Thursday, December 30, 2010

This is Kick Ass and a great way to end 2010... See you Next YEAR!

Noah as 2010 Winds Down to 24 hours...

In the year 2010, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark.

"Noah!" God roared. "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision. Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark 's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go! When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience. To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species. So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"
"No," said the Lord. 'The government beat me to it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

He Found Something He Likes Better than Football

Iowa Hawkeye running back Adam Robinson was arrested for marijuana possession. He was already suspended from playing in tonight's Insight Bowl. The discussion in the Hawkeye Nation is whether he will return to play for the team. Some people say no. Adam Coker is playing tonight in AZ and doing a fine job. There are at least 2 other recruits that will fill in as Iowa has lost several running backs this year. It's possible they may even recruit yet another running back. Some will say that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and should be forgiven.

My take?

If I were having my college education paid for and if I was suspended from the team, after working my arse off in spring training, pre-season, and during the season - sweating, bleeding, fighting through my own self-imposed limitations that would prevent me from obtaining my peak performance level - only to be told, "No, your choices are not the right ones and you need to think about the consequences of your actions" I sure as hell would not be in anyone's car that has marijuana in it. I sure as hell would walk away and not associate with any friend that smoked pot.

That said...

In 1992, I was in a band. Originally, there were 4 of us. The other 3 smoked pot during rehearsal and at other times when I was around them. At some point, we had another member join the band and this newest member? He smoked pot too. That means 4/5ths of the band smoked pot in the room I was in. If the police had come, perhaps responding to a noise complaint, and discovered that there was pot smoking going on and that I was in the room with them, who knows what would have happened? I don't know the law enough to adequately state I would have been in trouble or if the 4 others would have vouched for me and said, "No, he wasn't involved in this."

I understand where it must be hard, in some sense, for Adam Robinson. I do not know if he was actually smoking pot, if it is popular among Iowa Hawkeye football players or what the heck is going on.

I do know this. Life is about choices. There are definitely consequences for choices that are made. I hope that Adam Robinson is aware of his consequences and that his career as a college football player may be over.

Chances are that he will transfer to another school that needs a running back. He will sit out a year and then return and, with the way things usually go for athletes that leave Iowa for another school, win the Heisman Trophy or something like that. And if that would happen, I would be happy for Adam Robinson but sad for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

It is 12/25/2010. I am sitting in the living room of my in-law's house, using my sister-in-law's Dell PC to share my musings about the world. So many years ago, Christ was born. He was born to sacrifice himself for my sins and the sins of the world. I find it fascinating that Christ gave himself for me and my family and the people I know and the people I do not know. During the Easter season, we will hear him say (paraphrased) 'Let it be your will that is done, not mine, but if you can spare me, spare me.' Christ was human. He bled, taking the worst beating ever recorded in a couple of lines within the Bible. The dramatization of the beating in "The Last Temptation of Christ" was graphic and it made me walk out of the movie theater. It was too much. My history is that blood and guts in the movies do not agree with me. "Pet Sematary," "Braveheart," and even "Doc Hollywood" did not agree with me. There was a movie about firefighters and I almost puked after hearing my wife say, "Oh, his eye is full of blood - he's going to die." It was an amazing sight and it made me nearly sick. I felt a wave of coolness sweep over me. I digress. Christ endured all of that for me. Christ died for us all and today, his birthday, is the day on which we should all rejoice that the Savior is born for us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday

My brother and family welcomed the newest addition to the clan! Congratulations!

JP . . . Ending the Reign

Just read that Judas Priest has announced a farewell tour. So far, the only dates they have announced are in Europe at some multi-day festivals. You can read the Farewell Tour Announcement on their website. My only hope is that when they say "farewell", it means they play in Moline (IL) or Des Moines (IA) or some places that have always supported them. I have never seen the band in person, own few of their releases (Painkiller ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite metal releases) so I would want to see them on this farewell jaunt. I am not going to be able to travel to Europe to see them so I do sincerely hope they play around here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Will Not Bow / No Giving Up

I heard this song on the radio on the way home and I really have to say, I like this band. The vocals out of this guy's throat are awesome.

I also like Crossfade's "No Giving Up."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Better Man

While it seems really hard to believe it is coming up on the 4 year anniversary since I went to Memphis in May, it is equally hard to believe that Pam and Terry, the musicians below in this video, are not known outside of Memphis. They are outstanding. There is nothing, really, like sitting outside on a bar's patio, sipping a beer, and listening to this band. This song "Better Man" is my favorite b/c it captures the essence of this duo: honest lyrics and thoughtful guitar work. The harmonica part is killer as well.

Argument I'm Close to...

"So you don't feel the same way anymore?"
"No, I don't."
"Why don't you go back to the way it was?"
"I don't want to be a failure at what I chose."
"Is it what you wanted?"
"At the time, yes. But I don't feel the same anymore."
"Do you miss the old way of it?"
"Like you wouldn't believe."
"Why don't you just do what makes you happy?"
"Is it that easy? Really?"
"I think so. You won't know unless you try to recapture."
"But what if I'm rejected. I hurt."
"Time is a grand healer. You didn't hurt that deeply."
"I wish I had the answer."
"You do. It will just take time to figure out if you are smart enough to listen to it."

Couldn't Get to Sleep

Alex had gone to bed @ 10:30 and came back down about 11:30, complaining he couldn't fall asleep. I went upstairs and laid with him. I ended up falling asleep before him and that didn't make him any happier. Finally, we both slept. I woke up @ 7 and am down here, doing my contract technical writing. I'm hoping to put in at least 5 hours (7-12).

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Wow. 3 years ago I started this blog and just reached my 600th post. That's about a 200 post / year clip, ~4 posts a week. I certainly didn't know when I started this what to expect. The fact that I waited between 11/27/2007 and 3/18/2008 before I made my second post is just fascinating, at least to me.

I don't think anyone else really gives a rat's ass...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Thoughts

In Balltown, there were a lot of euchre games played. I did okay in some and not as okay in others. A lot of laughter. In general, though, I did not feel the best. My head has had an ache (translation: headache) for the majority of my time in Balltown. Ibuprofen and Aleve have helped but have not eliminated the feeling in my brain. It is 11 PM on a Saturday and if I were to be in bed by 11:01, I would be happy with that.

In other news, the Hawkeyes finished the season 7-5 with a loss in the Twin Cities. Their losses were to Arizona, Wisconsin, Indiana (right?!?), Northwestern, and Minnesota.

