Thursday, February 22, 2018

CD Review: Thisbe Vos - "Sophistication"

For this months CD review, I decided to turn my attention to a newer jazz artist I discovered. Her CD is one of those I like to listen to at the end of the day, very relaxing and satisfying. Included within is a variety of great new songs, as well as some old favorites, redone in her own particular (classic jazz) style.

The first track on the CD is 'House of Make Believe', where Thisbe imagines her perfect man. "He's the warmest, kindest, sweetest man of all". Who hasn't tried to imagine their perfect mate? This fantastic song, will have you dreaming of yours.

'After You've Gone' is another great song written by Thisbe. As the title suggests, its about that forlorn feeling when someone you love has gone away and you hope they come back soon. Another great song to either contemplate or just listen and enjoy.

'Sophistication' is the title track and deservedly so. It's quite the snappy song, very enjoyable. As far as sophisticated, it's right up there with a wardrobe filled with perfectly fit suits and matching ties. Yes, I sort of borrowed that line from the song. "I hope you know what to do, 'cause I think I'm in love with you."

Another of my favorite songs written by Thisbe is 'I am all right'. A great song to remember if ever anyone tries to break your heart. Following the indomitable spirit of this song, you'll be able to tell that foolish person, "I am all right, I am okay, I'm just doing swell. So goodbye now and farewell."

A few of the other great songs written for this CD are 'Pordenone', a tribute to an Italian Village of the same name. 'When I Come To You', is a much slower song, but just as enjoyable as the rest of the outstanding music on this CD.

Outside of the original songs, I also love the tribute songs. 'Frim Fram Sauce' is a personal favorite of mine. Despite it sounding like a novelty song, it's been performed by many great artists, so Thisbe is in great company here.

When I first started getting into jazz, one of the first CD's I owned included the song 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'. So hearing it redone is a distinct pleasure of mine. Also any fan of Fred Astaire might recognize this from the 1937 film, "Shall We Dance".

Musical great Bessie Smith, has performed 'Baby Won't You Please Come Home', and Thisbe has followed in her footsteps remarkably well. Sure, some of the lyrics are slightly altered, but it's the same great song.

As the CD draws to a close, we are treated to 'Our Love Is Here To Stay'. Another great jazz song, performed by many of the best including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles and many, many more. Now add to the list, Thisbe Vos.

As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this classic sounding jazz CD. What a great addition to any music collection. The enchanting, soul stirring melodies found within are sure to improve and enhance any mood. Almost as magically as when a 'Foggy Day In London Town' can suddenly have the sun shining everywhere. And yes, that wonderful song is included as well.

CD Notes:
Credits: Thisbe Vos - Vocals, Gary Matsumoto - Piano, Henry Franklin - Upright Bass, Donald Dean - Drums, Nolan Shaheed - Trumpet, Larry Flahive - Piano, George Harper - Saxophone, Geoff Nudell - Clarinet
Recorded: No Sound Studio - Pasadena California

Thank to everyone involved
for all the wonderful music.

Thisbe graciously autographed my CD.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

...In Review

R.a.n.t. of week 02/18/18
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As some of you are aware (at least those who read my last rant), I'm in the process of uploading 30+ years of journal writing to one localized (private) place online. For the most part, the uploading part has reached its conclusion. Now comes the review process. Yes, I will now be reading each and every entry for the sole purpose of tagging. My next goal is to make sure each entry has at least one tag on it. So in a quick and easy stroke, I can find all entries where I talk about a certain subject. It's a slow process, but it's been kind of neat in a way as I have started the review process.

