Saturday, 24 November 2007

A Night Under the Stars with Elton John

Back in 2002, during Elton's Sydney concert, he said that he was coming back in 2003 to do a solo tour but, unfortunately, that didn't happen. Five years on, Elton is now coming DownUnder for a set of solo tour dates. This time, he is not performing at his usual concert venues but instead, will be doing the rounds of wineries and open air places in Australia. In Queensland, he will be performing in Townsville and the Elysian Fields at Canungra.

I never thought I'd see the day where Elton John, my favourite singer, would come back to Australia two years in a row! He came last year and I posted my experience here on my blog but now Elton is coming back again! This time he will be performing solo, without his band. The best news of all is that I'M GOING!!!! YES!!!

At the beginning of the month, radio station 4KQ announced they were giving away tickets to Elton's "A Knight Under The Stars" concert. I was so excited and tried, on and off, all day to phone through and hopefully be a lucky ticket winner but I definitely wasn't having much luck. It was late afternoon and I had practically given up hope when I heard the DJ make the final announcement of the day to call in for the concert tickets. Mum tried calling through on the home phone while I used my mobile. I LOVE AUTOMATIC SPEED-DIAL! On my third try, I was connected to the station and told that I'd won Silver tickets to see Elton John!!! I was in shock as I had felt all my chances had gone but I'm so thrilled to have been proven wrong.

I went into the station with Reece to pick up the tickets and we'll be heading to the concert this Sunday, 25 November at the Elysian Fields, Canungra!! Watch this space for a concert review and, hopefully, some pics. Thanks again to 4KQ for giving me tickets!

I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Harry Potter Series Complete

I've been really interested in the Harry Potter series since (I think) 2002 or 2003, when Mum bought the video version of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone for Aaron, my little brother, and now it has grown throughout the years since then. At that time, I thought that Harry Potter was just a kid's novel, but at least, I was half-right about that.

Since that first movie, I've been hooked onto the Harry Potter series! Mum did get the Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets DVD for Aaron, I watched it and liked it as well, then when Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban came out on DVD, I got it that Christmas from Mum! That was also a good one to watch! It was between the release of Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire at the cinemas that I actually started reading all the Harry Potter books, I ended up borrowing them from the local library, I couldn't put them down because I loved them so much!

When Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire came out at the
movies on December 1, 2005, I really wanted to go and see it, so Troy, my
cousin, took me with him to see it the week after the release date. We both enjoyed it so much that, in April, when it came out on DVD, I bought a copy. Also in 2005, I got my first Harry Potter book titled, Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, which came out in July/August. I got it the day before my birthday. Unfortunately, I did a very bad thing and read the last few pages before starting the book which kinda spoiled the full excitement for me. I promised myself I would read the 7th Harry Potter book normally and not give in to the temptation of reading the ending first. I really enjoyed Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, it was a little scary at one point, but I got over it!

Well, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix was
released into Cinemas on Wednesday, July 11 2007 here in Australia and Troy (my cousin) was one of the people who got to see it on its release night! Little did I realise, until Mum told me on the Thursday that week that Troy was going to take me to see the new Harry Potter movie two days later. We got to the cinemas, got tickets, went and got our seats and Troy then went to get something for us to eat during the movie! Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix was great to watch. Troy said he enjoyed it more when he watched it with me, but both Troy and I thought there was something missing, but we didn't know what it was.

There were many parts that were in the book, but there were other parts done differently and some parts that weren't really in the book at all! There were some parts where the movie had very brief flashbacks of the past movies, but I won't tell you what parts in case you haven't seen the movie yet! I rate the movie 5 out of five! I have to say that if it wasn't for Troy taking me to see Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire in 2005 and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix Saturday July 14, I may not have seen either of them at the cinema and that really made the Harry Potter experience so much better. I just want to say a BIG thank you to Troy!

