Tag Archives: Music

Kyle Dine and Friends | DVD Review

I posted a review of Kyle Dine’s DVD on Amazon, and wanted to share it here…

Kyle Dine is an incredibly talented and extremely creative children’s entertainer.  He also wields the utmost authority on living life while coping with food allergies as he has multiple food allergies himself and is a successful world-travelled musical educator.

These expertly crafted videos are full of incredibly fun and catchy age-appropriate songs and lessons about having food allergies.  How to avoid your trigger foods, hand washing, always carrying your auto-injector, and how to quickly reach out for help if necessary are just some of the topics not only touched upon but driven home by Kyle and his puppet friends.  

As an adult with a severe food allergy I am so glad that this type of resource is available for the ever-growing “club” of the food allergic.  As a parent of a child with food allergies, this is an invaluable tool to help teach a toddler turning into a pre-schooler about the importance of not eating food unless it’s OK’d by mommy or daddy, and for her to let us know immediately if she is having a reaction.  Luckily she loves to wash her hands, so we’ve got that covered.  These lessons are delivered in the fine tradition of children’s programming like Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers, and they work.  Both of my kids were moving to the music upon our first viewing!

I not only recommend this for food allergy families, but I would say that extended family who may not understand food allergies, your child’s friends and their parents, and organizations like schools, churches, camps, & clubs could all benefit from the knowledge and entertainment provided by this set of DVD’s.  This programming ought to play on constant rotation in your family’s pediatric allergist’s office waiting room.

This can and will serve as an incredibly fun way to open the door to creating a fun, safe, and confident approach to living with food allergies.

Kyle Dine & Friends: Allergy Awareness with Songs, Puppets, and Games

Kyle Dine & Friends


Getting the itch to set up a place to rock.

So, as you may know, I have a few guitars.  Once upon a time we had an extra room that was going to be adorned with said guitars.  Things changed, and that room serves a much more awesome purpose as my son’s room.

We do, however, have a garage that we don’t use at all.  We have talked about closing it in to make more room.  It might be a bit of a project getting the garage door turned into a wall & man door, and will take a bit of interior TLC like more electrical outlets and some type of climate control.  It should keep the aforementioned son’s room a little warmer if it’s an “inside” room.

I’d like to put my guitars in there, and have them ready to play at any give moment when inspiration strikes.

AiXeLsyD13's Guitars - Oct. 2015

AiXeLsyD13’s Guitars – Oct. 2015

I’ve been drooling over different types of guitar storage for a while now, and stowing ideas away on pinterest.

I’d really like to use the house’s old storm windows that we no longer need to build a permanent version of these cool cabinets:

I have the drive, and I can learn the know-how, but I may need the intervention of someone that actually knows what they’re doing at some point.

Anyone else have a DIY rock n’ roll room setup? I’d like to house my CD’s, records, etc. too instead of them suffocating in storage bins. Maybe some recording gear and/or a PC could find a home there? There are so many options. Like a true punk rock musician I’d like to work close to a nonexistent budget.

Hit me up with your experience and ideas in the comments!


When I tip, you tip, we tip. [#Tipping?]

So, I’ve written about tipping at length before.  I won’t get into all of it again, but I have heard the subject come up lately, and I just want to know where I fall.  This is all about discussion.  I want feedback.  How do you tip?  Some questions I’d like answered…

  • Do you tip 20% when out to eat, or are you still at the 80s 15% standard?  (Please don’t say it’s 10%.)
  • Do you round to the nearest dollar or leave exact change?
  • If you only get a slice of pie and a cup of coffee (or less), do you throw percentage out the window and go for a minimum amount?
  • Is it cool to leave the tip on a receipt if paying with a credit card, or does the waiter/waitress think you stiffed them?
  • Do you tip if there’s an automatic 18% gratuity for a large party?
  • Do you tip better (or worse) based on service, or should it be automatic?
  • How much do you tip a pizza guy/girl?
  • Does the pizza tip change if you have more than pizza or a ridiculously large order?
  • Do you adjust tipping a delivery person in inclement weather, on or near a holiday, or on a day like thanksgiving or New Year’s Day when everyone else is ordering out?
  • Is your delivery tipping based on a percentage of the total, or on a flat per-trip fee?
  • Is it cool to leave the tip on a receipt if paying with a credit card, or does the delivery driver think you stiffed them?
  • Do you tip on take-out when you pick it up?
  • Do you tip at Starbucks or a mom n’ pop coffee place?  Is there a difference?
  • If so, is it change, or paper?
  • Do you tip per beer/drink at the bar, or per round?
  • How much do you tip for a $15 or $18 men’s haircut?  How much more for a beard trim or a shave?
  • Who else do you tip that may not be so obvious?  The garbage man?  The mailman?

