Friday, May 27, 2016

Behind the Scenes

Examining Dave Meltzer's Early Career, Impact on Pro Wrestling Industry | Bleacher Report (via

Just Spare Change

On the Omaha Craigslist site, these drums are for sale. The reason I would even look at them include the following:
  1. My Ludwig Vistalite set has a 24" bass drum so if I were ever wanting to play a double bass drum set, this would be a great addition.
  2. The snare drum is a see-through shell.
  3. I like that there are two mounted toms. My existing set has a single 13" mounted tom. Because I watched the Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) video below. In the video, he talks about the different reasons he uses so many drums. Based upon the theories he talks about, it would be interesting to do a tom run going from 13", to 14", to 13" and then down to my existing 2 16" floor toms, plus adding the 16" floor tom that would come with this set.
All that said, no, I don't have $1200 in spare change in my change jar on my dresser.

13" 14" 16" 24" kick and 14x6.5 snare

Here's the Mike Mangini video. It's a long one - 24 minutes - but I found it very interesting.

The only reason I thought about Mike Mangini is because I had come across this video of Dream Theater playing a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" that was recorded with the band members sitting in front of Mangini's drum set. That reminded me of seeing his drum clinic in Davenport, which reminded me of how awesome of a drummer he is.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Making Me Happy

When Using 8 Inches is Not Enough

I watched Rachel Maddow analyze the "Printing and Filing" process that HRC was supposed to follow. It's quite interesting. I watched it here - here - and then HAD to read this article about the 8" floppy drives. I did use the 5 1/4 floppy drives both prior to and then throughout college, but I had never heard of 8" drives, which are discussed in this article.

The takeaway? Government is inefficient. Also, HRC didn't follow the rules.

Editor's Note: After the original posting of this post, I came across an article that lays out which specific rules HRC violated: You can read it here.


Using Labels to Document My Passions

So here it is - my 3000th post on this blog!

What do I write about the most? I was curious so I used a widget to list all of the labels I've applied to my posts. When I saw which labels were in the top 10 list,  I can't say I was surprised. It's interesting to me that I used the "Republican Tendencies" tag 65 more times than I used the tag "Work." I don't know if those posts with the label "Technical Writing" should have also had the label "Work" or if there are actually 92 posts about technical writing that are non-work related. I also think that if I audited the posts that do actually have videos embedded, there would be more than 177. I've never done an audit of labels. There may even be some posts that have zero labels!

All that said, this top 10 list does correlate to the passions in my life.

In case I am curious in the future, I created a page to store the entire list

Conspire to Do What

From this article

At this point, pretty much everyone, including Hillary Clinton’s political allies, knows that her use of a private server was a major problem and that everything she has said about it to this point is a lie. Welcome to the Vast right wing conspiracy, everyone.

Also, there's Elizabeth Warren doing HRC's dirty work, but there's a problem.

The real problem is that Warren’s general critique applies just as much to Hillary Clinton as it does to Donald Trump.

This argument is described here.

On a related tangent, the rack in Megan's closet had come out of the wall a couple of weeks ago and, with all we had going on, it took until May 21st for it to be addressed. Alex and I worked on repairing it for over 3 hours. I am not a handyman. There was a discussion about whether we should drill new holes or not. I voted for no new holes. I chose that route not because I wanted to finish sooner, but because the way I thought the hanging thingies (that's a techie term) work, I didn't think we would need a new hole. I thought using the existing hole would work fine. After all, this rack was on the wall for over a decade without an issue.

Sure enough, last night, as Megan was putting clothes back on the rack, it came out of the wall again. I went up to fix it, alone, as Alex was entertaining Melanie, Austin, and Megan (Austin's girlfriend). I started to drill new holes when I realized I was in over my head. Citing the TV game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" where contestants can "phone a friend" if they don't know the answer to a question, I phoned my friend Dave Downes. After assuring me that he wasn't busy, he came over around 7:15 and we worked together to repair the shelf. came over last night to help me out of a jam. It was 9:00 when we finished. We retired to the kitchen table and the 3 (Karen, Dave, and I) of us sat there and tried to solve the problems of the world.

Of course, politics came up and Donald Trump was discussed. Karen likes his point-blank attitude about things, especially when it comes to his opinion about illegal immigrants. Generically, she revealed that an illegal immigrant in the United States is eligible for Medicare after being in the country for 5 years. What amount of money was contributed by them? ZERO! American taxpayers pay for that.

I mentioned how I had read an article about how the Electoral College is likely to shake down - this is the article from March 2016 - and it's predicted to be a landslide victory for HRC if history is accepted as a predicting agent of the future (I know it doesn't have to be). If that prediction is true, and HRC becomes our next president, it simply means another 8 years (really, you don't think she'd run for re-election?) of President Obama's policies.


I'm not saying Donald Trump would be a great president or even a better president than HRC. I still say that a Marco Rubio / Carly F. ticket would have been a ticket I could have TOTALLY supported. Unfortunately, they are not running for the Republican nomination. I just saw on my email that Donald Trump now has 1237, which is the magic number of delegates he needed for the Republican nomination. It's all over but the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The #NeverTrump movement will continue to press Republicans to not vote for Trump. I'll be curious to see how this American political story is written between now and Election Day 2016. There's a new development - Donald Trump challenged Bernie Sanders to a debate - and now, Bernie Sanders has agreed to debate Donald Trump, per this article. It's getting cra-cra around here....

Lost in the Shuffling of New Music

Skillet is coming out with a new album soon and this is the first single. I like the catchiness of the lyrics and the arrangement and the vocals and ... and ... and ...

DAMN! I REALLY LIKE THIS SONG!!! I am eager to hear more!!!