In yet other news, my brother-in-law showed me the following Brad Paisley video:

and I tried to show him the Texas Hippie Coalition:

There's also been this video that captured my undivided attention.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weeks ahead Look Promising

There are many exciting things in the weeks ahead, including, but not limited to, the following:
  1. Alex's basketball team plays their final regular game on 12/2/10 and plays the fall session finale on Monday, 12/6/10 @ 6:30
  2. There are band and choir concerts the week of 12/5.
  3. I turn 41 on 12/4
  4. First Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and the hoopla that goes with that...
  5. Installing new windows in the kids' rooms before the end of the year.
  6. Alex's drum lessons and Megan's sax lessons on Monday nights = more drumming on the Yamaha DTX @ West Music.
Anything else that life throws at me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Alex's drum teacher asked if Alex could come back tonight for a second lesson this week so I got to play the electronic set again tonight. I wailed on one of the songs. I really wish there was a 'business' reason to pull that set home, but I'm not actively playing in a band, not actually looking into playing in a band, and don't really forsee myself being able to justify the added monthly payment such an investment would require. I'll keep my mind open to new opportunities and perhaps a zillion and one dollars will land in my lap. Until that day, I'll keep playing that set at West Music and enjoying the 1/2 hour I get to be with it. It felt really good tonight. I felt like I began to stretch beyond what I would normally play because I allowed the pre-programmed drum part to be played and I played along with that, mimicing it at times and just doing my own thing during other parts. I really wish I could get rid of this terrible habit of playing RLRR LRLL with my feet. I know I practiced paradiddles with my feet, tough to do by the way, but now when I want rumbling RLRL RLRL RLRL RLRL under a bar of 4/4, I end up with RLRR LRLL. It sounds weird. Maybe that's what I'll be known for someday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Prior to Moving On, A thought...

I really *really* like taking Alex to drum lessons @ West Music. I really *really* like walking in, going into their drum room, reaching into their bucket of sticks and picking two, exiting the drum room, walking to an electronic drumset, putting on headphones, picking a drum set from the multiple options that are pre-programmed, and then playing drums during Alex's lesson. For the last two weeks, I had the best of it all because Alex's drum lesson was from 6:30-7 and then Megan's sax lesson was from 7-730. That meant, literally, playing drums for 1 hour. My shoulders and arms were tired the last two Monday nights. Tonight, it was an intense 6:30-7. I dabbled in rock, country, blues, 6/8 pop, metal, and some tracks where there was just a tambourine or just an agogo rhythm. It was a lot of fun. The set I play lists for $4399. I don't know if that includes all equipment to make it go through a speaker or not. There is a $300 rebate from now until the end of the year. If only...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


November 14 is a special day for two reasons. First, in order of age, Grandma Simons would have been 102. Second, my brother in the Twin Cities is 38. We are going to CR to Grandma's grave, then to see Mom, then to Wal-Mart to find boots for Alex, then home until 4:30 when Alex and I will leave for basketball practice. Busy day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Alex's Game Last Night

Excitement last night @ Alex's game.

The team we played had a 1-3 record, just like us. It was a battle of the basement teams.

Started out and neither team could make a layup or anything. It was scoreless for the first 4-5 minutes. Then it was 2-0 for what seemed like forever.

By 1/2 time, things were tolerable. They built a 4 pt lead but we came back and were down by 2 @ 1/2 time.

In the 2nd half, more back and forth. We missed easy shots but they missed them as well. Neither team could dominate. There were a lot of bad calls.

Finally, us behind 18-20, with 8 seconds left, my son went to the free throw line and tied it. You should have seen his face! Fist pump action!

Then we got the ball, got fouled and Alex K, our tallest kid went to the free throw line with :01 seconds, score 20-20. He lined up to shoot the free throw and all our kids were back across 1/2 court. As he was about to shoot, one of our players ran across 1/2 court to line up. They called a lane violation and waved off the MADE free throw ... we would have won if he wouldn't have ran across but he is new to the game. His teammates should have instructed him to not move.

So we went to OT. In OT, we were down right away 22-20, then made a couple of baskets to be 24-22. With :01 in OT, they threw up a shot and it went in. The ref said that he didn't get it off in time. I am glad there is no instant replay in our league b/c it was darn close!

We are now 2-3. We play a good team next week. Then on 12/2, play the team of kids a year younger than us. This is always a heated game but we respond well - I think we won last year. Then we have a final game. I predict we will play the team we played last night and I expect to win that game. We could end up 4-4, if the kids respond well. It will take a lot of hard work on their part.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Relocating to SF Virtually

If you see "Location: San Francisco, CA (Virtual work with possibility for on-site meetings as needed. Local candidates only." and live in Iowa, you think, "this would not work for me." But then, you read, in the same ad, "NOTE: 100% Remote Positions."

Which is right? Do you have to live in SF, CA, or can you live in Iowa and do this work?

As it is, the job looks awesome, but I won't apply for it because if they can't get the ad right, would they be able to get my paycheck right?!?

Techie Note

My co-worker passed this along today. I have 3 PCs on my work desk. First, there is One Laptop, my laptop with my Adobe CS5 (InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver) and MS Office 2010. Next is Desktop Two that runs one of the many software applications I am going to write about. Next is Laptop Three that runs a simulator for the product that is actually controlled by the software that is installed on Desktop Two. I wanted to allow these three PCs to talk to each other because, essentially, I will be using a screen capture utility on PC Two but inserting them into the InDesign file on my One Laptop.

All that to set up this blurb from Wikipedia:

How to enable in Windows Vista and Windows 7

By default, Windows Vista and newer versions of Windows prevent local accounts from accessing administrative shares through the network.

To enable administrative shares you have to make a registry change. Click on Start Menu and in the search box type ‘regedit’ and press ENTER. Add this registry item:

Key: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
Name: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

After rebooting, the hidden share is accessible from other computers.

This is my statement that the above method worked for me!

I don't miss working with InDesign at that hellhole in southern Iowa.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Old technology

You go to a store. You buy a top-loading washing machine. You get it home, you open up the manual and the manual is all about how to operate a front loading machine. You have a top-loading machine. Your instructions do not match your product.

You call the manufacturer. "I bought a top-loading washing machine, but the instructions are for a front loading machine. Can you send me the right instructions?"

"Those are the right instructions," is the reply in your ears. "We didn't want to be known as a company that couldn't keep up with the times so we changed our instructions to be for a front-loading machine. Those are the latest and greatest and every one is using them."

"I just bought a top-loading machine. These instructions don't match what I have."

"Sorry. We don't want to deal with old technology - only new technology. When you bought your top-loading machine, was it a close-out deal or something like that."

"Not that I'm aware of."

"What's the model number?"

"20101104," you say.

"Oh, that's only a few years old. Hmm. Well, we don't want to deal with old technology."

"So, you're saying I get instructions that do not match the washing machine I just purchased? Front loading the machine isn't possible - it's not physically possible."

"We don't want to deal with old technology. I cannot do anything else for you. Would you like to complete a customer survey regarding this call?"


There's a pause.

"Hello? Yes, I'm your representative's supervisor and if you have a minute, I'd like to ask you about the customer service you received."


"Was your customer service representative courteous?"

"I guess so. The question I wanted to have answered is how do I get a manual for a top-loading washing machine."

"I'm sorry, but a top-loading machine is old technology."

"That's what your customer service rep just said."

"And they are right."

"But I have a top-loading machine that I paid for. You should give me documentation that matches the make and model I have. It says on your website that top-loading machines are available. Actually, I only see where they are listed as possible configurations if I order online."

"Hmm, I'm not in charge of the website."

"So you're saying you are not able to provide a manual for a supported make/model of your product, but you are able to provide a manual for a non-supported make/model of your product?"

"Yes, that is correct."

"Don't you think something is wrong with that?"

"No. You see, a top-loading washing machine is..."

"Let me guess. Old technology."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where Did You Fall?

