Weekly Rochester Events #462 Starting Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Photos at Image City Photography Gallery
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:30 pm (3 comments)

I stopped by The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) and briefly checked out the new exhibition, America… So Beautiful with photographs by Gary Thompson and Phyllis Thompson. I generally liked the show; it consists of images of beautiful locations expertly shot. It's subtly a "new" way of looking at those places, but largely captures the essence of what has been captured before.

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A most excellent evening at Solera
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:30 pm (add a comment)

After she got home from a long day of work, Ali and I headed to Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave.) We got a glass of (naturally) great wine and ran into our friend Rich who's been out of the country for a month but who arrived back in Rochester earlier that day. We talked with him and his friends and generally had a really good time. Another of our friends from a different circle showed up: she's moving out of town as well with her husband and things are just getting wrapped up for them. She was out on the town trying to avoid being bored stupid at her parents' house in the suburbs.

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Friday dinner at Jeremiah's
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I had a late dinner at Jeremiah's Tavern (1104 Monroe Ave.) This time the selections were good (remember that Jeremiah's changes the menu to be a bit fancier on Fridays) but the meal wasn't as great as in the past. First, there was rosemary on everything. Ali doesn't like rosemary but I do — up to a point. Ali had the chicken Marsala which wasn't all that much of a Marsala sauce. My "country pork chops" with mushrooms were good but a little tough. Everything had rosemary on it. Fortunately for Ali, simply picking out the pieces of rosemary corrected the meal, and our server was really nice when she mentioned it to him (i.e. more to ask that they add "lots of rosemary" to the menu so people know). He insisted that we take a piece of bananas foster cheesecake home.

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Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Lake of Fire at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

All this weekend, Lake of Fire was playing at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) Ali and I went tonight and it was a very impressive film. It attempts to document the abortion debate in America in a respectful, unbiased, and balanced way. Until you see it, you don't think it can be done.

What I came away with that was new was to concede that a new, separate human being starts at conception. Life doesn't start at conception: life is a continuum from parents-to-child, for at no point is there some non-living thing that suddenly becomes living (i.e. life being created). One way to look at it is that all human beings are really just on big organism with different corporeal bodies. So in the end, an abortion (depending on the specific situation) destroys what would likely become a baby, and likely become an adult.

So then I had to examine my stance on killing. Is killing wrong? Almost every time, yes. There are exceptions and they aren't simple or pretty, but one way to look at things is that as we grow, we develop potential that peaks and slowly turns into actuality.

I think that's a big chunk to get one's head around. The idea is this: as a human being grows, they develop potential — the capacity to do and to create. The older they get, the more that potential turns into actuality; their capabilities are utilized in the act of doing and creating. So a 5-year-old has only a little developed potential — it's rather unlikely they could design the Space Shuttle. But once we're old, ideally we should have used that potential as fully as possible so that we have a lot of actual experience: that we look back and know that we "used our potential".

(Now I realize my wording gets a little muddy. One could argue that a baby has "unlimited potential", but what I mean by "potential", is "developed potential" or "the capacity to do" as opposed to "not having made any life decisions yet" or "having a maximum unused lifespan". But in a way, everybody has that second kind of "unlimited potential" as long as they're alive. In one case, you can learn a whole new trade at 50-years-old and do great things. And in the other, one baby might die at 15 and someone who's 75 might live to 100.)

So when I think of a bundle of 50 cells that could someday become a human being, I see that they have no experience and no developed potential. The same is true of that developing being when it's developing. But at some point they get so big that they cross some line that says they'd be more likely to live than to die if taken out of the womb early. In essence, this means I prefer that abortions are done as early in a pregnancy as possible. In part because at some point, it's pretty much a baby and I'm still human and have an automatic, instinctive reaction to the sight of a helpless baby.

Like I had said in the post I did last week, laws need to reflect the universally accepted elements of morality. As long as there is a group that can show that their actions are responsible and respectful, then no law should be made to take away the right of that behavior.

