Author Topic: Travels With Phil  (Read 2568 times)

BronxBruce

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Travels With Phil
« on: February 19, 2010, 11:49:36 PM »
Our very own Philbaby documents his experiences here as he travels the world meeting other Sing-Share members.

walkingstick

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 01:02:00 AM »
Heheheheh.   

Apparently not.

Freethinkingman

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 06:35:18 AM »
It seems that, to date, phil's travels are over rated. Well, at least the reporting of them...

Philbaby

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 04:01:26 PM »
      The Gulf Coast city of Tampa, Florida is home to thousands of Americans who have fallen in love with its temperate climate, it?s proximity to the coast and its lack of freezing precipitation. But there are two people in particular who have made this fair city their home that we visited in January. We?ve decided, in an attempt to bring our Sing Share community even closer together, it would be a good idea to visit the hometowns of any of our site members who would be willing to share a little more about their life with the rest of us. We were thinking that it would be nice to stop by, take a few pictures and get to know our fellow Sing-Share friends just a little more intimately. This month we interviewed Werewoof, affectionately called Woofie, and his wife, Mrs. Woof. For the sake of our story here, let?s call them by their real names, Mark and Julie. Mark has become a fixture of the EAW community here on Sing-Share. He is known and loved by many here and is kidded profusely by fellow chat room aficionados for having developed the habit of falling asleep in his chair in front of the webcam during late chat room hours. Fortunately for him, he neither snores nor drools in his sleep.

     As I pulled up to Mark and Julie?s home, nestled in a small community just outside the city proper, I couldn?t help but be a little bit captivated by the home?s charm and meticulously landscaped yard. I walked up the drive and rang the doorbell and within seconds the door was flung open and my friend, Mark, greeted me with a big smile and said, ?Phil, you look just like you do on your videos!? I said, ?Mark, you look just like you do in YOUR videos!? With these pleasantries behind us, he invited me in.  As I was exchanging handshakes and taking off my coat Mark?s wife, Julie, stepped into the room. Now, I think you?ve all heard Mark go on and on about his lovely wife so I was anticipating meeting her in person. She is every bit as lovely as Mark has explained. She is a beautiful lady with that small town, American-girl-look that drives American men out of their minds.

     Mark and Julie share their home with two cats, Montego and Simon, who could not possibly be any different in personality. Montego runs to the door when company arrives and jumps up on you and sniffs you like a dog would. Let?s just call Montego the social butterfly of the Feline animal kingdom. On the other hand, when Simon hears the doorbell ring that is his cue to run as fast as his furry feet will carry him to Mark and Julie?s bedroom where he hides on top of the bed under the comforter. It is there that he stays until he is confident that all of the company has gone home. There are friends of Mark and Julie?s who have known them for years and still have yet to physically see Simon. And so, he has acquired the nickname of ?Invisible Cat.? There was one thing, however, that Simon had not anticipated. He could not have known that Philbaby, world-renowned Cat Whisperer?, was coming to visit. Later that evening, as Mark and I were in the chat room, Simon made an appearance?he poked his head around the corner and was peeking at me?eyeing me up, deciding whether or not I was worthy of his presence. He stayed with us a short while, giving me the sideways glance the entire time?I was thrilled that he felt comfortable around me. The next morning he actually allowed me to approach him?Mark was so shocked that he got the camera out so he could take a picture of the once in a millennium event.

     We went to dinner that evening at a place called the Green Iguana. Sandysongbird met us there and I was thrilled to meet her as well?.we?ll be posting my interview with her next month. We had a nice dinner, chatted for hours about life, love and the pursuit of Karaoke. There were two fellas up on the stage performing some live acoustic music to add to the musical ambiance of the evening. I was able to find out a lot about everyone that I?ll share with you. Let?s get to know Mr. and Mrs. Werewoof just a little better, shall we?

     First off, I wanted to know what everyone was doing for a living until Mark gets discovered and offered a recording contract with a major record company.  Mark?s chosen profession is a finish carpenter specializing in trim work and staircases. Julie is a Medical Technologist who works in a lab identifying issues that would be found in the blood work you get run at your doctor?s office during your yearly check-up. They have lived in Florida for a total of four years now. They are originally from Iowa. It was a surprise for me to hear Julie say that the heat is actually more uncomfortable in Iowa than it is in Florida. Julie was attending the University of Iowa in the town where Mark lived as a young man. They met through Mark?s brother and the rest, as they say, is history. They?ve been together now for 21 years. How did they end up in Florida from Iowa? Mark puts it rather poetically?He refers to one of Harry Nilsson?s songs and says that he wanted to? go where the weather suits my clothes.? Mark is an advocate of the year round donning of shorts ? In fact when I visited him on this January day he had shorts on and was quite put out that we were going out to dinner and it was supposed to be chilly that evening .......because he had to acquiesce and change into a pair of jeans.

