Smith a vocalist while Maddy Prior is a singer.

The centerpiece of Horses is the title song, "Land". I consider "Land" to be the best rock and roll song ever: Angry and danceable, it explores the themes of so many 50s and 60s songs: Sex and death among High School kids. Unlike "Teen Angel" or even "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Land" takes you up, then down, and finally inward. Like most punk, it isn't perfect and other performances of the song/poem are very different. Unlike most punk (at least to me), I can listen to it more than a few times. But not too often. Thanks to the internet I can read the lyrics, but even at the time the songs, especially "Land", were too powerful to be background.

Horses was followed by Easter with the remarkable combination of "Babelogue/Rock N Roll Nigger", which is not about race but is about being "outside of society, away from me" and screams for the acceptance of the outcast.

Which nicely takes me back to "A Child's Introduction To Jazz".
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Lost is one of those programs that works much, much better in the DVD release. Battlestar Galactica is another, so I'm always a season behind in both.

The Lost DVDs start out with an 8:15 recap of the first three seasons. The background was presented with whimsey, but I didn't remember a goodly chunk of what they thought important, and the plot twists were just so incredibly stupid. I almost didn't bother with Season 4. But I did, and I'm glad, sort of.
spoilerish commentary that won't tell you much )
So sit back and enjoy the ride. Lost will never go anywhere, but it's very pretty. I'll wait for the Season 5 DVDs and scrupulously ignore the broadcast show.
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I just noticed. According to my Profile Page, my LiveJournal was created 3/29/05 at 17:10:06. That means today is my fourth birthday/anniversary/creation memorial.

No presents, please.
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Sometimes, despite the Michele Bachmanns and Tim Pawlentys littering the landscape, I really love Minnesota.

Click on picture for larger picture.

Downtown Minneapolis 5/21/08 Downtown Minneapolis 6/11/08
Downtown on a normal evening; note all the lights on.
Downtown Minneapolis just before Earth Hour 3/28/09 Downtown Minneapolis just before Earth Hour 3/28/09
Note Wells Fargo building (yellow, in middle) all lit up; Target building (colored lights to left) still on, but other building in center right has lights off, 8:30pm.
Downtown Minneapolis during Earth Hour 3/28/09 Downtown Minneapolis during Earth Hour 3/28/09
Note that Wells Fargo, Target and other buildings with lights off, 9:30pm.

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The gesture is a good one. A strong symbol with growth potential.

I won't turn off the fridge, microwave (w/clock) or answering machine, but I will shut off the lights and turn off the computer. I may go to the roof (via the stairs) to take pictures of Mpls, or I may read in bed with my LED bedside lamp.

An hour or so away. Get your last twits in...
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Okay, I rarely do this sort of thing, but those of us of a Certain Age and Certain Bent will appreciate Valerie Bertinelli Back in Bikini for 49th Birthday! on the cover of People Magazine.
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MN-StF Board of Directors for 2009-10 MN-StF Board of Directors for 2009-10

l-r: [ profile] sraun, [ profile] quadong, [ profile] kalmn, [ profile] fmsv, [ profile] sevenmpls at Dreampark immediately after being elected to the MN-StF Board 3/21/09. Note lack of jackets and only one snowflake.

Click on picture for larger picture. Compare with the outgoing Board.
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Baron Dave and The Cody Rivers Show Baron Dave and The Cody Rivers Show

Mike Mathieu, Baron Dave Romm and Andrew Connor, Patrick's Cabaret after their performance March 19, 2009

The Cody Rivers Show has come to town for a brief time. One of my favorite shows from the past two Fringes is playing at Patrick's Cabaret (a former fire station at Lake and Minnehaha) tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at 8. Highly recommended.

Somewhere between Monty Python and George Balanchine, their act isn't so much written as choreographed. Funny to listen to, hysterical to listen and watch.

We cover this and other grounds in my interview after their first show Thursday 3/19/09.

Baron Dave interviews Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor of The Cody Rivers Show (mp3, 15:26).

They will be heading to Chicago next, then points East in Ohio and beyond, and will be on the road until June. Recommended!

The people who came to see the show were a show unto themselves, and Patrick's Cabaret has transcended its Fire Station origins to channel German Expressionism. This is a real fire door.

Richard Tatge and Sharon Kahn Richard Tatge and [ profile] dreamshark

Odd door, odd lighting. After Cody Rivers Show, Patrick's Cabaret 3/19/09.
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For International Change Your Icon Day I have changed my icon internationally. Picture by [ profile] bchbum_98, taken at the Borderlands Reunion party 12/31/08 at the home of [ profile] jtdacv.

This is the last known picture of me while I still had my sneakers which went missing after the MN-StF New Years Party. I don't have an icon for missing sneakers.
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Thanks to everyone who wished me well after yesterday's gunshots. I went home, read for a bit, puttered about, watched some Astro Boy, tried to watch SNL and drifted off to sleep.

Now, I'm going to treat myself to a big breakfast (really a brunch by now), do some writing and slide down the day until Trivia this evening. I'll have a good story...