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So, I’m home today, essential services be damned.


It appears I have a mild cold or flu. Runny nose, sneezing sometimes, bit of a sore throat. I do have a little bit of a cough, but it’s a “wet” cough. I mention that because the cough that develops in a Covid infection is a dry cough. I also haven’t developed a fever. As of this morning, my temp is 97.7f. There of course is overlap in symptoms between the two ailments, so nothing can be rules out. It just sucks that I can’t get tested to see if it’s Corona or not. I’m thinking about getting tested for flu. That would confirm or rule out what it is or isn’t.
Sucks that we don’t have widespread testing in this area.

UPDATE: Temp this afternoon was 98.4f. Temp tonight is again 97.7f. Fever is one of the primary signs of Covid. Hope I’m not jinxing things but… So far so good.

DAY 2: Morning temp is 97.7f. Still have the slight cough. I expect some radioactive waste to be coming out in due time. Afternoon i forgot to check. Evening was, once again 97.7. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so consistent in my life?


I’m Not Dead!!!!

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Just busy with things like still working and filling the “shelter in place” family time and FINALLY recording scratch tracks for my solo record.


Musician Jokes – The Master List

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Q: How do you make musicians complain?
A: Pay them.

Q: How many conductors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: No one knows, no one ever looks at him.

Q: whats the differance between a pianist and god?
A: god doesn’t think he’s a pianist

Q: how many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: “oops, i broke it!”

Q:Whats the difference between Terrorists and Accordion players?
A:Terrorists have sympathizers

Q:How many Folk Singers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:One to change it and 5 to sing about how good the old one was

Q: What do you call a beautiful woman on a trombonist’s arm?
A: A tattoo.

Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and an onion?
A: Nobody cries when you chop up a banjo.

Q: What do you call a drummer in a three-piece suit?
A: “The Defendant”

Q: What do clarinetists use for birth control?
A: Their personalities.

Q: What do call Bach?
A: Dead.

Q: What did the drummer get on his I.Q. Test?
A: Saliva.

Q: What do call a guitar player without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

Two brass players walked out of a bar…

Q: What do you get when you drop a piano into a mine shaft?
A: A Flat Miner

Q: What’s the similarity between a drummer and a philosopher?
A: They both perceive time as an abstract concept.

Q: Why was the musician arrested?
A: He was in treble

Q: What is the difference between a drummer and a vacuum cleaner?
A: You have to plug one of them in before it sucks.

Q: Why do some people have an instant aversion to banjo players?
A: It saves time in the long run.

Q: What’s the difference between a folk guitar player and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

Q: What’s the difference between a jet airplane and a trumpet?
A: About three decibels.

Q: What’s the latest crime wave in New York City?
A: Drive-by trombone solos.

Q: What’s the definition of a minor second interval?
A: Two Soprano Sax players reading off the same part.

Q: What is another term for trombone?
A: A wind driven, manually operated, pitch approximator.

Q: How do you get an oboist to play A flat?
A: Take the batteries out of his electronic tuner.

Q: What is the dynamic range of a bass trombone?
A: On or off.

Q: What’s the difference between a SCUD missile and a bad oboist?
A: A bad oboist can kill you.

Q: Why do clarinetists leave their cases on the dashboard?
A: So they can park in the handicapped zones.

Q: What’s the definition of perfect pitch?
A: When you toss a banjo in the garbage and it hits an accordion.

Q: What’s the difference between an opera singer and a pit bull?
A: Lipstick.

Q: Why do people play trombone?
A: Because they can’t move their fingers and read music at the same time.

Q: How does a violist’s brain cell die?
A: Alone.

Two drummers walk past a bar…

Q: What do you call a guitar player that only knows two chords?
A: A music critic.

Q: How do you keep your violin from being stolen?
A: Put it in a viola case.

Q: What’s the difference between a saxophone and a chainsaw?
A: You can tune a chainsaw.

Q: What will you never say about a banjo player?
A: “That’s the banjo player’s Porsche.”

Q: What do a viola and a lawsuit have in common?
A: Everyone is relieved when the case is closed.

Q: Why are harps like elderly parents?
A: Both are unforgiving and hard to get into and out of cars.

