Monday, December 21, 2009

Religionistas - The New Negroes?

I felt the need to respond to Kenneth Hutcherson's article from December 10 titled "Christians are the new Negro" published on the "WorldNetDaily" site.  In the piece, Mr. Hutcherson argues that because of "hate crime laws" and "repeated attacks by the politically correct crowd", his freedom of religion is being eroded. 

He never explicitly states what exactly he is no longer free to do because of these hate crimes laws, but one must assume that he considers violence against people because of their religion, sexual preference, or sexual identity a "right" that was his, but is no longer. 

In his  deeply twisted logic, he compares the "Jim Crow" laws of pre Civil-Rights Act America, to these new "hate crimes laws" that he feels prevents him from the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

I am not sure what effect he thinks the "hate crimes laws" have on his right to life, but I  guess he thinks it's essential to his liberty, and his pursuit of happiness that he be able to participate in a good 'ole fag bashing!   Apparently, violence against LGBT people is essential to Mr. Hutcherson's definition of Christianity.

Mr. Hutcherson's twisted logic is again evidenced  by his explanation of the "separation of church and state" which he argues is misunderstood by Christians - and is therefore being misused by secular society to restrict participation of the church in the state.  In other words, separation of church and state only applies to the state staying out of church business, not the church from involving itself in the state.

To illustrate how dire the situation is for "Christians" he brings up the case of Carrie Prejean who he says "lost her title simply because of her constitutional right to freedom of religion."

Yep, the winner of the Miss California pageant was highly criticized when she spoke of her faith based belief that homosexuals deserve to be discriminated against. But that fact really has little to do with why she lost her title - regardless of the lies that the anti-gay religionistas want you to believe. She lost her title simply because she would not honor her commitments as Miss California - in effect, for violating her contract which was entered into when she became a candidate in the pageant. That she's still being put forward as a Christian role model is really pretty laughable in light of the pornographic recording she made for an ex-boyfriend.

What is really twisted about Mr. Hutcherson's contention that society is discriminating against Christians and limiting their rights, is that it is precisely what religionistas have been doing to LGBT people and others who don't agree with them for millenia! In fact, the "rights" they are insisting they maintain are the influence and power to perpetuate discrimination and marginalization of LGBT people and others who don't believe as they do.

Pretty much poster-boy examples of hypocrisy! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plastic Christians

Well the AFA is patting themselves on the back today after claiming a victory for Christ! They are no longer calling for Christians to boycott the Gap or Old Navy stores this holiday season. Why? Because the Gap is finally acknowledging the supremacy of our Lord and Savior in their advertising. Their new ad, which has changed EVERYTHING, features perfectly shaped, perfectly happy, perfectly dressed and coiffed plastic people wishing other perfectly shaped, perfectly happy, perfectly dressed and coiffed plastic people a "Merry Christmas", all the while skating (perfectly) on ice - which I am sure is perfectly frozen.

It would be enough to melt a Real True Christian's heart - if it weren't made of plastic!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Boycotting Christians

The title of this blog post is sort of a double entendre. The American Family Association sent out an "AFA Alert" today about a boycott they have called for against many retail establishments that do not specifically feature the word "Christmas" in their holday themed advertisements. This particular alert is a follow up from last weeks alert that posted the list of companies that the AFA claims should be putting "Christ back into Christmas". Apparently the Gap company - which runs a number of retail stores that heavily depend on holiday season sales - has responded with advertisements featuring a new jingle which does include the word "Christmas" - but the AFA is still angry. Here's a quote from their alert:

Dear George,

Gap has responded to AFA's call for a Christmas boycott of their Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic stores with a commercial that takes a cavalier approach towards Christmas.
The video entitled Ready for Holiday Cheer features a group of people dancing and chanting:
Two, Four, Six, Eight, now's the time to liberate
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanza, Go Solstice.
Go classic tree, go plastic tree, go plant a tree, go add a tree,
You 86 the rules, you do what feels just right.
Happy do whatever you wanukkah, and to all a cheery night.

Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, go whatever holiday you wanukkah.
Did you notice it? Gap compares Christmas to the pagan holiday called "Solstice." Solstice is celebrated by Wiccans who practice witchcraft!
Gap also encourages you to "86" or "dismiss" traditions and "do what feels just right."
Take our Poll! Since Gap has now included the word "Christmas" in a television ad, should AFA call for an end to the boycott of their stores?

Oye Ve! What!?!?! I'm not even sure where to begin.... but oh well, first, that jingle doesn't "compare" anything! Second, the Solstice was (and is) celebrated by nearly every culture on earth, western or not. Third, Christianity co-opted the Solstice celebration by replacing it with a celebration of Christ's birth - who was really probably born sometime in September if you go by the clues given by when Mary traveled to her cousin's when she was pregnant.

The AFA are examples of people I collectively call "Religionistas". They are people who feel the need to impose their will on everyone who does not think the same way they do. They push for laws that punish those they consider "immoral" due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. They press for public displays of crosses, nativity scenes, and other monuments to Christ claiming that the United States was a nation founded on Christianity. (Apparently choosing to deny that most of the Founding Fathers were not Christians according to their definition).

They push for schools to quit teaching the theory of evolution, replacing it with their oddly rationalized "earth is not much more than 6000 years old" Creationism. (Although there are a few "Real True Christian" thinkers out there that are now calling for a variation of creationism called "Intelligent Design" to be taught - which is no less oddly rationalized, and no more scientific than creationism.)

But one of the most absurd efforts of theirs is this "Christ back into Christmas" campaign! Jeez! what can be more Christ-like than rushing from mall store to mall store, eagerly purchasing all the material crap that everyone on their "Christ"mas list has demanded - else they be let down by the holy spirit!

I urge all readers to go to the AFA's Action Alert site and vote for the AFA to stop boycotting the Gap! (I really don't care if Christan's buy their crap from the Gap company or not, I just want the AFA to publish poll results that go against their morals!).

Meanwhile, I'll be boycotting Christians this year - at least those of the "religionista" ilk!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Laissez-faire Fraud

Lots of people nowadays are looking at our troubled economy and are understandably confused as to what is the ultimate cause of the recession. Many reasons for the "economic collapse" have been put forward - mortgage lenders freely passing out low interest loans to folks who were never going to be able to repay, bankers and investment brokers repackaging collections of worthless loans and selling bits and pieces of them for commissions without any added value, worldwide growth expanding demand for a dwindling supply of oil, consumers financing their endless materialism on lines of credit they wouldn't be able to repay if they lived to be a hundred, etc. etc.

I'm sure that all of these are contributing factors. But what really concerns me is that the reasons listed above may add up to only a small portion of the real factors causing our current woes. Check out this article:

The writer points fingers at Goldman Sachs (and others) for manipulating the price of oil, and in doing so committing fraud at a never before imagined scale. I don't really know how accurate his accusations are, but he does quote the Congressional Research Service, reports from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and others. If he's only partly correct, then outright fraud would appear to be a major contributing factor to the current recession.

We already knew that fraud played the major role in bringing Enron and Worldcom down. Computer Associates (CA) and Qwest Telecommunications were involved in multi-billion dollar fraud scandals, and then of course there's Bernie Madoff's multi-billion dollar scam.

So, now here in the early years of the twenty-first century, we are seeing thievery at a scale that not only was never possible before, but literally unimaginable.

And, making it all worse, the government is basically paying the criminals off with YOUR money! Just about every thinking financial analyst out there understands that by sinking multi-trillions of dollars into the TARP funds, the value of a dollar will be reduced commensurately. The biggest accomplishment of  TARP is that the criminals no longer will lose any of their ill gotten gains!

Currently, congress is contemplating new legislation intended to address these schemes by the Financial Sector community. However, legislation has often had exactly the opposite effect of it's intention (ref: "The Communications Decency Act of 1996" gave pornography on the Internet its biggest boost. "No Child Left Behind" explicitly spells out how public education will leave some children behind. "Defense of Marriage Act" - Ha! Don't get me started on that one!). I have very little confidence that any laws we could possibly pass would stem the flow of wealth from the middle-class to the very rich.

I am not sure what can be done to solve the problem. I'm tempted to take everything I have in savings and purchase what little gold I can. I know that my dollars will not be worth much of anything in the near future.

