May 28, 2007

This time of year is so crazy.

Last Saturday was the K and M Birthday Bash which was a huge success.

Friday was Sebastian's last PLP meeting at school. He fell behind at the end and will be spending this last week of school trying his best to get caught up. He will have to continue focusing on Math throughout his summer break, Kelley School really did allow him to fall too far behind so we will need to spend all summer getting back on track. We've already selected his curriculum for next year and we have decided to add more traditional textbook based materials to his current online course load. We will be watching to see which method seem to be the best for him. One of the issues we faced starting this program so far into his school year is that we never got adequately prepared for him to work from home. We spent these last 3 months just trying to stay afloat. Next year we will be much more prepared. That preparation includes our recent purchase for a Dell E1705 Laptop so that he can work downstairs at the kitchen table undisturbed and not cramped by my small office area. We fully loaded up the computer with the 120GB HD and Nvidia 256Mb 7900 ToGo graphics card. It will be my Laptop when he is not doing his school work so I wanted to make sure it could do all the things I will want from it.

Saturday we spent out at my Dad's. All the fruit trees are starting to come in season and the first up was Cherries. We must have brought home about 6 lbs of cherries. We've already made Cherry Cobbler and Cherry Pancakes with them. I also baked my first Banana Bread from scratch on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, we were invited to a classmate of Madeline's birthday party. The family lives in Redbridge which is one of the premiere neighborhoods in Tracy. It's a gorgeous area with houses built in Traditional, Meditteranean, Colonial, and Bungalow styles. I think what I like most is that all the garages and driveways face towards alleys so from the main streets the neighborhood looks so immaculate and well-groomed. They also planted a lot of old growth trees so there is vast amounts of shade.

With such a busy weekend today, Memorial Day, was about nothing more than sitting around the house. Throughout this week I have school plays, end-of-year Picnics, and to get the house ready for Larry and Kathe (Papa and Nonie) to visit Fri-Sun. The Saturday after that is the Walk for Autism and then the following day I think we need to head to Fresno for a visit with Brie's family there and we are picking up a bedroom set for Madeline while we are there so we will have to rent a trailer from U-haul again.

Add to that Brie and I have set-up Friday night potlucks with several families from Maddy's school. So far we have 5 couples involved. Our first potluck was suppose to be June 1st, but with Larry and Kathe coming we had to push that back. It will be so nice to get together with other families. I especially like that the kids are involved. If I am going to do something without the kids then it is typically going to involve Brie and I being alone. If Brie and I aren't going to be able to be alone then I like to have the whole family involved.

June 5th is Brie's birthday. With everything we have scheduled I am afraid we won't be able to do much for her birthday. But she will get choose the meal of her choice, either to be prepared by me or be taken out.

Posted by John at 07:26 PM
May 22, 2007
this week in iPod

pressing Shuffle now...

I Can't Decide by Scissor Sisters from Ta-Dah - I love this song, it's Ragtime influenced and all about having a fight with someone and not being sure whether or not you should kill them. I really like Ta-Dah, it is much more consistent than their debut album and the arrangements and melodies are much more confident.

Locomotion by OMD from Junk Culture - the other big single from Junk Culture (the first being "Tesla Girls" which I discussed in a previous post) Junk Culture was OMD's first attempt at being more accessible. Their early work was definetly that of an "Art Band" with pop instincts. Junk Cutlture serves as the bridge to Crush their first album that contained pretty straight forward love songs like "So In Love". Steel drum samples and a slightly rushed rhythm give the song a feeling of, well, locomotion and it's great fun.

Night and Day by Esquivel from Cabaret Mana - Esquivel was a brilliant arranger and producer. His pioneering use of stereo is even more astonishing that typically the tracks were recorded live in one take. It wasn't uncommon that musicians would have to quietly move from one microphone to another during recording to get the stereo sound Esquivel wanted. Most people would identify his music with the "Bachelor Pad" music of the 50's, but he was rooted in Latin Music which gives it a bit more depth than some of the similar music of the time.

