A Tribute to Stick Figure Guy

I would like to pay a special tribute at this time to a friend.  He is hero of sorts.  But the poor guy has one of the worst jobs in the world – he demonstrates all the horrendous things that could happen to the rest of us if we are not careful.  He is the universal Stick Figure Guy.  This guy is like a mix between Martin Short and Evel Knievel.  Many adventures, but they NEVER go well for him.

You might have seen him around.  He can be found around machinery, cleaning supplies, and just about anywhere where something can go wrong.

You might say he is always at the wrong place at the wrong time.  If something goes wrong, he’s there – in fact, he’s in it.  He’s the victim.  Always.

Let’s look at some examples:

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Somehow, Stick Figure Guy managed to… trip?  For some reason he had his arms behind his back as he went down, too.  I suppose the Continue reading

I Need a Writing/Critique Group!

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——–THANKS EVERYONE!!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!  We got a writing group together and we are now full.  But if you’d like, we can start some kind of system for helping other people group into writing groups.  Just let me know.  At any rate, I’m leaving the original article up anyway.———

talltab1 Hey, all you writers out there, I have a favor to ask!  I need to be in a writing/critique group, and I’m not sure where to start.  I would be happy to either join one that already exists or start a new one.

talltab1 I’m kind of out in the boonies of Sanpete, Utah, so I can’t meet in person very often.  Most correspondence would have to take place online.  I mainly write LDS nonfiction, so it would be good if it were an LDS group that can help me keep doctrine pure, but most of what I have so far is memoir type stuff anyway.
talltab1 I have done a tiny bit of fiction, but not much.
talltab1 Are you in a writing group that needs another writer?  Do you know other LDS writers that are looking for a critique group?  Please let me know!  Either comment or email me.  I know there are a lot of opportunities for writers living near the city, but it’s hard for me to get up to Salt Lake or Utah county, so your help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

– Chas

chashathaway@gmail.com

Come On Everyone! Simple, Easy to Win Giveaway!

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What Should I Call this Piece?

talltabOkay, you guys, time is running out, and this silly giveaway is still in force – for maybe a week or two.  Only a few people have tried, and even those few haven’t made more than a couple suggestions each!  You can suggest as many names as you want, so your chance of winning increases with each suggestion.  Fifty suggestions is just fine!  And you get free stuff if one of your suggestions is chosen!

Here’s the rules again:

Tab 2I wrote this piano piece for my second CD, which is coming out this summer, but I haven’t been able to come up with a name for it yet.

Tab 2I need your help! I need a good name for it.

Tab 2You can suggest as many names as you want, so any time you come up with one, simply write it in the comments.  Get family and friends to participate, because I want lots of names to choose from.  If it helps inspire any ideas, the CD itself is called The Ancestor, about roots or origins – something along those lines.  You certainly don’t have to base your title on that theme, because there are plenty of other pieces following that theme, but you can if you want to.

Tab 2So here’s how the giveaway will work. as soon as I see a name I really like, the contest will end, and I will announce the winner – so the more you participate, the better chance you have of winning.  The winner gets a choice of either a free copy of my Dayspring CD, or a free copy of the new CD (You can choose between CD or MP3s) once it’s ready (exact date unknown).  Plus I’ll email you a free copy of this MP3, so you can show off the awesome tune you named 😀

Tab 2The chosen name will be the permanent title for the piece.

Tab 2Thanks for your help, you guys!  You’re AWESOME!

I’m in a Contest! Help Me Win!

Hey everyone!  I could use your help!  I’m entering the Mormon Times Summer Showcase contest.  The contest goes on for a full month, and I’ve got pretty tough competition –  but I’m competing well for second or third.  You just need to sign up for an account, and you can vote every day of the month if you want!  Here’s a link to the page where you can hear my tune, “Homecoming” and vote.

http://music.mormontimes.com/contest.php?id=2818&nocache=1

If I get in the first four, I get to go on to semi-finals.  Thanks you guys!

This could really help me out!

Help Me Improve My Podcast AND Clean It Up!

Okay, so you’ve all probably seen this nice little poll on the side of my Podcast for the last few weeks.  I’m trying to clean it up, so I’m taking out the stuff that looks most cluttery – like the poll.  But I’d still like you to take it if you haven’t done it yet!  It would really help me out.  If you’re willing, you can even take the more detailed survey by clicking the link under the poll.  I love to hear your input, so help me clean up AND improve my site!

Thanks!



Also, if you haven’t noticed, I’m now on Twitter. I’m an official Twit now, so if any of you fellow twits out there would like to follow me, please do! Here’s a link, or Just click the follow button on the little twitter widget on the side of the blog. I’ll update you on new music I write, new blog entries from all three of my regular blogs/podcasts, as well as give you occasional meaningless useless bits of so-called information. Continue reading

Mama! Can I help you cook?!

