Thursday, April 04, 2013

Finding Lost Voices

It's not funny, but he is. The Michigan Mike Ball is a humorist, columnist, author, and now singer/songwriter. He has a great cause.

His Lost Voices foundation helps incarcerated and at-risk youth. It provides writing and music programs to help the kids find their creative selves...and maybe eventually careers along with goals and self-confidence.

His folk produce workshops in creative writing and music performance. More description and pix appear at their Facebook page.

This Mike Ball's effort grew out of a career day he participated for incarcerated kids in 2005. His background appears here. His foundation now gets support, and performances, from Michigan-based folk and blues singers as well.

Good on him.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

West End Anti-Hero

Our most famous namesake is at it again. You don't stage a successful musical in London or most of Europe without Michael Ball as the male lead.

This time, he wows as Sweeney Todd in the current production at the Adelphi.

He's matured and the Financial Times likes it. Sarah Hemming writes that "Michael Ball, as teh murderous barer, is a revelation.Gone is the dimpled cherubic individual who beams at us from the programme pages; in his place is a brooding, taciturn lump of a man..Ball lets us see the wild emotons bubbling beneath the surface..." 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Right Side of Love

Another Mike Ball for marriage equality...this one a Republican in New Hampshire.

J. Michael Ball is a conservative House member. He favors letting people be free in many ways. On marriage, he says, "I believe that adult citizens of New Hampshire possess the unalienable right to order their personal relationships with other adult citizens in the manner in which they see fit."

A bill to overturn the 2009 legalization of same-sex marriage is before the legislature. Republicans like Mike may well defeat this.

As he told the Concord Monitor, he and other Republicans view this as a liberty issue:
"As someone who grew up in the South and went to a segregated elementary school, I know what segregation looks like and that's exactly what this bill is," Ball said. "The idea that we are the party of small government and more liberty flies in the face of this attempt to use government to micromanage a certain group of people's lives. That is not acceptable."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Alabama Man Picks Big Race

Wow, I have not been updating here. I'll re-try.

The Mike Ball in the Alabama House regularly makes political news there. Click below to hear him on The Takeaway as part of a podcast on GOP power in the South this year. He talks recent history and trends.

He and NY Times reporter Campbell Robertson kick around the angst of Southern Republicans. Rep. Ball speaks to the need to blend winger POTUS candidates' traits. He also suggests the best VP candidate to get them to close ranks.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rocking Racing, Sans MB

Wowzers, it's been awhile since posting and amusingly enough, I can do back-to-back jeans guy/cycling team posts. The last one was here.

The denim fashionista (should we coin fashionisto for a guy?) claims not to be back in the cycling racing biz, but his Rock Racing brand exists right now on the amateur level in Italy. He dropped his team when his Rock & Republic went bankrupt early last year. However, Cycling News reported today, "...last week Italian businessman Roberto Tronconi told Cyclingnews that he was set to relaunch the brand in Europe after long negotiations with Rock Racing founder Michael Ball."

MB though says he's not involved, "...not supporting it or anything. I know that they’re out there racing in the colours though. So I’m not coming back and I’m not going to be in the ProTour any time soon."

The amateur incarnation presently has no name professions, just a former big cycling team name.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Whirring and Wired

Shame on me note: Oops, I haven't been updating this blog. I promise to do better. Now that many posts are likely outdated, that relieves me of the sense I have to index it. Search at top if you want to find things.

Today, it's back to the jeans magnate/cycling sponsor Michael Ball. See previous post here.

News now is that disgraced Tour de France cyclist Floyd Landis used hidden audio and video recording equipment for a sting on this MB at his California home. Finally fessing up to doping after adamantly swearing on the honor of his Amish parents that he never, ever did or would, he seemed to caved to the feds' pressures.

As Yahoo and other sports news report, Landis' hidden camera recorded the contents of MB's apartment fridge — with what appears to be human growth hormones and other forbidden baddies. Landis has been after seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong, who was never on MB's Rock Racing team. However, in one degree of separation, other Armstrong teammates like Tyler Hamilton had been.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set up the surveillance. Subsequently, MB's place was raided.

There haven't been any charges so far. However, MB's Rock and Republic company went bankrupt and Rock Racing is inactive. The drug investigation seems to be tangential to an effort to go after Armstrong.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Generics Hit the Racks

The jeans deity Michael Ball (here and here) was the lead example in a fashion piece in the Financial Times. Creative director and founder of Rock and Republic, he has applied what he considers the concept behind 1970s supermarket trends to his clothing.

Emulating generic packaging from over 30 years ago, his company has a Plain Wrap line. It starts at a super-bargain for him, at $35. The tops and bottoms have large-type labels saying exactly what they are, as shown in a grab from the RandR site.

His new line sells alongside the pricey designer ones.

This MB said thinking of packages marked just CHIPS or DOG FOOD, "I thought it would be fun to do the same thing with clothes."

A couple of other designers have followed suit, if you pardon, this season.