Much Respect

I have a lot of respect for the dude that took Pantera's "Walk" and changed it to a reggae tune. I have ZERO idea where I would even begin to attempt to do what he did. I listened to "Walk" on the day after Pantera's guitarist was shot.

Resurrection of a Passion

It's certainly too early to purchase a $4000 Roland electronic drum set, but I talked to a guitarist earlier today. I had spoken to him about a year ago but nothing materialized. Now, after our phone conversation, the plan is to get together after he is finished with a driveway construction project at his house. We agreed to jam these songs:
  1. She by Green Day
  2. All The Small Things by Blink 182
  3. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
I don't know if this project will come to fruition, but it sounds promising. We talked about just wanting to play fun songs. When he mentioned Billy Idol, I mentioned "Eyes Without a Face" instead of "Dancing with Myself." The conversation had a really good vibe, but I won't allow my enthusiasm to overrule the reality that we've never jammed together.

Back to DOS-Land

This is the DOS batch file I am using on a daily basis to compile my RoboHelp project at work. I have one project - project.xpj (no, that's not the real name - I changed it for the purpose of posting the code here). I think it's pretty sweet to be back to doing similar work that I was doing from 1998 - 2010 - using Dreamweaver to code HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I don't really have a need to author content in MS Word, which I miss a little, but not enough to dwell in misery because I don't work in MS Word on a daily basis. It's working great and makes the process of generating my deliverables so much easier than using the RoboHelp user interface. Here's the psuedo-batch file code:

SET Today=%Date:~10,4%_%Date:~4,2%_%Date:~7,2%
REM | Create the Logs folder first
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs"
REM | The No Condition folders
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_CHM"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_RH"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_PDF"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_WH"
REM | The NOT Nonsecure
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\CHM_Online_Internal"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\PDF_Internal"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\RH_Online_Internal"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\WH_Online_Internal"
REM | The NOT Secure
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\PDF_External"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\CHM_Online_External"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\RH_Online_External"
md "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\WH_Online_External"
REM | Now, compile the outputs
cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 2015\RoboHTML"

REM | The No Condition outputs

rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "NoConditions_RH" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_RH" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_NoConditions_RH.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "NoConditions_WH" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_WH" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_NoConditions_WH.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "NoConditions_PDF" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_PDF" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_NoConditions_PDF.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "NoConditions_CHM" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\NoConditions_CHM" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_NoConditions_CHM.txt"

REM | Internal-Facing

rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "PDF_Internal" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\PDF_Internal" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_PDF_Internal.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "RH_Online_Internal" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\RH_Online_Internal" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_RH_Online_Internal.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "WH_Online_Internal" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\WH_Online_Internal" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_WH_Online_Internal.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "CHM_Online_Internal" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\CHM_Online_Internal" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_CHM_Online_Internal.txt"

REM | External-Facing

rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "WH_Online_External" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\WH_Online_External" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_WH_Online_External.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "RH_Online_External" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\RH_Online_External" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_RH_Online_External.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "PDF_External" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\PDF_External" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_PDF_External.txt"
rhcl "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DRM\DRM\Project.xpj" -l "CHM_Online_External" -o "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\CHM_Online_External" -g "S:\TDoc\DISARECO\__%today%\_Logs\%TODAY%_CHM_Online_External.txt"

Such a Long Time

It's such a milestone but yet it's not. Today, when I publish my 3000th post since beginning this blog 3104 days ago, it's not really a big deal. Doing the simple division, it's an average of 1 post per day, minus 104 days. God-willing, I will reach 4000 days of writing this blog on 11/8/2018. That's 896 days away. To achieve 4000 posts on the 4000th day of this blog, I will have to average .896 posts a day over the next 2 years, 5 months, 1 week, 6 days. Looks like my document challenge has been laid out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


According to, upcoming changes in the WWE including changing SmackDown to a live show and having a unique roster from the Monday Night Raw show. As the article indicates, this is a good change because of the over-saturation of outstanding athletes trying to leave their imprint in the professional wrestling industry. I hope this change is successful for all.

Thoughtful Analysis

It goes without saying that they won't let go of this any more than they're going to let go of Benghazi or their Planned Parenthood witchhunt. In their fevered brains, they've planned this since Mitt Romney lost the White House, and they are now in dire need of something -- anything -- to take home to their constituents as proof they're not worthless leeches on the body politic.

Casting Stones

If this article is true, I agree.

Things Like This are why I have an Inspiration Label

I was trying to clean out a bunch of old emails when I came upon an automated email form Meg Fee's blog. I hadn't visited it in a while - [insert an excuse that seems appropriate] - and when I did, I found this:

How Did I Miss This

This BRAND NEW Bayside song was released a week ago and will be on their next album, called "Vacancy", which is being released on August 19, 2016. I plan to change the countdown timer on the main page of this blog after my "Days until 2000 Days" countdown ends. Thus far, there are no tour dates in Iowa (BOO!!) but hopefully there will be a second leg announced either later in 2016 or in early 2017.

What's been kind of interesting, as I await the results of whether or not files can be recovered from my 4 TB EHD, is I've been listening to "full albums" on as I work (through my cell phone). The band below, Brand New, came up as a suggested video and, after a couple of listens, I realize they are a jewel I never knew was present in the world of music. I am disappointed that the closest tour date they have is Saturday, July 2... in Chicago. That's the same day as Alex's "farewell" concert in Grinnell. Additionally, like Bayside's tour dates, I'm hoping that additional dates will be announced.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Come on November

While Fran and the gang exhales with Jok's return, there is a lot of uncertainty in the air. This article - - outlines the unique challenges ahead.

Take Away

I don't remember the last time I spent time with DT in my ears - love the alterations to the original.

Do Not Care

As in, my Indiana Pacers are out of the NBA playoffs and I really don't care who ends up being the champions of the NBA this year.

