Mr. Torkelson passed away

Larry Torkelson was an inspiration and a motivator. His passion for life and music was contagious.

From 1987 - 1991, I was a member of the USD Chamber Singers, USD Men’s and Women’s Chorus, and the University Choir under the direction of Mr. Torkelson... not only was he an amazing teacher / director, he was also an amazing person. Compassionate. Patient. Intentional.

When I think of Mr. Torkelson, I can see him taking over the piano to help us feel a phrase or understand a dynamic. As soon as his fingers hit the keys, his one leg would start swaying to the rhythmn of the music, beautiful tones would emit from his mouth... and there was no mistaking what you needed to do to help deliver.

Today, I am thankful that God put Mr. Torkelson in our lives. I'm saddened by his passing, but comforted knowing the legacy he's left behind for his students and his family will keep his memory alive.

Keith "Larry" Torkelson had great influence on my life, more than he ever knew. And, while we haven't spoken for years, I will miss him.

Press & Dakotan

VERMILLION - Keith "Larry" Torkelson, 67, of Vermillion, died Wednesday, January 23, at his residence after a battle with cancer.

Larry was born May 19, 1940 in his parents' house (Thomas and Edith [Seaman] Torkelson) in Frankfort, South Dakota. As a young man he enjoyed baseball, basketball, track, boating, ice skating and woodworking. In high school he studied jazz piano with Wilda Dorsey. After graduating from Redfield High School in 1958 he toured with the Tommy Allen Orchestra before attending USD as music major.

Working his way through college as an entertainer, he sang and played piano on the weekends and was the first jazz pianist to play at the Westward Ho Country Club in Sioux Falls.

Larry married his college sweetheart Jane Ellen Jensen in 1963 and she became his lifelong partner. A daughter Tracy was born in 1964 after which the family moved to Michigan where Larry taught music at Alpena Community College. In 1967 a son Jeff was born.

In 1969, he pursued Doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at Indiana University. In 1971, he was hired by Jack Noble to be the Choral Director at USD where he inspired vocal, choral, and conducting musicians for 30 years by teaching them to appreciate the beauty of choral masterworks.

After retirement in 2001, he enjoyed teaching for a short time at Mt. Marty College, organizing the Alumni Choir, playing piano and piloting his airplane. He felt very fortunate to have been able to spend quality time with his two grandchildren Taylor and Braeden.

Larry is survived by his wife Jane of Vermillion, a son Jeffrey (Lisa) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a daughter Tracy Ferguson of Vermillion, and two grandchildren Taylor and Braeden Ferguson

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 26, at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion with burial in the Bluffview cemetery in Vermillion. Visitation will begin two hours prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed to the USD Foundation - Torkelson Scholarship Fund

For online condolences and obituary please go to hansenfuneralhome.com.

Yankton Press & Dakotan
January 25, 2008


U2 3D... better than being there


We saw it.
We were IN it... ON STAGE with U2.
We were affected.


Jonell Mosser... TONIGHT

Ok friends... if you're jonesin for some amazing live music... tonight is your night.

Jonell Mosser is performing at 3rd & Lindsley, 9:30ish backed by Craig Krampf, one of the Britt brothers and Steve Mackey. See you there!

Thanks to Jonn for hippin' me to this vid. So friggin' COOL.


How to drive a designer mad

Thanks to Lem-o-licious for this little gem.
Wish he'd come across it sooner.
*heh heh*
That's all I have to say about it.


We're gonna see U2 3D

Just listened to a story on NPR about U2 3D on the way home from the cabedgepatch. Oh yeah mahmaah... Clocky and I are already checkin' Fandango to get some tickets for Saturday... Imax... Opry Mills, baybay.

Redesigning the music community.


Finally... EVIDENCE that someone is figuring out how to evangelize music AND help artists & songwriters making a living, too.

Highlights from Last.fm's announcement post:
  • As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm website. With the support of the folks behind EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner—and the artists they work with—plus thousands of independent artists and labels, Last.fm has made the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free, the way they believe it should be. Full-length tracks are now available in the US, UK, and Germany, and they’re hard at work broadening coverage into other countries. During this initial public beta period, each track can be played up to 3 times for free before a notice appears telling you about the upcoming subscription service.

  • Last.fm will be paying artists directly. They already have licenses with the various royalty collection societies, but now unsigned artists can put their music on Last.fm and be paid directly for every song played. This helps to level the playing-field—now you can make music, upload it to Last.fm and earn money for each play. If you make music, you can sign up to participate for free.
>>Read the entire post.

Take it for a spin.

