Sunday, December 21, 2014

Splitting the Ironies into Three

  1. Mom was left-handed. When her body began to betray her, it was her left hand that contracted first. Over the last few years, she had to learn to use her right hand for basic things like eating.
  2. Mom was a communicator. She earned a MA in Language Arts from the University of Iowa. For 40 years, her expertise was being able to communicate. Now, when I see her, she cannot communicate. She looks at me but it's like she can't see me.
  3. This is a delicate subject. This paragraph that you are now reading is the result of several drafts. It is ironic that I am the one in close proximity as Mom completes her final journey on Earth because for numerous reasons that I find no value in drudging up, I can't say that I was as close to her for a number of years.

Hospice

Sigh.

I've been spending the last few days watching the Lord take Mom to heaven. I sit by the bed and watch her breathing, looking for a change in the pattern. Sometimes, the kids, Karen, Dad, and family friends are in the room, but most of the time, I find myself wondering how to be.

I don't know when the end will come for her, but I am willing to sit by her bed and wait with her. I think about all the ironies.

Next post.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Too Sweet

This is totally sweet!

Lost in Translation

Brian Henderson on the Techwr-L list shared this photo:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Awesome Lineup

If it were possible to make it to a festival in 2015, I think Northern Invasion would be in the running as my top pick. It's a one day show, it has some outstanding bands that I've never seen before, like Slipknot, Volbeat, Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless, Anthrax (the only band in the Big Four I've never seen live), and Young Guns.

































That said, the 2015 edition of Rock on the Range, the 3 day concert on May 15, 16 & 17 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio, has a pretty sweet lineup too. Once again, lots of bands I've never seen before. Of the first 7 bands listed, only Godsmack and Breaking Benjamin are bands I've seen before.
I'm flabbergasted and, of course, I have already found out it is a 9 hour drive from my house to Columbus, OH. Mark my words - someday, this will be a father / kids trip with Megan & Alex.


Nice Collections

From Missoula, MT:
  • I am selling my entire collection of cd's. 20+ years of collecting. There is about 330 of them. The collection consists mostly of hip-hop, metal, alternative, punk, funk, and rock. Cd's and cases are in great shape. Some are very rare! You must take all. Will not split up. And I will not ship these you must pick them up. $299.00 FIRM that's less than $1 a cd! Some aren't pictured. Need these gone. I will include the rack if you want it. Thanks.

From Austin, TX:
  • I am selling collection as entire set, not seperate CDs. - $3 ~ $4 per cd
    Sorry, I do not have a list I can send you as it would take forever to type.
    You are welcome to come see the collection personally for yourself.
    Former DJ retiring and liquidating my CD collection.
    perfect for someone wanting to start a DJ business or someone who wants to have an instant amazing musical collection. ALL types of music:
    • Rock
    • Country
    • Classical
    • Disco
    • Hip Hop
    • Rap
    • Ethinic
    • Jazz
    • Heavy Metal
    • Karaoke
    • Christian
    • Pop
    • Soul
    • Funk
    • Motown
    • Techno
    • 50's
    • 60's
    •  70's
    •  80's 
    • 90's
    • ..and MANY MANY more.


Nice Set

From Craigslist, I like this set, but not enough to plop down $2350 in cash for it.
LUDWIG VISTALITE DRUM SET & HARDWARE - $2350 (Northern Virginia) OVER $3,850.00 WORTH OF EQUIPMENT
  • Ludwig Vistalite set -- Unblemished
    • 22x16" Bass Drum
    • 12x13" Tom
    • 13x14" Tom
    • 16x16" Floor Tom
    • 5x14" Pearl Chad Smith Signature Snare
    • Tom mounts, snare stand, and Hi-Hat stand included
  • Axis AAX-X single bass drum pedal
  • Heavy duty boom stands (x2)
  • Medium duty boom stands (x2)
  • Medium duty stands (x2)
  • Ludwig Rims System on Rack Toms
  • All Bottom rims and tension rods that are not present in pictures included

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Opportunity to Go to the Next Level

Do I remain or rise? From a local Craigslist ad:
|
8 Seconds is now looking for a drummer to start in Feb, 2015. Someone who is familiar with newer top 40 country, some traditional and classic rock. We are looking for someone who is ready to make some new memories in 2015. Schedule can be hectic at times but worth it. Must be able to travel some and able to commit. We work hard to achieve a specific sound and that is what we are looking to keep moving forward. Please contact Mike to set up an audition at the email listed or call. Looking forward to hearing from you.
|
These guys are SERIOUS about playing. Their website has a list of recent dates:

Upcoming Shows

Wild Hogs - 11/07 @ 8pm - Walford, IA
Spencer Fall Festival - Annual Fall Festival ( Indoors) @ 9pm - Spencer, IA
Meskwaki Lounge - 11/14 & 11/15 @ 8:30pm - Tama, Iowa
Solon Firemans Dance - 11/22 @ 8pm - Solon, Iowa
Cocktails - 11/26 @ 8pm (Thanksgiving Eve) - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tailgators - 12/06 9:30pm-12:30am - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Rumors Bar - 12/19 @ 9pm - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Wildwood Saloon - 12/20 @ 9pm - Iowa City, Iowa

They have dates in 2015 already:

2015 CREEK FEST MUSIC FESTIVAL - 8 Seconds is honored to say that we have been invited to perform in this years Creek Fest that is held every year in Cherokee, Iowa. This years big names are The Band Perry on Friday and Saturday Night we will be opening up for Big N Rich. Tickets go on sale November 7 so get them while they last. Check them out on the web at www.creekfestiowa.com.
8 Seconds RETURNS to Bobbers Grill - YES!!!! We are officially back and booked at Bobbers Grill in North Liberty @ Scales Point Campground. Its been a couple of years so we are excited to return. Book your campsites now because we will be playing August 22, 2015 which is the Salute To Summer. Show is 6pm-10pm and no admission. See you all there!

Obviously, this is an Ideal Band where the set list is already defined and after some initial practices to get up to speed, how much rehearsing would there be? Here's a link to a playlist - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_iZAyFIqo_GK4BQbaBNSfA/feed?activity_view=3 and here's some other videos.

Folsom Prison




Ticks


Walk Softly


In Color


Lot of Leavin' (Left to Do)


How About You

Drummer Joke

Phil, my friend, sent me this joke:



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wether is the Challenge

The blessing and the curse of being employed as a technical writer surfaced again when I read this article. Perhaps the the challenge is to find a way to eliminate typos as they tend to be embarising.


TLC PPV Recap

After reading the results of the TLC WWE PPV on Sunday, I don't think the Creative Team that writes the script - what? the wrestlers don't speak what they think / feel? - has a clue about what they are doing.

Seriously.

First, the Big Show is a good guy, then he's bad, then he says it was all a mistake, and then he shows up during the main event on Sunday and KO's John Cena.

Huh?

Please, correct the rudderless Big Show. He's one of my favorites.

Master Sync has Been Turned Off

It wasn't something I said that turned off the Master Sync on my phone. Apparently, I pressed the Sync button that this video shows to disable the email sync between my phone and hotmail.com email account.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Nick Menza and Deth

So, here's a thought. The drummer and guitarist in Megadeth leave. To me, the best era in Megadeth is when they released "Rust in Peace" in 1990. That release is simply awesome. Marty Friedman played guitar and Nick Menza played drums on that release. The speculation on sites like Blabbermouth.net is that Friedman and Menza could return to the band. That would be extremely awesome. Maybe. It would depend upon if they could come up with material as awesome as the material from "Rust in Peace." Here's a video of Nick Menza playing along to "Holy Wars." The sick thing about this video is that I could hum along the words, even though you can't hear Dave Mustaine singing.


But then again, I love this entire album.

I Have Goosebumps

After I posted my previous post, I started looking through regional Craigslist ads for a drummer. I came across this one, based in Des Moines, that seems to be in line with what I've described when I have described an "Ideal Band" in the past. I'm not all that keen on the "dress up like the 80s" idea, but the description has my attention. Do your homework, get together and tighten up right before the gig. Wow.

