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    Bree’s Senior Pictures 2020


    2020 - 11.02

    Here’s some of Bree’s favorite senior pictures. Thanks to AMY & CHASE at Rye Studios for the amazing shots. Click any image for a larger version, and click HERE to see the entire set.

    Enjoy!

    Apple iDrums! Custom Built Tiny Kit from Apple Parts


    2020 - 05.14

    Check out another quarantine project I created. The Apple iDrums! A little drum kit (modeled after my own) built completely out of old Apple computer parts.

    You’re probably saying to yourself, “but can you play Tom Sawyer by Rush on it?” Well, no…I can’t, but Stickman can!

    Click the image below to watch him rock out.

    Say Hello to M8 and Rivvit!


    2020 - 05.08

    During quarantine, I decided to build a couple of friends out of old end-of-life Apple computer equipment. I built one called M8 since he is built from iMac model M8535 parts. His sidekick, Rivvit is also built from old equipment including Airport base stations, broken hard drive pieces and speakers. I used lots of magnets on M8’s head so we can adjust his eyes and eyebrows to give him a little personality. Plus I made a few different mouths that also connect with magnets.

    I started a comic called “The Quarantine Adventures of M8 and Rivvit” to document their adventures. Click the arrows in the top left of each image to go to other pages. Take a look, and check back here for more episodes.

    episode 1
    episode 3
    episode 4
    episode 5
    episode 6
    episode 7
    episode 8
    episode 9
    episode 2

    Custom Made Hang/Tank Drum


    2020 - 01.21

    I saw some posts online of people playing a metal circular drum called a hang or tank drum. It sounds like the kind of music that you would hear during a massage or yoga class. Very ethereal and calming. So I looked online to see where to get one, and found a guy on Etsy that custom makes them. So I connected with Boris from Slovenia, and ordered a drum. I saw that some people online that had ordered from Boris had some custom images on the top of the drum. So I had Bree draw me the cool mandala below: (click any of the images below to open up a fullscreen version)

    Boris took that image, flipped it 4 times to make a circle, and cleaned it up a bit:

    Then he applied it to the raw metal drum, and acid etched it into the metal. I wish I had more pictures of this process!

    After that Boris carved out the drum to a 12 note G scale, and colored it a gorgeous blue/purple combo, and sent it on it’s 3 week trip to Kansas.

    Click the image below to get an idea of what the drum sounds like. This is using soft mallets. It sounds completely different if you use the wooden mallets that came with it, the tips of your fingers or your thumbs. As you play it, you quickly discover that you can’t really make it sound bad…play slowly and deliberately, or fast with lots of rhythm…and it still sounds cool.

    YouTube Preview Image

    If you’re interested in getting one made, click the link below for Boris’s etsy shop. Tell him Gary says hi. They run between $100-$300 and about $50 shipping from Slovenia. There are a ton of drum makers online, and just about every drum I’ve seen is made a little differently and looks completely different. The price varies based on how many notes, size, and what materials the drum is made from.

    Click here for Boris’s Custom Tank drums on Etsy

    Bree now a National Honor Society member


    2019 - 11.14

    Congrats to Bree for becoming a member of the Olathe East National Honor Society on November 13, 2019. Way to go Bree, we’re all proud of you!

    Internalize: Jacob’s Senior Student Film at MSU


    2019 - 11.08

    Jacob is working on his senior project; a student film called Internalize, at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

    A surrealist short film depicting a downward progression of mental health. Step into the void.

    The film currently has a release date of May 2020. Right now he is trying to raise money for the production, and has an IndieGogo campaign going. Please take a look at the campaign at the link below, or click the logo above, for more detailed information and to contribute:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/internalize–2#/

    Audio Found From Bertha & Dave’s 50th


    2018 - 08.27

    While going through my mom’s stuff, I found this old cassette tape of her parent’s (my grandparents) 50th wedding anniversary party. I transferred it and put it up on YouTube. Click below to listen…obviously the quality isn’t great, but it’s been quite a while since I heard my grandfather give a speech, so I think it’s worth it.

    My Mom


    2018 - 08.02

    On Tuesday, July 31st 2018, my Mom passed away after a long struggle with cancer. She was 81 years old, and still very much lucid, funny and active with her kids, grandkids and friends. In fact, one day before she passed away she was out having lunch with friends, enjoying life and having fun. My mom had a very close group of girlfriends that go all the back to high school called the “Top of the Hill” gang, and she would meet them very often for brunch and chitchat. It always made me laugh that my mom never had an email address (and would never even discuss having one), and someone from the group would always have to physically call her on the telephone to let her know when and where the next brunch would be, even though they all arranged it over email or facebook.

