Saturday, January 31, 2015


As most know, but not all, I’m an educator. I work at one of a few hundred elementary schools in Clark County. More specific, I work at in a Primary Resource Room, more commonly known as Special Education. These are the students that spend most of their day in the regular classroom,. I either visit them in their room, or pull them out, for a specific length of time.
First thing after morning announcements (more on that later), I visit two separate students, and then pull a small group to my room. This first hour this year is writing. I’ve decided to encourage my students with their writing, by having my own journal as well. Some of the stories in my journal will end up on my blog as well. This should also help my resolution to post more.
This is my third entry. The two Broadway shows were the first two.

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Music at Work

Each school morning, before school starts, I setup speakers for the morning announcements. This is my third year doing morning duty. Why do I enjoy this task? Each Morning starts with a song or piece of music. Each teacher or staff has a choice of what music is played for their week of doing morning announcements. Morning announcements include The Pledge of Allegiance, 30 Seconds of Silence, Lunch Menu and any announcements.
Some will give me music to play, some will have a request, but most leave the choices up to me. I keep a portion of my digital music on an older iPhone, which I use mostly as an iPod. The reason I was chosen to do the setup for announcements is because of my collection of music. Although my collection is heavy with ‘80s, I have a wide range of albums and songs, including a lot of kid friendly songs. Sometimes after a concert or theatrical show, I will buy their music and add it to my collection.
I grew up enjoying all kinds of music. As a kid, I might listen to Top-40 during the day and fall asleep to the Big Bands. I enjoyed the movie “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, and had to go out and get the soundtrack on cassette. It wasn’t actually the soundtrack, but the Beatles Album of the same name. MTV was an influence, along with local channel 21 and Night Tracks, all who played music videos.
In the 90s, I attended a class at the community college called “History of Rock Music.” The class started with the origins of Rock, then into the early 50s, late 50s/early 60s, British Revolution, and then the 70s and 80s. This expanded my interest in music in general.
I also started attending live theater and collecting soundtracks. At this point, my music collection had grown to a large size, and being able to turn much of it into digital musc, made my collection more portable.
About two and a half years ago, the staff member who was doing the morning announcements/music was returning to the classroom to teach kindergarten, and could no longer do the music. He knew how mixed my music collection was, and recommended me to take over. Not only would I get to be outside each morning and could see the students, and keep up with daily announcements, I could play different themes each week. This would allow me to expose the students to a wide range of music. I do get the occasional break when someone does bring their own music, but I have heard comments that my music is often missed, and that I’m frequently complimented on my choices.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Slow Cook Friday: Chili

I was looking through recipes online and couldn't find just the right recipe, so I just mixed ideas together.

2# Stew Beef (Cheapest, and just needed to cut smaller)
Fresh Garlic
Medium Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
3 Jalapenos
1 large pepper (Anaheim I think)

2 Pints of tomatoes (home canned)
tomato paste
tomato sauce
2 cups red beans
1 can corn

Mix all together and put on low for 8 hours.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Le Reve

A few days before January 17th, my friend Jessica, who is a Costume Tech for the show Le Reve @ The Wynn, offered several of us free tickets to go see her show. Five of us, and a second ticket for my friend. With some coaxing, Jessica chose to join us. We decided to meet prior to the show at the mall across from the Wynn Hotel.
The restaurant was a semi formal, serving Italian Food. The servings were large, and well prepared. My friend Jean, who I have indirectly mentioned before joined us. The whole area was busy. We all wandered across the street and into the Wynn and towards the showroom. We arrived just as one of the shows had ended. We finally reached the theater and were directed to our seats, which were in the third row. From the stage.
Now in our seats, we were able to get a good look at the stage and the theater. The stage and the theater were completely in the round. The seating was separated into three sections. Between each section is access to the stage. The stage itself was a large round pool. Above the state was a beautiful colorful cloth. When the lights went out, the cloth was pulled up, exposing the dome shape above the stage.
The recorded message before the show said, no flash photography, video or texting was allowed. This meant you could still take pictures, but without using the flash. I didn't take any pictures till the final set because I was so cause up in the show. Not to give away too many spoilers. There is a round stage and an outer stage that could be brought up to the surface or lowered into the water. The choreographing and music were both great and the acrobatics were beyond words.
As a treat of our host, Jessica showed us her work area, so we were able to see the costume shop, which was busy cleaning and organizing the costumes from the show earlier that night. She talked about the Swarovski Crystals that were carefully glued on. Now we were able to see how they were put on, and how it looked on the costume.
Although the show is somewhat higher in costs than other shows, this is worth the ticket to see.


