Search This Blog

Friday, March 16, 2018

They Have Since Renamed the WWE Battle Royal At WM XXXIV

Avengers IW New Trailer!

I Call BS on This!

When I worked at Pearson, I asked the guy who would raise your desk for you to do so. The cubicles were such that there was not a "sit/stand" option. If the guy did this to your desk, you always stood.

I wanted to do this because of the reasons mentioned in the video about sitting for long periods of time. As the renovations were being planned, I inquired about how I liked having a raised desk and asked about having the ability to stand at my desk in my space after the renovations were complete. The answer I received was troubling and contradicts what Pearson was saying when I was there (5/2011 - 1/2016). Unless I had a doctor's excuse which then had to be approved by Pearson, I wasn't going to be able to stand at my desk. In my situation, I took it upon myself to have a raised desk - I haven't been to a doctor in 8 years. I knew it would be healthier. Despite what the video below would have you believe, my experience is that Pearson was good at giving lip service about being healthy - it participated in a walking program - but when push came to shove, they were at the very least sending an inconsistent message about wanting their employees to be happy. It really doesn't take much for me to be happy at work. I don't need a big office or a fancy title or even a reserved parking place. It's the little things, like being told, "No, you can't do what you know would be healthier for you" that irk me.

All that said, here's a video to watch:

From day one at where I work now, my desk has been a sit/stand desk. I don't stand as much as I could but I am (actually) standing now because of seeing the video above.

It Keeps Happening


I drive by the General Dynamics building occasionally because it is located within a mile of where I work. After I saw the following blurb, I am hoping that any of my friends that work there are not impacted by this news:

In a related topic, I received a phone call from a survey company that was interviewing people on behalf of the Iowa Workforce Development department. I used to work at Epley Marketing Services, which was located in North Liberty on Highway 965, from 1994 - 1995, on a part-time basis. I generally would work from 5 - 8 about 3 days a week (usually Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday), interviewing people on behalf of Epley clients. After the interview, my role was to then write a summary of the interview that was then edited by Ann ... it's funny, but I don't remember her last name, but she was a very good editor . . . before being presented to the client. All that is to say, when I get a phone call from a survey company, I typically never hang up. In fact, I consider myself overly nice to anyone that calls our house, even if it's a student from Mount Mercy College (now Mount Mercy University) which is where I graduated from in May 1992. The idea that I am courteous to someone from my Alma Mater is noteworthy because when they call, it's usually to ask for a donation to help the institution. Several years ago, I ceased donating to the institution for a simple reason. A Catholic college invited a pro-choice (pro-killing babies in the womb) speaker for commencement. I thought that was wrong. I thought the invitation should not have been extended for commencement. That said, if the institution wants to invite someone with a pro-choice insanity diagnosis on-campus so that there can be a civil discussion about abortion, great. I think it's awesome to have people with opposing viewpoints get in the same room and try to come to an understanding of the other person's perspective as a way to find a consensus.

Back to last night and my phone call, I talked to the woman on the other end for about 15 minutes. She asked me about
  • how long I've worked where I work, 
  • if I was looking to leave my employer (ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!), 
  • why I left my previous position (My position was eliminated... Stupidly!), 
  • if I thought there was a specific training or education I needed in order to advance (I thought this was an interesting question as I really like what I do and don't really want to do anything else), 
  • salary & income (I never reveal that over the phone or to anyone), 
  • my education
  • where I would start looking for a job if I were seeking one (,, were the sites I think I would start with in addition to the other local company websites I have in my browser favorites from January 2016's job search)
  • what titles I held before my current one 
    • (Senior Technical Writer (Pearson), 
    • Senior Technical Writer (unnamed hellhole in southern Iowa), 
    • Technical Writer (Quintrex), 
    • Technical Writer (Jordan Systems)
    • Documentation Specialist (NDP).
Those were the memorable topics we discussed. It was a fun phone call because I always welcome the opportunity to analyze where I have been in my life.

It's Not about the Nail

Batman Meets the Riddler

Lucas' Vision

I imagine George Lucas gets frustrated when he tries to communicate his vision.

