Monday, July 21, 2014

Concord fireworks 2014 ...

They were amazing, weren't they? I recorded the finale and posted a clip on Patch. Here's the complete last two minutes of the show. Boom!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My great-grandfather carved this ...

along with his brother and it is still one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

About that June jobs report ...

How in the world is a drop in the unemployment rate of 0.2%, the loss of nearly 500,000 full-time jobs, and the lowest workforce participation rate in the history of the country heralded as a positive jobs report? Well, it was last week. I'm glad some folks have taken another look at the numbers ... this is truly bad news. The economy is going the wrong way: ["Full Time Jobs Plunge ..."]

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 3 lightning clip compilation

The July 3, 2014, storm was nowhere near as bad as the day before. However, I tried to gather some lightning flashes, to no avail. Here is a compilation of the lightning clips from the storm. The last 18 seconds are two strikes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Totally loving Lucius ...

Lucius, the Brooklyn quintet whose debut album from last year is one of the must-hear records of the last 18 months or so, played Concord, NH, on Sunday night.
I've included my Patch story link here for folks to read if they are interested.
I've been playing the band on my radio show for a bit now, ever since downloading the collection on emusic.com on a whim.
The band is simply amazing and the members showed why the other night.
It's nice to see such a great event in the city really pick up steam and congrats to the band for getting the attention the performers deserve.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Camping along the Saco River ...

I love this place, the Crawford Notch General Store and Campground. We've never been able to get a river site before because to reserve a site, you have to pay for two nights. So, I splurged, and paid for the extra day in order to get it at least once. It was nice.
The first night was really windy. The tent kept getting blown over. But there were all kinds of rocks at the site to hold the tent down. I also drove the car in to block a bit of the wind. The next day, no wind. It was a bit chilly - the low 50s - but the minute the sun came up over the Mount Crawford (I think that's the name), it became very hot and we ended up leaving early. I think next time, we'll book one of the wooded sites with access to the river, and try one of those.
Here's a short video and some pictures.


Campfire ...

Stars ... 

More stars ... 

Morning sunrise ...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

On-air fundraiser from 4-7 p.m. today!

FYI everyone: I'll be on WNHN 94.7 LP in Concord from 4 to 7 p.m. today helping to raise money for the station. Tune in if you get the chance here: WNHN ... you can also read my story about the fundraiser here: WNHN On-Air Fundraiser Held Friday, Saturday

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Great Marketing ...

As seen on Miami Beach recently ... you gotta love this marketing campaign, taking to the skies, literally, by Trojan Condoms.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why I no longer read Mother Jones ...

