the state

– of macrock puzzle.
Friday, 5 March 2010, 10:53
Filed under: -of jhumphrey, -of localism, -of sound

just wondering…

if macrock is is scheduled to happen april 2-3, and only 20 bands have been announced/alerted that they are officially on the bill, how do the organizers expect this thing to fly?

are bands expected to hold the weekend “just in case”?

seems like most bands plan ahead – like more than 3 weeks ahead – for a major event.

i bet that back in the day, you didn’t wait around to inform fugazi, elliot smith, and sufjan stevens that they were invited to perform.

what’s up, macrock?

we really look forward to feeling like harrisonburg is cool like austin once a year.  it’s been good times in years past…

here’s to hoping that it’s just your website that is a little slow this year…


– of bitters.
Sunday, 24 January 2010, 21:29
Filed under: -of drink, -of jhumphrey, -of politik

and, to top it off, even if we wanted to drink away our tears at the state of the nation, we can’t.

or at least it’s more difficult to obtain the necessary ingredients for a manhattan.

the bitters are suspended.

thanks to the recession, which has reached trinidad & tobago, production of angostura bitters has been halted:

glad we picked up a super cheap bottle (randomly) at teetotaling sharp shopper a few months ago.

– of feeling okay about girls in bands.
Friday, 20 February 2009, 13:43
Filed under: -of jhumphrey, -of sound

okay.  i have a confession.

i can only list a small handful of female musicians who i really truly love.

there.  i said it.

here’s my short list:

patti smith.


chan marshall.

billie holiday.

nina simone.

dolly parton.

and i’m sure i forgot someone, but really, that’s my list, with patti smith being almost insurmountable.

but, today, we had an inspired, impromtu dance party in the kitchen to the heartless bastards.

erika wennerstom is crazy fantastic.


and their third album, the mountain, – a good time.  here’s “the mountain” from “the mountain.”:

i’m trying really hard not to feel like a fool for it being february 20th.  recognizing that they JUST played the gravity lounge on february 11th (the above clip is from an in-studio at WNRN in c’ville).  i’m 9 days behind, folks. sigh.

so, go dance in your kitchen too…

– of edible blue ridge.
Saturday, 17 January 2009, 18:47
Filed under: -of eats, -of green, -of jhumphrey, -of localism

there is a beautiful new publication all about “celebrating the food culture of central virginia, season by season” floating around.  it’s called edible blue ridge.


i gravitated towards it at last night’s Downtown Wine & Gourmet wine tasting…

this is why it is so spectacular:

1.) it is proudly focused on local food – as opposed to only featuring such ideas as neat sidenotes, a letter to the editor, or an infrequent interview.

2.) the graphic design is FANTASTIC.  this is what blew me away.  this area is hurting in the graphic design department.  our local publications and businesses just can’t quite gather together the funds or talent to really get it right.  but this little rag could stand on it’s own in any artistic climate – be it harrisonburg, charlottesville, nyc, or london.  well done!

3.) the articles – all of them – are uniformly well-written and – gasp! – interesting.  like i would BUY this if it weren’t FREE.

4.) did you catch that last bit?  it’s FREE.

5.) it’s excellent for the local community business.  after just a brief parousing of the pages – i had set in my mind to finally check out gearhart’s chocolate in c’ville,


actually get around to stopping by blue mountain brewery,


and felt a rise of pride that i frequent and am in the know about T&E’s Meat Market hidden right here in Harrisonburg.


read more about area local eating in a USA weekend article from edible‘s editor, natalie ermann russell here.  (THIS IS A LINK ACTUALLY WORTH CLICKING, people)

so my suggestion is for the folks who have been slowly and with questionable success, trying to jump start the excellent idea that is the Friendly City Food Co-Op, to go to the editors and publishers of edible and a.) ask for a feature story ASAP and b.) ask for some advice.


maybe it’s already happened.  and i readily admit almost complete ignorance on the inner-workings of the would-be co-op, but edible seems like a fantastically put-together, professional, and successful venture in the same vein and inspiration as Friendly City.   i would love to be so-inspired by the ongoing work and PROGRESS of the food co-op.  these are obviously radically different projects, but it seems that the supporters of both could be one and the same.

i keep writing somewhat hysterical Friendly City Food Co-Op posts in hopes that someone so affiliated will get annoyed and finally tell us what the deal is.  i know you’re out there – because some of my friends are very much involved and passionate about this project.

so – could someone let us know the scoop?  a real scoop?

something inspiring.  or perhaps spill some angry secrets regarding the hold-up that will be immediately action-inducing.  i’m asking you to throw caution to the wind, because the word on the street (yes, i am purposefully rumor-spreading) is that everyone is suspicious that nothing is happening and nothing will happen.  and that prospect makes me furious and disappointed and capable of calling for action and explanation.

because this project can and should go on to be crazy successful.  a downtown center for local food inspiration, community meeting, and worthy of a proud cover-page feature story in edible blue ridge.

– of iceland corrections.
Monday, 1 December 2008, 15:47
Filed under: -of deals, -of jhumphrey, -of travel

okay.  so i got a little excited.  the $479 and $699 prices are per person for airfare, hotel, food, spa, etc. for either the budget winter getaway or the winter wellness getaway through iceland air.

it’s still hellava deal.

keep in mind that there are also deals to the kind countries europe and scandinavia:

European Winter Getaways

Experience an intimate Europe with smaller crowds and lower prices – that’s Europe in the winter time!

Depart from Boston
London from $449*
Oslo, Stockholm or Copenhagen from $449*

Depart from New York-JFK
Oslo, Stockholm or Copenhagen from $449*

here are the conditions for the above fares:

Fares are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until purchased.  Availability is very limited through January 15, 2009.  Fares are valid for departures through March 2009.  Prices are per person round trip.