What's your thoughts on the current state of affairs? Do you have any hope of ever being able to retire with any quality of life?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Victory for Evil in Maine

Yesterday voters in Maine repealed a law that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry in the state. The law was enacted in the spring of 2009 by the Maine legislature who had intended to "right a wrong". In other words, the Maine legislature recognized that the rights of GLBT people are meaningfully restricted by laws that do not allow their relationships to be recognized by society.

Organizers of the petition to repeal this law had waged a bitter battle that relied on lies, appeals to bigotry and scare tactics.

The people who campaigned in favor of the bill appealed to the Maine residents independent spirit and "live and let live" attitude.

Well, the liars, manipulators, and bigots won the day. The tactic that may have proved the most effective? Opponents of the law based many of its campaign ads on claims -- disputed by state officials -- that the new law would mean "homosexual marriage" would be taught in public schools.

The right wingers appealed to the fears that all parents have against their children being taught anything about sexuality - especially when done outside of their sphere of influence.

Well folks, school officials in Maine and everywhere else are not about to teach kids anything about homosexuality, just like they don't teach anything about heterosexuality - at least not beyond basic sex education timed to coincide with when the kids are encountering puberty. Of course religious fundamentalists are threatened even by that. They'd rather remove their children from "sex-ed" classes - which is their right.

However, religious fundamentalists needed a way to convince the voters of Maine that this law would endanger their children - because that was they only way they could come up with to overcome a rational person's lack of objection to allowing same-sex people who love each other the same rights as everyone else with respect to marriage.

This is basically no different, and just as morally reprehensible, as the far-right wing complaint about the "death panels" being created by the health care bill.

The "religionistas" don't see anything wrong with lying in order to get their way. Their end does not justify their means.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mr. Cuccinelli's bigotry

KENNETH CUCCINELLI, the Republican candidate for Virginia state attorney general, believes it's "appropriate" to formulate public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is "intrinsically wrong" and offensive to "natural law."   His comments  were made in an interview with the Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper in Norfolk, VA. Check out the story here:   Mr. Cuccinelli's bigotry.

Therefore if elected to Attorney General of Virginia, Ken will no longer abide by a "Non Discrimination Policy" put in place by Virginia's former Attorney General. 

Homosexual acts, said Mr. Cuccinelli, currently a state senator, are "intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that. . . . They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."

Well Mr. Cuccinelli, do you know what else "doesn't comport with natural law"? DIVORCE! Shouldn't you put in place a policy which demands your employees to be married, and never divorced? Heck, better make it a crime. We can't have emancipated ladies trying to duck out of an abusive relationship! I mean, they must deserve it right!? 

Oh and while we're at it, shouldn't Virginia become the first state to bring back SLAVERY? I mean, the Bible does not condemn slavery! It's mentioned a bunch of times! Surely it must "comport with natural law"! Just think of the benefits to Virginia's corporations! Cheap Labor! Woot!

Mr Cuccinelli, you might want to read a few of the documents so carefully prepared by this country's founding fathers. Beyond some nebulous concept of "natural law", they actually stated the concepts that this country was founded upon. Their concept of all people being created equal under the law, and that all people are granted by their creator a set of inalienable rights might seem foreign to you, but trust me Kenny, it's very American!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well it's About Damn Time!

President Obama signed the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that includes language expanding "Hate Crimes" to cover crimes motivated by a person's perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as a person's disability. It took over 10 years to expand this law to cover GLBT or disabled people. That means that during the last 10 years, the religonistas, who fought so hard against this expansion of the "hate crimes" definition have had the "special rights" they've been so eager to prevent the Gay community from enjoying.

Well, although I am proud that this law has finally been passed, I am also somewhat sad and discouraged that over 230 years after our founding fathers created this nation's government on the declaration that all people are equal, that there are so many who STILL DON'T GET IT!

Hey everyone, ALL PEOPLE includes women, ALL PEOPLE includes those who are not Caucasian, ALL PEOPLE includes atheists, ALL PEOPLE includes followers of Krishna, Mohamed, Alla, Jehovah, Joseph Smith Jr., and yes, even L. Ron Hubbard. All People includes gays, lesbians, people who are transgendered, bisexual people, disabled people, retarded people, good people, bad people, loving people, bigoted people, agnostic people, fat people, skinny people, yellow people, brown people, red people, indigenous people, people with slanted eyes, hairy people, smooth people. Well you get the idea, or at least you should.

