Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Night Playlist

Most of you know that I served my mission in the South of Chile and during this time I became acquainted with the good Chilean people, la buena yerbamate and el rock chileno.  Friday Sept 18th is Chile's Independence Day and tonight's playlist consists of songs from Chilean Rock and Folk groups.  Even if your spanish skills were courtesy of Mr. Morris or Bosko which means you only know the lyrics to La Bamba, Tengo and Senor Sol, grab some yerbamate, an empanada and give these songs a chance. 

Songs From Chile

Illapu - Chilean Folk Music.  The first music I heard while in Chile.  They look like an 80's Hair Band but rather than wailing on guitars they rock the pan flute.  Love these guys.

Lejos del Amor, Vuelvo Para Vivir, Sincero Positivo

Los Prisioneros - Mainly an 80's band, these guys were one of the first bands to see commercial success throughout the world.  Their tunes would fit right in with The Pet Shop Boys or When In Rome.

Pa Pa Pa, Tren al Sur, El Baile De Los Que Sobran

La Ley - To be honest I never really liked this band.  I only include them because they were very successful throughout the world and when I got home from Chile and would search for Los Tres albums (see below) I could only find albums by La Ley.  Also any of  my friends who served in Latin America had heard of them but none had heard of Los Tres.  Probably another reason why I didn't like them much.  This song is pretty good though.

Doble Opuesto

Javiera y Los Imposibles - She is the daughter and niece of two of Chile's most influential folk artists of the 1960's (Angel Parra and Violeta Parra).  I only have heard her first album but see that she has apparently released several others in the past 15 years.  Her band, 'Los Imposibles', consisted of members from Los Tres and they helped co-write some of the songs from her debut. 

Te Amo Tanto, Humedad

Los Tres - Los Tres probably deserve their own post at some point.  I have told people that I firmly believe that even if I had never lived in Chile or if I didn't speak a lick of spanish I would still be a fan of their music.  They might even hold a spot in my all time top 10 band list.  The band actually had 4 members originally (similar to how Ben Folds Five only had 3 members) and their music is a nice fusion of folk, rock, jazz, pop, and whatever sounds right to them.  If I had to compare them to a domestic band I would go with The Violent Femmes but that doesn't really do either band justice.  A very hard band to categorize.  They never reached the worldwide fame that they were due but they did film an episode of MTV Unplugged and get a tribute album recorded by Cafe Tacvba, who is basically the Mexican Radiohead and quite possibly the most famous Latin Rock band of all time.  Not too shabby.

Sudapara, El Aval, Dejate Caer, La Espada y La Pared, Traje Desastre, Olor a Gas, Camino, Dejate Caer (Cafe Tacuba)

The Skog Family Week in Review

P Just Might Be the Funniest Person on the Planet

P enjoys being the center of attention.  This is not news to most people around these parts.  She also is obsessed with trying to make her family laugh and just like your standard Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler flick, she is not afraid to repeat a joke if it's gonna get some laughs.  Let's go back to some archived footage of a young Toots.

This week I was told that P was really making the Lil' Rockstar crack up. I was called up to her room and... nothing. Some smiles maybe. Lil' J was definitely happy but not exactly rolling on the floor or slapping her knee with laughter. P changed the subject and started talking about our neighbor boy, Kire, as she often does, when she accidentally stammered over her words while talking about 'Kire's Space Suit'. This apparently was the funniest thing the Rockstar had ever heard and like a true pro, P beat the joke into the ground.

Bad News Bears?

I'm not quite sure what I've done accepting the role as coach of P and Millie's soccer team. However, this week we WON! Sure it was a forfeit and sure we played a 'friendly' against 1 girl from a bunch of different teams and sure we didn't score a goal in the friendly but I'm sticking one in the win column for the Go Go Black Princesses. Nice job ladies!

I'll Build You A Rainbow


After the storm of sickness and stress we had a pleasant return to normalcy (somewhat).  This coming week, P starts school and Wheels is attempting a new work schedule hoping to relieve some of the chaos we've recently felt. Here's to new beginnings, rainbows and beautiful little girls.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

News and Whimsy


Some great concert announcements:

1 - The Swell Season - no word on when tix go on sale but I would have to say they are number 1 on my 'never seen but need to see' list. 

2 - Frightened Rabbit - this coming Monday.  Only downside is that it's going to be a LATE night to start the week.

What happens when you combine Michael Stipe from R.E.M., the producers from the film version of Mamma Mia! and the songs of Barry Manilow?  The most FABULOUS movie idea in the history of cinema.


A site that parents from my generation as well as their kids can both enjoy.

Ever wanted to bulldoze the home of an annoying neighbor?  Here's your chance.  It's some sort of online Monopoly game that uses Google Earth.  Frankly I didn't quite understand it but I'm expecting Herms to figure this out for us.