And finally, the new and final Harry Potter book; Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows is out! I went down to Big W in our local shopping centre with Troy and we picked up our pre-ordered copies of the new book. After we got the books, Troy dropped me home and then he went home. I started reading the book that day as soon as I got home. Even though I would have breaks for water and lunch and dinner, I had fun reading it and I got through a few chapters. I read it each night until 4 o'clock the next morning, by which time, I'd go to bed.

I finally finished reading it on Wednesday July 25th. Mum had just got up, and she was excited to see that I was nearly finished the book. I am so happy with the way the book ended. I am also happy at the way the book ended the entire Harry Potter series! I rate the new book 5 out of 5 because, like all previous Harry Potter books, I just could not put it down at all! J. K. Rowling has a way of keeping her readers captivated! Yes, I admit I'm sad that the series has to end now; I hate it when series end in odd numbers so I do wish she ended it in book 8 rather than 7. Another thing is that, yes, it does answer a lot of questions, but it also made you want to know some more. For example; what does Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny do as careers?

I just thought I'd mention here briefly that I've heard there are plans for a big Harry Potter world being built in the States where all Harry Potter fans can go and have a feel of what it would bee like inside Hogwarts and in the grounds! That is so exciting! I hear it is going to be a Harry Potter version of Disneyland. I think it may not be finished for a few years yet though.

Now, we wait for the 6th installment of the Harry Potter movie series; Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, which, from what I've heard, will be out in November 2008, and then the final movie (if they do it that is); Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. I can hardly wait for the final two movies to see how they interpret the books. In my opinion, they should keep everything the same as the final two books and not change any of it as they did in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. We will just have to wait and see what happens. Well, that is it on the Harry Potter scene until Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince comes out at the cinemas and this is my final Harry Potter post until then as well, unless I hear any news. For now, I've put some Harry Potter sites in my Link Bar for you to check out..........ENJOY!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Steve Irwin - The Crocodile Hunter

Late last year, I think it was either October or November, I was having a really great day one week and later that day, when Mum came home from picking my brother, Aaron, up from school, I had found out some very sad news; Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter and owner of Australia Zoo was killed by a stingray while filming a documentary. Mum got home and said that she had heard from some other mums at the school that Steve had died. Later that day, I watched the news with Mum and my brothers and felt very shocked. I used to always watch his Crocodile Hunter series since I was a kid in the early 90s. After watching the news of Steve's death, I walked around feeling shocked all night.

Who ever thought that Steve Irwin would die in such a way? I certainly didn't think so. I can still remember certain episodes of The Crocodile Hunter series from when I was little. Unfortunately, I've noticed that the series I used to watch isn't on DVD yet, that really annoys me. A Crocodile Hunter box set for each series would be nice. The only ones that I've seen that have been put on DVD are the ones made from 2000 on. I remember the episode where Steve and Terri followed the dingo fence from one place to another, finding all different kinds of wild animals who either died on the fence or are around the fence. I can't remember the entire Crocodile Hunter series that we don't have on DVD, that is why it would be nice for the earlier series to be put on DVD; on single DVD or a box set.

A few days later, Mum, my youngest brother Aaron, and I went to the local shopping center and got Steve's first ever movie (and obviously his one and only movie too), we brought it home and watched it. It was a very good movie, but to be honest, I like the Crocodile Hunter series the most as they are solely about Steve. When they had the Steve Irwin Memorial, it was broadcast live throughout Australia, even all the schools were watching as well. During the Memorial broadcast, Mum cried and I just felt all sad. It didn't really hit me that Steve Irwin had died until later that day. After watching several cut-down versions of the Memorial service (obviously, being live, the morning broadcast was the full version, nothing edited at all), it began to really sink into me. I just cried and cried and still couldn't believe that he had died.