Looking for Bassist and drummer for 80's pop tribute
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE

Des Moines' premier 80's pop tribute band is seeking a bass player and drummer.
We play 3-4 high profile shows a year. We are possibly looking to play more if the money is right.
We dress in the pop 80's fashion and play covers by bands such as Duran Duran, Men at work. The Cure, Tears for Fears.
We are all seasoned musicians, and are professional, all have other projects and are doing this to make some extra cash and have a blast.
Basically, you learn the tunes and do your homework and we get together a week or so prior to shows to tighten up.
We currently have dates booked for January and February, and some summer shows.
Please contact me ASAP of interested.
Call number,

Cheers
Matt


Of course, I then had to search youtube.com for "Burning Down the House" and one of the hits was for this video. When this guy began singing, I got instant goosebumps. They played these 3 tunes:

"In Your Eyes" (at the 2:44 mark), "Melt with You" at the 8:39 mark, and “Don’t You Forget about Me” at the 13:00ish mark.

A New Bang Toy

Serbi is one of my dear friends. I've known him since fall of 1985 when we met as sophomores in high school on the Kennedy High School marching band field. The story has probably been told on this blog more than once, but it seems when I retell a story, I change a detail or two or add a detail or two. Today, I'm recalling how many drum sets Serbi has owned over the years. When I met him, he had a set of brown Gretch drums that had really deep sounding toms. I loved the tone of those drums. He had a silver Pearl set for a while and then, sadly, I lost track. I played the green set I mentioned in my Facebook post below at Fat Jack's in Cedar Rapids in 2013. Previous to that, I have a dim memory of playing his drums during a song at a Fireman's Dance in Blairstown, a small town west of Cedar Rapids, when he played in a band called Shotgun, but I also kind of remember not knowing what time signature the song was in and messing up.

All that aside, Serbi has a new set of drums, as shown below.

For as many times as I've thought about or wanted a new set of drums, I have not ever purchased either a replacement for or an additional set of drums, disregarding the Yamaha electronic set for Alex. I still have my Ludwig Vistalites and even though I haven't played them since fall of 2013, which is when Lou's Classic Ride began rehearsing at Joe's girlfriend's studio in Iowa City, I really have zero intention of ever selling them. I have joked that if there comes a day when I go to the nursing home, I want these drums to be stacked in a corner so I can look at them. I feel as though they are a part of me, a part of my identity.

I will say that if I could go back in time, I would tell my young self that I should get a second set of drums to use for gigs and such. I would have never taken them out of my house if I had known that now, decades after my parents buying them for me, they would be considered vintage. My drums have been used, to be sure. The floor toms have cracks by the tension thingy and the paint on the bass drum hoop has chipped away a bit. These are little things that I, as a purchaser of drums, would expect to reduce the price of them if they were for sale.

However, they are NOT for sale and will continue to sit, stacked in the furnace room, until I need them. Unfortunately, since Uncle Rico the Band disbanded in August, I haven't been able to find a band to jam with. It's not the first time I've seen this ad:

WANTED: EXPERIENCED DRUMMER FOR BUSY ROCK BAND (Cedar Rapids)


Cedar Rapids rock band is currently looking for an experienced drummer who can travel and play out every weekend. Must have own vehicle and be dependable. To inquire, please respond to this page and tell us about yourself. This position needs to be filled as soon as possible. Thanks!

I don't respond to it because I'm not going to travel and I'm not going to play out every weekend. That's just not feasible for me and for where I am in my life journey. Kind of like the Sapwoods, an Iowa City-based band that plays only originals. They wanted someone that could do regional tours and when I said that wasn't really possible, that was the deal killer. I'm really not interested in wasting the Cedar Rapids band's time. 
 
On the same subject, I still think about my audition for Horny Genius in January 1990, when I drove to West Branch and set up my drums in a barn. I remember rocking through the audition and when they turned to me and said, "Do you want to be our drummer," I (once again) would like to go back to that version of me and say, "YES!! SAY YES!!! DON'T DECLINE THIS OFFER!! THEY'RE GOING TO GO TOUR IN EUROPE IN THE FALL AND IF YOU SAY NO, YOU WILL REMAIN IN COLLEGE AND READ DEAD AUTHORS INSTEAD OF TOURING WITH A BAND IN EUROPE!!" As it turned out, I did say "No" and I didn't go tour with them in the fall of 1990. Of course, I've also thought that there's no way to really know if I would still be their drummer when that tour opportunity arose. I like to think I would be, but I'll never really know.

All of these words to simply say Serbi got a new set of drums that look really sweet.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Revolution Saints

Mash Night Ranger, Bad English, and Whitesnake and you get Revolution Saints and I like it! I have often said that the only drummers I know that can sing are Phil Collins and Karen Carpenter. Phil is short and bald while Karen is dead. I am now going to cite Deen Castronova, the drummer and vocalist in the clip below, as being a drummer that can sing.

Low Expectations Exceeded

Karen, her parents, her brother and his wife, and I went to the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL, to see "White Christmas." I admit two things about the idea before I set foot in the place:
  1. I had zero desire to go to any dinner theater
  2. I had never seen the movie "White Christmas".
Despite being told "White Christmas" is a classic Christmas movie / story, I really didn't have the urge to see it. I consider "Home Alone" or the National Lampoon's Christmas movie with Chevy Chase to be "classic" Christmas movies. It is the day after seeing the play and, frankly, I get it. I get why "White Christmas" is considered a classic Christmas movie. It has all the elements of what I classify as "holiday spirit" in that its theme is to put others in front of yourself. I could draw parallels to that theme in "Home Alone" and "Christmas Vacation" as I watched it.

After the play was over, the six of us went to the Jumer's casino. Normally, I will spend ~$40 at the blackjack table. I have a "code" that I don't join a game of blackjack in the middle of a game because the cards I get throw off the flow for the other players. I circled around the casino more than once, watching a few hands at each of the tables and had selected a specific table. The dealer wasn't going super fast and was engaging in conversation with the seated players. I liked that in a dealer because the dealer is not there just to do "a job" but are at least putting on the illusion that they want the people at the table to have a good time.

When I returned to watch what looked to be the last few hands, I saw a sequence that deterred me from waiting any longer to sit down. Instead, I watched the seated players "stay" at 18 and 20, which is what I would have done, only to have the dealer turn up a 3, then a 2, then an Ace, then a 2, and then a 3 to get 21. Holy crap, the dealer was getting good cards. That's the specific hand I remember watching and from that I learned if I sat down, I would likely lose my money.

I stepped away, wasted away $7 in slot machines and, from that, walked out with $.49. That was good for me. I sat in a chair and watched a replay of the Iowa Hawkeyes v. Iowa State Cyclone men's basketball game - ISU won - and surfed Craitslist for a desk or an ad for a drummer or drums. Then it was 11:30 PM, which was our agreed upon time to leave. We loaded back into the vehicle and rode home to Blue Grass. On the way home, I began winding down so that by the time I got out of the vehicle, it was like a wave had overtaken me. I plugged in the two air mattresses, said good night to the others and fell asleep within (probably) 10 minutes of my head landing on the pillow. I slept soundly but am anxious to sleep tonight in the bed in our bedroom.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Now *THIS* is a Job Advertisement

Same disclaimer as before - I am not planning to leave my current employer. We use Confluence at work and I happened upon the Atlassian website and came to this listing on their Careers page.

Technical Writer in Austin, TX

Words. Anyone can write them. We're looking for someone that can wield them. At Atlassian, we look at things differently, and that includes the way we communicate technical information to our customers. We know that good writing and software documentation are often not synonymous and are on a mission to change that. We’re on the hunt for a Technical Writer that is passionate about crafting clear, relevant communications that resonate with and respect the user. You’ll deliver a great experience for customers as they discover, use, and retain our product information.

This role actively collaborates with marketing, development, training and support teams to make sure that all of our technical communications have a holistic approach. A big part of your job will be designing both a stellar content strategy and information architecture and then developing it to scale on various related projects. You’ll also be testing and validating our existing content and finding ways to improve it. We’re serious about changing documentation: We also will look to you to recruit and train like-minded writers that also want to improve the state of documentation.

