Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review


These week's installment of random pics by P include many of missing heads and KG reenacting the infamous Bigfoot photo.


Lil' J continues her foray into real food this week and Wheels found that the best way to calm her down was a Ritz cracker and she enjoyed the crap out of it everyday.


Toots has been obsessed with the 1982 film version of Annie lately. We tried to get her on camera performing her stirring rendition of Dumb Dog to no avail. Because of this we put her to work and in case you are wondering the floors did indeed shine like the top of the Chrysler Building when she was done.


Should I be worried that the favorite song of P and Toots is currently Iron Man by Black Sabbath? Last weekend while running the usual errands I flipped the radio over to KBER 101 just as Iron Man was beginning. Soon enough the girls were in full on Wayne and Garth mode headbanging like Bohemian Rhapsody was rocking the stereo in our Mirthmobile. Ever since then P has asked me to play it again so I broke down this week and put it on my mp3 player. The following video was about the 5th time we had listened to it in a row. I especially enjoy Toots' interpretive dancing at the beginning of the clip.


Every Saturday since P has returned from her visit to Nevada she has asked, "Can we go hiking?" This week I gave in and we headed up to the Birdsong Trail, which was listed as a very family friendly hike. Wheels' problem is that she wants to head right out and climb King's Peak rather than baby step it with the kids. Birdsong was perfect for our needs and I recommend it to any family with kids under 6 or so. As evidenced in the pics and videos below we encountered wild berries, 'raging' rivers, a 'waterfall' and a 'lake.' I use most of those terms very loosely.

Just as I feared that P was straying completely from her Skog roots and becoming 100% Wheels she gave me this excellent post hike interview. I reckon the Skog legacy is still safe for a few more years.

Friday, August 21, 2009

News and Whimsy - UPDATED!


I would like to welcome Wheels' brother's family to the blogosphere. Check the link on the side panel. May has done more blogging in a week then most of us do in a year. Nicely done!

I attended the free Iron & Wine concert at the Gallivan Center last night and was treated to a solo acoustic performance by Sam Beam. He was as good as ever and played all of the songs that I really wanted to hear except one. However, once again like at Bon Iver, the intimately fantastic music was marred by the idiot kids who showed up to a free concert not even knowing who was playing and yelled over the music. Guess what kids? Even though you might have been confused by Sam Beam's beard you aren't at a ZZ Top concert. You don't need to start a mosh pit to acoustic folk music when there are over 1000 people crammed into the space of my front yard. Also, I don't know from experience but I'm pretty sure that I get more of a buzz off of a can of Mtn Dew than you do from your two sips when eight of you share a can of PBR. Be on the lookout for my new blog -


MSN had an article this week of the Worst Album Covers Ever.

Spin Magazine created a list of the Worst Song Titles So Far This Year.

Excellent time waster for you - a site that generates anagrams from your name. I didn't like what it came up for mine but here are a few I liked:

Brett Favre = FATTER VERB

Wheels (Her name including middle initial) = LOSINGLY SLEEK GEM

Some others were not as good especially these:

Flanksteak's full name = YOBS JERK YLANG-YLANG

Big J's full name = JERK FLY EGGS BY FELON - sometimes being a Skog is hard...

Although Big J might enjoy what it came up with for Crazy Sue's full name = SNOG SOULLESSLY OK ANGEL

I'm telling you that site will waste hours of your life.

Up last, the greatest HORSE shot I've ever seen. Your move, Larry or Magic.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review


P got her hands on the camera again this week but I will spare you The Blair Witch footage this time but give you this nice little pic of J and Wheels.


Toots' stubbornness is well documented but it is almost getting to the OCD stage. She is also turning into a clean freak and hates to be sticky. At least she will do anything to wash her hands.


Lil' J had her 5 month appointment a few weeks back and although she has been growing at a good rate her doctor recommended a daily bottle to supplement and give her a few more calories. It looks like the Rockstar was given the 'Loosle Stomach' and the added formula has made her stomach very angry. We tried to switch her to a modified baby BRAT diet and so far she is digging the rice cereal.


