Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cliudan’s Summer/Fall Tour Schedule Heats Up; Oscar and Pavlo add tasty filling in P.R.O.!

Hello World Family,
Falcon, here with some tour updates of some of our favorite people. Things keep changing all the time, so we advise that you always check out the websites and their My Space, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for the latest news, since concert dates can be added pretty quickly.

Cliudan’s schedule is smokin’ and may be adding an additional show beyond what we have here on August 14, so make sure to check their pages:

These guys are out of upstate NY, and play a style of Celtic music that is soothing and invigorating at the same time. It’s refreshing, literally. Their intoxicating flute and soulful vocals wash away the tensions of the day while feeding the spirit to be ready for another day in the proverbial trenches. We are really lucky to have them on the East Coast. There are plenty of dates on this schedule to see them through mid-December, so start making plans! They really move you…

Cliudan Tour Schedule

August, 14 2009 08:00 PM – TBA
TBA (CNY or Catskills)
Details pending, either a CNY or Catskills show as we work our way towards the Hunter Mtn. Festival the next day. Please check back soon.

August, 15 2009 04:00 PM - Hunter Mountain Celtic Festival
Hunter Mtn. Ski Area
This will be our first year with this great event...looking forward to it!

August, 23 2009 05:00 PM - First Reformed Church of Schenectady
8 N. Church Street, Schenectady, New York –
August, 28 2009 06:00 PM - Buffalo Irish Festival
Buffalo, New York –
Our first year with this great event...very much looking forward to it. See you Fri, and get up early enought we’ll catch you Sat as well before heading up North for another show that day.
August, 29 2009 01:00 PM - Buffalo Irish Festival
Buffalo, New York

August, 29 2009 07:00 PM - Free Concert---Forestport NY
Forestport, New York -
A free concert sponsored by the lovely little historic town of Forestport, NY...an old logging town and rail crossroads with a ton of history and character. A great fireworks display directly following the show.

September, 5 2009 08:00 PM – TBA
TBA, Downstate, New York
Details pending on a downstate show as we work our way towards Kingston the next day, please check back soon.

September, 6 2009 05:00 PM - Hooley on the Hudson Irish Festival
Kingston, New York –
September, 7 2009 07:00 PM - Irish Day on the Canal (Locke 20)
Marcy, New York

September, 11 2009 08:30 PM - The Salty Shamrock
Herkimer, New York -
Our first of two 1/2 way to st. patrick’s day shows...both in CNY this year...for all of you that’ve been there for us from day one, and all the years since! We went well over capacity at this great little venue last time we rolled into town, and hope to do it again...see you there.

September, 12 2009 06:00 PM - Rochester Irish Festival
Rochester, New York -
We’re thrilled to be back for this incredible fest...all acts (and audience, and food, drink, vendors, kids zone, ALL OF IT!) under cover...this is THE rain or shine event of the festival season...and one of our all time favorite events. They’ll have the full line-up soon (and it’s always a very good one...truly something for everyone...and some of the biggest and best names on stage all weekend), take a look at www.rochesteririshfestival.org See you all out there

September, 18 2009 08:30 PM - ShamROCKS! Rock and Roll Irish Pub
Syracuse, New York –
Our second of two 1/2 way to st. patrick’s day shows...both in CNY this year...for all of you that’ve been there for us from day one, and all the years since! If you missed us in Herkimer this will be your chance to see us in Syracuse. We had a great time here back in March and are looking forward to coming back...see you there.
September, 19 2009 05:00 PM - IRISH 2000 Music Festival
Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa, New York –
The biggest and best!!! We’re thrilled to be back at Irish 2000 this year...this event needs no introduction or explanation...it’s one of our favorite events and with a venue change it’s now bigger and better than ever...NOT TO BE MISSED...SEE YOU THERE!

October, 23 2009 08:30 PM - The Shannon Pub
Buffalo, New York

October, 24 2009 08:30 PM - The Shannon Pub
Buffalo, New York

October, 25 2009 05:00 PM - First Reformed Church of Schenectady
8 N. Church Street, Schenectady, New York –

December, 11 2009 08:30 PM - The Shannon Pub
Buffalo, New York –

December, 12 2009 08:30 PM - The Shannon Pub
Buffalo, New York –

Oscar Lopez, who is one of the finest Chilean guitarists Falcon has ever heard, has some upcoming dates this summer and fall, including across the pond in Denmark. Falcon loves Oscar’s articulation and passion, particularly in pieces like, “Lucia”, “Gentle Seduction”, and “The Flavor”, of course ;).


Aug 9 2009, 8:00P LIVE FROM THE ROCK Festival Red Rock, Ontario
Aug 27 09, 8pm TONDER FOLK FESTIVAL Tonder, Denmark
Nov 1 09 8pm UNIVERSITY THEATRE Calgary, Alberta
May 1 10 8pm BOW VALLEY MUSIC CLUB Calgary, Alberta

Need some more of Oscar, and his immensely talented brother, Pavlo (some of the fastest fingers on the planet) whose seductive pieces have moved many a feet and heart, will be performing with his brother in a series of dates in early 2010 with amigo Rik Emmett in the center, hence P.R.O. (Pavlo Rik Oscar), and a new website to boot: www.pavlorikoscar.com

Trifecta is the 11 track CD from the trio, available on the website.

Check out the current dates on the schedule as well as their websites and social networking pages. Here's one of my favorites:

Jan 27 2010 8pm The Rose Theatre Brampton, ON (NOTE: This may be another Internet live broadcast date)

Jan 28 2010 8pm Dr, J.M. Ennis Aud Welland, ON
Jan 29 2010 8pm Markham Theatre Markham, ON
Jan 30 2010 8pm Gryphon Theatre Barrie, ON
Jan 31 2010 8pm Capital Theatre Port Hope, ON
Feb. 3 2010 8pm Lester B. Pearson Civic Ctr, Elliot Lake, ON
Feb 4 2010 8pm Classic Theatre Cobalt, ON
Feb 5 2010 8pm Centrepointe Theatre Ottawa, ON
Feb 6 2010 8pm Centennial Theatre Sherbrooke, QU
Feb 12 2010 8p River Run Theatre Guelph, ON
Feb 18 2010 8p L’Espace RONA St-Hyacinth, Quebec
Feb 20 2010 8p Theatre Hector-Charland L’Assomption, Quebec
Feb 23 2010 8p EA Rawlinson Centre/Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Feb 24 2010 8p Broadway Theatre Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Feb 25 2010 8p Casino Regina Regina, Saskatchewan
Feb 26/27 2010 8p Arden Theatre St. Albert, Alberta
Feb 28 2010 8pm Jack Singer Hall Calgary, AL
Mar 1/2 2010 8pm Empress Theatre Fort MacLeod, AL
Mar 9 2010 8pm Sid Williams Civic Ctr. Courtenay, BC
Mar 12 2010 8pm Port Theatre Nanaimo, BC
Mar 19 2010 7:30p Hamilton Place Hamilton, ON
May 29 20108pm Festival des Guitares du Monde Rouyn-Noranda, QC

This is a good group of dates; these guys are going to be worn out on some of these legs, but such is the life of the minstrel. This may be your last opportunity to see the “R" in this P.R.O. for awhile as he has indicated he might take a bit of a break, so get out and acquire these tickets as soon as they are available! It’s a unique opportunity to see some very strong guitarists.

Speaking of strong guitarists…

Falcon and Dove had the time of their lives last week at the House Party Concert with Ken Bonfield, Peter Janson, and Tim Farrell. We have posted pictures on our Facebook and My Space pages, so if you are friends, you can check them out. If not, never fear! We will be posting a few right here…with our review of the event very, very soon! The guys have some new music coming out, and we were honored to be some of the select few to hear it first! Watch the page…
Falcon and Dove

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home School in PA-What to do to get started

Hello World Family,
Falcon had to do a presentation this weekend on Home School as an alternative to regular public school for K-12, and the following information is for anyone who thinks they might want to Home School their child/children this coming school year. The following information pertains specifically to Pennsylvania, and may vary from other states. Allegheny County is featured in some of the information below because that is our local area.

