I started out life as a musician trained in bands and orchestras in Sacramento, California public schools and performed with the Sacramento Youth Band, a city-wide marching and concert band that toured the state and the Northern California DeMolay Show and Band, a masonic stage band that toured western Canada.  I had my own professional group, The Jazzmen, for which I also fronted and booked.  We were good enough to play at the same Class A clubs which headlined the likes of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, both of whom I’ve met.  I’ve also covered entertainment in Los Angeles and Hollywood as a writer.

I live for stellar performances.  They reaffirm my faith in humanity.  They uplift me and move me in more ways than even the passion of romantic love or the spiritual ecstasy of a high mountain dawn.  I’ve survived a lot thanks to the folks who produce this stuff and I’ve grown as both an artist and a human being thanks to their creative genius.

This is Sissel (Cecelia) from Kyrkjebo, a small town in Norway, a Scandinavian nation of five million. I recently discovered her by accident and I am absolutely, totally and without reservation enjoying becoming a devout fan of perhaps the finest vocal performer the last of an old century and the first of a new has yet produced.

A clear voiced soprano with a classical background, she has crossed over into gospel and popular with stunning effect. She is also multi-lingual and has recorded in over a dozen languages and dialects. Her looks are as international as her music and when this statuesque entertainer takes the stage, she does so quietly, sincerely and without command. She has also collaborated with a number of the finest performers in music today.  And she was also the “voice” in the theme from the most recent version of the epic film, “Titanic.”For a truly unforgettable experience, we give you, then, Sissel.


YouTube Videos

Amazing Grace, with the Oslo Gospel Choir

Auld Lyne Syne, Live On Swedish TV4

Bridge Over Troubled Water, with Russell Watson

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina

Going Home

In Concert

In Concert – All Good Things

The Prayer, with Josh Groban

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I Will Follow Him  

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

Auld Lang Syne

This Land Is Myi Land

Amazing Grace – Peter Hollens featured

How Great Thou Art

God Bless The USA

Sounds of Silence, with Peter Hollens

Ring of Fire 


Angels Watching Over Me

El Shaddai and Thy Word

Better Than A Hallelujah

Father’s Eyes


Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring

O, America!

One World

Danny Boy

Over The Rainbow


Abbott & Costello – Jonah & The Whale

Abbott & Costello – Who’s On First

Smothers Brothers – Poor Wandering One/Dueling Banjos With Boston Pops Orchestra

Smothers Brothers – Take It Naked Bacon With Boston Pops Orchestra

Dustbowl Revival With Dick Van Dyke – Never Had To Go


(Left to right: Eddie Albert, John McIntire, Gary Cooper, Jack Webb, Richard Erdman)

You’re In The Navy Now

Whoever wrote the title to this Hollywood movie obviously never saw it.  You’re In The Navy Now is not some comedy romp parody of the service.  It is about the crew of a small ship, a submarine chaser, and a secret experimental steam engine the Navy is using them to test.

It is early in WW II, before the Battle of Midway in the Pacific.  The ranks of all the armed forces are swelling with former civilians from literally all walks of life, whom the Navy transforms into into sailors with occupations like boatswain’s mate (deck hand), gunner’s mate, engineman, etc.

So this is more a story about good people working together to accomplish the extremely challenging.  The acting is superb and the relationship Gary Cooper had with Jane Greer, who plays his wife, is heart-warming.

This film is also notable for introducing actors who would later become stars in their own right.  Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, for example, were later to star together in The Dirty Dozen.  John McIntire was the lead in Wagon Train after Ward Bond died.  Ray Collins was one of the district attorneys on the Perry Mason television show.  Jack Webb went on to star in such excellent films as Pete Kelly’s Blues, the DI and the television show for which he is best remembered, Dragnet.  Harry Von Zell was the neighbor and foil of George Burns and Gracie Allen on their television show.  Eddie Albert we remember from Green Acres.  Jack Warden, who actually had been both a sailor and an army paratrooper, became an almost ubiquitous character actors whose extensive credits include From Here To Eternity and Donovan’s Reef (with Lee Marvin) as well as guest appearances on many award winning American television series.

Finally, this film portrays Navy life and shipboard conditions with total accuracy.  I served on destroyers, ships several times larger than the submarine chaser in this film.  For more on this film, go here.  To watch this film, please go here. 

High Road To China with Tom Selleck, Bess Armstrong, Jack Weston, Wilford Brimley, this search and rescue by bi-plane romp is better than any of the Indiana Jones films I’ve seen.

Coming Out Of The Ice, with John Savage and Willie Nelson, is set in Stalinist USSR and tells the incredible story of an American imprisoned in the Gulag and eventually exiled to Siberia.  Vivid and unforgettable.

Meteor, with Sean Connery, Brian Keith, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden is one of the finest films of its genre I have ever seen.  Particularly engaging is Keith’s often humorous portrayal of a Soviet rocket scientist.  This is a Northstar Five Stars. 

Mark Twain Tonight, with Hal Holbrook, is one of the best “one man” shows ever to hit Broadway and presents the American humorist with unimpeachable authenticity.  Holbrook spent several years preparing for this while accepting other film and television roles.

Horatio Hornblower.  This is a new British television series that is absolutely the best of its genre and yes, even better than the American movie starring Gregory Peck.


NEXTDOOR is a dynamic American non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized.  They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge.  For more information, contact them at

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES is an online editing, writing and tutoring  service.  For a full list of services, visit my website at To contact directly,  Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.  Rusty


A kid friendly story about Little Queen Harmony and her best friend, Rocky the Rocket, as they head out to enter Rocky in the World Space Models Championship. A very cute Kindle Book, it is on sale here for just $0.99:

A superpower no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall. The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust. Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose. A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here.

We hope you enjoyed shopping at the Northstar General Store.  Here’s where you can pay for this stuff or and especially if you cannot afford a couple of dollars, use it in good health and with our prayers.    Take care, stay well and God Bless.  “Cousins” Rusty Miller, Olya Bereza and friends.

Photo of Pacific Northwest L Pod courtesy of

Leaping cougar Photo courtesy of True Wild Life

Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service


About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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