P has been trying to snap for a long time but has never been able to get the sound. Finally this week she broke on through to the other side.


This week's entry - answer at the end of the column.


The family of Wheels' brother Andrew has lived the past several years in Hawaii. The last time we had a chance to see them was over 2 years ago at a family wedding and P still has a picture on her dresser with her cousins and constantly asks, 'when are we going to Hawaii to see Anaya?' Andrew is a military man and is headed to Officers' Training in Georgia while his family rents a home in Utah for the year while he is away. P was very excited about this and we made our first journey down to their home this week that included some good chats, some great food and some quality Rock Band.

As I got set to post these pictures I realized I had none of Andrew but I have many of his girls and his wife, May, which is the much more attractive side of his family anyway. Like the Skogs, the Wheels Family has 3 girls - Trinity, Anaiya, and Cyri.

May's family is Hmong and they are always willing to make us some tasty dishes when we visit. Toots could not get enough of the egg rolls. These clips make me laugh because in them you see the three phases of Toots - angry, happy and oblivious. My favorite video is the one where you can totally see her thinking to herself, "yeah, this egg roll is pretty good..." Little Cyri also makes an appearance.

Andrew and I attempted to get a nice shot of the girls to send to Grandma and Grandpa Wheels. If only I was a PhotoShop pro I could combine all of these for the perfect picture.


Wednesday we had originally planned on going swimming with Andrew's family down in Lehi. Wheels picked me up from work and we made it to Draper before we pulled off at our old bank to cash a check in order to have funds for the swimming retreat. Our adventure started right as we pulled into the bank's parking lot as Toots vomited all over herself and her carseat. It was an apparent case of car sickness. Blame the heat (P kept asking us to shut off the air in the back), the rush hour traffic and my aforementioned stomach. Sorry Toots. After a bottled water bath (Toots) and a trip to the car wash (car seat) we grabbed some snowcones and headed home. FUN night!

Confession - the vomit incident took place on Wed and the above picture was taken Sun night about 10:30 after it had been removed from the bag in which it had been placed on Wed. We got wondering what that funky smell was in our house...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

News and Whimsy


I can't imagine that anybody doesn't know about the passing of John Hughes. Another thing I can't imagine is anybody under the age of 40 who doesn't have at least one of his films on their all time top 10 movie list. Here is a tribute that was popular on the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter this week.

Big news tomorrow night, 7 pm - a new Hot August Night Concert by the one and only Neil Diamond on CBS.

The Swell Season - the lovely duo from the film Once, is set to drop a new album in October and they played a few of their new songs for NPR radio this week. A MUST listen! Glen Hansard is so passionate about his music I bet after he finished this short set he stood out on the steps of NPR studios and played for a few more hours.


I saw this clip on a few blogs this week. It's Harrison Ford's version of the old LDS Church commercials, Family... Isn't it about... time?

I don't usually like to name drop here on the ol' Skog Blog but Wheels is friends with the co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite and even went out with her brother a few times. Another fun fact is that her husband, the director of the film, is the first cousin of my pal Steve Williams. Because of these two facts we support them in all of their endeavours. Here is the trailer for their new film, Gentlemen Broncos starring Skog Blog fave, Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords.

Here is more from Dr. Ronald Chevalier teaching us The Art of Relaxating as well as The Art of Inspiring Oneself.

Last but not least, my cousin's husband, Jake Hamblin and his brother Michael filmed a movie last year that was screened at several festivals and is quite good. The Sinking of Santa Isabel is especially recommended for fans of Wes Anderson type films (smart, subtle humor). The DVD will finally be released next month and can be purchased on Amazon and other fine stores or entered into your netflix queue. Give them your support!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oldies But Goodies

Beck - Sea Change

When most people think of Beck I imagine their thoughts immediately turn to Loser - the slacker anthem of my generation. Perhaps some people who know Beck a little better might want to discuss the classic album Odelay, that contained a slew of hits and is listed on many critics' lists of top 100 albums of all time. However, my opinion is that Beck's true masterpiece is Sea Change.