One thing of note. There is a chunk of time (mostly during my marriage) where I did no journal writing. As a sort of gap-filler, I have turned to my blog and have started to include blog posts. I've been blogging for about 10 years now, so there are move reviews in my future. Ironically, one of the features I attempted while blogging was reviews. At different points in my blogging life, I've attempted review articles. Topics such as weight loss products, photography, music and other miscellaneous things have taken centre stage. I've often wondered if I could go back to that. I think the only thing that has really held me back from that is wondering how qualified I actually am to judge things such as music and/or movies. Who would take me seriously? My photos reviews were mostly jokes. Are my jokes funny enough? Or just inane chatter? Would I, Could I, start a new review set of acticles? And what would I review? Not sure currently, I will have to 'review' my notes. Till then, I shall go back and review my past journal entries. At least that's something I should be an expert on. I did write them after all.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Journal Omnibus

R.a.n.t. of week 02/11/18
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So I've started a new project. Not sure if the correct word is ambitious, but it's interesting none-the-less. I have embarked on bringing all my journals and web entries to one place. You see, I've been journal writing since 1984. Can you believe that? The first eight or nine years, the entries were entirely hand written. A few years ago, I embarked on the task of writing these entries into the computer. A task I concluded, to some degree or another. I tried to keep all misspellings in-tact. Sort of a way to see how my writing has improved over the years (if at all).

Most recently, I've started entering all these previous journal entries to a private journal writing website. It's safe and secure, so I have been having fun entering them and reliving old times. Additionally, I've been groaning at some of the idiotic things I have written or done, and with the new site, adding tags to each entry. Now with just a click of the button, I can check how many entries I wrote about my old friend Patrick, my most recent friend Brandon, my sons Caleb and/or Tristan or even places I've been to such as London or the times I've mentioned Doctor Who. It's really kind of exciting to me.

While creating this Omnibus, I pondered including all of my writes. Certainly my rants are not exactly journal writing. Mostly because I share my rants with the world. But then I got to thinking, I should include my writes. Though I do more writing about people and things I've done in my journal writing, my rants express all things about me. Things I like and don't like. So I ultimately decided they were perfect for my omnibus. But how should I include them? Should I squeeze them in as journal fillers during the different journals of mine? Or make them a completely thing all-together. After much internal debate, I have come to conclusion they will be added to my journal omnibus as a separate thing entirely. Most likely though, I will include various other blog entries. Will the entire Omnibus be made public? Unlikely. However I will make any new r.a.n.t. articles available here. So, that's something.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Gaming A-Z

R.a.n.t. for month of April
I know it's been a while since I've posted. To be honest, I've been in kind of a funk.
I feel like my writing is not all that great, and I've not been very motivated to do much writing.
But I miss it, and I wanted to let everyone know I'm still around, just laying low for awhile.
It's possible I will be back. I also want to let everyone who stopped by my last post and left a comment, that I am sorry I never got back to you with a reply. I shall endeavour to get back to everyone, at least by stopping by their blog and saying hi.

What sucks the most for me now, I'm missing a feature I got involved in two years ago; the A-Z posting in April. So I have decided to do at least one post this month, and see where I go from here.

Enough blah, blah. Since I am missing the April A-Z which I love so much, I will include a fun (I hope) A-Z in this post. This is the proposed A-Z I was planning for this year. Perhaps, I will use this next year and expand on it, if indeed, I get back to writing. Once again, thanks for stopping by.


Jeffrey Scott's A-Z favourite games

A is for Angry Birds
Type: Computer
A fun game I love to play to kill time.

B is for Boss Monster
Type: Card Game
My son asked me to get this.
Essentially, you are the boss of a side scrolling video game (and yet it's a card game. Go figure).
Your goal is to make the hardest castle for the other players to battle. Can you make sure they die in your dungeon before you die trying to run theirs?

C is for Carcassonne
Type: Tile Game
The object is to lay down tiles to form the best kingdom possible. Included on each tile is either a city, a road and/or a field. Each tile interconnects with one another. Depending on how you lay down the tiles, you can score more points. Use your "meeple" to indicate which city, road or field is yours. At the end of the game, the person with the most points, wins the game.

D is for Dealers Choice
Type: Card/Board Game
You are the owner of a sketchy car lot. Your goal is to pawn off your crappy cars to potential buyers.
But beware, you may accidentally sell a classic car worth more than you realize. As the game progresses, you also have to shop around at the other car lots. Will you get a deal? Or will you, yourself, get stuck with a lemon?
This is a classic game from the 70's that was always a family favourite. I recently purchased it online to play once again.

