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Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros…

Last night I went to the Best concert I may have ever been to and I’ve been to a concert or two. It was at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland and on stage was Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. If you get a chance to see them live GO!! You can thank me for telling you later. Oh, and in the meantime you can download their album, or pick it up at your local record store. Perfect CD to whined down the summer with.

Here is a little piece of the bands personality.

Spring time = Spring time Music

I LOVE music. Always have. Growing up in the country meant no cable t.v. and that, to this day, is okay with me. In the winter it’s a little harder to not totally veg out on a tube of nothingness, but on beautiful days give me some good music, and turn it up.

This weekend in Portland has been amazing. 70 and sunny is a rare beast this time of year, so soaking up as much Vit D as possible is what the doctor ordered. When relaxing in the sun I enjoy a good beverage and some good tunes, so I thought I would write a blog on some good spring music to tap your feet to.

Here they are in no particular order. And know this list could go on for days and will continue soon.

1. Picked it up today. Freelance Whales – Weathervanes. The catchy radio hit Hannah is a good start, but the album as a whole fits the spring bill to a tee.

2. Likely to be one of the greatest albums of the year, Jonsi – Go. Check out this awesome video for Go Do. It just makes you feel ALIVE.

3. Next up, Broken Bells – Broken Bells. I am sure you have heard the song the High Road. It’s a great song. Overplayed on the radio, but great. I highly suggest picking up their entire album. It’s sure to get you settled into spring and ready for summer.

4. Last but very much not least. A local CD I picked up last summer Friends, and Friends of Friends Vol. 2. It’s a compilation of Local Artists and favorite Artists of the Tender Loving Empire record label. Though Shoeshine Blue is one of my favorite bands, I couldn’t find any good videos. Here is Boy Eats Drum Machine – La La La La La .

Let the music play!! Get out there; attend a few good shows this year, buy some CD’s from local Independent Stores, and throw back a few with friends.

Summer here we come.

This American Life yet another awesome episode.

If you have never listened to an Episode of The American Life you have really missed out on one of the best Radio Programs EVER. This weeks episode, which can be found at www.ThisAmericanLife.com, is on True Urban Myths.

It starts with a prologue about rats found in toilets in my beautiful city Portland, Or. No longer will I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without turning on the light; better to know than to be surprised. Then the story moves onto three acts on the core subject.

Act 1: What’s that smell? highlights a book written by Steve Poizner. Poizner is running for Governor of California and his book focuses on his experience teaching at a high school in Northern California. The myth is regarding his view on the city and the school in which he taught. Like the other acts, this act doesn’t give you a definitive answer on whether the myth is true, but it does get you thinking about the status of our schools.

Act 2: Fleeing is believing. I wish this act were a little longer. It focuses on refugees from other countries and their myths, which really aren’t myths, about the United States. One part that really struck me is the disbelief of Iraqis that the U.S. has homeless living on the streets. Not because of the homeless, but because we do not take better care of our families.  They are right, we should take better care of our people.

Act 3: Sleeper Cell. Do cell phones cause brain damage? There are a lot of studies out there. Some say cell phones are harmful, others say they are safe. This act points out that 75% of the studies that do not receive any funding from phone companies say phones cause tumors, and brain damage among other problems. On the other hand, only 25% of the studies that do receive funding from phone companies say cell phones have a harmful effect on our brains. Now who do you believe?

Check it out and tell me what you think.

Little Ones

There was a little girl quietly crying on the bus this morning. Giant elephant tears running down her face. Her mom and sister were sleeping silently in the seats next to her.

The girl kept looking over at her mom and gracefully slid off her seat. Her mom barked for her to get back on her seat and she did without hesitation.  She seemed so sad and alone.

Just before getting off the bus I handed her a tissue. A stranger unnecessarily thanked me.

Maybe I don’t know the whole story, but it seemed all this little one needed was a big hug and some genuine love.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams Recall Attempt

One of the things I like most about living in Portland is the accessibility to public transit and it’s ease of use.  I LOVE not having to drive to work in rush hour traffic. It’s so much better to pass the cars trickling along the freeway while I sit calmly listening to my IPOD on the max whizzing by. There is a draw back to the Max though. Besides its occasional timing issue, the Max often comes with people wanting you to sign a petition for something.

A couple of months ago it was for medical marijuana, also for taxes, or schools, or other things I had no direct interest in. Last week a man came by with his clipboard looking for people to sign the petition to recall mayor Sam Adams. I’ve been wondering, so I asked, “Why do you want to recall the Mayor?”. He paused, likely having not been confronted about this before, and proceeded to say, “Some people want to recall him because he lied. Some because he took a $70,000 pay increase and laid off 100 city workers. And some people want to recall him for his leadership.”.  So I said, “Hum…I’ll have to look into that.” Then, once he realized no one was signing, he got off the train.

If you are not from Portland you probably do not know the background behind Sam Adams so here is the brief. Sam Adams is the first openly gay mayor of a major city in the US. Before he was elected he had an affair with a 18-year-old. He lied about it, but later confessed after he was elected. That my friends is why people want him recalled.

I looked into the man on the train allegations. I found nothing about a pay increase, and no solid information on bad leadership. There is a lot of he’s gay and he lied and he must be held accountable.

Sure I have a problem with him lying, but I don’t think an affair is valid reason for a recall. Plus the guy on the train lied too, so why should I take his side? I am glad that I met the man on the train though. Now next time some new person tries to get me to sign the recall petition I have ammo. 🙂

To buy organic or not buy organic that is the question.

I’ve read that there is no evidence that eating organic is better than not eating organic, but how can you really tell? The people who usually put together these types of studies are companies who make pesticides, or they are pharmaceutical companies. Now would they really want to invest in a study saying their products are bad? There are studies, however, that show if you eat food with pesticides your body retains these pesticides.

Even though there may not be a ton of studies on the subject; wouldn’t you feel better knowing you are not stuffing your body full of chemicals and genetically modified substances? Wouldn’t you sleep better knowing you are not supporting putting chemicals back into our Earth to pollute the soil for generations to come? I know, organic food is expensive and truth be told not all organic products are the same. So I say buy what you can and use your hard earned money wisely. Here are the  top 12 foods you should eat organically courtesy of thedailygreen.com

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Leafy Greens
10. Grapes
11. Carrots
12. Pears

You should also seriously consider buying organic meat and milk. Go watch Food Inc. or King  Corn and you will know why.

Choosing organic is great decision, but even better is buying locally. Until very recently I have not given any thought to food miles. Food miles are the distance it takes your food to get from the location it was produced to your table.  According to ATTRA it takes an average American meal 1,300 food miles to get to the table. Crazy!

I am lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where local, fresh, organic, delicious food is readily available. Many people here have their own gardens, and can their food in the fall to use throughout the year. No matter where you live you can live a healthier lifestyle that is better for you, your family, and better for our Earth.

For more on organic and local foods check out this great article on HowStuffWorks.com. Bon Appetit.

Photo courtesy of T Ramirez Photography.