So then we get into the case of someone who wants to kill people because it would be convenient for them. And therein lies the rub, eh? I mean, the fundamental argument of Pro-Choice is that it's convenient for one person to kill something that would likely become another person. How's that different?

Well, in the case of abortion, we're talking about a person inside another person. A pregnant woman can't just pack up and move to another state, away from this other person who inconveniences them. So then, what if a pregnant woman was willing to kill herself as well as the unborn child? No law can stop that — but would that really be true?

Going back to the film, I learned that prior to Roe v. Wade, the law said abortion was only acceptable when the life of the mother was in danger. With vague wording like that, no doctor was willing to risk a murder conviction on probabilistic speculation on a woman's survival, so almost none were performed. This is where coat hangers came into play: I always thought it was the tool used for illegal abortions, but in fact, it was to cause bleeding so severe that the woman's life was in danger and they could therefore get an abortion. The problem was — as one doctor pointed out — that women didn't understand just how fragile their bodies were versus a coat-hanger, and they'd often rupture their uterus and bleed to death.

So now you have actual evidence that, if abortion were illegal, that some women would want an abortion so bad they were willing to kill themselves as an alternative.

And in that case, we're talking about a person destroying their own life — destroying the developed potential they have — to destroy the life of a being that has no developed potential. In my mind, the value of someone with developed potential is higher.

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Monday, November 12th, 2007

Disappointed with Experts-Exchange
by Jason Olshefsky at 3:09 pm (add a comment)

I signed up for this website called Experts-Exchange to find out why my Garmin eTrex Legend Navigator would suddenly die, leaving only a thin vertical line on the display that required removal of the batteries to reboot. I figured it had something to do with the recent firmware "upgrade" I gave it (knowing that these "upgrades" almost always have side effects like "sometimes ruins everything", but this is how corporations make money). Or maybe it was just that the batteries were flaky.

Anyway, at this Expert-Exchange, you can sign up to the service for $12.95/month or cheaper for longer periods. Stepping back once: I had done a Google search and found this as a question on the site with two answers from "gurus" that I could reveal by signing up. There's a 7-day free trial so I figured I'd give it a go.

So what was the "guru"-level answer as to what can be done to fix the problem? Did it include instructions on a firmware upgrade? Did it ask for more details? Did it describe a specific kind of failure that is either user-serviceable or not? Did two different people answer the question — or perhaps offer different advice?

At the risk of violating the terms of service of the site, let me just say it was none of those. The "solution(s)" even failed to include a link to buy a whole new unit. Now, it would be one thing if these answers were listed as "well, pretty crummy but it's something", but apparently this is the cream-of-the-crop — the very best Experts-Exchange has to offer.

Needless to say, I've canceled my free trial.

As a footnote, I also found this page that describes my problem and offers a link to a solution — along with some discussion absent from the page therein linked.

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Colaborating artists from Athena and Petra Designs
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (3 comments)

I stopped by The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) to listen to Melanie Updegraff, and Sharon Jeter discuss Athena and Petra Designs: Two Artists, One Product Line. What Makes It Work? It was rather fascinating and I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to leave right at 8. Stupid America with its "this starts right now" mentality!

Anyway, the two women discussed how they collaborated artistically. First off, they were friends first — they always valued their friendship over their art; and their art over their business. Melanie commented that she thought it funny that artists can barely utter the word "business" much less deal with selling their work. I guess I can understand both sides a bit: as an artist, I'd like my art to find a home that fits rather than to just make a buck (or allow the work to be cut up for scrap) and as a businessman, I understand the importance of connecting "earning a living" with something that is rewarding. But with "Athena and Petra", they develop art that has a ready market — jewelry — so I think it's easier for them than an artist who makes works in varied media, or even "traditional" media but with widely varied styles.

But that was only part of it. They didn't have a nice easy answer to "what makes collaboration work?" Their tiered approach to their relationship was certainly a start. It seemed to me, though, that they always respected the other's opinion — they were never dismissive of an idea. They also understood the value of play: that when creativity dries up it's because it isn't fun, so fun is very important.