Minimum stay:  Saturday night
Maximum stay:  30 days

*Prices quoted are exclusive of applicable taxes and official charges by destination of approximately $100-$210, per person, including the Sept. 11th Security Fee of $2.50 per U.S. enplanement.

so, there are a few catches, but it still works out to be a fantastic deal.  considering ticket to europe have been well past the $1000 mark for awhile…

we’re looking at the olso deals.  johan is feeling awfully norwegian right about now…

Dassen i Sofienbergparken by rockphotog. The automatic and self cleaning public toilet in the Sofienberg park, Oslo, Norway. Winter 2006.

Dassen i Sofienbergparken by rockphotog. The automatic and self cleaning public toilet in the Sofienberg park, Oslo, Norway. Winter 2006.

– of birth envy.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008, 13:42
Filed under: -of health, -of jhumphrey, -of localism

after having a lovely, out-of-hospital birth in 2006, i owed exactly $99 dollars to my midwife.  everything else was covered by my washington state-based insurance company.


i was reading a recent NYTimes article and was struck by this final paragraph:

In contrast, health authorities in Britain view home births as a safe option for women at low risk of complications. In April 2007 the United Kingdom Department of Health rolled out plans for a “national choice guarantee,” to be put in place by the end of 2009, ensuring that all women can choose among giving birth at home, or at a hospital or another facility, and still have access to midwifery care.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives issued a joint statement in support, agreeing that for most women, home births “may confer considerable benefits for them and their families.”


the preceeding statement was this:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has had an official policy against home births since 1975, and this year it asked the American Medical Association to adopt a similar statement. The A.M.A. agreed, and in June also condemned home births.

americancollege americanmedical

perhaps because of policies from organizations such as ACOG & AMA, virginia moms often have to work hard to have their homebirths covered by insurance companies.  however, after appealing (sometimes multiple times), many have had success getting full or majority reimbursement of costs.  from the Northern Virginia Homebirth Community website:

We also had BC/BS [editor’s note:  Blue Cross/Blue Shield] Carefirst when we had our son’s homebirth.  You should call and call and call until you get the right person who will tell you it is indeed covered and that you can send your papers to them directly – ask for someone in appeals.  I was told prenatally that we would be covered, then when I submitted after the birth all of the birth related items were denied, the prenatals were all covered.  I called and somehow landed at the appeals desk and the guy kept going away and checking things and then coming back and asking more questions.  Eventually he told me that birth happens with a provider (Tammi) not a company (natural beginnings) and so I needed Natural Beginnings to send me a letter that said Tammi is a provider with them (of course, this was all just coming from Tammi!).  Anyway, we sent that in and I resent all the forms directly to this person and they covered us!  Of course, they covered 70% of the contract rate only because Tammi isn’t in the network.  In the end they paid about 75% of our total birth expenses.  They didn’t cover the birth tub, but I wouldn’t have given that up for the world.

Here’s the guy’s name and address who helped me, not sure if you’re dealing with the same plan, but maybe it will be helpful:

Craig Turner

BC/BS Carefirst

840 First St., NE

Washington, DC 20065


this is all really weird, considering that a homebirth is a HUGE costsaver from an insurance company standpoint.

but…it does make sense when you consider the potential losses to the revenue-driven medical system if the 80% of women who have normal, uncomplicated pregnancies & births take their deliveries (and money) out of the hospital.  sigh.

it’s distressing that the british medical system allows professional organizations to make research-based suggestions while our medical profession is left looking foolish.

here’s what i mean about research: (thanks to cara muhlhahn midwifery)

image by liz rubicam; from cara muhlhahn midwifery website

image by liz rubicam; from cara muhlhahn midwifery website

A recent study of 5,418 women across North America giving birth at home with certified professional midwives found maternal and infant mortality rates matching those of low-risk women giving birth in the hospital, with a significant decrease in medical interventions: 12.1% of women planning to deliver at home were transferred to a hospital, and only 3.7% of the homebirth group were delivered via C-section.

–  Johnson & Daviss, 2005

To read more about the results of this study, click here.

or this:

A study of 1836 women giving birth at home or in the hospital in the Netherlands found no difference between the groups in perinatal outcomes including fetal distress, newborn 5-minute apgar scores, perinatal death, operative or C-section deliveries. Multiparous** mothers giving birth at the hospital were more likely to have blood loss greater than 1000L and to require blood transfusions. In addition, babies from both primiparous* and multiparous mothers giving birth at the hospital were more likely to have problems within the first 24 hours after birth. Overall, multiparous mothers showed slightly better outcomes at home as compared to the hospital.

Wiegers, Keirse, van der Zee & Berghs, 1996

again.  i’m just sayin’…

– of upcoming.
Sunday, 16 November 2008, 18:13
Filed under: -of jhumphrey, -of localism, -of upcoming

i’ve been a busy night-shift worker this weekend, so it’s been light on the posts.

fear not.

this is what we have cooking:

-a review of the new play down at the courthouse theater, almost maine.  jpremmus was there this afternoon.  remember, we were really excited.


– a review of the cinnamon band show from a couple of days ago.  djressler was there, and the word on the street is that she was taking notes for the blog.


– a new series:  “we love you, but…”  or  “loving bitch slaps from the state.”  or ” we want to love you, but you’ve got to get yourself together.”   there are several local establishments or organizations or businesses that are, in theory, absolutely excellent, but, in practice, unbelievably frustrating.

we will be posting our gentle suggestions for improvement.


– a continuation of our “what does harrisonburg need?” townie-to-townie series.  we’ve zero’d in on employees and management of both the blue nile and the little grill.


it’s in the works, folks.