The Blisters Play Lollapalooza

from Lollapalooza Blog

Pre-teen rock band The Blisters played one if the most entertaining sets of the day in Chicago. If you haven’t heard of the them yet, don’t worry, you will. Consisting of Henry Mosher on vocals and bass, Hayden Holbert on guitar, Dylan Johnson on vocals and guitar and Spencer Tweedy, son of Jeff, on drums, the band played an extremely entertaining set consisting of songs like the Ramones’ Blitzkreig Bop, The Flaming Lips’ She Don’t Use Jelly, The Beatles’ Dear Prudence, Neal Young’s Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World, and to balance things out for an encore they played the Lynard Skynard classic Sweet Home Alabama.

I spoke with Henry after the show and he informed me that the band didn’t just start – they’ve been around for three years and the Chicago-based foursome has already played shows at Second City and Millenium Park. They don’t have a website or even a Myspace account, but the fresh-faced tween assured me that those to things were on the way.

I caught the drummer’s father trying to make his way from back stage out into the audience. He stood in the back laughing and beaming with pride due to the crowd’s reaction to the band. I have to say that Spencedr was obviously the best musician in the band – he was on-beat thoughout the entire set with no audible mistakes. That kid’s gonna be a rock and roll star!

Maine Solar System

I was looking for Solar System models for Peter and found this:

Aroostook County, in Northern Maine, built a 40 mile (64.6 km) long scale model of the solar system, at a scale of 1 mile equaling the distance from earth to sun. The model extends along Route 1, between the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus and the Houlton Information Center at the end of I-95. The model has ten major components, those being the sun and the nine planets from Mercury to Pluto, with moons for Earth, Saturn, Jupiter (4) and Pluto.

How many states have you been to?

I haven’t really counted how many states I have been to in a while but I knew that I was close to 40. I just counted and found out that I have 39.

In June, I took a business trip to Wisconsin, which was a new one for me. When you get to such a high number, it is a big deal when you get a new state, they are pretty few and far between. If I haven’t been there in 40 years, what would get me there now?

Later this month I am going to Michigan on business, and that will be state number 40. It is a pretty exciting milestone.

The official rules for counting a state are:
Visiting a destination in state
Spending the night in a state
Driving through a significant portion of the state
(Once I drove through a corner of Idaho that I used to count, but I have since enforced these rules and no longer count it).
Eating a meal in a state
(We have driven across many state lines to have dinner)

Things that don’t count:
Landing in an airplane and never leaving the airport
Driving through a small portion of a state and never stopping

Since I have lived my whole life on the east coast, many of the states I have never been to are in the middle of the country.

Here are the states I still need to go to (in alphabetical order):
Michigan (but I have plane tickets in 2 weeks)
North Dakota

Looking at the list, I do not wonder why I have not been to these states.

Where’s My Father’s Day Breakfeast?

No only did the kids choose to bypass the traditional gorgefest that one would associate with a child-prepared Father’s Day breakfast (or breakfeast), but I had to make Peter his breakfast as well as preparing my own.

We had strawberries from the farmer’s market, so I was happy to have a bowl of cereal with strawberries for my breakfast. Since I don’t normally have time for cereal, it was a nice thing to have. And when Peter asked me to make Cream of Wheat for his breakfast, I just couldn’t refuse. This is the hot cereal my grandmother made me when I was little, so I do like to make it for my kids.

Only in Orange County, NC

from the News & Observer:

Orange County Commissioner Stephen Halkiotis shared a concern at a board meeting Tuesday night.

“I decided as I get older, I want something a little more royal in a toilet,” he said.

Replacing the old toilet wasn’t the problem. Figuring out what to do with it was.

Halkiotis pressure-washed it, then moved it into his garage temporarily.

He told the board and county staff that he was hesitant to take it to one of the county’s salvage sheds where residents usually swap household items in good condition. That’s because he and other commissioners have recently heard complaints from several residents who were directed by convenience center operators to throw items away rather than make them available to others.

Halkiotis wants to see more training so that items such as bed frames and lawn mowers that still work don’t get directed to the trash bins.

“Can’t we get these people in for overtime, feed them some sandwiches and do a program on what we’re all about?” Halkiotis said.

He passed around a photo of his used toilet and encouraged anyone who would be interested in it to call him at home.

“I’ll help you lift it up and put it in the truck,” he offered.

Public Works Director Wilbert McAdoo assured Halkiotis that the convenience center staff were getting more training. He added that the toilet would be welcome in the salvage shed and wouldn’t be the first to find a new home.

Halkiotis said anyone interested should call him by today.

Elementary Re-Districting

Our local school district is building a new high school, its third, and as they began the process of re-districting for the high school, they announced they would consider spot re-districting for elementary and middle schools.

A new elementary school is 2-3 years away, but two schools are currently overcrowded, FPG (my kids’ school) and Scroggs. The school board spent countless hours on this issue. Tons of emails were sent, supporting this plan or that plan or no plan. Parents went to school board meetings, committee meetings and generally filled their time with talk of this re-districting. It has been the hot topic of the neighborhood equivalent of the water cooler for the past few weeks.

One side of the story is that parents in the Scroggs district wanted to move lower socio-economic kids who didn’t live in Southern Village (the large development where the elementary school is located) out of Scroggs. Shifting some of these kids to FPG would lower the socio-economic numbers of FPG, which is already the lowest in the district. We enjoy the diversity of the school, but if it moves further away from the average in the overall school district, that is not a good thing.

Anyway after all this uproar, they moved 12 kids from Scroggs to FPG and moved 16 kids from FPG to McDougle. Big deal. In the end, they should have just held tight for a couple years and moved nobody.