ON BASKETBALL: Green's history may have helped him:

Sure... Why Not?

While I'm Here I'll Do Social Media

Questioning Our Political Process on a Monday in May

This article won me over after a terrible opening. Meanwhile, the Trump movement is overtaking the HRC movement.

Unfortunate Fold

Hacking a Car

Monday, May 23, 2016

This is Really a Movie

This looks like a movie my friends and I would have rented from Phar-Mor back in 1989. We watched "The Toxic Avenger" and a slew of B movies with Shaun Farmer and Mark Klamut  instead of putting booze down our throats.

Not every week.

Those are the times that can't be recreated except in my mind. I don't think that I have talked to either of those guys in over 20 years.


Two sides of the acquittal in Maryland:

Love It

This is the poster - - I saw in the background of this video:

I love Metallica.

Editor's Note: This post is the 230th I have on this blog with the label "Metallica"

Someone is Paying You to

Wrong Reason

Mick Brown, Dokken's drummer, said the original lineup (Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown) reuniting to play some shows in Japan is being done for the wrong reason: money. He's blatantly honest. After I read the article and you can do so here, I noticed in the comments this:

People want old shit from old bands nowadays.
Alice Cooper, Kiss, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, AC/DC., Twisted Twister's setlists etc. have the majority of old songs.

That is so true. Because I have zero desire to see Alice Cooper, I'll withhold my commentary about his setlist - he can play whatever the hell he wants to play - I couldn't care less.

Moving on, there are songs that bands must play.
  • KISS can't replace "Detroit Rock City" with a tune from "Monster"
  • Metallica can't replace "Master of Puppets" with "St. Anger"
  • Megadeth can't replace any tune from "Rust in Peace" with a tune from "Risk"
  • Slayer can't replace "War Ensemble" with a tune from "Diabolas in Musica"
  • Judas Priest can't replace "Living After Midnight" with a tune from "Turbo"
  • AC/DC can't replace "Back in Black" with a tune from "Fly on the Wall"
  • Twisted Sister can't replace any tune from "Stay Hungry" with a tune from "Love is for Suckers"

Satisfied with a Glass Ceiling

Chris Adler continues to impress me when I read what he thinks about heavy metal. This interview is a prime example. He realizes that Lamb of God is not going to get on Rock 108 or other mainstream rock stations and he's okay with remaining where the band is, though I'm not quite sure I agree with his assessment. There was a time when Rock 108 would never EVER play
  • a Motorhead tune and yet, I heard "Ace of Spades" the other day
  • a Metallica tune from their first 3 releases and yet, I hear "Seek & Destroy," "Creeping Death," and "(Welcome Home) Sanitarium" on a fairly regular basis
It's certainly possible that there will be a day when bands like Lamb of God are deemed acceptable, just as early Metallica tunes have been deemed acceptable. I can't wait to hear "Redneck" on Rock 108.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I won't sit here, on a Sunday evening, and profess that I was as big of a fan of former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza as I am of current Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich as that would be false. As I write these words, I realize that there has never been a post on this blog with a "Nick Menza" label.

Mea cuppa.

At 51 years old, Nick Menza died. Apparently, he was playing drums at a gig when he had an apparent heart attack. I know that if there was a way to pick how I go to meet God, that's how I want to go.

Read more here & here.

Editor's Note: The tributes to Nick Menza continue to arrive in my Inbox, including this article that highlights the 10 Best Nick Menza Songs in Megadeth:

Empire All These Years

Lucasfilm Almost Built a Giant Robot AT-AT for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trump is a Racist

Is Donald Trump a racist? I really don't know. I think there are probably more assumptions about what he thinks / believes that have a slim amount of actual truth. While I'm not jumping on the Trump bandwagon, I smiled when I saw this:

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's Alive Oklahoma governor vetoes bill that would have made performing abortions a felony

Every Single Woman

Why does she only want to provide this to single women? What about married women?!?

 Yes, I know she means "if you are a woman in America" but in light of the Venn diagram mishap - details here -  I thought I'd poke fun at her writing skills.

On another note, at George Nowlan's wake on Monday, I saw a married couple that I've known all my life. They now live in Arizona. Somehow, as we were sitting there, the husband brought up politics.


He is a fan of Donald Trump and thinks Trump will clean up Washington.

I came across sounding like anti-Republican voter because I pointed out that Trump isn't pro-life and I would have expected the Republican candidate to be pro-life. The husband stated, "He's pro-life." "No," I said, "he was, but now is pro-choice." "So he changed. Don't you change who you are over time?"

Ah yes, of course I change. Every one changes. I wouldn't be human if I didn't expect others to not change as I am changing, I suppose.

Thrown a Bone

I made contact with and talked to Marc. When my hard drive is delivered from Gillware Data Recovery on Monday, 5/23, I am going to put it in the mail and send it to Drive Savers in Novato, CA. Marc said that he was going to take Gillware's assessment with a grain of salt. Maybe there is hope for the data to be recovered. I'm not ruling out the prospect of re-converting my 4000+ CDs as a possible task in my future. At bare minimum, my 36 spindles, each with at least 100 CDs (some are overstacked) puts me at 3600 CDs. I then have CDs in my other CD shelves and CDs within a couple of other cases. I have a tab in an Excel file where I will track the progress of the re-re-re-conversion (if it comes to that). I will also create a new label for that effort on this blog.

Accidently Funny

I had never seen any part of any episode of "In Living Color" until this morning. The TV happened to be on Fox when the following skit came on. Megan and I laughed and laughed.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The End of the Start

I got the dreaded email yesterday from Gillware Data Recovery in Madison, WI. This is what they wrote back:
Please review the attached statement of work and associated firm price quote as it pertains to your open recovery order. We kindly request your acceptance of the quote at your earliest convenience by calling our customer service department with a credit card number confirming your approval.

