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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Damnation! CSTS Reminder and I am totally Smitten with....

"Damnation"is one of my favored pseudo expletives.

I am applying it here in relation to the"Big Damn Heroes" of Firefly/Serenity and my recent addiction to "The Piano Guys"music.

CSTS = "Can't Stop the Serenity" Event by the Arizona Browncoats Group
I posted a blog about the Phoenix and Tucson "Can't Stop the Serenity" event a couple of months ago. The time is nigh for the Tucson event (Phoenix had theirs earlier this week).
This coming weekend, 6 PM at the Fox Theater downtown Tucson.
It'll be quite the Shindig. Come along if you've a mind to.  

"The Piano Guys" = music that is taking over my "Top 25 Most Played" list on my iTouch. 
 I posted a blog with 3 links to spiffy videos/music from "The Piano Guys" about 10 days ago.

One of the tracks on their album (#3 specifically) has become a Happy-chair-dance addiction for me. Ok, I tap my feet and dance a bit to this no matter where I am (and I don't dance).
It Works for me. Makes me smile, cry (generally happy tears), tap feet/fingers, chair-dance, miss folks that have passed on....it certainly catches me emotionally.
Per iTunes, I've listened to this 108 times in the last 12 days. (Yeah, what iTunes doesn't know is that most of those plays happened in the last 3 days...and then there's all the times I've listened to the video on YouTube).

There's a few songs that affect me that way. I should track them down to inflict them upon the blog. It would be very interesting to see if that music affect others that way too. Let me know what you think!

Anyway, this is "The Piano Guys" cover of "Without You".
I've heard the original by David Guetta/Usher a few times and it is quite nice. But it's not this combination of piano, cello, vocals, percussion, and .... - yeah, I'll stop typing.    Go listen.
Pick up the album if you've a mind to. ;-)
Note - as confessed my blog post of t'other week, I'm still pretty smitten with "The Cello Song", but it hasn't crested the "25 Most Played" list. Yet.

Have a lovely week.
(Yep, I'm still listening to "Without You" and my right foot is a-tapp'n.)
(Pssst - you can also become a Founder's Club Member for "The Piano Guys".)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Best $4.00 Cat Toy Ever (well, what's left of it...)

A few years ago, I was at Wally-world picking up kitty litter, and I also picked up an inexpensive kitty toy.

A pop-up play cube. Purple.
Made of that paper-plastic fabric.
For 4 bucks.
I bought it and brought it home for the fur-balls to inspect.

They loved it.

  • The purple cube has often been used as the starting point for the evening "Happy Feet" cat dash around the house. 
  • And as the "I'm invisible" place. 
  • The purple cube mysteriously travels from the dining room to be found parked the kitchen or partway down the hallway (a near-heart-stopping surprise for me when I'm crossing the house in the middle of the night). 
  • It is not bad for storing kitty-toys, but the toys do tend to escape from the multiple cube entrances. 
  • It's not great in the traditional "King of the Hill" skirmish but the intention and victory is unmistakable.
  • The Pilobolus-esque kitty toy can be clawed to wrap around the feline hiding inside to create something resembling modern art. 
  • Best of all, it is an excellent place from which to launch a variety of paw-reaching ambushes on passing fur-brothers or Mom's bare toes.
  • The ultimate ambush involves the passer-by being literally attacked by the flying, cat-infested cube.
However, in the past few months, the cube began to show some wear and tear. 


In the last year, CooPurr had especially adopted it as his favorite play-toy and loitering spot. 

His tail doesn't usually make it inside the cube.
"I see you, Mom".
Can you see his eyes? {grin}
 Sometimes Gryphon or Mikale would take a turn...although rarely Nikoli. Hmm.

It had been played with, sat in and upon, dashed into/out of, worn during the dash, clawed, (cleaned a few times), punctured, and shed upon and it was looking a bit, uh, ventilated. 

So the other week, we visited Wally-world and found...they still carried the pop-up cubes. 

We picked out another purple one, brought it home, popped it up, and watched. 
Yep, CooPurr was first in. 
We put the old and the new side by side.
CooPurr checked out the feel of the new cube...

Hmmmm...but the old haunt looks pretty cozy...

Yep, he crossed back into the old cube. 

And Mikale hopped into the new cube. 
 The next morning, they revisited their evening cube-positions.

The old cube stayed a few more weeks.
It continued to be a favorite play toy...until it was so "well-loved" that it had to be permanently retired.

I think this wins, paws down, as the best $4.00 Cat Toy Ever. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Shared Video Joy and Giggles

Just a quick post to share out fun stuff I've lately tripped over on the Internet.

I noted a previous admiration for Matt Harding of "Where the Hell is Matt" fame in an earlier "Shared Video Joy" blog post
I smile and cry and giggle over his videos, which I think demonstrates "Shared Joy" at it's best. 
Yep, he has another video out - you can view the 2012 Where the Hell is Matt shared dance joy on his website (along with the previous year's videos) or on the teeny version in this post (thank you YouTube and Blogger): 

I've also recently become smitten with The Piano Guys
Someone had "pinned" one of their videos on Pinterest and I was charmed and tracked the video back to The Piano Guys YouTube site. I found I was already  familiar with one of the members. I had some Jon Schmidt music, having been introduced via a favored podcast (apologies, I can't remember if it was "Sticks and String" or "Cast On"). 
These 5 gents are "The Piano Guys": Jon Schmidt, Steven Nelson, Paul Anderson, Tel Stewart, and Al Van Der Beek. (All visible and displaying their talents in the 2nd video I embedded below.)
Clever, funny, extremely talented, and with some terrific arrangements, I watched all the videos I could find and happily bought the music.

This one is probably my favorite. I've listened to it dozens of times, shared out the videos via Pinterest, Twitter, and now here on my blog: "The Cello Song".

This one cleverly shows how a piano is a percussion instrument beyond the expected keyboard use but they also use it as a string instrument: "What Makes You Beautiful".

Love the sense of Humor AND the music: "Me and My Cello - Happy Together".

I'll stop now, but I suggest you go explore their music and videos. More smiles, heart, and musical charm can be found in "Paradise (Peponi) African Style", "The Charlie Brown Medley", "Cello Wars" and "Bourne Vivaldi". 
Ok, ok, I'm stopping with the Piano Guys linking. Can't help it - soooo much good music!

Two more links: 
Trekkies - go have a gander at "Star Trek Continues" and at who is doing the continue-ing.
And lastly, More Simon's Cat videos are up. 

I'm gonna go knit/walk on the treadmill for bit whilst you explore YouTube -n-such. 
Have a good evening.