If your life feels incomplete between installments of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, maybe it's time to expand your comedic horizons. But not too much I can't imagine you like change. Check out the 18-year veteran cowboy comedian John Wesley Austin, known for his country song parodies on the guitar, at 8 tonight at Loonee's (1305 N. Academy Blvd.), or at 8 or 10:30 Friday and Saturday. Tonight's show costs $2 for college students, military folk and ladies, and $6 for everyone else. All shows are 21-and-up and require a two-drink/dish minimum. Visit loonees.com for more. RC
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center kicks off its 18th annual Wine Festival tonight at The Broadmoor Hall (1 Lake Ave.) with a "Women in Wine" seminar at 5:30 ($30), featuring six female guest winemakers who'll discuss the evolution of women in the industry. At 7 comes the Grand Tasting and Wine Market Auction ($65 to $70), offering pours of more than 300 wines alongside gourmet food samples. (Hangover no additional charge.) Saturday brings seminars as well as a five-course winemakers' dinner ($150 to $175) at the Garden of the Gods Club (3320 Mesa Road). Full event packages are available, as is reservation info and more, at 634-5583 or csfineartscenter.org. MS
Even as a child, Thomas the Tank Engine creeped me out. But he's older than my dad, so somebody's into it. If that somebody is you or your kid, you're in luck: The Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.) will host three performances today of Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town, at 10:30 a.m., and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 to $45 for ages 1 and up and can be purchased at pikespeakcenter.com. RC
Those who missed Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans two months ago at the Crystola Roadhouse (20918 E. Hwy. 24, Woodland Park) now have reason to rise from the depths of despair: Canada's much-awarded alt-country artist is swinging through again on the way back from Europe. Showtime tonight is at 9 and it's free. Call 687-7879 for more. BF
Truth! Justice! And the South African way! At 2 today, the Greenberg Center for Learning and Tolerance will present
Long Night's Journey into Day: South Africa's Search for Truth and Reconciliation. The documentary won a Grand Jury Prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and is continuing to open eyes, via its exploration of conflict and forgiveness inside post-Apartheid South Africa. Catch the free presentation followed by a discussion and dessert reception at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Cascade Ave.). Learn more about the film at irisfilms.org/longnight. For details on the event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thegreenbergcenter.org. JT
Last summer, my dad and I visited my grandparents. This trip is always the same: We sit out by Grandpa's shed, drink beers and talk. Now and then, Grandpa goes behind the shed to pee. After one such walk this time, he came back around and asked my dad and me to come see his tomato plants. "Where?" "Behind the shed." "Where you're pissing?!" Needless to say, those were the most delicious, meaty tomatoes I've ever eaten. You, too, can learn how to grow tasty veggies and gardenables by attending a community garden information session at 6:30 tonight at the LiveWell offices (501 E. Iowa Ave., Fountain). Visit ppugardens.org or call 382-7837 for more. RC
founding father worship
Dr. William Palmer was a notorious, sensational criminal of 1850s England. A rash of mysterious deaths surrounded him, including those of several of his children, his mother-in-law, wife, brother and a handful of others. Palmer was convicted of poisoning his victims with strychnine even though the incriminating evidence was nearly completely circumstantial and was hanged. But this gruesome story has nothing to do with the Palmer show opening at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St.). One Man and His Vision, up Tuesdays through Saturdays through August, exhibits new information and photographs about Gen. William J. Palmer, city founder. Again: not famous murderer. For more, call 385-5990, visit cspm.org, or drop by the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. EA
Color me clueless, but I had no idea that a hero in the evolution-education battle teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In the late '60s, Susan Epperson then a high-school biology teacher in Little Rock, Ark. won a U.S. Supreme Court case to overturn Arkansas' law against teaching evolution. Today, she's a professor in UCCS' biology and chemistry departments. Hear Epperson, along with two other professors, at the "
On Evolution: Origins and History" panel discussion that UCCS is putting on in celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his The Origin of Species. This afternoon's free event runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Kraemer Family Library (1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.). Try 255-3068 for more. KW
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Rhiannon Conley, Bill Forman, Matthew Schniper, Jill Thomas and Kirk Woundy.