As you review the statement of work, you will notice that our engineering team as indicated that there is a 0% chance of recovering a vast majority of your data contained on your drive. This fact is because several surfaces of the internal platters are heavily damaged and therefore cannot have any binary data recovered from them. Early estimations are that we will be able to recover about 30% of the data still remaining and we could consider this percentage a successful recovery.
Attached to the email was a PDF with these details:
III. Duration of Work
Data recovery work is anticipated to take 8-12 days after your approval to move forward with the attempt. After the preliminary evaluation of your drive, we have an estimated 0% chance of a successful recovery. A successful recovery implies that at least 90% of the customer's files are recovered.
IV. Assumptions
- All provided information regarding the drive that has an impact on recoverability is accurate.
- There are no significant barriers to recovery discovered during the recovery attempt.
V. Compensation
The final cost of this recovery service will be $2500.00, if and only if we successfully recover the critical data in the requested format. This amount does not include the cost of the return media or return shipping. Return media can be provided by the customer or purchased from Gillware at the time of checkout. Keep in mind that if approval is given for this attempt and we are unable to recover your critical files, you are still under no financial obligation for any of the work rendered during the recovery attempt.
Really? $2500 when "we have an estimated 0% chance of a successful recovery."

Great Parenting

Tuesday, May 17, 2016



Overtime Change

Not DV

When I read "Hillary Clinton is evil like Darth Vader" I thought I was going to come unglued. I subscribe to the theory that Anakin Skywalker is a tragic hero. His major flaw? He never EVER wanted to see a loved one die. Not his mother, not his wife.

When loved ones arrive at George Nowlan's funeral today, who among them would not give anything to not have to be saying farewell today?

How is that evil?

Alex and I

My son sent me this.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Top 30 Metallica Songs

This is an interesting list I came across. I would make the following tweaks:
  • Hit the Lights should be replaced with Motorbreath
  • Die, Die My Darling (Mistifis cover) should've been replaced with All Nightmare Long
  • To Live Is to Die should've been replaced with Harvester of Sorrow
  • Of Wolf And Man should've been replaced with The Struggle Within
  • Trapped Under Ice should've been replaced with All Within My Hands (though any St. Anger tune on this list is asking for debate
  • The Unforgiven II should've been replaced with King Nothing (only because I heard it on the radio and thought it was a great tune
  • The Unforgiven should be replaced with The Judas Kiss - very controversial to exclude "The Unforgiven"
  • Nothing Else Matters should be replaced with The Frayed Ends of Sanity
I'm sure there's no pleasing everyone....
30. 00:00 Orion
29. 08:26 Enter Sandman
28. 13:58 Escape
27. 18:22 Hit The Lights  Motorbreath
26. 22:41 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
25. 29:08 Whiplash
24. 33:20 Wherever I May Roam
23. 40:00 Die, Die My Darling (Mistifis cover) All Nightmare Long
22. 42:34 The Memory Remains
21. 47:13 The Day That Never Comes
20. 55:12 Creeping Death
19. 1:01:48 To Live Is to Die Harvester of Sorrow
18. 1:11:42 Battery
17. 1:16:50 Of Wolf And Man The Struggle Within

16. 1:21:08 Jump in Fire
15. 1:25:48 Fuel
14. 1:30:20 Trapped Under Ice All Within My Hands
13. 1:34:25 Metal Militia
12. 1:39:36 ...And Justice For All
11. 1:49:23 Through The Never
10. 1:53:27 The Unforgiven II King Nothing
09. 2:00:00 Seek & Destroy
08. 2:07:00 Sad But True
07. 2:12:25 The Unforgiven The Judas Kiss
06. 2:18:53 Nothing Else Matters The Frayed Ends of Sanity
05. 2:25:25 One
04. 2:32:50 For Whom The Bell Tolls
03. 2:40:00 Master Of Puppets
02. 2:50:37 Ride The Lightning
01. 2:53:20 Fade to Black

Truthful Observation

I'm attending some online training. These are two slides that caused my head to enthusiastically nod in agreement. My 20+ years as a technical writer and experience being told "the problem IS the tool so we're purchasing a new one" makes me appreciate the cartoon even more! I've lived through it.

Computers Write Poetry

I think this is totally awesome:

there is no one else in the world.
there is no one else in sight.
they were the only ones who mattered.
they were the only ones left.
he had to be with me.
she had to be with him.
i had to do this.
i wanted to kill him.
i started to cry.
i turned to him.

Google's AI wrote it. Read more "amazingly mournful poetry" here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Perfectly Stated

"It's all about me!" Mavretic opined. "Well, can a white person want to be a black person and then get minority contracts? Can a female want to be a male and go to the beach and and not have to wear a top like males do?"

Write It In PEN

Three Ways That Handwriting With A Pen Positively Affects Your Brain

Another Half Apology

Reading Kirkman's apology for the "The Walking Dead" season 6 cliffhanger reminded of the following Ten Foot Pole tune.

When "Fear the Walking Dead" finishes its second season on Sunday, May 22, 2016, I hope there is no need for apologizing. The second season started kind of slow. I actually considered not continuing to watch the show as it wasn't really interesting, but I continued to watch. Then, episode 3 picked up the tempo, followed by two more better / more intriguing episodes. Now, with the finale coming, I feel more committed to watching it Sunday and beyond.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Not The Way I Think

This is wrong and I really am not being anti-anything. Both kids should go to a non-Big Ten university.

