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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

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Birthdays are awesome.

Birthdays, when one has a Facebook account, are even more awesome.

Birthdays, when one has a Facebook account and your birthday is on a Monday, are even most awesome.

Birthdays, yada yada Facebook, Monday and your friends are so bored at work they look for anything to do but work, are THE BEST EVER.

If I had a dollar for every character typed on my Facebook Wall used in accordance with happy birthday wishes, well, I’d probably pay someone else to blog for me.  As you can see from my past posts, that duty comes pretty cheap. 

Fortunately I have great blog friends who pity me and give me content FOR FREE that I can use ROYALTY FREE and so I don’t have to pay because it’s FREE.

WHO ELSE AMONG YOU gets a one-of-a-kind Davetoon?


Oh wait.  I didn’t crop off the copyright all the way.  Well, I guess that makes it mostly royalty free.  I don’t even know any royalty, so I’m about as royalty free as you can get.  I mean, look at my whalltoon – I’m wearing a hawaiian shirt.  People who wear hawaiian shirts don’t get to meet royalty.

Thank you, Dave for the picture.

And Thank YOU to all the rest of you who reached out to wish me a Happy Birthday, or will at some point today.   The whole weekend was great and this week has started off in stellar fashion.

I have but one Birthday Wish if you feel like doing something good for your fellow band. 

No, not “fellow man.”  “Fellow band”.

You see, my wife and I are members of the Vandegrift Band Boosters.  Our daughter is a senior at Vandegrift High, and she’s an active member of the award-winning Viper Band.  One of the things us boosters have is a program called “Effortless Giving“.  This is a way for people to support the band without actually donating any of their own money.

Yeah, I thought I’d get your attention with that last part.

Some of our Effortless Giving sponsors are local to the High School area (Capital City Running, Take 5 Haircuts, Pizza Hut).  It might be hard for some of you in other states or countries to take advantage of these offers, so I thought I’d ask you to consider helping by using some of the “it doesn’t matter where you are” opportunities.

If you purchase anything from Amazon and you start your search from our webpage, the band gets a donation from Amazon on your behalf.  If you shop at Safeway or Randall’s, you can add us to your membership card and they’ll send us 1% of your purchases.  If there’s a Compass Bank near you, you can tie your account to us and we get a percentage of your debit card purchases.  And using Goodsearch or the Goodsearch toolbar is a great way to support us as well.

So take a look at some of these ways to support my daughter’s band, and whistle the rest of the year knowing you helped a great guy on his birthday support a great cause.  And best of all, you didn’t have to spend any money to do it.

Thank you.






Yesterday, a dozen or so band parents got together to host a celebratory fiesta lunch in the band hall.  We served tortillas, beef, beans, pico, cheese, lettuce and chips to about 120 students, faculty and one extra special guest.

This guest?  Let it not be a Mystery – rather, it’s the one-and-only Gilbert Elorreaga, aka “Mr. E“.

Let me tell you a little about Mr. E.

  1. He’s a talented private lesson teacher at my daughter’s high school (Vandegrift).
  2. The kids love him – he’s funny, giving, and extremely good at teaching his students.
  3. He played with the trumpets once at one of our football games, up in the stands, blaring out OH_MY_GOODNESS notes from his trumpet.  You know, like that good.
  4. Oh, and he won a Grammy last week.


There’s more.  I have a PICTURE of ME with A GRAMMY WINNER.

You want more info?  I gots it.

Gilbert is a trumpet player in the Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma.  I mean, can you imagine?  Latin.  Plus Funk.  Plus Orchestra.  Amazing, to say the least.  The band directors played their Grammy-winning album El Existential for us while we all ate some Latin Funk Orchestra food.  You can go online and stream it, buy it, look for tour dates and follow this fantastic group.

The VHS Band Parent volunteers went all out — we had multiple tables full of food, drink and dessert.  OMG the dessert.  Take a look at this Grammy Cake table

The kids lined up after Mr. E. and joined in to congratulate him on his epic win.

You can go online to grammy.com and watch the acceptance (you need to fast forward to the end of the video and it will start Part 2, and then fast forward to 10:35 and you’ll see them).  Or you can see a few screenshots here.

I mean, just look at their competition. I can’t even pronounce some of those names, they’re that good.

Way to go, Mr. E!

(Note: this blog post came about via a twitter conversation with Dave2 from Blogography, Vahid aka Iron Fist and martymankins from Banal Leakage.  I now have fulfilled my obligation and am eagerly awaiting my check)

Wow, a whole year’s gone by since my last post about Caitlin’s March-a-thon.

You might have been wondering how she’s been.  Well?  Let me tell you.

Now she’s going into 11th grade, Summer Band has already started, and she’s… get this, a Drum Major.  WOOHOO!   There are so many accomplishments she’s had since the last time I bragged about her it’s insane.  She was recently named “Outstanding Performer” at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest.  Of the approximately 85,000 students participating in the regional UIL music contests and the 22,000 musicians who performed at TSSEC, only 231 students earned the distinguished honor of being recognized at this level.

This is us from her most recent birthday.

Now that she’s 16, driving and responsible and stuff, I think I may issue an Executive Order Moratorium Policy Grandeur that stops all this birthday business.  She needs to stop growing up so dang fast.