In light of the election, I would have to say that I am generally happy with the results. I refuse to think that there are only two sides to politics. My dream world would be where a 3rd party provides a true alternate to the Democrats and Republicans. I think that Obama, despite many policy differences, is charismatic and a good speaker. I think saying we're going to withdraw from a country in which we are fighting is a poor choice. I think that it would be better to quit posturing and presenting our enemies with a timeline for when they can step up their resistance. "Oh, the Americans are gone on July 1 so on July 2nd, we'll detonate the bombs and kill hundreds of civilians," is what I imagine our enemies saying to each other. And that would really suck. Yet, I understand that we cannot keep fighting a war that doesn't really serve a purpose. There are bad guys there. Yep. There's bad guys in North Korea and in other places around the world. You can't just go country to country and knock out your enemies. You can, but I think it doesn't set the right example. The right example is 'finishing the job' whatever that means, and leaving. What is the job in the war we are fighting? When is it done? Do both parties have to be happy with the result of the job or just one? Is one of the parties going to feel relieved when the other party is out of the equation and back on their side of the world? I don't really know. It's been too long since I've really thought about the job they are doing over there. Seriously, life goes on in my world. It's terrible to say that. I know that there are soldiers doing what I could never, ever, possibly do. I could not survive boot camp. Flat-out, there's no way. And I know they are fighting for me so I don't have to be there. And I still manage to get wrapped up in my world of a new job, learning new things, and today, today of all days, getting a massage at work that the company actually pays for instead of me. And someday, there may come a time where it happens more than once a month. Wouldn't that be a relief? Filing this under busy life.

I Did a BAD thing...

I went to vote last night @ 6:50 PM. There was a 40 minute wait.

I turned around and walked out.

I feel so unpatriotic.

But I was not going to wait 40 minutes in line.

Karen went out to eat with friends and before I left, we put pizza rolls in the oven. I thought I'd be back in 10 minutes so I didn't bring my cell. I had no way to tell them, "Go ahead and eat."

I came back home, we ate pizza rolls while watching an episode of "Cheers" and then went on to other activities of the night.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

That didn't work

So much for that. The last four days have been crazy busy. Scratch the whole 600 posts by 11/1 thing as it is 10/31 and I don't have 15 interesting things to say.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2 of 16

I went to the eye doctor today. I was only going to pick out frames but since my eye glasses are nearly 2 years old, I am returning, tomorrow @ 8 AM, for an eye exam. I have the frames picked out. I don't really care what my glasses look like as all they do is help me see. I am wearing them now. I wear them all the time. The only time I wish I didn't wear them is when I was watching Alex's basketball team come unglued in front of my eyes. It was an awful game. The team did not play good defense and if they are not mad at themselves, they should not play the game. Losing by 40 points is awful.
But back to my story about the eye doctor. I have my appt tomorrow AM and then I'll drive to work.
I like my drive to and from work. The people are friendly. I've eaten twice at the Kalona Family Restaurant and it was very good. I took my truck for an oil change on Monday and Jerry, the owner of the place, was nice. My co-workers are all nice. The work I have to do is challenging, as I learn InDesign and purge myself of the MS Word workflow. It's been a good move.

1 of 16

I vaguely remember this sort of challenge back when I wrote songs. Yes, I was a songwriter. I had visions of being in an all original music band, preferably hard rock or heavy metal, and playing songs that I wrote. I had visions of one of my best friends being my drum roadie, my band headlining the Cedar Rapids, IA, concert hall (US Cellular Center), and 'making it' in the music industry. Teaching high school English was going to be my fallback in the bizarre case that being a rock and roll drummer somehow, inconceivably, didn't work out. I was going to play drums, I was going to have Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, Pro Mark drumsticks, and Remo drum heads. At the time, no one was making clear shell drums, like mine are, and so Ludwig was going to start up production again, just for me, just for my band, and I was going to have a huge double bass set, even though I can not, to this day, really play double bass. That was the plan. That is why I filled 18 spiral notebooks, of various sizes but a few were 200 pages, with songs. I feverishly wrote songs on place mats when I worked at a restaurant. I wrote so many songs that I can only vaguely remember writing some of them - the rest don't seem to have made an impression. I was going to write my heart out and leave it all on the pages. I was going to make my dream of being the next Billy Joel or Sting come through. I was going to write the equivalent of "Operation: Mindcrime" - the great concept album by Queensryche. I was going to write lyrics that would make Rush's Neil Peart think, "Wow! Great lyrics and he plays drums too!" I was going to earn the respect of all these musicians I admired - Lars Ulrich, Tommy Aldridge, Alex Van Halen. And then, I was going to meet the ultimate musician - Eddie Van Halen. He was going to invite me to an audition because Alex was unable to tour due some mysterious ailment. We were going to play arenas around the world - Michael Anthony on bass, Eddie on guitar, me on drums, and David Lee Roth on vocals. That was the plan.

Funny how plans change.

Nearly every thing I wrote about in the first paragraph did not happen. I never will play the US Cellular Center. If anything my friend will be the one in the band and I would be the one setting up his drums. I will never meet any of the musicians I mentioned above. The only thing that is really relevant is a dim memory that I used to write a lot of lyrics.

And, one time, I challenged myself to write a lot of songs in 16 days. That's the whole point.

Bet you thought I didn't have a point...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Here's a challenge. I am at 583 posts in this blog. Either I will meet the challenge of posting 4 meaningful posts a day for the next four days, resulting in 600 posts as of Monday, 11/1/2010, or I will not. And if I do not, I will certainly hit 600 posts by 1/1/2011.

But this is the last filler post. The real content starts tomorrow night. Four posts Thur, four on Fri (challenging!), four on Sat (especially since the CEW meeting is requiring me to leave early Sat AM) and four on Sun (possibly the easiest, though Hallow's Eve twists it a bit).

Checking In

Nothing is better than sitting @ the PC and listening to some classics:
  1. Dynamite Boy - Somewhere in America
  2. Bigwig - An Invitation to Tragedy & Reclamation
  3. Metallica - Master of Puppets
  4. Rush - Moving Pictures

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Schedule Update

What a week behind us and what a week ahead...
  • Sunday
    • 11 AM Mass
    • Nap?!?
    • Alex Basketball practice from 7-8
    • Desparate Housewives
  • Monday
    • Megan has a choir concert @ West - I am taking her
    • Alex drum lessons - Karen is taking him
    • WWE
  • Tuesday
    • Refinancing closing @ 5
    • Teen Mom
  • Wednesday
    • Megan has a band concert @ West
    • Cutthroat
  • Thursday
    • I have a dentist appt @ 8 AM
    • Alex has a basketball game @ 6:30
    • Grey's Anatomy / Private Practice
  • Friday
    • NOTHING!
  • Saturday
    • I have a CEW Leadership meeting in Waterloo. I will leave NL ~7
    • The football game is Iowa hosting MSU
    • I think Alex or Megan serve @ 5:15 Mass

So that's my schedule. If I look ahead:

  • Sunday (10/31)
    • Trick or Treat
    • No Basketball practice
    • Desparate Housewives
  • Monday (11/1)
    • Alex drum lessons
    • WWE
  • Tuesday (11/2)
    • Teen Mom
  • Wednesday (11/3)
    • Megan has RE
    • I have four (free) tickets to the U of I Band Extravaganza at Carver
    • Cutthroat
  • Thursday (11/4)
    • Alex has a basketball game @ 6:30
    • Grey's Anatomy / Private Practice
  • Friday (11/5)
    • Megan has a dance and is having a friend sleepover
  • Saturday (11/6)
    • The football game is Iowa at Indiana
    • 5:15 Mass
    • After Mass, bassist Keith and guitarist Jim are coming over
  • Sunday (11/7)
    • Alex basketball practice 5-6 @ Regina

Somewhere in there I need to write some music reviews!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Iowa Loses to WI

Time is running out, Stanzi completes a pass in-bounds, they have spent their last time out and time runs out on them. They lose to WI 31-30. They showed a lot of disbelief in the stands - one girl in particular looked like she was in tears.

