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You can’t fight City Hall

A few weeks ago I got a tax bill for a car I sold back in April. Today I went into the Town of Westport to tell them that I don’t own this car anymore.

They said it was up to me to tell them and that I would need the Bill of Sale and a copy of the receipt provided by the CT DMV when I turned in my license plates.

I told them I had no idea if I had either, but that surely you guys track vehicle transactions via computer.

“We get an update once a year,” the woman in the Westport Tax Office said. “The onus is on you, so either pay this bill now, or face the interest and late fee penalties.”

“But why is it my responsibility?” I asked. “I reported the sale and turned in my plates to the DMV. You have all the information you need to tax me properly.”

“That’s the state. We’re local. When you turned in your plates you were given a receipt that tells you that you must contact your local government.”

“I don’t recall any such conversation with DMV,” I told her.

“It’s clearly stated on your … Read the rest

Festival Drug Use a Turn Off When You Bring Your Kids

Last year I took my girlfriend and her kids to the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT. This annual event has grown in scope and is part of a trend across the country in music festivals.

Although I’ve been impressed by the improvements each year in set-up and execution of the event, I’m not going this year because last year the open use of drugs during the day made us uncomfortable given that we had a fourteen and eight year old with us.

I’m no prude, but it is clear that the festival cut a deal with the town of Bridgeport. The cops are looking the other way and allowing the Vibes security to handle the situation. I’m not bothered by discreet puffs of pot, but kids openly smoking bongs, rolling joints, and snorting God knows what in broad day light just doesn’t cut it in my book.

I get that the infusion of cash this event brings to the area is essential given how tight budgets at the State and Local level are nowadays. An article in the CT Post over the weekend was all about the money and jobs the event brings the area.

But if you … Read the rest

Jimmie Dale Gilmore Songwriting Retreat


Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Me

Just got back from a weekend retreat with Jimmi Dale Gilmore at Omega in Rhinebeck, New York. Will write more later.
Thanks for checking in.


 … Read the rest

Fifty Shades of Angst


It was a late summer afternoon. My girlfriend Mary and her two friends were sitting on the deck in her back yard. All were reading a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.

I read the first chapter online and didn’t buy the relationship, but obviously it didn’t bother the gazillion women reading it. So what do I know?

The other night I asked Mary to tell me about the kinky sex purported to be in the book. She claimed she hadn’t gotten to those parts yet, but she did read a more pedestrian passage. It could easily have been lifted from the pages of Penthouse with one exception: the writer kept referring to breasts being gently caressed etc. In real porn girls have tits and boobs; guys, dicks and rods.

“Maybe you’d learn something from reading it,” Mary told me.

“I doubt it. I’d rather read the new Richard Ford.”

“It’s a huge seller,” she said. “I thought the whole point was to make money.”

“Yes, I want to make a living,” I said, “but I didn’t get into this to be that sort.”

“What sort?” she asked. “The type that makes money.”

“You know damn well what I’m … Read the rest