PA has some of the toughest Home School requirements in the U.S., so it is likely that if you meet the PA criteria, you will probably meet the requirements of your state. Check and make sure, though. PA deadline for registering with your school district is AUGUST 1, 2009.

SPECIAL NOTE: The spell-check went crazy; there may be some mis-spellings in this post, well...more than usual;). Falcon apologizes...

Here's what you need to do to get started:

Pennsylvania's Home School Law- Act 169 of 1988

For the purposes of this section, "properly qualified private tutor" shall mean a person who is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach in the public schools of Pennsylvania; who is teaching one or more children who are members of a single family; who provides the majority of the instruction to such child or children; and who is receiving a fee or other consideration for such instructional services. No person who would be disqualified from school employment by the provisions of subsection (e) of section 111 may be a private tutor, as provided for in this section. The private tutor may file a copy of his Pennsylvania certification and the required criminal history record with the student's district of residence superintendent.

(d) Instruction to children of compulsory school age provided in a home education program, as provided for in section 1327.1 of this act, shall be considered as complying with the provisions of this section, except that any student who has been identified pursuant to the provisions of the Education of the Handicapped Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq.) as needing special education services, excluding those students identified as gifted and/or talented, shall be in compliance with the requirements of compulsory attendance by participating in a home education program, as defined in section 1327.1, when the program addresses the specific needs of the exceptional student and is approved by a teacher with a valid certificate from the Commonwealth to teach special education or a licensed clinical or certified school psychologist, and written notification of such approval is submitted with the notarized affidavit required under section 1327.1 (b). The supervisor of a home education program may request that the school district or intermediate unit of residence provide services that address the specific needs of the exceptional student in the home education program. When the provision of services is agreed to by both the supervisor and the school district or intermediate unit, all services shall be provided in the public schools or in a private school licensed to provide such programs and services.

24 PS 13-1327.1 Home Education Program.--(a) The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Appropriate education" shall mean a program consisting of instruction in the required subjects for the time required in this act and in which the student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program.

"Hearing examiner" shall not be an officer, employee or agent of the Department of Education or of the school district or intermediate unit of residence of the child in the home education program.

"Home education program" shall mean a program conducted, in compliance with this section, by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.

"Supervisor" shall mean the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction, provided that such person has a high school diploma or its equivalent.

(b) The requirements contained in sections 1511 and 1511.1, except as provided for in this section, and section 1605 shall not apply to home education programs. A home education program shall not be considered a nonpublic school under the provisions of this act.

(1) A notarized affidavit of the parent or guardian or other person having legal custody of the child or children, filed prior to the commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter on August 1 with the superintendent of the school district of residence and which sets forth: the name of the supervisor of the home education program who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction; the name and age of each child who shall participate in the home education program; the address and telephone number of the home education program site; that such subjects as required by law are offered in the English language, including an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area; evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with the provisions of section 1303(a) and has received the health and medical services required for students of the child's age or grade level in Article XIV; and that the home education program shall comply with the provisions of this section and that the notarized affidavit shall be satisfactory evidence thereof. The required outline of proposed education objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in determining if the home education program is out of compliance with this section and section 1327. The affidavit shall contain a certification to be signed by the supervisor that the supervisor, all adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children in a home education program have not been convicted of the criminal offenses enumerated in subsection (e) of section 111 within five years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.

(2) In the event the home education program site is relocating to another school district within the Commonwealth during the course of the public school term or prior to the opening of the public school term in the fall, the supervisor of the home education program must apply, by registered mail, thirty (30) days prior to the relocation, to the superintendent of the district in which he or she currently resides, requesting a letter of transfer for the home education program to the district to which the home education program is relocating. The current superintendent of residence must issue the letter of transfer thirty (30) days after receipt of the registered mail request of the home education program supervisor.

(i) If the home education program is not in compliance with the provisions of this section, the superintendent of the current district of residence must inform the home education supervisor and the superintendent of the district to which the home education program is relocating the status of the home education program and the reason for the denial of the letter of transfer.

(ii) If the home education program is in hearing procedures, as contained in this section, the superintendent of the current district of residence must inform the home education supervisor, the assigned hearing examiner and the superintendent of the district to which the home education program is relocating the status of the home education program and the reason for the denial of the letter of transfer.

(3) The letter of transfer, required by clause (2), must be filed by the supervisor of the home education program with the superintendent of the new district of residence. In the case of pending proceedings, the new district of residence superintendent shall continue the home education program until the appeal process is finalized.

(c) A child who is enrolled in a home education program and whose education is therefore under the direct supervision of his parent, guardian or other person having legal custody shall be deemed to have met the requirements of section 1327 if that home education program provides a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction or nine hundred (900) hours of instruction per year at the elementary level, or nine hundred ninety (990) hours per year at the secondary level:

(1) At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.

(2) At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education.

(d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:

(1) Four years of English.

(2) Three years of mathematics.

(3) Three years of science.

(4) Three years of social studies.

(5) Two years of arts and humanities

(e) In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program shall provide and maintain on file the following documentation for each student enrolled in the home education program:

(1) A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels. The department shall establish a list, with a minimum of five tests, of nationally normed standardized tests from which the supervisor of the home education program shall select a test to be administered if the supervisor does not choose the Statewide tests. At the discretion of the supervisor, the portfolio may include the results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests for other subject areas or grade levels. The supervisor shall ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the Statewide tests shall not be administered by the child's parent or guardian.

(i) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the elementary level (grades kindergarten through six) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; and civics.

(ii) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the secondary level (grades seven through twelve) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include language, literature, speech, reading and composition; science, to include biology, chemistry and physics; geography; social studies, to include economics, civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; foreign language; and mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and geometry.(iii) As used in this clause, the term "grading" shall mean evaluation of classwork, homework, quizzes, classwork-based tests and prepared tests related to classwork subject matter.

(2) An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator. Any such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have at least two years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten years. Such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have the required experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The certified teacher shall have experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The evaluation shall also be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio required in clause (1) and shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring. At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the district of residence superintendent. In no event shall the evaluator be the supervisor or their spouse.

(f) The school district of residence shall, at the request of the supervisor, lend to the home education program copies of the school district's planned courses, textbooks and other curriculum materials appropriate to the student's age and grade level.

(g) When documentation is required by this section to be submitted to the district of residence superintendent or the hearing examiner, the superintendent or the hearing examiner shall return, upon completion of his review, all such documentation to the supervisor of the home education program. The superintendent or hearing examiner may photocopy all or portions of the documentation for his files.

(h) Such documentation required by subsection (e)(1) and (2) shall be provided to the public school district of residence superintendent at the conclusion of each public school year. In addition, if the superintendent has a reasonable belief that, at any time during the school year, appropriate education may not be occurring in the home education program, he may, by certified mail, return receipt requested, require documentation pertaining to the portfolio of records and materials required by subsection (e)(1) to be submitted to the district within fifteen (15) days; and documentation pertaining to subsection (e)(2) to be submitted to the district within thirty (30) days. If the tests as required in subsection (e) (1) have not been administered at the time of the receipt of the certified letter by the supervisor, the supervisor shall submit the other required documentation and shall submit the test results with the documentation at the conclusion of the school year.

(i) If the superintendent of the public school district determines, based on the documentation provided, at the end of or during the school year, that appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program, the superintendent shall send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the supervisor of the home education program stating that in his opinion appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program and shall return all documentation, specifying what aspect or aspects of the documentation are inadequate.

