Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lots of stuff to Blog About

  • Lots of Racial Stuff concerning the death of the teenager in Florida. There's a lot of left and right spins on the events.
  • Heaven is watching "The Big Bang Theory" while ripping CDs. It's also watching "Two and a Half Men" while ripping CDs. I have to say that those two shows are my favorites. They have replaced "M*A*S*H*" and "Cheers."
  • If I looked like this, I would put a bag over my head as well. Going to assume it's a female under the hood, but it may just be a really skinny dude. Don't know.
  • Work is going well. I am extremely happy to be where I am. I cannot imagine my life without the changes over the last 42 weeks. Yes, you guessed it, I started 42 weeks ago. In 10 short weeks, I have my 1 year anniversary.
  • This is a cool still from the video of me playing drums on Beale Street. I really enjoyed playing drums that night. Back in North Liberty, I will be playing drums with the high school group at St. Thomas More this Palm Sunday @ 11 AM Mass, followed by (probably) Holy Thursday, followed by Easter Sunday @ 11 AM Mass.
  • There are a lot of bands I am not familiar with but I really like this band. They will probably never ever play together again since the drummer, Mike Portnoy, left Dream Theater and the guitarist and keyboardist are members of Dream Theater.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lots of Stuff

In case you didn't know, Spike Lee doesn't like white people: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=50445

Back to the Schedule

Even though I updated the status yesterday, I'm trying to get back on a routine update schedule.

     Total Files Listed:
           38733 File(s) 209,937,439,887 bytes

Ripped 218 MP3s yesterday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CD to MP3 Conversion Progress

I haven't updated the status of my CD to MP3 conversion for a few weeks. As of right now, Sunday AM @ 8:45, it's looking like this:

     Total Files Listed:
           38515 File(s) 209,075,350,505 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  648,827,314,176 bytes free
That's with 22 CDs in my current to do stack and one in the drive.

Beer Money

Here's a youtube video of a guy that plays the most boring drum pattern repeatedly in order to get money for beer. If you see this guy, tell him to learn a new instrument.

Friday, March 23, 2012

October Baby / November Election

This is a PG-13 movie about abortion survivors.

The quote I like, and the reason for including this on my blog is when John Schneider says, "Why would I continue drinking poison while waiting for you to die?" What a great quote!


I like this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Day

Life is pure chaos.
  1. Big projects @ work and not enough time in the day.
  2. Karen and I are both fighting off not feeling 100% (thank you Memphis, I guess)
  3. Upcoming CEW in Riverside, IA, this weekend
  4. Thinking about Alex's upcoming baseball season and how that will impact the family
There is a lot swirling in my mind.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Way to Hear Metallica

I am a Metallica fan. One of the things I really enjoy is hearing other interpretations of their music. I think Metallica, as a group, has composed great music. I think this German group has taken "Enter Sandman" and "The Unforgiven" and tweaked them enough to make it worth listening to. Again and again.

Back Home

We did arrive home on Thursday night and took the Expedition we rented back to the CR Airport (National Car Rental was a good choice it turns out). Yesterday was unpacking and getting back into thinking about a daily routine - dishes, laundry - and watching NCAA basketball. I fired up the laptop and converted some CDs to MP3s. I opened up Mark's USB to Cassette converter and tried out his USB cord since my cord was acting odd and whamo! that was the trick. No issues.

Today feels like Sunday, in a way. I'm fighting off a cough that I thought I had already defeated. Karen doesn't feel the greatest either.

I'm not entirely sure what will happen today but I'm sure it'll be entertaining.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Day Down...

Day 2 of the conference is over. Making plans for tonight!

DREAM COME TRUE!!!

I never thought I would ever play drums on Beale Street, but tonight, well, I guess it's nearly 1 AM so yesterday (technically), I sat in on drums with the BB King All-Stars Band @ BB King's on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. It was not even 3 minutes on stage but it made my night.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Memphis Days 1, 2, and part of 3

I did not turn on my PC yesterday or Saturday, but I made it safely to Memphis, TN, for WritersUA. The conference is ~200 TWers.

Sunday AM, I woke up fairly early, got showered, and left to go walk around Memphis. I talked to a couple down by the Mississippi River. The husband graduated from the U of I in 1978 and is president of the Memphis Blues Organization. His brother runs an Italian restaurant in Oelwein
The four of us (Karen, Karen's brother Mark and Mark's wife Susie, and I) went to Graceland. We had the tour that included seeing the airplanes Elvis rode on. The tour of the house was as interesting the second time (I went through it in 2004 when I was in Memphis for the Memphis in May concert). I really like the racquetball room with the gold records that line the tall walls.

After Graceland, we went through the Sun Studios tour. It was interesting to see where Elvis recorded and the place he stood in the actual recording room. The tour guide really got into the samples of music he played. I understood where he was coming from b/c if I were ever a tour guide for Metallica's HQ, where they record, I would be just as happy every day. Of course, Metallica's HQ is in San Francisco so that is one job I will not have to worry about having in my life.