I am saddened that there is a need for such legislation, but I am happy that the need has finally been addressed.

Oh, by the way ALL PEOPLE also includes those who are not citizens of the United States! People are people damnit! If you believe anything about our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, then you can't in good conscience deny immigrants, illegal or not, of the same basic protections and freedoms that are their INALIENABLE right! So just get over it, we're not going to go broke because some people from Mexico occasionally require medical care, or want to send their children to our schools.

Yes, this country still has a ways to go!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Change of Focus

I have decided to change my blog's title and with it, the focus of what I want to use it to say. Generally, I will be highlighting society's injustices, hypocrisy, and double standards, especially as they affect the LGBT population.

Before you yawn and click away to the next blog, please give me a chance. I hope to offer an entertaining and enlightening perspective on the news, and news-makers and those wishing to make news. Some entries will be more serious than others, especially when I'm writing about something that makes me mad. Hopefully however I will find enough time to poke some fun at those of the "Moral Majority", RTCs (Real True Christians), "Focus on the Family", "American Family Association", "Republicans", and other hypocrites. And occasionally, I'll poke fun on the people on the left side of the political spectrum too, I am sure.

Please check out my latest couple of entries, and don't hesitate to leave feedback, for better or worse!

Thank you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letter to a Disingenuous Law Professor

Professor Teresa Stanton Collett
University of St. Thomas School of Law
1000 LaSalle Avenue, MSL 400
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015

October 22, 2009

Dear Ms. Collett,

I am writing to you in reference to a Panel Discussion you spoke at on "California Same-sex Marriage: The Impact on Religious Liberty" that took place July 10, 2008 hosted by the Family Research Council. I know that was over a year ago, but I only recently started looking into the arguments that those against same-sex marriage are wielding. I am very concerned with the data you used during your time speaking, concerned enough to seek clarification from you. I am using a video recording of the event hosted on the FRC's website at the following URL:

While making the argument that the Goodrich Opinion impacts one's religious liberty, you bring up the David Parker case. Specifically, you state that Mr. Parker went to his child's school to request that his child be exempted from classroom instruction on the "definition of family". You go on to explain that the Principal of the school had been instructed from the Superintendent of the school district that no children would be excluded from the curriculum. Then you state that when Mr. Parker objected, that the school officials called the Police, and that Mr. Parker was arrested, and taken to jail. All of that "appears" to be consistent with the facts of the case.

What really concerns me though, are the facts that you omitted about why Mr. Parker was arrested, and later charged by the District Attorney. You had to know that when Mr. Parker's request to exempt his son from the curriculum was denied, that Mr. Parker refused to leave the school. That the reason the Principal called the Police was he needed for Mr. Parker to vacate the school so that it could be closed and secured for the night and Mr. Parker was refusing to leave. You had to know that Mr. Parker was arrested for trespassing.

Because you did not truthfully state the facts of this case, you allowed your audience to assume that Mr. Parker was arrested due to his religious convictions, and that the District Attorney went on to prosecute Mr. Parker for believing that gay marriage is wrong.

I realize that the entire so called "defense of marriage" movement has been quick to exploit Mr. Parker's stunt, but when a whole lot of people lie, it does not make it any more right.

Ms. Collett, do you believe that your misrepresentation of the Parker case during that panel discussion is in any way justified? Do you believe that lying to people in order to persuade them that their beliefs are being persecuted is helpful in any way to any one?

How can you teach classes on ethics or responsibility, and then lie, in public, at a recorded, professional, "expert" panel discussion?

Your actions hurt your credibility and the University of St. Thomas.

Please feel free to explain your point of view if you disagree with my characterization.


George Bingham

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Letter to the AFA

Hello AFA,

Please think about the consequences of obtaining donations from people who believe the lies you are spreading about the "Hate Crimes" legislation. You all know fully well that you will be able to continue to spread your hatred of those who don't share your belief system even if the Hate Crimes legislation is expanded to cover crimes against people because of their sexual orientation.