Q: How many trumpet players does it take to pave a driveway?
A: Seven- if you lay them out correctly.

Q: What’s the difference between an oboe and a bassoon?
A: You can hit a baseball further with a bassoon.

Q: How are a banjo player and a blind javelin thrower alike?
A: Both command immediate attention and alarm, and force everyone to move out of range.

Q: What’s the best recording of the Walton Viola Concerto?
A: “Music Minus One”

Q: What’s the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and a baby elephant?
A: Eleven pounds.

Q: Why are violist’s fingers like lightning?
A: They rarely strike the same spot twice.

Q: How many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 13 – one to do it, and twelve to stand around and say, “Phhhwt! I can do that!”

Tuba Player: “Did you hear my last recital?”
Friend: “I hope so.”

Q: What’s the difference between alto clef and Greek?
A: Some conductors actually read Greek.

Q: How many concertmasters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one, but it takes four movements.

Q: What do you call a Tubist correctly noticing the key signature?
A: Astute.

Q: What do you call a tubist actually playing the correct key signature?
A: Gifted.

Q: How can a drummer and a conductor avoid rhythm conflicts?
A: Work separate concert halls.

Glissando: A technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.

Perfect Pitch: When you throw a viola into the toilet and it doesn’t hit the sides.

Relative minor: A guitarist’s girlfriend.

Q: How does a young man become a member of a high school chorus?
A: On the first day of school he turns into the wrong classroom.

Subito piano: Indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.

Musica ficta: When you lose your place and have to bluff until you find it again.

Vibrato: Used by singers to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.

Did you hear about the Tenor who was so arrogant the other Tenors noticed?

Q: What do you call a hundred conductors at the bottom of the Ocean?
A: A good start.

Q: Barenboim, Levine and Mehta all went down in a plane crash. Who survived?
A: Mozart.

Q: What’s the difference between a Lawnmower and a Viola?
A: Vibrato

Q: How can you tell when a singer is at your door?
A: The can’t find the key, and they never know when to come in.

Q: How do you get two bass players to play in unison?
A: Hand them charts a half-step apart.

Q: What’s the difference between a dead chicken in the road, and a dead trombonist in the road?
A: There’s a remote chance the chicken was on its way to a gig.

Q: What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
A: A vocalist.

Q: If you see a conductor and a violist in the middle of the road, who would you run over first?
A: The conductor, business before pleasure.

Q: How do you get a guitarist to play softer?
A: Place a sheet of music in front of him.

Q: Why can’t voice majors have colostomies?
A: Because they can’t find shoes to match the bag.

Q: What do you do if you see a bleeding drummer running around in your back yard?
A: Stop laughing and shoot again.

Q: How many 2nd violinists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, they can’t get up that high !!!!!!

Soprano Sofege: do, re, mi, me, Me, Not You, ME!!

Q: What’s the perfect weight of a conductor?
A: Three and one-half pounds, including the urn.

Q: What do all great conductors have in common?
A: They’re all dead

Q: What’s the definition of optimisim?
A: A bass trombonist with a beeper.

Q: What do you do if you run over a bass player?
A: Back up.

Q: How do you reduce wind-drag on a trombonist’s car?
A: Take the Domino’s Pizza sign off the roof

Q: How do you get a clarinetist out of a tree?
A: Cut the noose

Q: What do you throw a drowning bass player?
A: His amp.

Q: How do you get a three piece horn section to play in tune?
A: Shoot two of therm.

Q: What’s the difference between a bull and a band?
A: The bull has the horns in the front and the ******* in the back.

Q: How many vocalists does it take to screw in a bulb?
A: None. They hold the bulb over their head and the world revolves around them.

Q: How many drummers does it take to screw in a bulb?
A: None, they have machines for that now.

Q: How can you tell if the stage is level?
A: The drool comes out of both sides of the drummers mouth.

Q: How do you get a trombonist off of your porch?
A: Pay him for the pizza.

Q: What’s the last thing a drummer says before he gets kicked out of a band?
A: “When do we get to play MY songs?”

Q: What’s the difference between a tuba and a vacumn cleaner?
A: You have to turn one of them on before it sucks.