E is for Expansions
Type: Various
Expansions is not a game in itself. An expansion is actually an add-on to a previously released game.
Generally for card games, it also can add on to existing board games.
As an example, one of my favourite games, Dominion, is a card game with a base set of cards. The goal is to score the most points by collecting cards with Victory points on them. But to help you acquire those, you can purchase additional money or action cards. Each card help in a unique way. With the expansion, you have a greater set of cards to select from.
Buying an expansion is a great way to enhance a game you love, but is not required to purchase if you are not fond of the game. The core game is playable by itself.

F is for Firefly the Game
Type: Board Game with Miniatures placed on a galactic map.
Based on the Cult Classic TV show. In Firefly, you are the captain of your of ship. There are different game winning goals, can you be the first person to complete the winning goal before other captains? Fly around the 'verse, hire crew, take on odd jobs, and win the game. But keep on your toes and don't let the Reavers capture you.

G is for Gammarauders
Type: Card Game / Board Game
You live in a time after a horrific atomic war. Large creatures have mutated. Fortunately, you have captured one of these creatures and you must battle other bioborg to gain control of the world. Cards included in the game, give your bioborg grafted weapons, which will help insure you can defeat the other mutated monsters. As an older game, this was one of the first games I ever found that broke out of the pure 'board' game format.

H is for Heroclix
Type: Miniature
Heroclix is a game with miniatures of your favourite super heroes. Each minature has a card that tells you how to use it. Each miniature is different, i.e. it has different super powers. Your goal is to fight a rival super hero team. Can your heroes/villains defeat your opponents heroes/villains?
Depending on the version you buy, you can be either DC or Marvel heroes. There are also Star Trek type ship battles available, and a few other interesting versions. This game relies heavily on expansions.

I is for Intellivision
Type: Video Game Console
Back in the time when not everyone owned a video game console, my family owned the Intellivision game console. This was awesome at the time. The graphics were far superior to that of the Atari 2600 and there were even a few games that could TALK!!! Can you believe that? I video game system where you could actually hear it talking to you? One of my favourite games was called 'Space Spartans'. It was like Star Wars. It was simply amazing. As you flew through space fighting wave after wave of tie-fighter type ships, the computer would let you know when your ship was damaged, which feature was damaged and how far repairs were progressing. This was no side-scrolling game. It was simply jaw-dropping. To this day, I would play it if I were to find it.

J is for Jenga
Type: Family Game
I think most people I know have actually played this game at one time or another. The goal is simple. Take a piece from the bottom of this wooden structure, and place it at the top of the structure without making the entire structure fall over. The person who makes the tower fall, loses the game.

K is for Kerplunk
Type: Family Game
This was another of my favourites growing up, though we never owned it. Probably a good reason for that. The game was a cylinder tube with sticks poking through the tube. On top of all the sticks, were a pile of marbles. Each player in turn would remove one of the sticks, releasing more and more of the marbles below. The person who released the most marbles lost the game. AS you can imagine, it could be a very loud game to play at times. Especially when you have five other siblings and a mother and father who simply wanted some quiet.

L is for Love Letter
Type: Gard Game
This is a real quick game. The goal is to end the game with the highest point value card. Each card allows you to do something different. Change cards with another player, discard your lowest point value card, play a card to make you immune from other attacks. The possibilities are endless. The game is fast paced and you can complete a game in under ten minutes. A great filler game to play during a family game night.

M is for Mad Magazine
Type: Board Game
This game is a spoof of Monopoly. As you might imagine, Mad Magazine is played in a ridiculous way. The object of this game is to be the first person to LOSE all your money. That's right. You don't want to win. The player who wins this game, actually loses and the player who loses, actually wins the game. Can you lose all your money before everyone else? Be careful, you might be on the verge of losing all your money, when you are suddenly forced to either exchange money or even change your seat (leaving your money) with another player. Cards and stunts you perform can also help you lose more money.

