Saturday, December 3, 2016

Remember This

This post was composed on 12/6/2015, the morning after the 2015 Big Ten Championship where MSU defeated Iowa 16-13. Today, I have no idea if the Iowa Hawkeyes are gearing up to play in their second Big Ten Championship game tonight (12/3/2016) in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy tonight or if they are watching the game on television - I boldly predict I am not in Indy tonight. I wanted to remind myself of just how awesome LOS looked during their championship game last night.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Lamb OG

Loved This Show

‘Dream, Try, Do Good’: The Oral History Of ‘Boy Meets World’

Atlas with Ride

Prayers to Ivan

Five Finger Death Punch Tap All That Remains Vocalist Phil Labonte to Fill in for Ivan Moody on Remaining Tour Dates (with Shinedown)

This is my Nephew

From, this is my nephew:

Water Flowing Under the Bridge

Last night, two interesting jobs came to my attention. The first job I viewed, technical writer at MLBAM, included the information that 25 people had already applied for the job. That was at 8:55 PM. The second job I viewed, technical writer at MartinFederal, included the information that it is a part-time opportunity. Before giving you my thoughts, review the ads first. My thoughts are under the ads.

Technical Writer, Sports Data

Major League Baseball Advanced Media - New York, NY

MLB Advanced Media is seeking a Technical Writer for an immediate opening in the Sports Data department. Launched in 2001 as the tech arm of Major League Baseball, MLBAM is now a leading authority in media streaming and real time data processing, distribution and analysis.

The Sports Data team is the central data hub for MLB, NHL and other sports properties. Through a highly scalable RESTful API designed to support millions of concurrent users, our data is consumed by fans, broadcasters, professional sports teams and sports data scientists.

We're also the team behind MLB Statcast Player Tracking, our flagship project. You can find more information about MLB Statcast at

As a Technical Writer, your primary responsibility will be to develop and deliver technical documentation for ongoing projects that other engineers trust.

You'll also:

  • Improve existing on boarding and education processes with documentation, helping engineers contribute quicker.
  • Properly organize documentation, from the layout of content on a page to finding its proper place in the entire documentation taxonomy, with search optimization in mind.
  • Define standards and style guidelines that help other writers, as well as engineers. You will be a steward of quality and efficiency.
  • Write high quality technical documentation for complex subjects in the most economical manner possible.
  • Influence the innovation of products used by millions of users worldwide.
  • Collaborate with a team of extraordinary engineers and technologists.
  • Receive amazing benefits - you get 100% employer-paid Medical, Dental and Vision.

You are:

  • 5+ years in a technical writing role
  • Able to write prolifically with strong attention to detail
  • Able to learn technical concepts quickly
  • Able to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Experienced creating API documentation or code examples
  • Experienced writing for web, software, or cloud technologies
  • Experienced working directly with development teams

Preferred, but not required:

  • Experience working in an agile environment
  • Experience using Git, Confluence and/or Jira
  • A sports fan of any kind: whether it's baseball, hockey, soccer, formula 1, e-sports, or code golf, we don't discriminate.

Technical Writer

Oak Ridge, TN MartinFederal

Compensation $28 to $32 Hourly

Employment Type Part-Time

MartinFederal is seeking a self-motivated detailed oriented Technical Writer to support our long-term Oak Ridge customer. This is a part-time position and working from home “may” be approved based on your performance and quality of work. The tasks of this position will include:
  • Assimilating, editing, and updating technical Program Management Plan using MS Word
  • Format as required and enter documents into the ORNL Publication Tracking System
  • Assist in organizing and posting documents to the Program SharePoint site as required
  • Update as needed requirements documents, system design documents and user documentation for the Program system of record(s)
  • Assist with the preparation of funding proposals and white papers capturing team production
  • Assist with assimilating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Assist with simulating Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


  • Associates Degree Bachelors Preferred
  • At least 3 years of technical writing within an IT environment
  • Knowledge of Project Management practices
  • Ability to work alone and in teams
  • Must attend meetings
  • Must be an excellent communicator
  • Must pass a background check

So, regarding the first, when I went to the page to paste the content into a blog post earlier this AM, the number had changed from "25 people have already applied to this job" to "31 people have already applied to this job." No, I was not one of them. Living and working in New York, NY is not possible. Regarding the second, I would consider myself disqualified because of the bold/italic text in this sentence:
This is a part-time position and working from home “may” be approved based on your performance and quality of work.


