By the time I got to UMass it was deep enough to leave footprints.
Last week the weather was better. The verdant farm fields of Hadley are barren now, but their incredible beauty still soothes the soul.
Recently I was on the Norwottock Rail Trail with Mark, riding along in this contraption.
It's like a bicycle built for four, each seat having their own pedals. Mark got it from Europe. Here is what it was like to ride in such a vehicle.
Greenfield native, internationally acclaimed magician and libertarian activist Penn Jillette recently did a major interview with the Washington Times. An excerpt:
Election night brought speculation that the United States was slowly embracing libertarianism; that victories for recreational marijuana and gay marriage symbolized a potential shift toward a libertarian direction of personal freedom. Jillette remains unconvinced.
“I just don’t know. I don’t know. People still seem to think that they should vote themselves money. They seem to think there is stuff which they think is the government’s job, when it’s really the individual’s job. You have to be careful as a libertarian because you can sound very Republican. I don’t want people who are in poverty, in pain, or suffering, to suffer because it’s for their own good and they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I want to help them. I want us all to help them. I just don’t want to use guns to do it.”
To read the whole interview go here.
It turns out there was a record turnout of voters in Massachusetts earlier this month as Barack Obama beat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 61% to 38% with one percent voting for third party candidates like Bay State resident Jill Stein. According to the Boston Globe:
Secretary of the State William F. Galvin said the Nov. 6 turnout was 3,184,196 people – or 73.3 percent of registered voters - compared with 3,102,995 people who voted in 2008, the previous record.
Read more here.
Northampton's Iron Horse Music Hall released the following statement today.
A must read, on the eve of Dinosaur Jr's show at Pearl Street, tomorrow night, Wednesday 11/28 at 8PM. Dinosaur Jr's first club gig (ever) at Pearl Street about 25 years ago in the mid to late '80s. A recollection by club manager John Allen:
I don't remember the year exactly, it was the Thursday before Good Friday 1986 or 87, and it was the first ever club booking for Dinosaur Jr. Their "manager
" Simon (a fellow Brit ex-pat) had brought me a tape of them and begged me to "give them an opening slot on any show." I listened to the tape and was impressed that a collection of local kids had produced this Neil Young-ian sound. I also liked Simon, a cheery enthusiastic fellow, so I booked the lads as the opening act for Cow Punk rockers, Jason & The Scorchers. I'd gambled there would be enough people home for Easter who needed to get out and have some fun. We got a modestly sized crowd of rabid Jason fans wearing cowboy hats and doing shots of Jim Beam as they hollered in heightened anticipation for their hero Mr. Ringenberg and company to take the stage. I'd given Dinosaur and their "manager" strict instructions to play for no more than 30 minutes.
Their set began louder than any I'd ever heard in the room. There weren't nearly enough bodies to dampen the sonic attack reverberating between gobsmacked wannabe cowboys and the walls. People immediately began heading for the front bar away from the stage. The crowd was not bashful about expressing their distaste, booing and covering their ears. I ran to the side stage area and told Simon, their "manager" to tell them to turn it down, which he did to little avail. By the time I got back to the front bar people were accosting me angrily, demanding that I get them off the stage. I allowed them a little longer before returning to the stage where I got into a shouting match with Simon, who told me there was nothing he could do. I asked J Mascis myself from side stage to turn it down, he ignored me at first and then actually turned it up, which I didn't realize until I was back out front being screamed at by the few remaining patrons (the rest were leaving in droves, covering their ears as they fled).
I returned to the side stage and gestured to Mascis that he should make the song they were playing their last one. He stared at me briefly before his face disappeared behind the curtain of hair he used to punctuate his attention to anything beyond his immediate concern. As they came to the end of the song he immediately launched into another. I began gesticulating at him wildly he ignored me and played even louder. I was shouting that he needed to end it, or I would cut the power! He began yet another song which is when I pulled the master switch killing all the stage power; sound, lights everything! When I was sure they'd got the message and had lost their momentum, I returned power to the stage. I attempted to talk to J Mascis but found it difficult communicating through the curtain of hair that separated us. The band left quietly and listlessly. Apparently they'd expended everything they had during the brief sonic assault on the ears and bodies of the wannabe Cow Punks of Western Mass.
- John Allen, booking agent at Pearl Street Nightclub, 1984 - 89.