Matt Hardy Gets his Release

Friday, October 22, 2010


Alex's team did better than I expected. After being down 24-12, we stormed back and lost by 6. Alex scored two baskets (a jumpshot and a free throw) so he pumped his fist in the air after each. I felt proud of him.

Today is his 12th birthday. We went to Planet X in CR and then to Happy Joe's for supper. They came over to sing to him and the girl says, "I hear you have a birthday."
Alex replies, "Sure!"
"And you're turning 12?"

Was the girl cute? Apparently to him!

And life goes on...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Progress Expected

I hope to make progress within the next 24 hours on a couple of projects. The first is ultra-personal and will not be disclosed while the second is not as personal. The second deals with Alex's basketball game tonight. My hope is that the team plays together well and that we enter the game with the right mentality - that it is possible to win. Any other attitude - "we'll do okay" - is not all right with me.

Work is going well. I am learning InDesign, which is basically a page layout app. It is challenging to think in a different paradigm than what I thought in using MS Word. Time will tell which is the better tool. I would convert to MS Word but I know the next project I work on is going to be a 160+ page manual that is in InDesign. I'd like to think that tackling a 10 page project will make the 160 page project easier to deal with.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Job

I accepted a new job, with a different company, on Monday, 9/27/2010, and submitted my two week notice on Monday, 10/4/2010. My last day was Friday, 10/15/2010. I start at my new job tomorrow (!!) Monday, 10/18/2010. I am very excited to be starting a new chapter in my career. I worked at my previous employer for 12 years. I definitely nested and have the challenge in front of me to meet new co-workers, learn new systems, and make a difference. I think it is going to rock. I am anxious for a Monday, which is kind of weird to say. My commute is going to be 10 minutes more to the new place v. the previous place. I need to update my resume with an end date for the previous place. I need to embrace change and learn as much as I can as quickly as I can. It is going to be a busy week with the kids' activities but I will hopefully have more to say some night this week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Procedure Done...

An Iowa Hawkeye fan is drinking (imagine that) in a New York bar when, he gets a call on his cell phone. He hangs up, grinning from ear to ear, and orders a round of drinks for everybody in the bar announcing his wife has produced a typical Hawkeye baby boy weighing 25 pounds. Nobody can believe that any new baby can weigh in at 25 pounds, but the Iowa fan just shrugs, "That's about average back home, folks, like I said, my boy's a typical Iowa Hawkeye baby boy'. Congratulations showered him from all around, amid many exclamations of "WOW!".
One woman actually fainted due to sympathy pains.
Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender says, "Say, you're the father of that typical Iowa Hawkeye baby that weighed 25 pounds at birth. Everybody's been making bets about how big he'd be in two weeks. So how much does he weigh now?"
The proud father answers, "Seventeen pounds." The bartender is puzzled, concerned, and a little suspicious. "What happened? He already weighed 25 pounds the day he was born!"
The Iowa father takes a slow swig from his beer, wipes his lips on his shirt sleeve, leans into the bartender "Had him circumcised."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Better, Best!

1) DVD of the Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax)
2) Metallica new release from their secret warm-up gig before Bonerroo(sic) a few years back.
3) Twisted Sister live DVD featuring "Burn in Hell"!!!

How sweet is life!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Metallica

Uncle Sam

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan ,
I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'.
I do not like this spending spree---
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.

I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!

The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump died and went to Heaven. He was at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates were closed, and Forrest approached the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, 'Well, Forrest, it is certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven.'

Forrest responded, 'It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was.'

St. Peter continued, 'Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.

What two days of the week begin with the letter T?

How many seconds are there in a year?

What is God's first name?'

Forrest left to think the questions over. He returned the next day and saw St. Peter, who waved him up, and said, 'Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers.'

Forrest replied, 'Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter 'T'? Shucks, that one is easy . . . That would be Today and Tomorrow.'

The Saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, 'Forrest, that is not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit for that answer.

'How about the next one?' asked St. Peter.

'How many seconds in a year? Now that one is harder,' replied Forrest, 'but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve.'

Astounded, St. Peter said, 'Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?'

Forrest replied, 'Shucks, there's got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd .. . .'

'Hold it,' interrupts St. Peter. 'I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had in mind . . . but I will have to give you credit for that one, too. Let's go on with the third and final question.

'Can you tell me God's first name'?

'Sure,' Forrest replied,'it's Andy.'

'Andy?' exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. 'Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?'

'Shucks, that was the easiest one of all,' Forrest replied. 'I learnt it from the song, ANDY WALKS WITH ME,

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said: 'Run, Forrest, Run.'

I Know I'm Tired of This, but...

What a week behind and weeks coming up!

This last week's schedule:
  • Mon - Alex drum lessons @ 6:30
  • Tue - Alex football skills camp @ 5:30
  • Wed - Took the kids to the Riverside Casino hotel so they could go swimming with Grandma and Grandpa.
  • Thu - Went to Texas Roadhouse with Karen's folks for their 49th wedding anniversary, then to the Riverside Casino. Started with $20. Put $5 in the slot machine. It spit out $30. Put the remaining $15 in, lost that, so I walked out with being $10 ahead.
  • Fri - Went to the Regina v. Camanche game. Regina won, 42-0.
  • Sat - Picking up the camper in Davenport, then up to the place we store it for the winter. Coming home in time for 5:15 Mass, then to Dave and Cindy's to watch the IA v. PSU game.
  • Sun - Going up to see my mom at the nursing home. Get the house picked up. Alex has basketball practice from 7-8.
and then....
  • Mon - Going to Megan's game at Regis in CR; Alex drum lessons @ 6:30
  • Tue - Alex football skills camp @ 5:30
  • Wed - Coaches meeting for Alex's basketball team; Megan RE
  • Thu - Alex basketball practice
  • Fri - If we've managed to get the house in order, Kennedy plays West @ West; otherwise, get the house in shape for the party.
  • Sat - Hosting Debbie's 50th birthday party.
  • Sun - Going up to see my mom at the nursing home.
and then....
  • Mon - Alex drum lessons @ 6:30
  • Tue - Alex football skills camp @ 5:30
  • Wed - Megan RE
  • Thu - Alex basketball practice (probably)
  • Fri - Get the house in shape for the party.
  • Sat - Hosting Karen's jewelry party. I think the men are going to Gus'.
  • Sun - Going up to see my mom at the nursing home.
And then... by the time that is over, I can start writing about other things in my life....

