I did my first tracking block with Phantom Regiment. Well, the first time we called it “tracking.” I had done it at Irondale in high school, but I didn’t have the vocabulary at the time.

That was like 30 years ago, but it is still a very effective tool to increase confidence with simultaneous music & visual responsibilities.

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My wife has recently been looking at scratch & dent auction items on a site called k-bid.com. It’s a midwest based auction site that handles everything from estate sales to scratch & dent returns.

She has purchased several things from it including:

  • Fancy AFℒ️ dance bag
  • Bed frame
  • Cat wheel
  • Dishes

Her latest item is something that could be a game changer in multiple ways. It’s a GE Profile Combination Washer/Dryer with Ventless Heat Pump Technology. We both wanted this thing for two different reasons:

  1. For her: Combination washer/dryer (it does both)
  2. For him: Heat pump drying – efficient electric drying that only needs a 120v outlet
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…also marching band, WGI, etc. Well we did it again this year at Minnesota Brass. This season’s problem to solve: harmonicas. The 2023 Minnesota Brass production “Speakeasy” used Billy Joel’s Piano Man as the ballad. I thought it would fun to play a little ditty on harmonica, so I worked with our arranger to put it in.

Playing Harmonica

I had never played harmonica, so I did some research. I wanted to make sure it was achievable, and that whatever I ordered would be suitable. I started with this youtube video and some harmonica note charts:

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After using an old Garmin GPS last year, I hinted that I might switch to (also owned by Garmin) the Navionics Boating app. To get the party started, I shopped for cheap tablets during Amazon Prime Day.

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I set out to create a setup similar to MBI Winds’ first season at home in miniature. I knew I needed at last a 4-channel USB-audio interface. I needed at least 3 powered speakers, which can oddly be difficult as many studio monitors are only sold in pairs.

Another quick call to my sales rep at Sweetwater got me to the answer. The JBL 308s are a very popular and highly recommended 8″ powered monitor. They’re sold individually and my rep even let me know when they were going to go on sale.

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