McCaffery brothers set to make Iowa a full family affair (via

Catch Up

Let me Poop with my Own

When I read articles about transgender people, I am discombobulated and feel distressed. First, I feel like a lot of people are going to take advantage of the freedom I enjoy in the United States and screw it up. An idiot who chokes a 8 year old girl is inexcusable - - and making it okay for me, a man, to use the women's bathroom is just crazy, but it was done in North Carolina, as described in this article.

At the exact moment when I feel repulsed by these actions, I then get a counter argument that I find compelling. It is clear to me that I have compassionate tendencies. When I read article and got a better feel for the daily stress of living in a transgender mind, I am sickened. Someone was told to go 1.5 miles away from where they are every time to pee or poop.

That's nuts, right?

Friday, May 13, 2016


Trust the "I Never Had Sexual Relations with that Woman"

Bill Clinton Tells Crowd 'Just Relax' About 'Bogus Benghazi Hearings'

Sad News

In November 2013, Marty Nowlan, who was a good friend to Mom & Dad passed away. This week, I learned that her husband, George, passed away. Marty & George were the host & hostess at our wedding. They were the couple that watched me on the night my brother was born.

This is George's obituary:

I knew George as a man that was clever and witty. I don't know if he was a fan of "Two and a Half Men" but I can imagine he would have enjoyed the clever and witty humor of the show in the pre-Ashton Kutcher seasons.

Just Why is Friday the 13th Unlucky

Beyond the fact that I have never had any desire to see a moment of any of the "Friday the 13th" series of movies, I thought this article was interesting as it delves into the mythology of why "Friday the 13th" is considered unlucky. Read it here. Since it's a world-wide event, it's news of the world.

More Trump

This article by Erick Erickson lays out the #NEVERTRUMP movement.

And the rebuttal:

More Details

Some pictures from the Bring Me The Horizon concert in Clive, Iowa. The kid in the pictures below is Alex, my son.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Odd Choice

In Des Moines, between the Silver Snakes and 68, the choice for a tune was Dire Straits' Money for Nothing.

Stay tuned for more details about the show.

With Men

I went to Matthew's bachelor party last night. It was one of a rare number of bachelor parties I've attended with no strippers and not a lot of craziness. It was a more sophisticated evening. While I consumed my Mountain Dew Code Red (MDCR), others opened bottles of Scotch and exotic beer. Matthew had bought the MDCR for me and later insisted that I take it with me as I was getting ready to go home. I am drinking one now as I write this. While I was looking forward to being a witness to the next chapter of Matthew and Sandra's life together beginning, I admit I was somewhat apprehensive about whether I would know anyone at the wedding on Saturday.

I left Matthew's apartment with that apprehensive feeling absolved of my consciousness. I was mesmerized by the conversation. As each man spoke and told the tale of their life, I really wanted to not feel like dog shit. Topics such as those that were discussed rarely come up at home - I certainly wanted to stay longer than I did. 

I do want to capture a revelation, if you will. When the subject of Matthew's journey from married man to divorced man to being married on Saturday was brought up, I contributed the following perspective. Because I saw the daily pain Matthew felt as he went through his journey in 2014, I recommitted to my marriage. It was a call to arms that I needed to be a better husband and a better father and, yes, a better son. I have never kept a tally of all the divorced couples I know and this part of my post is about them, in general, excluding Matthew's situation. From the long conversations I've had with my friends and family that are navigating through a divorce, there seems to be a common thread. The routine becomes unbearable and that unbearable feeling becomes an agent of change. Without naming names, I've known couples that decide to have sex in order to gauge their commitment to each other and when the sex was bad, it's added as a tally mark on the sheet that documents why they are getting divorced. Another couple tried counseling in an effort to rekindle or rediscover the joy that they each felt on their wedding day. It didn't work. Another couple I know decided to separate and take time to themselves. That couple hasn't pulled the trigger, if you will, and may still have a chance. I pray for them and their marriage. I pray that sorting out their feelings for each other in solitude will flip on a light bulb that leads to a reconciliation.

Matthew and Sandra's wedding on Saturday will be the beginning of a chapter filled with the full spectrum of emotions. I am honored to be attending.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Apology Accepted

Gene Simmons talks.

And talks.


Controversy usually flares up when he talks, whether it was about rap music or Prince's death. Regarding his comments about Prince's recent death, he has offered an apology. I read it. His words relate to my life, specifically:

In my experience [drug users have] made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult. I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that's the narrative I grew up with, it's been hard to change with the times.

I was brought up that way as well. I drank booze for a number of years (see below) and since I stopped on 12/31/2010, I've often pondered the idea that by now choosing to not drink booze, I am returning to the way I was brought up. A return to my roots, if you will. You see, when I was young, Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign was popular and catchy. In numerous ways, I firmly believe it instilled the predisposition I have to disliking drugs. I calculated that I probably had my first drink of booze on Thursday, November 10, 1988.

That's when I was a freshman at Mount Mercy College. I wish I could have sent "Future Paul" to that version of my self on my very first day of college with a simple message: begin keeping a journal. I regret I didn't. Instead of a consolidated journal in a single notebook, I wrote about what was happening in my life in a variety of notebooks and random pieces of paper until May 1989. Because I didn't think it was (apparently) a big deal, I don't think I've ever seen where I recorded the date of my first drink of booze. Thus, 11/10/1988 is a guess. This means I drank booze for 22 years, 1 month and 3 weeks of my life. Some of the awful decisions I made after May 1989 are documented in my journals.

Here's another tangent. The effects of drugs on the user as well as the user's family is a recurring sub-plot in "Fear the Walking Dead" series I watch on AMC. One of the main characters is a heroin addict (though in the current second season, he has not done heroin). Because of his past, the way in which other characters interact with him is interesting. This character was a different person when he used frequently. Now that he hasn't used heroin for a bit, his sister and mother still distrust him. They both recall vivid incidents of what it was like when he was in the depths of his drug abuse. I see it in his mother's eyes when she talks to him. She longed for him to not choose heroin and then was repeatedly crushed when he did. It's as if she hears what he tells her but she won't allow herself to believe him because of his past.

