Thomas and Friends Live

reviews, kidbits 1 Comment »

phonecam- thomas and friends
wow. i’m so glad i didn’t pay to take the kids to see Thomas and Friends Live. the show was pretty lame. i guess since the target audience is limited to 3 to 5 year olds, it gave the production company an excuse to keep the stage show as simple as possible. the result is an uninteresting, poorly paced mess of a musical. surprisingly it still kept my youngest interested but the older two whined the whole time about being there. for those smart enough to avoid seeing this show here are some tidbits:

1) the small stage production includes some live actors and only three engines (Thomas, Percy and Diesel).
2) the stage is only big enough for two engines at a time.
3) the plot is secondary. the kids in the audience were only interested in seeing thomas.
4) and the actors were annoying, pointless and rather unnecessary in terms of keeping the kids interested.
5) the voices playing Thomas, Percy and Diesel weren’t even close to the originals.

we were informed early on that cameras were not allowed. and silly me, i complied. other parents either didn’t care or didn’t listen and took pictures anyway. I did have my camera phone with me, so i took some blurry photos to share here on the blog.
the kids in front of memorial hall
as you can see, my oldest was not a happy camper. ha, ha. he was probably embarrassed to be seen at a Thomas show. heh.
phonecam - the kids at the show
conclusion: parents, don’t waste your money on this stage production of Thomas the Tank Engine. try to win free tickets instead, like i did.

Park West Gallery

links and stuff No Comments »

Alfred Gockelwhile browsing through some contemporary paintings on an online art gallery website i came across some interesting work by german artist Alfred Alexander Gockel. the colors and style that he utilizes really caught my eye. reading through his bio, it seems that there are many that feel the same. over 2 million examples of his art have been sold in the U.S. market alone. celebrity collectors like Michael Jordan own original Gockel paintings. Park West Gallery located in Michigan feature work done by this artist as well as many others. in fact, Park West Gallery is home to the largest collection of fine art in the world. they conduct fine art auctions across the U.S. and Canada. they even hold art auctions on various cruise ships around the world. so if you’re interested in owning some original artwork by artists like Alfred Gockel, be sure to take some time and visit Park West Art Gallery.

Thomas tickets

Family Talk 1 Comment »

thanks to Mix 101.5, I’ll now be able to take my three boys to see Thomas and Friends Live on Stage tomorrow. hooray! well, my ten year old won’t be that excited but i’m pretty sure the two younger ones will be. :)

The Police in Vancouver!

music 3 Comments »

OK the buzz about The Police reunion is back in full force now that their much hyped world tour is getting underway this coming monday in Vancouver. apparently Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland are currently rehearsing in Vancouver on a massive open air stage near the north shore. the local news crew got their news chopper to get a view of the stage and the three rock icons in action. it’s a nice sneak peek on the much anticipated tour. i’ve been looking forward to the reunion since way back in the nineties to tell you the truth. I still can’t believe it’s happening. especially with the three musicians historically having such volatile chemistry together. but so far no word of any major in-fighting among the three and the tour is still a-go. to commemorate this massive world tour, the folks over at Universal have put together a nice new 2-CD compilation for fans new and old. the june 5th release contains a total of 28 tracks. here’s the tracklisting:

Disc: 1
1. Fallout
2. Can’t Stand Losing You
3. Next to You
4. Roxanne
5. Truth Hits Everybody
6. Hole in My Life
7. So Lonely
8. Message in a Bottle
9. Reggatta de Blanc
10. Bring on the Night
11. Walking on the Moon
12. Don’t Stand So Close to Me
13. Driven to Tears
14. Canary in a Coalmine
Disc: 2
1. Do Do Do de da da Da
2. Voices Inside My Head
3. Invisible Sun
4. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
5. Spirits in the Material World
6. Demolition Man
7. Every Breath You Take
8. Synchronicity I
9. Wrapped Around Your Finger
10. Walking in Your Footsteps
11. Synchronicity II
12. King of Pain
13. Murder by Numbers
14. Tea in the Sahara

even though I own most of their CDs this new compilation is still a must have in my book. included in the set is Fall Out which was their first single before they released Outlandos d’Amour. it’s nice to have the rarity included on CD. all the big hits and fan favorites are included here plus the tracks have all been remastered from the original source material which is pretty important since most fans would want the best sounding version of their favorite songs.