(j) Upon receipt of the certified letter required by subsection (i), the supervisor of the home education program shall have twenty (20) days to submit additional documentation demonstrating that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program. If documentation is not submitted within that time, the home education program shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.

(k) If the superintendent determines that the additional documentation submitted still does not demonstrate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, he shall so notify the supervisor of the home education program by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the board of school directors shall provide for a proper hearing by a duly qualified and impartial hearing examiner within (30) days. The examiner shall render a decision within fifteen (15) days of the hearing except that he may require the establishment of a remedial education plan mutually agreed to by the superintendent and supervisor of the home education program which shall continue the home education program. The decision of the examiner may be appealed by either the supervisor of the home education program or the superintendent to the Secretary of Education or Commonwealth Court.

(l) If the hearing examiner finds that the documentation does not indicate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, the home education program for the child shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.

(m) At such time as the child's home education program has been determined to be out of compliance with the provisions of this section and section 1327, the supervisor or spouse of the supervisor of the home education program shall not be eligible to supervise a home education program for that child, as provided for in subsection (b)(1) of this section, for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of such determination.

Okay, I know that is a lot to take in; here's the broad strokes:

By August 1, file a copy of the Home School Affidavit with the district in which you live.

Here's some thoughts about the flexibility of that August 1 date from our Sister, Pauline from www.askpauline.com

Affidavit Deadlines:

"A notarized affidavit" must be filed by "the parent or guardian or other person having legal custody of the child or children", "prior to the commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter" on or before August 1. The affidavit is filed with your local school district.

If you are filing for the first time, the August 1 deadline does not apply to you; however you must file before you commence (begin) home education. If you will be starting in September, you may wish to get your affidavit in as early as the previous July 1, so you can “count” things you do in the summer (camps, trips, etc.) as “school”. (The academic year – the “accounting year” for homeschoolers - runs from July 1 to June 30.) This is not a huge deal, though, so don't sweat it if you don't get it done until the end of August.

If you are taking your child out of school mid-school-year, you can file at any time. It's generally accepted that you can count the days/hours your child has attended school towards your 180 days (or 900/990 hours) of home education. You can begin home educating the day you file.

-- Note that a very few folks have had problems with truancy charges due to paperwork that remained incomplete for several days, so double-check you've got it all before submitting it. (My impression is that this happens only in situations where there is already some tension between the family and the district, and where truancy has been an issue in the past, and where the "unexcused absence" lasts more than three days.) Of course, if it is an emergency/safety situation, you'll probably want to keep your child home, file as soon as possible, and deal with any possible fallout later.

-- Note also that sometimes the office which processes the affidavit doesn't tell the school which your child has been attending that the child has withdrawn. To avoid confusion, and as a courtesy, you may wish to notify the school directly. You can do this by phone or in a letter. (If you are uncomfortable telling them you will be homeschooling, some suggest saying the child will be "privately educated".) Obviously if you are withdrawing from a private school you will want to notify them!

If you filed last year, you need to file for the coming year on (or before) August 1.

Many home educators submit their affidavit when they submit the previous year’s portfolio, so that they only need to deal with the district paperwork once a year. Regardless of when you file, your "accounting year" runs from July 1 to June 30, so you can still count July “school days” eEven if you don’t submit until August 1. (While the official deadline is August 1, there are usually no serious consequences if you submit it later, so long as it is before school starts.)

Every year, there are families who legally should have filed before school begins, but for one reason or another did not. Minor lateness - filing a few weeks into September - is usually not an issue.

Make a list of the courses you intend the student to do this year, with a summary of each class.
English-American Literature: This year the student will read from a varied list of American authors and poets, write papers on criticism, evaluation, and review, as well as construct essays on key works with supporting bibliography as research papers on the selected titles.
(NOTE: this is a high school summary; elementary school is much simpler; don't feel you have to be an English professor to do this; there are plenty of study guides and support organizations to help! See below).

There cannot be anyone convicted of a felony living at the residence where Home Schooling is taking place.

Someone will have to review the work you do with your child: a teacher (current or retired), a principal (same, working or retired), a social worker, psychologist, etc. There are organizations who will help you get Portfolio Review Supervisors; don't sweat it.

The requirement is 900 hours for elementary students and 990 for high school students per year; I would strongly recommend going by hours and not days (180). That way, half days count where students may only get in 4-5 hours because of other work or activities. Any day can count for hours, and field trips also count, as does sports.

Yes, your child does have to et some fire safety training in: check in with your local Red Cross, YMCA, YWCA, and community center for opportunities. Swimming certification, same thing. This is usually done for the 10th grade year.

What do you do if you are sure you cannot teach your child trig?

Get someone who can! Check out tutors in your community, school teachers who may like to take some time with a child after regular school hours. Local colleges and your local community college will allow high school students to take classes at the university with college level students. This means they get college credit for the classes, and they get to add that grade to their GPA. A college level vlass added to the GPA riases the grade level by one, depending on the grade...so a child who makes a C in a college level course will be given a 3.0 rating on the GPA because of the degree of difficulty. Suppose this is not your child's strongest subject? Well, there are courses that are offered in all levels of math; take one of those to bolster their confidence and move on up to the others later or in summer. Yes, you do have to pay for these. I didn't say it would all be easy, but this is your child's one shot at the education they deserve. Believe me, Falcon had to suck it up and starve a little to make sure Dove got what she needed...but she got it. The reward is a child with a strong education and a bright future. There are scholarships and grants NOW available for students wanting to take these courses at colleges. Check out your local community college for more details.

You are permitted to have your child involved in sports, clubs, even the prom at your school-they CANNOT BE BARRED FROM PARTICIPATION. They can play on sports teams and be eligible for sport scholarships just like students attending the public schools. If anyone tells you otherwise, contact the PIAA immediately! Clubs and other organizational activities should be brought up to your school board, if there is a question about participation, but no district in the Commonwealth is allaowed to discriminate against Home School students. YOu pay your taxes the same as everyone else; your child has the same rights as every other child.

If your student plays a sport not offered in your district, but it is offered in teh PIAA district, your student can play that sport for that other school system.

For example, Dove played golf, but not for her Home School District, because they didn't have the sport; she played for a neighboring district in the same PIAA district. See the map at PIAA.org

Books and materials: If you are following the curriculum of the school district in which you reside, they will give you books and materials upon request. If you would like to bolster your child's classes and get books from elsewhere, but don't have loads of money to spend, go to your local used books store, Scholastic Warehouse (Home School families are allowed access to the warehouse just like teachers and administrators), and online used book sites. My favorite is abebooks.com. They have access all over the country to booksellers and their prices and educational materials were amazing! Many times I got materials that were brand new never used for rock bottom prices. Example: a Physics book that was orginally $78 for under $10!!! Same edition, too!

Contact local Home School organizations because support is key. Get together with other parents, and sometimes with classes taught by other parents in a group opportunity. Check out these sources below:

www.pahomeschoolers.com Howard Richman is a great guy, has a website full of important information, including HOme School supervisors to review your child's portfolio. They also do something that is rare in PA: they have to ability to issue diplomas. Yeah, this is a sticky one...

In Pennsylvania, Home School students may not be issued diplomas; it is up to the school district, and most don't. Do they need it? Well...not necessarily. Most colleges take Home School students with the understanding that their states probably don't have diplomas for them. As long as you have the letter from the superintendent at year's end (usually July after you turn in the portfolio by June 30 of that year), the student is considered compliant, and the college will permit them admission.

I would strongly suggest that you join this organization. There is priceless information and lots of support nationally for Home School students.

