Saturday, June 30, 2012

Good Quote and Walking Stats

"I'm never wrong. I thought I was wrong once but it turns out that I was mistaken."
Here's my walking progress. I expect to have a lot of steps on vacation. I expect to probably top 20,000 at least once. My previous high was back in May when I recorded 18,000 steps.

I am 2608 steps below where I should be. That's not bad. There's 37 days and my goal is 370000.

I am very happy with my progress.


We are planning a trip out of town so I will not be updating this blog for a bit. Not a big trip, but I will probably not have Internet access for most of it. When we are back, I will write about where we went. I've been to where we are going, but not since my sophomore year of high school when our high school band went to this city for our spring trip. I remember that two of my fellow band members got caught smoking in the stairway of the hotel. I don't remember what songs our band played. I don't remember who I roomed with. I don't remember the bus ride down. I don't even remember what the weather was like on our trip, like if it rained or not. I just remember Craig B. and Dave O. getting caught by Mr. B in the stairway of the fire escape. How odd to only remember that. I vaguely remember eating at a McDonald's near where we were.

My parents took my brother and I on a trip to this city. I remember going to a professional baseball game in this city and there was a guy walking to each car and saying his team's name and saying "Number ONE!" The car in front of us had what I must guess was someone older because he was intimidated and didn't look at the fan. My assumption, from this memory, is that the home team won. I really do not remember.

I find that really strange. I find the fact that I remember some events in my life with crystal clarity. I remember going to the Metallica concert in 1989, not because the music was great but because I gave a ride home to Scott Golden who lived in Marion. He ended up being the vocalist in my first basement band, though I never heard him sing. Some events are like that. I think that writing music reviews for has helped me remember bands and songs. Otherwise, I do not think I would remember.

Anyways, we are going on vacation.

I Blame Jenny from Chicago

During my freshman year of college at Mount Mercy College (now called Mount Mercy University), I became friends with Jenny McDermott. Jenny looked punk rock. She had thick red hair and big rimmed glasses. I can't remember what she was majoring in. I can't remember the city she was from. I remember she was from Chicago.

I rest all blame for introducing me to what was then alternative music on her.

This was the fall of 1988, prior to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. These bands that she liked were not on the radio. They were not heavy metal. Some of them were dance music-ish, like Erasure. Some of them were quirky, like the Violent Femmes. Some of them were punk rock, like the Buzzcocks. I don't remember the name of the release I dubbed from her. I just remember this song, called "Orgasm Addict." I didn't care for the lyrics but I liked the energy. It wasn't the music I listened to all of the time, but I listened to it enough for Erasure and VF to become forever in my mind.

I thought about these bands when converting "College Tape: #8: Supplement Fall 1990" which I created between 10/1/1990 and 11/1/1990.

These are the bands I had on this College Tape:
Missing Persons
Suicidal Tendencies
Guns-n-Roses (My Michelle)
Assume (my basement band playing our original song called "Pretty Little Kitty")
Nancy Shanks (a song from "About Last Night" called "Trials of the Heart)
Guns-n-Roses (Welcome to the Jungle)
What About Me
Sweet Home Chicago (Serbi's band called Steel Blue from a rehearsal tape)
Bryan Adams
Hard to Handle
Blind Faith
Find Me
Unchained Melody
Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby"

And out of all those, this is the youtube video I chose:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bayside drum Cover

If you watch this video on, one of the funny comments is "Someone buy this dude a shirt and new cymbals." Love the Internet community!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sparingly, Making Progress

Not a full-fledged week of work on the conversions, but a little progress was made. It's so easy to slip authentic CDs - ones sold in a record store - versus CD-Rs that were acquired as a result of CD-R trading.
Here's the count, crossing the 43,000 threshhold!
           43013 File(s) 228,443,851,888 bytes
What I would love to do is sit in the basement and watch WWE and convert CDs tonight.
As far as walking 10,000 steps a day, well... last week wasn't so good for that.