I took the following screen capture at the 3:12 mark because while I was listening to Lucas speak, I was hypnotized by the height of the stack of paper this guy is leaning on:

What IS that?!? How many unused ideas were captured within that stack of paper and, more importantly, how many OTHER stacks of paper that are that height exist within Lucas' possession?!? It's fascinating to think about the creative choices George Lucas made to create his Star Wars Universe and, if he had chosen something else instead of what he did - maybe, for example, "Han Solo" was named "Solo Han" or "Luke Skywalker" was named "Luke Starkiller" as (I think) originally named. The sheer number of creative choices Lucas made must be exhausting.

That's why I don't tend to give a lot of credibility to non-drummers who make statements like "Lars Ulrich is a shitty drummer" which is usually followed up by "[Their favorite drummer] kicks Lars' ass!" I smirk a bit because if James Hetfield would have fired Lars Ulrich in 1986 (as confirmed in Scott Ian's book and discussed in this article - - all those years ago, what would Metallica sound like? The favorite 'what if' scenario regarding Metallica is "What if Cliff Burton would have survived and Kirk Hammett or James Hetfield or Lars Ulrich would have died in that tragic bus crash. I've seen the t-shirt that has Cliff Burton's picture on it with the phrase "Should Have Been Lars" above it. How mean!

Back to Star Wars, I know there is a lot of angst and anticipation about the next Star Wars movies - first, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" that is coming out in May, and second, Episode 9, which is due for release on December 20, 2019 - I learned that here - because of the initial praise and then criticism of "The Last Jedi" movie. One commentary video I saw stated that "The Empire Strikes Back" which is now considered by some to be the best movie initially was not received well, similar to the reaction to "The Last Jedi" from fans.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Little Known Fact about My Past

When I think about my previous employers, I typically don't include Toys R Us in my thoughts. I worked at the Cedar Rapids, IA, Toys R Us store. When I saw this story - - I was sad.

Come Back to IA LOG!

I do not see Iowa in the Lamb of God dates in this article: Lamb Of God Announce U.S. Headline Tour Dates? I don't even see reasonably close concert stops to where I live (in red below) that aren't in the middle of the week!

This sucks. Slayer is going on their Farewell tour with an awesome sauce lineup and they're not even stopping in the state. They don't even drive through Iowa - the best route for going from Minneapolis to Tinley Park is probably to go through Wisconsin, not going south to Iowa and then east.

This sucks!

Lamb Of God headline dates (with Behemoth)

05/12 Fox Theater, Pomona, CA
05/23 The District, Sioux Falls, SD - a Wednesday
06/011 The Ritz, Raleigh, NC
06/03 The Dome at Oakdale, Wallingford, CT

Lamb of God With Slayer leg one (with Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament.)

05/10 Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA
05/11 FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA

05/13 Papa Murphy's Park at Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA
05/16 Pacific Coliseum Vancouver, BC
05/17 South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, BC
05/19 Big Four, Calgary, AL
05/20 Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB
05/22 Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB
05/24 The Armory, Minneapolis, MN - a Thursday
05/25 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, IL - a Friday
05/27 Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, Detroit, MI
05/29 Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON
05/30 Place Bell, Montreal, PQ
06/01 Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
06/02 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
06/04 Santander Arena, Reading, PA
06/06 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
06/07 Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH
06/09 KeyBank Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
06/10 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
06/12 Veteran's United Home Loans Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA
06/14 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC
06/15 Orlando Amphitheater, Orlando, FL
06/17 Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, Houston, TX
0619 The Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
06/20 Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX

Second Leg of Slayer tour with Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Testament, and Napalm Death.)

07/26 Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, Gilford, NH
07/27 Impact Music Festival, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor, ME
07/29 Northwell Health at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
07/31 The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, PA
08/01 Times Union Center, Albany, NY
08/03 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Lake, NY
08/04 Lakeview Amphitheater, Syracuse, NY
08/06 Budweiser Gardens, London, ON
08/07 Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
08/09 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, St. Louis, MO - a Thursday
08/10 Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
08/12 Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN
08/13 Walmart AMP, Rogers, AR
08/15 Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TX
08/16 The Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK
08/18 Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
08/19 USANA Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City, UT
08/21 Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater, Boise, ID
08/23 Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, Portland, OR
08/26 SAP Center, San Jose, CA

Lamb of God festival appearance:

06/16 Montebello Rock Fest, Montebello, QC


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Only the Sith....

From this article

“We’re students, and instead of focusing on algebra, focusing on pre-calculus, we’re focusing on our lives and how to have what happened at Parkland and what happened at Virginia Tech and what happened at Columbine not happen here,” she said. “What we’re saying is, you’re either with us going forward and you are going to do something about gun control or you’re against us. This is happening, one way or another.”

