June 20, 2009

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One could say that the Austin’s loss is Springfield’s gain. While Southwest Missouri native, Seth Truett had dreams of making the Austin music scene, he quickly learned just how difficult that would become. Austin is filled to the brim with musicians striving to have their music heard, and make a living at it. According to Seth, even your run-of-the-mill bar bands in Austin already had at least 3 CDs under their belt. He decided that in order to get attention and compete in that music scene, he would need to record a CD as well. Hence, his return to Springfield, to record his first solo project with legendary producer and recording engineer, Lou Whitney. Seth had grown up watching The Skeletons, the studio band at Whitney’s recording studio. It was at this point Seth decided to return to Springfield, after spending 2 1/2 years in Austin. In preparing for the album, Seth realized he would need a band. After recommendations from mutual friends, the four-piece band came together, but has since added a fifth member. Truett & the Traitors is now comprised of lead singer, Seth Truett; guitarist, Dave Price; bassist, Chris Greig; lead guitarist, Adam Cochrun; and drummer, Rick Gates.

Their sound is largely influenced by music of the 60s’, mainly the Beatles, as well as some Chuck Berry, though his music came a few years earlier. Yet, Truett & the Traitors refuse to be pigeon-holed into one or two genres. Seth explains that their music is a spin of genres, taking from 70s punk, while mixing it with a little bit of Americana, and throwing in some uptempo. Seth also points out some more modern influences, namely the Strokes and Coldplay. He believes these two bands have had the greatest influence on music over the last 10 years, along with a resurgence of the garage band sound earlier in the decade. Additionally, Seth credits modern bands such as Jet, White Stripes, and other British bands as having an influence in his music.

While all of their music is original, the band has found that audiences generally like a few cover songs thrown into the mix at shows. Seth says he tends to favor the songs that typically do not get the appeal of the fans, as much as some of the other songs. While discussing upcoming shows, Seth shared his thoughts regarding the ordinance which prevents those under the age of 21 from attending live performances in venues that serve alcohol. He explains that since the passing of this law, the attendance at live shows of most bands has been cut in half. In a city where there is an abundance of local music, the competition can be rather stiff. It also causes more difficulty in booking shows. Basically, the bands now have two groups to which they must cater: the over-21 “bar crowd,” and those under the legal drinking age. The result is they have to book more shows, at different types of venues.

In listening to the music, one can definitely pick up on the 60’s and 70’s vibe. Take It Back seems to be a fun mix of pop combined with a 70s punk sound. It is a song that will definitely get you moving. However, all of the songs are solid, and each has its own appeal. Fans will soon be in for another treat, as Truett & the Traitors are currently recording four more songs. While the songs are being newly recorded, Seth actually started writing them several years ago. His band members recently helped polish the songs off, and get them ready for recording. These songs have also been played at area shows.

In addition to recording the new music, Truett & the Traitors can be seen live in three upcoming performances in Springfield. They are scheduled to play the Outland on May 23rd, along with John Henry & the Engine. Next, they will be playing at a lucky fan’s birthday party at Lindberg’s on June 13th, though Seth did stress the show is open to the public. Finally, they will return to Lindberg’s on June 27th, where they will be playing with Holstein, who will be holding their CD release party. Merchandise, including CD’s, t-shirts, and stickers are available at shows, as well as their online merch store. On a rather fun note, the t-shirt designs are derived from pictures that fans doodle on napkins during live shows. If you are looking for some new music that is solid, timeless, and downright fun, you will definitely want to check out Truett & theTraitors. You just might get hooked. I did. I just spent the last 3 hours listening to their catalog of songs, over and over.

Growing up in South Dakota farm country, I was raised on plain old meat and potatoes. One popular delicacy in that area at the time, was “tiger meat.” Don’t think of the orange and black striped animal. The “tiger meat” I am talking about comes from a cow. It is basically raw ground beef and seasonings. Some recipes also call for raw eggs. I look back at this, and some other things I ate growing up, and wonder how it was that I DID NOT ever get e.coli, or salmonella poisoning. I would never eat this now! Tiger meat used to be available in the meat departments at local grocery stores. Alas, that is no longer the case.

