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Mikhael Paskalev

3 Dec

Remember the movie Risky Business with Tom Cruise dancing around in his underwear?  That’s what watching Mikhael Paskalev’s video for the song I Spy reminded me of. That’s mainly because Paskalev is dancing around in his underwear during the video.

The song has a fun fast pace, the tune is catchy, and it’s easy to sing along with. And when it ends I found myself saying hey why’d you stop? I was having fun. So I played it again, and I wasn’t disappointed the second time I listened to the song either. And this time I really noticed the guitar in last half of the song. There is just something about the way it was being played that I really enjoyed. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I know that I liked it.


Jive Babe EP
While the melody is real upbeat, the lyrics are a little thoughtful. The chorus’ lyrics contain the line, “I Spy with my little that to fall is connected to trying.” That line can be either encouraging or discouraging depending on your point of view in life. Personally, I found it to be encouraging. It reminded me that even if things I try don’t work out the way I planned, at least I did try to do it.

The song has been a big hit in Paskalev’s homeland of Norway, and hopefully he will gain some exposure in the States since his music is so much fun to listen to.

The Last Runaway

2 Dec

Tracy Chevalier has a new book called The Last Runaway. This book is about a Quaker woman named Honor Bright, who makes the journey from her home in England to Ohio during the pre-civil war era. Honor is faced with a world that is much different than the one she was to in England. People speak differently, and they act differently. Honor soon finds herself marrying a man in the Quaker community. But in order to get along with her new family Honor is faced with the choice of betraying her personal beliefs, or abiding by the laws of her new homeland.

In this book Chevalier paints a picture of what it was like to live in Ohio during the pre-civil war timeframe. Especially, what is was like to be a woman living during that time. It shows how difficult it can be for individuals who have strong beliefs to actually walk their talk. And it also shows that there may be a price to pay if you do act according to your conscience.Image

Chevalier has developed characters in The Last Runaway that are easy to understand, and they feel as if they are people you might know in real life.  You can relate to their problems even if they were in a time that you do not live in. And you see that there were many things that were different during that time, but there were also many things that are just the same as the time we live in now.

This book probably isn’t for everyone; I don’t think that a lot of men would enjoy it. It’s too focused on women and their interactions. But I think many women who enjoy history, and quilting would enjoy this book. 

Dear Mr. Glidden

26 Nov

I was wondering if you give me some advice on how to receive a patent.  I know that you successfully patented barbed wire over a hundred years ago. So I’m pretty sure that you have an idea of how to patent an item. My first question is how did you decide that your product was an original? And was it difficult to put together that application?

Now I read that you had someone dispute your claim that you were the actual inventor of barbed wire. How exactly did you deal with this? I’m assuming you were able to prove that you invented barbed wire since you are still credited with the invention, and the huge amount of wealth you acquired due to the patent. How did you handle the frustrations that went along with those legal battles? And is there any way that if I decide to file for a patent that I could avoid these legal battles?

Did you have any idea how your invention would change the landscape of the country? I mean the country went from having wide open areas of prairies that buffalo and humans could navigate, but after barbed wire was introduced to the area. People and animals could no longer navigate freely through the area.

I know that you were not a selfish man due to the fact that you donated your homestead to what is now Northern Illinois University.

Is there anything that you would do differently if you had it to do over again Mr. Glidden? Would you still file that patent, or would you just let things go?

I’m looking forward to the valuable advice you can provide me about obtaining a patent.




Zombie Ghost Train

25 Nov

I started watching the Walking Dead series on Netflix. I haven’t gotten through the entire series yet, but I decided that I should share a little Zombie music with everyone. And Zombie Ghost Train is the band I’ve chosen.

Dealing the Death Card

While the band is no longer together, it made an impact on the psychobilly world. The bands are reported to have been great fun. And if you can’t tell from the band’s name, the music deals with zombies and such. It’s fast music like most rockabilly music, but psychobilly is a sub group of the rockabilly world. And it has attracted fans from the goth world too. So you can just imagine that the shows were pretty rowdy.

But their music is so much fun, and that is why they are still a group I enjoy listening to. The song Graveyard Queen is actually a love song. Where the singer is singing about his love who has died and she is now the Graveyard Queen.  The tempo of the song is fast, so it makes it a fun song.

I’ve heard reports that the lead singer of this band has formed a new spaghetti western band, and I hope that is true because if the new band has the entertainment value that Zombie Ghost Train has it will certainly be something I want to listen to.

First Squad Moment of Truth

24 Nov

For those of you who are fans of anime style films, you might find this movie interesting. Instead of being based in Japan, the movie is set in 1942 Russia. So it’s a war movie. The German Army has managed to raise an army of long dead warriors, who have an old score to settle with the Russians. But the Russians have a secret weapon the First Squad.

first squad
First Squad

The First Squad is a group of youth with psychic abilities. The problem is that all but one of the members of the squad are killed. The only living member must travel to the world of dead warriors to ask the other members for assistance.

