Category: Spiffy Stuff

A lovely treat

Tonight I got to hear my daughter sing. I know to some that may not sound like a big deal, but for me, it is. She usually pleads shyness whenever I ask her to sing. Whether I’m belting out music in the car or just bopping around the house, she gets all shy and reticent.

But apparently the key was having her boyfriend ask her to sing for him. He had been asking her to sing for him too and she was playing the shy card with him as well, I think. But when she ran out of present ideas for his birthday, she decided she’d relent and record herself singing one of her favourite tunes: Russian Lullaby.

She downloaded Audacity and taught herself how to use it to create three versions of herself singing the same lines and layering them so it sounded like she was singing in a round. It came out fantastic and not only am I proud of her for doing it but as a geeky editor, I’m proud of her for creating and editing the whole thing herself.

I don’t have a really good way to record it and share it so I jerry-rigged some mics and earphones together on my craptop to make this AudioBoo. yes, she gave me permission to post it. I think she’s pretty proud of it too 🙂


The last show

I’m sitting in the Senior High auditorium for the last time right now. Tonight is Shannon’s final orchestra concert after 7 years of musical education. I think out of all that time, I’ve missed two of her shows.

The high school orchestra has mostly consisted of about 800 violins, cellos and violas, and about 4 or 5 wind instruments. Shannon plays clarinet. Only once in the 4 years of high school have I been able to see her, because the instructor tucks the winds way at the back.

But tonight is different. Tonight she’ll be called up to sign the Big Yellow Bass as is traditional for departing seniors and receive her Letter. I think it will be lovely.

It’s about 8 minutes to showtime. The stage is empty but I can hear strains of instruments coming from the nearby bandroom. The seats are filling up and we are ready to enjoy the likes of Bartok, Mozart and Bach.

I can’t think of a better ending to my birthday 🙂

I wrote the above stuff as I sat waiting for the show to begin (I heart my iPod Touch). Below, I’ve added some audio I took as well as some pix.

The first song:

The last song:

Shannon talks about the last concert:

A day at the park(s)

We did a wander around a couple of parks on this Day of the Zombie. Weather was cold and gloomy, but we enjoyed nonetheless. These were taken at Stolley Park and Pier Park in GI. My dad might want to note that the cool cave he told me kids used to play on has been cleaned up and reopened in all it’s fort-like glory 🙂

Our Furry Leader

The 50s on 5 channel on XM satellite radio, when Matt the Cat was on the air, was my favourite channel. Matt knows every square inch of some of the most influential, important music in recent history and he poured his heart and his soul into his shows ‘Night Prowl” and “Harlem”.

He’s put together a couple of videos that showcase both shows, though the Night Prowl video is bittersweet as it was his last show. Shortly after returning from his wedding and honeymoon to my sister, XM/Sirius laid him and around 80 other XM DJs (keeping most of their, frankly quite shite, Sirius DJs) off.

If I sound bitter, well, I am. But Matt the Cat will be back baby 🙂 He already sort of is, if you visit his website,, every Friday you can still listen and vote in his popular Friday Night Cat Fight, where two artists who each recorded the same song, square off and YOU decide which one is the best.

But if you have a free 16-17 minutes, watch the videos and give your ears a real treat as Matt the Cat, our Furry Leader, spins some discs, imparts some knowledge and takes us all back to when music truly rocked.

Night Prowl:


My silly music mixes

Suddenly noticed a large influx of James Marsters fans dropping by here after someone posted a link to my Captain John Hart music mix on Livejournal. Helloooo JM fans 🙂 I am a fan of old Spike there, and a while back I was having fun playing with Sony’s Acid Pro music mixing software. I made a bunch of mixes using some cool loops and some funky dialogue from Buffy, Angel, Torchwood, Bones and 24, which are four of my top 5 favourite shows. (The fifth being Doctor Who of course :))

Here are all the mixes if you want to check out some other ones. The Torchwood one seems to be going over well. These are really just a bit of fun. I hope you like them though. If you could ‘Right-Click and Save As’ to help me preserve bandwidth, that would be shiny 🙂

The Finest Student

I’m taking a moment here to have a Proud Mom post for my daughter. Shannon is currently in the middle of doing the college app/scholarship app thing, and I want to share one of the glowing letters of recommendation her English teacher did for her. Am I bragging about my kid? Hell yes 🙂 it’s my blog, I’ll brag if I want to 😉 She deserves it ‘cos she’s pretty cool.

If words were wings, this letter would deliver itself. Such is the airy power of what i will share with you about the finest student i have encountered in 27 years in education. For there is a story being written here on the Plains, a hopeful prophecy of golden days ahead, the genesis of a singular life and manifold accomplishments that will matter – the life and future accomplishments of Shannon ______.

Truly, were you to know her, you would understand the force of nature she is as a writer, the compassionate observer of the needs of those around her, the gifted scholar who has done Promethean works at such a young age, and the precocious future educator destined to inspire those students fortunate enough to have her teach them in the decades to come.

To say that Shannon is exceptional and well-rounded is like blurting out that the Earth is a nice place to live – the understatement compels any would-be advocate to find a better, stronger way to create a picture of her true capabilities. And they are dazzling! How many students write a novel their senior year in high school while balancing the demands of coursework, involvement in over a half-dozen activities and clubs, and a nearly full-time job? How many consistently finish assigned work in rigorous academic classes and ask for ancillary enrichment reading to satisfy a thirst for deeper insight? These have been my experiences with this startling young woman.

I could rattle off a menu of her many accomplishments, medals won, competitions mastered and superior academic performances. I could list aperitifs such as her 32 score on the ACT and her leadership in the fine arts program and the clubs within our school community. However, my space is limited, and her resume is doubtless attached; thus, I choose penultimately to tell you that your committee has an opportunity to advance the education of the next Sexton, Bishop, or Browning. So strongly do I believe in the gifts God has given Shannon that I urge you to give her your strongest consideration. She already has my highest recommendation. Thank you.

You can tell it was written by an English teacher eh? Hehehe. I read this and was just filled with so much pride I thought I would burst. I mean, of course I already think highly of my amazing kid, but finding out that her teachers do as well is a really good feeling. She has two other, just as beautiful, letters from other teachers that make my heart sing.

It’s been a long road for Shannon and me. There were times when her grades weren’t so hot and it took some understanding to discover that when Shannon finds the work too easy, she finds ways to not do it. A lesson both of us needed to learn because I couldn’t grasp why my intelligent child would not be doing well in a class. One teacher (and this still pisses me off) in third grade wanted Shannon to be examined because she thought she might be ADHD because she was “daydreaming” a lot. I put my foot down on that and we came to discover Shannon was simply bored in this woman’s class.

Anyway, I’m extremely proud of my extraordinary daughter. I believe she will be one of those teachers that students always remember the rest of their lives.

I love you kiddo.