You also know fully well that there will not be a class of people with new "special rights". The only class of people who's rights will be affected are those who's violent acts of hatred - often inspired by religious fervor - have been tolerated by police and prosecutors who turn a blind eye when the victim is seen as an effeminate male or butch female.

Even as you collect your ill gotten gains from your "believers", society will continue to advance towards a day when ALL people will be respected under the law, and ALL people will be able to seek justice against those who harm them, and ALL people will be able to freely live, love and pursue happiness! Meanwhile the profit that comes from these lies you intentionally spread will poison your efforts turn the tide your way and with every generation, fewer and fewer people will fall for your indoctrination!


George Bingham

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Evil in the AFA

My Representatives in Congress:

You may be receiving letters from constituents that were written by the American Family Association urging you to call for Kevin Jennings' resignation as the Department of Education's "Safe and Drug Free Schools" czar.

I truly hope you can see the evil between the lines in the letters the AFA has written.

Their first complaint about Kevin Jennings is that he founded an organization dedicated to stop violence against gay and lesbian students in the schools. Apparently, the AFA supports violence against gay students.

The AFA would rather continue thinking of Gays as second class citizens who should not be protected from persecution, violence, or disease. Instead, they would prefer that public school students are preached messages of chastity and abstinence, and that they not learn how to protect themselves from pregnancy or disease. The AFA would also prefer to continue their tacit approval of emotionally ridiculing young people who identify as GLBT (or are percieved to be GLBT) by sending them messages of hate.

I believe that Kevin Jennings is a brave choice for a "Safe and Drug Free Schools" czar, and I hope that you will give him all of your support! Everyone who has already grown up can see how difficult it can be for teenagers nowadays. Please empathize with those teens that find themselves aware of their GLBT feelings, which as you can imagine would be a scary thing for most kids to confront - especially publicly in a school setting. Think about that, and think about what it would be like for one of your children to be confronting feelings like that during their junior high or high school years. Wouldn't you want someone who has been through those experiences working on behalf of all students to promote peace and understanding?

Thank you for reading this letter!


George Bingham
Kansas City, MO

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Favorite Blog

Slactivist has become my favorite blog. I should admit here that I'm not really much of a blog reader. Generally, the only time I see someone's blog is when I've been drawn to it because of somebody on Facebook spreading a posting.

That's actually how I discovered this blog. The posting I was referred to was this one:

I agreed so much with his sentiments that I started reading his other entries and I found a delightfully literate, thoughtful, and agreeable new friend in just about everything he wrote. I don't know the author, Fred Clark, but I hope that if we ever meet, that we become friends. I know I'd like to be his friend, but doubt he'd find me interesting enough for him to feel the same way.

One great thing about this guy's blog is his ongoing review / critique / ridicule of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind series of books. He is currently going through the "Tribulation Force" book and it is hilarious! Fred does an incredible job of addressing the Theology expressed in those books as well as the incredibly bad writing of those books.

Check it out from the beginning of the Tribulation Force!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Good Guy Contract Needs to be Broken

I've just read an awesome article from "Happiness in this World Reflections of a Buddhist Physician" and I'm sitting here thinking of all the ways in which it seems to speak directly to one of my biggest problems. Here is a link to the specific article:

Basically, it's about how breaking the "Good Guy Contract" can help keep your own happiness from being dependent on how other people view you. That's something I really need to learn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scientific American? or Propagandist American?

I read this article (actually, a transcription of a podcast) on the Scientific American website today that I felt the need to comment on: "What's Behind Birthers' Obama Belief". Mine is the fifth comment at the bottom of the page.

This article angered me on several levels. First, it doesn't belong in a publication called "Scientific American". Second, it's nothing more than an opinion piece. Third, one that attempts to use science to legitimize the opinion the writer is espousing. Fourth, the writer makes clear that a person who entertains any doubt about the President's place of birth must be doing so because of some deep seated sociologically programmed racial bias. Fifth, the writer paints anyone who thinks this way as "irrational".

Well, if it's so deep seated, and if we're so programmed by our society, then why is it "irrational"?