Buried In the Sand by Duran Duran from Medazzaland - What do you do when the person who founded one of the most successful bands of all times with you suddenly leaves? If you are Nick Rhodes you pen the lyrics to "Buried In the Sand" Medazzaland is one of Duran Duran's best albums but it lacks any great singles. Instead it is a cohesive collection of songs about desperation and bitterness. John Taylor left when the album was almost completed and the band was forced to deal with the consequences. The two strongest examples are "Buried In the Sand" and "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Communication by The Power Station from The Power Station - Sadly the first thing that comes to mind when I hear this song is the fact that 3 of the 5 people responsible for this song are dead. At the height of Duran Duran's success Andy Taylor and John Taylor were so dissapointed with how Seven and the Ragged Tiger turned out that they decided to try to record an album closer to the "Sex Pistols meets Chic" concept that Duran Duran was built on. Along the way they hooked up with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson then asked Bernard Edwards to produce (Bernard and Tony were members of Chic). The results are an album that really doesn't sound like anything else from that era. It's big sounding yet filled with funk guitar and bass, Robert Palmer had a distinct soul voice. This is once of the stronger tracks on the album, but it's not the perfection that their cover of T-rex's "Bang A Gong (Get It On) is.

Taking Islands In Africa by Japan from Gentlemen Take Polaroids - Japan is an acquired taste. Not everyone can appreciate David Sylvian's voice or the bands use of Eastern influences and themes. David once said that the problem with Japan was that there was no "emotional core" in the music and based on the lyrical content it would seem that he had no real desire to put himself out there and instead explored politics and relationships from a distance. Still, the other factor is that whether or not the artist puts any of themsleves in the songs, the audience will. This is one of the songs that I identify with. For me it's about yearning to go home to your family after being gone.

Pump It Up by Elvis Costello from Girls Girls Girls - For the longest time I didn't understand the music press's love for Elvis Costello, as a singer he is horrible and I have a hard time getting past that. But as I learned more about songwriting I grew to appreciate his lyric writing ability. This is one song though that I have loved since the first time I heard it. It is so energetic, I once heard him say that he basically wrote and recorded this on speed, and it sounds like it. It's chaotic and so pumped up that you can't help but feel the same way when you hear it.

Mindfields by The Prodigy from The Fat of Land - Early on The Prodigy was just another faceless "techno" act from the early 90's, but along the way they morphed and learned a thing or two about presentation, focusing on two of the three "dancers" he used for live shows he wrote material that made them into legitimate frontmen and that's when they started to garner success outside the club scene. The Fat of the Land was the culmination of that growth following momentum the song "Firestarter". This album borrows heavily from the Nine Inch Nails school of electronic music as rock and fuses it with hip-hop and techno rhythms. This song's vocal is a bit too repetitive though.

52 Girls by The B-52's from The B-52's - Like many people "Rock Lobster" was one of the first songs I heard by the bands emerging from the New Wave scene in New York in the late 70's. I didn't know what to think of the image though. To this day I've never been a fan of the B-52s retro look, but I really love their first album which is produced by Brian Eno. It wasn't until I was older that I realized Brian's influence. He produced some of my favourite music from that era by bands like Devo and Talking Heads.

Halo (Goldfrapp Remix) by Depeche Mode from Remixes 81-04 - In the early 80's, at the birth of the 12" single, remixes and extended mixes were simply extended versions of the single version of a song. The songs were still easily identifiable. Somewhere in the late 80's remixing became a business and the results strayed further and further away from the original. As this happened I began to deplore them and it became the primary reason I stopped being a completionist in my music collections of the bands I loved. The best story I read was by Martin Gore who talked about how he had called Underworld after hearing their remix of a Depeche Mode song the band had commissioned and was wondering if they could add a few more of the sounds or vocals from the original track into the remix. It turns out the remix was a different tempo and in a different key and in fact did not contain any elements of the original song to which he replied, then it's a different song. Most of the remixes nowadays sound like throwaway garbage by the remixers that they use to simply funnel money off the more successful acts. This remix though is probably one of the best I've heard in 10 years. Goldfrapp stayed true to the original and simply expanded on it making it almost like a duet between Dave and Allison.

Posted by John at 10:03 AM
May 16, 2007
goodbye emma jean

I'm going to try to get through this with out falling apart again.. when I updated the website in February I had mentioned that Emma, our Golden Retreiver, was starting to have serious health issues and I wasn't sure how long she would be with us. She had been suffering from arthritis and hip issues brought on by old age and yesterday she stopped using her back legs altogether. It was time for Brie and I to face facts and bring an end to Emma's suffering. It became clear that her love for our family was all that was keeping her going, and that wasn't fair to her. Today at 1:30 pm Brie and I took her to the Vet and while I laid with her on the floor petting her, and Brie sat there holding me, Emma went to sleep for the last time.

