What If They Gave A Debate, And Nobody Came?

Tonight there was a debate in New Hampshire among declared Republican presidential candidates.  So we got to see Mitt, and Newt, and Tim, and Rick, and Ron, and Michele, and Herman duke it out — more than a year before next year’s election, and six months before the actual New Hampshire primary.  I didn’t watch it.  Did anyone, who wasn’t paid to do so?

Why do Republicans do this to themselves?  Why have a debate at this point, long before the actual issues on which the election will turn have crystallized?  With the economy struggling and the pathetic thrashings of Anthony Weiner dominating the news, why would Republicans want to do anything to change the national discourse?  Why take the chance that one of the announced candidates, who may never have more than fringe appeal, will say or do something stupid that the media can seize upon as the new story of the day?

When things are going badly for the Democrats — as they are — why intrude?  The Republicans should shut up for a while and let the issues play out, without having a bunch of not-ready-for-prime-time-players talking about matters that probably aren’t going to make much difference come election day in November 2012.  We would all be better served if the “debates” were deferred until we were within a month or two of an actual election that had real consequences.  If the Republicans won’t do the decent thing and keep their yaps shut for a few more months, then the American public should just agree that no one should pay any attention to the blatherings and posturings of the would-be candidates until after the leaves turn and the first snow falls.

On Public Square, Thinking Of LeBron James

In Cleveland today, passing the majestic Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Public Square, it was hard not to think of . . . LeBron James.  Boy, the people in Cleveland seem to be walking with a spring in their step on this bright, sunny day!  Their hometown hero left them, in a very public, very classless way, and they have happily been rooting against him ever since.  So when the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat last night, denying LeBron James the NBA championship that he took his talents to South Beach to grasp, the people in Cleveland celebrated.

For one day, at least, the colossal spire of the Cleveland Soldiers and Sailors Monument seemingly was transformed from another Midwestern monument to the sacrifices made during the Civil War into a monumental middle finger to LeBron James, his conceit, his ego, and his lack of basic Midwestern decency.  The good folks of Cleveland aren’t shy about their feelings in this regard.  “Hey, LeBron!” they seem to be saying.  “You want to treat us like crap?  We are only to happy to reciprocate!”

LeBron is still a young man.  Maybe this whole exercise will teach him a valuable lesson in humility.

A Good Buy

I have a history of making incredibly ill-advised technology purchases.  For example, at some point during the early 1980s I went to a technology store to buy a VCR.  I listened to the sales person, assessed the quality of the respective options, and decided to buy a Betamax.  Approximately 10 seconds after I made the purchase, it was announced that no more videotapes would be made using Beta technology.

Sometimes, however, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn.  In my case, I lucked out when I bought the Logitech iPod player.  It is, without question, the best technology purchase I have ever made.

The Logitech device is a simple construct.  It consists of a docking station where you can place your iPod, speakers that pump out the sound, and an electrical cord.  But it is durable, and well-made, and so easy to use that even a technological illiterate like me can’t mess it up.  Plug it in and use it to play your iPod songs or to charge your iPod.  Or unplug it and take it to the tailgate with you, or bring it out on the patio, or on a picnic.  It will play for hours on its batteries and you can recharge the batteries merely by plugging it into any outlet.

This device is small and easy to pack in a suitcase.  I’ve taken it on trips around the globe and it has performed flawlessly.  I like having music around, and the Logitech really delivers.

Saturday Night Concert

I can’t think of anything better to do on a comfortable clear summer night in Columbus, Ohio than to enjoy an outdoor concert at Lifestyle Pavilion with a couple of friends. What a great venue for a concert !

So thanks to my friend Courtney we had box seats to see Ray LaMontagne (the g is silent) and the Pariah Dogs on Saturday. Never heard of Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs ? No problem neither had the three of us (a fifty something, a forty something and a thirty something), but the rest of Columbus must have heard of him because the place was packed.

Per Wiki Ray was a tutor in Maine, until he woke up one morning at 4 a.m. and while getting ready to go to work he heard the Steven Sills song “Treetop Flyer” on the radio. After he bought the album he decided he wanted to become a singer song writer and he has become a pretty good one at that.

A little research on the internet revealed that the song he is most well known for is “Trouble” (the background song for the commercial where the dog takes his bone to the bank) and his musical genre is listed as folk blues. I particularly liked one of the songs he played called “For the Summer”.

I think it is fair to say that this thirty seven year old is not your typical musician of this day and age. He reminds me quite a bit of folk music singers from the late sixties or the early seventies. His music is very mellow and laid back which gets your toes a tapping, but at times leaves you wishing for a song or two that is a little more up tempo.

The man himself seemed to be quite shy as I can’t remember his interacting with the audience in attendance much other than to say thank you a few of times for their applause. If you like bands that are a little bit different and you get the opportunity to do so I would definitely recommend seeing this band at least once.