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Return of Chaos

As the month winds down, it feels like change is in the air.

For one thing, Alex's basketball season is starting to ramp up. Weekly practices have begun on most Sundays and Thursdays. Drum lessons were tonight at West Music. Football starts tomorrow night. Megan began religious education classes last Wednesday. The new season of "Survivor" began two weeks ago. The new seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" began last Thursday. This Thursday, we are going to Texas Roadhouse with Karen's parents for their 49th wedding anniversary. We're taking the camper to storage Saturday AM and roundtripping from NL to Davenport (to pick up the camper), to Zhwingle (where we store it) and then back home in time for 5:15 Mass, then home to watch the Iowa v. PSU game that starts at 7. Sunday is going up to see my mother in the nursing home (I hope) and basketball practice.

Then it starts all over again. A new season of the "Road Rules/Real World" challenges begins next week.

Nine words women use
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').
(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying FOOL YOU!
(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pretty Punny

A man calls 911:
Man: "Help! My wife's gone into labor!"
911 Operator: "Is this her firstborn?"
Man: "No, you idiot, this is her husband."

A guy inherits a farm from his uncle. It's a beautiful place - lots of acreage, a pond ... and a big barn. He goes to look at the barn and inside he sees a bunch of penguins waddling around. He figures the place is worth a ton of money, but he has to get rid of the penguins, so he waves down a hippie driving by in his VW microbus and asks him to take the penguins to the zoo. With the penguins gone, he calls a realtor and sells the place that afternoon for a million dollars. Then he gets a call from the hippie: "I took the penguins to the zoo, and then we took in a movie ... what time do you want them back home?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Frayed Ends of Sanity

I think hands down, this is my favorite Metallica song. It wasn't surpassed with "All Nightmare Long" on Death Magnetic.

But this is not Metallica. This is Six Feet Under. Enjoy.

Crappy Tour Schedule, Drummers, and Master

So I'm reading this over on

Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR will embark on a 32-date North American tour in November/December. Support on the trek will come from countrymen ENSLAVED and BLOOD RED THRONE, plus DAWN OF ASHES from Los Angeles.

Confirmed tour dates are as follows:

Nov. 05 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA
Nov. 06 - Northern Lights - Albany, NY
Nov. 07 - Recher Theater - Towson, MD

So far, so good.

Nov. 08 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
Nov. 10 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA

Wait. What. You're going from NY to GA? Wow. Must be going to stay in the south.

Nov. 12 - Mr. Smalls - Pittsburgh, PA

Wait, what. Now you're going all the way back up to the northeastern part of the country?

Nov. 13 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Detroit, MI

Okay, Pittsburgh to Detroit - that's easier than NY to GA.

Nov. 14 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
Nov. 15 - The Rave - Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 16 - Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN

That's fairly typical - hit the big cities around Iowa.

Nov. 18 - MacEwan Ballroom - Calgary, AB - CANADA

Then the tour goes across Canada to the northwestern part of the country before going south through CA, once again, totally skipping Iowa.

Apocalyptica had these dates earlier this year:

April 22 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
April 23 – Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
April 24 – St. Louis, IL @ Pop’s
April 26 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café
April 27 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues

And what the hell is this?!?!?

Jordison Named Top Drummer

Slipknot star Joey Jordison has been voted the best drummer of the past 25 years in a new magazine poll.

The musician came top in the survey by Rhythm - and he's stunned by the result of the rundown, saying, "This is beyond unbelievable. Something like this reminds me every day why I continue to do this."

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater claimed second place, while the third spot went to Gavin Harrison of British rockers Porcupine Tree.

Rush's Neil Peart came fourth in the vote with Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl rounding out the top five.

I think Chris Adler is a helluva lot better than Dave Grohl.

I like these kids playing "Master of Puppets."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What a Night!

Why do I whistle a mid-70s single when I'm getting dressed? Can someone answer that?


I'm at a point in life where it seems like I know how to juggle and throw several things up in the air. I have irons in multiple fires, like I wrote about last time, that I am still partially waiting for a result.There are also things that I have going on that I do not want to write about. Let's just say that I want my actions to prove myself, not words.

We went to the Regina Fall Fun Fest last night and worked in the garage sale. I found a bunch of MAD Magazines . . . and purchased 3 for $1.50. I bought them because I owned them way back when. I do not really remember what prompted me to throw them out. I wish I never would have done that. We also picked up a bike for Alex for his birthday present. It was marked as $100 and we got it for $50. It's a Giant brand and, per one of our RAGBRAI riding friends, a very good bike.

After that, we got home and started watching "Titanic." That movie... I don't care how awful some people think it is, but the sheer special effects of all the people drowning, the boat cracking, the steam pipe thing falling on people, the boat tipping back... good job James Cameron for having the vision to create that movie. Now, I know that me saying "good job" is never going to ring in Cameron's ears... but I'll say it anyway.

Today is the first Iowa game. That is from 11-2. We are going to 5:15 Mass and I will play drums. Tomorrow, we need to clear out the camper because on Monday, we are taking the camper to Davenport for some warranty work. Then, on 10/2, the PSU v. IA game, we are picking it up in Davenport and taking it to storage up by Dubuque.

Before picking it up, I think every weekend is full. We have the Brewers v. Cubs game in Milwaukee, WI, we have a CEW Leadership conference, a walk in Dubuque, a tailgate party at church... I don't have my calendar handy but I know there's a lot going on.

October is just as busy, with the aforementioned camper pick up and PSU game. The following weekend is a party here for our friend Debbie; the following weekend is Karen's jewelry party (and hopefully hanging cabinets in the storage room with my bro-in-law and fath-in-law; the following weekend is Alex's birthday; then it's Halloween.

And on and on.

Life is good. Throw in a few other things that I haven't mentioned and wow... we are going to be busy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brain Teasers

I am not a fan of brain teasers.

What comes next in this sequence:


Your choices are K Z U or W

The answer is W because from E to H is 3, H to L is 4, L to Q is 5 so Q +6 = W.

Like that one? I don't. I like the reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise with Bruce Willis as the voice of the Thing. That would be okay with me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A new Look

There are so many things happening in life right now, it's hard to capture them in words.

