The blues are alive and well in the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue.

We went to Chico last night to the Big Room in the Sierra Nevada Brewery which is my all time favorite venue if you don’t count the lounges and stages on the Blues Cruise. Great sound system, great accoustics, great seating, great service and food. This was the most fun we’ve had out since the cruise in January. Everything was just perfect.

Tommy Castro and his band, Deanna Bogart, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Magic Dick of J. Geils band fame were all on stage. It was a super show, full of fun and energy and great music. The crowd was delighted and everybody danced, danced, danced.  We were all out on a Tuesday night for this. These people were definitely our demographic so it was fun and comfortable.  We got to connect with a cruise buddy, in fact she’s the one who clued me into the ticket sales for the shindig last night. YAY Keitha!

Tommy started with “A Good Fool is Hard to Find,” and then “If I Had a Nickel” (which probably isn’t the name of the song) and various other Tommy songs. Deanna was playing keyboards and they did a great song about being the Girl in The Band. Her keyboard playing is really something to behold when she gets going.

Magic Dick came out and played a few songs. He doesn’t do that much for me, and had a harder time taking cues when they were jamming than anyone else did which was aggravating to watch – otherwise they were tight, tight, tight. He played The No Sleepingest Woman – that was kind of a fun song. He’s a good harmonica player, that’s for sure.

Ronnie Baker Brooks came out and played. He did a good audience participation song called “Take Me Wit’ You” that everybody sang along with. He came down in the crowd and played, which I love. He’s a great guitar player, Chicago blues style, with big energy and charm. Very fun to watch and listen to. It’s nice dancing in the Big Room because you’re right there with the musicians. Up close and personal, just like it should be.

Ronnie said he has women say to him, “Can you do me, Ronnie, like you do your guitar?” and we laughed and then he proceeded to make love to his guitar right there in front of us.  Not humping it or anything, but having sex with it nevertheless. Very sensual playing, and I don’t know how to describe it other than it sounded like fucking feels. It made me horny watching him play.

After everyone had their Me time with the band backing them, they took a break and came back and jammed together. I think the best stuff was when Deanna and Keith were playing sax with Tom playing trumpet and they were all up together in front. They were hot hot h0tt!

All in all, a great night.  Click the picture below to see a few more crappity pictures on Flickr.

Little Girl and Ronnie Baker Brooks play the guitar


Momspit – No Rinse Cleanser for Hands & Face

Problem: Milk moustache.
Solution: Momspit.

Momspit (inspired by the original) is the universal no-rinse cleanser. It’s not a sanitizer and does not contain any alcohol. In fact, it’s gentle enough to use on your face. Momspit foams for easy application, eliminates dirt and grime, and leaves skin moisturized and yummy smelling. It’s the perfect thing to throw in your purse, place on your desk, or keep in your car. To use: Apply a small amount on hands or face and rub in completely. No rinse needed.


Click picture to purchase!

On Robot Wars

That post below – on robots – exemplifies one of the reasons more girls don’t get into computer science. Robot Wars, ferchristsake. Not that many females would give a shit about Robot Wars. Now, if they were demoing the robots doing something useful, it would be a different story.

In my experience, most women don’t really enjoy violence for violence’s sake.

Make love, not war! That reminds me, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said Another Grandma for Peace. It had another lefty sticker I liked on it, too, but I can’t remember what it was. It was all ruined by the fact that granny was driving a mini-van. No sympatico from this quarter.

“In my younger days, when I was pained by the half-educated, loose, and inaccurate ways women had, I used to say, ‘How much women need exact science.’ But since I have known some workers in science, I have now said, ‘How much science needs women.'”
–Maria Mitchell, America’s first woman astronomer.


 Peacebots Picket Robotic Violence
Bryn Mawr College (10/25/07)

A group of robotic students from Bryn Mawr College programmed robots to protest the “Robot Conflict,” the robot fights that were taking place as part of Robot Day, sponsored by the Northeast Robotics Club. The protesting robots, which were programmed by four students in an introductory computer science course, carried signs such as “Make Code Not War,” and “Extendable Arms Are for Hugging.”

