Newport Folk Festival
I spent Saturday at the 50th Newport Folk Festival, and it was excellent. Some of the highlights? Well, let's see... I saw Iron & Wine, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes... the list goes on. Aside from a little bit of sunburn and a lighter wallet thanks to having my chair set up perilously close to the Del's stand, it was awesome.
The festival was held at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI, and started at 11:30 in the morning. We even managed to get there for about 11:30, after waiting only about half an hour for a parking spot. Right off the bat, the festival opened with a legendary name in folk: Ramblin' Jack Elliott. He was fun to listen to (lots of stories, obviously), although not quite as dynamic a musician as some of the others. Other early acts that I took in part of were Tift Meritt and Ben Kweller. Merritt didn't make much of an impression on me, but I rather liked Kweller.
Around lunchtime, I watched Billy Bragg, about whom I have somewhat mixed feelings. He was very... politicized. On the one hand, I agree with him and his songs about why socialized medicine is good and deregulated banking is bad. On the other hand, even a rather staunch social liberal such as myself might want to listen to some music without the prosthelytizing that seems to be part of his music. I also saw a little bit of Tom Morello, who I won't even give a link to. He did not appeal to me.read more
I've been playing with The Gimp a bit recently, using edge-detection, colorization, and some other filters on some of my photos to make vaguely-abstract desktop backgrounds. I think it's worked pretty well, so I'm posting a few of the things I made here. Well, more specifically, over at Flickr]. Let me know what you think.read more
A Beautiful Day To Be Outside
Today was an absolutely beautiful day. Clear blue skies,
mid-70's temperature, low smog, completely perfect. So, like any other
sane human being, I decided to take a walk. Specifically, I hiked up to
the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, which is a nice little place a
few miles north of campus. On the way there, I was really struck by
life in California. Here I was, walking along on one of the most
beautiful days of the year, and I didn't see more than a half-dozen
other pedestrians on the two-and-a-half mile walk up to the park. Of
course, I saw several hundred cars, trucks, and SUVs. I saw people
driving from their homes on Mills down the street to Vons and back
again. It's so weird here -- on the one hand, a lot of people seem to be
"fitness freaks" and very concerned with "wellness", but on the other
hand there's this overbearing car culture...