Only a Sith deals in absolutes!

Analysis of the above quote.

Please, do not kept swept into watching over 2 1/2 hours if you have other things to do...

Alice in PA but in IL Last Night

Serbi sent me a text and said that he was going to Moline, IL, last night to see Alice Cooper.

In unrelated news, I saw this article about Alice Cooper:

Editor's Note: Serbi sent the following pictures, which were taken from his seat in the second row of the concert. Keep in mind, Alice Cooper is 70 years old!

WWE & the Symphony of Megadeth

Watch the video below.

Notice the way Corey Graves slipped in references to Megadeth? Loudwire did too and wrote about it in this article:

Greatest Band

Lego Death Star

Awesomeness in a Double Bass Ludwig Vistalite

Hilarious Commercial

Internet on Fire about ...

Wide-spread outrage about a match at a WWE PPV?

Wow. People are really struggling to find something to bitch about...

MS Manual of Style on a Website


From my newsletter this morning, I saw this:

Selling Yourself Short: Impostor Syndrome among Tech Writers

This month, documentarians gathered around the #watercooler for a legendary discussion of impostor syndrome. Is there more impostor syndrome among technical writers than other tech professionals? Do writers shortchange themselves by saying things like “that’s too technical for me” in work discussions? Does this contribute to a lack of respect for technical writers?

The consensus seemed to be a resounding “YES” to all three questions, and people offered many thoughtful ideas about why tech writers might experience impostor syndrome more keenly than most:
  • Writing is an ‘endemic skill,’ meaning it’s practically universal, to at least a basic degree. That can make it challenging for people to recognize mastery because, on the surface, it’s hard to distinguish mastery from what everyone else is doing.
  • This underlying, “anyone can write” assumption gets particularly troublesome when used to justify the opinion that tech writers’ chief value is that they free up engineers to write code.
  • Technical writers’ knowledge gaps are front-and-center because they typically rely on subject matter experts to confirm what they write, as well as to provide feedback and corrections.
  • Technical writing has historically been female-dominated, and even the most accomplished women sometimes rely on self-deprecating language to shield themselves from criticism.
  • Technical writing roles don’t always have clear lines of specialization like other roles in the tech environment. 
And that’s just a thin summary of this rich conversation! Although we don’t usually share out the transcripts of the conversations we highlight, this one so clearly struck a chord that we thought we’d save – and anonymize – the whole thing, It’s available in this gist, if you want to read the whole discussion, including some ideas for impostor syndrome relief.

I will admit I regret going to their website this AM because, if I hadn't, I wouldn't have seen this:

Is it its / it's confusion? The answer is "yes" unless this is what the writer meant You can see more about our podcast on it is own dedicated..., which makes no sense.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cena Calls Out UT

So, I'm reading this article about Monday Night Raw last night (which I didn't watch) and at the bottom of the article - Cena Challenges The Undertaker at WrestleMania, Rips Ego - I read this:

Cena's promo is likely to elicit a strong response from The Undertaker, and he may have bitten off more than he can chew at WrestleMania.

Now, I know that even for a mark (a smart fan) like me, I can sometimes forget that WWE is scripted.

So, let me translate this the following:

Cena's promo is likely to elicit a strong response from The Undertaker, and he may have bitten off more than he can chew at WrestleMania.

because it threw me a bit.

There will be a match between John Cena & the Undertaker at Wrestlemania in less than a month. The Undertaker is likely to show up on (at least) one Monday Night Raw between now and then in order to respond to John Cena's comments. If WWE were "smart," they would put the Undertaker in a tag team match where the opponents have to be tag team partners and there is a stipulation that compels "enemies" to work together. The totally IDEAL match, then, would be Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar v. John Cena & The Undertaker. To make it even more special, if it were me writing that episode, I'd have the entire Raw locker room watch from the stage. I'd have the Undertaker make his entrance by walking between the wrestlers on the stage and script it so Braun Strowman is standing where The Undertaker has to walk past him.

Speaking of Braun Strowman, since he's not fighting Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar or John Cena or The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, WWE put him into a tag team battle against all the other tag teams on the Raw roster. As you might expect, Strowman decimated the other WWE wrestlers and "won" the match by himself. By definition, a tag team has two wrestlers so who will Braun Strowman's tag team partner be when the Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) face Braun Strowman @ Wrestlemania? My pick would be Elias, especially since Strowman & Elias have been battling each other lately. I think it would be really fun to see Strowman in a tag team setting. I know they want to make Strowman an unstoppable monster, but it would still be fun.