There are different recipes for Tiger Meat, using different seasonings. This one has more kick than some of the others.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 small onion diced
2tsp Tabasco sauce
2tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 8 hours. Spread on crackers. Awesome! Do not eat after 2 days.

Sounds tasty, doesn’t it?

Meat Loaf Wellington

May 24, 2009

3 eggs
1/2 C. Ketchup
2 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 lb ground beef, lean
3/4 lb ground veal
3/4 lb ground pork
1/3 C. onion, chopped
3/4 C. bread crumbs
1 (17 1/4 oz) pkg frozen pastry, thawed

Madeira Sauce:
1/4 C butter
5 T all-purpose flour
2 C beef consomme
1 T tomato sauce
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp browning sauce (optional)
Dash, cloves
1/2 C. Madeira wine or beef broth
2 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 T olive oil or vegetable oil

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs, ketchup, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper. Crumble meat over mixture and mix well. Sprinkle with onion and bread crumbs; mix gently. Shape into 2 loaves. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry sheet into an 18 x 16 inch rectangle. Invert meat loaves and place in center of each pastry; fold short sides of pastry over loaf. Fold long sides over loaf and pastry; seal seams. Place, seam side down on a rack in a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Beat remaining egg; brush over pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 to 170 degrees. Meanwhile, for sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour until smooth. Stir in the consomme, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, browning sauce if desired, and cloves. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in wine or broth. In a skillet, saute mushrooms in oil until tender. Serve the mushrooms and sauce over meat loaf slices. Yield: 2 meat loaves. Servings: 12.

Note: I omitted the ground veal, and used a little more of the ground beef and ground pork. I also substituted dry oats for the bread crumbs.

My New-Old House

May 24, 2009

I decided to forgo my 7 Wonders Wednesdays posts in favor of starting a new series. In Gettin’ Clicky With It, I will once again be sharing favorite links that will, hopefully, offer value, information, entertainment, and usefulness to my readers. Instead of a set number of links on a set day, this series will be somewhat random. The number of links may change from post to post, and the posts may be written on any given day. Here are some of my new favorite links on which to click:

  • Discover who hosts any website on the wonderful world wide web with The site is super easy to use. Basically, you just type in the URL and hit the search button. In addition, the site offers plugins for both Firefox,  and Internet Explorer, as well as a search bookmarklet.
  • Have you ever been curious as to some of the oldest domain names?  The oldest domain name was originated on March 15, 1985. In the grand scheme of time, that is really not very old at all. However, in internet years, that could be considered pretty darn ancient.  That was the era of the Apple II e, the BASIC programming language, and the Commodore 64. Find out exactly which domain name is the oldest at In fact, iWhois has a list of the 100 oldest domain names.  Click it to find out which domains made the list.
  • Have you ever wanted to say Happy Birthday in Bulgarian, Greek, or Mongolian? shows the Happy Birthday greeting in 161 different languages from around the globe. While the site design could definitely be considered amateurish, I found some really interesting tidbits of information on this site.
  • Do you enjoy coloring, but have trouble staying in the lines? If you do, be sure to check out This site offers a free online coloring book that is so easy, and so much fun! There are well over 20 cateogories of coloring pages that you can color online or print. You can also create your own gallery. Way cool!
  • Windows Live Translator is another “foreign language” site. This translation site allows you to enter up to 500 hundered words to be translated into another language. There are a variety of languages from which to choose.  You can also enter a website URL. The website of choice will come up on the screen twice – on the left side and the right. The leftside  will contain the original language, while the right will be the language to which it was translated.  For example, will show up in English on the left, and French or Spanish, etc. on the right. The page is translated within seconds of loading. This site is a great tool for web developers, bloggers, writers, and others, that allows them to reach wide cross-section of people. I am only fluent in English, yet with websites like Windows Live Translator my blog can be read by many non-English readers and speakers.
  • is a great time waster that is creative, entertaining, and loads of fun! You can choose from photos of celebrities, historical figures, and fictional characters, and then make them your own. You do this by inserting a photo of your face (or someone else’s face) into the hole. I have used other software to do this, but FACEinHOLE is, by far, the easiest to use.  I have wasted hours at at a time turning my friends and family into SuperMario, Wonder Woman, Queen Elizabeth II, Willie Wonka, and many, many more.  Like I said, FACEinHOLE is a fabulously fun time-waster. Click it!