     Mark says that his greatest musical influence was his mother who loved music and owned quite a collection of records that she let Mark enjoy as a youngster. The records were of the old crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughn. Although he still loves that genre of music, he has widened his horizons and enjoys a variety of different music today.

        Mark enjoys reading-particularly Science Fiction. If you?ve ever seen Mark in the chat room or on one of his videos, you?ll notice a wall of bookshelves behind him filled with books he has read. Julie would love to see him donate some of the surplus paperbacks that he has collected but Mark just can?t let go of any of his ?babies?. Mark also enjoys golf and bowling. In fact, I saw some rather impressive trophies in Mark?s music room

     I asked Mark how he got started singing karaoke. He said it all began for him in Jamaica when they were on vacation and went to a piano bar.  Then he got into playing an online trivia game and was introduced through that to online karaoke. He received an invitation to join Sing snap back when they first started up and it was ?invitation only?. He had tried Sing shot and found that the quality of their mixer and their song choices just didn?t compare to what Sing snap had to offer so he made the switch. While visiting a friend?s song on Sing snap one day, he noticed a reference to the EAW challenge so he went on the thread to check it out?.and he stayed. The EAW has become almost like a second family to many of us as we meet each week on a common thread and share our lives, our triumphs, our miseries and, of course, our music with one another.

     The morning I was to leave, Mark and Julie wanted to go out to breakfast before I headed back to Virginia. It was there, over my three-cheese omelet, that I finally got out of these two that they were ?dyed in the wool? Parrot heads. After making their confession and seeing the puzzled look on my face, they knew they needed to ask the question: ?Do you even know what a Parrot head is??       I secretly knew that it was the head that sits on top of a parrot?s body but I humored them and allowed them to explain. It seems that recording artist Jimmy Buffett has a bit of a cult following similar to the Dead Heads who would follow the Grateful Dead around the country to all of their concerts. These are called Parrot Heads and have clubs set up around the country as well as a code of ethics that was, no doubt, put in place to preserve the dignity of the association and not allow it to deteriorate into a roving band of drunken, marauding, rum-drinking concert goers. Julie proudly ran off a copy of their code of ethics which, sadly, I remember very little of but have the general idea that it is a group that encourages a respect for the ecology of the earth, a non-judgmental atmosphere, a laid back manner of living. They were very excited to tell me that Jimmy was having a concert soon in their area and they would be tail-gating before the concert and making a day of it, as Parrot Heads do.

     As I drove out of Tampa that morning and headed north up I-95 I felt like I had found some new but old friends. Mark and Julie went out of their way to make me feel at home from the time the front door was opened to the time they gave me directions outside the breakfast restaurant to the Interstate highway. They?re a very kind and cordial couple who appear to still be very much in love even after 21 years together. During my brief stay, Mark and I even had the chance to sit down and play his guitars and sing a few songs. We went into Mark?s music room and recorded a few duets which you can find on his Sing snap page. We also spent a little time in the EAW chat room that night and sang live for some of our friends there. A good time was had by all.

     So, if you're ever in the Tampa area, stop by the Green Iguana and look for a tall, handsome couple wearing shorts and sandals, holding a Margarita and singing to Jimmy Buffett songs-no doubt it will be Mr. and Mrs. Woof enjoying another pleasant evening together, singing, dancing and loving their Parrot Head life as husband and Wife.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 09:38:53 PM by Philbaby »
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Philbaby

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 04:10:40 PM »
I'll be posting a few pics of my visit as soon as I can figure out how to do so :-)
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others

Mariner

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 05:24:56 PM »
 ;D ;D 8) 8) 8)
Enjoyed my visit Phil, I feel as though I've been there myself now. Many thanks

Regards
Terry

JeninOz

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 06:29:45 PM »
Thanks for meeting the Woofs for us Phil  8) 
travel photos & blog: www.planetranger.com/casjen

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Daniela4Luv

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 07:53:44 PM »
Very much enjoyed, Phil! I thank you for sharing that great story on our dear friends, Mark & Julie. And of their two precious feline's - Montego & Simon. 