What an interesting thought. I will ponder it further in my private journal in light of recent events in my life.

And to bring this post back to the original intent of writing it, Gene Simmons' apology is available in this article.

If I Don't Like the Questions, I Leave and Receive Money

This is not something I knew was okay to do. If I'm being asked questions by the FBI about an on-going investigation, I have the ability to leave the room. Wait, what? I am not allowed to do that? Tell that to HRC's aide - - although, if I'm receiving $75,000 from the US Justice Department, as described in this article, will there be consequences?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ignorance is not a Pro

I was reading the description of an online course called "Graduating from Word to FrameMaker" when something caught my eye.

Dustin Vaughn, Adobe Solutions Consulting Manager, and Stefan Gentz, Adobe's Worldwide Technical Communication Evangelist, teamed up to create an awesome video course that teaches how to take Microsoft Word (MSW) documents into Adobe FrameMaker.

"Word has no book functionality and the master document concept is, well, a concept only," said Gentz. "This is why most Word authors prefer to keep all content in one document, resulting in one big content silo, no re-use of chapters / topics, problems in the translation process, difficult handling, tons of self-written macros to fix tons of problems."

Gentz went on to point out other problems people tend to have with large Word documents including unreliable styles and unpredictable formatting behavior.

"Cross-references tend to break easily and styles change 'magically' in the whole document just because you changed something somewhere," said Gentz.

This phrase intrigued me "styles change 'magically' in the whole document just because you changed something somewhere." As someone who has used MSW since version 2.0, I don't agree with that assessment. Styles change not by magic - nothing in software is "magic" which is why I disapprove of the phrase "The window appears" as a phrase in documentation because of its "magic" connotation - but because you (the user) change a setting. The entire point of using styles (in the first place) is so that when you change a style's definition from 10pt to 12pt, all instances of that style change. If all instances of that style did NOT change, there would be zero point in even using styles. You'd be better off performing multiple (and endless) find and replace actions in the Word document. I'm not sure why Gentz is trying to persuade me to use Framemaker instead of MSW because MSW does what it is supposed to do. The logic falls apart. It almost seems as though Gentz's ignorance of how styles work in MSW.

That said, I do not believe MSW is perfect - no software tool is perfect. There are always software bugs to correct and enhancements to add.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Poo poo poo

Two Diverse Briefs

Brief One: This article about "The Death of Disagreement" is a great article that concludes like this:
"Disagreement is healthy. It sharpens and strengthens and teaches. Condemnation we should use only with extreme care. By all means, condemn the candidates; they are accountable for themselves. But spare those forced to grapple with the same terrible choice as you. For some, the balance tilts another way."
Here's the link:
Brief Two: The reason I put the text [SPOILERS FOLLOW] above is because the second brief is to an article about spoilers - - and it just seemed appropriate...

Breaking Bad Season 6: Is this a Hoax?


I learned about this video from this article.
We're likely not going to see him winking in November, but if I lived in Wisconsin, I would at least want to know more about his stance on issues - health care, illegal immigration, and the role of the United States when it comes to terrorism - before I would endorse his candidacy.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Yrs, the Boat Sailed... Sadness Remained

Great article called "Damien Sandow Is WWE's Biggest Missed Opportunity in Years" on Bleacher Report Bleacher Report. When he mimicked the Miz, that was AWESOME!!!


I didn't know that you could stop obeying the law if you so choose. HRC can...."Get ready for a report about 'Hillary Clinton: Inadvertent Lawbreaker'

Friday, May 6, 2016

Unequal Pay is Good ... Sometimes

A professional wrestler in the WWE, Ryback, wrote a blog post about how WWE stars should receive equal pay, whether the wrestler is booked to win or lose. It's an interesting essay and, while there are clumsy phrases throughout, I concluded that Ryback is an intelligent man. I have the link below for your reading enjoyment. Ryback makes the case that there should be more equal pay for professional wrestlers in the WWE.

I know this may be a stretch in the logic Ryback uses, but I am taking his argument and applying it to the fictional situation where I am the booking agent for a music festival. Should I pay the 8 bands I'm going to book the same, meaning the very first band that plays should be paid the same as the headliner. Uh, no. Never. Look at this fictional dream lineup of a day-long music festival I would love to book at Kinnick Stadium. Here's the schedule:

12:00 Doors Open
02:10-02:45 From Ashes to New

03:00-03:40 We As Human

04:05-04:45 In This Moment

05:15-06:00 Pop Evil

06:30-07:15 Breaking Benjamin

07:45-09:00 Shinedown

09:30-11:00 Metallica
Editor's Note: Schedule was revised on 5/13/2016 to use the Rock'n Derby main stage schedule as a template. See below the link to Ryback's post for the bands that are playing at that festival.

Regardless of the amount of time a specific band was playing, there is a higher demand for Metallica than From Ashes to New, the same as there is more demand for Cena or The Rock than for Golddust or R Truth. That's the way it is. The only way a band like From Ashes to New or We As Human can move into the Metallica slot is to keep churning away, playing gigs upon gigs until, eventually, they headline their own tour. A great example is Shinedown. They were not in a good slot the first time I saw them at Memphis in May in 2003. While their single "45" was starting to run up the charts, they still played around 2 PM, which is not the best slot. When I saw them in 2008, Shinedown were sandwiched between Buck Cherry & Saving Abel. When I saw them twice in 2013, Shinedown was headlining their own tour with Three Days Grace & POD opening in February and then headlining the "Carnival of Madness" tour with Skillet & Papa Roach & In This Moment & We As Human opening.

