As readers of this blog know, your host is a big jazz fan. But I have not played an instrument since I was 8 years old, when 3rd grade flute lessons taught me that I should stick to music appreciation class (which I did from then on, even if the experience was somewhat marred one semester when the cute girl behind me seemed to develop a sneezing allergy to the deodorant I was wearing, although I preferred to see it at the time as a psychosomatic sublimation of her secret passion for me--ah, adolescence!)
However, my alter ego, Mike Balter, is the world's number one producer of mallets, those neat sticks that you use to play drums and other percussion instruments.
My Web site is michaelbalter.com, and Mike's Web site is mikebalter.com, so Googlers sometimes get us mixed up. Every once in a while Mike and I exchange bemused emails, and I do hope that his business is not affected by anyone mixing up my outrageous political opinions with his. If so, I can only make up for it by sending anyone who needs a mallet to Mike--you will be in as good hands musically with him as you are politically with me.