  • Calling all Night Owl Geeks! Do you stay up way past your bed time on a consistent basis, yet usually have to rise early in the morning? Check out Geek Dad’s 10 Geeky Tricks for Getting Out of Bed in the Morning. While, they may seem overly simple and obvious, they really can work, if you just apply them consistently.  For example, set your alarm – across the room. Better yet, go to bed when you are tired. To read all 10 geeky tricks, click on the link!

Some Twittering Thoughts

March 2, 2009

I have been using Twitter for about a year now. Originally, I signed up with Twitter out of mere curiosity. I was interested in learning about the daily lives of people from various places in the world.  At first, this seemed to be the case for many Twitterers.  However, as Twitter has grown substantially in the number of users, it has changed and evolved. Over the past year, I have made a few observations and have formed some thoughts and opinions about Twitter, and those who use the service.

  • You should never feel obligated to follow someone just because that person follows you. It may be a bit of an ego-buster to not have the following reciprocated. However, I would not want someone to follow me if they are not receiving any value from the information I am providing through my tweets. Likewise, I have no desire to follow someone from which I do not gain value. That does not mean they are not adding value to the stream for someone else. It just means that I find their information irrelevant for myself.  Also, if someone who has thousands of followers were to feel obligated to follow everyone in return, it would just boil down to numbers. Everyone, on both sides, would just be a number. I don’t want to be just another number, and neither should you.
  • On that note, how can someone who follows over 1,000 people – and some follow over 10,000 people- really be following anyone at all. It would be classic case of hit or miss. The likelihood of one of these followers actually seeing any of my tweets is minimal.  Of course, many Twitter users who follow that high of number are  often considered “spammers.”  Generally, they are not concerned with reading the tweets of others. That is not to say that all Twitterers who follow a large number of people are like that. There are many who are genuine.
  • I find that some Twitter users treat Twitter like a chat room or an instant messenger. Alternatively, they should be moving their conversations over to those services, as constant @replies often add little value for their other followers. It is like listening to half of a conversation.
  • On the flip-side, being aloof and not engaging your followers in some conversation can be a bad thing. It is always good to keep it in check. When I reply to someone, I try reword the tweet (in 140 characters or less) so that my other followers won’t feel like they are eavesdropping on just my side of the conversation. I want my @replies to add value to the stream for everyone who follows me, not just the intended recipient.
  • There are more and more people on Twitter who are labeling themselves as SEO, social media, and PR experts. It seems that most of my new followers consist of these self-professed experts.  I wonder how long it takes to become an expert at Twitter?
  • There are times when I go out of my way to try new and interesting things just so I can sound more interesting on Twitter. I’ll try new, hip & trendy restaurants, movies, concerts, events, you name it. Surely, I am not the only Twitterer who does this.
  • I have found Twitter and Twitter Search to be a great avenue for finding out about outages of Twitter and other services.  For example, when my blogs were not loading at all, I learned through Twitter Search that GoDaddy’s servers were down.  You can learn of newsworthy events in a very timely manner – often before you will hear about them on the radio, tv, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
  • Fortunately, or unfortunately, Twitter has also become a great resource for airing complaints about bad service. Sometimes, you can even get results. Let’s face it, Twitter can spread bad word of mouth like wildfire.  No business wants that.

These are just a few thoughts and observations. This is far from an exhaustive list. There are so many great possibilites with Twitter, as well as certain downfalls.  One of the biggest keys is moderation – in both the number of times you tweet in a day and the time you spend on Twitter.  Another big component is respect. Treat other Twitter users with respect and dignity just as you (hopefully) would in person.  Don’t be overly harsh or critical, and don’t be unkind. Better yet, go out of your way to make your stream valuable for those who follow you. Retweet information from others that you find interesting or helpful, and give them credit. Use Twitter to encourage others.  Most of all, be YOURSELF, but be the BESTself you can be.  Happy Tweeting!