I can't begin to tell you the pain and sadness we felt in that moment. We did our best to focus on all the love she shared with us for the last 12 years, and what a wonderful life she led, but I could not stop myself from falling apart at the seams for a good while. It was made that much harder by the fact that Sebastian took it really hard, Emma had been around for almost all his life, he has no memory of her not being a part of our family. My mom is also taking it hard, for the past couple years Emma has been her constant companion, since she could not come up the stairs very easily she had started sleeping with her and now I'm sure she feels even more alone.

This Saturday is Keegan and Maddy's birthday party and I am grateful for that distraction, I have been spending 5-6 hours a day tearing apart our house cleaning everything including all the rugs with our brand new Bissel 2x Steam Cleaner. This will be the first time in 12 years we will be celebrating a birthday without our Emma Jean Jellybean, but I'm sure we will all take a moment to remember her.


Posted by John at 11:13 PM
May 14, 2007
this week's Ipod Shuffle

it's that time of the week again, pressing Shuffle now

Whole Day Off by Oingo Boingo from Nothing To Fear - My first exposure to Oingo Boingo was around 1983 from a couple friends at school who were basically into anything that was hot in LA at the time. I hated them for the most part. I thought song titles like "Reptile and Samurai" were far to silly and the image of the band wasn't my cup of tea either. In 1987 a good friend of mine named Mike was really into them and I gave them another listen. The first album I heard was Boin-go and I really enjoyed it. Of course Boin-go had been a big turning point for them and to many fans of their early work didn't like the new synth, samples and sequence heavy Oingo Boingo sound. The real clencher was seeing them live though in 1989. That's when I finally got it. OIngo Boingo was one of the greatest live bands ever and Danny Elfman was a master showman and frontman. "Whole Day Off" is one of my favourite songs from their early period.

Night Fever by the Bee Gees from Number Ones - As I mentioned before I loved going to our local Disco when I was young and I love dancing to this day. Not much I can say about this song, it will be forever linked with the movie "Saturday Night Fever", though I myself do not think of that movie since I was forbidden from watching it since it had an R rating and then by the time I saw the PG version all I really wanted to see was the dancing, I was too young to find the pregnancy, suicide, and violent story of the movie appealing.

Let Go by Frou Frou from Garden State S/T - Frou Frou, of course, is the former(?) band of a current fave around this house Imogen Heap. Very similar in style (mellow yet dacenable electronic music) This is from the great soundtrack to Garden State compiled my another fave around here Zach Braff.

I Predict A Riot by Kaiser Chiefs from Employment - I was so starved for culture when we lived in Virginia that I use to read Blender magazine and download every song they recommend that I could find for free, if I liked how the band looked or the review made them sound. Kaiser Chiefs was one band I found that way. "I Predict A Riot" is an amazing song with great energy and a chorus that whacks you on the head, crawls inside, and doesn't come out for hours.

Saturday Night Diva by Spice Girls from Spice World - That's right, not only do I have both Spice Girls albums (Forever since is minus Geri does not count) and I own the movie on DVD (and saw it opening day), plus one of my most cherished memories with my Niece, Bethany, is taking her to see them in concert. I have a soft spot from bouncey, hook driven pop, and at the time Spice Girls came about I was glad to have something fun to listen to as I hated Grunge. THis isn't one of their better songs though, quite often they sound like they had half an idea and the producers tried to make something out of it to fill the record.

Set Me Free (remotivate me) by Depeche Mode B-side to Master and Servant - Quite often Depeche Mode's B-Sides were experiments or incomplete ideas. I can't think of one that I thought should be on an album except maybe "Shout", but then again I can't think of any early B-Sides that are outright bad either. There isn't much of a song here.

Chinatown by Joe Jackson from Night and Day - One of my Top Ten albums everyone should own. This album came completely out of leftfield for me and to this day I'm not quite sure why I loved it so much at a time when all I wanted to listen to was synth music heavy on sequencing and unnatural sounds. This album is organic, features Latin Percussion and is heavily influenced by Jazz. Some of the songs though are just far to amazing to be ignored like "Breaking Us In Two". This one is pretty much filler though and it doesn't even have a strong chorus.