Not long after that, we got all the episodes of The Crocodile Hunter from 2000 onwards, there are six in the set. I've been watching one DVD a night and you can really tell that Steve had pride in his job at Australia Zoo, but also as enthusiastic animal lover, reptiles or not. You see how he was emotionally upset by the fire on the way up to the Cape York Peninsula at the very top of Queensland (Australia's Wild Frontier) and the episode where Steve had a mother Orangutan bringing her baby down to Steve (Faces of The Jungle). I feel The Crocodile Hunter series are a fantastic way to educate kids and adults about reptiles and other animals, even though they don't go into as much detail about each animal as a book would. I so wish I could have gone to Australia Zoo before Steve died. My sister, Michelle, and her boyfriend went there a few months ago and they really enjoyed it, they did lots of things there that would have been great fun.

Computers, Software And Technology

Australian PC User is such a great magazine! I get it every month and haven't been disappointed yet. Back in February, the magazine, PC User, supplied a video overview of Windows Vista. I watched the video and I was definitely hooked. All the new features and also some old ones that have been redone! When I looked through a later PC User issue, I read about all the computers that they have tested and then I found one for $1,499 with a pretty good rap. I am very excited about it! It is not a name-brand one like HP, Dell, IBM or anything like that, but I don't care. As long as it works and has everything I need, I'll be happy! I've been saving my money and, hopefully, I'll get it at the end of the year or early next year.

One thing I do realize about getting my new computer is that it may not come with programs I need like Microsoft Office or other programs, but I just have to say that I am a little disappointed in the latest Microsoft Office suite. They've taken out FrontPage, a program I used to use at school for a project. FrontPage was in Microsoft Office 2003, but taken out of Office 2007, therefore I am going to try and see if I can get Office 2003, otherwise, I'll buy Office 2007 and get FrontPage separately (I know I've already got a web site editor, but sometimes it is nice to use another one along side the one you're using). Apart from that disappointment, Office 2007 actually looks really good with its new ribbon bar (that is all I know about the new Office). If Microsoft Office is too expensive, I'll probably use a free, open-source program called OpenOffice.org, which actually sounds quite good, especially since it is free!

I also don't know if people are aware, but MP3 players come in different formats; Flash, Microdrive and Hard Drive. For those of you who don't know what the difference is (I learnt the hard way when I got my MP3 player, more on this later), I will tell you now. Flash MP3 players are the ones that are pretty small and can fit in your pocket without any weight at all, there are also no moving parts (such as a hard drive needle or disc) in Flash based MP3 players, so you can run around with them and do whatever you want with them. Microdrive based MP3 players are good, but from what I hear, these ones are not as successful as the Flash ones or the hard drive based ones. Microdrive MP3 players are bigger than Flash based ones, but are smaller than hard drive based MP3 players (like Ipods). Since there is a mini hard drive in the Microdrive players (this means that there are moving parts that need to access songs), which means that you cannot take it on a run or a jog or else you could cause the MP3 player to skip and the needle to go all over the place.

Around August-September last year, I decided to get an MP3 player because I was sick of having to change CDs while I am busy and I also found it frustrating, seeing as I love to dance to my music, a CD walkman won't help at all because the songs will skip all over the place (and sometimes I have to press STOP several times before it actually stops the CD). The MP3 player I got was a 5.0GB Creative MuVo2 FM, which is fantastic, but still not enough space for me to put all my favourite CDs on it. The sound quality was also fantastic, even having a voice recorder and FM radio is fantastic (I just wish they would include AM radio frequency as that is all I listen to, AM stations). If anyone wants to get it, than I have a word of warning. I don't know if it is just the Creative MuVo2 FM or other brands, or if it also happens on flash based ones, but I find, with the MuVo2 FM, you have to be careful when you have the player plugged into the computer. I get frustrated because after I've finished transferring songs to my MP3 player and I do the usual thing to safely disconnect it via Windows from the USB port, an error comes up on the MP3 player screen saying that it wasn't disconnected properly. Windows XP said it disconnected safely but the MP3 player itself doesn't agree.  It tells me I have to run ScanDisk/CheckDisk.  You would think that would do the trick, right?  Wrong! There have been times when I've had to re-connect to the computer and run CheckDisk at least fifteen times!!!  I started to worry that I may lose songs due to this repetitive process or that the MP3 player may eventually stop working altogether. Well, it is still working BUT now the computer won't recognise it at all!! I'm not happy!  My Mum has the exact same player as I do and, while she's had the occasional connection problems, the computer is still recognising her player just fine so, obviously, there is a problem with my player.  I do intend to upgrade to a bigger and better player like an IPod or Microsoft's new player (Zune), but for now, I will have to stick with what I've got and be satisfied with the songs I have loaded on.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