one song that i personally would have picked for the new Police cd is When the World is Running Down which was always one of the highlights in Sting’s solo shows. speaking of which, i’ve seen Sting twice, once on his Nothing Like the Sun tour and then on his Soul Cages tour. those shows were absolutely amazing. the man is an incredible musician and songwriter but you know, when you add Stewart’s amazing drumming and Andy’s spacey guitar riffs, there’s absolutely nothing else like it.

so i’m really excited that they are finally back together after all these years. unfortunately, their concert tix sold out in within minutes and like a lot of fans, i’m outta luck in seeing them this go round. i guess i’ll just listen to the new CD compilation and hope that these guys will continue to tour after the first leg and come back around my neck of the woods with some new dates.

US concert dates
Mon 05/28/07 Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
Wed 05/30/07 Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
Sat 06/02/07 Edmonton, AB Commonwealth Stadium
Wed 06/06/07 Seattle, WA KeyArena at Seattle Center
Thu 06/07/07 Seattle, WA KeyArena at Seattle Center
Sat 06/09/07 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Sun 06/10/07 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Wed 06/13/07 Oakland, CA McAfee Coliseum
Fri 06/15/07 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sat 06/16/07 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival
Mon 06/18/07 Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center
Wed 06/20/07 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
Thu 06/21/07 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Sat 06/23/07 Los Angeles, CA Dodger Stadium
Tue 06/26/07 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Wed 06/27/07 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Fri 06/29/07 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Sat 06/30/07 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
Mon 07/02/07 Saint Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Tue 07/03/07 Saint Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Thu 07/05/07 Chicago, IL Wrigley Field
Fri 07/06/07 Chicago, IL Wrigley Field
Sat 07/07/07 East Rutherford, NJ Giants Stadium
Tue 07/10/07 Miami Gardens, FL Dolphin Stadium
Wed 07/11/07 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
Sat 07/14/07 Louisville, KY Churchill Downs
Mon 07/16/07 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Tue 07/17/07 Auburn Hills, MI The Palace Of Auburn Hills
Thu 07/19/07 Philadelphia, PA Citizens Bank Park
Fri 07/20/07 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
Sun 07/22/07 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Mon 07/23/07 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Wed 07/25/07 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Thu 07/26/07 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Sat 07/28/07 Boston, MA Fenway Park
Sun 07/29/07 Boston, MA Fenway Park
Tue 07/31/07 East Hartford, CT Rentschler Field
Wed 08/01/07 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Arena
Fri 08/03/07 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Arena
Sat 08/04/07 Baltimore, MD Pimlico Race Track
Sun 08/05/07 East Rutherford, NJ Giants Stadium

some phonecam fun

kidbits No Comments »

a couple of shots from my camera phone. just the kids having some fun..


we’ve been experiencing some nice weather these last few weeks. not too hot and not too cold. just right. in other words, perfect playground weather!!!


random music links for wednesday

links and stuff 1 Comment »

- the brand new McCartney video - Dance Tonight is now up on youtube. also up is the Memory Almost Full Electronic Press Kit. coolness.

- stylus magazine is featuring Todd Rundgren’s classic Something/Anything on their StyPod.

- a nice collection of Justin Timberlake remixes and instrumentals are posted over at VipMedia

- Born Again 80’s got the 12″ extended mix of Down Under by Men At Work. yeah, you know you can’t get enough of Colin Hay saying Vegemite Sandwich! speaking of The Men, anyone got their second album Cargo? i owned the cassette back in the early eighties but it’s been long gone. and i’ve been hankerin’ lately for some Cargo. can anyone help a brother out?

- oh and over at Yessongs you can find a cool live recording of Machine Messiah from 1980. you know, back when the Buggles mashed up with the remaining members of Yes.