Aleithia Learning Center
68 Bertolet School Road
Spring City, PA 19475
Richard G. Patton 610-286-6361
E-mail: ALCCenter@aol.com
Association, On-line Courses, Materials

Buxmont Christian Educational Institute, Inc.
146 W. Broad Street
Telford, PA 18969
Terry L. Johns 215-723-7226
Association, Conference, Curriculum Fair, Diplomas, Evaluators, Information, Materials, Newsletters, Support Group

Catholic Homeschoolers of Pennsylvania
101 So. College Street
Myerstown, PA 17067
Larry and Ellen Kramer 717-866-5425
E-mail: cathhmschpa@ihs2000.com
Fax: 717-866-5425
WEB: catholichomeschoolpa.org
Association, Conference & Curriculum Fair, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletter,
Web Page

Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania (CHAP)
231 N. Chestnut Street
Palmyra, PA 17078
(717) 838-0980
E-mail: chap@chapboard.org
WEB: http://www.chaponline.com

Advocacy; Statewide Convention; E-mail; Information; Newsletter; WEB Page

Erie County Homeschoolers Diploma Association
9129 State Road
Cranesville, PA 16410
Edi Thomas 570-967-0951
E-mail: echsda@velocity.net
Association, Diplomas

Keystone Christian Institute
120 Kilingerman Road
Telford, PA 18969
Christa Hageman
E-mail: PAhomeschool@undermothersheart.com
Web: http://www.PAhomeschool.com
Information, WEB page, Email, Handbell Choir (Music Classes)
Statewide and also classes for Bucks, Berks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia county homeschoolers

Pennsylvania Home Education Network
952 Peach Street
Ellwood City, PA 16117
E-mail: info@phen.org
Web: http://www.phen.org
Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletter, Support Group, Web Page

Pennsylvania Homeschool Connection
650 Company Farm Rd.
Aspers, PA 17304
Wendy Bush 717-528-8850
Norma Jean Hohman 717-528-8124
E-mail: connect@cun.net
WEB: homeschoolheadlines.com
Fax: 717-528-8124
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletters, Support Group,
WEB Page

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers
RR2 Box 117
Kittanning PA 16201-9311
Howard and Susan Richman 724-783-6512
E-mail: richmans@pahomeschoolers.com
WEB: pahomeschoolers.com
Fax: 724-783-6512
Achievement Testing, E-mail, Evaluators, Materials, Newsletter, On-line courses (Advanced Placement), WEB Page

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency
RD 2, Box 117
Kittanning, PA 16201-9311
Dr. Howard B. Richman 724-783-6512
E-mail: PHAA@pahomeschoolers.com
WEB: pahomeschoolers.com
Fax: 724-783-6512
Association, Conference (High Schools at Home), Diplomas, E-mail, Evaluators, Materials, Newsletter, WEB Page

Susquehanna Valley Homeschool Diploma Programs, Inc.,
484 Pleasant View Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Margaret T. Matthews, President 717-566-3573
Sandra Elliott 717-582-7527
Association, Conferences, Diplomas, Evaluators

Bridgeway Academy a division of Essential Learning Institute
334 Second Street
Catasauqua, PA 18032
Delores Kosturn 800-863-1474
Darlene Yeakel 610-266-9016
E-mail: office@homeschoolacademy.com
WEB: http://www.bridgewayacademy.com
Fax: 610-266-7817
Association, Diplomas, Nationally accredited, On-line courses, 24x7 tutors on-line, Curriculum, Achievement Testing, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Materials, Newsletters, WEB page

Keystone National High School
KNHS or Keystone
420 West Fifth Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Gladys Phillips, Director of Education 800-255-4937
Sharon Fisher, Admissions Director 800-255-4937
E-mail: Info@keystonehighschool.com
WEB: http://www.keystonehighschool.com
Fax: 570-784-2192
On-line Courses, Materials, Information, Web Page

Alternative Education Resource Organization
417 Roslyn Rd
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577
Jerry Mintz 516-621-2195
E-mail: Jerryaero@aol.com
Fax: 516-625-3257
Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Materials, WEB Page

Curriculum Services
26801 Pine Ave
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Kathleen L. Sprafka
E-mail: info@curriculumservices.com
WEB: curriculumservices.com
Fax: 941-992-6473
E-mail, Materials

Debra Bell's Home School Resource Center
PO Box 67
Palmyra, PA 17078
E-mail: hsrc@debrabell.com
WEB: http://www.debrabell.com/
Fax: 717.832.7733
Achievement Testing, Online Courses, Newsletter, Conference,Information, Materials

ECS Issue Site - Homeschooling
WEB: www.ecs.org

National Center for Home Education
PO Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
E-mail: nationalcenter@hslda.org
WEB: hslda.org
Fax: 540-338-9333
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Information, Newsletter, WEB Page

Homeschool Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
Cora Prather 540-338-5600
Darren Jones, Legal Aide
E-mail: mailroom@HSLDA.org
Fax: 540-338-2733
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Information, Newsletters, WEB Page

National CHallenged Home-schoolers Associated Network
5383 Alpine Road, SE
Olalla, WA 98539
Tim Bushnell 253-857-4257
E-mail: NATHANEWS@aol.com
WEB: nathhan.com
Fax: 253-857-7764
Association, E-mail, Information, Materials, Newsletters, Support Group, WEB page

National Home Education Research Institute
12221 Van Brady Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-7924
William A. Lloyd 301-372-2889
Brian D. Ray 503-364-1490
E-mail: mail@nheri.org
WEB: nheri.org
Fax: 301-372-0086
Information, WEB page

National School Is Dead; Learn in Freedom!
Karl M. Bunday
E-mail: webmaster@learninfreedom.org
WEB: learninfreedom.org
E-mail, Information, WEB Page

Franklin County
Franklin County United Homeschool Association
1853 Dawn Lane
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Mary Ellen Moore 717-267-3768
Annette Martin 717-263-3878
E-mail: me2moore@epix.net
Association, E-mail

Fulton County
Christian Home Educators Team
HCR 81, Box 58
Needmore, PA 17238
Norma Jean Hohman 717-294-6215
Ruthann Golden 717-294-3118
E-mail: hohman@nb.net
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Support Group

Regional – Allegheny (Pts) and Westmoreland Counties
The McKeesport Area Homeschoolers
404 Owens Avenue
Liberty Borough, PA 16930
Barbara Page 412-461-6788
E-mail: pageclan@msn.com
Association, E-mail, WEB page

Regional – Carbon, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Parts of Monroe Counties
Schuylkill, Carbon, Upper Lehigh Parent-Teachers SCULPT
RD2, Box 121-27
New Ringgold, PA 17960
Marie and Joseph Courtney 717-386-4224
Advocacy (Information), Association, Information, Newsletter, Support Group

Regional - Berks, Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties
Valley Forge Baptist Home Education Association
616 S. Trappe Road
Collegeville, PA 19426
Karen Melchior 610-948-8100
Lois Rall 610-948-8100
E-mail: kmelchior@vfbt.org
WEB: http://www.geocities.com/vfbthomeschoolers/Welcome.html?1082386363460
Fax: 610-948-6423
Association, Newsletters, Support Group, Diplomas, E-mail, Web Page


Mason-Dixon Homeschoolers Assoc., Inc.
32 West Main Street #5
Waynesboro, PA 17268
Barbara Snider 717-749-5767
Mary Hudzinski 717-762-3357
E-mail: mdhsaadmin@pa.net
WEB: http://www.mdhsa.pa.net
Association, Diplomas, Evaluators, Information, Newsletters, Support

Regional - Monroe, Northampton, Pike and surrounding counties
Northeast Pennsylvania Homeschoolers NEPA
PO Box 884
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Judy or Paul Van Hook 717-476-9321
E-mail: nepahomeschoolers@yahoo.com
Curriculum Fair, E-mail, Evaluators, Information,

Regional - York- County and surrounding areas
York Homeschool Association YHSA
500 Paradise Road
York, PA 17402
New Member Info - Bud & Lydia Goulart 717-741-2566
Coordinator - Julie Tate 717-751-4710
WEB: http://yhsa.org - contact us via the website
Association, Curriculum Fair (March), Information, Materials, Newsletter, Support Group and Web Page

C-MITES Enrichment Program

The Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students Programs offers weekend and summer classes for academically talented students in grades K-9, above-level testing for third through sixth graders and information sessions for parents.