A BIT ABOUT WEB DESIGN

In 2002, after graduating Senior at Cavendish Road State High School, I became very interested in website creation. I had visited many music and MIDI sites and wanted to create my own web site!  My initial attempt was using Microsoft Publisher 98's web site tools but the site I created wasn't that good. Everything was out of place.

I bought a book called The Complete Idiot's Guide To Creating A Web Page Sixth Edition and started my second attempt.  I tried out every single website program that came on the accompanying CD-Rom (which also had complete examples of all the exercises in the book and also some free stuff too) but only one program appealed to me... HotDog Professional 6.5.

After its trial period was over, I didn't know what to do, buy the program from Sausage Software or download another program to trial. I really loved using HotDog Pro (that is what I'll call it from now on for this post), especially its website management wizards and also a lot of other things such as an Accessibility checker that lets you know if you need to add accessibility options to different things. I even loved how you can collapse certain HTML code so you don't end up typing over it or doing something bad to something you want to keep safe. It even remembers to collapse the text when you reopen HotDog, even bookmarked text will also be remembered when you reopen HotDog as well, which is great! There are way too many things that I can tell you about HotDog Pro that I really love.

As I couldn't make up my mind on buying HotDog Pro, I went back to using Super NoteTab Light and Windows' Notepad (both are annoying as they don't color the code in HTML documents at all).  Some months later, Mum told me that a friend of hers on the Internet told her that she was into web design like me and was using a program called CoffeeCup HTML Editor. Mum downloaded the latest version of CoffeeCup at that time (I think it was version 9.7) and I gave it a try until I was sure of what to do. I weighed up the pros and cons of both programs, especially their price and upgrade offers then, still unsure, I tried HotDog Pro 7.03 (the latest version of HotDog which, in some ways, is better then the one I was using).  Even though I liked it a lot, I had come across this forum on the Internet that is called What Happened To Hot Dog?. After reading several of the posts on that forum, which is part of Tek-Tips (go to the Tek-Tips Home Page and do a search for What Happened To Hot Dog and it should come up), I felt very unsure about using and buying HotDog Pro and was starting to lean more towards CoffeeCup.

For years, I had been buying a magazine called Australian PC World (the Aussie version of the popular US computer mag) but when I later saw another computer magazine called Australian PC User (this one is totally Australian) featuring a free version of CoffeeCup HTML Editor 9.5 on their cover CD/DVD, I bought it and now buy PC User regularly.  Mum installed the free version of CoffeeCup HTML Editor for me to use (from now on, it will just be called CoffeeCup on this blog post).

They had a trial version of CoffeeCup 2005, but I just wanted to use the free one for the time being until I decided what to do.  After a while, I was fed up of using the free old version of CoffeeCup so I told Mum that I wanted to order the latest version so we went to the CoffeeCup site and ordered the HTML Editor which also offered upgrades for life!!!  I would highly recommend this program as it has many features and is user-friendly.

Since I've been into web design, I've bought three more web design books to add to my collection. The reason I prefer to handle HTML coding is because you have a lot more control over it than you do with the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Internet browsers and you also know where to look for errors and fix them. Currently, I am in the middle of creating a web site to put on the Net so, one day when I get it up and running, I will post the link for it.

Well, I guess that is all I have to tell you at the moment.  Bye for now ~ 

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Music In The Family

Welcome to another week and to another post made by myself. Nothing much has been happening in my life at all lately, but I am mainly here to tell you about music and that is what I am doing and this time, it is going to be unrelated to Elton John.