Down In It by Nine Inch Nails from Head Like A Hole (US CDSingle) The song that first got me into NIN long before they went on Lollapalooza and became perhaps the most influential electronic act of the 90's. The use of the 808 drum machine and Trent's pseudo rapping delivery give this song an almost Hip-Hop feel and I will admite that to this day I do not know what the phrase Head Like A Hole means completely. My favorite line on the whole album though is, "stale incense, old sweat, and lies! lies! lies!" that somes up a particular time in my life so well.

On The Run by Yello from Baby - I rediscovered Yello with the advent of MP3. Most people know them as the band that did "Oh Yeah" from Ferris Buehler's Day Off but they are a very influential band amongst people who love electronic music. Their production and programming is unique and pristine and they are one of the few bands of any era to develop a sound that is completely unique and their own. I like to listen to them when I am looking to actually sit down, listen closely and learn.

Wonkamobile, Wonkavision/Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory OST perhaps my favourite movie from my childhood. I still cringe when the chicken gets it's head cut off though. What I love about this soundtrack is it's use of not just the score and songs from the movie, but entire tracks are nothing more than chunks of the movie with dialogue and all the great sound design.

Hidden Bonus Track:

Cars by Gary Numan from Collection - This is a classic song and the template for so much electronic based music that came after it. Gary relied heavily on rhythm and lyrics based in isolation and science fiction that was unique to him. He is also the most famous person I know to have been diagnosed as an adult with Asperger's Syndrome, the same diagnoses that Senastian has. I think this is the very first song I learned, programmed and played live after I left my first band, Kinesthesia. I also always think of the party Brie, Cait and I through for Halloween 1998 when Mike got up and sang it performing with me for the first time since 1988 when we split apart as a band. I haven't heard from him in a long time now and all the emails I sent him have bounced.

Posted by John at 11:50 PM
May 08, 2007
wind me up

First of all, Happy 9th Birthday to Keegan!

As we wind up for birthday season Brie and I have a lot of things to do. This weekend we bought the new Bissel 2x Steam cleaner, our 3rd steam cleaner in 10 years. The other two burned out becuase of George's fur always getting caught in them, so hopefully this one will last. They have redesigned many of the issues I had with it so I'm hoping it works better. I also need to patch a few holes in our walls that Jack put in when he accidently slips and bounces in to them while running around.

Saturday Brie and I spent a couple hours putting in her new car stereo and front speakers. We bought her back speakers too, but the computer at Best Buy said we needed 5 1/4 speakers when it turns out the back speakers are the same 6 1/2 as the fronts so I need to exchange those. We have already removed the old ones so putting the new ones in should be a snap, as long as it's not 93 like it has been.

I've started playing World of Warcraft again. I play on Lothar with our good friends Cindi and Larry. Right now I am focused on my Blood Elf Warlock, Zenone trying to get him to 70. I hope we can get a second computer this year, I'd like for Brie to be able to join us as well. I'm still playing City of Heroes too, only because I've made some friends there and I don't want to abandon them. I have severed all ties to the Dragon Legion supergroup I had been a part of for almost 2 years. Things got really ugly on very personal levels between me and a couple members and I decided it simply wasn't worth the energy anymore to pretend that those people were worth my time.

Another of my current pastimes is our new Nintendo Wii, in particular I'm playing "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" with the help of Brie and the kids. As we did for "Psychonauts" when Brie wanted to play through it, one of us plays while the other gets tips and hints on the web to make the game playing more fluid. I've never really cared about challenge and figuring things out, I like to play through the story without frustrations so having Brie guide me actually makes the game funner for me to play, and funner for the kids to watch. We also love to play Wii Sports and Rayman: Ravaging Rabbids as a family. Keegan is especially good at Tennis and is getting better at Baseball. What we are all really looking forward to is the release of Super Smash Bros.: Brawl and Super Mario: Galaxy. If you read this and have a Wii our Wii Code is: 3502 5373 8772 0515 if you use that our entire family, as represented by our Mii's, can come visit you.

Posted by John at 10:09 AM
this week in iPod

This week in iPod .. pressing Shuffle now.

Tesla Girls by Orchestral Manoeuvers In the Dark from Junk Culture - Perhaps my favourite song by OMD it's kind of a culmination of everything they had been working towards early in their career. It's experimental with it's use of vocal sampling, yet is still very accessible.