One of Beck's strengths is his ability to recreate himself with each album. From hip hop to folk to R and B, the only thing that usually is a given when you pick up one of his new albums is that it will be full of catchy tunes with abstract and almost nonsensical lyrics. A few albums before Sea Change, Beck released Mutations, an album that was a melting pot of musical genres but included songs that I would call siblings to those found on Sea Change such as Nobody's Fault But My Own.

Beck took everything good about the songs on Mutations and elevated them to another level on Sea Change by writing lyrics that seem genuine, poetic and also a bit melancholy. Songs like The Golden Age, Guess I'm Doing Fine, Lost Cause, and It's All In Your Mind are quite good but Lonesome Tears is one of the all time greats, folks. It is the perfect soundtrack for the days when the stresses of life are bearing down and all you want to do is sit out on the porch in the rain with some mellow tunes and yerbamate (or your own favorite beverage) and just feel sad. Sometimes that is the best therapy of all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Music Monday Night

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and A Sound
I only briefly reported on the Gomez concert but do not take that to mean that the concert was not fanfriggintastic because it was indeed great. I just figured everyone was tired of the Skog Blog Gomez Lovefest so I refrained. One of the reasons I waited to discuss the show in great detail though was because of tonight's selection for New Music Monday, Blind Pilot. This little gem of a band opened for Gomez and I was not familiar with their work so Flanksteak and I arrived late and we wandered into the Murray Theatre a few songs into their set. We were quickly smitten by their delightful blend of folk and pop and gave them our full attention. They finished their playlist with a new song, We Are the Tide and in all of my years of concert attendance I have never seen a mad dash like the swarm of people who stormed the merch table to pickup the band's album. Flanksteak described the song as primeval and it almost got our two sorry behinds to dance. Almost.

Sadly, We Are the Tide is not on 3 Rounds and A Sound but the album is still very solid. Blind Pilot originally consisted of 2 guys, Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, and the album has a stripped down acoustic feel. In the early stages of the band, the two gents would tour around the Western US on their bikes and pull their instruments on custom made trailers. After a few smaller tours they decided to fill out their band with 4 other musicians (trumpet, xylophone, banjo/mandolin and upright bass) and wrote Tide shortly thereafter. Usually I enjoy a good acoustic sound over a full blown band but Blind Pilot the 6 is even greater than Blind Pilot the 2 and I look forward to their future releases. Listen to Story I Heard, Poor Boy and the title track.

Special bonus - Since Blind Pilot is one of a handful of bands that sound even better live you can hear a live concert performance on NPR. To hear We Are the Tide fast forward to min 28 on this concert.

Here is the promo clip for Go On, Say It - their only official music video.

Grand Finale - We Are the Tide!!! This clip doesn't quite do it justice but still is quite nice.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

P's New Hairstyle

P has been waffling lately as to whether or not to cut her hair. Somedays she says she wants to grow it out 'past her butt' and other days she says she wants to cut it short. This week she finally settled on a new style and I think she nailed it.

A Brewing Love Triangle?

We have mentioned a few times before our little neighbor boy, Kire and our desire to have him and P get married in order to create a ridiculously good looking race of superhumans. However, Wheels tells me that it might be Toots who is falling for this young stud and below we submit exhibit A. When I was posting this picture on the blog she got very excited, pointed and said, "Kire, Kire" with the same gusto that Beavis used to say, "Fire, Fire." Let's just hope our family isn't torn apart by this situation. We'll keep an eye on it.

New Game - Vomit or X?

I have a potential new game for the week in review where you, the reader, has the opportunity to guess whether or not the picture is vomit or something else. The answer is at the bottom of the column...