Another great option for homeschoolers!

North Hills Christian HomeschoolersAn organization of Christians in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who are personally committed to the home education of their children. Learn about the benefits of membership and browse area resources of interest to homeschoolers.



Family Instructors of the South Hills
FISH is a Christian based network of home schooling families.

McKeesport Area Homeschoolers Organization
A social and educational support group with loads of activities! Headers "donated" by PTA, ignore them.

North Pittsburgh Catholic Homeschoolers
It is our goal to foster a community of support and encourgement for Catholic homeschooling familes through group meetings, activities, field trips and prayer.

List for those living in and around the Pittsburgh area; field trip announcements, playgroups, philosophy. Allegheny County and surrounding areas.

General discussions and announcements for homeschoolers in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

Pittsburgh East Suburban Homeschoolers' Association
PESHA is a homeschooling organization that provides opportunities for homeschooling families to receive and lend support to one another. PESHA is an open group led by members with a Christian worldview.

South Pittsburgh Catholic Homeschoolers
We are a support group for Catholic Homeschooling Families in the South Pittsburgh, PA area.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Home Education Network
A local chapter of Pennsylvania Home Education Network. Covers Allegheny, Armstrong, Fayette, Greene, Washington, Western Indiana and Westmoreland Counties


Achievement Testing - An organization which arranges for students to take nationally normed standardized achievement tests.

Advocacy - An organization which provides legal information and/or assistance

Association - An organization which parents or families join for a fee

Conference - Organizes an annual or more frequent meeting of organizations and/or parents regarding homeschooling issues.

Curriculum Fair - Organizes an annual or more frequent fair of organizations or companies that provide materials for instruction

Diplomas - Organization which is properly registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to issue secondary school graduation credentials for post-secondary school admittance, PHEAA grants and loans, and supervision of a home education program.

E-mail - An address on the Internet

Evaluators - An organization which provides a listing of evaluators

Information - An organization which provides information on other organizations, materials or research on the subject of home education free of charge

Materials - An organization which sells or provides without charge curriculum materials or other materials used in instruction

Newsletters - An organization which provides a periodic newsletter or magazine for homeschooling families, with or without charge

On-line courses - An organization which provides courses in limited subject areas or age groups via the Internet. The courses or age groups will be identified.

Support Group - An organization which provides parent support meetings, family programs, field trips, kids clubs, social activities

WEB Page - Electronically retrievable information available through the Internet free of charge

Remember: Falcon is just an old Home School mom; I am not currently Home Schooling, but did for my child's entire high school career; prior to that, she was in the public system, K-9. There is a lot about elementary education (and that standardized testing) I did not have to do. I did have to do the PSAA and she passed with flying colors.

Here are some important things to remember about Home School students: generally, they do better than the average child nationally in education, testing, and college. Minority students in particular seem to thrive in Home School environment. Talk with your child and see how they feel about this idea. Keep good records, this is not for the disorganized. Don't doubt yoursellf, though. Parents and communities have schooled their children since the beginning of time and mankind; you can do this.

Is your child a self-starter? Do they work well alone? If yes, then they will probably do well. Separate the time you are teacher (and the space in the house) from the time you are a parent. Don't mix the two. Have breakfast and set a start time, and that begins the day. Make sure there is daily time for recreation, and get on a schedule of exercise that includes both of you. Falcon got Dove's exercise in, but not her own. This caused problems for me later. Exercise together, have fun together if you can.

I know this is heady stuff, and can seem overwhelming, but take it one section at a time. It will be alright. Write us here at the blog if you need to; we are here for you, and so are many others.
Stay strong.
Falcon and Dove

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Art of Persuasion and Social Networking

Hello World Family,
Falcon here with something to think about for the weekend: how to get the word out, or not…using social networking. Yes, Falcon is talking about all those sites like Facebook, My Space, and of course, Twitter, which so many just can’t figure out what to do with them all.

Here are some quick tips, not because we are experts in the social networking genre, but these are some points we have noted along the Internet highway:


First of all, if you only Tweet like three times a month, it doesn’t matter if anyone is ‘Following’ you or not-no one is seeing what you do unless it is by sheer luck. Here’s why…

Most people follow several hundred people and are followed by several hundred people. If you have an app on your mobile phone, you will see all the Tweets those that you Follow that they have made since you last used the app. There will probably be several hundred tweets, and most people will scan through to see who Tweeted what, and go on their merry way.

You may get seen that way if you are a hesitant Tweeter, but a fast finger or a blink of the eye means you could be missed. Someone going to their computer is not going to scan through 8 pages or more to read everything that they missed up until the last Tweet they can remember. If your Tweet falls below page two, you are probably done for…here’s an interesting fact:

The people using ‘SEARCH’ are getting the latest information about you if they check daily and are NOT ‘Following” you; (ironic, isn’t it?) ; the ones that are assuming that by Following you that they are getting the latest will probably find out at some point that they missed like 3 posts since the last time they saw your Tweet, and probably missed that important sale you offered on your website, the concert you only posted 3 days before the event, or the ‘vote for best website’ deadline that passed 8 days ago.

If you aren’t really going to Tweet frequently, Tweet repeatedly to promote a particular event. For example, if you have a special sale coming up this weekend on your website, Tweet it like 6 times in the same day for a day or two. That way, those that Follow you will have a greater chance of seeing your post, and most who don’t but pick up on key words might.

Here’s another tip involving key words-look at the top ten subjects of the day, and see if you can’t incorporate that into your Tweet. That way, if someone scans those keywords, they may see your Tweet because you used the most popular Tweet subject of the time.

Some follow and scan by subject matter; make sure you put the most common words in your Tweets concerning the subject that you are promoting. Musicians-put the type of music you do in your Tweet about your concert appearance, as well as your own name. When you don’t Tweet your own name, the only things that pop up on search are people talking about that band name, not the band itself. That is not promoting you, is it?

Putting the name, the genre, and the venue in the Tweet makes you more attractive to those who Follow certain types of music, and those who are looking for certain activities to attend. Also, make sure the city and location are promoted in the Tweet; if you just put in a link in your message and say something like, “See us tonight here: link- blah blah blah”, that is much less effective than saying, “See BANDS NAME tonight playing JAZZ at The Ax Lounge in Cincy Saturday Night7/25, blah blah, blah” (all previous information is fictitious). People who Tweet and search Jazz and perhaps that venue may now come to the show because they know about you now. Others may start to track you because they are interested in the type of music, venue, or even go to your page and get information about your band that makes them buy on line or go to a store and search your stuff out.

The key is to do this right, and you either have to Tweet frequently, (like a lot of PGA and LPGA players do, as well as Ghost Hunters), or you have to Tweet the message repeatedly in a given period to make sure it isn’t missed. Otherwise, you are probably wasting your time.

Don’t like social networking like Twitter, get a local friend or fan to do it for you, on your account. They will be delighted, and you will be free to do what you do best, your craft.


We all have blocked someone, and on Twitter, it is basically useless. Here’s why: anyone who is NOT signed in on a computer can search for ANYONE they like and get their most recent Tweet, date and where it was posted from. If they click on your name, and you haven’t locked your profile (who would want to follow someone they know nothing about at all?) they can pretty much get whatever they want when they want. This is not the way to protect you from your online stalker…sorry. I have blocked people who have Followed me if they are pushing porn, something I really can’t or don’t want to buy, or because I don’t know why they want to follow me in the first place. If your profile is completely locked and I can’t see anything about you, I am not going to follow you, or let you follow me…sorry.