Snow Blind by Ace Frehley from Ace Frehley - I was and still tend to be very naive when it comes to drug use and references. When I was young I thought this song was about driving in a snow storm and being afraid of getting lost. Of course, it's about Cocaine and Ace's drug addiction. I love how the middle 8 is done in double time. The majority of the song is heavier than most of his material and very reminscent of Black Sabbath then suddenly it switched to double time and Ace plays a typical Ace solo where rhythm shifts are more important than the number of notes he hits. It's one of the reasons I always loved Ace's playing. Like Bethoven he uses rhythm to convey his emotions and stresses feel over technical ability.

This Woman's Work by Kate Bush from She's Having a Baby OST - This song is very hard for me to listen to because I become overwhelmed with sadness and almost always shed a tear or two. The lyrics are about a woman who as she gives birth realizes that she might not have been there for her husband to help him be prepared to be a father and though she knows he can be a great one she regrets that she didn't help him more. The stress of pregnancy can be very hard on a couple and often the man is left out. It reminds me of when Brie was pregnant with Sebastian. Perhaps the greatest song Kate ever wrote, it's simply amazing. Now that I'm all emotional I'll move on.

Word on a Wing by David Bowie from Station to Station - Not one of my favourite tracks, this is Bowie coming out of his cocaine phase. This song doesn't suffer from the paranoia injected into a lot of his work at the time. It actually feels like he's looking for a little help to get himself straight.

Sweet Sixteen by Billy Idol from Idol Songs: 11 of the Best - Billy Idol's image so very rarely matched up with his music and I liked that. His music was always far more polished and tended to be rooted 50's era rock with production more inline with the club music of the 80's than the rock. This song is an accoustic number and doesn't really do anything for me.

Cold Life by Ministry from Twelve Inch Singles - The best work Ministry did was a series of Twelve Inch Singles on Wax Trax! Where their first album was synth-pop these singles showed that Al Jourgensen was more interested in trying to straddle a line between the work of Skinny Puppy and the Pop music at the time. The best song from this era is "Everyday is Halloween", but "Cold Life" stands up well too. I particularly like that the bass. It's all funky and slappy.

Help! by the Beatles from the Beatles 1 - What can I say. The greatest band ever, period. John clearly had issues as most of his lyrics are focused on the need for love. Two minutes and fifteen seconds of perfection.

Day I Met God by Adam and the Ants from Dirk Wears White Socks (orignal version) - This was one of the first CDs I got from another fan thorough a Usenet group (yes pre-WWW). It's a conversion of the vinyl only original indie release of this album. Rooted in the Punk of the time Adam's lyrics have almost always been too literary for me to get all the references he puts in them. So I have no idea what this song is really about, but it has a good beat and I can dance to it!

Red Alert by Basement Jaxx from The Singles - I first heard of Basement Jaxx through their single "Where's Your Head At" with it's Gary Numan sample. I didn't think much of them and then my good friend Cait told me about the single "Plug It In" which featured JC Chasez from N*Sync fame. I downloaded the whole album and was pleasantly surprised to find the title track "Kish Kash" featured Siouxsie Sioux on lead vocals. This track though is probably my favourite of all their singles, I don't know who the lead vocalist is, but she appears on several tracks and has a great Martha Washington kinda of soul belt.

As Long as I'm Singing by the Brian Setzer Orchestra from The Dirty Boogie I have written about the BSO in previous articles so not much to say, I like this track more than some others on the album because I like the horn arrangement and the fact that it's so chaotic featuring Mambo influences that almost sound like they are playing "Tequilla".

Posted by John at 09:26 AM
May 01, 2007
this week on iPod

this weeks 10 songs ... pressing shuffle now ...

Silver Mac by Westworld from Westworld - Westworld was a trio that featured the guitarist from Billy Idol's first band Generation X and a female vocalist. The tag line on their second album was "Fast Food Pop" and though that album was horrible the first album is just that. Probably best known for the songs "Sonic Boom Boy" and the huge Modern Rock song "Painkiller" this song borders on being a ballad and I've always liked it.

It's A Jungle Out There by Bros from Push - A huge boy band of sorts from the UK in the late 80's the real appeal of Bros was the lead singer. He has a great Stevie Wonder blue-eyed soul voice. The album though is pretty worthless outside of two songs, "When Will I Be Famous?" and "I Owe You Nothing". The main problem is that the band was contractually owned by their management and had no say into what songs they could do so as opposed to focusing on Soul they were forced to do very bad Pop songs designed to have the broadest appeal as possible. I should just delete ever track except the two good ones and be done with it, this is awful.