I'm hoping to kick it up a notch this week and get things back to where they were during days 13 - 18, which were a good stretch of overachieving. I'd also like to meet or exceed my team's average as I don't want to be the drag down stat person.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Well-Laid Case

I have some posts that are tagged "Republican Tendencies." I usually flip from MSNBC in frustration because I rarely agree with what I hear. I'll watch a clip where the Republican party, per MSNBC, has flip-flopped on some issues. Supposedly, they say "Yes, we support A" until the Democrats say "Yes, we support A." Then the Republicans, per MSNBC, respond by stating, "No, we do not support B."

I'm not convinced. I'm not drinking Kool-Aid, but I'm also not 100% trusting that there's not more to the story. What I would like to see is a Fox News channel story where they directly take all the statements in the clip that were made by Republicans and either say, "No, that's not the whole story" or "Yes, that is our past. We have changed positions. Do you not grow and learn daily? Why do we want to repeat what hasn't worked?" In other news:
  • Yesterday, I jammed with Joe, Matthew, and Brian Guitar in my basement FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!!!!
  • Tentatively, we are calling ourselves "Chicago Style" because we use the Chicago Manual of Style at work. We went through 26 songs ("Sweet Home Chicago" once before Brian Guitar arrived and once after he arrived). 
    • Editor's Note: as of 3/4/2013, the working title of our band is Scary Robots.
    • Editor's Note: as of 7/1/2013, the working title of our band is Lou's Classic Ride.
  • I bought a 20" Sabian cymbal at a West Music warehouse sale today. It was originally $209, marked down to $109, on sale for $77 so $84 with tax. Good purchase.
  • Also today, we went to a wedding. When I watched the bride walk down the aisle, I started to cry. I could be walking Megan, my daughter, down the aisle someday and that day is coming faster.
Life goes on...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Conversion Project

I am already working on a conversion of my CDs to MP3s. I am already working on a conversion of my cassettes to MP3s. Now, with a fantastic Father's Day present, I have another conversion. This is going to be converting VHS and home movies to DVD! This is going to rock! I've been talking about doing this for awhile and now I can begin working on it.

When I think about the VHS to DVD conversion, my first thoughts are that I want to convert our wedding videos first. After that, I'd like to dive into the archives of my drumming and convert a VHS tape called "Transformation." It has the Mount Mercy College talent show with James, Ken, and Marcus Perkins, the MMC talent show with Old Stew, some Beevis and Butthead, some Metallica, and a rehearsal in 3904 Studios (my parent's basement) with Ken. I have watched the VHS tape numerous times so it will be nice to convert to DVD.

As for the weekly CD to MP3 conversion count, I converted nothing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cassette to MP3 Conversion Status

This project continues but with a significant less amount of focus. After all, it is camping season and we are spending 26 more nights in Elkader between now and Labor Day. That doesn't leave a lot of time to be doing the conversion. That said, when appropriate, I have brought some cassettes up to the camper and will kick them off. It's kind of easy to start one and return 90 minutes later. It's not something that is impossible to do. This is my current status:

42931 File(s)
I converted College Tape #16 the other night. It included a phone message from my grandma as well as a radio interview with the Cedar Rapids Gazette and my brother who, at the time, had just won the Prybll-Rotary golf tournament. Also, it included a recording of Steve Nall on guitar, Andy George on vocals, Roy Grimm in the background and me on drums in Steve's garage on the day we graduated from high school (I think) playing the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right to Party" and rocking out. There's a sweet thrashy metal thing towards the end with tambourine and cowbell.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Single or Double Kick and one more thing