More about you


This job is for someone who thinks bigger than traditional software documentation. You can explain complex features within tiny amounts of product real estate and communicate value in a compelling, clear and effective way. If you have the following traits you will be a great fit: a knack for creatively engaging with audiences (no “me too” stuff), a need to work in a fast-paced environment, excellent project management skills, an ability to challenge yourself and others, and a love of using data to create better results.

You will be delivering a great customer experience, finding, discovering and retaining information. Design the content strategy and information architecture that allows the production of great content to scale and engage with marketing, development, training, design, development and support teams to collaborate on a holistic information experience for our customers. This is not all expected to be intuitive, in fact we want you to test and validate existing content continually experiment and find new ways to improve it and ensure that we are striving to improve upon our current state. You're a good fit if you have a passion for communicating information and frustrated with the state of software help and knowledge. With the ability to engage an audience through creativity and relish working in a fast-paced agile environment you will ideally have experience collecting and understanding analytics and want to make a difference.

More about our team


We understand that the right words, delivered in the right way, can change minds, spark ideas, solve problems, open doors, avoid trouble, form bonds, create joy, rescue, reassure and unlock tremendous potential. As such you have the ability to work with the majority of the Atlassian family!

More about the perks

Our offices are open, highly collaborative and yes, fun! To support you at work (and play) we offer some killer perks: ample time off to relax and recharge, five paid volunteer days a year for your favorite cause, plenty of food and drinks (including beer and bubbly), ergonomic workstations with Aeron chairs, 20% work time for your passion projects, unique ShipIt days, a company paid trip after five years, generous employer-paid insurance coverage for you and your family, 401k matching and more.

More about Atlassian


Software is changing the world, and we’re at the center of it all. With more than 35,000 global customers (including 85 of the Fortune 100) and a highly disruptive business model, we’re advancing the art of team collaboration with products like JIRA, Confluence and HipChat–and we’re just getting started. Driven by honest values, an amazing culture, and consistent revenue growth, we’re out to unleash the potential of every team. From Amsterdam and Austin to Sydney and San Francisco, we’re looking for people who are powered by passion and eager to do the best work of their lives in a highly autonomous yet collaborative, no B.S. environment.

But wait, there's more...


Show us something:

Along with your resume, send or point us to an example of great documentation that you've created.

Spot On

The American Dream was the subject of Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points memo. I think it is worth the 4:10 it takes to watch it so do it now.

Responsibility

I don't plan to leave where I work.

That said, if I were, I would not really consider this position at Channel Fusion in Hiawatha, which is a northern suburb of Cedar Rapids. Here's the full ad, followed by some analytical comments:

Technical Editor (HTML)
We are an entrepreneurial and private company that provides channel marketing services to Fortune 1000 clients. Our company leverages technology and service solutions to help our clients promote their brand(s) through their independent channel distribution partners. Our solutions are utilized by channel partners to:
  • Manage the MDF/Co-op advertising funds
  • Build online custom advertising
  • Plan local marketing promotions/initiatives to build the brand
  • Enroll in SEM, order point of sale collateral, process consumer rebates, etc.
Channel Fusion needs a Technical Editor who can support our client content management pages and functionality. Responsibilities include:
  • Create web pages without Dreamweaver or other HTML editor and troubleshoot HTML style issues, tag issues, etc.
  • Use light Javascript, jquery to create and implement basic functions on web page.
  • Review system integration issues and troubleshoot issues by narrowing down and isolating problems through process of elimination.
  • Create documents standard operating procedures (SOPs) with visuals.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Associate’s Degree preferred.
  • HTML experience – ability to troubleshoot HTML style and tag issues.
  • Understanding of jquery and how to implement some basic functions into a web page.
  • Understanding of web basics including redirects, image maps and intermediate HTML proficiency.
  • Excellent knowledge of Excel including filters, macros and troubleshooting.
  • Understanding of Web and database feeds.
  • Familiarity with content management systems.
  • Familiarity with a translation system.
  • Familiarity with user acceptance testing.

My first reaction is that, within Dreamweaver, I know there is a menu option that will validate your code. If I was troubleshooting "style issues, tag issues, etc", I would probably fire up DW and paste the existing code into the HTML editor window pane of DW and validate the code to at least give me a starting point. I'd also use the HTML validator that the W3 site has.

My second reaction is that they want a person who understands HTML tags and doesn't believe a proper web page is saving a Word doc as HTML and calling it a web page, which I think is a valid request since "technical" is in the title's position.

Redesign the Den

Sometimes, I envision a cool desk like this in the den but then, because I am aware of my weaknesses, I realize that all those little shelves within the cabinet would soon be full of stuff I probably don't even need. On the Iowa City Craigslist, this desk is listed at $75.



Then I think about the polar opposite of the above desks and think about a modern desk like the one below. On the Iowa City Craigslist, this desk is listed at $190.




While either desk would be a great Christmas present, ultimately, I won't end up with either desk. Knowing the way things go in my life, purchasing the desk would lead to a repainting of the den project and that is something, with all that is going on in life at the moment, is not a project I am willing to even risk needing to undertake. Besides, Megan has been talking for years, literally, about painting her room. I don't like to paint, even if I am the one that cleans the brushes and only paints the inside of closets. That project isn't even in the budget at the moment.

Neither is attending Monday Night Raw at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Monday, March 16th.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

They Are Here

The tickets for the Bush / Theory of a Deadman concert arrived!

Favorite New (to me) Drummer

In my "Metallica" Google Alerts email, there was a link to this video.




From there, I clicked the user name "MILANRABIJ1999", which took me to the youtube.com page with 172 videos that have been uploaded. The most recent video, from November 27, 2014, is the one below. It features Milan Rabij playing drums & percussion and Jakub Zuber playing guitar.




Among the many videos I didn't watch, I did watch and like this video of Metallica's "Cyanide" - love how the there are five views of ... okay, I'm just going to say it. Is this a dude or a gal? I don't know.


Frequently Asked Questions Part II

I didn't name my post the other day "Frequently Asked Questions Part I" because I never considered that there would be anything more to write about it.

I was wrong.

  • From Support Rep 1: 
    • Please go to the review page. All the photos with yellow dot, are the photos that are printed and used already.
  • From Me: 
    • Are you going to see that the FAQ page is updated with this information?
  • From Support Rep 2: 
    • The FAQ page has that info on page 6.
  • From Me: 
    • But what about on this page: http://groovebook.com/support/faq.html
  • From Support Rep 2: 
    • I will let our Tech support know, but for current updates please refer to the App and not the website.
  • From Me: 
    • I am evaluating how the app works and haven’t installed it yet. Your website is the only place I (or any other potential customer) can obtain information about the app prior to installing it.


At this point, I hope I don't need to have a part III to what should have been a simple fix, especially since the information is on "Page 6" already. To me, it sounds like their content needs to be stored in a central repository - a single source - and use some sort of automation to spit out the applicable content to where existing customers can read the information within the app and where potential customers can read the information on the website.

Blog of Interest

I came across a blog called "Don't hate the player ~ Hate the game. As I was poking around, I realized that I really enjoyed the writing style, especially on the Contact Me page, where she says, "Or just stand at the bottom of the stairs and start yelling "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom" until I come down and see just what the problem is and feed you cookies."

After reading that, I wanted more wit. One of the posts I read was called The Fuzzy Math of Marriage. Beyond liking the writing style, I specifically related to #2 - You can't keep a scorecard.

Guilty as charged.

It's so easy to do that and the challenge is to not do it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Explain Please

I need an explanation. When is a free blog on blogspot.com not free? I've never had to pay a single penny to ANYONE for writing my thoughts on this blog. No hosting, no nothing. And yet, this political blog - who happens to be touting Republican views - wants people to donate? 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Amy, my co-worker, sits in a different area of my employer's building. I hadn't talked to her in a while. She had twins, a boy and a girl, 10 months ago. I remember that because she said, "They are 10 months old now." She showed me a picture book from GrooveBook, which is a product I had seen on Shark Tank, but forgotten about it. Amy and I had a really nice chat about life.

When I returned to my desk, I pulled up the GrooveBook website and, as I typically do, I found an issue with the text I was reading. This time it was on their FAQ page. That's where I saw this:



Once again, being a technical writer is a blessing and a curse.