YAY for Last FM.
Now... go listen to some music.
And then, support the artists you love by buying their music!

(Kudos to Liz-o-licious for hippin' me to this Last.fm announcement.)


latest paint squishings...

Wrote a couple songs and painted some paintings this weekend... creativity was a much needed respite.

These pics were taken with the iPhone... so bear with the quality and lighting.
Just wanted to share:


He's doubled in size...

Tank is now 11 weeks old... and growing like a weed!

He sits, he waits, he knows what "kennel" means and he rings his "I have to go outside now" bell like a champ.

When Tank first came home, we had big ideas to take a new pic each week... but he's proven to be too quick on the draw for my camera. I have many many photos of the rug and a puppy tail as he runs out of the shot... or a very blurry little body running through the shot.

We're definitely in love with Tank. In another four weeks, I'm sure he'll have doubled in size again.

Next up: I think we need to get that fence. Heh.


I got "the letter"

yes... we heard about the voter registration "security breach" last week when we returned from our holiday travels.

yes... John and I are registered voters.

yes... we got "the letter" on Saturday telling us that our information was included in the "security breach" and that consumer reporting agencies are being notified of this loss by the Davidson County Election Commission."

But, pardon me if I don't trust that Davidson County is going to make sure our private information is safe at this point.

I'm calling all the agencies myself to make sure nothing is delayed or slips through the cracks, but...
  • How can I be sure that is enough?
  • How will this affect my ability to use my own credit report to get a car, finance a future business, open a savings account?
  • How long do I need to keep the "fraud alert" with the credit agencies?
  • Is this going to follow me around forever?
At the risk of sounding too emotional, I'm very concerned. This event is tantamount to someone breaking into my house... except I don't know what they have or have not stolen. Which makes it seem even worse to me.

Needless to say, I am personally disappointed in the Davidson County Election Commission and whomever was responsible for the security of that laptop.

Seriously. Who maintains laptop with such confidential information 1) without encryption; 2) with the passwords taped on the computer? THE PASSWORDS WERE TAPED ON THE BACK OF THE COMPUTER. Duh. That is a boner mistake... no getting around it.

If you're a registered voter in Davidson County... I hope you're not counting on Davidson County to ensure that your private information is being taken care of after this "security breach". I encourage you to contact all the credit agencies listed in the letter and place a fraud alert on your file yourself. This is one of those times that it is just better that you don't take any chances.


The Rolling Exhibit

On 20/20 last night, they aired a story about a man, Kevin Michael Connolly, who traveled the world without any legs. He was born without any legs... and his parents raised him as a normal kid. Kevin gets around using a skateboard and has a specially made leather / tread boot that he puts on his torso. He also skis... is a college senior... and seems to be able to figure out how to do just about anything we can do. In fact, he probably does it better. Heh.

The story was inspiring and amazing.

His travels around multiple countries inspired Kevin to take random snapshots of people who couldn't help but stare at him... and try to figure out his story. He took more than 32,000 photos... you'll find some of them at The Rolling Exhibition.

Go here for the story at 20/20's site.

And Kevin, if you're reading this... you are one special dude. Thank you for sharing your gift with us... and helping us see the world from a different perspective. You rock.


2007's Top 13 Unlucky Music Industry Stories

Here's a little teaser of the story found on hypebot:
  1. Music sales continued their decline dropping another 15% or more over 2006. Sales were down 21% in the week before Christmas alone.Broken_record
  2. DRM is dead. Three of the four top label groups (EMI, Universal, and and last week WMG) stopped adding restrictive software to their downloads.
  3. Amazon.com opened an all mp3 store where every track is playable on any brand of player and can be burned to a CD. Amazon also rejected iTune's 99 cent/$9.99 pricing structure cutting them by 10%.
  4. Social networking gained traction as a viral marketing media. Facebook's open platform and Google's Open Social promised to make SN even more marketer friendly in 2008.
>>go here to see all 13 unluckies<<


Highlights of the holidays...

Wow... time flies when you're having fun! Below are the highlights of our whirlwind holiday travels to see family and friends. We put on more than 2500 miles on our car... and it was worth every mile. We miss everyone already.

December 22 - we officially settled on a name for the puppy... Tank. AND, I got to sing on the Opry at the Ryman with Lee Roy and the band. It was an incredible way to start the holiday fun. I can't even describe what it felt like to perform on the stage of the "mother church'. Many thanks to Lee Roy for including me, once again.

December 23 - We hit the road to see my family in Nebraska. Johnny, Tank and I drove across TN, KY, IL & MO to Kansas City where we stayed overnight with John's Aunt Carol and Kim. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground... and Tank loved it! Carol and Kim took us out for some Mexican... and then we promptly collapsed. Heh.