Update on Showstoppers.

I talked to Jessica. She said there were two songs that had been left out of the show I had seen. They were hoping to get them in the show, and bring the show up to the full 90 minutes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

GAL #30 of 35 and Left Turn

Here is the 30th square, called dragon.  The original looked very cartoony.  Another person wrote a chart for a more realistic dragon, that I though looked much better. 

Left turn has grown.  I'm in the middle of the 4th ball of scrap sock yarn.  Between my own knitting and a friend's scrap yarn, I have plenty before I looking into my stash.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Slow Cook Friday: Pork Tenderloin

This one started going around Facebook.  The post says to share on Facebook, so you can save the recipe.  I prefer to save to Evernote (My Note Keeper), so I have easy access to all my recipes on all my digital devices.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
2 pound Pork Tenderloin  (Couldn't find any under 3#)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS Yellow Mustard (I used a Spicy, Spicy Homemade Mustard, as it is all I had).

2-3 TBS maple syrup

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS Diced dried onions

1 1/2 TSP Garlic Salt or Powder

Mix ingredients above. Pour over Tenderloin in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. (I did 7)

Here is the picture from the recipe:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rock of Ages @ The Venetian

     Just after Christmas, I finally was got around to seeing the Las Vegas version of “Rock of Ages” at The Venetian.
     First, the backstory.  I saw the original version Off-Broadway in New York City in 2009.  It was showing in a multiplex with several different shows.  I had seen advertisements while in New York for the show and though it sounded fun, with its 80’s theme.  I purchased tickets Friday afternoon for that evening’s show.  I ended up in the back row of the balcony, in a 480 seat theater.  I laughed and sang through the whole show.  I was able to sing through the songs, because I knew all the sings.  Near the end of the show, there was one of the “lighter” songs.  A few of us grabbed our cell phones and shined them during the song.   (Afterwards, I got the Zippo App for my phone).
     I was so excited about the show, that when I returned to my hotel room, I looked up the show on my phone.  The show had started in California, and after a very successful runs, the show opened in the theater I had gone to.  The show I saw was closing that weekend.  Unlike shows that were closing and ending, they were closing and moving to a Broadway Theater.  I looked up while writing this, and saw the New York show would be closing completely this month, after running from 2009 to 2015, would become the 27th longest running show on Broadway.
     What gave this show a unique twist, since a big part of the play takes place in the “Bourbon”, drinks were not only served in the lobby, but “in” the theater as well. The show has had several traveling tours, including the U.S., Canada and UK
     In 2012, the story went through a rewrite, and was released to the big screen.  I did go see the movie just after it came out, and also bought the DVD.  The same year, the show moved into the Venetian in Las Vegas.  When both the Broadway Cast and Movie Soundtrack were released, I purchased them from iTunes, and they maintain in my collection.  If the Broadway Cast Soundtrack were an audio cassette, I would have had to replace it at least once.
     When entering the Rock of Ages Theater, after checking for tickets, you receive a small item that looks like a “Bic” Lighter.  A small LED replaces the flame.  The seats I had purchased were in the front row of the second section, behind the first section.  These were great seats to see the stage.  I could tell there had been editing since the show moved to Broadway, touring and then to Las Vegas.  There were also a few scenes that had been rearranged, but still kept the story line. 
      How did I feel this time?  I had memorized the show’s song versions, so I sang and laughed through the whole show.  It was still the great, loose story line I had enjoyed in New York.
     This was defiantly not a family show.  There is plenty of adult humor.  For those of us who grew up in the 80s, it brought back many memories.  Even if you have seen the movie version, if you enjoy the music of the 80s, then you should see this show.

Monday, January 12, 2015

MKAL and Knitting

Finally have toes.  Why is that good, because this is clue #1.  Because I purchased the kit early, I received clue #1 early.  Clue #2 isn't due till February 6th.  Now I can work on other projects.

The four circles are cabbage flowers, part of the mystery of the project.

Other Knitting:

Idea for a possible blanket.