Since October last year, members of my family have been getting musical instruments. It all started that October when my sister, Michelle (who moved out of home in June 2006) rang Mum up and said that she got a guitar, so one day she came over and brought it over with her so Mum could tune it and get it right. Michelle, her boyfriend and my brothers all went to the coast that day while Mum and I were spending time with Grandma and Granddad, who had come over to spend the day with us. That afternoon, Reece (one of my brothers) was playing Michelle's guitar and he really liked it a great deal that he wished he had one! The next day, Reece went out to the local musical instrument store called The Music Spot with Mum and he came home with a new guitar as well. Mum said that she saw a guitar that she really loved and would love to get one day (Mum used to have her own guitar before we went to America and she really enjoyed playing it).

A few weeks later, I went into an electronics place called Tandy down at our local shopping centre, Grand Plaza, and brought a keyboard that I had my eye on for the last few years. Actually, Mum and I waited for the keyboard to be brought into the store from the storage room. The keyboard I looked at, the CASIO CTK-451, was very similar to my cousin Skye's one, except it wasn't MIDI compatible and had different songs, but the one they brought from the storage area looked a lot better and I got it for exactly the same price I was wanting the older model for, and I bought a keyboard stand separately, as that didn't come with the keyboard.

The newer one was is a CASIO CTK-481 and it was even better than the one I was looking at because it was a lighter color and it also is MIDI compatible, which is what I need as I am going to et into MIDI creation for when I get my web site up and running. Two days after getting the keyboard, I bought a book from the local bookstore called The Complete Idiot's Guide To Music Theory Second Edition by Michael Miller. I found the book very easy and fun to follow and was impressed at how much I was learning through it. It contained an audio CD, which includes The Complete Idiot's Guide To Music Theory Ear Training Course, which will help you know the difference in pitches and what are intervals, scales and much more, just follow along with the book and do the CD for the chapters that have the CD icon and you will be all set for that chapter. The worst thing is that I have only just started Chapter 4, the last chapter in Part 1, so I better get a move on with it. Even though I'm still on Chapter 4, I feel like I could really recommend this book for everyone who loves music. In my opinion, the book doesn't make music theory seem hard at all, just another fun lesson that you can do at your own pace!

Since I bought the keyboard, I wanted to get into learning some songs, so I eventually went to The Music Spot with Mum, the place Reece got his guitar and I was looking for a music book.
Mum helped me find a more modern E-Z Play Today book that includes keyboards as well, and it had a lot of my favourite songs, so I ended up buying it and an M-Audio MIDISPORT UNO MIDI-to-USB cable (a MIDI cable that had a USB cable at the other end for plugging into the computer to make MIDI music with the keyboard). The music book, E-Z Play Today - Adult Contemporary Songbook is quite good. The MIDI cable was expensive though, I nearly didn't buy it, but I couldn't resist it. If you want to know what MIDI is, I can't really tell you as it is a little bit complex, but you will find a link to the MIDI Manufacturer's Association website in my Links section.

Even more surprising was that Beau, my other brother, bought himself a keyboard as well. At the time, I thought it was good, but then I realized what a few of the fall backs were such as having a built-in sustain button instead of a sustain pedal, which would be a lot easier to work with if you're changing between notes than having to press the button. Beau also eventually went out and bought himself a keyboard stand. Skye, my cousin, had already got an electric guitar a while back, but she loved my Aunty Angela's acoustic guitar so much that she used to play it. Aunty Angela and Uncle Peter got Skye her own acoustic guitar for Christmas, including a guitar tuner and a device that shows you correct finger positions for certain chords, Skye was rapt about that.

Well, that is it for me at the moment. The next time I do a post, I am going to talk about my interest in web design how I've come to know about it. It may not be totally to do with music, but at least it is music related as my web site will be totally about music and I will also tell you bits of the stuff that will be included.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

My 2006 Elton John Concert


This is a picture of Uncle Peter (left) and myself just before we left to go to the Elton John 2006 concert.



