Open Thread

Still on the road visiting family. Finally getting some internet access at my mom’s place in Iowa. Pretty strange to move one state over to Iowa and suddenly there is a massive Presidential campaign going on! Yard signs, endless TV ads, and more. Yet in Illinois, relative silence. What a dysfunctional electoral system.
“bullet” In its semi-endorsement of Dennis Kucinich for President, The Nation magazine mentions as part of the overall package, Kucinich’s opposition to the drug war. It really does seem to be getting easier for people to actually say that.
“bullet” LEAP’s Howard Wooldridge has been working hard on the Hill, and now he’s looking for your help. Write a letter to your Senator and let him deliver it for you. Great idea.
“bullet” On a personal note, I will be missing the huge hands and amazing talent of Oscar Peterson, who died this week. I got to see him twice — once at Avery Fisher Hall with Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie and his Orchestra. The second time, he and his trio were performing at The Blue Note, and I and my friends had the table right next to the piano. Incredible.
His hands were so big that running tenths were a breeze for him, yet he could also play delicate waterfall passages with precision. I once heard it said that he could play anything he could think. As a piano player, that both depressed me and filled me with awe.
Here’s a taste:

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