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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Grafton Winter Festival Schedule

Click here for the newly released full schedule of the 2015 Grafton Winter Festival to be held on Saturday, January 24th at Grafton Lakes State Park.

2013 Polar Plunge

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Shadblow Christmas Tree

Shadblow Tree in Winter

It's been a beautiful winter so far, as epitomized by the simple Shadblow tree --
"A symbol of everything that exists in nature..."

See Also
Shadblow Tree

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Steve Earle Coming to MASS MoCA

Credit: Steve Earle MASS MoCA Publicity Photo

Saturday, February 7, 8pm
Hunter Center at MASS MoCA
$22 student + advance / $28 day of / $36 preferred  (25% off through Dec. 31)
Click here for details

A trailblazer of alt-country, a protest singer of fiery commitment, a songwriter of towering ability — Steve Earle is an artist of expansive talents. He’s here, a sack full of Grammy Awards and his gravely, impassioned voice in tow, for a solo show 10 days before the release of Terraplane, a new album of swampy, southern stomp blues. (credit: MASS MoCA publicity)

I've always been a big Neil Young and Bob Dylan fan.  In 1986, a good friend, who knew my taste in music, suggested I watch Steve Earle on Austin City Limits, suggesting I'd enjoy his music.  Bingo!  I've been a huge Steve Earle fan since.  While a multi-Grammy Award winner, and a musician's musician, Steve has never hit it as bit as Bob Dylan and Neil Young.  But he should have.  I have over a thousand iTunes on my iPhone, the leader is Bob Dylan with 43, Steve Earle is at 40, and Neil Young has 29.  Yes, Steve's that good.  I've got my tickets (in this age of $100 ticket prices, $36 is a bargain).  I am really looking forward to the drive over the Petersburgh Pass to North Adams on February 7th!

Give him a try, click on some of the YouTube videos of his songs I've linked below.

The Mountain (yes, that's Steve without the mountain man beard!)
Goodbye (with Emmylou Harris)
You're The Best Lover That I Ever Had
Copperhead Road
Galway Girl
Guitar Town
I Ain't Ever Satisfied 
Down the Road
Christmas in Washington

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm on the e-mail list for the Grafton Community Library and the other day I read about the Grafton Community Book Club and their 2015 book selections for the next six months.   The Witch of Hebron caught my eye because somehow I missed the publication of this book which is a sequel to Kunstler's World Made by Hand, about a "post-oil, post-collapse world" which I had read and enjoyed.  James Kunstler, by the way, lives just a tad north of the Plateau.

I usually borrow books from libraries.  I happen to work in a university library, so that's my normal practice.  When the book isn't owned by the library, I then request it through interlibrary loan.  But if it's a book I want to own or have a lot of time to read, I'll sometimes buy it.  If it's just been released, I'll usually get it through but if it been around for a bit, I check, one of my favorite websites.

AbeBooks, which is owned by Amazon (though that's not made obvious at their website), is a fabulous source for used books and new books.  Virtually every used bookstore in the country garners a significant slice of their revenue pie by making their books available (for a fee to Amazon) on this portal.

You can buy the The Witch of Hebron from : hardcover for $16.89, paperback for $12.03, or Kindle edition for $9.99.  I really prefer the hardcover, print format, so I decided to check to see what was available at AbeBooks.  I plugged the title in the search engine and then sorted by "Lowest Total Price " (i.e. price plus shipping).  Up popped a hardcover copy, in Very Good condition for $1.00, plus $2.46 for shipping -- $3.46 total.  This is not an unusual AbeBooks deal.  I placed my order and about a week later it arrived in my mailbox from Hippo Books, a dealer in Toledo, Ohio.  I'd say closer to "like new" versus "Very Good" condition.  I've bought many books from AbeBooks through the years and have been extremely happy with the service.  Only one time did I feel the condition of the book that arrived was less than advertised by the dealer.  AbeBooks is also a great place to check for that ancient book, long out-of-print, you've been searching for.