Friday, November 30, 2007

Blue suits vs. Marshall Stacks

Decibel level limitations don't sound like something that might effect a whole city, or it's economy, but in a city like Austin, these limits put on the levels of live music make a HUGE deal.

So a couple of rich people recently decided to buy condo space around the cities core venues, including Emo's, Momo's, Stubbs, and various other venues around red river, 6th, and Lamar. The richies decided that the loud music pouring from downtown was just too much for their precious crystal ears, and decided to take it to the city.

The city took a look at the situation and decided that live music isn't too important to Austin, so they proposed a change of decibel level current set by the city, from 85 decibels to 75 decibels. The ordinance would set this legal level of 75, and any club exceeding this level would be fined severe cash, we're talking 1500 bucks plus.

As a sound enthusiast I can tell you that ten points is a huge deal to clubs, their owners, and fans all over. Ten points is a 50% decrease in sound levels. This means shows will be harder to hear, venues will have to shut down if a drummer has a loudly amplified set or if a particular brand of amplifier pumps out more volume than club standards. Bands don't want to play venues where you're own equipment can't be used because of exceeding amplification.

The problem here is that the city is ignoring this and focusing on losing condo inhabitants who CHOSE to live in this particular area. Most of the new inhabitants also happen to be legislators that are purchasing space to stay when they VISIT Austin for their sessions. This creates alot of unfair political pull, not to mention the fact that these particular legislators won't even be living in the condos, but merely staying for three or four months!

Look, let's be honest...we've all been to shows and concerts, and sometimes it does get a little loud, but there's something shady in purchasing realty where music lovers gather for the purpose of enjoying the ear-blaster bands we all love, and telling them to turn it down.

It's as if the city were super conservative parents with loud metal head kids they can't seem to control. The problem is, the kids' music is successful, and brings in tons of I say, let them play as loud as they want....and if you don't like it...move to the arboretum.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Border Watch Blasphemy....

Upon reading the article of my colleague located at this link:

....I was enraged.

The Border Watch organization situation was an extremely interesting situation to comment on and it certainly made me consider how important it is to picket properly.

As I commented to her, (the author), it is dispicable how a group can claim to be so very American, yet chooses to protest people attempting to find work in any way possible. They are standing by the road down to their last options. Whether they are legal or not, they are human beings and embarrassing a few people in a group making efforts to get by, does nothing to further the Border Watch Organizations cause. What would be American is if these people focused on picketing at a courthouse, writing representatives, and voting. If they spend more time educating themselves and practicing their own so called "reglious values", perhaps the cause would go beyond dirty racist mudslinging between two cultures.

They commentary went on to point out the Religious aspects of the picketing signs....these imply an "anti-God" message on behalf of illegal immigrants, which is proposterous.

Jackie Marie also makes a great observation regarding the abrassive nature in their military styel approach. This makes the group seem more like a militia and less like a legitimate group of people concerned about a freedom being hindered in some way.

Great job. Interesting article.

Friday, November 2, 2007

New insurance laws in Texas for 2007...

So I was driving down Anderson Mill recently, (in Williamson County), which is notorious for having strict penalties for blowing ones' nose [sic], and of course I was pulled over. I was definitely not speeding, so I wondered what on earth it could be.

Apparently my car had too many stickers blocking the back window. Are you kidding me? I was told that there are specific laws that involve keeping a stable view in your rear window. The thing is, I only have about six old stickers on my back window...and one has a cop joke on it.

So i'm feeling really smart about this point. Then the policia asks for my insurance. I hand him my Liability card, which is through a company called Santa Fe Auto. This is just the name of the insurance company mind you, it is actually based in Texas, in Laredo to be specific. The cop questioned the company and said he would have to look it up. Now although I have insurance, apparently they have a system now where they can dispatch someone to call up your insurance carrier. At eight in the evening, mine was closed. Because the police officer couldn't verify my insurance carrier by phone, I was then taken in, and my car was towed. A friend had to come pick me up and the next day I saw a magistrate, where they dismissed my charge (failure to provide **VALID** insurance), and I was given a list of new insurance laws in Texas. I was disgusted when the judge said my car was impounded and I would STILL HAVE TO PAY to get it out. Although I did have insurance, because it could not be verified, I had to pay 175 dollars. It was a valid insurance card too! So I did some research, and here's what I could find:


...The first link applies predominantly to how these new laws affect insurance carriers, with ample information on specific rules and regulations. The second link is important, it's pretty vital info on what to expect in EARLY 2008. It states that there will be a vehicle insurance data verification system implemented sometime in 2008, so what's going on now?

I've never had such a problem in Travis county...and In Denton county, there's merely a warning.

The state needs to get organized. Every county has it's own reputation for harsh or easy penalties, but it seems like some are breaking their own laws. What do you think?