The second week of the Science Fiction Writers Workshop begins today, and tonight the inimitable Andy Duncan joins us as this year's guest author.

Last night, our dinner out was Mexican, where we drank margaritas and ate deliciousness on the outdoor patio in 100-degree heat. Why? Well, icy beverages help, as does shade - the building blocked the sun - and a lovely breeze. But mostly it was so we could watch the Tour of Lawrence bicycle race's final round, which passed the patio just feet away. The riders even decided to participate in a major crash right across from us - no one seemed hurt, though a couple of bikes were out of the race... and it was almost the last lap of 50 (yes, FIFTY, on a day of 100 degrees).

Afterward, the neighbors across the street from this year's Workshop building (a gorgeous scholarship hall that we have all to ourselves - that's it across the street from the grandstand in this photo) invited us to their block party. This included a zip-line terminating in an inflatable pool, a claw-foot tub hooked up to a garden hose, dozens of chairs, food, beer, and live music on a stage built in a parking spot in front of the house. The band we saw is Rob Gillespie's new group, Pale Hearts, and it was their first show. They rocked the block! So hard, in fact, that The Law showed up and had a conversation with the home-owner. You probably already noticed the interesting array of attire adorning some of the concert attendees. One of the Workshoppers speculated that the party was holding a "worst costume contest." Ah, the charms of youth.

Sometimes people ask me, "Why Lawrence, Kansas?" Well, right there's one reason.

Oh, and in case you missed it:

Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award winners announced.

This coming weekend is the Campbell Conference! If you haven't yet registered, now's the time - especially if you want to register for the Awards Banquet on Friday night, as today's the deadline for guaranteeing we can get you dinner. (You can always attend the Awards after dinner, but you still need to register so we can have enough seating.)

Now I'm back to it.


Damn, I love this car. Even with transmission issues (linkage problems, including no way to get into 1st gear and tricky 4th and reverse) and sloppy suspension, this thing is a blast to drive! When we first took it out for a drive to visit T&N, upon leaving it seemed the right thing to do was to do a little burnout. Y'know, just because. The car certainly has the power. So I brought the revs up a bit - nothing crazy - and dropped the clutch. That's when it felt like I was getting shot in the back by a cannon. Repeatedy. The thing bucked and hopped and spun, repeat, only during one of the violent hops it fired a wheel "beauty ring" into the grass beside the car. Too much! We were laughing our brains out.

Much of what I'm doing to improve the suspension includes getting the rear end under control: heavy-duty, adjustable control arms top and bottom; mega-duty sway bar where it now has none; heavy-duty drop springs; QA1 adjustable shocks; and Delrin bushings all around - firm, quiet, and non-binding. This thing will be PLANTED. The front, also sloppy, is geting a QA1 adjustable coil-over setup, tubular A-arms with 1" raised tie rod for better cornering, a sway bar with twice the control of the stock unit, 11" drilled and slotted disk brakes hanging from drop spindles, and all Delrin bushings like the rear.

Here's a fantastic promo shot of The Latenight Callers, clearly up to no good:

The band is (left to right): Krysztof Nemeth, Ellen O'Hayer, Nick Combs, Gavin Mac, and Julie Berndsen. Photo by Mat "SLIMM" Adkins.

So the issues will be remedied soon, and it will handle like a modern sports car. Also, a modern 6-speed double-overdrive transmission is soon to replace the old 4-speed. Why shouldn't muscle cars get to enjoy high-tech handling? Why shouldn't they also have low revs on the highway and lots of gear ratios to choose from? Well, this one sure will!

More on this soon, as the parts are already starting to arrive. Next up: into the garage for a tear-down and build-up. Can't wait.

These photos were taken in downtown Lawrence, just across the street from The Bottleneck, where tonight a few of us went to see the fantastic band, The Latenight Callers, born here in town but now operating mostly out of Kansas City. Don't know them? They ROCK. Check 'em out on their website or visit them on their Facebook page. Get to know them now so you can say you knew them before they were famous.