Friday, January 9, 2015

ShowStoppers at the Wynn

Last night a friend was able to get free tickets to Steve Wynn’s “ShowStoppers” at The Wynn. The idea of the show is that Broadway style productions always have a big song that “stop” the show, (Really get the audience’s attention). The show lasted approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.
There were eighteen songs, from ten major Broadway Shows, including “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Cabaret”, “Damn Yankees” and “Chicago”. The live orchestra had a large platform so they could be moved to the front or back stage. There were also two multi-use moving half circle staircases that were used in several different songs. There was also very creative use of the curtains during the show as well.
The biggest strengths of the show were the performers and costuming. They put together a great cast of male and female singers and dancers that really emphasized the songs. The staging was simple, and some just used the main curtain, often pulling it up at different points to designate the performers. The staging for Cabaret and Chicago impressed me.
The only con to the show was the length of the show. Most Broadway/Theatre shows last an average of 90 to 120 minutes, plus intermission. Even many of the LV Strip shows go for 90 minutes. Overall I would say the show is worth seeing for fans of Broadway Music.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

MKAL, and What is that in the sky?

Each year I try to find at least one MKAL.  (Mystery Knit a Long).  Why Mystery? It is a mystery, because you do not know what the final pattern is.  I know it is a sock, but I do not have any other details.  I like the idea of getting clues and seeing the result, along with other knitters.
Here are my starting supplies for

Mystery Sock VII: Centerpiece


You never know what might be in the skies of Las Vegas, if you just look up.  Saw this around 8:50 this morning:

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is in town.


To the senseless deaths in France.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

GAL Blanket Update

A few people have asked how the blanket looks, and if I have connected any squares yet.  Yes, I have connected some of the columns. 
No, the 4th column has not been put together yet.  You can also see where the missing squares need to go.

I did have a few problems trying to take pictures.

GAL #29 of 35

Three things helped influence this square, other than the obvious reason.  "I want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution".  I listened the Audio version, and was very interested how it was going to fail, and how the focus was not on the VJs, but the music.  Next was a book by the actual VJs, "VJ, The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave".  These were a autobiography from the four of the first five, with a little of the fifth VJs (Video Disc Jockey).  Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn.  (J.J. Jackson, RIP).  The final is one of my favorite radio stations, 80's on 8, on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, hosted by the same four said VJs.

 Why the dates?  MTV started in 1981.  1986 was when the first changed with the VJs occurred, and people's contracts were not extended.  1991 was the last year there was the focus on music, with extra shows added in.  Reality shows started, which were more profitable. 

Why did I not reverse the logo on the back?  I always wondered if the original flag was mirrored as well.

Of course if you miss the old network, they are starting to bring some back on Vimeo.



Friday, January 2, 2015

Everything on the Facebook is real and truthful?

After seeing a friend's comment on a Facebook pages, reminds me that you need to be careful when you "like", comment or visit some pages. So the title of the group is a world wide recognized company, offering free stuff to X lucky people. So I went directly to the page. Over 11,000 likes. So how long has this page existed? December 27, 2014, which is less than a week. The page states that is the official Facebook page, with very fluffed up details. The same offer every day, with upping the offer on the most recent post.

What do I do when I see things like this? On Facebook, I report the pages. I do not like nor post on the page. There is a high possibility that these pages are created for the purposing of gathering information from users who like their page, their interests, friends and other details.

It does not cost anything to create these pages. Most pages can be created to represent almost anything, and post almost anything. So what do I do before "like" a page. Unless there is a reason I trust them, I go and visit the page. How long has it been in existence. Are they posting real contact details? Do they appear legitimate?

I often do the same with posts that report "Facts" about an issue that could be questionable. If a news organization posts about a missing person, I might repost, otherwise I go research if the story is true. These posts might have been true, but were resolved already or details have changed.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my blog reading friends.

I decided last night, that I needed to make a couple of NY Resolutions. One of this year's will be to write on my blog more often.

Feels warmer today, and not as windy. I wonder what percent of businesses actually closed today. I know a few smaller places closed, but I saw a lot of stores opened today. Joined some friends for knitting today. Lots of good food, and some of it even healthy.

My second resolution is my annual one, which is to learn at least one new fiber technique this year. I'm sure I will have that easily, as I want to learn more about Advanced Double Knitting techniques.

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