Friday, February 24, 2006

Here's Lindsey Kildow after a tough slalom run in the combined. She was hurting. We can't know what they're thinking at such moments, and it must be pretty strange to be standing on the ski hill and know the TV camera next to you is a window through which most of your loved ones and friends are watching (as well as millions of the bored, ignorant and callous). Props to Lindsey for toughing it out as much as she could.

Julie Mancuso takes the GOLD in the Women's GS. I sort of hope she didn't put on the tiara 'til after the race, though I have to admit I enjoyed Resi Stiegler's teddy bear ears on the helmet bit. "You're not going to win or lose a slalom race because of ears on your helmet," she says of the perceived aerodynamical disadvantage. "If I start wearing capes, then someone can step in and tell me to knock it off."

I gotta say overall the U.S. team was kind of melodramatic and underachieving.

The folks at Jazz Pour Tous have been getting into some Ornette Coleman and were looking for an album I actually have stashed away in the crates in my basement, so I dug it out and stuck it up on Rapidshare. Here is Ornette's 1968 album New York Is Now, complete with cover art. I still haven't listened to the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Here is my jazz quartet performing January 14 at Goodnite Gracie's here in Ann Arbor. My wife took the picture (thanks, Deb!) and Surry's red dress definitely makes the picture. Dean unfortunately can just barely be glimpsed behind Surry. That's me on bass and Rob on drums. There are 3 more pix at the band webpage. I also updated the previous posting with more links and info on the Cheney hunting accident.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Are these folks friends of yours? Tobin Armstrong passed away last October, may he rest in peace. He was the grandson of John Armstrong III, a famous Texas ranger. The Armstrong Ranch is a 50,000 acre (78 square mile) ranch in Kenedy County, Texas, "purchased from owners of a Spanish land grant in 1852" according to Texas Cattler Raisers. Kenedy County, Texas, has a population of about 500 people, or 3 per square mile, according to Tobin Armstrong in testimony before a House subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. (For comparison, the King Ranch in the same part of Texas is more than 15 times as big, almost 1300 square miles.)
Daughter of aristocratic New Orleans coffee merchant Armant Legendre, Anne Legendre Armstrong was appointed Ambassador to the United Kingdom by Gerald R. Ford and was the first woman to chair the Intelligence Advisory Board. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987 by Ronald Reagan. A member of the board of Halliburton. Gerald R. Ford considered Anne L. Armstrong as a possible running mate for the 1976 presidential campaign.

Anne and Tobin's daughter Katharine Armstrong is a Texas lobbyist and co-owner of the ranch, which is some sort of family holding. She is a former head of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. Of the shooting Saturday, she said, "Harry was about 100 yards away, looking for a lost bird. The vice president and another hunter had moved on toward another covey of quail.

"But Harry came up behind the vice president's party and didn't announce himself," she said. "The vice president was following the birds as he swung around and hit Harry. It's just good hunting protocol to let the other hunters know where you are."

I don't know a thing about hunting so here are a couple of germane quotes from the Texas State Rifle Association:

"Texas hunting accidents in 2004 decreased to the lowest amount since statistical records began in 1966. The number of people injured in hunting accidents in Texas decreased from 44 in 2003 to 29 in 2004..."

"The primary reason for Texas hunting accidents remains swinging on game outside a safe zone of fire. This happens when a person points a firearm at another hunter while following a moving target, such as a flying game bird. Hunter education teaches people to set up safe zones of fire where a gun can be safely pointed whether the target is moving or stationary."

Cheney apologists will claim that the shooting victim erred by walking into a free fire zone.

Quail hunters discuss hunting safety in the Kansas City Star.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Accident Report (PDF)from the LA Times.

Statements since the weekend on VP Cheney's website make no mention of a hunting accident. The February 13th statement is an explanation of the upland game stamp violation (see the LA Times story) and the February 14th statement says he has spoken with Mr. Whittington, is monitoring the news, and sends his prayers. Here is an essay from TIME by a Walter Kirn that tries to be pretty deep and does pretty well.

I've really been enjoying Claude Thornhill recordings from 1947 as posted on Bastet & Corwyn's Music, an excellent blog I just discovered. Here's an MP3 of Gene Williams' vocal on Hirsch and Rose's 'Deed I Do, and the sheet music: a color JPEG of the cover and black and white PDFs of pages 1, 2, and 3. I'll probably add a PDF of a fakebook version from Lee Evans' "The Professional Pianist's Fake Book", but right now I just got done watching some French guy win the Olympic men's downhill and now I've got to take the kids to the sliding hill.