Hillsong - Mighty to Save

reviews No Comments »

after listening to Hillsong’s fairly recent release - Mighty to Save i have to say that i’m a bit relieved. quite frankly it just felt that they were in a bit of a rut creatively with recent mediocre albums like For All You’ve Done and God He Reigns. with the previous albums it seemed like the songwriters were just going through the motions issuing out cookie cutter material based on the overused Hillsong template. On Mighty to Save, the writing seems to be more focused and the overall quality reaching closer to their past benchmark albums Blessed (2002), Hope (2003) and Shout to the Lord (1996). it’s not their best but i do believe they’ve gotten past their creative rut. the album starts out a bit weak with a couple of non-descript upbeat praise songs but things soon become a bit more interesting once we reach the songs You Alone Are God, At the Cross and From the Inside Out. it’s also nice to see Hillsong try to step out of their usual “sound” and try something a bit different like the subdued Found and the gospel-lite sounding (a la Lakewood Live) More to See. Other highlights include: Oceans Will Part and Mighty to Save.

here’s the youtube video for the song At the Cross

Oh Lord You’ve searched me, You know my way
Even when I fail You, I know You love me
Your holy presence surrounding me
In every season, I know You love me, I know You love me.

At the cross I bow my knee, where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this.
You have overcome the grave, Your glory fills the highest place,
What can separate me now?

You go before me, You shield my way, Your hand upholds me
I know You love me and when the earth fades,
Falls from my eyes and You stand before me,
I know You love me, I know You love me.

You tore the veil, You made a way
When You said that it is done.

The chord chart for At the Cross can be found here.

Take It All (Marty Sampson, Matt Crocker, & Scott Ligertwood)
The Freedom We Know (Joel Houston, Matt Tennikoff & Sampson)
For Who You Are (Sampson)
You Alone Are God (Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan)
At the Cross (Darlene Zschech & Morgan)
From the Inside Out (Houston)
Found (Dave George)
More to See (Zschech, Mia Fieldes, Deborah Ezzy, Donia Makedonez & Nigel Hendroff)
Adonai (Ray Badham & Fieldes)
I Believe (Sampson)
Oceans Will Part (Fielding)
None but Jesus (Brooke Fraser)
Higher/I Believe in You (Higher: Fieldes; I Believe in You: Zschech)
Mighty to Save (Fielding & Morgan)

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tuesday randoms

ramblings No Comments »

- i’ve gone through at least five different wordpress templates over the last week. each time i thought i found the right one for this site, it either does a funky/weird thing in IE (but not firefox) or it’s just buggy altogether. hopefully i’ll find one that works correctly with all browsers.

- and now i just noticed that the blog somehow went back to the default template without my permission. what’s the deal? another template bug? i’ll have to keep an eye on this one. please let me know if you see anything odd here or if you’re seeing the wordpress default template.

- gas prices! enough said.

- the sprinkler guy charged us $265 for repairs. argh. remind me never to call these people ever again.

- jefitoblog recently posted his complete idiot’s guide to one of my favorites - Squeeze.

- Claudio Dirani just posted his interview with David Kahne (producer of Paul mcCartney’s Memory Almost Full) over at the Steve Hoffman Forums. some interesting tidbits about the recording of the new album. check it out.

- the season finale of Heroes was a bit underwhelming i must say. i just hope Lost ends their mediocre season on a higher note.

- check out popbyte’s post about the classic song - Running Up That Hill. love it.

final soccer game of the season

kidbits 3 Comments »

Ethan’s final game for the spring soccer league took place this past saturday. parents all gathered to rejoice!! :P
team portugal broke their losing streak by winning their last game and ended the season on a high note.

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cheap laptop

internet buzz 1 Comment »

OLPC laptop
you know, these OLPC laptops look real neat. some children in uruguay just received theirs recently. it’s too bad the average consumer won’t be able to purchase these. i’ve been planning on purchasing a laptop for my ten year old since his upcoming fifth grade school year will require him to use computers more heavily than before. and one of those OLPC laptops would be perfect. they’re rugged, they’ve got wireless LAN, 1 gig of flash memory, a built in video camera, they’re linux based and can last 12 hours on batteries.

quanta did issue a statement a while back saying that they may produce a different consumer model in the future for approximately $200. it’s highly unlikely the $200 version of the OLPC model will be out before school starts back up so i’ll still be looking for a cheap laptop for my son. let me know if you come across some any really good deals…

so long geeklog

general 1 Comment »

OK, after years of enduring the difficulties of using geeklog as my content management system here on, i finally decided to bite the bullet and convert everything over to wordpress. i’ve used wordpress extensively on other websites and even on this very own site in the past and love the simplicity of the blogging tool and the ease of adding in plugins. the problem with geeklog is that it’s simply not that user friendly. upgrading to the latest version is always a monumental task and adding/managing plugins is simply a pain. plus SPAM protection was a bit spotty. from what i’ve seen lately, wordpress in conjunction with AKISMET keeps most of the comment SPAM off of the blog.