Hi everyone! As I promised, I've done another post for you to read! I said last time that this time I was going to tell you about my last Elton John concert that happened on November 26, 2006! The concert I went to back in 2002 that I told you about last fortnight was fun, but I didn't do a lot of cheering or singing along with songs like everyone else was in the Entertainment Centre, Mum encouraged me to sing along and just enjoy myself as I was a bit nervous! At the concert I went to last year of Elton's called The Captain And The Kid, I did a lot more cheering and clapping and singing and fully enjoyed myself!

When I found out that Elton was coming back to Australia for his Captain And The Kid tour, I was, like the first time, very excited! I told everyone in my family about it coming! I tried getting through on various radio station competitions, but had no luck, except my Granddad, who won Elton's new CD on 4BH. Little did I know, the week before the concert, I found out that Uncle Peter had bought tickets for he and I to go to the concert. That really made my day.

It is worth me mentioning here that since June, I've been watching Australian Idol and was (not voting until the end) hoping for one of the contestants, Damien Leith, to win each week, he made it to the Final 2 with another great singer in that competition Jessica Mauboy. I didn't realise that the Australian Idol Grand Finale would be on the exact night of the Elton concert.

Uncle Peter and I listened to Elton's new CD, The Captain And The Kid all the way to the concert and Uncle Peter thought it was quite a good CD! When we got to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, we got a park just near the building, therefore it would be easy to leave when the concert was over! When we got inside, we paid for the concert programme! The programme looked so good, especially with an interview with Elton and Bernie about the Captain And The Kid CD.

We went in just before 8:00pm to get our seats. Since the last concert, I was concerned if I had to go up or down steps, but we sat was an area where people with disabilities can sit. When we got in, I was shocked to see the view we had, it was fantastic! At the 2002 concert, me and Mum were on the ground floor, therefore you could always get some one's head in your way when you don't want to, but where we sat in 2006, you could see the stage and the big screen directly opposite us. It was such a good concert with Elton even doing 5 songs in a row from the new album!

Unfortunately, I found out later that Elton was sick that night when we saw him, he went off stage for a few minutes to be sick while Davey Johnstone played guitar until Elton came back and apologised for the sickness. I was actually surprised that there was no support act this time like the last time. Elton just performed straight for a few hours before finishing. It was a fantastic concert, even Uncle Peter enjoyed it! The lights were nice and bright and the sound was nice and loud! I do intend to go to another Elton concert in the future. I did hear that he might be slowing down after this year, but he will still be good. If he ever announces a final world tour, I hope to get right up front on that night and enjoy seeing him live close up.

Next time, I am going to talk about various music things that are unrelated to Elton, so watch this space for more posts vary soon!

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

My Very First Elton John Concert


This is a picture of me holding the tour programme at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on the night of the concert.


Hi everyone! I know it has been over a week and a half since my last blog post, so I thought I'd do another one now. I Will start adding more to my blog a lot more regularly than what I am doing at the moment. Last time, I said that I will tell you about my first Elton John concert and how I was able to go to it, so here I go!

In 1998, I wanted to go to the Elton John and Billy Joel Face To Face concert at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane, but I didn't end up going. Then in 1999, when my family and I were in the US, in Wyoming, I heard that Elton was performing in Laramie, in memory of Matthew Shepherd (a gay man who was killed in Wyoming), I really wanted to go to that one even though I realise It was for a purpose. I never went to that one either, but this time it was because Laramie was right on the other side of Wyoming, near the northern part of the state.

It all started on Christmas Day in 2001, I think it was around October or November that year that I found out Elton was coming over to Australia for a tour, I really wanted to go and see Elton live. I have been telling my Grandparents and my Mum how much I would really would love to go and see him live, so on Christmas Day that year, my Grandparents came over to have Christmas Lunch and then that afternoon, we were talking and then my Granddad said to my sister, Michelle, that she should write in to Kim & Laurel at 4KQ (a radio station that my Grandparents used to listen to and I still listen to, Kim & Laurel were the breakfast show hosts) and tell them about my disabilities and how much I would love to go and see Elton live as I am a real big fan and ask them if they would be able to send tickets for me!