I try to tip well as with my food allergy I have a small circle of places where we dine out or get delivery with a high level of comfort.  I want to make sure I’m in the right place.

Please, discuss!

As a reminder, you can comment here without a WordPress account if you’re already logged into Facebook or Twitter, just go to town!


💵 💸 💳 💰

Chick-fil-A-Go-Go! 🎸🎤🎧🎵🎶

OK, so it’s been a while since I’ve been productively making music & actively writing songs.  Apparently the bug never goes away.  I have been thinking about doing punk rock-ish kids songs for a while.  (The Sablowskis beat me to it!)

Yeah, there is the AiXeLsyD reunion gig coming up… whenever that is, and it doesn’t seem like Ernie and the Berts was all that long ago.

I saw a contest online last week and it sparked me to get my ass quickly in gear. Music Go Round in Monroeville is holding a guitar giveaway, and I have been mentally drooling all over Eastwood Guitars online for quite some time. The Side Jack is pretty awesome!

It would be really cool if you could help me win this axe by clicking “like” on this post: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=698216686929723&permPage=1

It may help to follow or like the Music Go Round Monroeville, PA Facebook page too.  It has to be on that post on their page, no “likes” here or on my link(s) to it on my Facebook profile count.  Voting is only open this week, they pick a winner on the 27th!

As far as the song goes, I threw it together in under an hour with a downloaded app for the tablet, using crappy headphones, the built-in mic on the tablet, and my acoustic guitar down in the basement.  I think it shows.  But, I still think it’s a hooky tune with some potential.  I may have to recruit a few of the usual suspects or even some unusual ones to help me complete the process.

Molly is absolutely terrified of the Chick-fil-A cow.  My guess is that other kids are too. Seems like we can find a whole lot more to relate to with some feet-tapping tunes!



NOT a fan of the cow.

A photo posted by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

Merry Christmas 2013!

So, I haven’t blogged much over the last year or so.  The new job has me out & around… not near a desk with time on my hands to save a draft & come back to it later.  I also have less time to monkey around on the internet as it’s mostly taken up by our sweet little girl once I am home.  Speaking of home, that’s new too.  We finally bought a house and are no longer renters!

Check out our little sweet pea in an album on Facebook if you’re interested.  This was the day after moving, and 2 days after Molly turned six months old.  Photos by Kristina Serafini.  This was the one we chose for the Christmas card this year:

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Hopefully I can adapt how I blog, maybe use the android app… to get my thoughts out there. Maybe it’ll be shorter less link-filled stuff. Maybe not. Maybe I can do drafts with the phone and edit/post/link/add media later.

The house is taking some time to get set up, but eventually I’ll have all my toys in a room that will make blogging and computer time easier.  I also have a nice workbench now so I should be able to monkey with my guitars more often.  I have some ideas to put into play.

This has been a crazy year.  New job, new baby, new house.  What’s next?

How have things been for everyone out there in WordPress land?

In the spirit of Christmas, check out this post, and join in:

Molly Darling

"Mollie Darling" (Will S. Hays)  Evan Williams

“Mollie Darling” (Will S. Hays) Evan Williams

So, a while ago… after we decided to name the baby Molly Mae, Bethany’s uncle had remarked to her mom that their family had an old record called “Mollie Darling” for the Victrola… which is now in our living room.  Of course we had to check it out.  We have the version by Evan Williams.

Me being me, loving song histories and “cover” songs (like the origins of “Hey Joe”)…  This one is right up my alley.  It’s got a neat somewhat convoluted history, and probably more than a few have claimed ownership of it.  Google is pretty awesome, because within a few seconds I found some sheet music from 1871 in Temple University’s digital library, and a song history from Second Hand Songs.  I even found some easy-looking guitar tab.

It looks like it’s been recorded several times by a bunch of different artists.  The first one seems to be by the Haydn Quartet, but I can’t seem to find that version anywhere online.  I can’t find the version we have by Evan Williams online either.  The earliest one that I can find seems to be by Vernon Dalhart:

But, it’s out there several times, by several artists:

(A rockabilly one!)


Mollie Darling - Sheet Music (Cover)

Mollie Darling – Sheet Music (Cover)

So… “CNET | Poll: Should music be free?”

Not that it’s never been brought up before… but, the debate rages on.  I find it interesting that it’s a CNET poll, and that there are people quite passionate on both sides of the issue.  Check out this poll:

Poll: Should music be free? | Paying for music is now a voluntary act, so why would anyone ever buy a CD, LP, or download?