Oh well, water under the bridge.

I don't want to use the adjective "good" because it isn't on the surface for a lot of people, but it does apply to me and my role at work as a Senior Technical Writer working on disaster recovery documentation. Here's the scoop. On Wednesday night, there were some systems that went down. It was a big deal and many people worked through the night to get those systems up and running. At our department-wide meeting on Thursday AM, the Associate Vice President (and my manager's boss) talked about setting up a debrief meeting. I messaged him and this was our conversation:

  • Do you think it would be helpful for me to attend the meetings about the systems going down last night?
    • I am directing my assistant to schedule a debrief for all parties for tomorrow am 9-10:30, and your name is on the list of attendees
  • I was hoping you'd say that. <grin>
    • I expect tomorrow you will be an observer. After that meeting and another planned meeting you and I and others will pull together for a more targeted discussion
  • perfect

That makes me feel good that I was already in his mind about the meetings. I like that!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What the Hey is Going On

If possible, suffer through this video:

Now, with that in mind, enjoy this video:


I read about the following items:
  1. For SOOO many years, "everyone" used Internet Explorer as a default browser. Now, I've just read that last month, Microsoft lost another 23 million Internet Explorer and Edge users. It's really interesting to think about - 23 million (23,000,000) people stopped using Internet Explorer.
  2. For SOOO many years, "everyone" used DVDs to watch movies. Now, I've just read that Netflix lets users watch videos offline -- no DVDs required. It's really interesting to think about - DVDs will not disappear "today" or "tomorrow" but if subscription services - like Netflix - were to adjust their business model and work out deals that would bring movies / programming to Netflix as quickly as DVDs are created... why would anyone with Netflix purchase a DVD?

Parenting 101

Christine Golic


Pay $109 for a 4 TB EHD "now"


Pay $109 for a 5 TB EHD "soon"

When Keywords Give You the Wrong Results

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why Yes, I Giggle

A Trillion I could Post

Tim, my co-worker in the next cubicle, showed me this picture:

It is from the "Taste My Metal World" page on Facebook. Upon careful review, I could fill this blog with the hilarious pictures from that site.
Caution: Some of the content includes adult content (mainly words Captain America would object to).

This is a link to the main page and this is a link to their photos page.

In a Few Years

In a few years, this would be a fantastic moonlighting gig...

IT Security Tech Author / Auditor - CONTRACT
Global DTC Ltd. - Remote

We urgently seek an IT Security Auditor/Technical writer with good ITIL, business analysis and security experience, including regulatory requirements (PCI, HIPAA, FedRamp etc) needs to have worked with auditors before to know what is required for different types of audits and aligning operations against it.

  • Will be hands on in reviewing tools, policies, standards, procedures, configurations, update and write documentation, implement new processes where needed, collaborate with IT teams to align security operations to existing standards to meet audits, contractual requirements and improve overall efficiency of daily operations and security standards.
  • Will write standard operating procedures and make sure that operations is aligned with corporate and client global standards, identify gaps, suggest improvements and alignments with NIST Framework, ISO 27001 and various policies and procedures. Needs expertise in all security service deliveries/operations for dedicated delivery, Buildout compliance, architecture, workflows and any other associated documentation.
  • Will be driving transition and transformation from project completion to operation including all documentation and training (will collaborate with training team) to make sure Operations/BAU is clearly defined and adhered to going forward.

This is for a client-facing and very complex project we are looking for a security expert for the following high-level tasks:

  • Assist with current and future PCI audits
  • Design, implement or adjust operational processes to streamline efficiency of security operations and pass future audits
  • Review and align existing documentation/processes based on requirements


  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or other related field. Or equivalent work experience.
  • Excellent communication, management and English skills
  • Delivery focused and meeting tight deadlines
  • 5+ years of IT work experience with a broad range of exposure to all security aspects
  • Remote work allowed, candidate must be in the U.S.
  • Weekend work or overtime might be required.