If you don’t want that offer on dish television in your Tweets one more time, simply ‘Unfollow”, they will stop. They can follow you, and DM (direct message you), but they will probably slow down. If they DM you all the time stuff that you don’t want, block ‘em, Dan-o.

Facebook, My Space, etc. have better mechanisms for not being friendly, but there are still holes. My Space has ‘un-friending’ usually rather than blocking. You can in extreme cases, but even Tom (the administrator) will tell you maybe not to do that. Just remove them from Friends and that will do the trick…unless they are on someone else’s computer and not signed into their account…sigh…NOTE: if someone un-friended you, that doesn’t mean that they can’t still look at your stuff. It’s touchy. Unless it is a really bad case, just leave each other alone, and be grown-ups; that should do the trick.

NOTE number two, if you REALLY want someone to NOT follow you on a social network, the best way is to make sure you do exactly what they think they want you to, but do it very publicly. Blogging about it is great (and you can set the blog to only be seen by a preferred list, like that person, but they may not know it; they may think everybody saw it) because nothing makes someone fold faster than a lawn chair and unplug with quickness if they think they are about to be publicly held accountable. This works for makers of bad products who keep sending you emails, or IM’s or DM’s on their latest pharma you never wanted to guys you just wish would have gotten the hint a decade ago to just let it go. Want to get them to stop? Nothing works better than making sure they think it was their idea :).


Do you have a film, band, or product you want to promote? Want to get a list of leads without trying too hard? Create a fan site of your group or product! Again, using key words that are on hot topics will make your postings more effective. Go to sites with similar interests, and look at their Friends list. You can ask them to be your Friend or Fan. I know, it may be hard at first, but it’s not unlike going up to the prettiest girl in class in fourth grade as asking her to accept your Valentine. She did take it, didn’t she? Well, you won’t get them all, but you will get some, and those may turn into supportive customers and/or fans of what you do or make. Be bold!

Make a short film and put it on You Tube with your Fan site information for Facebook or My Space attached. Put accurate but popular keywords in, and get your friends to go see it, rate it, and then comment on it.

Put blogs on your sites; use the bulletin feature on My Space, and use them often. Again, if you are not a social networking fan, get a fan or friend who is, and keep them informed. Nothing is more lame than having one site you prefer have the latest information on your product and the other not be updated for a month. Update uniformly and often. If you know this is not your forte, just own it and go ahead and recruit a family member, friend, college student…somebody! You can’t complain about the social networking not working for you if you are not working with it. Fighting tooth and nail won’t make it better; ride the wave and have it work for you!

Well, Brothers and Sisters, it is the weekend, so now you can do all that social networking that will advance your career, your group, or your project, instead of just sending someone a virtual beer or recruiting a new recruit in Mafia Wars. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Falcon and Dove

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tom Pfaeffle, Phenom Sound Engineer Murdered in Hotel Mishap

Hello World Family,
This is the kind of story that makes me so mad and sad at the same time, I just want to cry.
Did Falcon not say during this period between eclipses to put the DAMN GUNS DOWN???!
I am sure I said that. In addition to the number of senseless, stupid incidents of random and premeditated murder I have heard over the past few days, our Brothers from Queensryche blogged about this unbelievable tragedy. Thanks to Methow Valley News and online The Stranger for details:

A 49-year-old man was shot and killed in a Twisp motel Friday night (July 17) when he tried to enter the wrong room, and the alleged shooter has been booked into the county jail.

The incident occurred at 10:41 p.m.

The victim, Thomas Pfaeffle of Black Diamond, Wash., apparently mistakenly tried to unlock the wrong door at the Blue Spruce Motel, where he was staying with his wife. He was shot through the door from within the room and collapsed behind parked cars in front of the motel units, according to a report from Twisp Police Chief Rick Balam. Pfaeffle was taken to Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak, where he died from his wounds two hours later.

Another hotel guest, from Renton, suffered minor injuries when another shot came through the wall of the hotel unit. He did not require medical attention, according to Balam.

Police said the suspect, a 57-year-old man from Seattle, was still inside his room when they arrived. Balam was able to contact him by phone and he agreed to come out. He was arrested without incident and booked for Second Degree Murder and Assault in the Second Degree. Though police have not released his name, a man named Kino Michael Gomez, 57, was booked into Okanogan County Jail at 3:30 a.m. Saturday (July 18) on those same charges, according to the Okanogan County Sheriff's booking log.

Pfaeffle was a master live concert audio mixer, owner of The Tank recording studio in Black Diamond. He has worked with bands like Nirvana, Queensryche, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, B.B. King and the Black Crowes.

Okay, so our brother is going to his hotel room, accidentally goes to the wrong door, and the guy shoots through the door and kills Tom? I am losing my mind over this! Have any of you ever gone to the wrong hotel room door? Me, too!!! Has someone ever tried to get into your room only to realize they had the wrong door? Me, too!!! The idea that I could be blown away like a scene from Scarface for something like that is unnerving.

Tom has done so much for so many, it's hard to know where to begin. He has been a force in the Seattle music scene for years, and helps countless bands. He's a live mixing giant. My sorrow goes deep on this one, Brothers and Sisters...very deep...

Our deepest and sincerest condolences go out to Tom's family, friends, and anyone who was lucky enough to have this guy touch their lives. He will be sorely missed, and I know wherever he is, there is peace and blessings for him. For us, there is an incredible sense of loss. DO not act out in anger or frustration over his passing, but let it stand as a opportunity to love each other more, and show each other more love. Give someone you know needs it a hug today, and that will honor Tom. Be the best you can be in your craft and as a friend and that will honor Tom. Write something for him. Sing for him. Play for him. That honors the living art that he worked so hard for and that no one can take away.

We will never know what more he would have done; we will never experience those milestones. That contribution on this plane is gone. We must continue to carry appreciation and respect for him in our hearts. We must move forward to honor what he did in his life, and work hard to make sure he is not forgotten.

Falcon has already said this, but it is worth repeating: PUT THE GUNS DOWN! A split second misjudgement can alter your life forever, and not in a good way. Find a way to approach someone with love, or walk away in love, but don't act out in such a negative, permanent, unalterable fashion. You cannot undo that. Be strong, take the proverbial high road, not the lowest common denominator.

In the truest sense of the word today World Family, on this Cancer New Moon and solar eclipse, I wish you peace.

With much love, Brothers and Sisters,
Falcon and Dove

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Second Sight has Special Message of Love and Remembrance

Hello World Family,
Falcon with a special message from our Brother Steve from the band, Second Sight.

Truly Second Sight

My father passed on this day when I was 19. It was very abrupt, very sudden. (Heart attack working in the hot sun.) Life teaches us lessons in odd ways. My hope is maybe someone will read this & remember/realize how anyone can be taken from us at any time.

People act like life is forever & it simply isn't. So maybe there's someone in your own life right now- a family member, a friend, whomever, that youre maybe a bit at odds with for some reason...some sort of damage to your relationship. Why not take a moment & see about mending things? I'm not saying take someone's abuse or let them walk all over you....only you know the exact scenario & how you feel.

But maybe theres someone in your life in which maybe you need to talk things over or have an "air clearing" session that you've been putting off. Well we dont know how much sand is in the hourglass for any of us so maybe make today the day? Maybe someone doesnt even truly deserve your forgiveness but maybe you can take the higher road anyway? Life is short, friendship matters.... things to think about.

If one person reads this & mends some relationship in their life, maybe my loss isnt all for nothing. & I think Dad would want me to try to make something positive out of it all.... Just think about it. Life is short...friendship matters...

MySpace URL:


Hi Steve,
That was a wonderful message of honor and forgiveness you posted today. It takes a lot of courage for a man tho talk about his relationship with his father and reconnection through forgiveness in this culture. Your message is powerful.