  1. The camping season is over so we are actively seeking winter storage. We are hoping the finalize where we will store the camper within the next week.
  2. There were repairs that needed to be made to the camper. We are also actively seeking to have those resolved prior to taking the camper to storage.
  3. Alex's basketball season will kick off next week, the Thursday after Labor Day. We will have fewer kids than last year so each player will be expected to contribute.
  4. Work is insanely busy as I push to get my work done that must be completed prior to the update being released to clients. After a co-worker finishes a task, I will have (roughly) 3 days of work. That was my guess. I hope it goes a lot quicker (like 1 morning :>)) but I don't want to jinx myself.
  5. We added a third driver last week (actually, the license arrived this week) so I will be starting driver's ed (go to an empty parking lot before getting into traffic) soon.
  6. Played drums @ Mass on Sunday @ 11 and it was fantastic! There were 14 high schoolers singing their guts out and two guitarists along with piano and clarinet. It sounded great. I'd really like to start recording the way we sounded!
  7. We go to the Brewers/Cubs game on 9/12 but are leaving 9/11, the day of the Iowa/ISU game. Tentatively, we will go to the Miller Brewery tour on Saturday. The assembly line fascinates me.
  8. My father-in-law, Karen, our neighbor Mike, and I hung cabinets in the laundry room. We have more to hang in our storage room, but it's probably going to be a month before I think about it. Seriously.
  9. The CDs to review keep roaring in. Wrote a review of Emily Shirley's 5 song EP. Liked it. I have a "Classic Albums" DVD of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and I hope to get Avenge Sevenfold's new one along with the "Big Four" DVD (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth) soon. I have a large backlog. I'd like to say I'm going to write a review a day for the month of September, but I'm not sure if that's possible.
  10. I have been dabbling into songwriting again, something I kind of gave up in 1995 when it just didn't seem like I could write anything else. I've put together nearly 30 songs with some ideas for music on a yellow legal tablet. Some of them were written just to write them, but a couple of them have potential. Some of the titles are "Your Moment to be Dead", "No Rhythm", and "When You Say Die," and "No Return to Sender". I don't have my notebook next to me to even say if these are all ones I would consider having potential. I know "Your Moment to be Dead" and "When You Say Die" have some musical ideas written down on the rough draft of the sheet of paper. I am transcribing them into a single notebook and, actually, have written a couple of others. I'm not taking it too seriously but I would like to think that if a guitarist called me up and said, "Hey, let's do original music" that maybe some of the ideas I've written down in July/August might be interesting to try out.
  11. I'm working on a couple of personal projects involving efforts to improve myself. I have lost 20 pounds (going from 244 to 224) and I would like to lose another 20. I'm trying to make smart choices regarding food and drink less Pepsi, though some days, that is really hard. I am also trying to pray more and to thank God daily for his blessings on my life and family. There are also prayers for my wife as she deals with me , my daughter who is dealing with being a teenager, and for my son who is dealing with his sister being a teenager. I also have added prayers for my mother in the nursing home with AD, for my father who is dealing with a wife of nearly 50 years deteriorate in front of him, for my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting a baby girl in December. I also have been saying prayers for my co-worker's daughter who was found dead in February, for my co-worker who was struck on her bike by a truck, and for my manager's mother who was buried earlier this month.
  12. On a lighter note, I got to sit at the electronic drum set at West Music on Monday night during Alex's lesson. It felt so good to play drums! It was so awesome! It really, truly, is a highlight of my week. I put on headphones, press a button to take out the prerecorded drum part, and pick a genre like "LA Metal" or "Rock and Roll" or even "Country" and just jam out. No one can hear me except for the tap tap tap of the pads. It is so much fun.

And with that, good night. I hope to have more posts in the month of September than I did in August. What's the point of a blog if it's never updated? Exactly! I think maybe tomorrow night I will purge my inbox, like I wrote about last time.

Or not.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hard Luck Woman, Please... LEAVE ME!

Ever since Alex "discovered" KISS and persuaded me to put "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Night", I have frequently listened to "Double Platinum" while sitting ever so briefly at this PC. Of all the songs on this release, I keep coming back to:

And this one:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Purge Part 2

So I sit in my cubicle by day and these e-mail messages come to me b/c I subscribe to various technical writer groups. I get e-mail messages about pencil shavings and I think, wow, I need to send that to my personal e-mail account so I can look it up at night. Then I get home at night and one thing leads to another and I don't look at the e-mail messages or I forgot why I thought it would be neat to look at a collection of aerial photography produced by Yann Arthus-Bertrand during the day so I don't immediately look at it. Sometimes, I get distracted by the promises I've made:

How's it going? I've been out of town the past few weeks. Are you still planning on reviewing my album?

and I think about needing to do so. My mind travels through a vast landscape and I often contemplate whether I will ever 'get done' all that needs to 'get done.' It's a common theme when I talk to some co-workers and even friends. There are people shuffling in the work force, moving from job to job, but not one seems to find my employer or my department. For example, we are one manager, 4 Team Leads, and 2 non-TLs. We were a department of 13. As people left, their responsibilities have been absorbed by those that remain. It becomes a nightmare of juggling number one priorities and just hoping that the priority that was ultimately assigned as "number one" is the right "number one" in the big picture, not in the little niche of the world I inhabit. There was a meeting today and if I were to have the time to do what I want to do, I would have enough work for at least a couple of months, doing only one specific part of my job that has fell to the backburner, not because it was deemed a lower priority but because other higher priorities pushed it back. In fact, there are over 500 things I need to do (predominantly the same task for 500 different things) and, unfortunately, it's not an overall task that can be done in a week. It's not like I can complete 100 a day and be done in 5 work days. It's more like 50 a day x 10 work days. But I don't have 10 work days to devote to it.

And if I worked non-stop at home, I'd miss out funny things like an escape key making a break for it and pleas from drummers on like this one, verbatim:

Im looking to join a band or start one with committed people only. Im tired of drama filled crap and people missing a thousand practices. I want people who want to play live and not just sit and jam and call yourself a band. Jaming is fun and everything but I want to play songs live.

+ Influences
I have way to many influences to list but Ill name my 10 biggest as far as playing drums is concerned.

Peter Criss KISS
Eric Carr KISS
Eric Singer KISS
Neil Peart Rush
Joey Kreamer Aerosmith
Tommy Lee Motley Crue
Rick Allen Def Leppard
Lars Ulrich Metallica
Keith Moon The Who
Nick Mason Pink Floyd

I could say almost the exact same thing, except I would list Alex Van Halen instead of Jerry Kramer, Liberty DeVito instead of Keith Moon, and (after seeing Fear Factory last month) Gene Hoglan instead of Nick Mason. Tommy Lee and Rick Allen would be borderline includees but I am being flexible.

Here's something I didn't know:
Dodge had an ad with a monkey. PeTA, of course, whined about it. SoDodge made the monkey disappear. It's kinda funny.

Editor's Note - the video in question was removed from so it is no longer available for your viewing pleasure.

Editor's Note - the video in question was removed from so it is no longer available for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Week Ahead... and a Purge

Once again, this is going to be a busy week.

Tomorrow is my work's client conference. I am at the conference from 7 AM - ~11:40 and then I go back to my cubicle and work.

Tuesday and Wednesday, I am not at the conference.

Thursday, I have a project that I need to work on from 8-2 b/c I have meetings from 2-5 (basically).

Friday, I am on vacation. Yeah!

I've been collecting a lot of things I wanted to write about so this is a purge of those things.

Here's something to think about. I recently picked a new primary care doctor. Aftertwo visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing'fairly well' for my age. (I just turned sixty-something.) A little concerned about that comment, I couldn'tresist asking him, 'Do you think I'll live to be 80?' He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor? 'Oh no,' I replied. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!' Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs? I said, 'Not much... my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!' 'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?' 'No, I don't,' I said. He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have lots of sex?' 'No,' I said... He looked at me and said,.. 'Then, why do you even give a shit?

Fear Factory's bus caught on fire in England. Remember, I saw them in concert a couple of weeks ago. Concert Review View photos of the blaze here:

The US drinking age of 21 is shared with but four others (Fiji,Pakistan, Palau, and Sri Lanka). The rest of the world has lower age limits.

