Friday, July 22, 2005

I Love Rhapsody!

Here's my latest thing. I absolutely LOVE Rhapsody at You pay $9.ninety-something a month for a membership, and you have streaming access to whatever music selections they have. It's almost like having a huge CD collection without having to store or care for them. I say almost, because I have found a few tunes that aren't available for whatever reason. Sometimes it's just not part of their repetoire yet, or sometimes the artist or record label still wants you to pay to listen to it. You have to pay additional fees to burn the tunes onto CD, but I don't have a CD burner yet anyway; so for me it's great. Whenever I log onto the computer the first thing I do is open Rhapsody and play whatever I'm in the mood to hear.

One of the reasons I like it so much is because there are songs I've been wanting to hear for a long time that I couldn't justify buying. I found them here. And in looking for them, I've been reminded of many other songs I'd forgotten about but absolutely love, especially ones I'd listened to on a regular basis years and years ago.

That brings me to my next topic. Those who know me well know that my taste in music is. . . well, square. That's it. Just plain square. I actually like quite a variety of music, really. Oldies, classic rock, pop, new age. . . and more. But some of my favorites are for squares. For example, I've only been to a handful of concerts in my life, and most of them include--and I'm just going to put it out there--John Denver, Roger Whittaker (twice, actually), and Neil Diamond (shut up, Terry). Add Chris De Burgh and Harry Belafonte to that list, and you've pretty much got my current Rhapsody playlist. I know. But growing up, my record collection consisted of what my parents let me play and what my older sisters left behind. And I'm not ashamed--OK, maybe I am a little ashamed--to say I loved it! As a matter of fact, at age 13 I was a member of the Roger Whittaker fan club! OK, maybe I've gone too far.

So, today I'm going to post my list of Square Favorites for you to enjoy or laugh at, whichever you prefer.

John Denver: "Matthew;" "This Old Guitar;" "Calypso." I like most of his stuff, but these are my current favorites. And "Toledo" is good for a laugh.

Neil Diamond (shut up, Terry): It's hard to pick my favorites, but lately I've been listening to "Done Too Soon" (which ends too soon); "Stones;" and "Coldwater Morning."

Roger Whittaker: "River Lady" is easily my favorite. I really like "Kilgary Mountain," too. I have to admit, although I feel disloyal, I don't like him as much as I used to.

Chris De Burgh: "All The Love I Have Inside" is an ongoing favorite, and lately I've been listening to "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" over and over. We'll see how long that lasts.

Harry Belafonte: "Old King Cole" and "Man Piaba" are really fun, and I love his versions of "Shenandoah," "Try To Remember," and "I'm Just a Country Boy."

So there you have it. I have no more secrets to hide. (Yeah, like THAT will ever be true!)

Monday, July 18, 2005


I'd like to tell you about my "little" brother, Don. Growing up we were very close. Of the ten of us kids, we were 7th and 8th. My older brother, the 6th, didn't seem to want much to do with 7 and 8 apart from teasing and other mild sibling abuse;--for that matter, it didn't seem to me he was interested in any of us besides older brothers, 3 and 4--so that left Don and me to our own devices, which was fine by us. We did most things together and we had a great friendship. I told him what to do, and he did it with a smile. Isn't that was friendship is all about? We even read Superfudge together! (All hail Judy Blume!) Anyway, he has been fiercely loyal ever since, which always makes me want to brag about him. And I do. But I wouldn't brag about anyone whom I didn't think deserved it. Ask my girlfriend who thinks she can sing.

And that brings me to First of all let me say that art on paper (drawing, sketching, cartooning, caricatures) is just one of the many talents Don possesses. He is also a very gifted standup comic, writer of plays, sketch comedies, screenplays and stories, a a singer and songwriter, and a natural comedic and dramatic actor. I would also venture to say that he is a good husband and father, and definitely an all-around good guy. And I promise I'm not the only one who says so.

Don has been drawing since he was very young. He would draw picture after picture as a kid, and created his own cartoon strips with original characters before the age of ten. He continued to excel in art throughout high school, and after serving a full-time mission for the LDS church and then getting married, he was accepted at Sheridan Collage in Oakville, Ontario to major in animation. He graduated in three years (his final project was an animated short based on one of his original sketch comedies), and was immediately hired onto an animation studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been in Halifax ever since (albeit not at the same studio), and works at the waterfront on the side, doing caricatures for tourists.

Then he launched his own business, via the web, at Go there to check out his unique style of caricaturing, bearing in mind that--correct me if I'm wrong, Don--his completed caricatures are all done with pencil crayons (aka colored pencils). If you admire them, feel free to post. More importantly, feel free to patronize. His t-shirts are original and reasonably priced, and you will have done him and yourself a great service, not to mention a personal favor to me! And he accepts PayPal! What could be easier than that? With that in mind, I'd like to post my caricaturebyDon of the week! Of course I have to start with the Beatles. The two of us have always been fans, especially him. And this particular caricature launched one of his first paying jobs from the website.

So there you have it. I hope I haven't embarrassed my brother. I do hope, though, that I have helped sell a few t-shirts.


"Scrubs" Personality Test

I'm not sure about this, but this is what I came up with. Let me know what you think!

Which Scrubs Character are you?

You are...Turk A.K.A. "The Jock with a God Complex"Who's da man? You are! (Or, "da woman" as the case may be.) You're cool without trying. Confident, caring, loyal. Do you ever make a wrong move? Okay, perhaps your enthusiasm for life can get you into trouble with those more inhibited than yourself, but you've got the skills to get yourself out of any sticky situation. The only problem with leading such a blessed life is jealous peers. Don't let them rile up your competitive nature to an unhealthy level! And don't let your good looks drag you down a dangerous path, either! Those infros are tough to treat.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Enjoying our Summer

These pictures were taken with Avan's new camera phone on July 2, 2005. It isn't very often all of us get together, and when we do we try to get a family picture. Most of them don't turn out well enough to share with others. This one is no exception, but oh, well. At least Cooper enjoyed his hot dog and marshmallows! We had a cookout and sat around the fire talking and laughing. We don't get to spend a lot of quality time with Jonathan now that he's all grown up. But when we do it's always good, especially when Avan is there, too. They are great friends as well as brother and sister, and it's a nice atmosphere for Tom and me (yes, me) to enjoy. Anyway, we're having a great summer, and you're all invited for a visit!