Well, I didn't think it would happen, but one day in 2002, when we were going to my Grandparents' house (I don't know if it was February or March) and we stopped at the mailbox for Michelle to post a letter. Then one day, I was listening to 4KQ and they were advertising that that weekend was to be Elton John weekend where you get a copy of Elton's album at the time, Songs From The West Coast and tickets to the concert.

About a month before the concert, 4KQ advertised that the first night of Elton's concert (the Wednesday, April 24) was sold out and they the concert people had decided to add a Tuesday night concert, I was so excited, I thought I'd get a chance to see one of the two nights. I started getting very desperate, still hoping. Then on Monday, April 22, 2002, I woke up, turned 4KQ on and still heard them giving away tickets to Elton's concerts, I then continued to get ready for school.

Then, on Tuesday afternoon, I came back home in the taxi (there are a few schools in Brisbane that allowed students with disabilities to be able to get to and from school by taxi if they can't get picked up by their parents), I was surprised to see my Grandparents' car sitting in the driveway, I was wondering if they were just there to visit. I went in the house and said hello to everyone and put my school things in my room. After that, I came out and sat at the table with everyone else to have something to eat for afternoon tea. Before I started eating, Mum showed me an envelope. I tried to read the writing on it, it was a little hard, but I couldn't believe what I was reading, at first I thought it was a joke. Mum then told me to open it, I opened it and pulled out two yellow bits of paper and tried to read one of them.

When I was confused what the paper said, Mum asked me if I knew what it was and I said no, then Mum said "They're Elton John tickets!" My Granddad took a photo of my reaction straight away with his camera, I still smile every time I look at it! Mum told me she was out when she got the call from 4KQ saying that Kim & Laurel would be happy to send tickets for me to see Elton live! I ended up having that Wednesday off school because I was so excited and to celebrate with Mum by going out for lunch!

Me and Mum had dinner before we left and at six o'clock that night, my Grandparents came over as they were taking me and Mum to the concert! It was quite dark when we got to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Before we went in, I got some pictures taken and then we went and got a concert program and sat outside the door to the concert hall to wait, I flipped through the program and tried looking for a set list of all the songs Elton would sing, but couldn't find any ((I was a little disappointed, even the concert programme I got for the 2006 concert didn't have any). Before we went in, some of the ushers came and Mum told them about my vision problem and she went in with the usher to see how I'd be able to get down the steps. I found out that the steps were too narrow for me so the usher took me and Mum (my Grandparents stayed at the door) the long way to the ground floor where we'd be sitting.

As we were walking down to the ground floor, we went down in a lift and when we got to the bottom and walked a little way, the usher said that we were near the backstage area, he pointed to a sign that said Back Stage and to a door and said that was where Elton was, behind that door, but there was a security guard there to stop people going through! I was really excited walking through there! We eventually got to our seats, so we sat down and waited for the show to begin!

I wondered who the support act was going to be and was surprised at how good they were. The group was called Supergirlies, two girls who made up words to popular songs in a comedy way! They even suggested that Britney Spears' Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again were done with the same music! That was a real laugh to listen to, but even though I enjoyed them, I really wanted Elton to come on! After the support act went off after a few encores, Elton got introduced to the stage! I was so excited, I wondered what song was going to be first! Then I heard the very beginning of Elton's song from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road called Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. Mum got me to look at the stage and I was a guy playing the keyboards in darkness! When Elton came on and started waving to the audience before sitting down at the piano to play Love Lies Bleeding, I couldn't help myself, I just couldn't believe my favourite singer was up there on stage, therefore I cried for a little bit while Elton was singing the song!