Q: How do you define a perfect pitch?
A: When the Saxaphone lands in the MIDDLE of the dumpster.

Q: What do you call a musician with a college degree?
A: Night manager at McDonalds

Q: Why are violas larger than violins?
A: They aren’t. Violists heads are smaller.

Q: How are trumpet players like pirates?
A: They’re both murder on the high Cs.

Q: A violin and a viola are both in a burning building, in the same room, which burns first?
A: The violin because the viola was in its case.

Q: What’s the difference between a dog and a violinist?
A: A dog knows when to quit scratching.

Q: How do you get a trumpet to sound like a french horn?
A: Put your hand in the bell and play a lot of wrong notes.

Q: How does one trumpet player greet another?
A: “Hi. I’m better than you.”

Q: How do you know when a drummer is at your door ?
A: He speeds up when hes knocking

Q: How many guitar players does it to take to change a lightbulb?
A: 5 …. One to change and 4 to say they could have done it better


The Impeachment Of Trump And The Power Of The Purse.

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Many in Conservative circles have been dismissing the impeachment investigations as invalid because, in their view, it’s based solely on “a few words in a phone call”. This call of unjust political action taken by the Democrats in the House does not hold up to scrutiny for several reasons:

First: That phone call is not the exclusive reason Pelosi finally pulled the trigger on impeachment, that just one of many justifications for the action.

Second: If we focus on just that phone call, pressuring a foreign government to investigate his political rival SHOULD be enough to start impeachment hearings. Note that the Biden story has been public knowledge since the end of 2015.

Third: Biden was VP at the time his actions concerning Ukraine were taken, the Congress knew about this before we in the public learned of it. Yet, that Republican controlled Congress took no action at all to investigate the Bidens. They had the power to investigate and impeach Biden if indeed they found he had committed a crime or used the power of the executive branch to protect his son. When Trump entered office, his justice department also took no action.

So why now?????

If the DoJ determines Biden may have broken the law THEY are the ones who should be investigating.
Why try to slyly farm it off to a foreign government… Unless you know the case is weak, and this would provide you cover… “What??? We’re not the ones investigating.”.

Fourth: As noted before, the trump administration withheld funds / aid that was earmarked by Congress to go to the Ukraine to help them fight corruption. There were conditions set that required Pentagon approval before the money was to be transferred. Pentagon had cleared the transfer of funds in April. Trump administration none-the-less withheld the funds until after the phone call. As Ilya Somin explains at the Volokh Conspiracy, this may already be enough to justify impeachment.

Trump, Ukraine, and Congress’s Power of the Purse


The Impeachment Of Trump – My First Official Prediction.

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The Trump / Ukraine Fiasco:

Subpoenaed emails from Guiliani and others will show the phone call now being scrutinized was staged and scripted. It will be revealed that Trump and company did not just “ask for a favor” but they were working behind the scenes to engineer a Ukranian investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden. This would explain why the already approved aid to Ukraine was withheld by the White House, to be used as leverage, and why Guiliani was involved. He coached Zelensky to make sure the phone call happened the way it did. Mentioning CrowdStrike was intended to give Trump cover… “See!!!! This isn’t about Biden!!”. And there is no quid pro quo in the phone call. Of course that was handled before hand. And worst case scenario, if anyone questioned it, Guiliani and Trump would have attorney / client priveledge… But we’re dealing with stupid people. That protection of course goes away if either is found to have actively participated in a crime that benefits the other.

QUICK UPDATE: Pissed that the whistleblower is being called a hero instead of him, Rudy, being Rudy, is out and about bragging that he’s the hero in all this, that he’s the crusader righting the wrongs of government, not this idiot tractor whistleblower. He’s the one “fighting corruption”. I wonder if that includes manipulating a foreign government to investigate a political rival????

Translated: This was his idea and moron Trump didn’t have the slightest bit of common sense to go “nope, we probably shouldn’t do this. It’s like Cheney / Bush all over again, but turned to 11.


Don’t Dream…

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Or do dream, if you wish.


That Time The Giant Elephant Attacked Florida, Georgia, AND Alabama!!!!

