Sunday, August 31, 2008

Companion Inventory

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brent Hope = Mr. Downtown

OK...It's true. I have an imagination and I go there frequently. But C'mon, who hasn't wanted to be, "Mr. Downtown?"
Darkness falls and the night's begun
the river of light burns as bright as the sun
under the waning moon is danger to be found
for the man with the badge in the night
the man with the badge in the night (what's his name?)
mr. downtown mr. downtown
Oh, you can't run away
when you can't run away
when you're walking a lonely beat
but there's love to be found
yes there's love to be found
on the shadowy side of the street

morning comes and you toss and turn
the night's now a memory ceasing to burn
up from the streets below
a haunting daunting sound
for the man with the badge in the night
for the man with the badge in the fight
for the man with the badge in the night
the man with the badge in the night (What's his name?)
mr. downtown
mr. downtown
mr. downtown
mr. downtown

Monday, August 25, 2008

Youth Cultural Celebration in Twin Falls

Yesterday the newly finished Twin Falls Temple was dedicated by our Prophet Thomas S. Monson. It is the fourth Temple to be built in Idaho. This particular Temple will serve the members of 14 stakes in and around the Magic Valley.

Young Men and Women from all of the different stakes participated in a Youth Cultural Celebration the night before the dedication. These stakes prepared for 4 months training the young people to sing and dance. My own children: Brent, Sarah and Jacob participated as dancers!

Dancers from Sun Valley, Hailey 1st and Hailey 2nd Ward

Taking a break between dress rehearsals.

Ian McKenzie and Coby Yates with Brent Hope
Ben Gappmayer practices his dance moves on Brother Hope

President Thomas S. Monson addresses the 3200 young people from 14 stakes.

Opening Scene - "Living Water"

Ballet Dancers!

Jacob Hope and Fisher Lewis leading the group in a rousing spoons routine!

Look at those pretty dresses twirl!

Big Finale!!

This event was so spectacular! It has been a wonderful journey planning, training and preparing these great kids for this event. Obviously the whole event brought tears to my eyes. This is the best event I've ever been to!

Mommy's Little Helper!

Ruth got me a bottle of this the other day. Actually two, I use them up fast.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beautiful Pianist

Back in 2006 I stopped into Jessica and Travis's house in Shelley Idaho. I was treated to a nice recital of piano music by my favorite pianist. This video was taken with the artist's permission but I'm not sure if I have permission to post it to the whole world. I'll apologize later.

Let's give a big Daily Item round of applause to today's featured guest: Jessica Hatch! Playing Robin Speilburg's "Spootrat."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dancing Queen: Best Song Ever?

I'm sure many of you are looking at the Daily Item today with a very quizzical look. Nothing in my prior posts has ever indicated that I liked the Sweedish group Abba. Perhaps it was there if you looked hard enough. I don't know.

Anyway...I post a picture of this group with guitar chords to what could arguably be Abba's best song. I would like to point out a couple aspects of why this song, "Dancing Queen" was such a commercial success back in the day and why it is still a somewhat fresh song today.

  1. Chords Structure. This song has a couple of "hooks." Hooks are those unique things about a song that cause you to stop and listen. "Hooks" resonate deeply with a persons being. This song has 2 chord change "hooks." The first one for me is right after the first line when the chord changes from a C Sharp to an F Sharp minor seventh. That's the first "hook." You barely have time to recover from that hook when another one follows it immediately. The following line changes from a B seventh - E Flat to a D. oooooooo! Let me say that again...oooooooo! That is musical euphoria my friends. If that chord change doesn't bring goose bumps over your entire body then you are broken. Other famous songs have been written with similar chords structure like Layla (Acoustic version) by Eric Clapton and More Than A Feeling by Boston.
  2. Vocal harmony. Great scott! These ladies can pound at a harmony. Truly gifted singers, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskoq were the heart and soul of this group and singers like no others. Very similar to Cass Elliot with the Mama's and Papa's. The only difference here being that Abba had two great singers!
  3. Lastly, the outfits. I'm not saying that if you wear these outfits you'll be famous, great singers (look at the Brady Bunch) but hey, this group had it going on with the hip look of the late 70's. The guys had that Disco Stud look and the girls were very pretty.

So as a gift to you from "The Daily Item" I present Abba!


Watch and listen here:

Abba - Dancing Queen

intro: A D/A A D/A A D/A A(maj9) E/G# D/F# A/E

verse 1:

E C#
You can dance, you can jive
F#m7 B7/Eb
having the time of your life.
D Bm7
Oh, see that girl, watch that scene,
A D/A A(maj9) D/A D/A A(maj9) D/A D/A
Diggin' the dancing queen.