Your father is absolutely so proud of you; the man you are today is a direct reflection on what a positive impact he had on your life. We all have memories some pleasant and some not of our friends and family. All of it makes us stronger.

Today your message may heal a broken relatedness; that is powerful. If everyone had your emotional courage, the world would have less conflict.

Stay strong, and thanks again for sharing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter HBP: Mature and Magnificent

Hey World Family,
Falcon here feeling surprisingly chipper considering her serious lack of sleep (must be the 26 cans of Red Bull I consumed over the course of the previous evening; just kidding, you know Falcon doesn’t do that stuff…Mountain Dew Throwback works just fine). I promised you a review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and you are getting it. May I simply say that it is the best Potter film yet, and was magnificently realized on screen. The acting, effects, compression of the telling, and the montages (very brief) were extraordinarily well executed.


The cinematography of this film is stunning; literally. There are moments when image and sound come together to produce an experience rarely had; I cannot wait for the IMAX 3-D of some of those same sequences.

There are some surprises in here even for book readers and these are pleasant ones, rather than unexpected gaffs as in some other films (I refer to, of course the middle child of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where around 80 minutes into the film Aragorn goes off a cliff with a significant portion of the essence of the story right along with him). There are gentle and subtle surprises for readers throughout where the story has a different depth for those who have read the series. These are successful and make the overall unfolding that much more enjoyable.

As serious as the tone of this film is, there is comic relief in the form of slightly inebriated characters, love and crushes, and character Ron’s unusual techniques of defending the goals in Quidditch. His older brothers’ joke shop is a treat, and no one should eat those chocolates left on the bed!

The maturity of the young characters was shining through in fine performances by the ensemble of young people cast. Lavender is delightfully psycho, Seamus is growing up, but still as lovable as ever; Ginny is particularly enchanting, growing into a Hogwarts Eowyn, with strength, perseverance, and courage for two. The trio have come completely into their own, and their character portrayals have depth, light, and humor in the correct amounts when called upon. Draco Malfoy is tortured, frightened and forceful throughout, and Helena brought back Belatrix as demented and clever as ever. The young Mr. Fiennes makes a deliciously Omen-like young Tom Riddle, as does the adolescent actor, but the biggest, most impressive performances were those of Jim Broadbent (one of Falcon’s favorite actors ever) and Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore. They twist and turn together on screen and alone, and Gambon has now reached a performance level with Dan Radcliffe’s Harry on screen that fans had so hoped for several films.

There were tears last night (some of them cried as we had to sit through an excruciatingly long list of preview trailers, some good, some frightfully bad like 2012-sidebar: when will folks who have no understanding of Native American traditions and calendar systems ever stop trying to entertain us with their vapid ignorance of the facts? Yes, Mayans are Native Americans, thank you. Just venting…) and there will be even more today as younger fans take in the new film for the first time. Everybody show some love and be tolerant of those who need to grieve. Remember, many fans started reading this series when they were 8, 9, 10; being 18, 19, and 20 now means they grew up with the tales, so character stress may reflect on their own. It’s cool; allow them to express their feelings without ridicule or teasing.
All scenes are held reverently in the film, and all should stay for the credits at the end for a special experience.

This film is close to perfect. There are some things Falcon personally wishes were in that may make an appearance in a future Potter film in retrospect…but overall, this is a fine piece of filmmaking. In a summer weak on substance of any kind in blockbusters (smaller films have been good), this is an excellent diversion and worth every penny.

Peace…and get some sleep (smile)
Falcon and Dove

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter gets praise from Vatican; UPDATE:2,000 Midnight Shows Already Sold Out Tonight!

Hello World Family,
Falcon here with some stunning news: the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano gave Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince the proverbial two thumbs up, liking the adolescence love as appropriate and that good versus evil as clearly defined. They think it is the best Potter film yet, and they are not alone. The film is receiving high praise from many unexpected corners and the words Oscar nomination are even floating around.

As of 4pm, Movietickets.com reported that 96% of all tickets sales on their site is for HP: HBP! Fandango is selling tickets at an unreal speed per minute. By the end of the day, Harry Potter 6 may be in the all-time top five films opening for these sites.

For those who love attending midnight shows, make sure that there are tickets for your local viewing, otherwise, you may get there and all the tickets could be gone. GO EARLY, and hang out with all the other costumed fans, and stay in groups if you are out late. Don’t go wandering around alone.

Falcon mentioned this awhile ago, and it is time to now mention it again. This film is rated PG, and while the rating doesn’t reflect the caution, as a parent, I WILL!. Children under age 8 who have not read the books may be very surprised and disturbed by some of the content of this film. Personally, I don’t recommend taking a younger child who hasn’t read the books until YOU, the parents have seen the film. I don’t expect a lot of younger children at the midnight showings, but there will be at the matinees tomorrow. Please, talk to the younger children who may be attending with older siblings before they see the film. This goes way beyond the Cedric Diggory scene in Goblet of Fire. Give your children some leave to grieve. Older children may want to see this again, younger children probably shouldn’t for awhile. You know your child best; be the parent, and make the best decision for your child or children.

Falcon hasn’t done a lot of movie review writing this summer for one reason: a lot of them stunk! Those that didn’t will be mentioned in our Fall Film Preview (coming in August), as we begin the consideration for Oscar Season. Personally, Falcon thought some of the summer films were so bad, just mentioning them was more than they deserved…so I didn’t. There have been some great independent films and more to come, and again, we will cover those extensively in August.

This film HP: HBP is a crossroads film for the Potter franchise. With two more films to go (Deathly Hallows parts one and two), it is important with this film to set the tone. Falcon and Dove are doing the midnight thing and will report with a review for tomorrow’s opening day.

In the meantime, get your wands at the ready, House Colors on…enjoy your evening, and be safe.

Falcon and Dove

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rodrigo y Gabriela Tour Updates/Workout Tunes

Hey World Family,
Falcon, here. There will be a couple of updates today; so much going on in the world of entertainment.

There have been some updates in the tour schedule of Rodrigo y Gabriela, so we wanted to pass these on to you ASAP.

This is the full schedule as we know it at the moment. Of course, the new album 11:11 will be out in September, so when it is, we will let you know;)


July, 15 2009 08:00 PM - Jazz Festival, Gent, Belgium

July, 17 2009 08:00 PM - Festival Les Suds (Old Arena), Arles, France

July, 19 2009 08:00 PM - Lovebox ( 2nd stage), Victoria Park, Hackney, London

July, 21 2009 08:00 PM - Blue Balls Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland,

July, 23 2009 08:00 PM - Paleo Festival (Chapiteau Stage), Nyon, Switzerland

July, 24 2009 08:00 PM - Les 3 Elephants Festival (Main Stage), Laval, France

July, 26 2009 08:00 PM - Secret Garden Party (Main stage), Cambridge, UK

July, 28 2009 08:00 PM - Dolans Warehouse, Limerick, Ireland
Box Office 061 314483 & www.dolanspub.com

July, 29 2009 08:00 PM - School of Music, Cork, Ireland

August, 1 2009 08:00 PM - Presqu’ile de Crozon Festival, Crozon, France

September, 4 2009 08:00 PM - Electric Picnic Festival, Stradbally, Laois

September, 16 2009 08:00 PM - Terminal 5, New York City,

September, 19 2009 08:00 PM - Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, Denver, CO

September, 21 2009 08:00 PM - Moore Theatre, Seattle, USA

September, 23 2009 08:00 PM - Fox Theatre, Oakland, USA

September, 25 2009 08:00 PM - Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, USA

Falcon loves this pair; they are magnificent players and performers combining style, grace, and intensity gloriously. If you haven’t checked them out yet, just go to You Tube; they have a new video, and a ton of classics. Download a couple of tracks for the MP3, too. They are great inspiration for the workout.