What I found fascinating — and I think I may track them down to get a better understanding — is that they were able to collaborate on the creative design. My understanding of collaborative projects so far is that a single creator has to own the idea, they need to understand what is important and what is not (i.e. can it be shiny or green? and is it important that it be done one specific way?), and the people who collaborate with them need to allow the creator to dictate certain aspects and let others be decided by the collaborators. What I've never seen is two people coming together to work on the same idea — Updegraff and Jeter don't split the creative process; it seems they actually collectively contribute to central design elements. As a counter-example, I've seen experimental films created where one person creates the visual experience and the other creates the auditory experience but not two people working on both.

It's killing me not to know how this all works.  But, like I said, I had to get going, so I couldn't even stay for the question-and-answer.

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Do the Right Thing at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

I just barely made it to the screening of Do the Right Thing at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) I think I'm beginning to understand what's meant by a Spike Lee "Joint" as compared to a "movie": in a movie, it's like a moving representation of reality, but in a "joint", it's like a view of reality as viewed through a filter or machine. Kind of like the difference between a photograph and an X-ray, or better, the difference between a fire and a box of matches.

I left and went to Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave.) for a bit to think about it. I really couldn't come up with anything but that match-fire metaphor. I did know it was different from a "movie" because "did you like it?" is not really a valid question to ask afterward.

See, it's like an extract of life. You take all the stuff that makes people behave a certain way and you strip away all the parts that aren't important and you're left with this residue that's the essence of it all. Spike Lee then takes that and shapes it back into a reality with characters and a story. But it's not reality. The pizza shop isn't a pizza shop, it's the non-black outsiders in a black neighborhood who everybody obviously knows aren't black, but who get blown up when they try and express/impose their culture/beliefs/biases. Mookie isn't a black man who works at said pizza place, he is the silent majority who try to make ends meet but slowly boil inside as they try to find the point of the pointless.

So it really doesn't even make sense to talk about it like a movie. It's … umm … you know, a Spike Lee Joint.

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This evening at 6 p.m. at The Mill Art Center and Gallery (61 N. Main St., Honeoye Falls) is a book signing for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes by Gloria Betlem and Kent Divers. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

The Inventor's Society of Western New York will be having their monthly meeting in Rundel Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) starting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

This evening at 7 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is a Poetry Reading titled Textiles, Fabrics & Fibers. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick At 7 p.m. tonight at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) is a meeting of The Rochester Genealogical Society. Robert Coomber will be discussing his Research trip to LDS Library, Salt Lake City, and Rick Porter will present If Your House Could Talk, What Story Would it Tell? [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick David White will be hosting The Bertrand Russell Society meeting at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. Dr. Timothy Madigan will discuss the relationship between Russell and Albert Barnes. Quoting from the Writers and Books website, "in 1943, Barnes self-published a pamphlet entitled 'The Case of Bertrand Russell versus Democracy and Education.'" [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture by Angel Rodriguez-Diaz about his portraiture work. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) is the Free Speech Zone Open Mic from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is Jeff Sherner. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is The Jazz Lab Band starting around 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing L'armée des ombres (Army of Shadows) starting at 8 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar, "in France during the final year of the German occupation, a group of resistance agents find their plans subverted from without and within". [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Up-TightMySpace link, and Kohoutek starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is really great, tight, current punk-rock from 5 Watt BulbMySpace link [source: Freetime] [21+]

Tonight and every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Learning Center at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is a meeting of The Rochester Movie Makers Club [source: AIVF Salon Rochester Yahoo! Group]

The Community Biking Alliance (CBA) meets tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) at 7 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

Today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. is the Holiday Studio Potter's Sale at Genesee Pottery at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the opening reception for The Rochester Area Fiber Artists Exhibit: Quilts & More at the Gallery at The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) [source: Arts and Cultural Council e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is the opening night for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead about a pair of brothers who try to rob their parents' jewelry store. [source: Little Theatre calendar]