Three Seashells

"Demolition Man" is a movie from 1993. I can't count how many times I've watched it. I judge it for what it is. It's an action flick with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Denis Leary, and it makes a stinging social commentary about our future. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when Sandra Bullock complains that there's no action and she says this in front of a "Lethal Weapon 3" movie poster. The mystery of where the "three seashells" in the bathroom comes from has now been revealed by the movie's screenwriter. I guess I never really thought about that detail, but I found this article about it to be fascinating.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Decade Has Flown Past Me

From Loudwire:
"Today (Dec. 8) sadly marks the 10th anniversary of Dimebag Darrell's tragic death. Here, we present exclusive tributes to the Pantera legend from Slash, Anthrax's Scott Ian, Godsmack and several more musicians." I just created a Windows Media Playlist of Loudwire's 10 Best Pantera Songs.

RIP.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hail to the Deth

160 Megadeth guitar riffs in ~20 minutes. Wow.

Frag the Simpest of Tasks

I love the way Ed on Techwr-l strung words together when he wrote:

I worked with writers who could frag the simplest of tasks. The conclusion I've come to is that we need some skill, but also must want to get better at it.

To which I replied:
I agree with what you wrote below. I briefly worked at a hellhole for a few months in a department with a writer that had come from Marketing before I arrived. She insisted upon using InDesign to write a 100+ page user guide. InDesign (ID) *could* have been the right tool, but she refused to use its capabilities.

  1. She wouldn't use styles to automatically create a TOC, brushing it off as "too complicated". She wouldn't comprehend that my suggestion would avoid the horror story she told me about manually typing the TOC, printing it, and then verifying, by hand that the TOC matched the actual page number, and staying until 11 PM the night before a deadline to make sure the manual was done on time.
  2. She required a line be drawn next to each heading from the last letter of the heading to the right margin.
  3. She used empty paragraphs to control formatting.
  4. When I asked whether the department standard was one or two spaces after a period, she told me, "Use one unless it looks funny, then use two."
It's very difficult to say anything positive about those months. Thankfully, I'm at a much better employer, approaching my 4 year anniversary in May 2015.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Recapping a Concert I Didn't Attend

On Tuesday, November 26th, 2014, King 810, Korn, and Slipknot played a concert in Moline, IL. I never had heard of King 810 until I started skipping my way through the following video. Just as a warning, you're not going to hear King 810 on The Disney Channel anytime soon.

Scrap Metal

Until just a few moments ago, I had never heard of a band called "Scrap Metal" who are playing at the Riverside Casino on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 8pm. Here's all the information about the show:

Back in the late 80's and early 90's, Mark Slaughter, Eric Martin, and the brothers Nelson were all fronting their own hugely successful rock acts – Slaughter, Mr. Big, and Nelson. You may recall a few of their mega hits that are still in regular rotation in most rock radio stations – "Fly to the Angels", "To Be With You", and "After the Rain". Well, the decade may have changed but the music hasn't, they are just bringing it to us a little differently these days.
Scrap Metal is the 'rock and roll rat pack', a confederacy of multi-platinum artists from the 80's arena rock generation who took over MTV and held the airwaves hostage for a decade. These "scraps" from all the various top bands create a surprising mix. Scrap Metal was created by Gunnar Nelson, who with twin brother Matthew Nelson was half of the hit 90's group Nelson and Mark Slaughter of 80's rock group Slaughter. Eric Martin of Mr. Big, who brings his trademark powerhouse pipes to the band, helps to round out Scrap Metal's core group along with Janet Gardner of Vixen and Kip Winger of Winger.
Scrap Metal's only similarity to other "super groups" is that it is a collection of superstar icons…but that's where any similarities end. "We're all about the music, we're about the fun, and we're about getting people to have a good time – to forget their problems, to unleash a party that's wild and crazier than they've ever seen and that's the key," enthuses Mark Slaughter.
Scrap Metal features all lead singers and front men/women who were the voices and faces of rock 'n roll in America for the good-time rock generation. These are the actual lead singers of such hits as "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" (Nelson), "To Be With You" (Mr. Big), "Up All Night" (Slaughter), "Seventeen" (Winger) and "Edge of a Broken Heart" (Vixen).
"It's a ninety minute show with only hit songs performed by the original lead singers who sang them in the first place," raves Gunnar Nelson. Eric Martin agrees, "The fans get to hear me sing the Mr. Big songs, but they get more bang for their buck with Scrap Metal and they love it!"
Tickets are $44, $34 & $24 plus tax and an online/phone ticketing fee (this fee is waived when tickets are purchased in the Gift Shop).

Doors open at 7pm for the 8pm show.



Wow. These are all great songs and all great bands. Of the 5, I've only seen Slaughter live. That was back in college. It was a show at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Don Dokken, who had embarked upon a solo career, opened the show, then followed by Slaughter, then followed by Poison. Just for the record, that was an excellent concert and one I list in the Best 20 Concerts list I have in my head.

A Decade Passes By

I really like how Rush continues to find new ways to market themselves not only to old fans but to new ones. Consider that 10 years ago "R30" came out - a box set that celebrated 30 years of the band's existence. Now, a decade later, out comes "R40" - a box set that celebrates 40 years of the band's existence. Here's the trailer:



I looked into buying it - price is ~$100 - but I am not as gung ho about buying it as I was just a few moments ago, thanks to the user reviews - multiple people claiming to be Rush fans pointing out that most of the material on this release has been released previously in some form or another. I like this person's comment:

Rush Not "Trying" To Please Fans This Time
By G-Math on October 10, 2014

I just read an article from 10/7/14 on Forbes.com titled "How To Succeed In Business By Really Trying." They went on to say how in the 20th century the "consumer" who would buy anything has turned into the "customer" with demands and high expectations. I really think Rush's management and record company need to have a meeting and read that article together because they are not "trying" very well lately. The bonus disc is nothing more than bait to punish loyal fans by having them repurchase all of the past decade's DVDs all over again. Unacceptable! They should know their Rush base is the most loyal in the world and would already have these titles. Even Rolling Stone magazine knows about Rush fans! Don't play stupid! Why insult us?

Just release the bonus disc for $12.99 and you will sell 250,000+ copies. Keep the package as it is and you're lucky to sell 1,000. If you're really smart, package the bonus disc with another anniversary CD of classic covers (Feedback 2) and sell it for $19.99. Rush fans love material they don't already have but get really angry when they are fed the duplicate copies. It's like mocking us for our loyalty. Yeah, we're loyal. But we're not idiots! Hello? Rush fans are actually the smarts ones, remember?

Stop trying to play us for fools.

P.S. I've been an obsessive-compulsive Rush fan for over 20 years now. This release will not change that, but I will ignore it like I have all of the pointless compilation discs we've seen since the late 90s and wait for the bonus materials to appear on YouTube. And yes, they will appear on YouTube and after 2 weeks of people reloading them up, Rush's record company will stop trying to take them down and by then they will realize what a horrible mistake they have made.

Paul Plays Positively Precise

It's a running joke that each and every story about Dave Lombardo on blabbermouth.net includes this paragraph:

Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band.
What I think always gets lost in the "Dave v. Paul" rants and comments is that it takes a drumming skill higher than most ranters and commenters can even hope to attain to play the drum parts of Slayer songs. This is evident below as Paul wails away on "Dead Skin Mask." I've always loved the ride cymbal bell note during this song. It's a little nuance Lombardo initially put into the song that added a different color to the song.




And Slayer seems so down-to-earth...

Reconsidering the Bash

On October 7th, 2011, my friend Kevin and I went up to the Twin Cities (I always write "Twin Cities" because spelling Minneapolis is rarely done the first time I type it) to see Opeth and Katatonia, two bands I was really excited to see in person. I wrote a bash of the concert, claiming the concert was "So Mellow, Even A Wife Would Like It" while at the same time noting "His vocals, though, sounded like reproductions of the studio versions of the songs that the band played so it confirmed that he is a talented musician." I had that thought reconfirmed when I skipped my way through each of the following videos while determining whether to embed them below. Skulls and Bones assembled videos of the band playing the songs they are intending to play on their North America tour. Of course, their tour included stops in Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Omaha before heading west to Denver tonight.