So when Ryback says, "Why not pay the talent equally? The winners have more MERCH as it is or are supposed to anyways so they get that extra perk," he has answered his own question. MERCH is not a perk - it's a clear, tangible, & measurable way to determine whether the talent should be headlining a PPV or in the pre-show. Is it fair? Of course not. The WWE Universe is finnicky. It's hard to imagine this, but there was a time when The Rock was booed and was unpopular. Sometimes things work slowly. For example, The New Day started out as heels and the stable looked like it was going to be a bust. They were unpopular and booed often. Since their debut, they have found a way to connect with the crowd to the extent that on the May 2, 2016, episode of Monday Night Raw, they were faces and teamed up with Cass, another face. Sometimes things don't work at all. The League of Nations (Rusev, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Wade Barrett) never caught on as a stable. When they turned on each other a couple of weeks ago, I certainly didn't shed a tear.

Read Ryback's post here


A DAY TO REMEMBER 9:30 --- 11:00PM

HALESTORM 7:45 --- 9:00PM


STATE CHAMPS 5:15 --- 6:00PM

WE CAME AS ROMANS 4:05 --- 4:45PM

MEMPHIS MAY FIRE 3:00 --- 3:40PM

MISS MAY I 2:10 --- 2:45PM

Robbie Z Says to Get High

I always have this thought when I hear the phrase "getting high" and it takes me back to 1992. I didn't wake up this AM wanting to write about Old Stew, but I put "getting high" and "Old Stew" together in my brain like salt and pepper. I'm sure I've wrote this previously on this blog, but when I played drums in Old Stew, 4/5ths of the band smoked pot. I was the 1/5th that never had any desire to even try it. In 1992, I graduated from Mount Mercy College and I knew better than to involve myself in drugs. Sure, I drank too much booze and too often I was drunk and as out of control as an individual that takes drugs, but, c'mon, who doesn't get a little wild in college? .... I had to pause so I could stop laughing about some of my wild college escapades - all of them inappropriate for permanently documenting them on this blog that is visible to the public - long enough to be able to type. It's fair to say I was a different person in 1992 than I am now.

While I certainly don't endorse the idea that anyone should get high, I do think that the Iowa Legislature should have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Right now, if someone is in severe pain, that person has to go to CO, where it is legal. The Iowa Legislature failed the people of Iowa when they failed to act. I think an issue like this should not be partisan. I would challenge the Republicans to do the research and to help the people that voted for them to do actual work.

Why this extended essay about getting high, drinking booze, and such? Well, Rob Zombie's "Get High" just assaulted my ears for the first time. While I like this groove and the parts where the guitar drops out and it's just singing and a tambourine / percussion in the background, I still am just not a Robbie Z fan. I've seen him in concert, when he was the lead singer of White Zombie, though I can't recall who else was on the bill with him at this precise moment. The guitarist, John 5 (and I only know that because he was on "That Metal Show") proves he is a great guitarist. The drumming is interesting. I even like the vocal effects.

I like "Get High" better than the first single I heard:

BMTH Initiation

By the way, Disturbed & Rob Zombie & Pop Evil are playing at the US Cellular Center on Tuesday, May 17th. Alex and I had discussed going until he learned that Bring Me the Horizon is playing in Des Moines next week. Just in case I didn't mention it, Alex and I are going on Thursday, May 12th. I relate to how my friend Kevin felt when he went with me to see Shinedown / Three Days Grace / POD on 2/1/2013. He wasn't really a fan of any of those bands but he went with me. That's the way I feel about going to Bring Me the Horizon with Alex. I know that he doesn't have anyone else to go with and I don't want him to miss the show. I know that he likes BMTH as much as I like Metallica, though I honestly don't know if he would "sacrifice" and go to Metallica with me. These are the 10 "Best" BMTH tunes.

Old News

When I originally read Richard Gray's story "Seth Rollins Tore ACL, MCL & Medial Meniscus; Out 6-9 Months" on November 5, 2015 (today is exactly 6 months from that day), I admit to being surprised. In November and the months preceding November, Rollins' character was more of a "I'm not fighting you tonight" character than a "I'm going to fight you tonight" character. For example, in October 2015, Rollins was paired with his former Shield members - Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose - to fight The New Day (in case they've disbanded, the New Day was Kofi Kingston, Big E Langston, and Xavier Woods - read more here), but when it was time for Rollins to tag in, he faked an injury and abandoned his Reigns & Ambrose. No one was surprised - Rollins was a great heel. By the time he recovers from the injury from November, I can only speculate that some other WWE athlete has taken on his role of being the heel and, frankly, perhaps by today - 5/6/2015 - there's not room for him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Not Hap Hap Hap Happy

My dark hope is Clinton goes to prison for something... anything... between now and the election. However, I am not optimistic about it happening in my life.


I am not going to quit work and exchange it for the life of a delusional musician. I just finished an often times frustrating job search so, to be clear, I am the second sentence in the following, which I received in an email this morning.

I want to be a striver! (hee hee!)

How much do you hate your day job? Maybe you don't hate it at all. There are lucky folks out there who are psychologists or attorneys by day and play in a band at night, and they're completely happy. They feel well-balanced and fulfilled doing what they do. Then there are the rest of us: workers, strivers, many of us feeling blocked or drained by whatever we do to pay the bills.

