a Cheap Holiday: 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

After some commiserating with Bwef, I decided that this little beauty would be a wise purchase. God love Amazon, even though their business model makes no money!
They've begun constructing the stage in front of the Art Museum for the Live 8 show and setting up the first of the 300 porta-potties. Alright, call me crazy, but if you're estimating an audience of 1,000,000 (yes, 6 zeros, even though the city planners are now saying that only a maximum of 400,000 will fit in the space between the Art Museum and LOVE Park, which is about 11 blocks away), don't you think 300 porta-potties is a bit on the slim side of things? I briefly heard Preston and Steve on WMMR this morning discussing the entrepreneurial possibilities of something they called a "piss boy." Basically, some enterprising soul could carry a large bucket around for persons unwilling to brave the probably long lines for the 300 measley porta-potties. $1 a pee. Someone could probably make some serious cabbage doing that. But then they'd have to donate it to African debt relief or Bob Geldof and Bono might rain down upon that person with righteous fury. And, well, they'd have to find a place to pitch the pee once the bucket was full.

Thank Jehovah I'm not going to be in town. There will probably be people sleeping on my stoop the whole weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Word on the street is that Jack, Leo, and Marty are in town shooting a film. Tomorrow night, I should be off to Cigar Masters to hang with the big boys and puff a stogie. If Jack is anywhere, he's going to be there!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I'm off to Bahhhstahn, it's wicked hawdcoooore!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hell, maybe Arianna Huffington is good for something after all...

It seems that a guest blogger on Arianna Huffington's site has taken up the good cause of an oppressed woman in Pakistan. Once you read the entire article, perhaps you will consider it a good cause too. If so, I challenge my fellow bloggers to also post Mukhtaran Bibi's (or Mukhtar Mai, as she is also known) story of courage.

NOTE: A news item from the last 24 hours indicates that Bibi has been cleared free for travel, but I see no problem in advocating continued pressure, because you never know when a government is going to change its mind.

At this point, I just want it known that nothing chaps my hide more than the oppression of women and children. I personally think it is possible and fully within the realm of reality for a country to have a conservative religious culture that does not necessarily sanction the gang-raping or honor killing of women. I think any such policy is an affront to any religion that is based on the concept of compassion, as Islam is supposed to be. Such actions are not the fault of the religion, but the result of cruel, cold-hearted people who contort the religion to justify their horrors.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Damn, this new blog template is like a spilt bottle of Pepto. I'm starting to have serious doubts about using it, but will keep it for now until I have more time to tweak it into submission.
At the risk of regretting it, I'm enabling comments on my blog again. However, I'm taking a different approach to it this time. If your posted comment offends or pisses me off, then I will delete it. Either that or I will find a way to publically ridicule you. Remember: my blog, my rules.
Gee, Bob...thanks a lot

By now, I'm sure most people are acquainted with the upcoming performance nightmare that are sure to be the Live 8 concerts. Well, let me rephrase...the upcoming nightmare that it is sure to be for Philly. You would think with Philadelphia being the only North American location for one of these shows (and one of the locations for the original Live Aid concerts twenty years ago) that Philly would have gotten a better shake. First off, the roster of acts for Philly Live 8 just seems sub-par to me. I mean, look at the list for Hyde Park and look at the list for Philly. Was it absolutely necessary for Hyde Park to get every single decent headliner available? What do we get...Maroon 5?! Please. Rob Thomas?! Yeah, he's good for playing at the TLA, but for a show with an estimated one million in-person attendees? There was a recent rumor that Prince had been added to the Philly lineup, but I've yet to see it confirmed. If that is the case, that would be the one saving grace of the situation, but I'm doubting it will actually come to pass.

The primary downer is that the Live 8 organizers struck a deal with the city to hold this thing on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and not in one of the major sports stadiums that dot the landscape like mushrooms along the South Philly stretch of I-95. What does the new Lincoln Financial Field hold? 60,000? Live Aid was originally held in one of those stadiums (I can't find a verifiable citation, but I'm guessing it was the now-demolished Veterans' Stadium) and it was good enough then. The infrastructure was in place: bathrooms, plumbing, seating, and a place for a stage. The only reason to have it on the Parkway is for the stunning view from the foot of the Art Museum down to City Hall when the camera pulls back for a long shot. And yes, it is stunning. But for this they're going to disrupt the lives of an entire city?

If all this sounds like sour grapes coming from me, it is. I live within a three block radius of the Parkway. There's a good reason I've only spent one July 4th weekend in Philly since moving here--cause it's a pain in the ass to be here during that time. July 4th in Philly is a major tourist holiday and it's impossible to do anything, other than leave town, on that weekend. Sure, the fireworks are purty, but it all just becomes too annoying. This year they'd already planned a major Elton John concert for July 4th on the Parkway ("Philadelphia Freedom"--get it? get it? *yawn*), and now we gotta have Live 8.

Now, with the creation of a "no car zone" for a 10-block radius around the Parkway during that weekend--encompassing my domicile, of course--I am more committed than ever to not being here during that weekend.

Frankly, I'm still unclear on what all of this is supposed to accomplish anyway. Sir Geldolf claims that what he wants is the ears and hearts of the people, not their money. But the original Live Aid has raised a substantial sum of money from it's original shows, continuing sales of the audio CD, and the recent DVD release--one website I located estimated $100 million worldwide has been raised by this effort. (And there are more websites that ask exactly how that money was distributed, but that's enough fodder for numerous blogs, so go do your own research.) So leaders of the G8 see a buncha people at concerts listening to a bunch of bands. Yeah? So? How exactly does this translate into action for debt relief for Africa? I'm not seeing the critical path here, someone please help me. One columnist I read (and damn me for forgetting who), indicated that wouldn't it make more sense to charge all these concert attendees a small fee and then those proceeds could be applied to Africa's debt? Kinda like a big rent party for Africa.

But then, I suppose, all the other countries would want to get in on that gravy and Bono is just too busy with his Nobel Peace Prize bid nowadays to play every weekend.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I tried to create a post saying "bon voyage" to Harbourwoman on her Romanian adventures, but the special characters on the translation didn't copy over properly and now the only free Romanian translator that I found online has been completely crapped out for the last week, so I can't do a new copy and paste and just put plain characters in their place. So, whatever...I hope the trip went well and you didn't catch anything nasty from the local water.