I think what's worse than questioning the birthplace of the person we voted into the office of the President of the United States is to blindly assume that because we want him to continue being our President, that he therefore must have been born in this country and anyone who doubts that is racist and irrational.

I personally do want for Obama to have been rightfully elected as our President. However, given that government officials in Nigeria claim that he was born in that country, I am one who would like to see proof, or at least the documentation, of his birthplace. Additionally, although most people would simply be required to produce a certified copy of their birth certificate, I really think we need to go a bit deeper here. After all, he is the President of the United States! He's got the FBI, CIA, NSA, Dept. of Homeland Security, etc under his thumb - surely it's within the realm of possibility that if he wanted, he could produce a form that would prove him to be the natural born son of Joan and Clark Kent of Liberal Kansas!

I promise that tomorrow I'll have a complaint about the language that the Right is using to scare people about the Obama HealthCare plan.

Update: 8/14/2009: I found this on the internet that convinces me that his birth records are valid and in order:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aaarg! My Twitter Account was Hijacked!!

OOOOhhhhh! I feel so ashamed!! I can't believe my Twitter account got hijacked!! Some unknown bot or application was posting data to Twitter under my user Id. It was sending links to my friends telling them that I'd made several hundred dollars by going to this website.

I caught it right away, but unfortunately, the application kept posting to my account. I thought there was malware on my PC, but scans and my IT department have not been able to find anything (which at least makes me feel better). I suspect that "Yonoo", which is a browser Add-On program that displays Facebook and Twitter content and allows you to post from within any browser window may be how my account was hijacked.

Yonoo is a great way to stay connected to those services while going about one's workday, but not if it's going to expose my accounts to exploitation. I have disabled some features, and am waiting for Twitter to re-enable my account (it has been suspended due to suspicious activity). I may toss Yonoo in favor of Seesmic, if I switch I'll write about it here.

Needless to say, my security "Street Cred" has been harmed! I will take this as a lesson though, and pass it on to all my "tweeps" if I ever get my Twitter account back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Diet Controversy

I'm listening to a radio show where the host has a guest who is a Dr. and a nutritionist. He is advocating a Vegan diet. The doctor is citing study after study that talk about people on a vegan diet having lower incidence of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Its pretty much common sense, right?

Well, the host is being a *dick*! He challenges the guest on every statement he makes and is being very pedantic about every generalization the Doctor uses to make a point. The host will mention "some guy" that he's "heard about" who is in their 80s and a life long smoker and drinker and beef eater and saying therefore that the Doctor must be full of $hI+. It's really very irritating!

The host is not usually like that. It makes me wonder if he's just in a bad mood or did this Dr. guy do or say something to offend him somehow.

The other reason I find this irritating is that a lot of the shows callers will say things like "my grandparent ate beef, smoked and drank and ate bacon and was not fat and lived into his 90s and died in his sleep" and then going on to say that simply because that one person didn't die of heart disease then therefore those habits don't have anything to do with heart disease.

What is going on? Do people not understand generalities any more? Did they never learn anything about science, or statistics? Would you really reject the truth of some general statement just because you can think of one example that doesn't fit?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ice Cream Social

Here is a picture of me from my Church's newsletter from when our Brass Choir played at this summer's Ice Cream Social.

Pretty good shot huh?

Little Big Band

I joined an old friend tonight and sat in with the Jazz Band he's been playing with for a while. The band is called the "Little Big Band". We played simpler jazz arrangements of big band hits of the 40s (mainly). There are eight members, and the arrangements we played are mostly three part harmonies.

The music was fairly simple, which is good because they are fine with me performing with them one week from tonight at Zeppi's Pizza.

I don't know much about where they play or how often they perform, but the guys were very nice, very laid back, and they seemed to have a lot of fun. They're mostly retired, so just doing this for fun. Seems like a pretty pleasant way to get back into playing Big Band Jazz in front of people.

Quieting My Mind

I've been hearing a lot lately about the benefits of "quieting one's mind". I've heard that spending time alone in a quiet spot, relaxing, letting go of the day's anxieties, emptying one's mind for a time can bring all sorts of benefits into one's life.

What I can't imagine is how to go about actually doing it...

I will be giving it a shot in the near future and will relate my experience here.