While I will always have fond memories of the toys, books, and programs listed on the Nostalgia page,
my interests HAVE expanded in the past 20+ years...

Sometimes the acorn doesn't fall very far from the tree. One of my favorite ways to waste a day is reading Calvin & Hobbes comics.  This site re-runs the Calvin & Hobbes strip each day in sequence, just as they appeared in the newspapers exactly 11 years ago. You can also get information about its creator Bill Watterson.

I don't really have any current "favorite" television programs. To be honest, I don't watch much TV these days, other than sporting events, the occasional news program, and something cool on the History Channel, Discovery, or TLC.

I don't get to read much for enjoyment either... Geez... what am I doing with all of my time?!?

However, when I do have the time, I like to pick up a P.J. O'Rourke book or article whenever possible and read his wit and sarcasm on contemporary American society and politics, as well as his commentary on other worldwide issues. His style is difficult to explain in a short space if you haven't read any of his stuff... Visit the Official P.J. O'Rourke Web Site or the Unofficial P.J. O'Rourke Homepage to get more information on this "Rolling Stone" columnist (born in Toledo, Ohio). You can also sample a few short articles written by P.J. at this web site. My current collection of his books includes: Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut; All the Trouble in the World; The Bachelor Home Companion: a Practical Guide to Keeping House Like a Pig; Enemies List: A Vigilant Journalist's Plea for a Renewed Red Scare; Give War a Chance; Holidays in Hell; Modern Manners: an Etiquette Book for Rude People; Parliament of Whores. I recommend each and every one. Pick one up an the bookstore and read a few paragraphs or pages to get an sense of P.J.'s humor.  The latest rumor I've heard is that his next book is going to be a feature on his hometown of Toledo! Watch for it!!!

Fans of P.J. O'Rourke will also enjoy the alt.fan.pj-orourke newsgroup.  Like any newsgroup, there is a certain amount of spam messages, but like few newsgroups, the fans refuse to let it fall victim and allow the spam to completely overrun the P.J. content.

I also enjoyed reading works of Martin Amis, back when I had the time to read for pleasure. His novel Times Arrow is one you have to read for yourself to experience the full irony and twisted sequence of literally living a life backwards in time. Reviews and synopses don't quite give you the full taste of Amis' treatment of this unique perspective. Many Martin Amis sites are out there, but Wikipedia provides a bibliography, a brief biography, and a review of Times Arrow.

I am still waiting for the free time to just pack up my tent and fishing tackle, grab the latest O'Rourke book, and head off to one of my secluded camping spots for a week at the absolute minimum... and nobody better come looking for me!

I have taken a liking to the following radio shows on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

For quite a while, I was hooked on NPR, from their Morning Edition a.m. news program to All Things Considered on the drive home. Living in Sandusky, I sometimes listen to WCPN 90.3 from Cleveland, and other times I listen to WGTE 91.3 from Toledo (depending on which direction I travel, the signals grow and fade). Find the nearest NPR signal(s) in your area and check their lineups to see if they carry any of the following shows. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Car Talk: I bust a gut every Saturday morning when this gem is on the air! Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka "Click and Clack The Tappet Brothers") help callers to diagnose their automobile ailments, with a bit of humor. For an hour each week I learn and laugh about car troubles. The web site gives you a chance to listen to archives. Funny show... funny web site.

Says You! is a "game of words and whimsy bluff and bluster."  As the main NPR page states, it is like "crossword puzzling on caffeine, in front of a live audience."

And PRI also has a few gems which are carried by some stations:

Whad’Ya Know? is a two-hour comedy/quiz/interview show hosted by Michael Feldman. Feldman's show includes interesting guests, and a humorous quiz-show where a studio guest and a caller team up to answer insignificant and intriguing questions.

The Savvy Traveler is an hour-long weekly magazine about travel, adventure, and recreation. The program takes listeners to unexpected places, sometimes right next door, and looks at predictable places in unusual new ways.

A Prairie Home Companion features unforgettable comedy sketches, acoustic-based music, and Garrison Keillor’s signature monologue, “The News from Lake Wobegon.”

I am not really an "art aficionado..."

