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HOW I FINALLY LEARNED TO PLAY THE GUITAR A PASSION COME TRUE
When I was 11 or 12, my family visited my aunt and uncle’s house on Christmas Day. When we got there, we saw that my uncle had bought my aunt an old organ that was sitting in the living room. Typically, these organs wouldn’t have sheets of music, but rather, you play each key depending on the number it’s labeled with. This makes it easy for someone to memorize and play a song just by remembering which numbers to press. Later that day, my dad sat down at the organ, which surprised me. I had no idea he could play any type of instrument, but he asked my aunt if she had any sheet music with notes. She went and grabbed him some sheet music, and he started playing like he’s known how to play for years. I’ll never forget the song he played: “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” I was stunned. I remember telling Dad that I had no idea he could play, and he told me he could play the organ, piano, saxophone, clarinet, and recorder. When I asked how he learned so many instruments, he said his parents forced him to when he was young. Now to me, this was confusing; I’d wanted to play the guitar for years, but he never signed “If you have a particular passion or something you’ve always wanted to do, never give up on your pursuit of it.”
me up for any lessons. So I asked him, “And you won’t let me learn?” His reply crushed me at 11 years old. “It’s a waste of time,” he responded. Here, I’d wanted to play for so long, but he never even gave me a chance. I was so hurt and angry with him. While I never picked up the guitar as a kid or for most of my life, I never forgot that passion and how much I wanted to learn to play. About four or five years ago, I traveled up into Nashville to attend a seminar. A friend of mine lives there, so after the seminar was over, I spent about a week on vacation. One day, we drove through the Smoky Mountains to a beautiful lodge where a husband and wife were singing old Southern music and playing guitars. Afterward, I bought them a drink and told them I’d always wanted to play the guitar and was thinking about picking it up for the first time. When they asked what kind of music I wanted to play, I was a little surprised. But as I soon found out, certain guitars are designed for certain types of music. Since I love country music, they suggested I get a Martin guitar. When I got back home, I went to a really beautiful music store here in Folsom. I walked in and told the man behind the counter I wanted to buy a Martin guitar, but when he asked what type, I was surprised yet again. I didn’t think it mattered! When I told him I was going to learn how to play on a Martin guitar, he flat out told me he wasn’t going to sell that type of guitar for a beginner
like me. Instead, he gave me a different guitar after I bought a $75 case and set me up with a guitar instructor so I could learn. That was four years ago. Now, I have a session with my instructor every Thursday night. It took me quite a while to get the hang of it, and even though I’ll never learn to play like the professionals can, I still thoroughly enjoy it. Two years ago, I walked back into that same music shop, and the owner agreed to sell me a custom-made Martin guitar. If you have a particular passion or something you’ve always wanted to do, never give up on your pursuit of it. Take a chance when the opportunity comes and indulge yourself. – Travis Black
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Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. LEAP INTO 2020 FACTS ABOUT THE LEAP YEAR With all the content available in the world of family entertainment, it’s hard to determine what’s appropriate for children, and it depends heavily on age. In this blurry landscape, it may seem as though no one has the right answers. Luckily, there are online resources available to parents who want to get educated about what is okay for their children to see. DOVE.ORG This website’s sole focus is to define the appropriate age for individuals to consume certain media. Their reviews do more than just declare a show or movie to be appropriate for all ages. They actually place films, TV programs, and books into three different categories based on their intended audiences. All the entertainment they review earn one of the following three ratings: Dove Approved All Ages, Dove Approved 12+, and Dove Approved 18+. KIDS-IN-MIND.COM Kids-In-Mind.com reviews all the latest blockbuster movies and breaks down exactly why they have G, PG-13, and R ratings. This website is a great tool to judge content for kids who are in between rating groups. The reviewers claim, “Unlike the MPAA, we do not assign a single, age-specific rating, and we do not make recommendations. Instead WHAT’S ON TV? 3 REVIEW SITES TO HELP YOU MONITOR WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING
we assign each film three distinct, category-specific ratings: one for sex and nudity, one for violence and gore, and one for language. Each rating is on a scale of 0-10, depending on quantity and context.” COMMONSENSEMEDIA.ORG CommonSenseMedia.org has you covered on all bases relating to content your kids want to consume. They review all the movies and TV shows available, but they also review books, apps, and games. They also provide age and genre filters so you can easily determine if the next Xbox game your child wants is appropriate. In addition, CommonSenseMedia.org understands that social media sites and interactive games like Fortnite are also areas for concern for most parents. To address these concerns, the website offers guides that walk you through child-appropriate use of leading social media and entertainment platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. These guides define what each platform is, how it works, and what you can do to make sure your kids stay safe while using them. Deciding what is or isn’t appropriate for your kids isn’t easy, so be sure to use these resources to monitor the entertainment your kids are consuming.
WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
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FROM ZERO TO 300 MEET THE WOMEN WHO PIONEERED MOTOR SPORTS
BE INSPIRED “OUR CHARACTER IS NOT DEFINED IN THE GOOD TIMES, BUT IN THE HARD TIMES.” – PAUL BRODIE While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport. SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973, she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic “Heart Like a Wheel.” Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing. JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In
1976, she became the first woman to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca-Cola 600, then called the World 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world land speed record. Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.” When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production. If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”
APPLE CIDER CHICKEN AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
INGREDIENTS • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved • 2 gala apples, cut into wedges • 1 red onion, cut into wedges • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. On a baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, and rosemary sprigs in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Roast vegetable and fruit mixture until tender, about 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. 5. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on one side. Flip and cook 2 more minutes. 6. Pour cider onto chicken. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and let it rest on cutting board. 7. Return skillet to stove on medium-high and simmer sauce until reduced by half. 8. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of butter with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice chicken and divide among plates with roasted vegetables and serve.
Salt and pepper to taste 4 boneless chicken breasts 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 tbsp butter, divided
2/3 cup apple cider
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
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Inspired by Food Network
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1839 Iron Point Rd. #160, Folsom, CA 95630 Phone: 916.962.2896 travisblacklaw.com
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Returning to My Passion After Decades PAGE 1 3 Review Sites to Check Before Turning on the TV PAGE 2 Learn All About Leap Year PAGE 2
Fearless Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports PAGE 3 Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts PAGE 3 CREATING MEMORIES YOU CAN CHERISH FOR YEARS TO COME
Not sure what to do this month? Luckily for you, there are plenty of options! With these three local events, you’ll fill up your month with great times and even better memories.
UKULELE STRUM-ALONG WHERE: Nicholson’s MusiCafe WHEN: Every Saturday; 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ADMISSION: Free entry with cafe item purchase WEBSITE: NicholsonsMusiCafe.com The ukulele has always seemed slightly undermined by its cousin, the guitar, but it’s arguably much more fun to play. Get together with fellow ukulele enthusiasts and strum along for an hour of music. Attendees will be joined and led by the Valley Ukulele Society to ensure the tempo is easy to follow along with and to provide music chords and lyrics. Guests can also benefit from Nicholson’s MusiCafe’s free ukulele class from 1–2 p.m. after the strum-along. Be sure to arrive early to grab a seat!
‘CHARLOTTE’S WEB’ WHERE: Sutter Street Theatre WHEN: Every weekend until Feb. 16 ADMISSION: $14–$19 WEBSITE: SutterStreetTheatre.com
PAINT NITE WHERE: Mandango’s Sports Grill by Yaymaker WHEN: Tuesday, Mar. 3; 6:30–8:30 p.m. ADMISSION: $35 WEBSITE: MandangosMenu.com and Yaymaker.com Get your creative juices flowing during this colorful event! Your ticket will cover all the necessary supplies and an artistic guide to help you create your masterpiece. Grab a few friends or take your significant other on a date and settle in front of a canvas to paint a beautiful piece of art. You’ll have plenty of fun and laughs along the way.
“Charlotte’s Web” is one of the most revered children’s stories about the two most unlikely of friends. Come experience the blooming friendship of Wilbur, a young pig, and Charlotte, a caring spider, as they grow, love, and learn together. This play is perfect for getting the family out of the house and experiencing this story in an entirely new setting. Warm your heart this February with the age-old classic.
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