as some of you may know, i’ve been wanting to migrate over to wordpress for a long time now but there wasn’t a convenient tool to transfer all my geeklog posts over to wordpress. but luckily i stumbled upon JustDave’s site today and found just what i needed to convert my site over.

and after uploading his wordpress import tool, i was quickly able to get my geeklog stuff converted over. simple as that. i love wordpress.

and now i’ll be busy customizing my new templates and such. please let me know if you encounter any errors on the site.

family favorite - chicken curry

food No Comments »

in my ongoing quest to be more helpful to the wife in the kitchen, I made it a point this past weekend to be around during the prep of a perennial favorite in our household, chicken curry over rice.

It’s the basic korean style curry dish but instead of a korean brand curry mix we prefer a japanese brand called Vermont Curry. I’d say the flavor is a bit milder and sweeter than a korean brand curry mix.

here’s the lowdown:
serves: around 8 to 10
ingredients: Vermont Curry Mix (mild), 1 extra large yellow onion, 2 large potatoes, 6 carrots, approx. 4 chicken breasts, water and steamed rice.

- clean and peel the veggies. cut onion, carrots and potatoes like so..

- clean and cut chicken breasts into bite sized portions.

- lightly saute the chopped vegetables over medium heat. precooking the veggies will prevent them from getting soggy while being cooked in the curry sauce.

- add chicken to the pan and then add water. the water level should be just barely over the vegetables.

- and now add the curry mix. this depends on your serving size. in our case we use 10 out of the 12 bars in the curry mix pack. cook at medium/high heat and stir as you go.

- you may need to add more water if the sauce gets too thick.

- after approx. 10 minutes at med/high heat, reduce the heat down to medium.
- please note, you may want to move the pot off the burner when stirring in order to prevent any accidental splattering.

- the wife stresses that i need to “scoop and turn” when i stir. it’s an essential technique.

- after another five minutes or so, reduce the heat down to low/medium and cover the pot with a lid slightly off center so that the steam can vent out.

- serve the curry over rice when ready.


…and voila! one of our family favorites. bon appetit!!


internet buzz No Comments »

everytime i go to retail electronic stores like bestbuy or circuit city, i am just so overwhelmed by the vast number of new electronic gear and gadgets that are featured on display. it’s really hard to keep up with all the new technology, updates and upgrades. thankfully for us consumers we have websites and online communities that are geared toward detailed product reviews so that we can inform ourselves of all the features and any reliability issues before we buy. testfreaks is a brand new site built just for product reviews and testing of new consumer electronics and the latest gadgets. the site is still in its early stages but they are planning to soon be a major online resource for all types of product reviews including professionally written reviews as well as from regular consumers and bloggers. the site is easy to navigate with reviews divided into categories like digital cameras, mp3 players and plasma tv reviews. keep an eye on their blog to see their progress in getting this site ready to be fully functional. it’s nice that they are letting the public see their site at such an early stage but the potential of this site is very apparent and i’m looking forward to seeing things ramp up on the site in the coming weeks.

randoms for tuesday 15may07

miscellaneous No Comments »

- for some odd reason my site has been removed from the technorati blog directory. reading through the support forums, it appears that my blog has been flagged for review. for what, i have absolutely no idea. i left several posts in the support forums as well as opened a support ticket a week ago. so far i haven’t heard back from their support staff. but it appears that i’m not alone. the support forums are full of bloggers that are experiencing the same problem. what’s the deal technorati??

- freebizmag is currently offering a free subscription to psychology today. see if you qualify by clicking here.

- jumong (Prince of Legend) original soundtrack (OST) can be found here.

- TV networks and studios are beginning to realize the value of buzz from blogs. CBS recently wined and dined twelve mommy bloggers to help create some blogger buzz about The New Adventures of Old Christine. and Warner Bros. flew seven bloggers to the set of Supernatural in British Columbia to get some positive buzz on their blogs. Now this kind of stuff is right up my alley! free trips to the set, food and hotel free of charge, meet and greet with the actors, and free DVDs!!???!!! where do i sign up?? *ahem*. are you reading this CBS, Warner Bros., ABC, Viacom?? this blogger for hire is available anytime. call me, OK?

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