English: The crossed out copyright symbol with...

English: The crossed out copyright symbol with a musical note on the right hand side is the free music symbol, signifying a lack of copyright restrictions on music. It may be used in the abstract, or applied to a sound recording or musical composition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not exactly sure where I fall.  Obviously, as a musician… I see value in the songs & the entertainment.  It’s great when I have a product to sell.  It’s awesome that people would want to pay to purchase noise that I make.  To me it’s more of a lifestyle/hobby though.  I don’t mind playing just to make gas money, or selling music barely above cost… or even posting it for free.  I dig that people enjoy it.  But, and this is a big but…  If it was my sole means of income, I sure would not be happy giving much away for free.  Although, radio and now online streaming are the way to get heard, and… that’s free.  You almost need that to advertise yourself, unless you gig non-stop like Metallica in their early days.

Are people like me who don’t mind giving away music devaluing music for everyone?  I certainly like free stuff.  I also buy CD’s & merchandise from local & smaller touring acts like a madman.  I realize I’m not normal in that practice.  I see the value in others’ art.  It’s important to me to reward their efforts.

The again, I’m a huge fan of freeware, shareware, and open source stuff when it comes to software.  What’s the difference?

What’s the new model?  Albums are free, shows and T-shirts make you money?  Every band releases a documentary & a bunch of live DVD’s?  Government sticks its’ nose into streaming and it becomes an ad-heavy payola nightmare?

I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts in the comments.

If I ever buy another guitar…

I certainly don’t need another guitar.  I’m always looking at them though.  There are just so many different kinds out there, and I can appreciate almost all of them.  Some I actually sort of drool over, & eventually I end up with one.  I don’t think 13 Guitars in 2013 will ever become a reality.  I can always add cool guitars to my Pinterest board, right?

These are some that I’m always thinking about…

Epiphone USA Map Guitar

Epiphone USA Map Guitar

Goofy Map

Like this…

The Epiphone USA Map Guitar – It has to be ridiculously cumbersome to play, but no more than my Galveston B.B. Stone.  The brown finish is neat, but I’d love it to look like an old-school pastel textbook map of the USA.  They pop up on ebay every once in a while, but none are ever priced low enough that I feel it’s a “must buy” because I’ll never see the same deal again.  There are other companies that make them too.  I’m not picky, I just like the shape & the idea.  It would certainly be a fun one on stage.

Fernandes Ravelle

Fernandes Ravelle

Fernandes Ravelle Deluxe


The Fernandes Ravelle – I’d like any of them really, but the green Dave Kushner model is awesome.  I dig the green color, and the sweet pick guard with holes in it.  I love how it takes the classic Les Paul shape, and makes it a little Alien.  The curves are awesome.  I dig the sound too, on the Velvet Revolver albums & live show.  I’ve seen a few in action at shows around here, but I’ve only seen one for sale at Guitar Center in Robinson.  I almost dropped more money than I could afford on it… it was only around $500 which seemed reasonable.   Sadly, I made a sound financial decision that day.

Fretlight Guitar

Fretlight Guitar

Fretlight® Guitar – It seems like it would just be really fun to play with one.  I might even learn a scale other than the pentatonic with one.  I like the old school one with the knobs & switches.  I don’t know if I’d even gig out with it, unless you could program it to make a cool light show or spell out the name of your band or something tasteless & offensive on the fretboard.  Maybe even the word “POOP” because, well, that’s always funny.

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat

Hallmark Guitars Wing-Bat – Or the George Barris Batman guitar.  I’ll probably never have enough money to own this thing, but it sure is cool.  No Batmobile beats the 60’s Batmobile… and this thing looks like it was in the trunk all along.  If anyone has one that needs a good home, let me know.  I’ll play it & take care of it quite well.  I’d gig out with it too.  It’s a shame when these collector guitars hit a shelf somewhere never to be played again.

DIPinto Mach IV

DIPinto Mach IV

DiPinto Mach IV – One of my favorite guitars playersplays one of these sweet-looking axes. It’s very eye-catching.  It’s almost like a Mosrite, but not quite.  Gel from The Eyeliners is one hell of a guitar player, & the reason I want one.  I’m generally not a fan of red guitars, but with this… I’d like a red one.



Annihilator copy by Oktober Guitars – I’m not nearly as cool as Doyle, but I’d love to play one… being a Misfits Fiend for all these years.  I’m not sure I’ll ever have $600 lying around for a guitar that I wouldn’t play all the time.