    The main theme of my moms life would definitely be music. She taught herself to play the piano at age 2, and continued playing and composing music up until her death. Mom could play by ear, meaning if she heard a song once, she could usually play it on the piano immediately and effortlessly. It was an amazing talent, and something that always impressed me. Her life was filled with musical performances, compositions, bands, education, and especially singing old songs with the elderly at the Heritage Center at the JCC. Here she is doing something she has done thousands of times; playing background music for an event.

    Click the image below to watch:

    She taught a class for kids called Fun With Music for many years at the Beth Shalom nursery school, played piano in the Zimrah orchestra with my dad on drums. Her musical compositions are incredibly vast. Mom wrote and performed an original song at our prenuptial dinner while Vicki sang. She worked so hard on this performance and was so proud to be able to perform it for everyone at the dinner. Listen below:

    You Made Me Laugh:

    She wrote an original song for each of my kids when they were born as a very special birthday present. She wrote out the music and lyrics and framed it for each child. Click the images for larger versions, and you can listen to her playing the songs below:


    Jacob’s Lullabye

    Vicki singing Jacob’s Lullaby


    Brianna’s Lullabye

    Mom got together with Cantor David Barash and created a CD of original jewish music specifically for kids called “Big Jewish Songs For Little Jewish Kids”. At the time she created this, it wasn’t as easy to publish things on the internet. But now it’s much easier, so her music may be available on Amazon or somewhere soon. I’m going to go through all her stuff (that she meticulously curated and wrote out) and see if maybe a music catalog or cd could be available for sale.

    In 1991, my mom partnered with her nephew Bryan Azorsky to create a musical video for kids called “Red Riding Hood’s Adventure”. She wrote and arranged original music aimed at kids ages 1-6. The video was created for VHS only, but I did manage to digitize a version you can watch below.

    Every year my mom would have the family Hanukkah party at her house as well as Passover. Each year Leslie and Mom would make tons of homemade potato latkes. For years we thought her recipe was some secret recipe passed down through the generations. A few years ago my mom admitted that the recipe was from the back of the blender box. Here’s a video from the wonderful Brianna’s Cooking Show series on YouTube with the complete “secret” latke recipe.

    My mom also loved animals and always had a dog that she was extremely close with. It started with Blackie when she was a child, then we had Missy, a Dalmation we got when I was in grade school. Then Sadie, Charlie and finally Sarge. Mom hand painted a portrait of each dog, and was still working on Sarge.

    Sarge really helped my mom be able to live at home, giving her a friend to take care of and be with her in these last few years. He was always excited to see her when she got home, and she looked forward to his kisses and attention. Towards the end, poor Sarge needed insulin injections twice a day, and was completely blind and incontinent, but that didn’t matter to her at all. Sarge was really the reason she didn’t want to move into Village Shalom (she wouldn’t have been able to take him with her). She couldn’t stand the thought living without him, and thankfully she didn’t have to.

    My mom was widely known in the community as the person that played the piano for the “old folks” in the Heritage Center at the JCC. She had this job for over 25 years, and always joked that she was the youngest person there. She would come in for a few hours a week, and play old songs that the elderly people remembered from their childhood or from old musicals. She believed very strongly in the power of music to help heal and enrich the lives of older people, and we talked a lot about music and memory, especially when my father was going through Alzheimers. She educated many people from nursery school through old age on the power and importance of music.

    Throughout my life, music was the language mom and I spoke. While I was getting into computers in junior high school, she had no interest at all until I showed her how the computer could help in creating and performing music. She would let me record her so I could digitally mix, layer and alter the music, and she was always amazed by the technology, even if she didn’t understand it, and had no interest at all in learning how it worked. When I started taking drum lessons at age 7, she was the one I would practice with, playing my dad’s old classic drum kit to Beatle songs so I could learn to follow along. She took me to every lesson, every band practice, every performance. She never tired of playing, discussing or listening to music. She came to many of my current band’s gigs and always had suggestions of new songs we could learn.

    Here’s a video of mom doing the same thing with Jacob and a great Billy Joel tune. Click the picture to play.

    Here are a just a few images I pulled out of my photo library that I think really showed my mom in her element.

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    360 Degree Panoramas


    2018 - 06.05

    Here are some very cool panoramic images taken a few years back that I converted to run on current HTML. Click each one to open a separate window, then drag to rotate and scroll to zoom in and out.

    Rooftop at Steve Klein Design, 4th and Delaware, Kansas City

    Another rooftop at Steve Klein Design, 4th and Delaware, Kansas City

    And yet another rooftop at Steve Klein Design, 4th and Delaware, Kansas City

    And one last rooftop at Steve Klein Design, 4th and Delaware, Kansas City

    Fishing With My Dad

    Fishing lodge early in the morning

    Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary One, Louisburg, Kansas

    Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary Two, Louisburg, Kansas

    Black Magic Woman from Sukkot Fest 2017


    2017 - 10.10

    Click the image below to watch my band, Conviction, play one of our favorite songs, Black Magic Woman at the Congregation B’nai Jehudah Sukkot Festival on October 8, 2017.