Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Real Thanksgiving

   Posted by: John

Once again, I find I have not posted anything on here in a very long time. That seems to be what happens, I get busy and just don’t have or take the time.  However, I have had some time for some reflection and I determined there were some things that I was very thankful for this year.

First and foremost, I am so thankful for my beautiful and amazing wife.  Words cannot express how much I love and adore her.  She makes my life so incredibly complete, in everything she says and does.  I didn’t realize before what real true love was.  What makes it even better is that I know she truly loves me.  Thank you Laura, for being mine and for loving and wanting me always.

I am also so thankful for my family.  My children, all of them, are wonderful and amazing people who continually make me proud to be their dad. My sister Cathy is an fantastic person.  She is one of the most warm and loving people I know and her husband and children give her great happiness.  My wife’s parents, Dick and Jan are the most incredible people I could ever hope to have for my in-laws. They have welcomed me with open arms to their family and show me daily they care about me.  Thank you everyone for all you do for me.

I am thankful for the few close friends I have.  Mark and Pauline, who I have known for many years are my longest and closest friends. They have shown that true friendship many times and continue to do so.  Also, my friends Ed and Ammon, whom I don’t see as much, but regard as close friends.  And some others I do see and talk with often, Kimberly, Kail, Lisa to name a few.  Thank you all for being my friends and caring about me and my family.

And finally, I am so very thankful for everything else I have been blessed with.  My job, my home, the things I have which make my life easier and more enjoyable. I am grateful to have the means to have and keep them. I am thankful to live in this country, in spite of who is running it. I know there are very few places in the world that afford a person the opportunities and freedoms that I enjoy.

I hope this Thanksgiving Day that everyone takes some time and reflects on God’s grace and love and what He has blessed them with.  There is much to be thankful for.  May we all be worthy of the gifts and things we have and never forget what true thankfulness and happiness are.


Booked It!

   Posted by: John

We booked our honeymoon place today!  It is in Princeville on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It looks like a very nice place, a ground floor condo just a few steps from the beach. Here’s the link to it.

We had decided that a hotel room is nice, but most hotel rooms are small and do not offer much if anything for kitchen accommodations.  Yes, it is a honeymoon, but eating out 2 or 3 times per day is not only expensive, but gets tiresome very fast.  So, having a kitchen available for breakfasts, snacks and maybe a supper or two is perfect!  Laura and I keep things very clean. Aside from changing bedding and bathroom stuff, the cleaning staff will find everything else as good or better than they would do it.

Here’s a couple pics of the inside.

Condo Front Room


It looks like a very nice little place, just perfect for two to get away for, um, honeymoon activities!

Here’s a view of the surrounding scenery.

Kauai Beach

The best thing about this place is that it is on the North side of the island. We will get to see sunrises and sunsets over the beach. This area is not quite as touristy as some of the others so there should be fewer people around.

In the end, we will save about $500 going this route instead of booking a hotel. And we will have better privacy and a place do have our own meals. We are very excited and can’t wait to go!


Time to start up again

   Posted by: John

This poor blog and server has been just sitting here for a long time now and nothing has happened with it. I think with everything that has happened in the past 18 months I just have not cared about it. Well, it’s time to get it going again…might as well put the server to use, right? So, I am going to start posting again. My life has changed a lot for the better in the past year. I will explain along the way and also post what I have been up to.  Stay tuned!


New Project

   Posted by: John

Well I am finally doing it!  I am building my Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ!  I have wante to build one of these for the past few years now, and it is finally happening!

Some friends that I go to church with decided to downsize their house and gave me their old Baldwin organ that no longer works.  That is fine, I am not going to use any of the electronics in the cabinet at all.  The big things that it has that I need are the pedalboard and two keyboards.  I need to find one more keyboard for a total of 3. 

One of the advantages of a Hauptwerk organ is that you are not limited to just one instrument.  There are lots of organs out there that can be purchased (and a few free ones!).  They sound like the originals because they are pipe by pipe recordings of the originals.  You just can’t believe the sound quality. 

The biggest disadvantage is that if you have a re-purposed console, the old stops are marked with what was in the old console.  The chances of it’s configuration matching the virtual instrument are zero.  So, the old stops are going away.  I decided to build “generic” stops that will not have the stop names on them.  Instead, I will do the labeling on paper and laminate it, then be able to attach it above the stops to indicate what they are.  That gives full flexibility. The stop faces will be made of thin oak that is attached to a simple pushbutton switch. An LED will light up when the stop is on.


The Corn is as High as an Elephant’s Eye

   Posted by: John

Extra points if you know where that line comes from.



What’s Underneath?

   Posted by: John

The old house my sister and I grew up in was originally built in 1931.  Her husband has been spending a lot of time taking it apart and putting it back together again.  No more lath and plaster, old wiring or plywood walls.  He was working on one of the upstairs rooms when I was there.  This room was originally our parents’ bedroom, but later they moved to a different room and this one because the office/radio room.  The stairway has also been taken apart quite a bit, partly to expose where wiring would be but it also is going to be redone.  Here’s what it looked like while I was there.

Wall gone and partly rebuilt

Sloped wall because of the roof

Cupola is nice, but tough to drywall.

Hideous wallpaper that was under the hideous paneling in the stairway

Cut open to get to wiring

Looking down the stairs...

...and back up.


Pre-Halloween Music 8 – Beethoven’s 5th

   Posted by: John

Beethoven does not have anything to do with Halloween at all.  Not unless his music is played on a pipe organ.  We are all familiar with his 5th symphony.  The Boise Philharmonic played the 5th symphony last season and it was absolutely dazzling. 

Here, Thomas Heywood plays his own transcription of the first movement of this remarkable symphony.  I find that the character of the piece is changed.  Not bad, but totally different in that it becomes very suitable for the background music to a Halloween graveyard scene in the front yard with a tombstone bearing Beethoven’s name. 

The organ is made by Schantz (originally Hill, Norman and Beard, 1929) and is housed in the Melbourne Town Hall, Australia.  It is the largest in the Southern hemisphere, containing around 10,000 pipes. 


I can’t believe Crystal got this…

   Posted by: John

…yes, it’s a dog.  A Pomeranian puppy.  Now the poor cat is going to hate us for sure!

Crystal and Dog-Who-Has-Yet-To-Be-Named