A woman was in town on a shopping trip. She began her day by findingthe most perfect shoes in the first shop and a beautiful dress onsale in the second. In the third, everything had just been reduced by50 percent when her mobile phone rang.

It was a female doctor notifying her that her husband had just beenin a terrible car accident and was in critical condition in the ICU.The woman told the doctor to inform her husband where she was andthat she'd be there as soon as possible. As she hung up she realized she was leaving what was shaping up to beher best day ever in the boutiques. She decided to get in a couplemore shops before heading to the hospital. She ended up shopping therest of the morning, finishing her trip with a cup of coffee and abeautiful chocolate cake slice, compliments of the last shop. Shewas jubilant.
Then she remembered her husband. Feeling guilty, she dashed to thehospital. She saw the woman doctor in the corridor and asked abouther husband's condition. The doctor glared at her and shouted, "Youwent ahead and finished your shopping trip, didn't you!? I hope you're proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hoursenjoying yourself in town, your husband has been languishing in theIntensive Care Unit! It's just as well you went ahead and finished,because it will more than likely be the last shopping trip you evertake! For the rest of his life he will require round-the-clock care. And he will now be your career!" The woman, overcome with guilt, broke down and sobbed.
The woman doctor chuckled and said, "I'm just messing with you. He's dead. Show me what you bought.

*Beauty of Mathematics!!!!!!!*

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888 *_

Brilliant, isn't it?_*

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Mind Boggling...
Now, take a look at this....

> From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:
What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%...

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help
Answer these questions:



Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: *

H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K *

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

And: *

K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E *

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%

But: *

A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E *

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you: *

L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = _101% _

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Final thought: we went to Cedar Falls and picked up 3 more of Mark's cabinets. Now we just need to hang them in our house... somewhere. Probably the laundry room and storage rooms. It will be something I've never attempted. I hope it goes well. I hope it is completed by 10/1/2010.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary! and Death

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. That means 17 years ago, we pledged our love to each other in front of our families and friends. The number 17 usually doesn't mean anything special as far as wedding anniversaries go. I am not planning any huge surprise party or anything like that. It's another day to tell my wife that I love her and that I will always be there for her. Pretty simple.

The other thing going on in life is I went to Susan's wake on Thursday and her funeral yesterday. It seems surreal that my co-worker of nearly 12 years, that I watched come in every day, that I saw every day, is not going to be here. It's obviously very fresh and very sad. I admit I didn't accomplish much yesterday. In fact, the main thought that got me through the day was looking at the clock and hoping that my neighbors would be outside when I got home, drinking. And they were. So I joined them. Went inside around 11:30 and went to bed @ midnight.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Update: my co-worker passed away today.

On Thursday, one of my co-workers was out for a bike ride. Around 6:30, she was struck by a vehicle. She bounced off the vehicle and onto the pavement. She was taken to the hospital. She was on a breathing machine, but had no brain activity. As of now, her condition has not improved.
It was a sad day @ work on Friday.

If you have any prayers laying around, my co-worker could use them. Desparately. She is now breathing on her own, but her condition has not improved.

I was @ Mass on Saturday night in Elkader. Fr. Peters said something in his homily. He said the only moment we have is now. We may all not be here tomorrow. If there's something that needs to be said, say it. If there's an apology that needs to be made, make it. Do not put off things you have waited to do because our time on earth is up to the Lord. He will decide when we go to meet him. So do those things that you have been meaning to do.

To Fr. Peter's words, I add "YES!!!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work and Bells and 5 Minutes Alone

We are leaving for Elkader after work tomorrow. Not sure when I'll sit in front of this PC.

I got sucked into reading what I wrote about five large projects at work. I thought enough time had passed that I could give an update on them, since they were important enough to write about back then.

Project A is a huge change that has to do with how our clients process something. We have to be certified by someone and then, after we deliver the software to our clients, the clients need to be audited and certified. The way this has to work is that it has to arrive on 3/12 (that Friday). Selfishly, that week (3/15) is going to be a very busy week at work. The timeline for testing and documenting the changes to the system have a two week window. There are consultants involved so it will be very important that everyone stays on-time.
As of 7/29/2010, this has been released to our clients. There are minor issues that creep in occasionally, but overall, this was a successful project.

Project B means a lot of work for me. It involves buckling down and writing some content that I have been procrastinating. It is not that the content is difficult to write - I think I could bang it out in a day - it's that I think it's overview material, about something stupid that no one is going to read. It's content that should be covered in a training class but since we don't really do training classes like we used to - clients seem to magically end up with a new system on their PCs - I understand I need to write the content. There is also a lot of project B that I need to write in other areas, besides the aforementioned overview. I am comfortable with where I am, but there are holes I need to fill in.
As of 7/29/2010, this project was delayed a software release. It is scheduled to go out soon. I finished the work I had put off and, actually, wrote that content in a morning. It went a lot better than I thought it was going to go.

Project C involves doing the user interface work I do and making records that display in pink display, well, in pink. If you imagine a floor with a carpet. The programmers code the floor and I design the carpet that everyone sees. I don't know if that really makes sense or not. I had to submit a call report to the software vendor that makes the "carpet" because the obvious ways to make the records display in pink did not work.
This turned out to be a fairly simple change. I got on the phone with the software vendor and worked it out.

Project D is also a user interface project. When you are in Add mode, F16 should never be enabled. However, if I set it up where F16 is disabled in Add mode, it is disabled in Change mode as well. I tried all the obvious, and not so obvious, things I know how to do but it didn't seem to work. I asked for a call from the vendor and I need to get that resolved.
This was something that I was able to work through as well. Same software vendor customer support person helped me.

Project E is a huge change to one of our systems. Not only are there going to be UI changes - the carpet - but there will also be a lot of documentation changes. I've come to the conclusion that while it is not scheduled for release until the April/May timeframe, I cannot delay working on it until then. This area of the system continually has smaller changes but this is a larger one. I am hoping my co-worker is available to take some of the documentation work off my plate. However, I know that she is busy too so that's kind of an on-going storyline.
As of 7/29/2010, if I remember exactly what I was thinking about when I wrote the above, the scope of the project narrowed and it is not nearly as big of a nightmare as I originally feared it would be.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pictures of my CDs

Just because I haven't written a lot lately does not mean I am sitting around, bored out of my mind. In fact, July has flown by. We spend weekends camping and when home, it seems like this has been the summer of the mower. We have had a lot of things going on when we are home.

I downloaded some pics from our camera and wow! I'd forgotten I'd taken these. My collection, from left to right, along a wall in the den.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Trip to the IPOM & Invisible Skin

IPOM (Insanity Palace of Metallica) has gone a recent facelift. It has a fresher UI and is a joy to walk around. I was quite quickly to find Metallica shows that were played in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Know what? I don't remember this show except that it was a Sunday and as I looked at all the kids in the arena, I thought they should be doing homework. I don't remember any of the songs. No, I wasn't drunk.

Date: 11/10/91
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA - USA @ Five Seasons Center

•Enter Sandman
•Creeping Death
•Harvester Of Sorrow
•Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
•Sad But True
•Wherever I May Roam
•Bass Solo
•Through The Never
•The Unforgiven
•Justice Medley
•Drum Solo
•Guitar Solo
•The Four Horsemen
•For Whom The Bell Tolls
•Fade To Black
•Master Of Puppets
•Seek And Destroy
•Last Caress
•Am I Evil?