N is for No Man's Sky
Type: Video Game
This is a new game released last year. It's a space exploration game. The goal is to get to the centre of the universe and explore the galaxy. As a procedurally generated game, each planet you visit is slightly different. From planet to planet the flora and fauna you discover changes. Also, each planet has different minerals you can mine. As you continue to explore, you can enhance your starship, find a better starship and build a home base. It's a great time waster and is essentially a solo game with little to no interaction with other players.

O is for Once Upon a Time
Type: Story Telling / Card
This is a very unique game. The goal of the game is to tell a fairy tale, utilizing the cards you have drawn. Every player has a specific card telling them how the story should end. As you play the game, others can interrupt your story (with specific cards) which will allow them to continue the story in hopes of finishing the story the way they need to. Each player also have specific elements they need to add to the story before they can conclude it. One player may need to make sure a dragon is included in the story, another player may need to make sure a room full of gold is found somewhere in the story, or a wicked step-mother or... well, you get the point.

P is for Pizza Party
Type: Dice
Another quick game. The goal is to completely fill a pizza pie with all the required toppings. The first person to do so, wins. Each die depicts different toppings to put on your selected pizza. To match the toppings on your pizza, you must roll the die. When it matches what you are looking for, you place it on your pizza. Hurry, finish the pizza before your opponent does.

Q is for Qix
Type: Arcade Game
Back in the day, you went to an arcade to play video games. This, along with Tron, was one of my favourites. The object was to surround an energy beam in the centre of the screen. In order to do this, you simply drew lines to make boxes. When the box is filled, you score points. But if the energy beam catches you before you complete the box, you lose a life. Can you completely surround the energy in boxes, or will he catch you before you can finish?

R is for Risk
Type: Board Game
Would you like to play a game? How about world domination? This is quite a safe way to control the world. And no one has to die. At least not in real life. The goal is to place troops in different countries and use those troops to battle other countries. If you can are skilled enough, you can take over other countries without losing the countries you currently hold. If you can do that one simple thing, you will control the world. Of course, your competitors are trying to do the same thing. Who will control the world, will it be you?

S is for Star Trek CCG
Type: Card Game
This is another game that relied heavily on expansion card packs you purchase in the store. The object of the game was to fly around the universe, attempt missions on various planets and score mission points. The first to 100 points wins the game. This game was unique in that you could play with any number of different factions. You could play with any number of different factions: Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Borg, Ferengi, Bajoran, Cardassian and more. With different 'treaty' cards you could even play with two different factions. You start the game with one outpost and you 'report' ships and crew to that location. When you think you have a decent crew and a decent ship, you can explore the galaxy. Be careful though, different planets and missions require specific player types to complete. To complete, you might need one of many different skills, Computer Skill, Medical, Officer, Science, Security, Astrophysics and many, many more. Truly, the possibilities were endless.

T is for Trivial Pursuit
Type: Board / Trivia
How good are you at trivia? You'll find out in this game. A classic game with many different variations out now. I have a few variants including: Doctor Who, The 80's, Saturday Night Live and Star Wars. Are you as good at trivia as I am? Let's find out.

U is for Utopia
Type: Video Game
A video game that goes with the Intellivision system, this was one of my favourite games. Not only could you play with another person, you could play alone if you were bored, against the computer. Each player must build up their island to the most perfect utopia possible before time runs out. In peace mode, you each tend to your own countries and fear the awful weather patterns that transpire. Or if you want to be evil, you can create PT boats to destroy your opponents fishing boats and place rebels in their country.

V is for Vector TD
Type: Computer Game / Tower Defence
Just another version of a tower defence game. The goal is to set 'towers' which shoot at to eliminate 'creeps' that scroll across your computer board. There are various towers you can place and you can make each tower stronger.

W is for Water Works
Type: Card Game
A classic card game. One of my families favourites. In this game, you are a plumber (naming yourself Mario is optional) and must lay a set of pipes leading from the tap valve to the faucet. Your opponents will try to lay leaking pipes for you to fix. If they do so, you must repair the leak before you can proceed. Can you finish your set of pipes before everyone else?