Ever since Wheels got back from NV Toots has taken her stalking game to the next level and her new nickname should be Single White Toots. Wheels can't leave the room without Toots freaking out and she follows her around and holds on to her pants while Wheels trips over her at every turn. This week her Dell Craptop died and so Wheels was forced to work from her desktop computer rather than the comfort of the couch. Toots didn't like this and screamed until Wheels found a solution. Now Toots can keep one eye on Wheels and the other on the TV, perfect.

P and Her Friends

Just like when her old man was a kid, P is an early to bed and early to rise kind of gal. Unfortunately due to Toots' well documented sleeping problems, Wheels and the other girls like to sleep in. P usually wakes up right as I'm leaving for work so I get her a cup of chocolate milk, turn on the TV and let her enjoy cartoons for awhile before the rest of the house gets out of bed. Apparently P gets lonely in the early morning and Wheels found her watching TV like this. It's kind of sad but mostly adorable...

The Lil' Rockstar is Ready for Her Closeup

Here are the Lil' Rockstar clips of the week. It also provides a nice clip of Toots' new seating arrangements.

Country Fair Days

I know most people think our little town is like something out of a Disney cartoon with backwards folks and barnyard animals and this week's 'Country Fair Days' did little to fight those assumptions. However, it was good times for all that participated. P and Millie were able to go to 'Cheer Champ' with the local Jr. High cheerleaders and ride on their float as well as dance at the park at the fair. My neice Maddie and nephew Sam were also in the parade and in the least shocking news of the weekend, their father, Utahfun won the pie eating contest. I had heard it was going to be watermelon so I opted out but had I known it was pie I would have entered and won. I am a two time pie eating champ so enjoy your reign, Utahfun, I'll be there in 2010.

While waiting for the parade to reach us the MC played the hits and just like her mother, Toots couldn't contain her enthusiasm once they started playing some MJ.

As good as Toots' dancing was there was an even greater dance off during the parade. It has been 20 years since I've seen such an explosive dance contest. Here is Jack vs. Max.

P and Millie in the parade.

Quick rant (loyal readers are getting used to these) - Memo to the leaders of the group, probably named 'FSA', that danced before our girls: Nobody wants to see 6 year olds bump and grind in booty shorts that show their butt cheeks. Also if you must have them do this then please at least have the class to edit the f bombs out of their songs. End of rant.

On a positive note, this was the first time P had performed in public and seeing her dance and the joy she felt as she did was one of the funnest things I have ever witnessed. Good times. Also, special props to Maddie for taking the girls' plain ol' t-shirts and making them look 'cool' as P called them.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cover Song Saturday Night

The following Led Zeppelin song was shared with the Skog Blog during a guest playlist posted by Robyn. Imagine my delight as well as the delight of my pal Flanksteak as Gomez busted into this song at the concert on Wed night. Here is a fairly decent recording of them performing Bron-Y-Aur Stomp today at Lollapalooza.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

News and Whimsy


This evening I need to put a controversy to rest. For any of you who drove on US-89 in Farmington on Sunday and saw the glorious sign made from plastic cups on the overpass, I have to admit that it wasn't me. Just to clarify for the Skog Blog readers who don't live in Utah, many people use cups to write notes on the overpasses with things like, "Welcome Home Elder Johnson" or "Will you go to prom with me, Wheels?" Sadly, it wasn't I that wrote "Kidz Bop Sucks" although I am glad that my message is getting out there. Keep fighting the good fight, Unknown Soldiers.


Here are two links for all of the 30 Rock fans out there. Everything that Tracy Morgan has said during season one and season three.

Lollapalooza is this Fri - Sun. Those of us who can't go to Chicago can still watch some of the bands here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oldies But Goodies

Since tomorrow night I will be at the Gomez concert and most likely unable to post the weekly playlist I will kill two birds with one stone tonight and give you a playlist of Oldies But Goodies from my childhood. All of these songs were cassette or vinyl singles that I purchased at one point in my life between elementary and high school.