Relevant Certifications / Qualifications:

Any of the following certifications would be highly beneficial: * CISSP * ISO27001 Lead Auditor * PCI QSA * CISM/CISA


Job Type: Contract

Required education:


Required experience:

IT Audit: 3 years
Technical Writing: 3 years
11 hours ago - save job

May 17 Part IV

Metallica has announced that they will play at the 2017 edition of Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH, per this website:per this website - There are MANY of the 58 bands listed that interest me. Here's the list & under the list, is the poster that looks cool and enticing. Too bad Alex is still in school on 5/19 (a Friday) so he'd miss Friday, plus we'd probably have to drive on Thursday (5/18) to get there. He'd miss 2 days of school.
The Rock On The Range music lineup includes:
In alphabetical order (Part IV)
Special Editor's Note: The list of bands playing has been split into 4 posts because there is a 200 character limit for labels. Use the label "20170519" to see all of the posts related to this concert.
  1. Taking back sunday
  2. The amity affliction
  3. The dillinger escape plan
  4. The offspring
  5. The pretty reckless
  6. The story so far
  7. Thrice
  8. Turnstile
  9. Volbeat
  10. Wage war
  11. Whitechapel
  12. Zakk sabbath

May 2017 Part III

Metallica has announced that they will play at the 2017 edition of Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH, per this website:per this website - There are MANY of the 58 bands listed that interest me. Here's the list & under the list, is the poster that looks cool and enticing. Too bad Alex is still in school on 5/19 (a Friday) so he'd miss Friday, plus we'd probably have to drive on Thursday (5/18) to get there. He'd miss 2 days of school.
The Rock On The Range music lineup includes:
In alphabetical order (Part III)
Special Editor's Note: The list of bands playing has been split into 4 posts because there is a 200 character limit for labels. Use the label "20170519" to see all of the posts related to this concert.
  1. One less reason
  2. Papa roach
  3. Pierce the veil
  4. Primus
  5. Radkey
  6. Red fang
  7. Rival sons
  8. Royal republic
  9. Seether
  10. Skillet
  11. Soundgarden
  12. Starset
  13. Suicide silence
  14. Sum 41
  15. Sylar

May 2017 Part II

Metallica has announced that they will play at the 2017 edition of Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH, per this website:per this website - There are MANY of the 58 bands listed that interest me. Here's the list & under the list, is the poster that looks cool and enticing. Too bad Alex is still in school on 5/19 (a Friday) so he'd miss Friday, plus we'd probably have to drive on Thursday (5/18) to get there. He'd miss 2 days of school.
The Rock On The Range music lineup includes:
In alphabetical order (Part II)
Special Editor's Note: The list of bands playing has been split into 4 posts because there is a 200 character limit for labels. Use the label "20170519" to see all of the posts related to this concert.
  1. Every Time I Die
  2. Fire from the Gods
  3. Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes
  4. Gojira
  5. Goodbye June
  6. I Prevail
  7. In Flames
  8. Korn
  9. Kyng
  10. Metallica
  11. Mother Feather
  12. Motionless in White
  13. Norma Jean
  14. Nothing More

Another Step Towards the Future for Oregon

It was announced that Mark Helfrich Fired by Oregon. There are a zillion places reporting this news which cannot be easy for Helfrich and his family. I don't know him and likely never will, but it doesn't matter. You see, whenever ANYONE is fired or let go or told "it's not working out," I cringe. It makes me recall my job search in the beginning of this year, even now, 8 months, 1 day or 246 days into the final step in my career (knock on wood!)

Selfishly, I hope it makes any local high school players that were recruited to play football for Oregon look at options.

Acer in my Future

I found this PC online for $120. I like the small case - I think it would actually fit nicely on the desk in an area that is wasted because of the desk design. It's just a casualty, you could say, of the design of a desk that is L-shaped. The desk is fantastic - I don't want to give the impression I do not like my birthday & Christmas present. I do. Most definitely, I do! I'm just commenting that the PC below would fit on the desk whereas a tall tower would have to be placed under the desk which, for ripping CDs, is not very convenient.