It's really fitting that I became aware of this article - The Quest for a Universal Translator for Old, Obsolete Computer Files To save bygone software, files, and more, researchers are working to emulate decades-old technology in the cloud. by Jessica Leigh Hester March 08, 2018 - through a post on the Techwr-L site. I was just talking to Teresa, my co-worker with whom I am working on Knowledge Management, about MS Word and conversion projects. I realized that over my career as a technical writer, there's only been one company that employed me where there was not at least one conversion project in the works. It started at NDP with the OfficeVision to MS Word project and I've been going strong ever since.

Don't Cry

Bitterness Continues to Drive HRC's Life

Monday, March 12, 2018

Good Writing

I'm displaying the picture below because it's a good example of clear and concise writing. It doesn't speak for me.

There are a 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000010000000000000000000000000000000000000 other sayings like the one above I could have used as an illustration of "good writing" but the one above is the one I used.

Friday, March 9, 2018

John Cena Promos are Awesome!

The Garbage


I have not really wrote about any Ideal Band situations lately and that's because, well, there are none. There was a brief glimpse of potential with a Cedar Rapids-based band but, at this point, it seems as though that is unlikely. That band lost its drummer, bassist, and guitarist so even if I committed to playing with them, the melodic section of the band needs to be rounded out.

Meanwhile, on Craigslist, I see ads like the one below from time to time:

I am a 40 year old guitar player. I have been playing for three years or so. I'm looking for someone around my age to jam with. I like classic rock, but I'll play anything. I am not a super guitar player, but I like to play and learn. I just want to play and improve. Here is a link to some stuff I've done. Nothing really serious. Just me messing around.

My reaction to this ad is a double-edged sword. Yes, we are similar in age, but no, I don't really want to be in a situation where I'm not "out" playing gigs almost right away. It's nothing personal - the guy in the ad and videos below may be the greatest dude in the world. I just don't want to find out by not playing gigs. I cringe about the idea of repeating what I did with Uncle Rico the Band. It's definitely still in the forefront of my mind. I cannot see putting myself through 15 x 4 hour rehearsals (3 hours playing, 1 hour commute), only to  end up playing a single gig. It's not only what I do not want to repeat - I WON'T repeat it. I refuse. That's why I cling to the idea that playing drums in a local band, such as one of these:
  1. Motorboat
  2. Rattlebox
  3. Avery Riot
  4. Cocked n Loaded
  5. Crazy Delicious
  6. Drama Kings
  7. Vicebox
would be more appropriate for me. If the drummer in one of those bands couldn't play anymore with the band anymore and the band decided to find a replacement drummer to step in and play their existing playlist after, say, a couple of rehearsals is what I want. On 3/9/2018, I call that situation one that would be for me - my "Ideal Band" when I think about playing drums in a band these days.

Editor's Note: The local bands listed above are listed randomly. Nothing is in the works to replace any of the existing drummers in those bands.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Saving the Damsel

Imagine / Jump Mashup

Clever mashup of John Lennon & Van Halen

Turns out it has been done before:

Regardless, it's cool.

Instead of COA 2018, RockFest?!?

Chicago Open Air is not going to exist in July 2018. Instead, I'm contemplating Rock Fest in Cadott, WI.
Friday July 12
Sunday July 13
 Saturday July 14

Please. No.

The other day, I went to my g:\mastermaster\masterjpg folder where I store JPG files. I got an error that said the drive was not available - should've took a picture of it - so I started a CHKDSK process. It ran all night and now says this:

I just went to access my Excel file that I store on the g: drive and, because I'm running the CHKDSK, it said the file was unavailable, which makes sense. I am now just hoping that whenever the CHKDSK finishes, that the drive is fine. While I have my music files backed up, I don't have a backup of my Excel file. It just hit me that if my g: drive were to die, like, "now," I would be screwed.

Is this Up-to-Date or Obsolete Information

I'm on the fence because I haven't been able to spend more than a few minutes looking at this site - - as to whether the content is relevant to my project at work or if its information is obsolete. I am creating this post so I can look at it in the future.

Everyone Is Going Through Something

Everyone Is Going Through Something