Sunday, September 17, 2006

And with that...a Smoky Hollow hiatus

Well, I've been doing this blogging thing for almost a year now, but I have to take a break. I'm taking a job that won't allow me to post for a while. But I'll be back soon.

I'll leave all of the current content up, so if you feel the need to read, please enjoy the Smoky Hollow archives.

I'll leave you with a brief message: We need your help to ensure Democratic victories in November. Visibility is important, so get out there and put up a yard sign or bumper sticker. Volunteer at the local level. And, of course, VOTE.


Here's a shot of Senators Harkin and Obama with Chet and Mari Culver.

Here are some of my favorite people

Here's a good photo of Obama

I like this photo of Obama that I took with the long lens. This guy has a smile worth a million bucks.

Senator Harkin enjoys the day

Senator Tom Harkin sure knows how to organize an exciting rally with his annual Steak Fry. The weather turned out to be beautiful, almost perfect. The place was so packed with people, it was kinda difficult to move around. But that's not something to complain about. All in all, I'm sure everyone involved with today's event was very pleased with the results.

Mark Warner works his way through the crowd

This one is Gov. Mark Warner visiting with people in the crowd at the Harkin Steak Fry. Warner is on my short list for 2008 presidential candidates. He only spoke briefly, but he was well received by the crowd.

A few photos from the Harkin Steak Fry

I took quite a few photos at the Harkin Steak Fry. They had invited lots of bloggers, and allowed us to go wherever we wanted. I'll just post a few of the photos I liked best. This first photo is Sen. Barack Obama giving a rousing speech.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rockstar: Lukas Rossi

Exciting finale tonight to Rockstar: Supernova. Didn't go exactly as I expected, but Lukas Rossi was an obvious frontrunner for a long time. I didn't watch every episode, but Lukas was always a great performer every time I saw it. His best performance that I saw was his version of "Creep" by Radiohead.

He'll fit in well with the band. The way he struts around, he sorta reminds me of Scott Weiland.

So now the interesting thing will be to see how long they can actually last as a real band, or if they fizzle out immediately.

New poll shows Culver surging ahead of Nussle

Great news for today for Iowa! Tonight on Channel 8 they showed the results of a new poll on the 2006 elections. Chet Culver has surged further ahead of Jim Nussle.

The poll shows 48 percent supporting Culver and 43 percent supporting Nussle. This leaves only 9 percent undecided, and puts Culver in a strong position to close out the election with a victory.

Digging a little deeper into the full poll results--there's a downloadable PDF version on the KCCI site. If you look closely at the PDF version of the poll results, you'll notice that among Independents polled, Culver has a nine point lead over Nussle. 50 percent of Independents are with Culver, and only 41 percent are with Nussle.

There's a whole bunch of other good news in the poll as well. In the Third District U.S. House race, Congressman Leonard Boswell has a commanding lead over Jeff Lamberti. The poll shows Boswell with an 11-point lead of 52-41.

In the race for Iowa Secretary of State, Mike Mauro holds a big lead over his opponent. Mauro leads 43-31 in that race.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rockstar: Supernova

I don't know why I get drawn into these silly TV shows.

But I did. I didn't start watching until about halfway through the season, but I gotta say I have really enjoyed Rockstar: Supernova. The show is actually in its second season, hosted by former Jane's Addiction guitar hero Dave Navarro. Last year the featured band was INXS, but I didn't watch it.

On the surface, this show sounds to me like it would be really lame. I'm sure some of my friends will make fun of me for watching it. But it's actually turned out to be very entertaining. Supernova is a newly-formed supergroup featuring Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Gilbey Clark (Guns N' Roses) and Jason Newsted (Flotsam & Jetsam, Metallica, Voivod). The contestants have to battle it out by performing rock cover tunes and some originals. It's like American Idol but the winner gets to be the lead singer of Supernova. You get the idea.

There have been some really good and really, really bad contestants, but it's actually been a lot of fun to watch.

So anyway, the final performances were tonight, with the winner being named tomorrow. My wife really likes Lukas. I can't decide if I want to vote for Lukas or Toby.

Once they have their new lead singer, Supernova is going on tour with a road show that promises to be a lot of fun. They will be coming to Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena in February.

Harkin Steak Fry is this weekend

Hey, it's time to get ready once again for Senator Harkin's big fiesta in Indianola. I've been to a few of them over the years and they're always interesting and fun, but this one is going to be extra cool.

With all of the excitment about the Culver-Judge campaign really moving into full swing..along with the prospects of Democrats taking back the Iowa House and Senate..AND all of the potential 2008 presidential candidates testing the waters in Iowa, well this is going to be a Harkin Steak Fry to remember. I highly recommend coming to Indianola this Sunday.

One of our party's rising stars, Sen. Barack Obama, is going to be the featured guest at the event. There aren't a whole lot of politicians out there who can match Obama on the soapbox. He's an exceptionally gifted communicator who I am really eager to see in person.

I'll be there all day, and I'll have my camera with me, so check here Sunday night for a report.

Friday, September 08, 2006


So there's this band from England called Dragonforce. From what I understand, they're getting to be very popular with the kids these days.

What's odd about this is the fact that they are an all-out full-on-shred power metal band. Bands like this have long been the subject of ridicule, but apparently it's cool again. I've always thought music like this was cool, but I do admit I am a nerd.

As I get older, over and over I see examples of how the things I loved as a young person always become uncool, then all of a sudden, they're cool again.

Anyway, I was flipping through the channels yesterday as I was waiting for the local news. I stopped on the channel "G4TV," which is a channel dedicated mostly to video games and stuff like that. The program on G4 at the time was "Attack of the Show." The guy on there said the they were about to present a live performance of Dragonforce. Ooh, that sounds awesome, I thought. Better set the TiVo to record.

I watched it, and was underwhelmed. I daresay, it was embarrassing to watch.

They obviously didn't give their best performance. Within the first few seconds, the guitarist playing an Ibanez Iceman tripped over the bass player's leg and fell over!

It made me think...jeez, if kids these days think Dragonforce is cool, they really ought to take a listen to some truly awesome power metal bands from the good old days.