I was so glad that Mum was there with me so she comforted me while I cried, I stopped before the first song was finished and was excited to hear Elton go in to Bennie And The Jets! Elton then followed that with a song from his then new album Songs From The West Coast called The Ballad Of The Boy In The Red Shoes, which was also done very well! I loved the entire concert, Elton did 4 other songs from that album, I Want Love, This Train Don't Stop There Anymore, Original Sin and The Wasteland! I nearly cried a little again during Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word because I was so happy! The lights were all bright and the sound was fantastic! I remember Elton doing I'm Still Standing and all the lights get turned right up and bright every time he sings "Yeah, yeah, yeah"! I also remember Elton coming stage 2 times for encores; the first time he came on for an encore, he did Pinball Wizard and then came back on again for Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Your Song!

I do wish I could tell you everything about that concert, but I don't remember all the details of it like I did 10 months after it! Even Mum enjoyed herself at the concert as well!

Well, I guess that is it for now! Next time, I'm going to talk about my last Elton concert I went to! No, I didn't cry during that one, but I did do a lot of screaming!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Hi, I'm really sorry that I haven't had any news on here since I started this blog, but this is my first one. There are lots I have to tell you about my most favourite interest of all - Music!

Well, where should I begin? I think I shall tell you about how I became a fan of who I think is one of the best singers in the world - Elton John! I became an Elton John fan back in 1995! It may be strange to think of, but I actually started my love of his music all because of one thing, an advertisement on TV for his Love Songs CD, which had just been released here in Australia! I listened to the bits of songs on the ad and I realised that I wanted the CD so badly! I got that CD that very Christmas and I was very happy!

It was very sad to hear that Princess Diana died in 1997, just two months after Gianni Versace, both were friends of Elton's. I think it was nice the way he did Candle In The Wind just for Diana, now called Candle In The Wind 1997. When they put the funeral on TV, I watched Elton as he sung the new words to Candle In The Wind, I also heard another sound going on along with the piano that sounded like strings, but wasn't, as you don't see any other instruments. I feel there must be something on the piano itself that Elton must use to make all those good accompanying sounds, Elton still does that in his solo performances today with the piano with different sounds.

I was very pleased to hear about the single being released of the song, but I didn't realise it was going to be put on the Something About The Way You Look Tonight single, which doesn't worry me as I love Elton's music anyway. I have to admit, even though I like the studio version with the string arrangement by George Martin, I do prefer the live funeral version, which when the single came out, I thought it would have the live version as well.

Being in Australia, we basically get Elton albums and singles that are exactly like the ones in the UK, even though we don't get some singles that the UK does, which really annoys me. When Peachtree Road got released, I read on the Elton fan club news section that the UK would get the single release of All That I'm Allowed while America got Answer In The Sky, Australia released no single from that album whatsoever. I had another disappointment when the single re-release of Are You Ready For Love came out. No music stores here could get it, and when I tried to order it from the UK, I found out it was deleted (no longer available).

All that proves to me that if you want to be a fan of Elton John; you are best living in either the USA or the UK. Another difference I've noted as well is the fact that in Australia and the UK, 12 of Elton's original albums made it into the remastered CD series called The Classic Years, Australia and the UK got the Classic Years CDs with light covers and a yellow strip down the side with The Classic Years in it. Rather than doing what we (Australia & UK) did, the US released all those albums with slightly darker covers and a nice gold strip down the side with The Classic Years in it. In some ways, I do prefer the US release of all those CDs, but I also like the UK & Australian release of those CDs, just not as much as the US ones. The Classic Years version of Rock Of The Westies was the only album that had different bonus tracks, Australia & the UK got one bonus track, the famous Don't Go Breaking My Heart, while the US got to rare bonus tracks, I don't know the name of them!

Well, I guess I'd better stop here, but I promise I will try and add more to my blog soon, rather than waiting a long time to do it. Next time, I will tell you about my very first Elton John concert I went to and how I got to go to it! Yes, it was exciting, but that will have to wait. Bye for now.

Friday, 12 January 2007

My Very First Post

Hi! This is my very first post, I am so excited about it! I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts and daily happenings with you. This will be all for now, I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2007.
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