Tag Archives: music

One-Word Wednesday

It’s been fun watching Jake and Chase grow up together since kindergarten.

It’s been fun watching Jake and Chase grow up together since kindergarten.


I snapped away while they worked on a song they had written in GarageBand.

I snapped away while they worked on a song they had written in GarageBand.


Maybe one of these days they’ll have a company together!

Maybe one of these days they’ll have a company together!

Elementary Trivial Pursuit

We’re ready to play!

We’re ready to play!

Part of our family fun time lately has been playing trivia Friday nights at Buffalo Wild Wings. It started when we helped out our disc golf pal Eric’s team and then evolved into my younger son wanting to start our own squad. He dubbed us “Team Beowulf.”

We really have a great time trying to figure out the answers together. We’re all able to contribute. There’s one problem, though, with Beowulf: We’re either too old or too young; we don’t have one or two people in the middle who can help out with the questions we always fall down on . . . like 1990s music (the bane of our trivial existence).

We cringe whenever we hear that an upcoming category is “music” or “lost lyrics.” Most of the time we have utterly no idea what to answer.

You know what “C” is for!

You know what “C” is for!

Why isn’t 1990s music in our wheelhouse? That’s when we had our sons! We were busy listening to “Wheels on the Bus,” Barney’s classic “I Love You,” and the iconic “C Is for Cookie,” not . . . well, quite honestly, I can’t name one artist or group from that decade. I’m proud to say that I’m forever stuck from 1963-1975 when it comes to the songs I enjoy.

As well as those from when the boys were little. I guess we need to suggest to the trivia types to ask questions about 1990s young music . . . as in very young.

But until we recruit someone who was born in the 1970s or early ’80s, we’re stuck with our usual prayer just before the weekly music question is asked:

“Please be from the 1950s (the Mister’s fave), ’60s, or early ’70s! Or something Cookie Monster sings!!”

Social 4/4 Time

Billy pre-Photoshop: So yellow!

Billy pre-Photoshop: So yellow!

That little tremor in the world’s equilibrium yesterday was merely me leaving the 10-mile radius of my comfort zone . . . at night. For several hours.

Shocking, right? I cherish all the time I spend comfortably ensconced in my community’s little bubble. Usually everything I could ever need or want . . . including two Chipotles! . . . is right around the corner.

However, last night it was time for the Mister and I to pull on our social pants and mingle with the masses in Houston (where only 18th Street could magically become 20th Street). We met at the Corkscrew wine bar—the Mister zipped over from work, while I actually took on the mean streets and spine-tingling traffic of the big city with a few nerves left still intact.

Wonder where the yellow went?

Wonder where the yellow went?

Luring me to Houston was our disc golf pal Billy. He’s been featured in my blog before, famously wearing a blue dress, as well as wrongly advising me that chickens are harmless. Now that Billy has retired, he’s pursuing his dream of pop stardom. Too bad he’s too old for “American Idol”—this white-haired cat definitely can sing and strum!

Billy took to the Corkscrew’s horribly lit stage with his 12-string guitar and an eclectic song list that included tunes by the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, assorted artists I’ve never heard of, plus several that he wrote (the Mister and I liked those the best). We were joined at our table by the Mister’s brother Mike and his wife Paula. Several other disc golfers also attended.

Naturally, I toted my beloved Nikon D700 for documenting the event. The Nikon 85mm (f/1.4) was the perfect lens for the job: It lets in a lot of light, plus it gets me close to the action without being intrusive. I just wish that there had been a lot of light. Talk about your dim bulbs!

Billy gives it his all.

Billy gives it his all.

As you can see from the top photo, the white balance was totally wonky. I put mine on bulb after taking pics on every setting and seeing that it was the “best” and hoped that I could wash away the yellow in Photoshop. My ISO was 4000; Noise Ninja helped tame the grain, which really wasn’t too bad.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening filled with great singing, wonderful family and friends, and Diet Coke and delicious thin-crust pizza.

I might have to shake up the globe a little more often!

Vinyl Memories

Yep, vinyl is back!

As I walked down the rock music aisle at Fry’s last week on my way to buy a printer, something unusual caught my eye. I stopped, looked to my left, and immediately was transported back to a kinder, gentler era of no reality television or nonstop F-bombs in movies.

I was mesmerized by a small collection of what we old fogies called “albums.” When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, vinyl was the name of the game when it came to music. I would listen to those LPs on my suitcase turntable every night when I went to sleep. They were wonderful, lyrical companions.

Vinyl co-exists among the CDs.

Of course, I haven’t bought a record in years (I had no idea they still were being sold, in fact). Cassette tapes were easier, and then CDs seemed even better. Now, almost all my music purchases are of the digital nature. It’s nice that you can think about a song, go to iTunes or Amazon.com, and quickly download it to your computer. So convenient!

The Beach Boys’ 1966 epic “Pet Sounds” was a breakthrough album.

One album on Fry’s shelves I immediately remembered: “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys. It looked exactly the same as it did in 1966 . . . well, except for the price tag. Back then it was about three bucks. Now it’s $16.99 plus tax. Ouch!

In 1966, I didn’t have extra cash to buy “Pet Sounds,” even though I really wanted it. And now I’m not about to spend 17 bucks . . . especially when I can download it for $9.99 from iTunes and easily put it on my iPod.

Although I’m firmly committed to the digital music world, it’s nice to be reminded of one’s younger days every now and then . . . even if it does happen when you’re looking for a printer.

Which was known as a “typewriter” during that wonderful vinyl era.

Marimba Music

Tanner T. plays the marimba in our high school’s marching band.

Per . . .

Josh does, too!

. . . cus . . .

And Nicholas, three!

. . . sion!

Giving Thanks

The Beatles have come “home!”

When you’re at the grocery store this morning, and there’s a two-person traffic jam by the shopping carts, it gives you time to think about Thanksgiving. There’s so much to be thankful for!

• I’m so grateful that the Beatles, my favorite rock group, finally are on iTunes! I’ve been waiting seven years for it to happen, ever since I got my first iPod for my 50th birthday. I do own several Beatles CDs, but most of my albums were of the archaic vinyl persuasion. Not being into file sharing, I’ve waited not-so patiently for this historic digital download day, and I’ve finally been rewarded.

How often will I listen to the Beatles on my iPod now? Probably eight days a week!

My #2 son smirks.

• I suppose I should be thankful that I have a son who loves to challenge me photographically. Last night while we were watching “The Biggest Loser,” he was mimicking some of the contestants’ workouts by lifting weights. Of course, the minute I swung my Nikon in his direction, he stopped and just lifted his arm. Then he pulled a blanket over himself and used the weights underneath it where I couldn’t see them.

All while smirking. Good thing he’s so darned cute!

A couple of my #1 son’s favorites.

• Of course, the reason I was at Kroger in the first place waiting for the traffic jam to dissipate was because I needed to buy food that I haven’t stocked since the Labor Day weekend. Yep, my older son will be home from college tonight! We’re looking so forward to seeing him again and having our house back to normal . . . until Sunday when he has to go back.

He’ll return home for the long winter break on December 14th . . . when I could be facing that shopping cart traffic jam once again.