The movie is based on a comic book series from the Soviet era. So it definitely has a propaganda feel to it, but the story is interesting. It’s kind of captures what people might have been hoping for during that war. I’m sure that there were individuals who were hoping that some miracle would happen so that the war would be shortened.

The animation is also great! The scenes on the battlefield are almost lifelike in a cartoon way. They are bloody. So this isn’t for children. But if you are looking for an interesting story that has a much different look than traditional Hollywood films, you might enjoy this movie.

Dear Georgianna

21 Nov

You know how you feel when you realize that a relationship isn’t going to work out, and you say it’s time to move on? But at the same time you just can’t. Everywhere you go you see other people having a good time, and you want to but you just can’t. Well that’s what Dear Georgianna’s new song Get Over You is all about. It’s a song that most everybody can relate to, and it’s the perfect song to listen to when you are going through break up recovery.

But not all of her music is about breaking up. Her song Wanna Be In Love has a real pop feel to it. Not the hyped up feel of current pop music, but the feel of the 60’s pop music. It’s fun to listen to. And she has a great voice. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit sad at the same time.

This is a girl to keep your eye on, because I’m sure she will be around the music scene for quite a while.

Red Hook Summer

20 Nov

I’ve always found Spike Lee’s movies to be both entertaining and thought provoking, so of course I like them. And Red Hook Summer is no exception. The movie is about a young man who goes to visit his grandfather for the first time. Flick, the young man, is a vegan, who loves using his ipad to make videos. His grandfather is a preacher at one of the local small churches in Brooklyn. The movie explores the differences between the two, and how much the young man has to learn in life. And one of the lessons he has to learn is how people sometimes make huge mistakes in their lives and how people deal with it when others learn about their mistakes.


I loved the way the movie looked with all the bright colors in an area you normally don’t associate with color. Movies shot in the city usually try to use darker tones. I also enjoyed the twist in the plot when the preacher’s secret is revealed to the community. This is a great movie for people who want to see what life in the inner city might be like. There is some violence, in the movie, so it probably isn’t a movie for children.

Dear Mr. Clemente

19 Nov

I don’t know if you have heard about the recent typhoon called Haiyan that hit The Philippines or not, but it was flat out awful. Robert, I hope you don’t mind if I use your first name. I know that during your lifetime you spent time during your off season from baseball doing a lot of charity work. You donated time, baseball equipment, and of course that valued commodity food to those in need. In fact you were en route to deliver assistance to individuals who were affected by an earthquake in Nicaragua. So, I figure you might be a good person to get an opinion from about who is to blame for all of the devastation in those islands.


Now, I know that nobody can be blamed for a storm occurring, but how emergencies are handled is something people can be blamed for isn’t it? There are individuals stating that corruption among government is the reason for the devastating impact of the storm. Personally, I think that was part of the problem, but do you think that maybe the limited financial resources of the country may be a problem. While The Philippines isn’t the poorest nation on earth, I’m sure they don’t have loads of money there either. So how do they pay for the extra safety features in building that would help prevent some of this damage?

There are also individuals blaming looters for the problem. Really? I mean they are making things worse, but I think a lot of them are probably just looking for food and water. I think it’s more appropriate to blame people for not listening to warnings about the storm, but hey what do I know?
And Roberto can you answer the most important question, why do we keep seeing this same thing happen over and over? We’ve seen it happen in New Orleans, and now The Philippines, why can’t more be done to prepare for these catastrophes?

Anyway, Roberto, I hope you let me know what you think of all of this and how we can avoid some of this in the future.

Close Your Eyes

18 Nov

Close Your Eyes is the perfect book for reading to a child before bed. The book is about a tiger who tells her kit to close his eyes and go to sleep. The little tiger doesn’t want to go sleep because of all the things he will miss, and he is afraid of the dark. His mother gently reminds him of all the things he can see in his dreams, and that he has no need to fear because she is near.
This is a sweet children’s book. The illustrations by Georg Hallensleben are wonderful.
close your eyes
They use loads of color, and they have a little dreamy quality which is perfect for a children’s book. The message of the book is also sweet. That a child doesn’t have to miss out on life during their sleep, they are just experiencing it in another way. For all of you with children, check this book out.

Salam Pax

17 Nov

A couple of years ago during the Iraq War, there was a blogger in Iraq who inspired a song by Don Arbor. The song is titled Salam Pax. I have to admit I was just introduced to Don Arbor’s music, and this song really made an impression on me. The song is a peace anthem that really shows that Don has some strong beliefs about what should be like. It’s a song worth listening to, and the video is great. In fact it won a couple of awards.

Don’s other music is fairly diverse some of his songs like Another Day in Paradise are about a lazy day relaxing. While other songs are about the bigger issues in life, if you haven’t heard his music watch the video and visit his website to learn more about his music.don arbor