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Christmas CD Recorded
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 13 December 2007
JOLEE: Simply Christmas
A few weeks ago our friends decided to record a Christmas CD. The wife was going to sing and the husband was going to play the drums and do all of the CD production. Since they needed a bass player they asked me if I wouldn't help out. I did and it was fun. The result was the CD you see here. It is available for order online (just click on the picture) from I believe you can order a hard copy of the CD or order all the tracks for download.
Of the six songs on the CD four of them are done in a traditional style but with the other two we took some liberties. The first track is a rock version of "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel". In retrospect I'm not sure that should have been the lead off track since the rest of the CD doesn't have that same sort of feel. But oh well. The other uncommon song is our version of "Silent Night". It is done with a slow southern gospel feel. I works well, I think.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 December 2007 )
Settlers Of Catan
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 09 December 2007
Settlers Of Catan
The Settlers of Catan was the first German-style board game I played and I was totally blown away by it. I heard about the game through one of those silly internet surveys. A mailing list that I'm on passed around a survey asking all sorts of things, including what was your favorite board game. I was amazed when several people on the list all mentioned this game, The Settlers of Catan, that I had never heard of. Considering the rave reviews by those on the list I decided to buy it for the family without ever playing it. It was a risk but it was worth it. We all loved it.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 December 2007 )
Elfed for the holidays
Written by Mike Noel   
Saturday, 01 December 2007
I found a great website online (actually, a friend sent me a link to it). With just a little bit of photo editing you can set up your own little family full of dancing elves. I put each of my kids in this festive holiday scene. Click here to watch it.
Amazing me
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
amazing me design
It's been a while since I came up with a new t-shirt design but I finally did. This one has been floating around in my head for a while. The design for the face came to me today while I was doodling a bit in a meeting at work. The text says "i never realized just how amazing i was till i started watching other people". Funny. You can get to the cafepress store here.
Oh! Gravity -- Switchfoot
Written by Mike Noel   
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
oh gravity
Switchfoot is a band that has changed its sound significantly over the last couple of releases. The current release, Oh Gravity, is quite a few steps removed from their megahit The Beautiful Letdown. In fact it seems like a more mature and established release along the same direction that Nothing Is Sound took. That's not to say that Oh Gravity is not any good. In fact, it can be argued that this new direction is better and fresher than the earlier releases. After a few listens it is growing on me.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 October 2007 )
Hood -- Stephen Lawhead
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Hood is the first book in Stephen Lawhead's Raven King Trilogy. The trilogy is a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood but with a historical twist. After extensive research Lawhead is convinced that the real Robin Hood started in Wales, not England. In a small article at the end of this book Lawhead lays out his fairly convincing reasoning. But all of that aside, the book is excellent. Lawhead has always been a good story teller as there is some bardic lineage in his distant past. With Hood Lawhead's story telling abilities are out in full force. The story is full of deep and interesting characters, smart plots, and innovative scenes and settings.
Dragonspell -- Donita K. Paul
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 28 September 2007
Dragonspell is the first book in Donita K. Paul's Dragon Keeper Chronicles. It is primarily intended for a young adult audience but it is an easy and fun read for adults as well. The story is alive with action and imaginative characters. The allegorical elements of the story are obvious but not over the top. I picked up this book based on recommendations I found online and I'm glad I did. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
The Brave One
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 20 September 2007
The Brave One
Out of ignorance I was reluctant to see this movie. It looked like another "angry woman who takes things into her own hands" type movie and that didn't seem too exciting to me. I am happy to admit that I was wrong. Instead this is a gritty exploration of the feelings of someone who has come face to face with violent crime. This sort of movie is not my normal fare. There is a significant amount of brutal violence and language and I usually avoid that in a show. In this case I think it was necessary and worth it to tell the story.
Giver Of Roses -- Kathleen Morgan
Written by Mike Noel   
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Giver Of Roses
Giver Of Roses is Kathleen Morgan's first book in the Guardians of Gadiel series. As of now this is just the first book written in the series. Plans for the next two are set for 2008 and 2009 (according to the author's web site). I am looking forward to the next in the series. This book was well written and very entertaining. Morgan created likable and vivid characters that play in a sufficient but not overly complicated plot. The good guys are flawed and have their own hangups and the bad guys show a soft side that hints at a path towards redemption.
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