I don't remember if Opeth played "Deliverance" when I saw them in 2011, but if they did, I should have better appreciated that song's inclusion. I really like how the vocals transition from death metal growls to clear as a fresh farm pond within the same song.















Friday, December 5, 2014

Lesson Learned

I came across a band I hadn't thought about in a long time in my music collection and it brought to light that I really didn't do myself justice when I converted my CDs. The band is called "Riverfenix" and I wanted to listen to their CD. I searched for "Riverfenix" in Windows Media Player and it only found 3 songs. I knew there were more than 3 songs so I went to the actual directory in Windows and yep, there's only 3 songs. I know during all the copying and moving around of files that sometimes folders had been accidentally tucked under the incorrect subfolder so I did a search.

Three songs.

Here's where I learned my lesson. I have zero idea where my Riverfenix CD actually is. I know it's in the den, but I can't narrow it down. My physical CD collection may be too large. The CD could be on one of the 31 spindles of 100 or on one of the shelves in the main part of the room or in a stack on the bookcase in the closet.

Today, the MS DOS batch file states there are 68,032 files in my music collection. Underneath my music folder, I have 3,265 folders. The majority of those folders have multiple sub-folders. I know it's massive. And, I snicker as I type this, I haven't even converted my 1000 cassettes yet.

What am I going to do with this new lesson learned? I have no idea, but I feel like I have a huge mess.

Birthday

Yes, yesterday was my 45th birthday. Karen and the kids purchased 2 tickets to see Bush / Theory of a Deadman in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, February 8, 2015! Karen said I could choose who I want to go with. It was kind of funny because Alex assumed it would be him. I said, "Since I took Alex to Shinedown & to Skillet, I think I'll take Megan." Megan's eyes lit up while Alex's eyes, I don't know, "dimmed" a bit because I think he thought I was going to say I was going to take him.

Expect a lot of videos from both of these bands between now and then.





Terminator Genisys

I am a fan of the Terminator franchise, though I must say #2 (Judgment Day) is my favorite of the franchise. I am glad that they have found a way to continue the franchise. I'm especially giddy because Arnold says his tagline in the trailer - I'll be back - before he jumps out of a helicopter. I'm hoping I have the opportunity to see this movie in the theater.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Out come the Revisionists

Rachel Maddow jumped all over a technicality in the instructions to the grand jury that didn't indict Officer Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Learn more in this video.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Iowa Upsets NC

From Press-Citizen
Iowa upsets No. 12 North Carolina in ACC/Big Ten Challenge CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The signature win Iowa's basketball team has been looking for came in one of college basketball's historic arenas. The Hawkeyes knocked off No. 12 North Carolina, 60-55, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday at the Smith Center. Mike Gesell's conventional three-point play gave Iowa the lead for good with 1 minute, 16 seconds remaining. His two free throws with a second remaining clinched it. Gesell led the Hawkeyes, 6-2, with 16 points. Adam Woodbury added 11. Iowa native Marcus Paige had 13 for North Carolina. Iowa led by as many as eight in the opening half and took a 31-29 advantage into the break. This despite getting crushed on the boards. 

Article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Lots of Stuff

  1. Today, 12/3/2014, is Ozzy Osbourne's birthday. The man is known for "Crazy Train" and "Paranoid" and several more, but, to me, this is the song I hum today:
  2. Christmas time is fast approaching so the atheists of the world have paid to have this billboard put up: "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church. I'm too old for fairy tales." Yes, really. Read about it here.
  3. The Iowa Hawkeyes play at North Carolina tonight as part of the Big 10 / ACC challenge. This article points out these two teams last met in North Carolina way back in 1989. I was a freshman in college at Mount Mercy.
  4. I occasionally get "matches" for my skills as a technical writer with open positions. In fact, one came today, which I have pasted below. No, I'm not even remotely qualified to write a user guide for a pilot to use, but it came as a position matching my qualifications.
    • Sr Technical Writer 1
      Superior Group Cedar Rapids, IA
      Job Description
      Superior Group is looking for a Sr Technical Writer 1 for our Client located in Cedar Rapids, IA
      • Research and develop understanding of system, sub-system operation.
      • Work pro-actively with engineering and customer to procure and understand source data.
      • Develop and implement creative work processes and innovative work methods to maximize electronic technical data reuse and authoring efficiency.
      • Understand and perform to project-specific writing specifications.
      • Revise/provide mark-up system-related level technical data such as sub-system.
      • Revise/provide mark-up illustrations such as block diagrams, avionics displays, and equipment location to accompany technical data.
      • Be accountable for timely, accurate, and thorough project communication.
      • Discern emergent work and cost modifications occurring which are outside the negotiated project scope.
      • Must be able to represent the project team at conferences, in-process reviews, training, and pubs validations/verifications, as required.
      • Be accountable for the cost, quality, and timely delivery of all work assignments.
      • Must be able to provide work leadership for lower level employees with minimal supervision.
      • Must be able to negotiate change management associated with fluid concurrent development.
      • Must be able to interact directly with customers in a representative manner providing an overall understanding in a user/operator perspective.
      • Working knowledge of Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) systems and integration on a Pilot Vehicle Interface (PVI).
      • Experience using or designing aircraft avionics equipment and systems.
      • Must be able to extract and comprehend system operation from typical engineering documentation (software specifications, bus data dictionaries, hardware interface specifications, and equipment specifications).
      • Strong attention to detail and personal organization.
      • High literacy in structured authoring (SGML, XML) environment (bookplan structure; ATA task numbering; typical DTDs/schema, elements and attributes).
      • High interpersonal communication skills.
      • Must be able to present material effectively to customers.
      • Subject Matter Expert knowledge of some avionics product(s) or product line(s).
      • Proven professional attitude toward work assignments, toward customer relationships, and toward company/department Lean goals and vision.
      • Must be able and willing to accept responsibility and perform with minimal supervision.
      • Be a pro-active team player who thinks ahead, plans, and suggests solutions.
      • Have positive attitude toward change and inevitable mid-project course corrections.
    • Job Requirements - Required Skills / Qualifications:
      • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in production and using Pilot’s guides and manuals in the instruction and use of CNS and PVI architecture in both paper and electronic format.
    • Preferred Skills / Qualifications:
      • Experience producing electronic technical data in Word, Arbortext Editor, or Framemaker.
      • Proficient in Microsoft Office Applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
      • Knowledge of Industry Writing Specification -ATA (Air Transport Association) and S1000D
      • Subject Matter Expert knowledge of some client product(s) or product line(s).
      • Simplified Technical English (ASD/AECMA version) writing experience
    • Go Beyond. www.superiorjobs.com.
      EEO Employer – Minorities / Females / Disabled / Veterans.
      Required Education: High School or GED
      Date Needed: Immediately
      Date Posted on Web: 10/29/2014
      Work Shift: N/A
      Positions Requested: 2
      Contact Name: Cameron Beer
      Contact Phone: 9999999999
      Contact Email: beerc (at) superiorgroup dot com
  5. There will be no link to an article on Loudwire.com with this headline:
    "Metal Bassist Suffers Ruptured Testicle Onstage"
    Reading the headline makes me cringe.
  6. This was passed along on Facebook and it's too good to not include here. It's a job ad for a Senior Editor, Reading-language Arts at Curriculum Associates Incorporated. It's in North Billerica, MA, so of course, I'm not interested. In the Skills and Qualifications section, it asks for "46 years of experience writing and editing Reading materials at K8." Got tpyo?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Onion Nails It

I am only a casual reader of the satire on The Onion. Based upon not reading the site on a regular basis, I can't judge whether every article is as hilarious as this article about the CIA's involvement in David Lee Roth being kicked out of Van Halen.

Wish I was a Georgia Peach

From the Atlanta, GA Craigslist site, 320 CDs for $100. What a deal!!!