Acer computer works good only year and half old but only used for 5 months. I lost the dvi cable but everything turns on just can't connect screen to computer. Description of item in pictures. Sw Cedar Rapids no holds you pick up. $120obo no low ball

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

1986: The Year Thrash Metal Exploded, Thanks to Three Now-Classic Albums

For the record, I didn't like Metallica or Megadeth or Slayer. In fact, when I first heard them, I thought they were too fast and too far removed from Ratt, Poison, and Quiet Riot. Now, looking back through this article - 1986: The Year Thrash Metal Exploded, Thanks to Three Now-Classic Albums - I realize I was behind the times, behind the curve. All three of these bands are alive and releasing new material whereas Ratt, Poison, and Quiet Riot are shambles of what they once were.

May 2017 Part I

Metallica has announced that they will play at the 2017 edition of Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH, per this website:per this website - There are MANY of the 58 bands listed that interest me. Here's the list & under the list, is the poster that looks cool and enticing. Too bad Alex is still in school on 5/19 (a Friday) so he'd miss Friday, plus we'd probably have to drive on Thursday (5/18) to get there. He'd miss 2 days of school.
The Rock On The Range music lineup includes:
In alphabetical order (Part I)
Special Editor's Note: The list of bands playing has been split into 4 posts because there is a 200 character limit for labels. Use the label "20170519" to see all of the posts related to this concert.
  1. Aeges
  2. Alter bridge
  3. Amon amarth
  4. As lions
  5. Attila
  6. Badflower
  7. Beartooth
  8. Biffy clyro
  9. Bleeker
  10. Bush
  11. Chevelle
  12. Coheed & cambria
  13. Cover your tracks
  14. Deafheaven
  15. Ded
  16. Dinosaur Pile-up
  17. Dorothy

In Keeping with the Metallication Theme for Today

Editor's Note: Metallica smushed with celebration = Metallication

Release The Self-Destruction

I submitted my review of Metallica’s “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct” on Tuesday, 11/22/2016. I got up @ 5:30 AM and submitted it to Jason & Melanie, my editors at, at 7:58 AM. It felt really good to get it done. It is scheduled to run today, Tuesday, 11/29, and will be available at either of the following locations:
  1. In my review, I mentioned that I was likely to piss off a Metallica fan because of the diverse range of opinions about their material. I came across the comments below this Blabbermouth article (

    And this:

    Can’t help but chuckle about the above and other reactions I’ve read online.
  2. Metallica ‘Hardwired…To Self Destruct’ Review - with this:
    I think Metallica’s albums have got progressively better since St Anger & Death Magnetic, it’s not all the soul-searching lyrics that Hetfield sang about on the previous albums and it’ll welcome fans on board and on course down the right track in comparison to past releases. Because after all, we love the Metal to be in Metallica.

Editor's Note: I had this as the opening paragraph of my review, but to get it into the 300 – 800 word range, I cut it.

When I went to the Flotsam & Jetsam concert a couple of weeks ago, I wore my And Justice for All t-shirt. The drummer for Hatchet, one of the opening bands for the concert, wore a Master of Puppets t-shirt. When I had the opportunity to speak to him, I said, "Master is great, but I prefer Justice." He looked at me like I was drunk (I wasn't – sober nearly 6 years!) Notice I didn't say Lulu was their best album (it's not). He and I continued to discuss the merits of both albums. For me, And Justice for All is on a once-every-two month rotation. I will cite "The Frayed Ends of Sanity," "Harvester of Sorrow" and "Eye of the Beholder" as my favorite tunes, first, before going in for the kill that "Dyer's Eve" is even better to me than those three tunes. The rebellious lyrics by James Hetified are perfect - I will argue on my deathbed about its merits. Air drum to that song with Lars Ulrich's double bass for 5 days in a row for the duration of my 90 minute cassette and tell me your drumming chops are not better.

The feedback I received from Jason was this:

I think you made the right call cutting that opening – it’s more focused without it.


Fans Hate the Walking Dead but Still Watch

Monday, November 28, 2016

Timeline of WWE Fans' Disenchantment with Roman Reigns

He should be a megastar; he should be on top of the world. Unfortunately, at this point in time, WWE superstar Roman Reigns is not, as described in this article.

