10th Anniversary, Day 1

“Getting Here” by David

Day 1 was a travel day but we still found some moments to enjoy. The excitement of the vacation to come was enough to buoy us through airport frustrations and Boston traffic. Up at 4:15am to make our flight from DFW, we encountered clueless drivers and long security lines but got to Boston efficiently. As we rumbled down the street in the standing room-only bus to the rental car center (whose walls were covered with posters telling us why a standing room-only bus to the rental center was a great idea: “…saves enough power for 100 homes!”), I told Grace, “this is the romantic part.”

We drove immediately into downtown Boston, although we learned that Google Maps loses connection in the tunnels and often imparts exit information too late after emerging. But soon enough we were at Faneuil Hall to have lunch at Durgin-Park, which specializes in New England favorites. We ate here during our first trip to Boston and it held good memories, especially because we got a free meal the first time due a kitchen fire. No fire this time, and I enjoyed the Yankee pot roast and Grace had an excellent Reuben sandwich. We then walked around a bit, past the Bell In Hand pub (set. 1795) and a bustling farmers market in the Haymarket area. After paying $42 parking to enjoy our $40 meal, we were on our way north to the night’s hotel in Peabody. It was close to rush hour and the drive was no fun.

By the time we checked in we were both exhausted and decided to take a nap. We ventured out for a quick meal at Capone’s and then crashed for the evening.

Take a look at LOOK Cinemas!

LOOK CinemasVisited the new LOOK Cinemas in Addison last night, courtesy of my son who’s an assistant manager there.  We had previously been to the Gold Class theater in Allen which was awesome but went out of business.  Gold Class reopened as an iPic theater, which is nice but not nearly as upscale.  LOOK offers multiple experiences, so you have your choice depending on your mood.  They offer:

  1. Evolution – a IMAX-style theater with a huge screen, often showing 3D, and Dolby’s top-of-the-line Atmos speaker system.
  2. The Lofts – slightly smaller theaters that offer full bar service after 5pm.
  3. Look and Dine – intimate theaters offering huge recliners, tray tables, and an upscale menu from Nick & Sam’s Grill (their restaurant is actually next door).  Lots of nice touches here, including self-illuminated menus.  Can’t wait to try this sometime soon.
  4. General admission – several additional theaters offer a more standard experience.

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Back to blogging

I’ve finally gotten around to updating this software on this site and installing a new theme (that’s more friendly on mobile devices).  I’ve been depending heavily on Facebook for the past few years but now I’m thinking it’s still valuable to have a blog – it’s a place to write down more permanent thoughts.  I have some subjects I really want to write about, like what I’ve learned in the music publishing business.  Hopefully I’ll get to some of that soon!

Slam Bang Theater Theme

If you grew up in Dallas/Ft. Worth in the 1970’s there were many local TV programs that left you with lasting memories.  The tunes are what stuck with me the most (no surprise to those who know me).

Weekdays at 7am on Channel 11 (Saturdays too I think) we had Slam Bang Theater, featuring Icky Twerp plus all the Three Stooges and cartoons they could pack into an hour.  The intro theme song was a rousing march followed by a spirited “Hey Kids – good morning!” from the network announcer.  You can take a trip down memory lane at IckyTwerp.net.  That tune stayed in my head through the years, so a while back I dug up the clues to find the origin of the theme.


The tune is called “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble” from a 1959 LP called “Bill Cullen’s Minstrel Spectacular.”  The famous game-show host puts on his white tuxedo and guides the listener through what it was like when the old minstrel show pulled into town on a paddle-wheel riverboat.  Or rather, it’s an idealized, white-washed 1950’s nostalgia version of a piece of Americana that most of us try to forget, I suppose.  More about the album here.  The minstrel show’s contribution to American musical theater (Broadway in particular) is fascinating stuff, but that’s another story.ИкониikoniИдея за подаръкикониикониПравославни икониикони на светцииконописikoniсвети георгиikoniхудожник на икониИкони на светциХудожникОткъде да купя иконаидея за подаръкгеоложки проучвания

The Ultimate Father’s Day

Old Pirwitz house, Rock Rapids IA

Just returned from an awesome trip to Iowa (and Nebraska).  First stop, the National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD.  What an awesome place – worth every moment and every penny to get there.  If you have any interest at all in the history of any kind of musical instrument, this place will blow you away.  And they are expanding!  It took us 3 hours to go through the collection on display, and that’s only 7% of what they own.

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The Half-Planned Vacation: Central Pennsylvania

PA 008We love the “half-planned” vacation. We usually research a destination or two, but mostly we just head off “that-a-way”. Plenty of time to explore, get off the beaten path, and improvise as new opportunities present themselves. With the help of a GPS navigation system and wireless internet, it’s easier now than ever. Usually we experience awesome coincidences when random things from the trip seem to magically connect together (like the McCormick House below). At the end of the trip, we’re often struck by some “theme” based on what recurred. One trip to San Antonio turned into our “Masonic” trip, and other trips have had other themes.

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Frank & Ludwig, Chapter 3

Finally got the next “Frank & Ludwig” sock puppet video finished last night. Grace and her sister Laura chipped in and really helped raise the production values. Grace created a “Sally” puppet that is as goofy and loud as I imagined the character would be, and Laura provided the perfect voice and puppetry. Grace also engineered the horn prop we needed, as well as the initial idea for the story…


I’ve discovered Facebook

I had heard about Facebook on and off for the past few years, but still had this impression in my mind that it was only for college kids and other juvenile hijinx.  Okay, I was wrong.  After hearing that my daughter had connected with a cousin of mine I decided to join up.

There, just waiting for me, were friends, family members, high school acquaintances, and lots more.  Both my *parents* were already there, which is a scary realization for a technophile like myself.  And there were many more Lovriens there than I’ve ever had access to.  So I started a new genealogy page there to link to my current Lovrien Genealogy site (http://www.lovrien.com).

This is going to be awesome.  If you’re on Facebook too, look me up!

Minor Alterations is a hit!

The piece I wrote last year for the Dallas Wind Symphony‘s Christmas concert is selling like hotcakes for the upcoming holiday season. It is easily the #1 best-seller from the Lovebird Music catalog this year. I was informed this morning that the United States Navy Band will be performing it on Dec. 5th. Have you heard it yet? If not, have a listen:


The idea started with an arrangement of “Pat-a-pan” that I did in 2006 as a demo of the capabilities of the Garritan Personal Orchestra sample library. Pat-a-pan is such a cool minor-key tune, almost Slavic sounding, and I wanted to slip some other Christmas-themed material into it, so I decided to transpose “Up On The Housetop” to minor. It worked out great and the arrangement was completed…

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Autumn in Wisconsin

WI 477

Great trip over the weekend.  The Lakeshore Symphonic Band played the world premiere of the march they commissioned last year.  Grace and I flew up and spent Saturday in Cedarburg, a beautifully quaint town in the throes of fall color.  Crisp and brilliant, we browsed the shops on the main drag and met friends and family for dinner before the concert.  The band played wonderfully and the piece was well received.  Went to the AleHouse in Grafton for an after-concert celebration.  Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures of any of this… oops.  However, hope you enjoy the family pics of the rest of our trip!

Sunday morning we attended my cousin’s church, Church in the City, in Milwaukee.  A beautiful building and an excellent service.  Had a wonderful lunch afterwards with cousins and family before heading up to Manitowoc to visit the other side of the family.  Ended a leisurely Monday with a refreshing walk through the farm and woods.