(snip)... finally selling ... large CD collection. .... First $100 cash (firm) gets them. (snip)


Monday, December 1, 2014

PRotest

I haven't read evidence that someone leaving a college class to go stand outside in Iowa City, Iowa, is going to benefit anyone in Ferguson, MO, today. Are the students really getting their money's worth by not being in a class they are paying for? What am I babbling about? Well, per Fox 28, there's a protest in Iowa City to support people in Ferguson, MO. Damn. I missed it. Here's the information:

Some students and faculty at the University of Iowa will be leaving class early today to remember the life of Michael Brown. Hands Up Walk Out Iowa City is encouraging those in the community to leave both work and class at noon today to stand in solidarity with Ferguson, Mo. The demonstration is designed for people of all racial backgrounds to come together to demand changes in the country's social system. Monday's event comes a week after a Missouri Grand Jury chose not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in Mr. Brown's death on Aug. 9th. That decision set off protests in Ferguson and all across the U.S. Mr. Wilson officially resigned from the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday. Today's walk-out runs from noon-2 p.m. and will take place on the Pentacrest on the University of Iowa campus.

If I were a college professor, first, I wouldn't leave my classroom and second, if there were any students who left my class before its scheduled time to be done, I would give a 100 point test, unless a student spoke to me before class to state they were going to be leaving at that time. If they just got up and left, blamo! quiz!

Star Wars VII Trailer

The official trailer


A fanmade trailer


7 Things That Need To Happen In Star Wars The Force Awakens

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Has Wrapped Production!

Interesting site about all kinds of movies: http://filmjunkee.com/

Taking Stock

This is a sobering article about a former professional wrestler who is living life as a double amputee. It's often said that professional wrestling is "fake" and, in our house, that the wrestlers need to take a shower to wash away the "slime" in their hair, but if reading about losing two legs isn't enough to make me appreciate who and what I am in life, I don't know what I could read.

It's been a Year

A year ago, I began reconverting my CD collection with the stated goal of being complete by today. In some regards, I am done, but in other regards, I am not. It's not as confusing as it sounds. Writing "I am done with the CD reconversion" requires some large asterisks to further explain the project's status a year later.

First, as my standard MO, I ran the MS-DOS batch file this AM. It tells me that my total music collection sits at 72187 files. Of those files, I'm aware of 6867 files that I need to evaluate as a potential duplicate so that will reduce the number of my music files. I'm aware of 116 CDs that have yet to be converted. These are 100 CDs that I have to manually enter song information and 16 miscellaneous CDs that I came across last night. Some of those 16 may have already been merged into the music folder - I have to investigate. I hope to begin at least some initial investigation tonight during WWE Raw.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Time Winds Down

Today is Sunday, November 30, 2014, so that means tomorrow is my target date for being "done" with the reconversion of my CDs to MP3. I have 7,115 files that I believe are duplicates. When I just ran my MS DOS batch file, it gave me 72633 File(s) as a total number of music files. If all of those 7115 are, indeed, duplicates, that puts my total music collection at 65518.

HOWEVER....

I am not going to finish converting the ~100 CDs I have to enter manually. For weeks, those CDs have been a low priority. As my deadline looms, a part of me wonders whether I should have started with them, instead of the ones I could do quickly and without manually entering artist and other song information. I can't go back in time.

I also don't know if I'll have any more time to write blog posts today as it's 9:25 AM, I have to shower and be ready to leave for Mass with Megan. The youth group is singing today; I'm hoping to play drums.

I Guess Death is a Part of Life

Ron Rath's wake is today from 4-7 so Karen and I are going up to Cedar Rapids later. His obituary is here. In that obituary, while it mentions his two sons Tom and John, it doesn't mention (nor should it) that John has been one of my closest and best friends since 4th grade. That was the year we were both assigned to Mrs. Bacon as part of a 3rd grade / 4th grade combination. We began that school year with 3 boys: John, myself, and Tom McElmeel but some time during that school year, Gary Hatfield moved back from Texas - his dad worked for Rockwell Collins and had been transferred to Texas - to give us 4 boys. The tomboy in our class, Lesile Maple, who everyone called "Fuzz", was also in that class.

I mention that because there was a tradition in 4th grade. I would call John's house in the morning to see if his mom was home. If John answered, it was safe to go to his house before school to play his Atari 2600. He wasn't allowed to have anyone in his house if his parents weren't home so I was supposed to call each morning. One time, his mom answered, I panicked and hung up. I can't count how many hours I spent in the basement of that house on Falbrook Drive that year. We played video games until it was time to go to school.

In addition to spending hours playing that Atari 2600 and spending time with my best friend, I also think those hours cemented in me one of my core principles that I've carried with me for pretty much all of my life. Ron Rath had a den. In that basement, next to the room with the Atari 2600, Ron's den was the coolest room I'd ever seen. My parents didn't have a den so having a room dedicated to being a den was something different. Ron had a desk and bookshelves and a leather couch. I loved to just look at it.

Even in high school, I think I would have described my bedroom as more of a den than a bedroom. I had all my books and music. I think now, as an adult, it is why having a den in both of the houses I have owned was a priority to me. Hell, even in the two bedroom apartment Karen & I lived in when we were first married, the second bedroom was more of a den than a spare bedroom.

All of this because of Ron Rath. He was a good guy. I am so sorry for my friend's loss.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Paul = Dave

There has been SOOOO much made of the fact that Dave Lombardo is no longer in Slayer and that former drummer Paul Bostaph rejoined the band on Blabbermouth.net, but, frankly, I'm comfortable with Bostaph and his ability to NAIL the drums on these songs.





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Anyone Can Write / Code

On Techwr-L, there was a thread that originated with Lin Sims asking about how to maintain large documents in MS Word. The current documentation is maintained within FrameMaker, a tool traditionally known for being able to "handle" large documents. Notes:
  • There's been a lot said and batted around since this post earlier this week 
  • I've never run into the implied mentality that "anyone can write the documentation" throughout my career, though I've read plenty of horror stories about it!
  • I have no idea how to read the code example Peter Neilson cited in his response. I can only assume that putting in the comments where he did would yield different results than the original code. It makes me really wish I knew how to read C++ source code as I wish again I had 26 hours in the day:
    • 1 extra hour to devote to learning how to program
    • 1 extra hour for practicing drums!

  1. On Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:56:22 -0500, Dan Goldstein wrote:
    > 100 pages? Heh. Tech writers have testified to Word documents that
    > they maintained with 300, 600, over a thousand pages, complete with
    > graphics and tables.
    >
    > Of course, this requires a lot of training. Jonathan West wrote, "You
    > have to put as much effort into learning it as you would have to in
    > order to learn Frame."
  2. To which Peter Neilson wrote:
    If I'm not mistaken, the particular reason for the shift from Frame to Word is so that the SMEs can modify the documentation source directly, presumably saving some effort.

    Perhaps the SMEs would not mind if tech writers were permitted to make changes directly to their C++ source code? Just adding comments, nothing more.

    Not only does everyone know how to use Word, but everyone knows that /* and */ delimit comments in C++, and that // indicates comments on a single line.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Here's an example. We take this code:

    // Our Fine Example
    #include
    using namespace std;
    int main()
    {
    int a = 3, b = 5; /* Use last values set */
    a = 4, b = 13;
    a = 2, b = 35;
    cout << a << " + " << b << " = " << (a+b) << endl; return 0; } and we'll just add two comments... // Our Fine Example #include
    using namespace std;
    int main()
    {
    int a = 3, b = 5; /* Use last values set */
    a = 4, b = 13; /* Do we use these? /*
    a = 2, b = 35; /* No, it's these, right? */
    cout << a << " + " << b << " = " << (a+b) << endl;
    return 0;
    }

    It still compiles without error and runs.

    Have we hurt anything?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wait, What? Angra isn't a New Band?

I'm browsing through blabbermouth.net and come across this article about Angra, a band I've heard of, but do not recall listening to previously.

I like this new song of theirs and am now off to youtube.com to find more!


This video is of their new drummer recording his drum parts.

Riveting

Insanity in Ferguson

When the announcement was made that the grand jury was not going to indict the police officer who is responsible for Michael Brown's death, a lot of people were unhappy. I came across this site that is tracking the riots. Until someone setting a car on fire or breaking a window or acts of violence actually make the deceased arise from the grave, I tend to think all of the rioting is idiotic. The site above includes a youtube video of Michael Brown's stepfather telling anyone who will listen to "Burn this b**** down!"