Mount That Frustration

What the Hell Is The Walking Dead Even Doing

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Editor's Note: First post on this blog with the "Bruce Springsteen" label.

This is Interesting

  1. I picked Iowa in the Gazette’s Pick ‘Ems (great name, huh?), but without a whit of confidence. 
  2. Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press: Nebraska, 20-17
  3. Four panelists pick Nebraska, three take Iowa 
  4. Garry Smits, Florida Times-Union: Nebraska, 16-14
  5. Brett Nierengarten, Daily Nebraskan: Nebraska, 17-13
  6. USA Five panelists pick Iowa, two take Nebraska
  7. Stewart Mandel, Iowa, 24-17
  8. Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune: Iowa to cover 1.5 points
  9. Lee Barfknecht, Omaha World-Herald: Iowa, 16-13
  10. Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska, 20-17
  11. Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Iowa, 23-20
  12. Four panelists pick Nebraska one takes Iowa
  13. Mike Carmin, Lafayette Journal & Courier: Iowa, 18-12
  14. Dave Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier: Nebraska, 23-21
  15. Jill Heemstra, Corn Nation: Nebraska, 27-20
Of course, Kinnick Stadium was rocking as Iowa rolled over NE, 40 - 10.
Original article: How America is picking Huskers-Hawkeyes

Spouting Off Outrage

Great. Advice from people who have never dealt directly with discipline in the classroom spouting off outrage. This part of the article chaps my ass:

At Roosevelt High, freshman Shaddai Johnson said teens routinely are kicked out of class for minor offenses such as refusing to take out ear buds or using their cellphones
— an approach district leaders want to stop. ... To combat that, teachers are being encouraged to build relationships with students and find teachable moments where behaviors can be addressed without students leaving the room, officials said.

Who decides whether an offense is minor? I disagree with any answer other than "the teacher in their classroom." A major problem with the society I live in - that everyone lives in - is that everyone thinks they are able to make the rules. That's wrong.

And I've been in the classroom on a daily basis when I was a student teacher in 1991. Yes, that was 25 years ago and I'm sure a lot has changed. Yet, I am pretty sure that in every grade in every high school there are kids who will slap a teacher, who will tell another student to "fuck off" and who will just not connect with the teacher. As I reflect upon this article and my experience, I want to say I am glad I never pursued teaching. I do not regret going down a different career path (technical writer) and I have never regretted it in the last 25 years.

Not once.

Read the rest below or online here

Des Moines school discipline reform stirs backlash

Mackenzie Ryan , 9:38 a.m. CST November 27, 2016

Alarmed that too many minority students are getting kicked out of class, Des Moines school leaders are changing the district's use of discipline to sharply reduce suspensions and eliminate expulsions.

Civil rights leaders and some educators applaud the move, noting that black and Hispanic students have been removed from class at far greater rates than white students and saying they're being hurt academically because of it.

But a rising chorus of parents and teachers complain that Des Moines' new policy escalates disruptive behavior in classrooms, at times creating unmanageable situations that hurt the learning of other students.

Students scream, threaten, shove and hit teachers or other students, with little consequence, students, parents and union leaders told the Register. Frustration has increased in some schools to the point that teachers have left for new jobs.

"There's some really incredible examples," said Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines teachers' union. “That's the struggle. Where's the middle ground?"

District leaders said allowing classroom disruption was never the intention, nor the approach they laid out. They contend a new disciplinary approach was needed, even as they acknowledge rising frustration over classroom discord.

"The line we are drawing in the sand is, unless it's for safety and security, removing students from class does not diminish problem behavior," said Jake Troja, the district's director of school climate transformation. “Sometimes it works out well, and sometimes it gets messy. That’s currently where we are at.”

Across the country, student suspensions and expulsions and the role they play in the so-called "school-to-prison" pipeline have gained increased attention. No less than President Barack Obama has called for changes in school discipline.

Des Moines, with more than 30,000 students and 5,000 teachers, responded to the issue, and suspension rates have dropped dramatically.