...but I've always enjoyed the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher. His drawings are sometimes chaotic and seem to defy both gravity and logic. I'll always remember the night about twenty years ago that a friend and I spent an entire evening staring at one of  his staircase prints called Relativity. Before you judge me on that supposed waste of time (assuming you haven't seen any Escher prints), follow these links to see some of M.C. Escher's work.

In the spirit of M.C. Escher, Julian Beever has created numerous 3D images on a two dimensional 'canvas'.  Take a look at his incredible pavement art! This stuff is amazing.

Another 'artist' that I enjoy is Michael Moschen. In the simplest of terms, he could be considered to be a juggler, but that term doesn't even come close to doing him justice. This guy has absolute control over the objects which he manipulates.  Whether it is the fluid-like motion of the small crystal balls, or the rhythmic and visual juggling inside the triangle frame, or the illusions created by his dances with other object shapes, ALL of his performances are mesmerizing. From that perspective, he is much more than what you would think of when you hear the word "juggler."

Who doesn't enjoy movies?

One of my other hobbies is watching movies.  I rarely (if ever) go to the movie theater, but with the growth in popularity of DVDs, I have quickly become hooked on this movie technology. I hope to expand this part of Tommy's World in the near future -- maybe even to a separate page of its own, but for now, enjoy the links below.

IMDB (The Internet Movie Database) is an excellent source of movie (and television) trivia with cross-referencing links to just about every actor and/or movie ever made.

The Movie Compound is a recent collaborative effort by a group of movie aficionados who have put their collective heads together to create a great movie resource.  Parts of the site are still under construction, but I have recently stumbled across the discussion forums which have most enjoyable!  Highly recommended for ANY movie buffs -- novice or knowledgeable.

Listening to music is another of my favorite activities. I enjoy a wide range of styles.

In the "rock" genre, my two favorite bands are Aerosmith and Boston -- coincidentally both hail from the Boston, Massachusetts area -- a place I've never been! Strange how my two favorite bands and my favorite professional sports team are all from Boston and I've never set foot in the town. :-\

I'll get there eventually, but unfortunately, the hallowed Boston 'Gahden' has already been torn down, before I could ever get there. :-(    And here's another twist: Tom Scholz, leader of the band 'Boston' is also originally from Toledo, Ohio.  He went to college at MIT, thus the "Boston" connection, but he attended Ottawa Hills High School, which is just a stone's throw away from the University of Toledo and the Law Center, where I basically spent three years of my life.

I cannot continue without also paying due respect to one of England's loudest bands: Spinal Tap.

But when it's time to relax, nothing can beat instrumental piano and acoustic guitar.

Windham Hill records has a great web site with links to each of their recording artists: Will Ackerman, Jim Brickman, the late Michael Hedges, George Winston, and so many others. You can download sound files from the web site to whet your appetite.

Narada is another great label if you like this type of music. And Wonder of Wonders!!! Their web site is finally functional after over a year of a generic front page stating that it was under construction. At the site you can find more information about their artists and touring schedules. Some of their artists that I recommend include: Spencer Brewer, Wayne Gratz, Michael Jones, David Lanz.

Real Music and Combs Music offer similar recordings. They are established labels in instrumental and new age music.

Piano World  has interesting information and some great links to click through.

Scott Strommen is an independent pianist with his own web site. His web site provides downloadable clips from his debut CD "Spontaneous." Take a listen...

Are there any Enya fans out there? There are plenty of fan web sites devoted to her music, most of them provide a great deal of information. But in the interests of conserving space, I'll only provide links to a few unofficial pages: The Enya Angle and Moonshadows.

I also enjoy a little bit of jazz...

Dating back to my days in high school, when I played the trumpet, I've always had an admiration for the late Maynard Ferguson. Plain and simple, that guy could play the horn! I only saw him play live on two occassions (the last time was in the summer of '89 in Pittsburgh, PA), but his shows were amazing. Twenty years later I can still vividly recall the energy and emotion! Visit the Maynard Ferguson Tribute Page, full of biographical information, as well as a number of links where you can purchase Maynard's music. You can also download sound clips from his various recordings, like the classic Birdland.

This Art & Music page was last modified on January 11, 2011
These modifications included: new link added!!!

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