Monday, January 28, 2008

Proof that bass players, worldwide, are totally nuts!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Career Strategy #1: Trash Parents' House

Being in the events business myself, I see I've gone about the job hunt all wrong. I just need some funny glasses, a bad attitude, and $20,000 in damage to the neighborhood.

From The Week:
A Melbourne teenager was on the run this week after throwing a wild party that caused thousands of dollars in damages and took 30 police officers, a helicopter, and the canine squad to break up. Police said they would bill Corey Delaney, 16, about $20,000 for damages to police cars and other property. Delaney, who is camping on the beach near his home, said that in the few days since his party and its aftermath made international headlines, he has fielded several job offers to work as a party planner. "He's a bigger party animal than all the girls put together: Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears," said celebrity agent Max Markson. "He could easily earn $50,000 to $60,000 in the next fortnight." At the time of the party, Delaney's parents were out of town.

And I thought a Master's degree would open doors! Silly me...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


A giant Pacific octopus living in a Cornish aquarium has formed an unlikely bond with Mr. Potato Head.

Louis regularly plays with the Mr Potato Head figure which was given to him as part of an enrichment project at Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium. Read more...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Two Good Movies

Street Fight is the story of Corey Booker, an Ivy League lawyer who moves into a housing project, "lives among the people" and challenges Sharpe James in the mayoral race in Newark, NJ. A really interesting documentary about a grass-roots election campaign. Booker is currently the mayor of Newark.

The Great Debaters is loosely based on the story of the Wiley College debate team that goes on to defeat Harvard in 1935. In reality, they beat the University of Southern California...still a great victory for a team that went on to be undefeated for ten years. The film also portrays the young life of James L. Farmer, Jr.--one of the fathers of the Civils Rights movement.

25th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers

Bicycle Corp from Fort Missoula at Yellowstone in 1896

The 25th Infantry arrived at Fort Missoula in May 1888. The regiment was one of four created after the Civil War that were made up of black soldiers with white officers. In 1896, Lieutenant James Moss organized the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps to test the military potential of bicycles. The corps undertook several short journeys - up the Bitterroot Valley by bicycle to deliver dispatches, north to the St. Ignatius area, and through Yellowstone National Park - before making a 1,900 mile trip from Fort Missoula to St. Louis in 1897. The Army concluded that while the bicycle offered limited military potential, it would never replace the horse. The 25th Infantry returned to Missoula by train. When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, the 25th was one of the first units called to fight. The regiment served bravely in Cuba and the Philippines, but was reassigned to other posts after the war's end.

Further Resources on the Buffalo Soldiers

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love, Work and Gossiping

Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
-Sigmund Freud
Kiki suggests that this doesn't take into consideration human negativity. He suggests:

Love, Work and Gossiping are the cornerstones of our humanness.

Flowers on my mind

We've had about 6 inches of snow since yesterday, and all I can think about is gardening. I can't wait for the ground to thaw so I can go reserve one, two, maybe three (!) gardening plots in our community garden down the road. The other night, in addition to a vegetable garden, I realized I have enough seeds to plant an entire plot of flowers for cutting, and maybe selling. I can't think of a more enjoyable summer hobby than growing flowers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


On June 3, 1912 my great grandparents, with my grandmother Magdalene, crossed into the U.S. in Laredo, Texas on their way from Argentina to North Dakota. For more Merck Family history, see Cousin Ed's wonderful research.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


If you've got a few minutes, take the time to listen to MLK's speech Beyond Viet Nam--A Time to Break Silence at Riverside Church in NYC, April 4, 1967.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Hello friends and fans of food,
Check out edible MISSOULA and my interview with our new Missoula Symphony maestro, Darko Butorac, on "How to Feed an Orchestra". (Click on the picture above)

From John Kerry

Hi Friend,

Martin Luther King said, "The time is always right to do what is right." So I'm choosing this time to share an important decision I've made, one I believe is right for this country.
[...] I want to share with you my conviction that in a field of fine Democratic candidates, the next President of the United States can be, should be, and will be Barack Obama. Each of our candidates would make a fine President, and we are blessed with a strong field. But for this moment, at this time in our nation's history, Barack Obama is the right choice.

Please join me in supporting Barack Obama's candidacy.

I'm proud to have helped introduce Barack to our nation when I asked him to speak to our national convention, and there Barack's words and vision burst out. On that day he reminded Americans that our "true genius is faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles." And with his leadership we can build simple dreams, and we can turn millions of small miracles into real change for our country.

At this particular moment, with our country faced with great challenges in our economy, in our environment, and in our foreign policy, and with our politics torn by division, Barack Obama can bring transformation to our country. With Barack, we can build a new majority of Americans from all regions who can turn the page on the politics of Karl Rove and begin a new politics, one worthy of our nation's history and promise. We can bring millions of disaffected people - young and old - to the great task of governing and making a difference, child to child, community to community.

Please click here to give what you can to Barack Obama's campaign for President and help build this future for our country.

The moment is now, and the candidate for this moment is Barack Obama. Like him, I also lived abroad as a young man, and I share with him a healthy respect for the advantage of knowing other cultures and countries, not from a book or a briefing, but by personal experience, by gut, by instinct. He knows the issues from the deep study of a legislator, and he knows them from a life lived outside of Washington. His is the wisdom of real-world experience combined with the intellect of a man who has thought deeply about the challenges we face.

History has given us this moment. But we need to decide what to do with it. I believe, with this moment, we should make Barack Obama President of the United States.

Thank you,
John Kerry

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy 2008

Happy New Year Friends! I'm happy to announce that First Night Missoula was a big success this year, with record attendance, second only to 2000. While I spent most of the day on the 31st coordinating volunteer efforts from our basement command center, I was encouraged by the lack of any major catastrophes reported from the field. After working so hard on such a big event, I expected I'd have some sense of how it went when all was said and done. But I've had to rely on volunteer accounts and the lack of complaints from participants to assess that all must have gone well! I did get out for about 20 minutes to view the ice carvers and pony riders in Caras Park, light a candle for peace, and read a Shakespeare sonnet (#108) on the sidewalk. I was also in charge of the First Night Idol competition at the Wilma theater--a contest for high school karaoke stars that went off without a hitch. The rest of the evening was spent manning the First Night table at the University Center, where people were still buying buttons up until 11:30! And finally, a week later, I'm having a chance to reflect on the New Year...I wish you a very prosperous and happy 2008! SB