Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Four Stars

How about a new song?

So I was thinking that I should write a nice pro-ecology song. You know to "do my part" *cough*
Um, ok, well the problem being of course that, well I wrote it. So it ended up being a song about light polution. These things happen.

Four Stars

Words and Music © Mark E. Horning

April 2009

She grew up in the city. It's the only life she knows,

Surrounded by glass buildings, and the neon city's glow.

And the only stars she's ever seen were on the picture show...

But there's four stars out tonight...

there's four stars out tonight

four stars puttin' up a fight

four stars, shinin' with a light

yes there's four stars out tonight.

Light posts at every corner to keep the night at bay

She glances at the heavens as she stumbles on her way

And wonders 'bout those points of light, shinin' through The Gray

At those, four stars out tonight...

Because we fear the dark, we have cast the night away,

But the light that's shining in her eyes won't keep her safe today.

In fact they only make her safer, better, easy prey,

Beneath four stars out tonight.

We've cast away our heritage, we've cast away the night

And trapped the very stars themselves in prisons made of light

She'll never see the majesty, or wonder at the sight,

Just, four stars in the night.

We can regain out legacy, the vault of all heaven

Turn off the lights, take back the night, restore the stars again,

I know that we can do it, though I don't know how or when.

Free the billions of stars out tonight.

Yes there's billions of stars out tonight

Billion of stars trapped by city lights

and one fine day we may regain the sight,

Of all those starts out tonight,

but there's just four stars out tonight

four stars puttin' up a fight

four stars burning oh so bright

just four stars out tonight

yes just four stars out tonight

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Album Art

Preliminary artwork for the ever illusive album.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ASU Graduation

President Teleprompter (photo azcentral)

Longest, Hottest, Graduation EVER.


Graduates had to be there by 15:00. Long line in the parking lot, heck, long line to get to the parking lot. I actually got onto the field by 15:30. They ran out of water by 17:30. (good planning guys) The field was still in the sun until almost 18:00.

My parents and oldest daughter, had seats on the west side of the stadium. They finally had shade about 18:30.

Typical ASU lack of planning all around.

Now at no point did ASU ever get around to publishing a program or schedule, so even the grads didn't know if the ceremony was supposed to start at 17:00 or 19:00. We were just told that President Obama was supposed to speak at 19:00.

Around 17:00 there was a pre-game show. We got japanese drumers, the ASU gospel choior, some Navaho dancers, and other miscilanious 2-bit acts. The final act was Dash Cooper and his band, plaing old 80's rock covers. For the last song Alice Cooper came out. WOOT. Sang "School's Out" duh.

One of the graduating music majors sang the National Anthem. Holly cow we he good. Deep, Deep base, opereticly trained. Best singer I have ever heard sing the Star Spangled Banner. I even saw the president singing along, and after the anthem stop the singer to shake his hand.

Obama spoke around 20:00 for about a half hour. In all honesty, it was a pretty good speech. He started really strong and ended well. Somewhat week in the middle, and I wanted to throw up when he talked about fiscal responsibility. (Talk about pot meet kettle)

The theme of his adress: Your life's work is never done.

He also stuck arround and shoot the hand of everyone who graduated with a Ph.D, which I thought was actually pretty nice of him. Several of the female doctorate graduates huged President Obama when they walked across the stage, although I didn't see anyone hug President Crow. (wonder why)

At 21:00 Crow bestowed (en mass) the degrees uppon the Master's students, and I hightailled it to the parking lot. Fortunately my dad figured I would do so, and I only had to wait 15 minutes or so for him to show up. By this time it was WAY past my reservation time for Fogo e Brasa, so I thought I might have supper over at Bass Pro, as the seafood resturaunt there is actuaklly supposed to be pretty good.

No dice.

Rural road was blocked off for the presedential motorcade, so we had to go west on Rio Solado all the way to Ash.

Ended up at the Outback on McClintock and Southern 10 minutes before closing time.
I swear, this Outback has the bestg service of just about any of them. They cherefully served several parties that were refugees from ASU's graduation. (this location has always had great service BTW)

So in theory, I should be getting my Masters in Science in Physics. With ASU, there is of course, no way to actually verrify this or not. I guess we'll see if a diploma shows up in 10-12 weeks...

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Good to Feel Welcome

Second business trip in three weeks.
I hate traveling. I especially hate airports. (though I love airplanes)

So myself and a coworker have several hours to kill before we actually have to show up to work. Since time is available, and the rental car is paid for, we decide to get in a little sightseeing. So here are a couple of pics. Guess where mark went. (looking at the picture URL is cheating)

Fist pic, weather was uncooperative


Second pic, next day, me and Nicola


Third pic, Have you guessed by now?


Now we happen to be a couple miles from the border, we both have our Birth Certificates with us, since that's required now. (note on 1 June a passport or passport card is required)

Going across- about 9:00 am - zero wait
Canadian Official: Good morning, where are you going today,
Oh, we're just going to go across, hand a left and see things from the other side. I doubt we'll see much in this weather though.
Yeah, it is pretty foggy, do you have any tobacco or alcohol?
No mam,
Ok, do you carry any guns, pepper spray, or large pocket knives.
No mam,
All right then, have a nice time and thanks for visiting.

Returning - about 11:00 am -20 minute wait
Me: Good morning, (handing her our Driver's licenses), American citizens nothing to declare.
Official: Where you going?
Me: Our Hotel.
Where you staying?
Um, the Best Western in Niagara Falls
What were you doing in Canida?
Trying to see the Falls from the Canadian side, can't see anything in this weather though.
How long were you there?
Uh, about two hours.
(she gives me the dirtiest look when I said that)
Buy anything?
Plants, fruits, vegetables.
Um, US. (I tactfully avoid telling her that I'd already told her as much)
Have your birth certificats with you?
Yes mam, here you go.
Grumble grumble, all right, you can go.

Man, it sure is NICE to feel Welcomed by your own DAMN GOVERNMENT now isn't it?