Yes, questions have swirled about what do Falcon and Dove listen to when we are hitting the gym, yoga, Pilates, weights, bikes, and trails.
Well, Dove has a list she will share with you later (she is in Chi-town this weekend), but I will give you some of my current motivators.


YES-of course, I am a solid YES fan so I love putting on some stuff from TALES, RELAYER, UNION, and THE YES ALBUM. Of course, YES cousins are great, too: CIRCA, JON ANDERSON, JON AND VANGELIS, ABWH, etc.

QUEENSRYCHE-any album will do, but the latest SOLDIER’S STORY is great on the trails

EVANESCENCE- Yes, they are great to listen to when depressed or in need of some psychological revenge, but are also great on the bike. Having been a dancer for many years, Falcon sometimes forgets to breathe correctly when exercising. Dancers know what I mean when I say this. If I am listening to female vocalists I enjoy and respect, I will often sing along and that keeps me breathing, not holding my breath against the exertion. HEART, STREISAND (yes, Barbra), ELLA, NANCY WILSON (jazz, Heart already mentioned), JANIS, JONI, PINK even CLANNAD is great to bike and hike to while singing. I don’t recommend this for others, but Falcon has had asthma since I was a kid, and I don’t take meds, I just do T’ai-Chi, avoid foods that trigger responses (dairy is the worst for that) and exercise, EVERY DAY! I have to do something active. At my age, it becomes even more important. I can tell you what happens when you don’t exercise…bad stuff can creep in. I can do curls with laundry soap, so take every opportunity you can get to stay or get healthy.

PREDATOR-highly inspiring; I talked about these guys last week. This is my new favorite CD to push me further.

EARTH,WIND, AND FIRE-they will get you up for anything! It doesn’t matter what I am doing, I can always get motivated with them. You have to get moving with them on the player.

STYX- these guys are for the weights. Tommy, Gowan, James and the gang keep me working through the burn

WES MONTGOMERY- cool down time; nothing like a little Wes…

ANDREAS VOLLENWEIDER- I can bike to most of his stuff, but my favorite is of course, DOWN TO THE MOON. I also like WHITE WINDS for a cool down

MOODY BLUES-yes, I love them. These guys are great for hiking in the woods and appreciating nature. Things just look more beautiful when they are on…

KILLSWITCH and SLIPKNOT-for immediately following Pilates class. For some reason, they are just a good addition to do the aerobic stuff I do to keep the muscles loose after the intensity of Pilates. These are my release guys, then a nice bath or shower.

CHIEFTAINS, JOHN MC CANN, TOMMY MAKEM, CAPERCAILLE, BROTHER-Falcon gets Celtic, Scot, and tribal when doing some T’ai Chi and body sculpting.

JAZZ for chillin’- when slowing down relaxing, and trying to stay cool in rush-hour traffic, jazz is the only way to go. Local artists like GEORGE BENSON, AHMED JAMAL, JOE NEGRI, are always nice. There are so many artists I listen to, it would be unfair to single out, but I also like ALAN PARSONS PROJECT for rush hour…er…um..hours. It goes on forever…

This is just a snapsot of the moment; it can change all the time and usually does. Music for dance is entirely different, and that is for another day;)

Stay strong, world family. Have a great week!
Falcon and Dove

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Concert news from BROTHER; CD/DVD, video release by PREDATOR

Hello World Family,
We hope everyone is having a great weekend (or beginning of the week for those already into Monday)...

We wanted to give you some great news from two trashing artistic talents: BROTHER and PREDATOR.

BROTHER has just released a classic on MP3- their very first CD, PIPE DREAMS.

There are some additional show dates as well:

Pipe Dreams downloadable:
“Pipe Dreams”, the first official BROTHER album, is now available for download. This album, currently out of print, features many of the band’s early a capella numbers, including Amazing Grace. Recorded in 3 days during the brothers’ street performing days this classic also has the earliest BROTHER bagpipe adaptations, traditional and original.
For BROTHER downloads go to http://www.brothermusic.com/broshop.htm

Upcoming Shows:
July 10 – 12
Colorado Irish festival
Clement Park
Littleton, Colorado
Fri: 6:30pm @ Bellco Celtic Stage
Sat: 8pm @ Jameson Pub Stage
Sun: 11:30am @ Bellco Celtic Stage

July 15
River Rhythms
Pere Marquette Park
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

July 16
Evening shows
Concord Street Fair
Concord, New Hampshire
Details coming soon(promise)

New Journal Blog:
Includes live footage from Costa Mesa Scottish and Manheim Celtic Fling.
Go to www.Brotherjournal.blogspot.com


PREDATOR is amazing. What really impresses me about this group is that they are lyrically strong and instrumentally fierce. They are precise yet unrelenting.

Check out their announcement:



Falcon needs to give these men high props. There is a video on their My Space page you must see, and get this CD as fast as you can! Yes, it is that good! If there is a category for progressive metal, they own it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guitarist Ken Bonfield releases Summer Tour Dates!

Hello World Family,
Falcon here with some summer concert news! His Royal Excellence Ken Bonfield emailed us this afternoon with some wonderful concert dates. AS you know, he will be in Pittsburgh July 22 with amigos Peter Janson (about to release a new CD) and Tim Farrell, who many of you saw at the Byham Theatre here in The 'Burgh on May 28.

We are so excited to be attending the House Party we can barely contain ourselves! Falcon is making some of her recipes from her cookbook, and all the food will be organic from our garden, Andy McAllister's (the scientist gone doc filmmaker) and from local farms.

Check out these tour dates below:

Montreal Guitar FestivalMontreal, QC, CA Fri Jul 03 09 08:00 PM

Montreal Guitar FestivalMontreal, QC, CA Sat Jul 04 09 02:00 PM

House Concert Pittsburgh, PA Wed Jul 22 09 07:00 PM

Echoes Living Room Concerts Chester Springs, PA Thu Jul 23 09 08:00 PM

Ten West Espresso CompanyMansfield, PA Fri Jul 24 09 07:30 PM

House ConcertDraper, UT Fri Aug 07 09 08:00 PM

House ConcertSalt Lake City, UT Sat Aug 08 09 08:00 PM

KZYX 90.7 FM Willits, CA Sun Aug 09 09 10:00 PM

1078 Gallery Chico, CA Wed Aug 12 09 08:00 PM

House ConcertDavis, CA Thu Aug 13 09 08:00 PM

Healdsburg Guitar FestivalSanta Rosa, CA Fri Aug 14 09 03:00 PM

Healdsburg Guitar FestivalSanta Rosa, CA Sat Aug 15 09 08:00 AM

Healdsburg Guitar FestivalSanta Rosa, CA Sun Aug 16 09 08:00 PM

TBA-MontereyMonterey, CA Tue Aug 18 09 08:00 PM

The Coffee Gallery BackstageAltadena, CA Fri Aug 21 09 08:00 PM

Here's some of what Ken said:
Just wanted to let you know about this summer's tour. I'm really excited to play at two of North America's biggest guitar festivals. I'll be playing a solo concert at the Montreal Guitar Festival Friday night, July 3rd at 8pm as well as playing mini-concerts for Kathy Wingert and Alan Carruth. I'll be getting my new high string guitar from Al this weekend and will post pictures when I return.

I also wanted to remind you that I now have FlashPaks for sale on my website. FlashPaks are 2GB USB drives loaded with my first 3 CDs Mystic Morning, Homecoming, and Winternight, as well as 8 bonus tracks from an un-released CD, Harbor Town. You can order them with AIFF files for Macs or WAV files for PCs.


Thanks, Brother. Have a safe trip, and we'll see you in three weeks!

Peace, World Family.
Falcon and Dove