Friday night and the lights are low.
A F#m7
Looking out for a place to go.
E Esus4
Where they play the right music
E Esus4
Getting in the swing.
E F#m E F#m
You've come to look for a king.

Anybody could be that guy.
A F#m7
Night is young and the music's high.
E Esus4
With a bit of rock music
E Esus4
Everything is fine,
E F#m E F#m
You're in the mood for a dance.
Bm7 E
And when you get the chance...


You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.
A D Amaj9 A
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tam - bourine.
E/G# D/F# A
Oh yeah.
E C#7
You can dance, you can jive
F#m7 B7/Eb
having the time of your life.
D Bm7
Oh, see that girl, watch that scene,
A D/A A(maj9) D/A A(maj9) D/A D/A A(maj9) D/A D/A
Diggin' the dancing queen.

Verse 2:

You're a tease, you turn 'em on.
A F#m7
Leave 'em burning and then you're gone
E Esus4 E Esus4
Looking out for another, Anyone will do,
E F#m E F#m
You're in the mood for a dance.
Bm7 E
And when you get the chance

chorus + repeat of last two chords

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something Fishy

I spent a good part of my youth growing up around the Snake River in eastern Idaho. It was a great place to grow up if you like fishing and swimming. My friend Matt and I fished and fished and fished the Snake River and it's tributaries. Listed below are some of my favorite fish to catch.

There are many species of Trout all over Eastern Idaho. My local favorite was the Cutthroat, followed by the German Brown.

Small Mouth Bass are all very plentiful in the Snake River on the west side of the state near Boise. They are very fun to catch.

Walleye are an excellent fighting fish. They are extremely aggressive and posses nasty teeth that you have to look out for.
I've never caught this type of fish before. I did have a dream about a school of them once after drinking a bunch of NyQuil. Not cool.
Ah, the Pokey fish. I've never caught this one either. But, do you ever feel this way? Sometimes I do (see the post on magnesium citrate).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The End Of The World As We Know It

When I was in my late teens I fancied myself hip to the human scene. I pretty much had a bead on everything; or so I thought. As I got older and my perspectives changed, things that I thought were absolute were in fact... not.
I have this list in my mind of things that I am sure of. Slowly through life's experiences those "sure things" have been replaced with the "clearer view" or the "Uh-Oh" moment as I like to call them and perspectives change. When I have these "Uh-oh" moments I usually call the person that I had disagreed with and let them know that my perspective has changed. Then I tell them why it has changed and then... I would also apologize. I have done this a lot! More often than not these calls have been to my biological parents and to my sweet stepmother Maralyn. I know for a fact that Maralyn loves it when I call with my new found changed perspective. She graciously accepts my apologies and laughs a very sweet laugh. (Thanks for understanding Mom!)

This week I've had a few "Uh-oh" moments.

They were not good.

The things I've realized this week have left me sitting on the side of the bed with my head in my hands, elbows on knees, eyes staring at my shoelaces. Sighing deeply.

Here's the deal:

When I was in my early 20's - late teens, I could tell if someone was 50 years old. It was easy peezy lemon squeezy. If I was watching Mr. Rogers, I'd think to myself, "That guy is 50." If I was watching Gilligan's Island I would say, "The Skipper looks like he is 50." Aunt Bee looked 50. Mr. Burns looks 50. Others, looked 50, etc.

No big deal on my youthful perspective. So what....these people look like they are 50.

This week I was at at the church when the Stake President's wife says to me,
"You should know who Donald is he's about your age."
"How old is that?" I asked. (bad idea)
"Oh he's at least 50." She said.
I almost blacked out. Seriously. Knees went limp. A little stumble. Almost went down. Feet began to sweat. I collected myself trying very hard to not look completely annihilated.
Once breathing was restored to normal and I could speak clearly, I excused myself.


This morning I was at the convenience store. My co-worker was talking to the manager of the joint. I don't even know what he was talking to her about. All I know is the manager breaks away, looks at me and says,
"Well, you've got to be the same age as me!"
I looked at her blankly. I was afraid to ask her. But before I could stop myself I blurted sheepishly, "oh, yeah, how old are you?" (mistake and I knew it)
"50" She said.
A rush of blood hit my head so hard that all I could see was bright-blinding light. I could hear nothing but a high ringing in my ears. This seemed to go on for an eternity. Slowly I came out of it and wondered how long I had been in this stupor.

Everyone was looking at me.

The store was quiet.

"Ah-ha!" I thought bitterly.

I looked around at my co-worker. He just grabbed my sleeve and and said quietly, "let's go."


Monday, August 18, 2008

Music Quiz # 38 (Spot the Two Imposters)

My musical taste differs significantly to that of my friends. I have been ridiculed and misunderstood many times for the music I listen to. The truth is I'm a sucker for vocal harmonies and tight instrumentals. For the most part any tight harmony will turn my head and raise my eyebrows; but I'm not a pure lover of every musical genre that has harmony. For instance, if I hear the country song "achy breaky heart" ever again, I'll collapse and die. I HATE THAT SONG.