Seriously? The world is shining a spotlight on you and you incite a riot? Really?

As a parent, what is worse than seeing your child in pain or burying your child? I answer nothing. Absolutely the worst things that can happen to a parent. I can't imagine the grief this man feels because this stepfather's son was here and then he was gone and nothing the stepfather does will bring him back, including setting a car on fire or breaking a window or acts of violence. I'm deeply sorry for this man's loss. I am also deeply sorry that people are having their lives disrupted by these riots.

Especially when they won't do two things when they are over. First, they won't change the grand jury's decision. Second, they won't bring Michael Brown back to life. That is reality.

MegaDave Machine Sure to Continue

As news broke first that Megadeth drummer Sean Drover had left the band, I quipped on my Facebook page that I would get my chops up so that when Dave called, I could tell him "Yes, I will join your little band." I did that not because I think I'm a drummer worthy of replacing Sean Drover but because when you peruse the lineup changes on the band's Wikipedia page, there have been quite a few lineups over the years. Now, after reading about Drover leaving, this article announced that the lead guitarist, Chris Broderick, is also leaving. Vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson are the only "current" members of Megadeth.

Wow.

I wish I was a fly on the wall as Dave and Dave discuss possible replacements. What names get tossed around? For drummers, I think of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) as being an awesome replacement, but I fear he would bring a lot more ideas to the band than perhaps Mustaine would like. For guitarists, of course I'm going to go with hoping Marty Friedman returns to the band.

Time will tell what happens. In the meantime, I'm off to listen to "Rust in Peace."

New Era Begins Poorly as Drinking Water Results are Revealed

Two things. First, this is the 2001st post on this blog. Woo-hoo. Unlike false dedication to a goal of drinking a specific amount of water each day, I consider this blog a success. From meager beginnings to now, I rely on this blog as a way to write about issues and events and interests that have stayed the same over the last 7 years:
  1. family
  2. music
  3. career
Sure, there are other topics over the last 2000 posts but those three are what I would condense my 2000 topics down to for the sake of brevity.

Second, as I just mentioned, I should have drank a lot of water over the last 28 days. To enable my success, I created a grid, spread across two pieces of paper, that are shown in the pictures below. Mr. Calculator tells me I should have filled my 16 ounce water bottle 224 times over the last 28 days. The reality is I filled it a measly 8 for a dismal 0.0803571428571429 %.


Ouch.

That's called a fail.

I'm thinking I create another grid to begin on Monday, December 1, 2014, and see if I can do better. I think I can.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Sweet Song is Irony Defined

This article nailed how I reacted to hearing the opening words of his speech. Either he actually believes that statement or he was making a quick jab at Congress. I think it's giving too much credit to say it was a jab at Congress.

Survivor Series 2014

After the 2014 edition of the WWE PPV Survivor Series, there comes an episode of Monday Night Raw, which should be quite exciting for these reasons:
  1. The Authority fell and are no longer in power. Who takes over? I've seen some online reports that Mick Foley would be brought in as the General Manager of Raw.
  2. The fallout from the Authority v. Team Cena will be a primary focus.
    • Last night, Sting made his WWE debut so tonight begins to answer the question, "What does the WWE do with Sting?" He came to the aid of Team Cena in the main event. He has always been one of my favorite professional wrestlers, dating back to the WCW days when he was isolated by the other WCW wrestlers as a part of the NWO storyline. He is 55 years old so he (probably) doesn't have a lot of matches left in him.
    • Because the speculation has been that he would face the Undertaker at the next Wrestlemania, does Sting take on the role of the Raw General Manager until the Undertaker, if he is going to wrestle Sting, shows up? It'd be an interesting way to get Sting on nightly television without showcasing his age. For all intents and purposes, the Undertaker is a good guy (face) and with Sting siding with Team Cena last night, he is also positioned as a face. Making him the Raw General Manager could lead to him having to make some unpopular decisions that lead to him being the heel in a match with the Undertaker. I wish I knew what Creative had up their sleeves!
  3. The Big Show was on Team Cena but made a deal with the Authority to take out John Cena (apparently). The Big Show shook Triple H's hand, which is an interesting twist, considering that he was tempted a couple of weeks ago to join Team Authority and declined. Why would the Big Show turn on John Cena? 
  4. There's also the reality that there will be the beginnings of building up to the next PPV, called "TLC". Beginning tonight, there will start to be groundwork laid out for the matches that will be on that PPV. This article outlines some potential matches.

I want!

Updated on Tuesday, 11/25/2014
  1. Item #1 - From North New Jersey
    • A unique chance to own custom made CD storage that holds 1920 CD's and a collection of CD's.
    • Made by special order by a small furniture company and cost me $3000 in year 2000. (Just a furniture itself) 
    • This CD wall consists of 2 separate pieces for transportation: Base foundation and top. + crown moldings.
    • All shelves are adjustable. All four compartments with double-doors locks with just one key. (Later addition)
    • Made of the high quality solid wood with easy to mantain non-glossy finish.
    • Dimensions:
      Width: 5'3"
      Height: 8'
      Depth 7"
    • Now , the CD collection acquired over the years is mostly for serious music lover.
      I cannot possibly list all albums, but to get an idea - it is mostly international progressive rock, Hard rock, a lot of jazz, jazz-rock, some classical, some world music.
      I think that the fair price for the collection and furniture should be around two and a half thousand dollars.
      Let me know if you think otherwise.

  2. From Minneapolis:
    150 CD Compact Disc LOT.
    ALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.

    $0.30 each

    AUTHENTIC CDs - NO COPIES.
    SEE THE PICTURE FOR TITLES.
    I have many boxes of DVDs and CDs available for sale. 