I do also want a bunch of other stuff that’s not so specific.   I’d love to have a hollowbody, something like an Ibanez Artstar/Artcore or Epiphone Flamekat.  I’d love a custom Millennium Falcon guitar.  I’d love one of Tom Bingham’s creations like the Record guitar or suitcase guitar.  I like weird stuff, like the Bigfoot Guitar or the Electric Ant Farm guitar.

I’d like a translucent guitar.  I did want one of those lime green BC Rich models that were out a while back.  They had them in Warlock, Bich or Mockingbird styles, but I’m not sure I could pull that off.  I’d also like a see-through Galveston (or any “off “brand) Les Paul or Telecaster.  A translucent guitar with LED’s in it would be incredibly fun.

I would like a Fender Toronado or Gibson Firebrand too.  Maybe any sort of double-neck or even a 6-string banjo.  I’m sure there are other guitars out there that I want that I just don’t know about.

Check out my Guitars Board on Pinterest for an ever-evolving list.

What’s on your wish-list?

Digital Media vs.Physical Media.

The other day I posted a Facebook status, and wanted to expand upon it here.  This is what I said:

I get that digital & cloud media are the next step. I get that ALMOST everything is available for streaming as part of a service. Anyone else weirded out by it? Some stuff… obscure or whatever just isn’t available for streaming. What happens when the companies close or the cloud’s redundant services fail? What happens if someone buys the rights to streaming movies, just to keep them from the public? What if censorship goes out of control and some committee decided certain movies are no longer available? Will they all be lost forever because no one will have physical copies? Don’t say it can’t happen… it has in the past with books.

It sparked a discussion.  Not too long after I posted that, Amazon posted this:

Announcing AutoRip from Amazon MP3: Buy an AutoRip CD and instantly get the MP3 version for FREE. Learn more: http://amzn.to/VMhFaJ

I of course shared it, and it sparked a tiny bit more discussion.

English: Photograph of Roku XDS player with re...

Photograph of Roku XDS player with remote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of digital music & cloud storage.  I just purchased a 3TB drive, and in addition to other uses, hope to eventually rip all of my CD’s & put them on there so I can set it up to listen to all of my stuff from any browser anywhere.  Well, after I make a few decisions.

I like the idea of Digital movies & TV shows…  I love having Netflix‘s library available in an instant.  I love being able to watch a movie from Netflix or rent a digital movie from Amazon through the Blu-ray player.

I like the idea of Pandora or Google Play where there’s streaming music there in an instant.  Pandora just disappoints because of the variety of music I listen to… a lot of smaller bands that I really dig just have a minimal or even no presence there.  Google Play at least lets you upload your own mp3’s in addition to purchasing new ones.  Amazon holds your stuff in the cloud too.  I just wish all the music that I wanted was all in one place.

I have had an older external hard drive crash.  It’s not good.  I still need to get it fixed without breaking the bank.  Anything physical can be destroyed…  CD’s & Records can melt or scratch, and not too many people have 8-Trak or even cassette players any more.

My original question is as much about content control & ownership as much as anything else.  Say you purchase a ton of music that’s in the cloud… and that company shuts down.  How do you hold on to that music?  Were you just renting it?  What happens if the parent company gets into a disagreement with the management of your favorite band and their catalog is removed from your clous storage?

Cover of "Idiocracy"

“…a time when people cared about who’s ass it was, and why it was farting!”

What if you bought the movie Idiocracy and it becomes so true to life that it’s banned?  Don’t sit back comfortably and think it can’t happen.  Books are banned all the time by different groups.  No one comes & takes all of your books… yet.  What if the banned book could be deleted from your Kindle or Nook?  All In The Family would never fly on TV now, but what if it was no longer available because of its abrasive humor?

I just feel uneasy about it.

That being said, I absolutely hate cash money.  I hardly ever have it on me.  I like swiping my card for everything.  If I could use it in parking meters and pop machines, I would.  There’s a swing back towards cash though, as credit card company fees are crushing small businesses, especially if you’re making a purchase with a low dollar amount.  Is it odd that I have no problem with my money being intangible,  but when I use to to purchase an album or a movie… I need that to be tangible?

I’d like to get a good discussion going in the comments.

Free Swag From Guitar Center!

So, did you read the last post about the Guitalele & Guitar Center’s price match guarantee?  The whole thing is pretty awesome, especially if you’re a musician and you actively purchase gear.  It’s worth checking out, so click that link.

Once you’ve read that, this will make sense:

The gig bag & the stand are a perfect fit!  Thanks again to Luke for the excellent customer service, and to YaJagoff for sparking it!