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Laurel Canyon Is Back!!!

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A bit of the performance from Tuesday night at Intimos. We had not played together for a year and a half and I though this project was done. It’s the way of things, a band is a band, and then they are done. But a turn of events have brought us back to together to perform and I’m enjoying the heck out of it!


The Art Of Efing Up The Deal

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The almost dead Iran deal.

Earlier today I linked to the BBC article that pointed to leaked diplomatic correspondence suggesting President Trump’s motivation for breaking the agreement was simply “to spite Obama.” My conservative friends scoff at the idea, and say it was a bad deal to be in in the first place.

Let’s put into the record that the deal in question wasn’t “great.” There is more we would have liked to get. But Iran was not going to go any further than they did, so after two years of negotiations, the deal was made. The flaws were acceptable.

The key points here are long term. The deal stopped Iran in it’s tracks from continuing to upgrade their nuclear capabilities. That’s a huge win. Even more important, the deal, which Iran was complying with, opened the door to further diplomacy and we could have gotten more with patience and skilled negotiators working a new deal.

But, a minority of people in this country select a guy to be President who knows only one way to negotiate, be a wrecking ball. This administration didn’t even try to see if they could improve the deal or get a new one while this one was in place. They did the only thing this President knows how to do and destroyed it.

Before the US pulled out of the agreement here is what we had:

* Iran was fulfilling their pledge to stop enriching uranium.
* Iranian proxies were not attacking ships in the Persian Gulf.
* There was a real possibility of future deals that could thaw the cold war between Iran and the US, and even other countries.

After the US pulled out of the deal:

* Iran, a year after WE broke the agreement, is now starting to enrich uranium again.
* Iran is making shipping more difficult in the Persian Gulf.
* There is no new deal in the offing. And why would that country ever trust us again?
Iran is still doing the same things that the foes of the deal complained about in the first place. Pulling out of the deal did nothing but make things worse for the region and us.


The Perils Of Bad Data And Bad Data Interpretation

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A friend on Facebook posted a write-up in the American Thinker about a report issued by the Texas Secretary of State earlier this year showing 58,000 illegals voted in Texas elections between 1996 and 2015. The entire thing was completely discredited in court due to bad methodologies. After the study was scrutinized, the number of non-citizens that were supposed to have been found voting in Texas elections went from 58,000 to about 80. My friend later posted a much better study on the topic. The better study provides talking points on both sides of the political divide, that some non-citizens do vote in US elections, but on the other hand, the amount that do is quite small. Here’s the conclusion of the study.

“””Our exploration of non-citizen voting in the 2008 presidential election found that most non-citizens did not register or vote in 2008, but some did. The proportion of noncitizens who voted was less than fifteen percent, but
significantly greater than zero. Similarly in 2010 we found
that more than three percent of non-citizens reported

These results speak to both sides of the debate concerning non-citizen enfranchisement. They support the
claims made by some anti-immigration organizations
that non-citizens participate in U.S. elections. In addition,
the analysis suggests that non-citizens’ votes have
changed significant election outcomes including the
assignment of North Carolina’s 2008 electoral votes, and
the pivotal Minnesota Senate victory of Democrat Al
Franken in 2008.

However, our results also support the arguments made
by voting and immigrant rights organizations that the
portion of non-citizen immigrants who participate in U.S.
elections is quite small. Indeed, given the extraordinary
efforts made by the Obama and McCain campaigns to
mobilize voters in 2008, the relatively small portion of noncitizens who voted in 2008 likely exceeded the portion of
non-citizens voting in other recent U.S. elections.”””