The protest was done partially in fun, but also to raise awareness for some important issues. The robot fights were intended to get young attendees interest in robotics, but Bryn Mawr associate professor of computer science Doug Blank, who taught the class that programmed the protestor robots, says the fights do little to attract young women to the field.

“This kind of event appeals to a specific demographic,” Blank says. “I think that using this as a community-outreach activity just tends to perpetuate the current situation in science and technology fields.” Rebecca Rebhuhn-Glanz, a first-year student who programmed a robot for the protest, says the fights were interesting, but probably not the best way to attract young people to the field.

“If I were designing a robot, that’s not what it would be doing,” she says. “We had one of our robots drawing, and I think we reached more of the little kids with that.” Blank says that violence also does not make a very good pedagogical tool. “I think there are better ways to get kids involved in engineering, and to get more kids involved in technology,” he says.

Bag o’ Wheat

Bag O’ Wheat

4 generations of Bob’s people. He clearly remembers this because Grandma and Grandpa gave him his own giant bag of puffed wheat and it was SO big but he could carry it by himself. He took it home and worked his way through the whole thing. I swear Bob is the cutest child who ever lived except for Andrew. He must have been a delight when he was little.  He’s still a delight most of the time. 🙂

That’s Marcia standing with him, smiling and happy like I have never ever seen her since we met 5 years ago. His mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal great grandmother are pictured.

She’s Geeky Recap

The She’s Geeky UnConference – I’d go again. Great people. REALLY. And it was an interesting way to structure a meeting. The organizer, Kaliya Harmon, would probably dislike the fact that I called it structure. A few Flickr pics here.

Looks like I should spend more time at BlogHer. There were several interesting women at She’s Geeky who hang out there. I always thought it was too female oriented and I’m not that much of a softy but I’m going to have to go look again.

Two Things I learned:

1. We need to be creating more assistive technology. The boomers are losing their eyes and ears. Dragon Naturally Speaking can bypass the arthritic fingers better these days, but the sight and sound problem is going to be more critical more immediately.


MSN article

2. OPENID appears to be the wave of the future for authentication on the web.
The idea behind this is having one secure place to hold your identity that can authorize you to login to member only sites. You choose who you share your information with. You don’t have to give all the signup information to websites you want to join, you just have them (the relying partner – LiveJournal is one example) authenticate you through your Open ID identity provider.

This all sounds great but not that many places are doing their authorization that way yet. WordPress has a plugin for it that I’ll be installing shortly. So does Firefox. It looks like a good solution to keeping at least some of your personal data to yourself. [And remember: Lie about your birthday, but remember what lie you tell. Use Jan 1 and your birthyear, or maybe April fools day, or whatever your favorite holiday might be. ]

Find an Identity Provider
We looked at Vidoop which uses pictures to foil phishing. It was a nice website, I’ll probably sign up there. Verisign has one, too. You can sign up at more than one, or do different personas for different purposes, i.e., I’d have a work persona and a personal persona.

Other Open ID reading:

Social Networking Bill of Rights: http://opensocialweb.org/2007/09/05/bill-of-rights/
Augmented Social Network (ASN) at Planetworks.net


Cool people I met and talked to/listened to with cool web sites:

  • Elizabeth Perry – she talked about teaching tech to girls, and defining art as real versus digital. She’s a wonderful communicator and made me feel like less of a dork at one point. 🙂
  • Dee Adams – a seriously good minimalist artist with kinesthesia – if I was rich she’d be on my walls http://deedee914.com
  • Danese from Craft Magazine – wants to give big money to people with projects that can transform ordinary girls into geeks – to bring girls into the Make loop-
  • Debra Roby – a disciplined, energetic crafter boomer on BlogHer
  • Sally from Sally.com who does diagrams while she talks and turns them into art on the Xerox. She said, “I am replicating the idea of Xerox”. HAHA! Her stuff, what little I saw of it, was great. Somebody stole most of her work on the web, so she’s stingy about what she posts now. Can’t say as I blame her.
  • Ryanne from Ryan is Hungry – a crafter and performer, has a vlog/blog about green things and hacking every day life from which she makes actual money. She said, “Culture is commodified now” which was an interesting idea. We’d all best remember that Love of Money is the Root of All Evil.
  • Roxanne Darling, another literate techy boomer who shoots videos every day from Hawaii. Beachwalks with Rox
  • Ealasaid was another smart woman there I got a big charge out of, but I’m not sure why. Okay, she was funny and friendly and had tastes a lot like mine and thus we attended many of the same sessions. But younger by at least 20 years. Probably 25. So just starting to do it all. I’m trying to link her in because she works at TiVO. And I think TiVo is the best thing since bagel sized toasters.
  • Cheryl Colan from Hummingcrow.com – an irresistible teacher with a true gift for explaining things. I just loved her, she made me feel safe for some reason.
  • Heather Gold, a stand-up comedian and former Apple employee who made me feel not-so-safe. She was so weird and did something strange to me that will probably change my life. A very perceptive person. I went to her class on how to engage audiences in hopes of picking up a trick or two to combat nervousness when speaking in front of people. She said I needed more than a trick or two to get any better, and she’s right, damn her. Having said that, she said I need to find a safe “container” to speak from, figure out a physical ritual to relax me, and remember that talking to an audience is really just like talking to a friend. Pick someone out in the front row and talk to them. If they’re engaged, everyone else will be, too. And don’t use powerpoint except as a backdrop – pictures only if possible. The idea is to engage the audience so that you’re getting feedback from them and not thinking about yourself.

*Other thoughts/notes to myself:

See “My Kid Could Paint That” documentary recommended by Dee Adams
Learn to knit again. Knitting is grounding, and gets you back in your body if you’re a computer geek, yet has a certain amount of geekiness in it in the patterns.

Small is seen as feminine, large is seen as masculine. Cat Allman talked about a project where she knitted a giant roll of cellophane with her arms as knitting needles into a mobius(sp) strip. The guys loved it even if it was knitting.

Crafting is communal, and crafters are always willing to teach the process. Fine art is personal and a much more private process that is NOT really teachable but of course has to be learned.

Painting is a peaceful process and I should get into it again.

Find more Elder Bloggers, er Boomer Bloggers, er whatever the hell I need to connect to.

Get hair like Liz Henry’s (which would REALLY piss her off, I’m sure)

Look up RickOMatic and delve into http://www.cnczone.com

Read http://ronnibennett.typepad.com/

Read wikipatterns.com and figure out how to get my work people into Wikis. Wikipatterns.com
This is going to be a big deal, right after I get the damned website redone. It’s only 5 years overdue, which is like, what, 100 years in web terms? Jeebus Gawd.

Get more girls heading toward technology. Return Susan (from SAGE) Wheeler’s call and see what I can do locally.
shapingyouth.org Amy Jussel – this is a strange PR effort and I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not. I think she talks too much but that’s her raison d’etre if she’s PR. I don’t talk enough….

Find Anna from the Science Education foundation and tell her she rocks
Digigirlz – Lynn Langit, a visible presence for female geekiness from Microsoft runs this. She had kind of a chilly demeanor (my impression, anyway), but was incredibly well-spoken.

Pee Ewww.

I just made a cup of *genmaicha extra green pyramid bag tea in the microwave without water.  It burned up and it stinks.  Nice!  I’m a little discomboobalated from the drive and conference in general and lack of soporifics last night specifically.   In a minute I’ll post the She’s Geeky recap.

*from Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten, Inc.  via Amazon. I highly recommend it if you’re into green green tea. Wonderful flavor.