X is for X-Wing
Type: Miniature
This is actually a game I do not have, but would love to get into it if I knew enough people that would like to play. This is also another game that relies on picking up expansion ships. As you may imagine, the goal of this game is to fly around the map destroying all the other players ships. Every possible ship you can think of can be acquired in this game (each sold separately, of course). This makes the game rather expansion to collect and play. Part of the reason I have not picked this up yet.

Y is for Yahtzee
Type: Dice Game
Yet another game I don't think I really need to explain. You don't really even need to purchase the game as long as you own five dice. The object is to get the best score. Playable with others or solo. You can purchase game sheets or you can find ones online or just simply scribble on your own scratch paper. A fun and easy game for yourself or with a small group of people.

Z is for  Zelda
Type: Video Game
Okay, so I'm cheating a little with this one. The official title is the Legend of Zelda. However, most people I know simply call it Zelda, or the Zelda series as there are many games in the Zelda series. Though most people think the lead character is named Zelda, in fact his name is Link. Your goal is to walk the land, collect various objects in your quest to complete the game. Each item helps assist you in completing the game and defeating the boss monsters, and then finally, Gannon. How long will it take you to complete the game?

Which games sounds the most interesting to you?
Do you own any of these games?
Do they sound fun?
Would you like to learn more?
Would this be a good A-Z list to expound on at another time?
Would you play / have you played any of these games?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bad News

I'm afraid I've got some bad news. I've been debating this for awhile and I've been trying to find some way around it. But for the time, I fear I need to go on another blog hiatus. No need to worry about me, I'm fine. There are just several things I need to attend to in the next few months. I'm not sure how long I'll be away, I hope not too long. Most likely, I will return in the next year. I absolutely love writing and blogging, so this decision has not been very easy for me. In truth, I'm completely gutted by it. The duties which I will be preoccupying my time with are of the highest importance to me at this time, and necessary. I hope you, my readers, my writing collogues and my internet friends will understand.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Hero; Ultra-Boy

R.a.n.t. for month of December 2016
As I was growing up, my favourite comic book was Legion of Super Heroes. One of the best heroes was names Ultra-Boy. He had many interesting powers: flight, speed, vision, invulnerability, strength. Kind of like Superman. But what set this character apart from Superman was his inability to use more than one power at a time. Superman was always boring to me because there wasn't much he couldn't do. Ultra-Boy on the other hand, had to be creative, especially if he needed to use two different powers. Imagine a super power juggling act. If he were to discover a bomb about to go off, he could deal with it in several ways. He could grab the bomb, fly off with it into the air, quickly switch to invulnerability as the bomb went off, then switch back to flying so he wouldn't fall back to Earth. Or he could simply pick the bomb up and throw it away with super strength into space.

But I don't have super powers. That's not the way I seem to be like Ultra-Boy lately. Lately, it seems I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. I have many interests, as regular readers are well aware. I'm a writer and photographer who also enjoys learning a second language, blogging and gaming. But I tend to do only one at a time. When I'm into my blogging, I rarely do much writing (yes the two are vastly different). My photography and language skills also tend to fall by the way-side. I don't mean, I try to do more than one thing at one time, I'm pretty much talking about within a set time frame. Let's say, weeks or months. Well, now I've got a new distraction. For the past few months, I've been trying to lose weight. Depression is something I battle with and many many times I turn to comfort food. I've been cutting out almost all forms of junk-food and walking a 5K two to three time a week. I'm proud to say I've been very successful so far. In the span of 5 weeks, I've lost 20 pounds. And yet, I have so much more to go.

So, to my readers I must say this. Please bear with me. I know at times I get behind in visiting my blogging buddies, and bad at commenting, but I'm working on one thing and finding it difficult to manage doing the other things I love. Don't worry, I'll get to it. Like my hero Ultra-Boy, I just need to learn to be more creative. I just need to learn to juggle better. Perhaps my blogging colleague, Arlee could give me a few pointers?


Some questions for discussion.
What super hero can you identify yourself as?
If you could pick one super power, what would it be?
Have you / Do you read comic books? If so, what is your favourite title(s)?
Have you ever felt too lazy to work on a favourite projects? How do you handle this?
Do you do 5k's or half or full marathons?