Last night, we began our night with supper @ the Hard Rock Cafe. I had a BBQ cheeseburger and it was good. There were a lot of memorabilia about Elvis. There were also a lot of signed guitars.

Then we went to Rum Boogie Cafe. The band playing was good. Then they brought up a guy who looked a lot like John Popper from Blues Traveler. He wasn't impressive. The two guitarists were outstanding, taking extended solos. There was a nice interplay between the drummer and the bassist, whose axe had 5 strings. The bassist had a sports coat on and kind of looked like a geek. The leader of the group had thick glasses and had no hair on his head. The drummer had a Pearl set with two crashes, a ride, and an upside down splash. He had only a bass, snare, mounted, and floor tom. He did some visuals during the course of the night that were impressive.

We walked out of Rum Boogie and about 4 doors down, another band was playing. They had a drummer, bassist (also playing 5 strings - must be a Memphis thing), guitarist, two saxophones and two trumpets. The bassist announced that one of the saxophonists just had his seventh great grandchild be born; one of the trumpet players looked like he was 18. It was a diverse landscape on stage.

Without going into too much detail, I went to the bathroom. I struck up a conversation. It turns out Daniel, the person I started talking to, is from Australia. His story of flying into New York and then making his way across the country with his wife was fun to listen to. We talked about the current state of the music industry and how Justin Timberlake doesn't belong in the Hard Rock Cafe... at all. I brought up Metallica and how they needed to take younger bands on the road with them like how Ozzy Osbourne had taken them out on the road way back in the day (on their Master of Puppets tour). He lamented the lack of a centralized scene like Memphis in Australia. He stated that the talented musicians in Australia are abundant, but there is not a central scene like Memphis or Nashville (his examples). I wished him well on his travels. The conversation capped a great night and made it that much better.

The next session is starting... until later...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Live a Christian Life

Iron Maiden never struck me as a Satanic band or anything, but I found this clip about their drummer, Nicko McBrain, on Wikipedia.


Clear the Plate

Obviously, this week has been very busy.

I was thinking about stupidity in software documentation. I saw this in a manual:


and I thought "How stupid!" Here's the problem. While the menu option may be "technically" called "Open Patients..." the ... in the menu option mean something different in software documentation. In writing, ... means etc or I can't think of anything else to say so I'll let my thoughts just trail off into nothingness. In a software UI that is based upon Microsoft, the ... means there is another window that will open. Menu options without ... mean that there is likely not another window. For examples, in Microsoft Word, you have File ==> New... because selecting New means a different window will display. Also in Microsoft Word, you have File ==> Save and there aren't any ... because there is no window that displays. The File ==> Save As... option does have the ... because another window displays.

What I think happened is some idiot didn't understand the difference between UI design and a set of instructions in a user manual. Hence, you get a TWer who was probably told the doc had to match the UI *exactly* and that is really sad in our profession. Our job, my job, is to communicate to the user. The above blurb with the ... is insulting the user because they have to redefine what ... means and translate it from UI to software documentation. I would venture a guess that there is anyone who isn't a tech writer that knows about ... and yet, the software doc makes... requires... demands the user define something. That last sentence is an example of the ... being used correctly.

The other thing going on in life is that I am too busy. It's that simple.

Monday is lessons @ 5:30 and Megan has a band concert @ West. Probably won't get home until after 9.
Tuesday is haircut for me and Susie/Jonathan down for supper.
Wednesday is RE, which is actually our slow night.
Thursday is Karen/Megan getting a haircut, which is actually another slow night. We also need to prepare the house for Saturday.
Friday is going to National Car Rental in CR and renting a mini-van and dropping off our taxes in Swisher. Lou and Jean come down.

Saturday is when the real fun begins. Mark/Susie, Karen/I are all going to Memphis, TN. We should arrive in Memphis no later than 8 PM, hopefully earlier than that!

Sunday is when we are going to 10 AM Mass @ a Catholic church that is only a few blocks from our hotel. After Mass, we are going to see Graceland. I'd like to eat breakfast @ a Waffle House, but that remains to be seen (Karen ate @ one in Orlando, FL, and thought the food was gross).

Monday - Wednesday, I am attending the WritersUA conference @ the Peabody Hotel. That is during the day.

At night, I'm not exactly sure what we will do. I think the only night to eat BBQ @ the Rendezvous is Monday night. I want to pick up a bottle of their delicious BBQ sauce.

Tuesday, I'm not sure what is going to happen. I would like to find a good local band on Beale Street.

Wednesday, the tentative plan is to go to Tunica, MS, where there is a casino and spend Wednesday night.

Thursday AM, we will get up and drive back home. I am on vacation Friday so I will have a 3 day weekend.





Thursday, March 1, 2012

Too Good to Pass Up

While Americans are dealing with high gas prices, Obama is running for re-election.
While Americans are dying for our country, Obama is apologizing.
America seems screwed up, no?


And while this is a bit late, this is my status of the CD to MP3 and Cassette to MP3 conversions:

Two Problems I do not Have


I am not in a band so I do not have to worry about this decision.

I imagine that this will be something I end up wearing when I'm a senior citizen...

7 Years Ago