Seattle conductor George Shangrow killed in crash


Handel Messiah Comfort Ye Every Valley. Stephen Wall tenor. George Shangrow conducting from the harpsichord.

J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Orchestra Seattle – Seattle Chamber Singers
George Shangrow, Music Director

Seattle is in mourning today and for all time on the death of George Shangrow. Seattle area conductor George Shangrow was killed in a car crash on Saturday July 31, 2010.

It’s not normal for me to publish things like this on my website. But this is just so shocking to me. I first worked with George when I was around 12 years old as a boy soprano and in 2005 had offered to relocate my record label and internet company to Seattle to solely focus on promoting his groups. I’m so sad to hear this. What a tremendous loss. He was such a great conductor, pianist and person. Condolences to his family.

When I was around 12 years old, George Shangrow was around 27 and worked as a rehearsal pianist for the Northwest Boychoir that I was in. He would also sometimes accompany me in voice lessons and later I sang in the chorus with him conducting Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

In 2006, before I relocated to China with Cirque Du Soleil, I last saw him conduct the Bach Mass in B Minor in Seattle, WA. I spoke with him after the concert and he said “Are you still interested in that studio and internet thing?” and I said “Yes”. But that was the last we spoke and I relocated to China.

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Audio Downloads

I was going to wait until the uploads were finished to announce this but Google is already indexing my audio – so you can download audio I’ve written and produced at

It’s the “dot net” version of my name. The site you’re on now is “dot com”. I split the downloads into a new website because this one is already getting really bogged down with traffic.

And since I’m at it I’ll let you know that my forum which I never told anyone about is at:

I’ll keep doing uploads as I can and then come back here to make all the navigation between the different areas more user-friendly.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer prints final edition in online transition


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer printed it’s last newspaper on March 17, 2009. It will now only be available online as an internet newspaper.

Excerpt: The paper published its final print edition Tuesday (March 17, 2009) as the P-I makes a transformation into an online-only news outlet. A skeleton crew of 20 to 25 staffers will remain at the new Seattle while more than 140 staffers will lose their jobs.

Reactions to Barack Obama in China


I’m not very much into politics. Partly because I have heard too many political rantings from people in my life. Armchair quarterbacks spouting off all the absolute truths of how things are, so convinced of how brilliant they are. I used to ask what they were doing about it, and get no fulfilling answer. They would vote in a presidential election, and that’s it. No time spent lobbying, no donations to special interest groups, no real world time devoted to their rantings. It bores me. Save it for the local Irish pub.

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Askland CD Distribution

I’ve received quite a few emails lately from longtime retailers that want to continue selling my CD’s but have run out of stock. I’m giving thought to options about the direction to take for distribution in the future. Will keep you updated.

William Petersen to Leave CSI


OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a family member who will be very upset about William Petersen leaving CSI…

Starbucks to close 600 US Stores

Starbucks coffee announced it will be closing 600 stores and relocating employees to existing stores.  Very sad news for all us coffee lovers. A moment of silence? 

Lost Parrot Tells Cops His Address


TOKYO, Japan — When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.

Lost in Tokyo, Yosuke the parrot was able to give his name and address to get taken home.

Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor’s roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said.

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Cirque Du Soleil – Venetian Macao


Here is my personal “Conrad update” post that I’ll keep stickied on the top of my blog until our Cirque show opens. Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link to read current status, or the rest of the blog for tidbits on our new Cirque Du Soleil adventure in Macau, China. Sorry, no details posted about the show until after Grand Opening.

For my Cirque and Macau friends here is a link for Macau Real Time Typhoon Status:

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HipHopSwordsmen Booted from YouTube

HipHopSwordsmen have been booted from YouTube. They had uploaded 1,500 videos, all classic, real Hiphop from the 90’s with over 6,000+ suscribers. No word on the official reason but would assume it’s copyright violations.

Shawshank Redemption style prison break

ELIZABETH, New Jersey – Two inmates escaped from a county jail, hiding the holes they made in the walls by putting up photos of bikini-clad women, officials said.

The men helped cover up the break by placing dummies under their bed blankets, and hiding the wall holes with magazine photos of women in bikinis, authorities said.

Hey, haven’t prison officials ever watched the Shawshank Redemption movie? That’s exactly how he escaped in the movie. Digging a hole behind a pinup picture. Great example of life imitates art.

*Update 12/18/07*

The way the inmates used pinups to hide their escape route was reminiscent of a scene in the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Ted Romankow (Union County, New Jersey’s prosecutor) played down the comparison.

“I think this is a very serious situation you saw,” he said. “I really prefer not to compare with any movie, although I can understand why you might, because it does look certainly very similar to some of them. Except in ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ they had a better poster on the wall.”

Germany Moves to Ban Scientology


Hmmm….and not one quote from Tom Cruise in the article. Strange.

Read the full article on


BERLIN, Germany – Germany’s top security officials said Friday they consider the goals of the Church of Scientology to be in conflict with the principles of the nation’s constitution and will seek to ban the organization.

The ministers, as well as federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, “consider Scientology to be an organization that is not compatible with the constitution,” said Berlin Interior Minister Ehrhart Koerting, who presided over the officials’ two-day conference.

“From a number of sources, some of them not available to the public, it has been determined that (the organization) seeks to limit or rescind basic and human rights, such as the right to develop one’s personality and the right to be treated equally,” the report said.

Oprah Mistake 9 of 2007

AOL released a list of “Oprah Top Blunders of 2007.” Number nine on the list was her endorsement of “The Secret” – a prosperity themed book and visualization technique.

I won’t get into the hairy details here, but you can find plenty of dark, ugly things that have surfaced about THE SECRET since it was released. I am not a fan of these abundance visualization systems. They are fun things to dabble with, but not something to get too deep into. It can lead you to make very bad decisions based on fantasy.

Isolation and greed are the fuel for these systems. It is nothing new and very common in the New Age mind sciences. It’s gobbledy gook.

Think I’m being negative? Look how the people that create these things make their money. It’s usually off the courses themselves. Show me a Bill Gates or a Donald Trump who made their money in a real industry – that’s someone I want to listen to.

There are better uses of our time.

AOL writes:

Winfrey endorsed the controversial self-help program ‘The Secret’ in 2007.

Despite amazing sales, partly thanks to Oprah’s endorsement, critics argued that Winfrey’s stamp of approval was irresponsible given her power.

Critics argue that ‘The Secret’ trivializes important decisions and promotes a quick-fix material culture.

Church Protests at Military Funerals and Ordered to Pay Damages

You have probably read that members of the Westboro Baptist Church caused emotional distress to the father of a Maryland Marine killed in Iraq by picketing his funeral and must pay $2.9 million in damages, a jury found Wednesday. Of course there will be appeals.

I’m not very much into politics, but I did run across this list of bible verses that I thought were worth posting. There is more need for compassion in this world than there is for condemnation.

Luke 6:31 (NIV)
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

1 John 3:17 (KJV)
17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Romans 12:14-18 (NKJV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

James 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Ephesians 4:2 (ISV)
2 With all humility and gentleness, along with patience, accept one another in love.

1 Timothy 6:11 (NKJV)
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Philippians 4:5 (NKJV)
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)
17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.