I digress...

I love harmony but can't sing it. Occasionally I'll play my acoustic guitar and sing kind of a broken lead and Ruth or one of my daughters will provide the harmony. To me this is heavenly. Almost every time this happens though I have to stop and "simma down" before I can resume playing because it is so beautiful to me.

Below, for your pleasure I've listed many of my favorite albums/CD's from over the years with a slight commentary for each. I've listed 2 albums which represent imposter's to my collection. These are albums that I absolutely do not like or care for. Can you find them? Do you know my taste in music?

If aliens land from another planet and they ask me to play for them the best music the earth has to offer, I play them a little tune by Paul, John, George and Ringo called, "I Feel Fine." I'm certain that after the aliens hear this song they will bring no harm to us.
I'm not a big fan of calling people, "Mama Anything." So while the name of this band has always rubbed me slightly wrong I will say that you will be hard pressed to find harmony better than this anywhere, anytime.
Pure Genius!!
Who doesn't melt when they hear "Christmas Time is Here" by the Peanuts Gang?

Holy Cow...when Zamfir plays "Donna Sommers: On the Radio" I get out all my empty coke bottles and try to emulate.

Big Soundtrack album from the Beatles first movie. "If I Fell," the Lennon/McCartney tight harmony ballad never gets old!

Did they use their own instruments? Maybe but probably not. However when I first heard "Take the Last Train to Clarksville" in 3rd grade I was electrified!! Still fresh today!

Nilsson's theme album from 1971 was made into a made for TV movie. Beautiful collection of "one-off" songs. Superb!

Glen, Glen, Glen. This one time "Beach Boy" is pitch perfect and a master guitar player. Just recently he released his first album in 15 years. At the age of 72!!! That's Coker's age!!

Best live album and DVD ever made!

When the Polka Padre (John Cocktoasten) gets going he is a one-two-three "magical euphoria!"

Rolling Stone Magazine says that this is the number 1 album of all time.

Anyone ever heard the song, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant?" Fantastic.

I include this album of Barry Manilow in 8-Track form because this is what I had back in the day. There is always a song that has to be cut in half that exists on 8-tracks. That song on this 8-Track was "Rain." You'd be listening to this nice song called "Rain" and then halfway through the song it would fade to silence...that silence was followed by a beep and a clunk...the LED would change from 1 to 2 and the music would continue where it left off. Nasty.

Sweeping epic scores are what this composer would write. Very distinctive, his songs are good on a rainy day.

Who hasn't marvelled at the song, "A Boy Named Sue?" or "Folsom Prison Blues" Very basic in his approach this guy is awesome.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Top 10 Lunchboxes of All-Time

As a young man in 1st through 6th grade I had the opportunity to see a lot of lunchboxes. I always thought they were so cool. My mom stopped buying them for me when I kept dropping the thermoses and breaking the core (remember they were made of fine glass?). So I was "brown bag guy." That didn't keep me from admiring all of the different lunchboxes though.

Listed below are ten of my favorite lunchboxes from that period.

1. I so loved (and still do) Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang.

2. Superman is my favorite now. But back in the day, Batman was everything! BTW, what was Robin good for? He had no super powers. He was a total "yes" man to the Batman. Pretty good brown noser if you ask me. That must have infuriated the other super heroes that wanted to work with Batman. I'm sure there were rumors.

3. What could be more manly than adoring a British kid with a golden flute named Freddy. I'm not sure why this resonated with me but it did. ( still does).

4. Superman is the best!

5. Nothing can compare to Warner Bros cartoons.

6. What could be more exhilarating than watching a stumpy red-headed bass player and some dude with long feathered back hair singing, "Heyyyyyyyyy, I think I love youuuuuuu."

7. Some people were Addams Family some people were Munsters. I was a Munster.

8. Really, who could harmonize better than the Osmond Brothers? I was a closet Osmond lover. At home I had "16 Magazine" and "Tigerbeat" and I'd read about the Osmonds, The Partridge Family and others but at school I'd admit that to know one. Kind of like Barry Manilow now. Ooops.

9. Saturday mornings had the best cartoons. Sunday mornings had the one-off shows like Rocky and Bullwinkle, HR Puffenstuf, Davey and Goliath and Gumby. I like all of them. The Rocky and Bullwinkle show was such a variety with, Fractured Fairytales, Peabody and Sherman and Dudley Do-Right. I'm entertained by it today.

10. I learned all of my letters and numbers from this show. I also learned to say "Agua", "Hola" and "El Guapo esta aqui" from this show. Very entertaining!