ArcoJedi's Holocron

Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.


Upcoming Music Events

In the last paragraph of a recent post, I mentioned that I'm back on Facebook. And considering my level of dislike and vitriol, it's probably best if I explain why. In one sentence, I've returned to Facebook in an attempt to promote myself as an entertainer a little more. It's quick and easy and I can reach a lot of my friends and family with some immediacy. Time will tell if I keep that up or if the good outweighs the bad for my mental health.

That aside, there are a bunch of my upcoming performance events that I thought I'd share here also. Oh. I've neglected to mention that I'm in a ska band now, called Free Champagne Band. This is in addition to the brass party band MO ECHO. Last but not least I should update regarding my weekly karaoke events.

10/24 - Hosting Open Mic / Karaoke at 𝖯𝖺𝖽𝗋𝗂𝗇𝗈𝗌 again from 6pm until 9pm.

My regular Karaoke Fridays (3rd and 4th Fridays of the Month) at Padrinos are currently on hold, although Karaoke is still happening every Friday, just with a different awesome host named Victor who you should check out. I'll be there as a surprise participant every once in a while, so I'll talk about that too.

So that's a quick update. It does appear that I may be losing my regular karaoke gig, but that is yet to be confirmed at this time. In the meantime, I'm still singing and playing trombone out and about whenever I get the chance.


No Child Left Behind - Broken From the Beginning (Facebook)

Back in 2010 or so, I created a Facebook Group specifically for bitching about and spreading information on the negative effects of the No Child Left Behind Act. This was a terrible policy and law brought to us by the George W. Bush White House, and it needed to be repealed or heavily overhauled. This did happen in 2015, when NCLB was replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

My main complaint about the NCLB was that while it had a laudable goal of improving schools, the actual method seemed to be draconian in nature. For any schools or school systems that struggled, the method seemed to be to restrict or narrow their budget. Reduce federal or state funding for any school that didn't improve. But that's not really how education works. If a school system is struggling, they need MORE money and support instead of less.

I had forgotten about the group I created, as it didn't really go very far. I'm archiving some of the links I posted here just for my recollection. Most of them were to similar groups with similar goals.

That was fun, if I recall. It was short-lived and I closed the group shortly thereafter. This probably marked my first foray into getting heavily political on Facebook. Perhaps I just needed to do something more than rant.

Hey wait... Why am I back on Facebook? More about this later...


Hosting Karaoke

So, I'm hosting a weekly karaoke night now. And getting paid for it! Let me explain.

Through working with Zyi Li, I've met a whole network of musicians, venues and new friends. One of the places that MO ECHO played last year was a Mexican place called Padrinos. I think the story was that Zyi knew the owners and hosted a regular weekly open mic / karaoke night there. After a few months of establishing that, Zyi gave it over to some friends from MO BRAVO, two of the folks I knew the best from that band. They were singer Erica Soulstice who handled karaoke on Fridays and guitarist Michael Marciano, who handled open mic on Thursdays and sometimes booked bands for Saturdays. Well, at the time that was going well, Zyi made sure to pass my name along as someone that could substitute for them at various times.

Erica showed me the works with the karaoke set up at Padrinos first. They have their own PA system and all the mics and stands needed. All I needed was to show up with a laptop and a subscription to Karafun. And I started substituting for her whenever that was possible. And I really loved it. I've also subbed for Mike on a Thursday once and that was a great time too.

Fast forward to this past month. Erica has gotten an opportunity for something out in California, so 7/21 was her last event. I took over permanently on 7/28 and will be hosting karaoke at Padrinos every Friday from 9pm until midnight. It's my own weekly musical event and it's such a great time every time.

Anyhow, if you are reading this then you are invited to come on out and enjoy a fun evening. Sign up and sing or just sit back, enjoy a margarita and listen to the music.

Bonus: Check out MO BRAVO in this video from last year, playing a variety from Padrino's humble stage.

And here's MO ECHO from a different night.


All Things Local STL: Zyi Li Music & Entertainment

Check out my buddy and bandmate Zyi Li giving a summary and introduction of what he's been doing for the last few years with his music networking organization.

I may have mentioned this before, but Zyi is a powerhouse at bringing people together and making things happen. I have found that being in a band, the most important piece for success is organization and Zyi has been so good at keeping MO ECHO Brass Band organized. It's honestly very inspiring.


No, There Are No Litter Boxes in the Bathrooms at Your Local High School

People will really believe anything. It's honestly very sad. But just in case you've innocently fallen victim to this bigoted hoax, here is some more information.

How did we get here? Well John Oliver has the scoop:

See more about Transgender Rights on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

There are no litter boxes in local schools or ANY school anywhere in the USA. This was all just a lie to make transgender kids look bad. And give open cause for violence or bigotry against them. The rumor started because it came from an edited video of a teacher talking about how fucked up the US school system is, because she was given a bucket and litter for use in case a kid had to go to the bathroom during an active shooter situation.


There's No Such Thing as a Good Billionaire

There was a short period of time where I was an Elon Musk fan, but that ended quickly after learning more about him. And over the last few years, I've become convinced that the uber-rich are inherently evil. And I do mean all of them.

I've been arguing with folks on twitter about the value and worthiness of the billionaires of the world. I could expand on these ideas, but I'll just let Adam Conover explain it here:

This isn't the first time Adam's talked about this. Here's an episode of Adam Ruins Everything from years ago:

Tax the rich.


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