photographers, bakers, florists

From the Family Research Council, reacting to the SCOTUS decisions today:

He foresees that Americans will be outraged when the fallout from the DOMA decision trickles down to the grass roots, when “children are taught morals in school that are in contradiction to their parents,” and “photographers, bakers, florists and others are forced to participate in same-sex marriages.”

I can see it now. Photographers, bakers, florists forced at gunpoint to accept payment for their services! News at eleven. No one’s being forced to do anything, unless you think being asked to mind your own business is a sign of fascism. In fact, photographers, bakers, and florists should appreciate a predictable increase in that very business. That is, if they like having more money rather than less money, which the vast majority of people do, even those against gay marriage.

Cutting your losses

Edward Snowden is still on the run. Unknown if he will make it to Ecuador. In any case, I think it is in the best interests of the United States to let him get away. It’s just too late; at this point he is practically a living martyr, like Julian Assange. The damage is done and there is no real benefit to imprisoning him. Bradley Manning is in prison and will likely stay there, so there is already a deterrent for future would-be leakers, although ironically, Snowden was reportedly inspired by Manning, so…

I understand, of course, that the U.S. feels the need to put up a certain front when pursuing Snowden. But there are bigger problems to worry about, such as Syria, and global news cycles filled with a 30-year-old whiz kid running circles around U.S. extradition are counterproductive. I don’t think he’s a pawn of Russia or China yet, but as long as the U.S. continues to yammer for his swift return, the longer he stays in the news.

Drums and guitars

H pointed out tonight that I haven’t written anything here in awhile. I’ve been busy with this or that and simply not found the time.

I don’t think I’ve talked about this before on here, but about two years ago I bought a used drum kit and taught myself some rock basics, so I suppose you can call me a multi-instrumentalist or something like that. Then again, I don’t think I’ve talked about playing guitar on here either – I’ve been fooling around with guitars since I was 17, which was a really long time ago.

Some people from the department and I get together occasionally and play, and somewhat predictably we call our band, if you want to call it that, The Department. It’s really three guitar players, two of which can play some drums, so there’s a lot of switching off. We play old rock standards for the most part. Sometimes we sound pretty good, other times it’s pretty hilarious.

Anyway, this is really a long-winded way of getting around to the fact that a kind person gave me a handy device called a DrumDial recently for my birthday. It’s a precision gauge that measures drumhead tension and allows quick and easy drum tuning. I was never very sure about whether or not my heads were tuned right until I used this device. I can report that it resulted in an immediate improvement in the sound of my banged-up kit. The toms sound right now, and the snare has got more pop to it.

Another kind person also gave me a standalone LP player for my old LP collection. I still have a lot of Beatles, Stones, Cream. Dylan, etc on LP, but I’ve never had a player that didn’t have to be hooked up to a stereo and speakers. It was enjoyable today to play some old records while tuning my drums.

I like music, I like playing guitar and drums, but I’ve always been of two minds about it. When I was in my twenties it seemed like a real method of self-expression. Now it feels like a hobby, and almost self-indulgent compared to things like work that are more easily defended as serious. But you got to live a little.