Please note:
My next Battle of the Bands will be December 15th


Did you know?
Jeffrey Scott has his own Facebook Page?
It's true! Follow the link below.
It's a great way to keep in touch apart from leaving comments here.

Help me reach 100 follows by the end of Winter.
Current count - 66
Jeffrey Scott Facebook Page

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Battle of the Bands Results - That's Entertainment

Usually, I hate when battles are clearly one sided. This battle was another one-sided battle. But for once, I don't mind. You are probably wondering why I don't mind so much. Well, I'll tell you. But first the results of the first round.
Morrissey came out fighting right away. It looked like he was going to run away with it at first, but in the end, the competitor received a vote.
Morrissey votes: Alex, FAE, Debbie & Shady
Michael Anthony Austin votes: Janet
Morrissey leads 4-1

So why is it I'm not that broken hearted about a landslide of a battle? Could it be my friends favourite artist won and I'm happy for her? Again, I'll answer that in a second, but first the second round results.
As expected, a complete run-away.
Morrissey votes: Mary, Crystal, Spacer Guy, Stephen & holli.
Morrissey leads 9-1

You didn't really expect me to reveal the answer to those above questions in this paragraph, did you? OF course not. Because to be honest, it's possible my friends favourite artist lost and I'm happy because, like last post, I'm being facetious and annoying. But am I really that crass?
Third round was more of a battle. Now that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it.
Morrissey votes: Chrys, Cathy & Robin
Michael Anthony Austin votes: G.B.Miller & Stephanie Faris
Morrissey leads 12-3

Yes, I know. I keep so many things secret. It must be infuriating for even you, the reader. So where was I? Oh yea, the final round and results. As you might have figured, this round was another victory for Morrissey. Which means, of course...
Morrissey votes: Michele, Birgit, Cherdo, mike & Kim
Michael Anthony Austin votes: Arlee


Winner's Circle
With a final score of 17-4
Congratulations to Morrissey

Were you able to guess which artist was my friends favourites? If you said it was Morrissey, you win an additional half point this round. See? I was being nice this time.
Now enjoy the winning song, hand selected by my friend Kimberly.


Top Comments

Shady Del Knight - I found Michael Anthony Austin's vocals irritating while those of Morrissey were easier on my ears. The Morrissey version was more melodic and I appreciated the echo FX and harmony.

Janet Miles - Count me in for Michael Anthony Austin, I felt it was more true to the original. The Morrissey one was going to put me to sleep.

diedre Knight - Yep, it's Morrissey for me! He managed to make the sounds (lyrics) of screaming sirens and screeching tires much less alarming.

Spacer Guy - I think Morrissey' has a chorus or something backing his vocals up which is why his musical flow sounds better than Austin.

holli - Morrissey - definitely Morrissey!!! I love him and always have. I love the 80's!!

G. B. Miller - I never got into Morrissey when I old enough to listen to his stuff to begin with (weird UK new wave/emo never appealed to me) and the other gentleman I've never heard of. Having said that, anyone who can turn a song into a very good acoustic version always gets the nod in my book, so by default, the gentleman opposing Morrissey the militant vegan gets my vote.

Stephanie Faris - I'm going to go with Michael Anthony Austin. His voice just draws you in and the song is more upbeat, even though I've never heard of him before. I always go with the more upbeat version of a song!

Kim Trucksess - Morrissey's version of most cover songs aren't as good as his original songs, so I was ready to be unbiased despite being a fan. But alas, I'm voting for the Moz. The other version by Michael Anthony Austin wasn't too bad, actually, because I didn't mind the high vocals. (Morrissey's vocals can be just as high and even include some yodeling on occasion...so that didn't bother me too much.


Please note: My next battle will held December 15th.
Once again, thanks to everyone who stopped by and placed a vote.
See you next battle.
Who will you vote for?
What song will I choose?
Which artists will battle it out?
Stay tuned.




Don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see who won their battles.
STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JANIE JUNEBUG RIGHTING AND EDITING
YOUR DAILY DOSE
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE


Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.