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Lunch Bucket LOVES to help us cook.  Mostly she just climbs up on the chair and pretends to stir while eating whatever is in the mixing bowl.  She’ll also eat whatever is on the counter – especially if it’s powdery.  She’ll tank down on flour if we let her.

Tootles has no interest in helping.  He just wants to watch – which would be fine, if he didn’t INSIST on watching from above.  In other words, he has to be held in order to be happy while we’re cooking – preferably the one who is most busy at it.  He will take ocassional diversion however, if he can manage to get a drawer open.  Especially if there are knives, bags, or some other dangerous item inside.

I’ve tried stuffing the drawers with toys and stuffed animals, but he just pulls them out, plops them on the floor, and digs deeper until he can find a real treasure – such as the butcher knife.

The Forbidden Tritone…

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Tritone

Okay, I’m asking for your honest opinion here.  I’m working on my next CD, and one of the chunks of music I’m considering developing into a full piece is this one.  I’ve always liked playing around with crazy chord progressions, and for many years I have wanted to come up with something that defies all the laws of music theory and has a tritone chord progression.

The tritone is traditionally the worse, most dissonant interval (set of notes) of all.  Basically, if you play a C and then an F#, that’s a tritone.  I think music theory would scream at me for even attempting a piece that actually uses the tritone interval for a chord progression.  Maybe that’s why I was so determined to find a way – and this sample is filled with tritones.

Anyway…

I want to know your HONEST opinion.  Does it work?  Is it pushing things a little too far?

If you do like it, what kinds of emotions does it invoke?  If I do use it, it will need a name.  I never choose a name lightly.

The Incrediblenet

The Incrediblenet

Isn’t the Internet amazing? From genealogy to gardening, from movies to email – the Internet has so many resources that it has made a great impact on our day to day living. While we must make necessary precautions to avoid the evil influences that can be found on this almost unlimited source of information, the good influences are more prevalent than ever before.

At least once a month, I discover a new website that absolutely impresses me. I’m sure many of you have the same experience. So let’s share what we’re finding. What are some websites or Internet resources that have really impressed you that other readers may not yet know about?

Here are two of mine:

Pandora.com
I don’t think I’ll ever go back to ordinary radio, so long as sites like Pandora exist. Pandora is an online radio station where you create your own stations (as many different stations as you want) from your favorite songs or artists. Once you type in a band or song, it will create a station based on that style, and then find other bands of the same style. As it plays songs, you can thumb up or thumb down the song to tell Pandora if you like it or not.
No matter what kind of music you listen to, it’s there. I have an LDS station, a contemporary rock station, a Celtic station, a piano solo station, an African traditional station, a country station, a soundtrack station, an oldies station, a native American station, an a cappella station, and about half a dozen other stations. I have friends with hip-hop stations, goth stations, and oh, I almost forgot, I even created a funny station. It’s really amazing. I can listen to it all day.

http://pandora.com/

Podcasting
I’ve known about the idea of the podcast for over a year now, but only in the past few months have I discovered that podcasting is its own entire realm of social media. You can find a podcast on any subject, and thanks to feed readers (such as Google Reader – which is built into every Gmail account), you can have a collection of dozens, even hundreds of regularly updated podcasts on your favorite subjects.
So why is this such a cool thing? Consider that you are interested in pottery. A rather obscure interest in terms of the Internet, don’t you think? Well there are a number of pottery podcasts. If you have a computer in your home, you can listen to your favorite pottery podcasts and hear interviews with some of the worlds greatest potters while you are doing the dishes or exercising.
If you have any kind of Internet handheld device, you can listen to your favorite podcasts while you drive, walk, or work. I listen to podcasts often at my job, because I sit at a computer for the majority of the time. My Google reader is automatically collecting podcasts on dozens of topics that I have chosen, such as the music business, gardening, humor, fiction stories, genealogy, writing, news, photography, science, and as of today, dogs. That’s probably only half of the topics I do, and in each topic, I have numerous podcasts.
If you don’t know where to start, either Google search “podcast directories” or simply “pottery podcast” or whatever topic interests you. Google is pretty good at finding stuff like that. While your at it, start your own podcast. How? Google the words “how to make your own podcast.” It’s really easy.

So how about you? Any sites or Internet resources that have really impressed you?

Help me make this blogcast better!

I’ve just added a little poll to the right side of this blog.  I would LOVE to have your input to know what I can do to make this blog/podcast more enjoyable and interesting to my readers/listeners.  You don’t have to be logged in or anything (as far as I know).  Just select one of the choices and click vote.  It would really help me out.

Thanks for reading and listening!

– Chas