Electronic drums?

Have you ever heard of electronic drums? When Jon was telling me that he was admiring the pearl electronic drums the other day, I thought I mis-heard him. Electronic drums? I wondered if they make REAL music that you can play in a REAL gig, or are they just for practice? Here is a YouTube video I found that answers my questions. Pretty sweet!

That woman can sing!

When we went to the bluegrass music concert last weekend by Bill Emerson and the Sweet Dixie Band, I couldn’t see if the lady that plays the double bass was using a double engelhart for her instrument or not, but one thing seemed to be clear – she could really play that bass, and she could really hold a note! This video I found on YoutTube is not from the concert we saw, but it is a video of my favorite song from the concert we saw last weekend. Looking closely at the end of the song when I thought she was holding the note for an extraordinarily long time, it became clear to me that one of the other musicians took over part of the “holding that note” with such skill that if I wasn’t looking closely, I would have sworn it was just the one singer holding it! Now I feel rather foolish for the discovery! But, we had fun, and that was the point of the entire night.

I would love to learn to play the harmonica

After Joe was telling me that he watched a YouTube video of a guy playing the blues on a harmonica that he decided that he wants to buy a blues harmonica for himself, I thought he was crazy. But after taking a look at some of the videos for myself, I can certainly understand why he would be impressed, and why he might think it would be relatively easy to learn. I see there are even instructional videos to teach people how to play the harmonica! Maybe I’ll give it a try myself! I think it would be a lot of fun!

Drum machine

When Chuck asked me if he could store his boss drum in my spare bedroom closet for a few months for him, I thought he was crazy. My spare bedroom closet is not very big, and it’s pretty full of his things to start out with! I’m starting to think I should be charging him rent for the space! Anyway, I told him that if he could fit it in there, he was welcome to try. I was really surprised when he showed up with a small electronic device and told me that was his drum! I was thinking it was going to be a really big instrument! Didn’t I feel foolish!

Help For Low Income Individuals Available from Modest Needs Foundation

Press release provided by Modest Needs Foundation

We at the Modest Needs Foundation are dedicated to providing help for low income individuals. We have a variety of grants to give help individuals maintain self-sufficiency, as well as emergency funding. Our goal is to catch people before they fall into the kind of poverty that social services are set up to provide for.

We know there are ample opportunities to donate to charity, and there are a great many people and organizations in financial need right now. However, we are able to offer some aspects of the charitable experience that other charities are not able to provide. We maintain a comprehensive tracking system, so if, for example, you are most interested in grants for transitioning veterans, you are able to direct your donation to specific projects, track that project and receive a “thank you” note directly from the individual you were able to help. This can often be the most satisfying aspect of giving.

Love a good party with a good DJ

When Susan and Jeff sent us the invitation to their wedding in charleston sc I was reluctant to accept. After all, the last few wedding receptions we’ve attended have been really boring. But they followed up with a phone call to let us know that they have hired a professional DJ to keep the dance floor hopping, and they begged us to come. Well, I have to check and see if I can get the time off from work, but I still don’t know. I’m not crazy about paying the air fare to fly down there, either. Maybe I’m just in a sour mood right now. I’ll have to think on it for a few days before I send in our RSVP.

Short work week!

I was just reading an article that France had a 35 hour work week. I didn’t know that France had a 35 hour work week! That meant that if they worked more than 35 hours, they got paid overtime! Anyway, France’s government has decided that they will allow businesses to require that their employees work longer hours without paying them. Understandably the businesses are happy about that, the employees not so much. I know I’d rather have a 35 hour work week!

What to choose?

Our kids have been bugging us to buy some exercise equipment to put in the family room. They have been complaining about how hard it is to travel to a gym to exercise, and that there are a lot of times when they don’t want to exercise outdoors because of inclement weather of biting insects. And of course our suggestions about doing jumping jacks, squats, and sit-ups are met with loud protests.

My biggest concern about investing money in exercise machines is that after spending a huge amount of money on an elliptical machine, exercise bike, or treadmill is that after only a couple of short months of use that the kids will decide that using the equipment to exercise is “boring” or “too much trouble” and that I will have wasted a lot of money. 

Fortunately, I have a friend who has all three of those machines and he said that we could borrow one of them for a couple of months, then the other, and then the other and we can see how much use they get. And THEN we can decide whether or not to buy one! I think that’s a good idea, don’t you?

Optimizing energy efficiency

Ceiling fans are a great way to lower energy expenditures. When my wife and I bought this house we are living in, there were no ceiling fans in it at all. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend right off, so we have been trying to install one ceiling fan every summer in the different rooms. My wife has done a lot of research on the topic and found a lot of good advice on what size fan to get for what size room. She’s also tried to explain to me how and why we should get reversible fans.

Last year we put a fan at the top of the stairway between the two levels of the house, in an attempt to help keep the warm air pushed down the stairs to help reduce the cost of heating the house.  I thought my wife was crazy when she suggested it, but I have to admit that I think it did actually help! So now my wife has been shopping around for what fan to buy this year. She found a wholesale ceiling fans website today and has told me that she thinks we should order a low profile fan from them for the master bedroom. She said that the prices are really reasonable. I’ve told her that I want to get a Hunter fan if possible because they have a good reputation for being quiet, and I like quiet fans.

Severe thunderstorms

This time of year I get really nervous when there are severe thunderstorms. Especially at night! One of my friends has a brother that was struck by lightning – twice! The second time fried his brain so bad that he is now living permanently in a nursing home. It’s really sad because he was a nice guy with a nice family, and now he really can’t function at all.

At night when the thunderstorms hit, and the wind is roaring, I am worried that there may be a tornado coming and because it is dark out we can’t see it. There is a church near where we live that had its steeple ripped off by a tornado – twice! So I know we live in an area that tornadoes can happen. And I have seen the damage done to other buildings in the past, so I worry. I try to hide my fear, though; I don’t want the rest of the family and the dogs to see how much it upsets me. I try to act as if nothing is wrong at all.