nice song

This morning on my run to the gym a catchy tune about butterflies came up on my rhapsody channel.  In the dark and 48 degree weather I didn’t pull out my sansa player to see who the artist was, but I liked the song.  Later in the office I sought it out on the web and found it was that Sheryl Crow/Sting collaboration from a couple of years ago called “Always on Your Side“.   Nice little pop song!

For some reason, Youtube’s versions are not embeddable.

The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel MaddowCheck this out.  Its weeknights at 9pm on MSNBC.   Maddow is a outspoken, gay, progressive political commentator with a colorful resume.  (Rhodes scholar, landscaper, morning zoo radio personality).  She’s shot to the top of the heap at MSNBC after being given her own prime time show just a couple of months ago.   She has several one-on-one interviews in each show.   And she is so incredibly smart!   And poised.   And witty.

You can see clips from her show here, but you can get audio and video podcasts of the nightly broadcasts the next day from here.  Stripped of commercials, the audio podcasts are about 45 minutes long.   Its great programming for my morning commute.

She also has a longer standing radio show on Air America which is available for download by subscription.

11/26 Update: After consuming several more shows, I’ve got to add that Maddow is a little bit of a smartass, and despite her refreshing POV, that could start to wear on me.

more a cappella awesomeness

There is a whole genre of 4 part close harmony videos on youtube, created by guys working alone and overtracking themselves on their computers and webcams. This guy had the help and support of a cappella comedy group Moosebutter (from Provo, UT), who originally adapted and recorded the arrangement.

In fact, the young man comes clean in the video notes and acknowledges its not him singing, but he’s lip synching the moosebutter recording.

Further investigating shows that the arranger makes the TTBB sheet music available for free! Hey Makeshift guys: could this be our next “BohRhap”?

Thank you Moosebutter and MisterTim and Coverville.

beach snook

Linda and I are in Fort Lauderdale for the weekend while Linda attends a yoga conference.  We’re staying at a swanky Westin resort hotel, (cellphone photo) where its not really appropriate to carry a fishing pole around.  So I went off premises, and went out on a drift boat this morning with no success at all.  But this afternoon, I poked around old Fort Lauderdale, and wound up at Dania Beach where I landed this under-slot snook.

In the evening we had dinner at a divey place on the intra-coastal, where two quarter-million dollar boats had tied up to drink and party. The band was pretty good, but the real show was when one boat pulled out and collided (kind of bounced off) the other. Then we got to watch the two owners go head to head and exchange insurance info.

Silver Spurs Arena review

November 13, 2009

Robb Larson
General Manager
Osceola Heritage Park
1875 Silver Spur Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744

Dear Mr. Larson,

My wife and I attended the Sugarland concert at the Silver Spurs arena this past Friday night.   These are the problems we encountered.

Traffic was backed up on Highway 192 for at least a mile.   We arrived at about 7:15pm, and bypassed the traffic line developed in the westbound right lanes on 192.  I was certain that there must have been additional events going on causing the traffic backup.  But no, the bottleneck was that there were only two men, wearing aprons, collecting parking fees for a venue that seats 10,000.   We did not arrive at the arena until almost 8pm and missed most of the opening act.

Our seats were terrible.  I purchased top level $49.50 seats through Ticketmaster within 5 minutes after they went on sale in August.  Our seats were in the upper deck in section 231 exactly perpendicular to the side of the stage.  Sight lines were horrible, and none of the sound was pointed in our direction.  We could see the video screens but not well.  We went to customer service and exchanged the tickets for seats we could have bought that evening. They were on the floor, which was immeasurably better then what we had, but we had to stand through the concert.   I spoke with two other couples near our new seats that had the same purchasing experience and swapped out like we did.

Finally, the concession lines were disastrous.   I made an attempt to buy some drinks, but after standing in line for 10 minutes with little forward motion, the show began and I returned to my seat.

And all of this for a show that was not even sold out.  It is very unlikely that we will return to Osceola Heritage park.


Bob Reed

baribob @,
407-625-0274 (cell)
2915 Little John Road
Winter Park, FL, 32792

PS. you may refer to, or even reply to, a copy of this letter on my blog at


On October 3rd, 1995, I worked for a television service company on the south side of Orlando.  That afternoon while in a meeting with other managers, we paused to follow the announcement of the OJ Simpson verdict on national television.    100% of the persons in the meeting were white, while Just outside our door was the customer service floor with a staff that was about 75% black.    When the first “not guilty” verdict was announced, the employees outside our meeting room erupted in whoops and cheers and hollers.   Inside the room, barely a word was exchanged, and I had a chill run down my spine as I sensed in a most profound way the depth of the racial divide in our society, in my city, and in the company I worked for.   Later that week when I attended a networking technology class at Seminole Community College, my African-American instructor felt compelled to devote half the class time to expressing his personal feelings and opinions about the verdict.   I considered complaining to the department chair, but did not.

This morning, 13 years later, I was walking across the UCF campus on my way to a meeting and nearby me, going in the same direction, was an African-American student.  She was talking on her cellphone about last night’s  election results, and how exciting the Obama victory was.  She recounted that she called her family, and her father literally could not speak on the phone because he was choked up.  She also said she talked to her blubbering grandmother, who had personal experience of being denied the right to vote as a young woman.

I exchanged smiles and head nods with the student as she acknowledged my eavesdropping.   And I got chills again.   This time, its about narrowing that divide in our society and culture.

A local columnist this morning countered the “Bradley effect” speculation with his original “Oprah effect” thesis.  He said that some people such as Oprah can be so successful at connecting with others across racial lines, that they truly transcend that gap.   And Barack Obama has clearly done that.   I’m proud to be an Obama supporter, and like he said last night, I’m feeling more hopeful today than ever before.

election 2008

I had my usual day working at the polls.  Started at 6am, and I was home with all of my precinct counted and reported before 9pm.  At this hour, no one in the media is making a projection yet, but I want to ask…

When do we start the redistributing?   Will we change our money now to say “In Allah we trust”?  Have the ‘end times’ begun yet?