or a lot of the political press these days that seems very biased ...
Reporter Patrick Caldwell has this post about "the people's pledge" proposal being demanded by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, of former Mass. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, requesting he agree to the same terms he did in his 2012 re-election race against Elizabeth Warren: ["Scott Brown Ditches 'The People's Pledge' for Dark Money"].
Brown, who has formed an exploratory committee but hasn't announced an official run, balked at the idea. And why not? In 2012, the pledge didn't keep special interest money out of that race, as noted by PR Watch in this story from October 2012: ["In Massachusetts, even the "People's Pledge" Can't Keep Out the Outside Money"]. Brown lost re-election by around 250,000 votes after being out-spent by $7.2 million, as reported by OpenSecrets.org. I don't believe anyone has done an overview of the in-state special interest money that was spent on this election, probably in the millions (a Google search didn't reveal any analysis), including money spent by labor unions and the president's campaign pushing Warren and other Democrats over the top, which we know was more than Romney and Republicans spent nationally.
While there is a slight difference between "dark money" and "special interest money," it isn't a huge difference. It's all bad, whether it is a corporation, environmental group, an "evil" oil company that sells that gas that gets you everywhere in your car, or the Koch brothers. It's all evil money.
And that's where the Mother Jones story really misses the boat, especially at the end of the article - it can pounce on Brown - still, a non-candidate - for not rejecting potential special interest money that might attack Shaheen but doesn't even mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars in special interest funds spent attacking Brown for months before he even formed an exploratory committee.
As we've been reporting on Patch, the state Democrats launched an online ad in early December of last year, criticizing Brown about a potential run. That is a local expenditure and not "dark," in the historical context. But, it's still special interest money for sure. But, there's no mention of it in the Mother Jones story.
Then, a month later, the Senate Majority PAC began airing six figures worth of attack ads against Brown here. Out-of-state, dark, special interest money, truly just as bad as anything the Kochs and Rove will air. As you guessed, there's no mention of it in the Mother Jones story.
Then, the League of Conservation Voters bought six figures worth of ads to attack Brown, again, who hasn't decided he is going to run yet or even when the ads started airing in the state ... Dark, special interest, out-of-state money ... no mention in the Mother Jones story.
Take note of this in the League of Conservation Voters post about all they did 18 months ago to defeat Brown with dark, special interest, out-of-state money even though there was a "people's pledge"!
"In 2012, LCV launched mail and field programs to help defeat Brown in Massachusetts, spending more than $1.1 million in the race. LCV Action Fund also raised or contributed more than $134,000 for Elizabeth Warren through its GiveGreen program, the only bundling website devoted exclusively to raising money for environmental champions and candidates."
All this money is just as evil as the Koch/Rove money and yet, not a peep from Mother Jones about it. Why? More than likely, the reporter simply missed it or didn't perform a simple Google search to look. The Dark Money collection of stories though on the MJ site shows an obsession about the Kochs, not unlike a lot of other people these days. There is, in fairness, some Democratic special interest money mentioned there too but not quite as much.
Brown hasn't announced an official run (although it is assumed), so he doesn't have to agree to anything. He hasn't agreed to participate in debates, as an example.
In all honesty though, regardless of what anyone thinks of Shaheen or Brown, the "people's pledge" is a political stunt when it comes to getting or keeping special interest money out of politics, something most of us want. It allows all kinds of special interest money from INSIDE the state to be spent, money that always wants something for the money ... Why would anyone handcuff themselves at this stage of the game with something that's a stunt and doesn't really work anyway?

ALSO READ - Concord NH Patch - 2012: The Nastiest Election Ever?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Intown Concord fundraiser painting ...

The annual Intown Concord celebrity painting fundraiser is coming up on March 13, at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate in Concord.
I got a chance, once again, to do another painting, my second in about 30 years. It will be auctioned off as part of the org's general meeting.
This one came out OK. I decided to challenge myself a bit but I'm not quite happy with it. The purple bugs me although the depth on the gateway came out OK. I like the sun in the trees in places.
Next year, I'll have to try something different again.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cool, literally, ice fractals on cars ...


Here are some of the cool ice fractals that were on our cars on Jan. 15. The designs are pretty astounding. It's hard to imagine these naturally happening with such digital precision just from the air freezing condensation.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

Globalization and technology are to blame ...

It took two decades, but economists seem to be finally admitting that income inequality is based on two primary economic policies and occurrences: globalization - free trade, you know, that isn't really free - and advances in technology. Both are actually mentioned in this Bloomberg story: ["Obama Decries U.S. Income Gap That Has Widened Under His Watch"].
Much of the gap is out of the president’s control, economists say, citing forces such as globalization and the spread of technology that are overwhelming government remedies. Yet while Obama complains that Republicans are blocking his efforts to boost the minimum wage and provide universal pre-school, other policies that he has enacted such as trade agreements also may have contributed to inequality, they say. 
“There are things he could do that he hasn’t done,” says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Democratic-leaning research group in Washington. “He’s done nothing to rein in the financial sector.” 
Maybe I haven't been paying attention (no, that's not it) but I really think this is something of a first, where the two things have actually been cited as a cause for our economy's perilous situation. Reining in the financial sector won't really fix things. Yes, the country can raise revenue through transaction taxes on Wall Street, do it, especially if it keeps income taxes from being raised. But those pirates are always going to do what they do (the problem is that they can drag everyone else down with them and they get bailed out).
The mystery here is the change in admission. Economists nearly always praise globalization to the point of illness. Free trade really is a cult. You can't talk about it. If you do, you're pilloried.
Technology has eliminated jobs but also created them ... good paying jobs too. Billionaires. I bet there is a balance, of sorts. But together, boom.
Maybe economists are starting to realize what is going on ... or finally just admitting what some of us have always known. Then again, maybe not. We'll see.

Mount Washington ...

and part of the presidential range ...