Looking forward to the one on Sandy and many more to come! :)
"I am a musical poet for every song that I sing. Lyrically speaking, that is..."

Philbaby

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 09:35:30 PM »
As you’ll recall, a few months ago I visited Tampa, Florida in my travels and spent some time with Mr. and Mrs. Woof. Well, while I was there, I had the opportunity to talk with Sandy (Sandysongbird) from our Singshare community. I had a chance to interview her there and find out a little more about her life and how she came to be a beloved member of this lovely Sing-share family.

The first thing you notice about Sandy when you meet her in person is how tiny she is. That was a surprise to me. You would never know from her videos how little she is…I mean, she’s no munchkin or anything, but she is a very small lady. And she is just as sweet in person as she is in the chat room and on the challenge each week.

From talking with her I found out that Sandy is an elementary school teacher. She has taught first grade for most of her teaching career but taught 3rd grade this past year and will teach 2nd grade next year…that’s right, our girl is the picture of educational versatility!

Musically speaking, Sandy is a walking, talking music store. She owns all sorts of instruments that she has collected over the years. It all started with her acquiring a chromo harp-she says it is similar to an autoharp….and the collection began. It now includes guitars of various shapes and sizes, a mandolin, a banjo, a ukulele and a Chinese Ruan (a moon-shaped short-necked lute with four strings) that reportedly smells like barbecue sauce-perhaps it was handmade during the Ming Dynasty and somehow fell into the hands of a barbecue-eating man from North Carolina named Bubba who played it regularly at night after a rib dinner and before washing his hands  :P She says she uses the ukulele the most because it's simplest to grab and make something up. Sandy also took piano lessons for a number of years and it is there that she learned how to read music.

As far as her introduction to online karaoke, Sandy told me this:

“I was visiting my brother in Tennessee. He was busy working and I was bored. So I started looking on the internet for online karaoke tracks to sing along with. I found a place called Singshot, where I could sing right along with the karaoke track, and record! I quickly picked out "The Rose" and started recording. I had no idea what I had gotten into. I was shocked when I got a message from some guy in England about the song I had just recorded! I was having fun on there and met a few people.

"Suddenly I started hearing talk of people leaving Singshot for this place called Singsnap where there was a much larger variety of music and you could sing duets. The only problem was that Singsnap was ‘by invitation only’ and I had no friends to invite me. One day I decided to go check it out anyway. I found an e-mail address where you could be put on a waiting list and sent a message. Not too long after that I got an e-mail inviting me to Singsnap.

“Once I got to Singsnap, I reconnected with the few people I knew from Singshot and met a few more. Everyone told me that if I wanted to make friends on the site I should enter contests so I did. I have to say I don't really know of any friends that I have here that I made from a contest. People were friendly and listened to the song in the contest but that's about it.

I was getting really down about these contests, feeling like the token loser or something. I was looking through the boards for something else, when I stumbled across Bruce's Challenge...not a contest...where 'every one' was supposed to be 'a winner'. I was so happy to find something that was just supposed to be about sharing the songs you recorded-not trying to make it to the next round of some contest. I also saw some familiar faces from Singshot and others I had listened to...not really friends, but people I knew that seemed nice. So I jumped right in and shared some duets I had recorded...I think that was the theme of that challenge.

“ What seemed really different about this EAW challenge was that it seemed open to a ‘nobody’ like I was. People I didn't know came to listen and they really seemed interested in me. I don't know how to explain it. I just didn't feel like an outsider there. And I really needed a place that wasn't about winners and losers. That's how I found Singsnap and EAW. And I really do love them both.”

It sure was nice to meet Sandy in person. As I’ve said, she is just as sweet in person as she seems in her posts here and in the chat room. It was a real treat that, on my first visit to meet people from our Sing-Share website, I was able to meet such quality people as Woofie and Mrs. Woofie and Sandy. Now to find another unsuspecting victim to interview! Until my next trip….keep on singing
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« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 06:39:20 PM by Philbaby »
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others

Philbaby

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2016, 01:42:40 AM »
Wow. I am very overdue for another visit!
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others

CerebralJam

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Re: Travels With Phil
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2016, 01:52:16 AM »
 :g Indeed it... it be a long and winding road?  Welcome back, Phil!

 TB
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