Teressa WilcoxMySpace link will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting The Butane Varations starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Le Doulos starting at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 7 p.m. — a classic "heist-gone-bad" film. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight probably starting around 9 p.m. at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) is an open jam called Black and Blues. [source: Java's calendar]

Tonight at The Dub Land UndergroundMySpace link (315 Alexander St., formerly Whiskey) is Sleeping GiantMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

The A-Pub LiveMySpace link (6 Lawrence St.) will be hosting The Circus, and The WMDsGarageBand link probably starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick This morning starting at 8 a.m. at The City Surplus Yard (210 Colfax St.) is the City of Rochester Surplus Vehicle Auction by The Reynolds Auction Company. [source: Reynold's Auction website]

Today at 10:15 a.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is another Upstairs/Downstairs Tour for members of Eastman House. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Headz Up Hats, Caps and Accessories (674 South Ave.) will be having their Grand Opening today from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Let me put it this way: hats are the new emo. [source: Headz Up mailer]

Victory Not Vengeance (VNV) Nation, and System SynMySpace link will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 7 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is The Jazz Dawgs starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Lucas CarpenterGarageBand linkMySpace link, and quite good acoustic soloist Nora KaminskiMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Tonight in the Strong Auditorium at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is The Midnight Ramblers Annual A Cappella Fall Concert starting around 8 p.m. [source: University of Rochester website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Den brysomme mannen (The Bothersome Man) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. In it, a suicidal man suddenly finds himself in a boring city and finds purpose trying to escape. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Blood Bath and Beyond, Exhausted PrayerMySpace link, and Japanese Kombat CarMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Beers MetalMySpace link, and SpaterGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Monty's Krown MySpace page] [21+]

Betty's Sing-a-Long is regularly scheduled at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10 but since September, 2007 people have reported they were closed.

Top Pick Today from 2 p.m. until late at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is A Tribute to Tony Cavagnaro, the lead singer of The BuddhaHoodMySpace link who was recently killed in a car accident. Dozens of local bands are performing in this benefit for Tony's family. [source: Tribe.net event]

At 3 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Holiday Musicale featuring organist Margaret-Anne Milne. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

Today at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is the opening of the Holiday Tree Display. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Azure SkyMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Miss Lulu Bett starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman calendar sums it up like this: "a small-town girl, played with pained humility by Lois Wilson, has been relegated to the thankless role of servant in her own sister's household. DeMille observes the details of ordinary life—dinner table conversation, dirty dishes stacked in the sink, idle hopes and dreams—with gravity and grace, and makes us long for Miss Lulu Bett to find happiness." Also featuring live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is CrucifistMySpace link, quality heavy metal from Kalibas, and Spoonful Of Vicodin. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai starting at 8 p.m. in which British prisoners of World War II are forced to build a bridge for the Japanese. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Java's (16 Gibbs St.) will be hosting The Jeremy Siskind TrioMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Java's calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is really good reggae/dub band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub SquadMySpace link, and RedLine Zydeco starting around 10 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting excellent surf-rock/stage show performers The IsotopesMySpace link, Triglactagon, and Roger KuhnMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Cavalcade. [source: Freetime] [21+]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Every Wednesday starting at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Ride for bicyclists. [source: RocBike website]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, November 15, 2007 (Thu, Nov 15, 2007, 11/15/2007, or 11/15/07) Friday, November 16, 2007 (Fri, Nov 16, 2007, 11/16/2007, or 11/16/07) Saturday, November 17, 2007 (Sat, Nov 17, 2007, 11/17/2007, or 11/17/07) Sunday, November 18, 2007 (Sun, Nov 18, 2007, 11/18/2007, or 11/18/07) Monday, November 19, 2007 (Mon, Nov 19, 2007, 11/19/2007, or 11/19/07) Tuesday, November 20, 2007 (Tue, Nov 20, 2007, 11/20/2007, or 11/20/07) and Wednesday, November 21, 2007 (Wed, Nov 21, 2007, 11/21/2007, or 11/21/07).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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