In-school suspensions are now less than half of what they once were: In 2014-15, Des Moines issued 1,689 in-school suspensions, compared with 4,102 five years earlier, according to the most recent Iowa Department of Education data.
Out-of-school suspensions also fell, with 3,019 in 2014-15, compared with 5,420 five years before.
In addition, no students were expelled in 2014-15, thanks to the district's new alternative program at Scavo High. Six students were expelled five years before.

But teachers have complained about feeling pressured or unsupported in their classrooms. And administrators acknowledge that a few schools have under-reported infractions committed by black students that warrant administrator intervention, such as profanity and repeated classroom disturbances.

“Quite frankly, it manifested itself as, ‘I’ll just stop writing referrals,'" Matt Smith, the district's chief schools officer, told the school board in September during a report about minority male students. "It doesn’t change the behavior. It doesn’t change the mindset. It just masks the data.”

Kaitlin Burgess says she asks her 9-year-old son each afternoon about his day at Monroe Elementary, and hears a litany of classroom disruptions by a student who screams, throws pencils, kicks and hits.

It's bad enough that the rest of the class has had to leave mid-way through lessons or tests, she said.

"His teacher's hands are completely tied," Burgess said. "She can't do anything because it looks like she'll be discriminating" against a minority student.

"He's been hit twice," she said of her son. "I can't really say how safe it is."
Disparities along racial lines

For years, the standard practice for teachers was to kick misbehaving students out of the classroom, sending them to the office or home. Students who had been suspended once often were suspended several times.

District leaders said that approach did little to correct poor behavior or address underlying issues, and it put those students even further behind academically.

The imbalance was especially prevalent among black students, who were disciplined more often than their white or Hispanic peers.

During the 2015-16 school year, black students received 36,842 disciplinary referrals in Des Moines public schools, ranging from Level I referrals, which are minor infractions, to the most serious Level III or Level IV, when suspension or expulsion is possible. Black students accounted for 41 percent of all disciplinary referrals, yet make up only 18.3 percent of district enrollment.
By comparison, white students received 27,380 disciplinary referrals last year, 31 percent of the district total. White students make up 41.9 percent of enrollment.
Hispanic students received 15,103 disciplinary referrals during the 2015-16 school year, 17 percent of the district total. Hispanic students make up 24.8 percent total enrollment.

“No one can be proud of where we are at,” said Des Moines School Board member Rob Barron. “But I’m hopeful about where we are going.”
Alisha Sinclair's kindergarten class at Edmunds AcademyBuy Photo

Alisha Sinclair's kindergarten class at Edmunds Academy in Des Moines practices yoga at the beginning of the school day, Oct. 13, 2016. Here, Sumaya Gaas practices a pose. (Photo: Rodney White/The Register)
Keeping students in class

Discipline can vary widely across the district, students say.

At Roosevelt High, freshman Shaddai Johnson said teens routinely are kicked out of class for minor offenses such as refusing to take out ear buds or using their cellphones — an approach district leaders want to stop.

“I’ve seen kids go into the classroom and purposely get on the teacher's nerve" so they can get thrown out, she said. Sometimes, the students are told to regroup and come back, but they never return, she said.

“They’re almost like: 'OK, I don’t really care, I don’t want to do the work,'" Johnson said. “They’re sent to a place where they can hang out and chill.”

To combat that, teachers are being encouraged to build relationships with students and find teachable moments where behaviors can be addressed without students leaving the room, officials said.

“We can’t eradicate the achievement gap without eradicating the disproportionate time spent out of class,” Superintendent Tom Ahart said.

But there's often resistance. Teacher Megan Austin recalled one teen who asked her, on the second day of class at Brody Middle School, how quickly she would call in a specialist to deal with student behavior.

Every day, it seemed, the student and teacher fought over the girl's cellphone use. But Austin consciously chose not to kick the student out of class so she wouldn't get behind academically.

"It wasn't always easy," she said. "But she was in my class every day."

In some instances, it's the teacher or principal who is changing.

Principal Thomas Hoffman recalls his first day at Brody Middle School, when a student leaned over a stairwell and spit, hitting Hoffman squarely.