KG's Oldies But Goodies - The Early Years

Elvis Costello - Veronica - One of the first 'alternative' songs that I ever loved. I remember buying this cassette single and listening to it approximately 57 times a day for one year. I've since seen Elvis twice and sadly, he has yet to perform this song.

Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Which is cheesier now? The song, the video or the film from whence it came? My buddy, Big Al and myself LOVED this song. Guess what? We still do.

Club Nouveau - Lean On Me - I purchased this record the same day as the above mentioned Starship tune. It has not aged nearly as well as the Bill Withers' original but brings back some good memories from Bell View Elementary.

George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You - Loved the song but loved the video even more. Of course at the time I had no idea that this British fellow was a member of arguably the most popular band of all time, I just liked lip synching deers and squirrels that play a saxophone pipe.

Howard Jones - Everlasting Love - Utahns love Howard and KG is still a fan of this song.

Tony! Toni! Tone! - It Never Rains In Southern California - Once upon a time I listened to this song so often that my sister Kim may or may not have ripped it out of the tape deck, rolled down her window and fired it into the street.

Christopher Cross - All Right - And finally, speaking of two birds and one stone - most people know that I am a March Madness junkie. One of the first NCAA Tourneys that I ever remember was 1983 when Thurl Bailey and NC State defeated Houston with a buzzer beater and their coach Jimmy Valvano ran around the court like a mad man. Big J happened to have recorded the game and I watched it with the tourney highlights that followed many, many, many times. This tune was used for the tourney highlight package (this is pre-One Shining Moment) and I finally decided to pickup this cassette with my first foray in the BMG 10 tapes for a penny deal. One fateful day as Kim and I were firing up listen number 20, Jenny decided 19 was plenty so she grabbed the small boombox and chucked it across the room wiping out said box and this cassette that was eaten as the boombox's last meal. Two birds one stone. Moral of this story is that I learned to love albums and not just songs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Music Monday Night

I just realized that it has been more than one month since I passed along some new music. That just ain't right and so tonight I am back with more goodness. I have two similar selections that should (but might not) be universally beloved. Neither of them are going to blow your mind or change the music industry but should work themselves into your rotation. We shall see.

Brooke White - High Hopes & Heartbreak

Brooke was 'the other Mormon' on American Idol the year that David Archuleta captured the hearts and ears of America and more specifically, Utah. Her stint on Idol included some great performances, a couple of epic meltdowns and once the post season tours ended I imagine many figured she'd fade into obscurity. While reading the SL Tribune last week I noticed that she had released an album after running into Randy Jackson in a California guitar store. The two got talking, something like this I'm sure - "Yo, Dawg, why haven't you put out an album? I always liked you, Dawg." "Well, thanks Randy, but I'm not exactly a pop skank like most of the female singers out there today." "Dawg, come on, let's start our own label, you are the real deal, Dawg..." And start a label they did. Randy executive produced the debut and they formed the indie label 'June Baby Records.'

I checked out the album after reading the review and had my interest peaked by two song titles, Radio, Radio and Use Somebody. I thought they could possibly be covers of Elvis Costello and Kings of Leon songs. I struck out with the Elvis but my assumption was correct for the KOL track. If you haven't heard Use Somebody this summer then you must never listen to the radio (it's on EVERY channel other than Sportstalk) or be dead. It's a great song and her cover is nicely done as well. As expected the rest of the album is folksy, timeless and pleasant. Even the cover art evokes the old albums from her favorite musicians. Come for the cover song, stay for the quality songs. Well played, Sister White.

David Mead - Almost and Always

I apologize if 'New Music Monday' is turning into KG gets all smug and bemoans why his favorite singers aren't famous and why the music taste of the general public sucks... The problem is that everytime I hear a talented musician like Mead and read about how they are broke and working construction because they were dropped from their label and then see some untalented 'artist' show off their home on MTV Cribs a little part of me dies. Dramatic enough for you?