You know what would be a good birthday present for her?  A donation (no matter the size) for her Marchathon!  You can compensate her for the sweat, effort, strain, heat and downright ickiness that comes with marching in the Texas August heat for half a day.  Not only that, you can count your donation as a congratulation award too.  She won’t know the difference, I swear!

donate to Caitlin's Marchathon

We’ve already hit 100-degree weather, and these kids are gonna be out there belting out tunes, marching their little hearts out while trying to raise money for the band.

(by the way, doesn’t that banner the band is leading with look awesome? We graciously thank Marilyn for her donation of the banner last year.)

For those of you in the Austin area, you can come out and watch, cheer them on, douse with water, take pictures and/or buy a customized concert.  We have a detailed route mapped out and available on the website.

So if you can make it in person, come on out and support the band.

If you can’t make it in person, stay where you are and support the band.

If you can neither make it in person nor not make it in person, you need to seek  help, because that’s crazy-like.  I hear acts of generosity can help insane people.  Might I suggest supporting the band as good therapeutic treatment?

Question: What do Randall’s Grocery Store and Spaceballs have in common?

First, watch this minute-long clip from one of the funniest movies of all time (Kanye, back off).

Second, do you have a Randall’s grocery store in your area?


Randall’s, related to Tom Thumb and Safeway stores, has a Community program called the Good Neighbor Program, and they donate a decent percentage of customer purchases to qualified non-profit organizations.  If you have a Randall’s in your area, and you shop there, you should get the Randall’s Remarkable card (free discount card).

What’s Remarkable about this Remarkable card is that you can tag a non-profit organization to get a donation from Randall’s equaling 1% of your purchases.  Even more remarkable is that it costs you nothing to do so!


Now, while there are many qualified non-profit organizations that would benefit from being tagged on your Remarkable card (what? you don’t have one?  GET ONE!), I’m bringing this to your attention because my daughter is in the Award-Winning Vandegrift High School VIPER Band in Austin, TX.  And we’re one of the authorized non-profits on Randall’s list.

vhs header transparent

So, all you have to do is tag the VHS Band Booster’s Good Neighbor ID on your Randall’s card, and the band will benefit from your purchases at Randall’s.  How easy can it get?   You can even have up to three different nonprofits on your card.  To add the band to your card, you can print out this handy cut-out card and hand it to your cashier, or tell them at the customer service counter.

Also, we’d appreciate it if you spread the word to friends, family, and neighbors who might shop at Randall’s.

What?  What’s that you say?  You want to know what the band’s Good Neighbor ID is?

Remember when I asked you what Randall’s Grocery Store and Spaceballs had in common?


Our number is 12345.

My daughter Caitlin starts 10th grade next month (OMG!).  She’s Drill Instructor as well as Flute/Piccolo Extraodinaire in the Vandegrift High School Band.  I’ve written about her Band accomplishments in the past, and you just can’t get much prouder than I am of her and what she does with her spare time.

Why am I telling you all this?  To get money for her band, of course!

You see, Caitlin and her fellow band members are doing a March-a-thon, a 4-hour long marching concert throughout one of the neighborhoods. 


The March-a-thon is the band’s biggest and primary fundraiser for the year.  Anyone who donates to this will get something special from me.  I’m going to be completely subjective and possibly weird when I select something for each of you, so don’t miss out!  You might get an impromptu song, you might get a guest post, you might get a CD in the mail, a book, a thank you note… who knows? 

So if you can, click the donate button above and donate something.  (note: if you go to the March-a-thon website and donate from there, be sure to mention “Caitlin H” in the “special instructions” so she gets credit.)

This is Vandegrift High School‘s first year of existence – it’s brand-spanking new and will only house 9th and 10th graders for this coming year.  A number of the freshmen that went to Cedar Park High School were re-zoned for the new Vandegrift school.  Because it’s only 9th and 10th graders, it’s a significantly smaller band.

The school board chose to name the school after Lt. Matthew Ryan Vandegrift,
a Leander High School honors graduate (Class of 1999) and athlete – who was killed in Iraq in April 2008.  They also chose a mascot of “Vipers” which was put up to vote to the students, faculty and school board. 

Isn’t that cool?  It’s got a snake head to make the “V”.  I guess “vipers” is better than “Vandegrifters.”   Or Vandal Grifters. Or Van Wilder Grifters.

What I find most interesting about the new school is that as a 10th grader, Caitlin will be a “senior” three years in a row.  She and a few of her fellow sophomores hold leadership positions in the band, and they essentially run the band.  I can’t believe how much they have the students be responsible for.  It’s so cool that they’ll be able to hone their leadership skills for three years, instead of what usually happens, which is having Juniors and Seniors fill the leadership roles.

A few of the leaders were up at the school at 5:15 this morning painting the parking lot with dots and lines.  They knew it was going to be a looooong assignment, and with the heat the way it is, they wanted to get an early start.  Talk about dedication.  The teamwork and friendships they’re forming is to be heralded, and I feel so glad she’s able to be a part of it.

What are you waiting for?!?!?!  Go get in line to get something totally whallsome, and donate

UPDATE: There’s no time limit for the donation, but by August 15th would be preferable, since that’s when the Marchathon is. However, students can collect pledges towards the Marchathon throughout the school year.

tsk tsk

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