Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Orlando, July 2018

Don't know if anyone is still following this blog -- especially since I haven't posted here since ending the Caption Contest two years ago -- but I thought I'd post a quick update. I just got back from Orlando two weeks ago to attend the 2018 Barbershop Harmony Society convention and compete in the international chorus contest with Vocal Majority, and I'm still smiling. The trip could not have gone better if I'd scripted it.

(1) Vocal Majority won the world championship again on Friday, July 6 -- the group's 13th gold medal and my second. There's a lot I could say about the experience, but I'll sum it up in these four words: winning does not suck.

Here's one of the songs from our performance:

(2) We spend several hours on Saturday the 7th recording a video of A Million Dreams with Voctave. Dang, but they're good. No word yet on when the video will be released, but I'll try to remember to post it here.

(3) Since VM won the gold, we performed again at the Convention Center on Saturday evening. This was one of the rare downsides of winning, since I really wanted to see the hour-long show that came before we went on -- it featured Return2Zero (a/k/a "Four for a Dollar" from the B&tB preshow at the Studios), the Humdingers (a/k/a the Dapper Dans -- Disney can be so proprietary about their group names!), and Voctave. We had to settle for listening to the last half of Voctave's set from backstage.

On the plus side, since we did get to perform right after Voctave, and had our joint arrangement of A Million Dreams ready to go, we got to surprise the audience by bringing Voctave back out to perform with us live. Likely the only time we'll ever get to perform the song together for a live audience!

(4) After all the competitions were over and we were singing just for fun (which went well into the wee hours of Sunday morning), we (my wife, my parents and I) headed to WDW for a few hours. We knew going into this trip that we would not have the energy for the parks -- contests and conventions are incredibly draining -- but my parents had never been at all so I wanted to introduce them to our favorite vacation destination. We had lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe since I knew they'd love the Wilderness Lodge, then we rented a pontoon boat and I drove them around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon for a while. I also drive our rental SUV around the World (a first for me; I'd never driven on-property before) and played tour guide. Great fun.

My dad, who turned 81 this year, had the best line when I took he and my mom to the Guest Services desk at Wilderness Lodge to get a "1st Visit" button. He gestured to me and my wife and said, "They waited to take us (to WDW) until we were old enough to appreciate it."

All in all, a phenomenal trip -- great family time, phenomenal experiences shared with my VM brothers, lots of camaraderie and excellent music at the convention, and another nice, shiny piece of hardware to enjoy.

Friday, August 26, 2016


CAPTION CONTEST RESULTS! Hmm… only seventeen caption entries this week, possibly an all-time low. Never know quite what will tickle your funny bone. Here are your Honorable Mentions: Jim Salmen: "Pro Pokemon closed course. Do not attempt."; Lynn A Ewing: "Wombachoo, I pick you!"; Lara Beilby: "This Pokemon is found either singing or studying law books...Or talking to judges in Latin."; Kathrine Ricks Seale: "Famous last moments..."; Scott Lewis: "The Tabmow is most likely found chasing ambulances."; and Alan AJ Irby: "Wombat's CGI motion capture data from the Olympics was hacked. No one knows where it ended up. Meanwhile, the world goes crazy for the secret new Pokemon fans are calling the Green Wombat!"

And this week's winner is acclaimed author and filmmaker (doesn't it feel good to be called that?) Wayne Franklin, his first win this year and second overall! Congratulations, Wayne!

Thanks to all who entered! New pic coming… sometime!

Monday, August 22, 2016


CAPTION CONTEST for August 26 - POKEMON GO EDITION! So how would you caption this picture? Comment below! The same pic will show here and on Facebook. I'll repost the pic with my favorite caption on Friday. No prize, just the glory of winning!