The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Available on CD BABY!

album cover
Yup. Angelica's Waltz is now available through CD Baby. Of course, we do a little better if you order it directly from us, but it's still cool. And, you can hear samples of all the songs on the CD Baby page. Just click the album cover to check it out. :-D

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm thankful for...

Faith... because it all starts here.

God's love, grace, mercy, etc. ... all of which I have experienced deeply over the last year.

Family... for keeping me sane through this last year.

Friends... see above.

Music... the language that allows me to express my joy, sorrow, praise, gratefulness, and a whole range of other emotions without having to find the words.

Being laid off... as Scott Krippayne says, "Remind me this is more than just a mountain - soon to be a story I can tell of Your faithfulness. I will not forget. Take me to the place."

The new CD... may it be as much of an encouragement to others as it has been to me while making it.

Making jewelry... not only something I can do to earn income, but something to express creativity.

The Word of God... even when our pastor uses it to kick my butt on a Sunday morning.

The 10 things that make life easier... see previous post for the list.

Looping pliers, step pliers, and flat nose pliers... if you work in wire, you understand. If not, trust me. These are VERY good things.

The Internet... even if Al Gore did invent it. Keeps me in touch, provides information and entertainment, and allows me to know the financial plight of people in Uganda. And why I should send them money right away. That stuff is all true, right?...

Our church... this is covered under family and friends, but let's put it right out there - we love our church family!

Folks in Retirement Communities... because they like music, they ask cool questions, and it makes me smile to watch them as I play for them.

CPAP... keeps a fella breathing all through the night. And not snoring, thus shaking Vicki out of bed and making Ezri come over and see what all that noise is about.

Babbling on a Blog... which would wrap up this list.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
and as Tiny Tim would say,
"God Bless Us, Every One!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Come and git it!!!

Our UPS guy was definitely wondering what was going on here when he dropped off the 14 boxes today. :-D Yes, the CD is done, and is here.

If you're at C-stone, or in the neighborhood, you can drop by Vicki's office - she has them there, and will be glad to pass them along to you.

1st Cov folks - just let us know if you'd like one or more, and we can place them in your mailboxes at church.

Not one of the above two? No sweat. Drop me a note at and we'll hook you up. You can send us a check, or we accept PayPal, and we can ship your order right out.

The cost: $15 for the first CD, and $10 for each one after in the same order. (Of course, if you ordered one, got it, liked it, and want to buy others, we'll probably extend that discount to you... if you're especially nice to Vicki. She's the boss, after all. :-D ) Shiping goes on top of that, if applicable. We'll let you know what the total is when you contact us.

We're working on where this is going to be distributed, so that's still in the future. It'll also be available to purchase via download - I'll post those details soon. But, of course, if you download it, you miss out on all the cute pictures and the commentary... OK, the latter isn't a big selling point. But the pictures ARE really cute!

(Macey, who is our "Angelica" and whose pretty face is all over this puppy asked her mom, "am I famous now?" Yes you are, kiddo - you surely are!)

Thanks for all 4.78 of you that read this - you've seen the "behind the scenes" of the CD. And, at last, what I've been thinking about over the last few years is now reality. To God be the glory - great things He has done!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Arrival - 2 days!!!

The shipment is on the way! In two days, the CDs will be here!!! Oh joy! Oh rapture! Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

The larger question is, will Cal sleep over the next two days? Only time (and some really good drugs) will tell. In the meantime, I'm trying to get rid of a cold, enjoying oatmeal made in the rice cooker, and making a bunch of jewelry for a small craft sale at church. :-D

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy........

Thursday, November 09, 2006


You heard me. Oatmeal.

For the last 10 months or so, this blog has been on a more serious note. Granted, the rather profound changes that have been happening to me would seem to warrant that. But, the dust is settling, the new path is getting a little more comfortable, and thinking about WCSG having sharathon next week is putting a smile on my face.

(you can figure out that last part. Suffice it to say I'll be thinking of all of my former co-workers, whilst in my slippers and robe, and be laughing... a little.)

So, I'm going to make an effort to lighten things up. And it all starts with oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal. Dreaded by some, loved by others. We would be the latter around das Olsonhaus... We've always loved oatmeal - no milk, maybe a bit of butter, and definitely a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your viewpoint) dollop (spoonful, shovelful, pass me the whole bucket, would ya?) of brown sugar.

Instant oatmeal? Well, it'll do in an absolute emergency. Quick cooking? No - if you're going to take that much time, you might as well take the time for the regular old stuff. The problem? Even the long cooking stuff can be done in 5 minutes, but you end up with oatmeal where the oats are a little too al dente for me. I like my oatmeal to be more mush and less chewy. You only get that either by soaking the oats, or cooking it a long time, watching it like a hawk lest you get something that resembles a tan block of cement in your pan with a golden black underbelly. A double boiler helps avoid that, but still a little too much time invested for this impatient man. You can also do it overnight in a crock pot, but that's a song for another day.

So, to this little scenario, we add one element that has brought joy, laughter, and morning-time yumminess to our home. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...
The humble rice cooker. (TA-DA!) Yes, the rice cooker. And I'm not talkin' one of those luxo-top-o'-the-line best rice short of a trip overseas thingies. We got ours for $20 at Costco. Cheap works. Really.

So, here's how it goes down. You make the oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Only you put everything in the rice cooker. Then hit start. And, 20 minutes later (or so, depending on your machine), you have oatmeal. Actually, we then leave it on the warm cycle for a while, just to make sure it's softened enough. We can make it when Vicki gets up, so she can have some, leave it on warm, and I'll have some when I get up. (yes - my wife rises earlier than I do. And, for the record, usually I'm up to see her off. But sometimes... not.)

The added benefit, besides being able to use this gadget for more than just rice? Ours allows you to preset it. We set it for however many hours we want to have oatmal ready in, go to bed, and the next morning, voy-lah, there it is. Grab a bowl, a spoon, and a case of brown sugar, and have at it.

And, best of all, the 9 pound box of Oatmeal is on sale until the 12th at Costco. We now have enough oatmeal to get us through most of the winter... maybe.

So, like oatmeal? Got a rice cooker? You got it made. YeeHaw.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

(alright, round boy... enough with the exclamations. Get on with it...)


We got the "final approval" disc today - how the disc will sound, now that it's all mastered and tweaked and whatever else they do in that process. I was instructed to listen to the entire disc, without interruption, to evaluate it. This is my last chance for input, so it's kind of the point of no return.

And we were a little nervous. It's a few hundred dollars to have the entire mastering process done, and we were trying to do what would make the CD the best it could be, without wasting money. So we debated a long time about spending the extra to have it mastered.

The result? Worth every penny. No question. :-D The detail of the sound is so clean - everything in its correct "sonic space," so you can hear the layers of sound in the songs. You can pick out the textures of the different instruments, and it all sparkles like a polished diamond. It sounds amazing - and for me to be saying that about my own music is something indeed. :-D

And, when we play it on our DVD system in the living room, the titles of the songs show up on the TV. It's a geek thing, but it's REALLY cool. :-D

Having heard the final result, I am very proud of it. It's been a long trip to get here, but we're almost done. Tentative ship date for the CD is November 14th, and when it finally gets in our hands, you'll be able to hear the shouting all over Grand Rapids.