December 24 - On the road by 8 a.m. to finish our trek to the Cornhusker State through Kansas and Nebraska. Arrived at the Petersen homestead in NE Nebraska at around 3:30 p.m. Mom had soup and fixin's ready... soon everyone was there... Tony, Brenda, Cassy, AJ, Katie, Jim, Sarah, Madisen and Cierra along with Mom, Dad, John and me. So great to see everyone!

December 25 - Christmas Lunch at my Mom & Dad's. It snowed all day. 6 - 8 inches fell, making it a perfectly white Christmas. We all had a blast... Mom made the infamous tomato gravy to go with our baked potatoes, ham, fruit salad, deviled eggs, rolls and four kinds of pie: Cherry pudding, pumpkin, buffaloberry and butterscotch. After lunch, it was present mayhem... paper was flying everywhere. The kids were a riot... and they've grown-up soooo much! We had a blast catching up, playing Scene It TV and watching the more agile members of the family play Twister. Heh.

December 26 - We loaded up and headed for Sioux Falls, SD to see friends. Denice, Britt, Tessa, Jeremy, John and I all met at Champps for Buffalo wings and pasta. We laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a good time. I miss Denice... and all our peeps.

December 27 - Change in travel itinerary. We were planning to go back to Nebraska for another day to see my family, but the weather had other ideas. A snow storm was brewing in Colorado... and forecasted to move through Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa on Friday. So, in an effort to avoid driving in blowing snow all day Friday, we opt'd to make our way towards Iowa from Sioux Falls. Tony, Brenda, AJ & Katie met us in Sioux City for lunch... and by 7 p.m. on Thursday, we were hanging out at Tom & Minnies in Oskaloosa with a good portion of the Richardson clan helping Grace celebrate her birthday.

December 28 - And... it snowed. In Sigourney, IA, about 8 - 10 inches fell before noon. We were so glad that we'd come a day early. Tom (John's Dad), Bernie (Gertie's sister) John and I went to visit Grandma Rosemary and Grandma Eloise. It was sooooo good to see them and visit a while. Then, while Gertie was at work, Bernie and I got everything ready for our Christmas supper than night. Soup and dip and cheese and crackers. That night we had a packed house of seventeen people. Good times. Good times. We ate, laughed, opened presents and then played the annual "Richardson Trivia" created by John's brother, Tommy. It was a blast.

December 29 - More fun with the Richardson's. Everyone paid a visit to Rosemary and Eloise at the care center in Sigourney. Stephanie, John's cousin, played piano for the residents and the Grandma's. Later that day, we also took Tank in to meet / greet everyone. That night, we had another big family supper at Tom & Gertie's. Kim brought fixin's to make pizza... so we went to town creating six kinds of pizza pies for "Gertie's Pizzeria". The best was the "Grand Poo Bah Hah" with everything on it that Caitlin made... and the Double Decker that Cody made. After, we watched football... or rather... I fell asleep on the floor while everyone else watched football. Heh.

December 30 - Snow was in the forecast for Monday... So, John and I decided to hit the road for Nashville a day early. It was hard to leave everyone... but so good to see our families. By St. Louis, we were no longer seeing snow on the ground and Tank was loving the grass when we stopped at Culver's for crinkle fries and a pork tenderloin sandwich. We arrived back in Nashvegas around 6:30... had a couple hot dogs and went to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

December 31 - I had good intentions to go into work and save a vacation day... but alas... the travel tired's had caught up with both John and me. I slept in until 9 a.m. Made some potato soup for lunch... and then John and I took a nap. It felt so good. For New Year's Eve, we went out for supper at Royal Thai and then headed over to F Scott's to see Charles perform with the Michael Fair Quartet. At around 10, we headed down to Franklin for a New Year's gathering at the West's. The time flew by... soon it was midnight. We all tosted to 2008 and then proceeded to swap songs until 2:30 a.m. What a great way to start the new year! (Good thing we took a nap.)

January 1 - John and I slept in until 9 a.m. Then we went to Lowe's to investigate fence options for our new little addition. After lunch, John and I took a nap... again. Wow. But, it sure felt good. Then, we headed over to Chip Greene's for a little New Year's gathering. Chip made some incredible homemade lasagna and then... John and I turned into pumpkin's at 9 p.m.

January 2 - Back at work... missed everyone at cabedge. Feels good to be back on schedule and trucking forward. Time to hit the ground running with all the carrots here in the cabedge patch.