The study above relies heavily on data from two studies by Stephen Ansolabehere (2010, 2011). The author of that paper coauthored a paper pointing to severe flaws in the way Richman, Chattha, and Earnest used the data. The original studies and the data provided were not designed to be interpreted to look at this question (this is one example of “P-hackking” ) . As Ansolabehere states in a rebuttal:

“””Suppose a survey question is asked of 20,000 respondents, and that, of these persons, 19,500 have a given characteristic (e.g., are citizens) and 500 do not. Suppose that 99.9 percent of the time the survey question identifies correctly whether people have a given characteristic, and 0.1 percent of the time respondents who have a given characteristic incorrectly state that they do not have that characteristic. (That is, they check the wrong box by mistake.) That means, 99.9 percent of the time the question correctly classifies an individual as having a characteristic—such as being a citizen of the United States—and 0.1 percent of the time it classifies someone as not having a characteristic, when in fact they do. This rate of misclassification or measurement error is extremely low and would be tolerated by any survey researcher. It implies, however, that one expects 19 people out of 20,000 to be incorrectly classified as not having a given characteristic, when in fact they do.

Normally, this is not a problem. In the typical survey of 1,000 to 2,000 persons, such a low level of measurement error would have no detectable effect on the sample. Even in very large sample surveys, survey practitioners expect a very low level of measurement error would have effects that wash out between two categories. The non-citizen voting example highlights a potential pitfall with very large databases in the study of low frequency categories. Continuing with the example of citizenship and voting, the problem is that the citizen group is very large compared to the non-citizen group in the survey. So even if the classification is extremely reliable, a small classification error rate will cause the bigger category to influence analysis of the low frequency category is substantial ways. Misclassification of 0.1 percent of 19,500 respondents leads us to expect that 19 respondents who are citizens will be classified as non-citizens and 1 non-citizen will be classified as a citizen. (This is a statistical expectation—the actual numbers will vary slightly.) The one non-citizen classified as a citizen will have trivial effects on any analyses of the overall pool of people categorized as citizens, as that individual will be 1 of 19,481 respondents. However, the 19 citizens incorrectly classified as non-citizens can have significant effects on analyses, as they are 3.7 percent (19 of 519) of respondents who said they are non-citizens.

Such misclassifications can explain completely the observed low rate of a behavior, such as voting, among a relatively rare or low-frequency group, such as non-citizens. Suppose that 70 percent of those with a given characteristic (e.g., citizens) engage in a behavior (e.g., voting). Suppose, further, that none of the people without the characteristic (e.g., non-citizens) are allowed to engage in the behavior in question (e.g., vote in federal elections). Based on these suppositions, of the 19 misclassified people, we expect 13 (70%) to be incorrectly determined to be non-citizen voters while 0 correctly classified non-citizens would be voters. Hence, a 0.1 percent rate of misclassification—a very low level of measurement error—would lead researchers to expect to observe that 13 of 519 (2.8 percent) people classified as non-citizens voted in the election, when those results are due entirely to measurement error, and no non-citizens actually voted.

This example parallels the reliability and vote rates in the CCES 2010-2012 panel survey. From this we conclude that measurement error almost certainly explains the observed voting rate among self-identified non-citizens in the CCES—as reported by Richman and his colleagues. “””

When I was Conservative, I used to support the idea of voter ID to ensure illegals were not voting and stealing elections. I changed my mind because no one could ever produce evidence that that kind of voter fraud was happening at any rate that justified the possible disenfranchisement of legal voters. A recent study suggests that voter ID laws don’t seem to cause much disenfranchisement. And they also don’t do much to stop voter fraud either. Of course, Conservative press only reported the results they liked, that voter ID laws doesn’t seem to lead to detectable disenfranchisement. But they don’t mention that there doesn’t seem to be any detectable fraud either. Unfortunately this paper is behind a paywall, but I’ll provide a link in case anyone wants to fork out the dough to buy it. This is what the abstract reports:

U.S. states increasingly require identification to vote – an ostensive attempt to deter fraud that prompts complaints of selective disenfranchisement. Using a difference-in-differences design on a 1.3-billion-observations panel, we find the laws have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation. These results hold through a large number of specifications and cannot be attributed to mobilization against the laws, measured by campaign contributions and self-reported political engagement. ID requirements have no effect on fraud either – actual or perceived. Overall, our results suggest that efforts to reform voter ID laws may not have much impact on elections.

So there seems to be two lessons here. First: when you post things to support your political position, try to make sure your supporting data is accurate and says what you want. Second: If you want to make an argument to support legislation to correct a problem, make sure there is a real problem to be solved. It still looks like voter ID is a solution waiting for a problem.