Speaking of Herms and Board Games, I'm pleased to announce that he is a major award winner.  What he actually won I have no idea but I just hope it doesn't tear his family apart.

Some of you might have noticed that I changed the headline on The Skog Blog to read "Powered by Vitamin Water 10" because I drink enough of their low calorie drink to warrant a sponsorship deal.  Perhaps I can use this contest to create Yerba Mate Vitamin Water and kill two birds with one beverage.

Last and definitely least this week, it is no surprise as to why people think that Utahns are strange.  Seriously, Utah, why do we always do this crap?  We have nobody to blame but ourselves for the constant mockery.  I'm pretty sure Wheels and our neighbor Skye will be there opening night, the real questions are, how many times will they go and which team will they choose???  Exciting stuff!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

A Tornado Hits the Merry Old Land of Skog

Some of you might not know that Wheels works from home writing the help files for a local accounting software company.  There are good and bad days with this arrangement but normally this situation is nice for us and allows Wheels to help provide for the family without adding too much chaos into our lives.  At the end of last week Wheels learned that her company had a major software release this week so Wheels in turn had a massive deadline to meet.  This meant that starting last Wednesday night (August 26th) she was staying up most nights until 1 or 2 in the AM.  Not good times for Wheels.  Adding to that fun was Toots and the Rockstar both coming down with small colds.

Flash forward to this past week and I woke up Tuesday morning with the 'small' cold that had likely been ailing the girls.  We muddled through the week until Thursday night when Wheels finished her deadline and headed out to Chilis with the girls for a minor celebration.  As we polished off our standard bland cuisine with a hint of flair, Wheels mentioned that she feared she could feel the 'small' cold coming on.  Unfortunately, Wheels' 'small' cold turned into 2 days/nights of fever, chills and as I type this on Monday afternoon she is still in bed. It's funny how when you are sick at night your mind races and you go from having strep throat to the swine flu to something even more sinister probably brought in from Wheels' brother in Colorado.

The pictures that follow show you the answer to the following equation - Work Deadline + Sick Dad + Sicker Mom = Disaster.  I honestly don't think we've ever let our house get away from us as bad as we did this week.  Some highlights: The chocolate frosty that somehow ended up on the curtains, wall and kitchen floor and then stayed there for 5 days, half naked kids with snotty noses, KG looking like he was punched in the face, laundry mountains and enough crumbs on the floor to excite even the pickiest Rat.

Vomit or X?

This week's answer - NOT vomit!  Chicken pot pie.  Luckily for us in this week of sickness we escaped vomit free.  Here's hoping we all get better and back on our feet sooner than later.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday Night Playlist

It's the most, wonderful time of the year... Football Season and more specifically, Fantasy Football Season.  I know that some of you mock those of us who play the "Fairytale Football" but I don't care because, as Wheels can attest, I look forward to it much more than I probably should.  I have been wanting to post this playlist for a few weeks but I decided to wait until my drafts had taken place as to not give away any of my secrets.  KG Fun Fact: I won both of my leagues last year.  Another KG Fun Fact: I am a nutjob.  Get these songs in your head and you'll be holding the trophy come December.

Songs to Help You Draft a Championship FFL Team

Beastie Boys - Sabotage - As soon as you arrive at the draft you need to start messing with the heads of your league members.  Create fake injuries, talk about rookies or obscure players that you 'really think are going to breakout' this year.  Anything that will make your fellow drafters think twice about their draft strategy and carry this on throughout the draft.  A well placed chuckle after a pick or a 'really?... interesting' does wonders.  Some might call it bending the truth - I just call it good business.  By the way, whether you like this song or not it might be the greatest music video of all time.  It's definitely in the top 3.  Also, play Rock Band with me and I'll blow your mind with my vocals to this song.  Don't believe me?  Ask my bro-in-law Andrew.  He is a believer.

Manfred Mann - Blinded By the Light - One of the biggest complaints of the FFL haters is that you shouldn't be cheering for players on teams that you despise.  To be a successful FFL Manager you must be able to distinguish between loyalty to your real team and your fantasy team.  Sometimes this means not drafting your favorite player from the 49ers because he doesn't fulfill a need on your fantasy team and in turn using Tony Romo as your QB.  FFL means using your head not your heart.

Guns N' Roses - Patience -  Good draft preparation means finding the best value with each pick.  Every manager will have certain players that he/she likes more than others but don't reach for them.  Make sure you don't waste a high pick on your sleeper if it isn't neccesary.

Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me - Just as important as patience is not forgetting about your sleeper.  I made this mistake in my first draft this year and let my guy slip away just because I got too wrapped up in the draft. 