Nobody needs a rehash of the reasons not to become a professional musician; you're probably the one recounting them whenever a friend suggests that you just do what makes you happy. "But this, but that," you respond, thinking about rent payments and credit card bills. What about all the reasons to do it? What follows is a completely biased list of five reasons you should just go for it and become a pro.
  1. There's never a perfect time Whether it's getting married, having kids, buying your dream car, or making a career change, there's always an adjustment. There will never be a magic moment when everything else in life is perfect. Psychologists tell us that the major stressors in life are transitions: death, the birth of a child, changing our housing, changing our careers. We probably shouldn't go out of our way to change all of these things at once, but expecting some stress and going into it with good faith, we should never fear to make a change. Why not make the change now?
  2. Every career has associated expenses, and not all of them are financial Make no mistake, whatever you do right now to make money also costs you money...and more than money. When people think "work-related expenses," they think about commuting costs, dry cleaning, and buying meals at the company cafeteria. Those are the obvious ones. However, full-time jobs also cost you opportunities. You have to say no to all sorts of exciting offers, whether they're social events or money-making gigs, because they conflict with the immovable schedule of your day job. Working for yourself as a musician, you at least have the opportunity to pick and choose and make your own calendar. Only during career transitions do we really see the perks and the downsides of the jobs we leave and the ones we're going to. For example, if you're a music teacher and teach from your home, you just saved five to 10 hours a week in commuting...and $50 a week at Dunkin' Donuts during the ride in.
  3. Your best chance of success is doing what you do best
    Take a good, long look at yourself. What is your greatest talent? Ask your family and your friends. (But probably not your mom. She thinks you're great at everything. Aren't moms awesome?) If your biggest skill - the thing you are blessed to do better than anybody - is something you're only doing six hours a week, then something is out of kilter. The same goes within the field of music. If you're an average drummer but you're a genius behind the board, touring and playing beats should take a backseat to your studio work. If you're an average cell phone repair technician but an amazing fiddler, you need to find a way to fiddle more and fix fewer phones.
  4. It doesn't necessarily have to be all or nothing There's quite a continuum between working 40 hours per week and being a guitarist and nothing else. If you live in Norway and can get a government grant to compose an atonal opera, that's fantastic. But most of us don't have that kind of help. If quitting your boring job cold turkey isn't viable, why not shorten up your schedule? Your bosses have dreams, too, and may be more helpful than you think when it comes to reaching for yours. Somewhere in the realm of possibilities, there's a place in which you make enough money to feed yourself and have more time to make art. Find that place.
  5. Life's too short for misery Look at all the people around you. They respect you and think you're great. But if you have a day job that leaves you annoyed and exhausted every day, they're not getting the best of you. You're not getting the best of yourself. It's amazing how much better life looks when you make a positive change, no matter how scary. Opportunity seems to knock more often, and you'll be better equipped to seize it when it does. You'll also be growing in a way that you couldn't in your old job. We need more music, and people to make it. If you want music to be your career, don't hold back. Figure out a way and do it!

Demise Complete

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


There's something brewing in the Skillet camp - this video is from a month ago - and they are also scheduled to play the Download Festival in summer 2016. Note: You have to watch the video on because the embed functionality is disabled.

More Right-Wing Conspiracy Benghazi Nonsense

Relieve Stress

Before you go to the link below, you should know Karen showed me the image at the other end of the link last night. It seems to be the rage on Facebook. It's fair to say that I didn't want to directly have the image on my blog. Once you see it, my cryptic message will make more sense.

All that said, I really do want to relieve some stress pretty much every day. (winking playfulness)

Monday, May 2, 2016


Speak Expert of LZ

Bunch of Freaks

Lars von Misses

It's a fun time to investigate the way Lars Ulrich is a human being and doesn't play every single song perfect. I think some of the playing in the video are mistakes, sure, but if I wanted to hear perfect, couldn't I just listen to the album?

And messing up during rehearsal or when trying to write a song are not really fair to be included.

Rehearsal is where you practice and writing music is all about experiencing the magic of creativity.

Performing on stage, with 1000s of fans who have studied the albums cannot be without enormous pressure.

I felt like I had to nail down certain drum parts of the songs Lou's Classic Ride and Uncle Rico the Band covered because I knew that there would likely be musicians who would know that I screwed up if I didn't nail a fill the same as the recording. Multiply the audience I played in front of by a lot more to get an idea of what Ulrich is facing. On top of that, every time he plays, there is a camera to capture the moment of being imperfect.

I think the majority of people who hate on Ulrich don't play drums or if they do, they don't play drums in front of the number of fans Ulrich does on a regular basis. To be so nieve to think that they would never EVER make a mistake on stage is a characteristic of a delusional individual.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Now that I am back to coding HTML and CSS and JavaScript, I feel much more like a programmer than a technical writer. Sure, I am writing, but moreso I am laying down a technical foundation for the documentation. When I think about the items in the following article, I really relate to the concept. Great article to return to in the future.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Comfortable Matters

This article mentions the bathroom policy at Target, which is as follows:

"A man, dressed as a man, who does not claim to be a woman, and does not claim to identify as a woman, may use the restroom designated for women if he feels more comfortable there."

Don't believe it? Read about it in this article.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'm Tired of the Right Wing....

....conspiracy to use Clinton's email server as a political solution to a failed attempt at establishing policies that favor the rich and wealthy.

Stop Showing Off!

Jump to the 6:00 mark if you want to know why I called this post what I did.


This video was published on Oct 18, 2015. For me to sit and watch a guitar player play a cover of a Prince song is something I think will be a rare event in my life. Of course, yes, it is Dream Theater's guitarist and of course, yes, he is an amazing guitarist. Don't forget that I am simply a drummer with no guitar playing ability. Still, the fact that this video was published several months prior to Prince's death last week shows me that his music reached musicians on many different levels. I wish I knew if Prince ever knew John Petrucci or that his influence was genre-crossing. I'm sure Prince has already found his way to Hendrix, Vaughan, Garcia, Dio, Bonham, AJ Pero, Burton, and so many others I can't recall at the moment. Since there's no fans to sue, I'm sure they are making awesome music together.