Unchained Melody by U2 from the Best of 1980-1990/the B-Sides - In all honestly why U2 did this song is beyond me. It was a part of a string of b-sides where they covered amazing songs, but this is not what U2 does well. Bono's emotional wailing doesn't serve the intricate melody of this song.

Just One World by Nile Rodgers from Do That Dance CD-Single - I bought this single in the bargain bin at Tower Records in Sacramento when Tony and I went to see Depeche Mode on the Singles tour because it said Featuring Simon Le Bon. It turned out that Simon is barely on the main track. Listening to this song I hear Nile's main band Chic, but this isn't very inspired.

Ship of Fools by Erasure from The Innocents - One of the best Erasure songs. Andy Bell has a knack for writing melody and of course Vince Clarke is a great arranger and programmer. I love this song on so many levels, the hook is just top rate and the songs message is equally good.

Hallucinating Elvis by Duran Duran from Pop Trash - See the review in last weeks column about how I feel about this album. Another example of how pointless and uninspired Duran Duran can get.

One of These Nights by the Eagles from Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) - I don't know why or how The Eagles became a part of my musical vocabulary, for sure they were all over the AM and FM radio I listened to growing up and I'm pretty sure either my Mom or my next door neighbors mom had this album and we would play it. As an adult I can appreciate just how good The Eagles were. Their melding of Country and Rock aesthetics, the thoughtful lyrics and a great bunch of musicians. I probably should get Hotel California as well. When any track on this CD comes on I never turn it off.

Sexy Dancer by 808 State from Gorgeous - I really enjoyed the first wave of Techno led by acts like 808 State. What I like is it's sort of a melding between New Age electronics like Jean-Michel Jarre and synth-pop like early Depeche Mode and the work of Vince Clarke. This song isn't that great though, too simple and the vocal sample doesn't help.

Injection 1-2-3 by Westworld from Westworld - here is the big question, does the iPod have an emergent AI? Sometimes it feels like it's thinking about what I should be listening to. Not one of the better songs from the album that I discussed in entry number one above. Very bland, but still fun.

Heaven Knows by Donna Summer from Endless Summer - I love me some disco when it is amped up Soul Music. I was hugely inspired by Disco and Funk as a kid I use to go to the Teen Day at our local Discotheque "Charly Tuna's" and even managed to sneak in a couple of nights with my sister. I love dancing and I love most dance music when it's rooted in soul. Donna Summer was first and foremost a supremely talented soul singer who just happened to do soul music that was being marketed and arranged into Disco songs. I lover her voice and this is a great song.

Hidden Bonus Track

The Key to Gramercy Park by Deadsy from Commencement - Apparently all the things I liked about Deadsy and the potential I saw were the very things they did not like about their sound early on because their new album is built upon all the things I hated. This is the best song they ever did, it's a melding of 80's synth, NIN production, Rush's lyrical conceptualism. It has energy and almost a real hook. Too bad they decided to go the other direction.

Posted by John at 10:04 AM
the quiet life

Two things changed for Brie and I when we lived in Virginia. The first was that we really learned to appreciate living a simpler life. Being in an area that in many ways was out of sync with the urban areas we had lived in we really enjoyed the friendliness and integrity of the people we met. The second, and for us probably more profound, is that we learned how to live without all the "modern conviences" we were use to having at our fingertips. Why do I bring this up? With Brie's recent trips to Fresno to help out at her parents business there has been some discussions as to whether we would be interested in building a house out on the 20 Acres of Peach Orchard they own in the west side of Fresno, in a pretty remote area. My answer, of course, is a resounding YES!! When we moved back to California I was very happy we were moving to Tracy as I thought it would be a good balance of the city life we had loved in San Jose and San Diego yet, still retain some of the country living we had grown to enjoy in Virginia and it has been a great place to live and I could continue living here for a long time. But even before there was talk of building a house in Fresno, Brie and I had discussed that if we could ever afford to buy a house in Tracy what neighborhood would we want it in and we both agreed that actually moving out into the farmland here would be ideal for us. I'm not saying we are moving to Fresno anytime soon, but when it comes time for Brie and I to buy another house it will not be in a city, it will be in the country because that is where I think I most want to be when and if I grow old.

Posted by John at 07:53 AM