  3. From St. Louis:
    THIS IS MY PERSONAL COLLECTION OF CD'S. ALL OF THESE LOOK BRAND NEW IN THE ORIGINAL CASE AND COVERS. NO SCRATCHES!! PLAYED ONCE TO COMPUTER THEN STORED IN DRY, KID FREE, DOG FREE, SMOKE FREE HOME. 192 CD's in all. Selling as a "LOT". Meaning all of the cd's together.
    $250 for everything listed in mint cases, and cd's. Good as NEW!
    Note from prhmusic: I sorted the ad's original list for my own amusement.
    1.    311 -- Grassroots
    2.    50 Cent - The Massacre
    3.    A Tribute to Led Zepplain -- Encomium
    4.    Aerosmith -- Big Ones
    5.    Alanis Morisette -- Jagged Little Pill
    6.    Alice & Chains -- Jar of Flies
    7.    Alice & Changes -- Facelift
    8.    Alicia Keys -- Songs in a Minor
    9.    Altered State -- Dos
    10.    Alternative Summer
    11.    Amen -- We Have Come for Your Parents
    12.    Avril Lavigne -- Under My Skin
    13.    Barber Shop -- From the Motion Picture
    14.    Beck -- Mellow Gold
    15.    Better than Ezra -- Deluxe
    16.    Beverly Hills Cop 2 Motion Picture
    17.    Biker Boyz -- Motion Picture Music
    18.    Billboard Latin Music Awards 2002
    19.    Blink 182 -- Enemy of the State
    20.    Boys to Men Collection -- The Remix
    21.    Brandy
    22.    Bush -- 16 Stone
    23.    Candlebox
    24.    Candlebox -- Lucy
    25.    Chemical Brothers -- Block Rocking Beats
    26.    Chicago -- Greatest Hits 82 -- 89
    27.    Classic Chillout Album -- A Collection of Classics of a Modern World
    28.    Clerks Motion Picture Music
    29.    Clutch
    30.    Coal Chamber Music
    31.    Collective Soul -- Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid
    32.    Color Me Badd -- Time & Chance
    33.    Counting Crows -- Films About Ghost The Best Of
    34.    Creed -- My Own Prison
    35.    Creedence Clearwater Revival -- Chronicle Volume 2
    36.    DGC -- Rarities Volume 1
    37.    Dido -- No Angel
    38.    Die Another Day -- 007 Motion Picture Music
    39.    Disturbed -- Believe
    40.    Disturbed -- The Sickness
    41.    DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Price -- Homebase
    42.    Elton John -- Greatest Hits
    43.    Empire Records -- The Soundtrack
    44.    EnVogue -- Run Away Love
    45.    Everclear -- Sparkle & Fade
    46.    Filter -- Short Bus
    47.    Fuel -- Somethink Like Human
    48.    Fuel -- Sunburn
    49.    George Thorogood & the Destroyers -- Greatest Hits 30 Years of Rock
    50.    Godsmack
    51.    Godsmack -- Faceless
    52.    Godsmack -- The Other Side
    53.    Gone in 60 Seconds Motion Picture Music
    54.    Goo Goo Dolls -- A Boy Named Goo
    55.    Good Charlette -- The Chronicles of Life & Death
    56.    Gravity Kills
    57.    Green Day -- Dookie
    58.    Green Day -- Ensominiac
    59.    Guns & Roses -- Use Your Illusion
    60.    Halloween Sounds
    61.    Hoobastank -- The Reason
    62.    Hootie & The Blowfish -- Cracked Rear View
    63.    Incubus -- Make Yourself
    64.    Jane's Addiction -- Nothing Shocking
    65.    JaRule - Rule 336
    66.    Jay Z -- The Blueprint
    67.    Jay Z -- The Dynasty
    68.    Jay Z -- Volume 3
    69.    Jazz for a Rainy Afternoon
    70.    Jet -- Get Born
    71.    John Mayer Trio -- Try
    72.    John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits -- Words & Music
    73.    Korn -- Issues
    74.    Korn -- See You on the Other Side
    75.    Korn -- The Untouchables
    76.    LFO
    77.    Life & Times At South Carter
    78.    Linkin Park -- Hybrid Theory
    79.    Lit -- A Place the Sun
    80.    Little Nicky Adam Sandler Motion Picture
    81.    Madonna -- Bedtime Stories
    82.    Madonna -- Music
    83.    Madonna -- Ray of Light
    84.    Magic of the Season -- Christmas Songs
    85.    Malfunkshun
    86.    Mariah's #1's
    87.    Marilyn Manson -- Lest We Forget The Best Of
    88.    Maroon 5 -- Acoustic
    89.    Mathew Sweat -- 100% Fun
    90.    Michael Jackson Greatest Hits Volume 1
    91.    Moby -- Songs 93-98
    92.    Motley Crew -- Greatest Hits
    93.    Mozart -- The Leopold String Trio
    94.    MTV 2 Hand Picked
    95.    MTV Party to Go 2000
    96.    MTV Party to Go Volume 4
    97.    MTV Road Rules
    98.    Mudvayne -- Lost & Found
    99.    Nappy Roots -- Watermelon Chicken & Grits
    100.    Natalie Cole -- Take a Look
    101.    Nelly -- Suit (Live The Best Of)
    102.    Nelly -- Sweatsuit
    103.    Nickelback -- Silver Side Up
    104.    Nickelback -- The State
    105.    Nine Inch Nails -- The Downward Spiral
    106.    Nirvana -- Incesticide
    107.    Nirvana -- Unplugged in New York
    108.    No Doubt -- Tragic Kingdom
    109.    Nonstop Disco -- Volume 1
    110.    Oasis -- Definitely Maybe
    111.    Offspring -- Smash
    112.    Orgy -- Vaper Transmission
    113.    Pearl Jam -- 10
    114.    Pearl Jam -- Verses
    115.    POD -- Satellite
    116.    Puddle of Mudd -- Come Clean
    117.    Pure Reggae
    118.    Rage Against the Machine
    119.    Rage Against the Machine -- Battle of Las Angeles
    120.    Rage Against the Machine -- Evil Empire
    121.    Ray Ramano Live at Carnegie
    122.    Ready to Rumble Motion Picture
    123.    Relax to Mythical Rain Forest
    124.    Relax to Tropical Rain Forest
    125.    REM -- Monster
    126.    Republica
    127.    Rick James - Gold
    128.    Rock & Roll Fantasy -- Rock Classics of the 70's & 80's
    129.    Salsa Hits 2002
    130.    Sammy Hagar -- The Essential Red Collection
    131.    Santara -- Reprise The Very Good Years
    132.    Seven Mary Three -- American Standard
    133.    Sevendust -- Home
    134.    Sheryl Crow -- Tuesday Night Music Club
    135.    Shinedown -- Leave A Whisper
    136.    Shy -- If I Ever Fall in Love
    137.    Silverchair -- Freakshow
    138.    Silverchair -- Frog Stomp
    139.    Simple Plan -- Still Not Getting Any
    140.    Slipknot
    141.    Smashing Pumpkins -- Siamese Dream
    142.    Smashmouth -- Allstar Smash Hits
    143.    So I Married an Ax Murder Motion Picture
    144.    Soil -- Scars
    145.    Soul Asylum -- Let Your Light Shine
    146.    Soul For Real -- Candy Rain
    147.    Sound Garden -- Super Unknown
    148.    Space Hog -- Resident Alien
    149.    Spice Girls
    150.    Spiderman Motion Picture Music
    151.    Spin Doctors -- Home Belly Groove
    152.    Staind -- Dysfunction
    153.    Stir
    154.    Stone Templed Pilots -- 12 Gracious Melodies
    155.    Stone Templed Pilots -- Core
    156.    Stone Templed Pilots -- Tiny Music
    157.    Sylvia -- Every 6 Seconds
    158.    System of a Down -- Toxicity
    159.    Taproot -- Welcome
    160.    The Best of Enya
    161.    The Best of Ken Burns Jazz
    162.    The Best of Miles Davis
    163.    The Best of Snoop Dog
    164.    The Black Crows -- Greatest Hits 1990-99
    165.    The Doors -- Legacy The Absolute Best
    166.    The Eagles -- Greatest Hits
    167.    The Essences of Soul 2002
    168.    The Jerky Boy 2
    169.    The Notorious BIG -- Born Again
    170.    Third Eye Blind
    171.    Three Days Grace
    172.    Three Doors Down -- The Better Life
    173.    TLC -- Crazy Sexy Cool
    174.    Toad the West Sprocket -- Dulcinea
    175.    Toadies -- Rubberneck
    176.    Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
    177.    Tori Amos -- Boys for Pele
    178.    Train -- Drops of Jupiter
    179.    Trapt
    180.    Type O Negative -- Bloody Kisses
    181.    Type O Negative -- World Coming Down
    182.    U2 -- All that you can't leave behind
    183.    U2 -- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
    184.    U2 -- Live Under a Blood Red Sky
    185.    U2 -- The Joshua Tree
    186.    Ultimate Barry Manilow
    187.    Velvet Revolver -- Contraband
    188.    Warren G -- Regulate G Funk Era
    189.    Weezer
    190.    Wheates
    191.    Workout -- 60 Minutes of Continuous Mixed Dance Music
    192.    XXX Vin Diesel
  4.  From Los Angeles:
    All Genres of music over 2000 CDs all must go in one purchase asking $.50 apiece there are no jewel cases,but all have the inserts,all come in boxes as pictured, all CDs in great condition
    If interested I'm sure we can work out a deal

  5. From Los Angeles:
    Hi there, getting rid of some stuff around the house that I no longer have use for and the time has come to part with my cd collection that I started many many years ago. There are over 1,150 cds total and about half of them are original copies while the others are copies of originals albums (mostly Rap/Hip-Hop Music). A lot of money and time has been invested in this, so it is hard getting rid of it as it is, I'd like to at least get a fair price for todays market and value. I have a list of all the included albums in alphabetical order but is too long to fit into this posting so I can email it to you upon request. Let me know if you're interested or have any other questions, feel free to call/text me anytime at 509-979-65two3. We are in Glendale right by the Mall & Americana. Thanks for your time and have a great day.


  6. From Los Angeles:
    540 CDs for sale All Popular Music.
    I'm selling each CD for $1.
    You can buy all the CDs for $540 or just selected CDs for $1 each CD.
    Minimum purchase is of 100 CDs for $100.
    Pick up only.
    See pictures of some of the CDs that I'm selling.