Below is Krysztof Nemeth, a friend and co-founder of the band. I took this shot using his smartphone with no flash and some funky digital effects - blurry, yes, but he liked it this way so here it is:

Hey, music fans: Lawrence, KS, will be the music hub of the world tomorrow. For just $15 (advance) or $20 day of show, you get to see this massive variety of bands spread across downtown Larryville:

Click the image to see more details on the KJHK website.

Even better, proceeds go to health care access and music in schools.

Tonight the CSSF Science Fiction Writing Workshop enjoyed a special treat: Bradley Denton and Nathaniel Williams on guitar and harmonica, playing and singing together for the first time. Fantastic.

Hilarious AND a good pop song:

Soon to become a standard at every con dance (right before "Let's Do the Time Warp Again!").

Just in case you haven't seen it yet, here's M.I.A.'s new music-video-slash-movie-short, "Born Free," an anthem for the modern world.

Warning: Contains graphic violence and nudity.

Jezebel writes a good analysis of the video and the changes sweeping through the modern music-video scene.

It's great to see someone making passionate music videos again. Wow.

Continuing the Lawrence Rocks! theme, tonight's show:

Throw Rag + The Spook Lights + The Big Iron


the Jackpot Saloon, starting at 10pm.

Who's going? I am!

Rock on,
Last night, [ profile] charmed_art, [ profile] razorart, [ profile] madmatmax, and I braved wicked thunderstorms to see local rockers and creepy-moviemakers, The Spook Lights:

and visiting madman Scott "the Voodoo Organist" (and theramin-ist) Wexton:

(...who informed us that he's starting a non-profit to help save the desert where he lives.) This wicked-great music-fest was hosted at Replay Lounge. For those of you not in-the-know, Lawrence is a freakin' HOTBED of rock'n'roll goodness! Check out these fine people's work on their websites for a taste, but be sure to see them live - there's nothing like it.

Now you're in-the-know. My work here is done.

...when NPR played a xylophone version of a non-hit Nirvana song.

This comes in second only to when I first heard the Muzak version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a Seattle elevator.

Ye gods. Am I getting old and cranky or is this really what has become of the anti-pop band's legacy?
Two Drag Club is based in Omaha and rock the house! You can download their songs directly from their website. A live shot:

Click the image to see the story.

Here's what they say about themselves:

After a long trudging practice and neck replacement surgery for our fearless leader, Two Drag Club is preparing to steamroll their brand of rock onto the unassuming public. Lying in wait, ready to pounce on the crowd like Lindsey Lohan on a bottle of vodka. The fellas have fine tuned their rock to a wall of sound the likes of which this community has never heard. All are healthy, hungry, and inspired by the the way Bob practiced with no neck and spine for two weeks, still being able to the rock like people half his age who have all their body parts. Prepare yourself for the inevitable avalanche of rock that is the Two Drag Club. Come see them now so you have the right to say, "I knew them when Bob had no neck, Greg had biceps that were only 24" around, Javier had two kidneys, and you could still see skin on James' arm." Here are some on-line retailers where you can buy our CD (it's under Bob Boyce and the CD name is Two Drag Club):, Ruckus, BuyMusic, Inprodicon, MusicIsHere, Tradebit, Napster, AudioLunchbox, GroupieTunes, Apple iTunes, PayPlay, Verizon, Muze, rVibe, Liquid Digital Media, GreatIndieMusic, iMusica, Bitmunk....

They rock! Check 'em out and enjoy!

mckitterick: Yes, this is one of my actual scooter helmets. RESPECT THE EMPIRE. (NIN)
( May. 5th, 2008 10:23 pm)
Did you know that Nine Inch Nails has two new albums? And that you can download a big portion of them for free?

Click the image to go to the Ghosts download page.

Click the image to go to the Slip download page.

Cool beans. I love watching change as it sweeps across our landscape.

I love Trent Reznor. I love this notion.

And check out the Year Zero promotions.

Must. Buy. This color-changing CD. (And yes, I'm fully aware that doing so misses the point. Still.)

It was fantastic! And unexpected.
read all about it! )
High on music,


mckitterick: Yes, this is one of my actual scooter helmets. RESPECT THE EMPIRE. (Default)


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