On Facebook, on the Christian Rock Drummers page, David Borchers wrote:
here is a question for all you drummers; old school single pedal VS. Double pedal? myself I think double pedal is over used, but then again im old school 43 yrs. ive been playing and i listen to today's drummers and wonder were is the individuality! it all sounds alike! is it just me?
So this is what I wrote. It seemed interesting enough to post here:
I say single pedal. Same age as you, been playing since 1982. I went through the double bass drum phase when I first saw/heard Tommy Aldridge, Neil Peart, Lars Ulrich, and Alex Van Halen. But I distinctly then remember seeing an Eddie Money video on MTV (back when MTV showed videos) and his drummer had a single kick and I remember going down and tearing apart the double kick set I had created and going back to a single kick. I never liked the way it felt to play to two kicks – the balance – and I also didn’t like shifting my foot from hihat to bass drum. I spent many hours trying to make it feel natural but I just couldn’t get there. I also remember reading a drum magazine (maybe “Drums and Drumming” was the name) and they had a special issue about double bass. There was an article about why single kick was better. The author, whoever it was, talked about how it was really simple for him. All he had to do was listen to John Bonham to make him realize he wanted to do what Bonham could do on one kick that others couldn’t do on two. Since I have a Ludwig Vistalite with the clear shells (what he played), I adopted that thesis. So, short answer, single pedal.

Even though I've been sober since 1/1/11, I thought this was a good explanation of how the world works:

Okay... I'm Impressed

Never heard of this band until just now. Not crazy about the vocals, but this drummer has chops!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Month Begins and... More Walking

The weekend is almost over. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two nephews are en route back to Cedar Falls. Mark and I beat the women in euchre. Heading into the Sigwarth campout Thursday -Sunday with a little confidence.

Other than that, converting College Tape #2 from 1989-1990 and there are a lot of good memories. There are a lot of smiles on my face and, unfortunately, a lot of things I do not remember. It makes me feel old. Now playing is Metallica's "Fight Fire with Fire" which I kind of remember discovering in this time of my life. I remember it as being ultra heavy and not being able to play air drums to it.

Speaking of drums, Mark brought his guitar down and we jammed Saturday night. There are a couple of videos floating around but time will only tell if they get uploaded to this blog or not. It was kind of a drum-filled weekend. I played drums @ STM for 5:15 Mass, then played with Mark, then played drums @ STM for 11 AM Mass. Now there is no playing drums @ STM until... after Labor Day as we will be camping pretty much non-stop until then.

So, yes, we pull up to Elkader on Thursday for the Sigwarth campout. I am looking forward to the start of camping in a reserved sort of way. I am not all that excited to pull the camper up, but I am content, to an extent, that this is what we do in the summer - we spend the majority of our weekend in Elkader.

Elkader, for its part, is not a bad place. I could see living there at some point in life if I was going to work from home. I do not really see the job opportunities bursting at the seams in Elkader so I'm not sure, exactly, what living there would be like. It's a nice community. There is a restaurant that has a pool table that Alex and I like going to. The golf course is okay. The breeze is awesome. I also like walking around the town with my trusty pedometer.

Speaking of pedometers, I did a massive amount of steps on Saturday - 18000 - and only 5950 today. I had somewhere around 8000 on Friday. I think. I don't have the sheet of paper in front of me.

The worst part of camping is that I will not be able to spend a lot of time on the cassette to MP3 conversion or even the CD to MP3 conversion. I am not bringing spindles up to Elkader. I use Windows Media Player and it uses an Internet connection to find album information. No Internet connection in Elkader @ our camper, which is kind of okay.

Thus, I am pretty much putting the project on hold until after Labor Day, maybe a full 4 month pause with a reboot of the project beginning on October 1, 2012. Maybe. I'll have to see what my days at home during the summer bring.

Tomorrow is the kids have lessons and then I am doing a driver simulator project from 7-9. Tuesday is a baseball game. Wednesday is packing the camper/truck to head to Elkader. Then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, is the Sigwarth campout. Monday is lessons again, not sure about Tuesday, but WEDNESDAY is BAYSIDE!!! Woo-hoo!!

All of this is without my calendar in front of me so it is subject to the "real" schedule.

Maybe life will slow down someday, but that someday is not any time soon. In fact, things are just starting to ramp up to lightspeed! I will do my best to keep this blog updated.

Club Scene in JW

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