Focus - Hocus Pocus - As the draft drags on and people start to get bored and/or distracted you must keep your focus.  Leagues are won by those savvy managers who find the magical gems in the later rounds of the draft.  More than anything I just wanted to post this clip.  If you only watch one of these videos make sure it is THIS one.  UNBELIEVABLE!  This song actually hit #9 in the US in the early 1970's.  Fantastic.

Mishka - Bring A Man Down - One of the major differences between real and fantasy football is that in FFL defense rarely wins championships.  There is no need to waste a high draft pick on a top rated defense because most years there are a handful of defenses that do well in fantasy football (even if they suck in reality) and there is no rhyme or reason for them and they cannot be predicted.

Lupe Fiasco - Kick, Push - That said, there are a few good defenses so I never mock someone who drafts them, I just don't like to do it myself.  However, do NOT be the guy/gal who wastes an early draft pick on a kicker.  Kickers are to be drafted in the last round without exception.  They are as interchangeable as legos.  They are a dime a dozen.  Throw out a cliche and it would describe your FFL kicker.

The Verve - Lucky Man - As I prepare to three-peat in one league and repeat as champ in the other, I like to joke that FFL is no longer gambling and I need to put it on my taxes as my second job.  However, know that even the most skilled FFL manager needs a little bit of luck to win the championship.  The greatest team on the planet is one 80 yard TD catch by your opponent's tight end away from losing.  Don't get angry just make sure you did everything you could to get your best team on the field.  That might have been the lamest /saddest thing I have ever written.

The Alan Parsons Project - Sirius  - After the draft cue up this song and read your roster out loud.  Hopefully you'll be reading the names of future champions.  Best of luck to all, unless of course you are in  my league and then I just want to say, "thanks for donating money to my girls' Christmas fund."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Skog Family Week in Review

P and Toots Join A Gang

I was shocked and frightened when I came home this week to find that P and Toots had gone a little crazy with the tattoos. I can only hope that the shaved heads and piercings won't soon follow.

P's Phenomenal Pop Tart

I imagine that many of you have seen on the news when people find random things in their food, such as the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese sandwich.  P was enjoying a tasty Pop Tart when she discovered a spooky face.  She made Wheels take a picture and then was too afraid to finish it.  Keep an eye out for it on eBay - the Grilled Cheese sandwich went for $28,000.  Looks like P just found herself a college fund, nice work!

Toots vs. the Potty

On Monday Toots randomly decided that she wanted to start going the bathroom in the potty.  Wheels and I searched our entire house and attic and could not find our old training toilet and so Toots and I set out to purchase a new one.  She picked out this pink little number with a comfy seat and came home and immediately did her business.  This came as kind of a surprise to Wheels and myself.  P and my other nieces and nephews were in no rush to be potty trained and in all honesty I'd probably use a diaper if it weren't frowned upon by society.  Toots ended up going potty multiple times each day and is looking to get out of her diapers sooner than we ever imagined.

Vomit or X???

America's Favorite Game Show is Back!  No, not Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?, I'm talking about Vomit or X?  Answer at the bottom of the column.

Visit From the Wheels Family

Wheels' brother Marc and his family decided to leave their new home in the Garden of Eden and make a visit back to the Land of Zion.  The girls were excited to have their crazy uncle and cousin Alivia back for a few days.  Rock Band was played, Wingers was eaten and we also made a trip down south to spend the Sabbath day with Wheels' other brother Andrew's family.

P Steps Onto the Pitch

P started soccer this week and as mentioned in a previous week in review, KG is throwing on his coach's fedora and trying to mold these young girls into a well oiled kicking machine.  Our team consists of 4 girls - P, Millie and 2 other girls who are cousins.  Immediately there was a little bit of controversy as P and Millie wanted to name the team, "The Princesses" (of course) but the other two girls were set on "Go Go Black."  In a move that would have made Mike Ditka proud I convinced the girls to compromise and name our team, "Go Go Black Princesses."  Nicely done.  We are playing in the AYSO, 3 vs. 3, no goalies.  You might think that this would mean that goals were plentiful - well I guess they were - for the other team.  Unfortunately we played against a young Mia Hamm and my coaching debut was spoiled as we fell to 'The Blueberries' 5-3.


On our drive to Andrew's house on Sunday, we stopped at a bank in Lehi to make our car payment and Toots proceeded to vomit all over the back of the van.  I have decided that it is definitely car sickness that is causing us so much grief on the long drives.  I blame myself as I too get serious motion sickness.  If that wasn't fun enough, we drove down Lehi Main Street and found a car wash and as I was spraying out her car seat the Lil' Rockstar had an episode of sudden uncontrolable diarrhea and blew it up her back.  Great times!
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