I have lived in The Carolinas for the last 10 years. I am not a southern boy by any stretch but I will say that the climate and geography has grown on me over time (thank god the accent and backwoods outlook hasn't!). And while Aspen may be named after and was conceived in The Rockies, she has never known anything other than the sun and surf of the lakes and hills of The Blue Ridge region.

Yet it is time for me to weigh in on moving back to my home of colorful Colorado.

There is alot to love about this here Piedmont area. I much more prefer an afternoon of lounging and drinking on a nicely anchored pontoon boat than hiking a vertical trail while keeping an eye out for a black bear or mountain lion. I definately favor 9 months of the year where the outside 7am temp is 65 degrees as opposed to that being the mid afternoon high for the month of July alone. I certainly have grown accustomed to to seeing my favorite artists (Buffett, Black Crowes, Allman Brothers, et al) show up regularly within a 20 minute drive. And if I never see another flake of snow again it would be too soon!

Then there would be the move for Aspen. I had to change elementary schools twice in my day. Uprooting myself from my friends and familiar surroundings was the most difficult times of my life. I can look back on that now and see how my self confidence took a huge dive and I never fully recovered from the moves. I certainly would never want Aspen to go through such a hard time uneccessarily. But she seems to do much better than I did with making friends and adapting to new settings so I may be projecting my fears onto her, something I have made every effort to never do.

Finally there is the headache of the move itself. Securing new digs, the cost of the move, finding a new job (after 8 years of a Bush economy? Ha!), something I do not look forward to.

But then there's the benefits: Mainly, my mother. She lives to be a grandmother yet has spent less than 100 days with her grandaughter up to this point because of the distance. She would definately be a wonderful influence on Aspen. She is highly cultured, extremely achieved and would be able to smooth out any rough edges I may have overlooked in raising my daughter (No elbows on the table when eating? Yep, I forgot to instill that one for sure!). Of course Red Rocks can't be beat for seeing a show even though it would be a few hours away. And it's been years since I attended a Bronco's or Rockies game! And there are mountain biking trails a plenty out there for a real workout. Oh! And no more allergies! That's a serious bonus! And I have a disc golf partner in Colorado (for those 1 or 2 days when it's actually warm enough to throw)! We haven't tossed together since our youth.

But basically the move would be for mom and Aspen. I mean, if neither of them were in the picture I would either stay where I was or move to Belize for the final days on Earth (The Mayan Calander people, look it up!).

At any rate, that's what's going on up in the ole cabezza de Brico. Decisions, decisions.



Boy! THAT was a long nap. Apologies to OCL, Bug, et al. I really just couldn't be bothered as of late.
You want the good news first or the bad news?
The bad? Okay...
I am disappointed beyond words at Obama. Surely by now you have heard the inflammatory 'sermons' of his long time pastor that are making the news. Obama claims he was never at the service when such anti-U.S. and racially charged statements were being made and that he was, until a few months ago, unaware of such rhetoric coming from his spiritual advisor and member of his campaign. If that is true (which is very hard to believe) then why didn't he issue rejection statements of such propaganda and dismiss his longtime pastor from his campaign staff months ago when he learned of the statements? Instead, he waited until he was obligated to do something to save face when video footage of the speeches made national news.
I won't even go into all the ways the rhetoric was simply ignorant, inaccurate and just plain hateful. But it is a tough pill to swallow that Obama had no idea of what the racial and political leanings were of a man he has looked up to as his mentor for the last 20 years. And if he truly was in the dark on his minister's views then surely that speaks volumes on Barack's intuition if not his overall perceptiveness and judge of character.
If I'm wrong here, someone feel free to call me out.
The second 'bad news' from the realm of politics is that The Bush Administration is being sued by an environmental group (I know, real shocker right?) over missing repeated deadlines in deciding whether or not to put the polar bear on the endangered species list. What is fairly apparent is that the delays are a deliberate tactic in ensuring that certain drilling for oil contracts in the region between the fed govt and energy companies go through. If the polar bear was to have been listed as endangered on schedule then the drilling contracts could not get passed with such ease. It is another case of the current administration dictating it's desires to branches of the government that are supposed to be free from political partisanship.
As we reported at The Nut months ago, the previous Surgeon General to Bush testified of the enormous pressure he was under to make reports say what Bush wanted them to say rather than what was medically evident. The previous Attorney General obviously bent over backwards for his friend and Commander in Chief despite how his job was defined in The Constitution (a document that is his job to enforce).
So too now is the Department of Fish and Wildlife going directly against the purpose of it's being established in the first place in order to further a political agenda of a sitting administration. Rather than asking these departments to carry out their assigned tasks to the best of their unrestricted abilities, they are being maneuvered and treated like pawns in a larger scheme of serving ulterior motives.
While all the remaining candidates have their share of competence and experience, I find myself once again looking to hand my vote to Ralph Nadar. Obviously he would never get elected and if he did he would likely never get any bill passed by either The Senate or House. Still, one could count on him breaking out the veto stamp and keeping out-of-control spending from taking place, and he would never try to supersede his constitutional powers as we have seen done ad nauseum for the last 8 years.
Had enough of all that?
Okay then... the good news:
Jimmy Buffett coming on April 29th!
Yep... that's the good part, got me and Aspen and her brother his gf tickets for the ride!
The bad part is (ready for more bad news?) lawn tix were $30. EVERY OTHER ticket in the venue was $130!!!! Whether you were 1st row or last row, you shelled out $130 clams! Plus $15 'convenience charge'.
This my friends is the result of what seems to be the largest monopoly in the United States. Ticket Master (and their sister corp Live Nation) have a stranglehold on not just the ticket issuing business but also the entire arena size venue event production business! A large audience attracting band has no way of reserving a venue without going through Live Nation. All large venues are also locked in contracts with Ticket Master. Therefor no band or event performing at most any of your 20,000 seats or larger venues has any say in what the consumer is going to pay for a ticket to their event.
Pearl jam tried to fight this in the courts a few years ago and finally decided that the amount of money Ticket Master had at their disposal for legal costs dwarfed their funds and had to call off the fight.
100 and fifty fucking dollars?! For row 70?
The revolution is coming people! Which side will you be on?
Finally ('cause I know you guys really come here for Aspen stories - so I put it here at the end making you have to work for it!) a little Aspen Quote...
"Daddy, I hope I'm with you for the rest of my life"
"Well... for the rest of your life anyway."

Hmmm, I can make sure they end at the same time you know!