Fete de la Musique

Every year on the weekend before the longest day of the year the French have a party in every town across the nation. It’s not just any party though, it’s an all out music festival with music of every kind scattered on little stages throughout the downtown.

The café’s and restaurants spill onto the streets because there are no cars to dodge on the cobblestones on this night. We started the evening out by playing a game of cards (Jeu de Carte) under the canopy in the garden. . Every time any of us has free time, Bernard or Jay usually will suggest a quick game of cards in the garden. We often play at Bernard’s in the late evening. Even at 10:00 (22 hour in France) we sit in the garden watching the swallows swooping for bugs and listening to their lovely calls to each other. If it gets late enough the resident bat comes out too.

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Let’s Give ’em Somethin to talk About

January 13, 2010

Is it me, or has the world around us gone mad?

I hate to break the news to pseudo liberals, but even National Public Radio has gone over to the dark side? The news readers interview each other as if they ARE the news, or the experts on issues. NPR news coverage has a limited number of themes…financially you’re screwed…culturally your screwed…and the war report…this followed up by their “sponsors” on “commercial free radio”.

With no broadband access (we’re lucky to live in a blacked out area that may never see access until the “you’re screwed” culturally report changes), and no television viewing capability, NPR used to be our major news source. That is about to change though.

Each morning the radio kicks on automatically at 6:30 AM. Tomorrow I’m setting it to “alarm” instead of “radio”. This is my last morning to listen to the “you are screwed report” as I slip in and out of sleep. All that crap they’re pushing – metaphorically speaking – is being incorporated into my subconscious as I dose. I prefer the blare of the alarm to that.

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Ain’t Gonna Study War No More

I am thinking seriously about going on a bus trip that Tim Chavez and the Iraq Veterans Against the War are organizing to Washington DC to walk for peace to end the wars. The bus leaves on March 19th from Columbus at midnight and returns on March 21st at 3 AM. (SEE THE DESCRIPTION AT THE END OF THIS RAMBLING FOR MORE INFO) There have been so few opportunities to speak up in a true sense. I thought that would change with the election of Obama – I was wrong.

Showing up matters – because it matters to you, and all of us to speak up. This world is so full of so much that doesn’t matter, but you matter and what you believe is the stuff that makes the world worth fighting for. AND protesting is not a mainstream action anymore…everyone sends email to voice their disapproval. AND, my last and final argument – this will be the stuff to tell the young people that follow you in this life.

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Fete de Music

The sun re-appeared this morning for the first time in awhile. The cold seems so much less severe when the sun shines.

This is the winter for socializing. I’m in heaven. Mostly all of this “getting together” began with our llama, Michelle’s death back in November. Since then we’ve had potlucks, snow sledding (I never managed to get down the hill going forward), concerts, film screenings, discussions and celebrations. It feels like we finally have a community here.

All of that fun has me dreaming of a goal I set for myself back when I lived in France. I wondered if it was possible to create a Fete de la Musique for Blue Rock Station. Every year in France on the Friday nearest the summer solstice each town, no matter how small, has a series of concerts spread out around the villages and towns – Fete de la Musique A schedule is published in the paper prior to the event, and everyone walks around to their favorite groups for a mini-concert. It all starts in the early evening and goes until late at night. (INSERT LINK FOR TR article here for further reading)

On the calendar it says that June 19th is the Saturday date nearest the solstice. AND, we just learned that we’re going to have two summer interns here during that time that play several instruments. That might mean that we could have our own Fete de la Musique this year.

So if you know of anyone who likes to play music who might like to join us to play music (acoustic is best – after all this is a place of peace). OR if you just want to come and listen, to join in the fun of celebrating the long days of June, let us know. We have sleeping cottages, tents for rent, or tent space. The solar shower should be full of warm water, and the privy clean.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself – a little drunk with this window of sunshine that’s opened up this morning. Maybe not…

Some energy thoughts…

Thought you would like a couple interesting tidbits from the world of Green Tech (from the research for our textbook). In doing my research I found that the US electrical grid is (not surprisingly) hanging by a thread. The estimated lifespan of substations on our grid is 40 years. The AVERAGE age of substations on our grid is 45 years. A government study was commissioned during the Bush years to study the state of the grid determined that the only reason we did not suffer from major and frequent large scale power outages is that we had been LUCKY. Of course, nothing has been done to correct the problem. The main problem is that nobody actually has responsibility for maintaining the grid (welcome to deregulation). As a result – nobody actually maintains it.

It would be similar to a national transportation system where the owner of the land controls and maintains their section of the road that happens to pass over their patch of ground. Not a very coordinated approach.

On the brighter side – the recent cancellation of the coal-powered plant in Meigs county may signal a significant shift in our energy future. I know the environmental activists would like to claim credit (and their efforts are certainly Continue reading Some energy thoughts…

Our Christmas in England

This holiday season got me thinking back to a few years ago when we lived in Europe.  Thought you might enjoy some of those holiday experiences…

22 December 2003

In England, holiday decorations have been in some shops since August – so I felt right at home. When Thanksgiving came around, it felt strange, because without a proper Thanksgiving Day it doesn’t feel like the Christmas season ever gets kicked off properly.

But the Brits definitely like Christmas. Each small town starts the season early in December by holding a big party on The High Street. “The High Street” is what they call the main shopping place in town. The businesses decorate their shops mostly by hanging live pine trees on the front of the buildings and stringing six or seven lights on them.

Most of the decorations that hang over the streets are giant gold or red metallic “things”. I don’t know what these “things” are but they are definitely shinny hanging strings of square objects. Similar smaller versions can be bought in the shops.
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The Christmas Catalog – in French, no less

This holiday season got me thinking back to a few years ago when we lived in France.  Thought you might enjoy some of those holiday experiences…

9 December 2002

The Christmas catalog from Cora et moi (Cora and Me), the big mall over near Creil arrived in the post box this morning. This is the first Christmas shopping information I have received. (You can see the catalog at www.cora.fr <http://www.cora.fr/>.)

The first thing I noticed in the catalogue is that even though it is a year since the introduction of the Euro as the currency for Europe, everything is listed both in Euros and Francs (the old French currency).

You can buy books about horses ($30) and African drums for as low as $22.90. There’s a CD-Rom ($74.99) that gives you a tour of Louvre Museum.
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