Almost and Always is David Mead's fifth full length album. The first two were released by RCA records and after poor sales he was dropped. After putting out two more albums and touring on the road for years he moved back to Nashville and was ready to throw in the towel. However, you can't keep a talented musician down and soon enough he had material for another album. It was released last year independently and very difficult to find, however I read last night that it will be getting released tomorrow (Tues Aug 4th) on a small indie label and available for purchase in stores. Good news for all of us and better news for KG since it is now a shoo-in for the Skog Blog Top 12 Countdown. Go to Graywhale or your local indie store and find it. This album has been in heavy, heavy rotation on my mp3 player. If songs like, Little Boats, Twenty Girls Ago, Almost and Always, and Last Train Home don't please your ears then you might need to see an ear doctor. Just saying. Don't make me do another post saying, "In a just world this guy would be the next James Taylor..." because nobody wants to read another cliche ridden post by KG.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

A Lot Goes On (But Nothing Happens)

This week I felt a lot like the old Ben Lee song, 'a lot goes on but nothing happens.' We settled back into the groove after our trip to NV which includes Wheels trying to work while being a messenger/jungle gym/personal assistant to the girls and KG trying to contain his orneriness while the saved up sleep gas tank teeters dangerously close to 'no fuel.' It got to Saturday and Wheels realized that we had no pics to share for the week in review. She then proceeded to take the following gems and told me to post them to show how ornery I really was this week. I actually wanted to post them, not for the aforementioned reason but for two other reasons. 1 - I am holding a power tool. This might be the first time this has ever been caught on film. 2 - to show my latest beard and share a nice busting of my chops. After Tahoe I shaved off my longer beard because a day at the beach with an itchy beard is not fun and I could no longer take it. As usual I started missing it shortly after I put the razor to my face so I stopped shaving on Wednesday and have the groundwork for another beard masterpiece. At church I was standing in the hall with the Lil' Rockstar chatting with my neighbor that I call 'Coach.' Just as the conversation was nearing its end Coach said, 'I'm loving the George Michael Beard.' I laughed at that the rest of the day. Well done, Coach.

Happy Birthday Grammie Sue

On Sunday we definitely made up for any lost time this week as we held a birthday bash for my mother, Grammie Sue. (Side note - I find it funny that everyone in our family spells things with a 'y' but Wheels and I use 'ie' for some reason - ok back to this EXCITING post) Monday was Sue's birthday and it was a big enough milestone that we figured we should do it right and go all out. I won't share her age even though you can all guess from the picture above she was turning 45. You'll be shocked to read that her age is greater than 50 but less than 65.

We went with a cruise theme that included margaritas, pina coladas, and true to cruise form - enough food to make you sick. Other highlights included 'Name That Tune' - where the winners had the pleasure of dining at the Captain's Table with our guest of honor. There was a 'Fine' Art Auction hosted by Michel LeSkousen where KG scored a masterpiece entitled 'George Being Curious.' We played a game called 'Sink the Cruise Ship' which was basically a Survivor challenge knock off that enabled the grandkids to learn the answers to questions such as: "At what age did Grammie Sue kiss John Johnson behind her parents' garage?" Answer: 14. The grand finale was a video presentation put together by Herms that was pictures of Sue and her family cobbled together from her life. Tears were shed, laughs were had. All in all a very pleasant day. Nice work by everyone in my family putting together such a fun night for Sue. She didn't even have to clean up after we trashed her house which was probably the best present of all.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cover Song Saturday Night

Here are a few Beatles related covers for this fine Saturday evening and Sabbath Day.

In anticipation of their concert this coming Wednesday, Gomez - Getting Better.

Jim James of My Morning Jacket fame has released a George Harrison tribute album under the clever secret name of 'Yim Yames.' We never would have figured that one out, I'm sure.

Elliott Smith performing Revolution.