Since spitting is considered assault, he could have taken a harsh approach. Instead, Hoffman decided to hang mirrors on the walls so students who misbehave couldn't disappear undetected.

"I'm not a judge, I'm not a jury," Hoffman said. "We teach reading, we teach math and writing, and more and more we are charged with teaching kids how to act."

Adding yoga for calming

Schools are looking closely at what they can do to prevent children or teens from acting out.

In a fourth-grade classroom at Edmunds Elementary, for example, students were refusing to do work and walking out of class.

Staff kept track of the disciplinary referrals and noticed children slowing down and peering inside as they walked past the school’s cafeteria. They determined that the students, many from low-income homes, might not have eaten the night before.

Though they received breakfast at school, lunch wasn't served until 12:30 p.m.

Once the class switched the students' afternoon snack to morning, bad behavior subsided.

"Behavior is a form of communication," said Laura Stanbraugh, a behavior strategist at the school. "What can we do to help?"

Edmunds has seen dramatic results, lowering Level II referrals from 1,195 in 2012-13 to just 303 last year. Suspensions have been virtually eliminated, Principal Jaynette Rittman said.

The school credits an intentional approach, from changing where students line up for recess to twice-daily yoga to help students learn to control their emotions.

Each morning, teachers lead classes through a few stretches — arms overhead, then touching their toes — along with breathing techniques. Each yoga lesson includes a discussion on well-being, such as feeling content or having a positive attitude.

Fourth-grader Libby Latimore likes to imagine herself alone in a quiet space, away from the noise of school or home.

The deep breaths help, especially after being angry. "It helps you forget about it for school," she said. "I calm myself down before I explode."

Teachers get more training

In an attempt to encourage more accurate reporting of behavioral incidents, the district reframed one of its stated goals this school year, said Troja, the director of school climate transformation.

Instead of aiming for a reduction in Level II referrals, which call for an administrator to intervene, the district is focusing on achieving a certain percentage of students who behave appropriately.

"What’s important is that we write it down,” he said, which can help schools spot trends and work toward solutions.

Ahart said increases in classroom misbehavior aren't unique to Des Moines. Other superintendents he's spoken to have noticed it, too.

"We're certainly not immune to increases in challenges, as our poverty rate goes up," he said.

He believes that increased training for teachers will help them understand and deal with cultural differences that might be misinterpreted as disrespectful or aggressive behavior, particularly with black male students.

Des Moines has a five-year, $7 million contract with Learning Sciences International that includes coaching, training, on-site consultation and a student tracking system.

"People are much more cognizant now than a couple years ago about how they're responding," Ahart said of implicit biases that can affect minority children. "Certainly, I would anticipate that there's some second-guessing going on" by teachers.

Others, however, say training alone won't be enough. Gaines, the Iowa lawmaker, said teachers who are unwilling to adjust their "discipline first" approach should not be in the classroom.

"It's a new day and a new age," she said. "Teachers who can't deal with it need to quit."

At-risk students are prone to acting out, and some teachers can be too quick to let them "off the hook," said Trent Grundmeyer, an education professor at Drake University. Those students "pretend they don't want the attention," he said.

He recently visited Mitchellville inmates who attended Iowa schools and expressed regret that teachers let them slide.

“The clear advice from the prisoners was: ‘You’ve got to keep trying, because you can show you care,'" he said. “Without any waver, they said: ‘They need to persevere.’”

As Long as Your Hard Drive is not...

Disk Drill for Windows blurb

Disk Drill, the famous Mac data recovery app, is now available for Windows. Disk Drill is a free professional-grade file recovery software, that values the importance of your data by implementing several safe recovery methods and enabling unique Recovery Vault technology that helps keeping your data secure.
As long as your hard drive is not physically damaged, then Disk Drill will make sure you can easily recover files of all formats from NTFS, FAT, HFS/HFS+, EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 or even formatted, damaged or deleted partitions.

My experience is that what do I do when the drive is physically damaged is never easy. I have 3 dead EHDs in the desk drawer that have a lot of MP3s and other files from my CD to MP3 conversions as well as the EHD from April 2016 in the box from the data recovery company that said "Nope, we can't retrieve the data."