I also saw this show:

Date: 01/28/93
Location: Iowa City, IA - USA @ Carver-Hawkeye Arena

•Enter Sandman
•Creeping Death
•Harvester Of Sorrow
•Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
•Sad But True
•Of Wolf And Man
•The Unforgiven
•Justice Medley
•Bass Solo
•Guitar Solo
•Through The Never
•For Whom The Bell Tolls
•Fade To Black
•Master Of Puppets
•Seek And Destroy
•Nothing Else Matters
•Wherever I May Roam
•Am I Evil?
•Last Caress

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NEW Godsmack & Catching Up, a bit

I reviewed Godsmack's latest CD here and it is quite good. I really liked it.

I got home @ 1:30 AM last night. Why so late? I went to Des Moines, IA, to see Fear Factory, 36 Crazy Fists, Baptized in Blood, Divine Heresy, and another band - the name escapes me. They were all very good. Fear Factory has drumming legend Gene Hoglan playing with them. Wow. I was totally mesmerized. This was from their recent Milwaukee, WI, show. Look at the way Hoglan plays the hi-hat. He has one really low and rides with his left hand.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three Jokes & a Drummer

During a long-distance train trip, someone got on, pulled a gun, and announced that he and his gang were robbing the train. The train robbers proceeded to take everything of value or possible value that they could find. After they left, one man saw that his wife was still wearing her rings.
“How did you keep them from stealing the rings,” he asked. “I would have thought those would be the first things they would take..”
“I thought so too,” replied the wife, “so I took them off and hid them in my mouth.”
“Gee,” said the husband, “I wish your mother had been here. We could have saved the luggage.”

At Saint Mary's Catholic Church in South Philly they have a weekly husband's-only marriage seminar. At the session last week, the Priest asked Tony, who was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all the years.

Tony replied to the assembled husbands, "Well, I've tried to treat her nice and spend money on her, but best of all is that I took her to Italy for our 25th anniversary!"

The Priest responded "Tony, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your 50th Anniversary."

Tony proudly replied, "I'm gonna go get her."

A husband and wife are working in the yard on a hot day. They get done with their work and go inside to shower. The husband gets undressed first and gets in the shower. As the wife is getting undressed, the doorbell rings. She wraps a towel around herself and goes to the door. When she opens the door, she sees their neighbor Frank. Frank says, "I'll give you $20 if you drop that towel." The wife considers and drops her towel. Frank gives her a $20 bill and walks away. When the wife returns to the husband, he asks, "Who was at the door?" She replies, "It was Frank." The husband says, "Oh, did he give you the $20 he owes me?"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

L7 & the List...

It was the strangest thing. All of a sudden two days ago, I started humming, "When I get mad / and I get pissed / I get out a pen / and write up a list / of all the a$$holes that won't be missed."

The song that had magically popped into my head was L7's "Shitlist." I guarantee you that I have not listed to their release, Bricks are Heavy, for at least 5 years. It's on a cassette in a box in my den and I haven't been compelled to listen to it.

But all of a sudden, it's in my head. So, of course, upon returning to my house and firing up this PC, I was compelled to find it on youtube. Sure enough:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Now, I am not endorsing this song's content. I was simply flipping through the channels and landed on a "Best of MTV Unplugged." I was mesmerized by this song. Listen to the drums; listen to the bass guitar, the piano, the guitars... I understand now that this is not new. I guess I am behind the times or something.

Monday, June 14, 2010


A man was driving down the road and ran out of gas. Just at that moment, a bee flew in his window.
The bee said, 'What seems to be the problem?'
'I'm out of gas,' the man replied.
The bee told the man to wait right there and flew away. Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew to his car and into his gas tank. After a few minutes, the bees flew out.

'Try it now,' said one bee.

The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up. 'Wow!' the man exclaimed, 'what did you put in my gas tank'?

The bee answered,


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It is Tuesday AM. The kids are off school now and I still have to go to work. We are preparing for our first camping trip of the season. If history repeats itself, I will not touch this PC tonight or tomorrow night. In that light, I am saying "Farewll" until later. Next Sunday night is the season finale of "Breaking Bad" and it's ramping up the intensity. There was only one episode this season that I thought didn't progress the story and that was the painfully slow-paced episode called "The Fly" which dealt with Walt fighting a fly in his meth lab. Didn't really see the need for an hour of chasing a fly. I doubt I will be on the PC that night. The following night is WWE and it seems like a given that I do not make it downstairs. So it could be a week. Hope you survive without me. Peace.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Products / Faultline / Hate My Life

I don't think I have it nearly as bad as this guy, but I think this is a funny song. If you think about all the songs out there that complain about the world and how everything is wrong and that the world is merely a bleak speck in the universe and then take all the things this guy is singing about? Well, to me, it makes it pretty funny.

Hate My Life

Theory of a Deadman MySpace Music Videos

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Some Men Have Dogs And Not Wives / The worst part about Blogging

You know, this is as old as a oak tree that's been around a zillion years, but it still makes me chuckle.
1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.
2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.
3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.
4. A dog's parents never visit.
5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.
6. You never have to wait for a dog; they're ready to go 24 hours a day.
7. Dogs find you amusing when you're drunk..
8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.
9. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, "If I died, would you get another dog?"
10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.
11. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.
12. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don't get mad. They just think it's interesting.
13. Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.
And last, but certainly not least:
14. If a dog leaves, it won't take half of your stuff.

Ultimate True Test :
Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. Then open the trunk and see who's the happiest to see you.

The worst part about blogging is that I hear about a really interesting one - but the author of Stuff that happens hasn't posted since February!

Last thing: Lost finale. Uh, it's a dream? Jack never moved from the place where he landed when he fell out of the plane and all the things that happened 'happened' in his mind? Really? Feeling a bit ripped off...

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Ronnie James Dio died from stomach cancer.

In honor of his contributions to the heavy metal genre, this is my favorite song by him.

My sympathy to his family.

Destrophy has TNA Wrestler Theme Song and other news...

This is a band that used to be based out of Iowa City. The lead singer, Ari, graduated from Iowa City West and has been "Destrophy" since then. Now, finally, after years of hard work, their song "Reconnect" is the theme song for a TNA wrestler. TNA, in case you don't know, is a competitor of the WWE or what used to be the WWF, the promotion that you are probably the most familiar with even if you never watch (or admit to watching) pro wrestling. So anyways, this is Destrophy. I like it. I like the energy in the tempo.

Destrophy - Reconnect

DESTROPHY | MySpace Music Videos

In other news, didn't do so hot @ the casino last night. Could never set foot in Riverside's casino in my life.

Finally, played drums last night @ 5:15 Mass. Sounded good. I took some more liberties with the songs that were in 3/4 time and just played around the electronic drums with less rigid timekeeping. The tempo was solid but I avoided a lot of standard parts (boom-chick-chick / boom-chick-chick) that you normally hear in a 3/4 song.

This week is busy - lots of after work committments and things going on. I counted up the days and we are going to spend 24 nights in our camper this summer. I cannot wait!

Club Scene in JW

The video below is from a movie that was rated R by the MPAA. Viewer beware!