Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Bluegrass Band

I'm not a great connoiseur of bluegrass music. Aside from O Brother Where Art Thou I am pretty limited. But last Saturday I had the chance to hear a performance of the Deer Creek Boys in Clifton Forge, VA. at the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. It was at the end of a long day of Woodsmen sports competition. Everyone was wet, cold, and tired. The Deer Creek Boys livened everyone up as we ate and got ready for the awards.

The band's playing is great. The vocals need to develop, though. They will try anything and I think they have a great future. Here's a link to their site: http://www.deercreekboys.com/ Definitely check it out.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Mission Song

I just finished John LeCarré's latest novel: The Mission Song. This book is shorter than the author's previous novels. Yet it follows a similar plot as his latest books. An eccentric hero on the fringes of the intelligence world gets involved with some scandalous or outrageous operation. He decides to fight against the wrong, but is eventually betrayed and ruined for his efforts. In this case the hero is a highly skilled interpreter of African languages from the Congo region. He gets involved with a scheme to steal the mineral resources of eastern Congo by a business syndicate led by a British politician. On the way, he falls in love with a sympathetic, but damaged woman with a young child.

In spite of this being familiar ground, I found myself drawn into the story. I knew that the hero was doomed, but I couldn't help reading on to see how it happened. LeCarré is a master of working a political point into his spy stories. The end of the cold war hasn't slowed him down. The bleak war on terror and the continued injustices of the world give him a lot of material to write about.

Cool Word Tool

I came across this new capability in Word 2007. It can now upload text directly to a blog. There is also a section to add a pictures. I suppose I could put pictures in the document and they would load. This is a very cool tool. It must be an attempt to make the internet experience almost seamless.