10 Year Old Rises

Metallica Praises 10-Year-Old Drummer's Cover

Some Calm Thoughts on a Cloudy Monday

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Not Cool!

CFB: Michigan's Jabrill Peppers shoves Ohio State fan on field after today's game

Editor's Note: By the way, it was 9 years ago today, 11/26/2016, when I published a post called "a start." It was 113 days (3 months, 3 weeks) between my previous post and the next one.

Being Let Go SUCKS

Despite Lack of Wins, Texas Football Should Be Thankful for Charlie Strong Era

Down to 396

UT v. Cena?

Friday, November 25, 2016


Hungarian Dance


Recall the Positive

Iowa men just were defeated by 31ish tonight.
Tyler Cook First Half Dunks vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley (via

Shitty Mommy

Mom Accused Of Injecting Feces Into Cancer-Afflicted Son’s IV Bag

Huh? Like Seriously, HUH?!?

Bad writing about good movies definitely does the movie no favors. From Mifune: The Last Samurai - Review by Glenn Kenny:

The movie is very good at revealing and expanding upon is how this reluctant actor became such a masterful one.

I would like to have seen commas instead of -- in this sentence:

The star of some of the greatest films ever made—never mind nation or genre, just GREATEST FILMS EVER MADE—the man was an exacting, electrifying performer.

A Day Late

Light of Atlas

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Down the hall a group of white males gather around the cafeteria windows to peek and discuss the sit-in happening outside.
“I don’t understand the point they’re trying to get across, what is the duct tape?” said Nick Fairfield ’20.
“What are 40 west high students going to do?” said Alex Kleinow, ’17.
“Exactly, the election is over – what are they going to do?” Fairfield said, “Trump is the presidential elect and if anything they’re making fools of themselves because I can’t understand what’s going on and their whole point is to make Trump supporters understand what’s going on.”

Happy Tur... Thanksgiving Day

Nothing besides these words will be posted today. Going to enjoy the day with my family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Discovered More Fundamental Reasons to Appreciate Urine

Learning to love the secret language of urine . . .

Great Set List

This setlist is from a band in West Des Moines called I am including it here as there are definitely some candidates for my Ideal Band's setlist!

If I'd Been The One
38 Special
Alan Parsons Project
Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
Alan Parsons Project
April Wine
Hard To Handle
Black Crowes
Jealous Again
Black Crowes
Bruce Hornsby
Summer of '69
Bryan Adams
Cheap Trick
Chris Baszczynski
Lack of Interaction (original)
Chris Baszczynski
Chris Baszczynski
Chris Baszczynski
Without Discretion (original)
Chris Baszczynski
Sunshine of Your Love
White Room
Creedence Clearwater Revival
David Bowie
Highway Star
Deep Purple
Maybe I'm A Leo
Deep Purple
Drift Away
Dobie Gray
Doobie Brothers
Dark-Eyed Cajun Woman
Doobie Brothers
Listen to the Music
Doobie Brothers
Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton
The Way
Five Man Electrical Band
The Fixx
Secret Separation
The Fixx
Some Kinda Wonderful
Grand Funk Railroad
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
The Guess Who
Jimmy Buffett
Blue on Black
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Everything Is Broken
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Last Goodbye
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kim Mitchell
Good Times, Bad Times
Led Zeppelin
Are You Gonna Go My Way
Lenny Kravitz
Little River Band
Sweet Home Alabama
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Can't You See
Marshall Tucker Band
Midnight Oil
On the Turning Away
Pink Floyd
Wrapped Around Your Finger
The Police
Rock'n'Roll Hootchie-Koo
Rick Derringer
Honky Tonk Woman
The Rolling Stones
More Than This
Roxy Music
Evil Ways
Steely Dan
House Is A Rockin'
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Pride And Joy
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Too Much Time On My Hands
Green-Eyed Lady
Bloody Well Right
Wild Life
Talking Heads
Running Down A Dream
Tom Petty
Talk to You Later
The Tubes
The Spell
Uriah Heep
Uriah Heep
Van Zant
Behind Blue Eyes
The Who
Pinball Wizard
The Who